Supreme Court

America used to be the land of the free and home of the brave. Unfortunately, today we’re land of the mandates of home of the lunatics. I say lunatics because several members of the Supreme Court, the highest court in America, have basically told American businesses that if they don’t like Obamacare forcing them to pay for something that goes against their beliefs, they can choose to pay the tax instead.

Why is this lunacy? Because by paying the tax, you’re still funding someone else’s healthcare. And under the (Un)Affordable Healthcare Act, those plans your tax pays for must include contraception.

Here’s what the justices said.

Other points made by the female justices:

Justice Sotomayor: how can courts know whether a corporation holds a religious belief? And what if it’s just the beliefs of the leadership, not the entire company? What happens to a non-religious minority in a corporation?

Justice Sotomayor and Justice Kagan asked: Because nobody is forcing Hobby Lobby or Conestoga to provide health insurance, they can simply pay the tax penalty instead.
Justice Kagan: women are “quite tangibly harmed” when employers don’t provide contraceptive coverage.

These justices are surely capable of knowing full well what they are saying is that no matter what, Christians are being forced by the government to pay for something that goes against their religious beliefs. If they aren’t then there must be some sort of mental illness keeping them from being capable of seeing the truth of what they’re saying.

I swear the more news I read these days, the more I feel like we’re living in the twilight zone.

Paul Broun

The following is a list of my initial endorsements for 2014. Not that my endorsement carries any weight… but I do have a lot of friends and “fans” who constantly ask who I’m supporting in November. So here they are.

-Illinois Governor: Bruce Rauner
-U.S. Senate, Colorado: Ken Buck
-U.S. Senate, Kentucky: Matt Bevin
-U.S. Senate, Nebraska: Shane Osborn
-U.S. Senate, South Carolina: Lee Bright
-U.S. Senate, North Carolina: Greg Brannon
-U.S. Senate, Georgia: Paul Broun

I will donate and make calls for each of these campaigns in both a primary as well as a general. I the coming week or two I’ll also try and find time to write a larger description of why I support these candidates and post it here.

Outside of Bruce Rauner (Illinois Gov), these candidates have impeccable records to stand on. Rauner is not a politician and has no record. That said, he’s an unapologetic Illinois Capitalist who leads the charge for Right to Work and doesn’t hide the fact that he plans on confronting the unions head on. Rauner is probably my most controversial pick as a lot of Illinois tea partiers can’t look past what he’s had to do to conduct business in Chicago. I, on the other hand, believe this state needs someone in Springfield who actually understands free markets, the business environment and wants to turn the Illinois political machine upside down on its head.

Stay tuned for further explanation!

Please Note: These are personal endorsements made on my personal blog and do not translate to endorsements by my employer or any other entity I’m involved in.

Earlier this evening I put a post up at the Stand With Phil Robertson Facebook page shining light on the fact that Hunt Brothers Pizza proudly displays their faith and beliefs on their pizza boxes. In addition to the message on the pizza boxes, their company website at HuntBrothersPizza.com has a section about the company culture that makes it abundantly clear where they stand.

Hunt Brothers Pizza is a family business built upon family values. We are a Christian-based company, and we strive to be a blessing in the lives of our many team members, customers, business partners, and consumers. Our culture reflects passion and professionalism, with an emphasis on preparing our team members to be a blessing to others. We trust in God to meet our needs, and we place Him first in all that we do.

They go on to say the following. Continue reading →

family

Townhall.com has an interesting article up that points at three lessons we can learn from the Robertson/A&E battle that just unfolded. All three are worth reading, but the second was worth noting here.

Pro-family activism has changed – For a while modern pro-family voters have felt they were part of a lost cause. The last two GOP presidential candidates ran away from family oriented voters as though they had the plague. It is commonly believed that since President Obama was re-elected with 9 million fewer votes, that had Mitt Romney only been willing to eat a simple Chick-Fil-A sandwich and state his support for a person’s right to practice their faith, as well as their business, that he might have easily beaten Obama. His purposeful distancing himself from the simple pro-family people of this nation injured him in a way he was unable to recover from. For the last two election cycles the willingness of organized pro-family activism to have any impact on the outcome of the candidate selection process has left many feeling that their opinions would never matter again. Pragmatism in exchange for access has become a large part of the trade in talk radio. But pro-family voters don’t understand such compromises because the health of the family–in their mind is the singular truth–that the weight of all other debates rely upon. In the Phil Robertson episode, it wasn’t some group inside the beltway asking for more contributions, promising to turn things around (and then not delivering.) It was merely everyday people, speaking up–for themselves–and doing so through self-organization with facebook, twitter, and social media.

