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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Such a short and sad life? Hardly without purpose

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My wife sent me this on Facebook. I have tracked down the original, and include here the excerpt she shared with me. It is offered in tribute to Trisomy awareness month, to all my friends with special children.

These special souls remind us that true love doesn’t need a reason. We often love others for what they give us – we love our children because they are cute, smart and high achievers; we love our spouse for the pleasure and contentment they …give us; we love our parents because they care for us. This is love, but it is not pure.

When a child is born that will never achieve worldly success, cannot provide the usual source of pride for her parents, all extraneous reasons to love her fall away and what’s left… is the purest love that there can be. These children are lovable not because of what they do for you, and not because of what they will one day become, but simply because they are.

These pure souls remind us what love should be. Only such a pure and holy soul can elicit such a pure and holy emotion. We can only stand in awe of them, and the parents and friends who care for them. And we can only thank them all, for giving us a glimpse of what true love really means.

(excerpt from Israel National News in answer to the question: If life has a purpose, what is the purpose of such a short and sad life?)

Written by Donnell

March 6th, 2010 at 10:28 pm

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Three-year-old upset over pop star

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I know a lot of people look at this as funny, and I even respect that point of view. As I watched this video, though, I became more and more disturbed. It is disturbing on one level that the family recorded it and put in on YouTube–and, of course, I’m contributing to that in a way by posting a link to it, so I have mixed feelings as well. Are you disturbed by it? Or just tickled?

Here’s what I really want to say, though: I also think there must be hundreds, thousands of young children who happened not to be recorded, but who are equally affected by the strong impact of the powerful images to which they are exposed via television, radio, the Internet, etc. Throughout most of human society, you could only be so close to a person in your immediate vicinity. We know, intellectually, that this person is really a stranger, a projection, but gut level the experience now available via mediated communication is almost indistinguishable from face-to-face interaction.

I realize that a three-year-old doesn’t have much by way of filters, and furthermore that she was already tired and cranky at this point, as the text that accompanies the video makes clear. Still: just because us older folks do a better job of covering how deeply media affect us, does that mean we are any less affected? How much of the stress that seems so pervasive in modern society comes from this simple effect? I read somewhere that, as a typical modern American, I meet more strangers in a week than my grandfather did in a lifetime. Add to that the fact that “meeting” someone via high-definition television can feel just as real as meeting all those strangers, and you get an equation for overload.

Written by Donnell

February 28th, 2010 at 1:55 pm

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My downfall

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Five Guys Burgers and Fries: the reason I cannot manage to be a vegetarian. Do you realize these folks initially wanted to just sell really good fries?

Written by Donnell

February 23rd, 2010 at 5:49 pm

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At least I’m high on the poll

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My wife informs me that she heard a poll reported on the radio which indicates most women prefer a man who is hairy, a bit of a geek, and a little overweight, so she is glad to know she is doing OK. I have mixed feelings about this.

Written by Donnell

February 23rd, 2010 at 1:50 pm

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The Mandated Health Insurance Outrage

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The Freeman is one of the great old bastions of liberty that more people should know about. As experts in economics, they have double-credibility that goes beyond mere idealism. They recently had an article entitled The Goal Is Freedom: The Mandated Health Insurance Outrage. It includes such on-target observations as these:

Who do these politicians think they are? Our lives are not theirs to dispose of.

Politicians love to sugarcoat their threats of force. So the Reid bill calls the mandate “shared responsibility.” To those who wonder by what authority the government can make us buy insurance against our will, the bill alludes to the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which gives Congress the power to “regulate … commerce among the several states.”

(Aside: that clause is the most misused in the Constitution, twisted to cover thousands of affronts to liberty through misapplication and propped up historically by the courts.)

After quoting from Reid’s bill to provide the “justification” for claiming the mantle of the Commerce Clause, The Freeman offers this observation:

In other words, for the sake of making the insurance market work better, we must be forced to buy coverage. How’s that for a justification?

It’s amazing how many fallacies can be stuffed into one argument.

I’ll mention one of them that had occurred to me also. The Feds claim authority to impose this under the Commerce Clause, yet under current law insurance companies are forbidden to compete across state lines. It is the exact opposite of interstate commerce.

Ironically, though, if they gutted everything else from the bill and substituted one item allowing interstate commerce, they would go a long way toward fixing the actual cause of our healthcare crisis, which is government interference in the first place. The ruling party will not do so, however; it gives up too much government control.

There is much, much more in the article, all meat. It’s definitely worth a thoughtful read.

Written by Donnell

November 22nd, 2009 at 9:56 am

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Medical care crisis? Get the blame right

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John Stossel astutely points out a key point that does not get aired in the mainstream media as it covers the debate in Congress about “reforming” the medical care system.

Advocates of government control want you to believe that the serious shortcomings of our medical and insurance system are failures of the free market. But that’s impossible because our market is not free. Each state operates a cozy medical and insurance cartel that restricts competition through licensing and keeps prices higher than they would be in a genuine free market. But the planners won’t talk about that. After all, if government is the problem in the first place, how can they justify a government takeover?

Are you surprised? This isn’t an uncommon pattern. Government caused the problem, then uses the problem to claim the need for even more control by the government so it can fix the problem.

