Monday, December 31, 2012

Fiscal cliff discussion continues

If you have been keeping up with current events at all you are already very aware at midnight tonight, if Congress fails to reach a deal, we are going to dive over a very tall fiscal cliff. The video below summarizes what are the consequences if this happens, which are not going to be a piece of cake. Tax increases, devastating inflation, and hurtful spending cuts are among the effects.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Secession? Really?

     We all know President Obama was re-elected. We know that he will have at least 4 more years to try to impose his totalitarian policies upon the USA. Ah! But we can define ourselves out of the USA.

     A conservative group in Texas is pushing for a bill to consider

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

     Howdy everyone! This is a little roundup of what's been happening around here lately.

     First off, our chairman, Hayden J. Sparks, will be in Mexico for a mission trip until Dec. 30th. I'll be filling in for him until he gets back.

     Secondly, our graphic designer and board member, Ben White, will be in Mineral Wells, TX, also until Jan 1st.

     Fortunately, our secretary, Bethany Baber, and I will still be here to run the show and keep y'all posted (pun intended) on all the political happenings around the area. Feel free to contact either of us if you have any questoins.

     As I'm writing this, it's snowing here in East Texas, and it's COLD! We've gotten about an inch of accumulation so far, with more expected. We are actually having a white Christmas! Speaking of Christmas and snow, that reminds me of a story I read a few days ago. I don't know if it's true or not, but it really doesn't matter. It shows an example of a meaningful Christmas gift. It's posted below.

With that, Merry Christmas and Happy Fiscal Cliff!

A Christmas Story

by Rian B. Anderson

Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Rep Fletcher introduces bill banning sex-selective abortion

Rep. Allen Fletcher
Representative Allen Fletcher (R-Cypress) introduced legislation Wednesday, December 19 that would prohibit sexism in its worst form. HB 309 bans aborting an unborn child because of the child's sex. The bill provides that a violation is a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of a jail term up to 180 days and/or up to a $2,000 fine. Rep. Fletcher stated in a press release, "It's very sad to see innocent life end because that child was not the correct sex for the mother." This legislation is a step in the right direction to defend unborn children, and I believe Rep. Fletcher ought to be commended for his pro-life bill. It is my hope the speaker of the House will  decide to place this legislation on the calendar for consideration, and it is my hope it will pass.

Gov. Rick Perry on presidential bid: I would do it again

I got a kick out of this slanted but informative video. The anchor obviously doesn't like Gov. Perry's idea of less gun control. You can tell by the look on her face. Also, the smirk offered by the reporter at the end provides quite a clear hint that he is not pleased with Gov. Perry. They do show some remarks made by Gov. Perry that I believe are worth watching. 

Democratic legislator introduces interesting bills

Rep. Eddie Lucio III
Representative Eddie Lucio III (D-San Benito) introduced four bills in the Texas House yesterday. All three of which are very unique, for lack of a better word. He announced the legislation yesterday in a press release

Rep. Lucio's first bill is commendable. HB 281 would give an immediate family member of a peace officer who has died as a result of alleged criminal conduct the right to testify at a plea bargaining for the alleged offender. This is reasonable legislation that, for as far as I can see, only gives the immediate family of a police officer the ability to be heard with regard to an offender's plea. 

The Democrat's second bill is rather humorous. In his press release, Rep. Lucio states, "The human reaction to losing a pet attributed to theft can be emotionally devastating and those who participate in such criminal activity should be held responsible." So his bill, HB 279, would make it a state jail felony to steal a pet. The maximum penalty for a state jail felony, according to the Texas Penal Code, is 2 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. The minimum is 180 days in jail. It isn't often that I chuckle when I read a

