Saturday, February 26, 2011

Many Are Called…

I just completed reading a book written back in 1967 by H. Verlan Andersen, Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen. A quick read, only 83 pages from cover to cover; about the amount of time it takes to watch the movie Avatar or Titanic.

Don’t let the title fool you, it’s not just for scripture thumpers; this book is a warning to every American who believes in standing up for our Constitutional form of government. It is available in PDF format if you want to save a few dollars; or, since the book is out of print, it is available as an archived book via, of all places, Archive Publishers .

If you want to understand how our government is being transformed into a communist/socialist/statist society, one which is at the other end of the spectrum from our Constitutional Republic, then this is a must read. It is straightforward in comparing socialism with Satan’s plan to enslave mankind while at the same time showing God’s stamp of approval given to our Constitution and those who were instrumental in writing this sacred document. We in our day are no different than other free people who at one time inhabited this land; the same pitfalls which took the ancients down have already become entrenched in our own government.

“That we are in the process of polluting this land is plain for all to see. Nowhere is it more apparent than in our laws and our governments. The corruption of the principles of the Constitution by the adoption of the welfare state practices advocated by the Communists has been pointed out herein. Our living prophet in his recent statement concerning the position of the Church on Communism has warned us. He speaks of the alarming conditions that are rapidly advancing about us. Those cannot be misinterpreted by anyone willing to listen.”

He reminded us how the Book of Mormon explained an eerily similar situation:

“And now behold, I say unto you, that the foundation of the destruction of this people is
beginning to be laid by the unrighteousness of your lawyers and your judges. ( Alma 10:27 )”

So much for a teaser; now go read the whole book, consider the information from the standpoint of America in its fallen state as of 2011 and then recall it was written over forty years ago with a certain degree of urgency even then. What are we doing about the threats from within? Are we part of the solution or part of the problem? How we proceed, individually and as a body of freedom blessed countrymen will determine not only the fate of our nation; but our eternal situation as well.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Organ Grinding

I doubt if many have actually seen an old fashioned organ grinder, a street musician from antiquity; with or without a fabled monkey collecting donations from a crowd of equally disadvantaged onlookers. We’ve immortalized them through the magic of cinematography; but the latest versions of organ grinders are quite different according to an article originally found in the Washington Post and shared by Fox News on their website.

“The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) – the nation’s organ-transplant network – is considering a change in its policy by giving younger, healthier patients preference versus older, sicker people, The Washington Post reported.”

I have no issue with UNOS policy as pertain to “younger, healthier patients over older, sicker people”. UNSO is a private sector non-profit organization, not an arm of government, with a very specific goal, to do the best job of matching donors with those in need. They make use of limited resources and that means making tough decisions as to who can receive precious donations. It isn’t unreasonable to factor in longevity probabilities of those requesting a kidney, liver or other life prolonging organ.

Those who have plenty of funds will always figure out a way to “beat the system” ; but the rest of us have to depend on insurance or even luck. Medical insurance companies exist strictly on their ability to determine numerical odds; can they make a profit in the long run or will a particular procedure be the same as pouring money down the toilet. Insurance companies, out of necessity would rather young and healthy persons receive an organ donation; they’ll be able to continue paying into the system quite a bit longer and justify the expense.

The problem with important decisions is who makes them and what kind of character and integrity they have. If you trust your government to make life prolonging decisions then we might as well toss in the towel; from what I’ve seen character and integrity are rare commodities in government bureaucracies and elected folks. In fact the longer folks are associated with government the more lacking in character and integrity, or so it appears.

HMO’s are bad enough; pencil pushers making sure the ledger come out in the black taking precedent over a doctor’s diagnosis, additional expense to the company. Do we really want government, already know for its many failures in character involved in health care industry decisions, decisions which determine who gets expensive procedures against those who’ve already had their best years gone by?

Let me put it another way; this morning I mentioned my back was bothering me and Lucy suggested I visit the chiropractor. Business has been slow for an extended period (it seems to match the time when Obama took office) and I’d rather put up with a little more pain than trade hard to come by money for a little pain relief. The important part of that lesson; the decision was made not to spend money by me, not some government bureaucrat. I didn’t impose on my neighbors either to pay for pain relief; they have their own problems.

My insurance covers chiropractic treatment; but there’s a “co-pay” and I have to weigh the benefits gained with how long that relief might extend into the future. Some folks say they can be pain free for days after getting “cracked”. If that were the case then maybe forty dollars would be worth it; but after I’ve been “adjusted” the pain returns in only a few hours, so unless I have plenty of “money to burn” it’s hard justifying the trade off. Other bills are higher on our list; I’ll just take a pain pill and get back to work.

If government had made the same decision for me, “You can’t visit the chiropractor because, according to our statistics, folks your age don’t get extended relief from these procedures”; then by Jiminy I’d be mad as a wet hen! That’s the difference between a free society and a totalitarian socialistic collective. Unfortunately, America is going down the path which takes important decisions out of the hands of individuals and places them in the hands of government bureaucracies appointed by elected folks.

