Monday, November 26, 2018

Trump is being hammered for doing what others promised to do!

Weekly Opinion Editorial
by Steve Fair
     On Sunday, U.S. Border patrol agents fired tear gas into a crowd of 500 Central American migrants at the southern border near San Diego.  The migrants had thrown rocks and bottles at agents.  As a result, the border was closed for several hours both ways.  After the incident, Mexico announced they will deport 100 of those who stormed the border back to their home country.
     On Monday morning, President Trump tweeted: "Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries. Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A. We will close the Border permanently if need be. Congress, fund the WALL!"
     Washington Post opinion writer, Greg Sargent wrote on Monday: “Let’s be clear on the real meaning of the latest mayhem: It doesn’t give Trump “ammunition” at all. Instead, it shows that Trump’s immigration agenda is a total and abject failure and that he is covering up this glaring reality with lies.” Is the POTUS’ immigration policy a failure or is America about to be invaded?
     First, these migrants are not really seeking asylum in America.  They are demanding it.  Storming the border with rocks and bottles isn’t the way to get it. According to the Department of Homeland Security, there are two ways to apply for asylum in the U.S.: The affirmative process and the defensive process, both requiring the person to appear before an immigration court and prove they meet the definition of a refugee. They must also demonstrate either past persecution or prove they face future persecution in their home country. These migrants are simply a tool of the liberal ‘no borders’ movement and are not interested in following prodigal for seeking asylum. 
     Second, the immigration issue is not new.  Illegal immigration has been around as long as the republic, but in the past 40 years, there has been a huge increase of those who are illegally entering the U.S.  Instead of taking a hardline stand, the last four presidents paid lip service to the issue and coined the phrase ‘undocumented’ immigrants instead of calling them what they are- illegal. They kicked the can down the road and Trump is getting hammered for handling an issue they should have.
      According to Ronald Reagan, “a nation without borders isn’t a nation at all.”  America is a nation of immigrants, but there is no record of those 19th and 20th century immigrants storming the border, under the guise of asylum. 
      Third, the POTUS(no matter their Party affiliation) has an obligation to protect the United States from invaders.  America is a nation of laws and those who ignore them are criminals, even if the claim to be seeking asylum.  The last four presidents have all claimed they were going to secure the southern border and deal with illegal immigration, but they failed to do it.  Trump is being unfairly attacked for doing what he promised.
      Those who do not respect America’s physical border and ignore its’ boundaries (laws) don’t deserve asylum in this great country.

Monday, November 19, 2018

America's blessings come from the hand of a sovereign Creator!

Weekly Opinion Editorial
by Steve Fair
     On Thursday, Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving.  What we commonly call Thanksgiving was a harvest feast celebrated by Pilgrims in October 1621 in what is now known as Plymouth, MA.  According to eye witness Edward Winslow, there were 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims who attended the three day affair.  They likely did not serve turkey.  The Smithsonian says they would have been feasting on wild foul, corn for bread or porridge and venison.
     Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday also celebrated in Canada, some of the Caribbean islands, and Liberia. Other countries- including Germany and Japan- have festival holidays that give thanks for the blessing of the harvest.
     George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving Day proclamation in the United States in 1789: “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.” 
          Americans tend to do more eating than being grateful on Thanksgiving.  According to the Calorie Control Council, the average American will consume between 3,000-4,500 calories at Thanksgiving dinner.   That is about twice what the average daily calorie count should be.  Oh well, it only comes once a year, so enjoy.  In 2018, Americans have a lot to be thankful for, but here are two reasons: 
     First, America is still the nation that has more liberty than any country in the world.  Make no mistake- liberty is under attack, but the United States  still affords more personal freedom, economical opportunity and less intrusion into your personal life than any other place on the planet.  That freedom isn’t there because Americans are smarter, run faster or jump higher than people in other countries; it comes completely by grace from the hand of a sovereign Creator.  Americans should recognize that and be very thankful.   
     Second, America still has a form of government with a non-violent transfer of power.  In his first Inaugural Address, President Ronald Reagan called that nothing less than a miracle.  As Democrats regain  control of the U.S. House, the gavel will be passed without violence.  That is not the case in many countries in the world.  Non- violent transfer of power is something to be thankful for.  Hopefully that will continue.  Candidates- in both Parties- who challenge legitimate election results and claim they couldn’t have lost unless the election was rigged threaten that.  Like a little kid, they want a do-over when the results are not what they want.  That mentality fuels distrust and gins up their supporters.  It’s akin to anarchy (no government).  If Americans don’t learn to accept defeat, agree to disagree and debate policy in a civil manner, our form of government is doomed.
     America is a blessed nation.  Somewhere between the turkey and the pumpkin pie, humbly acknowledge that before God, and in the coming year live out thanksgiving.  President Teddy Roosevelt said: “Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.”

