Category Archives: Government

Education- The Most Expensive, Least Valued Thing Govenment Can Mess Up

That which is given without being earned is not appreciated. And that which the government gives away is first stolen from others who earned.

A free education is perhaps the least valued of all things granted by the government. After decades of government-run K-12 education, the workforce development folks are looking to government-run community college and eventually universal college education to prepare students for real work.

How can government-run education be any better? Let government run the entire education system?

Here are some experiences I have had lately with the homework the government has prescribed to my 5th grader.

In Social Studies, as per the curriculum for 5th graders in Tennessee, he has been learning about the Civil War and significant figures of the war. No timeline of events or battles. Just that it happened, some people were involved with it, and it led to the abolition of slavery. I would expect history would include the history of something like the American Civil War. But there is only this humanistic, interpretive standpoint being presented, in a way that boils everything down to the simplest possible terms. He is being taught what everyone who has heard about the Civil War says today. And that is the educational system’s goal- plant these seeds that will stick with students for a lifetime, a superficial, simplistic version of very complex times, issues, and individuals.

In Reading (ELA, or English Language Arts), they have been reading the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, a United Nations document adopted in 1948, that is a humanistic document based on relative truth, not absolute truth. It says, as many in the media today have tried to say, that our rights are granted by government. Because this is a document about human rights, then the impression to be gained is that government is the arbiter of what is good. Government did not teach, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” nor did it teach, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” No, the God that first taught, “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind, and strength,” is the one who taught us how to treat other people. This is the very thing I feared when I first read about the change our incoming superintendent of schools was making to the reading comprehension curriculum, and a teacher linked to the “EngageNY,” New York’s program for ELA, as an example. When I asked that teacher via a public comment on her Facebook post, if the reading requirements would be the same as New York’s, my question and the link to EngageNY were deleted.

In math, my son has been working problems involving decimals in multiple forms, one of which is called extended form. Here is an example: 6,500.6=6(10^100)+5(10^10)+6(1/10). For those who haven’t seen exponents notated this way, that is 10 to the 100th power, and 10 to the 10th power, respectively. He’s great at math, by the way. However, at my suggestion, my son asked his math teacher respectfully, “When will we ever use expanded for in real life?” She responded, “When you count money.” My son may have oversimplified her answer, but truly, if this is how money counting is being taught, it is no wonder most people require a machine to tell them correct change owed.

The Chamber of Commerce, one of the very institutions lamenting that lack of a ready workforce to attract new industry, supports Common Core curriculum. The education system is bent on testing and teaching to the test. A 4-year college degree is still the ticket to success as reported in government schools, and the State now pays for 2-year degrees as a way to propel any and all students toward a Bachelor’s degree. Tennessee wants to get to 55% of all Tennesseans having a 4-year degree.

But you can’t have it both ways. You can have government-indoctrinated, social justice-styled drones, or you can have well-educated, well-informed, and skillful graduates that are ready to take on a variety of expanded educational opportunities. As long as politicians and cronies present government as the solution, and as long as the average American believes them, we will continue this spiral. And we haven’t even gotten onto the subject of corporate welfare…

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Jackson City Council’s Action on Education is an Affront to Good Government

I spoke to many people after the City of Jackson voted to pull their portion of the special option sales tax from funding education. There are a lot of opinions, but most fall, correctly, on the side of our students. The City should not have taken the money especially in the sudden, under-handed manner in which they did. The toxic political rhetoric was fluent-

“We’ve paid more than our fair share.”
“It’s the County’s responsibility to fund education.”
“The County has had $12 million to play with all this time, now they have to put that money in the schools.”
“We just want what’s fair and equitable.”
“We have to fund infrastructure to keep people driving in to shop and use our healthcare facilities.”

The bottom line is there is more massive government spending on the way, there’s debt to be serviced, and this is how the City wants to do it.

