Sunday, July 11, 2010

Why Illegal Immigration is a Big Deal

There has been lots of news coverage of Arizona and its new
Illegal Immigration law for the past few months, and it seems,
if FaceBook and the Blogosphere are any indication, that there
are a good many Red Herring opinions and views being tossed
about in the public square... Here's my own attempt to put the
issue in the light of Common Sense (not so common in today's
highly-charged political environment)...

Let's say you own a large apartment complex. You've invested
a great deal of your time and money in this real estate venture,
and for a long time everything went well: Your Tenants are,
for the most part, just what you'd hope for: They all have
jobs, they obey the by-laws they signed when they first came
to you, they keep their units in good condition, and (perhaps
most importantly) they pay the Rent on time.

In addition to providing them a nice place to live, you're
successful enough in this venture to provide -- using a small
portion of their Rent and other Dues -- a pool, a clubhouse,
and even Group Rate insurance for the complex as a whole.
The local police and fire services are good, there are 2
"Urgent Care" facilities nearby that welcome your Tenants,
and the entire complex has gained a reputation as being one
of the nicest places to live in your city.

Then trouble develops in this paradise: You find that some
of the newer Tenants are sneaking in their relatives, and units
that (by law and in practical terms) are meant for 6 people are
now occupied by 12; some are violating your "No Pets" policy
by harboring dogs and cats, and your visits to some of their
units smell of urine and dog-hair; you find ample evidence of
children in the sections clearly designated as "adults only",
and you even suspect drug activity going on here and there.

Then things get worse: Local police have begun to be called
on a regular basis because you are discovering break-ins in the
middle of the night to a number of your units, many of which are
encouraged and abetted by the Tenants themselves!

At great cost to you, you erect a Privacy fence around your
entire complex, and you post "No Trespassing" signs aplenty,
but to your dismay you find intruders climbing the fence, or
cutting their way through it, not only in the middle of the night
but more often now right in broad daylight!

Squatters are now frequently busting their way into vacant units,
your "good" Tenants are either moving out or cowering in their
units out of fear -- as guns and violence are now more prevalent
than ever -- and the situation is CLEARLY out of control as more
and more invaders flood into the complex...


Just how LONG could you be in business in a situation like that?
Would there not be an immediate need to address this crisis and
put a stop to this? Can you agree that continued invasions and
lawlessness along these lines will ultimately DESTROY this complex?

Nobody is saying that the squatters -- the invaders -- are not
human beings, and perhaps SOME of them are trespassing ILLEGALLY
into your complex because they want to work for some of your Tenants;
but how can you tell which is which? And isn't it TRUE that you
want A) only those who are SUPPOSED to be there (have signed a contract
with you and can pay the rent) to be there? and B) if they want
to "work" inside the complex, they should AT LEAST come through
the FRONT GATE and do things in an HONEST and LEGAL way???

I simply cannot understand the mindset that LOOKS THE OTHER WAY
as throngs of Illegals flood into this country, consume resources,
and (at worst) are bent, many of them, on carrying out their
nefarious intentions. Does NATIONAL SECURITY not mean anything??
Does the physical safety and security of LEGAL Americans along
our southern border not MATTER to the bleeding-hearts who see these
Illegals as poor, hungry "victims" who only seek to "work"?
Is there any naivte so profound as this?

And instead of protecting its CITIZENS, the current administration
is SUING Arizona for trying to enforce a FEDERAL law that has been
on the books for 70 years. It seems the leadership of the country
has completely lost its mind.

I don't know what the end of all this will be, but as the
destruction of America accelerates, one can only shake ones head
in disbelief and dismay. NOTHING is being done about the problem
and more Washington "committees" and "meetings" on so-called
"Immigration Reform" will never stop a single bullet. It's time
for real Leadership again in this country.

One more point:

Some are saying, "We're a nation of immigrants", which of course
is true; but there is Immigration that helps, enriches, expands,
and contributes to our melting-pot nation; THIS situation is
NOT that kind of Immigration, and it's a disgrace to those who
endured so much, for so long, to at last reach our shores LEGALLY
to call it such.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Faith of an Atheist

In talking to the average atheist, you are likely to hear them making statements
such as, "I have no religion; I am not religious", or "my world view has nothing
to do with 'faith', it's all based on science and reason." These, or some
variation of these, are themes in their discussions.

