Running On Empty

No, I am not talking about Obama’s campaign war chest.  The “class warrior” who recently made a jab at Mitt Romney with a silver spoon reference regularly charges “regular folks $1000 for a handshake at fundraisers” (see the Sunday April 22, 2012 Chicago Tribune column by John Kass linked in blue below). Class warfare depends on the treasure of the rich in so many ways!

 From Kass’s Sunday Trib column, Obama Ladles Up Hot Bowls of Class Warfare:

And, Obama is of the people, so please forget that presidential media guru David Axelrod just dropped $1.7 million on a gorgeous Chicago condo.

In America, only snobs and fools look down upon someone born poor.  It’s un-American.  But if your father’s poverty isn’t your fault, then, why should your father’s wealth be a sin?

The opportunity to seek wealth is why our people (Kass is Greek) came here, why they left their villages overseas to ride in steerage, seasick, eating black bread and spooning out the stew with wooden spoons, just on the chance that their grandchildren might hold a silver spoon someday…

Romney, of course, took great umbrage at Obama’s silver spoon crack, saying it was aimed at his father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, a former president of American Motors.

“The president likes to attack fellow Americans,” said Romney on Fox News.  “He’s always looking for a scapegoat, particularly (those who) have been successful like my dad, and I’m not going to rise to that.”

I find both of them flawed.  Romney as the ring bearer for all that’s wrong with the corporatist Republican smothering of the conservative spirit, Obama as the keeper of the federal leviathan, feeding it as it grows larger, squeezing the life out of entrepreneurship.”

 There are two kinds of politicians:  those without personal wealth, and those with personal wealth.  Those with money don’t need politics to make more.  Those without money need friends as they climb the ladder of public service.”

Michelle Obama had such friends…

And the President had such friends.  One is named Tony Rezko.  He’s rotting in a federal prison, although it was Rezko and his wife who put together the strange deal that helped Barack and Michelle buy their dream house in Kenwood that they never seem to visit anymore.

In prison, Tony Rezko doesn’t use a silver spoon.  He uses a plastic fork.”

 Obama, via his constant “fair share” campaign speeches, relates opportunity directly to having money and not to liberty and self-determination.  How strange and how short-sighted this is. 

What Obama is really telling inner-city people is that they are not going to make it, they will not have opportunity until and unless they other people’s money in their pockets. This is “in your face” class warfare, blatant materialism and an obvious trashing of the human spirit.

Underlying Johnny-one-note-Obama’s fair share speeches is the same inane logic of the Left:  if someone has more that means that there must be less for you. But, life is not a zero-sum proposition.  Everyone can benefit from hard work and self-determination and not just those who already have done so and have earned money. 

It is those on the Left who spend all of their time trying to slice the current pie into exactly equal “fair share” pieces.  It is those on the Right who want to make a bigger pie so that everyone can have a big slice of it and can eat it in peace, free from the tyranny of big government.

 Obama’s implied message:  Forget contentment, you must have what others have or you are missing out, otherwise your treasure chest is empty.

 Now with White House silverware in hand, Obama spoons out the parasite-laden bread pudding of class warfare to those standing in the food lines willing to pay a $1000.00 a plate. He lectures to those anxious for any crumbs that may fall from the table of the Dear Leader and to those of the liberal media anxiously waiting another feeding frenzy.

I ask God for my daily bread and He provides.

No News Here: Friday the Thirteenth, 2012 Edition

US education failure poses a national threat:   Wow! And just think what the failing US education system (thanks to the teacher’s union, its lobby and liberal universities) does for the election process:  A lack of critical thinking which leads to populist voting which in turn leads to stage one laws being enacted which in turn leads to bureaucracy which in turn leads to totalitarianism (in a nutshell). (Leads to totalitarianism because people will be too stupid to know any better and they will have given up all of their freedom to the intellectual elite contingent that has been anxiously waiting for that day when you say “I can’t do this anymore.”

Diversity looks a lot like the North Korean Supreme People’s Assembly:  Liberal colleges and universities are cranking out Obamatons with their eager beaver looks and stunning lack of critical thinking. Do they have Che and COEXIST stickers on their bumpers?

Activist Judges are not Inactive:  Ruth Bader Ginsberg Associate Justice of SCOTUS fame during one of her “teaching moments” at an “Arab Spring” conference:  “I would not look to the U.S. Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012.”  

 This in spite of the fact that our Constitution has been the template that has supported her free range blather all of her life. Now, instead of fidelity to the U.S. Constitution, RBG prefers a constitution based on International Law (basically, One World humanism administered by ad hoc panels made up of hand-wringing liberals).

 Like Obama and the Dems, RBG is on a much higher humanitarian plane than the rest of us crass peons. She’s at altitudes where there is little or no oxygen.

