Monday, December 23, 2013

Gone Fishing!

Dear Readers,

I have too many fires burning and need to take time off from Paradigms and Demographics. I'm exploring how to turn P&D into a for profit news service and I am working on a book, with only partial success I might add, but I'm starting back on it and I'm hopeful.

Fortunately I have come to realize there are a number of books I need to read before I can finish my first chapter dealing with the pagan origins of the western environmental movement in the misty forests of ancient Germania, with the Druids and their worship of nature.  I am also involved in my industry's affairs and that can be time consuming. In short - I need time away.

I will be reorganizing the "Pages" section in the right column and occasionally there may be something I feel is too important to ignore and will post it, but otherwise, until February - "I'm Gone Fishing!

Best wishes to everyone,

Rich K.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

If this the Establishment's counteroffensive, the Tea Party has little to worry about

By TIMOTHY P. CARNEY DECEMBER 19, 2013
The battle for the GOP will now be fought in 2014 House and Senate primaries, Tea Partiers and Establishment types agreeTea Partiers always have an uphill climb when challenging incumbents, but this year, the Establishment is targeting Tea Party incumbents and winning open seats, my AEI colleague Norm Ornstein said on public radio's "To The Point" yesterday.   Ornestein pointed to two examples: Alabama's 1st Congressional District where business-backed candidate Bradley Byrne won a special election against Dean Young. The problem with this example: Young got no backing from national Tea Party groups.
The incumbent the Establishment is targeting is Justin Amash. Here's what challenger Brian Ellis has to offer, as told by Maria Santos of the Weekly Standard:….To Read More…

Government hates rivals: Ohio's crack down on homeschooling assumes parents are abusive until they prove otherwise

A proposed Ohio law would require homeschooling parents to get approval from local authorities....
By TIMOTHY P. CARNEY DECEMBER 18, 2013
Here's a good way to understand politics in America: The State, and its boosters, use State power to shackle or crush its rivals, such as the Church, private charity, local community and the free market.
This is at play in the Obama administration's contraception mandate and the current stage in the gay marriage fight, which involves outlawing commerce by those who don't accept gay marriage. This is in evidence in the writings of liberals who argue that defending voluntary association is trying to "eliminate any notion of the public" or writers who are "tired of religious groups operating secular enterprises [hospitals, schools], hiring people of multiple faiths, serving the general public, taking taxpayer dollars -- and then claiming that deeply held religious beliefs should exempt them from public policy."
But it's not just liberals who crack down on civil society -- it's also authoritarian Republicans. Witness Ohio's latest move, as described by the Cato Institute's Jason Bedrick:
" 'Teddy’s Law' treats all would-be homeschooler parents as child abusers until proven innocent. The legislation further assumes that all children belong to the state, as it requires families to seek permission from the government to home school their own children. They would have to submit to background checks and a social services investigation in which parents and children are interviewed separately. The law grants the agency the authority to deny the right to home school if it 'determines it is not in the best interest of the child,' without providing any guidelines as to how that determination should be made."
I expect, in coming years, more of an all-out assault on homeschooling and private education. We can't have people who reject the State's ideology "indoctrinating" our kids, can we?
 

This Week With Andrew C. McCarthy

Does Panel Report Sound the Death Knell for the NSA’s Metadata Program?
At the Lawfare blog, Ben Wittes offers some characteristically smart early thoughts on Liberty and Security in a Changing World, the report just released by President Obama’s “Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies.” Ben’s early diagnosis is: very awkward.
The report was produced by a small group: academics Cass Sunstein, Geoffrey Stone and Peter Swire, as well as former Clinton counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke and Obama’s former acting CIA director Michael Morell. (Yes, that would be the Michael Morell who purged references to al Qaeda from the CIA’s infamous Benghazi “talking points.”) The report is awkward because it undercuts a number of positions previously taken by the Obama administration, including the president’s defense of the NSA’s controversial telephony metadata program, which collects records of telephone usage by hundreds of millions of Americans.

Prediction: If you’ve gone up in a balloon over U.S. district judge Richard Leon’s ruling yesterday, holding the NSA’s telephony metadata collection and analysis program unconstitutional, enjoy the ride while you can. It’s going to be a short one.
Judge Leon’s decision is almost comically lawless. In the most sensible part of it, he stayed his ruling for however long it takes the D.C. Circuit to hear the appeal – and doubtless reverse him.
To cut to the chase, as we have noted here before, the Supreme Court ruled in its 1979 Smith v. Maryland case that a telephone service provider’s records of a customer’s telephone activity – e.g., the fact that a call happened, the phone numbers involved, the duration of the call, but not the actual content of the call – do not implicate the Fourth Amendment. Judge Leon reasoned, if you can call it that, that he did not need to follow Smith because . . . wait for it . . . it’s a really old case and times have changed. It may be, and they may have, but lower-court judges don’t get to do that. (And how do you figure the mainstream-media organs celebrating Judge Leon today would react if some other district judge tried the “it’s too old, plus times and technology have changed” razzle-dazzle on, say, Roe v. Wade?) In the federal judiciary, only the Supreme Court has the authority to reverse its own precedents……
 
