“Europe’s Terror Storm”

WSJ, July 27, 2016, on the editorial page.

There are lots of theories about why anyone would walk into a church and slit the throat of an 87 year old catholic priest, and what to do about it.

The Catholic church where the murder took place donated the land for the establishment of the mosque where the attackers came from. (The very mosque that nurtured this murderous group of terrorists was built on a plot of land donated as a gesture of good will by the little parish of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray! Yes, the conciliar Catholics of that little parish donated the land for the mosque that their attackers attended. (source). https://www.returntofatima.org/2016/07/who-killed-father-hamel/). We should reach out to all people in love and not strike out in retaliation blindly.

My view is we are not fighting people, we are fighting an idea. We are not confronting the idea, we are afraid to offend 2 billion Muslims.

Well, the world doesn’t seem to have a problem of offending 13 million Jews, half of which live in the U.S.  The Muslims don’t have a problem criticizing the 2 billion Christians in the world, driving them out of various Muslim majority geographies around the world.

Can you say, as we should, all of us are made by the same creator, and the ultimate goal is for all people to live in harmony and love. Does it matter what each of us calls the creator, or how we worship? Would those Muslims that live in peace with others really object to pronouncing that those who kill to force others to believe the way they do should be denounced and prevented from killing? Well the literature seems to say they won’t be offended.

So, do we with force prevent people from killing us, with regret yes. But more important is we start talking about why it is wrong for people to accept the line that killing for Allah is a good thing.

Our laws allow us to put those in jail who advocate the violent overthrow of our government. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2385.

Does imposing Sharia in the U.S. and installing a mullah as the dude in charge qualify?  Seems so to me.

“If You Can Keep It”

Eric Metaxas has written a short, but noteworthy book on the state of our country. He tells the story of our founding fathers and their attempt to create a country governed in a totally new way, by those who live there. This was a startling new concept when compared to the monarchist models found almost everywhere else in the world at that time, and still is when compared to the totalitarian, dictatorships, empires, centralized,…types of governments today that do not deliver wealth and freedom to its’ people.

The qualifier about this system of government is the real risk that the governed may not realize their role in maintaining freedom by taking it for granted. Their role in sacrificing some of what they want to ensure all get something of what they want.  That there is a larger force at play, God, or the supreme force, or whatever you wish to verbalize as your view of them, or it.

He is an apologist for God, as am I, and that God was involved in the creation of this country. He makes the point that even today the U.S. is different, in the midst of all our issues, still a place people want to come to.  Pretty good evidence of the attraction.

But as Dr. Franklin said to Mrs. Powell that morning in Philadelphia, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

An  easy read with regard to length, but a powerful message for all of us who live in the U.S., and elsewhere.

Regulations, too much or not enough?

Our two political parties blather on about “fixing” the economy. They talk about helping the middle class. Both are talking about larger government to do so. Show me some data that says growing the government leads to a sustained economic growth.

Our $18 trillion economy has a great deal of regulation. The WSJ Journal estimates the cost as $1-2 trillion, AMAC at $1.9 trillion. That money goes to whom? Government! Inspectors, licensing personnel, tax recorders, inspectors, lawyers ( a bunch of them to create the rules and then a bunch to sue businesses when the inspectors find us out of compliance).  You get the point.

Some regulation is important, for sure. We shouldn’t allow a bad actor to dump cyanide into the water table. We shouldn’t allow a pedophile to work at a day care center.

So the question is, what is the economic level of regulation that is needed so that opening a business is within reach of the average person? This is where we have gone astray.

Only Congress should be able to lay economic cost on businesses. Yet for every law passed, 30 regulations are put in place by the fourth branch, the bureaucracy!  The Competitive Enterprise Institute calls this an “Unconstitutional Index.”

Some believe that growing the government is good, great jobs, great benefits, hard to get fired, lots of holidays, life is good. But as Margaret Thatcher said, paraphrasing, “The problem with larger government is eventually you run out of other peoples’ money.”

Even worse, the U.S. used to be the best place on the earth where hard work, desire and passion can get you into or above the middle class without permission from the ruling class. We are sliding down the scale of countries where doing business is the easiest, and other measure like opening a business. http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings.

Want to raise wages in the US? Make it easier to open a business and more will be hired. This is dirt simple! Think of it, if we could put economic sense to regulations and eliminate half of them, a $1,000,000,000,000 program to fund growth, with a single dollar of taxpayer money. Yes, there will some people no longer employed by the government and some of that money should be spent to help them find new jobs; like the money we spent to help coal miners find new jobs.  OOOPS, never mind, we didn’t do that.