Monday, December 17, 2012

Straus shrugs off pro-life cause

Speaker Joe Straus
Rep. Joe Straus, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, shrugged off pro-life legislation last week as simply one of the thousands of bills that are introduced each legislative session. Speaker Straus said we should focus on our population growth, and his top priorities are education resources and infrastructure. He then said Texas should get serious about serious issues, with the glaring implication that abortion is not a serious issue. The conservative, pro-life legislation to which he is referring is a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks gestation in the state of Texas. While a bill doing this has not yet been introduced, when it is introduced it does not appear it will have enthusiastic support from Speaker Straus, who is being challenged for his seat by Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview), a challenge he also shrugged off as a "distraction." My question is why would
Speaker Straus alienate so many conservatives by refusing to recognize abortion as a serious issue?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Bill introduced by Texas Democrat would penalize failure to report

Rep. Ryan Guillen
Representative Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City) introduced a bill in the Texas House of Representatives November 12 that would make it an offense to fail to report a child missing or dead. This conservative legislation is tough on protecting children. The District 31 Democrat's bill is only two pages long, but it sends a strong message. Section 1 of HB 60 states the act shall be known as "Caylee's Law." This legislation would further make Texas a place where children are sacred, and would reinforce the idea we must protect them. Some Democrats are known for pitying criminals, and I applaud Rep. Guillen's bold attempt to break the chain of Democrats' spineless penal law.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pres. Obama, Gov. Perry express empathy to those affected by tragedy

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Governor Rick Perry
President Barack Obama offered his condolences to the families of victims and others affected by the horrific events that occured Friday morning. The emotional President Obama said in his remarks, "All of us can extend a hand to those in need, to remind them that we are there for them, that we are praying for them, that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories but also in ours." The President wished God's blessing on the memory of the victims. He also referenced Psalm 147:3, which says, "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." (ESV)

Governor Rick Perry of Texas also offered his condolences to those affected by the tragic shooting. Gov. Perry said, "The fact that so many victims were children weighs heavily upon the hearts and souls of each Texan and every American." I can't think of words that would better describe how I felt Friday. Thank you, Gov. Perry, for speaking on behalf of us in the wake of this horrific tragedy. My heart and soul are definitely heavy as I think of what transpired Friday morning.  You can read Gov. Perry's press release here.

Gov. Perry sets special election

Sen. Mario Gallegos, Jr.
Governor Rick Perry has set a special election to replace state Sen. Mario Gallegos, Jr. The election will be held on January 26, early voting will be January 9 - 22. Sen. Gallegos passed away from liver disease on October 16 at age 62, but because he died less than 74 days before the election he remained on the ballot. Though deceased, he defeated his opponent in the general election on November 6. Rep. Carol Alvarado has already filed to run for the seat. The candidate who wins the special election will serve a four-year term.

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson: "If you'd shut up for just a second."

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), the only Democratic U.S. representative from north Texas, got a little frustrated with Neil Cavuto, telling him he should shut up and let her talk. The congresswoman was being questioned by Cavuto about spending cuts, during such interview she drew a blank when Cavuto asked her to simply name what she would cut.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ambassador Rice will not seek to fill Secretary Clinton's vacancy

I would bet many Democrats are disgruntled this evening as U.N. ambassador Susan Rice has announced she will not seek the position of Secretary of State to replace Secretary Hillary Clinton. Ambassador Rice stated she fears a messy Senate confirmation process, which would include fierce Republican opposition. President Obama believe this is an indication of Ambassador Rice's character, in the midst of what he calls "false" accusations. Ambassador Rice was one of the officials who spread the falsehood that the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya was the result of a YouTube video. She claims this was based upon intelligence they had at the time, which is a highly debatable claim. 

Gov. Perry stands up for the unborn

Governor Rick Perry
Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) has declared he wants to see abortion at any stage become a thing of the past. Sometimes our leaders make mistakes, but when they say something as conservative and bold as this I believe they should be commended. Governor Perry's laudable comments came as he stated he would vehemently support legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Abortion advocates are beside themselves, saying the theory fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks is junk science. However, does it really matter? Would it be right to kill a person because he is paralyzed and can't feel pain? Thank you, Governor Perry, for stepping forward in an age of spineless conservatives. We need more leaders like Governor Perry.

