Saturday, April 23, 2011

Yes, Glenn Beck is Wrong

I watch Glenn Beck and thank God for his voice in the wilderness.  However, he has fallen short on connecting some dots.  Ok, he is not wrong, just not complete.  But, I wanted to get your attention on the importance of connecting these dots.  

He started the 9/12 project and then hammered home the idea of Faith, Hope and Charity. Although I love these ideas, he fell short (in my opinion) of explaining the connection between our Christian faith and the reason for our unprecedented success.  It is great to talk about our Judeo-Christian ideas and then creating a list to represent them, but he is no different from progressives, if first, he does not fully re-connect the dots to our Christian Faith. 

I get the concern of alienating some. But, it was the weaving of Christian faith within government and culture that created this amazingly successful society.  Nowhere else in this world was there a consistent recipe of liberty, work ethic, education, competition, and strict adherence to a Christian Faith through its Natural Law and Virtues.  Look at the differences between the US and Europe.  While the US still has a thriving religious community (over 40% attend service every Sunday), most of north-western Europe does not (less than 20%). Those that do in the south of Europe never developed the idea of limited decentralized government.

Christianity gave us Hope, Faith and Charity, called the Theological Virtues.  I do not recall Glenn Beck referring to them as Theological Virtues, quoting St. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians and connecting those dots.  While he seems ready to quote Gandhi, King, Bonhoeffer, our founders, and soooo many other people, it is a shame he does not spend a little time quoting other great writers, especially those whom God Himself used as vessels for his message.  Perhaps again, it is a concern for "turning off" people.  Many people that watch Glenn Beck might not know where these 3 ideas came from so they either think Glenn summarized a Judeo-Christian philosophy or took them from our founders. While the founders did exalt them, it was because of their Christian Faith and knowing these as Theological Virtues as handed down by God through St. Paul.

Likewise, the founders knew of the 4 Cardinal Virtues and in his autobiography the "non-religious" Ben Franklin added to the 4 Cardinal Virtues. Those Virtues are, with definitions:

Prudence - able to discern between appropriate actions and timing of those actions
Justice - proper moderation between self-interest and the rights of others
Temperance - practicing self-control, abstention, and moderation
Fortitude - forbearance, endurance, and ability to confront fear and uncertainty

Connecting these dots with the Book of Wisdom, Plato, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas would do great service, as understanding how they were developed and intertwined into the Christian religion and became the foundation of Western civilization. 

Providing this education to his viewers and connecting the dots would have been more in the "conservative" or traditionalist sense.  People love history and how dots are connected, thus the reason Glenn has such huge ratings when he does one of his historically based shows.  

Perhaps rather than the 12 values in the 9/12 project, it would have been more enlightening to look at the 7 Christian Virtues, then at Ben Franklin's 13 moral Virtues and explain those in historical context.  One must never forget their past as Glenn so eloquently reminds us.  I understand Glenn's mindset, so I understand where and how these things all came about.  It has been a journey for him as it is for all of us.  Some of his reluctance is perhaps concern for "turning off" people, perhaps ignorance, perhaps selective education.  Let's hope it is ignorance that has caused his neglect of not quoting historical figures in the Christian church.  If that is the case, I look forward to him discovering his Catholic roots and discovering very profound ideas such as the 4 Laws, Just Price and distributism.  

Friday, April 22, 2011

If we forget why Easter is Easter we are doomed

“Have not we — the people of God — become to a large extent a people of unbelief and distance from God?” This is the question. 

There are 3 reasons for the United States success. 

1) Critical Thinking - the development our minds to overcome our environment; we advance in science, medicine, technology - making us innovation leaders. 

2) Competition - critical thinking can not happen without a FREE market of ideas. We hone our skills and push ourselves further than our comfort level through competition. 

3) A Faithful Judeo-Christian Belief System - Neither critical thinking or competition can exist without belief in Natural Law - inalienable rights to Life, Liberty and Property. Inalienable rights come from GOD and cannot be taken from man. Competition and Critical Thinking without Faith in God is like drinking salt water to quench your thirst. Our Faith gives us our work-ethic, an understanding that some things are worth suffering for, and 7 virtues - prudence, justice, temperance, fortitude, faith, hope, and charity (yes,Glenn Beck fell short). 

