Thursday, March 31, 2016

Love me some learning

Did you ever think that America would ever seriously consider electing a socialist? I mean really vote for a candidate that was running as a self proclaimed all out socialist? Why would a people who are free to make their own decisions and choose their own future ever want to give up such a luxury? I believe its because they don't know any better. They don't know what socialism means any more than they know what capitalism means. All they know it that they have a lot of student debt and the socialist has promised to make it go away. They know that the poor blame capitalism for their poverty. They like the idea of being open to ideas and new ways of thinking. They have no idea how many times socialism has been tried and how many times it has failed. This election is revealing a lot about American's and our lack of understanding. As confused I am about the support we have seen for Bernie the socialist I am equally confused about the support for the billionaire playboy dictator . Here we have a man who has absolutely no morals, integrity, or virtue. We have seen that demonstrated throughout his personal and professional life. Trump supporters have told me that none of that is necessary to lead a country. Apparently they are unfamiliar with our country's history or the history of the rest of the world for that matter. If they were more familiar with history and our Constitution they would be terrified of a candidate who offers solutions through any means necessary. They would never consider supporting a candidate who has no intention of being held in check by the Constitution. And then there are the Hillary supporters.....I suspect their issues run a little deeper than being uniformed. But I am choosing to be optimistic and maintain  that with a lot of work there might still be some hope for them.

Where does the problem start? If we take a look at our public school system we might find some answers. The Council for Economic Education released a report stating that in 2016 only 20 States require their high school students to take courses in economics. Less than half of the States require high school students to take classes in civics. And only three States require civics taught in middle school. Studies also show that less than 25% of students are considered "proficient" in American history. Lucky for us our children's education isn't the governments responsibility; Its ours. As parents we are responsible to make sure our children are getting the best education possible. We are fortunate to have several different options to choose from.

Let me start by saying I was homeschooled and I loved it so I am a little biased towards this option. That being said I understand that it is not for everyone. Let me go over the benefits and statistics and then you can decide if its a fit for you and your family. Probably the biggest draw to homeschooling is that you have complete control over your children's curriculum, you choose what your children learn. This means your kids will actually get to study American history, economics, and American government. Another draw is the personal one on one attention your children get. As their parent you know them better than anyone else. You know how they learn, you know their strengths and weaknesses and that makes you the best candidate for the job. We all know that children struggle and excel in different areas. Homeschooling allows your kids to moves as quickly or as slowly as they need to. It has the advantage of giving your kids the chance to fully understand and comprehend the subjects before they move on. Now let me take a moment and address the elephant in the room. Everyone will tell you that they knew a homeshcool kid and he was super socially awkward. I'm sure those same people also knew plenty of kids in public school we who were super socially awkward as well. The truth is your kids will have so many different opportunities to socialize through sports, music, dance, your community, neighborhood, and church that you really shouldn't let the issue be a deciding factor. And then the next concern is college. Will they be prepared? Seventy four percent of homeschooled students go on to college and 66.7 % of those students graduate. As a comparison the average percentage of students who graduate college is 57.5%.
Homeschooling requires a lot of discipline on the part of the parent and the child. It also requires a huge commitment of time. As I said, I am a huge advocate of homeschooling but I also understand its not a perfect fit for everyone.

Private school
The obvious benefit of private school is that you can find a school that shares your educational ideology. Private schools generally have smaller classes, they tend to encourage heavy parent involvement, and they hire teachers with advanced degrees who are passionate and dedicated. Private schools also have the advantage of ample resources and offer excellent extracurricular activities. Probably the biggest draw back of private school is the costs. The average cost for private elementary schools is $8,440 a year and the average for private high schools is $12,900. For many families this might not be an option.

Charter School
Charter schools are publicly funded independent schools. They are established by a group of parents, teachers, or some community group. Because they are publicly funded these schools are held to specific academic standards but they are free to follow more unconventional paths. There are many charter schools that put a major emphasis on history and American government. Some of the benefits of a charter school include, high parent involvement, a specific teaching methodology, and smaller teacher to student ratio.

Public School
Let's say that due to your economic or family situation your only option is public school. That's just fine. You can still be heavily involved in your child's education. Apart from volunteering at the school you should know what your child is learning. Go over what they have discussed in class. If you feel that they aren't covering all that you think they should or they are learning things you do not agree with then encourage some self learning at home. You can start by getting them some history books to read. Yes there are exciting and interesting books on history that are accurate and fun to read.

