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ALL TEA PARTY NEWSLETTERS FOR

JANUARY THRU DECEMBER, 2015

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – December 26, 2015
HOW SOON WE ALL FORGET

Merry Christmas to all of you! It has truly been an amazing year. Newspapers and television news sources will soon be summarizing all the important news stories and events of 2015. So much has happened that we all have a tendency to forget what was so important just a few months ago. Out of sight, out of mind. Part of that can easily be attributed to what the news media deems important. What it wishes to stress and keep relevant? What issues it wants to give airtime? What it wishes to bury. What stories will bring in the most viewers? Always remembering, “If it bleeds, it leads.”
I’ve begun this week’s opinion piece with the above thoughts because it suddenly struck me that the most important future issue concerning America, Israel, the Middle East and the World has essentially disappeared from discussion. When was the last time you heard any meaningful discussion or follow-up concerning the Iranian Nuclear Agreement? That’s all we heard about 24/7 this last spring. In July, it was announced that the foreign ministers from the U.S., Iran, Russia, China, U.K., France and Germany gave word that they had reached an accord. Congress had two months to decide whether or not to accept the agreement (which wasn’t a treaty). How many of us can even remember how the congressional fight ended?

So I wrote to our good friend, U.S. House Representative Bruce Westerman who gave me the answer. He wrote, “the House disapproved the Iran Deal. The Senate couldn’t get enough votes for cloture so they never had a vote to disapprove it. Obama implemented it because it wasn’t disapproved by both chambers of congress. The Senate placed themselves in a position of needing 60 votes to disapprove “an agreement” verses 67 votes to approve a “treaty.” The House should have never been involved but we had to address it once the Senate passed a resolution acknowledging the Iran deal as an agreement. Obama was contending it was an agreement and not a treaty because he knew he’d never get 67 votes for it in Senate. Had the Senate done nothing, Obama would have gone ahead and implemented it as an agreement. If there is a silver lining (and this is a stretch), the fact that it is an agreement means that the next administration can undo the agreement.”

So, now it’s five months later. What have you seen or heard concerning the implementation of the agreement? What steps have been taken by Iran to dismantle its nuclear program and then confirmed by the U.S. and the International Atomic Energy Agency? ANYTHING????

This week, I read a part of Charles Krauthammer’s column concerning the Iranian Nuclear Accord. The information shocked me as I expect it will also surprise you.

He wrote: Does the American public know that the Iranian parliament has never approved it? And that the Iranian president has never signed it? Iran is not legally bound to anything. As the State Department freely admitted, the deal “is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document.” But don’t worry. Its success “will depend not on whether it is legally binding or signed, but rather on the extensive verification measures” and our “capacity to reimpose — and ramp up — our sanctions if Iran does not meet its commitments.” And how is that going?”
On Nov. 21, Iran conducted its second test of a nuclear-capable ballistic missile in direct contravention of two U.N. Security Council prohibitions, including one that incorporates the current nuclear agreement — which bans such tests for eight years. Our response? NOTHING. Iran knows Obama will ignore, downplay and explain away any violation, lest it jeopardize his transformative foreign policy legacy. –Charles Krauthammer

So, there’s no signed agreement by Iran. No active verification process that has confirmed any Iranian activity towards dismantling its nuclear ambitions. There have already been violations. Most likely the United States will soon lift the economic sanctions on Iran and return $150 billion dollars to Iran. How is it that nobody is still talking and worrying about this? How did this become unimportant? Why is there no follow-up information concerning how the “agreement” is being implemented so that the public is aware of its success or failure? Why don’t our elected officials seem to care? Where’s their outrage? What could they even do if they wanted to?

And I expect the same outcome in six months when we the media has essentially forgotten about the newly agreed upon disastrous Climate Change accord and the recently passed Omnibus Budget deal.

So, what’s our only hope? I hate to say and admit it, but the only earthly hope I can imagine is that in November, 2016, we can elect a strong President who can lead Congress. One with true integrity, who is truly conservative and constitutionally sound and who will return this country to its world leadership position and to sanity and common sense. And so much more!

That’s really all I want for Christmas and 2016. Next to Jesus returning, what a great present that would be.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – December 19, 2015
IS ANYONE ELSE CONCERNED BUT ME??

I know we all have various news sources that we watch and read (that doesn’t include the “mainstream media”). If not for these other sources, we all would know very little about what’s going on in our country and around the world.
I read daily an unusual website “DEBKA.com” It has useful information concerning the Middle East that I don’t find anywhere else. Recently, it has been writing extensively about the Putin’s military buildup in Syria. We have all heard about the supposed geopolitical reasons behind their buildup and I will leave that to those far more knowledgeable than me to interpret and prognosticate. What I wish to address is what I have learned about their military that surprised me and has now concerned me greatly.
I have been surprised how rapidly Russia has been able to move large amounts of armaments and personnel into Syria and moved many naval vessels into the area. I have also been surprised at the sophistication of their weapons since we Americans have been repeatedly told that their military is obsolete and far inferior to ours. HOW MUCH OF THAT IS REALLY SO?

Just to summarize a few examples:

Vladimir Putin is using his intervention in Syria to showcase Russia’s military might and see how well it functions in real wartime.

Like other manufacturers of advanced military weaponry, Russia has sought – and found in the Syrian conflict – a live battleground for testing and exhibiting its latest and most advanced tools of war.

On, Dec. 2, Russia started transferring dozens of its newly advanced, heavily armored with sophisticated electronics, T-90 tanks to Syria.

The two most sophisticated Russian armaments on full operational display in recent weeks are the Kalibr NK subsonic cruise missile, or as it is known in the West, the SS-N-30As, takes the prize. Its debut launch from a warship in the Caspian Sea on Nov. 20, not only hit Islamic State and rebel targets, but allowed Russian warships to show their paces in delivering long-range missiles, capable of carrying conventional or nuclear warheads, to targets at a distance of between 990 km (620 miles) and 1,467 km (923 miles) away. These are able to reach any target in Europe. The cruise missiles were also launched from a Kilo-class submarine, the Rostov-on-Don, which had meanwhile sailed into the eastern Mediterranean. Russia has established a chain of warships and missiles running 2.500 km from Kaliningrad in the north to the eastern Mediterranean, via the Black Sea.

Russia’s new MI-35M “Flying Tank” attack helicopter debuts in the Syrian theater.

To boost the air power Moscow is investing in the Syrian war, Russian has brought over half a dozen Sukhoi Su-34 Fullback warplanes. This new fighter-bomber is designed primarily for striking ground and naval targets. It excels in destroying small moving targets. Under the conditions in Syria, The Su-34’s rare ability to pinpoint small ISIS or rebel convoys as well as big ones is especially apposite.

The highly advanced Russian S-300 and S-400 anti-air missile systems are newly deployed to Syria. The S-400 has a range of 250 miles and as high as 110 miles.

Russia will begin using electronic jamming systems that are based both on the ground and installed on special aircraft. The new Russian-made electronic warfare vehicle is called the Infauna. There is no foreign equivalent of the “Infauna”. This vehicle uses unique technology features which can significantly improve the protection of troops, armored vehicles, combat personnel against land mines and improvised explosive devices, and to provide enemy communications jamming.

What I keep reading about is Russia’s new and highly sophisticated capabilities of its armed forces. Despite Russia’s failing economy, it is obviously spending huge amounts of money to have a new sophisticated, modern and capable armed forces. And let’s not forget that China is also greatly increasing its armed forces and capabilities.

So, what is America doing in the face of this Russian (and Chinese) military buildup? Under President Obama, we are decreasing the size of our armed forces, decreasing the number of ships and airplanes and decreasing funds for development of new technologies.

But sleep better tonight. We have increased our commitment to eradicate supposed Man-Made Climate Change.

Please, someone, wake me up from this nightmare and make all this nothing but a bad dream.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – December 12, 2015

SYRIA EXPLAINED

I received this the other day. I don’t know who the author is but I just had to share this as the weekly primary newsletter article.

This will simplify the situation

Syria explained

Now pay attention, because I’m only going to say this once…

President Assad (who is bad) is a nasty guy who got so nasty, his people rebelled and the Rebels (who are good) started winning (Hurrah!).

But then some of the rebels turned a bit nasty and are now called Islamic State (who are definitely bad!) and some continued to support democracy (who are still good).

So President Putin (who is bad because he invaded Crimea and the Ukraine and killed lots of folks including that nice Russian man in London with polonium poisoned sushi) has decided to back Assad (who is still bad) by attacking ISIS (who are also bad) which is sort of a good thing.

But Putin (still bad) thinks the Syrian Rebels (who are good) are also bad and so he bombs them too, much to the annoyance of the Americans (who are good) who are busy backing and arming the rebels (who are also good).

Now Iran (who used to be bad, but now they have agreed not to build any nuclear weapons and bomb Israel, are now good) are going to provide ground troops to support Assad (still bad) as are the Russians (bad) who now have ground troops and aircraft in Syria.

So a coalition of Assad (still bad), Putin (extra bad) and the Iranians (good, but in a bad sort of way) are going to attack IS (who are bad) which is a good thing, but also the Syrian Rebels (who are good) which is bad.

Now the British (obviously good, except that nice Mr. Corbyn in the corduroy jacket, who is probably bad) and the Americans (also good) cannot attack Assad (still bad) for fear of upsetting Putin (bad) and Iran (good/bad) and now they have to accept that Assad might not be that bad after all compared to IS (who are super bad).

So Assad (bad) is now probably good, being better than IS, and since Putin and Iran are also fighting IS, that may now make them good.

America (still good) will find it hard to arm a group of rebels being attacked by the Russians, for fear of upsetting Mr. Putin (now good) and that nice mad Ayatollah in Iran (also good) and so they may be forced to say that the Rebels are now bad, or at the very least, abandon them to their fate. This will lead most of them to flee to
Turkey and on to Europe or join IS (still the only constantly bad group).

To Sunni Muslims, an attack by Shia Muslims (Assad and Iran) backed by Russians will be seen as something of a Holy War and the ranks of IS will now be seen by the Sunnis as the only Jihadist fighting in the Holy War and hence, many Muslims will now see IS as good .

Sunni Muslims will also see the lack of action by Britain and America in support of their Sunni rebel brothers as something of a betrayal (hmmm, might have a point) and hence we will be seen as bad.

So now we have America (now bad) and Britain (also bad) providing limited support to Sunni Rebels (bad), many of whom are looking to IS (good/bad) for support against Assad (now good) who, along with Iran (also good) and Putin (also, now, unbelievably, good) are attempting to re-take the country Assad used to run before all this started.

I hope that clears up any confusion for you.

If it doesn’t, you’ll have to find someone else to explain it to you in a different way. OK?

The above so well summarizes the insanity of the Middle East and the complexity of the problem. Who, except the Lord Himself, will ever be able to solve this problem. Fortunately, in His scriptures, He promises that He will do just that. We all long for that day, “The Day of the Lord.”

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – December 5, 2015

“HOW TO FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT”

“Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory:

1 He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
2 He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
3 He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.
4 He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.
5 He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

As I read the many quotes attributed to Sun Tzu concerning the Art of Warfare, I am astounded how well they also apply to politics and winning political races. It is to the Tea Party’s credit that we have embraced #3 since our beginning in 2009. We all uniformly embrace the Founding Father’s intentions as originally written in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Only we sometimes differ on what methods to use to return our nation to its roots. But that is the healthy part of a Democracy.

Sun Tzu also wrote:

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

It is this idea of “knowing your enemy” that I will address this week. I keep coming across the name, Saul Alinsky, over and over again. He wrote a book, published in 1971, “Rules for Radicals,” that I believe is the progressive, liberal Left’s Bible so to speak. I am sad to admit that it is a brilliant compilation of advice for how to “beat” the Establishment or any opponent.

Alinsky begins the book this way:

“What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.”

His advice has and continues to be implemented very successfully by the Left. It has been well chronicled how President Obama was influenced by Alinsky. Future Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, wrote her senior college thesis about Alinsky’s controversial tactics. Sadly, we Conservatives know the ideology of the Left but we have not adequately studied in detail the Left’s strategy and how it implements its techniques. We have not studied “Rules for Radicals.” In addition, we need only to look at the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, NYC, Baltimore and now Chicago to see how these protests and protestors are using Alinsky’s techniques.

Recently, Glenn Beck summarized these rules along with a few comments:

* RULE 1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy (your opponent) thinks you have.” If your organization is small, hide your numbers in the dark and raise a din that will make everyone think you have many more people that you do. Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood. (These are two things of which there is a plentiful supply. Government and corporations always have a difficult time appealing to people, and usually do so almost exclusively with economic arguments).

* RULE 2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone. (Organizations under attack wonder why radicals don’t address the “real” issues. This is why. They avoid things with which they have no knowledge).

* RULE 3: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address).

* RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. Even the Christian church can’t live up to Christianity. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity’s very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)

* RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” It’s hard to counterattack ridicule and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear).

* RULE 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” If people aren’t having a ball doing it, there is something wrong with the tactic. They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones. (Radical activists, in this sense, are no different that any other human being. We all avoid “un-fun” activities, and we revel at and enjoy the ones that work and bring results).

* RULE 7: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news. (Even radical activists get bored. So to keep them excited and involved, organizers are constantly coming up with new tactics.)

* RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. It is this that will cause the opposition to react to your advantage (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize).

* RULE 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist. (Perception is reality. Large organizations always prepare a worst-case scenario, something that may be furthest from the activists’ minds. The upshot is that the organization will expend enormous time and energy, creating in its own collective mind the direst of conclusions. The possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.)

* RULE 10: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog. (Unions used this tactic. Peaceful [albeit loud] demonstrations during the heyday of unions in the early to mid-20th Century incurred management’s wrath, often in the form of violence that eventually brought public sympathy to their side.)

* RULE 11: “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem. Avoid being trapped by an opponent or an interviewer who says, “Okay, what would you do? (Old saw: If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Activist organizations have an agenda, and their strategy is to hold a place at the table, to be given a forum to wield their power. So, they have to have a compromise solution.)

* RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Identify a responsible individual. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.) The main job of the organizer is to bait an opponent into reacting.

I imagine after reading the above rules that you can remember ways they have been utilized in the past and even now. Obama is the master Alinsky protoge.

It should by now be obvious that Alinsky’s teachings are too numerous and complicated to be fully dealt with and understood in this newsletter. But we better learn them and how to respond to his techniques.

If someone knows anyone who lectures about “Rules for Radicals,” let me know. It would be a great topic to further explore and understand at a Thursday evening meeting.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
 

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – November 28, 2015

IT’S DEJA VU, AGAIN

I am once again going to write about the Syrian refugee problem but try to not overly repeat what I previously wrote (see below for the opinion piece I wrote on September 12, 2015). The refugee problem and what to do about it is just about all I am hearing on TV and radio and reading about in the newspapers and on the Internet. The distance between the two points of view concerning the solution to the problem is as wide as the Grand Canyon (similar to every other political issue nowadays).
In Sunday’s Arkansas Democrat/Gazette, John Brummett’s column especially “ticked me off.” Actually, it only angered me a bit more than it usually does. He framed the issue as a culture war in the U.S. between the “liberals” (his good guys) and the “scared” (us bad guy conservatives and Republicans).
Brummett belittles anyone’s concerns (fears) about letting in 10,000 or more Syrian, mostly Muslim, refugees because “opening our arms to the huddled masses is one of our most treasured national ideals.” He also writes that the vetting process will sufficiently protect us from infiltrating ISIS members.

In response to this and other similar arguments, I wish to express my thoughts:

Yes, America has taken in millions of immigrants over the last two centuries. But never have we intentionally taken in those who do not wish to assimilate into our culture but wish to bring their Middle East culture and Sharia law to our shores (surveys of these Muslims confirm their desire to keep their culture and many have expressed positive attitudes towards ISIS – remember, many are fleeing Syrian President Assad; not ISIS). Just look at the problems Europe has already experienced with the lack of Muslim assimilation.

Wouldn’t it be better to put pressure on Middle Eastern Muslim countries to resettle their own Arab people in Arab countries where they have a shared culture? Countries that don’t have any national financial debt but have money surpluses. Countries that are right there in the Middle East and the refugees wouldn’t have to be transported tens of thousands of miles to an alien culture and climate. It’s obvious these countries don’t want their own because they know the problems associated with these refugees. So send them to the Europe and America. These countries must be laughing at us and astounded that Europe and the U.S. are willingly taking in those who should be their responsibility. And let’s not forget, Russia, China and South America aren’t taking any refugees. Are they uncaring or just plain smart?

Recently Chris Matthews, a left leaning liberal, questioned why we should take in these millions of refugees who want to flee to the West when they are not willing to fight for their own country. (http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/chris-matthews-why-arent-syrians-willing-fight-their-country). I fully agree with him.

The majority of Americans have great security concerns and worry about our national safety. I don’t believe or trust our government when it says it will be able to adequately vet these refugees. Previously, the majority of Middle Eastern immigrants (not refugees) wanted the American way of life. There was sufficient time to slowly vet them to be sure of their past but now there is an overwhelming number to be vetted and with little time. And how do you vet people who come from areas where there are no records to analyze? How can you sure they are even who they say they are? Finally, we keep hearing how it takes 18-24 months to fully and adequately vet each person. So how can the President bring 10,000 refugees into America within the next year? How can 10,000 be adequately analyzed within 12 months if it takes 18-24 months minimum to vet each person? Logically, it can’t be done.

The President wants us to believe we want to deny widows and orphan children the opportunity to come to America for safety. Well, the majority of refugees are able-bodied men of fighting age, not widows and orphans. Also, the implication is that widows (women) are perfectly safe. Haven’t women been willing to be suicide bombers, wearing suicide bomb vests under their burkas and blow themselves up? Haven’t we seen pictures of young Arab children being indoctrinated in jihad so as to behead and kill infidels?

Even if the vast majority of the refugees were safe, is it acceptable to take the chance of a few being jihadi ISIS terrorists? My wife heard the following analogy recently. What if you had a jar with 10,000 jellybeans and you knew 10 of the jellybeans were poisoned. Would you be willing to eat any of the jelly beans since so few were poison and the vast majority safe? What if only one was poisoned? Would you be willing to take a chance with your life? I doubt it. So why is it OK to take a chance when one terrorist could kill hundreds of Americans or train home grown American terrorists how to be more effective? Brummett states, “Yet being wrong only once in 10,000 can cause a lot of harm and heartache. But, that wouldn’t mean we were wrong to help 9,999.” I wonder if John would feel the same if that one (and who says it would only be one) blew up the Arkansas Democrat/Gazette building with all the employees inside? Theory is so good until it meets reality.

Lastly and very significantly, let’s discuss the financial cost to the United States and its citizens. We are a country with an almost $19 trillion dollar debt. What is the cost to fly each refugee to America? What about the immediate financial cost for the needs of each person and family arriving? How much is given to charitable organizations to care for these individuals? Did you know that unlike other legal immigrants, refugees are eligible for all welfare programs immediately on arrival? The Center For Immigration Studies estimated that on average, each Middle Eastern refugee resettled in the United States costs an estimated $64,370 in the first five years, or $257,481 per household. The Federal government doesn’t have the money to pay for them. The individual States where they are to be relocated to surely don’t have the money and resources to absorb these refugees. So where is the money coming from? It is coming from money that could be used to help our own poor and our own veterans and will now be spent of refugees?

Some may consider me a heartless Neanderthal after reading my concerns. But, maybe I am just like the ancient Neanderthal, who had to carry a big club to defend himself and his family from others wishing to take what he had. My first and primary goal and overwhelming motivation is for personal, family and my country’s preservation and safety. The majority of Americans (67% according to the latest polls) presently agree with me.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – November 21, 2015
AN ARKANSAS THANKSGIVING

I’m typing this newsletter on my laptop computer while sitting in my mobile home at deer camp. I’m in the middle of the woods in Hermitage, Arkansas, population 323 people. It’s Tuesday afternoon November 17th and it has been pouring rain and gusting winds since last evening. We just lost electricity for a few minutes but it’s back. So, while it’s quiet, I thought I’d write down some of the thoughts I’ve been having while here.
I’ve been able to hunt for three days while sitting in my enclosed deer stand. There is something very special about the time one spends alone, hour after hour, in the midst of God’s creation. I arrive daily at one of my stands 30 minutes before daylight. It is exceptional quiet time with the Lord in prayer each day before you are distracted. I cherish these times each year. After sunrise there are 2-3 hours when you’re looking for deer and your mind just goes to thinking about everything.
This year much of my thoughts have been centered around how fortunate I am and also those I know. I write weekly about problems we all acknowledge in our city, county, state, Federal Government and around the world. But this week, it’s about our abundance of blessings and the need to be thankful.
Despite what we all know to be America’s multiple problems, we still live in the greatest country in the world. We still have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We still have the Bill of Rights (even as some try to diminish them). We still get to vote every 2-4-6 years for those in government who will represent us. We can disagree with our government (verbally, blogs, newsletters, Facebook and Twitter, etc.) and not be thrown in jail. We can travel across our great land and not have to show our papers. We are free to prosper under Capitalism, a system that has taken more people out of poverty than any other economic system, ever.
I am also so thankful that since 9/11/2001 we have been relatively free from terrorist attacks. I pray this safety continues but I am fearful that it won’t last. May we stay forever vigilant towards those who wish to harm our great country and all of us.
I feel especially blessed that I moved to Arkansas in 1977. Not just because I had a wonderful 30 year medical career as a Medical Oncologist but because of the values of the average Arkansas. I came to so appreciate “the Natural State” and its people’s old fashioned patriotic and religious ways and beliefs. I came to love hunting and fishing and the beauty of the state. Best of all, I found faith in something beyond myself in Arkansas. I came to know my Lord, Savior and Messiah Jesus Christ. Much of the reason for my new found faith was the lifestyle examples of many of the Christians I met and came to know.
I am so thankful for my church, those who attend it and to my bible study homegroup members who have become the equivalent of family. Thankful for the 37 men who I hunt with at my deer camp who embody the values of Arkansans and who are true sportsmen. And I can’t even begin to express my thankfulness for those in the Tea Party and other conservatives who have such a great love for this country and the principles upon which America was founded. Thank you for allowing me to be your Chairman and learning so much from all of you.
Franz Schubert said, “Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is the man who finds that true friend in his wife.” I am so blessed and thankful to be married to Marilyn for 42 years and she truly is and has been my best friend, encourager and helpmate. I would not have had the life I have had and accomplished what I have done without her. I am blessed to have two wonderful adult children, a daughter and a son, along with a son-in-law who I think of as my other son. Also I have two grandchildren who are now in college and doing great.
Life has been very good to me. I can only hope I have returned to others part of the spiritual, intellectual and economic blessings I have received.
So, just like I have find a few quiet moments this week and reflect on your blessings and give Thanksgiving for all you have and have been given.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU ALL!!

