Syte Reitz

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world…….

Presidential Nominees -Who Gets to Choose Them?

or

What’s a Delegate to Do?

 

Slide113-e1345651613258Note: This article was inspired by the work of Curly Haugland on Republican Presidential Candidate selection at Will Republicans Have a Primary Or A Convention, And Who Gets To Decide?

The Problem- “Binding” of Votes

There has been much controversy in recent years over the question of “binding” Republican delegates in presidential primaries and conventions.

What is a delegate?  A delegate is a person designated to act for or represent another or others; deputy; representative, as in a political convention.

Binding is a policy that does not allow delegates at a presidential convention to follow their own judgment or to insist on the party platform when voting for a candidate at the convention, but obliges them to vote only for the candidates who were selected in the primary or caucus selection of candidates in their state months previous to the Republican Convention.

So the question becomes how can a delegate best act for or represent others in the Republican convention?  Does a delegate represent other Republicans better when the delegate is “bound” to vote for a particular individual, or does the delegate represent other Republicans better when he/she is free to use their own judgement, as other elected officials, like Senators and Representatives in the United States Congress do?

In the Republican Party, binding was forbidden by RNC rules since 1923, and delegates have had the freedom to use personal judgment.
But attempts have been made in recent years to introduce binding into RNC rules, with a great deal of confusion resulting.

Pros and Cons

Those who advocate binding say binding is democratic, represents the will of the people, and should not be overturned at the convention by delegates who do not wish to be bound by the popular vote.
Political donors promote binding because their investments in candidates at the primary level could be wiped out by unexpected votes at the convention if delegates were not bound after the primary.Slide1

Those who oppose binding and advocate freedom of conscience for delegates say that outsiders, who are permitted to vote in Republican primaries in 24 States now, have no right to hijack the party at the primaries for an agenda that may even be at odds with the party platform.

These issues become particularly important as we approach the 2016 Presidential Election, which has been labeled the most unique, yet pivotal, nomination process in the entire history of the Republican Party.

Some Crucial Background on Ballot Access

Who is right?
Pro-binding or anti-binding advocates?
What are the rules?

If we start with the question “What are the rules governing nominations for President in the United States?” it helps to understanding the modern dilemma on “binding” of delegates.

Ballotpedia, a respected impartial political news source, explains the ballot access process for presidential candidates:

ballotpedia2-630x286According to Ballotpedia, there are three ways that a person can get on the ballot for President:

  • The individual can seek the nomination of a political party. Political parties are private organizations in which like-minded individuals with similar goals have banded together to sponsor a nominee for president who upholds their organization’s priorities and agenda or platform.
  • They can get on the ballot for President independently. This involves petitioning each state to have their names printed on the general election ballot. Each petition involves complex procedures designed by State lawmakers to prevent non-serious candidates from appearing on the ballot. In 2016, it would also involve the collection of more than 900,000 signatures in support of that candidate.
  • The person can run as a write-in candidate. In most states, this involves filing some paperwork in advance of the election. And, of course, it involves persuading millions of people to write the candidate’s name in on the ballot during the general election.

What’s the Easiest Way for a Person to Run for President?

It is pretty clear that the first option, getting a party to nominate you for president, is easier than the other two options. In the first option, the party does much of the work for the candidate. The party offers the unique ability to effectively organize and mobilize voters. The party also contributes a history, a reputation and loyal members who will vote for the candidate.
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Two such major parties have dominated the political landscape in the United States for over a hundred years- Democratic and Republican parties. These parties not only help candidates, but they also help voters. Once voters have identified a party whose platform they approve, they do not have to repeat the hard work of gauging each presidential candidate individually on each issue and deciding which one to back for each election. The party they support and trust does this evaluation for them.

Political Warfare

In the past, it seemed honest common sense that only individuals who support a party platform would consider running under the umbrella of that party.

The idea that someone who disagrees with the party platform would try to use that party to get elected would clearly represent a form of dishonesty, even of hijacking.
However today, attempts to hijack political parties occur.

Why Would Anyone Want to Hijack a Party?

Someone may want to hijack a political party for a number of reasons.