But when there are very good counter arguments, or scientific data, or any sort of
patent lack of certainty in any given discipline about which they've already
drawn conclusions (or accepted as fact the ones fed to them), wouldn't something like
"faith" be required to continue to retain those conclusions in spite of evidence
to the contrary?

Indeed, isn't the response of "well, science will figure out the answer someday"
an absolute Faith statement? Of course it is.

So it seems, like it or not, that atheists exercise faith every bit as much
as Theists do, only with a different anchor. Consider these examples of the
blind faith of atheism:


Cosmologists have identified more than two dozen constants in the laws of Physics
that are required, and required in precisely the right amounts, with infinitesimally
allowable degrees of variation with each one, to allow for the existence of Planet
Earth and for its complex Life forms.

The odds that ANY of these would be so finely tuned are very small indeed, and the
odds that ALL of them would be in precise relation to each other are so small that
we can rationally assert that it is IMPOSSIBLE that Planet Earth and its complex
Life forms could have come about by mere Chance.

AND YET, a typical atheist will thunder and rail against any hint of
Intelligent Design, insulting its supporters, because of their blind faith in a
god-LESS Cosmology and a god-LESS Darwinian approach to origins.


Here is what Richard Dawkins -- a modern-day atheist preacher -- has to say:
    "An atheist ... is somebody who believes there is nothing beyond the natural,
    physical world, no supernatural creative intelligence lurking behind
    the observable universe, no soul that outlasts the body and no miracles -- except
    in the sense of natural phenomena that we don't yet understand. If there is
    something that appears to lie beyond the natural world as it is now
    imperfectly understood, we hope eventually to understand it and embrace it
    within the natural."
    -- from "The God Delusion"

AND SO, Dawkins proclaims his faith that against-all-odds, and despite
things "we don't yet understand", Naturalism will someday explain everything...

Wired Magazine

... and yet, other atheists maintain that this kind of wild hope -- zealous Faith --
is precisely the problem:

In an article in the latest issue of "Wired" (known for, among other things, its
antagonism toward Creationism, Religion, and all things Conservative), a staff
writer (probably unwittingly) lent support to a fundamental Intelligent Design
principle: Irreducible Complexity, which is the idea that the basic building blocks
of Life are composed of highly complex and interconnected systems, *machines*,
which, if broken apart, would cause those systems to cease to function.

Speaking of science, this writer says scientists continue to foolishly pursue
something like a "Theory of Everything", touting the latest tool or gizmo or theory
to do far, far more than it is capable of:
    "Time and time again, an experimental gadget gets introduced...
    and we're told it will allow us to glimpse the underlying logic of
    everything... But the tool always disappoints, doesn't it?
    We soon realize that those pretty pictures are incomplete and that
    we can't reduce our complex subject to a few colorful spots...
    Scientists...should anticipate that the Universe is always more
    networked and complicated than reductionist approaches can

He goes on to say,
    "Thanks to [recent advances in Neuroscience, there is now a] mandate
    to forgo the measurement of local spikes in blood flow in favor of
    teasing apart the vast electrical loom of the cortex. God and Love are
    nowhere to be found -- and most of the time we have no idea what we're
    looking at. But that confusion is a good sign. The brain isn't simple;
    our pictures of the brain shouldn't be, either."

He finishes by noting that Reality is more like a Cloud than a Clock:

    "Karl Popper, the great philosopher of science, once divided
    the world into two categories: Clocks and Clouds. Clocks are neat,
    orderly systems that can be solved through reduction; Clouds are
    an epistemic mess, 'highly irregular disorderly, and more or less

    The mistake of modern science is to pretend that everything is a Clock,
    which is why we get seduced again and again by the false promises of
    brain scanners and gene sequencers. We want to believe we will understand
    Nature if we find the exact right tool to cut its joints. But that
    approach is doomed to failure. We live in a Universe not of Clocks
    but of Clouds."

STILL, atheists believe so fervently in the lofty and vaunted
capabilities of science that they will not abandon that faith even in the
face of constant, less-than-stellar outcomes...


Jerry Fodor, a Philosopher and Cognitive Scientist at Rutgers University, continues
this theme:
    "We don't know what makes some cognitive states conscious.
    (Indeed, we don't know what makes any mental state, cognitive
    or otherwise, conscious, or why any mental state, cognitive or
    otherwise, bothers with being conscious.) Also, we don't know
    much about how cognitive states and processes are implemented by
    neural states and processes."

