Wednesday, October 12, 2016

What Kind of Witness

This past Sunday at church my pastor asked, “Have you ever squeezed an orange?" and "what kind of juice comes out?”

His sermon was on the Church at Philadelphia, based on Revelation Chapter 3.  While he talked about how the church was a small and seemingly insignificant church in a very secular society, Jesus knew their hearts and their circumstances and credited them for remaining true to their faith and witness of Him, even though other Christian groups were among those who were persecuting them. It couldn’t have been easy, but Jesus reminded them, and us, and that’s a huge comfort in times when so many divisions and contentious societal and political things are happening.

The question the pastor asked during the sermon reminded me of a quote by Charles Spurgeon, "Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of."

I think most people would agree that this political season is an incredible and contentious one, and the most important of our lifetimes. After the past 8 years of transformation, I never thought we would be in the situation we now, nor did I expect to see what kind of “juice” is being squeezed out of so many Christian conservatives.

This is a message to America’s Christian leaders who have influenced Republican politics and politicians for decades.

I have to ask, what kind of witness are you being to the nation right now? Have you thought much about the messages you’ve been projecting to many young or new Christians or those who have been seeking out the Christian faith?  Do you trust in God in all circumstances or just when things are going well? And, do any of you believe that by calling Christians who are voting their conscience- names such as foolish, na├»ve, dangerous, and even traitorous are going to shame us enough to back someone and vote for someone we do not believe is fit for office of the Presidency?

Before I go on, I guess I should open my soul a little first, just so you can’t accuse me as being ‘holier than thou’, especially since many of you like to justify Donald Trump’s behavior by  reminding us that we’re all sinners.

I will always be the first one to admit my shortcomings and the fact that I am a sinner, eternally grateful for my Savior.  I’m far from perfect and will always need to depend on Christ to work in me.  I know what it’s like to be a sinner in need of salvation, mercy, forgiveness and grace, and I know there is no sin that can’t be covered by the blood of Christ.

However, I will not support someone who uses his wealth to buy influence, uses his position of power to bully, use or harass people for his own gain, or use his celebrity, wealth and power to abuse women.

I don’t talk about my past very often, but I have had to remember a lot of things because of things coming up during this election season.  I have been on the receiving end of behavior such as Trump’s in the past a few different times, from a boss who sexually harassed me and also being sexually assaulted and abused by someone close to me.  This isn’t something that’s easy for me to talk about or even think about, but I have had my limit during the past couple of days listening to Christian leaders and others justifying Trump’s most recently leaked comments as something I need to get over, suck up my pride, and support him by voting for him to be our next president.

What kind of message are you giving to our daughters, sisters, mothers and young women or anyone who has been subjected to sexual abuse that this maybe disgraceful behavior but it's just something we need to expect because men are men?

Not only as a woman am I feeling pressure from so many of you, but as a Christian I am being shamed with millions of others into believing we’re somehow being unchristian because we’re voting our conscience and thereby letting Hillary Clinton win.

Do you people consider using Scripture as justification and name calling to be salt and light? That you’re being good witnesses for Christ by justifying yourselves surrounding Donald Trump to influence him because "But Hillary”?

Every point from too many Christian leaders boils down to “But Hillary”, as if that’s a reason to vote for someone who not only donated to her and her husband’s foundation, who has been friends with them, who has praised their political performances, and who has the same behavior characteristics they all have been calling out for years from others.

For instance,

In 1998 Pat Robertson rightfully said that Bill Clinton "debauched, debased and defamed" the presidency.  But with Donald Trump, Mr. Robertson says laughingly, “Let’s face it. A guy does something 11 years ago, there was a conversation in Hollywood where he’s trying to look like he’s macho…

Really, Macho?

At the Christian Coalition Convention in 1998, Ralph Reed said that, ''Character matters and the American people are hungry for that message… We care about the conduct of our leaders, and we will not rest until we have leaders of good moral character.'' 

