Conventional collectivist created authority is a deception in consciousness. You are your own Authority!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Right Wingers Hate the Establishment Clause

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion … “
This so-called Establishment Clause is the very first written provision of the Bill of Rights found in the First Amendment of the ten original amendments to the United States Constitution.
The founders of this nation, some of whom were religious, and some not, all plainly desired that the new government be secular, i.e. concerned with temporal worldly matters not relating to religion. These wise men understood the danger of mixing government with religion and that is the reason they took pains in the Constitution to keep the two separate.
Most religious Americans understand and appreciate the sound reasons for the Establishment Clause. They know that the second written provision of the Bill of Rights, the very next phrase found in the same First Amendment, is the Free Exercise Clause which guarantees their right to worship as they choose without interference from the government. Thus, the two clauses fit perfectly together as one concept to protect the rights of all Americans in matters of personal conscience.
John F. Kennedy, in 1960, when he was a candidate for President of the United States, was obliged to reassure a skeptical public at the time that, as the first Catholic president, he would steadfastly adhere to his oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, especially the First Amendment Establishment Clause.
Many people were worried then, and rightly so, about whether Mr. Kennedy might possibly be controlled by the Pope in Rome instead of by his secular duties as president of a wholly secular United States government. Right wing socially conservative evangelical Protestant Christians were big believers in the Establishment Clause then. They understood and appreciated the reasons for it then.
Mr. Kennedy assured the nation that such fears were unfounded.
On Sept. 12, 1960, he declared: “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the president — should he be Catholic — how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference, and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him, or the people who might elect him.”
“I would not look with favor upon a president working to subvert the First Amendment's guarantees of religious liberty; nor would our system of checks and balances permit him to do so.  I want a chief executive whose public acts are responsible to all and obligated to none, who can attend any ceremony, service, or dinner his office may appropriately require of him to fulfill; and whose fulfillment of his presidential office is not limited or conditioned by any religious oath, ritual, or obligation,” Mr. Kennedy continued.
“If my church attempted to influence me in a way which was improper, or which affected adversely my responsibility as a public servant sworn to uphold the Constitution, then I would reply to them this was an improper action on their part; it was one to which I could not subscribe; that I was opposed to it. It would be an unfortunate breach of, an interference with the American political system,” candidate Kennedy concluded.
We know the rest of the story. JFK was elected as the first Catholic president and never once during his administration did he fail to abide by his promise.
Too bad the same can’t be said for the second possible Catholic president: Rick Santorum. Of President Kennedy’s faithful secular promise to the American people 52 years ago, Mr. Santorum declared recently that it makes him “want to throw up.”
Rick Santorum and the right-wingers of today hate the Establishment Clause. They’ve completely forgotten why they so ardently believed in it a half century ago when their own religious liberty, in their small minds, was apparently threatened by a Catholic who might have become a puppet of the Pope.
Mr. Santorum, a Catholic, has no intention of making such a promise. The very idea makes him nauseous. He doesn’t believe in a secular government. He’ll rip the Establishment Clause to shreds if elected president.
So would Newt Gingrich. Just last Sunday, in fact, Mr. Gingrich was warning members of First Redeemer Church in Cumming Georgia, that the “secular left" is trying to undermine American principles established by the Founding Fathers. Americans have faced a "50-year assault" by those trying to alienate people of faith, whined Gingrich.
"The forces of the secular left believe passionately and deeply, and with frankly a religious fervor, in their world view and they will regard what I am saying as a horrifying assault on what they think is the truth," said Gingrich; "Because their version of the truth is to have a totally neutral government that has no meaning."
Huh? Since when is abiding by our secular Constitution akin to his irrational religious fervor? What principles is he talking about?  And what in the name of reason and logic is wrong with a government which is neutral in matters of religion?
The meaning of the secular government conceived by our founding fathers has totally escaped the pea brain of Newt Gingrich. He just doesn’t understand the Establishment Clause. He hates it as though it were the Devil talking.  
Todd Starnes, the in house right-wing religious pundit at Fox News, just can’t understand why public school teachers and administrators aren’t allowed daily to lead students in prayer. Regarding the Chardon, Ohio, High School shooting on Monday, in which a deranged student opened fire on fellow students in the school cafeteria, he wonders why the school superintendent was allowed to call on people to pray -- “It was a wise decision”-- but can’t do it during normal times.
“But perhaps lost in the chaos is the irony that in American public schools – people are not allowed to pray… Liberals have successfully banished God from the classroom, replacing Him with the manmade god of secularism.” He laments.
Nonsense! People have always been allowed to pray. Students have always been allowed to pray. Mr. Starnes is deliberately distorting the facts as right-wing religious Establishment Clause haters always do. That school superintendent made a poor decision. No one will call him on it under the circumstances, but school superintendent's are not authorized to call people to prayer, regardless of the situation, period.
People are allowed to pray anywhere, anytime, anyhow. But the government must remain neutral. The government must not be involved. The government is secular. That was the intent of the founders.
God of secularism; what’s that? I’ve never heard of him.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Madness of Fantasy

