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The Americans who are Paying More and Getting Less

Posted on by jtcopeiv

Millions of Americans, of every race and ethnicity, are paying more and more into the national treasury while a growing number of their fellow citizens are taking more and more of that money which is not theirs.  These paying Americans go to work each week, earn their money, return home, and with each passing year see a large percentage of their money going to pay federal income tax.  A significant chunk of this tax money goes to pay for social benefits of a select group of individual citizens, benefits such as healthcare, housing, and food.  The taxpayers are not asked their permission, in fact they and their money are relentlessly pursued.  Their money is taken by force and threat of force to use not for the country as a whole but to dole out to these individuals based upon nothing more than the opinion of their leaders that certain folks deserve it more.


In 2018, approximately 38 cents of each tax dollar will be spent on social security or Medicare.  Another 19 cents will be spent on food stamps, housing subsidies, child care subsidies, and other health care subsidies or benefits.  These social welfare programs alone … alone, account for almost 50 cents out of every tax dollar brought in to the national treasury.  The part that makes this so unethical is that the tax dollars are forcefully taken primarily from people who do not benefit from the welfare programs which use the majority or a significant minority of their money.  Prime Minister Thatcher, prior to becoming Prime Minister of Britain in the 1980’s, stated the problem with this kind of socialist thinking very succinctly, “Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them. They then start to nationalize everything, and people just do not like more and more nationalization, and they’re now trying to control everything by other means. They’re progressively reducing the choice available to ordinary people.”  There is a direct correlation here, the more that the government in Washington DC taxes the working people, the less freedom all people have.  For even the people wrongfully taking others money are nothing more than slaves to the Federal Government, dependent upon the whim and “largess” of Congress.


And let us not have any of this nonsense about taxation for the purposes of welfare being kind, or compassionate, and the Christian duty, for it is none of those things.  Taxing those people that work, purloining their earned income, to give to those who will not work is nothing less than base theft.  Theft is not charity or compassion, for if that was the case then thieves would give money of their own to the poor and homeless instead of stealing someone else’s living and feigning magnanimity.  It is the opposite of kindness actually, for if the American taxpayer does not willingly give up their money to those chosen to receive the results of their own work, they at least have money taken directly out of their accounts, and at worst have armed federal agents show up at their door.  To paraphrase Mr. Andrew Wilkow, show me once where Jesus forced people to give to God at the tip of a spear.  A worse form of tyranny is hard to imagine than a government who will steal money from those who rightfully earn it to give to those who will not.


This unequal taxation is nothing less than taxation without representation.  Those who pay the bulk of the taxes have the same vote as those who pay nothing.  People who do not contribute financially are voting with equity with folks whose hard earned cash is paying for the benefits they are voting themselves.  How can anything result but for those not working to keep voting themselves more and more benefits?  This then is not equal representation, not because the level of money paid into the federal treasure is unequal in amount, but unequal in percentage.  Some pay thirty cents out of every dollar they earn, some fifteen cents, and many none.  And yet all have one vote?


The question then is whether this is intentional or just the blundering results of ignorant and incompetent politicians.  Our first president proffered a similar question shortly prior to the Revolution.  “Does it not appear, as clear as the sun in its meridian brightness, that there is a regular, systematic plan formed to fix the right and practice of taxation upon us?”  A large segment of the government in DC takes away the rights of religious freedoms for Christians in deciding what voluntary actions represent immorality and go against their conscious.  They leave the most vulnerable and innocent of our country defenseless.  They take away the ability of self-decision in taxation and they continually push to increase the tax burden on the very people who pay the taxes in order to give more to those who carry no part of the burden.  They push to take away the right to bear arms not against home invaders but against themselves.  They continue to place criminals and noncitizens over citizens in importance.  They acknowledge our veterans in public on holidays and yet continue to allow subpar medical care to them.  They pit one group of people against another based upon superficial characteristics.  They treat certain citizens as guilty until proven innocent.  They coerce the curriculum of public education to fit their own agenda instead of to most benefit the citizen.  How can the average citizen see anything other than “a regular systematic plan formed” to increase the “chains of slavery” upon their person, and to destroy the foundation of the country?


