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Freedom is as Freedom Does August 26, 2011

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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Is there any one political or economic system that God wants everyone to follow?  I do not believe God has ordained any one type of government or economy as the divinely ordained path.

The only government He ever instituted was a kingdom with Himself as the king and that was rejected by His own people when they instead wanted to be like the people who surrounded them.  And even though God had His prophets warn them that this earthly king would take their lands, their children, their goods and their freedom they persisted in rejecting a divine King for kings who would claim divine rights.

The only economy God has instituted is the divine economy where there is never a lack and always abundance.  With cattle on a thousand hills God does not participate in recessions and He has promised many times that those in His hands cannot be plucked out.  He promises that though a thousand fall on one side and ten thousand on the other destruction shall not consume those who trust in Him.  And though in the eyes of this world it may appear that the evil often triumphs and the good are forsaken He tells us, “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Free choice is a major part of God’s plan.  As a matter of fact that is His plan.  He could have just as easily created humans who had no free choice, could not disobey, never fall and always remain just as He designed them.  But instead He desired the loving family that can only come about from love freely given and freely received.

Individually God has given each of us free choice.  Therefore, I believe freedom to make choices unencumbered by outside interference is a fundamental building block of human nature and thus a required element of any society which matches the reality of the human condition.  Each of us gets to decide which we are going to believe, our eyes of flesh or our eyes of faith.  Is the world true or is God true?  As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  That is my free choice and you are free to make yours.

I believe that God desires us to make free choices with regard to faith and lifestyle.  Therefore, personal freedom is necessary for life as God intended.  And this has a great impact upon the first half of our question, is there any one political system that God wants everyone to follow?

It is apparent that the only form of government ever devised by man that requires personal free choice as a prime component is democracy.  All other forms of government are some variation of the divine right of somebody to tell everybody else what to do.  By the way, that’s democracy as in one-citizen-one-vote not as in Democratic People’s Republic.  And since all forms of direct democracy eventually devolve into a tyranny of the majority the only thing that works over time is a representative republic which operates on democratic principles.  Meaning a system wherein the people have the opportunity to select their own representatives as long as those representatives actually represent the people and do not become the pawns of powerful special interests.

Also based upon the fact that personal freedom is a fundamental component of life as God desires for humanity which brings us to the second half of our question: is there any one economic system that God wants everyone to follow?  It is apparent to even a casual observer that free market capitalism is the only economic system ever devised by man that requires personal freedom to operate.  All other economic systems ultimately translate into some variation of a command economy. Some bureaucrat somewhere decides how many widgets to make and that’s how many widgets are produced regardless of need or demand.  Command economies foster disequilibrium and maladjustments.   There are always either too many widgets or not enough.  In a fee market capitalist system demand always dictates production and inherently guides supply.

America was originally launched as a representative republic based upon democratic principles with a free economy which based upon the above exemplifies the ideal for a nation-state.  This is what we have known.  If the Progressives continue to succeed in their efforts to fundamentally transform America what can we expect?

Look at the areas of American life so far transformed, massive government take-overs either through outright purchase or indirectly through regulation of industry, insurance, and finance. Taking this as a guide we should expect further intrusion of the central government into the economy thus transforming America into a command economy with all the problems inherent in that type of system.

The health care take-over which is scheduled to phase in like boiling water phases in for a frog, feeling so comforting until it’s too late to jump out.  Using the need to modify our behavior to cut health care costs we should expect the central planners to inch-by-inch transform our daily routines of eating and exercise until they are telling us when to jump and how high.  It is often the unintended consequences which have the greatest effects as a result of the Progressive impulse to create a Utopia.

The only way Utopians ever try to create a heaven on earth is to build nanny-states to protect us from ourselves with no thought of how the unintended consequences actually harm the people the intention was to help.  Eventually there is also no limit to the amount of force it takes to compel compliance once the bureaucracy has decreed something is good for the collective. An example from Obamacare is the provision forcing insurance companies to accept pre-existing conditions for all children insured.  This sounds great.  And it will surely protect the Kids.  But what it really does is prompt many insurance companies to quit insuring children because they realize this government mandated provision will cause them to lose money, and despite the progressive belief that people should open and maintain private businesses as non-tax supported social agencies people who own businesses do so to make money.

Another example is businesses either dropping insurance for their employees because the fines imposed will be cheaper than the insurance or seeking an exemption.  It is projected that 30% of employers will drop their employee healthcare once Obamacare is fully instituted.  So much for “If you have your plan and you like it,… or you have a doctor and you like your doctor, that you don’t have to change plans.”

