Friday, December 25, 2009
" 5THERE was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
6And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.
8And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,
9According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
10And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.
11And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
12And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
14And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
16And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
17And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
18And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.
19And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.
20And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
21And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.
22And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.
23And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.
24And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,
25Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.
26And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
39And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;
40And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
41And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
45And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
46And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
50And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
51He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
53He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
55As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
56And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
57Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
58And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.
59And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.
60And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
61And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
62And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.
63And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.
64And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.
65And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea.
66And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.
67And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
68Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
69And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
70As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
71That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
72To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
73The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
74That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
75In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
76And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
77To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
78Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
79To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
80And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel." ~Luke 1:5-80
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
"The Independent Medicare Advisory Board will become the Healthcare Soviet—dictating rules, rates and procedures in America's health care system with no appeal. That is why Reid has given it the most protection," Wilson explained.
In the Reid Substitute, under Section 3403 in a section entitled "Limitations on Changes to this Subsection," it states, "It shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection."
Section 3403 establishes the Independent Medicare Advisory Board (IMAB), which would "reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending" under the Reid substitute. Wilson said that is "rationing."
"The whole purpose of this panel is to ration health care to seniors, no question," Wilson said.
"To hide that, the bill states that 'The proposal shall not include any recommendation to ration health care' right after it gets through establishing the power for the IMAB to ration health care," Wilson explained.
"This is Orwellian Newspeak of the first order," Wilson declared, adding, "Right in this section, Harry Reid is saying that they're going to ration health care away from seniors, but they're just not going to call it that."
"And then, to lock it in place, Reid goes as far as to require a two-thirds vote in order to amend or repeal the rationing board," Wilson explained.
The Senate rules change was exposed on the floor of the Senate by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), as reported by the National Review Online. Senator DeMint said, "This is not legislation. This is not law. This is a rule change. It's a pretty big deal. We will be passing a new law and at the same time creating a Senate rule that makes it out of order to amend or repeal the law."
DeMint said that under Senate rules, it should take a two-thirds vote of the Senate to invoke cloture on legislation that contains such rules changes. And, that, "[A]s the chair has confirmed, Rule 22, paragraph 2, of the standing rules of the Senate, states that on a measure or motion to amend the Senate rules, the necessary affirmative vote shall be two-thirds of the senators present and voting."
However, the Senate President ruled that the rules change was not a rules change, but a change in procedure.
"This is completely unconstitutional," Wilson noted, pointing to Article I, Section 5 of the Federal Constitution, which states: "Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings…"
"Under current rules, the Reid substitute, which includes a rules change making it out of order to amend or repeal a section of the bill, should require a two-thirds vote in order to be enacted," Wilson explained, concluding, "That has not happened, and will not happen, meaning that once passed, any attempt to remove the health care rationing board will be deemed out of order forevermore. People are going to die."
I don't usually post other people's work on my blog, but the information in this press release from Americans for Limited Government needs to be circulated.
"Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD. " ~Psalm 14:4
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Or so we think. If a candidate takes money from a political party, are they obligated to vote as that party would have them vote? The technically correct answer is, of course, no. But the real life answer is all too often yes.
When the parties are able to withhold financial and other resources from candidates in order to influence their vote, then there is a conflict of interests involved in a candidate's acceptance of party support.
- When those who are running the parties have no problem with using the resources at their disposal to influence a legislator's vote, we have a problem.
- When getting re-elected is more important than representing one's constituents faithfully, we have a problem.
- When "We the People" allow these things to become accepted practice and question neither the ethics of the parties nor the ethics of the candidates/legislators, we have a problem.
The problem we have, when these things are true, is that we no longer have a republic. We do not have a republic, at that point, because the legislators have effectively sold their votes to the political party or group from whom they wish support. If they have sold their vote to a political party, then they are not representing us. If they are not representing us, but rather the party or group who assures them of re-election resources, then what we have, has become an oligarchy, ruled by those groups(the media, the political parties, etc.) who can command the most legislative votes.
When there is any question that a legislator's vote is dependent upon how that vote will affect that legislator's ability to get re-election resources from a political party, there is something dreadfully wrong with the republic. This is why we now have terms like RINO and DINO to describe candidates who do not share the values of the parties from whom they accept financial and other resources in their campaigns to be elected and re-elected.
It is a shame to us as a people that we have allowed our election process to be usurped in this manner. This is why so many call for term limits, because they think this will solve the problem by limiting the damage that can be done by any given candidate. The problem is, that since the root of that problem is not that the candidates and parties are behaving badly, but rather that "We the People" have been lazy in allowing the political parties and the media to choose our candidates for us, giving us an easy button in the form of term limits will no more solve that problem than putting bumpers along the sides of the road will keep people from driving recklessly.
We can do better. The people of this country have morals and standards. We must no longer stand by while political parties or other groups usurp our authority by purchasing the votes of legislative candidates. It is a lie that a candidate cannot win without the support of a major party and it has always been a lie. When We the People bestir ourselves to determine the best candidate on an objective basis, we will have a republic and not before. That is the true message of the TEA Parties, that We the People are done with allowing others to steal our authority over the political process in this nation. The parties would do well to pay attention and become honest brokers of the values and principles they purport to hold.
"He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. " ~Matt 13:22
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I think this is a large part of our current problem in this country. Not that we seem to be bitterly divided over whether this country will abandon individualism and embark on collectivism. Nor that we are embroiled in a war with terrorists that wish to kill us all. Nor even that our elected officials are preparing to sign away our sovereignty via international treaties which they don't bother to actually read before they sign them. Those are challenges, but none are unsolvable but for the fact that we refuse to believe that such things could be so.
Open and honest discourse requires that both parties believe that the other party's points could be valid. I have been spending a bit of time lately "discussing" some of the issues currently before our country with those who seem to be starting from a point of view that disallows even the possibility that I could be right. Even when I point out that I have have spent much time reading books on the subject of the discussion as well as researching various bits from credible 1st party sources, these folks refuse to believe that what I am saying could possibly have any validity. Even when I name the books and authors and provide links to multiple, well known and credible web-sites, my knowledge is dismissed as irrelevant, because these folks simply refuse to believe...
