Tag Archives: Michael Medved

What Do You Think?

Charles B. Rangel
Corruption King Charlie Rangel: Poster boy for term limits?

A friend forwarded me a message regarding an act reforming congress containing 8 key provisions. I like most of them, but what do you think?

  1. Term Limits. 12 years only, one of the possible options below:
    1. Two Six-year Senate terms
    2. Six Two-year House terms
    3. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms
  2. No Tenure / No Pension:
    A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
  3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security:
    All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.
  4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
  5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
  6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
  7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
  8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/11.

The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

Parts I don’t agree with? Term limits. I agree with Michael Medved that term limits sounds good, but needlessly hamper possibly good congress people who truly excel. A crucial aspect of the American ideal is that we err towards allowing the possibility of wrongs occurring if there is reasonable possibility a right will occur under the same structure. To put it another way: If a law punishing some minor wrong also prevented or excluded some good, that law would be unjust. And so, while term limits would indeed shorten the time of service in congress of many people who probably ought to be there even less time than term limits allow, they would also necessarily shorten the allotted time of those who would continue to be beneficial beyond the limited term.

Everything else I agree with. Congress should never, ever exist on a plane separate from the rest of America. Legally, financially, from beginning to end, they ought to live in the same systems they have created and placed upon the rest of us. This stems from the same root concern that paints convicted unethical congressman Rangel with a severe brush. He considered himself special and above the normal concerns of the average Joe’s subject to his whim, for his immoral self-enrichment and failure to report income and pay taxes, the only reasonable response is ejection from congress. This namby-pamby limp-wristed hand slap isn’t sufficient to convey the extreme levels of anger we feel at his sense of personal privilege. He considered himself above the law. Let Charles Rangel now feel the weight of the law upon his law-breaking head.

Enough of the soap box, though.

What do you think would be reasonable requirements that ought to be placed upon Congress to help prevent their becoming so disconnected as they have?

Simply prescriptions will not be sufficient. Please provide arguments and reasoning behind your suggestions.

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An Informed Life

On a recent Michael Medved show, a caller identifying himself as a moderately liberal high school political science teacher stated that the conservative force he fears most in America is from the Christian conservatives who allow their theology to inform their politics.

To him, so long as your politics do not inform your theology and your theology is kept far away from your politics, you’re OK. They may agree, but only incidentally.

There’s a problem with that: humans cannot, by nature, exist in a dichotomous state.

In fact, to demand such a personal internal segregation of ones internal beliefs and external actions is to request something dangerous and displays a profound ignorance of human nature and need.

First, everyone has a theology. Commonly called our “beliefs”. It is our understanding, findings, or opinions regarding the nature (or lack thereof) of God. An atheist has a theology as surely as a Christian, they are just convinced there is no god.

One’s beliefs regarding God informs one’s ideas on life, purpose, meaning, history, and the future. This is indisputable and is not a value judgment, merely a statement of fact.

One’s understanding of life, it’s purposes and meanings, history and the future, definitely informs one’s political persuasions. I vote with a goal and purpose. I don’t roll dice (often) and I don’t sell my vote. Though both those actions would allow us to infer your understanding of life and likely, your theology.

I am a whole human, with will and purpose. I try not to say one thing and act another. Yet even should I engage in such hypocrisy, accidentally or purposefully, there is a consistency to the failure. My hypocritical life would have a goal and purpose: likely a hope for self-aggrandizement or gain for some deeply and closely held belief.

Watching Chariots of Fire last night with my wife, we came upon the scene where Eric Liddell has found out the heats for his race is on Sunday and is now meeting with the crown prince and the Olympic committee. Young Lord Lindsey has offered his own, longer, race to Eric as a solution and as the meeting is dispersing the Duke of Sutherland and Lord Birkenhead discuss what has just occurred:

Duke of Sutherland: A sticky moment, George.
Lord Birkenhead: Thank God for Lindsay. I thought the lad had us beaten.
Duke of Sutherland: He did have us beaten, and thank God he did.
Lord Birkenhead: I don’t quite follow you.
Duke of Sutherland: The “lad”, as you call him, is a true man of principles and a true athlete. His speed is a mere extension of his life, its force. We sought to sever his running from himself.
Lord Birkenhead: For his country’s sake, yes.
Duke of Sutherland: No sake is worth that, least of all a guilty national pride.

The Duke of Sutherland has the correct diagnosis of the issue: we can no more separate one part of a man’s soul from his other parts than we can parts of his body and expect them both to continue living.

I am a Christian. I am convinced of God’s existence and His divine will. I try to live my life in the salvation offered by the death of Jesus, God’s only begotten Son and according to His laws.

I hold these beliefs in faith, not a hope in wishful thinking. Faith is not a firmly held belief in unprovable or illogical ideas, it is the belief in things proven and yet unseen.

My faith informs my life. I try to live my life according to the law of God. And not just those parts lived in private. I fail miserably more often than I succeed, but what is life without a contest, without a goal?

If I were to deny the influence of my theology on any part of my life, I would be trying to live as though I were two separate people within the same physical body: It just doesn’t work.