Our Faith allowed us to embrace a new style of government that flipped the idea of government in society. The idea that man can rule himself. There is a direct correlation between our country becoming more secular and our fall from the top. Secularism destroys the moral fabric of society and leads to corruption in competition and critical thinking. What else explains the dumbing down of our country? Why have our schools fallen behind? Why are we seeing more and more manufactured products coming in from China? Why are more inventions coming from other parts of the world? 

If you are celebrating Earth Day today along side, or instead of Good Friday, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution. This blessed weekend, ask yourself the question, have we turned our back on God?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

God Bless You Alan West

Every time I hear Alan West speak, I find hope for my country.  Not the fake hope the president pushed to be elected, but the kind of Hope that is one of the Theological Virtues that comes Devine Providence.  The idea that a nation can understand that Government is not the answer, but only a basic tool to serve the people.  The real work comes from each and every one of us to help our neighbor, practice the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, termperance and fortitude.  He gives me the Hope, because he eloquently uses common sense, and the american philosophy to frame the situation we are in, and what we need to do to restore our Republic.  Few men have given me comfort like this, and no one has sense Ronald Reagan.  God Bless you Alan West.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Inciting Violence

When a person knowingly does something to incite violence it is sinful. You might be thinking I am talking about the preacher in Florida that burned the Koran. However, I am not. I am talking about out president who knowingly provocates violence through a combination of actions. First, he continues to support the murder of innocent life. Second, he uses class warfare to work his agenda. Third, he has managed over the biggest economic downturn since the great depression and has knowingly increased the misery through his neo-Keynesian economic stimulus plan and inability to restore confidence in the US government. Fourth, he hypocritically increased our roles in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya. The preacher in Florida was demonstrating one of the bed rocks of our civilization, freedom of speech and freedom of religion. I do not know the man nor can I judge him based on this one action. It does appear, however, that he may had been provoking with some pride, which is sinful, but again, I do not know. I do know that the media was more at fault than the preacher. All one has to do is see the other examples of Koran burning on the internet and the near 0 coverage to know the press was a conspiring to increase the chance for violence all in the name of ideology and money. The President, on the other hand was elected to continue a 200+ year tradition of leading a God-blessed country that was founded and still struggles to be the last hope for the oppressed, the downtrodden, and the shining beacon of liberty. Instead he has tried to fundamentally transform our country into a progressive, European style oligarchy and if successful will diminish us to the ash heap of history. Being President is the greatest privilege a civil servant can experience. To understand the mistakes of history is something I am fully aware our president is completely ignorant of, and his ideological bent has done more to divide America and provoke violence than anything his predecessor could ever had accomplished or the preacher for that matter. Burning the Koran is only burning paper, but pitting American against American, redistributing wealth through his policies, sending more of our arms services into harms way without a plan or demonstrating a vital interest, fighting the tide of the majority of Americans who are pro-life, spending my grandchildrens' future today (I will not have grandchildren for an estimated 18-20 years), and not demonstrating leadership in the face of economic crisis, proves the sinfulness of his rhetoric, his actions and his non-actions. May God have mercy on our country that we may make it thought this obamanation.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

You Can Not Multiply Weath by Dividing It

This is a quote from Baptist Minister Adrian Rogers.  Despite the ever so simplistic common sense way he best summed up what is wrong with redistribution, some people just don't get it.  There is another more harsh saying that goes, "You can't fix stupid!"  This one is not quite right.  You can fix stupid, but I have my doubts that you can not fix PRIDE.  Pride is the root of all sin and despite a millennium of history that shows taking (stealing) from one and giving to the other, never creates wealth, man continually pushes to do just that.  Pride can not be fixed by another, but one has to recognize in them self the sin of Pride before 'fixing' can occur.  One must reach into themselves to understand you can not change human nature and you can not change Natural Law.  Until the left comes to the realization that their Pride has clouded their judgement, there can never be the very Utopia they wish for.  For the closest thing to Utopia is pure liberty for everyone and the only threat to liberty comes when one steps on the God given rights of another and forces an egalitarian society.

My how times have changed

I have recently been doing some reading and viewing on the history of unions in the US.  I really can not believe how much times really have changed and how much we have changed thru indoctrination by social collectivists, populists, secularists and progressives. 