The Financial take-over through regulation has not been unwrapped yet and even the politicians most involved in writing it say they don’t know what’s in it so its long term impact can only be imagined.  Does anyone imagine it will be good for free-enterprise, competition, and capitalism?  As the Progressives continue to experiment looking for some way to accomplish the impossible, heaven on earth, the uncertainty keeps people from investing, businesses from growing and the economy from recovering.  After two and a half years it should be apparent the current administration has successfully turned a recession into a new normal of lower expectations and a loss of hope.

But then again my hope was never in the government to begin with, and since they didn’t give it to me they can’t take it away.  My hope is in Jesus and He never fails.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens.

 

Who Needs Robin Hood? August 19, 2011

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It’s time to level the playing field.”  “The rich need to pay their fair share.”  “We have to end tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.”  These are some of the stock phrases used by President Obama and his administration to fire up their troops to picket private homes, gin up mobs to protest success and to channel America towards the future they envision.  Like a one trick pony or an extremely inept coach the Progressives’ playbook has only one option.  It’s a Hail Mary pass they run over and over: class warfare.  From Marx to Chavez the collectivists have always played the same card from each according to the ability to each according to their need.

Over a century of propaganda and indoctrination has conditioned most Americans to accept one of the most insidious aspects of class warfare as a natural and respectable feature of our government: progressive taxation.   At its core progressive taxation is the quintessential action of the Trojan horse the Progressives have constructed to transform America from a representative republic with a capitalist economy into a centrally planned socialist democratic republic.

The shock troops for this movement which has captured the leadership of both major parties is made up of the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media, unions, crony capitalists, and a conglomeration of front groups and organizations, many of which receive vast amounts of government money.  These interest groups constantly agitate for Progressive policies and carry the water for Progressive politicians.  They also contribute time, money and resources for the election campaigns of the very Progressive politicians who vote to give them government grants in a circular money laundering scheme which if not illegal is certainly immoral.

Who are these Progressives in America today?  They’re the most vocal proponents of the manmade global warming hoax.  They serve as willing acolytes for their Nobel Prize winning high priest.  After failing to pass their much desired cap-n-trade they are regulating it into existence through the Environmental Protection Agency.

They are also the same ones who after leading the charge against integration, standing in the school house door and attacking peaceful demonstrators with everything from fire hoses to clubs they support every media starved Civil Rights professional who will rant and rave on cue to keep America’s deepest wound festering.

They use Political Correctness to monitor and manage the discussion.  Political Correctness is the Progressives’ version of New Speak and the coin of their realm.  Many of these verbal add-ons are merely variations and expressions on the over-riding theme of take from the evil rich to help the deserving poor, with a good dose of “We’ve got to do it for the children” thrown in for good measure.  Political Correctness is strangling free speech and pushing many into a cone of silence wherein they no longer have the liberty to express their opinions without retaliation on the job or in school.

People who wish to take from the rich and give to the poor never create wealth themselves.  They always want to take from one and give to another so they can drain off a living in between exulting in the power to decide who deserves the blessings of their charity.  And they always seem to get more than anyone else.

The massive frauds and waste of the Federal government shows where this is headed.  As they swallow more of the economy their ineptitude seems to grow in direct proportion to the size of the swag.  Take for instance the stimulus slush-fund of 2009.  Billed as a way to create jobs this bill spent $278,000 for every job created.  In terms of the national debt President Obama is spreading the wealth around at an astounding rate of 3.94 billion dollars per day in deficit spending alone.  He has gone beyond taxing the rich and is now taxing the unborn.

Looking back at the battle cry of “Tax the rich” which symbolizes the inequity which is the Progressive tax system some often confuse this with the story of Robin Hood.  They say he stole from the rich to give to the poor.  They point to Robin and say that is all they want to do, take some of the excess wealth held by the rich and distribute it to the unfortunate.

Unfortunately for them such a translation of the Robin Hood myth turns the story on its head.  After returning from a war of choice initiated by an absentee king in the Middle East Robin learned his estate had been taxed away.  Finding this level of abuse intolerable he became an outlaw stealing the ill-gotten loot government agents were extorting from the people in the form of taxes and then returned the money to those who had actually earned it.

Wait a minute maybe we do need Robin Hood today!

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens.

 

History Doesn’t Repeat it Rhymes Again August 11, 2011

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When I was studying to become a Historian I ran afoul of the professors tasked with helping me arrive at my destination.  When you study for advanced degrees in History you are required to choose an area of specialization and if you are particularly ambitious you might choose two separate areas.  Being an over achiever who has always been blessed with an inquiring mind I choose four and proceeded to complete the necessary class work for all of them.  Near the end of my career as a professional History student the professor in charge of the program told me I had to pick one field that would be my over arching area of study.

