We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Who remembers that the USA has a Department of Energy? Who knows what they do? This came in over the transom:
Absolutely The Funniest Joke Ever !
. . . ON US
Does anybody out there have any memory of the reason given for the establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY during the Carter Administration? Anybody? Anything? No?
Didn't think so.
Bottom line . . we've spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency the reason for which not one person who reads this can remember.
Ready? It was very simple, and at the time everybody thought it very appropriate.
The Department of Energy was instituted 8-04-1977 TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL. HEY, PRETTY EFFICIENT, HUH?
AND NOW IT'S 2008, 31 YEARS LATER, AND THE BUDGET FOR THIS NECESSARY DEPARTMENT IS AT $24.2 BILLION A YEAR, THEY HAVE 16,000 FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, AND APPROXIMATELY 100,000 CONTRACT EMPLOYEES AND LOOK AT THE JOB THEY HAVE DONE!
THIS IS WHERE YOU SLAP YOUR FOREHEAD AND SAY 'WHAT WAS I THINKING?'
Ah yes, good ole bureaucracy. And now we are going to turn the Banking system over to them? God Help us.
See comparisons with other countries. It's an eye-opener. Americans may talk Capitalism, but our Capitalism serves to stuff the ever-greedy maw of government. There isn't much room to become more redistributionist without truly disincentivizing effort, initiative, creativity, and job creation (see Cory Miller the Well-Driller).
The OECD, the organization of western economies, says the U.S. already has the second most progressive tax system among its members, trailing only Ireland.
Maybe there might be other ways to spread the wealth besides the tax system.
Or maybe we're already doing that, too. Remember, no matter what we do, half the households in America will be below the median income.
Tigerhawk's anticipated total tax rate of 50% surely does approach the disincentivizing point, except for those who want to get really rich quick. Hence booming lottery sales and hedge funds, because achieving prosperity and security through slow, hard work and savings gets tough against the headwind of taxation.
Yes, I know the image is a cheap scare tactic but, honestly, I am a bit scared. A bit Halloween-scared. Not so much about Obama alone, but about the combination of Obama-Reid-Pelosi. Their view of America and Americans is quite different from mine. They have no faith in us, the people.
If the rise in the price of oil from $70 to $140 was due to "greed" (the all-purpose explanation of the other side for every economic problem), was the fall from $140 to $70 due to a sudden outbreak of altruism?
By placing their hopes and aspirations in the hands of Obama, they have in effect transferred the individual faith they have in themselves to another person. A person who has promised to make their dreams come true for them. No longer will they have to fight, or struggle, or even work to achieve their dreams; Obama promises to do it all for them. But sooner, rather than later, they will realize that Obama can never deliver on this impossible promise. It is then when they will experience a pain much greater than they can imagine; the pain of realizing that you gave up not only your most sacred dreams and hopes to someone else, but that you gave up hope on yourself so that someone else can do it for you.
Let the culture go where it may; we must be a true light. It is time to abandon the delusion that we may change the hopeless by becoming more like them — we must instead become a shining city on a hill, a stark contrast to the darkness which surrounds us. If what we believe is true — and it is — then those who run from truth may well see in us an answer to their failed and fruitless pursuits, to the shallow shell of a life lived in self-gratification and the pursuit of pleasure and power.
We will be misunderstood, hated, ridiculed, rejected. So be it — our strength will lie in one another, and in Him who calls us to holiness.
A reminder that Halloween is the eve of All Hallow's Day, ie All Saint's Day. Like so many Christian holy days, it was moved from May to overlap with an existing pagan festival in the 700s. Here's a painting by Daniel Maclise of a Halloween party he attended in Blarney in 1832:
Always late. Busy with what? We all know that being a Senator is not like a real job, but they all like to feel important, and chronic lateness tends to be an effort to convey that message. Whether or not you like Obama, this is entertaining:
Mr. Miller is a "Joe the Plumber," the kind of American the Dems do not understand because Leftist ideology cannot account for such fine folks. His open letter to Obama is below (h/t, Eclectic Will). I know plenty of people who have done the same, and who could have written similar letters. Cindy had an email chat with Cory.
From: Cory Miller Mr. Obama,
Given the uproar about the simple question asked you by Joe the plumber, and the persecution that has been heaped on him because he dared to question you, I find myself motivated to say a few things to you myself. While Joe aspires to start a business someday, I already have started not one, but 4 businesses. But first, let me introduce myself. You can call me “Cory the well driller”. I am a 54-year-old high school graduate. I didn’t go to college like you, I was too ready to go “conquer the world” when I finished high school. 25 years ago at age 29, I started my own water well drilling business at a time when the economy here in East Texas was in a tailspin from the crash of the early 80’s oil boom. I didn’t get any help from the government, nor did I look for any. I borrowed what I could from my sister, my uncle, and even the pawnshop and managed to scrape together a homemade drill rig and a few tools to do my first job. My businesses did not start not a result of privilege. It is the result of my personal drive, personal ambition, self-discipline, self reliance, and a determination to treat my customers fairly. From the very start my business provided one other (than myself) East Texan a full time job. I couldn’t afford a backhoe the first few years (something every well drilling business had), so I and my helper had to dig the mud pits that are necessary for each and every job with hand shovels. I had to use my 10-year-old, ½-ton pickup truck for my water tank truck (normally a job for at least a 2 ton truck).
