All The News That Fits

Archive for June, 2009

Thought from Thomas Sowell

Posted by liloladenvers on June 30, 2009

I love reading Thomas Sowell’s columns.  He is brilliant, succinct and occasionally scathing.

His most recent column begins here.  Go to the link to read the full column:

Alice in Medical Care

Most political and media discussions of medical care have an air of unreality reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland. There is an abundance of catch-phrases but remarkably few coherent arguments.

Let’s start at square one. Why is there alarm about American medical care? The most usual reason given is because its cost is high and rising.

That is certainly true. We were not spending nearly as much on high-tech medical procedures in the past because there were not nearly as many of them, and we were not spending anything at all on some of the new pharmaceutical drugs because they didn’t exist.

This general pattern is not peculiar to medical care. Cars didn’t cost nearly as much in the past, when they didn’t have air-conditioning, power steering and high-tech safety features. Homes were cheaper when they were smaller, had fewer bathrooms and lacked such conveniences as built-in microwave ovens.

We would like to have all these things without the rising costs that come with them. But only with medical care is such wishful thinking taken seriously, with government regarded as a sort of fairy godmother who will give us the benefits without the costs.

A cynic is said to be someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. If so, then it is political cynicism to point to other countries that spend less on medical care, including some countries where there is “universal health care” provided “free” by their governments.

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Civics Quiz

Posted by liloladenvers on June 26, 2009

Are you more knowledgeable than the average citizen? The average score for 2,508 Americans taking the following test was 49%; college educators scored 55%. Can you do better? Questions were drawn from past ISI surveys, as well as other nationally recognized exams.

I only got 94% – see if you can beat me.  At least, beat the average!!  Come back and post your score if you like, we want to admire you! 

CIVICS QUIZ

Bon chance!

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The Breaking Point

Posted by liloladenvers on June 22, 2009

And in case the video doesn’t show here…  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bkqWaKZVTY&feature=player_embedded

Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants the U.S. House to vote at the end of this week on the Waxman-Markey National Energy Tax (House Bill 2454) and we need to defeat it.  Cap and Trade will be a disaster if passed.  When did you call your Congressman or Senator about this?  Really?  Good for you!  Do it again!. Please.

 

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Today’s Assigned Reading

Posted by Nancy on June 18, 2009

What would you think of a book that contained the following quotes?

“The characteristic feature of present-day policies is the trend toward a substitution of government control for free enterprise. Powerful political parties and pressure groups are fervently asking for public control of all economic activities, for thorough government planning, and for the nationalization of business. They aim at full government control of education and at the socialization of the medical profession. There is no sphere of human activity that they would not be prepared to subordinate to regimentation by the authorities. In their eyes, state control is the panacea for all ills.”  (p. 4)

“America is faced with a phenomenon that the framers of the Constitution did not foresee and could not foresee: the voluntary abandonment of congressional rights. Congress has in many instances surrendered the function of legislation to government agencies and commissions, and it has relaxed its budgetary control through the allocation of large appropriations for expenditures, which the Administration has to determine in detail.” (p. 5)

“The political conflicts are no longer seen as struggles between groups of men. They are considered a war between two principles, the good and the bad. The good is embodies in the great god State, the materialization of the eternal idea of morality, and the bad is the ‘rugged individualism’ of selfish men. In this antagonism the State is always right and the individual always wrong. The State is the representative of the commonweal, of justice, civilization, and superior wisdom. The individual is a poor wretch, a vicious fool.” (p. 76)

What would you say if I told you it was written in 1944?  In Austria?*

These quotes are from Bureaucracy by Ludwig von Mises, a member of the Austrian School of Economics.  He and fellow economist F. A Hayak (The Road To Serfdom) wrote during the time of Hitler, but are drawing wide attention recently among modern readers. 

For further information you may want to check out http://mises.org/.  Better yet, check your local bookstore or online vendor for copies of their books.  They may have been defending capitalism from fascism when they originally wrote their books, but their insights are prescient of current times.

*Contrary to our president’s statement, German is spoken there, not a non-existent language called “Austrian.”