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – November 14, 2015

PHARMACEUTICAL PRICE GOUGING

I have now been writing a weekly opinion piece since January 2015. I had no idea I was that opinionated. Each Monday I start to panic trying to think about what to write and say. So far I have not run out of topics. Not all topics are of equal importance and impact. Usually something I read about or see on the TV gets me to thinking and that leads to me writing an opinion piece. I try to keep the piece to fewer than 800 words which means I can’t really be comprehensive; just thought provoking.

So this week I want to address, both as a doctor and as a patient, the price of medications in America. This week I read that a Senate panel summoned the price-hiking Turing and Valeant CEO’s to explain why their companies raised the price of the drug Daraprim by 5,000% (from $13.50 to $750/pill but available in the United Kingdom for $1.53/per pill). I remember two years ago while working at the Charitable Christian Medical Clinic when the $4 generic antibiotic Doxycycline suddenly cost $110 for the same prescription. There are many other similar examples of low cost generic drug prices suddenly escalating. What about the sky-high prices of all the newly and recently released drugs? Will the explosion of cost ever end and is there any limit to how much can be charged? How significantly is this adding to the overall cost of medical care? Are people dying or starving because they can’t afford their medications?

My first reaction, how could this be? It’s evil. It’s predatory. The public is being ripped off. We’ve got to punish these companies. But then my conservative, capitalist economic beliefs kick in. I begin to unemotionally and objectively analyze the problem and then try to formulate solutions that don’t compromise my values. (Whew! What a goal?)

Let’s start with the free market capitalistic premise that if you manufacture something, you can charge whatever you want for it. If people won’t buy it at that price, you must lower the price or go out of business. Unfortunately with medications, many have no choice but to purchase their drug AT ANY PRICE since they need the drug to live. Anti-Trust laws were put into place years ago to stop monopolies. Does this apply to pharmaceutical companies that have a monopoly ownership of a drug? I guess not because they have the only patent on the drug. Many of these companies claim the high cost their medicine is necessary to cover the cost of research to find new medications. If so, why do many spend more on public advertising and medical promotion than on research? How much is 1-800-BAD DRUG litigation in America by necessity built into the price of the drug?

Does insurance covering the cost of medications allow the companies to keep raising their prices since the majority of the cost will be paid by insurance, not the individual who has insurance? Those without insurance bear the total cost.

Some of the following suggested solutions are consistent with free enterprise that are not available now are (and I’m sure there are others):

Allow Americans and American pharmaceutical distribution companies to legally buy generic medications directly from other countries or for those countries, such as Canada, to legally sell to individuals in America when the drug’s quality is known and equal but the prices extremely lower. The availability of the same medications offered by many companies (competition) would lower the cost and prevent price gouging on generics. This is not legal now.

Pass a law that no pharmaceutical company can charge pharmacies wholesale prices which are any higher for a non-generic medication (Brand name medicine) than they presently are accepting from any country around the world. Presently, the same drugs that we Americans pay exorbitant prices for are sold around the world at highly discounted prices – in essence, Americans are subsidizing the world’s pharmaceutical prices.

Presently, the Veteran’s Administration negotiates with pharmaceutical companies and receives GREATLY discounted wholesale prices for medications. Not so for Medicare and Medicaid. By law, Medicare Part D is not permitted to negotiate for lower prices for medications. If they could, the savings could then be passed on to Medicare recipients as lower drug bills and also lower cost to the government (Medicare would save money it contributes to Medicare Part D). The inability to negotiate was written into the law due to heavy pharmaceutical company lobbying. How fair is that? Once again, American medication consumers are being taken advantage daily.

So, what’s the answer?

Let me know what you think.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – NOVEMBER 7, 2015

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES

“To anger a conservative, lie to him.
To anger a liberal, tell him the truth”…

 

(Author unknown and was probably not said by President Theodore Roosevelt as some quote)

Can it really be as simple as the quote above? Are conservatives and liberals that far apart with one group so much better than the other?

To those of us who are conservative, there seems to be much truth in the above quote. The quote is not perfect, but seemingly accurate enough. We really think we are the good guys standing up for truth, justice and the American way.

I can’t speak for your upbringing but in my home, lying was not tolerated. Nothing could get you in greater trouble and be more punished than lying. We were taught in school that President Washington said, “I cannot tell a lie. I chopped down the cherry tree.” We speak about honest Abe Lincoln. Honesty and truthfulness are just two of the basics beliefs of our country and society.

Now, let me be perfectly clear, being wrong about what you say or believe is not the same as lying. That’s just making a mistake. Lying is when you intentionally communicate what you know to not be true. It can be as minimal as exaggeration or as major as flat out dishonesty with a “white lie” somewhere in between. We are all guilty of it to one degree or another. Sometimes the damage is minimal but at other times, it can have major consequences.

When we were kids, all you had to do was put your hand behind your back and cross your fingers and somehow this made your lying OK! It didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now to cover over lying and deceit. Lying is just as evil as it ever was. I guess “Thou shall not bear false witness” as part of the Ten Commandments is also calling out lying as a sin.

So why do people lie? Simply to get ahead or to not be caught and punished. So, it’s for gain or to avoid consequences. And there are no better examples then when it comes to politics. It ‘s not something new but today’s means of communications (newspapers, internet, TV, Cable, Facebook, Twitter, etc) has transformed the ability to lie well into an “art form.” It just all depends on how much of an actor or actress you are. Just watch any TV channel’s news and commentary and you know exactly what I mean. How about all those “factual” Internet blogs?

How many times have you watched a politician or an opinion commentator say something with a straight face and you’ve said to yourself, “You can’t really believe what you’ve just said?” Either they do believe (which is frightening) or they don’t and they are intentionally lying to us (which is just plain evil).

How about President Obama’s press secretaries’ statements? I want to go through my new flat screen TV and choke them. Think of the testimonies at congressional hearings on Benghazi, the IRS, Fast and Furious or how about those explanations concerning how wonderful the Iranian nuclear deal is. They lie as easily as they breathe. They act as if “the end justifies the means.” They believe in their goals so much that it doesn’t matter what they have to say or do to reach them; especially lying. And don’t get me started on President Barack Obama. My blood pressure is high enough.

So, why shouldn’t you lie if there’s so much to gain?

The first reason that comes to mind is that if you get caught lying, there will and should be negative consequences. You will pay a price. This used to be the case for politicians but it no longer seems to be as much of a problem. The news media in the past was seemingly more impartial and was a watchdog over lies and corruption. Today there is little impartiality. Most of the media is of the liberal persuasion and doesn’t actively investigate or equally report the negatives they discover of their favorites; fellow liberals.

Second, maybe your conscience will bother and drive you nuts until you come clean but now a days, that seems unlikely.

The next and previously most important reason not to lie was because God in Heaven knew. He would consider your lie a sin. You would have to one day stand before Him and have to explain yourself. But to be honest, today, less and less people really believe in an all-knowing and all seeing God who takes sin seriously. Also, more and more people don’t even believe in God today. No God, no eternal consequences. To them, there’s only temporal punishment so just don’t get caught. In today’s society, the odds are in the liars favor.

In closing, we’re never going to rid life of liars and lying. All that each of us can do is individually try not to deceive or lie and live out lives of integrity. When we find those people with a proven history of integrity, we should work hard to get them elected to all positions in government and then hope it is not too late to reverse the course of this great country.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – October 31, 2015
FRUSTRATION!!!!

As chairman of the Garland County Tea Party, I consider part of my duties to be an encourager and motivator to our members concerning our patriotic, constitutional movement. To try to inspire our members to be educated on the issues which will then translate into political action.

But, can I be really open, honest and transparent? Some days I just want to give up and stop giving so much of my time and energy. I’m really frustrated with politics and the world in general. If you’re anything like me, an old fashioned American conservative, some days you just wonder where America and the world is going. It just seems to be deteriorating before our very eyes. The liberal progressives consistently outmaneuver us and get their way. Does anything I’m (we’re) doing make any difference? Why keep putting out all the effort to save the America we love when so many in America seem to want a different America? Why not just give up? Would it make any difference if we did give up? Most days I just can’t stand to watch the national or international news. It all seems out of control with no help or improvement in sight. Our government and politicians seem to be the problem and not the solution. What’s the future really going to look like?

But then there are other days that I somehow find hope, encouragement and the energy to keep fighting for our values. These are the days that I am with other likeminded American patriots. Their love of America and what America has stood for makes me excited and optimistic. It’s the days that I hear an exciting, enthusiastic speaker or read a really great article explaining our beliefs and how to further our cause. When someone presents an idea or plan to reclaim our deteriorating society and country. A day when I hear politicians who I can trust and believe in due to their previous political voting record and want to see them elected because deep down I want them to succeed and reverse our spiraling, out of control, government and country.

I so often get tired of hearing the Tea Party and its members described as being evil and uncompassionate. I recently wrote a letter to the editor of our local newspaper expressing my frustration when a letter writer attacked our the Tea Party.

I wrote:

Calling us, “The Radical Tea Party” must really be enjoyable to those on the left since they say it so often.

So, let’s see. The Tea Party is radical (some call us extremist) because we are passionate about following the Constitution. That we believe in individual freedom, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and in smaller government. That government must be fair to all its citizens and held accountable at the Federal, State and Local levels to the people who elected them. That government should not dictate how people live but people dictate to the government how it governs. That people have a duty to earn their livelihood unless truly disabled thereby requiring governmental financial assistance. That people are Taxed Enough Already (TEA) and tax monies should not be wasted or just given away to friend and foe. Unlike many other so-called radical groups, we have never advocated violence. Our way of influence is at the ballot box and by electing others who believe as we do.

What they call radical, we call patriotism. We love America, our history, our flag and believe in American Exceptionalism. I’m sorry for those who malign us and who don’t believe in these “radical” things.

So, like many of you, I just keep trying to improve our government and make things better. Only time will tell if all of our combined efforts change or further improve anything. We have since 2009 made a significant difference and have turned some things around but so much more is needed. We cannot pull back now. What happens in the 2016 election may make or break America and possibly also the entire world’s future.

There are so many in America who need to hear our message of real and true hope for the future.

What Jesus said to disciples in Matthew 9:37 also applies to our conservative movement; “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” We need to engage people with our positive message of the future and have them join us in returning America to its constitutional roots. We now have just twelve months to retake the American Dream. Simply stated, it will depend entirely on who gets elected as President. Let’s increase our efforts and work even harder. Our future depends on us!

PS – My good friend Jane who reviews these opinion pieces before I publish them, sent me this note after reading the above piece:

This is a great piece. You feel as frustrated as I do. I stay awake at night thinking about what would or could happen in this divided country of ours. I care. But sometimes I feel as though my hands are tied and being just one person, what can I do to help redirect this land that I love so much. I can pray. I can write letters to my congressmen, and can stand for righteousness and I can pray some more. That’s about all.

Jane

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – October 17, 2015

“IF YOU’RE GOING TO DO SOMETHING,

AT LEAST DO IT RIGHT”

Over nine years ago, I voluntarily retired from a rewarding, thirty year medical practice in Little Rock as a Medical Oncologist (Cancer Specialist). After two years of “goofing off,” I decided I really missed practicing medicine and helping people. I then began working at the Charitable Christian Medical Clinic in Hot Springs and worked there for six years as a volunteer (for free) Internal Medicine doctor until I was let go. I wasn’t actually fired. I was just sort of furloughed. My services just were no longer needed because 85% of our patients took advantage of the Medicaid Expansion and the Private Option as allowed by Arkansas state law. This meant that they would now go to private doctors. Our clinic survived by expanding our focus to include helping the poor out of poverty. Most charitable medical clinics throughout the State of Arkansas closed. They no longer had enough patients to stay open.

Well, today, Tuesday October 13th, I was called back to work.

Why? The answer is that many of those patients are no longer covered by insurance and their insurance cards are no longer valid. Yet they still need medical care so they are returning to our charitable clinic. You might ask, “How could this happen?”

Many patients were automatically re-qualified because their incomes could be verified through their Federal tax returns or payroll tax records. Up to 40% of the newly insured claim that they have no income, therefore, they don’t file tax returns. Consequently, their incomes could not be verified using the state’s automated process. It was these people, in addition to the consumers whose income did not match verification sources and who were previously qualified and were previously enrolled in the Private Option Medicaid expansion, who now triggered a review. These consumers were sent letters in July 2015 instructing them to show proof of their 2014 income or lack of income. They were given ten days to show the necessary paperwork. The 10 day clock started on the day the letter was printed, not received, therefore up to 5 days were already lost out of the 10 days. In addition, many never received the letters (some due to their addresses changing), some thought the letters were junk mail and never read and others believed that since they had no income, they didn’t need to do anything. Later, the period to re-qualify was extended to thirty days.

But this didn’t solve the problem. First, there is now only one telephone number to call. This number serves all Medicaid expansion calls regardless of who is calling; this includes patients and even the Licensed Application Counselors and insurance agents. The access number is overwhelmed and many patients are placed on hold and then the call canceled. After multiple attempts, they just gave up. Those few patients, along with new applicants, that actually get through and provided the requested information discovered that they rarely were then re-qualified. The State of Arkansas’ Department of Human Services is presently and has been since July incapable of processing the necessary paper (computer) work to re-qualify those for continued eligibility. There are too few personnel at DHS to handle the volume of calls, then the imputing of the information and finally the computer system is insufficient and incapable of correctly analyzing the data. It is typical for each redetermination, as well as new applicants, to make numerous phone calls and trips to their local DHS office to compete this one requirement.

To add insult to injury, it has now been discovered that premiums are still being paid to the insurance companies for patients who have died or moved out of state. Also, people who now have insurance from other sources such as employer provided insurance or subsidized, self-paid federal marketplace insurance have tried to cancel their Private Option insurance and have been unable to do so. This leads to taxpayer money being wasted.

Whether you like the Private Option or hate it, want it to continue or be discontinued, I hope we can all agree that while it is still the law, it should be run correctly, efficiently, cost effectively without waste and delivered to consumers as promised. While I am happy to be practicing medicine again, serving the profession that I love, it would not be necessary if the process was delivered as expected and with Arkansan’s best interest in mind.
Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – October 10, 2015

“NATURE ABHORS A VACUUM”

According to the laws of nature and physics, empty or unfilled spaces are unnatural. Wherever there is a void, the universe seeks to fill it. It turns out Aristotle was primarily right when he said, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” So also it is with “Geopolitics.”

The world’s greatest vacuum is the “black hole” called the Middle East. This has been so for over 4000 years. Someone or some nation is always trying to conquer or control it. Some have temporarily, but not permanently, been in control. It always reverts to chaos.

Whether you agree or not with his plan, President George W. Bush tried to bring Democracy and western style freedom to Iraq and Afghanistan. When he left office, Iraq was stable. President Obama totally removed all American forces in Iraq in December of 2011 and almost all from Afghanistan by December 2014. Both countries began to deteriorate almost immediately.

The Arab Spring began in December 2010 to depose longstanding dictators. This eventually led to changes in the governments in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and others. Democracy was the people’s goal; Muslim theocracy, Sharia Law and chaos was, for the most part what they eventually got.

After Egypt, under General Sisi, rid Egypt of the Muslim Brotherhood, Obama treated Sisi as an enemy pushing them to seek military help from Russia.

Let’s not forget the one sided Iranian nuclear deal. Our few remaining “allies” in the Middle East feel as if we abandoned them to an eventual nuclear Iran. They may now seek to obtain their own nuclear weapons.

The Syrian civil war began in the Spring of 2011. In August 2012, President Obama issued his “red line” to Syria about using chemical weapons. When they did use chemical weapons, he did nothing. Eventually, Russia brokered the deal for Syria to get rid of its chemical weapon stockpile. But civil war continued.

Al-Qaeda morphed into ISIS after 2013 and progressively conquered large parts of both Iraq and Syria with inroads into Afghanistan and Libya. Killing of other Muslims, Christians, Kurds and others became widespread along with unimaginable brutality, savagery and sexual slavery and rape. The United States, led by President Obama and the supposed sixty nation coalition, did very little except talk, talk, talk. Talk without significant action empowers aggressors and leads to a leadership vacuum that begs to be filled.

This has allowed Russia, who has a longstanding partnership with Syria, to step in to fill the void we left. Russia, along with Iran, Hezbollah and even China, are now doing more in just a few weeks than we have done in two years. Brilliantly, they will now attempt to destroy the opposition to Assad thereby protecting him and his government (Let’s not forget, when we previously protected and helped our partners, we called ourselves heroes. When Putin protects and helps his partners, we call him evil). At the same time, they also must destroy ISIS in Syria and Iraq to protect the governments of Damascus and Baghdad or else their efforts will be for nothing.

If all is successful, Russia will now dominate much of the Middle East (as the U.S. used to) and its oil. This ultimately is their goal.

As much as I hate and fear the eventual outcome and I am not defending Putin’s policies and actions, I can’t blame Putin and Iran for their geopolitical maneuvering. I understand it. We might have done the same if the tables were reversed and we had a strong President. As Rahm Emanuel (and Winston Churchill) said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste” and Russia hasn’t. President Obama just made it way too easy to pass up this opportunity. By now it is probably too late to do anything to stop Putin’s actions short of war with Russia. I don’t envy the next President. What realistic options will he or she have, especially with a downsized military?

We’ve already been warned to back off and not interfere with their military aggressiveness. If they do defeat ISIS, (remember, Russia and its allies don’t fight with our civilized “rules of engagement”), we will reap the benefits of their time, energy, manpower and the financial cost to them (and it won’t cost us an additional dime). But then we will have to deal with the new, expanded Middle East power players; Russia and Iran. And what does this mean to Israel?

A final warning: Russia should remember their defeat in Afghanistan against a much inferior fighting force during the 1980’s. Also, even though the U.S. is the Big Satan and Israel the Little Satan, Russia for the most part is a secular, Godless country. To Muslims, they too are infidels. One day, Allah will turn his attention to them. By that time, Iran will have Nuclear Bombs and ICBM’s to deliver them!! Russia, you will reap what you sow.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – October 3, 2015

Bridges Out Of Poverty

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day;
teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

There has been a lot spoken and written about poverty and its solution. Despite a “War on Poverty” and various “programs,” little has been accomplished. Poverty is a vicious cycle that may actually be getting worse. Is there any hope for those in poverty to climb the American ladder to the middle class? Is the American Dream no longer possible for these unfortunate folks? I now believe there is definite hope and I want to share my new found optimism with you.

I am presently on the Board of Directors for the Cooperative Christian Ministries and Clinic (CCMC) of Hot Springs. We were formerly the Charitable Christian Medical Clinic until the Private Option Medicaid Expansion decreased our patient population by 85%. Under the leadership of Dr. John Wayne Smith, the focus of the clinic expanded from primarily medicine to additionally helping those in poverty to escape poverty; not with a handout but with obtaining and teaching the tools necessary for life change. It’s not by learning new work skills but by new life skills training. We’re teaching ideas and goals you and I take for granted. We have these values because our parents and family them to us. Those in poverty frequently were not that fortunate.

With this in mind, I want to introduce you to a concept called, “Bridges Out Of Poverty.” For more than 10 years, Bridges Out of Poverty has helped thousands of communities and organizations around the world achieve goals, reduce costs, and build success for under-resourced individuals. One of the programs offered through the Bridges Out of Poverty concept is a 16 week classroom curriculum called “Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’-by World”. Under-resourced individuals are identified that are ready to make a commitment to learn a new way of life resulting in a transition out of poverty. The Getting Ahead class is a kitchen table experience that is an extreme self discovery process for 16 participants currently living in poverty. This is a course that encourages the participants to build resources and create a plan to make changes that will lead to a stable and secure future. Through activities and group discussions, participants explore the causes of poverty, community and individual resources and strategies for goal setting and planning. It provides a way for individuals to investigate the impact that disadvantage has on them as individuals, families and communities. They, then, are equipped to write a new future story of self sustainability for themselves.

Hot Springs has completed one these 16 week courses this past May, graduating 11 of the original 16 students. There were results that were noted before the 16 week course was completed, such as one participant that used the new knowledge discovered in the class, resulting in her receiving recognition as the Employee of the Month at her workplace. Proudly, she continues to make positive progress. The graduates’ progress is monitored frequently, the most recent update reports the following:

September, 2015- Update on graduates:
70% graduation rate (from the Getting Ahead class commitment)
50% have a savings plan
25% have enrolled in some type of continuing education.

One GA graduate has enrolled in a local university to continue his education. He had a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and never considered continuing beyond that until he was challenged through the GA course. He is now studying for his Master’s Degree.

After completing the 16 week course, each graduate is assigned a mentor to help each of them to continue the life changing

Future plans are to continually increase the number of 16 member classes offered each year and to increase business and mentor participation.

There have been hundreds of programs that focus on reducing poverty that have had varying levels of success but when the programs fail it can typically be traced to the learning process and method. The temptation is that the middle and upper classes have all the answers and only need to impart their wisdom to those in poverty. The Getting Ahead course is unique in that it trusts the participants to analyze their own situation, to solve problems and, in doing so, to help transform themselves and their communities. The philosophy that Getting Ahead is built upon has been confirmed by the participants themselves as they are living their new future stories and contributing to their communities.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Lynn Blankenship
Director, Cooperative Christian Ministries and Clinic

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – September 26, 2015

SURVIVAL 101

I was half done with my next opinion piece (which wasn’t time sensitive) when the following topic took immediate precedence.

From the beginning of humankind, our number one instinct or priority has always been survival. We all learned about the concept of “fight or flight” in Psychology 101. It has served us well and to those who don’t adhere to it, BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO THEM. It ranges from being aware of your environment, to knowing when to take shelter, to fleeing from wild animals, to avoiding dangerous people, etc.

I grew up in New York City during 1950-1970. My parents taught me many important life skills, one of which was to be aware of my environment and how to avoid danger. I frequently found myself in potentially dangerous situations and thankfully, knew how to avoid them. During these years, my greatest fear when out and about, especially at night and in subway stations, were groups of young Puerto Rican immigrants (think West Side Story). Many carried knives and were quite violent. I knew to avoid them if at all possible. It wasn’t that I hated Puerto Ricans. I just knew what subgroup to avoid (and there were others).

So it is with the recent media flap over the incident with Ahmed Mohamed. Many are disturbed that this bright, 14 year old Muslim student was accused of potentially bringing a bomb to school. There were screams of Islamophobia and racial profiling. I’m sure there will be lawsuits against his school and the police department.

But, what in my opinion, is the truth; the reality? How should people act and react? Why is there fear, leading to heightened awareness, which may lead to action for self-preservation?

No one can watch or listen to the news and not hear daily about a deadly terrorist attack somewhere in the world (26,790 since 9/11) or someone being killed or executed by terrorists. Essentially all attacks have been committed by Islamic extremists who are Muslim. Victims include other Muslims, Christians, Jews, Kurds or just about anyone they religiously disagree with. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, male, female or even children. Bombs have been the method used most often to kill large numbers of people and frequently have been delivered by suicide bombers willing to kill themselves while killing others. Isis repeatedly calls for Jihad in America and death to America. Lone terrorists are encouraged to kill Americans and destroy America; the Big Satan. A number have tried. Thankfully, most have not been successful but the threat is growing. A truthful but extremely sad statement is, “Not all Muslims are terrorists (just a small fraction), but essentially all terrorists are Muslim.”

