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Monthly Archives: March 2014

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Foundations

Americans have flirted with the ideas of socialism for so long and the impact of big government in Americans lives has become so pervasive that millions of young Americans now cannot envision any time in living memory where government bureaucracy wasn’t needed nor wanted. Most Americans cannot recall a time when Social Security did not exist or where people who did not have jobs and work, did not eat. They cannot recall a time when the IRS did not get to take large portions of their earnings Freedom does not mean the same thing to today’s generation of Americans as it once did to the founding fathers.

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The modern democrat party, for the most part, has completely rejected the Founding Fathers belief in small government and respect for individual rights and property. They attack Tea Party members who hold the founding fathers in high regard and believe in the ideals of American independence. They also now use the power of the Federal Government to actually punish their political opponents.  

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They openly discredit free market capitalism holding examples of criminal abuse from the likes of Bernie Madoff for example as proof that Capitalism does not work. Democrats demand more oversight and more government regulation every day, in short more power be handed over to them. The ignorant say yes, amen. Let’s reign in those evil capitalists and all capitalism does is breed greed. We need government to protect us and take care of us. But they fail to understand that government is just as greedy and selfish if not more so. Plus, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and business people don’t threaten people with guns, garnish their wages or  force people to pay them and do what they want like government can.

The proof that socialism is starting to take hold in this country is in the last two Presidential election cycles where Americans by the millions flocked to the polls and elected a President who is arguably the most openly hostile President ever, towards free enterprise, and individual self-determination. He shows his utter contempt for the US Constitution almost daily like threatening to go around the Congress to make law by executive fiat and bypass the will of the people.

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Faith in God, country and family has been the bedrock foundation of American society. To the modern democrat however God either does not exist or if he does he’s never spoken of in public and should not play any role whatsoever in public policy. As a side note,  did you happen to see Hollywood’s Oscars show on television? Do you recall when Matthew McConaughey openly thanks God in his acceptance speech? You could have heard a pin drop in the audience.   I think that demonstrated that either the audience was abundantly atheistic or so politically correct and embarrassed, they could not openly show support. It was painful to watch.

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To the modern democrat America is not exceptional at all, and in those areas that it is unquestionable that America is exceptional, like our military power and economic power, (albeit a lot less powerful lately) they profusely apologize for that fact and claim that others were exploited along the way to get that power.

Similarly the traditional view of family once defined as one man and one woman married has come to mean anything now.  I would not be surprised that American society starts accepting marriages between humans and their pets like they do in Europe. I guess some of us Americans are  just old fashioned that way.

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Change is inevitable. However, some things should not change, or else risk the entire edifice collapsing in a heap. Perhaps that’s their real mission. The US Constitution was greatly influenced by the philosophy of Englishmen like John Locke who had believed that God provided men with rights that are immutable and natural. These natural rights cannot be granted or taken away by government and indeed government exists to protect these rights. This is an underlying philosophy of the founders and is not better demonstrated that what is written in the Declaration of Independence.

“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, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness”…

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To say God has no place in American society or should have no influence in American policy is to ignore the very premise set forth by the Founders however inconvenient to non-believers that might be. The founders believed people have natural rights given to the them by God and that government was formed to protect those rights. Note the Declaration does not say men are endowed by their government or King with unalienable rights. They state their creator endowed them. That sounds a lot like recognition of God or a superintending power over the affairs of men.

One does not have to be particularly religious to understand that this is what the founders were basing their ideas of self-determination and rights when they wrote the Constitution. If you reject God then it follows you reject the premise that men were given unalienable rights from their creator since men were not created. But where do those natural rights come from if not then from God?  To the Democrat there cannot be natural rights. The whole premise of the Founding Father’s argument does not reconcile with their agenda.  Their rejection of this foundation opens up the door to the ancient idea that only strong willed leaders, kings or despots determine what rights men should have and not have based upon nothing more than their supposed “enlightened” opinions and altruistic nature. And to show just how strong their case is,  they will promise to threaten you with force and annihilation if you don’t believe them or agree with them. Freedom then is dangerous and should be controlled in their mind.

