GCTP Newsletters – January – September, 2016

 
 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter August 12, 2016
MY SOURCE OF FRUSTRATION


I have been trying to figure out for some time the MAIN REASON for my political frustration. And I think I’ve found my answer and it’s not that complicated. Sure, I don’t like the Democrat’s progressive ideology but that’s nothing new or different (just worse). Yes, I don’t like their candidates and elected officials and I would agree these have gotten more progressive and further left. But, all that can possibly change with each election so that’s not my major frustration.

I’ve come to realize it is something much more fundamental and frightening. It comes down to the realization that over the last 7½ years our magnificent American system of governmental checks and balances and judicial fairness has dramatically degraded. It’s the feeling that America is now progressively moving more towards a dictatorship than a true Constitutional Democracy. That the government is no longer playing by the rules of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. They seem to be able to get away with anything they want.

On May 8th, 2013, Hillary Clinton said, “What difference does it make” when testifying about the four Americans killed in Benghazi.  I now have come to the realization that this one statement sums up my frustration and most likely yours. Her statement was prophetic concerning how our government has increasingly functioned under President Obama.

No matter what the issue or circumstance, this President, this Administration, this Justice Department and the Main Stream Media acts and has acted as if the statement, “what difference does it make,” embodies how they govern. They seem to know they can get away with just about anything. Lying to the public is now the standard and with little accountability. To add to this problem and our frustration are our elected Republicans. They ran as conservatives and promised to stop this degradation of American governance and ideals. Yet, those who we counted on to stop this travesty have done little to stop President Obama’s “remake” of America.

“What difference did it make” when:

– Obama claimed that the $400 million dollar Iranian ransom payment for hostages was not a ransom.  But it has since been proven otherwise and that he lied. Nothing will happen to him or any government official, as usual. Where’s the outrage for what he has done and that he flat out lied to the American people?

– The DNC emails showed favoritism for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. Debbie Wasserman Schultz fell on her sword, was fired as DNC chairman and joined Hillary’s campaign. Where were the Democrats or Main Stream Media’s outrage over this primary election process manipulation or the anti-Semitic and anti-Hispanic statements in the emails? It didn’t make any difference.

– FBI director Comey proved Hillary Clinton’s email scandal potentially jeopardized American security and that she repeatedly lied to the American public. In the end, no indictment or any consequences. Democrats couldn’t care less and the Main Stream Media barely reported it or looked into it. Why let felonious activity get in the way of electing their “chosen one.”

– President Obama keeps signing significant Presidential Executive Orders to circumvent the will of Congress. Amazingly, Congress does little and just lets it happen as if there’s nothing they could do stop or reverse his orders. He’s not King Obama but President Obama. Where are the checks and balances?

– It is proven the IRS targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups and the IRS Commissioner destroyed email records he was instructed to keep and produce. There have been no consequences to anyone in the IRS.  No indictment for his illegal act. Those in authority seem not to care (or are complicit).

– There has been a widespread proven VA Hospital scandal and again, no one has paid any price.  If anything, there have been promotions and bonuses to those who are incompetent. Our veterans suffer but little has been done to improve the care our veterans receive. There’s been a lot of talk about the veteran’s plight but there’s still long waiting lists and insufficient care.

So to sum all this up because I could go on and on, our frustration (and the sense of political hopelessness which then potentially leads to political apathy) stems from my original premise that nothing changes because, it seems as if in America today,

“What difference does it make?”


Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter July 30, 2016

THE PRESIDENTIAL CONVENTIONS ARE FINALLY OVER

Well, the two Presidential Conventions are now over, THANK GOD!! 

Enough is enough. To be honest, I watched all of the Republican Convention each night for four nights and really enjoyed it. I thought the speakers were speaking to me and especially loved the speeches by Mayor Giuliani, Governor Christie, Trump and family and so many others. I didn’t disagree with one thing any one of them said (except parts of Ted Cruz’s speech). I thought Trump’s speech was not dark  but was optimistic because of all he wants to accomplish for America and believes that he can accomplish. It was also realistic about the present state of America and the world. America is not as great as it once was but we believe it is still great and he can make it greater again.

But, I could only tolerate short bursts of watching those giving speeches at the Democratic Convention. Trying to listen to Michele and Barak Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Hillary was torture. They exaggerate and lie as easily and naturally as they breathe. They must have been tutored and given instructions how to talk to the convention and the TV audience and keep a straight and sincere face as they lie. They are masters of deceit. Worse yet, what if they really believe what they are saying?? How frightening!!

Nothing that Democrats or Liberals do, no matter how obviously bad, ever bothers them or will they acknowledge. Hillary to them is an angel. Maybe she’s even sinless like the Virgin Mary. She can do no wrong and they act like they believe she has never, ever done anything inappropriate or evil or self-serving (according to them, all accusations are nothing more than a right-wing conspiracy with no basis in truth). The majority of Democrats seem not to care how it was discovered that the Democratic National Committee rigged the primaries so that they were televised when no one was watching and did everything they could to undermine Bernie Sanders. Yes, the DNC fired Debbie Wasserman Schultz but then Hillary hired her (do you think this might be reward for being a good and faithful servant for the primaries-you decide)?

After watching and listening to Democrats for years, I truly believe that the underlining principle of liberals, progressives and the Democrat Party (but I repeat myself) is “the ends justify the means.” They lack honesty and most of all, ethics. Freedom of Speech only applies to what they say and protest against. All others that express their opinions are just hateful, racist or generally phobic about something. And who can forget that Democrats embody a lack of basic morality since they have a basic disregard for the sanctity of life, marriage and the family.

They live in the here and now and can’t project into the future. They believe there’s no need for a strong military, that ISIS and Islamic Jihadi terrorism is not a present and future problem, open borders bring prosperity to America without any downside and Russia and China are good guys with no evil intentions. Worst of all, they believe America is evil and has caused the problems of the world. I want to know, what world do they live in?? Not the world that I inhabit and read about and see on TV each day 

But, what astounds me is that they believe we conservatives are essentially as evil as I have just described them.  The ideological chasm between the two groups is as wide and deep as the Grand Canyon with both sides believing they are right. Who or what could ever broach this chasm short of dwelling in Heaven? Unfortunately, no human being that I could ever imagine. Only Messiah Jesus when He returns to rule over Heaven and Earth 

Please Lord, come quickly.

Jack Sternberg, MD

 Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter July 16, 2016

WE LIVE IN A MANIPULATED WORLD

 

Again this week I have answered a liberal’s letter to the editor in the Sentinel Record. He wrote his in response to a conservative’s original letter.  Below are just short segments of their letters along with my reply since many of you don’t receive the Sentinel Record and also live outside of Garland County.          Doctor Jack 

To the editor:

I believe that leadership, patterned after Alinsky-style teachings, is responsible for the escalating number of dependent people in our country. Summarized below is my understanding of what Alinsky taught. May I suggest that you research his “Rules for Radicals” and see if you agree?

Control health care and you control the people.

Increase poverty because people dependent on government for livelihood do not resist.

Lead nation into unsustainable debt, higher taxes and more debt.

Control/eliminate guns to prevent effective resistance to a police state-type government.

Control food and livestock production, housing and income to assure government dependency.

Control what children are taught in schools and discourage all concepts of property rights.

Remove, ridicule, if necessary, all reference to faith in God from government and schools.

Make it easier to tax workers to support non workers by creating class warfare between wealthy and poor and between races 

Responding:

Most scholars would be hard-pressed to recognize Saul Alinsky’s work in the rather fanciful interpretation by Robert Sowell (letter, “Alinsky-style politics,” Thursday, July 7, 2016). Sowell’s list allegedly derived from Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” reads more like a tea party brochure than the program highly focused on empowerment of the impoverished.

Alinsky was concerned with the community and felt that problems were best solved at lowest possible level, that of community. I also believe that is one of the main principles espoused by conservatives, that of keeping “big government” out of our lives. Alinsky would have agreed, he had little use for most politicians, believing they only responded when the heat got too high. That’s what his 12 rules were about teaching local “have-nots” how to organize to bring pressure on government organizations in order to effect needed change.

My reply to both letters:

 

Dear editor:

In response to Mr. Manning’s letter, I fully agree that the points in Mr. Sowell’s letter were not those of Saul Alinsky or from his “Rules for Radicals.” This was from a widely disseminated email that was not fact checked. As best I could discover, no one knows who actually wrote those words.

No tea party brochure has those words, but I would contend that most conservatives would agree with the truthfulness of those points. Why? Because we see progressive attitudes and actions corresponding to those goals of government control of health care, what’s taught in schools, production of food, livestock, energy and the environment. Class warfare has intentionally been increased between those who work/produce and pay taxes and those who don’t. We believe this present government has increased racial tension, rather than worked to decrease it.

It is true and well known that both Obama and Hillary Clinton have studied, taught and had high praise for Alinsky.

As to Christian proselytizing, yes, we were instructed by Jesus Christ Himself to share the “Good News” with the entire world. But, He expected us to do this with love and by lifestyle example (and yes, some Christians in the past abused this, but nowhere would Jesus have condoned their actions) In contradistinction, Mohammad in the Quran teaches that conversion to Islam may be either voluntary or it is acceptable to convert by physical force (or death if you refuse).

What blows my mind is how you have made Saul Alinsky in essence to be a hero and a great guy. I have a copy of “Rules for Radicals” and Alinsky’s preface wrote about who seems to be his hero, “the very first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.” Alinsky didn’t seem to care about the consequences of Lucifer’s success; just that he succeeded by any means available.

As I read Alinsky, I see someone who is brilliant in understanding humanity, human nature and how to manipulate it. His rules are clearly stated to be about manipulation. His recommended techniques are based on deceit, intimidation, causing confusion, ridicule, threats, lying about the truth, isolation, individual, personal attacks and developing false sympathy for your cause. In essence, the ends justify any means used to achieve the outcome. His techniques may be effective, but he should not be someone’s hero (unless, of course, you’re just like him).

Finally, I wish to conclude with an observation of essentially all progressive writers to this paper. They 100 percent disparage and bash anything or anybody who is conservative, as if all conservative ideas and conservatives are wrong and or evil. I will admit that occasionally I agree with something they write and I believe I have expressed that at times, but it is rare.

But what bothers me is that I believe they are disingenuous because they are never, ever willing to put their leaders to the same scrutiny and admit these leaders are sometimes wrong or evil. Maybe this should be Alinsky’s Rule No. 13. Never, ever point out the failings and errors of those you like.  Just always give them a pass.

Jack Sternberg, MD

Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter July 9, 2016

Are We Becoming Desensitized???

Each day and week I read and listen to a number of journalists and their opinions and takes on various issues. Often these thoughts lead me to write my weekly opinion piece with my own thoughts on the subject. But, not infrequently, I come up with a totally original idea that I have not read about from others. I then begin early in the week to write my column with my “original” idea. What surprises me is how often by the time I send the newsletter out on Saturday, someone else has written an opinion piece with similar content to my column (the only explanation I came come to is that these others hack into my computer and steal my written thoughts – LOL – see Bernie Goldberg’s article below).

So it was on Friday evening after the latest terrorist attack in Bangladesh and the recent Istanbul airport bombing that I started thinking how “expected, normal, acceptable, routine, and inevitable” terror attacks had become for Americans. Previously I would sit glued to Fox or CNN during and after each atrocity so as not to miss any breaking news. Last week, I barely even followed the ongoing standoff and massacre in Bangladesh and Mecca. (it was on the TV but I barely watched).

The pattern of terrorism had become predictable as well as the outcome. Someplace in the unsuspecting world, where many innocent people are gathered, a terrorist or group of terrorist, yelling “Allahu Akbar –God is Great” storm into a crowd of people, carrying automatic or semi-automatic rifles and handguns and/or bombs (suicide vests). Their goal is to kill as many innocent people as possible before their anticipated dying for Islamic Jihad. Then the death and injury counts are announced the next day but not before the arguments begin about gun control, whose to blame and why and how in the world can such attacks be prevented.

In case you’re unaware of why so many Muslims are willing to die like this, here’s the answer. According to fundamentalist Islamic teaching, dying in Jihad guarantees that Allah will accept you into Heaven for all eternity. All other Muslims, even if they succeed in keeping and doing the Five Pillars of the Islamic faith, they still are not guaranteed Heaven and Eternal Life – only by Jihad are you sure of your fate.

So, why have most of us gotten complacent and desensitized about each new terror attack? Because nothing ever seems to get answered or resolved and we all now just wait for the next inevitable terrorist attack, hoping it will not be in our area, our town, our city or our state but somewhere “out there.”

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

PS – Just in case you were wondering, I have NO IDEA how to actually solve this problem of continued Islamic terrorism (let’s not forget that Islamic terrorism and aggression has been around since the 7th century – it’s not something new). Random events are unpredictable as are deranged people. Many potential terrorists attacks can and do get stopped but some will not be discovered until it’s too late and will still tragically occur.

Islamic terrorism is remarkably similar to metastatic cancer. It starts in one major organ (i.e. – the Middle East) but then metastasizes throughout the body (i.e. – the rest of the World). Radiation and Chemotherapy (Bombs and Bullets) can destroy most of the cancer but only in a few cancers can metastatic cancer be cured. Cancer cells still lurk somewhere in the body waiting to recur (i.e. – isolated terrorist attacks). Recently, Targeted Therapies and Immunotherapies (i.e. – vigilance and education) are further controlling the amount of cancer and frequency of relapses but still these rarely lead to cures. Remissions may be the best we can hope for. The problem is that we haven’t given enough “therapy” yet to even come close to attaining a remission.

