Thursday, March 25, 2010

Column for March 25, 2010

There are some things that government can do well. Just this morning, my wife was remarking about how efficient the Town of Selma is about picking up yard debris and other items left at the side of the road. This weekend we did a lot of needed yard work. We also have moved furniture, boxes, limbs, etc. to the curb and they were quickly removed.

Compare that to the road kill that never seems to get picked up along side the highways of North Carolina. I have literally seen deer carcasses rot away to nothing after laying around for a month or two. The state, it seems, is not as efficient at managing the minutia as a small town. This is true of most things the higher up you go in levels of government.

The national government is good at doing a few things. They seem to be good at fielding a military that is quite capable of blowing things up and killing people. That is what I want a military to be able to do. The government seems to be good at building roads, which is good for all citizens.

The national government is not, however, efficient at running people's lives for them. The Social Security system is about broke. The Post Office is broke. The Medicare system is broke. And yet the same government that has run these institutions into the ground now expects us to trust them with our health care system.

I went to bed in a free country and woke up in a socialist nation this morning. "Welkum to Amerika, Comrades" is my greeting to you all. 219 men and women who are either willfully ignorant of or blatantly disregard the Constitution of the United States have voted for and passed sweeping health care legislation that is sure to be signed into law. Forget the fact that most of them have not read the bill much less understand it.

Just about every week, I have joined two friends of mine and taught on the US Constitution and read line upon line the notes from the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Nowhere can I find a single line or even a hint that the government should assist with much less regulate how you seek medical care. For that matter, I do not see where the Social Security system or Medicare is legal, either.

In order to buy the votes of some so called "pro-life" Democrats, President Obama has issued an executive order (also nowhere to be found in the Constitution) prohibiting the use of federal tax dollars to fund abortions, even though such a provision exists in the law. Sorry, but law trumps a presidential edict. So much for being pro-life.

There are a couple of other things I found that government does well. First, spend money. I do not have a problem with the government spending money on principle. I do however, believe that the spending should be parsimonious, legal, and done with great wisdom. Waste, fraud, and abuse are rampant in our state and national governments. Unconstitutional spending abounds at the federal level. I am convinced that if the national government would just cease all spending not permitted by the US Constitution, our national debt and budget would diminish to a fraction of current status.

Second, government excels at taking away freedom. Whether it is Selma's attempt at controlling land outside its town limits with an extra-territorial jurisdiction expansion and forced annexation or the federal government regulating your health care options, government is good at chipping away at your liberty.

James Madison said, "All that seems indispensable in stating the account between the dead and the living, is to see that the debts against the latter do not exceed the advances made by the former." That is exactly what we have been doing in this nation since The New Deal under Franklin Roosevelt and further broadened under Johnson's Great Society. Now we have Obamacare and profligate spending with job bills and stimulus spending packages.

There is no way that we can continue this degradation in Amerika. We can not afford to go the way of socialized medicine, profligate spending, and redistribution of wealth. They have failed everywhere else in the world that they have been tried, so why, comrades, do we go down this same path here in Amerika?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Column for March 18, 2010

I am just ignorant and unenlightened. I did not know that until this week. I guess that would be the very definition of the words, though. So, what could this faithful, opinionated, gregariously misanthropic writer of newspaper columns be so ignorant and unenlightened about? A lesbian teenager, apparently.

National news outlets recently carried the story of a lesbian high school student from Mississippi that wanted to take her girlfriend to the prom. The school decided rather than capitulate, they would cancel the prom for everyone. Now this lesbian teenager is suing the school to reinstate the prom event and allow her to attend just as she desired.

It is sad that the school ended up ruining everyone's prom, but it was a prudent decision. First, the prom is meant for male/female couples and has always been so historically and traditionally. To endorse a disruption such as a lesbian couple would violate the very tradition they were seeking to uphold. Even worse, it would be endorsing a lifestyle that is unnatural, unholy, a public health nuisance, totally against the idea of abstinence education, contrary to the vast majority of the public's morals, and until recently illegal in many states.
Why would it fine to ban religion and prayer in schools but OK to allow sodomites to be on promenade? By canceling the prom, all students, not just a lesbian, gets the misery of not going to the prom. I would think that this would strengthen the position of the school against a lawsuit. Obviously the lesbian in question flaunted the idea prior to the prom, or the school would not have canceled it. There is now no prom from which to be barred.