A country cannot survive this inequality, not unscathed, not without revolt by those who pay against those who take.  Citizens must know they have equality before the law, and this includes the tax law.  You cannot tax one group of people at one rate and another group at another rate.  You cannot take money from the one to give to the other by force.  The congress of the United States has no right to reach into the pocket of one individual citizen to give to another individual citizen.  This is an immoral stance and misguided or intentional, those who support that stance are not supporting a Christian and ethical stance, they are supporting an immoral one.  If the congress wants a thirty cents per dollar tax, let them have it, but let them have it equally to all citizens, and the aliens who reside legally in America as well.  Otherwise let those Americans who actually pay and equal percentage into the treasury, vote.  Ending with the quotes of two men much more eloquent than this author must, hopefully, drive the point home.


“… I think the Parliament of Great Britain hath no more right to put their hands into my pocket without my consent than I have to put my hands into yours for money.” – George Washington


“For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, labouring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.  We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate.  For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.’” – Paul


–JT Cope IV


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The Worthless American Citizen

Posted on by jtcopeiv

The American citizen is individually under attack.  Whereas in the past the citizen has been viewed as the most important member of our society and should by rights be, here in this twenty-first century, and in the latter part of the twentieth, this is no longer true.  Now, we find that those who have no legal right to be in our country, who are actually committing a crime simply by being here, much less by any ensuing crimes that they commit, are given positions of honor and placed above those rightfully here.  They are also given more importance than those who come to the country and work for their citizenship legally.  Men known to this author have had to fight years, sometimes in excess of a decade for their own citizenship or that of their wives, despite some even having served our country in her military, and yet now we are supposed to give out this same reward with little to no thought of who it goes to, what benefits they bring to our country and what harm they may cause.  Do they have a skill?  Do they have a family?  Do they come bearing the desire to work and support themselves or the desire to live off the money of others?  Do they bring diseases with them that we have long rid ourselves of?  And perhaps most importantly do they wish to assimilate into American culture, to adopt our values and morals?  And here we do not speak of the modern tripe set forth as an example, the policy of live anyway you want as long as it is right from your own eyes, but the American values that have dominated our society and helped propel us to the position we are blessed with today: faith in God and Jesus Christ, love, justice, mercy, humility, honor, courage, kindness, true compassion, determination, tenacity, endurance, diligence.  Or rather do these people wish to live here as nothing more than a drifter, a transient here in the greatest nation on earth, only to get what they can while they can to send back to their “true home”.


The answer to the American citizen is of course “we don’t know, we have to let them in first to see what they are made of.”  This type of do now and see what the consequences are later theology seems to be pervasive in our politicians today.  With somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 million to 33 million (depending on which statistics you choose to look at) immigration criminals here already, we are told not only to indifferently let those here stay, to let them jump in front of those who have waited patiently and abided by our Country’s laws, but to open the gates to allow more in.  We are told it doesn’t matter if they have a skill.  It doesn’t matter if they have any connections here in the United States.  It doesn’t matter if they have connections to other criminals.  It doesn’t matter if they are going to take jobs away from American citizens.  It doesn’t matter if they devour the resources of taxpayers without contributing noticeably back to the treasury.  It doesn’t matter if they bring in new diseases.  It doesn’t matter if terrorists who wish our country harm come in with them.  It doesn’t matter if they have more loyalty to the country they left behind than ours that they are coming too.  It doesn’t matter if the children they have will grow up loving another nation more than the one that protects them.  None of these questions are important, and if you dare to ask them anyway, you are labeled as cold hearted and uncaring, and some kind of –phobe.  This is especially true if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, for then you are obviously doubly a hypocrite, despite the fact that many calling you such would rarely dare to listen to Him outside of situations that serve their own interests.


And yet, how many times in the old and new testament were Israelites commanded to allow aliens in who refused to abide by their law and serve God?  Where were they forced to allow criminals and those hostile to their nation, with divided loyalties, in?  Where were the immigrants allowed to not pay taxes whilst the citizens must pay?  And where did God instruct his people to immediately upon stepping over the border confer all benefits and privileges to the traveler?  God did command his nation to care for the alien, and not to mistreat him, to deal with him fairly and kindly, but He also very clearly called on the alien to abide by His statutes and those of Israel.


And in the New Testament, how many times did Jesus command his followers to care for the alien at the cost of the widow and the orphan?  How many times did Jesus encourage the lawbreaker?  How many times did he instruct the poor to steal from the wealthy?  How many times was the criminal forgiven his sins with no admonition to sin no more?  Jesus certainly did set the example of caring for the poor and the widow and the orphan, but he certainly did not set the example of ignoring and throwing out the poor, homeless, widowed, and orphaned of Israel to take in those in the same boat but who were criminal and from other places in their stead.


