Master CraftsMon

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, February 6, 2006 at about 11pm CST - Index

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, February 6, 2006 at about 11pm CST - Index

Segment 1:
Discuss the Jutland Post's publishing of the 12 cartoons and how it is impacting the world right now

Segment 2: How the Jutland Post's publishing of the 12 cartoons impacts the Left in this country.

Segment 3:
Pitch the ammendment to Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 and how it can be used to cut down on the pork and markups in the federal budget.

Segment 4: Return to the Hiring Hall Association project. Almost no improvements. I just wanted to see if anyone notices.

Segment 5:
Return to The Deprived project. Almost no improvements. I just wanted to see if anyone notices.

NOTE: I do not claim that all of the above is original. Where I have been able to do so, I have given links. If I have plagerized someone else's works without attribution, please give me the link and I shall make an update.

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, February 6, 2006 at about 11pm CST - Segment 1

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, February 6, 2006 at about 11pm CST
Segment 1

I spent all day yesterday uploading the scripts for the last nine shows. The tenth show was already out there. I invite you to go out and look at them and make comments. If you do go out to my blog, you have to reset the number of message displayed to some number greater than 100. It was a hard task and I had put it off because it seems like I am all alone here talking to myself. If I am alone, then why worry about it?

However I had one guy say that he actually listened to the show, so I decided to bite the bullet and get on with it, like it mattered.

Eileen and her friend will be gone in a bit. MacKenzie is vegging out here next to me, so she is no help with the Board.

Doing this show alone at night is kind of interesting, because it reminds me of working at the Teague building's computer center late at night back in the late 1970's. There were days when I would go in and not come out for 12 hours or more. The weather sometimes was very different by the time I went home.

I like the smell of the air at 2am in the morning. The spell of wood seems to linger there at that time. The cars have stopped running, mostly. The stop lights are flashing instead of making their regular rounds from green to yellow to red. Mostly it's just me and the night people.

As I said, there is just you and me right now. I am calling to you from the velvet black across the gulf of our mutual incomprehension. I wonder at times whether you exist. I wonder at times whether I exist. We shall see shall we not.

To work...

A symbol has a name, it has a definition and it has substance. I have been making that point for the last two weeks. Most of you, assuming you exist, have thought I was crazy. How in the world can symbols be such important things? How can the misinterpretations of symbols be so important?

Overview of Cartoon controversy

This last week the entire world found out what happens when you mess with someone else's symbols. The Jutland Post in Denmark heard in the autumn of last year that Kare Bluitgen, an author of children's books, could not get an illustrator for a project Mohammed. Bluitgen wanted to explain to Danish children who this guy was that seemed to take up so much of the time of their Muslim friends. It was going to be a standard children’s book with pictures. All of the illustrators the author contacted were worried that Muslims would come and kill them, if they did the illustration.

Denmark, like Norway, Sweden and Finland, has been having problems with their Muslim minority. Because all of the countries in Scandinavian are socialist states, they cannot provide employment for their native born citizens much less the Muslim immigrants. The Muslims have been involved too much in crime in Denmark. No one in that part of the world wants to admit that.

The Jutland Post decided to finally and completely face the problem of having an unassimilated minority using... political cartoons. Yeah, kind of a strange thing to do. They did this by soliciting entries in cartoons depicting Mohammed, the founder of Islam. They wanted to make the point that the Muslims should NOT use violence to make their displeasure known.

Much to their horror, that's EXACTLY what happened. The Danish government has refused to apologize for the cartoons, making the point that the cartoons are in a private newspaper. The government of Denmark HAS issued apologies that say that they are sorry that the cartoons hurt someone's feelings. The Jutland Post HAS apologized for hurting the feelings of Muslims.

Here's where it gets kind of strange. Radical Islam has made the point that ANY depiction of Mohammed is wrong. Why? Well, Mohammed had a problem with idols when he was alive. He figured that if he allowed his followers to make idols of him, they would worship Mohammed instead of worshiping God. He had seen what happened with Jesus and the cross and did not want that to happen. How the message of "worship God, not idols" got translated into "don't make depictions of Mohammed or I will kill you" is kind of weird to me.

Voltimand over at the Bellmont Club said...
If I draw a tree and call it Mohammed, is it a picture of Mohammed? If I put the name "Mohammed" (or better: "this picture of a tree is a picture of Mohammed") under the picture, is it a picture of Mohammed? If, having done so, I erase the name "Mohammed," is it a picture of Mohammed or a picture of a tree? I would argue that there is no difference between the tree and the picture of some human-like person with the name "Mohammed" or interpretive surrogate phrase under it.

I put these interesting conundrum in order to isolate the utter arbitrariness of the notion of "picturing Mohammed." How much of the "idolatry" involved is the consequence of something intrinsic to the picture, and how much of it is a matter of someone drawing a (potentially rather complicated set of semiotic) conclusion that it is a picture of Mohammed and therefore "idolatrous"?

From another perspective: Does anyone know what Mohammed looked like? If you don't know what Mohammed looked like, how can you be sure that a picture of "Mohammed" is a picture of Mohammed, and therefore idolatrous?

This is worth thinking about, because it isolates the functioning political point in this whole silly business: something will make you mad if you decide that that something is something that will make you mad. If it wasn't the picture of "Mohammed" or a Koran down the toilet, it would always be something else. Muslims are angry because anger is what they do with their lives, and of course anger is like one end of an electrical cord: it must be connected to another terminus for the anger juice to flow.
end quote

What is radical Islam doing with this tempest in a teapot? Basically they are making the case that the Danes set out to insult Islam... Period. They missed the point that the Danes were attempting to say that violence in the name of religion is a bad idea. The original project was supposed to promote interfaith understanding. The Jutland Post started this series of events because they were upset that freedom of speech was imperiled by self-censorship. They were attempting to get the Muslims in their country to accept that they were under new rules.

Most of this seems silly to any thinking human being, but to Muslims it is not. The symbol called Mohammed is equivalent to Islam. By depicting Mohammed in a bad light, the Danes appear to be saying that Islam deserves no respect. Could be. The funniest thing I have seen so far is that one of the 12 cartoon has elicited the strongest response. It shows Mohammed with a bomb in his turban. In essence, the cartoon is saying that Islam is violent. How do the members of Islam react to being called violent? They become violent. That's almost self parody.

If this really does turn into a global jihad, they should call it The War of the 12 Cartoons. Is it just me or is that a stupid reason to kill someone?

Freedom of Speech is a symbol. The substance behind the symbol called Freedom of Speech is a means of avoiding violence. Most people will not fight if they can have their say and sit down. We in this country have fought some massive battles and spent a huge amount of money to establish that the press can say pretty much anything. If we back down on this one, I do not know what will happen. I know that Radical Islam will take any backing down by the West as a sign of weakness. The leaders of radical Islam will then demand MORE concessions. Even as we speak, radical Islam is demanding that all countries pass anti-blasphemy laws... except the press in Arab countries would still be able to depict Jews and Christians as pigs and monkeys and murderers.

Did you know that the Washington Post ran a cartoon that defamed the United States military and Donald Rumsfeld? Yes, indeed. It shows this soldier in bed. All four of his limbs are bandaged to indicate that he has lost both arms and legs. A Donald Rumsfeld figure is standing over him saying in essence that he does not care about men and women in the military. How did the military handle it? All six of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sent a letter to the editor of the Washington Post saying that the cartoon by Tom Toles was over the top. They asked for an apology by the newspaper and Tom Toles. That was pretty much the end of it. That is the civilized way of handling the problem. There was no hint that the military was thinking of using violence against either the newspaper of the cartoonist.

Radical Islam appears to have found an issue where a good portion of their constituents can agree that something needs to be done to violently punish the Danes for presuming to criticize them. The whole problem is that the West and radical Islam are talking past each other. Just as the Left and the Right in this country have a tendency to misunderstand mutual symbols, so does radical Islam not understand the symbols of the West. Or rather, the leaders of radical Islam know that the West is just attempting to stake out the position that violence should not be used in debating a newspaper article. They're just using it as a method of getting one step closer to a global uprising of all Muslims against the West. When you get right down to it, the Arab Street is willing to believe anything.

Most people did not listen to Osama bin Lauden when he talked about the destruction of the World Trade Center. The idea behind doing 9/11 was to rally all the members of Islam to the side of Osama for a holy war. The symbol fell flat because we destroyed the Taliban and Saddam. That does not mean that radical Islam gave up their goal of rallying all the members of Islam to their side. They just started searching for another symbol.

Somewhere in the last hundred years, the West has gotten to the point where we said that we would give up the right of personal vengeance in order to live a quiet life. The thinking went that, if you as a citizen of a Western country could kill your neighbor for a real or an imagined slight, then everyone would always be on edge. Being on guard all the time causes you to fell insecure. By giving up personal vengeance as an option people could concentrate on living.

Right now a good portion of the adherents of Islam do not accept that personal vengeance is a bad idea. Too many times in this country moderate voices among Muslims have been silenced by a threat of violence. In many cases, the moderate voices never even THOUGHT to give air to their thoughts because they feared for their lives. No, I'm not kidding. Right here in this country there have been cases where Muslims have been threatened with violence for saying things that make other Muslims mad.

Charles Moore at the Telegraph in the UK
asked, "Where did they get those Danish flags?" His point is well taken. Denmark is not a big exporter to the Middle East, nor do the Danes have that big a presence anywhere outside northern Europe.

