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Monthly Archives: April 2010

This is the last of the series on faith, hope, and charity.  It’s on Duty, probably the most significant thing out of the group, and the one that might matter the most.

As Americans we have few duties or at least so I feel.  Because we live in a free society that society does not demand much on us.  I stated earlier that we have only one duty, though I think I called it an obligation, to pass on our freedom that we have been given to the next generation.

We have a duty, in some small way, to maintain this country, and our freedoms so the next generation can enjoy them and enjoy living in a country that can still enjoy their liberty and their freedom from big government intrusion.

But it is hard to maintain something.

Even I go through this.  Right now at my house our watering system is on the fritz so I have to lug a tub of water around and do it by hand on nights.

It is slow, tiring, aggravating work and I would almost rather not do it and let the plant burn.

But if I want to maintain this house, and if I want it to look nice, and obey the higher authority of the house, I have to lug it around.  And the results have been truly remarkable.

So must we, if we are to survive as a people then we must need to fulfill our few duties.  We need to take an interest in the government, its goings on, and in politics.  Or at least philosophy and to how to make our country better.

We cannot give into apathy and not worry about the problems that are facing us.

That is not to say that this is to be our whole lives, just a little healthy interest and curiosity.

But the main thing that is required, for the duty, is we need to excercise our rights.  Speak without Fear, Question with Boldness, proudly proclaim all of your rights from the roof top.  Yell it out loud.

If we do not use our rights, we will lose them.  After all as JFK said, “Without Debate…no Republic can survive.”

We have that duty, to use our freedoms and pass them onto the next generation for the peril that all we hold dear as a people, as a society, and all we hold dear in our government.

I will expand on this in a later blog.

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Today is, for me, an important day, for two reasons.  First of all it is the birthday of my favorite, most gorgeous, and one of the best actresses out there. (Happy Birthday!)  Then today is also tax day in the United States of America.

Hmmm a little bit of heaven and hell on the same day.

Well one of my dear friends wanted me to do yet another tax blog.  At first I was like “NO!” I mean I have done this over and over again.  Sin Tax bad, income tax bad, kind of  luke warm on the fair tax, as well as the flat tax.

Do not get me started on entitlements (but I will get to them.)

Now personally I like the idea of a flat fair tax, without deductions or rebates, but that is just me.

But I do not think that should be the point.

Now, I was at a Home Depot shopping with my father, and we (he) got into a conversation with a clerk about her son, and she said, well since he has a certain last name then he is entitled to certain benefits that she did not specify.

No, that is not the way out, no deductions, no special considerations for names or race or creed, and I am kinda uncomfortable with charity being tax exempt to but that is a whole nother subject.

But the point is that taxes need to be fair, taxes need to be at the same rate and equal.

That does not mean everyone is taxed the same.  Because no one makes the same amount of money or consumes the same amount of new cheap stuff.  But what it does mean is the rate is the same, and everyone will be chipping in something.

No one needs to be special and have thousands of thousands of pages of code to see how they can best game the system.

There are three things that I am…really apprehensive about when it comes to adulthood.  Parenting, Driving, and Taxes.

One because I am not sure how to do it and not sure I will be any good at it, another because I am sure I will distract myself and run over a Prius with my SUV and then get sued.

With taxes because it is so complicated.  I do not want to take or consider deducting this or that for charity, I just want to give, give my all and give all that I can.  Not to come home and game the system and figure out how charitable I have been.

I just want to give freely, without incentive, because it is who I am.  Or at least who I want to be.

But there is another element to this.

We were on the way to the American Revival, and we were listening to Tom Lehrer.  Comedian, musician from the 50-60s, you might have heard of him.

One of his songs is about Christmas, and he states(preposterously) that Christmas unites us on what we really believe in, in other words money.  He is trying to be funny, not the point.

But I thought about it for a second, and it got my wheels going.  In relation to a request to do another tax blog, in relation to the American Revival.  I thought.

Outside of God (our money says In God We Trust) there are very few things that we as Americans believe in more than our money.  That, dare I say it, we have faith in it.