The reasons include circumventing the tedious application process to numerous individual States, avoiding the collection of nearly a million signatures, and the attractive nature of jumping on a wagon that is already well under way and is well stocked.  A deceitful person could even see hijacking of the opposition party as an opportunity to weaken the opposition party from the inside.

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The Republican Party’s major opponent, the Democrat Party, has unfortunately demonstrated numerous times their willingness to use an unethical set of tactics called Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.  Hillary Clinton wrote her undergraduate thesis on Alinsky’s philosophy and was offered a job to work with him in 1968Barak Obama taught Alinksy Tactics while he was a professor.  Alinsky’s book Rules for Radicals is dedicated to Lucifer (Satan, the Father of Lies) and promotes the use of any immoral tactics to achieve one’s goals. The behavior of both President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton  during the past 8 years has illustrated time and again the devious unethical tactics used routinely by the Democrat Party.

Democrats seem to be riddled with unscrupulous agendas much more so than other groups of Americans or than Republicans. As an aside, you could read about the circus that went on in Madison, Wisconsin when Democrats decided to recall Republican Governor Walker because they did not like legislation that Republicans were enacting in Wisconsin.  I had a front-row seat at that circus, and reported on many unscrupulous behind-the scenes events, including shocking events involving State Supreme Court Judges at the Wisconsin State Supreme Court.  Events such as these make President Nixon’s Watergate seem like naughty child’s play, but the media does not even attempt to hold Democrats accountable for their unethical behavior in 2016, and amateur bloggers like me have to do the work of the media.

Dealing With Reality

Slide1So reality dictates today that we have to deal with individuals who present themselves to a political party for nomination, while disagreeing with a major portion of that party’s political platform or agenda. The party has to watch out for hijackers, or Trojan horses, or wolves in sheep’s clothing- both among the candidates, and among primary voters.

This is where the supervision of trusted, elected party delegates who have earned the trust of the party through demonstrated volunteer service comes in, helping to identify and eliminate impostors and hijackers. Delegates have been entrusted the job of being the guardian angels of the party’s ethics and of the party’s platform.

Hijacking can occur not only at the candidate level, but at the primary voter level as well. Twenty-four states now allow the general public to vote in primaries for nominees of other parties. So when Democrats and Independents and undeclared voters are permitted to choose the Republican Party’s nominee, clearly the Republican Party no longer has control over its own organization. There is even the potential for organized busloads of opponents, sometimes without proper identification, to vote numerous times in primaries in order to sabotage their opponents’ candidate selection.

Isn’t That a Bit Paranoid?

Unfortunately, the scenarios described above are not imagined, but have already surfaced at the Iowa caucuses in this 2016 election.

Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders has accused his Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton of infiltrating the Iowa caucuses with out-of-state paid staffers.  A pretty serious accusation, considering that Hillary won the Iowa Caucuses by only 0.29%.

Equivalently shocking, there is video documentary published February 10, 2016, of Out of State Voters and Non-Residents Offered Ballots in New Hampshire Presidential Primary.  So apparently, attempts to hijack the Primaries are in full force today.

Back to Binding Delegates- Democratic or Not?

So the binding of delegates is not a simple democratic procedure as many media sources represent it. In fact, binding of delegates can work against democracy in numerous ways:

  • Binding of delegates allows outsiders to help choose the Republican nominee at the Primaries.
  • Binding of delegates allows candidates who oppose the Party platform to be nominated.
  • Binding of delegates misleads voters into thinking a candidate represents something other than they really represent.
  • Slide1Binding of delegates does not allow delegates to take into account all the events that transpire in the half year between the primaries and the convention.
  • Binding of delegates is unfair to those who have built the Republican Party, which is, after all, a private association with freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to associate with politically like-minded individuals.
  • Binding of delegates allows the infiltration of political party by opponents.
  • Binding encourages money-driven nominations rather than idea-driven or character-driven nominations.
  • Binding of delegates has never been permitted by the Rules of the Republican Party.

The above points illustrate that it can very reasonably be argued that the binding of delegates is NOT democratic, but subverts the democratic process and facilitates the hijacking of half of America’s votes.

Hijacking Not Allowed

If a person does not agree with a particular party’s platform, they should not be allowed to represent that party, or to change that party by such devious means.

An outsider cannot join your off-road jeep club and insist that you switch your club’s agenda to knitting.
Your neighbors, no matter how many of them get together and agree, cannot hijack your car from your garage because they do not own it.

Slide1But Didn’t the RNC Introduced Binding, and Isn’t Binding Binding?

So why are so many under the impression that binding was introduced into RNC rules by amendment, and that binding is now obligatory?

The problem is that recent political warfare has included numerous attempts by progressives to alter the political agenda of the Republican Party with amendments and to divert its candidates.
These attempts have been fraudulent, and they cause internal contradictions in the RNC rules, which by definition (governed by Robert’s Rules of Order) nullify the contradictory progressive amendments.

Did You Just Say Progressives in the Republican Party?

Yes, there actually are progressives in the Republican Party.
Let’s clarify something about progressives at this point. Etymologically speaking, one would think that progressives were people who represented progress in society.

Slide17-e1401570829969Yet today’s progressive has wishfully and somewhat narcissistically labeled his or her own fast-paced, radical social and economic experimentation, which most often ends in economic failure and social disaster, as progressive. Not only have they prematurely declared their experiments to represent progress, but they have also tried to dictate that all others follow their foolhardy misguided example.

One example of misguided progessivism is Michelle Obama’s suggestion last year that discarded school lunches be used to fuel cars.  The idea sounds great on the surface- let’s not let anything go to waste!- but when you do the calculations of what it would cost to transform school lunches into fuel for cars, the fuel would end up costing $280 per gallon.

Today’s impulsive and unwise progressive is more aptly named a regressive.
So let’s get to some of the regressive, fraudulent and invalid amendments they tried to introduce into the RNC rules.

 Regressive Attempts to Amend RNC Rules

Slide1

According to Curly Haugland, National Committeeman from the North Dakota Republican State Committee, and member of the RNC Rules Committee, for the past 90 years RNC rules have prohibited the binding of Republican delegates.  RNC rules continue to protect the right of each delegate to The Republican National Convention to vote their personal choice on issues coming before the convention, and for the candidate of their choice to receive the party’s nomination.

The Rules of the Republican Party  can be changed via prescribed procedures, but changes can occur only once every four years, on the eve of the Republican Convention.  Once the rules are established, the convention proceeds according to those rules, and no further changes can be made until the eve of the next convention four years later.

There have been attempts by regressives to change the rules in recent years, and today, the RNC rules actually do state that binding of delegates can occur (Rule 16).  But Curly Haugland points out that the binding language was introduced illegitimately by deceit and by trickery, by staff who did not have the authority to change the rules, and furthermore, that the attempted binding rule is actually contradicted by other RNC rules which are still on the books (e.g. Rules 37 and 38).  Contradictions are governed by Roberts Rules of Order, which state that any motion that conflicts with other existing rules is null and void.

Slide1So despite the fact that binding has been introduced into the RNC Rules, binding is actually null and void.
Binding is not binding.

All-Out War

The struggle between proponents of binding and those defending their rights to vote their conscience led to a serious clash in 2012.

Over 400 Republican delegates filed a Federal lawsuit against the Republican National Committee and Reince Priebus the Chairman, alleging that violence and intimidation were used against delegates in an effort to control how they voted.  These delegates refused to be bound and insisted on their right to vote their conscience.

Despite the fact that the court ordered the dispute to be settled via Alternative Dispute Resolution, the exhibits included in the complaint included a copy of a legal opinion offered by Jennifer Sheehan, Associate Counsel to the Republican National Committee, which clearly states that Delegates are allowed to vote for the individual of their choice, regardless of whether that person is officially placed into nomination.

Regressive Rules Can Boomerang

We’ve already mentioned the boomerang path some “progressive” ideas take, like Michelle Obama’s attempt to force children to eat food they don’t like, then to turn their discarded lunches into $280 per gallon fuel for cars.Slide1

The thing is, most progressive regressive ideas fail, and come back to bite the people who initiated them.  Any good scientist will tell you that most experiments fail, and it is the failed experiments that ultimately lead you toward figuring out what really  does work.

