Friday, August 28, 2009
This just in from CNET News:
"Bill would give president emergency control of Internet"
by Declan McCullagh
The U.S. Senate proposed this bill in the spring and Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Democrat from West Virginia, spent the past few months revising it.
But the revisions still give the President authority to shut down private internet access if he so much as sticks his wet finger in the air and declares "a cybersecurity threat".
From the Article:
"The new version would allow the president to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" relating to "non-governmental" computer networks and do what's necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for "cybersecurity professionals," and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license."
When Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the early fifteenth century, the first full length book he printed was the Gutenberg Bible.
With biblical truth made available directly to the masses, the people broke the religious stranglehold the church had placed upon them.
They knew the truth.
And they were set free.
Science, art, inventions, politics, geography, and the list goes on...all these subjects spread knowledge with the advent of the printing press.
Adult literacy exploded and the simple farmer as well as the lofty monarch could read about the world around them.
The spread of knowledge brought communities together in shared passions and interests instead of fear of the unknown.
And of course the powers that be did not like it.
They did not like the masses having access to knowledge...it weakened their power.
Power is the same drug today that it was then, and has always been.
If you don't think our President wants that kind of power, I'm afraid you haven't been paying attention to his reactions lately.
This is what he's done with the debacle of Obamacare:
He refuses to address the fears and concerns of ordinary Americans across the country.
He refuses to admit he's read it, or knows what's in it.
He calls seniors and vets who protest it, right-wing liars and organized mobs.
He is telling lies about the bill in the hopes that most Americans are too apathetic to find out what's in it.
But he can't stop the truth from filtering out through conservative news sites, social networking sites, and the like.
The jig is up on Obamacare, because of the internet.
Unconstitutional, liberty-killing laws cannot be pushed onto the masses if the masses know what's coming down the pike.
So Obama has to stop the information at its source.
He knows what a powerful tool it is...he used it to his great advantage during his campaign.
Now the pesky thing has turned on him.
Because the internet is neutral and beyond his control.
It can be used to spread lies or the truth.
And the truth has a way of coming out on top.
But, I have hope this internet power grab will take some time.
And time is not on Obama's side.
It takes time to lull people into believing it's for their own good.
That is why we've seen an unprecedented push of unread bills, and hidden amendments...these bills cannot see the light or the exposure will kill them.
That is why we didn't get to see the stimulus bill, or debate it before it passed.
So, I'm not willing to let this internet power grab alarm me...yet.
But, I'm open to the possibility.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
He came home the other day and told me about a film his teacher showed him in his World Civics class.
The show depicted various adults from all walks of life, hugging trees and crying.
They cried about the tree's pain. They cried about the inhumanity that cut them down.
They cried about the tree's being made into paper and houses and grocery bags.
I asked my son what he thought about all that.
He said the whole class burst out laughing. They sniggered and giggled during the entire film.
Because teenagers are fairly canny human beings.
They can tell when adults are acting like lunatics.
They even have a name for people who live by their emotions.
They call them "Emos".
Of course calling teenagers emotional is a little redundant, but apparently Emos kick it up a notch.
But Emos let loose to decide the fate of millions of Americans...well, that bothers me greatly.
With the recent release of the Lockerbie airplane bomber, Ali Megrahi, we caught a glimpse of what happens when Emos in the British government coddle and comfort the enemy.
But from the enemy...they got a sneer and a giggle.
And now the Obama government is continuing this season of contempt for victims of terror by investigating the very people who saved America from further terrorist attacks.
Obama is going after the CIA.
Attorney General, Eric Holder, is launching an investigation into the CIA's interrogation techniques used during the Bush administration.
Yes, that's right. The lawyers have arrived to bring humanity, empathy, and good feelings to the War on Terror...er, I mean "Overseas Contingency Operation".
The effect is such that no CIA operative will ever get life-saving information from a terrorist again.
by Judson Berger
"It permits interrogators to ask questions in a "rapid fire" sequence; repeat questions over and over; try to break the prisoner by focusing on his emotional anxieties or personal fears; change the environment in which the prisoner is being questioned; and, under very specific circumstances, keep a detainee separated from others.
