Saturday, November 28, 2009
First, let me say that I am a Christian; a practicing Christian who accepts Jesus as my personal savior. I do not wear my Christianity on my shirtsleeve and I do not look down my nose at those who do not believe as I believe. That is God's province. But, I accept my responsibility to act as a Christian and to profess my faith, at the supermarket as well as at church.
My political leanings are as a mixed man. I am fiscally a conservative. I am proud of the United States and believe we should act as what we are; the nation which, while far from perfect, is the best hope of mankind short of God's Kingdom. I believe we should act in the best interests of our country and I don't care if others love us. I do expect them to respect and/or fear us according to their actions. Not their words, their actions.
I am socially both conservative and liberal and, frankly, primarily a centrist. And, I currently support Mike Huckabee, since he appears to be an honest man and a supporter of the Fair Tax.
For example, I believe abortion is wrong; partial birth abortion is murder. I believe abortion should never be used as a form of contraception. But, and here I part company with many Christians, I do not believe I have the right to expect others to share my beliefs. Nor do I believe I have the right to demand that others live by my beliefs.
I hope this clarifies where I stand, both in faith and politically.
God Bless You All,
Thursday, November 26, 2009
and its’ impact on the Country and Georgia
The Bill of Rights (Partial)
Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent starts of its institution.
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.
ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
- Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
- Tenth Amendment – Powers of States and people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
The Founding Fathers of our country, upon the adoption of the Constitution, believed in the need for what is now called The Bill of Rights in order to prevent the abuse of power by the Federal Government. Here we are looking only three of these Amendments; the second, the ninth and the tenth Amendments. It was a belief widely held by the Founding Fathers that the several States were Sovereign States and that, in joining together in a Republic named The United States of America, they were not surrendering their sovereignty. Rather they were joining together as sovereign states ceding those rights specifically named in the Constitution to the Federal Government in order to more efficiently provide for the common defense and certain other common needs enumerated within the Constitution.
There was little change during the 18th and the first half of the 19th centuries. It was not until slavery became an issue greatly dividing the peoples and the States of the United States, that States Rights became an issue. The great divide preceding the War Between the States was both moral and economic and the war was fought primarily on the question of whether or not the Sovereign States had the right to leave the Union.
An income tax was passed during the Civil War (The Revenue Act of 1861) which was repealed ten years later. This was the first, but by no means the last, effort of the Federal Government to apply an income tax upon all of the citizens of the several States.
With the passage in 1909 of the 16th Amendment established the right of the Federal Government to tax in this manner. It is only now, in the 21st century, that an attempt to replace the income tax with a consumption tax (The Fair Tax) that the power of the Federal Government and its’ representatives to direct the Sovereign States is being challenged. More on this later.
The 20th century saw little change until the Labor Relations Act of 1937 and the Child Labor Law established the Federal Government’s power to regulate interstate commerce. The New Deal leading up to WWII began the growth of Federal Power which was greatly extended during the war. The second half of the 20th century saw the Kennedy Minimum Wage Law extending Federal Power even further. The growth of Federal Power has continued to grow ever since.
But, it is only in the 21st Century that Federal Power has grown to alarming rates. The advent of 9/11 and the resulting War on Terror and the Patriot Act have caused, perhaps by necessity, the American people to surrender more of our rights than ever before. And the subsequent Administration has begun an unprecedented expansion of Federal Control over the American (notice the American Economy - no longer the economies of the Several States) Economy to ever greater lengths.
We will discuss in this series of articles, the effects of these trends on the United States as a whole, the State of Georgia and ourselves as not only Georgians but residents of North Georgia.
We will also look at the actions already taken by several States and actions contemplated by a number of other States, including Georgia, regarding the Sovereignty of the State.
And, finally, we will look at at least four possible paths we might take to the future and what each might look like in years to come.
Readers: This will be a series of articles. We will start during Colonial Days, carry on through the 18th and 19th Centuries, spend a good bit of time on the 20th Century and culminate with the present day and potential future paths.
and its’ impact on the Country and Georgia
- Historic Origins
- Federalization in the 18th and 19 Centuries
- The 20th Century and the Growth of Central Power
- The Second Half
- The 21st Century
- Is This What We Really Want?
- The Present Day and States Rights Declarations
- Which Path Will We Ultimately Take?
- Tenth Amendment Sovereignty (Most Desirable)
- Secession (New Confederacy)
- Complete Federalization (Least Desirable)
- A Middle Ground (A Possible Compromise?)
The first post will be the Overview of the entire Series. The second will cover Historic Origins and Federalization in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Both will be posted today. The next posting, the 20th Century, will be, hopefully, completed by December 1st.
I was sitting in a local restaurant having a comfortable meal with my wife when we overheard a rather loud conversation at a nearby table.
Both of the men were complaining about the "self serving" Fire Department collecting money and interfering with traffic with their boot drive.
One comment heard repeatedly was "They think they are 'heros.'" Another was "they are collecting for their parties - they don't work a full work week."
Well, I decided to ask a fireman.
First of all, I have not heard any fireman claiming to be a hero. There are people in all walks of life who perform heroic acts. And, they are usually not public acts. This is as it should be. Now, about not working a full work week. I wonder how many of those folks have to work holidays, spend Christmas and Thanksgiving Days at a fire house or riding patrol while the rest of us are at home with our families? These are the men and women who don’t have the highest paying jobs in the world and occasionally have to put their lives on the line for us!
Yes, the firefighters get to sleep at their fire station, but they also put in 52 hours per week that they are away from home
The monies collected in the boot drive are not for the use of the firemen. This week they were collecting for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Next week they will be collecting for the benefit of burned children.
No monies are ever used for department parties. Or, for that matter, for any parties.
It is easy to criticize. But, we should always make sure of our facts first.
In Alpharetta we have an outstanding Public Safety Department which includes both Police and Fire. Both work closely with civilian volunteer organizations and both are the better for it. We can be proud of the public servants employed by the City of Alpharetta. And, I suspect the same can be said for Roswell, Sandy Springs, John's Creek and Milton.