Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Constitutionality of Obamacare

The mainstream media ridicule the core question of whether federal "health care reform" is constitutional. So do those legislators who vote for it.

This was not always the case, as Mark Jones notes.

Back in 1925, the U.S. Supreme Court said:

Obviously, direct control of medical practice in the states is beyond the power of the federal government.
Linder v. United States, 268 U.S. 5, 18, 45 S.Ct. 446 (1925)

Why would the Court say this is "obvious," while today's Congress says the exact opposite?

For the first hundred years after the Constitution was ratified, the phrase "enumerated powers" and the Tenth Amendment meant something. No longer.

Shortly after the Linder case, the Court repeated the obvious:

It is important also to bear in mind that "direct control of medical practice in the States is beyond the power of the Federal Government." Linder v. United States 268 U.S. 5, 18. Congress, therefore, cannot directly restrict the professional judgment of the physician or interfere with its free exercise in the treatment of disease. Whatever power exists in that respect belongs to the states exclusively.
Lambert v. Yellowly, 272 U.S. 581, 589, 47 S.Ct. 210 (1926)

Read the cases here.

If California adopted a policy of mandatory euthanasia for everyone over 55 (to help California curb rising healthcare costs and state government deficits), and pro-life conservatives in Washington D.C. attempted to overturn this policy, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals would almost certainly tell Congress that it had no Constitutional power to prevent millions of "physician-assisted suicides" in the states:

The principle that state governments bear the primary responsibility for evaluating physician assisted suicide follows from our concept of federalism, which requires that state lawmakers, not the federal government, are 'the primary regulators of professional [medical] conduct.' Conant v. Walters, 309 F.3d 629, 639 (9th Cir. 2002); Barsky v. Bd. of Regents, 347 U.S. 442, 449, 74 S.Ct 650, 98 L.ED. 829 (1954) ("It is elemental that a state has broad power to establish and enforce standards of conduct within its broders relative to the health of everyone there. It is a vital part of a state's police power.") The Attorney General "may not...regulate [the doctor-patient] relationship to advance federal policy." Conant, 309 F3d at 647 (Kozinski, J., concurring).
Oregon v. Ashcroft, 368 F.3d 1118, 1124 (9th Cir. 2004)

But if Obama wants to do it, it's OK.

Impermissible Ratemaking in Health-Insurance Reform: Why the Reid Bill is Unconstitutional - PointofLaw.com

Can Obama force you to buy health insurance? - Anthony Gregory / The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com

Sometimes the mainstream media use the "general welfare" clause to justify federal policies which were "obviously" unconstitutional a century ago. This is an abuse of the general welfare clause.

Of course, state regulation of medicine is just as destructive of medicine as federal regulation. Capitalism, not socialism, is the best policy on every level of government.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas 1981

Ronald Reagan: Address to the Nation About Christmas

Good evening.

At Christmas time, every home takes on a special beauty, a special warmth, and that's certainly true of the White House, where so many famous Americans have spent their Christmases over the years. This fine old home, the people's house, has seen so much, been so much a part of all our lives and history. It's been humbling and inspiring for Nancy and me to be spending our first Christmas in this place.

We've lived here as your tenants for almost a year now, and what a year it's been. As a people we've been through quite a lot—moments of joy, of tragedy, and of real achievement—moments that I believe have brought us all closer together. G. K. Chesterton once said that the world would never starve for wonders, but only for the want of wonder.

At this special time of year, we all renew our sense of wonder in recalling the story of the first Christmas in Bethlehem, nearly 2,000 year ago.

Some celebrate Christmas as the birthday of a great and good philosopher and teacher. Others of us believe in the divinity of the child born in Bethlehem, that he was and is the promised Prince of Peace. Yes, we've questioned why he who could perform miracles chose to come among us as a helpless babe, but maybe that was his first miracle, his first great lesson that we should learn to care for one another.

Tonight, in millions of American homes, the glow of the Christmas tree is a reflection of the love Jesus taught us. Like the shepherds and wise men of that first Christmas, we Americans have always tried to follow a higher light, a star, if you will. At lonely campfire vigils along the frontier, in the darkest days of the Great Depression, through war and peace, the twin beacons of faith and freedom have brightened the American sky. At times our footsteps may have faltered, but trusting in God's help, we've never lost our way.

Just across the way from the White House stand the two great emblems of the holiday season: a Menorah, symbolizing the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, and the National Christmas Tree, a beautiful towering blue spruce from Pennsylvania. Like the National Christmas Tree, our country is a living, growing thing planted in rich American soil. Only our devoted care can bring it to full flower. So, let this holiday season be for us a time of rededication.

Christmas means so much because of one special child. But Christmas also reminds us that all children are special, that they are gifts from God, gifts beyond price that mean more than any presents money can buy. In their love and laughter, in our hopes for their future lies the true meaning of Christmas.

So, in a spirit of gratitude for what we've been able to achieve together over the past year and looking forward to all that we hope to achieve together in the years ahead, Nancy and I want to wish you all the best of holiday seasons. As Charles Dickens said so well in "A Christmas Carol," "God bless us, every one."

Good night.

Christmas Resources

It's a quiet Christmas Eve here. And it might be too icy to travel to my sister's for our usual Christmas Day activities. Here's what I would be reading if I had nothing else to do (and hadn't already read them all).

Let's Keep Christmas Commercialized

Rethinking the Pagan Origins of Christmas

Is It Permissible for Christians to Celebrate Christmas?

December 25 And Paganism

I put together a website on Christmas a few years ago. It's kinda corny, but it has some good ideas. I need to upgrade it, but haven't had time. I just change the date every year:

http://TheChristmasConspiracy.com

I think we should celebrate Christmas 365 days a year.

The 12 Days of Liberty

The 95 Days of Christmas

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Not all Tidings are of Great Joy

Jeff Jacoby tells readers of the Boston Globe that "Not all tidings are of great joy." The article is an excellent reminder of persecution of Christians by false religions of violence.

How can we rid the world of violent religious fanaticism? Presidents Bush and Obama believe that lethal violence dished out against innocent peasants by heavily armed soldiers and predator drones will convert violent religionists into Mother Teresas.

In contrast, America's Founding Fathers believed that the answer to barbaric religions was Christian evangelism. Instead of bombing Native American terrorists "back to the Stone Age," the Founders sent missionaries.

This would have been a better policy in Iraq, back when Iraq had a "secular" government where Christian missionaries had freedom to evangelize, before the U.S federal government turned Iraq into an Islamic theocracy, killing or making homeless hundreds of thousands of Christians.

Before the coming of Jesus Christ, the world was dominated by terrorists like Bush and Obama. Only worse. Much worse. In the world before Christmas, nobody could have imagined a day when billions of human beings would inhabit the earth, without fearing that they would each soon die a violent death. The coming of Christ has meant a decline in the initiation of force.

Some would give credit for this to "a state with a monopoly on violence":

Eisner and Elias attribute the decline in European homicide to the transition from knightly warrior societies to the centralized governments of early modernity. And, today, violence continues to fester in zones of anarchy, such as frontier regions, failed states, collapsed empires, and territories contested by mafias, gangs, and other dealers of contraband.

But "contraband" is something created by States. And these "zones of anarchy" are zones of peace and non-violence compared to zones of centralized government, the killing fields, gulags, concentration camps, and the "military-industrial complex" of the State that have murdered hundreds of millions of people in the last century.

James Payne suggests another reason for the decline in violence. "Life was once very cheap."

