Taxes and Freedom

"When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, "Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?"  He said, "Yes." And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?" Peter said to Him, "From strangers." Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free. Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you."--Matthew 17:24-27

Jesus wasn't a political philosopher; that's not why He came to the earth.  But common sense is common sense and truth is truth and that's all He ever spoke.  Notice from the dialogue above that since kings of the earth take taxes, not from their sons, but from strangersthen the sons are free!  Not having to pay taxes is equivalent to freedom.  This is, indeed, the whole reason our Founding Fathers rebelled against the British--to defend their property rights.  The more  of our property (money) government takes, the less freedom we have.  In other words, every dime in taxes I pay makes me one dime less free because I no longer have the freedom to spend that dime on what I want to spend it on, I've been forced to spend it on something government wants to spend it on (abortion, welfare for bums or illegal aliens, etc.).  And, folks, if you are forced to do something you would not do of your own voluntary will...well, you can call it nice, you can call it "social justice," you can call it "equality," but....don't call it freedom!

Obama and the liberal Democrats know exactly what they are doing.  The more of our money they take, the less free we are.  And that means, dependence upon government, which is exactly what they want.  It's what nearly every politicain wants, because that's where political power comes from.  If we are free and taking care of ourselves, we don't need politicians.  So it behooves the politician--it's in his interest--to take as much of our property (money) as possible and make us dependent upon him.  Our Founding Fathers knew that.  The rest of us forgot it a long time ago.  Or rather, were never taught it in the first place.  Which is no surprise, actually, for who controls the American education system today?  Those thieves aren't about to shoot themselves in the foot.

We may have to shoot them ourselves.  It won't be the first time in history the people have done that.

Current Events Ramblings, July 24

AP report today:
     "Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry is docking his family's new $7 million yacht in neighboring Rhode Island, allowing him to avoid paying roughly $500,000 in taxes to his cash-strapped home state.
     If the Isabel were kept at the 2008 [sic] Democratic presidential nominee's summer vacation home on Nantucket or in Boston Harbor near his city residence, he would be liable for $437,500 in one-time sales tax. He would also have to pay $70,000 in annual excise taxes.
     Rhode Island repealed those taxes in 1993. That has made the state something of a nautical tax haven.
     Kerry spokesman David Wade said Friday the boat is being kept at Newport Shipyard not to evade taxes, but 'for long-term maintenance, upkeep and charter purposes.'"  Suuuuurrrrre.
     Don't you just love these lying hypocrites on the left?  My biggest surprise, however, is not that Kerry is doing what he's doing--which, frankly, is the intelligent thing--but that the AP reported it, though the author couldn't help but mention Kerry's "cast-strapped home state," as if the Senator was under some obligation to pay $500,000 to help pay the budget of the government of his poor, struggling Massachusetts.  Maybe the state ought to cut spending rather than demand people cough up more of their hard-earned money, though I'm not sure how hard Kerry worked to get his money.  Maybe he worked for it while he was in Vietnam.

     T-shirt recently seen in Texas:  "Give Tiger a Break.  Obama is Screwing the Whole Country!"

     The guy who designed the cap that BP used on the leaking well is a backyard garage engineer, a plumber, an average Joe.  He doesn't even want people to know who he is.  It's called "capitalism," folks.  Turn people loose and the creativity of the human mind is nearly boundless.  We've seen that for the last 200 years and it's what made this country the richest in human history.  I used to tell my students that the greatest resource in the world is not oil or gold or anything in the ground.  It's the human mind.

     The Constitution says that a public official can only be impeached for "high crimes and misdemeanors."  I continue to hear calls to impeach Obama.  No.  Destroying the country is not a Constitutionally valid reason for impeachment.

It Might Get Fun Over Here After All

AP news report today:

"North Korean spokesman Ri Tong Il told reporters at the conference in Hanoi that the [joint military] exercises [this weekend by the USA and South Korea] would be 'another expression of hostile policy against' North Korea." He said there will be a "physical response" against the threat imposed to North Korea by the United States militarily.  Mr. Ri spoke at the Southeast Asia regional security forum in Hanoi, Vietnam.

