Category Archives: politics

Obama, Clinton, and the Congressional Shooting 

In light of the attempted massacre that took place this morning in Alexandria, Virginia, at a GOP baseball practice, now would be a good time for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to come out and speak to the nation, especially to those who are still angry with the results of the last election. I would suggest they say the following:

We in the Democrat party have desired greater gun control in our nation. However, what happened today should not be linked to a lack of gun control, only pure hate. Hate has no respect for the rule of law, or the lives of fellow Americans. If we want our nation to survive as a beacon of hope to the rest of the world, we’ve got to come together as a nation, a nation of people who respect authority, and pray for our leaders, not want to harm them.

At this moment in time we call for all Americans, both on the left and on the right, to come together as fellow citizens for the good of our country. There are many ways in which we can work together for the common good. There are many ways we can overlook our differences and come together as civilized beings in a civilized nation.

We pray for those who were wounded today. We suffer with them during their grief, and we as a nation we will offer all that we can to help them to recover. But if we are going to recover as a nation, we need to be praying for each other; we need to love each other; we need to respect each other; and, we need to respect the rule of law. 

Whether you voted for our President, or not, he is still our duly-elected President. We do not have to support everything he promotes, but he is our President, duly-elected, by a system that was developed by our founding fathers and has served us well for over 200 years. We need to work within the system, not try to destroy it. We need to come together and find ways to improve it, but not replace it. As a unified people, people who respect the law, we can work through our issues in peaceful ways; we do not have to resort to violence.

God be with those who are wounded today, and God bless this great nation, the United States of America!”

If Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would only say something like this, we might see a change in what is going on in America right now. But if they don’t come out and say something like this, and continue to allow this type of violence to go unanswered, they will only be hastening our society’s eventual demise.

Today we pray for our Congessmen and their aids.

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-4

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Unliked, But Respected

A Bad Law

Not long ago a tragedy occured in my town of Chattanooga, a tragedy that was felt across the nation, even around the world. Back in November of last year (2016) a school bus transporting children from Woodmore Elementery School crashed, ultimately being nearly cut in half by a tree, resulting in many injuries and 6 deaths.

Almost immediately people familiar with the story, and especially the affected families and friends within the Woodmore community, began calling out for seat belts on school buses. Actually, it was at Erlanger Hospital, where many of the wounded children were taken, that I heard grieving parents scream in anger, “That bus driver was wearing a seat belt, and he’s still alive! Why did he get to wear a seat belt and my baby didn’t?!!” When I heard those words I knew what was coming.

It wasn’t long before Tennessee State House Representative JoAnne Favors (D) of the 29th District put forth a bill that would require all school buses in the state to have seatbelts. The argument was that if the children from Woodmore had been wearing seatbelts, many would not have been hurt, and some may not have died. “How many more children have to die,” they would ask, “until we make seatbelts manditory?”

The problem, however, was that the only ones arguing for requiring seatbelts on all school buses were those who never drove a school bus or had to deal with all that takes place on one. When bus drivers were given the opportunity over social media to express their opinion, the overwhelming consensus was that seatbelts on a school bus was a bad, bad idea.

I  Had to Act

The bill calling for requiring seatbelts on buses began to work its way through committee after committee, and it began to appear there was no stopping it. As a school bus drive I desperately wanted to state my case in front of one of these committees in Nashville, but how could I? Every time they had a meeting where the public could voice their opinions, we bus drivers were actually on the job. About the only thing I could do was resort to social media.

Early on, way back in December of 2016, I posted to Facebook a short video giving reasons why the seatbelt bill would be a bad law. That video got a little response, but nothing came of it.

Then, on April 28, on WRCB (Channel 3) I saw David Karnes interview Rep. JoAnne Favors and the attorney for the Woodmore families, C. Mark Warren. What they said ticked me off so much I had to do something right then, so I went directly to Facebook Live and recorded the following rant 😉

Click on the screen shot from my phone to watch the video.

