Culture Wars: Jesus, Charity Organizations, and Role of Government

Culture Wars—

Dinner Topics for Thursday

Jesus, Charity Organizations, and Role of Government

My Questions on Jesus and Charity

Rush Limbaugh

Jesus-question-charityRUSH:  Ladies and gentlemen, I have a question, maybe a couple of questions here, and I ask these questions simply because I would like the answers.  And these questions derive from what I have heard on television today during our obscene profit time-outs here. I very rarely do this, but I turned the audio up, I actually listened, and I’ve caught a couple of guests on Fox and they’ve been asked, “Are you aware that people like Rush Limbaugh are calling the pope Marxist?”

“Oh, yeah, yeah, we’re aware of that, and the pope is clearly aware of it, too, but like the pope said on the plane yesterday, he’s not a leftist.  It’s just a misinterpretation.”  And this one guest said, “There’s nothing liberal about the pope. He’s just a good Catholic.” He started rattling off charity and concern and all these other things that define Christianity and said that’s all the pope is.

Okay, so I have a question, because this seems to be a major point of contention.  I have long maintained that whenever it happened in our welfare state, and we could probably find this with enough deep research.  When welfare became or started to become categorized as charity is when liberalism began to be attractive to churches.  Churches quite naturally are big on charity both as recipients for distribution and donors.  They do both sides.

So along comes this pope now and his not apologists, but the people translating for him or explaining, interpreting, “Oh, no, no, no, this ideological, pope is not liberal, no, no, no, no, no.  Don’t be so silly.  Don’t be so foolish.  Don’t be so small-minded.  He’s simply a Catholic, simply Christian, this is what Christians and Catholics do.”  And then, “It’s what Jesus did, simply what Jesus did.”  So my question is this.  I need some legitimate help on this.  I know that Jesus preached charity.  Did Jesus tell people to give their money to the Romans so that the Romans could then distribute it?

In other words, did Jesus tell people to give their money to whatever governing entity there was, or entities there were at the time, or did he preach charity as an individual thing?  In other words, was Jesus a big-government charitable advocate?  It seems to me that it might have been the opposite, that Jesus had some problems with governments.

These are just open-ended questions to which I’m asking if people have the answer.

These are not rhetorical questions.

welfare-government-charity-madisonWell, I don’t think there’s anything offensive about these questions.  One, I’m trying to understand, because it’s come up today.  One of the undeniable truths in our culture is that the modern day Democrat Party does not like religion.  They don’t like Christianity.  That’s not even arguable.  (interruption)  Well, certain big government didn’t like Jesus, but my point is when it comes to chair, the pope seems to be advocating that governments need to do all of these big things, and our interpreters on TV are saying, “Yep, that’s what Jesus did.”

Is that right?  I am not a theologian.  I have never used this program to preach or proselytize.  As you well know, I don’t go into any of these arguments. Faith is a deeply personal, private thing. That’s why I don’t even condone arguments about it on this program, so I’m just asking here.  (interruption)  No, I’m not asking if… (interruption)  When Jesus told people to be charitable, was he telling them to pay higher taxes and let the Romans take care of it?  (interruption)  He wasn’t, right?  The Romans ran the show. 

I mean, the Romans were the government then.  They were the federal government.  There might have been some local pretenders and so forth, but that’s all I’m asking.  He said render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, but he also then had a qualifier after that which made it clear that Caesar was not entitled to everything.  I mean, you can interpret it, “Yeah, pay your fair tax and get the hell out of Dodge.”  But this is why I’m asking the question, because it’s being interpreted today.  The left — I find this fascinating.  The left, which does not hold any really great love for the Catholic Church or organized religion at all is now all of a sudden trying to portray themselves as Christ-like. 

And it’s all in the name of big government, all in the name of trying to portray now what the Democrat Party’s doing, the American left is doing as Christ-like, taking advantage of the visit of the pope in order to create that impression with people.