Here are some things to consider:

Elections have consequences. The people that have been voted in cycle after cycle have become emboldened by what they see as public approval for their job performance. All of these councilmen, commissioners, and school board members (with a few exceptions on the commission and school board) have track records which have put our city and county in the spot in which we find ourselves. The vote to consolidate schools under a certain funding mechanism (a sales tax increase) set us up for this political relationship and all that comes along with it. Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice…

Closely following that point is that the City is dividing the tax dollars into “ours and theirs.” Bottom line- it’s the peoples’ money. They tried to divide it into city resident vs. county resident. Hey, I pay sales tax in Jackson on a daily basis. A lot of folks (about half of the population in the city during the business day I’ve been told) pay those taxes. The greater West TN area and many from across the nation contribute to our school system. Isn’t divisive politics a hallmark of liberal progressivism? It’s here in Jackson, folks.

The state mandate for “maintenance of effort,” which means the local funding for education must stay at least at the current level for operation needs, has a) tied the hands of the County in deciding how to allocate funds for education; b) made them much more reluctant to increase the budget; c) emboldened the City to pull their “donation” to the school system knowing the County has to make up for it. Federal and State mandates tie our hands so badly at the local level and create the problems we face like this one. If it were not for federal mandates, interpreted by federal bureaucrats, we wouldn’t be talking about the reportedly urgent need to build a new jail. It’s time someone stood up against costly big government mandates (see my first point).

Lastly, this is what you get from government education. It’s what you get when you rely on politicians to mean what they say when they promise to create high-quality schools, to follow through on their belief that “the children are our future.” What the government gives, it can take away, or regulate into something unrecognizable and ineffective. We have to stop referring to public education as an education. Children, and adults, are constantly learning. A classroom isn’t required for that. What we’re learning now is that all the promises are for political points.

Let me ask this pertinent question in conclusion- with whom is the City Council earning political points after their decision to remove their benevolent gesture to the school system?

What does “Conservative” Mean When We Talk About Tennessee’s Gas Tax Issue?

I can’t help but return to this quote time and again as I put together thoughts on conservative principles of government:

To establish a government based on the consent of the governed, as the Declaration of Independence makes clear, they gave up only that portion of their rights necessary to create a limited government of the kind needed to secure all of their rights. The Founders then structured that government so that it could not jeopardize the liberty that flowed from natural rights. Even though this liberty is inherent, it is not guaranteed… Over the lifespan of our great country, many occasions have arisen that required this liberty, and the form of government that ensures it, to be defended if it was to survive. Justice Clarence Thomas

The Declaration of Independence declares our right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The Preamble to our U.S. Constitution states one of its purposes is promoting “the general welfare.” Interestingly, someone in a public forum once tried to pin that phrase to welfare in the sense of government providing things for people, rather than it meaning a general sense of wellbeing for every citizen.

These documents are essential, and each of them gives principles before fleshing out the manner in which those principles would be enacted. Whatever your principles are, you will act on those principles. And if the principles you profess are not backed up by your actions, then you must not actually believe the words that you are speaking.

In the gas tax increase debate that has been raging on in Tennessee, there is unanimous consent that our transportation infrastructure must be maintained to a high degree without incurring new debt. The two sides of the debate at this time each have their own merits, but there is a fundamental problem with one of those sides- the side that believes in our current state, it is perfectly fine to increase taxes.

We all agree to give up a portion of our rights necessary to create a limited government. Paying taxes is how you and I give up a portion of our pursuit of happiness in order to fund certain government functions that are declared necessary in the Constitution. Roads are among them as a matter of insuring the general welfare.. We expect our portion of a declared natural right to be used wisely and appropriately, and that any additional portion of our rights the government would seek to take would be well justified.

Such is not the case with the gas tax increase.

Many alternatives to raising taxes have been offered. They were all declined.
The government overtaxes the citizens to the tune of almost a billion dollars per year. But this is sacred money, not to be spent on roads, in the eyes of many in the statehouse.

The Senate approved an amended bill that lowers the amount of the tax increase, phases the increase in over the next 3 years, and cuts other taxes deeper than originally proposed. Whereas the Governor’s original IMPROVE Act was billed as “revenue neutral,” This amended bill is touted as “more-than-revenue-neutral,” because the cuts purportedly outweigh the increase on the gas tax.

