Friday, May 29, 2009

Column for May 28, 2009

Should you be required to own property in order to vote in this nation? "Preposterous", you say, "not in America! That is totally against the fabric of our nation's founding!" Believe it or not, this is a long debated subject that goes back over 200 years.

The Founding Fathers had heated debates about whether or not to include requirements such as property (land) ownership in order to be able to cast a vote. Personally, I believe that to be of great benefit and merit to a nation. I believe it would especially benefit us here in North Carolina, in Johnston County, and in little old Selma.

In August of 1787, the Philadelphia Convention was meeting to discuss their first outline of the revised constitution. It was the middle of summer 212 years ago in a building with no air conditioning. The doors and windows were all shut and the drapes drawn closed. Men were hot in their temperature as well as demeanor. And representatives of the several states were debating the merits of various proposals line upon line, precept upon precept.

One of the principal architects of the Constitution, Gouverneur Morris (that was his name, not his title) of Pennsylvania argued strongly for land ownership as a requisite for suffrage. Benjamin Franklin argued against the concept, lauding the common man and the responsibilities for the elected to not limit the freedoms of the electors (voters).

Which view is correct? Is it legal to restrict who can vote? In the Constitution, we presently have provisions that one can not be denied the right to vote based upon race, sex, and failure to pay a poll tax for anyone over the age of 18. However, there is no provision that says you must own property. Nor is there the provision that you can not be denied the right to vote if you do not own property.

Here is the wisdom and how it applies to us. Here in Selma, the last statistic I heard was that 61% of the residents are renters. That means that only 39% of the potential voters directly feel the bite of property taxes for the town and county. Why should someone who does actually pay taxes in this town be able to vote for someone who is going to determine the level of taxes the minority of us property owners pay? Is that fair? I say not, since they do not have a reasonable self-interest in how residents are taxed.

I also feel the same way about income taxes. Should anyone who does not actually pay income taxes be able to elect those who will set the income tax rates and determine how tax dollars are spent?

People who receive public tax money for their livelihood are dependent upon the entity from which they receive their stipend. Therefore, if these same people are eligible to vote, they will elect those who will most likely continue to support them financially. This is the insidious plan that has been in place since the 1960's. Enslave people financially and they will vote against the interest of the masses for their own benefit. A suckling pig will not voluntarily diminish its food source.

The term disfranchisement was used even in 1787. The term was not invented in 2000 when some falsely accused George W. Bush of "stealing an election". The term was then used in regards to placing qualifications on the right to vote. The term of "taxation without representation" was a long used battle cry in the young nation and part of the reason for the revolution. Just as bad, however, is "representation without taxation".

That last concept was not lost on some of the states in the 1700's. There were indeed such restrictions or qualifications for people to be able to cast a ballot. Their reason was much the same as mine; that people who pay taxes actually have an interest in how the government that extracts such taxation uses said monies.

I am under no illusion that we will ever see such qualifications for the right to vote in this nation, state, county, or town. I would settle for having all who would cast a ballot considering the good of the whole population rather than their own dependencies. That sort of thinking has gotten us career politicians, higher taxes, insane government spending, massive debt, and corruption. Some of our Founding Fathers had great wisdom...but that wisdom is lost unless we are willing to learn from them.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Column for May 21, 2009

United States being prepared for the New World Order and the end times

Sometimes I can relate to the Prophet Jeremiah of ancient Israel. He had a job given to him by God to speak words of warning to a rebellious nation. The sad thing is that he was even told that his words would not be heeded. He uttered words of warning without much effect on a nation headed towards destruction.

Over a year ago, I got a feeling of impending calamity that was greater than usual. I had been sounding warnings not only in the political arena but also in the church world for years. In case you are wondering why I would interest myself in both subjects, I will quote one ministry that I have heard numerous times on a radio program. "Politics determines how we live here on earth. Religion determines how we will live forever."

I have known for years that the nation was going to slide towards immorality and financial ruin. I knew it by simply watching the government and our nation as a whole. I also saw the same thing by watching the state of the church in America. As the churches go, so go the people, and so goes the nation. Years ago, we all saw prominent ministers with huge television followings fall and a decay in moral standards in the church in general. In recent years, sexual immorality has plagued ministers. Catholic priests, famous personalities, and not so famous ministers alike, some of whom I have known personally, have fallen into sin with sex and money.

This past year, I have really shied away from prolific writing, blogging, talk shows, and message forums for which I had become known and to which I dedicated a lot of my time. The time to see what I had warned against was going to come to pass and quite frankly I did not want to pop a blood vessel spending the energy dwelling upon such.

I have been reading up on church history lately. As I have stated in this very column, I have also been reading a lot of American history and founding documents, especially behind those who wrote those documents. The more I read, the more I am amazed at how warnings have come for literally hundreds of years and yet people do not respond. Nor do they recall history.

I truly attempt to tread lightly on the church history and warnings against abuses in Christendom, using wisdom where I can. Sometimes, however, I just have to stomp on a few grapes and become the winepress. In politics, I have a similar tendency to be blunt but have a more reckless attitude. Believe it or not, the two are oft intertwined.

Just Monday, I was reading the notes on the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Rufus King warned on August 7th, "A great vice in our system was that of legislating too much." I have decried greatly legislation that even our own Congressman has sponsored. I have decried state legislation that has limited liberty and punished average people. I have decried local government regulation that extended authority, curbed freedom, and taxed the citizenry greatly. Obviously, this is not a new concept, considering that Rufus King uttered that warning almost 221 years ago.

I believe in fairness, so I will not point a finger exclusively at the Obama Administration on the nation level, or at the Perdue Administration on the state level. When George W. Bush was pushing legislation running up debt at an unprecedented level, I squawked. When I saw the effort to double the national debt (which had taken more than two centuries to accumulate) in just the first 100 days in office I squawked about the Obama Administration, too. Obama proposes to double the debt again within 10 years and in his own words, is "unsustainable".

In some trains of theological thought, there will be a one world dictatorship and a one world economic system. The fact is that this could never happen with an America that is economically strong. We could only succumb to this idea if we were in a position of great weakness. If this is theologically accurate, then I can see that this nation is being set up to accept just that very thing.

Just as Jeremiah had to watch Nebuchadnezzar besiege Israel, I have felt as he did in watching my country being besieged, just by other means.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Column for May 14, 2009

Determine your core values and stand thereupon

A friend of mine commented to me a few days ago that she thought I was a Libertarian, meaning a member of that political party. I must admit that many of their beliefs fall within my scope of opinion. There are some views, however, with which the Libertarian Party and I diverge.

I had commented upon my support for Chad Adams for the chairman's position for the Republican Party of North Carolina. I left the Republican Party several years ago because I saw a serious leftward slide in the party, lack of local support at the county level for local candidates, and a general malaise amongst the GOP leadership.

I have met Chad, corresponded with him, and read behind him for several years. He and I have many of the same values when it comes to the role of government, the size of government, and personal freedom. I had commented more than once that if Chad wins the chairman position, I may just be persuaded to rejoin the Republican Party.

Chad is not necessarily a politician, but he is what I consider to be a core values sort of guy. He is what he is and sticks by his beliefs. I am very much the same way. I have values applicable to politics, religion, family, and most other facets of life. My values have been forged over time, have been revised, and often extended as I have read, studied, prayed, and fellowshipped with others.

My core values, though many of them are similar to the Libertarian Party, are antithetical to that party's current platform. For instance, I am staunchly pro-life in the abortion debate. When standing for "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", nothing could embody that view more than standing up for the rights of the unborn. As a former fetus, I am glad that I am allowed liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and above those two, life. That is just one example, but it is one of my core values.

By the way, this is a core value that I did not always hold. It is one that came as a result of maturation, a total change of heart, God's grace, and logic. At one time, I was an ardent supporter of a woman's right to choose an abortion. I assented to this to the point where, and I am not proud to admit this, three of my own offspring were slaughtered in utero when I was a young, stupid heathen. This is just one reason that I am excited about the upcoming birth of my firstborn in about 10 weeks.

Core values can get you into a lot of trouble. They can also be the only way you can withstand with peace of heart. Core values can cost you a lot. They have me during my lifetime, and yet it is because of those losses that I have learned to stand firm.