I am somehow the inflexible one (and other names not so nice) when I refuse to give over my well researched opinion on the basis of a cursory web-search on their part to provide one or two links to articles that they think are all anyone needs to come to a rational conclusion. One man recently directed my attention to a wikipedia article and the BBC interview of a particular Imam to make his point and thought that this should be enough to sway me. When I refused to be swayed, he directed me to the result of a cursory web search showing compromised sources who were saying what he wanted to hear. I very much doubt that he bothered to look at the links I and others posted for his edification. Why should he? Those things don't fit his belief that such things cannot be true. And he refuses to believe that what I am saying might be true. (And really-wikipedia as a source? Ask your children if they are allowed to use wikipedia as source material for a book report.)
How are we, in this country, to preserve our Constitution, heritage and values, when our fellow countrymen have closed their minds to the possibility that they could be wrong? When those who present well researched facts are ridiculed? I once believed as did that fellow I mentioned above. When I was challenged, I did my homework, found that I was wrong and changed my opinion. It's called learning. Perhaps the problem is pride. Perhaps we find it too humiliating to be wrong and would rather die than admit to being mistaken. I am sure there are any number of folks willing to oblige us, if that be the case. If you can't admit your mistakes, how can you possibly expect to correct them?
"When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom." ~Prov 11:2
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
(As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;
And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
" ~2 Cor 9:7-15
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I am, however, curious about how many other businesses have made that decision. If your employer hasn't mentioned it, you may want to ask if your company will continue to provide health coverage. It's a reasonable question. You need the information to plan for your future.
If your employer will be dropping your coverage, you might just want to contact your senator and let them know that you like your coverage and in order for you to keep it, they have to vote "No".
If you do ask, Would you be kind enough to let me know what answers you received? I don't want personal information or the names of employers unless you care to share that info, but I would like to know where you are, (your state) and the number of people employed by your company, if you have it.
"And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. " Luke 3:14
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Conservatives and others with reasonable math skills have disputed this claim. Their argument goes that private employers will cease to provide health insurance to their employees in the event that the health care bill currently before the Senate passes. The question that needs to be answered before the Senate takes up the bill is: Who is telling the truth?
Businesses, you see, exist to make money. Health insurance is a part of an employee's pay. A business has no legal obligation to provide it and an employee cannot demand that the employer provide it. An employee may choose to work only for a business that provides it, thus creating an incentive for other employers to offer it, but they may not compel their employer to provide it. Employers may find that they can only attract and keep good employees by offering health insurance and that also creates an incentive for businesses to do so. That's a free market system. That, aside from some poorly crafted regulations driving up costs and restricting competition among insurers and health care providers, is where we are now.
With this bill, the government is proposing to enter the field of health care. The government wants to regulate the kind of health insurance businesses may offer to their employees. They wish to fine businesses who do not provide that coverage. The fines will be less than the cost of the currently provided insurance coverage for many of the businesses who provide that coverage.
Now the question is: What will those businesses, who currently offer such coverage to their employees do? I have that answer, at least for me. At their quarterly business meeting, the employer who currently provides health coverage to my family announced that they are most likely to stop offering that coverage if the health care bill passes the Senate.
I like my current coverage, I'd like to keep it. I, therefore, encourage my senators, Mr. Kohl and Mr. Feingold from WI to kindly vote "NO".
"We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble!" ~ Jer 8:15
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I'll do my best to get something posted soon, but I want to keep this short in the hopes that I can actually post it prior to another disconnection. Thank you all for your kind enquiries.
(# of tries to post this = 7)
"In your patience possess ye your souls. " ~Luke 21:19
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
This question is regarding the freezing of the picture on the questioner's television. And this question took up several minutes of the session time-as you will see. In my opinion, it is a testimony to the importance of bread and circuses.
The speaker addressing the question is an alderwoman in the city of Sheboygan.
There are 12 things on Mr. Leibham's list of changes to our law to be discussed, and 15 or so that are pending-some of them egregious abuses of power on the part of our legislature and we are talking about television reception, over which Mr. Leibham has zero control. While I understand the urge to be helpful and provide an answer-I hate unanswered questions, myself - this time could have been used better.
This gets back to insurance changes pretty quickly. It's worth watching. It also illustrates one of my principle disagreements with Mr. Leibham. (And which videos have been watched the most since I posted them? That's right, the ones with the discussion of the television question.)
The insurance discussion continues.
This man nails the essential difficulty I have with the mandatory insurance provision. He is willing and able to pay the damages to the other party in his accident and sees no reason that he should be required to pay for insurance as well. This insistence on mandatory insurance is encouraging the entitlement mentality which is already out of control. Yes, doctors and hospitals and vehicle repairs are expensive, but an auto accident should not be seen as a ticket to riches. Sometimes bad things happen and life is hard. It is not American or moral to penalize someone beyond the actual costs of the damages they caused, simply to feed that sense of entitlement. If an individual is able to pay the minimums determined by the state towards an auto accident, they should not be required to pay for insurance as well.
Mr. Leibham does have a lozenge in his mouth and apologized for that necessity several times while asking for our tolerance as he had a bit of a frog in his throat and this was the last of his three listening sessions for the day.
This bit is addressing the question of cell phones while driving.
There were a few other questions on ATV's and the appointment process for the head of the DNR, but my memory card was full.
"Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found, "~ Lev 6:4
Monday, October 26, 2009
Elections are coming. Let us thank them for their service and bestir ourselves to find replacements for these gentlemen.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Some of the changes that have been approved, as those who have been reading this blog know, are outrageously abusive of the citizens of WI. Some of the more outrageous policy items that were dropped from the budget, are being revisited by our legislators. Things like driver's cards for illegal aliens and lowering the liability percentage from 51% to 1%. ( I had thought both of those items were safely off the table and am quite incensed to find that it is not so. That air in Madison I guess.)
Now I have some problems with Mr. Leibham, philosophically, but I will grant that he has been a strong fiscal conservative in his votes and, in general shows a modicum of common sense, of which I approve. I will address my reservations with him in another post, but I wanted to address something else before I do that and before I post videos of bits of his listening session.
