Friday, May 27, 2011

From Carol Bloomberg

The only thing I will contest is that the whole thing started in 2010:

Thanksgiving 2020

"Winston, come into the dining room, it's time to eat", Julia yelled to her husband. "In a minute, honey, it's a tie score," he answered. Actually Winston wasn't very interested in the traditional holiday football game between Detroit and Washington. Ever since the government passed the Civility in Sports Statute of 2017, outlawing tackle football for its "unseemly violence" and the "bad example it sets for the rest of the world", Winston was far less of a football fan than he used to be. Two-hand touch wasn't nearly as exciting.

Yet it wasn't the game that Winston was uninterested in. It was more the thought of eating another Tofu Turkey.

Even though it was the best type of Veggie Meat available after the government revised the American Anti-Obesity Act of 2018, adding fowl to the list of federally-forbidden foods, (which already included potatoes, cranberry sauce and mince-meat pie), it wasn't anything like real turkey. And ever since the government officially changed the name of "Thanksgiving Day" to "A National Day of Atonement" in 2020 to officially acknowledge the Pilgrims historically brutal treatment of Native Americans, the holiday had lost a lot of its luster.

Eating in the dining room was also a bit daunting. The unearthly gleam of government-mandated fluorescent light bulbs made the Tofu Turkey look even weirder than it actually was, and the room was always cold. Ever since Congress passed the Power Conservation Act of 2016, mandating all thermostats "which were monitored and controlled by the electric company" be kept at 68 degrees, every room on the north side of the house was barely tolerable throughout the entire winter.

Still, it was good getting together with family. Or at least most of the family. Winston missed his mother, who passed on in October, when she had used up her legal allotment of life-saving medical treatment. He had had many heated conversations with the Regional Health Consortium, spawned when the private insurance market finally went bankrupt, and everyone was forced into the government health care program. And though he demanded she be kept on her treatment, it was a futile effort. The RHC's resources are limited, explained the government bureaucrat Winston spoke with on the phone. "Your mother received all the benefits to which she was entitled. I'm sorry for your loss".

Ed couldn't make it either. He had forgotten to plug in his electric car last night, the only kind available after the Anti-Fossil Fuel Bill of 2019 outlawed the use of the combustion engines for everyone but government officials. The fifty mile round trip was about ten miles too far, and Ed didn't want to spend a frosty night on the road somewhere between here and there.

Thankfully, Winston's brother, John, and his wife were flying in. Winston made sure that the dining room chairs had extra cushions for the occasion. No one complained more than John about the pain of sitting down so soon after the government-mandated cavity searches at airports, which severely aggravated his hemorrhoids. Ever since a terrorist successfully smuggled a cavity bomb onto a jetliner, the TSA told Americans the added "inconvenience" was an "absolute necessity" in order to stay "one step ahead of the terrorists". Winston's own body had grown accustomed to such probing ever since the government expanded their scope to just about anywhere a crowd gathered, via Anti-Profiling Act of 2017. That law made it a crime to single out any group or individual for "unequal scrutiny", even when probable cause was involved. Thus, cavity searches at malls, train stations, bus depots, etc., etc., had become almost routine. Almost.

The Supreme Court is reviewing the statute, but most Americans expect a Court composed of six progressives and three conservatives to leave the law intact. "A living Constitution is extremely flexible", said the Court's eldest member, Elena Kagan. "Europe has had laws like this one for years. We should learn from their example", she added.

Winston's thoughts turned to his own children. He got along fairly well with his 12-year-old daughter, Brittany, mostly because she ignored him. Winston had long ago surrendered to the idea that she could text anyone at any time, even during Atonement Dinner. Their only real confrontation had occurred when he limited her to 50,000 texts a month, explaining that was all he could afford. She whined for a week, but got over it.

His 16-year-old son, Jason, was another matter altogether. Perhaps it was the constant bombarding he got in public school that global warming, the bird flu, terrorism or any of a number of other calamities were "just around the corner", but Jason had developed a kind of nihilistic attitude that ranged between simmering surliness and outright hostility. It didn't help that Jason had reported his father to the police for smoking a cigarette in the house, an act made criminal by the Smoking Control Statute of 2018, which outlawed smoking anywhere within 500 feet of another human being. Winston paid the $5000 fine, which might have been considered excessive before the American dollar became virtually worthless as a result of QE13. The latest round of quantitative easing the federal government initiated was, once again, to "spur economic growth". This time they promised to push unemployment below its years-long rate of 18%, but Winston was not particularly hopeful.

Yet the family had a lot for which to be thankful, Winston thought, before remembering it was a Day of Atonement. At least he had his memories. He felt a twinge of sadness when he realized his children would never know what life was like in the Good Old Days, long before government promises to make life "fair for everyone" realized their full potential. Winston, like so many of his fellow Americans, never realized how much things could change when they didn't happen all at once, but little by little, so people could get used to them.

He wondered what might have happened if the public had stood up while there was still time, maybe back around 2010, when all the real nonsense began. Maybe we wouldn't be where we are today if we'd just said "enough is enough" when we had the chance, he thought.

Maybe so, Winston. Maybe so

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Why I Support Todd Akin for U.S. Senate

This is a piece that I have wanted to write for some time. However, it is hard to write. In some senses it is too simple. In others, it is too difficult. Simply put, Todd Akin is the right man for the United States Senate. His commitments to the U.S. Constitution are firm. His track record is faithful to his commitments. And he is a man of continuing faithfulness to his commitments. More complexly, well, where do I start . . . ?

There are certain men who seem to cut across popular culture who refuse to let popular culture affect them. Ronald Reagan was such a man. In a time when many spoke of an expansion of the federal government and appeasement of the Soviet Union, Reagan spoke against both. As to the latter, his policies brought the Soviet Union to an end. And as to the former, his philosophy still holds sway in a significant portion of our culture. The tea party’s philosophy of limited government finds its heritage in Reagan.

Todd Akin is such a man, quiet and unassuming, infinitely approachable, generous in his time and conversation. Todd has been a champion of principled government for as long as I have known him, which approaches thirty years now. His principled conservatism permeates his discourse, whether it is his humorous sparing with my father on who received the lowest ranking on the River Front Times legislative ranking to his challenging the U.S. military on its obligation to respect the institution of marriage.

Todd speaks the principles of the Founding Fathers in the language of the founding of the nation. His annual celebration of the nation’s birthday at his home is a celebration in our heritage in liberty. At such celebrations, he typically dresses in the uniform of a continental soldier and rehearses the history of our national founding, one based on the themes of “One nation under God” and “No king but King Jesus.” Congressman Akin spoke in the language of the tea party movement before there was a tea party movement.

Congressman Akin remains true to these founding principles against progressive forces within both the Republican and Democratic parties. When personally prompted by President Bush to vote in favor of the expansion of medicare, he voted against it because constitutionally it was the right thing to do. He has voted against federal bailouts under both Republican and Democratic administrations. He is a tireless advocate against the tyrannical usurpation of authority over our health care. Todd has drunk the water in Washington, D.C. and is unaffected.

Will there be times when principled constitutionalists will disagree with Senator Akin’s votes? Of course, even principled constitutionalists disagree on the priority of principles and method. This is to be expected. Will Senator Akin error? Of course, but we know from experience that it will not be due to a compromise in principle.

Do votes matter? Yes, they do. But are they the most important thing? No, they are not. We live in a world that is constrained by covenant. We live in a world built on relationship and community. We have lost this idea in our individualistic country. We live in a selfish culture where my so called “rights” are elevated even at the expense of future generations, my comforts enhanced at the burdening of my grandchildren. This is a trend that must be reversed. We must regain a community and discard the straight jacket of regulated compassion. The most important thing is to change our culture for the better and through liberty enable our people to be truly compassionate. It is critical that we change the national dialogue from a focus of selfishness to one of liberty and community. It is the message that matters. Senator Akin is equipped to communicate the message of liberty and is willing to do it, and he has the moral fiber to follow through.

Our founding fathers consistently warned against elevating a man who appears too eager to elevate himself. This is a warning well heeded. Such men, too eager for self promotion, often succumb to self interest. Todd, in typical fashion, has been measured in his response to requests to seek the U.S. Senate seat, seeking God’s will in the matter. This response too recommends him highly.

There are others out there who are qualified for the post for U.S. Senator. However, based on my view, few have the principles, the commitment to those principles, the proven track record proving those principles and the moral fiber to fulfill the duty of U.S. Senator as does Todd Akin. I pray for him in his decisions and in the campaign before him.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Reading Scripture

It is hard to read the Prophets in the Old Testament with the question how do I apply this to my life. It is hard because the circumstances are so different from today. The messages are to a different people, not to me. As I read more about the Prophets, it strikes me that they should be read a bit differently. The Prophets foreshadowed Christ. They also reveal a dialogue between the prophet and Yahweh. Therefore, when we read the Prophets, we should be reflecting on the character of Yahweh and of His Christ. The next question is not how each passage apply to my life but how does the character of Yahweh that I find in the Prophets affect my life. This impacts directly what man is to believe concerning God but only indirectly what duty God requires of man. And then again, maybe this is not any different from the way I should read the rest of Scripture.