Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A Solid View

I cannot say I agree with every implication or jot and tittle, but the overall sense and principle of this blog post are spot on.  I encourage a good solid, thoughtful, read:

http://www.westernjournalism.com/moving-forward-in-obamas-america-how-to-make-this-nation-great/

Remember Liberty, tell the young ones.

Al

Read Full Post »

But only because it’s not sudden.

Yesterday, this nation took one more step, locking in a set of beliefs for another four years.  Yesterday, the notion that abortion is birth control was accepted for another four years.  The same party that champions abortion for any whim of a reason (therefore equating it with birth control, correctly) also champions the free distribution of other birth control methods, under the “they’re gonna do it anyway, may as well keep them safe” meme.  In fact, it’s far more likely that the real motivation behind it is a feeling that anybody whose body responds sexually ought to be able to have sex, because that’s “cool” and “fun” and “progressive” because it’s not what the fuddy duddy conservatives would think.  Considering the push for a giveaway of condoms in an effort to supposedly protect kids, but more to legitimize sex as minors, can the same treatment of abortions be far behind?  Maybe.  I think it hinges more on that party’s ability to recognize and seize a principle than on much else, and their ability to do that is in question.

Yesterday, this nation decided that centuries up on centuries of humans were wrong in their understanding of what marriage is.  Now don’t get me wrong.  The 14th Amendment is very clear regarding equal treatment under the law.  If Joe Blow has the protection of his wife not testifying against him, then John Doe ought to not have to get married to have that same protection of a named confidante.  However, that’s not what the gay marriage community pushes for.  No, they target the specific condition of marriage, an ancient religious condition that the state long ago elected to recognize as something special.  They are not telling the state “give us what they get” rather they are telling religion “give us what they get” and telling the state “make religion do that, Daddy, then make religion go away.”  Like it, don’t like it, if you’re honest, you’ll see it’s fact.  See https://commonmanscorner.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/a-non-standard-rant/ for a more detailed treatment of the subject.

Yesterday, this nation decided that the American Dream, which was once financial security and independence, is now a guaranteed union job that no one can take away from you regardless of your performance, and a guarantee from the government that you will always have food (there’s a program for that), clothing, shelter (there’s a program for that), and a doctor (there’s a program for that).  Notice a pattern?  Yeah, me too.  I wonder how long it will be before the Dept of Health and Human Services has a government supplied clothes program.

Yesterday, this nation decided that the government needed to move one step closer to being God.  Want to know who someone’s God is?  Find out who they look to as their last bastion of justice and protection.  That’s their God.  This government is on a collision course with usurping God Almighty’s ancient role in America.  Now, in fact, whether they can, in the end, is up to each person.  Whether they try, however, is up to them, and they are trying.  In addition, slowly, incrementally, they are conditioning the people to be willing to accept the government in place of God.

I remember being told when I was in elementary school of the communists, and how they would tell the children there was no God.  They’d have the children close their eyes and pray for a candy bar, the story went, and then tell them to open their eyes, and (of course) there was no candy bar (something about asking amiss, see James 4:3).  Then, the story continued, they would be told to pray to the state for their candy bar, and while their eyes were closed, the teacher would put candy bars on all the desks, then tell them to open their eyes.  Now, honestly, I bet the story was not truth, seriously.  Still, that’s the M.O. of this ruling party.  “God?  Ask him, demand it right now, and when you don’t get it, look who REALLY gives you food stamps and medicare and section 8 housing.”  Has anybody ever said that exactly?  Hardly.  It would expose them.  Has any of them lived it?  Constantly, as best I can honestly observe.

So here we are, our immediate future in the hands of the government that would be God, controlled by the party that wants nothing more than to make God and the Bible immaterial to American life.

It was the same way day before yesterday.  It’s just that then, we stood a shot of stopping the train and starting down a different track.  It honestly wouldn’t have been a lot better right away, or even in four years.  But it wouldn’t have been in the direction of making atheism the de facto state church of America.

