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Mark Caserta: Leadership can make the US strong again

20 Jul

mark

Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot Editor

Apr. 10, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

Liberals are strikingly one-dimensional in their thinking about how other nations perceive America’s strength.

There are many ways the U.S. can become stronger domestically and internationally, non-militarily.

Progressives fail to understand that perception is reality in foreign affairs, and that “reality” can be the premise from which wars begin.

There is no doubt in the world theater that the United States is a dominating military power capable of monumental destruction. But, understand it isn’t what the U.S. is capable of doing that dictates the actions of world leaders; it’s what other countries perceive our government is “willing” to do that bridles international activity.

reagan 2

Given the potential impact of the United States on various international fronts, every nation of consequence is constantly monitoring the most current level of fortitude and “forthrightness” displayed by our leadership. And for liberals not to incorporate this reality into our political cogitation is extremely reckless and naïve.

Currently, the United States has been accurately assessed by friend and foe as being passive, indecisive, appeasing and less than deliberate in protecting its distinction as the beacon of democracy for the world.

Words without a disposition of determination are meaningless and, indeed, harmful to the safety of a nation. When the president of the United States openly draws a “red line” as Obama did for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons and then fails to keep his word, the entire world takes note.

And this administration is clueless in the rudimentary technique of negotiating from a position of strength — not good intentions. They seemingly have no concept of the conservative principle that the best military is one you “never have to use.”

Of the many U.S. contingencies assessed by foreign countries, beyond the plausibility of our leadership, are our assets and resources required to engage and sustain actions militarily or by sanction if necessary. Wars begin over land determined strategically important not only for military viability but also based on its available energy resources.

International perception of America’s strength has not only been compromised by inept leadership, but also by other nation’s discernment of America’s willingness to forego energy independence simply to protect the liberal ideology of man-made climate change.

American-Flag-Facebook-Covers-2146

America should immediately pursue an “all of the above” energy strategy rather than an “anything but fossil fuels” approach. The Keystone Pipeline is a no-brainer. Progressives have placed our nation on an unlevel energy playing field based upon a liberal ideology to which other nations are unwilling to conform.

Other strengthening measures must include tearing down the wall of government overreach preventing entrepreneurs from building businesses, hiring people and turning a profit.

This administration must also eliminate its divide-and-conquer class-warfare strategy and pursue policies that unite — not divide — Americans.

Obamacare must be repealed and replaced so America can begin to repair its healthcare system and economy.

And finally, our country needs a commander-in-chief who will patriotically work to protect the sovereignty of the United States and defend democracy.

America can become strong once again. All we need is leadership.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: Fundamental change must come from people

30 Apr

Not from government!

me

Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot Editor

Apr. 30, 2015 @ 12:01 AM

“We’re approaching the end of a bloody century plagued by a terrible political invention – totalitarianism. Optimism comes less easily today, not because democracy is less vigorous, but because democracy’s enemies have refined their instruments of repression. Yet optimism is in order, because day by day democracy is proving itself to be a not-at-all-fragile flower.”

It’s been 32 years since President Ronald Reagan spoke these words in his enduring “Westminster Speech” to the members of the British Parliament. But there is undeniable wisdom for today in the speech, which laid the foundation for bursts of democracy throughout the world.

reagan 1

Watch this enduring speech from President Ronald Reagan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7tpKDQH9nE

In a manner feared by some, yet revered by all, the Great Communicator poised America for decades of a prodigious heightening of America’s strength and resolve. Reagan was quick to recognize and fearless to expose any internal threat of government overreach and lack of steadfastness in principle. In his speech, he spoke directly to these dangers.

“At the same time there is a threat posed to human freedom by the enormous power of the modern state. History teaches the dangers of government that overreaches – political control taking precedence over free economic growth, secret police, mindless bureaucracy, all combining to stifle individual excellence and personal freedom.”

Noble words from the father of conservatism, yet we live in a day in which “individual excellence” is losing ground to the Marxist notion, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

President Reagan understood the ultimate determinant in America’s struggles with those who would challenge democracy would “involve a test of wills and ideas, a trial of spiritual resolve, the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish” and the “ideals to which we are dedicated.”

reagan 2

But around the globe, America’s enemies are emboldened, and our allies dispirited. Nations once inspired by the stoutheartedness of the United States are now disheartened by its disquieted purpose.

