Week in Review: 7.2016

February 15, 2016



 

  • Everything this week was overshadowed, in my opinion, by the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.  I will write more on the issue that now arises with his death and departure from the bench, but it is sufficient to say that this is a severe blow to our nation. We have lost a strong judicial leader. Scalia held firmly to the notion that we must be governed by the Constitution…a growing rarity in the Federal Government. Scalia once said, sadly, that he didn’t think we would ever return to abiding by Constitutional Law. Without it, the Federal Government is unaccountable. Scalia fought to bring us back under that accountability. Now he is gone. The Remnant must be in diligent prayer for this. If the current President appoints a replacement, it will be someone who is of the complete opposite opinion. The court will tip further toward the position that law is to be made by those in power but without Constitutional authority to do so: the Judicial and Executive Branch, with all of its Agencies. Without any accountability coming from the press or the State Governors, we are increasingly allowing the Federal Government to become an unfettered beast.
  • The Louisiana Governor Edwards has threatened the good people of his state that unless they agree to raise taxes, LSU football will not be played this year. Although there is a big debate about the “profitability” of college football, my guess is that the LSU football program has been targeted by the Governor, not because it would help to balance the state’s budget were it eliminated, but because the threat carries great emotional weight in the battle to raise taxes. Just as the President closed things like the WWII monument during the battle over passing his federal budget, these things are done, not because the financial truth necessitates them, but because of the manipulative power they carry. This is a rather disgusting lack of integrity. But it isn’t as if this virus isn’t common to human nature, for it is found even in the child who tries to manipulate the parent by saying “you don’t love me” when they don’t get their way.  It costs little to keep a memorial open but it is worth gold in the game of manipulating the minds of an unthinking and emotional driven citizenry. The federal and many state budgets are in deep trouble, yet the foolish mindset continues to think that raising taxes, rather than cutting expenses, is the way forward. It isn’t. It is the way of the fool. Education is a huge governmental business. It not only doesn’t belong there, but it suffers from the same monopoly symptoms from which any monopoly suffers: high cost and low quality. Instead of dropping LSU football, the whole country would be better off privatizing colleges and letting the cost/benefits play themselves out in the market.
  • Another “shake-your-head” item comes from San Diego where a city manual intimated disciplinary actions were awaiting those who would dare use the phrase “Founding Fathers”. This, apparently, was a no-no in the regulations entitled “Bias-Free Language”. The rules were fortified this week with additional verbal warnings.  When a watchdog group cried foul, the Mayor immediately tweeted his actions to remove the offending language. One wonders, however, what would have happened had there been no voice raised against it? We all bear a responsibility to speak up when we find things that are wrong. Don’t abdicate this role.
  • This will raise some controversy, even among conservatives, but Virginia is proposing to adopt a law that makes it a $100 offense for smoking in a car with a child. I don’t smoke, but I have long been an advocate for their freedom and for the freedom of a business to allow or disallow smoking on its premise. At issue here is how far we allow the civil government to limit citizen’s freedom under the guise of “protecting” them. The mayor of New York believes that they should protect people from too much sugar and outlawed “big gulp” soft drinks. Others want to outlaw trans fats. I agree that there are things that are harmful to us. But it is a double-edged sword to cry for the government to save us from ourselves. If you are an avid supporter of anti-smoking laws, take notice that we only limit those things that have become politically correct to rail against. Smoking is a popular PC cause today. Sex and profanity and violence and immorality in movies and music aren’t, even though they are polluting us in far worse ways than questionable effects of second-hand smoke. Be careful of granting more power to civil government. If it is of concern to you, sponsor public ads telling adults to refrain or roll down the windows.
  • The Iranian state TV is celebrating its January capture of U.S. Navy sailors by showing humiliating videos of our men during the ordeal. This, of course, is the kind of “lack-of-respect” response that most any Mid-Eastern expert would have predicted following our show of weakness in the President’s illegal treaty with Iran last year. This is but a small consequence compared to those which I believe are yet to come.
  • The earth is but a small spot in the Milky Way Galaxy, which contains 100 billion stars. And, the Milky Way Galaxy is an even smaller spot in the enormity of the Universe and only one of 100 billion “known” galaxies. That number just went up this week as an observatory in Australia discovered several nests of galaxies that have been hidden behind the brilliance of the Milky Way. It boggles the mind to even think of the magnitude of what has just been found: nearly 300 new galaxies discovered. Yet 300 is just a drop in the bucket to the 100 billion galaxies that exist. “The heavens declare the glory of God.” Psalm 19:1
  • Speaking of a drop in the bucket, we learned this week that over 500,000 “non-citizens” were granted $750 million under Obama Care last year—folks who did not, or could not, verify their citizenship. This is part of a crazy policy where the government gives out money without verification and then asks for it back later if the verification doesn’t eventually show up. For people who have to pay taxes, $750 million dollars is a lot of money, but in the context of a federal budget approaching $4 trillion, it is quite nothing to a federal bureaucrat.
  • And, speaking of budgets, the President and Congress shook hands last year on a 2-year spending plan, and then the President promptly broke that promise this week and submitted a $3.72 trillion dollar budget request, which is a mere $400 billion dollars more than revenue. At some point, some day, and sometime soon, this insanity has to stop. It will either end through wise, tough measures, or it will end in runaway inflation and financial collapse. Why can’t we see this? I suppose it is not much different than the alcoholic whose family keeps pleading with him, asking why he continues to destroy himself and hurt everyone else in the process. We hear the voices, but we can’t stop spending…we can’t stop grabbing more power. It is a national addiction.
  • I can’t stop talking about this…let’s say your daughter makes $33,200 per year. Yet, every year, she spends more than she makes. Her credit card debt is now at $190,000. She keeps getting new credit cards because the others are maxed out. She is excited this year because she intends to add only $4,000 to her debt. Are you okay with this?
  • Last Sunday’s Super Bowl brought in a lot of revenue from the commercials, charging $5 million per 30 seconds. One of those ads was a Doritos commercial showing a pregnant mom getting an ultrasound while dad munched on Doritos. The baby in the womb reacted to the Doritos and appeared to reach out to one held out by the dad, “chasing” it as he playfully moved it around. Most thought it was cute, but the NARAL Pro-Choice America bunch were incensed because Doritos had “humanized” the fetus…obviously making a human baby with arms and legs and a beating heart and maybe just a few weeks from delivery, appear as if it were…well…“human”! My goodness…how politically incorrect of Doritos to make a human baby appear to be a human baby. NARAL wants, of course, for them to be portrayed as something akin to oil sludge. Does anyone else have the sense that we have entered into La La Land?