And so, to you political science teacher, I hope that you will always live your entire life according to the dictates of your conscience and that your theology informs your choices. I pray that your theology will grow and you will find and find faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and countless millions since them. And yet, even if you do not, I still pray that you will be a complete person with one goal and purpose.

Mea Culpa: Conservative Pragmatism & Idealism

I’ve not given up on Romney and still consider his vastly superior to McCain, but in light of the results of Super Tuesday and some thought I’ve given to other articles I’ve written recently, here’s my Mea Culpa:

In the article on winning the culture war I wrote:

A key fact in any war is that those fighting FOR something have a distinct advantage over those fighting AGAINST something. A positive goal inspires confidence and wins allies, while a negative goal works against the human spirit bringing discouragement and desperation.

This principle is equally applicable on a battlefield, in the ‘culture war’, and in elections.

There is something wrong with how I’ve presented my arguments for Mitt. In fact, there’s something wrong with how much of the conservative blogosphere and talk radio and the new media have argued for Mitt.

While I do believe, in a positive sense, that Mitt is a better candidate, and not just for pragmatic reasons. Issue for issue, he is more in line with true conservatism and my ideals of what America needs than any other candidate, Red or Blue.

I have framed my argument as a negative, and that is wrong and counter-productive.

Michael Medved, even though he supports McCain, has maintained decorum throughout this debate by maintaining that each of the Republicans are superior in many ways to the Democrat alternatives.

I do not agree with him completely in this, but I do agree that a better and stronger argument is made from a positive position, and his position has been unflinchingly positive.

Will I support the Republican nominee at all costs? I don’t know yet.

Is there a point at which conservatives need to take a serious look at where the party is headed and maybe allow a fall to occur in the hopes we’ll regain the moral high-ground and wrest control of the party? Maybe.

Would it be better to stick with the party and work in individual lives and hearts to bring about the sea change necessary to reclaim the party and then the entire culture? Yes.

That is why I blog.

Mea Culpa.

He’s A Stinker

McCain and the Gang of 14. Listening recently to Michael Medved, who has endorsed McCain, I was appalled by an apologist he had on as a guests’ argument that the Gang of 14 was a farsighted and wise investment by McCain in the continuing success of the Republican party.

We had a majority and were not defending anything. We weren’t trying to kill all filibusters, only judicial filibusters which are not strictly constitutional.

Hugh Hewitt has this to say:

The damage to the GOP was instant and immense.  Not only were fine judges sacrificed to John McCain’s ego, many in the base simply tuned out the GOP from that moment forward.  Why work that hard and invest that much in a party that cannot deliver on its pledges even when gifted with 55 seats?   Why fight for a majority that would not fight?  Ohio’s Mike DeWine, an otherwise reliable conservative, never recovered with the Buckeye State’s GOP base and lost his seat in 2006.  Rhode Island’s Lincoln Chafee was also turned out, though the party’s bill of grievances against Chafee was much longer than just the Gang of 14.

There were other stumbles along the way to the loss of six seats in the fall of 2006, but the McCain Gang’s coup in the Spring of 2005 started the slide.  And for what?  White and White argue that we should be grateful for the successful confirmations of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito and Judges Brown, Pryor and Owens.

Read it and turn McCain out on his ear. I have no patience for that man.

We Don’t Want To Hear

Listening today to the Michael Medved show, just before the 1pm (PST) break a caller describing himself as having used to be pro-war and conservative says that he now does not support the war. Citing declining numbers supporting the way and the unpopularity of President Bush, he claimed he just does not want to hear about soldiers dying anymore.

First of all, for a man, he is a poor specimen. Character is the measure of your ability, desire, and record of doing what you ought especially when it is difficult, the way is long, and there is much opposition. The difference between pigheaded stubbornness and character is found in the morality and ethics of your method and goal. Manliness, often caricatured in the idea of refusing to ask for directions, is an especial talent at or willingness to proceed with what is perceived to be the correct course of action to reach a particular goal, without regard for the opinion or denigration of others. This is their strength and their weakness, but it is a weak man who wilts in the face of opposition, especially opposition that does not face them but faces their country, the family, the life, their standards and their beliefs. If anything, a true man is stronger when others are being harmed than when he himself is the only one at risk.

This weak man goes even beyond the self-inflicted ignominy of bowing to the canard of “everyone else is doing it” in saying he doesn’t want to hear about soldiers dying. Granted, he wants that to be accomplished by removing the troops from “danger” by bringing them home and ending the conflict (at least the part of the conflict that involves our response to the naked aggression and lust for our death which is espoused and championed by our mortal enemies, the Islamofacists). But his wording, he doesn’t want to “hear” about their deaths is appalling. What kind of weak-spined excuse for a man (most women I know have more courage and honor than this sorry person) is it who can’t stand hearing about death? It’s the kind of man who would rather hide his head in the sand while a poison which creates zombies whose only desire is for the death of all that is good and right on the earth takes over the Europe and then eats the heart out of America.

How dense must one be to ignore the hatred in the screams of Imams around the world and here in America calling for the destruction of all Jews and those who do not subscribe to their hatred?

I’m saddened and appalled by this. I would like to meet that man in a dark alley and… well, no it’s not right. I would protect and defend him as I would any other.