Remembering Mandela, without Rose-Colored Glasses
The South African reality differs from the Western lore.  ‘Go safely Umkhonto. Umkhonto we Sizwe. We the members of the Umkhonto have pledged ourselves to kill them — kill the whites.” These are lyrics from the anthem of Umkhonto we Sizwe, or “Spear of the Nation.” The organization is better known as the MK, the military wing of the Marxist African National Congress (ANC). The MK was established by its commander, Nelson Mandela, to prosecute a terrorist war against South Africa’s racist apartheid regime.
Mandela had been out of prison for about two years in September 1992 when, fist clenched in the “black power” salute, he was filmed singing the anthem with a number of his comrades. Interestingly, but not ironically, as Mandela and others repeated the refrain about killing Boer farmers, it was a white man who stood next to him, similarly clench-fisted and singing. The man’s name is Ronnie Kasrils. A Soviet-trained terrorist who helped Mandela found the MK, Kasrils was a member of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party…….
 

This Week With Victor Davis Hanson

The Obamacare Generation
The ACA depends on Millennials picking up the tab as they already are for other entitlements….There are all sorts of time bombs embedded within Obamacare.  Will we force doctors to treat the millions of new Medicaid patients who are signing up for services that can be only partially reimbursed? How exactly will the IRS collect penalties from millions of off-the-books youth who choose not to buy coverage?
Of the newly insured who chose not to buy health insurance in the past, how many will follow through on their initial signups with steady monthly premium payments? If many don’t, how will we collect what they owe? Will all those who lost their coverage have enough money to buy the costlier Obamacare replacement plan?......

Identity politics rejects ending illegal immigration and reforming legal immigration…..We are fast approaching what promises to be the year of “comprehensive immigration reform.” In the manner of the “Affordable Care Act,” it will not be comprehensive nor will it reform immigration.
All sorts of new trends have emerged in the American Southwest to address the fact that federal immigration law does not really apply to those who arrived here illegally from Mexico or Latin America. In-state tuition discounts at public universities are now customarily extended to those without citizenship — in effect, privileging the foreign national over the U.S.-citizen student from out of state who helps subsidize the cost. Cities establish sanctuary zones that protect illegal immigrants from the enforcement of federal immigration laws — and the taxpayer picks up the additional tab in social services. Imagine what might happen should a city declare in similar fashion that it was exempt from enforcing federal gun-control laws…….

From Intellectual Conservative

Duck Dynasty And The New Fascism In America, By Dave Huntwork
It is interesting that the same groups of people who supposedly oppose the bullying of people for their personal beliefs are now bullying someone for their personal beliefs....
Full Story>>

When Britain Savages Itself, By Selwyn Duke
It didn't surprise me in the least when David Cameron's "conservative" government did nothing to remove Savage from the banned list; after all, with a political spectrum situated where we're heading, U.K. conservatives are a lot like our quasi-moderate liberals....
Full Story>>

To Hell With Paul Krugman, By Ralph Benko
What if Paul Krugman is one of the chief architects of these depression-like conditions?....
Full Story>>

Pope's Time Magazine Recognition is Ominous, By Bob Meyer
A big pre-Christmas news story was that Roman Catholic leader Pope Francis was named Time Magazine's "Person of the Year." That happening requires an interpretation. In my estimation, it is one that is an ominous sign for cultural trends.....
Full Story>>

We Feel Your Pain, By Lisa Fabrizio
For you young conservatives, the first five years of the Obama presidency must have seemed like a lifetime, with the prospect of three more a thought almost too awful to bear. And it's not hard to see why. It's not just the lies behind Obamacare that rankle....
Full Story>>

Governor Christie's Vanishing Mystique Is Good News, By Chris Adamo
Though it is not yet 2014, the Republican "Establishment" is already attempting to determine the party's candidate for the 2016 presidential election. And their top picks range all the way from former Florida Governor Jeb Bush to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Any true conservatives are immediately pronounced "unelectable" and their candidacies declared dead on...
Full Story>>


Obamacare: What happens once everyone is insured?

Michael D. Shaw

This HND piece enters territory that few others have covered, it seems. Accepting the absurd premise that getting everyone insured is the most important issue in health care, we dare to ask: What happens next?

To clear the air, the most important issue in American health care is that we are paying far too much for mediocre outcomes. And, rather than creating a healthier population, we are creating an ever-older and ever-sicker group of drug-addled individuals who—it's true—are living longer, but that's about it.

Speaking of drugs, we offer a few anecdotes on recent screw-ups by one of the biggest in Big Pharma.  Read the complete article.

