Monthly Archives: May 2014

“Sanctity of Life Saturday” Abortion debating with Ark Times Bloggers Part 13 “Is it a choice or a child?” and a Heritage Foundation article on 2013 March for Life (includes film THE BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY and editorial cartoon)

I have debated with Ark Times Bloggers many times in the past on many different subjects. Abortion is probably the most often debated subject and I have noticed that many pro-life individuals are now surfacing on the Arkansas Times Blog.  Here are some examples. Arhogfan501 asserted: This is the beginning of the end for recreational abortion in Arkansas. Songbird777 noted: Babies have a right to live and not be chopped up for someone else’s convenience. The person using the username “baker” commented: Planned Parenthood (PPA) does not nor cannot provide mammograms, indeed no affiliate has the necessary license. PPA is an abortion provider and at some 900 plus killings a day rather prolific.

Here is another debate I got into recently on the Arkansas Times Blog and I go by the username “Saline Republican”:

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A blogger using the username “Steve E” asserted:

I know of the case histories of some of those, and Tiller did have a niche market. He and one other doctor took on the challenge, but it was a lucrative challenge, and not all those late term abortions were so medically needed. A million a year is pretty good whampum for plunging a knife in the skull of an infant.

Like most, I was aghast at the murder. You change laws, not kill doctors. I was no fan of abortion, but I stood at the doors of some of the clinics in Glendale, Kali to keep the entrances clear. Sometimes I had to get rough to ensure the women entering the building was not hurt.

I may not have believed in abortion, but I believed enough in the choice of the individual to fight for it, to defend it.

But I refuse to be lied to by zealots that say it isn’t murder, that there isn’t something wrong about it, and that Tiller made millions and THAT was the guiding principle.

I replied:

Steven E you need to listen to your own words and then weigh them. This is what you said:
“I lean towards giving the woman the choice, even up to birth, just do not lie to me when you say a fetus is not a baby, or a living person. There is that time, if a woman doesn’t get on the stick and take her MorningAfter pill when she is killing a baby. I don’t believe in taking the choice away from her, I just don’t want to perpetuate a lie, either. Admit that things like parital birth abortions are abominations, and the doctors that do it, do it for money, not some high calling.”
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Most liberals argue that the unborn baby is not a human deserving the protection of our laws. It seems that you are saying that even if the unborn baby “a living person” at some point during the 9 months leading up to birth but you “don’t believe in taking the choice away from her” concerning abortion and then you flip back and say “that things like partial birth abortions are abominations.”

Let me try and get you to clarify this a little bit so I don’t go away misunderstanding you.

Are advocating abortion rights over human rights? Prochoice advocate Elizabeth Williams came out and said that on 1-23-13 in her article on Salon. Maybe you agree with her? DO YOU AGREE WITH HER? I AM GOING TO DO SOMETHING THAT I HAVE DONE BEFORE AND THAT IS I AM GOING TO PUT A LONG PASSAGE FROM A PRO-CHOICE ADVOCATE:

The “life” conversation is often too thorny to even broach. Yet I know that throughout my own pregnancies, I never wavered for a moment in the belief that I was carrying a human life inside of me. I believe that’s what a fetus is: a human life. And that doesn’t make me one iota less solidly pro-choice….

Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.

When we on the pro-choice side get cagey around the life question, it makes us illogically contradictory. I have friends who have referred to their abortions in terms of “scraping out a bunch of cells” and then a few years later were exultant over the pregnancies that they unhesitatingly described in terms of “the baby” and “this kid.” I know women who have been relieved at their abortions and grieved over their miscarriages. Why can’t we agree that how they felt about their pregnancies was vastly different, but that it’s pretty silly to pretend that what was growing inside of them wasn’t the same? Fetuses aren’t selective like that. They don’t qualify as human life only if they’re intended to be born.

When we try to act like a pregnancy doesn’t involve human life, we wind up drawing stupid semantic lines in the sand: first trimester abortion vs. second trimester vs. late term, dancing around the issue trying to decide if there’s a single magic moment when a fetus becomes a person. Are you human only when you’re born? Only when you’re viable outside of the womb? Are you less of a human life when you look like a tadpole than when you can suck on your thumb?

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I am tempted to give the whole pro-choice article but I will stop and just give you the link:
http://www.salon.com/2013/01/23/so_what_if…

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I truly believe that many of the problems we have today in the USA are due to the advancement of humanism in the last few decades in our society. Ronald Reagan appointed the evangelical Dr. C. Everett Koop to the position of Surgeon General in his administration. He partnered with Dr. Francis Schaeffer in making the video below. It is very valuable information for Christians to have.  Actually I have included a video below that includes comments from him on this subject.

In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthenasia (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.

Many liberals actually truly do argue for abortion rights over human rights. Prochoice advocate Elizabeth Williams came out and said that on 1-23-13 in her article on Salon. We hear reasons for abortion such as poverty,and  child abuse,  but why not consider adoption? Instead, the political left will stop at nothing to push the pro-abortion agenda. Why not stop and take an honest look at when life begins for the unborn child and when she begins to feel pain?

 

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

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Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?)

 

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Amy Payne

January 25, 2013 at 3:43 pm

For the past 40 years, pro-life advocates from all over the country annually march in solidarity to raise awareness for the most vulnerable in society—the unborn. Without fail, the 40th anniversary March for Life brought large crowds to the National Mall today in the hope of securing the right to life for all.

Heritage’s president-elect, Jim DeMint, understands the importance of the right to life and has always been a strong advocate for the pro-life movement.

“Over the past four decades we have seen countless victories upholding respect for human life and dignity,” he says in Heritage’s new video. “Courageous pro-life policymakers and compassionate ministries such as pregnancy care centers together made great strides to protect unborn life. They moved the hearts and minds of an entire generation.”

The rally brought thousands of people—especially many from the millennial generation. From grade schools to universities all over the country, hundreds of students took a stand on this human rights threat. Kristan Hawkins, the executive director of Students for Life in America, was handing out signs to all the youth that stated, “I AM THE PRO-LIFE GENERATION.” Students and young people held those signs proudly as they faced the bitter cold.

What does this mean for the future? As Heritage’s Sarah Torre wrote, “Today, roughly half of Americans now identify themselves as ‘pro-life,’ including many of the millennial generation who will make up the crowds at today’s march. More than 100 pro-life laws have been passed in states across the country since 2010, including parental notification, informed consent, and abortion clinic regulation legislation.”

These strides and the dedication of rising generations point to a hopeful future for America’s most vulnerable.

Great prolife poster:

Related posts:

Francis Schaeffer’s prayer for us in USA

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The Secular Attack on Christianity By: Dr. Paul Kurtz, Dr. Norman Geisler; ©1986

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I really enjoyed this program when I saw it in 1986.

The Secular Attack on Christianity/Program 6

By: Dr. Paul Kurtz, Dr. Norman Geisler; ©1986
How could anybody challenge me to perform something self-sacrificing, ever, if I believe that I am the product of chance, plus time, plus the impersonal, and I got here by accident, and all that there is is my existence? Why should I care about anything else? Plus Questions and Answers from the Audience Segment 2