And regressive rule changes in the RNC rules are no exception- they boomerang and come back to bite you.

Changing MORE Rules

Presidential candidates (like Mitt Romney) who are powerful enough to influence the appointment of delegates in the Republican Party, can get their delegates to introduce changes into the RNC rules on the eve of the convention once every 4 years.  And guess what they try to introduce?  Rules which favor that candidate.  And so, on the eve of the 2012 Tampa Republican convention, more rules were changed.

Previous to 2012, in order to go on to the convention, a candidate had to win a plurality of votes in the primaries of 5 states; that is, to receive more votes in 5 states than any of his/her competitors did.  But on the eve of the 2012 Tampa Convention, this rule (Rule 40) was changed, in order to make Mitt Romney the Presumptive Nominee and to prevent Ron Paul, who had received a plurality of votes in 5 states, from challenging Mitt Romney.  The bar was raised to require a majority of votes (more than 50% instead of just the highest number) in 8 states (instead of in 5 states). This rule change made on the eve of the 2012 Convention succeeded in excluding Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney went on to become the Republican nominee.

Here Comes the Boomerang!

Republican-National-Convention-Cleveland-2016Well, here we are now in 2016.

The 2016 Republican field is much larger and more competitive than 2012, so the majority (50%) that Mitt Romney and Ron Paul got in 2012 is much harder to get.
We have a veritable flock of great candidates coming up on stage.  So much so that they cannot even fit onto one stage, and Republican debates are split into two sessions.
At the rate things are going, even the front runners do not seem capable of getting 50% of the vote, because the vote is spread over so many candidates.

What will happen?
The very rules that helped Mitt Romney are now getting in the way of many candidates.
So, there will be no “Presumptive Nominee.”

Many candidates may get to the convention, and rule changes are being planned for the eve of the July 1016 Convention.
As a result, this year, the candidate selection process may occur at the convention, and not at the primaries.
Candidates who do not have a majority of delegates are being encouraged to “go the distance” to Cleveland and not to drop out. Slide1
Delegates are being encouraged to vote their conscience, and to select a nominee who represents the Party Platform.

When delegates do not feel “bound,”  the handlers and influence peddlers will lose control over the convention.  The convention will be in the hands of the delegates of the Republican party.
So what worked for progressives in 2012 in getting a much more liberal candidate (Mitt Romney) ushered into the Republican Party, may work against the present most liberal candidate, Donald Trump.
Donald Trumps’s hopes of being the Presumptive Nominee may have been sabotaged by the rule change in 2012 that was designed to help liberal candidates like Mitt Romney, and presumably Donald Trump.
The boomerang has returned.

Anybody Placing Bets?

So who’s placing bets on the mad dash to change the rules again on the eve of this 2016 Cleveland Republican Convention?
Will the rules be changed?
Will there be a repetition of delegate intimidation?
Will Reince Priebus and the National Republican Committee behave and let democracy work, particularly since they were forced to recognize the delegates’ right to conscience after the lawsuit in 2012?
Some have even speculated that this convention could yield wild surprises, such as the nomination of people who had not even declared themselves as candidates for nomination, like Sarah Palin.

patriot_400x400What We Need

What we need at this point is patriotism, courage, strength of character and prayer.
This is an opportunity for Americans to take back the Republican Party, to behave in a way that is faithful to the Constitution and to the Republican Party Platform, which supports the Constitution.
We need power to be returned to the delegates as it was originally designed and intended.
And that power will not return by itself. It has to be taken by courageous men and women.
At the 2016 Republican Convention in Cleveland.

So What’s a Delegate to Do?

  • A Delegate is to act like a patriot.
  • A delegate is to help take back America, so that this Judeo-Christian democratic republic can continue to thrive and succeed and does not turn into a regressive experimental Godless socialist state which is the trajectory that Obama and the Democrat Party are following.
  • A delegate is to choose candidates of upstanding moral character who are pledged to upholding the platform of the Republican Party.
  • A delegate really should read the new guide being prepared for Republican Party delegates which is being spearheaded by North Dakota Republican National Committeeman Curly Haugland, intended to make all delegates aware of the duties and responsibilities they assume as they fulfill their important role in the governance of the Republican Party. The working title of the guide is “Owner’s Manual for 2016 Republican National Convention Delegates. See RNC Delegates Top Priority:Recruiting Conservatives Into Party’s Precinct Committeemen Ranks.