Democratic support for Simpson for speaker possible

Rep. David Simpson 
It is possible there will be Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives that support Rep. David Simpson for speaker out of frustration with the current leadership. In my opinion, this is unlikely, but it is still possible. Rep. Simpson needs 76 votes to unseat current House speaker Rep. Joe Straus. These votes could come from the solid 95-member Republican majority in the House, or some votes may come from the other side of the isle. There is still frustration in the conservative camp that Rep. Straus was originally elected speaker by 70 Democrats and only 15 Republicans in 2009, ousting then-Speaker Tom Craddick. Perhaps the Democrats are tired enough of Speaker Straus to vote for Rep. Simpson. At this point, Rep. Simpson seems to be taking all the support he can get. However, considering Rep. Simpson's conservative platform, I don't believe he could receive much support from the Democratic party in the House.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Race for speaker heats up

Speaker Joe Straus
Speaker Joe Straus' spokeswoman, Erin Daley, made a cheap shot at Rep. David Simpson recently. Daley said in a statement Speaker Straus is dedicated not to running for speaker, but to preparing the legislature for the upcoming legislative session. Daley obviously was directing this attack at Rep. Simpson for trying to obtain the envied leadership position. However, that is very easy for Straus' camp to say considering Straus already as the support of many Democrats and Republicans, and has quite an edge over Rep. Simpson.

Rep. Simpson announced his candidacy for speaker on Monday.

Conservative Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R-Parker) announced she intends to vote for Speaker Straus in January, striking another blow to Rep. Simpson's chances for speaker.

Texas Tribune article 

Laubenberg article

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Simpson running for speaker, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Rep. David Simpson 
 District 7 Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) has announced his candidacy for Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. Rep. Simpson, who was first elected in 2010, announced after prayer and consideration he would be challenging Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) for the gavel in January. District 5 Rep. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) has dropped out of the race for speaker and has endorsed Rep. Simpson for the seat.

Rep. Simpson expressed concern that the rules of the House seem to be viewed as advisory rather than mandatory, and he wished they were enforced. He also stated he respects Speaker Straus, but does not agree with the way he leads the House.

Tyler Morning Telegraph article

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Eltife introduces bill to limit terms

State senator Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler) has introduced a Senate joint resolution that would limit statewide officials' terms.

Basically Eltife's resolution would restrict voters' ability to re-elect a candidate if he has served two consecutive terms in statewide office. This constitutional amendment would not apply to senators or representatives, but it does apply to the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, comptroller of public accounts, commissioner of the General Land Office, attorney general, commissioner of agriculture, or railroad commissioner. 

Why is this a bad thing? It takes authority away from the voters and places them in a box. Voters should be able to determine who gets re-elected to office. Picture this situation - Gov. Rick Perry is doing a terrific job as governor, and is signing into law some very conservative legislation. Suppose further he has reached his limit on the amount of terms he can serve, but is more than willing to serve another term. Then you realize in horror Joe Straus is running unopposed on the Republican party ticket for governor. This would be a farce! A conservative governor would be tossed out to make room for a moderate, all in the name of keeping "fresh ideas" in Austin. Situations similar to this would happen if term limits are imposed on our state. Voters should decide, and an additional restriction should not be placed in the Texas Constitution. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Teen Situation Room poll results

Teen Situation Room has been posting polls on the website for viewers to vote their opinion on certain issues. Here are the results for the most recent polls:

Will Congress prevent the fiscal cliff?

Yes          3 votes (21%)
No           11 votes (78%)

How should the Texas House of Representatives handle Rep. Dutton's bill to abolish the death penalty?