Mr. Reed gave a speech this week at Jerry Falwell Jr’s Liberty University where he described those of us who are voting conscience as pride filled. After saying that Trump’s most recently released sexual soundbites were disappointing and inappropriate, Mr. Reed went on to justify, “But people of faith are voting on issues like who will protect unborn life, defend religious freedom, grow the economy, appoint conservative judges and oppose the Iran nuclear deal… I think a 10-year-old tape of a private conversation with a TV talk show host ranks pretty low on their hierarchy of their concerns…”

Excuse me Mr. Reed, it doesn’t rank low on my concern list. In fact it pretty much covers every concern I have that I can’t trust him to do what he’s promised all of you. The man talked about sexually harassing women while being newly married for the third time. He can’t keep his vows to his wife, but he’ll keep his promises to a bunch of Christian Conservative leaders which have supported him for promises and influence?

In 1998 Dr. James Dobson rightfully had this to say, "As it turns out, character DOES matter. You can’t run a family, let alone a country, without it. How foolish to believe that a person who lacks honesty and moral integrity is qualified to lead a nation and the world! Nevertheless, our people continue to say that the President is doing a good job even if they don’t respect him personally. Those two positions are fundamentally incompatible. In the Book of James the question is posed, “Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring” (James 3:11 NIV). The answer is no.""

But now, “The comments Mr. Trump made 11 years ago were deplorable and I condemn them entirely… I also find Hillary Clinton’s support of partial birth abortion criminal and her opinion of evangelicals to be bigoted. There really is only one difference between the two. Mr. Trump promises to support religious liberty and the dignity of the unborn. Mrs. Clinton promises she will not.” 

I also abhor the thought of a Hillary Clinton administration and feel she would be the final nail in America’s coffin, but you people seriously have given up your principles and Christian witness for a hope of change? Do you consider that it's not even the politicians themselves, but the people in this country who keep voting for them, and that our political leaders are immoral because we as a nation are immoral? Now that sexual assault and immorality is justified by Christians, does that concern you?

The bandwagon goes on with Tony Perkins, who leads the conservative Family Research Council who said, “As I have made clear, my support for Donald Trump in the general election was never based upon shared values rather it was built upon shared concerns…”

J L Falwell @JerryJrFalwell  tweeted:
Proud of @realDonaldTrump tonight-won by a landslide! Emphasizing issues will always trump #HillaryClinton. No Republican could do better

#HowClever.  Mr. Falwell you never supported anyone else, so you wouldn’t know if anyone else could do better. Trump also won the ‘debate’ in the republican primaries when he talked about hand size. I suppose that was worth being proud of as well.

So, to all of you I have to ask, it worth it that the fear of Hillary Clinton’s evil ideologies and dangerous policies is causing you to sell out your witness for Christ?

Whatever happened to the comfort of Psalm 23:4, Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Or this from Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Or does this only pertain to Christians in other countries around the world?

You all constantly bring up the point that Trump is a flawed man while telling us that he’s a Christian and a wonderful man. Maybe that explains why you’ve also justified his arrogance, pride, false witness and division during the primaries. Is it worth the turning away of untold souls who have seen your hypocrisy of preaching trust in Christ, praying for godly leaders, and building a comfortable life from it by backing someone who’s lack of morals are what you’ve been fighting against in public office for all these years?

Sure, this seems harsh, but would you deny that your coalitions, foundations, programs and ministries have grown over the years from donations from millions who have trusted you to fight for morality and decency and support godly leaders?

One more common point you all make to justify yourselves, is that these comments were made over a decade ago.  Yes, these particular comments were made when Donald Trump was 60 years old.  But you have to know that most of us are aware that these are not a one-time hot mic slip up, or mere locker room banter right?

Surely you knew that Donald Trump has a history of saying degrading things about and to women, and has had proud discussions publicly about his affairs, women in general and even his own daughter.  And that it continues still?

Considering his liberal use of describing young and beautiful pieces of @ss, or in his interview with Howard Stern where he calls himself a very brave and good soldier for avoiding STDs while having sex with different women. Or commenting on his daughter’s breasts with men on talk radio, and commenting on her figure on the View, saying he’d probably date her if she wasn’t his daughter.
I have to ask, would any of you appoint Donald Trump as an elder or deacon in your churches?  Yet you expect us to vote for him to lead our country.  Oh right, you’ve all spent decades telling us to pray for godly leaders, but we’re not electing a pastor in chief.

