America has the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and the UCP (ultimate clutch players). One is mixed martial artists, and the other is quarterbacks of the NFL. They all are athletic warriors who are extremely determined to win.
My favorite in the UFC is Georges St-Pierre. My favorite in the UCP is Tim Tebow. I know what you are thinking: Tebow has been in the NFL for only three years. True, but Tim's 2011 season with the Denver Broncos was one of the most remarkable in football history.
In 1787, when delegates at the Constitutional Convention were divided and at an impasse regarding how to build our government and frame the U.S. Constitution, 81-year-old Benjamin Franklin appealed to the other delegates to pray for divine intervention to help them out of their darkness:
Post-publication note from Chuck: At the time I wrote the column below, news had not broken about the massive and devastating explosion at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas. Of course, all of my condolences and commendations about the victims and crisis care community in Boston I extend with profound correlations to my own heartbroken neighbors in Texas. One television news report estimated that 700 first responders were deployed immediately into action there. Let no one say the selfless and sacrificial American spirit isn't alive and well!
As with others across the nation, my wife, Gena, and I are so proud of the first responders and host of rescuers, medical personnel, law enforcement personnel, firemen, military members, crisis counselors and good Samaritans who immediately were called into action and undoubtedly saved lives, limbs and souls because of their heroic efforts. Truly, America's best shine brightest during our country's most difficult and darkest moments.
Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that agents for the Internal Revenue Service are bypassing warrants and sifting through the email and other electronic communications of American citizens.
Those documents disclosed that "agents were told they didn't need a warrant to root through emails, texts or Facebook pages of people (the IRS) is investigating," according to Fox News.
Last week, I gave 12 examples of how religious liberty has been assaulted in just the past two years in the U.S. Here are about two dozen more instances just for good measure, as reported by the Family Research Council, the office of Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., and various media outlets.
—The following public institutions recently have joined the growing ranks of those that have banned the use of the word "Easter" in order to diminish or eliminate references to religion: East Meadow School District in New York, Prospect Heights Public Library in Illinois, Heritage Elementary School in Alabama, Manhattan Beach Unified School District in California, Flat Rock Elementary School in South Carolina and West Shore School District in Pennsylvania.
It's Holy Week, but what's not so holy is the assault on religious liberty in the U.S.
Religious liberty has been called rightly America's "first freedom," not only because the right is contained in the First Amendment but also because it predates the U.S. and has its origin in God, not government, and the freedoms he endowed within us. But over the past few decades, that basic freedom has come under assault — particularly, in recent years, regarding Christianity.
The Telegraph, a newspaper in the United Kingdom, noted how Catholicism has spread its wings by appointing Pope Francis as its first non-European pope since A.D. 741. Yet countries such as Iran are still clamping down on religion by incarcerating Christians and putting them on trial for their faith.
According to Fox News, "five men were among seven arrested in October when security forces raided an underground house church in the city of Shiraz during a prayer session." And Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a religious persecution watchdog organization, elaborated that they are being tried in Islamic Revolutionary Court on charges of "disturbing public order, evangelizing, action against national security and ... (Internet) activity against the system."
Many conservatives point to great modern men and leaders, such as Ronald Reagan, as models we can follow, and I concur with their sentiments. But I think the best leaders lived long ago, during the founding of our republic, away from the limelight and luster of today's politics and Washington drama.
With Feb. 18's being Presidents Day and Feb. 22's being the actual day George Washington was born, I thought there would no better time to honor the man I consider to be one of the greatest leaders ever born. And I'm going to take a few weeks (columns) to do it.
In the past few weeks, I've highlighted ways we can reduce violent crime in the U.S. But I've saved the best and most powerful solutions for last because they work from the inside out.