So put yourself in the position of the teacher at her school. A young Muslim student brings a briefcase to school containing wires and clock parts. Just a couple of months before, two Muslim gunmen opened fire in Dallas, Texas, just 20 minutes from the school in Irving, Texas. He doesn’t tell anyone he is going to do this or inform his teachers ahead of time or get permission. He opens the case after he plugs it in to an electrical outlet. I don’t know about you, but my reaction would be “Holy Crap, it’s a bomb.” I’d evacuate the classroom (and myself) and notify the school authorities and the police. In today’s world, anything less would be NEGLIGENCE. If you do nothing and it is a bomb and explodes, then everyone who dies, their deaths are on you!

It is sad that in today’s world we have to have such fear and suspicion. Other children, even younger, at other schools have been arrested and suspended for much less (i.e. – a pop tart that looks like a gun) and they weren’t Muslim. Protocols have or should have been in place in every American school to deal with potential dangers.

The consequences of being wrong, apathetic or politically correct are obvious; you’re dead. Despite this truth, in today’s society, someone or some group will accuse you of prejudice, racism and even sue you.

But, just to quote a few truisms in closing. “It’s not paranoia if someone is actually trying to kill you.” Also, “It is better to be judged by 12 people, than carried by six.”

Many of us remember Sergeant Phil Esterhaus on Hill Street Blues saying his trademark phrase, “Let’s be careful out there.” How appropriate it is for this discussion and this time.

PS – There has been much on the Internet on whether or not Ahmed actually made the clock or just used the parts of one already built and also whether or not this was nothing more that a set-up orchestrated by his father, a Muslim activist. That’s beyond this discussion about survival and only time will tell what is the truth.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – September 19, 2015

CONSPIRACY THEORIES ABOUND

What I’ve written below may offend or annoy some of you but I am writing it to myself as much as to others with whom I so identify. As Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, “This above all: To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” I hope most who read this will agree with me and we can learn together.

Well, September 15th has passed and we’re not under Marshall Law. According to many, by this date, Jade Helm 15 was supposed to usher Marshal Law with a President Obama takeover of the United States by military force. Some of you spent your money on AR-15’s plus hundreds/thousands of rounds of ammo, freeze dried food for survival and a good water filter so you can drink water out of the creek after the electric grid goes down (either from a cyber attack or and EMP pulse). Yet, here we are and the United States hasn’t changed. Another deadline passed without expected disaster. (But , of course, we can all comfort ourselves with this belief. All we’ve prepared for will eventually come in handy when it will be needed in the future).

Over my lifetime, I have unfortunately believed many of the prevailing conspiracy theories that keep recurring. I still have my Y2K 7500-watt gasoline generator and Katadyn water filter. Fortunately, I was able to sell my MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) which were bought for my family’s food. I still have my hidden away, off premises, buried in the ground, stash of gold and silver for the ever continuing, expected collapse of the U.S. dollar (the dollar which just seems to keep getting stronger and stronger). And a few more conspiracy theories that I believed in that I’m too ashamed to talk about.

Sometimes, what I have heard and studied seems to be a mixture of truth and possible exaggeration. For instance, I have now come to believe in the validity of the United Nations urbanization plan entitled Agenda 21. The U.N. has written about this publicly and how it wishes to change the world that we live in and it’s frightening. What I find hard to believe is that this plan (or a variation) has been around for a couple of hundreds of years and passed down from world leaders, generation to the next generation. I also don’t believe that whenever a city adds a bicycle path to its roads that that is a sign of the city government being part of Agenda 21. Sometimes a bicycle path is just a bicycle path.

As Chairman of the Garland County TEA Party, I receive many emails, some with attachments, text messages, telephone calls and personal conversations. Many are from well-meaning, wonderful, patriotic people who try to tell me or convince me of one thing or another. I listen to all of them and then try to study and analyze each issue as best I can. I don’t pass it on unless I have done my due diligence to the best of my ability.

The most common situation is when I receive an email, which has been forwarded and asks me to further forward it. Usually, my first reaction to the email is to believe it. Why, because it fits my narrative of what that person, country or issue is really like. But then I force myself to remember the adage, “If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably too good to be true.” I start to wonder if it’s an Internet Legend. I then will Google it, go to Snopes.com, Hoax-Slayer.com and TruthorFiction.com. Way too frequently, the email claim is either inaccurate, miss quoted, miss attributed or never even happened. We are all too guilty of hitting the forward button way too fast.

Why have I written about this topic this week and why is it on my heart? I believe that we who are conservative or who are in the Tea Party, are at times too eager to believe all we hear. We are all, including me, at times gullible and too naïve. We so care and worry about the future of our city, county, state and nation, we have a tendency to overreact; sometimes believe and react before we have time to think. This can lead to inappropriate words and actions that later will cause us to feel foolish, look and sound foolish and sometimes requires us to apologize. It can lead to our movement losing respect and trust in our community.

Please don’t misunderstand me! There are very bad people, peoples and countries out there. They are capable and are doing some very evil things nationally and internationally. We should be extremely vigilant to expose their evil intentions and actions. But first, we must be smart. Once again I will restate that the Tea Party is the best Watchman over our government. We are the ones willing to speak up for the Constitution, Liberty, Freedom and “Sanity.” We are often denigrated and treated poorly for our beliefs and positions, but so was our ultimate role model; Jesus Christ.

My only request is that we all try our hardest to know the truth from the lies or exaggerations we all hear. Proverbs 4:5 exclaims – “How blessed is the person who finds wisdom, and the person who gains understanding.” We should all want to be that blessed person. It takes a little hard work but it is well worth it.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – September 12, 2015

TROJAN HORSE IMMIGRATION   (THE ENEMY WITHIN)

I know that many people consider Conservatives to be generally lacking in compassion due to our positions on many issues. We would counter that we have compassion and want to help others, but not without using our brains and logic to solve problems. The latest example would be our position concerning “Humanitarian” Immigration of Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan and other persecuted peoples of the Middle East.
As of this writing, literally millions of people have been displaced from their home countries and are wandering and moving en mass towards Europe. They are mostly Muslim Arabs and a few Arab Christians. European countries and the United States are struggling with what to do and how to help. Some would ask, “What’s the problem? Let them all in who need it. What choice do you have?”
My answer is, “What are you crazy? Absolutely not.” So, let’s discuss why I am so emphatically against taking in the Muslim refugees; even a few.
First has to do with whose responsibility is it to help Arabs; the majority of which are Muslim? I contend that first it should be other Muslim Arab countries. As of this writing, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia have not taken any Syrian refugees. It’s not because they can’t afford it; it’s because they don’t want them and the problems associated with them. They would destabilize their countries. So if their own don’t want them, why should anyone else. (Compare this to Israel who since 1948 has taken in every Jew who wishes to immigrate for any reason and has given them citizenship – The Law of Return).
Second, those Muslim countries, such as Jordan, that have taken in refugees have placed them in refugee camps and have not allowed them to integrate into their societies. Some have not allowed them to even stay in their country but just pass through. If and when the origin countries that were in civil war resolve their conflict or when unstable countries become stable, these refugees will and should be sent back to where they came.
Third, European countries already have a growing Muslim Arab population that is not assimilating into their cultures and are causing increasing problems, some very serious (legal problems, violence problems – i.e. – England, France). These countries surely don’t need to voluntarily accept more problems.
Fourth, the United States already has an 11 million undocumented immigration problem, with more coming each day. In addition, 1 million people are legally allowed to immigrate to the U.S. yearly. We really don’t need any more, especially mostly uneducated people (who also don’t desire the American way of life).
Lastly, and possibly more importantly, is the safety of each nation that will allow unfettered access to these Arab Muslims once they have arrived. The Pew polling of Muslims from the Middle East found a great majority want Sharia Law practiced where they live. They do not want to live democratically but transplant their societies to Europe and the U.S.
Also, there is no time to vet who these Muslims are; to know the good from the bad. What if they are jihadis or ISIS members? This would be like inviting your enemy, with open arms, into your country during wartime. Israel has stated, “We must not take in people from an enemy state who could act against us from within.”
(Hijrah is the Islamic doctrine of migration, which is a form of stealth jihad. “To emigrate in the cause of Allah – that is, to move to a new land in order to bring Islam there, is considered in Islam to be a highly meritorious act.”
An ISIS smuggler was quoted as saying, “We will use the refugee crisis to infiltrate the West.”
Crusades were fought with the Muslim world 10 centuries ago due to Islam encroaching
and invading parts of Europe after taking over the Middle East and Jerusalem. Now European countries are completing the invasion voluntarily. What’s wrong with them? Do they not know history? Can’t they see what this will eventually do to their countries?
Let me state that I have no problem with helping Arab Christians. They are being slaughtered throughout the Middle East and pose no physical danger to the countries where they would migrate. They literally have no place to go. Most of the Christians have been hiding in churches and homes in the Middle East, afraid to venture to the United Nations refugee camps, which tend to be managed by Muslims. In addition, their numbers are much smaller. They would easily assimilate into European or American culture.

Some might ask me, “How can you as a Jew, knowing that during 1939-1945, the countries of the world, especially the United States, refused persecuted Jews who sought asylum. The result of which were millions killed?” A really good question with a relatively simple answer.
Those Jews were no threat to anyone. None had allegiance any longer to Germany or to their other European adopted countries. None were terrorists. None hated America. Most were educated, literate and hard working. What happened to those who escaped to America? They became great Americans who won many Nobel Prizes and added to our country and our economy. The United States could have used a few more Albert Einstein types. Is that what we will get with this new group?

Some reading this may think I am Islamophobic. (Phobia – a fear of). Yes, I am fearful of Islam, but only that part of Islam that wants to destroy our society and not co-exist in peace. It is presently impossible to know which immigrant is moderate and which desires jihad. So, when in doubt, do nothing that will hurt your country.

So, what is my bottom line? This present mass Muslim immigration is like a Trojan Horse leading to the “enemy within our borders.” It will quickly destroy Europe as we know it and wreak havoc across America. It must not be allowed. It’s not a lack of compassion but a sincere desire to survive as the America we know and love.
Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – September 5, 2015

OBAMA’S GOT REAL NERVE

Sorry to go off again about the Iranian nuclear deal but the future of Israel, the United States and the entire world may depend on Iran not getting nuclear bombs and ICBMs to deliver them. Sadly, nothing that has come out of Washington gives me any comfort that the “deal”, which is not a “treaty,” will stop their eventual acquisition of nuclear weapons. If it was a “treaty” it would take a 2/3rds majority to approve it and it would surely fail. But, somehow, it is being treated as a “deal.” Even if it is defeated by Congress, Obama will simply veto the vote and there probably will not be enough votes to override the veto.

Last weekend I read the following and just couldn’t believe my eyes when I read:

President Obama fielded questions Friday, August 28th, from the heads of prominent Jewish groups in his latest effort to sell the Iran nuclear deal. He also assured opponents they will still be on the White House guest list even if they disagree with him.
“I am appreciative of the concerns and anxieties people have — I respect them,” Obama said.
Fielding this and other questions, Obama said he doesn’t take the vitriolic rhetoric (bitter, angry pronouncements) out of Tehran seriously and promised opponents of the deal that next year, “We’ll still be playing golf and also Iran will be over to the White House for Passover Seder dinner.”

There is a wonderful word in Yiddish (language used by Eastern European Jews in the 19-20th century) called CHUTZPAH (unmitigated impudence, audacity, nerve). Obama surely exhibits chutzpah at its finest.

First, to say these words to a group of Jewish leaders who sincerely worry about Israel’s survival takes Chutzpah.

Next, for a president to say “that he doesn’t take the vitriolic rhetoric coming out of Iran seriously” is incomprehensible to me as it should have been to the group knowing Jewish history. Similar vitriolic rhetoric was found in Mein Kampf and Hitler later did just as he promised. What makes the president believe Iran, when it is able and capable, won’t fulfill what it has promised for almost 40 years?

We know Obama will be playing golf next year no matter what is happening in the world so this statement was no surprise.

But, the Chutzpah to say that Iranian Muslim leaders, because of his and Kerry’s “great deal,” will next year be willing to celebrate the Jewish Passover Seder (meal) with him at the White House is so outrageous as to be almost cruel to his listeners. Worse yet, what if he really believes this nonsense?

Now for a little Eschatology. I will finish today’s opinion piece with a Biblical reference that leads me to believe Iran will get and one day use a nuclear bomb on Israel. In the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), the Lord told the prophet Zechariah 2500 years ago, in Zechariah 13:8-9, spoken to the Jewish people:

“It will come about in all the land,” declares the LORD, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it. And I will bring the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.'”

Israel is so small a nation that one or two detonated nuclear bombs could easily wipe out two-thirds of its population. To those of us who believe in the inerrancy of scripture, we believe this prophesy will happen one day The Bible also points to Persia (Iran) as the country to cause this holocaust .

The only consolation to those of us who are Believers is that this horrible scenario will then lead to the coming of the Messiah, the Second Coming, the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

This is my only comfort as I feel so impotent to affect change as I watch world history and Biblical history unfold right before my very eyes.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – August 29, 2015

DEFENDING THE AMERICAN DREAM
Many, many Arkansans and thousands of other Patriots from around the country were at last weekend’s Defending the American Dream two day summit. It was sponsored by Americans For Prosperity and was held at the Columbus, Ohio convention center.

Arkansas sent about 125 people on three buses to Columbus. The bus ride there took 16 hours and there was great fellowship among all of us. The buses got to the Sheraton Suites hotel at 1:30 and 3:00 AM. The morning breakout sessions started at 8:30 in the morning and many actually made it up in time to attend. These sessions educated the attendees about various issues facing America and the world. They also taught many of us how to better share our beliefs and conservative values.

For lunch on Friday, the Arkansas leaders of Americans For Prosperity hosted a get together before the speakers that afternoon. Below is a picture of many from the Garland County Tea Party who attended the Summit while the majority of our group were visiting elsewhere.

Each afternoon for two days we were privileged to hear speeches given by candidates we in the Tea Party highly admire (Jindal, Cruz, Rubio, Perry). Jeb Bush also spoke.

The afternoons felt like we were at a rock concert. There was music, the Pledge of Allegiance, the Star Spangled Banner, along with patriotic videos, cheering crowds, flashing lights and great speeches. More than once tears rolled down my face. It felt like the America I knew and want to return to. I felt blessed to be there among so many people who love the United States and who actively want to DO SOMETHING; not just sit back and complain.

This entire event helped me realize why I am so proud to be part of the Garland County Tea Party. Since 2009, our group has made a difference in Garland County and the State of Arkansas. We helped elect conservatives to the state legislature, constitutional offices and the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. We helped defeat much of the progressive, liberal agenda. We also worked successfully to defeat millage issues that would further increase our already excessive tax burden. We have urged our elected officials to keep their promises to their constituents. We have stood shoulder to shoulder with them.

The 2016 election is only 15 months from now. The filing date to run in that election is November 9th, less than 2 1/2 months from now. Early voting for the primaries begins on February 15th and the primary is March 1st (6 months from now). The next President of the United States will be decided on November 8th, 2016. That election will decide the future of our country.

So, now is the time to get active again. Now is the time to support those we helped elect since they will be challenged by progressive, liberal candidates. Now is the time to recruit new members to our Tea Party. Now is the time to once again flex our political muscle. Now is the time! A few months from now will be too late.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – August 22, 2015

WHO’S A WINNER, WHO’S A HERO??

It amazes me how modern society has cheapened many words and concepts. What used to be unique, extraordinary, earned and rare has now been often relegated to commonplace and usual.

This week, there has been an ongoing controversy over NFL player James Harrison who declared war on the trophies kids get for simply showing up and playing a sport. Harrison wrote on Instagram that he would return “participation trophies” that his eight and six-year-old sons recently brought home. He says he is very proud and supportive of his children but believes “everything in life should be earned, and they shouldn’t feel entitled.” Harrison says he wants his kids, in his words, to earn a real trophy. Many have taken him to task for his remarks. I would agree with him, that in the real world, in real life, you don’t get rewarded or receive a trophy for mediocrity or just showing up.

A few weeks ago, Donald Trump caused a great upheaval when he said John McCain was not a hero because he got shot down and was imprisoned as a P.O.W. This caused a mild disagreement in my home and with a close friend. I wrote the following email:

“Actually, I hate that Trump said this but technically, I agree with him. Just because you get shot down and are imprisoned, that doesn’t make you a hero.”

He was doing his job. He volunteered and wanted to fight for his country. He was flying his jet fighter in combat. He wasn’t doing something extraordinary. Nor was he doing anything greater than anyone else who fought in Vietnam. By no choice on his part, he got shot down while doing his expected job. (Let me add right now that later when he refused to be released until his fellow P.O.W.’s were released, that was extraordinary and heroic).

To me, heroes do something extraordinary, above and beyond their jobs and normal lives and then put their lives in danger when others wouldn’t or didn’t. A fireman, in full protective gear, rushing into a burning building is not a hero; he’s doing his job. A civilian, without protective clothing and oxygen, rushing into a burning building to save someone, that’s a hero. A passerby jumping into ice cold water to save a drowning child, risking his own life, that’s a hero. McCain may be a patriot because he was in the Air Force and the fireman brave, but that doesn’t rise to hero in my opinion.”

If it does, that cheapens the concept of hero.

Last weekend I spoke at a Tea Party meeting and as part of the talk I explained I wrote a weekly, conservative opinion piece. I told the group that I was going to write about “what’s a hero” and about what I felt about the McCain statement. To my surprise, two Vietnam veterans who were in the audience expressed their appreciation for my opinion. They felt they had fought in Vietnam and like McCain and many others, they had been shot at and daily risked their lives and were in daily danger. They never thought of themselves as heroes, just patriotic Americans doing their job; just like McCain was doing his.

Our forefathers, those people who fought in the War for Independence, they were heroes. They volunteered to fight an overwhelming adversary (England) with limited resources and put their lives in danger to obtain liberty and freedom. It wasn’t their job; it was their mission; their vision. If it weren’t for these heroes, we wouldn’t today enjoy Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness that we all cherish in America.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – August 15, 2015

PERMEABLE VS. IMPERMEABLE

No one living in the United States (except those brain dead) could possibly have missed the controversy over Donald Trump’s statements concerning illegal aliens and immigration. This has once again focused attention on the borders of the United States; mostly the Southern border (among other issues). For over 30 years, this has intermittently been a hotly debated topic. So I thought, “Why shouldn’t I add my opinion?”

When I start thinking about and forming every opinion piece, I use the acronym, K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid to guide me (other variations include Occam’s Razor and the Law of Parsimony). The simplest, the most likely explanation or solution, is probably the correct one. The more complicated you make something, the more likely it is wrong or will fail. Not always, but usually.

The debate concerning immigration starts with the Open Borders vs. Closed Borders crowd. Outside of a few people who believe we should have open, unrestricted borders to immigration, any rational person should agree that rapidly adding millions, upon tens of millions of people to the U.S. would be a disaster. Simply put, America has partly been great because of immigration, but this was when it was controlled and balanced. Uncontrolled immigration can destroy this great country. There is a limited capacity to absorb an infinite number of immigrants.

Concerning immigration, millions of people coming across our borders illegally is not immigration; it is invasion. So, throughout history, how does a country attempt to stop invaders (or for that matter, unwanted immigrants)?

History is replete with examples of attempts to stop those peoples or nations from invading or overwhelming your city or country. History records innumerable walls (think Jericho in the Old Testament to the Great Wall of China stretching over 13,000 miles). Walls didn’t always work perfectly but for the most part, they did succeed and they were also a great deterrent or discouragement.

Some argue that walls (let’s include sophisticated fences) are obsolete and don’t work. Try telling that to the Israelis. Prior to their 430 mile constructed wall, hundreds of attacks and suicide bombers struck Israel; after the wall, very few. Dozens of other countries presently have walls/fences (India/Pakistan, Egypt/Gaza, N.&S. Korea, Spain, Morocco, Cyprus, Zimbabwe, Malaysia, and many more). If they don’t work, why is Turkey presently building a 500 mile long fence along the Syrian border and Hungary building a border fence with Serbia (among others presently under construction worldwide)?

The AP reported just this weekend that the 14 mile, 18 foot high fence constructed in San Diego in 2009 has cut down the need for arrests by 95%.

Properly constructed walls and fences work. Not perfectly, but significantly. They slow illegals coming across the border to a trickle and we don’t even know how many more are deterred from even trying?

What about those who prefer more border security personnel, video camera surveillance, drones, etc? My simple answer to them is the following. Walls/fences keep people from reaching American soil. Remember, once they are on American soil and then picked up by border security agents (let’s not forget how many aren’t arrested and detained), they then are given due process and all the rights of American citizens. They’re placed temporarily in detention centers, given housing, clothing and medical care, then released into the U.S. to show up for a deportation hearing where few return). In essence, once they reach American soil, they’ve made it!!! The Obama administration and sanctuary cities have compounded the problem. So, if they never reach American soil, what future, new immigration problems? None!!!

Finally, some might argue that the cost of constructing a 3,000 mile long wall/fence along our southern border would be high. But, what are we now, year after year, spending on thousands of border patrol agents and equipment, new technology, detention centers, legal costs and then add to that, the cost of all these millions of illegal aliens upon society (welfare, food stamps, medical care, etc.) once they live throughout the country? Somehow, it seems to me that it would be cost effective.

So, I ask the reader, how is building and completing a practically impermeable wall/fence not the simplest, most effective solution to our illegal immigration problem? What’s really motivating those who oppose it?

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
JUST MY PERSONAL SPECULATION

When Hillary Clinton’s email problem began about five months ago, I told my wife Marilyn, that whether Hillary gets off scot free or will be indicted depends on President Obama.

If Obama wants her to be the next president, he will stop everyone in government from investigating her. Remember that for five months, there has been no governmental action against her; until now.

There is no love lost between the Obamas and the Clintons. If he doesn’t want her to be the next president, he will slowly allow the government to look into her emails and eventually indict her. You don’t really think after 5 months the Inspector General and the FBI suddenly, out of the clear blue, decided to look into this? Yet, it will never look like it came from Obama.

Obama said picking Joe Biden for Vice President was the best decision he has made. Just think for a second, you haven’t heard Obama endorse Hillary. If he wanted her to be the next Democratic presidential candidate, he would have already endorsed her. But he has been silent.

My next prediction is that Hillary will be forced to cut a secret deal with the government and the administration. She knows they will eventually get to the truth and indict her. Or, they will threaten her with what they have discovered which would lead to jail time. The Deal; In return for discontinuing her run for President, the government will drop the case and stop pursuing the truth in the matter. That she will not have to go to jail.

After the deal is completed, I expect Hillary will magnanimously declare that for the good of the Democratic party, that she will discontinue her run for office. That all this negative publicity is hurting the chances of a 2016 Democratic victory.