Norman Rockwell painted a picture of an old organ grinder cranking away to make his music, a cup held curiously by a small monkey whose antics made children smile as they willingly exchanged a coin or two from down in their own empty pockets. In the modern version, instead of a silly monkey you’d only feel your wallet being picked by a passing government ape; so much for my organ grinding story.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Operation Progressive

There’s another Green group praising the EPA’s attack on America’s fossil fuel industry and legislators who support energy independence , this one’s called Operation Free . It will take a moment to continue while I wait for flower petals, birds singing sweetly and butterflies to clear away; the ambience filled air which accompanies the very announcement of their presence prohibits deeper thought.

“We’re a coalition of leading Veterans and national security organizations who recognize that climate change is a major threat, and support fast, bold action. It is time for Americans to rise to the challenge, and we’re taking on the fight.”

I have to pause once more as Sleeping Beauty finishes spraying the air to get rid of lingering petroleum odors…good thing I have my brown shoes on. (author received no recompense for referencing a popular product)

These folks still are working to implement policies based on the premise that man made global warming linked to our consumption of fossil fuels, CO2 supposedly being a major threat to our planet, are the source of all our ills. They embrace the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) findings which have been shown to be nothing more than a political agenda for wealth redistribution (socialism) supported and contrived by scientists who’ve sold their souls in order to remain on the dole.

If you read a little more about the august groups which make up Operation Free there really aren’t any surprises. On the top of their “get to know us” website page is the Truman National Security Project. Would you like to get to know these folks?

“The Truman National Security Project is a national security leadership institute, the nation’s only organization that recruits, trains, and positions a new generation of progressives across America to lead on national security. Our mission is to provide the skills, knowledge, and network to create an influential force of leaders across the country who advance strong progressive national security policy.” (emphasis added)

Unless you’ve been spending your life in a closet; that translates into, “We’re Radical Socialists unhappy living in a society which permits others to live as they please. If given half a chance we intend to change your constitutionally free society into something much better, a society which makes it impossible for individuals to do anything which the State deems unhealthy, unsafe, or which might upset anyone with a different point of view. We all have letters after our names; proof we know what’s best for the average ignorant schmuck.”

Operation Free has enlisted the support of veterans, those who’ve been placed in harms way because America needs oil and for no other reason. America goes to war to obtain oil; isn’t that what we’ve been hearing from these malcontents?

“Hell no – We won’t Go!” They scoff at American soldiers, deride their noble efforts and call them baby killers. If a decorated hero attends a progressive university he’s insulted and told he’s not welcome. “Racist!”

American based oil companies, the folks who actually produce a much needed product have been handcuffed for years. They can’t drill without a permit signed by each and every Green watch dog group. Is it any wonder we’re importing oil from countries like Venezuela or our real good buddies in the Middle East?

The folks at Operation Free claim they’re interested in our national security. If that were so then turn our oil companies loose and make America energy independent; open up ANWR and other know oil reserves to competitive drilling. If Green Energy is the way of the future it will happen as technology makes it profitable. The idea of killing the Golden Goose which has brought us this far is fool hearty at best, criminal if you consider the price America would pay if they succeed in destroying our constitutional form of government.

Operation Free…no, I don’t think so. With so many anti-capitalists trying to destroy our freedoms, all in the name of cleaner air through socialism, maybe you guys should be called Operation Shackle or better yet Operation Progressive.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Video Gaming and the 1st Amendment

Here we go again, another extremely violent video game to shock the public with graphic mutilations and sexual implications; Bulletstorm takes gaming to another level of brutality. Bulletstorm promises to reward player’s ability to mutilate, destroy or sexually assault victims in the most graphic realism possible with today’s computers. The new game is set for release in the US on February 22nd following certain problems with Germany’s prudish view of modern gaming.

“EA acknowledged the censorship by German advisory board USK, explaining that the country censors many videogames, a policy the publisher disagrees with.”

The game’s intended for “adult/mature” use (exactly what definition of adult/mature covers mutilation and sexual assault are gamers using; just a thought); however nothing prevents younger folks from entering the arena.  How demented do you have to be to participate in a game where someone gets their entrails exploded all over the place? What does having such a game available to any section of our populace say about our society?

There was a quotation in the article which caught my attention, even more than my inability to appreciate the degenerate nature of the game. Pay close attention to the prevarication as it hints at the level of depravity our nation has sunk.

“The primary difference why other countries can outright ban certain types of games, music, movies and even books is simply because they don’t have a First Amendment in place,” said Hal Halpin, the president of consumer advocacy group ECA. “Controlled substances such as alcohol and tobacco are merchandized differently primarily because they’re ingested or absorbed and the chemicals cross the blood-brain barrier. Movies, music and video game are First Amendment-protected free speech.”

