Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wisconsin Third World Mentality Recall

Wisconsin voters appear to be headed for yet another round of recall elections; Governor Walker being targeted by the United Wisconsin coalition according to an AP article.  The opportunity to alter Wisconsin’s balance of power is in play following last summer’s recall election losses of 2 Republican Senators, considering 4 more Republican Senators have been targeted for recall.

“The recall drive was motivated by anger over Walker’s proposal effectively ending collective bargaining rights for most public workers. The law passed in March despite massive protests and the fleeing of all 14 Democratic state senators to Illinois for three weeks.”

The laws governing Wisconsin recall elections are fairly simple; if you don’t like the way things are going, get a petition signed by enough angry voters, hold an election and see what happens.  The targeted official need not have committed any wrong doing or crime; but a recall petition drive can be instituted any time after the first year in office.

Getting away from the topic of recall elections for only a moment; there was a movie not too long ago, Jurassic Park, which came to mind.  The main characters were sitting around a conference table considering how much money could be made off a theme park modeled around dinosaurs. 

Dr. Ian Malcolm, mathematician and chaos theorist played by Jeff Goldblum, pointed out his concern regarding work which had enabled scientists to genetically recreate dinosaurs from DNA samples extracted from mosquitoes trapped in amber.

“Don’t you see the danger…inherent in what you’re doing here? Genetic power is the most awesome force the planets’ ever seen; but you wield it like a kid that’s found his dad’s gun. Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether of not they could; they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

Election cycles are set up to enable citizens to voice their opinions and desires in an orderly manner.  Occasionally a person of dubious character gets elected (had to stop typing for a moment to get something out of my throat), someone who performs so miserably or conducts business in such a way as to stand out from the ordinary criminal element who gets elected, enough to be an embarrassment to society.  Is this where we stand up and say, “Throw them all out”?  Never the less, election cycles are intended to be carried out in an orderly manner.

Targeting elected officials for recall based on partisan politics implies a lack of faith in the system of government we depend upon.  If you think about it, targeting individuals for recall isn’t much different than the way third world countries get rid of the opposition.  Okay, maybe they aren’t going to throw Governor Walker in a shallow pit, shoot him full of holes and cover the body with a new fruit orchard; but the result is the same, getting rid of the opposition any way you can. 

The right of the people to have a representative form of government is dear to the hearts of most Americans.  As election time rolls near many of us immerse ourselves in the issues, contestants and possible ramifications of our collective choices.  If it becomes necessary to plan for recall elections as a way of life; isn’t that injecting chaos into the election process; a means whereby malcontents can interrupt the natural process of government?

The folks in Wisconsin are so preoccupied with whether of not they could force a recall; they didn’t stop to think if they should, (altering the movie line to fit the script).  Wisconsin voters should be ashamed for having been duped; this sort of political power play reduces the election process to that of a third world country.

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

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving kicks off the Christmas Season

Thanksgiving begins the Christmas Season, at least it has been that way ever since I can recall.  After diner my folks would have us write our Wish Lists for Santa.  We’d spend the afternoon dreaming of Lincoln Logs, Erector Sets, shiny new bicycles, Mr. Potato Head, telescopes, baseball gloves as sugar plums danced in our heads. 

That night before going off to bed these Wish Lists would be placed ceremoniously on a plate in the center of the dining room table along with some cookies and a glass of milk; might have been a cold bottle of Coke, memory could be a bit fuzzy.  We were told Santa would stop by, read the lists and the magic in his mittens would incinerate the lists leaving only ashes on the plate; hard evidence that he’d made his rounds. 

In the morning we’d run to the dining room, smiles racing across our faces as we observed a small pile of ashes along with a slight burn mark on the china; Yes, the big guy made it! 

My father worked as a furniture salesman at Foley’s Department Store when we moved to Houston.  Each year Foley’s sponsored the Thanksgiving’s Day Parade and it was fun to get up early to watch the festivities.  Later in the evening, after having enjoyed a meal fit for kings, we’d drive back downtown for a chance to gaze at the opening of the store windows where Foley’s had kids with their parents lined up around the block. 

As a young police officer getting up at five in the morning and reporting for six o’clock roll call to work the parade wasn’t as much fun.  You didn’t want to be late; calling in sick was not an option unless you were wearing a toe tag.  The parade didn’t start for hours; but like the Army, hurry up and wait was standard protocol. 

The first few years I was assigned crowd control at various intersections along the parade route.  Later, when I was in Point Control and rode the old three wheeler motor cycle I escorted Santa’s float at the end of the parade. 

I’ve gotten older and no longer put my Wish List on the table for Santa to read; anxiously waking up the next morning to look for the burnt remains on the plate.  Foley’s got bought out by the May Company and goes under the name, Macy’s now; they no longer have a special evening dedicated for children to catch a first glimpse of their Christmas windows on Thanksgiving night.  I’ve long since retired from the police department and no longer have to get up at five, throw on my uniform and race to make six o’clock roll call just so I can stand around waiting for the parade to start.

