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Thursday, May 07, 2015
  • "One of the greatest mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results." - Economist Milton Friedman (recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize for economics)

    Since 2011 Todd Barton has been claiming that we're not a great community anymore, painting a grim picture that we will lose our industry and lose our jobs, and suggesting that we are dying. He claims that without his plan of centralized economic planning by local government we will slip backward into an abyss and become some sort of backwater community. I disagree with his pessimistic opinion of our community. I think it shows his lack of appreciation in the everyday people of this community to come together and do great things. And I especially disagree with his plan to drastically expand government projects to fix his exaggerated crisis. This community does have several problems to fix, but they're not the ones he's addressing.

    Mr. Barton's economic plan is based on the false assumption that "If You Build It They Will Come," that if we merely make things look pretty that outside businesses will suddenly move into Crawfordsville: Commerce parks, economic development corporations, bike trails, Amtrak, convention centers, downtown beautification projects, all at taxpayer expense of course.

     
  • The Indiana Constitution states, "All people shall be secured in the natural right to worship ALMIGHTY GOD, according to the dictates of their own consciences." (Article 1, Section 2) It continues, "No law shall, in any case whatever, control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience." (Article 1, Section 3)

    If our state constitution already guaranteed this right to exercise religious opinions and rights of conscience, why is there so much hysteria about the recently passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act? To those who supported the RFRA, I ask, why was this law even necessary? To those opposing the RFRA, I ask, why are you suddenly protesting now and crying "Discrimination!" when this has been the law of the land since 1816?

    The truth is that every business owner has a right to run his business how he sees fit, as long as he isn't defrauding anyone and isn't inflicting violence on anyone. A Christian baker who considers it a sin to assist in a homosexual union ceremony should never be forced by the government to bake a wedding cake for that ceremony. A gay caterer who 
  • Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    Love never fails. - First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians 13:4-8

    For private charity on average, 70 percent of what people donate actually reaches the poor. For the average welfare program, only 30 percent of the money the program is given reaches the poor. I think the biggest reason is that most people working for private charities and church ministries are volunteers. They do it out of love for their fellow human being. They do it on a very personal, individual level. For Christians, this is the fundamental meaning of life, to love God above all else and to love your neighbor. It's the greatest commandment.

     
  • Due to the conflict between our Superintendent of Public Instruction, Glenda Ritz, and the State Board of Education (appointed by Governor Pence), many people have stressed the importance of keeping school administration independent from the Governor's office. There's also been a lot of concern about the General Assembly attempting to change the chairperson of the SBOE to being elected by the members of the SBOE, instead of the SPI automatically being the chairperson. 
  • What does it mean when a politician calls himself or herself "progressive"? How does it mean they want to govern? There really isn't any standard statement of principles or platform of progressivism today. But we can use history as a guide.

    The progressivist movement appears to have started in response to the increasing influence of large corporations and political corruption during the Industrial Revolution. Their goal was fix these problems using a huge national government with significant influence over our lives. They despised the idea of limited government, the strict interpretation of the Constitution, and the right of States to control their own affairs.

    In 1912, after losing the Republican presidential nomination, Teddy Roosevelt started the Progressive Party. Its platform called for heavy regulation of business and politics, empowering labor unions, transitioning from a republic (rule of law) to more of a pure democracy (mob rule), a massive increase in welfare programs, and creating a federal income tax to pay for it all.

     
  • A government's highest priority is to secure the unalienable rights of its citizens. This applies especially to local governments. Why would it be forbidden for a federal or state law to violate a person's rights, but be okay for a local law to do so?

    The tradition of American liberty gave us a system of local government that has historically been focused on securing rights. This makes perfect sense. In the spirit of self-determination, we should ask ourselves, "What are the most important components of, say, county government? If we had to give up all county services except three, which ones would we choose?" First, most people would agree we'd want police. Police are there to step in when someone is doing harm to another (in other words, to stop a violation of rights) and so could prevent them from doing further harm. Secondly, we'd want a court system. When one citizen claims his rights have been violated by another and they 
  • If you ask any elected official, "Do you believe in the principles of our Declaration of Independence?" I'm guessing every one of them will say "yes" without hesitation. That's good and should give us hope. I don't think any elected official would say they don't believe that,... "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." And I've never heard an elected official disagree that, "To secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

    That said, it should be safe to assume that the primary duty of every elected official is to secure the rights of his/her fellow citizens. Therefore, I propose that a placard be placed in every office and meeting room where our elected officials meet that states, "My primary duty as an elected official is to secure the rights of my fellow citizens. All other considerations are secondary to that."

     
  • One of the most important skills we teach our children is critical thinking. Critical thinking means thinking for yourself. It means you don't blinding accept everything you're told. Critical thinking opens up our full creative potential, it knocks down barriers in how we think, and lets us discover new innovative ways of doing things. It frees us from being slaves to someone else's limitations, opinion, bias, or agenda.

    When it comes to government policies, having citizens with critical thinking skills is necessary for the survival of a free society. Citizens must be free to measure every policy of government, to ask why it's necessary, and demand it's elimination if it goes beyond the authority we have granted government. 
  • "Promises of the Great Society have been shot down on the battlefield of Vietnam, making the poor, white and negro, to bear the heaviest burden both at the front and at home." - Martin Luther King

    Most people are familiar with Martin Luther King's, "I have a dream" speech and his fight to uphold liberty for all people no matter what race they are. But he was also an outspoken critic of war. Specifically, he was opposed to politicians sending soldiers into unjust wars, and how any war impacts the poor.

    When politicians send our military into war, it isn't the politician who suffers the consequences of their decisions. No. Instead, it is the enlisted man who suffers the consequences. He is ripped from his home, away from his wife and children, and sent to some far-off land where he is ordered to kill people who he has never met just because our politicians have labeled them an enemy. Oftentimes, he is ordered to 
  • Most people are familiar with Martin Luther King's, "I have a dream" speech and his fight to uphold liberty for all people no matter what race they are. But he was also an outspoken critic of war. Specifically, he was opposed to politicians sending soldiers into unjust wars, and how any war impacts the poor. 

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a division of Sagamore News Media

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