Archives For Politics
The journey of Conservative opinion on Joe Lieberman is a bit of delightful irony. Just nine years ago he was the Democrat VP candidate, and we were all saying he was a liberal hack. Today he’s a the valiant subject of the angst of all his Democrat colleagues & the subject of this assault from buffoon Al Franken…
The Minnesota Republican Party is saying Franken’s actions were an embarrassment. Unfortunately we think the real embarrassment ought be Minnesota’s for sending the non-humorous clown to represent its interests.
The humorous way in which Al Gore carries himself – in tandem with his claims of internet authorship and ‘lockbox’ lore – have made the former VP and top job aspirant one of the most entertaining political fixtures of the decade. This week, he added to that legend by reading aloud an epic poem he penned regarding earth’s impending doom…
And if you didn’t catch that in exquisite accuracy, here it is in text form (via the HuffPost):
This here is a tribute to the greatest president of my lifetime. A man who carried himself with great dignity, humility, and upright character. A man who, not even a year into his presidency, was thrown into a tragedy that would define the rest of his presidency. He chose a path that would bode great conflict domestically and abroad; a path that was the right path to take.
A great thing about this president is that not only did he make the right decisions and do what was right for our country, he did it whilst being criticized by the mass media and many politicians. He was not well loved coming out of his presidency, but now that the dust has settled from the dirt clods hurled at him from all sides, people are starting to realize that “Hey, we didn’t have it so bad after all.” No, we didn’t have it so bad, we had it pretty darn good. Was he perfect? Nope. Did he make some mistakes? Of course. But did he own up to those mistakes and take the blame like a man? YES. Time may remember him for his lack-luster speaking skills, or it may remember him for his great policies and how he kept Americans safe, it’s up in the air. I will do my part to make sure a few people remember him for what he truly was, a strong leader and a great man.
I’m talking about one George W. Bush. A president that people may one day recognize as a great man and president. A president that perhaps people will stop blaming for their problems (my sons a brat, it’s Bush’s fault!). A president that tried to move away from big government, all while dealing with terrorist threats and appeasing the Left. A real president of the REAL U.S.A.
It’s about time we see the same from our present administration.
A TWG Podcast special… You’ve doubtless heard at least the first lines of the legendary ‘The Night Before Christmas’. But we’d wager a trek to Siberia you’ve never heard it quite like this.
We take you to Washington, two weeks before Christmas, where Keith Olberman, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer, Max Baucus, and a certain jolly old chief executive are about to join together for one of the most remarkable holiday tales of the year…
Just for kicks, last week during the speech class I teach, I told one of my students during impromptu time to share with the class what he liked about President Obama. He choked on himself for several minutes and then declared that he didn’t like ANYTHING about President Obama and could not answer the question.
I recently participated in a facebook thread about how Obama said America was not a Christian nation which people interpreted as:
a) precipitating the fall of western civilization and
b) clearly identifying Obama as the antichrist.
In the circles I run in, typically Christian, conservative and Republican, hating Obama and everything about him seems to be sort of the in thing to do. But today, I wanted to stop and ask the people who surround me: which Obama do you hate?
Everyone in the world is at least two people at one time, sometimes more. There is the person we really are deep down inside who we may only know partially ourselves and we are always at least a little afraid or ashamed of. Then there is the person we project to the world around us, who we should be or want to be. Barack Hussein Obama has both of these persons, and a bonus third person; the person varying members of the media portray him to be. And so, there are at least three Barack Hussein Obama’s we as the American public can respond to: Media Obama, Projected Obama and the real Obama.
It is fairly easy, as a conservative, to dislike if not hate the Media Obama, and also not terribly difficult to dislike the Projected Obama (even if that’s harder to do). But can we actually say that we dislike or hate Obama the person? We don’t even know him.
Now, we can disagree with, dislike and hate his decisions or actions; we can disagree with or hate his ideas or statements or policies. But we cannot hate him. Blind hatred is even more foolish and dangerous than blind love.
Today, I paused to read the transcript of Obama’s speech about sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. I thought it was a fantastic speech; clear and concise, enlightening and inspiring. But I smiled to myself at the thought that, had Bush given it, my whole speech class would have welcomed it with thunderous applause.
I would very much like to respond to people’s overreaction to Obama and the state of our nation more thoroughly, but I will save it for another time. I will simply conclude by saying that Obama, and any other politician you could care to name, is at best and worst a human being shoved into the role of demigod. While we should be free and intentional about critiquing and sometimes condemning his decisions, policies or ideas, we should be much slower to criticize much less condemn a man we don’t even know.
As we learned simple agricultural concepts and other primitive crafts like pottery, the tribal unit undertook these tasks and added them to hunting and foraging, because they made self-preservation easier. Gathering berries with a basket is, after all, easier than doing it without. But labor was still undifferentiated. If a family wanted a pot or a basket, they had to make it themselves, all while still going into the hinterland to spear a wild goat so they could eat.
This, you can imagine, wasn’t very efficient. Every member of the family had to be trained in every task and perform every task, meaning no one ever really became an expert in anything they were doing. But – and we assume this happened gradually – eventually people realized that if they specialized in only one task and did none of the others, and their neighbors specialized each one in only one task and did none of the others, everyone could trade what they produce in order to obtain what they need. Moreover, because everyone now spends seriously more time doing one job, they understand what they are doing much better, and produce much more. A full time potter will now produce far more pottery in one fourteen hour day than fourteen other people would ever have been able to make if they only made pots one hour a day, and also grew grain, wove textiles, made tools, etc., etc. all the rest of the day. This expert knowledge provided by specialization caused a major increase in production, which was one of the first milestones on the way to our modern economy.
Now, barter systems have a systemic problem. Say a farmer has a little extra grain, and he needs to trade it for some pots. Say a potter has a little extra pottery, and needs to trade it for some linen. Say a weaver has a little extra linen, and he needs to trade it for some grain. No single trade between any two people can get both those two people the good they need. In a barter system, two people both need to have a good the other one wants. This doesn’t always happen. It is on account of this that eventually people found it useful to trade goods for weights of metals, and eventually, minted coins, and later, paper currency. With currency, only one person in a trade has to have a good the other one wants. The other simply has to have money, which everyone wants, because everyone will accept it.
That explains more or less how we developed from a hunter-gatherer economy to a modern, currency-oriented economy, although I’m skipping a huge number of steps. I’ve only selected the basics necessary to make three points about work, wealth, currency, and charity.
First, government cannot run the economy like a charity while expecting the economic system to work like an economic system. Our entire modern economic system has the aforementioned for its footing, a system which exists for self-gratification. Charity is the antonym to self-gratification. It is not the purpose of those who work every day to pay for someone else’s comfort. If not working provides the same self-gratification as working, people won’t work. Generosity is certainly a virtue, and it’s great when someone gives to help another, but that’s not the purpose for which our economy exists.
Second, currency isn’t wealth, and giving people currency is not the same thing as giving them wealth. Currency is a token which people choose to believe is worth something, but it is only worth something to the degree that people are willing to believe it is worth something. Now if the government’s response to poverty is to give the poor more currency, that’s primarily going to devalue the currency. If society has believed that a certain unit of currency is worth a day’s wages, but suddenly everyone has extra currency, and they spend it, and workers begin selling more and more goods, so that they’re earning way more than a day’s worth of wages in a day (simply on account of volume, although increased demand will also drive up prices causing even more income), society will simply decide money isn’t worth what it used to be worth, and both wages and prices will rise. Now, with both wages and prices rising about equally, people will still have roughly the same purchasing power, so giving the poor money didn’t improve their position at all, but savings have been eroded by the devaluation of money. If charities give a little money to the poor, it won’t be enough to trigger this. But if governments try to apply this approach to all of poverty, it certainly will.
This transitions well into the third point: the only real way to increase a person’s wealth is to increase his work output or increase his work’s value. This entire economic system is based on the principle that everyone will specialize in one kind of work and trade their goods. Therefore, wealth comes from working. If in the last scenario the government hadn’t given the poor money, but all the unemployed had instead obtained jobs, they would all be producing goods which the businesses they worked for would sell, getting money with which to pay their paychecks. We still have a large number of people receiving money they didn’t have before, just like in the former scenario, but there is no devaluation of currency, because that money is divided among a now larger number of stores, a larger number because of the new businesses employing the unemployed.
Now if you know Latin, you know the title of this note is “Against Charity.” And I’m not really against charities. They catch people who fall through the cracks. But if the government is to have a job, it can’t be to catch people who fall through the cracks, it has to be to just patch the cracks. If the government is to be concerned about the economy (and I’m not saying to what degree it should or shouldn’t be involved, or to what degree, at least not here) for these reasons it has to address the matter of employment predominantly, and leave charitable ambitions to other entities. The key to wealth from within the economic system is steady employment, nothing else.
From the Onion… a day in the life of the Obama teleprompter…
Bits and pieces of the former governor’s new book are popping up all o’er the interweb. The Drudge Report & AP were the first news sources to get their mitts on a copy, but it was a portion of the work posted by the Huffington Post that reminded us why we’re so looking forward to reading Palin’s tome! From the Huff Post:
I love meat. I eat pork chops, thick bacon burgers, and the seared fatty edges of a medium-well-done steak. But I especially love moose and caribou. I always remind people from outside our state that there’s plenty of room for all Alaska’s animals — right next to the mashed potatoes.
- Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin