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Liberal Policies Are Turning Upstate New York Into Another Detroit

by rusty
Detroit with grass

An incredible piece that appeared in the Deseret News this past week shows how Democrat platforms such as high taxes and over-regulation are turning upstate New York into another debacle like Detroit.

The report focuses on Binghamton, a city once known as a powerhouse of industry but which now shares many similar economic measures as Detroit.

For example, 31% of Binghamton residents live at or below the federal poverty line, a number just shy of the Motor City which has 38% of its residents at that level.

The author of the piece refers to upstate New York as “Detroit with grass.”

Via Deseret News:

Upstate New York is becoming Detroit with grass.

Binghamton, New York — once a powerhouse of industry — is now approaching Detroit in many economic measures, according to the U.S. Census. In Binghamton, more than 31 percent of city residents are at or below the federal poverty level compared to 38 percent in Detroit. Average household income in Binghamton at $30,179 in 2012 barely outpaces Detroit’s $26,955. By some metrics, Binghamton is behind Detroit. Some 45 percent of Binghamton residents own their dwellings while more than 52 percent of Detroit residents are homeowners. Both “Rust Belt” cities have lost more than 2 percent of their populations.

Binghamton is not alone. Upstate New York — that vast 50,000-square mile region north of New York City — seems to be in an economic death spiral.

Upstate New York is losing jobs, dollars, and people at a staggering rate, and the report cites a major reason for that being tethered to uber-liberal New York City, whose residents “overwhelmingly support higher taxes, stricter regulation and bigger spending than the national averages.”

“Those policies are blamed for upstate’s economic woes by many in the region.”

The mindset between upstate New York and the city and Long Island are stark in their differences. Upstate New York overwhelmingly rejected Governor Cuomo and his Democrat policies this past election, with Republican Rob Astorino winning 42 counties to Cuomo’s 8.

The report concludes that upstate New York could flourish if they could only “get out from under New York’s tax-and-regulatory system.”

Read more at http://menrec.com/liberal-policies-are-turning-upstate-new-york-into-another-detroit/

ISIS CAMPS 8 MILES FROM THE US SOUTHERN BORDER

According to Judicial Watch, ISIS has set up a base camp just west of the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez.city of Ciudad Juarez.SIS

JW writes that “During the course of a joint operation last week, Mexican Army and federal law enforcement officials discovered documents in Arabic and Urdu, as well as “plans” of Fort Bliss – the sprawling military installation that houses the US Army’s 1st Armored Division. Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents during the operation.”

Coincidently, the same Fort Bliss increased base security two days after the October JW report. I can tell you for a fact that no military base will ever increase security without a confirmed credible threat. It is never implemented on a whim, or as the DOD put it, over “the constant concern for the safety of military members, families, employees and civilians.”
In October 2014, Judicial Watch (JW) reported that four ISIS terrorists “have been apprehended in the last 36 hours by federal authorities and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) in McAllen and Pharr.” The information was provided by a source within Homeland Security, according to JW.

California Congressman Duncan Hunter claimed that no less than ten ISIS fighters had been caught crossing into Texas to date and that his information was provided to him directly from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
In August, JW reported that “that Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED).”
After Congressman Hunter made the claim on Fox News, the main stream media did some investigating of their own and found no evidence to corroborate Mr. Hunter’s assertion. They said that both Homeland Security and the Texas Department of Public Safety found no evidence of such activity. In an email to Politifact Texas, DHS spokes lady Marsha Catron, wrote: “The suggestion that individuals who have ties to ISIL have been apprehended at the Southwest border is categorically false, and not supported by any credible intelligence or the facts on the ground. DHS continues to have no credible intelligence to suggest terrorist organizations are actively plotting to cross the southwest border.”
DPS deputy director, Robert Bodisch, wrote: “An unsecure border is certainly a vulnerability that can be exploited by criminals of all kinds, and it would be naïve to rule out the possibility that any criminal organization would not look for opportunities to take advantage of security gaps along our international border. That said, DPS does not have any information to confirm the specific statements recently reported in the press.”
I find it interesting and quite telling that a Texas DPS official sounds a lot like Obama. He seems, like Obama, to take great pains not to mention the words “terrorism” or “terrorist,” but rather “criminals of all kinds” and “criminal organization.”

And now there’s this. Remember the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez just mentioned? It seems that ISIS is not just using it as a jumping off point for entry into the United States.

According to Judicial Watch, ISIS has set up a base camp just west of the city.
JW writes that “During the course of a joint operation last week, Mexican Army and federal law enforcement officials discovered documents in Arabic and Urdu, as well as “plans” of Fort Bliss – the sprawling military installation that houses the US Army’s 1st Armored Division. Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents during the operation.”

