Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thorner: Illinois Forum prods Illinois Government in New Direction – Part 1

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Robert Redfern, longtime leader of Illinois Forum

By Nancy Thorner – 

The 26th Anniversary Luncheon of the Illinois Forum was held at Round Barn Banquet Center,1900 Round Barn Road, Champaign, Illinois, on August 22, 2015 at 12:00 p.m.  Organized in 1989 by Chairman Robert S. Redfern, Illinois Forum promotes a smaller state government to restrain spending and to encourage tax cuts and further believes in returning the general assembly to a part-time legislature.  As a volunteer movement, Forum members get the job done on their own and do not have to play by the same rules as politicians use to stay in power.  Notable state conservatives from all sections of the State of Illinois attended the luncheon.

Chairman Robert Redfern in presenting opening remarks, spoke of the division that exists in this nation with one side believing in constitutional principles, the free market, strong national security and borders, self-reliance, individual freedom and traditional values.  Opposing are those who believe in a constitution that means whatever they want it to mean.  In discussing Illinois precincts, there are 11,000 in the state and many are not filled with committeemen. With one or two votes more in each precinct, Bill Brady would have been governor of Illinois instead of Quinn in the 2014 election.

Following the luncheon, four speakers were presented, each with great insight that seemed to demands a full account of their remarks.  Realizing that such a thorough coverage would be too lengthy for just one article, a Part 2 will follow.

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Left: Jim Tobin Right: Dr. Daniel Crane

Speaker 1: Jim Tobin, President, Taxpayers United of America 

In 1976 Jim Tobin  founded Taxpayers United of America (TUA), which has become one of the largest taxpayer organizations in the country.  Mr. Tobin has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV programs and his tax-cutting activities have been the subject of articles by major media publications. Jim Tobin received an M.A. in International Economics from Northern Illinois University, working for nine years as a Federal Reserve Bank Examiner, where he specialized in international finance. Tobin was one of the first economic experts to predict the collapse of Continental Bank and to warn of the dangerous extension of credit by U.S. banks to bankrupt foreign governments.

Attention was directed to a handout by Tobin of the 16th biennial, non-partisan Illinois Tax Survey compiled by the Taxpayers United of America (TUA) of the 98th Illinois General Assembly (2013-2014).  Noted on page 5 was a roll call of every Illinois legislator and how he/she voted on each significant tax or spending bill surveyed for the 98th session in terms of “Taxpayer Friends” and “Taxpayer Enemies.”   It was not surprising to note that all those cited as Taxpayer Enemies were Democrats, 56 in the House and 39 in the Senate.  As to Taxpayer Friends, in all, only 3 Republican senators were cited (Kyle McCarter, Jason A. Barickman, and Chapin Rose). The House did better with 17 qualifying members, but among the 17 Taxpayer House friends were three Democrats.  Listed in order percentage wise are the 14 Republican House friends with ratings from 91% to 73%:  Dwight Kay, Thomas Morrison, David Reis, Michael  Unes, Adam Brown, John M. Cabello, John D Cavaletto, Brad E. Halbrook, Jeanne M. Ives, David McSweeney, C.D. Davidsmeyer, Charles E. Meier, Wayne Rosenthal, and Joe Sosnowski.

Also discussed were the pensions of Illinois Government retirees.  A separate hand-out by Tobin listed the top 200 Pensions of Illinois Government Retirees as of 2/1/2015, assuming Life Expectancy of 85 and a 3% COLA compounded annually. There are 12,154 state pensioners collecting more than $100,000 per year and 85,893 state pensioners collecting more than $50,000 per year.

As stated by Tobin, huge pensions are outright taxpayer theft. It is stealing money from taxpayers to give to the political elite. There is no way taxes can be raised high enough to maintain the high pensions demanded by unions for their members. In regard to political leadership, the Cullerton family has been involved in politics for 80 years, with John J. Cullerton as president of the Senate.   As for Michael Madigan, he has 32 years under his belt and has managed to have his step-daughter elected as Attorney General, who seems to be in line for a future governorship of Illinois.

This must change if Illinois has any chance of getting out of its economic slump and low ratings in many areas when compared to other states. Statesmen must be elected instead of politicians.

Speaker 2:  Dr. David Crane, youngest brother of late Congressman Phil Crane

Dr. David Crane, a psychiatrist whose home is in Ohio, spoke of being 5th of 5 children, the baby of the family.  He and his siblings were raised in Hillsboro, Indiana.  One of David’s siblings, Dan Crane, is on the Board of Governors at Illinois Forum, which consists of individuals from various portions of Illinois.   Evident in David’s remarks was his love of country, which had been instilled in all five Crane children by their father, a doctor, who believed education was often mistaken for knowledge.  He instead believed there was more to education than just going to school and spewing forth what passes for learning by teachers and professors.  The Crane children were told to get involved and commit to changing the course of this country.

A fond recent memory was Crane’s participation in the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the now famous picture taken of a Navy guy kissing an army nurse at the end of WW II.  David found it difficult to speak at times, becoming choked up with emotion when remembering this encounter and others.

Mr. Crane spoke about a change that began in 1911 when those on the Left started to advocate that our country was a democracy.  Sadly after 100 years, a majority Americans now believe they live in a democracy. But this is what Benjamin Franklin had to say:

A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Copies of a letter were distributed by David Crane that was written in 2011 by his former congressman brother and now deceased Phil Crane who died last fall.  Phil Crane had submitted his letter, “My View”, to the Indianapolis Star for publication, but it was never published.  It is a letter that should be read by every high school student.  It details the importance of teaching our children to view our government as a Republic, perhaps the finest government ever established by mankind.

David Crane called it a smart move that one psychiatrist was assigned to every Infantry Division in the Vietnam War.  When relating a session he conducted with a group of students, Mr. Crane asked every 18 and 19-year-old to stand up.  He then spoke of what their immediate future would hold if the year were 1966:  Within 30 days they would be in drafted into the military.  After training they would find themselves on the way to fight in Vietnam.  58,000 Americans died in Vietnam.  There were 33,000 who were 18 years of age and 9,000 19-year-olds.  Even so, when called, the young men never hesitated to get into the mix to serve their country.

The most touching of the accounts related by David Crane involved gangster Al Capone, who despite his dealings with illegal alcohol, never went to jail.  Al Capone was represented and protected for years by his lawyer, “Easy Eddie.”  But Easy Eddie had a son he loved and didn’t wish his son to follow his chosen path in life.  In a turn of conscience, Easy Eddie reported everything he knew to the authorities about Al Capone.

As a result of his disclosure, Easy Eddie was found shot dead a year later in Chicago because of his squeal.  Then came the zinger to David Crane’s story.  Easy Eddie’s son, Eddie O’Hare — for whom O’Hare Airport is named — became a famous pilot who risked his life when he confronted Japanese planes on their way to attack American targets. Eddie “Butch” O’Hare was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery.

In closing, Dr. Crane believes if we are to save this nation, it must happen internally and not externally.  We must convey the message of freedom and the Bill of Rights.  As it took 100 years for the Left to take control of this nation, it will take 100 years to reclaim America as it was known by our forefathers.  But major sacrifices will be demanded of the American people.  Essential is that young people must be redirected to the task of saving this nation.  They must be tough and stand firm.  Hillsdale College, dating back before the Civil Was as a higher institution of learning, is attempting to change the direction of this nation by training students not only be Christians, but “tough” Christians who are willing to stand up to those elements who are determined to destroy our Republic.