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History Facts: Economy, Taxation, and Integrity

History Facts:

Economy, Taxation, and Integrity

Calvin Coolidge represents the exact opposite of Left-wing politics.. Coolidge had integrity. He deserves a lot more respect than he ever got. ~C.A. Davidson

“Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College.”

key“We must have no carelessness in our dealings with public property or the expenditure of public money. Such a condition is characteristic of undeveloped people, or of a decadent generation.” ~Calvin Coolidge

Senator Selden Spencer once took a walk with Coolidge around the White House grounds. To cheer the President up, Spencer pointed to the White House and asked playfully, “Who lives there?” “Nobody,” Coolidge replied. “They just come and go.”

It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones. ~Calvin Coolidge

Amity Shlaes
Author, Coolidge

calvincoolidgeCalvin Coolidge and the Moral Case for Economy

AMITY SHLAES is a syndicated columnist for Bloomberg, a director of the Four Percent Growth Project at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, and a member of the board of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation. She has served as a member of the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal and as a columnist for the Financial Times, and is a recipient of the Hayek Prize and the Frederic Bastiat Prize for free-market journalism. She is the author of four books, Germany: The Empire Within, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, The Greedy Hand: How Taxes Drive Americans Crazy and What to Do About It, and Coolidge.

The following is adapted from a talk given at Hillsdale College on January 27, 2013, during a conference on “The Federal Income Tax: A Centenary Consideration,” co-sponsored by the Center for Constructive Alternatives and the Ludwig von Mises Lecture Series.


WITH THE FEDERAL DEBT spiraling out of control, many Americans sense an urgent need to find a political leader who is able to say “no” to spending. Yet they fear that finding such a leader is impossible. Conservatives long for another Ronald Reagan. But is Reagan the right model? He was of course a tax cutter, reducing the top marginal rate from 70 to 28 percent. But his tax cuts—which vindicated supply-side economics by vastly increasing federal revenue—were bought partly through a bargain with Democrats who were eager to spend that revenue. Reagan was no budget cutter—indeed, the federal budget rose by over a third during his administration.

An alternative model for conservatives is Calvin Coolidge. President from 1923 to 1929, Coolidge sustained a budget surplus and left office with a smaller budget than the one he inherited. Over the same period, America experienced a proliferation of jobs, a dramatic increase in the standard of living, higher wages, and three to four percent annual economic growth. And the key to this was Coolidge’s penchant for saying “no.” If Reagan was the Great Communicator, Coolidge was the Great Refrainer.

Enter Coolidge
Following World War I, the federal debt stood ten times higher than before the war, and it was widely understood that the debt burden would become unbearable if interest rates rose. At the same time, the top income tax rate was over 70 percent, veterans were having trouble finding work, prices had risen while wages lagged, and workers in Seattle, New York, and Boston were talking revolution and taking to the streets. The Woodrow Wilson administration had nationalized the railroads for a time at the end of the war, and had encouraged stock exchanges to shut down for a time, and Progressives were now pushing for state or even federal control of water power and electricity. The business outlook was grim, and one of the biggest underlying problems was the lack of an orderly budgeting process: Congress brought proposals to the White House willy-nilly, and they were customarily approved.

The Republican Party’s response in the 1920 election was to campaign for smaller government and for a return to what its presidential candidate, Warren Harding, dubbed “normalcy”—a curtailing of government interference in the economy to create a predictable environment in which business could confidently operate. Calvin Coolidge, a Massachusetts governor who had gained a national reputation by facing down a Boston police strike—“There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time,” he had declared—was chosen to be Harding’s running mate. And following their victory, Harding’s inaugural address set a different tone from that of the outgoing Wilson administration (and from that of the Obama administration today): “No altered system,” Harding said, “will work a miracle. Any wild experiment will only add to the confusion. Our best assurance lies in efficient administration of our proven system.”

