Sunday, September 27, 2015

There is No Turning Back

I can remember laying on the living room couch on a Saturday morning, waiting for the sun to come up, and the television stations to come on. I would wish, oh wouldn’t it be nice if TV were on all night? I would switch between WABC, WNBC, WCBS and WPIX and wish, wouldn’t it be nice to have more channels?  Well now my wishes have come true, and I find myself wishing they hadn’t.
But now I realize it has always been in my control. I choose what to watch, and I choose when to watch.  Life is always about the decisions and choices you make. Sometimes those choices are necessary and good, other times they are hastily made and regretted. But they are always there and once made must be faced.
Decisions in leadership and government are much the same way.  Only very rarely is a decision made with the intent purpose of hurting someone. For example, when the hysteria of Japanese invasion ran through the West Coast and the Nation’s Capital, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 and took away the civil liberties of 117,000 citizens of Japanese decent.  Of course it was argued at the time that this was for their own protection from the outraged Americans of European and African descent, but the irony of this rationalization is captured in this quote from one of the internees, "If we were put there for our protection, why were the guns at the guard towers pointed inward, instead of outward?"[i]
For those who believe the best way to affect the evolution of society to match their personal vision, and who favor an ever-increasing role of a Government leadership isolated and buffered within the confines of the Interstate 495 Beltway, I would offer the previous example of abuse as a cautionary tale.  Today we condemn the bankers, Wall Street brokers, and large corporations because of their influence and distain for the average worker, but we have allowed the condemnation to shape the discussion into simple one of party politics.
We have allowed those who would control the debate to shape the language in such a way that any disagreement with the agenda is viewed as “racist,” “intolerant,” or just plain “trolling.”
The choice of our future is in our collective hands, do we continue as we have, or do we alter the course?


Sunday, September 20, 2015

We Hold These Truths

     In the hot summer of 1776 men from the 13 colonies came together to determine a course of action for this nation.  They were not of one mind, but all carried some grievance with the motherland, her sovereign and his government. After considerable debate, discussion, argument, and more than a few pints of ale they reached agreement on that course.  It was a decision that would turn the world upon its head.
    Thomas Jefferson wrote the draft, but John Adams and Benjamin Franklin made significant edits.  The oft repeated and perhaps the most important sentences of the document are found in the second paragraph.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
    There are hundreds of histories, biographies and pieces of fiction written about that first Continental Congress; I will not presume to equal any of these published works either in research or writing.  But from my humble perspective I would like to reflect on the shift in our society that calls into question the fundamental basis for our government and ask a few simple questions.
    Today there seems to be a focus on the equality of man, as if this should be universally accepted.  Clearly the author of the declaration, himself a slave owner, used the terms with specific purpose.  We seem to forget its use was attacking the divine right of kings held as a sacred right by the King of England.  It came into vogue during the Protestant Reformation when the English monarch sought to resist the authority of the Catholic Church.
Jefferson and the Congress put forth the then radical idea that all men had certain rights that were not bestowed by a king or the government, and these rights could therefore not be taken away by government, but should and must be safeguarded if a government was to serve the people.  It established, perhaps for the first time, that government’s purpose was to serve the citizens, not the other way around.  This paragraph served as the preamble to the list of grievances the Congress would lay out in its declaration.
    Since then we’ve experienced a civil war as part of the nation attempted to dissolve the government to meet their political desires, and the other part resisted that effort with force.  The government has grown from a small organization where the majority of the effort was defense, to one that is increasingly involved in all aspects of our individual lives.  From telling us what the weather will be, to ensuring our toothpaste really whitens and brightens.  We spend billions and billions on new weapons -- because we can, and we celebrate politicians who promise to spend more of our money because they can.  We hold no one in government leadership personally accountable for scandal, but condemn those who would seek change.
    Here we are some 239 years later and the questions looms large for much of the population.  Does the increasing centralized government continue to serve to secure the rights of the individual?  As religious and civil intolerance increases does this form of republican representation still secure the blessing of liberty and provide for the inalienable rights recognized by our founders?  When political gain or loss is the primary consideration in most discussions is there hope for understanding and compassion?

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Politically Correct

We are being told that Politically Correct speech is about being respectful of others.  It isn’t.  It is about controlling the dialogue and debate.[1]  It was originated by academics to begin the indoctrination of their students, and is fostered by those who seek to control and cower the population.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

We are well on the Way to Insanity

    The Internet is at times both frustrating and hilarious, and Facebook® in particular is the best example of the nonsensical nature of man. 

As almost anyone who pays the least amount of attention to the news should be aware there is a firestorm swirling around a Kentucky County clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.  She has claimed this right due to her religious beliefs, and of course those who oppose gay marriage have rushed to her defense.  These guardians of religious freedom include a number of GOP Presidential and political candidates.

At the same time she has been condemned and vilified by those who support the Supreme Court granted right, including of course the Democratic Presidential and political candidates.

What leads to this blog is a Facebook® post someone had with a quote attributed to George Takei.
“Well this is a bit of a circus.  So let us be clear: This woman is no hero to be celebrated. She broke her oath to uphold the constitution and defied a court order so she could deny government services to couples who are legally entitled to be married.  She is entitled to hold her religious beliefs, but not to impose those beliefs on others.  If she had denied marriage certificates to an interracial couple would people cheer her?  Would presidential candidates flock to her side?  In our society we obey civil laws, not religious ones.  To suggest otherwise is, simply put, entirely un-American.”
    Just a couple of points for Mr. Takei and his friends.  The Kentucky oath of office does not obligate the clerk to uphold the US Constitution.  Despite the claims of Daily Kos and lgbtqnation the oath for the clerk is found in state law, not the Kentucky Constitution.  Section 30A.020 Oath of clerk and deputy actually says:

 "I, ....., do swear that I will well and truly discharge the duties of the office of .............. County Circuit Court clerk, according to the best of my skill and judgment, making the due entries and records of all orders, judgments, decrees, opinions and proceedings of the court, and carefully filing and preserving in my office all books and papers which come to my possession by virtue of my office; and that I will not knowingly or willingly commit any malfeasance of office, and will faithfully execute the duties of my office without favor, affection or partiality, so help me God."
So on the first point, the clerk’s oath does not direct her to uphold the US Constitution or even the Constitution of the State, it does establish a requirement to be a good clerk and execute her duties without favor, affection or partiality.  That said, the judicial branch was well within its right to hold the clerk in contempt for not following the guidance of the US Supreme Court as it bestowed on the LGBT community the protections of the 14th Amendment.

A second point for Mr. Takei… where was the outrage when the Federal Government’s Executive branch chose not to uphold the mandates of the US Constitution and fulfill its obligation to defend the laws of the nation?  You may recall the Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by President Clinton and whose defense was the responsibility of the Attorney General.  Do you remember when the President and the AG chose not to fulfill their obligation?  Where was the outrage then?  

Of course they were choosing to ignore their obligation in a way you were happy support. If it is un-American to follow your religious convictions you must obey civil law then were is the condemnation of the Islamic insistence on Shia Law, or the condemnation of those who choose to ignore their constitutional duty and uphold the civil law of the land despite their political disagreement? 

So at the end of the day the sanctimonious nonsense that she is imposing her religious views is no different then the President and Attorney General imposing their political view in choosing which laws to enforce or defend.  You can’t condemn one without condemning the other.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...