June 2007


Not that I care about this too much, because there will be a blizzard in hell before I send my kids to a government indoctrination center, er, school; I am vaguely interested in the possible real-world implications of this decision.

The Court ruled yesterday that schools may no longer use race as a factor in deciding where children may go to school. This is (or, was) done in hundreds of school districts across the country by limiting transfers and deciding “tie-breakers” in school enrollment. The goal is to achieve “racial balance.”

One thing astounds me is the hypocrisy of affirmative action. In this case, are they also trying to achieve “gender balance” by limiting the number of girls that can transfer to another school (although this did used to be the case, as schools such as Harvard and Yale had so many “spots” reserved for girls; this is no longer an acceptable practice)? I’m 1/4 German…would my children need to be refused entrance to a school because they already have too many 1/8 German children? Do we need equal numbers of blonde-haired and brown-haired children? Or what about eye color? Are children going to hate those with blue eyes if they aren’t exposed to enough blue-eyed children during their government indoctrination, er, schooling? OF COURSE we shouldn’t use race as a factor. The amazing thing is that there are so many who want race to be a factor when it benefits them, but don’t want it to be a factor when they are going to get the short end of the stick. You can’t have it both ways.

So, I praise the Court’s decision. It is a step in the right direction – a time when we will no longer take race into account at all, no matter who benefits.

You can read the Court’s opinion here.

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NASHVILLE – Representative Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) announced today that he will hold three town hall meetings for the constituents of the 7th District.

Dates, times, and places are as follows:

♦ Constituent Services Office – 301 Montgomery Street, Johnson City
Tuesday, June 26, 5pm-7pm

♦ Cranberry Thistle – 107 East Main Street, Jonesborough
Thursday, June 28, 5pm-7pm

♦ Sisters Restaurant – 109 Mill Street, Telford
Friday, June 29, 5pm-7pm

“I am proud to serve the citizens of Washington County, so I hold these town hall meetings across the 7 th District to stay in touch with my constituents, and to keep them informed with what is on the horizon from Nashville,” stated Hill. “I strive to stay in touch with my folks and want input, ideas, comments, and concerns from everyone.”

Matthew Hill is a state representative from the 7th District, which serves a portion of Washington County. He resides in Jonesborough where he is a broadcaster.

I have a friend, Kaleigh, who enjoys debate as much as (or maybe more than) I, and we email back and forth on different issues. Here are a few discussions we’ve had lately on government.

Jama,
http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/americas/05/28/venezuela.protest.ap/index.html

How long until our country is like this? We already have a cowboy president that is ignoring the wishes of his people….and our country is already on the decline. (Every govenment has a beginning….a flourishing….a rise in power….and then….like a book…there is a peak….and there is a decline to the end. The Roman Empire is the perfect example to uphold.) It is my belief that we’ve reached our peak….and are either maintaining our rise to power, or starting down the downslide.

A good quote I like….”It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.” ~attributed to David Hume
-Kaleigh

Kaleigh,
Because our country was founded on Christian principles, by Christian men, I believe that God has blessed our country and given us a fair amount of leeway in our screw-ups. I don’t know, however, how long He will be patient with us as we continue to foul things up.
However, we are still in much better shape than Europe, Canada, and the rest of the civilized world. Who knows? What I do know is that more government is not the answer. By giving more power to a centralized group of people in Washington, we are merely ensuring our doom.
-Jama

Jama,
I concur. More government is not the answer.

(Not to poke you with a stick….but Rome became Christian in the end….and continued to fall.)
-Kaleigh

Kaleigh,
Yay! Poo on government…
What would you consider yourself politically? Not liberal, certainly, with an answer like, “more government is not the answer.” Libertarian, perhaps? Anarchist?

Rome was, however, notorious for persecuting Christians. (e.g., crucifictions, feeding Christians to lions for entertainment, etc.). If any civilization deserved God’s wrath, it was Rome. Rome also, in post-millenial interpretations of scripture, is believed to be the “beast” mentioned in Revelation.
-Jama

Jama,
I am inclined to think at this point that what we call “God” may not be an actual whole entity, as the Christian, Muslim, and other faiths believe – by whole, I mean personage….but rather, if it exists, is something that we may not be able to comprehend. Slightly off topic, but: suppose god is an entity. You believe your god is all-powerful….which indicates to me that there cannot be any other gods in existence (because your definition includes all-powerful)….if god has existed all this time, alone, and all-powerful….it probably by now is most certainly, what would be deemed by human definitions….as insane.