There are of course many other options that I haven't mentioned. And I am by no means an expert on education. The point is that as parents our children's education is our responsibility and it's time we take charge. We must make sure that our children understand history, economics, and civics. If we do not prepare them for the responsibility of freedom they will never enjoy it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Love of Freedom

"With firm reliance on divine providence we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor." The Founding Fathers love and desire for freedom was so strong that they were willing to risk all that they valued to secure it. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Will The Real Americans Please Stand Up?

A couple of weeks ago I listened to the live feed coming from the wildlife refuge in Oregon. The remaining protesters where surrounded by the FBI and they were arranging to give themselves up. I have been following the Oregon refuge story for several weeks and up until now I have struggled trying to write my thoughts on it. The death of LaVoy Finicum was tragic. Watching the story unfold I was angry, scared, and disappointed. Angry that he was shot though he posed no threat. Scared that we have gotten to the point where occupying a wildlife refuge qualifies as terrorism. And disappointed that most American's don't know or care about what happened.
I have to say that I don't agree with what the protesters did. I believe this was a story of correct principles but wrong approach.  But to be fair, I am not a rancher and I have no clue what it is like to depend on the land. I don't know what they are dealing with and I have never had to deal personally with the BLM. What I do understand is their love of freedom and their desire to stand up for their God given rights. Throughout the refuge situation I have been asking myself what can we do to stop government overreach? How can we preserve the legacy of liberty for our children? The answer isn't easy. We like to blame the government and the politicians for everything. But the truth is we have no one to blame but ourselves. We are where we are because of who we are. We are lazy and afraid. Afraid of being labeled as passionate or radical. We are so afraid of offending that we stopped defending what is right. We accept everything and stand for nothing.
 Watching the elections unfold this year I am more discouraged than ever. The democrats are deciding between a criminal or a socialist and the republicans are deciding if they want to stick with the Constitution or throw it out the window and go with the playboy dictator. I am genuinely scared for my kids' future. Will they be free? Or we have gone so far that we have given away their rights for our own financial security?
As a parent I want the best for my kids. I realize that a lot has to change if we are going to secure the blessings of liberty for the next generation. The good news is the system isn't broken, the people are. Which means if we want it bad enough we can correct our mistakes. Though we have a long ways to go here are some good places to start.

Accept the responsibility that comes with freedom. 
One of the first principles of freedom is PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. Yes you are responsible for your freedom. In order to preserve a high level of personal freedoms we have to willingly give up a small measure of freedom. This is why we submit to laws. The laws are in place to protect our freedom from others. A good example of this is traffic laws. You are free to drive and travel where you want. The only problem is that everyone has that same freedom. So to ensure that we are all able to exercise this freedom without causing harm to others we agree to follow the laws of the road. Yes we are surrendering our freedom to drive as we please but ultimately it is allowing us to exercise a more vital freedom. But there is a delicate balance here. The government is always willing to take control of any of our personals freedoms that we do not want to be responsible for. And lately we are all too willing to trade more and more or our freedom for government support. If we are to be a free people we have to be willing to be responsible for ourselves. That means we are responsible for our health care, our retirement, our education , our families, our employment, our everyday needs. If we do not take responsibility for ourselves the government will.
Learn and defend the Constitution 
 Why do we always talk about the Constitution and why does it matter if we elect politicians who uphold the Constitution? What does it say? The Constitution says that one person does not and should not have the power to control the lives of others. It says that those who govern should be accountable by the governed. The Constitution is a testament to the frailty of human nature. People cannot and should not be trusted with power. It must be kept in check which is why we have the three branches of government. Each has a specific job and each keeps watch on the other. The Constitution also acknowledges the rights of the States. There is a delicate balance of power between the federal government and state governments. That balance effects everything from your individual freedoms to our national security. The Constitution also includes the bill of rights. The Constitution acknowledges our God given rights and the responsibility a government has to protect those rights. It is important to understand that the Constitution does not grant us rights, the Constitution protects rights that God has given us. Many believe that the Constitution is adaptive to our ever changing and evolving society. One of the biggest flaws with that way of thinking is that if any of it is adaptable and susceptible to change than all of it is. Which means our rights, as laid out in the bill of rights, are susceptible and at any time can be altered or changed.
The American people should know what the Constitution says and what it means. If the people understood the Constitution they would understand the responsibility they hold and the role they play in the American political process. All Americans should study and defend the Constitution.
Return to virtue.
Just as a reminder, virtue is defined as behavior that shows high moral standards. Yes, there is a clear definition of right and wrong in this world. We are so scared that we might be telling people how to live their lives that we have painted everything a dull grey and slowly backed off. It is clear by the elections that the morality of our candidates is no longer a deciding factor. For example Donald Trump has had multiple wives and multiple affairs and yet he is one of the most popular. If a person cannot control themselves in their personal life they will not be able to control themselves in public office. If he could not be faithful and honor a vow he made to his wife how can we expect him to be faithful to the oath he makes as president? Our personal lives are a reflection of our true selves. Virtue should be the first quality of any public leader. If we were a virtuous people we would seek that same kind of leadership. If we continue to loose our moral standards we will never be able to maintain our liberty. Moral relativism is an extremely popular way of thinking. To sum it up in one phrase "hey whatever floats your boat". Basically right and wrong are all subjective. This way of thinking is dangerous and wrong. Without morality we will have no ground to make a stand on. 

