Celebrate but it’s a Dud

Fireworks are now legal for the first time in Iowa since 1937. That means they were outlawed before my dad was 5 years old. I am now 50 and they are once again legal. Well sort of anyway.

The Iowa Assembly and the Governor legalized fireworks in the State of Iowa this spring. Unfortunately they allowed cities and municipalities to set their own regulations on fireworks. Enabling them to opt-out of the law. So they might be legal in one neighborhood but not legal on the next street over if you cross any official city limits.

Also the local fire marshals are the ones in charge of issuing permits to sell fireworks. And they have no accountability. They can deny a permit if they don’t like you. Or if they don’t like fireworks even if they are legal in the jurisdiction.

This kind of nonsense is why the Iowa Assembly passed a state-wide minimum wage law this spring. To avoid the patchwork of minimum wage laws by local jurisdictions. How quickly they forget.

And this is also why the Iowa Assembly passed the “shall issue” legislation several years ago on gun permits. Eliminating the problem of local sherrifs issuing permits only to people they liked or shared a political affiliation with them.

The Iowa Assembly needs to go back and amend the fireworks law to end the patchwork of local jurisdictions and prejudices of local fire marshals across the State.

Otherwise the fireworks stores on Interstate 35 south of the Iowa border will continue to get tax revenue from Iowans buying fireworks. Legal or not.

Bible Reading

On April 26th the Iowa Governor Terry Branstad issued a proclamation. This in itself is not unusual. Anyone can request the Governor to issue a proclamation on anything impacting the entire state. There is even an online web form for this submission.

But this particular proclamation has received a lot of hostile press and feedback. Why you might ask? Because this proclamation calls for reading the Holy Bible.

The proclamation gives a history of how the Holy Bible shaped our nations foundation. And how past Presidents felt and spoke about God’s Word to mankind.

The proclamation gives the testimony of who reading the Holy Bible helps solve the problems we face today as a nation and as individuals.

It also calls for anyone who wishes to participate in reading the Holy Bible with others on the steps of all 99 county court houses from June 30th to July 3rd. And the proclamation encourages all Iowans to read the Holy Bible daily until the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Three anti-Christian groups are considering litigation and have condemned the proclamation. These are the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers.

These groups are siting the so-called belief in the “separation of church and state” as the basis for their litigation and complaints. This is a false belief for various reasons.

The “separation of church and state” is not in the Constitution or in any statute or law of the land. It’s always called up by anti-Christian groups as part of their hate speech against Christianity.

What the Constitution does say in the 1st Amendment about religion is this:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

This means Congress, the legislative body of the United States, cannot create a law establishing a national church. Like the Tudor Kings did in England with the Church of England. The Queen is still the head of that church. Nor can Congress write a law preventing anyone from worshiping as they choose to do so.

This is the sole basis from those anti-Christian groups against the Governor’s proclamation. And it just doesn’t hold up.

The proclamation is not an act of Congress. It does not carry the weight of law or any legal authority. It is not a law. It is completely voluntary without any obligation being required.

For those who do not wish to be involved with a religion or those that do not believe in the divine. They don’t have to read the Holy Bible at home or anywhere else.

They don’t have to join those who are reading the Holy Bible on the court house steps at the end of June. They can just walk on by and ignore them.

But their goal is to destroy the Christian faith and persecute all who practice it. So these anti-Christian groups will continue their assault anyway.

In issuing this proclamation the Governor hasn’t violated any law or principle of our government. He has merely exorcised his office in conjunction with his faith.

Not approved by Joe the Plumber

It’s a week out from the Republican State Convention in Iowa. Again this cycle I am a delegate to that convention for my county. I have taken an active roll in politics since before I was 18 years old. And in the 3 decades since that time I have attended a number of county and state Central Committee meetings. I have attended a number of county, district, and state conventions as a delegate or alternate as well.

My civic duty goes beyond just voting. As our republic is to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. The people must be involved at every level. So I attempt to get myself involved where I can.

The downside of going to these meetings and conventions is that I see the same people all the time. They are always part of the standing committees. They are always the same ones we send to the national convention. The political elites that have come into power for power.

I have no problem if someone is doing a great job at it. By all means we should continue to appoint and elect them to their office. But we shouldn’t do that if no one else decides to go against them. They should be challenged. And many of them are just in politics for the power it gives them over others. These people should be replaced.

It has been said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Yet we continue to send the same people to represent our state at the national level within our party. And we wonder why nothing changes.

