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Why Ethics? | LifeEthics.org

If there’s no such thing as right and wrong or good and evil, why are we arguing in the first place?

If you crack the egg of a bird on the Endangered Species List, it won’t matter that the bird was a fetus or embryo. You’ve still broken Federal law. Why is the species of an (unhatched) animal so clear cut under law, but human embryos have no protection under current law? Legal follies such as this underscore our lack of seriousness and consistency when contemplating our children of tomorrow. My concern is that we are not teaching them why they should treat us kindly, much less giving them a good example.

Bioethics dilemmas and most political disputes may seem to be new problems, but they’re not. Every “new” problem is another facet of the potential to deny the existence of right and wrong or to infringe on the inalienable rights of our fellow humans. Knowledge of the basics can guide decisions and actions.

If there’s no such thing as right and wrong or good and evil, why are we arguing in the first place? These truths transcend relative social considerations and laws, including religious beliefs, ideology, or the wants and wishes of the powerful or majority. They even transcend time and space: if you take a close look at the big debates, the speakers aren’t simply talking to each other: we’re arguing with the great thinkers of the past and trying to convince people who come along after us.

The unique nature of the species Homo sapiens sapiens is the source and the definition of “human dignity,” and the reason that all members of the species and our offspring are human beings who should be valued equally, without discrimination.

And of course, we are unique, since It looks like we’re the only species having this conversation. We’re the only species that, when an individual has safety, food and sex, doesn’t just go to sleep. Our species makes art, records history, and argues about the nature of the universe. Humans seem to naturally “know” “that’s not fair,” even at 3 or 4 years old. We seek Unconditional Justice, Truth, Love, Beauty and Knowledge. And we value Unconditional Love most of all.

The Negative rights to Life, Liberty and Property are owned and endowed upon individuals; they are not the property of or gift of societies or governments. These exist in a necessary order; a hierarchy of importance and power to call on society for protection. The right not to be killed trumps the right not to be enslaved, which precedes the right not to have your property taken from you by force or fraud. If they can kill you, there are no limits on how much they can enslave you or take from you. We must be secure that others won’t take our property against our will, because earning and owning property is how we avoid enslavement to others and how we make plans and lay by the staples of life to support the lives of ourselves and our families, both immediately while we can earn, and later when we are unable to work.

Society and government must protect these “inalienable” rights of individuals, but only as far as to ensure equality of opportunity, not the equality of outcome. These are protections against the actions of others, not against words or thoughts. It is not protection or promotion of someone’s personal tastes and not the right to not be offended. We must be very, very careful when we tax and even more careful if we presume to force the actions of others.

Good politics and science cannot exist in a moral vacuum. The powerful, the majority, the surging mob. the man with the biggest gun or governments cannot do good when their actions infringe on the life, liberty or property of the individual. To claim that people must act or give up property indefinitely for the greater good – Utilitarianism – ends in domination without measurable or objective limits.

And yet, to function in society carries responsibilities. Extraordinary privileges like those given to lawmakers, doctors, and scientists to do good, may also result in extraordinary power to do evil through abuse of unequal power of weapons, tools, numbers or even knowledge and skill. This is where conscience and the first principle of “first do no harm” come in. The right of conscience is a function of the liberty of an individual not to be forced to act against his understanding of good and evil, right and wrong.

Medicine and science have held a unique position to advocate for the protection of human rights, at least since Hippocrates, who formalized the now 2500 year old oath to “heal when possible, but First, do no harm” Non-maleficence, or not acting in order to avoid harm, must precede and be incorporated in the desire to do good or beneficence.

Once again, we come back to that first point: all of our offspring, descendants deserve the same value and protection of their rights to life, liberty and property without discrimination. It’s possible that we already have offspring among us who are not of our species. Science has created human embryos with more than two biological parents and others who have been the subject of genetic manipulation. Also out there are is the Humanity+ or Transhumanism movement in all its permutations, along with more accessible enhancement of the human mind and body through technology, medicine, machines, and manipulation at the nano-level.

