Saturday, March 28, 2015

Is it time for black Americans to vote republican?

Here's something I would like to see some serious debates on: is it time for African Americans to start voting for republicans?

After the Civil War, after blacks were given the right to vote, nearly 90 percent of them voted for republicans.  In fact, by 1912, republicans were still receiving 93 percent of the black vote.  Then, beginning with Woodrow Wilson, blacks started to vote with increasing frequency for democrats, and now about 90 percent of blacks vote democrat.

During the Great Depression blacks suffered hard, and it was at this time that they started to vote for democrats.  They were told by the Roosevelt administration that they would be better served by progressive handouts than the capitalistic programs doled out by republican.  Considering most blacks needed assistance at the time, they started voting for democrats in huge numbers.

In 1936, only 25 percent of blacks voted for FDR.  However, by 1936, 75 percent of blacks voted for democrats for the first time in history.  Since then democrats have voted for democrats and their progressive agenda ever since.  So, the question of the day is, how has that fared for the black community?

Recently, Stephen A. Smith, a black commentator for ESPN said the following:
I have often said that from a political perspective what I dream is that for one election, just one, every black person in America vote republican.  Do you know that since 1964, black America hasn't given the republican party more than 15 percent of its vote?  Here's what that means.  What that means is that one party... the black folks in America are telling one party, 'We don't give a damn about you!'  They're telling the other party 'You've got our vote!'  Therefore, you have labeled yourself disenfranchised because one party knows they've got you under their thumb.  The other party knows they'll never get you and nobody comes to address your interest.
This has spawned an interesting debate.  Here are some more statistics to add into the discussion.

1.  A majority of blacks want school choice, and democrats oppose this while republicans support
2.  We have 50 million Americans on food stamps
3.  We have 92 million Americans not working
4.  We have 45.3 million Americans in poverty
5.  The Obama Administration has accumulated more debt that every other president combined
6.  50 percent of black teenagers can't get a summer job
7.  There are 20 million more Americans on food stamps and in poverty after 7 years of Obama
8.  We have the lowest labor participation since 1978
9.  Median income is down $4,000 under Obama
10.  In 2008 there were 7.5 million black on food stamps, now the number is 12 million
11.  Black teenage unemployment has gone up
12.  Labor force participation has gone down
12.  Black home ownership has dropped
12.  Black unemployment rate hovers around 12 percent in America
13.  The voting rights act of 1965 passed because of efforts by republicans (was not on LBJs agenda)
14.  The civil rights act of 1964 passed because of efforts by republicans (was not on LBJs agenda)
15.  Reagan signed a 25 year extension of the voting rights act
16.  GWB signed a 25 year extension of the voting rights act
17.  Obama's policies have failed all Americans, and especially hit hard are black Americans
18.  The poverty rate in 2014 was about 14 percent, and this was basically the same as it was in 1967 when LBJ started his war on poverty.
19.  Since black teenagers can't get a job, that means they are hanging around with their friends, and this is how they get into trouble.

So, the question to ask is: how are black Americans better off under democratic leadership?  The overall consensus of voters was that having a black president would make things better for blacks, and the evidence suggests that this has happened?  

It's better for blacks to be working and have opportunities, and this, I think, has not happened under democratic leadership.  Or has it? If there are statistics that show blacks are better off under democratic leadership, I haven't seen them.  Have you? If so, please post in the comments below.

Further reading:
  1. Why African Americans Should Vote Republican
  2. The War on Poverty After 50 years
  3. Why did black voters free the republican party

Friday, March 27, 2015

Enumerated versus Implied powers of the U.S. Constitution

Enumerated powers are powers given to Congress and clearly mentioned and defined in the U.S. Constitution. Implied powers means that, while not specifically mentioned or defined, it may be inferred by the remaining document.  

An example of implied powers is noted by the following passage from the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Here are listed three natural rights: life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.  There are many other natural rights, although they are merely implied in this document.  Since natural rights was a common theme at the time, the founding fathers figured they didn't need to list them all because they "assumed" people would know the rest.

However, most states were not willing to sign on to (ratify) the constitution without a specific enumerated list of rights and an enumerated list of powers granted to the federal government.  It was for this reason that the Bill of Rights was created.  They feared that without these 10 amendments state and individual rights, which are implied by the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, might not be respected if they weren't specifically included within the Constitution.

So, the first 10 amendments were added and the Constitution was ratified by the colonies.

However, there was still no way that the founding fathers could list every enumerated power, and so many continued to be implied.  When Congress makes a law regarding an implied power, this may result in a conflict between the states and the federal government.  The resolution of such conflicts is the responsibility of the Supreme Court, which has the sole purpose of making sure all laws passed by Congress are Constitutional.

A perfect example of an early disagreement between the states and the federal government regarding an implied power occurred during the presidency of George Washington, when Washington used the power of the Executive Branch for something that was not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

Alexander Hamilton wrote a bill that made it through both branches of Congress.  The bill was opposed by Thomas Jefferson on the grounds that the Bank of the United States was not authorised by the Constitution.  Washington agreed,  but he sided with Hamilton's argument in favor of the bank.

The argument used by Washington was that, since an enumerated power granted Congress the right to collect taxes, it was reasonable to "assume" that Congress could also create a bank to hold those taxes and act as a bank for the government.