In Part 1, I revealed how rational and rewarding it would be to post armed guards at our schools. In Part 2, I showed how reducing the number of firearms in the U.S. would not curb violent crime. In Part 3, I began to discuss the first of two ways in which our Founding Fathers expected to produce and maintain civility and decency in society. They esteemed all human life as equal and possessing intrinsic value far above the rest of creation, albeit while struggling with executing their beliefs as much as any generation — e.g., with slavery and the treatment of Native Americans and women.
In the past two weeks, I've highlighted ways we can reduce violent crime in the U.S. But I've saved the best and most powerful solutions for last because they work from the inside out.
In Part 1, I revealed how rational and rewarding it would be to post armed guards at our schools. In Part 2, I showed how reducing the number of firearms in the U.S. would not curb violent crime. Today and next week, I will discuss an age-old solution that America's Founding Fathers knew was key for maintaining civility in our communities — a solution being mimicked by a few nonprofit organizations in our public schools.
On Nov. 29, 1766, Benjamin Franklin wrote for the London Chronicle: "I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. — I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer."
I love seeing and hearing stories of people rising above adversity. Here is a story of one of those special people.
George Washington warned us in his Farewell Address about a time in America's future when we might be tempted to discard the pillars of civility: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them."
Let me give a great example of what Washington's words look like in action.
When President Barack Obama was re-elected, the winds waned behind many patriots' ships' sails. My wife, Gena, and I felt that sock in the gut for our country and posterity, too. But instead of cowering in defeat, I believe we need to discard conventional (unsuccessful) strategies and advance in new directions.
The future of our country is going to hinge not upon the Republican Party's reinvention (as so many think) but upon each of us patriots asking what isn't working about our approach and modifying our attacks for greater impact in the culture and political wars. You don't fight and win unconventional wars with conventional weapons; that's why we lost in November.
The art of jiujitsu is to use an opponent's weight and strength to your advantage. I believe we can further choke the life out of Obamacare by using this martial art technique. Let me explain.
Last week, I shared with you that while Republicans' power to repeal Obamacare has been thwarted by the president's re-election, all is not lost. Conservatives can still suffocate the federal monstrosity by supporting individual-to-state efforts to impede its funding and implementation.
Now that Obama has been re-elected and Democrats still control the Senate, Republicans no longer have the chance to repeal Obamacare.
But all is not lost. There's still an opportunity for America to stop this disaster by choking the life out of the federal monstrosity. Obama's signature legislative achievement is likely headed back to the Supreme Court.
This holiday season, while we enjoy delicious food and visiting family and friends, let's take a moment to give thanks for our many blessings.
It's easy to get lost in all the bad news today — whether it be unfavorable election results, financial troubles, a struggling economy, an overreaching federal government, crisis in the Middle East or personal struggles. Our growing list of problems often seems overwhelming and endless.
"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government, and I'm here to help.'" — President Ronald Reagan
Those wise and yet haunting words spoken by one of our nation's greatest presidents couldn't ring more true — especially today, as winter sets in on an estimated 130,000 of our fellow Americans who are still struggling without power. Many live without heat, hot water or inhabitable homes and question the government's efforts to alleviate their condition.
With the troubling devastation of Hurricane Sandy on our nation's doorstep — and so many people in need of food, shelter and emergency services after the storm — I encourage Americans to reach out to our neighbors and help them through this challenging time.
Sometimes it feels as if America is living through an Armageddon movie. We struggle with a destabilized economy, soaring national debt, an overburdened entitlement system, looming tax hikes, widespread unemployment, class warfare, ongoing wars, the threats of global terror and a nuclear Iran, and internal division and scandals, from "Fast and Furious" to the massacre in Benghazi, Libya. The list goes on and on.
The definition of spin is to apply a slant or particular emphasis to information, as to persuade or deceive.
President Barack Obama really has been pounding the pulpit the past few days, with the election right around the corner, with the help of his speechwriters. He sounds a lot like the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. About the only thing Obama hasn't said is "God damn America," as Wright did.