Folks, it’s Chess, not Checkers.

Doctor Jack
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – August 8, 2015

“Are We All The Same?”
Over the last three years, I’ve recognized something in those I hang around with week after week. We all pretty much think the same way about things and are of a similar age range. We pretty much agree on religion, politics and life in general. Since retirement nine years ago, I no longer talk mostly about work or the next personal frontier to conquer. In many ways, it is a more comfortable life than the past.

I just read an article by Charles Krauthammer written in 1983. What he wrote was another epiphany moment for me in my understanding of humanity, liberalism (progressivism) and the world in general. He talked about Solipsism (no, I’m not cursing). He explained this term to mean that “each one of us thinks that everyone else is like us” He used the term, “mirror image fallacy.” The idea that people across the globe-men and women of every race, nationality and creed-are just like Americans. He then went on to explain the fallacy of this; both personally, nationally and internationally. That all people possess the same dreams and hopes as Americans. It helped me understand the actions of people in general and the actions of leaders of our country in particular.

Let’s start locally. I know many fine Christian Arkansans who have lived here all their lives and have never lived in any other part of the United States (or traveled nationally or internationally). They believe the majority of Americans think the same all over the country; just like us (Arkansans). This is why they have so much difficulty understanding why America is so rapidly changing. Having not lived in the Northeast or the West Coast, they have not been exposed to the cultural shift that has occurred in much of America. We hear such pejorative terms about us as we’re the Bible Belt or we live in Flyover Country to describe our way of life and thinking. We have the simplistic belief that all Americans (and all peoples) have the same innate desires, needs and thoughts concerning our country and the world in general. We just can’t understand why they’re thinking and acting so differently.

But the clearest example of Solipsism has to be the recent nuclear negotiations with Iran. Our Western leaders (our present President, Secretary of State and most Democratic legislators) have negotiated with Iran believing they think like us and want the same things we want such as respect, affluence, prosperity, and peace. Believing what they desire is the same as what we desire. We are willing to trust them to act like we would act to get those objectives. We compromise to be “fair” assuming the other side will also be “fair,” since we all want the same thing.

The problem with this mindset is that the other side is “not necessarily like us.” They may ultimately not want the same objectives we want. Physically they may be the same inside but not ideologically and especially not spiritually. We don’t understand or are unwilling to understand their ideology and their theology. We can’t fathom suicide bombers, willing to blow themselves up for Allah, so as to guarantee eternal life in Heaven. So how can we begin to fathom their willingness, knowing they would be destroyed and killed, to start a nuclear war in order to hasten the coming of their messiah; the Mahdi (the 12th Imam). Despite their leaders repeatedly screaming death to Israel and death to America, we don’t believe they mean it and so we negotiate and treat them like friends and honorable, trustworthy people.

The other side isn’t stupid. If anything, they are brilliant. (This analysis could also just as easily be written about Russia or China with minor variations). They know how to take advantage of our naïveté and gullibility (some might say our goodness). They understand our human nature and beliefs (Solipsism) and use it for their advantage. That’s how they repeatedly win until America eventually wakes up (think Pearl Harbor, 9/11).

But this time, we may not wake up until another nuclear bomb has exploded over a major city and then it will be too late. Wake up America!!!

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

MY LETTER TO EDITOR IN THE ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT/GAZETTE -8/8/2015
As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton must have communicated with others concerning many classified and confidential matters. If Hillary didn’t send classified, top-secret information using her private email server, as she claims, then what secure email did she use for such communication (she’s never mentioned any other method such as the secure one supplied by the government)? If there was no other secure email she used, then she must have sent classified, top secret emails on her non-secure email server. Someone needs to ask her this simple question. “What secure email did you use?”

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – August 1, 2015

PLANNED PARENTHOOD: “PARTS ANYONE?”

Since January I have been writing a weekly opinion piece. Usually it concerns some issue that is in my head or on my heart. This week will be somewhat different. It will be a response to an article written by Susan Estrich, a liberal columnist, that was published in the Hot Springs Sentinel Record newspaper. The column she wrote is so full of lies, deceit and exaggerations, that I am outraged and must respond. What she wrote is in black, my responses are in red. She wrote:

The debate on ‘no shame’
Susan Estrich

No one has a late term abortion because she’s changed her mind about having a baby. (Really, no one?). Doctors in almost all states won’t perform them for that reason; (but Planned Parenthood doctors will) and, by the way, what kind of beasts do you think women are? (Your term, not mine. Not women in general, but what term should we use for women who have late term abortions for convenience and then have the body parts harvested and then sold?). Late-term abortions are tragedies, often a last resort because much-wanted babies, or their mothers, develop conditions not consistent with life. (If that is true, then why use Planned Parenthood and not standard Ob/Gyn’s in accredited hospitals – for sound medical reasons they will perform needed abortions).
The saddest day I ever spent in a chemotherapy room was the day I sat with my friend (who was dying in her 60s), and watched as a brand new mother was wheeled in, baby in lap, by her own mother, to begin the chemotherapy she had deferred, risking her own life. (Isn’t that what is really called Pro-Choice – She chose to have the baby knowing the risks; her decision).

That a bunch of pranksters eager to score deceptive political points can take tragedies like these and turn them into political games is shameful. (You’re shooting the messenger for the message and the information they exposed).
Calling this a scandal about the sale of fetal tissue is like calling the organ donation program a scandal. No one is “selling” anything; this is not a revenue stream for Planned Parenthood, which is a nonprofit organization (I would bet it is nonprofit because of the large salaries it gives it directors and doctors so there’s no profit left over). Each Planned Parenthood gets reimbursed for transportation and related costs. (Really, if not for profit, then why negotiate prices? You should already know your costs for packaging and transportation. And wouldn’t we all want to know the prices to see if they are “reasonable” – so disclose them. A recent report claimed a liver could command over $20,000. If so, that’s a lot for a Fed Ex delivery).
And why are these “ghouls” so interested in donating fetal tissue? (For money, but I repeat myself). Some ghoulish game? No. These “ghouls” are medical researchers trying to save lives, (Which one at Planned Parenthood is the medical researcher? Do you mean the abortionist taking the unborn child’s life or the administrator selling the parts?) so that maybe someday if your baby is found to have such a condition, he can survive.
And yes, sometimes parents actually say they want their lost dream, their tragedy, to potentially help others, so of course the abortion procedure, consistent with putting the mother’s health first, should be performed in a way that might maximize the potential to recover particular or valuable tissue that might save lives in the future — and is saving no one now. (You stated above, “sometimes.” If only sometimes the mother gives informed consent for what the parts will be used for, then do the others sign papers not knowing what they are actually signing–i.e.-not reading the fine print – do they also know they will be sold per part?).
How exactly did these folks manage to own the moniker “pro-life”? Pro whose life? I am pro saving lives. (So, if the mother’s life is not in danger and the fetus is healthy, whose life are you for saving. Obviously, it’s not the unborn child’s life).
I am pro helping mothers to have healthy babies. I am pro doing everything we can to spare mothers the heartbreak of not hearing a heartbeat or the long pause when someone realizes the organs aren’t developing right. Forcing a mother to give birth to a child who cannot live, and denying her the chance to contribute to future scientific research (a tiny consolation that some good might come from such sadness) — how is that pro-life?
Eventually the storm will blow over, as people watch the whole unedited tape and realize that no one at Planned Parenthood was headed for Vegas with the proceeds of tissue sales, (except the doctor who said she was going to use the money to buy a Lamborghini) that no one was seeing it as a way to make money but as a way to maximize much-needed research. And the two doctors mentioned on the tape are probably under police protection now, along with their families, assuming the usual quotient of crazy death threats in this debate.
Hopefully no one will die. Hopefully no “true believer” out there will make the mistake of thinking this rhetoric is something more than the fire breath of cowardly dragons, and try to act on it. But you have to wonder: If you were an obstetrician with young children of your own, would you take a job at Planned Parenthood? (Hopefully you wouldn’t. Not out of fear but because you didn’t want to end pregnancies of perfectly healthy unborn children which are the majority of what they abort). Would you help a woman in her third trimester who found out the pregnancy could kill her and her unborn child? (The fallacious argument throughout this entire piece is that only third trimester abortions are performed, due to unhealthy unborns or for the health of the mothers, and then their parts are being harvested and sold, but for only humanitarian reasons. Truth is, the majority of the abortions at Planned Parenthood are performed much earlier, and body parts from perfectly healthy fetuses as early as 10-12 weeks are being harvested and sold and their prices negotiated just like a commodity). Or would you grab a video camera, hide it away and see if you could somehow incriminate these brave and courageous doctors, who are literally risking their lives to help patients (Four doctors in over 40 years have been killed – four too many – but not mass murders of abortionists. So, the major risk to doctors performing abortions is people’s disgust for what they are doing) and trying to contribute to the next generation of research so that someday another woman may be spared the pain that she will never forget.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – JULY 25, 2015

WHAT’S IN A NAME??

On the first Tuesday of each month at 8:00 AM, I have opportunity and pleasure to be Dick Antoine’s radio guest on KZNG, 1340 AM. I never know what topic(s) we will discuss and I really don’t come prepared with any written thoughts. As Chairman of the Garland County Tea Party, he expects that I will speak for the Tea Party. And that is the topic of this weeks “reflection” piece.

How do you appropriately speak for such a diverse group of people? I repeatedly tell Dick that I am speaking for myself and hope that the majority of the local Tea Party members will agree with me. But honestly, I never know for sure how some of my statements will be received by my Tea Party group or the Garland County community in general who listen to the show.

This month, on Tuesday July 7th, I tackled the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage and a little bit of the supposed Republican (Conservative) “War on Women,” but not using the usual arguments. I believe what I shared was important and we as conservatives and those of faith might be more effective if they followed what I suggested.

So, on the radio, I shared the following ideas publicly:

Despite the country’s Judeo-Christian beginnings, America and Americans as a society is becoming progressively and increasingly more secular. The American constitution does not allow one religion to predominate or dictate how others should live. Many of those of the Christian faith find this very unfortunate and disturbing, but it is what it is.

When addressing the gay marriage issue, I hope we can all agree that we don’t want anyone or any group discriminated against, for no reason other than they are different. What people do in the privacy of their homes is their business. If publicly what they do doesn’t harm someone else, that too is their liberty and right.

If my memory is correct, I seem to remember that originally, the major argument given by gay and lesbian couples for same sex marriage, had to do with them not having equal rights and privileges as married couples. For example, they could not file their IRS taxes jointly so as to receive the tax advantages of married couples. If their partner was hospitalized, under HIPPA privacy rules, they could not be told anything about their partner’s health condition (or even visit if the family was against it). I think most of us would also see these examples as unfair, or at least, problematic.

So, what happened? Neither side tried to “fix” the problem within the Constitution. The LGBT community pushed hard for equality of gay/lesbian MARRIAGE and those of faith pushed back hard from a historical/religious perspective that marriage has always been “only” between a man and a women. The Supreme Court settled the issue using the 14th Amendment to the Constitution using “Equal Protection Under The Law” to justify changing the definition of marriage.

But, I contend, that maybe, just maybe, a better solution to the problem, one that is completely within the 14th Amendment and could have been won, should have been the stronger argument from those of faith. They should have argued for calling the joining of two same-sex partners a Civil Union and that Civil Union would have all the same privileges as married couples. The historical definition of marriage would have been left intact. The couples would be joined by the civil government of each state and those of faith joined in marriage by their respective clergy. The Supreme Court should have had no problem accepting this solution since it complies with the 14th Amendment and states would still be in charge. This is the battle we should have fought. A battle we had a better chance of winning. Not everyone would have been 100% happy with this solution but it could have saved a lot of anger and frustration. In the end, hopefully more on both sides would have been accepting.

As an example of equal privileges but using different terminology, I spoke about my family doctor, Dr. Scott Anderson. He is trained as a Doctor of Osteopathy; he has D.O. after his name. I was trained as a Medical Doctor; I have M.D. after my name. We are both called doctor. We both have the exact same privileges to practice medicine in Arkansas. We both have equal access to practice at all hospitals and we both have the exact same ability to prescribes medications. He is not asking to use M.D. after his name. We are classified differently but have equal privileges.

I next spoke about the invented War on Women as manifested in 2012 by Sandra Fluke, who was a law student, who argued that birth control pills should be covered by insurance companies for free. Republicans refused to even listen to her testimony before Congress and fought against this and she gained a lot of attention and even spoke at the Democratic National Convention.

During that time, I looked up the formulary for Arkansas Blue Cross/Blue Shield and was shocked to discover that birth control pills (BCP’s) were not covered on their formulary (not subsidized like other medicines). Had I been in office, I would have argued that BCP’s should have been covered just like any other FDA approved drug using the same pricing schedule (generic vs. trade). That would have taken the wind out of her argument. I would have also said, “Why should BCP’s be free (since it doesn’t prevent any disease or treat any disease – pregnancy isn’t a disease) when life sustaining Insulin for Type I diabetics or cardiac drugs for those with heart problems aren’t free. I wish Republicans had argued from logic and exposed this alternative provision.

Some would say that what I just said and wrote amounts to nothing more than compromise. I call them practical and reasonable solutions. We must all accept the fact and reality that we conservatives have been losing practically every battle. In the future, we must be wiser in what battles we fight and how we present our positions. We must win the hearts and mind of the American public with logic and facts; not emotional appeal and not just rely on religious arguments.

It would be good to follow the scripture which says, “Be wise as a serpent but as innocent as a dove.” We would win more hearts and minds and hopefully, more battles.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – JULY 18, 2015
What Kind of Legacy?

I won’t even begin to discuss the merits of the recent Nuclear Deal with Iran because there are none. Some have said it was either these negotiations and this deal or going to war with Iran. I doubt we would have needed to go to war if we had kept up and also increased the sanctions. But, even if that was the case, war now with them when they only have conventional weapons is better than eventual and inevitable war with Iran when they have nuclear bombs. And Israel would be happy to help.

Anyone in their right mind knows it’s a disastrous deal. Iran gets sanctions lifted, arms dealing permitted, no curb on ICBM’s (give me one good reason why Iran needs ICBM’s) and inspections only on their terms after weeks of advance notice. I also expect more concessions to be revealed as we get to see the entire document.

What does Europe and China get? They get to trade with Iran and buy oil. We in the U.S. only get promises! How do you trust a country whose leaders and people scream death to Israel and death to America? Who really believes Iran will keep their word and will not cheat? I fully expect that one day we will wake up to a detonated nuclear bomb test in Iran. This being similar to what happened with North Korea after we trusted them to not get nuclear weapons.

So why does President Obama want this deal, at any cost? Many have said it is because he wants this to be his legacy.

Someone else once wanted a legacy. That of “Peace In Our Time.” His name was Neville Chamberlain. He too negotiated a peace treaty in 1938 with the evil regime of Nazi Germany and with Adolf Hitler. He too believed Hitler and Germany and that Hitler would keep his word. He believed appeasement would stop Hitler. How did that work out for Europe, Britain, the Soviet Union and 6 million Jews plus millions of others? So today, whenever we speak of Chamberlain, we remember his legacy as one who was fooled and that he lulled Britain and others into complacency. Had Europe and Britain stopped Hitler when they could have, World War II might still have happened, but it might have been much shorter and with millions of less deaths.

I expect that Obama will live to see his legacy and it will not be as he hoped. Iran will develop and deploy their nuclear weapons. First at Israel and soon after, more of the Middle East. If not stopped, the United States.

Unless Israel intervenes, we will remember President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, as the two who allowed Iran to develop nuclear weapons and unleash them on the world. What a legacy awaits President Obama.

Our prayers must be that the U.S. Senate votes against this deal and has enough votes, Republican and Democrat, to override Obama’s veto. I fear this won’t happen. Knowing and understanding history, I’m terrified at what happens next.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

In addition, this prophetic wisdom from almost two years ago:

In the column he titled “Peace for Our Time,” Victor Davis Hanson wrote in the National Review, November 24, 2013, “There is not a good record, from Philip of Macedon to Hitler to Stalin in the 1940s to Carter and the Soviets in the 1970s to radical Islamists in the 1990s, of expecting authoritarians and thugs to listen to reason, cool their aggression, and appreciate democracies’ sober and judicious appeal to logic — once they sense in the West greater eagerness to announce new, rather than to enforce old, agreements
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – JULY 11, 2015

REMNANT

(A small, unsold or unused piece of cloth, lace, etc., as at the end of a bolt or the part which is left when other parts are gone)

It surprises many to learn that I came from from very humble (poor) beginnings. My father was a sewing machine mechanic and my parents had a notions, trimming and fabric store. I worked in their store throughout my youth and early teenage years. I sold cloth for clothing along with buttons, zippers, notions and trimmings. I made buttonholes on peoples garments. I remember my mother teaching me that at the end of the bolts of material, the pieces of cloth which were left over, were called remnants.

I next ran into that word or concept in the Bible; both Old and New Testaments, to describe the group of TRUE BELIEVERS in the one true God who always remain when others have turned from the Truth. (When Elijah despaired that he was the only one left in Israel who had not bowed down to idols, God assured him that He had reserved a remnant of 7,000 “whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him” 1 Kings 19 ).

Some may accuse me of hyperbole (exaggeration), but I often think of those of us in the Tea Party, along with conservative Republicans, as the TRUE REMNANT of what once was America. We are extremely patriotic. We believe in American Exceptionalism. We love the America as envisioned by our Founding Fathers who desired America to be a land of Liberty, Freedom, Opportunity and the Pursuit of Happiness. We still believe in personal responsibility and strong morality. Our eyes tear up when we recite the Pledge of Allegiance, sing the Star Spangled Banner or God Bless America. We are proud and unashamed to be a “Norman Rockwell” type of believing Remnant. It is that picture of America that we see evaporating before our eyes, we desperately miss it and we are grieving over its loss. AND WE WANT IT BACK.

We in the Garland County TEA Party have a mission. It is to RESTORE our Constitutional Republic and to fight to PRESERVE the freedoms granted by God as laid out in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We affirm our Core Values of Fiscal Responsibility, Limited Government and Free Markets in our City, our State, and our Nation.

Come join us in our continuing fight to take back America. Not a physical fight but a fight to educate and motivate people to retake America. In the South, that’s called Revival. It’s just what America desperately needs.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
Longer than usual and hard to read but well worth reading, pondering and digesting.

No, America Is Not a Great Nation

Matt Walsh JulY 3, 2015

Matt Walsh is a blogger, writer, speaker, and professional truth sayer.

A letter from someone looking for some positive vibes from Matt:

Dear Matt,
I love your writing. I’ve been reading and supporting you from the beginning. Thanks for all you do! My question is more optimistic. I believe a lot of bad things are happening in the country right now but with July 4th coming up, it’s important to remember that AMERICA IS STILL GREAT! Sometimes people need that hopeful and encouraging message. I know you’re upset with the way things are going, but can you write something for July 4th reminding everyone that America is still a great nation… and the best in the world? I think we all need to here something hopeful like that! That’s the criticism of you that I hear all the time… you need to be more hopeful! Tells us the GOOD things about America! Thanks!
Sincerely,
Mike

Mike,

Thanks for writing.

I’m sorry but I can’t give you exactly what you want, unless you want something better and truer than the sort of fraudulent “hopefulness” and “optimism” most people seek these days. They want the brand of cheap, commodified hope you get from a 30-second video where a guy finds his lost dog or whatever and at the end tries to sell you beer. They want the inspiration of a viral marketing video. They want it like funnel cake: sweet, empty and quickly digested.

I could give you that, but I won’t. I could write patronizing, pandering nonsense telling you everything is fine, this country is awesome, and the future will be bright and filled with lollipops and puppy dog farts. But what good would it do, besides win me some PR points? If you want hope, it needs to be planted firmly in truth, or else it’s like administering morphine while you die of kidney failure. It’ll make you feel better for a time, but it won’t save you.

Here’s the truth: I am not happy with this country, and you shouldn’t be, either. I am disappointed in it. It disgraces itself. It turns from God. It kills its young. It attacks the family. Am I supposed to pretend otherwise just for the sake of being festive? While Michelle Obama felt pride in her nation for the first time recently, I am more and more developing a deep anger at it, and I think it’s time I admit that out loud. I’m a patriot, but to borrow from Chesterton, a patriot who is uncritical of his country while it teeters on the edge of total destruction is like a son who doesn’t warn his mother that she’s about to fall off a cliff. In this case, however, we already fell off the cliff. We are shattered on the rocks below, and I’m truly not certain if we can be repaired.

You want me to get into the holiday spirit and remind everyone that America is still great, but I don’t know, Mike, does a great country murder a million babies every year?
Does a great country ignore its own laws and tear its Constitution to pieces?
Does a great country become among the first in human civilization to dismantle the institution of marriage in favor of legitimizing sexual perversion?
Is a great country so confused that it can’t tell the difference between male and female?
Does the nuclear family collapse in a great country?
Does a great country have historically high rates of divorce, unwed pregnancy and fatherless homes?
Do little girls get IUDs implanted in them by school officials without parental consent in a great country?
Do citizens burn down their own cities in a great country?
Is moral relativism the cultural driving force in a great country?
Are churches empty in a great country?
Do one in every five citizens favor forcing priests to perform gay weddings in a great country?
Is pornography a billion-dollar industry in a great country?
Are there 110 million cases of STDs in a great country?
Are college students unable to name the vice president but able to chug a fifth of vodka in a great country?
Is higher education overrun by feminists and nihilists in a great country?
Is apathy endemic in a great country?
Does the average person watch five hours of TV a day in a great country?
Are people threatened, fired, attacked, belittled and ripped to shreds for having differing opinions in a great country?
Do young adults ransack stores just for fun in a great country?
Do schools teach kids how to masturbate but forget to teach them how to read in a great country ?
Is “50 Shades of Grey” a best-seller in a great country?
Does Christianity decline in a great country?
Are soldiers forced to sit in classrooms and listen to lectures about “white privilege” in a great country?
Has the gay agenda so infiltrated even the military that now officers are chased out of their jobs for telling lesbians to stop french-kissing while in uniform in a great country?
Does the government hand out birth control to children in a great country?
Do illegal immigrants stream over the border at will in a great country?
Are 151 million people on the government dole in a great country?
Do a majority of Americans vote for Barack Obama twice in a great country?
Does a great country laugh at morality, reject reality and worship cross-dressers?
Do adults in a great country so lack even the most rudimentary knowledge of their own great country that they can’t even explainwhy their great country celebrates the Fourth of July?

Is this what happens in a great country?

If so, what’s so great about being great? Where is the optimism in that miserable greatness? Where is the hope for the future if moral bankruptcy, selfishness, confusion, stupidity, deviancy and failure are “great”?

This is why I’m surprised liberals are still out burning American flags. What are they upset about? This country has been reshaped in their image. They won the culture, the government, academia, the media, even the churches. This is their America. They own it. Yet they aren’t satisfied because liberalism, like its father Satan, is intent only on destruction and consumption. It will never be satiated.