The most recent example Congress and the president using implied powers was the passage of Obamacare.  While republicans used the 10th amendment, the Commerce Clause and the fact that the federal government can't force you to buy something as an argument in support of the unconstitutionality of Obamacare, the Supreme Court ruled the implication was that it was a tax and therefore constitutional.

So even though healthcare is not covered under an implied power, and even though the 10th amendment reserves the right to govern on healthcare to the states, the Supreme Court decided it was covered as an "implied power" of Congress.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Three advantages of Federalism, and why it should be respected

One of nice things about the United States (nice if you are a traditionalist) is Federalism, whereby two or more governments share powers over the same geographic region.  The U.S. Constitution grants certain powers to the federal government and the state governments.

For example, under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, grants the U.S. Congress certain powers, often called enumerated powers, such as coining money, regulating interstate trade and commerce, declaring war, raising an army and navy and to establish laws of immigration.

Things the states cannot do are listed in Article I, Section 9. Among these, states are forbidden from coining money, entering into treaties, charging duties on imports and exports and declaring war.

Under the 10th Amendment, powers not enumerated by the Constitution, such as requiring drivers license, defining and creating rules for marriage, creating laws regarding abortion, creating and maintaining an educational system, or powers not specifically enumerated in the Constitution are left to the states or the people to decide.  

Federalism was an ingenious plan for a couple reasons.  

1.  It gave the Federal government just enough power to establish and maintain a stable infrastructure, such as creating and maintaining a postal service, a military, to regulate commerce to create a stable economic environment, etc. 

2. It prevented the Federal government from making laws that would infringe upon state and natural rights.  In essence, it told Congress what it could rule upon (enumerated powers) but what it could not rule upon (10th amendment). 

3.  The founding fathers thought Federalism was a good way to prevent the federal government from passing laws that created risky programs that might bankrupt the nation.  They knew it was okay for a state to create risk because the federal government would be able to bail out the state.  Yet if the federal government took a significant risk and failed (and Obamacare is a great risk), protections created by the Constitution would likewise fail.  It is for this reason only states are allowed to create laws regulating abortion, healthcare, education, etc. If one state does well, others may copy.  Yet if one state fails, others won't copy.  That's a major advantage of Federalism, allowing sort of a trial and error system within the states. Yet if the federal government fails, who will bail us out?  The founders thought of this, and that's why they created a system of Federalism. 

Bottom line: Federalism was a system to limit the scope and power of the Federal government, and to protect state and individual rights. It was meant to prevent the federal government from getting out of control.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Here is a list of all 30 enumerated powers

One of the things that makes the U.S. Constitution superior to all others is that it limits the powers of Congress.  In other words, Congress only has the power to make laws regarding items specifically listed in the Constitution.  These powers are generally referred to as enumerated powers.

Many of these powers are listed in Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, and many others are listed in the Bill of Rights, among the other 17 amendments, or scattered elsewhere throughout the Constitution.  Overall, there are only 30 enumerated powers, or only 30 areas in which Congress has the power to act upon (it may be 35, depending on how they're counted).

We also must regard the 10th amendment here.  It says: "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."  What this means is that if it is not covered among the enumerated powers (i.e. marriage, abortion, Internet, education, etc.) Congress has no legal right to rule on it, and if it does, then the U.S. Supreme Court shall overturn it.

Here is a list of all 30 of the enumerated powers.  This list is from the, although it can be found in pretty much any book covering the U.S. Constitution, including the Constitution itself. .
  1. To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
  2. To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
  3. To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
  4. To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
  5. To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
  6. To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
  7. To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
  8. To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
  9. To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
  10. To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;
  11. To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
  12. To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
  13. To provide and maintain a Navy;
  14. To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
  15. To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
  16. To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
  17. To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And
  18. To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
  19. No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws:and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.
  20. The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.
  21. In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
  22. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.
  23. The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.
  24. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
  25. Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records, and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
  26. New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union;
  27. The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.
  28. The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress
  29. The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment…
    The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
  30. The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Republican party is failing to represent the American people

A friend of mine was all concerned about Glenn Beck leaving the republican party.  I guess she thought it would upset me, considering I'm a big fan of Beck's. My response was: "It doesn't surprise me at all."

Why I'm not surprised is because Glenn Beck has morals and values and principles that do not change based on the whims and wishes of a modern world.  His ideas and values are akin to those of Americans for most of history.  Yet those values are currently not shared by the current leaders of the republican party, who continue to support and push forth the progressive agenda as opposed to making efforts to try to stop it.

Because to Glenn Beck, and I agree with him, it's not about republicans versus democrats, it's about conservative and libertarians versus liberals and progressives.  The leaders of the republican party keep using conservatives and libertarians to get elected, and then they compromise with democrats to advance the democrat agenda.  If we wanted them to compromise with democrats we would have voted for democrats."

It's true.  It's about people who aim to defend and protect individual liberties at all costs, versus people who aim to create laws to perfect society at the expense of liberties.  It's about those who do what's right regardless of political implications, versus those who do what they think is needed to win elections.

She said, "Give some examples."

I said, "The 2014 election was a complete rejection by the American people of Obama's agenda.  They elected republicans in a landslide, giving republicans a mandate to reject and oppose Obama's agenda. Instead of opposing Obamacare, they completely fund it.  Instead of opposing Obama's unconstitutional executive order on amnesty, they completely fund it."