In a little while the parade will be televised and I can enjoy watching it from the comfort of my sofa.  Marching bands with neatly formed ranks of high school students will fill the air with music they’ve been practicing all month, a chance to shine in the morning sun as their director prays for yet another miracle. 

Helium filled balloon characters will dance along Main Street, held in place by scores of Boy Scouts or other volunteers from the community.  Clowns and merry makers will serpentine along the parade route as young boys and girls sit along the curb hoping to catch a peek at the main event; Santa waving and smiling back, the Christmas Season is here.

Enjoying the parade and all the festivities on Thanksgiving Day brings lots of memories to mind; but let’s not forget the deeper meaning of this celebration, gratitude for all the blessings the Lord has provided.  Jesus is the reason for the season; hold that thought as we prepare to celebrate His birth.

“For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.”  2 Cor 4:15  

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

Monday, November 21, 2011

Prove it!

Truth in advertising gets more interesting everyday according to an  article on the Fox News website.  Take for instance a recent edict by the European Union which goes into force next month; Bottle water manufacturers saying their product rehydrates could result in jail time.

“Bottled water manufacturers will not be allowed to make the claim that water can prevent dehydration, when a new law goes into effect in the UK next month.

The edict, the Daily Telegraph reports, follows a three-year investigation. European Union officials now conclude there is no evidence to prove the previously undisputed fact.”

This imposed insanity would be laughable, a joke if it weren’t so serious.  If a similar burden of “proof” is required across the board the EU could alter other aspects of expression.  We’ve gone from accepting “a likelihood of actuality” and now require proof beyond a reasonable doubt; looking for certainty in an uncertain world.

If the local pastor preaching from the pulpit were tasked with proving the doctrines of religion, what then?  “Jesus is the Christ”, the EU will require proof; but religion requires faith, not proof. Haul that fellow off to jail for making statements he can’t prove.  

Some might say, “This could never happen.”  Think again, how else could the Gospel be considered Hate Speech?  Those who speak out against abominations of immorality are threatened with criminal charges by miscreants who fall back on their “right” to behave any way they please; then go beyond that and make it a crime for anyone to ridicule their lifestyle choices.

Closer to home, you might recall the Canadian anti-gay activist who was found guilty of hate speech because he believes that homosexuals are “sodomites” who spread filth and disease.  “In 2005, the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission ordered him to pay a $17,500 fine and stop passing out his leaflets after four complainants said they were offended.”

“In matters of free speech, Canada and the United States draw the line in very different places. The U.S. First Amendment is so strong that it guarantees the right of the KKK and neo-Nazis to march through the streets. Canada is far more squeamish – “a pleasantly authoritarian state,” as Alan Borovoy, the former head of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, once put it.”

Isn’t that special, I love the way totalitarian rule got painted as “a pleasantly authoritarian state”; the only thing missing might be “Disney-esk” birds chirping under an azure sky filled with soft puffy clouds.  Instead of jack booted brown shirts their goon squads are dressed in Martha Stuart color coordinated ensembles.
The evening weather report could be fun too, “There’s a cold front moving in later and might bring rain.  Hazardous driving conditions which used to be caused by wet roads can no longer be included in our forecast; because, as we all know, rain can’t be proven to cause wet roads.”  I can see a Saturday Night Live skit in there somewhere.

One thing is an indisputable fact; the EU has some of the dumbest bureaucrats on the planet, which can be proven.  Their total financial collapse might not be such a bad thing after all; give that area of the world a chance to start over, this time let common sense have a chair at the table.

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

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gun Rights Paradigm

Our constitution provides limits on government in order to protect every individual’s God given inalienable rights.  The right to defend your life, those around you and your property existed long before the establishment of government and is often referred to as a “natural right”; perhaps to assuage the small percentage of folks who would rather avoid involving our Maker’s hand in things.

It has taken nearly two hundred years for our Supreme Court to validate the 2nd Amendment and clarify our founder’s intentions; that Individuals have the right to own and bear arms; that this right was not singularly for those serving as militia members.  At one time there was a short explanation of the Supreme Court’s District of Columbia v. Heller ruling at FindLaw dot com which covered the essentials, which is quoted here; but not linked with a specific URL.

“Prior to the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, the courts had yet to definitively state what right the Second Amendment protected. The opposing theories, perhaps oversimplified, were (1) an “individual rights” approach, whereby the Amendment protected individuals’ rights to firearm ownership, possession, and transportation; and (2) a “states’ rights” approach, under which the Amendment only protected the right to keep and bear arms in connection with organized state militia units. Moreover, it was generally believed that the Amendment was only a bar to federal action, not to state or municipal restraints.

However, the Supreme Court has now definitively held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that weapon for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Moreover, this right applies not just to the federal government, but to states and municipalities as well.”

Not wishing to appear obtuse; but where in the 2nd Amendment does it say an individual’s God given right to keep and bear Arms is limited to his/her home?  I’ll save you the trouble, it doesn’t.  Government is limited; an individuals right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed”, no different than an individual’s right to free speech.

This morning there’s an AP article which appeared on the Fox News website, House Approves Concealed Firearm Permit Bill

“A state permit to carry a concealed firearm would be valid in almost every state in the country under legislation the House passed Wednesday.”
A majority of folks in Congress are attempting to move in the right direction. Those who voiced opinions against this legislation lack faith in the citizenry which placed them in office and the individuals who are America; perhaps lacking faith in the very foundations upon which America was built.  There was a sentence in the article which brought me back to the keyboard to write today’s article. 

“Under the House legislation, people with a concealed carry permit in one state could carry a concealed weapon in every other state that gives people the right to carry concealed weapons.”

Maybe I should highlight the part which jumped out at me, “…every other state that gives people the right to carry concealed weapons”.   States do not give rights, God gives rights.  States hand out entitlements, permission, grants and many other things; but their powers are limited and they can only obstruct or usurp individual’s God given rights.  If you gain no other information this day, understanding this one principle of government is what separates America from all others.   Our founders recognized God as the Author of Liberty and the only Being capable of bestowing rights. 

You and I have the right and the responsibility to properly defend our lives and property by whatever means is prudent and necessary, to include deadly force.  The right to own and bear arms was defined and recorded in the Bill of Rights and cannot be taken away except under specific judicial action as pertain to being of sound mind or having been convicted of a felony rendering that individual unfit; regardless of which State you happen to find yourself. 

In all likelihood the issue of being able to use one State’s concealed handgun permit in other States is a moot point; the left leaning Senate has not addressed the issue and even if such a bill were to pass it would require Obama’s signature to become law.  Obama has in recent days pressured members of the Senate to ratify the U.N. Small Arms Treaty which would, in effect, do away with the 2nd Amendment. 

Do the elections in 2012 make a difference?  Mind you, the person we elect to the Oval Office gets to pick vacancies on the Supreme Court, sign into law pieces of legislation or veto that legislation; all of which affect each and every individual. 

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

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Habla English?

Last week at church was Stake Conference for our area; various Wards getting together to hear our local Priesthood leadership speak.  There were translators on hand to accommodate Spanish speaking members in attendance which meant audio/visual requirements would have to accommodate the streaming of Spanish into television sets and head phones in rooms set up for them. 

I was recently called as an assistant Stake Clerk/IT specialist; in other words, getting cables and audio/visual equipment set up for presentations; satellite transmission, internet or other similar events.  The equipment room has all manner of fancy gizmos with cables running in and out, here and there and everywhere; how unfortunate, looks similar to the way my stereo, cable television and DVD are wired.  If you listen closely you might hear an old Beatles’ tune, Helter-Skelter, playing amidst the chaos.   

Several of us were hooking up cables, checking audio signals and making sure the camera transmission was working prior to the actual conference.  I happen to mention how it was probably a good thing I wasn’t a member of the Stake Presidency as I would be putting pressure on the various Bishops to have Spanish speaking members learn English.  My remark must have landed on a raw nerve; there was a cold silence where some kind of conversation normally would have happened. 

During the week I was thinking about that conversation, the one which never came about. I challenged myself to figure out why my suggestion garnered such a negative reaction.  The language in the United States is English and while we have immigrants from nearly every nation on the planet; English is the language used by the vast majority.  English is also the “preferred language”, the language which enables folks to climb out of the depths of poverty and achieve substantial rewards in most areas of our society. 

If I were planning to live in a foreign country it would be important for me to learn the language of that country; French if I were planning to move to France, German for Germany and so on.  Those who wish to be assimilated into any society must first learn the language of that society; either that or accept the fact they will forever be relegated as second class members, being denied full status and privileges.  The assumption on my part is these folks wish to eventually be assimilated, become equal partakers in all aspects of our society.  If this is not the case then why bother leaving their country of origin?

As a church it would seem a natural extension of leadership to point this aspect of assimilation to those attending meetings.  How difficult would it be to have Bishops invite Spanish speaking members to attend on-going English as a second language classes?  We certainly have talented people who could be called as instructors, folks who would jump at a chance to improve the lives of fellow church members.  Individuals who learned to speak English would make themselves eligible for upward mobility within the natural framework of our society and could only benefit from having made such an effort. 

There is no intent to ridicule individuals who speak only Spanish or the culture from which he/she came.  The recommendation is to have these individuals adjust to the society which they now find themselves in rather than remain dependent as a result of their not understanding our language.  Up until now I’ve directed my remarks mostly toward Spanish speaking individuals; but the same holds true regardless of one’s primary home language.  Those who are easily offended will continue to be easily offended; not much I can do other than accept the laws which govern percentages

Perhaps my communication and diplomacy skills could use improvement; being direct and to the point is not always the best course of action.  In any event, it would be better for my brothers and sisters who are imprisoned, not by cell walls; but their inability to be completely assimilated into our predominantly English speaking society, the society of a nation blessed beyond measure by the Lord for any and all who wish to climb as far and as high as is individually possible.  Learn to speak and understand English and watch as your efforts are rewarded beyond your wildest dreams.

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