Did you catch that; according to somebody’s twisted interpretation of the 1st Amendment, a God given inalienable right covers intent to murder, rape, mutilate and otherwise destroy human forms. It doesn’t matter if it’s a game or for real ; the thought process involved remains the same. Halpin, (and the Supreme Court), are suggesting God, the Eternal Father, has authorized mankind to partake of that which previously had been labeled sinful .

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The Bill of Rights provides protection from government interference with an individual’s God Given Rights; they are not a free pass to reckless abandon of the Commandments. If you read those shorter parts, as if they were completed thoughts, the flaws of removing “God Given Rights” from the sentence become more apparent and make it harder to digest the bilge which purports or suggests individuals no longer are subject to the Commandments . At no time does the 1st Amendment suggest in anyway that individuals are free to violate the laws of God , laws which are eternal in nature .

Congress shall make no law respecting (an individual’s God Given Right as pertain) to the establishment of religion. Congress shall make no law prohibiting (an individual’s God Given Right) to the free exercise of religion. Congress shall make no law abridging (an individual’s God Given Right which includes) the freedom of speech. Congress shall make no law restricting the (God Given Right of an individual or individuals to have) freedom of the press. Congress shall make no law prohibiting the (God Given Right) of an individual or a group of individuals to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Modern progressive folks would have us separate our founding documents, as if one were not dependent upon the other. “Separation of state and religion”, as interpreted yet not found in our founding documents, has been a wedge used to destroy our foundations.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

We cannot have God Given Rights without acknowledging God’s Laws. If we ignore this foundation of American government we must then consider the alternative . Ezra Taft Benson expressed this idea so well:

“If we accept the premise that human rights are granted by government, then we must be willing to accept the corollary that they can be denied by government. I, for one, shall never accept that premise. As the French political economist, Frederick Bastiat, phrased it so succinctly, “Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.”’

I must have one of the older out of date versions of the Bible which doesn’t include, as acceptable in the eyes of the Lord, murder, sexual assault, mutilation or any other destruction of God’s children. My version of the Bible still limits the use of profanity too; guess I need one of those “progressive” Bibles.

I’m not in favor of censuring violent games, music or movies or imposing my standards on anyone; instead I’m suggesting not to purchase or use such media. It would be more responsible for individuals living in a nation built under divine influence to simply not purchase products which are in direct conflict with that which we know to be sinful; let them collect dust on the shelves. The beauty of supply and demand rests in making a profit; if it doesn’t sell it won’t last long. We are the sum of our thoughts and actions .

If an individual is the sum of his/her thoughts and actions we must also accept that our society is a reflection of those individuals who comprise it. Is it any wonder we are in decline when video games like Bulletstorm are common place items on store shelves, available to anyone with enough money to purchase them?

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Public Servants and Unions

All eyes are on Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker who stands at the front of the line to dismantle collective bargaining’s grip on that states’ budget. The question of the day is whether or not public servants; teachers, police officers, firemen, garbage haulers or any of the folks who get paid through taxes have the “right” to hold their neighbors hostage through unionization.

“Hold their neighbors hostage”, isn’t that exactly what these unions are doing? We won’t teach your children unless you pay us more money, we won’t come out to your house if it catches on fire unless we get three weeks paid vacation, we won’t investigate your daughter’s rape case without a guarantee of time and a half overtime; and the list goes on and on.

Civil servants, a general term for anyone working in the capacity of public employee should have certain minimal guarantees; but I will stop short of saying they have the “right” to collective bargaining. These folks deserve reasonable compensation and expectations in their chosen positions; free from political marginalization.

Often times public service jobs are jeopardized after election results, changes at the top mean their friends get to work, their opponents get to walk away. Employees in larger metropolitan areas found that implementing Civil Service Laws limited the effects of being marginalized by such changes at the top. Public employees had to band together, agree on a platform of working rules and regulations and go before the public to institute policies to govern these working relationships. This is not the same as collective bargaining; close but oh that difference is something worthy of note.

Having been a member of the Houston Police Officer’s Association while serving the City of Houston I was protected by Civil Service. My salary, number of vacation days, sick days, paid holidays, overtime and all other details of employment were set and agreed upon prior to my taking the job and their accepting me. It was a foregone acknowledgement that any changes to the original agreement would have to go before the public via City Hall.

If we thought we deserved a raise we would put a motion before the Mayor and City Council outlining and justifying our request; not a demand, a request for a raise. Sometimes we got a raise if the budget permitted while other times it wasn’t possible. Many times we were praised for our service, told we deserved an increase; but because times were tight, instead of a raise which could not be given, we’d receive compensation in the form of additional retirement benefits which could be provided at a later date.

Reasonable gestures between employees and those who hold the purse strings of the public treasury make it possible to hire and hold quality professional employees. If mutual respect did not exist then folks would never enter public service; instead finding the private sector more lucrative. The fine balance between having the desire for public service in the community and the need to provide a living wage has to be addressed. What’s a fair compensation, what’s a reasonable work environment and how much political nonsense will filter down the chain of command all factore into the mix.

