Posts Tagged ‘Constitution


Why Is Healthcare a Important Moral Issue & Not Abortion

In the wake of Senator Ted Kennedy’s passing, President Obama (using the death of the Senator as a political tool) said:

[Kennedy] repeated the truth that health care is decisive for our future prosperity, but he also reminded me that ‘it concerns more than material things.’ ‘What we face,’ he wrote, ‘is above all a moral issue; at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.’

Pro-lifers have been saying the same thing about abortion for years, but liberals turn a blind eye to that grotesque, inhumane practice and pretty it up under the guise of personal rights (of the mother, that is, not the baby who’s having his/her life ripped away prematurely).

It is a strange and twisted day when we call reforming healthcare (the access to which is not a right) an act of “social justice” while at the same time we are tolerating the wholesale discard of human life (which is an inalienable right along with liberty and the pursuit of happiness).


Going To a Land Down Under: Kiwi? Aussie?

Who’s been a very naughty blogger? Who? WHO? (You, Joshie Joshie, You)

Actually it is true that blogging has greatly lost its luster for me (but, no, this blog did not die with Michael Jackson). Facebook and Twitter are way too time consuming and pretty much fulfill my longings for pontification. But I think the ol’ Smoak House still has a few good ones in her. Let see what we can conjure up today.

Here is something Lyndsay and I have talked over and thought about a lot lately. Nothing major is going to happen in the very near future but it could happen one day. No, I am not talking about parenthood.  I am talking about moving to another country.

We have not packed our bags yet, but the reason we have discussed this is for the very simple fact that HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF. I refuse to be one of the foolish ones who forget that. You all know where I am going with this. The Obama administration has made great and frightening strides toward Socialism in the last seven months.  I could not have predicted the swiftness with which he would put the hammer down.  Now I love studying history. In so doing I have seen what happens when governments take over the everyday aspects of commerce and people’s personal lives. I read of a Hitler who plunged an entire nation into ruin and hatred (Nazism was a Socialist movement); I have studied a Stalin who oppressed and murdered his own people. I have seen Socialism and Communism destroy, maim, oppress, and murder. I have never seen them actually work. I refuse to live under any version of either system. I will not subject my wife or any of our future offspring to such evil and tyranny. I can not let my family suffer under the type of single-payer healthcare system Obama wants to implement. I can not let my family suffer through a dead-in-the-water economic system that could result from the impending collapse of the U.S. dollar. I would rather leave the country. Chances are there are some who would rather I do so. 😉

But on a lighter note, what country should we move to if it were to come to that? Well by most accounts New Zealand and Australia seem to be good choices. They are ranked high in the world in terms of personal freedom, low government intrusion, and free market capitalism. There are a few differences though. New Zealand is a small island with some great natural resources, but not many. Kiwis must import many, many goods and thus they are more subject to dependence on foreign nations. Not necessarily a bad thing but something to consider. Australia on the other hand is in a little bit better position on that front. Also it stands to reason that more jobs would be available in a larger country like Australia. Plus it is its own continent. That’s just awesome! Keep in mind that I do not know minute details of either, only what I have read on the internet and heard from talking to people. So I would love to be educated by anyone who knows more.

There would be some non-economic/non-political details to consider as well. First of all, there’s the speech of those who live down under. A Georgia boy would tend to stick out like a sore thumb in a conversation. After living there for a time there’s a good chance that I would pick up some of the accent. I would rather maintain my southern speech but I am afraid there is just no way around it. The way I talk would most certainly change. Can you imagine me saying “g’day, mate?”  Oh brother.

Then there’s the problem of Christmas in the summer time. Yes, the seasons in the southern hemisphere are flip-flopped. Our fall and winter here is spring and summer down under and vice-versa. That means that December 25 is right smack in the middle of summer. It would be hard singing Jingles Bells while applying sunscreen.

What do you think? Australia? New Zealand? Some other place?  Let me hear from you.


U.S. Senators’ “Trust Busting”–Why?

I recently posted to Twitter an article from reporting that a group of Senators have sent a letter to the FCC urging it to consider regulating device/carrier exclusivity deals in the mobile device industry. The most obvious one that comes to mind is the iPhone deal between Apple Inc. and AT&T. If you want an iPhone you need AT&T. However Apple and AT&T are not, by any means, the only companies with such a deal.

There is a term in the business world that explains what agreements like these create: a competitive advantage. A competitive advantage is any inherent or created edge that a company possesses that sets it apart from its competitors. A competitive advantage may be created by partnering with another company.