At a basic level.  Not to say it is important, not to say we worship the almighty dollar, but we have generally had faith that a dollar is a dollar and that we can work and make something.

That we work, we get paid, then we expect to spend that money to get something we want.  And that something is worth X number of dollars.

Well as time goes on I have less and less faith in our currency and in its stability.

And that is coming through massive spending and massive squandering and looting of our treasury, not only for this generation, but for future generations as well.  By both of the parties.  By all of the politicians.

Because there is no hope.

There is no truth in hope.

Our politicians are lying to us misleading us and trying to manipulate the truth.

We do not know where to turn, our tax code is….huge.  It’s full of deductions, and exceptions, and which way to go, we do not know where to turn.  Most of us literally have to hire someone else to do the job for us, spending hundreds of additional dollars.  In some way or the other.

There is no hope in that, we just do not know what to do.

And Charity?

For the most part the current system does nothing to encourage charity, and does everything to discourage it, especially for the richer members of society.

It is designed, with the rest of the system, and the rest of the entitlement societies, to discourage charity.

That the government can do it FOR you.

That destroys the very thing that you are trying to create in the first place.  That is not good.

We need a better system, one that is specifically designed to do what everyone claims to love.

We need to restore Faith, Hope, and Charity in our monetary policy if we are to survive as a people.  If no one trusts our money, then no one trusts us.

Charity, it is what shelters us and protects us.  And, ironically I am writing this on Tax Day even though I did not intend to.  Oh well such is life.

There are few things that are more important to a free people then being charitable to one another.  To being able to freely give your help to anyone who needs it, whether it is a hand, whether it is money, whether it is volunteering your services.

But these principles are under the greatest attack.

It is under attack by taxes who take more money from our pocket-book and mandates it that it be spent for charity.  We can do it ourselves, we do not need the Government’s help and that is NOT charity.

It is also under attack by the Government mentality that we cannot make it without them.  That only they know how to spend our money the best, and that we are wrongheaded if we think that we can spend our money by ourselves.

It is under attack from the sheer number of services that the Federal and even the State Governments do for us.  Food stamps, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, health care, education, bail outs, redistribution of wealth, and countless others.

This is not to say that finding ways of doing these things is not important for us as a society.  But I think that the more freedom, the more choice, and the more individual charity that we can do, the better.

That instead of saying that we are the Government and only we can do it for you, saying, like in generations past, you are on your own bub.

I believe we are a charitable people, I believe that we can and should help out as neighbors and citizens, and just normal people that come together to solve all of the problems that we are facing.

That we can be strong and we can be charitable.

And we must be charitable.  The Government is raising massive debts and massive spending and it is just unsustainable.  We cannot do this now, as we have not been able to do this in the past.

There will be people who will come out of the situation and wonder, how the heck did we get here.

So, we need to be as strong as we can, as charitable as we can, and instead of raising the hand of violence we must offer the hand of friendship.

Because we can do this.  We can come together and help each other out in ways that the Federal Government has never been able to do.  Just like we have in the past.  Just like we have now.

We continue to be charitable despite being robbed by punitive and over burdened taxation.  We continue to be charitable despite having 60, 70, maybe 80?, percent of our wealth taken from us.

We continue to ask, seek, and give charity despite a huge percentage of people not paying taxes, and getting tax money in return.

Charity is the only thing that can shelter us, out of the goodness of our hearts, and in ways that no Government can truly understand.

Because we are here, we are not in Phoenix, or Sacramento, or Albany, or Washington DC.  We are here, in the trenches, and we know what people need in charity, through day-to-day meetings and efforts.

And I do not want to worry about tax deductions and incentives for being charitable.

Hope, the second part, and the actual ‘house’.

Two things give hope, I feel, in our day-to-day lives.

The first thing is through our mere existence.  Which can be summed up in quotes that I have read in the Lord of the Rings, or watched in the Television show Andromeda.  Simply ‘where there is life there is hope.’

This is important for the understanding of what I believe hope to be.  Hope, I believe comes from our mere existence.

