Showing posts from October, 2009

General Welfare Clause: The Constitution's Great Limitation

If a court doesn't clearly understand what a law means, the judges always go back to the intentions of those who wrote it. So they should. A law is still the law until it is properly amended. As law, meaning of the Constitution of the United States can be so understood. When we go back to discover the historical context in which the Constitution came forth, its meaning becomes much less ambiguous.

Some people refer to the Constitution as a "living" document. It's not--at least not according to the way that people who use the term "living" mean it. Worse than that, the Constitution is virtually dead, because when it is not being misinterpreted it is almost always otherwise ignored.

But it wasn't always that way.

The Constitution is what the Constitution says. If it is not clear what the Constitution says, then we must go back to what those who wrote it and those who ratified it understood it to mean. It is largely only to those who don't go bac…

A Basic Explanation of the Current Economic Crisis

Incessantly, putrescent pundits and politicians blame "The Free Market" for our current economic problems. In reality, the economic crisis is due to the fact that our economy is under far more government control than you've been led to believe.

Besides megalomaniacal politicians, the biggest of the free market haters are the big bankers. Right now, they're winning, and you're losing.

Big bankers hate the free market. It's too risky. The free market forces you to be responsible for your economic choices. Big Bankers, on the other hand, just want to get pornographically rich. Because of their lust for money and power, big bankers encourage government to become involved in their transactions in order to protect them from the results of their failed risks. Government is more than happy to take their risks and fix their messes, because in doing so, government can gain more control over your life.

The reason for our current economic crisis is not "The Free Ma…

For Today's "Heroes", the Constitution is a License To Do Anything

The old interpretation of Constitution of the United States is bo-o-o-r-r-r-ing. This school of thought said that the Constitution limits what the federal government can accomplish. So what do people do who are annoyed by that inconvenience? They reinvent and "reunderstand" the Constitution so that suddenly it allows anything they want. This is the essence of modern-day heroism--rape of principle accompanied by masterful propaganda.

As a result of such claims of heroism, the Constitution has come to mean next to nothing. For today's "heroes," it has become a license to do anything. Today's "heroes" come from both major political parties and from every branch of government.

If it weren't so tragic, it would be funny how many conservatives have I've come to the conclusion that many Constitution haters really don't hate the Constitution as I once thought they did. Rather, they have simply come to "re-understand" it, which mak…

What Would the World Be Like Without Atheists?

I suspect most believers in God think that "atheist" is a dirty word. But is it really? Think of a world without atheists. Would we be better off? Absolutely not. A world without atheists would be a pretty scary place.

Some of the most intelligent people in the world are atheists. They are often atheists because they are diligent seekers after truth.

In the October 2009 General Conference of the LDS Church, Elder Robert D. Hales make the following statement:
...we live in a time when the darkness of secularism is deepening around us. Belief in God is widely questioned and even attacked in the name of political, social, and even religious causes. Atheism, or the doctrine that there is no God, is fast spreading across the world.Does that indicate that Elder Hales thinks that atheists are bad people? I don't think so. I think it indicates simply that believes that they are misinformed. It's not hard, however, it today's world to be misinformed, what with there ex…

Climate Change and Pollution are Two Separate Things

Conflating "pollution" with "climate change" is causing us to waste a lot of time, effort, and money. One of these (pollution) we can control. The other we cannot.

How is it that so many people can't understand the not-so-subtle "nuance" between climate change and pollution? In a recent letter The only way that pollution, CO2, and climate change are remotely related is in the fact that the federal government mis-defined carbon dioxide--one of the most vital nutrients for plant life on earth--as a the editors of the Deseret News, Scot Morgan ("Humans Partly to Blame", 10/8/2009) chastizes Frank Overfelt for not believing that humans have much of anything to do with climate change (which we don't), but as supposed proof that we do cause climate change, he lists ways that we cause pollution. In an attempt to make an otherwise excellent point regarding our stewardship of the environment, Morgan suddenly finds himself in the l…

How Twitter Dramatically Enhanced My LDS Conference Learning Experience

Tweeting my #ldsconf notes on Twitter is much more fun than mere note-taking. It's also much more insightful. I have never learned so much on any one day of LDS General Conference as I did yesterday while tweeting about it.

A few evenings ago, Connor Boyack and I were returning from a blogger briefing at the Sutherland Institute in Salt Lake City, when we began talking about the upcoming LDS General Conference. He mentioned that for the last couple of General Conferences he had tweeted his thoughts on twitter. I had just about given up on twitter in favor of facebook, but his idea piqued my interest. For the next couple of days I tweeted my thoughts as I listened to various talks from the April 2009 Conference.

And I was hooked. Twitter has now found its firm niche in my internet toolbag.

It used to be that I wrote notes in a notebook. That was helpful, but I never looked at those notes again. More recently, I've typed my notes into a document on my laptop. That at least…

Is It Still "Patriotic" to Hate the Dixie Chicks?

I never really liked the Dixie Chicks that much, so when all the radio stations started boycotting them in 2003, I didn't really think much about it. I now see the real point, though, that if someone's livelihood can be destroyed in the blink of an eye for speaking out against something they wish their nation was not doing, that we ought to be worried about our own freedoms.

The Dixie Chicks have a few good songs. But that one about throwing Earl's dead body in the trunk of the car about did me in. That, coupled with the scanty way in which the Chicks often dress, made me not much of a fan. So it really didn't matter much to me when the Dixie Chicks got banned from the radio for speaking out against George Bush and the Iraq War. It should have.

In the lead up to the Iraq War in early 2003, Chicks' lead singer Natalie Maines said "We don't want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas." Th…