Thursday, November 20, 2014

Of Christianity and Liberty

  Pastor Chuck Baldwin posted a very well written and compelling thesis on the misguided efforts of contemporary preachers in the area of eschatology (end times prophecy). 

  "Now that the GOP has control of both houses of Congress in Washington, D.C., and with a pro-war Democrat in the White House, we can expect an escalation of foreign wars during the next two years analogous to those of the G.W. Bush years. And, unfortunately, most of the Christian war fever seems to be predicated on the erroneous John Hagee theology that modern-Israel is Bible-Israel and, somehow, it is America’s responsibility to fight all of Israel’s wars.
  The war fever demonstrated by too many Christians and conservatives is destroying our country. Endless wars abroad; hundreds of thousands of innocents killed--many of whom are our Christian brothers and sisters; trillions of dollars of deficit spending to fund these perpetual, unconstitutional wars of aggression; a burgeoning Police State at home under the rubric of “we are at war”; ad infinitum.
  Worse still is the way Christian war fever has turned the nations of the world, not only against America, but against Christianity. How are our missionaries supposed to take the message of the Prince of Peace to a people whom we have just bombed into the Stone Age, killing their parents, children, brothers and sisters, etc.?"
  Were we, as United States citizens, a meddling nation from our founding? Certainly not. We were the nation folks could remove to, in order to stay out of the destructive an violent aggressions of  other continents.
  Benjamin Franklin wrote a pamphlet called, “Information to Those Who Would Remove to America.” It was intended to be a guide for Europeans who were thinking about relocating to this country. In it, he said, 
  “Hence, bad examples to youth are more rare in America, which must be comfortable consideration to parents. To this may be truly added, that serious religion, under its various denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practiced.”
Franklin continued, 
“Atheism is unknown there; infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel.”
Franklin went on:
   “And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his approbation of the mutual forbearance and kindness with which the different sects [Christian denominations] treat each other; by the remarkable prosperity with which he has been pleased to favor the whole country.”
  Noah Webster (himself an outspoken Christian, of course), said,
 “The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His apostles, which enjoins humility, piety, and benevolence; which acknowledges in every person a brother, or a sister, and a citizen with equal rights. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free Constitutions of Government.”
Pastor Chuck Baldwin
Chuck Baldwin concluded with this;
I, for one, would never want a so-called theocracy administered by the likes of the vast majority of Christian teachers and pastors today. Are you kidding? Most of them can’t even govern a small congregation of believers who are ostensibly assembled under the same ideology, same eschatology, same ecclesiology, etc. Have you been to a church business meeting lately? You really want those people dictating national laws? God forbid!
No! There is no Moses on the scene today with new revelation dictating God’s will for the nation. That being said, there is no mistaking the fact that America has a deeply-rooted, rich Christian tradition.
America’s founders, even those who were not professing Christians, as we understand the term today, acknowledged that fact.

So, Liberty is, and ought be the message of our common heritage.
  • It is Liberty which Christ declared as he began his teaching ministry.
  • It is Liberty which Paul defined as the central mindset of our new testament principle of worship
  • It is Liberty which our diverse collection of colonies found as a binding principle to build a nation upon.
  • It is Liberty which flowed through every tenet of the Bill of Rights.
  • It is Liberty which drove our unequaled economic legacy through industry and trade.
  • It is Liberty which we have turned our backs on, in a return to totalitarian, socialist, and punitive legislative, executive, & judicial abandonment of all that history should have taught us.

David Van Risseghem

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Obama Looks For A New Political Base

Press Corp reporter: "Mr. President, Why are you planning to grant amnesty to millions of illegals?"
Obama: "Because they will do the jobs Americans don't want to do."
Press Corp reporter: "Like what?"
Obama: "Voting Democrat."

David Van Risseghem

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mullin Election Case May Become A Supreme Court Battle

