Let it not be said we did nothing.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Does this make any sense, that opposing the war is synonymous with opposing our troops? That wanting an end to the war without further violence is just the same as wanting all our troops to fall down dead?
Does that connect?
The Iraq war was a preemptive action on the part of the US, against a sovereign country that was no threat to us as of our attack. Iraq was not behind the 9/11 attacks, ruling out the excuse of a war of holy retribution. Attacking a sovereign nation without provocation is wrong, not to mention unconstitutional, whether for the purpose of 'furthering democracy' or no.
But why does speaking out against the war equal attacking our troops in the minds of many?
Frankly, I really don't know. Would anyone care to shed some light?
Friday, September 25, 2009
This is scary for a multitude of reasons. Number one- Barack Obama is, just to clue you in, the President of the United States. He is not the Messiah, the Savior, or Superman. He's basically a figurehead for the nation who (Constitutionally) gets to veto bills he doesn't like and look pretty for the cameras.
This cult of personality that has grown up around the man is frankly frightening. Not to mention its idiocy, it brings undue attention to someone who really, in the grand scheme of things, isn't (or shouldn't be) all that important.
I've put the text to the songs in the top video below for your...enjoyment.
Mm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama
He said that all must lend a hand
To make this country strong again
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama
He said we must be fair today
Equal work means equal pay
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama
He said that we must take a stand
To make sure everyone gets a chance
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama
He said red, yellow, black or white
All are equal in his sight
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama
Mmm, mmm, mm
Barack Hussein Obama
Hello, Mr. President we honor you today!
For all your great accomplishments, we all doth say "hooray!"
Hooray, Mr. President! You're number one!
The first black American to lead this great nation!
Hooray, Mr. President we honor your great plans
To make this country's economy number one again!
Hooray Mr. President, we're really proud of you!
And we stand for all Americans under the great Red, White, and Blue!
So continue ---- Mr. President we know you'll do the trick
So here's a hearty hip-hooray ----
Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Prior to President Obama, every president since FDR has appointed 'czars' to head various parts of his administration. FDR set the precedent with only 12 czars, and after his terms, the number began to decline. Until, that is, Bill Clinton. Clinton upped the ante with 7 czars, but HBush far out-appointed him, with 31.
President Obama has quickly outpaced even Bush, eight months into his four-year term, with 32 czars as of last count.
According to Politico, President Obama's czar positions range from an 'Afghanistan Czar' to 'WMD Policy Czar.'
Apparently, the czars are yet another layer of government, reporting directly to the President, as well as a few to Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State. These czars work on solutions and policy. In a way, they are somewhat like the advisement department of a company.
Of course, in the grand company of which Obama is the CEO, that role is supposed to be filled by his cabinet. But oops, somebody didn't tell that to FDR or to Obama. Quite an oversight there.
According to a professor of government at Dartmouth College, Linda Fowler, "presidents often appoint czars in a symbolic move to show they care about an issue. They also are trying to control a sprawling bureaucracy..."
Personally, I think this system of czars is messed up. The President isn't supposed to control policy on any issue at all! Having czars to do his bidding is even more unconstitutional. The czars are filling a role which is supposed to be handled by Congress.
Of course, if Congress wasn't so busy with all the other junk they deal with, they might be able to fill their Constitutional capacity better.
Apparently, that term is now a racial epithet!! That's right. We can't use a scientific term for a spatial anomaly because it might hurt some black person's feelings. Like Commisioner John Wiley Price.
Seriously? A blackhole is properly defined as a collapsed star which has folded in upon itself and now sucks in energy. Why do they call it a 'blackhole'? Well, because the hole is- you guessed it- black. It's nothing. It blots out the stars behind it. It is black.
This term is not a racial epithet, and I don't see how you can make it into one. But what did Mr. Price say?
#1- this dude is way over the top, in my opinion. For starters, the only time 'black' takes on a negative connotation is when you make it so. I do not think 'bad' when I think 'black'. I think of the cute little girls I taught. Get over yourself already!
#2- this morning I was watching the science show The Universe on the History Channel. A white hole is something completely different than a black hole. In fact, none of these white holes have ever been observed, they are merely a scientific fact/theory that falls under the Theory of Relativity. They put things out- the exact antithesis of what black holes do.
#3- has this gentleman ever looked at the color black? It is generally seen as 'dirty' because it is completely devoid of light to the human eye. Also, this gentleman's skin is not black. It is actually a quite pleasing dark brown. ;)
#4- the day someone apologizes for the use of a scientific term is the day I know the world has completely gone nuts.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Okay then. This is getting just a little weird.
But, I want one. However, seeing as my (and my family's) track record with plants, their containers, and breakable things is extremely bad, the outcome of our foray into history could be um.....unfortunate, let us say. (*tries to contain evil laughter*)
Seriously though, I think this sort of thing is going just a little too far. Seriously? Do we have to idolize him everywhere? He's just the president for goodness' sake, not a fourth Jonas Brother!!(and the Jonas Brothers don't even have Chia pets made of them...)
