October 30, 2008
October 20, 2008
"Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none."
-- Thomas Jefferson (First Inaugural Address, 4 March 1801)
Blog break redux
I am on a business trip this week, and will be unable to update this blog during that time. Hopefully, I can resume on Saturday.
See you then.
October 19, 2008
"In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature."
-- James Madison (Federalist No. 52, 8 February 1788)
October 18, 2008
"Finally, there seem to be but three Ways for a Nation to acquire Wealth. The first is by War as the Romans did in plundering their conquered Neighbours. This is Robbery. The second by Commerce which is generally Cheating. The third by Agriculture the only honest Way; wherein Man receives a real Increase of the Seed thrown into the Ground, in a kind of continual Miracle wrought by the Hand of God in his favour, as a Reward for his innocent Life, and virtuous Industry."
-- Benjamin Franklin (Positions to be Examined, 4 April 1769)
October 17, 2008
"Now is the seedtime of continental union, faith and honor. The least fracture now, will be like a name engraved with the point of a pin on the tender rind of a young oak; the wound would enlarge with the tree, and posterity read in it full grown characters."
-- Thomas Paine (Common Sense, 1776)
October 16, 2008
"To prevent crimes, is the noblest end and aim of criminal jurisprudence. To punish them, is one of the means necessary for the accomplishment of this noble end and aim."
-- James Wilson (Of the Study of the Law in the United States, Circa 1790)
October 15, 2008
"There is little need of commentary upon this clause. No man can well doubt the propriety of placing a president of the United States under the most solemn obligations to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution. It is a suitable pledge of his fidelity and responsibility to his country; and creates upon his conscience a deep sense of duty, by an appeal, at once in the presence of God and man, to the most sacred and solemn sanctions, which can operate upon the human mind."
-- Joseph Story (Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833)
October 14, 2008
"It is very imprudent to deprive America of any of her privileges. If her commerce and friendship are of any importance to you, they are to be had on no other terms than leaving her in the full enjoyment of her rights."
-- Benjamin Franklin (Political Observations)
October 13, 2008
"Work as if you were to live 100 Years, Pray as if you were to die To-morrow."
-- Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard's Almanack, 1757)
Some things just never seem to change . . .
"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."
-- Cicero , 55 BC
October 12, 2008
"I never expect to see a perfect work from imperfect man."
-- Alexander Hamilton (Federalist No. 85, 1788)
October 11, 2008
"Among the features peculiar to the political system of the United States, is the perfect equality of rights which it secures to every religious sect. "
-- James Madison (letter to Jacob de la Motta, August 1820)
October 10, 2008
"At the establishment of our constitutions, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency of the means provided for their removal gave them a freehold and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to concern individual suitors only, pass silent and unheeded by the public at large; that these decisions, nevertheless, become law by precedent, sapping, by little and little, the foundations of the constitution, and working its change by construction, before any one has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm has been busily employed in consuming its substance. In truth, man is not made to be trusted for life, if secured against all liability to account."
-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to Monsieur A. Coray, 31 October 1823)
October 09, 2008
"It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution."
-- Thomas Jefferson, 1781 - Notes on Virginia Query 19
Big government = big problems
Goerge Mason University economist, Walter Williams, describes what really caused the sub-prime mortgage crisis and how the so-called bailout is seriously flawed.
In my more cynical moments, I think that we Americans deserve what we get from our politicians, many of whom can be generally described as nothing less than loathsome. You say, "Williams, that's a pretty heavy putdown." My question to you is how else would you describe these congressmen who are now blaming the financial mess on the failure of the free market? Starting with the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, that was given more teeth during the Clinton administration, Congress started intimidating banks and other financial institutions into making loans, so-called subprime loans, to high-risk homebuyers and businesses. The carrot offered was that these high-risk loans would be purchased by the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Anyone with an ounce of brains would have known that this was a prescription for disaster but there was a congressional chorus of denial.
Five years ago, Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) vouched for the "soundness" of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and said, "I do not see any possibility of serious financial losses to the treasury." In 2004 congressional hearings, where the Bush administration sought greater oversight over Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said, "We do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac and particularly at Fannie Mae," adding that "the GSEs have exceeded their housing goals." Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) said, "There's nothing wrong with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac." In these hearings Barney Frank said that he doesn't see "anything in the reports that raises safety and soundness problems." Earlier this year, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) praised Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for "riding to the rescue" to help people get home mortgage loans, adding that they "need to do more" to help high-risk borrowers get better loans.
The financial collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is not a failure of the free market because lending institutions in a free market would not have taken on the high-risk loans. They were forced to by the heavy hand of government. The solution is not a taxpayer-financed bailout. The solution is to let them fail and allow the people who invested in them, as well as the people who purchased homes they couldn't afford, suffer the losses. Of course that takes a level of political courage that is in short supply. There are other measures that should be taken as part of a second-best solution.
Go read the rest.
A Congress dominated by Democrats and B.O. in the White House will mean a world of hurt for America in terms of the economy, foreign policy, and personal liberties.
Mark my words. . .
October 08, 2008
"The consciousness of having discharged that duty which we owe to our country is superior to all other considerations."
-- George Washington, 1788 - letter to James Madison
"I believe the biggest threat is big government, but it is supported by and feeds on big labor, and I fear that there are those in business who see a chance at monopoly, whether they use the word or not, if they go along with big government. I'm afraid the fight is never-ending, but we must continue."
-- Ronald Reagan
On the economic downturn
"For forty years or more this country has been following the lute song of the liberals. Suddenly, when they came undone with their planned economy, their deficit spending, and their deliberately planned inflation, which they said would maintain prosperity, how the hell do conservatives get blamed?"
-- Ronald Reagan
Applies to our current crisis, as well.
October 07, 2008
"The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments, in times of peace and security."
-- James Madison (Federalist No. 45, 1788)
Who is Obama? Really.
What do we know about Barack Obama? His autobiographies and his official history, found on his website, tell us part of the story, but who is he really? Jay Tea, over at Wizbang, points out some interesting facts that are not part of the official narrative.
So, now that Obama is heading up the CAC, with a nine-figure budget to improve Chicago's schools, what does he do?
Well, he oversees out the doling of money not to the schools themselves, but to "outside partners" who, in turn, work with the schools. Outside partners like Ayers' "Peace School," which pushes an internationalist, pro-UN world view on young students. Outside partners like Ayers' old crony, Maoist Mike Klonsky, who took $175,000 for his "Small Schools Project." Outside partners like the Trinity United Church of Christ, Obama's church for 20 years and headed by race-baiter and black separatist Jeremiah Wright.
Obama ran the board for four years, then stepped down to a board member for three years longer, until the Foundation shut down in 2002. In the end, they spent over $150 million on improving Chicago's schools.
And the result? A study showed virtually no difference between the schools the Challenge "helped" and those they did not. In short, Obama spent seven years and $150 million and achieved exactly nothing.
Except, of course, lining the pockets of his and Ayers' friends. With money from charities and the people of Chicago.
These are the kinds of things that Obama doesn't want talked about. These are the kinds of things that shows what Obama has done when he is placed in an executive position. These are the kinds of things that sensible people ought to keep in mind when they are deciding who they want to have as their Chief Executive of our nation.
Go read the whole thing.
As I've said before, Barack Obama should scare the hell out of every thinking American.
October 06, 2008
"Cherish, therefore, the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them."
-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to Edward Carrington, 16 January 1787)
October 05, 2008
"One hundred and seventy-three despots would surely be as oppressive as one."
-- James Madison Federalist No. 48, 1 February 1788)
October 04, 2008
Fireproof your marriage
The best contemporary movie for those who value a strong, and happy marriage.
This is one for the cynics, as well. Highly recommended!
Go see it. No, really. It's well worth it.
"The hour is fast approaching, on which the Honor and Success of this army, and the safety of our bleeding Country depend. Remember officers and Soldiers, that you are Freemen, fighting for the blessings of Liberty - that slavery will be your portion, and that of your posterity, if you do not acquit yourselves like men."
-- George Washington (General Orders, 23 August 1776)
October 03, 2008
"Here comes the orator! With his flood of words, and his drop of reason."
-- Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard's Almanack, 1735)
Obama's executive experience
Do we really want this guy to be President of the United States of America? Please read this Wall Street Journal article: Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism On Schools
Here's some of it:
One unsettled question is how Mr. Obama, a former community organizer fresh out of law school, could vault to the top of a new foundation? In response to my questions, the Obama campaign issued a statement saying that Mr. Ayers had nothing to do with Obama's "recruitment" to the board. The statement says Deborah Leff and Patricia Albjerg Graham (presidents of other foundations) recruited him. Yet the archives show that, along with Ms. Leff and Ms. Graham, Mr. Ayers was one of a working group of five who assembled the initial board in 1994. Mr. Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit. No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.
The CAC's agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland's ghetto.
In works like "City Kids, City Teachers" and "Teaching the Personal and the Political," Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? "I'm a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist," Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk's, "Sixties Radicals," at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC.
CAC translated Mr. Ayers's radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with "external partners," which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).
Mr. Obama once conducted "leadership training" seminars with Acorn, and Acorn members also served as volunteers in Mr. Obama's early campaigns. External partners like the South Shore African Village Collaborative and the Dual Language Exchange focused more on political consciousness, Afrocentricity and bilingualism than traditional education. CAC's in-house evaluators comprehensively studied the effects of its grants on the test scores of Chicago public-school students. They found no evidence of educational improvement.
The thought of Obama as President should scare the hell out of every thinking American.
Go read the rest.
October 02, 2008
"This letter will, to you, be as one from the dead. The writer will be in the grave before you can weigh its counsels. Your affectionate and excellent father has requested that I would address to you something which might possibly have a favorable influence on the course of life you have to run; and I too, as a namesake, feel an interest in that course. Few words will be necessary, with good dispositions on your part. Adore God. Reverence and cherish your parents. Love your neighbor as yourself, and your country more than yourself. Be just. Be true. Murmur not at the ways of Providence. So shall the life into which you have entered be the portal to one of eternal and ineffable bliss. And if to the dead it is permitted to care for the things of this world, every action of your life will be under my regard. Farewell."
-- Thomas Jefferson, 1825 - letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith
October 01, 2008
"It is of great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good disposition."
-- Thomas Jefferson, 1785 - letter to Peter Carr
Catching wild pigs
A good friend sent me a story that resonates with where we are today in America . . .
There was a chemistry professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab the professor noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt.
The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country's government and install a new communist government.
In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, 'Do you know how to catch wild pigs?'
The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke. 'You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat, you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.
Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.
The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America . The government keeps pushing us toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc. while we continually lose our freedoms - just a little at a time.
One should always remember: There is no such thing as a free lunch! Also, a politician will never provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.
Also, if you see that all of this wonderful government 'help' is a problem confronting the future of democracy in America , you might want to tell this to your friends. If you think the free ride is essential to our way of life then you will probably delete this, but God help you when the gate slams shut!
In this 'very important' election year, listen closely to what the candidates are promising you - just maybe you will be able to tell who is about to slam the gate on America.
Think about this very carefully because:
'A government that is big enough to give you everything you want, is also big enough to take away everything you have.
- Thomas Jefferson
Are we, as a nation, going to go through that gate next month?