Power Grab or Stop Special Interest Money?

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the ...

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the act on July 5, 1935. Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins (right) looks on. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last year Mark Mix gave a talk at the Pro Family Legislators conference on compulsory unionism which I have found very informative. I’ve blogged about it before.

In 1935 the Wagner Act forced all workers in America to be in unions whether they liked it or not. Mr. Mix talked about Samuel Gompers who was an early union organizer who advocated for volunteerism as opposed to compulsory union membership. “No lasting gain has ever come from compulsion. If we seek to force, we but tear apart that which united, is invincible.” His reasoning was that unions would be more cohesive and stronger if they were voluntary groups. Unfortunately, Other union leaders did not agree. In 1935, at any rate, the Wagner Act made compulsory unionism the law of the land. This was and is in opposition to our 1st amendment freedom of association. In other words, if we have the freedom to choose with whom we will associate, don’t we have the converse right to choose with whom we will not associate?

Unions quickly gained an enormous amount of power. For instance, the Mineworkers Union basically shut down the war effort soon after by refusing to mine coal until their demands were met. Congress amended the Wagner Act with the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947. Among other things the act made it so states could enact ‘right to work’ laws. Since that time 22 states have opted for ‘right to work’ legislation. ‘Right to Work’ basically means no one can be compelled to join a union nor be compelled not to join a union. In other words, the only unions in ‘right to work’ states would be voluntary unions. Just like Gompers ennvisioned. Today our most prosperous states are those right to work states. The industries in heavily unionized states have crumbled or are crumbling under the overburden of union demands.

I for one am in favor of voluntary unionism. I am a member of a voluntary teacher association. I am also a member of the compulsory teachers union CTA.

There is legislation afoot that would allow teachers the choice of whether they want their union dues to be automatically deducted from their check as they are currently. I think this legislation has merit. Unions are calling it “The Corporate Power Grab Initiative“. The other side is calling it the “Stop Special Interest Money Now Act“. They have very different stories to tell about what the act does and does not do. One point of disagreement is on who gives more to politicians. CTA claims that corporations out give unions 15 to 1. But I was recently told by a CTA officer that CTA is the most powerful voice in Sacramento… Here is a site that tracks giving to politicians.

The Stop Special Interest Money Now Act may be the right act for giving freedom back to workers in California and eliminating the overbearing liberal voice of union officials in our state legislature. I invite you to read the text of the act for yourself and enter the discussion by making a comment here. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this proposed law.

Students for Life of America

Students for Life of America LogoKristan Hawkins pro-life activist is very enthusiastic and passionate about ending abortion in America in our lifetime. She works to raise up chapters of Students for Life of America on university campuses across the US. Students for Life works

I felt inspired by Kristan Hawkins passion and energy for pushing forward the movement she is heading up. In addition to a true passion for the pre-born person, she has a real compassion for the surviving mother in an abortion situation, or for the pregnant mother who has nowhere else to turn and is looking for some kind of option besides abortion. In her interview with Dr. James Dobson on FamilyTalk on April 2. 2012 Kristan discussed how Planned Parenthood gives out low dose contraception with the expectation that young women will end up getting pregnant and then offering no real healthcare services for young women… just the opportunity to abort their baby. When she was pregnant herself she went to a Planned Parenthood clinic to get a sense of what it’s like for pregnant woman to go to such a place. She was given counsel that it would be best to terminate her pregnancy early. She about various kinds of health care opportunities or well baby services that might be available if she chose to keep her baby. She was told that she would need to go elsewhere for that sort of service.

In her FamilyTalk interview Kristan explained how we are seeing victory after victory for life in states across the nation. The fact is that more pro-life legislation has passed since the 2010 election than during any other period since Roe v. Wade. Elections do matter. When your state primary comes up, and in November, get out and vote for pro-life candidates. We can see the holocaust of the American unborn end in our lifetimes.

Ironically it is easier for her to start these chapters on public college campuses rather than Christian campuses. The issue is one of the Christian colleges not wanting to appear to be condoning or admitting to having pregnant young women and therefore premarital sex issues on their campus. This is a sad testimony to some of the leadership of our colleges. Apparently much of that pressure comes from donors.

The work of Students for Life is quite remarkable. Kristan Hawkins’ passion really puts a bright star on this organization. During her FamilyTalk interview she made the statement, “when abortion is no longer legal in America.” She has a real vision for ending abortion in her lifetime in the States. She says don’t imagine it, envision it.

Cohabitation means Poverty for Women and Children

Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation

Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I really appreciate what Robert Rector had to say in describing the problem of poverty stemming from unwed mothers, fathers, and cohabitation as opposed to marriage. The biggest factor in determining whether a child is raised in poverty or in security is whether or not the parents stay together. An intact family is a reliable determinant of being in a secure home with shelter and food and not on the public dole.