(Just a little musing from a retired Medical Oncologist).
Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter JULY 2, 2016
CELEBRATING
INDEPENDENCE FOR AMERICA AND ENGLAND

YOU JUST GOTTA LOVE THE BRITISH
 

Well, Brexit has passed and Britain is leaving the European Union. I personally congratulate the British people. I applaud their courage and desire to be British and take back their sovereignty and national independence.

The media pundits are whining and just can’t understand why the British would want to leave the EU. Stock markets around the world have initially dropped precipitously but have now significantly recovered (Brexit isn’t the end of the world as we know it despite what the liberal media reports). The British Pound has taken a beating along with the Euro but has also partly recovered.  Why, oh why, has all this happened?

In one simple word, NATIONALISM! (Wikipedia – Nationalism is a shared group feeling in the significance of a geographical and sometimes demographic region seeking independence for its culture or ethnicity that holds that group together). To the left, nationalism is a dirty word. To the rest of us, it is what makes or defines what we are as a country and whom we are as a people, Nationalism acknowledges our belief in our way of life and culture and desires for it to remain relatively unchanged. Those who love our country as it is are often nastily accused of Xenophobia (how many Americans even know what that word means – Xenophobia – intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries). The left loves to label people (xenophobic, Islamophobic, racist, haters) to demonize them whether or not you’re guilty. Can’t you just want your country to remain what it is without being accused of intense, irrational dislike or irrational fear of other cultures?

For many British and also many Americans, Nationalism is what makes and keeps us great; what makes us exceptional. We don’t want to become like those other countries. Foreign countries whose cultures, economies and societies have failed. We don’t want to import and merge their failures into our successful cultures and countries.

Here’s the simple question, “What’s wrong with not wanting your country, your culture, your laws to significantly and radically change if you believe you already live in the best country in the world?”

So, what are a few major reasons that the British voted for Brexit? The first and foremost is that if you are a part of the European Union, you must abide by Open Borders. Meaning, anyone who lives or has made it into any European Union country (legal and illegal immigrants, refugees, etc.), they now have the right to come to Britain unimpeded (just take the train from France to Britain under the English Channel) and now you have the right to live in Britain and receive all the benefits of British citizens (and paid for by those British citizens who work for their incomes). Due to European Union rules, Britain has absolutely no control over who can come into Britain from the EU and what number will be allowed. It’s easy to imagine British culture, as we know it, disappearing due to dilution and also the negative effects on the economy due to increasing financial needs of those arriving.

The next major reason for wanting to leave the EU is that politicians in Brussels now get to dictate rules and laws that Britain must follow along with all other EU nations. Brussels now dictates immigration rules, dictates how many refugees from Syria you must take in and so much more (latest is the maximum wattage that your hair dryer, tea kettle and vacuum can use so that electricity is conserved).

Britain’s got tired of giving away their sovereignty. So, to me, Brexit was their TEA Party revolt. They chose not to be part of the new One World Order. God Bless them!

So, what are the parallels with the United States?  For all intensive purposes, our southern border is so permeable that it is almost an Open Border. What IF Americans had previously, like the British, accepted a Trans-America Union (TAU) of all North, Central and South American countries, with one currency and an unelected group of politicians in let’s suppose “Ecuador” dictating laws for the United States? And if we were under that TAU, what if they passed a law that all firearms are illegal and must be confiscated thereby negating our Second Amendment? How about if they got rid of Freedom of Speech which most other countries don’t have? What if they changed the law so that you’re guilty until proven innocent? How long would we remain in the TAU? Look how the people of the United States have reacted against the United Nations trying to dictate laws for the United States (i.e. – The Small Arms Treaty or the U.N. Law of the Sea Treaty).

There may be temporary economic fallout to Britain for leaving the EU but just like our Revolutionary War, doing what’s right and necessary is worth the pain in the long run. All revolts cause temporary hardships but the long-term benefits are well worth it.

So, let’s continue to unashamedly together chant,

USA! USA! USA! USA!   
 
GO TRUMP!


Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter June 25, 2016

HOW EASILY WE’RE FOOLED

So much is always happening and as I read, watch and listen to the news, random thoughts run through my head concerning this information. Often things just don’t make sense or add up in my mind. Sometimes, as much as I try to research facts and explanations, I just can’t find what I want. Few actually document where they get their “facts.”

BUT WHAT REALLY ANNOYS ME IS WHEN A REPUTABLE SOURCE (like the Associated Press) “SPINS” THE “NEWS” in an attempt to influence us to arrive at an erroneous conclusion.

So, below is one newspaper article that in the last few weeks first confused me (it just didn’t seem right) but later annoyed me as I thought through the information.

The Sentinel Record’s headline from the Associated Press June 18th (SR not to blame, it just uses their news feed) stated that “Unemployment Rates Are Far Below US level in 16 States.” At first, this sounds impressive but is it? There’s really no surprise here, the unemployment rate nationwide is 4.7% and it’s an average. I would expect many states to be below the average and many to be above the average. It’s an average. So what’s the big deal? This sounds so great but we all know it’s meaningless since the economy is not that great. The real truth comes out in the third paragraph when it says, “Steady hiring has lowered unemployment throughout the U.S but rates have fallen for a bad reason: many of those out of work have stopped searching for jobs.” So I thought, the government doesn’t count those people any longer as unemployed (isn’t that convenient?) This is confirmed by the lowest Labor Force Participation rate in years (what percent of the population is actually working).

The next nonsense in the article had to do with May’s Arkansas unemployment rate of 3.8%. Sounds fantastic!! You’d think Arkansas was swimming in jobs with a booming economy. Income and sales tax collections should be so high that we should have more than enough money to fix our roads and infrastructure plus much more.

But, think about these facts which contradict our remarkably low unemployment rate. The population of Arkansas is 2.9 million. The number of adults, 18-65 in the state of Arkansas is 1.76 million (https://suburbanstats.org/population/how-many-people-live-in-arkansas). I add up all people in each age range.

If we multiply 1.76 million by 3.8% unemployment then only 67,000 adults should be “unemployed.” If this was really the actual unemployment rate, then how come we now have 250,000 adults, who are living below 138% of the poverty level making them eligible to be on the Private Option (Arkansas Works)? Either 183,000 (250,000-67,000 unemployed) of those jobs are so extremely low paying that working adults are still in poverty, that part time workers are counted as employed, a large number aren’t looking for work or there’s something wrong with the 3.8% figure or a combination of the possibilities.

So, as I read this type of article and so many more, I remember the brilliant words of Mark Twain, “”There are lies, damned lies, and statistics” and also “facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.” It has also said, “statistics don’t lie, but liars use statistics.”

We all need to be very careful with the “facts” we’re exposed to from both the Left and the Right. We need not accept “facts” at face value. So, continue to be careful out there.
Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter June 18, 2016

Many of you do not receive the Hot Springs Sentinel Record so I thought it might be interesting for you to read my letter to the editor concerning the killing spree in Orlando, Florida. Then to see the negative reply to my letter and my response.
Orlando massacre

Dear editor: (June 13, 2016)

Once again, America has experienced terrorism. Once again, President Obama refuses to label it for what it was. Despite a Muslim swearing allegiance to ISIS, Obama refuses to call it radical, Islamic terrorism. To him, it’s a hate crime against the LGBT community and a gun-control failure, not what the rest of us know it is.
I have some questions, which I have listed below. I’m writing this on Monday, the day after the shooting. By the time this letter is published, many of these questions may have been answered.
How did he walk into a gay bar undetected? (Still unclear)Wasn’t there someone at the door checking at least identification? Or did he shoot his way in? It was mid-June in Orlando, Fla., temperature probably in the 80s. Was he wearing a long coat to conceal his AR-15? (Actually, a Sig-Sauer MCX .223 caliber semi-automatic rifle) If so, didn’t this raise red flags to anyone?
He shot at least 103 people, meaning he fired a minimum of 103 bullets. More likely, he fired many more since all didn’t hit all his targets and some people were shot with more than one bullet. . (Authorities now claim 202 bullets fired) Assuming he was carrying 30 round magazines, he would have had to carry at least five to six (now at least seven) magazines. These magazines are large and when full of bullets, quite heavy and bulky (approximately one pound). How did he carry all these magazines? In a vest? Didn’t someone notice?
How was he so skillful with his weapons? Did he practice at a gun range? If so, this justifies our friend, Jan Morgan, who refuses to allow Muslims to practice at her gun range. Since an AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle, he had to pull the trigger over 103 times. He would have had to drop his spent magazine and re-insert a new magazine at least four times, if not more. It probably takes 5-10 seconds for an amateur to change magazines and re-chamber a round. Why didn’t someone or a group charge him during this interval?
Knowing you were going to be shot dead, why didn’t anyone charge him and try to tackle him? Unless he was in a corner or his back to a wall, a group of people had to be behind him as he was shooting forwards.
If he didn’t carry all this firepower through the front door, did he somehow earlier in the day bring his AR-15 (Sig-Sauer MCX)and magazines into the nightclub and stash them somewhere for later use?
Considering the number of people actually shot and killed, was there really only one shooter? To aim and not just shoot wildly, shooting just one shot at a time, it would probably take about two seconds per shot. Add to that time to change magazines, there was time for people to charge him.
Florida is a concealed carry state. Was no one in the crowd carrying concealed or were they not because the nightclub was a “gun-free zone?” (It was – illegal in Florida to carry into anyplace that sells alcohol).
So many questions! Many questions that will never be answered. In conclusion, America and Americans, wake up.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman
Garland County Tea Party

Dear editor: (June 16, 2016)

Dr. Sternberg’s letter to the editor on June 14 was filled with worthy questions about the Orlando massacre. Unfortunately, his inquiries included the following bigoted, xenophobic comment, “Did he (the Orlando shooter) practice at a gun range? If so, this justifies our friend, Jan Morgan, who refuses to allow Muslims to practice at her gun range.” Sternberg’s praise of his friend Jan Morgan and her exclusion of Muslims is infuriating. Why do highly educated individuals contemplate such hatred?
Since Sunday morning, I have been thinking about the victims of the Orlando tragedy and their families. I think about the Muslim women and men I became friends with in college. I fear the bigotry and ignorance expressed by Dr. Sternberg and others could lead the USA, the best country in the history of the world, to be like the country my family fled before World War II.

Stephanie Kleinman
Hot Springs

Letter to the editor:

Isn’t it amazing that in Stephanie Kleinman’s letter, from just one sentence in my letter, feels justified in accusing me of bigotry, xenophobia, ignorance and hatred? This is called an ad hominem attack (attacking an opponent’s character rather than answering his argument). My position is not that all Muslims are bad or dangerous (I believe the vast majority living in America are not evil and are good American citizens), but enough have been radicalized so that America has a real problem and needs to recognize the problem. And we as Americans must acknowledge the problem as abhorrent as that realization is. Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away. Since radical Islamic terrorists carry out nearly 100% of terrorist acts and we have no way of knowing which Muslim has been radicalized, how do we know who we can trust at a gun range? Do we want them to become more proficient using a pistol or rifle? Thinking back, the destruction of the Twin Towers on 9/11 wouldn’t have occurred if the Muslim terrorists hadn’t been taught on a simulator how to fly commercial jetliners.
As a physician, to use an analogy, I would rather vaccinate someone to prevent a disease than to later treat the disease with medication in hopes of eradicating it. I just want America and Americans to be more cautious (not hateful). Being careful begins with accepting the reality of the problem.
Since you brought up your family fleeing Germany before World War II, and since we are both Jewish, I feel I can use your own example to prove my point. Your family saw the potential danger of a small group of evil Germans (Nazis) who promised repeatedly to harm them as a people (Jews) and instead of ignoring the reality of the intentions of the Nazi, your family was proactive and left Germany. They survived and had children and you may be one of them who would not have ever been born had they not left Germany. Three quarters of my European relatives ignored the signs, not believing the evil to come, and were annihilated in concentration camps. I take “never again” very seriously. Evil is evil whether it takes the form of Nazis or ISIS (or Al Qaeda, etc.). Let’s all learn from history and not repeat the past mistakes of denial or wishful thinking.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter June 11, 2016

THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMIES
IS MY FRIEND AND
IS THE NEXT REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE

This letter to the editor from the Hot Springs Sentinel Record is from our good friend and conservative patriot, Pat Darnell. I could not have said it any better so it is this weeks opinion piece.
No place to go but up
Dear editor:
I got this in my Inbox this week.

Donald Trump’s presidential qualifications:

Obama is against Trump … Check.
The media are against Trump … Check.
The establishment Democrats are against Trump … Check.
The establishment Republicans are against Trump … Check.
The pope is against Trump … Check.
The U.N. is against Trump … Check.
The E.U. is against Trump … Check.
China is against Trump … Check.
Mexico is against Trump … Check.
Soros is against Trump … Check.
Black Lives Matter is against Trump … Check.
Move On is against Trump … Check.
Koch Brothers are against Trump … Check.
Planned Parenthood is against Trump … Check.
Hillary and Sanders are both against Trump … Check.
Illegal aliens are against Trump … Check.
Islam is against Trump … Check.
Hateful, racist, violent liberals are against Trump … Check.

