Monday, February 1, 2016

Property Rights and Religious Liberty

I haven't posted in a while friends.  The issues are large, intense and numerous but my energy and focus has been consumed by life.  However I just received the Hillsdale College, "Imprimis" issue, which has an excellent article by the president of the college, Larry P. Arnn.  Please read this and think on these things...  Regards, Dr. Dan

Many Christians, while they cherish religious liberty, seem to believe that property rights, and the commerce that arises from the establishment of property rights, are somehow un-Christian. At the same time, a lot of free marketers seem to think that all we need are property rights and the rest will take care of itself. Neither of these views is correct, and I will explain why with reference to both James Madison and Winston Churchill.

Pope Francis is one who sometimes seems to be an example of the Christian who reads the New Testament as pointing in the direction of socialism. Commerce appears, in some of his writings and speeches, to be a grubby business purely based on self-interest—maybe even on exploitation, the opposite of charity. This reading of the New Testament—which I think flawed, by the way—is why Karl Marx, although he was famously an atheist and militantly opposed to Christianity, praised Christianity in one respect: that it declaimed against private property in the name of an otherworldly denial of self.

In writing my book on Winston Churchill, I spent a number of months reading about the founding of the Labour Party in Britain—Churchill detested the Labour Party from the beginning, so I was interested in its origin—and I found that Christians cooperated in its founding, and thus in the founding of British socialism. There were two strains of Christianity involved, one of them sounder than the other I think. The first was a strain that took its inspiration from Jesus’s insistence that we take care of the poor. The second strain—one that is much less sound in exegetical terms—held that since Jesus came down to earth, our task as Christians is to build a heaven on earth. Lots of Quakers in particular seem to have thought that. Although many socialists were atheists, many Christians took up with them for either or both of these reasons.

Today in America we can see as well that at the heart of the leftward movement in our government is a claim against property. The claim goes this way: the divisions among us are as deep as they are because of economic inequality, and if we do not address that inequality today, it will worsen tomorrow. Many well-meaning Christians think this way.

On the other side, recognizing that property is at the heart of the political argument we are having these days, are those who say that all that is needed is to protect property rights. Get money right and get property right, these people think, and leave it at that—leave morality and religion out of the political equation. But that way of thinking too is foolish.  [For more follow the link below]

Friday, October 9, 2015

Freedom vs. Liberty, the Ongoing Debate

I think it is time for some discussion of Freedom vs. Liberty, and just what is the difference?  The dictionaries aren’t so clear on this.  We generally think of freedom as an absence of restraint.  

However there is a practical limit to freedom and we call this Liberty.  One of the Founders implied that Liberty as practiced in America is for a moral People.  I tend to agree with that assessment.  It could be said that Liberty is freedom practiced with morality.

Liberty implies that we have freedom that is limited by what is morally right or correct or maybe polite.  Liberty implies that we have freedom that is exercised with responsibility to acknowledge that those around us have equal rights and liberty to exercise those rights as well.  We have to recognize that all individuals, by virtue of being human, have certain unalienable rights, which further implies that they also have Liberty to exercise those rights.

It is inevitable that during the course of exercising our individual Liberty we will “bump” into others who exercise their rights.  When that happens each one backs up a little and says, “Excuse me,” or “Pardon me,” and then each makes a little behavioral modification that preserves that peace.  They do it not because they have to, but rather because it is the polite thing to do.  It is the, “Don’t do unto others, as you would have them not do unto you,” rule.  Folks ask pardon because they “care” about other folks and do not want to cause offense or pain or discomfort to their neighbor.

There are many examples of how people practice this in everyday life. When we share a narrow sidewalk and two people must pass, each must make room to accommodate the other.  If one person just marches down the walk making those he meets step aside with no accommodation on his part then we think of that as rude and inconsiderate.  We don’t pass a law saying each must step aside.  Neither do we generally start a fight.  However at some point a person who refuses to comply with the moral etiquettes that have sprung up over generations will get a reputation that will eventually cause society to react unfavorably to him.   

