Render unto Ceasar
The story of Christ saying “Render unto Caesar” is a great example of people taking a comment out of context. Those wishing to push the State over the Individual in support of ever greater taxes tend to be those that pervert this story. I ask them a few questions when I point out that Christ is not advocating for taxes but is rather avoiding a rhetoric trap and delivering a back handed slap at Caesar at the same time.
- Who is asking Christ the Question that he is answering
- Why are they asking Christ this Question?
- What was Christ’s full answer. Not just the three words they have taken out of context.
- Why did Christ answer the way he did?
Clean Elections Financiing
This was the text of a “My Turn” column that I submitted to the AZ Republic back on May 5, 2002. They did not publish it.
“What do the recent elections in France, our own Clean Elections regime in Arizona and the law of unintended consequences have in common? They show that our Founding Fathers were far wiser than we can ever begin to appreciate.
Reading the news reports out of Paris one can only laugh at the cheese eating surrender monkeys (as the National Review endearingly refer to the French) if it were not so close to the farce that we have forced on ourselves. In France a candidate at least needs to get 500 elected officials to sign a petition to get his name on the ballot to run for President while now through the good graces of our legislature (that teetering tower of financial restraint) it only takes a similar number of citizens to part with a measly $5 to force open the Public Purse and make our elections process a literal free for all so that that every fringe candidate on the margin with the ability to draw a like-minded mob can clear this speed bump on his way to a public feasting of spending and self laudatory publicity. Continue reading
When the “Left” blames the “GOP”
I find it quite humorous when Liberal/Progressives say things like “the GOP has ruined America” or even think they are being “balanced” by saying that both sides bare blame.
I offer the following rejoinder and after doing so I get met with the sound of crickets since their is not much they can say.
Ummm…. The GOP have not controlled the County the Dem’s have. The laws that control the Country are written, debated and passed by the Legislature.
If one party simultaneously controlled the legislative Houses of Congress for 63% of the time since Ike was inaugurated might that party be a bit more culpable for the laws rather than the party that only had control for 20% of the time
Note that half (6 years) of the 20% of the time that Congress was controlled by the GOP was during Clinton’s term so that should put in perspective how little they have had control of those levers of power.
To drive home the point after Ike’s second year through the rest of his term, across the Kennedy/Johnson years, Nixon/Ford Years and the Carter years the Dems had a lock on Congress. For a short six years under Reagan Congress was split but then the Dems took over again for the last two years of Reagan and all of Bush I.
It’s the Republicans fault
Some food for thought when a knee-jerk Lib castigates either Republicans or Conservatives for tax laws that favor the “Rich”…
Let’s see… The branch of Government that writes the tax laws is Congress. Looking back over the decades since 1952 which party has controlled Congress? Hmmmm…
Over those 67 years the Republicans controlled both Houses only 12 years. However, for 6 of those years they did so with a Democrat as President that had to either sign that legislation into law or veto it. That means the Republicans had control of both the Legislative and Executive Branches of Government for all of 9% of the time.
Over those 67 years the Democrats controlled both Houses 38 years and for 24% of the time the Democrats controlled both the Legislative and the Executive.
The other 11 years saw a split control of Congress with the Democrats controlling the House for 6 of those 11 years. Care to guess which House of Congress is tasked by the Constitution with writing the Tax laws?
So… Since 1952 The Republicans have controlled the Tax writing House of Congress for only 17 years. The Democrats have controlled the Tax writing House of Congress for 75% of the time.
So please tell me again which Party is “all about wealth redistribution, sucking as much money out of the pockets of the working class before they completely destroy it and stuffing it into their own.”
My Position on “Gay Marriage”
I first posted this up about +2 years ago on FB. Figured I’d put it here too so I don’t have to keep digging for it over there to point people too.
I’m neither pro nor anti. I’m agnostic since I don’t think the government should be involved in Marriage. Surprisingly uber Lib Cass Sunstein makes the case for Conservatives to join with Libertarians by pointing out that Marriage is just another government licensing (read tax) scheme.
