Benjamin Franklin: America’s Greatest Diplomat

Book review: The Real Benjamin Franklin

By Andrew M. Allison and the National Center for Constitutional Studies

Dinner Topics for Monday

key“Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” ~Benjamin Franklin

225px-BenFranklin2At sixteen, he was the youngest printer in America. He often wrote under pen names, making  quotations that are powerfully relevant today.

Freedom of speech (this was written under the name of Silence Dogood)

Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom, and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech, which is the right of every man as far as by it he does not hurt or control the right of another; and this is the only check it ought to suffer, and the only bounds it ought to know.

This sacred privilege is so essential to free governments that the security of property and the freedom of speech always go together; and in those wretched countries where a man cannot call his tongue his own, he can scarce call anything else his own. Whoever would over throw the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech. . .

A renowned scientist and inventor. His kite experiment proved lightning was electricity. Inventions included lightning rod, Franklin stove, bifocals, flexible catheter, daylight savings time.

Pride

There is perhaps no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive and will every now and then peep out and show itself. . .Even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.  P. 61

I never was without some religious principles. I never doubted, for instance, the existence of Deity, that he made the world and governed it by his providence; that the most acceptable service of God was the doing good to man; that our souls are immortal; and that all crime will be punished and virtue rewarded either her e or hereafter. P.62

He wrote short maxims with the youth in mind.

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Would you live with ease, do what you ought and not what you please.

Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee.

A penny saved is a penny earned.

He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas.

Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.

Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.

God helps them that help themselves.

Experience keeps a dear school, yet fools will learn in no other.

The used key is always bright.

A stitch in time saves nine.

He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals.

Franklin taught himself several languages—French, Italian, Spanish, Latin, and German—chiefly to enable him to increase his knowledge by reading various important works that had not yet been translated into English. He also learned to play the harp, violin, and the guitar (later he would add an unusual instrument of his own design, the “armonica”).

Franklin served on a committee with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson to draw up a proposal for the Great Seal of the United States, for which he suggested a motto that Jefferson later used on his own seal: “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” P. 205

 

Champion of Liberty: Charles Montesquieu

Dinner Topics for Thursday

key“Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.”~ William Penn

Charles Montesquieu

Famous for his theory of Separation of Powers

montesquieuCharles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu (/ˈmɒntɨskjuː/;[1] French: [mɔ̃tɛskjø]; 18 January 1689 – 10 February 1755), generally referred to as simply Montesquieu, was a French lawyer, man of letters, and political philosopher who lived during the Age of Enlightenment. He is famous for his articulation of the theory of separation of powers, which is implemented in many constitutions throughout the world. He did more than any other author to secure the place of the word despotism in the political lexicon,[2] and may have been partly responsible for the popularization of the terms feudalism and Byzantine Empire.[citation needed]

Montesquieu’s early life occurred at a time of significant governmental change. England had declared itself a constitutional monarchy in the wake of its Glorious Revolution (1688–89), and had joined with Scotland in the Union of 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. In France the long-reigning Louis XIV died in 1715 and was succeeded by the five-year-old Louis XV. These national transformations had a great impact on Montesquieu; he would refer to them repeatedly in his work.

Montesquieu withdrew from the practice of law to devote himself to study and writing. He achieved literary success with the publication of his Lettres persanes (Persian Letters, 1721), a satire representing society as seen through the eyes of two imaginary Persian visitors to Paris and Europe, cleverly criticizing the absurdities of contemporary French society. He next published Considérations sur les causes de la grandeur des Romains et de leur décadence (Considerations on the Causes of the Grandeur and Decadence of the Romans, 1734), considered by some scholars, among his three best known books, as a transition from The Persian Letters to his master work. De l’Esprit des Lois (The Spirit of the Laws) was originally published anonymously in 1748. The book quickly rose to influence political thought profoundly in Europe and America. In France, the book met with an unfriendly reception from both supporters and opponents of the regime. The Catholic Church banned l’Esprit – along with many of Montesquieu’s other works – in 1751 and included it on the Index of Prohibited Books. It received the highest praise from the rest of Europe, especially Britain.

Montesquieu was also highly regarded in the British colonies in North America as a champion of liberty (though not of American independence). Political scientist Donald Lutz found that Montesquieu was the most frequently quoted authority on government and politics in colonial pre-revolutionary British America, cited more by the American founders than any source except for the Bible.[9] Following the American revolution, Montesquieu’s work remained a powerful influence on many of the American founders, most notably James Madison of Virginia, the “Father of the Constitution“. Montesquieu’s philosophy that “government should be set up so that no man need be afraid of another”[10] reminded Madison and others that a free and stable foundation for their new national government required a clearly defined and balanced separation of powers.