One of Harding’s first steps was to shepherd through Congress the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, under which the executive branch gained authority over and took responsibility for the budget, even to the point of being able to impound money after it was budgeted. This legislation also gave the executive branch a special budget bureau—the forerunner to today’s Office of Management and Budget—over which Harding named a flamboyant Brigadier General, Charles Dawes, as director. Together they proceeded to summon department staff and their bosses to semiannual meetings at Continental Hall, where Dawes cajoled and shamed them into making spending cuts. In addition, Harding pushed through a tax cut, lowering the top rate to 58 percent; and in a move toward privatization, he proposed to sell off naval petroleum reserves in Wyoming to private companies.

Unfortunately, some of the men Harding appointed to key jobs proved susceptible to favoritism or bribery, and his administration soon became embroiled in scandal. In one instance, the cause of privatization sustained damage when it became clear that secret deals had taken place in the leasing of oil reserves at Teapot Dome. Then in the summer of 1923, during a trip out West to get away from the scandals and prepare for a new presidential campaign, Harding died suddenly.

Enter Coolidge, whose personality was at first deemed a negative—his face, Alice Roosevelt Longworth said, “looked as though he had been weaned on a pickle.” But canny political leaders, including Supreme Court Justice and former President William Howard Taft, quickly came to respect the new president. Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes, after visiting the White House a few times that August, noted that whereas Harding had never been alone, Coolidge often was; that whereas Harding was partial to group decisions, Coolidge made decisions himself; and most important, that whereas Harding’s customary answer was “yes,” Coolidge’s was “no.”

The former governor of Massachusetts was in his element when it came to budgeting. Within 24 hours of arriving back in Washington after Harding’s death, he met with his own budget director, Herbert Lord, and together they went on offense, announcing deepened cuts in two politically sensitive areas: spending on veterans and District of Columbia public works. In his public statements, Coolidge made clear he would have scant patience with anyone who didn’t go along: “We must have no carelessness in our dealings with public property or the expenditure of public money. Such a condition is characteristic of undeveloped people, or of a decadent generation.”

If Harding’s budget meetings had been rough, Coolidge’s were rougher. Lord first advertised a “Two Percent Club,” for executive branch staffers who managed to save two percent in their budgets. Then a “One Percent Club,” for those who had achieved two or more already. And finally a “Woodpecker Club,” for department heads who kept chipping away. Coolidge did not even find it beneath his pay grade to look at the use of pencils in the government: “I don’t know if I ever indicated to the conference that the cost of lead pencils to the government per year is about $125,000,” he instructed the press in 1926. “I am for economy, and after that I am for more economy,” he told voters.

Coolidge in Command
“It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones,” Coolidge had once advised his father. And indeed, while Harding had vetoed only six bills, Coolidge vetoed 50—including farming subsidies, even though he came from farming country. (“Farmers never had made much money,” he told a guest, and he didn’t see there was much the government could rightly do about it.) He also vetoed veterans’ pensions and government entry into the utilities sector.

Thanks to A.F. Branco at Legal Insurrection.com for his great cartoon

The Purpose of Tax Cuts

In short, Coolidge didn’t favor tax cuts as a means to increase revenue or to buy off Democrats. He favored them because they took government, the people’s servant, out of the way of the people. And this sense of government as servant extended to his own office.

Senator Selden Spencer once took a walk with Coolidge around the White House grounds. To cheer the President up, Spencer pointed to the White House and asked playfully, “Who lives there?” “Nobody,” Coolidge replied. “They just come and go.”

But as unpopular as he was in Washington, Coolidge proved enormously popular with voters. In 1924, the Progressive Party ran on a platform of government ownership of public power and a return to government ownership of railroads. Many thought the Progressive Party might split the Republican vote as it had in 1912, handing the presidency to the Democrats. As it happened, Progressive candidate Robert LaFollette indeed claimed more than 16 percent of the vote.

Yet Coolidge won with an absolute majority, gaining more votes than the Progressive and the Democrat combined. And in 1928, when Coolidge decided not to run for reelection despite the urging of party leaders who looked on his reelection as a sure bet, Herbert Hoover successfully ran on a pledge to continue Coolidge’s policies.