By His incarnation and death, Christ taught us that human beings have value.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luke 2:14

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Statism on the State Level

As a candidate for U.S. Congress, I try to keep up on goings-on in Washington D.C. Chuck Baldwin, former Presidential Candidate for the Constitution Party, has (unwittingly) reminded me that I need to keep an eye on state and local governments as well.

"Statism" is the worship of the State, the belief that the machinery of civil government can bring salvation. Is Chuck Baldwin a statist? You be the judge:

http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/c2009/cbarchive_20091218.html
Anger With Federal Government Not Enough
by Chuck Baldwin
December 18, 2009

The Title of this article might lead us to think that what we need is anger with state and local governments as well. But noooo.

I'm old enough to remember when giving the Panama Canal away was opposed by virtually everyone outside the Beltway. It changed nothing. Jimmy Carter and Congress gave it away, anyway. Most people oppose the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. So what? Our troops are not only still there, but more are on the way. Most people believe children should be allowed to pray and read the Bible in school. So what? They still are forbidden from doing so. Most people believed former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore had the right to post the Ten Commandments in his courtroom. So what? He was forced to take them down, anyway (and removed from office in the process). I could go on, but you get the point.

As a card-carrying "Theocrat," I agree that nobody who signed the Constitution intended to give the federal government power to remove the Ten Commandments from all public buildings.

Washington, D.C., is too far gone to salvage. Admit it! Washington is a cesspool, a landfill, and a putrid pond of corruption and duplicity. Neither the Republican nor Democratic Party will ever allow a principled constitutionalist to become its Presidential nominee. No matter whom we elect as President, the beat toward Big-Government socialism and one-world internationalism will go on without interruption. Big Government scalawags own the entire federal system, including Big Media, Big Business, Big Labor, Big Religion, and Big Special Interest Groups. They are all feeding at the government teat.

I agree.
We should abolish the federal government entirely. Just like the Declaration of Independence says we have a duty to do under conditions like these.

Therefore, it is absolutely obligatory that freedom-minded Americans refocus their attention to electing State legislators, governors, judges and sheriffs who will fearlessly defend their God-given liberties. And, as plainly and emphatically as I know how to say it, I am telling you: ONLY THE STATES CAN DEFEND OUR LIBERTY NOW! And awakening to this reality means we will have to completely readjust our thinking and priorities.

Anybody who says any branch or any party or any level of government "defends liberty" doesn't understand the core of the American vision. True Americans believe that "the Government" is the greatest threat to liberty.

America's Founding Fathers believed that the institution of "civil government" was a necessity, even one commanded by God. Creating "the government" was thus an act of religious obedience. But they misread the Bible. They were products of their time.

Still, they recognized the danger of the State, and the Constitution is evidence of this. They believed they needed "checks and balances," "separation of powers," and a Bill of Rights to guard against the greatest threat to our liberties: government itself.
Government does not DEFEND our liberties!
Government is the ENEMY of Liberty.
The Bill of Rights and the Constitution defend our liberties AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT.

If we had more State legislators such as Washington State's Matthew Shea; Georgia's Bobby Franklin; Pennsylvania's Sam Rohrer; New Hampshire's Dan Itse; Michigan's Paul Opsommer; Oklahoma's Randy Brogdon, Sally Kern and Charles Key; Montana's Rick Jore, Greg Hinkle, and Joel Boniek; Tennessee's Susan Lynn; South Carolina's Michael Pitts and Lee Bright; Missouri's Jim Guest and Cynthia Davis; and sheriffs such as South Carolina's Ray Nash, Arizona's Richard Mack and Joe Arpaio, Montana's Jay Printz and Shane Harrington, etc., it wouldn't matter what those nincompoops inside the Beltway do. The federal government cannot violate your rights and steal your freedoms without the consent and approbation of your State government.

"Nincompoops" don't frighten me as much as fascists.
I have to admit I don't know all these politicians. But I have read some horrifying things about a few of them. Sheriff Arpaio for one. Please see this link:

http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/search?q=arpaio

Please see that link.

Although I agree with Chuck Baldwin on the issue of the Ten Commandments, I disagree with him on the issues of immigration and the War on Drugs. Libertarians should be terrified by people like Arpaio and other state-level conservatives who are willing to use massive violence and military power to stop drug-users and day-laborers.

And while I agree that the federal government did not have constitutional authority to de- segregate the South, the State-level politicians who used violence against blacks were thugs, and dangerous threats to EVERYONE's liberties, and unconstitutional federal intervention may have brought about the most libertarian result.

Is Baldwin moving us ahead to a libertarian future, or taking us back to the pre-Civil Rights south?

If conservatives/constitutionalists/libertarians would spend as much time and energy influencing elections and policies at the State and local levels as they attempt to do at the national level, we could turn this floundering ship of state around. If he had the support and backing of his State's legislature and sheriffs, imagine what ONE constitutionalist governor could do. I get goose bumps thinking about it!

Me too, especially after reading that link above

http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/search?q=arpaio

Read that link.

Imagine a State with its own financial system--its own currency, banks, regulatory agencies, etc.

Government should not have a monopoly on money or banking. At any level.

Imagine a State with its own militia--under the authority of the governor only--completely independent from any responsibility to the President or federal government.

And me powerless to file in federal court to protect my Constitutional rights. (Yes, I know, I oppose 14th Amendment incorporation.)

Imagine a State with an education system unfettered by the federal Department of Education.

I believe in the separation of school and state.

Imagine a State where the BLM, the FBI, the ATF, and the DEA had to actually submit to State law.

Or worse, could be deployed by Sheriff Arpaio! See the photos of local military hardware in that link.

Imagine a State with its own health care system.

Eu, yuck!!
Libertarians believe in the separation of medicine and state.

Imagine a State with no FEMA--UNLESS INVITED IN.

I don't know, for some reason I feel safer with the power 2,000 miles away rather than right next-door.

Imagine a State that would not allow Washington's spooks to unlawfully spy on law-abiding citizens.

Imagine a county or state that does the spying.
Imagine a "Neighborhood Watch" against YOU!
Welcome to Communist China's village "elders."

Imagine a State that actually had a say in how much land the federal government could claim for its own.

And claimed the land instead of the feds.
Susette Kelo's home was seized by state/local authorities.

Imagine a State where citizens never had to worry about a national ID act.

And only had to worry about a STATE ID act.
And laws which changed every time you crossed a state border.

Imagine a State that would protect the right of its citizens to freely express their faith in the public square.

The State does not protect our rights!!!
The State is the greatest THREAT to our rights.

And I guess the thing that bugs me most, speaking as a perennial candidate for U.S. Congress, is Baldwin's idea of getting voters to vote for state-local politicians like Arpaio, when they still for for Republicrats and Demoblicans, and not for anarchists like ME! What progress is made with lots of Little Caesars on the local level, and voters who still vote for Roy Blunt's successor on the federal level? How can we expect voters to take action locally if they won't also take action on the federal level? Baldwin seems to be in some kind of unrealistic dream land.

Belief that local is more sanctified than federal is like believing Republicans are less dangerous than Democrats.

All of this--and more--is attainable with a constitutionalist State government committed to protecting the liberties of its citizens.

By "Constitutionalist," Baldwin means "anti-drugs," "anti-immigrant," and Pro-AUTHORITAH!

http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/search?q=authoritah

I repeat: freedom in America has only one hope: the resurrection of State independence and sovereignty.

State-level or local tyranny is no better than federal tyranny.
Freedom has only one hope: the death of the myth of the moral legitimacy of "the State." The death of the myth that people wearing uniforms or carrying badges have the right to use violence -- to confiscate wealth, impede movement, kidnap, or kill.