The part at the end, the part about Washington groups and donations, is particularly interesting. I agree and believe Washington based “non profits” who claim to advocate on our behalf are beginning to fade in influence amongst the pro-family grassroots realm. Why? Because so many are willing to cave in the name of compromise.

Pro-family grassroots America does not compromise. We don’t buy the lie that a politician who votes with us 70% of the time is worth a vote, even if 30% of the time they’re against. Primarily because the 30% does enough damage to force our ship to take on water.

The pro-family realm has certainly taken some losses in recent past. And during those losses we’ve lost a LOT of confidence in those we trusted to represent us. As a result, many have quietly sat on the sidelines, waiting to see how things shake out.

But as the Robertson/A&E flap showed us, the pro-family movement is awakening. It’s no longer standing by while those who wish to bring down the morally grounded fabric of America run wild in the streets.

What’s probably scaring the daylights out of politicians is the awakening is happening outside the traditional confines of politics. This new movement isn’t interested in sending cash donations to Washington. Instead, the bulk of it wishes to fight cultural battles outside the beltway.

The pro-family movement is alive and well, and it will be interesting to see where it goes from here.

-Eric Odom

Click here to connect with me on Facebook

Edmund-Burke-Quote

About a week and a half ago I started the “We Stand With Phil Robertson” Facebook page. To date the page has grown to over 1,500,000 people, and one could easily argue we’ve played a critical role in the reversal of both Cracker Barrel and A&E with regards to their perceived support of Phil Robertson.

A week ago I found myself encouraged, energized and equipped with newfound confidence that America was waking up. I believed a sleeping giant had been brought from its slumber and was ready to take care of business.

I hope my belief was correct, but I fear I may have misread the scenario. You see, last Friday A&E announced it would continue taping Duck Dynasty with Phil Robertson as part of the show. This is all well and good, but it completely ignores what initially happened, and why this all came about in the first place.

Let’s not forget that A&E, a major television network that owns shows such as Pawn Stars, Storage Wars, Counting Cars, American Restoration and many others, basically admitted they do not approve of an individual’s proclamation that the bible says homosexuality is a sin. The proclamation, by the way, took place OUTSIDE the confines of the show. Meaning, Phil Robertson made the statement on his own time and off the clock of the show.

I’m not saying A&E doesn’t have every right to try and hide what the bible says. Or, rather, try and shield the gay community from being confronted with what the bible says about their lifestyle. They can say whatever they like. As a private company, they had every right to suspend Phil Robertson.

But none of that changes the fact they tried to punish Phil Robertson and use a suspension to protect the gay community from his accurate statement about what the bible says.

Furthermore, A&E’s statement in announcing they’re bringing him back was incredibly telling. Here’s the last paragraph of their statement:

“We will also use this moment to launch a national public service campaign (PSA) promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people, a message that supports our core values as a company and the values found in Duck Dynasty. These PSAs will air across our entire portfolio.”

Really? Was A&E promoting unity and tolerance when they suspended Phil Robertson for sharing his faith-based beliefs? And it sounds a lot like A&E is saying Phil was being divisive and intolerant, and A&E wants to help educate the world on how to avoid Phil’s mistakes (As A&E sees it).

Yet, many Phil Robertson supporters just rolled over and looked at A&E as a company that did the right thing with their statement. Many Phil Robertson supporters think it’s all over and we should just move on.

Unbelievable.

As I said, a few days ago it appeared there was a movement in the works that was ready to confront attacks on the social fabric of a once great and free nation. Am I now to believe it was just millions of people wanting their show back the way it was? Was it all really just an effort to protect the cast of a TV show?

God help us if it was.

