Monthly Archives: November 2014

Virginia Plantation or Plymouth Colony

This was written in 2014, but it is worth repeating.

Duane Vasquez

This Thanksgiving ask the people gathered around your table these questions.
What was the first permanent English settlement in North America? The answer is the Virginia Colony.
If the Virginia Colony was the first permanent English settlement then why do we focus so much on the Pilgrims and the Plymouth Colony as the beginning of our country?
Let the guests discuss this for a while. You may want to talk about the differences between the two settlements. The Virginia Colony at Jamestown was a commercial venture. It was established for the purpose of developing the natural resources of the New World and exporting them back to England. Tobacco quickly became the main product of Jamestown. The colony quickly developed and thrived.
For the Pilgrims at Plymouth it was quite a different story. The Pilgrims didn’t come for financial gain. They came to establish a Bible Commonwealth. That is they were…

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Ferguson

Everyone has their opinion about what is happening in Ferguson. I might as well give my viewpoint. I am not going to comment on the actual case. The truth is I only have some general information. The Grand Jury members are the only ones that have had the opportunity to hear a significant amount of the evidence. They decided to not take the case to trial. I am not about to disagree with them. The truth is, I am glad that I wasn’t on that Grand Jury. I wouldn’t have wanted to have to make that call. Besides, all of the opinion giving and whining and protesting and rioting is not going to change this case. This case is over, but there are still some important decisions to be made.
Whether or not this particular shooting was justified is really a small issue. There is a much bigger issue at hand. The question is why do so many people feel that the police are abusive? When people fear those who are supposed to protect them then we have a serious problem. When people no longer trust the Justice System to produce justice then we have a serious problem.
Oddly enough I don’t know who trusts the Justice System less, the civilians or the police. It seems that the police are frustrated by a court system that is slow and cumbersome and cannot be trusted to produce real justice. The criminals don’t seem to fear the courts enough to prevent crime. It must be frustrating to be a policeman working as one component of a large broken system. Sad to say, but I believe that many policeman and even whole departments have decided that they will maintain control through a system of intimidation. Make the public fear you and obey you.
When I was a child “Officer Friendly” would come to my school and tell us that the policemen are our friends. They are there to help us. We should smile and wave at them when we see them drive by. I used to believe that, but not anymore. Now I see the police as dangerous and unpredictable. They are to be avoided as much as possible. Any time you encounter the police you are putting yourself in harm’s way. I would not dare wave at a policeman as an adult. If I did I could possibly be the headline in the morning paper. “Unarmed Citizen Shot in West Covina”. “Officer says, I saw him wave his hand in a threatening manner. It looked like he had a gun.”
I may be overstating the case but increasingly there is distrust and fear of the police even among law abiding citizens. The police are saying ‘just do what you are told when you encounter a policeman and you won’t be hurt’. Is that really the answer? Should we feel that kind of fear and intimidation when dealing with the police? Is there any possibility that Officer Friendly will get an assignment on a beat instead of in the schools?
I would love to feel that I could call the police and not be risking my life or my freedom. I would love to believe that they really are here to “Serve and Protect”.
Just a few more comments. In Ferguson the animosity has grown to such an extent that it is hard to see that it will ever get better. I am all for people making their feelings known. I am all for peaceful protests. Unfortunately many times it takes big protests to focus enough attention on a problem to get it addressed.
But looting, burning and rioting are only going to make things worse. Officer Friendly is not going to show up to a riot. These people are forcing the police to use intimidation and force. They are creating a situation that reinforces all of the things that we want to change.
It works both ways. If we want officers to serve and protect then we need to be on the same side. We need to do what we can to maintain order, to discourage crime and to cooperate with Law Enforcement.
Ferguson is not the end. We will have other problems but if we are going to fully resolve this we must work to rebuild trust. We must learn to deal with each other in a civil and non-threatening manner. We must cooperate and we must stop blaming each other.

