All posts by Joe May

Obamacare decison: A victory for conservatives


This world is not my home, I’m just a-passing through. My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

I sat the computer Thursday morning waiting for the Supreme Court to release their opinion on Obamacare. In my heart, I knew that it was going to fail. I just knew that something so unpopular would be seen as unconstitutional and the Great Embarrassment would receive yet another well-deserved kick in the pants as he prances along his rainbow-colored path to November.

At 9:17, the words “Supreme Court Upholds Insurance Mandate 6-3” flashed across Yahoo! News. (Yes, I know they were mistaken in their numbers. It was actually a 5-4 decision).

For a moment, I just stared at the screen.

“Oh, well. Lord, your will be done,” I thought. In times like these, really, what else can one do? Anger is only an exercise in futility and my blood pressure really doesn’t need to rise much more.

Through the day, as I delivered papers, I listened to talk radio as others gave their views of whether the world had either (A. Just ended or (B. Just been saved from itself.

It’s been a full day now now and I can’t say I know a whole lot more, even though I’ve heard countless opinions and read many stories on the issue. Here is what I do know:

*Healthcare needed to be reformed. Hillary tried and failed and the GOP tried and failed. (Fact: The Republicans were the first to actually suggest the individual mandate. )

*Romney has to be careful just how he speaks out against the so-called “Affordable Healthcare Plan”since it’s essentially his plan on steroids.

*Having health insurance is never a bad thing. Eating vegetables is not a bad thing either until someone steps in and puts their jack-booted foot on your throat and forces you to eat them.

*America was lied to about the individual mandate (You’re shocked, I know). In repeated interviews, namely one with George Stephanopolus, the Great Embarrassment insisted the insurance mandate was not a tax. Now we find out the Supremes only approved the plan because the government’s lawyers went in and argued that the mandate was indeed a tax after all. So which is it?

*Interestingly enough, in his decision for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts stated that had the insurance mandate been just that, it would have violated the constitution (as most of America has been screaming for years now), but since the court was told it was a tax, it was constitutional. This should be on every news network and in every newspaper from now until November, but we don’t see that happening.

*Many people we’ve spoken to seem to think the ruling doesn’t affect them because “I already had health insurance.” If it was only about health insurance, we wouldn’t be having this discussion today. We are already legally obligated to purchase liability insurance for our vehicles, but that’s simply to insure that the other person and his/her vehicle is protected in the event of a wreck.

*The problem with forcing Americans to purchase health insurance is that it sets a precedent. If we can be forced to buy one product in the private sector, what else can we be forced to pay for? It’s a step towards totalitarianism. You don’t have to believe this statement; laugh if you want, but hide and watch. Unless we stand up and make our voices heard, totalitarianism is coming. And it’s taking the fast train.

*Another problem with the mandate is that by purchasing insurance or being forced into Medicare (something our seniors cannot legally opt out of, according to recent rulings), the government is taking away our right to make basic decisions about our own bodies and those of our loved ones. For Pete’s sake, folks, we’re essentially putting the IRS of all agencies in charge of our health. That’s not a good idea. Sarah Palin was roundly ridiculed when she came out with her statement a few years back about “death panels,” but when one actually sits down to read the law, there really are committees set forth in the measure that function as such. Will we one day have to appear before a government and or insurance company panel to learn whether we are going to live or die? We realize that’s a worst-case scenario, but it isn’t far-fetched when one actually reads the law.

However, in all of this scare talk, there may well be a bright side for those of us that wish to conserve the old ways. Many of the talking heads are now saying that the SCOTUS’ decision was not a victory for the Great Embarrassment, but rather just the opposite. How could such a thing be so, you ask?

Well, it’s like this. Americans of all stripes have voiced their displeasure concerning Obamacare in poll after poll. Black, white, male, female, liberal or conservative, this plan is simply not popular. By upholding the law, the justices have unwittingly opened a whole keg of problems for the Democratic incumbent. November has now become not just a presidential election; it will be come a referendum on healthcare. If you don’t like Obamacare, vote GOP.

For his part, Mitt Romney has pledged to strike down Obamacare on his first day in office. And since the court has upheld the measure, he doesn’t have to spend from now until November talking about how he would solve the healthcare problem. All he has to say to get votes is that he will slay the Affordable Healthcare dragon if elected.

