Is There Any Point?

July 11, 2011 17:00 by KRM

 Over the last two weeks, I have tried many times to write, but I think I was in mourning.  At least three times, I started a Fourth of July post but could never finish it.  I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was writing, not a blog post, but a eulogy. 

While the president and the House argue over raising the debt limit, the rest of America plods along at 9.2% unemployment.  They argue about spending cuts and tax increases, but many Americans are scraping to get by.  The economy is not getting any better, but Obama wants to soak it for another one or two trillion dollars.

The problem with all of this is that despite whatever rhetoric they spout, it doesn’t make any sense.  If they cut $2 trillion in spending, but raise taxes $2 trillion, neither party is going to take the new revenue and apply it to debt or deficit.  It will be allocated to new spending and the out of control cycle that’s rapidly plunging us towards banana republic status will continue unabated.  More than spending cuts, tax increases, 5 year, 8 year, or 12 year plans, more than healthcare, Medicare or carbon offsets, what we really need is new government.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember about the Fourth of July is this phrase, “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security”.

Right now, our government is not guarding our future security.  The President and the Congress trample the Constitution at every turn.  They spend our money like it grows on trees and then print more to decrease its value.  While we have the appearance of freedom, we are not truly free.  The government regulates almost every aspect of our lives, from how much water our toilets can flush to what kind of light bulbs we can use.  And then they tax everything we do.  Think about how many taxes you pay if you go on vacation.  You pay taxes on everything that you purchase for the trip, you pay taxes on the fuel for your car, you paid taxes on the car, you pay taxes on the hotel room, you pay taxes on your cell phone service, if you took a flight, you pay taxes that.  And in most of those cases, the taxes you paid did not go to cover anything you used (as can be attested by traffic conditions in most cities), but to pay for the pet projects of senior Senators and Congressman, or a war in Libya, or some other nonsense.

Right now, the federal government is spending about $3.8 trillion a year, while bringing in about $2.2 trillion, leaving a deficit of $1.6 trillion.  That’s 72% more than the government is taking in.  Imagine if you were making $80,000 a year, but spending $137,000 a year.  It wouldn’t take long before the hole you were digging caved in on you.  Even with the Republicans aggressive proposal of cutting $4 billion in spending over 10 years, you’re still digging a hole, just at a slower pace –that’s only a cut of $400 billion a year which means that we’d still be spending $3.4 trillion a year.  It would reduce our yearly deficit, but we’d still be in the whole, every year, but over $1 trillion dollars.  And now they’re backing down from the $4 trillion plan to go with a modest $2 trillion cut.  As if that will do any good.

What we need now is someone who is really willing to lead – to make drastic cuts in spending, to kill of entitlements that are draining our country’s energy away.  Someone who isn’t afraid to do unpopular things to pull this nation back from the brink of absolute financial ruin.  And to end the entitlement mentality that so deeply pervades our country.  And for we the people to re-embrace the independent spirit that allowed this country to exist in the first place.

Like I said, a eulogy.

 

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Diminishing the Meaning of Value

June 27, 2011 08:37 by KRM

In light of the recent legislation passed in New York, rather than trying to write something new, I decided to share a section from my book that addresses the problem with redefining marriage:

The last attack on life is less obvious, but may actually undermine the right to live at an even more basic level.  If you exclude laboratorial methods of contraception, we all know how babies are made – one man and one woman (if you don’t ask your parents).  Cultures around the world, for millennia, have protected this union, defined as marriage, as the mechanism for growing their society.  Simply put, having babies is a necessary component for any society to survive.  First, it increases the number of people in the societal group.  That’s not such a big deal today, but 2000 years ago, any given tribe or group faced extinction if it didn’t reproduce more of its kind.  Second, adding to the population provides more consumers of products, a larger tax base and a larger pool of military candidates, employees and producers.  Third, raw human potential is unleashed when couples have children.  Any given child could grow up to be the next Einstein or Mother Teresa. There is no knowing what the contributions could be.  But all of that is under attack with the liberal attempt to redefine marriage to include homosexual unions.

Before we delve into this further, let me make a point for better use of language.  When we as Conservatives use the term “gay marriage”, we are giving our stamp of approval that such a perversion exists.  There is nothing natural about homosexual activity; to continue the debate on their terms is to tacitly acquiesce to their proposition that it is acceptable and that, progressively speaking, it’s only a matter of time before it is legally legitimized. We should never enter into this debate on their terms, using their terms.  Rather than refer to it as “gay marriage,” we should refer to it as redefinition of marriage.  This removes the implied acceptance and squarely shifts the terms of the debate to what is really happening.

Liberals and progressives attempt to paint the lack of legal standing of homosexual couples as a grave injustice akin to the way blacks were treated during the civil rights movement.  They ignore the fact that being black is innate not behavioral.  A black man cannot choose not to have black skin.  Homosexuality is behavior and for most of our history, was considered to be a deviant, abnormal form of sexuality.  In the United States, the American Psychiatric Association labeled it as a mental illness as recently as 1973. Despite millennia of being viewed as unacceptable, it’s only in the last 40 years that this behavior has moved from being tolerated, to accepted and is now even being considered for full societal and legal recognition.  

The push for legally redefining marriage is an attempt to use the force of law to make two things that are not equal, legally the same.  Is it legalized discrimination to prohibit homosexuals to apply the term marriage to their unions?  Yes, of course, but with good reason.  Societies have valued marriage for 1000s of years precisely because they are valuable in continuing the existence of the society – because heterosexual couples can reproduce.  Homosexual couples, in and of themselves will never, not now, not in the future, be able to procreate.  No matter how you join two females or two males, you can’t get a child, without the external help of either science or a member of the opposite gender.  This isn’t the only place where discrimination is allowed.  Companies are allowed to discriminate in hiring and in pay.  When a company is looking for a skilled computer programmer, they are not forced to hire someone with a high school education who doesn’t know what reboot means.  And companies pay people differently based on the perceived value of the work of the employees.  Producers get paid more. 