Now, usually I don't read Hannity. Or listen to Hannity. Frankly, I find the man a boring alarmist who has nothing better to do than spout Republican talking points. (That's the same reason I don't watch say, Keith Olberman either.) But I'd already read Slander (Ann Coulter) and The Obama Nation (Dr. Jerome Corsi), so I got Hannity's book.
I am on the second chapter. Frankly, I can't decide whether President Obama's Audacity of Hope was better or worse. If we're measuring a book by level of partisanship, they rival each other quite nicely. Of course, they do have opposing viewpoints- Obama blames everything on the Republicans; in Hannity's book, everything is the Democrat's fault.
Frankly, both views are nauseating.
I mean, seriously. Is that the whole substance of our political argument? If I don't like it, it's their fault? Sheesh people, can't we defend ourselves with something beyond that? Can't we have an original thought once in our lives?
So far, Deliver Us From Evil has been nothing but pro-Bush, pro-war, pro-Constitutionality raping on the part of Hannity. I am sure he did not intend it as such- I mean, anyone could have missed that fact that Iraq is a sovereign nation. And I'll grant you that maybe, just maybe someone could have overlooked the fact that when the ability to set foreign policy is granted to Congress, it doesn't mean we're supposed to go in and invade other countries.
Maybe. But perhaps it's just my personality, but I'm not at all willing to let it slide so easily. The idea that someone of Hannity's stature could miss this is rather astounding to me. But then, given his outspoken support in favor of the PATRIOT act, it isn't surprising that he's so pro-war. Oh, and he's a Republican.
No surprise at all.
I don't understand partisanship. Everything is the opposite side's fault, no matter what it is. Eve eating from the tree was the opposite party's fault, apparently! Cain killing Abel, Noah's flood, the origin of wickedness, the capture of the Israelites...all of it was the opposite side's fault.
Perhaps this can be attributed to human nature. Perhaps it is a natural impulse: to blame someone else for all your troubles.
But when you're a nationally-recognized figure, it just doesn't look good.
Is there any responsibility in the house?
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
"But smoking is dangerous! Haven't you ever heard of the dangers of second-hand smoking?! It can give you lung cancer!"
Yeah. And that asphalt truck driving five miles an hour down the road in front of me won't do a thing to harm my lungs. That diesel-guzzling, exhaust-belching truck won't do a single thing to my lungs.
Okay. I see the logic we're operating on now.
Alice in Wonderland logic. Ain't it fun?
Lots of people operate on this logic. Like the New York City health committee, seeking to ban smoking. Outdoors.
Heaven help us if some smoke were to get into the atmosphere. I mean, it might tip the delicate balance between global warming and global alrightness and global cooling, sending us into a catastrophe of unknown proportions, making the world hotter than even we can send it at an astronomically high rate, even higher than now, even though the effects right now are really negligible, but besides that, we might get lung cancer cuz dont'cha know only SHS gives you lung cancer, and it's not at all due to the smell coming off that tar over there!!
Okay. I see how this works.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Baracknophobia - Obey|
This is hilarious. Jon Stewart does have brief moments of shining glory...
Monday, September 14, 2009
Two things for this wonderful, discerning gentleman:
Number one- The argument of 'general welfare' is viable, but doesn't hold up. It says 'general welfare', not 'individual welfare'. Things like social security, medicare, and universal healthcare are not for general welfare, they are for individual welfare.
Number two- He ignores the rest of article one. It does not give the power to give universal healthcare to the nation to Congress anywhere. Sorry.
One more thing- in the words of my mother- "Baloney?! You're a bunch of baloney, you dweeb!"
(You gotta love my mom... :P Or at least, I do. )
From the US Constitution-
Section 2 - Civilian Power over Military, Cabinet, Pardon Power, Appointments
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.
Section 3 - State of the Union, Convening Congress
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.
In light of this, some of the things going are recently are pretty interesting. Like President Obama's speech lately, outlining policy for Congress, vs. the 'recommendation' that is provided for in the Constitution.
Or setting rules for Wall Street.
Or the 'Obama Stimulus Plan'.
Or his 'preventive detention' plan.
Or the plethora of other things that Obama has said and done. You only have to read his book to see that he has an overinflated idea of his own power.
The Obama administration doesn't measure up. (Or should that be 'down'?)
Friday, September 11, 2009
At the time, I was about six, so it didn't make much impact on my brain, but I still remember where I heard it. My mom took us to a thrift store. Apparently, she had gotten a phone call earlier in the morning from a friend of hers- the phone wasn't working anymore though, because there were too many calls being sent, so we just went about our day.
They had a radio in there, and the place was just like still. The counter lady was leaning against it, staring at the radio, and they were talking about how something had fallen. Of course, my six-year old brain- "Oh cool! Buildings are falling!!" but mom didn't look at all happy, so I knew it was bad. The significance of this event did not really sink in until I was about 10 or 11.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
"This legislation also provides for access by the appointees of the Obama administration of all of your personal healthcare information, your personal financial information, and the information of your employer, physician, and hospital. All of this is a direct violation of the specific provisions of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution protecting against unreasonable searches and seizures."
