Monthly Archives: January 2014

Hobby Lobby: A Family Business

Hobby Lobby: A Family Business

Published on Jan 30, 2014

On March 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., a case arising out of the commitment of Hobby Lobby owners David and Barbara Green and their family to live out their deeply held religious convictions by “operating their company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.”

The family believes that this commitment is the reason that Hobby Lobby, which began out of the garage, has grown from one 300-square-foot store to one of the nation’s leading arts and crafts retailers with more than 550 stores in 45 states.

For information and updates about this important case, and to share your support, please visit http://hobbylobbycase.com.

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Rand Paul rightly notes, “The Fourth Amendment requires an individualized warrant based on probable cause before the government can search phone records and e-mails”

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Reclaiming Our Rights in the 21st Century (Sen. Rand Paul)

Published on Aug 1, 2013

Full event:
http://www.cato.org/cato-university/2…

Limiting government means expanding the sphere of the individual. And given recent scandals with the NSA and IRS, the struggle for liberty clearly continues. At Cato University, Kentucky’s Junior Senator Rand Paul addressed the crowd, covering NSA surveillance, the misunderstood Lochner decision and natural rights.

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Rand Paul rightly notes, “The Fourth Amendment requires an individualized warrant based on probable cause before the government can search phone records and e-mails.”

Rand Paul on Obama on NSA: “The Same Unconstitutional Program with a New Configuration”

|Jan. 17, 2014 12:15 pm

 

Look for much more coverage of Obama’s NSA speech this morning as the day rolls on here at Hit and Run, but Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s reaction is worth a quick note, via a press release:

“While I am encouraged the President is addressing the NSA spying program because of pressure from Congress and the American people, I am disappointed in the details. The Fourth Amendment requires an individualized warrant based on probable cause before the government can search phone records and e-mails. President Obama’s announced solution to the NSA spying controversy is the same unconstitutional program with a new configuration,” Sen. Paul said. “I intend to continue the fight to restore Americans rights through my Fourth Amendment Restoration Act and my legal challenge against the NSA. The American people should not expect the fox to guard the hen house.”

 

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Rand Paul’s plan more popular than Obama’s?

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Ryan’s plan better than Democrat’s plan but not as good as Rand Paul’s

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Rand Paul against debt deal

John Brummett entitled his article “It is a crafty deal — good too,” Arkansas News Bureau, August 2, 2011, and that is because this deal DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY REAL CUTS TO THE BUDGET IN 2011. IN FACT, IT CUTS 22 BILLION OUT OF THE PROJECTED INCREASE IN THE 3.6 TRILLION BUDGET THAT WILL HAVE A […]

Ecclesiastes, Purpose, Meaning, and the Necessity of God by Suiwen Liang (Quotes Will Durant, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, Stephen Jay Gould,Richard Dawkins, Jean-Paul Sartre,Bertrand Russell, Leo Tolstoy, Loren Eiseley,Aldous Huxley, G.K. Chesterton, Ravi Zacharias, and C.S. Lewis.)

Ecclesiastes 2-3 Published on Sep 19, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 16, 2012 | Derek Neider _____________________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how secular […]

Romney must embrace some of Ron Paul’s ideas or take Rand as VP

There is no other way around this problem for Romney. If he wins the Republican Nomination for President then the must embrace some of Paul’s ideas (as suggested below by Senator Demint) or get Rand Paul to be the VP candidate. GOP Should Heed Ron Paul by Michael D. Tanner Michael Tanner is a senior […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 6 The Adoration of the Lamb by Jan Van Eyck which was saved by MONUMENT MEN IN WW2 (Feature on artist Makoto Fujimura)

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Christians used to be the ones who were responsible for the best art in the culture. Will there ever be a day that happens again?

The Gospel of John Chapter 1 verse 29:

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Speaking of Christ).

At the 5 minute mark in the above video clip you see Francis Schaeffer analyse this painting below:

Artist: Jan van Eyck

Start Date: 1425

Completion Date:1429

Style: Northern Renaissance

Genre: religious painting

Technique: oil

Material: wood

Dimensions: 137.7 x 242.3 cm

Gallery: Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten

Image dimension 500x272px, View All Sizes

This artwork is in the public domain.
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The Church’s One Foundation

Uploaded on Aug 16, 2009

“The Lamb of God” – The Ghent altar piece is in St. Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium. Hubert van Eyck began creating the altar piece. Jan van Eyck, his brother, completed the the beautiful painting which Hubert left unfinished (1425-1429). The music is from Hymns Triumphant II and includes, “The Church’s One Foundation”, “We’re Marching to Zion”, and “I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord”. The hymns were performed by the Amen Choir. Orchestration is by the London National Philharmonic Orchestra. The musical score was arranged and conducted by Lee Holdridge.

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CATHEDRAL OF ST BAVON, GHENT , BELGIUM
JAN VAN EYCK
1390 – 1441
The Painting
This is an altarpiece containing panels of several different paintings. They include Mary, Jesus, Adam and Eve,and singing angels. Notice the beauty and intricacies.
The central part of this painting is in the lower panels. Focus your study on these panels. Notice that there are several groups coming to the center.
The Principle
Dr. Francis Schaeffer explains that “most impressive is the central theme: the rich, the poor – people of all classes and backgrounds – coming to Christ. And who is this Christ? Van Eyck comprehended the Biblical understanding of Christ as the Lamb of God who died on the cross to take away the moral guilt of those who accept Him as
Savior. But this Christ is not now dead. He stands upright and alive on the altar, symbolizing that He died as the substitute, sacrificed, but He now lives! As van Eyck painted this, almost certainly he had Jesus’ own words in mind, as Christ speaks in the Apocalypse, the last book in the Bible: ‘I am the living one that became dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and I have the keys of death and Hades.’” (How Should We Then Live?, page 66).
The Painter
While Masaccio was working out techniques of perspective for the Italian Renaissance painters, Jan van Eyck was working in Northern Europe under the influence of Reformation thought. He too painted people and objects in their proper place – just as if you could see into the painting. If Masaccio is ‘The Father of Renaissance Art’, Jan
van Eyck is ‘The Father of Reformation Art.’ Van Eyck mastered light and landscape as well as discovering oil painting, a technique in which linseed oil serves as the solvent for pigment rather than egg, which was used in the Italian technique of tempera. This technique allows for greater beauty and delicacy in art.

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Monuments Men – Examining the Ghent Altarpiece

(Click image for full resolution version)

January 15, 2014
Monuments - Examining the Ghent Altarpiece

Photo courtesy of Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Lt. Daniel J. Kern and German conservator Karl Sieber examining Jan van Eyck’s Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, also known as the Ghent Altarpiece (1432).

Thomas Carr Howe papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

The Monuments Men – Official Trailer (2013) [HD] George Clooney, Matt Damon

Published on Aug 8, 2013

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The Monuments Men – Official Trailer (2013)

Release Date: December 18, 2013
Genre: Action, Thriller
Director: George Clooney
Writer: George Clooney, Grant Heslov
Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray
Studio: Columbia Pictures (Sony)

Plot: Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, “The Monuments Men” is an action-thriller focusing on an unlikely World War II platoon, tasked by FDR with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners. It would be an impossible mission: with the art trapped behind enemy lines, and with the German army under orders to destroy everything as the Reich fell, how could these guys — seven museum directors, curators, and art historians, all more familiar with Michelangelo than the M-1 — possibly hope to succeed? But as the Monuments Men, as they were called, found themselves in a race against time to avoid the destruction of 1000 years of culture, they would risk their lives to protect and defend mankind’s greatest achievements.

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age” episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” ,  episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted, “Schaefferwho always claimed to be an evangelist and not a philosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplified intellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pill because Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art and culture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about them because they show how people’s worldviews affect their lives!

J.I.PACKER WROTE OF SCHAEFFER, “His communicative style was not thaof a cautious academiwho labors for exhaustive coverage and dispassionate objectivity. It was rather that of an impassioned thinker who paints his vision of eternal truth in bold strokes and stark contrasts.Yet it is a fact that MANY YOUNG THINKERS AND ARTISTS…HAVE FOUND SCHAEFFER’S ANALYSES A LIFELINE TO SANITY WITHOUT WHICH THEY COULD NOT HAVE GONE ON LIVING.”