I said this completely on emotion, as though I were defending a good buddy.  I read this before I even knew for a fact Beck was truly leaving the party, and before I read Beck's reasoning for doing so.  It was only after I had the above discussion that I read Beck's remarks about why he was no longer a republican.  It did not surprise me how close I was to his reasoning.

He wrote a letter to Karl Rove that pretty much explains everything.
If you don't think that the Republicans are progressive light then you don't know the history of the movement started by Teddy Roosevelt and the GOP.
There are good men and women in the party that believe in the constitution. Are you one of them?
Do you seriously believe that Jeb Bush is not progressive light? Help me out with
Common Core and Jeb Bush!

...How about Mitch McConnell and his targeting of Ted Cruz and Mike Lee?How are things working out for all of the campaign promises? How about the deficit? The war? Defunding ObamaCare?  Oh, didn't the GOP vote to confirm Cass Sunstein? How is illegal immigration working out for you? (Actually, I know the answer: really well as your big corporate buddies love it. Especially down in the colonias). It is modern day slavery. Has Grover started any new Muslim Brotherhood front groups you and the Bushes can pass off as the good guys? How about some more FCC regulation on the Internet?
Oh, I forgot! You did get to the bottom of Benghazi. Oops. Nope. It must be because you are swamped in actually fixing the VA system for all the men YOU put in harms way. Gosh, sorry. No, you aren't even doing that.

...How is the health of the three equal branches of government?

I will say this; you are better than the president. You are only half as bad. You are only doing the fundraising dinners, while he is doing that AND playing golf. It is almost like you are progressive light.
I know, you understand 'strategy' and I don't. I know, you can't push for these things right now! You will lose the presidency in 2016.
No, now you have to compromise on things like immigration etc. so you can win the White House. THEN you will have the White House, the Senate and the House. That is when you really go for it ... Right?
Next time. Not now. That when things really change! Just like they did when you had both branches under Bush!!
Crap. Another bad example.
You guys have the spine of a worm, the ethics of whores, and the integrity of pirates. (My apologies to worms, whores and pirates)
You are right about one thing,
I have said this before. You are also right that you don't need to worry about me.
You need to worry about the American public. Because they have had it up to their teeth with you, the GOP and the DNC lies.
...It is sad that you can no longer hear the American People because they could save you. Instead you listen to your political consultants and the amazing thing is you still believe all of it.
Can you not smell what you are shoveling anymore?
The world has changed. The whole world is being redesigned. Not by government but by dreamers and doers.
You are the taxi medallions in an Uber world.
You don't have to be young to see that. You just have to be open and honest.
Instead, you just continue to shine up the progressive agenda of people like Jeb, pressure, corrupt or threaten freshmen and smear the good people of this country who believe in the actual principles enshrined in the constitution.
It is sad what the GOP has become. You would campaign against Reagan. (Cruz has the principles of Reagan- but all you see of Reagan was HOW Ronald Reagan won, not WHY he won). JFK would be too small government for the GOP as you see it.
"Government isn't the solution, Government is the problem". You believe only government run by the Democrats is a problem.
I think that last quote pretty much sums up the frustration of the republican party.  Republicans champion against too much government that stomps on liberties.  However, when they are in office they sign laws that do just that, and they do it to get re-elected.  If you don't believe me, look at how many bills that took away freedoms that George W. Bush vetoed.

John McCain, for instance, instead of opposing the idea of man made global warming, his agenda was merely a softer version of Obama's.  Instead of spending a billion dollars on stuff we don't want, McCain championed to spend half that.  So what's the difference?  Either way we get what we don't want.

I personally think that Beck is a little premature to simply leave the republican party.  I think he would be better served to champion for a true libertarian or conservative who truly believes in the founding values of this nation.  Someone who will run as a conservative and act as one once elected.

I also honestly believe Beck is not an idiot, and if a Reagan-Coolidge-esk candidate is nominated by republicans, he would assuredly vote for that person.  This, as he well knows, is the only way to change the republican party so that it truly does represent the American people.

Further reading:

Obama's responce to Netanyahu victory: a nuclear Iran

Benjamin Netanyahu won a landslide election in Israel, and Obama has yet to congratulate him.  He h
as congratulated the people of Israel for a good election, but not the victors.  Instead, Obama and John Kerry are over in Iran trying to broker a deal that would allow the Iranians to have nuclear weapons in ten years.  Many see this as a slap in the face to Netanyahu.

Obama has said Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons. It is based on this fatwa that Obama believes the Iranians will not use their nuclear program to develop nuclear weapons.  And even if the fatwa doesn't exist, he believes the U.S. can convince them over the next ten years not to develop weapons.

The problem with this is that Iran was built on a charter that calls for the destruction of Israel. Another problem is that no one can find any evidence that such a fatwa exists. A fatwa is a legal pronouncement issued by an expert in religious law, and it's usually a pronouncement against the infidels or the enemy, not against a weapon.

Iranian leaders are proud of their fatwas, and therefore list them publicly on their websites.  The Iranian website Tasnimnews published 493 fatwas from Khamenei dating back to 2004, and not one of them says anything about nuclear weapons.  According to the Washington Post, the evidence that such a fatwa exists is "quite fuzzy."