That was taken care of quite well by the PATRIOT act- which was some eight years ago during the reign of Bush. There is nothing here that has not already been violated, years ago. Also, this charge lacks citation. This may be broadly implied throughout the bill, but if some such thing as a database for our personal information (which is already contained in an insurance building, if you have ins., and at the government, if you use Medicaid, anyway) exists, there will be a section one could cite.
I will agree that this bill, no matter its individual points, has much too broad a power grab focus by Congress. It inordinately adds to the power given to that body and to the executive branch.
But we must face the fact that we have a problem with our healthcare system. No amount of ignoring this will make it go away. At least our lawmakers are attempting to fix the problem. The way to get them to change it differently is not to resort to outright fabrication. It is to approach them in a credible manner and give them your ideas. Make it clear that your vote depends on their reception of your ideas.
Resorting to supposition and fabrication does not make our cause look credible. It makes it look worse. It makes us look like desperate nobodies who are insisting on making Obama look bad, no matter what he does. That is not a good thing. The kind of rabid hate that I see filling talk shows like The Savage Nation and Hannity & Colmes is astounding. And it is all aimed towards Obama. Why? He is a democrat, and has Communist leanings. Both are true, but do not justify the acrimony I see.
That is not the way to accomplish our goals. The way to accomplish our goals is through earnest, sincere, truthful debate and discussion, not through mindless vitriol and accusations.
This has turned into a rant against the entirety of the anti-healthcare crowd. :P
Anyway, back to our subject- I would more than happy to believe anything bad about this bill. But I cannot when the only thing I have heard posed against it are baseless, unverified rumors. I cannot take someone's word for it. I must see for myself. It is perhaps a failing of mine, but it is important to me that I be able to verify what I am told. (It's the same reason I read The Audacity of Hope, in case you were wondering. ;) )
If anyone could point me towards the individual parts of HR 3200 that carry out some of the accusations against it, it would be greatly appreciated.
Right off the bat, I see some things I don't like about Obama's conclusions. Need I say this again? It is not the government's job to make sure companies can get credit and capital. I see nothing about that in the Constitution. I do see something about how Congress is supposed to regulate the value of our money, but other than that, not much- and it is certainly not the President's job to do so!! This proposed healthcare plan- and what Obama summarily proposed in his speech- is so outside the bounds of Presidential and Congressional power, that it's not even funny.
I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure we're still quite a bit aways from the 'brink'- and we're on the wrong side of things. I know, I know- "Obama can't fix eight years of damage in six months!" Why not? He promised he would. I merely want him to stand up for what he said. Is that so terrible? People are still losing jobs at a fantastic rate. Our unemployment rate hit 9.6 in August. That's up significantly from what it was in 2008! (Before the bailouts started, by the way.)
The problem is not, I think, with a lack of governmental oversight. The problem is that the insurance companies are messing the people of America over, and driving costs up, and the people are more than happy to let them. The solution is not governmental power-grabbing, but education of the American people.
"We are the only democracy -- the only advanced democracy on Earth -- the only wealthy nation -- that allows such hardship for millions of its people."
Firstly- we're not a democracy. We're a Constitutional Republic. The only Constitutional Republic, might I add, on the face of the planet. Hence, we are the only one that supposedly lets that happen. Which we don't. Like I said before, the problem is not lack of governmental oversight; it is a lack of objective thinking and education by the American people.
I think one of the reasons healthcare costs, collectively, are so high in the US is because people here go into the doctor for the smallest things, and then get the worst-case scenario treatment for it. People go into the doctor because they have a simple stopped-up nose, or a fever, and get high-falutin' medication for it. The costs for this kind of thing go into the averages, and drive it up.
I'll tell you a major reason people can't start a business, and I'll give you a hint- it doesn't have a single thing to do with the insurance companies. It has to do with the insanity of the government regulations that are imposed on people that want to start up a business. Business owners have to pay hundreds of dollars simply to hire an employee. They have to pay yet more to get licensed, then to keep on going. It's crazy, and that is the reason they are going under, not because healthcare costs so much. I love how Obama professes to want to help small business when in fact, the regulations he is proposing will do more to stop small business than to help it grow. The only thing these regulations help is the government's pocketbook.
Obama did make an ardent effort in his speech to smooth out some of the misconceptions about the bill, including the so-called 'death panels', the allegation that the bill will provide for illegal immigrants, and that people will be forced to change insurance.
A little 'side-note' here- why is healthcare considered a right? I thought it was one of those things that if you want it, you've got to foot the bill. So why is it considered a right?