Francis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts and they have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of the things he wrote in the 1960’s  were right on  in the sense he saw where our western society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youth enthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decades because of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACEThere is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible noted, “Many modern artists, it seems to me, have forgotten the value that art has in itself. Much modern art is far too intellectual to be great art. Many modern artists seem not to see the distinction between man and non-man, and it is a part of the lostness of modern man that they no longer see value in the work of art as a work of art.

Francis and Edith Schaeffer

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Francis Schaeffer with his son Franky pictured below. Francis and Edith (who passed away in 2013) opened L’ Abri in 1955 in Switzerland.

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The first episode in this series included a feature on Tracey Emin of England and the second post featured Peter Howson of Scotland, and the third and fourth posts were  extensive pieces on the art and writings of Mike Kelley of LA (sadly Kelley committed suicide in 2012). The fifth post featured the german painter Gerhard Richter and  sixth post today featured Makoto Fujimura who was born in Boston  to Japanese parents, but now lives in New York City.

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Makoto Fujimura pictured below:

A Conversation with Makoto Fujimura

Published on Jul 31, 2012

Dean of the School of Divinity at Cairn Univeristy, and Director of the Center for University Studies, Dr. Jonathan Master, sat down for a conversation with artist Makoto Fujimura to discuss his life and work, and his thoughts on the intersection of art, culture, and the Christian life.

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Highlights of Encounter 11: Mako Fujimura on Being Generative

Published on May 30, 2012

“Being Generative” is the theme of Encounter 11. Makoto Fujimura invites us to consider that “being generative” means dwelling in the liminal spaces of culture. He suggests that the poet Emily Dickinson best exemplifies this generative quality through her use of dashes that humanize her poetry.

View full video here at http://vimeo.com/25191805

More of Mako on Emily Dickinson at: http://www.makotofujimura.com/writing…

Bio:
Makoto Fujimura is an artist, writer, and speaker who is recognized worldwide as a cultural influencer by both faith-based and secular media. A Presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts (2003-2009), Fujimura has contributed internationally as an advocate for the arts, speaking with decision makers and advising governmental policies on the arts. Fujimura’s second book, Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art and Culture, is a collection of essays bringing people of all backgrounds together in conversation and meditation on culture, art, and humanity. Fujimura founded International Arts Movement in 1991.

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Fujimura, Makoto – VM – Cisca Ireland-Verwoerd

Golden Pines-Gordon by Makoto Fujimura
Visual Poetry
by Cisca Ireland-Verwoerd
Makoto Fujimura (1960) was born in Boston to Japanese parents. He was educated in the US (Bucknell University) and Japan, where he studied traditional Japanese art. Fujimura’s work reflects two cultures, as he combines the medieval technique of Nihonga (using ground minerals and precious metals in hide glue) with abstract expressionism. Just as in Asian art, nature and human experience are often suggested with colors and vague forms rather than with explicit outline. This makes the world of Fujimura one of mystery. We can only enter this world when we take the time to stand still and look and meditate.
Fujimura’s paintings change over time. For instance, he uses silver that will tarnish and become cloudy and dark, and gold leaves that become more transparent as the minerals “settle.” Fujimura uses natural materials. He grinds up minerals and metals and combines them with a glue of animal hide. This painstaking process and the visible effects of aging tell us of Fujimura’s philosophy: art reflects the materiality of the created world, as well as the reality of suffering (crushing and aging). At the same time, his work also tells us of the transcendent splendor of God and his creation. We see the metals and minerals refracting light in ever-changing ways, and we think of the subtleties and enchantment of life. Slowly, Fujimura draws us into his deeply spiritual visual poetry and we marvel at the ethereal beauty that can be present in the midst of life’s darkness and destruction.
Golden Pines-Gordon was commissioned by Gordon College, a Christian College in Massachusetts, for their new Science Center (2008). When Fujimura visited the yet unfinished building, he was inspired by two pine trees outside in front of the Coy Pond. Today the same trees and pond are still visible through the window left of the painting. The real trees and the painting exist side by side, just as science and art exist in close relationship. Science and art both describe and explore God’s creation, only expressed in different “languages.”
The painting is fairly large (48×60 inches, 122×152 cm) and is almost entirely covered by thin squares of gold leaf. We associate gold with spirituality and eternity; it reminds us of the golden backgrounds of icons and illustrated manuscripts. Fujimura uses layers of gold and vibrant, earth-bound colors. Alternatively, they hide and reveal each other.
In the middle of the painting we see a large tree that refers to the mystery of creation. The silvery trunk with its shadow are planted in a layer of unpainted kumohada (Japanese rag paper). It stretches out its branches and clusters of pines throughout the expanse of gold. We notice some brush strokes, but much of the tree is suggested by dripped splotches of deep blue azurite and blue-green malachite. Diagonally on the right we see several trunks with leaves that suggest the receding line of trees on the other side of the college’s Coy Pond. This perspective creates a depth between the large tree in the middle and the trees on the right.
A small tree on the lower right stretches out its main bare branch toward the large tree, as in deference. This tree connotes the scientific realm, bound to the closed system of nature. If we look carefully, we see golden squiggles under the small pine, as if forming its foundation. Only when we are familiar with the text from Ps. 19:1-2 can we decipher it: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the works of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech. For Gordon College.” In Fujimura’s visual poetry science and creation express the same: we experience the glorious presence of God.
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More about Makoto Fujimura: For Fujimura, art is not something he “produces,” but a process that reveals the core of his humanity. This is why his activities are not limited to studio painting. Fujimura also makes video installations, writes, lectures, collaborates with musicians, mentors art students, and helps with church planting activities. Based in New York City, two blocks from “Ground Zero,” he initiated the TriBeCa Temporary project to provide a place of healing for local artists after 9/11. In 1990, Fujimura founded the non-profit organization IAM (International Arts Movement), whose mission is to “gather artists and creative catalysts to wrestle with the deep questions of art, faith and humanity in order to inspire the creative community to engage the culture that is and create the world that ought to be.” www.makotofujimura.com and www.iamny.org
 
Books
– Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture, Makoto Fujimura and Tim Keller (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2009)
– Objects of Grace: Conversations on Creativity and Faith, James Romaine (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2002), p 150-173.
– English Standard Version of the Bible, to be released by Crossway in January 2011 to commemorate the four hundred year anniversary of the King James Bible, will have five works of Fujimura illustrating the four gospels.
Gallery
Fujimura’s main exhibitor is the Dillon Gallery in New York City.
Cisca Ireland-Verwoerd resides in Boston, MA, with her husband and son. She lectures and writes about her two favorite topics: mission and theology in art.
ArtWay Visual Meditation August 15, 2010

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Evangelicals start push in the arts

By Eric Gorski, AP Religion Writer  |  July 26, 2007

There are no crosses in Makoto Fujimura’s paintings. No images of Jesus gazing into the distance, or serene scenes of churches in a snow-cloaked wood.

Fujimura’s abstract works speak to his evangelical Christian faith. But to find it takes some digging.

After the 2001 terrorist strikes on the World Trade Center, three blocks from Fujimura’s home, his work explored the power of fire to both destroy and purify, themes drawn from the Christian Gospels and Dante’s “The Divine Comedy.”

“I am a Christian,” says Fujimura, 46, who founded the nonprofit International Arts Movement to help bridge the gap between the religious and art communities. “I am also an artist and creative, and what I do is driven by my faith experience.

“But I am also a human being living in the 21st century, struggling with a lot of brokenness — my own, as well as the world’s. I don’t want to use the term ‘Christian’ to shield me away from the suffering or evil that I see, or to escape in some nice ghetto where everyone thinks the same.”

By making a name for himself in the secular art world, Fujimura has become a role model for creatively wired evangelicals. They believe that their churches have forsaken the visual arts for too long — and that a renaissance has begun.

On the grass-roots and institutional level, evidence is mounting to support that view: Art galleries are opening in churches; prominent seminaries are investing in new centers exploring theology and the arts; and, graduates from evangelical film schools are making Hollywood movies.

These artistic evangelicals, though still relatively small in number, are striving to be creators of culture rather than imitators, said Dick Staub, a Seattle-based radio talk show host and author of “The Culturally Savvy Christian: A Manifesto for Deepening Faith and Enriching Popular Culture In an Age of Christianity-Lite.” There is a desire, he said, to avoid inventing a parallel arts universe with Christian knockoffs for Christian audiences.