We must consider how our children of tomorrow will consider us. It is true that humans aren’t perfect, we will make mistakes, and some humans will purposefully infringe on the rights of others. However, what values and principles will the pattern of our governments and individual action reflect? Will it be our respect and love for one another? Will they respect and love us or will they look back in horror or disgust?

(I want to thank Robert Spitzer, who wrote “Healing the Culture,” one of the best Ethics books in existence.)

This is a March, 2011 post from LifeEthics. org. Why Ethics? | LifeEthics. Edited 5/10/13 to move to top of the list.

Thomas Sowell Interview on Human Events (video) @TeamRickPerry

Landmark interview with a brilliant man who possesses a brilliant mind.

Watch the whole thing,  for a look back at this incredible man’s history and experiences. Beginning with an interview in 1981 with William Buckley, and moving on into the 2011 political climate. Dr. Sowell discusses his own evolution from Marxism to Conservativism.  Segment 5 includes comments on President Obama and the current Republican Presidential rate.

Peter Robinson of Uncommon Knowledge shows us his own brilliance by his questions and demeanor.

More de Tocqueville moments (yes, they want to tax and spend)

Last Friday, I was asked by the editors of the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, to write the “Counter-Point” to an essay by the Comal County Democratic Party chair (behind a pay-wall, here.) At the time, I didn’t know who the author was and only had a portion of the original to read, but the major points were that the debt ceiling debate was only meant to be used against President Obama and all due to “past policies.” Here’s my answer, along with the title given it by the H-Z:

“The Public Is Being Bribed”

Yes, the current problems with the United States’ budget are due to errors of the past, including those of the current Administration. However, the first author’s basic philosophy is wrong.

In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville observed, “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

Last year, nearly half of the people in the United States didn’t pay income taxes. The top 50% paid 96% of the income tax revenues. The top 5% (those earning over $160,000) paid 55% of all income taxes, although they earned 33% of the gross income.

Congress and Federal bureaucracies have expanded the budget and the reach of government regulations. They heaped “ObamaCare”, on top of the “Stimulus,” on top of TARP bailouts, on top of earlier spending that made Conservatives angry enough to stay home in 2006 and 2008. The American voters didn’t like spending in November, 2010 and we don’t like it now.

Ronald Reagan convinced the Democrat-controlled Congress to cut tax rates along with tax deductions and loopholes, increasing Federal revenue. However, promised cuts in spending never materialized and the National debt exceeded $2 Trillion dollars in 1988. In 1995, Bill Clinton forced two government shut-downs, but the Republican House and Senate persisted until he signed  balanced budgets four years in a row.

Unfortunately, since 2001 both Parties have increased non-defense spending in addition to recovery from September 11, 2001, the war on the Afghanistan and Iraqi fronts, and the near-failure of the banking system in 2008. Attempts to decrease the rate of growth for non-essentials and bureaucracies were knocked down by histrionics from special interests and the media, even as new layers of tax credits and deductions were added, until half the country pays no taxes.

America was built on the dream that every child could grow up to be President or start a billion dollar business in the garage like the Wright brothers, Henry Ford and Bill Gates. I don’t remember hearing that if I worked hard, I could grow up to be middle class.

We Americans have a tradition of giving back, lending a hand up, and rescuing the helpless. Bloated Government bureaucracies divide families and force PC “separation of Church and State.” They’re poor substitutes for Churches and private charities that we choose as stewards for our duty to the less fortunate.

Yes, it’s important to think for ourselves and research the truth behind the latest controversies. I wouldn’t expect anything less from the people I know. However, we can learn from history. De Tocqueville also predicted, “”A democracy . . . can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”

 

Edited for spelling 3/28/2012 BBN

On human potential

“TheRealSasha” has commented, here, on my essay, “Why Ethics?”

From the comment:

However I believe the application of the argument is limited.. As it doesn’t address the contested questions such as definition of when life begins. As such your ‘hierarchy of importances’ only follows if the assumption is make that life begins at conception.

