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Republic United

In our article written last year October 6, 2012, titled “Tax me again an again” , we wrote about the current state of the United States Tax system and where the money was going.   One particular part was the dire situation relating to

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where the money was going and the trend of these new and continually growing entitlements.

We proposed several solutions at that time, of course nothing has happened in one year.

1) Get people back to work, 2) Stop corporate bail out and incentives, 3) Everyone should pay taxes, 4) Reduce our spending in ALL categories, 5) Get our entitlements under control.

Ok, people will say, hey we reduced our spending that’s what Sequestration was all about… er, ah, well actually no.  Sequestrations was the measly reduction of $85 Billion out of projected $185Billion increase in next years budget.  It’s not actually cutting any spending, it’s cutting…

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Republic United

When an entire sentence ends with the words “shall not be infringed”, you’d think that was pretty clear.  Apparently to some in our government it means maybe they should and can infringe.  Really?

What does “shall not be infringed” mean to you?

Now what is being infringed?  “A regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”   This is the version which is ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State.  There is secondary version which is ratified by Congress, it introduces a couple changes: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  This calls out a “Militia” as a specific organization and separated that from “the people”, “shall not be…

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It’s the beginning of the election season for the President of the United States.  Where are we now compared to 7 years ago?

The economy has basically stabilized at low GDP growth 1-2.5% range.  The unemployment numbers are at 2009 levels, yet this seems clouded with out of the labor force numbers of nearly 94,000,000.  That’s a mighty big number, even if it were 1/4 that number 23,500,000 people, that’s huge!  Even 1/10th would be 9,400,000, very large indeed.  So employment is basically still terrible after 7 years.

After 7 years we’re pushed a media-propagandist driven agenda on a remarkable number of social ideologies which pitch one part of our citizens against another part of citizens furthering the division and divisiveness like we have never seen before.

Under the President he has either incorrectly judged or incorrectly decided foreign policy which has positioned America in a weaker position internationally.  Several of these situations include: Syria-Assad/Russia, Iraq-ISIS/L, Ukraine-Russia, Iran-Nuclear/Russia, Israel-Palestine, North Korea-South Korea, China-Currency Manipulation/Cyber Warfare.

Four years ago, we wrote an article which described 5 dominoes which may fall. While each area may have mutated from what was visible, these dominoes are real.  Take a look;  Another 4 Years, The Dominoes are Visible 

The Presidency is the toughest job in the world.  In fact, it’s become so complicated by special interests, by over-reaching authority that it’s stretched beyond it’s capability to operate with competency.  Look at the IRS scandal , as individuals extend their authority to harm citizens of opposing views and of course we hold no-one accountable !  We should be very afraid of this, consider the EPA, FCC, DOJ, DHS-TSA, BLM all of these alphabet soup agencies actually have very limited oversight, are fraught with such potential for agency abuse at the various leadership levels within each organization.  The abuse and potential yet to occur abuses have now outweighed the original usefulness of why the agencies was created in the first place!

This all suggests that less government, a constitutional based government is the only way to turn.   However, this is not and will not be reality unless the silent majority elects the right President, needed at precisely the right time, to pull back on government excesses, take control of fiscal responsibility, adheres to the rule of law and levels the playing field back in favor of the citizens and not special interest or the political elites!  November 2016 cannot come soon enough!

©republicunited 2015

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Most every time you watch the TV news, read a political Facebook post or listen to the talking heads on the radio or news stations, it’s this group blaming that group.  th

Our freedoms have given us such important standing in the world by the way in which we operate in the public square, discourse with generally minimal if ever fear of reprisal.  Certainly there are cases where those in power pressure individuals and the masses as to things to become disgruntled about, protest and drive for change.  Change is good, as status quo really isn’t so great.   But thinking back to even our revolution, the public square while available was limited in the breath and depth of public dissemination and consumption. As we’ve moved into the modern age, this ability to communicate to the masses has shifted from word of mouth, selected articles in weekly or monthly newsprint, to daily newsprint, radio (and talk radio), TV, around the clock Cable, to near-real-time internet information flow and through such social media tools as Twitter and Facebook just about everything and anything happening around the globe if spread like wild-fire. As we shift from minimal spoon-fed information to moderately and now near real-time information, we’re deep into everything all the time.  Issues which otherwise would have never been worried about or certainly were resolved between neighbors, at the town square can now be elevated to world-wide status.

