A STORY OF SACRIFICE FOR MEMORIAL DAY

US Navy TBD-1 Torpedo Squadron Six (VT-6), from USS Enterprise (CV-6), in about 1938 (from here)

We have studied the night before a test. Some of us have awaited the hour before an important interview. About half of us have stood beside our ladies as they suffered, giving birth to our children. We have all waited for the arrival of a crisis, when an important matter would be resolved. Few of us, however, have contemplated our options as the minutes ticked away before the onset of a great battle.

Imagine going into battle knowing you could be a sacrificial pawn. Imagine flying over a vast ocean to battle an enemy fleet in an obsolete war plane. Consider Victor Davis Hanson’s words from Lessons from the Battle of Midway. Continue reading “A STORY OF SACRIFICE FOR MEMORIAL DAY”

ANOTHER WRONG ASSUMPTION? ARE THE GLOBAL WARMING ALARMISTS SERIOUS?

BEWARE OF THE PERVASIVE POISON OF BIG GOVERNMENT

Is Environmentalism A Religion?

Are the global warming alarmists serious? Well, some Conservatives label modern Environmentalism as a religious belief. Here an extract from an example, Green Religion.

Truly, Environmentalism is not organized as an official religion with a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status; it’s not a religion in the sense that Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, or Hinduism are religions. But from an anthropological or sociological perspective, it absolutely functions as a “religion-style” belief system. Contrary to what most Greens would say, Environmentalism is not really based on science, but on something much deeper than that. It’s more of an emotional commitment to some deeply held, unshakeable beliefs. (from here)

The author of the above then goes on to list the parallels between Environmentalism and religious belief.

Is Environmentalism a religious belief? Well, we can make an idol out of anything, and people have been idolizing the earth for a long time.

How Serious Are Global Warming Alarmists About Protecting Their Idol?

How serious are global warming alarmists about protecting their idol? Google “global warming”. Add the term denier and we get posts like the following.

However, a religion involves more than just preaching to the unconverted. A religion has a doctrine that requires something of us. The chart below does not even begin to explain the complications that arise from a belief in global warming, but it is a start.

Politics of Global Warming pictogram (from here)

Why Don’t The Solutions For Global Warming Work?

What is the big problem for the global warming alarmists? Well, we can find that in another lists of articles. What is comes down to is that their religion requires “us” to give up the benefits of fossil fuels, but the alarmists do not know how to make that happen. The alarmists are stuck on proving global warming exists. They have given very little thought as to the most practical way to limit their so-called carbon footprint.

What all these articles lack is a simple, coherent, morally justifiable plan for getting people to stop using fossil fuels. Thus, the global warming crisis, saving the environment, just becomes another excuse for abusing power.

What do fearful politicians do? They do what fearful people tend to do, whatever they feel they can get away with. What western politicians want to get away with is spending more of other people’s money on their priorities, and global warming provides a great excuse.

The Problem With A Religion

Let’s think about the real problem with a religion. The majority of religious beliefs (all but one) require us to do something for salvation. Environmentalism is no exception, and like most religions it can become very legalistic. Hence, we see bunches and bunches of politicians, lobbyists, and activists stepping forward to become rule-making and enforcing Pharisees.  Many of them, of course, happily make rules for others; they are just too important to give up their high-flying, private jets.

What the Pharisees proved is that it is more important to love God and our neighbors than it to obey stupid, arcane rules.  What the environmentalists are proving is that until we learn to love our neighbors we cannot save the planet.

Will increasing the amount of carbon dioxide increase the temperature of our planet? There is no justification for panic, but it is probably not a risk we ought to take. Unfortunately, what environmental activists have done to fix the problem amounts to crony capitalism (which eventually leads to socialism). Because their busybody solutions are so inept, they are just abusing people’s rights and wasting trillions of dollars. They are making things worst.

If the solution were just to slowly replace the income tax with a tax on the consumption of fossil fuels, most people would probably support it. Since we have a limited supply of fossil fuels, it makes sense to discourage the use of what is ultimately a finite resource. But a government power grab won’t do any good, and it isn’t doing any good. Look at any authoritarian nation. Where tyrants rule, the environment is a mess.

The power to tax is the power to destroy. — Daniel Webster (1782–1852) (from here)

If we don’t want people to burn fossil fuels, then all we have to do is tax the consumption of fossil fuels, and people will start looking for alternatives. It is not any more complicated than that. All the government has to do is the only thing it is good at, taxing us.

 

SO DONALD TRUMP WON. NOW WHAT?

These paintings by Gerard David (c. 1460 – 13 August 1523) depict the arrest and flaying by a corrupt judge. Cambyses, a Persian King sentence this judge, Sisamnes, for accepting a bribe.  Then he used the skin to cover the seat Sisamnes' son used when he sat as a judge. (from here)
These paintings by Gerard David (c. 1460 – 13 August 1523) depict the arrest and flaying by a corrupt judge. Cambyses, a Persian King sentenced this judge, Sisamnes, for accepting a bribe. Then he used the skin to cover the seat Sisamnes’ son used when he sat as a judge. (from here)

Donald Trump’s election victory has almost everyone amazed.  When I look over the situation, however, I am relieved, but not sanguine.  Republicans don’t do either victory or defeat well, but that’s why WE THE PEOPLE chose Trump. We want a leader with some fight in him, someone on our side.

So what’s the problem? As WE THE PEOPLE, we must remember the objective, a government that protects everyone’s God-given rights. Revenge of the Deplorables, for example, is all true except for one thing. Vengeance belongs to God. Therefore, writing this paragraph was a bad idea.