Sunstein proposed that government recognition of marriage be discontinued. “Under our proposal, the word marriage would no longer appear in any laws, and marriage licenses would no longer be offered or recognized by any level of government,” and “the only legal status states would confer on couples would be a civil union, which would be a domestic partnership agreement between any two people.” and “Governments would not be asked to endorse any particular relationships by conferring on them the term marriage,” by referring to state-recognized marriage as an “official license scheme.”
I too lean Libertarian on the issue of Marriage. That is I don’t think the State has any business in the matter. I am in favor of Civil Unions in that this establishes the “contract” between the parties for the purposes of protecting the parties and the children in the event the relationship fails. Marriage should then be a purely Religious ceremony governed by your Religion and your beliefs as guaranteed by the First Amendment.
My own religion has two different types of marriages. One performed at the local Chapel, etc… if you are not able for whatever reason to be married in the Temple. That Marriage is like any other Marriage in that it is for this lifetime only. We believe a Temple Marriage is for “time AND all eternity” Guess which Marriage certificate means more to me? The one I have from the State of Arizona or the one from my Church?
If a couple from the Unitarian Church (who whatever) had either a state issued Civil Union contract or a Marriage License from their current Church and decided to convert to my faith the Church would certainly recognize them as being married. If they then wanted to “seal” that marriage in the Temple they could do that too.
My position on Abortion
I am opposed to Roe v. Wade because it is horrible law. If you have to get into a reliance of emanating penumbras then you really have no basis for law since the ghost you think you see might just be a bank of fog.
As for abortion…
Here is the Gospel according to Dave. I have had this conversation many times…
“I’m neither pro-abortion nor pro-life. I agree with Bill Clinton: “Abortion should not only be safe and legal, it should be rare”
The decision should be between a Women and her Doctor. However, since pregnancy (in cases other than rape, incest, etc…) take “two to tango” in the case of an “oops” if the pro-abortion lobby is saying the matter is only the concern of the women and the father has no say in the abortion than I want to hear them say that if the woman makes the choice to carry to term and the guy does not want it then she waives the child support.
I come to this opinion on my own. I don’t know when the fetus becomes a human (that is not to say that there is a question as to it’s potential. It’s not a seahorse for crying out loud.) I mean when does God introduce a spirit to the flesh? At conception? At first breath? I don’t know. I can certainly feel safe with first breath being a reasonable point. Before that point is why I think the issue of aborting a child conceived in rape is one of the allowances of my Church. Understand. NO General Authority of the Church has EVER (to my knowledge) uttered anything approaching that concept. That is purely the “Gospel According to Dave”
Also in line with my Church’s teaching on the matter (which includes life of the mother) I do not see a contradiction in that stance of being generally opposed to Abortion since we are commanded to go forth and multiple. Terminating a child in the womb is certainly short-circuiting that and would be at cross purposes.”
2nd Amendment debate
Some comments I have posted…
Question for the anti-gun rights folks. If you really believe that the 2nd Amendment refers to the right of a Militia (and not people) to own guns please explain to me why the need for an Amendment to ensure the ability of the Executive to exercise it’s already enumerated Article 2 Section 2 powers?
Another thing for those on the anti-gun side wondering if the 2nd Amendment covers guns like an AR-15 or AK-47. Read the Supreme Court decision in Miller when they decided that a sawed off shotgun was not covered.
The ruling did not actively address the individual right to own a gun (that was covered later in Heller) merely considered the “Militia” aspect of the Amendment.
“The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. ‘A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline.’ And further, that ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.”
1. The Individual citizen was expected to bring his own gun to the muster if called
2. It was to be a kind in common use for that purpose. Note: the civilian version of the AR-15 and AK-47 “look” like the type used by the Military to use for defense but don’t function like them.
3. The AR-15 and AK-47 variants are a common type of rife in use
So… If you want to take this to the Supreme Court the precedence argument could be made that Miller allows for full auto weapons like that used by the Military. You sure you want to have that argument?
The purpose of the words “A well Regulated Militia” from the Heller Decision
“Relationship between Prefatory Clause and Operative Clause reach the question, then: Does the preface fit with an operative clause that creates an individual right to keep and bear arms? It fits perfectly, once one knows the history that the founding generation knew and that we have described above. That history showed that the way tyrants had eliminated a militia consisting of all the able-bodied men was not by banning the militia but simply by taking away the people’s arms, enabling a select militia or standing army to suppress political opponents. This is what had occurred in England that prompted codification of the right to have arms in the English Bill of Rights.
The debate with respect to the right to keep and bear arms, as with other guarantees in the Bill of Rights, was not over whether it was desirable (all agreed that it was) but over whether it needed to be codified in the Constitution. During the 1788 ratification debates, the fear that the federal government would disarm the people in order to impose rule through a standing army or select militia was pervasive in Antifederalist rhetoric. See, e.g., Letters from The Federal Farmer III (Oct. 10, 1787), in 2 The Complete Anti-Federalist 234, 242 (H. Storing ed. 1981). John Smilie, for example, worried not only that Congress’s “command of the militia” could be used to create a “select militia,” or to have “no militia at all,” but also, as a separate concern, that “[w]hen a select militia is formed; the people in general may be disarmed.” 2 Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution 508–509 (M. Jensen ed. 1976) (hereinafter Documentary Hist.). Federalists responded that because Congress was given no power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, such a force could never oppress the people.
Fiscal Cliff? Who are they trying to kid on the spending?
The current state of fiscal discussions in Washington is akin to burning wads of hundred dollar bills to illuminate the dark recesses of a room to try and find a penny that rolled away.
Sequestration will force $1.2 Trillion in Budget cuts. So friggin what.
Remember the huge blowout Budgets everyone (especially the Left) complained about during the Bush Admin? Well guess what. The Budget in 2005 was $2.4 Trillion. The Budget this year? $3.7 Trillion. Now use some grade school math and subtract $2.4 Trillion from $3.7 Trillion. Surprised? That equals to $1.3 Trillion.
Sequestration is $100 Billion less than rolling back the clock to a blow out Budget from the Middle of Bush’s term.
That $1.2 Trillion does not cut that amount in one year it is to cut it across a decade.
Sequestration is meaningless. Even for De fence spending. Consider that in 2005 the DOD budget was $401 Billion and for this fiscal year it is at $671 billion. Sequestration PLUS the already agreed on cuts could result in cutting about 10% from the DOD budget which would reduce it to still over $603 Billion. In 2005 we were heavy in Iraq. Now we are not and we are drawing down from Af/Pak. Surely we can “reduce” the DOD budget to an amount that is only $200 billion more than we were spending during the war in Iraq?”
The odor of a Poll's cross tabs
I wanted to take some time to look at that “poll” claiming to show that Obama leads Romney among Small Business Owners as it just did not smell right.
Well… The odor is indeed strong and as I always say about polls I need to see the cross-tabs.
Be interesting to see if there is some push back on the data of this poll since it is such and outlier compared to a similar polls of this same segment over the past few months.
First lets look at polling from Gallup that showed Republicans (and leaners) at 49% to Democrats (and leaners) of 42%, it is reasonable to assume that the Democratic advantage by party affiliation in 2012 will be somewhere around non-existent for the general population.
Scott Rasmussen, has also noted. “Over the last 20 years, the number of people who in a presidential election have considered themselves Republicans has been between 32 percent and 37 percent. The number of people who have been Democrats has stayed between 35 and 39 percent in that time frame. Yes, there are changes, but there are not massive swings.”
The poll being touted on the left surveyed 6,145 small business owners and was conducted by George Washington University School of Political Management and Thumbtack.com. Their sample of likely voters claims,
Rep = 29%
Dem = 32%
Ind = 39%
Looking at a survey by a Small Business Association of members and non-members you can see the cause for my questioning the validity of this GWU Poll
Here is the breakdown of Party Registration of Small Business Owners for the following years.
