Statements in logic must have a clear meaning and be either true or false. In general, questions, commands, or vague sentences cannot be used as statements in logic because they cannot be judged to be true or false.
Statement: I have the right to live. = A I have the right to defend my life. = B
If a statement is true, then its negation (opposite) is false.
Negation: I do not have the right to live. = ~A I do not have the right to defend my life. = ~B
Based on these two statements I can construct a conditional statement to test the logic.
Conditional Statement - A ---> B:
If I have the right to live, then I have the right to defend my life. (TRUE)
Converse - B ---> A:
If I have the right to defend my life, then I have the right to live. (TRUE)
Inverse - ~A ---> ~B:
If I do not have the right to live, then I do not have the right to defend my life. (TRUE)
Contrapositive ~B ---> ~A:
If I do not have the right to defend my life, then I do not have the right to live. (TRUE)
Because the statement and its converse are true, the following is a bi-conditional statement, which is a definition:
I have the right to live if and only if I have the right to defend my life.
If the right to defend myself is taken away, then I do not have the right to live. This was one of the major components of the supreme courts decision today, June 26, 2008.
Never before had I read a Supreme decision in such detail. The PDF document of the decision, is available here:
District of Columbia ET AL v. Heller
It is 157 pages long, Scalia delivered the opinion of the court, and Justice Breyer filed the dissenting opinion. Scalia’s form of writing, logic and proof, made the document very easy to read, and his burden of proof affirming the Second amendment was overwhelming. When I got to the dissenting opinion by Breyer, Scalia’s writing style and logic seemed vastly superior in this case.
Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the court brilliantly in his reasoning and defense of the Second amendment. His logic and insight into the full meaning, caused me to think about the amendment in a different light, he stated “this is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed” (p. 22, District of Columbia ET Al. v. Heller) In other words, the right to defend yourself is a natural, instinctive, and God given right. The Constitution was designed to prevent any government, Federal, State, and Local from infringing on a right that inherently exists within every human being, the right to live.
The right to life, and self defense is inherent in nature. Governments who seek to thwart that right do not have good intentions. Scalia quoted the author Tucker Blackstone from his book “View of the Constitution of the United States”, he quotes: “This may be considered the true palladium of liberty….The right to self-defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine the right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction” (p. 36, ibid).
One of my favorite authors, Edward Griffin, sums up the reasoning behind the Second amendment in his self numbered 99 words:
“Gun-control laws do not control crime because crimes are not committed by guns; they are committed by criminals. Criminals will always have guns because they do not obey laws, including anti-gun laws. Those without guns are easy prey for criminals with guns. Gun control encourages crime.
The right to bear arms was included in the Bill of Rights, not to deter crime, but to deter oppressive government. Just governments honor and protect the right to bear arms. Oppressive governments fear and prohibit the right to bear arms.
Guns are dangerous. The only thing more dangerous is not having them.”
Although I am very happy the ruling passed affirming the meaning and purpose of the Second amendment, it scares me that it was a 5-4 decision. The logic and reasoning of the dissenters (Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Bryer) was in my opinion, tremendously lacking. Instead of looking for the meaning the founding Fathers had when the Constitution was written, their dissent was covertly based on faulty logic of gun control laws. The dissenter believe in a “living constitution”. I praise Scalia for his relentless argument, facts, and counter arguments to the dissenters in this opinion.
The fact that our right to bear arms could have been infringed today by such a small margin, by judicial decree, interfering with my God given rights, brought to my mind a scripture from the Book of Mormon:
“…the foundation of the destruction of this people is beginning to be laid by the unrighteousness of your lawyers and your judges.” ~ Alma 10:27
One of my favorite subjects (believe it or not) is budgeting. This is probably why the accounting profession suits me nicely. In July of 2005, I found a program that is unlike any other budgeting program before encountered. The program is simple, easy to use, and has changed the way my family manages money. Managing your finances effectively is a principle of personal liberty.
Most programs that budget money does so in a way that is time consuming, frustrating, and ineffective. Ask most people whether or not they keep a family budget, and they will say no. Managing your money, is managing your past, present, and future. You are managing the resources you have acquired through your hard work and effort. Don’t let them go to waste!
The program I found is called YNAB, which stands for You Need A Budget. Below, I will offer a summary of the program, but you can also link to the company’s website here for an even more detailed description (and pretty pictures):
The budgeting program itself is based on four principles that are so simple; you will wonder why you did not think of them before.
- Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck
- Give Every Dollar A Job
- Prepare for Rain
- Roll With the Punches
1. Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck
The money you make today is what you will spend tomorrow. Let’s say you make $5,000 every month. The money you earn this month is the amount you have to spend in the next. So let’s say you earned $5,000 in January. This is the amount of money you will have available to spend in February. This principle requires that you have at least one month’s worth of income saved up. If you don’t the program can help you get there.