At this point in the speech, one of the Congressmen called out "You lie!" to President Obama as he was talking about whether or no illegals would get coverage. (They will not, for the record. Page 143, section 246 of HR 3200.) I personally think this was waayyy over the top- President Obama is still our President, no matter your personal feelings on the subject, and should be afforded the proper amount of respect due that position. (President Obama handled this with quite a bit of grace, which was quite exemplary on his part.) For the record, Rep. Wilson did apologize to President Obama (quite properly), and the President accepted the apology with a great deal of tact.
Now then. Obama got into the financial side of this plan a little later on. It was, needless to say, rather interesting. I quote in the interest of accuracy.
"And here's what you need to know. First, I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits -- either now or in the future."
"And they'd be right if taxpayers were subsidizing this public insurance option. But they won't be."
Oh okay. I see now- we don't want any more of those nasty deficits hanging over our heads. It's so wonderful you thought of that before the stimulus plan.
And if the taxpayer is not going to be paying for this, then who is? We're going to be using governmental funds to pay for the public option. If not the taxpayer, then who? I wasn't aware the government could pluck money out of thin air. No matter where you get the money- from individuals, from companies, you're still getting it from taxpayers, and you're still taking away money that rightfully belongs to someone else.
All in all, a nice speech. If he weren't trying to force his policy on Congress. The President is not the policy maker, that would be Congress. Constitutionally, the President can suggest things he wants Congress to do; he cannot tell them what to do.
"He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient"
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
China Daily reported it so, but according to Fox News, the White House has since said that the ceremony will occur, not at the House itself, but across the street.
Of course, this is not without precedent- flags of foreign nations are flown from the White House occasionally to signify state visits (which this visit, according to the White House, is not); in fact, the last time the Chinese flag was hoisted over the White House was during President Bush's term, to welcome Chinese President Hu Jintao to the country. Flags have been flown from across the street plenty of times, often for ceremonies such as this.
The ceremony in question would involve celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC). (Something I've come to realize- the reason people don't want to recognize the US as a Republic is because all the Communist countries claim to be 'republics'. Kind of sad.)
The idea of our celebrating such a thing at all is rather strange; the fact that China is a Communist country, repressive and totalitarian, doesn't seem to faze anyone. Of course, China also owns us, which may be a large part of it. I don't understand why foreign countries have to come to our country to celebrate their stuff, just seems sort of strange.
But since there is precedent for this, I don't suppose there's much more to be said about it.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Just how stupid can Americans be? Evidently, it hasn't occurred to them that if the government is paying the bill, they can dictate the terms of your behavior, or deny the service. If you owe a debt to someone, you are indebted to them and they technically own you and can set the terms of repayment as well as your behavior, as long as there is a remaining balance on the debt.
When a person borrows money to buy a home or a car, take a look at the fine print in the contract. Every word, every line, every sentence and every paragraph is written in favor of the lender and it is written by high-paid lawyers who have a long history of tying people up into legal knots. If you violate the terms of the contract, you can end up in a peck of trouble that could cost you thousands to "fix". And this is just a private lender. Just think if it was the government you were beholden to?
So why in God's name would anyone trust the government to pay for anything that they might need, especially one of the most private portions of their lives, health care?
Have you ever dealt with a Medicaid patient? We have! Have you seen the mountain of paper work you have to fill out on their behalf, or the proof and justification of the patient's entire life's financial and medical history, in order to get on Medicaid? But not just the patient's history, but yours as well. Have you seen the bill (in the tens of thousands) that Medicaid sends to the executor of your estate after you die, in order to collect what they have paid out, even though your estate was bled to death before Medicaid took over? We have!
Let's take the "cash for clunkers" deal that government recently offered. They put up $3,000,000,000 and it lasted about 3 weeks, because Americans just can't resist a "free" lunch. It never occurs to them that it "ain't" free. Did you know that to qualify, the dealer had to fill out twenty pages of gobble-d-gook that then had to be faxed to the government bureaucracy handling the program, before the deal could be approved and consummated and the bureaucracy will take weeks-stroke-months, to process the paper work and pay the dealer?
Oh, but the nasty little secret is the money that you never received from the government for your "clunker" is taxable and is added to your gross income. It could put you in the next tax bracket if you aren't careful, or know how to manipulate the tax code like Tim Geitner and Tom Daschle.
But that's not all. The dealers, who were so excited about this "deal", are having a real hard time getting the "cash" out of the government they advanced to make the deal. Some are running out of cash and their banker won't float them until the government forks over. Big surprise there. Who received the greatest profits from this grandiose government "scheme"? Foreign car manufacturers like Toyota, not GM, not Ford, not Chrysler.
And it gets worse. The clunker you turned in for the new car, which normally would have been a used car to sell to another customer, was fed some "juice" to ruin the engine and then sent to the scrap yard for a "big crunch". The remainder of the mangled car is then shipped to China so that they can re-cycle it into new steel and sell it back to the Americans in what is called "dumping", thereby competing with American steel manufacturers and driving them out of business. Why was this done? For insane environmental reasons, that's why!