Stossel concludes:

Many people are priced out of the medical and insurance markets for one reason: the politicians’ refusal to give up power. Allowing them to seize another 16 percent of the economy won’t solve our problems.

Freedom will.

I just have to say: amen.

Written by Donnell

November 19th, 2009 at 7:05 pm

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It lives!

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Has anyone ever resurrected a blog that has been sleeping this long? I don’t know. I thought about just starting from scratch, but there’s a lot of good material here, dated though it is. When someone posted here last, it was right around the election that brought us George W. Bush for the second time. Since then, we’ve had another election that brought us Barack H. Obama.

I don’t think we’ve learned much.

Still, it seems to me that disaffection with both major parties leaves an opening for people to consider that government may be the problem rather than the answer, and you don’t have to be a Reaganite to think so. It’s time again to examine ideas about liberty.

Here’s a podcast that briefly explains the moral basis for a modern approach to liberty: The Principle of Non-Aggression.

Play it right here:

In any case, we will repost some older posts that still have relevance, while leaving the original in place, just in case someone has linked to the original. Everything from here forward should be new.

Written by Donnell

November 18th, 2009 at 2:39 pm

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Feds poised to create food police–no joke

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We’re less than two months into the Obama administration, and I’m scared to death. I was no fan of Bush, either, nor of McCain, for that matter. It just seemed to be a question of which person was going to get to head the growth of Big Government.

Here we see one of the effects. HR 875 seeks to impose a level of legislation that will be, in the words of one writer, “devastating for everyday folks but great for factory farming ops like Monsanto, ADM, Sodexo and Tyson to name a few.” This is no exaggeration, folks. Read details at Campaign for Liberty and OpenCongress, then call your Congress critter and protest.

Check back here for updates through the following widget.

Written by Donnell

March 8th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Minn. driver kills dog, then sues owners for damage – Yahoo! News

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This one fall under the heading of “a lot of gall.” Minn. driver kills dog, then sues owners for damage – Yahoo! News. It also strikes me as legal stupidity. You’ll see in the story that his suit led to a countersuit. Did he not realize that this would happen? Who do you think is likeliest to win? I mean, geez.

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Written by Donnell

May 9th, 2008 at 6:59 am

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More details on committee vote

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The Knoxville News-Sentinel today published some details about the committee hearing in the Tennessee legislature on the bill to end discrimination against diplomas granted by church-related schools.

Since that article will only be available for a limited time (I think you have to pay for access after a few weeks for older stories), I wanted to report what they reported regarding how committee members voted.

Those voting for the bill were Reps. Harry Brooks, R-Knoxville; Jim Coley, R-Bartlett; Delores Gresham, R-Somerville; Beth Harwell, R-Nashville; Phillip Johnson, R-Pegram; Ron Lollar, R-Bartlett; Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga; Richard Montgomery, R-Sevierville; and John Mark Windle, D-Livingston.

Those voting no were Reps. Ulysses Jones, D-Memphis; Mark Maddox, D-Dresden; Tommie Brown, D-Chattanooga; Barbara Cooper, D-Memphis; Joe Towns, D-Chattanooga; Larry Turner, D-Chattanooga; and Les Winningham, D-Huntsville.

Do you notice a pattern? I really, really get sick of partisan politics.

The article also notes this:

Bruce Opie, legislative liaison for the Department of Education, told the committee that department officials “were a little overzealous” in deciding that homeschool certificates do not count as high school diplomas. [On the other hand,] “Do we get in the business of approving a diploma when we have absolutely nothing to do with oversight?” he said. “Under the law, we are told to stay completely out of (homeschooling).”

This is disingenuous at best, manipulative at worst. The actual text of the bill (technically an amendment) reads:

SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, Chapter 1, Part 1, is amended by adding a new section thereto, as follows:

Section 49-1-1__. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a student who has a diploma recognized under or awarded by § 49-50-801 or § 49-6-3050 shall be considered by all departments, agencies or entities of state government as possessing a valid high school diploma. This section shall not apply to state lottery proceeds as provided in title 49, chapter 4, part 9.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it.

Do you see anything in there that would require the DoE to “approve” diplomas issued by school that are not state-run? On the contrary, the bill simply requires state agencies to recognize as valid diplomas from schools that other sections of state law recognize as legal. How ludicrous would it be otherwise?

In fact, § 49-50-801 and § 49-6-3050 explicitly prohibit the state from approving or disapproving the teachers or curriculum. This new bill simply puts into law the common sense effect of that. If you can’t approve or disapprove the teachers or curriculum, what possible cause could there be for approving or disapproving the diploma? By trying to cast it as if this bill requires the DoE to approve of such diplomas, they are positioning themselves to de facto approve or disapprove of teachers and curriculum.

If they manage to pull this off, they put themselves in the position of regulating church-related schools without having to spend any state money on them. Enviable maneuvering, yes?

Imagine the parallel: the state of Tennessee recognize driver’s licenses from the state of Virginia as being legal, but since the Tennessee Highway Patrol has no control over the testing for such licenses they refuse to recognize those legal licenses as being valid. Therefore, they may ticket Virginia drivers for not having a valid driver’s license–but, Virginia, we will recognize them as valid if you let us specify your tests and procedures.

How far do you think they would get with that?

Written by Donnell

May 7th, 2008 at 9:33 pm