Like I said, I don't believe that occupying the wildlife refuge was the right thing to do. But they were right about making a stand. Its time we made a stand. What I have mentioned will take time. Our public schools will not teach any of this in so it must be taught in the home. A lot of this requires a change of attitude, of our understanding, and in some cases our very way of life. So yes this will take time and to be honest it is just a start. There are a lot more changes that we the people need to make. But its a good start. In the upcoming months we will all have the opportunity to make a change. This election is one way we take personal responsibility for our freedom. Making the appropriate changes in leadership will be a big help in getting us back to where we should be. No it wont solve all our problems overnight. We will have a lot of work to do after this election. This is just the beginning. One thing is for sure, it's time the real Americans made a stand. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Our Best Defense

Obama started off the new year by taking executive action to "reduce gun Violence and make our communities safer". Obama has been pushing for gun control since his election to office and with his second term coming to an end he has followed through. He used several of the mass shootings that took place in 2015 to set the stage for his executive order. After politicizing the deaths of the victims of the shootings in Oregon, Charleston, San Bernardino and others Obama felt the time was right to, once again , tighten the government's grip on the American people. Here's a quick summary of Obama's most recent executive order. 

  •  Keeping  guns out of the wrong hands through background checks
    • Clarify that it doesn’t matter where you conduct your business—from a store, at gun shows, or over the Internet: If you’re in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background checks. 
    • Require background checks for people trying to buy some of the most dangerous weapons and other items through a trust or corporation. 
    • Ensure States are providing records to the background check system, and work cooperatively with jurisdictions to improve reporting.
    • Make the background check system more efficient and effective.
  • Making our Communities safer from gun violence 
    • Make the background check system more efficient and effective.
    • Ensure that dealers notify law enforcement about the theft or loss of their guns.
    • Issue a memo directing every U.S. Attorney’s Office to renew domestic violence outreach efforts.
  • Increase Mental Health Treatment and Reporting to the Background Check System
    • Dedicate significant new resources to increase access to mental health care.
    • Include information from the Social Security Administration in the background check system about beneficiaries who are prohibited from possessing a firearm.
    • Remove unnecessary legal barriers preventing States from reporting relevant information to the background check system. 
  • Shaping the Future of Gun Safety Technology
    • Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, and Department of Homeland Security to take two important steps to promote smart gun technology.
The actual order goes into great depth on each of these points and it outlines specific steps and actions. In the past week I can't tell you how many liberals I have had assure me that "no one is taking your guns!"Well of course not. No president in their right mind would try to take away the guns of their already heavily armed citizens. What he is doing is making it harder for American citizens to obtain firearms. That way guns wont have to been taken away. Because with a little restrictions they will eventually disappear on their own. Obama's executive order is just one step closer to a complete overhaul of the second amendment.  The next generation will accept the restrictions as the norm and then more will be implemented. The cycle will continue until the new American norm does not include the right to bear arms. The scary part is that we wont have anyone to blame but ourselves. Most Americans are unaware of the presidents latest executive order. Those who do keep up on current events don't care. Most American's see nothing wrong with a few more restrictions. We have become lazy in our freedom. We have always enjoyed a free life and, apart from what we see in the movies, we really have no idea what it would be like to live without freedom. We don't recognize threats to our freedom unless they have immediate and profound effects. I am not as scared for my rights as I am for my kids rights. If we continue to give a little ground here and a little there we wont have any ground to stand on.
Another issue is the fact that Obama issued a executive order. He knew they wouldn't pass it so he bi-passed Congress completely. A rather hypocritical move considering a little over a week later he delivered his state of the union address and called for more debate on complicated issues. To be honest Obama's hypocrisy is no surprise, it's something that we have come to expect. For the American people it seems that there is little that we can do when an executive order has been issued. And to a certain extent that is true. But we can't forget why and how we got here. America asked for this president. The best response we can have for this is to not let it happen again. This election year is critical. We elect a new president as well as Senators and Congressmen. It is crucial that we be involved in the election process. Do the research, learn the facts, be up to date on current events. Our best defense against these kinds of executive orders is our vote.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Hero is No Braver than an Ordinary Man