By the same token, the Great Embarrassment is left with no choice but to campaign on his accomplishments, namely a healthcare bill that no one likes. Had the justices struck down the law, he could have distanced himself from it and came up with another plan to pitch to voters. In other words, the president is stuck dancing with the “one what brung him” and to say the least, she’s none too pretty.

But through all of this, the words of that old song that are repeated at the beginning of this article keep echoing in my head. We can complain, we can go out and cast our one vote, but we can’t stop the madness of this fallen world. Praise God, though, this world is not our home and there’s coming a day in which we’ll not worry about the latest craziness out of DC or California or anywhere else.

Just up in Gloryland, we’ll live eternally. The saints on every hand are shouting victory. Their songs of sweetest praise drifts back from Heaven’s shores and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

Mormonism as a campaign issue?

By Joe May

  Religious issues often pop up in presidential politics, but not since the days of John F. Kennedy has a presidential candidate been denounced on the basis of his religious views.  Putting Barack Obama, a man whom we feel has zero religious convictions, aside, no candidate in the past 50 years has been called to account for his church membership.

  That is until now.  Mitt Romney, a prominent member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, known to most as the “Mormonism,” is being forced to defend his membership in the LDS church.

  While there have been many whispers about Romney’s church affiliation, until Friday, no one had openly questioned his fitness for office based on his religious views.  On Friday, while endorsing Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign, Baptist preacher Robert Jeffress, who oversees a Dallas megachurch, denounced the former Massatauchets governor as a cultist, noting, however, that the governor is a “good moral person.”

  And the preacher from Dallas is not the only mainstream figure to take a shot at Romney’s faith this weekend.  At the annual “Values Voter Summit,” sponsored by the American Family Association, Bryan Fischer, an APA director and columnist followed the presumed GOP frontrunner to the podium and told attendees that the next president should be an “authentic” Christian.  Southern Baptists and other denominations do not recognize the LDS church as a legitimate religion, listing it among others as being a cult.

   For his part, Romney denounced the statements as “poisonous rhetoric.” 

  Naturally such comments made in the public forum call for consideration.  Should a candidate’s religious views be an issue?

  Our answer would be an emphatic yes.  In an age that directly parallels the period that followed the American Revolution, in which many Americans identified themselves as being non-religious, the basic views of any candidate should be considered as fair game in the race for the nation’s chief executive.

  It is from Christianity that most of our basic laws are derived. It is from Christianity that our standards of honesty and morality are garnered.  Without a professed belief in a religious system, on what standard can a person be judged?  Outside the realm of religion, honesty and morality are but subjective issues.  Only through assessing an individual’s stated faith and comparing it to his actions and statements can one form an  understanding of a man’s basic character.

  To this end, many states still have laws on the books that ban an atheist from holding office or testifying in court.  Why?  Because there is no standard by which their character can be measured.

   Many atheists and agnostics protest this idea, saying that they are good and moral people.  Perhaps that is true, but how can such be measured if there exists no particular foundation on which to base morality?  Being good simply for goodness sake just isn’t a formula that can be analyzed because there are no standards for which to determine the definition of “good.”

  So by all means a candidate’s religion should be a factor for consideration in any race.

  Now, for the truly controversial question:  Should membership in the LDS church be a reason for skeptism of a candidate’s fitness for office?

  Before we answer that question, it should be noted that many social conservatives question Romney’s qualifications based on his past record in Massatuchets.  As governor of that state, Romney championed homosexual rights to the extent that his state became the first to permit strange-sex “marriage.”  He also took a pro-choice stance regarding abortion.  And then there is Romneycare…

   Despite his track record, the former governor would have us believe that he is now a true social conservative.  It is for this reason that many on the right are questioning not only his conservative credentials, but also his religion.  They do so because his flip-flop begs the question..

  At least here in the South it is considered only natural to take a person’s religion into consideration, especially if the individual has given us reason to question his basic moral core.   And Romney’s statements that differ from his actions in office make his religious convictions, and by association, his religion itself, fair game for scrutiny.

  Should it be that Mitt Romney is the GOP nominee, we will cast our vote for him, simply because this nation cannot take four more years of veiled socialism and social experimentation by a leader that would just as soon lie to his constituents as look at them.  But we must register our skepticism when it comes to Gov. Romney’s religion.

