Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Missing The Mark - we need fewer laws, not more

I believe our Constitution is being attacked and very few are coming to its defense.

The state of Indiana recently passed a law, Senate Bill 101 of the 2015 General Assembly (AKA The Religious Freedom Restoration Act), for the purpose of “prohibit[ing] a governmental entity from substantially burdening a person's exercise of religion.” To pass this law and to achieve its objectives the Indiana legislative body substantially altered the definition of “persons”, which I believe if allowed to stand could severely erode everyone’s freedoms.

Sadly, only those in the LGBT community are being defended and understandably so. This community was arguably targeted with the passage of this law. As such, this community of people should be defended, not as a group, but as a part of America, which is why I believe the national discourse misses the mark.  

Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) states in Section 7 that a “"person" includes … a partnership, a limited liability company, a corporation, a company, a firm, a society, a joint-stock company, an unincorporated association, or another entity.”

Our Constitution mentions “person” 22 times.  I believe our founders intended “person” to mean a human being.  Once we start defining person other than with that simple definition, a human being starts to lose his or her freedoms, which can be very damaging to our country and may lead us “to dissolve the political bands which have connected [us] with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle [us], a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that [we] should declare the causes which impel [us] to the separation.

“[As such] We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

 What we need is not more laws, but fewer and that is the mark for which we should strive.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Stupid Voters Not, Uninformed Voters Yes

Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist, has received a lot of bad press lately for speaking his mind so freely about our collective knowledge level and subsequent gullibility, which he claimed could be leveraged to make and pass the demonstratively proven poor piece of Federal legislation known as Obamacare (AKA the Affordable Care Act [ACA]).  We should actually thank and praise him for his honesty.

Why do we not value his honesty?  Maybe because it is so offensive?  I hope not.  I hope the contempt we hold is because he made his proclamations behind our backs versus in an open forum. More importantly, we should hold contempt for all those whom embraced his language and did not bring to the fore his observations because if they did then people would have not lost their health insurance, rates may have not continued to increase greater than the rate of inflation, etc....

We are not stupid, just uninformed due to a multitude of reasons, some of which I have written about in the past.  While it is our responsibility to be knowledgeable, we are not omniscient.  We must trust and rely on those whom we charge to act on our behalf.  Trading on that trust for short term gain is what is most offensive about this sordid mess.

I encourage us all to become more involved so we do a better job of electing those that represent us whether in local, state or federal government.