A year and a half after I started the business, I scraped together a 20% down payment to get a modest bank loan and bought a (28 year) old, worn out, slightly bigger drilling rig to allow me to drill the deeper water wells in my area. I spent the next few years drilling wells with the rig while simultaneously rebuilding it between jobs. Through these years I never knew from one month to the next if I would have any work or be able to pay the bills. I got behind on my income taxes one year, and spent the next two years paying that back (with penalty and interest) while keeping up with ongoing taxes. I got behind on my water well supply bill 2 different years (way behind the second time… $80,000.00), and spent over a year paying it back (each time) while continuing to pay for ongoing supplies C.O.D. Of course, the personal stress endured through these experiences and years is hard to measure. I do have a stent in my heart now to memorialize it all.
Is Rick right or wrong about this? I have no idea. I think this is Rick's best, and perhaps most optimistic guess. A quote:
Obama does not seek to overturn America as much as he wants to alter the parameters of the social contract between the people and the government. He doesn’t want to do away with this compact and replace it with something else. He wants to nibble around the edges and “reform” the way that the American people interact with their government. This means more dependence, less freedom of action for the individual, an imposed sense of “community,” more strictures on the economy, and a war against “greed.”
This may seem radical enough to many. And indeed, with a Democratic Congress more ideologically in tune with the radicals, it is possible that they will push him further to the left than he wishes to go. But whatever occurs, there is little doubt that if he wins, it will be a triumph for the New Left and a reward for their patient undermining of the American experiment for more than 40 years.
I think Rick is saying that Obama probably wants to extend the Roosevelt statist, 1930s-style revolution. That's what Hillary had in mind too, with her "politics of meaning" which she fantasized might replace religion - but she knew a thing or two about economics because she really liked money, and this fellow appears to know nothing about economics. On the other hand, for a guy who has never had a real job he's got lots of cash in the bank...funny how wealthy the Lefty pols always seem to be, but "they care" - especially after they get theirs.
Indeed, it should not be difficult for women to exceed men in this critical metric of gender equality. All it takes is to give the guy a few beers to dissolve his noble conscience, a well-timed wink and smile, followed up by a gentle touch. Right?
Just make him feel "special," and he's yours, ladies, because real, everyday life doesn't tend to make most guys feel very special. Why should it? Life owes us nothing.
"The tyranny of liberalism” seems a paradox. Liberals say that they favor freedom, reason, and the well-being of ordinary people. Many people consider them high-minded and fair to a fault, “too broadminded to take their own side in a quarrel,” too soft to govern effectively. Even the word “liberal” suggests “liberty.” How can such an outlook and the social order it promotes be tyrannical?
The answer is that wanting freedom is not the same as having it. Political single-mindedness leads to oppression, and a tyranny of freedom and equality is no less possible than one of virtue or religion. We cannot be forced to be free or made equal by command, but since the French Revolution the attempt has become all too common and the results have often been tyrannical.
Tyranny is not, of course, what liberals have intended. They want government to be based on equal freedom, which they see as the only possible goal of a just and rational public order. But the functioning of any form of political society is determined more by the logic of its principles than the intentions of its supporters. Liberals view themselves as idealistic and progressive, but such a self-image conceals dangers even if it is not wholly illusory. It leads liberals to ignore considerations, like human nature and fundamental social and religious traditions, that have normally been treated as limits on reform. Freedom and equality are abstract, open-ended, and ever-ramifying goals that can be taken to extremes. Liberals tend to view these goals as a simple matter of justice and rationality that prudential considerations may sometimes delay but no principle can legitimately override. In the absence of definite limiting principles, liberal demands become more and more far-reaching and the means used to advance them ever more comprehensive, detailed, and intrusive.
The incremental style of liberalism obscures the radicalism of what it eventually demands and enables it always to present itself as moderate. What is called progress—in effect, movement to the left—is thought normal in present-day society, so to stand in its way, let alone to try to reverse accepted changes, is thought radical and divisive. We have come to accept that what was inconceivable last week is mainstream today and altogether basic tomorrow. The result is that the past is increasingly discredited, deviancy is defined up or down, and it becomes incredible that, for instance, until 1969 high school gun-club members took their guns to school on New York City subways, and that in 1944 there were only forty-four homicides by gunshot in the entire city.
Read the whole essay, which very much reflects the Maggie's Farm view of things.