Because when God can be legislated out of public consideration, only the government can be God.  Then, there won’t be any stuffy people talking about what’s right and wrong, because “right” and “wrong” will depend entirely on the individual situation right now…  and the convenience, desires, and lusts of the persons in that situation.  So, with a minute or two of rationalization, they can play however they want…  and, sadly, think that is “freedom.”  All it is, is a kid that aged, but never grew up.

God help us.  The real God.  Govvie God can’t.

Read Full Post »

This is a nonstandard rant because it addresses a socioeconomic topic and it doesn’t “fit” with anyone.  I usually stay away from those. I usually stay a LONG way away from those. I find that it’s usually a waste of time.  Anyone activist enough to cause me to respond has almost always been absolutely not open to thinking about it, other than to think of why he’s right and I’m wrong.   Ah well, maybe some uncommitted thinker will stumble by.  Let’s see how good I am at assigning tags.

My Twitter timeline cannot escape anti-North Carolina vitriol today.  Just when it seems a phone screen is clear of the mention of it, someone re-posts their anger.  I find it a shame that the anger of otherwise intelligent people is so easily hijacked by a concept many of them would deny that they support.  However, they do.

Firstly, sociopolitical topics should not exist.  They can only be a valid topic in a country where society and politics have become FAR to entangled.  This is a fact of life in America today, and a sad one.  I believe that the social engineering that has resulted in America having to look to Congress to see what is acceptable to believe started with the Great Society effort in the 60s.  That is when government started the path to shaping the social values in America by codifying them.  If these values were not codified, individuals would have to stand before and/or with their neighbors and defend/persuade.  THEN (and only then) would it be valid to say “most Americans believe” this or that.”  As it stands, whatever it is that most Americans believe is either defined or overruled by law.  It is a stupid situation and allowing it to continue only demonstrates more stupidity.

On to the topic at hand: the codification of who we are supposed to celebrate being married. “No, man,” I suspect some of my Twitter friends would say, “nobody cares about celebrating it, just about giving them the same rights that straight people have.” The fact is, that’s not so, although many of my well-meaning friends won’t realize that.

The legitimate complaint here is that without marriage, two people who wish to obtain the legal advantages of marriage cannot do so.  This is fairly obviously a violation of equal protection under the law, and ought to be dealt with immediately.  It should be dealt with in the courts, every time two friends say they want to have the same tax benefits that married people get, or the same protection from testifying against your spouse, or the same legal recognition in health care decisions.  In order to establish equivalency, they should have to demonstrate the same longevity intent and commitment that marriage carries, and the standard of proof required of them should be the same level as for married people (often, no more than “is she your wife?”)

That, however, is not the question here.  This is not a fight for legal equal status, this is a fight for the availability of a status with a particular name, with a particular history, with a particular significance.  Don’t make the mistake of confusing this with the “equal but separate” lip service of the American south during segregation.  Equating these two situations is a red herring in the first degree and it relies on the inflammatory nature of sympathy with the civil rights history.  That “equality” still kept separate, still did not allow actual equal treatment.  That “equality” was about calling it equality, but not letting it be actually equal.  This equality is about legal equality.  Just as a woman should be treated equally with a man before the law but should not have to tell the law she’s a man for that to happen, likewise non-marriage legal arrangements (by whatever name one wishes to call them) should be treated exactly the same before the law, without claiming that they need to co-opt the ancient religious status of marriage to do so.

Yes, marriage is a religious status.  It has been folded into our civil laws, and now we act as though it is really only a civil status, but that’s stupid, frankly.  Our acting that way is an outgrowth of the modern (and relatively ignorant) notion that “separation of church and state” (more correctly, the notion of Congress making no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof) is better understood as meaning state pretending that church does not exist, and church not doing anything to attract the attention of state.  The state recognized the status of marriage in several ways connected to “these two shall become one” a very long time ago.  A few of those ways are listed two paragraphs above this paragraph.  The precedent being set, and firmly so, it is incumbent on the state to be sure that all persons have the same legal benefits that people who fit into this state-recognized religious status have.  However, the state is under NO honest, sensible, common sense defendable, constitutional onus to steal this religious status from religions.

