Welcome to my website! Below you'll find my latest Blog entry, and in the links to the right you'll find archives of my blogs as well as some essays I've written. There's a technical section, and a section on Perspectives, as well as some other areas of interest.
At 60, I've been privileged to pursue many of my interests, as well as work in some rewarding positions, and some of the things that have held my interest can be further explored in the links section (coming soon). Either way, I hope you find some things on this site of interest, and possible of use. Before reading my blog or any of my essays, you might want to see where I'm coming from. Here's the link to my perspective: http://www.bullock.org/index.php/perspectives.
Thanks for stopping by, and come back often!
The Nature of Man, Government, the Genius of our Founders, and the IRS
Friday, May 17, 2013
As the IRS scandal bubbled to the top today with hearings on Capitol Hill, I saw some comments on Facebook along the lines of "if people weren't doing evil, we wouldn't have to do anything about it." What? If people weren't doing evil?
One of the few things I disagreed with Ronald Reagan on was his belief in the "basic goodness of man". Sorry, Mr. Reagan, but that's not the way it works. Man is inherently evil, and deep down inside we all know this. That's why we're wary of other people and their motives. What man does want is not to be acted upon by the evil of others, so he makes rules for others to follow. Note that he doesn't necessarily want to follow those rules himself, but he sure wants everyone else to follow them! Congress has, of course, taken this to its logical destination by exempting themselves from most of the rules they make for us to follow. It was not designed that way.
When the Founders were faced with forming a new governmental system, they were faced with this question: Can man rule himself? Unfortunately, their answer was "no"! So why bother? What they realized was this: The rules men set up for others eventually apply, at least in some fashion, to themselves. In other words, if I say you cannot read my mail, then you probably say the same thing. At some point we agree that nobody should read anyone else's mail, and we set up a set of disincentives to prevent this. Thus, I know that if I do read your mail I will receive a punishment that causes me to stay away from your mail. In other words, we are all accountable to each other.
Into this mix, throw a government. Governments are made up of inherently evil people, except now they have power. This scared the daylights out of the men who had just fought off an oppressive government. Were they really going to turn around a create another? They hoped not. So, they sought ways to make the government accountable to the people and, more importantly, to itself. This was a radical change from all governments that had come before. They created a system where no one branch of government could act unilaterally but had to have at least one other branch in agreement, and that all branches were accountable to the citizens they served, not ruled! It wasn't perfect, but it worked - at least for a while. The problem still remains, though: Humans will be evil.
We were warned. "for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God" - Romans 3:23. "This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of people, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead". - Ecclesiastes 9:3. It was this understanding that made the Founders wary of government, and though they realized some government was necessary, they were very afraid of what it might turn into.
Flash forward to the 20th century. The 16th Amendment to the Constitution was passed allow the government to directly tax individuals in a way that had been prohibited by the original Founders. In order to keep up with these taxes, they created an new agency, innocuously named the "Internal Revenue Service". Over the years, in order for "the Service to do its job", court rulings, legal authority, rules and regulations, and enforcement authority was eventually granted to the IRS that made it into the behemoth it is today. The IRS has powers that no other government agency has. At the IRS, you are guilty until proven innocent. You are required to sign, annually, a document that carries with it the threat of perjury - jail, that is - and you don't have any choice. Try not filing your taxes some time and see how that works out for you. In no other endeavour in America are you forced to sign something that might contain false information, and if that information is accidental, you are assumed to have done it on purpose, and you must prove otherwise. It is exactly the situation the Founders feared, and we are now the ones witnessing the logical end of creating such a powerful entity.
Now that the IRS scandal is here, we have a golden opportunity to set at least this perversion of our Constitution right. The 16th Amendment was a colossal mistake. It should be repealed and the IRS disbanded. So, if that happens, how does the government obtain the funds it needs to operate? It's called the Fair Tax. Rather than explain it here, take a look a this link at fairtax.org that explains it better than I could.
One more thing. I am still not convinced that the IRS scandal, the AP wiretaps, and a couple of other minor "scandals" are nothing more than diversions to get the press off of the Benghazi disaster. What they all do, though, is point out how inept, and worse criminal, this Administration is. America, this is the hope and change you voted for. You'll get a chance next year to try again. How 'bout we get it right this time. In the meantime, let's "not let this crisis go to waste" as Rahm Emmanual would say. Let's get rid of the 16th Amendment, dismantle the IRS, and pass the Fair Tax. Call your Senators and Representatives today!
Lessons from Benghazi
Friday, May 10, 2013
Just like in Watergate in the early 70's, and Clinton/Lewinski in the 90's, the truth is coming out on the Benghazi affair, and as expected, lies are stacked upon lies. Mark Alexander has a great article in today's Patriot Post Digest about this and all should read it.
So, now that we're beginning to find the actual truth about what happened in Libya last year, what lessons can we begin to gleam from these revelations? Well, the first thing I can think of is that we need a competent Administration in Washington - one that would immediately put people like Gregory Hicks back into a position of responsibility. Hicks is one of the men who told the truth to Congress this week, and because of his willingness to put what's right for America ahead of his career, was summarily demoted. Knowing that Hillary was in charge at the time in the State Department, it's a wonder he's not saying "hello" to Vince Foster right about now!
