Friday, November 27, 2009
Happy Thanksgiving!
I would like to invite you and your family to take a few moments today and consider how, and more importantly, why, our country first celebrated Thanksgiving and contrast that to our sentiments today.
Thanksgiving Proclamation 1777 by the Continental Congress, which was the first ever National Thanksgiving Proclamation:

November 1, 1777

For as much as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of: And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence; but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary War, for the Defense and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased, in so great a Measure, to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops, and to crown our Arms with most signal success:

It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive Powers of these United States to set apart Thursday, the eighteenth Day of December next, for Solemn Thanksgiving and Praise: That at one Time and with one Voice, the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor; and that, together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may join the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favor; and their humble and earnest Supplication that it may please God through the Merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance; That it may please him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Governments of these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole: To inspire our Commanders, both by Land and Sea, and all under them, with that Wisdom and Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty God, to secure for these United States, the greatest of all human Blessings, Independence and Peace: That it may please him, to prosper the Trade and Manufactures of the People, and the Labor of the Husbandman, that our Land may yield its Increase: To take Schools and Seminaries of Education, so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue and Piety, under his nurturing Hand; and to prosper the Means of Religion, for the promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom, which consisteth "in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost."

And it is further recommended, That servile Labor, and such Recreation, as, though at other Times innocent, may be unbecoming the Purpose of this Appointment, be omitted on so solemn an Occasion.
It is seriously doubtful that any public school in the land will take the time to study or recite this historical proclamation for it is obviously chock-s full of very offensive sentiments, including, charging the citizenry with the duty of giving Thanks to God, and praying for: the forgiveness of sin; for business and farmers to prosper; for success of our armed forces; for religion to prosper; and that schools would cultivate the principles of liberty, virtue and piety! 
Where are such men today, as these that laid the foundation of so great a nation?  More importantly, where in the land can such faith be found?
Andy Caldwell is the Executive Director of COLAB and a 41 year resident of the Central Coast.  For contact information, visit the COLAB website at www.colabsbc.org
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Thursday, November 12, 2009
Voters and Taxpayers to Suffer Another 101 Ripoff in the Making?
Twenty years ago, voters agreed to tax themselves for road improvements throughout Santa Barbara County. Measure D raised the sales tax rate one-half of 1 percent, and paid for a lot of freeway-construction and road-maintenance projects.

One project promised by the measure but not completed was the widening of Highway 101 from Santa Barbara to Carpinteria. The project was scrapped because of politics.

I was at the meeting when the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) defunded the 101 widening project. Because the project was specifically promised to the voters in the ballot materials, it took a super-majority of the members of SBCAG to eliminate the project from the voter-approved list of projects.

The South Coast politicians who served on the board didn’t want the widening because they said a three-lane freeway would remind people too much of Los Angeles.

North County politicians only agreed to defund the project if they could take the money that was intended for the South Coast project and spend it here in the North County.

I vehemently objected, because I believed politicians were breaking their word to voters.

A few years back, SBCAG tried to renew Measure D, although they wanted to raise the tax to three-quarters of a percent.

I did not support the measure for three main reasons — I did not like the increase in the tax rate, I believed too much money was being diverted to alternative transportation projects and away from freeway, highway and local road construction, and, I did not believe the South Coast was firmly dedicated to widening Highway 101. Measure D was defeated.

After all that, a new Measure A was proposed. This measure earned the support and endorsement of COLAB and the Taxpayers Association.

It did not raise taxes. It gave more local, discretionary control over expenditures, and voters were guaranteed the 101 widening project would be the highest-priority project.

The measure passed, and I have subsequently been appointed to serve on a Citizen’s Oversight Committee to ensure that the will of the voters gets carried out.

Well, guess what? After our initial meeting as a Citizen’s Oversight Committee, we were presented a project-funding scenario cooked up by public works directors from throughout the county. This scenario serves to phase, in order to delay, several projects promised to the voters, including portions of the widening of 101.

Let me be perfectly clear. What has been proposed is not the elimination of the 101 widening, but a delay in the original timetable for the construction schedule of the project. I believe any delays in the construction schedule are unacceptable because, in essence, we have been anticipating the completion of this project since first promised in 1989.

If the public works directors have their way, the 101 widening will not be completely finished until 2033. I don’t believe other projects should be funded ahead of the projects that were promised. Do you?

To say that I am outraged would be an understatement, and I am not alone. The Citizen’s Oversight Committee voted unanimously to convey to SBCAG that we do not believe the plan they will be considering at their meeting at the Betteravia Government Center Nov. 19, at 8:30 a.m., complies with the letter or the spirit of Measure A.

