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  • January 06, 2020 7:09 PM | Jim Hochberg (Administrator)

    Note: The "Aikea" Series will continue after the legislature opens.

    By: James Hochberg, Attorney At Law 

    President, Hawaii Family Advocates


    Socialism as an economic and political philosophy contradicts the economic and political philosophy upon which this nation was founded and upon which it has grown its wealth and power.  For that reason alone, the current political efforts to push the United States into wholesale socialism favored by our younger citizens must be rejected.  
      
    The creation of the United States on July 4, 1776 expressed the central foundation for creating a new nation in the famous phrase that included both economic and national government implications: 
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --" 
      
    Importantly, the reference to the “pursuit of Happiness” meant something very different then: it meant the right to free use of one’s property to pursue success and prosperity.  Socialism contradicts these ideas that the government’s role in society is to protect those rights based on the consent of the people. Socialism’s success demands interfering in those rights without the consent of the people who oppose the actions.  
      
    The founders’ public debates that preceded the 1789 enactment of the U.S. Constitution are quite telling.  The debating parties were the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists.  The competing arguments addressed the economic failures of the Articles of Confederation which served as the written document that established the functions of the national government of the United States between 1777 and 1781.  The effects of the Articles of Confederation saw the separate state governments engaging in economic battles against one another. 
      
    The Federalists argued that “[w]hile the Confederation was powerless to stop these damaging policies, the Constitution by specific prohibitions on the states, would establish stable economic conditions that would protect and attract capital, thereby encouraging the growth of the American economy and restoring prosperity.  The poor were hardest hit by the policies of the states, and it was the poor who would benefit the most from a rigorous government and the prosperity it would bring.”   
      
    On the other hand, the “Anti-Federalists were so leery that the Constitution would be used as a tool to crush individual liberty that they insisted a Bill of Rights be attached to it – an act to which the Federalists only reluctantly agreed.”   

    One of the major concerns debated at the time, involved how the federal government might be involved in paying off government debts incurred between 1776 and 1789.  Patrick Henry argued against the idea that changing the structure of the federal government would result in reduced national debt. Arguing that the new national government had to encourage industry he said “[t]he evils that attend us, lie in extravagance and want of industry and can only be removed by assiduity and economy.”    This described the culture that would grow the U.S. economy in the coming centuries. 
      
    The U.S. Constitution excluded direct taxation of the people by the national government.  Not until WWI was the 16th Amendment passed to provide the national government with the power to directly tax individuals.  In 1909 when the proposed 16th Amendment was being debated, the income tax was proposed to be only two percent.  The argument in favor of the amendment included the need for a modern standing military, one of the main objections of the Anti-federalists to creating a strong national government.   

    The application of taxing income to provide a national social safety net for the less fortunate in society began in the 1940’s under FDR and continued in the 1960’s under LBJ.  Those meager efforts did not call for the elimination of the industry necessary to generate the taxes.   

    Now, in the 2020 presidential election cycle, several presidential candidates argue for actual socialism under our system of government. It is now, more than ever, that we need to remember what our system of government requires of each of us.  
      
    The only fair way for a society to adopt socialism must not require citizens to pay for the system if they do not support adoption of socialism.  That means that the only fair way to adopt socialism in the US is to start very small with a group of citizens who agree to the experiment.  

    Adopting socialism on a grander scale than that must be rejected.  Historically, socialism has been adopted by force, at the end of a gun barrel by political leaders in charge of existing political structures.  There is a practical reason for that: socialists use other people’s money, that those other people would prefer to keep.  Force is the only operative mechanism.

  • January 06, 2020 7:08 PM | Jim Hochberg (Administrator)

    By: Jim Hochberg, President & CEO 

    Greetings from Hawaii Family Advocates for the third installment in a series entitled, “Aikea” that I promised to share with you over the course of this calendar year. 

    The first two asked us to consider (1) our individual values, and then (2) which one we value the most. That second email also explored what it means to value something (as in to consider or rate highly: prize, esteem; to rate or scale in usefulness, importance, or general worth). We asked what, as members of the same population living in Hawaii, as part of the United States of America, we likely share as basic similar, highly valued aspects of our existence.  Because many of us have no idea of the breadth and scope of Hawaii state laws, we have little idea about how our values are impacted by the government. When an issue we care about is attacked by a proposed change in the law, we may get active, or even show up at the Capitol to attend a committee hearing. That is a good start. What we’re addressing today, is the breadth and scope of Hawaii law.

    The entire Hawaii state law collection (not county or federal) is available online. The Table of Contents is also available online.

    The Table of Contents itself consists of sixty-nine pages, each of which looks like this:    

    Listed are both the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Hawaii and each generally describe the government’s powers. However, the statutes, which we are looking at today are much more specific and are all enacted by your legislature. Each one is debated in public hearings and then on the chamber floor before final passage. Most of the time we are not paying attention and they pass without our awareness. We expect state laws to explain how the state government is going to work between the three branches of government. Sometimes we don’t realize that some of the areas covered greatly affect us, even when we are not interacting with the government. Some of these subject areas include:   

    As you can see, the things we value most are greatly affected by those we elect to make these laws. I hope you agree. So, as a reminder, the overall purpose of these messages is to help explore what it is in our life in Hawaii that impacts, negatively or positively, the things we value. Then, it asks us to consider what, if anything, we might be able to do to support the positive ones and turn the negative ones into something more beneficial, and valuable, to the people who live in Hawaii.

  • January 06, 2020 7:06 PM | Jim Hochberg (Administrator)

    By Jim Hochberg, President & CEO   

    Greetings from Hawaii Family Advocates as I share the second installment in the “Aikea” series I promised to complete during the rest of this calendar year. As a review, the first installment asked us to consider what it is that we individually value. That discussion explored what it means to value something as in to consider or rate highly: prize, esteem; to rate or scale in usefulness, importance, or general worth.

    Today, I want us to ponder what it is that you value the most. For each person the answer is likely different, particular to individual situations. But as members of the same population living in Hawaii, as part of the United States of America, we likely share some basic, similar, highly valued aspects of our existence. Perhaps we can agree that we highly value some of those other human beings that share their lives closely with ours. We value the beauty of the natural environment on a daily basis. However we each ended up living in Hawaii (by relocation or birth), we share those blessings.

    Perhaps we also highly value our availability to devote our time and talents to pursue hobbies, interests, and activities that we either enjoy doing or at least receive satisfaction in completing. We highly value our income earning opportunities that feed our other interests with the money it takes to enjoy them. If we were to stop and think about it, there are communities around the globe where the people do not have the freedom or resources to develop those kinds of interests. I imagine there are people who live in places where they are not able to freely share their day-to-day lives as closely with others as they would like. They may lack the necessary resources in time, money or other things they need to be able to enjoy the things we value so highly.

    If we all stopped to consider the value of the freedoms we do enjoy in Hawaii, being part of the United States of America, we would likely put our freedom on the top of the list of the things we value most. And we should because our exercise of our freedom often occurs on a daily basis with little or no fanfare or even any notice at all. Perhaps we just take it for granted that tomorrow we will continue to be as free to interact with our loved ones and do the things we like to do.

    The real question is whether you are lucky at this time in history you are able to enjoy valuing these particular things, or whether there is a structure ungirding your ability to enjoy them? Perhaps it is time to begin to think about these things in a purposeful new way so you start to consider what kind of sure foundation supports your expectation to continue to be able to enjoy these things.

    The overall purpose of these messages is to help us explore what it is in our life in Hawaii that impacts, negatively or positively, the things we value, and what, if anything, we might be able to do to support the positive and make the negative more positive so we can strengthen the things we value in the face of living in Hawaii.

  • January 06, 2020 7:04 PM | Jim Hochberg (Administrator)

    Aloha Friend: 

    My name is Jim Hochberg and as the current president of Hawaii Family Advocates (HFA), I want to use this communication resource to reach out to you and share my thoughts on what it is that HFA is here in Hawaii to do for you.  Periodically, HFA will send you an email from me that further describes my thoughts to help you see your role as an HFA supporter.  I asked myself a series of questions and will use those questions to address what HFA intends to do and why HFA developed that plan of action.

    To explain the foundation upon which HFA plans to build in the coming election year, I will start at the beginning of my thought process for this series. The first question, and the subject of this first email is “What do we value?”  I want to explore that question because once we actually think about that and put those ideas at the forefront of our thinking, we can explore what it is in our life in Hawaii that impacts, negatively or positively, the things we value, and what, if anything, we might be able to do to support the positive and make the negative more positive so we can strengthen the things we value in the face of living in Hawaii.

    What do we value?  What  do we mean when we ask that question?    Defining “value” is a good place to start.  I looked here.   The use of the word value that I am referring to is defined as: to consider or rate highly: prizeesteem; to rate or scale in usefulness, importance, or general worth.

    That helpful Merriam-Webster webpage also provided these synonyms and examples for value: appreciateprizetreasurecherish, to hold in high estimation. Appreciate often connotes sufficient understanding to enjoy or admire a thing’s excellence; it implies rating a thing highly for its intrinsic worth; implies taking a deep pride in something one possesses. Americans prize their freedom.  Treasure emphasizes jealously safeguarding something considered precious  like a treasured memento; cherish implies a special love and care for something like cherishing children above all.

    Do we value many things?  Yes.  Some more than others? Yes.  But I believe we would all probably list these as things we value: our family, our faith, our ability to provide what it takes to live in Hawaii, our hobbies, the things we enjoy, and the freedom to continue to value, to prize, to cherish and to treasure those things.

    The point of today’s installment is to ask the question what do you value in particular; and to ask you to begin to think about those things in a purposeful way so you start to consider what kind of sure foundation upholds your expectation to continue to be able to value these things.  Are you lucky that at this time in history you are able to enjoy valuing these particular things, or is there a structure ungirding your ability to enjoy them?

  • January 06, 2020 7:02 PM | Jim Hochberg (Administrator)

    The next election may decide how people of faith, or just people of sound reason, can bring their deeply held convictions to the public square. A recent article published by The Federalist is just ONE example of what could happen if people of faith don’t raise their voices by participating in the next election.

    From the article ...

    O’Rourke Shows Left’s Trajectory on LGBT Issues

    This is something presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke demonstrated in a recent CNN forum on LGBT issues. When Don Lemon asked him if churches and religious organizations that oppose same-sex marriage should lose their tax-exempt status, O’Rourke replied with a firm “Yes.”

    Then O’Rourke explained his position by stating, “There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone or any institution, any organization in America, that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us. So as president, we’re going to make that a priority, and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.” ...

    Yesterday the state said homosexuality is neutral. Today the state says homosexuality is good. Tomorrow the state will say opposing homosexuality is bad and must therefore be punished. While O’Rourke’s position may be too hot for the eventual nominee to embrace right now, don’t be surprised if it becomes the official platform of the Democratic National Committee the moment it becomes clear they can win the presidency while giving churches, synagogues, and mosques the sin tax treatment. ...

    Sure, O’Rourke’s vindictive tax policy would likely be ruled unconstitutional by today’s Supreme Court. But the more comfortable our culture becomes with the idea of destroying dissenting churches via the power of taxation, the less confident we should be that future justices will maintain today’s understanding of the First Amendment. After all, if the Supreme Court, high on elitist zeitgeist, can stick its hands into the void and invent a constitutional right to abortion or to marry anyone, it can also invent a constitutional right to a clean conscience, which can only be preserved by silencing those repentance-preaching pastors and priests.

    Quite simply, conservatives need to win converts to prevent progressives from devouring us. And that won’t happen if we refuse to carry our beliefs to their logical conclusions. So at the risk of rekindling the Ahmadi-French debate, when conservatives express discomfort with the concept of obscenity laws, see drag queen story hour as a "blessing of liberty," and won’t scream in defense of gender-confused children who are being abused by the people who are supposed to protect them, we aren’t clinging to our first principles. Rather, we’re forgetting the very first principle — namely that earthly governments are instituted by God to punish the wicked and reward the good (Rom 13:1-7) in order to give us a peaceful and quiet life (1Tim 2:1-2). 

    Because of this, we shouldn’t hesitate to use the state’s power to defend ourselves and our children from the kind of metastasizing libertinism that rots every brick of the public square it touches. If we don’t, as the journey from Lawrence v. Texas to Beto v. Traditional Christians, Jews, and Muslims shows, those who have gotten comfortable using the state to impose their perverse morality on us won’t tire of doing so any time soon.

    Link to the full article  

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A nation where God is honored is possible when Christians stand together on the principles of God's Word and engage with culture - and in politics - out of compelling love for our fellow Americans.

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