The above Facebook Live video was quickly shared among the bus-driving community, and several suggested that I do more, even take off work and go to Nashville. The overwhelming proof that bus drivers do not want belts, and why, became evident in the thousands of views and hundreds of comments which continue to accumulate.

Taking It to the News Media

It is now the evening of May 5th, and David Karnes has yet to return my requests to counter Rep. Favors’ claims on his April 28th television program. Needless to say, especially with the urging of others, I made calls to other news stations in our area, expressing my belief that bus drivers were not getting a fair deal – we were not being able to share our side of this issue… and WE were the ones who were going to have to deal with the results of its implimentation!

At first I called the news room of WDEF (Channel 12). The gentleman I spoke with there assured me that nothing would come of Favor’s bill, so there was no need for me to share my thoughts. Well, then… la ti da.

Then, undeterred, I called WTVC (Channel 9). The lady I spoke with, unlike the gentleman at Channel 12, thought what I was saying sounded worth investigating. She told me that what I was saying was definitely interesting, and with the programming director listening in she informed me that a reporter would get back with me on Monday. She asked, “Would you have any problem talking on camera?”

“Heck, no!” I replied. “I’d be happy to talk on camera!” I mean, what kind of question was that? I then referred her to my Facebook page.

Monday came around, but no one called; I figured nothing would come of my call. Then on Tuesday morning, the very day on which another vote was to take place in another committee in Nashville, a reporter called me and set up an interview.

From around 10:30 to 11:30a.m. I sat in front of a TV camera and camera man, a reporter, and a program director. For a whole hour I was given the chance to respond to some very pointed questions and give my thoughts on the whole seatbelt issue.

The rest of the morning and afternoon, even until the evening, I felt sick. What worried me was the fact that I was a employee of the company that had been sued over the deaths and injuries resulting from the Woodmore crash. Going back to November of last year we had been instructed to avoid interviews with the media. But this was different, for I was acting as nothing more than a bus driver in Tennessee who was concerned about a possible bad law. I didn’t know how the news media would edit my interview, and all I could think of was how much trouble I could be in on Wednesday.

However, I wasn’t fired! The following video will show that the resulting editing was not only fair, but quite favorable to my position.

The Point of This Post

Wednesday morning I went in to work, not knowing what to expect. What I got were “high fives” and multiple joking requests for my autograph. After a few humorous requests I held up the sign-in sheet where all drivers are to sign their names each morning and said, “Now that I’m famous, all of these sign-in sheets will be worth money, so don’t throw them away.” Ha!

Then, as I was standing there, an older woman, a driver of a special needs school bus (a small bus), walked up to me and began to talk.

“Mr. Baker, I need to tell you something.”

“OK,” I said. Now, keep in mind I had never, not once, spoken with this woman ever before.

“This is me…” she pointed to herself, “…so this is me talking…”

“OK,” was my response, again.

“You know,” she began, “I have never really cared very much for you…”

What was I supposed to say? How was I supposed to respond? Like I said, I had never even spoken with this lady, so what had I done to offend her? Anyway, she continued…

“But I want you to know that I respect what you did…what you said on TV. What you did was courageous, and what you said on our behalf as drivers is very much appreciated.”

Well, now! I got smacked in the face and complimented all at the same time!

Then, in regard to my concern that the management of the company could fire me for being interviewed on television, she matter-of-factly assured me, “And if those people in the office have a problem with what you’ve done, then I will go down there with you and tell them to their face they can kiss your a**, and my a**, too!”

With raised eyebrows and a nod of my head all I could say in response was, “”Well, uh, thanks…I appreciate it.”

When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. – Proverbs 16:7

All I could think about was how that when we stand up for what is right, even those who hate us may find some reason to respect us. That was the only way I could explain why this older woman who “never really cared much” for me would put her own “a**” on the line.

The Aftermath

Believe it or not, JoAnne Favors pulled the bill! CLICK HERE for the story.