We have a participatory form of government folks. That means we participate. When our legislators do their best to let us know what is going on in the halls of the legislature, we should lend them an ear. When they make themselves available to hear our opinions and concerns, we should equally, politely and respectfully share our opinions and concerns. Now I've attended two TEA Parties. One in Madison and one in Sheboygan. Those gatherings were very well attended and there were many concerns spoken of, at the national, state and local levels. Everyone was enthusiastic and wanting things to be changed, (or left alone in certain areas-change for the sake of change is not a reasonable philosophy). One hopes I might be forgiven for worrying that I might not find a seat at this listening session as I was running a little late. I had been to a few of these before and expected, after such rousing displays of patriotism, that this would be packed with concerned citizens. (Goodness knows we have enough with this legislature to be concerned about.)
When my son and I walked into the room, I was immediately apprised of the fact that I need not have worried. It was a relatively small room and there were more open seats than full. There were, perhaps, 15 people in attendance. They were mostly people my age and older. My son was the youngest person in the room and, with the exception of my son, I don't think (I hope not to offend anyone, here) there were any attendees under the age of 30.
It is fine and dandy to have a rousing rally that brings folks out to show our sentiments, but if we don't follow up by attending and requesting such sessions with our legislators, what's the point? We have effectively silenced ourselves. Sure we can send e-mails and phone calls, but too often those are only done when we are irate or bothered about something that affects us personally. (And I believe we can expect a lot more of that in the very near future here in WI.)
If we leave our legislators guessing what we think or want, then we can hardly blame them for inconsistencies in their votes or for voting however they see fit, or, (in the case of those who may have no principles of their own,) according to whatever activist last had their ear. I know I can't attend all of these sessions and I don't expect anyone else to do so either, but there should certainly be more folks at such sessions than I have seen when there isn't something urgent or outrageous under discussion. We not only have the right to participate in this process, we have a duty. If we are not going to participate, then maybe we should be remembering that when we point our finger at someone there are three fingers pointing back at us.
(My apologies to Mr. Leibham for the original misspelling-it has been corrected.)
"But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. " ~Gal 2:11
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
"By John W. Truslow, III
As the health care bills currently before Congress move tantalizingly close to passage, those who favor government management of health care markets increasingly assert "the moral case" to advance that cause. These influential opinions attempt to close off debate, as if to say, "All that the Lord has spoken, we will do." Precisely for that reason, citizens must consider if the arguments are moral imperatives in search of a political will, or merely the other way around.
Our nation was established upon this shared moral code: individual citizens are endowed with certain moral rights, and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Since we possess these fundamental rights with or without the formation of government, the government of the United States was established not to create these rights, but to secure our free exercise of them. A right to life implies a governmental duty, not to give life, but to secure an individual's freedom to live. A right to liberty implies a governmental duty, not to grant liberty, but to secure individual autonomy. A right to the pursuit of happiness implies a governmental duty, not to award happiness, but to secure the free application of that pursuit. This is the shared moral code that can frame a thoughtful debate on health care policy.
Most coherent attempts to present the moral case for health care reform are similarly bounded by the claim of an absolute right on one side and a resulting governmental duty on the other. Rights advocates cite some variation of the twenty-fifth article of the UN Declaration of Human Rights:
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
Despite the considerable clout derived from the assertion of a basic human right, such contentions are nothing more than highly contestable social ambitions. In fact, alleging the "right to medical care" and protection from circumstances beyond one's control is nonsensical, similar to this argument in Monty Python's Life of Brian:
Stan: I want to have babies.
Reg: You want to have babies?!
Stan: It's every man's right to have babies if he wants them.
Reg: But you can't have babies.
Stan: Don't you oppress me.
Reg: I'm not oppressing you, Stan - you haven't got a womb. Where's the fetus going to
gestate? You going to keep it in a box?
Judith: Here! I've got an idea. Suppose you agree that he can't actually have babies,
not having a womb, which is nobody's fault, not even the Romans', but that he can
have the right to have babies.
Francis: Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies,
Reg: What's the point?
Reg: What's the point of fighting for his right to have babies, when he can't have babies?
Francis: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.
Reg: It's symbolic of his struggle against reality.
The health care debate has become exactly this: a symbol of our struggle against reality. Heath care is presented by advocates as a technological panacea, a supernatural wonder that ends suffering and delivers us from death. As Max Frisch wrote, "Technology is a way of organizing the universe so that man doesn't have to experience it." It is mere fantasy to assert a fundamental human right to avoid reality, and without a rational basis to assert an entitlement to health care, there is no corresponding government duty.
Even if one firmly believes in the existence of an individual's right to health care, such a right neither implies nor justifies a requirement that other citizens supply it, only that we do not stand in the way of that pursuit. It would seem that if the right existed, the corresponding government duty mandated by our society's moral code is to secure the right to access by eliminating restrictive interference, not to provide a system of regulation dependent upon taxation, rationing, and other limitations of personal liberty.
So set aside the notion of rights and consider obligations. Many have argued that, "there is a moral obligation to care for people who are sick." The worthwhile discussion is not if such an obligation exists, but rather: "Is one primarily bound to fulfill this responsibility individually as determined by personal conscience, or must citizens fulfill this obligation collectively as determined by the whole? Likewise, is a personal obligation to help those who are sick satisfied when society acts on the individual's behalf?" Health care reform advocates insinuate that "caring for those who are sick" is widely accepted as a collective obligation, but it is a far stronger case to state that Americans view this strictly as an individual obligation.
As a nation, we believe passionately in personal moral agency, as is seen in our historical aversion to "legislating morality", our unwillingness to assume personal responsibility for others' behavior, and our reluctance to assign praise or blame to groups. It follows that when others act (or "care") on our behalf -- especially when the means for this care (that is to say, taxation) limits or even prevents our own activity -- they preclude us from doing what we are morally obligated to do on our own. The government usurpation of an individual's moral obligation to care for others is itself a moral wrong because it violates one's absolute right to moral autonomy when carrying out individual obligations of conscience.
There are two additional moral arguments put forward in favor of health care reform, and both are variations of the utilitarian principle claiming that what is moral is "the greatest good for the greatest number."