Contents

Contents

 [hide

Introduction

Ankerberg: Okay. We’ve got some questions right here.
Audience: I address this to Paul. In my belief as a Christian – I’m a Christian – I direct this to you concerning death and what happens when you die. In hearing your views as a skeptic who is not sure – I guess that’s what that means – if I, as a Christian, am wrong and you are right, I’ve lost nothing and I die and cease to exist, as you. But if you’re wrong and I’m right, you’ve lost everything. How do you feel about that, and more importantly, to you, is it worth it?
Kurtz: Well, that’s Pascal’s famous “wager” that you’ve offered. I can find no evidence for the existence of an afterlife, even independent of religion. The belief in salvation is an article of faith. People hopethat they will continue to live after the existence of the body. But spending years in research, and ghost-hunting, and examining the evidence for life-after-life, I don’t find sufficient evidence to support that claim. Therefore, it’s an idle gesture. Now, I can turn the “wager” around, that if God doesn’t exist and this is merely an illusion, then much of what you do is a waste of time. What you ought to do is try to build the best society we can live in here and now and do whatever you can to make life meaningful today.
Ankerberg: The problem with that, Paul, is that the very people that you quote constantly concerning the fact of the need for God, and the quest for God, and the meaning of life, I think, are the strongest testimonies in evidence that you’re wrong. For example, Sartre said, “I needed God.” Or, Camus, “Nothing can discourage the appetite for divinity in the heart of man.” Or Nietzsche, “I hold up before myself the images of Dante and Spinoza [whom Geisler was talking about before] who were bettered accepting the lot of solitude. And in the end, all those who somehow still had a God for company, my life now consists in the wish that it might be otherwise and that somebody might make my truths appear incredible to me.”
Kurtz: Well, but all three rejected belief in God. I affirm you can lead an authentic life and you can find life rich. There’s a kind of fullness of existence in the plans and projects that we create. Life is an adventure. Why the need of an illusion?
Ankerberg: Well, one of the secular humanists, that I would be very proud of, that wrote in your book, one of the essays in your book on moral problems in contemporary society, H. J. Blackham, formerly director of the British Humanist Association, said that the problem, as he saw it, was “the pointlessness of it all.”
Kurtz: Really?
Ankerberg: That’s what he said.
Kurtz: I think you may be quoting Blackham out of context because I’ve heard Blackham speak, and read much of what he said, but Blackham has argued continuously that life is full of meaning; that there are points. The fact that one doesn’t believe in God does not deaden the appetite or the lust for living. On the contrary; great artists and scientists and poets and writers have affirmed the opposite.
Ankerberg: Well, I could go on with the list. Maybe, Dr. Geisler, you would want to say something. You’ve done some research in this area.
Geisler: Well, just let me add one thought. In my doctorate research on this very point, I found that atheists had a need for God and admitted it. Sartre did. Camus did. Walter Kaufman said, “Man is a God-intoxicated ape.” Camus, the quote that you said there. They admitted it, but what they were saying is this: “I have a need for God but He doesn’t exist.” Now, that’s like saying, “I’m starving but there’s no food anywhere.” I can understand somebody saying, “I’m starving because I didn’t find any food.” But I cannot understand somebody saying, “I’m starving and there’s no food anywhere; don’t look for it.” “I’m thirsty and there’s no water anywhere; don’t look for it.” That’s cruel. And to say, “You need God, but Ha-ha! There isn’t a God; don’t look for it!” is also cruel. At least you ought to take a look at the evidence.
Ankerberg: Then human personality would really be a disease because you have these longings and you can’t fulfill it.
Kurtz: Well, not everybody has those longings. None of my friends have those longings. But some people do. Not everybody does.
Geisler: There’s a reason for that. These people we quoted were just atheists, and there’s a reason some atheists don’t have those longings. And it’s spelled out pretty clearly in Romans 1:18 in the Bible. It said, “They turned from the God who was there, and God gave them over to a reprobate mind.” You can get to the point that after you reject the truth, then you no longer have those longings. But they killed the longings that were initially there.
Ankerberg: Question.
Audience: Dr. Geisler, did you “reason” your way to faith in God? And if not, can you expect Dr. Kurtz to do the same?
Geisler: As a matter of fact, I did. I did not come from a Christian home and I had to reason my way through this myself. I studied philosophy and I studied history and I came to a conclusion, as many others who weren’t reared in Christian homes, that the evidence is stronger for Christianity – historical evidence and scientific evidence for God – than for any other belief system. So I committed myself to that. And I haven’t found in 30 years of continual research after that point anything to disrupt that, only further things to confirm it.
Audience: I want to direct a comment to Paul and ask both men to respond to a question. My comment is: You have the answer to the questions you have with you practically all the time. It’s either in your pocket, or in your billfold. It’s the American money. It says, “In God We Trust,” and I’d like you to comment. Why does that say that?
Kurtz: You know, it hasn’t helped inflation very much. So the dollar is cheaper in value over the years. Incidentally, that’s a recent addition. I think that only goes back within this century. It didn’t go back historically. But in any case, that doesn’t prove the point. The fact that American money has “In God We Trust” or not is quite irrelevant to the question of whether or not God exists.
Geisler: Well, we don’t agree on much tonight, so I’d like to wholeheartedly agree with him on that. In fact, I think it’s hypocrisy, because basically it’s “in the dollar we trust” rather than in God.
Audience: Mr. Kurtz, don’t you believe that your real problem is that you don’t want to answer to a holy, righteous God?
Kurtz: “I don’t want to answer to a holy, righteous God.” You know, I have no fear. If God exists and I’m brought to the Judgment Day and I’m called into account. People say, “What happens at the Judgment Day?” I said, “I would have no fear because I would say to God, ‘You didn’t give me the evidence!’” And if man is rational and created in God’s image, then I guess God would respect that.
Audience: Norman?
Geisler: Well, my only response is that He gave the evidence, but you have to open your eyes to see it.
Ankerberg: It seemed like Paul preached that the very evidence was the resurrection, which you denied…
Kurtz: Yes…
Ankerberg: …that God would judge the world by one man rising from the dead, in Acts. [Acts 17:31]
Kurtz: He didn’t give objective, corroborative, independent evidence.
Ankerberg: Question.
Audience: My question is, Dr. Kurtz, I’ve read your books and enjoyed them and I just wanted to give you the opportunity to say a little more about what humanism has contributed to our society.
Kurtz: Oh, here I thought I was in the “arena” being “thrown to the lions.” And here’s one person who is going into the arena with me. Well, I appreciate your question. I think that humanism is a positive moral point of view. And there are great figures in the history of Western civilization who have been humanists and have contributed immeasurably. Whether it’s Mark Twain, or Thomas Edison, or Margaret Sanger, or Michelangelo, or Beethoven; you go through the whole history, or Freud, right down. I mean, you find these people who are concerned with the human condition; concerned with furthering the well-being of human beings. And that’s what humanism is, an effort to improve the human condition, to meliorate a better life here and now. To solve human problems by using intelligence and science and reason as best we can. And I’m really surprised and dismayed at the fact that humanists are attacked and criticized because they want to use human intelligence and they want to contribute to the good life. And I say that there are many people who don’t accept your religion and still are good citizens and good persons.
Ankerberg: Paul, do you know, historically, I guess the reason some Christians – some people wish there would be more – but in ‘61 the secular humanist doctrine was recognized as a religion by the Supreme Court. In ‘62, the Supreme Court said that state-required devotional prayers were banned from the schools. In ‘63, devotional Bible-reading was forbidden in the schools. In ‘68, laws against teaching evolution were ruled unconstitutional in the Arkansas Trial. In 1980, the Supreme Court said that posting the Ten Commandments in the classroom is unconstitutional. And in 1982, a law mandating the teaching of creation with evolution was banned in Arkansas. Are you legislating your morality down Christians’ throats?
Kurtz: I would hope not. You know, I think this great country is based upon the First Amendment, and that’s the separation of church and state. That’s the notion: that the state shall not intervene in religion. And I think that the Supreme Court’s rulings are all an effort to interpret the views of Jefferson and Madison and the great founders of this great republic, who, incidentally, were humanists and deists and believed in freedom of conscience, and believed that our society ought not to establish a religion. Now, it seems to me the great virtue of America has been that we have not had fanaticism, and we’ve not had the religious wars, and that belief and unbelief have flourished in this country because of that. And I deplore the efforts in recent years to bridge this basic principle of the separation of church and state. I believe the Supreme Court decisions in this regard have been an effort to support the First Amendment.
Geisler: John, I think it’s just the opposite. This great country began with these great words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights,… among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” There are at least three great principles in there: a Creator, man was created, and certain moral absolutes. The Supreme Court has ruled that you cannot teach those three things in the public schools. Humanists have superimposed their morality by way of the Supreme Court so that you cannot even teach the principles of the Declaration in American schools. That is not freedom.
Kurtz: You know, that’s not true. The schools do teach the Declaration of Independence. All the students know about it…
Geisler: The truths of the Declaration of Independence.
Kurtz: Well, truths that…
Geisler: Creator, creation, and God-given moral absolutes have been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Kurtz: They’ve not been ruled unconstitutional.
Geisler: To teach in a public school they have.
Kurtz: What the Supreme Court has said is that the schools should not indoctrinate for religion. You can teach about them, and you should teach American history…
Geisler: But they’re indoctrinating them in humanist views that say there is no Creator, no creation and no supernatural. You can indoctrinate in these views, you just can’t indoctrinate in those Christian views.
Kurtz: We live under the Constitution. Now, the Declaration of Independence is crucial; all believe in it. It was written by Jefferson. But the Constitution…
Geisler: You believe in it? You believe there is a Creator, man was created, and in moral absolutes?
Kurtz: No, I don’t believe…. I believe in the Declaration of Independence against tyranny, against established Church of England…
