Monday, July 30, 2007

Hate Crimes Legislation

I am concerned about hate crimes bills that are springing up around the country and around the world. On the surface, it might sound good--who wants to hear individuals or groups spewing hate-filled messages all over the place? However, as one looks deeper, it appears that hate-crimes laws smack of censorship and of thought police. Are we free or are we not?

Some links to articles for your perusal:

"Think No Evil" by Janet Levy at Front Page Magazine

"Case over 'vilifying' Islam settled" at WorldNetDaily

"Political website cited for crime of 'offending'" by Bob Unruh, also at WorldNetDaily

It just seems to me that the bills are vague and that those enforcing them can do whatever they want depending on their own political leanings. So far, it appears that conservatives and Christians are the main "criminals" being attacked by the use of these laws, but anyone could become a victim in the endorsement of these laws.

This would be a good time to contact your senators and representatives and urge them to vote against any such law.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Global Warming

Have you noticed how far from scientific enquiry the global warming discussion has become? In fact, there is a concerted effort on the part of global warming advocates to silence any discussion. They have announced that the debate is over and that those who do not agree with them are guilty of treason and are the equivalent of Holocaust deniers. These kinds of statements should be waving red flags at the people of the world. Science is supposed to be about objective research, not name-calling and censorship.

The global warming movement is taking on the appearance of a religion. The question seems to be, "Do you believe in global warming?" Believe in? Hmmmm.

Science is also not about consensus. Something is either true or not true, or it might still be under investigation. But it is not something we vote on. There are too many experts in the relevant fields of climatology, meteorology, and so forth who have stated quite firmly, and with evidence, that there is no global warming crisis--the earth goes through cycles of heating and cooling and anything we are experiencing now is not significant in the history of the earth. There have been warmer, and colder, periods dating before the industrial revolution, when man began to create industrial emissions.

I can't help but wonder if the global warming crowd is more concerned with creating power and wealth for themselves than with saving the earth. The so-called solutions seem to call for a lot of economic regulation and suppression. And let's not forget taxes levied on the people. These are the kinds of things that stifle economic growth and create all sorts of problems for the citizens when it comes to making a living and having the freedom and the means to follow their dreams.

Freedom and prosperity are very much at stake in the global warming situation. It sounds like more of an excuse to grow government than to be wise stewards over our environment. It reminds me of Hillary Clinton's health-care agenda--taking over huge segments of our national economy and turning them over to government control.

If we aren't careful, we could lose a lot of our freedom and prosperity in some surprisingly devious ways. I hope we will all consider carefully for whom we vote, and that we will frequently contact our current representatives to express our concerns. If enough of us do that, we cannot be ignored.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Some Links

I have added links to my sidebar now and again, but there are four new ones I especially want to point out because they belong to a friend, Confutus. He has quite a project started having to do with an outline of knowledge and also showing how various subjects connect with one another. The sites he has set up are as follows:

Sapience Knowledge Base

Independent Learning Forum (can also be accessed from the SKB home page)

Independent Learning (blog)

From the Ground (this is more of a political blog)

Come visit these sites and leave comments on the blogs or discuss independent learning on the forum. Anyone who is interested in continued learning will probably find something they are interested in. Also, homeschoolers and unschoolers (a term new to me!) will probably find this useful, too.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Mid-Summer Thoughts

It is mid-July already. Where does the time go?

It isn't raining today in Oklahoma City. A few days ago, we surpassed our normal yearly average rainfall. Needless to say, there are flooding problems here and there around the state. I feel sorry about that--it can be really hard on people, whether their home is flooded or the road to their home is washed out. Some of the campgrounds around lakes had to be closed because they are flooded. It's a mess in places, but we did need to recover from drought. Nothing is ever easy, is it?

I have been reading an assortment of books--mostly about nature and about writing--lately. I expect to get my book for the next insurance class next week and will have less time for other reading for awhile once it arrives. I hadn't taken a class/test for quite awhile, so this last class was a bit of a warm-up for me--thankfully, it covered a lot of material that I was already somewhat familiar with.

I still feel like my self-education is somewhat scattered. I need to set some priorities, but everything is so interesting to me!

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Fairness Doctrine?

Front Page Magazine carries an article, "The 'No Fairness Left' Doctrine", by Don Feder. In it, Mr. Feder discusses the motives of the Left in their attempt to revive the Fairness Doctrine.

There is one area of media that is more conservative than liberal and that area is talk radio. As Don Feder puts it:

Leftists are obsessed with talk radio for a very good reason -- because it's the only segment of the media they don't control. They have CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and NPR.
It is more than ironic that the Left says that media isn't balanced because talk radio is mostly conservative. The Left acts as if all media is conservative and that they have to put a stop to that imbalance. Since this is a ludicrous position, it is with great relief that I read that:
Late last week, the House of Representatives -- Nancy Pelosi's House -- voted 309-115 to prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from using federal funds to impose the Fairness Doctrine on stations that carry Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, et. al.
However, we can't get our hopes up that the House, Democrats and Republicans alike, have suddenly become fans of the First Amendment. Don Feder goes on to say:

It's not that the Democrat-controlled House has suddenly become a bastion of First Amendment champions. Rather, after the display of talk radio's effectiveness in the immigration debate, the body -- all of whose members will be up for reelection next year -- feared swift and bloody retribution at the hands of America's most consumer-responsive medium.
What this does tell me is that the public wants to hear all sides of the issues, not just what the liberal media doles out in bits and pieces. It also tells me that the public can contact their Senators and Representatives and make a difference. We can do the same at the state and local level, too. We have to let all those elected to represent us know that we expect them to represent us and not just go off in some direction that is beneficial to them personally in some way.

It exasperates me and amuses me both that the Left is always portraying itself as a victim of some "vast right-wing conspiracy" and that if a conservative says anything at all, then they are somehow unfairly silencing the liberals. This is a joke and we all know it if we are being honest. The Left has far more media putting out their liberal agenda as if it were the only game in town than conservatives have. There are, thankfully, some conservative outlets--talk radio being one, plus a few newspapers and a few blogs and websites. You will find some of those in my links in the sidebar. Even if your views are liberal, it will benefit you to hear or read some different viewpoints and the reasons behind them.

Although there are a few conservatives who are a bit outrageous with their words, most present facts backed up by research and quietly present their views. The Left is more likely to spend their efforts in attempting to trash the Right, rather than detailing their positions, supported by facts and research. Still, all of us could improve our communications by sticking to the issues and the reasons for and against various positions. The public could improve their knowledge by studying the issues themselves and weighing the various positions. I know there is a lot of material out there and it isn't easy to sort it all out, but we must try. Our very nation is at stake, and it is very much worth reviving so that it truly is a government of, by, and for the people.

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