THE SAPIENT SPARROW: conservatism for commoners

"What has always made the State a hell on earth has been precisely that man has tried to make it his heaven."–Holderlin

One helluva way to run a railroad…

…or our country!

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Filed under: economy,

70 Percent: The Myth of the Consumer Economy – By Kevin D. Williamson – Exchequer – National Review Online

70 Percent: The Myth of the Consumer Economy – By Kevin D. Williamson – Exchequer – National Review Online.

Filed under: economy

‘TIS THE SEASON

A couple of days ago, I posed a question that, in part, observed that the POTUS leads in the exact opposite direction that he proposes to go.  In this piece from biggovernment.com, the author asks, “Is it opposite day?”

Scare Tactics: Obama Says USA Will ‘Go Bankrupt’ if Senate Bill Not Passed

Nowadays, my strategy when listening to anything coming from the Left is to remember the famous words of Willie Wonka, “Strike that.  Reverse it.”  Then, surprisingly enough, they actually make sense.

Turning to the continuing fallout from “Climategate”, Icecap has reported that Russian climate data on temperatures was manipulated by the Hadley Climate Center.  A good, but fairly distressing, read.

Finally, since “’tis the season” for gift-giving, here is a list of books that make great presents for you, someone else and especially for your “Progressive” friends and family. HO! HO! HO!

Economics

Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt

The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek

The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes

Climate Change and Green Policies

Climate Confusion by Roy Spencer

The Deniers by Lawrence Solomon

The Green Crusade: Rethinking the Roots of Environmentalism by Charles T. Rubin

Red Hot Lies by Christopher Horner

Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death by Paul Driessen

U.S. Constitution and Capitalism and Socialism

Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin

How Capitalism Will Save Us by Steve Forbes

The 5000 Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen

Witness by Whittaker Chambers

U.S. Supreme Court

Men In Black by Mark Levin

My Grandfather’s Son by Clarence Thomas

Obviously, there are many great books out there.  However, these are the ones that I know first-hand from reading them myself.  Each has helped to broaden and shape my reasoning, as well as deepen my thinking beyond a “talking-points” mentality.  All are an antidote to the constant “Progressive” rhetoric of the current day.  It is not enough to be against a position, policy, bill, etc.  Not only do we need to know why we are against something, but also why we are for something else instead.  I highly recommend that you treat yourself, or someone you love who shares well, to one or two of these this Christmas to make it a merry one.  Remember, our New Year, with its promise of the 2010 elections is fast approaching!

Filed under: cap & trade, climate change, constitution, economy, healthcare, liberal activism, personal, POTUS, SCOTUS, U.S. GOVERNMENT, , , , , , , ,

Stop the CFPA

Stop the CFPA.

Filed under: congress, economy, LEGISLATION, liberal activism, , , ,

ONE BRIEF SHINING MOMENT: George W. Bush @ SMU

Former President George W Bush

Yesterday, former President George W. Bush spoke at Southern Methodist University.  As he described the vision for the George W. Bush Policy Institute, it felt as if I had awakened from a nightmare to find a bright morning full of possibilities.  President Bush stated his goal of “continued public service” guided by the same personal values that guided his presidency, to wit, empowering the individual to take advantage of opportunities, free markets, personal responsibility, freedom and the dignity and value of the individual.  Furthermore, President Bush emphasized that the Bush Institute would be non-partisan, impact the real world, set goals and measure results.  He outlined four major areas in which the Bush Institute would work: education, global health, freedom and economic growth.

Previously, I might have not listened to this speech at all.  If I had, it would not have had the same impact on me. Yesterday, his words fell on my ear like rain after a particularly dry spell.  After ten months, (has it been only ten months?), of hearing tortured “Obamaspeak”, the same slick boilerplate speeches, the lectures on greed and profit, not to mention the tiring rhetoric that, predictably, ends up blaming “the Former Administration” for worsening conditions, Mr. Bush provided genuine and powerful images of America, great and prosperous again.  This was a speech of substance, not soaring rhetoric.  It was a speech that touched and moved my spirit.  It was the speech of an adult.  It was a speech that never once produced a “shout out”, or overused words like “robust”,  “transparency”, “sustainable”, “back from the brink”, “teaching moment”, “at the end of the day”, etc., etc., etc.

