Election Link Roundup

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What is at stake this election?

Abortion: The health care bill passed by Democrat majorities in congress and signed by President Obama contains provisions supporting increased federal support and engagement in the wholesale infanticide championed by leftists. For this reason alone our voice should be strong and unwavering in criticism of those who supported such a travesty.

Poor: Democrat leadership have continued to support and expand the reach of programs that enforce a permanent underclass. Welfare provisions that punish stable, two-parent, families. Education bureaucracy that stifles innovation and imprisons untold millions of children in schools that ought to be shut down. Opposition to school choice and voucher systems that would free these children from a future of dependency.

Liberty: The current leadership in Washington are convinced they know best. From the biggest decisions we make to the smallest things we take for granted, Washington is there to tell us what to do, how to do it, and to slap our wrist when they feel like it.

All this must end now. And Tuesday is now.

To the links:

While they’re just college students, they hold rather forcibly to an idea and then find themselves to be going against any and all known and accepted science. So what do they do? Why the science must not be all it’s cracked up to be.

Watch these students try to defend the indefensible. It’s rather sad seeing the hash they make of it.

Oh, and actually they’re not “just” college students. They are actually members of a group run by Planned Parenthood. This is the best they’ve got.

It’s the economy stupid. And the optimum economy is comprised of you and me doing our best to create something we can share and trade for something someone else created. Bill Whittle breaks it down.

Charles Krauthammer says Democrats are losing this election season because they haven’t been able to control the narrative the way they used to. I agree. With the advent of the internet, the importance of traditional media has faded just a little. And that was just enough that contrary voices can now be heard above the din of the talking heads telling us what we ought and ought not believe.

This frustrates the Democrat leadership.

But after trotting out some of these (historical) charges with a noticeable lack of success, President Obama has come up with something new, something less common, something more befitting his stature and intellect. He’s now offering a scientific, indeed neurological, explanation for his current political troubles. The electorate apparently is deranged by its anxieties and fears to the point where it can’t think straight.

And P.J. O’Rourke asks why Democrats hate themselves. And addresses a common theme I hear ever more frequently.

Perhaps you’re having a tiny last minute qualm about voting Republican. Take heart. And take the House and the Senate. Yes, there are a few flakes of dander in the fair tresses of the GOP’s crowning glory—an isolated isolationist or two, a hint of gold buggery, and Christine O’Donnell announcing that she’s not a witch. (I ask you, has Hillary Clinton ever cleared this up?) Fret not over Republican peccadilloes such as the Tea Party finding the single, solitary person in Nevada who couldn’t poll ten to one against Harry Reid.

Don’t give up or give in to depression or cynicism. Sure the glass is half empty and the people who claim to be bringing the pitcher always seem to be the most abject idiots and inconsistent failures. But there is always hope. So long as we can still vote.

Remember though, it can take 2 of our votes to counter one of theirs. Fraud and deceit are more and more the name of the game. With lawless organizations like the New Black Panthers and SEIU and public-sector unions and ACORN operating with relative impunity we must, each and every one of us, stand and be counted.

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How Could A Christian Vote Democrat, Part 4

Continued from part 3.

Professor Drury continues his arguments outlining why he believes Christian ideas support a Democrat ideology. The last several parts of his argument are smaller, secondary points that I do not generally consider as essential to a particular belief system. For the most part they come down to meddling. An annoyance, but a secondary issue.

But a few of them aren’t.

Imperfect and struggling

Nationalism & The Military

With the caveat that Christians ought always to consider any earthly allegiance secondary to their heavenly allegiance, that secondary allegiance to earthly powers-that-be  is an important part of being involved and engaged in our culture, our communities. It is said that Christians make the best of citizens, but a requirement of citizenship is some sort of allegiance to that of which we are citizens.

Regarding military involvement, the Professor argues, fallaciously, that God’s leadership of the Israelites is of secondary importance to Christ’s words of peace. However, he never notes which of Chris’s words of peace are against any and all war. This is one point the Professor is sure of, to be Christian is to be against any and all war.

The fallacy of this argument is found in the fact it denies the more realistic view of human nature Christians hold, that of original and inescapable sin permeating the entirety of the human experience. When power corrupts or the corrupt achieve power and enslave entire peoples in their evil vision of some personal utopia, it is the responsibility of free people everywhere and especially Christian people, to liberate them. War is hell, and to save some from hell on earth while giving them a better chance of escaping Hell to come, hell can be justified.

And stemming from that, due to the wisdom and foresight of the Founding Fathers of our nation, the grace and mercy of the Eternal Father in allowing this once in all human history nation that, while far from perfect and heading quickly further from where it was first destined towards, and the hells we’ve been through, internally and externally, the United States of America is the last and best hope of oppressed people everywhere.

In the government and social systems and structures of the United States of America you find the climate best suited to allowing people to live according to the dictates of their own conscience, to freely choose for or against God.

That is the basis for my allegiance to the United States of America.

Other Issues

Capital punishment: I believe it ought to be rare but possible. To preclude the chance of the ultimate punishment for certain heinous crimes is to remove a powerful deterrent and expose more innocents to the horrors which earn evil people their date with God. Thankfully the Professor is too sensible to get into that ugly argument mixing objections to abortion with objections to capital punishment. Regrettably, he does get into the racial argument, claiming, by inference, that racial minorities are more likely to be given the death penalty than white people. And his jealousy gets the best of him when, tongue in cheek, he comments that he’d still be against the death penalty if all we executed were rich white men. If you wanted to be rich, Professor, you chose the wrong profession or place to practice it.

States rights and the size of government: The whole point of states rights is that the federal government can and should only create and maintain those laws that are best applied to all people in the entirety of the United States. The states are capable of creating a system of government within the broader framework of the U.S. Constitution that fits best the people and resources of their particular geographical responsibility. This is the same reason that a one-world government would fail. It would be top heavy and unwieldy, incapable of addressing properly the vast array of different cultures and nations for which it would be responsible.

Alcohol and tobacco: I believe cigarettes are unhealthy, dirty, a nuisance, and making people smoke them outside has made entering any building an exercise in holding my breath longer than I’d like. They are a typically American excess, and one which is being copied all over the world by people who idolize America and it’s Americana. Cigars and pipes are not so. Being an example of moderation and maturity, with their few health risks far outweighed by the health benefits of lower blood pressure and stress levels in their adherents. Until someone stands up and actually says that cigarettes ought to be illegal, I will accept no claim for reparations. Until there is courage found to actually stand up and accept the obvious end result of your views and not stop at some convenient and popular point, I find “sin taxes” and calls for increased regulation to be at best cowardly, and at worst, despicable. Alcohol is the same. And in both cases to prevent the one who indulges in excess is to punish the one who enjoys in moderation. A central point of conservatism is that in any such case where some use to excess where others enjoy responsibly, the error is made towards those who moderate, protecting their rights while allowing reasonable legal or social systems to punish those who damage with their excess. For example, drunk drivers ought to have no excuse or moderated punishment in cases where they harm others.

Corporations: Corporations are currently a handy scape-goat. Few people seem to grasp that corporations employ people, allow them to make money, produce higher standards of living, more accessible technology, longer life through medical progress. They are not all white knights, and most are more of a dappled grey, to be honest. But before we demonize, we must understand. Too often, people seem only to see as far as the vast piles of money corporations are believed to have. In all likelihood, you are employed by a corporation. In fact, if you’re self-employed you probably ARE a corporation. And the United States of America already taxes corporations at one of the highest levels of any of the industrialized nations. 35% of net profits (that is, profits after expenses) are taken from the businesses that create jobs and progress by a government that kills jobs and revels in backwardness. To argue that corporations find loopholes to lower their burdens is to miss the point. Loopholes are written into law to further the collusion of government and business. Businesses, acting in self-preservation, have found they can as easily legislate themselves a profit as they can innovate themselves a profit. And the solution to this is not to demonize the corporation. A corporation will do what is necessary preserve itself. To break this collusion we must cast out the fat-cats, the porkers and grubreaucrats who ask for and accept these bribes, and then enact tax law that is not confiscatory and has no special considerations or loopholes. The problem is the government, not the corporations.

Emissions standards: Should we ban cows too? Not that I’m against cleaner cars. But to focus on one small source of emissions for the sake of global warming, a questionable tale championed by questionable people of questionable morals with, you got it, questionable intent, is to show yourself the pawn of a lobby whose goal is not the cleaning of the air, but the chaining of the people. It has been said that marxists, after their initial reasons for existence stood up and told them “no thank you, 70 years of communism to achieve your wet dream isn’t something we asked for” searched for a victim that could not protest their offer of protection, and found the environment.

Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA): The Professor’s argument is that the rich ought to be compelled to act in accordance with God’s word. The Professor really is one jealous, mean-spirited individual. Wasn’t it those mean nasty rich who make and sell wheel chairs and walkers and canes and all sorts of mobility devices that aid the old and infirm in participating in lifestyles a hundred times more active than if they’d not had those devices? So should we compel the mean and nasty rich to give those devices away for free? Oh wait, many already do. No, Professor, the Christian will never compel Christian habits from another. God wants people who have freely chosen Him, not slaves or automatons. The Christian thing to do is to allow people to freely choose how they will run their businesses. Then those who want to live in Christian love will do so, and those who don’t, wont’. Yes, it won’t be as convenient, and if I were in a wheel chair I’d roundly curse that store which did not put a ramp up for me. But it would be honest and obvious. And further, this is another case of punishing many for the wrong attitudes of a few. For if I am starting a business, perhaps I had to choose between employing three staff and paying for the ramp and the larger bathroom. And now, because the government compels me to make certain accommodations, I can’t employ those nice people after all. Or maybe I won’t be in business at all because all these regulations and costs raise the bar of entry too high. Rather, let those who can and will freely choose to act in a moral way, and allow society to punish those who don’t.

Education: Considering the Professor does not want to government specifying the prayers that are to be said, I find it odd that he wants the government to specify how children ought to be trained, and that he uses for his argument God’s command that we are to bring children up… Oh, wait, how does that verse go? …in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Let’s see here, God’s command is that we train children in His way. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. It’s a regular mantra throughout the Bible. If the government can’t (and I believe it oughtn’t) include God in their “bring(ing) up the children” then they oughtn’t be responsible for the children at all.

Immigration: Immigration is great and amazing and our system ought to be revised, heavily. It should be easier to get into the United States and to be a citizen. And it ought to be harder to do that illegally. Red tape and quotas and preferential treatment for particular groups or education types are all wrong. The United States of America should accept, as it has, the dregs of the earth, the cast outs, the feeble and the poor, anyone wishing to come should be allowed to come. And the only requirement is that they must become Americans. To leave their home country is to forswear their allegiance there, and to transfer that allegiance to their new home. Make legal entry easy and those law-abiding yet persecuted people fleeing their own nations will come here legally. And those who insist on subverting the laws of the nation they would seek to take advantage of should not benefit from the largesse of that nation.

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Horowitz On Politics

David Horowitz

David Horowitz in Roads Not Taken, answers the question “why”:

“Do you ever feel that you are wasting your breath? Do you think that truth will ever matter? No matter what you prove or disprove, in the end the truth will remain in the shadows of what people want to hear and want to believe.”

I agree more with this thought than I care to. It is the human wish to be told lies that keeps us where we are. A stoic realism lies at the heart of the conservative viewpoint. It is about accepting limits that are absolute, which the human condition places on human hope.

One could define the left as just the opposite: the inability to come to terms with who we are; the obstinate, compulsive, destructive belief in the fantasy of transformation, in the desperate hope of an earthly redemption.

I have watched my friends, whose ideas created an empire of inhumanity, survive the catastrophe of their schemes and go on to unexpected triumph in the ashes of their defeat. Forced to witness the collapse of everything they once had dreamed and worked to achieve, they have emerged unchastened by their illusions to renew their destructive utopian crusades. The society they declared war on has even rewarded them. Today they are the cultural navigators in the nation more responsible for the worldwide collapse of their ideology. I cannot explain this dystopian paradox other than to agree that politics is indeed irrational and socialism a wish as deep as any religious faith. I do not know that the truth must necessarily remain in the shadows. But I am persuaded that a lie grounded in human desire is too powerful for reason to kill.

(As edited and printed in Left Illusions)

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How Could A Christian Vote Democrat, Part 3

How much wage is enough?

Start with part 1.

Then read part 2.

In our continuing review of Professor Keith Drury‘s arguments outlining how he as a Christian finds his faith informs his decision to vote Democrat, we now approach the topic of…

Minimum Wage

What is a Christian argument for why minimum wage ought to be higher?

I wish my students could earn (adjusted for inflation) the minimum wage I did when I went to college.  They’d almost be able to “work their way through college” like I did.  But its not [mostly middle class] college kids I care most about—it is the poor workers that serve my hamburgers.  They have no hope of making a living without college. They are doomed to marginal living as the “working poor.”

First off, I’ve had a little bit of college. Not a Bachelor degree’s worth. And I do not live high on the hog, but the bills get paid and we’re not hurting or starving. The argument that people must have a college education to succeed is a straw man. A Professor ought to know that.

Besides which, there is so much “free” money floating around, especially for people who are poor, to go to college that is even less of an excuse.

And wouldn’t raising minimum wage just make everything cost more? The Professor may build straw men, but he’s anticipated this one at least:

I know, I know—if we raise the minimum wage my hamburger will cost more. Good! I should pay enough for my hamburgers to enable the server to make a living and feed their family—to pay less is wrong in my doctrine—I am stealing from the worker their wages, and their [unpaid] wages will cry out against me at the judgment. (James 5)

I’m afraid you’re missing the point Professor, and making a major blunder here at the same time. I don’t care that you’re going to pay more for a hamburger, I care that the poor person whose wage has been raised will have to pay more for a hamburger. And in all likelihood, the percentage increase in the wage will be less than the percentage increase in the cost of the product.

Further, because labor costs more, greater pressure will be exerted to minimize the cost of labor as the real value of each dollar will be decreasing, more people will be laid off of jobs they were previously relatively secure in, even at or just above minimum wage. And I’m pretty if you ask those poor people you’re so very concerned about whether they’d rather make a little less and have a job or have the potential to make a little more and not have a job where they made even that, they’d take the smaller paycheck.

The road to hell, it is said, is paved with good intentions. Those unemployed due to massive stagnation of the economy will be crying out against you at the judgment, Professor.

God says His people perish for lack of knowledge. Professor, your short-sighted, feel-good ideas have been tried before, and have resulted in the most horrifying poverty and human destruction ever witnessed in modern times. Those who dreamt of a paradise on earth where every one had what they needed created the hell called the USSR before it crumbled under the weight of it’s own evil.

You are are morally responsible and your actions are as morally reprehensible as the communist apparatchiks when your intentions for good result in such destruction of the human soul.

Your understanding of the Bible did not send you there. It was your ignorance of where real redemption comes from and of basic economics.

And in fact, supporting the Democrats in this respect is a double failure of your sense, Professor. Look at the cities and states that have been run by Democrats and their ilk for the longest time and you’ll find the highest poverty rates, the most despair, the largest slums, the most disregard for decency and life. There is more to this than the support of a higher minimum wage, but that is for another time.

Handguns

It would be unchristian to prevent this woman from protecting herself

Apparently, the admonition to “turn the other cheek” means personal defense using firearms is wrong.

I do not hold my own life precious enough to give up another’s life to preserve my own. But I will demand no such sacrifice of my wife, my children, my neighbors, friends, or family.

A pistol is a great equalizer. It gives strength to the weak, and protection to the vulnerable. The woman walking the city streets to that minimum wage job late in the evening can be as secure as if she were Arnold Schwarzenegger in an armored car.

To be against handguns is to be for the strong, the violent, the takers, and rapists and murderers in the same way that being for raising the minimum wage means being for the destruction of jobs and the harming of lives.

Not that our cowboy nation need be any more cowboy. But in those places where the cowboy motif is strongest and the personal responsibility of self and community defense most anchored, crime is lowest.

I’m for crime being low. That’s a Christian position.

Taxes

And here we get to a particularly telling argument.

Professor Drury believes that the rich ought to have more of their money taken.

I don’t want to redistribute all income, but I’d be happy to redistribute more of it.

And he continues:

Republicans might say that rich Christians ought to give their money personally to the poor and not through the government but somehow if a person is serious about the Old and New Testament’s teaching you’ve got to redistribute resources. I wish people did it personally. It is a nice idea.  But, have you seen this happening much?

Actually Keith, yes, I do see this happening much. The Democrats you aspire to be like are a singularly stingy lot when it comes to their own money. Perhaps that’s your problem. Spending time only with Scrooge you assume all are likewise skin-flints. Perhaps you ought to get out and about a bit more and meet people besides those who think like yourself. You’d probably be a bit surprised.

David Horowitz makes an eye-opening point which can apply to this and the argument on the minimum wage: Leftists always seem to know what to do with wealth of others, but they really haven’t the slighted idea how to create it. Which is why socialism created the most uniformly destitute societies ever experienced in the history of the world despite significant initial riches and incredible natural resources.

But then Professor Drury launches into a singularly odd argument involving government-enforced giving, the final reward, and fish ponds:

If we did away with all taxes would you give your taxes to the poor?  Really?  Since churches are not taxed do you see the church giving generously to the poor?  Really?  I personally think rich people will always figure out ways to make money.  I always do.  The church ought to urge us to do the right thing, but if we don’t, then government ought to figure out a way to make us do it.  We should share with those less fortunate than we are.  If it is through generous personal giving we get a reward in heaven.  If it through taxes taken from us by force and without complaints we may get no reward in heaven but at least the people are helped. The Democrats are closer to Biblical values as I see them on this point.  Sure I would rather “teach a poor person to fish than give them a fish.”  But teaching fishing is a far more expensive welfare program than distributing fish—so I’m willing to spend even more to enable the poor to get off their backs and take over the fishing ponds.

If we did away with all the taxes (which nobody is saying, straw man alert!) I’d have more money to spend on the charities I think are doing the most efficient, worthwhile work. Work that would please God. Yes, I’d do it to get a pat on the head from God.

And yes, churches I’ve been a part of do give generously to those in need. But let us make a significant separation between the deserving poor and the undeserving poor. I’m not into free lunches for the sake of free lunches. I will support and participate in the alleviation of the suffering of those who are trying with what they have and yet still need. That is why I’m incredibly grateful that my church requires counseling and accountability of any who seeks alms from them. The smelly dirt-bag on the corner across the street from my office who I see once or twice a week yelling the most obscenely vulgar and racist epithets at the various black people who walk by him is undeserving. He is not seeking to get out of his condition, and therefore is not deserving to be lifted out of his condition.

It is not a case of “the Lord helps them that help themselves”. It’s a case of this person will use the talent I give them to grow and multiply and achieve, and this one will spend it on booze and drugs. I will not be party, even indirectly, to the destruction of a human soul through such uncareful giving.

School Prayer

I’m with the Professor on this, to this extent: The government has no place writing or administering prayers in the public schools. But the government also has no place limiting in any way the free practice of the religious expression of the students in those schools so long as it is not disruptive  or destructive. This is a right held by the individuals, not a privilege administered by the state. As such, it is both a restriction upon the actions of the state to limit such speech and a requirement that reasonable steps be taken to allow such speech.

Congress shall make no law (The government has no right to) respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,

Stay tuned for more and a wrap up.

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How Could A Christian Vote Democrat, Part 2

Strong Woman

Part 1 is here.

In responses to the previous article, comments were made that while Democrats are obviously not a good choice for support by Christians, the Republicans fare little better. Two friends in particular spoke to the fact they could not in good conscience support the Republicans any more than they could Democrats.

Professor Keith Drury, whose article I am commenting on here, finds much the same in a couple different issues in particular.

My own feelings on this are that I tend to stand with the Republicans because of what they say, to a large extent, and to a lesser extent because of what they do. And just as the rank and file Democrats may hold many of the same ideas as the Democrat leadership but for radically different (and possibly better) reasons or even may hold radically different opinions, evidenced by the fact that many Democrat successes in more mainstream areas of our country have been achieved by running to the right of the local Republican challenger, the rank and file Republicans tend to not agree with the master plan of the leadership of the party.

Regardless, ideologically conservative people who primarily inhabit the Republican party have been on the right side of the vast majority of issues for nearly 4 decades now, and with the principles written in the official platform of the Republican party of limited government, constitutionally defined freedoms, protections for all (including the unborn), and other points, I find it is necessary to support this side of the political spectrum.

Even better is the fact that the Tea Party movement has created a massive wave of pressure against the entrenched and now befuddled Republican leadership who have no more idea where this came from nor any more love for it’s outcome than the Democrats, because it is their party this groundswell is mostly affecting. Gone are the fat-cat lards of largesse, the caricatures of statesmen that have taken the name Republican and have been no better than common fleas (but that would unfair to fleas) once elected. Now it is the young and vibrant, the fresh and energized and ideological and impassioned people standing up and running for office and surmounting the odds.

Can you tell I’m excited?

Yes, the Democrats will likely experience extensive losses during the elections next month. But the winners will not be the old guard Republicans, they’re no more loved than the Dems.

Digressions aside, though, let’s resume the commentary.

Healthcare

Professor Drury’s next topic on which he finds himself more closely aligned with Democrats is healthcare.

His main argument? Doctors should not be getting rich healing the poor. Fair enough.

But what is the logic supporting a structure of punishment for those who do? And can we penalize all doctors for the greed of some?

No. A principle of basic human justice is that justice is never served if, while punishing the guilty, the innocent are willfully harmed.

Keith uses the evidence of Christ healing the sick constantly during his earthly life to show the value God places on caring for the health needs of people. This is all very well and good, but we are called to be wise, to be stewards. In human economic terms, this means efficient allocation of resources.

In fact, it is the money involved in the profession that attracts so many incredibly talented people into this field. And for every person who is in it for the money, there are likely others who are not. Look at all the free and cheap clinics that are sprouting up all over the place. Walgreens, then CVS, Walmart, and now even Target super stores have clinics where you can get standard preventative medicine for pennies on the dollar. And at the upper end of the health care system, all that money funds amazing research providing cures we’d have trouble distinguishing from dark magic even 10 years ago.

The health care issue is fraught with peril, incredibly complex, and nothing I can solve here in this column. Suffice it to say, the federal government taking over health care will no more solve the issue than federal government taking over primary education has created a system embodying quality and equality.

Feminism

Professor Drury does not spend much time on this, except to note that while Republicans have talked the talk, they’ve not walked the walk.

The problem here is once again that it is not justice to harm the innocent.

Just as I cannot and should not under and law or logic known to God or man be held responsible for crimes committed by my Grandfather, so no man should or can be held responsible for a system they have not created or unjustly taken advantage of.

And yet, the prescription for the cure to the female condition is the unnatural hampering of males.

Would not a better solution be the removal of any and all barriers to equalize potential rather than outcome?

In so many social justice issues, the measure is always the outcome. Is the number of women making widgets equal to the number of men making widgets? Do they get paid the same? The problem is that there is no reasonable logical support for a system that guarantees equality of outcome. The only way to guarantee equality of outcome is to limit the potential of everybody until some unnecessary and destruct least common denominator is achieved. This is what the USSR tried and achieved. That is the socialist ideal. It’s the best you get when you look for real equality.

This is one reason why the American experiment has been such a rousing success. America, in it’s social and governmental systems never attempted to guarantee equality of outcome. Our founders recognized the moral folly of such an goal. Instead, there is equality of opportunity. All people are equal under the law. What one does with that inherent equality is their own. They can truly blame none but themselves if they fail to achieve all they could.

Continue with part 3.

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