Pro Logica

December 6, 2012

Scientism–the Religion of Science

Filed under: Philosophy of Science, Religion — Tags: , — Ron Toczek @ 3:52 pm

Not so very long ago an internet science site essentially posed this question in a contest format:  Of all the assumptions underlying the physical sciences, which one is the most dubious?  Since there were bound to be many answers, I imagined that the winner would be the one with the best argument.  I never did follow up to see what the winning entry was but have thought about it at times, coming up with good assumptions but absolutely no argument why those assumptions are dubious.  Take the ‘Big Bang’ concept in cosmology.  From a theoretical mathematicians perspective it certainly is an assumption but there is nothing dubious about it.  It does supply answers to questions and for many scientists it is nothing but a working hypothesis until something better comes along.  (Unfortunately, there are many who consider their belief in the ‘Big Bang’ to be more than belief.)  The same can be said of other assumptions masquerading as concepts such as evolution or the universal laws of natural physics.

Within the last month or two I have entertained an idea which, although not dubious, does play havoc with the really basic assumption of science, the scientific concept of the ‘real world’.  This concept represents an abstraction from the sense experiences of (all?) human consciences and is believed to be representable as a model within some complete abstract mathematical system that can be found by proper investigation–the so-called scientific method.  Aside from the explicit assumption in the last sentence, there are two even more basic and hidden assumptions which render that explicit assumption a necessary consequence.  First, humans are assumed to be incidental  to and, consequently, independent of the ‘real world’ ; and second, the principles of mathematical creation are embedded within this ‘real world’ and consequently also exist independently of human consciences.  As long as human consciences exist no proof is available and if humans do extinct themselves these assumptions disappear and cannot even have a meaningful formulation.

Being blunt, if the belief in God can be called a religion, so the belief in an independent ‘real world’ can also be called a religion.  An advantage to a belief in a Christian God introduces love and morals into the world.  What do you get with scientism?



December 2, 2012

An Apology (sort of), Plus Some Additional Comments on the Benghazi Debacle

Filed under: Foreign Policy — Tags: , , , — Ron Toczek @ 1:54 am

Three posts ago, I commented about Egypt, Libya and Yemen destroying and vandalizing sovereign U.S. territory within their boundaries and gave the unsurprising remedy that would be sanctioned under international law.  Even for lesser offenses, countries would invade the offending country and exact proper restitution from their point of view.  The problem in the Benghazi situation is that the attacked property was not part of our  embassy, at least from the accounts that I have read.  Does this mean that the terrorist attack on the mission house, also referred to as a consulate, was an undeclared act of war?  I truly don’t know, so, it is not completely clear that international law even applies.  Nevertheless, American citizens, one of whom was our Ambassador to Libya, have been killed by members of a Libyan militia group within the boundaries of Libya using weapons normally associated with actual warfare.  Also, regardless of the status of the property occupied by the Americans, that property received damage from mortar fire.  From all the reports that I have read, I cannot glean much more than this.  It needs to be pointed out that the attack being  perpetrated by an Al Qaeda leaning Libyan militia group was not discovered until after an investigation.  Rumors heard before the event do not constitute evidence

The deaths of our American citizens remove the possibility of labeling the Benghazi incident as trivial so we do have the responsibility of finding out what actually occurred and we must investigate any possible shortcomings of our standard procedures and eliminate them.  Most importantly, I feel that our American deaths need to be ameliorated by a gesture from the current Libyan government, namely that a suitable apology with proper compensation be given to the families of the victims by no less that the Libyan ambassador.  Our government should take steps to ensure that the compensation cannot be connected in any way to money provided through U.S. aid.  I am motivated to this action by our recent ‘honor payment’ to the Pakistani families for their relatives’ death by an American citizen.  America shouldn’t expect less!  (Considering the large amount of money paid by our government, I’d be willing to bet that most of that payment went to corrupt Pakistani officials, knowingly by the Americans.)

Most troubling in the after-event news discussions is the extreme call for transparency in this debacle.  Congress should and does have oversight control of America’s foreign policy but the day-to-day normal dealings are totally in the domain of the Executive Branch.  Successful foreign policy dealings depend on a certain amount of mutual trust and trust cannot be fostered by blabbering other nations secrets.  Considering the current Middle East situation with its rivalries, I’m sure there are lots of secrets floating around and the administration must be given some leeway.