First of all, the only Constitutional power given Congress that is even remotely related to business is the regulation of interstate commerce (Article I, Sect. 8, Clause 3). This enumerated power applies to commerce between states or with foreign powers. Phone/carrier exclusivity deals do not fall into either category.

On the night of Obama’s election to the presidency I wrote an article borrowing heavily from “Nineteen Eighty-Four” imagery. At the time I considered that perhaps I was too hasty had not given the new president enough time to prove himself. Well within the first six months of what is sure to be a long and grueling term, he has proven me right. And now it seems that liberals (and big government folks in general) are emboldened by the leftist presence in the Oval Office.


Federal Takeover of GM and Chrysler

Today I was pondering the possible implications of the Government’s ownership of two of this nation’s largest auto manufacturers. Part of having a realistic outlook on any situation is being able to see the possible long-term effects of a given decision. Unfortunately the Washington establishment can not learn this lesson. All they seem to care about is what works right now and screw the future effects.

First of all Obama has stated that the federal government (except when it comes to the “most important” decisions in the company) will stay out of the way of the new GM execs. I say, FAT CHANCE. Does this sound like the federal government to you? All citizens have been saying for decades is stay the heck out of our business yet the government encroachment on our lives has only grown. This is a pipe dream, Obama. Anytime the government is given an inch it will always, without fail, take a mile.

Second of all it has been promised that the $50 Billion in taxpayer dollars that has gone toward this effort will be paid back. That of course is another Obama pipe dream in itself. But this also means that the government (namely Obama because it could effect his political legacy) has a direct stake in making sure the new GM is a success. And with the U.S. Treasury backing him there is no limit to the money Obama could throw at the new GM. Our money.

And with the U.S. Treasury backing the new GM this means the company can undersell any other non-government-controlled company. And with political success hanging in the balance the government has motivation to see to it that it does. Imagine an America where Toyota, Honda, and other foreign auto makers have pulled out of the American market because they can not compete against “Government Motors.” And where domestic auto makers like Ford have been sunk for the same reason. Who will we buy cars from? Let that sink in.

I know God is in control. I am not afraid of what the future holds. I just can not understand which part of “obey the constraints of the Constitution” is so blasted hard to understand.


Becoming Cynical about Government: A Personal Journey

I love America. That’s why I study American history as a hobby. I am amazed at what unbelievable success this great experiment has had. We rose from a rag-tag group of loosely associated states to the world’s greatest and richest superpower.

I first started paying attention to America’s greatness when I was in school. I do not remember what grade I was in but it was early. I remember a particular social studies class in which the teacher began the lesson by asking “Which is the most powerful country in the world?” A few hands went up and the students offered a few answers. I could see that other students were thinking about the question. I raced through all of the great countries I could think of. Let’s see, there’s Russia. It’s really large and didn’t we have a cold war thing with them? And Japan. Like Marty McFly said “All the best stuff’s made in Japan.” England. England’s pretty important isn’t it?

The teacher eventually gave us the correct answer, “The United States of America.” It is strange to say but I was shocked. I can remember this sense of wonder as I thought “Really? My country holds the distinguished honor of the most powerful nation in the whold world?” I had never thought of it before.  And I was blessed to be born and raised here.

Ever since then I have had an extreme pride in my country. I believe the founding fathers were great and brilliant men who understand the grave task they faced in designing a government system that would insure freedom for all. After all they were pledging their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for the purpose of doing so. I have always prayed for and sought to give my opinion to my elected representatives and have trusted them thinking that they (whether or not their were on the correct side of the aisle) were interested in freedom as much as me and as much as the founding fathers.

However somewhere along the line I become distrustful of the federal government. There was a time when I would scoff at folks (usually older people) who would make wisecracks about crooked politicans. Yes, there are some bad, bad men in Washington but you can not call an entire class of American citizens corrupt. But I have begun to see what they mean. Except for a precious few it seems that every single politician is out for one single solitary goal: Not to insure freedom, not to protect liberty, not to serve Americans, but…

to get re-elected.

It is a sad but true fact. Every government program, every photo op, every spending program, every campaign promise, it seems, is the work of men trying to stay gainfully employed. Nothing more. I can see no other reason for such wreckless dismissal of Constitutional law and principles as we see today. Therefore I have joined the lot of Americans who eye politicians suspiciously. I do want to be this way but I feel that I can not walk through life a blind dolt. And I do not think the President or any members of Congress are actively trying to institute socialism or to erode individual freedoms but their vote-buying schemes and programs lead to that end. They either do not see it or do not care.