There was actually a scientist who called into one of the radio shows I was listening to on the way home from work one day, and he said that if Iran bombs Israel, the reaction would also destroy Iran. So the question posed was: why would Iran use a bomb to destroy the infidels in Israel if it would result in their own destruction?

The consensus was that Muslims don't value life the way Christians do. Or at least Radical Muslims don't value life.  So if they destroyed themselves in the process they'd go down in history as heros of the cause.

Anyway, along with the anti-nuclear weapon fatwa, Iranian President Rouhani said he won't use whatever remnants of the nuclear program are left in ten years to create nuclear weapons.  Being that the Iranians have shown their radical Muslim tendencies many times over the past several years, it's amazing to me that we are even talking to them.

Oh, and one more thing.  If there really is a fatwa that says the Iranians will not use their nuclear program to develop weapons, then why are we talking to them.  If they have sworn off nuclear weapons, why to we need to broker a deal?

It seems that a more rational approach would be for Obama and Kerry to help the "hardliners" in Iran who oppose the Iranian Regime and want to oust it in favor of a democratic government.  Instead, he goes to Iran, tries to broker a bad deal with them, while saying to their people:
Hello. To everyone celebrating Nowruz -- across the United States and in countries around the world -- Nowruz Mubarak. This year we had the best opportunity in decades to pursue a different future between our countries. Just over a year ago we reached an initial understanding regarding Iran's nuclear program. I believe that our countries should be able to resolve this issue peacefully with diplomacy. Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and President Rouhani has said that Iran would never develop a nuclear weapon.
To make sense of this, we must understand that the entire premise of fascism is that a worldwide utopia can be created through negotiations.  They actually believe this idealist utopia will some day be a reality.  They believe those who oppose them are idiots. Yet the idiots usually tend to be the realists.

Hitler said he was going to kill all the Jews and Chamberlain didn't take him seriously.  Iranian leaders have said many times over that they want nuclear weapons and they will stop at nothing until Israel is destroyed.

Yet now it's Obama who isn't taking the fascist seriously.

Further reading:

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Will Obama force people to vote

At the City Club in Cleveland, on March 15, Obama toyed with the idea of passing a law requiring mandatory voting. He said, "“In Australia, and some other countries, there’s mandatory voting. It would be transformative if everybody voted. That would counteract money more than anything.”

Of course it would also mean taking away the right not to vote, which would mean that Americans would be giving away one more freedom.

For a country that is the leader of the free world, no person should be forced to do anything. No person should be forced to by health insurance, and no person should be forced to vote.

A person has a right to make bad choices, though. For instance, if you choose not to have health insurance, a hospital should have a right to refuse to treat you if you are not willing to pay for whatever procedures you need.

That is my opinion. I don't believe that a free nation should make any law forcing people to do things they don't want. However, that does not mean that a nation should make laws that take away personal accountability for one's actions either.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Traditional integrity is the key to success

Thoughts may come and go, but integrity is forever:
Through most of history, morals were set forth by society, religions or cultures.  They were etched in stone -- like the ten commandments -- and it was expected of you to follow these morals.

If you did, you were considered to be a person of high integrity.  In this case you were respected and adored.

If you did not, you were considered to be a person of low integrity, and you were considered to be an immoral person. In this case you were disrespected and disgraced.

Jonah Goldberg, editor-at-large for National Review, wrote an excellent article about integrity recently called "Empty Integrity" that appears in the November 17, 2014, issue of National Review. He described the definition of integrity has been conveniently changed by some in our society so that it no longer holds any meaning.

By providing the traditional and modern definitions of integrity we can best understand how the term has evolved to become, as Goldberg said, essentially empty integrity.

Traditional Integrity:  It's a person who follows the moral code. As I wrote in a previous post, morals are etched in stone, and are handed down from generation to generation. A good example is the Ten Commandments: I will not steel, I will not commit adultery, I will not lie, etc. It's a person who is virtuous, honest, trustworthy, fair, and sincere. It's not just doing the right thing, it's wanting to do the right thing. Key to note here that a person with integrity cannot be corrupted. An example Goldberg gives is George Washington: "I cannot tell a lie."

A good example, one that I give and not Goldberg, is Bill Clinton. He was in the oval office and was approached by a good looking female intern. She seduced him, or he seduced her, and she ended up giving him a blowjob. By the traditional sense of integrity, this was an immoral act that a person with integrity would not do. Clinton may have been taught Christian morals, but he failed to act upon them. He became corrupted. He therefore became disrespected and disgraced, as least by those who follow the traditional definition of integrity, as most people still do.

After God, Goldberg said, the exemplars of integrity are the Angels. Because of free will, most humans cannot have perfect integrity, and the ones who become the closest were referred to as Knights in the middle ages, or as heroes in the modern sense. In this sense, people with high integrity are people who put God before nation and nation before themselves. They put other people first, and themselves second. In other words, they have their priorities in the right order. So the exemplars of traditional integrity would justly be called heroes.

Traditional integrity, for most of history, was the only kind of integrity.  It was the desire to follow the moral code, to create a set of values based on this moral code, and to willfully act on this moral code.

However, there are those in society today who have created a new definition of integrity.

