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Big government at the cost of freedom

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Freedom is the underlying principle that our nation was founded upon. It is what defines us as citizens of the United States of America, and is clearly spelled out in our country’s founding documents – the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Under those documents we are free from tyranny, free to choose a religion, free to not choose a religion, free to pursue life and happiness, free to openly disagree with and protest our government officials, and we are even free to defend ourselves from a corrupt government with violence if necessary. Sadly these freedoms are slowly disappearing from our nation, and they aren’t being taken – they are being surrendered – by us, the People. Consider the following.

You are at the mall, and you find some guy with his hand in your pocket in an attempt to pull out your wallet. This is how the conversation goes.

You: “Whoa! What are you doing?”

Guy: “I am just going to safeguard your wallet for you. There are a lot of pick-pockets in this mall, and I don’t want you to become a victim. Don’t worry. I will go wherever you go, keeping your wallet safe with me.”

You: “Oh, Ok. Thank God someone is looking out for me – wait! Why are you taking out that $1 bill?”

Guy: “I’m thirsty. If I am going to walk with you all day I need something to drink.”

You: “Yeah, I suppose that’s fair. While we are headed to the food court I could use something to eat – wait! What is that $20 bill for?”

Guy: “I gotta eat too. Did you forget that I am looking after the money? I can leave.”

You: “No, no. Don’t do that.”

*You walk to the food counter*

You: “I would like the Reuben sandw-“

Guy: “You will have the salad.”

You: “What!? Why?”

Guy: “A Reuben? Seriously?”

You: “Fine. Can I at least get a cookie?”

You’re an adult. It’s your own money and you just asked permission to buy a cookie with it.

The reality is the Guy represents our government, and the wallet is healthcare, retirement, education, parenting, marriage, etc. Our government can’t seem to keep its hands out of our own pockets in an attempt to gain more and more control, and the confused electorate in our nation keeps handing over our God-given rights to a corrupt, power-hungry political system all in the name of security.

Consider Social Security. We pay into the system our entire working lives. It is our money, we work for it, and we let the government take it only to tell us when we can use it. Control of our own retirement was surrendered. It was birthed out of complex issues, which makes unraveling it even more complex, therefore the alternative option requires much greater sacrifice now than it would have without Social Security. That alternative option being you invest your own money, however and with whoever you choose, at the rate you choose, and use it as you choose – you decide, not the government. Currently, our government allows us to receive Social Security benefits between ages 62 and 67. Any earlier age would require seeking permission through our Federal legislature. Furthermore, there is a growing deficit within this program which significantly threatens its continuity, ironically putting our social security in danger.

In spite of this glaring case-study we are now actively engaged in political battle over government control of healthcare. Several years ago, we surrendered our right to choose health insurance coverage, and the government gave us everything we should have expected – higher premiums and lower levels of care. However, I do find comfort in knowing that if I become pregnant (I’m a guy) I am covered because it is built into my insurance premium as mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Fortunately, things could be much worse, for now. At least we aren’t the UK.

Not only does the United Kingdom have a single-payer healthcare system, effectively stripping its citizens of even more decision making power (a.k.a. – freedom) than here in the US, it also regularly intrudes on parents’ sovereignty as decision makers for their children. Combine those two issues and you get the Charlie Gard debacle – a truly despicable case involving a terminally ill infant with experimental treatment as his only chance at life. At least experimental treatment is an option though, right? Sorry, but that is not correct. UK courts decided not to allow the parents to transport the child to the US for such treatment, and ordered that he remain in the UK where no treatment is available. He was effectively sentenced to death, supposedly sparing him from further discomfort. His parents asked for permission, and were denied.

And for all of you social justice warriors out there (look away fellow evangelicals), we shouldn’t have to obtain the government’s permission to get married either. Heterosexual or not, why do we need a license to commit to a person we love for the rest of our lives? But if a certificate of marriage is important to you, and it should be, churches and other private organizations would be just as capable of issuing such certificates, sans government permission.

These are all clear examples of overreach by over-sized governments, and the correlation should be obvious – the bigger and more powerful the government the less freedom its citizens enjoy. The founding fathers of our nation did not determine that our freedoms were elective. Rather they knew our freedoms are God-given and endowed by our creator – and if creation isn’t your thing then they are endowed by your own human existence – which is why they went to such great lengths to preserve those freedoms in writing when our country was formed.

Don’t get me wrong. We need the government as an entity. We need it to maintain law and order by protecting the freedoms of its people, and punishing those who subvert them. We also need government to provide national security. But every time you advocate for the government to intervene or control social and personal issues you voluntarily surrender your own freedom for it to do so. Furthermore, private organizations and the free-market are far more powerful tools, and are far better suited to tackle those issues.

We are intelligent, full-grown adults capable of making decisions for ourselves. We don’t need big-brother government telling us how to live our lives any more than we need a chaperone at the mall. Our government is out of control, but it is not too late. We are the People. We elect our officials. We engage in political discussion. We can all be activists working to shrink our government to the size it was originally intended to be. The simple fact is government has no business meddling with certain issues, and you shouldn’t want it to.

Paul Caputo is a rare thing in modern America, a Millennial with deeply rooted social conservative views and opinions. Paul is an educated and experienced financial professional with a background in corporate accounting & finance. As an active member of his community, Paul is an adoptive & foster parent as well as a leader and mentor for teenage youth. Paul is driven by a core set of Judeo-Christian beliefs that not only direct his political ideals, but also who he is as an individual. Consequently, Paul is very outspoken against the current conservative establishment that has made a dramatic shift towards the left.

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Guns and Crime

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Yehuda Remer, Author and Second Amendment Advocate

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Yesterday, I spoke with Second Amendment advocate and author, as well as my good friend, Yehuda Remer. We discussed his conservatism, how he developed a love of guns and how he turned that into a career, and how he got into writing.

Below is a transcript of our exchange:
JF: Let’s begin. Tell us about your background. Growing up in blue LA, how did you become conservative?

YR: So I grew up in an apolitical home where politics were not mentioned. As an Orthodox Jew, I always figured I was a Democrat because hell, aren’t all Jews? In 2007 while Obama was campaigning for his first term as President, I was driving to work one morning and listening to the local FM DJs. They were talking about some highly inappropriate things and as I sat there listening, I swear I felt the brain cells exploding one by one in my head. I truly felt myself getting stupider by the Second. I decided to turn on AM radio and over the next year, I found myself nodding in agreement with the many common sense things they had to say. Before long I realized not only was I not a Democrat, but I wasn’t even a Republican. I was a full on Conservative, almost Tea Party like. Following that epiphany, I started blowing up Ben Shapiro’s phone because we grew up together and he was my go-to guy. He explained all my questions not in preaching way but in a way that allowed me to make up my own mind based on what he said. I guess you can call me a Ben Shapiro “disciple.”

JF: That’s awesome. What made the Second Amendment and guns your passion?

YR: During my road into politics, I started learning about the Constitution. Because I grew up in an apolitical home, I didn’t care about the country and took it for granted. But after learning about the Constitution, the one that stuck out was the Second Amendment. It made sense to me. Up until that point, I thought the only people allowed to have guns were law enforcement, military, and bad guys. I never realized that a citizen of the United States could own and carry a firearm. My mind was blown. A buddy of mine called me and invited me to the gun range. Let’s just say, the rest is history.

JF: How did you learn everything you need to know?

YR: Most of it I was born with. I’m just a natural. The rest, well, that was with hard work. Like I mentioned before, I would ask Ben to explain tons of things to me. As for my firearms knowledge, the Internet is a wondrous place and so are many people in the Second Amendment world. Any questions I would ask or have, people didn’t hesitate in explaining things to me. Many times I would explain to people that I am a novice. I want to understand. When you approach someone looking to learn, you would be surprised how forthcoming people can be. I constantly am reading about different approaches in the world to get a more full circle understanding. Another thing, especially in the firearms industry, there is no such thing as a stupid question, unlike in other places.

JF: Why do you think the Second Amendment is important? Obviously, as a conservative, we know the answers to this, but would love to hear from your perspective.

YR: I mean, the Second Amendment is the one that protects them all. Without it, we would not be able to keep and protect the freedoms we all hold dear. We would end up like another England, and we all know how well that worked out for them 250 years ago.

JF: How did you turn this passion from a hobby to a career in writing and media?

YR: Well, Ben Shapiro gave me my first real break when I began writing for his old site, Truth Revolt. I started helping him with the back end but that turned to a full-time writing gig. From there, I transitioned into children’s books. I needed a way to educate my children on gun safety and was shocked to find out that there were no books geared towards kids about firearms safety. You have some organizations out there and they do a fine job. But I wanted something where I can climb into my kids’ beds with them and read them a book before they went to bed. After tons of research and finding nothing, I decided to write my first book, Safety On, as a tool to teach my kids about gun safety.

JF: How did you break out into public media, appearing on NRATV many times, getting media credentials to the SHOT show and being interviewed on major gun radio shows?

YR: Wow! Great question. A few months after my first book came out, I applied for a media badge as an author to the NRA Convention in Atlanta. I was shocked that I actually got it. But it paid off. I went there, not knowing anyone and planned on walking around in circles, just handing my book out. Two huge things happened. The first was I literally bumped in Cam Edwards of NRATV and the host of Cam & Co. As a huge fan, I found myself tongue-tied and feeling like a 14-year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert. Luckily, I quickly snapped out of my daze and offered Cam a signed copy of my book. He took one look at it and told me to wait right there, he is putting me on TV. That was my first appearance on NRATV. Since then, Cam has had me on many more times and even helped me get on some other shows. He has been a blessing. But at one point while I was there, I went to the media room to take a break. Someone walked up to me and asked me if I was the guy who wrote the kids book on gun safety. To this day, Rob Morse of the Polite Society Podcast and I are still friends. Being on that show opened up so many doors for me into the Second Amendment radio world. It truly was a blessing.

As for SHOT Show, one of the connections I made was to the Firearms Chat Podcast and they invited me to be a co-host of their show at SHOT. So getting in was super easy.

JF: When you moved to Texas, did that help you bring this passion out more, considering that Texas is much more gun friendly?

YR: Of course it did. Within six weeks of moving to Texas, I had my license to carry. Life became instantly safer and better.

JF: Your work on this is an inspiration and the Second Amendment and gun rights are something we all need to hold dear. Thanks for being a voice for that.

Where can everyone find your work and appearances, and if they want to follow you?

YR: So all four of my books are available on Amazon. If you want to find out more about me and my appearances I have made, you can visit my website, www.yehudaremer.com.


Yehuda Remer is the author of Safety On: An introduction to the world of firearms for kids, Safety On: The Coloring Book, 10 Little Liberals: A Tale of Hope, and The ABCs of Guns. He lives in Texas with his wife and kids and can be found shooting, writing, and trolling.

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Guns and Crime

Gun control: Washington doublespeak used to void the Second Amendment

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When it comes to measuring the political dishonesty of our elected officials in Washington, I often recall the old joke “How do you know if a politician is lying? His lips are moving.”

While some of the untruths told by these lying liars aren’t obvious until after they get caught—such as the GOP promise to repeal Obamacare root and branch—others are obvious before the fact if we keep our ears tuned-in to the use of Washington doublespeak.

Once the proprietary property of the liberal-left, Washington doublespeak has found its way into the lexicon of the so-called conservative-right as well.

  • Immigration reform? Doublespeak for amnesty and citizenship for millions of illegal aliens.
  • Budget reform? Doublespeak for abandoning fiscal responsibility in order to build bigger government.
  • Tax cuts? Doublespeak for tax increases to pay for bigger government.
  • NSA data collection? Doublespeak for unconstitutional, warrantless electronic spying on Americans.

In the aftermath of the 17 murders at a Florida High School, we are once again hearing the words “gun control,” which is doublespeak for creating ways to void the Second Amendment.

As he did as a candidate following the Orlando Night Club shooting in 2016, Trump is backing an effort to “improve” gun laws as a way to keep firearms out of the hands of “mentally disturbed” individuals—an idea strongly supported by many Republicans. Besides the fact that “erratic behavior” pretty much describes Donald Trump and the GOP, who gets to decide who fits the definition of mentally disturbed?

Is it people like Joy Behar, who believes Christians who hear God’s voice suffer from a mental illness? Or would it be psychiatrists who believe that conservatism is a sign of mental instability?

Not content with anything coming out of Washington, the Brady Center is using the Florida tragedy to renew its push for Extreme Risk Protection Orders. These laws empower those who are close to an individual “in crisis” to ask a judge to seize that individual’s guns. Once again, who decides what “in crisis” looks like?

As an individual who holds a Biblical worldview, I know that violence will never end unless the heart of man is healed. However, passing arbitrary gun control laws won’t bring an end to gun violence either. In fact, it’s likely to increase the violence. But that won’t stop politicians in Washington from using doublespeak to pass gun control laws anyway.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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News

Trump’s top pastor, Mark Burns, running for Congress

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Trey Gowdy is retiring after his term creating a rather large vacancy for Republicans in Congress. Looking to fill the void is Pastor Mark Burns.

Pastor Mark Burns has been lauded as Trump’s top pastor and was rather influential in the 2016 election. His influence landed him or was made clear in the 2016 Republican National Convention where he gave a passionate “All Lives Matter” speech. Mark Burns is the founder and CEO of NOW Television Network. After serving six years in the South Carolina Army National Guard, Pastor Burns along with his wife Tomarra Burns founded the multicultural, non-denominational contemporary church The Harvest Praise & Worship Center of Easley.

Though somewhat new to the political scene, Mark Burns is not without scandal. During the Trump campaign, he was busted for and admitted to padding up his resume with false accomplishments. These remain credibility concerns moving into the race for the South Carolina 4th district. Burns made his announcement via Twitter, highlighting his unifying personality.

 

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My Take

Considering this race, “Burns”. That being said, he could have a Roy Moore sized scandal level his campaign. But without such, it seems as though this race is over before it began. I remain optimistic about Mark Burns joining the ranks of Congress. Previously, Burns announced he was praying about challenging Lindsey Graham, a notorious warmongering RINO. But it appears either prayer or opportunism has landed him in a different race. Due to his political amateurism, not many of his positions are clear. Oddly enough, he has suggested Federal takeover of public school security. Though his heart seems in the right place, his position shows a lack of localism which small government believes in. It’s safe to speculate that Mark Burns isn’t all that fiscal conservative which isn’t unfamiliar.

On social issues, however, Pastor Mark Burns could be a strong tool for conservatives, so long as he can graduate from being a Trump surrogate. Burns has a more unifying persona than a lot of Republicans adding the possibility of broadening the base. On the issues of race and abortion, Pastor Mark Burns is a powerful voice. Though a strong personality does not make one the best candidate, Burn has tremendous potential to make a difference in DC.

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