Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas...and a Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A path to free market health care solutions

I am enrolling into a health plan at work that will offer a Health Savings Account (HSA), something that I have not had in the past. I am actually quite excited about this plan, we are covered from catastrophe and have more control over our care by having an account that we can spend out of, keeping insurance out of 'most' transactions.

This prompted a vision of an insurance-free society inside my head...

Patient walks into doctors office:, "before you begin, can I see the menu?" Of course, the patient needs to see what the costs are before proceeding. If prices were openly available and subject to scrutiny, just imagine how the doctors would compete, and how the prices would fall.

With a little efforton from the patients (consumers), I think we can bring down costs drastically. Currently patients communicate with doctors, doctors with insurance; while the insurance company and doctors work out the payment, then the doctors forward additional costs to the patient.

Much of the overhead involved in the doctors office comes from the fact that the doctors office is handling all the paperwork. Let's take them back out of it.

I think the patient should sit between the doctor and the insurance company. Let's take the doctors out of the middle. Let the patients do the paperwork and work on getting payment from the insurance companies. Let the patients see the bills!

Many people say that insurance comapnies pay less to doctors than a patient would. I believe this is false. If the patient was involved, asking questions, challenging charges, prices would drop even more. Patients currently don't care because they aren't spending money from their pocket, they just assum insurance will take care of things.

The removal of beauracracy will lower prices. More government involvement will not lower prices, but a little more patient involvement will.

Keep in mind that you can't insure health, only the ability to pay for health care.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Climate Change Update

"SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based. It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years."

Remember when a small group of scientists convinced the world that man was causing global warming? That is the question we'll be asking ourselves in a few years....then we'll laugh and laugh.

My worldview has prohibited me from simply taking this global warming theory and believing it. See, I believe that this world was created by God; created to sustain itself and support life. Asserting that carbon is causing global warming, essentialy places the blame for warming on human existence (since humans breath out carbon). If the existence of humans was bad for the environment, God would have created an alternate race called the Na'vi on a planet called Pandora, a race that didn't exhale carbon.

Worldview matters. There are a thousand scientists with a thousand different explanations. They all interpret the same data, the same facts, but their conclusions are different because of their worldview.

Everyday, I see more and more evidence that supports my worldview, one with God at the center; this is encouraging.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Missing Link

Every year around election time, banners go about a plethora of local issues. Fire, police and school levies abound; the local government just needs a little bit more so they can provide better services. The problem is that we all need just a little bit more.

As I was driving the other day, I realized that what is missing is not a little bit more funding for our local services, but a little bit more community - within the community.

When your house is burning down, it's good to get everyone to safety; but then maybe we should think about saving our house. When your neighbors house is burning down, it might be a good idea to help them rather than just stand back and watch. Our society is gradually becoming trained to stand back and let the "professionals" do their job. Granted, some fires get huge and require special equipment, some criminals can't be reasoned with and some kids just don't want to be in school, but let's take some responsibility for ourselves.

Who's job is it to teach our children how to read, write, add and subtract. It is nice having a system that teaches the basics, but we cannot stand by and expect that system to do everything the way we want it. We cannot expect any system to be funded perfectly and not ever miss a step.

Do we expect our government to feed every hungry person in the country, when we have access to them every day? How much more efficient would it be to simply give a meal to someone, rather than pay someone to setup a program that organizes people to collect food and hire others to distribute it? There is always waste in the buearacratic system.

It may be necessary one do gather with your fellow brothers and sisters on this earth to stand together and say STOP!, when an armed robber steals from a bank. Can we really expect the police to simply be everywhere all the time ready to stop all lawbreakers? Perhaps we should stand together and defend our own communities. Do we really expect the police to handle things while we stand idely by?

Of course some of these examples may be extreme, but the concept is important. Giving more of our resources to the government will never solve the problem, it will only continue to fuel our reliance on government, ultimately forcing us to forget how to care for ourselves and how a community should act in mutual support of each other.

Conservative principles that put people first, lift up the poor and needy, and create success in our own spheres of influence start inside ourselves. We need to stop expecting everything from others and start expecting a little bit from ourselves.

We see the hearts and minds of liberals in the right place in most places, but the left in this country must be insane if they think the problems they champion can ever be solved by more waste and less efficiency.

My unanswered questions are brought up again: When has more government and a socialist mindset ever increased the standard of living for everyone? When has government ever solved the problems they set out to solve?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Big Change, Small Package

Legislating choice is an oxymoron, but that's what our congress is trying to do.

What's the big deal about a 2,000 page bill that deals with a complex system of health care and insurance?

The democrats in congress clearly think bigger is better. The latest bill is over 2000 pages and nearly impossible to understand. If you question the waste of government, ask yourself why they make things so complicated that it needs a team of highly paid lawyers to interpret. In the end, even the people who supposedly wrote the bill have no idea what side-affects will result from its implementation.

Size doesn't matter.

The original United States Constitution was about 4 pages. On top of that, the average person could understand what the document said with relatively little help.

4 pages changed the course of the entire globe and has shaped the globe for over 200 years. The United States constitution set out to protect EVERY individual from one of the most destructive forces in history...government.

When individuals are the priority, the solution becomes very clear. It seems that our leading democrats have put the needs of a few over the needs of the many; this has never worked in the past.

More pages, more cost, more waste.

Less government simply means more choice, less waste, more freedom.

Call your congressman and speak your mind.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Government, Solving Their own Problem

This is part of the discussion that I take issue with, when our government talks about all the problems with the health care system.

President Obama gives examples of doctors doing procedures because they can get reimbursed immediately for large amounts of money. There was an article about the abuses of health care in the New Yorker last spring that talked about the same thing; specifically a town in Texas where Medicare dollars were being spent at a much higher per-capita rate than anywhere else.

The problem with the whole analysis is that we are essentially complaining about how a government-run program like medicare is prompting higher costs in health care and then arguing that we need more government intervention to solve the problem.

The government has created their own problem to solve.

The entire argument actually gets to the point that conservatives have been shouting about for a long time. GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION CAUSES HIGHER PRICES.

We continually hear about how we need to "lower the costs of health care", when in actuality, our current government (and some in the past) just want to pay for the health care, which in turn requires giving them more power and us less freedom.

Lower costs, more choice, more competition will ONLY happen when the government is LESS involved. There is no example of government bringing down the costs of anything. Government involvement only creates more overhead and more waste.

Free markets would require patients to pay what they can. Prices would ultimately adjust and fall in line with what Doctors need and patients can pay. With government involvement, no price equality can exist.

We aren't going to fix our small Medicare/Medicaid problem, by creating one large conglomerate problem - Government-run health care.

The fact remains that when you are spending someone else's money, you don't really care how much of it you spend.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hurry and take your time already

I find it interesting that in matters of war, where men and women are putting their lives on the line everyday, President Obama is taking his time deciding how to support them, thoughtfully weighing all options. This isn't a bad thing, mind you, but interesting compared with other issues on the table.

We are told that the world is coming to an end through man-made global warming and that we must pass a tax on the air we breath; on top of the fact that health-care costs are so high that many people can't afford it, so we must pass legislation immediately to pay for those who don't have health insurance.

Why not put a little thought into these things?

Seeing that the more we learn about the proposed legislation for taxing carbon and a government run health care program, the less popular those solutions become, it starts to make sense.

The White House and leading democrats claim that the "far right" are trying to defeat needed legislation for the poor and sick in this country, yet republicans are in no position to stop any legislation. The delays are telling because many of the democrats have not bought-in to the radical changes being proposed. At least we know that there are still a bunch of leaders - both democrat and republican - who don't simply lock-step with the party leaders; they seem to be listening to their constituents who think the proposed changes will be bad for the country.

I am inclined to keep asking the question: When has more government involvement ever led to less spending and lowered costs? I see no evidence for this. If the goal was to truly lower health care costs, the government would get out of the way of doctors and hospitals. Demanding more power and more control does not lower costs.

We should all be demanding to get the right legislation done. Reforming health care for the sake of reforming health care will get us nowhere and could easily cause more harm than good. Taxing the air we breath is simply ludicrous.

We need to slow down and think about the decisions that will affect every person in this country. As for the men and women dying right now, maybe we should think about them before some ice that is 'supposedly' melting or giving health care to illegal aliens.

Actions speak louder than words. The priorities seem backwards to me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Health Care Decline

Looks like the House votes on their version of the Health Care bill this weekend.

If you don't like people wasting your money, call your representatives and tell them no.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Absolutely Not

Prompted by our sermon series at church and a Nooma video that I just watched, I was just thinking on my way home tonight...

An Atheist might argue that Christianity is a hypocritical faith. Christians have committed atrocities throughout history, while preaching the Word of God and his message of peace.

The funny part is that by admitting that any kind of atrocity exists throughout history, the athiest - in this case - is admitting that right and wrong exists. Right and wrong can only exist within a system of absolute truth. Absolute truth can only exist through an intelligent creator.

I'm just saying....

Monday, October 12, 2009

Is it hot in here?

Here is an interesting article from the BBC.

This article kind of pulls a lot of the information that many scientists have been saying for years. When predictions don't come true, it kind of makes you examine the information and assumptions behind the predictions. Seems like I remember someone calling Global Warming "settled science".

I am not in a position to scientifically prove or disprove global warming, but it is clearly not settled science. When an entire countries economy is being affected by the theory of man-made global warming, the results could be disastrous. Let's control what we can control. We can control the waste of government spending, if we begin to control the people who supposedly represent us.

This article does prove one thing; we run to the "science" that supports our world view. Same facts, different interpretations.

I could go on......I need to think about this for a while.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Civility 110 - Rules 11-20

11: Shift not yourself in the Sight of others nor Gnaw your nails.

12: Shake not the head, Feet, or Legs roll not the Eyes lift not one eyebrow higher than the other wry not the mouth, and bedew no mans face with your Spittle, by approaching too near him when you Speak.

13: Kill no Vermin as Fleas, lice ticks &c in the Sight of Others, if you See any filth or thick Spittle put your foot Dexterously upon it if it be upon the Cloths of your Companions, Put it off privately, and if it be upon your own Cloths return Thanks to him who puts it off.

14: Turn not your Back to others especially in Speaking, Jog not the Table or Desk on which Another reads or writes, lean not upon any one.

15: Keep your Nails clean and Short, also your Hands and Teeth Clean yet without Showing any great Concern for them.

16: Do not Puff up the Cheeks, Loll not out the tongue rub the Hands, or beard, thrust out the lips, or bite them or keep the Lips too open or too Close.

17: Be no Flatterer, neither Play with any that delights not to be Play'd Withal.

18: Read no Letters, Books, or Papers in Company but when there is a Necessity for the doing of it you must ask leave: come not near the Books or Writings of Another so as to read them unless desired or give your opinion of them unasked also look not nigh when another is writing a Letter.

19: Let your Countenance be pleasant but in Serious Matters Somewhat grave.

20: The Gestures of the Body must be Suited to the discourse you are upon.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Civility 110 - Rule 10

"When you Sit down, Keep your Feet firm and Even, without putting one on the other or Crossing them."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Civility 110 - Rule 9

"Spit not in the Fire, nor Stoop low before it neither Put your Hands into the Flames to warm them, nor Set your Feet upon the Fire especially if there be meat before it."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The example of the Founders

"You mention quite a bit how the founding fathers were giving these rights of life, liberty, and right to private property for EVERY person. Even when they wrote it they had slaves and women couldn't own anything so how can we follow their Ideals when they didn't do it themselves?" - Rogue Commenter

Yes, many of the founders had slaves; and women had minimal rights if any compared to their male counterparts. The answer to this question, in my opinion, lies in looking at the culture of the times and seeing how the work of the founders led to the freedoms that we enjoy today.

The early Americans had lived in a monarchy before the emancipation of the states. Most people were used to this structure of society, and felt comforted by it. Freedom scared many, as it did not George Washington was so popular that many saw him as a king, some even demanded that he become the king of America. He had already seen where this system of government had led, and understood why it failed.

During these times, slavery was the norm. The limited rights of women were the norm. Regardless of whether it was right or wrong, everyone was accustomed to this structure and had no grounds to question it. It definitely wasn't going to be changed quickly.

As our country was founded, however, something changed. Our founders agreed that a law existed, that granted rights to men that could not be taken away. Our founders recognized that there was an absolute truth. This absolute truth is what guides the foundation of our law: Life, Liberty and the right to Private Property. It is this absolute truth, that liberal progressives today fail to recognize.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." - excerpt from the Declaration of Independence

Unalienable rights is the key phrase here. This means that we all have rights that cannot be given or taken by other men. This is the foundation of the republic that we live in.

The perfectly discerning person of the day, might recognize that women and slaves immediately deserved the same rights as others enjoyed. The culture had to catch up with the law. The new structure was drastically different from the laws people had previously lived under. People were now responsible for their own well-being, their own failures and their own success. All these changes by simply re-inforcing a few basic principles...unalienable rights.

In short, although our founders may not have the perfect example, they are responsible for creating a system that freed the slaves and allowed women the same rights as men.

Looking forward, it is plain to me that the liberal progressive segment of our culture does not see the founding of our country the same way. They lead with their emotion, rather than their intellect. The free-market capitalist system that we live in today, under our constitution, has created the greatest and most successfully country in history. I believe it is no accident that the world has taken so many technological and scientific advancements under this system of freedom. Only through freedom can people truly find the best solution to the challenges that face all of us. Is it perfect? NO. I do believe it's as close as we'll ever get, because it allows us to address the imperfections in a way that suits US, not those in control at the top.

The system is designed to limit power at the top. As our country ages, almost every administration and wave of congressman have increased the size of government; which continues to put all our eggs in one basket, not necessarily increasing the problems we face, but limiting out ability to deal with those problems.

More government has never ended with prosperity, only ruin. Our founders knew this; that is why we should look at their lives, understand what caused them to create this great system, and seek to preserve what they founded.

Civility 110 - Rule 8

"At Play and at Fire its Good manners to Give Place to the last Commer, and affect not to Speak Louder than Ordinary."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Civility 110 - Rule 7

"Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Dressed."

I shouldn't have a problem with this one today.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Civility 110 - Rule 6

"Sleep not when others Speak, Sit not when others stand, Speak not when you Should hold your Peace, walk not on when others Stop."

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Civility 110 - Rule 5

"If You Cough, Sneeze, Sigh, or Yawn, do it not Loud but Privately; and Speak not in your Yawning, but put Your handkerchief or Hand before your face and turn aside."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Civility 110 - Rule 4

"In the Presence of Others Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise, nor Drum with your Fingers or Feet."
Does "the presence of others" include your wife?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Civility 110 - Rule 3

"Show Nothing to your Friend that may affright him."

Affright = fear, intimidate, panic, alarm

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Civility 110 - Rule 2

"When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usually Discovered."

I think we could all use a little bit less public fondling of oneself. This is humorous to me.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior - Rule 1

In 1748, at the age of 16, George Washington had penned "110 rules of civility and decent behavior in company and conversation", based on a set of rules written by the French Jesuits in 1595.

I was asked recently what "my blog was all about" and I momentarily forgot. Then I looked up at the title of my blog "Back to Basics" and the URL "ForgottenFoundation..." and reminded myself why I started this writing project. One reason of course was to practice writing, but the second reason was to remind ourselves of the wisdom, prudence and genius of our founders in the creation of the greatest nation on earth.

Our founders created a system that protects every individual; and ensures life, liberty and the right to private property for EVERY person. I believe that as we continue to understand the values and beliefs of our founders, we will come to a greater appreciation of what freedom means, how freedom is preserved and what threatens our freedom.

Our founders were God-fearing men that put their country before themselves. Living by the same rules that they lived by, can only help us to get back to the conservative values that will lead to true progress within our society.

In the spirit of learning about our founders, I am embarking on a mission. Each rule that George Washington penned at the age of 16 will be copied here, possibly translated if the old-English is hard to understand, and I will challenge myself to follow each rule on the day that it is released. Of course, following all the rules, all the time would be preferable, but I prefer baby steps. I'll leave it to you to challenge yourself on these rules. It's basically just good manners, so maybe we can all use a reminder on how to act.

I will also admit that I got this idea from a guest on the Colbert Report. AJ Jacobs spent a year living by these rules. Colbert is a great and credible source for "edutainment", OK, that may be a stretch.

"Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Emergency Health Care...Welfare?

"Those who are most in need of low-cost care are forced out of the market in the name of social justice." -Evan Wondolowski

Emergency rooms across the country are required to provide services to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. You won't hear President Obama reminding us of this! This requirement on ER's is known as the "free-rider" problem to many.

"The free-rider problem in ER care is not a market failure, but a government failure. The Hippocratic Oath notwithstanding, hospitals only accept all patients irrespective of their ability to pay because they are required to by government regulations. These laws, which are in place in countries around the planet, result in a simple welfare scheme whereby the costs of the uninsured are transferred to insured patients. With this reality in mind, it is easy to see that the free-rider problem in ER services is not a market failure, but rather a government failure." - Eric Staib

Intentions aside, health care COSTS are inflated by government intrusion into the system.

How then would a free market handle this?

I'll defer to the Misus Institute for the response.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fiscal Update

The Mises Institute has a great article about economist Pual Krugman, and our nations fiscal positions, on their website. The article highlights some of the big fiscal mistakes made by the Bush administration, and how Krugman is basically playing politics with his ideas. Our leaders are perpetuating the crisis started within the last decade and making it worse, yet Krugman seems to change his tone to support the Obama administration.

Paul Krugman's Identity Crisis

The conclusion:
"America is essentially signing up for a subprime mortgage, and we are assuming that we can simply refinance before the rates reset."

Scary stuff. To get out of debt (or at least on the right path), our leaders are going to have to stop promising everything to everybody and actually act responsibly with OUR money.

Reading regularly, can only improve your understanding of our economy and how it is working today.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Praise Hymns for the New Generation

Do you think any of these kids will be able to fairly criticize someone like President Obama in 20 years...remembering back to when they literally sang songs of praise to him?

I don't remember singing songs like this when I was young. Maybe some good old patriotic tunes, but this?

America's strength lies in its people, its system; not its leaders.

I could comment further, but I'll let this video speak for iteself for a while.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

As if on queue...

This article struck a cord, especially after commenting in my previous post on how the current administration needs to work "on behalf" of people.

Americans are like teenage kids when it comes to energy

People like Steven Chu have forgotten who they ultimately work for, and that their position does not make them smarter than everyone else. Shouldn't we question the "facts" that this guy is preaching to our children? Does it bother anyone else that he is going around to schools spreading information that is potentially false?

The era of personal responsibility will return eventually...hopefully. The government should try protecting us from other countries, external forces...not ourselves. We'll take care of ourselves.

What the founders left out

..."the Constitution is a document of negative liberties [that] says what the states can't do to you, says what the federal government can't do to you but it doesn't say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf." - Barrack Obama circa. 2005

What the federal or state government must do on your behalf?

The answer to this question highlights the foundational differences between a conservative like me, and progressives like many of our current leaders. Many of the republican failures over the years have, from my view, come from leaders being unaware of what is going on. The failures that we will be experiencing due to the leadership in place now will come from the idea that the government MUST act on behalf of people.

Global Warming: Rather than be an example of how we should treat our environment responsibly, our environmental leaders must pass laws that limit our freedoms, so that THEY can improve OUR environment.

Health Care: Progressives across the globe claim that "healthcare" is a fundamental human right. The assumption is that the government knows how to better care for me than I do. I believe that I am free to live, and die, on my own terms. If I smoke for thiry years, and get cancer knowing that smoking could give me cancer; maybe, just maybe I should be responsible these actions. How can we expect any less?

Bailouts: Car company's, banks, newspapers; many of them are failing. What is the answer? Let's have the government take over these companies because they obviously don't know what is good for them.

The big question here is: "What do you think the government should be doing on your behalf?"

Watch the legislation that comes out of Washington (or your local government). My guess is that we will continue to see the results of this mindset. The mindset that thinks they know better than me or you, and they will act on my behalf, regardless of what I say. Hopefully I am wrong.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Quote of the Day

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. -Thomas Jefferson

I may have posted this before, but it re-enforces the idea that questions, through reason, honesty and common sense, will lead us to the truth.

Monday, September 14, 2009

UPDATE: Jobs Created and Saved

President Obama's administration is claiming that his stimulus plan has "saved or created" one million new jobs since February. This is slightly confusing as we see jobless claims jumping around 500,000 each month.

Luckily (by the same logic) our American capitalist private sector has "saved or created" over 130 million jobs this year.

Who do you want running things?

I Keep Going Back

Through a powerful message series at church, the story of a man named Richard Stearns, and some of the thoughts penned in this blog; I am being pulled back to the notion that "science explains how we got here, and faith explains why we are here."

This line of thought extends beyond what some would see as "preaching" because our core beliefs - the very foundations of our thoughts and the cornerstones of our reasoning - influence how we see the world around us and ultimately decide what we believe is RIGHT and WRONG.

Acknowledging that our world views trickle down to affect our actions, choices and convictions is a vital step in coming to the simple realization that people around us believe different things than we do. We cannot understand another world view, until we understand our own.

Science tells us how we got here, at least that is the intent. I think when you get down to it, most scientists will admit that they have no proof behind their findings, but do find some theory is much more likely than other theories to explain a situation. If we revisit Creation vs. Evolution, both sides must admit that they have seen a body of evidence...facts...and that based on their observations, they have determined the most likely cause. There is no denying that the earth is round (roughly), it rains sometimes, there is a large canyon in Arizona called the Grand Canyon, we have rivers and streams, humans breath air, there are some places on earth covered in ice and others covered in sand, etc., etc... These are facts.

I see three different approaches to determining our world view:
1) We can look at the physical world around us, trying to determine the chain of events that causes everything to work as it does.
2) We can look at the historical evidence that was left to us by our ancestors.
3) We can take the philosophical approach and determine why we are here, which would necessarily lead us to how we got here.

Before you even know the question, one of these "approaches to your world view" will be used to guide your thoughts on the matter. [Of course, I might be missing something, so please enlighten me if you have thoughts.] If posed with the question, "how were you created?", you would answer this differently depending on your world view.

No approach is more valid than another. This concept could be difficult for some people to accept. Evidence from one perspective might conflict with evidence from another, but that does not invalidate the perspective. Does it?

We can see a sunset and know why the sun gets lower on the horizon, but can we explain why it is beautiful? Why don't other species like dogs line up every night and watch the sun set? If creation is a series of random acts, can we have thoughts that are ordered and logical? If we are told stories about historical events, are we simply to dismiss them because they don't seem possible at first? Imagine what some tribe thought when they saw the sun blotted out in the sky due to an eclipse...impossible they might say.

I understand why some people compartmentalize their views, but what if the why, how, what, and when agreed with each other?

I think we all face the challenge of reconciling the world views around us, and determining which one we fit into. What assumptions are we taking into a situation?

Back to Politics...

Understanding these thoughts is critical when we get to the social and political topics of the day. When evaluating freedom, liberty, happiness, and responsibility, our world view will affect what we believe. In most cases, we will find that those we disagree with have a different starting point...a different view of the world.

The ironic part of the equation is that because we live in a society that is built on freedom and liberty, many views are shared and discussed in the public arena, yet many want to take away the freedoms and liberties that allow the debate. The reason is always noble and good in the eyes of the beholder; but as we begin giving away part of our freedom, we will ultimately give away all our freedom. Our founders understood this, and gave us all the power to control our own destiny. Let's use that power wisely.

We are told by some that by taking from the rich and giving to the poor, we are doing the right thing. We need to understand what determines RIGHT from WRONG, and realize that what constitutes right in our eyes may be very different than right in someone else's eyes. This is where our world views come into play.

Our founders understood that our basic rights came from a higher power. Conservatism is about protecting our basic rights. Where the progressive movement might think they are building equality, they are most often creating division and inequality. Conservatism is about protecting the system, so that it doesn't destroy itself, and allows all men to have the same opportunities and protections within it.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I have been absent for a while. Part fatigue, part frustration, part looking for a new spin on things. Debate excites me because it brings questions, or perhaps more accurately, it brings answers to questions.

When you are questioned, you are forced to really examine and defend what you believe. If you are asked why you believe socialized medicine is the right path for this country, or why you think that cap-and-trade will devastate the economy, you are forced to develop an answer. It is not enough to say that you HEARD on the radio that something won't work or that your local congressman SAID they believed that debt might ruin the successes of this country. If you are asked a question for which you must provide an answer, you will either tell yourself and others why you believe, or be shown that you don't really know. This can be equally illuminating to yourself as it can be for others around you.

The curse of a forum like this is that we don't really have to answer the questions that we don't have an answer for; but the beauty is that when we aren't quite sure what our answer is, we can take a moment, think, ponder, and decide what our answer is.

It may sound silly, but when I started this blog, I purposefully put my name on real name. It's easy to hide behind a false name and to remain anonymous. It's easy to keep saying that you think both sides are wrong and we should all just get along. It's easy to NOT take a stand. However, things can get tricky when our beliefs become knows; when we take a stand on an issue and say this is ABSOLUTELY true. Absolutes are a big problem for a lot of people.

It has become clear to me that without criticism, without someone questioning my beliefs, I can never really know them to be true. Further, without the questions, and the resulting answers, we can never really lead ourselves to real solutions that solve the problems we face.

We are told by our progressive leaders today that they embrace debate and want to bring all views together to craft legislation that will allow everyone to prosper. The problem lies in the 1000 pages bills that they have already crafted behind closed doors, waiting in the wings to unleash on the masses. No debate. No questions. In fact, they give us answers without the questions.

I expect to be questioned, because without the questions, I won't find the answers. I haven't been disappointed by conservative values yet. When the rights of the individual are upheld and extended to each person regardless of color, social status, economic status, religion or hair color, every person wins. I love to answer the questions of those who disagree. Hopefully we can all start answering questions, taking a stand, and stop pretending that un-answered questions don't really matter.

Monday, August 31, 2009

We Must Understand History

To achieve real progress, I think it is imperative that we understand history. Our ideas must be born on the understanding of what has worked or not worked in the past. Our own personal philosophies and experiences alone cannot be relied upon to guide progress.

I think progress should be an expansion of freedom, opportunity, understanding and success for everyone.

Here's what I don't understand: Today's progressives want to take away the successes and freedoms of the rich to ensure opportunity and success for the poor. Can this really happen?

It seems to defy logic that by taxing success, we can encourage people to succeed.

Of course, by not being a true "progressive" (in today's progressive sense of the word), I don't fully understand the agenda and what is meant to be accomplished by it. I do know that the more we rely on government to provide for our needs, the less we will be able to provide for ourselves if the need ever arises.

Does reliance really ever benefit anyone? The only benefit I can see might be that those relied upon have more power, control and influence.

My view of history shows me that our founding fathers understood how to achieve true progress. In turn, they created a system that would ensure everyone had the same opportunities, the same rights, the same freedoms and the same responsibilities.

Today's progressives seem to think they know better than history, yet none can explain to me how their ideas and philosophies have ever succeeded. We need to challenge these ideas...if they really work, our challenges will only make them better and stronger.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What Improvement?

I realized an interesting thing today. The arguments for nationalized healthcare (aka the government-run health insurance option) focus on how we can provide health insurance to those who do not have it today, whether this be a choice or a lack of resources to pay for insurance ourselves. Some parts of the arguments focus on how health insurance companies are unfairly profiting off their policy holders and demonize the pre-existing conditions that disqualify some people from changing or getting an insurance policy. The argument comes down to the fact that people who have resources, should take care of the people who don't have resources.

The current arguments focus on the evils of the current system, at least in the eyes of those selling the concept, and how they think their plan will combat these evils.

Where's the improvement to the system?

The arguments for nationalized healthcare provide no new ideas or plans to improve the current system. Most polls show that almost 80% of americans are satisfied with their healthcare coverage. The ideas being pushed on us right now provide no improvements to the system for the majority of americans.

Of course the argument could be made that improvements are being made by providing services to those who do not have those services now, but doesn't that kind of go against the whole concept of equality, fairness and democracy. This is clearly a direction that is intended to take from the rich and give to the poor. Some might call it class warfare.

It is the scary part of the representative government that we live in. Popular vote decides our leaders, but what happens when they create policies that do not have popular support themselves?

When you see people screaming at their leaders in town hall meetings, these are the thoughts going through their heads. When their leaders ignore the sentiment of the majority, it upsets people...they feel that they have no voice and no control. One congressman publicly stated recently that he would vote against the will of the people if he thought it was good for them.

It disturbs me that some of our leaders truly believe that they know better than a majority of the constituents they represent.

We should ask ourselves what improvements will government-run healthcare bring to our system. We should ask our leaders how this will improve the lifes of the majority of americans.

I think I understand the arguments against what I am saying and I will address them in a future post. The idea that health care is a foundational human right, I believe, is false. I'll tell you why later.

Friday, August 14, 2009

History Repeating

"Governments don't tax to get the money they need, they will always find a need for the money they get" -Ronald Reagan

Below I have attached a brilliant audio clip, by Ronald Reagan in 1961, before he was the governor of California. It's worth listening to. As evidence that history is repeating itself, this audio clip can be played in direct response to an argument for socialized medicine being given today. President Obama ran on a platform of "change", yet he is attempting to bring the same socialist policies that have failed repeatedly throughout history. Let's understand the issues in front of us. Let's vote for freedom and prosperity.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Free Market Expanded

I think the term "free market" is misunderstood. It is closely aligned with capitalism, which assumes the production and consumption of goods is controlled by individual forces, not a governing body. It is easy to see the words "free market" and think that this is only referring to money, and how it flows through the economic market.

The free market as a whole goes well beyond economics and finance, although they often intertwine with each other.

There's a happiness market, an entertainment market, a farmers market, an environmental market...everything exists within some kind of "market", regardless of whether or not you agree with me. Each market has some kind of supply and some kind of demand.


Let me take demonstrate some free markets, and how they work with each other:

When I mow my lawn, I am satisfying market demands. My grass grows and it demands that I mow it. These demands may come in different stages. 1) The grass may demand that I mow it when I am annoyed because it is too high, 2) the grass may demand that I mow it when I am unable to walk through it anymore, 3) the grass may demand that I mow it when my neighbors complain.

There are always demands, and currently I am free to satisfy these demands by my own means. Depending on the demands of the grass, I might handle things in different ways. If I am annoyed, I might simply mow the grass. If I can't walk through it anymore, I might spray round-up on the entire lawn and kill all the grass. If my neighbors complain, I might build a fence, so they can't see the grass. There are multiple ways to solve multiple demands.

Now let's look at the happiness market at the Schechter house. Each person in the house demands that they be happy (although this demand may be sub-conscious) in some way. Each person will eventually do something that makes them happy. Now I noticed the other day that Abigail is extremely happy when she gets to ride on my lap while mowing. When she is riding along and looks up at me and smiles for no apparent reason, it makes me extremely happy.

Obviously, one option available to me to satisfy the happiness demands within the household are to mow the lawn, with Abigail riding on my lap. We can see some interesting market forces at work here. I now have the ability to satisfy two demands, in two different markets by the same action....mowing the grass. If I dis-regard all the other forces that might influence my options of taking care of the yard, I would probably choose mowing with Abigail over killing the grass or building a fence.

Another interesting observation is that in this case, all the demands were satisfied, and all parties involved got the outcome that they desired. The grass got cut, the neighbors are happy, I am happy, Abigail is happy. All this through the ability to satisfy a demand through a FREE choice. You can imagine how complex things would get if certain options weren't available to me or of additional markets forced me to solve problems in other ways.


Through a "free market" I was able to solve the problems efficiently and with the best results possible. I am sad to say that when governing bodies get involved, our choices become limited, our freedoms are taken away.

When government is involved the best options aren't even options.

All the markets in this world impact each other in some way or another. The impact may be subtle or seemingly unimportant, but the results influence the supply and demand of every market.

How will our health care market change if the government is controlling things? Will decisions be influenced by money or power? Will decisions be made that don't benefit the patient? How will our environment be affected by legislation through cap and trade? Will the air become cleaner? Should the same government who can't clean up their own problems, be responsible for cleaning up everyone's problems?

The natural state of man is to be free. Market forces exist regardless of the system they live within, and the further we stray from a free market mentality, the worse everything will get. Socialism, Communism, Marxism...all these attempt to fight and control forces that cannot be controlled.

If man really is causing global warming, we will fix that when the problem affects us. Many environmentalists are assuming they know the problems of the future, and creating problems today to fix them. The free market will correct any problem in the most efficient way possible, that benefits the majority of people.

The idea of Social Justice is a con. Society cannot obtain freedom and prosperity by taking handouts and giving up control. Just as we cannot solve problems created by debt, by spending money we do not have. I pray that someday, people will realize this once again.

Capitalism works because it lets men be men and choose for themselves what path they will take. We must examine the philosophies that guide our lives. If one free market is taken away, it is inevitable that will all be taken away. As supply and demand is distributed by a central authority, no free choices can exist in solving the demands or consuming the supply created.

Does this mean that we abandon all government? I think not. This has been shown not to work. Is it a coincidence that when a document like the constitution was created, and a country was guided by individual liberties and personal freedom, that man took the greatest strides forward in all of history through technology, science and industry?

Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it. I pray that we can see the mistakes of the past and avoid making them again. It seems like someone looking for "progress" would agree on this point, yet they continue to push for socialized policies and the growth of central government that has failed repeatedly for thousands of years. These so called progressives need to examine what they believe. We all need to examine our roles in society and work towards the betterment of all men.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fiscal Wake-Up Tour

If you would like a dose of fiscal reality, check out the move "I.O.USA." The movie provides a great overview of our country's fiscal history, what our debt has looked like in the past and what it could look like in the future.

After seeing the movie, I am reminded of the quote that sits at the top of my blog. 2000 years ago, at least one man knew what would bring down a strong republic like the United States. A look at history shows massive empires of the Greeks, Romans and even Israelites at one point; yet if we look around today, the world is much different. What happened to these world powers?

The life-cycle of nations might actually teach us something. I will admit that I am ignorant to many details at this point, but a brief look reveals to me that men, poisoned by power, have ultimately brought down the great nations of the world. Yet we continue to rely on man to interpret our lives and give us purpose. The beauty of our constitution is that it ensures the individual rights that have been deemed to come from beyond man.

A look at history shows that a common thread that brings corruption and the loss of individual freedoms. "The love of money is the root of ALL evil", yet we continue to allow our leaders to take more money, and freedom, from us in the names of whatever good cause they claim to represent. History shows us that regardless of the cause, power and money cannot lead to the great country that America is and has been.

The scary part about I.O.USA is that the last 6 months have changed the landscape more drastically than many aspects of our entire nations history. Our debt has increased by One Trillion dollars in the last six months. That number alone cannot even be fully understood.

We must pay off our debt. National security, social well-being, and freedom all depend on this.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Nationalized Healthcare

"Instead the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is ordering doctors to offer patients remedies like acupuncture and osteopathy." -Quote from this article

Wait a minute! Do you mean to tell me that under nationalized healthcare plans, the government tells the doctors how to treat the patients? This is the case in the UK, and within other nationalized programs.

The question that no progressive will answer (that I have heard) is "what examples of nationalized healthcare can you point to as examples of a successful system?" We are told repeatedly by the White House administration and proponents of public health care that no rationing will take place, the patient and doctor will decide how to treat a problem.

EVERY case of socialized medicine ever created involves dictating doctor procedures and rationing care. The cost of care outside the system is higher than in a private system. Isn't the cost supposed to go down? Isn't that exactly why President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and their progressive party are attacking the private insurance companies?

Nationalized medicine will not fix the problems exist today; it will only shift the problems to an entity that will not give up control easily, and cost everyone in the country much more in the process.

My wish is that our current leaders would at least be honest about what they are trying to accomplish. They are doing NO good by telling us what we want to hear, while doing something else behind our back, in 1000 page documents that no-one can understand. Progressives can be comforted that the public health care option currently on the table will ultimately lead to a single-payer system. This has been voiced by President Obama in the past. We are told that no-one is talking about government takeover of healthcare, but that is exactly what many of our leaders are working towards. How can they be so dishonest and get away with that?

Advocates of freedom and choice need to find the leaders in this country that believe in reason, liberty and personal responsibility, contact those leaders and encourage them to do what is best for the individual; the country...not themselves.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bi-Partisan Criticism

This next clip shows exactly why we need to stop evaluating our leaders with the republican and democrat tags in front of their names. Both sides, at one time or another are using politics and push through legislation and achieve their own objectives. Both sides are guilty of serving themselves rather than the people they are supposed to be serving.

If I wrote a congressman's job description, I think the first thing on it would be that they would be responsible for reading bills that they vote on. With the current cap and trade, they broke this rule; and I don't think it will be possible for them to read and comprehend the entire health care bill, but that remains to be seen.

If you want to see hypocrisy in action, compare these remarks with what you see going on today:

We cannot blindly follow "our guy" without being critical of their policies. President Obama is pushing legislation in the same way that Bush did. Of course, critics of President Bush might say that was a different circumstance. We are often blind to what our own party is doing and not-doing because we want them to stay in power and continue what we believe to be worthy overall goals. The majority of people will never be served if this mentality continues. In the 5000 Year Leap, we learned that the Left was designed to determine what the people need, the Right was designed to decide if we can afford it. The system is designed to create freedom, prosperity and happiness to all, or at least the vast majority who choose it. The system is designed to be balanced, something many of us don't appreciate.

Maybe it would be wise if we replaced ALL of them? The one thing we cannot afford to do is abandon the great system that our founders put in place. It is clear to me that President Obama wants to change the roots of this system, luckily, if our other leaders have any backbone, he will not be able to. We need to stop HOPING that our leadership will do the right thing, and DEMAND that they listen to us.

Our capitalist, market driven system with the constitution at its helm has overcome many obstacles over the past. Those who want to expand socialism need to understand that our system of freedom, checks and balances, and individual rights has led to freedom for slaves, equal rights for all men and all women, and a law that looks to Godly authority to create protections for every individual.

It's time to expect both sides of the aisle to serve us. We need to all hold everyone accountable. Let's work on criticising every leader equally. Believe me, I will need to work on these things in my life. I am as guilty as the next guy.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Quotes To File Away

"Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it." -- Raymond Chandler

This quote seems rather profound to me, hopefully you find it equalliy enjoyable.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Update to Educate

For anyone interested, here is a link to the House of Representatives Health Care bill that is being mulled over and pormoted by President Obama and the fools in Washington who will vote for this without knowing what is in it.

This bill is roughly 1100 pages, try reading some of it. It is simply confusing and cannot be understood without a team of lawyers. It is rediculous.

Contact your representatives. Ask them to read it, ask them to vote against it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

From the Heart

I watched the movie "Finding Forrester" (again) last weekend, it had been several years since I had seen it, and it was good all over again. I saw it from a different perspective this time around.

You may have forgotten, but I started this blog so that I could practice writing. The public nature of this blog pushes me to keep writing something down, rather than trying to write in a journal or some other more private forum. I tried jotting down my thoughts before, but I soon faded away; at least here I have continued for several months.

In the movie, William Forrester was teaching a high schooler how to develop a story. He stated that in the first draft, you write from the heart, in the second draft, you write from your brain. This encouraged me. So far I have been pouring out my 'political heart' into this blog. As I read my own thoughts it is plain to see how the words and thoughts of a conservative minded person like myself can be seen in the wrong light. I hope to one day look thoughtfully back at these words and mold them into something that is both logical and heartfelt.

I have always enjoyed movies. Some people that I know see movies as a waste of time, something that has relatively no meaning. I see them as an opportunity to see something from a new perspective, or perhaps be introduced to something I hadn't thought about at all. This might seem silly to some, but it is an example of how something silly like a movie, can benefit me.

My mindset going in influences the message that I take out.

Washington at Work

Here are a few of the figures on display at the website. Our government at work.


We will probably find out that these descriptions are not accurate, and then still be dissaspointed at how much the government spends on things. Everyday I see that all government spending, by its very nature contains waste, it cannot be avoided.

Two factors contribute to this:
1) People get to spend money that is not theirs. Anyone directing a budget that comes from tax dollars is spending money that is not their own. Cost is irrelevant if the money exists to pay for something. Like when a proposal comes through for a re-designed website. $18 million is awarded because it can be, the value of that proposition is hardly examined because in the end it doesn't matter. The congress, under direction of the president has a created a pool of money, and people will spend it.
2) Budgets are based on need. Let's say for instance that a food-stamp program in Florida gets authorization to distribute $10 million in food stamps. What if they only distribute $5 million? It would now appear that they don't need the additional funds and their budget would be at risk of being cut. If a government organization actually saves money, they will be punished by budget reductions. There is no incentive to be critical of what money is being spent on.

Government spending should be seen as synonymous with waste. I believe SOME of it is necessary, but we should be seeking to reduce waste.

Friday, July 10, 2009

No Justification

Here is a snippet of a news article released on 7/10/2009--------

After misspelling the president's name as "Barak Obama" yesterday on an official document sent to reporters, the General Services Administration messed up another message when announcing it had awarded an $18 million contract to redesign the website keeping track of spent stimulus dollars.

" Version 2.0 $18 Million Contract Awarded," the release's subject line read. ("Recovery" was spelled correctly in the body of the email.)

I read this article 10 times and couldn't figure out what spelling error they were talking about because I was knocked uncoscious by another figure....$18 million.

I'll bet anyone $18 million dollars that a privately owned company would not have settled for this figure. I will also wager that the organization doing this website is a friend of a friend, somebody who knows somebody. I am still looking for the details of the contract, but I can GUARANTEE beyond all guarantees that something like this could have been done for under a million dollars....easily. They probably paid someone to create the website 6 months ago, and now they feel the need for a redesign. I wonder how they'll feel in a year?

The problem is that government entities don't care how much something costs, as long as they have funds designated to do it. This happens at every level of government, from the city you live in all the way up to Washington. If you don't think there is waste in government, you are dillusional.

I am flabergasted at this number.

Every taxpayer funded activity contains waste. There is no incentive for organizations funded by tax dollars to look for competitive prices. As long as the money is there, they use it. If they don't use it, they risk having their budget cut in the future. There is no incentive to look for competitive prices!

It is a travesty that our dollars are being wasted like this. It should upset everyone. Of course this has been going on for hundreds of years in this country, and it is plain to see that as government continues and expands its waste, we will ever more be hindered from true growth and progress in every area of life.

Don't deceive yourself into thinking that government spending has prompted knowledge and discoveries that could not have been made elsewhere. Just think of how much more advanced we might be today if the government had let the free market determine where to invest and spend.

Think of how much further we might be towards truly sustainable energy if the government cut out it's waste. Think of where space flight and exploration might be if government cut out its waste and asked the free market to lend a hand? Think of where medicine might be today if the free market was not hampered by government waste.

This $18 million is NOTHING in the whole scheme of things, that is why they get away with it. But every contract I have ever seen is at minimum 25% higher than it could be. This one could have been reduced to under $1 million easily. Imagine the potential if this level of waste was taken out of the equation.

We need to get it out of our thick heads that government spending is helpful in any way. I can ask until I am red in the face, but no one can show me a social government program that has accomplished its task without creating more problems in the future.

We need to get back to freedom.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Saving Freedom

Below is an article written by Senator Jim DeMint that was distributed on Glenn Beck's newsletter. It highlights some very stunning truths about freedom that everyone needs to hear. This message about freedom needs to be spread far and wide. It also serves as a nice follow up to my line of thought over the last few blog posts.

Do you know what Freedom is?
A special commentary from United States Senator Jim DeMint

A few months ago, I was on CNN talking about the future of the Republican Party. As I always do, I predicted that we could certainly regain our national majority, if we first rally around our great, unifying principle of freedom. The anchor cut me off: “What the h--- does that mean? … Freedom?” Anyone wondering why America is losing its freedom can find an answer in that question. After all, how can we preserve and defend freedom if we don’t even know what it is? To help remind Americans of our shared heritage of freedom and to rally them to reclaim that heritage for ourselves and our children, I wrote a book, out this week, called "Saving Freedom: We Can Stop America’s Slide Toward Socialism. "

Freedom is not a gift from government, but a right given to us by God. We believe that every human being is endowed with “certain unalienable Rights,” including “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” In 1787, our Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia to forge a new system of government, designed to “form a more perfect union” and guarantee Americans, in the words of Ronald Reagan, “the maximum of personal liberty consistent with order.” Paramount among the reasons this system succeeded in America was our political and religious culture that accepted the inextricable connection between personal freedom and personal responsibility. It was understood that, for every question in life not answered by government, individuals, families, and neighborhoods must work out answers for themselves.

The Founders knew that the natural order of things was for government to expand at the expense of personal liberty, so their Constitution was based on an implicit bargain – the less government does for you, the less government can do to you. Today, our once-limited federal government has betrayed those founding principles. It tries to be all things to all people, yet despite its good intentions, government action usually does more harm than good.

Look around: every system Washington touches – health care, education, energy, infrastructure, mortgage lending – quickly begins to break down. In some recent cases, including the automobile bankruptcies and the Wall Street bailouts, even the rule of law itself has been subordinated to the good intentions of politicians and bureaucrats. And yet government’s solution to the problems it causes is always … more government. To solve problems created by government’s role in our schools or health care, Congress now proposes a complete federal takeover of these systems!

What Washington refuses to understand is that government systems will always fail because they are not free. Private schools perform better than public schools. Private health insurance provides better care than government programs, and controls its own costs. And on and on. Without the competitive pressures and transparency of a free market, government agencies have no motivation to improve their services. After 10 years in Washington, I have concluded that both parties are slow to recognize this one simple fact: freedom works, and government doesn’t. That’s why I wrote Saving Freedom.

Washington simply will not change on its own. To change our politics, we first have to change our culture. We need to remember that freedom demands responsibility. We need to reject politicians who promise us something for nothing, and instead take back both our freedoms and the responsibilities that go with them. We must not only end our growing dependence on government; we must become independent in our own right. Given the space and choices to make our own decisions, whether in education, health care, civil society, or in business – the American people will thrive, as they always have. But the political class in Washington will not easily return the power it has taken from us – we must take it back, in two ways. First, we must remake America’s culture of responsibility: in our family life, in our communities, and in our businesses. We must prepare our nation for its rebirth of freedom, so that when government finally does begin to change, our culture and economy can hit the ground running. And second, this cultural renewal must assert itself in the political arena.

Elected politicians are only as unresponsive as their constituents allow. They know that every letter and email and phone call represents hundreds more just like them. They know that Big Government’s worst enemy is an informed citizenry, ready at the next election to punish anyone who infringes on our God-given and constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms. Get involved, and I promise – we will see results. Freedom can be saved, but it can’t free itself. Like the patriots of Bunker Hill and Philadelphia, of Gettysburg and Normandy, our generation must now take up that banner for ourselves. Saving Freedom is never easy, but it’s always worth it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I Saw It Coming

Recent comments by Vice President Biden have highlighted why liberal, big government, socialist programs will fail everytime.

"We didn't see it coming" is the phrase that you hear out of Washington when something goes wrong. "No one saw it coming", "It's worse than we thought", there are a million ways to spin the same thing. If a program doesn't work, there is always some variable to blame.

The heart of the matter is that by expanding government, we increasingly rely on the predictions and assumptions of the state. Regardless of the party, when government expands, we continue to put all our eggs into one basket. If we "misread" something, it affects everyone.

When each individual is free to achieve and free to fail, our choices mean something. We are selling the American spirit short if we assume that individuals cannot take care of themselves.

This is the perfect example of the well-meaning liberal creating a system where we take care of those who cannot take care of themselves. The problem is that we are assuming that people cannot take care of themselves. With no confidence in individuals, liberal progressives continue to create dependence and think they are doing everyone a favor. I'll assume that their motives are good, but they are simply growing their own standard of living, while reducing the standards of the majority. Somehow that doesn't seem right.

When a program doesn't work, MORE of that program is not the answer, yet that is all our lawmakers can think of. I hope that everyone keeps these things in mind when we are in a position to vote for, and guide our elected leaders in the direction we want them to go.

Again I ask, what social program has eliminated the problems that they were created to solve?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What can we learn?

I want to point out some historical information here. Franklin D. Roosevelt's first Fireside Chat. He was dealing with a banking situation very similar to what we are facing now.

First Fireside Chat (.mp3)

One particularly interesting line in this broadcast is "Your Government does not intend that the history of the past few years shall be repeated. We do not want and will not have another epidemic of bank failures."

There is a mindset being built-up in this country, that says we must turn to government to solve our problems. It is clear to me that throughout the last 100+ years, we have turned to government in crisis after crisis; yet we continually face the same challenges over and over again. The answer has never been more government, only through more freedom can we move forward and actually make progress.

To solve the problems of our day, we must promote freedom. Our founders spent years, even decades analyzing the problems that existed in England, which led to an oppressive government. The result was our constitution. The result was the realization that government only exists to limit and contain man. A free society promotes self responsibility and regulation, without which, no system can work.

The path to freedom starts with each and every individual deciding to take responsibility for their own lives. Educating ourselves on the system that exists around us, and the role we play in it is the first step. Let us all learn from the successes and the failures from the past, and apply that knowledge going forward.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Getting Graded

Think with me for a moment. Let's say you are in a classroom...elementary school, high school or college. What if the teacher said you can get an 'A', just for being you. You have no need to show up, no need to perform work, no need to learn.

What is the purpose of being in that class?

Success cannot exist without failure. James tells us that we should rejoice in trials, because the testing of our faith develops perseverance and ultimately maturity. (James 1, the Bible)

Have you answered the question yet?

Government bailouts are an automatic 'A'. If you are under the impression that government bailouts are necessary in any capacity, or beneficial in any way...why? Have you ever learned anything without being tested? Have you ever accomplished anything without risk? Have you ever learned anything that you had no incentive to learn about?

I am at a loss for words when it comes to the lack of common sense that is going around. People have abandoned philosophy. Is intent the only quality that we judge our leaders by? Does bad policy, led by good intent, lead to success and accomplishment? There are more questions than answers.

Encourage your leaders who lead with honor, fight against those who play politics with your life.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Turning Point

Last week we hit a turning point. Much of the media has been focused on politics and economics over the last several months, maybe the last year. With several high profile, celebrity deaths last week, I feel like the media and people in general have turned the corner on all the political and economic stuff that has been bogging them down.

It makes sense really, people get tired of the same old negativity weighing them down. It is easy to take the Hollywood route and turn to the world of entertainment for the high's and low's that get you through life. For many in this country, unless you have lost your job, it is easy to work and play, forgetting that there is a big world around us that we have a responsibility to be involved in.

Through the policies and guidance of our federal government, the very poor and the very wealthy in this country are continuing to ride the backs of the middle class. This trend has never turned out well. The world is coming to the understanding that America is going down a path that will destroy our economy. The policies that our government is passing are not sustainable. The intentions, I believe, may be good; but they cannot work. I am not saying that they MAY not work, I believe they CANNOT work.

The people who believe global warming is manmade in this country are in the minority, yet they have just passed one of the biggest government expansions in history to fight their cause. Not one member of congress who voted for the Cap and Trade bill even read the whole bill. Even the author, Henry Waxman claimed that he could not possibly read the whole thing. One day before the bill was voted on, a 300 page addendum was added.

Does it comfort you to see your elected leaders voting for a bill they have not read?

I would say the system is broken, but I don't know if that is true. Our government is not even playing within the confines of the system. Every Czar that reports to the president is working outside the authority given to our president. Our system has been forgotten. Something needs to change.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Government in Action

Today our federal House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Cap and Trade bill.

Questionable and politically motivated science is guiding our government to increase taxes on the very motor which allows our economy to If this bill passes, we continue down the path of government control over every sector of life. The White House has declared that it will "necessarily drive energy prices up", in the hopes of forcing us to use less.

Contact your congressman and tell them NO THANKS.

This bill is about control.

However if you want companies to move jobs overseas to economies that are growing and do not care about the affects on the environment, then maybe this is your bill.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Leading By Example

You may have seen one of those WWJD bracelets that have been floating around since the 90's. What Would Jesus Do? The answer to this question highlights the reason why Christianity is one of the largest religions in the world. Depending on who you define as Christians, it is THE largest religious/faith group in the world. Why?

Jesus led by example. To answer the question "what would Jesus do", you look at the way he lived his life and apply the same principles to whatever situation you are in. Some people might come to different conclusions, but the answer is still steeped in what we believe to be true about Jesus. The life Jesus asks us to live, is the same life he lived. When we see the poor and needy, we are asked to give. When we see sinners, we are asked to forgive. When we see sad and lonely people, we are asked to love. We are asked to lead by example.

The largest and most "successful" religions in the world, have a similar setup. A historical figure, sent by God, to give people an example on the way they should live and act within the laws of that God.

Our founders understood that they could not lead in a way that was right, true, just and moral unless they led by example. The character of our founders has been lost. The example and the principles that they set before us has been forgotten.

I am honing in on what bothers me the most about the liberal progressive agenda. In many ways, this is what bothers me about government in general. Our leaders have forgotten that they are examples. Rather than businessmen and farmers who reserved several years of their life to public service, they have instead made a living off the fruits of our labor and the sweat off our brows. I believe conservative principles will lead us back towards the formula that created the greatest nation on earth.

Environmentalists preach and lobby for rules and regulations that will lead to responsible use of our natural resources. The goal is admirable, but these same activists use their wealth and power to buy their way out of actually following the same guidelines that they want everyone else to follow.

Proponents of welfare and food stamps want to raise the burden of taxes on everyone around them to help the poor and hungry. The goal is admirable, but these same activists give meager amounts of their own wealth to the poor and hungry they wish to help.

Our leaders who want to provide health care for everyone in America, by whatever means possible, work in a system that guarantees they will have the best care available to them at no cost for the rest of their lives. A system of benefits voted to them, by them.

Our leaders in Washington have no idea what it is like to actually live in the systems they want to create for the country around them. They have no idea what problems face main street. They say whatever they need to say so to remain in power and in a position to live off of the people, contributing no real benefits to society.

Liberal progressives are doomed to fail. They fight to change the world, but refuse to accept the same standards that they require of those around them.

There is a false idea going around that government run programs are beneficial. Show me a program run by the government that has succeeded in it's goals. I can show you a hundred different organizations that combat the social problems our country faces with much more effectiveness and efficiency than our government.

FDR created a committee to study the economic security of individuals. "The Committee shall study problems relating to the economic security of individuals and shall report to the President not later than December 1, 1934, its recommendations concerning proposals which in its judgment will promote greater economic security."

Does our country have "greater economic security" now than it did before the social security programs that FDR started? If it did, why are there still people without jobs? Why are people still hungry? If this system was created to avoid the same depression that preceded FDR, why do those problems exist.

With the greatest of intentions, government run programs take money from successful systems and create waste. Just think of all the good the people of this country could do if they actually controlled their own wealth!

Conservative principles teach me that first we must take responsibility for our own lives, then we can begin to help those around us. We must elect leaders that lead by example.

Only when the waste of government is out of the way can we begin to tackle the environmental, social, educational, technological and ethical concerns of the day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Question of the Day

Have you ever worked for someone with less money/earnings than you?

Depending on your answer of course, this leads me to ask the question. What is the best way to provide jobs? Of course, if private industry exists it seems to me that by taking less from those that provide jobs might increase employment. Rather, the last couple years has seen our government take from the providers, reduce the value of that "take" by the overhead of the middle-man (aka. the government), and then give the remainder to those who have failed, allowing them to continue their waste and irresponsibility.

Have you ever worked for someone with less money/earnings than you? Let this question really sink in. How might the answer change your views on the economy or the government?

100 Projects - 100 Days

Here is a report from the White House about 100 projects that have been funded by stimulus funds. I won't comment much, but we should be aware of what is going on.