Now that being said …
It seems to me, Trump must be the best qualified candidate we could ever have.
When you have so many political insiders and left-wing nut cases all scared to death, all speaking out against him at the same time … Plus:
He’s not a lifetime politician … Check.
He’s not a lawyer … Check.
He’s not doing it for the money … Check.
He’s a natural born American citizen born in the USA from American parents. Bonus points!

Whoopi says she will leave the country …
Rosie says she will leave the country …
Sharpton says he will leave the country …
Gov. Brown says California will build a wall …
Cher says she will leave the country …
Cyrus says she will leave the country …

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights will prevail …
Hillary will go to jail …
The budget will be balanced in eight years …
Americans will have first choice at jobs …
You will not be able to marry your pet …
You will be able to keep your guns if you qualify … (not a criminal).
Only live human American registered citizens can vote …
You can have and keep your own doctor …
You can say what you want without being called a racist …
Come to think of it, we have no place to go, but up.

I’m at 501-282-3102.
Pat Darnell
Hot Springs

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter June 4, 2016

TO BE OR NOT TO BE, THAT IS THE QUESTION

     I frequently wait a week or two or even more before commenting on some new “annoying” issue that has arisen from some presidential or government action. Rather than jumping into the fray with an immediate emotional reaction I prefer to let the dust settle a little and also listen and read what others smarter than me think. The time also allows me to more fully understand the issue and not make judgments based on partial information. I almost always come to the conclusion that the issue is not totally “black or white” but “a shade of gray.” This allows me time to come to a decision as to how I would handle or respond to an issue in a way that I think is at least reasonable, fair and logical.     And so it is with the President’s new position on the transgender issue and the federal directive to U.S. schools this month to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. This along with his blatant attempt at intimidation of the individual states by threatening to withhold federal education funding if they don’t conform to this new policy (and they call Donald Trump a bully).

     So, let me start by surprising you. I don’t have a problem with a transgender male or female using the bathroom or locker room of their choice BUT only if they are truly proven they are transgender and have undergone the appropriate hormones and surgery to confirm their new identity. Now here’s the problem. The government is throwing out the term transgender as if everyone agreed upon what that meant.

     Is the person who just thinks they’re the opposite sex the same as someone who has undergone the process to change sexual identity? I don’t think so but the government recommendations make no distinction. So how about to those who believe they are the opposite sex to what they were biologically born.  I’d like to give them a new name or terminology – let’s call them “transgender-in-waiting.” Then we can acknowledge their mental choice but realize it has not yet actually physically transpired and that makes all the difference.

     So, since those “in-waiting” (those born male) still have their same biological parts, how can it be fair to allow them to run around naked in a female locker room just because they “feel” female.  I don’t see how progressives can claim to be pro-women when they are trying to force your 12 year-old daughter to shower next to a boy who claims to be a girl. (But, let’s also acknowledge the reality that if a twelve year old “transgender-girl-in-waiting” wants to run around naked in a boys locker room, few of the guys would complain – sorry, that’s just part of the culture and reality). So the majority of the problem is in female bathrooms and locker rooms.

     The next major concern those of us with common sense have is the fear that sexual predators will use the new recommendations to increase activities in places such as bathrooms. Up until now, if a man goes into a female bathroom, he would be arrested if caught, so few do such blatant acts. But, under the new guidelines, nothing would happen to such a man (or male teenager). All he has to do is claim he is transgender (“I feel like I’m a girl”) and since there is no definition or need of proof that you’re transgender, NOTHING CAN LEGALLY BE DONE to him. So what’s to stop him now?  Also, boys will be boys (see cartoon above).

     There are plenty of one occupant at a time bathrooms that are for a man or woman, one at a time. If you have male genitalia but feel female, what problem to do you have peeing in a urinal in a male bathroom? Why do you feel the need to pee in a female bathroom just because you feel female (there are no urinals)? Most of us just don’t really understand your supposed need.

     My bottom line is that this is a problem that was not a problem until progressives have made it a major issue when it’s barely a minor issue. If only 0.1% of the population is transgender, does 99.9% of the rest of society have to change its lifestyle to accommodate those few? Or, is there really a much larger agenda going on here. For years there has been a progressive push for an Androgynous society in which males and females are the same and that gender is irrelevant. This started with the Feminist movement of the 1970’s and has now rapidly progressed to same-sex marriage being legalized. We are now seeing the next step, which is transgender equality in bathrooms and locker rooms. I would not be surprised to soon see a push to rid America of any designation of male or female bathrooms or locker rooms since to the progressive, “What difference does it make.”

     I praise and thank God for those states that have filed lawsuits to stop this egregious new directive. To the majority of America, this does make a big difference.
 


Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter May 28, 2016
WE ALL HAVE INFLUENCE

I imagine we all underestimate how much we influence others by our lifestyle, our speech and our writings. We rarely know who and how many people in our lives we reach. I was reminded of this last week and that will be the subject of this weeks newsletter.
In Hot Springs Arkansas where I live, there is relatively new conservative internet publication called the Hot Springs Daily. They often publish, as an opinion piece, my weekly newsletter. Usually a few local folks respond positively or negatively and I try to answer them. Two weeks ago I wrote, “When Your Word Meant Something.”
This week, I was stunned when there was published a reply from an old friend who I haven’t seen or talked to in two years and who lives in Los Angeles, California. How in the world did he get to read my newsletter on the Hot Springs Daily? What he wrote was very special and I am reprinting it below. We rarely know the extent of our influence. It should also humble us and be a reminder that people watch what we say and do, more than we will ever know.
Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

May 19, 2016
I was Jack’s roommate at the University of Buffalo from 1966-1972 (or thereabouts). I knew Blanche and Max, Jack’s parents; honorable, hard working, successful people. “Your word is your bond” was true. Jack and I grew up in the borough of Queens in New York City. “The Donald” (Trump) grew up in Forest Hills, nearby Bayside where Jack grew up and Kew Gardens where I grew up The 1950’s values then were somewhat different. Our ideas about homosexuality, marriage, out of wedlock children, religion, illegal immigration, abortion vs. the right of the unborn–were different than much of the prevailing views of today. Donald Trump is not a conservative and probably not what many, including me, would consider a Republican. But , I dare say, he has appealed to millions of voters – our fellow Americans. When he says: “I Want to Make America Great Again” what I think he is really telling us is that his values; old fashion “New York values”; the bedrock values of capitalism, hard work, equal opportunity for all (of course including women), educational opportunity, charity, the nuclear family (what I used to know as a father, mother and kids), respect for law (that means respect for the rights of others), respect for law enforcement, respect for your parents and elders (yes we earned it and deserve it). Trump does not say these things in so many words but I’ll bet he believes in them and will eventually project these American values if he is elected. Today the Los Angeles Times published an editorial: “Anybody But Trump” having already endorsed Hillary Clinton. The editorial rehashed what we all know about “The Donald”. If I had my way he would not be the Republican nominee. And, he may not win the general election. But can you truthfully say Ted Cruz would have beaten Hillary? Remember, the primary process began with an unprecedented 17 Republican candidates. They expressed a wide range of ideas and personalities so there really has been a choice. So here we are: The Donald vs. Hillary. In my opinion, Hillary will be a disaster. She will continue and expand on the Obama agenda. We cannot afford another Democratic administration. Trump needs your vote in Arkansas.

Miles Kavaller

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter May 21, 2016

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

I just want to throw out to all of you a thought that has been rolling around in my head for a while. I have no idea as to its validity but it makes some sense to me. I am no more a prognosticator or prophet than anyone else, but what I’m about to share seems to me to be a reasonable analysis as of today, May 21, 2016. I’ve not actually heard this opinion from anyone else even though some others may have expressed something similar. Looking forward to hearing from some of you and getting your opinion.

What have we all been wishing for? We non-Democrats have been anxiously waiting for, almost salivating at the thought of, FBI chief James Comey recommending that Hillary Clinton be indicted over her email scandal. That Attorney General Loretta Lynch will actually act on his recommendation and convene a grand jury and that grand jury will indict her. Depending on when the indictment would occur, we would then expect her not to be chosen as the Democratic Presidential candidate at the convention in August or for her to step down if she has already been chosen at the Democratic convention.

But, what are the potential ramifications of Hillary not being the Democratic candidate? How might this affect Trump’s chances of being elected? It seems everyone has concluded that this would ensure his victory. Is this so? I contend it may be the last thing we should desire.

As we all know, at least at this point in time, Trump has significant negatives among women, Blacks, Hispanics and Millenials. But, as negatives go, so does Hillary. Men can’t stand her, many women don’t like her and Millenials don’t see her as their champion (many have actually said they would vote for Trump). She is not trusted, she is seen as a liar and she is no champion of women’s causes. And let’s not forget Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation and the failed foreign policy decisions in Libya and the Reset with Russia and so much more.

So, what could possibly happen if she is not the candidate? Well, there’s Bernie Sanders. He is a seventy four year old Socialist who if it wasn’t for Superdelegates, might actually be the Democratic candidate. What if he became the Democratic Presidential candidate if Hillary had to drop out?

Many see Bernie as trustworthy and sincere. He has a very low disapproval rating at this time. He has energized the Millenials who come out in the tens of thousands for his rallies and very likely would come out in droves to vote for him in the general election. The rest of the Democratic Party might vote for him just because he is the Democratic candidate and will continue to give “free stuff.” In the latest polls, he beats Trump. Bernie Sanders may actually be the Democratic Party’s best hope to beat Trump in November.

Of course, there’s always Vice President Joe Biden but that’s another discussion. But he too could be a better challenger to Trump than Hillary.

So, as of now, I have stopped wishing for Hillary to be indicted but to actually be the Democratic candidate in November for all the reasons I have listed above. Plus, I think Trump can eat her lunch in the Presidential debates. I believe she is the most beatable Democratic candidate.

Am I nuts? Is this just wishful thinking? Or have I realized something important and noteworthy? If so, let’s keep Hillary running for President and stop wishing for her to have to drop out.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter May 14, 2016

WHEN YOUR WORD MEANT SOMETHING

I was raised during the 1950’s of the twentieth century. To say that 60 years later we live in a different United States is an enormous understatement. It was far from a perfect society but there were many aspects of life and beliefs at that time that I believe were far superior to today’s society and are missed by many.

Those beliefs all started with your parents. It was their job, their duty, to raise us with the right set of values, patriotism and morals. They were to teach us right from wrong. We also had television and movie heroes and heroines that also taught us how we should live and to show respect for others and our elders. We had Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Sky King, the Lone Ranger and Tonto, Gene Autry, Wonder Woman and last but not least, Superman. Each episode of Superman began with “Truth, Justice and the American Way.” We were proud to be the greatest country in the world (for we had also just saved the world from the Nazis and were now trying to save the world from Communism).

I personally remember my Father and Mother teaching me about hard work and honesty. They also taught me, “that your word was your bond.” If a person couldn’t and wouldn’t keep their promises, they were as low a human being as was possible. These were the days when a handshake meant something. You didn’t need written contracts or a team of lawyers. Your integrity was all a person needed.

This leads me to the point of this column. I remember last year when 16 Republican candidates for the office of the President openly and verbally pledged on the first Republican primary debate stage that no matter who eventually won the primaries, they would all support the winner. They worried about Donald Trump running on a third party ticket but even Donald Trump eventually took the pledge making it 17. Maybe the 16 never imagined it could be Donald Trump who eventually would win the nomination, but a pledge is a pledge is a promise. And now many of those are breaking their word along with many other Republicans. Not just being unwilling to support Trump but actively working against him. That’s the equivalent of working against their own political party and helping the Democratic Party. Shame on them!!!

I’m literally sick over what I am seeing in the Republican Party. Or better yet, some members of the Republican Party since no political party is monolithic. But, by calling itself a political party, it is meant to have ideals, as laid out in its party platform, that gives unity. It’s not that everyone will agree 100% with the platform but should agree with the vast majority of the goals. Also, those in the party should support the choice of the voters who voted in the Republican primary Republican. It’s their party; you just represent them (or maybe you forgot this simple truth).

Below is listed what Donald Trump believes and has said he wants to do as President. He may not be the choice of Constitutionally Conservative Republicans but he is far from a liberal and majority of his ideas are otherwise conservative.

You may not like Donald Trump’s personality, his arrogance, his bravado and many other personality traits, but is the alternative to act against him or not even vote in the November election? That would guarantee a Hillary Clinton presidency of Liberal Progressivism, income redistribution and disastrous foreign policy plus so much more.

Some say, “I just won’t vote for the lesser of two evils.” So, is the alternative to vote for the greater of two evils? Or by not voting allowing the greater of two evils to win? I heard this argument in 2012 against Mitt Romney. Looking back at what Obama has accomplished over the last 4 years, is anyone really willing to say that having Mitt Romney, the supposed lesser of two evils, as flawed as many believe he is, that he wouldn’t have been a much better choice? Would he have pressed the Progressive agenda and allowed and encouraged so many changes to our laws, marriage, foreign policy and way of life? I can’t imagine it yet so many conservatives stayed home that he lost the election. Do we want a replay of this thereby allowing Hillary to win? What will America look like in 2020?

So, I beg you all. Let’s stop “eating our own.” If nothing else, Donald Trump at least has the potential to do good, even great things. What potential for good can you expect from Hillary? Or flip that question; do you really believe he would be a worse president than Hillary?
Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter May 7, 2016
JUST A SIMPLE OBSERVATION

I don’t have anything profound or even close to profound to write about this week (and that assumes, whether correctly or incorrectly, that in the past I have written something profound). But, on Sunday, a thought or maybe even an insight did come into my mind that I want to share.
Having now written a weekly opinion piece for the last 16 months (approximately 70 pieces), I can’t even begin to tell you how difficult it is to try to find something of significance to write about each week. Every Monday I strive to find an opinion or insight I want to share and one that I hope is worthy. Also, one that I haven’t written about before since I don’t want to repeat myself.
Having now personally experienced this difficulty, I have an enormous new respect for those professional columnists who write at least two or more opinion pieces weekly and have done so for years. Dr. Charles Krauthammer would be my number one major example. I read him twice weekly and have read his book, “Things That Matter” which contains his best writings. For three decades, he has continued to write a syndicated column at least twice a week. His insights are remarkable along with his ability to convey difficult concepts in a simple manner so that all his readers can understand his reasoning and be educated.
I also read two local papers daily along with opinion pieces from multiple sites on the Internet. Here I find dozens if not hundreds of other skilled columnists who also similarly publish. The one common denominator of all these writers is that they rarely exceed 1000 words. These columns can be read in less than five minutes. Some readers actually complain that these written columns are too long. (I received this reply to my last weeks column of 1000 words – “Some times you make sense, but you are long winded. Are you paid by the word, get to the point, people just stop reading due to length”)

Continuing on, I was sitting in church this last Sunday and listening to a really great and relevant sermon concerning King Solomon, Solomon’s Temple and Israel. The pastor then explained the personal deterioration of King Solomon and also the decline of Israel’s society at that time. It reminded me of our present day American society and how similar are our problems. The sermon then concluded with what King Solomon and Israel needed to do, in this case, to please God so as to continue to have peace and prosperity.
What suddenly struck me was that this sermon was in essence a thirty-minute or more, verbal not written, opinion piece, similar to other written opinion columns; except longer and based on God’s word. Therefore, these sermons were even more difficult to produce than shorter written opinion pieces. There was also the added burden of presenting to a live audience, the congregation. I suddenly realized that for hundreds of years pastors (priests, rabbis, etc.) were each Sunday (sometimes also Sunday and Wednesday nights), year after year, sharing their opinions, with their congregations (listenerships rather than their readerships). It struck me how difficult were their jobs (and here I was complaining about my weekly column) and how skillful they were.
Their purposes were to educate their audience about the content of the Old and New Testaments, to give them new insights into life, society, the world and especially God and then how to use this knowledge to better their lives and the world around them as they followed God’s principles. I just felt the need to praise them for their efforts since they are so often underappreciated.
How similar are the goals of conservative columnists. They desire to educate their readers to believe in America and follow the wisdom of the Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Their readers can then use this knowledge in constructive ways for their own lives and to improve society. Lastly, so that America remains the great country it has been. An America, which needs to remain a shining example to all the peoples of the world of the blessings of liberty and freedom.
America will stop shining if we as a people don’t know any better due to a lack of knowledge and become more like the rest of the world. I am so thankful to all those who continuously educate us.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter April 30, 2016

THE AMERICAN PENDULUM

 
     Bill O’Reilly often states that “he’s just a simple man” when trying to understand and explain complex issues. Whether or not this is true, I must admit that I always try to find simple answers to help me explain and understand complex problems (and even the actions of people). I know life’s issues are more like chess than checkers but sometimes complicated issues can be simplified down to concepts that we can all understand. I know this helps me enormously.
     So, as I do each week before writing this opinion piece, I’ve been thinking. So much of my weekly thoughts always revolve around what we as conservatives believe vs. what liberals believe about the same issues and problems and how both sides desire to fix and correct these problems. I am speaking about liberals (progressives) in general and not about the far left leaders that influence so much of politics for whatever personal gain or agenda. So, what random thoughts have I pondered this week?
     It struck me how often we in the Tea Party are called Far Right and maligned for our beliefs and goals. But, until the mid-twentieth century, the vast majority of Americans would have considered our ideology to be standard American ideals consistent with America’s history and the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. What the Democratic Party now stands for and believes would have been so foreign to the majority of Americans that they would have wanted their leaders to be shipped off to the U.S.S.R. or some other socialist/communist country or tried as subversives.
     My next thoughts turned to the many differences between them (liberals/progressives) and us (conservatives) concerning issues such as welfare, food stamps, immigration, national defense, etc. Again, a simplification, but I do believe I have found another reason which explains our differences (I have written about this once before with a different yet complimentary explanation which can be found below in the article from the March 22, 2015 newsletter).
Let me start by saying that for the most part, I believe the majority of liberals and conservatives want to help people and both desire a better country and even a better world. It’s their solutions and methodology that are so different.  
     What in my opinion have I observed and seems to me to be true for the most part? Liberals desire to solve problems that presently exist and essentially ignore the future and the long-term consequences of their present actions and so called solutions.
     An example might be all the past and present programs to help the poor. Done with good intentions (since there is a problem) but these have led to increased poverty and dependence on the government along with the breakdown of the nuclear family since they don’t solve the problem. Another example would be the desire to immediately help the Syrian refugees because of their plight but refusing to acknowledge the long-term potential danger of unvetted Jihadists slipping in among the refugees leading to increased terrorist acts in the future. In addition, these refugees are not seeking asylum because they desire to become Americans and follow our country’s long-standing way of life but will bring their culture, religion and political beliefs (Sharia) with them. How can that be good for America if one thinks about the future of this country rather than just the immediate need of these unique refugees? Also, let’s not forget the willingness to spend whatever money necessary now to help out “everybody” here and worldwide despite the fact that we have now become a debtor nation with an almost $20 trillion dollar national debt. If we individually spent money on our personal credit card like the government spends money it doesn’t have, eventually we would all have to declare bankruptcy.
     On the other hand (and here’s where I get in trouble), I have observed that we conservatives are frequently very fast to condemn all non-conservative ideas as bad. We seem at times to be the party of NO! For example, take Social Security (or even Medicare) and its controversy, from its beginning till the present. To the vast majority of seniors it is a very good and necessary supplement to their retirement (never intended to be all a retiree would ever need). It was never meant to be an entitlement because people paid into it during their working careers and then they would get this money back during retirement (should have been no different than your IRA or 401K which financially grew over the years). But, both political parties have abused and used it for political purposes (added and added to its original purpose) and have stolen the money that was supposedly put aside (remember the Lock Box).
     How about Climate Change? We conservatives appropriately believe that the issue of man-made climate change is not a fact or a settled issue.  If there is some global warming, why is it not just a natural cycle of the weather, similar to what has been happening for thousands of years? We conservatives are against the harsh methods and many, many new laws (can you say, EPA), which we believe are not warranted. Yet, who would argue that many of the measures put in place in the past  (automobile catalytic converters, increased fuel efficiency, smokestack emissions standards, water standards, etc) have cleaned up the air and smog and lakes and rivers throughout the country? But, it is the next level of laws that seem draconian, excessive and unnecessary.
     So, my thoughts above lead me to conclusion that both sides at times have their extremes. Both sides can at times have good ideas. And, what happens over time is like the swinging of a pendulum. First far to one side’s ideas then far to the other side’s ideas, but with time, the pendulum seeks the middle. For the most part, this has been the standard method of progress of American society.
We surely wouldn’t want to go back to all of “the good old days” of America. Those days included slavery, denial of a women’s right to vote, prohibition and uncontrolled pollution. But we should remember that both sides have added to America’s progress and America’s improvement and a better America has not been limited just to the actions of either group.
     It just seems that under the present administration the pendulum has now swung far to the liberal left. We can only hope the next president and his administration will cause the pendulum to quickly change direction.
 
   
Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter April 23, 2016

THE FAT LADY HAS SUNG

“IT’S ARKANSAS WORKS”

It’s over. Arkansas Works has passed and has been funded.

What else have I personally observed and learned from what has gone on over the last two weeks. And of course, my thoughts can’t include everything that has happened. There’s no way to be comprehensive. I anticipate and expect many to disagree with some or even many of my personal opinions but I have always tried to be honest in my personal opinion pieces.
I have learned that only a minority of our elected officials keep the promises they made while running for office. For most, politics gets in the way of integrity and principles. So sad, but considering what I have now witnessed over the vote for Arkansas Works, I believe my observation to be true.
Those that do keep their word will be attacked, misrepresented, maligned and threatened politically, materially and physically (and one actually had some of his personal property destroyed).
I’ve come to realize and accept that many of the newly elected Republicans are not really true conservatives Republicans but were masquerading as Republicans so as to get elected in a state that has turned red (Republican). Many of these legislators would have been Blue Dog Democrats (conservative Democrats) just a few years ago. In all fairness, maybe they should just be considered moderates (you decide what that means) since they are at least not fully liberal and left leaning as are today’s Democrats.
I’m not actually upset (but that doesn’t mean I’m happy) with Governor Hutchinson as many are over Arkansas Works and his method for getting it funded. (It’s obvious he really wants to keep 250,000 plus indigents insured while allowing $1.7 billion dollars to come into Arkansas). I remember very well during the time Asa was running for office. He never said that he would get rid of the Private Option (many I speak to seem to have forgotten this). He said he would study it and decide what he wanted to do. So his wanting to continue the Medicaid Expansion was not breaking his word or any promise. What he did was to have two advisory task forces (I personally was on one of them) and hired the Stephen’s Group to attempt to recommend ways to “fix the Private Option.” To be totally honest, we didn’t come up with much in the way of significant recommendations (outside of making it more efficient and getting rid of fraud and abuse – duh!). The governor came up with changing the name from Private Option to Arkansas Works and a few minor tweaks (a work requirement, a small monthly fee for some) and then the Federal Government refused to grant the necessary waivers. So essentially nothing changed. So, the Private Option = Arkansas Works.
At first I was angry, annoyed and disappointed with the governor when I heard the plan for amending the DHS funding bill with an amendment that would defund Arkansas Works on 12/31/2016. Why, because it was ploy known by all, that the governor has line item veto power and that he planned to veto that amendment thereby re-inserting funding for Arkansas Works after it passed. Then, it would no longer require 75% to vote for funding. It would then require 50% votes to override his veto and that would be impossible to get. So, the entire DHS funding bill would now pass. The more I thought about it, the more I had to admire his ingenuity (even though I didn’t like it) since all this was 100% legal and fully within the rules of the Arkansas government. It wasn’t even a secret trick since everyone knew his intention. Sadly, what it did do was to get two Senators to vote for the bill who had previously been against it (do they really think their constituents don’t know that they caved in?). Now, the bill could and did pass in both the Senate and House.
I also had to admit to myself that if the governor used a similar ploy to get a conservative piece of legislation passed (such as Pro-Life or Pro 2nd Amendment), we conservatives would probably be ecstatic and consider it brilliant and applaud him for his political savvy.
What I really found most objectionable was the scare tactics used by so many to try to convince the voters that the “sky would fall” and DHS would shut down (hurting the children and seniors, etc.) along with just about everything in Arkansas being underfunded. To those in the know, these claims seemed overstated and wildly exaggerated. They were reminiscent of the methods Governor Beebe and Democrats used in past to pass bills into law.

So, in conclusion, as of today, Saturday, April 23, 2016, Arkansas Works will continue to be funded. Over 250,000 indigent patients will continue to have medical insurance thereby allowing doctors, hospitals and others in the medical field to get paid for their services (and that’s a good thing). This year, the Federal government will pay 100% of the cost, 95% next year and then 90% in 2020 with Arkansas taxpayers covering the difference in the future. The money Arkansas receives will be printed by the Treasury and will further raise the out of control National debt. Those who have Arkansas Works, those who are between 18 and 65 and are healthy and capable of working, will now receive equal healthcare to those who work, pay taxes and also contribute to the cost of their health insurance. But, to those in poverty, their healthcare will be totally for free. No deductibles, no co-pays or co-insurance and all medications free (somehow that just doesn’t seem fair to those who work and pay taxes). And that’s bad.

Let me close with statement concerning my personal tension I have over all aspects of Arkansas Works:

 

JUST BECAUSE SOMETHING IS GOOD
DOESN’T MEAN IT STILL CAN’T BE WRONG.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter April 16, 2016

THE TANGLED WEB OF POLITICS

This has been an incredible last two weeks of politics concerning the Private Option/Arkansas Works. I thought I was beginning to understand the political system after participating within and around it for the last four years. As it turns out, I continuously discover how much I don’t understand plus the realization that, “Am I ever naïve!” So, let me tell you some (but far from all) of my recent “jaded” observations and conclusions.You don’t have to be insane to be in politics, but it really helps. I now believe that many, if not most in political office or running for office, might carry the clinical diagnosis of  “Delusional Masochists.”Delusional because they think or believe they went into politics to make government better and thereby improve people’s lives. That’s why they sought political office and that’s what they promised their constituents and themselves. The delusion is that they actually believed and believe they can realistically achieve this goal (think Mr. Smith Goes To Washington). Then, if elected, the hard reality soon hits them that they are one of many, have little power to change things for the better, the political system is stacked and rigged against them and it becomes next to impossible to consistently adhere to your principles (assuming they had any to begin with). To get anything done, they frequently and often have to compromise beyond what they’re comfortable with or else “the system” punishes them and their constituents. Many end up making choices they never believed they would make.