Only libertarians are offering that vision. (At least they should be.)

In the US Constitution, our Founding Fathers sagaciously reserved to State governments their independence and sovereignty, knowing that they had the awesome responsibility of being the last (and greatest) vanguard of liberty for the American people.

This is mythology. The Federal Founders did not omnipotently grant sovereignty to the states; the states would not relinquish it to the new federal government -- and it was often guarded for nefarious reasons. Some states had practices which were as tyrannical as George III. The Federal Framers couldn't do anything about this. Many Framers of the Constitution were disappointed they could not even do anything about slavery itself. Open, notorious human traffic in several states!

The states were never given "the awesome responsibility" of being the greatest "vanguard of liberty."
No level of government is the "vanguard of liberty!"
Government is the enemy of liberty.
At every level.

They never intended or imagined that the states would ever become a doormat for the central government (which is what most of them have become).

Will Americans now become the doormat of sadistic Sheriffs and corrupt, power-hungry state-level politicians?

The whole idea of "the government" -- whether at the federal, state, or local level -- is the enemy.

"Constitutionalists" are simply substituting one form of tyranny for another.



Update 1/15/10: Local government may be just as intrusive as the federal leviathan

Saturday, December 19, 2009

"Public Option" Explained




On this morning's "Ozarks Virtual Town Hall" we'll explain why the best way to celebrate Christmas is to abolish the Federal Government. Join the conversation at 10:30 am Central Time.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Jerusalem and Sparta

Against my argument that America was a Christian nation, or even a Protestant nation, or more specifically a Calvinist nation, is the argument that Rome was the model for America, and not Christianity. This claim is based, for example, on the presence of Greco-Roman architecture in the nation's capitol.

Unfortunately, there has long been a connection between churchmen and Rome. Those who admired Rome were not always as anti-Christian as they are alleged to be by those who say America is not a Christian nation.

I was unaware of this factoid until reading it at Salon.com, "The Pledge of Allegiance is un-American":

In 1954, Congress inserted the words "under God," following an influential sermon by a Protestant pastor who argued that the model for the United States in the Cold War should be ancient Sparta.

An amateur internet infidel might claim that America's Founders wanted America to be like Sparta, and therefore would not have wanted "under God" to be in the Pledge of Allegiance. Obviously a bogus argument.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Beck and Bernanke

Glenn Beck writes:

Time picked its person of the year and the winner is (drumroll) none other than Ben Bernanke. He's been running the Federal Reserve since before the economic crisis began. Is he on the list to be scolded? No! That would make too much sense. Instead, we are supposed to thank him for losing 7 million jobs!

I can't think of a better selection right off hand than Ben Bernanke.

Adolph Hitler was TIME's "Man of the Year" in 1939.

TIME's criteria is "importance," not "goodness."

Who did more damage to the world in 2009 than Ben Bernanke?

Not even Obama.

Obama does nothing unless Bernanke funds it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Man "Marries" Video Game Character

You've been married over a decade. You've got kids. You've sacrificed opportunities that Tiger Woods did not sacrifice. You've worked every day, compromised, struggled, lost sleep, expended energy, and remained faithful, honoring the promises you made on your wedding day, to make your marriage successful. Your children are learning valuable lessons from you. They are going to be productive members of society.

But don't get cocky.

You need to admit that a man in Japan who "married" a video game character, with a "priest" "officiating" over the ceremony, has a marriage which is just as valuable to society, requires just as much sacrifice and hard work as your marriage, and should be honored and praised equally with your marriage.

He is being a model of monogamous marital commitment.

You must celebrate "diversity."

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Ohh, DUDE!

If you're a Muslim in Iraq or Afghanistan, and you hear U.S. aircraft, you'd better run.

Who are these people?:

video

The Declaration of Independence says our "Creator" has endowed us with certain unalienable rights. These rights are not the gift of the government. Government has a duty to acknowledge God and the rights God gives human beings created in His Image.

Rights are not created by the U.S. Constitution or the "Bill of Rights" (the first ten amendments to the Constitution). The Constitution was an attempt to create a government which would not violate those God-given rights.

The Constitution says:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Is this is a right that human beings have been given by their Creator? Can George Bush or Barack Obama suspend those rights? Do you believe people in other parts of the world have "Constitutional Rights," or did God only give rights to Americans?

Thousands of innocent, non-combatant civilians have their God-given rights violated by the U.S. government on an on-going basis in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Death Penalty is imposed on them without trial.

If a SWAT team broke into your house and put you in handcuffs, and transported you to a secure location, and ordered you to push the button and kill 30-40 Muslims, without any inquiry or proof that they were a threat to you or to anyone in the United States, would you push the button?

If the SWAT team took your handcuffs off, stopped threatening you, and offered you college tuition and a good paycheck, would you push the button?

If these Muslims were not on the other side of the globe, but were threatening to kill your next-door neighbor, and you were told that if you didn't push the button and kill the Muslims, the Muslims would kill your neighbors, would you push the button? What would be your reaction upon seeing the Muslims splattered all over the neighborhood by your hand:

(1) Sadness
(2) "Ohh, DUDE!!"

For Further Reading:
Opium, Rape and the American Way
• Video: Marc Herold, Ph.D., Whittemore School of Business and Economics
• Thomas Jefferson: Missionaries and Terrorists
• Terrorism: A False Religion


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Amy!

It's my sister's birthday.

She still won't tell me how old she is.

Someday soon I'll persuade her to be my campaign manager and I'll be the first Libertarian elected to the U.S. Congress.

Lethal Health Care

Investigative journalist Jon Rappaport weighs the numbers on government health care:

100,000 deaths and 2.1 million hospitalizations and 36 million adverse reactions PER YEAR from FDA APPROVED DRUGS

Untold thousands of deaths from denial of treatments by the FDA

Theory, Evidence and Examples of FDA Harm Independent Institute

The FDA Kills by Bill Sardi

Protecting Ourselves to Death Mary Ruwart

The FDA Has Blood on Its Hands by Bill Sardi

On July 26, 2000, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a landmark paper by Barbara Starfield (Johns Hopkins School of Public Health), “Is US health really the best in the world?” In it, Starfield revealed what many people inside the medical establishment already knew: every year, like clockwork, the medical system was killing huge numbers of people. The game was up. The liars and the PR flacks and the public health agencies were going down. The drug companies were going to take a lethal blow. Hospitals all over America were going to have to confess their many sins. Of course, that never happened.

Each year in the US there are:

12,000 deaths from unnecessary surgeries;

7,000 deaths from medication errors in hospitals;

20,000 deaths from other errors in hospitals;

80,000 deaths from infections acquired in hospitals;


What if 100,000 people died in Walmarts every year?

The total of medically-caused deaths in the US every year is easily 225,000, with a lopsided majority being caused by the government.

This makes the medical system the third leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease and cancer.

But the government tells us that we should trust it with our health. It does this in two ways. First, by telling us that the government should "reform" and then manage our normal health care. Second, by telling us that extraordinary health problems, which the government calls "epidemics," require massive government "crisis" intervention.

The government distracts us from the FDA and from government-created HMO's and government-regulated hospitals, by pointing to potentially disastrous "epidemics." Forget the government-caused deaths through the FDA. Forget about the effects of government regulation and intervention in our local hospitals. What about those EPIDEMICS? What would we do without the government?

These are the figures on the last several government-declared “epidemics.” They are not yearly; they are totals, to date; global totals, except in the case of West Nile (US only):

SARS: 774 deaths.

WEST NILE: 1159 deaths.

BIRD FLU: 262 deaths.

SMALLPOX: (terrorist threat): 0 deaths.

SWINE FLU: 7909 deaths.

To give perspective, 250 thousand to 500 thousand people die of ordinary flu-like illness every year.

Yet this astounding death rate accrues no interest as an epidemic. It is only the “teaching [brainwashing] moments” of the phony epidemics that are promoted by health agencies (e.g., CDC and WHO) and their pharmaceutical allies, who rake in billions by manufacturing new vaccines.

Yes, under the Obama Plan, there will be more declared health emergencies, and they will serve to cement the citizen to his new role as eternal patient in the medical march along bleak streets of the future.



The Food and Drug Administration

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Little Libertarian House on the Prairie

The Politics of Laura Ingalls Wilder Catholic Exchange, November 28th, 2009

The Missouri Ruralist, Ayn Rand, and Hans Sennholz.

Two Parties on Thanksgiving

There are about 230,000 American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. That means about two-tenths of one percent of the households in America have a family member away from home this Thanksgiving due to the current wars.

There are about 2.3 million Americans in jail -- ten times more prisoners than soldiers -- and a smaller percentage of those in prison have committed an act of violence against an innocent person.

In their weekly radio addresses, both Obama and the Republicans paint a picture of America as being more affected by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than the government's war on drugs and the war on civil liberties.

The White House Press Office: In the midst of these challenging times for our nation, President Barack Obama used his weekly address to express gratitude to America’s military men and women and their families, and give thanks for our nation’s many blessings.

Republicans Agree: "Even in these times of struggle and trial, we have much to be thankful for, beginning with our men and women in uniform, many of whom will spend this holiday season away from hearth and home. The tragic events at Fort Hood remind us that whether they serve at home or abroad, we owe our soldiers and their families a debt of gratitude we will never be able to repay."

Conversation here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Manhattan Declaration

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, it is good not only to be grateful for God's blessings, but also to take action to protect them.

Charles Colson and James Dobson are promoting "The Manhattan Declaration," which is a pledge and call to protect things for which we should be thankful. The Declaration begins with a list of these things:

Christians are heirs of a 2,000-year tradition of proclaiming God's word, seeking justice in our societies, resisting tyranny, and reaching out with compassion to the poor, oppressed and suffering.

While fully acknowledging the imperfections and shortcomings of Christian institutions and communities in all ages, we claim the heritage of those Christians who defended innocent life by rescuing discarded babies from trash heaps in Roman cities and publicly denouncing the Empire's sanctioning of infanticide. We remember with reverence those believers who sacrificed their lives by remaining in Roman cities to tend the sick and dying during the plagues, and who died bravely in the coliseums rather than deny their Lord.

After the barbarian tribes overran Europe, Christian monasteries preserved not only the Bible but also the literature and art of Western culture. It was Christians who combated the evil of slavery: Papal edicts in the 16th and 17th centuries decried the practice of slavery and first excommunicated anyone involved in the slave trade; evangelical Christians in England, led by John Wesley and William Wilberforce, put an end to the slave trade in that country. Christians under Wilberforce's leadership also formed hundreds of societies for helping the poor, the imprisoned, and child laborers chained to machines.

In Europe, Christians challenged the divine claims of kings and successfully fought to establish the rule of law and balance of governmental powers, which made modern democracy possible. And in America, Christian women stood at the vanguard of the suffrage movement. The great civil rights crusades of the 1950s and 60s were led by Christians claiming the Scriptures and asserting the glory of the image of God in every human being regardless of race, religion, age or class.

This same devotion to human dignity has led Christians in the last decade to work to end the dehumanizing scourge of human trafficking and sexual slavery, bring compassionate care to AIDS sufferers in Africa, and assist in a myriad of other human rights causes - from providing clean water in developing nations to providing homes for tens of thousands of children orphaned by war, disease and gender discrimination.

Libertarian scholar Thomas E. Woods has described these and many other things for which we can be thankful in his book, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization -- a book which Protestants can enjoy as well. Alvin J. Schmidt did the same thing in his book, How Christianity Changed the World. Likewise, Rodney Stark is thankful for The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success. Easier reading is Kennedy and Newcombe's books, What if the Bible Had Never Been Written?, and What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?

We should be thankful for what we call "Western Civilization," which is really Christian Civilization, and one way of giving thanks is doing something to preserve civilization, and a worthwhile example is to read and sign The Manhattan Declaration.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sam Adams: Giving Thanks to Drones

Yesterday we looked at Samuel Adams' Nov. 20, 1772 letter to the Committees of Correspondence setting forth the rights of the Colonists as human beings, Christians, and English subjects.

With Thanksgiving Day approaching next week, let's look at a Thanksgiving Proclamation written by Sam Adams and approved by the Continental Congress in 1777:

Forasmuch as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to him for benefits received, and to implore such farther blessings as they stand in need of; and it having pleased him in his abundant mercy not only to continue to us the innumerable bounties of his common providence,

[so far, so good]

but also to smile upon us in the prosecution of a just and necessary war, for the defence and establishment of our unalienable rights and liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased in so great a measure to prosper the means used for the support of our troops and to crown our arms with most signal success:

[oops!]

It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive powers of these United States, to set apart Thursday, the eighteenth day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise; that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor; and that together with their sincere acknowledgments and offerings, they may join the penitent confession of their manifold sins, whereby they had forfeited every favour, and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance; that it may please him graciously to afford his blessing on the governments of these states respectively, and prosper the public council of the whole; to inspire our commanders both by land and sea, and all under them, with that wisdom and fortitude which may render them fit instruments, under the providence of Almighty God, to secure for these United States the greatest of all human blessings, independence and peace; that it may please him to prosper the trade and manufactures of the people and the labour of the husbandman, that our land may yet yield its increase; to take schools and seminaries of education, so necessary for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue and piety, under his nurturing hand, and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth "in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost."

And it is further recommended, that servile labour, and such recreation as, though at other times innocent, may be unbecoming the purpose of this appointment, be omitted on so solemn an occasion.

Everything Sam Adams and America's Founding Fathers fought for has been lost: "independence," "peace," "virtue," and "piety."

The explanation is simple: although they trusted in God and in Jesus Christ, they also trusted in horses and chariots (Psalm 20:7).

A nation cannot long last as a Christian nation if, in the pursuit of their "inalienable rights and liberties," it is willing to kill IRS agents (with or without Red Coats) and Afghan peasants. It only takes a little toxin to poison a lot of pure water. If we want the American dream of everyone living safely under his own Vine & Fig Tree, we must be willing to beat our swords into plowshares.

Had Sam Adams and America's Founders been consistent in their trust in Divine Providence, they would have endured the violation of their rights -- as Jesus did -- and waited patiently for God to change the hearts of the British. It was less than honest for John Adams, Ben Franklin, and John Jay to claim, "In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity," that they relied totally on "Divine Providence to dispose the hearts of the most serene and most potent Prince George the Third" and the United States to reach an amicable agreement.

We don't really trust in Divine Providence if we are willing to kill our enemies. And it's hypocritical to give Thanks to God for His blessings if we pursue those blessings (such as oil for our industry) with powerful and indiscriminate armed military intervention and mass destruction around the globe.