Madness, insanity if you will, may be defined as a failure or refusal in a mind using consciousness to differentiate between fact and fantasy. This is the major fault with human consciousness as described in my book, “Authority! Implications of Consciousness and the Reality of Existence.”
Consciousness, characterized by conceptual language, is a cultural, i.e. learned adaptation which distinguishes human beings from all other species on the planet. It represents the foundation of civilization as we know it, and everything that is good about human beings. But it is also the foundation for deception, falsehood and madness, the nature of which afflicts no other species, and everything that is bad about human beings.   
Fantasy, the product of consciousness, might be good or bad depending upon whether the individual engaging in it recognizes it for what it is. It can be benevolent or malevolent for civilization. In no case is it more malevolent, however, than with organized religion.
Those who accept fantasy above reality are usually deemed insane, except particularly in the case of organized religion, which seems to engender large measures of respect and credibility even from people who don’t practice it. There are many millions of people who actually believe that their fantasy is more important than reality and are willing to kill innocent people in order to preserve and protect it.
Consider the recent religious uproar in Afghanistan over the burning of the Koran by NATO forces at Bagram airfield. Two American military officers were shot dead at close range inside the Interior Ministry last Saturday, as mindless religious rage continued to grip the country for a fifth day over the burning of the Muslim holy book.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the shootings. The killer would have had to have the highest security clearance to get into the room where the officers were killed according to news reports. So the murderer was not just some ordinary riff raff from the street, but someone trusted with rank and importance that infiltrated the U.S. command.   
NATO is recalling staff from its Afghan ministries because the Afghan security forces simply cannot be trusted not to carry out more of these kinds of murderous attacks. The deluded Afghan religious savages consider the Koran to be the literal word of God and, therefore, desecration of a paper book is regarded as the worst sort of blasphemy. Any desecration, whether intentional or unintentional, in their minds gives them a license to kill.
Thousands of Afghans have taken to the streets and at least 27 people have been killed since Afghan laborers at the NATO base found charred copies of the Koran while collecting rubbish. Two other American soldiers were shot dead last Thursday by an Afghan national army soldier who joined the frenzied mob.
Another angry Afghan mob stormed a UN compound in northern Balkh province killing seven people last year after the loons found out that one attention seeking Christian minister in Florida burned a copy of the Koran. Religion, instead of civilizing these fanatics, has had the effect of un-civilizing them. They are dangerous to themselves and others because of religion.  
In Padang, Indonesia a civil servant who posted “God does not exist” on his Facebook page faces a maximum penalty of five years behind bars for blasphemy. The man was attacked by an angry mob on his way to work and then hauled away by police after his factually correct post triggered public outcry in the predominantly Muslim nation.
Indonesia, you see, a supposedly civilized nation of 240 million people, allows only five religions by law. Atheism is illegal there. So an honest man was charged with the “crime” of using a social networking site to spread beliefs that violate the law. Exposing fantasy for what it is in Indonesia is a “crime.” The population of that country is apparently deathly afraid of anyone having the guts to point out the truth of their madness.
Meanwhile, in the crazed Islamic Republic of Iran, a former Muslim citizen, who went over the fence to Christianity and became a Christian pastor, has been sentenced to death. That’s because, in Iran, one is not supposed to change religions unless the change is to Islam. These deluded religious savages kill their own people for the “crime” of apostasy. So another poor innocent soul is going to die for refusing to recant his belief in Jesus and declining to recognize Muhammad as his savior.
All of this madness has been going on in the world just within the last week. Billions of human beings on this planet are still living in the Dark Ages.
Not that long ago it was the Christians who were also in the business of killing people who refused to believe. Blasphemy, apostasy, witchcraft, paganism, and just plain old atheism, agnosticism, and freethinking would result in the most excruciating forms of torture and execution for innocent proponents, all for the purpose of perpetuating the madness of fantasy over reality.
There are still some Christian American politicians even today who would love to take us all back to the good old days of yore when blasphemy was a crime and not believing right would get you death. Thankfully, they are slowly losing their influence in the west.
Sadly, it won’t happen in my lifetime, but the time will eventually come on this Earth when every organized religion has been mocked, excoriated, and laughed out of existence and the madness part of fantasy will finally be cured.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rick Santorum: Mr. Biblical for President, Part 2