Because without living, we would not have the opportunity to have the hope in our lives.  If we die, we are dead and then there is no hope, no life, and no opportunity to better our lives and climb out of the muck.

But hope also comes from truth.

You can get hope with lies or with great men telling you that you can follow them, that they will lead you out of the muck and better the conditions of the people.

But only in the truth can we truly be set free through hope.

A lot of this is lying to ourselves.  We convince ourselves, time and time again, that our leaders are greater than they are, that everything will be OK, that our lot will somehow improve.

But that is more optimism, that is more false hope.

That is not to say that we should not be optimistic, that we should not be hopeful that things will get better one day.  I think they will, I am hopeful of that.

But the only way to get there is through a bitter acceptance of the truth, and a strict adherence to it.

Too long have we been lied to by people, too long have we lied to ourselves.

The only way you can have proper hope is to have knowledge on where you are, what is your situation, and how to get out of it.  You have to know where you stand in order to deal with, the situation realistically and then change it.

With the truth you know exactly where you are, and how you need to make yourself stronger and that you have to make the world stronger.

You know what to do to fix your own life, and what you need to do.  With the truth.

With the truth you have control of the situation.  You are knowledgeable and informed and can conquer and prepare for the worse.  So at least you are strong in case things do go awry.

But then you can strengthen others, and help them for the truth.

Only the truth can set us free.

This is the first blog of a long series on Faith, Hope, and Charity.

Faith is the foundation, it’s what we as people have been built on, and is what is at the core of our nation.

It is also important to our continued survival as a Nation.

To me there are two issues that need to be bought up in the discussion of our Faith.

The first is on the individual.

We have lost Faith in our own ability to change the world and make the world a better place.  At the center of the American Dream is a Faith that we as the individual can make it with our own two feet and hands.  That we do not need Government to step in, and interfere for us.

We have, for the most part, lost the Faith of our own greatness.

And that is also constantly mocked, and scorned, and discouraged by our Government.

We are told that we cannot do it, that we are here for you, that if you fail and are important we will bail you out.

That the Government is no longer just here to protect you from people who will take your life or your rights away.  But that the government is here to….well protect you from yourself.

That you are stupid, evil, wrong-headed and you cannot make the decisions that are best for you.  Because, you are perfectable, but only if you do it through Government intervention.

This is dangerous.

Without Faith in our own ability to make it, in our own strength, then we will be willing to go to any master to help us.  The Government, unions, anyone else, and they will take power over us.

This is something that we must restore.  We must restore Faith in our humanity.

That if someone is hurt we can help them out, of our free will, and we do not need to do it at gun point or by excessive taxation, Social Justice, or Redistribution of Wealth.

Even IF we do then the role of that should be minimal and we should be doing everything in our power to encourage the individual to do that job, and the Governments role should be minimal, if we need it, and I do not think we do.

Then there is the restoring God to His proper place, ah yes, something I have been giving a great deal of thought to.

Now I am an agnostic, I am not sure what God’s will is, and I do not claim to know, I do not know a lot about the Super Natural, I have theories, but that is not really the point.

The point is that even I believe in a Super Natural Creator that Created us as Humans, and that had a large part in the creation of our Nation.  In one way or the other.

I also believe that He is the keeper of our rights.

That is not the opinion of our Government right now, our Government is trying their best to run as fast and as hard from religion.

Tom Harkin, and others, believe and has said that our rights are the Governments, and that the Government Creates Rights.

I will do my best to debunk that in future blogs, but for the moment a simple declaration will do.  The Government is Not the Creator of our Rights as Humans, or as Americans.

Even if there is not a God it is a dangerous assumption that they are.

It can be the Force, it can be the Natural Order, but Government cannot be the Creator or the arbiter of our rights.  Because then they can take them away, or they can make assumptions for the powerful, the wealthy, or those in the know.

That is where we must restore ‘God’ to His position in our society.  If there is no God or no Supernatural Force then the Government is literally the most powerful Force in the Universe.  With the President of the United States the most powerful being in the universe.

That is dangerous.

Coupled with the individual, Faith is powerful.