The franchised system of bureaucracy known as Obamacare will cost a lot more than expected:  Also, did you know that with Obamacare coverage will be mandated but care will not? You didn’t?  Well, you know that according to Nancy Pelosi, another high-flying Democrat, “We needed to pass the bill to find out what was in it.” 

Not the Scooby-Doo ending:  Voting for Democrats is voting for the decline of America and the rise of totalitarianism and the likes of the Supreme People’s Party and its chief Defense Minister, Fear.

better yet,

Voting for Democrats is like shooting yourself in the right foot and then shooting yourself in the left foot just to be sure you’re being fair.

Fuzzy Logic has more No News Here: <<<

Looking Out for Number One and Finding Zero

 This past week, while riding the commuter home I sat down on an upper row seat not far from a young Indian woman. Her head was covered so I believed her to be a devoutly religious person. On her lap was Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. I wondered about her interest in Rand’s lengthy novel.

As you know much has been said in the media recently about corporate greed and fairness. OWS protests, though largely unfocused and self-trivializing, seem to want to generate a discussion about what is ethically the “right thing to do” in the world of money and specifically money as power or a force to use for “good” and not for selfish pleasure. It should be noted, though, that the message of the OWS protestors is certainly compromised by their own envy and greed. Their desire (and demand) to have the same things that someone else has stands as witness to their hypocrisy. But, let’s get back to the woman reading Atlas Shrugged.  Briefly, let’s look at the philosophy behind the book.

Ayn Rand’s (1905-1982) novels portray the philosophy of Objectivism. The (paper) weighty Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead clearly identify the key tenets of Objectivism: objective reality, reason, self-interest, capitalism.

Ayn Rand’s Objectivism:

Objective reality: a tree falls in the forest. The sound of the falling tree occurs whether you are there to hear it or not. There is no spiritual realm. When you are dead you are dead.

Reason: direct stimuli from nature; there is no God, no soul, no intuition, nothing beyond what we determine though reason.

Self-interest: your own self-interest and happiness is what life is all about. You take care of number one.

Capitalism: Objectivism’s ideal political expression. Capitalism for the Objectivist is all about individual rights and private property; self-reliance, free trade, entrepreneurship and initiative all operate freely and without coercion within capitalism and the free market system.

Ayn Rand’s Objectivism is atheistic, rejecting faith and religion. It believes only in reason and what the self can determine. This viewpoint is born out of a godless evolutionary view of life, the Enlightenment era and philosophical naturalism. Objectivism is blind faith in your self.

Rugged individualism, for Rand, was a force like other forces of nature and something to be reckoned with. As you might imagine this type of thinking would certainly feed the ego and especially if the person who embraces Objectivism is successful in life. For these people pride of place means you’ve made it to the top of the heap. Your self-esteem is rewarded. You are recognized by your peers as having objectively “made it.” (BTW: OWS protestors want to make it, too.)

Ayn Rand’s extreme philosophy is most likely a reaction to her early life in Russia during the Communist Revolution. As a child she learned to despise coercion, government intrusion and totalitarianism. She came to oppose statism and collectivism while she promoted social systems which protected individual rights and personal initiatives. As a romantic realist she hated the dystopian effects created by those seeking to create a man-made utopia. Though a polemic, Rand never insisted that others be made to accept her philosophy. She was “laissez faire” with respect to others.

Before Rand another voice of philosophical naturalism and the evolutionary world view had chosen a different atheistic force with which to respond to “the law of life.: Jack London (1876 – 1916).

London, the author of The Call of The Wild wrote about the rugged individualist in a Darwinian world where and at a time when man was being considered as just another evolved animal. London wrote about animal instincts (the dog Buck) including survival of the species. For the philosophical naturalist life was essentially a matter of staying alive. This meant a primordial existence: eating, having sex, avoiding pain, etc. There was no higher purpose.

Over time, though, London drifted into materialism as most atheistic evolutionists do. He became a member of the Socialist Party of America. He embraced materialist thinkers such as Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche. It may be that because London, as depicted in his writings, saw humans at the mercy of nature’s massive forces that he decided that the best thing to do was to fight back by joining forces with other human animals via collectivism.

It could be said that both philosophical novelists, London and Rand, saw life as a Darwinian atheist did: having no divine purpose; first matter emerges then mind and then will-supplying force. And force, per Jack London and Karl Marx (and even these days, Obama) may be pooled into a collective. Or, force in the hands of Ayn Rand’s character Howard Roark in The Fountainhead, can be the individual who does it “My Way.” Either way, force is the means to an end: the “survival of the fittest,” a now-common phrase given to us by Herbert Spencer, nineteenth-century British philosopher who was huge proponent of evolution (and a significant influence on Jack London and it seems also of the OWS protestors).

As a Christian I believe that there is a lot about the basic wording of Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism that rings true while at the same time Rand’s self-directed fleshing out of the philosophy has nothing in common with Christianity.

To be sure there is objective reality but for the Christian it is the True Reality of the Kingdom of God. And those who have “ears to hear and eyes to see” can detect this Kingdom. It is spiritual and at the same time more real than this present world. Christians have wide-eyed belief in God.

Being created in the image of God a Christian also understands that reason is not an end in itself but a means to be in relationship with God and to work together with God to bring about His kingdom on earth.

Christian self-interest is the model for how we are to take care of others: “Love your neighbor as yourself”; “Husbands love your wives as yourself.” Our self-interest is not an end in itself. It is not bent inward. Remember, the Good Samaritan cared for the wounded man as he would have wanted to be cared for in the same situation. He wasn’t the rugged individualist who walked on by. Instead, he was the rugged individualist who cared for others.

Christian capitalism, man’s free, voluntary and individual exchange with others, is to be guided and tempered by a Christian’s self-governing virtue of justice – giving every man his due, of temperance, of prudence and of charity and not by government fiat. Remember, we are told in Scripture to “Pray for those in authority over you.” We pray for those in authority so that we can live in peace – a peace which means no government authority interfering in our lives. This allows for the free exchange of God’s goodness.

Collectivism, on the other hand, finds no place in Scripture apart from a brief mention of the early New Testament church. Yet, there are social engineers and social gospel advocates who build vast socialist ideologies around snippets of this New Testament history.  The U.S. Government is not the church of Jesus Christ. The world and the church are two separate entities. Governments are impersonal and do not have virtues. Governments are coercive and make demands.  In a democratic republic like the U.S. we must not elect leaders who create ever more egregious and imposing laws in hopes of creating the virtues we want to have around us. Be the virtue instead.

The Indian woman on the train woman reading Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged may find that “the survival of the fittest” individual means that she cuts herself off from God and others to obtain it all. And, those with a humanistic-collective bent may find that they will lose themselves and God in the mix.

Jesus – The Way, The Truth and The Life.  Let The Way Occupy you.

****

Shakespeare had it right when Hamlet says. ‘And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’

Here are some related posts:

Wrestling With God

Just Say No

What’s Left. To Be Decided.

tête-à-tête

How Shall I Then Live?

Runaway Slave – C.L. Bryant, Tea Party Member

The previous post showed a Wisconsin Democrat and union boss who has been cyber stalking a Wisconsin State Senator.  He called her “a pig”, in fact.

This post reveals an African-American Tea Party member who ran away from the Democrat’s Party’s Plantation politics:  C.L. Bryant.

Keep in mind that the main stream media (practically every TV/cable media outlet other than Fox news) will depict and propagandize Tea Party members as being racist.

Cyberstalking a Woman Wisconsin State Senator

Because liberals, the Left, Progressives and Democrats have nothing constructive to offer they resort to name calling, ad hominems and distortion. The denigrating of people’s character, in fact, is used to get themselves elected – they get others to believe and respond to their inflammatory rhetoric. And this is exactly why Obama is in the White House (via the dirty politics of Rahm Emmanuel and David Axelrod). As everyone knows, Obama was not elected because of a political record or because of experience. He was elected because of intimidation politics played out Chicago Style.

This way of politics can also be found in the state of Wisconsin which borders Illinois.

One example of dirty politics used by the Democrats (and there are many such examples) from the Badger Pundit:

Minimum Wage Or The Price We Pay For Stupid

I have noticed a definite pattern emerging ever since before the 2008 election of BHO:  many voters have given up thinking and have decided to vote for the popular shills of humanism, otherwise known as the educated elite.

 BHO, the POTUS, is surrounded by Harvard grads, each of whom has been steeped in liberal mores taught by educators who have risen to the level of their incompetence (the Peter Principle).  I like what Tomas Sowell, economist, said about these professors:

 “Too often what are called “educated” people are simply people who have been sheltered from reality for years in ivy-covered buildings.  Those whose whole careers have been spent in ivy-covered buildings, insulated by tenure, can remain adolescents on into their golden retirement years.”[1]

And, Walter E. Williams:

“People who denounce the free market and voluntary exchange, and are for control and coercion, believe they have more intelligence and superior wisdom to the masses. What’s more, they believe they’ve been ordained to forcibly impose that wisdom on the rest of us. Of course, they have what they consider good reasons for doing so, but every tyrant that has ever existed has had what he believed were good reasons for restricting the liberty of others.”

In my estimation the American voter, though often degreed, has become less educated and intellectually apathetic. This voter has become a stage-one thinker – someone who finds some humanist value in a policy, votes for the person promoting it and doesn’t want to think any further about it, believing that they have done their good deed for the day.  Yet, the policy does not operate in isolation and, typically, havoc and damage control ensues when the policy is implemented. Our nation is left ever more crippled.  The Minimum Wage Law (MWL) is one prime example of this stage one thinking implemented and voted for by people who let others do their thinking.