And of course this year I am looking at the list of delegates and alternates that the state nominating committee came up with for this cycle. It’s a list of who’s who in the Iowa Republican Party elitists. And every last one of them is Ted Cruz approved. So these are the people that wont be getting my vote at the State Convention as a National Delegate or Alternate:

DELEGATES ALTERNATE DELEGATES
Sen. Bill Anderson Chelle Adkins
Gov. Terry Branstad Shellie Bockenstedt
Robert Cramer Pastor Joseph Brown
Bryan English Mary Dorin
Sen. Randy Feenstra Sen. Dennis Guth
Carol Hanson Rose Jaeger
Cody Hoefert Jeff King
Congressman Steve King Maurice McWhirter
Marlys Popma David Oman
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds Kay Quirk
Richard Rogers Donna Robinson
Loras Schulte Jennifer Smith
Cecil Stinemetz Heather Stancil
Speaker Linda Upmeyer Linda Stickle
Bob Vander Plaats Craig Williams

All of these nominees are old blood. They are the political elites of Iowa. And all but maybe Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds are supporters of Ted Cruz. Including two of his national co-chairs. I’m sure the nominating committee would have loved NOT to include the Governor and the Lt. Governor but they had to in order to save face.

I want to thank the Republican Party of Iowa for providing the list of nominees that I am not going to support for the National Convention on the 21st of May. I hope we can get some others nominated and some new blood injected into the system. It is the only way to save the Republican Party.

Of Pot and Pox

Recently, my fair state of Iowa has been embroiled in two seemingly unrelated disagreements, whether to legalize medical marijuana use, and whether parents should be forced to vaccinate their children. On the surface, both seem to be cut and dried issues, but simplicity can often camouflage something far more complex.

When it comes to medical marijuana use, I’m more libertarian. In fact, when it comes to legalizing pot in general, I’m more libertarian. No, it’s not because I want to spend my afternoons getting stoned and watching “Scooby Doo” reruns. It’s because I have this wacky idea that responsible adults might just have the ability to, you know, decide what is best for them without my sanction. If you want to smoke more Doobies than a hitman working for Michael McDonald, be my guest. Just don’t take my money to do it or demand my blessing.

With vaccinations, I’m just as libertarian. Parents should not be forced to make their children get shots. It would be a good idea, but forcing good ideas on people isn’t the best way to go about it. (And, yes, I feel the same way about seatbelts.)

“But, Thomas, what about the children?” some might ask. Using children to justify stripping away freedom is like hoping an aggravated cobra won’t strike you if you wave your hands in front of it. It doesn’t end well. Just ask Everytown for Gun Safety about their attempts to implement gun control laws.

At the end of the day, you may not smoke pot or need it for medical purposes. You may have already gotten vaccinated and had your kids vaccinated. But a freedom given away isn’t easily or quickly returned.

Besides, if Iowa legalizes pot, I have a great idea for a pot dispensary/bakery called Wake and Bake…

The Opposition to Trump

Many of the negative voices against Donald Trump for President come from the Liberals who don’t want to see an end to their pet programs. Open boarders, free flowing immigration, high taxes, gun control and the list goes on and on. So they call him a bigot, a racist, and host of other names. Although he is not “allowed” to call anyone names.

The rest of the negative voices come from within the GOP. These come from the Establishment side, which can’t stand to see a non-Establishment candidate running for the nomination and gaining strong support despite all their attempts to discredit the running. This is just petty. The Establishment will take the ideas from the Liberals and others to use in the attempt to stop Trump’s campaign.

The last of the negative voices come from the Christian Right of the GOP Conservative base. Their voice claims that Trump is not a true Conservative due to his past actions. Giving money to Democrats and Liberal causes. Yet Trump has given to GOP and Conservative causes.

This group is against Trump because he is also not currently a Believer himself. This somehow makes him inelligable to run for and hold office. This is a huge mistake for those that buy into this idea. Trump needs our prayers so his eyes can be opened and he becomes a Believer. But this doesn’t make him inelligable to hold the office of President.

There are Christian Conservatives in the GOP who have welcomed Trump and do support him. These supporters all have talked with Donald and know his heart is on the right track. Yes the man has faults. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Don’t discount and ingore Donald Trumps presidential campaign. He is here to stay. Hearts and Minds can change. Many of the others running have had changes of position but they are not being attacked as fakers like Trump is being attacked for doing the same thing.

I have a good friend who, when I first met him, he was pretty much a Liberal agnostic. Today. he is a Conservative and an Elder in his Church. Even my own opinions on issues have changed and evolved over the years. Have yours?

An Irrelevant CEO

What kind of an idiot CEO knows days in advance that payroll isn’t going to be made. But doesn’t tell the employee’s until pay day. After the automatic deposits should have already been made. Just one more thing in a long line of bad decisions and other poor choices made over the course of the last 4 years.

Perhaps the article in the City View the other week is correct. Just for different reasons. Irrelevant is the future of the CEO and his organization.

Iowa Still First

It appears that Iowa is still “First in the the Nation.” But this time not in the realm of political candidates. The Iowa City Council unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance to ban drones, automated traffic cameras and license-plate readers. This ordinance is likely to pass when it comes up to a vote in 2 weeks time. However it doesn’t prevent the use of red-light cameras and since it originated by petition it only has a 2 year life span.

This is a victory for the Republic and the State of Iowa. However we still have a long way to go. Knowing that the Iowa City Council and repeal this ban in 2 years and do what they want instead of listening to the will of the people that elected them is very frightening. I guess the residence of Iowa City need to watch their councilmen very closely over the next 2 years to insure the will of the people is maintained.