READ THE GUIDE THAT’s COMING!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get Off Your Couch and Keep Wisconsin On Track-
It’s SO Important to Vote Tomorrow!

Note (added Apr. 7m 2016): See April 5 Election Results at Battle of Wisconsin Results.
Note (added Mar. 19, 2016):

JoAnn Kloppenburg’s supporters tried to smear Rebecca Bradley recently, digging up Justice Bradley’s statements opposing abortion and gay issues a quarter century ago when she was 20 years old.
Although Rebecca Bradley’s statements were overemotional back then, the fact remains that many Americans still oppose abortion and the redefinition of marriage, and Bradley was courageous in voicing her conservative views in college.

JoAnn Kloppenburg has no shortage of extreme views at the other, progressive end of the political spectrum:

Kloppenburg is an off-the-deep-end radical, and you should not vote for her unless you are enjoying the present fallout we are suffering from radical progressive agendas both in Madison and nationwide.  If you vote for JoAnne Kloppenburg, you are voting for a Judge who considers herself above the law.

Rebecca Bradley, on the other hand, respects the (conservative) value of respecting and following the law, not legislating from the bench, leaving legislation to the legislative branch, and refusing to us smear campaigns such as those her opponent supports.

Vote again on April 5, 2016; Vote for Rebecca Bradley!

Note (added Feb. 17, 2016): Thanks for Voting!

Rebecca Bradley came in first in the Feb 16 Primary yesterday (Martin Joseph Donald was eliminated).
Stay vigilant and vote again on April 5, 2016, when Wisconsin will be making a final choice between Rebecca Bradley (conservative) and JoAnn Kloppenburg (liberal).

The Background

 

Seal_of_the_Supreme_Court_of_Wisconsin.svgMuch of the liberalization of our contemporary culture has been accomplished by liberal judges at various levels overruling the will of the American people.  Examples include the reversal of the Defense of Marriage Act and the Roe v. Wade legalization of abortion.

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court had it’s share of liberal judges, with three liberals out of seven Supreme Court Judges five years ago.

Some of the liberal Judges were spinning out of controltrying to smear one of the conservative Judges, Justice Prosser in an apparent effort to liberalize the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  Their attempts, if you believe the testimony of the majority of Justices who witnessed the event, included desperate measures such as assaulting a fellow Justice, involving the press, and then lying about what had happened.Slide1

The attempt to change that balance failed, and the conservative majority has since been strengthened in 2015 by Governor Walker’s appointment of Rebecca Bradley, another conservative Judge.  Justice Rebecca Bradley is not to be confused with the other Justice Bradley, Ann Walsh Bradley, who was the source of the problems in 2011, and who was responsible for assaulting a fellow Judge and trying to cast him as the aggressor, despite the testimony of witnesses.  This led to a shocking game of Which Supreme Court Justice assaulted which Supreme Court Justice, and which one lied?

So let’s make sure we get this straight:

  • Just so there’s no confusion:
    Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley is the liberal Justice involved in the assault scandal in 2011.
  • Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley is the conservative Justice running for reappointment now in 2016, agains two liberals.

Two Judges With the Same Name in the Wisconsin Supreme Court?

Yes, the Wisconsin Supreme Court now has two women Justices with the last name Bradley.

The newly appointed Justice Rebecca Bradley (conservative) is running in a primary tomorrow with two Democrats, JoAnne Kloppenberg and Martin Joseph Donald.

The two candidates who receive the highest number of votes for Bradley’s seat in the February 16, 2016, primary will then face each other in the April general election. The winner will begin serving a 10-year term on the court.

If you care about the preservation of Christian morality and religious freedom for Christians in America, vote tomorrow for Justice Rebecca Bradley.

Vote for Justice Rebecca Bradley!