Unfortunately, Hoover didn’t live up to his pledge. Critics often confuse Hoover’s policies with Coolidge’s and complain that the latter did not prevent the Great Depression. That is an argument I take up at length in my previous book, The Forgotten Man, and is a topic for another day. Here let me just say that the Great Depression was as great and as long in duration as it was because, as economist Benjamin Anderson put it, the government under both Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt, unlike under Coolidge, chose to “play God.”

Lessons from Coolidge

Beyond the inspiration of Coolidge’s example of principle and consistency, what are the lessons of his story that are relevant to our current situation? One certainly has to do with the mechanism of budgeting: The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 provided a means for Harding and Coolidge to control the budget and the nation’s debt, and at the same time gave the people the ability to hold someone responsible. That law was gutted in the 1970s, when it became collateral damage in the anti-executive fervor following Watergate. The law that replaced it tilted budget authority back to Congress and has led to over-spending and lack of responsibility.

A second lesson concerns how we look at tax rates. When tax rates are set and judged according to how much revenue they bring in due to the Laffer Curve—which is how most of today’s tax cutters present them, thereby agreeing with tax hikers that the goal of tax policy is to increase revenue—tax policy can become a mechanism to expand government. The goals of legitimate government—American freedom and prosperity—are left by the wayside.

Thus the best case for lower taxes is the moral case—and as Coolidge well understood, a moral tax policy demands tough budgeting.

Finally, a lesson about politics. The popularity of Harding and Coolidge, and the success of their policies—especially Coolidge’s—following a long period of Progressive ascendancy, should give today’s conservatives hope. Coolidge in the 1920s, like Grover Cleveland in the previous century, distinguished government austerity from private-sector austerity, combined a policy of deficit cuts with one of tax cuts, and made a moral case for saying “no.” A political leader who does the same today is likely to find an electorate more inclined to respond “yes” than he or she expects.

Coolidge and Moral Economy, complete article

Gallery

Judeo-Christian Culture: Passing on Gospel Teachings to Next Generation

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Dinner Topics for Monday Judeo-Christian Culture: Passing on Gospel Teachings to Next Generation The Language of the Gospel By Valeri V. Cordón No achievement in this life, important as it may be, will be relevant if we lose the language of … Continue reading

Judeo-Christian Culture: Theme Quotes on American Dream

Judeo-Christian Culture:

Theme Quotes on American Dream

“I have not yet begun to fight!” John Paul Jones

“The only way we can keep our freedom is to work at it. Not some of us. All of us. Not some of the time, but all of the time.” Spencer W. Kimball

Christ has not called us to be nice but to be good. Nice people never confront evil, but good people do. ~Bryan Fischer

This is the last day in which the great consummation of God’s purposes will be made, the only dispensation in which the Lord has promised that sin will not prevail. ~Ezra Taft Benson

Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God. ~Benjamin Franklin

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” ~Winston Churchill

You cannot submit to evil without allowing evil to grow. Each time the good are defeated, or each time they yield, they only cause the forces of evil to grow stronger. Greed feeds greed, and crime grows with success. Our giving up what is ours merely to escape trouble would only create greater trouble for someone else. ~Louis L’Amour

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”  –Ronald Reagan

All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let’em know and nail’em on it. That would be a very American thing to do. ~Ronald Reagan

 

George Washington: no freedom without God and bible

When it comes to the core of their faith, millions of Christians will echo, by word and deed, the words of Martin Luther: Here we stand. We can do no other. ~David French

“We the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts–not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” ~Abraham Lincoln

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
~Abraham Lincoln

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”~Thomas Paine

“It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government.”~Thomas Paine

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

 

Let us all press on in the work of the Lord, That when life is o’er we may gain a reward;

In the fight for right let us wield a sword, The mighty sword of truth.

Fear not, though the enemy deride, Courage, for the Lord is on our side.

We will heed not what the wicked may say, But the Lord alone we will obey. ~ Evan Stephens

YouTube Music: Battle Hymn of the Republic

Dinner Topics for July 4th American Independence Day

YouTube Music: Battle Hymn of the Republic

by Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal”;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free*,[14]
While God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
While God is marching on.

Historical Fiction Book Reviews: They Made American Dream Possible

 Historical Fiction Book Reviews:

They Made American Dream Possible

 

prelude-glory2“THESE ARE THE TIMES THAT TRY MEN’S SOULS,” said Thomas Paine, inspiring Americans to fight for independence from the tyranny of the British Empire. In Prelude to Glory, the amazing series of historical novels on the founding of America, author Ron Carter shows us in heart-breaking, gut-wrenching detail the extent of courage, suffering, and sacrifice endured by the American colonists to give birth to this great free country.

In the series, the American Revolution and founding is portrayed from a Christian point of view. Miracles that saved the Americans time and time again leave no doubt that God’s hand was in the founding of this country. Americans felt the Holy Spirit in their lives. It was the American Dream to enjoy liberty—freedom of religion, speech, and all the unalienable rights we receive only from God.

America is a one-of-a-kind country. In their best-selling book Seven Tipping Points that Saved the World, authors Chris and Ted Stewart point out that the default position of world history is oppression and slavery. Never in any place or at any time in history had a country been able to govern itself successfully. What the Americans were fighting for was only a Dream. The whole world thought it was impossible—some scoffed, others held their breath in hope. But they did win it—against impossible odds.

AFAdiscouragement_home After suffering greatly in recent years, God has given Americans another chance. We are seeing our beloved country return to her former greatness as a leader of the free world.  Even so, today we are again at war—a Culture War. There are some—certainly not a majority, as they would have you believe—who want to destroy the American Dream.

WE WON’T KEEP AMERICA FREE WITHOUT A FIGHT.   I urge you to read the Prelude to Glory series by Ron Carter.  When I read about all that those valiant Americans endured so we could enjoy freedom in our beloved nation, I ask myself, “How dare I roll over, submit, surrender, or quit? How dare I quit, give up and forfeit the hard-won liberty that God, through those noble founders, has bequeathed to us?”

lamour-comstock-lode Louis L’Amour’s Comstock Lode is another powerful story about a man who wouldn’t give up. This memorable hero is named Val Trevallion. Trevallion was a good man who nevertheless had enemies, perhaps because he was good. He and a good friend ended up trapped in a mine, because someone deliberately set off explosives in an attempt to bury them alive, and the truth along with them. Nobody knew they were there, and the situation looked utterly hopeless, with yards of rock to dig through in a short time before they ran out of oxygen. But Val would not give up.

He knew no other way. All his life there had been a battle, and all his life he had worked. He would go down working, go down fighting, go out trying as he had always done. Had he known how, he would have quit, but life had taught him everything but that.[1]

I don’t know about you, but I can relate. Do you feel buried by an avalanche of political correctness, with your freedom of speech stifled, your freedom of religion crushed by explosive, unconstitutional acts? Do you feel smothered by so much vitriolic, in-your-face opposition that you can scarcely breathe?

Well, the rest of the story is that Val had helped countless people everywhere he went. The people in the town missed him, suspected foul play, and started looking for him. They banded together, climbed the mountain to the mine, and helped him and his friend to get out.[2]

As columnist David French noted, “When it comes to the core of their faith, millions of Christians will echo, by word and deed, the words of Martin Luther: HERE WE STAND. WE CAN DO NO OTHER. “

optimismYou and I know that America will not be saved in Washington D.C. by spineless politicians who are betraying us. If we want to rescue our birthright of American liberty and Biblical values, we must start digging out toxic lies around us and putting down grass-roots of truth by teaching our families gospel principles.

At the end of the day, the only thing that will matter in the eyes of God is: whose side are we on? What did we stand for?