How come there are so many Danish flags to be burned throughout the Middle East? I think the answer is kind of interesting. A bunch of imams from Denmark have been making a tour of the Middle East to stoke the fires of jihad. They seem to have gotten their local contacts to stock up on Danish flags. Come on, get a grip. It's impossible for the people having the demonstrations in Palestine to have gotten Danish flags that easily without planning. Danish flags in Palestine? Helloooo... Earth to the West. Where did flags that size come from? In short, these were not spontaneous demonstrations.

The burning of the Danish embassy in Syria is surely not spontaneous. The reason I say that is that nothing happens in Syria unless the government approves. Syria is having a really big problem. The West is asking some pointed questions about a political assassination in Lebanon. It's pretty obvious to me that the Syrians want to divert attention of their citizens as well as the West... elsewhere. I bet they're going to ask for a handout once this is all over.

The protests in Lebanon were NOT spontaneous. They BUSSED in the protestors to Beirut. Yoohooo... Syria is having a problem with the Lebanese because they assassinated a Lebanese political leader. Doesn't this sound like a dandy way of diverting attention?

Palestine just had an election where a set of terrorists called Hamas came to power. The European Union and the U.S. have decided to stop funding them. Isn't it INTERESTING that Hamas is behind the protests in Palestine? When do you suppose they are going to come around with their hands out?

The Iranians just got "referred to the U.N. Security Council on account of its nuclear program. And guess what: When Iran finds itself in the eye of the storm, which, of all countries, will be chairing the U.N. body? Denmark." Do you honestly believe that the demonstrations in Iran were spontaneous?

The burning of the Danish flags in Iraq were sponsored by a group of terrorist insurgents. At least the mainstream media got that right. It's not spontaneous there either.

Now, I will admit that the protests somewhere in the world might be spontaneous, but I am having a real hard time believing that the original protests in the Middle East are spontaneous. This is another front in the War on Terror. Anyone who says different needs to have their head examined.

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, February 6, 2006 at about 11pm CST - Segment 2

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, February 6, 2006 at about 11pm CST
Segment 2

All politics is local. The Left in the United States has been silent on the cartoon riots. Various reasons have been put forth as to why. The most likely one is that the Left is having a problem with cognitive dissonance. The Left in this country has attempted to frame the War on Terror as a secular policy dispute. I mean, the Left has tried to make out like the Muslims are victims. The thinking goes, if we in the West would just abandon some of the foreign policies we have, then the Muslims will go away.

The flag burnings and the violent protests flies in the face of that assertion. How can you say that the grievance against the West are secular when the Muslims are burning buildings and killing people over religion? If that isn't a classic case of "I can't believe that this is happening", I don't know what is.

Look at the double bind that the Left is in when they view this battle. The American Civil Liberties Union has campaigned to make awful depictions of Jesus a protected rights. If they come out against any depictions of Mohammed, how can they justify their entire campaign against religion in the public square? Boy, would that be kind of weird. I'm sure they could do it, but it would undercut their other projects.

What I am trying to get across to the people on the Left is that they have misinterpreted the symbols of the War on Terror. Radical Islam means it when they say that they want to rule over all of the world. They really and truly want to establish the new Caliphate. And you have to understand that the symbol called Caliphate is not what you would expect. It is not just a polity, a nation state. It is a Utopian dream. The establishment of the new Caliphate would be the culmination of all the dreams of the majority of Muslims. Most Muslims at least give lip service to the concept of Ummah, the community of Muslims. The problem in the past with pan-Arabism and all its off shoots has been that the rulers in the Middle East have been so strong that attacking them seemed silly.

Think about it. The European press and the American press tried to say that Afghanistan would be a quagmire... that the brutal Afghan winter would destroy our chances of winning. The U.S. destroyed the Taliban in Afghanistan in a couple of months.

Saddam roared his defiance to the world. He looked to the Muslims to have recovered from Gulf War I. Seven weeks in 2003 and he was running for his life. In December of 2003, we had him in custody after digging him out of his spider hole.

To people in radical Islam this is fantastic, because it tells them that they have a chance of replacing the weak willed rulers of present day Muslim states with strong willed people like Osama bin Lauden. Osama bin Lauden famously said that when people see a weak horse and compare it to a strong horse of course they want to ride the strong horse.

We look at Saudi Arabia and see the most repressive regime in the world. There is no toleration of other religions. The refuse to allow women to drive. They have a religious police who wander around and hit people for religious infractions. Saudi Arabia beheads people for offenses that Americans can barely understand... Yet... Radical Islam considers Saudi Arabia to be a liberal state.

No, I am not making that up. There is too much evidence to the contrary. Saudi Arabia has cozied up to the West too much. The Saudi royal family is too secular for the average radical Muslim. The Saudis are considered to be hedonists who would sell their mothers for wealth. Most people on the Left do... not... understand that.

If Saudi Arabia is a liberal hell for radical Islam, what would the new Caliphate be like? Radical Islam is not kidding. They want the Caliphate to be reborn. Initially, the Caliphate would be from Algeria to Indonesia, then of course it would spread over all the world. Why? Well, it is in the Koran as far as they can see.

I guy I read about produced a video that said in fact that all of the beheadings and rape and pillage that the jihadis have been doing is in the Koran. He got a humongous number of emails from people who said that he was mistaken. They said that Islam was a Religion of Peace. The guy said that he agreed that for the person sending the email Islam is a Religion of Peace. The thing is that the people in radical Islam see in the Koran justification for all their deeds.

There is one strain of radical Islam I looked into a while back. This groups said that they were doing God's will because God did not stop them from killing murdering and raping in God's name. They, in fact, specifically denied that free will exists.

Many of you out there have never even heard of the concept of free will in the religious context. The thinking here is that God gave us the right to do Good or to do Evil. If we do Good, then we shall go to Heaven. If we do Evil, we shall go to hell. In short, you are given the right to Choose.

Predestination says that God guides all our steps and everything we do is ordained by God. Every single action is a manifestation of God's will. This means that we are absolved of all bad behavior, because God is doing it. We have no control over our lives, our destinies, nothing.

This group of jihadis I am talking about has taken a middle road. Their belief is that God has veto powers. By adopting this approach they are absolved of all guilt. They can in this life do ANYTHING they want on the path of jihad and be assured that they are doing God's will.

I draw your attention to the jihadis who flew the airplanes into the World Trade Center. When the FBI looked at their credit card activity, they found quite a few lap dances and alcohol purchases on the cards they looked into. Isn't that a great philosophy, do as you want and get rewarded in Heaven for it with 72 virgins, because you died on the path of jihad?

Wait, I am not saying that all Muslims believe this. I am just saying there are various groups of jihadis out there who have wildly different views as to what is correct behavior. Each group and individual makes the case that their approach to life is in the Koran. Other Muslims cry out saying that radical Islam is mistaken. The ones who dissent are ignored, because they have no power.

It's all kind of weird when you get right down to it. Each of the various strains of Christianity have a central authority that decides on what is and what is not correct doctrine for their particular type of Christianity. In Islam, I have never heard of a central authority like that, but it really doesn't matter because the jihadis are going to do as they do with or without the consent of any central control. Just as that nutjob who blew up the abortion clinic a while back for Christian beliefs, so are there nutjobs in Islam who believe they have justification to do just about anything they want to based on their reading of the Koran.

In 1786, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met with the ambassador of Libya to Great Britain. These two future presidents asked the guy why Libya was attacking American ships. Jefferson and Adams made the case that the U.S. were not at war with Libya, so what was the deal? The Libyan ambassador said that they were just doing God's will. Non-Muslims were supposed to acknowledge the primacy of Islam. By paying tribute, the fledgling United States could avoid the wrath of Islam and at the same time show proper respect for the One True Faith. The U.S. decided to pay tribute rather than fight. By the Time Jefferson became President in 1800, the bill for the tribute was VERY high. Jefferson sent the Marines to Tripoli. It didn't work. It took twenty years and three wars before the Barbary Pirates were defeated.

The point I am making is that this view of jihad is not new. It is mainstream thought among Muslims. The only difference between moderate Muslims and radical Muslims is that the moderates want world domination, but at a slower pace than radical Islam. If there are liberal Muslims, they are not in the majority. Look, you need to go out to and look through the translations of some of the speeches by so-called moderates in Arabic. You will be surprised how different the English speeches are versus the Arabic versions are. And I am not saying that all members of Islam are bomb throwing crazies. I am saying that the good hearted people of Islam have no voice. They are totally quailed by their more fanatical brethren and would never think to speak up against them in the normal course of their lives.

Liberalism in this country looks at radical Islam and sees victims opposing an oppressor. For anyone with any intelligence, this week has been an eye opener, because it says that radical Islam is a worse oppressor than any denomination of Christian you can name. When has there be street riots like this over cartoons depiction Jesus as... well, anything? I mean, there have been so MANY depictions of Jesus in various scandalous positions. Why hasn't there been rioting in the streets, if, as the ACLU promotes, fundamentalist Christians are out to silence their critics?

I have in the past harped on the reaction the Dixie Chicks received when they criticized George Bush. What happened next? They went on every magazine and television show who would book them and complained about being censored. What were they afraid of? What does the radical Left say they are afraid of when they speak out? Look again, the radical Left is frightened that Conservatives will say bad things about them. They are frightened that they will have to debate their beliefs. They may indeed get death threats, but there is no organized physical attacks against the Dixie Chicks at this late date. They are back to making records. They are performing. Most of their fans have just ignored their craziness and gotten on with it.

What if the Dixie Chicks had said something in a certain light might be a criticism of Islam? Those girls would be in hiding right now. Just as Salmand Rushdie is in hiding. Just as the twelve cartoonists who did the cartoons in the Jutland Post are in hiding. Neither Salmond Rushdie nor any of these cartoonists will ever be able to have a regular life.