Proponents of redefinition ask one question that is challenging – how will allowing homosexuals to (inappropriately) use the word marriage undermine traditional marriage?  Or, put another way, how can the legal redefinition of marriage to include gay unions possibly threaten traditional marriage that has been around for millennia?  It doesn’t.  Nature proves that heterosexual unions are superior, simply because they can reproduce.  Speaking teleologically, male with male and female with female are incompatible.  Only male and female unions are demonstrably functional.  Flipping the legal switch to sanction gay marriage does nothing to the natural, inherent value of traditional marriage. It has and will always be better, whether or not we recognize it as such.  The problem isn’t that traditional marriage is threatened, but the effect that such recognition has on the culture itself. First, while traditional marriage is still better, allowing homosexuals to use marriage as equals creates a false sense of equality that undermines the very meaning of value in a culture.  Just because a court ruled or legislature deliberated in opposition to Natural Law doesn’t negate the Natural Law.  Natural Law, whether recognized or not, supersedes man’s law.  Because people inherently know natural law, even if they favor gay marriage, for whatever debased reason, they know that this false sense of equality exists – that we are placing value on something where no value exists.  This will create tension in society and a sense of injustice that will permeate the entire culture. 

Second, when a culture devalues the very means that allow it to grow and flourish, it won’t be long until that culture fades away.  When families are designed to be anything but what is natural, the value of families as the fundamental engine of societal growth is diminished.  As the value society places on traditional marriage decreases, so will the number of people who participate in it.  This was true of the “enlightened” of ancient Rome, and is no less true today.  A 2005 report entitled “The State of Our Unions” out of Rutgers University’s National Marriage Project explains what happens to marriage when the government doesn’t intervene. The report asks and answers the question - “Why is the Swedish marriage rate so low relative to other nations?  In brief, because religion there is weak, a left-wing political ideology has long been dominant, and almost all governmental incentives for marriage have been removed” [emphasis mine].  While it does not call out redefinition of marriage as one of the pre-cursors to marriage being weakened in a culture, it does identify that incentive encourages people to enter into marriage.  The proponent for the redefinition of marriage will answer this by saying that is exactly why they want it so bad. What they don’t realize is that one of the incentives is the identification of heterosexual marriage as special, not merely the perks that the government gives to married couples.

But a 2004 article by Stanley Kurtz in National Review Online, entitled “No Explanation” calls them out.  He states, “…there are now at least strong indications that Dutch gay marriage has contributed significantly to the decline of Dutch marriage.” He goes on to say, “But the deeper point is that the meaning of traditional marriage was transformed every bit as much by the decade-long national movement for gay marriage in Holland as by eventual legal success. That's why the impact of gay marriage on declining Dutch marriage rates and rising out-of-wedlock birthrates begins well before the actual legal changes were instituted.”  The changes occurring in Dutch culture were so marked that in 2004, five Dutch academics wrote an open letter to the Dutch newspaper Reformatorisch Dagblad to the “parliaments around the world” that are debating same-sex marriage to highlight the dangers of redefining traditional marriage.  They point out some startling statistics that they attribute to the campaign to redefine marriage.  Traditional marriages declined from 1990 to 2003 by 13.6%, and children born out of wedlock increased from 11% to 31% and the number of never married citizens increased 13%.  In a follow up interview with one of the letter authors, Dr. Joost van Loon, the Director of the Centre for Research in Culture and Communication at Nottingham Trent University in the UK, stated why they are so concerned. “Marriage is the best setting for the raising of children…. A child that grows up out of wedlock will have a greater chance of problems in the development of its personality, its physical health, its school performances and even the quality of its future relationships.”  To win support in Holland, the activists supporting redefinition had to effectually remove from peoples’ minds the link between marriage and raising children.  In the interview, Van Loon stated, “Supporters of gay marriage often based their argument for legalization on the separation of marriage and the raising of children. Those two things were supposed to be completely unconnected.”  He went on to say that it’s hard to imagine that morally equating marriage with any other cohabiting relationship has not had serious social consequences.  Van Loon’s most revealing comment was this, “…we should have limited ourselves to the creation of registered partnerships for homosexuals. We should have had the guts to tell a relatively small group in our society: leave marriage alone."  As bad as gay activists want to break the connection between marriage and children, it is impossible to do so.  If you believe that we are designed, then you must realize that sex feels good for a reason – it improves the chances that couples will engage in it.  If creating new life felt like the worse migraine you’ve ever had, or like getting your teeth drilled without Novocain, or placing your hand on a hot griddle, the human race would have long ago passed into oblivion.  Even if you believe in evolution, you have to believe that the sensations associated with sex somehow evolved so that the species had a better chance of continuing. 

With all the attempts in this country to model ourselves after Europe, you’d think we’d look to learn from their mistakes.  Instead the supporters of redefining marriage here, in an effort to win social legitimization for their unnatural choice, oppose nature itself.  When they claim that by allowing homosexuals to use the term marriage for their unnatural unions won’t have effects on society, they are flat out lying and ignoring established evidence to the contrary. In this country, we will hopefully never have to experience the long-term effects suffered by redefinition.  The results could be disastrous to society.  There are some areas that are just too dangerous to play around with – attempting to redefine marriage is one of them.  It makes about as much sense as exposing everyone to the Ebola virus in hopes that it will strengthen their immune systems with total disregard that it could wipe out everyone who is exposed.  The benefits to a few do not outweigh the harm done to the many.

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