Oh, and one more thing. You turned in your old "clunker" that was probably paid for and exchanged it for a $20,000 to $30,000 debt, evidenced by an iron-clad contract that was drafted by high-paid lawyers that know how to tie you into legal knots. Remember what we said about being indebted to someone? They own you.
Now let's advance to Medicare. The government sets the premium for all who are on Medicare and dictates how much they will pay for any given medical treatment. To save money, (because they won't clamp down on the billions in Medicare waste, fraud and abuse) they start pinching on what they will pay, thus resulting in doctors and other health care professionals not wanting to treat Medicare patients. Can you blame them? Now, seniors, who are aging quickly and on fixed incomes, suddenly discover they can't find a doctor to treat them. That's enforced rationing, if not government-assisted suicide. If government pays - they dictate!
Everything that government touches gets screwed up. From health care, to environmental and land use regulations, to energy control, to food control, to water control, to money control. They not only make sure that whatever they do costs way more than it should, (need we mention $700 hammers) but separates you from any liberties you thought were guaranteed to you by our Constitution. We thought it was the government's job to preserve, protect and defend your rights under the Constitution, not separate you from them? That is what there real duty is, not controlling you. And did you notice that they lie repeatedly, or keep changing their story on purpose, to confuse you?
Given the government's grossly negligent history in almost everything they do, why on Earth would anyone trust them to control and deliver health care to the masses, where somehow the current quality is maintained, more people are added to the system, (millions more) and the claim that government will somehow reduce the cost of it all? That's not only ludicrous, it is insane! If you believe it, we have a bridge over the Hudson we will sell you.
Medicare now costs nine (9) times more than was originally forecasted and is going broke. Medicaid is going broke. Social Security is going broke. Nationalized health care will surely go broke and doom what is left of the now financially unstable and fragile American economy. When the dollar slides to zero because of hyper inflation because government spends more than it takes in, then you will go broke and all that going broke means.
Government's dirty little fingers are in every aspect of your life, from the moment you are born (social security number and a DNA sample) to the day you have the good fortune of transiting from the Socialist Republic of America to the resounding silence and quiet peace of eternal death, where your life-time shackles are finally broken.
The shackles will remain on the living as long as Americans reach out to government to solve their problems for them, problems they can solve themselves. The simple truth is, that if you ask someone to do something for you that you can do for yourself, or pay a price that you should pay, that someone OWNS you. Government has done a very good job of turning once-free Americans into brain-dead dolts, who feed at the government pig trough and never think about freedom, unless the pig trough runs dry. The sad part is, these dolts get to vote.
Well folks, the pig trough is about to run dry and it appears that some Americans are actually beginning to pull their pabulum-covered faces out of the pig trough and look up to freedom. Amazing! There may be hope for America after all.
It is an inescapable axiom. If government pays - they can and do dictate your behavior! Free choice is out the window. Get it?
By Ron Ewart, President
National Association of Rural Landowners
and nationally recognized author on freedom and property rights issues
© Copyright September 8, 2009 - All Rights Reserved
Basically, this speech is an inspirational one- stay in school, get a degree, get a job, yay. Note that speeches such as this have been given by at least our past three presidents- Bush, Clinton, Bush Sr.
Difference this time- Conservatives are throwing a fit.
Other difference- it's Obama giving this speech, not 'Golden Boy' Bush.
Conclusion in the minds of Republicans- this speech is bad.
Apparently, Obama just telling our kids to stay in school is bad. (The fact that he's telling them to stay in a broken school system is highly suspect, but other than that...)
Of course, there's been plenty of blogging from outraged conservatives who think Obama is going to throw in a tidbit about his ultimate goals of world domination (which may or may not be founded in truth) or something...even though the speech is about personal responsibility.
Mom is going to make us watch it tomorrow. She found a live feed by the way, in case you're curious.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Does anyone want a pompous Congressman? The Ninth District of Indiana has one they might like to part with...
This video is from Rep. Baron Hill's townhall meeting. A young lady was told she was not allowed to film the meeting because it's 'against the rules'...whatever those rules are. (I seem to remember something in the ultimate law of our land about freedom of the press...)
From the Congressman's 'answer'- "Now let me repeat that one more time. This is my townhall meeting for you. And you're not gonna' tell me how to run my Congressional office. Now the reasons why I don't allow filming is because usually the films that are done end up on YouTube in a compromising position."
#1- I thought the whole purpose of a townhall meeting was so that the congressman could answer the people's questions, and they could check up on how good of a job he was doing. Not the other way around.
#2- Sorry, Rep. Hill, but you are accountable to those people you're talking to, did you know that? In fact, they hired you. And if they don't like you, you'll be out of a job. Very quickly. (Let us hope that Rep. Hill will find himself without a job come next election.)
#3- don't you just love the irony? (I got this on YouTube, in case it wasn't obvious. ^.^)
Furthermore- "Regulators would require all financial firms to hold larger capital reserves against unexpected losses. The largest firms would be forced to set aside even greater reserves, the rough equivalent of requiring a racehorse to carry more weight."