You might say most of the examples I provided have to do with America’s people, not America herself. But the distinction is irrelevant because a democracy is only as great as its people. Meanwhile, our government is corrupt and feckless, and our political leaders are cowardly and self-serving. Yes, the Constitution is great, but it’s still just a set of laws. If laws are ignored, they might as well not exist. The Bill of Rights can’t make us great if we don’t follow it, just like your running shoes can’t make you fit if you don’t put them on and go for a jog.

So in what way is America great at the moment? Are we a moral beacon for the world now? Where is the rest of the world supposed to locate that shining light of moral clarity? Is it somewhere buried under the dead children and the perversion and the porn and the divorce and the drugs and the disease and the dependency and the Nanny State socialism? What about leadership in government, or education, or the home? Is American culture great in these respects?
Face it, Mike. Judge America by any measure — moral, political, economic, social, cultural — and none of it points to greatness. Not by a long shot. Not even close. Not anymore. Progressivism dominates all of these spheres, and with its rise our greatness diminishes.
You might tell me that some individuals in this nation still preserve and shine that light — particularly veterans and people who serve in other capacities — but are they numerous enough to define our culture? Clearly not. They are great in spite of our society, not through it or because of it.

All that’s left, then, is the past. Because while we’ve declined rapidly, we also rose faster than any country before us. We accomplished incredible things. We stormed beaches, conquered tyrants, built cities; we invented and pioneered and innovated. We faced down evil and defeated it. We abolished slavery. We established civil rights for all. We beat the Nazis. We extinguished Communism. We earned the title of a land of opportunity. A God-fearing land. We went to church, we raised our families, we worked, we loved, we prayed.

Look, I’m not idolizing the past. But it’s a matter of historical record that America was a great country, and an exceptional one. And it’s also a fact that the historical record is just that — history. We have to stop resting on the laurels of our great-grandparents and pretending that somehow, because they came off the boat from wherever and persevered through the Depression, we get to mooch off their greatness for eternity. Frankly, our great-grandparents would be disgusted at our country now, and ashamed of it, and of us. Their greatness was their own. We don’t deserve it and have not earned it.

I know I might sound similar to that famous rant from the HBO show “The Newsroom” a few years back. In that clip, Jeff Daniels goes on a tirade about the failures of America, but Daniels made his case that we aren’t “the greatest” by comparing our health and economic status to other nations. Personally, I think money has very little to do with true greatness one way or another. And in any event, I’m not worried about stacking us up against other places.

People say to me, “Yeah, things are bleak, but it’s still better than Mexico, North Korea, etc.” I’m sure it is. But greatness isn’t attained by simply staying one step above the pitiful things around you. If nobody in the room can read or write, and you manage to compose one semi-coherent sentence, that doesn’t make you Shakespeare. If you want to be Shakespeare, you have to strive for brilliance no matter how brilliant or idiotic everyone else happens to be.

“Yeah, but what about all the other countries and their problems?” OK, what’s your point? If that makes you suddenly cool with a nation that slaughters children and corrupts the institution of marriage, fine. Way to maintain high standards for the country you supposedly love. But, me, I want better for my homeland. When I love something — and I do love my country — I want it to be actually great, not just great compared to Somalia.

And what makes a nation great anyway? I’d say economic status plays some small part in it, liberties are important, the way the government functions, laws, industries, military — all of these are factors. But I’ll tell you this: In the end, the nation that sends the most people to heaven is the greatest. Period.

No nation is truly great if it leads its citizens away from truth and away from God. It’s as simple as that. You find a country where most of the citizens — the culture itself, predominately — is directed toward God, toward a humble, moral life, toward truth, and you have found a great nation. I don’t care what else it has going for it. I don’t care if it the life expectancy is 27 and it doesn’t have a standing army or WiFi. If the conditions in the country are such that people are living a moral, God-centered life, it is a great country.

I’m not saying we should be a theocracy. I’m not saying the president’s job is to get me to heaven. I’m just saying the purpose of life is to stand in truth, be holy and see God. A culture oriented toward that purpose is great. A culture that is not, is not.
Now I guess this is the part where I’m supposed to add the caveat, “America isn’t great, but it can be great again!” or some such slogan.

Yesterday someone on Twitter told me that America will “always” be great, no matter what happens or what we do. Others have insisted it’s divine destiny that America reclaim its greatness. But this kind of talk isn’t patriotic; it’s paganism. It paints this country like it’s literally the Kingdom of God. As if, out of all the thousands of countries that have existed since the dawn of time, ours is the first that really will last forever. This is to make Americanism into a religion. It’s idolatry. It’s foolishness, especially considering the Romans and the Greeks felt exactly the same way yet even they were evidently wrong.

We have no guarantees, nor should we seek them. The Lord, in His wisdom, might see fit to smite America from the Earth, like Sodom and Gomorrah. Can’t say I’d blame Him. Or maybe He will lead us through this dark age to true greatness. I don’t know.

Here’s what I do know, and here’s the hopeful part: Our priority has to be our families and our souls. The fate of the country or the globe has not been put entirely, or even mostly, in our individual hands. But we have profound jurisdiction over the fate of our families, the spiritual state of our children, whether our households serve the Lord, and whether we serve the Lord. That’s our hope for the future. Right there.

We can find greatness if we strive for holiness. We have to. We are entering an age where only the great Christians will spiritually survive. It’s a scary time, but if we heed the call to holiness, we can find immense joy. That’s what I want for my children, though I fear for them quite a bit these days. I can’t imagine what this country will look like in 30 or 40 years. Maybe things will have turned around, but honestly I really doubt it. So all I can do is hold them close, try to be a better father to them and a better husband to my wife, and equip them as best I can for what comes next.

I believe strongly that real persecution awaits us down the road. I think my children will face hostility and opposition and maybe even violence on a level I haven’t yet seen. We are heading into very challenging times, but if we keep our families together and our hearts with God, we’ll be OK. No matter what happens, we’ll be OK. And, by extension, if we pour ourselves into our families and into our faith, we might be able to rescue this culture and this country from the clutches of progressive annihilation. It won’t happen quickly, and I don’t know if it will happen at all, but I know there’s a chance. America is not lost completely. Not yet.

So find strength in the Lord. Love your spouse and your children like Christ loves the Church. Be a leader in your home. Be willing to sacrifice everything for your family. Be unwilling to sacrifice your soul for anything. Confront the reality of our current state and accept that you will be asked to endure a lot of pain and persecution. Pray. Remember what America was. Remember who God is. Remember who you are and why you’re here and that you were put here in this time for a reason.

And that will be your hope and mine. It’s all the hope we need. It’s not sappy, it’s not sweet, it won’t fit in a Dove commercial, but it’s real.

The greatness of America is determined by its culture, and its culture by its people, and its people by their love for God. If we can become better, more virtuous, and train our children in the ways of the Lord, maybe many years from now — perhaps when you and I are dead and buried — America will be able to call herself a great country.

Until then, we can only pray that God gives us the strength for whatever comes. And come it will.

So be it.

God bless America.

Matt Walsh

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – JULY 4 2015

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY – INDEPENDENCE DAY

JUDICIAL ACTIVISM

June 26th and 27th will go down in history as two days when our third branch of government, the Supreme Court, once again overstepped its Constitutional authority and its mandate to interpret laws based on the Constitution. The results or eventual outcomes will not be as horrible as with the Roe vs Wade decision (deaths of 75 million unborn children), but still a significant adverse ruling. Rather than clearly following the Constitution as written, they, by Judicial Activism, invented new interpretation of the Constitution to include marriage and marriage equality between any two people of any gender. They ignored the 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights (The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people).

Someone wrote on twitter:

“So marriage, which is never mentioned in the Constitution,
is now a “right” but
“the right to bear arms”, mentioned in the Constitution, is not.”
As for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), they reinterpreted a congressionally passed law ignoring what the law clearly stated (and what Professor Gruber repeatedly said they intentionally meant when they wrote it that way). They chose to decide what they believed legislators meant, rather than what in plain, unambiguous English, they actually wrote in the law.
So, we accuse the Supreme Court of
against the American people and the American Constitution.

I’m struggling, as I bet you are, with sadness and feelings of hopelessness due to a legitimate fear of the eventual outcomes of this type of continued Judicial Activism. Conservatives find themselves increasingly demoralized. The progressive left keeps changing America by unconstitutional legislation and the Supreme Court confers constitutionality upon these changes. America seems to be in an increasingly rapid, downward spiral that is out of control with no end in sight.

So, is there any hope? The answer is a resounding yes. But not if we are complacent and give up. Traditional Americans must unite. We must be proactive, aggressive, heard and seen as we strive to turn America around.

We in the Tea Party have helped move the needle in Congress towards more conservative representatives but they still struggle against the Democratic left and also many establishment Republicans who vote for the liberal agenda. In 2016, we need to elect a true conservative President. We need to elect even more true conservatives to the Senate and the House. They will then have a mandate and ability to change the Senate and House Majority leaders to those who represent their conservative majority. They can then reverse this American death spiral and return America to its previous greatness before it is too late.

We did it in 2010 and 2014. Let’s complete the job in 2016.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – JUNE 28, 2015

GUN CONTROL REALLY?

THE U.S. Constitution Second Amendment, ” A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

This has been repeatedly interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court to mean that Americans have the right to possess and own firearms. Reasonable restrictions have been placed on citizens such as no fully automatic weapons, bazookas, or LAWS rockets. Laws are in place to not allow felons or the mentally ill to legally obtain or own firearms. Instant background checks are reasonable measures to avoid firearms being sold to dangerous people (but they are only as good as their data base). Despite what the media says, NRA members agree with reasonable restrictions. Recently, 74% agreed with expanding background checks for private gun sales and ALL sales at gun shows; not just the vendors. Few NRA households supported a ban on assault-style weapons or high capacity magazines.

If you look into the statistics concerning abuse of firearms by law abiding citizens, it is very small. Even smaller if the gun owner has passed a more thorough background check, underwent instruction and has a Concealed Carry Permit. How about all the times that a citizen protected themselves from harm by criminals because they were armed? The mainstream media never reports on the positive aspects of citizens being armed and protecting themselves and their families. Lastly, why is it necessary for government officials and celebrities to have armed security for protections but it’s not acceptable for a law abiding citizen to want similar protection?

Once again, there has been a senseless mass murder (Charleston, S.C.) using a firearm. Once again in a gun-free zone (Mass murderers may be crazy but not necessarily stupid. Go where you know the people can’t protect themselves. Why take a chance on a place where someone might shoot back). The reason that horrible tragedies like the Newton, Connecticut and Aurora, Colorado and now Charleston, S.C. shootings are so gut-wrenching and shocking is rooted in a reality that such incidents are extremely rare. Unfortunately, politicians often aim to stir up emotional reactions and exploit these tragedies for political gain. Therefore, no surprise that President Obama and the Liberal media once again is pushing for increased gun control. In essentially all recent mass shootings, the perpetrators broke multiple existing gun laws to obtain their weapons. Why would new, expanded laws stop criminals and the mentally ill from continuing to obtain their weapons illegally and using them? Answer: They won’t. So why is gun control always an issue. What is the real agenda? Everyone should know that what they really want is 100% GUN CONFISCATION!

There is no way that over 300 million firearms, all of them, can ever be turned over or confiscated in this country. The Second Amendment wouldn’t allow it, armed citizens would not turn over their weapons (gun owners in Connecticut recently refused to even register their weapons as dictated by state law) and of course, criminals wouldn’t turn in their weapons. So, we would be left with only criminals having weapons and also the government. (I doubt this would lead to law abiding citizens feeling safer).

This brings us to the history of gun confiscation by governments.

History has proven that one of the first steps governments take before imposing dictatorial powers is to confiscate guns. That’s one of the constitutional framer’s reasons for having a second amendment. Without an armed citizenry, governments do not fear the people. Whether actually said by Thomas Jefferson or not, these words remain true, “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, is to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

According to IJReview, the U.S. ranks sixth in the amount of mass gun violence (when adjusted for population) behind Norway, Finland, Slovakia, Israel and Switzerland. All these nations have “restrictive” gun control regulations.

So, what’s the answer to mass shootings, if there is an answer? I don’t know nor does anyone else. Maybe more discovery of crazy, clinically insane people (but many would argue that that would intrude on their civil rights). ” We live in a free country where crazy people are allowed to roam free, until they do something heinous. That’s the price we pay for freedom.” (Bill O’Reilly) We are a country of 320 million people (1/3 of a billion). Some bad, horrible things will happen; that’s just reality. There are 33,000 motor vehicle traffic deaths a year (compared to 8,855 firearm related homicides per year). We aren’t banning automobiles, at least not yet; but we do place reasonable restrictions on who can drive. Life can never be made 100% safe as long as there are people.

Finally, I wish to go on record that there is one type of appropriate gun control that we gun owners agree with 100%.

And I could go on and on, but that’s enough for now.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – JUNE 21, 2015

“I just can’t take it anymore”
WHO’S RUNNING THE ASYLUM??

More and more, it seems as if the inmates are running the asylum. They control the asylum buildings (the government & media), who and what defines the diagnoses (societal problems) and what medicines (solutions) should be prescribed. They put out press releases and have liberal television hosts to convince the public that they serve and really care about them. They have names for their various asylum buildings; the New, Improved Definitions building, the Political Correctness building, the Lack of Common Sense building and the Selectively Chosen Information building.
Whether they know it or not, they follow two ideas taken from the Old Testament which occurred during times just like now. The first is from Isaiah 5:20, “Woe to you who call evil good and good evil.” The second from Judges 21:25, “In those days everyone did was right in their own eyes.”
Let me list just a few very recent examples. You can add to my list since so many are available and increasing daily. Here’s some insanity masquerading as normal. Only the inmates believe the following:
Baltimore rioters who steal and burn down businesses and buildings aren’t thugs, looters or criminals, they’re protestors. Jihadists who maim, torture, rape and kill aren’t barbarians and Islamic terrorists, they’re enemy combatants.
Janet Napolitano, University of California President and UC just deemed inspirational phrases such as “America is the land of opportunity,” “America is melting pot” and “I believe the most qualified person should get the job” as well as others to be offensive and should be eliminated from the campus vocabulary because they are “subconscious racism” or “microaggression.”
Speaking of Universities, they should be the bastion of free speech and the presentation of various and often competing ideas. Unfortunately, most are not today. They only allow those whose speech and ideas conforms to theirs. If not, students and faculty ban and protest speakers and the administrations acquiesce to their demands and refuse to stand up for academic freedom.
The ACLU is trying to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions. An MSNBC host recently stated “that all Medical Students should be FORCED to learn how to do abortions.” A CNN anchor this week called the Dallas Police HQ shooter “courageous and brave.”
An OB-Gyn doctor has elected to give up what she loves, delivering babies, so she can spend all of her time providing abortions. Her reasoning was because of increasing political barriers to abortion rights and less doctors performing abortions, her abortion skills were more needed to make up the difference.
The media is outraged that North Carolina passed a law allowing court officials, who perform civil marriage ceremonies, to opt out of performing the ceremony if they have “a sincerely held religious objection.” I assume these would be Christian they’re mad at. But, would they be just as outraged and openly verbal if the official was Muslim and refused to marry a same sex couple?
Hillary Clinton and Democrats scream racial discrimination for anyone who believes people voting should have to show photo ID and prove who they are and that they are eligible to vote. They say requiring a photo ID is a burden despite anyone with a bit of common sense knows that in today’s world you can’t do anything without showing photo ID.
How much (little) has the mainstream media informed the public concerning multiple scandals (Fast and Furious, IRS, Benghazi, NSA, Clinton Foundation contributions, etc.). Very little to none. How can the average American, who only views the mainstream TV channels or only reads liberal newspapers or Internet sites, know what is really going on in their country? Yet, anything a conservative does is disseminated widely, repeatedly and blown way out of proportion.
A five year old boy kisses a girl at school and is labeled a sex offender. A young boy at school makes what looks like a gun out of a piece of white bread and he’s suspended.
Schools can’t give an aspirin (Tylenol) without parental permission but can refer a pregnant underage girl for an abortion without informing the parents.
Many politicians want to have gun control to lessen crimes and murders while ignoring that fact that the cities with the most restrictive gun laws for law abiding citizens, these cities have the highest crime and murder rates using guns.
Increasingly, if you apply for a job or have a job, you must agree to be drug tested and be drug free and remain drug free. But if you are on welfare, it would be unfair to require drug testing and being drug free to get government money which comes from money collected from working taxpayers who are drug tested.
An eleven year old’s parents got home 90 minutes late. The door was locked so he couldn’t get into his home. So, he shot hoops in his own backyard until his parents arrived. But a concerned neighbor called child welfare and DHS took him from his parent’s home into supervised care for the last two months and have charged the parents with child endangerment; a felony. (I was a latch key kid at eleven. Both my parents worked and I had to take care of myself each day after school. That included all after school activities, homework and even making myself dinner. I think I turned out OK and never felt endangered or neglected).
Transgender is now “normal”. This week, Rachel Dolezal, a 100% Caucasian women claims she is black (let’s call it TransBlack or even better, TransRacial) and heads a NAACP chapter. Many blacks don’t have a problem since she believes she is black (but some do). To the media, they portray this as acceptable even though she lied repeatedly. Next I fully expect to hear some 50 year man, who believes he is 66 years old, (let’s call this TransGenerational Identity) applying for Social Security and Medicare and getting it because you can’t discriminate against Generational Identity.
And I’ve only scratched the surface of examples.

We label all this under the umbrella of the “progressive agenda.” It has increasingly crept and now exploded into our American way of life. The reason being that our President’s ideology and agenda encourages this way of thinking and acting. Also, the liberals essentially control the media and are actively shaping many peoples attitudes and beliefs; especially the younger generations.
Those who read these weekly reflection pieces are frustrated and angry and who can blame them (us). if this trend continues and worsens, as it has been, we’re also scared about our country’s future. We’re worried nationally and internationally. We in the Tea Party along with other conservatives have been exposing this activity for years and believe we have had a positive impact. But, there is so much more to be done.
It is essential that we have active, not passive, participation. We must increase our numbers and effectiveness. We must be the loudest voice America hears.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – JUNE 14, 2015

Loving Flag and Country

It strikes me that our on-line world has made us all believe we are experts on issues and our opinions are worthy of expressing (and that includes me). Whether it be Facebook with posts, Internet electronic newspapers with opinion pieces followed by replies or just plain old print newspapers with letters to the editor, many feel the need to express their opinions. Modern technology has made that possible, relatively easily and frequently anonymously. Actually, I sometimes feel as if we have hundreds of frustrated lawyers desiring to win a case by appealing to the jury in cyberspace.
And so it is with the above picture. A car dealership has these American flag-like banners placed along the frontage of their property. They have been there for two years but recently the City of Hot Springs passed a new ordinance concerning rules for banners. By the new rules, they are no longer legal and the dealership must remove them or be fined $250/day. If they were actual American flags, they would be legal and fully acceptable.
But the controversy goes even deeper. Many believe they are disrespectful to the American flag and are being used solely for advertising purposes while others see them as patriotic and are thrilled to see them displayed.
I will leave their legality to “real” lawyers. They get paid to win.
What about what they symbolize? Obviously, the American flag. Many have written about the “rules” concerning how American flags must be treated (and these aren’t actual flags). But, I find it strange that people would be so upset and angry about this. We all live with a much bigger flag issue. Under Freedom of Speech (1st Amendment), the flag can be spit on, stomped on, ripped to shreds and burned and that is legal but these banners aren’t and some are treating the dealership as being as evil as those who really disrespect the flag. Can’t we just chill out about this minor issue and as my departed mother use to say, “don’t make a Federal case out of it.”
Yes, they are banners but they’re not advertising auto sales but are being used to attract the attention of those driving past the dealership because they look like flags. Personally, I love the look. I love seeing the red, white and blue anyplace, anytime. Can’t the involved parties come to some type of compromise that everyone can live with?
Let me finish with what is to me a more disturbing problem. O n every major holiday (Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day) my wife and I hang, with pride and joy, an American flag on a tree in our front yard. Each holiday, as we drive around our neighborhood, we are disappointed that we are the only house to display the American flag.
What has happened to America and Americans? Have some (many) forgotten the enormous blessing we have received by living in America? Do most just take it for granted? Or are we embarrassed because we are too sophisticated to openly show our love of country?
I know that all we who call ourselves Tea Party Patriots haven’t forgotten. We see our mission is to “RESTORE our Constitutional Republic and to fight to PRESERVE the freedoms granted by God as laid out in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We affirm our Core Values of Fiscal Responsibility, Limited Government and Free Markets in our City, our State, and our Nation.” And we love our flag and what is symbolizes.
Sunday, June 14th is flag day. Let’s show our love of country by flying our American flag proudly.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – JUNE 7, 2015

THERE’S ANOTHER WORLD OUT THERE

I’m flying home on Friday, June 5th at 30,000 feet on a Boeing 777-300 as I type my weekly “Reflection” piece. My wife and I are returning from a ten day, Jews for Jesus Board Retreat, where we visited with our European missionary staff and saw the work they are doing in Eastern Europe. We spent time in Budapest, Hungary, Vienna, Austria and finally, Prague, the Czech Republic. It’s like we’ve been to another world.

What didn’t I like? Coffee, served in cups as big as my thumb and then only half filled. I think they call it Cappuccino. Getting a full size cup, filled to the top with plain old American-type coffee, was at times, like pulling teeth (but worth it).

Otherwise, I loved it all. So, what are just a few things we did that we loved and what did I learn?
I learned it is good to get away, once in a while, and just relax. Leave the world of political frustration and intrigue behind and just enjoy life. How wonderful it was to spend time with great and interesting friends, enjoying good food and drink and just the beautiful world that surrounds us. I watched people just sitting around, whether it was outside a restaurant under an umbrella, slowly sipping something or sitting on the grass in a park, just enjoying life. I can’t remember the last time I did anything like that in Hot Springs, Arkansas. I’m always too busy trying to “fix the world” and not enough time to do it.
The countryside’s of the three countries were beautiful and reminiscent of parts of Arkansas. There were enormous and expansive functioning electrical wind turbine farms (wish I knew more about how much electricity was being generated and at what cost). The cities we visited were large, vibrant, exciting and full of activity, people and visitors. The roads were narrow, the cars were small and everyone drove like maniacs. The main highways were excellent. To my surprise, when you drove from country to country, there were no actual border stops or checking passports. As easy as driving from state to state in America.
I learned that the United States isn’t the only important place on earth. I marveled at hearing the stories of these European “foreign” countries, of their kings, queens and wars that go back over thousands of years. Viewing buildings and bridges that are hundreds of years old, huge and architecturally beautiful. How could “medieval” people accomplish such feats?
I heard stories of just the last century of the upheavals in these countries. World War I, then World War II with the Nazi occupation and extermination camps. This was followed, after the war, by being ruled by Communist dictatorships until the people gained freedom again in the last twenty-five or so years. It was wonderful to see and hear how their countries became alive again and prosperous after receiving freedom and capitalism. We in America have been so blessed to never have suffered as these countries have suffered. Yet, they have once again survived and are flourishing.
During our ten day trip, we didn’t get to read newspapers or watch much television. When we did turn on the TV before retiring, there wasn’t much to see in English. Only CNN International, the BBC and Skynews. BUT NO FOX NEWS! We literally went into withdrawal. Only liberal news and mostly international; everything wasn’t about America. The world doesn’t care about O’Reilly, Hannity or Greta. If it wasn’t for our iPhones, Wi-Fi and the Internet, we would have totally lost touch with “our world.”