    "We don't even know whether they are (though many of us are
    prepared to assume so faut de mieux). And we don't know how
    cognition develops (if it does) or how it evolved (if it did),
    and so forth, very extensively."

    "In fact, we have every reason to expect that there are many
    things about cognition that we don't even know that we don't
    know, such is our benighted condition."

SO, in direct contrast to scientific data, and despite not knowing much
about how the physiology works in some key areas, the atheist resolutely
clings to his faith in No-God and in the promise of "science".
This is perfectly understandable, of course; just don't let an atheist tell you
his world view has nothing to do with faith.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Wedding Dress

In today's pluralistic, morality-means-whatever-you-want-it-to-mean
culture, there are quite a lot of us who still believe that Sin is
at the heart of the world's troubles. Good ol' fashioned word, "sin",
and its use sometimes draws snickers from modern and post-modern folks
who'd rather talk about "positive energy" or "balance" and so forth...

I've heard some people pose variations of a common question on sin:
"Why are you Christians always so hung up with this 'sin' thing?
Don't you see that human beings have both good and bad in them?"

Well of course clear thinking requires that we first define our terms;
I'd like to focus on the meaning of "Good" (moral Goodness) here by
asking a simple question: "Good" compared to WHAT?

Christians believe that God does in fact have a Standard -- Himself --
by which all of us are to measure what "Good" looks like; and by that
standard an honest and humble soul will find him/herself woefully deficient;
there is no sense in talking about "goodness" unless some absolute
Standard of "goodness" exists...

To spark our imaginations about how horribly short of God's standard
we all fall, consider this idea:

A young lady plans to be married. Her mother brings down from the attic
a box, dusts it off, and from it she presents to her daughter the most
beautiful, pure white wedding dress that the girl has ever seen. It's made
mostly of silk, a simple but classic style, and is stunningly white and pure.
"My mother wore this at her wedding, and I at mine," the mother shares.
The daughter is moved deeply, and plans are made to tailor it only just
a bit to fit the daughter for her wedding day.

That day comes, and while the mother and daughter are sharing a few
moments together as they get ready for the ceremony, they laugh at old
memories, talk about the future, and even enjoy a glass of wine together.
Then the unthinkable happens: A near-spill of the wine, but just enough
to plant a purple STAIN right on the front of the dress, in plain view...

There is a scramble for soda water and other treatments, and some frantic
attempts to sponge away the stain... No good... It's right there, clear
as can be, for everyone to see. No other dress is available, and the church
is already full of people, all expecting the service to start in a few minutes.
Attempts to cover the stain are awkward at best, and the only option is to
go through the ceremony with this stain on the dress...

Now, you might say, "Well hey, what's the big deal, the dress is still
MOSTLY white, right?? Come on, why should she focus on the 'negative'?
There's good AND bad about the dress, right? Don't be such an old
fuddy-duddy, with those old-fasioned ideas about 'white dresses' and all..."

A ridiculous response, of course: The fact is that the PURITY of the
dress has been spoiled, and the WONDER and BEAUTY of a virgin in a pure
white clean beautiful wedding gown, in which to be presented to her new
husband, has been RUINED... The bride is probably devastated, for a
number of reasons, and all she can think about is that obvious purple blight
on the front of an otherwise-gorgeous gown. She's embarrassed, in front
of a whole church full of people...

Sin is the same way: God has in mind for each of us the beautiful, pure,
glorious SOUL He made each of us to be; we have STAINED ourselves by our own
SIN, ruining what He had in mind for us when He made us.
Even the smallest stain ruins the gown, and some kind of amazing remediation
is needed to set things right again. Simply put, Christians believe that the
death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is God's remediation for sin.

So it's no good talking about "Good" unless you see that term in its proper light;
only God Himself can, through the finished work of Jesus, make any of us pure again.
Anything less is Man-made religion, a cheap substitute, and those who do not
submit to that Cleansing will someday be horribly and eternally embarrassed and
ashamed of their stains when presented to the Creator of True Goodness.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Lessons for Liberals, Part 1: Match Stick economics

I don't claim to be a business expert, but having reached mid-life, and having
watched and listened and read a bit on economics, I think I can say that I have
an "every man's" understanding of basic business principles.