By this time I was writing opinion columns for the school newspaper much along the lines of the weekly columns I churn out today.  In each article I would examine an event or situation from current events and place it in a historical and constitutional context.  I called these articles the “History of the Future” which is what current events are.  So, when asked to declare a comprehensive Historical Interest I told my professor that I had decided to specialize in the History of the Future, and if he was interested he could ask me in ten minutes and I would tell him what his last statement meant.  He didn’t think it was nearly as clever as I did.

Although it was unknown to me at the time my professor was well aware of my writing and was therefore not dazzled by my answer.  He was bemused, he was shocked, and he was angered.  He thought I was irreverent in my approach to History and mocking in my tone toward Historians.   Then, as now, I believed that if History doesn’t help us to live in the present it is merely curiosity or voyeurism that compels us to gaze upon the past.  I believe I might have said that or its equivalent along the way, and this had not earned me the heartfelt appreciation of those whom I hoped to one day call my peers.

Once I successfully navigated the shoals and received my professional Historian’s badge I continued seeing History as a useful lens for the interpretation of current events presented in my weekly articles which I continue to call the History of the Future.  However, as I continue to relate the present to the past in an attempt to discern the future I have noted my divergence from common knowledge and accepted wisdom when it comes to the relation of knowledge of History to actions in the present.

Everyone knows and many people say, “Those who fail to learn from History are doomed to repeat it.”  I believe that a historical context is necessary for any understanding of the present.  I also believe that a lack of historical context is one of the major contributing factors to the current state of affairs in America.  I do not however believe that historical events repeat.  Yes one war seems to inevitably follow another, but they are always different wars.  World War Two followed World War One and in many ways completed one war in two acts but it was a war as different in strategy as it was in tactics.  They were two different wars.  Just as the current Great Recession follows the Great Depression and although they bear many similar aspects such as government complicity in their depth and duration they are most decidedly two separate catastrophes.

All of which leads me to my heretical belief that History doesn’t repeat it rhymes.  Take for instance the current spate of sweetheart deals and cronyism that has led us down the road to the crash of 2008, the downgrade of 2011, and the ongoing inflation default as we attempt to print our way to solvency.  Although this is unprecedented in size and scope, though it is the first economic crisis that threatens to cause America to spiral down from the first rank of nations, this is not the first time craven politicians and their crony capitalist supporters have sought to turn the public treasury into a personal ATM.

In 1863 the principle stockholders and executive officers of the Union Pacific Railroad Company launched a new venture Crédit Mobilier of America. The venture also had the support and protection of high level political leaders.   This construction company officially sought to build and maintain the first railroad to span the continent. Unofficially the company looted the federal treasury of as much money as it could while doing as little actual construction as possible.  The venture made enormous profits for some before causing a panic that ruined the fortunes of many innocent people resulting in a loss of faith in the practices of both business and government..

Crédit Mobilier was initially founded by Thomas C. Durant who was the vice president of Union Pacific.  Within a short time actual control of the company was assumed by two well connected brothers from Massachusetts: Congressman Oakes Ames and his brother, Oliver.

Here’s how the scheme worked:  The men who owned Crédit Mobilier controlled the Union Pacific Railroad which was at the time racing the Central Pacific Railroad to meet in the middle of the country and unite a nation mired deep in the Civil War.  These men used their positions at the railroad to award no-bid contracts to Crédit Mobilier to complete the construction.  They awarded contracts totaling $94,000,000 when the actual costs were less than $54,000,000.

A large percentage of the money had been provided to the Union Pacific from Congress in the form of low interest loans and enormous land grants.  As the sums involved became larger and the Railroad plunged into unsustainable debt Congressman Ames sought to avoid oversight by selling stock to leading politicians for prices well below their perceived value.  Like all pyramid schemes this one eventually ran out of enough new investors to keep the perpetual motion going.  And as in all pyramid schemes first ones in and first ones out made fortunes while last ones in and last ones out lost their shirts.

In 1872 public indignation and economic ruin finally moved Congress to investigate.  The resulting scandal ruined the reputations of numerous high officials including the Vice President, leading Senators, and Congressman.  The crony capitalists were also exposed as grafters, and the first in a long line of Robber Baron looters who have used political connection and government preference to walk off with the public’s money.  After a thorough investigation which left not one stone unturned although the principle actors were revealed no politician was thrown out of office, no one was ever prosecuted, and those who built the pyramid got to keep the cash.  In 1897, the Union Pacific was completely reorganized and the present Union Pacific has no relationship to a scandal that rocked the nation and impacted millions.

Today crony capitalists and the politicians who advance and protect them have brought our economy to the brink of disaster.  Once again after brutal investigations and maximum exposure no one has been expelled from the corridors of power and no one has been prosecuted.  These same politicians who have spent the income of unborn generations are walking away with pensions and benefits, their crony capitalist pals are laughing all the way to the bank, and the citizens are left holding the bag.  Day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute the headlines continue to reinforce my belief that History doesn’t repeat it rhymes.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens.

