Kentucky’s Security Is Now Out Of God’s Hands

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Kentucky In 2006, as a belated response to September 11, 2001, the State of Kentucky passed a statute that created a State Office of Homeland Security. Two ammendments to that statute were then added and worded by state Rep. Tom Riner, a Democrat who represents Louisville, KY; Rep. Riner is also a pastor of Christ is King Baptist Church in Louisville; KY.

From the Miami Herald (emphasis mine):

“One (ammendment) required that training materials include information that the General Assembly stressed a ‘dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth.'”

“The other (ammendment) required a plaque to be placed at the entrance to the state’s Emergency Operations Center in Frankfort that said, in part, “the safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God.”

For the past three years the State Office of Homeland Security met these requirements but now, the order that created the State Homeland Security office has been struck down after ten Kentucky Residents, joined by the American Atheists Inc. sued the state and won.

In the American Atheists blog they argue as they did in the lawsuit that:

“It is clear that the purpose underlying the display of the plaque and the contents of Office of Homeland Security training materials is not to celebrate the historical reasons for our great nation’s survival in the face of terror and war. Its purpose is to declare publicly that the official position of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is that an Almighty God exists and that the function of that God is to protect us from our enemies. Consequently, a reading of the statute’s plain language makes that clear. Effectively, the General Assembly has created an official government position on God.”

Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate agreed with the Atheist group and said in an August 26th decision that: “references to a dependence on ‘Almighty God’ in the law that created the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security are akin to establishing a religion, which the government is prohibited from doing in the U.S. and Kentucky constitutions.”

Judge Wingate’s 18-page ruling said in part:

“The statute pronounces very plainly that current citizens of the Commonwealth cannot be safe, neither now, nor in the future, without the aid of Almighty God. Even assuming that most of this nation’s citizens have historically depended upon God, by choice, for their protection, this does not give the General Assembly the right to force citizens to do so now.”

“This is the very reason the Establishment Clause was created: to protect the minority from the oppression of the majority,” he wrote. “The commonwealth’s history does not exclude God from the statutes, but it had never permitted the General Assembly to demand that its citizens depend on Almighty God.”

Personally I believe that in most cases, atheists misuse the key phrase in the First Ammendment to the Constitution that calls for what most people refer to as the separation of church and state, (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”) — but in this case, it appears to me that they were exactly right.

It’s obvious that Rep. Tom Riner is one of those obnoxious Christians who refuse to respect a persons right to NOT believe in a Supreme Being, instead he insists that his belief must not only be respected but codified.

What is NOT obvious is why the Kentucky General Assembly went along with such a blatant attempt to force Riner’s concept of the power of belief in God on the entire state. Are that many dunces in the Kentucky State Assembly?

Applause to Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate for a well thought out, appropriate decision!

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Out-of-Focus Healthcare

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ALT TITLE You hear many bad things about Socialized Medicine (aka, Government-run healthcare), such as this article from the Heritage Foundation and, on the other hand, you hear many good things, such as this article in the Las Vegas Sun newspaper; so who do you believe?

You can believe this: everyone will always try to sell you their “bill of goods” and will always malign the competition. You can also believe that many true “horror stories” have arisen from the current U.S. healthcare system, just as they have from the Canadian, British, German, etc. systems of socialized medicine. But the important thing to remember is that all of the above is, in the end, unimportant because it distracts us from the one important issue: freedom to choose! Under any government-run healthcare plan (even if it begins as just an “option”) we will loose our freedom to choose.

Up until now, our healthcare has been a matter of individual choice. If you want health insurance you can have it — if you don’t you can opt out. If you like HMOs or public clinics or private doctors or faith healers or any other type of healthcare provider, its your choice.

With a government controlled healthcare system your choices will, no doubt, be limited, you MAY be forced into purchasing health insurance even if you don’t want it, you MAY be funding abortions, you MAY be paying for healthcare for millions of people who are in this country illegally, you MAY see what the Obama Administration calls the “Public Option” be the ONLY option when, in the end, health insurance providers can’t compete with a government system that doesn’t require a profit or even balanced account books.

Why all the MAYs in the above paragraph? Limbaugh, Hannity, and all the other Conservative pundits always tell you “it’s in the plan” but they’re selling their own bill of goods. It’s NOT in the plan because there IS NO PLAN! Everything up until now has been proposed and it’ll stay proposed until a piece of legislation has passed the House, has been modified and agreed to by the Senate and the House and reaches the president’s desk.

IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT THAT NEVER HAPPENS!

That must NOT happen while we have people in powerful positions in the Legislature who drool over the prospect of turning the United States into a model European country. That must NOT happen while we have a president who is so out-of-focus he has forgotten everything he must have learned about American history, American traditions and the free-market economic systems that made the United States into the richest, most powerful country in the world.

“Leveling the playing field” and “Economic Justice” are two phrases President Obama used when he was running for president (he also threw in a comment about the Supreme Court’s inability to address “redistribution of wealth”) and these are the phrases that made it crystal clear what direction he wanted to take this country; I said that during his campaign in this post and every proposal he has come up with has proven me right.

Yes the current system of healthcare has some major problems that are driving up the costs to healthcare consumers and, with the Federal government’s help those problems could be fixed — but not right now! With President Barack Obama in office, a fix MAY not be possible until he learns to focus and remember that he is the president of the United States and in the United States it is the people who are free to choose and who have the right to choose well or choose poorly; in the United States, it is the government’s responsibility to protect that right.

Bits and Pieces of News for August 21, 2009

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  • Here’s a story lead from Politico: Washingtonians get ‘wee-weed up’?

    No one can figure out what President Obama was talking about when, during remarks at a national health care forum, he said:

    “There’s something about August going into September where everybody in Washington gets all wee-weed up. I don’t know what it is. But that’s what happens.”

    Ask me and I’d say they are spelling it wrong, that’s why they can’t Google it! Perhaps if they tried: “wii wii” ins tead of “wee wee “. Obama was obviously making a reference he heard from his daughters, who undoubtedly own a Nintendo Wii game system, refering to the almost hyperactive behavior that results from playing games on a wii game system.

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  • What was it President Obama said about his stimulus plan working? Ooops! Bloomberg doesn’t think so! Here’s the lead paragraph from a story appearing today at Bloomberg.com

    Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) — Unemployment rates rose in 26 U.S. states in July, a sign the labor market will take time to improve and budget crises in capitals across the nation may deepen.

    Well if you believe some of Obama’s harshest Conservative critics, maybe that was the expected result of his plan.

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  • Hurricane Bill is A-comin’. Right now experts predict that the powerful Hurricane named Bill will just miss Cape Cod and, on Sunday, will “slam” into the east coast of Canada.

    From a Rueters story in the New York Times:

    “Bill, with winds near 115 mph, will likely remain a Category 3 hurricane during the next 24 hours before weakening as it churns north over cooler waters before striking Nova Scotia.

    ~

  • Both candidates in the Afghan elections, Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah are clai ming victory in the country’s presidential election! People are people and politicians are politicians and neither miles, religion or race will change that basic fact. Hold an election is any large country or small hamlet and its likely that there will be arguments over the results until the last vote is counted — and then recounted. To make this story even more fascinating; the Afghans used ballots like those used in the hotly contested Florida recount in 2000. Watch those hanging chads

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  • Michael Jackson is still being refrigerated somewhere while his family waffles over exactly when he should be buried. They know where: Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California and they HAD a date; it was to be August 29, what would have been his 51st birthday but according to MTV.Com that date is changing because “the family needs more time to prepare.” One might wonder what exactly they are preparing for.

    If I were a patriarch of the family Jackson I would probably be in favor of holding a secret burial to avoid the mob scenes that will take place en route to the cemetery, at the cemetery and on the way back home. But I guess avoiding mob scenes is not a Jackson Family value.

  • Healthcare: It’s Time To Question The Premise!

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    To begin: An excerpt from a discussion about National Health Care that frames my argument.

    “Beyond the political and economic considerations in the debate regarding national health care are questions of whether citizens in the United States possess the right to such care. Few people question that Congress has the power, both under the Commerce Clause and Spending Clause of the Constitution, to enact national healthcare legislation, but some maintain that health is one of the basic Human Rights that the Constitution impliedly protects. Other commentators disagree strongly, noting that no citizen has the inherent right to health care and that health care providers deserve to be paid the market value for their services. Other critics add that the intervention required of the government in a national health-care system would make citizens too dependent upon the state, which could lead the government to take excessive control over its citizens’ lives.”