Not to be missed is Part 2 of the 26th Anniversary Luncheon of the Illinois Forum. To be covered are revealing thoughts by Bill Bradley, former senator and 3 time candidate for governor, and Adam Andrzejewski, founder of Openthebooks.org.who ran for governor in 2010.

Phillip Crane's unpublished letter, My View, Page 1  Phillip Crane's unpublished letter, My View, Page 2

Monday, August 24, 2015

Thorner/O’Neil: Government-approved killings provided via Planned Parenthood

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Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger

By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O’Neil – 

The undercover videos depicting conversations of Planned Parenthood discussions of selling and having sold “baby parts” has ignited a firestorm of debate.  In the 7th video in 10 short minutes we hear a former Planned Parenthood “procurement specialist” tell the terrible story of “harvesting” an intact brain from a late term baby boy whose heart was still beating after the abortion. Neither the procurement specialist or her supervisor knew for sure if this meant that the baby was still living – but that didn’t stop them from cutting his face open to get at his brain.

The videos are not only shocking, but they expose the questionable practices of Planned Parenthood in performing abortions using procedures which may violate the “Partial Birth Abortion Act”, the “Born Alive Infant Protection Act”, and provisions of the federal fetal tissue research and experimentation laws, all of which require informed consent and prohibit altering abortion procedures for the purpose of harvesting infant body parts.  The abortion debate is appreciated, as this controversial subject deserves to be more thoroughly explored.  It is an important human rights issue seen from exceedingly different points of view, depending upon one’s background, experiences, religion, amount of accurate information, and historical knowledge.

Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood

Before the amazing invention of ultrasound, abortions were easier to justify.  The discussion centered on the mother, her rights, and the benefits of abortion to society as a whole.  As stated by Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood:

“It is better for everyone involved if a child’s life is snuffed out before he or she has a change to pose difficulties to its family.”

It should also be noted that Sanger targeted specific groups she deemed “tainted” and “objectionable”, as can be seen in her statement:  “We should apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.”  Margaret Sanger was referring to the poor black race.  The truth is, the author and promoter of the abortion industry was more of a bigot than a humanitarian.

That may not be true of Planned Parenthood today, nor those who support it, but it should be noted that in 2008 Planned Parenthood was embarrassed when tapes of phone conversations revealed the organization gladly accepted and guaranteed that specific donations would be spent for aborting only black babies.  According to the Guttmacher Institute: The abortion rate for black women is almost five times that for white women.

Recently a letter was sent to the Smithsonian Institution by a coalition of black pastors know as “Ministers Taking A Stand”, calling for the Smithsonian to remove a bust of Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger, noting that in the wake of the current Planned Parenthood scandal, it should be remembered that Sanger was an eugenicist and a racist.  The bust of Sanger appears in the National Portrait Gallery at the museum as part of an exhibition titled “Struggle for Justice”, along with truly deserving historical figures, such as Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.

Former Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon and top-tier Republican presidential contender Dr. Ben Carson, when appearing on Fox News Channel’s “Your World” on Wednesday, August 13, verified the destructive role Planned Parenthood has inflicted on the lives of blacks, by locating “most of their clinics in black neighborhoods”, so they can “control that population.”

Dr. Carson also stated:

“I think people should go back and read about Margaret Sanger, who founded this place—a woman who Hillary Clinton, by the way, says she admires. Look and see what many people in Nazi Germany thought about her”. . . “I’m not objective when it comes to Planned Parenthood. But you know, I know who Margaret Sanger is, and I know that she believed in eugenics, and that she was not particularly enamored with black people.”

Government spends billions on free health care clinics

Sanger’s push for abortions was easier to defend when she used the poor black community as her excuse, stating it was a humanitarian issue.  However, since that time in history, there has been an explosion of welfare and assistance programs to help all in need, including free health care clinics in most every state.  The federal government spends  a reported $745.84 billion on 83 welfare programs.  An additional $283 billion in state contributions go to those same federal programs, for a total annual expenditure of $1.03 trillion.   The report also stated “total means-tested welfare spending is currently the single-largest category of spending in the federal budget.  That means welfare costs in this country account for more than the sums the nation spends on Social Security, Medicare, or national defense.

Assistance for those in need is not limited to the government.  Other sources, such as the Church and private-based organizations generously help those in need.

Catholic Charities USA reported expenditures of between $4.2 billion and $4.4 billion, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, which publishes the 400 biggest charities in the United States, ranked by the amount of donations they receive.  This enabled Catholic charities to rank near the top of the 400 list, behind two major social-services charities — the United Way and the Salvation Army.

Public Opinion vs. Abortion

Public opinion continues to evolve on the issue of abortion, as the public learns more alarming facts.

1.  Since Roe vs Wade over 58,000,000 abortions have been performed. This proves abortion is not rare.

2.  Over 100 different potential complications are associated with abortion. proving that abortions are not always safe.

3.  Three to five percent of abortions result in sterility.  That is rarely reported.

Confidential studies of women who have received abortions reveal that a shocking 40 to 60 percent reported negative reactions:   55% expressed guilt, 44% complained of nervous disorders, 36% had experienced sleep disturbances, 31% had regrets about their decision, and 11% had been prescribed  psychotropic medicine by their family doctor.  Ashton,”The Psychosocial Outcome of Induced Abortion”, British Journal of Ob&Gyn.(1980),vol.87,p1115-1122.5.

Another survey of over 100 women, who had suffered from post-abortion trauma, indicated 80 percent expressed feelings of “self-hatred.” In the same study, 49 percent reported drug abuse and 39 percent began to use or increased their use of alcohol.  Approximately 14 percent described themselves as having become “addicted” or “alcoholic” after their abortions.  In addition, 60 percent reported suicidal ideation, with 28 percent actually attempting suicide, of which half attempted suicide two or more times.  The statistics were released by Reardon, “Criteria for the Identification of High Risk Abortion Patients: Analysis of An In-Depth Survey of 100 Aborted Women”, which was resented at the 1987 Paper Session of the Association for Interdisciplinary Research, Denver.

States vs. Supreme Court Decisions and the fate of Dr. Kermit Goswell

There have been many attempts to change abortion laws in various states, many  of those cases ended up at the Supreme Court. Laws in some states prohibit abortions at 20 weeks, but that conflicts with Supreme Court rulings on precisely when abortions may be banned (beginning at the point of fetal viability, according to the Supreme Court’s rulings in Roe and Casey). For this reason, circuit courts seem likely to strike down such laws. On the other hand, the case of Carhart signaled the high court’s willingness to rethink important premises in this legal debate, so it would not be surprising if the Supreme Court eventually takes up the issues raised by this new restriction on the availability of abortions in the second trimester of pregnancy?

There is a growing impatience by the public regarding the lack of oversight at all levels of government, regarding inspections of abortion providers, their adherence to laws and some questionable practices.  The case of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, an abortionist in Philadelphia, demonstrates the lack of government oversight of the abortion industry.  Gosnell was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies born alive, then stabbed with scissors. He was also guilty of irresponsible practices that caused overdoses of medication resulting in the death of patients.  Gosnell’s alleged prescription drug trafficking led to the gruesome findings about his abortion clinic. During an FBI raid, authorities found 47 aborted fetuses stored in clinic freezers, jars of tiny severed feet, bloodstained furniture and dirty medical instruments, along with cats roaming the premises.  That it took an FBI drug raid to discover Dr. Gosnell’s clinic of horrors, begs the questions why state officials did not investigate and discover the despicable conditions years before, and why the horrendous discovery did not receive more national coverage.  Could it be due to the fact most of his patients were poor black people?  How many other abortion clinics like Gosnell’s are still functioning in America?  Gosnell was given two life sentences in May of 2013 without parole in a deal with prosecutors that spared him a potential death sentence.