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.
1 Kings 18:21

Friday, November 20, 2009

Samuel Adams: The Rights of the Colonists

On this day in 1772, Samuel Adams sent a letter through the Committees of Correspondence that helped earn Sam Adams the title of "Father of the American Revolution." The letter can be found at the Hanover Historical Texts Project.

Adams focused on three things:

• The Natural Rights of the Colonists as Men.
• The Rights of the Colonists as Christians
• The Rights of the Colonists as Subjects [Englishmen].

Reading this letter is the first step in becoming

• An Extraordinary American
• An Extraordinary Christian
• An Extraordinary Human Being

Virtually nobody in Washington D.C. cares about our rights as Americans, as Christians, or as human beings. If Samuel Adams were to travel through time to our day, he would take immediate steps to repeal the Constitution and abolish the government it created.

Please take a few minutes to read Samuel Adams' letter, and a few comments we've attached, here.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Torture and Natural Gas

Craig Murray, the rector of the University of Dundee in Scotland and until 2004 the UK's ambassador to Uzbekistan, said the CIA not only relied on confessions gleaned through extreme torture, it sent terror war suspects to Uzbekistan as part of its extraordinary rendition program.
Former UK ambassador: CIA sent people to be ‘raped with broken bottles’ - Raw Story

Murray asserts that the primary motivation for US and British military involvement in central Asia has to do with large natural gas deposits in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. As evidence, he points to the plans to build a natural gas pipeline through Afghanistan that would allow Western oil companies to avoid Russia and Iran when transporting natural gas out of the region.

Murray alleged that in the late 1990s oil company Unocal worked on developing the Trans-Afghanistan pipeline. "The consultant who was organizing this for Unocal was a certain Mr. Karzai, who is now president of Afghanistan," Murray noted.
U.S. Interests in the Central Asian Republics 105TH Congress 2nd Sess., Feb. 12, 1998
HEARING BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS - HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Oil and the Moslem World
Blueprint for Afghanistan

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Obama the Socialist

Will Grigg, in Obama and the "Predator Left", writes:

Among the few principled commentators on the left who see Obama for what he is can be found former war correspondent Chris Hedges, who has consistently condemned the warfare state under both Republican and Democratic management.

"The right-wing accusations against Barack Obama are true," writes Hedges. "He is a socialist, although he practices socialism for corporations. He is squandering the country’s future with deficits that can never be repaid. He has retained and even bolstered our surveillance state to spy on Americans. He is forcing us to buy into a health care system that will enrich corporations and expand the abuse of our for-profit medical care. He will not stanch unemployment. He will not end our wars. He will not rebuild the nation. He is a tool of the corporate state." (Emphasis added.)

Name one socialist (who actually controlled a government) who did not use the power of government to "practice socialism for corporations," which of course does not mean socialism for the janitors of the corporations, but for the institutional Nomenklatura.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Why Celebrate "Reformation Day?"

Today is "Reformation Day" in churches that have their roots in the Protestant Reformation. The actual day is next Saturday, October 31, the anniversary of Martin Luther's nailing his "Ninety-five Theses" to the door of the church in Wittenberg, but any churches that observe the anniversary will be doing it today.

Why should they?

The first answer would be Because America is/was a Protestant nation, and it was Protestantism that made America the most prosperous and admired nation in history. Having repudiated its duty to be a Christian (Protestant) nation, America is now bankrupt and despised.

There is a second reason we should observe (though not "celebrate") "Reformation Day." That's because the Protestant Reformation planted the seeds of secularism which are now choking America to death. That post has not yet been written. Please contribute your suggestions for that post in the comments below.

Public Credit?

Paul B. Farrell at MarketWatch.com offers 20 reasons America has lost its soul and collapse is inevitable. I'm always hopeful when someone talks about "soul." But then he says, "Go see Michael Moore's documentary, 'Capitalism: A Love Story.'" Oh well. He explains:

Greed's OK, within limits, like the 10 Commandments. Yes, the soul can thrive around greed, if there are structures and restrictions to keep it from going out of control. But Moore warns: "Capitalism does the opposite of that. It not only doesn't really put any structure or restrictions on it. It encourages it, it rewards" greed, creating bigger, more frequent bubble/bust cycles.

Does he mean the Ten Commandments are good, within limits? Is adultery good "within limits?"

Greed (or "avarice") is one of the "seven deadly sins." It's always wrong, it's never right. But capitalism, as defined by those who defend it, is not based on greed. It's based on productivity and service of consumers. It's the exercise of dominion, for which we were created.

Back in 2002, in the days of Enron and WorldCom, the NewYorkTimes (July 21, 2002) focused on Alan Greenspan’s remarks to the effect that “infectious greed” is responsible for "recent business scandals," and that more government regulation might be needed. Greenspan was obviously no longer a follower of Ayn Rand.

Political philosopher and Ayn Rand expert, Dr. Edward Hudgins notes, “Rand was virtually alone in celebrating the virtues of productive, innovative individuals and the wealth they create. She emphasized that businessmen at their best will first and foremost love their work and the challenge of creating products and services that earn them profits. If that’s greed, it’s to be praised! Rand also singled out for condemnation businessmen who seek money by any means, including fraud, or government handouts and special favors. If that’s greed, it’s to be damned!”
The Atlas Society, Release: Is Greed Good?

Greed, contrary to Michael Moore, is not the cause of the boom/bust cycle. That honor rests with the Federal Reserve.

“THE PRAGMATIC CAPITALIST” responds to the MarketWatch article, asking, Is This the Death of Capitalism? No, he says, but hopes it is the end of "crony capitalism" run by bankers instead of producers. He leads with this quote from Woodrow Wilson:

“A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately concentrated. The growth of the Nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men… We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated, governments in the civilized world — no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and the duress of small groups of dominant men.”

The first sentence is a fountain of toxic errors. Credit is not necessary for industrialism. It is only necessary for rapid industrialization:

Credit and Rewarding Losers

Production, savings, inheritance and the absence of government confiscation and redistribution of wealth are all that's needed to accumulate capital. Credit is only needed routinely by those who are greedy for that which they have not already earned, or whose parents did not earn it through production and service, and lack the patience to accumulate capital through production and savings.

Relying on credit for day-to-day expenses is an indicator of incompetence or slavery.

The rest of the quotation has been used to attack the Federal Reserve. Wilson wrote these words in 1912, before the Federal Reserve was formed, and the sentiment of the quotation formed the basis for the justification for the Fed, which was sold to Democrats as a “public” guardian of credit.

And how's that working for you?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rumsfeld's Report

Glenn Greenwald, writing in Salon, recalls:

In 2004, Donald Rumsfeld directed the Defense Science Board Task Force to review the impact which the administration's policies -- specifically the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- were having on Terrorism and Islamic radicalism. They issued a report in September, 2004 (.pdf) and it vigorously condemned the Bush/Cheney approach as entirely counter-productive, i.e., as worsening the Terrorist threat those policies purportedly sought to reduce.

The Report's conclusion:

"Muslims do not 'hate our freedom,' but rather, they hate our policies ... [which have] not led to democracy ... but only more chaos and suffering."

Other conclusions reported by Greenwald deserve your attention.

We have forgotten America's original foreign policy:

The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible."
— Washington, Farewell Address (1796) [Washington’s emphasis]

I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government, and consequently [one] which ought to shape its administration,…peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.
— Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801)

Even more important than government "isolationism," is voluntarist intervention:

“If American Christians simply gave a tithe rather than the current one-quarter of a tithe, there would be enough private Christian dollars to provide basic health care and education to all the poor of the earth. And we would still have an extra $60-70 billion left over for evangelism around the world.”
Book Review: The Scandal Of The Evangelical Conscience - Acton Institute PowerBlog

A massive missionary outreach of charity and libertarian evangelism would win the hearts of the Muslim world, rather than create terrorists. But this action (required of Christians regardless of the pragmatic foreign policy benefits) would not buttress the power of neoconservatives and state-supported oil companies. So don't expect the mainstream media to promote the idea.