I still believe there is something happening, but I believe a lot of people need to dunk their heads in a bucket full of water and ice. My dad (who is a pastor), always used to say God won’t do for us what we can do for ourselves. Those who believe we need to just mind our own business, keep the faith and let God take care of it all are, in my view, a big part of the problem. That sort of ignorance and unwillingness to act is why this country is on the brink of collapse. That sort of naive mindset is why America is being hijacked by an evil driven alliance of corrupt, power hungry men and women.

You can go back to your TV’s and ignore reality, believing you’re not supposed to do anything because God will do everything. But that doesn’t change the fact that satanic forces are at work indoctrinating your kids at school. That doesn’t change the fact that millions of babies are being murdered before their first breath. That doesn’t change the fact that you’re being robbed by people who then use the money to build a power structure that will enslave you.

God has work to do and he wants to do it through us. It’s our duty to stand up for what is right and speak truth to power. It’s our duty to confront evil where it is, and do so with full faith that God has our back.

I challenge my fellow fans of Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty fans to reject inaction. Do not become lazy and content. Do not seek comfort zones and avoid political battles. Do not standby while our culture rots.

If you do and you lose your rights, your children become slaves to government to survive, the economy collapses and God is removed from society, your inaction will be at fault.

My inaction will not be blamed… because I choose to act. The Facebook page I created will be used to advance the agenda of faith-based, constitutionally protected liberty. The page will be used to protect life. The page will be used to speak truth to power. We will fight to remove those who do not represent us from office. We will fight to remove evil from our school systems and our society.

Those who do not like it… I kindly ask that you get out of the way so the rest of us can tend to the duty we were called to act upon. And you saying we shouldn’t act upon this calling will not slow us down, so don’t even bother.

I choose to stand and act.

-Eric Odom

chicago-at-night

I currently live in Virginia, but still consider myself a Chicagoan at heart. I love the city… the energy, the weather (Yes, I love Chicago winters!), the food, the environment and the sports. I can’t for the life of me, though, figure out why most Chicagoans blindly vote against their own best interests.

Illinois government, dominated by leftist Chicago politicians (looters), is arguably one of the most irresponsible governing bodies in the country. The state is headed towards absolute fiscal disaster and the only think state government seems willing to do is increase taxes.

Here’s part the problem with that.

The number of Illinoisans enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, remained above 2 million in September. This is the 12thmonth in a row enrollment has remained above 2 million people.

That means one-sixth of Illinoisans have spent more than a year relying on government handouts for their next meal.

And it should be no surprise that so many Illinoisans are on food stamps when the state is clearly better at enrolling citizens in government programs than it is at encouraging job creation.

Illinois has 5.8 million nonfarm payroll jobs today, only 9,500 more than it did in September 2003. Over the same period, food stamp enrollment doubled from 1 million to more than 2 million Illinoisans.

You read that right. For the 12th month in a row food stamp enrollment has remained above 2,000,000 people!

How’s that hopey changey thing working out for ya?

apple-gold

We knew Apple heavily relied on Steve Jobs. What we didn’t know, or at least I didn’t know, is that Apple would instantly become mediocre as it pivoted beyond the iPhone 5 model.

As a long time Apple fan it pains me to write this, but I’m extremely disappointed with yesterday’s iPhone event. Disappointed to the point of actually considering a direction outside of Apple with my next phone purchase.

Let me explain…

The devices announced, in and of themselves, only present half of my frustration with Apple. The fact that almost every rumor out there turned out to be true, with ZERO additional ‘surprises’ added was the other half. You see, for years Apple has been a point of intrigue, mystery and shocking innovation. Yes, product details have always leaked, but never have ALL of the product details leaked. Apple used to pride itself for being a close-lipped company that would having everyone at the edge of their seats on announcement day. This is no longer the case as we learned absolutely nothing we didn’t already know in yesterday’s iPhone event.

I don’t know if it’s a matter of Apple having lost its ability to innovate, making it necessary to generate buzz by leaking the few features/upgrades coming to get attention, or if the company just doesn’t really care about the mystery of its new products anymore. Either way, Apple isn’t as intriguing as it used to be. It no longer has that elite feel it used to come with as an embraced brand.

The other half, as mentioned above, is the product. I’m quite stunned that Apple would have an event to announce to the world such a flop of an upgrade to its iPhone 5 model. I’ve patiently waited this entire year for something better than an iPhone 5. I’ve sat on my iPhone 4s, dealing with its low battery life and bogged down processor, waiting for that next great ‘s’ model to come along and get me into a new 2 year contract.