Many of my friends will no doubt argue that the state has no business having anything to do with any religious status.  Perhaps not, today, now that the same power centers that pound so loudly for this “right” that they create out of thin air (by twisting the real right that really does exist) have been successful at (1) engineering society by the government (which removes all religious influence by constitutionality) and (2) therefore marginalizing all Biblically oriented belief; perhaps now that government is supposed to actively teach the population to fear religion; perhaps that is sadly true today.  Teaching the population to fear religion is not far-fetched.  I have heard many, many left-leaning posters over the last several years, whether blogs, forums, or social media, propound exactly that, and if not that, at least keep the churches out of the way, and essentially out of the sight, of “normal” people.  Yes, I’ve seen that term used that way too many times to honestly call it an isolated usage.

So where we are, honestly, is that the insistence that occupying the state-recognized religious status of marriage is a “right” of everyone (note (1)) is not actually about obtaining the actual right that is being denied (equal treatment under the law, that’s TREATMENT not equal TERMINOLOGY), rather it is about isolating religion further from any influence (that is NOT control) on any part of government and elevating government further into the slot that religion occupied formerly, when society was society and government was government.

In some ways, I’m not even sure why I bother.  Very few will read this far, fewer will seriously consider the fairly obvious reasoning, and it will not change.  It will not change for a reason that has nothing to do with the “gay marriage” question.  It will not change because human nature is fundamentally selfish and self-satisfying.  It says, in short, “I want it all for me” and this path that the opponents of North Carolina’s ballot question have taken moves the US a little closer to that being the prime directive “nobody can say no to you.”

If you think I’m nuts, think about this.  Civil unions were not enough; it had to be the thing called “marriage.”  This insistence for the obtaining of a religious approval of a union comes from people who almost universally disdain religion.  Why?  Why is the status of marriage itself so important?  It has nothing to do with equality because it is neither the only nor the most expeditious path to equality.  It is a path that puts these people in concert with religion, yet they insist on it.

This is about marginalizing religious belief, people, and about replacing church with government in the sphere of public influence of morality and values.  Plain and simple.

Liberty for the brave,

Al

Read Full Post »

A New Home

This blog was formerly known as The View From The Street on blogspot.

I got tired of blogspot.  Whether it was me not being technically savvy enough or whatever, WordPress is FAR easier for me to negotiate than blogspot was.  Ergo, I moved here.  I was not able to keep the same name because a ministry organization committed (it would appear) to street preaching and ministering to street people already had that name on WordPress.  As to their worthy endeavors, I wish them Godspeed, quite literally.

Since the idea behind “The View From The Street” was always the view of an average Joe, a common man, not someone in an ivory tower, just Joe Blow on the street, I changed the name slightly to The View From The Street at Common Man’s Corner.

When I was a youngster, the men of the small town I lived in would often gather after supper on this or that street corner, and talk about the events of the day.  They were not bums on the street corner, it was a small town, and people would walk after supper.  This or that corner, especially if it had a high curb they could sit on, was just convenient.  That is what this is, in it’s essence.

I am nothing more than an average common fellow, high school education, retired enlisted Navy, just an average Joe.  I work toward being as good a man as most any of those men in my memory sitting on the street corner, discussing politics, fishing, and high school sports, or some such topics.  Those men survived the Great Depression, served in World War II, watched young men go and fewer return during Korea, and were watching it again in Viet Nam.  They survived, and more, they lived.  One great example of this is that they asked for nothing if it was not absolutely necessary.  On the few occasions that any of them did get any assistance from the government (it wasn’t money in those days, it was actual food, called “commodities”), they did it for as short a time as physically possible, they did it as an absolute last resort, and they would have preferred that no one knew they had to do it.

I thank them for the example they set for me, in so many areas.  The area that affects this writing most is the area of knowing as much as possible about how the various levels of government were supposed to run.  These men knew the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, not because they’d memorized it to show off, but because they’d read both of those documents so often.  They cared, and they expected every other American to care just as much.  I thank them again, and I wish I could thank them in person, but they are all passed on.