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Check out Justice Rebecca Bradley’s website:

JusticeBradley-Logo

Why Rebecca Bradley is running (from her website):

After practicing law in the private sector for over 16 years, I answered a calling to public service as a Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge in Children’s Court, where I dedicated myself to strengthening families, protecting children in need, keeping the community safe, and treating all participants in the court system with dignity and respect. I then served as a Wisconsin Court of Appeals Judge, reviewing decisions made at the trial court level and writing opinions in all areas of the law. I am honored to bring over 19 years of experience in the legal and judicial professions to our State’s highest court. Serving the people of Wisconsin as a member of the judiciary has been the most rewarding experience of my professional life, and I am grateful to those who expressed confidence in me with their support and votes. I humbly ask the voters of Wisconsin to retain me as their Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice.

I became a judge because I care deeply about Wisconsin and its many communities. I was born and raised in the city of Milwaukee. After my Dad lost his job in the 1980s recession, my family struggled like many Wisconsin families. But I was blessed with parents who instilled in their four children a strong work ethic, the importance of education, and the value of a strong family. My sisters are stay-at-home mothers. My brother is a public high school teacher. My family’s experiences gave me a unique appreciation for the challenges faced by families all over our great state.

I am committed to the rule of law and applying the law fairly and impartially. When I proudly took the Oath of Office, I swore to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin. I understand my duty to apply the law as it is written and not as I may wish it to be. I have faithfully exercised this duty in hundreds of cases as a judge on the Milwaukee County Circuit Court, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, and as a Justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. It is my honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Wisconsin.

Priorities?

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Priorities

XXX
It is moving to see a President shed tears over loss of Life, as President Obama did during the announcement of his Executive Action on gun control two days ago.

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But it is baffling to consider that the death of 26 innocent people at Newtown can move President Barack Obama to tears, while the death of over 57 MILLION innocent unborn babies does not appear to move him in the least.

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xxx

Just HOW Pro-Abortion is President Obama?

President Obama is the most radically pro-abortion President we have ever seen.

Ironically, this is a man who, as the black child of single mother,  would himself have faced a more than 54% probability of abortion, if abortion had been legal at the time of his birth.yournotkeepingitareyou_2012-02-13-brief-cartoon

  • President Obama is so pro-abortion that he voted three times against Born Alive Infant Protection Acts that would require medical care for a baby who survives an abortion.
    President Obama supports the killing of a baby born accidentally in a botched full 9-month term partial-birth abortion.
  • President Obama is so pro-abortion that he has voiced support for the abortion of his own grandchildren.
  • President Obama is so pro-abortion that through ObamaCare, he has forced mandates on religious employers, forcing the employers to provide abortifacient drugs to their employees, against their own religious beliefs.  He has pursued this prioritization of abortion in health care after initially promising his pro-life Democrat colleagues (Stupak and his 11) that ObamaCare would not include abortion.
  • President Obama even has a  “Science Czar,” John Holdren, who has advocated forced abortion and forced sterilization  in the United States to control population.

So we now have a President who has forced abortion onto America, against the wishes of 2/3 of the American population, by deception and through lies.

Do we plan to do something about this as voters in 2016?

Can the aggressive abortion agenda and the culture of deception in our government be changed?
Can we do something about this as voters in 2016?
-Stay tuned, for upcoming articles on the 2016 election, on candidates, and on America’s future options.

See also previous articles on related topics:

The Importance of Babies…

  • The Baby – an article on the importance of the baby, written on my son’s birthday, 3 years ago today. Happy Birthday, Chris!
  • Dear Baby – a letter written our first grandbaby before she was born
  • Abortion – a Much Bigger Deal Than You Think – an article for those who think abortion is not a big deal.
  • The Contrast – an article contrasting Madison’s Pro-Life community with Madison’s Pro-Choicers, and featuring the behavior of Annie Laurie Gaylor, Dan Barker, and the Freedom From Religion crowd at a Catholic Pro-Life event.
  • Black Death in America – on the importance of showing concern for all black deaths.