Thomas Sowell in his excellent book the Thomas Sowell Reader, a compendium of his many newspaper articles and essays, wrote an article titled Minimum Wage Laws. Here are some of his thoughts from that article to ponder deeply before the next election:

 “By the simplest and most basic economics, a price artificially raised tends to cause more to be supplied and less to be demanded than when process are left to be determined by supply and demand in a free market.”[2]

 “The unemployed are made idle by wage rates artificially set above the level of their productivity.  Those who are idled in their youth are of course delayed in acquiring the job skills and experience which could make them more productive – therefore higher earner – later on.”[3]

 “Although most industrial societies have minimum wage laws, not all do.  Switzerland and Hong Kong have been among the exceptions – and both have had very low unemployment rates.”[4]

 “Higher costs for a given quantity and quality of labor tend to produce less employment, just as higher prices for other things tend to produce fewer sales. Moreover, higher costs in the form of mandated benefits have the same economic effect as higher costs in the form of minimum wage laws.  The explicit minimum wage rate understates the labor costs imposed by European governments, which also mandates various employer contributions to pension plans and health benefits, among other things.  Europe’s unemployment rates shot up when such government-mandated benefits to be for by employers grew sharply during the 1980 and 1990s.”[5]

 Average hourly compensation in Europe of manufacturing employees in the European Union countries in general is higher than in the United States or Japan.  So is unemployment.”[6]

 “Labor unions also benefit from minimum wage laws, are among the strongest proponents of such laws, even though their members typically make much more than minimum wage rate.”[7]

 “Just as businesses seek to have government impose tariffs on imported goods that compete with their products, so labor unions use minimum wage laws as tariffs to force up the price of non-union labor that competes with their members for jobs.”[8]

 “…when all is said and done, most empirical studies indicate that minimum wage laws reduce employment in general, and especially the employment of younger less skilled, and minority workers.”[9] (emphasis mine)

Thomas Sowell’s article is chock full of empirical information and common sense economics.  I could continue to quote many of his insightful words.  I’ll provide one more series of quotes about minorities and the implementation of MWLs the past century:

 “Again, it is necessary to note how price is a factor even in racial discrimination…It was only after a series of minimum wage escalations began that black male teenage unemployment not only skyrocketed but became more than double the unemployment rates among white male teenagers.[10] (emphasis mine)

 Stage-one voting creates unemployment.  Obama, the educated One, Jesse Jackson and the Congressional Black Caucus should know the facts.   But in ignoring the economic data they choose “navel-gazing, hand-wringing or self-dramatization” to preach a Liberal Utopia that will never arrive on this earth. MWLs produce the opposite effect, in fact!

 Don’t ignore the data. Read. Understand. Think beyond stage-one.  Uncle Sam needs You more than ever.

Again, Thomas Sowell:

 “People who cannot be bothered to learn both sides of the issues should not bother to vote.”[11]

 


[1] Thomas Sowell, The Thomas Sowell Reader, p. 401

[2] Ibid., p. 108

[3] Ibid., p. 108

[4] Ibid., p. 109

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid., p.110

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid., p.111

[10] Ibid., p. 115 & 117

[11] Ibid., p.397

Note:  Mitt Romney has come out in favor of auto-increasing the MWL.  I am voting Newt Gingrich in the Illinois GOP primary.

Update:  In a 02/07/2012 RCP article regarding Mitt Romney’s faux conservatism, Thomas Sowell said:

“Nor are such consequences of minimum wage laws peculiar to blacks or to the United States. In Western European countries whose social policies liberals consider more “advanced” than our own, including more generous minimum wage laws and other employer-mandated benefits, it has been common in even prosperous years for unemployment rates among young people to be 20 percent or higher.

The economic reason is not complicated. When you set minimum wage levels higher than many inexperienced young people are worth, they don’t get hired. It is not rocket science.

Milton Friedman explained all this, half a century ago, in his popular little book for non-economists, “Capitalism and Freedom.” So have many other people. If a presidential candidate who calls himself “conservative” has still not heard of these facts, that simply shows that you can call yourself anything you want to. “

Thoughts from Uncle Miltie:

Occupy Thanksgiving

Words you will never see on a OWS or union protest placard:  “THANK YOU”.

At the table this Thanksgiving there will be those who give thanks. There will also be those who pull up to the table demanding more. This latter group will echo Obama’s class warfare rhetoric griping about inequities and fairness.

