By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings
This past weekend Lucy and I drove up to our recently purchased property in Buffalo, Texas. There’s a ‘shell house’ that needs a lot of attention before it can become a residence sitting on three acres of land that has a fifth wheel travel trailer thrown in as part of the deal.
We took implements of destruction with us in the back of my truck; weed whacker to trim a spot for the truck, generator for electricity, vacuum cleaner and assorted cleaning goods. The afternoon was spent cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning. Did I mention we needed to clean the trailer?
We haven’t had the water or electricity hooked up to the property as yet so we carted about 50 gallons in plastic jugs to use for cleaning, as in taking a sink bath, and flushing the toilet; a very necessary process unless you like squatting in tall grass. The fellow who put the trailer up there also put in a simple septic tank system which simplifies getting rid of waste water.
A couple of hours of serious labor and the dust was off the sofa, floors could be walked on, the surfaces in the kitchen had been wiped down with Mr. Clean and outside air was drifting through to replace stale air that had been trapped inside for who knows how long in there. We made the bed up with fresh sheets brought from home and wondered if we even needed a blanket and comforter since temperatures made it into the mid 80s. It did drop down into the low 60s that night so we closed the windows on one side of the trailer.
Lucy took a short nap on the sofa while I took pictures from our ‘center of operations’. We plan to use the travel trailer like a motel room for when we start finishing off the ‘shell house’ which is on hold until we close the sale of our rent house; hard to pay for new stuff until we have the check in our hands.
Sunday morning we got up with the sun to get ready for church. The nearest meeting house is thirty miles or so away down in Madisonville; a small branch with about 70 active members. We were welcomed warmly in the foyer and talked with our new friends, some of whom we knew from our internet connections.
Lucy was quick to leave printed invitations to the Preparedness Fair that happens in May; never let an opportunity go to waste.
Just so you know, perhaps hearing it for the first time or as a reminder, the Gospel is true whether you’re in a small branch in Madisonville or travel to Salt Lake City.
Some friends of ours, the Welch family, spoke on the Plan of Happiness and did a great job of explaining why it’s important for each of us to understand where we came from, why we’re here in mortality and what lies ahead in the eternities.
“The fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, designed to bring about man’s immortality and eternal life. It includes the Creation, Fall, and Atonement, along with all God-given laws, ordinances, and doctrines. This plan makes it possible for all people to be exalted and live forever with God (2 Ne. 2, 9). The scriptures also refer to this plan as the plan of salvation, the plan of happiness, and the plan of mercy.”
Brother Welch mentioned in his talk that some folks, better than 50% of Americans who claim to be Christians, don’t believe in the resurrection; mortality is all there is. Their church doesn’t teach the Plan of Happiness or they just don’t believe it. How sad; the most important aspect of Jesus’ gift has either not been shared or not been accepted.
Zig Ziglar, a motivational speaker, often reminded folks that you have to know where you came from before you can figure out where you’re going. Zig was directing his thoughts toward achievement in the business world; but it applies equally in every aspect of mortality. Life is tough enough; having the Gospel to give it purpose puts things in perspective.
Many sects of organized Christian religions quit teaching about the importance of the resurrection years ago and our schools certainly aren’t teaching Christian principles. Now we have better than 50% of our population that haven’t got a clue about the Gospel, at least not the most important message; we as individuals are children of our Father in Heaven, have been with Him in the spirit prior to being given a mortal body. We will shed this mortality for a perfected body and have the opportunity to live with Him once more in the eternities.
In our uncertain world where politicians and leaders interchange lies for truth, evil for good and wrong for right; wouldn’t knowing the basic principles of the Gospel help?
The day you recognize who you are, really (as Zig would have arranged his words); that’s when you can begin making progress towards the individual God wants you to become. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to a small branch of Saints in Madisonville, to hear the Gospel spelled out just as it should be throughout the world.
By: Nelson Abdullah
Conscience of a Conservative
I am not a big fan of the word “democracy” as I am often reminded that this word does not appear once in either The Declaration of Independence or The United States Constitution. And furthermore, many of our Founding Fathers had many criticisms about it. John Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, championed the new Constitution in his state precisely because it would not create a democracy. “Democracy never lasts long,” he noted. “It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself.” He insisted, “There was never a democracy that ‘did not commit suicide.'”
James Madison, who is rightly known as the “Father of the Constitution,” wrote in The Federalist, No. 10: “… democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they are violent in their deaths.” The Federalist Papers, recall, were written during the time of the ratification debate to encourage the citizens of New York to support the new Constitution.
