This is not a political site. This is an anti-political site. We agree with the goals of individual liberty, free markets, and peace.

12/31/09

Wishing You the Blessings of Liberty in 2010


I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have read the blog this year. Your kind comments and continued readership have made it fun to write and I hope you have enjoyed it even if you disagreed with some of my opinions or cheeky style.

One of the most rewarding comments I have received was "My sister disagrees with almost everything you write but she reads your blog all the time." Special thanks to that un-named sister, who couldn't be blamed if she finally threw in the towel.

I have striven to present information which may have been missed, along with my original content, in such a way that it would be entertaining as well as informative. I hope a few of you laughed from time to time and although some of the things I write about can cause angst and even anger, my intent is not to depress you. The times we live in and the events of the last few years need no assistance from me in that regard.

Believe it or not, there is a larger concept or idea behind most of the essays. The most important one is my belief that "freedom works." It's not perfect, but since utopia is not an option, it will have to do because it "works" infinitely better than any other arrangement of human society ever tried. (I might add that it would be a goal worth pursuing despite that.)

So thank you again for "playing along with the gag." Writing this blog has given me more happiness than I would have otherwise enjoyed. Not to mention giving us a vehicle for expressing ourselves without shouting across the room or talking over and past each other. While comments are made by you, in private and in the comment section following each short essay, I would encourage more of them next year as you feel led. I named the blog with that hope in mind.

Remember, YOU are the WE in whatwethinkandwhy.

12/30/09

Legislative Breathalyzer


Tests to make sure that people are not intoxicated while performing tasks that might be dangerous to others are common today. I would humbly suggest that one of the tasks to include in that scrutiny might be a test to address "Legislating under the Influence."

I mean, if our own illustrious Mayor Daley doesn't mind his underwear being  monitored, ("I get scrutined every day.") why should Sen. Max Baucus be offended merely by being required to puff into the monitor before taking to the floor of the Senate to change our health-care system? As someone once said, "Political intoxication leads to reality hangover."

Many of you have probably seen this unbelievable video of him "debating" in "the world's greatest deliberative body" as it burns its way around the internet but it would be presumptuous of me to assume that you shouldn't be given an opportunity to "scrutin" it, just in case you missed it so far.

So allow me to douse the fire with gasoline.

12/28/09

We've Joined the Militia

By Grant Davies

You and I have joined the militia. You might not have even known it. And the Christmas holiday this year marked another victory for that militia.

The militia are those folks who are trying to defend us from some insaniacs who are bent on murdering us for no particular reason.

Okay, I admit that they actually do have a purpose. Sometimes  it's just hard to ascertain what it is, at least from a western perspective. Apparently they want to return civilization to an earlier time (centuries ago, give or take) when all was better with the world, at least in their eyes. It seems we westerners are ruining the regression.

I guess it's human nature, that longing for the "good old days." For them it was when women were chattel and there was no information available to their subjects except what they wanted them to have. I can understand the "good old days" thing myself since I long for a return to a time in this country when the constitution meant what was written in it. A time when people were still free to succeed or fail without the "help" of the elite in government. But back to the point of all this, the militia. 

During the founding era of this country, that term was understood to mean the people themselves, at least when they banded together to defend themselves as the need arose. They were armed with whatever weapons they could muster and they asserted their natural right to keep and bear those weapons.

One of the brightest (if not the most well known) of the founders was George Mason. He distilled the definition of that military force down to an understandable concept when he wrote; "what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few public officials."

Our current militia is decidedly the not "well regulated" one hoped for by the founders. By Mason's definition, you and I are already enlisted in this militia, so no formal sign-up is necessary. And it is this type of militia that  has had the most success in the local skirmishes of the "Global War on Terror." (At least that's what it used to be called. Some in today's government have taken to calling it an "Overseas Contingency Operation." Apparently, it's a politically correct attempt to portray it as a non-violent war. But I digress.)

When on 9-11 our government failed at it's most fundamental task - that of defending our right to breathe - the militia succeeded. That success was achieved by people like Rick Rescorla at World Trade center, and Todd Beamer and others on Flt 93 over Pennsylvania. It also included scores of other unnamed citizens who saved thousands of lives on that fateful day.

Rescorla saved thousands (about 2700) of innocent lives with his pre-attack planning and unbelievable courage. He also gave his own life during the attack the government failed to detect or prevent. His name is almost unknown today despite an hour-long documentary, "The Man Who Predicted 9-11" on the History Channel.

Somewhat more well known is Todd Beamer (of "Let's Roll" fame) who along with others gave their lives preventing Islamofacists from blowing up the White House with a United Airlines cruise missile. (I challenge anyone to name one of the other heroes he fought along side of without looking it up on the net. I certainly couldn't when I started to write this piece.)

The actions of those people was another militia victory on that day, particularly when compared to the government failure to detect or prevent the plot.

Then, three days ago, on Christmas, it was a passenger on a Detroit bound jet who engaged yet another Islamic fundamentalist soldier as he tried to blow up the plane. Jasper Schuringa, a Dutch filmmaker has been identified in the media as the passenger who subdued the would be terrorist who was attempting to murder over two hundred in his quest for a date with 72 virgins.

Although the idiot martyr-wannabe is reported to have been previously identified as a terrorist threat, and some reports say had no passport to travel here, the government's effort to defend us from him also failed miserably. The reason for the government failure was political correctness, again.

The only thing that saved the day was a poorly designed detonator and our fellow militia member Schuringa. These members of our militia are battlefield heroes as surely as any in our history. They are our fellow soldiers in the never ending war for our freedom.

There is a lesson in all this. It is just this;  It's up to us, the people, the real militia. And the lesson applies equally to the effort to halt the domestic threats to our freedoms as well. If we leave it up to the politicians we can expect similar results.

In my opinion, the domestic threat is even more dangerous than the threat from abroad.                                                  

12/17/09

Understanding How We Got Here


As promised in an earlier post, Dr. Thomas Sowell, one of the best thinkers in America explains in plain language what caused the Housing Boom and Bust in his book of that name. The links on the right point to articles published in the Investors Business Daily which are actually a chapter from that book.

As always, there is plenty of blame to pass around, but there are always root causes as well. The chapter is titled "The Politics of the Housing Boom" and it takes the mystery out of the question about what some of those causes are. We ignore those causes at our future peril. Of course I suggest you read the book itself, but the chapter referenced should suffice in lieu of that.

Thomas Sowell, a man with no political aspirations, or someone like him, should have been President of the United States. If that had happened, the first black President could have been a triumph instead of the unmitigated disaster it has become. A leader in every sense of the word, his grasp on this issue is only one of many he has a grasp on. A common sense man for uncommon times.

You can read the series on the right. And you won't want to miss listening to a pod-cast of an interview of Dr. Sowell here. It covers several topics and is enlightening as well as entertaining.

12/15/09

Checking the Scorecard


If you are a golfer, you have probably witnessed a familiar scene at the 19th hole of your favorite course. When you look around at the other players enjoying their after-round beverage and commiseration session, you will see them staring at the scorecard almost with the expectation that the score might somehow change for the better if only they look at it long enough. It's part of the fun. (It's almost as much fun as collecting on the small wager from my old friend "Skinny")

It's the same way with writing on a blog. It's interesting to see where the readers come from and how they arrived at your site. Many of those who visit this site do so because I have alerted them with an annoying email. Others stumble upon it while doing google searches or click on the link from other sites who recommend it to their readers. Several have come because the link was forwarded to them in an email. Happily, this blog is starting to make the rounds of some colleges. It's nice to have younger readers, it's their future I usually write about. It would be a terrible waste of the perfectly good mistakes my generation has made if they weren't shared with people who still have time to avoid them.