One article that I read stated that this particular mission house in Benghazi was being used to recruit mercenaries for the Syrian rebels in their civil war.  While I can accept the use of mercenary forces in certain situations, I do not believe that a country with democratic principles should be actively engaged in procuring and/or paying mercenaries for any cause without consent of the governed.  Giving our government the benefit of doubt, I sort of assume and hope that we were only acting as recruiting agents for other organizations or nations willing to support and fund the Syrian rebel’s cause.  Supporting the downfall of an intolerable dictator is a worthy cause so long as that dictatorship is not replaced by another dictatorship.  It has not been a given that the government changes resulting from the protests alluded to by the name ‘Arab Spring’ , have produced non-ideological and non-dictatorial governing systems.

Lastly it is time for a stern bit of criticism.  The news reports indicated that our situation in Benghazi was not safe.  We don’t know whether this was due to some vague rumors of an attack on the mission house or just a general unease about the defensive procedures in case of trouble of some sort.  It is quite clear that there was inadequate defensive personnel available at the onset of the attack  I am amazed by the lack of precaution or the part of the ambassadorial staff given the logistics.  September 11, is a glorious date for any Al Qaeda outfit and most would love to conflict damage onto any American installation or personnel on that date.  There were known Al Qaeda leaning groups in Benghazi.  The defenses at the Benghazi mission house were deemed wanting.  Why didn’t either the Ambassador himself, or even the State Department just call a halt to all Benghazi activities and vacate those premises on that day?  It might have spoiled somebody’s fun.


November 22, 2012

The Devil and the Catholic Church

Filed under: The Catholic Church — Tags: — Ron Toczek @ 2:56 pm

As noted by many commentators and pundits, secularism has outflanked traditional religion in the U.S. enhancing the number of deists, pagans, new ageists, agnostics and atheists in our country.  Added to this, the current agents from the culture of death and those promoting immoral sexual practices are further undermining traditional religion by claiming their views are justified by the concept of human dignity within traditional religion, itself.  Clearly nonsense, but believable within a secular framework of society.  If Charles Taylor is correct in his supposition–I have no reason not to believe it–the origin of secularism lies in the centuries before the Protestant Reformation and arose from the increased devotional attitude of the more pious churchgoers.  In this matter, Lucifer has been subtly influencing people to turn against the Christian God.  No doubt that he turned to this endeavor since his creation of Islam (where its god is the essence of Lucifer, himself) seemed to be coming to a standstill, although he has lately increased his scope of activity there.  The devil is certainly a master planner of long-term strategies and even if you don’t or can’t believe in an all-comprehensive evil trying to influence human activity, this trend is very clear.

Currently, the Church is engaging in a new program, ‘New Evangelization’, an attempt to convince fallen away former members to come back to the Church and also to convince others of the necessity of joining the Church.  Unfortunately this won’t work because there is too much cultural antipathy and false belief among those targeted to really ensure a truly faithful following.  The Church may attract more adherents but here, in America, the net effect will be just a larger, more fractionated Church.  This program may be more effective in Europe where the Church’s roots are deeper, but that remains to be seen.  The biggest obstacle to overcome will be the newest religion of ‘scientism’ (more about this in a later post) whose many atheistic scientists tout their beliefs against Christianity in a loudly vocal manner.  I suppose they don’t say much against Islam because of the fear of assassination but you can believe that they have as much antipathy if not more.  The ‘culture of death’, one of the opponents of the Church, is largely a side aspect of ‘scientism’, even though a good many scientists do reject its principles.  Another obstacle here in America is the over emphasis toward individualism in the goals of governing  even as the main political parties emphasize that their respective ideology for action needs to be conformative to the party itself, thus undermining their very political soul.

I would suggest, instead, that the Church should embark on a program of retrenchment:  First, by verbally proclaiming the self-excommunication of all professed Catholics who speak against the official teachings of the Church.  Yes, our God is a forgiving God and these self-excommunicatants must be given the chance to repent and re-enter the fold, but they simply must not be allowed to call themselves Catholics while spouting heresy within and outside the Church.  This very much includes politicians who vote on or support measures specifically legalizing actions expressly banned by the Church.  There is no intention of stifling all debate among Church members since there can be other complicating factors (circumstances) or even other moral considerations (justice) which need to be taken account of in any given situation.  Second, disengage all Church clerical activity from civil authority so that no same-sex or polygamous marriages or anything sinful will ever be forced within the Catholic community.  Third, establish an educational system which will be mandatory for each child within the Church community and which emphasizes the differences between the Church’s teachings and the outside civil community while still providing a proficiency of secular knowledge.  This educational system must, of necessity, be totally independent from any governmental supervision.