Let's just let the government tell the banks how to manage their money. Oh yeah, that makes sense. The government that is ELEVEN TRILLION in debt. If the banks got that far into the hole, their CEOs would be in jail.
"Administration officials say that large financial firms can offer important benefits to customers, such as the convenience of a one-stop shop for multiple services..."
Oh. They 'can'. "We're allowing you to run your business in such-and-such a way! But you don't have the freedom to be stupid. Because that would be...stupid."
"Unlike other key parts of the president's reform agenda, the new standards would not require approval by Congress. "
Oh nice. Let's just bypass the checks-and-balances here...that sounds smart.
Friday, September 4, 2009
I ask because recently, we stopped sending aid to Honduras. Why? Because they decided they didn't like their president and ousted him.
Wait. Isn't that the wonderful 'democracy' our government so wants to institute the world over? Why aren't they happy? Why aren't they jumping and dancing in the streets?
From the CNN story- "The political crisis stemmed from [Honduran President] Zelaya's plan to hold a referendum that could have changed the constitution and allowed longer term limits. The country's congress had outlawed the vote and the supreme court had ruled it illegal. De facto President Roberto Micheletti and his supporters say Zelaya's removal was a constitutional transfer of power and not a coup."
So... where's the problem? Zelaya was trying to do something they said was illegal. So they decided something had to be done. So they did it- within the bounds of their Constitution, apparently.
From the Honduran Constitution-
"Article 3 .- No one owes obedience to a usurper government or to those who assume public office or employment by force of arms or using means or procedures that violate or are not aware [of] this Constitution and the laws. Acts verified by such authorities are zero. People are entitled to resort to insurrection in defense of constitutional order. "
"Article 4- The alternation in the office of President of the Republic is required. "
"Article 5 .- The government must rest on the principle of participatory democracy which is derived from national integration, which involves participation of all political sectors in public administration in order to ensure and enhance the progress of Honduras based on political stability and the national reconciliation."
"ARTICLE 184 .- Laws may be declared unconstitutional on grounds of form and content. In the Supreme Court of Justice is responsible for understanding [and making] resolution[s] original and exclusive in the matter and shall act with the requirements of the final ruling. "
"ARTICLE 237 .- The presidential term is four years and will start [on the] seventh day of January following the date on which the election was conducted. "
"ARTICLE 304 .- It is for the courts [to] apply laws to specific cases, [and] prosecute and execute judgments. At no time may [the justice] set up courts of exception."
"ARTICLE 306 .- Courts if necessary require the help of the security forces to fulfill their resolutions, if they were refused or [are not] available, citizens will demand it."
"Article 321 .- The servants of the State [have] no powers other than those expressly conferred by law. Any act that [falls] outside the law is null and entails[?] responsibility. "
"'At this moment, we would not be able to support the outcome of the scheduled elections,' the State Department statement said."
Why under God's blue sky is our state department worrying about what happens in another country? What is so special about this Zelaya guy? Why must we lodge our own little protest, tying the hands of Honduras to do what we want?
And why do our government officials absolutely insist in playing world policeman- through foreign aid, of all things!?
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Morality. Legislation. The First Amendment. ACLU cases. The Christian Right. The discussions linked with these subjects could go on for millennia. With that in mind, I don’t think I can offer anything new or revolutionary on this subject…but I’m rather tired of having to present my views over and over again. So this work could be considered the writings of an exasperated teenager who doesn’t want to keep explaining the same stuff.
The question I will be dealing with is this- do we, or do we not, have the Constitutional right to make rules and laws on the basis of matters of conscience? I would say no, and this is my attempt to explain why.
For starters, I would like to say a word to the Christian reader- I am morally and ethically opposed to many of the issues I outline in these pages. Personally, the idea of a thing like homosexuality or drug abuse instantly give me strong feelings of disgust and pity for the poor souls trapped in the system. The thought of abortion gives me the feeling of nausea, coupled with indignation on behalf of the babies whose lives are so atrociously cut off in the very beginnings of life.
Note that in this work, when I refer to ‘Christians’, I am speaking of those that ascribe to some form of Christian denomination, be it Episcopalian, Mormon, Catholic, or Baptist.
I would like to say a word about the nature of morality. Morality, or moral, is defined as “concerned with principles of right and wrong or conforming to standards of behavior and character based on those principles.” It could also be defined as “a personal system or code of behavior, governed by the conscience.” We will operate on these definitions.
An example of a moral issue would be homosexuality or abortion, and drug or alcohol use. These things are governed only by one’s own conscience and vision of morality.
God and You versus God and the Government
There is a substantial difference between the personal relationship between the Christian and God and the relationship between God and the government, or God and the American people. God cannot have a ‘relationship’, per se, with the last two at all- they are, by their very nature, incorporeal and incompatible with the nature of God.