So after checking the "score card" of my writing effort on Dec. 9th, I was a tad confused by some of the "hits" received. The number was larger than usual, but the two separate visits from the U S House of Representatives was the stat that caught my eye.

I have some theories, but it's still not clear to me how a Lilliputian blogsite like this one came under the watchful eye of someone from what noted humorist and freedom advocate P.J. O'Rourke called the "Parliament of Whores" in his best selling book of that title.

As an aside, I highly suggest you click the link, make note of the titles of all his other books (most of which I have read) and get ready for laughter and enlightenment mixed together into a terrific literary cocktail. P.J. truly is the Will Rogers of our era. They would also make great Christmas gifts.

The blog you are reading has been visited by people in all but a few of the states in this country as well as countries across Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. Although the number of hits is small, I'm still amazed about that. And I thank all those who take the time to read the short essays I write here.

Maybe some House staffer was just running a google search to find out who is mentioning their boss and the context of the citation, but just in case they actually care what I think;

I disapprove of what most of you are doing. I think you were destroying this country step by step, and now by leaps and bounds.  Both Democrats and Republicans. Many of you are just looking for power and money. Some of you are just misguided fools who think they are trying to do the right thing. But the effect on my life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, and that of my offspring is the same as if you are deliberately trying to destroy them. But I forgive you because you are not the problem. We who elected you are the problem, and I'm not sure if we deserve to be forgiven. In any case, I am keeping a different kind of scorecard on you.

PS...Your employee evaluation is coming up in 2010. You're fired.

12/9/09

Let's Get Bombed

About a year ago we were blessed to be able to visit our daughter and some other wonderful people in the great states of Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. On that trip we were able to do most of the things which I think make up a great vacation. Spend time with loved ones, see many historical sites, and eat fantastic food.

One of the historical sites was the City Tavern in Philadelphia, near Independence Hall, where Adams and Jefferson often met to enjoy "a feast of reason and a flow of soul".  It was great to have a good meal and a beer (made from Jefferson's own recipe, a tad heavy but, darn, it was good) in the place where the ideas and ale flowed at equal volume. It was there that the founders drank much and argued much on the way to building the greatest country on earth.

Now-a-days, lesser beings such as ourselves gather to feast on pizza while our souls are flowing as we try to hash out ideas in the same way. This time around, the same kind of anger is afoot, but instead of a slightly groggy, self confident group of action figures in attendance, it is a bewildered gathering of citizens who were so busy enjoying the fruits of abundance that they never saw the socialistic blindside coming from those who pretended to love freedom. People like George W Bush, who took about two seconds to throw conceptual free enterprise under the bus at the first sign of difficulty, and Barack H Obama who gleefully put the bus in gear and pressed the accelerator to the floor.

When I find myself in the conversations among us "bewildereds", I repeatedly hear the frustrated complaint that we are powerless as individuals to do anything about the sad state of affairs in all government endeavors, locally as well as nationally. And the frustration is more than understandable. "Who do I see about this?" is the question I hear most often, as if there was a hotline number where someone would actually care what we thought and make all the bad ideas go away.

I write on this blog in part because it gives me the feeling that I'm doing something to make the situation better, no matter how pitifully insignificant. I have had to tell people that I'm not sure what they ought to be doing. To say, "get involved" is a generalization without meaning. To say, "write to your elected representatives " is also meaningless in several ways since many (if not most) people don't even know who their representatives are, or the even more disturbing realization that those elitists could not possibly care less what you think even if you did contact them.

Imagine for a second the possible outcome of calling Dick Durbin's office and telling him you want him to vote against the two thousand plus page "Health Care Reform" monstrosity that he champions or the huge tax increase and job killing bill called "Cap and Trade" that he worships. (The latter based on discredited global warming nonsense)

Maybe it would work better if you called Tombstone Burris or Jan Schakowsky or Bobby Rush or the elder Dan Lipinski's nitwit son? I don't think so.