His themes kept catching both my attention and imagination: accountability, measurable outcomes, partnership instead of paternalism, not dictating strategies to others, and above all, freedom.  It fell to Mr. Bush to correct the glaring omission of the Obama Administration at Berlin with respect to the contribution of President Reagan in ending the Cold War.  Mr. Bush, with pride, told the story of how the words of Mr. Reagan encouraged and supported those who fought for freedom behind the Iron Curtain, and eventually allowed them to prevail.  As he described his “Freedom Initiative”, Mr. Bush built on this theme.  What emerged was the picture of internet technology reaching out to dissidents with the message, “as you stand, we will stand with you”.  Using the internet to effect the destruction of totalitarian regimes reminded me of the way that radio, the cutting-edge technology of its day, was used to reach behind the Iron Curtain through Radio Free Europe.  It was a good memory and a powerful one.

Next, President Bush turned to the “Economic Initiative” of the Bush Institute.  He stated clearly that it was “not the job of Government to create wealth, but to create the environment in which it thrives”.  He opined that as this Country moves through the current economic downturn it would be tempting to replace the free market private sector with the “blunt instrument” of Government regulation and control.  But in terms of economic growth, he said, “the problem is not too little government but too much”.  The “Economic Initiative” will focus on economic growth both at home and abroad.  Promoting free trade, as over against protectionism, and cheap, clean, abundant energy.

Finally, Mr. Bush spoke about the promotion of  “social entrepreneurship” and empowering women in all areas through these initiatives.  Before introducing his wife, former First Lady, Laura Bush, he made a last forceful statement, “I am convinced”, he said, “that the women in the Middle East will lead the move to democracy.  They will have an ally in the Bush Institute.”

For one brief shining moment, yesterday, I caught a glimpse of America—strong , prosperous, mighty, benevolent, God-fearing and just.  That is my America, not the one that apologizes, victimizes, coerces, begs foreign money, creeps relentlessly toward socialism, appeases dictators and gives its own, at home and abroad, platitudes and empty promises in the midst of their great need.  Until I heard Mr. Bush yesterday, I had not realized how much I missed his manner, his humor and his steady, unwavering belief in our purpose as a great people who have been immeasurably blessed by this Country.   God bless you, Mr. Bush for refreshing my soul.

In 2010, let us all resolve to find and work for those, who like President Bush will truly discharge their duties as our elected officials with integrity.  Let us find and work for those who share the kind of values delineated in this speech.  Let us find and work for those who share a vision for this Country in keeping with her founding principles.  Let us believe that in so doing, we will stretch one brief shining moment into
a lifetime of lifetimes.

Filed under: economy, education, healthcare, personal, , , , ,

MAGIC MEDICINE SHOW-SPOTLIGHT ON HEALTHCARE REFORM

CaduceusIt is easy to become side-tracked by all of the events coming at us.  Anniversaries at Berlin and Iran, the killings at Ft. Hood, the renewed murmurings about Cap and Trade and the increasingly dismal unemployment numbers.  It is almost easy to forget that the House passed its version of “healthcare reform” late on Saturday night.  As their  “Magic Medicine Show” took center stage to resounding applause, our liberty and prosperity was drug off, unceremoniously, with a noose around its neck.

Now the “healthcare reform” debate moves to the Senate, our last best hope for its defeat.  Therefore, the pressure on our elected representatives in the Senate, must not relent.  It is past time for those who are “undecided” about an Obama-type “healthcare reform” to inform themselves and join in the fight against this monstrosity.  And it is high time for any who believe that Government take-over of healthcare is the road to ruin and have remained silent in their opposition to find their voices.

Today, a friend of mine (hat tip to Joy), forwarded me a picture and comments that, in a pithy way, identifies the fears that the majority of us have with respect to Government-run healthcare.  At Bloomberg, The Financial Times and National Review Online there are articles that discuss the obstacles to the present Bill being passed by the Senate.  These may help you feel a bit better about the possibility of defeat.  Read through them to raise your spirits.

If you are still having difficulty understanding the “Obamaspeak” included in the “Healthcare Reform” bills, Ross Kominsky has written a humorous “dictionary” for you over at Human Events.  My recommendation is to check it out before tackling the article by Dr. Gratzer at Investor’s Business Daily about the expense of Government Healthcare Reform.  For more on the exorbitant cost watch the video from CF&P Foundation below.  Dan Mitchell speaks to one of issues that should persuade the greatest number of people against this Bill, especially in this time of economic distress.  If there is someone out there who does not feel terror over the loss of freedom this Bill causes, perhaps the crushing cost of it will cause some.

Over at Red State, Erick Erickson has a thoughtful article that warns about opposition to the Healthcare Reform bills becoming too narrowly focused.  I agree wholeheartedly that we who are fighting against Government Healthcare must focus on the larger picture lest we win a few battles yet lose the war.

Finally,  I wanted to include a couple of quotes from the esteemed Thomas Sowell.  These provided me a different prospective, as well as sounding a warning for the future.  My hope is that they provide you with the will to continue to stand against this centerpiece of the “Progressive” agenda.  It must not pass!

“One of the few advantages to the country in having Congress overwhelmingly in the hands of one party is that the lack of need to compromise lets the leaders of that party reveal themselves for what they are — in this case, people with unbounded arrogance and utter contempt for the right of ordinary people to live their lives as they see fit, much less the right to know as citizens what laws are going to be passed by their government. The question is whether voters will remember on election day in 2010.”

“Even if this country can survive intact and unharmed after the Obama administration — or, heaven help us, two terms of Obama — the gullibility that led to his being elected in the first place will still be there for some other slick demagogue to come along and get the power to put the American way of life, and even our physical safety, at risk again.”

— Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. © 2009 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

Filed under: congress, economy, healthcare, LEGISLATION, U.S. GOVERNMENT, , , ,

“NOTHING LASTS FOREVER, EVEN COLD NOVEMBER RAIN”

(title of this post from a Guns n’ Roses song of the same name)

NOTE: The author of this post is Caesar 10044.  He holds a PhD in History.  These are his reasons why the current liberal ascendancy cannot last.

1) Barack Obama already appears haggard and joyless.  His lying is probably making him sick.  History will remember him as “Barack the Unready”.

2) Speaker Pelosi is already a laughingstock and will probably suffer a nervous breakdown out of fear of being caught-out in her lies, (a la Tell Tale Heart),

3)Rahm Emanuel is good at street fighting, but I predict that he will blow up at the wrong person at the wrong time.

4)Expect a backlash against paying the huge taxes and utility increases that the “Cap and Trade” Bill will establish.  (I believe that Al gore will eventually be discredited).

5)Should Health Care Reform pass, there will be a backlash against the taxes that will proceed the implementation of the actual Health Care.

6)It is heartening that the first, real bipartisan action is to have Congess compel Mr. Obama to remove his “czars”.  Without them, his power base is weakened.

7)There is a good chance that those radical Democrats, as well as the “Blue Dogs”, who voted for “Pelosicare”, will be looking for new careers in 2010.

8)As people see their own taxes rise, the public will demand that  Rangel and others who have not paid their taxes finally receive their just deserts.

9)People will finally become exasperated at not being able to tell jokes about Obama.

10)I believe that the Health Care Reform bill will be successfully be blocked in the Senate.

11)If a ‘second stimulus’ comes to pass, it will cause enough discontent that moderates and independents will start listening to the ‘Tea Party’ movement.

12)In the foreign policy area, Obama’s decisions about Afghanistan will continue to make him look weak.  If Iran develops a nuclear device, Obama will look even worse, especially with respect to our allies.  If Israel acts on its own and bombs Iran’s nuclear facilities, (as it did in Iraq), Obama will look even more ineffectual.  (Remember, Likud is in power.)

13)If Democrats are expected to “fall on their swords” on behalf of their Congressional leaders (who view them as expendable) the Democrat party will become even more divided and have a lack of trust within its ranks.