What comes around, goes around; the revenge of the pissed off deplorable has come to fruition. Life as a liberal in the USA is about to get very unpleasant, and I’m gleefully looking forward to being one of the reasons why. Last Tuesday’s election was only the beginning; we are going to screw them over every chance we get. Can you hear me now? (from here)

Believe me. I think the author of Revenge of the Deplorables writes thoughtful posts. Believe me. I too have an itch to screw the Democrats over. Using “good intentions” as their excuse, Democrats have dreadfully abused the power of government, and their leaders have deliberately sown dissension and division. Nevertheless, I have plenty of brothers and sisters who voted for H. Clinton. So I know from personal experience that Democrat voters are not devils. So I don’t want revenge. I just want them figure out big government creates many more problems than it ever fixes.

When we use government to make our neighbors do things our way or to just make them miserable, we have just created a monster that makes everyone endlessly angry. Civil war is the worst kind of war. Hence, we must look for Biblical guidance. Consider this timely verse posted at Settled In Heaven on the day after the election.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (from here)

As Christians, we are not supposed to let the world trouble us or make us afraid. We must strive for peace by following Jesus Christ.

Jesus told us and demonstrated for us just how dishonest and conniving the world can be. The Bible shows us just how dishonest and conniving we can be. Nonetheless, the Bible predates American politics. So something more specific to our situation might be helpful. Here in Common Sense Rules for Following Elections the author provides a more rational perspective than what most in the news media want us to have.

I know that’s hard to believe sometimes, but the other candidate and the other party aren’t evil because they see things differently than you do. It sounds silly to even say that, doesn’t it? Yet in the heat of a tough campaign, all of us need to remind ourselves of this obvious fact. When the other side wins, it seems like life is about to end, but it isn’t. Those checks and balances that you might like to do away with at the moment, will keep any president from going too far; even Mr. Obama found that out. Remember four years ago when he went around the country telling us he wouldn’t wait for Congress to legislate and promised a slew of Executive Orders instead… until Courts started throwing them out? Well, maybe you’ve forgotten that, but I haven’t; those checks and balances are pretty awesome. (continued here)

Whether we voted for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, we did not vote for a saint or against the devil. We just voted for another human being like ourselves, someone who needs the saving grace of Jesus Christ, particularly if that candidate won.

So what should we hope for? America Trumped–what comes next? reviews the limited powers of our president. Since the national news media and most of the members of Congress — including Republicans — regard Trump as an outsider, they will be looking for opportunities to take him down. Hence, we must not forget we too have a role.

Donald Trump has a mandate from the voters to try to fix what is wrong with the American government, but not many solutions can come out of the White House. The obligation returns to the voters to send honorable men and women into the government, to advise those elected or appointed to government positions, and to honor and respect the government we have created for ourselves. When we are better citizens, then we can produce a better government. Until then, we can only pray for the government that we have made. (from here)

Never stop praying, not even when you “think” we have the government “we” should want.

WHY DOES CONGRESS HAVE TO PASS A LAW TO PROTECT OUR EMAIL?

On Friday I got this email from my congressman, Rob Wittman. It left me a bit confused. Wittman is not a bad congressman, and I suppose he should have voted for the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 699). I just wonder why it was necessary.

Rob_WittmanYou know that email you’ve been saving? The one from your dad … or co-worker … or best friend … or daughter? The one they thought only you would see? The one YOU thought only you would see? Well, as the law stands now, law enforcement officials could have legal access to that email without so much as a warrant.

Maybe that surprises you, or maybe it doesn’t. But the fact is that as technology has expanded, the law hasn’t. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), the primary law governing email privacy, was passed in 1986—before most of us even knew that email existed. Since then, only minimal reforms have been made to the ECPA, and vulnerabilities in the law have raised significant digital privacy concerns for the public.

It’s not hard to see that the world is evolving around us. We have access to technology that didn’t exist 10 or 5 or even 2 years ago, and that’s a great thing. Technology gives us the opportunity to better ourselves and the world around us. It helps us to connect with people all around the globe in ways we never could have imagined were possible. But tech developments shouldn’t come at the cost of individual privacy and security. The way we protect information should be reflective of the way that we store and share information.

Last week, the House voted 419 to 0, with my support, in favor of the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 699), a bill that would revise the ECPA to require law enforcement agencies to obtain search warrants before gaining access to personal messages and files stored by companies like Google, Yahoo, and Dropbox. Right now, agencies can gain access to emails and other digital files more than 90 days old by issuing subpoenas to technology companies—a very low standard for gaining access to information. This legislation would require law enforcement officers to secure a judge-issued warrant before gaining access to digital information stored in the cloud.

The Email Privacy Act represents the first major update to our digital privacy laws in three decades, and it’s past time for us to make a change. The choice between privacy and technology is a false one. The Fourth Amendment, the Constitutional provision that guarantees privacy and designates it as a fundamental liberty, is strong enough to safeguard our rights in every situation. We have to make sure that our laws conform to that standard, and I believe that the Email Privacy Act takes positive steps in that direction.

Here is the  Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I am no legal scholar, but is there such a big a difference between snail mail and email that judges think snooping into our snail mail requires a warrant, but an email doesn’t? Don’t our presidents nominate these judges? Doesn’t our Senate consent to their appointment? Then why do we need this law?

Technology should free us to do things our ancestors never even imagined.  Today we can fly. We have visited the moon. Perhaps our grandchildren will settle other planets in our solar system. Who knows? Is it possible that some day Americans will journey to distant stars? Maybe not. Some of those who rule us care about us, but we also have many perverse leaders, and we have the people who vote for them. Instead of protecting our rights and furthering our dreams, too many of those who rule us seek to spend every cent we have, and then they spy on us. They have to make certain they have us under control. How can we dream of reaching the stars when our own rulers seek to bind and enslave us?

You have a congressmen or a senator who is more interested in spending your money than he is in protecting your rights? Have you considered voting for someone else?