    The cost of the proposals made by the Obama administrations for their healthcare solutions are so high they are almost beyond the comprehension of the average citizen, and “We The People” have gotten so involved in these numbers that we seem to have lost sight of the big picture — the Real Problem.

    We have a President of the United States with a goal! He genuinely worries about certain aspects of life in the United States — one of which is healthcare — and he will do virtually anything to correct things that he feels need to be corrected.

    What can a president of the United States do?

    Many things! This president, however, apparently believes that the only answer to America’s problems is expanding the scope and power of the government; i.e., smothering perceived problems in a layer of bureaucratic control!

    Consider the ramifications of that and then ask yourself: is that what YOU want? Do you want the U.S. Government to be able to dictate to individuals and private companies how they run their lives and businesses? Does that, in the context of the United States, even sound right?

    Well, in the case of proposed healthcare legislation, that’s exactly what our government is attempting to do to citizens and to insurance companies (and what they are attempting to do to virtually every other business and industry with the proposed Cap and Trade legislation); and it looks like they will get away with it unless they are challenged.

    Yes the people are starting to rise up at Town-Hall meetings all over the country; they are starting to ask questions and are getting very angry when all they get in return are scripted responses. There are, however, two types of people at these meetings: There are those who have accepted the premise and are only angry over the details (i.e., the what are you going to do for me mentality) and there are growing numbers who are angry about a president, a legislature and an administration that has displayed this much arrogance and this much contempt for its citizens and for private industry; these are the people who understand the Real Problem in the healthcare debate.

    The Real Problem is not that Obama is willing to weaken our economy even more by adding billions per year to our already large debt (yesterday he spoke of the money as if it were ONLY $ ten billion per year) — that is a symptom or a possible result of the proposed solutions but that is not the Real Problem.

    The Real Problem is threefold:

    1) President Obama has a name for it: “crisis!” This is not just a debating trick this is the real Barack Obama — the community organizer from the Saul Alinski school of community organizing. Words are important and as a “crisis,” the healthcare situation appears to move up several notches in urgency and this gives the Obama administration an excuse to use the power of government to correct it. Obama is ‘selling’ this concept of healthcare being in a crisis mode and many Americans are ‘buying it.’

    2) President Obama, and Liberal thinkers in general, as I said before, see more government as the ONLY solution to this (or any) problem;

    3) President Obama does not seem to understand, on any level, that a primary cause of America’s healthcare problem (and many other social problems in this country) is TOO MUCH government — not too little. (A perfect example of this: One of the key factors that started our current economic recession was government ‘encouraging’ banks to make sub-prime home loans.)

    Its time — way past time — for us to stop focusing on the details and the cost of the Obama administrations proposals and start challenging the very premise! The premise that government should be allowed to run roughshod over individuals and over the free-market.

    The legislature has the power to make laws that give the government much more power than the Constitution allows and, if those laws go unchallenged, “We The People” becomes a meaningless phrase — a relic of what this country used to be because “We The People” will have lost our country to an ever expanding government.

    Links:

    American Thinker: Why the Mortgage Crisis Happened

    The Legal Dictionary: National Health Care

    Wikipedia: Saul Alinski

    Specter Gets Hectored at His Town Hall Meeting

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    Arlen Specter

    It was an unhappy Arlen Specter who left the town-hall-style meeting in Lebanan, Pennsylvania this morning (Tuesday, 8/1/09). He did all he could to keep the meeting orderly: he had his staff rent a small auditorium at the Harrisburg Area Community College that seated 250 people, but over 1,000 showed up; he limited the questioners to the first 30 people who got in line, but most of those first 30 were mad as hell — not just about the president’s proposed healthcare legislation, which was supposed to be the sole focus of the meeting, but about the entire direction of the Obama Administration; he limited the meeting to 90 minutes and that made the angry crowd even angrier.

    Comments flew from the crowd:

    “This is about the dismantling of this country,” shouted a stay-at-home mother, “We don’t want this country to turn into Russia.” She was applauded!

    “You are trampling on our Constitution!” yelled another man into Sen. Specter’s face. “One day,” he continued while being applauded, “God is going to stand before you, and he’s going to judge you!”