This Week With Alan Caruba

Obama Must Be Forced to Resign Saturday, December 21, 2013
A December 17 Reuters article was titled, “Obama’s Current Approval Rating Is The Ugliest Since Nixon.”
“President Barack Obama is ending his fifth year in office with the lowest approval ratings at this point in the presidency since President Richard Nixon, according to a new Washington Post/ABC poll released Tuesday.”
Nixon was forced to resign on April 22, 1974 after two long years that followed the revelations about Watergate, a break-in of the Democratic Party offices in Washington, DC. The backlash against the horrors of Obamacare, concerns about the “deal” with Iran, and a succession of scandals from Fast and Furious to Benghazi, have raised fear and anger over his judgment, competence, and behavior in office……

America, A Christian Nation Thursday, December 19, 2013
It is a great regret that arrogant atheists attack Christmas at this time of year and that too many institutions from schools to stores feel intimidated enough to remove mention of it. It is one thing to deny the existence of God, but the attacks are intended to undermine the faith of millions of Americans. The atheists forget or neglect the fact that the pilgrims came here to freely practice their interpretation of Christianity.
It is a habit of mine to revisit the classic literature of the past and, with the advent of Christmas, I picked up an excerpt from Edward Gibbon’s famed “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” that addressed in part the role of Christianity.
Gibbon’s vast knowledge of the Empire eventually filled six volumes. The first three volumes were published in 1776 and became a bestseller. The final three volumes cemented his reputation as a historian…….

Obama's War on America's Energy Needs Wednesday, December 18, 2013
The Obama administration’s relentless war on the nation’s coal industry and on the electrical power generation plants that depend upon it is one aspect of his war on America that doesn’t receive the attention it deserves. There is literally no basis, no justification for it, and yet the mainstream media tends to take little notice or supports it.
It is far more than a “war on coal”. It is a war on the nation’s capacity to meet its ever expanding energy needs. You can’t build a power generation plant overnight. You can’t get the enormous amount of electrical energy the nation needs from wind and solar power. Even nuclear energy, touted as “clean” because it produces no carbon emissions, has not seen any surge in new plants in decades.
As a Washington Times editorial noted on November 20, the regulations being imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “have forced more than 100 coal plants to shut down and have made it all but impossible to construct new coal-fired plants despite rising energy demand…Since coal-fired plants generate nearly half of all the electricity used in the U.S., the EPA regulations add significantly to other upward pressures on electricity rates across the country.”……

Asian Trade Treaty Will Destroy America Tuesday, December 17, 2013
In the same way Obamacare was foisted on America by creating a 2,000-page law that Democrats in Congress never even bothered to read, a new treaty about trade with Asia is going through the same process and poses as great, if not greater, threat to our economy, our judiciary, and our sovereignty.
Secrecy and outright deception is the hallmark of the Obama administration and a proposed Asian trade treaty must be stopped.
It is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and, writing on The Economic Collapse blog, Michael Snyder, notes that “This treaty has 29 chapters, but only 5 of them have to do with trade. Most Americans don’t realize this, but this treaty will fundamentally change our laws regarding internet freedom, health care, the trading of derivatives, copyright issues, food safety, environmental standards, civil liberties, and so much more.”………

The Power-Mad EPA Monday, December 16, 2013
Barely a week goes by these days without hearing of some new demand by the Environmental Protection Agency that borders on the insane.
Increasingly, EPA regulations are being challenged and now reach the Supreme Court for a final judgment. This marks the failure of Congress to exercise any real oversight and control of an agency that everyone agrees is now totally out of control.
Recently the EPA ruled that New York City had to replace 1,300 fire hydrants because of their lead content. The ruling was based on the Drinking Water Act passed by Congress in 2011. As Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) pointed out while lambasting the agency, “I don’t know a single New Yorker who goes out to their fire hydrants every morning, turns it on, and brushes their teeth using the water from these hydrants. It makes no sense whatsoever.” Reportedly, the Senate is poised to consider legislation exempting fire hydrants if the EPA does not revise its ruling.
The EPA is not about making sense. It is about over-interpreting laws passed by Congress in ways that now continually lead to cases before the Supreme Court. The Court is composed of lawyers, not scientists. In an earlier case, they ruled that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a “pollutant” when it is the one gas that all vegetation requires. Without it, nothing grows and all life on Earth dies……..

How to Avoid a Depressing Christmas Sunday, December 15, 2013
My memories of Christmas as a child include a run down the stairs to find stockings hanging from the fireplace and boxes of gifts. After the excitement of opening them, there was a family dinner for myself, an older brother, and my parents. Since my Mother was a teacher of haute cuisine, even the traditional turkey and other dishes were a special treat, but the fact is that the family ate like royalty for all the years we were together. An internationally honored authority on wine, it was a daily part of our lives.
Since Mother had taught many people how to cook and dine as a gourmet, her students sent cards and we would festoon the living room by pinning them to ribbons as decoration for the holiday. I knew early on that she was an extraordinary woman and much loved by her students and others with whom she came in contact. She wrote two cookbooks. My Father was her greatest fan and rarely left the dinner table without pausing to give her a hug and a kiss…….

The anatomy of politics

Researchers say our genes shape our political views - New study shows that our political beliefs may be hard-wired into our DNA - Researchers surveyed 682 pairs of fraternal twins and identical twins to answer nature versus nurture questions - They found that our DNA shapes 56% of our political ideology
By Daily Mail Reporter 21 December 2013
Biology may not be destiny but it does shape who we vote for.   A new study has found that our political attitudes are hard-wired into our DNA, with 56 per cent of each belief influenced by our genes.  Individual experiences, upbringing and other social influences explain the remaining variation in our left or right-wing orientation, according to the study. Voting patterns: New research has found that our genes shape our political beliefs and orientation  'We've tended to think of political attitudes and behaviors as being rooted in the environment,' study co-author Dr. Kevin Smith, a political scientist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, told HuffPost Science.....For the study, published in this month's Political Psychology journal, researchers surveyed 682 pairs of middle-aged twins, all recruited from a large database called the Minnesota Twin Registry.....To Read More......

Book Review: The Myth of America’s Decline: Politics, Economics, and a Half Century of False Prophecies, by Josef Joffe

Reviewed by Jay Lehr
I will cut to the chase and tell you that this book is the most brilliant discourse on world economics and its history I have ever read. If you have ever worried about China one day over taking the United States in your life time or that of your grandchildren’s, this book will eliminate those sleep depriving thoughts. A sub title for the book could have been The reality of China's declining path to progress. One must care about both history and the realities of economic outcomes to fully enjoy the abundant supporting information that Joffe presents to his readers. But even a speed reader will discover a bounce in their step when the journey through its pages is complete. And if education is your main concern, buy the book just to read the chapter Challengers and Champions to know how well we are doing as a nation in spite of the impediments placed in our way by our government and its teachers unions.
The myth of our decline is mainly homemade by our resident doomsayers, originating in the 1950s, when Sputnick’s launch made Russia look pre-eminent and then reenacted once every decade with the threat from another country. But if history has one certain message, it is the transience of spectacular growth, a fate that may have already overtaken China as it did earlier to Russia, Europe and Japan.
Joffe succinctly summarizes the historic ups and downs of the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, and even Reagan years, where he shows the downs to be exacerbated by journalistic fictions when comparing us to what were, in all cases, inferior competitors. It has been the incessant drum beat of America’s shrinking global power and prestige that surfaced through the decades, that has made our populace constantly concerned that we are sinking slowly, while others were rising with our influence on the wane.
Indeed there have been ample catastrophes on the world’s stage to feed the journalists and doomsayers with smoke where fire did not exist. None offered greater fodder than Jimmy Carter with his famous Malaise speech of 1979 which led Newsweek to print a cover story “Has the U.S. Lost its Clout”.  On the opposite side of the coin, Reagan used these misguided feelings to propel himself into office with his famous campaign speech “It is Morning Again in America”.
When Japan was predicted to overtake us in 1985 their economy was one third of ours, and five years later it was half of ours. Shift to the present and it is again one third of ours; so much for linear projections, “tomorrow will be like yesterday.” Joffe explains to us.
 “Japan’s bureaucratically guided capitalism..demonstrated an increasing propensity to corruption. The banking system that once gushed forth limitless capital was mired in bad debt and cover-up. The school system? An inhuman pressure cooker that was good for rote learning, but flunks on fresh thinking.” Now he tells us that China is following that same scenario.
We were told that America was evolving into a nation of hamburger flippers, pizza makers and big box store clerks, but in fact the opposite was true. The primary indicator of national success is Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per worker, and we have always outranked our nearest competitor by a wide margin over the the past 50 years.
At the turn of this century globalization became the rage and here we were destined to lose our edge. It did not happen.  “The nice thing about prophecy” Joffe tells us is that doom never comes with a date.”
The crash of 2008 gave the doomsayers new hope of our decline, but who among the world’s nations is roaring back? Only the U.S. of A.. Usually “Declinists” just come back, they never repent but Roger Altman the former Deputy Treasury Secretary has done just that with this quote, “the US banking system has recovered faster than anyone could have imagined. Capital and liquidity has been rebuilt to levels unseen in decades.”  Joffe tells us that the United States has made a huge leap in industrial competitiveness and can look forward to bringing back jobs from the rest of the world. Our breath taking increase in energy development from horizontal drilling in shale will increase our GDP a full percentage point within five years, he says.
Joffe traces declinism throughout history beginning with the bible itself. It has always been a mechanism to first scare people and then offer to lead them out of despair. He quotes Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist “Arch-pessimists are feted, showered with honors and rarely challenged let alone confronted with their past mistakes.”
For some the book offers more history and statistics than one may desire but these parts can be sped through.
Most readers will recall the recent focus on the BRICs, Brazil, Russia, India and China, said to inherit the earth. Today they all find themselves mired in economic turmoil, and of course the European Unions financial crisis is everyday news. It is not clear how China could soon best a nation like the United States that weighs in with a per person income ten times larger. “A nation becomes neither rich nor powerful by adding 1.3 billion very poor people”, Joffe says.
The authors analysis of our superior military power versus all other nations is inspiring both in terms of hardware, planes, ships, tankers and military bases, all of which dwarf the rest of the world. He surprises us with figures that show that this is actually all very economical.
Joffe traces the economic miracles of Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and China, explaining that none can ever last, as he says “whether it is balloons, airplanes or economies, what goes up must come down. His basic knowledge of economics explains the formula that cannot last” low beginnings, spectacular growth, rising prosperity, authoritarian rule, forced capital accumulation, infant industry protection, a high saving rate and an under valued currency”. His detailed analysis of all the problems China has created including corruption and the wealth accrued by its leaders is a fascinating read. He leaves no question unanswered about their present and future. They are in a double bind that will stifle future economic growth regardless of the political direction they go.
Joffe summarizes a presentation by a Chinese scholar in 2011 presented at Washington’s Woodrow Wilson Center assessing America’s advantages in the global contest.
They include: population, geographic position, natural resources, military muscle, high level technology and education, cultural soft power, cyber power, allies, geopolitical strength, intelligence capabilities, intellectual power and global strategic power.
In the final chapter, America, the West, and the Rest, Joffe explains all elements of world order no longer ruled by one, two or five nations, or even the U.S. Battles win tactical gains, no longer strategic gains, while explaining clearly how world power created their earlier empires over the past 500 years.
This book is difficult to put down both for the strength of its argument and the joy it brings to the formerly pessimistic reader. In the end you will not buy into to the doomsayer’s message again, and the state of our current federal administration will bother you less. I am well aware that my reviews have the feel of high school Cliff Notes, short circuiting the need to buy the book. Trust me here that I can never come close to creating a pale shadow of this great book. Read my review and you will smile for a day, read the book and smile for a decade.

