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

11/30/11

History, Music and Redemption

Whether it's good ideas, interesting writing, witty humor, important information or videos which deliver some or all of those things, a great blog post is made from great content. On this site I do my best to deliver those things. Sometimes I even succeed.

I write about and post things that I see, hear or just think about. Things I think are important. Many of them concern ideas about freedom or people and events that somehow connect to freedom issues. Some might say this is a political site, but even though it's hard to escape from politics in these times of tumult, I hope it's more than that.

History is one of my loves. So is music. And like so many others, I'm fascinated by the battle between good and evil. So when all three of those things come together in one place, it's impossible to resist sharing them.

One of my favorite musical pieces is the hymn, Amazing Grace. And the history behind it's creation is an incredible story of good, evil and redemption. It's a story I only learned a few years back, long after I fell in love with the melody and power of the song.

The story of John Newton, who wrote the words, is as inspirational as they come. If you don't know the history, do yourself a favor and follow the link, you won't regret it. His fall from grace and final return to receive it again is classic. But as it now turns out, (and as is often the case) I only knew half the story.

The other half of the story concerns Negro Spirituals, the black keys on the piano, the "slave scales" and the writer of the music itself. Someone known only as "Unknown." I will never listen to the hymn the same way again. For me, it used to be special, now it is delicious.

After watching the video below, I can almost feel the pain and suffering of the groaning victims of slavery and the different kind of pain and ultimate redemption of one of those who perpetrated it upon them.

If you feel it too, then this will be better than the usual post on this blog. I hope it will be a great post because of the great content.

Many thanks to Bobbie Rendleman for posting the video link on Facebook.





11/29/11

It's Almost Too Late Already - Special Interests Gone Wild

The biggest special interest group in America is right on the edge of the "No Turning Back" point.

Like the city of Chicago, where almost everyone has a relative or friend who might be negatively impacted by any meaningful reform of government, the country is about to be caught in the same downward spiral.

Most people claim to want reform but are understandably unwilling to put their livelihood or that of their friends or family on the line to get it. It's the reason there is one party rule in Chicago. And now the whole country is in danger of heading down that path-of-no-return.

There is always a lot of talk about the evils of partisanship and "gridlock" in government, but in my view, there is broad agreement among those inside the Democratic/Republican combine about one thing: big government is good for both sides of this same political coin.

It only looks like gridlock. It's actually just a squabble about which group of clowns has the power to operate  the circus. And in this circus, you and I will be left to shovel up after the donkeys and elephants when the tent finally folds up.



Thanks to Dan Mitchell for this excellent video. Be sure to read his post today at International Liberty where the title is Bureaucrats Gone Wild.

11/28/11

Baseball Fans are Geniuses Compared to Politicians - From Babe Ruth to Marxism With Thomas Sowell

Part four in our five part video interview with Dr. Sowell explains why he remained a baseball fanatic long after he lost his interest in Marxism. This one has an analysis of the swings of Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth. Political junkies and sports enthusiasts both will enjoy this one.


11/22/11

Look Ma, No Teleprompter!

It's odd that one of the few places that someone can view an entire half hour of a logical presentation of what a candidate thinks and why is a you-tube provider from, of all places, Russia.

I was lucky enough to find this video on my Facebook feed by way of the Cato Institute. They posted it via a source named "Russia Today." It is a video of Presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul's presentation recently at the 29th annual Cato Monetary Conference where he gave a speech for the National Association of Home Builders.

You won't find any soaring rhetoric or a polished stump speech when you watch it. And you may notice as he speaks that he doesn't have a teleprompter or read from a prepared text. Once in a while he glances down at what must be the list of topics that he wants to cover in his talk.

I understand that the video is thirty minutes long and that now-a-days many of us do not have the time or attention span to watch it all at once, (I plead guilty myself) but so far, there is no law prohibiting you from bookmarking this page and returning as time allows. I promise that it will be worth it to know where a candidate stands even if you decide you don't agree with everything (or even anything) he says.

With the most important election in the history of the nation* less than a year away and the final selection of candidates even closer, why let the spin-masters at the big networks and/or the slanted and incompetent newspapers feed you the latest "horse race" statistics about the candidates in lieu of actual information about what they will do if they become President?

Knowing who made the latest gaffe or has the most baggage won't matter a whit if we end up choosing between two goofs again because we couldn't stand the other guy and our final choice was our "lesser of two evils" selection once more.



* Not because of who will be elected, but because it may be the last chance to change the philosophy of ever expanding government power before the final tipping point is reached. (If Romney or one of his ilk are elected it will be the same thing as picking Obama again, we will just reach the bottom at a slower pace.)

11/18/11

Fact Check Time as Paul Ties for the Lead in Iowa Presidential Poll

A lot of people, including much of the media, wish Ron Paul's inconvenient candidacy would just go away. But to their amazement, things don't always happen according to the way they have scripted them.

Here's a news story that points that out and examines Dr. Paul's actual positions as opposed to the nonsense being pushed by the establishment big wigs of both political parties. They are terrified that people might actually make up their own minds instead of being led through the election process by their noses in the usual manner.

It remains to be seen whether people will choose to regain some of their liberties or choose to complete the process of giving themselves over to government control and crony capitalism. But they deserve to know that they have the option.

11/17/11

Transparent Lunacy

As the old saying goes; "You can't make this stuff up!"

Today's story of why we should be ashamed to have elected the idiots who run this country is tragically humorous. And that so many people had to be involved in this without seeing the irony would be amazing except that it's not out of context with the whole sorry state of affairs we find ourselves mired in. Therefore, it's sadly predictable.

But we must keep on smiling to get through it all, so enjoy a little levity as you go about your daily activities.



From a Politico posting.


Spot the irony in Vice President Biden’s schedule today, from the White House’s daily guidance:


“At 1:00 PM, the Vice President will attend a meeting of the Government Accountability and Transparency Board in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. At 2:30 PM, the Vice President will meet with representatives of the National Sheriffs' Association in the Roosevelt Room. These meetings are closed to press.”


(It was only two months ago that State Department officials briefed reporters on transparency efforts but refused to have their names be printed; and in March, the White House postponed a pooled-press ceremony for President Obama to get an openness award -- it was later rescheduled and carried out in an undisclosed meeting.)

11/16/11

Love, Marriage and Village Idiots - Thomas Sowell Part Three

Part three of our five part series of interviews with Dr. Thomas Sowell deals in part with love, of all things. I can't remember another economist covering that topic in all the reading I have done over the years by people in that profession.

Are married people better off than unmarried domestic partners? What about STDs and sex education in schools? Let's look at the evidence with Dr. Sowell.

11/11/11

One Year Out From the Election of Our Lives

Making predictions about elections is a fool's errand, but I'm just fool enough to do it anyway. And there is very little downside to doing so because no one expects you to be right and whatever you predict is forgotten almost as fast as it hits the page. So you can brag to people who don't care if you turn out to be correct and no one will remember if you are wrong. So here goes;

The mid-term elections of 2010 were only the opening battles in the political war for the future of the teetering republic. The people who wanted to reject Obama-care and what they see as socialism (or the direct path toward it) won pretty handily in those elections. But for them, it is only the beginning. And for those who favor ever larger and more intrusive government, it may have just been a temporary setback on the way to what they see as a more "fair" society.

From my perspective, the coming election is probably the last chance freedom loving people have before the point of no return is reached. Unless there is a repudiation of Obama and his followers next November, Obama-care will remain, the debt crisis (an actual crisis, not to be confused with alleged global warming and other manufactured bugaboos) will lead to the destruction of the currency and most other issues will shrink to insignificance. By my reckoning, the tipping point will have been reached.

Many may think that assessment is over the top. Clearly, I do not. So where do we stand with just a tad less than a year before we get to the fateful election of 2012?

The Republican party, by default the last chance to stop the descent, is currently in shambles. Deservedly so. They have been partners with the Democrats in the decline. Differing only on details and scope, but never on the philosophy that government exists to fix societal problems, they share the blame. (There are a few exceptions, such as Ron Paul, Gary Johnson and a handful of newly elected Tea Party favorites.)

So far, none of the current crop of Presidential candidates on the Republican side have inspired a majority of those who will ultimately choose the candidate to rally behind them. In my opinion, if they nominate Mitt Romney or his ilk, even if he is ultimately elected, the Republican Party is finished. And if so, I say good riddance. That opinion will not endear me to Republicans but most of them aren't in love with people like me anyway, so, oh well.

So here are the choices. Since Obama is not getting a primary challenge, it's him against one of the following:
Romney, Gingrich or Paul.


Santorum and Huntsman never were a factor. Gary Johnson, a legitimate candidate, was never allowed by the media to be considered so he never was a factor either. Michelle Bachmann's star was burnt out in only a few short weeks, and only shone at all because she wasn't Romney. Rick Perry led the opinion polls for the briefest of moments and also because he wasn't Romney. His popularity has been on a slide that coincides almost exactly with the amount that is known about him. The more people know, the less they want him to be President.

Which leaves Herman Cain. He has already started to fade, and despite what the talking heads and political know-it-alls say, it's not because of the allegations that he made some ladies uncomfortable. It's because of the "Rick Perry syndrome", the more people see of him the more they know Cain is not ready for the biggest job in the world.

Cain continuously displays a lack of knowledge about important topics and has already used up his allotment of forgivable gaffes and backtracks. His 9-9-9 plan is a non-starter among Democrats and Republicans in legislative reality and was only useful as a debate tactic. His use of it to answer any question, no matter how unrelated, has worn itself out.

For Cain, the questions will only get tougher as the process advances and his lack of depth on the issues will only become more apparent. Only dreamers think he wouldn't be thrashed by Obama in debates and in the general election. Even the hapless Republicans aren't suicidal enough to nominate him. And that was before he all but announced yesterday that he is actually running for VP or even a cabinet position.

Therefore I make the following prediction, something only a fool like me would do with a year left before the big choice is made. Romney will not be the nominee. He has an excellent chance to win in New Hampshire early, but that will be the high water mark of his candidacy. Most Republicans don't want him as the nominee, he is too much like Obama.

That means it's between Gingrich and Paul. And it's not the worse choice for Republicans to have. It will be a clear choice between being comfortable with a change of captains for the foundering ship of state (from Obama to Gingrich in the hope that we can get free from the reef which will surely sink us otherwise) or the choice to take the uncomfortable but necessary option of returning to a constitutional course that leads to a completely different way of governing ourselves than the current generation has ever known.  And make no mistake, the Paul choice is uncomfortable for most people.

It's usually human nature to take the comfortable option. But it's my hope that, as a nation, we still have the ability to step out of our comfort zone and do what we must do to regain our liberty. Whatever people choose, now is not the time for comfort, so if they pick Gingrich, I hope it's not for that reason.

So even as I make these predictions, I don't know what the American people will choose to do, either with the Gingrich/Paul choice or the Obama/Republican candidate choice. But I do know that we have reached decision time, not just on candidates, but on the whole governing philosophy we will move forward with. And no matter what we choose, things will never be the same as they are now.

In that regard, Obama was finally right about something when he talked about change coming. One year from now things are going to change, in the election of our lives.

11/10/11

Puzzling Over the Lefty Love-fest for Ron Paul

A curious phenomena has manifested itself lately as left wingers continue to fawn over Presidential candidate Ron Paul. This blog has chronicled it before.

Jon Stewart -who pretends to be a journalist on a comedy show- started the whole thing when he decided he couldn't afford to be left a block behind the parade of his fans who were defecting to the Paul way of thinking on a number of issues. And it has continued with the three liberals (two of whom also pretend to be journalists) in the video below as they fawn over him in a way usually reserved for Democrats only. It's quite amazing, to me anyway.

Perhaps they guess that they can safely pander to some of their Democratic viewers and a whole slew of anti-war and anti-federal reserve college students. Some of whom might actually vote for Paul in a one on one match-up with the totally inept failure that Barack Obama turned out to be, because they see him as unlikely to get the Republican nomination anyway. It also doesn't hurt that they know that tons of Neo-Con Republicans are outraged at anyone who gets any accolades at all from liberals like them. ( For those who want to delve deeper into these issues and if you want to learn more about politics, accredited online
colleges have information on classes
.)


I discount the idea that they fawn over him because they actually would like to see his candidacy succeed or him actually become President so he can begin the long process of dismantling their beloved welfare state.

So I'm puzzled by it, but it's not worrisome to me since I spend most of my time in that state.

11/7/11

From Marx to Reagan to OWS - Thomas Sowell's Journey - Part Two

In this second in the series, Dr. Sowell explains why he was a Marxist at 19 and why he became a freedom advocate thereafter. Commentary on perceptions about Reagan and even the OWS mindset are touched on as well.

11/4/11

Our Marines Need Better Training

One of our trained researchers here at WHAT WE THINK AND WHY recently submitted this news article for consideration and it got me to thinking.


Trained researcher Butch will receive a big raise for submitting this fine article.
I have often cautioned people to be careful when trying to navigate those tricky curbs. Call me a meanie, but I don't feel too sorry for this guy because he was an alleged perpetrator of Shoplifting. (not the same as stealing)  And I absolutely don't understand why our US Marines don't receive better training in accident prevention. After all, their primary job is peace keeping and other humanitarian endeavors. 


This poor chap was the victim of poor choices, probably because he was destitute and came from a poor environment. And since he was undoubtedly abused by big banks and other greedy capitalists it's not entirely his fault, but he would have been better off to remain at the OWS protests instead of taking a side trip to Best Buy. 

I think the answer is better training for our troops and free laptops for everyone so victims like him won't be forced into poor decisions. His new therapist, who just got hired after being downsized by ACORN will no doubt counsel him to make better choices when he recovers from his unfortunate injuries. 

I think we need a new federal job training program so he can learn something useful, like how to become a community organizer or something else productive. That program will also serve to stimulate the economy and create jobs.  It's a great country. Who knows, a person with such a background can rise to any level here. 

11/2/11

From Marxist to National Treasure - A Journey With Thomas Sowell

Today's post begins the first of a series of  five videos featuring an interview with Dr. Thomas Sowell. Some of you who have a subscription to this site or are otherwise regular readers know about him to some degree or another. But even (and maybe especially) those who know quite a bit about him will be delighted with this series. For the rest of you, I hope this is an introduction to a person, his history and his ideas that you will treasure, as I have, like a photograph of a beloved member of our family, the American family.

The interviews cover a wide range of topics from politics to poetry and from Babe Ruth to Barack Obama. At eighty one years of age, he has the wit, wisdom and knowledge that men half his age aspire to. And although he has plenty to be angry about, he never seems to be.

The discussion centers around his new book, The Thomas Sowell Reader, which I will be obtaining (shameful hint to Christmas shoppers) to add to my collection of his books.

Most of you do not have the time to sit and watch all five segments at once so I'll be running them one at a time on a regular basis so you can make the enjoyment last. I liken it to a large bowl of intellectual ice cream eaten with a very small spoon. Enjoy.