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.

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Chuck Colson (1931-2012)

great book

Chuck Colson’s Autobiographical testimony (Photo credit: son.delorian)

Chuck Colson passed away this weekend. He will be missed as a conservative Christian voice. Perhaps because of his time on the inside and living the first half of his life without God, Chuck seemed to be able to find positions on issues that dealt with both the justice and compassion parts of the Gospel. Thankfully Chuck invested time in passing the leadership torch to the next generation. John Stonestreet and Eric Metaxas are currently standing in on his Breakpoint broadcast which I’ve listened to for years. I hope they continue to bring valuable analysis of current events from a Christian worldview.

Colson Center

Manhattan Declaration

The Point Radio with John Stonestreet

Eric Metaxas: Author

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.

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.

The Great Recovery

If you are a teacher in California these days, you might be having to live a little leaner these days. My wife and I have been using Dave Ramsey’s financial materials for a few years now. He has a method for handling finances in a practical methodical way. If you are needing help managing your income and expenses I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s program.

I received an article from Dave Ramsey’s The Great Recovery movement entitled What Should You Expect from your Candidates? I appreciate Dave’s usual no-nonsense approach to politics. He emphasizes the fact that I have a lot more to do with what happens in my personal finances than Washington does. I need to vote and participate in our political process to get the best available leaders in office. But if I am waiting around expecting Washington or Sacramento to fix my financial situation, I’m going to be waiting a long time. And their solution will never work as well as something I could have come up with on my own. The thing that will fix my financial situation best is my own paying attention, learning, working hard, living on a budget, etc.

A quick summary of the characteristics includes the following:

  • Integrity
  • Cuts wasteful spending
  • Common sense
  • A good steward of money
  • Someone who listens
  • Strong leadership ability
  • Quick problem solving

If you’d like to read the article in its entirety click on this link What Should You Expect from your Candidates? You can also follow the link to learn more about The Great Recovery: a national recovery program that is guaranteed to be successful because it doesn’t depend on Washington. The Great Recovery appeals up the chain of command from Washington to fix our national financial problem. The Great Recovery appeals to We The People.

Hear the Republican Candidates Speak up on Life and Family issues

Just a quick post to spread the word on this unique look at some of the leading conservative presidential candidates. I have been a bit turned off by some of the debates I’ve seen with the Republican candidates. There are some important issues that I’m not really hearing about. I have a feeling the people organizing these debates don’t really want the candidates to have a chance to speak out on pro-life, pro-family issues. Well, someone arranged for an event that dealt directly with these issues. It was the Thanksgiving Family Forum held in Des Moines, Iowa on November 19. If you did not get a chance to see it you can click on the link provided below.

I would like to address the issue of allegations against Hermann Kane that have come up this past month. If there is a factual basis for these allegations, they are an issue to consider in his candidacy. We cannot separate private morality from public integrity. To think we could do so would be foolhardy. At the same time, if it comes down to it, because of his overall more conservative stance, I would rather have a Herman Kane in office than another four years with Barack Obama. Obama has been driving our blessed nation toward the precipice of socialism since he came into office. This has to end.