Wake up, people. We are at war with a set of people who view the symbols of life differently than we do and will not ever change their view. We can set a terrorist down on the couch and sing Kumbiah until our throats are sore and he will not change his opinion of us. George Bush is not the enemy. The enemy has finally broken cover and has revealed himself. Have you the whit to acknowledge that he will not give up, nor go away? I hope so, because the next thirty to fifty years, the Left and the Right are going to have to come to some kind of accommodation. If the Left continues to ignore that we are at war with a set of people bent on killing us, converting us to Islam, relegating us to second class citizens or making us slaves, I have no idea what will happen.

If you are on the Left and you expect to win elections this fall with an agenda that attempts to make the case that radical Islam is made up of victims, you are sadly mistaken. The Left on, dailykos and democratic underground make the case that the Left should come out and robustly declare that they are against the war in Iraq and in favor of immediate withdrawal. If the Left follows that advice, no one will vote for them. Not in the face of these riots.

The Left can make the case that it's all George Bush's fault for getting us into the war in Iraq. After all, had we just ignored 9/11 and pursued everything as a police problem instead of a war, we would be oh, so much better off.

Sorry... we can't go back and change anything, as much as we would want. We are stuck in the Now. Simply blaming George Bush for all our woes is not a policy. In the face of an implacable foe, what policy prescriptions does the Left have to fix the problem as it IS, not as we would want it to be? I see none. Do you? I mean, these guys over there are going around burning buildings on what appears to most sane people as a silly reason. I mean, if you look at the cartoons, they really aren't that good, either as art or political satire.

On the hand, the symbol to them is VERY serious. Radical Islam is having a problem. A BIG problem. The countries under Muslim rule are poor. VERY poor. Why is that true? To them the answer is clear. They have not been good enough Muslims. They have to become more Islamic in order for God to shed his grace on them. Only by becoming hard core Muslim can they hope to right the perceived wrong done them.

I am still not sure you understand what is happening with the War on Terror. Radical Islam sees the symbol called Islam as the One True Path... Period. America is MUCH richer than the countries of Islam. America is NOT Islamic. Only Islamic countries should be rich by their lights. How can this be happening unless the U.S. stole the wealth from them... OR unless God has sent our existence as a challenge for them overcome? Either way, the members of radical Islam are called to jihad. They have to fight us now because we are corrupting their children. If things go on much longer they fear, they will be unable to rouse the Ummah to fight at all. The War on Terror is a reaction to our wealth and power, but for a religious reason. We in the U.S. do NOT deserve these blessings. By their standards, we have NO right to much of anything. Only by defeating us can they defend God's honor.

A tree falls in the forest. Does it make a sound? Well, of course it makes a sound... Assuming you want to believe it makes a sound. At this moment the Left is trying to decide whether the symbol called victim still fits Muslims. If you are on the Left, you had best wake up... and you ha best wake up your leadership, because the do nothing option has now, as Hillary would say, become inoperative.

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, February 6, 2006 at about 11pm CST - Segment 3

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, February 6, 2006 at about 11pm CST
Segment 3

I went to the Republican Club's meeting today. I spoke to one of the Republican candidates for Congressional District 17 about an idea I had for cutting down on markups and pork.

In our Constitution, the House of Representatives proposes how the moneys of the government will be spent. After getting the spending bills through the Senate, the budget is sent to the President to actually spend the money. "The Congresses proposes and the President disposes" is the old saying. From Jefferson until Nixon, Presidents had the power to impound moneys proposed by the President. In other words, the President could simply not spend the money as Congress wanted it spent. He could not spend it on something else, he could just let the money sit there. President Grover Cleveland did that a lot. Congress could free up the money to be spent, but it was very difficult. Nixon, among his many misdeeds, impounded way too many programs that the Congress wanted spent. In the wake of the Watergate scandals, Congress passed the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 which said that the President could ask Congress to rescind the money. If Congress did not act in 45 days, then the President had to spend the money as prescribed by Congress. That meant that the President could no longer easily stop Congress from spending money.

My proposal is that the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 be modified and the President be given back the power to impound funds with restrictions. I perceive that the President should be given the power to impound the moneys that the Congress has budgeted, BUT he must send notice to Congress saying that he has impounding the money with the reasons he has done so. The Congress would have until the end of the current fiscal year to over ride the President by passing a bill freeing the money the President has impounded.

A rescission bill would have only one item from the budget. It would have a description of how the money was to be spent, the reason or reasons why the President had impounded the money and the reason or reasons why the sponsors thought the money should be spent despite the President's misgivings. A rescission bill could not be amended to include other spending. If the President could not redirect the spending, why should the Congress have that right? The rescission bill could have amendments where other members added their reasons why the money should be spent as directed by Congress. The rescission bill would follow the same path as a regular bill. Both the House and the Senate would have to pass it. There would have to be a reconciliation. between the two houses and a final vote.

The trick would be that each line in the budget that was impounded would have to have a separate bill. This would mean that most pork barrel spending would be stripped from the budget and put to a vote by all members of Congress. Most members would not want that to happen and thus would not own up to having added the offending line in the budget.

On the other hand, this proposal would allow Congress to over ride any impounding of funds that Congress really felt should be spent. You have to remember that our system of government says that the Congress decides how the money should be spent, not the President. On the other hand, there has to be checks and balances on the spending process. In the past, impoundment worked to check an overzealous Congress.

There is one other thing about this idea. The President could veto the rescission bill. At that point it would take a 2/3's majority to over ride his veto. However for a veto of a rescission bill, the President has to give his reasons for doing the veto. He has to point by point refute the reasons that Congress has given for spending the money that he impounded. Whereas Congress would not have to answer why they wanted the money spent, the President would have to say specifically why he did not like their reasons. If Congress over road his veto, then that would be it. The President would have to spend the money as Congress had directed.

Here's the interesting part. All politics is local. The President has shorted one Congressional district by impounding a pork barrel project, probably. In the next Congressional race, the incumbent could use the reasons for impounding the money against him. Think about it. The President would have said why he was impounding the money that was to go to a given Congressional district. What if it is an election year? What if that Congressional district is critical for him to carry the state? That impoundment explanation had better make sense to those people in that district or he might lose that district and thus his chance for re-election.

On the other hand, rescission bills could be a two edged sword. What if the incumbent had given weird reasons for freeing the impounded money? That would mean that his challenger could use that against him or her in the primaries OR in the general election.

Some people would say that this could be abused, because the President could let through lines in the budget for districts he liked or needed for political reasons and impound those for those districts he did not like. Two edged sword again. There are huge watch dog groups out there who tear budgets apart. Were the President to allow some special project through, almost immediately he would have to defend his actions to his base. I mean, the blogosphere would go a bit nuts, if the President let through an obviously phony item in the budget. Of course it wouldn't eliminate all pork or mark ups, because some of them are pretty heavily disguised, but it sure would cut down on them.

The goal of rescission bills would be to check the Executive. Of the tens of thousands of impounded projects, I would think that only a few would be important enough to fight over, but those few would be VERY important. As it is, Congress has no check on its spending except by the President vetoing an entire budget bill. That's overkill by my standards. The President can make a mistake. After reading the reasons in the rescission bill freeing the impounded money, the President would have to think twice about vetoing it.

There is one other thing you have to consider. The growth of Political Action Committees for companies started when impoundment was taken off the table. The President is supposed to represent all the people of the United States. Congress is supposed to represent only their districts. The President is supposed to balance the local with the national. Sometimes the local interests HAVE to give way to the national interests. If the plan I proposed was enacted, PAC's for individual companies would start disappearing, because markups and pork would become rare. If the PAC's for companies stopped existing, then a large amount of the corruption we have bewailed lately would also disappear.

We need a smaller government. This would be one way to shrink government by shrinking the number of ways companies could make a buck off the government. It also has checks and balances in the budgetary process, which is sorely lacking right now. At the vary least the pork and markups would be out in the open where everyone could see them.

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, February 6, 2006 at about 11pm CST - Segment 4

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, February 6, 2006 at about 11pm CST
Segment 4

I had an interesting exchange with a guy via email. I read this article in a magazine and wanted to send the guy an email. In the article, it said that the guy was at University of Texas in San Antonio. Well, that meant to me that all I had to do was go to the UTSA web site and look up his email address from the college directory. So I did that.

I sent him email saying that I liked his article. In the article he had said that he was setting up a think tank for entrepreneurial policy making. That meant to me that the guy's group was going to look for policy options where the government wasn't involved.

Well, it turned out to be a waste of time. The think tank was still in the planning stages and probably will never come to fruition. I had hoped to pitch an idea about poverty relief, but the guy was not interested any ideas at this time.

Most of you have no idea that when I say, debate and then social activism, I mean it. I truly believe that we have reached a point where we will have to address poverty straight on, instead of assume that poverty is a social construct. Yeah, I think most people nowadays believe poverty is an outgrowth of an unfair society instead of what it really is, an individual vice. And I do mean a vice, like smoking or taking drugs. Poverty is something that people by their individual choices fall into. The hopelessness of poverty makes too many people give up. With the government footing the bill for the living expenses too many people take the check from the government, follow the rules about seeking a job and... lose themselves in the day to day struggle to make ends meet.

Despite what you've heard, getting out of poverty requires that the individual do something. Most of the time it is improving their job skills. Doing that is sometimes impossible, because all the incentives are for people in poverty to give up and get by.

Let me tell you about my idea. It's called the Hiring Hall Association.

