Clear Fog Blog

Political musings from Warren E. Peterson

Archive for March, 2010

Civil War in Four Minutes

Posted by Warren Peterson on March 28, 2010

Thanks to George S. For sending the You Tube link called “The US Civil War in 4 Minutes”. In four minutes one sees a war costing over 900,000 dead and wounded in a nation (North and South) of only 34,000,000 people. In the age of high tech warfare, a casualty rate of 2.6% of the population, double if one considers only the male population, seems inconceivable. This is truly a nation purchased with blood.

Posted in Military | Leave a Comment »

General McKenna vs. Obamacare

Posted by Warren Peterson on March 24, 2010

Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna is a leader among various state attorneys general suing to declare the new insurance mandate in Obamacare unconstitutional. The challenge is based on their understanding of the 10th Amendment and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The plaintiffs contend that the Federal Government does not have the constitutional authority to force citizens to purchase a private product i.e. health insurance. Unlike Social Security and Medicare, where the Federal Government imposes taxes for the purpose of providing a specific service, the new health care law requires private citizens to purchase health insurance from private companies or face a fine.

The suit raises serious constitutional questions and also provides McKenna with a potentially popular campaign issue for the 2012 governor’s race. But even a threat of a favorable court ruling may result in an unintended consequence worse than the current law. If the Obama,/Pelosi/Reid Axis of Arrogance fears the loss of a key Obamacare obligation in the courts, they may use it as an excuse to extend Medicare to all. At least until January 2011, the Democrats will have large enough majorities in the House and Senate to force through such a change. Assuming Republicans win control of the House in the 2010 election, Democrats will have nothing to lose by further ticking off the public. Congressman Jim McDermott will be ecstatic; finally single payer health care. Can you sing “O Canada”?

Cross Posted on Sound Politics

Posted in National Politics | Leave a Comment »

Lighten Up; It’s Just the Census

Posted by Warren Peterson on March 12, 2010

It’s in the Constitution. Article I, Section 2.3 provides that an “enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct.” Congress, being what it is, almost immediately expanded the scope of the census beyond the basic constitutional requirement to apportion “Representatives and direct taxes… among the several states” according to population.

Wikipedia has an interesting history of the census. For instance, the 1860 Census collected data on “name, address, age, sex, color (white, black or mulatto) for each person, whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane or idiotic, value of real estate and of personal estate owned (required of all free persons), profession, occupation or trade of each male and female over 15 years of age, place (state, territory or country) of birth, whether married within the year, whether attended school within the year, whether unable to read and write (for persons over 20), whether a pauper or convict”. Compared to the ten questions, including race, sex, and home ownership, on the 2010 Census form; the intrusion into one’s privacy seems minimal. The Census Bureau also conducts annual surveys to collect various demographic, social and economic data. Economists and planners in both public and private sectors use census information for everything from budgeting to marketing. In rare instances, it has been misused, such as the internment of west coast Japanese during WWII, but in most cases the data collected is used for legitimate purposes.

Every ten years a chorus of census critics voice complaints from invasion of privacy to not counting everyone. Rush Limbaugh thinks we shouldn’t divide people by race and suggests that people answer the question on race by checking the “Other” box and writing in “American”. Some minority groups are concerned that the Census undercounts them and thus deprives their group representation. A few fear the Census recording the GPS location of their dwelling place, something already available on Google Earth.

It is a massive and expensive undertaking but it is not a conspiracy to undermine the Republic or the “Mark of the Beast”. Worry about terrorist, the national debt, the IRS but lighten up on the Census and answer the questions honestly.

Posted in National Politics | Leave a Comment »

Obamacare, It Ain’t Over Until January 3, 2011

Posted by Warren Peterson on March 12, 2010

Democrats want anything that can be legitimately called historic heath care reform so badly they can taste it. It is just a problem of definition of what constitutes reform. Right now it is the Senate version of Obamacare but solid Republican opposition, significant public hostility, left wing demand for single payer, pro and con on abortion coverage appear to be preventing Madam Speaker Pelosi from garnering the votes to pass the Senate bill in the House. If she can horse trade or coerce enough Blue Dog Democrats and liberals with doubts to get the bill passed, Obama will sign it. Once law, it will be with us forever. Even if Republicans win back both the House (possible) and Senate (only if the stars align), they will not have enough votes to override an Obama veto of repeal. A Republican sweep in 2012 will still leave two years to collect Obamacare taxes, set roots deep in the bureaucracy and fundamentally change the health care industry in America.

It is only March. The threat continues not just until the November 2 elections but all the way to January 3, 2011 when, hopefully, Mr. Speaker Boehner will preside. The danger is the end of summer yellow jacket phenomenon; can’t feed, will die soon but still can sting. What is the chance House Democrats, losers, and survivors about to be in the minority, will convince themselves that political immortality lies in passing Obamacare in a lame duck session of Congress?

Scary.

Posted in National Politics | 1 Comment »

The Homosexual Question

Posted by Warren Peterson on March 10, 2010

I have posted several writings on the homosexual issue. One of my postings generated a “trackback” which is a list of other blogs on the subject. This one is by a United Methodist pastor in his early thirties who serves a church near a Methodist college campus. The Methodist church, like many mainline Protestant churches, has been struggling with the issue for years. How should a Christian treat homosexuals when the Bible clearly defines the practice as sinful? Generally, the battle comes down to church policy on same sex marriage and qualifications for ordination as a pastor, elder or deacon. In my journey thinking about this issue (see below references), I think Pastor Brandon has come closest to possible common ground. Read his short sermon “Christians are Antihomosexual”. Do you agree?

Other Clear Fog posts on the subject:

Gays in the Military

A Sermon on Homosexuality

Same Sex Marriage, Yea or Nay

Posted in Religion | Leave a Comment »

 
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