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 Recovery.org 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 recovery.org 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.

"Recvoery.gov 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.