With this instant fodder, we now see things that require immediate broad brushed government intervention for everyones own good, or is it? Politicians weigh in on things that frankly have little to do with government intervention.  Look around today on the internet, when a politician weighs in first thing is blame the other party.  Blame the corporations, blame the Christians, blame the media, blame, blame blame, blame a flag, blame a race, blame this group or that group.

We should ask ourselves, is blaming actually solving any problems? th-1

We are lacking real leadership today in the United States. We are lacking people with discernment as to what needs to be done.  Is blaming a flag really any sort of answer to a problem?

The real problem is we have elected politicians, people in power in government and who are incapable of leading. We lack leaders with clarity, we have instead leaders who pander to the special interest, blow with the winds of the latest bit or byte and their social media answer is frankly irresponsible, pointless and half-baked with senseless and inane solutions, “ban a flag”.

When will the book burning begin?  s_w41_80430015

We need to expect more from our elected leaders.  We are in need of real common sense leadership.

©republicunited 2015

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Let’s Put A Tired Argument To Sleep…
by Guardian

I recently got into a brief discussion on the topic of firearms with a friend of mine. It involves the use of an old argument about gun owners and gun rights advocates being paranoid, overzealous nuts who think the whole world is in on an imagined conspiracy to forcibly confiscate all their guns. Many of you are probably already cracking a sardonic smile or rolling your eyes in exasperation at this. I know, because I was equally surprised and exasperated to see it being used, and found that a lot of the things this argument represented were deeply offensive, and that was part of what fueled this passionate discussion…

The backstory is straightforward enough. I posted this video to one of my social media accounts.

A casual friend of mine responded to it with this bit of wisdom from John Stewart.

I was surprised to see that this is still an argument/angle being used by the gun-control advocates. I thought the discourse had long since moved past such circular nonsense; but there it was for everyone to see. I didn’t respond right away, and after thinking for a moment I realized that there were a lot of things that were fundamentally offensive and flat out wrong about this approach to the debate on gun rights. That’s the real debate, not the one on TV wherein the media openly salivates over potential legislative repercussions to tragedies and certain commentators spend the ensuing weeks bullying and harassing guests.

My first reaction was that it is ironic that he should post this quote from Stewart when the video I had just posted shows that many people (or at least likely voters) would clearly be willing to support, or at least not oppose all kinds of atrocious things being done to gun owners; the very things that Stewart is mockingly dismissing. My initial response to my friend was to say that it is easy for modern day jesters like Stewart to point at people who are concerned over the very real erosion of our Second Amendment rights, and make fun of them, but as usual, he has nothing of any real substance to say. On this I was immediately challenged. My friend asked me to demonstrate that there is, in fact, a concerted effort to erode the Second Amendment. I thought briefly about the endless things I could go into, but opted for a shorter, pointed response; this clip from an interview with Senator Dianne Feinstein sprang to mind.

It was dismissed right away by my friend as being slightly dated (20 years old) and therefore irrelevant. I replied that I fail to see how this video of her is irrelevant, unless Feinstein no longer holds office in the US Senate? Or has her position changed, do you think? Her stated intent is pretty clear, and there are certainly others who would have openly supported such a measure both at the time of the interview and today. Nevertheless, my friend demanded I provide some other source for my paranoid delusions. I decided to dip into recent, local legislation and from there I got a little carried away.

We just passed a law in California that created a fast lane for people to have their guns confiscated. Just about anyone can say you’re unstable or want to hurt people, and can have a court order issued for a temporary seizure of all your guns. All of them. Confiscated. As in, the police literally search your home and take away all of your guns and ammunition and they get to keep them for a period of three weeks while they determine if you’re guilty of being unstable. What if you live in a bad neighborhood with a lot of break-ins? What if you have a stalker? What if you depend on your rifle/pistol to put food on the table and/or pay your bills? What if you have a psychotic ex-boyfriend who abused you? That really doesn’t matter to the court because they can now accept hearsay as a justification for disarming you. It’s not just flying in the face of multiple constitutional amendments, but it flies in the face of a fundamental principle of individual liberty: innocent until proven guilty.