“They want to make art that connects to everybody,” Staub said. “The call is first and foremost to make good art.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean overtly religious art, but rather art informed by faith. Fujimura, for example, shares more with abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock than with Thomas Kinkade, a self-described devout Christian whose brushwork of idyllic landscapes, crosses and churches are big sellers.

As a result, Fujimura — whose work has been displayed at museums in Tokyo and Washington, D.C. — gets questions from his fellow believers dubious about abstract and modern art.

“The Bible is full of abstraction,” said Fujimura, an elder at a Greenwich Village church he helped start. “Think about this God who created the universe, the heavens and the earth from nothing. In order to have faith you have to reach out to something, to a mystery.”

It isn’t always an easy sell.

Evangelical unease with the visual arts dates to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. Andy Crouch, editorial director for Christianity Today’s Christian Vision Project, which examines how evangelicals intersect with the broader culture, notes that Protestantism traces its origins to an era when noses were snapped off sculptures in a rejection of Catholic visual tradition while the word of God was elevated.

Attitudes began to change in the 1960s and 1970s, when Christian theologian Francis Schaeffer and Dutch art historian Hans Rookmaaker challenged believers to emerge from their cocoons and engage the culture, including in the arts.

Now, Crouch said, those ideas are resonating with a younger generation of believers who live in an image-saturated culture. They sense a disconnect worshipping in churches bare of anything that’s visually arresting.

“The very parched nature of evangelical visual culture is making people who have grown up in this culture thirsty for beauty,” he said.

Increasingly, that ground is being explored on seminary campuses. One of the most ambitious examples is the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., founded in 2001 and bankrolled by a $15 million donation from a Virginia couple that earned a fortune in information technology.

The center aspires to be an evangelical arts think tank, with five stand-alone institutes focused upon worship and music, film and moving images, art and architecture, drama, journalism and creative writing, preaching and the study of the “emerging church,” which incorporates painting, dance and other fine arts into worship.

Craig Detweiler, co-director of the center’s Reel Spirituality Institute, said students are fascinated with finding the sacred in the mundane and exploring life’s mysteries. In other words, themes with far-reaching appeal.

“Maybe 20 years ago, young filmmakers wanted to tell stories for their own audience,” said Detweiler, a screenwriter. “Today’s young filmmakers … find holy moments within mainstream movies and want to create more of the same.

“For too long, Christian art has implied pale imitation,” Detweiler said. “We’re trying to get back to the days of the Renaissance, where the church was the patron of the finest art.”

In another sign that institutional evangelicalism is taking the arts seriously, a Center for Theology and the Arts was founded last year at the flagship seminary of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination: Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. The center’s work begins modestly this summer with a workshop drawing parallels between the art of drawing and Bible study, arguing both are about seeing and observing.

“If we as Christians believe that creativity and imagination is a gift from God, why have we neglected it for so many years?” said center director Steve Halla, a former Dallas Theological Seminary professor and a woodcut artist.

Already, evangelicals are exerting greater influence in the film industry.

Even before the success of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” Southern California was home to a Christian screenwriting factory called Act One, an on-the-rise film school at the evangelical Biola University and a film studies center sponsored by the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities.

More recently, evangelicals have turned their attention to the contemporary art world. For the past two years, students primarily from Christian colleges and universities have studied and interned at galleries and graphic-design firms through the New York Center for Art and Media Studies, a satellite of Bethel University in St. Paul, Minn.

“We are not trying to recruit missionaries into New York City or anything like that,” said James Romaine, an art historian and the center’s director. “We’re helping young artists grow and become the best artists they can be.”

Echoing others, Romaine describes an evolution in evangelical thinking about the arts.

“For people of my parents’ generation, there was always a question of, ‘Can you be a Christian and an artist?'” he said. “When I was a student, the question was, `How can I be a Christian and an artist, in a philosophical sense?’ Now, there’s a sense of, ‘Let’s get to it. How can I be a part of this art world?'”

© Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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The painting “White Tree”

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Related posts:

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___________________ How Should we then live Part 7 Dr. Francis Schaeffer examines the Age of Non-Reason and he mentions the work of Paul Gauguin. Paul Gauguin October 12, 2012 by theempireoffilms Paul Gauguin was born in Paris, France, on June 7, 1848, to a French father, a journalist from Orléans, and a mother of Spanish Peruvian descent. When […]

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__________________________ Today I am posting my second post in this series that includes over 50 modern artists that have made a splash. Last time it was Tracey Emin of England and today it is Peter Howson of Scotland. Howson has overcome alcoholism in order to continue his painting. Many times in the past great painters […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” (Schaeffer Sundays)

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E P I S O D E 7 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode VII – The Age of Non Reason I am thrilled to get this film series with you. I saw it first in 1979 and it had such a big impact on me. Today’s episode is where we see modern humanist man act […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 6 “The Scientific Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 6 How Should We Then Live 6#1 Uploaded by NoMirrorHDDHrorriMoN on Oct 3, 2011 How Should We Then Live? Episode 6 of 12 ________ I am sharing with you a film series that I saw in 1979. In this film Francis Schaeffer asserted that was a shift in […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 5 How Should We Then Live? Episode 5: The Revolutionary Age I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Francis Schaeffer noted, “Reformation Did Not Bring Perfection. But gradually on basis of biblical teaching there […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 4 “The Reformation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode IV – The Reformation 27 min I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer makes three key points concerning the Reformation: “1. Erasmian Christian humanism rejected by Farel. 2. Bible gives needed answers not only as to […]

“Schaeffer Sundays” Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance”

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance” Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 3) THE RENAISSANCE I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer really shows why we have so […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 2 “The Middle Ages” (Schaeffer Sundays)

  Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 2) THE MIDDLE AGES I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer points out that during this time period unfortunately we have the “Church’s deviation from early church’s teaching in regard […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 1 “The Roman Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 1) THE ROMAN AGE   Today I am starting a series that really had a big impact on my life back in the 1970′s when I first saw it. There are ten parts and today is the first. Francis Schaeffer takes a look at Rome and why […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

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Open letter to President Obama (Part 509) (This article takes a close look at Obama’s use of the word “hope”)

Open letter to President Obama (Part 509)

(Emailed to White House on 5-3-13.)

President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here. I have a pro-life point of view because I am a Christian and I base my views on an interpretation of the Bible. Francis Schaeffer’s teachings probably influenced more in this area more than any other person. In 1979 he teamed up with Dr. C. Everett Koop and put together the film series WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? and here is the first episode with covers the issue of abortion. Since you are also a Christian Mr. President I thought would take a great interest in what they had to say.

 

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Francis Schaeffer Whatever Happened to the Human Race (Episode 1) ABORTION

Francis Schaeffer: What Ever Happened to the Human Race? (Full-Length Documentary)


Part 1 on abortion runs from 00:00 to 39:50, Part 2 on Infanticide runs from 39:50 to 1:21:30, Part 3 on Youth Euthanasia runs from 1:21:30 to 1:45:40, Part 4 on the basis of human dignity runs from 1:45:40 to 2:24:45 and Part 5 on the basis of truth runs from 2:24:45 to 3:00:04

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On Courage, Existential Philosophy, and the Audacity of Truth  by Jeremy Livermore

The Scientific Age

Uploaded by  on Oct 3, 2011

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Episode VII – The Age of Non Reason

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Episode 8: The Age Of Fragmentation

Published on Jul 24, 2012

Dr. Schaeffer’s sweeping epic on the rise and decline of Western thought and Culture

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I love the works of Francis Schaeffer and I have been on the internet reading several blogs that talk about Schaeffer’s work and the work below   was really helpful. Schaeffer’s film series “How should we then live?  Wikipedia notes, “According to Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live traces Western history from Ancient Rome until the time of writing (1976) along three lines: the philosophic, scientific, and religious.[3] He also makes extensive references to art and architecture as a means of showing how these movements reflected changing patterns of thought through time. Schaeffer’s central premise is: when we base society on the Bible, on the infinite-personal God who is there and has spoken,[4] this provides an absolute by which we can conduct our lives and by which we can judge society.  Here are some posts I have done on this series: Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age”  episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” .

In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthanasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible.

