The Front Page

…I wish that I may never think the smiles of the great and powerful a sufficient inducement to turn aside from the straight path of honesty and the convictions of my own mind.

…David Ricardo
The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. VII, p. 372.

Memorize this:

To make No Decision in regard to the growth of authoritarianism in government in any form is already a decision in support of it!

 …Francis A. Schaeffer

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Blog Update #16, Oct. 6, 2013

*New Special Report: See “The History of the Second Amendment”  http://bit.ly/W5wbi3
          A long read, but worth every word. We will have more to say about this in a future post.

*New Editorial Comment: See  http://bit.ly/WOfi6H   

We are at it again adding new links to our Blogs & Websites category list and working on new information and articles.  These new links will take you to information about the worldview of Islam.  Also see Religion, Ethics for related new post  so check these new links out today.  Also check out new posts in the Behind the Scenes and Politics and Current Events. You will not want to miss these!  New articles and information pieces are in the works and will be added soon.  Check out these new posts and suggested readings for not politically correct—but true—information not reported in your favorite evening journalistic-theater “news” programs.  If you are following this blog you may be beginning to sort out your personal worldview and have begun to educate yourself accordingly.  However, you might also consider being well informed in general while attempting not to be an ideologist of the third order. Time is growing short; do your homework now! You may not have the choice later.

We trust that as the Blog continues to expand you will find the resources provided of use and value in order to better understand the world around you and to clarify your own worldview. You will then be better prepared to understand the Events of Our Times.

A NOTE ABOUT COMMENTS:  Comments continue to be  closed on most Observer-Examiner pages.  Life is just too short! We don’t have enough time to read the hundreds of comments received each day most of which are outright spam, or just short words of thanks.   While we appreciate your thanks, we had hoped for comments reflecting far deeper thought.  Sadly, has not been our experience!  So, we are going to focus on what we started out to do—inform!  The rest is up to you; good luck!

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The Ten “You Can-nots”
Abraham Lincoln Did Not Say

While on a recent business trip to South Carolina was discovered on a wall of a men’s restroom a nicely framed list of “Can-nots”  autographed, “Abraham Lincoln.” So impressed was I with the ten statements and the idea that Abraham Lincoln himself had said them that I asked the inn keeper for a copy of the list which he gladly provided.

Upon returning to my office I began research to confirm the authenticity of the statements only to discover that Mr. Lincoln indeed did not say or write them. The list of ten statements beginning with “You cannot …” is however popularly attributed to Abraham Lincoln, (1809 – 1865) the Sixteenth President of the United States. The wisdom of the statements cannot be denied, and they sound so wise and so much like something that Mr. Lincoln might have said that they are understandably frequently quoted and attributed to him none the less.

The ten statements are:

  1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong
  3. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
  4. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
  5. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.
  6. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
  7. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
  9. You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
  10. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves.

These ten statements were written in 1916 by the Rev. William J. H. Boetcker, a Presbyterian clergyman and pamphlet writer.  In 1942, a group called the Committee for Constitutional Government gave out a great many leaflets entitled “Lincoln on Limitations” that contained on one side a real Lincoln quote and on the other side the 10 Boetcker statements. Boetcker was credited with his statements on the leaflet, but their proximity in print to one real quote by Lincoln, plus the title of the leaflet, led people to think that Lincoln had said the ten listed statements. They were repeated in many printed sources, and are still regarded by many as authentic Lincoln quotes. Carl Sandburg, Lincoln’s most famous biographer, dismissed them as spurious.

Despite the discovered conflicts of authorship, the underlying wisdom of the statements remains paramount and good advice to this very day as guiding principles for persons in government service and citizens living private lives as well.  I was once told by a learned man to follow Godly precepts and in so doing I would succeed. The precepts he did not enumerate, but the Reverend Boetcker’s ten statements are a darn good starting point.

D. M. E.

Sources

  1. Boller, Paul F., Jr., and John George. They Never Said It: A Book Of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, & Misleading Attributions (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), pp. 82-84, 145.
  2. Kominsky, Morris. The Hoaxers (Boston: Branden Press, 1970), pp. 18 – 27.

 

The War of World Views

“Yet across the gulf of space, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded our planet with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.” ~ H. G. Wells; The War of the Worlds

In the year 1898, H. G. Wells published his science fiction novel The War of the Worlds.  But, you may be more familiar with the 1938 Orson Welles radio broadcast that caused so much trouble here in the U. S., or one of the many movies based upon the Wells novel.  For me it was the 1953 film by Bryon Haskin that I remember most clearly, and scared the living be-Jesus out of me at the time.

You may recall the plot; I’ll give you the short version here.  Martians invade the earth from, where else—Mars of course.  The Martians arrive in meteor like vehicles smashing to earth unharmed.  Their machines rise out of their craters as if Phoenix’s, their bodies much like some stingray beast, but instead of a long tail they exhibit a neck like structure with a head that extrudes a death ray capable of vaporizing any person or thing. The threat ultimately ends when the Martians die of earthly diseases for which they are not immune.

Wells was writing from a scientific point of view popular in his day, but let us assume for a moment that Wells was writing instead about a more earthly war, a conflict of World Views, rather than about a war of extraterrestrials and the destruction they bring about on the world as he knew it.  It is far easier to see clearly a threat posed by extraterrestrials invading the earth, or some other armed invader like the Nazi invasion of Poland or France, for example. It is vastly more difficult to see as a threat a World View that comes from within, or from across the Atlantic in the form of immigrants, by those who do not share the values of the in-place World View of a country and people.  Perhaps the threat comes in a more stealth form like “Change You Can Believe In” or a slower moving “invasion” in the name of progress by “progressives.”  None the less, the threat remains the same and is just as destructive! And these invaders are not likely to die of some earthly bacteria or virus for which they do not have immunity thus saving the day!

To better know what “change” or “progress” truly means, one must first know something about and better understand the World View of the of the person or persons promoting change or progress!  The adage tells us that words have meanings and meanings have words, but both words and meaning can be perverted by communication skilled persons with hidden and unspoken agendas skillfully choosing their words so as to appeal to our traditional understandings.  Another adage tells us that actions speak louder than words.  Both adages being true, one must listen closely, question boldly, and watch for actions with even greater sensitivity! When political leaders advocate change or progress, ask these and other question:  Is personal liberty increased, or diminished? Is governance by the people–for the people dispersed, or centralized? Are Traditional Values themselves valued and supported, or replaced wholesale by something “new” and more “modern” more applicable to our times?

While the numbered years of the calendar have changed from ancient times to this very day, the fundamental nature of mankind remains essentially the same; we still deal with fundamental questions of good and evil, man’s inhumanity to man, and the question of personal self control and personal self governance as opposed to rule by kings, a dictator, or a higher human authority of some centralized body making decisions for us for our own good.  All sorts of evils and inhumanities have been committed in the name of progress and change by self appointed and sometimes elected persons who just know better than we!

In the opinion of this writer there are still but four major World Views, but with some variations.  These are:

1. Traditional Communism – the former USSR

State-ism, bridges elements of Capitalism and Communism; Current best example, Communist China

2. Traditional Humanism

Socialism – most of Europe, by example

Globalism – a form of Socialism incorporating Traditional Marxism and State-ism – Best example,  George Soros’ Border-less Society, a New World Order.

3. Traditional Islam and Shari’ah

Muslim Brotherhood – traditional Islam and Shari’ah with a sprinkling of  Socialism and Marxism – possible  example may be the new Egypt

4. Traditional Christian World View – Still, for the most part, the best example is the USA, but changing rapidly!

In future posts each of the four major World Views will be reviewed in some detail.  If one is to know what impact the adoption of, or invasion of one World View over another might be (or the mix of World Views might be) one must first know what each World View is comprised of.  It is to the end, one of understanding that we write with the hope that with information better judgments and decisions might be the outcome for us all.

D. M. E.

 

My Nearly Daily Comment!

Editor’s Note:  The Contract from America is presented here not because we are in total agreement, but rather to thoughtfully  consider the expressed points of concern, compared and contrasted with your world view. (More about world views coming soon.)

The Contract from America

from Contract from America, www.thecontract.org

We, the undersigned, call upon those seeking to represent us in public office to sign the Contract from America and by doing so commit to support each of its agenda items, work to bring each agenda item to a vote during the first year, and pledge to advocate on behalf of individual liberty, limited government, and economic freedom.

Individual Liberty

Our moral, political, and economic liberties are inherent, not granted by our government. It is essential to the practice of these liberties that we be free from restriction over our peaceful political expression and free from excessive control over our economic choices.