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It is perhaps American society’s rejection of God, country, and family that we now struggle. We the People have forgotten who we and where we come from and look to a future promised by bureaucrats whose new foundation of hope and change is built on sand.

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Moral Courage

Ronald Reagan-40th President of the United States

Ronald Reagan-40th President of the United States

“No arsenal, no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.”
— Ronald Reagan

Semper Fi-do

Man’s best friend is not the cat. It’s not a bird. It’s not even an iguana. It’s the dog, the faithful, loving, trusting companion of mankind. Ever watchful over its master, the dog has accompanied man everywhere, even into battle.  Today’s marks the anniversary when the US Army Quartermaster Corp in 1942 started to train dogs for its War Dog Program or K-9 Corp as it was called. Basic training lasted two to three months and prepared dogs for sentry, patrol, messenger, or mine-detection duty.

One of the most famous of these animal soldiers was “Chips” a mixed German shepherd who single-handedly attacked an enemy machine-gun nest in Sicily and, despite a bullet wound, forced the six-man crew to surrender. Chips was recognized for this brave action with a Silver Star and Purple Heart. Chips captured the heart of Americans and motion pictures later were made about his heroics. More than 10,000 specially trained dogs were deployed during WWII.

In World War II, “Chips” was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart for attacking an enemy machine-gun nest in Sicily and while wounded forced the six-man crew to surrender.

In World War II, “Chips” was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart for attacking an enemy machine-gun nest in Sicily and while wounded forced the six-man crew to surrender.

Today dogs continue to serve with US military forces around the world. Because of their keen sense of smell, dogs are very useful in detecting minute traces of explosives or narcotics and can alert their handlers to the presence of such substances. In addition dogs can be a strong psychological deterrent, able to inflict fear in adversaries that even other armed soldiers cannot.  These amazing creatures have earned love and respect from those who have worked with them and care for them.

JJ Paladin's "Palace Guard"

JJ Paladin’s “Palace Guard”

Smallest Minority

Ayn_Rand

“The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.” Ayn Rand

Course of Empire

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The Course of Empire is a five-part series of paintings created by American artist Thomas Cole in the years 1833–36. Cole’s paintings reflected the American sentiments of the times, when many saw pastoralism as the ideal phase of human civilization, fearing that empire would lead to gluttony and inevitable decay.   The paintings depict the rise and fall of an imaginary city, perhaps Rome, from different vantage points and different times in its history.

The_Savage_State_1836

Savage State

The_Arcadian_or_Pastoral_State_1836

 Pastoral State

Consummation_Thomas_Cole_1835_1836

Consummation State

Empire_Destruction_1836

Destructive State

Empire_Desolation_1836

Desolation State

When I came across these paintings today I could not help note how they might be conceived as an allegory for our “American Empire”.  I imagine Cole having history as his guide would not at all be surprised to see just how prescient his work had become.  It is my opinion that with the beginning of the 21st century we have entered our “destructive state.” Only a drastic course correction can avoid the desolation of our way of life completely.

 

Freedom

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Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.

Thomas Paine

Representative government?

Just how representative is our representative government?

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Before John Adams came to be the 2nd President of the United States, he played a very influential role in shaping the ideas behind Constitutional government. In his “Thoughts on Government” Adams explains, government which “communicates ease, comfort, security, or, in one word, happiness, to the greatest number of persons, and in the greatest degree is the best.” To Adams, influenced by such great English philosophers as John LockeEmbed from Getty Images Republican government was the best form of government.

Adams went on further to say “..In a large society, inhabiting an extensive country, it is impossible that the whole should assemble to make laws. The first necessary step, then, is to depute power from the many to a few of the most wise and good. But by what rules shall you choose your representatives? Agree upon the number and qualifications of persons who shall have the benefit of choosing, or annex this privilege to the inhabitants of a certain extent of ground. The principal difficulty lies, and the greatest care should be employed, in constituting this representative assembly. It should be in miniature an exact portrait of the people at large. It should think, feel, reason, and act like them. That it may be the interest of this assembly to do strict justice at all times, it should be an equal representation, or, in other words, equal interests among the people should have equal interests in it.”