The third definition of "patriot" in the Oxford English Dictionary is "A person actively opposing enemy forces occupying his or her country; a member of a resistance movement, a freedom fighter. Originally used of those who opposed and fought the British in the American War of Independence."
The term first was used in the U.S. by Benjamin Franklin in a 1773 letter. It referred to people who stood in opposition of those pledged to the British Crown — the Tories aka loyalists.
It's time to take stock of where we stand as a nation. The election of 2012 offers us a stark contrast, between candidates who are looking to protect our Second Amendment rights and those who seek to restrict those same freedoms. Over the past month, I've been alerting you to some dangers on the horizon. As we consider the path we are about to embark upon, it's good to recall what's at stake.
We need to prevent the next president from appointing a Supreme Court that would reverse the two landmark Second Amendment cases — Heller and McDonald. In those decisions, the Supreme Court ruled that all American citizens, no matter where they live, have the right to legally possess a firearm as a means of self-defense. These decisions were a tremendous accomplishment, and they finally ratified what our Founding Fathers envisioned when they drafted the Second Amendment.
Sometimes, as the saying goes, the truth really is stranger than fiction. There may have been some wild plotlines on "Walker, Texas Ranger," but there was nothing that compares to the scandal surrounding "Fast and Furious" — the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation that resulted in the loss of a distinguished Border Patrol agent, Brian Terry.
The congressional investigation into "Fast and Furious" has been going on for more than a year, but it was stonewalled by Attorney General Eric Holder, who instead opened an internal investigation by the Department of Justice's inspector general. Tens of thousands of internal Justice Department documents supplied to the inspector general were withheld from Congress, despite having been requested in a lawful subpoena issued by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. This act of stubborn defiance resulted in Holder's becoming the first attorney general to be voted in contempt of Congress. Now Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report finally has been released, but it leaves some critical questions unanswered. Before delving into specifics, let me thank Townhall's Katie Pavlich for her help deciphering the report, as well as her groundbreaking reporting on this issue from day one.
Last time I checked, Americans were responsible for making our own laws. We do not invite foreign nations to have a say in how we govern ourselves within our own borders. Yet if you follow what's been going on with the United Nations this year, you know that the USA came perilously close to having other countries dictate our gun laws. And the fight isn't over yet.
The United Nations has been debating an arms trade treaty for nearly a decade now. Though the treaty is ostensibly focused on military arms, it has long been clear that the majority of U.N. delegates consider our personal firearms to be crying out for international regulation, as well. The focus of the treaty would be a demand that governments regulate the sale and possession of firearms worldwide — all of them, including yours and mine.
I believe freedom is worth fighting for. I am committed to protecting the freedoms our forefathers guaranteed to us in our Constitution. There are many politicians who disagree with me, although they are loath to admit it, but their true colors show in voting records on critical legislation. And part of what makes America great is that every two years, we, too, cast our votes, rendering judgment on whether lawmakers have fulfilled their promises. And every four years, as in 2012, our opportunity extends to the highest office in the land.
Less than 60 days remains before Election Day. I don't need to tell you how important this election is to the future of our country. The stakes are high, and that's why I proudly serve as honorary chairman of Trigger The Vote, the National Rifle Association's nonpartisan campaign to register voters who support the Second Amendment. As a proud gun owner and defender of our Constitution, I am working within the system to make sure my voice is heard in Washington.
In 2010, President Barack Obama confessed to ABC News' Diane Sawyer, "I'd rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president." But what if Obama's one term was not good but bad for the country?
The past two weeks, I've given the first eight reasons not to re-elect President Obama. Though I would encourage readers to read the details in each of those points, here they are in summary:
The New York Times reported, "With waning approval ratings and a stagnant economy, the possibility that Mr. Obama will not be re-elected has entered the political bloodstream." It's more than entered; it's flowing strong.
Last week in Part 1, I began to list my Top 10 reasons not to re-elect President Obama. Though I would encourage readers to read the details of each of those points, here they are in summary: