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Trump’s Cuba restrictions are a needed message on human rights

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If there’s one thing I’m actually very happy with about President Trump, it’s his mostly consistent message on human rights. While President Obama talked the talk and did his liberal virtue signaling thing on freedom and basic human rights, he was woeful on walking the walk–most liberals are because of their confusion on mutually-exclusive “intersectional” causes. (For example: Islamophobia and transphobia, or women’s rights and Palestinian activism.)

Trump has no such confusion. He deals with China, and tells them to their faces that they’ve got an abysmal problem with freedom. He admires Vladimir Putin while recognizing that his kind of “leadership” carries with it some terrible costs in personal freedom.

When it’s necessary, Trump takes on the brutal dictators and doesn’t let them off the hook with platitudes. He’s done it with Mahmoud Abbas (after naïvely believing the PA isn’t paying and raising up terrorists). He’s done it with the UN through Ambassador Nikki Haley.

And now he’s sending a message to Cuba, dialing back some of the dictator-love Obama showed to the brutal Castro regime. Good.

Trump will sign a directive requiring the Commerce and Treasury departments to issue regulations spelling out the travel and business restrictions. Enforcement will take effect once the regulations are finalized. For example, someone heading to Cuba next week on an individual people-to-people visit and self-certifying that it is for educational reasons could still go.

The new regulations will end these individual person-to-person trips and require travelers who meet other categories of allowable travel to keep detailed records. Eliminating the individual travel category is designed to reduce the likelihood of tourism travel — a type of economic activity banned by the U.S. embargo and a combination of sanctions against Cuba, the officials said. The travel records would be subject to federal audits.

These changes aren’t just to punish Cuba. They are specifically to push the Cuban regime to make real changes.

 

  • Deny U.S. dollars to the Cuban government.
  • Increase pressure on President Raul Castro to end human rights abuse.
  • Allow free elections.
  • Free Cuban political prisoners.
  • Return U.S. fugitives to the homeland.
  • Institute changes that will convert the government-run economy to one dominated by private businesses operated by Cuban citizens.

The U.S. embassy in Havana and Cuba’s Washington embassy will remain open.

This is probably the best of both worlds. Complete disassociation with Cuba didn’t accomplish anything for 50-plus years. Now that they’ve had a taste of American tourists and cruise ships once again, maybe they’ll have an incentive to take some active steps–if baby steps.

Sen. Marco Rubio, who had input into the new proposed rules, agrees.

“All the pressure comes from American business interests that go to Cuba, see the opportunities and then come back here and lobby us to lift the embargo,” Rubio told the [Miami] Herald. “I’m trying to reverse the dynamic: I’m trying to create a Cuban business sector that now goes to the Cuban government and pressures them to create changes. I’m also trying to create a burgeoning business class independent of the government.”

Around the world, engaging on business, being direct with political leaders and dictators, while maintaining a pro-human-rights stance is one of the best things I’ve seen about this frequently-self-hobbled administration. Keep it up.

 

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Conservatism

A renewed call for prayers for our nation

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A renewed call for prayers for our nation

Prayer is a powerful thing. Whenever we give praise to our Father in Heaven and beseech Him for blessings, He hears us. He may not always grant us our wishes; he’s not a fictional genie. Our wishes are not His command. But He does hear us, and when the chorus of prayers for a particular event are strong, it is a benefit to the cause. Today, America needs prayers. Society is slipping into a state of decadence that only He can reverse.

We often rely on ourselves to get things done. Hard work and perseverance go a long way. We also often rely too heavily on our elected officials to do the right thing, but as solid as our constitutional republic is in form, it is beset by turmoil and and a rising anti-Biblical worldview that is pervading the collective consciousness of many Americans who aren’t even aware that it’s happening.

Sex and violence have been normalized as “entertainment.” More attention is often paid to our mobile devices than our children, who themselves are given mobile devices to keep them busy so we can spend more time on ours. Churches are becoming more progressive to keep up with changes in society. Meanwhile, other religions such as Islam, atheism, and transhumanism are growing dramatically.

On the political front, many Americans are becoming increasingly dependent on government and are embracing politicians who want to bring us all into a forced state of dependence. Washington DC in general has denied the wise tenets of federalism and gone for full-blown federal supremacy across the board. We have good people fighting for us in DC, but they are outnumbered and oftentimes overpowered by their cohorts, bureaucrats, and an activist judiciary that holds its own delusions of grandeur.

I find myself seeking solutions to America’s problems most hours of the day. It’s my job to analyze what’s happening in the news and decipher what it means to the American people. Then, I try to either side with the most righteous solutions or offer new ones of my own. In this daily cycle, I often lose sight of the true nature of this world. There is Divinity holding everything together, but there are also principalities and powers stacked against us.

Unfortunately, part of our weakness as humans means the allure of the anti-Biblical worldviews and the progressive mentality on governance ring wonderfully in our ears. We hear the call of evil forces and all-too-often it sounds appealing to us. It’s like candy to a child. They’ve been told eating their broccoli is better for them but they love the candy so much more.

America needs a few revivals. We need a revival both of the church and within the church. More people need to be attending as well as actively participating more than one day a week. Meanwhile, the churches themselves need to abandon the politically correct version of Bible teaching and focus on the truths of the text itself.

We need a revival of conservatism. Populism may be alive and well, and for now it’s an acceptable alternative to the evils of radical progressivism, but we must strive for a stronger adherence to the philosophies that are necessary to keep American exceptionalism alive and widespread throughout our nation. There are simply too many “RINOs” out there not realizing their pushes for political expediency are betrayals to America itself.

Above all else, the United States needs more citizens to pray for our nation. Pray for wisdom for our leaders. Pray for discernment among the people. Pray that more people will open their eyes to the truth of the Gospel and our hearts to the gift of Jesus Christ. We must keep fighting the good fight, but doing so mustn’t get in the way of praising and beseeching our Creator.

Perhaps Daniel did it best in his prayers to our Lord.

Through all of the existential threats brewing in and out of the worlds of politics and religion, there is one action that is undeniably positive: Prayer. If we start praying for our nation and have others pray for her as well, perhaps there really is hope.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Entertainment and Sports

HBO should can Bill Maher, but don’t hold your breath

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HBO should can Bill Maher but dont hold your breath

Until yesterday, I actually liked Bill Maher. I never agreed with his politics but he got an “entertainer’s pass” in my books as someone who can’t really do much to harm the political process and actually helps galvanize conservatives against the clear media bias mounted against us. But then he went to a new low, saying he was glad David Koch was head and hoped he died in pain.

It’s too far. Even if we disregard the fact that it’s disrespectful of Koch’s loved ones, the hideous nature of the comments makes it something we as a people should denounce. When Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies, which may be soon, I’m hopeful no notable conservatives act the way Maher did. If they do, I’ll condemn them just as quickly as I’m condemning Maher.

This behavior is beyond being a provocateur and HBO shouldn’t stand for it. But they will. In fact, they’ll probably support him. He’s good for subscriptions and espouses their collective ideology. Therefore, a toxic jab at a dead Libertarian is far from grounds for termination and may be grounds for added support from executives at HBO.

Here are some Twitter reactions:

People like Bill Maher have the gall to point at President Trump as a reason for the degradation of American society. It’s true that we’re losing our civility, but it’s mostly at the hands of progressives who have no respect for anything American.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Democrats

Desperate Beto O’Rourke repeats lie that Trump called KKK members ‘very fine people’

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Desperate Beto ORourke repeats lie that Trump called KKK members very fine people

A popular technique used by Nazis before and during WWII was to tell a big lie often and loudly. Their theory was if you tell the same lie over and over again, eventually it would be accepted as the truth. It’s ironic that Democrats like Beto O’Rourke are invoking this Nazi technique to tie President Trump to the KKK. It’s also quite sad as the once-high-flying progressive hero has fallen so far that he must rely on controversy just to stay relevant. His poll numbers are that bad.

His latest attempt to play the race card against anything and everyone who doesn’t agree with him has him repeating the tired old lie that has been perpetuated by mainstream media and propped up by social media. But even worse is the fact that some search engines are keeping stories accepting the false claims ranked higher than the fact check stories that debunk the claim.

Once and for all, President Trump did not call KKK members “very fine people.” During the Charlottsville protests, white supremacists were present. But also included in the crowd on the right were average citizens who were upset about the take down of American historical monuments. As the President noted and as has been verified by independent sources, these “very fine people” were among the white supremacists. It’s possible to support a goal but not hold the ideology of others who support the same goal. Just because I don’t want monuments taken down doesn’t mean I’m a white supremacist. I’m not even white.

Here is what the President actually said, with the extremely important last portion of his statement conveniently omitted from all progressive media reports. They took him out of context so blatantly and heinously because they NEED the people to believe he’s racist. Emphasis and bracketed notes have been added, since progressive media and Beto O’Rourke clearly lack reading comprehension skills.

“You had some very bad people in that group [referring to neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and KKK members]. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name… I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and white nationalists because they should be condemned totally.”

A plain-text reading of the President’s statement make O’Rourke’s recent Tweet either the product of his own stupidity or an unambiguous bald-face lie.

There are millions of Americans who disagree with President Trump over policies. There are some people who aren’t happy with his results so far. Both of these are open for proper discourse in the form of criticism, praise, or debate. But let’s try to keep the lies to a minimum. I understand the race card is all the Democrats have left, but they should try harder to make plans that work (or embrace the GOP’s plans that are already working) instead of stooping to name-calling and promoting false narratives.

There are only two possibilities. Either Beto O’Rourke is extremely unintelligent, lacking in basic reading comprehension skills, or he is a blatant liar so desperate for attention that he’ll say anything for a headline. He needs to be pitied.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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