Geisler: “But these truths are self-evident,” it says. And what is “self-evident”, you don’t believe.
Kurtz: Well, I don’t know that they are self-evident, but I believe in the right of free conscience of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But we live under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment.
Geisler: And the Declaration of Independence is “unconstitutional.”
Kurtz: Now, the Declaration of Independence was written by Jefferson who was against any tyranny over the mind of man and believed in religious liberty. That was fundamental.
Geisler: And I challenge you to go to Washington, DC, and stand in front of Jefferson’s figure, and look over the pond at the White House, and look up at the granite and see what he said. He said, “God who gave us life, gave us liberty. Can a nation endure when we have neglected that these liberties are a gift of God?” That’s what Jefferson believed.
Kurtz: Jefferson also believed that the state ought not to intervene and that the state ought not to proclaim a religion, and he believed in religious liberty.
Geisler: That’s exactly right. And we believe that too, Paul. We think the state should not intervene and say that the only thing you can teach in the public school is, “no Creator, no creation, and no God-given moral absolutes.” That’s intervening and superimposing your humanist religion down our throats and that’s what’s wrong.
Kurtz: I think that’s a libel against the school teachers of America who are loyal Americans. Many of them are religious and believe in God. They represent a wide range of opinion. And to blame the school teachers, and to say that these things are being forbidden, I think is totally mistaken.
Geisler: I’m not blaming the school teachers, I’m blaming the Supreme Court. Those poor school teachers who would like to do something, they have their hands tied. They can’t even post the Ten Commandments on a bulletin board. They could put up your secular humanist Manifesto on the bulletin board, but they can’t put the Ten Commandments up. Is that fair? Is it fair?
Kurtz: Well, I don’t think they’ve posted the secular humanist Manifesto on the bulletin board.
Geisler: But they could.
Kurtz: I don’t think the American teachers are humanists…
Geisler: You’re not answering my question.
Kurtz: I don’t think that they should post the Humanist Manifesto II on the bulletin board.
Geisler: But they can.
Kurtz: I don’t know that they can. It seems to me that one ought not to be allowed to argue for religion or against religion. Either atheism…
Geisler: I thought you said humanism wasn’t a religion.
Kurtz: Okay. But either atheism, or religious…or theism at the same time; the point is that the schools should be neutral. And neither religion or non-religion should be taught in the schools.
Geisler: That’s exactly right: they should be neutral. And they’re not neutral when the only things you can teach are the basic premises of Secular Humanism…
Kurtz: Well, that’s not true.
Geisler: Let me finish. And you can’t teach the basic premises of the Declaration of Independence. That’s hardly neutral.
Kurtz: Well, I think you’ve caricatured what is going on. I think you’ve maligned the teachers. I think our school system…
Geisler: I didn’t malign the teachers, I maligned the Supreme Court.
Kurtz: …is an excellent school system. I think the curriculum and the schools of America have created a great nation, and our students are benefiting from that. These efforts now to attack the schools and to impose religious dogma on the schools, it seems to me, will erode education.
Geisler: That’s exactly right. And the only religious dogma you can teach in the schools right now is secular humanist religious dogma, and that’s got to change!
Kurtz: Secular Humanism is not a religious dogma.
Ankerberg: Can I jump in here, too? Let me jump in here, too, and that is, one of the men who signed the Manifesto II with you, Paul, said this concerning the secular state of our schools. He said, “I think that the most important factor moving us toward a secular society has been the educational factor.” This is Paul Blanshard again. “Our schools may not teach Johnny to read properly, but the fact that Johnny is in school until he is 16 tends to lead toward the elimination of religious superstition. The average American child now acquires a high school education and this militates against Adam and Eve and all the other myths of alleged history.” Now, Paul Blanshard was one of the men who signed it. And I think that this is what Christians are concerned about, is that by legislating the fact that the beliefs of millions of Christians across the country can’t be brought up in the schools in any area – he can’t pray, he can’t read the Bible, he can’t talk about God, can’t talk about the facts of science that relate to creation – you have legislated your morality down the throats of millions of Christians. And they think that it’s unfair, especially according to your own principles.
Kurtz: In response to your question, John, I don’t agree with Paul Blanshard on that point. The fact that he endorsed the Humanist Manifesto doesn’t mean that I accept everything that he says, nor anyone else. But you know, this is an open society. Surely Christians have every opportunity to express their point of view. There’s a free press. There are free churches. I think that religion is probably more vigorous here than almost anywhere else. If you begin to establish a church by allowing the church to express itself through governmental institutions, I mean, why not in the fire house? Why not in the town hall? Why not open up all of the institutions of government to allow religion to interfere. Okay? I don’t know if you agree or disagree. You are then establishing a religion, you see? And that’s contrary to the First Amendment and contrary to what the Constitution is based on.
Ankerberg: You’re just opening up the fact that we are having a discussion about religion. Aren’t you making a differentiation between the fact of, I have a discussion about religion, and belief that you ought to believe this religion.
Kurtz: Well, I think that we ought to teach about religion in the schools. I think we are.
Ankerberg: We can’t even mention it, Paul.
Kurtz: Of course you mention it. I think anyone who has taken a history course has read about the history of religion in the schools. Anyone who takes a sociology course…
Ankerberg: Creation science?
Kurtz: …anyone who takes a philosophy course. Of course you can learn about religion. And the students learn about religion.
Ankerberg: How about creation science?
Kurtz: What you cannot do is indoctrinate for a religious belief. That’s contrary to the spirit of the pluralistic society in which we live.
Ankerberg: Dr. Geisler, in the Arkansas Trial you spoke to this very fact of, concerning the difference between teaching religion and teaching facts. Then talk to the second question of the fact of, what would you suggest Christians do in a society where now we are saying, like in Los Angeles where the state there said that Bible studies had to be zoned, and you couldn’t have them in your home, and then had to be revoked. But the whole society is going that direction: that they’re going to tell us where you can think and talk about these topics. Now, this is America!
Geisler: Well, see, here’s the problem. If it’s one of our beliefs, by definition for a secular humanist it isreligious and can’t be taught. If it’s one of their beliefs by definition, it isn’t religious and can be taught. You talk about, “Heads I win and tails you lose!” You talk about sophisticated, intellectual bigotry, that’s it! Secondly, the Declaration of Independence had three basic principles: God; man created in the image of God; and moral absolutes. Humanists believe exactly the opposite: No God; no man created in the image of God; and no moral absolutes. So you have three religious beliefs by Judeo-Christian tradition, three by humanism, which is called “a religion” and recognized as religion. Now, here’s what the Supreme Court said: “You can’t teach these three.” What does that mean? The only thing you can teach are the religious beliefs of Secular Humanism. If that’s not establishing Secular Humanism, I don’t know what is.
Kurtz: It’s not establishing Secular Humanism, because you can teach science and literature and the arts and philosophy and history and sociology and everything else. You are open to the world of knowledge. And you teach about religion. What you don’t teach, you don’t try to establish a specific religion in the United States. America includes Buddhists and Hindus and Jews and Mormons and non-believers and humanists. This is the beauty of this country. It’s a pluralistic country in which every point of view thrives. And the state should not be used to impose one point of view.
Ankerberg: Going toward a secular state, does it bother you when you hear a person who came out of a secular state, like Alexander Solzhenitsyn who, in receiving the Templeton Prize, stated: “If I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat, ‘Men have forgotten God. That’s why all this has happened.’” And he is talking about the fact that then the state took arbitrary power and then could redefine personhood, such as Hitler and other Secular States have done. That’s why Christians do not want arbitrary, humanistic values that can change from time to time. They want to stick with the Judeo-Christian principles that give us absolutes that say “Life is important.” No matter who’s there – the Supreme Court, the President, the Congress – life is still going to be important.
Kurtz: I agree with Solzhenitsyn’s attack on totalitarian Communism and the infamies that that society has created…
Ankerberg: And the “cause” that he has also suggested?
Kurtz: …I should also point out that Andre Sakharov, who is a secular humanist, and who signedHumanist Manifesto II and the Secular Humanist Declaration also is opposed to the tyranny in the Soviet Union. So, if one believes in freedom and democracy, one doesn’t necessarily have to believe in God. You can believe in God and believe in dictatorship; believe in the divine right of kings; believe in oligarchy. Democracy is too vital in this country. We believe in freedom. We believe in an open democratic society. We believe in a society in which religious bigotry does not prevail.
Ankerberg: Okay. But if Christians, then, get together and there’s enough of them that vote in a democratic society and express their opinion, that you don’t agree with, then you will go along with the fact that it becomes law again?
Kurtz: Well, obviously I believe in majority rule, the right of the majority. I would hope that this would not undermine the rights of other citizens and I don’t know that that is implied…
Ankerberg: For 200 years we’ve had that right for you to say that.
Kurtz: …and I would quickly hope that it would allow freedom of conscience for people who do not agree with them.
Ankerberg: Dr. Geisler, give us a wrap-up here.
Geisler: Well, America was founded on basic Judeo-Christian principles, and they’re the ones that gave secular humanists their right to express their view. Take a humanist, atheist country like Russia, and see if there are any real religious freedoms for people who don’t believe in that. Actually, humanists ought to be in favor of these Judeo-Christian principles, because they’re the ones that give them their right to practice their humanism. At the same time, I don’t think their ideals are being implemented, because they are not giving us our right to express our views in the public schools.
Ankerberg: Gentlemen, I just want to say thank you tonight. I asked you to share from your heart and to get involved with it, and I think that you have done that. I appreciate, Paul, that you would come and express the views of the secular humanists, and, Dr. Geisler, that you would represent Orthodox Christianity. Thank you, gentlemen, very much.