I guess it all depends on how one defines “highest priority.”
If you can’t make this meeting, then at minimum, please relay your concern to your mayor and/or county supervisor.

Andy Caldwell is executive director of COLAB and a 41-year resident of the Central Coast. For contact information, visit the COLAB Web site at www.colabsbc.org
Posted at 09:40 AM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009
by Richard Cochrane
November 11, 2009

The Sergeant was a hero in the tiny West Virginia town where I grew up. On Armistice Day, as my grandparents insisted on calling Veteran’s Day, there was a parade led by a solitary figure in an ill-fitting Marine uniform limping just behind an honor guard with flags waving. Behind him came other men in caps festooned with medals and such shouldering rifles as they solemnly struggled to stay in step. The Union High School band would march stone-faced playing something patriotic and generally in tune. The whole thing was herded by a glistening white fire truck that was the pride of the local volunteer fire department. Eventually they all arrived at the cemetery at the north edge of town where other men talked and the rifles cracked sending me and other boys scrambling for the prized spent cartridges, and then it as over except for a cook-out at one relative’s house or the other, and the obligatory visit to each pair of grandparents.
There would be the stories of Uncle Charlie who had been gassed at Verdun, and was never quite right since; the “Hatch boy” who disappeared somewhere in the Pacific before I was born, and of the Sergeant himself who left his leg on someplace named Guadalcanal and who will forever march at the head of the parade.
Soon the men clustered in assorted chairs out back under a cloud of tobacco smoke and talk turned to the upcoming high school football game. The women disappeared into the kitchen to do God knew what. My cousins and I debated what game to play or just argued and fought over nothing.
As I look back it was as close to Mayberry as any boy could get. But, I expect it was a variation of ten thousand other towns. Another page was turned on an America that would never change but has.
The town’s still there; the high school’s been “consolidated”, and the people are almost all dead or gone – I’m told there are 1,800 souls there now – even the white fire truck has been retired to sit silently in honor.
It is all about honor and remembrance.
Posted at 08:56 AM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)

Monday, November 9, 2009
Dr. Baskerville’s Book - Taken Into Custody
There is an ethical clash within the author’s repeated stated "purpose" for the writing of this book and its resulting claims once read.

It is my hope you will be willing to take a deeper look into the continuing misstatements by Dr. Baskerville.   Hyperbole appears to be his chosen way to attack ideas and legislated American human rights he doesn't like.

For example, in reaction to the Newsweek article about divorce in this country, Dr. Baskerville, writes....".....millions are appalled when they discover that they can be FORCED into divorce..." (the capital letters were written by me to point out his unethical misuse of language).

Americans are being "forced" into divorce??  He can only mean by using that incorrect term, that divorce legally happens in the United States when one spouse wants out of a marriage.   Yes, that is every married American citizen’s legal right to request under the laws dealing with civil marriage.
He clearly doesn’t like the present legal reality that no American citizen can be imprisoned for a lifetime in a marriage that has failed.

However, his unethical choice of words regarding the divorce right under the law, provides the evidence that Dr. Baskerville is working to wipe out the right to divorce in almost every aspect, not merely to change a faulty domestic court system (which is what he has been claiming the reason behind the writing of the book).
Within Christianity: Neither Jesus Christ nor Paul were willing to deny the human-right to divorce for just-cause. Both taught a right to divorce and nowhere in the Bible are children ever connected to that right (that is, presented, by them, as a reason for a Christian, to not act out this God-given human right...yet, Dr. Baskerville "uses" - in my view "misuses" children as a pawn in his clear effort to wipe out the right to "no-fault" divorce in the United States).

The divorce right in the mind of God has nothing to do with children in the sense of "justice" in marriage. When people deal with the divorce right within Christian morality, much of the stress for children can be overcome.

It is clear by Biblical teaching that children can survive and also flourish within the justice of that right and the moral way that right is undertaken.

It is my hope that you will review this commentary (below) of Dr. Baskerville’s written contentions about his efforts regarding changing the domestic family court system (if the author would have consistently stayed within this area of examination - the domestic family court system - one could support his ideas. He doesn’t stay there).
The implications to the misuse of language by Dr. Baskerville, clearly steers the reader/listener into another legal area that is a separate legal issue and results in making the claim that the divorce-right, itself, should be removed and placed only within the definitions of a divorce-right that Dr. Baskerville accepts.

Thank you


All Americans Should Examine Carefully -- Dr. Baskerville’s Battle To Turn Back the Legal Clock on "No Fault" Divorce In the United States.

What a thing serves exposes the motive behind the effort.

Dr. Baskerville claims to be working for ways to reform the Family Court System.