The problem with public employee unions entering into the equation has to do with an entitlement mentality, one which goes beyond serving the community which supplies the paycheck. Instead of requesting performance incentives like raises or other compensations, collective bargaining works on the principle of demanding them; the pivot point being the ability to strike and withhold services from the public which, presumably, requires those services in order to maintain minimal civility and safety.

If the public is unable to supply basic services, either through the private sector or by hiring on a completely new batch of employees capable of providing these services then the threat of a strike holds considerable weight. Pay up or do without; isn’t that what the unions call collective bargaining?

What if the demand for recompense by service employees goes beyond the ability to pay?

Collective Bargaining has been around for a long time; but it has been sold on the false notion that America’s economy will always grow. At no time has the idea ever been considered that our economy would shrink, retrograde or go into severe depression.

What is reasonable to request or demand from the public treasury when the budget, taxes collected from your neighbors in order to pay for basic services, when times change for the worse? Some folks will get laid off or have to work fewer hours; isn’t that what happens in the private sector?

But if there is a union contract; well now, that changes everything. We have a legal contract, a right to just compensation! We demand you pay up or we walk out; not only will we stop providing service, we’ll take you to court and make you pay what was promised! Do you see where this is going?

If it happens in the private sector either the company pays up or goes out of business; either way life goes on. “I was looking for a job when I found this one”, isn’t that the line we’ve all heard at least once when things didn’t work out the way we wanted?

What if the “company” going bankrupt isn’t in the private sector; instead it’s a city, state or even the whole damn country? What then; do we all raise our collective hands together and just give up, go to some other city, state or nation and start over? This really isn’t an option, not in a reasonably sane society it isn’t.

Civil servant contracts should be based on the reality that times get tough. Tax bases which were used to forecast salaries and “entitlements” are subject to downturns in the economy and cannot be enforced, exacted and threatened with strikes by an unreasonable workforce. Civil servants cannot, nor should they hold their neighbors hostage at the point of a gun or through the threat of work stoppage.

Teachers, Policemen, Firemen, and Garbage men must have as a part of their character a “sense of community” which works in unison with personal gain/loss. If, as a member of a community, state or nation, either as regular citizens or paid public employees we are willing to watch the treasury go bankrupt then liberty has been sacrificed in favor of greed.

Earlier I stated that I’d been a member of the Houston Police Officer’s Association; not to be confused with another group with ties to the AFL/CIO. The union wanted to have some kind of show of strength over a minor issue and decided to have a mini-strike one Friday; I think they called it “Blue Flu”.  Members of the union were to call in sick as part of the protest.

I mentioned to the local “shop steward” how brave he must be to include himself in the protest since Friday was his regular day off. He had the nerve to call me a Scab, as if I were some boob hired off the street and handed a police uniform to fill in regardless of having performed the same service for the previous ten years. I offered him the opportunity to “step outside” where I could answer his poorly chosen remark in terms which a union member might better understand; but he declined.

In closing, public employees should not have the option of going on strike in order to persuade their neighbors to anti up or do without. If anything, public employees should be grateful for the opportunity to be of service and have a job. They might even offer a portion of their salary back in order to lighten the load for their fellow citizens who are either under employed or out of work. That last line will make the Tooth Fairy smile.

In case you missed my sentiments regarding Wisconsin’s protesting public servants; fire the lot of them. Go out and hire folks from among the unemployed who’d be willing to work for a more reasonable rate.

There was a wild rumor floating around on Facebook which may or may not be true; however, for doctors willing to sign forms for striking workers at the Madison Children’s Museum on the Square, as if they really were sick; signing an official document known to be fraudulent is a crime punishable by fine and/or imprisonment. I’d bet there are plenty of qualified non-union individuals who would jump at the opportunity to work, even without a contract.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

We Can’t Afford Obama’s Budget

The budget submitted by Obama “will not be adding to the debt”, at least that’s the claim according to White House Budget Director Jack Lew in an article on Fox News website. Every thing is fine; nothing to worry about and you can have that pony on your birthday too.

“As it turns out, the administration is not counting interest payments. That means the budget team plans to have enough money to pay for ordinary spending programs by the middle of the decade. But it won’t have the money to pay off those pesky -- rather, gargantuan -- interest payments. So it will have to borrow some more, in turn increasing the debt and increasing the size of future interest payments year after year.”

When confronted by Sen. John Ensign (R) Nevada, Lew tried to explain it all as a misunderstanding; clearly a misunderstanding. What is it about liars? I almost forgot; they lie!

“To justify the administration claim, Lew said the administration was merely referring to “primary balance” -- or federal spending minus interest payments. Lew sought to forgive “the public for their confusion.”’

‘“The terminology that we use in Washington of primary balance is a little confusing,” Lew said.”