First, the supporters' argument goes, "in the course of extending health care to all, it is acceptable to limit some individual freedoms if the greater whole is served." With very few exceptions, individual liberties in this country are morally restricted only when one's exercise of a freedom directly violates the rights of another citizen. That is not the case here. The argument for universal health care (that individual liberties can be restricted to favor the good of the whole) is the same argument in favor of slavery: "Some people do have their freedoms limited under the law, but taken as a whole, our society is better off as a result." When human liberties are restricted for "the good of the whole," watch out for moral harm.
Second, supporters of health care reform have said that some citizens have a right to medical care for which others pay because the United States is one of the wealthiest nations, and as such has a moral obligation to spread our affluence. It is not clear what prosperity has to do with this argument. Perhaps it is meant that there exists a collective right to take the wealth of some citizens based on a communal need - a highly debatable moral premise - but it would seem that this right exists or doesn't exist without regard for the nation's relative wealth. Those who argue that the U.S. should have universal access to health care because of our wealth sound much like Willie Sutton revealing that he robbed banks because "that's where the money is." Robbing banks -- or individuals with abundant resources -- is not moral, no matter how much money is to be had, nor the good such money may do.
Thankfully, Americans do not need a government to suggest that caring for the sick is the right thing to do. We are a moral, generous, caring people who -- given the freedom and opportunity -- are already inclined to care for the sick in our families and communities. The government oversteps its moral boundaries -- our shared moral code -- by creating a health care system based on taxation, rationing and restrictions, even if it's done in the name of equality for all. Government has a moral obligation to remove barriers (regulations and other legal limitations) to health care, not establish new ones.
John W. Truslow, III is the Associate Director of the Center for Ethics and Corporate Responsibility at The J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University.
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; "~ 1 Peter 2:9
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Thank you Mr. Doyle and the legislature of WI. How would I have lived without the opportunity to pay more for auto insurance?
I can certainly see how spending that much more on auto insurance will improve our lives. Just think of the alcohol I'll no longer to be able to afford-oh wait I'm a teetotaller. Well surely quitting smoking because I can no longer afford the cigarettes will be a benefit-except I've never smoked. Hmmm. Well how will I have to modify my life in order that I can still afford to drive in the state if WI? Looks like food, shelter and clothing will have to go.
We'll have that much less with which to help our child through college too. Oh wait, that's not a problem because my child might not be able to get into college since he's not an illegal alien and the budget expanded the competition to get into college by granting in-state tuition to illegal aliens and their children. And since illegal aliens don't have to pay taxes, I'll bet they will be able to take full advantage of that benefit.
But at least we'll all be safer on WI roads-right? After all, think of all those folks who will now be driving without insurance. Yes, thank you Mr. Doyle and WI legislature for turning otherwise reasonably honest, law-abiding folks who were just barely making ends meet into criminals who can no longer afford auto insurance. I hope you thought of that when looking at prison budgets.
But hey, think of all the carbon that won't be emitted when the determinedly law-abiding folks who can no longer afford insurance stop driving, because driving is a luxury activity-right? It's not like folks have to drive to get to work in my neck of the woods or anything. Why the 20 mile hike to work should just serve as an invigorating start to the day. The 20 mile hike home? Just an opportunity to reflect on the day's challenges. Making those hikes in winter? An opportunity to appreciate nature's glorious blizzards and snowstorms first hand. At least, no longer having to pay for auto insurance at all should provide them with enough money to purchase good quality winter outerwear.
My mother, who is living on a fixed income, thanks you too, as she believes that, when she gets her notice, her auto insurance will cost at least twice as much as previously.
Why my heart just expands with "appreciation" for the wise decision of the WI legislature in approving that monstrosity when I think of my mother negotiating icy streets with her cane because she can't afford the gas to drive after paying for her auto insurance.
Why were these changes to auto insurance included in the budget? Why were these change even necessary? The only explanation I've heard offered was that it was a payback to the trial lawyers, who funded a goodly portion of Mr. Doyle's election campaign.
I'm open to hearing any other explanations as to why this would be necessary and why, if necessary, it should've been included in the state's budget rather than debated on it's own merits. I won't be holding my breath, but I will be looking at how I can help to replace all those legislators who voted in favor of this budget as the elections approach.
"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. " ~Acts 17:30-31
Saturday, October 3, 2009
I have seen this program a few times now and I'm truly appalled. These children manipulate their parents into spending unseemly amounts of money to satisfy their wish to throw the "biggest party ever". On the face of it, there seems to be a fascination with the celebrity lifestyle into which these children are attempting to buy their way. In reality one can see children desperately seeking for limits and sincere friends. I say that because there is no end to the demands these children put on their parents-expensive new cars, jewelry, dress codes for the guests, exotic animals, bands etc. But, when the time comes to distribute the invitations, on more than one occasion, their "friends" are not where they were supposed to be. Perhaps this is simply poor planning on the part of the show's producers or a naive expectation that of course "everyone" would be waiting on the whims of these wealthy young people. In either case, these children often choose to simply give invites to whoever happens to be hanging around. To me this appears to be a desperate bid for friendship. One that is doomed to fail, because money can't buy you friends.
These children (one of whom, appalling in and of itself, was the child of the minister of the city's largest Christian church), clearly understand that true friendship is a valuable thing and equally clearly, they understand or believe that their "friendships" may not be trustworthy due to their wealth. They do not seem to trust those whose friendship they claim and seek to deepen those relationships through vacuous displays of wealth and celebrity like behavior. Their parents may not have provided a foundation of logical thinking whereby they should be able to objectively evaluate their relationships and be content with them.
These shows are a parental "FAIL" in more ways than one. I hope that, upon viewing the programs, these parents will be able see themselves and their roles in the upbringing of their children more appropriately. I hope it gives them the fortitude to exercise appropriate limits and give their children the guidance they are so clearly craving. Otherwise these children will remain as pathetic and needy as they were at the time of their parties and that would be a very sad thing.
"But godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. "~ 1Tim 6-12
Friday, September 25, 2009
The Nation of Islam is a nation without borders. It is composed of the followers of Islam. Islam is not just a religion, but rather a complete system of government. It's followers consider themselves to be Muslims first and any nationality second. (As do most Christians and followers of other religions consider themselves to be followers of their religions first.) Under the Islamic system, our commonly held belief that property is not transferred to the sovereignty of an external government is incorrect. Under the legal system of Islam, property purchased by a member becomes the property of Allah - in perpetuity, unless otherwise stated in the purchase agreement. (I'm not sure that stating otherwise in the purchase agreement can nullify this transfer, but hope that it is true as I have read that caveat emptor applies to the seller being unaware of said transfer. This implies that it could be addressed in the purchase agreement. I hope that any readers with better information would share.)The principle of caveat emptor applies. There are agencies within the Nation of Islam whose purpose is to record the transfer of property into the possession of members of the Nation of Islam to be held in trust for Allah.
This poses a problem for America. While Americans, in general, hold that an individual has a primary duty to their God and the right to worship freely, we tend to forget that there are natural limitations on the right to worship. Those limitations are the same as the limitations on our other rights, namely that our right to practice our religion ends where such practice begins to infringe upon the rights of our neighbors. Is it an infringement of our rights, as a nation, to allow the followers of Islam, whether American in nationality or not, to purchase land when that purchase results in a transfer, in the minds of the purchasers and the records of their scribes, of sovereignty over that land?
It seems a folly to allow the members of a group of people to purchase American land at all when their motives may be to transfer the ownership/sovereignty of that land to an entity other than the nation in which that land is located. To put restrictions on the buying and selling of property seems an extreme and possibly unconstitutional solution. It would not be unconstitutional or extreme, however, to recognize that Islam is a governmental system as well as a religious one while protecting our national interests with a law preventing the transfer of sovereignty upon the mere act of purchasing property. That America has not done so already seems more a function of a general ignorance over the tenets of Islam than a self-destructive display of religious freedom at all costs. Freedom without limitation is not freedom, it is license. It is not respectful to the followers of a religion to ignore the governmental aspects of that religion in our law. (If there is a law in place that restricts the transfer of sovereignty/ownership in this way, I hope a reader will direct me to it.)
As there is to be a gathering of Muslims on Capitol Hill this weekend for prayer, I am concerned that this prayer meeting will turn Capitol Hill, in the eyes of the worldwide Islamic community, into a mosque. The legal system of Islam also transfers sovereignty/ownership of all mosques to Allah in perpetuity and prohibits infidels and other non-Muslims from setting foot on holy ground. In Maalmo, Sweden, not so long ago, a group of Muslims rioted over just that issue. A building in the community had been rented to a Muslim group to serve as a community center. Within the community center was a room or rooms set aside to serve as a mosque. When the landlord refused to renew the lease to the Muslim group, some youth declared that the mosque, as a mosque, now belonged to Allah and not the property owner. Are we setting up the same sort of reaction for Capitol Hill? Probably not-or at least not yet. The Muslim community is not quite strong enough yet to insist that religious freedom would allow them to prevent the kaffir or infidels from setting foot upon the now holy ground of Capitol Hill or from openly declaring that Capitol Hill now belongs to Allah, once again, in perpetuity. Will that still be the case in 10-20 years? Not if we don't start recognizing the governmental and legal aspects of the Islamic faith now, with an eye towards preserving both our land and our freedoms.
America must address the governmental and legal aspects of Islam in a way that respects religious freedom while retaining our sovereignty and our republic. It is not a violation of religious freedom to restrict worship to worship and prevent the imposition of a foreign governmental, financial or legal system upon the citizens of this nation under the guise of freedom of religion.
"Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day:
And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known. " ~Deut 11:26-28
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I also have a question for you. While on the trip, I was able to access my blog through my son's laptop and a hotel computer. I noticed a strobing effect with the color of the Biblical quote at the end of my posts on certain monitors. Has that been a problem for anyone? I'm trying a bit of a different color for this one, just to check.
Your feedback is appreciated.
" He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed." ~ Prov 13:10
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
This first woman, the one whose funeral I will be attending soon, raised several children who are all, to the best of my knowledge, kind, polite and loving people. They have raised their children in the same vein. In our current political climate, where people of all stripes are looking at our personal duties to each other vs. our duties to each other as a community, I look at the life of this woman and I cannot help but think, that if all the children in the world were raised as this woman and her husband raised their children, there would be no need for the discussion. We would just help our neighbors as naturally as we breathe. And that is perhaps the best thing anyone could say about another.
We lost another elderly woman early this year and that was a cause for reflection also. That woman had a stormy life as did her children. Even though her children are not in a position to see it, no matter how badly her children thought they were treated (and by today's standards, they were roughly treated), their treatment at her hands was much, much better than the treatment her parents gave her. The same is true for their father.
Then there is the third woman I lost this year. This was a young woman, whom I had known for over 20 years. She had a rough start in life, adopted by alcoholics, and made many decisions over the years that did not improve her lot by much. She told me that her husband was abusive and she had several serious health issues, including one that was terminal. She fell into a depression and ultimately shot herself this spring.
The object of this current funeral did her family the ultimate courtesy of arranging her own funeral. She had issued a do not resuscitate order several years ago, when her health started declining, but changed it at the request of her children who loved and needed her. As a result, she lived at least ten years longer than she would have otherwise with a reasonably good quality of life. In doing so, she taught her children the value of sacrifice. Her children have coordinated with each other on the disposition of her property over the years and, I have no doubt, will not say a cross word to each other, but will spend their time supporting one another in this time of grief.
The other elderly woman refused to leave a will. She had disowned one daughter for marrying someone of whom she did not approve. While she did speak to this daughter when she came by to help while her mother was going through surgeries and cancer treatment, it was the first time in many years. She was not given the foundations for providing a kind and loving home environment by her own parents. She did the best she could with what she had and considered that her children were doing better than she did and was content with that. Her children are were unable to get together at her funeral without harsh words to one another. As is common in stormy families, the siblings all had very different experiences of their parents growing up. This made it difficult for them to reconcile their feelings for and about each other and their parents.
The third woman left her family when her husband's abuse became too much for her, assuring me that they were safe with him, because he never hurt them-only her. She ignored the fact that he was hurting them, as was she, by not becoming the type of man who does not abuse his family. She went back when her husband refused to let her see her children otherwise. She left her daughters with feelings of anger and resentment along with grief and an example that says when the going gets tough, give up and leave and that people who behave badly cannot change. I am angry at her myself as she had promised me, personally, that she was not going to take the suicide option, regardless of the challenges she faced. She assured me that her main concern was for her children, and that she would not want them to have that example.