Well, we will soon land in Dallas, Texas. It will be 90 degrees and humid after temperatures in the seventies and low humidity. Short flight to Little Rock and drive to Hot Springs. We’ll be back to our routines and back to our friends, church, newspapers, television shows, politics, conservative issues and the Garland County Tea Party. It was wonderful to get away, to experience “another world,” but it is also great to be home.
Time to get back to, “Truth, Justice and the American Way.” I just hope I don’t have to leap any tall buildings in a single bound with my knee hurting from all the walking.
We’ll see y’all Wednesday. We’ve missed you.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – MAY 31, 2015

SENT FROM

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

PRAISES RATHER THAN COMPLAINTS

Diane Silverman, co-founder of the Garland County Tea Party, is moving to Florida. On Thursday, May 21st, Diane was honored, Toasted and Roasted. A large crowd of admirers came out to bid her farewell and it was an exciting and beautiful evening. Diane gave a great farewell address which is printed in its entirety below. There will be plenty more to complain about and bemoan in the following weeks and months but this week, please read Diane’s positive words of wisdom. These words are relevant even to those who aren’t part of our Tea Party or who don’t live in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Dearest Friends

Thank you so much for this wonderful party and the expressions of love and good wishes you have offered for my happiness. I feel truly honored and appreciated and I will never forget this marvelous evening. Many Thanks to all who planned this party…you did a great job… and many thanks to all of you for coming to wish me well.
I’ve never been toasted and roasted before…and I loved each minute of it. Parts really tickled my funny bone and parts brought back memories to cherish.
For sure we’ve gone through a lot together. We’ve been in the trenches together and we succeeded together in spite of the obstacles we faced. In many ways we accomplished more than we ever expected was possible in just six years. During all that we developed into a family and for me it is not easy to move away from you.
When my younger sister died in March, her children and grandchild plus my own four 4 children and five grandchildren upped the volume of their requests for me to come home. They’ve been asking for years but, I didn’t leave because I felt what you and I were doing here was ultimately in the best interests of your family and mine.
Happily, very happily, Dr. Jack has grown into his role as Garland County Tea Party chairman and has his heart totally engaged in taking the Tea Party forward as well as in supporting the Tea Party State Alliance, which for me is a dream come true. In addition we have an experienced and dedicated leadership team to support Jack and the community in the next phase which is to bring a larger slice of the community into the Tea Party tent. That is paramount because there is a need to embrace people of all ages, colors, religion, etc. in order to maximize the magnificent, first time ever in history, opportunity to elect a Tea Party candidate as President of the United States. I simply can’t conceive of anything being more important than!
I would feel incomplete in leaving Hot Springs if I didn’t tell you why I believe we can accomplish the restoration of the American Dream by electing a Tea Party Presidential candidate.
Right now, some of may not agree with me. Some of you may have lost hope, and some may feel they’ve already done their share, but I am asking you to be willing to hear me out and perhaps choose to actively participate in finishing what you started in 2009.
From 2009 to today you’ve been part of a huge ground swell of people who – filled with passion for Liberty – came from out of nowhere and from everywhere to meld into the Tea Party Movement. Were it not for Tea Party members and supporters creating the space for others to participate…were it not for you holding the Dream and keeping it alive… there’s pretty good odds the grass roots Liberty Movement which is now mainstream with presidential candidates would not have survived its first Few years.
Think about that! Really think about that before you go to sleep and when you wake up in the morning. Because what you have done is breath taking…it is magnificent…it is alive…and it happened because a critical mass of people, just like you, all held the same idea in your hearts until the combined power of the Desire to Save America became an idea whose time. And there is nothing more powerful.
If you come across people who want to convince you no Tea Party candidate can win, just ignore them… because their sad desperation has no power to overcome your experience of the power and passion the American Majority has for Liberty.
In case I didn’t make myself clear, let me take another shot at saying why I know a Tea Party candidate can win.
Think of the birth of the Tea Party being the result of an idea whose time has come. An idea’s time comes when a critical mass of people hear what is in their hearts being said out loud. By 2009, when millions of Americans realized the government wanted to force us into Obama care, it was the last straw. We couldn’t bear the idea of government acting to take away all our rights, by taking our right to own our own bodies. We knew if we voluntarily gave up control of our bodies we’d become slaves with no right to any rights. So, in a sense, Obamacare and the escalation of welfare caused the TEA PARTY movement to become an idea whose time had come. It was the vehicle for the American people to get back in the political process…and you and I showed up in that context.
It is said, “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” It has a power of its own that generates action and shows the way even through mine fields. It creates opportunities for participation and it supports the right actions.
No one really can predict how many people it takes to create a critical mass, but when an idea’s time comes…it brings forth something transformational that didn’t exist in the physical world before the idea manifested itself; before it showed up. It became visible because a critical mass of people who shared the same passion recognized the idea as their own.
A cool thing about an idea whose time has come is that when it happens it has a transformational effect on the culture that was unimaginable before hand. It’s like walking through a door into a new room that you never saw before. It’s also cool that when an idea’s time has come we can never go back to how we were before because we can’t pretend the old way was better. Trying to go backwards brings only discomfort and discord. In other words, the genie can’t be put back into the bottle.
I tell you that because I want you to really, truly get what a phenomenal thing we created out of thin air…when we came together one day because one man, Rick Santelli, ranted on TV about what was in our hearts and minds about America. He said we really need another Boston Tea Party revolution and va va va voom, we and millions like us, without anyone leading us…just showed up at the courthouse lawn and Glenn Gallas was there to speak to us. That’s a classic example of how an idea whose time has come shows up.
And since then you have been at the beginning and in the middle and in the front of the idea’s time coming, and you have seen huge results in six years that could not have been predicted at the start.
Nobody knows how many weightless snowflakes have to fall on a single branch before it snaps… But when it snaps we know a critical mass of snow flakes showed up. It was that one last weightless snow flake that made the branch break, but it was all the prior snowflakes falling before it that allowed the last one to make the snap.
In the same way, I so much want you to recognize that it was your heartfelt desire to take our country back from the jaws of tyranny…to save Freedom, combined with a critical mass of other minds all looking for a way to Take Back our Country that made the Tea Party movement an idea whose time has come. So, no matter when people joined or where they lived – it was individual minds joining and coming together to participate with an idea they had in common that magically created the Tea Party movement as an idea whose time had come.
Without knowing how and with no outside leaders to show us, each Tea Party did what its members saw to do fueled by their desire to Save America. And, as incredible as it would have seemed just six years ago, we overcame the media and the haranguing of the established political parties and all other naysayers, and lo and behold we have Tea Party House Members and Senators… and most incredible of all WE HAVE TEA PARTY CANDIDATES for President in 2016.
We know the established parties and the media will try to beat down the Tea Party and its candidates. We know for sure that Hillary and Jeb support a different idea than we do, and we know at this time the media is on their side. Remember that both the Bush family and the Clinton family are New World Order people. That means they will stomp all over our given rights, just like President Obama.
Never forget Jeb’s father signed America onto the New World Order CHARTER and Jeb’s brother may be a sweet guy but he didn’t rescind Bill Clinton’s mandate to every government department to implement Agenda 21 policies, which are part of the New World Order.
So when you hear someone say we can’t let Hillary win, your automatic response should be, “and we can’t let Jeb win because if either of them or any other establishment politician wins, we will get the opposite of Liberty and Justice for All.
What I’m saying is that ONLY a dedicated and committed Tea Party candidate, who has proven by his actions that he doesn’t back down and doesn’t give an inch when it comes to defending and protecting the US Constitution and its Bill of Rights, deserves our trust to lead this country forward. It is only that person who will stand with us.
Donna and Robert Klaesson were in the tiny group that helped set up our first membership event and they set up and maintained our first membership data base. Why was membership so important? It is because members vote and votes win elections. And we knew if we didn’t get local people elected who shared our values we wouldn’t be able to achieve our goal of returning America to its constitutional roots.
In 2009, The Garland County Tea Party swept the county clean and changed the culture of the way County offices operate. It was a classic reminder that members vote and votes win elections. That goal was accomplished by recruiting and electing Rick Davis, Jeannie Pike, Sarah Smith, Rebecca Dodd Talbert, Tim Stockdale and Tommy Thompson to their respective elected county positions along with a majority of the 13 County Justices of the Peace. And we are so proud of the job they have been doing.
We supported and elected State Representative Bruce Westerman and U.S. Congressman Tom Cotton in 2012. Did you know the day Tom Cotton registered to run for Congress his very first political introduction was at our evening meeting at Tom Wilkin’s Five Star Theatre that very night? And we introduced and supported Bruce way early before the election cycle started also at an evening meeting at Tom’s theatre. And we can add that ARKANSAS is a Red state today (Republican) because of what we started (All U.S. Senators and House Representatives, along with all seven State Constitutional offices and now a majority in the State Senate and House).
It has been very exciting for me watching you grow into the leaders you have become. Some of you used to be shy, but the challenge of the big goals we faced grew you up pretty fast. I am very grateful you gave me the privilege of guiding the Tea Party’s formative years and for letting me know tonight how much your lives have been enriched through our participation.
Some of you jokingly (well, I hope jokingly) called me a dictator. But I was only able to lead because you were the wind beneath my wings. Glenn and I knew you would never let us down. Because of that Glenn and I were able to plan bigger and bolder events that grew our membership to about 3,500 people in one year. Remember at evening meetings, I’d ask who would like to volunteer for one event or another and you’d always say, ”Oh, just tell us what you want us to do.” We were like an army in the trenches…all pulling together…and loving every moment of it…well, mostly every moment.
NOW…the Tea Party’s vision has to expand to be consistent with who we have grown to be. If we only celebrate the past we will quickly forget the talents and abilities we discovered we had. Because like muscles, if we don’t use ‘em we lose ‘em…and therein lies the biggest danger, that could interfere with Saving America and the world from reverting into the darkness of being slaves on the New World Order‘s government plantation.
So, I am asking you once again to be willing to put your personal issues aside and step out in faith. A faith that Americans will support your Love of Liberty during the next phase as it did over the past six years.
In other words, I am asking you to finish what you started. Please give up the idea that you’ve already done enough. Go out and find people to come into the Tea Party. Bring them in. Use what you’ve learned to teach them. I am asking you to look past fear by keeping your eye on the goal. We didn’t know what we were doing in the beginning, but we were willing to be willing to do it. I’d say that worked out pretty well.
Listen, I know who you are! I know the Holy Spirit lives inside of you and will guide you to do what is wanted and needed to keep America Free under the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. I know it because experience has shown me it is so.
Build your membership and put your shoulder to the wheel to elect the one candidate who publically challenges the media, the Federal Reserve, Common Core, Agenda 21 and Obamacare, etc. and vows he (she) will erase them when in office. Find the common sense one…find the one with the real heart for liberty above everything else…and get that person elected….because without you the slings and arrows the Establishment aims and fires at the Tea Party and the Tea Party candidates will have no antidote.
I am asking you to please challenge yourself to focus on growing your membership, find ways to do it, and organize your activities around winning the election in 2016.
Whenever and wherever I go…I will carry your heart in my heart and I will always treasure that you’ve been willing to share part of your life with me.

Thank you for the fabulous party and for the love and appreciation you showed me tonight. I will never forget you.

Lovingly yours,

Diane

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – MAY 24, 2015

“NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN”
Today, I’m going to get a bit nostalgic. I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the more I tend to think about the past. Events happening now suddenly trigger thoughts that bring back memories of the past. Either events or remembrances of conversations with people long ago.

King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1:9 “That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.” Maybe changed a little, but basically the same; nothing really new.

This brings me to my thoughts for this week. I was listening to the news about the Iraqi town of Ramadi falling to ISIS. How could a much smaller force (ISIS) overtake, overrun and rout a numerically superior and superiorly armed Iraqi force? Part of the answer must be their total devotion to their cause; to establish a Sunni Muslim Caliphate for Allah (along with the Shiite Iraqis lack of such devotion). ISIS fighters repeatedly broke through multiple lines of defense using suicide bombers. These persons drove bomb filled trucks into fortifications surrounding Ramadi and blew themselves up along with anything around them. This allowed other ISIS fighters to pour through en masse.

It was then I suddenly thought of my late father, who died a few years ago at the age of 93 (he’d be a hundred today if still alive). He was a World War II veteran of the South Pacific; Okinawa. Despite my repeatedly asking him about his wartime service, he refused to talk about it. When I asked him if he killed any Japanese, all he would say is that, “He fired a lot of bullets.” Yet, I remember there was one aspect of the war he talked about repeatedly. He talked about the Japanese Kamikaze pilots.

During war, he feared them the most. Why? Because there was so little that could be done to stop them from flying their airplanes into the allied ships. All other soldiers and pilots who fought wanted to live and survive and their actions in war were to inflict damage but then get away. Not so with the Kamikaze. He intentionally took off to fly his airplane into a ship and die (for the Emperor). He was fearless. If he couldn’t be stopped, he was in essence a flying torpedo. He was probably the most effective Japanese weapon of WWII. Thankfully, they didn’t use them until near the war’s end when it was too late.

Today, we face a numerically larger number of Kamikaze-like human bombs; Muslim suicide bombers. These more powerful bombs can either be in a vehicle or on a human being, hidden below their clothes. They can be men, women or even children. They are also those who fire into crowds to kill as many as possible knowing they will be killed themselves before their killing is done. They are willing and desire to die for Allah so as to be guaranteed eternal life. For this reason, so many are willing and enthusiastic to be suicide bombers. They are hidden; they are stealth, they are lethal and they are effective because they are so difficult to detect or stop. Yet, suicide bombers or ISIS will never be capable of conquering the United States but they will be able to intimidate and at times maim and kill Americans and others.

So, what’s my point? It is unimaginable for any non-Muslim American to even contemplate intentional suicide to promote or protect America. We love life too much to even consider such an act. But, I fear, we as Americans have gone too far towards complacency, to do much more than just verbally bemoan terrorist’s actions. Sadly, it will probably take another major terrorist attack on America (think 9/11 or Pearl Harbor) to awaken us to patriotism and willingness to aggressively fight the evil that is in the world. America is reactive, rather than proactive. The American sleeping giant only awakes when it is shocked into action and when it is almost too late to recover. And I’m afraid this pattern is about to repeat itself (think terrorists or Iran with nuclear capability).

Again, I repeat, “Nothing is new under the sun.” If only it weren’t so!

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – MAY 17, 2015

MY DREAM; TO ALL BE ONE

Some weeks, I feel the need to address an issue I would rather avoid. This is one of those weeks. I just can’t get the thought out of my head or get it off my heart so here goes.
On May 5th, at the Hot Springs Board of Directors meeting, there was an impassioned debate concerning the need for a new city anti-discrimination ordinance (this may some week be another discussion topic). Immediately preceding the actual vote, statements were made by City Director Elaine Jones and citizen Dan Lewin.
Jones, who is black (African-American), chastised Christians who spoke against the ordinance and she also spoke about her childhood experiences of racial discrimination in having to drink from separate water fountains, use separate restrooms, ride only in the back of buses and eat in restaurants coming in the backdoor.
Lewin is Jewish and Christian. He also lived during the Nazi Holocaust and was a concentration camp survivor, who eventually emigrated from Germany to America and became a U.S. citizen. He reminded her that he, as a Jew, was unable to drink from any water fountain, ride in any bus, receive any medical care, go to any school and he was repeatedly beaten up. He expressed that director Jones didn’t know from real discrimination. He also reminded Jones of how far America has come because hearts have been changed over the years and not because of laws. He finally felt that the issue was about an individual’s freedom of choice and not discrimination.
I tell this because of how I (and I imagine others in the room) felt that evening. We were again being accused of historical and present day racism, bigotry and discrimination; and it hurt. We listen to the television and we are accused of continuing to pursue “white privilege.” It is our fault that the black community is not as prosperous as much of the white community. On May 11, 2015 I read Bradley Gitz who wrote, “The hunch is that white Americans are tired of hearing about white racism, because they don’t see themselves as racist.” I couldn’t agree more (even though there are exceptions).
Personally, I worry and often feel like some Blacks are racist towards whites. I have had many black friends over the years, including one of my personal doctors and one of my best employees. I invited them to many social events and they came and were treated equally as anyone else. Not once over the years was I ever invited to one of their social gatherings in the black community. No black physician that I worked closely with ever had me to their home. Why not? How will we ever be one society if we don’t socialize together or interact away from work?
Let’s talk about white’s perception that whites are now often treated unequally. For lack of a better term, let’s call it “black privilege.” There’s the B.E.T. (Black Entertainment Television) network and the American Black Music Awards. Can you even imagine the outrage if we had a White Entertainment Television network or the American White Music Awards? And the outrage would be justified. So why is it OK? How do these examples further positive race relations?
A recent billboard in Russellville was denounced because it said, “It’s Not Racist To Love Your Own People.” If this was put up by a white supremacist group, to imply white superiority to Blacks (Latinos, Asians, etc.), it should be denounced. But, is the overall premise actually wrong or inaccurate?
The history of America is that we have been a melting pot of different nationalities and races. Americans have always had a special positive feeling (love) towards their ancestral origins. That’s why there have always been Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, Greek-Americans, German-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Black-Americans, etc. We’ve always prided ourselves on loving our heritage (if we knew it). But you know what we loved even more? That we were all Americans first!!!
I love the verse in Galatians (3:28) in the New Testament that says, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are ALL ONE in Christ Jesus.”
If we keep throwing up past bad behavior and not appreciating how much has changed for the better and if we continue to accuse one another hatefully and refuse to forgive, there is little chance for further improvement. If anything, we may lose much of the progress that has been made and racial divide may actually increase.
My prayer is that one day in the near future, we can say, “We are ALL ONE in America.” What a glorious day. What a blessing that would be for ALL Americans; with no exceptions.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – MAY 10, 2015

ARE MUSLIMS TRUSTWORTHY?

Like you, I watch the daily and weekly news cycles. I am amazed at how fast an enormously important story one week is ignored or forgotten the next. Probably because “if it bleeds, it leads.” Baltimore has completely taken over the news and the Nuclear Arms Treaty negotiations with Iran have all but been forgotten. They’re even leaving Senator Tom Cotton alone. So, I want to return to an aspect of the negotiations that some of you may have never heard about but I believe should not and cannot be ignored.

My research into Muslim historical negotiations makes me wonder what’s wrong with supposedly “brilliant” people who govern us. Are they naive, too trusting, or just plain everyday stupid? Have they not studied Muslim teachings and actions for the last 1400 or so years? As Edmund Burke is quoted, “those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

The first Muslim teaching (about life and negotiations) is the issue of:

TAQIYYA

This is the religious permission, indeed virtue, of Muslim deception (lying) to infidels for the good of Islam – Taqiyya is such a uniquely crucial aspect of the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims, especially, like in the West, when the former are a minority and the latter a majority. Enza Ferreri

So, you’re sitting across from a Muslim negotiator, and you know the Koran and Muslim theology and history. You know he can say anything to you or promise you anything and even sign a contract or treaty knowing he and his country will not abide by it. Yet Islam encourages him to lie when it’s to his advantage (like crossing your fingers behind your back but worse). Every agreement made with the Israelis have been broken by the surrounding Islam countries (except Egypt and Jordan – two countries that don’t publicly say, “Death to Israel and America”). So why in the world, knowing this has been their teaching and history would you believe or trust one word in treaty? I just don’t understand.

The second Muslim teaching:

THE TREATY OF HUDAIBIYAH

The what? Let me try to simply explain. This is known to be an ancient, time-tested negotiating tactic of deception that is ingrained in Islamic Law.
Historically, Muhammad made a 10 year Peace Treaty (the Treaty of Hudaibiyah) with the more powerful Quraysh tribe in Mecca. Within a few years, when Muhammad’s group became more powerful, Muhammad claimed to have received a revelation from Allah. This revelation gave him permission to ignore the Peace Treaty. He launched a surprise attack on the Qurayshis, thereby breaking the peace treaty and totally defeated them.
Since that time, Muslims believe that Allah has ordained this technique for defeating your enemies, especially when they are stronger. Enter into a treaty, a covenant, a ceasefire for the purpose of gaining strength to eventually defeat your enemy. Muslim jurists teach that Muslim rulers are never to make a lasting peace with unbelievers but can only make temporary truces, to be broken at the pleasure of the Muslim leader and in the interest of Islam. Muslims today clearly understand “Hudaibiya” to be a code-word, which in brief, means “kiss the hand of your enemy until you have the opportunity to cut it off.”
(For a fuller explanation, see http://www.wnd.com/2015/04/obama-taken-for-fool-by-classic-muslim-ploy?#GJJkuoklKlEPQtvW.99)

So, since these are two well known teachings of Islam when negotiating a treaty with unbelievers, how in the world are the Western powers falling for this blatant historical deception? Hopefully, Tom Cotton and others have shared this information with our Senators and they will not be naive and so easily deceived as has John Kerry and President Obama.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – MAY 3, 2015

HOW CAN YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW?

Every Tea Party I know has a major problem; a lack of young people. Part of the answer for this problem may be found in a recent email I received from a friend of many years who attended the recent Arkansas Tea Party Alliance gathering. He wrote:

“I really enjoyed last week’s ATPA meeting. I got to meet a lot of like-minded people. There was, however, one thing of note. That was an obvious lack of more than a handful of people that weren’t from our generation or age group (55 and older).
Recently, I have been questioning people younger that 55 about American history, especially WWII. Their lack of knowledge about American history is appalling and frightening.
For over 50 years, we have been teaching our kids to be stupid, not knowing American Patriotism and History and to become trusting members of the one world order.” Darrell Couch

This got be to thinking (thinking is good!) about the problem. My simple conclusion was,

“HOW CAN YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW?”

For instance, one recent poll found that nearly 25% of Americans do not know that the United States declared its independence from Great Britain. A 2011 Newsweek survey disclosed that 80% did not know who was president during World War I; 40% did not know who the United States fought in World War II; 29% could not identify the current Vice President of the United States; 70% did not know that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land; 27% did not know that the President is in charge of the Executive Branch; 61% did not know the length of a Senate term; 59% could not name the Speaker of the House; and 63% did not know how many justices are on the Supreme Court.