That leaves us few other alternatives. But you asked for it in those conversations, at least some of you did, so here is my suggestion for anyone who wants to feel a tad more empowered.

Get Bombed with me. Tea Bombed that is.

Goofy?  Maybe, but not goofier than wringing our hands and continuing to co-operate with a truly screwed up political system.

Here's how it works;
Quit being a Republican. Quit being a Democrat. Go ahead, just do it, you will feel better. The first step on the ladder to recovery is to stop doing the things that are causing you the problems. So the next time someone asks about your politics, tell them you have left both political parties behind. In fact, maybe you should announce it even if they don't ask.
Become an Independent. You don't have to join anything, just quit being part of the problem.

Then go to the top of this page, watch the video if you haven't already, and then click on the Tea Bomb banner and learn about some ways to fire the idiots in charge and possibly hire some normal, freedom minded people (as they emerge) so we can start to find our way back to the right path.

The Tea Bomb is named after the "money bomb" method of raising contributions for candidates. The first "bombs" were for Ron Paul in his run against the Republican Party from within. They were designed to raise a large amount in a short burst for maximum media exposure, and they accomplished that goal better than anyone, including the current president. Now it is morphing into something different and is possibly being embraced by the "Tea Partiers", that group of former Democrats and Republicans who have reached the tipping point of disgust with the system that gave America the non-choices between; Obama and McCain, Bush and Kerry, Bush and Gore, Clinton and Dole.... ad-nausem.

So maybe it's time to get "bombed".  It couldn't work less than what we are currently doing.
Don't be afraid to pass this blog post around if you agree. I wouldn't mind if it registered my "greatest hits" in the web-site "unique visitors" stats so I don't feel like I'm mumbling to myself on this blog.

12/5/09

This Is Going on Your Permanent Record


Back when I was screwing up everything in sight on my way through the elementary education process, it seemed I was told after almost every misstep, "Young man, I hope you understand that this is going to go on your permanent record!"
Many of those growing up in the 50s and 60s have that same memory, and none of us could ever figure out where the heck that "permanent record" was kept and who was in charge of it. I mean, maybe we could somehow get a hold of it and do a little creative editing or something. In the end, we kinda figured out that in the same way Santa didn't really know if you were bad or good, it was all nonsense.

But now the sickening realization comes that it's actually true in some ways. In the information/internet age, everything you say (or blog about) is impossible to hide from. It's a bad thing if you write or say something really stupid, but it's a two sided sword. It's good when it allows us to hold the politicians accountable. (Even if the most arrogant among them really don't care if we do.)  It also allows us to see that, when someone warned us that the behavior we were engaging in was dangerous, we should have listened.

This brings us to the economic meltdown and the resulting gooey mess of many careers and retirement plans. In upcoming posts, with the help of Thomas Sowell, I plan on doing my small part to help shed some light on the actual reasons for the implosion, but for now we can skip the finger pointing in favor of a look back at what some prescient people thought might happen, before it happened.

So, who Knew? Some did, that's for sure.

While slogging through the blogs recently, I tripped over one with the most amazing U-Tube video I've seen in some time. Which is actually saying a lot considering the volume of amazing video clips found on the web. The blog I'm referring to is called Freedom Keeper, and it has several good videos on it although it doesn't seem to have been updated in a while.

One of those "who knew" was a guy named Peter Schiff. The video below features him while appearing on different occasions on TV before the events he foretold unfolded. There are some others featured in it, some of whom I respect greatly, like Ben Stein, who unfortunately were wrong, particularly if you followed their investment advice.  But there are others who literally laughed in the face of Schiff, and in my mind, they deserve the scorn which should be heaped on them for their rude method of disagreement.
I don't know if Schiff goes around telling people "I told you so", but those who ridiculed him owe him an apology. I rather doubt they will do so.  If you enjoy the clip below, you might check out what this man has been saying lately, this time on the Daily Show in June.