Truth is, I now find myself wondering if I should just upgrade to a regular iPhone 5 with bigger storage or leave iPhone all together. The ONLY notable changes, for me personally, are the faster processor and the claimed better battery life. iOS7 is something I can get on a 4s or a 5. The fingerprint scanner? After all the NSA scandal madness I want nothing to do with this feature/function.

And truth is I’m not that impressed with iOS7. The purple/green look is just a little odd to me. And the translucent feel reminds me of Windows 7.

windows7

Then there is the iPhone 5c. I know it stands for color, but the vast majority of the media/analyst world looked at this model as a cheaper device that could compete on a global scale. Truth is, the iPhone 5c is nothing more than a plastic version of the iPhone 5, and now at the exact same price.

Slate has more.

This year was supposed to be different. For months now, analysts have speculated that Apple would finally do what many observers (including yours truly) have long called on it to do—to diversify its iPhone lineup. The logic seemed obvious. Samsung, Apple’s fiercest rival, has beencleaning up in developing markets like India and China by offering models that cater to every market niche, from the low end to the high end. By making a new phone that sold for around $300 to $400 without a carrier subsidy—which is how many people in developing markets buy phones—Apple would be able to compete for price-conscious phone buyers, creating a whole new class of iPhone users who currently can’t afford Apple’s shiny baubles.

But today, Apple whiffed. At the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., CEO Tim Cook did unveil two new iPhones rather than just one. But neither of these phones is the cheap iPhone that people had been predicting. Indeed, Apple didn’t really change its pricing strategy in any meaningful way. Across the globe, it will still be charging the same for its phones as it always has. It’s not a stretch to say that instead of a good price, Apple is now offering budget-conscious consumers around the world a strange deal: OK, the iPhone isn’t any cheaper than it used to be. But hey, look, it comes in lots of colors! Colors! Even pink! How will you be paying?

Going back to iPhone 5s, my final complaint is the three available color schemes for the hardware. Why on earth would they scrap the all white model? Who thought that would be a good idea and under what logic did such a decision occur?

Bottom line… I have an iPhone 4s that is starting to act up. I need a new phone and I’m not convinced I want an iPhone 5s… so what am I to do?

Sorry Apple, but for this Apple fan… yesterday was an embarrassment.

carly-rae-jepsen

It really doesn’t get much worse than this.

fb-obamaThis update will explain to you how Facebook is openly censoring shared content that stands in opposition to the views of its employees.

Chew on the words written here. This might help you in the future as Facebook begins to hammer down opposing views on a wider scale.

Hi Eric,

A member of our team accidentally removed something you posted on Facebook. This was a mistake, and we sincerely apologize for this error. We’ve since lifted the block in which you were enrolled, and you should have no further holds on your account.

Thanks for understanding,

Phyllis
User Operations
Facebook

The above is an email I received from Facebook last week. We’ll discuss the email shortly, but first let’s run through what happened and why the email was sent to me.

Last week I wrote (At LibertyNEWS.com) about an incident that occurred on Facebook. The social media giant not only removed a link that I shared from my own timeline, they removed it from everyone else’s timeline as well. Worse, Facebook employees banned me for a day for sharing it.

What did I share that warranted such an action? A story from MenRec.com that basically quoted a story from Huffington Post. And while the story at Huffington Post was shared thousands of times with no problems, Facebook employees apparently had a problem with a few lines added as commentary to the story when it was quoted on MenRec.com.

Click here to read MenRec.com’s post.

Here’s the quote that came from Huffington Post.

Texas Women: Stop Having Sex With Men Who Vote Against Your Best Interests

As a native Texan, and someone who has survived 100-plus-degree temperatures for many summers, I can tell you, this summer in Texas is surely going to be hotter than usual. Sultry, sweaty summers can be made much nicer when good old-fashioned sex is part of the picture. But women, take heed: Don’t give in if your man, boyfriend, husband, toyboy is not voting for your best interests, your reproductive health — do not sleep with that man! I don’t care how cute or charming he is! I don’t care if he is your husband of many years. Resist! Go swimming! Meditate!

Do not make him dinner, do not go fetch him a cold beer from the fridge, do not iron that shirt, hell, do not change that diaper… do not make his life a little nicer this summer if he does not “get it” and learn to respect women! Instead, volunteer some time for senators like Wendy Davis, go with a group of women to Austin and make your voices heard. Get on the computer and the social networks and organize.

Remember that you live in a state where it would not be unusual (and I have seen it) to see a bumper sticker on a pickup truck which reads, “My Wife Yes, My Dog Maybe, My Gun Never.” Remember what happened last time when a Texas good ole boy governor took that patriarchy all the way to become President of the United States. Stop the damage now and take back Texas.

MenRec.com added the follow before the quote.

I’m sure the fact that abstaining from sex is exactly the way to prevent any need for an abortion, is completely lost on this woman.

No sex means, no killing babies, means no argument from pro-lifers.  Genius!

And the following after it.

“Do not make him dinner, do not go fetch him a cold beer from the fridge, do not iron that shirt, hell, do not change that diaper”?

For a feminist, she sure is sexist.

Facebook employees clearly didn’t like the added commentary. The Facebook email at the top of this post says “a member of our team.” This in and of itself is damning. My initial thoughts were that a bunch of pro-abortion sheep reported the post I shared and Facebook had some sort of automatic system the blocked it (and me). The email confirms it was manually initiated by an actual employee of Facebook.

Here’s the part that really bugs me though. Facebook put out an official statement to Rusty Weiss over at MenRec.com.

As our team processes more than one million reports each week, we occasionally make a mistake. We worked to rectify the error as soon as we were notified. We apologize for the inconvenience caused due to the removal of this content, and we have already taken steps to prevent this from happening in the future. Additionally, we have removed any blocks on associated accounts.

Really? Facebook’s employees looked at that link, removed the content and banned the person who shared it… and it was just a simply mistake?

They claim they made a mistake, but the initial content that was removed was never republished. Meaning, while they claim they made a mistake and removed blocks from accounts, they stood by the removal of the content itself. Facebook effectively censored the counter commentary to the Huffington Post story.

You see how that works? Amazing, isn’t it?

P.S. For the record I believe this has nothing to do with free speech. Facebook is a for-profit company and do whatever it likes. But let’s not for a second pretend Facebook is a company without a personal political agenda.

This morning I weighed in at 224.5. That’s a half of a pound lost since yesterday and 9.5 total pounds lost since I began juice fasting on Monday, June 24, This after a total of eight full days of juice fasting.

Now I find when I get hungry I juice and my hunger is gone. Whereas, some of the people I work with leave for lunch and come back hungry several hours after. I’m often asked “won’t you starve” by someone who is hungry, when I am not. It’s amazing how the body really wants nutrients and actual substance, yet we constantly stuff it full of processed nonsense and pass it off as food.

I don’t really get hungry anymore, but I do get cravings. For example, yesterday I craved salty cashews all day long. Not sure where that came from, but I had cashews on my mind from the minute I woke to the minute I went to bed. I pressed on, though, and kept to my juice.

In short, I feel fantastic. My energy level is good, I continue to lose weight and I’m starting to see the tummy shrink.

In addition to my daily check-in, I wanted to toss out a note about my tea habits. For those who don’t know, I quit coffee cold-turkey back in February. It was about the same time that I moved away from processed food and I’ve never looked back. For the record, I drank coffee religiously for 16 years. I quit coffee because a) I felt I was becoming too addicted to it, and b) I wanted to find natural ways to produce energy. Long gone are the days of afternoon caffeine crashes. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

teaSince then I’ve really began to tinker with organic teas and love it. A bad habit that stuck with me, though, was sweetener. Now I did finally move from the pink and yellow packets to “Stevia in the raw” a couple months ago, but was still pumping my teas full of sweeteners of some sort.

The juice fast is helping me break that habit. Non-sweetened tea seems to be an acquired taste, but one I was certainly able to acquire. This is good because I feel a full detox should include the removal of sweeteners and other substances that might get in the way of what the fruit and veggies need to do.

I now drink about 30 ounces of unsweetened green tea and 50-60 ounces of water per day. I think that’s helping on the weight loss alongside the juicing.