Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Refuge by Marvelle Zollars

I received this book as a gift from Mrs. Zollars for helping her in a painting class she teaches.  When she gave it to me, I inwardly cringed.  What if I didn't like it?  I didn't want to hurt her feelings.  I decided to read on chapter and see how it went.  As it turns out, I was hooked from the beginning. 

The first thing I loved about this book is the great mix of characters and how the story shows God weaving them together to save the lives of babies at risk of abortion.  The characters range from a business executive to a has been musician to a rebellious socialite to a Native American journalist.  The way they are intertwined seems entirely natural and is wonderfully inspiring. 

The second thing that I really enjoyed was the way Mrs. Zollars tackled the tricky issues like mother's who risk their lives so that their babies can be born and babies born from rape instead of love.  She also looks at homelessness, abused women, and other difficult issues in a realistic and loving way. 

This glorious story is Mrs. Zollars debut novel.  I really hope that she is published again.  I recommend this book very highly.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Constitutional Size Box

I think few Americans have read the Constitution that our elected officials have sworn to uphold. Those of us that have read it rarely stop and think about what it doesn't say. I attended a lecture about overspending in Texas. The speaker, Joann Fleming, said something along the lines of, "We need to squeeze the government back into a Constitution size box." She was speaking of the Texas State Constitution, but it got me thinking about the U. S. Constitution. So I went through and looked at it again. What if we limited the federal government to a Constitution size box? What would that look like? A shockingly different federal government than we have today. Let's take a look.

These are the ONLY matters Congress would deal with. EVERYTHING ELSE would be left to the states as per the 10th Amendment.

National Defense- Congress has the constitutional authority to send Letters of Marque and Reprisal (basically telling foreign intities off), declare war, and punish piracy. Congress has the constitutional authority to maintain an army and a navy. (2011 proposed budget- $738 billion, veterans $112 billion)

Immigration- Congress has the authority to pass laws about who can come into this country from other countries and how aliens can become citizens.

Bankruptcy- Congress has the authority to pass bankruptcy laws for citizens and businesses.

Post offices and roads- Congress has the authority to make sure the mail can get from one place to another throughout the country. (Transportaion in 2011 proposed budget $88 billion)

Patents and copyrights- Congress has the authority to pass laws protecting the intellectual property of citizens and businesses.

Appoint courts- Congress has the authority to decide where courts will be (but they do not appoint judges).

Laws for federal areas- Congress has the authority to make laws for federal areas such as DC, forts, arsenals, and dockyards.

National currency- Congress has the constitutional authority to mint coins for use within the United States.

In order to fulfill these obligations, Congress may lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises. They may also borrow money. (Net interest in 2011 proposed budget- $251 billion)

If Congress concerned itself with only these things, it would shrink our national budget buy about two thirds (or two trillion dollars).