This is a noble idea but in practice it has not always been the case. If we look at today’s make up of Congress I would suggest that a great many of the problems we are experiencing right now are due in no small part to the fact that our representatives do not really represent us. I am not only referring to their demonstrable lack of representation for the will of the people i.e. Obamacare, but their actual demographic make-up.

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Here’s some interesting statistics regarding the 113th Congress as of January 2014:

  • 93% of House Members and 99% of Senators have at least a bachelor’s degree this compares to roughly just 28% for the general public (US census 2010 data)
  • The average age of Members of the House of Representatives is 57 years and of Senators 62 years. As of 2010 the median age of US citizens was 37.2.
  • The majority occupations come from just four groups: business, education, law and public service.
  • The majority are White and Protestant.
  • A record 102 women (18.8% of total membership) serve in the 113th Congress as of December 2013.
  • Additionally there are 44 African American Members of Congress (8.1% of the total membership) 37 Hispanic or Latino Members or 6.9% of the total membership and thirteen Asian/Pacific Islander Members (2.4% of the total membership There are also two American Indian (Native American) members. 
  • According to Measure of America, median earnings for members of Congress are $174,000. According to the 2010 US census however  the median income for all Americans over age 25 with earnings was just $32,140.
  • The US census as of 2010 shows 50.9% of Americans are women, 72.4% of Americans are White, 12,6% are black, 16.4% are Hispanic or Latino, 4.8% Asian, .9% are Native American or Alaskan native and .2% are Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.

Congress is supposed to represent the people of the United States but just a quick examination of these demographics illustrate clearly, sociologically speaking, women and minorities are not well represented in Congress as compared to the general population of US citizens. Similarly there are great disparities in age, education and income. So how then can we expect Congress to understand us and represent our real interests when they don’t share much in common with us?

According to a January 2014 Gallup poll Congress has a 13% approval rating from the public. That is appalling when you think about it.

So ask yourself what has the Congress done to change that approval. Nothing, it’s still business as usual in Washington. As has been said before by many political commentators and especially Mark Levin, radio host and vocal critic of the current administration, “Congress is not going to fix itself”.


Fundamental changes have to take place. The status quo must be challenged. New ideas need to be proposed and the old ways of doing things rejected. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Want to keep things the same, keep voting for Democrats or Republicans. Want change than look to people who believe that the country is dying and that reversing course is necessary. It looks risky but so is doing the same thing over and over again.

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Both houses of Congress and the White House need to have people who believe in true Republican democracy and not crony capitalism or centralized government. One hundred plus years of progressive/socialist ideology needs to be reversed. The fundamental ideals of the Republic like independence need to be rekindled. Elitism too needs to be addressed. The average American needs to have a voice. It has been suggested that term limits be imposed but I do not think that will work. Perhaps another house equal in stature to the Senate and House of Representatives needs to be added to Congress, a house of truly common people. Where plumbers and dock workers and teachers and students are represented, populist in nature it would accurately reflect the demographics of the country and be filled with volunteers who are not compensated and prohibited from receiving any benefits. It could act as another check to power that currently is misrepresented. It’s a crazy thought I know but something has to be done before people start really thinking government is best left to the “experts.”

“It does not take a majority to prevail…but rather an irate tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” -Samuel Adams

Government

Ayn_Rand

“Today, when a concerted effort is made to obliterate this point, it cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals; that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government; that it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizen’s protection against the government.”

–Ayn Rand

Rights relinqished

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Is the global war on terror also an assault on personal liberty and the U.S. Constitution?

Keen observers of history will note that our leaders in government have with great success at various times of crisis convinced the American people that in order to stay “safe” and have a certain level of security and piece of mind, their individual rights must be sacrificed. In those cases the Constitution is completely ignored or trampled upon. Some poignant examples come to mind, Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War and FDR’s internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War.