Naturally, any reasonable person should get right in line behind this plan. But there is a problem. Government and her politicians are always looking out for themselves. It is only by the power of the people that government works for us. Revenue neutral is being presented to mean you and I pay less. What it really means is that the government takes in less.

The original IMPROVE Act was revenue neutral in spite of the fact that the increased cost of transporting groceries would be passed on to you and me. The IMPROVEd Act still lines the coffers of government, and as has been showed to be the case, can and will be used however they see fit.

It’s all our money until it gets into their hands. Then it’s all their money. The sacred money philosophy only goes one way, when they refuse to spend money we have already paid in that is not allocated in any budget, becoming a slush fund for university buildings that will not be named after you, me, or anyone we’re likely to know.

A tax decrease is warranted. Another tax increase is not. Tying the two together is tyrannical. It’s DC-meets-Tennessee. Clean up the corruption? Stop slushing the fruits of our happiness pursuits to float pet projects? Ok, then let’s talk. I don’t expect it to happen, and neither should you. Let’s keep talking in terms of liberty and principles of self-government, and let’s not stop telling our elected employees that we have drawn the line on what they can take.

The Future of the US According to Obama- Support our State Governments as the Last Line of Defense

President Obama is in Panama at the Summit of the Americas, where he shook hands and met with Raul Castro, even as the US goes forward with “normalizing” diplomacy with the nation after 50 years. How alarming that we would take these steps in spite of the fact that nothing has changed in Cuba in 50 years, and people still risk, and lose, life and limb to get out of that country and put just one foot on dry, US land.

It is much the same with Iran, as the mullahs expect all of the sanctions they have been slapped with to be dropped once the nuke deal is signed, even thought they hold Americans hostage still and maintain a horrendous human rights record. Their gays and women don’t apparently matter to the militant “LGBT” and feminism agenda over here.

All of this as information is revealed via the Mark Levin show, that the White House and representatives of every cabinet-level agency participate in a scheme to create a “country within a country” that will drive natural-born and naturalized citizens into the shadows so that “emerging immigrant communities” can be established in strategic parts of the nation.

Cuba, Iran, and various other countries believe that our country has serious problems that need to be fixed, mainly because our President, Secretary of State, and others have copped to abuses we are not guilty of, while working very hard to make sure these abuses actually materialize (When Castro alluded to freedom of the press issues in the US, I’m sure the Administration’s spying on the AP was top of mind.) And that is part of the plan for the President and other radicals like him, who don’t believe that America should be exceptional in any way, that we deserve to be in the same amount of danger from terrorist regimes as anyone else. These ideals persist in spite of the fact that all people yearning for freedom and equality try to make it to America at all cost, even as we have gone out into the world to aid freedom-loving people with blood, sweat, tears, life, limb, and treasure.

Beyond those thoughts, it also seems certain that the goal is to dissipate our strength and sovereignty as a nation so we can be absorbed into a One World government, currency, and religion. It has happened in Europe, is in progress in Africa, and may be a possibility in the Middle East as countries have bound together in common defense against ISIS. All of these regional unions of nations, even as the UN seeks to impose international will on sovereign nations via an International Criminal Court (the Palestinians are attempting to be recognized as a member state, in spite of having no real status as a state, so they can attack Israel in the international community, with international law.)

We need to really pray. But we also need to work in our states to strengthen governorships and seats in the legislature with pro-Constitution, freedom-loving, American-loving leadership. The states are the last line of defense against national tyranny. I’m thankful for Judge Hanon in Texas for putting a stop to and working to bring consequences against those who would continue the President’s pardon of illegal immigrants and for the 25 states who have taken this constitutional breach to court. We have to stand up and speak out on behalf of the nation our Lord has given us, that she may continue to be a haven for the weary, downtrodden, and oppressed, as well as the greatest producer of good across the globe.

Lack of Moral Leadership and Resolve in U.S. Response to Terrorism Rooted in Denial of Absolute Truth and Decency

List of Coptic Christians murdered by ISIS, via @drmoore.
List of Coptic Christians murdered by ISIS, via @drmoore.

