Sunday, November 30, 2008
(Frankfurt, Germany) A 31-year-old U.S. Army deserter, Andre Shepherd, has applied for asylum in Germany. According to Shepherd's lawyer, Reinhard Marx, "he does not want to take part in the American war in Iraq, a war that does not conform with international law and because he does not want to be implicated in war crimes."And Eric, being a chopper mechanic isn't exactly front line duty. In fact, he's more of a REMF. What a Cacasotto.
The Apache helicopter mechanic from the 412th Aviation Support Battalion hopes to be granted asylum under a European Union directive that says the usual, "war is bad ... crimes against humanity ... blah,blah, blah." You know the drill.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Obama's yenta's gather to discuss what's next. If these upper west-side haute couture elitists are his idea of brownshirts in waiting, all I have to say is huh? I can't believe we lost to these idiots. Props to Robert Stacy McCain for the video link.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
There have been a lot of discussions on blogs of late about the violence, anger and rudeness associated with the reaction to the marriage amendments that have passed in several states. These negative reactions have primarily and largely been from the homosexual community. Some believe this is necessary as the gay community is fomenting revolution and they may do so by any means necessary. Others take a more balanced and sane approach and realize that making enemies of their position is not the correct way to proceed.
On one side of the argument are religious fundamentalists. Included in this group, but not limited to are the Mormons and Evangelical Christians. Their position is that a marriage is between one man and one woman (at one time Mormons allowed one man and many women, but currently this is not the case). This position is consistent with Judaism and Christianity as it is related to scripture and doctrine. I think this position is fine from the standpoint that people have a right to their religious beliefs, even if it conflicts with what others believe, and as long it is not illegal.
On the other side of the argument we have the gay community and other liberal minded folks. Gays believe that marriage, as a legal instrument through the government, should be open to any two human beings. It would be my guess that some also believe it should be allowed in all churches and synagogues, but I do not know the full extent to of that. In an effort to promulgate equality, some states have legislated that gay marriage is legal. In other states, changes to marriage law if you will have been attained through the courts. The rub of late is that four states passed referenda that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. I believe those states are California, Arizona, Michigan and Florida.
The reaction by the gay community has been dramatic and at times violent, intrusive, rude, disgusting and illegal. Going into houses of worship and throwing used condoms on parishioners, spray painting churches, engaging in sex acts in church bathrooms, and other disruptive acts during services is the wrong thing to do and it causes people that would otherwise support gay rights with marriage to the very least turn away in indifference. Some have told me it is a revolution that must be won by any means necessary. Some believe as I do, others have remained indifferent. So where’s the beef?
The problem is that we are dealing with two different authorities. One is common law and the other is religious law. Article I of the Bill Of Rights states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. This portion of the first amendment affirms what it believed to be a natural right that people may believe and worship as they desire and just as important, the government shall not have an official religion. The reason for this is that at the time of the founding documents, England and other countries had official religions. In England, in order to hold certain positions in government or academia, a person had to be a member of the Church of England. In the case of the latest skirmish in regards to gay marriage, some of the religious folk have been accused of taking Church doctrine and law, and trying to create legislation based on it. I believe this is arguably true. Conversely, is it true that the gays are trying to change church doctrine? More accurately, it is seen that the gay agenda is trying to change the very moral fabric of society.
If gays were trying to change church law and doctrine, I would agree that is egregious in that using the current methods it would be an infringement of people’s religious freedoms and it would also be intolerant. Again, people have the right to believe as they wish. I am not so sure this is the case and if it is, they lost me here. On the other hand, I think they are correct in wanting equality in the eyes of the law. What religious fundamentalists seem to not realize is that in order to make a law that marriage is only between a man and a woman, I believe that the only way to do this legally, is to make homosexuality illegal. I cannot for the life of me see how this would be possible. In my opinion, gays are born that way. Just as a black person cannot change their skin color, a gay person cannot change their inborn sexuality. The rub with bible thumpers is that they believe that homosexuality is a choice. This has to be true for them because if they admitted that homosexuals were born that way it would imply, due to scripture and church doctrine, that god made a mistake. This is where I believe the conflict arises with them. God can’t make mistakes. As Obama said, that is above my pay grade. All I know or believe is that they were born the way they are, just as I was born the way I am. Was it a mistake? Ask god.
The only solution I see to this mess is a separation of church and state. The first assumption is that marriage is a religious concept. Only churches can marry and it is in the eyes of god. On the other hand, for marriages to be recognized by the state for legal purposes, there exists a legal standard in issuing of a license for that purpose. Only the state can regulate the legal aspects of a common law union. So, to this effect, the state should create or change marriage licenses to common law union licenses for everyone. This document establishes a legal relationship so as to settle estates, living wills, probate, etc. If the people who obtain a common law union license wish to have their marriage recognized in a religion, which is up to the religion to decide who may or may not be married in their church/synagogue. Through this separation, equality can exist within the natural rights of people.
