Category: Obama

Economy and Ideology and Taxes and Freedom

In short, a tax of any amount impacts choice to some degree, and free choice is the foundation for freedom. Hence, it is impossible to issue a tax without affecting, at least to a degree, the freedom of the people taxed. To return to the cigarette tax, if the cost of the cigarettes are so high that people won’t buy them then that is indistinguishable from a law forbidding their sale. The net effect of both is a decrease in freedom. Even if many can still pay the tax, and choose to do so, there will be some for whom the cost is high enough that the net effect is the same as actually outlawing it outright.

It appears to be freedom, but it isn’t. No law prohibiting smoking was passed, no one was thrown in jail, but for some portion of the population the effect is just as though there were.

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Government Declares that April Fools Day is now 365 Days a Year

Nice try, Mike.

One learns not to believe anything you hear on April 1st, period.

The jokes on April Fool’s day that you do fall for are funny enough. After all, the jokes are usually harmless enough. There is something delightful about a day every year to help highlight our need for skepticism and our general inclination to believe that which is presented, especially if the ones who present things are normally trustworthy.

What happens, though, when this general inclination is exploited on a continuing basis? What if certain folks aim to take advantage of our collective gullibility but with a twist: the jokes aren’t harmless anymore and if they have anything to say about it they are never discovered as jokes at all?

Friends, that is the situation we now find ourselves in.

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Now Illegal to Collect Rocks on Federal Land?

In a recent entry I bemoaned the fact that a law was coming down the pike that could make it a Federal crime to collect rocks on Federal land. Punishment includes jail time and the confiscation of certain assets. ‘Casual collecting’ may be permissable- what kind and to what degree will now be decided by the Secretary.

The 2009 Omnibus Public Land Management Act is being reported on CNN as being signed by Obama but Thomas shows that it hasn’t yet. I’m assuming that Thomas hasn’t been updated yet? At anyrate I guess its possible that CNN got it wrong.

In case you’re wondering, the ambiguous language that allows for tyrannical application remains in what appears to be the final version.

Naturally, CNN didn’t report on that.

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Despicable Trends in Bioethics Inevitable Result of Secularism

The above quote is not actually what annoyed me. Instead, it was his classification of people who keep their children instead of aborting them when they have been diagnosed with ‘devastating’ diseases (again, as defined by whom?) as being akin to one who believes in a flat earth. Here is the extended quote:

If one reads about reproductive issues in the conservative media-which I often do-one is bombarded with tales of mothers who have sacrificed personal and professional opportunities to bring fetuses to term. The implication is that while bearing a child when one is ready is a blessing, bearing a child when one is not prepared garners one extra moral credit in the cosmos. Similarly, while having a healthy baby is a cause for joy, some opponents of abortion profess that having a baby with a devastating or even fatal birth defect is proof of the mother’s fortitude and character. If one believes that human life begins at conception, this is logically the case. However, if one believes that life begins after conception-as do a wide majority of Americans, if polls on such issues as embryonic stem cell research are to believed-then the suffering caused by transforming an unwanted embryo into a living baby, who will either endure debilitating disease or will enter a deeply inhospitable home environment, is not at all a cause for pride. It more is akin to deciding that the world is flat and then boasting of not falling off the edge.

As readers of this blog know, my wife and I are examples of what he is talking about here

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Scientism: The Atheist’s Religion of Faith

In light of what I have said above it may come as a surprise that I have a very high view of science. But it’s true. I believe that you need the right tool for the job and in many cases that tool is empirical scrutiny. But other jobs require other tools and no hemming and hawwing will change that. For some jobs a hammer, for others a screwdriver and others, pliers. You may have found that sometimes one gets lucky- a screwdriver is best for screws but at last resort a hammer did the trick. But try changing your lightbulb with a hammer and tell me how that goes. 😉

Let the hammer pound nails and the screwdriver drive screws and air compressor pump up the tire: the right tool for the job, and be wary of anyone who insists on using just one tool for all jobs, and watch out especially if they don’t want anyone looking over their shoulder while they are ‘at work’ and even berate you for suggesting other approaches.

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Connecting the dots between unbelief and abortion

These types of considerations drive me to paint a different picture of the current situation in America on the subject of abortion than normally presented. What if aiming at passage of pro-life legislation is only a small component of the solution? What if aiming to persuade people to a pro-life position is aiming too low? What if in fact we Christians should be focusing on creating more Christians and retaining the ones we’ve got?

A Christian does not believe, like the atheist, that he is god. A Christian understands that he is the product of a Creator and that Creator has the right and privilege of defining right and wrong and defining ‘personhood.’ A Christian knows that he cannot dispense with another person because it is inconvenient to someone or to a nation. All this comes in automatically once one adopts the Christian worldview. Even Christians who vote pro-choice don’t generally approve of abortion, generally, and would like it reduced.

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Catholic Hospitals SHOULD close if FOCA is passed

Closing the hospitals would show that the RCC has some real backbone. It would be great if other Christian hospitals followed suit, though this is clearly less likely.

This may seem harsh but I think it would simply be strong medicine. Once swallowed, the medicine would do its work and FOCA would come under pressure. Additionally, Catholics in America would get the idea that their higher ups mean business. What with all the challenges the RCC has had in America (the priest scandal, the requirement in some states that the RCC adopt children to homosexual couples, the communing of American politicians who probably aren’t Christian at all, let alone Catholic (Kerry, Pelosi, etc), etc), that is a message that needs to be communicated. That is the opinion of someone who is not a Catholic so take it with a grain of salt, I guess.

Any way, the Obama administration is hell bent on promoting the most radical of pro-choice positions, and this is no time for any of us- Roman Catholics included and especially- to be considering compromise and half-measures… because that is precisely what Obama is counting on.

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