Monday, October 19, 2009

Auburn Tigers Football

I am an Auburn Tigers Football fan. I grew up that way. My oldest sibling (a brother ten years my senior) went to Auburn, as did another brother and a sister. My father-in-law graduated from Auburn in 1956, while it was called the Alabama Polytechnic Institute. Numerous in-laws and nieces and nephews have graduated from Auburn. My wife and I go to almost every Auburn Football game. We usually tail-gate with friends and family. Saturday afternoons in Auburn are great! There is nothing in football that will evoke team spirit like watching Auburn's War Eagle soar over the crowd prior to the game.

It is really great when Auburn wins the game. It is not so great when Auburn loses. It is horrible when Auburn loses to that school in Tuscaloosa. Auburn beat them six years in a row, 2002-2007. Our victory this year will be a great upset! I have good friends (few relatives) who are fans of the team from Tuscaloosa. We are usually polite when discussing football, although the rivalry between the two schools has been called one of the most intense in the nation.

I like Auburn. I like football. I like Auburn Football. Warrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Eagle, HEY!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Our Great Country

The United States of America is the greatest country in the World. We are great because of our economy. Even in “slow” economic times, our standard of living is worlds ahead of any other place on earth. We are great because of our military. Everybody knows that we are the “big dog”, and we can bite. We are great because of our freedoms. Those of us who criticize the most are living proof.

But how did we get to be so great in so many ways? I believe it is because God-fearing men and women were and are willing to give up personal gain for the good of all. George Washington could have dined with the King of England; instead he suffered through Valley Forge. Japan and most of Europe, including France, could easily be territories of the United States; instead we spent billions of dollars rebuilding those countries after World War II. We could be paying five-cents per gallon for Kuwaiti and Iraqi oil; instead we keep troops there to assure their peace. These are but a few of the many instances of where we could have taken, but instead we gave.

It is hard for most people and countries of the world to understand that we only want peace. We do not want more territory, or we would have it. We do not want to subjugate more peoples, or they would be ours. Instead, we want to assure that people everywhere have the same rights and opportunities that we take for granted, and we want to assure that our rights and opportunities are not taken away.

Remember those who give so that others may have. The most obvious, and with the most to lose, are those in our military services. Remember, and give thanks for, everyone that is willing to give up their life so that we may have life, and have it more abundantly.

Eroding the Constitution Through Healthcare Reform

The following is from the website of Michael Connelly ( You should check out his site. Michael Connelly of Carrollton, Texas is a Constitutional lawyer and has read the entire health care bill and has some comments, not about the bill, but about the effects on our Constitution. It's a broader picture than just health care reform.

It's time we sit up and pay attention; once this sort of thing happens, it will be irreversible. We have reason to be very afraid of what is happening.


Well, I have done it! I have read the entire text of proposed House Bill 3200: The Affordable Health Care Choices Act of 2009. I studied it with particular emphasis from my area of expertise, constitutional law. I was frankly concerned that parts of the proposed law that were being discussed might be unconstitutional What I found was far worse than what I had heard or expected.

To begin with, much of what has been said about the law and its implications is in fact true, despite what the Democrats and the media are saying. The law does provide for rationing of health care, particularly where senior citizens and other classes of citizens are involved, free health care for illegal immigrants, free abortion services, and probably forced participation in abortions by members of the medical profession.

The Bill will also eventually force private insurance companies out of business and put everyone into a government run system. All decisions about personal health care will ultimately be made by federal bureaucrats and most of them will not be health care professionals. Hospital admissions, payments to physicians, and allocations of necessary medical devices will be strictly controlled.

However, as scary as all of that it, it just scratches the surface. In fact, I have concluded that this legislation really has no intention of providing affordable health care choices. Instead, it is a convenient cover for the most massive transfer of power to the Executive Branch of government that has ever occurred, or even been contemplated. If this law or a similar one is adopted, major portions of the Constitution of the United States will effectively have been destroyed.

The first thing to go will be the masterfully crafted balance of power between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the U.S. Government. The Congress will be transferring to the Obama Administration authority in a number of different areas over the lives of the American people and the businesses they own. The irony is that the Congress doesn't have any authority to legislate in most of those areas to begin with. I defy anyone to read the text of the U.S. Constitution and find any authority granted to the members of Congress to regulate health care.

This legislation also provides for access by the appointees of the Obama administration of all of your personal healthcare information, your personal financial information, and the information of your employer, physician, and hospital. All of this is a direct violation of the specific provisions of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution protecting against unreasonable searches and seizures. You can also forget about the right to privacy. That will have been legislated into oblivion regardless of what the 3rd and 4th Amendments may provide.

If you decide not to have healthcare insurance or if you have private insurance that is not deemed "acceptable" to the "Health Choices Administrator" appointed by Obama there will be a tax imposed on you. It is called a "tax" instead of a fine because of the intent to avoid application of the due process clause of the 5th Amendment. However, that doesn't work because since there is nothing in the law that allows you to contest or appeal the imposition of the tax, it is definitely depriving someone of property without the "due process of law.

So, there are three of those pesky amendments that the far left hate so much out the original ten in the Bill of Rights that are effectively nullified by this law. It doesn't stop there though. The 9th Amendment that provides: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." The 10th Amendment states: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are preserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Under the provisions of this piece of Congressional handiwork neither the people nor the states are going to have any rights or powers at all in many areas that once were theirs to control.

I could write many more pages about this legislation, but I think you get the idea. This is not about health care; it is about seizing power and limiting rights. Article 6 of the Constitution requires the members of both houses of Congress to "be bound by oath or affirmation" to support the Constitution. If I was a member of Congress, I would not be able to vote for this legislation or anything like it without feeling I was violating that sacred oath or affirmation. If I voted for it anyway, I would hope the American people would hold me accountable.

For those who might doubt the nature of this threat I suggest they consult the source. Here is a link to the Constitution:
And another to the Bill of Rights:

There you can see exactly what we are about to have taken from us.

Michael Connelly
Retired Attorney, Constitutional Law Instructor
Carrollton , Texas

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Speed vs. Quality

This is a response I made to someone else's blog (RobbieLaney's On My Mind) concerning the use of shortcuts and abbreviations while texting. I thought I would include it here so all my followers could see it.

The texting “language” is merely part of the inevitable regression of society caused by the speeding up and dumbing down of communication. Although texting shortcuts make e-talk much faster (and maybe more exclusive as some of us have no idea how to translate it!), it perpetuates the myth that speed is better than quality. A more sinister example of speed at the expense of quality are the TV news shows you see today. Why were the evening news hosts Chet Huntley, David Brinkley and Walter Cronkite so much more respected newsmen then any of the talking heads on today’s news shows? They (and/or their editors and producers) had all day to sift through the junk and find the valuable nuggets, and then create a presentation that would explain the story. We were not forced to hear and see all the trivial sludge that is thrown up on the screen today in order to insure that each network is “first” with the story, and to enable them to have something to wrap around their 24-hours of advertisements.

States' Rights

I believe that the founders of our country felt that a limited Federal government was the right thing to insure the success of the new Republic. It is also obvious to me that they felt that most government should be at the State level. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution (part of our Bill of Rights) says "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution or prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

In the Federalist Papers, Number 17, Hamilton responds to the objection that the new Constitution would allow the Federal government the ability to assume too much power by enacting laws that should stay at the State level. His answer to this argument makes it clear that we should have a limited Federal government (although clearly Hamilton had no idea of the mere wantonness and lust of domination our modern politicians would demonstrate.) Hamilton felt that the Federal government should be concerned with interstate and international commerce, finance, negotiation and war. Congress is way too busy for its own good. They debate so many laws, and meddle in so many things that they should have no interest in (mostly trivial), that very little gets done. And even fewer good things. They admit that they do not have time to even read the bills they are passing. The individual States should rise up and demand that they be given back the rights guaranteed by our Constitution.

I highly recommend that every American read "The Federalist" by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison. It should be required reading for every 7th grader and every 12th grader, for it explains what our founding fathers were thinking when they fought for our freedoms and wrote our Constitution.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Who Is In Control of the World?

I have often heard Christians debate “free will” and “predestination.” Both are clearly taught in the Bible. Although I do not claim to be a Bible scholar, I am a Christian and I believe that God has given all Christians the mental capacity to understand his teachings. I also believe that many Christians spend too much time looking at a word, when they should be looking at the Book. One thing Jesus said that is pretty easy to understand is that “you should come as little children” (Matthew 19:14, Mark 10:14, Luke 18:16). I think the following analogy explains in childlike terms how both “free will” and “predestination” can exist together.

First, we must agree on some basic truths: 1. God is Truth. If He said it, it is true. 2. God is right. If He does it, it is the right thing to do. 3. God created a natural world that we live in. If we fall in the lake, we get wet. If we touch a hot stove, we get burned. If we have no food, we starve. These things happen whether we are good or bad, Christian or Atheist. 4. God can do miracles. What is a miracle? It is when God suspends the natural laws. We fall in the lake, but instead of getting wet, we walk on water. We are thrown in a fiery furnace, and our hair is not even singed. We use the last flour in the barrel, but it never runs out.

How does God run the world? It is as if God is sitting on the top of a high mountain. Around the bottom of the mountain He has built a train track, called Time. The rails run from the beginning of Time to the end of Time. It is a good track. The rails are strong and cannot be moved. God can see the beginning, the end, and everywhere in between. On the track is a train. The train is called Now. God can see the train wherever it is on the track of Time. There are passengers on the train, in Now. They only experience what is happening on the train, Now. God controls the train. It travels at His command. It hardly ever stops, although once God did allow Joshua to stop the train (Joshua 10:12.) The passengers sometime feel like the train is speeding up as they get older. The passengers do not control the train. The train’s route and destination are predestined. God has already laid the tracks and there is nothing the passengers can do to move them. However, the passengers can move about on the train. They can change seats. They can change traveling companions. They can even change cars. The passengers can change what is happening on the train, but they cannot change the big picture they see when they look out the windows. The passengers control what they do on the train. They cannot get off the train until God calls them. While on the train, the passengers can do good, and they can do bad. They are living in the natural world while on the train, and are affected and controlled by the natural laws. Even though they are on the train and living in the natural world, God created each one of them. Because God is the Creator, it is His privilege to create as He sees fit. Some He made handsome, some not so. Some He made brilliant, some not so. Some He created for special purposes, some not so. However, they are all on the same train. Unless God decides to perform a miracle, they will all live in the natural world on the train, abiding by its rules, until they die. God knows that some will desire to know Him. He also knows that some will not. Remember, God can see both ends of the track, Time. Those who know Him will share eternity with Him on the Mountain. Those who do not know Him will spend eternity separated from Him. But all will eventually get off the train and no longer be constrained by the tracks, Time.

God has put a Conductor on the train. If we follow the guidance of the Conductor, our trip will be more peaceful and more successful than if we disregard the Conductor. The closer we can stay to the Conductor, the better our trip will be! The Conductor’s name is Jesus. I pray that you will always travel close by His side.

The Letter of Paul the Apostle to the Romans is a great place to learn more about God and His love for you.

National Parks

PBS recently ran a series called "National Parks, America's Best Idea" by Ken Burns. I strongly suggest that anyone with an interest in our National Parks or conservation or natural beauty watch this series. Even though I am not a "tree hugger", I do love the outdoors and nature and am glad that we have our National Parks, National Monuments and National Forests.

However, I am concerned about what the Federal Government has done in Alaska, our largest and most "natural" state. The Federal Government owns 65% of Alaska. Over 60% of this land (40% of Alaska) is National Parks, Refuges, Forests, etc. The State of Alaska owns 24% of the land. 3% is State Parks, etc. Alaska Native Corporations own 10% of Alaska. Only 1% of the largest state in the Union is owned by private citizens. In contrast, Texas (our second largest state) land ownership breaks down like this: Federal - 2.6%, State - 3.0%, Local - 0.14%, Private ownership of land in Texas - 94%.

Is Texas that much "less desirable" to the Feds than Alaska (they both have oil)? Or, was Texas settled before Big Government and special interests took over Washington? Don't get me wrong. I love the wildness that is Alaska. I hope to continue making regular treks to the Great Land to experience more and more of her beauty and strength. But come on, private land could be doubled and it would be 2% of the state. I think it could stand it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Free Market

The free market creates and maintains free people. A regulated market requires that the people also be regulated. Our government has no business being in business, except for the military and some other minor national regulatory agencies. The Federal Government should not be involved in private business, and most other "national" agencies and departments should be either closed down or turned over to the individual states. Ask any small business owner (the creators of more than 50% of all private sector jobs in the United States) what is the biggest headache and hindrance of running their business and they will say "government regulations and paperwork."

I am particularly concerned about the Department of Education that has the power to control what is taught in our schools, and who has access to higher education opportunities. Of course, the IRS is a close second not only because of the number of regulations, but the inability for anyone, even the IRS, to tell you what the regulations mean and how to properly comply (hence the need for armies of lawyers and accoutants to help you stay out of trouble.)

Three Things That Will Save Our Country

We need to do three things to save our country:

1. Pass a Constitutional Amendment to restrict Congressmen and Senators to two terms, just like we have with the President.
2. Do away with the IRS and replace it with a Federal consumption tax.
3. Pass a Constitutional Amendment to require a Federal balanced budget, except in times of Declared war or Declared national emergency (both declared by Congress.)

Whether you are Democrat or Republican, left or right, straight or gay, whether you are religious or atheist, pro-life or pro-choice, whatever your "cause", none of these three actions will hurt you. The only people who will be hurt by these actions will be the professional politicians who are robbing us and our posterity, and those who want the government to provide for their every need by redistributing the wealth of America (commonly referred to as robbing Peter to pay Paul.)

Term Limits (even if crooks are elected, they will only be there a few
Fair Tax (tax what I spend, not what I earn.)
Balanced Budget (force the government to live by the same rules the rest of US have to live by.)

That is what I think. What do you think?