Monday, November 30, 2015

John Tamny Takes On Bernie Sanders False Economic Religion

Bernie Sanders preaches to his flock the need to create an "economy that works for all, not just the wealthy," but as evidenced by the desperate desire among the world's poorest to get to the U.S., that economy already exists.  The world's poor are busy escaping the collectivism Sanders espouses, at which point we can only look to the well-to-do and careless as the source of Sanders' support.  Sanders disdains great wealth, but it's only in a country marked by abundant success and a lack of want that Sanders could have a following at all.

By John Tamny

THE END OF WORLD WAR II brought with it the end of the British Empire as it was previously known.  While in 1945 a British passport rendered the owner of it a citizen of one quarter of the world's land mass, within a few years the empire had shrunk quite a bit. India, the presumed "Jewel" in the Crown, was soon to be free thanks to the efforts of independence leaders like Mahatma Gandhi.

While he was uncomfortable with socialists whom he saw as "armchair" owing to their unwillingness to live in impoverished fashion, Gandhi sought an egalitarian India with ideas for the country that most today would view as socialist.  As Larry Collins and Dominique LaPierre described his vision in their endlessly interesting book, Freedom at Midnight,
"All labour, physical or intellectual, would carry the same reward in Gandhi's India.  It was not a property qualification that would earn a man the right to vote in his state, but a labour qualification.  To get it, everybody would have to contribute physical labour to the state.  Nobody, including saints or sages, would be exempt.  The ditch digger would get his almost automatically, but the lawyer or millionaire would have to earn his with calluses."
A well-bred and educated lawyer himself, Gandhi strived to live as the "untouchables" of India did, including limiting his food intake to the bare minimum necessary to survive.  Yet despite the leader's pose, lost on Gandhi were the costs related to keeping him "poor."

As one of his allies (Sarojini Naidu) relayed to Lord Mountbatten (the British official charged with overseeing India's path to independence), Gandhi's ability to travel on third class trains was a function of numerous Congress Party officials dressing up as "untouchables" in order to protect him.  Though Gandhi lived in India's slums, faux untouchables from the Party surrounded him in a protective cocoon there too.  As Naidu put it to Mountbatten, "My dear Lord Louis, you will never know how much it has cost the Congress Party to keep that old man in poverty."

Gandhi's somewhat faux poverty came to mind amid a recent campaign stop for Bernie Sanders at Georgetown University.  Full of the well-to-do and well educated, it's no surprise that the Democratic presidential hopeful would find willing listeners at a school largely defined by a lack of want within its student body.

More broadly, it would be interesting to learn the educational attainments and income of the average Sanders partisan, or better yet, average Sanders donor.  Odds are they don't hail from the "working families" or "sick and poor" classes that Sanders claims to represent.

Instead, Sanders embodies the hopes and dreams of people like Livia Matteucci, a Georgetown student who is majoring in psychology.  As USA Today reported about Matteucci, "she and other Georgetown students support ideas such as paid family leave and a higher minimum wage" energetically promoted by Sanders. How very fitting.

Figure Matteucci will graduate into the kinds of companies that already offer family leave, not to mention that her pay upon graduation will well exceed the "minimum" wages that her emotions tell her are good for others. The average Georgetown student most likely last earned the minimum wage in high school as a source of pocket money to supplement an upper middle class lifestyle funded by well-educated and well-employed parents; that, or someone from this demographic was well off enough to "toil" as an unpaid intern.

Those who will truly be affected by what's popular among Sanders partisans are those who most likely have never heard of the Vermont senator.  Many likely haven't heard of Georgetown either, yet they'll be victimized by the yearnings of those who matriculated to the elite and very expensive school.
It's the very people who don't have time to contemplate family leave and wage floors who will experience a more difficult hiring environment as a result of costly rules foisted on employers.  The people who would pay for Sanders' unreason probably aren't terribly aware of a socialist candidate who denies being a socialist, and they aren't because they're too busy working to care.