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Our Historically Challenged President

Posted by liloladenvers on June 16, 2009

Aside from stating that there were 57 states instead of 50; and referring to his Muslim faith when he meant Christian, Victor Hanson lists many things that President Obama says that are not accurate.  Evidently he is not as knowledgable as he wants us to think he is.

Here’s the beginning of the article, check the link to read the whole thing!

Our Historically Challenged President
A list of distortions.

By Victor Davis Hanson

In his speech last week in Cairo, President Obama proclaimed he was a “student of history.” But despite Barack Obama’s image as an Ivy League-educated intellectual, he lacks historical competency, in areas of both facts and interpretation.

This first became apparent during the presidential campaign. Candidate Obama proclaimed then that during World War II his great-uncle had helped liberate Auschwitz, and that his grandfather knew fellow American troops that had entered Auschwitz and Treblinka.

Both are impossible. The Americans didn’t free either Nazi death camp. (Regarding Obama’s great uncle’s war experience, the Obama team later said he’d meant the camp at Buchenwald.)

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Here’s A Chart You’re Not Likely To See on CNN

Posted by necessarygrace on June 8, 2009

unemployment rate chart

From Innocent Bystanders, “The May Unemployment Numbers Are Here, And Worse Than Predicted”

I continue to be amazed at the positive spin President Obama receives from the “mainstream” press, and even more amazed at the number of Americans who are too swept up in their Obamania to see what he is doing to our country. And I wonder, what more has to happen before they wake up?

Posted in Economy | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

D-Day, the Sixth of June

Posted by liloladenvers on June 6, 2009

 

Because I don’t have great luck with embedding video, here’s the link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgawfZAqgiE

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Why Are Conservatives So Mean?

Posted by liloladenvers on June 2, 2009

This is a wonderful video commentary by Andrew Klavan.  Advice to those graduating from college.  I haven’t had great luck posting videos, but this one can’t be embedded, so here’s the link.  Let me know what you think!

http://www.pjtv.com/video/Klavan_on_culture/_Why_Are_Conservatives_So_Mean%3F/1949/;jsessionid=abcybdvbQ23-ofhyJ_Ggs

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The Meaning of Words (Part I)

Posted by Doug S on June 2, 2009

There are plenty of others who may discuss how our country has lost its way in better terms than I might. But it doesn’t make what I, or anyone else, might say any less relevant. Our journey off the path has been gradual such that it has gone unnoticed by most. But how? What is it that has made it that we have been seemingly blind for so long to the steady progress to this modern era of socialism in the United States?

And yes, I said it: modern era of socialism in the United States.

My personal opinion is that we have been lost by the meaning of words. I’ve often wondered “Do all people perceive the color blue in the same way?” It’s really a philosophical question about how we see the world around us. But regardless of whether we do or not, we can all point to the sky and agree that it is blue, whatever that may mean to each of us individually. Words however no longer hold their original meaning and have instead been used to demonize one group or another, one individual or another, to the point that it is nearly impossible to divine the truth of what is real and what is fiction. Words do not have that tangibility to them. They used to, but they no longer do.

For those who have been reading Cleon Skousen’s “The Five Thousand Year Leap”, on page 255 there is a quote from Daniel Webster (yes, that Webster)

“And whatever may be said to the contrary, a correct use of the English language is, at this day [1843], more general throughout the United States than it is throughout England itself.”

I don’t think this would be the way I would describe the use of the English language in our country now. To the contrary, I have read studies in the past citing the continuing downward useage of our language from generation to generation. My generation uses a significantly smaller percentage of the words available in the standard dictionary than my parents’ generation. And their generation less than their parents. Societally we have sought to further bleed meaning from our words by espousing such nonsense as Ebonics and not expecting those immigrating to our county to learn and speak English.

To that end we have lost the ability to truly dialog about the direction our country is headed. Evil has become good and good evil through the contortion of meaning. I think it will be a useful exercise to revisit what some of the things we say, what some of the terms we use to describe each other, really mean. If we don’t know how we are truly defining ourselves, then how can we hope to define, and therfore solve, our problems?

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