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On healthcare, voters know actions speak louder than words



There is a well-known meme one can find with a simple Internet search: “What if I told you that the left wing and the right wing belong to the same bird?” At first it seems like this should not be possible. Comparing the platforms of the Democratic and Republican National Committees, the DNC refuses to acknowledge God and considers abortion to be a right; on the other hand, the RNC acknowledges God and supports a pro-life stance. So how is it that I can accuse the GOP of being the conservative arm of the Democratic Party? Quite simply, actions speak louder than words.

A lens can help us improve our observation of matter, people and objects – e.g., microscopes, telescopes, magnifying glasses, etc. When we want intimate understanding of something, we use a lens to gain otherwise difficult to observe information, or to clarify the details. Imagine Obamacare as a metaphorical lens, a tool with which we can observe the actions of one party and conclude with my hypothesis.

Republicans have repeatedly told the American people that they would repeal Obamacare. There were GOP Senators and Congressmen who ran in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016 on the message that they would repeal (and replace) Obamacare. So, anyone voting Republican should have been able to count on some action. Given all the energy (and money) spent campaigning with the primary message to repeal Obamacare, how come nothing has been done? Well, back in 2015, Senate Republicans drafted a bill to repeal Obamacare, the [not-so] Affordable Care Act. There were then 48 current Senators that voted for the repeal measure.
The most obvious problem for Republicans had been that, from 2010 through 2016, had they crafted anything that mentioned repeal of the A.C.A., President Obama would have vetoed without so much as a glance. They knew this so essentially masqueraded as tough, Constitution-minded representatives of the People. You know, like that guy that has his friends hold him back from a fight so he can look fearless and macho in the eyes of some fair dame he wants to impress. Well, come November 8, 2016, we gave the Republicans everything they said they needed.

Republicans finished the elections with the House, the Senate and the Presidency. We were ready. We were told that within 100 days Obamacare would be repealed and replaced. There were no more excuses. The Democrats should be all but powerless to stop the inevitable – the best they could do was practice being speed bumps. The Senate has the power of the purse. The House has the opportunity to show real Constitutional leadership. I expected a version of the 2015 Repeal and Replace Bill to hit President Trump’s desk within 2 weeks of him taking his oath of office. They already had 48 votes. So what happened?

It is well documented that Democrats believe federal government can solve our problems. I had always thought Republicans favored limited government. However, given what I have observed over the last couple of years, when the GOP refers to small government, I think they mean, smaller than the Democrat’s big government. What we begin to observe is that today’s GOP is much more left of, say, Ronald Reagan’s GOP. And that GOP was further left than a decade prior. And, if the prospects of the GOP’s healthcare bill are any indication, they are still pushing a big government agenda that is even further left.

As if it isn’t bad enough that the GOP has lied to us for 7 years and proposed something diametrically opposed to small government, Congress seems to have misplaced their spines. The nicest way of putting it is that they are displaying a hysterical fear of carrying out the mandate voters laid upon their shoulders. For a party that soundly defeated the Democrats in 2016, they are acting like the biggest losers. Either that or they’re feigning fear while willfully obstructing the People’s mandate. Two Senators, Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY), seem to be willing to fight for a full repeal of Obamacare. How is it that these are the only two who get it? What about Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)? Well, he was close but decided to capitulate and try a compromise. There should be no compromise (since healthcare and health insurance are not rights) and I expected Cruz to stand strong alongside Lee and Paul – they could have been called the Three Musketeers. Oh well.

So, here we are, late July, 2017 and we have nothing. While the GOP-owned, do-nothing Congress led by do-nothing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) cannot seem to figure out how to repeal the bill, no one, including President Trump, seems to be able to provide real leadership on the matter. Between the campaign lies, the Obamacare repackaging scheme and the massive government encroachment on our rights, I would have thought Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) were running Capitol Hill.

I am not a great political mind with an intimate understanding of the inner workings of the halls of Congress, but I bet, against more than 2300 pages of A.C.A. regulations, they could have already figured out how to prioritize and repeal the majority of it using the good ‘ol divide and conquer method. At least it would be better than 6 months of obstruction, deceit and general buffoonery. My guess is that, come Nov, 2018, the GOP better get it right or expect to be replaced not by Democrats, but by Constitution-minded statesmen and women who understand the role and scope of the federal government.

David is a Christian, a husband, father and patriot. He loves the fundamental first principles of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. As a full-time student at Regent University (online), he is earning a BA in Paralegal Studies with the intent to continue on to law school at the University of Texas, Austin. Whenever possible, David argues for the principles of natural law with whoever will listen. David lives in Georgetown, Texas with his wife, Mandy and two children, Ethan and Meredith.

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Guns and Crime

My city is conducting covert taxation by shaking us down. I bet yours is too!