Individuals have to fix their own problems. The government cannot do it, because the government has to follow a one-size-fits-all model. What is needed is a program where each individual who has a problem is tested and an inventory is done on their skill base and their other resources. Each individual would then have to decide what they wanted to accomplish. They would have to set goals for themselves.

Then they have to be convinced that they CAN better themselves. If you can do that, then you've won half the battle. For an individual to succeed, they have to set some goals for themselves and their families. Each individual would have to come up with a set of goals they want to achieve.

The Council of Governments who represent the seven county area around Brazos County came up with a project to allow each person entering the system to give their information once and then they would be directed to all the different agencies and nongovernmental groups that could help them. It got cancelled because of turf wars between the various State agencies.

I want to revive that project, but with a twist. Instead of just using State of Texas resources, I want to invite every single charity, church and nongovernmental organization to become involved. I want an inventory of all the programs locally that join and what their successful clients look like.

I have had for the past year given the project the working title of The Hiring Hall Association. That does not seem to be appropriate, but it would set the tone for the project by saying to each individual: your goal should be to become a productive member of our society by getting the skills necessary to get a job. If that is NOT the goal of the individual, then you HAVE to find out what their goal IS. For the project to work, each individual would have to volunteer to better themselves. If they were not interested in doing that, then you have to live with that and help them reach a place where they are not in real need.

I also want to involve businesses who hire entry level people. By having businesses involved, the Hiring Hall could tell each of the clients what skill set would lead to a job. The goal would be to find a skill set that the client would be interested in AND where they could get a job. It would be kind of stupid to train someone for a profession where they could not get hired. On the other hand, why not have someone train for a stopgap job, so they have an income? In short, ask them to come back for more training as time permits. Any job is better than no job. Unemployment saps your will to help yourself. A stopgap job is just that... a stopgap.

I also think that psychological testing has to be in there somewhere. Psychological testing has been around for over a century. If you knew the type of person who was helped by each program, then you could tailor the program to the individual instead forcing the individual to accept a program that would not likely help them.

Our Founding Fathers made the point that we cannot expect people to be Good. We have to accept people as they ARE, not how we want them to be. We have to make the alternative to being Good carry a high cost.

On the other hand, what if a person just does not want to better themselves? What if they really do want to live off of society? What do we have to do about that? We can't just abandon them to their own destruction. Doing that sets a bad example in the community. An individual should want to work. If they do not to work, then we need to find that out and deal with the individual who has that problem.

Let's not talk about the extremes right now. The goal would be to fit the help to the individual, not the individual to the help available. That approach has failed. If you do not understand that approach has failed, then I think you may be crazy.

Here's how I think it needs to start. First every group with programs to help the poor need to be invited to work together. In short, the groups doing particular projects volunteer to work with other groups helping people. All the groups have to agree not to fight over turf. Turf wars in the poverty business seem stupid to me, but it does not change the fact that they happen.

When a group joined the Hiring Hall Association, there would have to be an inventory of what the group did. If the group helped people directly, then it would be best to test the people who had benefitted the most from the group's activities. What I am getting at is that the Hiring Hall Association should refer people to a given group only if the client will benefit by being there. The Hiring Hall Association would not dictate who the given group helped, but they would only refer people who could be reasonably be helped. Are you getting this? I am not saying that a given group would have to change their criteria for accepting clients in their own project. I only say that the Hiring Hall Association should only refer people who will benefit by a member group's activities.

Whether you recognize it or not, the seven county area has over 400 service clubs in it. Each club is trying to help. They communicate with each other, but to date they seem to address the emergency needs of people without addressing the long term needs of individuals. This is not a criticism, because it just seems that way to me. For too long we have tried to deal with poverty as if the poor were a class of people who must be helped instead of individuals needing individualized care.

The last time I started on a project like this I started with the Chamber of Commerce. I think this time that may be necessary as well. Sooner or later businesses have to hire the clients of the Hiring Hall Association. I'm almost convinced that the Hiring Hall Association would be a selling point for drawing in new businesses, because it would tell prospective employers that the seven county area has a set of people who want to better themselves. You have to think about that for a moment. The big problem employers have is that they are betting new employees are motivated to do the job. What if a business could be assured that the clients from the Hiring Hall Association were committed to doing their best? That would cut down on the risk factor and cut their costs.

The involvement of infrastructure groups would be crucial. What I am talking about is daycare, transportation, food, clothing and housing. If you do not take care of those, then you might as well forget it. Whether you know it or not there are groups in the seven county area who do things like that. The State of Texas will even pay for daycare for people who are doing job training. That's one of the best kept secrets in the area as far as I can see. Signing up infrastructure groups would be a first step, because logistics is everything.

As each individual entered the system, they would be invited to be tested by one of the groups in the Hiring Hall Association. The psychological testing I think would be crucial because it is not possible to help someone unless you know who you are dealing with. You give the person the option: take the test and get your short term AND long term problems solved OR just take care of what is your problem is right then. You cannot force people to help themselves. They have to volunteer. If you force them, they will just drop out. Conscription in job training just will not work.

This is the problem government projects have had forever. They try to fit a person into a program where they cannot be helped OR they make help conditional on attending a given program. That's a stupid idea. You have to get people to volunteer to better themselves. You cannot force them to fix their own problems. It doesn't work. You can encourage them. You can pump them up. You can be there for them as a resource, but they have to volunteer to help themselves. If someone is in a program to check a box, they will not actually learn anything nor better themselves.

One of the aspects of the Hiring Hall Association I thought up was the idea of having an individual join a support group. What I mean by that is that a set of people start their program to better themselves and work as a group to help each other achieve their goals. What if they swapped off daycare duties? What if each team worked to buck each other up? Some people are not joiners, so that would not work for everyone, but there are some people who need the support of their fellows to get much of anything done. The alienation factor is ever-present. One of the big problems with poverty is the hopelessness that besets people in that situation. If you feel hopeless, you cannot believe that anything CAN get better. Having a set of people in the same situation you are in, cheering you on, would be better than attacking the problem alone.

Why does a person who has no skills have to stay in an entry level job? Why can't they start their own business? What if the Hiring Hall Association offered to back people who wanted to start their own businesses, if they proved that they really were capable of doing that? I believe that has to be an option as well. Too many people are unsuited to being employed by someone else. These clients would have to be encouraged to start their own business. The Hiring Hall Association would have to help them avoid failing in the first three years. You did know that most single propietariships fail in the first three years? Well, it's true.

If the Hiring Hall Association did back someone in a single propietariship, how would any profits be channeled back into the nonprofit side of the project? If the Hiring Hall Association provides the seed money for a single propietariship and then provides the support environment to keep it going, shouldn't money be moved from the small business to the organization that advanced the money? I can't quite see the legal aspects of it.

I do know that single propietariships have to be part of the mix of helping people, because only when you own your own business can you truly be self-stuffiest in our society. Some people want that. It is a worthy goal and the Hiring Hall Association should help their clients achieve that goal if that is what they want... and are willing to train to do it.

It seems unlikely that a person could go from abject poverty to owning their own business, but I know it has been done. This is America. You can fail ten thousand times, BUT if you succeed on the ten thousand and first time, then people respect you for your perseverance.

Another thing I was thinking about was a quarterly meet up. What I mean is that each quarter, the churches, charities, nonprofits, the government and various businesses involved in the Hiring Hall Association have a get together where they invite the public to come and get help. Each of the different groups would have a booth. It would be kind of a festive affair.

Can you see it in your mind? A set of colorful booths each housing a group trying to help the poor. Each one with facilities to enter the client's information into a data base shared by all the groups in the Hiring Hall Association.

The idea would be to have the Hiring Hall Association collect and verify an individual's information. Then issue an encrypted magnetic card with all the information for that individual on it. An inventory of the person's skills would be done as well as their psychological profile. The person would then have to state what they wanted to accomplish. Then an individual program would be drawn up to help that person achieve those goals. With a psyschological profile, you could form support groups with people with similar temperments, kind of like the dating software that is available right now. Assuming they wanted to be part of a support group.

The person seeking help could then go to the various churches, charities and the government for help with the information available for scanning. Just present the card to the group trying to help and the information flows into their system. I also thought that this card could be used to set up the books for a new employee. I mean, an employer could just add someone without a big hassle with paperwork.

By making it an individualized program with milestones along the way, a person in a rotten situation could see that they were accomplishing something. As each milestone was passed, the client would feel more confident and less hopeless. Because each client would be treated as an individual, they would feel respected and begin to get a feeling of selfworth.

When I came up with idea, I determined that the Hiring Hall Association would not be a separate organization. If you do that, then you are begging for the project to degenerate into a command and control model like the state. That's a bad idea. The management of the project should be a rotated between member groups.

I'm with the Kiwanis Club of College Station. Each year the district level of Kiwanis has a convention. Kiwanis clubs all over the Texas and Oklahoma area volunteer to host the convention. An election is held at our annual convention for the location for the convention for the next year. Local Kiwanis clubs make their case for why it would be a good idea for them to host the convention for the next year. The one with the best presentation wins the honor of hosting the convention.

I think the same procedure should be used for the Hiring Hall Association. All the member groups who want to manage the project, could make a presentation to the other members of the association and be voted on. By doing it this way, you have the advantage of keeping the project fresh. Each new management team would bring a different viewpoint to the project. I'm not sure annual moves are a good idea, but greater than four years seems like a bad idea as well.

There is one more possibility that I thought up. What if the skill set for a given individual is bad for the local economy and the individual does not want to change, why not help them move to a portion of the country where their skill set is needed? Kind of a weird idea, but something to consider. Maintaining a person who cannot work and refuses to improve themselves is costly. Wouldn't it be better to pay for them to go to place where they can get a job and make a living wage? Something to think about.