Who can forget his 2015 RNC debate comment about moderator Megyn Kelly “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever."

This doesn’t even include things he’s commented on women’s’ looks and other sexist remarks.  But yeah, we’re all supposed to ignore all of this because of “But Hillary!”

Not only are you putting God in a box, you are using scripture as talking points to try and shame Christians into voting for him, and this is, dare I say the word – deplorable.
By your justification, your witness over the years, your work in ministry of the Gospel of Christ and religious liberties is suspect because you have sold yourselves for the lesser of two evils and hypocritically justified your choice of someone who is exactly like the kind of people you’ve spent decades judging.

But worse is the message of confusion and doubt you have been sending to Christians by making us question our faith and relationship with Christ and you have turned others completely away from Him because of your hypocrisy.

I know God will be in charge on November 8th and 9th  just as He is now, and nothing that happens will be a surprise to Him. He is bigger than our elections, and bigger than our nation. If its pride that makes me trust in Him rather than you, I’ll have to ask Him to forgive me when I stand before Him some day. 

One more thing. You justify voting for the lesser of two evils by saying you want to leave your children and grandchildren a better America.  I agree, I want to do that too- but my child will also know that some things are more important than worldly comfort and that choices we make have eternal consequences. Jesus didn’t die for him or me, or Donald or Hillary or any of you, just so that we could live in comfort in this life and then tremble in fear when someone threatens to take it away.

Sometimes you can only trust completely in the Lord when you have lost so much that you have no choice but to completely trust in the Lord.  It seems that many Christians in our nation would rather trust in the comfort of their ministries and in people to make America Great Again, by justifying every behavior which has helped America cease to be good.

I don’t want to be known as the generation who lost our country, which is why I spent most of my years in this country being a watchman on the wall, and fighting for it. If this country falls, it won’t be because I’ve not supported the godly leaders I prayed for, and it won’t be because I won’t give up my witness in order to vote for someone who I don't trust or respect.

I quoted Spurgeon near the beginning of this article, and I’d like to end with another, “God had a Son that had no fault, but He never had a son that was not found fault with. God Himself was slandered in paradise by Satan. Let us not expect, therefore, to escape from the venomous tongue.”

I’ve come to expect the venomous tongues of secularists and atheists when witnessing or being salt and light for Christ; I just never expected it from our Christian leaders.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Message from the CFP Founder- Our Direction

"When you have robbed a man of everything, he's no longer in your power. He is free again."
~ Alexander Solzhenitsyn

There is a saying that nothing divides friends and family like politics and religion.  We’ve seen a new and deeper division than ever during this election primary season.  Many people are reeling over the events and nomination of the Republican Presidential candidate. Both the GOP and RNC have essentially given the boot to Bible believing Christian Constitutional Conservatives and many people are feeling they’re without a political home.

When I first envisioned what came to be the Constitutional Freedom Party, it was intended to promote, vet, endorse and espouse Constitutional Conservative candidates and ideals, while working within the Republican Party to try and reclaim Conservativism which had existed in the party. We vetted and endorsed candidates, and promoting constitutionally strong conservative people running for office at state and federal levels against establishment politicians. 

We have worked hard the past four years of educating people about the Founders and Constitution while researching and finding the best candidates to represent those of us who believe in moral issues, protecting our liberties and smaller government as our founders intended.  We will continue in whatever capacities we can to do the same for the next political season.

There is however, much in my heart and on my mind about the future and direction of the CFP and our country, and I’d like to share my thoughts and vision with those who have followed us as well as those who feel they need a new political party to call home. 

Last year I wrote about tough days and tough faith.  Sometimes life does blind side us, and tough days require tougher faith. Sometimes though, tough faith can be hard to come by. Sometimes life just stinks. It hurts mentally and physically and oftentimes it’s overwhelming.  If you’ve experienced multiple losses, or had too many things ‘pile’ on all at once, you know what I’m talking about.