Finally, a recommendation, not considered as a retrenchment but as an expansion, which calls for each parish to become a combined faith and social community, a very necessary action required by the last two recommendations.  Many parishioners consider themselves a part of the Catholic faith community but have nothing to do with socializing among the other parishioners.  The disconnect caused by this lack of social cohesion is one problem evangelization will never overcome.  The Church needs a little more than faith alone in order to properly achieve its mission here on earth.  This social cohesion also needs to go much further than mere socializing.  Proclaiming social justice means nothing if it is not practiced among the faithful; the Church needs to be regarded by outsiders in a favorable light even as other outsiders revile it.  During Roman times, I am led to believe, a criticism of the Church was, “See how these people love one another.”; I’m also sure the comment doesn’t refer to sex.  We must still be a unitary faith community on all three levels: parish, diocese and world-wide and we must allow for our members to interact with the outside community but each parish must practice the virtue of charity to its own members, unremittingly.

All these proposals stem from the Nicene Creed wherein Catholics are required to believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  Certainly the world has many people who claim Catholicity while differing vociferously with Apostolic teachings–not an example of Oneness–and neither is the support of temptations to sin, a big problem for politicians.  Marriages and Baptisms have become family private affairs and the secular world is constantly providing more distractions, all contributing to less social cohesion.  Pastors need to do more than get their parishioners to come to church on Sundays or, equivalently, Saturdays.  The Catholic Church does need to become one again.

October 8, 2012

Government Reform–Part 1: Introduction

This post is the first of possibly five separate posts on governmental reform in the United States (as it develops, additional posts may be added).  These posts will be interrelated and culminate in a post on tax reform.  The topics as currently envisioned are: government pay, Social Security and Medicare, non-profit organizations and taxes.

The existing U.S. income tax has been around for some seventy years and in that time it has been used to implement various social benefits to the citizenry.  For many people and organizations, the job of determining how much one owes has become a chore and tax reform has been battered about for years without any reform at all.  Tinkering with the specifics of the law each year has, more or less, become a habit of the legislature and even if all loopholes were eliminated it wouldn’t be very long before Congress would start the tinkering process all over.  The current presidential candidates are proposing changes to the existing tax code, these changes consisting of either raising or lowering rates on various classes of income and removing so-called loopholes which allow some taxpayers to pay a lesser amount than the standard rate–really, more tinkering and further legitimizing its existing structure.   Furthermore, the current tax code can be invidiously tweaked to alter the rates among the various classes and to add insult, the descriptions of the changes rarely inform the taxpayer of any increase to their taxes; they might tout a decrease however.  For instance, in 2010, those seniors who paid taxes, paid more than they would have under the 2009 calculations simply because the extra exemption for those over 65 was removed and a much smaller figure was added to the allowable deduction.  In my case the increased tax liability amounted to almost $600.00.  This particular change does raise some interesting questions:

  • Did Congress actually approve this change of calculation by passing a bill which received a presidential confirmation or was vetoed and then over-ridden by the necessary majority?  (Republicans and Grover Norquist notwithstanding.)
  • If not the above then, where in the Executive Branch did this change actually originate and was it approved by the POTUS in a presidential directive?  (The POTUS must have been involved somewhere, but its inclusion might have been hidden in routine operations.)
  • Does the law, as written, actually allow such Executive Branch revisions?  (Congress ultimately at fault.)
  • Was there no comment period and did any retired senior lobby (AARP especially) complain about this change?

Clearly, if transparency and simplicity is supposed to be a governmental goal, the existing tax code is inadequate.

Federal government pay has been a subject of contention ever since the Federal government has been paying employees.  Many private employees and employers believe that government workers are overpaid while the government workers, themselves, believe the opposite.  A liberal reading of the U.S. Constitution will only affirm that its elected officials, appointees and required staff will be paid.  Clearly, its authors did not believe that a fixed pay schedule would stand the test of time.  The views here can range between ‘bureaucratic personnel are overpaid’ and ‘Confucianism’.

Social Security and Medicare certainly need revision since our country’s demographics do not elicit any confidence that these programs will pay for themselves in the far foreseeable future.  These programs are exceedingly well-liked by U.S. citizens and reform will be exceedingly difficult, but something must be done.

And finally, non-profits need more definitional scrutiny since they are often used as methods for circumventing established laws and/or beliefs of accountability by government and, private individuals and organizations.  Witness today’s concern about super PAC’s.

September 12, 2012

On Attacking Embassies

Filed under: Foreign Policy, International Law — Tags: — Ron Toczek @ 1:44 pm

This morning, September 12, 2012, Americans were greeted with the news that our embassies in both Egypt and Libya were attacked by citizens of those countries resulting in our Libyan ambassador with three other American citizens being assassinated–a totally unacceptable breach of international law.  While Mr. Obama’s speech appropriately extended consolation to the families of the victims it did nothing to address the seriousness of the attacks nor any possible actions that we would take.

It is my hope that the president will give another speech or speeches very shortly with these views and actions:

  • He states that these actions by the citizens of both Libya and Egypt constitute a declaration of war by these countries–embassies are sovereign territory.
  • He breaks off all diplomatic relations with these two countries and evacuates all American citizens.
  • He stop all foreign aid to the two countries.
  • He impounds all funds of the two countries residing in U.S. banks.
  • He impounds all funds of private citizens of the two countries residing in U.S. banks.
  • He will ask all countries of the world to do the same with such funds.
  • He will ask Congress to give him the authority to confiscate the impounded funds should any other breach of international law be committed by these two countries, definitely including harm to any hostages taken.
  • He states very unequivocally that military action against these two countries will occur until apologies are rendered, hostages are freed and full compensation has been received covering all the inconveniences of victims and their families and all destruction of U.S. and American private property.

I should also hope that all American patriots should ask nothing less from our president.

September 3, 2012

Legal Abortion? Blame Texas

Filed under: Specific rulings of SCOTUS — Tags: , — Ron Toczek @ 2:58 pm

While this topic is old news relative to my posts on abortion, I am repeating my views here because I believe the pro-life people are pursuing the wrong tactic for eliminating abortion, mainly because health of the pregnant woman,rape and incest will always be contentious subjects.  Certainly, person-hood amendments to constitutions would be definitive to protecting new-born life but they cannot totally prevent abortions especially since SCOTUS has defined a right to privacy and Congress has done nothing to prevent SCOTUS from ruling on the topic.

When we examine the Roe v. Wade ruling we find that there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution about abortion, absolutely nothing.  Also, the right to privacy cannot make an illegal action into a legal one–consider the use of hearsay in criminal trials  or the principle of the seal of confession in the Catholic Church.  This, together with Amendment X limits SCOTUS jurisdiction to Federal laws concerning privacy unless the law specifically states that it applies to all the States.

Following this logic, Texas had every right to tell SCOTUS to stick their ruling up their you-know-what, but by meekly acquiescing they set a precedent for the other States.  However, pro-life groups should notice that nothing has changed either with the Constitution or laws enacted under it, meaning each state can repudiate the Roe v. Wade ruling whenever it so desires.

In the Aftermath of the AFCA Decision by SCOTUS

Filed under: Specific rulings of SCOTUS — Tags: , , , , — Ron Toczek @ 12:42 pm

The news sphere has been rife with comments about the SCOTUS decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act.  In a 5-4 decision, Chief Justice Roberts has been credited with the swing vote whereas many pundits were ready to give that position to Justice Kennedy.  So much for predictions.  Since this was an important milestone for health care here in the U.S. it was not surprising to see the number of news articles and blog posts which appeared–I know that I have only read a small portion of what is available.  For all the analysis, criticism and praise thrown out to the public, I am commenting here on three aspects of the ruling which, in my opinion, has received very little coverage:

  1. The ruling is very conservative, much more so than the dissenting opinion by the ‘conservative’ justices,
  2. The arguments against the forced expansion of Medicaid are specious, and
  3. The use of the word ‘liberty’ as a synonym for ‘freedom’ by Justice Kennedy.

(Before getting to the above three topics, I am expressing my disapproval of any simple majority vote being either an expression of democracy or an example of the rule of law–stated in a prior post—simply because one vote by one person is not enough to establish a law to be worthy of enforcement.  One can only marvel at the possible attempts to corruptively influence a single person to change their vote.  A 5-4 SCOTUS ruling, for or against, should always be declared  as favorable to the defendants of the suit or to the constitutionality of the law in question.)