Then there is the ‘little old lady with walker’ who would find it very difficult to leave the sidewalk.  Freedom says she has no more “right” to the walk than anyone else.  Morals state that, “I would never make her step aside, since I have no disability to contend with.” 

I would encourage each every member of society to practice Liberty with it's implied morality and not absolute freedom.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Weeping without shame…

Without shame I find myself weeping as I once again watch the film, “We Were Soldiers.”  The loss of life and horror of the battlefield, I am sure, falls short in the movie as I sit comfortably on the sideline and watch.  However, I find that I am profoundly affected by the power of this film.  I think of the sacrifice of life on battlefields that Americans have participated in.  I do not know whether or not all of these wars were just but I am confident that our American fighting soldiers have answered the call over and over with true allegiance to an ideal, to the hope of mankind throughout history, that being the preservation of Liberty.

I am just as certain that we have politicians who would sell their soul for money and power.  I am even more certain that this same type of politician would sell our soldiers’ and uniformed law enforcement officers’ blood for that same power.  It is my opinion that unconstitutional and unjust laws are an assault of the most reprehensible type on the People of these United States.  They carry the cloak and color of legality while they shred our Declaration of Independence and our U.S. Constitution.

I would like to make it perfectly clear that, I, Dan A. Mefford, D.C., will not comply with what I believe, based on my own study and research and the plain language of the our United States Constitution, to be an unconstitutional or unjust law.  

I am feeling a level of anxiety combined with a helpless and righteous anger against our governments both state and federal, which are constantly ramping up the invasion of privacy, denying self-protection rights, all in the name of the War on Drugs, and now the War on Terror and the various other “wars” by whatever name.  These Enemies of Liberty want to place me and my fellow citizens under a microscope while turning a blind eye to whoever comes across our Southern border.  The truth is you haven’t seen anything yet.

Please don’t tell me it is all the Democrats.  The Patriot Act is a product of the Republicans.  You should read it sometime.  I will say again as I have said in the past, the top honchos of either party, who like to pull the strings behind the scenes, are not to be trusted.  They are the closest to the seat of power, and the power drug is one of the most potent and addictive “substances” known to man.
I would hope that a great host of Citizens, cops, judges and elected officials would take a stand against this soft tyranny that is sweeping this country, in name peace and safety. Under the Republicans the speed at which we will go off the cliff will be half as fast as with the democrats.  The problem with that is they are still going to take us off the cliff and straight into tyranny.  What we need is a course change.  We need to turn back from the cliff.

Just because it is a law does not make it right.  At one time the law allowed slavery.  At one time the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) said, in essence, that black people were inferior and not capable of ruling themselves.  There are a substantial number of instances where SCOTUS has reversed itself.  The misery that they have caused before justice was finally achieved can only be imagined by most of us. 

What world will you pass to your children?  What example will you pass to your children? We hold and shape the present for our children.  What will your kids say about you?  I think I will skip the Super Bowl and go watch American Sniper.  I am confident that I will finally be able to get a seat.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Don't Do Unto Others...

Recently in our neighborhood we have had some uproar.  Thank God I am not directly involved, mainly I’m an observant by stander and neighbor.  Quite a few people in our neighborhood like to shoot.  In fact some of our family shot today for about 30 – 45 minutes. 

I am a member of the neighborhood where all the hoopla has occurred.  While our little neighborhood is not in town, it is sort of a little town of its own.  We have no “Home Owners Agreement” on either side of the highway, but we usually all get along alright, in fact usually rather well.  We help each other out, pass around little gifts at Christmas and generally try to maintain good relations.

In this case, at least as I understand it, some daytime shooting exceeded what one neighbor’s nerves could take on that particular day.  Some intense and heated words followed.  This led to some hard feelings and an over-reaction that caused some target shooting followed by touching off of some Tannerite (BOOM!) in the evening hours.  That in turn disturbed many other neighbors and then the escalation really occurred.  IOWs the WAR was ON!