Sanders told his Georgetown audience "that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy." Why wouldn't he say that at ritzy Georgetown? When you're already wealthy, it's easy to disdain the trappings of same.

Interesting about this is that to look at the Republicans vying for the GOP nomination, just about every single one (arguably to the detriment of every American worker, rich or poor) has called for erasing federal income taxes on the lowest earners, all the while maintaining the highest rates for those whom Sanders would deem rich.  Sanders seeks even higher rates of taxation on the "rich." What this should signal to the rest of us is that Republicans and Democrats are in a fight over who will tax the rich the most.  More explicitly it tells us that both major political parties aren't exactly seeking favor with the wealthy.

Sanders or his partisans might respond that what he's really looking to do is end the bailout culture that reached full flower under a Republican in George W. Bush, and that continued under a Democrat in President Obama.  If so, such a move would be a boon for the wealth creators.

We know this simply because the source of Silicon Valley's wealth has been the constant failure that has long defined the world's most innovative economic region.  Imagine how much less well off the Valley would be today if former darlings like Webvan, Friendster and had been bailed out.  Assuming the proper cessation of Wall Street bailouts, the result (a good one in this writer's eyes) will be a great deal more wealth thanks to lousy stewards of capital being starved of it so that the best Wall Street firms and minds can receive it in abundance.  Amen to that.

As has been already mentioned, Sanders wants "an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy," but as the yearnings of the world's poor to live in the U.S. constantly remind us, the truly impoverished want nothing to do with Sanders' socialism.  In truth, they're actively trying to escape the collectivism that Sanders' espouses with an eye on the abundance wrought by a profit motive perfected in the United States.

Sanders has told his flock that the "billionaire class must be told loudly and clearly that they cannot have it all," but back in the real world billionaire-style wealth constantly reveals itself as the biggest enemy of the want that has historically defined poverty.  The Walton familygot rich by virtue of making life's necessities (including groceries) available to the poor and middle class at increasingly low prices, Henry Ford transformed the once hard to attain automobile into a common good, and Michael Dell became a billionaire by turning computers that used to cost over $1 million into an everyday item.

Only in a country this rich and billionaire dense could kids spend four glorious years in college spouting policies that, if actually implemented, would render their families too poor to send them to college in the first place.  Only in a country as rich as ours could those out of school have the time and resources to promote and financially support a candidate whose ideas have most often correlated with extreme poverty and unemployment.

If there's a negative tradeoff to prosperity, it's that we have to suffer politicians like Sanders.  Indeed, prosperity allows some of us to be truly careless in terms of whom we support for elected in office, thus making people like him possible.  The irony behind a Sanders' platform defined by disdain of great wealth is that he's 100% a creation of it.

John Tamny is Political Economy editor at Forbes, editor of RealClearMarkets, and author of Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey and LeBron James Can Teach You about Economics(Regnery, 2015).  His next book, Who Needs the Fed?(Encounter Books), will be released in May of 2016. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Advent Begins A Time of Waiting

PREPARE HIM ROOM.  It's a time of waiting and learning to wait in silence and quiet expectation. Ironically, at a time where activity and materialism in the world  seems to rule supreme, Advent, mercifully, beckons us in the opposite direction.

Will you wait?

Isaiah 40:31 ESV
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

 Psalm 27:13-14 ESV
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

 Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

James 5:7-8 ESV
Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

 Lamentations 3:25 ESV
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.


Friday, November 27, 2015

Going Back In History---US's First War With Islam---Fight Or Pay Tribute?

GOOD FOR JEFFERSON FOR FINALLY TAKING THE BULL-BY-THE-HORNS AND DOING WHAT NEITHER WASHINGTON NOR ADAMS WERE WILLING TO DO. When all else fails, standing up to evil and sticking to it till the battle is won is the only option. Appeasement is fool's gold; you can't negotiate with terrorists. Most of us know this history lesson of the Barbary pirates; however, it never hurts hearing it again. SOURCE

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Weekend! Braised Turkey Legs With Fennel and Artichoke Hearts



A low-starch meal means,  you always feel better the next day, never stuffed. (5 Responses When Relatives Ask Why You're Not Eating Stuffing This Year) What could be better than fennel with sage and  artichoke hearts?  Can't wait for leftovers to make this dish....I'm sure you could do it with chicken drumsticks too.  Possibilities are endless.

Don't forget to save the bones for making a hearty, slow broth next week that's rich in calcium, magnesium and lots of other nutrients that build up your immune system.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

Boys, Birthdays, Legos... Battles of Good and Evil

WHICH COMES FIRST, THE LEGOS OR THE BOYS? G-BOY IS SEVEN TODAY and in his and his buddies' worlds, LEGOS rule. SUPREME. It's a big year for these little guys especially since Jurassic World LEGOS are now out. Then there's Star Wars.

Too many LEGOS, not enough time.  Right guys? Guys? Anybody listening? When I see these little fellows building, playing, battling so ferociously and intensely non-stop the games of good and evil, it now seems like good preparation for the world that awaits them (and us all) where the battles of good and evil now seem to come at us ferociously on a daily basis. No moral equivalence or relativism here. Build and play and fight on guys. And stay on the side of good. Happy birthday, G-Boy!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

What the Book of Psalms Is About

THE BIBLE PROJECT HAS BEEN MAKING SHORT VIDEO OVERVIEWS OF VARIOUS BOOKS OF THE BIBLE for several years. It's a great way to get introduced to parts of the Bible you might not know much about. Above is an overview of Psalms which I think is an excellent summary. But don't stop there.  Dig into these beautiful and timeless poems of lament and praise. It's a wonderful way to pray each day.

Currently at OneYearBible blog---on my sidebar---we're reading the longest psalm,  Psalm 119.  MORE HERE @ Read Scripture Series of the Bible Project

Friday, November 20, 2015

Seattle's REI Eschews Black Friday, Closing Stores and Telling Employees to Go Take A Hike!

ON THE BIGGEST RETAIL DAY OF THE YEAR NEXT WEEK, it's heartening to know that  outdoor gear giant  REI is walking away from the madness of  Black Friday and instead closing its doors that day and telling employees to go hiking!  I love it and can't think of anything worse than getting into holiday mayhem in any shopping center in America on the day-after-Thanksgiving.

Speaking of the holidays,  it seems Christmas music on the radio starts earlier and earlier each year.  It used to wait until Thanksgiving, but now some of it starts weeks earlier.  I just flip the station cause I'm not interested in how the ante is upped to get us to go shopping.

From The Atlantic---What ISIS Really Wants

THIS IS A LONG PIECE FROM THE ATLANTIC, but well worth a read.  If you're confused by all the rhetoric about ISIS (especially from our feckless president), then take time to read this and put it in perspective.  I'm glad I have:

Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East, admitting that he had hardly begun figuring out the Islamic State’s appeal. “We have not defeated the idea,” he said. “We do not even understand the idea.” In the past year, President Obama has referred to the Islamic State, variously, as “not Islamic” and as al-Qaeda’s “jayvee team,” statements that reflected confusion about the group, and may have contributed to significant strategic errors.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday, Ezeikiel 37 Dry Bones Prophecy


Saturday-- Target Practice With Expert Law Enforcement Officers


IT'S TIME.  WAY PAST TIME. TIME-AND-A-HALF. Global warming is here.  

There's a time and place for red pepper spray. I've carried it for years, and now it's time. Doing it right in the state of Tennessee and it's a rather long---and not easy---process.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Brave, The Greatest---It Is the Soldier

ROGER SIMON: WHAT I LEARNED FROM LAST NIGHT'S DEBATE The following is via Bobby Petray at TN Eagle Forum:

It is the soldier

An Editorial by TN State Senator Mark Green

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month was marked as an armistice or end of violent hostilities between The Keizer's Germany and the Allied Nations in 1917 that preceded the official end to World War I.