Did my actions have anything to do with it? Honestly, I’d like to think so.

This afternoon, the lady who I mentioned earlier stopped by my car window as I was leaving work. She asked, “So, are you proud of yourself?”

“Well, to be honest,” I began, “I’d like to think I had a part in what happened.”

“I’m sure you did,” she said.

So, yeah, it feels good to have accomplished something…maybe. But it feels better to be respected, 

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Filed under community, current events, Life Lessons, politics, self-worth

My Healthcare Reform Suggestions

Enough with all the bickering and fighting, not to mention the constant maligning of each other in the media, let’s pass some real healthcare reform that is fair, realistic, and responsible.

In other words, submit the following 10 points to Congress, get it approved, have the President sign it, then let’s get on with life.

Baker Healthcare Reform Plan

1. Allow insurance companies to sell across state lines.

2. Create a high-risk pool for those with pre-existing conditions such as cancer, etc., and develop ways in which those with chronic illnesses can receive care without affecting premium costs for healthy citizens.

3. Encourage tax-free accounts such as Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) in which people can put money to be used for medical expenses, further encouraging better pricing options.

4. Encourage doctors, hospitals, and all medical facilities to list actual prices and offer discounts for cash payments (including payments made from FSA’s and HSA’s).

5. Re-educate the public on what insurance is and is not. Create courses in high school and college which will teach young adults how to manage their healthcare costs.

6. Encourage lower medicine costs by reducing regulations which cost manufactures millions and delay drugs being introduced to the market.

7. Develop a strict, but less-burdensome vetting process which will allow foreign prescription drugs to be sold in the United States, thereby providing more options to the consumer.

8. Re-evaluate laws which govern how legal firms bring class action law suits against prescription drug companies.

9. Encourage self-insurance options for the wealthy.

10. Allow insurance companies to create a wider variety of affinity group options.

Honestly, much more could be said about each of the above points, but these alone would have fixed a lot of problems with the previous healthcare system, all without having the government come along and take over everything.

With some common sense everything could be OK.

 

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Take Me To Your Leader

Today, on Presidents Day, many people across America took to the streets in protest, not celebration. With banners raised and voices lifted (or visa versa), the disappointed citizens, non-citizens, voters, and even non-voters (i.e., those who should just shut up and keep out of it) spewed out the following phrase:

“Not my president!”

Yes, in cities across the land the very same people who say they care about America, yet claim it was “never great” and are convinced the Russians have damaged our democracy, are marching around proclaiming themselves leaderless after a fair election. 

What would these protesters have said if a bunch of Republicans had said the same thing about Obama? I was deeply disappointed when he was elected, but I respected the result. The rule of law, you see, even extends to accepting duly-elected leaders, even when we don’t like them or their policies. Had we protested Obama the same way these today have protested President Trump, we would have been labeled both un-American and racist. Heck, I was labeled a racist for just not voting for the man! 

Yet, here we have a bunch of people who are boldly proclaiming that Trump is not their president, and that they will not submit to any of his policies. Are they racists, or just un-American? Because, as I see it, unless we were invaded by hostiles and forced to accept regime change, even a new constitution, the man in the White House right now is my leader. 

So, here’s my question: If the President of the United Stated of America is not your president, who is? Obviously you are not American, because ours has been elected. 

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I Deleted It

I haven’t been writing much that lately, only re-posting in an effort to keep up activity and share some good stuff with newer readers. The reason is that we are still in the process of moving to a different part of town and out of the parsonage we’ve been in for the last eight years.

So, what I did was sit down at my computer one last time, all because this baby is going to be taken down and packed in the back of a van in the morning, and write a final post in the area where my blogging actually began. I sat down in the empty kitchen, worn out, right where I’m sitting right now, and decided I would write a post addressing the millions of women marching all over the world in protest of President Donald Trump.

I deleted the post.