 

_____________

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If policymakers want infrastructure, they should slash the federal corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent!!!!

If policymakers want infrastructure, they should slash the federal corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent!!!!

May 15, 2014 2:58PM

More Infrastructure? Cut Business Taxes

Infrastructure is in the news as policymakers face a deadline to pass a new highway bill. President Obama visited the Tappan Zee Bridge yesterday and said that “rebuilding America … shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” and then cast blame on the Republicans.

The president is right that America ought to have better infrastructure. But the leaders of both parties are overlooking the most straightforward and powerful way to do it: slashing taxes on business investment.

Most of America’s infrastructure is provided by the private sector, not governments. In fact, private infrastructure spending—on factories, freight rail, cell phone towers, pipelines, refineries, and many other items—is more than four times larger than federal, state, and local government infrastructure spending combined. BEA Table 1.5.5 shows that gross private fixed investment in 2013 was $2.56 trillion, while investment by all levels of government was $606 billion.

Private investment was $2.05 trillion when you take out residential. And government investment was $448 billion when you take out defense. Thus, when infrastructure is measured this way, private investment is also more than four times larger than government investment.

Why do U.S. companies spend more than $2 trillion a year on infrastructure? They do it in the hopes of earning profits years down the road from often risky investments. The government stands in the way of these growth-generating investments by confiscating a large share of those profits with income taxes.

We have the highest federal-state corporate income tax rate in the world at 40 percent, which sends a strong signal to manufacturers, utilities, energy firms, and other infrastructure companies not to expand and upgrade their facilities. If policymakers want infrastructure, they should slash the federal corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, which is the rate in Canada after recent reforms.

Another reform is “capital expensing,” meaning allowing businesses to immediately deduct the cost of new fixed investments. That tax treatment would be a huge simplification, and it would end the anti-investment bias in our income tax system. In recent years, Congress has passed temporary and partial capital expensing measures, but we really need a permanent policy change so that businesses could plan for the long term.

Also, expensing should be expanded to include business structures, such as factory buildings, and not just business equipment as has been the case in recent years. The chart at the bottom shows that real U.S. investment in structures was hammered by the recession and still remains at disturbingly low levels (BEA Table 1.5.6).

The stagnant investment in structures is troubling because it suggests a major lack of confidence in the outlook for U.S. economic policy. If business leaders see little hope for relief from Washington’s aggressive tax and regulatory policies, they will build their factories elsewhere and supply expanding global markets from abroad.

President Obama is right to focus on “rebuilding America,” but step one should be to remove the high tax barriers to private infrastructure investment. Let’s follow the successful Canadian approach and slash our corporate tax rate. And then let’s move toward permanent expensing for structures and equipment. As William McBribe of the Tax Foundation notes in a new analysis of expensing, the benefits would “go primarily to workers with low incomes due to higher productivity, higher wages, and more jobs.”

 

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Open letter to President Obama (Part 594) Where the USA’s economic success come from?

Open letter to President Obama (Part 594)

(Emailed to White House on 6-10-13.)

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.

The federal government debt is growing so much that it is endangering us because if things keep going like they are now we will not have any money left for the national defense because we are so far in debt as a nation. We have been spending so much on our welfare state through food stamps and other programs that I am worrying that many of our citizens are becoming more dependent on government and in many cases they are losing their incentive to work hard because of the welfare trap the government has put in place. Other nations in Europe have gone down this road and we see what mess this has gotten them in. People really are losing their faith in big government and they want more liberty back. It seems to me we have to get back to the founding  principles that made our country great.  We also need to realize that a big government will encourage waste and corruption. The recent scandals in our government have proved my point. In fact, the jokes you made at Ohio State about possibly auditing them are not so funny now that reality shows how the IRS was acting more like a monster out of control. Also raising taxes on the job creators is a very bad idea too. The Laffer Curve clearly demonstrates that when the tax rates are raised many individuals will move their investments to places where they will not get taxed as much.

______________________

Where the USA’s economic success come from?

An Amazing Story of Economic Success

I’ve written before about the remarkable vitality of Hong Kong and Singapore, two jurisdictions that deserve praise for small government and free markets.

Monaco T

Pretending to be a jet-setter in Monaco

I have also praised Switzerland because of policies such as genuine federalism and financial privacy, and it goes without saying that I admire tax havens such asBermuda, Monaco, and the Cayman Islands

I’m a big fan of Estonia, which has made big strides thanks to the flat tax and other free market reforms.

Australia also is one of my favorite nations, in part because of its privatized Social Security system.

Even Canada and Sweden have earned my praise for recent economic reforms.

But here’s a video, produced by the folks at The Fund for American Studies, that identifies an even more impressive economic miracle.

How Nations Succeed: What’s the Secret to Ending Poverty?

Published on May 1, 2013

http://www.TFAS.org/HowNationsSucceed Find out how one nation rose from poverty to unprecedented wealth in just a few generations in this eye-opening web video from The Fund for American Studies. The video raises the question: Will the United States continue to progress and innovate, or will big government stifle economic growth and innovation? Narrated by economist Michael Cox, the video comes during a time of economic uncertainty and calls on viewers like you to decide which path is best for the country.

______________

I did guess the country in the video, but only a few seconds before the narrator spilled the beans. My excuse is that I watched early on Sunday morning, when civilized people should still be asleep.

But allow me to atone for my slowness by adding a very important point about growth. The country in the video became successful because it enjoyed a very long period of decent growth. But that has recently changed for the worse.

And things got worse when statists were in power, as even the Washington Post has acknowledged.

The lesson to be learned is that even small differences in growthcan make a big difference over time.

By some measures, Hong Kong and Singapore are now richer than the United States. The simple reason is that those jurisdictions have been enjoying 5 percent-plus growth for decades while the United States economy has struggled to achieve 3 percent growth.

Then again, the United States is more prosperous than most European nations, though that may be an example of damning with faint praise.

_____________

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 Cato Institute, Economist Dan Mitchell, spending out of control | Edit | Comments (0)

“Friedman Friday” Friedman on Thatcher

RARE Friedman Footage – On Keys to Reagan and Thatcher’s Success

Margaret Thatcher and Milton Friedman were two of my heroes.

Milton on Maggie

From the archives, we reproduce below two columns by Milton Friedman on the late Margaret Thatcher. Both columns appeared in Newsweek.


“Hooray for Margaret Thatcher” (Newsweek, 9 July 1979)

We have become so accustomed to politicians making extravagant campaign promises and then forgetting about them once elected that the first major act of Margaret Thatcher’s government— the budget unveiled on June 12—was a surprise. It did precisely what she had promised to do.

Margaret Thatcher campaigned on a platform of reversing the trend toward an ever more intrusive government—a trend that had carried government spending in Great Britain to somewhere between 50 per cent and 60 per cent of the nation’s income. Ever since the end of World War II, both Labor and Tory governments have added to government-provided social services as well as to government-owned and -operated industry. Foreign-exchange transactions have been rigidly controlled. Taxes have been punitive, yet have not yielded enough to meet costs. Excessive money created to finance deficits sparked an inflation that hit a rate of over 30 per cent a year in mid-1975. Only recently was inflation brought down to the neighborhood of 10 per cent, and it is once again on the rise.

  milton friedman and margaret thatcher
Photo credit: Robert Huffstutter

Most important of all, the persistent move to a centralized and collectivist economy produced economic stagnation. Before World War II, the British citizen enjoyed a real income that averaged close to twice that of the Frenchman or German. Today, the ratio is nearly reversed. The Frenchman or German enjoys a real income close to twice that of the ordinary Briton.