"One method, the "direct approach," is simply when the interrogator asks questions. Another involves creating incentives for cooperation. The "emotional pride" approach is when the interrogator flatters the prisoner into cooperating by appealing to his ego. The "silent approach" is also relatively mild."
"When employing this technique, the (interrogator) says nothing to the source, but looks him squarely in the eye, preferably with a slight smile on his face," the guide says, urging the interrogator not to be the first to break eye contact.
"The new interrogation unit would report to the White House-based National Security Council."
Let's dispense with a security council and just have the interrogation unit report to the public schools.
C. S. Lewis says this:
"We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be."
Everyone I know has made adjustments during this recession.
When I talk to my family and friends about it, they've got lots to say about handling these tough economic times.
But the most wonderful thing is what I don't hear: I don't hear a single complaint.
Quite the contrary, I hear hope and excitement.
With looming foreclosures on their houses, I hear excitement to learn how the banking system works.
In the humilty of showing strangers their money problems, I hear about new relationships being formed with the faceless people who handle their mortgages.
In the empty time-slots where restaurants and movies used to be, I hear how great it is to spend an evening with the kids and watch a show with a cheap bowl of popcorn.
While appliances break down and groceries become more expensive, I hear about how someone taught themselves how to fix a toaster, or make their own bread, or find out that empty side yard full of trash will grow a wonderful garden.
Who knew a recession could be so beneficial?
Well...actually, I did.
This is not a brag. This is a humble confession of living with financial instability for most of my life. I know what happens when you have to hunker down and count pennies.
I've lived the feast and famine cycle for so long, I now have the luxury of contentment whether I have money or not.
But, I also have great admiration for those who chose wiser and saved their money. The financial wisdom of other people is necessary for the rest of us.
Look at how many money advisors have their own t.v. shows now.
I'm a believer that life always educates us...whether we want it to or not.
But, it's easier if we want it.
...sorry for the rabbit trail.
My point is: I always felt good about myself when I was at my most resourceful.
And I think that's a pretty universal trait in all of us.
It's the "teach-a-man-to-fish philosophy".
It builds confidence, independence, strength.
But most of all, it keeps us humble.
As strange as it sounds, confidence, independence and strength can only be built on the bedrock of humility.
And trying to fix the broken things in our lives is a humbling task.
Because we know how easily broken our world is.
And in trying to fix it, we know what it takes to keep it going.
And while we are keeping things going, we see that there are some things that cannot be fixed no matter what we do.
We cannot fix a broken spirit,
We cannot fix a broken heart,
We cannot fix the person we love, or fix their broken promises.
And we can never go back and fix our mistakes.
And that is perhaps the most humbling thing of all.
We can fix the broken lawnmower, but we can't go back and stop what broke it in the first place.
We can fix the broken window, but we can't go back and stop the baseball from breaking it.
We can build a garden and enjoy the fruit of our labors, but we can't make it rain, or stop an unexpected plague from destroying our efforts.
And then we have to start all over and fix what we can.
We live out the parable of God's plan for salvation with every broken thing in our life.
We can't go back to stop anything from breaking, but according to the Bible, we don't need to.
It was fixed 2,000 years ago on a wooden cross at Calvary.
God took what we broke and repaired it with three nails and a crown of thorns.
He stood between us and our doom and declared, "It is finished".
The best for us turned out to be God's pain.
Now He offers us Himself and only asks for our hearts in return.
And when our hearts break from the endless entropy of life, He steps in to repair them.
This recession is bringing out the best in us.
It's showing us how resourceful we are.
It eliminates the trivial and shines a light on the wonderful.
It shows us what we can do.
...and what we can't.
Monday, August 24, 2009
I had a conversation a little while ago with a woman on the subject of abortion.
Because for the last forty years America has gotten so used to abortion, that we elected a man to the Presidency who voted to stop a law that would have prevented the worst form of abortion...infanticide.