Just keep in mind that our country has trillions of dollars of debt and your kids and grandkids will be paying for these projects. Government cannot create wealth. Think about this statement, drill it into your head. Government cannot create wealth. The only resources that government has, are those that it takes.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dictating Healthcare

We can see that our current leaders are Ok telling us that it may be in everyones best interest if we are all required to pay the government to run the healthcare system. This is a scary road to go down. After a nation begins relying on a system like this, we won't just stop doing it when we see that it is not working. The people of this country must wake-up and see what is going on. Do your research, and let your elected leaders know where you stand.

The following questions are ones that cause me to pause and say, "maybe we shouldn't do this?":

- If the currently socialized programs of Medicaid and Medicare have worked so well, why is everyone wondering how we're going to save those programs and make them work beyond the next few years?

- How can we assume that the federal government will "insure" our medical coverage better than the current insurance companies?

- Look at the countries around the world that provide socialized medicine. Do they work? If not, why are we pursuing the same course of action?

- People across the globe are sending their sick and wounded to the United States of America for medical care, because it's the best in the world. Why are we attmepting to model our system after theirs?

The problem with socialized programs is that we must assume that the government makes better decisions than the people. I think I can run my life, better than the government can. We must change the philosophy that is underlying this rediculous liberal train of thought. The government is not the answer.

If you see a person in need, do you help them, or do you wonder why the government doesn't do more? I am tired of hearing about how the "government" should do more to help the poor in this country when those very same people are wondering what movie they should see this weekend and what car they will buy next.

With all the talk of socialism and how great it is. With the communist leaders of the country endorsing the actions of America, and the rest of the world talking about the problems with socialism. I think America is slowly coming around. We will soon see that freedom is the answer. We will soon realize that freedom has value. We will soon realize that the change we were looking for was a shrinkage of government, not the expansion that we have experienced for the last 20 years.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Constitutional Reminder

It will be interesting when people start realizing that our government is breaking the laws set forth by our constitution. The case against Chrysler, which halted the sell-off to Chrysler may be a turning point.

Take a minute to digest the 5th amendment:

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

It sure seems to me that government control of GM and Chrysler is a bit suspicious. When the White House tells the bond holders of Chrysler that they must take 29 cents for every dollar that Chrysler owes them, giving more resources and control to the Unions; it sure seems like private property is being taken without just compensation.

Stinking constitution, it always gets in the way of supreme power of our god....

Hmmmm. Has our infatuation gone too far?

On the lighter side: President Obama did make a great command on Colbert last night, ordering General Ordierno to shave Stephen's head.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Random Thought

I just had a thought. I hope somebody does some research on this point.

How much energy/pollution does it take to transport oil from the middle-east to the US? How much pollution would be saved if we drilled for our own oil instead of transporting it all the way across the globe? Or perhaps we wouldn't save any energy, but it would be worth knowing.

The Craziness Will End

Perhaps the free spirit of the American people will once again look to common sense, turning away from the progressive, new deal, hand-out, nanny-state policies that have taken freedom and hindered the very growth and progress that the leaders on the left think they are promoting.

The brains over at the Misus institute have a fantastic article on how our current economic times stack up to those in history with some great examples of how the economy works. It is semi-long, but well worth reading.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The foundation seems to be cracking

"WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he's open to requiring all Americans to buy health insurance, as long as the plan provides a "hardship waiver" to exempt poor people from having to pay.
Obama opposed such an individual mandate during his campaign, but Congress increasingly is moving to embrace the idea." - 6/4/2009

Sure sounds like our leaders are OK "dictating" rights to me. I fear that one day, we might look back at the words that conservatives are preaching right now and say, "why didn't we listen." I don't mean to say that a conservatives know everything, but I CAN guarantee that freedom is worth something. From the progressive left, freedom is an idea standing in the way of their agenda. The progressive left vilifies the very system that allows them to operate. I don't know about you, but I don't particularly enjoy voting for hypocrites.

The progressive left leaders in this country promise that the poor won't pay a dime for anything. They think that the government is the answer to all your problems, as long as they are in charge. I refuse to believe that government intervention is required to "make the right call", provide a service that benefits the poor, or provide jobs. The government only stands in the way of prosperity for all.

The bleeding heart of the liberal has blinded them to the fact that social programs must be limited and tempered if they are to exist at all. History is ignored everyday as we look to the ideals that socialism, Marxism and communism promote, yet fail to recognize the results that those systems have yielded throughout history.

The progressive left leaders in this country are blinding their supporters with rhetoric. While Al Gore lobbies Washington for climate change legislation, he stands to make billions of dollars. If the environment is so important, why doesn't he do more? President Obama made millions of dollars over the last few years from book royalties. If feeding the poor and healing the sick is so important, how can he live such an opulent lifestyle, begrudging the wealth of others, and expect the collective to pick up the slack?

To any liberal, democrats and bleeding hearts reading this: Evaluate your candidate! Their talk and their walk do not align. Of course much of this stems from the liberal progressive mindset, which thinks that their must be a way to "change the world." Since it is plain that their efforts alone will not accomplish their goals, they seek power, and will do anything necessary to force everyone but themselves to take care of every need around them.

On top of it all, the liberal progressives fail to realize that their actions cannot be sustained. Providing health care, food, shelter and clothes for all the needy people in the world sounds like a great idea. Is it worth doing if you destroy the very means that allow the programs to exist?

The progressive left is giving everyone a fish, while forcing the fisherman to quit his job. Who's left to do the fishing? Just imaging if everyone actually did their part, instead of forcing others to pick up the slack. Then we would truly have a society where all the sick, homeless and hungry are cared for.

Socialism pulls everyone down, rather than lifting everyone up. I don't know how many ways this needs to be said. It doesn't work!

It seems that the Americans who voted for this "change" have either been duped or are completely ignorant of the history that has made this nation lurch forward like no other nation has in the history of time. We need less government, not more. Government only stands in the way of the real power, generosity and ingneuity of the american spirit.

The foundations of our country have gone missing. Personal responsibility is no more. We are being tricked into thinking that government is the solution, when it only stands in the way.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Profound Happiness

I ask myself a lot of questions, and often use this blog to answer them. I am literally developing the words you are reading as I type. When prompted, the words come.

I am not sure that answering my own questions accomplishes anything. I have found that people learn and truly grasp ideas and information when they answer the questions in their own ways and their own styles. I found this true in my life as I worked my way through various levels of education. Until a subject became applicable to me and my life, it simply didn't make sense and didn't sink in.

In this spirit, I will propose a question to any who read this. I started the blog so that I would be prompted to practice writing, while at the same time, building the courage to make my views known while I still can. Perhaps I will continue to lead with the questions that fatigue my mind, and while I may give some commentary, I will encourage you to answer the questions in your own way.

Where have you found profound happiness?

I have experienced profound happiness at many times throughout my life; reminiscing with friends about some college events, watching my daughter breath her first breath, saying "I do", enjoying the beauty of creation, having goals and achiving them etc, etc...

What environments have prompted this profound happiness? Does this profound happiness exist under a dictators rule? When socialism rules a nation, does this profound happiness exist?

As I examine this question, it seems that some semblance of personal freedom and responsibility is required. It seems that people will never be happy when THEY have the world on their shoulders. When we can rest in the grace of God and understand that we might actually have a purpose on this earth, it seems to lead towards happiness. How do you answer this question?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Derivative Markets

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit. She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later.

She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).

Word gets around about Heidi's "drink now, pay later" marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi's bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Detroit.

By providing her customers' freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently, Heidi's gross sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Heidi's borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholicsas collateral.

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert traders transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then bundled and traded on international security markets. Naive investors don't really understand that the securities sold to them as AAA secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics.

Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation's leading brokerage houses.One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi's bar. He so informs Heidi.

Heidi then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since, Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations. Forced into bankruptcy, the bar closes and the eleven employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS drop in price by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of Heidi's bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms' pension funds in the various BOND securities. They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.

Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved—bailed out by a multi-billion dollar, no-strings attached, cash infusion from the Government.
The funds required for this bailout come from new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers.