Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Real Story of Thanksgiving

By: Rush Limbaugh (Edited for size and punctuation)

The story of the Pilgrims begins in the early part of the 17th century. The Church of England under King James I was persecuting anyone and everyone who did not recognize its absolute civil and spiritual authority. Those who challenged ecclesiastical authority and those who believed strongly in freedom of worship were hunted down, imprisoned, and sometimes executed for their beliefs. A group of separatists first fled to Holland and established a community. A lot of people don’t know about Holland, so inadequate has public education been on the Pilgrims' Thanksgiving and the founding of the country. After 11 years, about 40 of them agreed to make a perilous journey to the New World, where they would certainly face hardships, but could live and worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences.

On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including 40 Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. The revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact came from the Bible. The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example and, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture. And they never doubted that their experiment would work. But this was no pleasure cruise, friends. The journey to the New World was a long and arduous one.

And when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found, according to Bradford's detailed journal, a cold, barren, desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them, he wrote. There were no houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could refresh themselves. And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims -- including Bradford's own wife -- died of either starvation, sickness or exposure. For a long time, many of them continued to live on the Mayflower. There was nowhere else to live.

When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats. Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper! This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end. Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, and teaching them to grow food and eat and all that, rather than as a devout expression of gratitude grounded in the tradition of both the Old and New Testaments, the Bible. Remember, these were religious people. They set out on a journey to a place that they had no idea of, and they just found barren wilderness. The very idea that they survived -- even before they began to prosper, the very idea that they just survived -- was what gave them pause to thank God. That was the original Thanksgiving, and that's not taught. The original Thanksgiving is taught as, "If it weren't for the Indians, Pilgrims would have died. The Indians saved their bacon! The Indians saved them." It's an understandable effort here, but that's not what happened, is the point.

Here's the part that's been omitted from modern day textbooks for young children in the schools. The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community, all 40 of them was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community as well. It was socialism, because they wanted to be fair. They were going to distribute it equally. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well. Nobody owned anything. They just had a share in it. It was a commune. It was the forerunner to the communes we saw in the '60s and '70s out in California.

Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives, and half the people weren't carrying their weight, didn't have to. He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, and they got to keep the bulk of what they produced, thus turning loose the power of the marketplace. That’s right, long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism. It didn't work!

What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation! But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years, the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently. What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every school child's history lesson. If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future. 'The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years," meaning it was tough for a long time, "'that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing -- as if they were wiser than God,” Bradford wrote. Meaning: We thought we knew, but we were wrong. “For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense...that was thought injustice." So what happened was, the hard workers began to see a bunch of slackers there were. Even with the first Pilgrims, they had a bunch of slackers, and they said, "What are we doing if everybody's getting an equal share here and half of these people aren't working!" And they threw it out. William Bradford wrote about it in the journal. The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive.

So what did Bradford's community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property. Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work. They were permitted to use it as they saw fit and permitted to market their own crops and products. And what was the result? “This had very good success,” wrote Bradford, “for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.” They had surpluses. You know what they did with the surpluses? They shared them with the Indians. Capitalism, as opposed to socialism, produced abundance, the likes of which they had never experienced. They remembered the help they got when they first landed from the Indians. They shared their abundance. That's the first Thanksgiving: A thanks to God for their safety, a thanks to God for their discovery, and a thanks to the Indians by sharing the abundance that they themselves produced after first trying what could only be called today Obamaism or Clintonism or socialism. That is the real story of Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Survivor Series 28 predictions

We are on the eve of World Wrestling Entertainment’s Survivor Series 28 from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. A unique feature about this year’s Survivor Series that has never been offered in the history of WWE is that the event is free to new WWE subscribers. It is the first time a WWE Pay-Per-View event has ever been offered for free. The stakes could not be any higher either. I am not sure the main event is the biggest match in WWE history as it has been sometimes promoted, but it is definitely a big match with huge ramifications no matter who wins. There is no doubt in my mind that I am pulling for Team Cena, but I really don’t have a good feeling about this match.

There are several reasons I am predicting a Team Authority victory. The first is simply the pure talent on their team. That is not to say that Team Cena is not full of ability. John Cena is a 15-time World Champion. Dolph Ziggler is a former Intercontinental Champion who has been living up to his nickname “the Show Off” lately. The Big Show is the largest athlete in the world. Erick Rowan is about as unpredictable as they come. Ryback as surged since his return from injury. However, the other team has two current champions, the undefeated United States Champion Rusev and the new Intercontinental Champion Luke Harper. Kane is no pushover. Mark Henry is the world’s strongest man. The captain of the team Seth Rollins was ⅓ of one of the best factions ever, the Shield. In a straight up 5 vs. 5 match, it would be tough for Team Cena to win, but I am confident it will not be a straight up match.

