In his article "Scientific Ethics and the Scriptures of Abrahamic Faiths", Steve Sklar tries to convince us that the ethical guides embodied in "the Scriptures", which include the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule, should be replaced by science.
Sklar warns us that if we continue to hold the faith of our fathers, "We could destroy ourselves through our ignorance and savagery", but if we reject God and embrace Science (man) in His place, "our descendants can achieve glories we cannot now even conceive."
To offer the slightest credence to Sklar's theme would take considerable effort, just to shut out some of the more glaring problems with science, including:
For me, ethical behavior has nothing to do with science, and everything to do with the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule. If we "destroy ourselves through our ignorance and savagery" as Sklar fears, it won't be caused by any lack of "scientific ethics". On the contrary, our entertainment media (including mainstream "news") continually shows us that the progressivism which began in the early 20th century is still destroying American families and society. The Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule provide the ethical basis for developing morality*, which could impede the progressive destruction of our society. Science has not done this, does not do this, and can not do this.
Our national government continues to borrow billions of dollars each day by selling treasury bonds. All such borrowing accrues interest that must be paid, but the government has no money to pay it. So they try to sell more bonds to get the money to pay the interest on the ones they already sold. But not enough bond buyers (lenders) can be convinced that the bonds are worth buying. So a government-created cartel of private banks (known as the Federal Reserve) "buys" those same bonds that were considered a poor value by real investors. As if that isn't bad enough, the government banking cartel doesn't buy the bad bonds with money that's been earned and deposited by productive enterprise --it simply "prints" new money by digitally creating it in a computer system. To obscure this official chicanery and make it sound inscrutable and important, they call it "quantitative easing".
Unlike dollars earned for work and paid for products, the computer-generated dollars conjured by the government represent nothing of any value at all. Mixing those valueless dollars into the economy forces the price of everything (including services) higher, because dollars suddenly have become plentiful without a commensurate increase in productivity. When dollars are plentiful, and when sellers can't tell an earned dollar from a conjured one, they naturally demand to get more dollars for whatever product or service they sell. This makes you and I poorer. Yes, we still have the same dollars we put away last year, but they're no longer worth what they were last year; it now takes more dollars to buy the things for which we were saving.
This inflation is not some uncontrollable fact of life, rather, it is intentionally caused by central economic planners of the Federal Reseve and the government. They know the dollars they conjure must necessarily cause prices to rise, but they also know there'll be lag time during which they can use the digital dollars they fake before prices have time to go up. The rest of us can only watch the value of our savings drop. In this manner, "quantitative easing" makes you and I poorer while making the national government richer and more powerful. Quantitative easing isn't hard to understand. It is simply stealth taxation, transferring buying power from individual citizens to the national government.
How do they get away with it? Too many people tend to believe whatever is said by politicians and their cheerleaders in the entertainment industry (including "news"), whenever bad policy is pitched using non-specific emotional appeals like "for the good of the country", "for the environment", "for the children", "to help the little guy", and so on. This tendency is especially strong when the bad policy is cloaked in made-up phrases like "quantitative easing", and deceptive sophism that's carefully crafted to make people think they're not really smart enough to understand any of it. Many people do apply common sense -- the worst enemy of Keynesian central planners -- and see through the deception, but too few speak strongly against it.
Buying Power (Value)
People once traded with each other by barter, using actual goods for payment. A person's power to buy things was simply the stock of things he owned. This was inconvenient, because if Jason owns too many "A"s but needs "B"s, he might not be able to find anyone willing to trade "B"s for "A"s.
When it was noticed that nearly anyone would trade nearly anything to get small amounts of gold or silver, those metals (usually formed into coins) were used as a convenient method of "go-between" trading. With gold as a trading medium, Jason need only find someone who'll give him gold in exchange for his "A"s. Jason no longer has to worry about that person's stock of "B"s, because anyone else who has "B"s might exchange them for his newly-acquired gold.
Later in history, it became possible to write a note promising to pay a set amount of gold (or silver). Some such notes named the person to whom the gold would be paid, making them worthless to anyone else. But another kind of note, usually written by governments and banks, stated that the gold or silver would be paid to "the bearer", that is, anyone who presented the note to its writer. These "bearer notes" would be accepted as payment for anything, as long as the recipients believed that they would indeed be able to collect the amount of gold or silver written on the notes.
Bearer notes relieved people from the inconvenience of storing and transporting bulky and heavy metal coins. As more and more people began to believe the promise written on the notes, those notes became a preferred medium of exchange. They became paper money.