WSJ July 27, 2016, “Braids of Liberty”. In Iowa if you wanted to braid hair of others you had to spend $22,000 and go to school for 2100 hours to be a cosmetologist. The Institute for Justice, http://www.ij.org/, helped a woman successfully challenge this ridiculous licensing requirement. A small example of a huge issue in our country, protecting established concerns from competition, limiting personal and economic freedom for all.  Think of Uber!

Lies and Avoidance about Social Security

AMAC, the free market alternative to the AARP, published an article recently summarizing the outlook for Social Security. The Democrats want to increase payouts, Trump doesn’t want to touch it.

All of the “trust fund” is invested in government securities. So, as I paid in over the last 50 years the government put an obligation on it books to pay me at 66, $X per year. To fund that expected level of payout they bought government securities, bonds.

I am now 69 and have been drawing for three years. Where does the treasury get the money? It sells the bonds it bought as I aged and paid in funds. The government then gives the SSA the money. But there is less money coming into the SSA then they pay out (since 2010), so the government must then sell new bonds in order to pay SSA.

What exactly did Congress do with the money I paid in during my working life. They spent it! What would you and have done with the money? We would have had some common sense and invested the money in something that would have been there to satisfy the financial obligation 40 years from now.

Let’s see.  What did Bernie Madoff do? He advertised that if you give me your money for retirement I will guarantee a certain return and when you retire you can draw down your account. Sounds like SS to me. But, BUT, he spent the money too, on himself!!!! Now that does sound like SS! He went to jail, Senators and Congress people have not gone to jail. SS is a Ponzi Scheme!  And of course federal employees had their own retirement plan that actually did invest the money in reputable financial institutions that will pay their obligations without tapping the taxpayer purse until 1984. Now they must be in the same boat we are.

There is NO TRUST FUND that corresponds to a sound financial plan! The trust fund is part of the yearly deficit spending Congress puts on us taxpayers. There is no fund to pay benefits when SS has no money-bonds left.

The CBO estimates that in 2029 a 29% cut in benefits will have to be made to balance incoming and outgoing. We must address this without raising taxes on those still working.  Which means reducing expenses somehow. COLA adjustments based on income, taxing SS if you make over X are two of the most popular.

DO NOT BELIEVE POLITICIANS THAT SS IS OK!  I am not counting on it, I am blessed to have other income besides SS, many millions don’t.


Governmental Imbalance

Both parties have ranted and raved about a branch of the government taking too much power, from another. Then candidate Obama ranted about then President Bush being “imperial.” Good grief, look at him now, even the NYT agrees, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/23/opinion/sunday/ross-douthat-the-making-of-an-imperial-president.html?_r=0.

The courts wax and wane, legislating or reversing themselves later. Congress whines but can’t come together as a body to stop it.

But, what is scary to me is the growth of the fourth branch, the bureaucracy. Not elected, but directed to carry out something and then mission creep happens so they can expand their mission and jobs, etc.

Mike Lee wrote a great article in NR, July 11, 2016, “The Incredible Shrinking Congress.” You would think that both parties would see that by allowing the unelected power they are hurting themselves in the long run. The enemy of my enemy is my friend applies. Both parties need to bring balance back by ensuring money is spent, people are hired, things are bought only by the authority of Congress.

The slope is slippery, it is getting steeper.


Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 1993

Passed in 1993 by the 103rd Congress, both houses had Democrat majorities, the bill was sponsored by Democrat Senator Chuck Shumer, signed by President William Jefferson Clinton.

In 1963 Adell Sherbert was fired for not working on Saturday, she was a Seventh Day Adventist. The Warren Burger court found in her favor.  After that other minority religions were supported in their religious desires, if possible. In 1990 in the Smith case native Americans were denied the right to use peyote.

The Democrats decided to “protect” the rights of religious people by passing the RFRA.  “This restored the principle that the government may not infringe on a right unless it has an exceptionally good reason for doing so.” Economist, July 9, 2016, “Left, Right.”

The “Storman” case refers to a family owned pharmacy that was told it had to dispense all FDA approved drugs, some of which the Stormans object to on religious grounds. In the past they had referred people to pharmacies that would fill the script. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case as it isn’t at nine justices.  So what, don’t the justices look at the law objectively and apply it?  Obviously not, since 5 to 4 or vice versa is pretty regular.  How can nine of our best judges disagree so many times, maybe personal bias, naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Not good enough for the secular religionists. You will do what we want or we will sick the law on you.