Obama: "For Independence Day, you will lose your independence"

Obama Administration Forcing Abortion…

xxx
Obama Administration Subverting Religious Freedom…"Baracchio" turning into a donkey as "Timothy Cricket" looks on, appalled.  In the popular children's tale of Pinocchio, Pinocchio fell in with a bad crowd of pleasure-seeking boys.  This resulted in their turning into donkeys who would be enslaved by a coachman.  Pinocchio's conscience, represented by Jiminy Cricket (played here by Archbishop Timothy Dolan) saves Pinocchio from his bad judgement, and the tale ends happily.

 Elections 2016:

 

Christmas News 2015

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Merry Christmas!

This year our expanding family has been blessed in many ways.

Tom and Tracey were married in July, honeymooned in Rome and were even able to meet Pope Francis.

VT (Chris) and Rebecca’s daughter Elizabeth is now 13 months old, and just started walking last week!

Rolf “retired” from UW-Madison in August, but continues to keep busy half time with graduating his remaining 7 students and with his consulting and editorial work.

Rolf’s retirement is something that we are both looking forward to very much.

After graduating Rolf’s students and taking care of some of the chores at home that we have neglected for 25 years, we hope to have more time for other pursuits.  For now, we are really enjoying the ability to sleep in a bit some mornings and to take our time over our morning coffee.

Finally, roughhousing with our one-year-old puppy Pepper keeps us laughing and on our toes.

We wish everyone a very Happy, Merry, and Blessed Christmas!

Click below to hear Rolf playing Silent Night on the guitar:

And We Wish You A Merry Christmas and Winter Wonderland:

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 T&T Pope Francis 214108_05082015

Dave & Jill & familiy

Dave & Jill & familiy

My friends Jill and Dave, and their beautiful family, have just been gouged by ObamaCare.
Jill just posted on Face book:

 

“You will be able to keep your current health insurance” Wasn’t that the promise that he made to us? Unfortunately, we can’t afford to keep it anymore. Rate increase thanks to Obama Care. Look below for our new rate contained in the letter we received in September to see why. The letter stated, “Getting enrolled in this new, ACA-compliant health plan will be an easy, no-hassle experience for you. We understand that the health insurance market is confusing. That’s why we’ll take care of getting you enrolled in your new health plan. You don’t need to take any action.”

They were wrong. We did need to take action; we had to pick jaws off the floor after restarting our hearts upon reading the new rates.
Today, November 5, we received a new update on our rates which goes into effect in January 2016. Take a look at our new rates below. Here’s a brief summary: our current rate is $941.74. In December, that goes up to $1692.30. January 1, 2016, it goes up to $2455.38!! Our current policy has a $6000 family deductible, and the new policies have a $7,200 annual family deductible; we’re not even on a HMO plan!

Thank you, President Obama, for the UnAffordable Care Act!
Please SHARE to get the word out!                  -Jill

 

ObamaCare Premiums


Families like Jill and Dave’s are now finding out what Obama has done to our health care.
It’s inexcusable.

Faith and Science

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When it comes to Faith and Science, Dr. Ben Carson is a man after my own heart:

Good Measure of Correlation

Dr. Ben Carson

Faith and science both seek Truth.

Secularists loves to point out when people of faith miss the mark in their pursuit of Truth.

But secularists fail to realize that people of science miss the mark even more often, particularly when they are pursuing a preconceived agenda, and when they are not guided by humility, openness and faith.

There is as much bad, flawed science around as there is good science.
Science is only as good and wise as the scientist who did the science.

Faith and science are actually very consistent and compatible.
It is we humans who are imperfect in our pursuit and understanding of both.

Faith is very essential for success in both science and politics.
An absence of faith allows science to be used unwisely, toward the wrong priorities- like killing our future.
And towards spreading false political propaganda.

May God bless and guide us in our choice of the next President of the United States.
Dr. Ben Carson would make a pretty good one.

We are blessed with several good humble men and one woman of faith as candidates for the Presidency in 2016.
Let’s make sure we choose one of them, rather than prioritizing economy or some other secular criterion.

Ultimately, it is God, and only God, Who leads us to prosperity, as well as to an understanding of the Truth, both spiritual and scientific.