Modern Integrity:  Because of free will, man may fall short of traditional integrity, and therefore morals should be determined by each person. Since morals are created by the individual, morals and values would essentially be the same thing.  So, in this sense, when you see people referring to morals and values as one and the same, you know you are talking to someone who champions for this modern definition of integrity.

So, while heroes may, in the traditional sense, refer to people who did good out of the desire to do good.  But by the modern definition, if morals can change from one person to another, even a person who did bad could be considered a person of high integrity so long as he was following the moral code he created for himself.  So, by this modern definition, what Bill Clinton did was not bad because he was following his own moral code. He was doing what he thought was good for himself.

In this sense, so long as he was following his own moral code, any bad person could be considered a person with integrity.  He is a person who is consistent, true to himself, and loyal to himself,  The problem with this type of integrity is that it may lead the slippery slope that is caused by love of self over love of team.

Goldberg uses Walter White, the main character in the television program "Breaking Bad" as a good example here.  He said:
White was a chemistry teacher–turned–drug kingpin and mass murderer. The show’s creator, Vince Gilligan, explained that the idea for the show was to turn “Mr. Chips into Scarface.” Gilligan succeeded, but not before he seduced and corrupted the viewing audience, too: By the time the story ended, fans no longer minded that Walter White had become a homicidal drug dealer. They rooted for him anyway.
Another example he gives is the television program "Dexter."  He said:
Then there’s the series Dexter, in which an avowed psychopath/serial killer adheres to an ethical code that he actually labels “The Code.” It’s his personal rulebook, which says that it’s okay to murder — with psychosexual delight, even — so long as the people you are murdering are also murderers. That might sound like a modern adaptation of old-school morality, except it doesn’t take long for Dexter to cut himself some slack and start killing innocent-but-inconvenient people as well.
So you can see that some people have changed the definition of integrity in order to justify what used to be considered immoral actions, such as getting a divorce, or having sex in the oval office when you are president of the United States and married.  By the new definition, such behaviors are okay and not out of the ordinary. Such actions are acceptable so long as that person was being true to himself.

Yet it doesn't take a genius to realize that this new definition is not conducive to a functioning society, as each person would simply decide for himself what was right and what was wrong.  You would have no stability in this world, as people would take actions based on their own selfish desires.

The founding fathers (as we know from their own writings, Merri) endorsed Christianity because they yearned for traditional integrity, whereby an unchanging moral code was inculcated into the minds of children, who were trained to willfully act in a manner that was in compliance with that code.  In this way, Americans would continue to place their priorities in the right order, and would be less likely to sacrifice for selfish gain.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Starbucks CEO expects uncomfortable dialogue to resolve racial tensions in America, and it won't work

The first thing I learned this morning as I woke up was that Starbucks CEO Charles Schultz has an idea to improve race relations in this country.  He will urge his store baristas to write "race together" on $5 cups of coffee and urge employees to engage customers in conversations regarding "race and racial inequality."

This type of idea is the problem, it's not the solution.  Lecturing people about how they should behave will only incite anger in many, and cause them not to want to go back to Starbucks.  

Think of it this way.  When I go to a Detroit Tigers baseball game, I go there to see the best baseball players in the world.  It never even occurs to me that this guy is black or this guy is a Latino.  I don't care about any of that.  It is my assumption that some of the best baseball players in the world are amassed together at Comerica Park so I can enjoy a good game.  

I don't go there thinking, "Oh, my goodness, there are no black pitchers in today's game. We need to do something"

When I go watch a basketball game I go there to watch the best players in the world play basketball play a good game.  I don't go there thinking, "This sport is all black."  

When I watch the Detroit Lions I look forward to seeing big plays by some of the best football players in the world.  I don't go there thinking, "Gosh, Calvin Johnson is Black and most wide receivers are black," or, "Gosh, The Lions Quarterback is white and most quarterbacks are white, we need to do something."

No we don't.  All this number counting is only making race relations worse.  It doesn't matter what color a quarterback is, all that matters is he was hired because he was the best.  It doesn't matter what color a basketball player is, all that matters is he is the best man for the dunk.  If players are hired by color, then the teams they are on will suffer. 

Of course now you have videos of Starbuck's employees participating in the "Race Together" campaign, and as I was watching it I saw many Starbuck's employees participating.  It was my assumption that these people were hired because they were the best for the job.  Yet now you have people complaining because most of the hands are white.  

You see, number counting is not the solution.  Forcing people to engage in conversation when all they want is a cup of coffee is no solution either. All these things do is incite anger and make the problem worse.  The solution is to treat ALL people with dignity and respect, and to hire the best people for the job.

So, Starbucks can help solve the problem with race relations, but it's not by encouraging employees and customers to engage in uncomfortable conversation.  The way to do it is by setting a good example for others to follow. 

Further reading:

What are enumerated powers?

Enumerated powers are those powers given to the federal government that are specifically mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. For example, Article I, Section 8 grants the U.S. Congress certain powers such as coining money, regulating interstate trade and commerce, declaring war, raising an army and navy and to establish laws of immigration. 

Many enumerated rights are also listed in the Bill of Rights. The reason there is a Bill of Rights is that a majority of the colonies were unwilling to accept the Constitution (to ratify it) without a specific, enumerated list of rights which they feared would not be respected if they weren't specifically included within the Constitution. So, the first 10 amendments were added and the Constitution was ratified by the colonies. 