Francis Schaeffer

On Courage, Existential Philosophy, and the Audacity of Truth

Written by Jeremy Livermore on 14 February 2009. Posted in Blogs – Jeremy Livermore

“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.” – Thomas Paine, The Crisis

What the deist Thomas Paine wrote better describes the measure of Biblical courage– the ability to advance what one reasonably knows is true when doubt weighs heavy and there is seemingly only hopelessness to embrace. To have this courage is essential to a mature Christian faith. It takes courage-to-be a Christian thinker while the world moves in and out of philosophical belief systems. Courage is necessary to face the onslaught of non-Christian worldviews and philosophies that pop-up again and again in everyday conversations. Moreover, because philosophy changes culture like nothing else can, I believe that the courage-to-be Christian in spite of the philosophical pluralism that abounds today is necessary for cultural change.

Just realizing that we live in a post-modern Western world is too shallow of an analyses. The truth is that there is a plethora of worldviews from strong philosophical systems of ages ago still to grapple with in the public square today. That is, Obama is half-black and president. But this does not mean we are in a post-racial world where racism is triumphed because a half-black man is the highest public office. No racism still abounds today. Likewise, Western societies are still negotiating with existential anxiety, lostness, and dread. We may not be living in such a post-existential world just yet. Among the many philosophical systems that abound today, it seems that there is a lurking existentialism that persists, virtually shadowed by other worldviews. Taken down to the individual level, the existential worldview for a non-believer seems to be the crux of the matter for a person to live for Jesus. After much truth is conveyed in an appropriate apologetic fashion, he/she typically contends “Even if Jesus is not a fairytale, what will he do for me? I already have sufficient reasons for my existence in this world!”

Additionally, one of the ultimate tasks of apologetics is to help remove the intellectual barriers and road blocks that a person has which keeps them from coming face to face with Jesus. At the heart of apologetics is Jesus. Once the struggles of doubt, competing worldviews, and falsities are removed, the soul has nowhere to hide. Light encounters darkness. A decision must be made. Apologetical truth and diplomacy can do nothing efficient at this point because this is where the pure and unadulterated gospel (good news) is timely and poignant. This is the point of conversion or rejection. The soul needs at this moment courage to face the truth of his existential lostness. It is at this moment a person can introspectively turn towards Jesus for healing & the satisfying meaning for his existence or continue to subjectively search for his existential meaning elsewhere.

This persistent existential search is comfortable for the rejecting soul and makes sense when one considers the humanistic backdrop of mankind’s history without God. People from the tower of Babel till now subjectively and objectively acknowledge that life apart from an ultimate higher purpose tends towards abstraction and hedonism. So where does that lead one to? – anxiety, despair, loneliness, dread, fear, and hopelessness. So man must have an alternate meaning to live for, a reason for being that is Godless but necessarily courageous. So man tends to get creative and build. Societies, infrastructure, and development begin. Man is in control of his own fate. Man creates meaning for his being.

About the middle of the last century, the existentialist movement of Western philosophy was flourishing. Thinkers such as Nietzsche, Jon Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, and others courageously led the dreadful charge into the realms of death, nothingness, and absurdity. Man’s existence was wrought with tragedy, purposelessness, and hopelessness because man is alone in the universe and there is nothing else like him in it. But out of this nothingness and lostness, man creates something and goes somewhere. Existential hope emerges. There can be courage to live another day. Perhaps, in another blog more existentialist points of view can be developed.

While some of this train of thought eventually morphed and declined away into other philosophical genres during the latter part of the century, much remains at the heart of our current cultural milieu. Now, interestingly, the writings of Paul Tillich, a notable theologian during the 1950’s who responded to the governing voices of humanist existential thinkers, influenced President Obama. Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope, is undergirded by the courage-to-be that Tillich resolutely declares is necessary for hopelessness. Hope without courage is unsavory and useless.

But more importantly, and I think Obama knows this, hope without truth is dangerous. Although it can lead to powerful optimism, when tried repeatedly, it will fatigue. Hope needs substance beyond the subject – a transcendent reality in which hope is grounded.

For the soul who rejects Jesus after truths are provided, it is clear that truth is more audacious than Obama’s audacious hope. In response to this existential rejection, Francis Schaeffer contended that “Man cannot make his own universe and then live in it.” There is a house bigger and better than the fort in the backyard. The audacious truth is: a habited un-lonely mansion awaits us post-death.

Overall, in terms of academic philosophy, existentialism has been tried and found wanting. Most of academia does not interact with it. But how existentialism was so and is still so courageously embraced (sometimes unknowingly) by many average persons and great thinkers alike fascinates me. And this is the point – even secular thinkers displayed great courage to think well and advance their humanist thought, even if that thought has to do with hope in spite of nothingness and creating one’s own existential meaning in the universe.

Unfortunately, Christian courage-to-be and think cogently about Christianity is what I find sadly missing from most Western Christians. As so many Christian young people lose their faith due to questions that seem to have no answers, I stagger in disbelief and shake my head in frustration.

Moreover, the pervasive decline in general intellectualism by many adult believers is just as surprising. Christians struggle to have any courage-to-be smart in a world pluralized with strange existentialist meanings & worldviews. This is a heartbreaking reality of our present church. Why do most Christians not even know what apologetics is? And where is the Christian courage to advance our hope? For the most part, courage just is appallingly lacking in many Christians. Courage to share one’s faith with a non-believer, courage to face one’s family of origin issues with a professional counselor, or courage to learn some apologetic type truth and exercise those brain muscles is at best dormant in many believers.

But the Bible is full of heroes who lived lives with courage. There were many heroes like Moses, David, Gideon, Daniel, Nehemiah, & Paul who experienced and exhibited the power and the boldness of the Holy Spirit. But more importantly, they were not just action heroes, they were people of fortitude and being. They were heroes “who, contrary to hope, in hope believed.” (Romans 4:18) These heroes had what Paul Tillich called the “courage-to-be.” This is a type of courage that is rooted in a reasoned filled faith which allowed them to look into the face of the anxiety and despair to find God’s purpose. It came from “being” in-spite of “non-being” –living in spite of death. The courage I am advocating is that which attacks on offense in spite of life’s failures and fears.

I’m reminded of playing quarterback in high school. Because my team was small in numbers, I had to play both offense and defense. Also, because my school had a small student body, in both numbers and size, my offensive line could only amount to an average 5’-5” tall 200 lb each. So needless to say, due to the onslaught of the defense, I scrambled and was sacked often. It forced me to learn the hard way how to have poise in the pocket and see down field to complete a pass when several hungry linebackers wanted to eat a quarterback sandwich. This is the kind of courage-to-be that Tillich is talking about. It’s the ability to look the world of despair straight in the eye and in spite of it, still be.

When thinking about the dread, despair, and loneliness that Sarte, Camus, and others wrote of, the competitiveness in me is fired up. If they can find a way to achieve meaning and hope, we ought to be able to do it and do it better. It is the Christian who has a better hope in the midst of hopelessness and has a better courage in the midst of fear, dread, and anxiety. “Where O death where is your victory?” Where O death where is your sting?” (1 Cor 15:55 & Hosea 13:14)

The striking, blinding, and deafening hope of a Christian is that Jesus is the hero of existentialism. He accounted for the anxiety, fear, and despair of the abyss. “He is not a refuge from reality, but a way into its depths.” (Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child) “Death has been swallowed up in Victory?” (1 Cor 15:54) Jesus did as it was prophesied, “He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces.” (Isaiah 25:8) Deep in the heart of man’s lostness and loneliness, Jesus appears.

The courage we need to face the demands of our intellectual drought & the dread of our own existential journey is not elated passion or desperate clinging to Jesus during a trial or tribulation. It’s not the highs that come from an intense worship song or a spiritual retreat. This courage is the existential aliveness, awakening, and awareness of the present risenness of Jesus. Courage that is grounded in His presence and His rock solid systematic theological belief system of truths continually built – plateau over plateau by the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit.

Moreover, in terms of our need for rediscovering Christian intellectualism, it is not dull or passive. The insightful Brennan Manning states that “In this decade of much empty religious talk and proliferating Bible studies, idle intellectual curiosity, and pretensions of importance, intelligence without courage is bankrupt. The truth of faith has little value when it is not also the life of the heart.” This truth really needs a courageous heart. This is the intelligence that pursues truth for one’s own meaning sake, which is a worthy task, as Jesus says, “The truth shall set you free.”