There are those who do not give thanks. They will be waiting for their demands to be met. They will beg for “this, that or the other thing”, bemoaning their own situation as being intolerable.  For them there is never a thought of thanksgiving even when their most dire needs have been met.  I am reminded of the historical account of Jesus healing the Ten Lepers:

 “As he (Jesus) was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” (emphasis mine)

As this account reveals people will gladly seek benevolence from others but they will often do so out of the understanding that they deserve such gifts or benefits.  This is especially true if government has become the benefactor.  And because our government has deep pockets full of other people’s money these same people may certainly feel that they have “right”  to demand things from the government bureaucrats who have set themselves up as demi-gods of benevolence. These people believe that they “justly” deserve government beneficence because they feel that they are victims of society and also because the politicians they have put in office promised them “hope and change”; “hope and change” outcomes promised in terms of benefits on the barrel head in exchange for their vote.

Our U.S. Constitution provides for the protection of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The 5th Amendment offers protections to our “life, liberty, or property,” noting we cannot be deprived of any of them without due process of law. Our Constitution does not guarantee the end results under that protection.

In effect, you are promised a fence around the rose garden but not the roses themselves. I learned from my Dutch grandfather that roses require sun, rain, good soil, fertilizing, protection from frost and rabbits and substantial pruning. It takes lots of time and energy, lots of individual attention to create an American Beauty rose. Yet, some people don’t want to work that hard or to be so dedicated.  So, they ask the government for the cut roses from someone else’s garden. They do this to make their lives just a little “nicer”, a little “richer”.  But, these cut roses quickly whither and dry up and the same people are back asking for more of them.

Dismissing the U.S. Constitution’s accumulated knowledge, wisdom and Judeo-Christian roots as outmoded and not rational for today’s society, social justice advocates demand equal outcomes.  They do so by demanding that others be deprived at any cost so that others will receive the benefits they so desire.  They do not care about another’s personal property, property such as an accumulated wealth. They care solely about their own accumulated gain. They see inequity not as a summit to climb but as a lot of work and effort that can be easily circumscribed with political action.

These advocates make their demands through willing politicians like Obama, Reid , Pelosi, Barney Frank (MA), Dick Durbin (IL), etc.  These politicians campaign with promises of changing the social landscape to favor their own version of utopian socialism. They usurp the black and white meaning of our U.S. Constitution by “intuitively” reading it so as to give the government the power to mandate social change via taxation, via the commerce clause and via the politician’s own self-interest of encapsulating power via re-election.

Speaking of self-interest, capitalism is a person who out of self-interest seeks to barter or sell a good or a service to another. The ‘other’, thinking he will benefit from the exchange, makes the trade-off. The exchange is made and both parties are happy, satisfying each their own self-interest.

Utopian socialism is a one-way exchange. It is taking from Peter to pay Paul. It is depriving Peter of what he has earned, grown, protected with his life, it is taking his savings and his wealth and then giving it to Paul for no other reason that Paul may need or want the same things. This is what is now being called “social justice” but it is not justice. It does not give Peter what is due him – the right to his property. It does not give Paul what is due him – the right to pursue happiness. This exchange is more accurately described as highway robbery.

These social justice advocates presume that the U.S. Constitution meant for them to have equal outcomes or perhaps even that the Constitution is outdated, archaic and without justice as they see it.  The social justice protestors cry out “Have pity on us, government, give us what we think we need and what we so badly want. You have the means. We gave you the place of authority.”

In 1993, during a lecture titled “The Meaning of “Justice””, Russell Kirk of the Heritage Foundation said:

“In this disordered age, when it seems as if the fountains of the great deep had been broken up, our urgent need is to restore a general understanding of the classical and Christian teaching about justice. Without just men and women, egoism and appetite bring down civilization.  Without strong administration of justice by the state, we all become so many Cains, every man’s hand against every other man’s. The humanitarian fancies himself zealous for the life impulse; in reality, he would surrender us to the death impulse.  The humanitarian’s visions issue from between the delusory gates of ivory; justice issues from between the gates of horn.”

 Today’s OWS protestors plead for pity from others using lawlessness.  They are being urged on to political violence by men who should know better. They also do not seek God for their daily bread. That would require humility on their part.

Just as ten lepers were healed and only one returned to give thanks, nine out of ten of us may likely think that we deserve such a “gift” and just walk away, pleased with ourselves having pled for pity and receiving something in return for our “effort”.  The exclusion of “Thank You” from the placards of men’s lives reveals the lifting up of “MY Rights” and the idolatrous nature behind most dissent and protest. The idea of justice, “to each his own”, is being  replaced with “feed me and then ask of me virtue.”

The Greatest Disparity in our society is between those who with contentment give thanks to God and their neighbor and those who, like leeches, demand ever more and more from government and their neighbor.

  It is time to Occupy Thanksgiving without asking for anything in return. And, let us give God what is due Him:

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”   Psalm 107:1

It’s Time to Cut the Crap

Get your shovels ready. 