"A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer"

By Mitch Solomon

A nation had been at war for a long time and its chief captain was angry at the government. He and his armies had fought many battles and had lost many men. Their Government was neglectful and rarely sent provisions or reinforcements. This angered the Chief Captain. He saw many of his men fighting while suffering from starvation and fatigue. This Chief Captain was a good man and a great lover of liberty. He wrote an epistle to the chief Judge or leader of the nation. In this letter the Captain explained his frustration in the Government.
In this letter the Chief Captain personally blamed the Chief Judge for the death of many good men. He expressed his love for liberty and the freedom of their nation. The Captain accused the Chief Judge of loving power over freedom, of neglect and having a false sense of security. The passionate Captain penned, “Behold, could ye suppose that ye could sit upon your thrones, and because of the exceeding goodness of God ye could do nothing and He would deliver you? …If ye have supposed this ye have supposed in vain…or do ye suppose that the Lord will still deliver us, while we sit upon our thrones and do not make use of the means which the Lord has provided for us?” The Chief Captain ended his letter saying, “I seek not for power, but to pull it down. I seek not for honor of the world, but for the glory of my God, and the freedom and welfare of my country.”
Upon receiving this letter the Chief Judge answered the Captain and wrote, “…in your epistle you have censured me, but it mattereth not; I am not angry, but do rejoice in the greatness of your heart…” It turned out that the Chief Judge was also a good man and a man that also loved the liberty and freedom of his country. He explained that power seeking men had chased him from the capital city and had set up their own nation. The Chief Judge also explained that he didn’t know if it was just for him to retain his judgment seat. He thanked the armies commander saying, “I do Joy in receiving your epistle for I was somewhat worried concerning what we should do…” The inspiring letter that the Chief Captain sent to the leader of the nation gave the Chief Judge the courage to retain his Judgment seat and then together the two men lead their country to victory. The Bravery of one good man inspired another good man to awaken and become even more courageous then the inspirer. So it is true the saying, "A hero is no braver than an ordinary may, but he was braver five minutes longer."
I love this story because it teaches me that there are many good people but that they are “worried concerning what they should do”. This worry stalls them. It neutralizes them. Their worry concerning what to do prohibits their ability to change their life, family, city, country or even the world. Much more good could be brought about if these good, brave people could only be awakened and inspired to take a stand and fight for what they already know is right. That’s why this story enlightens me. It teaches how we can accomplish this.
The Chief Judge wasn’t angry with the Chief Captain because he rejoiced in the greatness of the Captain’s heart. That means the leader was encouraged by the Captain’s passion and bravery. The letter reconfirmed that the Leader wasn’t the only person with love for liberty and freedom. He realized he wasn’t alone in those feelings. The Chief Judge learned he couldn’t just rely on the goodness of God for his problem to be solved. He was taught that “faith without works is dead” and that God’s miracles come only after we make use of the means which He has provided for us. These things awakened and inspired the Chief Judge to become a courageous man, a man that lead his country in securing its freedoms.

A countries history was changed because of one letter. Because one man decided to be brave five minutes longer then his fellow countrymen. He wasn’t brave five minutes longer on the battle field or in a grand historic way. He wrote a letter. The Captain simply stood for what he knew to be right and that encouraged others to do the same. Amazingly simple isn’t it! Bravery is contagious. As a song says, “I may only be one match but I can cause an explosion.” So let’s be the one match and cause an explosion in people to make them cast aside their worries concerning what to do. There are many good people just needing a jumpstart. A letter. A call. An email. A text. A visit. Anything could be their jumpstart. These good people could be in our families. They could be our neighbors, our leaders or teachers. They’re in our government or are the people we work with or go to church with. It could even be ourselves. The Chief Captain also said in his letter, “…remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also.” It takes good and brave people to inspire others. Heroes can change history. What makes a hero?

"A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer."

Friday, September 11, 2015

September 12th

I was  11 years old. Even at that young age I had a strong sense of patriotism and love for my country. I was proud to be American. I loved our history, our principles, and everything that America stood for. I took September 11th very personally. When we were attacked on our own soil, when thousands of innocent Americans were killed, it was personal to me.
I remember it all very clear. Standing in front of the TV watching the smoke rise from those towers. I think that image will be burned in my mind forever. I remember my grandma calling my mom and crying on the phone. We had the TV and radio on all day as we watched and waited for more news. I will never forget the feeling of shock and fear that I felt on September 11th.