Margaret Thatcher declared in no uncertain terms that the long British experiment was a failure. She urged greater reliance on private enterprise and on market incentives. She promised to reduce the fraction of the people’s income that government spends on their behalf, and to cut sharply government control over the lives of British citizens. Her government’s budget is a major first step. It reduces the top marginal tax rate on so-called “earned” income from 83 per cent to 60 per cent, on “unearned” income from a confiscatory 98 per cent to 75 per cent. At the same time, it raises the level of income exempt from income tax and cuts the bottom rate from 33 per cent to 30 per cent. It proposes to cut government spending significantly, to sell some of the government’s industrial holdings and to promote the sale of government-owned housing units to their occupants. It loosens foreign-exchange controls substantially as a first step toward their elimination.

One retrograde step, in my opinion, is an increase in indirect taxes—the British general sales taxes, or VAT. This increase, which partly offsets the decrease in direct taxes, combined with lower spending will reduce government borrowing, facilitating a restrained monetary policy and releasing funds for private investment. The purpose is admirable. However, once taxes are imposed, it is hard to cut them. From the long-run point of view, it seems to me preferable to resort to a temporarily higher level of borrowing rather than to a possibly permanently higher level of indirect taxes.

I would also have preferred to see exchange controls eliminated completely rather than by degrees. The controls serve no constructive purpose. Eliminating them gradually only prolongs the harm and preserves a mischievous bureaucracy.

But these are quibbles. I salute Margaret Thatcher and her government for their courage and wisdom in moving firmly and promptly to cut Britain’s bureaucratic straitjacket. Britain has enormous latent strength—in human capacities, industrial traditions, financial institutions, social stability. If these can be released from bondage, if incentive can be restored, Britain could once again become a vibrant, dynamic, increasingly productive economy.

In the United States, when the President proposes a budget, that is only the beginning. Congress disposes, and it may take many months before the final result is determined. In Britain, the situation is different. What the Prime Minister and Cabinet propose in effect becomes law as of that day—subject only to a vote of no-confidence in the government and a new national election. However, when the party in power has a majority in the House of Commons as large as the Tories now have, that is a purely hypothetical possibility.

What happens in Britain is of great importance to us. Ever since the founding of the colonies in the New World, Britain has been a major source of our economic and political thought. In the past few decades, we have been moving in the same direction as Britain and many other countries, though at a slower pace. If Britain’s change of direction succeeds, it will surely reinforce the pressures in the United States to cut our own government down to size.

“Mitterrand Elects Thatcher” (Newsweek, 4 July 1983)

In 1981, as Britain slid into a deepening recession and unemployment mounted above the 2 million mark, the conventional political wisdom was that Margaret Thatcher’s days as prime minister were numbered unless she could manage to foster a prompt recovery in the economy that sharply reduced unemployment. Talk about a U-turn was the order of the day.

Margaret Thatcher stuck to her guns—proclaiming that U-turn was not in her vocabulary. The recession continued and unemployment kept going up. Yet three weeks ago, with more than 3 million unemployed, she was re-elected in a landslide, achieving the largest majority in Parliament since the postwar Labor landslide in 1945.

One source of her victory was a sharp decline in inflation, from 22 percent in early 1980 to 4 percent currently—fully realizing a major campaign promise. Yet, by itself, that could hardly have produced a landslide. The postmortems have stressed two other factors: the Falklands war and the disintegration of the Labor Party. The Falklands war enabled Mrs. Thatcher to demonstrate in a dramatic way a quality of leadership and a firmness of purpose that had been conspicuously lacking in her predecessors. The “Iron Lady” became an accolade, not an epithet.

The sharp left turn by the official Labor Party, the resulting formation of the Social Democratic Party and the alliance between the new party and the Liberals certainly played a major part in fragmenting the opposition to Mrs. Thatcher. As matters developed, there was simply no responsible alternative to Mrs. Thatcher, no credible alternative government.

However, this explanation lacks one essential ingredient: it omits the role of President Mitterrand.

France was suffering from the same ills when Mitterrand was elected president as Britain when Mrs. Thatcher became prime minister and the United States when Ronald Reagan became president—high and rising inflation, high unemployment and slow economic growth. Mitterrand’s attack on those ills was precisely the reverse of Mrs. Thatcher’s. On coming into office, Thatcher reduced taxes; Mitterrand increased them. Thatcher reduced controls over prices and wages; Mitterrand expanded them. Thatcher eliminated foreign-exchange controls; Mitterrand made them tighter. Thatcher moved to denationalize enterprises and reduce regulation, Mitterrand nationalized private banks and other enterprises and increased government intervention into the remaining private enterprise. Thatcher tried to hold down government spending, albeit with little success; Mitterrand went on a spending binge.

Had the Mitterrand policies succeeded, even if for only a year or so, Thatcher’s opposition in Britain would have been enormously strengthened. The Labor Party would have had a real alternative to offer—one that was consistent with its ideological propensities and that had worked on the other side of the Channel. The cry that Thatcher’s “monetarism” was a tragic failure could not have been dismissed as mere campaign rhetoric.

Instead, the Mitterrand policy was a clear failure. Inflation remained high. Unemployment went up. The government’s budget deficit soared. So did the deficit in the balance of payments. The franc had to be devalued three times in the past two years, despite massive government borrowing in a vain attempt to prop the franc up. Worst of all for Thatcher’s opposition, Mitterrand was forced to reverse course. The U-turn occurred across the Channel as the French government was driven to adopt the much-derided Thatcher policies.

Thatcher’s opposition was left intellectually bankrupt. It had no credible alternative policy to offer. The claim that she was an irresponsible demagogue imposing unnecessary costs on the British people rang hollow. Her persistence in the main lines of her policy was perceived by the voters as a realistic recognition that there was no easy cure for ills that had accumulated during decades.

The British experience is being repeated in the United States. The Democratic leaders attack Reaganomics as a failure, yet they, too, are intellectually bankrupt. They, too, have no credible alternative to offer, and many of them continue to attack the label while adopting the substance. Mitterrand has made no sharper U-turn than longtime New Dealers who have always praised deficits as a way to prime the pump and stimulate the economy but are now preaching the virtues of balancing the budget.


Click here to see the Hoover project showcasing the works of Milton and Rose Friedman.

Milton Friedman, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize for economic science, was a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution from 1977 to 2006. He passed away on Nov. 16, 2006. He was also the Paul Snowden Russell Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Chicago, where he taught from 1946 to 1976, and a member of the research staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1937 to 1981.


Letters to the editor may be sent to definingideas@stanford.edu. Editors reserve the right to reject or publish (and edit) letters.

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Very good article on Francis Schaeffer. Tom Wolfe and Peter Singer!! by Dr. Steven Garber from on November 19, 2013

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Very good article on Francis Schaeffer. Tom Wolfe. Peter Singer!!

Presuppositional Life and Learning

Posted on November 19, 2013 by Dr. Steven Garber

 

Francis Schaeffer. Tom Wolfe. Peter Singer.

I spent the morning with the Capitol Fellows thinking about these three men, and their ideas. The first one I studied and studied with many years ago, when I was the age of the Fellows– dropping out of college, living in communes in California and Europe, asking questions that college couldn’t answer.

The other two I began reading years later. Wolfe is a novelist, a storyteller who is captured by the soul of America, and decade by decade he writes one more time about who we are, and how we live—from “The Right Stuff” to “Bonfire of the Vanities” to “A Man in Full” to “I Am Charlotte Simmons” to “Back to Blood.” But he is also an essayist, and the piece for today was “Sorry, But Your Soul Just Died,” first published in Forbes, in which he takes up the sociobiologist E.O. Wilson, arguing against his materialist determinism and his reductionist view of human beings, viz. “The fix is in—we’re wired and that’s it.”