Most of us remember the Disney cartoon movie when we were kids, Robin Hood. Various animals played the characters. The movie opens with the Sheriff of Nottingham bullying the poor into giving him what little money they have as “taxes.” He even took from the old and infirm. This was done to show that he clearly was a bad guy. We wouldn’t imagine that this would happen with our modern police today, right?


As I wrote about a couple of months ago when illustrating how judicial tyranny could affect all of us, whether it be in big ways or small ways, back on November 10th I received a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt. I was not driving too fast, swerving, texting while driving, or anything else that could possibly endanger any other person. I was simply going home for lunch from work. It’s a 3 minute drive. This cop was hiding under the overpass and decided to pull me over, because in a large city that is a conduit for drug and human trafficking, this is where the San Antonio Police Department’s resources are best spent, apparently.

Now, a little background. The SAPD’s Chief, William McManus, is currently under investigation for having let more than a dozen people being trafficked go without so much as identifying them. The driver of the truck carrying them was arrested and charged, but his human cargo was just released into the winds. This is the man running the department that decided that my not wearing a seatbelt was worthy of a day’s pay in a tax.

Of course, that was just an excuse. Now, I’m not saying people shouldn’t wear their seatbelts. I in fact DO wear my seatbelt 99.9% of the time. I didn’t have it on at this particular moment because I’d taken it off to reach down for some water. I suffer from migraine headaches and had a bad one on this particular day. I was on my way home for my lunch hour just to get a few minutes of peace and quiet. This police officer decided to ruin my day and didn’t even bother to ask the circumstances.

Now, without a doubt, many of you reading are saying “well, you should have worn your seatbelt!” Fine. But how many of you saying that are fine with motorcyclist riding without helmets. Or bicycles without helmets. Or having an abortion? Yes, I went there. After all, it’s MY BODY isn’t it? I should be able to decide what I want to do with MY BODY, shouldn’t I? I promise you the government lawyers I had to deal with felt that way. And yet, they had no problem telling me what to do with MY BODY when it came to wearing a seatbelt.

I could have paid the ticket and moved on with my life. And if I’d been speeding, or if I’d had my KIDS in the truck without seatbelts I would have (would never have happened) I would have paid the ticket and moved on. But this felt too much like the Sheriff of Nottingham shaking me down for money. I showed up for court and asked for a jury trial. The government lawyer sneered arrogantly at me. I was undeterred. I was assigned a court date nearly 2 MONTHS later. I showed up for that date only to have the prosecutor ask for a continuance because the police officer was “in training.”

And this is where the scam becomes obvious. I argued to the judge that this shouldn’t be allowed, that the police department and the prosecutor’s office could have coordinated and informed me this was going to happen so I didn’t have to take a day off work. I was told “that’s not how it works.” So the trial was reset for 5 March.

A few weeks later I got a notification in the mail that the trial date had been reset AGAIN for 19 March. Wait, huh? I thought that’s not how it worked?

I did some research and looked at the San Antonio City Budget. The last one available was from 2016. It showed the city planned to make approximately $12.2M in fines and forfeitures, meaning they were COUNTING on citizens being fined to make the city work. Well, they only collected about $10.7M, which is a shortfall of $1.5M. They couldn’t let that happen again. So they’ve got cops out there shaking down honest citizens for money. Why go that route? Because as most people I know admitted to me, they would have just paid it and moved on. That’s what the city of San Antonio is counting on. They have a money-making factory that they COUNT on to make the city work. They can’t raise taxes because they’d get voted out of office, so they come up with this covert form of taxation, knowing most people will just pay it and move on.

My 19 March court date arrived and the charges were dropped because “the officer didn’t remember enough about the incident.” Well, maybe if he wasn’t out giving so many bogus tickets he’d remember more of the ones that matter. Several other tickets from the same officer were also dropped. The city didn’t want to spend the money on my constitutional right of a trial. They count on most people just paying and moving on. The certainly didn’t want me making my case to a jury and nullifying their money-making scheme.

The upshot.

Well, sad for them they didn’t know who they were dealing with, and I don’t mean ME, I mean YOU, dear readers. I urge you to look into this in your own communities. Most police officers are great people who work hard to protect them. But if some are being used to shake you down for money so that liberal mayors and city councils (like the ones here in San Antonio) can spend more money paying their campaign donors back, maybe something needs to be done.

I know this seems like a small thing. It was pointed out to me “it’s worse most places in the world.” Well sure it is, but you can’t wait for things to get that bad before we do something about it. You have to stop this kind of police state in it’s tracks and do it while we still have the power to do so. Look to your local communities and see how they are collecting their money and then spending it. Hold your local leaders accountable. It’s not just Congress that shakes you down for money. And you can’t count on the national or even local media to report on this. They LIKE big government, which this supports. Make it happen, Patriots. I have faith in you.

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The Money Pit: California’s not-so-high-speed rail



Have you heard this story, a couple finds a million dollar distress sale mansion on the market for a mere $200,000? Some upgrades are needed, but overall it’s a bargain. What ensues is comedic brilliance as the owners find out the house is barely standing. They pour more and more money into the house in the classic Tom Hank’s comedy “The Money Pit.”

Just like this movie, the California High-Speed Rail has become our Money Pit, but unlike the movie, this is no laughing matter.

In 2008, California voters approved Proposition 1A, a $9.95 billion bond to partially fund an 800-mile high-speed electric train traveling up to 220 mph. The goal would be that the state would fund a third, one-third by the federal government, and the last third via private investment. Total cost was estimated at $35 billion.

What has transpired since 2008? No more federal funding and no private funding. From 800-miles we went to 520 miles, as a cost savings measure. From 220 mph we are at 110 mph in large sections of the rail, to save money of course, and a possible completion date of 2020, is now estimated to be completed by 2033.

With all these cost-saving measures you would assume the cost would come down. Unfortunately, for California taxpayers, this money pit keeps getting worse.

The price tag for all these cost-saving measures brought to you by the California High-Speed Rail Authority and the California Legislature is currently estimated at $77.3 billion. But wait you want more savings and fiscal responsibility, too bad, because this $77.3 billion estimate may ultimately cost California taxpayers $98.1 billion. My prediction is it will be even higher.

At this point, it might be cheaper and faster to build a Death Star instead. Not to mention more useful.

This is not what the voters were promised. We did not approve a not-so-high-speed train with a price tag most likely ten times the initial projected cost to California taxpayers.

This boondoggle of a money pit must be stopped. Those billions can be used to help repair our roads, highways, bridges, dams, water reservoirs, and critical infrastructure.

If elected to be California’s next State Controller and Chief Financial Officer, I will look at all legal means to cut funding to this project. In my opinion, if we bought one thing and are getting something else, then the authorization to fund this project has not been authorized by the people, and thus the Controller may have the legal authority to stop payment until the project complies with Proposition 1A.

I hope, I won’t have to do this, and the Legislature does its job and kills this project. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue. We made a promise to taxpayers to be good stewards of their trust and money. Let’s restore that trust and do the right thing, and let’s put an end to this money pit.

Konstantinos Roditis is a candidate for California State Controller. You can learn more about his campaign at, and you can follow him on Twitter & Facebook.

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Michigan’s Tenth Amendment defiance of Trump and the GOP



In the name of “fixing” the illegal immigration problem and improving national security, Trump and the GOP have advanced a host of legislative initiatives that even Barack Obama would love.

One such initiative was the re-authorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) back in January. Forced through Congress by Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, FISA 702 was renewed for six years, despite concerns that, according to Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), it allows the government to conduct warrantless electronic searches in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Thought originally originated during the Cold War, FISA has grown since 9/11 into a weapon used by agencies such as the NSA to spy on anyone, anytime, anywhere. Even though these abuses were common knowledge—leading to the passage of the USA Freedom Act to rein in the government’s abuse of power—big government progressives within the GOP joined hands to let the feds keep their unconstitutional power.

Though Amash’s efforts to protect our Constitutional rights failed in Congress, local leaders in his home state recently exercised their Tenth Amendment rights by passing a law telling Trump and the GOP where they can get off when it comes to FISA 702.

This past Monday, Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill prohibiting the state from providing “material support or resources to a federal agency to enable it to collect, or to facilitate in the collection for use of person’s electronic data” unless one of five conditions are met:

(a) The person has given informed consent.
(b) The action is pursuant to a warrant that is based upon probable cause and particularly describes the person, place, or thing to be searched or seized.
(c) The action is in accordance with a legally recognized exception to warrant requirements.
(d) The action will not infringe on any reasonable expectation of privacy the person may have.
(e) This state or a political subdivision of this state collected the electronic data or metadata legally.

State Rep. Martin Howrylak (R), the sponsor of HB4430 which passed 108-1 in the House and 37-0 in the Senate, explained the bill:

“This reform safeguards the fundamental rights of all Michigan residents, who are guaranteed protection of their property and privacy rights by the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution. Michigan will not assist the federal government with any data collection unless it is consistent with the Constitution.”

FISA 702 empowers a secret court to rubber-stamp general warrants that authorize spying on broad swaths of Americans without probable cause. Typically, this authorization lets the government spy indiscriminately on all landlines, mobile devices, and desktop computers in a given area.

Obviously, Trump and the GOP can’t be trusted to protect and defend the Constitution. It’s up to the states to exercise their Tenth Amendment rights to do what Trump and the GOP are unwilling to do.

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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