Why I Voted for Jerry Brown

The skimmer version; for those who like to just see the main points.
• I normally vote Republican
• I normally place the greatest emphasis on religious and moral issues. (see “Its Morality Stupid”)
• Jerry Brown has a record of being awful on moral issues
• The Republican candidate doesn’t have a chance of winning
• The Republican candidate is equally awful on moral issues. The Republican leadership is testing the waters to see if this type of morally liberal but fiscally conservative candidate will draw more people to vote Republican
• Jerry Brown is very fiscally conservative for a Democrat. He has aggressively pursued a balanced budget. He has sought to create a financial reserve. He has even lightly pushed back against the Unions and pension plans that will bankrupt California
• The Legislature has compromised with him because he is the leading Democrat
• If a Republican Governor had tried to achieve the same compromises it would have been all out political warfare and the Republican Governor would have lost
• With either candidate we will lose when it comes to moral issues, but Jerry Brown ( a Democrat) will keep his Party in check and we may even make some progress when it comes to wasteful spending
• I want the Republican leadership to understand that I am a thinking Republican. Republican candidates don’t get my vote because of my voter registration. They get my vote because they represent me and my values. When they cease to represent me then they cease to get my vote

Why I didn’t want to Vote for Jerry Brown

I hold Jerry Brown personally responsible for undermining marriage in California, and as California goes so goes the nation. Marriage is the foundational institution on which every successful society is built. When societies undermine marriage they travel down a path that will surely lead to destruction. In 1975 California changed its adultery and divorce laws. Adultery became legal. Sexual acts between consenting adults, married or not became legal. God’s Law was replaced by man’s law. Divorce law was also changed. Jesus said that the only acceptable reason for divorce is adultery, but California decided that adultery could no longer be given as a basis for divorce. Now the only legal basis for divorce in California is “Irreconcilable differences”. Once again God’s Law is set aside and replaced by man’s law. Who was Governor of California in 1975? You guessed it—Jerry Brown.
A number of years ago homosexual activists decided that they would make same-sex marriage an issue in California. The general public responded by passing Proposition 22 which defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. This was not a change it was simply stating in law what had always been understood as marriage. The public had to take this action using our most democratic process the Proposition, because the Legislator had refused to move. Proposition 22 was challenged in the courts as it always is by liberals. They claim they are for democracy but when they don’t get their way by majority vote then they seek out a liberal judge to overrule the will of the people. It is the responsibility of the State Attorney General to defend the laws before the State Supreme Court. At the time Jerry Brown was the California State Attorney General. He refused to perform his duty and defend the law and the law was overturned based on being a violation of the State Constitution. In 2008 Californians developed a new, stronger proposition that would amend the California State Constitution to define marriage, Proposition 8. Again there was a court challenge and again Jerry Brown refused to fulfil his role as Attorney General and defend the State Constitution. A gay judge overturned the will of the people. That was not the end. The case was appealed to the Federal Supreme Court. This time Jerry Brown was the Governor of California and sworn to uphold the State Constitution. As Governor he ordered the State Attorney General to not defend Proposition 8 (now part of the California State Constitution) in federal court. It gets worse! He then had the Attorney General argue that no other private organization has the authority to fill the gap and argue in favor of the proposition. It worked and the Supreme Court let the lower court’s ruling stand unchallenged. Amazing that Jerry Brown was so successful in bringing same-sex marriage to California by refusing to perform his sworn duty as an elected official.
A state official who refuses to uphold his oath of office should be impeached. Instead there is practically no outcry and some people even hail him as a hero.
A hero for shirking his responsibility as State Attorney General and as Governor?
A hero for standing against democracy?
A hero for distorting and abusing our system of government?
A hero for standing for perversion and against morality?
A hero? I don’t think so.
Even if you are in favor of destroying the sanctity of marriage you should be frightened by politicians who, like Jerry Brown, abuse their positions in government. To win an issue but lose the structure of government is not a victory. It is a loss for all of us.