11 More Furlough Days?

Tax

Tax (Photo credit: 401K)

Regarding upcoming cuts in pay for our school district. The adage ‘hope for the best, plan for the worst’ is a good strategy to employ in this situation. If your current financial situation is one of living paycheck to paycheck, it would be best to get on a strict budget right now. The 4 furlough days cut about 2% of our income away this past year. That probably hurt some, but was small enough to overlook in many cases. With the prospect of another 11 furlough days next year, we had better have a plan. 11+4=15 furlough days total. That is about 8.3% of our salaries. While we aren’t supposed to need that unless the governor’s tax initiative doesn’t pass, I recommend that each of us exercise the self-discipline to live on 8.3% less from the beginning of the school year. Set aside the overage in an emergency fund. If you can, set up your budget this way by cutting back on lifestyle or selling an item on which you are now making payments. You are going to be in much better shape for the cuts next year. If the cuts don’t happen you’ll have a nice little emergency fund all ready to go. However, if the cuts do go into place you won’t be caught off guard. You can go into them with confidence—knowing you are ready. Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University can help you with this.

For more particulars on our district’s situation, see the slideshow here. My apologies. Some of the shots are a little fuzzier than others.

Whether the tax initiative passes or not, decline is on the horizon for California. Our state business climate is very poor because of regulation and taxes. Private sector businesses fund the public sector. If the private sector leaves the state, school district funding will only get worse. And guess what, our governor’s little tax initiative is one more example of making government bigger, and as a result, our business climate worse. If you would like to read more on how this works visit my post about Politics as Easy as Pie. Overall, I cannot in good conscience vote yes for the governor’s tax initiative.

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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.

October Baby

October Baby Screen Shot

October Baby is a well-done film about the victims of abortion. The murdered children, the surviving mothers, and the few surviving babies. The cinematography of the movie is excellent with beautiful shots and excellent framing. The script at times lacks punch with a few squandered moments, but overall the message is clear and brings it home with multiple poignant scenes and an out of the park ending. October Baby Trailer October Baby – Ministry Resources

The movie was inspired by the life of Gianna Jessen, an abortion survivor. She has a difficult but inspiring life story. Hear an interview with Gianna here. You may also be interested in Gianna’s Book.

While the life valuing message of October Baby is clearly Christian, this movie could be termed a cross-over film because it deals with the issue more from a universally human perspective of the pain and confusion stemming from being unwanted and from being confronted with the life and death choice of abortion. Women who have had an abortion will likely feel some heavy feelings upon seeing this story played out on screen, but the movie points toward where we can find true solace.

You can see more of the heart of October Baby at EveryLifeIsBeautiful.com

The Esther Call

Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...

Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbilical cord has not yet been cut. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Esther Call is a call of repentance. This event will end coinciding with Good Friday and the start of Passover 4/6/12. It is an appeal to Heaven for 54 million babies murdered in our country in the last 39 years. Thirty-nine young women from a variety of ethnic backgrounds (hear their stories) will walk 250 miles from Houston to Dallas, from the largest Planned Parenthood abortion facility in America to the courthouse steps where the original Roe v. Wade papers were filed. From there the 39 young women will walk to a nearby convention center to join thousands of others in a time of solemn prayer for our nation.

If you are interested in this event you can learn more from their website or from the FamilyTalk broadcast where I heard about it.

As teachers why should we be interested? Aren’t we in the education of children business? Would we be having a social security crisis if those aborted babies had grown to adulthood and were paying taxes now? Wouldn’t there be more teaching jobs? When a nation’s birth rate falls below replacement rate, we have what is called a demographic time bomb. Abortion has greatly contributed to many nations falling into a demographic time bomb decline curve. Japan and China are both at different points in this process.

Interestingly, while polls in America and much legislation is pro-life in America now, there is still momentum and money behind the abortion industry. In the Journal of Medical Ethics two Australian doctors argue that post birth abortions should be freely available, basically arguing from a medical point of view that newborns should have no protection under the law. Now while killing newborn babies is abhorrent to most, if we use legalized abortion as a precedent why should there be a difference in taking a life when it is permissible just a few inches away inside the womb?

Politics as Easy as Pie

English: "Enemies of the people" hea...

Image via Wikipedia

Politics as Easy as Pie is a talk I’ve listened to from Congressman Bob McEwen. He makes several excellent points. I’ll try to relay some of them here.

The greater the freedom, the greater the wealth; the greater the government, the greater the poverty. Every dollar that you earn increases the choices you can make. When someone takes some of your dollars, you have fewer choices. There are two ways to get money from people, willingly and unwillingly. People part with their money willingly when they see a product or service that is more valuable to them than the money it costs to pay for it. Only two kinds of people can take your money from you unwillingly. One is a crook who points a gun at you and takes what he wants. The other is the government who “points a gun” at you and takes what they want. Countries, states, and cities that have higher tax burden on their citizens have greater poverty. Those that have lower tax burden on their citizens have greater prosperity.

We should limit government to do only what is necessary for it to do. In addition to the reason explained above, government will always be more wasteful in its spending. This is because all government programs involve third-party purchases. Third-party purchases are items bought for other people using other people’s money. If I am buying something for myself with my own money, both price and quality matter. If I am buying something for someone else with my own money, price matters, but quality not so much. If I am buying something for myself with someone else’s money, then quality matters but not price. BUT if I am buying something for someone else with someone else’s money, I do not care about price or quality. This is exactly what government programs involve: third-party purchases. It is one more reason why government should only be involved in those areas in which it is absolutely necessary.

“We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” In our nation life is the first of our unalienable rights. That is not an accident. At the same time we were having our revolution, the French were having one on the other side of the Atlantic. Their three main goals were liberty and equality and fraternity. They started with freedom then equality and then unity or union. We saw the results of this philosophy by the thousands killed by the guillotine. Because of founding of nations on something other than the laws of nature and of nature’s God, we have seen millions die under enforced equality and union. As our nation has lost its moral way we have lost our commitment to the right to life as primary. However, there is some evidence in the large number of pro-life laws passed in the last year that public opinion on this might be turning back around.

If these ideas pique your interest, you might want to hear Congressman McEwen’s talk yourself. Here is a link to his talk brought to you by FamilyTalk. This link takes you to a slightly different version of his talk brought to you by WallBuilders.