“Jefferson believed that each individual has ‘certain inalienable rights.’ That is, these rights exist with or without government; man cannot create, take, or give them away. It is the right of ‘liberty’ on which Jefferson is most notable for expounding. He defines it by saying rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. It is not 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.” Hence, for Jefferson, though government cannot create a right to liberty, it can indeed violate it. And the limit of an individual's rightful liberty is not what law says it is but is simply a matter of stopping short of prohibiting other individuals from having the same liberty. A proper government, for Jefferson, is one that not only prohibits individuals in society from infringing on the liberty of other individuals, but also restrains itself from diminishing individual liberty (Appleby and Ball, p224, 1999).
The previous paragraph is how I see liberty and freedom on this earth and in the universe. If we could all live by this, which is an extension of Christ’s commandments, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, we all would be better off. What prevents this, in my opinion, is that people want power. In an ideal state of liberty and freedom, no one, including the government, has more power than any other individual or entity. Human beings, due to their survival instincts, look for an advantage. Part of an advantage is to look for power over others. Be that as it may, the quest for power relegates the desire for equality to second place. I think this is something that some wish not to admit. Take this particular issue, if my solution was implemented, which I believe offers the greatest chance at justice and equality, I would bet that neither side would be satisfied because equality is not the ultimate goal of either side. It is the promulgation of their respective agendas and the power that would be gained by the hegemony thereof that may be the true goal. If this is the case, then a pox on both your houses.
The latest war on liberties demonstrates the quest for power. The Mormons and other religious groups use the government to promulgate their religious views in law. The gay community is infringing on people’s individual right to practice religion when they perpetrate acts in religious places and moreover, expose people that contribute as individuals to campaigns that promulgate religious views. In as much as the courts may strike down the referenda, a person’s individual right to practice religion and participate peacefully in a political process should not be violated by anyone. What baffles me about the rude and unlawful behavior is that in every case that I recall, the courts have struck down such referenda. My question is, why the militant behavior? Considering gays account for less than 10% of the population, it’s a literal fight that can’t be won by those means, and I would suggest it won’t end well in the end. My advice would be to use the courts to seek justice in this case, and the legislature if necessary, but above all, the rights of people on both sides of the issue must be respected if we are to have equality and justice. My favorite civil rights advocate is Frederick Douglass. While Mr. Douglass said “Power concedes nothing without demand. It never has and never will. Show me the exact amount of wrong and injustices that are visited upon a person and I will show you the exact amount of words endured by these people.” Demand does not equal unlawful, disgusting or rude acts. While I believe there are instances where people may act in kind, or in effect to defend oneself, this is not one of them.
Thank you for reading this blog.
Appleby and Ball (1999) Letter to Isaac H. Tiffany, April 4, 1819 from Thomas Jefferson
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that Russian warships will soon reach his country's Caribbean coast for joint naval exercises.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Things have gotten out of hand. I need to remind people of Thomas Jefferson's definition of rights. Jefferson believed that each individual has certain "inalienable rights." That is, these rights exist with or without government; man cannot create, take, or give them away. It is the right of "liberty" on which Jefferson is most notable for expounding. He defines it by saying "rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. he did not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." Therefore, for Jefferson, though government cannot create a right to liberty, it can indeed violate it. And the limit of an individual's rightful liberty is not what law says it is but is simply a matter of stopping short of prohibiting other individuals from having the same liberty. A proper government, for Jefferson, is one that not only prohibits individuals in society from infringing on the liberty of other individuals, but also restrains itself from diminishing individual liberty.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
China continues their latin american good will tour bringing with them 4.5 tons of humanitarian aid for victims of three hurricanes that battered Cuba in the past year. The aid totaled 2.5 million dollars. How parsimonious and niggardly of the Chinese. I would have thought that with all the tchotchkes we buy from Walmart et al, you'd think they could spring for a few pennies more. The Castroistas aren't easy, but they are cheap.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Here is a link to the Obama Questionaire. It would take me a week to fill it out, only to find out I am unacceptable to The One. You'll find some of the questions interesting and revealing, particularly about guns. Besides, he couldn't pay me enough.
Being RC, I can say the Reverend is within his right to say what he did and while any church is not supposed to endorse a particular candidate, it is perfectly fine to stress the importance of voting for someone whose beliefs and action reflect church teachings and values. On the other hand, I will advise the dear Father with the words of George Carlin: I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it. And so it goes Reverend Newman.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I am a student of history. Professionally. I have written 15 books in six languages, and have studied it all my life. I think there is something monumentally large afoot, and I do not believe it is just a banking crisis, or a mortgage crisis, or a credit crisis. Yes these exist, but they are merely single facets on a very large gemstone that is only now coming into a sharper focus.
Something of historic proportions is happening. I can sense it because I know how it feels, smells, what it looks like, and how people react to it. Yes, a perfect storm may be brewing, but there is something happening within our country that has been evolving for about ten - fifteen years. The pace has dramatically quickened in the past two.
We demand and then codify into law the requirement that our banks make massive loans to people we know they can never pay back? Why?
