Right to Choose? Yes, Sometimes…

       

Oddly enough, the majority of those who believe in the “right to choose” are the first to want to stop someone from choosing whether or not to join a union.  I always find it frustrating to see those who are for civil rights and liberties when it’s for themselves turn so quickly to want to take away someone else’s right to make a decision.

Before, during, and after the Right to Work legislation in Michigan was passed, opponents have tried to reason their anti right-to-choose stance on the issue.  What is clear is they feel everyone should be forced either to join the union or pay money to the union in order to get a job. 

The reasoning on a basic level makes sense, I guess, if you were consistent on issues and there were not political contributions involved.  The fact the union bargains for wages and benefits is fine, and it’s understandable they would want everyone to pay their share because they worked the deal.  However, that is not exactly all that is going on here.   

What RTW does is allow those who don’t want to join a union for any reason, do not have to.  What politicians that oppose RTW know is the endorsements and especially the amount of money that will be given to their campaigns will likely drop.  In some cases the drop will be dramatic I’m sure.  No longer do folks who don’t agree with certain political views have to give money to those candidates. 

As with most things these days, what the liberals can’t understand is how those workers would want to decide those things for themselves.  Choice is something they only want when it is convenient or in their own best interest. 

One more case of “If you don’t agree with us, you don’t deserve to say anything”.

The worst part of this in the short-term was the violence and overall ridiculous behavior by some as the bill was passed yesterday.  As usual, if you don’t agree with these people, they can do and say whatever they want to or about you and not be held accountable. 

Our President practically encouraged their actions before hand and didn’t even condemn the violence afterward.

Is It Really So Complicated?

After reading more and more about our “fiscal cliff”, I can’t help but scratch my head and wonder… Is it really so complicated?

Are budgets at any level really so complicated? The answer seems fairly simple, right?  Or is it, since we begin in the right place with personal finances, groups, associations, organizations, etc?  Seemingly everywhere but government. 

When teaching children about money, how many of us begin with “buy what you want, then hope you have enough income, and if not, borrow the difference?”  If you do, there may be some government-like problems when you finish.  We start by putting a number representing income and making a list of things we must set aside money for. 

While I admit the following comparisons in general are overly simple, they are meant only to have us think in everyday terms about what is going on. 

Let’s take a look at our “needs”,  or things we must have such as food, lodging, transportation and so on.   This list should not include loaning money to neighbors, risky investments,  or paying for your co-worker’s past due bills when he chooses to invest every dime he has unwisely.  These are the items we will build our budget around.  We must choose “needs” that fit our income.  Obviously, if our net income is 5k monthly, we cannot spend 4k on our housing.

Our government has made some mistakes we should avoid, thus a large amount of debt has piled up and continues to grow.  We have loaned billions to other countries (neighbors) for a variety of  reasons.  The problem is we have essentially loaned borrowed money for too long.  Millions upon millions of tax dollars have been spent (risky investments) on “green energy” companies.  Great idea until they filed bankruptcy and/or were bought by foreign businesses.  Bailing out every big business (co-worker’s bills) who has a difficult time or makes risky decisions is not a safe way to handle your budget either.  We have not lived “within our means” as a country for sometime.

And now to the wants.  Things that aren’t necessary for survival, but we enjoy.  Vacations, movies, a 52 inch flat screen tv.  You get the picture, I’m sure.  When all bills are paid, giving is done, savings needs met, we can then spend money on something we want.  One of the keys to this being last on the priorities list, is not promising others things we may not be able to afford.  Things come up (car and/or home repairs, medical bills, etc.) and while we try to prepare for all possibilities there are times we have to spend the “want” portion of our budget on “needs”.  We don’t decide not to pay the electric bill in order to buy the video game we promised our child.

Our government, in many cases, works from the middle out or bottom up with regard to priorities.  Many times the decisions to spend (which happens a lot) or cut (which doesn’t happen much) depends on political promises rather than what is truly best for our country.  There are always good reasons for choosing to spend tax dollars (if you ask the person or group electing to spend it) for one thing or another.  We just need a better working budget in order to properly prioritize.  The problem seems to be a lack of willingness to put the “needs” before the “wants”. 

 

Believe or Not 2

Sequels are usually not my thing, but after seeing a couple of stories last night and reading further today, I can’t help myself.

In North Carolina several days ago a 6-year-old girl was told she could not use references to “God” in her veterans day poem.  Once again “separation of church and state” law is cited in a further attempt to keep God out of everywhere.  This time, however, is a little different .  This time a young citizen of the United States of America has been denied her right to free speech.  She wasn’t reading a poem written, endorsed, recommended, etc. by a teacher or administrator at her school.  She wasn’t asking others to “believe in God” or “accept Jesus as Savior”, she was simply passing on stories of her veteran Grandfathers. 

And once again, like a broken record, I will tell you this was not the intent of separating church and state. 

I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t see a poem from a 6-year-old as being a mandate from any government agency for a state endorsed religion.  I also think it is safe to say those who would complain or be “offended” by the reading of this poem don’t either. 

So for those people, choose not to believe if you will, but have the tolerance with those who do that you are constantly asking for from others. 

Something to remember: When we vote, we must consider these types of issues.  Not because our legislators or political figures can have much effect on how courts interpret the constitution, but because appointments to the Supreme Court always do.

Believe or not…

This morning I read the AP article outlining the recent developments in the Montana court case regarding the statue of Jesus at a ski resort. Below is an excerpt from the article.

“A lawsuit seeking the removal of a Jesus statue near a Montana ski resort will go on after a national group of atheists and agnostics produced a local member who says he is offended by the religious symbol whenever he swooshes down the slopes.”

Published November 29, 2012
Associated Press

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the true spirit of  “the seperation of church and state.”  After reading this article I want to add a point or two and raise a couple of questions.