Coincidently, the same Fort Bliss increased base security two days after the October JW report. I can tell you for a fact that no military base will ever increase security without a confirmed credible threat. It is never implemented on a whim, or as the DOD put it, over “the constant concern for the safety of military members, families, employees and civilians.”

Mexican law enforcement and intelligence officials confirmed that the terrorists are working in concert with ruthless drug and human traffickers, the Juárez Cartel, to “help move ISIS terrorists through the desert and across the border between Santa Teresa and Sunland Park, New Mexico. To the east of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, cartel-backed “coyotes” are also smuggling ISIS terrorists through the porous border between Acala and Fort Hancock, Texas. These specific areas were targeted for exploitation by ISIS because of their understaffed municipal and county police forces, and the relative safe-havens the areas provide for the unchecked large-scale drug smuggling that was already ongoing.” Wow! This is right out of the 2012 film Act of Valor.
So who are we to believe? Do we trust that the Obama DHS, previously run by that hack Janet Napolitano, and now headed by the hack Jeh Johnson, is being straight with us? Do we trust the DPS Deputy Director not to dance around the truth, as he appears to have done?

Or do we trust Judicial Watch, an organization that is right about 99% of the time and is no doubt well aware of the pit falls of publishing false or inflated claims.

For safety sake, I’d like nothing more than to find that Judicial Watch got this one wrong, but I’m afraid we’ll find out the hard way that they were right again.

Read more at http://godfatherpolitics.com/21738/isis-8-miles-from-us-southern-border/#RkBYtejLiDBODJ85.99

Is the Culture War Over ?

Knowing that there is no fool like an old fool, the seasoned citizen trying to prove he hasn’t lost his grip on America’s rapidly changing culture says to his grandchild, “I’m not exactly your father’s Oldsmobile.”  His grandchild looks at him like he is a dithering old codger and says, “What’s an Oldsmobile?”

If the latest tech wonders seem more like science fiction to you.  If the Apple watch reminds you of Dick Tracey and 3-D printers of Captain Kirk’s replicator then the coming transformed America may remind you of the Oceania Eurasia and Eastasia of Orwell’s 1984.

Then again there are other things that remind me of 1984 in American society today.  For instance the outpouring of vitriol unleashed against anyone who the Corporations Once Called the Mainstream Media finds to have transgressed the politically correct standards of the Progressive Elites.

The case of Memories Pizza in Walkteron, Indiania is a case in point.  A reporter for a local TV station, Alyssa Marino, was out trolling for evidence to support a story she wanted to write.  Crystal O’Connor, the co-owner of Memories Pizza, after being asked if she would cater a gay wedding told WBND-TV she would serve a gay or non-Christian couple at the restaurant, but would not cater a same-sex couples wedding.

How did this media feeding frenzy come about?  According to Scott Ott of PJ Media:

Memories Pizza didn’t blast out a news release. They didn’t contact the media, nor make a stink on Twitter or Facebook. They didn’t even post a sign in the window rejecting gay-wedding catering jobs. They merely answered questions from a novice reporter who strolled into their restaurant one day – who was sent on a mission by an irresponsible news organization.

Next: ABC-57 anchor Brian Dorman leads the evening newscast dramatically with this:

Only on ABC-57 News tonight. We went into small towns looking for reaction to the Religious Freedom Act. We found one business, just 20 miles away from a welcoming South Bend…with a very different view….

Not only did ABC-57 News create that story ex nihilo (out of nothing), but the next day, the station’s Rosie Woods reported on the social-media backlash against the Christian pizza shop owners.

“Our Facebook page has been blowing up with comments after we aired that story last night,” said Woods.

You see, not only did ABC-57 manufacture the story with an ambush interview, it then doubled-down by making the reaction to the story into another story to give the sense of momentum, as if it were growing at its own impetus. Yet, everything about it is a fabrication.

Memories Pizza didn’t “publicly vow to reject gay weddings” as HuffPo says it. The O’Connors were just, quite literally, minding their own business.

Back in the ABC-57 studio, Rosie Woods read three negative social media comments attacking the pizza shop owners, and then said, “And that’s just one side of this debate that’s heating up as more people and business owners speak up about the law.”

She then quotes one (1) person, the owner of another business, who agreed with the O’Connors. Seems that “just one side of this debate” deserves more attention than the other.

Meanwhile, over at Yelp.com, more than a thousand “reviews” of Memories Pizza rapidly accumulated, quickly overwhelming the positive comments from actual customers who like the pizza, the hospitality and the small-town charm. Folks who never heard of Walkerton attacked Crystal O’Connor’s business, her morality, and her Lord. Many of the remarks included racially charged descriptions of genitalia and sex acts. “Reviewers” also posted pictures of naked men, of Adolf Hitler shouting “Ich habe ein pizza” (I have a pizza), and of Jesus gesturing with his middle finger. Over on Facebook, the restaurant’s 5-star average rating rapidly plunged to one star, as non-customers slammed away at Crystal’s little business.

In Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, a manifesto of political power, Rule No. 12 says, in part: Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

The Left doesn’t care who gets hurt, so long as they get what they want. They’re willing — no, they’re eager — to sacrifice a small-town business, and its owners.

Lest you think I’m being too dramatic. Late Wednesday, word comes that Jess Dooley, a female coach at Concord High School 45 minutes away in Elkhart, has been suspended after tweeting:

Who’s going to Walkerton, IN to burn down #memoriespizza w me?

All of this reminds me of the 2 minutes of hate that was a tool of Big Brother.  The Two Minutes of Hate is a ritual observance that is designed to use the collective rage of the people against supposed “enemies of the Party” to strengthen the Party’s position among the people. The ritual serves to unify the people in the observance of the ritual.

The Two Minutes of Hate also serves the purpose of religious observance by deifying Big Brother. It serves to channel the rage that persons may feel toward the lack of control over their own lives away from the Party and against purported enemies of the Party. Because Big Brother is proclaimed to be benevolent and good, any enemy is automatically evil and bad. While it is a “two minutes hate” the desired end result is less hatred of Big Brother.

This is very similar to what some politicians do to strengthen their position when they feel threatened. The politicians will invent an enemy and then channel the public rage against that enemy.

Then there is the double standard that shows this is not really about gay rights or gay weddings it is about attacking the religious liberty of Christians.  For instance Muslim bakeries in Michigan refused to bake cakes for gay weddings. You would think that would be news like Memories Pizza refusing to cater gay weddings. No. Muslims are part of the liberal media protected class. If Muslims want to follow their own religious beliefs and not bake cakes for gay weddings, you don’t hear any big outcry about bigotry of ‘homophobia.’ Instead, these Muslim bakeries in Michigan are given a pass to practice their religion as they see fit, unlike Christians.

Then of course there is the direct opposite of the Memories Pizza case where gay bakers refuse to cater a Christian wedding.

Tim Richards and Cheryl Johnson reported they were recently turned down for a wedding cake by Stewart’s Cakes in Kettering, Ohio.

“When we told the man what we wanted and where we wanted the cake delivered, he turned us down,” said Richards. “We asked if he could deliver a 4-layer chocolate and vanilla wedding cake to the Holy Calvary Church, and he told us it was against his principles to serve us.”

The owner of Stewart’s Cakes, Stephen Hillstrom, who married his partner in Washington D.C. last year, told reporters, “We’re a private business, and we’re allowed to serve or not serve whomever we’d like. It would violate our beliefs to serve people like that.”

Have you heard a media storm about this?  Don’t expect to because it isn’t coming.  This is a one way street and a classic case of Christian bashing by the media.

Thus the culture war of the 80s and 90s has morphed into the triumphant Progressive Elites and their majority hating storm troopers smashing anyone left who dares to stand for values not baptized in the politically correct secular humanism of the of the ascendant minority.  A coalition of Progressives in both parties, the left-wing media, various activist groups that live off the conflict, and the low information voters who empower it all ride rough shod over those who not long ago ruled the roost.

All this signals the last gasp of the once ruling majority as it accepts the control of the Progressive minority without even a whimper.

Let me ask one final question.  If you are treated this way when you are still the majority how will you be treated once you really are a minority?

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

Christians in Holy Land, across world celebrate Easter

Vatican-Pope-Easter-2
Christians in the Holy Land and across the world are celebrating Easter, commemorating the day followers believe Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago.

The cavernous Holy Sepulcher church in Jerusalem was packed with worshippers on Sunday. The site is where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.

A Mass is expected later in Bethlehem’s Nativity Church, built atop the site where Christians believe Jesus was born.

Catholics and others are celebrating Easter whereas Orthodox Christians, who follow a different calendar, were marking Palm Sunday with processions.

At the Vatican, Pope Francis presided over a solemn vigil service Saturday night. In his homily, Francis said the Easter mystery requires the faithful to seek an answer “to the questions which challenge our faith, our fidelity, and our very existence.”

‘GOD HAS BLESSED US FOR STANDING UP FOR WHAT WE BELIEVE': Pizza Place Gets $900k in Donations After Refusing to Cater Gay Weddings

These pizza shop owners have more cojones than most Christian leaders.

The owner of an Indiana pizza restaurant who was forced to close shop after she told a news reporter that her establishment would not cater a gay wedding reaffirmed her beliefs in an interview on Saturday.
Crystal O’Connor, owner of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, said that she stands by her statement, and that she does not hate gay people, just does not support gay marriage.
She then responded to the now staggering $850,000 that has been raised in support of her establishment by saying; ‘God has blessed us for standing up for what we believe, and not denying him.’
In her interview, with Fox News Business‘ Neil Cavuto, O’Connor also said; ‘It is not a sin that we bring gays into our establishment, and to serve them. It is a sin, though, if we condone. If we cater their wedding.’
She then added; ‘We feel we are participating, we are putting a stamp of approval on their wedding, and we cannot do that.’