Is Planned Parenthood Without Shame?

Why is the public shielded from the negative information that surrounds abortion. Without the videos which proved Parenthood sold and profited from selling body parts of aborted fetuses, that too would be another secret of the industry.  The public deserves full disclosure as to how much of our tax money goes to Planned Parenthood, and the actual percent of government funding that goes to abortions vs. other types of health care.

While many support abortion for altruistic reasons, it should be noted that those who abhor abortion have concerns for the mother as well, and even deeper compassion for the life being terminated in what once was considered the safest place in the World:  a mothers’ womb.  A growing number of American citizens are alarmed that Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers are not being totally forthcoming about the potential risks of abortion, and the government is not seriously pursuing steps to force that the information be revealed and reported.

The most current issue, selling body parts should be an embarrassment to Planned Parenthood but even more so to the officials tasked with overseeing the industry.  It is time for the government to increase their surveillance and requirements for all abortion providers, as many citizens are disgusted with the lack thereof.  Confidence needs to be restored!  The public and patients must be assured that abortions are as safe as advertised, during the procedure, as well as months later when psychological problems are not uncommon.  Women need the whole truth, in order to make an intelligent decision on this important, personal issue.

Abortion providers should be audited to prove they adhered to every law, including the one that requires pre-counseling which explains other options, such as adoption and care centers that provide assistance for both the mother and child, should she choose “life”. There must be more oversight and stiff fines for non-compliance. Repeated offenses must result in defunding offending clinics.   Laws should restrict the number of clinics allowed in any given area, and each clinic should be monitored in a specific timely manner, with detailed compliance reports required by the state and federal government. Until the public is assured such conditions, restrictions, and mandates are in place, public support of abortion will continue to decline accordingly.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Thorner/O’Neil: Sustainability Movement Fosters Hotbeds of Liberal Indoctrination (Part 3)

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Bill Ayers, a well-known liberal indoctrinator

By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O’Neil – 

Common Core at the K -12 level in education is shifting and distorting education in many liberal ways, but what about the education being taught to our college age students?   We should be even more concerned about that group, as they will soon be part of society and influencing it very soon. The obvious concern is whether they too are part of the Liberal’s attempt to insert their socialist agenda into the curriculum and thus minds of America’s youth.

Brace yourself for the sad truth.  Our college and university campuses are actual hotbeds of liberal indoctrination, to a degree that should shock every reasonable American. Whether a parent or not, we all should demand an in-depth investigation and potential change in the college system which will guarantee more balance and objectivity.

It is essential that students be informed of all facts, encouraged to consider every option, and taught to listen to opposing arguments on any given subject (especially those which society identifies as controversial), in order to develop critical thinking skills that teach how to seek all facts and arrive at educated opinions to determine the truth.

Instead, college students are being indoctrinated with a strong liberal agenda, which excludes conservative arguments. Much of the teaching encompasses the edicts of United Nation’s Agenda 21, with “a specific and heavy emphasis on sustainability.”

Study by Peter Wood and Rachelle Peterson on sustainability and college campuses 

Through the study of college curriculum, Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, and Rachelle Peterson concluded that it was on college campuses where the sustainability movement gets its voice of authority and where it molds the views and commands the attention of young people. Their combined study resulted in Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism, published March 25, 2015.  In a June 12, 2015 article, “Sustainability’s War on Doubt”, Wood describes “sustainability” in a much broader sense, of which global warming is just one part of the whole.

“Sustainability” is not so much a call for the wise use of resources as it is a declaration against all forms of ‘exploitation’, such as exploiting the animal, mineral, and vegetable resources of the planet.  The sustainability movement embraces a fuzzy version of the Marxist idea that capitalism is essentially about human exploitation, and totally ignores the concepts of wealth creation, comparative advantage, and material progress.”

As expressed in the executive summary of Wood’s study, the following will be taught in sustainability programs offered at colleges and universities, and students will be exposed to the following liberal dogma of ideas and unproven claims:

1) Catastrophic manmade global warming is an indisputable fact, and switching to renewable energy from inexpensive and abundant fossil fuel energy is the only plausible answer; 2) that today’s society and economy are built on greed and waste, and thus we must rebuild society along progressive political lines; 3) that mass environmental activism is the way to achieve goals 1 and 2; and 4) that we must either persuade the skeptics or silence them.”  So far, we believe they have largely resorted to silencing the opposition by refusing to reveal the mounting evidence that refutes their arguments.

The Executive summary describes the sustainability movement from its origin to today’s application, which, in turn, will have important consequences for the future of this nation.  We must not allow the minds of our young people to be manipulated into conforming to this socialist political agenda that is at odds with our Constitution and the values and ideals upon which this nation was founded.

Consider the following:

  • The 1987 United Nations report, “Our Common Future”, better known as the Brundtland Report, ignited the sustainability movement by uniting environmentalism with hostility to free markets and demands for “social” justice.” Driving the initiative to make sustainability part of every course is the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), an effort launched by “Second Nature”  a group founded by John Kerry and Teresa Heinz. As of 2015, 697 college and universities have signed this commitment, which includes a pledge to “make climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experience for all students.”
  • Beginning in 2007, the President’s Climate Commitment tapped the power of college presidents to set the agendas for their institutions.  Sustainability is now among the highest priorities at colleges and universities.  Colleges are currently ranked by their success in meeting sustainability goals. There seems no limit to the extent those behind this movement will go.  An example of this extremism is evident at the University of Virginia, where students are asked to pledge themselves to sustainability.  We could not find any example of the school requesting students to make a pledge to our flag or country.
  • Universities seek to use the campus as a “living laboratory” where students will not only learn about sustainability in the classroom, but will encounter it everywhere on campus.  The goal is to modify students’ values.  The question is whether parents, who have saved all their lives to send their children to college, know their children are being intentionally manipulated rather than taught.  There is no balance offered, only intense indoctrination to a specific “progressive” viewpoint embraced by the professors and others of their ilk.
  •  Nudging is a way of prodding students to do what activists want.  This technique was promoted in a 2008 bestseller, “Nudge”, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sustein.  There adherents contend people should be manipulated into making the choices that social planners think are the best options.  About 80 institutions hire student “eco-reps to shame their peers into riding a bike to classes or buying carbon offsets to make up for their flights home at Christmas.

Sustainability advances indoctrination to nurture Pavlovian responses 

The sustainability movement represents a significant shift in higher education:  from educating students with rational and moral knowledge that prepares them to make future prudent, conscious choices to that of an indoctrination program with the feverish goal of training operations designed to elicit Pavlovian responses.  The liberals call that progress.  We call it indoctrination that deprives students of opposing opinions and facts; thus limiting their ability to discern the truth.

Sustainability projects cost U.S. higher education schools nearly $3.4 billion per year.  Society is interested in reducing costs of education, so that more students can attend college and not be forced into borrowing money and accumulating debts before they even begin their careers.

As a remedy to soaring college tuition, George Will suggests the following: “Hundreds of millions could be saved, with no cost to any institution’s core educational mission, by eliminating every position whose title contains the word ‘sustainability’– and, while we are at it, ‘diversity,’ ‘multicultural’ or ‘inclusivity.’  The result would be higher education; higher than the propaganda-saturated version we have, and more sustainable.”