Those of you that take a moderate stance or even a decidedly anti-gun stance: surely you wouldn’t like to see the government start creating categories of second class citizens…but maybe you think there are people who should have just a little bit fewer rights than the rest of us. The problem, as I see it, is that it reduces the rights of gun owners to a fair, due process. Police already have the authority to confiscate guns in the case that they receive reliable information about a person with problems. They can also already put people on a 72 hour psychiatric evaluation if they think they are a threat to others. This law isn’t going to make us any safer; it’s just going to be a thing that gets abused by divorce lawyers or crazed ex-boyfriends/girlfriends.

It’s a non-solution to a non-problem created by gun control advocates in the aftermath of that killing spree of the young man in Southern California at UC Santa Barbara. The police were told many times that he was a threat, had serious problems, and was armed, and they failed to act. It’s easier for the government to say “we need more power,” rather than to admit you screwed up and didn’t act. It was a knee-jerk reaction to a situation where our existing process just didn’t respond. Let’s also not forget that he didn’t just use guns to kill people in that spree; he used a car and (I think) a knife to kill/maim people. My point is that, even if we had all the gun control in the world and he was identified and disarmed long ago, that wouldn’t have magically prevented him from killing a bunch of people. In fact, he may have chosen to express his psychosis in other ways such as bombing or serial killing, and both have the potential to take far more lives than an isolated mass shooting.

At this point I was fired up, offended that my friend had not simply unthinkingly passed along a bit of nonsense from a popular funnyman, but had actually doubled down on what I had believed to be a dead argument, so I went further….

Screen-Shot-2014-10-16-at-7.49.02-AMA couple of towns in New York just got ousted for asking pistol permit applicants log into their Facebook pages and let a police officer poke around and make notes to send to the court. Later on, it came to light that they were also asking applicants to reactivate their Facebook pages if they had been deactivated for any reason (update). If it were anything else, like getting a permit to hold a small public rally, there would likely be national outrage at such an intrusion of privacy. Pundits would be lined up to talk about the overreach of government. Can you imagine if it had been instituted for a marriage license? What if it were an office in a courthouse of a state that prohibits gay marriage, and the officer just wanted to take a peek at what you’ve been up to on your social media. Now, I’m sure many of you are responding to this notion with a sentiment along the lines of,“well guns and marriage are not the same thing at all!” Just think about it for a minute. If we empower the government to take a look into the private lives and thoughts of people for one thing, then that power can certainly be given to them for another thing, or just abused in general. The recent scandal with the IRS targeting political groups comes readily to mind. Democrats and Republicans had a rare moment of agreement on that. If the IRS was abusing its power to regulate conservative non-profit groups, then it could certainly be done for left-wing groups as well.

We should also never forget that guns were needlessly, forcibly confiscated from people (without even getting receipts) on a massive scale in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. People who had done nothing wrong. To this day, many, if not most of those people still have not had their guns returned. There gunconfiscationwas a silver lining in that it prompted a major backlash that led many states to pass laws expressly forbidding the confiscation of guns in the event of natural disasters and emergencies, but other states have not done so and it could easily happen again under the right circumstances. Additionally, when California passed its own assault weapons ban, there were a few different kinds of guns that people were told they didn’t have to register. Sometime later on the state decided to retroactively classify them as assault weapons and demand they be either registered, turned over to police, or sold out of state. Not sure which specifically, but it was well documented and you can look it up at your leisure.

Even our earliest federal gun control laws are pretty clearly antiquated and served no real purpose other than to generate revenue and punish gun owners. Just look at anything from the 1934 National Firearms Act. We can have shotguns with barrels that are 18″ in length or longer, but if you get or make a barrel shorter than that, it’s a felony worth up to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines, unless you paid a special ($200!!) tax on it (do some quick inflation math on that and you’ll realize that $200 in 1934 was the equivalent of over $3000 today), did some paperwork, and waited a few months. How is that keeping us any safer? How is that anything other than a way to jerk gun owners around and trip them up, turning them into criminals? The NFA ‘34 also regulated machine guns. Here is a homework assignment for you readers; go and look up how many crimes have been committed with legally registered machine guns since 1934. And how many of those were violent? The regulation of machine guns has certainly put a dent in gun cri….oh wait. Nevermind.