Lew could easily have said something like, “It’s not going to cost us any more because, as most of you know, folks in Washington don’t pay taxes, we collect them”. Wouldn’t that have been fun and closer to the truth?

Obama keeps diverting attention away from our nation going into bankruptcy, pushing for a warp speed rail system, one of those shovel ready magic bullet train things. Never mind that there is no money to pay for the train or those who would supply the labor. Maybe Obama plans to use slave labor like Germany did to build the Autobahn; only these slaves will be American taxpayers, some have yet to be born!

While you’re at it, Mr. President, my wife asked if we could upgrade her marginally proficient Toyota Solara to a Ferrari 458 Italia. Never mind that we have no roads around here to justify such an extravagance; it will make us feel more confident in our nation just having a car we can’t afford parked in the driveway. Our grandchildren will smile with envy knowing their college tuition money was used so meaningfully.

I listened to Mark Levin’s comments regarding Obama’s budget; thought it was as good a summary as could be made. The short video went under the title, Mark Levin Goes Nuclear Over Obama Destroying the Country . Why haven’t other folks gone “Nuclear”, like our Senate, our House of Representatives, or mass media outlets? I’ll tell you why; the majority of our leaders lack the courage to stand up at this time, don’t care or are entrenched so deeply in “Beltway mentality” they cannot be trusted.

Mark got it right; if this budget is passed our children, when they are in their 20’s, will be looking at paying somewhere between 60 to 80 percent of their earnings just on Federal Income Taxes. That doesn’t take into account State and local taxing authorities. We’ll be saddling future generations with a debt so large as to make it impossible for them to enjoy the American Dream…AND FOR WHAT? Our government will have become so oppressive it won’t be recognizable from Marxist Russia.

The sinking feeling in your gut, that America’s God given blessings are slipping away, wondering if life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are being replaced with pure socialism; it’s no longer a “sneaking suspicion”. Obama’s promise of “Hope and Change” has been put in motion; how do you like the yoke of totalitarian servitude?

Add my name on the list of those who think shutting down the government is better than letting them continue to destroy our nation. We can’t afford Obama’s budget; but that doesn’t say enough, we can’t afford Obama!

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

But Clouds Got in the Way…

The topic of global climate change caused by man made greenhouse gasses such as CO2 crossed over from a scientific endeavor to a political agenda many years ago when taxpayer funding entered the equation. Fortunes have been invested selling the idea, at first I’d planned to use the term “proving”; but selling the idea more accurately defines the intricate hoax foisted on humanity.

The plan worked, so much so that billions of dollars have been confiscated in the name of saving the earth from man’s lust for carbon based energy. We have an entire generation of publicly educated automatons running around, quite certain their parents have destroyed the planet simply because they own an SUV and live in a house with central air and heat. Repentance for crimes against the planet varies; but all involve some form of wealth redistribution in order to appease Mother Earth.

There’s an army of pretend scientists, mostly paid and supported from levied taxes, who’ll swear on a stack of journals, peer written journals, that fossil fuels and flatulent bovines are to blame for unprecedented levels of CO2 in our atmosphere. Oceans are rising, glaciers are melting and unless we alter our way of life our planet is doomed; did I miss anything?

Joni Mitchell had a tune, Both Sides Now , which mentioned clouds getting in the way, robbing her of precious sunlight, turning her friends against her and otherwise ruining her world. I could be mistaken; but clouds do that, it’s part of the general cycle on this planet.

Enter Dr. Henrik Svensmark and his theory, Influence of Cosmic Rays on Earth's Climate a theory which cast a considerable shadow of doubt on man made global warming; directing our attention to cloud formation due to the Milky Way, star formation and disintegration. These distant neighbors direct cosmic rays toward Earth; sometimes they reach us while other times our Sun redirects their paths.

In his own words, Dr. Svensmark proposed, “If there is a causal relation between cosmic ray flux and cloud cover it is expected that the long term variations in cosmic ray should reflect variations in Earth’s temperature and should be important in an explanation of the high correlation between solar cycle length and global temperature.”

Interestingly, there are scientific means which can measure the history of cosmic bombardment here on earth. What Dr. Svensmark wanted other scientists to consider was if a relationship between cloud formation, climate changes and cosmic rays could be solidified into a homogenous data field which supported the idea that something other than CO2 was a major factor in climate change. He was asking folks to give up a politically correct agenda in favor of pure scientific research.

(A multi-part video, The Cloud Mystery , is available on the internet which explains this theory in laymen terms. It has some neat background music reminiscent of Carl Sagan’s televised series, The Cosmos. Unfortunately you have to supply your own “hockey stick” as no such outlandish fabrications are included)

Needless to say the man made global warming community labeled Dr. Svensmark a Kook, with a capital K. His work was ignored and wasn’t published for years. Imagine, accepting the idea that stars which blew up 250 light years ago or a thousand light years from here could have anything to do with global warming on Earth, preposterous! And anyway; we already know global warming is a settle science; one which pays our mortgage, trips to meet with other global warming scientists and covers our research that proves CO2 is to blame.