And Singer is a professor of philosophy at Princeton University, best known for his utilitarian ethics. In the one of the most ironic and tragic moments in the history of higher education, he was chosen to lead Princeton’s Center for Humane Values. The New Yorker article we drew on was titled, “The Dangerous Philosopher,” as Singer has widely written that those unable to contribute to society should be “let go,” euphemistically speaking. As a film of an earlier generation put it, “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” Except of course, when it’s your mother—and then you choose otherwise. You will need to read it yourself.

I had asked the Fellows to read them together, but especially Wolfe and Singer in light of Schaeffer. While most of us don’t think about “presuppositions” in our daily discourse, their reality is the stuff of life for everyone everywhere. We do see the world in distinctive ways. We do make choices about what matters and doesn’t matter because we believe some things do matter, and some things don’t matter. Schaeffer called those beliefs, presuppositions; Dooyeweerd called them “prê-theoretical commitments.” Either way, we all think by them, choose by them, and live by them.

I showed a film short by a friend, Brian Godawa, “Cruel Logic,” to begin class. Part of a longer film, it is a brilliant story about the way that beliefs shape behavior. In the most simple terms, Godawa allows us to ponder presuppositions, taking us into a sordid story of a psychopath who forces a University of California professor known for his utilitarian ethics– undergirded by his pre-theoretical commitment to materialistic determinism –to “own” his beliefs. Hold onto your chair as you watch this.

Atheism/Evolution PUT TO THE TEST – “Cruel Logic” Short Film

Uploaded on Jan 22, 2012
This short film, called Cruel Logic, which was written and filmed by Brian Godawa of http://www.godawa.com/ is a perfect example of what atheism/evolution would look like if taken to its natural conclusions. EVERY Atheist is so inconsistent and would act just like this professor, if put in the same situation.

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The Fellows did well, taking the insights and commitments of each one seriously, asking hard questions where they should, and pushing themselves to answers when possible.

When all is said and done, I want them to learn to read well, both the meaning of their own beliefs about life and death, meaning and responsibility, God and the world, but also the culture that is theirs, full as it is of hope and horror, of longings that make or break the possibility of human flourishing. When our three hours was done, I smiled, knowing that we were further up and further in to the task of learning to read with the eyes of our hearts—which is what the truest leaning always is, because it is what presuppositional learning always is, seeing and hearing from our hearts as we do.

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How Richard Dawkins’ favorite book of the Bible (Ecclesiastes) and it’s message of Nihilism can be seen in the lives of Comedian Doug Stanhope, Dave Hope of Kansas and King Solomon!

Is ECCLESIASTES one of Richard Dawkins’ favorite Books of the Bible?

Forgive me, spirit of science

Richard Dawkins on his lifelong love of the King James Bible, which will be 400 years old next year.

The King James Bible occupies nearly 42 pages of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, only narrowly beaten by Shakespeare, with 45. Not just literature in the high sense but everyday speech is laced, suffused – riddled, even – with biblical phrases the status of which ranges from telling quotation (“They have sown the wind and they shall reap the whirlwind”) to cliché (“No peace for the wicked”) and all points between. A word in season and perhaps we can see eye to eye. Although I wouldn’t call the Bible my ewe lamb, and I would have to go the extra mile before I killed the fatted calf for it, you don’t need the wisdom of Solomon to see how biblical imagery dominates our English. If my words fall on stony ground – if you pass me by as a voice crying in the wilderness – be sure your sin will find you out. Between us there is a great gulf fixed and you are a thorn in my flesh. We have come to the parting of the ways. I fear it is a sign of the times.

It has to be the King James version, of course. Modern translations break the spell as surely as a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. Listen
to this, if you can bear to, from the Good News Bible, whose clunking title matches its style:

It is useless, useless, said the Philosopher.
Life is useless, all useless./You spend your life working, labouring, and what do you have to show for it? Generations come and generations go, but the world stays just the same.

Older readers might hear the voice of Tony Hancock. Or is it Victor Meldrew? Anyway, now here’s the real thing:

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity./What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?/One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

Real thing? Well, let me not emulate that notorious slogan against the teaching of Spanish in Texas schools: “If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for the children of Texas.” Hebrew, alas, is a sealed book to me (yes, that’s another one: Isaiah 29:11), but I have it on respected authority that Ecclesiastes, at least, is pretty damn good poetry in the original. If so, it certainly doesn’t make it through the Good News mangling. But I shall argue that poetry can gain in translation, and I believe this may have been achieved with the King James Bible.

It is often said (though often forgotten) that the Bible is not a book but a library. Obviously unable to cover it all, I shall attend to my two favourite books, neighbours in the Old Testament: Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs. First, the world-weary Preacher’s lament for the passing of youth and the privations of old age.

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.

Compare that to the Good News version:

So remember your Creator while you are still young, before those dismal days and years come when you will say, “I don’t enjoy life”.

“I don’t enjoy life”? How are the mighty fallen! If I can’t have poetry, I’d prefer the blunt frankness of a beloved godfather who died this year at the age of 93. “Richard,” this tall, handsome old man said, fixing me with his blue eyes for the only piece of solemn, godfatherly advice he ever gave me, “old age is a bugger.”

Doug Stanhope on John Stossel

Uploaded on Oct 1, 2011

No description available.

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I have so much respect for the hard work that goes into stand up comedy because I have a son named Hunter who has been involved with a local comedy club and even presented several full length shows himself. He is always using  just original material from his own life and that involves the constant study of life itself. The absurdities inside life are always being carefully examined. Today I am writing because I want to take a close look at the comedy of an atheist comic and breakdown his nihilistic views on life.

Since I have lived and worked in Little Rock many years, I used to run into Bill Clinton quite a lot in downtown Little Rock. It was quite remarkable to me when he chose to emphasize that the small town of  Hope was his home town even though he had only lived there 3 or 4 years. Of course, he did so because of the power of the word “HOPE.”  I wanted to talk to you about three men and the subject of nihilism: Comedian DOUG STANHOPE, Bass player DAVE HOPE of the 1970’s rock band Kansas and King Solomon of Israel who wrote Richard Dawkins’ favorite book of the Bible which is Ecclesiastes. There is a thread of nihilism that can be compared in these three men’s stories, and nihilism is the opposite of HOPE.

Ten Sacred Cows Destroyed By Doug Stanhope

dougstanhope

From sex to religion, nothing’s off-topic for the fearless comedian. Posted December 12th, 2012, 1:12 PM by

Last year, on Louis C.K.’s breakout hit series “Louie,” Doug Stanhope played Eddie, an old friend and peer of Louie’s who hadn’t found any success in comedy, nor any happiness in life. Sharing Louie’s low tolerance for bull$#!@, Eddie confided in him that he was just passing through town on his way to Boston, where he would do his final show before killing himself. Every argument Louie tries to muster to convince him otherwise is quickly and brutally shot down, and eventually, he has to just acquiesce to Eddie’s intentions and bid him farewell. With a strong performance from both men, they destroyed the common wisdom that suicide should never be a viable option.

The more viscerally affecting part of that episode is that Eddie doesn’t seem all that far removed from Stanhope himself, aside from the quality of his comedy. Stanhope’s stage persona is a nihilistic man who has to blind himself on alcohol and drugs to enjoy any small part of the bleak, unending hellscape of existence, but as he often says, he’s funnier when he’s drunk, which means he’s not blinding himself at all.

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Obviously the atheist comedian DOUG STANHOPE  has already arrived at the nihilistic conclusion that many other atheists have reached in the past.
The late Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer sums up where the secular worldview has brought modern man:

So some humanists act as if they have a great advantage over Christians. They act as if the advance of science and technology and a better understanding of history (through such concepts as the evolutionary theory) have all made the idea of God and Creation quite ridiculous.
This superior attitude, however, is strange because one of the most striking developments in the last half-century is the growth of a profound pessimism among both the well-educated and less-educated people. The thinkers in our society have been admitting for a long time that they have no final answers at all.
Take Woody Allen, for example. Most people know his as a comedian, but he has thought through where mankind stands after the “religious answers” have been abandoned. In an article in Esquire (May 1977), he says that man is left with:
… alienation, loneliness [and] emptiness verging on madness…. The fundamental thing behind all motivation and all activity is the constant struggle against annihilation and against death. It’s absolutely stupefying in its terror, and it renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless. As Camus wrote, it’s not only that he (the individual) dies, or that man (as a whole) dies, but that you struggle to do a work of art that will last and then you realize that the universe itself is not going to exist after a period of time. Until those issues are resolved within each person – religiously or psychologically or existentially – the social and political issues will never be resolved, except in a slapdash way.
Allen sums up his view in his film Annie Hall with these words: “Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.”
Many would like to dismiss this sort of statement as coming from one who is merely a pessimist by temperament, one who sees life without the benefit of a sense of humor. Woody Allen does not allow us that luxury. He speaks as a human being who has simply looked life in the face and has the courage to say what he sees. If there is no personal God, nothing beyond what our eyes can see and our hands can touch, then Woody Allen is right: life is both meaningless and terrifying. As the famous artist Paul Gauguin wrote on his last painting shortly before he tried to commit suicide: “Whence come we? What are we? Whither do we go?” The answers are nowhere, nothing, and nowhere. The humanist H. J. Blackham has expressed this with a dramatic illustration:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit.79

One does not have to be highly educated to understand this. It follows directly from the starting point of the humanists’ position, namely, that everything is just matter. That is, that which has existed forever and ever is only some form of matter or energy, and everything in our world now is this and only this in a more or less complex form.