There is also this incessant droning of how cruel and uncaring it is to separate the families who come here against the laws, knowing full well that it is against the laws.  The current caravan from Central America sets a timely example.  Thousands of people breaking through one country after another, knowing they are coming to break the law, and continuing regardless, with the arrogant if hopeful assumption that they will be willing welcomed and let in to America, and if not that they will rightfully break in there too.  We are told to feel pity for the mothers pushing strollers and carrying babies.  We are told to feel pity for the men with no jobs and no money and no home.  We are told we cannot possibly separate the children and the parents.  We are told that the only compassionate action is to let them freely into America regardless of the answers to the aforementioned questions.  And yet, would a bank robber and their children receive such kind consideration?  Would we be told the only kind action is to let them avoid prison and send them on their merry way?  Would we be told that we couldn’t possibly separate them from their children?  And even more discreditable to those who shout yes, do we not have young mothers with children here?  Mothers who have no husband, who have no place to go?  Do we not have the young unemployed men?  Do we not have the homeless and the penniless?  And to our great shame do we not have a good number of veterans who have served our country and our communities, put their lives willingly in the breach to protect us, in this situation?  “No greater love hath man, than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  And yet how to we treat those friends?


Perhaps the most sordid part of this tale is those “compassionate” Americans who encourage the false hope and criminal activity of so many by their actions which also knowingly break our laws.  Hundreds of Sanctuary Cities exist across our country.  San Francisco recently voted to allow criminal immigrants to vote in publicly funded school board elections.  They are allowed to purchase and rent homes, taking land and houses away from American citizens.  These same criminal immigrants are allowed to obtain welfare, healthcare, workers compensation, free education for their children, and even hunting licenses in some states just to name a few benefits.  These Americans who support and encourage them to come, to hide from the law, to steal benefits away from those already here … they are not compassionate or acting honorably.  At best they have misguided compassion, at worst malevolent intent to secure loyalty and future support.


The true American citizen, the one here legally, not to include those who were shuttled over the borders through air, land, or sea at an opportune moment to be born here, should not have to fight for rights guaranteed by the Constitution or for the privilege of coming first in line before those from other countries.  The true American citizen, regardless of the color of their skin, the sound of their voice, or the history of their heritage should be cared for and nurtured.  They should come first in matters of tithe, labor, education, promotion, healthcare, and access to our majestic land.  Our own poor and homeless, widows and orphans should come long before any who meet that description from the outside, our veterans as well.  The American citizen, the true and rightful American citizen is not worthless, they are worth everything, and they should be treated as such.


As always, I will leave you with a quote, a few quotes in this case, from years gone by.  Perhaps they will convey the point a little better than I.


“A foreigner residing among you who wants to celebrate the LORD’s Passover must have all the males in his household circumcised; then he may take part like one born in the land. No uncircumcised male may eat it.  The same law applies both to the native-born and to the foreigner residing among you.”  – Exodus 12:48-49


“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.  Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.  For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.” – Acts 15:19-20


“In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here does in good faith become an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed or birthplace or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American and nothing but an American.  If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn’t doing his part as an American.  We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile. We have room for but one language here and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, and American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house; and we have room for but one soul [sic] loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people.” – President Theodore Roosevelt


“To admit foreigners indiscriminately to the rights of citizens, the moment they put foot in our country, as recommended in the Message, would be nothing less, than to admit the Grecian Horse into the Citadel of our Liberty and Sovereignty.” – Alexander Hamilton


–JT Cope IV

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The Mob of Modern Democracy

Posted on by jtcopeiv


Democracy, true democracy, direct democracy can never work, at least not for the common citizen.  Direct Democracy, voting directly for laws or lawmakers with the only stipulation that the majority of the votes are considered regardless of if the majority of those votes come from sub-state, and even sub-regional areas but with cross-country consequences will serve only to degrade and eventually destroy a country, causing balkanization much like that of Eastern Europe.  This is especially true if many (almost half at this point in America) citizens are not contributing to the society, but instead much like a leech drains the blood of an animal, are draining the country of its material, financial, emotional, and social lifeblood.  Every person in a country cannot have an equal vote unless every single person in the country contributes to the improvement, protection, or stability of a country.  Otherwise the country devolves into mob rule, mob rule by those who don’t work over those who do, and whatever direction the mob decides to move is the direction the country goes, much like a herd of sheep will follow a leader anywhere … even off a cliff.