Progressives demand legislation to correct man made global warming through wealth redistribution (taxes), or by implementing expensive measures to contain the damage of man made global warming via agencies like the EPA. Perhaps we should take a moment and listen to Joni Mitchell’s song, ponder it’s meaning for a moment and point upwards to clouds shaped like elephants, dogs or exotic sports cars.

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s clouds illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all.

Stop this “self loathing” of mankind, as if we were never intended to enjoy what our Creator has provided. We’re not in control here on this spinning planet nor do we understand how everything works in this universe; let’s say Thank You, Sir, and leave it at that.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Are Starlings Chirping ?

One of the advantages to being observant is knowing the difference between imagination and reality. My ears no longer function as they did in my youth. When the room should be quiet I hear Starlings chirping, lots of them; a cacophony of sound which never leaves. I suppose others hearing a similar noise would suspect a fan belt was causing the irritating high pitched noises, looking to oil the offending part; but I know the difference and accept my hearing issues as part of growing old.

Spring is just around the corner and we’ve been told the economy will blossom, jobs will magically appear and the recession will be nothing more than a vague memory. Pardon my skepticism; but are we listening to chirping in our ears or reality here? A Reuters article by Emily Kaiser in the Chicago Tribune glows with optimism:

“The White House assumes the U.S. economy will fully recoup losses incurred in the latest recession by 2017, putting it at odds with many private economists who believe the downturn left permanent scars.”

“In its budget plan released on Monday, the Obama administration envisions economic growth accelerating in 2012 and remaining above average through 2017.”

The good news fails to mention this administration’s best efforts to kill off our energy industry, our means of production in a competitive market place. There is no mention of the Obama administrations efforts to re-write the tax code eliminating “dual capacity” tax protections for oil and gas producers as Michael Economides wrote in his piece, ‘Dual Capacity’ Tax Elimination: Another US Energy Harakiri. (gotta love a name like Economides; reminded me of Euripides and Eumenides, the Greek tailor joke)

“If the White House succeeds in adding an additional $36 billion tax burden to U.S. fossil fuel producers, China will become even better equipped to not only meet the demand of its own citizenry, but also dictate the price of essential commodities. That would mean less-secure, more expensive energy for America; thus compromising our ability to maintain our way of life. Some think that elimination of “dual capacity” taxes may even be a violation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.”

“In contrast to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s promise that the president’s proposed corporate tax reform would create a “level playing field,” the White House’s tax plan would handicap U.S.-based firms and enable China’s rule to be even more pervasive in the global energy markets. Energy means power and not just the one generated by it for electricity and because of bad policies in the US we are witnessing the largest transfer of power in the history of the modern world. And all without a fight.”

For the US economy to survive, much less blossom, the Obama administration will have to get out of the way and stop shooting our legs out from under us. Obama’s administration fabricated a report in order to place a “moratorium” on drilling in the Gulf and shut down thousands of jobs to satisfy the environmental whacko community. The EPA, under the same sense of purpose, has targeted energy production facilities and users by mandating extremely expensive changes to coal fired and natural gas electricity generation facilities further driving up the cost of doing business while at the same time making it tougher to compete in the world market.

America’s ears might be hearing something as spring rolls around; but it’s certainly not the sound of financial recovery. The air might be filled with promises of prosperity, bells ringing and Starlings chirping; but no, what we’re hearing are the wheels of machines grinding to a halt for lack of oil. If we turn a deaf ear to these issues we face a rather bleak future.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Occupational Licensing Violates the Golden Rule

Ever since I began my efforts in the locksmith industry back in 1976 there were rumors of the eventuality of licensing. I was convinced the rumors would become reality and prepared for that day by joining a national association, one which would have the effect of acting as a buffer, a means to be “grandfathered” if and when licensing took hold.

In our heart of hearts each of us knows the difference between right and wrong. Freemen recognize the simple beauty of this nation, its founding documents and our constitutional form of government which support the idea of inalienable God given rights for all individuals. There’s a short video on Fox’s website under their Freedom Watch section with senior judicial analyst Andrew P. Napolitano regarding the use of occupational licensing to limit competition.

Why is it then, we as freemen labor so intently, through PACs and other forms of lobbying, to destroy that form of government in favor of totalitarian impositions on man’s agency ?

I ran across a book written by H. Verlan Andersen, Many are Called But Few Are Chosen (ISBN: 1-57636-043-1, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 97-68785), which contained the following passage in chapter 7 entitled, Acts of Government Which Constitute an Exercise of Unrighteous Dominion :

Men use a variety of arguments to justify the use of the police power to restrict competition. Some claim there is over-production of the commodities or services they are offering. When one considers the millions who are classified as paupers in every nation on earth with death and want in many places, how can it be asserted that there is an oversupply of any form of organized wealth? True, there are raw materials, and energy in abundance but man’s desire for the finished product is insatiable and always exceeds the supply.