But today, the word “democracy” has come to mean the rule of the majority as in our election process and the way our lawmakers pass laws. So it is interesting to note that Muslims throughout the Middle East also oppose democracy but for entirely different reasons as in this quote from a CNN story from Pakistan about their upcoming elections.
Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud has told Pakistanis to stay away from the elections.
“We are not in favor of democracy, democracy is for Jews and Christians,” he said in recent propaganda video.
“They are intended to divide Muslims; we want the implementation of Sharia (law) and for that jihad is necessary,” he added.
The word “secular” is also not a word that I use in my vocabulary because it is not self-descriptive, at least not to me. While I acknowledge that others use the word correctly to mean not of a religious nature, as in, of or relating to the doctrine that rejects religion and religious considerations, I prefer to say “man made” as is our form of government. But when a Muslim uses the word secular, this is what they mean.
The Pakistani Taliban, in a statement obtained by CNN, took responsibility for the bombings at the offices of candidates in Peshawar and the Orakzai Agency.
The Taliban said it targeted secular candidates, but many parties have been hit by the increasing violence.
“A man cannot be secular and Muslim at a time. These are two different doctrines in nature,” the statement said.
So just how do Muslims in America feel about our “Man-made” government? How do they feel when they take the oath of citizenship to become Americans when they must swear to uphold The Constitution? Oh yeah, they have an excuse not to tell the truth, a religious reason to lie under oath, they call it Taqiyya. We call it Perjury.
Taqiyya – the command to lie to non-Muslims.
Muslims are allowed to deceive non-Muslims if it helps Islam. For non-Muslims this principle, called Taqiyya is another surprising concept of Islam. While most other religions speak highly of truthfulness the Qur’an instructs Muslims to lie to non-Muslims about their beliefs and their political ambitions to protect and spread Islam. There are many examples of today’s Islamic leaders saying one thing in English for the Western press and then saying something entirely different to their own followers in Arabic a few days later. Deceiving the enemy is always useful in war and Islam is at war with the non-Islamic world until the whole world follows Shari’a Law. All non-Muslims living in non-Islamic states are therefore enemies. So deceiving Westerners is totally acceptable – even encouraged – if it can forward the goals of the spread of Islam.
Want to know more? Hear it from the horses mouth. Here are two Muslim web sites that discuss how Islam opposes man-made governments.
The Myth of Secularism:
Religion and Politics are Mutually Constitutive
M. A. Muqtedar Khan
Secularism in Quran
Published: 21/08/2011 12:44:00 AM GMT
This brings up an interesting conundrum for American Muslims – or, actually, for every American except Muslims. If Muslims are prevented by their so-called religion from pledging allegiance to a man-made government then what can be said about Muslims who have been elected to these governments? In particular, I am referring to Muslim Keith Ellison, a Democrat from Minnesota. In November 2006, Democrat Keith Ellison won election to the House of Representatives in his Minnesota district. When Ellison took office he became the first Muslim member of Congress. After his election Ellison announced that he planned to utilize the Qur’an rather than the Bible at the upcoming Congressional swearing-in ceremonies. This leads to the question of the intent behind Keith Ellison’s oath. If he places his hand on the Qur’an (which says there shall be no governments established except under the laws of Allah), then where does his true allegiance lie? Likewise, John Brennan, Barack Hussein Obama’s new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, is also a Muslim. Here is a passage from an article about the swearing in ceremony of John Brennan from The American Thinker, March 26, 2013.
John Brennan then proceeded to take the Oath of Office, as administered by Vice President Joe Biden. Director Brennan then did something no other officer has done, something that occasioned its own measure of controversy. Brennan was sworn in on an original copy of the Constitution. It was a very august occasion, to be sure, but it was also a mysterious one.
For the man who will be America’s spymaster, it was an odd move for him to stir up trouble. If spies are said to be “spooks,” our top spy’s action was, well, “spooky.”
Civil libertarians left and right were quick to point out that the 1787 Constitution did not include a Bill of Rights. Critics were right to be vigilant , especially when our spymaster has been so intimately associated with choosing targets for drone attacks. The Fifth Amendment says “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” That guarantee should certainly apply to Americans here at home. Similarly, the Fourth Amendment’s safeguards against unreasonable searches and seizures need to be underscored.
But there was little notice of the fact that the First Amendment provides for No Establishment of Religion. This was conspicuously not a part of the Constitution that Brennan chose to swear to uphold.
The Constitution of 1787 did not afford that guarantee, but it did give all Americans protection from religious tests for office. Thus, even without a Bill of Rights, Article VI, Sec. 3 provides that: “…no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
As a result, Brennan’s opponents on Capitol Hill scrupulously avoided questioning him about his religion. That was as it should be. We have consistently opposed such religious tests when applied to men and women of our faith.