I looked at this project and it seemed to me that it would be a good thing to do, because we have so MANY people moving into and out of this area. I mean, why not become a magnet for unskilled people wanting to better themselves? What is wrong with that? Why NOT be known as a place where you can get a second chance to succed in America?

Of course to get the Hiring Hall Association to work, there must be a volunteer willing to coach the client through their individualized self-help program. The job of case worker is the wrong concept for this position, because case worker IS a job. A volunteer to coach people through their program would have to be willing to be a resource without doing all the work for the client. The volunteer would be a cheerleader as well as a source of information. Someone has to constantly meet with the client and say, "You can do it." Too many times the State of Texas makes the mistake of destroying their clients' selfworth by grinding them down with bureaucracy. The client feels that they will never get into a better situation, because the person trying to help them has such a low opinion of them.

I know, that is a harsh criticism of the State of Texas' attempts to help the poor, but it seems to be an unavoidable condition for most case workers. Because of the feed and forget nature of the present programs, I do not see how a client of the welfare system can feel good about themselves. Each of the State's programs seems to be modelled on the one-size-fits-all concept. How could anyone feel good about themselves in that mode?

But what if you had a coach instead? What if the person assigned to a client by the Hiring Hall Association was an unpaid volunteer? With proper training the coach could seek to maintain a positive attitude in their clients. Their goal would be to provide a hand up, not a hand out. Their reason for being with the client would be to help the client achieve their goals. Logistics is everything. A coach's job would be to eliminate any excuse the client would have for failing to improve themselves. Too many people in rotten situations seek to find excuses for why they have failed. The coach's job would be to remind their clients that they volunteered to help themselves and make sure that any lacking resource like transportation was provided.

Using retired successful people as coaches seems to me to be a solution. It came to me also that we could use retired military, particularly sergeants. Too many of our retired NCO wind up without productive work after they retire. The present batch of retiring military has seen duty in Iraq. Why not use the skills they learned over there rebuilding a country to rebuild lives? Surely we could advertise in military journals for help. Many retired military are moving to this area anyway. Why not harness that knowledge to a good cause? If you think all sergeants are drill instructors, you are sadly mistaken.

Every coach who has ever existed has had to confront the balancing act of how hard to push as opposed to how hard to pull. If a coach pushes too hard, then the client could collapse under the stress. If the coach provides too much encouragement, then the client could have unreasonable expectations and feel cheated at the end of the process.

You're always going to run up against clients who want to game the system. The Hiring Hall Association would have to accept that a certain number of their clients will lie about wanting to improve themselves. The clients will never show up on time. They will become morose when chided. In short, they will be seeking a handout, not a hand up. The Hiring Hall Association would have to accept clients as they are and move them into the maintainence mode. Clients have to volunteer to improve themselves. If they refuse to volunteer, there is a point when you have to accept the judgement of the client and simply provide them with their basic needs. To do otherwise is to be seen as hard hearted.

The Hiring Hall Association has always got to be based on the client volunteering. If we as a society continue to address the issue of poverty using the feed and forget model ONLY, then poverty will never get any better. On the other hand, some people will NOT volunteer, so the feed and forget model has got to be the last resort, not the first resort.

Come on, help me whitewash this fence. It'll be fun... maybe.

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, February 6, 2006 at about 11pm CST - Segment 5

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, February 6, 2006 at about 11pm CST
Segment 5

There seems to be a large number of children who think they cannot make it in this country, so they drop out of high school without getting a degree. Their thinking goes that since they're going to a have a crappy life, then why get a high school degree? Or they believe that getting good grades is a waste of time.

I think there should be a club for children who think their lives are hopeless. I came up with a name for the club, The Deprived. The idea is that the children in The Deprived volunteer to have a better life. I know, that sounds kind of strange, but the problem is that too many kids are just so screwed up in the head that they feel deprived of their birthright. I mean, in America each child should have a reasonable expectation that their lives will be better than their parents. What if the parents have dropped the ball? What if events have conspired to make it seem impossible for them to achieve even a modicrum of prosperity?

Whereas the Hiring Hall Association addresses people who have not gotten the training they need to succeed, why not try to keep kids from dropping out of school and having to get help from the Hiring Hall Association? Why not try to catch the kids before they make the mistake of rejecting an education?

Too many children are being raised in single parent families. Any sane person knows that children in a single parent family are in deep trouble. What if you could get the kids to believe that they ARE in trouble? What if you said that there was a way out, if they joined a club for people who ARE losers, but want to win? What if the club offered college scholarships to everyone who went through the program? Or alternatively offered scholarships to trade school? OR promised to back them financially so they could start their own business?

I can see the posters to be put on the walls of the school.

Are you having a rotten life? Do you feel your future is a deep dark chasm about to suck you over the edge? Is there no light at the end of the tunnel for you, except maybe the train coming toward you? Maybe you need to consider joining The Deprived.

The way I conceive of the club is for the children in high school to swear off promiscuous sex, drugs and alcohol. There would have to be some pretty hefty parties to make it seem worthwhile. There would have to be quite a few lectures and application of lectures on personal finance, job interviews and starting their own business. The goal of dating would change from having sex to getting ready for marriage. I know, all of the above seems crazy.

Hmmm... Let me tell you a story from history. In the early 1800's, England became very wealthy, very fast. The time period was called the Edwardian era. The family crumbled. People were rootless. The kids of the Edwardians became the Victorians. The Victorians REALLY wanted structure. They were tired of having families falling apart. They established one of the strictest codes of conduct I have ever run across. You thought the Puritans were straight laced. These folks were REALLY straight laced. The problem was that no human could live up to that code of conduct, so there was a huge amount of hypocracy. In public, people acted proper. In private they acted as they pleased. I am not in favor of a strict moral code. I only give this example to make the point that the kids of libertines CAN decide they don't want to go the same way as their parents.

You've got to understand that too many children in this country are growing up in an unhealthy family environment. When they get to high school, they seek out cliques to provide the structure that they are not finding at home. In some cases the cliques are destructive gangs. In other cases, it's just a set of friends to hang out with. The problem arises when the clique has a self-destructive outlook on life even if it is not a gang. I read a book called, Beyond the Classroom. In it the authors did a ten year study of seven schools to determine what was wrong with the public schools in general. They were trying to decide why school reform was not working. I mean, the battle cry of the 1970's was that things would get better in the schools when the Pentagon had to hold bake sales to buy supplies. In short, we should be spending as much on our school systems as we are spending on Defense. Well, we have done that. Right now the federal, state and local level governments spend more on schools than the federal government spends on the Pentagon.

Why are the schools still so bad? Or rather why do people still seek to improve the schools, because they do not perform at the level people think they should perform?

Anyway. This book, Beyond the Classroom, determined that children in high school form cliques who either reinforce their drive to better themselves or destroy any hope of bettering themselves. The cliques for Orientals pushed their members to make A's. The cliques for Populars pushed their members to make something close to B's. The cliques for Blacks pushed their members to ignore school all together.

The whole point of the book was that once children get to high school, it's the clique they are with that makes the difference in whether they succeed in getting a high school degree AND at what grade level they graduate, if they graduate.

Again, we as a society have become so wealthy that we have made it possible for our children to choose not to get an education. School reform is not going to work until we get the students to volunteer to get an education. I know, that seems like an obvious statement, but somehow the entire discussion about school reform has missed that point. Kids have to decide that getting an education is a good idea. All the increases in school spending mean nothing unless we can convince children that a good education is worth the bother.

When a child is moved from public school to private school, normally their grades go up. Why? Well, their clique has changed. From a set of people committed to partying, they are exposed to people dedicated to getting an education and going on to succeed in life.

I would point out that if money was the major indicator of school performance, then the Kansas City Indendent School District should be the highest performing school in the nation, because court mandated school spending on the school district took up, at one time, 60% of the school funding in the entire state of Kansas. That's not the case. Kansas City ISD is toward the bottom as far as test scores.

Something has to change. We have to convince our children that volunteering to get an education is something they have to do. How do we do that?

I perceive that The Deprived has to be sold in the context of rebellion. The 1960's generation failed to get a better life through sex, drugs and Rock'n'Roll. I believe that there are a large number of teenagers who have come to the conclusion that the model that their parents have given them is a model of failure. If The Deprived can be sold as a way to declare to the world that the teenager is unhappy with their parents, then I can see where it might work.

Then there is the promiscous sex. The idea behind promiscous sex was that it would free women and show their independence. The show, Sex and the City, made the case that a woman could bring out her inner slut and it would make her as strong as a man. That's great if all women view men the way the radical feminists do, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." It doesn't work that way. Too many women are waking up to the fact that even when they are in bed with a guy, they suffer loneliness. The behavior that screws up lives begins in high school.

Right now driving force behind dating in high school is to have sex. There is some emotional baggage involved, but mostly it is dressing up the concept that dating leads to sex. Why is that a good idea? Can you prove to a teenager that being married is a better idea than going through life single and ultimately alone? I say that it should at least be tried. Despite what you have heard, sex inside marriage is better than outside marriage, because a married couple have the ability to practice. They also should be close enough that they can discuss sex in the context of needs and wants.

How do you say to a teenager, "You have to put off sex or you're going to be screwed."? The emphasis has to be on showing examples of what happened when the adults in their life had a long string of lovers as opposed to what happened when they became married. What if you had speakers come in and talked about their real life experiences?

As I see it, The Deprived should push for educating teenagers in how to date with the goal of getting married instead of having sex. In addition, The Deprived should teach teenagers how to run a marriage. A good marriage is possible, if you have a good example to work from. Most kids nowadays do not. That has to change.

The Deprived mostly has to promote education. There would have to be training in how to get a job or how to start a business or go to college. Each child would have to be treated as an individual instead of a class of individual.

You could have successful people and failures come in and give presentations. Presentations would be in all aspects I have described above.

The only way I can see this working is if there is massive parties given by The Deprived. Nonalcoholic parties do not sound like much fun, but they could be, if planned extensively. As I said before, logistics is everything. Putting on massive, exciting parties once a week, would tax the energy of even a group of teenagers. The mechanics of putting together a party would train kids in how to undertake any large scale project. Plus it would be a way of raising money for scholarships and training for the members.

A club like this would be expensive, because it would have to promise scholarships for trade school or college plus grants and loans and support for people who wanted to start their own business. The alternative is probably more expensive. Kids that drop out of school or who do not get a good education or have a bad home life, have a tendency to become criminals. It's either encourage them to be productive citizens or pay for their room and board in prison.

Anyway. I've said all I am going to say tonight. I now turn it over to MacKenzie Pequa the third. She will play an eclectic mix of music and announce her presence every hour.

I know. I am supposed to sign off at the top or the bottom of the hour, but, hey, I am a radical. I am not bound by petty time constraints. And Mac doesn't care, so what is the harm? In closing I will leave you with a poem I wrote a while back.

I shall light one candle to the dark,
for I fear that there is real Evil out there
where no one can see it
If I do not reveal the Evil and strive to combat it,
then who will?

I must be responsible for myself, my community, my state,
my country and my planet.
Or give up the right to complain about what is wrong.
I shall light one candle to the Dark.
Will you come share the light with me?
Take it away, Mac.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, January 30, 2006 at about 11pm CST - Index

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, January 30, 2006 at about 11pm CST

Segment 1: Re-examine the Statue of Liberty, the White House and talk some more about how the Left and the Right refuse to acknowledge that common symbols have different meanings

Segment 2:
The symbol called the Constitution and the symbol called Universal Health Care and short look at the New Deal

Segment 3: Examine the symbol called abortion and how the symbol called abortion causes abuse of both children and women

Segment 4: The symbol called John Kerry and the symbol called Vietnam

Segment 5:
The symbols called George Bush and Iraq

NOTE: I do not claim that all of the above is original. Where I have been able to do so, I have given links. If I have plagerized someone else's works without attribution, please give me the link and I shall make an update.

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, January 30, 2006 at about 11pm CST - Segment 1

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, January 30, 2006 at about 11pm CST - Segment 1

I started this program knowing that KEOS is very Liberal. I didn't care, because the people here at KEOS are sane by my standards. The Management Team meetings are a classic case of democracy in action. I understood the motivations of the people involved. I could see that the people here are committed to excellence, so I could ignore that their politics makes no sense to me.

I did not start this program to convert you to my way of looking at things. I started this program because I am tired unto death that the Left and the Right are yelling past each other. Watch any of the talk shows. Do you see these people talking to each other? No, you see them trying to count coup. Neither side is budging an inch. Neither side is listening to the other side and considering the other side's arguments. That's crazy to me.

I am trying to change the paradigm of social activism. The Left has failed in its goal of bringing social justice to this country. The poor are still about 20% of the population. I want social change. I want poverty to go down. I want to use the Internet to marshal resources to help in that project.

Last week I tried to show you that the Left and the Right see things differently based on the definition of the symbols that they hold dear. I tried to make some points that because our definitions of symbols ARE different we are not understanding each other. The political discourse between the Left and the Right has broken down. Both sides are frustrated. When I started this program, I thought that I get could someone to acknowledge that the Left and the Right have to work to make this country a better place. The problem as I see it is that the leadership of the Left has gone crazy by the standards of the Right. Just as the leadership of the Light has determined that the Right has gone crazy.

Think really hard about this. How can you have a debate with a person you think is crazy? You can't. The Right makes its points and the Left makes their points and each side ignores the other side's arguments.

I perceive that I am but a voice calling to you from the velvet black across the gulf of our mutual incomprehension.

For most of the shows I have done, I have started the program with a phrase something like that. What does it mean exactly? Do you care? Interesting question that. What I am saying by that sentence is that what you perceive me to have said may NOT be what I really said, because you have different definitions of the symbols I am using and you assume I am saying something I am not.

If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound? This question was posed hundreds of years ago. Not until the last 100 years could we answer it effectively. If a tree falls, it creates a sound wave, it disturbs the air as it plummets to the ground. It disturbs the ground when it hits causing shock waves to emanate from it landing. It thus follows that a sound was produced... but was it heard? The physical world does not care whether it was heard, it just producing the sound and you have to decide to hear it... by being there or accepting that the sound was produced.

Now... Suppose neither YOU nor I were there when the tree fell. Did the tree make a sound? Of course it made a sound. That's silly. Go check it out. When a tree falls it creates a spherical pressure wave that we as humans recognize as sound. In addition, when the ground vibrates after the tree hits, the air is disturbed and another sound may be produced, albeit a very low frequency sound that most humans CANNOT hear. BUT a sound IS produced.

As I said, suppose neither you nor I were there when the tree fell. I tell you that a tree fell, because I have it on reliable sources that the tree fell. If you at that point say that I am wrong because I am on the Right and disregard my assertion that a tree indeed fell, I get frustrated, because you have disregarded what I have said based on political grounds. No skin off my nose, a tree falling in the forest, not my business whether you believe that a tree fell or not. My problem would come about were you to say that even if there were a tree that fell in the forest, there was no sound. In other words that you disagreed that the physical fact that trees falling in the forest make sounds, I would have to assume you were crazy. Think about this. It is one thing if you disregard the fact that a tree fell in the forest, because you distrust me and my sources, it is quite another for you to say that trees in general do not produce sounds when they fall in the forest.

A symbol has a name, it has a definition and it has substance. If it has no substance, then it has no validity for me. The French have come up with what is called postmodernist thought. Under postmodernist thought, all symbols can be redefined to anything you want them to and they are then true regardless of whether there is any substance to symbol. Ah, but what is substance? The postmodernist thought says that substance does not exist.

I know, I know, I know, you are thinking I'm talking crazy. Hey, these are the thoughts of the French, what do you expect?

Anyway, what I am getting at is that to me the facts underlying a symbol MUST match its definition, otherwise it has no validity. Postmodernist thought disagrees.

For a symbol to have substance, the definition has to match the facts on the ground. If the facts in the real world do NOT match the definition, then by my standards the symbol has no validity. Let me state that a different way, a symbol has to have an effect in the world that matches its definition before the symbol is valid. If the definition says that a symbol represents a concept, event or characteristic and that concept, event or characteristic does NOT exist in the real world, then the symbol is invalid.

Now, I am going to go over last week's program in more detail.

The Statue of Liberty is a symbol. It represents to most Americans Liberty and a promise of a good life. That is what the poem by Emma Lazurus about the Statue of Liber states. Yet the Statue of Liberty has physical substance. It has concrete, steel and bronze. It also has substance in that the promise of the Statue of Liberty, its definition is also true. Immigrants coming to this country find liberty and a chance of a good life. A good portion of the Left say that this symbol is a lie. Their position is that because America does not provide a good life for ALL immigrants, then it is a lie.

Do I say that YOU personally believe that? NO, I do not. I simply state as fact that the people on the three web sites:, dailykos and democratic underground by and large believe that the symbol of the Statue of Liberty is a lie. I am stating as a fact that the three web sites I mentioned are the activists on the Left and the center of the Democratic Party. They present the face of the movement of the Left. Here is what I am getting at with the tree example above. Political discourse has gotten so screwed up, you CANNOT and will not go and check this out those sites. You will not believe that I am telling the truth. Your symbol for someone like me on the Right is that ANYTHING I say is a lie, so why bother? Your mind simply filters out my assertions and causes you to believe that I am bashing the Left.

I had a woman call me up and ask whether it was necessary to do all this bashing. The answer is that yes, it is necessary, because I was trying to alert you to the fact that the leaders of the Left have taken an extremist view of how the historic symbols of our country are defined. In short they have redefined the definition of the symbols and that is dangerous, because the leaders of the Left are using postmodernist thought to do the redefinition. There is no substance under the new symbols.

Let me try again. It is obvious to any thinking person that hard working immigrants from a Third World country can enter the middle class in one generation and that their kids can enter the upper tiers of our society by getting a college degree. Anyone who says different is insane by my standards. YET it is a fact that many on, dailykos and democratic underground say that immigrants are victims and can never truly get a good life in this country. Instead of celebrating the majority who achieve the middle class in one generation, they bemoan the failure of the minority and make the generalization that ALL immigrants fail. Again, if you are on the Left, you cannot believe me, because I am on the Right and I have said something that you do not want to believe. Going out on the Internet and verifying what I have said would cause you pain, because you would have to admit that the symbol you associate with the Right may not be true. The symbol the Left has of the Right is that we lie and all of our information is a lie, so we can be ignored.

Here is what else I am trying to get at. The United States has become so wealthy that the elites of the Left on the three web sites I have mentioned believe that Liberty is a given. We have been free from want and tyranny for so long that many believe that Liberty is without cost, or it is a cost borne by the government. Every time the Left is confronted with a lessening of their Liberty, they assume that we are on the edge of a Fascist state.

