Category Archives: Politics

Which Lie Is It?

In 2009 the President said if you like your healthcare plan you can keep it.  Period.  I don’t have a degree in English, but I seem to remember from elementary school that period meant end of sentence.  End of discussion.  That’s all.  Period.

Seems that now the law has passed and folks are finding out what’s in it the period has become something else.  Someone is lying.  The 2009 guy or the 2013 guy?

The Tea Party Was Right

MobShot
Watch, “I am the Mob” from August, 2009

I admit it.  I have always admitted it.  I am a card carrying member of the Tea Party.  However, since we are a grassroots collection of local organizations, we don’t carry cards.  What we do is stand for smaller government, less taxation and better representation.  Taxed Enough Already?  TEA Party.  Proud to be on the right side of history although it is sad it has had to come to this.

In 2009 I stood on street corners with hundreds (thousands) of like minded Americans holding signs to hopefully stop the “Affordable” Care Act from becoming law.  We were much maligned by the press and the left.  And while the famous saying goes by someone who was falsely accused by the news media, “where do I go to get my reputation back?”, that is not why I put keyboard to blog this afternoon.  Rather it is to remind the country that I love so much that we were right and we can still get out of this mess.  We knew that if Obamacare became law that millions upon millions would lose their current coverage, despite the “misspoken” words of our President.  That they would have to exchange the care and doctors they liked for something much more expensive and limiting.  Not like it was hard to predict.  Throw everyone into the pot and it’s inevitable.  More people being insured, some with preexisting conditions, some too poor to pay for it themselves and you end up with millions paying more.  It’s called math.  Sometimes math can be devastatingly honest.

Now reality is hitting and it is hitting hard.  Even supporters of Obamacare are finding out that they can’t keep their coverage even if they like it period, and that the exchanges are a much worse deal complete with higher premiums AND deductibles.  True, we didn’t know everything.  Who could have guessed that implementation of the law would be so unbelievably botched?  Still, the fact remains that we gave a clarion call that the “Affordable” Care Act would end up costing and costing dearly.  We were mocked, called names, laughed at and dismissed.  Probably because the administration knew what we knew;  Americans would find out sooner or later what would happen to them under Obamacare.  The President was betting that later would be too late.  He knew Americans wouldn’t like it one bit when they discovered what was in the law once the law was passed and implemented.

There is some encouragement as I write this.  The Democrat led House of Representatives that passed the bill without a single Republican vote has become the Republican led House of Representatives.  Republicans ran on a message of repealing Obamacare and swept into leadership.  Their courageous efforts even led to a government shutdown as Senator Ted Cruz voiced our concerns from the Senate Floor for 21 straight hours.  Alas, the funding for the ACA wasn’t stopped as Senate Democrats voted against defunding, or delaying, Obamacare and the House eventually caved.  Now some of those Senate Democrats who voted against delaying the ACA, and thereby continuing the government shutdown, are now calling for a delay in the ACA!  Irony much?  or I should say Hypocrisy much?  But I digress.

Now that Americans on all sides of the isle are experiencing the inevitable sticker shock I am hopeful that Obamacare can yet be stopped.  You think it is bad now, wait until employers are no longer under the one year exemption of the employer mandate and millions of more Americans are thrown into the exchanges.  I don’t care if the Tea Party gets credit for being right.  I want the country to force our representatives to do what is right.  The “Affordable” Care Act.  End it don’t mend it.  Then we can restart the conversation on how to reform healthcare in this country by bringing market forces back into insurance coverage, and health care, to actually drive prices down and availability up.  What a concept.

Will Damascus be Utterly Destroyed? Soon?

The answer to the first part of that question is a definite yes.  The Prophet Isaiah was very clear in Isaiah 17 that Damascus will be left a ruin and uninhabitable.  Here are verses 1-3:

1 The burden against Damascus.

“Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city,
And it will be a ruinous heap.
The cities of Aroer are forsaken;
They will be for flocks
Which lie down, and no one will make them afraid.
The fortress also will cease from Ephraim,
The kingdom from Damascus,
And the remnant of Syria;
They will be as the glory of the children of Israel,”
Says the Lord of hosts.

Azaz_Syria_during_the_Syrian_Civil_War_Missing_front_of_House
Azaz, Syria during the Syrian civil war.

Is this something that will occur in our lifetime?  That we cannot say and the Bible doesn’t specify a time.  We do know that this prophecy has not yet been fulfilled.  According to Wikipedia, Damascus is one of the oldest, if not THE oldest, continuously inhabited city in the world.  There are nearly 2 million people living within the city limits and around 5 million in the metropolitan area.

When I first learned of the prophecy in Isaiah 17 that Damascus will be utterly destroyed I wondered what could cause such a thing to occur. IF it’s something that will occur in our lifetime it is reasonable to assume a nuclear strike would be the instrument of destruction. Who would nuke Damascus and why? For me I think it’s possible that a Syrian chemical attack on Israel could prompt Israel to respond with such force. All nuclear capable nations already reserve the right to respond to a chemical attack, a weapon of mass destruction, with a nuke. It is scary to think that we could be watching this scenario unfold.

The United States claims that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons on it’s own people in it’s civil war with Islamic Jihadists.  Others claim that the rebels may have used chemical weapons as well.  The United States says it will respond with a military strike and rumors are that could occur on Thursday, which is tomorrow.  Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regime is on record saying if the U.S. attacks Syria, Syria will attack IsraelIranian officials say that Israel will be “First Victim” if the west attacks Syria.  It’s also reasonable to expect that there would be acts of terror waged against western targets as a result.  Israel says that if they are attacked they will respond with great force.

It’s clear to me that a U.S. strike is much more likely to fan the flames of war and cause it to spread across the region rather than settle the Syrian Civil War.  Could escalation lead to the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 17?  I pray not.  Such catastrophic events would certainly lead to world war and possibly nuclear war.  Scary to imagine.

One final word on Isaiah 17.  The rest of the chapter describes the toll on Israel.  While Israel will not be destroyed, there will be devastation.

“In that day it shall come to pass
That the glory of Jacob will wane,
And the fatness of his flesh grow lean.
It shall be as when the harvester gathers the grain,
And reaps the heads with his arm;
It shall be as he who gathers heads of grain
In the Valley of Rephaim.
Yet gleaning grapes will be left in it,
Like the shaking of an olive tree,
Two or three olives at the top of the uppermost bough,
Four or five in its most fruitful branches,”
Says the Lord God of Israel.

The good news is, Israel will turn back to the Lord as a result.

In that day a man will look to his Maker,
And his eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel.
He will not look to the altars,
The work of his hands;
He will not respect what his fingers have made,
Nor the wooden images nor the incense altars.

Be watchful.  Be prayerful.  Ask God to help us to discern the times.  Give to Joel Rosenberg’s Joshua Fund which is helping all people in the Middle East.

For more on this subject check out an article published on June 17th at TheBlaze.com featuring an interview with Joel Rosenberg and Hank Hanegraaff.  They have opposing views on the meaning of Isaiah 17.

Now you know mine.

UPDATE: Cross post at EmbraceGrace.org

Ten-for-Ben Tweet-a-thon this Saturday

bbg_tweetathon_630

What if you could take the power of all the internet things, promote a candidate for city council, raise matching funds, and have a blast doing it?  You’d do it, right?  Of course.  That’s why I am really excited about Saturday as the Ben Buehler-Garcia for Tucson City Council holds the first ever (that we know of) Tweet-a-thon.

We will be streaming live from Pima GOP Headquarters on Ben’s web site from 9am-2pm while volunteers make calls to get the rest of Ben’s $10 matching funds.  Meanwhile on the stream I will be talking with Ben about why he is the best candidate from Ward 3 in this citywide election, playing back video endorsements and interviews, and interviewing guests who will be visiting us live.  We will also be taking questions via Twitter using the #BenMatch hashtag and sharing YouTube videos on Google+, Facebook and Twitter, again using the #BenMatch hashtag.

I am so looking forward to this amazing event that will be using social media in a way that will engage the voters of Tucson and give them a chance to get to know Ben Buehler-Garcia better as we also raise funds for the campaign.