As President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as Armistice Day two years later, his quote reveals the essence of our celebration of Veterans Day:  "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations..."

Later changed to Veterans' Day, this national holiday was designated to honor the heroism of those who've served to defend our nation's integrity and liberty in military service.

Ironically, the term "veteran" originated to identify those of more senior age and status, yet the large majority of the brave men and women who actively defend our sacred liberty are America's young adults.  Ranging from 60.2% of the Coast Guard up to 82.9% for the US Marines, the active military forces are predominantly comprised of adults 18-30 years young.

President Ronald Reagan in his 1985 Veterans' Day speech at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery observed that our military fallen "gave up two lives:  the one they were living and the one they would have lived."  For veterans who survived war or served in more peaceful times, their sacrifice of a "normal" life on Main Street, USA is often overlooked with missed birthdays, first steps of their toddlers taken without their serving parent cheering them on, and empty place-settings nightly at the kitchen table.

America's living veterans are our heroes and "sheroes."  They serve as the timeless inspiration for the poem by Army Veteran, Charles M. Province entitled, "It is the Soldier."

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given use freedom of religion.
It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

Indeed, the men and women who serve in vast roles as the unified force of our United State Military deserve honor and respect for their service and sacrifice.  Yet, the liberty of some to speak freely has turned into an unbridled license to condemn the vary guardians of the entitled and grossly uninformed. No other single group has been the defender of individual liberties that define the founding, the existence, and the future of America more than those who serve in the various branches of our military service.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sunday: The One Thing Angela Alcorn Remembers Most About Her Dad's Parenting


THIS IS A WONDERFUL REMINDER ABOUT HOW IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE that almost always matter most and are truly memorable. What good news to know we can actually be loved and known even more in our humbling mistakes than in our constant, pretentious strengths. This is what makes for significant relationships and people.

Randy writes:

Some years ago, I sat with my daughters at a wonderful father/daughter banquet at our church. Someone at the table asked my youngest daughter, Angela, what I’d done that made the biggest impression on her. I had no idea what she would say, but of course I hoped for something spectacular. 

I’ll never forget what she shared because it was so powerful to me. She said, “I remember one time when dad was harsh with me. Then a few minutes later he came back into my room, and he cried and asked my forgiveness. I’ve never forgotten that.”

That’s what Angie remembered as having the most impact on her—something I had actually done wrong, and then asked her forgiveness for! I thought, Isn’t that interesting? It shows how being a good example isn’t limited to doing great and magnificent things. Sometimes it’s when we admit we did wrong things.

This is God’s grace—He can redeem even our failures! (Provided we recognize and confess them to our children.) Saying "I'm sorry, please forgive me," may teach your children more than you would have by never failing, and far more than pretending you never fail.

How humbling and also encouraging to know that parents who admit their shortcomings don’t lose their children’s trust. They gain it.

Following are some parenting books I would recommend on parenting: Gospel Powered Parenting by Bill P. Farley, Shepherding A Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp (I read Tripp’s book when our girls were young, and I think it’s great), and What the Bible Says about Parenting by John MacArthur.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Seen In Kids Carpool Line in Houston---Where Else?



I found it more than amusing when we saw this bumper sticker on a mom's car in front of us in the kids' carpool line---stuck right above the rear exhaust pipe. 

 Political incorrectness at its best from Houston, in no uncertain terms.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Fred Thompson,One of Tennessee's Favorite Sons

FRED DIED SUNDAY IN NASHVILLE AFTER A LONG, OFF-AND-ON ILLNESS. This towering conservative will be missed by many.
A couple of links follow, including a piece I did for PJMedia a while back:

RIP Fred Thompson@PJMedia

RIP Fred Thompson

Turning Up the Heat On Fred Thompson

Sunday, November 1, 2015


LET'S CLEAR OUT ALL THE DARK, SCARY IMAGES FROM HALLOWEEN, SHALL WE? Hank Williams lives...But better than that, Christ Jesus has conquered all darkness and death for those who accept his gracious and free gift. YEEHAW!