 

See also:

Elections 2016 or Taming the Black Swan or Selling Out vs Sticking to Principles

Dear Baby…

Election 2014- What Just Happened? or Battle for the Soul of America

Who believes in God?

Don’t Vote for Death and Racism

 

 

Košeliena

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Hey, Syte, have you quit blogging about politics?

No, there’s a very political post in the pipeline- coming very soon.

But meanwhile,

Košeliena- a Lithuanian favorite

First, let’s pronounce it- Kaw’-sheh-leah-nuh (sort-of).

While up north , Rolf and I decided to make some Košeliena.
This resulted in a Facebook post of the simmering Košeliena:

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and another Facebook post of Rolf playing his guitar on the porch with our puppy Pepper, while the Košeliena simmers:

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Which inspired many “likes” on Facebook, and a request from my cousin Phil Skabeikis to post the recipe for his wife Marian.

So here we go- the recipe, followed by some photos.
Hope you enjoy.

For those who are not into cold aspic Lithuanian dishes, this same recipe produces a phenomenal pulled pork which can be served hot (in which case peeled quartered potatoes can be added for the last 2 hours of cooking).

Koseliena 1

Koseliena2

Siesta while the koseliena simmers!

Siesta while the koseliena simmers!

... 6 hours simmering... let's go for a walk!

… 6 hours simmering… let’s go for a walk!

6 hours of of simmering all done!

6 hours of of simmering all done!

The dissection starts...

The dissection starts…

This is what you throw away (or feed to your dog!) (or what REAL FARMERS eating REAL KOSELIENA used to eat back when.)

This is what you throw away (or feed to your dog!) (or what REAL FARMERS eating REAL KOSELIENA used to eat way back when.)

Using the best tidbits...

Using the best tidbits…

Vegetables and broth.

Vegetables and broth.

Lots of meat in the bottom of the dish.

Lots of meat in the bottom of the dish.

Straining the vegetables out (remember to pick out and discard little bones!).

Straining the vegetables out (remember to pick out and discard little bones!).

Doesn't hurt to eat some of the pork while it's hot... this job takes all day after all, and it's dinner time!

Doesn’t hurt to eat some of the pork while it’s hot… this job takes all day after all, and it’s dinner time!

Finally finished with all the dissecting!

Finally finished with all the dissecting!

Spread some of the strained vegies on top...

Spread some of the strained veggies on top…

We're getting there... ladle on the broth (the broth can be thickened with unflavored Knox gelatin if it's not thick enough to gel in the fridge - usually not needed).

We’re getting there… ladle on the broth (the broth can be thickened with unflavored Knox gelatin if it’s not thick enough to gel in the fridge – usually not needed).

All done!

All done!

Side view...

Side view…

Pat down the top to submerge veggies...

Pat down the top to submerge veggies…

Into the fridge overnight.

Into the fridge overnight.

Serving up... first, scrape off the layer of fat on top...

Serving up… first, scrape off the thin layer of fat on top…

Cut out a slice (or unmold the whole thing onto a serving dish).

Cut out a slice (or unmold the whole thing onto a serving dish).

Looking good...

Looking good…

Finally ready to eat!  Too bad we didn't have Lithuanian black bread to go with it this time.  Home made potato salad almost as good!

Finally ready to eat! Too bad we didn’t have Lithuanian black bread to go with it this time. Home made potato salad almost as good!  Don’t forget LOTS of lemon and some salt.

 

YUM!!!

YUM!!!

 

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Christmas News

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Merry Christmas!

At our house, 2014’s been a crazy but wonderful year.

VT (Chris) and Rebecca were married in January, and had a baby (Elizabeth) in October – our first grandchild!

We celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary in August.

Tom and Tracey got engaged in November (to be married in July 2015),  and we, in anticipation of Rolf’s “retirement” next summer, just got an 8-week old Havanese puppy (Pepper) this week.

Everyone is healthy, happy and doing well.

We are grateful, and feel very, very blessed.

We wish everyone a very Happy, Merry, and Blessed Christmas!

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 40th Sharp
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 Pepper 12-18-14  email size
 40th with Tom & Tracey email size
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Christening email size

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