I think an issue the post doesn’t consider, is the greatest potential of the woman and man who will be caring after the child when they are born. If the child/fetus in the womb is found to be severely deformed and close to a vegetated state, which will involve a lifetime of the most basic care for their needs, it will mean the life of the carers will be such that the large part of it will have to be devoted to looking after a child that may not even comprehend who their own parents are.

I believe that taking your own argument of the greatest potential, it can be argued that the child given in the above example has less potential in having something resembling ‘life’, than the potential life/lives lost of their carers.

Science depends on the study of events that can be observed by different observers in different labs, under similar conditions.

The one-celled embryo, the zygote, is unique in that the products of two cell lines, a sperm and an egg, which are at the end of their life cycle, combine to form the beginning of a new life cycle. Any argument in favor of potential is only a personal belief, inconsistent with observable facts. We know that fertilization is a point that a technician can identify in the in vitro lab. No one implants unfertilized eggs. In fact, we can watch the changes by serial ultrasounds and blood hormone levels that result from the new embryo.

Philosophy can utilize the same criteria: what would happen in another place if the same value were given to another child at another age? Why not kill the child with less “potential” after birth?

Sasha gives a classic example of utilitarian ethics: the greatest good for the greatest number, without regard to individual, inalienable rights. Utilitarianism allows fickle, faddish and selfish motives or might makes right to determine the safety that each of us can expect from society and law.

Anyone is at risk of becoming like the human in the example Sasha gives: a fall, a bad allergic reaction, an assault could leave any of us at least temporarily or permanently dependent on others for “the most basic care for their needs.” Why not snuff out the life of these people?

 

The de Tocqueville Moment: will we endure?

Has the United States of America reached the Moment predicted by Alex de Tocqueville when,”The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money?”

Congress and the DC bureaucracies have expanded the federal government, increased regulations and permits, heaped ObamaCare —>on top of “Stimulus” —> on top of TARP and all of this —> on top of the other spending that made Conservatives angry enough to stay home in 2006 and 2008 is not the answer.  We didn’t like it in November, 2010 and we don’t like it now!

 

Edited for spelling 3/28/2012 BBN

Lame Duck President (From Sarah Palin)

Now the President is outraged because the GOP House leadership called his bluff and ended discussions with him because they deemed him an obstruction to any real solution to the debt crisis.

via Lame Duck President.

Federal Reserve Audit: $16 Trillion in loans over 3 years

Yep, $16 Trillion. Or maybe, less?

(or was it $1 T? This guy doesn’t explain his numbers, but REALLY? Only $1 Trillion?)

Thursday, the Government Accounting Office released its review, “Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Policies and Processes for Managing Emergency Assistance” of the accounts of the Federal Reserve Bank’s books from December 2007 through July, 2011. (Some were credit lines never used, some were paid back. As far as I can tell from page 4, there’s $956 Billion still outstanding.  But I’m a doctor, not an accountant.)And some went to foreign-based subsidiaries of US institutions in Switzerland, France, Germany, Scotland, Britain, and Belgium.The GAO report, “Federal Reserve System: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Policies and Processes for Managing Emergency Assistance, ” is here.

Why GAO Did This Study:
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act directed GAO to conduct a one-time audit of the emergency loan programs and other assistance authorized by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve Board) during the recent financial crisis. 

The GAO criticized the Fed’s reluctance to explain all of it’s reasoning about the emergencies. There’s also criticism about the way that Timothy Geithner, then-Chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, gave waivers and allowed no-contract bids for entities hired to help arrange the Emergency loans. One of those waivers went to a man who had interest in AIG, and is now the President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, replacing Geithner when the latter moved to DC to take over the Treasury Department.

(I’m thinking they were really scared and doing the best they could at the time.) (But, again, I’m a doctor, not an accountant.)

(That first table is an adaptation of the pdf from CNBC. The second is from the GAO report, page 40.)

An Open Letter to Republican Leaders

Conservative Republicans from my home town of New Braunfels and all over Texas have made it a point to tell me that they are frustrated with you. Even as you begin asking for our support in next year’s election, y’all don’t seem to remember who brought you to the dance, and that we are supposed to lead.

You may have heard our Conservative song at times; even going so far as to dance all around your own Bills in order to appear in step with us. But you still dance to a beat we don’t like far too often.