First of all if you believe in “nothing” why would you care what kind of statue was anywhere? Does this mean Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, or Spiderman would also offend you? I know that is a little silly, but follow this logic for a moment. To anyone who doesn’t recognize Jesus as anything other than a “character” in a book or even “just another human being” his statue should not be offensive. Would those same people be offended by a life-sized replica of any of the other aforementioned “characters”? 

I am a little amazed (although less each day) by some who seem to constantly be looking for a fight for causes which cost others money and in the end really don’t accomplish anything. 

I would also say to those of you who claim to believe in nothing or don’t believe in God… Study in order to make informed decisions about these things.  If after that you still feel the same way, there is no reason to make such a big deal of it.  No one is trying to force you to believe by having a Jesus statue, putting up a Christmas tree or nativity, or displaying the ten commandments (which is actually a pretty good set of rules to live by whether you agree with the origin or not).

Looking Back to Move Forward

 

  

Through a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and into the following week I have realized even more this year how much we have to be thankful for.  Regardless of our political, social, economic, or religious differences, we have much about being an American to be thankful for. 

While lately, due to a recent election season, we have noticed our differences more than similarities, we are still all free. 

Looking at news around the world should remind us just how good it is to live here and how privileged we are to have choices.  Let’s not lose sight of what has allowed us as a nation to get here. 

For a couple of centuries we have been a country of people with similar ideals, core values, etc.  Why now does it seem so many are willing to abandon these things?  Is there really that much wonder in what is happening to our country when we look at what some would have us be. 

There are several reasons, but the one most affecting our culture overall has to be the view of the family.  In today’s America there are so many less “traditional” families than even 20 years ago.  We, as a society, are so tolerant, we refuse to point out things that are wrong or that effect society negatively. 

Everyone has the “right” to do whatever they like, and if you don’t like it you are prejudice or trying to take away someone’s rights, etc.  Seriously???  How about we all sit down together at dinner every evening, spend some time every Sunday doing something… or nothing together.  We might even benefit from sitting down to watch a television program together once a week. 

The social deterioration of our nation is obvious.  Things that were important to us years ago are no longer high on our list of priorities.  And now we have some “leaders” in politics who are taking advantage of this ever-changing view by helping people be dependent on our government. 

We need to work to get America back to being prosperous.  When most were working toward similar goals.  Certainly, one place to start to restore the values that made us great is the family.

When can you fight back?

At what point will the people of Israel be able to react to terrorism and not be condemned for it?  For over a decade Hamas has fired Rockets into Israel.  What would we (The United States of America) do if Rockets were being fired by terrorist into our cities from just across the border?  I believe we would first end the Rocket attacks immediately using any force necessary.  Then we would hunt down any and all those responsible for US casualties and “bring them to justice”. 

Many, apparently feel our friends in Israel should not be afforded the same rights we would allow ourselves.  Some have suggested it is Israel’s fault, others that Rockets being fired into Israeli cities has only psychological effects.  I would laugh at someone actually saying that if the reality of it weren’t so sad.  People have been killed (civilians including children), but so many are looking for a reason to blame Israel they ignore everything terrorist have done to them over the years.  It is truly unbelievable that we have people on television who would even suggest such things and worse that they don’t have to answer for it.

We need to start looking at things from the proper perspective.  Walk a mile in someone’s shoes and imagine what we would do. 

Is there any wonder what would happen if Iran was located in Mexico and was developing nuclear capabilities?  We would never allow this to happen.  Especially if Iranian leaders had so openly displayed such hate for us.  This is essentially the position Israel is in right now.  A country that wishes to wipe them off the face of the earth is working to develop nuclear weapons.  Terrorists are firing Rockets into its cities killing its citizens.  And other countries in the region seem to be joining its foes rather than helping stop the attacks

Americans and the world need to take a long look at what is going on and take a moment to consider what we would expect from our government and everyone else if in the same situation.

My head is spinning

Today I read through several online articles, blogs, etc. covering several issues.  What a day for information!  While I enjoy reading different views and comments, I have been dizzy the past hour trying to take it all in. 

Let’s start with the obvious.  Former CIA director, General Petraeus is visiting capitol hill today and giving testimony.  It is obvious there are many pieces to this puzzle and we can expect an almost daily revealing of new facts related to just the Benghazi part of the story.  Not to mention what may be learned in the coming days related to his personal life and national security. 

Today General Petraeus apparently stated he felt all along there was a terrorist element involved in the Benghazi attack.  He also said that he had nothing to do with the final talking points used by UN ambassador Rice on the Sunday shows.  And in fact what he had given the administration was much different from what was used.  We will eventually get to the truth in all of this as long as the two congressional committees involved ask the pressing questions and get answers.

Secondly, this is the day states were to make a decision regarding implementing “The Affordable Care Act” (ObamaCare).  There are many places to get information on this topic and even more places to get opinion.  What I find a little amusing is the use of words like fair, healthier, and more prosperous to describe the effect Obamacare will have on states and the nation.  Really???  More prosperous???  So, here is my challenge to the supporters of Obamacare.  Give me an example of a country using a similar system (socialized medicine) that we would consider prosperous.  Especially if there is one that wouldn’t be more prosperous if it didn’t have that type of program.  I could say much more about healthier and fair, but today I’ll leave it right here.

Finally, I want to address campaign promises.  Is it not odd that 2008 promises regarding the federal deficit and jobs were not kept, but we can all rest assured the promise of a tax increase on the wealthy will be.  It doesn’t take a political (or otherwise) genius to see what things are important to our President.  I hope he will work with everyone he can in order to improve things, but at this point hope is about all we have and there isn’t much of that left. 

Perhaps the weekend will give us all a chance to rest.  Monday will no doubt be as busy as today!