See you Saturday on all the interwebs!

Why Christians Care (or should) About Traditional Marriage

MarriageIt’s one of those wonderful times in human history where I can comment on two of my favorite subjects in the same subject; Religion and Politics!  It is an amazing opportunity to pretty much offend everyone I know.  Fasten your seat belts, here we go!

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments on whether laws that outlaw “gay marriage” should be ruled unconstitutional. (I know, there is more to it than that, but effectively that is what is going on). If you are on social media as much as I am then you already know that EVERYBODY is talking about this. There are symbols you can use as your Facebook profile pic that declare you believe marriage is between one man and one woman, or that you think everyone should be afforded equal access to holy matrimony.

It is interesting to me to see how my Christian brothers and sisters are handling this controversial issue. Some are holding strong to their beliefs that marriage IS defined as between a man and a woman. Others think that God loves everyone and He approves of same sexes wedding.  Others (like me until now) are remaining silent on the issue.

Hopefully I will be able to demonstrate that God Himself defines marriage as between one man and one woman and that it is very important to Him.

For the sake of time and with the hopes of not boring my non-Christian friends too much I will get to the heart of the matter. God cares that marriage is between one man and one woman because that is the way He set it up. He set it up that way for many reasons. For man to be fruitful and multiply comes to mind.  Therefore as a practical matter certainly same sex marriage violates natural law. But there is a much deeper issue at work here. God says that marriage is a picture of Christ’s relationship with His church! Don’t take my word for it. Look at Ephesians 5 starting in verse 25:

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

For a Christian it should be clear. Marriage is not just about a man and a woman; marriage is a picture of God’s love for people and how that dynamic looks. Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.” Marriage is a picture of Jesus’ sacrificial love for the church! Every time Satan is successful at chipping away at the family and traditional marriage then he is also chipping away at the best example that God put on the Earth of His love for us.

You say, “but Mike, Jesus Himself never said that marriage was between a man and a woman.” And I would answer, yes, yes He did. Check out Matthew 19:3-6

The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”
And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

You can read the same account from Mark’s point of view in Mark 10.

Jesus points out that, “at the beginning” God made them “male and female;” and a “man is joined to his wife.”

If you are a Christian who thinks that gay marriage is fine because it isn’t hurting anyone then I challenge you to think again. The attempt to redefine marriage is also an attempt (whether knowingly or not) to redefine what the relationship between Jesus and the church looks like.

The war is not against flesh and blood but it is a spiritual one.  Pray for our country.  Speak the truth in love.  Don’t be surprised if you are hated for what you believe.  Remember what Jesus said in John 18:

18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day in Tucson

When I arrived at Chick-fil-A at about quarter before Noon there was no place to park in the Chick-fil-A parking lot AND in the bridal supply shop’s adjacent parking lot.  The inside lane on Oracle Road was 2 to 4 cars deep waiting to turn in and the line inside took lots of twists and turns.  The place was PACKED OUT as you’ll see in the video.  Not everyone I talked to supports the Biblical view of marriage, but everyone I talked to does believe that Chick-fil-A has a right to free speech.  Definitely the main message that united everyone there.

The wait for a chicken sandwich was about an hour.  It would have been longer but there were many people who just didn’t have the time and so they left to come back tonight or tomorrow or the next day…

Here is my report.  I didn’t get into all the news you already know, but rather focused on the excitement of the day from those in line.

Update:  TheBlaze has added my video to their Chick-fil-A Appreciationa Day coverage:   http://www.theblaze.com/stories/this-is-what-chick-fil-a-appreciation-day-looked-like-with-your-pictures-and-video/

Update:  I have it on good authority that Tammy Bruce has picked up the story!  Thanx Tammy.  You can follow her on Twitter @HeyTammyBruce

Here are a few video stills from the day with some handy captions

Only an hour from now and we'll have chicken!
Only an hour from now and we’ll have chicken!
Crazy Crowded at the Counter
Crazy Crowded at the Counter
Drive Thru backed up thru and around the parking lot
Drive Thru backed up thru and around the parking lot
Boycotts are Hard Work!
Boycotts are Hard Work!