Until we get a president in the White House and while BO is out playing with himself and passing the buck here is what I think should happen to kick-start the economy and downsize the national debt:

 1.  Stop government funding of public TV and radio immediately. I am not renouncing TV or radio.  Instead, I am saying that these communication vehicles can be funded via commercials or donations from viewers/listeners who want what they put out.

 2.  Stop government funding of the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities immediately. I am an ardent fan of all the arts (except ballet, “Twinkles Down” *on that).  Art, in all its forms, should be subsidized by those who want it.  e.g., I support my local artists by buying their original art work.

 3.  Abolish all public education within the next five years.  All schools should be privately owned and operated. Remove the NEA teacher’s unions from the classroom. The government can provide vouchers for the very poor. Aspirations are what people need to go forward and not the never-ending government hand outs.

 4.  Abolish all minimum wage laws and all other unfunded mandates immediately so people can go back to work.

 5.  Put a five-year moratorium on all EPA regulations. Then, dispose of the EPA altogether in the sixth year.

 6.  Create a personal income flat tax of across the board on two income levels. Below a yearly income of $40,000.00 (this is an arbitrary number up for discussion) the flat tax rate would be 5% (e.g., $2000.00 for a $40,000. income).  For incomes of $40, 000.00 and above the tax rate is 15% (e.g., $6000.00 for a $40000.00 income).

Simplify the tax code to one or two sentences:  “You shall pay 15 % of your income for the year XXXX” if you made $40,000.00 or more in that year.

 State Sales taxes would be tied to the previous year’s income tax paid as one-ten thousandth of what you paid in income taxes the previous year. (e.g., you made $40,000 last year.  You paid $6000.00 in taxes. You next year’s sales tax on any item is $0.60.) A card would be mailed by the government to show what your maximum sales tax would be on any item. (This amount is given that the state should no longer fund education or social programs).

 (BTW:  These are just some ideas about taxation. The tax code must be simplified.  How many tax bureaucrats does the taxpayer pay for by using the current tax code nightmare? We have to think outside the box.)

 7. Cut corporate taxes in half for three years and then abolish all corporation taxes. Corporations provide jobs and benefits for people.

 8.  Abolish all tariffs

 9.  Immediately repeal the onerous Obamacare and Dodd-Frank Acts and all over-reaching Federal and State regulations so that the economic engine of America can fire properly. Currently, Obamacare is an unfunded mandate.

 10.  Give each Congressman a six-year term and one term only.  Doing this will make the Congressman concentrate on his job and not on creating populist programs that will win him re-election while costing the taxpayer mega-dollars. Term limits would also be devastating to any lobbyist trying to buy the Congressman’s power via re-election campaign monies.

(BTW:  The only expertise that long-term Congressmen and Congresswomen receive is how to craft a re-election. Let’s not give power-hungry people more power.)

 11.  Did it say it already?  Abolish the EPA.

 12.  Privatize the mail delivery system.

 13.  End social security in five years for those under fifty.  Those people can use IRAs or 401k plans instead (These people will make more money and more secure retirement money with these financial vehicles).

 14.  Limit the use of FEMA to national security emergencies such as 9/11. People living in hazardous locations can buy flood insurance, hurricane insurance, etc or they can move to a safer location.

15. Illinois house cleaning:  remove Pat Quinn (D-governor), Dick Durbin (D-senator, his wife is a lobbyist for Government Affairs Specialists, Inc.,in Springfield!), Mike Madigan (D-speaker of the house) and Rahm Emmanuel (D-Chicago mayor) from office ASAP.Illinois has the worst credit rating in the union thanks to the tax and spend Democrats. (And, the most felonious governors)

 16. Drill our own natural resources for natural gas and oil.

17.  Leave Afghanistan immediately and rebuild our own national fence.

18.  Never send another dollar to Pakistan or to the UN, for that matter.

19.  Get government out of the housing market.  Tear down those Fannie and Freddie walls. (and, remove Democrat Senators Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi  from office)

20.  Tie government spending to 1.1 % of GDP or better, pass a balanced budget amendment.

 21.  Eliminate all Social/Economic Tinkering:  all of the laws passed (using Stage One thinking*) in order to help Americans (e.g., Dick Durbin’s debit card price controls & the $5 BofA debit card charge) do not operate in isolation. These laws, in the aggregate, affect us negatively and hurt Americans more than they help. You will have to pay more for the use of your debit card in other ways. What goes around comes around, ipso facto.

 (* as Thomas Sowell, economist, defines thinking that does look at all of the possible ramifications of a proposed law.  Laws do not operate in a vacuum.  I highly recommend his latest book, The Thomas Sowell Reader, copyright 2011.)

 22.  We need free trade agreements passed now.

23.  Breakup the monopoly of the US government and Federal Reserve Bank. Better, get rid of most of government and shut down the Federal Reserve Bank.