    “It says plainly right there, they want to limit the type of care elderly can get,” shouted an office manager from the area, “They are talking about killing people.”

    “This is the Soviet Union, this is Maoist China,” another man yelled, “The people in this room want their country back.”

    Not all the comments were verbal: People showed up wearing American Flag t-shirts and carrying signs: “Hands Off My Healthcare” and outside, a red car drove around with a large sign saying “Retire Specter 2010.”

    To make matters worse, some of the questioners had the actual wording of proposed healthcare legislation in their hands but when they asked specific questions all Sen. Specter could say was what he had been trained to say — he delivered ‘party lines’ such as: “If you like your insurance you can keep it;” “The public option is just that, an option;” “There are five proposed healthcare plans in the House and no final version; and similar approved slogans that fly in the face of all the evidence that suggests that the government is in the beginning stages of taking over the entire healthcare industry and, at some future date, wants all the health insurance companies out of the business of health care insurance.

    An excerpt from a New York Times article tells of Senator Specter’s reaction after the meeting:

    “He said he thought some of the objectors were genuine grassroots and some were organized, egged on by talk radio. He also noted that his office had sent out mailers notifying them of the event.

    Still, he said these events had showed him that “there’s more anger in America today than at any time than I can remember.” He blamed the anger largely on the ailing economy and high unemployment.”

    That one statement, that he blames the anger on the economy and unemployment, shows with perfect clarity that Senator Specter doesn’t get it! He apparently isn’t listening to the crowds! The anger is directed at a president and an administration that is attempting to hijack American democracy, destroy the free market and turn us all into residents of his personal Utopia — a Utopia that, to true Americans, resembles a gulog.

    Links:

    New York Times: Eruptions at Sen. Specter’s Town-Hall Meeting

    WGAL TV: Video Clips Of Specter’s Town Hall Meeting

    PennLive.com: Lebanon Democrats applaud Specter

    My Email to “flag@whitehouse.gov”

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    The following is the text of an e-mail I sent today to flag@whitehouse.gov.

    “Hello,

    I read, in their joint OpEd in today’s USA Today, that Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer state as “fact” that: “health insurance reform will mean more patient choice.”

    I thought you should know that that sounds awful fishy to me!

    I simply can’t believe that, if the government is in charge of healthcare, it will allow a doctor and patient to make what THEY believe is the best choice. Certainly there will be restrictions on what can and can’t be done based on cost and on government data regarding effectiveness of a given procedure based on the patients health history, age and etc. The obvious implication is that the government will be more generous and caring than the health insurance providers the public deals with today.

    Momma always taught me that if something sounds too good to believe than don’t believe it. I’ll take momma’s advice on this one!

    Just so you know I have also been spreading my own opinion of “Obamacare” (and of the truly evil Cap and Trade legislation as well). I understand that Speaker Pelosi has stated her opinion that those who would demand answers and get angry when the answers are simply not forthcoming or believable, are acting un-American. It sounds like she is running out of ammunition and is resorting to name calling. It also makes me think that she may be planning on reviving that House Committee on Un-American Activities. Well if she does, she can add me to her list and she can put her own name on there also, because the lies, tactics and rhetoric she and others are using to push this legislation are far, far removed from the American tradition.

    In this mornings Wall Street Journal, Dorothy Rabinowitz, a member of the Journal’s editorial board, wrote: “It is not, in the end, the demonstrators in those town-hall meetings or the agitations of his political enemies that Mr. Obama should fear. It is the judgment of those Americans who have been sitting quietly in their homes, listening to him.”

    I just wanted to let you know that I’m one of those Americans and I have judged President Obama and his puppets in the Legislature to be the worst thing that have happened to America since Roosevelt’s New Deal.

    Thanks for giving real Americans this forum to express their displeasure with the proposed healthcare legislation — even though that was not your original intent. I’m sure this e-mail will do no more than add another item to your “trash folder” but I feel better about going directly to the government and snitching on myself rather than have someone turn me in for telling the truth.”

    If I receive a response — which I doubt — I’ll publish it here.

    Links:

    USA Today Editorial: ‘Un-American’ attacks can’t derail health care debate

    Dallas Examiner: Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer call protesters ‘un-American’

    Wall Street Journal Editorial: Obama’s Tone-Deaf Health Campaign