Furthermore the modern federal government of America has destroyed the sovereignty of the individual states and governors and legislatures have stood by and let it happen! I am sorry but what is good for Massachusetts is not necessarily good for Georgia. And what is good for Georgia may not be good for Iowa. There are only a handful of issues that would need to be regulated across state lines and these are thoroughly described and outlined in the Constitution. Every other issue should be a state and local decision. If the people of Georgia vote that they do not want abortion performed here then that is the way it should be. This is not a Federal issue. If the people of the Peach State do not want homosexual marriage nor do they want to recognize it then it is their prerogative to vote it to be so and there is nothing the Federal government should have to say about it.

Unfortunately most state governors and legislators seem to be kowtowing to the almighty, all-powerful federal government. As an aside, this is why I am supporting Ray McBerry for governor of Georgia because he not only upholds Conservative Constitutional principles but he believes that a state’s governor should also be the one to protect his state from an encroaching federal government through interposition.

I still believe America is the greatest country in the world and the best place to be and live. This is why I still fight to preserve the Constitution that makes it so. Sometimes that means putting pressure on very ones who have been elected to do that!


Ebryonic Stem Cells Are Not in the Constitution

In August 2001, former President George W. Bush used the presidential Executive Order to restrict federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Today (March 9, 2009) President Obama issued a presidential tag-back with an Executive Order of his own reversing Bush’s Executive Order. Sounds like the White House has its very own nanny-nanny-boo-boo going on.

Why does this story stir up in me the inclination to march around Washington with a sign reading “HAVE YOU ACTUALLY HEARD OF THE 10TH AMENDMENT?” If the First Amendment is the most important amendment (which I think it is) then the Tenth Amendment is a close second:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

This wonderful statement basically means the Constitution has told all involved with the government of the United states of America exactly what is required of them. And if there is still any doubt or if any issue arises which the Constitution does not address then let the states or the people decide.

No where does the Constitution give the President or Congress the right to make laws concerning scientific research (there is also no clause giving government the right to even fund scientific research but that is a discussion for another day). And since the appropriation of federal funds concerns the use of taxpayer dollars then the people should be allowed to vote on the issue.

The issue could be stated on the ballot simply: Allow taxpayer dollars to be appropriated to embryonic stem cell research–yes or no. Voting yes means you are fine with it and voting no means that you do not want your dollars used that way. Count the votes, problem solved, constitutionally. Or if they like it can be on a state by state basis. The same ballot mentioned above may be used in this scenario as well. If a state passes the bill then taxpayer dollars from citizens from that state may be used for embryonic stem cell research funding. If another state does not pass the bill then monies from taxpayers in that state may not be used.

Instead we see President Obama and even former President Bush using the tyrannical and unconstitutional Executive Order which allows a president to be king for a day. A president may issue an Executive Order which must be carried out the same as a law and to which there is usually no Congressional resistance. If it smells like a monarchy…

This issue, along with abortion and gay marriage, should not be decided by politicians or presidents or even self-righteous judges. These federal bodies have no jurisdiction or authority in the Constitution to decide such matters. These and many other issues should be decided by the states or the people.

Politicians, for all their heartstring-plucking, We-the-People rhetoric, do not seem to know much about the most important “We the People” amendment, the Tenth Amendment.


Stimulus Bill: Isn’t Obama Supposed to Give Us Five Days?

Pop the cork on the champagne! Invite friends over for finger foods and a barbeque. No, not because the dreadful “economic stimulus” bill passed, but because we have now seen Obama break his first major campaign promise. Welcome to the White House, Barack.

During the presidential campaign President Obama boasted that his would be America’s “most transparent” administration ever. And to that end he declared that for any major piece of legislation that comes to his desk he would allow the public five days to read and review and ask questions about that legislation before being signed. Congress passed the stimulus bill on Friday, February 13. He is going to sign it Tuesday, February 17. So I pulled out my handy-dandy calculator and that adds up to less than four days (and that includes a weekend and a holiday).

Now you and I both know that first of all that is not how our legislative system is supposed to work. The people elect folks to represent them and they are to be responsible and carry out the principles of the Constitution and self-government on behalf of their constituents. We will hold them accountable by our voting. But even still, when a man makes a promise you would hope that he has the integrity to keep it whether or not the promise was necessary. Let us not kid ourselves. Let us call this campaign promise what it really was: political hype and the tickling of gullible voters’ ears. He said it to get elected.

Of course this is not the first piece of legislation on which he has reneged on this particular promise. Remember the socialistic child healthcare bill that was signed into law a several weeks ago? Same situation. It passed and then bang-zoom it was signed into law by President Obama. But I gave him a pass on that since he did say that his promise referred to “major legislation.” I guess he gets to decide what is major and what is not. But surely by all accounts this behemoth stimulus bill would fall squarely into the “major” category.

Josh H.


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