On December 10, 2009, seventy-three members of the US House of Representatives sent a letter to the White House urging President Obama to add one billion dollars in funding for international family planning to his 2011 budget.
Advocates of family planning are hardly a new phenomenon. What was noteworthy about this letter, however, was that it cited “climate change” as a reason to advocate lower birth rates. “Family planning,” it said, “should be part of larger strategies for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Slower population growth will make reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions easier to achieve.”
The 73 Congressmen who signed that letter were not alone in linking birthrates with global temperatures.
The year was 711. The Muslim warrior, Jebel al-Tariq, has just landed in Gibraltar with around 10,000 men, mostly indigenous North Africans. Tariq had collected these men in a sweep through North Africa in the early 700s, in which he established Muslim rule there. From the rock of Gibraltar, which takes its name from him (Jebel al-Tariq, corrupted into Gibraltar), the Muslim hoards poured into Spain. Though ostensibly to intervene in a civil war among the Visigoths, Tariq made it clear to his fellow Muslims that his intentions were, in his own words, “To serve Islam.” That meant conquering the land.
al-Tariq was successful and for many centuries Spain suffered under Islamic rule. It took 700 years before Christians got their land back.
Ever since Christians recaptured Spain, Muslims have been itching to reclaim the land. You see, it is a fundamental tenant of Islamic theology that once a land has belonged to Islam, it always belongs to Islam.
For many years the idea of Muslims re-conquering Spain seemed like a pipe-dream. However, recently it has begun to look like it could become a reality. Earlier in the year I spoke with some Spanish Christians about the Muslim threat, and it is not a pretty picture. To find out what I learned, read my article at Alfred the Great Society titled, "Muslims Aim at Reconquering Spain.
In his book Universe on a T Shirt, Dan Falk writes that “…certain aspects of [Aristotle’] approach to physics were – from a modern perspective – deeply flawed. Instead of looking for the causes of natural phenomena, Aristotle focused on the search for purpose – and, by doing so, took physics towards an intellectual dead end.” (p. 21.)
Now think about that for a moment. Essentially Falk is saying that there is absolutely no point looking for purpose and meaning in science.
I'm not sure even Darwin would agree with that.
I have heard some non-theists claim that the universe never had a beginning – it's just always been (though not in its present form). However, in my article at the Alfred Society
in response to Hume's Dialogue Concerning Natural Religion
, I point out that such a position is deeply problematic. Just consider for a moment: the conditioned can never arrive until the conditions are complete; but if those conditions are infinite then they can never be complete (one could never reach the top of an infinite set of stairs no matter how long one climbed.) Now the conditions on which present cause and effects exist is that all the past causes and effects have been completed. It follows that if those conditions are infinite (that is, if the past series of cause and effect recedes infinitely into the past), then they can never be complete and we could never have reached the present moment.
Or consider again. An actual infinite, by definition, cannot be added to. However, if the past series of events forms an actually infinite then each new moment in time is adding to that infinite, which is impossible. Since, by definition, one cannot traverse an actual infinite, the past series of events cannot stretch backward to infinity otherwise we would never have reached the present moment.
(Such an argument only applies to properties within a time sequence. Thus, it does not bare relation on the infinity of God unless it were first assumed that God’s existence also flows in the time stream of past, present and future. But such an assumption is questionable.)
Commenting on the decision made by President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder (pictured below) that Clinton's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, I have pointed out that
The logic of the Attorney General’s argument goes a lot further than merely attacking traditional marriage. Just think about it: a definition of ‘marriage’ that includes both heterosexual unions and same-sex unions, still excludes unions with animals, polygamous unions, or ‘group marriages.’ But doesn’t this discriminate? After all, if someone is bisexual, then in order for their sexuality to be fully expressed, their ‘marriage’ must include a minimum of at least one person from each sex. At least, that is where the argument against “discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation” could go.
Suffice to say, any new definition of marriage that Obama may wish to proffer opens the door to an endless series of redefinition in the years to come. This is because what is true of the word marriage is true of any noun: to define a word as one thing is necessarily to exclude that word as being some other thing. A noun that can mean anything is a noun that can mean nothing.
Consequently, if we say that it is unconstitutional for the word ‘marriage’ to exclude anyone or anything, then we are beginning a process whereby the word must necessarily be eventually emptied of all content. Suffice to say, if DOMA were set aside, then not only would a union between one man and one woman no longer have a monopoly on the term ‘marriage,’ but in principle any definition of marriage (even one broadened to encompass homosexual unions) could eventually be challenged as unconstitutional by an extension of the same logic.
In short, the word ‘marriage’ must finally come to cover anything we could possibly imagine. However, to do that would render the term incoherent, and that is something that not even the homosexuality community wishes to see happen.
To read more about this, visit my article 'DOMA and the Definition of Marriage.'
Suppose government does the first: raises funds through taxation. In such a case, government can then only inject into the economy what it has first suctioned out, a point that was made with characteristic lucidity by Daniel Hannan in THIS short video clip.
Now although Western governments make liberal use of this option, the amount of revenue that is available through taxation is necessarily limited. For example, in order for America to meet its present commitments through taxes alone, the federal tax rate for each American household would have to increase by 42% by 2040 (a figure does not take into account the liabilities to business, and therefore to tax revenue, that always come as the corollary of burdensome taxation).
The other option is that government can print money ex nihilo. The problem is that governments which do that have never been able to resist the temptation to completely debase their currency, resulting in hyperinflation. All Western governments have handed over the authority to create money to private central banks (America’s version of this is called the Federal Reserve). But the banks do not create money through printing presses. Instead, they create new money electronically every time they issue a loan for more money than they actually have on deposit. The reason they can get away with this is because only a small percentage of commerce takes place with actual physical money. The commercial banks in America end up creating $98 for every $1 held on deposit, which means that most of the money in circulation is actually debt money. Since every loan increases the money supply (a supply that is represented in bank ledgers rather than hard cash), it also depreciates the relative value of the money held by everyone else. Thus, central banking is also inflationary. However, the requirement to pay interest curtails the borrowing to a certain degree. On the other hand, when governments print money or mint debased coinage, as in Weimar Germany and the last three centuries of the Roman Empire, they tend to completely debase the currency in a shorter period of time than happens under a central banking system.
What this means is that if the American government wants more money to spend then it can raise through taxation, the only option is to go to the banks and ask for a loan.
"What the Treasury Department is not telling Americans about the National Debt"