1.   ‘Conservative’ in its adjectival sense expresses a desire to do things as they have been done in the past and there are many old sayings which attest to its virtue.  Here, its opposite is ‘innovative’ or ‘a desire to change from the traditional’.  Since new ideas and new gadgets are always arising and shortcomings of the traditional methods–usually due to unforeseen consequences caused by individuals trying to exploit the traditional for their own benefit, deficiencies from the expected public outcome of the traditional may occur and some innovative course of action may be necessary to correct the imbalance.  Being conservative means to weigh the innovations against their practicability and to guard against a hasty acceptance of the new before many of its unintended consequences have enfolded.  Many times, innovation wins out before a long enough trial period due to youthful exuberance for the new, necessity for an immediate solution, special interest lobbying or sometimes just plain ignorance, enough so that the new does not quite live up to its expectations necessitating further modifications or even some backtracking, all to be expected in a working republican government.  It is very disconcerting that a political party (the Republican Party) using the name of the classification of our government is actively rejecting the essential principle underlining republican governments, that of compromise among the lawmakers.

The oldest tradition applicable to a constitutional government comes from parliamentary law and basically says that the legislative body determines the law and that any judicial body can only determine that law’s constitutionality and specific applicability, in other words, a judiciary does not have the authority to make law; the purpose of the law and whatever its effects on the governed cannot be a consideration of the judicial body.  Essentially, this tradition can be restated as saying that the finding of a constitutional provision which allows the legislative act is enough to make it constitutional.  The dissenting opinion is relying upon the principle that finding a provision which might not justify the law is enough to declare such law as unconstitutional, a principle which is found nowhere in parliamentary law.  Chief Justice Roberts found a constitutional provision which allowed the mandate and being conservative in outlook made the conservative decision.  I point out again that for SCOTUS to enter a ruling stating that a Federal law is unconstitutional is an attempt to make law and by examining the law which authorized the establishment of the Federal marshal system one can see that it prevents the Judiciary from enforcing any of its rulings.

2.   The ruling concerning the Medicaid expansion is specious only because it differentiates between the methods employed by Congress to enact laws.   As I read the ruling, it would be allowable for Congress to rescind the old Medicaid law and substitute new provisions for Medicaid which exactly coincide with the new parameters.  This seems to set an artificial condition on Congressional methods for enacting laws–SCOTUS cannot really enforce any of its rulings.  As one can gather from the criticism of this aspect, Medicaid is a voluntary program for the States.

3.   Finally, the difference between ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’, when talking politics, is the difference between individual and group action.  Every individual in a given society or culture has the freedom to obey or flaunt the norms or laws of their society or culture.  There may be consequences of that freedom, but the individual can accept those consequences.  The question of liberty does not arise until there is a subpopulation of some society or culture which considers itself distinct and separate from the present political entity and forms a goal of separating themselves from that ruling group.  Liberty in this political sense indicates that the group wants responsibility for its own laws and customs.  Revolutions are about liberty, not freedom; liberty is about groups, not individuals.  The question of viability, worthiness and morality of any revolutionary group are unrelated to the concept of liberty, contrary to most people’s expectations; not every revolutionary group has bettered the life of those people it purportedly represents.  Justice Kennedy, by using ‘liberty’ instead of ‘freedom’, had two aims: to rhetorically have the readers of the dissenting opinion associate his belief of the injustice of the mandate is on a par with the injustices of the British rule over its territories which later became the United States of America and also to mislead those same readers into thinking he has a valid argument but is nothing more than the freedom any individual already has to either obey or flaunt the law.

March 7, 2012

EXTORTION–a Criminal Activity

Filed under: Sociology — Tags: , , — Ron Toczek @ 2:49 pm

Extortion  —  An illegal or oppressive action designed to extract compensation which cannot be obtained in a normally acceptable manner.

The definition, as stated, is fairly ambiguous since 1) there is criminal extortion where it is defined in a more precise way and has penalties set upon those convicted of this particular wrongdoing and 2) there is a much milder form which people are apt to use when it will gain them an advantage of sorts.  Extortion in this latter sense is different from haggling because it generally uses an item of interest which can be damaging in some sense to the party being extorted.  This latter form, while not being criminal is generally viewed as unacceptable human behavior, although one can find many novels and probably some real-life situations where an extortion can lead to good actions by individuals with no invasion of privacy.  Christians would relegate this mild form to being a minor sin especially if some good resulted.  I find it very hard to believe that a human would not eke out some small personal advantage in a situation where extortion would be used, certainly, personal satisfaction counts.

Extortion is deemed to be criminal when the threat of illegal, damaging action is used in order to collect the compensation.  The classical protection racket provides a good example:  A small business owner is roughed up and his business is damaged. A nearby business owner is approached and offered protection from the same thing that happened to his fellow businessman while usually intimating that the same will happen to him unless he pays his ‘insurance’.  A down side to the extortion laws is that if a gang is involved it becomes near impossible to convict the leaders.

Let’s examine the workings of Islam.  It claims to be a religion and its practitioners are called muslims; anyone not a muslim is an infidel.  There are four or five major tenets and one can become a muslim by simply declaring these tenets publicly.  I presume one must have a witness to these declarations before one will be accepted as a true muslim.  There is a book called the Koran which consists of all the revelations made to Mohamed by Allah and these revelations describe all the duties of a devout muslim.  Unfortunately, the Koran does not cover all situations and some situations gave rise to conflicting duties so the religion has turned to other sources such as Mohamed’s sayings and actions while on earth.  Presumably, there is a body of papers, certainly not all from the seventh century, which records this knowledge and the keepers of this knowledge will all swear to Allah that this knowledge has been faithfully recorded from that early period when Mohamed was alive.  Today, Islam has preachers and scholars called imams who give advice to the uma (the people of Islam), I know neither their beginning nor their justification for existence and am quite sure they are not mentioned in the Koran, though it would appear that these features are an outgrowth of the tribal view of politics basic to the original believers of Mohamed; hence, the intertwining of politics and Islam.  Islam also consists of many different sects with different beliefs although they, more or less, all agree on the basic tenets,  This is definitely a bare bones description.

The expansion of Islamic territory has been accomplished through conquest by military means and then using the tools of intimidation, mainly killing infidels, so as to assimilate the conquered people into the religion of Islam.  This process of assimilation amounted to wholesale extortion but could be chalked up to the ‘way of the world’ in that era of humankind.  Although we now live in a world where freedom of religion is expressed as a universal right of all people, muslims interpret freedom of religion as the freedom to be a muslim giving them the right to convert or kill all infidels, thus leading to extortion as the main conversion tool.  Of all the willing converts to Islam, practically all are male and probably due to its glorification of patriarchal dominance.  I know of only one female who has expressed a liking for Islam but whose writings give the impression that her beliefs about religion would definitely clash with the male view dominant in Islam.

Turning our attention to modern times. let’s list some actions by muslims:

  • Fatwahs against Salmon Rushdie  saying that it is the duty of any muslim to kill him.
  • Honor killings and threats of honor killing by muslims who believe that Islamic laws (sharia) take precedent over our criminal laws.
  • Riots by muslims protesting cartoons about Mohamed–a historical pederast.
  • A killing of a Dutch movie-maker who had the audacity to make a movie showing the Islamic subjugation of women.
  • Muslims praying in the streets of Paris interrupting traffic even though its against the law.
  • Riots in Afghanistan protesting the burning of Korans and leading to the deaths of two Americans soldiers.
  • Assassinations by guards in Pakistan of civil servants not toting a strict Islamic line.

These and many more actions of the same type can be found by reading the sites of concerned people in America about the arrogance of muslims who believe their religion is more important than the state in which they live ( lists Americans killed by muslims in our own country since 9/11).  I should point out that not all immigrant muslims are of this mindset, except that these people are so brainwashed that they can be easily misled by screeching imams, probably for fear of their own lives.   The Koran also touts the desirability and duty of individual muslims to deceive infidels for the express purpose of putting themselves into a position of eliminating as many of them as they can.  Witness the human bomb in Afghanistan killing top American and NATO personnel.  There should be only one rule when dealing with muslims, “Don’t fully trust any muslim.”

I am especially incensed over this latest Afghanistan incident.  There was nothing wrong with letting the Afghani police attempt to quell the riot.  All of our soldiers and personnel should have been way in the background watching.   Every  Afghani policeman with a gun should have had at least one American soldier training a rifle on that policeman ready to kill him if he dared to raise his gun toward any of our personnel.  Our commanders blew it.

