Archive - December, 2012

The Bill of Rights Matters

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

From time to time in America, there is a growing debate about what these words mean. And exactly how important they are. Piers Morgan feels that the constitution is inherently flawed (as well as the Bible). Others don’t feel that the 2nd amendment should be free of any “common sense” regulations. Some feel that any regulation framework sets up a slippery slope. For the record, I fully believe the slippery slope argument. Matt Lewis put it well:

The following cycle should sound familiar to anyone paying attention: 1.) The agitators ask for a lot, 2. they settle for less (a common sense compromise!), and 3.) they come back for more at the most opportune time (they never let a crisis go to waste.)

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That is Saul Alinsky doctrine 101. And this just helps, not set up compromise, but set up two mountains of ideology with a large valley in the middle. Truth be known, both ideological sides believe in the slippery slope. (Just ask NARAL and their staunch opposition to partial birth abortion).

BUT, what does it all mean?

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Tragedy and Civility in America

Too many people are going to talk about how the world is supposed to end this Friday.

For the parents of 20 children in Newtown, CT their worlds crashed last Friday.

I can only imagine. Driving to the firehouse where you were told to go. The thoughts race back to your morning routine. And as you search frantically through the kids packed in the firehouse, you begin to ask yourself…did I say I love you? Was I too frustrated with her? Was I worried more with traffic or being late to work than I was in listening to her asking me the millions of questions that come out of 6 year old mouths?

Then, in a whirlwind, it hits you. She. Is. Not. Here.

What does it mean? There is a same sense of panic in the eyes of other families too. As the general announcement is made, it hits you. You will never see her again…here on earth. Your heart sinks. Like simultaneously being punched in the gut and living a nightmare. At home the constant reminders that this Christmas season there will be a void you can’t fill. A package that will remain unopened. A stocking which won’t be touched. And then you turn on the TV…or go on Facebook…

In times of tragedy, most people are civil in life. It has always been my experience that Americans possess a great amount of decency and civility…or used to. Erick Erickson points this out…

In this, I want to be clear. To politicize a tragedy is disgusting. But not everyone who was discussing policy during this was politicizing the tragedy. To me, to politicize a tragedy is to state that an ideology actually created the tragedy. And while we have a long road ahead of us in deciphering what things, as a society, could we have done to prevent this. One important thing remains: Adam Lanza did this. He alone is responsible for this unspeakable horror. Not the NRA (in advocating for no restrictions on firearms). Not the ACLU (in destroying our mental health system in the 70s). Not atheists (in being whiny little girls whenever a valedictorian wants to say a prayer at their graduation). Adam Lanza is responsible. Period.

Does this mean there are no contributing factors? No. Of course, as a society and culture, we need to take a long look at what could have been done to stop or prevent this. But in the end…it is Adam Lanza who will be judged on this. It is always important to remember this.

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@RobParkerESPN is a Racist Moron: Why We Will Never Be a Post Racial Society

On ESPN’s First Take, Rob Parker decided to be a moron. Ok, he was always a moron, but his moronic self came out:

I like First Take, but too often Stephen A. Smith delves into racial diatribes to explain the plight of the black athlete. As if thousands of people with athletic skills making millions of dollars is a plight. And his co-host, Skip Bayless, dutifully plays the white guilt fiddle to Stephen A’s diatribe. Following this video, Stephen A steps all over Rob Parker. He is being commended for his actions. But why should someone who stated that RGIII would have more success in Washington, DC because it is “chocolate city” be commended? Why should someone who took John Embree’s Race Bait and hi-jacked a sports show to ramble on about how bad coaches should get another shot because they are black.

I am white. Rob Parker might even say I am authentically white because I am republican and I have a white wife. And I know that because of the air of white guilt permeating our culture, I am not allowed to talk about race. BUT in one talk on race I was having a couple of months ago with a colleague and friend (he is Republican, therefore not authentically black), he asked whether talking about racial things was racist. We had a good talk on the subject. I think, we kind of agreed that racial was not racist. But, I still lean towards racist because of how I was brought up. A lot of this discussion on race is, frankly, foreign to me. (As an aside, it is refreshing to have friends you can have frank discussions with without being accused of being racist for bringing up the “wrong” thing.)

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The Federalism Fight: Why New Pot Laws are Important

I have always been very clear. I am not a libertarian. I believe that the government has the right to ban pot. I especially believe that states have the right to ban drugs and marijuana in particular. However, the new ballot initiatives in Colorado and Washington are interesting primers in Federalism and as such, I welcome the debate and fight.

I am a firm believer in Federalism. The federal government has very specific powers under our Constitution. Everything else is reserved to the states, unless of course it is specifically banned in the Constitution. Marijuana falls under this. While the commerce clause does give the federal government jurisdiction over interstate commerce. What about pot that is grown in a state, never leaves the state, and is only enjoyed legally by residents of that state?

Therein lies the battle. In Gonzales v. Raich (2005), the Supreme Court ruled that Congress does have the power to act in such a manner and this expanded the commerce clause dramatically.

I believe they were wrong. This is also, about the only case where I have been seriously disappointed in Scalia.

Now, the reason that conservatives should support this fight has nothing to do with pot. In fact, pot smoking is ancillary to the discussion at hand. The fundamental question lies, IF there is no limit to the commerce clause then do states really have any autonomy at all? This is why most liberals support the federal government enacting its powers in Colorado and Washington. They want to maintain vast federal power. This is an issue of federalism and liberty. These discussions should be had at the state level. IF Colorado wants to be the New Amsterdam…let it. If Nebraska wants to ban all forms of abortion…let it. If Ohio wants to impose unionization on everyone…let it. If Indiana wants NO unionization at all…let it. These issues are the reason we have legislatures. Indeed, there are some things that state governments can’t ban or do. We have a Bill of Rights to cover that. But, for the most part, on most issues…if you don’t like what your state is doing. Fight it at the ballot box…or move. IF Nevada wants to be the prostitution, gambling, pot smoking capitol of the world? Families probably won’t want to live there. But that isn’t my problem…I live in Ohio. States have rights. The 10th amendment is supposed to ensure this. However, liberals are more interested in finding the right to abortion in the Bill of Rights than reading the 10th amendment.

This is why, even though I disagree with the policy, I support Washington and Colorado’s right to do what they did under their state constitutions and our Federal Constitution. (Even if ballot measures are way too democratic for my taste)

This will end up back at the Supreme Court. I just hope that the Roberts court will get it right.

Change of Pace: Totally Awesome Speech Addition

This is a great guy!

HT Smitty

Charity Starts in Your Heart

It is an age old debate. When to be charitable. Whom to help.

I have always believed that it is our job as Christians to give first, ask questions later. My philosophy has always been to let the Spirit lead in such matters of personal charity.

Before I go further, I want to be clear that this is why I am defiantly against government charity. When dealing with taxpayer money, bureaucrats can’t give first. They have to ensure someone “needs” help. They have to guarantee that someone won’t abuse the help. This adds to complexity and a lack of efficiency in distributing funds. That is why we spend over $60,000 per household below the poverty line in welfare each year!

Normally, I would mention how this is why conservatives are typically more charitable than their liberal counterparts. But that isn’t the purpose of this post.

I was at BP the other day. Filling up with gas and getting a pop for my wife. A young man was in front of me, his card declined. $5.67. He was obviously embarrassed. I felt I should help him. Looking at my receipt, realized I had just bought him a pack of cigarettes. At first, I was bummed. Great, I blessed someone with cancer. But God prodded and said I should give and be obedient and let Him worry about motives and hearts.

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Change of Pace: Amazing Talent Addition

This is a great video!

Thanks Smitty!

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