Still others argue that open competition in their field should be prohibited because, if this were not done, the unlearned, the unskilled, and the inexperienced would be serving the public. But this argument assumes it is possible to classify men into two groups—the qualified and the unqualified. Is this assumption valid?

Let us investigate this matter by first observing that no one is perfect. There never was and there never will be a professional or business man who could not benefit from more knowledge, training, experience, skill, and better facilities with which to serve the public. This fact must be faced: there are not two groups of men—the qualified and the unqualified; there is only one group and every member of it is unqualified to some extent.

This being true, the only choice open is between varying degrees of incompetence, inexperience, and ignorance. Now is there a man living who can honestly claim that he is able to make a division of this group, confer special privileges on one segment which are denied to the other, and still be fair to everyone? What rational basis exists for determining where the line should be drawn? How much training or experience should be required before permitting a person to offer his services to the public—6 weeks, 6 months, 6 years, or double one of these periods? It is impossible for men to reach agreement on this problem or for any person to say with certainty he is right in his opinion and all who disagree are wrong.”

It would seem my natural instincts regarding the DPS/PSB are not without merit and they certainly aren’t original. Those who would impose their will on others through licensing of the locksmith industry, supposedly to protect an unsuspecting public from unscrupulous tradesmen and the criminal element, violate the Golden Rule through deceitful measures which act as a barrier to free trade and unwanted competition. Rules and Regulation imposed on those already licensed intended to promote professionalism are nothing more than flawed and expensive hurdles.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Impulse Purchase a Crowning Event

There was a short information piece on the Today Show last week explaining how grocery stores are laid out in order to entice impulse buying; items that weren’t on your list that end up going in the basket prior to hitting the check out counter. Men out pace women by a considerable margin in this area, falling for spot items because of packaging or placement; maybe this is why Lucy doesn’t like me going to the grocery store.

Last night we stopped off to pick up a couple of items, soda and something else; can’t even remember now. On the way to the check out counter I spotted an end cap of candy, “10/$10”. It had all kinds of great stuff I hadn’t had in years; Good & Plenty, Milk Duds, Whoppers. My will to resist weakened with each step; two boxes of Good & Plenty landed in the shopping basket. When we reached the conveyor belt to off load our basket there was another display filled with even more boxes of neat candy, “I gotta’ have some Milk Duds”; my hand being drawn toward the familiar yellow box.

Lucy shook her head knowing her oldest child would have his way. I was paying for the “extras” so it wasn’t like it came from her weekly grocery money. I couldn’t tell you the last time I had Milk Duds; must have been in my teens or early twenties. Back then a box of candy was a quarter. If you consider forty plus years, inflation and a slightly larger box; one dollar didn’t seem too much.

Later in the evening we watched Beverly Hill’s Cop on one of the movie channels; a perfect opportunity to sample a few Milk Duds. I’d forgotten how easily they stick to your teeth. By the time the third chocolate covered sticky bomb had gone to work I noticed something was wrong. The fancy porcelain crown, the one that used to be attached to my molar, had been snatched up and encased in a gooey glob of caramel.

It’s hard to explain; but somehow your mouth knows instinctively not to come down hard on a foreign object that’s floating across your tongue. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio could have used some help on chewing when he bit down on an olive pit at the congressional cafeteria. I heard he was suing them for damages to his dental work,
$ 150,000 for having a dangerous substance in his olive sandwich, an olive.

Maybe I should become a liberal, that state of mind where you don’t have to be responsible for your own actions and go around blaming everyone else. I heard Kucinich settle out of court with the congressional cafeteria.

I know; I’ll hire a shyster lawyer ( is that a redundancy?) and sue Milk Duds for not putting a warning label on their box, “Our candy might stick to dental work”. Somebody sued McDonalds years ago for getting scalded after spilling hot coffee out of a cup filled with hot coffee; got a fortune in the justice system lottery. If you get the right jury it can really pay off. What’s the going rate on replacement crowns?

Monday morning I’ll set up an appointment with my dentist, have the crown properly anchored and empty my wallet at their check out counter. I promise, no more impulse purchases; at least until I forget how much that last box of candy cost me.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Unwrapping Government Mandates

This past week the Wall Street Journal had an article by Ashby Jones which explained why Federal Judge Roger Vinson struck down Obamacare as unconstitutional, citing abuse of the Commerce Clause as well as the Necessary and Proper Clause. Judge Vinson’s remarks unwrapped basic flaws in legislation which overstep the bounds placed on our federal government by the Constitution as envisioned by our Founders; however, these same basic concepts also apply to each level of government to include state, city or even local school boards. Judge Vinson’s words:

“At issue here, as in the other cases decided so far, is the assertion that the Commerce Clause can only reach individuals and entities engaged in an “activity”; and because the plaintiffs maintain that an individual’s failure to purchase health insurance is, almost by definition, “inactivity,” the individual mandate goes beyond the Commerce Clause and is unconstitutional. The defendants contend that activity is not required before Congress can exercise its Commerce Clause power, but that, even if it is required, not having insurance constitutes activity.”