Mr. Will’s conclusions are correct. On campuses across the United States, where sustainability has become dogma, an honest investigation of global warming is nearly impossible.  Scientific debate requires openness, not conformity to a fixed theory exempt from external review. Instead, debate is discouraged, by the continual comment that Climate Change is “settled science”.  But what does that mean?  Of course Climate Change exists and has since the Earth began.  The question and demand for proof, is whether it is even possible for man to influence changes in Earth’s climate, before assuming it has done so.

A young person attending Cornell will find that 13% of all Cornell’s undergraduate courses deal in one way or another with sustainability; at Colorado State University the percentage is 22%; and at Middlebury College in Vermont it is a full 25% of all courses offered.  Of all the “degree programs” in sustainability, offered worldwide, 95% of them are offered by colleges and universities in the U.S.   Unfortunately, out of 772 colleges and universities globally who are members of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), 90% of that membership – a whopping 694 of the colleges and universities are in the United States.

Wood’s “Sustainability’s War on Doubt?” states:

“As closed as the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the New York Times are to expressions of alternative views, the typical college campus is even worse.  To agree to debate the pro-sustainability position would imply the existence of contrary arguments and evidence worthy of consideration.”  That is their excuse and no mention is made of the many scientists and scholars who disagree with the “elites” position, and who have serious facts to offer, which would be excellent contributions to an intensive debate.

Young people and parents and being hoodwinked and short-changed

Do young people really need to devote their education to the noble goal of saving the Earth, and, if so, saving it from what?  During the entire lives of most college students there has been no global warming.  Not withstanding, sustainability advocates prefer a campus on which they can expand their control over every detail of student life.  Many campuses have created “trayless cafeterias” in which students have to juggle their plates. Bottled water is similarly frowned on. Presented as energy saving, the intent is to prod students into thinking at every turn about the need to be sustainable.  Those students who disagree with the sustainability doctrine are made to feel shamed if they don’t conform to the latest “green” gimmick.  They are even considered a threat to society.

Parents are now tasked with deciding whether the excessive cost of a college education and their children’s obvious indoctrination to a liberal agenda is the best course for their lives.  Would the time and money be better spent on starting or investing in a business of interest?   How concerned are parents that schools are intruding into areas other than what is needed for a future career?    Is it the right of university professors to indoctrinate vulnerable students to their liberal social ideals, and are parents even aware that many college courses seek to instill the ideals of a movement that aims for drastic change in the way humanity relates to the natural world?  Do parents know or care what is happening in college classrooms?  Is the average taxpayer even aware of the intensive indoctrination?

Should our tax-funded universities be allowed to indoctrinate students with a controversial and disputed agenda that is presented from one viewpoint only?  Is it time for parents and all citizens to demand equality, thus allowing critical thinking to develop among students and hopefully even professors. There is nothing fair about current hiring practices in most colleges and universities that favor liberal professors at as high as a 9 to 1 ratio. With such liberal domination, Conservatives tend to seek other careers knowing they will be largely ignored, even shunned by those who dominate the world of academic today.  Conservatives claim they are not provided a fair chance to advance.  Thus the few in the system, who have opposing liberal viewpoints, rarely present them.  If we want fairness in our universities, taxpayers will have to demand changes in a variety of areas, beginning with an unbiased study and evaluation of the issue, and concluding with sweeping changes that emphasize equality and fairness in every area.

Bill Ayers and other professors of his ilk must be shown the back door. It is time to demand something more of America’s professors and colleges, rather than continue with the current expensive brain washing indoctrination by socialist/progressive instructors, who oppose our historical values and Constitution in favor of an agenda filled with disputable and unproven facts, most often created behind closed doors and within the United Nations.

Will American patriots call their elected officials and demand equitable changes?  Who among us will demand positive, historical values be reinstated, that credible arguments be presented in every classroom, and that liberal professors not be allowed to dominate our colleges and universities?

The future of our country hangs in the balance, and only those who have studied and remember history will know the impotence of taking action while we still have the opportunity to do so.

Please consider calling your representatives, at the state and federal level, asking, if not demanding equality. Our institutions of higher learning need to be more conscious of fairness and diversity, within their hiring practices and certainly classroom curriculum and professors’ teachings, especially if they receive any government funding.  The one-sided liberal approach must cease and be replaced with opportunities to learn both sides of arguments on controversial issues.  Our children deserve an education, not an indoctrination!

 

Thorner/O’Neil:  Sustainability: The Overly Used Word intended to Silence Conservatives

Thorner/O’Neil:  Little Green Steps Reflect Sustainability in Education 

Monday, August 17, 2015

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By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O’Neil

The once rarely used word, “sustainability”, has become rather common today, arguably overused by those who want to make changes in our World. Dictionary.com provides two meanings for the word:  “1. The ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed. 2. Environmental Science: the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.”

However, the word has morphed into something quite different. The contemporary explanation has been defined by Webster Dictionary as: “One that tends to fair rules, social justice, and reconnects the economy with what is right and just.”

Do you see the problem with the contemporary definition of “sustainability?”

It is ambiguous, leaving open the obvious question of who among us decides what is fair, right, and just.  Possibly that is why the term has gained such popularity. It means different things to different people, and thus a solid definition is difficult for the average person to discern, leaving the interpretation open for a political advantage. We are left with more questions than we have answers to the word’s meaning and intent.

We do know there seems to be a compulsion for overuse, even abuse of the word, as if the word itself is a solution,  rather than a descriptive word identifying what we hope to accomplish.  A perfect example is the debate over climate change. Even though there is a growing controversy as to whether man can either cause or prevent a change in our climate, our President boldly claimed man-made climate change is “established science, and the greatest threat to future generations”, emphasizing the need for sustainable solutions. Nevertheless, many scientists have rightly claimed that such a catastrophic threat is simply not true, as evidence clearly shows Earth’s climate is in a perpetual state of change, and has been for thousands of years.

Skepticism began to surface in some circles, when it was discovered that leading Climate scientists were told to cover up the inconvenient fact that according to satellite records, temperatures have not risen in the last 15 years to 18 years and three months. It comes as no surprise that the cover up was under-reported and/or completely ignored by the mainstream media.

Global warming promoters continually connect their claim of global warming with the word “sustainability”, and suddenly everyone is expected to put intelligence and any opposing facts aside to blindly believe the improbable proposition that man has the power to significantly change or control our climate. While we fully understand the need to protect our water ways and Earth from pollution and correct any known pollution problems, we also must fight against any agenda designed to mislead the public in order to serve a specific political purpose. We must not be misled into believing that there is absolute, irreversible proof that man has the power to seriously impact the world’s climate, and use that as an excuse to initiate draconian laws.

What many may not know is there is a growing number of scientists and investigative reporters who have dared to stray from the White House and U.N.’s  politically correct opinion on issues, especially those which claim global warming and/or climate change is man induced. The reason the public is unaware of this, is because the opposing  scientists find it difficult to get their documented research or opinions  published.  Instead, the public is inundated with regurgitated information that aligns with the politically correct viewpoint, and little attention is given to any other opposing scientific evidence or conclusions.

The Heartland Institute, according to “The Economist”, is “the world’s most prominent think tank promoting skepticism about man-made climate change”. It stands in direct contrast to the United Nation’s scientific body, the IPCC  (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), whose questionable scientific research forms the basis of the scare tactics being employed by Al Gore, the Obama administration, and members of the United Nations.  See here to view the full Archive of the 10th International Climate Change Conference event organized by the Heartland Institute,  which has hosted ten International Conferences on Climate Change since 2008, the latest in June 2015.