24.  Because lobbyists are voters with lots of campaign money attached and because we have a representative government we must make congress accountable to the people and not solely to lobbyists and special interests. I propose a full disclosure statement be written and posted online every time a representative interacts with a lobbyist. This statement would disclose the date and time of contact, the means of contact, the purpose of contact, the information exchanged and our representative’s disposition to said matter. This statement must be signed by both parties and posted online.  This disclosure statement must be done every time – pre, post and during office, night and day, during working hours and during their free time.  To not disclose interaction with a lobbyist (I will need legal language here to define lobbyists and special interests.) whether via phone, email, texting, in person or via a third-party would be considered a felony and would be punishable by a minimum of 30 years in prison. This law would affect aides and family, as well.

 25.  Elect Presidents with business savvy, leadership and management experience –  “Twinkles Up”.  Do not elect “buff” spoiled brats who spend most of their time looking in the mirror, blaming Bush and playing golf. That would be “Twinkles Down”.**

(**For everyone who is working and NOT a OWS protestor, “Twinkles Down” means “bad” in protestor speak.)

tête-à-tête

Though I am a political and social conservative with a strong libertarian streak I often read the opposition’s pabulum in order to discern whether I am holding on to what is good.  This deliberate questioning of my conservatism has helped me to further understand my own ideology and has helped put into contrast the false thinking that is prevalent today, most notably found in liberalism, progressivism and atheism.

 It should be noted here that I came to my understanding of my conservatism/libertarianism through my own reading (early on, Milton and Rose Friedman’s book Free to Choose) and by listening to programs such as Firing Line with the likes of William F. Buckley Jr..  My conservative ideology, as I told my attorney recently, is not the result of my viewership of FOX news. FOX News only highlights what I already know to be true and false.

An aside:  My attorney who is a Democrat once told me how he picks jurors for his accident injury trials:  The attorney asks perspective jurors if they watch FOX News or listen to Rush Limbaugh to determine if they are Republicans or Democrats. He pejoratively calls such Republicans “Rush Limbaugh Republicans”. The reason for his disdain of these Republicans:   he said that most Republicans believe in torte reform and ridding the courts of frivolous lawsuits.  My attorney won’t pick them to be a juror. They would likely vote against a substantial injury award. Ergo, my attorney wouldn’t win enough money for his client or himself (usually 40% take of the award compensation)

My attorney didn’t describe the Democrat jurors. He left me to believe that they were the opposite of Republicans with regard to willingness to make someone pay out.  Many attorneys are liberal Democrats (including their well-known lobbyists Obama, Eric Holder, Rahm Emmanuel, etc.). Many of these attorneys use frivolous lawsuits to make a living.  They are called the “ambulance chasers” (or, in Obama’s and Emmanuel’s case, the “crisis chasers”).

I let my attorney know that I did watch Fox News but that I didn’t listen to Rush Limbaugh, Jon Stewart or to Bill Maher. I told him I was my own conservative:   I related to him that I was a William F. Buckley Jr.-Milton Friedman-Neal Cavuto-Christian conservative. I wasn’t bought by what money I could weasel out of someone’s pocket. (BTW, as a Conservative I am not against accident lawsuits, only injustice.)

That aside, beyond my own research into political ideology, economics and morality, in school I also studied economics, finances, accounting and business among other related courses. These studies helped me see that free market enterprise and capitalism creates the most opportunities and the most wealth for everyone. And, that charity is both what you have to give (maybe a widow’s mite) and the desire to give.

 My belief in God came through my reading of the Bible and, specifically, the eyewitness accounts recorded therein. The historically factual account of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection as recorded in the Gospels was sufficient proof for me.

 I am currently reading two books:  essays by Christopher Hitchens in a book titled Arguably, copyright 2011, and The Thomas Sowell Reader, copyright 2011.

 Christopher Hitchens is a well-known left-winger and atheist, born in England and living in America.  He became an American citizen in 2007.  He is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, Slate and The Atlantic. His books include, among many, Thomas Jefferson: Author of America and God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.

 I am reading Hitchens’ book even though I do not agree with his positions on most issues and most decidedly his atheism. His pronouncements against the fascism of Islam I do agree with.  I do like his breadth of knowledge in literature and his love of the English language. I enjoy his way of writing and his way of stating things. And, as I read I do make marginal notes wherever I disagree with his thinking. As a writer I continue to learn a lot about the art of essay writing from Hitchens.