Besides composing additional works on society and politics, Montesquieu traveled for a number of years through Europe including Austria and Hungary, spending a year in Italy and 18 months in England where he became a freemason, admitted to the Horn Tavern Lodge in Westminster,[11] before resettling in France. He was troubled by poor eyesight, and was completely blind by the time he died from a high fever in 1755. He was buried in the Église Saint-Sulpice, Paris.

Read more about Charles Montesquieu

 

 

Founding Principles of America 25: Stay Independent from Entangling Alliances

Founding Principles of America 25:

Stay Independent from Entangling Alliances

US Constitution Series 25

keyPeace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship with all Nations—entangling alliances with none ~Thomas Jefferson

Separatism vs. Isolationism

tyranny5-jeffersonThis was the Founders’ doctrine of “separatism.” This was far different from the modern term of “isolationism.” The later term implies a complete seclusion from other nations, as though the United States were to be detached and somehow incubated in isolation from other nations.

In point of fact, the policy of the Founders was just the opposite. They desired to cultivate a wholesome relationship with all nations, but they wished to remain aloof from sectional quarrels and international disputes. They wanted to avoid alliances of friendship with one nation which would make them enemies of another nation in a time of crisis. They wanted to keep American markets open to all countries unless certain countries engaged in hostilities toward the United States. (Skousen, 267-268)

 

“Separatism” replaced by “Internationalism”

“Separatism,” and pursuing a “manifest destiny” to encourage the emancipation of “the whole human race,” was the official policy of the United States for the first 125 years of its history.

Nevertheless, there were powerful influences congregating in the United States, particularly in financial circles, which wanted America in the thick of things, world-wide. Their opportunity came with the eruption of World War I. Congressional investigations by the Reece Committee revealed that long before the Lusitania sinking, these influences were agitating for U.S. involvement.

Although the United States narrowly avoided becoming a member of the League of Nations after World War I, the sage was set for an accelerated involvement of the United States, both economically and politically, in foreign quarrels. (Skousen 274-275)

 

Next, Founding Principles of America 26: Protecting the Role of the Family

Founding Principles of America 24: Peace through Strength

church-state2-reagan‘The book Reagan wanted
taught in high schools’

In “The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed the World,” you will discover the 28 principles of freedom America’s Founding Fathers said must be understood and perpetuated by every society that desires peace, prosperity and freedom. Learn how adherence to these beliefs during the past 200 years has brought about more progress than was made in the previous 5,000 years.

This book describes the problems the Founding Fathers dealt with and how philosophies and ideals collided to form the United States of America. The skills and prosperity of the Jamestown settlers in 1607 greatly contrast those of society after the enactment of the United States Constitution.

Shortly after the Constitution was enacted, a free-enterprise system – an economy with little government influence that flourishes with competition of businesses – was established. It is because of this system that America became the most advanced and powerful country that world history has known.

After highlighting the importance of the nation’s foundation, Skousen covers in detail what went into the design of the Constitution. Surveying the original sources for the principles that inspired the United States, the author shows how the Founders developed these principles from the studies of Cicero, Locke, Montesquieu and Adam Smith.

Skousen also contrasts the affluence of the young United States with that of the present day, showing that it was because of the free-enterprise system that America produced such astounding inventions and ideas, from jet propulsion to the doubling of life expectancy. Within this narrative of success, Skousen weaves the story of America as a Christian nation, guided by divine providence and created for the liberty and rights of mankind.

This book also analyzes problems throughout history (such as national debt) that have come from failing to adhere to the Constitution.

5000leap“The 5000 Year Leap” gives the reader a greater understanding of the origins of the United States of America, the consequences of deviating from the principles on which it was founded and all the characteristics that have made this nation great.

 

Founding Principles of America: 28 Great Ideas that changed the world

The practical application of this book review of Skousen educated wisdom is to leverage “We, The People’s” knowledge to easily expose ignorance, anarchy and tyranny, and hold the government accountable.

 

 The 5,000 Year Leap—A Miracle that Changed the World

By W. Cleon Skousen

U.S. Constitution Series 1: Founding Fathers and Cicero

U.S. Constitution Series 1:

Founding Fathers and Cicero

Cicero was born January 3, 106 B.C.

The Founders’ Basic Principles: 28 Great Ideas that changed the world

keyWorldly philosophies endeavor to blur the distinction between good and evil and eliminate accountability. However, the foundation of Natural Law (the law of the Creator) is the reality of good and evil. The U.S. Constitution was successful in creating a free and prosperous society because its foundation of Natural Law is based on moral accountability to a just God. ~C.A. Davidson

5000leapFrom The 5,000 Year Leap—A Miracle that Changed the World

By W. Cleon Skousen

1. First Principle: the Genius of Natural Law

(Notes from pp. 37-47)

What is Natural Law?

The Creator’s order of things is called Natural Law.

The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law.