The pattern is the same. A flagrant disregard for the rights of the individual citizen and usurpation of power or authority usually proceeded by some great tragedy or perceived threat. In the 21st century we are told the war on terror provides justification for these violations and require us to re-think the law for our own good to “protect” us from the grave dangers we face.

Some examples:

  •  NSA warrantless intercepted electronic and telephone communications….direct violation of the 4th Amendment 
  •  Targeted assassinations of US citizens identified as “Terrorists” overseas…direct violation of the 5th &  6th Amendments
  • Drones obtrusively observing citizens from above our cities…..direct violation of the 4th Amendment
  • Indefinite detentions without trial…. direct violation of the 5th Amendment
  • Illegal searches of homes and property for entire city blocks as in the case of the Boston bombing….direct violation of the 4th Amendment. 

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The danger lies in this. We have placed our trust in representative government to do its job and put people by election in positions of power and authority that will not subvert the process for their own personal gain. We have placed our faith in that they know what they are doing and have respect for the Constitution and will when the crisis has been averted resume the role of guardians of the system and restore the rights of American citizens. In today’s modern bureaucrat’s mind however, he believes he knows what is best for the country and its citizens and will not give up any new found powers granted to him. Once power or authority is co-opted or willingly surrendered to the State it is rarely relinquished without a fight. A fight that usually ends up very bloody.

