This is not a political site. This is an anti-political site. Our purpose is to advance civil society and the freedom philosophy and perhaps have a little fun while we're at it.

7/20/10

The Passing of a Hero - Nate Henn 1985-2010

When you hear the news that scores of people are murdered by a terrorist bomb in a faraway place, you shudder. But in that little quiet place in the back of your mind, you dare not even whisper to yourself , "thank goodness that didn't happen here... it's in Uganda this time...it's really far away."

It helps people to cope, it's in our shared human nature. Can you actually get numb to this stuff? Can you hear about it so often it just doesn't register the same way anymore?

Countries don't move, but Uganda just got a lot closer. Too close for comfort. And the blast that took so many lives was felt by thousands upon thousands more. My family felt the shock wave even though we were on the farthest periphery.

You might have read the headlines, which included the phrase, "one American was killed." That one American was Nate Henn. Nate was a hero, and he was loved by someone we love. That's how the blast was felt by us. When someone you love is hurting, you are hurting too.

I have written about heroes here before.You may have read those essays  Most of them were heroes because of something they did. Nate Henn is a different kind of hero. He is not a hero because of the way he died, or why he died. He is a hero because of how he lived.

Heroes are among us. Mostly we never notice them. Look around you sometime, you might see one. And none of the real heroes consider themselves as such. Nate was one the day before he left us. Maybe we didn't notice until he was gone.

I never met Nate. I never even heard of him before the horrific crime which killed him was committed. Now I feel as if I knew him because he lived next door. If you watch the video below, I am certain you will feel the same way. Maybe you will feel moved to support The Invisible Children, his mission in this life.

Nate, God bless you for the work you did to make the world a better place. I never met you, but now I will never forget you.

7/12/10

"WhatWeThinkandWhy" wins blog Award!

Ok, maybe that's more than a slight exaggeration.

But it gives me an opportunity to plug the "Freedom Pub", the blog feature of the Heartland Institute website where I have recently begun posting the short essays I write. Actually, it was just a mention of my last commentary, "Camels on the Moon" in its "The Best of The Pub This Week" feature which highlights "some of the best contributions to our group blog over the past week." I'm glad someone liked it. It was a tongue in cheek treatment of a fairly important change of direction in governmental policy objectives.

Some of you are familiar with the Heartland Institute, but if you are not, or if you haven't visited their site recently, you should do so. In many ways, it's the "Cato Institute of the Midwest" and is a leading organisation in the always present debate about liberty in America. The work they do has had a meaningful impact on legislative direction and intelligent political thought for a long time.

And now that the people of this country are finally paying attention to a few things which are even more important than where overpaid thugs are going to shoot basketballs (or other players) next season, Heartland  will be among those leading the way to actual change for the betterment of the nation.

There are plenty of organisations dedicated to criticism of their opponents, but not nearly enough who have actual well-thought-out proposals for realistic solutions to societal problems. Heartland leads most in that category. Their "PolicyBot" is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in sorting through the rhetoric and getting to the truth on the issues. As they describe it, it "is a search engine and database containing more than 23,000 studies and commentaries from more than 350 think tanks and advocacy groups. It’s free, fast, and comprehensive".  You can access it from their page or you may click here to begin your search!

Many of you know how my "Bash Brother" and I love the camaraderie of sitting in a pub and bashing around the issues (never the other patrons), but it's a good thing we can go to a virtual pub instead in order to avoid liver disease.

So there you have it Freedom Pub. You have been plugged by this widely read blog site, not because you were kind to me, but because you, and the Heartland Institute deserve it. And if we are able to "throw the bums out" in November, we are going to need you more than ever, because we are going to need new leaders and good ideas, not just Republican bums to replace the goofs who are currently swiping our freedoms and replacing them with dependencies.

Hey bartender Jim! I'll have a Sam Adams, his lager is as good as his ideas were!

7/8/10

Camels On the Moon

Just when I thought things couldn't get any crazier in the later portion of the "Hope & Change" agenda, they did.

It seems that President Obama has decided that NASA's primary responsibilities are no longer aeronautics or outer space, but instead,  building better relationships with Muslim countries.

Unless you already saw this bizarre news, you probably think I'm even crazier than you previously thought. But folks, if I could make this stuff up, I'd be writing novels instead of commentaries.

And speaking of new gigs, perhaps Hillary Clinton will become an "astro-secretary" or something instead of Secretary of State of our recently ruined country. I mean, if Charles Bolden, the head of NASA in the "Comedy Central Administration" has become the de-facto top apologist for all the failures of America, then Hillary has nothing to do.

She might even strap on a rocket herself for a moon shot instead of riding around on her broom as she usually does. (Ouch! Sorry for the bad mental imagery resulting from referring to the word moon and Hillary in the same sentence.)

But getting back to Bolden and his new job as head of self-esteem for Muslim countries, it's amazing the things he reported while being interviewed by Al-Jazeera recently. In fact, he says that building self esteem for these countries is actually part of his job description.

He claims that Obama told him directly to,"inspire children to learn math and science, expand international relationships and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science ... and math and engineering."


So there is indeed change from this administration. Feeling bad about ourselves and helping other countries feel good about themselves is the change we got, even if it wasn't the change we expected.

And since Bolden told Al Jazeera that "the moon, Mars and asteroids are still planned destinations for NASA", maybe he intends to take people from Muslim countries with him, or have them take us along for the ride. Kind of like getting a camel ride in the Egyptian desert. One can only wonder if the camels will fit in the space ship.

All of this new co-operation is a little hard to fathom for me ever since I found out that there was much glee in the Muslim world after our space shuttle Challenger burned up. As the Investors Business Daily reports today, a prominent imam, Ali AL-Timimi of Washington DC, "called it a 'good omen' for Muslims because it was a blow to their greatest enemy."

In any case, since the only rockets most Muslim countries are interested in carry warheads, I won't hold my breath until a Muslim country sends a man to the moon.

Perhaps when camels fly......

Doomed to Repeat the Past?

1934 Chicago Tribune Editorial Cartoon


Hat Tip to Capt. McCann

As the email said, "Could have been drawn yesterday. What has changed?"