Obama said during his campaign that his administration would "rebuild the economy
from the top down"; now he is focused on a "jobs" bill and setting up town hall
meetings to talk about "job creation". His multi-BILLION dollar "bail-outs" were
supposed to "stimulate" the economy, but nobody knows for sure what that even means,
let alone whether or not it "worked"... Most of that money cannot even be accounted
for, and the Banks -- who were supposed to "lend" it to small businesses -- are
steadfastly REFUSING to disclose what they did with the billions they received of
TAXPAYER dollars...

Spending our way out of a Recession is, to anyone who applies even a modest amount
of common sense, not only bad economic policy, but also serves to DEEPEN the
Debt sinkhole the country is already in. You don't keep digging...

All of this (and so much more of what Obama and his "progressive" pals are doing
with TAXPAYER money) is what I call "Match Stick Economics": Take a match
and strike it, and for a few seconds you have flame, and bright light, and the
appearance of getting a fire started. But of course it burns out, shortly,
and not only are you right back where you started from, but you now have FEWER
resources (one less match) for starting a REAL fire, one that could go on burning
and providing REAL warmth and comfort.

This is why economies are NOT built "from the top down", but rather from the Bottom
UP. It's so simple even a middle-schooler can understand it; here is a basic
evolution of how a successful business usually works:

Entrepreneur "Hank" gets an idea... He scrapes together some initial finances and
buys the first round of materials to make a few units of his idea (let's call them
"widgets")... He pitches his widgets to a few folks around him... They love Hank's
widgets and ask for more, and they tell their friends to buy some, too... Hank
starts working nights and weekends, cranking out widgets to fill his orders...
Soon he needs more capital to keep buying the materials he needs, so he borrows
money (lenders will eventually get their money back with interest, perhaps even a
stake in the company)... Armed with fresh capital, Hank buys twice as much material
and now gets his kids involved in the widget-production process... Soon Hank has
so many orders coming in that he has to hire another worker, who is paid wages plus
some very moderate benefits... Sales increase, and now Hank has to move his
operations from his garage to a low rent Commercial Real Estate location (maybe some
old warehouse)... Word of Hank's widgets spreads like wildfire, and before long,
Hank has 28 employees, a bigger space, better machines to triple his widget output,
and now he is focusing more of his time on book-keeping, advertising, and human
resources (even paying his wife now, as an employee, to help with these duties).

At some point, "Hank Enterprises" is incorporated, investors are calling Hank on a
fairly regular basis, and as Hank re-invests in his own business, borrows carefully
based on Growth projections, and adapts to changes in Demand, well, old Hank
begins to do very very well for himself: Not quite a "millionaire" yet, but well
on his way, and nearly FOUR DOZEN workers now know "Hank Enterprises" as the place
where they have a JOB.

THIS kind of economic strategy is BOTTOM-UP strategy, and thanks to
his hard work and success, Hank is one of several hundred million Americans whose
Tax dollars can actually HELP his State and the Federal government. He's helping
to build and maintain a REAL "fire", not just ignite a Match Stick for 3 seconds;
his is a fire that provides REAL warmth as long as he works hard, and plays it
smart, to maintain it and keep its embers glowing.

Now that Hank has earned his way into a certain Tax bracket, what in the world
SENSE would it make
for the State and especially the Fed to PUNISH Hank
by slapping him with outrageous Taxes? How in the world is it FAIR that
Hank's hard-earned Wealth should be ripped from his hands and redistributed to
other Americans via these massive Federal give-away programs?? Why should
HANK (who lives in Jersey) have to PAY for an appendectomy for an illegal immigrant
who sneaked across the border into Arizona??

Listen up Liberals and Socialists and "Progressives": When the government
PUNISHES the "Hanks" of the world with high Taxes, fees, fines, limits, regulations,
and redistribution of wealth, it KILLS economic growth
! You will never get a
Job from a POOR person! Giving multi-billion dollar "bail-outs" to a few, and
letting the Federal Reserve dictate the money supply, is BAD for Business and
therefore BAD for the economy. You don't build economies from the "top down", but
from the Bottom-UP, doing everything you can do to help the "Hanks" of the country
Thrive and Grow and Expand and HIRE MORE PEOPLE as a result.