The Politics of Easter

I love my country.  I consider myself a patriot.  I believe that the United States has provided more people with more freedom and more opportunity than any other nation that has ever existed.  I think the United States has been blessed by God.

Having said all that I must admit that I am only a citizen of this country in a transitory and momentary way for I am but a pilgrim here, a sojourner whose ultimate home is another city, a kingdom, and that even here my ultimate allegiance is to my King.

Over the years I have had many conversations with people regarding the ongoing Progressive degradation of this great Republic.  Often people will say, “I can’t talk about this anymore it is too depressing.”  And often people ask me, “How can you dwell on this so much and be so happy?”

I’m not really happy.  Happiness is a fleeting feeling that can be erased by not getting your pizza delivered on time.  I have joy and peace and the contentment of security.  I always answer this question with, “I spend a few hours every day immersed in the evidence of the deepening betrayal of America’s experiment in personal freedom, individual liberty, and economic opportunity, and I am never depressed.  Because my hope is in Christ and my home is in heaven.”

This is the politics of Easter:

Paul, after warning us what the so-called leaders of this world are really all about said, “There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.”  Paul also tells us, “But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.”

I am a Christian, unabashedly and unashamed.  Jesus is my king, my Lord and my God.  I look about me and I love my country and I love those about me.  However at the same time I take to heart what Peter said “Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul” and I realize that as a Christian, we are visitors in this world of unbelievers.  We may be the same on the outside as everyone else, but on the inside we are different.

  1. We don’t think like them.
  2. We don’t act like them.
  3. We don’t have the same customs as they do.
  4. We don’t have the same goals and desires.
  5. When they want to go partying and getting drunk and go carousing, we don’t want to join them…
  6. They use the Lord’s name in vain, participate in the deeds of darkness and are, essentially, the walking dead.  We are not like them.
  7. They glorify themselves.  We glorify God.
  8. Some glorify false gods.  We glorify the true God.
  9. We are different inside. And it shows. Or at least it should.

If there was a trial today and we were charged with being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict?  Or are we secret agent Christians?  Instead of hiding in the shadows we should be holding aloft the light of Christ in a darkening world so that as Peter admonished us we, “Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.”

This world and its politics is a soap opera. Following the ins and outs of the progression from colonies to empire to utopia keeps us occupied and obsessed.  We need to keep it all in perspective.  Yes, it is good to stand for freedom for God created us to be free so that we could freely choose Him.  Yes, it is good to stand for personal liberty and economic opportunity so that all people will have the opportunity to become all that they can be and so that they are not oppressed by the utopians in their mad drive toward a heaven on earth that will never and can never be reality.  However it is the height of folly to allow the false god of ideology to cloud our vision until we become as doctrinaire as the utopians holding aloft democracy or national prestige as goals in and of themselves.

We must keep a godly perspective striving always to remember we are sinners saved by God’s unearned grace and so avoid becoming the Pharisees who drive people away from God.  There is a band named Casting Crowns.  Their lyrics touch me in the spirit, and I believe they express the situation that we believers find ourselves in when we try to be that light instead of reveal that light:

Jesus, friend of sinners, we have strayed so far away
We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus, friend of sinners, the truth’s become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You but they’re tripping over me
Always looking around but never looking up I’m so double minded
A plank eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided

Jesus, friend of sinners, the one who’s writing in the sand
Made the righteous turn away and the stones fall from their hands
Help us to remember we are all the least of these
Let the memory of Your mercy bring Your people to their knees
Nobody knows what we’re for only what we’re against when we judge the wounded
What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and loved like You did

You love every lost cause; you reach for the outcast
For the leper and the lame; they’re the reason that You came
Lord I was that lost cause and I was the outcast
But you died for sinners just like me, a grateful leper at Your feet.

Jesus said, “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness.”  He also told us to take our testimony to the world, to share with them what has happened to us.  It is as if Jesus told us to take this light (Him) to the world and we have spent two thousand years building a lamp and berating everyone who does not call the lamp the light.

Remember, we are citizens of Heaven. We are Pilgrims here, strangers in a strange land.   As Easter approaches remember “Living He loved me, dying He saved me, buried He carried my sins far away, rising He justified freely forever, one day He’s coming oh glorious day, oh glorious day”

I pray with Casting Crowns, “Oh Jesus, friend of sinners open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers let our hearts be led by mercy help us reach with open hearts and open doors oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours.”

This is the politics of Easter: vote for Jesus who has already won the war and join the winning side.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

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