Listen to the WallBuilders Live! broadcast of his speech at the Pro-Family Legislators conference…

“We will take you to our annual ProFamily Legislators Conference, on today’s Wallbuilders Live!. Robert Rector, an authority on poverty and the welfare system, shares the great secret of child poverty. You may be surprised to learn that there are steps that can be taken to drastically reduce child poverty, yet these steps are not being taken. Why? Tune in, today, to learn more. You will hear from Rector as he addresses our legislators, and describes a link between child poverty and the declining state of marriage. This is a three part series, so be sure to catch each part, this week!” [quoted from WallBuilders Live! broadcast archives]

Monumental

National Monument to the Forefathers, Plymouth...

National Monument to the Forefathers, Plymouth Massachusetts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We just finished watching the movie Monumental on a preview screening night and really enjoyed it. Kirk Cameron did a superb job of walking us through an engaging history lesson of the Pilgrims rise, persecution, and departure from England in 1600s. He traces the journey from their secret meeting places, to the prisons where King James held them after their first escape attempt, to their haven in Holland. He follows their path finally on to the American continent. In Plymouth, Massachusetts, Cameron and his guide explain the rich symbolism set in granite in the National Monument to the Forefathers (pictured) that was erected in 1889 honoring the Pilgrims. Their winning strategy for building a society revolves around starting with faith, then morality, law, education, and finally liberty. We enjoyed the movie and recommend seeing it.

This movie will be received differently by different audiences depending on where they stand on the continuum of liberal to conservative. For instance, if they are pretty aware of the evidence for the religious background of the pilgrims and their foundation in biblical principles and agree with those principles they will probably be encouraged and enjoy this movie. If they have those same leanings of principle but were unaware of the evidence and history surrounding the Pilgrims coming to America, they will probably feel encouraged and somewhat incredulous. They may need to find some more answers to these questions. I recommend the book Original Intent for people in this category. If they find themselves more in agreement with the revisionist misinformation of the last 100+ years they will probably feel either uncomfortable or downright angry about the information portrayed in this movie. Monumental attempts to circumvent a lot of the liberal misinformation that has been brought forth in the last 50 – 100 years in America.

Boundaries

Ken Eldred was a recent guest on FamilyTalk discussing the concept of boundaries. God puts boundaries in place for our good. Boundaries are what enable creation to be. Creation is basically organization, and organization is boundaries. When there is no organization or boundaries, there is no creation; there is no freedom. When God created the world he set boundaries in place between sky and earth, between water and land, and for Adam and Eve which tree they could and could not eat from. Now there is a boundary of faith in Jesus Christ separating those who have entered into the kingdom of God and who have not. In the new heaven and new earth the first thing that will be established is the boundary of the new Jerusalem, the wall.
In our everyday lives only the boundaries of morals that we observe give our lives any stability and peace. People who do not maintain their moral boundaries in terms of honesty rob and steal from others, create chaos for their victims, and eventually pay for their crimes. Men and women, boys and girls who do not observe sexual boundaries which the left claims do not and should not exist, suffer the serious physical and emotional consequences in terms of disease and depression. Those who stay within those moral sexual boundaries, who wait for sex until marriage, and who remain faithful to their spouses enjoy longer, more satisfying lives. And better sex. We need to recognize and stay within our boundaries to have truly happy lives.

Academia Conflicted on Penn State Scandal

Penn State Warms Up

Penn State Warms Up (Photo credit: acaben)

It has been months since the news broke of Penn State’s football organization turning a blind eye to the homosexual abuse of boys by Jerry Sandusky. As the story unfolds these allegations appear have some truth behind them. The pain and suffering of these young men must be recognized and the perpetrator(s) punished.

Unfortunately the academic community has a hard time setting itself up as a prosecutor for these kind of crimes against children. While it is not as yet a popular view, there are some in the academic community who advocate that pedophilia has a proper place in adult sexuality. Thankfully, this position is still abhorrent to most people in our nation including those in the university. I’m afraid the seed belief, that there should be no restrictions on sexual expression between consenting individuals, is being aggressively popularized on the university and high school campus by left leaning academic and student leadership.

Another example of the intentional blurring of these moral lines is in the federal administration. Our president appoints to governmental agencies people who advocate for adult/child sex. Kevin Jennings was appointed as assistant deputy secretary in the Office of Safe & Drug Free Schools in the U.S. Department of Education. He was a founder of GLSEN an organization which recommends literature to teens that encourage them to experiment with sex with adults. Why is our president bringing people like this into the Department of Education and other executive level positions with hardly a blink from the press, while Joe Paterno was vilified for not taking harsh enough measures against his former colleague?

For a good discussion of this topic, WallBuilders Live! this week featured Warren Cole Smith who explained how difficult it is to be a whistleblower when the community at large is actively rubbing out the lines of moral clarity. The crime of silence in these situations is inexcusable but easy to explain with the competing values involved. We Christians must not be silent.

Reining in the Judiciary

I recently completed a DVD series entitled “Citizen’s Guide to America’s Founding Documents“. I am encouraging my colleagues to watch and discuss the series as well.

One of the points which I have found most interesting about this course is the discussion of the federal judiciary. The judiciary is actually the smallest and least significant part of the federal government. If you look at the actual text of the Constitution there are something like 53 clauses which describe the function of the legislative branch. There are about 18 clauses that describe the function of the executive branch, but only about 6 clauses that discuss the function and form of the judicial branch. So even the weighting of attention given in the Constitution demonstrates the relative size, strength, and importance of the three branches.

The judicial branch would like us to believe that they are an equal and equally powerful part of the federal government but if you read the Federalist Papers you can see that the founding fathers saw that the legislative branch should be the dominant branch and the judicial branch would pose no threat to the freedom of the people. Unfortunately starting with Marbury versus Madison, then the Dred Scott case, the Supreme Court has attempted to assert its will over both the executive and the legislative branches. The Constitution calls only for a Supreme Court, not for all the lower federal courts. The fact is that Congress has the power to decide how long the Supreme Court can meet, how many members should be on the Supreme Court, and can eliminate all the federal appellate courts, circuit courts, etc., except for the actual Supreme Court.

I for one see that the current low state of our nation has been hastened by a tyranny of unelected “lifetime” appointment judges. It is time for us to put them in their place by either having the legislature exercise its true authority over the judicial branch, or by amending the constitution to require judges to undergo affirming and reaffirming votes by the people or by Congress once ever ten years. As far as I’ve heard, Newt Gingrich is the only 2012 candidate that has brought up this topic. He was soundly attacked in the media notwithstanding the fact that he was citing Constitution chapter and verse. Click this link for his white paper on the subject.

Voluntary Associations

Photo, 1 May 1912 – Bain Coll. (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)”]Socialists in Union Square, N.Y.C. [large crow...On a recent WallBuilders Live! episode we got to hear from Mark Mix on the topic of public sector unions. In 1935 union membership became compulsory although there was some softening of this policy in the 40s with Right to Work states. Even at that time it was thought that public sector unions were unnecessary. Fast forward to today, public sector unions comprise one of the largest segments of union workers.

Voluntary associations are much more powerful than any compulsory forced associations. Unions usually break this rule and are therefore not good for companies, government, or workers in general. We might be able to take advantage of this fact by connecting within our union on a voluntary basis to work for union reform, therefore, building a stronger organization within the compulsory union structure.

This reminds me of Seth Godin’s book Tribes. A tribe is a group of people with a mission, a leader, and a way to communicate. A small but motivated and cohesive tribe can get a lot done.

One opportunity to form a tribe is happening right now. Several of us in our district are starting to meet to work our way through the Citizen’s Guide to America’s Founding Documents. This is a DVD course looking at the Constitution from a historical lens. I have found refreshing perspective and encouragement in this program.

Getting the Bible Back into the Classroom

KJV BibleThe WallBuilders Live! broadcast this Thursday, 1/19/2012 highlighted the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools (NCBCPS)program. This is a curriculum that teaches the Bible as a historical and literary text. The program draws connections with the Constitution, presidential inaugural addresses, the conflict in the Middle East, and a host of literary allusions and idioms that originate from the Bible. There is an electronic version which provides wider access to students. The classes already are in place in nearly 600 school districts, over 2,000 schools, and over 500,000 students have been through the class in the last 15 years. NCBCPS has a package for presenting to your local school board to get this for credit class into your high school or junior high. You can request a package on their website.

Some people might wonder if this is illegal in light of the wrong-headed Supreme Court opinion of 1963. NCBCPS deals with the legal question on the website. The fact is that within that opinion Supreme Court Justice Clark supported the use of the Bible as a literary and historical source:

“It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literacy and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.”

School District of Abington Township v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203,225 (1963)


What is Civilization?

English: Newly enfranchised women voting in th...

Image via Wikipedia

I recently heard a presentation by Rabbi Daniel Lapin on WallBuilders Live! He spoke to the question of “What is Civilization?” Lapin asserts that the world today is engaged in a epic struggle between civilization and barbarism. Lapin claims that there is only one civilization. The society built upon the precepts in the Bible. People and society are prone to that third law of thermodynamics otherwise known as entropy. We tend to on our own go toward barbarism as a default state. Only with the civilizing influence of the Biblical principles will we rise from that barbaric inclination.

Some of the defining characteristics of civilization include: respectful treatment of women, private property rights, and sanitation practices. Only in civilized society do women have any place of respect. In barbaric society men relate to women as either hermaphrodites or callous womanizers. In civilized society we find the concept that we can purchase the rights to a particular area of land. In barbaric society we believe that we are simply advanced animals. Animals really have no sense of the ownership of property. Animals only protect their own territory but do not claim it has their own. Communism, socialism and other similar materialistic, humanistic, philosophies denying the place of private property. You can spot marks of civilization by how people deal with waste and filth. In civilization sewage is disposed of safely and properly if you visit an Occupy Wall Street encampment you will quickly see whether you are dealing with civilized people or barbarians.

If you tell legislators they can resolve all teenage problems by painting a blue spot on the left ear of all teenagers, they would implement that policy in short order. However, if you tell legislators you can eliminate virtually all teenage problems by having a strong Bible-based education, they will refuse. They would rather have the problem than that solution. In barbarism there is a primal pleasure that comes with destruction. Many who are in the Occupy Wall Street movement are participating in that wrong minded pleasure. As teachers we want to be part of building up young people and civilized society. According to Lapin (and I tend to agree) the only way to accomplish that end is with Biblically based teaching.