Remember that Thomas Jefferson said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” And never forget that truth is our most powerful weapon.

truth1Let us all press on in the work of the Lord,

That when life is o’er we may gain a reward;

In the fight for right let us wield a sword,

The mighty sword of truth.

Fear not, though the enemy deride,

Courage, for the Lord is on our side.

We will heed not what the wicked may say,

But the Lord alone we will obey. ~ Evan Stephens

Don’t give up the American Dream,

Christine Davidson

Imparting Biblical Family Values—Made Easy! Click Here

1) Comstock Lode, by Louis L’Amour

2) Please don’t consider this a spoiler. The whole story is an epic of character builder which is well-worth the read. . .one of the few books I still enjoy more than once.

Abuse of Power Update: Trey Gowdy Horowitz hearing Reveals Swamp Cover Up of Political Bias in FBI Investigation

Abuse of Power Update:

Trey Gowdy-Horowitz hearing Reveals Swamp Cover Up of Political Bias in FBI Investigation

And that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by them that digged it. ~1Nephi 14:3

Undeniable Political Bias in FBI Investigation

GOWDY: All right. So we’re three for three on her working on the two most important bureau investigations in 2016 and beyond. Now, is this the same Lisa Page that Andy McCabe used to leak information to a news outlet?

HOROWITZ: She was a special counsel, and as we indicated in our earlier report, she was the individual through whom he provided that information.

GOWDY: The same Lisa Page who admonished the agent interviewing Hillary Clinton not to go into that interview “loaded for bear” because Clinton might be the next president, and it’s the same Lisa Page who said Trump was “loathsome,” “awful,” “the man cannot become president; Clinton just has to win,” and that Trump “should go F— himself.” And we are somehow supposed to believe that she did not prejudge the outcome of that investigation before it was over? She already had Hillary Clinton winning. I don’t know how you can win if you’re gonna wind up getting indicted and/or plead guilty or be convicted of a felony.

RUSH LIMBAUGH: It’s impossible for us to replay the whole thing. We’d have had to go gavel to gavel on it. Gowdy was at this for about 20, 25 minutes. Just hammered Horowitz. But he wasn’t hammering Horowitz. He was just getting Horowitz to admit what was in the report but in an entirely different context. (snort) Gowdy made it plain that it was nothing but political bias guiding all these people, and he was stunned that nobody could see it in terms of the final report. Here’s the next example.

GOWDY: Senior FBI agent Peter Strzok wrote, “No. No, he’s not. We’ll stop it.” I think this is the same Peter Strzok who worked on the Clinton email investigation? Do I have that right?

HOROWITZ: That’s correct.

GOWDY: Same Peter Strzok who not only worked the Russia investigation when it began, was one of the lead investigators at the inception of the Russia probe. Do I have the right Peter Strzok?

HOROWITZ: That’s my understanding.

GOWDY: Now, is it the same Peter Strzok who was put on the Mueller special counsel team?

HOROWITZ: Yes.

GOWDY: Same Peter Strzok. And this is not the only time he managed to find the text feature on his phone, either. This is the same Peter Strzok who said, “Trump is an idiot. Hillary should win 100 million to zero.” Now, Mr. Inspector General, that one is interesting to me, because he’s supposed to be investigating her for violations of the Espionage Act, and he can’t think of a single, solitary American that wouldn’t vote for her for president. Can you see our skepticism?

GOWDY: What do you think the “it” is in that phrase “we’ll stop it”?

HOROWITZ: Oh, I think it’s clear in the context it’s we’re gonna stop him from becoming president.

GOWDY: That’s what I thought too. Now, I wonder who the “we” is in the “we’ll stop it.” Who do you think the “we” is?

HOROWITZ: Well, I think that’s probably subject to multiple interpretations — them or a broader group beyond that.

GOWDY: How about “finish it”? When he said, “I unleashed it. Now I need to fix it and finish it,” what do you think he meant by “finish it”?