 

A Declaration of Independence August 5, 2011

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It has happened just as foretold.  The Progressive Republicans have joined with their Democrat fellow-travelers and once again sold our inheritance for a bowl of promises.  We voted for an end to the out of control spending and what did we get?  3.5 trillion steps closer to the abyss.   It’s time to admit that when you fall off a cliff it doesn’t matter much if you were pushed or if you walked.  The fall might not be so bad but that sudden stop at the end isn’t so good.

Maybe it’s just me but I’m tired of the same old same old in our politics.  The big-box monopoly parties have morphed into two sides of the same coin.  Today we choose between the Conservative Progressives’ policies of tax and spend, infringe personal liberty, and outsource our sovereignty or the Liberal Progressives’ policies of tax and spend, infringe personal liberty, and outsource our sovereignty.  We’ve been caught on the horns of a dilemma trying to choose between Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and since we don’t want to throw our vote away we must vote for one of the big boys after which the campaign promises dissolve and we’re hung out to dry.

As a voter I’ve had my Damascus Road Experience.  The scales have fallen from my eyes.  I’ve reached the point where I would rather vote for someone who might actually try finding another way to operate our government besides taxing like the Sun King and spending like a drunken sailor whose credit card limit is constantly raised and who can print his own money.

It’s time to stop talking.  It’s time to take action.  The Founders of our nation dedicated their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to birth our state and this noble experiment.  It’s time for us to do the same. This nation was conceived as a representative republic designed to operate on democratic principles.  For over 100 years the Progressives have worked to transform the land of the free and the home of the brave into a People’s Democratic Republic.  What’s the difference?  The difference between a Democracy and a People’s Democracy is “the difference between a jacket and a straight jacket.”

How did we arrive at the current situation?

James Madison our fourth president and the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution said, “There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.”  We didn’t get here all in one jump.  First the camel said, “Can I just stick my nose in your tent to stay warm?” and finally the generous man found himself out in the cold as the camel settled down for a nice warm nap, one inch at a time.

The compassion of our people built a safety net for those who needed help and the greed of the lazy turned it into a hammock.  America, the Land of the Free is being transformed into an America that is dedicated to the unsustainable achievement of, from each according to their abilities to each according to their need.  When you rob Peter to pay Paul eventually Peter changes his name to Paul and the house of cards  tumbles down.

The willingness to share our heritage led America to welcome more immigrants each year than the rest of the world combined, and the abuse of our generosity turned into a migration invasion that threatens to overwhelm us and destroy the future of our children.  Taxes imposed to meet the ever-swelling demands of government have turned into a blatant, wealth re-distribution program that makes most pyramid schemes look fair.  It’s as if our predatory government looks at a productive citizen as merely a source of residual income.  Or as the ads promise, our Progressive leaders lay on the beach of self-importance and our checks just keep pouring in.  We’re no longer respected as Citizens.  Instead, we’re coveted as consumers or human capital.

It’s time for action.

We as citizens who love our country must to break the logjam caused by an imperial presidency, an abdicating legislature, an activist court, a suffocating bureaucracy, and the strangulation of regulation.  The constant growth of government destroys freedom for “as government expands liberty contracts.”

It’s time to actively work for America’s acceptance of a different way.

And what might this Different way be?

Something radical, something that almost strains the bounds of the imagination, something that would immediately unleash the bent-up energy of a free people: a return to constitutionally limited government!

But how do we get there from here?  We need to build a new party to win the reins of government from the two-headed bird of prey which has assumed perpetual power through perpetual re-election.  What we need now are citizens willing to sacrifice their repose and enter the arena.  We need non-professionals to clean up the mess and right the ship of state.

What we don’t need is one more election where the Conservative Progressives replace the Liberal Conservatives because as Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

We need a new party.  We must work to unite the Tea Party Movement with the many splinter parties which hold the same basic values.  We must reclaim our liberty from the professional politicians and professional radicals who have manipulated the system to achieve unlimited power which they use to spend us into insolvency, tax us into poverty, and regulate us into serfdom.

This new party must siphon off all the conservatives who are members of the twin party out of habit or family tradition.  This new party must rise fast and work hard.  It must capture the center and the right declaring boldly that it will defend what America stands for but not necessarily all that stands for America.  The time has come to fight for the right before we are swallowed by the wrong.

Winston Churchill said, “If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival.  There may be a worse case.  You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

We can’t let divisions divide us or they will bury us.  United we stand, divided we fall.  None of us can do this alone but together we can.  Keep the faith.  Keep the peace.  We shall overcome.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8

© 2011 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens.

 

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