Limited Government

The purpose of our government is to exercise only those limited powers that have been relinquished to it by the people, chief among these being the protection of our liberties by administering justice and ensuring our safety from threats arising inside or outside our country’s sovereign borders. When our government ventures beyond these functions and attempts to increase its power over the marketplace and the economic decisions of individuals, our liberties are diminished and the probability of corruption, internal strife, economic depression, and poverty increases.

Economic Freedom

The most powerful, proven instrument of material and social progress is the free market. The market economy, driven by the accumulated expressions of individual economic choices, is the only economic system that preserves and enhances individual liberty. Any other economic system, regardless of its intended pragmatic benefits, undermines our fundamental rights as free people.

1. Protect the Constitution

Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does. (82.03%)

2. Reject Cap & Trade

Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures. (72.20%)

3. Demand a Balanced Budget

Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike. (69.69%)

4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform

Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words—the length of the original Constitution. (64.90%)

5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government in Washington

Create a Blue Ribbon task force that engages in a complete audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities, or ripe for wholesale reform or elimination due to our efforts to restore limited government consistent with the US Constitution’s meaning. (63.37%)

6. End Runaway Government Spending

Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth. (56.57%)

7. De-fund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care

De-fund, repeal and replace the recently passed government-run health care with a system that actually makes health care and insurance more affordable by enabling a competitive, open, and transparent free-market health care and health insurance system that isn’t restricted by state boundaries. (56.39%)

8. Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above” Energy Policy

Authorize the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation, lowering prices and creating competition and jobs. (55.51%)

9. Stop the Pork

Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark. (55.47%)

10. Stop the Tax Hikes

Permanently repeal all tax hikes, including those to the income, capital gains, and death taxes, currently scheduled to begin in 2011. (53.38%)

Note from D.M.E.: I would be careful about amending the Constitution; one could get more and greater changes than one bargained for or even wished for.

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About the National Deficit; I need to “unload” my thoughts! ( No reference to guns is intended in any way!)

The Fox News version of journalistic theater was unleashed again this morning with a debate on the subject of the national debt.  Have you checked out the National Debt Clock lately ( www.usdebtclock.org ) ?  Our national debt is nearing 13 trillion and increasing and that does not include any off-book accounts.

I don’t know if anyone cares, but for me I am up to here with the finger pointing over whom is responsible for the national debt!  Let’s get real here; it doesn’t matter if my wife ran up the family credit card, or if I am running it up…it’s all debt just the same.  Someone will have to pay it off one way or another, and that is a fact whether it is your personal credit card or the Nations credit card!

The point is that we as a nation are in debt up to our proverbial eyeballs with apparently no end in sight for future spending.  The fact is also that the United States of America is actually, technically, bankrupt by any standard system of accounting; a fact that is either beyond the understanding of anyone in authority in Washington D.C., or worse is clearly understood, but being  “used” for some perverse purpose, i.e. a Cloward & Piven like strategy !

Deficit spending (financial leverage) should not be foreign to any of us because for most of us we use the concept daily in our personal lives whenever we buy on credit.

For those who might not have a firsthand understanding with financial leverage allow me this simplistic analogy: financial leverage is like a see-saw,  when in balance both people on the far ends of the board are supported equally (your assets equal your total debt), but move the fulcrum, or add weight unequally and the balance of the see-saw board is dramatically altered and sometimes violently!  As long as the our bankers (China and Japan) are willing to balance our national see-saw (lend us dollars to cover our national debt) our everyday world probably will not change very much at all—except that the price of goods and service will increase just as in our past.  But let one banker country get off of the see-saw board (Call in their loan) and there you have it—a dramatic alteration of the see-saw and likely a violent result to boot!  If you thought the last economic crises was bad, you haven’t experience anything yet!

In a real world scenario one solution to the problem would be to increase income (make more widgets for sale) or reduce costs of doing business (reduce the employee numbers), or both.  But, this real world solution is not so easily applied to a Nation when its Government is creating ever greater individual dependence upon it through entitlement programs, social engineering policies, and “too big to fail” bailouts of some segments of the private economic sector.  Just how does government raise taxes while cutting entitlements (not exactly an equivalent of the business scenario example since government does not make anything; it only consumes even when providing services)?

The relationships of social engineering, the financial and manufacturing sectors, and government are far more complex than this short comment can even attempt to consider.  However, the fundamental truth still remains:  there are NO FREE LUNCHES, you can’t have your cake and eat it too!  Add your own hackneyed phrase; it will undoubtedly apply!

D.M.E.

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Let’s Get Real!

I was and am amused by and disgusted with the “news analysis” by the three major networks and comments by their “news” personalities with regards to threats and “acts of violence” directed to our congress persons over the passage of the health care law and the attempts by these news personalities to link and blame Tea Party members for these senseless acts.

It seems, however, at last, that these kinds of comments are subsiding, so I guess I am a day late and a dollar short with my thoughts on this subject, but I am going to say what I will say anyway.

We have always had a fringe element in this country, people who will say just about anything and do pretty much anything pushing the envelope sometimes of propriety and legality; it is what one must tolerate in a free and open society.

Seriously though, check into the history of threats on House and Senate members.  You will find that what is going on now is not all that unusual (though even one threat on a congress person is despicable—we should be better than that as a people and a country, but there are still nuts out there on the streets and perhaps some of them are Democrats as well as Republicans.

My point is this: threats come with the job, it always has!  Our history is filled with this kind of stuff and even worse—the assassinations of Lincoln, McKinley, and John Kennedy, are just some of the examples of the worst of our society.

The problem comes about in my opinion when the media picks and chooses what threat to report; their editorial decisions are usually based upon their political views not journalistic principles.  There should be no difference in reporting facts based upon who is in office—Democrat or Republican.

How often did you see or hear reports about threats made on Bush’s life for example!  How often did you see his likeness being burned, hung, or mutilated?  Where was the outrage then?  When Sen. John Kerry suggested on Bill Maher’s late night TV show that anyone who would kill the person in the White House (then President G. W. Bush) that person would be doing the country a service.  Who put up a stink then?  NOT ONE member of the press! Not one Democrat, NOT ONE TV “news” personality!

So now Dems and TV “news” personalities wine about the harassment of congress persons and point their fingers at so called Wright-wing Republican radicals calling them terrorist.  Why? Because they didn’t go along on the Healthcare Bill?

As I see it, what is going on here is the same old politics of the past, and by some of the same people I remember from the 60′s and 70′s protest movements.  But then they were “Freedom Fighters,” right? The burning of U.S. flags, throwing rocks and smashing windows, and setting bombs in doorways of federal office buildings was among their acts then. Apparently such act of terrorism and violence were okay and justified then because it was they who were doing it, and their cause was justifiable because it was their cause.

I am just sick and tired of the same old crap!  Even President Obama got into the argument while stumping post vote for his health care law; maybe he will have a beer meeting and bring all parties together again.

What should be done is report this stuff to the FBI and let the law take its course and prosecute those who are guilty of making these threat or acts of violence to the full extent of the law.  There are or should be consequences for illegal actions; not limits on free speech and the free exchange of ideas by disagreeing parties.

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CLASS; What now?

While we wait to see what the fallout is and unintended consequences are related to the new federal health-care law, I thought that you all might like to know about the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) provisions of the new law and how this provision might affect you and your families.  I am not at all sure how this provision will affect me as it is my understanding that CLASS is also primarily employee based program and since I am not technically employed….well?, but I am sure that I will find out soon.

So here is the deal: CLASS (as reported by Time magazine) will be a new payroll deduction from your paychecks  beginning as soon as years 2011  just as Social Security (FICA) Medicare taxes are now.  The payroll deduction will range dependent upon personal income, but it is estimated to be as high as $180(+/-) per month by the CBO (Congressional Budget Office).  The deductions will begin automatically UNLESS you OPT OUT of the program.

The assumed benefit of the program is that if and when one becomes disabled to the degree that he/she might otherwise be “institutionalized,” but that he/she is still able to function in their own home CLASS will pay an estimated minimum of $50 per day to cover health related expenses.  As with the new health care law, the IRS will presumably monitor CLASS money to make sure no recipient is going off to Vegas on it and spending the money foolishly.

CLASS is described beginning on page 1,926 of the reconciled health care bill/law.

I hope that this little note will be of help with regards to participating in, or opting out of the CLASS program.

My opinion: the Health care Law in general will result in real costs greater than that estimated by the CBO by a factor of at least 5 to 10, there will be no budget saving of any kind, and the “red-tape” will be at least as much as anyone currently experiences with their old health insurance and quit likely even greater.  Why do I think this? Simple; history!  The best predictor of the cost and effects of any government program and services is present and past government programs and services. That’s all!

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