Do individuals living in the United States of America have the right to decide for them selves whether or not to purchase health insurance or has our government the power to make that decision for the individual? Isn’t that the heart of the matter? But isn’t that same concept applicable to most other issues; what kind of car to purchase, toothpaste or even the type of light bulb each individual prefers rather than the collective opinion of society?

“[A]s Congress’ attorneys in the Congressional Research Service (“CRS”) and Congressional Budget Office (“CBO”) advised long before the Act was passed into law, the notion of Congress having the power under the Commerce Clause to directly impose an individual mandate to purchase health care insurance is “novel” and “unprecedented.”
. . .

“Never before has Congress required that everyone buy a product from a private company (essentially for life) just for being alive and residing in the United States.”

Many statements were made in striking down mandated health insurance; but I’ll include only this one by Judge Vinson before moving on:

“It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place. If Congress can penalize a passive individual for failing to engage in commerce, the enumeration of powers in the Constitution would have been in vain for it would be “difficult to perceive any limitation on federal power” and we would have a Constitution in name only. Surely this is not what the Founding Fathers could have intended.”

Judge Vinson’s Tea Party comparison was pertinent and timely in view of a marked undercurrent in America to restore a sense of balance to an otherwise out of control government hell bent on destroying individual rights. If our government can force us to purchase health insurance then there are no limits on what ever else may be imposed by “act of congress”. It doesn’t matter which level of government decides to usurp their intended powers; impositions on an individual’s choice within a free society is repulsive. We must remind those temporarily placed in positions of power that each individual, regardless of stature, is heir to God given inalienable rights for which freemen have fought and died for; we are not subjects government.

Judge Vinson also quoted Madison’s Federalist Paper 51:

“In establishing our government, the Founders endeavored to resolve Madison’s identified “great difficulty” by creating a system of dual sovereignty under which “[t]he powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

While agreeing, at least in part, with Madison’s summary of a limited federal government through the Constitution, State governments powers while numerous are not indefinite; being limited by the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God . States may not legislate away inalienable rights anymore than the federal government can. Tyranny at any level of government is still tyranny.

Judge Vinson apparently agrees with my exception as he continued to quote:

“The Framers believed that limiting federal power and allowing the “residual” power to remain in the hands of the states (and of the people), would help “ensure protection of our fundamental liberties” and “reduce the risk of tyranny and abuse.” (emphasis added)

I’ve had various forms of medical insurance since I was old enough to be in the work force. The levels of coverage increased as did my ability to pay for the additional benefits. There was no need for a government mandate to explain the importance of being responsible. Ah; but there’s that word, responsible.

In my locksmith business, for years I’ve purchased a huge liability insurance policy in order to do business with large automobile dealerships; not because some bureaucratic pencil pusher mandated it; but because the free market system and the rules of nature mandated it. Years later when locksmiths in Texas were forced into being licensed some bureaucratic pencil pusher had the mind numbing idea to mandate a hefty liability insurance policy as part of the required elements for that locksmith license (a discussion for another day).

If you missed that last paragraph there isn’t much sense in going further. Individuals, not government, decide how to navigate the free market. If the logic used by Judge Vinson applies to federally mandated health insurance then it applies to all levels of government and other mandated purchases; activity or the lack thereof are at the discretion of individuals.

“If Congress can penalize a passive individual for failing to engage in commerce, the enumeration of powers in the Constitution would have been in vain for it would be “difficult to perceive any limitation on federal power” and we would have a Constitution in name only. Surely this is not what the Founding Fathers could have intended.”

Do not misinterpret my meaning; locksmiths, as with individuals in every aspect of the human condition should be responsible in their dealings with the public. Being responsible would include proper training in their area of expertise as well as providing reasonable levels of insurance in the event of catastrophic failure resulting in damages to the public or specific individuals. If and when damages are claimed and a gentleman’s agreement cannot be reached, at that time the courts are the proper places to resolve such conflicts. It is not the purpose of government to guarantee a life free of pitfalls.

The difference between State mandated policy and individual responsibility is considerable in a free society; one is repressive while the other is free. If government can mandate how individuals interact in the market place there are no limits to what liberties can be dissolved in the name of security and safety.

Benjamin Franklin has been credited for having said, “Those who give up their liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security.” (There are various forms of this quote listed)

Tyranny under the façade of a representative government is a poor substitute for government by the people. Thank God for individual inalienable rights and the Constitution which limits government’s never ending attempt to destroy them. Thank goodness for a clearly worded ruling like the one Judge Roger Vinson provided, a ruling which unwrapped government mandated health insurance to expose nothing more than tyranny in the name of security.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.