According to the 10th amendment, all powers not enumerated by the Constitution are left to the states to decide. In this way, establishing rules for marriage, abortion, driving cars, education, Internet, etc. were left to the states to decide.

This system is called federalism. It's where two governments rule over the same geographic area. The Constitution establishes these two governments as the federal government and the states.  The federal government (meaning Congress and the president) can only pass laws regarding the enumerated rights.  If it is not an enumerated right, it is left to the states to decide.

This system was essential, because many of the states had religious schools, and they did not want the federal government telling them they could not have these. There were many other differences between the states, and federalism allowed each state to maintain its own sovereignty, or the right and power to govern themselves without intrusion by the federal government.  

Essentially, enumerated are those powers granted to the federal government.  These are the powers Congress can make laws upon, and the president can sign into law.  Any laws made by the federal government that are not based on enumerated powers granted by the Constitution should be made null and void by the U.S. Supreme Court.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

Get your news from more than one source

One of the neatest things about the American Constitution is it protects our natural born right to free speech, at least as far as it comes to our government. This is great because every opinion, every fact, and every new idea can be communicated. This allows us an opportunity that many of our ancestors did not have, and many people in the world still don't have.

Through most of history commoners were not privy to any news, and if they received news it was full of bias and from the king or queen or government.  Even as recently as the 1980s most people received their news from the few media outlets based out of New York, and lead by the New York Times.  Copying their news were CBS, ABC and NBC.

Today we have so many news options thers's no way any idea can be shunned, and all voices are heard. Yet still you have people saying things like "Well, he's only a blogger."  

Yet every blogger is a voice, and a voice that should be heard.  Still, we continue to have many people who want to go back to the old days where voices not agreed with are shut up, or at the very least mocked and ridiculed. A good example of this is Al Gore saying that people who don't believe in man-made global warming should be punished

Personally, I think it's a great thing to have every voice heard. I also think it's good to listen to voices you don't agree with. You might even learn something. This is why I don't understand how some people can email me and tell me I shouldn't watch Fox News or listen to Rush Limbaugh or read the Wall Street Journal.

I think it should be just the opposite. I think a wise person would listen to all the voices and come to radical conclusions based on the facts.  I say this because there are many voices who form opinions based on feelings over facts.  You even see this in the news, and we see it in the form of bias. 

It's actually quite easy to get news from many sources today, and you can start at websites such as the Drudge Report.  Some say Drudge is conservative, but I don't care, because he takes me to nearly every news outlet in the world. 

I'm sure there are other sites similar to Drudge, and one example is pages Liked on Facebook.  You can also use Twitter for this.  Although I tend to stay away from social media sites and prefer good old Drudge.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Our kids are poorly prepared for real world

Millennials have been exposed to superior technology most of their lives. They have had access to a wealth of knowledge contained on the Internet. So you'd expect them to be light years ahead of us when we were their age. However, an article published in Fortune magazine suggests the opposite is true, that "American Millennials Are Among the World's Least Skilled."

Experts at Princeton-based Educational Testing Service administered a test called the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). The test was designed to measure the job skills of adults, aged 16 to 65, in 23 countries. 

When the test results came back, those who put the test together were shocked. They learned that Millennials in the US fall short when it comes to the skills employers want most: literacy (including the ability to follow simple instructions), practical math, and problem-solving in technology-rich environments.

So kids are basically paying $200,000 to earn a four year degree, and they are graduating without the math and thinking skills necessary to function every day in the workday world.  

Researchers say these results mean that business owners should not overestimate the value of a four year degree.  Those with college degrees did score higher on PIAAC than those with only high school degrees, but not by much.  

This should surprise no one paying attention to what has happened to our public and secondary educational system the past 25-30 years.  Instead of teaching our kids things they need survive in the real world, they teach them everything they need to know about climate change. They are taught that the polar icecaps are melting when they are not.  And they are taught that this was caused by the habits of their parents, when this is not true. 

They are taught that all people should be created equal with equal results. They are taught to hate capitalism.  They learn that the best results come from creating equal pay and equal results. Then when they get in the real world they can't figure out why they can't get ahead in life.  

They learn about electric cars, and how gas powered cars are evil and wicked and the cause of all the world's problems.  They are taught white people are the cause of all the rest of the world's problems. They are taught that you can never discriminate.  It's for this reason that they are afraid to call a Muslim a terrorist even while 99.9 percent of terrorist activities around the world are caused by radical Muslims.  They they are surprised when Muslim's behead innocent journalists. 

They are taught that they should only eat boring foods that are good for them, rather than foods that might bring them joy in life. They are taught that foods are bad for them when there is no evidence of this. They use these fallacies to inspire laws that are for our own good in order to create a perfect world where everyone is healthy.

Then once their laws passed, we learn their fallacies were indeed fallacies.  Yet by then it's too late. Because they weren't trained to think, they didn't figure this out ahead of time.  Another good example here is Obamacare, which was passed by Congress without anyone having read it.  Then people learned that most of the promises made by our president (you can keep your health insurance if you like it, your premiums will go down) were not true.