Cicero

Cicero cut through the political and philosophical errors of both Plato and Aristotle to discover the touchstone of good laws, sound government, and the long-range formula for happy human relations. (p.37) He was the only Roman political writer who has exercised enduring influence throughout the ages. He studied law in Rome and philosophy in Athens.

Cicero’s compelling honesty led him to conclude that once the reality of the Creator is clearly identified in the mind, the only intelligent approach to government, justice, and human relations is in terms of the laws which the Supreme Creator has already established.

In the Declaration of Independence Jefferson referred to the “laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”

In Natural Law we are dealing with factors of absolute reality.

Since the Biblical God is the author of Natural Law, the first two great commandments indicated by Jesus Christ provide the standard for government and human relations.

Internal and External Government

Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. ~Edmund Burke

1. The first great commandment is to love and honor God (the God of Israel).  The simplest way to honor God is to abide by the Ten Commandments. These provide moral absolutes, which if obeyed, build in us a strong internal government, or good moral character.

2. The second great commandment is to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” This commandment is based on love. When we serve our fellow man, we are serving God. Jesus taught that we should treat others as we would like to be treated. If we have strong internal government, (we discipline ourselves and do no harm to others, by our own choice), then there is little need for much external government, which forces people to obey the rules of civilization.  Internal government is based on love of God, ourselves, and our neighbors. External force is not based on love.

Legislation in Violation of God’s Natural Law is a Scourge to Humanity

All Law Should Be Measured against God’s Law

ciceroCicero set forth the means by which people may discern between good and evil laws. All laws must be measured by God’s Law, which he described as follows:

Therefore Law [of the Creator] is the distinction between things just and unjust, made in agreement with that primal and most ancient of all things, Nature; and in conformity to Nature’s standard are framed those human laws which inflict punishment upon the wicked and protect the good. (Dr. William Ebenstein, Great Political Thinkers, p. 135)

It was clear to Cicero as he came toward the close of his life that men must eliminate the depravity that had lodged itself in society. He felt they must return to the high road of Natural Law. They must pledge obedience to the mandates of a loving and concerned Creator. (Skousen, pp. 45-46)

The Following are Examples of concepts based on Natural Law

  • Unalienable rights
  • Unalienable duties
  • Habeas Corpus
  • Limited government
  • Separation of powers
  • Checks and balances to correct abuses by peaceful means
  • Right of contract
  • Laws protecting the family and the institution of marriage
  • Justice by reparation or paying for damages
  • Right to bear arms
  • No taxation without representation

Principle # 2:  Moral and Virtuous Leaders

Thanksgiving: God Bless America

Reasons for Thanksgiving:

God Bless America

“God Bless America” is an American patriotic song written by Irving Berlin in 1918 and revised by him in 1938. The later version has notably been recorded by Kate Smith, becoming her signature song.

 

Irving Berlin

God bless America
Land that I love
Stand beside her
And guide her
Through the night
With the light
From above

From the mountains
To the prairies
To the oceans
White with foam

God bless America
My home sweet home

God bless America
Land that I love
Stand beside her
And guide her
Through the night
With the light
From above

From the mountains
To the prairies
To the oceans
White with foam

God bless America
My home sweet home

From the mountains
To the prairies
To the oceans
White with foam

God bless America
My home sweet home

God bless America
God bless America

God bless America
My home sweet home

 

History Facts: George Washington, Thanksgiving to God

Thanksgiving Dinner Topics

Before the mad rush to shop for Christmas on Black Friday, let us pause to give thanks to God–not the government– for our daily bread. Many of our ancestors came to America for liberty. If it weren’t for their hard work and moral character, we would never have reached the prosperity we once knew a few short years ago. Prosperity does not come from Santa Claus; it comes from effort and responsibility.

George WashingtonHere’s what George Washington proclaimed in 1789:

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor — and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be — That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks — for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation — for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the tranquility [sic], union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed — for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted — for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions — to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually — to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed — to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn [sic] kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord — To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease [sic] of science among them and us — and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York
the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

~George Washington

‘You want me to count the number of references to God? How about just the first line? “Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and to humbly implore His protection and favor.” Let’s see. One, two, three, four references in just that first clause. ~Rush Limbaugh

History Heroes: Winston Churchill

History Heroes:

Winston Churchill

Dinner Topics for Thursday

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

churchillSir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill KGOMCHTDDLFRSRA (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician and Nobel laureate who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer (as Winston S. Churchill), and an artist. Churchill is the only British Prime Minister to have won the Nobel Prize in Literature since its inception in 1901, and was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States.

Churchill was born into the aristocratic family of the Dukes of Marlborough, a branch of the Spencer family. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was a charismatic politician who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer; his mother, Jennie Jerome, was an American socialite. As a young army officer, he saw action in British India, the Sudan, and the Second Boer War. He gained fame as a war correspondent and wrote books about his campaigns.

churchill-on-socialismAt the forefront of politics for fifty years, he held many political and cabinet positions. Before the First World War, he served as President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary, and First Lord of the Admiralty as part of Asquith’s Liberal government. During the war, he continued as First Lord of the Admiralty until the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign caused his departure from government. He then briefly resumed active army service on the Western Front as commander of the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He returned to government as Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War, and Secretary of State for Air. In 1921–1922 Churchill served as Secretary of State for the Colonies, then Chancellor of the Exchequer in Baldwin’s Conservative government of 1924–1929, controversially returning the pound sterling in 1925 to the gold standard at its pre-war parity, a move widely seen as creating deflationary pressure on the UK economy. Also controversial were his opposition to increased home rule for India and his resistance to the 1936 abdication of Edward VIII.

Out of office and politically “in the wilderness” during the 1930s, Churchill took the lead in warning about Nazi Germany and in campaigning for rearmament. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was again appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. Following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain on 10 May 1940, Churchill became Prime Minister. His steadfast refusal to consider defeat, surrender, or a compromise peace helped inspire British resistance, especially during the difficult early days of the war when the British Commonwealth and Empire stood alone in its active opposition to Adolf Hitler. Churchill was particularly noted for his speeches and radio broadcasts, which helped inspire the British people. He led Britain as Prime Minister until victory over Nazi Germany had been secured.

After the Conservative Party lost the 1945 election, he became Leader of the Opposition to the Labour Government. After winning the 1951 election, he again became Prime Minister, before retiring in 1955. Upon his death, Elizabeth II granted him the honour of a state funeral, which saw one of the largest assemblies of world statesmen in history.[1] Named the Greatest Briton of all time in a 2002 poll, Churchill is widely regarded as being among the most influential people in British history, consistently ranking well in opinion polls of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom.

Related Posts

Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, and President Obama

History Facts: Brett Baier, Three Days at the Brink— FDR’s Daring Gamble to Win World War II

 

 

History Facts: Fall of Berlin Wall was a Victory for Liberty

30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall a victory for Liberty

 

November 9,  1989

It would not have happened but for a miracle . . .

berlinwallreagan“Shortly after Reagan was first elected, someone tried to kill him. The killer shot the president under his left arm; the bullet drove through his body and stopped within an inch of the president’s heart. If that bullet had penetrated his heart, Reagan would have died instantly.

            Miraculously, at the hospital where Reagan was treated, every doctor needed to save his life was present. Reagan’s life was saved; he served his country for eight years, during which he led the free world to defeat the Soviet Empire.”[1]

[1] Chris and Ted Stewart, Seven Miracles that Saved America

More about Ronald Reagan

Communists not held accountable for millions killed

Rush Limbaugh

berlinwallhammerThey’re afraid to appear partisan.  They are afraid to gloat.  They are afraid to behave in triumph.  And a great example is Bush 41 when the Berlin Wall came down, the Soviet Union fell.  He went out of his way not to humiliate Gorbachev.  Not to humiliate communism.

The point is that there was never an accounting of the Soviet atrocities their system made inevitable.  There was never an education for the American people of the rotgut that is communism.  There was never a detailed explanation complete with body counts, deaths numbering in the millions, the imprisonment of free people for doing nothing more than thinking their own thoughts. 

He did not call for an accounting of the millions of lives ruined, the millions killed.  He did not define why the Soviet Union imploded.  He just called it the evolution of democracy.  The good vibes of freedom finally overcame.  Reagan said that the Soviet Union would eventually implode because of the weight of its own immorality.  We won the House, 1992, the midterm elections there.  Didn’t gloat.

RUSH: I got a note from a friend of mine last night.  I’m going to spend time on this, not right now, but I don’t want you to miss this.  I got a note from a friend last night who was really happy, really ecstatic, because he believes, or he did until he talked to me, he believes that we are on the threshold here of a major American reawakening.  He thinks that we’re on the cusp.  He can’t put his finger on it.  He’s a well-known writer and he thinks that all of these things happening here are going to open the American people’s eyes to just how devastatingly damaging, destructive and corrupt liberalism is.

Today: Indifference to Liberty is the Default

I keep asking myself, “Why, after years and years of demonstrable conservative triumph and success…?” Such as the eight years of Reagan, when we reduced deficits, we reduced unemployment, we grew this economy like it hasn’t grown since. We were producing jobs.  We were producing careers.

We took down the Soviet Union.  We were advancing technologically.  We were just rolling.  Reagan won in two landslides, and I’ve asked myself: How does it happen that after eight years — and Reagan was demonstrably conservative, and Reagan made no bones about being conservative. And Reagan, better than anybody else, articulated conservatism as he was executing it. 

This is what I wrote my friend back.  I said, “Here’s the problem:  Liberalism has been rejected many, many times.  The Democrat Party has been rejected many, many times.  But the mistake that we all make is thinking that conservatism is being affirmed at the same time.  Conservatism or the Republican Party is being accepted at the same time.”

Here’s my theory, folks.  And you may have stumbled across this yourself years ago.  If so, I apologize.  It just hit me.  This election that we’ve got coming up is a great illustration.  Conservatism is a protest vote, not an affirmative vote.  If the Republicans win big in this election, it’s for one reason.  People are fed up with the Democrats.  They’re fed up with Obamacare and foreign policy. They’re fed up with everything. They’re going to vote for the other guys.  They’re not voting for conservatives.  By necessity they’re voting Republican, but they’re not voting ideologically.

berlinwall2I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this.  Eight years of Reagan and yet the voters are easily fooled to returning to liberalism.  There was no protest when the liberals came along and started raising taxes, making everything worse, destroying jobs, what they always do, wrecking the culture.  No protests.  People voted for it.  And my conclusion is that voters never, other than Reagan, the lone example, never affirmatively vote for conservatism because it’s never really presented to them.  It’s presented to them by me and Fox News on some occasions and other so-called new media, but it’s not presented to voters by the Republican Party.

So why, after eight years, are people able to so easily forget it and return to voting for liberal Democrats? It’s something that’s amazed me and made me curious for years, many years.  It happened again.  It’s happened a lot of times.  It happened again in 1994. The Republicans win the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years.  They did it with a substantive agenda, the Contract with America.

It was made up of ten agenda points that they intended to do, and they were substantive – balance the budget, reduce the deficit, reduce spending, all those things — and they set out to do them.  But it wasn’t many years later that voters went right back to voting Democrat. They embraced Bill Clinton all over again and I was left scratching my head.  I was asking how is it that these voters forget?

Now, don’t think I’m ignoring something here.  I know what the media’s role in this is. I’m not downplaying that. The media, even during those eight years, was telling people it wasn’t real.  And during the first term of George W. Bush they were telling people it wasn’t real.  The media is out there trying to create as much negativism as they can and they’re beating up these conservative Republicans.  I know all that.

But nevertheless, people lived it, and yet it didn’t seem to have much impact, not lasting.  The words of the media — the smears, the lies, the distortions — carried more weight than actual real life. At least when it came to voting, results at the ballot box.  Here’s some headlines today.  Politico.com: “Poll: Obama Hits Lowest Approval Ever.”  ABC News/Washington Post poll: “Obama Hits Lowest Approval.”

He’s down around 40 in this poll and that’s lower than he has ever been. From TheHill.com, as well: “Where Did It Go Wrong for Obama?”  They just can’t figure out where Obama went wrong. He’s such a great guy; he’s so smart; he’s so articulate.  He’s the first black president! How did it go so wrong?  What happened?  Of course, it can’t be the state of the country.

It can’t be the economy.  It can’t be Obama.  It can’t be anything substantive. What is it?  “Where Did Obama Go Wrong?”  They can’t figure it out! Next, we have this from the Washington Post: “The Democrat Party Hits a 30-Year Low.”  Now, the Republicans are even lower in this poll but that doesn’t obviate my point.  Democrat Party, 30-year low.  Obama, lowest approval ever.  “Where Did Obama Go Wrong?”

Then we’ve got a sound bite from John Harwood on CNBC in which he claims that Obamacare — despite how bad it is, despite the absolute mess, despite premiums rising, despite coverage being cancelled, despite policies being cancelled, despite co-pays going up, despite the mess that’s HealthCare.gov — has fizzled as a campaign issue for the Republicans.

Now, when Snerdley heard that today, he said, “No it hasn’t! No it hasn’t!”  Yes, it has.  It may end up being something people vote against Democrats for but they’re not voting for Republicans on it.  Now, in the midst of all this I got a note last night from a famous, nationally known and acclaimed writer.  It says, “Rush, just positing here. I’m at least a column or more away from verbalizing it.

I’m wondering if we’re at some 21st Century version of Lexington/Concord, or Fort Sumter, or the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand or Hitler’s invasion of Poland, or Reagan defeating Carter. In other words, Rush, are we on the cusp of an event or events that abruptly tips the balance of something that’s, in fact, been long in the works?”

He was just thinking out loud, sending me his thoughts.  What he was saying was: Are we on the verge of a tipping point where finally the American people wake up, once and for all, and understand what a demonstrable failure liberalism is and how bad it is for the country? That’s what he sees.  That’s what he thinks is going on.  He thinks that we’re on the verge of that tipping point.

This note from him kind of crystallized this for me because, like I just mentioned, I have been asking myself left and right: “How in the world can people live eight years and arguably 12 because the Bush…?” Well, I was going to say Bush 41.  He campaigned as the third term of Ronald Reagan, and he got elected on that basis.  He got elected on the basis that he was going to be the third term of Ronald Reagan.  It didn’t last but two years.

So let’s say 10 years.  And the Reagan revolution, the Reagan economy continued and boomed all the way through the Clinton administration.  Clinton’s out there taking credit for it, but he didn’t do anything but slow down what was already roaring, slowing it down with his tax increases and everything.  So again, how does this happen where people live through the horrors of liberalism like now, live through the demonstrable prosperity and successes of conservatism, and yet predictably return to voting liberal Democrat, how does it happen?

Now, I know why this happens, by the way.  I know what you’re thinking.  “Okay, Rush, that makes sense, but so what?”  Well, I think what I said is exactly right and I think I know the reason for it.  Even conservatives who are good at making our case are afraid to declare victory when we show the monumental failings of liberalism.  And this election is going to present us another opportunity.  This campaign presents us an opportunity.  And we’re not doing it.  We are not utilizing the opportunity that’s been handed to us on a silver platter.

People are fed up.  They are mad.  They are angry, and it’s time we told them why.  It’s time we told them why the country’s in the dumps.  Why they can’t get a job.  Why their healthcare is being screwed up royally.  It’s time that we told them it’s because of liberalism, and we name names.  And then when we win, we declare victory and we explain why the American people voted the way they did.  We demonstrate and point out the monumental failings of liberalism. 

appeasementThis is what we do not do.  Look at Bush 41.  Look at how Bush 41 treated the fall of the Soviet Union.  I know he was not very conservative, but he was still with a lot of Reaganites around him at the time.  He went out of his way not to humiliate Gorbachev.  He went out of his way to say this was an evolution of democracy, not a final defeat of an evil totalitarian system.  We had to be nice.  We had to accommodate.  We had to be polite.  We had to show that we weren’t mean.  And we never hammer home the final nail.  

 

Maybe Obamacare wasn’t enough to do it.  Maybe the job situation, the economy, all that, but this, this rampant incompetence on how to deal with a killer disease, it’s just patently obvious that we don’t have competent people in charge here.  ISIS, add that on top of it.  We’ve got this big plan here to wipe out all the terrorists and all they’re doing is getting stronger, supposedly on the verge of taking Baghdad, for crying out loud.  There probably is a lot of awakening going on, and the awakening is because people are breaking through the illusion of government competence.

Now back to my point here.  Nothing wrong with a protest vote.  But the protest vote is not like the protest vote that founded America.  The protest vote this time around is people just fed up with the Democrats.  They tried them for six years.  They were fed up with Bush and tried the other guys.  Fed up with Democrats and it’s not working.  But they don’t know what they’re voting for.  They’re just voting for the other guys here.  They don’t know what they’re voting for because the Republican Party strategy is not to define themselves. They’re afraid of defining themselves for fear people won’t like them, and so don’t upset the apple cart, just take advantage of people voting against Democrats. 

But I mean it.  I know why this is happening.  It’s happening for a reason.  And I can name names.  I’m not going to here, but even conservatives, as I said, who are good at making our case are afraid to declare victory.  They’re afraid to hurt feelings.  They’re afraid to appear partisan.  They are afraid to gloat.  They are afraid to behave in triumph.  And a great example is Bush 41 when the Berlin Wall came down, the Soviet Union fell.  He went out of his way not to humiliate Gorbachev.  Not to humiliate communism.  He said instead that it was an evolution of democracy. 

He didn’t portray it as a resounding final defeat of an evil totalitarian dictatorship system.

Meanwhile, similar treatment does not come our way.

The point is that there was never an accounting of the Soviet atrocities their system made inevitable.  There was never an education for the American people of the rotgut that is communism.  There was never a detailed explanation complete with body counts, deaths numbering in the millions, the imprisonment of free people for doing nothing more than thinking their own thoughts. 

 

None of that was explained.  To this day communism is not considered to be that big of a deal.  It’s just another way of organizing government. Not one Republican stands up and says, “Why are you doing this?  Do you not see what’s happening in Cuba?  Why are you doing this?  Why do you want to try what failed in the Soviet Union?”  They’re not made to explain it.  They just go on their merry way implementing this stuff, while we worry about demographics and diversity.  We let them define what we ought to care about.  It’s the same, my friends, with failing social welfare programs.  Republicans, even lots of conservatives, are the same way. As these programs implode, one after another, after they fail one on top of another, what did we do?  We seem more interested in conceding the good intentions of the people who tried than in demonstrating that these programs will inevitably fail.

 

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2014/10/15/on_the_cusp_of_a_great_american_awakening

History Heroes: Margaret Thatcher, Champion of Freedom

Dinner Topics for Thursday

 History Heroes—

Margaret Thatcher, Champion of Freedom

From Wikipedia

margaretthatcherkeyWhere there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.

Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS, née Roberts (born 13 October 1925) is a British politician, the longest-serving (1979-1990) Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of the 20th century, and the only woman ever to have held the post. A Soviet journalist nicknamed her the “Iron Lady“, which became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style. As Prime Minister, she implemented Conservative policies that have come to be known as Thatcherism.