This principle is especially great if you have a commission based income where the amount you earn every month is not equal.
2. Give Every Dollar a Job
So you’ve earned $5,000 in January, February comes along, and you have $5,000 to spend. You are going to give everyone of those dollars something to do. You budget out your rent payment for $1,000. This leaves you with $4,000 to assign. Groceries, $500, now you have $3,500, ect, ect.
Assume that after you have gone through all of your normal expenses, and (hopefully) you still have some money left to assign. Let’s say $100. Put it to work! Put it in savings, in to a vacation fund, a future desired purchase, pay down debt; the point is to assign everyone of the $5,000 you started with something to do.
3. Prepare for Rain
The DMV requires that I pay them $170 each year for our van and $78 for our other car. Both payments are conveniently (sarcasm) due in the month of February. That is a $256 expense that occurs only once a year! That is a good chunk of the budget!
To prepare for such expenditures, you set aside $21.33 each month for twelve months. When February comes around, I will have $256 saved up to pay for the expense.
In March I set aside $21.33 as Car Registration Expense, when I don’t spend it, the balance of $21.33 remains. April comes along and I set aside $21.33 again. When I don’t spend it (because it is due next February) the balance is now $42.66. I continue this until next February when over the course of the year I have saved up $256 to pay the DMV. Since I have prepared for this expense, the large payment out of my budget is just the same as every other month. The $256 balance I have saved is now removed, and I start all over preparing for next year.
This principle smooths out your expenses over the course of the year. I cannot tell you how wonderful this principle is!
4. Roll With the Punches
Since my family has started using YNAB, my concern over monetary issues (aka financial stress) has decreased dramatically. I remember one instance (before we started YNAB) when my wife brought home a couple of toys she had purchased for our kids. I didn’t get mad at her, but in my mind I thought: “We are done for; we don’t have the money to keep buying such things!” The toy only cost $5, and I thought it was the end of the world. (I hope people can relate to this feeling).
Now that we set aside $100 a month for child expenses, my wife knows how much she can spend, and I know how much we can spend. When such a toy is purchased, I don’t stress out about it, because I now we have set the money aside just for that.
But let’s say we had set aside $500 for groceries. Family shows up from out of town, and you need to purchase some extra food. At the end of the month you realize that you went $50 over budget on groceries. (You spent $550 when you had budgeted only $500). Roll with the punches my friends.
Anytime you go over budget, the amount by which you went over budget is subtracted from next month’s available money. Remember principle’s 1 and 2. You make $5K in January, which means you have $5K for February. But since you went over budget in January by spending $550 for groceries, the $50 you went over budget by, will now be deducted from February’s available money. Instead of $5,000 you will now have $4,950 available to spend. You will make mistakes! This principle helps you deal with it.
Much of the stress we face in life nowadays is caused by financial worries. I promise you this program has made the stress of family finances almost non existent. Again here is the link to the program:
There are instructions and detailed video demos of how the program works. Do not be a slave to your personal financial shortcomings. Take charge and make your money work for you! If you need any help or have any questions, shoot me an email. I am not kidding when I say I love to help people manage their money well!
I included you on an email listing so that every time I post something new, you will receive an email of what was written. If you don't want to receive the emails just let me know. For me the best way to learn, is to teach. The subjects I write in the blog are the things I am most passionate about. My audience is intended to be myself. In writing the arguments I learn about my own understanding of the subject matter and gain knowledge.
Next time you receive an email about a post I have made to the blog, if you want, visit the blog at the link above to leave a comment, point out a weakness in my argument, or share a different opinion! I love to learn, and writing about these things helps me to gain knowledge. It is a little hobby of mine.
On February 3, 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution was ratified. Here is the text of the amendment itself:
“The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”
This amendment has had a dramatic effect on the nature and power of the Federal Government. The founding Fathers of the
Article 1, Section 2: “Direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states…according to their respective numbers.”
Article 1, Section 9: “No capitation [tax of so much per person regardless of circumstances] or other direct tax shall be laid except in proportion to the census or other enumeration herein before directed to be taken.”
First it is important to distinguish between direct and indirect taxes. Cleon Skousen, a noted Constitutional scholar distinguishes between the two:
“Taxes such as duties, imposts, and excise taxes [sales tax] are taxes on “things”, not on states and not on individuals. These are what we call “indirect taxes, since they can be passed on to the person who is the final purchaser of the goods and thereby pay the tax “indirectly.” Indirect taxes are much less painful to collect than direct taxes, since direct taxes are levied directly against individuals and their personal property and cannot be passed on to anyone else” (The Making of America, p. 372)
The Sixteenth amendment superseded theses two clauses and directly opposes the intent of the founding fathers. Originally, the amount of direct taxes that could be collected from any state was tied directly to its share of the national population. This means that if the government attempted to collect income taxes from real estate, dividends, or personal income (as it does now), it would be considered unconstitutional because it was not apportioned among the states. In other words, if
Thomas Jefferson once wrote: “The most sacred of the duties of a government [is] to do equal and impartial justice to all citizens.” The Sixteenth Amendment was created to allow income taxation without any regard to representation or more importantly personal property. Income taxes imply the denial of private property, and in that are different in principal from all other taxes.