 Here is a blurb about Hitchens’ book, ARGUABLY, from the Richard Dawkins Foundation website:

 The first new book of essays by Christopher Hitchens since 2004, ARGUABLY offers an indispensable key to understanding the passionate and skeptical spirit of one of our most dazzling writers, widely admired for the clarity of his style, a result of his disciplined and candid thinking. Topics range from ruminations on why Charles Dickens was among the best of writers and the worst of men to the haunting science fiction of J.G. Ballard; from the enduring legacies of Thomas Jefferson and George Orwell to the persistent agonies of anti-Semitism and jihad. Hitchens even looks at the recent financial crisis and argues for the enduring relevance of Karl Marx. The book forms a bridge between the two parallel enterprises of culture and politics. It reveals how politics justifies itself by culture, and how the latter prompts the former. In this fashion, ARGUABLY burnishes Christopher Hitchens’ credentials as-to quote Christopher Buckley-our “greatest living essayist in the English language.” (emphasis mine)

 Regarding this blurb, while I would certainly disagree with the relevance of Karl Marx as an answer to anything I would agree with what is said about Hitchens’ art. It is a product of one of the greatest living essayists in the English language.

 About Christopher Hitchen’s athesim, I believe that those who are most adamantly opposed to knowledge of God are often those who are the closest to the Truth, as was the case of another profound English writer and apologist, C.S. Lewis.  Lewis was an atheist turned agnostic turned believer.   Lewis’s writings are characterized by a lightly carried erudition, critical thinking, psychological insight, humor and sympathy. 

It is my prayer that Christopher Hitchens will someday soon come “kicking and screaming into the Kingdom of God” just as Lewis, a reluctant convert. (Update:  Hitchens died recently.)

 Christopher Hitchens currently has throat cancer. He has difficulty speaking and certainly cannot lecture.  From a lover of the  English language perspective, this throat business must give him great pain and a deep sense of loss. Pray for him.

 Turning to Thomas Sowell’s The Thomas Sowell Reader I find a treasure trove of wonderful essays and articles written by a well read economist, social theorist, political philosopher and conservative Black American. Sowell uses easy to understand commonsense language in his writings. Most would find this book accessible and informative. It is this simplicity which more than anything defines truth and true conservatism. Liberalism, much like in Hitchens’ writing, seeks to overwhelm the reader with its own great knowledge and pompous profundity. Not so with Thomas Sowell. His plain spoken and humble writing speaks louder than any hubris.

 Here are some excerpts from a chapter titled The Survival of the Left, from The Thomas Sowell Reader:

 Biologists explain how organisms adapt to their physical environment, but ideologues also adapt to their social environment.  The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.

The academic world is the natural habitat of half-baked ideas, except for those fields I which there are decisive tests, such as science, mathematics, engineering, medicine—and athletics. In all these fields, in their differing ways, there comes a time when you must either put up or shut up.  It should not be surprising that all other fields are notable exceptions to the complete domination of the left on campuses across the country

 You might think that the collapse of communism throughout Eastern Europe would be considered a decisive failure for Marxism, but academic Marxists in America are utterly undaunted.  Their paychecks and their tenure are unaffected.  Their theories continue to flourish in the classrooms and their journals continue to litter the library shelves.

 Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it..

 Nor is economic failure the worst of it.  The millions slaughtered by Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot for political reasons are an even grimmer reality…

 Academia is only one of the places where totally subjective criteria rule—and where leftists dominate.

 Sowell goes on to list these “places”:  foundations, museums, cultural institutions such as the Smithsonian, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Humanities and taxpayer supported “public” TV and radio.

 These endowed and insulated institutions, often full of contempt for the values of American society and Western civilization, are not the only bastions of the left counter-culture. So are Hollywood and Broadway.  Although show biz faces the financial need to get an audience, the truth of what they portray is hardly crucial.  If they can make it punchy and sexy, then those who complain about historical inaccuracies and ideological bias can be dismissed as irrelevant pedants.

 Why are leftists able to crowd out other kinds of people from these places?  Because those who are willing to subject themselves to the test of reality, whether as a businessman in the marketplace or as surgeon in an operating room, have many other places to work and live.They do not need special sheltered niches in which to hide and to cherish their precious notions.

 Darwinian adaptation to environment applies not only to nature but also to society. Just as you don’t find eagles living in the ocean or fish living on mountain tops, so you don’t find leftists concentrated where ideas have to stand the test of performance. (emphasis mine)

I have to get back to my reading… Here’s Christopher Hitchens and William F. Buckley Jr. in conversation.

Genus Envy or How to Covet the “Hero” Class ala Paul Krugman of the New York Times

It was just a few days ago that I noticed a bumper sticker on the rear-end of a Subaru:

THE MORE PEOPLE I MEET
THE MORE I LIKE MY DOG.

 

After reading that bumper sticker I was taken aback.  Now, after reading Paul Krugman’s New York Times Sept. 11th, 2011 opinion piece I would definitely buy a bumper sticker that read:

THE MORE PEOPLE LIKE PAUL KRUGMAN I MEET
THE MORE I LIKE MY DOG.

 

The Real Hero of 9-11.

I’m going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons.