Saturday, February 28, 2009

But what am I going to do about it?

Pete Boettke over at The Austrian Economists writes the following:

We are in trouble but it is a crisis of ideas that is most troubling. We are marching toward corporatist system as fast as the votes will take us. Who will say NO to this?

I know this sounds dramatic, and I don't know the full story behind the history, but in watching all of this unfold before my eyes these past several months I was reminded of the White Rose student led resistence movement in Nazi Germany. A group of students from the University of Munich, inspired by an activist theologian and a philosophy professor, took pen to paper and challenged Hitler's regime, exposed its crimes, and challenged the German people to wake from their fear induced stupor. Sophie Scholl was one of the leaders of this group and she along with others were executed by beheading in 1943. But her words are an indictment of complacency in the face of encroachment on human freedom and human decency. Sophie Scholl wrote the following about the damage to the German people caused by fascism:

“The real damage is done by those millions who want to ’survive.’ The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don’t like to make waves or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honour, truth, and principles are only literature. Those who live small, mate small, die small. It’s the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you’ll keep it under control. If you don’t make any noise, the bogeyman won’t find you. But it’s all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what? Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. I choose my own way to burn.”

(Sophie Scholl)

So that got me to thinking . . . will our disgust and outrage over what is happening only be manifested in posting to our blogs and the occassional letter-to-the-editor? I got one question for everyone who reads this and thinks what the government is doing is wrong, "What are you planning on doing about it?" Because if you know, let me in on it because I don't have a clue. I would hope in 20 years when my children (or any future grandchildren) ask, "What did you do to prevent this?" I will be able to say something other than, "I wrote a blog."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mortage Bailout: Just to be clear on what is being proposed

Here is how I see the mortgage bailout affecting me and other responsible people:

First, those of us who saved and invested by foregoing conspicuous consumption lose half of our retirement and other investments due to governmental policies encouraging the over consumption of housing which caused the bubble.

Second, the government forces us to bail out the reckless banks which loaned the money and the entitlement-minded people who bought too much house.

And thirdly, what little we have left in investments and savings will be destroyed by the coming inflation due to the reckless stimulus bill intended to prop up a system that caused it all.

In other words, the responsible will pay three times to bail out the irresponsible.

Here is what Michelle Malkin has to say on the subject:

There are two Americas. One America is full of moochers, big and small, corporate and individual, trampling over themselves with their hands out demanding endless bailouts. The other America is full of disgusted, hardworking citizens getting sick of being played for chumps and punished for practicing personal responsibility. Michelle Malkin

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Brave 12 Year Old Takes a Stand

If anyone has ever followed the link to the Conservative Teacher on my blogroll, you will somtimes read about statists (more commonly know as "liberals") using the classroom to advance their political agenda. According to a World Net Daily article, a seventh grader in Canada wanted to speak about abortion as part of a public speaking competition but her teacher strongly advised her against it and went so far as to initially rule her ineligible from the competition. The girl refused to speak on another topic since she was so passionate about the the topic - even if it meant forfeiting the chance to give the speech in front of her school. After she gave the speech in class, her teacher decided the speech was so good that she would be allowed to participate in the school-wide public speaking contest.

Even though the school principal and other teachers called her presentation the "obvious winner," the judges disqualified her because of the topic. The judges later reversed the disqualification after one of the judges quit. She will now represent her school in a regional speech competition.

This brave 12 year old should be an example to other students who stand up for what they believe even if it means ruffling a few feathers. But I have been thinking . . . would I have been as supportative of her actions if she had wanted to speak on global warming or national health care and took a statist view and a conservative or libertarian teacher tried to silence her? I hope so. Free speech should be supported even when we disagree with what is being said. And, yes, I am an absolutist about this. I do support someone's right to burn the flag. But what about yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded movie theater? The movie theater, aka, the property owner, may restrict free speech but government cannot. Period. But, but, but . . . "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech . . . ." PERIOD!

(Yes, I know this was in Canada and they don't have the same Constitutional protections on free speech and it was a school - not Congress - attempting to restrict her speech, but I am not going to let the facts get in the way of a good rant.)

Here is the video of the speech:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Road to Serfdom (YouTube Cartoon)

Freedom Ride has taken a cartoon video of F. A. Hayek's classic book The Road to Serfdom and inserted commentary for today. Click on image to view cartoon.

Here is a pdf of the Readers Digest version of The Road to Serfdom.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Problem with the Stimulus

"The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." Margaret Thatcher