But what was even more unforgettable was the day after, September 12th. That was the day I saw my country come together like never before. The sense of patriotism, love of country, and God was everywhere. All over TV, the radio, downtown, in the stores, and communities Americans were proud to be Americans. They were proud of those brave passengers who brought the plan down on that Pennsylvania hill. As a nation we came together to morn the loss of so many Americans. The American flag appeared everywhere. I had always been proud of my country but this was different. I was proud of the American people. Of course there were the people who said it was our own fault because we have made the whole world hate America. But those didn't matter to me. They were the minority....then.

That was 2001 this is 2015. What will it be like in America this September 12th? Are Americans still proud to be American? Will we seen the  American flag all over? Are Americans willing to stand up for their freedom? Do they believe in democracy? If I was a betting person I would have to say that the answer to those questions is no. I'm 25 now and this September 12th I can't help but wonder what happen to all those people I was proud to call Americans.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Where is the love?

Since the Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriage we have had to endure a very long and drawn out victory lap from the left. It seems that everyone has jumped on the band wagon and is now a hard core supporter of same sex marriage. Social media is alive with rainbows and feel good memes about love and acceptance. Yeah for America, love has conquered all! The liberals could think about nothing else when it came to the issue of same sex marriage. Forget the Constitution and religious freedom as long as there's love!

Love plays no role in abortion debate.
Funny how quickly the liberals change their tune when it comes to abortion. What I can't figure out is do the liberals feel that an infant doesn't qualify to fall under the powerful protection of love or do they just subscribe to a hypocritical-only when its convenient definition of love? In the end I guess it really doesn't matter because when it comes to the debate on abortion love is never mentioned. We just hear about another one of the Supreme Courts made up rights, such as the right to privacy. Crazy how often a God given right, like the right to life, has taken the back seat to a socially constructed preference.

Your tax payer dollars at work!
This week another under cover video was released that captured a top Planned Parenthood official discussing how they often sell the body parts of aborted babies. When the patient gives consent to sell the parts they simply alter the abortion procedure so they can preserve the desired parts of the fetus. Planned Parenthood released a statement claiming that they donate the "tissue" for scientific research and that they only receive compensation for the medical procedure, which they claim is legal. Where are the angry liberals now? Why haven't they begun a love campaign to prevent such inhuman practices? Apart from these practices being sick, twisted, and evil they are also funded with tax payer dollars.

A little perspective.
In 2011 the abortion rate in the United States dropped to the lowest rate it has been in almost forty years. Sounds like a pretty good statistic until you realize that the "historically low" number of abortions that took place in 2011 in the United States was 730,322. Just to put that number in perspective, in both WWI and WWII the number of U.S. deaths totaled 521,513......two hundred thousand less then the number of innocent lives the United States legally terminated in 2011. Since the legalization of abortion the U.S. has legally terminated the the lives of some 55,772,015 babies.

Where is the love?
Again I have to wonder, where is the love now? Not just from the liberal party but from the American people? All those proud Americans who stood for "equal rights for all" who showed their support by changing their profile pictures to rainbows, attending gay pride parades, and buying gay pride t-shirts. Why aren't those same Americans irate that such institutions as Planned Parenthood are still being funded by tax payer dollars? If Americans are looking for a real injustice to fight this may be one of the biggest in our nation.

Biggest injustice in America
The legalized termination of a defenseless child is by far the biggest and most hideous injustice in Americas history. And yet our society continues to support this practice. This has been referred to by the Supreme Court as a right. It is not a right. A right cannot infringe on another's rights. The Supreme Court was wrong and so are any Americans who still claim women have a right to destroy the life of their child. I became sick to my stomach when I read the statistics on the reasons women give for having an abortion. The following information came from the Guttmacher Institute.

To sum it up, the child would be an inconvenience and both the mother and father do not want the responsibility. This is sickening to me. I can't decide what is worse the fact that we would terminate a life for mere convenience or the fact that no one cares.

How did we get here?
How did we get here? Simple, we traded our moral convictions for popular opinion. Americans appear to no longer hold any personal moral convictions. They have decided they would rather subscribe to the popular opinion than be viewed as a closed minded bigot for standing up for their principles and beliefs. Most will say I'm wrong. But the evidence is overwhelming. No people who are guided by moral convictions would allow a mother to kill her child much less use tax payer dollars to fund it. I don't know if this is something our nation can ever be redeemed from.