The 10th International Conference on Climate Change attracted some 450 scientists, economists, policy experts, and guests worldwide who were not hesitant to question and conclude that man has little, if any influence upon the climate.

 

The Public Wants Honesty From Its Leaders

Granted, facts are often boring, but it would be helpful if those of us who yearn for the truth on any and all controversial issues could receive uncensored facts, rather than information meant only to advance a particular goal or political agenda. Maybe that is why Donald Trump, in his quest for the presidency, has become so popular and quickly jumped ahead of all the other 16 Republican candidates. He actually verbalizes what so many of us are thinking, and refuses to blindly follow the politically correct course.

Trumps’ bluster and bluntness is actually refreshing to those who have grown tired of the politically correct “white washing” of any issue that is at all divisive.  That leads to these obvious questions: 1) Why are we so hesitant to state our own opinions on controversial issues?  2) Why do we stay quiet while words like “sustainability” are used to excess, and often used to stop opposing conversations?  These tactics should be identified as a form of bullying opponents into silence.   Unfortunately,  that method has proven to be effective.

Could the “Donald” have inadvertently started a new trend in politics?  Does his immediate jump in approval ratings testify to a public yearning for open dialogue and blunt speech? Whether the man wins the Republican primary or not, he has opened the door to expose a different style candidate with a radically unusual style of communication that seems to be appealing to many citizens, while resented by the political Washington D.C. “establishment”.

It seems highly probable that the public’s immediate approval of Trump is sending a message that the public yearns for something that has been foreign in elections for quite some time:  the unfiltered truth!   Voters want more honesty and less politically correct speech.  We are more forgiving of a politician misspeaking on occasion, than those sounding as if every word out of their mouth was first tried and tested by a team of P.C. experts.  We do not want politicians that need or rely upon a teleprompter, but instead those who speak from the heart and believe every word they are saying, and who will honor their promises once elected.  We long for true patriots who will defy the status quo when necessary; who will fight for the people rather than serve self-interests.  It is therefore essential that we not be fooled by fancy words or rhetoric that we find problematic, or buy into words with obscure meanings and a political agenda, such as “sustainability” and the U.N. agendas.

As the pre-election activities progress, Trump may lose his lead to another Republican candidate who emerges with the gravitas, experience, confidence, and character that people believe will best lead America into the future.  If so, let us hope none forget that people crave honest, open dialogue, and for that we must thank the Donald.

Our new president must be equipped for a World that holds more surprises and challenges than ever before. When we find that candidate who best represents our values, let us give him or her all of our support.  That is our responsibility as patriots who love our amazing country and want it to remain “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Not unlike the unprecedented number of candidates in the 2016 race for the presidency, each of us must also work hard to protect America, by doing our best to elect the right person to lead us for the next four or eight years.

Our children and grandchildren are depending upon us to preserve for them what generations before have given us: freedom, security from our enemies, a sound economy, and laws based on the values and principles of our forefathers.  Above all, please do not just vote and feel you have “done your civic duty”.  It has never been more important or essential that we all vote wisely, if we are to bring our nation back to a comfortable, solid place that would rate approval from George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and many other brave, bright, honest presidents who contributed to America’s prosperity.

Part 2 will deal with “sustainability in education” and what will be the outcome is allowed to continue for the future of our nation.

 

[Originally published at Illinois Review]

Monday, August 17, 2015


Thursday, August 13, 2015

SmartMeter-TitlePanel

By Nancy Thorner – 

As ComEd rolls out 4,000,000 Smart Meters in an effort to “modernize the electricity grid,” many Illinois residents are pushing for a no-cost or at least low-cost option to keep their existing analog meters. Instead of benefits to the consumer, these residents see risks and increased electricity bills associated with digital Smart Meters. They are not alone.

The National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy report calls Smart Meters “a canard—a story or hoax based on specious claims about energy benefits.” It goes on to say, “Congress, state, local governments, and ratepayers, have been misled about the potential energy and cost saving benefits paid for in large part with taxpayer and ratepayer dollars.”

Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General writes, “Utilities have shown no evidence of billions of dollars in benefits to consumers from these new meters. The utilities want to experiment with expensive and unproven technology, yet all the risk will lie with consumers. The pitch is that smart meters will allow consumers to monitor their electrical usage, helping them to reduce consumption and save money. Consumers do not need to be forced to pay billions for smart technology to know how to reduce their utility bills. We know how to turn down the heat and shut off the lights.”

Judge O’Connell of the Michigan Appellate Court writes in an opinion on an opt-out-rate case, “The Public Service Commission and Consumers Energy advance the notion that smart meters will save the public money on their utility bills.  Unfortunately, this argument is inherently illogical:  how can smart meters save money when Consumers seeks to add millions of dollars to the base rate to fund the AMI [Smart Meter] program?  It appears, as the Attorney General argues and as in other states, that the smart meter program actually increases rates.” ComEd promotes the same illogical reasoning.

Some state and local jurisdictions across the country are becoming aware of risks associated with Smart Meters and objecting to deployment and/or insisting on opt-outs. In California there are 57 jurisdictions opposed to installation and 15 have passed ordinances making Smart Meter installations illegal. In spite of the opposition and opt-outs being offered in California and other states, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has interpreted a state utility law to mandate compliance.  Therefore, 4,000,000 Wireless Smart Meters are to be installed on ALL homes and buildings in the ComEd service territory.

Warrenville Environmental Advisory Commission (WEAC) put in their newsletter: “WEAC would like to make a true opt-opt possible; the City does not have regulatory authority to do so.”

It now rests on the shoulders of informed citizens to educate their lawmakers, local government officials, community leaders, and neighbors.  Many citizens are diligently working to secure an opt-out option and protect their families from the health effects, fire hazards, privacy violations, and cyber security risks which continue to be reported in the U.S. and around the world.  There are 200 environmentally conscious groups opposing Smart Meter deployments in their countries and local communities.

Ironically, Wireless Smart Meters are not necessary to modernize the Smart Grid and are certainly not “Green”.  These meters add layers of RF radiation to the environment and require extra energy usage for collectors, routers, and to run various functions of the mesh networks.

Illinois lawmakers must have been misled with regard to the “benefits” and not told about the consequences to have allowed this ill-advised program to proceed.  What is essential now is for lawmakers to secure a permanent low-cost or no cost opt-out for their constituents.

The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) argues that allowing customers to refuse a Smart Meter is good public policy because forcing customers to accept a Smart Meter will not be conducive to gaining widespread customer acceptance.  CUB is  further convinced that forcing customers who, whatever their reasons, do not desire a Smart Meter [to accept one] unfairly punishes those customers.

Judge O’Connell, when discussing the issue of an opt-out fee in the case referenced above, writes, “Why penalize those citizens… who have pacemakers and implant devices [by] being exposed to smart meters that are not UL certified safe for these devises.  Electro-sensitivity may prevent some citizens from installing smart meters or visiting homes that have working smart meters.”

In the same decision when addressing health consequences, Judge O’Connell writes, [Smart meter] “issues are of great concern, not just locally, but also nationally and internationally.  I note that 50  years ago, only a few brilliant minds were concerned about the health hazards of smoking, and we have only recently become aware of the health hazards of second-hand smoke.  I suspect there is no need to mention the health hazards of lead-based paint or radium painted glow-in-the dark watches.  At the time, all of these products were not considered health hazards.”

The Judge continues, “Historically, it is less burdensome to address these issues as they arise than to attempt to reform 20 years of ill-conceived policy decisions.”     