Lastly, Christians must be thinkers who stand firm with courage emerging from the inside out. Francis Schaeffer further responded to this cultural drama saying “If it is true that evil is evil, that God hates it to the point of the cross and that there is a moral law fixed in what God is in Himself, then Christians should be the first into the field against what is wrong – including man’s inhumanity to man.” Paul says in 1 Corinthians 16:13 “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” These are strong words, but we can do it Paul, maybe one day as you did, when you literally did face death for your beliefs. We can have the courage to “fight the good fight” and “contend for the faith” even in spite of fear, anxiety, and despair.

By remaining true to Truth and advancing with such courage, the better Hope will last unto death.

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Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.com

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“Friedman Friday” Voucher System

The Machine: The Truth Behind Teachers Unions

Published on Sep 4, 2012 by

America’s public education system is failing. We’re spending more money on education but not getting better results for our children.

That’s because the machine that runs the K-12 education system isn’t designed to produce better schools. It’s designed to produce more money for unions and more donations for politicians.

For decades, teachers’ unions have been among our nation’s largest political donors. As Reason Foundation’s Lisa Snell has noted, the National Education Association (NEA) alone spent $40 million on the 2010 election cycle (source: http://reason.org/news/printer/big-education-and-big-labor-electio). As the country’s largest teachers union, the NEA is only one cog in the infernal machine that robs parents of their tax dollars and students of their futures.

Students, teachers, parents, and hardworking Americans are all victims of this political machine–a system that takes money out of taxpayers’ wallets and gives it to union bosses, who put it in the pockets of politicians.

Our kids deserve better.

“The Machine” is 4:17 minutes.

Written and narrated by Evan Coyne Maloney. Produced by the Moving Picture Institute in partnership with Reason TV.

Visit http://www.MovingPictureInstitute.org to learn more.

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Milton Friedman: Education (Part One)

Milton Friedman on Vouchers

CNBC interview, March 24, 2003.

Michelle: you are the grandfather of school vouchers do you feel victorious?

Mr. Friedman: Far from victorious, but very optimistic and hopeful. We are at the beginning of the task because as of the moment vouchers are available to only a very small amount of children. Our goal is to have a system in which every family in the U.S. will be able to choose for itself the school to which its children go we are far from that ultimate result. If we had that a system of free choice we would also have a system of competition, innovation which would change the character of education. You know our educational system is one of the most backwards things in our society in the may we teach people they did 200 years ago there is a person in the front of the room there are children sitting down at the bottom and they are being talked to can you name any other industry in the U.S. which is as technologically backward I can name one and only one..the legislature for the same reason. Both are monopolies the elementary and secondary school system is the single most Socialist industry in the U.S. leaving aside the military, but aside from the military its a major socialist industry, it is centralized and the control comes from the center and the difficulty of having a monopoly in which people cannot choose has been exacerbated by the fact that it has been largely taken over by teachers unions, the national education association and the american federation of teachers and the unions. Understandably I do not blame them but they are interested in the welfare of their members not the welfare of the children and the result is they have introduced a degree of rigidity which makes it impossible to reform the public school system from within. Reform has to come through competition from the outside and the only way you can get competition is by making it possible for parents to have the ability to choose.

Michelle: Give to me a model, an example of how it would work

Mr. Friedman: Very simple, take the extreme the government says we are willing to finance schooling for every child. The government compels children. If you look at the role of government in education there are 3 different levels there is a level of compulsory the government says every child must go to school until such and such and age. That is the equivalent of saying if you are going to drive a car you must have a license. The second stage is funding not only do we require you to have an education but the government is willing to pay for that schooling. That would be equivalent to saying the government is willing to pay for your car that you drive. The third level is running the educational industry that would be the equivalent of the government manufacturing the automobile or to put it in a different image consider food stamps today. Food stamps are funds provided by the government but if that were to be runned like the schools they would say everybody has to use these food stamps at a government grocery and each person with food stamps is assigned to a particular government grocers so the only way you can get your food stamps is by going to that grocer do you think those groceries would be very good? We know what the situation is in schooling people say why now and not 50-75 years ago? Well, when I went to high school t hat was a long time ago in the 1920s there were a 150,000 school districts in the U.S and the population was half what it is now. Today, there are fewer than 15,000 school districts. So it used to be that you really did have competition cause you had small school districts and parents had a good deal of control over those school districts, but increasingly we have shifted to very large school districts, to centralized control, to a system in which the governmental officials in which the educational professionals control it and like every socialist industry it produces a product that is very expensive and of very low quality. Of course it is not uniform there are some very good schools do not misunderstand me, but there are also some very bad ones.

Michelle: I interviewed some folks who are against school vouchers and they say that if you really want to help out a school what you should do is provide high quality early childhood education, small classes, small schools, summer school available to children who want it. Put money to those items which they claim would work.

Mr. Friedman: They don’t, we have been doing that. The amount of money spent per child adjusted for inflation has something like doubled or tripled over the last 20 years. Twenty years ago we had this report A Nation at Risk that pointed out all of the difficulties I just referred to and which pointed out this was a first generation that was going to be less schooled then its parents. We are now in the next generation and will be even less well schooled. We have had every possible effort you could have from reform from within. It is not just in schools it is in any area reform has to come from outside it has to come from competition. Let me illustrate that from within the school system. the united states from all accounts ranks #1 in higher education people from all over the world regard the United States colleges and universities the best and most varied. On the other hand in every other international comparison we rank near the bottom in elementary and secondary education why the difference?…one word..choice. The elementary and secondary education the school picks the child it picks its customer. In higher education the customer picks its school, you have choice that makes all the difference in the world. It means competition forces product. Look over the rest of the economy is there any area in the u.s. in which progress has not required progress from the outside. Look at the telephone industry when it was broken down into the little bells and opened up the competition it started a period of rapid innovation and development the key word is competition and the question is how can you get competition. only by having the customer choosing.

Michelle: There is concern that money is going to religious schools. That the majority of the students in voucher programs that exist use them to attend schools with religious affiliation?

Mr. Friedman: Why? Because the vouchers are so small in some cases. It is true that of the private schools in the u.s the great bulk of them are religious. that is for one simple reason here is someone selling something for nothing somebody down the street is giving away chocolate and you want to get into the business of selling chocolate that is kind of tough isn’t it here at schools children can attend them they are not free they are paying for it in the form of taxes but there is no specific charge for going to that school somebody else is going to offer it. The churches, the religious organizations have had a real advantage in that they were the only ones around who were in a position to subsidize the education and keep the fees down low. If you open it wide the most recent case was Ohio, cleveland case. The voucher that they had had a max value of $2,500 now it is not easy to provide a decent education at $2,500 and make money at it make it pay at the same time the state of Ohio was spending something like over $7,000 per child on schooling if that voucher had been $7,000 instead of $2,500 I have no doubt that there would have been a whole raft of new private, non-profit both profit and non-profit schools. That is what has happened in Milwaukee. Milwaukee has a voucher system and today the fraction of the voucher users in Milwaukee going to religious schools is less than the fraction going to religious schools was before this system started because there have been new schools developed and some of them have been religious but many of them are not. In any event, the Supreme Court has settled that issue they have said that if it is the choice of the parent if there are alternatives available there are government schools, charter schools, private non-denominational schools, private denominational schools so long as the choice is in the hands of the parent that is not a violation of the 1st amendment.

Michelle: You have a friend and an ally in the White House when it comes to vouchers

Mr. Friedman: I should say. Mr. Bush has always been in favor. He is in favor of free choice. Remember vouchers are a means not an end the purpose of vouchers is to enable parents to have free choice and the purpose of having free choice is to provide competition and allow the educational industry to get out of the 17th century and get into the 21st century and have more innovation and more evolvement. There is no reason why you cannot have the same kind of change in the provision of education as you have had in industries like the computer industry, the television industry and other things.

Michelle: Is it refreshing to have a President that, Bill Clinton was firmly against vouchers.

Mr. Friedman: No, it is a case of circumstances when he was Governor of Arkansas he was not against vouchers. He was in favor, but when he became President he came out against vouchers. I should say he did not oppose vouchers as Governor and he did as President and that was for political reasons. People don’t recognize how powerful politically the teachers unions are. Something like a quarter of all the delegates at the democratic national convention are from the teachers union. They are probably the most powerful pressure group in the U.S… very large funds, very large number of people and very active politically.

Michelle: We talk in the office about how President Bush has some very Friedmanesq ideas.