The Born-Alive Act demanded that doctors and nurses make every effort to save the life of a baby that survived abortion. And it was based on the testimony of a nurse in a Chicago hospital who held these viable infants, unwilling to watch a living human being tossed into a utility room to die alone.
No one disputed her testimony except...Obama.
In the Illinois senate, Obama not only voted against the Born-Alive Act twice, but as chairmen of the Health and Human Services Committee, he made sure the bill never came up for a vote.It was not until he left Illinois for the U.S. Senate that the bill went for a vote and passed unanimously into law.
When these facts came to light before the Presidential election, there was nary a peep of shock or dismay.
Not even from professing Christians.
And I knew America had lost its collective way.
There are many people like me, who stood in confusion while a man who admitted babies were a "punishment", was hailed as a hero in our land.
And yet now, with this healthcare bill scaring the daylights out of seniors and the rest of us who know what it will do...we get to see the effects of abortion.
Of what happens when our leadership defends it. When people vote for the hardest of hearts to protect it.
Do these people really think they would never be considered "unwanted" or looked on as a "punishment" one day?
Life is tricky that way. Some people call it 'karma'.
I call it a season of grief.redink
Friday, August 21, 2009
It wasn't to be sold for slaughter.
It was a breeding pig, designed to grow and make more pigs just like it.
But this pig, it was told, would be a pig so enormous, so massive, it would change the face of pork production forever.
So this famous pig farmer...let's call him Farmer Obama...wanted to sell his giant pig to the valley pig farmers.
But he didn't show them what he was selling.
So, he hid his pig in a crate of words.
And stood at the auction block describing it in wonderous tones.
Telling everyone how marvelous, magical and down-right heavenly his pig was.
But something happened while Farmer Obama was trying to sell his pig.
Someone opened the crate of words.
And other people got a peek inside.
Then the pig waddled out for all to see.
There was a collective gasp as the valley inhabitants witnessed this breeding monstrosity.
They saw a beast too massive to hold its own weight.
They saw a horror of genetic manipulation from a thousand overblown breeds.
They saw destruction of the natural order of farming if this mutation were allowed to live.
They saw sickness and death spread with its progeny.
They saw a creature of unending hunger that would devastate their crops and pastures.
...and they shouted for Farmer Obama to stop!
They could not bear to have such a frightful creature breed. It would destroy them all.
But Farmer Obama only told them to put a cork in it.
And quickly got his pig handlers to usher the beast back into its crate.
But his dismissive words and shifty pig handlers only attracted more horrified farmers.
They filed into the market stall to see what all the fuss was about.
Sheep farmers, goat farmers, chicken farmers and crop farmers.
After one glimpse of the beast, they too, took up the cry of their fellow farmers.
"Kill the Pig!"
The entire valley spread the word, frightened at the thought of this monster breeding throughout their land.
And Farmer Obama grew petulant.
He became angry.
Like a man in love, he could only see the beauty in his beast.
He accused the pig farmers of organizing a mob.
He railed against the sheep farmers for telling lies about his pig.
He ranted at the goat farmers for shouting at him on the auction block and hurting his feelings.
He pointed at the chicken farmers and threatened to send his hired hands to their farms for some fried chicken.
And promised the crop farmers he would buy all their crops forever at inflated prices if they went along with him.
But the farmers planted their pitchforks in the ground and said no.
They wanted that pig bled.
They wanted it slaughtered.
They wanted is cut up and eaten with a side of applesauce.
And they never want to see such a beast again.
So Farmer Obama covered up his pig in a larger crate of words.
And sent out his pig handlers to convince the crowds they did not see what they thought they saw.
But the farmers were too smart for Farmer Obama's pig handlers.
They know if someone is trying to sell them a pig they've never seen...there's a con in the works.
But Farmer Obama hasn't given up.
He loves his pig. He pets it, feeds it, watches it grow with pride. It is his legacy, his gift to a wayward and tired old farming valley with no new ideas.
Now in these last days of August, and the first cold snap around the corner, what will become of Farmer Obama's fantastical pig?
He can't afford to keep it anymore...it will starve in the long cold winter.
His pig handlers are running for their lives as the people of the valley rise against them with pitchforks and branding irons.