Rep = 54%
Dem = 30%
Ind = 16%
Rep = 48%
Dem = 33%
Ind = 20%
Rep = 54%
Dem = 16%
Ind = 19%
They also asked the question of how “Regularly” they Vote:
Rep = 95%
Dem = 86%
For Comparison they also included Fortune Mag/Zogby Poll from a 2007 Survey and they indicate that Zogby has not followed up that poll with new data.
Rep = 37%
Dem = 35%
Ind = 26%
Given the Party Affiliation reported from Prior polls of this demographic and the results of others Polls of this same group (I have not looked at the cross tabs of those other polls) does it seem reasonable that the Obama who could fill a stadium in 2008 and can’t fill one at his own convention in 2012 has engendered the kind of enthusiasm among Small Business Owners to get them to change their party affiliation by double from 2011? Or better yet if looking at 2008 which showed Dems at a similar ratio of 33% to the GWU survey of 32% that ALL of the swing has been from Rep to Ind?
What would be the result of the GWU Poll if the weighting based on Party Affiliation was more in line with other samples of this same demographic and did not so heavily discount the affiliation of Republicans?
How the Electoral College Should Assign Electors
First let me say I like the Electoral College System. We are a Constitutional Federal Republic. We are NOT a Democracy. I don’t want to live in a Mob Rule Democracy. Mob rule is exactly what the force of “evil” want when then call for either eliminating the Electoral College and going to a Nation-wide Popular vote scheme.
The Democrats keep saying that they want a nationwide “popular” vote election in place of the Electoral College. They say this would force Candidates to pay attention to the “smaller” states. Well that is a lie. It would just focus yet more attention on the bigger population centers in the bigger states. There would be no need to pay the slightest bit of attention to the smaller population centers and smaller states in “fly over country” since their smaller voices would be inundated by the tsunamis from the coasts.
Want to really force the Parties and the Presidential campaigns to pay attention to the folks out in the hinterlands (and watch the Dems crap their pants?) express your support for assigning Electoral votes not on a winner take all solution like the Dems propose (which would mean that even if Candidate Y won your state that your state is still forced to give its vote to Candidate X simply because people in other states voted for X and not Y) but rather like how Electoral votes are assigned via the “Congressional District Method” like Maine and Nebraska do.
This type of system does not require a Constitutional Amendment either as each State can simply pass legislation deciding how to assign their own Electors per Article 2 Section 1 of the Constitution
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
The Electoral College System assigns votes equal to the number of Congressional Districts plus two. The winner of the popular vote of the State is awarded the Electoral votes not assigned to the Congressional District.
So… The Popular vote winner of each District awards it Electoral vote to that winner. The remaining two Electoral votes are then awarded to the winner of the Popular vote for the entire state.
Why would this cause the Dems to crap their pants you ask? Consider California and it’s monster 55 electoral votes (it takes 270 votes to win the Presidency). The winner of California has a HUGE advantage going into the contest and Candidates don’t even need to campaign there since the outcome is not in doubt. In 2008 Obama won all 55 of those Delegates by winning the State. However, McCain won 11 of the 20 “Republican” Districts. This would have meant that California instead of awarding 55 Electoral Delegates to Obama that he would have won 42 for the Congressional Districts plus another 2 for the overall State win and McCain would have picked up another 11 votes for his tally.
Obama would still have won in 2008 with 303 Electors rather than the 365 he obtained via the Winner take all. McCain would have increased his tally from 173 to 237.
Battleground states like Pennsylvania (21 votes to Obama would have been split 11 to Obama and 10 to McCain) and Ohio (20 to Obama would have been split 10/10) and Florida (27 to Obama would have seen McCain take more Electors with just 12 going to Obama and McCain taking 15)[table “17” not found /]
Finding results for 2000 has not been as clean. Very odd considering the “controversy” of that Election. Therefore the numbers int he following table are not exact. The data for 2000 that I did find was using the Congressional districts from 2006 and since districts changed following 2000…
It was interesting looking around for this data to discover that even the Mob rule advocates for the “National Popular Vote” deal with this. Quite dishonestly too I might add..
If the congressional-district approach were applied to the results of the 2000 presidential election, then Bush would have received 288 electoral votes (53.3% of the total number of electoral votes), and Gore would have received 250 electoral votes (46.5% of the total). That is, the congressional-district approach would have given Bush a 6.8% lead in electoral votes over Gore in 2000. Gore received 50,992,335 popular votes (50.2% of the two-party popular vote), whereas Bush received 50,455,156 (49.7% of the two-party popular vote). Under the existing system, Bush received 271 electoral votes in 2000 (50.4% of the total number of electoral votes)â€”a 0.8% lead in electoral votes over Gore. In summary, the congressional-district approach would have been even less accurate than the existing statewide winner-take-all system in terms of mirroring the nationwide popular vote in 2000.
The idea of a National Popular vote would mean that…
Popular vote seems like a logical way to determine who should be President of the United States. The New York Times has advocated such a system. Majority rule is a major problem for this system. Founded as a Constitutional Republic, the United States values a balance between those in the majority and those in the minority. Being such a vast, heavily populated landscape, we need to realize that a variety of viewpoints must be considered when we elect our President. Today, if we were in a popular vote system, whatever New York and California wanted, New York and California would get. All candidates would represent the same values because there do not exist enough votes in the rest of the country to override the shear numbers of people that are found in these states. Popular election for President would effectively eviscerate the minority voice in United States’ politics. In 2000, Vice-President Al Gore won the popular vote by 500,000 votes while winning both California and New York.
As this interesting site I stumbled over looking for data makes clear. Which he had published the Congressional District data for 2000[table “18” not found /]
Obama DOES NOT believe that Gay Marriage is a "right"
Obama does not believe Gay Marriage is a right. I try to point this simple truth out to the kool-aide drinkers all the time. The adage about leading Horses to water applies in spades to them.
Obama is a Lawyer right? Yes
Supposedly Obama was a lecturer (not an actual Prof) teaching some ConLaw right? Yes.
Does Obama understand the point of Brown v. Board of Education in overturning Plessy? I hope so.
Brown v. Board declared that “Separate but Equal” was unconstitutional and that therefore a Right trumped the ability of a State to legislate otherwise under the protections of the 14th Amendment.
According to our Declaration of Independence who gives us rights? The Government? Nope.
We are endowed with them by our Creator. They are unalienable Rights. They are not allowances or privileges.
So… Does Obama believe that the matter should still reside with the individual States in determining the issue of Marriage? Yes
So… What can we deduce his position is in re: Gay Marriage being a “Right”
Politifact NOT disputing a claimed dispute
It is funny seeing people point to a Politifact post and then make the claim that it disputes Romney’s statement saying that $716 Billion was taken from Medicare. Politifact DOES NOT dispute that number nor that it was taken away from Medicare funding.
Reducing spending by $716 Billion does not cut Costs. If it costs me $600 a month to pay for Electricity in my house during the summer months I can’t just tell the Utility Company that I’m going to reduce my costs and therefore here is a check for $400 to cover my bill. Doing that will result in the Utility company cutting me as a customer.
If I want to reduce my costs to bring my bill down to $400 I have to cut the amount of the services I’m using.
That is what ObamaCare calls for. They are reducing the amount of money they are going to pay to Docs, etc… that accept Medicare patients. Doctors, etc… have their own overhead to pay for. If the payment rates being offered don’t cover that overhead then they won’t be seeing those patients.
Politfact does not dispute the $716 dollar number. They just take exception to the word Robbed and then fall headfirst into a Tu Quoque logical fallacy
Romney said, “There’s only one president that I know of in history that robbed Medicare, $716 billion to pay for a new risky program of his own that we call Obamacare.”
The only element of truth here is that the health care law seeks to reduce future Medicare spending, and the tally of those cost reductions over the next 10 years is $716 billion. The money wasnâ€™t “robbed,” however, and other presidents have made similar reductions to the Medicare program.”
Love it when someone that wants to believe they are Libertarian”, “Conservative”, or “Independent” lables me a Liberal
A couple people that fit that description show they don’t understand the concept of the 1st Amendment and that what is good for the Goose also needs to be accommodated for the Gander.
Had to point out to them that:
“I’m not defending Unions. I LOVE living in a Right to Work State and ALL states should provide their Workers that freedom. I will however defend anyone’s right to express their point of view. That is the purpose of the 1st Amendment. Not to guarantee speech you agree with but to guarantee the right of people to express speech that you disagree with”
Here is a screen grab of the discussion
Self professed “Conservatives” ripping “Moderates”
For those “nominally” on my side of the Political Aisle who rip and castigate as “Moderates” and not listening to the “Founders” those that understand the requirement to attempt compromise while still seeking to advance a conservative philosophy.
Consider this about the “Founders”. Great Britain certainly did not view any of them as “moderates” even thought they certainly had issues and differences among each other.Â Just read the reports from the Continental Congress hashing out the Declaration of Independence. The Founders did NOT speak with one voice concerning the foundations that were laid down to establish this Nation.
Some were firebrands intent on rubbing King George’s nose in it and others did want a more moderate approach. In the end they worked to reach a compromise in the very language that birthed this Country.Â Including moderation in language that resulted in the bloodshed of thousands of Citizens just a few short decades later.
So consider that when you rip your fellow travelers on the “right” because those on the “left” don’t view any of us as “moderate”. They view us all as barely one on step away from wearing jackboots and brownshirts.
Taming the Shrews
The overwrought gnashing of teeth by those on the left over the possibility of SCOTUS striking down ObamaCare is beyond borderline psychotic.
When a shrew like Marueen Dowd writes something as inane as “accountable to no one once they give the last word” in referring to the Justices it just shows how dumb and desperate they are.
Hey, Maureen, you might want to take a look at the Constitution. The ENTIRE document.Â Then you might notice that neither SCOTUS, POTUS (or his teleprompter) have the final say.Â Who does? Well the answer can be found in the fact that if we don’t like something in the Constitution WE THE PEOPLE can amend it (unless of course you live in California where their Court can tell the population to pound sand – but I guess the lefts desire for DEMOCRATIC action only extends to action they agree with)
Try that and let’s see how many Americans really want to give complete control of our lives and choices to Politicians.
Non Believers want to drive Believers from the Public Square
Its is disturbing that those who claim “no belief” want to ridicule and drive those with “belief” from the public square in the name of a separation of church and state while failing to grasp what Jefferson was writing about and to ignore not only our shared 1st Amendment protections but also the plain “no religious test” clause in the Constitution proper.
“A choice between two unconstitutionally coercive regulatory techniques is no choice at all.”
Regarding the Commerce Clause argument for ObamaCare.
There is a distinct difference between regulation of commerce and coercion of commerce.
In the 1992 New York v. United States decision the Supreme Court held that Congress cannot compel a State to enter into a contract. If they cannot compel a State how can they compel a citizen of that same State?
Swing Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote that to do so was:
“Congress has crossed the line distinguishing encouragement from coercion.”
In the next paragraph she even cut to the matter of timeliness with this observation:
“We must initially reject respondents’ suggestion that, because the take-title provision will not take effect until January 1, 1996, petitioners’ challenge thereto is unripe. It takes many years to develop a new disposal site. All parties agree that New York must take action now in order to avoid the take-title provision’s consequences, and no party suggests that the State’s waste generators will have ceased producing waste by 1996. The issue is thus ripe for review.
How would an Unconstitutional forced subsidy of waste producers be any different that a forced subsidy to Insurance companies?
“Such a forced transfer, standing alone, would in principle be no different than a congressionally compelled subsidy from state governments to radioactive waste producers.”
Considering the Federally imposed penalty/tax (depending on the forum that the Administration is arguing in front of) for not entering into this coerced contract Justice O’Connor also held
“In this provision, Congress has not held out the threat of exercising its spending power or its commerce power; it has instead held out the threat, should the States not regulate according to one federal instruction, of simply forcing the States to submit to another federal instruction. A choice between two unconstitutionally coercive regulatory techniques is no choice at all.”
So for those caught up in the nonsense that the Supreme Court should follow precedence here ya go.