Mr. Friedman: They are not freidmanesq they are just good ideas. I hope that is true anyway. I think very highly of President Bush and I think in these areas don’t misunderstand me that is not a blanket statement there are some things he has done that I disagree with, but taken as a whole he has been moving in the right direction of trying to move toward a smaller more limited government trying to provide more freedom and more initiative in all areas. His philosophy on Medicare is the same as his philosophy in schools.

Michelle: Is that refreshing?

Mr. Friedman: It is an interesting thing, if you look at the facts the one area the area in which the low income people of this country, the blacks and the minority are most disadvantaged is with respect with the kinds of schools they can send their children to. The people who live in Harlem or the slums or the corresponding areas in LA or San Francisco they can go to the same stores, shop in the same stores everybody else can, they can buy the same automobiles, they can go to supermarket but they have very limited choice of schools everybody agrees that the schools in those areas are the worst they are poor. Yet, here you have a Democrat who allege their interest is to help the poor and the low income people here you have to take a different point every poll has shown that the strongest supporters of vouchers are the low income blacks and yet hardly a single black leader has been willing to come out for vouchers there were some exceptions Paul Williams in Milwaukee who was responsible for that…and a few others

Michelle: Why do you think that is?

Mr. Friedman: For obvious reasons, political. It has been to the self interest to the leaders the school system as long as its governmental its a source of power and jobs to hand around and funds to dispose of. If it is privatized that disappears and the other aspect of it is the power of the teachers unions. Right now those of us that are in the upper income classes have freedom of choice for our children in various ways we can decide where to live and we can choose places to live that have good schools or we can afford to pay twice for schooling once by taxes and once by paying tuition at a private school. It seems to me utterly unfair that those opportunities should not be open to everybody at all levels of income. If you had a system the kind I would like to see the government would say we require every child to get a certain number of years of schooling and in order to make that possible we are going to provide for every parent a voucher equal to a certain number of dollars which they can use only for schooling can’t use it for anything else. They can add to it, but they cannot subtract from it. Those will be those can be used in government schools let the government run the school but force them to be in competition so that all government schools charge tuition, but can be paid for by that voucher but that same voucher can also be used in private schools of all kinds and then you would have an open the teachers union complained and they insist they are doing a good job. if they are doing a good job then why are they so afraid of some competition?

Copyright: MSNBC, Inc. 2003

Milton Friedman On Education (Part Six)

Uploaded by on Sep 2, 2007

Milton Friedman on education.
freetochoose.com

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Why did the Founding Fathers fear giving so much power to a king?

Sen. Rand Paul: Obama’s Executive Orders Are ‘Abuse of Power’

When I was young in Elementary School I learned about the separation of powers and the three branches of government and the separation of powers. HOWEVER, RECENTLY WE HAVE SEEN OUR PRESIDENT HAS TAKEN POWERS UNTO HIM THAT ARE CLEARLY NOT GIVEN TO THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH SUCH AS POSTPONING OBAMACARE FOR BUSINESSES WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF CONGRESS!!!

We are not ruled by a king. Why did the Founding Fathers fear giving so much power to a king?

David Barton notes:

What does Jeremiah 17: 9 have to do with the separation of powers between the three branches of government?
The Founders’ desire to separate and check governmental power was rooted in the principle in Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” This verse encapsulated a prominent theological teaching among Puritans, Calvinists, and most other Christian movements and denominations: the “depravity of man”; that is, that the unrestrained heart of man moves naturally toward moral and civil degradation unless directly acted upon by the positive influence of God and religion. Because of this harmful tendency of man (especially when power is placed in his hands), the Founders believed that society would be much safer if all power did not repose in the same authority. Many of the Founders specifically cited this Biblical principle as the source of their reasoning on this aspect of our government.
For more on this issue, see the WallBuilders Summer 1996 newsletter.

______

I am glad that Rand Paul is very concerned about the President’s recent “tyrannical” actions and is looking for an solution.

“But to me it’s one of the fundamental tenets of our country is the separation of powers, that legislature — in fact, Montesquieu said, if you allow the executive to legislate you’re essentially allowing him to become tyrannical. So we have to do something about it. I think there should be an avenue to the Supreme Court, but so far I haven’t discovered how we would do it.”

 

Rand Paul: Obama’s Attempts to Fix Obamacare Are ‘Unconstitutional’

November 19, 2013

 

 

(CNSNews.com) – Obamacare is not “fixable,” and the president’s administrative attempts to fix it are “unconstitutional,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Fox News on Monday.

“One of the clear separations of powers was that the legislature was supposed to legislate and the president wasn’t. He’s essentially amended Obamacare maybe 20- some-odd times, and I don’t think he’s allowed to. And so I think it needs to be decided in court,” Paul said.

President Obama announced last week that insurance companies may voluntarily continue selling policies that don’t meet the standards set by the law. Earlier, he bypassed Congress by suspending Obamacare’s employer mandate for one year.

[video:1]

Paul said he keeps asking constitutional lawyers, “how do we get standing to adjudicate” the question of executive branch overreach. “Most of them say it’s very difficult, if not impossible,” Paul said.

“But to me it’s one of the fundamental tenets of our country is the separation of powers, that legislature — in fact, Montesquieu said, if you allow the executive to legislate you’re essentially allowing him to become tyrannical. So we have to do something about it. I think there should be an avenue to the Supreme Court, but so far I haven’t discovered how we would do it.”

The Hill newspaper reported on Tuesday that other Republicans also are looking at ways to curb President Obama’s use of executive power to bypass various laws, ranging from health care to immigration to intervention in Libya and (almost) Syria.

“I know there’s a lot of discussion about the validity of the president just unilaterally changing the law. … There are a lot of us that are very concerned about it,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said in an interview with The Hill.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) told The Hill, “We’re exploring options to try to somehow try to rein in this president’s total disregard for the Constitution.”

Franks said he thinks Republicans should challenge Obama’s administrative actions in court. He said although Republicans have been talking about it, they are still not clear on what they’re going to do.

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Ecclesiastes, Purpose, Meaning, and the Necessity of God by Suiwen Liang (Quotes Will Durant, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, Stephen Jay Gould,Richard Dawkins, Jean-Paul Sartre,Bertrand Russell, Leo Tolstoy, Loren Eiseley,Aldous Huxley, G.K. Chesterton, Ravi Zacharias, and C.S. Lewis.)

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Open letter to President Obama (Part 508) (Margaret Thatcher and the Battle of the 364 Keynesians)

Open letter to President Obama (Part 508)

(Emailed to White House on 4-15-13.)

President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here.

___________________

You can not stimulate the economy by spending more money. The only way you can is by cutting spending and cutting tax rates on the job creators.

Does Stimulus Spending Work?

After the housing bubble burst, the Bush and Obama administrations turned to stimulus in an effort to “create jobs.” Does such spending lead to economic improvement? Prof. Antony Davies examines the data to see how increases in federal spending relate to economic growth from 1955 to the present. The evidence shows that there is no connection between federal spending and economic improvement; instead, stimulus money only increases government debt. After three years of stimulus spending, the unemployment rate remains at 9 percent. “One thing that has changed,” Davies says, “is that our government is now $4.6 trillion further in debt than it was before the stimulus efforts.”

__________________________

The stimulus program was a failure here in America and you should have known better than to try that. You should have been a better student of history like Margaret Thatcher was.

APRIL 9, 2013 3:24PM

Margaret Thatcher and the Battle of the 364 Keynesians

With the death of Margaret Thatcher, and the ensuing profusion of commentary on her legacy, it is worth looking back at an overlooked chapter in the Thatcher story. I am referring to her 1981 showdown with the Keynesian establishment—a showdown that the Iron Lady won handily. Before getting caught up with the phony “austerity vs. fiscal stimulus” debate, the chattering classes should take note of how Mrs. Thatcher debunked the Keynesian “fiscal factoid.”

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a factoid is “an item of unreliable information that is reported and repeated so often that it becomes accepted as fact.” The standard Keynesian fiscal policy prescription for the maintenance of non-inflationary full employment is a fiscal factoid. The chattering classes can repeat this factoid on cue: to stimulate the economy, expand the government’s deficit (or shrink its surplus); and to rein in an overheated economy, shrink the government’s deficit (or expand its surplus).