Ignore the bill          2 votes (10%)
Pass the bill             6 votes (30%)
Fail the bill               12 votes (60%)

The most recent poll, regarding the death penalty, received 20 votes. The first one only received 14. This shows more viewers are casting votes with regard to certain issues. This sends a positive message that Teen Situation Room is getting more traffic. Thank you to those who voted - and for those who have not, I encourage you to vote on the current poll and polls in the future. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Myth: You cannot legislate morality

Recently when discussing the relation between law and integrity, I was presented with the argument: "You can't legislative morality." I would like to examine this argument from a logical standpoint, because it merits attention. The myth in the Christian community is it is the church's responsibility to enforce morality, when in reality this is the role of government. 
This is an excerpt from the book by Neil Mammen entitled Jesus Is Involved in Politics (Why aren't you? Why isn't your church?.):
... if we don't legislative morality, what on earth are we legislating? Platitudes? Fuzzy feelings? What? Cultural values? What are our representatives and senators legislating? Traditions? What are they legislating? Well generally, they legislative thinks like, "Rape is against the law." "If you are a child predator, we will put you in prison!" "Killing is against the law" But why do they legislative thinkg like this? Because it's what? It's wrong to kill. It's immoral to kill. We have laws that say things like "stealing is illegal." Isn't stealing a moral issue? In fact, isn't it also a Commandment, as in "Though shalt not steal!"
I vehemently agree with Mammen, when he ardently contends all legislation is some one's idea of morality. He goes on to ask the question whether all laws are based on morality. Yes, they are. The law prohibiting littering is based upon the moral principle that destruction of property that does not belong to you is immoral. Another argument I have heard (recently) is even if you legislate morality, you cannot enforce it. When you take a look at the argument logically, you see it fails. So simply because it is so means it ought to be so? Pro-choice Republicans use the reasoning that women are going to get abortions whether it is illegal or not, so we shouldn't create laws against abortion. Is this a valid argument? Of course not. We may not be able to enforce a law, but that doesn't make it invalid. Mammen points out a very clever point. There's this troubling thing about murder cases - we always seem to get there too late. A law is not invalid if it doesn't keep someone from doing something, and only punishes them when they do it. That isn't closing the door after the horse is already out of the barn; it is the official disapproval and admonishment of an immoral act.
Richard J. Maybury, a libertarian by the title of "juris naturalist", lists in his book several different forms of "encroachment." He says conservatives "want encroachment" in the areas of drug use, pornography, homosexuality, and prostitution. He moves on to commit a logical fallacy by stating this:
... none of this is meant to imply that juris naturalists are in favor of poverty, drug addiction, child pornography or any other evils. It means only that the juris naturalist favors the non-government ways of solving these problems, the voluntary ways, and he is convinced that when government gets involved it only makes things worse. 
The clear fallacy committed by Maybury assumes man is inherently good. His argument assumes people will turn from their immoral acts on their own, or by encouragement. I happen to believe those who produce child pornography should be imprisoned. How does this make the problem worse? The answer is: it doesn't. The 18th amendment to the Constitution is constantly beat over the head of conservatives as an example of how government intervention doesn't help. That is committing the fallacy of a hasty generalization.   You must acknowledge the truth that every person is inherently evil, it is our nature. The government, therefore, has the authority to enforce morality on the people, because that is the role of government. The government should place in prison those who victimize children - this is a form of the government legislating morality, and it being successful. How successful would it be if we legalized this horrible, ribald act? It wouldn't work, that is certain.
Let me wrap up my argument with a few Bible verses pertaining to this topic:
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. Romans 7:18 (ESV) (emphasis added)

For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Romans 13:3-4 (ESV) (emphasis added)
How much more proof do you require? The Bible says, "For he is ... an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer." You cannot say that verse and the sentence, "You can't legislate morality," in the same breath. Notice, the scripture never limits the government's jurisdiction to offenses of direct encroachment upon a person or his property, as Maybury would argue should be our standard. It merely states the government is God's minister for good. It is the church's responsibility to preach morality, it is the government's responsibility to enforce it.

Now, I am not a bigot. I know there are folks who disagree, because I spoke with one just recently. As President George H. W. Bush said, "I'm conservative, but I'm not a nut about it." Please comment below, and offer a dissenting opinion. I will be glad to discuss this issue, and I respect your point of view.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Senate will vote Tuesday, Dec 4 on U.N. treaty

Please click the following link to view an urgent action alert from

Urgent: Senate vote set - call now!

Saturday, December 1, 2012