It would be great fun to joke about the stock price predictions toward the end of the video if so many people didn't act upon those predictions and lose huge sums of money in the process. Less fun is the realization that the politicians currently in power not only have refused to admit they erred, but continue to advocate more of the same policies as they attempt to keep the music playing.

In that regard, the band on the Titanic had nothing on them.

12/2/09

Watering the LiberTree

Ever since my fast forwarded, semi-retirement began in 2008, I have found a good deal of pleasure in planting and maintaining the landscaping around the house which we own, but still pay the local government a huge amount for the privilege of living in. And even though planting low maintenance flora is my goal, even that standard requires quite a bit of moisture if you want it to thrive.

And so it is with the propagation and nurture of concepts and ideas as well. To that end, I constantly comb the internet for interesting information, ideas and people about which to write. Recently in an article written for this page, I referenced an interesting person and his blog. His name is Wesley Messamore and his blog-site is called The Humble libertarian. I recently included a link to it among the others I recommend in the right hand column of this page.
My idea of a good blog-site is one where you can learn something you didn't know before and where there is some original, quality content to agree or disagree with. It's what I try to deliver here, and what Wes & Co. succeed in doing over at The Humble libertarian.

Without really knowing much about Wes, I was intrigued by the grasp he seems to have on issues concerning liberty and the talented writing he and his contributing editors publish on the site. The reason for my intrigue was his apparent age. Even with only a good ball park estimate of his age (he has since informed me of his two decade plus presence among us) I had concluded that I have been bloviating about freedom issues for longer than he has graced this earth. In fact, as my old Berghoff lunch-mate “JO” used to say after encountering a whiz-kid trader on the floor, "Hey, I have kids older than him, Hell, I may even have tennis shoes older than him!"

I'm not sure of the path this young man took to his arrive at his beliefs, or how he got there with such eloquence so quickly, but as the saying goes, the fruit always falls close to the tree, so I would guess it has some connection to his parents or family in general.
As I remarked to Wes in an email, "While most people your age have Levis, you seem to be wearing freedom genes".

On a personal level, our own offspring have a fondness for liberty that can probably be traced back to the long love affair my wife and I have had with freedom, (one second only to the one with each other) so the concept of passing your beliefs along to your children isn't peculiar only to Chicago Democrats or others beholden to the machine for their daily bread. (Even Republicans are Democrats in Chicago if they want to eat.)

The left long ago recognized the obvious; that the young people are the ones who matter when planning for the future. So they seeded many of the government schools and universities while the frog was cooking and today we are seeing the fruits of that farming. From my perspective, the fruit is bitter, millions upon millions of “twenty somethings” embracing the politics of personality and swooning at the prospect of big government “solutions” to societal problems. Short on analysis but long on adoration of the anointed, they are at least partially responsible for the latest crop failure of American governance.

But there are always some weeds in the lawn, and the emergence of a growing number of freedom minded folks of that same age demographic gives me some un-Obamesque hope for actual climate change, of the political variety. And if it can change at anything like the rate the dandelions multiply in my lawn, my children and grandchildren still have an outside chance.

Tonight, Wed. Dec. 2, Wesley will be interviewing the former Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson on his web-blog radio program. By the time this is posted, it will be concluded but you can replay it anytime afterward from a link at his site. I snitched a few U-Tube clips from his blog and have added them below so you can see what this former Governor accomplished in his eight years using small government principles in the real world instead of merely making speeches and organizing communities to demand more government programs. Maybe we can all learn something about a guy few of us have ever heard of before.

Although probably not delighted to be described as weeds, young freedom spokesmen need to be "watered" to grow, so even though I think Wesley has already been baptized in a much more important ceremony, I'm going to pour some cyber water on his cyber head right here in an effort to irrigate the tree of liberty with something other than the blood of patriots.