Drudge and the Dollar

The Drudge Report has seen its fair share of links to reports on the decline of the Dollar. Some have speculated that Drudge is even causing part of that decline by his relentless coverage of the Dollar's woes:

Zeroing in on the dollar’s decline – Ah ha! It’s all Drudge’s Fault! « Commodity Trade Alert .com

Is Drudge working with George Soros to destroy the Dollar and establish a new global currency? Not intentionally, one would think.

The Dollar's greatest enemy is not "conspirators" like Soros, it's knowledge of economics and informed traders. The Dollar is not like a patient with cancer. The Dollar is the cancer. Wise investors do not invest in cancer.

Killing the cancer will be very traumatic for "the body politic." But economic health is on the other side.

Drudge is helping our grandchildren by helping to destroy the Dollar -- as long as the forces that destroy the Dollar also work to prevent replacing it with a global fiat currency.

God and Gold

There is a connection between a nation banning God from public schools, and banning gold from public currency. Few want to admit it. F. William Engdahl writes:

The problem for the US power elites around Wall Street and in Washington is the fact that they are now in the deepest financial crisis in their history. That crisis is clear to the entire world and the world is acting on a basis of self-survival. The US elites have lost what in Chinese imperial history is known as the Mandate of Heaven. That mandate is given a ruler or ruling elite provided they rule their people justly and fairly. When they rule tyrannically and as despots, oppressing and abusing their people, they lose that Mandate of Heaven.
"America's Phoney War in Afghanistan," GlobalResearch.ca

Now, really, who cares about the superstitious ideas of "Chinese imperial history?" But in a secular nation like ours, it seems so much more sophisticated and credible to refer to this exotic tradition rather than quoting the discredited Christian worldview of America's Founding Fathers:

[W]e ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained . . . .
George Washington, "Inaugural Address," April 30, 1789

Fractional reserve banking robs the poor. Paper money is unconstitutional and violates more than one of the Ten Commandments (e.g., "Thou shalt not steal").

Heaven is no longer smiling on America.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gas: $400.00/gallon

TheHill.com is reporting that the Pentagon pays $400.00 for every gallon of gas used in the war in Afghanistan.

But it's obviously worth every penny. Think about how the outcome of the war in Afghanistan is going to affect you personally: your job, your retirement, and your children's test scores in school.

It isn't easy getting gas to Kabul. But if we don't accomplish President Obama's objectives in Afghanistan, you can easily see all the many ways that will impact crime in your neighborhood, and the quality of medical care for you and your family. I mean, just think about it.






Take your time.








If you run out of space, use the next blog.

Atheists Suck at Being Atheists

Pastor and "Weird Guy" Douglas Wilson raises an interesting argument in the Huffington Post:

From the perspective of a Christian, the refusal of an atheist to be a Christian is dismaying, but it is at least intelligible. But what is really disconcerting is the failure of atheists to be atheists. That is the thing that cries out for further exploration.

We can understand a cook who sets out to prepare a reduction sauce, having it simmer on the stove for three days. But what we shouldn't get is the announcement afterwards that he has prepared us a soufflé. The atheistic worldview is nothing if not inherently reductionistic, whether this is admitted or not. Everything that happens is a chance-driven rattle-jattle jumble in the great concourse of atoms that we call time. Time and chance acting on matter have brought about, in equally aimless fashion, the 1927 New York Yankees, yesterday's foam on a New Jersey beach, Princess Di, the arrangement of pebbles on the back side of the moon, the music of John Cage, the Fourth Crusade, and the current gaggle representing us all in Congress.

If the universe actually is what the materialistic atheist claims it is, then certain things follow from that presupposition. The argument is simple to follow, and is frequently accepted by the sophomore presidents of atheist/agnostic clubs at a university near you, but it is rare for a well-published atheistic leader to acknowledge the force of the argument. To acknowledge openly the corrosive relativism that atheism necessarily entails would do nothing but get the chimps jumping in the red states. To swallow the reduction would present serious public relations problems, and drive Fox News ratings up even further. Who needs that?

So if the universe is what the atheist maintains it is, then this determines what sort of account we must give for the nature of everything -- and this includes the atheist's thought processes, ethical convictions, and aesthetic appreciations. If you were to shake up two bottles of pop and place them on a table to fizz over, you could not fill up an auditorium with people who came to watch them debate. This is because they are not debating; they are just fizzing. If you were to shake up one bottle of pop, and show it film footage of some genocidal atrocity, the reaction you would get is not moral outrage, but rather more fizzing. And if you were to shake it really hard by means of art school, and place it in front of Michelangelo's David, or the Rose Window of Chartres Cathedral, the results would not really be aesthetic appreciation, but more fizzing still.

If the atheist is right, then I am not a Christian because I have mistaken beliefs, but am rather a Christian because that is what these chemicals would always do in this arrangement and at this temperature. The problem is that this atheistic assumption does the very same thing to the atheist's case for atheism. The atheist gives us an account of all things which makes it impossible for us to believe that any account of all things could possibly be true. But no account of things can be tenable unless it provides us with the preconditions that make it possible for our "accounting" to represent genuine insight. Atheism fails to do this, and the failure is a spectacular one. Nor does atheism allow us to have any fixed ethical standard, or the possibility of beauty.

It does no good to appeal to the discoveries made by science and reason, for one of the things that reason has apparently brought us is atheism. Right? And not content to let sleeping dogs lie, reason also brings us the inexorable consequences of atheism, which includes the unpalatable but necessary conclusion that random neuron firings do not amount to any "truth" that corresponds to anything outside our heads. This, ironically enough, includes atheism, and so we find ourselves falling out of the tree, saw in one hand and branch in the other.

Contrast this with the Christian gospel -- God the Father is the Maker of heaven and earth. He sent His Son to be born one of us; this Son died on gibbet for our sins, as the ultimate and final human sacrifice, and He rose from the dead on the third day following. Having ascended into Heaven and taken His place at the right hand of His Father, He sent His Holy Spirit into the world in order to transform it, a process that is still ongoing. Now obviously, this is a message that can be believed or disbelieved. But the reason for mentioning it here includes the important point that such a set of convictions makes it possible for us to believe that reason can be trusted, that goodness does not change with the evolutionary times, and that beauty is grounded in the very heart of God. Someone who believes these things doesn't believe that we are just fizzing.

You can deny that this God exists, of course, and you can throw the whole cosmos into that pan of reduction sauce. And you can keep the heat on by publishing one atheist missive after another. But what you should not be allowed to do is cook the whole thing bone dry and call the crust on the bottom an example of the "numinous" or "transcendent." Calling it that provides us with no reason to believe it -- and numerous reasons not to.

In response, atheist Christopher Hitchens basically says, "Nobody can force me to think about this."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Singleness

I generally like Dr. James Dobson and his "Focus on the Family" radio show. He had an interesting guest this past week. I tried posting the following comment on her blog, Radical Womanhood, a post called, "The Conversation Continues." The blog software told me, "We're sorry, we cannot accept this data." I don't think it was human moderation, but I didn't expect my comment to pass that either, since the webpage I linked to behind my name was this one.