Still, John Brennan fueled rumors when he defended jihad as a legitimate expression of Islam. He has spoken of “our Saudi partners.” If they are our partners, then he should have been asked why the Crown Prince Abdullah refused Vice President Al Gore’s personal request in 1998 for U.S. access to al Qaeda’s financial chief, Madani al Tayyib. According to the official 9/11 Commission Report, “U.S. never gained this access” to the man who might have unraveled the plot against the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.
Here’s something else very spooky about the Brennan Oath: How can you take an oath on the Constitution to defend the Constitution? Normally, one takes an oath with his hand on a Bible, or a Koran, on some other Scripture one holds sacred. Taking an oath to defend the Constitution by putting your hand on the Constitution is a skyhook. It is supported by nothing else. It neatly avoids the central question: Is this a valid oath? Can we rely on a person who creates such a stir by the simple act of taking an oath of office?
John Brennan speaks eloquently of “the Majesty of the Hajj.” This is the pilgrimage taken by devout Muslims to Mecca. It is a pilgrimage in which no non-Muslim is allowed to take part.
My name is Nelson Abdullah and I am Oldironsides.
Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day. This week’s question: What were your reactions to the opening ceremony of the Bush Presidential Library attended by five living presidents?
The Independent Sentinel: President Obama sold himself as the non-politician when he ran for office in 2007. He was not a DC insider. He was going to change the way Washington operates.
President Obama’s speech at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas, Texas Thursday morning seemed to prove the opposite.
President Obama politicized the event by making his pitch for immigration reform:
Seven years ago, President Bush restarted an important conversation by speaking with the American people about our history as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. And even though comprehensive immigration reform has taken a little longer than any of us expected, I am hopeful that this year, with the help of Speaker Boehner and some of the senators and members of Congress who are here today, that we bring it home — for our families, and our economy, and our security, and for this incredible country that we love. And if we do that, it will be in large part thanks to the hard work of President George W. Bush.
The man who was supposed to be a man of the people is pretty much a PAC hack.
He never stops campaigning and he never lets a good crisis go to waste.
The Razor: I didn’t pay much attention except for the press reaction to Bush. It’s clear that Bush Derangement Syndrome is in decline, especially since Obama has followed many of Bush’s policies. I find it interesting that Bush’s poll numbers are now the same as Obama’s, and they’re likely to continue growing. Bush has also showed greater dignity than any of the other living presidents with the exception of his father by avoiding the limelight – something that seems impossible for both Clinton and Carter. His silence speaks volumes, and proves he simply outclasses the other living presidents and makes his detractors look petty.
Rhymes With Right: My reaction? YAWN!
This is one of those events that happens a few years after the end of a presidency. Whether the former president whose library is being dedicated was loved or hated, all the members of the club gather and make nice.
Of course, Bill Clinton said something wildly inappropriate.
Obama was gracious as expected — because he expects his successor to likewise speak kindly of him.
And Dubya was himself — the man we all had personal affection for even as we disagreed with him.
But if I am to point to any single thing said that day, it would be this from the speech given by George W. Bush:
I believe that freedom is a gift from God and the hope of every human heart. Freedom inspired our founders and preserved our union through civil war and secured the promise of civil rights. Freedom sustains dissidents bound by chains. Believers huddled in underground churches. And voters who risked their lives to cast their ballots. Freedom unleashes creativity, rewards innovation and replaces poverty with prosperity. And ultimately freedom lights the path to peace.
The words are beautiful and they are true.
But I wonder — did Dubya leave the American people as free as we were when he took office? Has his successor increased or decreased our freedom since January 20, 2009 and what is he likely to do in that regard in the remaining years of his presidency?
Bookworm Room: I didn’t have much of a reaction. Some people praised Jimmy Carter’s surprisingly gracious speech, but I don’t think that gives him a pass on a hostility to Israel that’s tantamount to antisemitism. Barack Obama was as tacky as always (it’s all about me and let’s talk about giving citizenship to illegal immigration), but that was scarcely surprising, since we’ve come to expect narcissistic crassness from him. Otherwise, he did a fine, albeit bland job. Clinton looked dreadful. Bush Sr. looked fragile.
The only thing I really enjoyed about the whole thing was a photo I saw. I’m still wondering what occasioned these expressions:
Beyond that, I was reminded once again what a gentleman George W. Bush was and is.
