HR 3200: America’s UN-Affordable Health Choices Act

You can’t make a weak man strong by making a strong man weak. -Abraham Lincoln.

Mike Rogers, Congressman from Michigan, comments astutely on HR 3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009.

9-12

A time-lapse sequence of the march on Washington DC on September 12, 2009:

Smart… But Practical?

smart-car

I’m seeing them buzzing down the freeway more frequently lately, and although my sitings are increasing, they still surprise me when I seem them going by, especially if they’re in the carpool lane.

They’re Smart cars. Built for two and trendy, they’re a cute and cuddly fuel-efficient “green” car that is 95% recyclable. They have a small footprint. They seem very practical for the environment and look fun to drive, but I have my reservations about their overall usefulness. Here’s why I am not the right buyer for this vehicle:

Dogs? There’s no room for my dogs. In fact, there’s barely enough room to pack up my softball bag and head over to the ball field.

Family car? It won’t fit a family of four. In fact, it won’t accommodate a family of 3 – mom, dad, and baby in the child seat. It needs a sidecar.

Carpooling? If you want to drive the kids to school or soccer practice, you’re out of luck. There’s no room for lunches or backpacks. It’s definitely not a carpool car.

Visibility? They’re hard to notice on the freeway, at least in my experience, which is why I’m most often surprised when I notice one. They seem to appear suddenly, out of nowhere, and I’m a regular rear- and side-view mirror checker. I even turn my head prior to changing lanes, and I can still miss seeing them.

Road trips? Probably not. Can you see this little cell of a car parked at a highway rest stop next to an 18-wheeler? Yes, it gets great gas mileage, but how’s the long-distance comfort factor? Does it have cruise control?

Surfing? Where do you strap on the boards?

Skiing? There’s an interesting proposition. How does it handle in snow?

City? This is where this car belongs, in metro areas and college towns. It’s easy to park, gets great mileage, and then there’s that trendy style factor.

I am aware that some Smart car owners feel morally righteous that they’re doing something good for the environment in driving this vehicle, and it’s likely a trend that will become driving style over the next decade. Still, I won’t be driving one. My current car is paid for, gets decent mileage. and I can throw in my dogs, full camping gear, softball bag and three other people all at once and tie a kayak on top and hit the road. That’s what I call a car.

Thanksgiving No. 145

In the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln asked our nation (the Union at the time) to spend a day focusing on greater things. He was responsible for instituting Thanksgiving as a national holiday. To commemorate 145 Thanksgivings, here is the text of Lincoln’s proclamation. As you read it, take note of how far  we have drifted from the paradigm on which this holiday was founded.

Proclamation of Thanksgiving
Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward, Secretary of State

Source: The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler.

Take note that Thanksgiving is not “Turkey Day”. Let’s not degrade it into a celebration of self-indulgence in comfort foods and subsequent bloating, but let’s instead recognize the need for providence in our nation and give thanks to the Provider.

The Morning After

 

We asked for change, and we’re getting it. All things are possible, but not everything is profitable. The “dream of our founders” is dying.

The USA is no longer politically centrist but has slipped far left. Given the liberal/socialist control of Congress, the Executive branch and the judiciary, we have no balance of power. All government power is now left-leaning and this nation will tumble in that direction and eat the fruit of its desire for change, celebrity and comfort. Our gates will be left unguarded. We will be vulnerable to attack from outside and within. Our productivity and creativity will wane due to the lack of reward. Businesses will seek friendlier shores, liberty will deteriorate into licentiousness, comfort will override character, free speech for all will be reneged on and our government will grow into an overwhelming burden on the backs of its citizens. 

Rather than our government existing for the protection and peace of the people, the people will exist to feed the government.

History has proven that not all change is good. We have sown the wind for these past two years at least. Get ready for the whirlwind, because it’s on its way.

Voters in Harlem Interviewed on Howard Stern’s Radio Show

I don’t listen to Howard Stern, but found this clip rather eye-opening.

Why I’m Not An Undecided Voter

Every person has a world view, a set of beliefs that informs our thinking, our decisions and our actions. It is how we interpret the world and deal with it. 

My world view is not only how I understand things to be, it is the basis on which I vote. I will never be one of those much-wooed “undecided voters”. In fact, to be undecided, in my world view, is a symptom of not knowing which end is up, or even of being uninformed. A person who is undecided between two such starkly contrasting world views as we have represented in this election doesn’t know what they believe about the world and won’t be voting based on issues.

I gave some thought to my world view and how it informs the choices I will commit to while I’m in the voting booth. These are a few of the things that I will never be undecided about:

Marriage is one man and one woman. Period. Anything else and it’s not marriage. You can’t take a horse and slap a giraffe label on it and expect it to be a giraffe; it’s still a horse. Marriage is, has always been and always will be one man and one woman.

Don’t open the door to the enemy. If the enemy is in the neighborhood, don’t let him stay there. The concept of turning the other cheek was originally intended to address the idea of personal revenge, not protection and security.

Israel is the only democracy and our only ally in the Middle East. We need to support it for that reason alone.

Family solidity and stability is crucial for the survival of humanity. 

Parents have jurisdiction over the training and molding of their children.

Care for the least, the lost, the unborn, the newborn, the elderly, the disfigured and the disabled. Human beings are worthy of being valued at any stage of life.

Governments exist for the protection of the people, not to provide programs and privileges.

Natural law cannot be violated without consequences.

Civil rights are not the same as human rights. Citizens of a government enjoy the rights afforded by that government. Non-citizens do not.

Good stewardship over our resources is required, but the environment, animals and plants do not have the same value as a human being.

Capitalism is more equitable than socialism.

Truth is absolute. Truth is true for all people, at all times, in all places. It does not change.

Neither party platform is perfect. I will vote for the platform that most closely aligns with my world view. No candidate has all the answers. But I will vote for those who are nearer to my way of understanding how the world works.