You should read that post before reading my comment:

I was in and out of the room and heard only a couple of lines from the Focus show, but what I heard made me resolve to listen to the whole show later online. I had no idea who the guest was at that time.

I hadn't made time to listen to the show when a friend told me to check out "
ali's african adventures," and as I was looking for that blog, I found a reference to it on your blog, and discovered who was on Dr. Dobson's show. Now I was finally motivated to actually listen to the show. It was very thought-provoking.

After reading "Ali's African Adventure," it's hard for me to agree with Dr. Grudem's claim that nobody over 50 "has not had a significant trial or affliction." As I see it, there are a billion people on earth who live in perpetual "trial or affliction." I would go crazy if "Scotty" were to "beam me" into their world. Americans are the most pampered people on earth. I can't say I've ever been tried or afflicted.

Maybe "trials and afflictions" are the result of marriage and family, and the fact that I have never been married explains why I have not experienced any trials, and is proof that I'm just lazy and irresponsible to have avoided these duties. That could be. I don't know exactly why I have never married (
Jeremiah 17:9). Your three days on Focus and your blog are helping me find answers.

Rush is Wrong

Rush Limbaugh criticizes the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Peace to Barack Obama:

"The intent of the committee is to neuter the United States of America. They've done it by rewarding a pacifist."

Laurence M. Vance explains why Obama is no pacifist, and why Obama is not "destroying your country as a superpower" and "emasculating this country," as Rush Limbaugh claims.

We can talk about this at the Ozarks Virtual Town Hall this morning.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wall Street Bailout Benefits

What part has Nobel Peace Prize-winning President Barack Obama played in the greatest war in the 20th century?

Smallpox was the greatest killer of man ever known. Dr. Matt Bivens looks at the 20th century and notes:

if you tally the worldwide death tolls for World Wars I and II, the Korean and Vietnam wars, the Iran-Iraq war and the Mexican Revolution, the civil wars in China and Russia and Spain, and all the other wars of the last century, from Afghanistan to Zaire, the total is less than one-third of the smallpox death toll.

And that's just a single 100-year period, for a disease that disfigured Egyptian pharaohs, allied with Hernando Cortes to rout the Aztecs, left a young George Washington scarred, later stalked his Continental Army, and left Abraham Lincoln pale, weak, and dizzy as he delivered his Gettysburg Address.

And yet, in the 1960s, smallpox was targeted by visionary public health experts - and in just 10 years it was gone. An excellent new book by DA Henderson, the doctor who led the effort, tells the story:
Smallpox - the Death of a Disease: The Inside Story of Eradicating a Worldwide Killer.

According to the World Health Association, the total cost of the 10-year campaign to eradicate smallpox from the world was $300 million. An investment of one dollar given by each American, each dollar saving one human life.

According to Bivens, "The price paid to defeat humanity's greatest foe wouldn't cover a 24-hour day of Iraqi combat operations." The cost of the war in Afghanistan will soon be 1,000 times greater than the cost of preventing hundreds of millions of smallpox deaths. The amount of money given to Wall Street banks in the last year is about 10,000 times greater.

Dr. Bivens notes that volunteers from the Rotary Club have spearheaded the effort to eradicate polio from its remaining global outposts. The hundreds of millions of dollars raised by Rotarians for this anti-polio project came from voluntary donations. The amount "wouldn't cover the bonus pool for the executives of the insurance company AIG after its great meltdown," Bivens reminds us; a figure forcibly extorted from us by the government.

Who brings war? Who brings peace?

Who creates wealth? Who destroys wealth?

The amount of good done by voluntary associations must be weighed against the evil, violence, and destruction committed by governments. The pocket change of costs borne by voluntary donations to save so many lives must be weighed against the trillions in costs extorted by government force to kill the innocent and redistribute wealth to the guilty.

James Madison, "Father of the Constitution," is quoted as saying,

We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves ... according to the Ten Commandments of God.

What if a spiritual revival brought about a conviction in a majority of people to govern themselves according to the Ten Commandments. No more stealing ("taxation"), no more killing ("national security"), no initiation of force against the innocent.

What would happen if we set out to eradicate violations of the Ten Commandments the way the Rotarians set their sights on polio?

What if a majority of voters voted against a killer disease we inflict on ourselves?

Would humanity really "collapse into anarchy" if we closed down all governments and told politicians and bureaucrats to go home and get a job creating goods and services that consumers would voluntarily pay for?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus Day, 2009

Columbus is a hero, not because he beat the Chinese or the Norse, but because you and I, if we were sent back in time, wouldn't have stepped foot on his boat 500 years ago if we were told he was just another sailor leaving a western European port, hoping to hit land on the other side of the world, and not likely to do so for at least 30 days.

And had we gone with him, we would not want to have stayed with him. We would not have wanted to live for any length of time in the New-but-terribly-uncivilized-World as Columbus attempted to bring the natives under the flag of Spain and western civilization.

Most people today consider the savages "noble" and Columbus an "oppressor" because he believed his religion was true and the native superstitions false. One of the links below says Columbus was a true "religious radical."

Columbus was born and raised in an age that believed governments were divinely ordained. Columbus and his age were wrong. But today's atheistic government commits more atrocities than Columbus is even rumored to have committed. More people are imprisoned for on-violent offenses by secular governments in the U.S. than Columbus may have conscripted for service in his government.

Eventually, though late in life, Columbus began to see that governing was contrary to his Christian faith. He renounced the uniform of the Admiral and wore the more humble attire of a Franciscan monk. (Last year I said "Minorite." This year I'm following the entry at Wikipedia. The picture drawn by historians of no other figure is as utterly contradictory -- in both details and the big picture -- as Columbus'.)

I still believe that Christian civilization is better than savagery -- or the Harvard-credentialed New World Order.

Columbus Day 2007 nearly 50 fascinating links.

Columbus Day 2008

Christopher Columbus Institute for Discovery and Exploration™

American Creation: The "Lost Tribes" in the "New World"

Dissenting views:

American Creation: Should We Celebrate Columbus Day? Notes one historian's report that Columbus wanted to convert the American natives to Christianity so that they could help fight the Muslims.

A commenter adds, Converting the savages to Christianity was certainly a noble goal for any believer then or now, and the sword of Islam was definitely a real concern, and was no doubt feared just as much as world domination by Nazism or Communism were in the past century.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

He was "Disappeared"

An unmarked car drives up to a crowd of urban protesters. Soldiers wearing jungle camouflage emerge, grab a protester, stuff him into the car, and drive away.

Guatemala?
China?
North Korea?
Iran?

Nope.

Pittsburgh.



Is there any other conceivable purpose of the military camouflage than intimidation of those exercising First Amendment rights?

Scenes From a Crackdown - Reason Magazine

Praetorian Presumptions Pro Libertate

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Myth of "Consensual" Sex

(The links in this post are not necessarily family-friendly.)

Like all good libertarians, I believe that homosexuality and selling heroin to children should be "legalized."

By "legalized," I mean these pathetic people should not be locked up with some psychopath in the hell-hole called "a federal prison cell" to be beaten for 5-10 years.

Like all good Christians, I believe these practices should be eradicated from the face of the earth.

Some will accuse me of being "homophobic" and engaging in "hate speech" for having such strong opinions about what "consenting adults" might do or should not do.

American law used to prohibit incest and homosexuality. Rhode Island repealed its criminal incest statute in 1989, Ohio only targets parental figures, and New Jersey does not apply any penalties when both parties are 18 years of age or older. The law still generally says that a child cannot "consent" to sex, and the law used to presume that even an adult cannot legally "consent" to acts which violate "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God."