The soak the rich, spend like there's no tomorrow States are in
REAL TROUBLE right now: California, Oregon, Florida, Arizona, Illinois, and many others
are experiencing Budget shortfalls that may land them in Bankruptcy within the year;
these same "economic" policies -- which Joe Biden called "the patriotic duty" of
wealthy Americans (to pay more Taxes) -- are the HALLMARK of the "progressive" and
liberal socialist ideologies... And they are KILLING Hank -- and the nation's
economy -- who will likely be forced to move his operations to Texas, leaving his
employees in Jersey JOBLESS.

Match Stick economics, pitched by an out-of-control government led by a highly
inexperienced president, will never save America. Only REAL, common-sense,
help-the-small-guy policies (which will, to a very great degree, mean government
gets out of Hank's WAY) will turn this Titanic around.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Domestic Enemy of the Constitution?

Every single member of Congress swears THIS OATH not only upon taking office
but apparently every few years, as well... This same oath is sworn by all members
of the Armed Forces as they are accepted into the military...

It's eerily relevant to ask, in these times, what would a DOMESTIC "enemy
of the Constitution" look like? Is it possible that that person could be the
president himself? An "enemy" would, I suppose, be anyone who at best simply IGNORES
the Constitution as the supreme guide to any and every decision, and, at worst, actively seeks
to thwart it guidance and usher in an era of "Change" in which
the leadership does whatever it chooses, including speeding the country as quickly
as possible to Socialism and even Communism (step-siblings, of course).

Take note, an ENEMY of the Constitution likely wouldn't fare very well invading the
country with tanks and airplanes and battleships; there would be no flag-waving
battalions of foreign soldiers storming our shores; those would clearly be "Foreign" enemies. A DOMESTIC Enemy of the Constitution would come from inside America herself, a WOLF dressed in Sheep's clothing, delivering nice-sounding speeches with
a smooth tongue, dressing up a Socialist agenda to look like America's "hope"...

On this one-year anniversary of Obama's reign of power, I would submit here that we
have had SEVERAL Enemies of the Constitution in the Oval Office, the two most
notable being FDR and then Obama himself; there have been others, including GW Bush
and his "Patriot Acts" and his ILLEGAL Invasion of Iraq... But perhaps no other
Enemy of the Constitution prior to Obama has been so eager to do so much, so fast,
with so little regard for the Constitution, as the current president; perhaps no
other president has studied Socialist manifestos for so long, gathered to himself
so tight a group of Socialist radicals, and then fooled, bamboozled, and zombi-fied
so many voters than this one.

You see, the CONSTITUTION is the only line in the sand that the American
people HAVE to protect them from Tyranny, Totalitarianism, and, yes, the
RADICAL SOCIALIST AGENDA. Ignore THAT foundational document -- the document written
by the Founders of our country whose primary AIM was to prevent bloated, abusive
government -- and Congress and the Administration can do absolutely whatever they
choose. THAT DOCUMENT is the only weapon any American citizen HAS in the fight to
keep Government off our backs and out of our bank accounts.

Any clear, unbiased reading of the Constitution will show that this Administration,
and this Congress, are far, far LEFT of the designs and intentions of the Founding
Fathers. And as the people are beginning to wake up and realize this -- as we've
seen now in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Virginia -- then the fight to unseat
these Enemies of the Constitution will become more and more pronounced.

Will the fight become a military one? Will a commander in some segment of America's
military take his Oath seriously enough to use the military means at his disposal to
DEFY this Enemy of the Constitution? Worse yet, will there be fighting in the
streets, as a new wave of Federal marshals fan out across the country to enforce
Socialist mandates, and Freedom-loving Americans bring out their guns and resist?
This country was born in blood, and Apathy has brought us again to the point where
this is indeed a serious question.

With God as my witness, I sincerely hope not. "The pen is mightier than the sword",
and may it be so, now... Here are my predictions for the next couple of years:
We will see more Massachusetts-style defeats of Democratic AND Republican
"Progressives"; we will see STATES standing up to this Enemy of the Constitution,
suing the Fed over their mandates; and as a result we will -- finally, 145 years
after the Civil War -- see States taking back MUCH of the power yielded to the Fed
ever since then...

Hopefully, the TRUE America is making a comeback; but if it happens it will only be
because the appropriate Supremacy has been given back to
The Constitution of the United States of America.