Look, let me give you the example of the Dixie Chicks. One of the girls in that band while they were in London apologized for coming from Texas and made some disparaging remarks about George Bush. The entire Left was horrified when the Dixie Chicks caught flak for those statements. Why? Because the Left's symbol for George Bush is defined as someone evil, How could anyone criticize the Dixie Chicks for saying that? What's more the Left defined this criticism as censorship. The Left in fact defined the symbol called censorship to mean anyone expressing dissenting views and causing someone on the Left to feel uncomfortable. Censorship does not mean that. Censorship is where you cannot get your views heard. It does NOT mean that you get your views heard without dissent. You see the Dixie Chicks got to vent their frustration with their fans in all the magazines. Their baffled question was, "Why are our fans getting upset with us for stating a fact?" It had never occurred to them that someone might disagree and be willing to criticize them. Again, you don't believe me.

A symbol called censorship was redefined to mean something it did not. The Right looked at that and laughed, because that was a stupid redefinition. If the Dixie Chicks are screaming from every newspaper and magazine, how could they possibly be censored? If someone on the Left has a right of freedom of speech then someone on the Right also has freedom of speech. If your free speech hurts me and I say something back that hurts you, tough. Either we both have freedom of speech or neither one of us has freedom of speech.

The correct solution to this is not where you shut me up or I shut you up, it is that we debate the topic. The Dixie Chicks were not willing to debate, because they had defined the symbol of George Bush as evil, thus there could be no debate. To them, anyone who said that George Bush was not evil was and is crazy by their standards.

As I said at the top of the program, the Left and the Right are not debating. The Left has defined symbols as absolutes and refuses to actually bring forth arguments based on logic and rigor. To the Right that seems so strange.

The insight I wanted to impart to you in this segment is that if you are on the Left OR the Right, you cannot easily go out and verify that what I am saying is true, because the ideological barrier in your mind causes you to disregard what I am saying and assume either that I am lying or that I am attempting to bash you. The very idea that you would go out to, dailykos or democratic underground and spend some time going through their postings would be too alien to your way of thinking. Why do it? Obviously I am lying. Yeah, yeah, the people on the Right should take my word, but I don't believe that either. Of course if you were on the Left, it wouldn't occur to you to think that I am trying to bridge the gap between the two warring factions.

Now, let's look at the White House. To the rest of the world the definition of the symbol called the White House is power. To most Americans, the White House is a muddy symbol. I mean, the White House as a symbol has so many definitions that it really has no ONE definition as a symbol. When the White House was built, it was supposed to be a statement to the world that we had a palace like all the other real nations had. Yes, indeed, we were as good as any other nation even though we had this weird form of government that no one else had. When the British burned the White House in the War of 1812, they thought they could erase that symbol and show us we were being presumptuous. The White House was in essence a lie that became the truth. When the White House was finished in 1800 we were NOT a great nation. We did NOT have that much power. We said something to the world... that we aspired to be a great power. Now the symbol and the substance of the White House are the truth. We are a great power. We are the greatest nation in the history of the world. There has never been anything like the United States, since the last Ice Age. Egypt was just as powerful in the Middle East at one time. China and India were as powerful in their areas, but no nation in the history of the world has been as powerful as we are in EVERY region of the world.

At this point in time, the American people look at the White House and see... the White House, a self-defining symbol. It doesn't really signify any one thing. You look at the Statue of Liberty and, again, you have memories and feelings which boil down to Liberty and a chance of a good life. When you view the White House, do you see the presumption associated with this presidential palace?

From being a presumptuous palace, the White House has become a symbol of our power. Everyone around the world knows that the White House symbolizes real power. When the Statue of Liberty was built it was stating the truth and by my standards the promise of the Statue of Liberty has remained true. When the White House was built, it was a building to make us feel less inadequate when compared to all the older nations. Now, here's where it gets funny. All the palaces that existed in 1800 look quaint, if not silly next to the White House, because they are symbols of past glory. I don't think there is a single palace from that time anywhere on the planet where the palace signifies the power of the nation that hosts it.

I know this entire discourse is freaking you out, but I wanted to make the point that the symbols from our past have been degraded by re-interpretation and it irritates me. The Statue of Liberty does not shine as brightly because too many people think our country is not a land of opportunity. Too many people have decided that liberty does not need protecting because it's a given. Tell that to people in the Sudan. Liberty is not a given. Too many people see the White House as a symbol of imperialist over-reach. Not just because the symbol called George Bush sits in the symbol called the White House. No, the leadership of the Left has been attempting to re-define the White House as a symbol of evil.

You may assume that I am bashing you, that I am showing disrespect for your beliefs. What I am trying to say is that the re-definitions the leadership of the Left have done are without substance. How can the White House as a symbol for our power be defined as a force for evil in the world? In order for that to be true, we as a people would have to have been actively seeking to subjugate people. When has that happened? Again, the leadership of the Left has defined the symbol called subjugation to mean something that it does not. If we are an imperialist nation, then why are we not ruling the peoples of the world? Why are they not sending us tribute? Why are all these other nations competing successfully with us in the marketplace of globalization? That is why the Right laughs at the Left all the time. The symbols you throw out at us on the Right make no sense to us, because they are without substance by our standards.

Again, a symbol has a name, it has a definition and it has substance. For a symbol to have substance, it must have a definition that matches what exists in reality.

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, January 30, 2006 at about 11pm CST - Segment 2

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, January 30, 2006 at about 11pm CST - Segment 2

Our country is not built on blood and bone. We, as Americans, do not have a common heritage. We have nothing to bind us together except our symbols. If one portion of the population defines the symbols that bind us together differently than the rest of the population, then we have a problem. In order for the Left to win arguments, they have to get their re-definition of the symbols that hold up this country to be accepted by the whole country. How can you do that, if you will not debate? How can you ask me to accept your re-definition of the symbols, if you simply say that your re-definition is morally correct, so debate is unnecessary? That SHOULD makes no sense to most people.

Let me show you what I'm talking about.

The Constitution... It's a symbol. People in this country assume the Constitution defines what the government CAN do and in part that is true. Mostly the Constitution is supposed to say what the government CANNOT do. There is a massive method of amending the Constitution to make sure we have a stable society. The Left has attempted to re-define the Constitution with a symbol called living document. Recognize that the symbol called living document is a very dangerous symbol, because it means that each generation of Americans cannot depend on the Constitution to mean what it says. We are at the mercy of nine unelected judges who can redefine the symbol called the Constitution any way they like.

I understand why the Left wants the Constitution to mean what they want it to mean. The agenda of the Left has never been debated and accepted. The only way to get that agenda implemented is by having it imposed by the courts. The Left wants a just society. The Constitution appears to be in the way, thus it has to be moved out of the way so social justice can come about.

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt became President of the United States in 1932, The Republican led government of the United States had screwed up the economy by passing the Smoote-Hawley Bill. The unemployment rate was something like 32%. FDR did something that had never been tried before. He tried to use the government to affect the economy in a positive way. In every other downturn in the economy prior to the 1932, the government had gotten out of the way and let the economy bottom out. In this case the bottom was much farther down, because the government had caused the problem. FDR immediately impounded 40% of all the money in circulation at the time under the Bank Holiday. He did not repeal Smoote-Hawley. He made matters worse. Roosevelt went on a spending spree trying to spend us out of out the Depression. The Supreme Court kept getting in the way. Roosevelt threatened to pack the Court, that is make the Court bigger, so he could appoint Supreme Court justices who agreed with him that the government could be the source of positive social change. The Constitution was in the way of helping people get out of their misery, therefore the Constitution had to be pushed aside.

Once that happened, the final arbiter of what the Constitution moved to the Supreme Court. No longer did the Supreme Court look at the text, it looked at what it COULD say instead of what it said. The Right looked at that re-definition of the Constitution and became frustrated. How do you re-define what the text of the Constitution says? There are ways to amend the Constitution, why weren't Liberals willing to go through that process?

I understand the point of view of the Left. I really do. The Left has an agenda that is supposed to make this country a better place. The Left can't get it through the legislatures. The reason the Left cannot get it through the Legislatures is that the Leftist agenda has failed to produce the results its symbols said it would. YET the goals of the Left are so absolutely fantastic, the Left will not let loose of the means of achieving them. When someone points out that the results of the symbols proposed by the Left have not matched their definitions, the Left becomes angry because it looks like the Right is questioning the goals of a just society.

There is a symbol on the Right which has evolved since 2000, called the Angry Left. The Right defines the Angry Left as people who have lost patience with the American people and want their way even though no one wants to do it according the symbols proposed by the Left. The thinking of the people of the Angry Left is that their goals are SO fantastic and so morally superior, people have got to ignore that the means of achieving those goals do not in actual fact achieve the goals. If you listen to the Angry Left, by reading, the dailykos and democratic underground, they are filled with hatred and loathing for the Right, because we on the Right will not implement their agenda using the means they have dictated.

One guy on the dailykos said that "A conservative understands the price of everything, but the value of nothing." That sounds really interesting and it even captures the central bone of contention between the Left and the Right. The problem is that the Left does not realize that the Right wants the same things as the Left except we want to use different tools. We on the Right KNOW that the government CANNOT and will never be a tool of positive social change, because various shades of Communism, Socialism and Liberalism have been tried in over 70 countries. None of those countries have done a better job of redistributing wealth than the U.S.

Europe has come the closest to the Liberal Utopia. Their society looks like it provides all the goods and services to its citizens that the Liberals in this country want for our society. The problem is that Europe is dying. Their economy is collapsing. The means proposed by the Left to achieve social justice cost too much. Slowly but surely the state where a Leftist agenda is implemented dies, because the economy dies. You cannot have social justice where there are no jobs.

