Saturday, April 26, 2008

TRYING TO THINK--OUCH

THINKING MY THOUGHTS THROUGH
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I haven’t fully come up with a statement of my theory of government. Below are links that I use to look and assess government. Less government sure, but how much less, cut which programs? How in the world to garner enough support to change anything?
Thomas Sowell writes articles which I follow and there is a link to him on the Drudge Report in my Old Standby links section. Below is a link to an article he wrote about college education. If you read that article thinking that too many people go to college too easily you start to get a picture of what is wrong with sending so many so easily to college. Also the problems with government bailouts of all kinds not just in education.
-----link-----
http://www.townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2008/04/22/the_economics_of_college?page=1
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Next is a link to the number of Government Employees, directly paid to work for the government, around 20 million. That is local, state and federal. Does not include the millions getting assistance (cash or food or whatnot). I’m not certain about those but the 20 million is fact.
-----link-----
http://www.data360.org/dsg.aspx?Data_Set_Group_Id=228
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Next a link to OMB site for citizens to check on spending. I was shocked to see that a government agency actually put out this site. Maybe there is hope.
-----link-----
http://www.fedspending.org/
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Below , a quote from the link above on their welcome page. I’m always amazed at the information that is out there and how easily available it is to look at. Computers can be
an essential tool if we use them.
-----snippet----
We hope you will explore this site. But mostly we hope you will use the data to hold our elected leaders and government agencies accountable for their actions.
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For the emotional yes even inspirational aspect of my thinking there is the HBO mini-series John Adams, which just finished. For those who are interested in this sort of thing and don’t get HBO John Adams releases on DVD June of this year.
-----link-----
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZWEyZTEwODk2YWM2YmM5NGM0ZWQ0ODc4YjdmOWIzNTk
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I put it in my save box in Netflix.
For Books look to the right of my blog page lower down there are some. A great movie is Fountain Head based on Ayn Rand, decent movie GREAT theory.
Newt Gingrich’s books and web site are all geared to actually doing something to change politics as usual. His book Real Change gives an actual blueprint. His other programs for solutions can all be found at his web site. He is the only person I know that actually is trying to make basic change in our system of government.
-----link-----
http://newt.org/
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Also more to the point “American Solutions, For Winning The Future”
-----link-----
http://www.americansolutions.com/
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Well enough food for thought for now. Kind of makes me think fasting might be a good thing. lol
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Regards, Live Dangerously

Friday, April 25, 2008

NEW BOOKSTORE---North Musk..

North Shore Books is open for business in North Muskegon.
Located at the four corners (315 Center St.) next to Bernie O's Pizza.
Stopped in today and it was a pleasant experiance just browsing the new books. Nice broad selection in fiction and non-fiction. A smaller version (at least for now!!!) of Barnes and Noble. Comfortable is a term that comes to mind.
-----link-----
http://www.northshorebookstore.com/
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PS Used books too in back. They can order any in print book, shipping time varies from 1 day for popular stuff like you all like to longer for off the wall political stuff I like.
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Check them out.
Live Dangerously be A Conservative