At this point, my friend got a bit flustered with the novels I was pouring into the Facebook comments in response to his prompt. He said, quote, “So your saying there should be no gun regulation? I want a missile launcher. It’s basically a gun….” I have had many debates with anti-gun people and I have long since adopted a policy not to let myself get dragged into nonsense like this. I take comments like the above as a signal that they would like the rational, civil discussion to end, but at this point, another one of my friends (someone who is not opposed to gun rights but rarely has time to hear independent thought on the topic) had joined the discussion and I decided to make one last salient point for her benefit…

Did you know that it’s more than just a popular mantra when gun rights activists say things like ‘gun laws don’t work on criminals’. Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 11.52.03 AMRegistration, permits, licenses and background checks only apply to you if you’re not a criminal already. What? That probably doesn’t make sense to many of you. I found out that, for my friend, someone who is admittedly not very focused on firearms as a matter of politics and law, it was also quite a revelation. Let me explain:

The Supreme Court ruled a long time ago that convicted felons, or anyone prohibited from possessing firearms, can’t be tried or convicted of violating any of these various gun control schemes because it would constitute a violation of their Fifth Amendment rights. Even if you are a convicted criminal, you still enjoy many rights in this country and one of those is that you cannot be compelled to testify against yourself. Haynes, in his lawsuit, successfully argued that being prosecuted for failing to register his illegally possessed firearm would violate his Fifth Amendment rights. Look for yourself: Haynes v. United States

This Supreme Court case from 50 years ago continues to block prosecution of federal (and state-level) gun crimes. Now I should clarify that this case doesn’t mean criminals are off the hook. They can still be tried and convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, but the point here is that, as you can see, by definition, these laws are only punishing those who were not criminals in the first place. Another name for those people would be law-abiding citizens.

I hope that many of you now see how it is not a paranoid delusion that there are many people who want to use government authority to punish gun owners in various ways, up to and including outright confiscation, and in some cases has actually led to a degree of protection for the criminal elements who take up arms. I am happy to debate people all day long on what should be done about gun violence in our society, but please, it’s deceptive and insulting to my intelligence when people try to suggest that my concern over real efforts to erode my rights is somehow borne out of paranoid delusion. I hope I have adequately shown you all how tired this argument is and that it can safely be put to sleep.