(Yet, during their education in the schools, they have been taught about the evils of capitalism and the errors that the country made over the last 250 or so years. But taught little of the good that America has done for its citizens and the world and the phenomenal opportunities everyone in America has available and what they can achieve by their abilities and hard work. In essence, to love and be proud of America).

The Census Bureau projected last month that the U.S. immigrant population, legal and illegal, will total a record 51 million in 2023 (7 years). At that point, one in seven U.S. residents will be an immigrant and most of today’s immigrants come from nations more politically and culturally liberal than the United States Richard Viguerie (And who also know little of our heritage).

So, why should we expect to attract younger people to our group? They know so little about our country’s heritage and history that they are not attracted nor desirous of participating with a movement of patriotic Americans who want to return to our constitutional roots because we fear we are losing the America we love. The Tea Party is a group that is working so hard to maintain the American freedoms of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and so much more (smaller government, less taxes, etc.).
These young folks don’t really know what they could lose since they’ve always had it and assume it will always be there. They don’t seem to understand it was, is and will always need to be defended and pursued. They just live life enjoying the America that has been achieved by those before them.

SO, HOW DO WE GET THEM TO KNOW AMERICA SO THEY CAN LOVE AMERICA?

You tell me.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – April 26, 2015

THE FOUNDING FATHERS WOULD BE PROUD

I’m just too happy after Saturday’s extremely successful Statewide Tea Party event to write a “heavy opinion piece.”

Don’t be sad!!! I’m sure by next week my frustration will return and I will find something to bemoan and write about.

But until them, “Be Happy!!” The Tea Party is on a roll.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
ARKANSAS TEA PARTY ALLIANCE
SPRING MEETING

On Saturday, April 18th, two hundred and forty three patriots from all over the State of Arkansas met in Hot Springs. For Arkansas, this was the first time such an event has ever occurred. It is only the first of similar planned events. The fellowship with like-minded individuals was energizing as were the talks of our many invited guest speakers (see below).

Since 2009, the Tea Party has been extremely successful and instrumental in changing Arkansas from Blue to Red, from Liberal to Conservative, and from Democrat to Republican (Two Senators, 4 Congressmen, Governor and all Constitutional offices and majorities in the Arkansas Senate and House). Our goal is to further increase those numbers in the Arkansas Senate and House and to continue to help find and get elected the most Constitutionally Conservative politicians possible locally, statewide and nationally.

November, 2016 will be here before we know it. Our biggest and greatest goal must now be to support and elect a presidential Tea Party candidate who will return our country to the traditional values and the country our Founding Fathers envisioned. We are stewards of that legacy.

Doctor Jack
ARKANSAS TEA PARTY ALLIANCE
(ATPA)

The first ATPA gathering was held Saturday in Hot Springs. I would say it was a great success! We had 243 people attend, fun and good food, many conservative groups represented (as well as folks who are not associated with any tea party) and interesting and informative speakers!
We heard from a panel of well known Arkansas conservative liberty- loving *radio hosts discussing Arkansas politics and conservatism. Other excellent speakers covered the * Second Amendment, an upcoming petition on *Term Limits, and a call for smaller more *Limited government and Less taxes.
We heard from two AR Congressmen ( Bruce Westerman and French Hill) about efforts in DC- particularly concerning over-regulation,US budget and poor treatment of veterans.Our own AR Lt Gov. Tim Griffin spoke about onerous policies and regulations in Arkansas which hold our great state back from being prosperous and attracting and growing business.
The money raised will go to a ATPA Convention in the fall. Date and Place :TBA (Stay tuned)

Speakers last Saturday were:

Limited Government & Less taxes : Glenn Gallas- formerly of Hot Springs and former chair of Garland County Tea Party/ Successful businessman

Representatives Bruce Westerman and French Hill

Term Limits: Tim Jacob: Point person on Arkansas Term Limits/ Businessman/Artist

Arkansas Radio hosts: Dave Elswick, Paul Harrell and Doc Washburn

Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin

Second Amendment: Jan Morgan – Nationally known 2nd Amendment Advocate/Media personality/ Award winning Investigative Journalist Conservative Columnist

Janet Crow
Faulkner County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – April 19, 2015
FINALLY, A DROP OF COMMON SENSE

Last week, I mourned the Death and Demise of Common Sense. Then, remarkably, I came across a Ray of Hope. In Maine, of all places. But I’ll get to that after I tell a related personal story.

Last Mother’s Day, our daughter bought my wife a present; a hanging Bird Feeder (not the one pictured above). I carefully hung it up in an open area of my upper deck. I then found “premium” birdseed at a local Hot Springs shop (Songbird). It had little in the way of shells that were inedible or had to be cracked open or fell to the ground. It was almost all totally digestible and could be eaten without any effort or work on the part of the birds.
It took a little while for the birds to find the food but slowly they kept coming and increasing in number. At first, it took three months for the birds to use up a 20 lb. bag of seeds. As time went on, I had to replenish the bird feeder more often and now, after about a year, I am having to buy a new bag of birdseed every 2 1/2 weeks. These birds now just sit in the surroundings trees waiting their turn to get their food. It is not unusual to have 3-4 birds or more on the feeder at all times and they fight and push each other off the feeder to get the free food. I believe they have stopped working for their sustenance since I supply it to them without them having to put in any effort. They are still capable of working; now they just don’t. At first, I thought I was blessing them. Now I’ve come to believe that by providing free food that the birds don’t have to work for, I have produced a bunch of plump, lazy Welfare Birds.

So, the following article and other news gives me hope. I wish Arkansas would follow Maine’s (and Kansas and Missouri’s) Republican Governor and Leglslative example.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – April 12, 2015

WHERE HAS COMMON SENSE GONE?

Each day, I more and more believe American society has lost it mind. I can’t watch television or read a newspaper (especially letters to the editor) without wondering what has happened to Common Sense, Personal Responsibility, Freedom and Liberty. It makes me want to SCREAM!!! I doubt if I’m alone in my frustration. That’s why I am so thankful for my fellow compatriots in the Tea Party and other conservatives who still cling to these values.

Just a couple of examples of my frustration. The first I read years ago.

COMMON SENSE

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend by the name of Common Sense who has been with us for many years.
No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He will be remembered as having cultivated such value lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm and that life isn’t always fair.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not kids, are in charge).
His health began to rapidly deteriorate when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place.
Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student; but, could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Finally, Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense finally gave up the ghost after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, she spilled a bit in her lap, and was awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.
He is survived by two stepbrothers; My Rights and Ima Whiner.
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

The original, complete article was 17 years ago by Lori Borgman, Indianapolis Star, March 15th, 1998 (http://www.loriborgman.com/the-death-of-common-sense.php).

A few more recent examples:
On Wednesday, California Democrat Barbara Lee proposed a resolution in the House of Representatives that claims women will eventually be forced into prostitution in order to obtain life-sustaining food and water for their families due to GLOBAL WARMING.

America embraces her enemies and lifts sanctions on Iran. She will likely place sanctions on Israel. It is an upside down world. Is the Mad Hatter in charge? Jan Markell

The idea that the United Nations, driven by the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation), the world’s largest world body, comprised of 56 Muslim countries and the terrorist Palestinian entity – says Israel is the top violator of women’s rights. Tell that to any Jewish woman I know.

How about Liberty?
My next frustration this week has to do with American’s rights being denied and nobody doing anything about it. Where’s the ACLU when you need it? (Tongue in Cheek).
As you know from my writings, I am a retired Medical Oncologist. I fully believe smoking is harmful to your health. But, until it is banned and made illegal, it is every American’s right to smoke if they so choose.
Last week, I was watching local TV. I’m listening to both sides debate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and all its arguments pro and con. They’re discussing the rights of businesses and individuals. Next, they announce that the Arkansas Children’s Hospital has now made it a policy that it will not hire anyone who smokes (they will be blood tested) and any employee who smokes will be fired. My question is, by what right can the hospital do this? Isn’t this discrimination based upon a person’s legal lifestyle? Aren’t civil rights being denied?
The employee smoking outside the building in no way harms any child in the building. (I have no problem denying smoking in their building). Smoking does not impair the employee’s ability to take care of patients. The employee is exercising their legal right to smoke on their free time. If the hospital’s reasoning is that it cares so much for the health of the employee, then to be consistent, they should also exclude anyone who drinks alcohol, is overweight, doesn’t exercise or who doesn’t get enough sleep (this may actually impair their work). While they’re at it, during lunch break, they should require employees to work out in their gym to increase their cardiovascular health. Otherwise, this is hypocrisy since their stated goals (healthier employees) are inconsistent with their lack of other policies.
I’m not condoning smoking. I am standing up for Liberty and Freedom.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – April 5, 2015
“Conservatives think liberals are stupid.

Liberals think conservatives are evil”

Charles Krauthammer

How accurate is this quote? Personally, I think fairly accurate although I would have substituted the word naïve for stupid. Many liberals I know (and even like) are very bright and knowledgeable and far from stupid. They have good hearts but not mature heads. As I wrote about a few weeks ago, it’s how they interpret the same information that we conservatives have, is what differentiates them from us. How they see society and the world is different than how we evaluate the same information. They are sincere. We consider them to be sincerely wrong.

As for their interpretation of conservatives as evil, I believe that’s accurately how they perceive us. Not that we are evil; just their perception. Big difference.

This week’s uproar over the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA) is a perfect example of our differences. Nowhere in these state passed acts (including Indiana and Arkansas and many other states) and the previously passed 1993 Federal RFRA, is discrimination allowed, encouraged or condoned. But, the law does allow for unique circumstances where the religious beliefs of individuals trumps others individual rights. Also, despite all the protests, this bill is about much more than LGBT rights. It is about the rights of those who sincerely follow historical, well-defined, religious tenets, in all areas of life.

Just some examples come to mind that I hope everyone can agree with (maybe now I’m naïve). Let’s say you’re an obstetrician/gynecologist and a Christian. You have always doctored and cared for all women of all color and sexual orientation including delivering their babies. In the United States, abortion is legal but you’re Pro-Life due to your Christianity. A black woman, who has been your patient for many years, comes to you pregnant and wants you to perform an abortion. You refuse based upon your long held religious views. She sues you for discrimination; both because she’s black and also because you won’t give her what’s legal. I believe RFRA protects the doctor.

I’m a retired Medical Oncologist. I treated all patients equally during my career and don’t believe I ever discriminated. In the near future, doctor performed euthanasia may become legal (presently assisted suicide is legal in the State of Washington). A terminal patient, who is gay with AIDS and cancer, who has been my patient for years, now wants me to euthanize him since it is now legal. I refuse on religious, ethical grounds. I’m sued for discrimination and not willing to follow the legal law. I believe RFRA would protect me.

Best yet. A Christian couple goes to a caterer for their wedding dinner. He;s the best in the city. It just so happens he is also a Muslim. They insist that one of the dishes include chicken cordon bleu, which includes ham as one of the ingredients. He refuses on religious grounds that ham is not Halal (which is an impermissible food for a Muslim since it comes from a pig). The couple sues him, claiming discrimination against them because they’re Christian. I believe RFRA protects the caterer.

I don’t believe RFRA allows anyone or any business to deny service to anyone based on prejudice or bigotry; and it shouldn’t. But it does protect those with strong religious beliefs from not having to “compromise with God” so as not to be prosecuted and found guilty. When those with strong religious beliefs stand up for what they believe, in the face of a judicial system that doesn’t protect them, history calls them “martyrs.”

My hope and prayer is that Governor Hutchinson’s true motivations and goals, in not yet signing the law, are to make the wording of the bills more accurate and less able to be misinterpreted or misused. That they are not just caving to politically correct pressures.

The above paragraph was written before a reworded bill (SB 975) was signed by Governor Hutchinson. The new bill clarifies some issues and is closer to the Federal RFRA. It is a minor compromise that is acceptable to HB 1228’s author Representative Ballinger, Jerry Cox of the Family Council, Governor Hutchinson and most of those who disagreed with the original bill. As Jerry Cox said, “HB1228 was a Rolls Royce, SB 975 is a Cadillac.” We all should be happy with this outcome.

My final opinion:

People of faith also have rights!

SB975 helps to guarantee us those rights.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – March 29, 2015
A LOGICAL HEALTHCARE SOLUTION

I’m resurrecting a letter to the editor I wrote a year ago because it seems to be even more relevant today than a year ago. This is due to the continuing frustration, anger, disappointment and cost of Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act), the Private Option Medicaid Expansion, Medicaid itself and Private Health Insurance. It is mostly because the healthcare system just doesn’t seem to work or function correctly, efficiently and fairly. It is a hodgepodge or quilt work of differing plans, companies and governmental agencies encompassing one-sixth of our economy.

In February, 2014 I wrote (now with minor additions):

It’s time to upset both my liberal and conservative friends and probably end any and all future political aspirations (even though I presently have none).
I’m a retired physician. At the end of my private practice medical career (2006), I realized that the health insurance industry and the American delivery system of healthcare was (and still is) broken. It was and is the best in the world for those who have insurance and woefully inadequate for those without. Hospitals were forced by the government to give free healthcare to the poor but this was only for their immediate needs. Doctors frequently gave patients healthcare, knowing they would never be paid. As insurance reimbursements decreased, this became problematical, if not unsustainable. Charitable clinics, like the one I came to work at, do the best they can but are insufficient.
Since writing this original letter, the Private Option has helped over 200,000 (potentially 300,000) adults in Arkansas obtain what amounts to private insurance, essentially free to them. Add this to the 800,000 children in Arkansas on Ark Kids and eventually 1.1 million out of 2.9 million Arkansans (38%) will be receiving “free” healthcare. The cost of this is unsustainable to the State of Arkansas and the United States economy.
So, I came to believe that socialized medicine (single payer) was necessary. Medicare is socialized medicine and I rarely heard a patient complain about their Medicare benefits; pretty much the same for Medicaid and Tricare. The VA Hospital system should be just as good but since last year we’ve discovered it isn’t (due to government bureaucracy and fraud). It was doctors and hospitals that disliked these systems, not the patients. Together, these probably already comprise 50% of American healthcare (government controlled, socialized).
Why do we all have such a negative attitude concerning socialized, single payer, medicine? It’s simple! We don’t trust the government to have such control over our wellbeing and also one-sixth of the economy. We fear that they will not continue to give the high level of benefits they presently give to Medicare patients. We also fear, with time, they will ration our healthcare as do all other socialized (single payer) systems. History tells us that our suspicions and worries are fully justified.
But, what if, the single payer system wasn’t run or controlled by the government? Would and could we trust a newly formed entity, comprised of doctors, hospitals and businessmen, to fairly administer everyone’s healthcare? If combined, would the present amount of money spent on government paid healthcare and private insurance be sufficient to cover all Americans, equally, without raising any new taxes? Theoretically, the system would be more efficient, easier to administer and oversee, there would be less waste and fraud and the money now siphoned off as private profits would be rolled back and used to deliver healthcare?
I propose this (Medicare For All) because I don’t like the unequal healthcare as it has been. I despise Obamacare as it is being implemented (even though it has some good aspects) and I don’t believe it will eventually work for most Americans. Many of the proposed Republican suggestions do lower healthcare costs but don’t fully address the needs of the poor since they can’t afford insurance at any cost.
In my opinion, single payer, as I’ve proposed it, is the only logical solution that serves best all Americans. If only we could find some entity we could trust to administer it so that everyone in America has the highest quality healthcare.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – March 22, 2015
IT’S TIME FOR AN EPIPHANY

I imagine that each one of us in our lifetime has had at least one moment which can best be described as an “Aha!” moment. The proper word for this is to have an epiphany (a moment of sudden revelation or insight).

I had my epiphany about 20 years ago and what I discovered has benefitted me with and towards my understanding of people, society and the world in general. It has helped me put some type of structure where previously I only saw chaos; when things made no sense to me. Please allow me to tell the story of how I found some clarity.

While living in Little Rock, Arkansas, my wife and I were invited to Shabbat (Friday night) supper by the Jewish Ultra-Orthodox Lubavitch Rebbe (Rabbi). After supper, which is the custom of this group of devout Jews, the men retire to another room to discuss theology. What made this night unique was that I would argue my points with him from a Jewish Christian perspective (I am born Jewish but came to believe Jesus is my Lord, Savior and Messiah in 1980) and he from his Ultra-Orthodox beliefs.

After a few hours of back and forth, it was surprising how much we agreed upon, both coming from a fundamental position towards God and the Bible. Then I got down to business. I said, “Rabbi, the major difference between our beliefs is that I believe Jesus is the Messiah and you don’t.” To my surprise, he said, “Nah, that’s not our major disagreement.” I asked, “Then what is?” His answer shocked me. He said, “You Christians believe that mankind has a sin nature; that mankind is inherently evil. We Jews believe in the goodness of mankind. That mankind is basically good.” I had never heard this before but I have subsequently confirmed its accuracy.

A few weeks later, a Christian asked me the question, “Can you explain why Jewish people are predominantly liberal rather than conservative?” Remembering back to my time with the Rabbi, I had my “Aha” moment concerning Jews but also liberals in general.

If you deep down believe mankind is born good (“good nature”) but becomes progressively bad, you have to explain why this occurs. Their simple answer must be because people lack something and acting bad is a response to being deprived of something which would keep you acting good. The something could be more education, more and better basic necessities such as housing, food, clothing, transportation or medical care. Therefore, it is societies’ fault that people act bad. If people had more of the above, they would act good making our country and the entire world a better and safer place. Now think about the ideology and actions of the Democratic Party or liberals (including socialists, communists). Their answer to everything is to give people more, even when they didn’t earn or deserve it. Believing that by doing so, we will have a better society. (The most recent and blatant example of this is when State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf said “that we cannot defeat ISIS by killing them, but by giving them jobs).

My question is, when and where has this belief or ideology ever achieved the desired goal? Some of the most educated and wealthiest people in the world have been the most evil. (For another and different explanation of this, see the February 15th newsletter).

As Christians and non-Christian conservatives, whether you call it “sin nature” or “basic human nature,” we believe mankind is not inherently good. Mankind is selfish, self–centered, aggressive and intolerant and I could go on and on. Good behavior and morality is learned, not innate (just think about how your young children act until you teach them good from bad). Giving people more and more that they didn’t earn just makes them dependent and spoiled, always expecting and demanding more. It doesn’t improve their behavior. I believe history bears this out and present day society is proof of this idea.

May I end with this familiar quote, “Give a person a fish, they will eat for a day. Teach a person how to fish, they can eat for a lifetime.” Anne Isabella Ritchie -1885

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – March 15, 2015

IN DEFENSE OF TOM COTTON

It’s Saturday morning, March 14th. I’m reading the Arkansas Democrat Gazette Letters to the Editor. Seven letters are trashing Tom Cotton and the 47 Senators who wrote:

“ An Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

What struck me after reading the letters is each letter writer was upset with his/their etiquette, disrespect, mutinous actions and traitorous acts in their opinion. But not once in those letters did they address the potential Iranian nuclear deal and threat and why it was necessary to write such a letter. I doubt very much if these letter writers actually read Tom’s letter. My guess is they are just responding to what they heard on the liberal media.

Just a few reminders about Iran:
In 1979, they overran our embassy and held 52 hostages for 444 days
In 1983, they were responsible for the Beirut Lebanon Marine Barracks bombing that killed 299 soldiers
In 1998 Iran was behind the United States embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania
The United States State Department describes Iran as an “active state sponsor of terrorism.
Iran presently provides weapons, training, and funding to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
Iran has repeatedly declared that it will destroy Israel (Little Satan) and then the United States (Big Satan)
It is presently developing ICBM’s (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles). What peaceful purpose could they possibly have?
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has openly bragged on Iranian television that he deceived the international community about Iran’s nuclear ambitions and capabilities in 2003 while he served as the regime’s chief negotiator. He proudly boasted that the terms of the Saadabad Agreement (2003) proved to be no obstacle for the advancement of Iran’s nuclear program.
Never forget the Islamic concept of Taqiyya which teaches it is permissible and even obligatory to lie to infidels as long as it advances Islam.
Iran’s present chief nuclear negotiator Mohammad Zariff recently said, “Israel should be annihilated.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the expert United Nations agency tasked with overseeing Iran’s nuclear program. To date they have been unable to conclude that Iran’s ongoing and unfrozen nuclear program is peaceful and now have been refused access to inspect the nuclear facilities that they even know of (and their may be others that are secret and unknown).
Since the 1990s, Iran has hoodwinked the international community over its nuclear program time and time again. And the current round of negotiations seems to offer more of the same subterfuge, foot-dragging and recalcitrance. General Hugh Shelton, Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Now, having re-read the letter, I believe it’s purpose was motivated by a justified fear that the Obama administration was so desirous of a nuclear deal with Iran, that it would negotiate an unwise and potentially dangerous treaty (including insufficient agreements to cut back production and centrifuges, lack of verifiable inspections of every nuclear facility, immediate further relaxing of sanctions before seeing proof that Iran was complying, etc.).
The letter was letting the President and Iran know that the Senate would analyze the potential deal (treaty) as was its constitutional right and duty. It would only be ratified if it was acceptable. Their motivation being to encourage the President to get a good deal and to let the Iranians know that a bad deal would not be ratified. And a simple executive agreement, if bad, could be overturned in 22 months by the next President.
The Prophet Ezekiel warned the watchman that it was his duty to warn the people of impending disaster. If they didn’t listen, the disaster was upon them. But, if the watchman didn’t warn them of the impending disaster, the Lord would blame him for the people’s demise.
I believe Senator Cotton and the 47 Senators are acting as watchmen (and I should also include Benjamin Netanyahu). And I thank God for them.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – March 8, 2015

VOLTAIRE
PRINCIPLED PRAGMATISM

I never know, week to week, what I’m going to write about. This week was no different until I stumbled across this piece of “wisdom” from Voltaire, written in 1770, which was quoted in a humorous 2007 internet blog.

“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

Gretchen Rubin wrote: I’ve found this precept to be extremely useful with my happiness project. Instead of pushing myself to an impossible “perfect,” and therefore getting nowhere, I accept “good.”
This sounds sensible enough, you’re thinking, but how does it actually work in real life? Here are some examples:
– I floss sometimes. Not every day. Sometimes. (Better than never)
– I don’t call, I email. When I told someone about my resolution to send my friends birthday emails, he said, “But you should call! A call is much better.” True, I admit. But I hate the phone, and I won’t call. But I will send an email. (Something vs Nothing)
– When I read magazines, I skim and skip. Otherwise old issues pile up everywhere and make me feel guilty and overwhelmed.
My guess is that you can think of personal applications of this principle in your life. Mine might be, “I need to lose 30 lbs. but I’ll be happy to lose 10, which is achievable.” (Better than nothing).

As always you’re probably asking, “What’s my point?”