The late Earl Everett, candidate
 Oklahoma's congressional delegation involves 5 Representatives, one of whom is Republican Markwayne Mullin, representing the traditional "Little Dixie" Democrat region and the Eastern side of Oklahoma.
  His little-known Democrat challenger was Earl Everett, a retired school teacher & Korean War veteran.  Earl died on Sunday, about 50 hours before the polls closed in the general election he was a part of.
  Now, the poorly-written state law indicates that a party nominee needs to be replaced by a substitute candidate (of the party's choosing), and the state is supposed to scrap the general election for that office & replace it with a special election involving all the living candidates plus the one replacement candidate. But the law seems silent about how to initiate the action? Does the dead person's party need to file a Contest Of Election with the state election board, in order to initiate the remedy? Or does the Governor have to be omniscient and even while campaigning in her own re-election she needs to be aware of the life status of every candidate in the state? If it's the governor's job to know and initiate all action, I can just imagine the resulting daily robo-calls to all party nominees:
  • [phone rings to candidate during a stump speech]: "Hello, this is the governor's office, calling  daily, to make sure every candidate is still alive. If you are alive, press 1 ."
  It would be sensible to assume the affected party needs to notify the election board that they no longer have a living candidate, even though voting is already underway. 
Wallace Collins
ODP Chair
  Everything seems to hinge on whether the Democratic Party filed the contest by Friday at 5pm. (assuming a contest is needed to trigger the nullification of the 2nd District balloting). The Oklahoma Democrat State Chairman, Wallace Collins, complained to the media, last Friday; but there remains no report of a filing of contest at the state election board.
"Hello, this is the governor's office, calling  daily, to make sure every candidate is still alive.
If you are alive, press 1 .
  It's sort of a "statute of limitations." and I do not believe it can be extended after the fact.    And it may be subject to certification by the 2015 State legislature, as was mentioned in the legal case involving the Tulsa District Attorney case (Kunzweiler v Jordan)
  This is going to be challenged by Democrats in Oklahoma District  court & deferred to  the Oklahoma Supreme Court. 

Badly-written laws result in governance by edict & questionable precedent.

  If this does result in a December ruling from the Oklahoma Supreme Court, it could trigger a  Federal case.
David Van Risseghem
  And this may even go to the US Supreme Court, because in Bush v Gore, the Federal ruling states that the power to determine a state's representation was given to the legislatures of each state and not the courts of those states.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Oklahoma Democrats Lose More Ground

Senate Democrat Caucus Shrinks

  The Sooner GOP took over at least 4 more State Senate seats on election day. Dstricts 2, 5, 8, & 26 were open seats formerly held by Senators Burrage, Ellis, Ballenger, & Ivester.
  Three of the districts are in eastern & Southeastern Oklahoma. The impact breaks down the traditional "Little Dixie" dynasty which had been the safest Democratic stronghold in Sooner Politics.
 What this means is that the entire senate Democrat caucus can all ride to the inauguration in my minivan. This is a stark contrast to the legislature of 30 years ago, when Gene Stipe had a firm grasp on all powers and made a good career and significant personal wealth from his elective successes.  Stipe recently died in a federal prison after being convicted for election related corruption charges.
  In other state political news, the GOP won all statewide and federal office elections for at least the next 2 years. The current majority in the Oklahoma House of Representatives will remain essentially unchanged with GOP officials holding all but around 29 of the 101 seats.

David Van Risseghem

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Election Night On The web

Bing Elections Website
National Results
   There are several web tools for keeping informed on the election night happenings.  Nationally, the Associated Press, Politico, and Bing have some great features. CNN & Fox News also do a decent job of covering the national scene.
The Old Google Elections interface. It was great for 2012
   Google Elections used to be my favorite, but they seem to have disappeared without a trace or change of address. Any web search for Google Elections will take you to their Google+ effort.
  The disappearance of Google is a big mystery. Bing and others will benefit greatly from this screw up. 

Oklahoma Results
NewsOn6 / News9
KOTV, in Tulsa, along with the sister station in OKC ( KWTV channel 9), have demonstrated a superior commitment of manpower and planning for the past few election cycles. But they are not the only player in town. 
  Local coverage got a big setback because of the state legislative action of a few years back.
Oklahoma Election Board
    Whereas county election boards used to release tabulated results immediately; they now have to send all data to the state election board. The backlog of data sits there until state bureaucrats get around to each of the 77 counties. Only after that data is confirmed and input, can the numbers be reported from the state election board. Lately that has added an hour or more of delay.
  Media outlets have filled in that gap with local poll-runners who capture neighborhood precinct results even before the precinct staff can return the box to the county election board office, in downtown Tulsa. But the poll-runners from media outlets only typically get less than 10% of the precincts.
Unless you tune in to the OETA network, you'll likely have to spend the evening watching NCIS, the Voice, or other pop culture offerings in order to get those little tidbits of partial returns and teases for their 10pm coverage.
  For radio coverage, KRMG of Tulsa has been a standard of news coverage. This year they partner with Fox23 to share the news crews. We'll see how well that works? KFAQ does a lot of talking, but their low-budget operation lacks a real news crew out in the communities.  
  Oklahoma City has KTOK & KOKC stations for news and talk. It's not clear how much real news can be expected from them.

30+ Bloggers are featured
  There are a massive number of bloggers providing great coverage and often they break news stories from the "smoke filled rooms" and party headquarters. is one of the best aggregate feed sources for over 30 conservative bloggers and news sources.
  Of course we have to add social media to the list of election coverage. Facebook, Twitter, and other outlets have extensive Oklahoma content, but you have to find and add yourself to each of the  groups found on these websites. SoonerPolitics has a page and discussion group on Facebook.
David Van Risseghem