Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pondering John McCain & Regulations

John McCain is a true hero. He survived as a POW without compromising. I wish he had carried that same dogma into his political career.

Conservatives understood that McCain was only a "lukewarm" presidential candidate because he was the consummate fence-straddler. Now, he is proving that the country is probably better off with Obama as President. At least, with Obama, we know he is a far left ideologue. We are alert to his every move and can oppose him, because there is little subtly in his approach.

McCain, however, is a different matter. He seems never to have seen an industry, or product, which doesn't need government regulation. He appears to search for new items to regulate. Now he wants to regulate food supplements. All one needs see is the result of government regulation on other products, to recognize the inherent danger here.

Now some are going to say, "But Mike, these things need regulation. They affect our health." I have no problem with "truth in advertising, or accuracy in labeling." However, most of the medicines I was raised on, the same things my mother who is now eighty-four was raised on, and her mother, who lived to the age of ninety-eight, was raised on have been regulated out of our reach.

The sulfur mixed with a molasses was an effective antidote to the red bugs, or chiggers outside the deep South, fleas, and ticks. The penicillin tablets, crushed and mixed with the molasses, fought the infections we contracted as we stepped on rusty nails, and cut ourselves with broken bottles. The Paregoric, also mixed with molasses, helped young children suffering from intestinal disorders and teen girls with menstrual cramps, and was an effective toothache remedy. None of these items are available anymore except through prescription which naturally requires a doctor visit, and trip to the local Walmart Drug store. Can anyone say, "Unnecessary additional costs?"

Now this wolf in sheep's clothing, McCain, desires to regulate even more of our lives. I say, "Enough Already!" Write another memoir, take a fact finding trip to Australia, hike the Grand Canyon, you'll still get paid well by the taxpayer. Just leave our personal lives alone. NO MORE REGULATIONS!!!

© 2010 Mike Rasberry

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wasted Years

This morning I received word that my cousin lies on a hospital bed in Covington, Louisiana near death. Little can be done for him because a lifetime of profligate living has utterly destroyed his body. But there's more to this story than that.

You see, Tommy's skill with people coupled with his innate intelligence allowed him to ride the crest of success at an early age. However, those same attributes, never harnessed by submission to Holy God, led him to experiment with mind altering drugs. Drugs, and later, Alcohol became his obsession, his reason for living. They were cruel masters, unwilling to share their slave with family or friends. Going for months on end without contacting those who loved and prayed for him; this wasting shell of his former self would eventually show up needing help.

The song, "Wasted Years" has never seemed more poignant than this morning.

Wasted years wasted years oh how foolish,
As you walk on in darkness and fear,
Turn around turn around God is calling,
He's calling you from a life of wasted years,
As you wondered along on life's pathways,
Have you lived without love a life of fear,
Have you searched for life's great hidden meaning,
Or is your life filled with long wasted years,
Wasted years wasted years oh how foolish,
As you walk on in darkness and fear,
Turn around turn around God is calling,
He's calling you from a life of wasted years,
He's calling you from a life of wasted years

Each time I ponder the potential of a young man filled with energy, strength, and intelligence who has wasted his life; I remember that Holy God died for just such as he. Oh that he would have exercised his talents and gifts in the pursuit of holy living as the bond slave of Jesus Christ rather than those harsh taskmasters who robbed him of all his productive initiative.

Wasted years. I find myself wondering if I did enough to demonstrate love and compassion to him. Time and again I pleaded with him to give himself to Christ, and every time he acknowledged his need, yet never seemed able to trust Christ enough when the pangs of desire for his one true love, alcohol, stirred his being.

Young men, I plead with you. Reject the alluring advances of that strange lady alcohol as she flits her skirts in her most seductive manner, lest one day you awaken to discover that you, too, have wasted the most productive years of your life.

Lady Alcohol is an unnatural lover, unable to satisfy the cravings for love, companionship, and accomplishment. Her promising enticements serve only to fuel the senses for more and more. Promising much, but delivering nothing more than "Wasted Years."

Turn today to The Lord. Psalm 103:12 says, "As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us."

© 2010 Mike Rasberry

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Mount Vernon Statement

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council reports that than 100 conservative leaders joined together today to celebrate the release of the Mount Vernon Statement -- a document he believes has reaffirmed conservative commitment to Constitutional Conservatism and the principles of the Declaration of Independence: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I wonder if the document goes far enough. At first blush it appears more nuanced than substantive. Perhaps, however, I'm being too critical. I'm actually looking for genuine conservatives, of which Tony Perkins certainly is one, to explain in plain English just what the "pursuit of happiness" means and the limitations to such a statement.

The document states, "The conservatism of the Declaration asserts self-evident truths based on the laws of nature and nature's God. It defends life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It traces authority to the consent of the governed. It recognizes man's self-interest but also his capacity for virtue." In the 18th Century this was a clearly understood statement, which met with little equivocation, even by unbelievers. In this contemporary, pluralistic society such terms need defining.

While I agree with the intent of those who formulated the statement, it appears to not be so notable a statement as to create even angst amongst those who are the enemies of traditional constitutional government. Not one of these signers need fear the loss of position, property, or prestige over the signing of such an innocuous statement.

I believe the time has come for bold leadership in America. The kind of leadership which, in the tradition of the founding fathers, risks everything for the purpose of restoring our constitutional government.

While I will sign the agreement, I believe it to be far short of what is needed.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Memories of My Childhood

During my second year of elementary school, my family moved atop what was known as "Crocker Hill," so named because Mr. Joe Crocker and his family lived on the East side of the red clay road at the top of the steep hill. We lived across the road from the Crockers in a three-room house with a pantry and another little bitty house out back.

The house was "L" shaped with a door opening into the front room which served as both a bedroom for my parents and our living room. It was that room which became the center of attention on Saturday Nights when the Crockers would come over and my Mother's parents would come up the hill to eat chili and watch wrestling. I still remember Mrs. Crocker yelling at those referees for allowing "Gorgeous George" to be treated so badly by other wrestlers.

Next to the front room was the room shared by my sister Sue and me, until I was moved into the pantry behind the kitchen. Aunt Eunice Ivey stayed with us at one time because my Mom was working and my Dad was driving a truck, so she stayed in the room with Sue and me, also.

Behind our room was the kitchen. It housed the refrigerator, a pot-bellied wood heater, a butane fired stove, and our eating table. The pantry was a small room about six feet wide and about ten feet long.

A door opened to the outside from the kitchen and down several concrete steps was a huge oak tree right in the "L" of the house. The exposed roots made a great playground as I imagined myself a character in the Dick Tracy comic strip, or Sunset Carson, or Johnny Mack Brown, or any number of other contemporary heroes. Hour upon hour was consumed playing with or without my sister on those roots.

I regret that my grandchildren and their contemporaries have not learned to enjoy the roots of a tree. Electronic gadgets have opened new vistas for their exploration, but I doubt they'll be happier than I was as a child. My parents did not have much in the way of material things to give us, but what they did give us has remained with me these sixty plus years-- the memories of childhood.

Today, while pondering the financial pressure parents bring upon themselves in order to give their children a better life than they had, I wonder if the children could possibly be more fulfilled and content than I, or if those "gadgets" bought to satisfy their cravings to conform will prove as worthwhile as those hours on the roots of that old oak tree.

Aah--The memories of childhood.

© 2010 Mike Rasberry

Continuing Erosion of Personal Freedoms by Police Entities

A recent article entitled "Police want backdoor to Web users' private data" by Declan McCullagh reveals the potential for the continuing surreptitious erosion of personal individual rights by governmental entities which seem to believe they alone are capable of protecting us from ourselves.

Government has two primary constitutional responsibilities: (1) Protect the citizenry from foreign powers who would overthrow our form of government. (2) Maintain domestic judicial order so that the citizenry can develop their resources to their greatest capability without oppressive interference from the authorities who maintain such. That is all government is needed for.

We do NOT need government to make sure we have health insurance, or food, or clothing. Nor do we need government to protect us from ourselves by limiting those activities which some entity might consider dangerous.

Seat belt laws are an example of government's intrusion into the personal lifestyles of individuals. While seat belts are obviously beneficial, they are also detrimental in some instances and downright ridiculous in others. My grandchildren are certainly not nearly as comfortable on trips as my own children were who were provided a bed in the floor board and allowed to sleep in an unrestrained position during trips. Seat belts were already becoming accepted as a safety factor when government decided to require everyone everywhere to wear them. While the transition to seat belt use would have taken longer, I believe it would have occurred nonetheless.

Bleeding heart elitists, the hoi oligoi, believing they know what is best for the hoi polloi, the great unwashed masses, seem obsessed with implementing more and more rules in the name of safety, security, and the general welfare. Such rules, once enacted, become simply another tool by which the commoners can be controlled. Control, it seems, is more important than any genuine benefit.

All of which leads us to the topic at hand. I am a strong proponent of the police in general. They have an often thankless profession, and must deal continually with the lowest class of society, the criminal. As the criminal cleverly devises ways to gain an advantage through deceit, theft, or subterfuge, the police must be prepared to react to each new invention of the criminal's diabolic mind. Yet, there must be limitations on their freedom to access the private information of the citizenry. Taking the time to obtain a paper warrant before accessing private information might indeed allow some criminals to escape. No system is failure proof. However, laid alongside the right of private law abiding citizens to protect their information, it is no contest. We must err on the side of freedom, or we will eventually err on the side of totalitarianism.

Only the most naive believe they can prevent private information being disseminated in this the information age. However, to authorize what amounts to warrantless intrusion into one's personal affairs is nothing less than an abdication of personal responsibility. Few who acquiesce to these procedures would allow the forcible search of their homes by police without a bonafide warrant, nothing less should be demanded of the electronic media.

You and I should contact our congressional delegations posthaste to inform them of our opposition to such procedures, lest they be inserted into innocuous appearing bills without raising a stir, or worse be enacted as administrative decisions by pompous bureaucratic aides.