Some of the reasons why Smart Meters are an “Ill-conceived policy decision”:

1)  In May of 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified Radio Frequency emissions from Smart Meters as Class 2B Carcinogen. According to Richard Conrad, Ph.D., “This means in order to continue to receive electrical power, people are forced to live with a device on their homes that emits possibly carcinogenic microwaves 24/7.  The results of thousands of studies strongly suggest that microwaves are not safe for humans.  If the smart meter roll-out plan had been submitted as a proposal for an experiment on human beings, which it undeniably is, any institutional Review Board…would have rejected it outright.

2) Utilities were exempt from conducting environmental or health impact studies. Electric companies were excused from any governmental or public review showing how the decision to implement Wireless Smart Meters was safe for humans, plants, animals and the planet.

3) Privacy is a great concern. Household activities and behavior within closed doors can now be monitored through the collection of detailed discrete data. Personal habits, work schedules, and family activities are being recorded. Interpreting the data can let the utility or unwelcome parties know when the family is home or on vacation. Electric companies selling the data to a third party is now in question. In the end, the data is more valuable to the power company than the rates collected.

4) Using wireless Smart Meter Networks to connect every household appliance, alarm system, computer, car-charging station, etc., in every home, business, and government building to the Internet leaves every aspect of modern living vulnerable to cyber-attack.

On the issue of privacy Judge O’Connell writes, “Appellants argued that smart meters may in fact be the instrument of monitoring, listening, and viewing activities in individual’s homes. They also argued that smart meters are networked and, without proper security measures, anyone, including the government and hackers, could monitor a customer’s activities. I would find it disconcerting, if true, that a smart meter in conjunction with a smart television might allow others to listen and record private conversations in one’s living room.”

5) Every Smart Meter is an open portal or access point into the Smart Grid. This means foreign or domestic hackers on a larger scale and thieves on a smaller scale have an open invitation to whatever data they want to take or whatever system they want to disrupt. Consider the 4,000,000 access points ComEd is installing throughout Illinois and how vulnerable that makes residential communities.

6) Tom Lawton from TESCO on Smart Meters: “the number of reported fires in the United States has increased dramatically to the point where [Smart] Meter fires have dominated the news locally, nationally and internationally at various times in the past three years. Utilities going through a full deployment are seeing incident rates one and two orders of magnitude greater than normal, leading to a media frenzy and a public focus on the safety of the [Smart] Meter on the side of their house.”

7) Norman Lambe (LA Home and Business Insurance Examiner) writes, “The real problems concerning the installation of 51 million Smart Meters in this country are being ignored, in spite of the evidence that we have a clear and present danger.  When the electrical utility determines that a Smart Meter is the issue, they have been removing the meter. [That means] tampering with evidence concerning the cause of the fire. However, the real issue as to why all the [Smart] Meters are failing is not being dealt with.

Smart Meters can well be considered an “ill-conceived policy” in light of the health threat, invasion of privacy, hacking potential, fire risk, and increased electric bills for the majority of residents. It is unjust and not the American way to force these meters on every home without warning residents of the potential risks and offering them a choice. ComEd customers who want to ensure their family’s privacy and safety should have the option of an opt-out for their own peace of mind.


 

 

Monday, August 10, 2015

 

Donald-trump_3

Is Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy “sustainable?”

Is Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy “sustainable?”

 

By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O’Neil –

 

The once rarely used word, “sustainability”, has become rather common today, arguably overused by those who want to make changes in our World. Dictionary.com provides two meanings for the word:  “1. The ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed. 2. Environmental Science: the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.” 

 

However, the word has morphed into something quite different. The contemporary explanation has been defined by Webster Dictionary as: “One that tends to fair rules, social justice, and reconnects the economy with what is right and just.” 

 

Do you see the problem with the contemporary definition of “sustainability?” It is ambiguous, leaving open the obvious question of who among us decides what is fair, right, and just.  Possibly that is why the term has gained such popularity. It means different things to different people, and thus a solid definition is difficult for the average person to discern, leaving the interpretation open for a political advantage. We are left with more questions than we have answers to the word’s meaning and intent. 

We do know there seems to be a compulsion for overuse, even abuse of the word, as if the word itself is a solution,  rather than a descriptive word identifying what we hope to accomplish.  A perfect example is the debate over climate change. Even though there is a growing controversy as to whether man can either cause or prevent a change in our climate, our President boldly claimed man-made climate change is “established science, and the greatest threat to future generations”, emphasizing the need for sustainable solutions. Nevertheless, many scientists have rightly claimed that such a catastrophic threat is simply not true, as evidence clearly shows Earth’s climate is in a perpetual state of change, and has been for thousands of years.

 

Skepticism began to surface in some circles, when it was discovered that leading Climate scientists were told to cover up the inconvenient fact that according to satellite records, temperatures have not risen in the last 15 years to18 years and three months. It comes as no surprise that the cover up was under-reported and/or completely ignored by the mainstream media.

 

Global warming promoters continually connect their claim of global warming with the word “sustainability”, and suddenly everyone is expected to put intelligence and any opposing facts aside to blindly believe the improbable proposition that man has the power to significantly change or control our climate. While we fully understand the need to protect our water ways and Earth from pollution and correct any known pollution problems, we also must fight against any agenda designed to mislead the public in order to serve a specific political purpose. We must not be misled into believing that there is absolute, irreversible proof that man has the power to seriously impact the world’s climate, and use that as an excuse to initiate draconian laws.

 

What many may not know is there is a growing number of scientists and investigative reporters who have dared to stray from the White House and U.N.’s  politically correct opinion on issues, especially those which claim global warming and/or climate change is man induced. The reason the public is unaware of this, is because the opposing  scientists find it difficult to get their documented research or opinions  published.  Instead, the public is inundated with regurgitated information that aligns with the politically correct viewpoint, and little attention is given to any other opposing scientific evidence or conclusions. 

 

The Heartland Institute, according to “The Economist”, is “the world’s most prominent think tank promoting skepticism about man-made climate change”. It stands in direct contrast to the United Nation’s scientific body, the IPCC  (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), whose questionable scientific research forms the basis of the scare tactics being employed by Al Gore, the Obama administration, and members of the United Nations.   See here to view the full Archive of the 10th International Climate Change Conference event organized by the Heartland Institute,  which has hosted ten International Conferences on Climate Change since 2008, the latest in June 2015.

The 10th International Conference on Climate Change attracted some 450 scientists, economists, policy experts, and guests worldwide who were not hesitant to question and conclude that man has little, if any influence upon the climate.

 

The Public Wants Honesty From Its Leaders

 

Granted, facts are often boring, but it would be helpful if those of us who yearn for the truth on any and all controversial issues could receive uncensored facts, rather than information meant only to advance a particular goal or political agenda. Maybe that is why Donald Trump, in his quest for the presidency, has become so popular and quickly jumped ahead of all the other 16 Republican candidates. He actually verbalizes what so many of us are thinking, and refuses to blindly follow the politically correct course.

 

Trumps’ bluster and bluntness is actually refreshing to those who have grown tired of the politically correct “white washing” of any issue that is at all divisive.  That leads to these obvious questions: 1) Why are we so hesitant to state our own opinions on controversial issues?  2) Why do we stay quiet while words like “sustainability” are used to excess, and often used to stop opposing conversations? These tactics should be identified as a form of bullying opponents into silence.   Unfortunately,  that method has proven to be effective.  