JoshuaPundit: I was seriously tempted to avoid this one, just to be nice but…
I rate George W. Bush as one of our worst presidents, along with Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, and my first thought was that George W. Bush fit in with the group quite well, with the exception of his father, whom at least got the Saudis and the Emirates to pay the tab for pushing Saddam back out of Kuwait and had the common sense to listen to advisers like Dick Cheney on why invading Iraq itself was a seriously bad idea.
Dubbya looks good only in comparison to his successor, President Obama, and that’s frankly a pretty low bar. And I say that as someone whom voted for him and worked on his campaign in 2004.
You know what occurred to me when I saw a picture of these particular presidents? Who paid for that library?
There’s been a huge involvement with Arab money and the ascension of the Muslim Brotherhood here in America, and these presidents all had a part in it. All of them built their libraries and made a nice dollar after leaving office with substantial Saudi and Emirates funding, starting with the execrable Jimmy Carter.
Muslim immigration to America has increased over forty percent since George W. Bush took office, he was almost as big an apologist for Islamism as President Obama and President Bush made a habit of speaking in Jihadi mosques run by the Brotherhood.
Bill Clinton became a seriously wealthy man as a consequence of a ‘business opportunity he was given after he left office by the Sultan of Dubai. Small wonder that when President George W. Bush wanted to turn the security of our ports over to the Sultan of Dubai (remember Portgate?), Mr. Bill was hired as a consultant to lobby congress at a seven figure sum. He was by no means alone.
A great deal of the Bush family money is involved in the Carlyle Group, a huge mega-hedge fund mainly run by former cabinet members, influential congressmen and yes, a few former presidents. President Bush worked directly for the Carlyle Group. He was appointed in 1990 to the Board of Directors of one of Carlyle’s first acquisitions, an airline food business called Caterair, until he left in 1992 to run for Governor of Texas.
Former President George H.W. Bush was a senior adviser to the firm from April 1998 to October 2003, specializing in bringing in investment capital from the Arabs, including a couple of million from the bin-Laden family, which was liquidated after 9/11. He was chairman emeritus until recently and in 2007 shepherded through a deal to have another of the Emirates, Abu Dhabi buy a 7.5% equity stake in the company, which has a lot to do with investing (or not investing) in defense companies. The deal put substantial money in the Bush family coffers.
That investment was also a factor in the huge bailout that took place during the waning months of the Bush Administration.
That was my reaction when I saw these five presidents together. Remember this?
Here’s hoping we do better in the future.
Well, there you have it.
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.
It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it.
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Lt. Col. (Ret.) Allen B. West explains the history of America’s progressive tax system, and its influence on wasteful spending. Would you believe that the author of the “Communist Manifesto” inspired our progressive tax system?
Find out more as Col. West wishes the 16th Amendment a very unhappy birthday.
h/t: Tom O’Hallorann
By: Col. Tom Snodgrass (Ret.)
Right Side News
The House Republican report’s preliminary findings on Benghazigate
- Reductions of security levels prior to the attacks in Benghazi were approved at the highest levels of the State Department, up to and including Secretary Clinton. This fact contradicts her testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on January 23, 2013.
- In the days following the attacks, White House and senior State Department officials altered accurate talking points drafted by the Intelligence Community in order to protect the State Department.
Contrary to Administration rhetoric, the talking points were not edited to protect classified information. Concern for classified information is never mentioned in email traffic among senior Administration officials.
The difference Secretary Clinton, President Obama, Ambassador Rice, and all you other Obama regime functionaries is that the U.S. Government is not telling the American people the truth about their national security! The difference it makes is that the U.S. Government owes the American people an honest accounting of how and why their ambassador and three other government employees were murdered while engaged in their official duties for the nation. The difference it makes is that, if the American people cannot trust the U.S. Government to tell them the truth about vital matters, the U.S. Government has undermined the essential bond of faith between the government and the people it is supposed to be serving.
The lies that undermined the bond of faith
The most important lie revealed by the House Republican report was the fabrication that the president told to American people and the UN when he falsely attributed the cause of the Benghazi attack to an obscure YouTube video critical of Islam. Major conclusions of the House Republican report were:
Analysis of the Evolving Drafts of the Talking Points
To protect the State Department, the Administration deliberately removed references to al-Qa’ida-linked groups and previous attacks in Benghazi in the talking points used by Ambassador Rice, thereby perpetuating the deliberately misleading and incomplete narrative that the attacks evolved from a demonstration caused by a YouTube video.