I may be able to meet Kim Jong Il after all.

The Poor, Disadvantaged Hispanic In America

From a story today by the AP entitled "AP-Univision poll: Hispanic financial worries deep" (and the lack of capitals is theirs):

A recent AP-Univision poll uncovered that "nearly half or more" (huh??) of the nation's Hispanic population (they surveyed "more than 1,500" Hispanics) "express intense worry over losing their jobs, paying bills or saving for college, and similar numbers say they or a relative were unemployed recently."

Has anybody reading this recently lost their job or have a relative who has been unemployed?  Is this only an Hispanic problem?

Here's my favorite line in the story, but also the one that infuriates me the most:  "Hispanics are particularly vulnerable because they are less educated, have lower incomes and are likelier to be new to the United States than other groups."  Hey, you bozos at AP, how about going back about 100 years or so and studying the lives of recent immigrants to America from Europe, China, Japan, etc.  I gar-on-tee they were "less educated," had "lower incomes," and were "likelier to be new to the United States than other groups."  But they didn't gripe about it, march on Washington, D.C., and expect freebies from the government.  They went out, worked as many jobs as necessary to feed their families, LEARNED THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, and pulled themselves up without whining or begging for the government to take care of them.  And those are the people who helped make this country the greatest and most prosperous in the world.

Now, I don't want to blanketly condemn all Hispanic people in this country.  I know that a great number of them, perhaps well over a majority, are playing by the rules, working hard, getting an education, learning English, and trying to make something of themselves the way they are supposed to--by working for it and not by demanding that others take care of them.  But you'll never hear that from the Associated Press or the rest of the "mainstream media." 

A story like this would never have been written 100 years ago.  Nobody would have even thought about writing it because, back then, people were expected to take care of themselves and do whatever it took to survive.  Others would help if you really needed it (voluntarily, not through government force); but don't expect them to carry you along. 

But that was before liberalism showed up to destroy everything good and decent about the United States of America.

It's Not Just In America, Folks

Recently in Wellington, New Zealand, a "Christian" school was reprimanded, and forced to pay compensation and apologize to a teacher whom it had fired because he was a homosexual.  Board members for the school will also be required to take courses on human rights awareness.

The school--wimping out--offered to rehire the teacher, but he's already found another job.

"It's hard enough to go through finding yourself and accepting yourself and being 'out' in the first place. Having to go through discrimination doesn't help," the teacher said.  Poor baby.

The proper response of the school?  "NO!  We will not be badgered, intimidated, or forced into accepting, condoning, or in any way giving even the slightest hint that we approve of that vile, disgusting, sinful lifestyle.  If the teacher repents of his sin, we will forgive him.  But we will obey God and not men."

John 8.  The woman taken in adultery.  Jesus tells her, "Go and sin no more."  And the Roman authorities demand that Jesus take "human rights awareness" courses.

What do you think He would have done?

It behooves us not to forget that the moral rot that is a deep cancer in American society today has spread far, wide, and deep in all of the countries with a foundation in western civilization.  And if we cannot see that such is the reason why Osama bin Laden and radical Islam is fighting us so hard to keep "democracy" and the west out of their world, then we are blind to reality and have absolutely no hope of ever reaching any kind of equitable, even semi-peaceful agreement with those people.  I've said it before and I'll keep saying it:  we will never win a war in Afghanistan until we look in the mirror and realize that the greatest enemy we face is within our own country and civilization.  Barack Obama, Barney Frank, Teddy Kennedy, Hollywood, the educational establishment, and the "mainstream media" are a far, far greater danger to the future of this country than Osama bin Laden ever thought about being.

And obviously, the "intelligentsia" in New Zealand is every bit as stupid as their brothers in the United States.

Which One Is The Bride?

Some of you will find the following interesting (and probably repulsive) for more than one reason.

Recently, Drew Hammill and Jason Mida (yes, both males) were "married" at their home in Washington, D. C.  Mr. Hammill is the press secretary for Nancy Pelosi.  Mr. Mida is the vice-president for development at the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund in Washington.  He is a graduate of Abilene Christian University.

Current Event Ramblings, July 16

Rush Limbaugh has an interesting thesis about the upcoming elections in November.  He believes that the Obama administration WANTS the Democrats to lose both houses of Congress so that when disaster strikes in 2011, Obama can blame the Republicans, step in as the Savior again, and get re-elected in 2012.  There is no way of knowing if that theory is correct, and we never will know, but the Democrats, especially in the House are some kind of angry at Obama for what they believe is lackluster support from the White House.  It becomes more and more apparent each day that Obama is in this for himself and cares very little about anyone else.  It's the narcissistic syndrome, I suppose.  Keep in mind that this man's main achievement before being elected President was authoring two books--both about himself.

And the White House is also filled with brilliant mind-readers, prophets of such astounding ability that they know better what other people are thinking than those people themselves.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents business in this country and knows what businessmen are thinking, held a summit in Washington on Wednesday, explaining that companies aren't hiring at the moment because of the climate of uncertainty that Obama has created in the business community.  Nobody is going to invest his money in future enterprises in an environment where it is unclear whether that investment will have a fair chance of success due to higher taxes and stricter regulations.  But, no, the Obama people say.  That is not why you business people are not investing; you are simply waiting for consumer demand to return.  This must be the reason, of course.  Surely the all-seeing, all-knowing Messiah is more cognizant of why businesses are not investing than they are themselves.  Folks, we survived Franklin Roosevelt who created the same kind of angst among businessmen in the 1930s.  But we are much, much farther along on the road to economic catastrophe in 2010.  I really don't know if we can survive Barack Obama or not.  Oh, we'll survive; but will America be what it once was, a beacon of light, freedom, hope, and opportunity?  Obama has every intention of turning this country into a third-rate, European-style socialistic dependency, where government controls and regulates every aspect of our lives from cradle to grave.  You do that by destroying success, not encouraging it, and that is exactly what he is trying to do.

Well, there might be one silver lining around that dark cloud.  If Obama destroys the American economy and people have no more reason to move here in hopes of bettering their future, that would certainly solve the illegal alien problem.

Current Event Ramblings, July 15

Well, while I'm waiting for my clothes to wash (the washing maching in this apartment takes an hour and 28 minutes to do its job, and I'm not kidding.  And then I have to hang them on a "drying rack" because there is no dryer.  The South Koreans haven't quite arrived at America's level yet, at least in terms of certain technologies.), here are some current event ramblings.

Obama has finally found a reason to hate and oppose Al-Qaeda:  they are killing black Africans so "In an interview earlier today with the South African Broadcasting Corporation to air in a few hours, President Obama disparaged Al-Qaeda and affiliated groups' willingness to kill Africans in a manner that White House aides say was an argument that the terrorist groups are racist."  Glad to have you on board, Prez, even if for an idiotic reason.  A couple of years ago some dingleberry claimed Al-Qaeda was racist because they weren't paying their black terrorists as much as their Arab ones. 

Remind me, if I ever cross the border into North Korea, not to break an arm or a leg.  From the Associated Press:  "North Korea's health care system is in shambles with doctors sometimes performing amputations without anesthesia and working by candlelight in hospitals lacking essential medicine, heat and power, a [human] rights watchdog said Thursday."  Yes, let's have more socialist, government-run health care in the United States. 

R.I.P, George Steinbrenner.  I never did like the guy because I hate the Yankees, but you can't argue against his success.  Well, liberals can, but no one who appreciates hard work and capitalistic development.

There's a billboard in Iowa that compares Obama to Hitler and Lenin.  That's not terribly couth, but liberals are all upset about the comparison to Hitler.  But not to Lenin.  There is an absolute, philosophical reason why.  Take my Western Civ II history class (if I ever offer it again) and you'll find out why.