Choices

I have always been a big fan of NASA space research and exploration. I can remember as a kid watching Walter Cronkite telecasting the latest Apollo missions to the moon and being just fascinated.  It always made me wonder what life would look like if it was actually discovered elsewhere. All sorts of images of aliens from literature and movies and television come to mind but I am doubtful that’s what life will look like from other worlds. 
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More likely life on nearby planets say like Mars will resemble one of Earth’s extremophiles .  These organisms because of some fluke in nature or by intelligent design, you pick, survive and thrive. Simply put because of the lack of atmosphere, water, and extreme cold conditions beyond Earth, life resembling humans or even the family dog is near impossible.
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That is why in some not too distant future if NASA scientists should stumble across some single celled organism or giant tube worms  “out there” that discovery would immediately capture the world’s attention. The headlines across the web and every printed page would say something like “Life found on Mars”.  The atheists would say, see there is no God, it was just all a cosmic accident. The religious would refute their claims saying why of course God created the alien life as he created everything else. The point however is no one would doubt that what the scientists discovered was life. It might be a simple life but in the context of science it would be treated as life. I would go so far as to say that if NASA decided to bring this “life form” back to Earth they would keep it alive as best they could to study it and it would be treasured.
This brings me to my topic, choice. There are those, the same that would openly accept a single celled organism discovered on another planet as life but openly reject the idea that a viable human embryo inside a mother’s womb is not life. This seems hypocritical to me and just an excuse to justify terminating human life that for whatever reason is not wanted.
I’m sorry but I am not prepared to accept the idea that a human baby inside its mother’s womb is not alive. We would readily accept a Martian single celled organism as being alive and worthy of study but not a human baby? Come on.. This embryo might just grow up to be the next Einstein and help us achieve our goals of exploring new worlds, seeking out new civilizations and boldly going where no one has gone before. Who knows? I doubt a tube worm or some other simple life form would be so interesting or beneficial.
Nowhere in our society is murder acceptable yet if a woman cries that she must have the choice whether to kill a baby or not, it’s suddenly acceptable? Rubbish..What about the baby’s choice to be born and live?  And please don’t argue that the Supreme Court said its okay so I should just live with that. That’s rubbish too. The high court has gotten it wrong in many cases, ie Slavery, Prohibition, Obamacare, to name just a few examples. The law should be changed. It we were an ethical, moral and just society we would overturn Roe vs Wade.  To use the bumper slogan which I think has merit: “Choose life, your mother did”.
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It seems to me that a woman has lots of choices when it comes to the moments before conception. Afterwards the only legal and moral choice she should have is to protect the life of that baby until term. There are a few exceptions that I think should be addressed and discussed fully in the public arena like cases of incest, severe mental retardation or serious health risks to the mother but I am talking about the majority of cases where young healthy women become pregnant and then want to abort their baby.
There are many choices a woman has that don’t involve taking another human being’s life. A woman can choose the company she keeps which will directly impact the chances of sexual contact.  She can also choose where she physically is, which again can influence directly whether unwanted conception occurs. Is she walking home alone or in a dark alley? Does she know how to protect herself physically or does she carry a concealed weapon or means to protect herself?  Is she distracted and oblivious to her surroundings which might have some nefarious cretins hanging around? Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that only women are responsible for the bad things that can happen to them. I am just saying that she bears some responsiblity for the choices she makes. For example, Is she out with friends at a movie or pizza parlor or did she choose to be at a party where males are intoxicated and/or high?  Is she choosing to leave a bar where she just met a guy and agrees to go to his place for the night or somewhere else without really getting to know the man first or setting up a second or third date? Choices, choices..
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She can choose to be sober instead of intoxicated, high, or otherwise greatly distracted like on pain meds.  She can practice abstinence instead of promiscuity. What a concept, it’s been around for thousands of years and still works.  Am I being a prude? No, practical.   Agreeing to have sex is agreeing to take the risk of having to be responsible for another human being until they are mature enough to survive on their own, which could be somewhere in their mid 20’s these days if my own daughter is any example.
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Teenagers with no job prospects, no education and no means to support themselves should choose to be abstinent and if not they should choose to be protected. Similarly an out of work adult women with limited education, and/or low income should choose to be protected. Abortion is not a birth control method. Society needs to do a better job educating people on this.
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 A woman can choose to wear clothes more suitable for girls her age and maturity. Too often I see young teenagers wearing clothes that could best be described as “come have sex with me tonight” or “I’m easy” or “slutty”. This is a cultural issue.  I have seen girls that look not more than 14 years old like this.  Hello Mom & Dad this is where you’re supposed to speak up and just say “NO, you’re definitely not wearing that”. Be firm. It’s been said that males have only one thing on their mind most of the time. Why tempt fate?  I never understood those people who let their children dress “sexy”. For what purpose are they doing this, to procreate? To just have sex, really a child? A child dress sexy, why on earth would you tolerate that? If it’s to get attention, that is really sad. There are better ways to get attention. You can be attractive without being sexual suggestive. I understand that humans need to have sex. I understand it’s basic however a human being has to be mature enough to accept the responsibilities that go with having sex.

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A woman has lots of choices leading up to conception of a child but perhaps none more important than the personal choice of being responsible for their own actions and accepting the consequences of those choices they have made. Regardless of how difficult or distasteful those consequences might be they have to be responsible. This is a failure in our society as we abhor personal responsibility these days.  Human society thousands of years ago decided that murder is not ethical or legal.  Abortion is not a birth control method it is murder. By the way, paying for birth control is a woman’s personal choice too, not society’s responsibility regardless what Sandra Fluke and her supporters might think.
I can just hear some of you now, well people don’t always make good choices especially young people and if you don’t allow them to legally abort their babies then they will go to back rooms or alleys and have unsafe abortions. I would argue society needs to be a little less “tolerant” and a little more old-fashioned. Parents need to be parents and encourage or admonish their young when it comes to being responsible, and society too needs to check its prurient interests. I haven’t even discussed the choices available to a mother once a baby that is unwanted is born that do not involve the selfish killing of their child. Choice isn’t the problem.
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 Just as today’s politically correct agenda specifies that we should live in a green world and that if we don’t recycle or use sustainable resources we should be chastised.  So too could society choose to criticize behavior that leads to bad personal choices which lead to unwanted pregnancies. Sadly it doesn’t do enough. If it takes a village to raise a child does it take a village to abort them too?  We have a choice.
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