A Christian libertarian can oppose laws which "punish" such acts, and still oppose the commission of such acts. Acts which violate the laws of the Creator de-humanize us. Those who seek the "freedom" to commit such acts, claiming such acts are "consensual," de-personalize and de-humanize the concepts of "consent" and "freedom."

Consider the recent sordid revelations of MacKenzie Phillips.

Her father was John Phillips. Blogger "dk" reminds us that John Phillips was the “founder of The Mamas And The Papas and writer of such memorable songs as ‘California Dreamin’, ‘Monday, Monday’ and ‘San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair).’”

Yes, wear flowers, not a suit and tie, and don't work more than one day a week, because you're "free," and not a "corporate slave." "dk" looks behind the flowers:

Phillips created a handful of anthems that came to define their times. As co-organizer and co-producer of the Monterey Pop Festival, he helped birth the concept of the rock festival.
Along the way Phillips made loads of money, paid cash for Jeanette McDonald’s Bel-Air mansion, bought His-&-Hers Jaguar XKEs for himself and wife Michelle, and snorted a small mountain of cocaine. His was a remarkable journey and a fantastically gruesome tale of addiction and excess.

Am I being too critical to think that someone who buys "His-&-Hers Jaguar XKEs" is a slave to corporate status symbols?

But it's more than being a pawn of corporate execs wearing suits and ties. It's opening a door to a false religion and empty promises of pseudo-salvation, southern-California style:

The introduction of harder drugs was also an open door to some scary people who began to take advantage of the naive, welcoming spirit of the times. One such oddball, named Charles Manson, insinuated himself in Beach Boy Dennis Wilson’s mansion, while peddling his own songs around town and building up a cult of impressionable young hippies.

But until daddy takes our T-Bird™ away (or our XKE), we're "free." As "dk" puts it:

At the end of it all we pass through the Holland Tunnel, and the open road unwinds ever hopeful, promising salvation and the cleansing of sins in exchange for a few gallons of gasoline.

Just like the clergy of "organized religion," the wealthy high priests of the religion of California consent and freedom were hypocrites. Even they could not practice what they preached.

The peace & love vibe that surrounded Laurel Canyon was shattered by two developments that began to take root in 1969 – the introduction of cocaine as the drug of choice, and with it, the emergence of nefarious characters with dark intentions who began showing up on the fringe of the community.

This past week has seen the extradition of motion picture director Roman Polanski on charges of drugging and raping a 13-year old girl. John Phillips had been invited to the home of Polanski on the night the Manson Family murdered Polanksi's wife, Sharon Tate, and Phillips

later found himself on the defense’s witness list for the Manson trial. Before the truth emerged, Tate’s husband Roman Polanski believed that Phillips had something to do with the killings and, according to Phillips, held a meat cleaver to his throat while urging him to confess to the crimes.

In the months between the murders and the arrest of Manson, a deep, almost hysterical paranoia settled over Laurel Canyon. “The Manson killings just destroyed us,” said Mamas & Papas producer Lou Adler. “I mean, everyone was looking at everyone else, not quite sure who was in that house and who knew about it. It was a very paranoid time, and the easiest thing to do was to get out of it. Everybody went behind closed doors, and the scene went really quiet.”

A few months later,

The Rolling Stones held their disastrous free concert at Altamont Speedway on December 6, 1969. “As God has been losing his percentage, the Devil has been picking up a lot of that percentage. Things have become very demonic” Phillips told Rolling Stone in 1970.

To spare the reader, we will not include

a more thorough description of:
1) lurid tales of drug use,

2) the demise of the Mamas and Papas,
3) the secret S&M community within Laurel Canyon,
4) the Manson murders and their aftermath, and
5) Manson's connections to the Los Angeles music scene

I'll continue following the blog of "dk," linked above, who provides these details about Phillips' downward spiral:

But his biggest problem ... was his increasing appetite for hard drugs. By the early 70s he was “skin-popping” cocaine through a syringe, scoring heroin on a street corner in Spanish Harlem, snorting lines with his teenage daughter (Laura McKenzie Phillips), and defaulting on every bill in sight. But that was nothing compared to what was yet to come.

As Phillips wrote in his candid 1986 autobiography Papa John: “We couldn’t see it then, but our lives were already out of control. And yet the wake of material destruction we left behind us would later seem calm and glassy compared to the cold, dark, churning river of madness ahead.”

By 1977 Phillips was smuggling heroin and coke through international airports, shooting heroin into infected veins, and trading in fake prescriptions at his local pharmacy to help support his $1,000-a-day habit. “We hired a maid named Versey, an obese, sweet-natured West Indian, to help cook [and] clean. It wasn’t long before she had to scrub jagged streaks of blood from the bathroom walls and ceiling – the gruesome junkie signature scrawled by unclogging used syringes.”

On July 31st, 1980 Phillips was busted by federal agents and later convicted of conspiracy to distribute narcotics. He faced up to 45 years in prison, but received an eight-year suspended sentence and five years of probation. During the trial, Phillips’ defense attorney argued that his “tortured existence during the period of [his] drug addiction … constituted a continuous course of devastating punishment.”

I would go further than the defense attorney and the legal verdict of the justice system, and legalize drugs -- that is, refrain from heaping on further punishment, and be available for genuine rehabilitation and salvation.

During this drug-enslaved decade, Phillips held his daughter captive as a sex slave.

No, that's being "judgmental." That's "hate speech." MacKenzie Phillips says, “Don’t hate my father.” MSNBC.com says "Their long-term sexual relationship eventually became consensual."

"Consensual." Isn't that nice. That means everything is OK. Stop being so intolerant. We're a "diverse" nation.

"Became" consensual seems to imply that at one time it was not.

It began when she was 19, so it's not an age problem. But like Roman Polanksi's victim, she could not consent because she was intoxicated.

“On the eve of my wedding, my father showed up, determined to stop it,” writes Phillips, who was 19 and a heavy drug user at the time. “I had tons of pills, and Dad had tons of everything too. Eventually I passed out on Dad’s bed.”

Had this happened before? I didn’t know. All I can say is it was the first time I was aware of it. For a moment I was in my body, in that horrible truth, and then I slid back into a blackout.”

The MSNBC report says:

Phillips’ life began to spiral out of control.

"Began" to spiral out of control?

In 1980, she was fired from “One Day at a Time” because of her constant drug use. That same year, she went to rehab — with her father. She even toured with him in a band called the New Mamas and the Papas. Her sexual relationship with him had become consensual.

MacKenzie describes this "consensual" relationship as "hell":

“I was a fragment of a person, and my secret isolated me,” she writes.

“One night Dad said, ‘We could just run away to a country where no one would look down on us. There are countries where this is an accepted practice. Maybe Fiji.’

“He was completely delusional. No, I thought, we’re going to hell for this.”

But what if she deceived herself into believing she "liked" it? Wouldn't that have been OK?

We are created in the Image of God. But when we spit in God's face, by "consensual" but treasonous acts against "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God," we deface that Image of God in ourselves. We de-personalize ourselves. We become "a fragment of a person" on the inside, even if in public, among friends and fans, we tell them (and ourselves) that we're filled with "pride." Like someone intoxicated, when we "consent" to sin, we lose the rational and human ability to consent meaningfully and truly. When we seek "freedom" from God, we become enslaved. We create our own hell on earth.

I hate hell. This is why I'm a "judgmental" and "hate"-filled libertarian.