Masochistic in that they are constantly attacked and questioned by their opposition and frequently even from their friends. It happens even more often if they hold fast to their promises to those who voted them into office.  Those who disagree with them will often viciously and publicly attack them; both for their political stance but frequently also on a personal level. Often this recurs month after month, year after year, election cycle after election cycle. Then, they come back for more abuse by running again for office.  Who in their right mind does that? Who voluntarily takes this abuse?

I’ll tell you who because I personally know them (those in Garland County and surrounding counties) and have observed their behavior throughout this recent legislative session. I am so proud of them because they have adhered to their promises and principles. They are Senator Alan Clark and Representatives Bruce Cozart, Mickey Gates, Marcus Richmond and Richard Womack (there are many others but I don’t know them personally). They ran for office promising to do all in their power to stop the Private Option/Arkansas Works by voting against the actual bill and then also to vote against the bill being financially funded (which would effectively kill it). You may disagree with their votes (and many do) but they were voted into office on this pledge and they are keeping their respective word to the majority who elected them.

I thank God for all who I have labeled Delusional Masochists. Just imagine what politics and government would be like without them. These above legislators are a special breed of people. I am proud to call them friends. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough of them and there never have been.


Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter April 9, 2016

AMERICANS ARE OUTRAGED

 

THERE’S AN EPIDEMIC OF ANGER AND OUTRAGE

 
     Is it just me or does it seem that just about everyone is angry almost all the time? I’m not talking just angry; they’re outraged. And it concerns just about any topic such as politics, religion, race relations, world events, world leaders, etc. You name it, someone’s upset. Oh, I don’t mean in your face or publicly angry since that might be physically dangerous and especially socially unacceptable. Yet, because of the machines (the Smartphones, tablets and computers) that so easily communicate over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc., many people have become critics of just about everything and have opinions about all aspects of life. Sometimes appropriate, often not. They say things and post things that they would almost never say to one another in person.
     Often, these postings are angry responses and comments following a printed article, letter to the editor or a blog.  They’re often anonymous because the person is allowed to use a made up username rather than their real name. When this is the case, the person can say just about anything, no matter how ridiculous, outrageous, profane or just plain stupid. Yet, due to anonymity, they know there won’t be any consequences.
     Frequently the postings are not anonymous (such as on Facebook) yet people still seem to feel they’re somehow shielded from personal consequences. Maybe they feel safe because any potential response, whether it be positive or negative, the response will remain in cyberspace. Maybe both sides just get to have a satisfying catharsis. If per chance the responder really ticks you off or offends you, you can just delete their post and block further replies giving you control over the encounter. What a feeling of potential power. It’s intoxicating and addicting. Why else would there be so much of it.
 

THERE’S ALSO AN EPIDEMIC OF NASTY

 
     I just can’t get over public attacks between people. Just this week, think about the Twitter war when rapper Azealia Banks publicly called for Sarah Palin to be gang raped by a group of black men. And most likely nothing will happen to her. If anything, she will get more popular. What about Black Lives Matter groups advocating for police to be killed and politicians sucking up to these groups as if what they are advocating isn’t premeditated murder.
     What about what’s been going on in politics for the last year? Do any of us remember in our lifetimes such nasty personal attacks? Can you ever remember wives and children of political candidates being attacked? One candidate calling another Little Marco or Lying Ted while the size of another candidate’s hands are featured as if that’s important.
     Despite my dislike for Hillary and Bernie as potential presidential candidates, I was at least impressed by their civility towards each other. Well, that ended this week now that they are attacking each other and I’m expecting it to further escalate.
 
     Hey, I could go on and on. I’m really sorry for just rambling this week. I’m just so fed up with what has happened to American society and its people. It’s going from bad to worse, as is the entire world. And I don’t really know how it’s going to get any better. 
     Sometimes I just want to stop thinking and being involved with any attempt to improve Hot Springs, Arkansas and even the U.S.  But, so like many others, I can’t and won’t. I just hope I can continue to do my part without inappropriate anger, outrage and nastiness while refusing to return evil for evil.  
     Only with God’s help will you and I be able.
 
    
 
   
Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Part

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter    April 2, 2016

AMERICAN’S RESTRAINT IS REMARKABLE

Easter has come and gone but not without further vicious attacks on Christians and Christianity. In Yemen, radical Islamic terrorists of ISIS crucified a Catholic priest on Good Friday after kidnapping him from an old people’s home where they also shot and killed four nuns. Why? Just because they were Christians; infidels. On Sunday, in Lahore, Pakistan, at a playground where Christians were enjoying Easter, a suicide bomber killed seventy children and their mothers. Why? Just because they were Christian; infidels. Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the U.S. government now has declared that ISIL is committing genocide against Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims. It’s about time but what difference will that announcement make?
Since 9/11, there have been 28042 Islamic Terrorists attacks throughout the world. In just the last 30 days, there have been 147 Islamic Terrorists attacks with 1165 killed and 3221 injured. These were carried out by 36 suicide blasts in 25 different countries (Reference: TheReligionOfPeace.com).
Besides the 3000 killed in the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, a number of other terrorist attacks and killings have occurred over the last fifteen years in the United States. None of us have any idea or data concerning how many attacks have been averted or thwarted by local police, the FBI and Homeland Security since these occurrences are essentially kept secret. We might all be shocked to find out how many there have almost been.
So, why have I entitled this message, “American’s Restraint Is Remarkable?” (I will even add Western Europeans and especially the restraint of Jewish Israelis). Answer: It’s because of what we haven’t done in response to our entire civilization, culture and religion being attacked and threatened repeatedly by radical Islam.
Here’s a theoretical scenario by comparison. What if an attack occurred in one of many predominately Muslim Arab countries? During the attack, dozens of Muslims, whether Shia or Sunni, have been killed. A group of Christians, responding to the repeated killings of their people, proudly claim responsibility. They also promise more terrorist attacks and killings. Can you imagine what would happen next? The Imams would preach to their people that the infidels Christians have attacked Islam, Mohammed and Allah. They would issue Fatwas to kill all Christians in the name of Allah. I believe there would immediately be a total annihilation, a holocaust, a genocide of every Christian living in every Muslim country. There would be increased attacks on Christians in non-Muslim countries. I also believe this is the answer to why Christians in Muslim countries have not fought back when attacked by Muslims. They know the horrific inevitable consequences.
Now, despite what CAIR (Council of American-Islamic Relations) and other Muslim groups claim, since 9/11 there has not been widespread discrimination and anti-Muslim attacks in the United States (or Europe) against Muslims or Mosques. According to the FBI, in 2014, 57% of Anti-Religious Hate Crimes targeted Jews (647 instances) with only 16% targeting Muslims (184 instances). In reality, these are just a few episodes out of a population of 320 million Americans.

That is what I find remarkable. This is what I call civilization and civilized people. We continue to have Muslim friends and we go to Muslim doctors. For the most part, we don’t indiscriminately hate but focus our anger only on those who actually commit atrocities. This is why we all should be proud of who we are. We’re not Islamophobic but we do fear those who wish to harm us.
Yet, what I fear is what could happen if terrorist activity increases in the United States. What if, God forbid, bombs blew up in crowded areas of shopping malls, in the middle of Times Square or at local high school football games? What if, as in Israel today, people on the streets of America where indiscriminately attacked (stabbed or shot) by radical Muslims, yelling Allahu Akbar (“God is Great”). Remember, it is estimated that 32% if American households have at least one firearm with 270 million firearms owned by Americans. How long would Americans continue to remain passive, rather than reacting, if they feared for their daily safety, because of the actions of one religious group of people? Even civilized people have their limits.
Maybe this is what ISIS wants and is trying to achieve. I hope and pray we can somehow stop them before they get their wish.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter

March 26, 2016

 

I have to make a confession. I have been on vacation all week and have tried to avoid the problems of the world (for at least this week). Unfortunately, if you don’t turn off the TV and completely avoid the Internet, the world’s problems find you. Of course, seeing and hearing of the terrrorist’s bombings in Brussels was unavoidable.

Prior to that, I had actually found a YouTube video that encouraged me by the person’s willingness to objectively and honestly record his experience at a Donald Trump rally. I have been writing about Donald Trump and the protesters at his rallies and his description of what he experienced I found significant. If you haven’t seen it, it is worth the few minutes.

So, no opinion piece this week except for this off duty policeman’s opinions. PLEASE CLICK ON THE YOUTUBE VIDEO BELOW.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2q6jHad-XG0
Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter March 12, 2016
WHY IS TRUMP SO POPULAR?

Please believe me when I say that I am neither for nor against Donald Trump even though I favor Ted Cruz. What I write below is just my thoughts and analysis of the “Trump Phenomenon,” which it is.

Whether you love Trump or hate Trump, you have got to at least be impressed by what Trump has accomplished since declaring his intent to run for the presidency just nine months ago. His presidential candidacy was originally mocked and thought to be a joke. He was accused of really being for Hillary and this was nothing more than a sham. Essentially no one took him seriously but here we are today. He is leading in primary delegates and just keeps getting more.
So, what is the standard analysis of his success from those who just recently were scoffers? Simple answer: He appeals to those voters of every race, religion and socioeconomic class of either political party who are fed up with politicians, whether they be Republican or Democrat and with corrupt government as it presently functions.
They love his directness and willingness to say what they’re thinking. They applaud his unwillingness to also be politically correct. They concur with him giving the middle finger to the political “establishment.”
He is perceived by many, rightfully or wrongfully, to have earned his wealth by his business acumen, hard work and cunning. Despite being a billionaire, he is “one of us.” They perceive him as a “doer,” not just a “talker.” That he will be able to stand up to and more importantly beat those countries, which have for decades taken advantage of the United States (economically, strategically and in many other ways) and have played the United States for the fool. They believe he knows how to get the economy booming again. That he really loves America, believes she is in decline and wants to “make America great again.” They feel the same way and believe he is capable of doing what he says.
Many believe many of America’s problems stem from illegal, uncontrolled immigration. There are also the potential dangers of Islamic Jihadists interspersed with Syrian refugees. He has promised protections and solutions to these problems.
What is amazing is that they are willing to ignore his obvious personal flaws and inconsistencies. They ignore his few bankruptcies because no entrepreneur ever succeeds on every project and they look at his present multibillionaire status and his overall achievements as evidence that he is extremely successful. Evangelicals ignore his biblical illiteracy and immorality because they want a President who can win. They don’t want a King Saul but a King David or King Solomon who despite their at times sinful ways made ancient Israel the envy and most powerful country in the world. And even many true Conservatives, knowing he is not a true Constitutionalist or social conservative, are still wiling to back him because of his expected fiscal conservatism.
I contend that Trump’s success is more than the logical reasons I have just summarized. Few have ever seen the enthusiasm he generates. Tens of thousands show up to his rallies and scream, yell and wave signs. The common explanation is that he is a populist. I don’t think that explanation is sufficient.

Last week I participated in a Grassroots Leadership conference, which discussed various leadership techniques. One of those was that of Saul Alinsky’s, “Rules for Radicals.” I had thoroughly written about him in the December 5, 2015 newsletter. He was the founder of the Community Organizing movement and its techniques. Whether you like his “Rules” or not, they work well. Maybe too well! The left usually uses these techniques but either group, right or left, can use them successfully.
I was struck by how many of them Donald Trump has and presently employs. This is not meant as a condemnation but just to point out his use of these strategies, which have been so effective. They are successful because they appeal to and stir up our basic human nature.

Below are listed just a few of these rules that Trump uses that are most obvious to me. They are given with examples in no particular order.

* RULE #5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating.
Trump has ridiculed Jeb Bush as having little energy and he’s a loser, he mocks Carly Fiorina’s appearance, he calls Rubio, “Little Marco.” This technique has forced his opponents to retaliate and play his game, not theirs. Trump gets away with it and benefits, they don’t.

* RULE #4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. 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.
Lately, how many times have you heard Trump call Ted Cruz a liar? And because of this accusation, Trump belittles and attacks Cruz’s integrity and therefore claims Cruz’s Christianity is false, hoping this negatively influences Evangelicals.

* RULE #2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. This is why radicals don’t address the “real” issues. They avoid things with which they have no knowledge.
Trump brings up issues to his followers but rarely goes into details on how he will fix those issues. This might only confused them and lose them (that’s assuming he has specific plans)

* RULE #1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. Government and corporations always have a difficult time appealing to people and usually do so almost exclusively with economic arguments.
Trump appeals to his followers because he is a multibillionaire and is therefore powerful. He is so rich that the establishment, money or lobbyists can’t influence or buy him. He doesn’t need them. He will do what he wants and is beholding to know one. He knows their techniques. He’s independently powerful. He also has people all over the world that love him and that he leads, influences and beats in negotiations thereby making great deals.

* RULE #7: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news. So to keep them excited and involved, organizers are constantly coming up with new tactics
Trump is constantly finding new people and ideas to attack and thereby keeps his followers excited. Due to his political incorrectness, which his followers love, he can say and do things that would destroy other politicians.

* 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. Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.
This rule has Trump’s name written all over it. He constantly finds new and different issues and ways to accuse his opponents of wrongdoing. Before they can sufficiently respond, he attacks anew. Another example, in the Thursday March 10th Presidential Primary debate, a “new” Donald Trump showed up with a completely different demeanor. It again kept his opponents off balance.

* RULE #9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.
How many times did Trump intimate he might run as a Third Party candidate if he isn’t “treated fairly?” The thought sent shivers down the RNC’s spine and they backed off. They’re still scared of that. They know only he could break his promise to never run as a third party and get away with it. His followers would still vote for him even if it meant giving the Democrats the win. I don’t believe he would run as a third party, but it is the threat that is effective.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for this week. I hope I have not offended anyone with this new, additional way of explaining the “Trump Phenomenon.” It was not meant to be judgmental; just informative and thought provoking. The more each of us knows and understands about the candidates and how they influence us, the better the choices we can and will make.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 


Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – March 5, 2016

(IT SEEMS TO ME)    TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE

I am sitting in front of my computer on Thursday morning wondering what in the world has happened to supposedly intelligent people in “leadership” in the Republican Party? Those in the “establishment.” Just to be clear, I am not writing about Republican primary voters.
Donald Trump has just overwhelmingly won Super Tuesday and is well on his way to being chosen, by the people, as the Republican candidate for president. Mitt Romney will be giving a speech in a few minutes that will supposedly viciously attack Donald Trump (P.S.- and so his speech did). A large group of previous GOP national security leaders have just issued a letter condemning Trump’s foreign policy. The National Review has declared that Trump is not a Conservative and is unworthy to be President. So have many other Republicans strongly come out against him.
Just to be clear, I have personally endorsed Cruz and am not a huge Trump fan. So I am not beating the drums for Trump but just giving you my observations, thoughts and analysis. What I am writing is not because I want him to be chosen but just my personal analysis of what errors I am observing and what could be the outcome (fallout) of those previous and future mistakes by the Republican Party.
I am disgusted with the stupidity of the actions of those who oppose Trump. Where have you all been prior to the start of the primaries? Why have you so underestimated his appeal “to the people?” By having and still having so many other candidates, they have diluted any chance someone else can consistently lead Trump in the polling. To this day, Trump has not received greater than 50% of the primary votes – a majority. He just leads all individual candidates in most states.
Until recently, most candidates attacked each other, not Trump. It’s typical of the Republican Party. You know what this is called? “Cannibalism!!” It’s when “you eat your own.” Now, Cruz and Rubio are finally going after Trump (I know, many will say he’s not really a Republican but he is the Republican frontrunner and they’re trying to devour him). It seems to me, it’s all “too little, too late.”
At this point, the best those opposed to Trump can hope for is for Cruz, Rubio and Kasich to win a few state primaries and deny Trump the 1237 delegates to guarantee his nomination at the convention on the first ballot. That would lead to a “Contested (Brokered) Convention” with the hope that someone other than Trump would be “coronated.”
If this occurred, do they not realize there would be a “civil war” within the Republican Party? I would anticipate “The Donald” would then run as an Independent (despite his pledge not to) and bring his followers with him. He is smart enough to know he wouldn’t win the Presidency but he would do this to punish the Republican establishment that truly would have treated him “unfairly.”
In my opinion, at this time, the only fair way for someone else to get the nomination would be if the field of candidates were narrowed down immediately to Trump vs. just one other candidate. But who would step aside for the good of the country after all their time, effort and money spend, plus their egos? If that single candidate received over 50% of the upcoming primary votes, that would show proof that Trump was not truly the favorite of the Republican voters. I doubt that will happen but anything is possible, just not probable.
Sadly, all this is occurring while Hillary’s chances of being indicted have just gone up significantly which would increase the Republican candidates chance of wining in the fall. It has been reported today that most likely a grand jury is already hearing testimony about the abuse of her emails and that her computer server IT person has been given immunity to testify about the details of how and why a non-secure server was set up.
My final thought is relatively simple. We conservatives consistently take the Constitutional position that “the will of the people” is what the government and elections should follow. This is central to our basic conservative values. We may not personally like the choice of the majority of the people but once that majority candidate choice is known, he should be treated correctly, fairly and then fully supported. All else would be hypocrisy.
If we don’t support the eventual chosen candidate, what are the two other UNacceptable alternatives? One is voting for Hillary or Bernie, which is unthinkable. The second UNacceptable choice is to not vote at all which is the same as voting for the Democratic Progressive Presidential candidate?
I have also heard some say they are unwilling to vote for what they consider to be the lesser of two evils. So, by not voting, we then get the greater of two evils? How does that make things better?
Finally, no one can claim this political season hasn’t been and continues to be exciting and unique with unexpected twists and turns. I just hope and pray this bodes well for the future of the United States.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – February 27, 2016
THE NEW “PIED PIPER”

I want to spend a few minutes this week on Bernie Sanders. I doubt anyone reading this newsletter is supporting or voting for him but it is still good to know as much as possible about the “other side.” This week, I realized how little I knew about him as a person and his life’s story. Yes, we all know a lot about his being a socialist and being U.S. Senator from Vermont since 2006. We know he wants a political revolution of Democratic Socialism for America. He also wants to punish Wall Street and the Banks and tax the rich and give the money to the poor. He desires free college tuition and Universal Healthcare. He wants “social justice” and a leveling of the playing field for all Americans. He is Robin Hood incarnate fighting all the evil Sheriffs of Nottingham.
I must admit that I disagree with just about everything he wants to do to America. But, when I have listened to him I at least feel he is sincere and was not pandering to the public or flip-flopping (as Hillary does). Bernie has remained the same Bernie and that’s the major problem.
Now having said that, who is Bernie Sanders the person? Until this week I had not seen anything biographical written about him or his life. When I read the article below, I felt I needed to share it with you all.

Bernie and your money

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said last month his parents would never have thought their son would end up in the Senate and running for president. No kidding. He was a ne’er-do-well into his late 30s.
“It’s certainly something that I don’t think they ever believed would’ve happened,” the unabashed socialist remarked during a CNN Democratic town hall forum.
He explained his family couldn’t imagine his “success,” because “my brother and I and Mom and Dad grew up in a three-and-a-half-room rent-controlled apartment in Brooklyn, and we never had a whole lot of money.”
It wasn’t as bad as he says. His family managed to send him to the University of Chicago. Despite a prestigious degree, however, Sanders failed to earn a living, even as an adult. It took him 40 years to collect his first steady paycheck—and it was a government check.
“I never had any money my entire life,” Sanders told Vermont public TV in 1985, after settling into his first real job as mayor of Burlington.
Sanders spent most of his life as an angry radical and agitator who never accomplished much of anything. And yet now he thinks he deserves the power to run your life and your finances—“We will raise taxes;” he confirmed recently, “yes we will.”
One of his first jobs was registering people for food stamps and it was all downhill from there. Sanders took his first bride to live in a maple sugar shack with a dirt floor, and she soon left him. Penniless, he went on unemployment. Then he had a child out of wedlock. Desperate, he tried carpentry but could barely sink a nail.
Then he tried his hand freelancing for leftist rags, writing about “masturbation and rape” and other crudities for $50 a story. He drove around in a rusted-out, Bondo-covered VW bug with no working windshield wipers. Friends said he was “always poor” and his “electricity was turned off a lot.” They described him as a slob who kept a messy apartment—and this is what his friends had to say about him.
The only thing he was good at was talking . . . non-stop . . . about socialism and how the rich were ripping everybody off. “The whole quality of life in America is based on greed,” the bitter layabout said. “I believe in the redistribution of wealth in this nation.”
So he tried politics, starting his own socialist party. Four times he ran for Vermont public office, and four times he lost—badly. He never attracted more than single-digit support—even in the People’s Republic of Vermont.
He finally wormed his way into the Senate in 2006, where he still ranks as one of the poorest members of Congress. Save for a municipal pension, Sanders lists no assets in his name. All the assets provided in his financial disclosure form are his second wife’s. He does, however, have as much as $65,000 in credit-card debt.
Sure, Sanders may not be a hypocrite, but this is nothing to brag about. His worthless background contrasts sharply with the successful careers of other “outsiders” in the race for the White House. The choice in this election is shaping up to be a very clear one. It will likely boil down to a battle between those who create and produce wealth, and those who take it and redistribute it.

So now you know “the rest of the story.” Bernie is a habitual loser who wants to run America. Despite his dismal personal achievements, he is mesmerizing a fairly large portion of young people (Millenials – those born from 1980 to 2000 -16 to 36 years old) to follow him like the “pied piper” lead those to destruction. Heaven help America!
Even though he will probably not succeed in displacing Hillary Clinton from the Democratic nomination (unless she is indicted), his significant appeal to so many should bring great anxiety to those of us who believe in free enterprise and economic freedom. Why do so many want to do away with the economic system that has lifted up the greatest number of people out of poverty and has given Americans enormous prosperity? I guess the answer is that getting it all for “free” just sounds so good. Alas, that only works in “fantasyland,” not the real world.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – February 20, 2016
To my friends and supporters:

WHY I WILL NOT RUN IN NOVEMBER

FOR POLITICAL OFFICE

Please allow me to walk you through a story that began in 2012 and then again in late 2015.

THE PAST

Every two years, three of the six City Directors are elected. In 2012, I was suddenly and unexpectedly asked to run for City Director, District 6. I had only been attending the Tea Party lunches for about six weeks but I guess my questions and discussions with the Tea Party leadership made them believe I was a viable candidate and a conservative despite being a relatively unknown individual in Hot Springs. It also helped that they had no one else who would run. I had never, ever thought of running for any political position but they assured me that I could easily win against an incumbent by the name of Tom Daniels (it actually turned out to be Randy Fale). It all happened so fast and I guess I was so flattered that after speaking with Marilyn, my wife, I said yes. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.
To those that have never run for office, you need to know it is hard work, expensive, time consuming, exhausting, humiliating, frustrating and often a dishonest process. Yet, it is also exciting and you get to meet and know hundreds of new people and your life is never the same; in reality, only better. I now know a decision to run for office should not to be made lightly but only after much thought and prayer.
After deciding to run, I was blessed to have many in the Tea Party help me with my campaign especially since I had no idea what I was doing or what had to be done. They set up Meet and Greets at people’s homes where I gave personally written short 20-30 minute speeches. After the speech I asked for donations (money) to fund my campaign (eventually raising $16,000) and requesting people’s votes. This was the most humbling thing I had ever done in my life. Multiple candidate forums were attended with speeches given and these were followed by question and answer sessions.
Signs of various sizes had to be designed, ordered, received and then inserted in the ground in various locations after asking and getting permission (I’ll bet you don’t know how much rock there is just 3-4 inches below the ground). “Push cards” were written and designed and were given out at events and also mailed to those living in District 6. Political ads were placed in the Sentinel Record, the local newspaper. The physically hardest part of campaigning was walking door to door in 95-degree or more summer afternoons and evenings, day after day. The fun part was for two weeks before the election, you and your friends stand on street corners waving your signs twice a day and waving at people and they respond back to you by honking and giving you thumbs up.
The emotionally hardest and most devastating aspect of the election process is when the opposition circulates rumors and lies about you as a person. There is so little you can do to correct the false information. Your integrity is questioned and you’re just so frustrated.
Then came election night. I barely lost, 51-49%. I really wasn’t depressed. I had done much better than I expected against my opponent (Randy Fale) and it was a “once in a lifetime experience.” I swore to my wife and myself I would never do it again. Once was enough.

THE PRESENT

Fast forward to late 2015. Many conservative groups began discussing plans for the November 2016 elections for City Director, Districts 1, 3, & 6. I was approached by many, many individuals and groups and asked to seek the position for City Director. Many were unhappy with the present director and truly believed I could win the position if I chose to run. Additionally, no one else was seeking the position.
I have to honestly say that I had no desire to put my wife and myself through the ordeal of again campaigning for political office. I don’t seek the “power” that comes with having a political position nor do I care about any other secondary personal gain. Yet, I have come to really love Hot Springs and am unhappy with the way the City Directors have dictated policy and repeatedly ignored the desires of the people they represent. And I hate the way they disrespectfully treat the County. Wanting better for Hot Springs and believing I could be a part of its improvement and believing I could win, I agreed to again seek the City Director position.
Why did I believe I have the best chance to win? Since 2012, I had become well known in the community and believe I have a good reputation for integrity and my political opinions. During the last three years I had become Chairman of the Garland County Tea Party, 2nd Vice Chairman of the Republican Party, Board member of the Charitable Christian Medical Clinic (where I also volunteer as a physician), I was a monthly guest on Dick Antoine’s radio talk and call in program. In addition, I had written a weekly conservative opinion column in the Garland County Tea Party newsletter and I often wrote letters to the editor in the Sentinel Record newspaper. People knew who I am and what I stand for.
During this time I met a young woman (at least younger than me) by the name of Renee Westfall. She is a lifetime resident of Hot Springs and has great knowledge of the history of the city and its politics. She too is very unhappy with the city’s leadership and desires to change it. Our views and desires concerning Hot Springs are very similar. She and I met many times. I often asked her if she was going to run for City Director. She repeatedly and publicly said she was not going to run for City Director, District 6. Assuming I would win, I looked forward to her advising and helping me improve city government.
Near the end of the year, Renee changed her mind and has now committed herself to also run for the same position I agreed to seek. Many have asked her not to run since they believe I have a better chance of winning. They believe defeating the present City Director is of primary importance. Her Facebook answer to everyone on January 21st was, “No, I will not bow out. My intention is to win for the people of Hot Springs to reclaim their voice in government.”
I believe Renee will make an excellent City Director. What I don’t know is whether or not she can defeat the present incumbent director. I believe Renee and I would appeal to the same group of people who are unhappy with the present city directors. If so, their votes would be split between the two of us and would guarantee a victory for the present City Director. I care too much for the future of Hot Springs to let that happen. This campaign is not about me; it’s about Hot Springs’ future.
It would be foolish and arrogant of me, knowing and believing I was going to lose, to spend 6-8 months campaigning and also raising and spending $20-25,000 of other people’s money. There would be no way to win if your voter base is split between two similarly politically minded candidates.

So, I hereby declare publicly, I WILL NOT RUN for City Director, District 6 in November 2016. I know I am disappointing many of my friends and I so thank you all for trusting and believing in me. I truly hope you understand my reasoning as put forth in this letter. Better to give Renee a chance to win than both of us losing and thereby hurting Hot Springs’ future.

Should Renee for any reason change her mind before the final filing date, I would of course reconsider. I truly wish Renee the best.
Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – February 13, 2016

THERE IS STILL HOPE

I assume we have all been watching the results of the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries. I would imagine that you have also listened to and watched a number of the speeches given after the results have been announced. This then followed by analysis after analysis by supposed political experts.

If you’re like me politically (and I assume you are if you’re getting this newsletter), then the most frightening candidate is COMRADE Bernie Sanders. I can’t even imagine the United States becoming a “Democratic” Socialist country (he keeps emphasizing “Democratic” so the majority of the public will think that somehow it’s not real socialism; somehow a better version). He attempts to convince his listeners that somehow stealing from one group of people and giving to another group is fair, right and just. 

But what scares me the most (but doesn’t surprise me) is how young people, the so called Millenials, are so ecstatic towards his message. Watching them as he speaks, I just wonder if they are stoned on his message, something else, or both. 

That’s why I was so encouraged on February 11th to read the Arkansas Democrat/Gazette guest writer below.  He is a Millennial that gives me hope  for the future. 
 
 
CONSERVATIVES CARE

Republican youth are far from selfish

JEREMIAH MOORE

SPECIAL TO THE DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE   FEBRUARY 11, 2016
 
     It is often said that today’s youth are quite liberal. Others add that Generation Y, or Millenials, as they are better known, are the “laziest generation” yet. According to the experts, we are less industrious, moral, and hardy than our forebears.
     As the chairman of the Arkansas Federation of College Republicans, I would respectfully disagree with such statements of overarching characterization.
     The conservative youth of our proud state are anything but members of the laziest generation. We are concerned citizens. We are active members of our local communities. We believe in a promising future, and we are willing to work for the American Dream.
     In regard to the perceived “liberalism” of America’s youth, we do in fact care about our neighbors (the idea of “caring” being a liberal buzzword). We greatly desire to share in the opportunity that our nation’s democratic liberty provides. One might even describe us as “socially conscious.”
     While this idea of social consciousness is often attributed to liberalism, conservative youth are here to reclaim the idea that caring about individuals is not just a Democrat’s concern.
     While the traditional Republican mantra has been one of hard work and bootstrapping one’s way to success, the Democratic mantra has been one of government empowerment. It’s easy to see how people might be persuaded to vote Democratic. Nevertheless, that is not the message of the incoming generation of conservative leaders.
     While we believe hard work is absolutely necessary, we emphasize that smaller government creates more opportunity. Smaller government empowers individuals to pursue their dreams without the shackles of bureaucratic red tape. We want a hand up, not a hand out. In reference to the age-old adage, we want to teach individuals to fish, not just give them a stamp for it.
     As socially aware individuals, Arkansas Republican youth are also fiscally conscious. We understand that with a mounting national debt of almost $19 trillion, we will someday be responsible for the bill. It’s not typical for youth to lecture their elders about monetary responsibility, but faced with college loans, job placement, and next month’s rent, the national debt is a concerning crisis.
     We believe that America cannot keep wading deeper into the waters of financial irresponsibility.

     The youth of Arkansas are ambitious, engaged, and hopeful for a bright future. Our message is clear: We care that people are able to live the American Dream.
     Our conservatism is not a selfish one, but one that desires for all individuals to have the chance to pursue their visions of life, liberty, and happiness.
  Through limited government, expanded opportunity, self-determination, and personal responsibility, we are determined to flourish, and make this nation proud.
—––––– › –––––—
Jeremiah Moore is the chairman of the Arkansas Federation of College Republicans, the largest youth political organization in the state.
 
————————————————————————————————
Those of us who are of the Christian faith place our ultimate hope in the Second Coming of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. But until that time comes, we all must find hope in people and those who have leadership over us. Reading this young man’s thoughts helps me to not believe all Millenials and young people are like those waving signs and screaming loudly behind Comrade Sanders. Not all young  people expect and demand to get things they have not earned.

Whether he knows it or not, Jeremiah Moore is Tea Party. I would be honored to meet this young man.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – February 6, 2016
PRIMARY SOAP OPERAS

As I write this newsletter, I am sitting in a beautiful condominium in Park City, Utah. We arrived Sunday and after it stopped snowing on Monday, on Tuesday, I had the best day snow skiing I can ever remember. At 68 years old, I never expected to ski that well ever again.

But, I awoke on Wednesday with a terrible head cold and viral-like symptoms. Needless to say, I then spent the rest of the week inside watching the television’s talking heads pontificate on the results of the Iowa caucus and then discuss the upcoming New Hampshire primary. I was even so bored that I watched the Democratic debate between Hillary and Sanders.

What have I learned? I’ve learned that the process leading up to choosing the Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates is the equivalent of a daytime soap opera with all its intrigue. No matter where you pick it up, you can figure out the plot. The exaggerations, lies, innuendos, backstabbing, dirty tricks, accusations, belittling and bravado never ends and just keeps accelerating. Yet, it’s so entertaining. You have to keep watching for fear you might miss something even though you say you don’t really care. It’s striking to watch different TV networks and their prejudices towards different candidates, pro and con. How they can emphasize some aspect of the race for or against their choice.

Now think for a moment about the insanity of the innumerable political polls that have been reported over the last 6 months, the last month and the last few days before the Iowa Caucus. Nobody had it right. They were all useless. Trump was supposed to get 28% to Cruz’s 24% but it ended up just the opposite. Rubio was to have 13% but got 23%. So why do all networks keep reporting rubbish? Why are the polls so inaccurate? Probably because of their inability to get a representative sample of voters due to fewer and fewer landlines, more mobile phones, peoples unwillingness to answer their phones due to caller id or to take the polls, inherent bias of internet polling, etc.

The Eleventh Commandment was a phrase used by late President of the United States Ronald Reagan during his 1966 campaign for Governor of California. The Commandment reads: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican. Well, how’s that working out? Hillary and Sanders seem to be wisely following Reagan while the Republican field of contenders are devastating and attacking each other. The blood is running in the streets. How will they all then turn around and hug one another when “the One” is chosen? The Republicans are verbally attacking each other with great research that the Democrats will later use against their own candidate. Oh, the insanity of politics.

As of this writing, there are still eight Republicans in the New Hampshire primary. Outside of Trump, they are all spending (wasting) millions of dollars on advertising. When finally one is chosen, then fundraising starts again so more money can be wasted on both sides. Yet, what other choice or alternative is there?

Finally, after having said all this, I do acknowledge the importance of who will be our next president even if the mechanism of getting elected is so flawed (and always has been).

If a Democrat, we can all expect more and more progressive policies.

If a Republican, at this point, we don’t know what to expect. Will it be a Social Conservative, a Fiscal Conservative or a Constitutionalist or a combination of all of the above?

At this point, all I can say is, “Stay Tuned

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – January 30, 2016

PATRIOTIC AWARDS BANQUET

My opinion for the week,
THE GARLAND COUNTY TEA PARTY

ROCKS!!!!

The First Annual Garland County Tea Party Patriots Award Banquet was held on Thursday evening, January 28th. Tom Wilkins’ downtown Hot Springs Five Star Theater was home for a sold out crowd of over 125 patriots. The evening began with a wonderful buffet supper, which was then followed by many patriotic activities.
Those in attendance enjoyed the presentation of the U.S. and Arkansas flags by the Hot Springs Honor Guard. Nancy Carlton beautifully sang the national anthem. A bugler played the official songs of the different branches of our Armed Services as those who had served stood for recognition].

Dr. Jack Sternberg welcomed and thanked everyone for coming to the event. All the elected officials in attendance were then recognized by name for their service to the city, county and state. Rebecca Seewald then amazingly sang, “Let Freedom Ring.” (If this song didn’t get you all fired up, your wood is all wet).

Jack then introduced Tom Wilkins, the evenings’ Master of Ceremonies and long time patriot and promoter of entertainment in Hot Springs. Jack read a short but impressive summary of many of the projects Tom had accomplished over the years.

Tom then introduced the guest speaker of the evening, Jan Morgan.

She gave a challenging, encouraging and convicting talk about America, patriotism and the need to be personally active in saving our country. She reminded us of the sacrifices of our Founding Fathers to have the opportunity we to live in the greatest country in the world. We have to continually remember to fight to keep the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as the foundation of our country. The Second Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms, is what guarantees and protects us all from government tyranny and personal harm.

Then came the announcements of who won the Patriotic Awards:

Patriotic Volunteer of the Year — Clay Herrmann

Patrick Henry Award — Mayor Ruth Carney

Patriotic Media Award — Hot Springs Daily e-paper

Patriotic Business Award — The Gun Cave

Patriotic Organization Award —
Garland Good Government Group (GGGG)

Patriotic Bulldog Award — George Pritchett

Patriotic Woman of the Year — Dianna Cowan

Patriotic Man of the Year — Dr. Jack Sternberg

Patriotic Lifetime Achievement Award — Hettie Lou Brooks

The evening concluded with an uplifting song sung by Rebecca Seewald.

To sum up the eveining, it was a great night for all those in attendance. It honored so many who have served the cause of freedom in our community. It included all those who were nominated to those who won their categories. It also honored everyone who attended and have shown his or her patriotism over the years.

Finally, it was a call and a reminder to continue all our efforts to keep America, America. The greatest country in the world.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party

 

 

Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – January 23, 2016
SEEKING ADVICE

I had written a very powerful opinion piece for this week’s newsletter but you might never get to see it. You are probably wondering, “why not?” The answer has to do with the following Old Testament scripture that I try my hardest to adhere to:

Proverbs 12:15
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice (counsel)

I have now written a weekly opinion piece for the last 52 weeks. I usually write it early in the week and then look it over the next day and usually find something I didn’t say or something that I could have said better. I NEVER send it out without at least two and often more people looking at its content, spelling and grammar. My wife Marilyn is always the first whose opinion I seek; then others. I always ask for their opinions and advice concerning the appropriateness of what I have written. Is it consistent with the ideals of the Tea Party? Could I have said it better? Can you think of anything I should add to clarify or improve upon what I have written? Is it worthy to be sent out to over 950 people on the newsletter’s mailing list? Does it make sense? And finally, should I even send it?

Without getting into details, I was very upset and hurt over an encounter I had with a group of people. I wrote a newsletter opinion piece for all of you to read about why I was upset and how they needed to change. Immediately when my wife read it, she encouraged me not to publish it in the newsletter. Even though she thoroughly agreed with the content of what I had written, she wisely advised me to send it as a letter directly to those in the group and not make it a public issue. By keeping it private, there would be a greater probability that the letter could lead to future improvement concerning the issues I had addressed.

I also discussed this with the Tea Party leadership group that meets every Wednesday. Even though I am the Chairman, I do not unilaterally make decisions for the Garland County Tea Party. All plans and directions for our group are thoroughly discussed by the members in leadership. Concerning this opinion piece, most agreed with Marilyn that I shouldn’t use the newsletter to address the problem.

What have I learned over the years and what can we all learn from this situation? I’ve learned the hard way not to go it alone. When I make major decisions, whether they are life choices or financial decisions, it is always best to hear the wisdom of those I trust and respect. It is then that my (our) chances of choosing wisely are vastly increased.

In today’s world and society, we all think we know best. In some areas, that may be true but more likely, we all could use a little help. To think otherwise is arrogance. Many problems could be avoided if we just slowed down and were willing to listen more and maybe speak a little less.

I know and accept that I’m the first one needing to take my own advice. Hopefully, I will as will you.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – January 16, 2016
KEEPING IDENTITIES SAFE

It may surprise you all, but I don’t always have a weekly opinion to share. Or at the very least least, I’m not yet ready to share on paper something that’s on my mind.

Two weeks ago, I wrote an informational newsletter concerning the penalty, or lack of penalty, for just carrying a firearm into a “gun free zone” There have so many people thanking me that I thought I might try again to share some knowledge I have gained over my lifetime (often after I have made a mistake and had to correct it). The present topic is a significant problem that few people understand and specifically, what they can do about it.

The problem is “Identity Theft.” When cyber thieves use your personal information (birthdate, address, Social Security number, etc.) to open new credit card accounts or directly buy merchandise. We all hear about it constantly. Many years ago I contracted with LifeLock identity protection and paid yearly for their services. At some point, I actually and finally called them and asked them how they protect my identity. The simple answer was that they monitor for identity theft and notify me “immediately” after my identity has been compromised or stolen. Then, they will help me restore my destroyed credit rating. Well, that didn’t make me feel very good and safe. Where was the proactive protection?