I meet weekly with conservative patriots, locally and statewide, that I highly admire and respect. We have sincere and long discussions concerning what we believe to be best for Arkansas and America. We list our goals, compose our vision and mission statements and then brainstorm on how we might achieve all this. The usual method is to educate the voters who will then elect the most conservative candidates to political office (and hope they stay true to their conservative promises and principles).
I’ve now watched and have been somewhat involved in politics for the last 2 3/4 years and I’ve learned a lot. I believe the biggest “truth” I’ve learned is that issues rarely are black and white and solutions aren’t necessarily and rarely perfect. Despite some of my friends thinking “compromise” is a dirty word, it is sometimes ALL WE CAN GET, which is better than nothing. (One of many reasons we dislike President Obama and Democrats is because they won’t and haven’t conferred or been willing to compromise with Republicans. But then, we turn around and act as if some Republicans are unfaithful to the cause if they at times are willing to confer or compromise). If compromise gets you something, its better than losing and not getting anything. Lastly, compromise is not the same as capitulation (and we’re seeing a lot of that from Establishment Republicans). Capitulation gets you nothing.
Having said all this, as a politician or for that matter, just a citizen, there is definitely a place and time to refuse to compromise. When you’re asked to agree with or vote for a law that completely goes against you’re principles, then you must vote NO! (A simple example being if you’re Pro-Life, you just can’t vote for a bill allowing abortion under any and all circumstances or time frame. Yet knowing abortion is legal, voting for a bill that outlaws abortion after 12 or 20 weeks is better than having no constraints – Something is better than nothing).
My wife and I have been happily married for 43 years. I have one of the most perfect marriages imaginable, but only because we both have been willing to compromise at times and not insist on “my way or the highway.”
In closing, I have used the term, “Principled Pragmatist,” to describe what I imagine is personally and/or politically optimal. Remain true to your principles but “don’t allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.”

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – March 1, 2015

AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM
(is the belief that the United States is, qualitatively different from and better than, other nations)

Listening to the controversy concerning Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s statement about President Obama’s patriotism got me to thinking about American Exceptionalism.

*%#@&*#!!!!!!!!!! That’s me (and probably you) screaming at something you just heard on the television, after reading a column by a liberal, left wing writer or even a liberal’s letter to the editor. I just can’t believe what was just said and expressed negatively about America and who we are as Americans. I really get so frustrated and angry that I have to confess and repent of my thoughts.

Let me state from the beginning, “The United States of America is not perfect.” It can be better. Yet, I can’t think of a country in history or the present day world that is overall as great as America is and has been, having now corrected many of its original social errors. When some speak of America as some type of evil country, I want to know as compared to what country? Having asked that question, is there someone in their right mind who wants to leave America and emigrate to another country? Someplace better? And if so, what country?

Name me the country that has so great a social mobility and economic vitality that anyone, yes anyone, has the opportunity to prosper based on their ability, hard work and entrepreneurship. Whether they be born American or an immigrant.

Most countries put up a fence to keep their people in. Our country needs to put up a fence to keep people out. If America is so bad, why do so many people from all over the world want to come here to live and work?

Objectively, our impoverished, those that at we define as in poverty, have resources available to them and lifestyles that are the envy of the world’s poor. By comparison, we can place our poor economically near the top of the world’s population. Sure, they could have more but their needs are met plus some.

What country has Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press and just generally, Freedom and Liberty and Right to the Pursuit of Happiness as we Americans have and for so long, based upon our Constitution? Also, the Right of Free Assembly and the Right to Bear Arms and so many other Rights too numerous to mention. And the biggest Right for this discussion, the Right to complain about your government and country and not end up in jail, tortured or killed by that government.

Is there another country, ever, who has fought wars against aggressors and then not planned to keep the spoils of those war? We fought in WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, the Gulf War and Iraq/Afghanistan. We shed American blood and financial resources to eradicate evil from enslaving mankind. After winning, we then spent American money to rehabilitate the countries we just conquered, without expecting to be repaid. Then allowing these countries to establish their own, new democracies and governments. Who else but America has ever acted like this?

Let’s not forget that America is the most generous and charitable country in the world by far. What other county comes even close to the financial, technical and personal help we give to the world, both through the government and private charities?

I am unashamedly proud to be an American, living out the American Dream and hoping and working to continue that dream for my children, grandchildren and the rest of America. I, like many of you, know it can even be better but that doesn’t diminish that America is now and has been the absolute BEST overall country that has ever existed.

We should all pray that our American Dream will continue.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – February 22, 2015

IT’S ALL ABOUT THEOLOGY

Writing a weekly column is a challenge I have never experienced before. I hope I can remain relevant with topics and writings that are informative, fair, objective and not biased.
I just can’t stop thinking about what President Obama said during the recent prayer breakfast. In essence, Christians need to get off their high horse about ISIS and other Muslim based atrocities since Christians during the Crusades and the Inquisition did similar evil acts. We have all read and heard people discussing how his analogy isn’t relevant because these are 1000 and 500 year old acts. Christianity has had a Reformation and is no longer guilty of such savagery so the two shouldn’t be compared. True, but not enough of a reason.
I think there is a much better reason to refute the comparison: a theological one.
Let me first state that I respect those who hold a fundamental belief in their religion. All major religions believe theirs is the proper way to please God and obtain eternal life. Adherents believe that the writings about their religion are sacred and true and should be interpreted literally. They believe that theirs is the only way and other religions have it wrong. I would say for the most part, those who believe in multiple beliefs (roads) leading to Heaven are those who do not literally believe their religion’s teachings as written. One such example might be those who claim to be Christian believing that those who don’t accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior can still obtain eternal life by another religion or good deeds despite Jesus Himself saying He is the Only Way.
As Americans, we should respect (but not necessarily agree with) others beliefs and allow them freedom of religion, as long as it doesn’t infringe on our well being. To be totally honest, only time will tell who has it right (even though as a Christian, I believe I have the correct way).
Having said all this, “What’s my point?” For this discussion, both Christianity and Islam believe that they have the right answer for obtaining Heaven, eternal life and living lives that please God. Both believe that evangelizing those who don’t believe is commanded. But how you go about evangelizing and converting those to your faith is vastly different and this is why the comparison of the Christian Crusades to present day Islamic extremism and terrorism is inappropriate.
The leader of Christianity, Jesus Christ , and His teachings in the New Testament, would never have condoned the evil practiced in the Crusades or the Inquisition or any other type of violence in His name. Jesus taught love, not hate. He taught that you needed to acknowledge your sins and repent and turn from them and receive forgiveness. Your conversion to believing in Him for forgiveness of those sins was voluntary and by free will. In essence, a biblically, theologically sound Christian would never have committed atrocities claiming this was what Jesus wanted or required of you to gain more adherents to the faith or please Him.
Contrast this with Islam. Their leader, the prophet Muhammad and His teachings in the Quran and the Hadith, teach that evangelism is required and conversion can be voluntary or forced. When dealing with non-believers (infidels), they should be converted willingly. But, those not willing, should be enslaved or eradicated by any means. This is exactly what we are seeing throughout the world from what we now call radical Islam. I doubt ISIS would disagree with this description. (For more insight and details, go to http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/023-violence.htm)
This is why the Crusades and Inquisition should not be compared to modern day radical Islamic terrorism. These jihadists are just following their holy book and teachings; Crusading Christians were not. We in the West need to understand their theology to understand their actions and respond accordingly. And even though it is their theology, it has become incompatible with our American ideal of freedom and liberty.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – February 15th, 2015

AN INCONSISTENCY EXPLAINED, MAYBE

Benjamin Netanyahu will be speaking to Congress on March 4th. Republicans and Conservatives want to hear what he has to say about the mounting concern that Iran will soon have nuclear capabilities to launch a nuclear attack. The President and some Democrats (Liberals) are threatening to boycott his talk claiming protocol impoliteness. NO SURPRISE! But, many have been asking me why Jewish people, as a whole, are not turning on this administration’s anti-Israel policies and still support his liberal, progressive agenda. Maybe this recent article will shed some understanding. And maybe it has some insight into a larger American problem?

Ben Shapiro: Why Jews Vote Leftist
(Ben is an Orthodox Jew)

February 12, 2015 by TruthRevolt.org Frontpagemag.com

In 2008, American Jews voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama. Even though Obama had spent large segments of his prior life hobnobbing with vicious anti-Semites like Jeremiah Wright and Rashid Khalidi, even though he had staffed his campaign with anti-Semites ranging from Zbigniew Brzezinski to Robert Malley, Jews turned out in droves for him. Sarah Silverman harangued young Jews into telling their grandparents that they were racist if they didn’t vote for him; Jeffrey Goldberg, Obama’s designated court Jew – a role he has never relinquished — informed Jews that they were racist if they feared Senator Obama’s positions on Israel.
American Jews voted 78 percent for Obama in 2008.
After he was elected, Obama proceeded to undermine Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, force Netanyahu to humiliate himself before thugs like the Turkish government, publicly condemn Israel’s defense of itself during the Gaza war against Hamas while funding the Hamas unity government, repeatedly leak vital national security information that would have allowed Israel to strike Iran, and sign a deal with Iran that essentially foreclosed any possibility of Western attempts to stop Iran from going nuclear. American Jews still voted 69 percent for Obama in 2012.
The question I’m most often asked, thanks to my kippa, is why Jews vote leftist. The answer is simple: the vast majority of Jews don’t care about Judaism or Israel. They care about secular leftism, which is their religion.
The polls show this. American Jews are the least religious religious group in America. Only 41 percent say that their religion is important to them in their daily life, according to a December 2012 Gallup poll; only 34 percent said they attend religious services at least monthly, compared with 65 percent who said they attended religious services seldom or never. 22 percent of Jews say they have no religion. According to an October 2013 Pew poll, just 38 percent of Jews say their Jewish identity has anything to do with Jewish religion at all. Just 10 percent of Jews identify as Orthodox – people who consider themselves fulfilling the commandments of the Torah.
As for Israel, just 30 percent of Jews say they are very attached to Israel. Only 43 percent of Jews have ever been to Israel. And here’s an amazing statistic: just 40 percent of Jews believe God gave Israel to the Jewish people. 27 percent say God didn’t, another 5 percent said they don’t know, and 28 percent said they didn’t believe in God at all.
So, what does being Jewish mean to most Jews? Again, according to the Pew poll, 73 percent of Jews said it was about remembering the Holocaust. Just 19 percent said it was about observing Jewish law, and only 28 percent said it was about being part of a Jewish community. Jews, in other words, are not religious. They are secular leftists who don’t want to be labeled white people because they like being diverse and being able to enjoy the in-jokes in Woody Allen films.
So why is it a surprise that most Jews vote leftists? Most Jews aren’t Jewish in any real sense beyond ethnic identification. They have nothing to do with Torah, the five books of Moses. They have nothing to do with the ethical system posited by Biblical Judaism. They have nothing to do with the mitzvot, the commandments. They have nothing to do with Israel. Polling Jews on their politics is like polling anyone born Catholic on their politics: you’re going to skew far to the left by including lapsed Catholics. And most Jews are lapsed Jews, or never-knew-anything-in-the-first-place Jews.
The Torah is not a left-wing document. It opposes abortion and opposes same-sex marriage. It does not believe in a grand welfare system, but in private charity. It dictates belief that Israel was promised to the Jews, and that the Jews have a responsibility to live ethically according to a set of specific behavioral guidelines. Judaism is conservative, in the modern parlance. Those who pretend to back both Judaism and left-wing values are betraying Torah Judaism. Which is why while Jews vote three to one for Democrats, Orthodox Jews vote nearly two to one for Republicans.
Now, there are older Jews who vote leftist because they remember the bad old days of country club Republicans who rejected them from the golf course, and don’t realize that things have changed rather dramatically. There are older Jews who vote leftist because they remember the legacy of European Christianity that preyed on Jews for centuries, and don’t realize that American Christians are Jews’ best friends, not the American left that stands by President Obama.
But by and large, most Jews vote leftist because they are upper middle class agnostics with above-average levels of post-graduate education who believe that religion is a great ill, that Biblical morality is intolerant and vicious, and that Judaism itself is passé.
Jews who care about actual Judaism don’t vote leftist. And those who prioritize leftism don’t vote Jewish.

Please now remember that the Garland County Tea Party has a remarkable number of politically Conservative Jews. Dan Lewin, Diane Silverman, Dr. Jack and Marilyn Sternberg. Mark Meckler with the national Tea Party. Other Jewish state conservatives include Paul Greenberg and his son Dan Greenberg who heads the Advance Arkansas Institute. And I believe the number is slowly rising.

In closing, I would ask a bigger question. Can we use a similar analysis, are there parallels, to try to understand why more and more Americans are leaning left? Are more and more forgetting the American Dream of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness through personal achievement? Are they now worshipping at the altar of Democratic Socialism? As always, you decide!!

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – February 8, 2015

BETRAYAL VS. TRUST

Wow! I thought my opinion piece last week was hard to write. This one may even be harder. But now, I, like many of you, may be even more concerned and conflicted over the future of the Private Option.

I assume most of you know that SB96 has passed both the Senate and House and will soon be signed into law. In summary, it extends the Private Option, as it is without any modification, until 12/31/2016. At that time, it will cease to exist (it will END) unless continued or replaced by something else in the future. Before December 2016, a 15 member task force, made up of Arkansas Senators and Representatives, will attempt to modify the Private Option (which is a form of Medicaid Expansion as part of Obamacare) so that indigent Arkansans will still have some form of health insurance. Their goal is that it will be less expensive, have less fraud, waste and abuse and will not cost Arkansas one to two hundred million dollars per year starting in 2017 since Arkansas cannot possibly shoulder this extra financial burden.

Many, many Arkansans, throughout every county, overwhelmingly voted for Republicans to replace Democrats. They were promised by these Republicans that they would end (vote against) continuing the Private Option. Now, a great number of those we sent to Little Rock have voted to continue the Private Option. The big question is, have the voters been betrayed???

I, and many of you, have personally heard from many of those that we in Garland County voted into office. These are individuals that I (we) feel I (we) know individually and supported for election. They know we are upset with them. Let me attempt to summarize their reasoning for voting for SB96:
They believe they never promised to end the PO immediately but just to end it.
SB96, as presently written, ends the PO on 12/31/2016. This is the only bill that could be voted on that has a PO end date.
There were not enough NO votes for SB96 to fail so what good would a No vote accomplish?
Multiple bills were offered to end the PO immediately but never got the votes to get out of committee. Same for bills that limited or ceased enrollment into the PO. They tried but failed.
Now conservatives can and will influence the Task Force to find conservative solutions.
If an acceptable solution is not found by this time next year during next year’s budget legislation, then conservative House Republicans can (and will) vote not to fund the PO, thereby ending it for lack of money to pay the premiums.
They truly believe they have chosen the only viable option available to them that will eventually lead to them keeping their promise. They have asked us to TRUST them.
So, what are our choices or options (individually and as the Garland County Tea Party) now that SB96 has passed?

We can continue to be mad and feel betrayed for the next two years and treat those Republicans as traitors and call them liars, sell outs or RINO’s. Will this help us to continue to dialogue with and conservatively influence our representatives or will this alienate the Tea Party so we are marginalized and not listened to?

Or, we can TRUST them since this is the only hope we really have and that’s what they are asking of us. That we should have faith in them that they will do all that they can to rid Arkansas of the Private Option as they promised before 2017. We trusted them once to get them elected. Are we willing to trust them again? Can they make lemonade out of lemons?

It’s our (your) choice.

Jack Sternberg, MD

Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – February 1, 2015

“Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”
Spock, Star Trek, The Wrath of Khan

“The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many.”
Captain Kirk, Star Trek, The Search For Spock

MY PERSONAL PRIVATE OPTION DILEMMA

It is time for me to express my thoughts concerning the Arkansas Medicaid Expansion. What we call “The Private Option” or PO for short.” What to do with it immediately and in the future? What about Governor Hutchinson’s recent speech, proposal and Senate passage? The whole issue makes me act as if I have a Multiple Personality Disorder.
One of my personalities is a compassionate physician who has worked for six years at the Charitable Christian Medical Clinic taking care of those who recently received private insurance through the Private Option. I know personally how little healthcare these and other indigent patients have received in the past and that now over 200,000 previously uninsured individuals can receive full and modern healthcare.
My other personality is that of one who is politically and fiscally conservative. As a matter of fact, I am the Chairman of the Garland County Tea Party. And it is conservatives, especially the Tea Party as a whole, who have fought long and hard to abolish the Private Option, As Soon As Possible if not immediately.
Another of my personalities is that of a fundamental, evangelical Jewish-Christian having learned both Jewish and Christian ideas about charity and caring and always asking myself, What Would Jesus Do – WWJD?
In addition, many of you will be surprised to discover that I am a Trekkie. I have always loved all the Star Trek series and movies and have learned much from them. In the original series, all Starfleet Academy cadets had to participate in a mock Starship battle call the Kobayashi Maru. It was a scenario that had no correct solution or satisfactory outcome. No matter what you did, you were wrong and disaster occurred. This is how I feel about a possible or potential solution to the Private Option. All solutions seem wrong because they all have major downsides and all leave me troubled.

Let me discuss how I see the good and the bad, the positives and negatives, of the Private Option.

The Private Option has many positives:
Over 200,000 indigent, previously uninsured people, who could not buy insurance AT ANY PRICE, are now insured.
They are seeing private doctors and are being treated equally with all other insured patients.
The doctors are being paid and the hospitals are also being paid for the care they are providing. Just going to the ER when you were sick was never healthcare.
The hospitals are no longer losing millions of dollars due to Federally mandated rules that they must treat all indigent patients for free in their emergency rooms and in the hospital, even if they know they will never get paid. These payments have probably saved a number of Arkansas hospitals from closing due to financial bankruptcy.
The Private Option was a Capitalistic solution to a Socialist problem.

The Private Option has innumerable negatives:
The overwhelming negative is that It is phenomenally expensive ($800/patient/month X 12 months X 200,000 patients = $2 Billion/year) and the Federal government is paying 100% of the cost for now. And that’s just the cost for tiny Arkansas. What is the cost nationwide?Where is all this Federal money coming from? The answer being a higher National Debt and some would come from money transferred (stolen?) from Social Security (a program where people actually paid in all their working lives so they would be assured full healthcare when they turned 65).
In 2017, Arkansas has to pay 5% or approximately $100 million, in 2020, 10% or approximately $200 million of the cost of the Private Option Medicaid. Where will Arkansas get this money? It will have to be taken away from someplace else (education, roads, etc.) since we in Arkansas have to have a balanced budget.
The Private Option program is more expensive than if Obamacare Medicaid expansion (Standard Medicaid) had been adopted without a waiver.
Prior to the Private Option, all those needy children under 18 years old were on ARKids First. Essentially everyone over 65 received insurance with Medicare. Those who qualified for disability were receiving Social Security Disability Medicare and were insured. This left only those 18 to 65 years old who were healthy but weren’t working (at least not on the books) or who were underworking. Those who were working but making above 138% of the poverty line income could now sign up for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and depending on family size and income, they could receive financial assistance (subsidies).
If you weren’t working (but fully capable) or working part-time, you now could get SNAP (Food Stamps), Housing Allowance, Cell phone, Private Option Health Insurance and many other programs (entitlements). What is the incentive to try to find a job and work? In many instances, if you got a low paying job and lost these benefits, you would be worse off.
For those under 100% of the poverty line, they pay absolutely nothing for the PO insurance. They have no deductibles; no co-pays, no co-insurance and their medications are free.
So it is legitimate to ask, Is it FAIR for those who work and pay taxes to have to pay $10-12,000/year for the same insurance and also have large yearly deductibles, $25 co-pays, 20% co-insurance and also have to pay for all their medications? Don’t those who work and pay taxes have the right to be angry and feel they are being treated unfairly?

So, what’s the solution?

Is the solution to immediately deny all 200,000+ people future insurance once this year’s insurance expires and let them go back to the old “system?” To justify it by saying that they didn’t “deserve” free insurance in the first place? Should we simply say, “Let’em get a job!” That we all acknowledge that “The Private Option is fiscally irresponsible and unsustainable (which it definitely is).” To finally admit to yourself that, “It’s just not fair to me, a taxpayer, to pay in full and others get it for free and I’m angry.”

Is the solution to continue to yearly pass in the legislature the Private Option funding and not worry the financial consequences? This seems to me ti be the worst solution since it’s not a solution.

Is the solution to pass the funding until December 31, 2016 since at least Arkansas will probably not have to pay anything until 2017? To write into the law that as of January 1, 2017, the Private Option will no longer be funded so that a definitive date for its end is now law? To use this time till 12/31/2016 to try to find another solution (by the Task Force) that will not take away ALL healthcare from the indigent but also won’t strap Arkansas with a crushing financial burden.

Or, is this the Kobayashi Maru scenario? That we have to accept the fact that there is no good and fair solution for everyone!! That there is not even a compromise that everyone can live with.

Personally, I don’t presently know a solution that my multiple personalities can live with and find peace.

Please, if you have a solution, I really want (need) to hear it. But be specific and show me how it works. Arkansans, one and all, really need a solution. May God give someone the wisdom to find such a solution.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
“Wise people believe only half of what they hear. Wiser ones know which half to believe.”
— Alexander Pope
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – January 25th, 2015

JUST MY THOUGHTS

Much attention and opinions have been given and expressed relating to the unfortunate situation concerning the removal of the seven children from the Stanley home. I personally don’t have “a dog in this fight,” nor do I know where the truth lies and who is right or wrong. But I do have some observations that I will share and these are my opinions and thoughts (sort of like an editorial writer).

Many, many people have shared with me that they know the Stanley parents and children and that they are a wonderful family. Those that know them can’t imagine they would ever do anything to intentionally harm their children. Besides these sentiments, none of us know much more.
Most of us in the Garland County Tea Party know and politically supported both Sheriff Mike McCormick and ADHS attorney Cecilia Dyer. By our endorsements of these two individuals, we obviously expressed our faith in their integrity and wisdom. And therein lies the conflict.
I can’t help but remember our outrage at the recent situation about the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, when many protestors automatically assumed the worst of the police and the police officer before all the facts were known and then even after the facts were made public, still protested. I pray that we won’t be similarly guilty.
So, my plea to everyone who has an opinion concerning who is right or wrong, is to have faith in our system of justice and the new Circuit Court Judge, Division II, Wade Naramore. Believing we will soon discover the truth concerning what is best for all the Stanleys’ and not try the case in the court of public opinion but wait for all the facts to become known and adjudicated. I want nothing less for all those involved.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
— Bernard Baruch

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – January 17th, 2015

I truly believe that we of the Garland County Tea Party all believe in The American Dream and Restoring The American Dream will be one of our goals over the next two years. But what is the American Dream? Is it the same for all of us? Do some of us see it differently or are some of our definitions too narrow or too wide?
Below is the simple definition from Wikipedia. Write me back with your opinion of this definition or write me how you would add or subtract from these thoughts. Is this enough or too little?
Next week, I’ll try to summarize your opinions. I really want to know what you think. Maybe we will and can write our own definition.
This is important because I believe the strength of the Tea Party is that we are a group of like minded individuals but yet our ultimate strength and future success is our patriotism and our desire to return to the America we love. And that’s why we care and this caring motivates us to action.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Paty

 

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