They are pleading with Farmer Obama to let the pig go to slaughter.
"Raise another breed!" they cry.
They do not want to be branded or find themselves sitting on a pitchfork.
But if they don't sell Farmer Obama's monstrous pig, he will make sure they never work in his pastures again.
And Farmer Obama has the best pastures in the valley.
They are lush with promise and good times for all.
They have been cultivated by others for many generations.
Farmer Obama and his pig handlers are plundering them.
And there's many years of harvest left.
...what's a pig handler to do?
Oh! Oh! They wail.
It is the evil pig farmers of the valley who are keeping this wondrous pig from the people who need it so badly.
They are just afraid of competition.
This is a pig to beat all pigs and they don't want their fellow farmers to benefit!
But the people aren't buying it.
In one last ditch effort, Farmer Obama sat down with a once respected pig farmer, turned pig handler, and tried to do some 'splainin.
Joseph Curl from The Washington Times wrote today,
"There's something about August going into September where everybody in Washington gets all wee-wee'd up," the world's most powerful man observed. "I don't know what it is, but that's what happens."
Did Obama really say "wee-wee'd up"?
Another Obama quote:
"I know there are a lot of people out there who've been hand-wringing, and folks in the press are following every little twist and turn of the legislative process, but having a big bill like this is always messy," he said.
"And it promises to get a wee bit messier. "
Yes, an enormous pig is very messy.
"As far as negotiations with Republicans, my attitude has always been, Let's see if we can get this done with some consensus," he said, seemingly unaware that the Republicans appear to be just a wee bit wee-wee'd off at him."
Well, uh...calling Americans mobs and nazis when they are scared out of their minds at the sight of such a monster, will have that effect.
"Still, the president urged his faithful to work hard for his health care proposal. "We are not going give up now! We are not going to give up now!" the president said as his supporters chanted "Yes we can!"
"And some may just get wee-wee'd on. "
Indeed. Wee-wee-wee, all the way home.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
"I commend you for attempting to dissect the health care issue. It is very complex. I always wonder why Canada keeps being brought into the discussion of US healthcare. The changes being made to the insurance system in the US will not in any way resemble Canadian health care, which is universal and entirely public.
Here's a link to an article from The Canadian Press
From Dr. Ann Doig: "We all agree that the system is imploding, we all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps Canadians realize,"
She is planning on addressing the Canadian Medical Association at a meeting to determine how to bring private healtcare options to Canadians.
The system is breaking down as it stands. This is the reason so many Americans are keeping a close eye on Canada and Britain's socialized medicine.
It is the platform from which we can see why government-run healthcare is unworkable.
...evidence, if you will.
Friday, August 14, 2009
From Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary, we can define the term:
PRI'MARY, a. [L. primarius. See Prime.]
1. First in order of time; original; 2. First in dignity or importance; chief; principal. 3. Elemental; 4. Radical; original.
I am a first-in-order issue voter.
I am a first-in-dignity issue voter.
I am a chief issue voter.
I am a principal issue voter.
I am an elemental issue voter.
I am a radical issue voter!
...oh, I like that. Radical issue voter.
Makes me feel positively anti-establishment!
But it's one of those good hearty words that stewed too long with the Birkenstocks...it's lost its flavor.
I'll stick with primary issue voter.
When I vote, I look at the person who wants my vote and I want to know one thing:
Is my life valuable to them?
They may say it is when they're on t.v.
But how do I know?
Will they ensure my protection? Will they ensure my liberty?
Those two things are not contradictory.
After 9/11, I think many people came to the conclusion that we had to sacrifice our liberty for our protection. I didn't think so, because I voted for George W. Bush based on the primary issue.
So, is my primary issue defense?
It is life.
How a person views life at its most vulnerable is the lens through which they view all other issues.
This is an important concept.
If a leader believes that life begins in the womb and should be protected, then it's highly unlikely that person's other policies will harm me.
Taxes, healthcare, foreign policy, education, civil law...all these issues are the water that flows out of the pro-life faucet.
If a leader recognizes the life of an unborn citizen, that leader will recognize the value in my life.
My right to make a living and not remove my incentive by taxing me into a hole and making me dependent on government assistance.
My right to seek out medical care that meets my needs and not be forced into a system where money is "saved" at the expense of my life.
My right to live in my country in freedom without fear of foreign invasion or control.
In addition, a recognition that countries need protection...there will always be a dictator somewhere in the world salivating at the thought of being more powerful than America.
My right to teach my children as I see fit, give them my values, instill in them my beliefs...recognize they are my children, given to me by God.
A leader who sees life in the womb will understand this concept and not see children as vessels of the state to be filled with state-approved curriculum, for the good of all.
My right to be treated equally under the law as the child in the womb is treated.
But most important of all is that person's belief in the right of women to have a choice.
And abortion is not a choice.
Abortion is what women do when they have no choice.
It is prison they are sent to when there is no support, no help, no encouragement for them to have their babies.
A pro-life leader sees the potential of life in everything...especially in the lives of women.
Women have the right to give birth to the child growing within them.
It is our right.
Women should not feel threatened when a leader shows their love for life.
And when a leader condemns Roe v. Wade, women should feel secure, safe, reassured.
Because that leader understand a woman's value, and they understand that the law let loose on this land in 1972 was a Pandora's Box of death.
They understand it destroys women and takes from them their real birthright.
A pro-life leader loves women and wants them to live lives of wholeness and joy.
A pro-life leader does not want a country filled with broken-hearted women who have to live a life of pain; a life without their child; a life wondering every year how old their baby would have been, what he would have looked like, what he would have done.
A pro-life leader doesn't play on the fears of women, a pro-life leader reassures them.
How much of our country's real ills and woes would vanish if we protected women and their wombs?
How high would our taxes be if we had leaders who encouraged parents to keep most of the money they earned to care for their children?
How well-educated would our children be if our leaders broke the bureaucratic stranglehold on the public schools for the sake of parents and their children?
How much stronger our defenses and respect from other countries, if they saw us care for the least among our own? If they trembled at the thought of what we would do to protect our children?
How much better for our healthcare if our leaders valued the life of the vulnerable? Would we see doctors and hospitals protected from frivolous lawsuits? Would we see more innovation in medicines and cancer treatments? Would there be less anti-depressants for women and more birth centers?
One can imagine a world without abortion...and see real beauty.
Or see the lies and fears put upon women by leaders who don't want to lose the power derived from those lies and fears.
Abortion is an industry, a multi-billion dollar business of death for our children and crippling self-hatred for women.
A leader who supports abortion is not concerned about women's rights.
A leader who supports abortion has no compassion for women or their babies.
A leader with a pro-choice ideology sees society as a thing to be controlled, curtailed and packaged into a workforce which serves those ideals.
A leader who supports life is concerned about women's rights.
A leader who supports life has compassion for women and their babies.
A leader with a pro-life ideology sees society as individuals who need the freedom to live, work and grow for their own reasons...not the state's.
That is why I call myself a Primary Issue Voter.
Because life is first in order, principal, chief, elemental...life is primary.
Everything else is secondary.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I think that's what drives people into craziness...TMI: Too Much Information.
There's so much information, we're forced into changing our language.
IMO, BFF, LOL, ROFL.
This isn't a rant against technology. I'm all for technology. This blog is technology. Facebook is technology. Paying bills online is a technological marvel IMO.
But I do resist the dogpile.
I don't think people are meant to absorb so much information. It doesn't produce knowledge.
Because information is not the same as knowledge. And with too much information, we lose the ability to discern the truth.
Information does not have to contain facts or logic.
Knowledge is application of facts and logic.
Information tells us only what another person thinks.
Knowledge tells us who that person is and whether they can be trusted.
To gain knowledge out of information we have to know three things about the source:
*If the source is experienced in the subject.
*If the source has a trustworthy character, proven through actions.
*If the source's ideal, or vision, is based on a precendent that has proven effective.
Now we have knowledge. But how to apply this knowledge?