God is an individual persuasion. If you believe in God, only you can believe in God. That belief cannot carry on to your children through DNA, that belief cannot bleed into the people around you merely because of your proximity to them. In the same way, you cannot force a belief of God on or into those around you.
A true belief cannot be forced, in any account. A forced conversion is no conversion at all. In fact, God wants us to choose Him, not come to Him through force, coercion, or any other means besides a willing, conscious decision to seek Him.
In the Bible, there are several references where God states His thoughts on choosing- in this context, choosing who you would serve. Joshua 24:15, Proverbs 1:29, Proverbs 3:31, and Isaiah 7:15 all talk about a person’s ‘choice’- be it good or bad, it will be rewarded or punished by God, and God alone. God also gave us thinking minds, He did not make us robots. He intended us to think and reason with ourselves about His existence.
But by trying to force our moral beliefs about what God has said, or what we think is good, we are literally trying to force our Bible, religion, and God down others’ throats.
The first amendment of the United States constitution strictly forbids religious (moral) favoritism by the government. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Notice this does not prohibit individual governmental officials and employees from engaging in religious activities outside work nor, really, from making mention of God in public discourse.
The kinds of things that would be out of keeping with this amendment would be ritualized, proscribed prayer- to any god- in a public school, the witnessing to a student by a teacher, or an instance like ‘Roy’s Rock’
The First Amendment and Other Religions
Christians often throw temper tantrums because the government ‘favors other religions’- although it doesn’t, and can’t. I remember an unsubstantiated story I once heard. It talked about an unnamed school where Muslim children were permitted to bow to Mecca, in accordance with their religious beliefs, but Christian children were not permitted to bow their heads in prayer to God.
It is a story overtly designed to spark righteous indignation on behalf of the poor, persecuted little Christian children. The only problem with this rumor is that it’s not true. Nowhere have I found evidence substantiating this piece of Christian Right propaganda. Such a case as the one outlined above would be inherently and blatantly against the first amendment.
The story above brings out the great ‘fighting spirit’ in many. But what if the story went more like this- “There was this school where Christian children were permitted to pray to God, but Muslim children were ostracized and persecuted because they were not permitted to bow to Mecca.”
I can almost guarantee that, if the situation were to be so reversed, the reaction would be quite different in Christian circles. There would be no reaction; rather, the teachers would be acclaimed as heroes of the faith.
It is a sad trend that I have observed- often Christians seem to be under the impression that the first amendment grants freedom of religion and belief only to those of the Judeo-Christian persuasion. They seem to think the first amendment goes something like this- “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, unless that religion be Christianity, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, unless it be a belief contrary to Christianity.” Often, with this skewed reading, Christians see themselves as being persecuted when, really, they’re just not being given the preferred place in our country’s religious (or political) sphere.
As hard as it is for some to admit it, we do have alternate belief systems in this country. Wikipedia has a list of the most prevalent religions in the United States. According to their statistics, out of the three hundred million people in the US, some forty percent of the population do not ascribe to Christian beliefs. Sixteen percent don’t even believe in a god! Do we deny the rights of that forty percent simply because we think we are right?
Private and Individual Morality
As we established earlier, morality is a private conviction. One’s view and standards of morality are as individual as one’s fingerprint. Even Christians, who use God’s standard of morality, differ in some ways on what is right and wrong.
Since morality is so individual, why do so many think we should enforce morality on others, whether through the law or religious suppression? That is akin to trying to make everyone drive the same car. But who decides which car? Do we make everyone drive a fifteen passenger van because some families need them, or do we go with a smaller five-seater car? Once we decide that, what maker do we go with- Ford, Dodge, Chevy? Everyone’s needs and wants are completely different, and we cannot make such a decision for them.
Trying to enforce a vision of morality is not feasible, for the simple reason that there are millions of individual beliefs about morality. Whose morality do we enforce?
One True Morality
Human beings as a whole have an innate desire to want to enforce what they want on the people around them. It’s a perfectly human impulse, and Christians are not immune to it. In fact, in some ways, we’re more susceptible to it, since often times we have the tendency to get into the attitude of “I read the Bible, so I’m righteous!”
Every human goes to some source for his or her beliefs and morality. Be it the teachings of a prophet, a holy book, or just an inner conviction, all morality traces back to something. Christians go to the Bible. I do as well. I believe the Bible was divinely inspired by God, the Creator of the universe.
When debating what should or should not be legislated, Christians often simply run to the Bible. There is no doubt that the Bible holds valuable, enlightened, divine moral guidance. But as I’ve said before, it is but one view of morality out of thousands, and it is not our guidebook in this country as a whole. I believe it is the true view of morality, but my neighbor may not. Can I impose my view of morality on him?
Moral Societal Issues
Abortion. Gay Marriage. Drug use. Alcohol use. Smoking. Divorce. Adultery.
All these things are, or were divisive, controversial issues. At one time or another, since the beginning of time, people have attempted to end social ills, whether via evangelization, legislation, or conquest.