Originally a research chemist before becoming a barrister, Thatcher was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Finchley in 1959. Edward Heath appointed her Secretary of State for Education and Science in his 1970 government. In 1975 Thatcher defeated Heath in the Conservative Party leadership election and became Leader of the Opposition, as well as the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom. She became Prime Minister after winning the 1979 general election.

After entering 10 Downing Street, Thatcher introduced a series of political and economic initiatives to reverse what she perceived to be Britain’s precipitous national decline.[nb 1] Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation (particularly of the financial sector), flexible labour markets, the privatisation of state-owned companies, and reducing the power and influence of trade unions. Thatcher’s popularity during her first years in office waned amid recession and high unemployment, until economic recovery and the 1982 Falklands War brought a resurgence of support, resulting in her re-election in 1983.

Thatcher was re-elected for a third term in 1987, but her Community Charge (popularly referred to as “poll tax”) was widely unpopular and her views on the European Community were not shared by others in her Cabinet. She resigned as Prime Minister and party leader in November 1990, after Michael Heseltine launched a challenge to her leadership. Thatcher holds a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher, of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire, which entitles her to sit in the House of Lords.

Early political career

In the 1950 and 1951 general elections she was the Conservative candidate for the safe Labour seat of Dartford, where she attracted media attention as the youngest and the only female candidate.[23][24] She lost both times to Norman Dodds, but reduced the Labour majority by 6,000, and then a further 1,000.[23] (By an odd coincidence, Edward Heath was elected for the first time in the neighbouring constituency in 1950.) During the campaigns, she was supported by her parents and by Denis Thatcher, whom she married in December 1951.[23][25] Denis funded his wife’s studies for the bar;[26] she qualified as a barrister in 1953 and specialised in taxation.[27] That same year her twins, Carol and Mark, were born.[28]

Education Secretary (1970-1974)

The Conservative party under Edward Heath won the 1970 general election, and Thatcher was subsequently appointed Secretary of State for Education and Science. During her first months in office she attracted public attention as a result of the administration’s attempts to cut spending. She gave priority to academic needs in schools,[43] and imposed public expenditure cuts on the state education system, resulting in the abolition of free milk for schoolchildren aged seven to eleven.[44] She held that few children would suffer if schools were charged for milk, but she agreed to provide younger children with a third of a pint daily, for nutritional purposes.[44] Her decision provoked a storm of protest from the Labour party and the press,[45] leading to the moniker “Margaret Thatcher, Milk Snatcher”.[44] Thatcher wrote in her autobiography: “I learned a valuable lesson [from the experience]. I had incurred the maximum of political odium for the minimum of political benefit.”[45][46]

Thatcher’s term of office was marked by proposals for more local education authorities to close grammar schools and to adopt comprehensive secondary education. Although she was committed to a tiered secondary modern-grammar school system of education, and determined to preserve grammar schools,[43] during her tenure as Education Secretary she turned down only 326 of 3,612 proposals for schools to become comprehensives; the proportion of pupils attending comprehensive schools consequently rose from 32 per cent to 62 per cent.[47]

Prime Minister (1979-1990)

Thatcher became Prime Minister on 4 May 1979. Arriving at 10 Downing Street, she said, in a paraphrase of the “Prayer of Saint Francis“:

Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.

Privatisation

The policy of privatisation has been called “a crucial ingredient of Thatcherism”.[110] After the 1983 election the sale of state utilities accelerated;[111] more than £29 billion was raised from the sale of nationalised industries, and another £18 billion from the sale of council houses.[112]

The process of privatisation, especially the preparation of nationalised industries for privatisation, was associated with marked improvements in performance, particularly in terms of labour productivity.[113] Some of the privatised industries, including gas, water, and electricity, were natural monopolies for which privatisation involved little increase in competition. The privatised industries that demonstrated improvement often did so while still under state ownership. British Steel, for instance, made great gains in profitability while still a nationalised industry under the government-appointed chairmanship of Ian MacGregor, who faced down trade-union opposition to close plants and reduce the workforce by half.[114] Regulation was also significantly expanded to compensate for the loss of direct government control, with the foundation of regulatory bodies like Ofgas, Oftel and the National Rivers Authority.[115] There was no clear pattern to the degree of competition, regulation, and performance among the privatised industries;[113] in most cases privatisation benefitted consumers in terms of lower prices and improved efficiency, but the results overall were “mixed”.[116]

The privatisation of public assets was combined with financial deregulation in an attempt to fuel economic growth. Geoffrey Howe abolished Britain’s exchange controls in 1979, allowing more capital to be invested in foreign markets, and the Big Bang of 1986 removed many restrictions on the London Stock Exchange. The Thatcher government encouraged growth in the finance and service sectors to compensate for Britain’s ailing manufacturing industry.