A business consisting of two partners serves as a decent example of the folly of equal votes for unequal representation, or put another way equal representation for unequal taxation.  Assume one partner brings in almost all the capital and work, the other partner brings in little to none of either, but uses up both time and resources.  Yet, when the time comes to make decisions, the second partner expects an equal vote with the first.  No individual in their right mind would agree to that situation, and yet that is exactly what we have in this country currently.  According to the Tax Policy Center approximately 76.4 million or 44.4% of Americans will not pay any federal income tax in 2018, an increase from 72.6 million people or 43.2% in 2016.  This does not include state and local taxes.  And yet, how many American citizens are afforded the opportunity to vote in national, federal, elections?  The answer … 100%.  If people are not contributing financially or by their work to the company, what possible right do they have to decide how the money and resources of that company are spent?  And before some folks vociferously point to the fact that some people that are not paying federal income taxes are working and contributing to the country as a whole, they are still taking out more in education, welfare, and healthcare (just to name a few) than they are putting in.  Meaning they are getting more benefits from the federal treasury than they are depositing.  Moreover, they are allowed an equal vote with the person whose taxes they are unequally using.  It is like having a person in a leaking boat splash more water into the boat than they bail out, while all the other sailors are struggling to bail.


In a recent Wall Street Journal article it was noted that many in the country are decrying the current constitutional setup of the Electoral College.  Saying that far too much power goes to the states with too few people while the will of the majority is thwarted.  They point to the example of Hillary Clinton losing the 2016 Presidential election, but yet winning the popular vote by over three million people.  They’re right, but those very numbers they tout fight against them and have since the inception of our country.  A quote from a time in our history when the many in a concentrated area were attempting to rule the few across a dispersed area against their will, illustrates this point.  “Small islands, not capable of protecting themselves, are the proper objects for kingdoms to take under their care; but there is something absurd, in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an island.”  Mr. Paine’s comment has an eerily prescient quality to it two and a half centuries later.  When the overwhelming majority of a candidates or parties votes come from an underwhelming minority of the land mass of a country you have a problem.  Of Ms. Clinton’s votes, if you remove just two states (California and New York) her margin of victory crumbles and she loses the popular vote by more than she won it by.  What those who are disparaging of the college want in effect, is for the “islands” to rule the entire “continent” of America.


There is a huge difference between a constitutional republic which we were devised as and have been for the most part, and a direct democracy, which we are quickly turning into.  One limits the powers of officeholders, separates their powers, and should in effect limit the power of the mob.  The other turns into the mob with no thoughts or concerns for any minority under its sway.  Mobs are unruly, and bent on causing trouble and violence, for getting “what is theirs” regardless of any “collateral damage” to quote a current political figure.


Everybody can’t get to vote, folks.  Only those who help steer the ship.  And it should have nothing to do with gender, race, ethnicity, or past citizenship.  Yes you must be an American citizen, but even more than that you must be an American citizen who is assimilating, who speaks the language, who wants to conform to the values and morals of this country, who is helping to push the country forward by donating time, effort, or “gasp” money.  It must be a level playing field in the sense that once the criteria are listed anyone who meets those criteria should be able to vote, and anyone who doesn’t meet the criteria is prevented from voting.  Perhaps we need more senators per state, perhaps we need to go back to direct election of the President and Vice President from the Senate, but what we certainly need is less of the mob and the people who use the mob as a means to an end, to get rid of “others who do not share their views.”


I’ll leave you with a quote from President Madison:


“From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.” ― James Madison, Federalist Papers Nos. 10 and 15


–JT Cope IV


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An America based upon merit … or lineage. 

Posted on by jtcopeiv

Character and merit bring a man peaceful success, advancement by any other means is nothing but a façade.  If you want a stable country, with prosperity across all walks of life, you must have a system based not upon blood lines, or what percentage ethnicity your DNA shows, but upon individual merit.  Merit of character, kindness, humility, integrity, and other like internal characteristics.  If you judge a man by any other standard it is a temporary judgement and false, for all other standards ebb and flow with the political and cultural whims of the times.  Certainly you cannot judge a man based upon the actions of his ancestors, either to give him credit or censor him.  Blood of past heroes or outlaws can be no current mark of the quality or merit of any man or woman.  Two recent examples in the national news illustrate the potential folly of judging by blood or superficial traits as opposed to merit and skill.


In the past week Senator Elizabeth Warren brought to light results from her DNA test.  The test claims that her blood indicates that she is 1/64th to 1/1000th Native American.  The question, to quote a recent presidential candidate, is “What difference does it make?”  Why should American citizens care whether she is 100 percent Native American?  What if she was 100 percent Irish American, or Mexican American?  The absolute falsehood of hyphenated Americans aside, why should it matter what kind of blood at all is running through Ms. Warren or any other person in this country when appealing for votes or jobs?  The answer … it shouldn’t.  What should matter is how Ms. Warren, or any political candidate, stands on an issue.  What is their stance on religious freedom, taxation, abortion, marriage, education, the environment, the military, and the list goes on.  Whatever you feel strongly about as a person, whatever side of whatever issue you come down on, THAT is what should matter when deciding to vote for an individual, not the sequence of nitrogenous base’s running through their veins.


In another recently popular story, Harvard University is being brought to trial in front of the United States Supreme Court based upon the plaintiff’s case that they have unfairly limited admissions to Americans of Asian descent.  Again, I will refer to the earlier now infamous quote, “What difference does it make?”  What difference should it make to Harvard or any institution what the color of a person’s skin is or what the lineage of their family is?  How can blood type or skin pigmentation possibly improve or degrade the quality of a college or institution?  The answer … it cannot.  The qualities of person that can benefit an organization are those internal qualities such as integrity, character, moral or physical courage, honesty, kindness, dedication, loyalty to country, and the list goes on again.  An institution can and should ask a multitude of questions to identify the best possible candidates or applicants.  Yet nowhere on this list will you ever find, skin color, family genealogy, or DNA sequence.


The one caveat in both of these cases is that the private institution and the private citizen do indeed have the right to act in any way they see fit, minus obvious harm to another individual.  If a private citizen wants to vote for someone because they have a skin color they like, or they have certain blood running through their veins, they can.  If a private university wants to allow students in based upon blood type or physical appearance, they can.  But just as you can tell the radical difference in quality of education for the majority of students in universities who base their acceptance on such criteria versus those who don’t, you can certainly tell the difference in the quality of living for the majority of people who live in states and towns run by people who base their decisions on skin color or DNA percentages versus those who do not.  America ever since her founding has been a country which was supposed to be color blind, and now in the modern sense genetics blind.  There have been times when this was not the case and those were dark times indeed.  Let us not wander back to times such as those, but let us press forward with the idea that men and women should be judged based upon their character, their contribution to society and country, their integrity, and their courage.  I’ll leave you with a quote from one of the heroes of our early American Navy.


“You speak of the good conduct of your ancestors. As your own conduct is under discussion, and not theirs, I cannot see how their former good character can at all serve your present purpose. Fortunately for our country, every man stands upon his own merit.” – Stephen Decatur

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Accusations, Reporting, and a lack of Consequences

Posted on by jtcopeiv

If you are going to accuse someone of something, you had best be able to back it up.  We have an epidemic in our country today of people both in private and in public positions making accusatory statements that can neither be proved nor in many cases even corroborated.  Thankfully, most of these accusations come out in the wash as false.  Sadly, some do not.  Almost as bad as the ones that are falsely accused and then convicted, are the ones who are falsely accused knowingly for the sole purpose of destroying their life or reputation.  They survive, but their lives are often damaged for years or decades.  There is also the larger case where statements are made to purposefully pit one group of people against another when those statements have little to no basis in reality.  In each scenario though, the truly criminal and insidious part is what happens to the accusing party or parties after the statements have been proved false and the dust has settled … nothing.


Three examples recently in the national news stand out: Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation process, the Duke Lacrosse episode (from a decade ago and still causing heartache), and a political commentary heard within the last two weeks on National Public Radio (NPR).


In the case of Judge Kavanaugh, he was accused of sexual misconduct and yet the claims were found to not be confirmable at best, to be blatantly unfounded at worst.  In this case, regardless of if you think Dr. Ford was being used or truthful, the evidence does not bear her claims out, at least not against Judge Kavanaugh.  There are no corroborating witnesses, there is no physical evidence, and contrary to supporting commentary or evidence, her testimony was found to have multiple holes (such as the reason for placing a second door in her residence, her fear of flying, and her lack of experience with lie detector tests).  And yet, what will happen to her?  Will she lose her job?  Will she face any legal consequences?  No, she has not and most likely will not.  So we are left with a situation in which one person is able to make seemingly false claims against another with the possibility of destruction of the accused person’s life and career, and no fear of legal consequences for themselves.


In the second case, three of the Duke Lacrosse boys’ team members were accused of gang raping a woman in 2006.  Only later did it come to light that the woman had lied, the “facts” had been made up, and the boys falsely accused.  Did the boys make a wrong decision by hiring a stripper in the first place; yes, without a doubt.  Did they rape the woman; no.  And yet, again, what has happened to this woman?  Has she been charged with any crime or faced any penalty for lying?  Certainly not in a timely manner.  Even worse, here again, the accuser was able to make false accusations with the probable outcome of destroying the lives of the accused and having them face jail with little to no possible consequences for lying herself.  The young men’s lives and that of their coach and teammates was turned upside down for a lie.


In the last case a late evening interview on NPR showcased the current ability of national figures, or figures with a national platform, to group individuals based upon false accusation instead of actual action.  A late evening reporter within the last two weeks interviewed a lady, asking pointed questions to which the interviewee was able to make blanket statements about supporters of a political candidate.  The person interviewed commented that not only were certain political figures misogynistic, racist, bigoted, and guilty of other various phobias, but that anyone who voted for that figure and any who even supported the legislation put forward by that figure were one in the same.  There was no proof offered.  There was no quantitative data put forward.  There were not even any quotes by the people who voted for that person to suggest support for any of the positions listed.  In fact, evidence submitted in fact supported the opposite.  And yet, what will happen to this individual?  What will happen to the reporter who agreed and encouraged the statements, despite having a claim of impartiality?  Nothing.


We cannot have a country where people are allowed to accuse individuals, and then those individuals are assumed guilty simply because they vote a certain way or look a certain way.  If our country is not based upon merit we will soon have no country left.  I will leave you with a quote by our second First Lady, Abigail Adams.  Hopefully we can find our way back to weighing men and women based upon their character and not their outward appearance or political party.


“Merit, not title, gave a man preeminence in our country … I did not doubt it was a mortifying circumstance to the British nobility to find themselves so often conquered by mechanics and mere husbandmen; but … we esteemed it our glory to draw such characters not only into the field, but into the Senate.” — ABIGAIL ADAMS, letter, Jul. 16, 1784


— JT Cope IV

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How Different Standards are Eroding our Country.

Posted on by jtcopeiv


You cannot have one standard for one group of people, another standard for a second group of people, maybe even a third standard for a third group of people, and then award them prestige and honor based upon the same scale.  Said much better by someone long ago, you cannot have different weights and measures for different people.  Yet this is going on in our country right now, in institutions from federal court systems all the way down to elementary schools.  These double standards are eroding the faith and trust that our people have in the institutions that are supposed to dispense both recognition and justice impartially.  In the end this will degrade the usefulness, potency, and character of the people of our country, and then after that in our country herself.   There are three examples I would like to touch on briefly: high school students, women in the military, and the current case of Judge Kavanaugh.


The first involves the fact that different students are given different testing and grading criteria, but then awarded the Grade Point Average (GPA) on the same scale.  This information comes from firsthand experience and secondhand knowledge.  Students across a grade will be given a test, but the tests are not all the same.  Depending on the accommodations they have, some students will have anything from questions read out loud, to highlighted words, fewer choices on a multiple choice test, larger print, or even other forms of assistance to varied and numerous to mention here.  The remainder of the class, those students who have no accommodations, will take the test the way it is written with no outside help.  Yet when the grades are tallied, both sets of students will be handed out a grade on the same exact GPA scale.


The second example involves the different standards required upon entrance to the military based upon gender, yet the same pay and rank are awarded to both genders.  This post will not discuss the much larger issue of the psychological differences and success or lack thereof of co-ed vs. single sex units.  Again, this information comes from firsthand experience and secondhand accounts.  Women currently are not required to register for selective service.  Their standards are lower across the board for physical tests whether that test is an entrance exam, a once yearly Physical Fitness Test (there are different names for the different tests across the branches), or random tests given in schools.  And yet upon enlisting or commissioning into the military, and throughout their careers, both males and females are given the same pay and rank.