It is important to understand that we have a fundamental right to KEEP and to BEAR an arm for the defense of ourselves, family, friends, and our country.  Along with the right would come the need to practice proficiency etc.  However it is critical that we understand that all rights have a corresponding fundamental responsibility to exercise that right in a manner that is in harmony, as much as possible, with all your neighbors.  In this case "gasoline" was poured on the fire and now there are some really raw feelings on the part of many neighbors against one neighbor.

The fact is that in order for our society to survive we have to ask ourselves certain questions.  “Will my actions unduly create discomfort, annoyance and discordant feelings on the part of my neighbor?  If so, just how bad do I need to do whatever it is I want to do? 

I like to use Biblical examples to guide my life.  My first thought is the old Jewish saying that went like this, "Don't do unto others what you have them not do to you."  Jesus enhanced the old saying and said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  I think these two sayings apply to this case.  If your conduct/action leads to very harsh feeling from your neighbor then figure out a way to avoid that if possible.  Now, I haven’t even talked about “loving your neighbor as yourself” or WWJD, what would Jesus do?

Some solutions that might work here is to find another place close by if you must shoot at inconvenient hours.  And only shoot for short periods when in close proximity to folks.  Let’s face it loud noises are obnoxious to folks, period.  If done frequently it leads to hard feeling and that just doesn't fit with what the Good Book says.

A little shooting during normal waking hours should be fine.  Shooting during times when people are settling in for the evening should be avoided.  If shooting has to be done at times that might be inconvenient, then let’s find a different place.  This is Pike County we can surely make that work.  Now if we can find a way to bury the hatchet and get back down to our usual boring existence that would be fine with me.  I think everyone involved are good folks.  Just have to get it figured out and get things cooled down.  AND, NO, we don’t need any stinkin’ new law!  Oh, and Merry Christmas.

Monday, May 19, 2014

USDA Seeks Serious Firepower

Truth really can be stranger than fiction.  What possible circumstances might require the U.S. Dept of Agriculture (USDA) to be armed to the teeth?  I am talking armed with, this is a direct quote, “…submachine guns, .40 Cal. S&W, ambidextrous safety, semi-automatic or 2 shot burst trigger group, Tritium night sights for front and rear, rails for attachment of flashlight (front under fore grip) and scope (top rear), stock-collapsible or folding, magazine - 30 rd. capacity, sling, light weight, and oversized trigger guard for gloved operation.”

Thinking that this was most obviously a hoax I went to the official government website at:   There it is plain and simple.  Once I confirmed the authenticity that led to the next in a series of thought processes.  There certainly needs to be a good reason for the acquiring the heavy duty firepower.  Perhaps it is concern for an outbreak of “mad cow” disease, which would lead to a pandemic of cows running through the streets goring the unsuspecting public. 

I can see it now; the USDA inspectors, secretaries, and other office workers would charge out in the streets, fields, and by ways to the save citizenry in an act of unparalleled bravery, casting their bodies in front of wave after wave of “mad cows” firing in full auto, magazine after magazine at these insane, or perhaps, just angry cows. 

They certainly wouldn’t actually plan on using full auto weapons on farmers and ranchers who refuse to comply with unconstitutional orders; orders that would drive 52 out of 53 ranchers and farmers off their land, purportedly to save a desert tortoise, like in a Nevada situation recently; desert turtles that another group of Feds are destroying because they have overpopulated themselves. 

There is an old saying that to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.   Could it be that to a federal government bureaucrat with a submachine gun, every citizen may begin to look like a terrorist?  The next thing you know the postal system will “need” the same kind of firepower.  What’s that you say?  The postal service is already getting them?  Who’s next? 

Maybe it should be, “who’s last?”  That’s easy the average citizen will be last.