Posts Tagged ‘values’

What is a “fair share?”

“We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidizes non work.”

~ Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize economist

Was Friedman forecasting today’s reality? In one tax year reported in the Statistical Abstract of the United States, millionaires earned 100 times as much as people earning $30,000, but paid 300 times as much tax. The top 20% of wage earners now pay nearly 70% of all income taxes, leaving 80% of Americans to pay the remaining 30%; 46% pay no income tax at all. Is this a progressive “fair share” income tax or is this a redistributive, punitive income tax? Our politicians are finally nearing their ideal of 49% of the voters paying all taxes and 51% paying none, the perfect re-election guarantee.

Roe v. Wade – Did we get what we wanted?

Recently, parents successfully sued for “wrongful birth” because their child was born with Down syndrome, claiming if it had been accurately diagnosed early in the pregnancy, they would have chosen abortion.

With Roe v. Wade, did well-meaning people start us down an unintended path to a child being worthy of birth only if the parents find him or her desirable? Are we heading toward designer babies, babies who come with guarantees of perfection? Was this the intent of those supporting Roe v. Wade?

The intolerant demand tolerance

During the Miss Universe pageant, judge Perez Hilton asked Miss California, Carrie Prejean, if all states should legalize same sex marriage.  She responded that people should have the right to live as they choose but she personally believes marriage should be between a man and a woman.  She lost the crown, followed by a degrading, childish personal attack from Hilton. 

What do we do when the intolerant demand tolerance?  What do we do when the hateful demand understanding?  This is exactly the behavior I was discussing last week;  the people so vocally demanding tolerance are the people who are the most intolerant, the people so vocally demanding understanding are the people who are most prejudiced. 

Killing is legal in Kansas

“We specialize in ‘late’ abortion care.  We are able to perform elective abortions to the time in the pregnancy when the fetus is viable.  We manage the pregnancy by the premature birth of a stillborn.  We have more experience than anyone else currently practicing in the Western Hemisphere, Europe and Australia.” 

In layman’s language this says, “We will end your pregnancy so late in the pregnancy that you could have had a live, healthy baby.  We get rid of the baby by first killing him or her while still inside you, and then give you drugs so you deliver a dead baby.  We have killed more babies this way than anyone else in the Western Hemisphere, Europe and Australia.”

Who decides right and wrong?

Recently, my wife and I went to Mexico with some friends who have a timeshare in Los Cabos, arriving the day the community started celebrating its annual Fiesta. It was much like our state fair, with carnival rides, food areas, and booths with items for sale. But, one “attraction” was decidedly different. Each evening they had cockfighting. 

I have read about this “sport,” but I have never witnessed it firsthand. So, one evening our wives headed back to the hotel and my friend and I headed to the cockfights. They were held in a large, circus style tent in an arena surrounded by elevated seating. 

Can we tax our way out of irresponsible debt?

 Congress believes irresponsible debt and spending is needed to rectify the problems created by irresponsible debt and spending. Further, it believes raising taxes to pay for its irresponsible debt will actually stimulate spending.        

My father was raised on a farm in eastern Nebraska, sheltered from this unique congressional economic theory. He lived through the Great Depression, served in World War II, raised four sons, and never took a class in economics. Instead, he learned a simple, common sense, outdated, obviously flawed economic theory.  

Responsibility and self-respect

George Bernard Shaw said, “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” Are we willing to abandon self-respect for a handout? Are we willing to surrender risk and reward for indentured servitude to the government? Are we willing to exchange freedom and opportunity for a welfare state?   

We condemn the woman who recently gave birth to eight babies; eight babies the taxpayers will have the privilege of paying for. Do we have the right to disparage her? Is she really that different from the rest of us? Might she actually be a mirror, a mirror showing us ourselves? What do we see in that mirror? Do we see responsibility? Do we see self-respect? Why are we able to criticize other people’s irresponsibility while failing to recognize our own? 

The herd immunity of gun ownership

Herd immunity describes what happens when immunizing part of a community provides protection for those in the community who are not immunized. This usually refers to infectious diseases that spread from person-to-person, like measles, mumps, and the like. 