Frank Chodorov, explains the position of the government:
“The government says to the citizen: ‘Your earnings are not exclusively your own; we have a claim on them, and our claim precedes yours; we will allow you to keep some of it, because we recognize your need, not your right; but whatever we grant you for yourself if for us to decide“ (Income Tax: The Root of All Evil, p. 8)
A government of the people, by the people and for the people, now, because of the 16th amendment, is a government against the people. There is now no limit to the governmental confiscation of a person’s personal property.
“In short, when [the 16th amendment] became part of the constitution, in 1913, the absolute right of property in the
Would it shock you to learn that the first two of the “10 Planks of the Communist Manifesto” are:
- Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
- A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
According to the Communist Manifesto, these were prior conditions for a transition from capitalism to communism! Straight from the words of Marx and Engels!
A progressive income tax sows the seeds of class warfare and civil strife. In an article written by Scott A. Hodge of the Tax Foundation, titled “Tyranny of California’s Nonpayers”, he sums up the inequality pervasive in our tax system:
“…A steeply progressive income tax system  places the lion’s share of the burden on those deemed “rich” while exempting millions of lower-income citizens from taxation entirely. Such a system threatens our democracy because it splits
As a Christian, I believe in obeying and sustaining the law. I do not advocate withholding money from the IRS. Our system of government allows us to petition, and use non violent means to change laws. If you are a believer in Christ and his teachings, and you support income taxation, how do you reconcile the following commandments?
“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:29)
“Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15)
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, …nor anything that is thy neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:17)
If you support income taxation, you support using government power to steal from those who produce to those who do not. Taking something from someone without their consent is theft. Using the threat of force against such a person is coercion. They are not Judeo-Christian principles. They are not principles of peace loving human beings.
The only time such a direct income tax was allowed in the Constitution was in a dire emergency. Cleon Skousen expounds:
“It was recognized, …that in case of war or dire emergency it would be necessary to impose direct taxes on individuals and their property. Experience had demonstrated that direct taxes are deeply resented by the people, especially those of considerable wealth, who find large quantities of their personal assets being expropriated whereas others will be giving up far less. Direct taxes are always perceived as being unfair to the individual no matter how carefully they are collected.” (The Making of America, p. 372)
If you are opposed to war, you must logically be opposed to income taxation. Think of it this way, if the only time the government imposed a direct tax on people was to fight a war, how many wars would the people of the
Whether you are for or against the war in Iraq, think of the following question: Would the people of the United States be in favor of, and support the current war, if as a condition to declaring war against Iraq, each working man and woman would have to have 30% more of their income removed from their paychecks? Would the
Such a tax policy, as originally intended in the Constitution was another way to promote peace and end war. Such a tax policy would only permit wars in self defense, and self defense alone.
The effect this amendment has had in our nation and in your own personal life could, and has filled volumes of books. I plan to continue discussing this issue for a long time. If you get a chance, I highly recommend that you read this book, available for free: Income Tax: The Root of All Evil, by Frank Chodorov. Click on the following link:
 Tyranny of California's Nonpayers
You should be able to click on the picture itself to obtain a higher resolution. The SketchUp program has allowed me (with almost no drafting experience) to create a scale model of the Tabernacle based on the description of the structure found in Exodus 25-28, and 30. I have taken great care to every detail, i.e. the dimensions, the number of pillars, posts, size of the vessels, ect. In creating the model, I have learned a great deal about the principles and ordinances of the gospel.
The picture above is of the Holy Place, the roof or covering having been removed. You can see from the picture the different materials that went into the actual tabernacle. The five pillars in the front had capitals of silver, and were overlaid with gold. Inside the Holy Place you can see my renderings of the Table of Shewbread (with twelve loaves), the Golden Candlestick, and the Altar of incense. The veils of the temple were not white as depicted here, as I am still researching amongst many sources to find the most accurate rendition.
This is a close up of the Table of Shewbread. The finishing touches yet to be applied are the spoons, and vases of wine that were placed on the table along with the twelve loaves. This program is in 3D which allows you to rotate around the object and view it from every conceivable angle. My plan is to discuss all aspects of the Tabernacle and its symbolism of the restored Gospel.
This is a monochrome X-Ray rendering of the exterior of the Tabernacle without the roof or covering. I have tried to be as accurate as possible in the rendering of this sacred structure. The whole purpose of the Tabernacle was to point Israel to the Lord God, and point the way in how they might return to His presence. The symbolisms of the Tabernacle to the Restored Gospel are undeniable. True Liberty can be achieved by adhering to the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. The Tabernacle teaches people the way.
One of my favorite books is Robinson Crusoe. For those of you not familiar with the story, it is a novel by Daniel Defoe written in the early 1700’s and is widely regarded as the first novel of the English language. The book is an autobiographical account of Robinson Crusoe and his story of being marooned on a deserted island for over twenty years. During the course of the story, Robinson reflects on his life, circumstances, and his relationship with God.
This book was not required reading in any part of my formal education. This is a shame, since the book is not only a great adventure story, but teaches some wonderful principles applicable in everyone’s life.
After being stranded for several years, Robinson comes to realize, that despite his isolation, he is happy. He wonders why, as all of the things he felt would make him happy previous to his isolation, were not available, i.e. wealth, power, education, possessions, ect. What Robinson said next changed my outlook and focus on life:
“I learned to look more upon the bright side of my condition and less upon the dark side; and to consider what I enjoyed rather than what I wanted; and this gave me sometimes such secret comforts that I cannot express them; and which I take notice of here, to put those discontented people in mind of it who cannot enjoy comfortably what God has given them. All our discontents about what we want appeared to me to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have.” (p. 111).
What would a society look like if this was one of its most cherished virtues?
In other words, our unhappiness that arises from things we do not have, comes from a lack of gratitude for things that we do have. Perhaps the hymn “Count Your Blessings” comes to mind? Often times in life we do not appreciate all the good things in life that we enjoy until we are deprived of them.
Crusoe had a similar thought: “Thus we never see the true state of our condition till it is illustrated to us by its contraries; nor know how to value what we enjoy but by the want of it.” (p. 118). Liberty is so precious that we might not truly appreciate how wonderful it is until we are deprived of it.
The freedom and liberty enjoyed in the United States of America is almost unique in the history of the world. When it comes to counting your blessings, liberty, the freedom to choose, should be near, if not at the top of everyone’s list. Nearly all blessings we enjoy in life come from the free agency endowed upon us by our Creator. One of the most shameful things in our society is the lack of gratitude and appreciation of the freedom to choose. I hope that no one ever has to be deprived of liberty to truly appreciate it, whether in this life or the next.
The freedom to operate without restraint is essential to the progress of mankind and the eternal progress of each individual. Eternal progress cannot be achieved through coercion or force, but only by the free will of an individual accepting the eternal laws and truths that permit such progress. The freedom to choose means the freedom to succeed or fail.
Liberty and its preservation requires a society that loves freedom and hates oppression, longs for virtue and shuns vice, and reveres the law and despises corruption. The principles of liberty must be taught throughout the various stages of each individuals life or the principles will be lost. If liberty is not cherished, if its principles are not taught, liberty can become a "stumbling block" to the uneducated or deceived.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians: "...take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak" (1 Corinthians 8:9). The Corinthians sought counsel from the Apostle regarding the consumption of food offered in sacrifice unto idols. Specifically they wondered whether the consumption of such food meant they were worshiping such idols. Bruce R. McConkie comments that Paul instructed them "that in theory it is completely immaterial whether the saints eat such meat or not, because idols are not true gods, and there is actually no religious significance to the pseudo-sacrifices one way or the other. But he reasons, in practice it may be wise not to eat this meat, since such a course might cause those who are weak in the faith to assume there was virtue and benefit in the sacrifices themselves and therefore to be led astray" (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, vol. 2 p. 348-349). The Corinthians were free to eat the meat, since it had no religious significance, but by eating it, the weak might be deceived into turning away from the LORD. This is how liberty can become a stumbling block; failure can be chosen by accident.
It would be contrary to the principles of liberty to force people not to "eat the meat" or take away their freedom to choose. Therefore, the Lord has commanded that liberty be proclaimed "throughout all the land unto the inhabitants thereof". Proclaiming liberty to all, will give people a choice. It is instruction that pertains to a higher plane of living. It is a blueprint for a life of peace and joy. It must be proclaimed so that people can choose to live and love liberty. It is for this reason I have titled this blog as "Proclaim Liberty". I hope that whoever reads it will be encouraged themselves to proclaim liberty wherever they may be.
May the LORD bless all who choose to proclaim liberty and live by its principles.
This was created as a personal hobby of mine. I love the subjects of ethics, politics, and economics. In my mind, these three subjects are so intertwined , you cannot study one without the other. They are subjects that affect us on a daily basis. More than anything it helps me to formulate my thoughts and arguments in these matters. Please feel free to comment or add your own point of view. I love a good discussion.
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