So, this is The View From The Street’s new home, Common Man’s Corner.

Welcome.

Liberty For The Brave

Al

P.S.  For the record, “Liberty For The Brave” does NOT mean I advocate for liberty to be limited to select people.  It is an old Navy phrase, those who remember it know exactly what it implies.  It has to do with a healthy balance of compliance with duly appointed authority and individual initiative.  It comes from what we would say when it was time to stop working and go off the ship (home, if in home port), but the next in command was not there to specifically “put down liberty” (directly give permission to end the workday).  Leaving the ship like that is called “liberty.”  It means going into town, or home, or to the barracks, if that’s where the sailor bunked while in port.  If, for whatever reason, the sailor’s next in command was not present to directly grant liberty, then the sailor was faced with this decision:  stay and wait for the next in command, or take matters into his own hands and go.   Bottom line, if he chose what his next in command would have chosen, were he there, the sailor did well.  If not, he didn’t do well and spent many days cleaning the bilge as a result.  Ergo, Liberty For The Brave…

Read Full Post »

Give Me A Break

Originally published Thursday, February 16, 2012
on The View From The Street (transferred here from blogspot)

Give Me A Break

When I read it, “give me a break, for crying out loud” was about all I could think.

A day or two ago, a friend showed me a link to an article on a site called “Addicting Truth,” or “Addicting Info,” or something like that.  The link was to a post that was written to supposedly teach Republicans about “real” socialism.  It was as rife with ignorant assumptions about Republicans and conservatives as Free Republic is rife with ignorant assumptions about Democrats and liberals.  The article pointed to fire and police departments as “Democratic Socialism,” and used that as a launching pad to campaign for state paid post-secondary education.  As a “proof,” it pointed to Europe as a shining example of how it ought to be.
The author of the piece described this “Democratic Socialism” as a political system that is fundamentally democratic as to the people’s voice, and is a mix of socialism and capitalism.  The first clue regarding the author’s core intent and beliefs is that socialism forms the basis; it’s just that some capitalism is allowed in.  It is that fundamental position that I take issue with.  Don’t try to pass it off as “it’s just a name, who cares” because that ignores the elemental fact that it illustrates.  That position starts with socialism as its foundation and adds capitalism only if necessary, and thus is aligned with those policies that tend toward the government being the great problem solver, equalizer, sugar daddy, and thence, God.  That line of think is, in my experience, typical of people who call themselves “liberal” or “progressive.”
The author here proposed to teach Republicans that the current application of the system that the Republicans supposedly hate is really pretty sensible.  It ended up, then, attempting to deny the fundamental truth of socialism – that there is no private ownership of anything, because it all must be yielded to the power center (typically the government) to be distributed.  The fact that the current application that the author cites does not go that far does not remove that fundamental truth.
The author’s argument chided Republicans for recoiling at the thought of taking it all from the rich to give to the poor, claiming that Democratic Socialism does no such thing.  In fact, Democratic Socialism only does no such thing as it is currently applied.  There is no mechanism within that system whatsoever to prevent it from running completely amok.  Well, amok to some, complete fulfillment to others, I must believe.
As the author left it, his/her argument implies that Republicans, if they had their anti-socialism way, would not have fire departments or police departments.  It makes no impact on the author, apparently, that it is a fact that it is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer that this implication is outrageously false.  Well, at least to the most casual observer who is not blinded by hatred or distain for the other party/philosophy.  Then again, I suppose that observer cannot be honestly described as “casual.”
The issue in America today is not actually whether or not to adopt socialism, nor is it whether to adopt capitalism.  At issue is whether America shall return to being a capitalistic system with some necessary socialism applied or shall become a socialistic system with a bit of capitalism applied.  When I was younger (born in the mid-50s), it would have been outrageous, and laughably so, to suggest that our fundamental system in the US was socialistic.  It was capitalistic, and that was known by all.  What kept it so was the idea that we are all individuals, responsible for ourselves, with worth and purpose individually.  We often team up to gain a better effect, to utilize a benefit of coordinated action in this or that scenario, but the fundamental existence of each of us is as a free agent individual.