Team Authority is called that for a reason. They have the Authority behind them. HHH and his wife Stephanie McMahon are in charge. They run WWE. What they say goes. How hard would it be to expect HHH and Stephanie to “convince” a referee to swing things in their favor. It would not be the first time that has happened. Last year, they convinced referee Brian Armstrong to screw Daniel Bryan out of the WWE Championship several times. What would stop them from doing that again?

The Authority’s influence could also reach across the ring to the other team. I know right now everyone on Team Cena is talking a good game. They are all saying they are going to stand for what’s right even if it means they may get fired for doing so. I admire that courage and I hope it is lasting and genuine. I am just not sure it will stay that way. Will every member on Team Cena resist the temptation to do what is best for them rather than what is right? The Big Show does not have a clean past. He was once a tool used by former WWE General Manager and Vice President of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis against John Cena. Dolph Ziggler used to be in a relationship with former Smackdown General Manager Vickie Guerrero while she was in power. Erick Rowan, along with his former Wyatt Family partners, used to go after people like Daniel Bryan that the Authority were against. Ryback is a wild card. He only joined Team Cena after some arm twisting by Cena and some disrespect from Team Authority. He has said over and over again that he is only loyal to “Team Ryback.” Can he be trusted? The only man I am not worried about betraying his partners is the captain, John Cena himself. He has proven he will fight to the end even when the odds are against him and he is overmatched. Just look at what happened at Summerslam. Yet even with Cena, I have to ask myself where he was when his team needed him on Smackdown. I am not saying Cena will betray them. I am just wondering if there will be any leftover animosity by his teammates for abandoning them earlier this week.

In other action, WWE Diva’s Champion AJ Lee, the most successful diva of this generation, will defend her title against the self-entitled, Authority-backed Nikki Bella, accompanied by her sister Brie who still has a couple of days left of her time serving her sister. I know that Brie is reluctantly accompanying her sister for the title match, but I think she will be the difference on the outside of the ring. In a match with no outside interference, I have no doubt AJ could beat Nikki. I don’t think Brie will be the least bit happy about it, but somehow I think Brie will be the difference maker and Nikki Bella will be the new champion.

The craziest (literally) match of the night will be between Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose. Bray has taken several opponents to their physical and mental limits including Daniel Bryan, John Cena, and Chris Jericho. Dean Ambrose is an entirely different kind of guy though. If you had a chance to see the special on WWE Network on The Shield, you know what I am talking about. WWE commentators like to call Dean Ambrose the “Lunatic Fringe” who “marches to the beat of his own drummer.” There is a lot of truth in those statements. I really have no clue how to predict a winner or even how wild it could get before it is over. This match could steal the show. Since this is titled with “predictions” though, I do have to pick one so I will go with Dean Ambrose.

Speaking of weird, four of the weirdest tag teams will be battling in a one fall, fatal four-way match for the WWE Tag Team Championship. Goldust and Stardust have been tag team champions for a couple of months. They defeated the Usos, who are in the match joined by The Miz and his stunt double Damien Mizdow and Los Matadores. The nature of this match makes it hard to predict because anyone can pin anyone at any time and the match is over. Like the last match, it is a toss up so I am going to go with The Miz and Damien Mizdow to be the new WWE Tag Team Champions.

The final traditional Survivor Series match is a diva’s eight woman tag team match. Paige will captain a team against another team of divas captained by Natalya. I will have to give the edge to Team Paige because Natalya has too many distractions going on in her life in and out of the ring with her husband Tyson Kidd. I predict Team Paige will win at Survivor Series.

Before ending this, I would like to remind anyone reading this who will be watching tomorrow night to tune it at 7:00 PM on the WWE Network for the pre-show. There will be a one hour countdown before the event begins. I hope you all have a blessed night and I should be back tomorrow night after Survivor Series with my analysis of the results. God bless.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Works

By: Holly Noel Johnson (My wife :) )

I see things like this on social media on a regular basis this time of year. I have a question for everyone who whines and complains about people working on Thanksgiving Day. At any point on that day, are you going to be turning on the TV? Every single person that you see on every news channel, every parade, every football game, and every talk show had to work on Thanksgiving Day. What about using your cell phone? Some cell phone company has to have some people working somewhere in order to provide your cell phone service for that day. What about city workers? Driving on your way to mother’s Thanksgiving Day, suppose the traffic lights were to go out. Would you really be willing to risk lives so that every single person could have Thanksgiving Day off? The same could be said for police officers and firefighters.