We learn just days ago that the Federal Reserve, which has little or no real oversight by anyone, has “loaned” two trillion dollars (that is $2,000,000,000,000) over the past few months, but will not tell us to whom or why or disclose the terms. That is our money. Yours and mine. And that is three times the 700B we all argued about so strenuously just this past September. Who has this money? Why do they have it? Why are the terms unavailable to us? Who asked for it? Who authorized it? I thought this was a government of “we the people,” who loaned our powers to our elected leaders. Apparently not.
We have spent two or more decades intentionally de-industrializing our economy. Why?
We have intentionally dumbed down our schools, ignored our history, and no longer teach our founding documents, why we are exceptional, and why we are worth preserving. Students by and large cannot write, think critically, read, or articulate. Parents are not revolting, teachers are not picketing, school boards continue to back mediocrity. Why?
We have now established the precedent of protesting every close election (now violently in California over a proposition that is so controversial that it wants marriage to remain between one man and one woman. Did you ever think such a thing possible just a decade ago?). We have corrupted our sacred political process by allowing unelected judges to write laws that radically change our way of life, and then mainstream Marxist groups like ACORN and others to turn our voting system into a banana republic. To what purpose?
Now our mortgage industry is collapsing, housing prices are in free fall, major industries are failing, our banking system is on the verge of collapse, social security is nearly bankrupt, as is medicare and our entire government, our education system is worse than a joke (I teach college and know precisely what I am talking about)–the list is staggering in its length, breadth, and depth. It is potentially 1929 x ten. And we are at war with an enemy we cannot name for fear of offending people of the same religion, who cannot wait to slit the throats of your children if they have the opportunity to do so.
And now we have elected a man no one knows anything about, who has never run so much as a Dairy Queen, let alone a town as big as Wasilla, Alaska. All of his associations and alliances are with real radicals in their chosen fields of employment, and everything we learn about him, drip by drip, is unsettling if not downright scary (Surely you have heard him speak about his idea to create and fund a mandatory civilian defense force stronger than our military for use inside our borders? No? Oh of course. The media would never play that for you over and over and then demand he answer it. Sarah Palin’s pregnant daughter and $150,000 wardrobe is more imporant.)
Mr. Obama’s winning platform can be boiled down to one word: change.
I have never been so afraid for my country and for my children as I am now.
This man campaigned on bringing people together, something he has never, ever done in his professional life. In my assessment, Obama will divide us along philosophical lines, push us apart, and then try to realign the pieces into a new and different power structure. Change is indeed coming. And when it comes, you will never see the same nation again.
And that is only the beginning.
And I thought I would never be able to experience what the ordinary, moral German felt in the mid-1930s. In those times, the savior was a former smooth-talking rabble-rouser from the streets, about whom the average German knew next to nothing. What they did know was that he was associated with groups that shouted, shoved, and pushed around people with whom they disagreed; he edged his way onto the political stage through great oratory and promises. Economic times were tough, people were losing jobs, and he was a great speaker. And he smiled and waved a lot. And people, even newspapers, were afraid to speak out for fear that his “brown shirts” would bully them into submission. And then, he was duly elected to office, a full-throttled economic crisis at hand [the Great Depression]. Slowly but surely he seized the controls of government power, department by department, person by person, bureaucracy by bureaucracy. The kids joined a Youth Movement in his name, where they were taught what to think. How did he get the people on his side? He did it promising jobs to the jobless, money to the moneyless, and goodies for the military-industrial complex. He did it by indoctrinating the children, advocating gun control, health care for all, better wages, better jobs, and promising to re-instill pride once again in the country, across Europe, and across the world.
He did it with a compliant media–did you know that? And he did this all in the name of justice and . . . change. And the people surely got what they voted for.
(Look it up if you think I am exaggerating.)
Read your history books. Many people objected in 1933 and were shouted down, called names, laughed at, and made fun of. When Winston Churchill pointed out the obvious in the late 1930s while seated in the House of Lords in England (he was not yet Prime Minister), he was booed into his seat and called a crazy troublemaker. He was right, though.
Don’t forget that Germany was the most educated, cultured country in Europe. It was full of music, art, museums, hospitals, laboratories, and universities. And in less than six years–a shorter time span than just two terms of the U. S. presidency–it was rounding up its own citizens, killing others, abrogating its laws, turning children against parents, and neighbors against neighbors. All with the best of intentions, of course. The road to Hell is paved with them.
As a practical thinker, one not overly prone to emotional decisions, I have a choice: I can either believe what the objective pieces of evidence tell me (even if they make me cringe with disgust); I can believe what history is shouting to me from across the chasm of seven decades; or I can hope I am wrong by closing my eyes, having another latte, and ignoring what is transpiring around me.
Some people scoff at me, others laugh, or think I am foolish, naive, or both. Perhaps I am. But I have never been afraid to look people in the eye and tell them exactly what I believe–and why I believe it.
I pray I am wrong. I do not think I am.
Dennis is in rare form on The O'Reilly Factor, a must see. I couldn't agree with him more on just about everything, and he is certainly more gracious about Obama than most on the right. Can you imagine Miller unplugged? As far as Barney Frank goes, O'Reilly should watch himself.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
There are three British WW I veterans left out of millions. Today marks the 90th anniversary of the signing of the treaty that ended WW I at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.