Why is it our society seems to demand total compliance with a way of thinking when whoever can get what they want at a different business. Cakes. Prescriptions. Flowers. Good grief people, you disagree with me so you bring out the jackboots, the brown shirts, etc.

I am a Christian. Your religion is secularism. Let me practice mine and I will let you practice yours. (religion, a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects:)


Regulatory Costs up 30% on new homes

Government regulations costs our economy between $1 and $2 trillion a year, in an $18 trillion economy.  Some of that is needed. Most isn’t.

Housing prices have gone up 33.8% from 2011 to 2016, according to the WSJ article of July 23, 2016, “The Fees That Inflate Home Costs.”

There is a great deal of heat directed toward evil banks about teh costs of buying a house. How about some of that directed towards governments that don’t have the guts to say, we need to increase property tax to support the infrastructure for new homes.

They are making us kill our patients

The title from the WSJ article, July 25th, 2016, Philip B. Dreisbach.

He is a physician. He practices in California, oncology. California just passed a physicians assisted suicide law.

The law requires a physician to prescribe the drugs, versus appointing someone else to give cover to those requesting killing someone.  The law does NOT require a psychological examination of the patient requesting the drugs. Heirs and the owners of care giving facilities can request the service.

He mentions that those pushing this also object to executing convicted felons. Huh?

This is definition of a slippery slope.

“I see no reason to vote”

There are many out there on both sides of the political aisle who are disgusted with the two main candidates, or looking at the others running see even more reasons not to vote for them either-so, I see no reason to vote seems to be the conclusion.

Dude, I understand and can sympathize!

In many states, like mine-Alabama, or yours, Massachusetts lets’ say, you could stay home because the masses are riled up and my one vote, even if for the winner of the state, really won’t make a difference.

But, what do we lose by not voting. Participation. Connection. Investment. What will destroy the American governmental experience is apathy.

Ben Franklin famously said, “You have a republic, if you can keep it.” http://www.ourrepubliconline.com/Author/21. Eric Metaxas just wrote a book with that title reminding us about the uniqueness of our republic, “If you can keep it.” http://ericmetaxas.com/books/if-you-can-keep-it/.

Many think we should destroy it, put in a religious controlled, one party controlled, parliamentary controlled, stronger executive, stronger judiciary, soak the rich, and the list goes on. Both sides are further from the middle, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/06/12/7-things-to-know-about-polarization-in-america/.

Our fore people came from all of the above and wanted something different. Where all kinds of folks were equal (It took us 190 years for the vision to actually happen legally, not bad considering for the past 4,000 years that has not been the case). Where you could worship God, science, the sun, whatever, and not be killed or put in jail. They did so with disagreements, fights on the floor of conventions, imperfect people trying, always trying, but they did it.

Over half of earners pay no income taxes today. Our government grows larger by the year, whether Republican or Democrat, controlling more of our lives each day. Power corrupts, ….http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/power_corrupts.html. Central control reduces the key driver for economic growth. Whether that means special treatment for large companies or free college without any way to pay for it.

Our system was created to have as little government control as possible, why, because of the history of where those people came from. It has been shown in modern times that National Socialist, Communist, Totalitarian, Theocratic, Monarchical…. forms of government deprive people of the freedom to be financially independent.

Hillary will be nominated tonight. Bernie has ensured free college, $15 minimum wage, soak the rich taxes, less trade, bathrooms, …… will be part of the platform. Trump blathers on about whatever, most of which I dislike. But, which one will increase government less? I must vote for that one.

I must vote. I must participate.  And hold my nose while I do it this cycle. Reagan had his issues, but a lack of humility was not one. A leader must be humble, realizing they are serving us, the citizen. Neither one this year.





School Choice, Indiana style

Governor Mike Pence has been a leader introducing school choice, with the established education lobby vociferously opposed, duh!  Results?

33,000 kids are now enrolled in the programs. 60% of students in Indiana qualify for vouchers, the largest in the country. The $4800 cap has been removed. Court battles have been won by the governor.

The results of our current model of educating our youth show how we do it today are failing. We have been sliding down the scale compared to other advanced countries. Denmark has installed “project based learning” and it seems to be working. They learned that from us. We don’t use the methods.

Disruption and experiments are needed to reverse the trend in results.

See the WSJ, Allysia Finley, “Pence on School Choice”, July 20, 2016.