Even the economic oracles embrace the fiscal factoid. That, of course, is one reason that the Keynesians’ fiscal mantra has become a factoid. No less than Nobelist Paul Krugman repeats it ad nauseam. Now, the new secretary of the treasury, Jack Lew (who claims no economic expertise), is in Europe peddling the fiscal factoid.

Unfortunately, the grim reaper finally caught up with Margaret Thatcher—but not before she laid waste to 364 wrong-headed British Keynesians.

In 1981, Prime Minister Thatcher made a dash for confidence and growth via a fiscal squeeze. To restart the economy, Mrs. Thatcher instituted a fierce attack on the British fiscal deficit, coupled with an expansionary monetary policy. Her moves were immediately condemned by 364 distinguished economists. In a letter to The Times, they wrote a knee-jerk Keynesian response: “Present policies will deepen the depression, erode the industrial base of our economy and threaten its social and political stability.”

Mrs. Thatcher was quickly vindicated. No sooner had the 364 affixed their signatures to that letter than the economy boomed. Confidence in the British economy was restored, and Mrs. Thatcher was able to introduce a long series of deep, free-market reforms.

As for the 364 economists (who included seventy-six present or past professors, a majority of the Chief Economic Advisors to the Government in the post-WWII period, and the president, as well as nine present or past vice-presidents, and the secretary general of the Royal Economic Society), they were not only wrong, but also came to look ridiculous.

In the United States, the peddlers of the fiscal factoid have never suffered the intellectual humiliation of their British counterparts. In consequence, American Keynesians can continue to peddle snake oil with reckless abandon and continue to influence policy in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere.

_________________

I have put up lots of cartoons from Dan Mitchell’s blog before and they have got lots of hits before. Many of them have dealt with the economy, eternal unemployment benefits, socialism,  Greece,  welfare state or on gun control.

Classic Cartoon on So-Called Stimulus Is Amusing and Economically Accurate

February 6, 2012 by Dan Mitchell

People often ask why I put so much political humor on this site. The easy answer is that I like a good joke.

But I also find that some cartoons and jokes do a very good job of helping people understand economics. I’ve always liked this cartoon, for instance, because it cleverly illustrates the impact of government handouts on the labor market. And looking at that cartoon is a lot quicker than taking a class about labor economics.

Well, you can also skip the class about public finance. Here’s a cartoon that shows the economic burden of government “stimulus” spending.

Very funny and very intellectually sound. Indeed, the only thing that would have made the cartoon even better would have been showing that the jockey became bloated by eating the horse’s food. But I reckon it’s not easy making multiple points with one picture.

Anyhow, I’m disappointed that I didn’t notice it at Reason.com a couple of years ago when the debate on the faux stimulus was taking place. It probably would have helped more people understand that you don’t boost economic performance by draining resources from the productive sector of the economy to finance a larger government.

By the way, if you want to understand in greater detail why the cartoon is accurate, this video on Keynesian economics is helpful, as is this video explaining the failure of Obama’s $1 trillion boondoggle.

______________________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.com

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By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Arkansas TimesGun Control | Edit | Comments (0)

Dear Senator Pryor, here are some spending cut suggestions (“Thirsty Thursday”, Open letter to Senator Pryor)

Senator Pryor pictured below:

Why do I keep writing and email Senator Pryor suggestions on how to cut our budget? I gave him hundreds of ideas about how to cut spending and as far as I can tell he has taken none of my suggestions. You can find some of my suggestions herehereherehere, hereherehereherehere, herehereherehereherehereherehereherehere,  here, and  here, and they all were emailed to him. In fact, I have written 13 posts pointing out reasons why I believe Senator Pryor’s re-election attempt will be unsuccessful. HERE I GO AGAIN WITH ANOTHER EMAIL I JUST SENT TO SENATOR PRYOR!!!

Dear Senator Pryor,

Why not pass the Balanced  Budget amendment? As you know that federal deficit is at all time high (1.6 trillion deficit with revenues of 2.2 trillion and spending at 3.8 trillion).

On my blog www.thedailyhatch.org . I took you at your word and sent you over 100 emails with specific spending cut ideas. (Actually there were over 160 emails with specific spending cut suggestions.) However, I did not see any of them in the recent debt deal that Congress adopted although you did respond to me several times. Now I am trying another approach. Every week from now on I will send you an email explaining different reasons why we need the Balanced Budget Amendment. It will appear on my blog on “Thirsty Thursday” because the government is always thirsty for more money to spend. Today I actually have included a great article below from the Heritage Foundation concerning an area of our federal budget that needs to be cut down to size. The funny thing about the Sequester and the 2.4% of cuts in future increases is that President Obama set these up and then he acted like the sky was falling in as the cartoons indicate in the newspapers.

IF YOU TRULY WANT TO CUT THE BUDGET AND BALANCE THE BUDGET THEN SUBMIT THESE POTENTIAL BUDGET CUTS PRESENTED BELOW!!

___________

Better

Published on May 28, 2013

No description available.

____________

I have written my Congressmen and Senators over and over about the debt ceiling increase requests by President Obama and I have urged them to turn them down. This video below shows why I wanted them turned down.

What Is The Debt Ceiling?

Published on May 19, 2013

What is the debt ceiling and why does it matter? Find out:http://BankruptingAmerica.org/DebtCei…

Congress’s dance with the debt limit can be confusing and, frankly, the details can be a real snooze fest for many Americans. Sometimes a little humor clarifies the absurdities of Washington antics better than flow charts and talk of trillions.

The 31-second video and accompanying infographic “The Debt Ceiling Explained” by Bankrupting America offers the facts, leavened with a dose of levity. The conclusion is serious, however: The country’s debt threatens economic growth, and spending cuts are the answer.

_________________________

Senator John Boozman, 320 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Phone: (202) 224-4843 Fax: (202) 228-1371
Dear Senator Boozman,

I want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to respond to my earlier letter to you on this same subject.

It is obvious to me that if President Obama gets his hands on more money then he will continue to spend away our children’s future. He has already taken the national debt from 11 trillion to 16 trillion in just 4 years. Over, and over, and over, and over, and over and over I have written Speaker Boehner and written every Republican that represents Arkansans in Arkansas before (Griffin, Womack, Crawford, and only Senator Boozman got a chance to respond) concerning this. I am hoping they will stand up against this reckless spending that our federal government has done and will continue to do if given the chance.

Why don’t the Republicans  just vote no on the next increase to the debt ceiling limit. I have praised over and over and over the 66 House Republicans that voted no on that before. If they did not raise the debt ceiling then we would have a balanced budget instantly.  I agree that the Tea Party has made a difference and I have personally posted 49 posts on my blog on different Tea Party heroes of mine.

What would happen if the debt ceiling was not increased? Yes President Obama would probably cancel White House tours and he would try to stop mail service or something else to get on our nerves but that is what the Republicans need to do.

I have written and emailed Senator Pryor over, and over again with spending cut suggestions but he has ignored all of these good ideas in favor of keeping the printing presses going as we plunge our future generations further in debt. I am convinced if he does not change his liberal voting record that he will no longer be our senator in 2014.

I have written hundreds of letters and emails to President Obama and I must say that I have been impressed that he has had the White House staff answer so many of my letters. The White House answered concerning Social Security (two times), Green Technologies, welfare, small businesses, Obamacare (twice),  federal overspending, expanding unemployment benefits to 99 weeks,  gun control, national debt, abortion, jumpstarting the economy, and various other  issues.   However, his policies have not changed, and by the way the White House after answering over 50 of my letters before November of 2012 has not answered one since.   President Obama is committed to cutting nothing from the budget that I can tell.

 I have praised over and over and over the 66 House Republicans that voted no on that before. If they did not raise the debt ceiling then we would have a balanced budget instantly.  I agree that the Tea Party has made a difference and I have personally posted 49 posts on my blog on different Tea Party heroes of mine.

TRY BORROWING AT A BANK WITH A FINANCIAL CONDITION LIKE THE USA HAS:

The problem in Washington is not lack of revenue but our lack of spending restraint. This video below makes that point. WASHINGTON IS A SPENDING ADDICT!!!