Why Most Rich 1 Percenters Would Give Anything To Be Among The 99%

Louis Woodhill

If the Democrats are not (electorally) washed away by a tsunami of voter outrage over Obamacare, they will no doubt seek to make “growing inequality” the principal issue in the 2014 elections. So, let’s apply a little unconventional logic to the subject of inequality.
The “Occupy Wall Street” crowd that took over New York City’s Zuccotti Park on September 17, 2011 was protesting inequality. They seemed infuriated that “the one percent” was so much better off than “the 99 percent.” But is this really true?........The Occupy Guy is better off. .....And why is that? Because the Occupy Guy is 24 and the FFHFC is 70.   Almost any 70-year-old male would gladly trade all of his worldly goods for a healthy 24-year-old body, even if it came complete with $20,000 in student loans. And, very few 24-year-olds would take the other end of that deal—not even for $41.1 billion.....To Read More....
My Take - There are some points here that should be obvious to the most casual 0bserver, but I’m going to outline them anyway.  First, the “evil” 1% usually worked all their life to accumulate their wealth.  Those OWS representing the “good” 99% only want what the 1% has and worked for without any effort on their part and without waiting.  They want what others have worked for and they want it now.  The old and ‘evil’ wealthy would be more than willing to give it to them if they would give them their youth because they know they with their drive, intelligence, ambition and work ethic [now enhanced by 70 years experience in life] they would have it all back in five years.  The OWS losers would be broke in five years, demanding the rich give them back their youth and their money. 

The Left Against Zion

Caroline Glick Dec 22, 2013
In the 1960s, the American Left embraced the anti-Vietnam War movement as its cri de coeur. In the 1970s, the Left’s foreign policy focus shifted to calling for unilateral nuclear disarmament by the US and its Western allies. In the 1980s, supporting the Sandinista Communists’ takeover of Nicaragua became the catechism of the Left. In the 1990s, the war on global capitalism – that is, the anti-globalization movement – captivated the passions of US Leftists from coast to coast. In the 2000s, it was again, the anti-war movement. This time the Left rioted and demonstrated against the war in Iraq.  And in this decade, the main foreign policy issue that galvanizes the passions and energies of the committed American Left is the movement to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist.......Being hypocrites doesn’t bother them either……they don’t care. They aren’t trying to make the world a better place.
Facts cannot compete with their faith. Reason has no place in their closed intellectual universe. To accept reason and facts would be an act of heresy.…. Challenging [leftists] to a reasoned debate is an exercise in futility. They do not care about human rights.........To Read More.....
My Take - I think this article ranks among the most important articles I have posted this year. Why? Because Caroline outlines just how contemptuous the left is. It clearly shows the left has no moral foundation. They will adopt the most heinous and vile positions if it will gain them the thing they desire most; the power to destroy the U.S. economy and Constitution. Whether it's Israel or environmentalism, the left is completely consistent in one thing and one thing only. Their contempt for humanity! Everything the left has promoted for all of its existence left dystopia in its wake - squalor, misery, disease, suffering and early death. We have over 200 years of history [starting with the French Revolution] to show this is true, so for them to continue down this path one can only conclude they must all be insane. That is the only other thing all leftists must share.

‘Worst ever’ home schooling bill withdrawn in Ohio

By Maggie Thurber for Ohio Watchdog / December 20, 2013
Ohio Sen. Capri Cafaro decided to withdraw a controversial homeschooling bill requiring background checks on parents.  After coming under fire for what many were calling the “worst ever” home schooling bill, an Ohio state senator has decided to withdraw a controversial bill that would have required background checks for parents who decided to home-school their children.  Sen. Capri Cafaro, D-Hubbard, announced her decision to pull Senate Bill 248, also known as Teddy’s Law, late Thursday.
“SB 248 was never meant to be a policy debate about educating children in the home. It was meant to address weaknesses in the law pertaining to child protection. Unfortunately, the true intent of the bill to curtail child abuse has been eclipsed by the issue of home schooling.".....The language in the bill would have required all parents who home-school to undergo a social services investigation, including interviews and background checks, to determine if home schooling would be permitted. If parents didn’t pass the investigation, an ‘intervention’ would be recommended before further consideration of their request to home-school.......Cafaro also requested field hearings next year to address child welfare in Ohio.....To Read More....
My Take - People who know Carfaro and think she's “really a nice person”. I think she's a left wing loon. This has nothing to do with 'weaknesses in the law pertaining to child protection'. This is all about public teachers unions and their lock on the public's purse strings and leftists desires to control everything and undermining parental rights.
These people just refuse to get it. Children belong....yes belong....to the parents when it comes to decisions as for what's best for them. Not the state. The state has a role, but it should always be a 'big way in the back row’ secondary one to parental rights.
When they push the 'it's for the children' mantra - you had better look real closely at what is really going on, and that's what leftists do when trying to grab societies heart strings.  Name the bill after a kid. 
This reminds me of Jarod's law. Initially it started out as an equipment safety issue because a kid named Jarod was killed on a supposedly faulty piece of school equipment in a Cincinnati school.  Before it was done it turned into a gigantic bill that fulfilled every insane environmentalist’s wish list.  Fortunately when it was found out how much this insane bill was going to cost the schools it was repealed.  And done so with two questions that were asked over and over again by the chairman of the House committee reviewing this bill; did you know this or that provision was going to cost this much?  The answer was always – no!  Then the ultimate question; what exactly were these provisions supposed to fix?  The answer was always the same.  Either silence or, ‘I don’t know’.    
I asked everyone this question.  How many children has this happened to in the last 25 years?  One!  So I expanded it to include the last 50 years.  The answer was the same.  One!  So that one tragic death justified the state overturning local authority in all 88 counties of the state of Ohio because of one tragic event in 50 years?   
I put Carfaro’s efforts in the same category.  Before Teddy’s Law made it through the legislature this would been filled with every leftist’s dream list of regulations and impediments undermining parental authority.
One more thing.  Carfaro is Catholic.  Since the Democratic party stives for unrestricted abortion, and abortion 'rights' is a plank in the Democratic platform, I wonder how she can be a Democrat and not be a heretic?  Even if she personally is against abortion. how can she justify attempting to keep them in power by being elected as a member of an organization that is devoted to a point of insanity on the subject?  

Friday, December 20, 2013

Shall Every Knee Bow?

By Rich Kozlovich

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas it is presumed our thoughts turn to issues of faith, so for the last two years between Thanksgiving and Christmas I have published this article, and will continue to do so each year, with additions expanding on the logic and factual foundation. This is a recap and expansion of those commentaries. RK

There was an article I came across entitled, “Many atheist scientists take their kids to church”! The article went on to say; “about one in five atheist scientists with children involve their families with religious institutions even if they do not agree with the teachings, according to a study done by Rice University and the University at Buffalo.” The article pointed out “The findings surrounding atheists shouldn't be too surprising, since the Pew Forum Religious Survey taken back in 2008 that showed 21 percent of self-described atheists responded that they believe in God.”

Does everyone really find this to be all that extraordinary? Anthropologists have noted that in every culture in the world, and in all of human history, religion has played an important role in people’s lives. There was one prominent atheist, Antony Flew who claimed at the end of his life he was now a believer. Why? Is it true‘ there are no atheists in foxholes’? Of course the explanation was that he had lost his mind; yet even Albert Einstein, who was not a religious person in any sense, had absolutely rejected the idea of a personal God, rejected the idea of atheism.

For the believers among my readers the explanation is simple; we are designed to believe. For the unbelievers among my readers the explanation is simple also. There is no other logical explanation!
The other thing that triggered this effort was a political debate on television where the moderator asked the Republican candidate, running for some office or other, if he believed in the Theory of Evolution. The candidate looked foolish because he was obviously flustered by the question, which clearly was the moderator’s goal. The first thought from everyone should have been; why can’t any reasonably intelligent person answer this question intelligently? Yet many of those who profess to be believers would be equally flustered to provide a rational intellectual response in that situation. So let me help everyone! Here is the answer and the correct response.
“I wish to state categorically that I believe in the Theory of Evolution because that theory presents clear and incontrovertible scientific evidence there must be an Intelligent Designer!” Wow! I’m willing to bet that’s a shocker for many – on either side of the aisle - so let’s explore this?
For years I’ve been saying; “everything is the basics”. What does that mean? It means that in order to understand anything we must explore the foundational thinking of what it is we’re trying to understand. If the foundation is flawed, then the entire structure of thinking that it’s built on is a false premise, and will collapse under scrutiny from its own weight; that is if we wish to really see the truth. And that is the crux of the matter isn’t it?
Believing takes on many forms. For some it has to do with a higher power. For others it can take on the worship of oneself, for others it can take on the worship of some philosophy or other; but humanity has the desire to look to some higher explanation for existence, and human existence in particular. But one thing seems clear; ‘believing’ is inherent to our genetic code. Otherwise how can anyone explain why so many have believed so much over so long a time of human history, and in so many different cultures? Of course, the problem for the unbelievers among my readers with this explanation is that they would then have to explain how that genetic code was designed in that manner - or designed at all for that matter - if there is no higher power.
I do find it fascinating how some can believe that Intelligent Design is “a pig that won’t fly”! The design is so complicated that it defies explanation as to how infinitely small mutations over millions of years could bring us (and all else in the universe) to what now exists. Whether one disagrees or agrees with evolution, I question how anyone can say that there is no designer. Some feel that an intelligent designer used evolution. Some feel evolution is a mistake constantly making more mistakes and changing everything all the time all by accident. I wonder how anyone can explain how this can happen by accident and develop successful organisms since "geneticists estimate that 99 out of 100 mutations are harmful, and about 20 out of the 99 are lethal."
Then there are those who[chap. 14] state there is so much “statistical data that they were at last able to confirm what they had suspected all along: Mutations were not 99 percent harmful to the DNA and the organism; they were 100 percent harmful! It was discovered that in EVERY instance, mutations caused some kind of damage—always! Out of it all, the researchers learned that DNA coding in the genes simply will not tolerate much change. More than just the slightest amount will ruin the code and the organism will be greatly weakened.”
According to the Theory of Evolution life started when electricity, in some form such as lightening, charged some molecules existing in a chemical rich ocean soup and thus became cellular life. There is absolutely no evidence that this ever occurred, and there is no evidence that it can occur since no one has been able to duplicate this mythical event in a lab - ever. They have been able to get molecules to group together, but it isn’t life, especially since no one has ever been able to generate more than four of the twenty amino acids needed for life. These “cells” are all lacking in all the things that make life possible,including a DNA molecule which can’t form without a preexisting protein. Protein molecules are amazingly complex, and are absolutely necessary for life. Furthermore, in order for a cell to function it takes 2000 protein enzymes. If life started in the ocean in some chemical rich soup, through some accidental electrical discharge; how did that cell, or group of cells, survive long enough to replicate themselves? That's foundational!
Evolutionally thought would require millions of years of mutations before the next step to propagation would come into being. If that’s so - how did they replicate? If we are to believe what proponents of evolutionary theory claim, then we have to recognize that these mythical cells would have died within seconds, minutes or days; but they would have ceased to exist long before they could have reproduced. How do I know that?
Let's go back to the foundational question once again!
If life could only advance from active cells in the ocean in some chemical rich soup, which came into being as a result of some accidental electrical discharge; how did that cell, or group of cells, replicate themselves to become what we are all now through a series of mutations occurring over millions of years?
As we explore this we must realize there is a very serious crack in the foundation of their theory - and logic. When you think this out correctly the very foundation for the explanation propounded by scientists gets even more complicated and incomprehensible. If such an event really did take place, the first order of business would not be propagation; the first order of business would be survival!
Survival means that this mythical cell, or cells, would have already had an advanced biological system in place allowing them to recognize the need for nutrition. In order for any of this to occur the cells would have to be self aware to some extent, no matter to how small a degree, which in itself would require some sort of advanced design. Which leads to the next obvious question; “How does matter become conscious of itself?”
Then it would not only have to be able recognize the need for nutrition, it would also have to be able to recognize what was nutritional and what was not. These mythical cells would then need a system for absorption, i.e., some way to eat! That would then require a digestive system, which would require an internal biological mechanism allowing the organism to recognize and separate that which was nutritional from what would become waste during the absorption process. Then the cells would require an energy storage and utilization system, and finally, all of that would require a system for waste elimination. Then and only then would propagation come into play!
What organism could possibly survive long enough without these advanced fundamental functions that would allow it to live long enough to propagate. If that were true, then it seems to me these cells would actually have to be entirely complex organisms with multiple advanced chemical and biological systems already in place - each being absolutely dependent on the other for this whole scheme to work. Does it seem rational this could possibly occur if it takes millions of years of tiny mutations to create a next step in the developmental process as scientists claim? And -once again - we are expected to believe this came about as an accident after an electrical discharge of some sort.

Okay, let’s say, for the sake of argument, it did happen - it still means the organism had to have some seriously advanced biological functions to survive past a very short time. If that’s the case, then doesn’t that imply planning and design? Doesn’t planning and design require intelligence? Do we really think these advanced systems could come into existence at once without some predetermined design?
Which brings me back to the beginning!
Evolutionally thought requires millions of years of mutations before any of these absolutely necessary biological systems would come into being before the organism could advance to the next step of propagation. So assuming these organism’s survived, we have to wonder how any organism could know which tiny mutations were beneficial, or even needed, over a million years or so, and decide to save them for a next step, which presumably was another accidentally mutation. The complexity of that kind of design would require some kind of organizational planning and implementation. With the rate of detrimental versus beneficial mutations it could not be accidental and still be beneficial!

Now let’s take a look at propagation!
Take a woman’s monthly cycle. It is amazingly complex! The right amount of chemicals, hormones and enzymes would have to come into play in exactly the right sequence of time in order to finish the cycle. However, if a woman becomes pregnant during the cycle another whole set of chemical conditions would come into play. How could any organism know how to plan for two diametrically opposing end results? Remembering that there are untold numbers of species in the world that have cycles unique unto themselves, that means that this would have to be done an incalculable number of times in an incalculable number of organisms and all be beneficial. One negative mutation would seemingly doom the organism. Yet, we are to believe that this happens through a series of positive accidents that would overcome all of these deadly accidents! Isn't that a form of belief, i.e. faith? It does seem to defy logic...or science as it were!
How would any organism know what chemicals to develop over millions of years? How did the organism know that hormones and enzymes were needed along with other chemicals? How would the organism know how to organize them? How did the organism know which chemicals would work harmoniously together and in conjunction with enzymes and hormones? How would these organisms know how to ‘create’ them? And finally, how did the organism know what end result would follow without some sort of plan?

However, even with a design - how could incredibly small mutations be of value during the whole process of millions of years? In point of fact, it seems reasonable that these mutations would hinder continued existence, not enhance it. But even if you accept the idea of small changes over millions of years the question still remains; how could all of that come into being without intelligence behind it? How could so many complex systems come into being all at once without some sort of design and an application of the design? Wouldn’t the presumption be that these cells already had an amazingly complex chemical make-up that would create an end result? If so; doesn’t that imply planning and design? Doesn’t planning and design require intelligence? And if these events actually did happen, and cells came into existence with all these complicated biological systems in place; what would you call it? Creation?
Dennis Prager wrote an article on June 18, 2013 titled, “Why Some Scientists Embrace the'Multiverse'”. where-in he cites views held by prominent scientists regarding this universal complexity and just how fragile it is.
He quotes “Michael Turner, astrophysicist at the University of Chicago and Fermilab: "The precision is as if one could throw a dart across the entire universe and hit a bulls eye one millimeter in diameter on the other side."
"The really amazing thing is not that life on Earth is balanced on a knife-edge, but that the entire universe is balanced on a knife-edge and would be total chaos if any of the natural 'constants' were off even slightly." Paul Davies, professor of theoretical physics at Adelaide University
Steven Weinberg, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics, and an anti-religious agnostic, notes that "the existence of life of any kind seems to require a cancellation between different contributions to the vacuum energy, accurate to about 120 decimal places. This means that if the energies of the Big Bang were, in arbitrary units, not: 1 followed by 118 zeros…but instead: 1 followed by 118 zeros and a 1, there would be no life of any sort in the entire universe."
Dennis goes on to say; “Unless one is a closed-minded atheist (there are open-minded atheists), it is not valid on a purely scientific basis to deny that the universe is improbably fine-tuned to create life, let alone intelligent life. Additionally, it is atheistic dogma, not science, to dismiss design as unscientific. The argument that science cannot suggest that intelligence comes from intelligence or design from an intelligent designer is simply a tautology. It is dogma masquerading as science.”
I can understand anyone’s reason for not subscribing to any religious group. The sanguinary history of the world’s religions has not done much to inspire confidence over the course of human history. So I can understand someone being un-religious, and I can understand why someone would believe that there may be a higher power that doesn’t interfere in the lives of humanity. I can understand why people might not be sure and proclaim to be agnostic - although I consider that to be pragmatic atheism. What I can’t understand is how anyone cannot believe that there must be a planner behind this phenomenally complex reality we call - existence! And that is why I say that I believe in the Theory of Evolution. Because it scientifically proves that there must be an Intelligent Designer! A Creator! I will leave it to you to decide for yourself if there is a benevolent God. But there must be a creator. That’s foundational! That’s “the basics”!