They are told that they don't have to wait for Heaven to live in euphoria, and so they tend to support people who make laws to perfect society, even if it comes at the expense of their own liberties or the liberties of their children.   For a perfect example of this just look at the food our kids are forced to eat in public schools, food they don't like and mainly just toss into the garbage.  

They are taught that guns kill and people don't.  They are taught that if America does not show it's military might, other nations will not fear us.  They are taught that this will end all evil in the world, resulting in a euphoria.  Yet while their treaties make them feel good, they merely allow evil empires time to gain nuclear weapons (see what happened in North Korea). 

Our kids are poorly prepared for the real world, and it's the fault of progressives who decided that they could take the best educational system in the world and make it better by putting the Federal Government in charge of it.  Yet they failed.  Now we have one of the world's least prepared kids in the world.  Of course now their trying to do the same thing to our health care system, and one might surmise this will end up as chaotic as our educational system. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Gridlock is good

One of the best things about our U.S. Constitution is the separation of powers. Many will contend all this does is cause gridlock that prevents progress from being made, yet the founding fathers would say this is good.

Very few countries have a bicameral legislature and a separate executive. Most have an executive branch that is of the same party as the legislature, and there is rarely any gridlock. Laws that are written rarely have a problem getting passed.

That's not the case in the U.S. It's very difficult for a law to be passed by both house and the executive branch. The founders wanted this because they wanted to make sure minorities had protection. They wanted to make sure legislatures couldn't pass laws that were to the disadvantage of minorities. They wanted to make sure the majority could not easily vote away the rights of the minority.

If at the last minute someone thinks a law is a bad idea, it's not too hard to throw a wrench into it in the U.S. In other countries -- in most countries -- it's hard to stop bad laws from getting passed.

The founders made it this way because they wanted to make sure no bad laws got passed. They wanted to make sure laws made were good and benefited the masses for all time, as opposed to one group of people right now.

The 2014 midterm election results were a good example of how, while the media chants otherwise, most people in this country want gridlock.  Obama was handed an opportunity to make changes, and all he did was force legislature people didn't want, such as Obamacare.  So they voted republicans into office to create gridlock to stop him.

So, while you'll often hear people talking about how gridlock is bad, how it impedes progress, the truth is that gridlock can be a necessary good,  As the old saying goes, sometimes it's better to do nothing than to do something stupid.  It is better to play it safe than to risk the future.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

A closer look at economic numbers

The White House announced that the latest unemployment number is at 5.5 percent, which is the lowest it has been in seven years.  So does this mean that Obama's economic policies are finally working, and the economy has recovered?

If you listen to Christine Romans on CNN you would think so.  She said: "Sometimes a good headline is just a good headline, Carol, and that's what this report shows us. When you look within these pages and pages of tables, you see an American economy that is creating jobs again across the spectrum. The trend here has been good. Jobs added consistently month after month. The unemployment rate, really important milestone here for the unemployment rate, 5.5%. It's been trending down for a year. The lowest since May 2008."

However, when I attended journalism school at Ferris State University school back in 1988, we were told to look deep into statistics to make sure they were completely accurate. If you do otherwise, if you report only the numbers reported without analyzing them, you are letting other people direct the flow of news for you.  Or, in other words, you are just being a pawn, so to speak.

I will give you a quick example.  In 1988 Ferris State University released a statistic showing that 98 percent of their graduates were employed. On the surface this number brought joy to a lot of faces. However, after a deep look into this number, I learned that it included any job, including jobs at McDonalds.  In the end, we learned this number was misleading.  

So, that in mind, is an unemployment number of 5.5 percent really telling us that the economy is improving?   Let us look deeper into the number.  

Labor Force.  This includes all people over the age of 16 who are not in the military or an institution. This number is currently at 249,899,000.  

Labor Force Participation Rate.  This includes the percentage of of the Labor Force that is actively working or actively seeking work. This number currently stands at 62.8 percent, which is a 37 year low.  The last time this number was this low was in 1978, or when Jimmy Carter was president. What this means is that a total of 92,898,000 Americans have given up looking for work, and this number is at a record high. Since Obama was elected in 2008,12,369,000 Americans have left the workforce.  Right now, at the time of this writing, the rate is the lowest it's been in 37 years, as it stands at 62.8%. 

U3 Unemployment Number.  This is an unemployment number that does not include anyone who has looked for a job fore greater than four years and has stopped looking.  That 5.5 percent unemployment rate is the U3 number. Of the 157,002,000 who did participate in the labor force, 148,297,000 had a job, and 8,705,000 did not have a job but were actively seeking one -– making them the nation’s unemployed (5.5%). This is usually the number the White House reports because it is the one that usually makes it look the best.

U6 Unemployment Number.  This includes all working age adults who are capable of working who are not working.  This unemployment number currently resides around 11.5 percent.  This number is considered by economists to be more accurate than the U3 number.

Everybody Eats.  As a nation, we have set up a system where everybody eats, whether you have a job or not.  At present we have 50 million Americans on food stamps, and of course there are many other programs that make sure everyone eats.  As recently as 20 years ago, if you didn't have a job you did not eat.  This was a great incentive for people to search hard to find a job. 