  We have known many fine and upstanding citizens who have their membership in the LDS church.  Many of our high school friends were of the so-called Mormon religion and we respected their beliefs and took note of their high moral standards.  It is not the people we reject as much as it is their beliefs, which most Christians would find to be far-fetched at best.  That someone can buy into such notions causes us to question their gullibility.

  We realize that last statement may bring an outcry not only from folks on both sides of the aisle, but from those of other faiths far-removed from the LDS church. It is considered anathema to question the authenticity of a particular religious outfit in today’s world, but when looks at the history of the Mormon religion, it is only fair to call it into question..

  Before we tread any further, though, we should note that we reject Jeffress’ statements that Mormonism is a cult.  We do not feel that the LDS church, one of the fastest-growing religious groups in the world today, meets the basic definition of a cult. That it is vastly different from any so-called Christian church is obvious, but to demonize it as a cult would not be accurate in our view. 

  So what is the LDS church if it is not a cult or a valid Christian belief system?  It is simply a cobbled-together hodgepodge of Christianity and Freemasonry created from the mind of ne’er-do-well Joseph Smith.  It is a man-made religion whose elements at times boggle the imagination.

  Lest anyone protest that we are terribly out of line, we will present some truths regarding the LDS church and its founder to assist in proving our case.

  In the early 1820s there arose a treasure hunter by the name of Joseph Smith.  Raised in a family that claimed to see religious visions at times, but was nonetheless divided on their subjective beliefs, Smith was one of many New Englanders who used what was known as “seer stones” to find buried treasure, or more appropriately, get gullible neighbors to pay him to seek treasure that would never be found. Over the years, he would be arrested many times for bilking people out of money in various locales.

  At some point, Smith claimed to have used his seer stones—along with the help of an angel named Moroni to find what he claimed were golden plates that contained the history of a race of ancient Hebrews in the Americas.  Again using his seer stones placed in a stovepipe hat, he claimed to translate the alleged plates that only a handful of witnesses were allowed to view.  When the work was finished, he stated the plates were taken back up to Heaven by the angel.

  Oddly enough, in her book, “The History of Joseph Smith,” Smith’s own mother, Lucy, recounted that as a boy her son used to tell amazing tales of ancient American inhabitants and civilizations and describe their lives in great detail.  These tales were reproduced in her son’s book, which he styled as a revelation from Jesus Christ Himself.  Just how the angel could have dictated the same stories, which Smith used to tell as tales of fancy, have never been answered by those who adhere to the LDS doctrine.

  The resulting work was termed the Book of Mormon and as Smith met more individuals interested in his work, he was able to get it published.  When he came across Disciples of Christ minister Sidney Rigdon in Kirtland, Ohio, he managed to convert over a hundred members including Rigdon himself, thereby doubling his followers.  Over the years, he formulated various doctrines, including polygamy after he was caught in an affair with his house girl, Fanny Alger, that did not set well with the locals.  After he began what was termed a “wildcat bank” and urged his followers to invest in the scheme, which failed within a month, a warrant was issued for his arrest on charges of banking fraud.  He and Rigdon fled Ohio in the night in January 1838 and settled in Missouri, founding a town known as “Far West,” which he proclaimed to be the Mormon Zion.

  Over the years, as Smith increased his group of followers, which he began calling “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,” he began to design various unique doctrines and so-called temple ceremonies, many of which have been found to be remarkably similar to those of the Freemasons.  For instance, Masons have a secret handshake by which members are able to recognize each other.  Smith, himself a Mason, told his followers that they must learn the handshake and be prepared to give it to “sentinel angels” in order to gain admission to the highest kingdom of Heaven.

  Most are familiar with the Masonic emblem of the square and compass.  At some point, Smith decreed that all male members (known as “priests”) most wear a full-body priestly undergarment—a rule that is still recognized today with devout LDS members sometimes taking pains to let their garments be seen through their clothing as an outward symbol to fellow Mormons of their sincerity.  These garments are considered holy, for they render a man unable to commit adultery.  Emblazed with the Masonic emblems, they cannot touch the floor and once they wear out, they cannot be thrown out until the emblems are cut off and burned.

  Smith also taught the Jesus and Satan were brothers, the sons of Jehovah, a man who had become god of his own planet, Earth.  He told his followers that they, too, would be given planets of their own in the afterlife and that their eternal days would be spent mating with various wives to populate the new world.  In addition, Smith taught that there had been a war in Heaven among the angels and those angels that had sinned were turned black, which is how he explained the existence of the African race. Until 1978, black men were not allowed to be Mormon priests.  In a time in which Perry’s presidential campaign has been beset with allegations of racial wrongdoing for his having frequented a hunting camp once known as “Niggerhead,” perhaps Romney should be asked about his membership in a church that forbad black membership during his lifetime.