__________________
To sum up Schaeffer is saying, “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer in THE GOD WHO IS THERE)
HAS COMEDY PROVIDED DOUG STANHOPE ANY ANSWERS? 3000 years ago Solomon pursued five “L” words in his search for the meaning of life and probing the area of LAUGHTER was one of his first places to start. In Ecclesiastes 2:2 he starts this quest but he concludes it is not productive to be laughing the whole time and not considering the serious issues of life. Then Solomon also asserted the nihilistic statement in Ecclesiastes 2:17: “So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

In the Book of Ecclesiastes what are all of the 5 “L” words that Solomon looked into? He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). IRONICALLY, DOUG STANHOPE HAS MADE ALL FIVE OF THESE BUTTS OF HIS NIHILISTIC JOKES!!!

Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.” This puts him in the same place that DOUG STANHOPE finds himself. 

If you are an atheist then you have a naturalistic materialistic worldview, and this short book of Ecclesiastes should interest you because the wisest man who ever lived in the position of King of Israel came to THREE CONCLUSIONS that will affect you.

FIRST, chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13)

These two verses below  take the 3 elements mentioned in a naturalistic materialistic worldview (time, chance and matter) and so that is all the unbeliever can find “under the sun” without God in the picture. You will notice that these are the three elements that evolutionists point to also.

Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 is following: I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.

SECOND, Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)

THIRD, Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1, 8:15)

Ecclesiastes 4:1-2: “Next I turned my attention to all the outrageous violence that takes place on this planet—the tears of the victims, no one to comfort them; the iron grip of oppressors, no one to rescue the victims from them.” Ecclesiastes 8:14; “ Here’s something that happens all the time and makes no sense at all: Good people get what’s coming to the wicked, and bad people get what’s coming to the good. I tell you, this makes no sense. It’s smoke.”

Solomon had all the resources in the world and he found himself searching for meaning in life and trying to come up with answers concerning the afterlife. However, it seems every door he tries to open is locked. Today men try to find satisfaction in learning, liquor, ladies, luxuries, laughter, and labor and that is exactly what Solomon tried to do too.  None of those were able to “fill the God-sized vacuum in his heart” (quote from famous mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal). You have to wait to the last chapter in Ecclesiastes to find what Solomon’s final conclusion is.

In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had. I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that. Furthermore, Solomon realized death comes to everyone and there must be something more.

Livgren wrote:

All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Take a minute and compare Kerry Livgren’s words to that of the late British humanist H.J. Blackham:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

_____________________________________

Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player DAVE HOPE of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and DAVE HOPE had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on youtube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible Church. DAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida. IT IS TRULY IRONIC THAT TWO MEN WITH THE WORD “HOPE” IN THEIR NAMES HAVE SUCH DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO THE 3 PROBLEMS THAT MAN MUST FACE IN ECCLESIASTES.

DOUG STANHOPE believes  three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. In contrast, DAVE HOPE believes death is not the end and the Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

 

Today I have demonstrated that atheists should agree with the comics Doug Stanhope and Woody Allen that nihilism should be embraced by atheists or they should consider the fact that God does exist and that will change everything!!!!

_______________________________________________________

Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust In The Wind

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Music video by Kansas performing Dust In The Wind. (c) 2004 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

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We should end the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) would stop taxpayer subsidies to Papa Johns!!!!

 

We should end  the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) would stop taxpayer subsidies to Papa Johns!!!!

 

How Enron, Papa John’s and the Ritz Got Taxpayer Subsidies

(Photo: Newscom)

What do Enron, the Soros Economic Development Fund, Papa John’s Pizza, Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, MTV, the Bank of Palestine, and Deutsche Bank have in common? They’ve all benefited from millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

OPIC provides loans and loan guarantees for investments in developing and emerging markets, offers “political risk insurance” (covering losses resulting from things like coups, terrorism, and expropriation), and supports funds that invest in companies doing business in emerging markets.

When proposed by President Nixon in 1969, OPIC was sold as a way to “contribute to the economic and social progress of developing nations” by encouraging venture capital to pursue investments that might normally be deemed too risky. It would do so by placing “the credit of the United States Government behind the insurance and guaranties which the Corporation would sell to U.S. private investors.”

There might have been a need for OPIC four decades ago. But in today’s global economy, investment in developing countries does not depend on U.S. government backing. According to the United Nations, developing and transitioning countries attracted $790 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2012 — more than the total FDI in developed countries. Even the least-developed countries have seen enormous growth in FDI over the past two decades.

Moreover, there are reasons to think that OPIC may be counterproductive. When OPIC guarantees investments in foreign environments, those countries have less reason to adopt policies that are friendly to investors. The Heritage Foundation’s annual Index of Economic Freedom ranks countries on their investment climate. OPIC-backed projects include the production of olive oil in Argentina (which has a 2014 Investment Freedom score of 30 out of 100), Papa John’s franchises in Russia (Investment Freedom score: 25), and hotel renovations in Uzbekistan (Investment Freedom score: 0). Investors should not base their activities on whether a government agency will cover their risks, but on whether investment in a country makes economic sense.

Even worse, OPIC could be susceptible to cronyism and corruption. Consider some recent OPIC beneficiaries:

* Obama bundler James Torrey, a board member of MicroVest Capital Management, was nominated to serve on OPIC’s board of directors in 2010. In 2013, MicroVest Short Duration Fund LP and MicroVest + Plus LP received about $8 million in insurance for projects in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Nicaragua. Another $6 million in insurance was provided in 2013 for projects in Russia, but the project descriptions were not available online.

* The Soros Economic Development Fund was approved for $3.9 million for renewable-energy projects in Moldova in 2013. The Soros fund’s general counsel is a former OPIC senior commercial associate.

* A Porsche/Jaguar/Land Rover dealership in Ukraine owned by Winner Imports received $20 million in 2013. Joe Biden’s “very good friend” John Hynansky is chairman/CEO of Winner Auto Group.

OPIC supporters would like to dismiss these issues and argue that OPIC should be retained because it poses little risk to the U.S. taxpayer and supports U.S. jobs. These arguments are dubious.

OPIC may not have suffered grave losses, but the risk to the U.S. taxpayer is real. Nixon likened OPIC to the Federal Housing Administration in that both would use government guarantees to attract private capital to underwrite beneficial investments. Invoking the FHA was intended to be a positive comparison at the time, designed to mollify concerns about exposing U.S. taxpayers to unnecessary risk. However, the resemblance looks less reassuring in the wake of a $1.7 billion bailout of the FHA last year.

Indeed, OPIC’s record is hardly flawless. It supported several Enron-related projects under the Clinton administration, including providing $160 million to Enron and two other corporations to help build the $2.9 billion Dabhol Energy Project in India. Not only did Enron go bankrupt, but the government of India expropriated the failed project.

OPIC’s claims to have “supported more than 278,000 American jobs” should be regarded with skepticism. First of all, with over $200 billion in OPIC-supported investments, that works out to about $720,000 per job. Surely we can find a better way to spur U.S. employment. But more fundamentally, those claims rest on the dubious assumptions that the investments would not have occurred without OPIC assistance, and that alternative investments that could have had similar or even better impact on U.S. job creation would not have been made.

An OPIC executive once described the agency’s role:

It’s not unlike when you were younger and you wanted to buy a car and your dad signed the bank note. He guaranteed that you would pay it back. Well, we operate an awful lot like that.

OPIC has not been specifically reauthorized since 2007, but has continued operating under annual appropriations. The House passed a three-year authorization of OPIC earlier this month in the otherwise unobjectionable Electrify Africa Act. The Senate is expected to address the issue soon. Congress should end its support for this outdated government corporation. The American taxpayer can’t afford to continue being treated as a sugar daddy for U.S. and foreign corporations.