I'M NAIVE

MY NAIVETY EXPOSED
------My first real peak into the real world of political action has me up against the ropes, the opponent is overwhelming and coming at me from all quarters. Even those I thought would be possible allies I see little hope for. I don’t know if I should try to enter into the political arena as the prospect of furthering my ideas seems small to non-existent.
------This torrent of self doubt, was brought about today by attending a workshop for people who might be interested in running for elected office. It was put on by the Muskegon Chamber of Commerce. A generous and broad selection of local office holders from the city, township and county were on the panel. Plus reps from the various government agencies such as education, diversity and other advocacy groups. Both political parties were represented.
------The first part was informative with local politicians talking about what it is really like to give up your privacy and a lot of other things including free time to run for political office. They also talked about the pluses. A good presentation by each about the practical side of things. The mechanics of it all. They mentioned the idea of thinking out your basic reason or theory behind what you do and why. Because in the nitty gritty of talking with so many people having differing ideas you must know your own, to be able to follow it, in order to sleep at night. As a conservative I think I know my ideas pretty well.
-----What devastated me was that my ideas were not even on the table. The thought that making government smaller is a good thing did not fit here. The thought would never enter their minds. That part of the problems they were discussing might actually be caused by big government, even as a concept would be a completely alien thought. Every discussion had at it’s root the concept that a larger government would be a better government. Every advocacy group would agree with that. What of our representatives? They seemed too busy trying to decide what advocated plan to follow.
-----I don’t know what I expected to find. I guess I thought that some of the discussion of problems would be based upon something I could get behind. Ideas that promoted less and more efficient government were not on the agenda. Even the elected officials were mainly interested in promoting bigger ideas. Everyone seemed in vague agreement on the idea that government can solve all problems. If only we had the “necessary money” to further our plan. I was reminded of the old “make work” idea to help the people, only now it was “make a need by crisis” to help the government.
-------Things such as mergers of smaller governmental units into larger ones. Things like merging the two hospitals we have was looked upon as good. The thought that it might not be was not on the table as a possibility. I lost one elected official whom I thought might be sympathetic to my point of view when he stated he thought one problems the government has in creating a good land use plan (zoning) plan was the old archaic freedoms we brought over from England. The freedoms of what we are allowed to do with our land makes for a Hodge podge of laws ect. The idea that we in Michigan had one of the highest use of land per person and somehow that was a bad thing. It all seemed to boil down to the fact that the government gets less tax money that way. This guy was dead serious. He was precisely right as far as the money goes.
-----Another fellow representing water safety or water rights or something, talked about the great lakes water and how the government controls it. OK I was still on board until he started talking about water tables and getting rid of curbs and gutters which took the rain water and moved it out from where it fell and put it into the lakes and streams ect and not where it could percolate to the aquifer. OK maybe still on board. But when he talked of “enabling” legislation already passed to map all the aquifers and how his department could tell us if we had one in our backyards and how neat that was, the “enabling” legislation kept rattling around in my brain, enabling what? Then he mentioned some of the bad things (companies) did when taking out water from the aquifer, and putting in. Always with the caveat of large bad things, while for now seemingly the small bad things that (you and I) did was OK. I started having pictures in my paranoid brain of it being illegal to pump my own water, from my yard. Well I DIGRESS (sometimes too much!)!!
------I truly understand how and why the function of our elected people who are to represent our freedom are swayed by the different advocacy groups. If for example I was a Senator and wanted to find out about a certain topic. Position papers from across the spectrum would flood my office all well researched by professionally trained researchers presented in striking fashion complete with talking points. All I would have to do is pick one. Remember as a Senator or whatever, I would be flooded with different topics of which I would know very little. This could be a great way to save time and money for me so I could concentrate on my own pet projects. The whole point of the above is not to show the bad or good aspects of the process, but to show that there seems to be a topic lacking in the process. An advocacy group not present, a position paper not written.
------The problem with this as I see it is that the position paper I pick and get behind would be slanted by the person, company or bureaucracy that wrote it. I as a Senator should be obligated to write my own position paper slanted towards the people I have been entrusted to represent.
-----Simply stated our elected officials, the people to whom is delegated by us , the only power that we the people have, are giving that power to the pressure groups. Remember too that government itself is a pressure group. I imagine the pressure upon national candidates from the different bureaucracies is enormous to stick to the status quo. Too bad we can’t put term limits on those groups. The bigger the government, the more money is available and the more position papers will be available. My goal is to create less need for more position papers. We have had enough.
------Time to make the hard decisions.
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Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

PROMISES--PROMISES--PROMISES

Promises--Promises--Promises .
-----Below a letter from house Republicans to the Democratic leadership of the house wondering when they will put forth the “common sense” proposal they said they had in 2006. BTW it’s 2008 they won. WHERE’S THE BEEF!!!!!
-----link-----
http://forums.military.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/672198221/m/4680012081001
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Heard Hillary talk about doing something about high gas prices and in a wink aimed at Obama said she would actually do something not just talk about it. Guess what Hillary and Obama your side claimed they would do something and not talk about it if elected to the majority in the house and they were and they didn’t.
-----Seems like McCain did put forth a lot of ideas in the form of legislation, not talk about it. Scroll down and see what he has been part of in the Senate just in April alone. Wonder how much of this the Pelosi bunch will let see the light of day. I noticed or lacked noticing the media lauding McCain and his efforts while he was still politicking. Pretty good for an old man I‘d say.
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http://mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=5eb33328-b227-28a0-3e48-82b21fe4e24f
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He is fighting hard to keep his promises that he made this month. Not waiting to get elected but from the Senate floor. I was happy to see in the link above that he endorses the Citizens Against Government Waste. I donate to and support that Organization and I have for well over a year now. McCain has also been a leader in anti pork legislation. He promises to do everything in his power to abolish the practice. Another promise he’s trying to keep thru actions not just talk.
-----link-----his promises.
http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/News/Speeches/Read.aspx?guid=dccd627d-47b6-492c-afbd-6c7100054d7b
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Gee there are two other Senators out there making a lot more and bigger promises about what they hope to do. Wonder what there record is in the Senate in April?
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Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

