Monday, December 31, 2012

Book Review of Glenn Beck's Agenda 21

Note: the following book review is by my 15 year old daughter.

This year for Christmas my dad gave me Agenda 21 by Glenn Beck (with Harriet Parke). I know what you’re thinking.  What kind of dad gets his teenage daughter a book by Glenn Beck for Christmas? But I thought I’d give it a try anyway. A quick internet search reveals that the book title is a reference to a non-binding UN plan of the same name intended to promote “sustainable development” at the international, national, regional and local levels. This plan strives to achieve social equity, reduce consumption and emphasize environmental preservation. In this book, the authors imagine a world in which the ideas of Agenda 21 are strictly implemented. Citizens are prohibited from anything that consumes more resources than it contributes. They are also forced to live and work in a society that allows no room for personal achievement or success.
This book's story line will be familiar to teen fans of recent dystopian novels that have come out since the incredible success of The Hunger Games. Like Matched by Allie Condie, Delirium by Laurent Oliver and Divergent by Veronica Roth, to name a few that I’ve read, Agenda 21 follows the story of a young girl who lives in a dystopian society. This girl, Emmeline, lives under the rule of an oppressive and over controlling government that has resulted from its attempt to make all people equal in every aspect. If you’re familiar with this story line, you pretty much know how this book is going to end. However, even knowing this, I really enjoyed the book. Unlike other dystopian novels, Agenda 21 does a better job of explaining how the government gained all this power to make this society the way it is. It’s fascinating and scary at the same time.
 The government of this society became as powerful as it is by making small, subtle changes that went unnoticed until it was too late. Small changes were made and people were made to believe that they should all be equal. An older woman who was alive when the "reforms" were first implemented tells Emmeline that there were  four types of people: the believers who supported the reforms; the protesters, who spoke out at great risk but were silenced; the quiet and watchful who put their heads down and said nothing; and the passive unbelievers who did not try to act until it was too late. She later elaborates on the fourth type, the passive unbelievers. She explains that they “trusted the way things were.” They believed that if they worked hard, they would succeed and be rewarded for their efforts. When the government started to make changes they still “trusted the way things were” and they missed the early warning signs. By the time they really understood what was happening, it was too late.
The story is about Emmeline's journey from acceptance of the way things are to someone who seeks freedom for herself and those she loves.  Emmeline lives in an assigned community and in an assigned home with an assigned partner. She is one of the last children to be raised by her parents instead of in a “Children’s Village.” Because of her unusual upbringing, she recognizes the importance of family more than others her age. When she has a baby and the government takes it away to be raised in the “Children’s Village,” she is willing to do anything to see her baby. Her love for her child eventually motivates her to make a radical decision that changes her life.
                Although this book may not have been written as a book for teenagers, I enjoyed it. If you like this type of book, you will probably like Agenda 21 as well.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dumb Facebook Post on Gun Control

Statists (aka “liberals” or “progressives”) are more than eager to tell you how smart they are while posting the dumbest things on Facebook.  Following the horrific shooting at Shady Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, a “friend” re-posted the picture below.   I, of course, have hidden his identity and cleaned up the language.  (Why is it that statists think they have to swear when they want you to know they are outraged? We get it.  We are all outraged by the shooting.) 

So let’s look at his comment.  While posting a picture saying that if your first thoughts are how Obama will use this tragic event to take your guns then you “stink” (I actually modified what it actually said) as a human being, he proposes to limit access to guns by placing intrusive requirements on law-abiding citizens.  Ironic, huh?  I am sure he would be outraged if someone suggested that his freedom of speech be limited by requiring “mandatory, annually renewed licensing, liability insurance, and psychiatric screening” before he could post his political opinions on FB.  He would probably point to the protection afforded him by the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and rightly so.  He, however, doesn’t see that that same Constitution acknowledges the “right to keep and bear arms.”  His reference to the “18th Century” is a clear indication that he knows the 2nd Amendment exists but doesn’t care.  In his and many progressives’ worldview, we have moved beyond the wisdom of the founders. Call me crazy, but I will take the wisdom of Madison and Mason over today’s political hacks and loony Facebook “friends.”
As Joseph Sobran once remarked, “Do liberals want big federal entitlement programs? Lo, the Interstate Commerce Clause turns out to mean that the big federal programs are constitutional! Do liberals oppose capital punishment? Lo, the ban on “cruel and unusual punishment” turns out to mean that capital punishment is unconstitutional! Do liberals want abortion on demand? Lo, the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments, plus their emanations and penumbras, turn out to mean that abortion is nothing less than a woman’s constitutional right!
“Can all this be blind evolution? If liberals were more religious, they might suspect the hand of Providence behind it! This marvelous “living document” never seems to impede the liberal agenda in any way. On the contrary: it always seems to demand, by a wonderful coincidence, just what liberals are prescribing on other grounds.”
Does my FB friend want the government to confiscate the guns of law abiding citizens?  Lo, the Constitution undoubtedly means it can.  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat?

On Halloween before the 2012 presidential election, I thought I would re-post one of my L4K Lemonade Stand Chronicles stories which I originally posted in 2009.

The L4K Lemonade Stand Chronicles:
Trick or Treat?

“Trick or treat, trick or treat,” Little Timmy was yelling as he skipped down the sidewalk. (Yes, Little Timmy skipped. Surprised?)

“Will you shut up!” demanded Barry.

Barry and Timmy were making plans for Halloween. It was always a day the boys looked forward to. They had closed the lemonade stand a month earlier so they now had more time for other activities. And nothing was more fun than pretending to be someone else and getting free candy.
But who would they be this year? And who would give the best candy and who would get their windows soaped or their trees TPed?

Timmy always liked pretending to be an economist. He had dressed up like an old English economist named John Maynard Keynes for the past three years. He also liked John Kenneth Galbraith. Barry always made fun of him for dressing like two “free market” economists. He had suggested a few more "progressive" economists to Timmy but Timmy’s dad wouldn’t allow him to dress like those guys. He had said something about no one would know Larry, Moe, and Curly these days. Barry hadn’t decided who he would be this year. He was toying with dressing up like Two Face, The Riddler, or pretending to be professional basketball player.

As the boys ran to meet up with the gang, Timmy suddenly took a detour around the old theater. Barry yelled at him to stop, but it took a block before he did.
“What is wrong?” Barry asked.

"I don’t like walking by the theater with that poster out front," Timmy confided.
“What poster? Oh, you mean the poster of that old horror movie It’s Alive!” said Barry.

“Yes,” Timmy said, “it gives me the creeps . . . what with that claw sticking out from the baby carriage.”

“It is just a movie, you chicken,” said Barry, “I have an idea. The only thing you have to fear is fear itself . . . or something like that. Let’s sneak in to the movie. You won’t be afraid when you see how cheesy it is.”
“I don’t know, Barry, the last time I saw a really scary movie I wet my pants,” admitted Timmy. But he trusted Barry so he went along.

They mistakenly sneaked into theater number two where a public announcement was being shown live. As they set down a very scary woman came on to make an announcement. She announced that the government would be making all the decisions now. She said with delight, “When health care is controlled by us, we will have the justification to do WHATEVER we want because health is an even bigger ace card than that stupid commerce clausewe have been relying upon for years as justification for ignoring the Constitutional limits on governmental power. Food, manufacturing, pre-natal testing, end of life, it all will fall under our control."

She laughed as zombies stood behind her nodding in agreement as if they were under some mind control. Timmy became scared and, well, let’s just say he ran home to change.

Barry got excited too. So excited and so hopeful that he too had to run home too. As he ran home he kept yelling, “It’s alive, it’s alive!”

Post Script
I hope no children got too scared reading this story. It is after all just a story. Isn’t it? 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Socialism (Liberalism or Statism) Explained by Battlefield351

Here is another excellent YouTube video which is part of Battlefield315's conversations with a liberal series.

Battlefied315 destroys this idealistic young liberal's arguments for socialism (or liberalism, or progressives, or statism).  But as is typical of many young idealistic liberals, she is oblivious to how weak her arguments are.  This is one of the most brilliant videos on this subject I have ever seen.  Battlefield315 hasn't posted any new videos lately.  I encourage him to get back at it.

Liberal Universities Explained Video by Battlefield315

I just stumbled upon this YouTube video and it is both hysterically funny and sadly accurate.

A recent survey has revealed that professors have gotten even more liberal.  If you are conservative or libertarian, you should seriously consider not supporting these liberal indoctrination centers know as universities.  This is especially true of the social sciences.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Nickelodeon's Kids Pick the President: What Kids Should Ask

The children's cable channel Nickelodeon has invited President Barrack Obama and the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to answer questions from kids on the Linda Ellerbee hosted show called "Kids Pick the President."  What is getting a lot of publicity is that Romney declined to participate.  I have no idea why Romney would not want to do this.  It would appear to be an idea venue to discuss the most significant issue facing kids, namely, the massive debt we are leaving them.

According to a Nickelodeon poll the top issues for kids are 1. Same-sex marriage, 2. Education, 3. Health care, 4. Taxes, 5. Immigration, 6. Iran, 7. Energy, and 8. Jobs.  

The lists looks more like what a typical adult would say are the top issues.  Obviously kids' opinions on politics are often a reflection of their parents' views or what they have heard on media (both social and traditional).  So I am not surprised that The Entitlement Debt Bomb didn't make the list.  But make no mistake it is THE issue that will doom today's children and future children to a reduced standard of living.  The current US government debt is just over $16 trillion and growing which is equal to the total GDP of the US.  The current debt is already lowering our standard of living due to the debt service and the diversion of capital out of the private sector.   

