Thursday, August 30, 2007

Texas Pledge Dispute

Governments have a nasty habit of diverting people's attention from real issues to side problems. For example, the Cato Institute reports that an atheist couple wants the word "God" out of the revised Texas state pledge, which is now being recited daily by students (civil religion, anyone?) in many Texas public schools.

If people truly wanted to reduce school conflicts, the solution isn't to enforce more government controls upon educational efforts. Rather, the government must exit education once for all.

Neal McCluskey has written an excellent policy analysis called "Why We Fight" explaining this position.
Throughout American history, public schooling
has produced political disputes, animosity, and
sometimes even bloodshed between diverse people.
Such clashes are inevitable in government-run
schooling because all Americans are required to
support the public schools, but only those with
the most political power control them. Political—
and sometimes even physical—conflict has thus
been an inescapable public schooling reality.

To end the fighting caused by state-run schooling,
we should transform our system from one in
which government establishes and controls
schools, to one in which individual parents are
empowered to select schools that share their moral
values and educational goals for their children.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Why You Need Hard Money

Chris Brunner makes some fantastic points regarding Ron Paul's monetary policy and why it is good for everyone. Here's the #1 reason...
1. The Fed would not be causing artificial booms, inevitably followed by a busts Ever wonder where economic bubbles come from? The bubbles of modern times like the Great Depression of the 1930's, Dot-com boom of the late 90's, or the boom that's coming to an end now in the real estate market occur when central banks expand the money supply and dump new money into various sectors of the economy, often in the form of cheap credit. Banks loan the new money to consumers and entrepreneurs, including those who aren't credit worthy. In turn, they spend it or invest it, which causes prices to rise. As people see prices rise, they are drawn to invest, causing prices to rise further. Meanwhile, the Fed continues to inject new money. We've seen this lately in the form of house flipping. Eventually, the market begins to correct itself, and whoever owns the inflated property when the correction begins to occur gets stuck holding the bag. People all over the country are finding themselves in Adjustable Rate Mortgages they cannot afford. Many times this results in a foreclosure, which in turn causes problems for the fractional-reserve banks, who then begin to face insolvency. Insolvency manifests itself in the form of bank runs, and if it gets bad enough, leads to economic collapse. There is much to be explained here, but for now suffice to say that inflation from the Fed creates booms that are inevitably followed by busts. Blog: Top 8 Ways Hard Money Would Change Your Life

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Global Warming

The Acton Institute is a Christian organization dedicated to promoting a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles. In the following linked article, they weigh in on global warming yet again.

The Global Warming Debate: Yada, Yada, Yada - Acton Institute PowerBlog

The problem, argues Samuelson and others like him (include me in their number), is quite simple. What really causes global warming and what can we do about it? What troubles me deeply is the way many evangelicals, to cite just one segment of the Church, want us to buy into the global warming theories and solutions as a matter of faith and morals. Here are the facts that make this approach pious nonsense:

1. Almost everyone who is sane about this issue knows that we can only cut emissions incrementally and that China and India will more than offset the small gains we can make in the US and Europe. But the blame America cry heard in all of this smacks of politics more than of real science and pragmatic workable solutions.

2. No single theory is the accepted scientific model that has been approved, or universally accepted. We are working off of various theories and hunches and the debate needs much more light and less heat, no pun intended.

3. What we can do is more research and development. We need to do this and we need to resist avoidance of the serious aspects of this matter.

4. We can find better ways to dispose of waste material than into the environment. Some of these are both safer and more cost effective. Real solutions will be found by those grapple with both sides of this equation.

5. Samuelson gets it right when he concludes: “The overriding reality seems almost un-American: we simply don’t have a solution for this problem.” This is hard for us to admit. We are so convinced that we can solve anything and everything, especially if we created the problem in the first place (as is assumed in this debate).

This is why Samuelson suggests that we steadfastly refuse to address this issue as “a morality tale.” Amen! Someone please tell this to Richard Cizik of NAE, or to Jim Wallis of Sojourners, or to Tony Campolo the prophetic screamer, and to all the others who have made this into one of the biggest moral issues of the day for Christians. We can all do a lot better in addressing this complex and real concern if we keep this type of rhetoric and silliness out of the picture. All it does is assign categories, or labels, and then we all know who the “good guys” really are. Game, set, match!

Absolutely nothing is resolved in this kind of zero-sum game of cheap moralizing.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ron Paul Dominates YouTube

What's the #1 most viewed, top rated, most discussed, and top favorite News and Politics video on YouTube? Yeah, it's Ron Paul at Ames... Blog: Ron Paul Wins Iowa Straw Poll on YouTube

Monday, August 13, 2007


In the September 2007 issue of Tabletalk, there’s an article by R.C. Sproul called “Duty and Honor” with a great paragraph:

Now, these definitions [of integrity] describe persons who are almost as rare as the use of the term honor. In the first instance, integrity would describe someone whom we might call “a person of principle.” The person who is a person of principle is one, as the dictionary defines, who is uncompromising. The person is not uncompromising in every negotiation or discussion of important issues, but is uncompromising with respect to moral and ethical principles. This is a person who puts principle ahead of personal gain. The art of compromise is a virtue in a politically correct culture, which political correctness itself is modified by the adjectival qualifier political. To be political is often to be a person who compromises everything, including principle.

Good stuff.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

More Ron Paul goodness...

I follow the LRC blog closely, especially when GOP debates are happening and, of course, during the Ames Straw Poll.

Ron Paul placed 5th amongst Republicans yesterday. Sure, we could have hoped for better, but in reality this is quite good. Here's some comments from LRC...

Jay Roberts thinks that 5th place was a "stellar" result. I would tend to agree. All things considered, we must have shocked the establishment media by doing this well. Even as recently as six days ago Paul was predicted by the media to be no-show blip on the radar. Well, folks, we are here to stay. Get ready, because we're going to have a lot of fun doing good for this country.

Of course, there's always the jerks who intentionally exclude him from their reporting. If you weren't ticked off at Faux News before, now is the time.

On a side note, have you seen the new Bourne movie yet? I saw it on opening night (I'm a fan) and let me tell you -- it was awesome. Best of the series. Here's what Mark Thornton had to say about comparing the series to the Paul campaign.

Cross posted at Libertarian Longhorns.

Homeland Stupidity...

Not to be confused with the libertarian blog of the same name...

Some recent blog posts have caught my eye...

Apparently, catching a baseball can be counted as taxable income by the IRS. That's right, the college student who caught Barry Bonds's 756th home run is going to get taxed in the highest bracket for the simple fact that he now owns the ball. What's particularly sad about this is that the receiving individual doesn't even get the choice to keep it without getting taxed. If he does so, how could one even place a value on it? You could estimate, but without actually making a sale one has no blinking idea what it actually would be sold at! He is now effectively forced to make a sale just to cover his expense of catching a !@%(#@^ ball.

In other sports news, did you know that money you pay to rent a car is used to finance stadiums? This always blows my mind, how is it that these people can afford to pay baseball players millions of dollars but cannot afford a stadium without taxing people? Does this make any sense to anybody?

Ethanol is such a scam.

Cross-posted at the new Libertarian Longhorns blog.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bible and Government

I have had some interesting "coincidences" occur recently. I was asked a while back to help lead a Bible study for the graduate engineering students on Romans 13:1-7, which are the verses on "submission to civil government." This Bible study kept getting pushed back due to travel conflicts and missed meetings. On the day of the study, it just so happened that our main leader, John, had some extra meetings that came up suddenly and I had the opportunity to lead the whole study instead of just half. We had a great time of learning and I think people went away with as many new questions as answers to old questions.

As this was developing, I had been taking a course at the Austin Graduate School of Theology in New Testament Theology with Dr. Thomas Olbricht, who happens to be a good friend of my grandfather's and a former teacher of my mother at ACU. I decided that I would capitalize on preparing this study and write a paper on Jesus' theology about civil government and what Paul and Peter do to expand upon this teaching. It is currently a work in progress.

Strangely enough, our campus ministry, Longhorns for Christ, recently decided that they wanted to have a study on the Bible and civil government. Guess who they wanted to ask lead it? Right. So now, this upcoming Wednesday I will be leading a discussion group in this topic.

I had been thinking about offering to teach on a Sunday night for University Avenue Church of Christ, my home congregation. But Jack, one of our elders, preempted me and asked me first. No kidding, he had no idea that I was interested in doing some more teaching. I told him I had a few ideas, and that I was currently working on a Bible and government paper. He thought it was great and so I'll be teaching again on Bible and government for the church.

Funny how all these things come together at once. I'd like to thank John Cobin for his wonderful books on the subject, may he live long and prosper!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Shame on you, HSLDA!

For shame, for shame, Homeschool Legal Defense Association, for shame!

You have endorsed pro-war, pro-police state, pro-welfare, and pro-Bush Mike Huckabee because you think he's principled, but have ignored the most principled Congressman in the race with the record to back it up - Ron Paul. You seem to think Governors make good candidates, but can you honestly say this considering the last two debacle governor-presidents? Come on, get a grip. Endorse Ron Paul while you still can and save face. I'm ashamed that my fellow homeschoolers would do such a thing as endorse a man who only wants the status quo. Pick someone who actually will do the thing that homeschoolers want most - work to get rid of state hegemony over education. - One Mom - HSLDA Supports Mike Huckabee

Covenant - Why Ron Paul is the Ultimate Friend of Homeschoolers

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Ron Paul can WIN

Ron Paul could easily take on the Democrats, what's going to keep him from becoming our next president is the simple fact that he must make it through the primary. Which means, my friends, we must do everything we can in order to promote ideas of liberty now - this is more important than ever before. Time to get to work...

Todd Seavey on Ron Paul on National Review Online: "But if we want a radically smaller government — precisely that thing that a Republican Congress neglected to do for the last twelve years, which has created the current mood of conservative frustration — we must support Ron Paul. Remember how small government was at the nation’s founding and consider how perhaps even conservatives have since then become de facto socialists, accepting the leviathan state as inevitable. But it’s not inevitable if they vote against it when history hands them that chance."