Politically….ha,ha…I’m schitzophrenic. Although, I’ve taken this several times:

http://www.politicalcompass.org/

….I’m usually somewhere between -3,-3 to -6,-6, depending on my mood. Social Libertarian (not the U.S. definition of libertarian, but rather the world definition, or British definition.) is probably the closest label you could place on me. (I just took it….I scored – 5.38,-5.38) How about you?

The way to determine (for your purposes) if I am for or against a government policy is to ask yourself….what is it for? For instance, I think I may be for free health coverage for everyone. I would be most agreeable to something (that would work!) that would plan that. It would be helpful to folk.

I am for government regulations that also help people. (e.g. arresting people that commit assault and battery) I am against regulations that restrict or are wasteful. I think taxation is necessary in order to provide funding for the structure we need to keep order….but I think high taxation is reaming us. (There is a lot of waste in government….how many times do you pass a road crew on the road with 10 men standing around watching one do something?) I think we are taxed on too many things as well. (It is for those reasons I have mixed feelings about gun control. It is restrictive, but it also might very well help people – if you compare our country to others.)

I’m not an Anarchist, because Chaos only brings more Chaos. Structure is good for people….and people will automatically form a structure in small groups. It may not be explicit, but still something that can be viewed if one looks for it. Anarchy is not a feasible form of government for any society (society = 2 people or more). Anarchy doesn’t even work in nature (with animals that have a social structure). I’ve argued with our mutual friend before about his anarchist stance.
If God supported Christians, and Rome became a Christian nation (I’m thinking of Constantine)…..wouldn’t it have started to become a better government again rather than continuing to decline?
-Kaleigh

Kaleigh,
I would agree that God is not something that we can comprehend, per se, but that we tend to project personhood on Him (see, I call Him, “Him,” because that’s the easiest way to refer to Him.) Yes, the Christian God is all-powerful, and, yes, there can be no other “gods.” Although there is the whole trinity thing ( i.e., God is three persons in one – the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit), which would keep Him from being alone, per se. But, yes, by human definitions, this could be considered by some as insane. (paranoid schizophrenic, perhaps?) The Bible, however, says that “His ways are not our [humans] ways.” So, although humans may consider this to be insane behavior, it is not, you know?

I’m a 6.75, 1.69. However, I wouldn’t agree with the assessment. So many of the questions are ambiguous. A lot of things that I find immoral or inappropriate, I don’t believe that the government should have any part in. I disagree with the free health coverage and such. I find it interesting that people don’t want to the government involved in “silly” things, like entertainment and such, but find it appropriate for the government to regulate the important things like health care and education. We need to be responsible for ourselves, not reliant on others to provide for us. I see it as the equivalent of an adult still living with and reliant upon mom and dad at the age of 40, but “don’t tell me what I can watch on TV!!!” I understand that some will argue that we can be left to take care of the little things, but we need to leave the important things up to the “professionals.” But is government really the “professional” here? Do we really want the boobs in Washington controlling our health care? YIKES! We can talk more specifically about universal health care, if you like. I am wholeheartedly opposed.

I believe it is very important for people to learn how to provide for themselves, for it is the ultimate form of suppression (oppression?) to cause someone to eternally rely upon you (or government, or whatever). It’s like the old saying, “give a man a fish and he eats for a day, but teach him to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” A government that provides too much for its people is merely giving a man a fish, when what we should be doing is teaching him to fish (by encouraging self-reliance.) This is the problem in Europe with their dwindling population. They don’t have the work force they need to support the aging, government-reliant population, yet the aging population is so reliant on the government that they can’t “kick the habit.” How much better for them if they were self-reliant?!?

As for Rome…not necessarily. Christians suffer for evil all the time.

As for gun control, although there may be fewer murders in countries with gun control, there are more burglaries, assaults, and rapes, for people are unable to protect themselves, and the criminals know it. At least in the US, criminals know that there is the possibility that they will be up against someone who could shoot the crap out of them.

I don’t agree with anarchism either. For the same reasons as you.
-Jama

I’ll update this coversation as it continues…

Not much has made me angry enough to blog lately, but this egregious abuse of the justice system, and the ridiculous hatred of alcohol by many in our country, has me mad enough to spit.

