SB 138 promoting a National Popular Vote approach to presidential elections was heard in the Senate State Affairs Committee today, and it went down hard 9-0 in favor of killing it. The bill sought to bypass the Electoral College method of presidential elections that has been in place in our Constitution since 1787.
Last week, the “Republican” controlled House State Affairs committee shot down HB 1199, a bill to prevent illegal aliens from using their children born in the United States as a vehicle to escape judgment for breaking our laws and violating our national borders. Today, the same “Republican” controlled committee shot down another bill designed to deal with the problem of illegal immigration–a job our federal government has demonstrated contemptuously that it will not do.
In 1787 the founders met for weeks with little progress on how to form our new government. Benjamin Franklin, one of the least religious of the founders, reminded congress that since the beginning of the Revolution the American people and their government had called on God for provision and protection, and that they should continue doing so. Today, with our $15 trillion debt, our $1.6 trillion budget deficit, our double-digit unemployment, a growing military threat from countries like China and Iran, is America now so smart and so powerful that we no longer need to ask God for help?
The agency’s reach is more invasive than ever, thanks to nearly unlimited resources (its minimum budget alone in fiscal year 2010 was $7.9 billion), the government’s vast arsenal of technology, the interconnectedness of government intelligence agencies, and information sharing through fusion centers—data collecting intelligence agencies spread throughout the country that constantly monitor communications (including those of American citizens), everything from internet activity and web searches to text messages, phone calls and emails. Yet we would do well to remember that governments primarily exist to secure rights. This idea is central to constitutionalism.
Socrates was famous for arguing that in order to be wise, one must know oneself. When the ancient philosopher Thales of Miletus was asked what was the most difficult thing to know, he answered, “Thyself.” Calvin argued that one could not truly know God without knowing oneself and that one couldn’t truly know oneself without knowing God. So why do we find it so hard to truly know ourselves?
An overwhelming number of people in failed marriages cite financial troubles as a major factor in their breakup. It’s not surprising because the way we use our time and money reflects our values. Without a strong set of shared values, marriages may founder. But dealing with finances together can bring a couple closer.
From the beginning of his campaign for Governor, Dennis Daugaard declared “No new taxes.” So far, there have been two sales tax bills presented to this session of the South Dakota Legislature. One of these has already been killed in committee and even though several legislators have shown some interest in the other, there is little chance it will go any where. By now it may also be dead. Today’s column is also throwing in a couple of “games” that our readers may find interesting.