Our leaders have been so intimidated by these barbarians that they have tendered an apology for doing nothing wrong, especially when we should have demanded that these Afghani be  stringently incarcerated and receive the maximum penalty for their act of murder.  Yes, our soldiers did make a mistake when they burned those Korans; they should have used an incinerator making sure that only ashes were left.

The problem with our Western Civilization is that we refuse to believe that muslims are the crudest of barbarians.  We incessantly treat them as civilized human beings not realizing that their civilization has gone steadily downhill since the 14th century or thereabouts.  These muslims have little regard for human life and simply do not consider states that allow for compassion worthy of recognition.  The only thing they really kowtow to is force.  Consider the truck bombing of U.S. troops in Lebanon.  If Reagan would have sent in a division of troops, found the leaders and strung up about 100 Hezbollah before we left, there might have been second thoughts about the twin towers plan.  The weakness of the U.S. was further demonstrated by Clinton pulling troops from Somalia without exacting a good measure of revenge.  How many smaller ways have we demonstrated a lack of willpower to make other people pay for their transgressions against us?  How many times have we forgotten the number one rule of war, “There are no civilians in a war zone.”?

February 29, 2012

Susan G. Komen Foundation–I’m Disappointed

Filed under: Sociology — Tags: , , , , — Ron Toczek @ 5:25 pm

Not too long ago, the Susan G. Komen Foundation (Komen G.) issued a statement saying that they would, henceforth, not award any more grants to Planned Parenthood since it was under investigation for possible misuse of funds.  A presumption here would be that PP would be eligible again once the investigation was completed.  As a pro-lifer, I applauded this decision, hoping that it might become permanent but at first, I was somewhat perplexed since I wondered why they were even eligible.  From all that I have heard, every PP facility offers abortion and a limited amount of contraception services but no cancer prevention services.  They will refer women who want these services to places that do offer them, but to grant them money for what is nothing more than a courtesy offered by practically any doctor, clinic or hospital is a sin and a perversion of all the charitable principles of Komen G.  This alone would be sufficient reason to deny them any grants at all and I’m sure that PP must have been lying through its teeth when it submitted its grant applications.

Also, the past few years have not been flattering to PP; they have been caught lying many times; they have been caught in abetting criminal actions; and they have been caught defrauding agencies by spending money for purposes other than their official existence.  Most importantly, medical studies have been presented to the public which indicate that the services they do offer often lead to an increased cancer risk.


February 28, 2012

The HHS Mandate and Religious Institutions

It is probably not an overstatement to say that the Obama administration has decided to enforce its peculiar interpretation of the religious freedom clause of the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and simultaneously wage war against religious institutions whose beliefs about conception and abortion differ with the current administration’s; I say ‘peculiar’ because it is at odds with an unwritten freedom of conscience and is unrelated to the attack orchestrated by atheists and secularists to remove any vestige of religious symbols from occurring on Federal and State land.  I dare say that these people would support the administration’s position but further discussion in this vein would be off-topic.

We need to start at the beginning which is the passage of the Affordable Health Care Act (AFCA) in 2009, a somewhat unconventional enactment of a law.  In order to get enough Congressional votes to pass the health resolution, the POTUS claimed that he would write a directive which seemingly banned the Federal Government from using this law as a loophole for an existing law which denies the Federal Government to spend taxpayer money for elective abortions.  I, myself, was somewhat unconvinced that this directive was written to properly enforce this aspect but it seemed to satisfy the recalcitrant Representatives.  Two years after the law’s passage HHS issues a mandate stating that employers must offer health insurance to its employees that provides free contraceptive procedures, some of which are abortions by chemical means.  Religious organizations  and employers with conscientious objections to contraception and abortion are forbidden to exercise their freedom of conscience in the health insurance they offer to their employees.  After a period of defiance, Mr. Obama announced a compromise, i.e., he called it a compromise, wherein the onus for covering elective contraceptive procedures, including abortifacients would apply to the health insurance provider but no details on how this separation would be handled; presumably the insurance company would have to calculate their costs for the extra coverage and charge the conscience objectors that much less than the non-objectors.  Currently, some organizations have filed lawsuits against this mandate with their emphasis being on freedom of conscience.