The final example I would like to put forward is the case of Judge Kavanaugh, and his confirmation process leading to the Supreme Court.  This post is not trying to prove that he was innocent or guilty, nor to discuss any statute of limitations, but rather simply to make an observation and ask a question.  Judge Kavanaugh explicitly states that he is innocent of any sexual misconduct toward Dr. Ford, Dr. Ford says that she is positive without reservation it was Judge Kavanaugh who assaulted her.  I cannot tell you which one is being truthful and which is not, perhaps no one can, but it is apparent that one of them is lying.  If Judge Kavanaugh would indeed have been found guilty of sexual misconduct his nomination would have immediately been dropped, he would have had little to no future in his chosen profession, and perhaps he would have faced some further legal repercussions.  However, if Dr. Ford was dishonest in her claims, what would have happened to her; what will happen to her?  Will she be prosecuted?  Will she lose her job and any further chance of promotion within her chosen field?  Will she face any further legal consequences?


Whatever your opinion is on these subjects as far as who should be allowed to do what, you cannot make the argument that different standards do anything but erode the character and quality of our country and her institutions.  You cannot have one set of standards for one person, and another for another person, and then give them the same recognition.  It just won’t work, folks.  – JT Cope IV


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What is the worth of a person?

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Culture tries to tell us how to measure the worth of a person.  They tell us that their methods are the only ways to truly tell how much an individual should mean to society, which ones are most important, and which ones are least important, and the measuring stick changes from time to time to meet the current political goals.  The ironic part of this is, they tell us everyone is of equal value at the same time whilst telling us that certain people and their opinions are invalid.  The devious part of it is, they take just a smidgen of truth and then twist it so that there is just enough to recognize something true, but not enough often to see the falsehood as a whole.  These days they have a couple different versions of the “true” worth of a person.


The first goes something along the lines that “in order to be worth the same, people must be exactly the same.”  If you are different, either in your abilities, strengths, or weaknesses, then they say that you cannot possibly be worth the same amount.  In order to be seen as of equal value, you must be exactly the same.  Therefore for example, boys and girls can only be seen as being of equal value if they are exactly the same.  Otherwise one is worth more and the other less.  Never mind, that the differences the culture is trying to eliminate are strengths that make the country stronger as a whole.  Perhaps not the best analogy, but it is like a key and a keyhole.  They are both different in the extreme but without both functioning differently in the way they were designed you can neither lock nor unlock the door.  Both key and keyhole, and the door they were designed to open, simply sit there useless at best, an obstruction and detriment at worst.


The second “truth” western culture is trying to sell currently is that some people have opinions and feelings that are worth more, which make a person better, than people who have a different opinion or feeling than they do.  This fits well into their first line of reasoning, because we can only all be of equal value if we all have the same values.  The irony here is that in part they are right.  This goes back to the point of culture adding in just enough truth to cloud the issue.  Some people are better than others.  For example I know of few people who would lump Mother Teresa and Adolf Hitler in the same category as far as quality and worth of individual.   The distorted part though, is it is not the opinions alone that make one person better than another, it is where those opinions are sourced from, it is their moral character, and it is how they adhere to those opinions.


If you espouse integrity, great, that is indeed better than a person who values lying … but do you tell the truth?   Do you value life …  Do you value courage … Do you value fairness under the law …  And most importantly to you act upon those values, or do you merely talk a good talk? – JT Cope IV





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Is Perfection a Criteria for Public Service?

Posted on by jtcopeiv

How long back should we dig into a person’s past in order to assess their current morality and character and ability to faithfully execute a job?  Five years?  Ten years?  Twenty?  The entirety of their life?  Should different actions be graded and investigated under different standards?  And perhaps, finally, most importantly, would we ourselves wish to be weighed and measured using the same scale?


We have a situation in our nation currently, in which an individual is being held accountable, or attempting to be held accountable for actions over three decades in the past.  This is not a post about whether the individual is guilty or not, that is a separate issue, but of whether the person’s actions from near forty years ago should be used as criteria for service currently.  Would we ourselves, in our current station in life be willing to be judged and hired or fired based upon actions from our teenage years?  Should we?  Again does it depend on the actions?  Does it depend on how long ago the actions took place?


If a person robbed a bank at gunpoint forty years ago, should that bear on their current adequacy for a job as a cashier?  As a college student?  As a high school teacher?  An electrician?  A state governor?  What if a person stole a candy bar in junior high; when they turn fifty should they be barred from promotion in a company?


If we are going to look at the bad, shouldn’t that mean that by default we must look at the good too?  If a person broke into a house as a teenager, but they served three hundred hours of community service and possible some time in jail, and have since had a spotless record, should that house break-in still have a bearing on their job promotions or opportunities when they turn forty?


Look, I am neither defending nor condemning the current situation, simply asking if we want a system of government that looks forty years into the past?  There is a huge, HUGE difference in a situation being executed within the last five to ten years, and a situation from forty years ago … with the massive, gargantuan qualifying statement that is that the record has remained clean and that there is not a continued pattern of criminal activity or abuse.  You cannot defend a person as adequate or qualified for good judgement in many if any professional (or personal for that matter, maybe even more) settings if they continually disregard common sense, decency, the law, and most of all morality.


Just some thoughts folks on the current state of our politics.  Whatever your opinion is, support it.  Be willing to have yourself measured and judged under the same set of rules and criteria.  And be insistent upon the same scale being applied across the political spectrum regardless of race, ethnicity, class, belief, or affiliation.  We are either a citizen of this country, or we are not, and that is the only issue that should determine how every single one of us is judged in this country.  – JT Cope IV



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What our Culture Tells us. (Mini Blog Post)

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Our culture tells us to focus on everything we don’t need to focus on, and ignore all the things we need to focus on.  It tells us we have to participate in everything, and do all the extracurricular events, and have all the right possessions.  It tells us that our marriage has to take a backseat to our job, and our kids, and our community, and (when it is convenient to their narrative) even our country.  And sometimes that may ring true as in the case of a war for the survival of our society or when you have a newborn at home for the first time.  But so so so often that is just a bald faced lie.  How can our kids, or community, or country, or even our job survive without our marriage being strong and coming before that.  What kind of home can we possibly have if the two people that are supposed to become one flesh and make a place a home aren’t on the same team, fighting the same battle, swimming the same direction, each day?


We can either call God master or culture master, not both.  We can either be called crazy by culture and focus on our marriages, or we can chase after culture and run away from God.  We can’t go two directions at the same time … and neither can our Country.

— JT Cope IV

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Do we put off living?

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“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.” — Dale Carnegie


We have a tendency as a culture to procrastinate.  I have a master’s degree in it.  And yet we all look up so often and complain that we spent too little time with the person who’s funeral we are attending, or that we can’t believe the politician made the decision they did who got elected in the previous election we didn’t vote in, or that we can’t believe how fast our children grew up while we were off working 10-12 hour days or away from home.


Our culture tells us to chase after money or fortune or fame.  To chase after good times or easy living.  And yet the vast majority of people whom I have observed or spoken to near the end of their life never decry having spent less time at these things.  No, what they miss or regret, what they inevitably say they value most … their faith, their spouse, their children and their family.  They talk about the people they helped or the people who helped them in a time of need.  So why do we focus on, and chase after things which so obviously do not matter to people at the end of their life, all the while ignoring living our life as it fly’s by?


There are a number of reasons, excuses, we make, some of them even legitimate in specific cases of hardship.  The reason that reverberates with truth and that most people will admit in their heart if not their mind or with their voice is a dire disordering of priorities.  We say that our relationship with God is our number one priority.  How much time do we spend each day with Him?  We say that our spouse is the most important human relationship we have on earth.  How much time and effort do we put into our marriage each day?  We say honesty and integrity are keystone traits of our life.  How many politicians or athletes who knowingly lie or cheat or steal do we continue to elect or idolize?


In order to get our country back on the right track we must first get our families and communities back on the right track.  For if we cannot control and manage our own households, how in the world can we manage our country or even more the Church?  Think about what you want your priorities to be.  Really be.  Write it down and then write down your actions, not only what you do, but how you feel you do.  Be honest and see if your actions match up with your priorities.  If they do, great!  If they don’t, how can you make incremental, but noticeable, changes to your lifestyle so that when your life is all said and done, you don’t feel like you have missed living chasing a fantasy. – JT Cope IV

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