And Comer sent me this funny:

Texas Sheriff's Exam

A man in Texas looking to join the Frio County Sheriffs' Dept.was being interviewed. The Sergeant doing the interview says, "Your qualifications look good, but there's an attitude suitability test you must pass before you can be accepted." Then, sliding a Smith and Wesson .45 pistol across the desk, he says to the man, "Take this pistol. Go out and shoot six illegal aliens, six meth dealers, six Muslim extremists, six 'Progressive Liberal' democrats, and a rabbit." 

"Why the rabbit?" the man asked.

"That's the attitude we're looking for." said the Sergeant.  "When can you start?"

Two Weeks in South Korea

It's Friday night of my second week in South Korea and I thought I'd share a little of what I'm doing and the general work and response so far.  The first week I was here was a "special week" here at Geonggyi English Village (GEV).  Troops from the South Korean military services were here to brush up on their English.  Every South Korean male is required to serve at least 22 months in some branch of the military; technically, this country is still at war with their northern neighbor, so, with that pot-bellied little thug still running loose north of here, the South Koreans remained prepared.  These are good young men, impressive, intelligent, and I was honored to meet them and help them with their English studies.

But that's not the main thing GEV does (I wish it was).  For most of the year, students from Korean middle schools come for a week of intensive English studies, and that's who was here this week.  These are 14-15 year olds, and I was a little disappointed, because they weren't as respectful or as controlled as I thought Oriental students would be.  They were pretty rowdy.  But they were also as sweet and as innocent as children can be.  There were about 420 of them here, which is a large number for this village; I met with about 150 of them, but only once or twice with 60 of them.  So I spent most of my time with 3 classes of about 30 students each.  It was somewhat harrowing, high energy, 5-6 hours per day in the classroom, and that's a bit much, frankly.  And I don't especially like it because I'm exhausted when I get off work at night and that is beginning to cut into my blog time.  But it is what it is and I'll have to do it until it isn't what it is.

And yet, for all the aggravations, I was sad to see these kids leave today.  As I said, they are so sweet and innocent.  One of the last things all classes did today was to pass out "post cards" so that the students could write messages to their "favorite" teacher.  I received 40 of them.  Let me post a few of them for you.  Now keep in mind, these are innocent, sweet, Oriental teenagers.  They are different, oh, so different, from American teenagers.  I'm also leaving the spelling and grammar as they wrote it.

"Hello, my name is Hwang San Ha.  I like your H.R. [homeroom] class because that's very interested.  I think you are very kind and nice teacher.  I'm never forget you.  I love you, Mark.  I'll miss you.  Bye Bye."

"Hello.  My name is Jae Hee.  I like your homeroom class because I love you teacher.  I think you are very cute and handsome.  Your very kind.  I'll miss you.  I love you, Mark.  bye bye."

"Hello! My name is Kin Si Won.  I like your 23 class.  Because it very fun. I think you are very very kind and very nice teacher.  I had very fun time.  I'll miss you.  Bye Bye.  See you again."

"You very very cute.  You very very fuuy.  My mane is Seo Joo Young.  I love you Mark."  She drew a picture of me and her out to the side.

"Hello, Mark.  I'm So Young Cho.  You're very look like KFC [Kentucky Fried Chicken] grandfader.  So I'm loving you. kkkkkkkkkkkkk. You so cute and kind.  bye."

"Hi, Mark teacher.  My name is Yean Sun.  I class 23.  I'm very very like you very very very love you.  Umm....maybe you my father.  Nice to meet you...and I'm very not want to go to home.  I got home...sad.  I will miss you.  I love you, Mark."

"Hello, Mark.  I'm Joo Ah Hyun.  I'm your daughter [she told me all week she wanted to be my daughter].  Do you remember me?  I'm must forever forever remember!!  I'm so very sad and cry...don't forget you.  Um...KFC grandphather.  You look like.  When see KFC grandphather I'm think you!!  I love you.  I'm so miss you.  Must see you later handsome Mark."  She even left me her phone number....

One of my favorites:  "Hi.  I'm Yean Sun.  Your very smart Mark.  and cute.  you look like Haberd college teacher.  Bye bye."  "Haberd" should be so lucky....

"Hello!  my name is Ji-San in class 3.  I took your class to anyone.  It was very very very fun.  I have your sign in my "book"!  I am very very missing you.  Now, I want to see and talk with you.  Later, if I visit EV, I want to see you.  Please you remember me.  And please!  See you later.  I love you.  Good bye."

"Hi, Mark teacher.  My name is Lee Ah Ram.  You look like kind and funny.  You are very very soft hair.  I want soft hair.  bye teacher!  See you later."  Some of the girls just loved coming up and rubbing my hair.  I DO have soft hair.

Anyway, that's a fair representation of the "cards" I got.  And you can see how such kids can endear themselves to a person.  Of course, these kids will forget me by next week, but those notes were still darling. 

There are some pictures of the students in the column to the right.  Why most of them covered their faces up, I don't know.  The girl with the bearhug around me is my "daughter." 

I have the next two days off and I am looking forward to that, for sure.

A Tribute to My Father

Two days ago, July 6, my father, Mason A. Lewis, passed away from what was apparently a massive heart attack while having a procedure done at the local hospital to discover the source of some internal bleeding.  My mom had told me a few days before that dad was concerned about the procedure; a premonition?  Who knows?  I only know he's not here any more, and that's all that matters, as far as this earth is concerned.  He was 85 years old.

To put it mildly, my father did not grow old gracefully, but he doesn't have a monopoly on that.  He could be incorrigible and very hard to get along with these last few years.  But that's not what I will remember about him.  He was, on the whole, a very good father; not perfect, but there is only one Perfect Father, and He's in heaven.  I do know that, when I was a child, I never once wondered if there was going to be food on the table, clothes on my back, and a roof over my head.  He provided, and that can't be said of many, many fathers today.  We always had a Christmas and there was always an Easter basket.  Those are small things now, maybe, but they weren't to a child.  I wish I had appreciated it all more at the time.

I probably also owe him my life-long livelihood.  Since I was 18 years old, I've been teaching in some capacity or another--preaching, college work, whatever.  I've always been good at public speaking, and was told at a relatively young age that I had a talent for it and a very good voice.  My dad had a wonderful speaking voice, something that, perhaps gentically, I inherited from him.  Ultimately, any talent I have in that regard comes from God, of course, and I've always tried to give it back.  But, God works through humans, and it's probable He worked through my father to provide me the ability to communicate in a clear and forceful way--to preach, and hopefully help some people get to heaven.  I did a little bit of sports announcing when I was in college (an enjoyment I also got from dad), and I had people tell me that I sounded just like him.  And I held that to be a very high compliment, indeed.

I wish he had been a little more spiritually minded, but he and mom did take the family to church when we were growing up, and it stuck with me.  A lot of the memories of those early days are faded now, but I remember the camping trips, the football, basketball, and baseball games, I remember him playing catch with me.  I remember one time, in the sixth grade, I was in trouble in school and the teachers wanted to meet with one of my parents.  I was so hoping mom would come, because I didn't think dad would be too pleased--and pardon the understatement.  When I saw him walking up at the schoolyard, I to what might happen later, because dad certainly believed in "spare the rod, hate the child."  He went in, talked to my teachers, and on the way home, as we discussed it, he was as kind and as gentle as I ever remember him being.  I think I cried more at that than I would have had he whipped me.  That was over 40 years ago, but I'll never forget it.

I have a lot more memories of him, of course, and I'll always try to put aside the bad and remember the good.  And there are many, many more of the good memories than the bad.  Dad, I just wish we could go to one more Bobcat or Ram football game with Bob Milburn, or make one more trip out to Miss Flo's ranch and scuffle with that old sidewinder, Shannon.  Those days are gone.  But not forgotten.  I'll miss you, dad, and I love you.

Democrats Vote Down 5-Percent Rule

In a bid to stem taxpayer losses for bad loans guaranteed by federal housing agencies Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac, Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn) proposed that borrowers be required to make a 5% down payment in order to qualify.  His proposal was rejected 57-42 on a party-line vote because, as Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn) explained, "passage of such a requirement would restrict home ownership to only those who can afford it."

Am I living on the same planet as the Democrats?