 

Could the “Donald” have inadvertently started a new trend in politics?  Does his immediate jump in approval ratings testify to a public yearning for open dialogue and blunt speech? Whether the man wins the Republican primary or not, he has opened the door to expose a different style candidate with a radically unusual style of communication that seems to be appealing to many citizens, while resented by the political Washington D.C. “establishment”.  

 

It seems highly probable that the public’s immediate approval of Trump is sending a message that the public yearns for something that has been foreign in elections for quite some time:  the unfiltered truth!  Voters want more honesty and less politically correct speech.  We are more forgiving of a politician misspeaking on occasion, than those sounding as if every word out of their mouth was first tried and tested by a team of P.C. experts.  We do not want politicians that need or rely upon a teleprompter, but instead those who speak from the heart and believe every word they are saying, and who will honor their promises once elected.  We long for true patriots who will defy the status quo when necessary; who will fight for the people rather than serve self-interests.  It is therefore essential that we not be fooled by fancy words or rhetoric that we find problematic, or buy into words with obscure meanings and a political agenda, such as “sustainability” and the U.N. agendas.  

 

As the pre-election activities progress, Trump may lose his lead to another Republican candidate who emerges with the gravitas, experience, confidence, and character that people believe will best lead America into the future.  If so, let us hope none forget that people crave honest, open dialogue, and for that we must thank the Donald.  

 

Our new president must be equipped for a World that holds more surprises and challenges than ever before.  When we find that candidate who best represents our values, let us give him or her all of our support.  That is our responsibility as patriots who love our amazing country and want it to remain “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” 

 

Not unlike the unprecedented number of candidates in the 2016 race for the presidency, each of us must also work hard to protect America, by doing our best to elect the right person to lead us for the next four or eight years.  

 

Our children and grandchildren are depending upon us to preserve for them what generations before have given us: freedom, security from our enemies, a sound economy, and laws based on the values and principles of our forefathers.  Above all, please do not just vote and feel you have “done your civic duty”.  It has never been more important or essential that we all vote wisely, if we are to bring our nation back to a comfortable, solid place that would rate approval from George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and many other brave, bright, honest presidents who contributed to America’s prosperity.            

Part 2 will deal with “sustainability in education” and what will be the outcome is allowed to continue for the future of our nation.


6a00d834515c5469e201b8d1417b6f970c-450wi

The picture, of course, is the pistol crossed out with a red line as seen above — the ubiquitous “No Gun” sign, otherwise known as a “Criminal Protection Zone.”  The recruiting office in Chattanooga, TN, and the theaters in Aurora, CO and Lafayette, LA had signs similar to the above graphic, but exactly whom did they protect?

Anti-gun zealots like Mayor Bloomberg, Hillary Clinton and now Bernie Sanders are lining up to decry our lax gun laws, wanting to restrict this Constitutional right even further. President Obama “regrets” that he failed in this endeavor.

President Obama in his 2012 State of the Union Address promised he would continue his gun control efforts “with or without Congress.”  He has followed through with this promise, using multiple secret, backdoor methods to limit an individual’s rights to own certain types of firearms and ammunition.  They include:

  • Taking Executive Action by signing Executive Orders to circumvent Congress.
  • Creating artificial Ammo Shortages through the enormous buying power of the Federal government.
  • Forcing closure of a lead smelting plant that is integral in the ammunition production industry through the EPA.

Gun Laws as a Deterrent?

Why did all fail? Because existing laws are not enforced, and the proposals sent to Congress have not worked in the past and will not work in the future to prevent incidents such as what happened in Chattanooga, Aurora, and Lafayette.

First and foremost, criminals by definition do not obey laws, starting with “Thou shalt not kill”, which is an integral part of the Old Testament Law, known as the Sixth Commandment.  Ironically, the Sixth Commandment also constitutes the basis upon which many people have come to believe that the Bible is against the death penalty as punishment for the very criminals for whom the Sixth Commandment has no relevance in deterring criminal activities.

Background checks only work when backgrounds are really checked.  NICS background checks were started in 1998. To date there have been over 183 million checks, of which about a million were rejected, or 0.59%. A substantial number were falsely rejected due to a mix up in names, but most were for felony or domestic assault convictions.   In 2012, out of 34,000 people rejected,only 44 were prosecuted out of 80,000 individuals who made false statements.  That’s still a pretty low count for falsifying a federal document.

Mental Illness Addressed

Since 1966 the National Rifle Association has urged the federal government to address the problem of mental illness and violence, while federal law since 1967 has barred the possession or acquisition of firearms by anyone who “has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution.”  More recently the NRA has supported legislation to ensure that appropriate records of those who have been judged mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed to mental institutions be made available for use in firearms transfer background checks.

Gun zealots, however, aren’t satisfied that adjudicated confinement for mental issues aren’t always reported, so they want nearly anybody who sees a patient, including the receptionist, be given reporting status. Such zealots throw things against the wall; eventually something will stick.

Accordingly, the New York “SAFE” act goes even further. Any mental health professional (including nurses) can add someone’s name to the prohibited list. NY also monitors prescriptions for anti-depressants and anti-psychotic drugs at pharmacies. The law is similar in California. “Receptionist” is hyperbole. The danger to liberty is the lack of an adjudication process whereby a citizen can contest the opinion with the help of an attorney.

Most Recent Restriction Limits Firearm Magazines

Defying sharp warnings from gun rights groups, Los Angeles recently on Tuesday, July 28, thrust itself into the national debate over gun control when city lawmakers voted unanimously to ban the possession of firearm magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Noting that such magazines have been “the common thread” in almost all the mass shooting, backers of the plan described the ban as a small but meaningful step to minimize the bloodshed by forcing the attackers to at least interrupt their rampages to reload.

Los Angeles decision to limit firearm magazines is foolish for the following reasons:

  • The standard magazines for most handguns hold more than 10 rounds. Compliant magazines are often hard to get.
  • Magazines can be exchanged in a couple of seconds after a little practice. Ten rounds quickly becomes thirty.
  • Small bore weapons often require multiple hits to stop a determined attacker in self defense. That’s why police carry larger magazines, and why responsible citizens need them too.
  • Criminals can buy magazines in other states without restriction. It’s illegal to bring them into California, but shooting people with criminal intent is illegal too. Criminals will have them anyway, and have little to lose if caught.
  • Magazine capacity rarely figures into shootings. Holmes’ large magazine jammed, forcing him to use his pistol. In Charleston, the shooter used a standard pistol, as did the shooter at Virginia Tech (it took police 3 hours to respond). In the Navy Yard shooting, a 5 round shotgun was used. The shooter of Gabby Giffords fumbled trying to reload using a ridiculously long magazine, allowing him to be tackled and disar

What About Gun-free Zones?

Gun Free Zones don’t exclude criminals, but deny people trained and licensed to carry weapons as is their Constitutional rights to do so for self-defense. Thestudy by the Crime Prevention Research Center in 2014 found that 11.1 million Americans now have permits to carry concealed weapons, up from 4.5 million in 2007. The 146 percent increase has come even as both murder and violent crime rates have dropped by 22 percent, yet only a handful have been convicted of violent crimes using those weapons in the last 20 years. An innocent civilian is three times safer around a concealed carrier than an armed policeman.

In Illinois, there are 23 listed areas where concealed carry is forbidden, including public transportation, city parks and government buildings (including outhouses in parks). Furthermore, any private business can post his establishment with the force of law.   Chicago has gone one step further, and requires any restaurant with a liquor license to post on pain of losing his license (only those with liquor sales 51% or more are required to post by Illinois law)

How has that worked out? Criminals are drawn to “gun free zones” such as train platforms, because they know they will be unopposed. The same places “protected” by zealots under the law are the most likely to subject citizens to violent attacks.