HOROWITZ: I think in the context of the emails that occurred in August, the prior August that you outlined, I think a reasonable explanation that or a reasonable inference of that is that he believed he would use or potentially use his official authority to take action.

GOWDY: Did you ever have an agent when you were a prosecutor with this level of bias?

HOROWITZ: My view of this was that this was extremely serious, completely antithetical to the core values. In my personal view having been a prosecutor and worked with FBI agents, I can’t imagine FBI agents suggesting, even, that they might use their powers to investigate, frankly, any candidate for any office.

Swamp Cover Up

Thanks to A.F. Branco at Comically Incorrect  for his great cartoon

RUSH: Let me tell you what would happen if you watched this whole thing, as I did. If you watch Gowdy from beginning to end, with even more of what we haven’t had time to air here, you cannot conclude anything other that this is one of the sleaziest, dirtiest, most corrupt, politicized and biased attempts to destroy a particular presidential candidate while protecting another one. It is paramountly obvious.

The way Gowdy unpacked this and presented it versus the way the inspector general presents it? The two techniques, Gowdy and Horowitz, are so disparate that the conclusion has to be that the inspector general report — as filed, as reported, and as written — is actually part of the cover-up and the fix being in for all of this from the get-go. Because, folks, if this thing were interpreted as Gowdy did and written by the IG as Gowdy has interpreted it and any common sense person with the information would, these people would be in handcuffs already.

They would have been charged. The things they have done are worthy of serious criminal charges. And yet they’re still employed, many of them and still receiving paychecks. And specially they have been exonerated under the theory that there wasn’t any operational bias here that determined the outcome of any of these various operations. So I think — especially after listening to Gowdy the way he presented this today — it is clear that the ongoing effort to cover up and to water down what actually happened is still widely in practice.

Capitalism, History Timeline, and Adam Smith

Dinner Topics for Tuesday

key“Under capitalism everybody provides for their own needs by serving the needs of others.” ~Ludwig von Mises

Adam Smith Wealth of Nations

Free Market: Essence of Prosperity

 by C. A. Davidson

handshake“Nobody ever saw a dog make a fair and deliberate exchange of one bone for another with another dog. But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only.”

“Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want.”

“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We … never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.” ~Adam Smith

Government bureaucrats often rage about the “selfishness” of businesses, but the most successful businesses please the most consumers. This is clearly unselfish.

When some businesses do not meet the needs of consumers, they fail. If they break the law against robbery and fraud, they are punished.

But what happens when government takes over business and fails to meet consumer needs? Who punishes government for breaking laws, for engaging in robbery and fraud?

Too many politicians have taken to enforcing Political Correctness instead of the law. Rather than encouraging free trade and spreading prosperity, the result is stifling honest, wholesome, and necessary businesses.

To the extent that governments restrict businesses in their free exchange of goods and services by eliminating competition, it is government which creates monopolies, reduces the selection and quality of goods, reduces gainful employment, and spreads poverty.

History Timeline and Analysis

Adam Smith and the Wealth of Nations

*From Wikipedia

capitalismAdam Smith (baptised 16 June 1723 – 17 July 1790 [OS: 5 June 1723 – 17 July 1790]) was a Scottish social philosopher and a pioneer of political economy. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment,[1] Smith is the author of The Principles Which Lead and Direct Philosophical Enquiries, Illustrated by the History of Astronomy, prior to 1758, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, 1759, and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, 1776. The latter, usually abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations, is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work of economics. It earned him an enormous reputation and would become one of the most influential works ever published. Smith is widely cited as the father of modern economics and capitalism and is still among the most influential thinkers in the field of economics today.[2] In 2009, Smith was named among the ‘Greatest Scots’ of all time, in a vote run by Scottish television channel STV.[3]

Smith studied social philosophy at the University of Glasgow and at Balliol College in the University of Oxford, where he was one of the first students to benefit from scholarships set up by his fellow Glaswegian John Snell. After graduating, he delivered a successful series of public lectures at Edinburgh, leading him to collaborate with David Hume during the Scottish Enlightenment. Smith obtained a professorship at Glasgow teaching moral philosophy, and during this time he wrote and published The Theory of Moral Sentiments. In his later life, he took a tutoring position that allowed him to travel throughout Europe, where he met other intellectual leaders of his day. Smith then returned home and spent the next ten years writing The Wealth of Nations, publishing it in 1776. He died in 1790 at the age of 67.