Our paper money (called dollars after a Spanish gold coin) once stated, in all uppercase letters, "This certifies that there have been deposited in the treasury of the United States of America [amount] dollars in gold coin payable to the bearer on demand". Such dollars had value simply because they could be exchanged for gold, something nearly everyone in the world would work or trade to get.
As usual, one thing led to another, and I spent several hours writing a short paper, WhichConstitution.doc, to show why we should care about that contrast and what we can do about it now.
During his speech, Reagan referred to the "Forand bill", which called for increasing Social Security taxes to pay for government-mandated medical insurance. The Intercollegiate Socialistic Society, calling itself The League for Industrial Democracy had first proposed that idea back in the early 1930s, but President Roosevelt rejected it, saying "it would lead to socialized medicine." In spite of that public condemnation, Democrats re-introduced the idea several times over the years under various names. The Forand bill was just the latest re-cycle.
I uploaded the Reagan speech in .flv (flash) format, in case you want to use a flash player like FLVplayer (or Adobe's resource-hogging flash player) to see it.
Reagan&ObamaCare.FLV 12,213,245 bytes
For those who don't want to install FLVplayer or the resource hog, I converted the .flv file to .mpg and to .avi so you can use any multimedia player. The .mpg file is huge, so I'd recommend the .avi file. The quality of the .mpg is better, but it takes a lot longer to download.
Reagan&ObamaCare.AVI 18,128,406 bytes
Reagan&ObamaCare.MPG 26,750,976 bytes
In case you want to store and play the Reagan speech on your PDA, I converted the .flv file to an .avi file that's specially-formatted for the small screen of the PDA. (It works well on my Palm Tungsten T5.)
Reagan&ObamaCare-pda.AVI 6,916,648 bytes
For those who don't care about the images, and just want to hear what Reagan said, I ripped the audio out of the .flv file and uploaded it as an .mp3 file.
Reagan&ObamaCare.mp3 2,196,220 bytes
NOTE: The links above connect to an abridged version of Reagan's 1961 speech. I found the full speech, and uploaded it as an .mp3 (audio only) file. I tried to find a text version of the full speech, but couldn't. (Several text copies of the abridged version exist, but the ones I saw have Congressman Forand's name badly misspelled as "Ferrand", which raises serious authenticity doubts.)
Reagan&Socialism.MP3 11,284,929 bytes
As you read my letter, remember that journalism, in the sense of fact-finding and objective analysis, no longer exists in the popular media. For too many years, newspapers, magazines, television, and movies have relentlessly espoused the agenda of those who believe Central Government can make better decisions about your life than you can. The bias of popular media is comforting to many people. It teaches that increased spending, higher taxes (on the other guy), bigger government, and more regulation (of the other guy) will solve whatever problem might exist. That pervasive and relentless message, coupled with our natural reluctance to believe that The Land of the Free and The Home of the Brave could be destroyed by incremental socialism, have made such destruction likely to happen.
Now, it's not merely likely to happen-- it has begun. Nothing demonstrates that fact better than the election of Obama. He was elected in spite of his background (or lack of background), in spite of his undisputed close ties with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and America-damner Jerimiah Wright, in spite of his lack of solid accomplishments (beyond getting elected, which a machine can do for anyone), and in spite of his own socialist speech ("I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."), and in spite of his close ties with the corrupt partisan group ACORN. All of these things were either ignored or, where they could not be ignored, downplayed by the media, as they continued their breathless cheerleading. Too few people heard facts or objective analysis. Too many relied on TV and newspapers.
benNelson.doc 27,648 bytes
This is the video, in .flv (flash) format, .MPG format, .AVI format, and an AVI especially formatted for small PDA screens:
AmericanSoldier.flv 10,046,496 bytes
AmericanSoldier.MPG 19,462,144 bytes
AmericanSoldier.AVI 13,742,196 bytes
AmericanSoldier-pda.AVI 5,996,730 bytes
I ripped the music from the video, and uploaded it here, in MP3 format:
AmericanSoldier.MP3 3,889,978 bytes
Here are the words, in a Word2003 document:
AmericanSoldierLyrics.doc 22,016 bytes
Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonored , and unsung.
Scott's poem comes mind whenever I hear of Obama's apologetic attitude about America, especially during his foreign trips.
This is different. Never before have so many Apologizers, Appeasers, World-govenment proponents, and manifest America-haters taken over the White House, the Congress, and the Courts.
We, who never before may have thought much about our freedom, can no longer rest assured that Constitutional limits and balances will make everything all right. No, things will not be all right this time, because the balance is gone, and the limits are ignored by those in power.. That's why, back in October 2008, I began to do what I could to try to perserve American principles and values. Each of us can do something -- talking about it is doing something.
Thanks for your time. --Sid 2009dec22(15:00)-sls