Let me hit just one small symbol that the Left in Europe is VERY proud of. The symbol is called Universal Health Care. The definition is that anyone who is a citizen can have their health care needs paid for by the government. When a government provides a service, it becomes a monopoly. Health care in Europe is a government monopoly. A monopoly does not have to respond to user complaints. It does not have to compete. It does not have to have the latest technology. Someone in the government decides how much the public health care system will have to spend each year and if the public health care system needs more, then that's just too bad. As the government has to make choices as to what to fund elsewhere in the economy, health care falls down the list. Why have a MRI machine in ALL hospitals? Why not have one regional hospital with the MRI? Doesn't that sound more efficient? It gets worse. Cleanliness becomes a low priority. Why have someone come by and clean hospital rooms every day? Once a week should be enough. No, I am not making this up. When you have the government fund something, it has to set priorities. At the beginning of the project, the priorities are clear and understood by everyone. As time passes and resources for other government programs become scarce, health care is robbed. People complain, the government says in essence, "You can have this program you want or the latest technology in the health care system, which do you want?" People decide that they can do without the latest... whatever. And it just goes downhill from there until your health care system is a shambles and people start to die because they have to wait for treatment and they are not getting the best treatment possible. The Europeans refuse to see this, because they have defined the symbol Universal Health Care as an absolute, regardless of the substance of the symbol.

The nature of symbols. They have a name. They have a meaning. and they have substance. Again, if you have a symbol that has a definition that does NOT match the substance, then people start going, wait... that makes no sense. Or they assume there IS no substance and laugh at you.

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, January 30, 2006 at about 11pm CST - Segment 3

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, January 30, 2006 at about 11pm CST
Segment 3

Now, let me talk to you about the symbol called Abortion. Yeah, last Monday was the 33rd anniversary of the Roe vs Wade. Roe vs Wade set up a set of policies for dealing with abortions. In the first trimester, the States were precluded from denying abortions for any reason. The second trimester, the States could make laws against it for a few reasons. The third trimester, abortions were not to be performed. You're sitting there going, "Wait, I didn't know that. I thought abortions were legal for all nine months." Yeah, the companion decision called Doe vs Bolton said that abortions could not be denied if a physician said it was best for the health of the mother either mental or physical. The best guess is that Roe will fall in three to ten years from now. What will happen next?

This is where it gets weird. You assume that abortion will become illegal. Nope. It passes back to the state legislatures. Suddenly the Left will have to come up with arguments as to why abortion is a good idea. They won't be able to do it, because our country has never debated abortion. I know, it looks like we have, but we really haven't. The debate was just getting started in 1973 and suddenly it was cut off by a Supreme Court that dictated the outcome of the debate. A policy decision that should have been settled by each state slowly, so we could see what the effects were. If we had debated state by state about abortion rights, then the side effects of abortion could have been exposed and many people would have been able to decide rationally whether it was a good idea.

BUT the Left has defined Abortion as a symbol for freedom. You cannot debate whether freedom has side effects. That's silly. The Left will look at all these side effects and quibbles brought before the legislatures in the states and simply state as fact that abortion is the same as freedom. Freedom is so important that it has infinite value. To state that abortion does not achieve the goals that it has set out to achieve is silly. Abortion is an absolute symbol for freedom. In short, it becomes a circular argument. If freedom has infinite value, then abortion cannot be dispensed with. It follows that we cannot debate abortion, because it represents freedom.

Freedom is NOT free. It has a cost. Sometimes the cost is very very high. Yet there are many flavors of freedom. What if you are mistaken about the flavor of freedom you are paying for. By my standards, before you kill someone to get your freedom, you best make sure the freedom you are buying is VERY important. The Left refuses to see that, because they have assigned an infinite value of the symbol abortion.

Let me give you an example from the New York Times. A woman was living with a man. She told him that she was having trouble with the pill and wanted to stop taking it. She and the guy decided that their relationship had matured enough that if a child was conceived they would have the child and raise it together. The woman became pregnant in a very strange way. She had triplets. A woman has two ovaries. In this particular woman, an egg from one had become a baby and the egg from the other had divided and become two babies. Fraternal twins are VERY rare. Fraternal triplets. God knows what the odds are. The woman when she found out said that she wanted her doctor to kill the two twins, because she only wanted one child. Her reason was that she feared that three babies would force her to shop at Costco. She feared having to shop at Costco. She explicitly said that. Stories like that are extremely common. Whether they are true, is not the issue by my standards. An abortion can be performed for good reason, bad reason or NO reason. That is the problem I am having with Abortion. A woman can give me huge sob stories about the small percentage of abortions that give freedom as I define it, but the rest of the stories are like the one I just mentioned. They make no sense to me.

I have no problem with a woman wanting her freedom. I have a problem with her wanting to kill her child to do it. The technology has changed to the point where we can extract the fertilized egg and put it on ice and implant it in a woman who wants to have a baby, but cannot. There are people on the Right who do have a problem with even this form of abortion, but I am not one of them. I want the killing to stop. I am in favor of prenatal adoption, but I am NOT in favor of murdering a child for a reason I cannot understand. If Planned Parenthood would just start doing prenatal adoptions, I for one would laud them for their efforts.

Prenatal adoption is a good compromise. Here's why. It covers all the reasons why abortions are done without killing the child. It also causes a ripple throughout society. Suddenly becoming pregnant has consequences. Under abortion at least symbolically, it does not.

Because the Left has defined abortion as a form of freedom, women seeking abortions are under the impression that there are no consequences. Very quickly they find out that there are consequences, BUT by the time they find that out, it is WAY too late. By having prenatal adoption, women then have to weigh whether they want to go through the extraction process or have the child and give it up for adoption. The chant on the Left has always been that abortion should be legal and rare. I agree. The reasons for avoiding carrying the child for the full nine months should be... whatever you want it to be... as long as you do not kill the baby. Not my business. I really and truly do not care why a woman wants to avoid carrying a baby to term... as long as she does not have the right to kill her child.

What makes me angry about abortion is that it defines the child as belonging to the woman... exclusively. Except in marriage. In marriage both the man and the woman are responsible for the child. Note that outside marriage, the child becomes a thing that is owned. Inside marriage, the child is a person and the parents are responsible for the child.

Symbols... Symbols... If a woman can abort a fetus and the fetus is defined as a clump of cells, then the fetus is not a baby. It is a thing like a TV. You want to destroy your own TV, then I should not make that my business. On the other hand, under the prenatal adoption option the fetus is a child who is not owned, but is someone's responsibility.

Let me give you an example. Assume that a man and woman marry. In the first year of marriage they have a baby. The baby then develops colic. Colic causes babies to scream and scream and scream. Is it likely that the man would abuse his child? No, it is not. The child is partially his responsibility. Is it likely that he would abuse his wife, because she has been unable to get the baby to shut up? No, it is not. She's doing the best she can and the baby is their baby, not just hers.

Now. Assume a woman and a man are living together for a year without wedlock. The baby arrives. The guy stays for some reason. Why shouldn't the guy abuse the child with colic and the child's mother? What is his downside risk? Very little. The woman can kick him out. Big deal. To the guy, the baby is the symbolically the woman's property. The guy in that situation has no responsibility for the child except maybe child support. The child belongs to the woman... period. Symbolically, because the woman can kill the child, she owns the child. The guy has no incentive to be a good parent. Again, I am not saying that in actual fact this is how it works, by symbolically, yes. With abortion, the child becomes, symbolically, a thing that is owned. With marriage, the child becomes a responsibility. Again, that is not how it works every time, but that is how it is perceived to work going in. If you as a male do not have a reasonable expectation that any child you have by a woman will be your responsibility for 18 or so years, then why do you have a reason to treat even the woman well? Much less the child. Go check it out. Abuse happens more often outside of marriage than inside.

What I am getting at is that if you want to salvage the right of a woman to determine how her body is used, you are going to have to accept and fund prenatal adoption. You have three to ten years to get ready with your arguments for a woman's right to choose to have a child. If you say that the woman has the right to kill her child for what she perceives as freedom, then you cannot get that passed by any legislature. Prenatal adoption... yeah, that will work with about 80% of the people. Of the remaining ten percent half will say that the baby has to be killed, so that there are no consequences and the other half will say that even prenatal adoption is against God's will.

If prenatal adoption comes about, then the number of women having babies out of wedlock will drop precipitously. The number of prenatal adoptions will be relatively small and all parties will get what they say they want... in reality. Abortion is a bad symbol. When you kill a child for freedom, you are setting a bad precedent. It ripples throughout society and makes it hard for us to be civilized.

I know, I know, abortion where the child is killed is a right according to the Constitution. Nope... The Constitution does not protect abortion even in a general instance. Starting in 1922, Supreme Court decisions slowly inched forward until 1973 when someone decided that they saw a right to privacy in the Constitution. There is none. We COULD amend the Constitution to create a right of privacy, some states have done that, but right now it does not really exist.

I wanted on this program to make clear that symbols should have a definition that matches their substance. When they do not, we have to debate whether the substance or the definition is wrong. Right now, the definition of abortion is freedom. Is the substance of abortion actually freedom? In order for abortion to be a right, abortion has to free women in actual fact instead of in theory.

I am in favor of prenatal adoption, because symbolically it says that the child is a responsibility, not a thing. It also saves a child's life.

I want you to think about that. Are you sure abortion actually equates to freedom? After all, Freedom is NOT free. Sometimes it IS necessary to kill to maintain your freedom. If you ARE going to kill someone, shouldn't you be sure that the freedom you have bought at such a high price is real freedom? If there is a way of achieving the freedom you want where the child lives, shouldn't you want that way instead of abortion?... Something to think about.