My last post discussed the numerous reasons supporting my conclusion that Rick Santorum personifies the term “religious bigot, and why his criticism of President Obama for leading America based on a so-called theology different from that in the Bible, amounts to clear evidence of his own intent if elected president to govern us by his Catholic Biblical theology.

Today, I will demonstrate once and for all, from the candidates own mouth, the fundamental irrationality within the mind of Rick Santorum, Mr. Biblical, and why, if nominated by the Republican Party, Barrack Obama is virtually certain to win the general election.

When it comes to politics and government, Mr. Biblical tends to view the world in stark terms of black and white – good and evil. He actually believes that Satan has his sights on America and that his mission as president will be to lead our nation on a crusade of spiritual warfare.

Four years ago, in 2008, when he wasn’t running for any office, Mr. Biblical told a socially conservative Catholic audience at Florida’s Ave Maria University in so many words that president Obama's position on abortion was the work of Satan.

Quoting Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota, he argued: “Catholics who support so-called ‘abortion rights’ support a false right, promote a culture of death and are guarded by the father of lies." Then he praised the bishop for pledging to deny communion to politicians who support abortion rights saying the matter went beyond politics and was a symptom of Satan’s reach in U.S. society.
"This is not a political war at all, this is not a culture war at all, this is a spiritual war," declared Mr. Biblical. "And the father of lies has his sights on what you think the father of lies, Satan, would have his sights on -- A good, decent, powerful, influential country, the United States of America."
"If you were Satan, who would you attack?" he continued. "There's no one else to go after other than the United States, and that's been the case, for now, almost 200 years."

Then Mr. Biblical described in detail how the devil has attacked the United States in several areas: its foundations, academia, the Protestant Church and government.

Satan attacks us as a nation, and our great institutions, "using those great vices of pride, vanity and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition," First, Satan successfully, attacked academia.  After academia fell to pride and its own truths, the Protestant Church fell next in the United States, according to Mr. Biblical.

"We look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country, and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it," insisted the Catholic, Mr. Biblical, against his fellow Protestant Christians.

Next, he denounced American culture; the National Basketball Association, for example, along with rock concerts and movies. "They are peacocks on display, and they have taken their poor behavior and made it fashionable," all of which is just more evidence of spiritual warfare.

Politics and government have also “fallen to Satan,” insists Mr. Biblical, referring to then presidential candidate Barrack Obama’s position on abortion and a response he made during an interview in 2004 on the question of “What is sin?” "Being out of alignment with my values," Obama replied.

"So now we have the first truly post-modern presidential candidate. Clearly, explicitly defining his own reality," huffed Mr. Biblical.

"I’m a person of faith. I believe in good and evil," Mr. Biblical told CNN in Arizona this week regarding his Ave Maria University speech. "If somehow or another because you’re a person of faith and you believe in good and evil is a disqualifier for president, we’re going to have a very small pool of candidates who can run for president," he insisted.

Oh, I don’t think so, Mr. Biblical. Most if not all of the candidates would describe themselves as person’s of faith and believers in the concept of good and evil, but I seriously doubt that they would make a public speech attributing all of America’s ills to the work of Satan and vowing to enter America into a state of spiritual warfare. Sure, the Bible thumpers love it but most rational people would be appalled.

"If Rick Santorum is the commander in chief, he will do what no other president has had the courage to do: declare war on hell,” joked Stephen Colbert on his comedy show. "It's simple: All we have to do is take our nuclear missiles out of their silos and put them back in upside-down."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rick Santorum: Mr. Biblical for President

Last month I pointed out in morbid detail all the evidence indicating that Rick Santorum is the physical embodiment of the term “religious bigot.”  This man, perhaps unintentionally, perhaps not, revealed his true character once again last week when he explained to an ultra religious socially conservative audience that President Barack Obama leads this nation based on a theology different from that in the Bible.
“You may want to call it a theology; you may want to call it secular values. Whatever you want to call it… it is a different set of moral values that they are imposing on people who have a constitutional right to have their own values within the church,” he declared to thunderous applause.
Obama is not motivated by "your quality of life,” Santorum continued. Obama has reached a “low in this country’s history of oppressing religious freedom that we have never seen before.”“In the Christian church there are a lot of different stripes of Christianity… I’m just saying he’s imposing his values on the church and I think that’s wrong,” he said.