The moral issues outlined above are a bit fuzzier than other, more clear moral issues, like murder or theft. When someone murders another, they have clearly violated the rights of the murdered individual. Hence, they lose their rights beyond those afforded prisoners- silence, counsel, and trial. Some religious expressions, such as a jihad, would fall under the jurisdiction of murder laws- the jihadist has taken the rights of another individual, and so loses his own.
In the issues above however, the only person who is harmed is the person himself. He is harming his own body. Beyond repair, perhaps, but if he wishes to take such sweeping liberties with his body, he is the one who will have to take responsibility for the consequences of his actions. Spiritually, of course, there are consequences. He is harming not only himself, but the people around him- spiritually. In a secular sense however (the way our government should look at things), the only person who is harmed is that individual.
Some say that things like drugs or alcohol so alter someone’s mind that they can hurt others. But if they do, they must take responsibility, regardless. If they kill someone driving drunk, they will have to step up and face the music. But that’s only an ‘if.’ Just because something can happen when one is drunk, doesn’t mean it will.
Christians throughout history have tried to push their ideas of morality upon the general population. The Puritans passed laws against dancing, drinking, and adultery- and made the non-Puritans in the colony abide by them as well, creating quite a bit of resentment. While yes, drinking and adultery are unchristian, not everyone is Christian.
The history of freedom of religion and moral legislation is quite interesting, especially in light of the ‘Christian Right’ movement today. During the early years of our Republic, they were not even interested in outlawing anything. In fact, the Baptists were some of the most outspoken proponents of the first amendment and its freedom of religion clause!
It was a long time before anyone wanted to push for morally-based legislation. That was when legislation like prohibition came about. But Christians significantly changed. At first, they were dead-set on outlawing things like adultery and smoking. Then it became divorce and drinking. Obviously, divorce has become quite normal, and drinking is not quite as big a lobby nowadays, and the accepted bandwagons at this time are homosexuality and drugs. Why the change?
Of course, we have not only Christian moral legislation, but liberal moral legislation. Granted, their moral issues are significantly different from Christians’. They place more emphasis on helping the poor and third world countries- commendable goals. Besides that, we have Buddhist morality, Confucian morality, Muslim morality…
But whose morality do we decide on?
So is legislating morality ever right? And most importantly, is it Constitutional?
Legislation is commonly understood to be laws- laws that are already on the books, or proposed laws. From what we now understand of the nature of morality, I think it is safe to say that legislating morality cannot feasibly be done. The many acknowledged moralities and religions make it virtually impossible to legislate according to them.
The Constitution strictly forbids the establishment of a religion. Included in that clause would be the instatement of religiously motivated, or morally motivated laws.
If not Legislation, then What?
So if we’re not going to legislate to rid ourselves of the immoral acts in our midst, then what do we do? Do we sit idly by and permit it?
Far from it. We have the greatest ally in the universe, who works everyday in lives and hearts. It is His responsibility to work in hearts, not the government’s. By wishing to institute morality-based laws we are, in effect, attempting to force the government to play Holy Spirit.
In fact, the only way to cure moral issues is through the transforming power of Jesus Christ. If you truly wish to see a change, you must evangelize and witness, and let the Holy Spirit do His work- rather than forcing the government to do it for Him. The only way to get people to see the error of their ways is through evangelization and the working of Holy Ghost- not the working of my local representative.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Now doesn't that just give you the most wonderful, fuzzy feeling feeling inside? Knowing that hey, while your country may be completely sold out and belong to someone else (along with $500,000,000 of our lovely monopoly money annually), that you're helping to further 'peace' and 'justice' and 'freedom' with your tax money?
And...that you're furthering the broader goals of all humanity.
And...that force will only be exerted in the most trying of circumstances- or, as they put it, in the 'common interest'. (Now, I wonder, just what is the 'common interest?' Would exertion of force be justified if they were to lose $500 million annually?)
Sometimes I just have to wonder what in the world some people were thinking.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Immunizations: Under this program, CDC will provide grants to states to improve immunization coverage of children, adolescents, and adults through the use of evidence-based interventions. States may use funds to implement interventions that are recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force, such as reminders or recalls for patients or providers, or home visits. Reauthorizes the Immunization Program in Section 317 of the Public Health Service Act. [§ 324]
So, what exactly will these 'home visits' consist of? Pressuring people to 'improve coverage' of their children by pumping yet more harmful chemicals into their little bodies?
Sorry, but I don't think we need to be in Afghanistan, anyway.
Let's face it- more than likely, the reason the Afghan people are throwing bombs at us is- get this, it's totally unexpected- we're in their country. We've moved in like their country is ours, for...well, we're not really sure what. To stop Taliban activities, to further the cause of democracy, to...
OK, let's face it- we have no idea what we're doing in Afghanistan, we just like seeing things explode I guess. And I suppose we can't see things explode when our 'war effort' is 'under-resourced.'
Seems like the most logical explanation to me. (Or, of course, they're 'rogue nations' that must be 'dealt with'...)