But democracy has always had its price. In our nation’s nearly 240 years of sovereignty, we’ve endured plenty. But the American spirit has always persevered and emerged from the challenge stronger than before.

But America has never faced an enemy with such a tailwind as the progressive movement. The liberal assault on our nation over the last six years has been cataclysmic and relentless. We’ve witnessed America’s decline in nearly every measurable area.

But the blame no longer rests solely on the liberal movement. The current GOP party leaders have become complicit in this war on America. They’ve failed their constituents time and again by offering false hope and empty promises.

But I choose to believe that optimism is still in order. We are still a republic where the people are empowered to pursue change.

It’s incumbent upon each of us to study our choices carefully, regardless of political affiliation. Has your candidate demonstrated a commitment to integrity? Have they represented your values, beliefs and ideals? Will they govern by principle versus what’s popular? These characteristics must be non-negotiable in America’s next leader.

Fundamental change must not come from government, but from the people.

reagan 3

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: Americans need answers, not more cover-ups

22 May

soldier

May. 22, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

The Obama administration faces yet another scandal.

As if the ongoing investigations into Benghazi, the IRS, and the Justice Department weren’t enough, the president and his administration now face a scandal involving the possible mistreatment of our brave military veterans.

Evidence is mounting showing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been keeping “two” sets of books in some of its hospitals to make it look like they were reducing wait times experienced by military veterans before seeing a doctor.

The VA, which has long been the target of complaints of delays and dysfunctional bureaucracy, made the commitment in 2010 to introduce a new appointment system for veterans designed to reduce wait time for an appointment with a primary care physician or specialist in one of its hospitals or outpatient clinics.

It’s surmised the pressure felt by the VA to meet the increasing demands of veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan compelled them to “cook the books” to make it look as if they were indeed making the headway expected from a department that’s received substantial increases in taxpayer funding.

Even more damning are the allegations from a “whistleblower” doctor in Arizona who claims dozens of patients at one hospital died while languishing on a “hidden” waiting list without ever being given as much as an appointment.

In an interview with CNN, Sam Foote, a retired VA doctor of 24 years in the Phoenix area, revealed that as many as 40 patients had died after being placed on a secret waiting list and that officials at the hospital actually shredded documents and faked evidence to cover up their actions.

Since then, numerous whistleblowers have alleged similar practices in at least seven other VA hospitals around the country claiming that officials at the hospitals were sometimes even paid bonuses for reducing “declared” wait times.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., took the Obama administration to task last week for being slow to react to what he called “a systemic, cultural problem” inside the VA.

“It’s been more than a month since allegations that some 40 veterans died while waiting care at the Phoenix VA were first made public.” McCain said in the weekly GOP address. “To date, the Obama administration has failed to respond in an effective manner.”

Exacerbating the problem for Americans is that once again we’ll see no independent investigation into the matter. The VA secretary, Eric Shinseki, will oversee an “internal” investigation.

Now with all due respect to the retired Army general who was himself wounded twice in Vietnam, Shinseki should recuse himself from oversight of the investigation and allow an independent counsel to conduct the inquiry.

But this follows a familiar pattern within this administration that totally contradicts Barack Obama’s promise of transparency and a new era of “openness in government.” Team Obama has excelled in sweeping their liberal dirt neatly under the White House rug.

Failing our brave military veterans in this manner is inexcusable, and it’s time to hold this administration accountable.

Americans deserve answers, not more cover-ups.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: Christians must get involved in coming year

20 Apr

THE CROSS

Jan. 02, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

I believe 2014 will be a defining year for our nation — one in which the progressive movement will attempt to accost the fundamental values and principles of our country in ways we’ve never even imagined.

And God is calling His people to get engaged in the fight.

Understand God has never required perfection in His people before calling them to a purpose. As with any loving father, He simply asks for our very best — our first fruits if you will — in serving Him.

I often ponder the life of Jesus and how He performed his everyday duties for his earthly father during his first 30 years before beginning his ministry.

A carpenter by trade, it’s almost certain Jesus learned his craftsman skills from his father Joseph. The custom in those days among the working class was that a trade be passed down from father to son and was often done through several generations.

I have little doubt Jesus was a master craftsman. I’d wager the work he and his father produced in their shop was widely known for its excellence in quality. Whether a table, a chair or part of an elaborate building project, I can envision him measuring and re-measuring to ensure accuracy while painstakingly cutting, fitting and molding each project to perfection!

No doubt, Jesus must have been encumbered by the same discomforts and emotions we face every day. There must have been days he certainly didn’t feel like working and felt the same “urges” to gripe and complain as the rest of us often do.

But Jesus was learning the importance of role-modeling excellence in all he set out to accomplish. He was learning that appearance profited little without an enduring structure and load-bearing foundation. His artisan training taught him the integrity of an entire structure depended upon the trueness of the first cornerstone laid.

And Jesus Christ himself would eventually become the Chief Cornerstone of the Church.

Now, some 2,000 years later, and eerily similar to those who nailed our Savior to that tree on Calvary, there are those who see Jesus and His followers as a threat to humanity and desire to “re-crucify” him by removing any reference to Christianity from public view and from any governing ideology.

At what point did God say it was acceptable for His people to idly stand by and allow the enemy to destroy the world He sent His Son to save? Does God’s Word not say, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”

Just as Jesus’ finished work as a carpenter represented the teachings of his earthly father, our work on earth represents our Heavenly Father. Jesus took 12 men and shook the world. What can Christians do today in comparison?

Make the most meaningful New Year’s resolution you could possibly make. Get the fire, get the facts and get involved in 2014.

It’s up to Christians to return Godly values and biblical principles to our nation’s government.

Ye are the light of the world.

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: Leadership can make the US strong again

10 Apr

soldier

Apr. 10, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

Liberals are strikingly one-dimensional in their thinking about how other nations perceive America’s strength.

There are many ways the U.S. can become stronger domestically and internationally, non-militarily.

Progressives fail to understand that perception is reality in foreign affairs, and that “reality” can be the premise from which wars begin.

There is no doubt in the world theater that the United States is a dominating military power capable of monumental destruction. But, understand it isn’t what the U.S. is capable of doing that dictates the actions of world leaders; it’s what other countries perceive our government is “willing” to do that bridles international activity.

Given the potential impact of the United States on various international fronts, every nation of consequence is constantly monitoring the most current level of fortitude and “forthrightness” displayed by our leadership. And for liberals not to incorporate this reality into our political cogitation is extremely reckless and naïve.

Currently, the United States has been accurately assessed by friend and foe as being passive, indecisive, appeasing and less than deliberate in protecting its distinction as the beacon of democracy for the world.

Words without a disposition of determination are meaningless and, indeed, harmful to the safety of a nation. When the president of the United States openly draws a “red line” as Obama did for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons and then fails to keep his word, the entire world takes note.

And this administration is clueless in the rudimentary technique of negotiating from a position of strength — not good intentions. They seemingly have no concept of the conservative principle that the best military is one you “never have to use.”

Of the many U.S. contingencies assessed by foreign countries, beyond the plausibility of our leadership, are our assets and resources required to engage and sustain actions militarily or by sanction if necessary. Wars begin over land determined strategically important not only for military viability but also based on its available energy resources.

International perception of America’s strength has not only been compromised by inept leadership, but also by other nation’s discernment of America’s willingness to forego energy independence simply to protect the liberal ideology of man-made climate change.

America should immediately pursue an “all of the above” energy strategy rather than an “anything but fossil fuels” approach. The Keystone Pipeline is a no-brainer. Progressives have placed our nation on an unlevel energy playing field based upon a liberal ideology to which other nations are unwilling to conform.

Other strengthening measures must include tearing down the wall of government overreach preventing entrepreneurs from building businesses, hiring people and turning a profit.

This administration must also eliminate its divide-and-conquer class-warfare strategy and pursue policies that unite — not divide — Americans.

Obamacare must be repealed and replaced so America can begin to repair its healthcare system and economy.

And finally, our country needs a commander-in-chief who will patriotically work to protect the sovereignty of the United States and defend democracy.

America can become strong once again. All we need is leadership.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: Americans will not succumb to tyranny

7 Apr

declaration signing

Feb. 05, 2014 @ 10:06 PM

The Herald-Dispatch / 2014

I’ve always honored the word “republic.”

A hallowed term that echoes through the halls of Congress, it embodies the spirit of every man and woman who has given their life to secure our nation’s form of government.

A republic is a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives as compared with a monarchy or a form of government where power rests in a single individual.

But, then there’s the presidential executive order.

An executive order is a remarkable power given to the president of the United States to enact law without the input of our elected representatives. Executive orders can only be given to federal or state agencies, not to citizens.

While it’s true that from the founding of our nation, American presidents have issued various types of executive orders, the practice isn’t without controversy.

The Constitution applies a “broad” brush stroke in defining the president’s power of executive order and there are some legitimate applications. But a chief executive to whom such sweeping power is afforded must be held to the highest possible standard.

If a president is proven to enact law irrespective of the wishes of the American people and their elected officials, it’s my belief such actions threaten our republic and fall under the periphery of Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, which calls for impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Last week, during Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, the president unabashedly previewed his intent to circumvent Congressional representatives if they are unwilling to pass legislation aligning with his ideology.

“I’m eager to work with all of you,” Obama told lawmakers. “But America does not stand still, and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Why does this president perpetually patronize Americans with his insistence that he knows best? In bypassing Congress, he literally eradicates elected representation for individuals or families unable to represent themselves and fundamentally threatens the liberty of every American.

Legislators like Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) believe Obama is clearly “outside the bounds” of his constitutional limitations.

“This threat that the president’s going to run the government with an ink pen and executive orders, we’ve never had a president with that level of audacity and that level of contempt for his own oath of office,” King told CNN last week.

And for Democrat legislators to “cheer” the president as he promised to bypass them in the legislative process in his State of the Union address is symbolic of anemic liberal leadership, and frankly mind-numbing.

The very precept of our republic is being ostentatiously challenged in a manner which threatens our liberty and representative form of government.

Our country did not become the greatest nation in the world on the back of any single individual. For Barack Obama to espouse wisdom transcending the combined counsel of our elected representatives is a quintessential display of tyrannical rule.

And Americans will not succumb to tyranny.

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Link

Mark Caserta: Watch and share Red Skelton’s inspiring monologue on America’s flag.

30 Mar

Watch Red’s thoughtful presentation on what the flag means to our great country.  Then consider the protests from the NFL players and support from the owners and the National Football League.  You may see things differently.

How many of these NFL Players protesting by “taking a knee” during the National Anthem would even pledge their allegiance to the flag of the United States?

And remember, their act of taking a knee is not done in the manner we usually think of, such as for prayer, to honor or show respect.  They simply don’t have a chair to place their backsides in!  If they had a chair, they would remain seated.

 

red

RED SKELTON’S PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

An inspiring monologue from a true American Hero

red skelton

Commentary on the Pledge of Allegiance

by Red Skelton

As a schoolboy, one of Red Skelton’s teachers explained the words and meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance to his class. Skelton later wrote down, and eventually recorded, his recollection of this lecture. It is followed by an observation of his own.

I – – Me; an individual; a committee of one.
Pledge – – Dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.

Allegiance – – My love and my devotion.

To the Flag – – Our standard; Old Glory ; a symbol of Freedom; wherever she waves there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts, Freedom is everybody’s job.

United – – That means that we have all come together.

States – – Individual communities that have united into forty-eight great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose. All divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that is love for country.

And to the Republic – – Republic–a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people; and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.

For which it stands

One Nation – – One Nation–meaning, so blessed by God.

Indivisible – – Incapable of being divided.

With Liberty – – Which is Freedom; the right of power to live one’s own life, without threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation.

And Justice – – The principle, or qualities, of dealing fairly with others.

For All – – For All–which means, boys and girls, it’s as much your country as it is mine.

And now, boys and girls, let me hear you recite the Pledge of Allegiance:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: Under God. Wouldn’t it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer, and that would be eliminated from schools, too?
Red Skelton

Contributed by : David R. Lewis, Nashville, Tennessee. Visit Dave’s Home Page.

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