Whether or not military recruiters are armed is a small subset of the real issue. Those “No Guns” signs must come down with few exceptions, under both State and Federal law. Perhaps replace them with “Zombie Free Zones”, because those fictional beings are more likely to cause harm than legally armed citizens.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Be-quiet-in-church
Politically-quiet churches are having a devastating effect on America | Image Source

By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O’Neil –  

It was disappointing to learn that Charles Krauthammer, a man respected for his intelligence and conservative political views, does not believe a fetus deserves protection in the womb. His reasoning is that the unborn do not deserve the protection of the state, as they have not yet achieved “personhood.” Bill  O’Reilly and Krauthammer had a heated debate on the subject Monday, August 3rd on the O’Reilly Factor. We do not think it a coincidence that O’Reilly, who was raised Catholic, and Krauthammer, a non-religious Jew, have their respected viewpoints. They, like much of the population, judge controversial issues based largely on personal religious beliefs or the lack thereof.

There is a definite connection between religion and one’s political viewpoints, and even one’s ethnic background tends to influence political opinions and conclusions. Liberals tend to be more non-religious; while a large percent of conservatives define themselves as people of faith.  A study conducted by The Barna Group indicated religious differences are very much related to one’s political views. Their survey found only 54% of liberals consider themselves religious, while 82% of conservatives say faith is very important in their lives.

The number of times a person attends church is a determining factor as to how firm they are in their convictions. That point is evidenced in the inconsistency of Hillary Clinton’s statements on the issue. She once claimed that the Bible had the biggest influence on her thinking, but while speaking at the 6th annual “Women in the World” Summit on the subject of abortion, Mrs. Clinton made a statement that would make any Bible believing Christian cringe, as she proclaimed “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”Apparently she and many of her ilk believe Christians and people of faith should disregard their religious books, whenever a particular Bible verse inconveniently states the opposite of one’s political agenda or disagrees with a specific audiences’ ideals. How a person or candidate responds to controversial issues such as abortion and homosexual marriage are strong indicators as to whether they are conservative or liberal. The public is becoming justifiably cautious and critical of politicians, like Hillary Clinton, whose statements are inconsistent.

Failing to engage on culture issues, a silent Church fails its members and the nation

Hillary Clinton is not alone.  The last few decades has exposed others from both parties who claim to be Christian, but then continually challenge ageless Church doctrines and civil laws.    Homosexual marriage is an example of an issue liberals highly embrace, but have difficulty defending based on the written Word.   With the Supreme Court decision demanding homosexual marriage be legal in every state, questions have begun to surface as to just how far liberals are willing to go to change our culture, our history, and our country.   Their justifications contradict historical values and religious beliefs.  Considering over three fourths of Americans identify as Christian, the Court decision is a bold move that could have a significant backlash.

Why are we not hearing about the bias of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan and why they did not recuse themselves from voting on the issue, since they both clearly demonstrated blatant bias when they officiated at gay weddings before rendering their affirmative vote?  Where was the media on this issue?  Did anyone see a prominent news article indicating these justices were biased and should have recused themselves?  Certainly that information would have been of interest to the public.  But then, there was exceedingly little information revealed about the California Supreme Court Judge who was the deciding vote that nullified California’s Proposition 8, that mandated marriage remain between one man and one woman.   That judge was a homosexual who had been in a long term relationship with his “partner”.  Can anyone deny all three of these justices were exceedingly biased and should have recused themselves from participating in the decisions? Apparently our state and federal officials now believe they are wiser and more sophisticated than the citizens they have sworn to serve, and thus are trampling the rights and will of the people.

Christian churches have been largely silent on these issues, although a few have spoken out in opposition to immoral laws and the courts who oppose the will of the people.   A sad example of a church ignoring the Bible it professes to honor, is the Presbyterian Church. They not only allow gay marriages, but have also allowed the ordination of homosexuals as church leaders. “Presbyterian Church Votes To Allow Gay Marriages.” It will be very interesting to see how mainstream churches and their members respond to the mandate that all states honor homosexual marriages.  Will they follow the Bible or also fall prey to justifying what the bible clearly calls “sin”.  Considering their silence leading up to the decision, I fear the worst.

However, Christian Conservatives are now beginning to ask: “Where is the opposition from the Church to what is happening to our Country?   A minority has changed laws that defy historical and biblical strongholds, with the result being a declining culture.  The silence from people of faith and their leaders is shameful, causing many to wonder what it will finally take for people of faith to fight back against the immorality that is permeating our country.   Apparently those who are determined to reinvent established truths are more serious and passionate about what they believe and want, than religious people who have done little to protect our nation’s time-honored religious values. People ask “who is to blame, who should be shamed”, for the lack of effort to keep marriage between one man and one woman or to stand up and firmly oppose abortion.   Now that we know Planned Parenthood has broken laws and sold aborted baby parts, the reality and horror of abortion is on the public stage for all to witness.  Will this be the line in the sand” that finally nudges church leaders into strongly voicing their opposition to laws that defy the Bible, as well as common sense?

We all must understand that the media has become exceedingly liberal.  Most media sources have succumbed to influencing the news, rather than fairly reporting it.   Fair and balanced reporting has become even more difficult to find than a pastor speaking out about the controversial political issues of our day.  The public and those in the pulpit need to consider Philosopher George Santayana’s famous quote: “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it”. Remember Nazi Germany?  Remember Russia and the Communist Soviet Union?  Remember Cuba, Argentina, etc., etc.  How close is America to becoming another great nation, that having lost its moral compass is now beginning the decaying process that leads to its inevitable and ultimate demise?

The Solution to America’s Woes:  Elect Godly Leaders

What can be done to return our nation to its Christian, biblical roots?  The answer is actually very simple:  People of faith must investigate the candidates and then elect those who best represent their values.   Over 90 million eligible voters did not vote in the past election; certainly a large number of that group are strong Christians who prefer godly leaders.    Why didn’t they vote?  Could it be because they are politically ignorant, do not know the candidates or issues, and possibly haven’t even registered to vote?    How might church leaders help those Christians to vote wisely and with confidence?

It would help if every pastor would assign a church leader or member of the congregation to set up a voter registration table on church grounds, in order to provide members an easy way to register.   Every Christian should know the differences in the Party Platforms, so that they can understand how candidates are likely to vote once elected.  That information can easily be made available to their congregations by having brochures available with the helpful information.

It would be exceedingly useful, if churches had Christian Voter Guides available to help voters know which candidates most align with their viewpoints.  Finally, it is important for church leaders to promote informed voting and encourage congregations to vote as the election draws near.

The Church must realize the important role it has in engaging the culture.  It can no longer opt-out of the political process for whatever reasons used in the past. Christian congregations are our hope for tomorrow.  Those we elect are the ones who make our laws, and those laws often dictate the moral direction of the people and thus the country.

Elections have consequences.  

Making voting information easily available, and reminding Christians of their civic duty is so easy, while being exceedingly important.   More Christians would vote if they could do so with a confidence they were choosing candidates who shared their opinions and religious beliefs.   If we want a godly country, we must understand it will only happen with leaders who respect the Bible and its teachings.

God expected His people to prefer godly kings in the past.  When they chose wisely, His hand remained upon them; when they preferred ungodly rulers, His hand was removed from the people.  Will God continue to bless America because we once preferred godly leaders?  We think not!  The Church has a responsibility to teach biblical truths and to secure God’s hand upon us, which is best accomplished when congregations vote wisely.