Some of the things these women had in common? They all made their own choices and lived and died with the consequences of those choices. They were all unique and wonderful people in their own way. They all faced challenges of varying degrees in their lives with varying degrees of success. I think sometimes we forget that there is value in the challenges we are called to face. Making life easier is not the same as making life better.
We can choose to provide a firm foundation for our children or not. Sometimes all we can do is to do the best we can and sometimes, in a moment of weakness, we may fail. That's part of the journey. The important part is getting up and trying again. While I won't deny that it might be nice to have all families be like that of the first woman, that's not to our benefit as a nation. My own early life had some serious challenges and I have learned from those challenges. I have learned things that I could not have learned anywhere else. Those challenges are what define me. I appreciate all three of these women for the lessons they have taught me and I wouldn't have changed them for all the pain they had to go through to become who they were. Except that I would have given the third woman an abiding faith in the God she claimed, to allow her to endure past that crucial moment of suffering.
I think that, many times, when reformers want to change the world, they are talking about those bits of the world that allow people to suffer or to cause suffering. That's a goal. But it's an impossible goal. It's also a goal that would, were it possible to achieve such a thing, utterly debase and remove from us the very essence of being human. Would our armed forces be as good if they didn't have to go through boot camp? I don't think so. There would be essential components missing if they did not subject themselves to boot camp. Just so, we, missing the challenges, suffering, sorrows, joys and triumphs that have shaped us into who we are would be missing essential elements that make us into mature and fully functioning human beings. Maybe that's the deal with the comments I have seen about "extended adolescence" of late. Maybe we have made things too easy for ourselves and our children in this world of modern conveniences.
One other thing I have noticed about these three women is a significant difference in their faith. They all claimed some form of Christianity for their religion, but the two older women had faith. Real, "get out of the boat and walk on the water towards Jesus" faith. They knew, as the third woman did not, that you must do as God instructs regardless of how much it hurts or how unwise it may seem at the time. Neither of the two older women left their children debt to deal with. As far as I am aware neither of the two older women ever cheated on their spouses. The third woman did both of those things. Maybe that's just because they were older and had had time to take care of those things that required debt or because they were raised in a time when fidelity was expected. I think it far more likely that they did their best to follow God's instructions about such behaviors regardless of the fact that they may have appeared to be things that could have made life easier for them and their children. I don't know.
What I do know is that people have individual value. All people. Even the ones we don't want to sit next to on the train, bus or plane. Even the ones who make mistakes, or who treat us unjustly. I also know that faith, experience and attitude make a difference, and not all the government money in the world can change that.
"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, " ~ Galatians 5:22 RIP Lillian
"I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me"~Psalm 69:2 RIP Caroline
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. " ~Rom 10:3-13
Sunday, September 13, 2009
So much for astroturf.
"The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
" ~Psalm 34:15
Thursday, September 10, 2009
At my request, Soapbox Jill has posted the audio of Dr. Zimmerman's full speech on her site at this link. She also has an analysis of some of the objections to Dr. Zimmermann's speech. You can judge for yourselves. I wanted the audio, because my camera batteries died just before he got to his comments on specific portions of H.R. 3200. My thanks to Soapbox Jill for posting it.
"They that be slain with the sword are better than they that be slain with hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field. " ~Lam 4:9
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
This blog has some photos and sound bites of the event. For first time visitors, I have video of several of the speakers. If you trim the url, you'll be able to see them.
"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. " ~ Mat 18:20
Dr. Zimmermann talks about health care. Unfortunately, I ran out of batteries where this cuts off. I will attempt to find another video so you can see the whole speech, because it was quite good.
I was not able to film any of the speakers following Dr. Zimmerman. I also was a bit late so I missed the opening speaker, Scott Sidney. Bob Basso as Thomas Paine was well covered and I have provided links in an earlier post. Mark Block and Linda Hanson were the final speakers and, if I can find video of their presentations, I will post links here.
"Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?" ~ Jer 8:22 ( I was tempted to put the entire chapter here.)
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Ms. Kleefisch encouraged the crowd to continue to act as citizen journalists.
"Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.
Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous. " ~Psalm 31:17-18
Mr. Donald is a small business owner who was addressing the TEA Party about the Cap and Trade bill.
"So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents." ~ 1Kings 12:16
Mr. Bader notes that unions need to be accountable to their members. I have espoused the opinion that the members need to hold their unions accountable. That when you elect to be part of an organization, you have a responsibility to see to it that said organization reflects your personal values.
In the case of Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac, I believe his remarks are the truth. If you vote yourself out of a job, you deserve to lose it.
I was having battery issues during this entire event, so some of the speakers are cut off or have a bit missing here or there when I had to change to another set. My apologies also for the quality of the videos. I'm only of average height and so was holding the camera above my eye level most of the time to show the speakers at all. If I decide to make a habit of this, I may invest in a monopod to keep the camera steady.
"Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's..."~Deut 1:7
Monday, September 7, 2009
Now I know I was going to only post the videos, but I have some thoughts about Pastor King's speech that require comment.
Those of you who saw my commentary on the Madison TEA Party know that I took exception to some of his remarks. Those remarks were repeated in Part two of his speech here. They are only a very small part of his speech and I think they are an unnecessary part. I made a point of meeting Mr. King after this event and telling him that his presentation would be better without them. He responded by telling me that he was doing as God directed him. To which, despite the fact that I was flabbergasted at the time, I would now like to say "REALLY?" You really think God wants you to be known as the pastor who makes drug and sex jokes at TEA Parties? I think it far more likely that God would want you to become known as a great man of God and that these crude jokes, at the expense of a man who is willing to serve as governor, regardless of his policies, are holding you back.
I would advise you to remember that David refused to kill Saul even though he was the anointed ruler to come of the nation. Simply because we have a republican form of government that allows us to participate in the process of electing leaders does not make us exempt from the notion that no one, good or bad, gets into a position of power without God's authority behind them. As I referenced in a relatively recent post, the reason the Israelites even had a king is because the people were tired of being responsible for themselves and asked God for a king. We voted for this man, we got what we asked for. I despise his policies, but that is not a reason to indulge in this sort of humor. It's beneath you Pastor King and it's beneath the people you are addressing.