Socialism cannot long exist in the presence of insistent individualism.  Socialism requires group existence, and more, it requires group exclusivity regarding value.  It requires that there is no value in individual effort or existence outside the group.  In short, you have to belong to be worth anything; only that which is done for the group matters.  Now, the author of the piece that launched this blog entry does not, today, push socialism that far.  I want to be clear about that.  However, by shifting the basis of our nation’s desired system from capitalism with some socialism as necessary to socialism with some capitalism as necessary, the author achieves more than any argument against Republicans can point to.
The fundamental truth is simple.  If we are indeed individuals, responsible for ourselves, of value of and on our own, with freedom to join or remain apart from any effort and still be honorable people, then our fundamental system is capitalistic in nature, and we may well add socialistic elements as necessary.  Police and fire departments are good examples.  Public schools are also good examples.  If, however, we only have value and can only function as a part of a group, then only a socialistic system can meet our expectations.  I almost said “meet our needs” but socialism, as the philosophy that most understand, exists for the purpose of acquiring and retaining power by meeting far more than the needs of life.
The ignorant assumptions about Republicans (and by logical extension, conservative people) that mentioned at the outset, can be all found in some sub-set or break-out of the idea that Republicans want a system that is purely and totally capitalism, and to do not recognize the need for an appropriate application of socialistic programs.  This assumption is…  well, I don’t have polite words for anyone who willingly believes this.  Perhaps they’d like to buy a bridge I know of.
So what leads someone to want to slip the foundations of America from capitalism (with a little necessary socialism) to socialism (with a little necessary capitalism)?  I think it’s simple, honestly.  They don’t (1) know that they are doing all that, and/or (2) care if they did know they were.  You see, my experience to date tells me that well meaning, intelligent folks get to the place that the author wrote from by trying to do good things for people who need it.  They simply lose sight of the underlying principles that must be preserved when these good things get done, or they think that principles are silly and don’t matter.  Both of these failures arise from looking solely at the end of an effort, and failing to be concerned with how one gets there.  That is, as long as the hungry are fed (for example), who does it and how the money was obtained to fund that is of little concern.  In short, it is a form of the ends justifying the means.
Oddly enough, when one does value the means, a much better solution generally appears.  Welfare, for instance, would then provide for the down and out and for a way up, without becoming the refuge of the willingly lazy.  There aren’t any of those, might one tell me?  Don’t bother, I’ve personally seen way too many, with my own eyes.  If you really believe there aren’t any of those, then you need a reality check, stat.  To get back on the point, there are programs that are socialistic in nature that need to exist for the common good, and ought to be paid for from the common treasury.  They ought not, however, be allowed to threaten the fabric that America was founded on; the sense that individualism is the core and cooperative effort is laudable and voluntary for the most part.  Note, a nation that is fundamentally capitalistic will not have these programs here, there, and everywhere.  They will have to be truly necessary, actually required, and not merely a good idea to get someone elected or to keep someone in power.  That is the other reason why these attitudes are shifting in America.  Socialistic thinking is popular because when the rubber meets the present American road, it boils down to “gimmie, I don’t wanna get my own” as opposed to “I worked for it with my hands, my brain, or both, and honestly earned it.”

The sad thing to me is that “gimmie” really is so much more popular than “I worked.”  I wish it weren’t true, but I have seen it, little by little for a long time.  I also wish that one of the major two political power centers in America wouldn’t exploit that truth for their own gain, but I have seen that for a long time, too.  Both are observed facts, and both sadden me deeply.

So, once again, I hide my old uniform a little deeper in my closet.
Al

Read Full Post »

Thank You, Joe

Originally published on Sunday, January 22, 2012
on The View From The Street (transferred here from blogspot)

Thank You, Joe

I got home from church and lunch, and the news feeds tell me Joe Paterno has died.  Such a sad thing, that he should pass with all this turmoil around him, from the realization that it’s actually likely that an assistant coach of his was a true pervert to the board of Penn State offering him up as a scapegoat.