Essentials aside, what about the people whose power being on depends on the money they would get for working on Thanksgiving Day? Are you willing to say, “Sorry, you’ll just have to lose power because no one should work on Thanksgiving Day.” Heaven forbid they have children. What if they lose their home because they could not get the money they could have gotten for working on that day. Is someone going to go to them on the street and provide their Thanksgiving meal? Probably not, considering more and more cities are making laws that make it tougher to do that. What does that say about Americans that we are willing to tolerate homeless people going without, but not willing to tolerate people working on a holiday? We should not be griping at corporations for being open on Thanksgiving or any other special holiday. Instead, we should thank those corporations that provide opportunities for people to survive and more not just on holidays, but all year long.

There are hundreds of reasons why people work on holidays. Instead of whining and complaining about seeing others working on Thanksgiving Day, how about asking yourself this question: Why is it any of my business? Why do Americans, in general, seem to think that every time someone takes a breath, they should know why it was taken and how they could change it? I propose a new holiday tradition. Help out where you can, but keep your nose on your own face.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

President Obama's Speech

Photo courtesy of the O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel

President Obama just finished detailing his latest assault on the country he is supposed to be leading. He says that our immigration system is broken. It is not broken. The government is just not enforcing the laws that have already been passed. This is not complicated. Illegal aliens are simply not allowed to be here without authorization. A child could understand that. The President does too. He just does not care. He says that people who have been here five years will be allowed to stay. What is to stop someone from lying and saying they have been here five years? Are we really to believe they will enforce that when they will not enforce anything else? How will they round up the ones who have been here less than the required time if it is too hard to round people up as it is? If they are fearfully living in the shadows, how did he find that woman he will see in Las Vegas tomorrow who came here when she was four? She went behind her parents’ back and applied to go to school. Then she got accepted. She sure isn’t living in the shadows.

President Obama said that illegal aliens just want to share in the responsibilities of being an Americans that real American citizens already have. There is just one problem with that. The people he is talking about were not even responsible enough to apply for legal citizenship to get here to start with. He said they just want to play by the rules like everyone else. The only reason they are here is because they didn’t play by the rules. Therefore, they are disqualified before the game even starts so to speak. If they want to get right with the law, they can go back home and apply for legalization the way legal immigrants already have. He says he will hold illegal aliens accountable. How? He is not holding them accountable now. He is excusing them. Why should we believe the future will be any different? Furthermore, what is the point of having a reasoned debate about this issue like he called for tonight when he has already decreed what will happen regardless of what anyone thinks  or regardless of the law?

The President said that it would be foolish to think that we could find all of the illegals currently in the United States to deport them. In other words, those of us who respect law are silly to do so. I find it hard to believe that the government cannot find who is illegal here to deport them. The media sure can find them when they want to do a sob story on the plight of the criminals that have crossed our border. C-SPAN sure can find them. They even set up a phone number for illegals to call into their programs. If C-SPAN and other media outlets can easily find illegal aliens whenever they need them, surely the government with all their power, authority, and resources can do the same.

President Obama’s message to Congress and to the American people was that he is going to do what he is going to do despite the illegality of it. Be sure that the actions he talked about tonight are just as illegal as the criminals he wants to allow to stay here. Despite all of President Obama’s previous comments about how he is not a dictator or an emperor and therefore must follow the law, he truly does not care about the law or keeping his word. This is certainly not a new revelation. Lawlessness has been a major theme of his presidency. If President Obama’s actions here were on the up and up, why did he wait until after the election to do it? Why didn’t he do this years ago? If this policy of allowing millions of illegals to stay here is so popular and such a good move, why didn’t he do it when he first came into office when he could have done all of this without an executive order. The answer is simple. He would have been less likely to be re-elected and Congress would be even more lopsided toward the Republicans. This entire thing is one big mess. President Obama knows exactly what he is doing. This isn’t the first time the country has done something like this before and with the open invitation President Obama just gave, it probably will not be the last time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Keystone Pipeline Temporarily Blocked

Keystone overall route map

The Keystone Pipeline was temporarily blocked again last night when the 59 bipartisan supporters in the Senate came one vote short of preventing a filibuster on the bill which passed the House of Representatives. 14 Democrats voted for it as well as every Republican. Bills in favor of construction of the project have been passed nine times. All of these have been blocked in one way or another by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid over the last several years. This latest block of a vote means that, at least until the new Congress takes over in January, the Keystone Pipeline is dead in Congress. It might be dead even if it passes Congress if President Obama vetoes it.

The northern part of the Keystone Pipeline is a nearly 1,200-mile, $8 billion proposal would carry 830,000 barrels per day of diluted oil sands from western Canada to Steele City, Nebraska. It would connect with the southern part of the pipeline that was completed in January. The southern portion of the pipeline has already carried 800,000 barrels from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Texas gulf coast. The Keystone Pipeline would join many natural gas and oil pipelines that already go from Canada to the United States.

The development of the Keystone Pipeline would take between one and two years. It would create about 10,000 temporary construction jobs. 26,000 temporary jobs would also be created as a result of the people working on the project buying goods and using services. Unfortunately, only about 35 permanent maintenance jobs would be created after the pipeline is completed.

It is probably no surprise that I support the Keystone Pipeline. Environmentalists and other liberals should too since a June State Department report said carbon emissions would not be significantly impacted by it. It would also greatly assist the United States in our efforts for greater energy independence and lower our gas prices. That last one alone should be enough reason to approve the project. It is still not known what the final result of this will be. The only thing almost for sure on this issue is that the debate will continue at least into 2015.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dr. Myles Munroe's death

Dr. Myles Munroe

The body of Christ has recently seen one of it’s more prominent members take his residence in Heaven. Dr. Myles Munroe was a victim in a plane accident last night that claimed his life as well as everyone else on board when the plane struck a construction crane.

Dr. Munroe was born July 20, 1954 in the Bahamas, where he lived his entire life and headquartered his ministries Bahamas Faith Ministries International and Myles Munroe International. He graduated from Oral Roberts University in 1978 and was the author of numerous books. He was a business consultant who received numerous awards, including the honor of being the youngest recipient of the Queen’s Birthday Honors of the Order of the British Empire in 1998.

Many of Munroe’s books and sermons centered around the idea that God does not want to build a religion and that is not the reason Jesus came. Rather, Munroe taught that Jesus came to re-institute the Kingdom of God on Earth. Rediscovering an establishing God’s Kingdom was Munroe’s singular purpose in his life and service to the Lord.

One year ago this month, the body of Christ lost another magnificent soul winner and member of the body of Christ when Dr. Paul Crouch, founder of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, went to be with the Lord at the age of 79. Let us honor their memories by continuing to do the will of God in our lives just as these men did with theirs.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Is America changing or just not voting?

Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais

On Tuesday, the Republicans gained control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The reasons behind the victory have been debated ever since. There are 2 schools of thought behind these theories. One of those says that the 2014 election happened the way it did because people are finally waking up to who President Obama is by virtue of his policies and what he and his party have done to our country. There is definitely some of that going on for which I am thankful. However, I feel that there is something else that can help explain the results of this election. Not to play the role of pessimist, but I believe that another reason Republicans won the election is because of the ones who did not vote as much as the ones who did.

I am not trying to play the role of pessimist here. After all, who, if not followers of Christ, have reason to be optimistic all the time no matter what is going on. I am also realistic though. I would rather have facts shape my view than have my view twist the facts. President Obama is far from a reliable source of information, but he did have it right when he said that of the people who could have voted on Tuesday did not. 2008 and 2012 were high turnout years for elections here in the United States. President Obama won re-election both times. 2010 and Tuesday had lower turnouts. The Republican Party obliterated the Democrat Party both times.

Younger people ages 18-29 are less likely to vote period. That would be even more true in midterm elections where turnout is generally lower anyway. It is no secret that people in that age group tend to vote more with the Democrats than with the Republicans, even if they claim to be an independent who “votes for the person rather than the party.” Since 2006, Democrats have held an ever larger advantage over the Republicans than was previously normal with that age group. It is also no secret that conservatives and Christians have been losing the culture war for the next generation, so much so that this generation has been called post-Christian. Media, educational institutions from the earliest ages all the way up through college, and unfortunately even some liberal churches dismiss the core teachings of Scripture or--in the 3rd case--have a less than favorable view of taking it for what it says rather than looking for some allegorical or symbolic personal interpretation despite the Bible’s warning against this. When you remove God and His instructions from the majority of society or at least make obeying Him frowned upon, you create a Judges generation where everyone does whatever seems “right in their own eyes.” Therefore, anyone like a social conservative who tries to hold to the true, unchanging standards of God’s Word is frowned upon, which is one explanation for why Republicans have not done well in the past 2 presidential elections. It is not that the Republican candidates then were especially great. In fact, they were far from it. As I noted in my last blog post before the election, approximately 4,000,000 Republican voters did not vote in 2012 rather than vote for Mitt Romney because he was not conservative enough. So the Republican Party bears some responsibility here beyond just the fact that we are at a disadvantage in the American culture war.

So do we just throw in the towel and quit, bemoan the system while at the same time refusing to participate in trying to change it. Do we just look up toward Heaven and wait for the Rapture rather than obey Jesus’ command in the parable to “occupy till I come?” No. Speaking from a Christian perspective, we need to recognize that the battle is first and foremost for the souls of people, not congressional seats. Our government like no other is a reflection of it’s people because we directly choose who is nominated and who gets elected. If the population is going in the wrong direction, so will the government it chooses to lead them. Evangelizing the lost and helping believers understand a biblical worldview is the 1st step in this process, without which the 2nd is not possible. The 2nd step is for the Republican Party, especially the leadership, to embrace the conservative principles that made the United States of America and the Republican Party great. Rather than trying to marginalize the conservative base, they should embrace the conservative base and be out there teaching the principles of conservatism and their benefits on a daily basis. It is not enough to just be content to sit back and hope the other guys make enough of a mess that they hang themselves. They need to give people a reason to vote for them, not just something to vote against. And they need to do it while governing, not just saying the right things during election season. As I said, I hope that more and more people are waking up to who President Obama and the Democrats really are. I hope they are throwing up the liberal Kool-Aid and are finally beginning to understand that what is good for them is not good for us. Looking at the culture around us though, we still have a lot of work to do. Let’s get to work and do something great for the Lord and for America today so we can have a better tomorrow.

Monday, November 3, 2014

2014 Election

All you political nerds out there like me, it is finally on the horizon. We are at the eve of the 2014 elections. This will be the first time I have not voted during the early voting period. I will actually be voting on the actual Election Day for the very first time. In 2012, I was not really looking forward to Election Day because I was not overly excited about either candidate for President. This year, I still feel some of that where I will be voting more against something than I am for something. Nonetheless, I will be voting for what I think the best shot will be to stop the Obama agenda. Whether establishment Republicans will actually have the stomach for the job or not is one thing. What I can guarantee is that there is zero chance of slowing down or stopping anything with a Democrat victory. For that reason, it is worth it to get out and cast my vote tomorrow.

Things are looking good for the Republican Party to take control of the United States Senate. The Real Clear Politics no toss up polling averages show the Republicans with a 52-47 advantage over the Democrats in the Senate with one independent who usually sides with the Democrats. Republicans are projected to take Senate seats in Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia. Now again, this is the no toss up map. Several of these results are very up in the air. For example, here in North Carolina, the RCP average favors Senator Kay Hagan by a very small margin of 0.7. That race could go either way. The same is true for seven other races in Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, and New Hampshire. So as far as the Senate goes, it is especially important that you show up and let your voice be heard in these states.

Things are looking even better--almost a sure thing--for the Republicans to keep control of the House of Representatives. RCP averages have the Republicans holding the House at 228-181 with 26 House races close enough to be toss ups. Without the toss ups, the Republicans still hold the polling average advantage, 236-199.

So it seems likely that Republicans will have complete control of Congress as a result of the 2014 election. If you’re a conservative, that should give cause to celebrate. Unfortunately, the Republican Party has not given true conservatives much to celebrate for a long time. The Republican Party continues to try to marginalize the Tea Party and insult it’s base. It continues to be more concerned with what their colleagues inside Washington D.C. think of them rather than the people who they ask to show up and vote for them every election cycle. That bit them in the butt in 2008 when we nominated moderate John McCain and handed the White House to Barack Obama. The results were disastrous. In response to the radical president, the Tea Party rose up and gave the Republican Party landslide victories in 2010. The message was clear: true conservatism--not watered down--wins. Did the Republicans learn their lesson? No, instead they nominated another moderate, Mitt Romney in 2012 over conservative Rick Santorum. The Republican deafness toward the base of their party allowed President Obama to win re-election when millions of Republicans stayed home rather than voting for Mitt Romney. The Republican leadership either does not get it or does not care that they are spitting in the face of their base by continuing to elect people that are more worried about not making waves than going to Washington to actually accomplish something good for America. This will be to their long-term downfall unless they are major changes within the party. They can’t just continue to depend on being the non-Democrats. At some point, they have to give Americans something to vote for. But that is down the road. For now, it looks like it like the Republicans are getting ready to cash in big tomorrow. Nothing is really guaranteed though. That is why it is imperative that you get out and vote tomorrow.