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Stitt/Pinnell could be a game changer!

Weekly Opinion Editorial
by Steve Fair

      Last week, Republican dominated at the polls in Oklahoma.  Keven Stitt, a political newcomer, beat Drew Edmondson by 13 percentage points.  That was the case for every state wide race- Republicans dominated.  More women will serve in the Oklahoma legislature than in any time in the state’s history.  Also teachers will be in the legislature- in both Parties.  Three observations and predictions for the upcoming legislature session:
     First, lobbyists are happy.  New members mean new people to influence and get into the fold.  Many legislators elected are political novices and will listen to special interests.  That is never good for the average Oklahoman and usually winds up costing us money.  New blood is good only when they understand the issues before the get there.  If they are educated after election, then Oklahomans lose. 
     Second, legislative leadership is happy.  New members means new people to influence and get into the fold.  Same as above.  Legislative leadership isn’t looking for people with new ideas.  They don’t want someone who thinks outside the box.  They want someone who will toe the line and vote like they tell them.  Radical ideas like repealing taxes, auditing government, and cutting waste is just for campaign brochures.  It’s not for actual implementation.  Until the grassroots GOP infrastructure is strong and active, candidates will be recruiting, trained, and funded by special interests, which will result in poor government.
     Third, little to nothing will change in the upcoming legislative session.  The primary reason is because we are electing the wrong people.  There are no risk takers or innovators being elected.  The new people being elected to the legislature are just happy to have a title and want to make sure they get re-elected.  Expect the same representation you had before;  people who pay lip service to conservatives while raising taxes and growing government- all in the name of moving Oklahoma forward.  Until a groundswell of Oklahomans force their legislators to defend their votes, we will have the same thing we have always had- Republicans who vote like Democrats after they have been elected.
     There may be some hope.  The election of Kevin Stitt and Matt Pinnell may make a difference.  Both are somewhat political outsiders.  Neither Stitt or Pinnell had never ran for office, albeit Pinnell has been involved in politics his entire adult life as an operative.  Neither appear to have deep ties to special interests and want to move the state forward.           That could be a game changer.  Oklahoma needs strong leaders who think outside the box.  That visionary leadership is not going to come from the legislature- it will have to come from the executive branch.  Stitt and Pinnell may be those guys.  They are both from the private sector.  They are both entrepreneurs.  Time will reveal whether they are risk-takers and visionaries, but different than what we have had has to be good.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Human Laws should not impede the Gospel!

Weekly Opinion Editorial
by Steve Fair
     The elections are over!  By the time you are reading this, the midterms will be over and either the Democrats or Republicans will be crowing about their victory, but really does it really matter which Party won?  It does matter because if progressives (Democrats) won, they will attempt to move the country to the left.  If Republicans won, they will attempt to continue to move the country to the middle.  They can’t move it to the right because in the past twenty plus years- under Republican and Democrat leadership- the country has moved steadily to the left and past the middle. But does that matter?  Isn’t one form of government just as good as another?  Who says a self-governed, democratic republic is the best form of government?  Which form of government is more biblical?

     According to the scripture, the best type of government is one led by those who are righteous (Prov. 16:12).  That means they are honest and ethical.  They don’t say one thing and do another.  They don’t lie, cheat and steal to win elections.  Far too many elected officials- in both Parties) are not righteous people.  They love power and will do anything to stay in office.  Let’s hope not many of those were elected yesterday.

     The best type of government is one that promotes a vision based on the teachings of Christ.(Prov. 29:18).  The laws of the land should not impede the spread of the gospel- they should enhance it.  They should complement it.  When man’s laws conflict with God’s law, man never wins.  May those who were elected yesterday recognize that laws must be compatible with God’s Word.   The fact is the world- including America- is operated under a theocracy because God is in charge, whether we like it or not. 

     The scripture says the purpose of human government is to punish evil doers and reward those that do good.(Rom. 13)  Providing infrastructure(roads/bridges), public education, health care, elderly care, social services, and charity are not mentioned in scripture as the duty of secular government.  Those are duties for individual believers.

     There are many examples in scripture where secular government grew to the point that it oppressed God’s people.  All the more reason for Christians to be engaged in the political process to insure that doesn’t happen in America.  Government, by nature, grows, even under conservative leadership.  Eliminating a government program or reducing funding affects people who work in the public sector’s lives.  There are few elected leaders who have the stomach to lay people off.  The private sector reduces their number of employees all the time, but government seldom makes staff adjustments.  The problem with that is the taxpayers are struck with the bill- in good and bad times.

      As John Calvin said, “rulers should remember that all they receive from people is public property and not a means of satisfying private lust and luxury.”   Let’s pray those elected yesterday understand that.