To the board:  You don’t get any points from me for having the “guts” to fire Joe Paterno.   I am convinced that you did it in order to try to make a statement along the lines of “Look, we fired the great Joe Paterno, if we would do that, we MUST be the good guys.”  You are not good guys.  You are knee-jerking jerks.

To Joe, if he were here to read this:  Thank you, sir, for putting honor first as much as you humanly could over that long, long career.  Thank you for not covering up that we are all human, and sometimes fail, and that the right answer to that is to get up and go again.  Thank you for standing for values that most of the world think are too old fashioned to even consider.

To Joe’s family:  I hope and pray I speak the same feelings that the overwhelming majority of Americans feel.  Joe Pa was a man among men, who reminded all of us, year after year, that living honorably was the same living today as it was a long time ago; for showing us that honor does not change with public appetites.  We will miss him, and what he stood for, because it is extremely rare to find anyone who will stand as he did, especially in the public eye.  We are sad for you, and I am pretty sure most of us would take some of your sorrow off your shoulders, if such a thing were possible.  Please know that no one who understood the honor that Joe lived thinks that he hid anything.

To Joe’s detractors:  Believe what you wish, but based on years and years and years of demonstrated honor, I believe that Coach Paterno told the highest campus cop (the administrator that is in charge of the campus police).  To believe otherwise is to believe that a man turned against a lifetime of decency, honesty, and honor.  I know it is convenient for many of you to make that argument, because it helps you to break down the barriers that have existed since time immemorial to your desired behavior, but your convenience isn’t a speck of dust on the globe of honor built up by the Coach.  So shut up.

-Al
(a 56 year WVU fan, for what that’s worth)

Read Full Post »

Originally published on Friday, January 20, 2012
on The View From The Street

Thank God It’s Friday

Well, SOPA is done, at least in it’s current form.  It’s done for the right reason, I think, but that’s difficult to figure out for sure.
See, it’s generally good thing when Congress reacts to the voice of the people in a real time sense.  One primary question is whether the outcry was the voice of the people or the voice of a few of the people.  The other primary question is whether this was one of those rare cases wherein leadership has to say “no” to those that leadership is responsible for, for the good of those they are responsible for.

Personally, I think the answer to the first question is “not likely” and to the second, “it wasn’t.”  I’m not sure enough of the people even knew what SOPA really was to call it a bona fide “voice of the people” and that more especially, because I think most of what “the people” knew – and most of what the people who were protesting knew – was second hand, agendized, tailored information.

I’ve now read the document (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.3261:) and it occurs to me that it was a fair faith effort to protect intellectual property in the US.  That’s a Constitutional mandate, by the way, readers.  How they were trying to do it was too much like giving someone a Sherman tank and telling them to hunt squirrels, and trusting them to not burn down the woods.  So, it’s good, I think, that it’s off the radar in it’s current form.

I am somewhat bothered, however, by much of the justification I’ve seen around the net about why it was a bad idea.  Basically, several of the major players have said things (per news reports) that are essentially “you gotta just let this bad stuff happen.”  There’s a fundamental problem with that, as anyone should be able to see without much argument or question.

Intellectual property piracy is wrong, no matter how you shake it.  If any of you make a record, ok, a CD now, with you singing your songs, and someone buys one copy, and makes a gazillion copies and distributes them, by sale or by gift, that’s stealing, plain and simple.  No matter who does it, no matter where they do it, it’s still stealing.  The other forms of piracy are equally theft.  Ignoring that because it’s convenient to ignore it is merely a pointer to the most significant problem in our society: right and wrong mean nothing, but convenience means everything.

While it’s good that SOPA in its current form has failed, it’s willful neglegence to not mention the other issue that showed its head during the debate.   I’ll not hold my breath for anyone in power, or anyone I’ve seen making lots of noise on the net, to take up that banner.

Sad.

Al

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »