Over the Labor Day weekend, there was another mass shooting in Texas. You can expect renewed calls for gun control, of course, but the issue is not now and never has been the gun.

Disturbed people will find an avenue to carry out their intentions. The United Kingdom has actually outlawed selling knives to persons under 18 and carrying knives in public unless it is a pocket knife with a blade less than three inches long. Yet as of Sept. 9, there have been 99 knifings in London alone, many by under-18 teens.

Where does the restricting of rights of free men stop? The following is a quote from George Washington in his farewell address as he left the presidency:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. ... A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice?

“And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

We have excluded all references to God, whatever religion you are in, from our society, and with that we lose the moral standing for good behavior. We need to reinstate the values of our founding fathers and previous generations. The Supreme Court building itself has a frieze of Moses holding the 10 Commandments, in addition to depictions of other religions supporting morality.

Looking back at Labor Day again, let’s consider what creates that environment that allows workers to have the jobs this holiday is intended to celebrate. Profit, a nasty word to some, allows businesses to create jobs and sustain the economy. In 2018, corporate profits rose almost 8 percent, compared to about 3 percent in 2017, Trump’s first year in office.

Over 200,000 jobs per month were added to the work force, and hourly earnings were 3.2 percent higher than the last year of Obama’s presidency. Yes, I agree businesses need to pay their fair share of taxes as they enjoy the benefits of our free society (roads, rails, medical care for their employees), but they also need to be free to make profit which funds our various retirement plans, creates and sustains good jobs, and keeps our economy growing.

On a different topic, I couldn’t believe it when I read this news article in July, “Berkeley bans natural gas.” Yes, it’s true. The city of Berkeley has banned any new home or business from using natural gas for heating or cooking.

Those of you who are professional chefs, or close to it, understand that gas is the best way to control heat and create great food. It’s also the cheapest way to heat homes and dry clothes (with the exception of the carbon-free clothesline). I’m all for renewable energy, but we need to be sure the pace of change is economical and practical.

Staying on the topic of energy, there was an article in the Aug. 16 edition about zero emission vehicles. The advocates of this miss three important items. The vehicle may not produce emissions, but the energy plant that generated the electricity to charge the batteries did.

Also, financing to maintain our roads comes in a large part from gasoline taxes. These electric vehicles are contributing nothing to that, and if we continue to see an increase in these, we need to look at some method for them to contribute their fair share to road maintenance.

Finally, when those battery packs wear out, that hazardous material will need to be disposed of somewhere. I’m not against these vehicles, but like anything else new, we need to look at all the angles before pronouncing a cure-all for our current problems. Every new industry brings new challenges.

If you want to see the actual impact of a green energy program voted in by a municipal government, Google “Georgetown Texas energy problems.” You will find reports on an actual implementation of exclusive green energy and the costs and problems it presented for the citizens of this town over a six year effort.

If you like the idea of the Green New Deal, you will find this to be very interesting reading. Again, Republicans are all for moving forward, but at a doable pace.

As we get closer to the 2020 election cycle, be sure you are educating yourselves on what each party stands for and what impacts change may have on our society. Let’s move forward, but let’s not run off the tracks or run out of money for the programs the government promises us. Look at the candidates and examine where the funding for their various programs is going to come from. What else could that money contribute to if it wasn’t confiscated for government purposes?

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