Catching Fire and Liberty


Now that it’s December, let the Merry Christmas festivities begin. Play close attention to the show, we’ve got some really great (and by “really great,” I mean fantastic, rhymes with “give me”) prizes to give away over the next two weeks. Stay tuned…

Which of the following is a “Constitutional Right?”

(a) Healthcare

(b) Voting for President

(c) Bankruptcy

(d) the right to breath clean air

(e) All of the above

I ask this because Nancy Pelosi recently said that Americans “have the right to not go bankrupt over healthcare.” That statement bothers me on a level that has been scratching at the back of my brain for nearly two weeks. I finally had the time to sit down and think about why it bothered me and it’s this: the left likes to make everything a “right,” from driving to “breathing clean air.” Healthcare, especially in the form of Obamacare (he loves that name!), has been declared  “right,” with no basis for making it so, and no such pronouncement even in the law itself. Why? If everything is a “right,” how can any action or activity ever be taken away or stopped? Further, what if the process of making something a “right” eliminates an actually enumerated Constitutional Right? Consider this: Nancy Pelosi was the Speaker of the House, third in line for the Presidency, and she hopes plans to be so again. She says that you have a “right to not go bankrupt over healthcare.” But the Constitution doesn’t say that, it says that you have the right to file bankruptcy for any reason that Congress decides is covered. Which they did. So which one is the actual Constitutional Right, healthcare insurance or bankruptcy?

Look, I am certain that there are MAJOR issues with Common Core and the very fact that it exists it problematic. However, we have to stop the panic over stuff like this from Fox News, in which the headline screams that the Gettysburg Address is being taught “without context.” That is untrue, as a cursory read of the material shows. It simply asks the student to read it before the discussion of the Civil War to gave the student a chance to find the context on their own. By the by, the Gettysburg Address creates its own context, and lays it out very quickly. Any student reading it is NOT going to not understand that there is a war on, and that it is a war to determine the future of the nation. It should cause them to ask “What is going on here?” as the material clearly says is the goal. Sometimes you have to let students discover things for themselves. I get that Common Core is not the thing I want used, but let’s focus on its political and philosophical issues, not so much the incidents of specific methodology, especially when the moment of specific methodology is sound.

The Calderon Scandal is going to end up to be far reaching and potentially destructive to politicians who are less than attentive to the truth. It is beginning to look like President Pro Tem Steinberg is in this up to his furry ears. In fact, until last month, he worked for the law firm that now represents the son of one of the accused bribe takers. In short, Steinberg is either lying or incompetent. Either way, is that who should be running the State Senate?

Let’s me get this straight, the President said the website would be “working” by November 30th. The sight “still needs to work,” so how can the administration” claim victory” over a website? In the meanwhile, eleven medical Doctors have announced that they are running for Congress.

If you thought for one second that you were going to get free government heath insurance without giving up your liberty and privacy, you were probably smoking something that is bad for your brain…

Jerry’s Choo-Choo is in serious trouble, now that the Judge has put the kybosh on the spending plan, the State might have to return the Federal money as well…

This column makes a valid point, even if it starts with the ridiculous idea that the State budget is “balanced,” which any body with a first grade education in math and a rudimentary understanding of accounting can see is nonsense. However, it makes the very valid point that even if it is “balanced” today, it isn’t likely to be tomorrow. Why not? Medi-Cal.

McClatchey newspapers has “concerns” about the White House policies on photographs, and so we will not be seeing any “Official White House” pics in the Bee in the future. Odd, if this was Bush, it would be a headline in their papers about how deceitful and un-open administration this is. But it isn’t, so just  an announcement that everything is “business as usual” at McClatchey, but they won’t be using their pictures.

What if it turns out that the primary cause of global warming is political ideology? Meteorologists who self-describe as “liberal” are more likely to accept AGW theories than those of other political persuasions. Really, who’s surprised?

Forecasters had predicted 13-20 named storms with at least 11 Hurricanes for the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane season. They got two hurricanes, neither of which achieved Cat III level. There is a lesson here, but it’s not the one my compatriots will be spouting on Monday, that AGW is a hoax, which it is, but that’s not the lesson here. The lesson here is that ALL of the forecasters, liberal and conservative, were wrong. Not just wrong, but wildly wrong. Today they still have jobs, and in a few months they will again warn us that the coming Atlantic Hurricane season will be “busy.” Why? Because they know that if they predict a gentle season and they are wrong – as they typically are – all hell will break loose.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, is the continuation of the story of Katness Everdeen as she finds out that she is the focal point of a brewing revolution in a dystopian world where a previous rebellion had been smashed. My original review of the film, to which I took my wife for her birthday as no other reason could have compelled me to go and see it, was to be as follows: Very long.

But like so many things in my world, there are lessons to be found everywhere.

You may understand that my Monday blogs are written over the course of the weekend, even more so with this one as the four day weekend gave me much time to think and consider things from my own perspective. And to take me wife – the only reason that I would ever pay to have seen a Hunger Games film – for her birthday celebration to see a Hunger Games film. So after writing most of what you see above on Friday and Saturday, we went to a local watering hole and restaurant – where I had the most perfect margarita I have ever tasted and consequently left a larger than normal (even more than 20%) tip – and then then on to the movie, which I would generally describe as “very long.”

At one point of the movie the survivors of the very Romanesqe “Hunger Games” are on a tour, in which they are held up as the epitome of the “values” of the society and nation featured in the film. Those values are pronounced as strength and courage. And it was at that moment (and if you’ve read the above segments you know where I am going) that I realized what a marvelous thing that my wife had done for me by having a birthday and asking me to take her to see the Hunger Games film #2, which again, is very long.

In the midst of the discussion about Common Core, the point was made that there is a difference between values and principles. As Common Core violates conservative principles, not in content but in it’s very existence as the government compelling education which has always been a local issue. But if the values of Common Core were aligned with traditional libertarian or Republican (TPLGLT) values, the shoe would be on the other foot and they would be pushing for it instead of against it. So why aren’t we fighting for our principles instead of our values?

And here, on the big screen, was an example of the answer to that very question. Our values allow us to convince ourselves of the righteousness of our intentions without regard to consideration for our actions. Consider, most Conservatives are religious people and have high values scores on religion. Virtually all Conservatives will – at some point – come out in favor of prayer in schools. After all, goes the argument, the nation was founded on a specific set of religious values and even for those who don’t express those values exposure to them in a compelled manner can’t do them any harm, right? (I am referring here to compulsory prayer in public schools)

But what is our principle, our set of religious practices or our liberty of religious freedom? By forcing or compelling those who wish no part in religious observances, even though they “do no harm” and we clam to not be proselytizing, what are saying is more important, our values or our principles?

In the Hunger Games, the values were strength and courage, certainly worthwhile values – but, here’s the thing, used as values in a manner that suppressed liberty. Freedom and self-determination were replaced by strength and courage, neither of which, in the context they were celebrated, were real in the first place! They were simply the proclaimed values exhibited by the Darwinian inevitability of the Arena. Someone was going to survive, and while they may have been strong, clever and possibly even unafraid, they did not determine their own fate, as liberty would have allowed them to do.

So in summary, The Hunger Games “Catching Fire” was very long. But for the attentive and liberty loving, a valuable reminder of the reason why our principles of liberty are so important.

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Posted on December 2, 2013, in CA State Legislature, Common Core, Covered CA, Global Warming, High Speed Rail in CA, Movie Reviews, Obamacare, State Budget and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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