The bigger concern, however, is the total unfunded liabilities.  According to some estimates the total unfunded liabilities are $100 trillion to $220 trillion.  Most of the unfunded liabilities are associated with Social Security and Medicare.  Most young people realize that they will never receive any Social Security.  As pointed out in a previous post, entitlements and interest on the debt will completely consume the federal budget by 2025.  There will be no more money for defense, courts or, well, anything else.  Now certainly most of the "anything else" aren't Constitutionally authorized functions of the federal government anyway but neither are Social Security, Medicare, or any of the entitlement programs.

So THE question to President Obama and Mitt Romney from kids should be, "How are you going to reduce the debt burden your generation is leaving my generation?"

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Message to My Liberal Facebook Friends

I have something to say to my statist Facebook friends (yes, I know, you like to call yourselves “liberal” or “progressive”).  I am glad you are my friends (and not just FB friends) but you are not helping to improve the tone of political discourse with your daily mindless posts.  And in case you are thinking I am talking about you and only you, I assure you I am not.  Because, you see, it is ALL of you.  You all post the same mindless crap.   It is like there is some statist puppet master pulling your strings.  Whenever I see “Stop watching FauxNews, think for yourselves” posted five times by five different FB friends on the same day, I have to chuckle at the irony.  Gay marriage, chicken sandwiches, the latest gaffe from Romney, what some nobody Republican dog catcher foolishly said about something, are all insignificant and by posting this crap you are acting like middle school girls who like to talk about frivolous things.  So enough of the snarky look-how-smart-I-am-because-I-found-a-funny-picture-showing-how-stupid-those-Republicans-are posts.    And, it doesn’t help your case when you resort to name calling (nutjobs, baggers, sociopaths) and constant carpet F-bombings, you come across as insecure middle school boys who want to act all tough.   Honestly, rarely do any of my conservative or libertarian FB friends do any of this stuff.  But from my dear statist friends, it is an everyday thing.  It would be one thing if you actually wanted to talk about policy (as opposed to political gotcha), but you have shown no interest in having a true political discussion.
So let’s be clear, this election is about one thing and one thing only – how can the entitlement debt bomb be defused.  It is undeniable to anyone who is paying attention that unless we do something about the federal debt, our children will be condemned to a lower standard of living.  And, yes, I agree we need to bring home the troops and stop getting ourselves involved in wars with countries that have not attacked us.  I agree we can no longer afford an empire. But guess what, we have to cut entitlement programs because entitlements make up 62% of the federal budget and will completely consume the budget by 2045.  Entitlements and interest will consume the total federal budget by 2025. 
It has been estimated that the total unfunded entitlements liability (future required payments) exceeds $100 TRILLION dollars. Yes, that was trillion with a T.  So what my statist friends need to understand is that every new thing you demand from the government has a cost.  Nothing is free.   
And the answer is not to raise taxes.  If the federal government took 100% of the income of the top 1% (those making over $384k a year) it would not balance the budget let alone pay down the debt.  The total confiscation of the income of the  top 1% would provide only $750 billion while the annual federal deficit is projected to be $1.1 trillion.  And of course with a 100% tax rate the top 1% would “go Galt” and stop working or leave the country.
So do we begin to have a rational discussion about how to save this country from financial collapse or do you want to continue to post mean-spirited snarky crap?  If it is the latter, then you are no better than all the hack politicians who have destroyed this country.  I know you are better than they are, please show it.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

On spending money you don't have

I spend money, 
I don't have.
To buy things,
I don't need.
To impress people,
I don't know.

I found the above poem on a discussion board.  I don't know who to attribute it to but I thought it was too good to not share.  As my children get older I find myself counselling them about not falling for the trap of celebrity worship, reckless consumerism, and deriving self-worth from material things.  Just as government can enslave us through reckless spending and borrowing, we can enslave ourselves by our own reckless buying and borrowing.  There is a lot of freedom in living debt free.  And character can be built through delayed gratification.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Indoctrinating the Grasshopper Generation

This interview scares me but it doesn't surprise me.  That liberal indoctrination of youth in many public school classrooms and through varied media platforms (movies, TV, Internet) should not be a surprise to anyone.  I once read that most adults don't stray too far from the political views they held prior to the age of 20.  Similar to many religious organizations, the statists realize that if you get them young they will likely hold onto those beliefs.  

In the interview below Jack Chambless, an economics professor from Valencia College in Florida, tells of an assignment he gave his students on the first day of class.  He asked them to write an essay on what the American Dream meant to them and what they expected from government to help them realize the American Dream.  He said only 10% said they wanted the federal government to stay out of their lives as much as possible. 80% said they wanted the federal government to pay for their education, find them a job, help them buy a house, and give them money in retirement. Professor Chambless suggests that his students are simply parroting back what they have been indoctrinated to say from their years in public schools.  

As I said, this interview scares me because I suspect Professor Chambless is correct.

FYI:  Here is a link to an article from The Blaze about a teacher handing out a flyer that promoted communism as a being superior to capitalism. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Speak with Conviction

This video of a Taylor Mali poem makes a very good point about how today's youth's lack of conviction is evident in their way of speaking.