Liberals on “the left” have been imposing their own moral code on Americans for quite some time, he added. “You can call it a theology, you can call it a moral code, you can call it a world view,” “They want to impose [that] on everybody else while they insist and complain that somehow or another people of Judeo Christian faith are intolerant of their new moral code.”

To me his message is crystal clear: If elected President of the United States, Rick Santorum would lead this nation on the theology of the Holy Bible. Rick Santorum is an unabashed Christian theocrat. He’s Mr. Biblical. As president, he’ll impose his own religious values on us.

After his remarks raised media eyebrows, however, he tried to backpedal:  "I wasn't suggesting the president's not a Christian. I accept the fact that the president is a Christian," he said. "I was talking about the radical environmentalist; I was talking about energy, this idea that man is here to serve the Earth as opposed to husband its resources and be good stewards of the Earth. And I think that is a phony ideal.”
Right; it wasn’t about religion. It was really about energy. It just came out wrong. "I mean, this is just all an attempt to, you know, to centralize power and to give more power to the government," Santorum said. Sure, Barrack Obama is a Christian – just not the right kind of Christian according the Mr. Biblical. He’s not Biblical enough.

Then he tried to do a complete flip-flop on his position against birth control: He claims he’s been misconstrued by the difference between his public policy position, and his personal beliefs which are guided by his Catholic faith. "I support Title X, I guess it is, and have voted for contraception and although I don't think it works, I think it's harmful to women, I think it's harmful to our society," he said in an interview with Fox News.

But his campaign website says he wants to "repeal Clinton-era Title X family planning regulations, and will direct HHS to restore the separation of Title X family planning from abortion practices and restore a ban on referrals for abortion."

He voted for contraception but thinks it’s harmful for women and society and wants to repeal it. He believes that abstinence education is the better alternative to birth control. So what exactly is his position again? 

Last March, Rick Santorum insisted that America should go to war over “moral” values. The fact is that Rick Santorum has pledged to repeal all federal funding for contraception and allow the states to outlaw birth control: “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country.”

“Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be,” he preached recently. I think it’s harmful to our society to have a society that says that sex outside of marriage is something that should be encouraged or tolerated, particularly among the young.

Asked once if he would allow the police to search marital bedrooms for telltale signs of the use of contraceptives, he replied: “[t]he state has a right to do that, I have never questioned that the state has a right to do that. It is not a constitutional right; the state has the right to pass whatever statues they have.”

That’s because Rick Santorum actually believes in his heart that there is no human right to privacy in the United States of America. "[The] right to privacy…doesn't exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution," he once declared.