We worked so hard last year to send a Republican majority to Austin and Washington, only to have the people we elected seem to pay little attention to us and our Party Platform.

In Austin, it was a compromise on the Speaker and toll roads. In DC, we’re watching this political theater about the budget and the debt ceiling.  Why are Republicans, with a majority in the House and a clear mandate from the voters, still getting bogged down in “negotiation?”

And don’t tell us how hard it is to hammer Bills into Laws. This is your job, the one you volunteered for. It can’t be any harder than what we did to get you there in 2010, and what you’ll ask us to do in 2012.  And we did it on top of our regular duties, not as a paid, full-time job!

After all the time and money we  invested in your campaigns before the primaries, some of us spent  thirteen hours working the polls on Primary Day and rushed from there to attend our Precinct Conventions.  Delegates to our Precinct and County Conventions gave up hours on Primary night and on a Saturday later in the month. Before these meetings, we reviewed the old Party Platform and carefully crafted new resolutions. Then we defended them at our Precinct, County and State Conventions. Some of us served on Convention Committees at the County and State level, giving more time to sift through the Resolutions, put them in order and finally come up with a Platform that our Delegates approved at the State Convention.

I’m sorry if this seems like I’m giving you a hard time, and I’d rather be spending my time encouraging you than griping. But, still,  if we can do all that, why can’t y’all cut spending in DC?

Dividing Conservatives: Who Started This, Anyway?

(The ACLU is probably hiring lawyers as we speak. See! Government can create jobs outside of Government bureaucracies.)

Remember when we were told not to pay attention to what people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms? Now, they’re forcing us to watch. We didn’t start this round, but get ready: Conservatives who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman will be treated as divisive and accused of splitting the Conservative vote.

President Obama has declared his support for legislation ending the Defense of Marriage act. The bill, the Respect for Marriage Act, will be heard today in the Senate Judicial Committee.

The full title is, “S.598, The Respect for Marriage Act: Assessing the Impact of DOMA on American Families.” In the House, it’s H.R. 1116. According to the Examiner.com,

The bill which was introduced by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) would repeal all three sections of DOMA which places a strong federal hold against states rights in the matters of legalized same sex marriage recognition.

The new bill is set out to repeal specifically the sections in which DOMA defines marriage as the union between a man and a women, instructs states not to recognize same sex marriages performed in other states and prohibits the federal government from recognizing legally performed same-sex marriages.

Which is probably exactly where it should be heard. After all, now there can be more lawsuits,like this one in Vermont against private business owners who does not want to celebrate same sex marriage in their Inn.

There’s a conversation on Facebook about whether the phrase “gay conservative” is an oxymoron. I maintain that it is.  Will organizations like the Log Cabin Republicans still want to vote with Conservatives who are happy to form coalitions on fiscal  matters, small government, and the sanctity of life, but who won’t support the change they want to make in the family or the definition of marriage? Will they join in the debate in favor of “Respect for Marriage,” and how will they do it?

The basic unit of society is the family. Social experiments with the family are not conservative because they risk weakening that basic unit, the source of support and protection in times of crisis and where we learn the skills that allow us to function in the greater society.

There is no historical support for same sex couples forming a stable family.  There’s more empiric evidence for stable families resulting from polygamy. For that matter, the Egyptian Pharaohs, who practiced incest in order to keep their power in the family, managed to hold their reign together longer than the entire history of open same-sex lifestyle, much less the legalization of their “marriages.”

Those who disagree with me tell me to go along to get along and to quit bringing “the church” into politics, “because parties are about politics & policy issues not religious ideology.”

While I do have strong religious convictions, I don’t like to use religious arguments in politics. I don’t need to claim that the only reason to support traditional monogamous marriage is because marriage is a covenant with our Creator. I consider the fact that I can debate tough philosophical (even “ideology”) by using empirical arguments is proof that my position is close to the truth.