Jobs numbers.  This number includes all the jobs lost over a month, and the number of jobs created. The jobs created also includes part time work.  For example, last July the Obama White House reported that 273,000 jobs were created in June, and this meant the economy was improving.  Of this, I wrote: First of all, the numbers he uses are misleading. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics report that 273,000 jobs were created last month, 800,000 people left the workforce. So while the unemployment rate presently sits at 6.3%, the U-6 unemployment rate sits at 13.6%. This is a more accurate depiction of the 963,630,000 people in America currently not working..
Further reading:

Bottom line.  A good journalist would dig deep into numbers and report the whole story, rather than just letting the White House tell the story with the numbers it releases.  

Friday, March 6, 2015


Compassion makes up for many flaws.  You could be an average doctor, yet if you have compassion it can more than make up for this flow.  You could be just an average respiratory therapist, but the fact you have compassion can more than make up for this flow.

Compassion is a funny thing, because sometimes you see the results and sometimes you don't.  Yet more often than not, the person with compassion comes out ahead of the pack. This is the person most people like, and the person most people will go to for advice, mainly because this person is usually the most approachable.

A compassionate therapist is not the one who gets annoyed because a patient with dementia is being annoyingly confusing.  A compassionate therapist is the one who goes out of his way to hold the patient's hand, and comfort her.  He is the one who will go out of his way to get a glass of water or a pop.

And usually these acts of compassion go without notice.  Yet it doesn't matter, because compassion makes the world a better place, and it can also make your world a better place.

Heed the words of St. Francis: "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy."

It doesn't take much to be compassionate.  In fact, as there have been those who have been compassionate to you, you can pay it forward by being compassionate to the next person. In this way, compassion can be an endless cycle of joy in the world.

By paying compassion forward, you may receive it back ten-fold in the future. When you go out of your way to express compassion to one person, that person will share what you did and you will have ten people being compassionate to you in return.

Compassion is not judging, and it's not getting angry.  Compassion is showing that you care, or having empathy, for the people around you  Compassion is pity and concern for the people around you.  Compassion is caring how people might be feeling, and using a soothing voice, or a caring touch, to provide for the needs of another person who might be in need.

You may not be popular.  You may receive no thank or recognition other than an occasional smile. Yet knowing that you are a compassionate person may, and knowing that others are compassionate toward you, is all that a humble person needs.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Netanyahu looked very presidential before Congress

Benjamin Netanyahu looked and sounded very presidential during his speech to Congress today. He said, "America's founding document promises life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Iran's founding document pledges death, tyranny, and the pursuit of jihad, and states are collapsing across the Middle East."

Yes, he sounded very presidential. He sounded like a person who is making a last minute plea to save Western Civilization; to convince Congress to thwart any plan to give the leading terrorist nation in the world (Iran) a clear path to nuclear methods. He reminded Congress that we must not forget Iran is the world's leading exporter of terrorism.

He reminded Congress of the failures of Neville Chamberlain in his efforts to negotiate with a thug named Hitler. He reminded Congress of the failure of inspectors in Iraq to realize the artful BS Saddam was using to fool the world about his nuclear arms program. He reminded Congress that inspectors in North Korea failed to stop North Korea form getting the Bomb.

He said we need to be aggressive toward Iran and do whatever it takes to stop them from getting nuclear weapons. He said, "Iran's regime is not merely a Jewish problem anymore than the Nazi regime was merely a Jewish problem. ... the greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. ... Many hope that Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the nations... We must all stand together to stop Iran's march of conquest, subjugation, and terror."

Now Obama and Kerry and other democrats believe they do not have the right to tell other nations what to do, regardless that they are lead by a totalitarian dictator thus or not. So they are trying to negotiate with Iran to get them to stop their nuclear program for ten years. They believe that will give them ten years to convince Iran not to develop nuclear weapons.

To this, Netanyahu said, "This deal does not block Iran's path to the bomb, it paves Iran's path to the bomb." To this he got a standing ovation. "So why would anyone make this deal? Because they hope that Iran will change for the better in the coming years. Or they believe that the alternative to this deal is worse. Well, I disagree. I don't believe that Iran's radical regime will change for the better after this deal."

He got a standing ovation because he is right: all that ten years would do is buy them time. While we are busy negotiating, while inspectors are in and out of their nation, Iran's leaders will lead them in one direction with one hand, while leading their nuclear program in another direction with the other.

He offered one final promise: “I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.”

Yes indeed!  Netanyahu looked very presidential.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Only the facts point to the truth

There are those who say you can find an article online to support just about any argument.  But I would like to disagree with this on the grounds that the facts only support one side.

Surely you can find an opinion peace supporting any argument, but the truth is only on one side.  For instance, let's consider tax increases.  You will find articles supporting the notion that tax increases result in more government revenue.  They will argue: it just makes sense.

But there are others who argue that tax cuts create more governmental revenue. They will cite the Laffer Curve as evidence that if you raise taxes above a certain point revenue starts to decline.  In such instances, if you cut taxes so they are at or below this point, you will assure a steady inflow of tax revenue.

The supporters of this later theory will also be able to cite historical evidence in support of this theory, as Warren G. Harding/ Calvin Coolidge cut taxes and watched as the economy soared.  John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush cut taxes and saw governmental revenue nearly double in all instances.

So the evidence is only on one side.  Surely both sides will cite evidence, but just that it sounds good is not sound evidence.