There is no fundamental right to privacy and absolutely no right to gay marriage either according to Mr. Biblical. “[When] I say things like marriage should be between one man and one woman, I’m called a bigot,” he readily admits. He signed a solemn pledge and voted “yes” on a proposed federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. In fact, he wouldn’t offer any legal protections at all to gay relationships and has pledged to annul all same-sex marriages if elected president.
Mr. Biblical believes that religious people have a constitutional right to discriminate against gays: “We have a right in the Constitution of religious liberty but now the courts have created a super-right that’s above a right that’s actually in the Constitution, and that’s of sexual liberty. And I think that’s a wrong, that’s a destructive element.” Santorum once declared.
“Marriage is not about affirming somebody’s love for somebody else. It’s about uniting together to be open to children, to further civilization in our society.” “[Gay marriage] threatens my marriage. It threatens all marriages. It threatens the traditional values of this country.”
So marriage has nothing to do with love in the mind of Mr. Biblical. And he is disgusted by gay people. “Gay people should stop being gay… This is common sense. This is nature, and what we’re trying to do is defy nature because a certain group of people want to be affirmed by society.”
“Life begins at conception, no exceptions for incest, rape, or the life of the mother, and doctors performing abortions should be criminally charged,” proclaims Mr. Biblical on the subject of abortion.
“The idea is that the state doesn't have rights to limit individuals' wants and passions; I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire,” opines Mr. Biblical on the issue of whether the fundamental right to Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness, as set forth in the Declaration of Independence, includes an individual’s right to pursue his or her own wants and desires.
Mr. Biblical also rejects the concept of cultural diversity for America: “The elementary error of relativism becomes clear when we look at multiculturalism. Sometime in the 1980s, universities began to champion the importance of “diversity” as a central educational value… The goal of diversity is wrong.”
Mr. Biblical approves of torture: “[John McCain] doesn’t understand how enhanced interrogation works. I mean, you break somebody, and after they’re broken, they become cooperative. And that’s when we got this information.”
Mr. Biblical approves of murder: “The U.S. should assassinate certain nuclear scientists from countries like Russia, North Korea and Iran.”
“The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical,” says Mr. Biblical.   
Mr. Biblical says of Democrats in America: “The American Left hates Christendom. They hate Western civilization.”
“Poor children should have to suffer hunger and other ills to prevent them from developing the sense of entitlement that comes from relying on government social programs... suffering, if you’re a Christian, suffering is part of life… Isn’t that what Jesus meant by suffer the little children?’” asks Mr. Biblical.
Mr. Biblical wants a constitutional amendment banning flag desecration; a loosening of restrictions on cell phone wiretapping; increased penalties for drug offenses; and reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act.
The government shouldn't require health care providers to cover prenatal tests like amniocentesis, which can determine the possibility of Down syndrome or other fetal problems, said Mr. Biblical last Sunday – not because it’s big brother government – but because amniocentesis "more often than not" results in abortion.

But then Mr. Biblical admitted that such prenatal testing revealed his own three year-old daughter’s chromosome disorder that often results in stillbirths or early childhood death. Such testing is good enough for him and his family but should not be part of every health care policy.
He and his wife decided against an abortion, which was their right, but other families would probably decide differently, and Mr. Biblical doesn’t like that idea. He laments the fact that in such cases "we know that 90% of Down syndrome children are aborted."
And he insisted that it’s President Obama, not him, whose intent on starting a cultural war. His ultra-right-wing socially conservative and religiously oriented audience loved it and roared with applause.
As president, he will call upon the country to build a foundation that will "defend the church, defend the family, defend the nonprofit community, defend them from a government that wants to weaken them," promised Mr. Biblical.
It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Audacity of Taxing and Spending