Some people know the things which happened in my life during the past 2 years;  that after 3 months of being a new widow with a young teen to raise on my own, that I lost my home of 15 years and had to make arrangements to find a new place to live.  This also meant trying to find a job or create an income for rent and an increase in bills which I was and still am unprepared for.  Dealing with things the past year and a half hasn’t been easy, and there are many more things that have piled on since.

Within the past year I’ve had more and more people I care about going through some extremely difficult and some downright heart shattering things, and more just keeps on coming.  In some cases, they have to be wondering where is God in all of this?

For me personally, my faith has been brought to the brink more times than I ever imagined. Friends have prayed, encouraged and still give me hope at times when I have none.   The Bible has come alive more than ever in a real way, and has been my source of comfort and hope. 

I’m not writing this for sympathy but in hopes that people can understand where my test of faith has brought me, and why I believe in the things I do.  How I’ve always had a biblical world view no matter the issues or events that happen. It also helps people to know that others understand when life issues hit hard.

For these reasons too, I understand the Alexander Solzhenitsyn quote I began this message with.  When one has lost so much from circumstances beyond one’s control, one learns that faith in God and being able to trust Him in all things while difficult is true freedom.

What does this all have to do with the CFP and our country? 

One thing that many Bible believers found incredibly astounding during this election was the attitude of many Christian leaders.   While everyone has the right of conscience, to do or choose which they believe is best,  Republican Christian leaders have made it clear that their trust has been in their own power or that of one particular political party, not necessarily in God.

For years we’ve heard from them about the state of our politics and society, claiming we must elect godly leaders.  And yet, this year they lead us to believe they can influence a 70 year old when it comes to religious liberties and beliefs when he’s demonstrated all his life that none of these issues concern him.  
These men and women who support the lesser of two evils call the rest of us traitors, fools and RATs for following our conscience. This is not Christ like and this is another symptom of what’s wrong with our nation. 

We will never have godly leaders as long as people choose to trust only in worldly power and influence.  Many of these leaders have made quite a comfortable living in their careers in Christian Conservative leadership positions.  I’m not knocking their success because they’ve done a lot to spread awareness and the message of Christ, but sometimes prolonged success breeds complacency and that is a problem. Complacency and apathy, voting for years the lesser of two- out of fear has led to this mess.

If Christians truly had trust and faith for all things in God, doesn’t it make sense to trust Him in our political process as well? Wouldn’t it make sense while praying for candidates and leaders, to vote for their conscience for Godly leaders instead of lesser of two evils in ‘hopes’ that they can ‘persuade’ them to godliness? One thing I have to wonder, would they have such powerful positions if our political leadership was godly and supported a Constitutional Republic as they should?

I hear many Christians say that God is using Donald Trump and that we have to vote for him; just as God used evil leaders to rule over wayward Israel.  Yet, Israel never voted for Nebuchadnezzar or Caesar.  In their line of thinking, could it also be possible that God is using Hillary Clinton? I don't think they consider their words can work either way.  Have these people thought that maybe God was testing our faith, and using this election as a process to separate the wheat from the chaff? 

By the choices we had, compared to the one many chose, they clearly chose to go with the shiny worldly candidate.  Not only did they choose the worldly; they maligned, mocked and degraded the one with a proven record of fighting for our Constitution and liberties.  As of this writing, after the Convention is over, and Trump the official party nominee, he and others are still bearing false witness and slandering Ted Cruz, because for them, strong Christian Constitutional Conservatives have no place in the Republican Party.  And the Christian leaders by their silence are supporting their ungodly behavior. 

One Bible verse I’ve been hearing more and more lately is 2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Do Christians ever wonder what a God healed land would be like?  I almost can’t imagine it. In my lifetime Christian conservatives have been battling more and more unbiblical and unconstitutional legislation, laws and mandates from the government.

Edmund Burke once said, "Men qualify for freedom in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains on their own appetites. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power is put somewhere on will and appetite, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters."

In a God healed land, immorality would be restrained internally by the individual instead of by un-elected lawmakers creating thousands of laws every year.