The one that was so enlightening and disturbing at the same time was reading up on the modern labor movement and listening to George Meany the former president say in 1955, "It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government."  And, to hear FDR at his 1937 press conference make it clear that Unions have no right to collectively bargain OR strike.  Look where we are today.  Shameful.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Let me Repeat Myself

A few years ago I posted a blog on the 5 things our Government should do re-boot our Constitutional Republic with Free Market Principles.  I have read, researched and listened to smarter people than eye and I would like to restate my ideas with a bit more detail.  Most of the ideas have not fundamentally changed and despite having fellow libertarians and conservatives disagree with some of the ideas, I remain steadfast in the following solutions to our crisis.  It really does not take much, just some decisive steps to change the rules.  All systems are set up by rules and there are Rule Makers, Rule Breakers and Rule Takers.  When you change the rules, you change the game for most, and when most comply with the game it moves in a new direction.

Here are the now 6 ideas.

1) Tie Gov't spending to 15% of GDP outside of our interest payments. This will teach us fiscal discipline and eliminate the federal governments drug addiction to power.  The States and local governments are responsible for most of the day to day needs of its people and the federal government needs to stick to it original mandate - Protect the borders, Maintain a sound physical infrastructural and Insure free trade between States.  They are also mandated to protect individual citizens Natural Rights of life, liberty and property but must remain defensive in these measures and not active.  All people with integrity budget themselves and only in times of crisis would they ever go into dept.  If Congress declares war (which they have not done since WWII) then the law would not be enforced.

2) Eliminate the progressive tax system and replace it with an increase in duties equal to the highest duties imposed by China (FYI import duty on a Hair Trimmer into China is 35%, the duty into the US from China is
4.2%) and a flat tax where everyone here has skin in the game.  Free Trade is a sham when the rules are different for the players.  Our Trade agreements with China and other countries for that matter are not different than playing baseball where one team gets 9 players and gets to throw pitches from 30 ft and the other teams get only 5 and has to pitch from 90 ft.  Until the local regulations, tax system, subsidies and rules are the same, we need to tax imports, not Americans that create jobs here.  On top of that, unless you have an equitable tax system where everyone has skin in the game you are unduly influencing certain classes of people by playing favorites.  A flat tax is so simple it eliminate the IRS and makes it so easy to account.  NO NATIONAL SALES TAX!  Some so called conservatives think this is a good idea, but it is a very bad idea on 3 points - 1) It is far more complicated as small businesses will have the burden of accounting for this along with the State and local taxes it already has to account for; 2) It will not eliminate the need for an IRS because it is far easier to develop a cash business and hide taxes as compared to a simple flat tax; and 3) It is a progressive tax and to me no different than the current system - exceptions will have to be written in and then lobbyists will work to have their particular industry tax free, etc.

3) Audit the Federal Reserve. Whatever happened to that one.  We either need to have congress manage this entity or repeal the 17th Amendment.  Giving such power over the economy has proven dangerous.

4) Eliminate capital gains and income tax on dividends and replace it with a tax on stock transactions . This will be the key drive to saving our free market.  You see private companies and public traded companies act different because they have different motivations.  Motivations are created by how the rules are set up.  The rules for public companies is to maximize share holder value not cash.  Private companies emphasize cash flow as the owners want to make money.  In a public company, companies are concerned more with the stock price than they are the long term growth of the company.  If our system emphasized cash flow and not stock valuation then those companies that provide a high dividend yield will be rewarded and those that play shell games would disappear.  I will explain this in greater detail in another blog because it really is a way to re-boot our economy and build a solid foundation that needs far less regulation than the current.  You see Enron and others could not have made it as far they did without CASH.  It is impossible to fake cash payments several years in a row.  It is very easy to manipulate the books and use propaganda to maintain a growing stock for years.

5) Eliminate lobbyists as we know it.  I will also talk about this in more depth later on the specifics but in essence, this is an immoral system.  If you have money and power you have influence.  Where is equal protection under the law?   Why should a company, union, pact or organization have more say than I as an individual?

6) Term limit legislation - Easy one and still valid.  Rotate the crops and the ground stays fertile.