Another thing we know about is the campaign ad that the Republican National Committee pulled at the last minute in last year's election depicting Clinton as receiving the actual 2:00 a.m. phone call she pounded on Obama about in the 2008 election. The 2008 version was a campaign ad, but the one she received from Hicks last year was real. What did she do? Nothing - just like her boss.
I've advocated for a long time that Conservatives need to get in the game and give as good as they get. The great thing about this is we don't need to lie, or even to shade the truth, because the HAVE the truth! The problem is that we just don't tell it forcefully enough. Far too long we've let liberals, so-called moderates, and, even worse, RINOs (or, more accurately CINO's - Conservatives in Name Only) berate us into not being as forceful as we should.
The truth is that Americans crave leadership. They crave people who will stand straight, tell the truth, and not back down. Remember Joe Wierzbicki - a.k.a Joe the Plumber? He had the courage to stand up to Obama in his front yard and not back down. I have a lot of respect for Joe the Plumber, and read his mailing list posts often. There was another Joe - Joe Wilson - who you may remember blurted out "You lie!" during the President's address to Congress - and in doing so simply telling the truth. He apologized. Now, why I can understand apologizing to the Congress for disrupting the proceedings, he should not apologize for telling the truth - The President lies!!
People, if we don't stand, nobody will. The left is determined and unafraid. They don't mind telling lies because they know if they told the truth Americans would have them all committed for being insane (liberalism is, after all, a mental illness!). We, however, not only have the truth on our side, but we have all their lies to pick from! What should be a bonanza is just a political farce.
Now, it's no secret we can't depend on our Senators and Representatives to stand for the truth because, after all, they're politicians - not an honorable profession. Would to God we had Statesmen! No, it's up to you and me, and everyone we can influence, to stand for the truth. The Bible tells us "the truth shall set you free". That has been the lesson of history. So the question now becomes:
Do you really want to be free???
224 Years Out of Plumb
Sunday, April 21, 2013
The Leaning Tower of Pisa stands 183.27 feet over the town if Pisa, Italy, and is one of the best known sites in the world. Construction began in 1173, and was finally completed in 1372 when the bell-chamber was added. Pisa got its name in 600 BC from a Greek word meaning "marshy land"! So, it's no wonder that it started leaning almost immediately after construction began, and is now 17 feet out of plumb, and leaning further another 1/20 of an inch each year. If nothing is done, the tower will fall, and its fall will be great!
The preceding paragraph was the opening of our Pastor's sermon this morning where he used Jesus' parable of the house built on sand in Matthew 7 to talk about the foundation on which our lives should be built. As I contemplated his sermon on the way home, I began thinking about not only our individual lives, but the life of our nation and how out of plumb it has become. The question you have to ask yourself is "Am I out of plumb? Did I get that way because of a faulty foundation?"
Ask yourself another question: How does something start leaning? You would think that a town named after marshes would give the builders some clue as to the foundation needed to under-gird any structure there, but as it turns out, the tower had only a 10-foot foundation - not hardly enough for a 7 story building, even on firm ground! So, it's obvious the problem there was a faulty foundation from the start. However, there are other ways to topple a building. A devastating enough storm could topple any building. An sufficiently large outside force against one side of a building would topple it. Or, you could simply alter the foundation on which it was built.
In 1789 our Constitution was ratified by the states, and went into effect in March of that year. The result of the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention that gave us the document upon which all our laws are supposedly based was a marvel of its time. The only time, besides the Congress of 1776 and the Convention of 1787, that this many intelligent men were in the same room was when Christ was assembled with his Apostles in the upper room (and you could have left off the Apostles and the result would have been the same!). The foundation of our government was based in no small part on the Gospel of Christ, the precepts of the Bible, and on related writings and thought down through time. The basis of our society is that our rights are given by God, and only God can revoke them.
Down through the year, though, men have "fiddled" with the foundation. The Congress has passed laws, and some Constitutional Amendments; the Courts have issued rulings; Presidents have issued orders; and the result of all of this has been to erode the foundation of our Country - the Constitution - and ultimately the precepts upon which it was based. This is true, largely, because We the People allowed it.
Consequently, we now live in a society that has a flawed foundation. The concept of "case law", where laws are based on previous court rulings rather than measured against the Constitution, as well as deeply flawed rulings and regulations issued at all levels of our government, have all conspired to move us away from and to alter that original foundation. Additionally, and more importantly, individual Americans have drifted away from the Truth - that God is God of all, regardless of whether you believe like I do or not, and man cannot change that. Man can only suffer the consequences of our own actions, and when we do, somehow, we manage to blame God for the results.
In the Year of our Lord, 2013, like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, we are a nation out of plumb. How much? Well, about 224 years worth. Like the Tower, repairing our nation will take massive repairs to our foundation, or again, like the tower, we will fall, and that fall will be great. Every nation down through history that has been out of plumb with God has fallen. He has graciously allowed us to continue without falling, but like in all of history, his patience may be running out.
So here's my question: How do you stand? If measured against the plumb line of God, how do you measure up? And, more importantly, what are you going to do about it? Our nation is only as good as our citizens. Therein lies our problem!
Where are you in that mix?