Some people scorn those of Faith for having a God.  Oh I do not believe in a God or a religion so I am pure and my morality is driven by pure reasons, oh you believe in God you should not participate in Government or Public institutions.   They then scorn those of Faith who believe in a higher power that is looking out for you and is there for you.  I do not think its a bad thing, I understand it.

I understand the power in the knowledge that if you feel you have an all-powerful force looking out for you.  That loves you, protects you, and redeems you if you have the wherewithal to genuinely reform.

If I may quote the first bible printed in the United States, printed by Congress: “a neat Edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use of schools.”

Source: http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=46

And also according to David Barton that the four main principles of American Government are:

1. There  is a Creator

2. The Creator gives certain inalienable Rights to man.

3. Governments exists to protect these God-given Rights.

4. Government powers are to be operated only with the permission of the Citizens.

To paraphrase our constitution which some of our elected officials state publicly is of little concern to us today, even though they took an oath of office to support and defend this document.  I digress.  The first amendment to our constitution guarantees us Freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. According to recent polls over 75% of americans identify themselves as Christians, and uphold Christian values. So when the radical elements in this country attempt to put you down by interfering with your faith, stand up strong,  YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

That sounds good enough for me.

I was watching something on the TV that led to the inspiration for this blog.

When I was watching this program a quote from Thomas Jefferson came to mind:

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

I feel that I can add an amendment to that quote.  One that…to the best of my knowledge…has never been said before.

“When the people fear the government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. And when the people do not care anymore, there is a revolution.”

That is not to say that I advocate any sort of violence or an overthrow of the government.  What I do advocate is a peaceful debate of thought, and a peaceful change of those in government.

Because, there is plenty to be afraid with the federal government, and sad to say fellow citizens.

If we speak out and excercise our right to criticize this government, or any government for that matter, we get called nasty names and have untruths made up about us. at the very least.

At the most, well I will leave that up to your imagination and your personal experience.

This is from the government and this is from other people.

We have been called racist, fascist, stupid, ignorant, and a threat.  We have been called out by the government and we have been called violent and dangerous.  A threat, maybe even terrorists, extremists and militia members.

But it seems as though, right now, we no longer care.  We are still meeting, buying, going out and proclaiming our patriotism and our unease with current government policies.

We are blogging and writing.  Participating in polls and online forums to get our voices out in the midst of stiff opposition.

We are gathering in Arenas and in public places and wondering what are we going to do?  What is the solution to the problem?

Some of us are posting on the door to their offices that ‘if you supported Obama Care… seek your health care elsewhere.’  However people will still be treated. Not to do so would be a violation of professional ethics, at least. If people choose on reading that sign to get their care elsewhere  then so be it.  This of course sends the liberal mind into such a frenzy that the livelihood and licenses of those care providers is threatened. The race card and the bigot card are played.

But yet we cannot care about this and we should not.  The more they try to stop or discourage us the more we should yell from the rafters our intentions, our principles, and the more that we need to, must, seek out like-minded people.

To continue to participate in the debate and maybe, just maybe, convince others of our cause.

We cannot give into violence, we cannot give into our fears or our hates.  We must continue to be peaceful in this and we will win.

We must be clear and articulate and continue to teach our perspective and our truth.

After all from Janis Joplin’s Me and my Bobby Magee, Freedom is Just a word for nothing left to lose”

Well we still have plenty to lose, our country, and our freedoms.  We must fight to protect these and our other rights from any government intrusion, or when we feel we have been wronged by the government.

Make note of people inside the government. Do they support the founding principles, or the socialist cause of the day. And please remember in November when you vote.

In what might be the most obvious blog that I have ever written, the topic for the day is the American Dream.

Just what is it?

For many, or at least what many literary figures, politicians, and other people have had to say on the subject is that the American dream is to own your own home.

I beg to differ.

Sure owning your own home is a big part apart of the American dream, but it is not the whole deal.

The American Dream,I feel, has its roots in the founding of this nation. The big clue  as to what the American dream is can be found there.