The following quote reveals much more than a desire to reform the Family Court System (because of his viewpoint that it has failed children and many spouses).   He presents those parents -- mostly men -- wrongfully kept from their children by manipulation of the court by the ex-spouse.

Quote of his view on how to remedy the family court system problem (my underlining):

"…(a) setting reasonable limits on unilateral divorce when children are involved; (b) establishing a rebuttable presumption of equally shared parenting for children of divorce or separation; and (c) restoring and enforcing the fundamental rights of parents to the care, custody, and companionship of their children."

The first thing one notices in reading his requirements for how to reform the family court system is that only (b) and (c) have to do with the Family Court System re the alleged failures regarding custody battles that he outlines in his book.

It is inescapable that item (a) is a clear attack on the right to "no-fault" divorce law. It is the legal foot-in-the-door that would wipe out "no-fault" divorce law (the majority of legally married couples will have children in their lives at some point).

If someone would have told you that there would be citizens of the United States, who would be working to bring a law into existence that would allow ONE spouse in a divorce action (the spouse who does not want the divorce), to control the right-to-divorce of his/her spouse because they share children, would you agree that the spouse who acted out his/her legal right to divorce, should lose his/her Constitutional right of due process because they share children?

Putting aside (for a moment) that this "law" would be setting-aside the Constitutional right of due-process for the spouse who wanted the divorce, destroy (for all intents and purposes) "no-fault" divorce in the United States, and define the basis for a right-to-divorce within a concept of "possible harm to children" the implications of such a law enacted doesn’t stop with this tossing out the right-to-divorce of the spouse who does want the divorce.

It would set-up a legal right for one spouse to imprison the other spouse in a failed marriage.

Once instituted into Law, the personal and financial problems would begin for the spouse who wants the divorce at the moment this "legal" right would be activated by the spouse who did not want the divorce or who had initiated a "no-consent" response based on it, in order to control the spouse who wants the divorce.

This type of law would allow one spouse to virtually blackmail the spouse who wanted the divorce. Echoes of such demands, quickly resonate in the brain, "If you don’t pay me what I want, I’ll not agree to the divorce."

"If you don’t sign over all our property to me, I’ll not agree to a divorce." On and on and on....

This so-called "law" would no-doubt become known as the "Law of Spousal Vengeance" - a ruthless idea instituted and protected by our legal system.

Unbelievable you say? Not according to Dr. Baskerville. This is what he is working for today.

One of Dr. Baskerville’s Problem Premises:

A Baskerville Premise is that marriage can only be defined a legal contract.

In spite of the fact that there is no logical/moral/legal (or historical) basis to arbitrarily define the marriage relationship today as inherently a legal contract, it is insisted that marriage can only be defined a legal contract in the United States.

Because marriage can be a legally defined relationship within the United States doesn’t mean that people who live within a sexually and financially faithful relationship and make the choice to be married within that choice, aren’t married (within/under their system of morality).

Marriage by personal contract is marriage to the couple who wish to design their marriage through this legal means. The "State" has no presumptive (or constitutional) right or basis to define and control marriage for every citizen.

Legal marriage within any given system of Law is a man-made relationship (defined and framed) by instituted family law.

Marriage can only be defined as a "relationship" within human society. Depending in the country lived in, it may or may not have held legal requirements on the couple.

In early America, marriage had no legal (national or state) requirements on the couple within it.

There were some religious communities that provided a level of control on marriages and divorce for those who chose to be members of that community, but there is no historical or legal basis for Dr. Baskerville to present marriage or divorce in the light that he does today as being inherently a legal contract.

It is a mistake in the logic to claim the right (through the power of the "state") to control all adult citizen’s personal choices in regards to the right-to-divorce because of a stated effort that to stop possible harmful consequences of divorce actions on children, we must give the spouse who does not want the divorce the legal right to stop it (this would result in a legal assertion that assumes that the spouse who wants the divorce is inherently guilty of hurting his/her children merely because he/she wants a divorce).
In other words, getting a divorce is an act of child abuse.

A very dangerous precedent to set-up in law.

This Baskerville type of mind-set (the all-powerful "state") was rampant during the movement toward prohibition. The American people did not and do not want the "state" to control their every personal choice and they rejected prohibition (in spite of a failure of some people to drink responsibly). They were right in this desire.

It is arrogantly mischievous and immoral to claim as Dr. Baskerville does that the 'state' should control the divorce right and deny "no-fault" divorce to couples who have childrenbecause he thinks the "state" (and one spouse) should control the other person in marriage who wants a divorce. This is the arrogant claim made by all those who think they know what is best for all others. They are called tyrants.

That his idea, his claim, that his desired "one-spouse" legal control over the other spouse (who does want the divorce) is being worked-for because of children of the marriage, claiming it would be his real reason for supporting such a change in law... can reasonably be seen as in actuality to serve to mislead and manipulate the system, because when a couple agree on divorce, he apparently sets no challenge to the divorce taking place.

So, what happened to his declared basis for this change in law as being for "children" ?--- If he finds it okay for a couple who agree to divorce, divorce, his entire alleged basis that divorce, itself, harms children disappears. 
Clearly, he is admitting at this point, that the manner by which divorce is undertaken and lived out is what may provide harm to children of divorced couples.

The truth is that it is not divorce, itself, that has the potential to hurt children but the way divorce is undertaken by the couple that may bring stress into the lives of children of divorce and the lack of shared-parenting support/incentives by the present family court system.

Therefore, it is logically compelling that the claim that divorce, itself, may bring injury to children is not the underlying reason for his work toward providing a "one-spouse" control over the divorcing spouse’s life, but supports his desire toward outlawing "no-fault" divorce, itself.

His ideas about divorce rights have fatal flaws and they should be exposed to those who might be and are being influenced by them.

Another Baskerville problem premise:
The 'point' that Stephen Baskerville continually attempts to make, that '....there is no other contract in law except marriage that can be broken unilaterally by one party...' implying to the reader, as though in marriage today each person has been given individual power (immoral license) under 'no-fault' over the spouse that business contracts do not have.

To state the no-fault divorce right, this way, is manipulative and untrue.

No-fault divorce makes one legal statement.

It is this: That the 'state' will not define who is to blame when a marriage fails. The court, however, remains within legal marriage obligations and attempts through family court to see justice prevail (because this family court system may be badly flawed today has nothing to do with the 'no-fault' process wherein couples choose to leave their married relationship).

It is a misuse of reason and fact to attempt to equate business contracts with a marriage relationship. Every civil/business contract that is entered has every aspect of the requirements regarding each person involved in the contract spelled out (marriage - even under the U.S., legal system of family law do not have them spelled out).

The word, 'unilaterally,' is misused (abused) by Dr. Baskerville.
 Civil Contracts:  Within all civil/business contracts, one person may break that contract unilaterally (I’m using his manipulative use of that word here to make a point). It’s called factually, 'breaking the contract'....

The consequences of 'unilaterally' breaking any civil contract still allows legal redress for the other person(s) named in the contract.

This is true within the 'no-fault' divorce system of today. The spouse that obtains the "no-fault" divorce under our legal system is still required to undertake the obligations that come along with the marriage laws within our society.

Dr. Baskerville is offensive to the truth (and illogical) for using the term 'unilaterally' to confuse the truth about the domestic court system failures (when it does fail a spouse or children) with the right to divorce under the "no-fault" divorce laws.

He intentionally or ignorantly mixes up the issues.

The facts are important: 1. One issue he speaks to is the failures within the family court system that should be remedied by requiring evidence of wrong-doing before an ex-spouse is allowed to make claims (charges) against the other spouse. And, 2. The other issue he clearly is working for is to have United States divorce law changed so that it will be able to control the right-to-divorce, itself (based on his personal views of what should be a basis for ending a marriage).

Logic provides the evidence that he "uses" children as the suggested compelling reason for allowing the law to give the spouse who doesn’t want the divorce, the legal right to stop it, because he wants to wipe out all "no-fault" divorce laws. This is what his ideas about controlling the right-to-divorce serve.

No-fault divorce laws interfere with that stated desire.

The potential for children to be injured by divorce is not a compelling reason for taking away the constitutional rights of any individual in the United States to a right-to-divorce. Antagonistic marriages also have the potential for harm to children. 

Within the view of American Human Rights Under Law:  We live in a Republic that has provided the right of due process for every citizen.
No individual citizen should ever have a legal right to suspend these rights or take away these rights at any time or for any length of time from another citizen.

This dangerous idea can be defined: It is called slavery

Divorce is a result, not a cause.

The idea of giving one spouse (the spouse who doesn’t want the divorce) the overreaching legal right to control the right-to-divorce of the other spouse (merely because the couple share children) is eminently incompatible with our Constitutional right of due process for every citizen within our country and any attack on this right should be vigorously challenged.
In my view, he makes the case against his own book by his inconsistent and contradictory reasoning and unethical use of words regarding the issues examined. These realities indicate that his book should no longer be published as it now is written, or that, he should rewrite his book within a consistent position of arguing for a change within the domestic family court system that upholds the right of shared-parenting whenever divorce is undertaken
under civil law.
Posted at 15:11 PM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)

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