©RepublicUnited 2014

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This past week our national pastime has again caught the attention of many of Americans glued to their TV sets.  We watched as the American Football League and National Football League played for the honor to represent their leagues in the Superbowl.
In the National Football League playoff the San Francisco 49ers played the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle stadium.   The game was, as most playoff games, extremely intense hard-hitting exceptional play.  The game ending play was an end zone throw by San Francisco’s quarterback Kapernick to wide receiver Crabtree.  The throw was blocked by cornerback Sherman and then caught by Seattle linebacker Smith.
Shortly after the end of the game is when the controversy begins.
So what exactly happened?  The announcer was trying to get an interview with the game ending player Richard Sherman about the last play.  But to her surprise she received a rant from Sherman.  This caught her off guard as well as the NFL show’s Director as they began to cut to another picture and cut the interview short.
So the controversy begins.  In the day and age of Twitter, Facebook and bloggers, everyone took to the wires.   This has been filled with defending Sherman that he was just stating the truth, that if you don’t understand Sherman that you’re just racist.  To on the other side where extreme racists comments about Sherman were also served.
It’s not right for people to revert to name calling, racial slurs and the like.  This is far worse that any rant that Sherman does or has done and in itself highlights a major underlying problems with society. So to those that are attacking Sherman about his race, where he came from, you are just ignorant and bigots.   You are a bigger problem to society than any rant Sherman could ever have. 
So now I too am here.  I don’t know why I care at all, but I guess I do care.  Let me explain why all this is important.
Certainly Sherman’s rant doesn’t really live up to any level of scandal.  So what do we have with Sherman’s rant?   We have a society that is becoming more and more acceptable with un-sportsman like behavior.   “Anything goes as long as you win.”
To those praising Sherman for his rant in the first place.  What exactly are you defending?  Yes, you should defend Sherman being called a thug, racial slurs and the like.  He doesn’t deserve that.  He’s a successful person, one who has a story of his individual efforts in life, success which is an American dream.
But what has happened in America that prideful ranting and name calling of the competitor right after a major game-winning play should be considered ok and defended as ok?
It used to matter that our sports figures conducted themselves professionally on and off the field.  Our society’s values have declined and continue to decline in our acceptance of behaviors.
It’s not the 24 year old Richard Shermans fault,  and this has nothing to do with excusing him.  He should conduct himself with sportsmanship and dignity.  He should consider that he is a role model in our society.  He should consider that his pridefulness limits his vast proof of how great he really is.
Of course his rant is getting major air time on all the NFL after shows etc.  Good for ratings but again, missing the real point.
I believe this is about a continued decline of societal values, moral and ethical character.
We have turned into a pride-filled, ends justifies the means society.  This
Bill-Clintoncomes from what our media glorifies and from what our real leaders have represented.   We have watched a President be impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice and to lie directly to the American people, ultimately this scandal taught our youngest children about oral sex.  The result, this behavior has been rebuked by the majority of society as ok, because it’s politics, it’s ok the “end justifies the means”.   We watch again and again lying by our politicians, we just roll our eyes and move on.  
It’s normal, it’s just politics.  Isn’t the trash-talking just normal, it’s just the NFL?  It’s just sports?  
What message are we sending to our children as how they should act?
Sherman is a reflection of what he has learned from growing up in America.  He would have been about 8-9 years old, and for the past 20 years watching and learning what our society values.  It’s ok to trash-talk, it’s ok to do whatever you need to to be successful, because the “end justifies the means”.
My belief is, Sherman represented his organization poorly.
But it’s just a reflection of society as a whole.  We have plenty of leaders representing us poorly too.   Yet as long as you are on the winning side, the “end justifies the means”.  This is just a small slice of Americana, it’s really not important in the grand-scheme, unless you are really listening.
Think about what we are teaching our children.
Are you ok with where we are heading?

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It’s Christmas.  Merry Christmas to all.

In this season where we celebrate the birth of the Savior, attacks on religion or more specifically Christianity are in full force in the United States.   As one of our foremost freedoms, we all have the right and expectation to respect Phil-Robertson-two-lieseveryone’s right to speak out about their beliefs and opinions.   We see this example with Phil Robertson’s interview with GQ magazine, where he was speaking about his belief’s in biblical teaching, used corse examples of sin and continued to explain to the interviewer how we should love everyone, even if we are different.  This last part gets lost on many.

Not just during this season but in full force, why is it many atheists fail to observe and respect the beliefs and opinions of others with differing views?   Christians are so often called bigots, weak minded, intolerant to name a few, but, it always seems to devolve into the name calling.  Why is that?

What exactly is it that disturbs them?  For atheists, since they don’t believe in God or religion, shouldn’t their desire to be not to talk about God or religion?  In reality they are always talking about God’s lack of existence.  Why so much emphasis on something that doesn’t exist?  Maybe these type of people are Theophobic, really truly scared of their lack of faith and are fearful of the realityof God.  Whether they are Theophobic or not, they’re right to not believe doesn’t trump my right to believe.  Just as my right to believe doesn’t trump their right to not believe.  Isn’t this precisely the point of religion, belief or faith in something greater or to be believers and non-believers.  It is the whole point of Christianity at it’s essence there will be both non-believers and believers.

For same sex marriage advocates whom insist that Christians accept, isn’t this a similar issue as with atheists?  Same sex advocates, like atheists use political and social forces that tries to force society including Christians and other faiths to believe differently to what has always been biblical or other theological teachings that marriage is man and woman.

For Christian advocates that try to force their beliefs upon non-believers, shame on you.  Man cannot bring someone to Christ for we have free-will, so force clearly serves no purpose.  Yes, stand up for your faith, if you deny Christ on earth He will deny you in heaven.  Love God with all your heart, mind and soul and love your neighbor as you would yourself.  This last part gets lost on many.

Regardless of one’s belief how we live our lives will only be judged (or not) by our creator.  We should ALL be thankful we live in this Country where our views can be expressed openly and we are not killed over it.

For whatever is your belief, I wish you a Merry Christmas.

©republicunited 2013

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