Simply, I believe, that the American dream is to control your own destiny.

Not to own the best, or the biggest.  Not to own a house, it has nothing to do with material things.

Granted for many people who is their American Dream, to own a house, to have financial success and security, to own a big sixty inch TV, or a PlayStation 3.

But those are merely products of that dream, which is to own your own destiny.

To be able to say that I want this, or I want that.  Then having enough control to be able to go out and get it.

Because for home ownership, to many, that is controlling your destiny.  It is yours, it is your home, it is where you go to retire and sleep and eat.  It’s where you raise your family, it is the ultimate symbol of control for many.

But, that part does not work out for everybody.  Not everyone can have their own home, not everyone can afford it or have the ability to share.

For them the American Dream expresses itself in smaller ways, but it is still there.

As long as we can make decisions for ourselves.

As long as we can control our own destiny.

That is my American Dream anyways.

I can blog about many things, and I am not sure on which topic I should be blogging about.  I could do taxes, blargh, or the disparity between federal and private employees, ugh.

But again the issue that comes to mind is immigration.

Now, I have blogged about this recently, but I think there is something that needs to be bought to light.

I live in Arizona, and many around the country have heard of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Here in the local news, a couple of weeks ago, a local Latino advocate or Politician was advocating that Maricopa County should be taken over by the federal government.

Well this really disturbed my Constitutionalist/federalist/ conservative/ Libertarian self.

It also got me thinking.

Maricopa County maybe, and Arizona most likely, will be the crossroads and the main battle line for any immigration reform.

Because, depending on who you listen to, the Federal Government is either considering a Jobs bill, or they are considering trying out some form of immigration reform.

Which, the latter, will likely involve some form of amnesty.

The purpose of this is wide and varied, but in short, I believe that it is to make us forget about Health Care.

But more importantly it is going to polarize the country, and leave the independents confused on where to go.  They cannot go to the liberals because they insist on taking away our freedoms, but the Conservatives and Libertarians are dirty racists, at least so we hear in the media,  and do not want immigration reform.

At least this is what I fear, as always this is just the beginning of this process, so we will have to wait and see, but we already know that the dialogue is that we are a bunch of racists.

We are just going to have to wait, and see, and hope I am wrong.

Throughout history,  humans have fought wars.  Wars of territory, control, power, and resources.

For the most part though, with America, that has not been the case.  *hears a stampede of Liberal bloggers stampeding to dispute this claim*

Now throughout this has been two different philosophies, I believe.  Nation Building, versus Nation Guiding.  Taking over and saying your way or the highway or just guiding and creating the environment where Democratic, or a more peaceful government, can prosper.

I believe this is one of the reasons that we have succeeded in places like Japan, Germany, during World War 2, and maybe even Iraq.

Now this remains at this point a theory, and I am still working this out.  Part of the reason I am writing this, to engage in debate and see where I am on this and if I am right, wrong, or on the right track.

Also, there is very little difference between the two concepts.  It could just, in the end, be a measure of degrees and involvement.

Now in Nation Building, in this premise, you have ultimate control, we are going to build your nation in our likeness and tell you what to do.  To enlighten you to make you better, to educate you, and to say that it is your way.  This is big in imperialism, either through colonies, or shaping a Government.

Then there is Nation Guiding.

It is sending your troops into harms way, maybe even starting off by nation building, and then staying there long enough to ‘clean up the mess’ and win.

Its saying, ok, we just kicked out your evil leader, now we are here.  We will help you, we will be there for you, we will prevent other forces from taking over from the outside who is just as bad as the one we left.  And we will create the circumstances so you can have your own government, and build your own society.

And that is the key, the big difference.

In one case you have us taking responsibility for an entire people, that we are saying that you cannot live without us, or our government.  And on the other we are encouraging people to have responsibility, just with the solemn promise that we will be there until you are ready to take all of your responsibility.

This is the difference, I believe.

There can be much debate on which war is which, how America should be involved, should we be involved, should we go to war, what should we do to help, what does harm?

But the point is that at the end of the day all involvement is not bad, and that is the point.