I fellowship often with church people. I have said for years that one of the greatest parts of being a Christian is that you get to be around the saints of God. I have at the same time said that one of the worst parts of being a Christian is that you have to be around the saints of God. This dichotomy has at times made me gregariously misanthropic. Yeah…I know…but just look it up.

My core values in the faith have been tried. When years ago I was booted out of the very church congregation I co-founded, I had to stick by my convictions. It took years, but I have enjoyed a little slice of vindication in the past few months. Without those core values, how could I know I was doing the right thing when I stood firm?

My point is that in politics (just as in matters of religion, etc.), I have opinions. Those opinions are based upon careful consideration of what my core values should be. My friend who thought that I was a Libertarian because I was not a registered Republican recognized some values that were similar. I am libertarian in my views, meaning that I believe in liberty and the God who gave us our liberties. I am not Libertarian according to the so-called political party. My values make up who I am, not some party name.

Political parties come and go, slide to and fro in their platforms. I have resolved that my values, however, are forged and will stand. They may continue to be refined as I continue to age and mature as a man, but they will guide me nonetheless. If your political party has left you, then you are in good company. If your church denomination has left you standing on your core value beliefs and you watched their collective values slouch towards Gomorrah, you are in good company. Forge your values, then stand firm.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Column for May 7, 2009

Swine flu, government control, and your personal freedom

It is axiomatic that those who have power do not voluntarily relinquish it. Rather, those with power usually seek more of it. We have seen this as a society on all levels of life, whether it is business, small town government, state, or national government.

I have received scathing reviews for pointing these things out, though they should be plain as day even to a casual observer. Along with the warnings about power grabs have come real life examples. Yet I was called an alarmist, as if I was the little boy who cried wolf.

What happens when the wolf is indeed stalking his prey? What if the wolf was so cunning that he was able to take advantage of a diversionary scare in order to secure his position? Folks, that is exactly what we see going on right now.

I type this while coughing from time to time and sniffling. This is not to mention the lack of energy that comes from the onset of a head cold. And yet I don't mind saying that the current scare of the Swine Flu is no big deal. In fact, I am tired of hearing about it. Every day, every hour, newscasts are barraging us with fears of some mild strain of influenza. Why are we hearing so much about it? It is a mere scare tactic to condition sheeple into accepting government directed control for the sake of avoiding an epidemic. And the news media is soaking it up for a lazy sell in order to have something to report.

Amongst the clamor of the alarmist rants about an epidemic, I have actually heard health experts occasionally get their message through that the Swine Flu is nothing to worry about. In fact, there will be fewer cases of Swine Flu infections than normal influenza. And yet we hear the newest death toll each hour on the radio.

Scared sheeple will buy into the tactics and allow themselves to be controlled over something minor. Yet these same sheeple have criticized people like myself who have been warning about socialist incursions into our everyday lives.

I was told I was crying wolf about socialism and yet now the federal government owns huge chunks of General Motors, Chrysler, AIG, and Citi Bank at your expense. I was told I was crying wolf about attempts at gun control, yet I have read about legislative bill after bill that provide for stringent restrictions on your freedoms. I was told that I was crying wolf about the increasing control on what you can and can not express in public, and yet I read just this week about a mayor of a small town that had one of the town council members arrested for speaking his mind at a town council meeting. The list goes on and on, folks.

I am amazed at the hysteria over a mild strain of influenza by both the government and the media and yet there is no call for sealing off the southern border of the United States, which is where most carriers of this illness enter the country. Of course it would not be politically correct to call for that, since these same people are the ones who want wide open borders and do not mind an influx of people from third world nations full of disease.

In the Bible, in Matthew chapter 10, Jesus said, "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." That is a good principle to follow in life in general, not just in Christianity. We are told that there are "wiles of the devil". There are wiles of the world's system as well. One very effective wile is to scare people into accepting more and more control and to give up more and more freedom in the name of peace or safety. As Benjamin Franklin said, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

In the coming days, keep watching the news, keep listening to the tactics employed by the mainstream media, and watch what our governments at all levels do. You will see the Law of Entropy at work. It does not only apply to thermodynamics; it also applies to our society as well.