I know of one person who disgustedly exclaimed that people just need to pray for the school administrators in this situation. I agree. We should pray for them. Others liken the stand against homosexual behavior to opposing the Civil Rights Movement and brand those like myself who oppose the homosexual rights agenda as ignorant, unenlightened fools. If you believe in prayer, you must also believe in the idea that homosexuality is a grievous sin and a behavior. Segregation because of skin color is one thing, but homosexuality is a choice of behavior, not a matter of being born with dark skin pigment.

I can not fathom being complacent, not minding such moral decay in our society. It is precisely such decay that led to the downfall of every major civilization in history. Am I intolerant of the homosexual rights agenda? You better believe it. We as a people need to be less tolerant, not more permissive on some issues. The "gay" (I hate the term "gay" since it is a hijacking of a once proper word. Now I can't hear "The Flintstones" theme song without cringing) agenda is one of those. I certainly do not want my children infected by tolerance of it, which is oft being pushed in society as well as in our schools. I applaud the school system in Mississippi for their willingness to take a stand. Tolerance of the homosexual agenda and moral decay is the real ignorance rather than withstanding it.

But Troy, you ask, how can a lesbian knowing who she is and just wanting to be herself be moral decay? Are we not in the 21st Century after all? What was once considered deviant, perverse behavior is now becoming mainstream and permissive. That most certainly is decay.

You may ask, "What business is it of the school's if a young woman wants to happily be a lesbian and attend the prom with her partner?" It is every bit their business. If the student wants to be a lesbian, that is her business. But to bring her demand of acceptance of said chosen perversion to the public school, paid for by the tax dollars of the majority, is a concern for everyone who paid tax dollars, everyone who works there, and everyone who either is or sends students to that school. I believe that the young lesbian has every right to be one if she chooses, but has zero right to flaunt it, promote it, or force acceptance of it upon school children. That is moral decay.

My hope is that we never have to deal with this same issue in our own schools here in our area. Alas, I believe it will happen, though. The flood is coming. The finger is out of the dike, so to speak.

Column for March 11, 2010

As a parent of a young child, I get a lot of questions. "What?" and "Why?" questions abound. If my seven-year-old would only be able to ask "Who?", "Where?", and "When?", perhaps he could be drafted to be a reporter for The Selma News.
I have a lot of questions of my own. I have things I want to ask God when I see him face to face since He has not chosen to answer them for me here on Earth, in His Bible, or through other people. I have a lot of questions I would like to ask others, some of which are very private, others not so much. I got to thinking about some of the questions I would like to ask. Here are just some of them.

1. I would like to ask Barack Obama if he was allegedly a constitutional scholar and professor, why does he attempt so many things that he should know are totally against the Constitution of the United States?

2. I would like to ask the English as a Second Language class (ESL) candidates in front of me at the Wal-Mart check out if they can comprehend the sign that says "20 Items or Less"?

3. I would like to ask the check out lady at Wal-Mart why she lets potential ESL students violate the 20 item principle?

4. I would like to ask the same ESL couple dressed in designer, name brand (I read the obvious labels) clothes that paid for some groceries with a WIC voucher and then whipped out a one hundred dollar bill from a stack of money to pay for the rest of their groceries why they deem it appropriate for taxpayers to pay for their groceries when they obviously have the means to do so themselves?

5. I want to ask some child abusers I know that if I stop beating them violently about the face and head, will they stop beating their children?

6. I want to ask Fox Networks and 19 Productions what they were thinking when they hired Ellen DeGeneres to be a judge on "American Idol"?

7. I want to ask gun control advocates what part of "shall not be infringed" don't they understand?

8. I want to ask those same gun control advocates how they plan on defending themselves against criminals when police officers are not around, when 911 response time is more than it takes to rob and kill them, and criminals who disregard such laws are armed?

9. I also want to ask those same gun control advocates that if people kill other people with baseball bats and cars, why they don't try to ban people from driving to the sporting goods store?

10. I want to ask extremist Muslim leaders that recruit and encourage young Muslim followers to blow themselves up and hopefully kill others in the process that if the rewards for doing so are so great and the action so noble, why they don't lead by example?

11. I want to ask credit card companies if their customers can not afford to pay the minimum balance, what makes them think that customers would then be able to pay the full balance as demanded when they get behind in their bills? Not that I have this problem, but it makes me wonder.

12. I want to ask Congress and the State Legislature if we citizens have to abide by a budget and can not afford to spend money, why they think that they can do so ad infinitum?

13. When my seven-month-old gets to be about ten years old, I want to ask him what he was trying to say when he made all sorts of cute baby sounds?

14. I want to ask God what useful purpose cicadas serve?

15. I want to ask Calvinist theologians why they think that their views are predestined and those of Arminians are not, since that would directly contradict that doctrine? If Arminians are predestined to not believe in predestination, does that negate the accuracy of the predestination position? Was I predestined to ask that question or did I do so of my own free will?

16. I want to ask Al Gore if he actually still believes in global warming and if he thinks that we are all really that stupid?

I still have a ton of questions. I have too many to type for this one column. I literally think of things like this as I drive around town or to work, and
while trying to fall asleep at night. Perhaps I need to keep my voice recorder or a notepad with me at all times so that I can make note of all such questions in the future.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Column for March 4, 2010

Just like a bad penny, some things just keep showing up. The federal government take over of the health care system is one of those things. The problem is that we have to be incessantly vigilant against such intrusions and control. Every single time it comes up, we have to say "NO!" It only takes one single time to say "Yes" and we are permanently hosed. Government intrusion is not limited to the feds, however.
Just like the health care take over, the Town of Selma is again seeking to extend its tentacles of control into more unincorporated territory in the county. Johnstonians as far as two whole miles away from the town limits may wind up beholden to this little town. This is repulsive to the principles of American freedom and is patently unethical. There is absolutely no way that a town this small geographically and in population should be allowed to control territory greater than its corporate limits just because it wants to.

The bottom line is that there is but one reason a town would extend its planning jurisdiction, regardless of the fallacious arguments about wanting development consistent with it's own. The reason is to be a precursor to forced annexation. I have read the statutes on extraterritorial jurisdiction. The entire context of having an ETJ is for the future expansion of a town.

Once again, this unfair, unaccountable, and unethical issue has come up like the proverbial bad penny. The concept of an ETJ amounts to regulation without representation. People are subjected to the regulatory whims of the town even though they live outside the corporate limits and have zero voting capability for those who make such regulations. The only representation that they do get is on the Planning Board, which is an advisory board only.

This is one of the very frustrations that led me to take the decision to not seek another term on that board. During my travels, I sometimes run across current and former members of Selma's Planning Board. To a person I hear the complaint that they feel/felt like they are/were wasting their time. Regardless of the recommendations of the board, there is no binding authority behind decisions taken. Sure, a few ideas may be taken into consideration to help shape the town's zoning ordinances, but I personally have a hard time reconciling the idea of taking personal freedom away from people. I have read too much behind the Founding Fathers to be a partaker in abridgment of freedom.

Make no mistake. I have no issue with the work of the Planning Board and the Planning Director to simplify the town's zoning ordinances. They needed to be simpler and clearer. However, I take great umbrage at the idea of exercising control over people outside the town limits who have absolutely no say or sway in a Republican government. People, we fought a war over ideas like that.

My plea to the town council and mayor would be to please stop exerting control where you have no business controlling. Honor the freedom of those outside the town. Do not even think about setting up forced annexation in years to come. Let freedom reign. The county already has planning laws and the they are fairly consistent with the town's.
A reason such as bringing the zoning of outlying territories into close approximation to Selma's is a moot one. I have seen the maps and compared. I served on the Planning Board when this came up the first time. Heck, I even commented that if we are going to look towards the proposed ETJ map then we should assign zoning similar to its present use and as congruent as possible to our own zoning. Right after that, I refused to vote in favor of the adoption of said map so that I would not be a party to extending the tentacles of control where they do not belong. I thought that if we were going to move in a direction I abhor, then the town should at least do it right.

In order to preserve freedom, each and every time some immoral plan like this comes forward, we have to say "No!" It is much like saying no to personal temptation. It only takes one time of saying yes to fall into sin, or in this case, institute a soft tyranny.