  The LDS operate the premier libraries for genealogy research.  Their reason for doing so is rooted in Smith’s teaching that one can be saved after death if someone would just be baptized for them.  It is the goal of LDS members to see to it that everyone who ever lived is to be brought into heaven via this proxy baptism for the dead.  Some years back, they raised the ire of Jewish leaders when it was revealed that they were baptizing people for the victims of the Nazi Holocaust.

  In addition, Smith claimed that the Native Americans were in actuality members of an ancient band of Hebrews who had migrated to the Americas as told in his Book of Mormon. Modern DNA evidence has since discredited this idea, showing that there is no relationship between these early Americans and Jews.  However, this has not stopped the LDS from continuing to spout this teaching, even at times asserting that their views are backed up by the Smithsonian Institute, which they have claimed at various times uses the Book of Mormon for archeological purposes.

  Due to the LDS claims, the Smithsonian Institute has over the years been forced to send out a form letter denying that they use the Book of Mormon for anything related to science or archeology.  In fact, the letter refutes BOM claims that iron and steel as well as other items were in use in the ancient Americas.

  In short, science and history has thoroughly shown the Book of Mormon to be a complete fabrication by a failed con man who at the peak of his religious leadership had as many as 28 wives, although some accounts say he was married to as many as 74 women and teenage girls.  

  Smith died in a Carthage, IL jail after a mob stormed the jail and shot him and a follower.  Smith had been jailed after being indicted by a grand jury on charges that he was practicing polygamy, a charge that the so-called prophet denied, testifying that he had only one wife and had never taught the doctrine of plural marriage.  His first wife, Emma and his son, however, would later state that he had as many as 27 wives.  In fact, Emma went on to be the 24th wife of noted LDS pioneer Bingham Young.

  At the time of his death, Smith was also being charged with treason against the state for raising a militia to fight against the Illinois state militia and for inciting a riot.  He had also been suspected of having a part in the 1842 assassination of the Missouri governor, a crime for which one of his bodyguards was later tried and acquitted, despite evidence to the contrary.  Smith, it seems, had earlier predicted the official’s assassination.

  At the time of his death, Smith was also a presidential candidate, running as “General Joseph Smith,” the title of general coming from his own personal militia.

  There are many other examples we could cite to show that the LDS church is far removed from any Christian mainstream. We would encourage those genuinely interested to conduct an Internet search of their own, as Mormons tend to have a great deal of presence on the web.

  The fact that a major presidential candidate can buy into such a system of religion does call for others to question his gullibility and therefore his leadership ability. When something has been consistently proven to be false, blind faith becomes not a remarkable trait, but rather causes others to question the entire foundation of the person and therefore his ability to become the leader of the free world.

In the October 6 edition of The Standard

*Evidence sent to crime lab in Pike City murder case

*Bismarck Bash Schedule of Events

*Bean Lumber’s Glenwood mill to be sold at foreclosure again

*Steel asks for re-election as state representative

*Former resident killed by drunk driver in Texas

*Meetings set for local postal closings

*Arrest made in Gurdon home invastion case

*National 4-H Week

*Centerpoint FFA Pie Auction

In the Sept. 29 issue of The Standard

*Pike City man stabbed to death Monday; person of interest in custody

*Clark County Livestock sale photos

*Pike City man arrested for chaining wife to tree

*Kirby man shoots self Tuesday night.

*Gurdon purchases old bank building

*LR woman alleges rape in Arkadelphia

*Pike County QC agrees to pursue legal action on jail

*Editorial: Ignore him at your own peril

The future of America, as seen in England

  For those who have been keeping up with the affairs across the pond in merry old England, you’re probably aware that things in the mother country have not been pleasant as of late.
  If you are just now tuning in, the United Kingdom has been experiencing extremely violent riots that can only be compared with what happened in Los Angeles in the wake of the 1992 Rodney King verdict. Youthful thugs have been engaging in arsons, lootings and other violent acts on the streets of London and other UK cities.  Footage on the evening news has shown a stunning portrait of a society gone very wrong; youths who look like everyday young people running amuck, kicking in store windows, robbing complete strangers—and all while the unarmed police stand by helpless.
  Yes, I said unarmed police.  Police in England—according to news reports– do not carry guns.  In this liberal mother of the civilized world, only the criminals have guns.  But that’s a whole ‘nuther rant for another time.
   Americans should study these riots in England.  Normally, I’m not one to pay attention to foreign affairs other than just taking a passing glance.  But this news is different because it paints a picture of what could happen right here in our own backyard—and soon.
  So what is it that makes a series of English riots so important?  It is the same common thread that should also interest us in the uprisings in Greece earlier this year.
  In each instance of anarchy, the suspects are the young who are angry because of entitlement reforms.  In case this phrase is new to you, I am speaking of the concept that the government exists to take care of us in lean times, whether they be of our making or not.  The talking heads on television refer to this idea as the “nanny state.”
  Can’t find a job?  That’s ok.  Shucks, it’s too hard to try, so why bother? Sit back and draw a check.
  Just don’t want to work?  Still ok.  Sit back and draw a check.
  Want to live your life on your terms, have children with multiple partners without ever being married?  Want to snort anything up your nose that will fit?  That’s ok, too.  Sit back and draw a check.  We’re here to serve you and certainly, we won’t judge you.
  It has been attributed to Thomas Jefferson that a government large enough to take care of your every need is also big enough to deprive you of the same and more.  We don’t know if the gentleman from Monticello actually uttered those words, but they are certainly true.
  Many years ago, in the days before the Great Depression, those who could not work had to hope that  someone would take care of them.  Churches and charities managed to care for some, but many slipped through the cracks and quite literally starved to death.  It’s hard to imagine that could happen in America, but history records that it did occur.
  Because of these unfortunate circumstances, a system was established in the past century to care for those who were unable to tend to themselves such as the sick, the aged and others who were down on their luck.  We believe that these ones should be seen to by the government.  However, today we would venture to say that a high percentage of those drawing a government check are those who are simply refusing to work, milking the system down to its last drop.
  In Greece and in England, there were so many on the welfare rolls that the national governments began to flounder—much like what we are seeing in America.  In Greece, reform very nearly came too late, for that country had to simply cut off the money quite suddenly and drastically, triggering national riots among those who believed they were entitled to a check, healthy or not.  In England, the newly-elected conservative government also began reigning in the purse strings.  All of a sudden, youth who were used to living on the public teat found themselves being refused and told to work for their living. 
  The idea!  The horror!  Get a job?  Pay bills with money I earn?  Government can’t do that to me! After all, what are all these other people paying taxes for anyway if not to support me?  And so, they take to the streets to vent their frustration and pick up a few items along the way.  One woman was quoted as she bashed in a business window that she was getting her tax money back.
  Right now, noise over entitlement reform—a conservative notion—can be heard all over Washington.     Liberals insist that cradle to grave entitlements must exist.  Conservatives seem to be united in the belief that cuts simply must be made.  We don’t know every argument that is being advanced, but we strongly believe that if you are young, able-bodied and fortunate enough to find work, that’s what you should be doing.  In other words, if you simply refuse to work, I don’t want my tax money going to feed you.  I’ll feed your kids, but not you.
  We’re not economic strategists nor do we have at our disposal all the latest numbers, but it is our contention that if we are to get serious about solving our nation’s debt crisis, we should look to cut back in many ways, chief among them in the areas of welfare and foreign aid.  Frankly, we’re tired of a government that pays prostitutes in China to stop drinking and funds classes to instruct homosexual Africans to clean their privates after intercourse.  And we’re tired of paying able-bodied persons to sit on their ever-expanding rears day in and day out.
   You read it here first, though.  Cuts will be made to entitlements at some point.  We’re too far in debt for it not to happen in some fashion. But look for riots in major cities when the first of the month rolls around and the checks don’t appear in the mailboxes.
  But it’ll all be Bush’s fault, of course.

In the August 18 edition of The Standard…

*Editorial:  Remember Hoover Hogs?

*Gurdon football player felled by heart condtion, not heat

*$1 million grant awarded for rail spur

*Centerpoint superintendent frets over lower starting numbers

*Cove man arrested for sexual assault of child in Clark County

Also, don’t miss the football season schedules for Centerpoint, Arkadelphia, Gurdon and Bismarck!