Originally appeared in National Review Online.

 

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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!!

___________

The Government Episode 1

Published on Jul 24, 2013

Follow the day-to-day office life of a federal agency trying desperately to spend their way to a bigger budget.

________________________

Why does the federal government think up ways to spend money?

Energy “Race to the Top” Is a Race to the Trough

July 26, 2013 at 9:00 am

Newscom

Newscom

Advocacy groups are pushing to include the State Energy Race to the Top Initiative Act of 2013 legislation as an amendment to the Shaheen–Portman efficiency bill. But the “race to the top” idea amounts to nothing more than a subsidy-filled race to the trough for companies that are hungry to gobble up taxpayer dollars.

Proposed by President Obama in his State of the Union speech and more recently in legislation introduced by Senators Mark Warner (D–VA) and Joe Manchin (D–WV), the race to the top is a $200 million grant program to promote energy efficiency that adds even more taxpayer money to existing federal and state efficiency subsidies and mandates.

States and qualifying entities would submit proposals to the Department of Energy (DOE) for efficiency upgrades such as building retrofits for public and private commercial buildings, schools, hospitals, and residential buildings as well as industrial efficiency, demand-side management, and more. The DOE would provide a first phase of funding to no more than 25 states and a second round of much larger grants to no more than six states based on the project proposal, geography, and likelihood of success.

If spending on efficiency increases competitiveness or saves businesses and manufacturers money, they should make those investments on their own. In fact, companies invest in innovative technologies that conserve energy all the time, because such investments do save money and make their products more competitive. They do not need the federal government to prod them with taxpayer-funded subsidies.

Energy efficiency per dollar of gross domestic product has improved dramatically over the past 60 years. Some might wrongly suggest that this was the result of efficiency standards, but technological improvements and consumer preference are the cause, and energy intensity has been in decline long before a national energy efficiency policy.

The race to the top program duplicates the many existing state and federal efficiency programs that already exist. It would provide another incentive for companies to build business models around government programs to collect taxpayer cash rather than competing in the marketplace. Government mandates, rebate programs, or spending initiatives to make businesses and homeowners more energy efficient take choices away from families and businesses and skew the rules of free enterprise.

We do not need a race to the top energy initiative funded by the government. Good ideas, competitive technologies, and profitable ventures will rise to the top without the taxpayers’ help

_______________

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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What Are the Dangers of Too Much Debt? Published on Mar 20, 2012 Interest payments on U.S. government debt are three times spending in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars already, and that is with the lowest interest rate we have seen since the 1960s. A rise in interest rates would increase interest payments dramatically. What […]

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A suggestion to cut some wasteful spending out of the government Part 5 (includes editorial cartoon)

Does Government Have a Revenue or Spending Problem? People say the government has a debt problem. Debt is caused by deficits, which is the difference between what the government collects in tax revenue and the amount of government spending. Every time the government runs a deficit, the government debt increases. So what’s to blame: too […]

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Does Government Have a Revenue or Spending Problem? People say the government has a debt problem. Debt is caused by deficits, which is the difference between what the government collects in tax revenue and the amount of government spending. Every time the government runs a deficit, the government debt increases. So what’s to blame: too […]

A suggestion to cut some wasteful spending out of the government Part 1 (includes editorial cartoon)

What Are the Dangers of Too Much Debt? Published on Mar 20, 2012 Interest payments on U.S. government debt are three times spending in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars already, and that is with the lowest interest rate we have seen since the 1960s. A rise in interest rates would increase interest payments dramatically. What […]

Lots of wasteful spending by federal government

I wish the federal government would go back to spending less than 5% of GDP like they did the first 150 years of our country’s history. We could cut down on a lot of wasteful spending if we did that. Morning Bell: The Governing Class and Us Mike Brownfield April 19, 2012 at 8:57 am […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in President Obama | Edit | Comments (0)

Open letter to President Obama (Part 593) The Empirical Evidence on School Choice and Milton Friedman

Open letter to President Obama (Part 593) Milton Friedman

(Emailed to White House on 6-25-13.)

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.

The federal government debt is growing so much that it is endangering us because if things keep going like they are now we will not have any money left for the national defense because we are so far in debt as a nation. We have been spending so much on our welfare state through food stamps and other programs that I am worrying that many of our citizens are becoming more dependent on government and in many cases they are losing their incentive to work hard because of the welfare trap the government has put in place. Other nations in Europe have gone down this road and we see what mess this has gotten them in. People really are losing their faith in big government and they want more liberty back. It seems to me we have to get back to the founding  principles that made our country great.  We also need to realize that a big government will encourage waste and corruptionThe recent scandals in our government have proved my point. In fact, the jokes you made at Ohio State about possibly auditing them are not so funny now that reality shows how the IRS was acting more like a monster out of control. Also raising taxes on the job creators is a very bad idea too. The Laffer Curve clearly demonstrates that when the tax rates are raised many individuals will move their investments to places where they will not get taxed as much.

I have written about 66 heroes of mine in the House of Representatives that voted “no” on your debt ceiling increase request in 2011. I believe we must have representatives that will vote to restore our freedom and that means voting to cut spending and lower taxes like the Patriots of long ago wanted. Today the Tea Party represented my views the most closely.  Lord knows I have written a lot about that in the past. . 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.

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 you and I must say that I have been impressed that you have had the White House staff answer so many of my letters. The White House answered concerning Social Security (two times), Green Technologieswelfaresmall businessesObamacare (twice),  federal overspendingexpanding unemployment benefits to 99 weeks,  gun controlnational debtabortionjumpstarting the economy, and various other  issues.   However, your 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.    You are 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.

THIS BRINGS ME TO ONE OF MY BIGGEST ECONOMIC HEROES AND IT IS THE LATE MILTON FRIEDMAN. Friedman had such revolutionary policies such as eliminating welfare and instituting the negative income tax and putting in school vouchers.

The problem in Washington is not lack of revenue but our lack of spending restraint. This video below makes that point.

Milton Friedman on School Vouchers

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Just the facts Mam.

APRIL 18, 2013 5:17PM

School Choice Works

The evidence is in: school choice works. Yesterday, the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice released their third edition of their report “A Win-Win Solution: The Empirical Evidence on School Choice.” The report provides a literature review of dozens of high-quality studies of school choice programs around the country, including studies from scholars at Harvard University, Stanford University, Cornell University, the University of Arkansas, the Brookings Institution, and the Federal Reserve Bank. The studies examine the impact of school choice programs on the academic performance of participants and public school students, the fiscal impact on taxpayers, racial segregation, and civic values.

The report’s key findings included the following:

  • Twelve empirical studies have examined academic outcomes for school choice participants using random assignment, the “gold standard” of social science. Of these, 11 find that choice improves student outcomes—six that all students benefit and five that some benefit and some are not affected. One study finds no visible impact. No empirical study has found a negative impact.
  • Twenty-three empirical studies (including all methods) have examined school choice’s impact on academic outcomes in public schools. Of these, 22 find that choice improves public schools and one finds no visible impact. No empirical study has found that choice harms public schools.
  • Six empirical studies have examined school choice’s fiscal impact on taxpayers. All six find that school choice saves money for taxpayers. No empirical study has found a negative fiscal impact.
  • Eight empirical studies have examined school choice and racial segregation in schools. Of these, seven find that school choice moves students from more segregated schools into less segregated schools. One finds no net effect on segregation from school choice. No empirical study has found that choice increases racial segregation.
  • Seven empirical studies have examined school choice’s impact on civic values and practices such as respect for the rights of others and civic knowledge. Of these, five find that school choice improves civic values and practices. Two find no visible impact from school choice. No empirical study has found that school choice has a negative impact on civic values and practices.

On the same day, a new study from researchers at Harvard University and the Brookings Institution found that a school choice program boosted college enrollment among African-American participants by 24 percent.

While many of the findings show only modest improvement, they consistently show that school choice programs produce the same or superior results across a gamut of measures. Moreover, not all the benefits of choice are easily measurable. Some families are looking for a school that better meets a student’s special needs, instills the parents’ values, inspires a lifelong love of learning, or where a student is safe from bullying. These outcomes are sometimes difficult if not impossible to measure in the aggregate, but parents are in the best position to tell the difference for their own children.

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 spending out of control | Edit | Comments (0)

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