The Administration’s talking points were developed in an interagency process that focused more on protecting the reputation and credibility of the State Department than on explaining to the American people the facts surrounding the fatal attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel in Libya…
Administration officials have said that modification of the talking points was an attempt to protect classified information and an investigation by the FBI, but the evidence refutes these assertions. Administration officials transmitted and reviewed different drafts of the talking points – many of which included reference to al-Qa’ida-associated groups, including Ansar al-Sharia – over unsecure email systems. Also, there were no concerns about protecting classified information in the email traffic.
The Administration made a conscious decision to focus on the deliberately misleading and incomplete narrative that demonstrations protesting a YouTube video evolved into attacks on the Benghazi Mission.
Analysis At the Time of the Attack
The U.S. government knew immediately that the attacks constituted an act of terror.
After the attacks, the Administration perpetuated a deliberately misleading and incomplete narrative that the violence grew out of a demonstration caused by a YouTube video. The Administration consciously decided not to discuss extremist involvement or previous attacks against Western interests in Benghazi.
The U.S. government immediately had information that the attacks were conducted by al-Qa’ida-affiliated terrorists, yet Administration officials downplayed those connections, and focused on the idea that provocation for violence resulted from a YouTube video. [Emphasis in original]
What follows are some of the more egregious false statements promulgated by the president and secretary of state that deceived the American people concerning the Islamic terrorist origin of the Benghazi attack, while deflecting blame onto a fictitious mob demonstration allegedly protesting an unknown movie trailer on the Internet.
09/12/2012 – President Obama’s White House Rose Garden Speech to the nation:
Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.
09/12/2012 – President Obama’s CBS 60 Minutes Interview:
KROFT: Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word terrorism in connection with the Libya Attack, do you believe that this was a terrorism attack?
OBAMA: Well it’s too early to tell exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans. And we are going to be working with the Libyan government to make sure that we bring these folks to justice, one way or the other.
KROFT: It’s been described as a mob action, but there are reports that they were very heavily armed with grenades, that doesn’t sound like your normal demonstration.
OBAMA: As I said, we’re still investigating exactly what happened, I don’t want to jump the gun on this.
09/20/12 – President Obama’s response to a question in a Univision town-hall meeting:
…I don’t want to speak to something until we have all the information. What we do know is that the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they can also directly harm U.S. interests.
09/25/2012 – President Obama’s Address to United Nations:
That is what we saw play out in the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. Now, I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity.
It is an insult not only to Muslims… We understand why people take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them.
09/12/12 – Secretary Clinton’s address to the nation:
We are working to determine the precise motivations and methods of those who carried out this assault. Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior along with the protests that took place at our embassy in Cairo yesterday as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.
America’s commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear, there is no justification for this. None.
Of the multiple Obama regime lies involved in Benghazigate, the second most egregious deceit that was perpetrated on the American people was Secretary Clinton’s fraudulent claim that she had no responsibility for the inadequate security situation of the Benghazi diplomatic mission. Again, the House Republican report exposed her mendacity.
Multiple Committees have reviewed the State Department documents cited in the previous sections and remain concerned that the documents do not reconcile with public comments Secretary Clinton made regarding how high in the State Department the security situation and requests were discussed.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Ambassador Cretz sent a cable to Secretary Clinton requesting additional security assets. Specifically, he asked for the continued deployment of both Mobile Security Detachment (MSD) teams, or at least additional DS agents to replace them, as well as the full five DS agents which the December 2011 memorandum claimed would be stationed in Benghazi.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
State responded to Ambassador Cretz’s request for additional security assets. The cable response to Tripoli bears Secretary Clinton’s signature, and specifically acknowledges Ambassador Cretz’s March 28 request for additional security. Despite the Ambassador’s March request, the April cable from Clinton stipulates that the plan to drawdown security assets will proceed as planned.
The House Republican report disclosed Obama’s and Clinton’s falsification of the Islamic terrorist character of the jihadist attack on the Benghazi mission as instead a spontaneous mob protest that grew increasingly violent, resulting in the deaths of four U.S. officials. Additionally, the report has indicated that Clinton lied to Congress about her responsibility for the deficient physical security of the Benghazi mission. These two lies stand out among the many interwoven in the Obama regime’s disgraceful handling of Benghazigate and have clearly broken the bond of faith between Obama and the American people.
Col. Thomas Snodgrass, USAF (retired) served over a year in Peshawar, Pakistan, working with Pakistani military intelligence, and he was variously an Intelligence Officer or an International Politico-Military Affairs Officer in assignments in six other foreign countries during a thirty-year military career. Additionally, he was awarded a year’s educational sabbatical to teach and write as an Air Force Research Associate at the Center for Advanced International Studies, University of Miami, Florida. He has taught history at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Arizona, for ten years after his military service. Read his previous articles.