Editor: On questions of civil law in America today, should Christians, at the margin, prioritize liberty or virtue? Centennial Institute Fellow Kevin Miller, speaking at CCU on Aug. 28, counterposed Position A, putting liberty first, against Position B, putting virtue first, without himself taking sides. Fellow Greg Schaller participated in the discussion and then filed the following argument. A Dissent from Kevin Miller’s Position A
Our temptation to prognosticate is nearly insatiable and our media-driven politics exacerbates this tendency. The reliability and value of these predictions is tenuous at best. Poll-driven politics is obsessed with “who’s ahead” and “who’s behind.” Rather than reflecting reasonable scholarship and knowledge, these projections are often either misguided guesses or wishful thinking on the part of a partisan media. Following the election of President Obama and the increase in the Democrat majority control of both the House and Senate in 2008, numerous articles, television stories, pundits and op-ed pieces predicted that the country was headed towards increased Democratic control for the coming years. With this trend would be the requisite Republican Party decline, followed by years in the wilderness. This assessment concluded of course, that the country had made a significant shift in favor of liberal Democrat policies.
“If a foreign power had done this, we would consider it an act of war.” So said a national blue-ribbon panel, outraged by bad education policies. I say the same about Colorado Democrats’ economic mismanagement. Bill Ritter’s tax-hike threat this week is the latest absurdity. Now that Obama’s socialistic interventions and massive stimulus have failed to cure the recession, policymakers in each state must look to their own toolbox for policies to revive prosperity. Gov. Ritter, his legislative majority, and their liberal allies are making all the wrong moves at the worst possible time. Deliver us.
It’s becoming a ritual at the State Capitol: a committee is meeting to study the competing pressures of spending mandates and spending limits on the state budget. Like those before them, this year’s panel has heard from a litany of experts and special interests, almost all of whom will complain about the Gordian knot in which the state budget is entangled.
(Nantucket) As if the recession wasn’t enough, the summer’s unprecedented bad weather has added to the economic woes of this resort island. Also experiencing very heavy weather these days is the Democratic Party and it looks like getting worse for them before it gets better. The roots of Democratic disarray lie in one very great success and one huge strategic mistake. Oddly the same man bears a principal responsibility for both.
The socialists want to take over our country. Shall we allow them? It’s not an idle question. I see signs that the United States is close to be taken over from within by Barack Hussein Obama, a development similar to those in Germany at the beginning of the 1930s. I grew up under the Nazis, and what I saw then there I see now here. There is nothing theoretical when I speak about what happens when a nation throws God out of government and society and when Christians become religious bystanders. I am not part of those who want some people to look bad by calling them Nazis, as Nancy Pelosi and so many people do nowadays. My writing is based on my own experience and that of my family. We were there.
Here we go again. Leave it to government, in this case the City of Seattle, to find new and creative ways to reach into your pocketbook and grab more of your hard-earned cash. Recently, the Seattle City Council voted for a 20-cent tax/fee on every plastic or paper bag you use to take your groceries home. Years ago, in the early stages of the environmental movement we were advised that the production of paper bags kills trees and emits high levels of greenhouse gases and that’s not good. Soon thereafter, strong, lightweight, low-cost, water resistant plastic bags came along years ago to help save trees, a renewable resource by the way. As the environmental movement gained popularity it was determined that plastic bags were also an environmental hazard since they are not biodegradable.
Instead of a hefty $550 million earlier requested for eight new and lavish private planes, Congress has retreated and is now asking for “only” $220 million for a “meager” four jets. To us, this seems irresponsible considering the current economic crisis in America. Hard-working Americans don’t deserve the burden of excess taxes in order to fund the extravagant “necessities” of congress.
With impeccable timing, Colorado’s taxpayer watchdog group brought out its legislative report card with a perfect score for Rep. Kent Lambert, the Colorado Springs Republican, just hours before Lambert was named by Minority Leader Mike May to fill a coveted Joint Budget Committee vacancy. Here is the press release: The Colorado Union of Taxpayers (CUT), a nonpartisan group advocating for taxpayers released 2009 CUT Ratings of the Legislature, announcing Taxpayer Champions and Guardians, those Legislators voting most often in favor of the taxpayer. Earning Senate Champions with scores of 97% were Republican Senators Dave Schultheis and Bill Cadman, Colorado Springs. House Champion Representative Kent Lambert, Colorado Springs, scored 100%.
Our current season of protest, demonstrated by the Tea Parties and the recent health care protests at numerous town meetings around the country, provides an opportunity to observe the leadership of the Democrat majority spinning themselves in circles. In the waning years of the Bush administration, the nearly constant refrain from Democrats, Moveon.org, and other liberal groups to explain their opposition to anything President Bush attempted was: “dissent is the truest form of patriotism.” The inference was, of course, that in opposing everything the administration attempted, they were actually exhibiting “patriotic” behavior.