Well, I didn’t actually delete it – that would be a lie – I just permanently saved it as a “draft.”

Why did I, in effect, delete the post I labored over for an hour? I figured it was better for me to find other battles to fight than get into one with a bunch of pink “p***y hat” wearing, illogical, angry, pro-abortion, hypocritical, estrogen-filled leftists with a uterus-shaped chip on their shoulder.

You don’t need to know what I think about a million Gloria Steinhem worshipers or White House-threatening Madonna’s. You don’t want me to go there. I don’t want to go there.

The continual dropping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike (Proverbs 27:15), so why cause it to storm when it’s quiet and I’m perfectly dry?

I just dried out from having to move in the rain, so I don’t need to invite a million drips of estrogen rage. I’ll just keep praying for our new President; he can break out his own umbrella – I hear it’s huuuge.

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Now What? (My Post-Election Thoughts)

It’s Over!

For practically a year and a half our nation has been focused on November 8th. First there was all the primary drama. Could Hillary hold off Bernie? Could 16 Republicans ever produce a candidate? From the very beginning it was clear this was going to be an election like no other.

Then came the general election campaign. Talk about twists and turns! To begin with, who would have thought we’d end up with two candidates so fatally flawed? How did either survive as long as they did with all the scandals each had to endure? Totally amazing.

But it’s over, now, praise the Lord! No more media spin; no more celebrities getting naked or offering sexual favors in return for voting for Hillary; no more talk of swing states and the electoral college; and no more talk of things that divide us.

Sorry, I was kidding about that last part.

What Is NOT Over

Sure, the election cycle is over for now, and Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States. However, some of the very things that divided this nation during the election will still be sources of discontent in the future.

  • Immigration. Just this morning on my school bus I literally heard African-American teens talking with each other about their fear of being sent back to Africa. One of them said, “Well, if they don’t send us back, they’ll make us wanna go.” If blacks are talking about being sent back to Africa (which is ludicrous), imagine the what many Hispanics are discussing this morning!
  • Nationalism. Many are afraid of America becoming another Nazi Germany. Personally, I believe their fears have little basis in reality. However, there are certainly some who believe America should no longer be a “shining city on a hill.” They want America to cede her strength and position in the world to international authority. Because of this, tension between proud patriots and liberal leftists will remain high.
  • Gender revolution. The LGBTQetc community has enjoyed nearly 8 years of un-restrained success in pushing through their agenda of social change. Now that they’ve had their way for so long, how will a Republican White House, Senate, and Congress now secure the rights of Christian businesses and such without suffering the rainbow wrath?
  • Entitlements. If our national debt is ever going to be addressed, rampant entitlement spending must be brought under scrutiny. But, just like I heard four years ago on my school bus, I heard it again today, just about a different Republican, “He’s gonna take our food stamps away!” Well, if you don’t really need them, and if you’re just selling them, then they should be taken away. However, nobody wants to starve anyone, people! But continue that lie and there will always be tension.
  • Health Care. President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act has been anything but, yet how do we now completely repeal something that completely destroyed everything, and now has so many low-income unhealthy hooked? One way or another, this is going to be a big struggle in the coming months.

Moving Forward

As I see it, this election has done two things: it has proved one thing, and offered another.

First, it has proven that an overwhelming amount of Americans are tired of corrupt government and want someone to do something about it.

The main reason Trump was elected – in my estimation – is that the majority of our people were tired of government going against the will of the people, never acknowledging it is WE who elected them, and it was time for an outsider to flush the system.

To be clear, our system of government does work, it’s just been clogged up and getting worse for a long while. There should be no “political class,” only elected Americans serving other Americans like our founding fathers intended. Trump was elected to get things “flowing” again.

Second, this election has offered the American church a reprieve, a short breather, a small window of opportunity in which to prepare for what will inevitably come in the future.