This occurs because the more people in a community who are immunized, the less likely an unimmunized person will come into contact with an infected person. The disease is unable to survive because there are not enough people to infect and spread the disease. The immunized protect the unimmunized from contracting the disease, creating herd immunity. 

Of elephants, prisons, and fathers – FATHER’S DAY

Several years ago, our pastor told a story about a men’s prison that provided free Mother’s Day cards to inmates who wanted to send cards to their moms. Nearly all the inmates asked for a card and sent to someone they identified as “mom.” It may have been their mom, someone else’s mom, their grandmother, etc. Even so, they sent it to a woman they saw as the woman who cared for them, raised them, stayed with them, and was there for them.
Mother’s Day was so successful, the prison administration decided to build on that success, offering free Father’s Day cards. They were shocked when hardly any inmates showed up to get a free card to send to their father. Sadly, this confirmed what statistics had shown – 90 percent of incarcerated men lacked a loving relationship with their father or someone they could identify as their father figure.
As our pastor pointed out, you need look no further than this story to understand the cause of many, if not most, of the ills in our society.
This story suggests how critically important fathers are in the family, how critically important they are to the health and growth of their children. Are we dads doing our job? No, we run away, we disappear, we leave single moms scattered all over the country. The reality – mom odes the best she can, alone. Moms are paying our dues as well as their own.
Isn’t it time we pay our own dues and do our job?
Now, how do elephants fit into a column about Father’s Day? It starts with the murdering of rhinoceroses in Africa. Interestingly, whoever was killing the rhinos was not killing them for their horns because the horns were still present when the carcasses were discovered. Equally confusing, there were no bullet holes in the rhinos. Instead, the rangers found several large wounds they could not identify. If poachers were not killing the rhinos, then who was? The loss of rhinos was becoming critical, with an average of one white rhino murdered each month in the Pilanesberg national Park in northern South Africa. The rangers learned the exact same thing was occurring in another African park, Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park. The rangers at both parks were baffled, unable to determine who was killing the rhinos and how they were killing them. In all, nearly 10 percent of their prized rhinoceros population was dead, a population they had brought back from near extinction.
It took some time to solve the murders. To everyone’s astonishment, the rangers discovered it was a gang of local juvenile delinquents murdering the rhinos. Moreover, they were doing it for sport, killing just for the fun of killing.
These juvenile delinquents hunted the rhinos and indiscriminately murdered them. But these juvenile delinquents were not humans. They were teenage bull elephants.
This problem had its origins in another South African park, Kruger National Park, which was dealing with the overpopulation of its elephant herd. Rather than culling the herd, killing the excess elephants, they decided to relocate young, orphaned elephants to other parks wanting to establish elephant herds. This seemed like a reasonable, even progressive idea. Moreover, it was rather uncomplicated to do because young elephants were reasonably easy to transport and relocate because of their smaller size.
These orphaned elephants suffered two major traumas, the first from the loss of their parents and the second with relocation to unfamiliar territory. These young bulls and cows grew up without “adult” supervision and, as they grew into their “teenage” years, the murdering of rhinos started.
What do you do? You have out of control teenagers with out of control hormones, murdering for sport. How do you rehabilitate an elephant? How do you place a teenage bull elephant in a juvenile detention center? How do we teach an animal values when we cannot even teach values to fellow human beings?
Following lengthy debates and deliberation, an older ranger proposed a unique, unproven, never tried idea. He suggested getting a truck large enough to haul a full-grown old bull elephant, something that up to that time had never been done. Not wanting to kill these young bull elephants, the parks reluctantly agreed to the experiment.
What happened when they transplanted the old bull in with the young bulls? The old bull immediately established a new hierarchy and from the day the old bull arrived, all rhino murdering stopped.
Dad was home. Dad was in charge. Dad would teach you how to behave. Dad would make sure you grew into a good adult.
We have a profound responsibility as fathers. We have a profound impact on the adults our children become. We have a solemn responsibility to our wives, the mother of our children, and to our children. They deserve our best. Remember the prison inmates and the elephants – bother are in need of dads.