I wouldn't challenge the will of God for love nor money(God willing), but I really don't think that God needs crude humor to get His point across. So, I challenge you Mr. King. I challenge you to make that speech and any others you may be asked to give without the crude humor and see what God will do with your willingness to speak up for His will and His church.
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. "~1 Corinthians 13:1
"If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. " ~James 1:26
Part 1; Part 2 ; Part 3 ; Part 4 ; and Part 5
Friday, August 28, 2009
Speakers will include: Emcee Scott Sidney, a regional coordinator for AFP; Conservative radio talk show host, Jerry Bader; long time activist for the Wisconsin Prosperity Network, Linda Hansen; Pastor David King, founder of Milwaukee's God Squad (Who will hopefully not be using the same metaphors he used in Madison- but then, he is a democrat willing to speak against the profligate spending coming out of D.C.); Mark Block, state director for AFP; Dr. Phil Zimmermann, resident physician at the UW-Madison and director of WisconsinRepublic.org and Bob Basso as Thomas Paine.
It sounds like it should be a wonderful mix of speakers. I have a schedule conflict, but if I can manage around it, I plan to attend.
"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I received a back to school reminder from the folks at Wisconsin Family Action that contained a useful link to a list of back to school resources for Christian families from Wisconsin Family Council. Among those resources is a video on student's rights to live their faith at school. As I was looking at that link, I was recalling my own experiences with the public school system. I think there is another resource parents desperately need if, for some reason, they cannot homeschool their children.
I have written a post at the AFB on this issue and I encourage you to read the post and the discussion which follows -if you have not already done so. If you don't have time, the short version is that school officials, acting "in loco parentis" are able to interrogate your child at school, without notifying you, for the entirety of the school day, if your child is implicated in any way to have been even contemplating a crime or any activity for which charges could be brought against your child. They do not have to notify you. They may lie to your child in order to coerce a confession and they are not required to tell your child what his/her rights are in this situation.
Now most of you are probably thinking, that won't happen to my child, so this isn't an issue for me. What if your child upsets another child, or another child simply wants to be mean? We all know that children can be unpredictable. All that is necessary for this sort of interrogation to occur is one child telling a teacher or principle they heard your child saying something that could be perceived as a threat to the school or another student. A frustrated statement of " They make me so mad, I could just kill them." about another student would be sufficient, in some situations, to lead to such questioning. Once such an interrogation session has been initiated, it is my feeling that the school official feels an obligation to obtain a confession of some sort to justify their actions in questioning your child.
Are you an outspoken parent who opposes the plans of the local school board? While I would prefer to think such tactics would be beneath most school administrators, it is possible that such an interrogation could be used to shut you up.
The bottom line is, you need to protect your child from this procedure at school. Even if they are the greatest kid in the world they are not safe from the mischief that can result from envy or malice. You owe your child this duty of protection if you are sending them to a public school. And if your child is the type of kid who would do such things? He/She needs your protection too. We all are to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and we all have a Constitutional right to have an attorney present during questioning. That includes your child, innocent or guilty. (If you child is guilty, there is a place in the process for confessions, but that place is not under the interrogation of school officials.)
Your school administration will undoubtedly argue that their questioning cannot be used in a court, but the judge can certainly ask the arresting officer why they arrested and charged your child. The answer "school officials told me the child had confessed to this crime" is permissible.
Send the school a letter rescinding their authority to act "in loco parentis" in the event that your child is being questioned about anything for which they could be criminally charged. Hopefully, you will never need it, but just in case you do, you'll be glad you did.
Below is a generic form of the letter that I used. I am not a lawyer and I have no idea how this would be regarded in a court, should it come to that. I hope it will at least give your school administration enough of a reality check that you will be informed if your child is ever in this situation.
"This letter is to rescind the school district’s right to act “in loco parentis” to my child in the event that he is being questioned about any matter that could involve criminal charges being brought against him. Just as I would not expect you to act as a doctor in the event of a serious injury, I do not expect you to act as legal counsel in this situation.
Whether you recognize it formally or not, when you question a student about a crime, you are acting as an agent of the state and that is a direct conflict of interest with your status of acting “in loco parentis” to my child when he is a student in your school. I recognize that this is a challenge for you and that you feel duty bound to act in the best interests of the school at large.
With that in mind, I cannot in good conscience put my child or you in such a position. Therefore, I must insist, that in the extremely unlikely event that my child should be in such a situation, I require immediate notification. I also forbid any questioning of my child unless he has a parent or a lawyer who is acting on his behalf present at the time of such questioning.
I would also encourage the school board to recognize the serious consequences of such questioning in today’s world. There are many ways for students to be brought to the attention of school administrators for such questioning, ranging from actual criminal actions to the malice of other students or adults. Should students be questioned about a crime without even having a parent present? Is that really in the best interests of our students? What does that teach them about their Constitutional rights? I encourage the school board to review current policy and make appropriate changes."
"And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. " ~Deut 6:7
Monday, August 17, 2009
I keep hearing people refer to "our democracy". I think I have posted on this before, but as it continues to be a bee in my bonnet, I wanted to give it another shot.
The United States of America is a REPUBLIC. (Technically, a Constitutional republic with a strong democratic tradition, but I digress.) It was formed as a republic because, in the words of our founders:
"Democracies have been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and in general have been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death." ~ James Madison
The reason for the short and violent lives of democracies? In a word - greed. "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." ~Thomas Jefferson
When someone claims that we have or want to have a democracy, they are declaring either:
- that they are uninformed as to what a democracy really is; or
- that they want our government overthrown quickly; or
- that they are too lazy to be precise in their terminology.
Some may find this to be mere quibbling, but it is not. When one or two people are sloppy about terminology in a casual setting, that is forgivable. Most of us are not walking around with dictionaries to hand. (Although, there are those of you with i-net access through your cell phones.) But when our electorate is content to hear our elected officials push this or that legislation in support of our "democracy", or because it's the "democratic" thing to do, we have a problem. When we do not call them to task about their use of the word democracy to describe our form of government, we have a problem. When our elected officials claim they have voted a particular way because that's what a majority of their constituents wanted and they think that's okay because that's how a democracy works, and no one objects to that reasoning, something is monumentally wrong with our country. ( I won't even address the folly of spreading democracy across the globe. Spread freedom and independence based on man's God given rights? Yes but leave democracy to those who lack the ability to exercise personal responsibility.)
Now I realize that I may appear to be on thin ice here. I am reading scathing commentaries about certain elected officials who plan to ignore the expressed will of their constituents and return to Congress to vote for the egregiously proposed HR 3200 or one of the other freedom restricting, money wasting, unconstitutional health care plans currently on the table in DC. I am not saying that I approve of those monstrosities. But we do have a republic. And that means our elected legislators are supposed to be voting for what is best for the country, not what the majority wants.
Our legislators are supposed to be voting in a way that preserves our republic and our freedoms, not their power or popularity. (HR 3200 infringes egregiously on both our republic and our freedoms.) Voting in a way that encourages Americans to exercise their freedoms while maintaining their personal responsibility and independence. Not voting for bloated government programs that take away our ability and incentives to pay our own way. Not voting for entitlements and charity. Charity is not the business of a republican form of government except when that government wants to buy power from the people in order to impose some form of tyranny upon them.
Dr.D, one of my readers, recently sent me a commentary entitled: "What Samuel said about Solomon" in which Mr. Frank Chodorov remarks on the change in governmental form that occurred when the Israelites demanded to have a king, like other countries.
The Israelites were a self-governed people, answerable to God and their communities for their behavior and actions. "It was a conservative society; adherence to proven principles was the only way by which the pursuit of happiness could be furthered. That which was "right" in the tribesman's eyes was "right" by custom, tradition and the laws of Yahweh, to the enumeration of which the Old Testament, before the Book of Joshua, devoted much space. Freedom is not license."
In this commentary, the author notes that the people grew weary of taking responsibility for their own decisions. That, instead of thinking and planning and behaving in the way that allowed the most individual freedom for each person, they wanted to give up their freedom in order to relieve themselves of the concurrent risks and responsibilities. He also notes the consequences for giving up that freedom and personal responsibility.
"The immediate occasion for the revolutionary demand was what we would today call an emergency. In fact, there were two emergencies. In foreign affairs things were going badly for Israel; the Philistines had not only beaten them roundly in battle, but also made off with the sacred ark of the covenant.
On the domestic front, they had lost faith in their leadership. The two sons of Samuel, whom he had appointed as assistants, did not live up to the high standards of their office; they had "turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment."
Samuel seems to have been a political scientist of the first water, all the more remarkable in that he had no books to go by, but only his wisdom and his observation of kingship in operation. So that, when the elders said "make us a king to judge us like all the nations," he was displeased. The story says that he took the matter up with Yahweh, who assured him that nothing could be done about saving the Israelites from themselves, since they had given up on first principles.
It was because they had forsaken the rigorous tradition of their forefathers, with its insistence on self-reliance and personal integrity, that they had lost the victorious touch that carried them from Egypt to the outskirts of the Promised Land. The breakdown of the judge system could be traced to the same lack of self-discipline. Therefore, said Yahweh, give them what they ask for, but as a parting shot you might "shew them the manner of the king that shall rule over them"; and tell them also that when they realize their mistake, it will be too late to regain freedom: "The Lord will not hear you in that day.
"Ye Shall Be Servants
So Samuel outlined the order of things under a king. First, there will be conscription, replacing the system of voluntarism that had served the tribesmen well throughout their peregrinations, and the conscription will not be confined to military service but will include service in the king's household. What's more, women too will be subject to involuntary servitude. Then, "he will appoint his captains over thousands and captains over fifties."The term "captain" is ambiguous, referring sometimes to men of war, sometimes to what we would call nobles, sometimes (by the kind of work assigned to them) to bureaucrats; it was in the reigns of David and Solomon that "captain" took on many meanings.
And, continued Samuel, the king will take from you the best of your lands "and give them to his servants," thus establishing a landed aristocracy, which the laws of Moses clearly forbade. What's more, for the upkeep of his establishment "he will take a tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards"; apparently, compulsory taxation was new among the Israelites. To top it all off, "ye shall be his servants."
I find myself wondering if this insistence on calling the American form of government a democracy is a way of distancing ourselves from our responsibility to monitor our legislators. I wonder, in the face of the stimulus spending(under Bush as well) , cap and trade and HR3200 if our legislators, who continually refer to this country as a democracy, are aware of what they are doing by perpetuating the idea that we have a democracy.
The way this nation was set up insured a good government only if "We the People" remain vigilant. I believe we may be seeing a return to the vigilance necessary to maintain our freedoms, but I wonder if it has not come too late. We have been deceived into becoming a culture which believes that it is better to pay taxes to have somebody else take care of our ill and elderly than to be forced to care for them ourselves in our homes and communities. The inevitable consequence is that our culture places decreasing value on individual lives. Instead of welcoming the opportunity to care for the woman who bore you and raised you and sacrificed to put food in your mouth, grandma is now regarded as a burden.
Why shouldn't our younger voters see communism or collectivism as desirable? We have not instilled in them the reverence for life and individual value that is the mainstay of our freedoms. The value system that best promotes freedom, independence and personal responsibility, that of Christianity, has been thoroughly mocked and derided in order to accommodate those who wish to live in ways that are costly to society as a whole. Men are no longer encouraged to marry the mothers of their children. Women are encouraged to kill their children if they become pregnant at an inconvenient time. Marriage itself is mocked and made fun of even as those who wish to live in the self destructive lifestyle that is homosexuality attempt to co-opt the term to give themselves an appearance of moral respectability.
There is a real danger in using vocabulary incorrectly. Words must mean what we, as a society think they mean or we cannot have a functioning society. We can no longer be sloppy about the difference between a republic and a democracy or we will lose our republic.
"Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day. But a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly proves a deliberate systematic plan of reducing us to slavery." – Thomas Jefferson
"And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.
Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.
And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD.
And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city." ~ 1 Samuel 8:18-22