What concerned many in this country such as myself was the clear and present danger that Hillary Clinton posed toward our freedom of religion. Others have scoffed at my concerns, but they chose to ignore (or interpret differently) the overwhelming evidence of precedent. Looking at the way things have “progressed” in America over the last 8 years, it was easy to see the policy track a Clinton administration would take. In my estimation it would have taken only 5 short years until thousands of churches would have been forced to close their doors due to gender laws, and many pastors would have been forced to either curb their speech, or face fines or jail time. All I did was look at the natural progression of things.

But because Clinton was not elected, the American churches have been given an opportunity to start making adjustments: one example would be preparing for our tax-exempt status being removed. Let’s be honest, barring another great spiritual awakening in this country, the time will come when another president is elected who will find it politically expedient to punish a segment of society that refuses to accept and affirm the gender-bending, sexually-immoral agenda of many on the left. Like Joseph of old, we should be preparing now for the famine to come.

Keep Praying

Some of you made it very clear you were praying before this election. Well, whether you voted for Trump, or not, now is NOT the time to stop praying!

President Elect Trump is not a perfect man, as we know. So, pray that God will make him humble and dependent upon Him. Pray that he will select wise and godly counsel to surround him as he’s forced to make decisions that will affect us all, even the world.

Pray that civility will be restored to this broken and fractured nation.

But above all, pray Psalm 9:20… “Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men.”

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Rejoice or Mourn, but Don’t Settle

Proverbs 29:2

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”

‘Ocracies

It would seem like never before in the history of man has it been possible for atheists and all those antagonistic to Christianity, the Bible, faith, or whatever, to have their voices be heard. Of course, I may be wrong and even over-exaggerating a little, but thanks to the media and easy access to the internet, angry voices condemning leaders with morals are screaming from every direction.

This proverb should not be interpreted as saying, “Christians should be in authority everywhere!” No, the idea is more along the lines of promoting wise leadership, honest leadership, or simply men and women with integrity and moral fortitude. Yet, even when and if true Christians were to assume authority, very few would have any thoughts of promoting a “theocracy.” But listen to the atheists and you’d think that the “righteous” would start hanging unbelievers tomorrow, if they could.

The fact is that at it’s founding, when the most Christians (including deists) where in authority in America, that is when they founded a constitutional republic, NOT a theocracy.

Righteous Rule

When the righteous rule, the people rejoice. Why is that? Could it be that the people are treated fairly? The righteous wouldn’t take more than they need in taxes. The righteous wouldn’t lie about issues in order to get elected. The righteous would be responsible with resources. The righteous wouldn’t seek office to obtain power, but to serve others. The righteous wouldn’t compromise his beliefs, but he would work together with his fellow man in search of the common good.

Sadly, many in our society mourn when the righteous are considered for leadership. Many recoil at the thought of a man or woman with integrity, faith, and morals. They see these potential leaders as threats – not to freedom, but to unrestrained behavior.

Wicked Rule

Why do the people mourn when the wicked rule? Because the wicked think only of themselves; they care nothing about the people under their authority.

Do we have wicked leaders, or are our leaders righteous, looking out for all of us? Do those in authority serve, or do they accumulate power in order to manipulate the masses? The answer will be different and vary in intensity wherever you go, but this much is true: there are far fewer righteous leaders than wicked ones.

The Undecided

But then there are those who can’t decide whether to rejoice or mourn. They have been treated so poorly for so long that they have come to accept wicked leadership as the norm.

If you think otherwise, just consider the following defense of President Obama by L.Z. Granderson on CNN:

“Now with president Obama, it is true, he should have been more forthright with how the Affordable Care Act was going to impact the country. But with that being said, all Americans know politicians lie. The question is: which lies can you live with? And time and time again Americans have said, “We can deal with the lies that President Obama tells us, because we believe in his heart – he has the best interests for the American people. Every president’s gonna lie to you. Every politician is gonna lie to you. The question is: which lies can you live with?” – Source

Sounds more like when the wicked rule, the people give up caring. God help us.

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