Let's take for example, a subject with lots of information out there, but little knowledge:
The information is a 1200-page document outlining the President's plan for changing our system. It holds within its pages, the information that tells us what we can expect if the government runs our healthcare.
Have you ever read a 1200-page book?
It takes awhile, folks...and it better be interesting.
The size of this bill alone should give us pause.
Here's an excerpt from page 58:
"(D)enable the real time (or near real time) determination of an individual's responsibility at the point of service and, to the extent possible, prior to the service, including whether the individual is eligible for a specific service, with a specific physician, at a specific facility, which may include utilization of a machine-readable health plan beneficiary identification card.
Translation: This is an identification card issued by the government with all our medical records on it...all in the name of efficiency, I'm sure. And we all know how efficient government is. They just created millions of jobs with that trillion dollar stimulus package. Oh wait...
Here's page 59:
"(C) enable electronic funds transfers, in order to allow automated reconciliation with the related health care payment and remittance advice;"
Translation: The government will be able to access your private bank account to pay for universal healthcare.
There's that efficiency thingy again.
But there's also that pesky liberty stuff.
"Limitations in physician's services included in target growth rate computation to services covered under physician fee schedule."
Translation: Limitations. This is rationed care folks. Now I don't know about you, but reading through this bill was very creepy.
It was dehuminizing. It was demoralizing. There is nothing in there that talks about saving life, extending life, caring for the weakest, providing options for the fearful. There was no humanity.
Now let's apply what we know about the source.
*Is the source experienced in the subject?
Obama has experience in organizing communities to protest the injustices of the world...but what does he know about how to remake the entire American healthcare system?
Is it even a crisis that needs remaking?
Does he know what to do with a sixth of the U.S. economy?
Does he understand the medical community?
Does he understand the outcome? Has he thought of all the unintended consequences?
What kind of bureaucracy would take place? Who would run it? The Hemlock Society? Hey...I'm semi-serious here. Obama put tax-cheats in charge of our taxes.
With more questions than answers, I believe it shows the source is inexperienced.
*Has the source proven his trustworthy character through action?
The President signed a stimulus bill which has proved 'unstimulating'.
He promised in April the unemployment rate would not top 8.5%...it is almost 10%.
He promised not to sign the stimulus if there were earmarks in it...there were 9000 earmarks in the stimulus bill.
He promised to give the public 5 days to review the bill before he signed it...he signed it the day after congress passed it.
These examples are dated, I know. The stimulus bill is so last crisis. But it is tangible proof of something he has now done...a record of Obama's actions. Do they show a trustworthy character?
*Is the source's vision based on a precedent that has proven effective?
Canadian, British and Cuban healthcare (well...let's stick with basic democracies, shall we? Canada and Britain), have their supporters and opponents. But their government-run healthcare does as all government-run entities do...they ration care.
Their reasons for rationing are sensible of course...to save taxpayer's money. I mean why would a governement spend extra money for only a few years of an unproductive citizen's life? These are the questions only a bureaucracy can ask.
Now Canadians and Brits also know they can come to the U.S. when their life is on the line and their government doesn't want to spend the money on an elderly patient's life-extending medicines, a terminal patient's life-extending medicinces, or a disabled child's life-extending medicines. Which leads me to believe they aren't clamoring for private sector healthcare because they still have a choice.
The precendent for government-run healthcare has proven ineffective.
The conclusion is that government-run healthcare removes liberty, is inefficient, devalues life to the greatest extent, has no vested interest in the individual and plunges the country into unretractable debt, providing a vicious cycle of higher taxes and less freedom.
Our President is telling Americans they are getting disinformation about his bill.
How to get to the truth?
Go to the source first. Read the bill. It is Obama's bill, even though he hasn't read it.
He is responsible for it. He wants it. He owns it.
If you believe in your heart of hearts that Obama would never sell you down the river, that he has a heart of gold, that you are the change he's been waiting for...then I suppose you have all the information you need.
But if you really want to know what this bill will do to your life as an individual, how it will change our economy, how it will shape our society, then gain some knowledge.
Because all that information does is build a huge tower to glorify another human being.
It's been done before.