So, years ago I did my own research and found a relatively simple and almost free (just a few dollars one time) way to totally protect myself. I recently found a great article explaining what I have known and have been doing personally for years. I could not have said it any better so here’s what you need to know to be safe:
Why and when you should consider freezing your credit reports

JOSEPH PISANI
The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Freeze your credit reports before you get burned.

That’s the message from security experts, consumer advocates and some state Attorneys General. They say more people should consider a credit freeze as a way to block identity thieves from opening new credit cards and other accounts in your name. They recommend a freeze even if your identity hasn’t been stolen.

“It’s much better to shut the door before it even takes place,” says Mike Litt, a consumer program advocate at the nonprofit U.S. Public Interest Research Group. “You can save yourself so much time and headache.”

I didn’t listen, and now I regret it. Someone recently applied for 10 credit cards in my name and opened two wireless phone accounts. Removing the fraudulent activity off of my credit reports took hours: I had to make several phone calls, send paperwork and fill out a police report. And my credit score will probably be hurt temporarily until everything is removed. I could have avoided all that if I had frozen my credit reports earlier.

But there are some downsides to a credit freeze to consider. It also blocks you from opening new lines of credit, so if you plan to take out a mortgage or apply for a new credit card you’ll need to remember to unfreeze it each time. And residents of some states have to pay a fee for a freeze.

Here’s more on how credit freezes work:

Q: What happens during a credit freeze?
A: New creditors won’t be able to view your credit reports. That prevents new credit cards or loans from being opened since lenders look at credit reports to decide whether to offer you credit. Instead they’ll see that the report is frozen. The freeze won’t affect any credit cards or loans you had before the freeze was placed; those creditors will still be able to see your reports.

Q: When should I freeze my credit report?
A: It’s a must if an account has been opened in your name or if you’ve been notified that your Social Security number was taken in a data breach. Even if identity theft hasn’t struck, you still should seriously consider it, since data breaches have become so common. So far in 2015, there have been 766 data breaches at banks, government agencies and big companies, exposing more than 178 million records, according to the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center. A breach of government records, for example, exposed Social Security numbers of about 26 million federal employees and their spouses.

Q: How do I freeze my credit report?
A: Contact each of the three credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You’ll need to freeze your credit report at all three because some creditors only use one. Contact Equifax at www.freeze.equifax.com or 800-349-9960, Experian at experian.com/freeze/center.html or 888-397-3742 and TransUnion at transunion.com/securityfreeze or 888-909-8872. They’ll ask you for your Social Security number, name, address and other details.

Q: How much does a credit freeze cost?
A: It depends on the state laws where you live. Fees are typically between $3 and $10 to freeze each credit report, and you may pay another fee to unfreeze. Freezes are free at a few states, including Indiana and Maine. Fees may also be slightly different at each credit agency.

Q: Will the freeze hurt my credit score?
A: No.

Q: Is this different than credit monitoring?
A: Yes. Credit monitoring services, which you have to pay a monthly fee for, alerts you if a new account is opened or other suspicious activity takes place. A credit freeze is the only way to stop criminals from opening new accounts in your name. Some experts don’t recommend credit monitoring because it’s expensive, as much as $20 a month. Instead, you can monitor your credit report on your own. You’re entitled to get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three agencies once a year at www.annualcreditreport.com .

Q: When do I need to unfreeze my credit reports?
A: If you’re applying for a mortgage or auto loan or credit card. That’s because lenders check your report to see if they should lend to you. You can ask the lender what credit reporting agency they use and unfreeze that one, says Litt. You can unfreeze a credit report temporarily or permanently at any time.

Q: How do I unfreeze my credit reports?
A: By contacting the credit agencies again. When you ask to freeze your credit reports you’ll get a number that you will need to save. That number will be your key to unfreezing your account, so keep it in a safe place. Losing the number will delay removing the freeze.

Q: Will a freeze protect me from all identity theft?
A: No, it only stops thieves from opening new accounts. Thieves can still use your existing credit or debit cards to make fraudulent charges, so you will still need to check your statements every month. It also doesn’t protect against other types of identity theft, such as taking out prescription medication in your name or filing fraudulent tax returns, says Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of The Identity Theft Resource Center.

So, in summary, I personally have frozen my credit reports years ago with all three credit reporting agencies. It did it simply over the Internet. Two years ago, I changed my mobile phone service from AT&T to Verizon. I gave them my credit card for Autopay but I then received a call that they couldn’t set up my account because they attempted to check my credit but the credit agency wouldn’t release my credit report (It really works). I asked them which agency. After they told me, I went on the Internet only to that one agency’s website, put in my special code, temporarily unfroze my report for 5 days (it froze itself again automatically) and all was well.

I beg you all. Don’t be lazy. Protect yourselves. It’s so simple.

“A WORD TO THE WISE SHOULD BE SUFFICIENT.”

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – January 9, 2016
INVOLUNTARY ANNEXATION

How boring life would be if we as citizens of Hot Springs and Garland County didn’t have an issue to be upset or even angry over. Not to say those emotions are not righteous, appropriate and necessary. It’s that there is always something. I guess it is human nature that if you put three people in a room, you get four opinions. No one has a monopoly on always being correct. And I sure don’t. Just read my autobiography.

So, what’s the latest controversy?

“To Annex or Not Annex, that is the question.”

It’s possible that some have missed the origin of this controversy and its latest manifestation.

To review, the 2015 Arkansas General Assembly passed a law (Act 109) which stated it was now permissible and legal for a city to annex an area (enclave) without those living in the areas approval as long as the area was bordered on three sides by the city and the fourth side was a lake or river (or another state, a military base, a state park, or a national forest). This empowered the City of Hot Springs to propose annexing five enclaves (A,B,C,D,E) which surround Lake Hamilton. Enclave A has already been annexed by a vote of the Hot Springs City Directors.
For the last two months, citizens from both the City and County and from the proposed annexation areas have publicly expressed their opinions, for and against the annexations. The City Directors then have the final vote “to Annex or Not Annex.” So far, Enclave A has been annexed. They are now looking at annexing Enclave B.
Arguments for annexation can be as simple as it is just illogical for there to be little pockets of the county that presently surround Lake Hamilton that are well within the surrounding city limits. It is inefficient for county services to have to make special trips, crossing areas of the city, to serve these areas. That with annexation, there would be better police and fire protection along with simpler waste disposal. That the residents would see their water bills decrease since county residents pay 50% more for their water. There would be an improvement in ISO firefighting ratings so that homeowners would see a savings on their home insurance.
Arguments against annexation have been well expressed by George Pritchett, Skip Houston, Russ Skallerup and many others who have spoken at the City Board meetings and have written in the Sentinel Record. The arguments can be broken down to personal and economic.
Many enclave (county) residents just don’t want to be city residents. They specifically bought their homes to be in the county rather than the city. They don’t want to live under the city’s extra rules and regulations.
The economic arguments include the fact that city services will be “diluted” as existing resources will provide services and public safety protection to possibly 20 percent more people and area. Presently the city has no plans to construct the additional fire stations they say are needed. Nor does the city have the money to do so. Annexation will not improve city revenue unless a property millage tax is imposed since these are mostly residential areas. The annexed areas will cost the city more than they generate. Garland County isn’t fighting these enclave annexations as the responsibility and costs for all services (such as street maintenance) are shifted to the city, while the county only experiences a loss of state turnback revenue. In essence, the city has little to gain and much to lose.
The city’s Board of Directors have heard all these arguments before and still voted to annex Enclave A. I expect in the near future they will annex the other four areas they have proposed. Are they not listening to the people? Are the people who speak representative of the citizens of the enclave areas or are they just angrier and more vocal and more willing to go to the Board meetings and object? The answer is, who knows?
So, what would I do if I were presently a City Director? I would not annex any further areas without a vote of the enclave residents; for or against and I would have the vote on Election Day, November 8th, so as to maximize the vote. I would then make my decision based on the will of the majority. I would not want city residents to also vote since it is the enclave area residents who are personally and most affected.
But, since I don’t expect our City Directors to do what I consider to be fair and just, I am making the following proposal. In the near future, before the city board can vote again on annexation, the Garland County Tea Party along with other concerned citizens should lead in an effort to have private vote. The vote would allow those who live in the enclave areas the opportunity to chose whether they wish to be annexed or not. The results could then be presented to the Board of Directors. They would then truly know the will of the people and then hopefully they would act accordingly.
Let me know what you think of my suggestion. I think it is “fair and balanced” and just might be acceptable to all parties involved. But that’s just my opinion. Better yet, my hope.

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party
Garland County Tea Party Weekly Newsletter – January 2, 2016

A MADMAN’S INVITATION

 

As most of you know, I am a retired Medical Oncologist. To maintain my medical license, I am required yearly to have many hours of CME (Continuing Medical Education) credits. Each week I receive one hour of CME by attending a very informative weekly cancer conference at what is now CHI St. Vincent’s hospital. This last week I noticed for the first time the above sign (No Firearms or Weapons Allowed) on the entrance to the hospital.
For at least ten years, I have and maintain my Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) Permit. For the last two years, I carry whenever I am outside my home. I feel it necessary because of increased crime here and nationwide along with the infrequent but yet real threat of mass public shootings by either deranged individuals or terrorists. I personally am also extra concerned because I am the Chairman of the Garland County Tea Party and write this weekly outspoken newsletter. I am also Jewish and Christian.
Here’s my dilemma. What to do about secretly carrying a concealed weapon into an area of a private business (not a government building) that posts “no firearms allowed” and is therefore a “gun free zone?” So I asked a local gun store owner what happens if you’re discovered since I didn’t know and many of you also might not know. He told me the consequences of carrying a firearm in a private establishment, If you aren’t a concealed weapons permit holder it’s a misdemeanor. If you have a CCW permit, it’s a felony (because supposedly you should know better).
I was also told something similar by a local bank president whose bank also has the above policy. I asked him why such a policy? His answer was that the bank would rather give an armed robber the money (since the bank and the money are insured) than risk people being shot trying to save the money. It was for me to wonder what about the right to save your own life if the robber just doesn’t walk out of the bank (i.e. – teller hits the alarm, the bank is surrounded by police and now there’s a hostage situation – that’s what always happens on TV)? My life’s not insured by the bank: only the money. Only my weapon gives me a chance of survival. Who has the right to deny me that chance?
So before publishing this newsletter, I decided to fact check the Arkansas penalty for having a firearm in a “gun free zone”. I found nothing on the Arkansas State Police CCW permit website nor could I find any applicable law on the Internet (using Google) for Arkansas. I then spoke with a number of CCW permit instructors who I thought would/should know and none of them had an answer. I contacted my son, a Pulaski County Deputy Sheriff, and he didn’t know. I then asked Jason Stachey, Acting Hot Springs Chief of Police who met with Terri Harris, Garland County Prosecuting Attorney, who gave me the answer. This answer was then confirmed by the Arkansas State Trooper CCW Permits office and finally by Arkansas Attorney General, Leslie Rutledge, who I spoke with personally.
The answer is that there is no specific law or penalty for being caught carrying or having a firearm in a “gun free zone.” The offense would be treated as trespassing. If the business owner asks you to leave and you do so, no crime has been committed. If you refuse to leave and law enforcement is called, you could be charged with Criminal Trespassing; a misdemeanor and that would still be decided by the local prosecuting attorney. So the original information I was given turned out to be totally wrong. I will bet that many of us have been worried over the years believing we were violating a written state law if we carried into a private business “gun free zone”. I hope this really helps all of us who believe in the 2nd Amendment.

Now for the bigger issue:

Does anyone in their right mind really think that the above sign stops “bad guys” from entering their establishment with firearms intending to do evil? If it did, I doubt that we would have had the following:
Of the recent shootings that have captivated headlines, many have occurred in posted “gun-free zones”: the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California; Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado; Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg Virginia; Fort Hood, Texas and Chattanooga, Tennessee, like all U.S. military bases; Century 16 Cinema in Aurora, Colorado; and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut. On and on it goes. Since at least 1950, all but two public mass shootings in America have taken place where general citizens are banned from carrying guns. In Europe, there have been no exceptions. Every mass public shooting — and there have been plenty of mass shooting in Europe — has occurred in a gun-free zone
(www.nationalreview.com/article/425802/gun-free-zones-don’t-save-lives-right-to-carry-laws-do).

The next logical question:

Should private establishments fear those legally carrying firearms such as Concealed Weapons Permit holders? Are they a danger? Nationwide, only a tiny fraction of 1% have ever abused their rights and inappropriately used their weapons so that can’t be their rational for not allowing legal carry in their establishments (www.gunfacts.info/gun-control-myths/concealed-carry). In addition, stories abound of armed citizen preventing crimes and killings because they were armed.

So what good does “gun free zones” do? Why do some establishments have them? Why shouldn’t law abiding, background checked, concealed carry weapons permit holder who want to protect their lives and the lives of others be allowed to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights?

So I ask again of many establishments, What good does “gun free zones” accomplish? Please, someone tell me,

WHY DO YOU HAVE THEM?

Jack Sternberg, MD
Chairman, Garland County Tea Party