IS THE WHOLE WORLD GOING BITTER?

IS THE WHOLE WORLD GOING BITTER?
-----Hey it’s not just us local yokels in the Midwest and NASCAR fans on each coast that are bitter and might vote conservative without knowing any better. Italy has a bunch of simple wayward people too who voted to kick out the Greens AND Communists!!! What about the French and Sarkozy. Boy that was a surprise to me and Barbara Streisand too I’ll bet. Then there is Merkel in Germany man what on earth is going on. Sean Penn must be about ready to make another Anti-American movie to vent his frustration. What’s the world coming too. Even here in America, Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled” out did the degenerate, "America Sucks" movie, “Where In the World Is Osama bin Laden”. Maybe we should only allow the academics to vote as they are the ones capable of rising above their need to cling to false prophets and cast their ballots correctly.
-------Looks like the “old world” is tiring of socialism and all of it’s shortfalls. Maybe starting to think that if they continue down that road it will lead them to a third world morass.
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From Newt Gingrich’s “Wining the Future” 4/22/08
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Finally, in news studiously ignored by the mainstream media, parliamentary elections in Italy last week routed the Communists and the Greens and marked the third big victory for the Right in Europe after the elections of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The elections were a history-making win for the party of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. For the first time since the end of World War II, no one will represent the Communist Party in the Italian parliament. The Greens were also voted out.
Michael Ledeen, my colleague at the America Enterprise Institute, points out another significant feature of the elections: "Berlusconi is an outspoken, even passionate admirer of George W. Bush and the United States of America. Reminds one of the elections that brought Sarkozy to the Elysee, doesn't it? Best to keep that quiet, or somebody might notice that hatred of America doesn't seem to affect the voters in Italy, France or Germany."
The scale of Berlusconi and the center-right's victory in Italy opens the door to significant reform for the first time in decades. Could real change be coming to Europe?
Your friend,
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Well there’s more. See the links on the Right side of my blog page.
-----Maybe these and the continued example like the economic miracle in Ireland is giving Europeans pause. People seem to be waking up to the idea that smaller government and lower taxes stimulates economies and people make more money and tax revenues increase. Or they simply realize that throwing more and more money at bad policies and creating larger bureaucracies isn’t helping, but actually hindering useful action desperately needed to solve problems. Ireland is an excellent example of this. They went from beggars of Europe to the leaders through cutting taxes to bring in more businesses to foster more competition to create a larger tax revenue. We had a chance in the US under Ronald Reagan but the bureaucracy constantly beat down any serious reform we tried. Below a link explaining how this change all got started.
-----link-----
http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2007/09/02/the-reagan-revolution-sweeps-the-world/
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Perhaps we have to get as desperate as Ireland before we try in America again. I sure hope not.
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Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

IN MUSKEGON

TOO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT
I’M POSTING TWICE TODAY
I’ve been following the progress of the Senate bill (a constitutional amendment) calling for a 2/3 vote to be necessary to increase some taxes. This bill to pass needed a 2/3 vote it fell only 2 votes short in the State Senate on the 15th of April. Sounds like it will be brought back up next week. A link below to “Republican Rants” which had an excellent piece on it with facts galore.
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http://inkslwc.wordpress.com/2008/04/18/michigan-legislature-to-vote-on-making-it-harder-to-raise-taxes/
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I’ve been trying to find out something about the bills future.
Then LO and BEHOLD I received this email out of the blue.
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EXERCISE YOUR BUSINESS VOICE!
Business owners are enormously influential and important to the public policy debate. Your Chamber leads the way with business advocacy, job growth and entrepreneurism. We invite you to come hear from local legislators and share your ideas on issues that impact you!!
Panelists:Doug Bennett (D) 92nd District, State House of Representatives Mary Valentine (D) 91st District, State House of RepresentativesGerald Van Woerkom (R) 34th District, State SenatorMary Judnich on behalf of Debbie Stabenow (D) U.S. Senator Jon DeWitt on behalf of Peter Hoekstra (R) United States Representative
Submit your question for the legislators!
Event Sponsor: National City Bank Coffee Sponsor: Sherwin Williams Student Sponsors: Warner Schuitema Moving & Storage and Nexes Realty
REGISTER NOW! Early Bird ProgramFriday, April 25, 2008Networking begins at 7:15am, Program 7:30- 8:45am Holiday Inn Muskegon Harbor939 Third StreetCost: $15/member, $25/non-memberSend us your fax-back form or reply with your reservation to 231-722-3751 or ctyson@muskegon.org
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Well you guessed it I just called and signed up. I will try and join too. I will have my questions emailed to the event which will be like a town hall forum.
I’m looking forward to it. I don’t know of any other venue where all these people will be together at one time. I’ll let you know what they say. Join me. I know it’s $25.00 but I bet I’m poorer than you. Lol.
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Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative In Muskegon

Monday, April 21, 2008

527s

527
The major overlooked problem with 527s.
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-----The 527 comes from the IRS designation for tax exempt status. (The reform of campaign finance severely limited individual contributions.) The idea was to stop wealthy people from exerting an undue influence upon elections. The whole idea of campaign reform is to stop the encroachment of special interests. The 527’s offers an alternative place for these large political donors and groups to place their money to influence the political process. And influence they will from both sides of the isle this year. Funding according to an article in Newsmax (May 2008) by John Mercurio may hit the 1 Billion dollar mark for this upcoming general election.
-----So what’s wrong, it seems that both sides are doing it and neither side will have too much of an advantage? Well I think the problem is more simple and basic than that. More important. The individual has (regardless of race religion or financial situation) one and only equal right compared to anybody else in regards to determining the outcome of an election. That is the power of their vote. Hang in with me here. In Government we only have one representative. The person we vote for. The President, Congressman on down. Those few are the only people we have any control over in the vast trillion dollar government run by millions of people. What these 527 represents is another way of further removing our ability to influence the political process in favor of those large political groups and very wealthy individuals.
------Let me explain. The 527s when they do a hatchet job on a candidate they do not have to say that this hatchet job was paid for and endorsed by any candidate. In fact and this is the really scary part the candidate doesn’t even have to overview or approve of the ad. May not even know it’s coming out. For example a really dirty swipe is taken at a candidate from a 527 ad, the media jumps all over it. The ensuing media circus lasts weeks with accusations flying. Both candidates spend a lot of time and effort upon the accusation and counter accusations. When the accusation was made but not by the candidate. The reverse is true also that a candidate could get the group or big donor to make the accusation then hide behind the fact that he or she didn’t authorize the ad. Either way we the voter seem to be getting further back in the influence line. Plus the candidate can now be manipulated by yet another and larger group of influence peddlers.
-----What’s the answer? Like so many problems we face there seems not to be any, without stopping the freedom of others. There is no answer within the existing framework of the problem. Change the framework. Below is a paragraph from an article by John Stossel from monthly Newsmax mentioned above.
The title of his article. “Thwarting the Influence Peddlers”
-----snippet----
===“There is one way to rid the political system of this sort of corruption: Severely restrict government power as the Founding Fathers intended. Only when we eliminate the state’s ability to meddle in business will business stop meddling in government.”
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The new framework being smaller= way smaller government=less power in the government=less money it has to give out=less desire on the part of special interest to get it.
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Regards, Live Dangerously

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A NEW FREEDOM?

THE NEW BATTLE
IN THE GREEN ZONE

Our Chance At A New Freedom
------I’m not talking about Iraq. The battle in the green zone I’m talking about is the battle over freedom of choice, not in abortions, (please quit thinking in clich├ęs) but in a new freedom we haven’t had since the energy of Niagara Falls was first harnessed. A chance to establish our “freedom of energy”. A chance to free ourselves from the government controlled monopoly of energy. And here I’m talking about your personnel choice as an individual not some collective voice. I’m talking about throwing off the chains of regulation and unleashing private enterprise. Let us not let the government through monopoly gain this potentially rich new means to gather billions more for it’s ever expanding appetite.
------We stand at a nexus in history. The decisions we make now will effect our freedoms for years to come. The greening of America is upon us right or wrong, but how can we keep it being a beautiful thing and not just another nail in the coffin of individual freedom? We can do this by allowing it to become a tool in our pouch to promote our freedoms not limit them. To gain the freedom from energy dependence upon foreign governments, do we have to trade that dependence to our own government? That is all I’m hearing in government from the vast majority on both sides. How the government can help us by passing new laws and regulations to make sure we become greener and energy independent. You would think that the Energy companies would be against this. They are not, they are in favor of it. Why, simply stated because the utilities are a virtual monopoly and don’t want competition not controlled by them. The Michigan House has passed an energy package see the link below for some of the details.
-----link-----
http://www.customerchoicecoalition.org/mediaclips/DetNews040408ElectricUtilitiesFightToKeepTurf.pdf
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------I pictured a world with alternative energy making up an increasing share of our (mine or yours) energy needs as a good thing. This could be a beautiful thing. Windmills gently turning in the wind, solar collectors passively changing the sun’s light into mechanical energy, gently turning water-wheels in a creek and other more ingenious ways popping up all the time that we haven‘t even dreamed of yet. What ever device you have bought or made, you could just plug it into a quick connect device that would transform that power source whatever form it was in , to the grid.
------I also see it as a chance to break up the monopoly energy producers have had in America for so very long which has led us to this current crisis. A chance to get us away from more and more government control. I envision waves upon waves of new small startup companies finding new energy sources and selling them. I hope to see a revolution in energy, like that which we have seen in communications like the computer and all it’s enhancements to our freedoms such as the internet. Also can you imagine if IBM hadn’t turned down the concept and took control of the market where we would be today? I shudder to think. In regards to energy, what I see is a power grab of the new technologies by the energy utilities, backed by the government. through the massive lobbying effort of the utilities: and paid for by us the taxpayer.
------They (large company leaders) saw the mistake they made with personnel computers. Prime examples being IBM turning down the idea of personnel computers and the copy machine ect. They have learned from their mistakes. Now they are joining with government to try and strengthen their monopolies through and with the aid of government.
------I don’t like monopolies. At the root of conservatism is freedom, that includes freedom of choice which is stifled through monopolies. Another cornerstone of conservatism is free enterprise. Monopolies are killers of free enterprise. Government was our fall back weapon against monopoly since the anti-monopoly laws were passed. The best weapon we have had against this concentration of power leading to corruption of free enterprise practices has been those laws. Monopolies eventually drive the price up and the quality down in whatever field they monopolize. We have seen it time and time again. In the private sector we see it in the consolidation of services into what I call “Trimopolies” The big 3 for example. Since the Big 1 is illegal. Always monopolies have gained our trust by claiming that if they didn’t have the constant threat of competition they could do better for less. It hasn’t happened yet. How many more failures of big anything do we need to go through before we seek a better way. Bigger is not always better.
-------What’s the answer? Simply cut back on all the regulation possible. Make it easy for me to go out to the garage and invent a product, make it and sell it. Can you imagine how much money it would take to set up a new company now (especially in the energy field) the cost to meet all the regulations? But is that hypothetical product of mine the best thing? Who cares except me? It doesn't have to be. If you don’t think so don’t buy it. With a monopoly their new idea better be a good one because that is all there is. I would rather have the public vote with their pocket book than the government with some committee five years after I’ve gone out of business deciding whether my product is worthy of entry into the market. Who benefits from all these regulations, definitely not the start up, only the established company. As a Conservative I have to always be vigilant not to fall under the spell of big business. Their big special interests groups are no different than the liberal big special interest as they affect freedom. They both stifle it.
------The real answer lies again with my mantra, an informed public. So get out there, don’t buy into the slogan’s, even mine.lol. Dig out the facts, they are at the tips of your fingers, use your mind to be free. Think for yourself, don’t always follow the herd, take the time to reflect on where that herd is running toward. It might just be the cliff that I’m talking about.
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Regards, Live Dangerously Be a Conservative