My fellow conservatives and I did not start this. The ones bringing in “controversy” are the ones who demand to make us aware of what should be a very private matter and that we agree with their redefinition of marriage and the family.  It is they who insist on dividing conservatives by identifying first as homosexual, then as fiscal conservatives, etc. This identification declares that their purpose is not to cut spending or support small government: their primary purpose in forming a political group is to gain sympathy for their true cause.
(edited, 11AM, 7-20-11, to remove a repeated sentence. 8-9-11, for grammar and to add link to NYT story on Vermont Inn.)

“Rebuilding the Dream” (Marx’s dream, that is.)

My initial impression of the moveon.org “Rebuilding the Dream” “House Meeting” on Sunday, July 17, 2011, at the New Braunfels Public Library was that I had visited another planet. However after thinking about my experience for a day or so, I’ve decided it was more like visiting an impoverished culture that sort of speaks my language, but with an almost impenetrable accent. Over the next couple of days, I’ll try to interpret the goings-on for my fellow conservatives from Texas, to whom the ideas, the hatred, and the stereotyping would be completely foreign.

First of all, despite the stereotype, I’ve seen much more diversity at our Tea Party meetings – and certainly at our Republican meetings. I heard no “foreign” accents at all. Among the 25 in attendance, the only literal, non-philosophical accents that I noticed were “Yankee” accents wielded by Non-Texans, maybe from California or the State of Washington, a few even from the Northeast and Chicago. Most had been “born and raised” in Texas. The majority was older than I and retired from various jobs. All but two or three were of the same Western European heritage that we call “White” around here. There were no blacks or Asians and less-than-a-handful of people whose grandparents might have been, like my great-great grandmother, American Indian.

The online news group, RedState has noted in their “Cargo Cult Watch”* that Jone’s Dream is an attempt to recreate a Left wing version of the Tea Party. However, the small group that I met – while very upset that the on-line address for future plans of the Movement was  “contract.rebuildthedream.org,” (warning: video of Robert Reich) because it reminded them of Newt Gingrich – was willing to divide in to 4 tables of 6-7 participants each, with pre-determined table leaders. Can you imagine a Tea Party event like that?

The culture must be “impoverished” because their highest goal is to make the Nation “middle class.” From Van Jones, who is spearheading the Movement, said:

“Rebuild the middle class – and pathways into it – by fighting for a “made in America” innovation and manufacturing agenda, including trade and currency policies that honor American workers and entrepreneurs.”

And they’re willing to vote themselves a lot of everyone else’s money to make sure that no one rises above “middle class,” too! It’s also obvious that Mr. Jones has no clue what an entrepreneur risks – or what he expects in return for his risks and everything he or she gives up for success.

Did you grow up wanting to be middle class? I grew up thinking that if I worked hard enough, I could be rich, the President, or go to the moon. (Okay, I didn’t quite think a girl could do some things until I was grown.  I sure didn’t expect to do it all, myself, but I was very happy to discover that some of my sisters could. Someday, there will be a “Mrs. President.”)

More to come. . .

*Cargo Cult: a reference to a – probably fictional – story about a primitive tribe that lived on a Pacific island that US forces chose for a temporary airbase. After the War was over, the GI’s left, and the planes and air drops containing riches stopped coming. The locals made faux radios, headphones from coconut shells, followed the rituals that they’d seen the tower crew act out in an attempt to get the gods to send more treasures from the sky.

The de Tocqueville Moment? (Are you for sale?)

President Obama has declared that he will veto the Cut, Cap,and Balance Bill if it passes. The White House is calling the Bill “extreme, radical, and unprecedented” and  ” the Ryan plan on steroids.” I’m hoping the Republicans in Washington remember who their base is and count his threat as a dare – and call his bluff.

Cut spending first, show a good faith effort, then we”ll talk. President Obama needs to bite the bullet, eat his own peas, and decide that if he wants to cut the deficit and cut debt, some – in the form of savings from cutting unnecessary spending – is better than none.

What Congress and the bureaucracies in DC have done by expanding the federal governments, increasing regulations, permits, heaping ObamaCare on top of the “Stimulus” on top of TARP and all of this on the other spending that made Conservatives angry enough to stay home in 2006 and 2008 is not the answer. We didn’t like it in November, 2010 and we don’t like it now.

I remember that the tax code was simplified when Ronald Reagan cut the tax rates in the 80’s. The Democrat controlled Congress promised cuts in spending to go along with the lost deductions. Those cuts never materialized and federal spending grew even faster than the remarkable Federal revenue.

Federal Revenues and Expenditures 1980-1993

more and more people became beneficiaries of Federal largess.

It’s gotten to the point that more than half of people in the U.S. fell right off the tax rolls. 

Has the United States of America reached the Alex de Tocqueville moment when,”The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money?”   What’s your price?

Edited for spelling 3/28/2012 BBN

We Republicans

“We ended up with candidates chosen by the least knowledgeable voters.”

Here’s an older post that I wrote June 1, last year. It still applies, more than ever!

We Republicans are the Tea Party. If you look at the Tea Party, you will see the Conservative foundation, the remnant that have opposed “centrists” and “moderates” for years. We are the ones who have known all along what the Dems relearn each election cycle, but some of our own never seem to: Americans are conservative, to the right of center. When all the couch potatoes woke up last year, we were the ones who were here to welcome them and give them somewhere to start.

Some of us sat out the 2006 and even 2008 elections to “teach them a lesson;” that they need to legislate like Republicans if they want us to support them. Where Republicans turned out to vote, we held offices. Where the Republican voters were no-shows, we lost ground and offices. In a few cases, Republicans crossed over in the name of Chaos and strong conservatives were narrowly defeated in the Primaries, leaving us with a choice between a RINO, a Democrat or an under vote. We ended up with candidates chosen by the least knowledgeable voters.

Well, that was successful, wasn’t it? Can’t you just imagine all the true conservative candidates in the Presidential primary of 2008, each wishing the Chaos voters had turned out for them?

The Dems won a majority and then a super majority in the Federal House, Senate and the White House, allowing them to ram-rod their agenda to spread the wealth around, undermine families and threaten the weak and sick at all stages of life. Corrupt and corrupting Chris Dodd, Charlie Rangel, and John Conyers wield Committee Chairmanships when they should be indicted. The media ignored – and continues to ignore – our plainly stated opposition, underreporting our numbers and drowning out our voices as they proclaim that we lost because the Left better represented the voters and the Country was ready for Change! And now, the media and the liberals are crowing about the power of the tea partiers, and asking everyone who will give them a few seconds what we’ll “do” with “them.”

Unfortunately, the “moderate” Republicans and some of our conservatives didn’t learn the lesson we wanted to teach them. Instead, they decided they need to spend more time and money wooing the swing voters and undecideds. The Big Tent is looking more like a Circus. (See CPAC and “gay conservatives.”)

Many who have appropriated the title of “conservatives” – those who have never been active (or even voted) in the Republican Party before and those who spend their “meet-up” time with the Libertarian Party – are using any and all opportunities to infect the Party with their discontent. If they can destroy us for their own political gain and “Revolution,” they will be happy.

If your goal is to throw the bums out for the sake of defeating the old established leadership, if you think it’s your turn at power, even if you’ve never been involved, much less been a leader, then perhaps your motives aren’t as pure as they should be. Please reconsider what your real goal is and how – whether – your actions will achieve your purpose.

For Texas’ Atheists

Preamble to the Constitution of the great, sovereign State of Texas:

Humbly invoking the blessings of Almighty God, the people of the State of Texas, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

Just FYI.

And, BTW, according to the 1st Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, it’s “Freedom OF Religion,” or “the free exercise thereof,” not “Freedom From Religion.” thought you would want to know, since you’re suing Governor Rick Perry over the Response prayer gathering on August 6th, at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.

(Thanks to LukeL of FreeRepublic.com for the reminder about the Preamble.)

First Amendment: excuse for lawsuits or freedom?

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The Texas Tribune, that NPR/University of Texas online news organization that accepted $150,000 from George Soro’s “Open Society,” (whose url is “soros.org”), reports that atheists backed by an organization from Wisconsin, have filed suit to stop Governor Rick Perry’s participation in the prayer gathering in Houston next month. They claim that the 1st Amendment prohibits State Governors from public religious expression. It doesn’t seem odd to to them that the same Government should defend their right to not be religious while forcing others to refrain.
Forget for a moment that the Constitution is talking about the Federal Congress and not a State Legislature or Governor – look at the rest of the Amendment.

“… shall make no law” – no law for and no law against
“. . . the free exercise thereof . . . “
“ . . . abridging the freedom of speech . . .”
“. . . right of the people peaceably to assemble . . .”

The comments on TT  concerning the lawsuit are the typical Austin liberal screed, with an added anti-religious hatefulness and the obligatory hair comments thrown in. Knowing the type of readers who comment on these pages, I’m still surprised at the prejudice and lack of knowledge displayed. So, here’s my answer to their questions and doubts:

Yes, Christians do believe that the Lord chooses our Governors and other leaders. And, yes, Christians do have a need and “Commission” to testify about our faith and blessings. And many of us do not believe that we can abdicate our own private duty to Christ to care for the sick, poor or children to government, which hasn’t proven a good steward. And, no, you don’t have the right to be free from knowledge and tolerance of our free exercise of religion, speech, and assembly.

God bless their little hearts.

Emotional Noise is Destructive to Learning.

I’ve been searching for a way to express this idea, and here it is, at 6:00 minutes in:

  “The emotional noise is destructive to learning.”  David Horowitz at UCLA – Part 7 – Q & A http://t.co/kC09PIN via @youtube

Just wow!

 

Republicans: we eat our own

Can you imagine the grief of fighting the Progressives AND the Conservatives from the right, all the time? Do you ever send approval to our elected officials when they do the right thing? Do you ever offer constructive ideas, or do you bounce around like a ping pong ball, from one sound bite presented by the the lame stream media to another, with no control over your own direction?

Case in point:  I’ve been following the blogs and the rants and reactions to what they perceive as compromise on the part of Republicans, according to reports in the New York Timesand the Houston Chronicle’s coverage of yesterday’s interview with Senator John Cornyn of Texas on Fox News Sunday.  It seems very few people look for the original video, which is on-line, here,  at Fox News.

Senator Cornyn flatly stated that the Republicans will not support and the American People do not want tax increases. From a more balanced article on the interview at the Wall Street Journal:

Republicans want major spending cuts before they agree to increase the debt cap. Many insist the budget deal can’t include any tax increase. But like Mr. Cornyn, some have opened the window to raising federal revenue. That could pave the way for an agreement.

Mr. Cornyn said Sunday he wanted any broad revamp of the tax code to be revenue neutral, meaning it shouldn’t bring in more cash than the current system. There may not be enough time to strike such a tax deal before Aug. 2, he said.

“But it ought to be the first thing we turn to, to make our tax code more rational. We could bring down rates, eliminate a lot of the tax expenditures and loopholes,” he said.

If the sides don’t reach a long-term budget accord this month, Mr. Cornyn said Congress may have to approve a short-term deal.

“The big problems aren’t going to go away if you cut a mini-deal, all it does is delay the moment of truth. So I’d say better now than then, but if we can’t, we’ll take the savings we can get now and we will re-litigate this as we get closer to the election,” he said.

The Dems WANT the government to shut down. They can’t wait to blame it on the unyielding, “political” Republicans. Worse, they’re floating the idea that Obama can ignore Congress’ will on the debt ceiling. And somehow, the far left always manages to control one another and stay on the same page while revving up the mob that wants to redistribute wealth, secure abortion on demand and declare war on our family values and children’s innocence but not on terrorists from a culture that would kill them in a minute for the very things they support.

The media, the Left, and our own reactionary mob will convince the rest of the country that the Republican leadership’s attempts at solutions are worthless political posturing. Our mob will be worse: making the perfect the enemy of good and dredging up old slights and rivalries.

I’ve been writing about Senator Cornyn and the ceiling debt, but could just as well be discussing Governor Perry or any number of State and Federal politicians and issues. If you’re at all able, look for the original source and/or two reports before making up your mind when you hear or read anything our Republican leaders in the media.

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