Please take the time to read Mo Brooks’ words and respond to me and tell me if you will vote against the debt ceiling increase. It is the only leverage we have on President Obama. Others have responded to me in the past including you and for that I am very grateful.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, cell ph 501-920-5733, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.com, www.thedailyhatch.org

_______________

The Balanced Budget Amendment is the only thing I can think of that would force Washington to cut spending. We have only a handful of balanced budgets in the last 60 years, so obviously what we are doing is not working. We are passing along this debt to the next generation. YOUR APPROACH HAS BEEN TO REJECT THE BALANCED BUDGET “BECAUSE WE SHOULD CUT THE BUDGET OURSELF,” WELL THEN HERE IS YOUR CHANCE!!!! SUBMIT THESE CUTS!!!!

Thank you for this opportunity to share my ideas with you.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.com www.thedailyhatch.org, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733

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By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Arkansas TimesMark PryorMax Brantley | Edit | Comments (0)

Rand Paul’s Penny Plan will balance budget sooner than you think!!!

 

Sen. Rand Paul Discusses the Mack Penny Plan with Sean Hannity

Rand Paul’s Penny Plan will balance budget sooner than you think!!!

12 Days of Solutions, Day 1: The Penny Plan

December 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm in News by Tea Party Patriots 124 Comments

12daysofsolutions

Fifteen days out from Christmas, Washington is certainly doing nothing to make sure the American people have the best Christmas present of all – fiscal responsibility and tax reform.

This is not because there is a dearth of ideas. Over the last two years, a number of strong proposals have been put forth that would cut spending and reform the tax code. Others would focus on improving the economy, which would help close the deficit with increased tax revenue.

Over the next 12 days, Tea Party Patriots will be highlighting one plan every day that actually aims to address the federal deficit. The first plan we will highlight is one introduced in 2011 by Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) and Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) and backed by over 80 Members of Congress, including Senator Rand Paul (R-KY): the Penny Plan.

The Penny Plan is as simple a deficit reduction plan that exists: Every year, the government will cut a penny from every dollar it spends from non-interest spending. The Penny Plan website explains:

The One Percent Spending Reduction Act of 2011 embodies the principles of the One Cent Solution.   Also known as the “Penny Plan” on Capitol Hill, this legislation was introduced by Congressman Connie Mack (R-FL) and Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) and is currently supported by 71 Members of the House and 13 Members of the Senate. Visit our current legislation page to view the list.

The “Penny Plan” legislation would cap overall spending to fit within the One Cent Solution targets.  The legislation then calls on Congress to evaluate all areas of the federal government to make certain that future spending fits under the caps.

Under the One Cent Solution or “Penny Plan”, not all programs must be cut by one percent.  Congress may determine that some programs are too critical to cut, but that would require that other programs be reduced more so that the total amount cut is equal to one cent for every dollar each year for six years. 

For example, let’s say the federal budget only had three programs, each with an annual budget of $1.00. How might Congress meet the One Cent mandate?

  1. Congress cuts Program A by one cent every year for six years. That means the annual budget for Program A is $0.99 in year one and then $0.98, $0.97, $0.96, $0.95 and finally $0.94.
  2. Program B is found to be essential and efficient — Congress chooses not to cut Program B.
  3. Program C is outdated and needs to be restructured — Congress cuts two cents each year for six years from Program C.

In this example, Congress is able to make program-by-program decisions to bring spending within the One Cent Solution caps.  If Congress fails to make those tough decisions, then automatic, across-the-board cuts would be imposed to make sure the caps were enforced.  The One Cent Solution is a “belt and suspenders” approach to making certain spending is brought under control and the budget is balanced.

The advantage of the Penny Plan is that it cuts directly from the budget as it exists, instead of cutting from the baseline, e.g. expected future spending. So a cut is actually a cut, not merely a reduction in expected spending. It also caps non-interest spending at 18% of Gross Domestic Product, which is necessary in order to keep spending from exploding.

No plan is perfect, and the Penny Plan will require additional cuts in order to compensate for growing interest rate payments, but the basics are there, ready for anyone in Washington to pick up and run with. Instead, of course, both parties are talking about how much more of your money to take and spend.

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Romney must embrace some of Ron Paul’s ideas or take Rand as VP

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Do you have a right to other people’s money? If it takes you a few seconds to think about the answer then you are a socialist!!!

_____________

Do you have a right to other people’s money? If it takes you a few seconds to think about the answer then you are a socialist!!!

One of the many differences between advocates of freedom and supporters of statism is how they view “rights.”

Libertarians, along with many conservatives, believe in the right to be left alone and not molested by government. This is sometimes referred to in the literature as “negative liberty,” which is just another way of saying “the absence of coercive constraint on the individual.”

Statists, by contrast, believe in “positive liberty.” This means that you have a “right” to things that the government will give you. Which means, of course, that the government has an obligation to take things from somebody else. How else, after all, will the government satisfy your supposed right to a job, education, healthcare, housing, etc.

Sometimes, the statists become very creative in their definition of rights.

You may laugh at these examples, particularly the ones that focus on seemingly trivial issues.

But don’t laugh too hard, because our friends on the left are busy with very grandiose plans for more “positive liberty.”

The EU Observer reports on efforts in Europe to create expanded rights to other people’s money.

Austerity programmes agreed with the troika of international lenders (the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) are in breach of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, according to a German legal expert. …under the EU charter of fundamental rights, a legal text which became binding for member states in 2009, several austerity measures enshrined in the MoUs can be fought in courts. …His study highlights that the MoUs “have seriously limited the autonomy of employers and trade unions to negotiate wages.” …Education and health care reforms prescribed in the memorandums are also questionable because they are focusing too much on cutting budgets, he said. …He noted that the concept of “financial stability” was put above all other considerations. “But financial stability cannot be achieved without social stability,” he said.

But it’s not just one oddball academic making these claims.

…the Council of Europe’s social rights committee noted that public policies since 2009 have been unable to stem a generalised increase in poverty on the continent. The committee identified some 180 violations of European Social Charter provisions on access to health and social protection across 38 European countries. In the bailed-out countries, the committee found several breaches – particularly in terms of wages and social benefits. Ireland was found in breach of the social charter for not ensuring the minimum levels of sickness, unemployment, survivor’s, employment injury and invalidity benefits. Greece and Cyprus have “inadequate” minimum unemployment, sickness, maternity and old age benefits, as well as a restrictive social security system. Spain also pays too little to workers on sick leave.

This crazy thinking also exists in the United States. A former Carter Administration official, now a law professor at Georgetown, has written that countries with good policy must change their systems in order to enable more tax revenue in nations with bad policy.

Do states like Switzerland, which provide a tax haven for wealthy citizens of developing countries, violate internationally recognized human rights? …bank secrecy has a significant  human rights impact if governments of developing countries are deprived of resources needed to meet basic economic rights guaranteed by the United Nations Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. …The Covenant explicitly recognizes individual rights to adequate food, clothing, and housing (Article 11); health care, clean water, and sanitation (Article 12); and education (Article 13). The Covenant also imposes obligations on member states to implement these rights.

And the right to redistribution isn’t just part of the U.N. mission.

There’s also a European set of Maastricht Principles which supposedly obligates nations to help each expand the burden of government.

Articles 19 and 20 of The Maastricht Principles call on states to “refrain from conduct which nullifies or impairs the enjoyment and exercise of economic . . . rights of persons outside their territories . . . or which impairs the ability of another State to comply with that State’s . . . obligations as regards economic rights.” …recognizing the fact that secrecy for offshore accounts makes it difficult for developing countries to implement Covenant obligations. It therefore seems indisputable that offshore accounts impede the fulfillment of internationally recognized human rights.

You may be thinking that all this sounds crazy. And you’re right.

You may be thinking that it’s insane to push global schemes for bigger government at the very point when the welfare state is collapsing. And you’re right.

You may be thinking that it’s absurd to trample national sovereignty in pursuit of bad policy. And you’re right.

And you may be thinking this is a complete bastardization of what America’s Founding Fathers had in mind. And you’re right.

But you probably don’t understand that this already is happening. The IRS’s awful FATCA legislation, for instance, is basically designed for exactly the purpose of coercing other nations into enforcing bad American tax policy.

Even more worrisome is the OECD’s Orwellian Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, which is best viewed as a poisonous acorn that will grow into a deadly World Tax Organization oak tree.

P.S. And the Obama Administration already is pushing policies to satisfy the OECD’s statist regime. The IRS recently pushed through a regulation that says American banks have to put foreign tax law above U.S. tax law.

P.P.S. Statists may be evil, but they’re not stupid. They understand that tax havens and tax competition are a threat to big government.

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