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Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and Executive Director of a non profit missions agency working primarily in the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Ensenada. I've been married for over 30 years to Chelle, and we have one grown son, Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Just A Little Catch Up...

I’ve written a new article on short-term missions over at my other blog. In it I talk about dependance, one of the big issues to consider when a church thinks about short-term ministry. You can find it here.

This week I went to church at Dios es Amor [God is Love Church] in Ensenada. In spring of 2008 we built them a new worship facility. In June of that year we installed the electrical system. It has taken this long for them to be ready to get into that building.

One of the things I have learned over the years serving in Mexico is that things rarely happen on our time table. I would have loved for this congregation to have started using the building a long time ago. But they had to live through a few struggles getting it ready.

They have battled all these months to get the government to connect the building to the power grid. Finally, exasperated, they gave up, and went around the system. However, in that struggle, they took ownership of that facility. It is now theirs, not mine, and it was full Sunday.

A real blessing.

I am troubled by the level of rancor over reforming the way we access health care in our country. I understand that people will always have political disagreements, but what happened to agreeing to disagree agreeably?

A good friend of mine is a staunch Republican. He is not happy with the bill the Dems are pushing, but he is firm in this, Barack Obama is his President too! As George Bush was mine.

April is coming and that means the start of baseball season. I will enter the month full of hope for the team of my youth, the Los Angeles, nee California Angels, and most likely, will again be disappointed by their performance.

But let’s face it. A day at the ballpark is better than any day working, no matter how much you love your job.

A friend sent me a list of odd stuff the other day. I really liked one of the questions on that list. Does anyone know how to fold a fitted sheet? I hate just stuffing the things into the closet.

Here’s what I have been thinking about lately. We’ve all heard about who caused the financial meltdown in the United States. The bankers, politicians, greedy businessmen, etc. Has anyone ever thought that, as Pogo once said, it was us?

What if we did not live with an almost pathological desire [need?] to have more things that are bigger and better than our friends and neighbors? Why blame the bankers, or anyone else, when they were just trying to figure out a way to give us what we want and make a buck or two.

Maybe we just refuse to be content with what we have because our self esteem is all wrapped up in stuff.

Just a thought.

Have a great week. I am in Ensenada serving alongside a couple of my favorite ministries, the Asian American Christian Fellowship from U.C.L.A. and Iglesia Shalom, pastored by Martin and Marine Gomez Franco.

Comments on "Just A Little Catch Up..."


Blogger Beth said ... (4:46 PM) : 

Come on Dave, I thought you would be the one who would express some disgust over how the bill was passed, all the backroom deals and the POTUS saying he doesn't care about the process? He may be my president, but what happened in Washington was a disgrace.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:17 PM) : 

Beth, I do not disagree with you about the back room deals, but I have a problem with the repulsive name calling, the ugly attitudes and down right obscene behavior on both sides of the aisle.

Dave's Wife


Blogger Tim said ... (6:27 PM) : 

Thank God it has passed! How many lives will be saved, changed, and improved by taking care of the ill in this country. It was HIS command, and HIS way. A man never stands taller than went he bends his knee to uplift his nieghbor.

I'd change your last statement to " a day on the ski slopes is better than a day at work..."

I just finished booking a trip for Derek and I to Utah. Leaving day after Easter!


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (2:45 PM) : 

Beth, I guess I tend to reflect on the old statement about law and sausage being a lot alike.

You do not want to focus too much on how they are made, or you will be really disgusted.

All through our history, congress has made some pretty questionable deals in the quest to get laws passed.

My post however, was not on the process perse, but on the manner in which our top elected officials, and their designated proxies act in the discussion.

Tim, have a great day on the slopes. Park City or Brianhead?


Blogger Tim said ... (7:21 AM) : 

We are staying in Salt Lake City and have the super pass which gives us access to Snowbird, Alta, Solitude, And Brighton. I am dying to get on that plane!


Blogger Beth said ... (7:55 AM) : 

If it was such a needed law then why doesn't it take effect for long after the next presidential election?


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (9:50 AM) : 

All I can say about the need Beth is this.

I once was unable to buy health insurance for me and my wife, and now I can.

That fact alone makes this law a good thing. No longer can the insurance companies choose not to insure us because we might get sick again.

As for the timing, the Democrats used the same logic Republicans have for years in phasing in tax cuts. it is a tried and true method of getting laws passed in Washington and both parties do it.


Blogger Beth said ... (10:04 AM) : 

I never claimed that the health care industry worked right for everyone, but having our government take it over is not the answer. If I truly believed it would be the better solution, I would be in favor of it, but it doesn't make economic sense, and it doesn't jive with the Constitution, either.


Blogger Tim said ... (7:27 AM) : 

Beth, this is not a take over. It's merely new regulations that make the insurance companies play fair. It's still all private, with some people and employers getting tax breaks and subsidies to extend coverage to their workers. There is no constitutional issue, either. This will be proven when the (Republican) Sumpreme Court throws out the case by 13 state attorneys general.


Blogger Beth said ... (9:51 AM) : 

Since when does the Constitution give the federal government the jurisdiction say that to be a citizen one must purchase a certain commodity?


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (1:56 PM) : 

It may not Beth, but we already accepted this reality with car insurance in most states.

The problem for me is this. If I send my kid to school and the kid who sits next to him is sick because his parents cannot afford to send him to the doctor, and my kid gets sick because of that, is that alright?

What about this... If your kid is walking down the street and gets hit by a car driven by an uninsured motorist, and to treat your kid will cost upwards of $1,000,000.00 dollars [not an outrageous sum if there is brain damage] and you cannot afford to pay that sum, should the hospital be compelled to treat him, even though there is no reasonable chance of repayment?

The idea that the federal gov't has no role in stuff like this may sound good, but what about "promoting the general welfare of the people?"

Isn't that in the constitution?


Blogger Tim said ... (5:24 PM) : 

US Constitution Article 1 Section 8
"Congress shall have power

To Lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States: but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States"

An "impost" is something that is imposed that must be paid. It can be a tax, duty, or a requirement to purchase goods or services. So yes, Beth, it is constitutional.


Blogger Beth said ... (7:00 AM) : 

Ah, when lefties try to use the Constitution to make their point, it is funny because they will lose their argument everytime.

Dave, my buddy Malcontent has a good posting about the difference between STATES requiring car insurance and the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT requiring health insurance, they are not the same thing.

So Tim, the Constitution also says that you have the right to bear arms, does that mean the government must provide a gun to everyone? No, of course not. So it is the government's role to protect our rights, not provide us with things we have the right to. And you actually make me laugh because the Article you mentioned says "but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States", so how do you reconcile THAT with the progressive tax rates, and the ideas of taxing the rich at a higher rate than others, and that some people pay zero taxes?


Blogger Tim said ... (9:01 AM) : 

Beth, do you really need to get all snarky with comments like "you make me laugh"? I don't believe that I showed any disrespect to your opinion. As I stated earlier, when the Republican Attorneys General lose their case before the Supreme Court (if it doesn't fizzle out before it even goes that far)this will be settled once and for all time.
And by the way, your reference to uniformity of taxes, imposts, and duties is also irrelevent in the sense that these policies will be a uniform price for all participants in the plan that meet similar criteria. Charging a young non-smoker less than an older smoker is totally legitimate and all young non-smokers will pay the same rate and all older smokers will pay the higher rate.
As for the progressive income tax structure, The 16th ammendment (adopted in 1913) states " The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration". There is nothing there prohibiting the progressive tax structure currently in place.
And not only that, but there are several things that the government can compell you to do besides paying taxes. Jury duty and the draft during wartime come to mind.

While I agree that the comparison of the car insurance mandate is suspect you do have no constitutional right whatsoever to a driver's license (when your license is suspended it is refered to as "losing your PRIVLIDGE to drive"). If you choose not to own a vehicle you can choose not to buy insurance. If you rent a car you must provide insurance. It's a criminal offense in MI (90 days jail)if you do not.

Also, it is futile to entertain the notion that repeal of this law is possible. Republicans have 41 Senators. Repeal take 67 votes. In your wildest dreams the Republicans will not get 26 more votes to repeal this. Even if they unseated 16 Democratic incumbents (never before done by either party) they would need to get 10 Democrats to cross the aisle and vote for repeal. And really, who will vote to take away insurance from kids? In fact, two states (WV, WA) are working out the details of a state run PUBLIC OPTION to compete with private insurance, so I would not be surprized if that piece, dropped from the federal law, doesn't wind up taking hold on a state level throughout the US.
It's game over on this, time to move on.


Blogger CHAIRMAN TAO said ... (3:00 PM) : 

What no one seems to grasp is that a major part of the healthcare reform was to curb the astronomical growth of medicare over the next 20 years (this reform alone adds another 9 years of solvency to medicare)...

Without this reform we would either have had to choose abandoning medicare or dramatically (like by 65%) reducing the size of our military...

Its just a compromise between butter and guns....that is all it is.

Now, if Beth wants to discuss cutting medicare for our seniors or maybe cutting our military then fine...

There really were no other options; our back is against the wall as a country and while the battle over healthcare reform was a nightmare can you imagine what the battle over cutting the military and or cutting medicare would have been like?


Blogger Beth said ... (2:44 AM) : 

Tim, thinned skinned and cocky, a rather odd combination, but whatever. If you think that jury duty and the military draft is unconstitutional (and it very well may be) then using these two wrongs as a justification for something else that you want to require people to do doesn't make much sense to me.

Let me ask you this: are you worried about the national debt at all? Because I thought when Bill Clinton reduced the national debt, y'all were pretty happy with him, so why don't you worry about it now?


Blogger Beth said ... (2:47 AM) : 

Tao there are other options to fix Medicare than this bill, out of control spending in Washington won't do it. Did you see how they're taking in less for Social Security than paying out? These ponzi schemes never work.


Blogger Tim said ... (9:17 AM) : 

I am niether thin skinned or cocky. I just thought we could communicate on a higher plane. But then again you are a Tea Party person, so I guess that's out the window.
And yes, I am worried about the debt. It seems Republicans got relogion on that topic only recently, having turned a surplus into roughly 2 trillion dollars in 8 years. So yes, I'm concerned that we need to tighten up on defense spending and that taxes on the rich need to go up. I just did the taxes for myself, my mother in law, and my mother. My federal effective tax rate was less than 12%. My mother (a retiree living on social security and a pension) was a whopping 4.73%. So spare me the old saw of your crushing tax burden. It will take higher yaxes and defense budget cuts to fix this problem. Our total national debt is 53% of GDP. France's is 70%, and Japan's is 192%. China even owes 18%, so even though I am concerned it is mangable.


Blogger Beth said ... (10:40 AM) : 

Maybe we could at least agree that we all want what is best for our country first off.

People like myself think that people like you, and me and Dave and most Americans if left alone are pretty damn good at taking care of business without the government interfering, and we can take care of each other just fine, too. If that makes me evil, well then I am guilty as charged then.


Blogger Beth said ... (10:41 AM) : 

Forgot to add that conservatives like myself were very pissed off at Republicans under Bush's leadership that spent way too much.


Blogger Tim said ... (4:16 PM) : 

I never said you were evil. I just do not believe that this is a government take over of healthcare. Making insurance companies submit to tougher regulations (while at the same time giving them 32 million new customers) is good business for one, and helps to make sure that sick people can see a doctor without worrying about losing all of their assets if they are in a major car wreck, or get cancer. It's win win. I agree with you that I don't want the government interfering in my business, but I do want consumer protections, and a common infrastructure that is properly maintained, as things like this are the foundation that our personal wealth can be built on.


Blogger 玉苓 said ... (10:37 PM) : 

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.............................................


Blogger Shaw Kenawe said ... (7:01 AM) : 

Hi Dave. Happy Easter to you and your family. And a big thank you for all the good you accomplish in your work.

IMHO, you're the real deal.


Blogger dmarks said ... (4:00 AM) : 

" It seems Republicans got relogion on that topic only recently, having turned a surplus into roughly 2 trillion dollars in 8 years"

Actually, there was no surplus. Clinton ran a deficit every year he had in office. And as for "getting religion", Bush did not veto waste spending enough. But when he did, the Democrats criticized him for it.


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