I’m sick to my stomach over the latest terror acts in Europe and Libya. I’m almost as sick about the stupidity of my Nation’s government’s refusal to do anything more about it than to offer condolences.

In the White House Press Secretary’s statement released concerning the murder of 21 Coptic Christians by ISIS, it states:

ISIL’s barbarity knows no bounds. It is unconstrained by faith, sect, or ethnicity.

I can’t find a shred of truth in this statement. There are some common characteristics that have been shared by victims of ISIS’ barbarity in these terrorist murders: they were Jewish, they were Christian, and/or they supported and dared to exercise Western ideals such as freedom of speech and expression. Kidnapped journalists and aid workers who represented the West have been murdered on video in an effort to strike such fear into our hearts that we will give them what they want. And groups of various size have been attacked in acts of mass slaughter, based exactly on their religion and ethnicity.

Granted, Muslim people in these countries have been victims of unspeakable horrors as well, horrors inflicted by the adherence to Sharia, on those who are guilty unless proven innocent of infractions we can’t even fathom in our part of the world.

But this is nothing new, and it is something that the majority of the world has ignored in the past and in the present, as Islamic violence escalates in the vacuum of strong, moral leadership.

Once upon a time, the shear inhumanity and barbarity of these acts would have mobilized the U.S. to action. A once innate sense of justice and decency would have propelled us to do something definitive as a friend to freedom-loving and freedom-supporting peoples everywhere. Once upon a time, America’s rich heritage of being a haven for Christians and Jews (and countless other oppressed religious groups) fleeing oppression would have driven us to go to their aid in any part of the world they may be found. Being a sanctuary for oppressed religious groups is how we came to exist in the first place.

King Abdullah of Jordan’s actions after the execution of the Jordanian pilot, and President Sisi of Egypt’s promise to respond to the murder of Egypt’s Christian citizens, give me hope that sovereign nations of the world are willing to exercise their power and do the right thing on behalf of their citizens. France and Denmark have spoken definitively that the attacks on their citizens, most recently in Copenhagen against artists and Jews, were acts of terror. We have yet to see real action in Europe like we have started to see in the Middle East, but again I am hopeful.

Hope slowly fades as I consider my own country under the current political circumstances. The world government’s desire is to have independent governments submit to politically correct, multi-cultural and humanistic ideals of decency and justice, which are foreign to our Nation’s strong Judeo-Christian foundation on absolute truth. Our government has has seemingly fallen in line with the international worldview, refusing to acknowledge Islam as the source of this evil, declaring that we need to “empathize” and “respect” these people, and denying, as demonstrated above, that these coordinated acts of murderous terror are anything other than “wanton killing,” or “randomly shoot(ing) a bunch of folks.”

Worsening this trend by our leadership is the constant victim-blaming/shaming of the groups and individuals who are being persecuted and murdered in Europe and the Middle East. The White House took part in this “terrorshaming” by going on the record that Charlie Hebdo should not have published their cartoons against Mohammad. The President himself blamed Christians by referring back to the Crusades in his National Prayer Breakfast address (notice that “Crusaders” is part of the terminology of these terrorist in describing their Christian victims).

And the end of the Press Secretary’s statement (not the President’s statement) on the death of these Coptic Christians indicates more of the same, as the US continues to be subjugated to the amoral, humanistic world government:

We continue to strongly support the efforts of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General Bernardino Leon to facilitate formation of a national unity government and help foster a political solution in Libya.

All talk, no action.

I don’t know what to do. I feel completely helpless to make any real difference against the rage of the heathen. I have prayed several times in the wake of all this that God would tell me what to do. And he has given me a first step.

I am going to pray and start a progressive fast for seven days for the state of our Nation, the state of the world, and the plight of terror victims across the globe. I have something forming in my Spirit that needs nurtured by this time of prayer and preparation. I know too many Christians who are sick of what they see happening in our world but have no clue what to do about it.

Prayer should be first and last in everything we do, but I know we have to be people of action. Like my brother said last week in Sunday service, “It would have been a lot different if the book of Acts had been called ‘The Thoughts of the Apostles,’ or ‘The Emotions of the Apostles.’ But it was called the Acts of the Apostles.” I desperately want to learn what to do so I can teach other believers what to do to make the biggest difference in the 21st century world we find ourselves in.

I ask you to pray as well, for me, that I would have the boldness to speak, and for the believers everywhere, those oppressed by outside forces of evil, and those who are made powerless by the enemy of our souls and need to be aroused to action. And I’ll pray for you as well.

Belief in God, and What’s Wrong in our Country Today

A theology of endowed rights is foundational to our Nation’s government, ongoing success, and longevity. It’s codified in the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,chat among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Recently, a cable news anchor, Chris Cuomo, made this statement:

Our rights do not come from God, that’s your faith, that’s my faith, but that’s not our country. Our laws come from collective agreement and compromise.

I contend that theology is the basis of all of our beliefs, individually, whether we recognize it our not. Bad theology impacts our culture and enters our government.

What theology was Chris Cuomo influenced by when he made the statement above? Secular humanism. The belief that man is his own god and creates the definition of right and wrong himself. Interestingly, Chief Justice Roy Moore of Alabama, in defending his stay on issuing marriage certificates to same-sex couples, cites natural law as his basis. The difference between the two viewpoints is illustrated in a statement Cuomo made earlier in the interview:

Well you don’t believe that as a matter of personal opinion, right? But times change, definitions change, we didn’t think blacks were equal to whites, that changed.

Cuomo cites natural law in regard to blacks being equal to whites. After all, God created mankind in His own image. Why can’t natural law, instituted by God, be recognized as the basis of our man-made laws? All of our man-made laws should support and protect people as God-created, with inherent dignity and intrinsic value.

Why can’t marriage between a man and a woman be recognized as protected by that same natural law? The same source of truth protects mankind and marriage as God’s creation.

Cuomo tried to divide religious belief from governance, and it just doesn’t work. Because everything we do is influenced by our beliefs about God- our theology. And in this conversation, by saying, “that’s your faith, not our country,” God is not acknowledged as God, mankind is.

Belief in God that influences our laws and society is not the problem. Trying to live in this divided way, invoking God when we want and pushing him aside when we want, is what is wrong in our country today.

As believers in God’s Word, we cannot be lured into living on the terms created by humanists. Faith in God and His law is central and influences everything. By God’s grace, faith in Jesus Christ influenced our founding, and by that same grace and our vigilance, faith in Christ will continue to guide the course of our country.

Stop the Moral Equivilence- There is no Comparison Between Christianity and Islam

(image via Breitbart.com)

https://social.newsinc.com/media/json/69017/28503541/singleVideoOG.html?videoId=28503541&type=VideoPlayer/16×9&widgetId=2&trackingGroup=69017

“Perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith… their faith.” This is true of adherents to Islam. But it is State religion that has performed the atrocities in the name of Christianity that Obama highlights from centuries gone by. That is why our Founders separated Church and State.

Our earliest settlers in the New World were people of Christian Faith and moral conscience, who were fleeing oppressive state-sponsored religion, the same entity that performed the Crusades and the Inquisition. They did not depart from their religion to do so, they showed a greater adherence than the government that had hijacked their religion and used it to excuse their own desire for conquest.

Islam, on the other hand, has only been “peaceful” under the regimes of secular governments (Joel Rosenberg’s “reformers,” or those leaders who have sought democracy), while left in the hands of the Muslim “church,” Islam produces jihad and destruction. In either case, religion in the hands of the government gets perverted. Left in the hands of true believers, Christianity has done the greatest good the world has ever known, and Islam has committed the greatest atrocities.

Ironically, due to past atrocities in the name of Christianity, and our Founders committment to no state-sponsored religion, Christianity has attained its proper place in creating the ideal citizen, not the ideal government. The highest aspiration of Islam is to create a caliphate, a perfect Islamic government, the reign of which is represented in the present atrocities its followers are inflicting.

The heart of a religion’s message should be judged by its scripture and its adherents. So compare Christian vs. Muslim, the Bible vs. the Qur’an, and let the moral equivalence stop.