14)More young people than one would think do not want to be paying for something created by people who they are realizing lied to them about its benefits to them.  (Graduating college students are already realizing this.)

15)The recent Government take-over of the student loan industry, making no private loans available once “caps” are reached, means no Graduate School for many students.  Less education will make it harder for younger people to compete for jobs with 30-somethings.  It will be too late to blame Bush when they realized this.

16)Look at Great Britain and their “love affair” with Blair.  Now they are sick of Labour and cannot wait for their defeat.

17)People only tolerate corruption when times are good.  (Look up what happened to Bertie Ahern in Ireland if you don’t believe me.)

come_to_the_dark_side

...and a conservative sense of humor.

Filed under: cap & trade, congress, economy, education, healthcare, INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE, LEGISLATION, national defense, POTUS, , , , , ,

ORGANIZED CHAOS

 

federal-outlays-300x227

In his (almost) daily press conference today, the POTUS made comments concerning planning for the “post-bubble growth” of the economy.  He mentioned that “having brought the economy back from the brink…it is time to generate jobs that this economy needs.”  (Ya think?)

He went on to name exports, manufacturing, trade policy and technology as areas from where the economy could find new life.  Okay, I’m game–but not holding my breath, especially if the Keynesian policies that have been the recent norm are continued.  The POTUS did mention millions of “green” jobs being generated from weatherizing and retro-fitting buildings to make them more energy efficient-ummmm?  He also reminded us that our infrastructure is still crumbling, but that given our “fiscal constraints” (we have those?) we need to find ways to finance those projects.  Gee, I thought that was what the stimulus money was supposed to do.  Silly me.

Our “Dear Leader” ended by stating that “having turned the economy around” now is the time to “apply good common sense” to create “sustainable growth”.  I just have chills up my leg every time I hear all these “Obamaspeak” terms.  (Sigh.)

So, the economy is “back from the brink”–probably a reference to the third quarter GDP numbers that came out at the end of the week.  At Red State.com there is a great analysis of those numbers and what they really mean.  (Here’s a hint, the graph above is the CBO projection of what the Federal Budget will look like by 2075–our “back from the brink” today looks a lot like totally “off the cliff” by then.)

dollar sign

Filed under: economy, media, POTUS, , , , , ,

GREEN JOBS=GREEN HOAX

windmill

Ronald Reagan once summed up the Government’s view of the economy, “If it moves, tax it.  If it keeps moving, regulate it.  If it stops moving, subsidize it.”  This view is equally applicable to the present Administration’s energy policy.

The Institute for Energy Research has a study of the European experience with creating “green jobs”.  Since the Europeans have been held up as a model for the U.S. pursuit of “green jobs”, it is crucial that we are informed about the true outcome of this European experiment.  Here is a link to a map that displays the change in electric prices by U.S. region, if the German model is adopted here.

Sparrows, is this really the direction that we want to take in this Country?  Comment at will.

Filed under: cap & trade, economy, INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE, LEGISLATION, , , , ,

Free-fallin’

Over at the Drudge report are two articles about the U.S. dollar falling in value and losing its reserve status.  Economics, I know, is a really dry and complicated topic, however, it is crucial that all we Sparrows at least try and understand what is happening to our currency.  De-valued currency negatively impacts debt, both ours and the Country’s, as well as true economic recovery.

Eventually, (probably sooner than later), all the big Government spending, (read “give-aways”) is going to catch up with our pocketbooks.  For those whose pocketbooks are already lean, Obamanomics are becoming terrifying, but for those whose pocketbooks are empty for lack of employment, these monetary policies are disastrous.

Read Kudlow’s take on what it would take to turn around our Economy.  Ahhh, where are the classical liberal economists when we need them?

Stay involved, Sparrows, and stay informed.  These are the days that try our souls.  Next election cycle will test their mettle.

Filed under: economy, POTUS, U.S. GOVERNMENT, ,

"His eye is on the sparrow, and He surely watches me." --Mrs. Doolittle, 1905

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