Please take some time and really think about how much things would change for the better, back to when America still held enduring values, when government was keeper of the law and protector of Rights. Think about how different things such as race relations, real justice, welfare and civic duty and awareness would be.

I have written before about how the American Revolution was preceded by revival born out of the Great Awakening.  We are in desperate need of a revival.  Until hearts change, our political leaders and representatives will reflect a godless majority and we will always be under threat of tyranny.  Until the people learn that our rights come from God, not our government, and that it was the intended founding principle that government was created to protect our God given rights, people either will be willing to give them up or be too apathetic to fight to keep them.  We truly need restoration and revival before a political change can happen.

The Constitutional Freedom Party was built on the foundation of God, the Constitution and our Founders’ intent. Every issue in our platform was weighed carefully, and reflects our Biblical beliefs just as the founders did.  We believe all people are created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, and that the sole purpose of government is not to give us ‘free’ government run healthcare, birth control, or take care of the poor through abused and fraud ridden government welfare programs- but in securing natural rights given by God to all people.

We understand that not everyone believes in the God of the Scriptures, yet many still believe in the same or similar basic rules of treating others as you want to be treated, honoring parents, not lying or bearing false witness, not coveting or stealing…  And as much as there are differences in religious beliefs, many still believe in the things which made this country a beacon to the rest of the world- individual freedom, and the right to live without persecution or under tyrannical government systems.

It’s not our intent as Bible believing Christians to form or even desire a ‘theocracy’, but a return to the founders’ admonition to elect godly and moral people to our government and courts.   Our founders understood that our Constitution only works with a moral people.  They warned us repeatedly to elect men of principle and godly morals.

Instead a majority of people have elected people who promise them ‘free stuff’.  We’ve seen our laws trampled and our Constitution ignored more and more over the past few decades, by our own government- and even many of them don’t believe that our Constitution is worth the paper it was written on.  This is our Law, and our government breaks it willingly, because they know the people for the most part are ignorant of the Constitution and law, if they even care about it.

What can we do to save our Country?

I can’t help but think of Thomas Jefferson’s’ words, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever."

“If my people…”  How many times have the people said God Bless America, while engaged in sin such as adultery, pornography, lying, cheating or bearing false witness?

“Who are called by My Name...?”  How many people claim they are Christians, yet don’t believe in Jesus’ word, don’t believe Who He is, or that there is more to life than just this life?

“Would humble themselves...”   I’ve not seen much humility especially of late among our Christian leaders.  They claim we need godly leaders, yet deny their support of those who are, saying we’re not electing a pastor in chief.  They make themselves relevant by claiming they do important and influential things for ungodly politicians they support.

“And pray…”  Now I know that millions of Christians do pray. I know our Christian leaders hold national prayer events, and they influence people to pray for our country.  Yet, having multi faith nonsectarian prayer to a generic god will not avail much. 

“And seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways…”  We may seek God’s face, and we may even fight against national sins such government sanctioned abortion and homosexual ‘marriage’, yet throwing support behind a candidate who also supports such things is not turning away.

We need a God healed land. 

In this election season we have seen those who will vote their conscience mocked, shamed and called traitors.  Our conscience is our inner most beliefs and who we are. It is something endowed by God, not to be abused or given away.   John Jay, our first Chief Justice appointed by George Washington had this to say, “Security under our constitution is given to the rights of conscience and private judgment. They are by nature subject to no control but that of Deity and in that free situation they are now left.

James Madison observed that “Conscience is the most sacred of all property.”

The Constitutional Freedom Party has never been shy about our foundation on God.  While many people have asked us what is the difference between our organization and others’ such as the Constitution Party, much of it is based on our focus on social issues.  We are a mix of libertarian, constitutionalist conservatives with a strong Biblical worldview.

The new goals and visions for the CFP include the same ideas we’ve had since the beginning, to educate people on our Constitutional Republican form of government as intended and created by our founders.  As Benjamin Franklin said, "A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved.  It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins."

We also must share the same message which the original founders came to our shores to promote: “Having undertaken for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith…” 

America’s Christian heritage is intricately woven in the founders’ words and our history.  It is a part of America, and a part that Patrick Henry observed, "It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians; not on religion, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity and freedom to worship here."

Some people may be uncomfortable with all this “God talk”.  All I can say is that you are welcome to join us still, because we care about people and we love our country.

We are entering unchartered territory in a volatile world.  God doesn’t cause bad things to happen. We live in a fallen world where sin is, and where we have free will to choose to obey sin or the Lord.  Our country is in peril and it’s because of complacency and apathy.   God uses dark times to draw people back to Him.  I don’t know what’s going to happen in the near future of our country or world, but I do know we are going to need tough faith to get through it.

While we are a political party, we are also made up of different Christian backgrounds, which encourage each other in our shared values and beliefs. We know that “The fields are ripe, but the workers are few…”
Our goals for CFP over the next chapter in our country are thus, to share the good news of the Gospel of Christ, to point people to Him while promoting Christian Constitutional Conservatism in our local and federal politics.  

If you are tired of politics as usual and want to fight to hold onto our God given rights, welcome home. Let’s get to work.

You can find us on Facebook- "Like" our public page,
join us on our group page,
and follow us on twitter @CFP4US

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Who is David French?

A lot of people are asking "who is David French" ever since news broke that he was being considered as the Conservative choice to run (independent?) against current presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

After a quick search we came up with a few things which may help people decide for themselves if they would consider voting for French should it appear he could be added to states' ballots in time for the election.  This isn't an endorsement or even a rating from the CFP, as much as information we're looking for to help people learn more about him.  Stay tuned as we may find more information as it becomes available.

David French - National Review Online

David A. French is a graduate of Harvard Law School  and Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. A few years later, he became a lecturer at Cornell Law School and was a commercial litigation partner at the Greenebaum, Doll and McDonald Law firm.

In 2000, French began as counsel for the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, focusing on religious freedom and he also did pro bono work with the (FIRE) Foundation for Individual Rights in Education's Legal Network. He was the lead attorney in a successful case defending freedom of religion at Tufts University, and also successfully challenged a speech code as being unconstitutional at Shippensburg University. In 2004, French was appointed as president of FIRE.

French is a major in the United States Army Reserve (IRR) and served as Squadron Judge Advocate for the Second Squadron, Third Armored Cavalry Regiment for the US Army in Iraq in 2007.  He was stationed in Diyala Province and he received a Bronze Star for his service when he finished his tour in 2008.
In 2012 he became Senior Council for American Center for Law and Justice, working with the founder, Jay Sekulow in their Washington, DC office. He co-wrote the book, Rise of ISIS, A Threat We Can't Ignore with Sekulow and Robert Ash, which came out in 2015.

Since 2015, French was a staff writer for the National Review, writing on politics, social issues, religion and military affairs.

French covered the John Doe investigations for National Review, writing a series of articles about the investigations during Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's recall election. In April 2015, he wrote his first piece about the ‘home invasion’ story which was splashed in the media nationwide.  He interviewed victims of the raids and detailed their versions of had happened, and it was then Fox, TheBlaze, and other conservative media picked up the story.

@DavidAFrench on twitter

His wife Nancy is an author, a 4 time NY Best seller. She’s a graduate of David Lipscomb University and New York University.
She began as a Philadelphia City Paper columnist. Her articles have appeared in USA Today, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the New York Sun and Newsmax among other outlets.  She regularly writes for National Review Online, Rare, and Patheos.

Other articles featuring quotes or issues,

Interview discussing Dr James Enstrom UCLA lawsuit (Emissions regulations junk Science in 2012)
2012, Taking on Dr. Mike Adams lawsuit (atheist turned Christian- vs University of North Carolina-Wilmington)

Addendum :

It would be a good idea considering the people who are behind the move to promote David French as a candidate, namely Bill Kristol.  It's important to note that while we at CFP believe David French is a strong Christian Conservative, and Constitutional expert, we're not so trusting of Kristol or others. There are a few too many questions which need to be answered, such as why they waited until a month before the Convention to publicly name their candidate choice, why didn't they support Ted Cruz as much when his character and family were being assaulted by the Trump campaign and why they think David French will have any more of an impact than Cruz did when it comes to being a Constitutional Conservative Candidate.

For more on Bill Kristol, and his record of failed predictions: - some good credentials for French's beliefs here. 

Kristol's Achilles heel:
"... it was obvious who would be leading the charge to defend the government’s expansive surveillance program: Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol ... If the security/warfare state is ever in question, you can always count on Kristol to run cover. And he certainly did not disappoint this weekend. Urging Republicans not to 'conflate' the ongoing Internal Revenue Service scandal with the NSA snooping, Kristol declared it a 'huge mistake' to suggest the NSA’s actions were intrusive and thus politically leverageable."

M.M 2016
CAE 2016

Monday, May 16, 2016

Financial flops – Government style

We all know the federal government can’t be trusted with money as congress goes ape with the public’s money with no accountability.  Federal agencies demand and appropriate more authority not by congressional approval but by fiat and force.  A compliant and complicit Department of Justice aided and abetted by this out of control executive branch make this an untenable position for local control when local control can be more effective in administering lands with less cost to the tax-paying public.   

The feds try to counter this argument by stating the agents on the ground make the difference.  That the agents provide the boots on the ground studies and information that goes into new regulations.  But when new regulations are propagated, they arise not within the local agency, but in the dark recesses of Washington’s massive, bloated agencies and departments.  Bureaucrats, ignoring the” boots on the ground” input, an agenda that must be attained and  little to no knowledge of local conditions, writing rules and regulations that are going to impact the local economy and often the biological health of the area.

The failing stewardship of the US Forest Service and timber production:

In a hearing, February 26, 2013, the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Committee members would learn of the cost to tax payers for the US Forest Service to manage the forests.  The comparison was brutal to federal government officials as local land managers and timber experts laid out “the inadequacies and burdens of current federal forest management practices that have contributed to poor forest health, underfunded schools, lost jobs, and suppressed economic activities in communities near National Forests.  In comparison, state managed forests can often produce hundreds of times more revenue, just from a fraction of the land base while maintaining vibrant, healthy forests to support local communities”.

In that hearing, house members would be given the dismal results; in head to head comparisons the states of Washington, Montana and Idaho, produced more timber on fewer acres of forest, spent less money, yielding higher profits to the state; while lowering the chance of catastrophic wild fires that are the bane of the west.

Washington State produced 30 times more volume per acre and 1283 times more revenue per acre than did the US Forest Service. Montana produced 19 times more volume per acre and 178 times more revenue per acre. Idaho produced 52 times as much volume per acre and 917 times more revenue per acre.

Committee chairman Rob Bishop voiced an ever recurring complaint, “Over the last few decades we’ve seen our National Forest System fall into complete neglect – what was once a valuable asset that deteriorated into a growing liability.  I believe our forests and public lands are long overdue for a paradigm shift,   It’s time for the federal government to cease being the absentee landlord of over 600 million acres of land in this country that it controls and start leveraging those lands in a way the benefits rather than burdens the taxpayers and communities who are forced to play host to the federal estate”.    
“Rather than offering all-too-familiar rhetoric of how complying with one federal law or another ‘costs too much,’ it’s time for the federal government to adjust how it does business, and honor its own statutory responsibilities to manage the forests, including allowing sufficient timber harvests, that benefit forested counties and their schools, as well as improve declining forest health and reduce the threat and soaring costs of catastrophic wildfire”.  Doc Hastings, Natural Resources Committee Chairman 

“Any thought that current federal land management practices could provide levels of harvest which would provide revenue to support local governments or schools and universities is folly.”  Lee Grose, County Commissioner, Lewis County, Washington continued his statement noting that in 2011 the National Forests contributed “less than $1 per acre of revenue to the Federal Treasury”.

Matthew Jensen, a Wisconsin logger testified that, “oversight on the federal timber sale program has become an unjustifiable burden.  Timber harvests have declined by more than 80% over the last two decades.  These declines have devastated rural communities where sawmills and paper mills provided some of the only stable, year-round employment”.

Silas Whitman, Nez Perce Tribal Committee Chairman was asked by Representative Raul Labrador (ID-01); “Chairman Whitman, you talk about how the Tribe manages its lands to produce jobs and revenues while also benefiting fish and wild habitat.  Why is the Tribe able to achieve this balanced management while the Forest Service cannot?” Chairman Whitman responded:  “Simply because we manage”.

Grazing and public access have become a major issues in the western US:

The Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service administer livestock grazing on public lands in 16 western states; these states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon,  South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.  The BLM manages over 245 million acres, more than any other federal agency while the Forest Service manages an additional 193 million acres.  

Grazing permits on federally administered lands have slowly decreased as more lands have been declared off limits due to range deterioration and competition for resources with wild life. Drought conditions have  contributed to some grazing lands to be withdrawn from the permit process as well as some areas that have been over-grazed due to poor range management.

Often these restrictions include non-destructive recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, camping and even hiking.   The arbitrary closures of recreational areas barring the public from public lands, lands supported by taxation, is not only unreasonable, but patently illegal.  These lands belong to “We the People”, not the federal government.

Closures need not be a bad thing, so long as the closure has a legitimate reason, one that benefits the land.  Unfortunately, too many times the closure seems to have no legitimate reason, such as the fiasco of the wild Mustangs that roam much of the west.

Some of these closures can be traced to Mustang Horse Herd kills, not round ups and adoption, but kills!   BLM agents claiming the horse herds are affecting other wild life such as deer, antelope and big horn sheep by competing for the available resources.  I question the veracity, as well as the validity of these claims.  Wild horses have ranged on these lands since the 16th century and it is only now that they have become a problem?

The Forest Service restricted grazing in some areas due to nesting Spotted Owls.  How ignorant is this?  Spotted owls do NOT nest on the ground and cows sure as hell don’t climb trees!!!  Then you have the harangue precipitated by Harry Reid and his efforts to gain property for a Chinese solar company.  Again, how do you rectify the claim that Mr. Bundy’s cows were detrimental to the Desert Tortoise population when the city of Las Vegas banned captive breeding of the Desert Tortoise because it was so prolific! 

The Federal Fish and Wild Life Service decided that the Hammonds, an Oregon ranching family was guilty of burning grass within the Malheur National Wild Life Refuge.  They were charged and convicted under a law used to combat terrorism.  Have ranchers now become terrorists?

Mining permits, a legal mine field of agencies and endless regulation:

Mining is a business, it provides employment to miners; produces the raw materials necessary to make many of the products we use; and furnishes the coal to power much of the electrical generation in this country.  From base metals to the exotic, the search for new deposits of useable metals and minerals will continue so long as man inhabits earth.  

Prospecting and exploration are costly and claims must be validated by an agency before the permitting process can begin.  Once the claim is verified and before any work can begin, an Environmental Impact Statement must be completed followed by a full review under the Environmental Assessment.  Upon approval of the EIS/EA, you must obtain a Title 4 Air Quality Permit (dust control); establish a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, (to control waste water, settling ponds and run off); apply for a permit under Title 10 & 40 parts 122 & 136 of the CFR (if the mined material is deemed a strategic metal or mineral) from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or the Department of Defense.  

All large scale strip mine operations must re-contour and replant the land with native vegetation.  The additional state permits may be more individually focused so as to protect sensitive areas within the state.  Now if this isn’t enough, if you have water issues such as a stream nearby or have discharge waters that may enter said stream you will need a series 404 & 402 permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.  

This administrations “War on Coal” has decimated mining communities across much of Appalachia, Wyoming and the Navajo Nation as demand for coal has dropped sharply.

These are the brutal facts of governmental mismanagement, over-reaching regulation and just plain old lack of common sense.  This is but a short list of problems the government can’t seem to handle.  Now if you’re a private company, when your employee fails to produce, you replace him ; and that is the biggest and best argument for the return to local control of all public lands.

W.M 2016