As of now, the situation has calmed in the major media, but quite alive within the pro-life community.  It seems that the noisiest of pro-Obama commentators have gone on to other topics and will be content to say very little more unless the rulings in these lawsuits turn out unfavorable. It looks like SCOTUS will have another aspect of the AFCA Act to mull over besides the individual mandate.

Above, I have said nothing more than anyone could have found by a short search for the relevant data, so why have I decided to write this post?  Because there are a couple of arguments that have not surfaced in the media which deserve to be considered.  First off is the matter of proper protocol for a presidential directive.  The Secretary of HHS is the person who has announced the mandate but the Secretary has no Constitutional authority to write a presidential directive unless the POTUS has written a presidential directive giving her the authority or Congress has given the Secretary the authority specifically through wording in the law itself.  Any person or organization impacted by the law has the right to see these authorizations.  I have been told that the AFCA has provisions wherein it is permissible for the HHS Secretary to make some decisions that will have the force of law, but I have not, myself, ever read the law so I cannot verify that.  I do assume that any religious organization planning on not obeying the mandate thoroughly investigates the law for this particular aspect.  Considering the hugeness of the law and its speed of passage it is quite possible that its actual wording may be less than satisfactory to establish the HHS mandate as law.  Certainly, it is clear that Mr. Obama has not written a directive, else he could not have come up with his so-called compromise; therefore, he must believe that the law, itself, authorizes the HHS to fill out the law with legal mandates.  However this compromise has not yet been written, since the POTUS believes the actual content of the mandate has yet to develop.  Who knows, he just might be a dictator and let the mandate stand as originally proposed; any sort of compromise might require an actual presidential directive to implement.

On the other hand, If the Democrat’s lawyers did allow for an HHS mandate to become law, a thorough investigation into the presidential directive which was promised at the time of the original passage should be performed.  That wording might be enough to void  or seriously impair the intent of this particular mandate.  At this time, I have to wonder if the POTUS has actually written a directive as he said he would at its impending passage; it would not surprise me in the least if no such directive exists.  In fact, if Mr. Obama did write a directive such as was promised, he would of, necessity, need to write a directive separating the use of abortifacients from mechanical abortions or insist that the mandate not cover abortifacients. This entire argument would be extraneous if the AFCA did not grant any tax money to those unable to afford the required health insurance; but it does and, hence, the argument applies.  Long before Mr. Obama became POTUS (I did not vote for the man) I wrote a letter to the editor of the Missoulian stating that he would, if elected, become the most hypocritical of any elected president of the U.S. and here I stand confirmed in that conviction.

Supposing that a health insurance company were to accept the government edict and not bother to give the conscientious objectors a lower rate.  We would have to go to the same argument as above–the conscientious objectors are paying for services they have a right not to.  What about the administration’s argument that the insurance company will save money since the cost of an abortion is less than that of the corresponding birth or possible births.  This is a very specious argument since the birth itself is a very natural process and should not be covered by insurance–then only complications leading to necessary medical procedures need to be covered.  This does not mean that check-ups for the prevention of adverse medical problems which may occur during and after birth should be denied, and they shouldn’t since the health of the mother is the prime consideration.  Consequently, a normal birth having no foreseeable complications should not be covered by any health insurance, but certainly, in the health interests of the mother, a qualified birth assistant should be on call at the time.  We might also add that under this view, elective contraception and abortions add nothing to the overall well-being of any nation.

Assuredly, there have been many studies showing that elective abortions and contraception are bad for women’s health but these studies are totally ignored by the pro-choice people primarily because their chief concern is sex without normal responsibility.  Why haven’t the health insurance companies claimed that covering elective contraceptive procedures and abortions do not enhance women’s health since it is linked to increasing cancer in those having these procedures. Also, why not avoid controversy and allow employers to opt out for conscience and let their employees get their own insurance through the State exchanges.  Of course, all the employers would eventually drop out, but what would be wrong with that?  Go, go ‘free market’.

Another thought: the administration or possibly, the AFCA  has mandated that at least one of the available insurance policies in each exchange must contain provisions for these procedures, but this cannot be enforced in any legal way.  Any private insurance company would have the option of not providing these services and if any single company were forced to provide the coverage, they could claim that that coverage places them at a disadvantage relative to the companies that do not provide that coverage, a very substantial equity argument.  However, this situation provides no obstacle to the mandate, for the government, itself, would be required to set up such a policy.

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