The Wealth of Nations

Main article: The Wealth of Nations

AdamSmith1790bSmith used the term “the invisible hand” in “History of Astronomy”[76] referring to “the invisible hand of Jupiter” and twice – each time with a different meaning – the term “an invisible hand“: in The Theory of Moral Sentiments[77] (1759) and in The Wealth of Nations[78] (1776). This last statement about “an invisible hand” has been interpreted as “the invisible hand” in numerous ways. It is therefore important to read the original:

As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he can both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce may be of the greatest value; every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other eases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. [emphasis added].

Those who regard that statement as Smith’s central message also quote frequently Smith’s dictum:[79]

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.

Smith’s statement about the benefits of “an invisible hand” is certainly meant to answer Mandeville’s contention that “Private Vices … may be turned into Public Benefits”.[80] It shows Smith’s belief that when an individual pursues his self-interest, he indirectly promotes the good of society. Self-interested competition in the free market, he argued, would tend to benefit society as a whole by keeping prices low, while still building in an incentive for a wide variety of goods and services. Nevertheless, he was wary of businessmen and warned of their “conspiracy against the public or in some other contrivance to raise prices.”[81] Again and again, Smith warned of the collusive nature of business interests, which may form cabals or monopolies, fixing the highest price “which can be squeezed out of the buyers”.[82] Smith also warned that a true laissez-faire economy would quickly become a conspiracy of businesses and industry against consumers, with the former scheming to influence politics and legislation. Smith states that the interest of manufacturers and merchants “…in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public…

 Dinner Talk

Analysis: how to discern and evaluate economic principles

1. Read the capitalist viewpoint in the General post link above.

2.Today, the Left considers capitalism a  “conspiracy” to rip off the consumer. This is an exhibit of human nature. Examples of this would be the Enron scandal, and Fannie and Freddie Mac. You may not remember Enron, perhaps because despite the impact on many employees, our economy managed to survive.

 

3. History timeline: Revisiting History

 

1776— “The Wealth of Nations was also an argument against government control. England at the time had chartered monopolies back in 1776. The king decided what companies would do what.” ~Rush Limbaugh

1930s and 1940s—-Another word for “crony capitalism” is fascism. This was the brand of socialism practiced by Hitler and Mussolini. They invested government money (from taxpayers) into their chosen industries.

2012

4. Enron was a large private sector corporation that went under because of fraud. The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac housing scandal contributed to the present recession because of abuse of funds. The difference in the two cases is that government bailed out the housing case. This is an example of the government acting in the so-called “public interest”, instead of individual businesses acting in self-interest. Compare the effect on the national economy of the two policies.

5. What do you think is the difference between selfishness and self-interest? Why do you think the Constitution shows that the Founders understood human nature?

(That’s why there’s a difference in “selfishness” and “self-interest,” but everybody looking out for themselves — not in a selfish way, but in a self-interest way — benefits everybody else. The guy behind the counter selling a television set, he’s gotta make sure there’s a lot of them there to handle the demand. He’s gotta make an investment in having a stockroom full of the things that people might want. He’s gotta take a risk in how many to buy and what kind, based on the best evidence he has of what people are gonna want and what they’re willing to pay. ~Rush Limbaugh)

Gallery

Judeo-Christian Values: Children are a Blessing, Children are our Future, Key to Success of America—Here’s Why

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Judeo-Christian Values: Children are a Blessing, Children are our Future, Key to Success of America—Here’s Why Why Children are Essential The problem of course is that Germany lacks the ability, and the will, to convert these uneducated masses who don’t … Continue reading