Thatcher’s antipathy towards European integration became more pronounced during her premiership, particularly after her third election victory in 1987. During a 1988 speech in Bruges she outlined her opposition to proposals from the European Community (EC), forerunner of the European Union, for a federal structure and increased centralisation of decision making.[147] Thatcher and her party had supported British membership of the EC in the 1975 national referendum,[148] but she believed that the role of the organisation should be limited to ensuring free trade and effective competition, and feared that the EC’s approach was at odds with her views on smaller government and deregulation;[149] in 1988, she remarked, “We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them re-imposed at a European level, with a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels”.[149] Thatcher was firmly opposed to the UK’s membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism, a precursor to European monetary union, believing that it would constrain the British economy,[150] despite the urging of her Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson and Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe,[151] but she was persuaded by John Major to join in October 1990, at what proved to be too high a rate.[152]

On 4 July 2011, Thatcher was to attend a ceremony for the unveiling of a 10-foot statue to former American President Ronald Reagan, outside the American Embassy but was unable to attend due to frail health.[216] On 31 July 2011 it was announced that her office in the House of Lords had been closed down.[217] Earlier in July 2011, Thatcher had been named the most competent British Prime Minister of the past 30 years in an Ipsos MORI poll.[218]

Honours

In the Falklands, Margaret Thatcher Day has been marked every 10 January since 1992,[246] commemorating her visit in 1983.[247][248] Thatcher Drive in Stanley is named for her, as is Thatcher Peninsula in South Georgia, where the task force troops first set foot on the Falklands.[246]

Thatcher has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour awarded by the US.[249] She is a patron of The Heritage Foundation,[250] which established the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom in 2005.[251] Speaking of Heritage president Ed Feulner, at the first Clare Booth Luce lecture in September 1993, Thatcher said: “You didn’t just advise President Reagan on what he should do; you told him how he could do it. And as a practising politician I can testify that that is the only advice worth having.”[252]

Continued in Wikipedia

 

Von Mises Economics lesson: Capitalism works; Socialism fails

Dinner Topics for Thursday

keyIf we were to regard the Soviet regime as an experiment, we would have to say that the experiment has clearly demonstrated the superiority of capitalism and the inferiority of socialism.~Ludwig von Mises

 

From Wikipedia

Ludwig_von_MisesLudwig Heinrich Edler von Mises; 29 September 1881 – 10 October 1973) was a philosopher, Austrian School economist, sociologist, and classical liberal. He became a prominent figure in the Austrian School of economic thought and is best known for his work on praxeology. Fearing a Nazi takeover of Switzerland, where he was living at the time, Mises emigrated to the United States in 1940. Mises had a significant influence on the libertarian movement in the United States in the mid-20th century.

Work in the United States

In 1940 Mises and his wife fled the German advance in Europe and emigrated to New York City.[2]:xi There he became a visiting professor at New York University. He held this position from 1945 until his retirement in 1969, though he was not salaried by the university.[6] Businessman and libertarian commentator Lawrence Fertig, a member of the NYU Board of Trustees, funded Mises and his work.[12][13] For part of this period, Mises studied currency issues for the Pan-Europa movement, which was led by a fellow NYU faculty member and Austrian exile, Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi.[14] In 1947, Mises became one of the founding members of the Mont Pelerin Society. Mises had an indirect role in the economic reconstruction of Europe after World War II through his professional relationships with Ludwig Erhard, Charles de Gaulle and Luigi Einaudi.[15] In 1962, von Mises received the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art for political economy[16] at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C.[2]:1034

Mises’s work influenced various Americans, including Benjamin Anderson, Leonard Read, Henry Hazlitt, Max Eastman, legal scholar Sylvester J. Petro, and novelist Ayn Rand. His American students included Israel Kirzner, Hans Sennholz, Ralph Raico, Leonard Liggio, George Reisman and Murray Rothbard.[17]

Mises received students at his home in New York.[18] He retired from teaching at the age of 87.[19] Mises died at the age of 92 in New York. He is buried at Ferncliff Cemetery, in Hartsdale, New York. Grove City College houses the 20,000 page archive of Mises papers and unpublished works.[20]

Mises wrote and lectured extensively on behalf of classical liberalism.[22] In his treatise Human Action, Mises adopted [praxeology]] as a general conceptual foundation of the social sciences and set forth his methodological approach to economics.[citation needed]

Mises criticized socialism in his 1922 work Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis:

The only certain fact about Russian affairs under the Soviet regime with regard to which all people agree is: that the standard of living of the Russian masses is much lower than that of the masses in the country which is universally considered as the paragon of capitalism, the United States of America. If we were to regard the Soviet regime as an experiment, we would have to say that the experiment has clearly demonstrated the superiority of capitalism and the inferiority of socialism.[23]

Read more about Ludwig von Mises