President Obama announced his 2013 proposed budget last week calling for about $2 trillion dollars in tax hikes and fees. In fairness it also includes some new tax cuts and credits for some which would lower that total to roughly $1.5 trillion – not much if you say it fast.
The orgy of profligate government spending during the last two presidential administrations continues unabated under this budget, and to keep it going strong, taxes will be drastically increased for successful individuals while any spending cuts here will be more than offset by more spending there.
Remember the Bush tax cuts? You know; the ones that did nothing whatsoever to strengthen the economy but, together with massive increases in military and other spending, resulted in the greatest economic collapse in America since the great depression? Well, they are scheduled to expire at the end of this year and the president can’t wait.
He hopes that by allowing the cuts to expire the government will collect about $968 billion in extra revenue over the next ten years from taxpayers earning more than $250,000 per year. Their income tax rate will jump back to the neighborhood 39.6 % of earned income. They’re already paying 35 % now, and the rate they’ll pay on dividend income would leap to 39.6 % from the 15% they pay now.
Long term capital gains for these folks will be taxed at the new rate of 20%, up from the current 15%, and the estate tax when they die balloons to 45% of what they accumulated during life, from the current 35% death tax now.
All of this means that, just with federal taxation alone, these folks will have to fork over about 40% of any income they receive during their lives, and then if they somehow manage to save anything for their kids, the government will confiscate nearly half of it when they die. If you are successful in this country, your government regards you as a golden goose.
Even God Almighty Himself, during biblical times, was more than satisfied and happy to take 10% in sacrifices from His flock of sheep. The United States Government, by contrast, demands more than four times that figure and it is never satisfied. It just keeps taking and spending; spending and taking.
The hike in investment income taxes, for example, is not quite enough to satisfy the government monster. It plans to implement a surcharge of 3.8 % to fund the federal health care overhaul, which will bring the top dividend tax rate to 43.4 %, and the top capital gains rate to 23.8 %.
Investors in the economy would be taxed on their profits as ordinary income, instead of at the current 15% rate, if the president has his way -- a tax increase amounting to more than 100%. And every household enjoying income of more than $1 million annually will be caught up in the “Buffett Rule,” which ensures that at least 30 % of it is taxed.
On top of all that, the value of all itemized deductions for households making more than $250,000, including items such as mortgage interest and charitable contributions, would be cut to a 28 % rate with the hope of raising another $584 billion in tax revenue over the next 10 years. So the cost of owning a home and giving to charity goes way up under Obama’s new budget plan.
Airline tickets will cost more too with stiff new fees to pay for “airline security.” I guess this means that the TSA won’t be going away anytime soon. Financial institutions will be charged some $61 billion-over the next decade in "financial crisis responsibility” fees, which will no doubt be passed right on down to the consumer – you and me – making the cost of doing business higher than ever.
The president considers things like the winding down of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as “savings,” and claims that his proposed budget will result in $4 trillion in “deficit savings,” yet the deficit is still expected to rise by at least $6.6 trillion over the next 10 years. It’s quite clear, then, that any “savings” generated by this budget will be far outweighed by new spending.
Don’t count on the Republicans to put a halt to the spending spree, unless by some miracle the libertarian, Ron Paul, is elected president. Republicans spend just as much or more as Democrats and want less taxes to boot which results in even greater deficits and debt.
Case in point: The Obama administration wants to cut funding for the “D.C. Opportunity Scholarship” program, a $60 million political pet project of House Speaker, John Boehner (R-Ohio), which helps underprivileged children in Washington D.C. get vouchers for private schools. This has politicians on both sides of the aisle screaming bloody murder. The president can’t even cut $60 million worth of pork without causing hysteria on Capitol Hill.  
Meanwhile, the powers that be at NASA, are crying “irrational,” over proposed cuts for exploration of other planets, especially Mars. Two years ago, President Obama said his ultimate goal was to send astronauts to Mars. Faced, however, with a choice between spending massive amounts on a new space telescope, or massive amounts on expeditions to Mars; Mars lost. Mars missions will continue, of course, but not at the rate of spending earlier anticipated.
The cuts to the Mars missions are part of a proposed reduction of about $300 million in NASA's $1.5 billion annual planetary science budget. The current Mars budget is $581.7 million. "To me, it's totally irrational and unjustified," carped Edward Weiler, NASA's former administrator for science. "We are the only country on this planet that has the demonstrated ability to land on another planet, namely Mars. It is a national prestige issue."
You see, as far as United States government agency administrators are concerned, it’s perfectly right and proper to spend $billions of taxpayer dollars on boondoggles such as national prestige issues. Why not? The money isn’t coming out of his pocket.
Instead, NASA is planning to spend a lot more taxpayer dollars on a replacement for the aging Hubble Space Telescope, and save Mars missions for later. The new James Webb Space Telescope, originally estimated to cost $3.5 billion, is now projected to cost around $8 billion, a budget busting cost overrun of more than 100%.
Where is the savings?
There are never any savings in politician land; only taxing and spending.
Remember the great Solyndra fiasco and scandal? The United States government guaranteed a loan for the staggering sum of $535 million – over a half $billion taxpayer dollars -- to a company which was going bankrupt, and the money simply disappeared into the sinkhole.
Now we know where at least a small portion of it went. Solyndra executives were awarded quarterly bonuses worth up to $60,000 apiece as the California solar-panel Company was headed for bankruptcy. The payments were described by one former employee as "retention" bonuses to slow the high rate of turnover at the company. The rats were deserting the sinking ship and taking the bonuses with them.
This is the audacity of government taxing and spending.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chicken Nugget School Lunch Nannies

Here’s a typical conversation between a parent and four-year-old child while the kid is getting ready for morning pre-school kindergarten:
“What would you like Mommy to pack for your lunch today, sweetheart?”
“I want a turkey sandwich with cheese, a banana, potato chips, and some apple juice, Mommy.”
“OK, honey.”
“Thanks, Mommy.”
 Sounds yummy to me; I like all that stuff for any meal; nutritious too, right?
Wrong, say the chicken nugget school lunch nannies at West Hoke Elementary School in Hoke County North Carolina.
A state Gestapo agent assigned to the pre-kindergarten school cafeteria for the sole purpose of inspecting every child’s lunch box thought that this kid’s homemade lunch didn’t have enough nutritional value, i.e. “did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture Division of Child Development and Early Education guidelines.”
The state sanctioned nanny confiscated the poor little kid’s lunch, forced her to eat chicken nuggets instead, and then sent her home with her offending uneaten packed lunch, a note chastising Mommy for not properly feeding her daughter, and a bill in the sum of $1.25 for the three nuggets she eventually ate.
The note explained that students who didn’t bring “healthy lunches” would be offered the missing portions and that parents would be charged for the cost of the cafeteria food. “When home-packed lunches do not include all of the required items, child care providers must supplement them with the missing ones,” say the nannies.
Naturally, the child’s mother was offended by school officials telling the kid that her mother wasn’t “packing her lunch box properly.” This is what the little kids are learning in school nowadays -- that the state knows better about how to take care of them than their own parents. The state employs the child as an agent to “correct” the parent.
This incident might seem as no big deal to some people, but to me it’s another incredible outrage connected with compulsory education in America which should not be tolerated. Free people should not be forced to endure this kind of tyranny at the hands of the criminal dictatorial state. That nanny and those school officials are criminals in my opinion and should face an appropriate penalty.
First of all, what the hell are paid states agents doing at a pre-school kindergarten cafeteria inspecting little kid’s lunch boxes in the same fashion the TSA inspects passenger’s belongings at airports? What makes them think they have the right to search children’s belongings as though they were inmates in a state prison?
Come to think of it, that’s exactly what they are as far as the state is concerned – little prisoners who are forced to line up every day, recite the pledge of allegiance to the state and otherwise conform like everyone else or be singled out for punishment. What’s next; going through their pockets and book bags searching for contraband? It’s simply inconceivable; it’s over the top. 
Secondly, what in the name of reason is wrong with a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, a bag of chips and a carton of apple juice for a 4 year-old girl? That’s exactly what she wanted and it’s just as complete and nutritious as any other lunch I can think of. How dare these statist bastards come between a parent and child to dictate what the kid can and can’t have to eat for a homemade lunch at school?
And, sure enough, in this instance, after the media uproar over the outrage, the school officials backed down and admitted that this packed lunch was perfectly appropriate for that little girl. There was no reason on Earth to put this family through that ridiculous ordeal.
Let’s suppose this mother fed her child a big breakfast that morning and she didn’t want any lunch? Would that give these public school Nazis the right to force feed her with chicken nuggets and send her home to her Mommy with a disparaging note and a bill? Lots of people don’t eat lunch and you can count me as one of them. Two meals a day is enough for me.
Finally, as far as I can tell from this story there was no apparent evidence that this little girl was malnourished, emaciated, starving, or deprived of sustenance in any way. It’s not like she showed up at school suffering with rickets, pellagra or some other horrible nutritional disease. She’s a healthy, happy, well nourished 4-year-old kid. So how is it that these nannies feel they have the right to meddle into her family’s domestic affairs?  
That’s the problem with compulsory public school education in America. Parents are forced to send their children to school, and kids are forced to attend for 13 or more of their most formative years. If that isn’t bad enough, the state then takes the liberty of teaching their captive audience exactly what it wants them to think instead of how to think, with the object of turning each and every one of them into obedient slaves of the collective, incapable of thinking for themselves, and totally allegiant to the state.
And nowadays it starts early in pre-school kindergarten with chicken nugget school lunch nannies.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Does the First Amendment Apply Only to Christians?

Last week I opined that the Catholic Church is quite correct with their complaint that president Obama’s contraception insurance healthcare mandate as applied to religious oriented institutions violates their right to religious expression under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.
I stand by that opinion now even after the president’s most recent compromise offer which does absolutely nothing to cure the violation. This is because, under the proposed compromise, religious institutions will still be at least indirectly responsible for furnishing contraceptive products and services insurance coverage to employees contrary to their deeply held religious convictions.
That being said, I still have to laugh and shake my head at the ignorance of the Church, and its selfish understanding of what the First Amendment means. They simply don’t have a clue. It’s as though the First Amendment applies to them and no one else.
Now they’re taking the position that they won’t be satisfied until the mandate is lifted from any person of faith who objects to facilitating contraception coverage for employees. They’re in no mood to compromise.
You see, it’s all about their faith, their religion, and to hell with everyone else. They just don’t understand how the First Amendment was conceived to protect the freedom of expression and conscience of everyone, not just people of faith. So it’s perfectly alright for Obamacare to force the insurance mandate on everyone else as far as they are concerned just as long as they don’t have to furnish coverage for contraception.
If Obamacare mandated that government provide money to the Catholic Church, or otherwise promoted religion in direct violation of the First Amendment Establishment Clause, that would be just hunky dory. If president Obama mandated Catholic prayers to be led by teachers to students in public school classrooms, that’s perfectly fine with them. They wouldn’t see any constitutional violation at all.
The bishops characterize the Obama mandate as government coercion of religious people to do something to which they have a moral or religious objection, and that is quite true, but when the shoe is on the other foot they could hardly care less. Both the government and the church have been guilty of plenty of coercion upon humanity in their time, but any complaints about that from the secular side usually falls upon deaf ears.
Right-wing social conservative politicians and religious zealots love to describe their First Amendment constitutional complaints in military terms, e.g. the government insurance mandate is “an attack; an unprecedented attack on religious liberty.” President Obama is waging a “war; a War on Religion.”
It conjures up images in my mind of President Obama and his minions of executive branch thugs brandishing machine guns and tanks in a pitched battle with poor little huddled and oppressed Christian victims holed up in their churches.

Nonsense! It’s just government being government. Not a day passes without the United States government doing something unconstitutional somewhere.
The Church is going to file suit in federal court over this egregious constitutional violation.  If the court vindicates their rights it will be seen as a victory against government religious oppression, i.e. against the state interfering with religion. That is as it should be.
But when atheists, for example, win a court case upholding their First Amendment Establishment Clause constitutional rights requiring separation between church and state and government neutrality in matters of religion, they see it as the work of activist judges who ought to be yanked from the bench.
Religious zealots in America want a government God.  They don’t want separation between church and state until the state starts messing with them in ways they don’t appreciate.
As far as the Church is concerned: The United States Constitution and the First Amendment apply only to Christians.   

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bulls-eye Building: Bin Laden’s Multi-Billion Dollar Manhattan Monument

The last thing in the world which should be built at the site of the 9/11 Twin Towers World Trade Center disaster in lower Manhattan is another lavish World Trade Center Tower complex. But that’s exactly what it’s going to be – a huge skyscraper together with an elaborate memorial and museum for the sake of historical posterity.
Now the entire 16 acre site is a permanent reminder and monument to the dark triumph of Osama Bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda terrorist mastermind who successfully brought it down, and a big red bulls-eye target for the next terrorist attacker to aim at.  
Aside from a suitable plaque memorializing the victims, and perhaps a small park with a few trees and a fountain, a better idea for the rest of the site, in my humble opinion, would have been a parking garage connected to a shopping mall or some other kind of innocuous facility – anything to divert attention and memory from the horror of 9/11.
But no; the irrational emotionally driven American powers that be felt compelled to dub the site “ground zero,” right from the beginning, and construct the most impracticably expensive building in the history of the world there.
From now on, hapless New Yorkers are going to have every wannabe Al Qaeda terrorist America hater and his mother flocking to the “ground zero” site in droves to pay tribute to their hero, Osama Bin Laden, at the place of his victory over the American imperialist crusader enemy. That is, until one of them finds a way to bring the new skyscraper down.
When first proposed, the building was expected to cost about $2 billion. Resting firmly in government hands, however, the price tag for One World Trade Center, the lavishly conceived replacement for the original Twin Towers, has ballooned to more than $3.8 billion to date, making it by far the most expensive office building in world history.
The developer of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, located in Dubai, UAE, by comparison cost in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion. The difference is mostly because of the politically charged nature of the World Trade Center project and the elaborate precautions which are deemed necessary to protect the building from future terrorist attackers.
Lengthy construction delays alone together with a myriad of political challenges and squabbles have resulted in eleven years of a still unfinished project. The site has been boarded up for more than 10 years.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, owners of the project, are displaying typical government malfeasance, mismanagement, and incompetence in the whole affair. Cost increases in the billions have resulted in higher bridge and tunnel tolls and reduced spending on other vitally necessary transportation and infrastructure projects in New York City.
Construction is far more complicated and expensive than with a traditional office tower, mostly because of security costs on a site that has been the target of two separate terrorist attacks in the past. The Twin Towers were bombed by terrorists in 1993 and then destroyed completely on 9/11/01.
Consequently, the new 1,776-foot skyscraper sits atop a heavily reinforced, windowless podium, and a thick core of steel and concrete surrounds its elevator shafts. The government run Authority has given up on any hope that the new World Trade Center will be profitable for a very long time.
For now, it’s just a big bulls-eye building – a multi-billion dollar Manhattan monument to Osama Bin Laden.