A mother and her ex-husband in Charlottesville, VA have been jailed – sentenced to an 8 year term, but serving a reduced sentence of 27 months – for serving alcohol at their son’s 16th birthday party. More than two years in jail for serving alcohol to teenagers?!? Oh, that’s it, I just spit….

First of all, drinking in moderation is entirely acceptable; I don’t particularly care how old you are. The reason that teenagers binge drink is because they have never been taught to drink in moderation. We are being faced with an “all or nothing” campaign by Madd and other anti-alcohol groups veiled by anti-drinking and driving positions. There is a huge difference between having a glass of wine at dinner and getting bombed and jumping behind the wheel of a car. How in the world are children to learn that difference if they are forbidden from tasting alcohol until their 21st birthday?

Granted, this mother served alcohol to other people’s children, which I find completely unacceptable, especially considering the fact that she misled parents as to what would be going on at the party. But drinking laws or no drinking laws, it is absolutely none of the government’s business if she wanted to give her son a beer in the privacy of their own home. Sure, she should be punished for giving other kids alcohol, but two years in jail is a deplorable sentence.

Those who want to curb drinking and driving should allow parents to teach their children about responsible consumption of alcohol in the privacy of their own homes, rather than letting these kids learn that lesson the hard way (as I did). My binge drinking days ended before I turned 21, which is the status quo for young people nowadays. It seems to me that those who are fighting so hard to keep teens from drinking are doing more harm than good. How many more teens are binge drinking now than 20 or 30 years ago?

Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney James L. Camblos III, who prosecuted the parents, is up for re-election. Curbing underage drinking is part of his campaign, yet he says this prosecution was not politically motivated. Right. And the moon is made of green cheese.

NASHVILLE – Representative Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) stood with House leaders today as they renewed their call for tax relief by handing out food tax rebates in the form of grocery gift cards in front of the Capitol. The first 100 people to bring their grocery receipt received a refund for the food tax up to a $100 grocery bill.

“Today reaffirmed what we’ve known along—people are tired of paying the highest food tax in the nation, and feel they deserve a break,” Rep. Hill said.

“In a year of such unprecedented growth, we should be talking about providing relief to all Tennesseans by giving them a break on the sales tax on food,” continued Hill. “It’s time we stopped talking tax increases, and began running government efficiently and effectively plan for the future.”

“As someone who is in the grocery store once a week, I see how hard it is for hardworking Tennessee families to make ends meet,” he added.

Hill noted that the House Republicans presented an alternative budget plan several weeks ago that funded all of the General Assembly’s priorities, without raising one cent in taxes and also provided significant, meaningful relief from the sales tax on food.

“It continues to amaze me that some of my colleagues will boldly say that this relief will not make a difference,” said Rep. Hill. “I’ve spoken to countless constituents who feel strongly that this will make a huge difference to their family. And that is exactly why I will continue to fight for this relief.”

NASHVILLE – Representative Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) fought last night for food tax relief for all Tennesseans. The 42 cent per pack cigarette tax increase was presented on the floor last night, with Republicans offering a myriad of amendments that would have given Tennesseans relief from the tax on food. The amendments were eventually defeated, however, and the cigarette tax bill passed.

“In a year when we have a $1.5 billion surplus, I believe it is fiscally irresponsible to raise taxes of any kind,” Hill stated after the two and a half hour debate. “We have a record breaking surplus, and still there are those that still want more of your money.”

Hill was adamant that all the initiatives that have been a priority for the General Assembly could be funded without any kind of tax increase, noting that the public is being misled. “The Republicans presented an alternative budget that I endorsed that fully funded all the things that the Administration felt was important, without raising one red cent in taxes,” said Hill. “Everyone knew it could be done, but the rush to rubberstamp the Governor’s proposal and what the Senate had done was just appalling,” he added.

Hill said he and his Republican colleagues will continue the fight for a reduction in the sales tax on food. “The session is not over, and I promise we will fight for this tax relief until the bitter end. The hardworking people of this state deserve that. I remain 100 percent committed.”

You know what I think, but I’m curious what my readers think about government in general. Do you think more government is the answer? Pick an issue…health care, education, guns, civil liberties. Is it better, in your opinions, to increase or decrease government power and why?

It’s interesting to me that many people, when speaking in generalities, say that they do not believe that more government can solve our problems, but then, when speaking of specifics, support policies that increase government size and power.

So what about you?