Saturday, May 10, 2008

Two Brooks = An Emerging River?

David Brooks wrote an excellent article in the New York Times Opinion section, titled “The Conservative Revival“.
I knew he had written something important after I read it --- but I didn’t know what. I re-read it once, then again, even now as I’m writing about the article my mind is still making connections. The synapses are firing down weird and different pathways. My conservative dogma keeps getting in the way though. It’s not that the basic ideals of conservatism were wrong, just out of step with the article. With reality I‘ll have to think some more. Just maybe the methodology didn’t fit what the people needed anymore. Perhaps too theoretical and not practical enough today. I have been posting about the evils of a government bloated with 20 million employees, and how could we fight that. Maybe we don’t have to maybe it’s more important to look at the what makes those 20 million and the rest of the American people happy. I don’t mean who can give out the most candy on the corner. I mean who can make what the government does now ---- more for and not to the people. More user friendly, better yet more interactive. Or "Ask not what your government has done to you, rather ask what you're doing to help the government help you". Man there goes those synapses again now they’re starting to release endorphins. That is what makes me happy. That may be but
I’m not normal. Most, probably 90% of the population could care less about government. No wonder I’ve been in the dumps, I would have to try and show 90% of the population how my way is better. Lol. Not happening. It’s not all lost though, my basic thoughts are still coming through. My one gripe with Newt Gingrich for example has been that although he talks about creating more efficient bureaucracy ect. He never talks of really cutting down the government, just making it more user friendly. Light bulb time. Make people happy when they use the government. Light bulb time. User Friendly = The flat tax, easy one pager, happier tax payer. Light bulb time, interactive = more transparency, easier accessibility to the facts and facillating methods for user input, the quicker and happier we the people are. Promote not just the feeling of community in relation to the whole governing process but actually set up mechanism to make it so.
-----Then came Arthur Brooks on Rightalk Radio. Below is a link to Arthur Brooks who has written two books on the subject. “Who Really Cares” and the last one recently published, “Gross National Happiness” I admit to not having read either. He was interviewed on “Leading The Majority” a Gingrich company aired on Rightalk Radio today at 2 I caught half of it. I’ll switch and catch the rest at 4. See my sidebar “Old Standby Links” for Rightalk.
The following link gives a brief description of each title and you’ll get a better idea of what I’m talking about.
The whole idea of conservatism or what Thomas Sowell in his book “A Conflict Of Visions” called the “constrained vision” is that conservatives tend to accept that humans are as we find them and can do little to change basic human nature. That short of the second coming we will need laws and the like to help us control “constrain” our actions, in order to form a more perfect union. Liberal ideology or as Dr. Sowell calls the “unconstrained vision” claims that man’s flaws can be overcome because they are not inherint in man, but rather put there by society and if we base our laws on letting men free to do as he will things will work out. I hope I’m not going to far a field in my paraphrasing of Dr. Sowell. The difference is that liberals tend to think that perfection is possible to attain and hence ever expanding government in the pursuit of that unreachable goal. Kind of like a never fulfilled ecstasy. The books Arthur Brooks wrote listed above claim that the frustration of liberals and their anger comes because they can never reach their goals. Hence Conservatives are happier just doing what they can.
------Way over simplified I know, and I’ve yet to read the books but hopefully this has given some food for thought. Perhaps a way forward based upon our unalienable right of the pursuit of happiness to focus along the lines of David Brooks article upon human relationships and the joy that can be found there. Merging the works of Arthur Brooks and his talk of the joys of work and giving into a happier and less intrusive mix of government and we the people. A way for the government to be just a network of we the people getting the work that needs to be done --- well done. That taking away of happiness by government is what elected Jessie Ventura, made Ross Perot famous and has people idealizing Obama and his claims of change. Getting government off our back is part of it. We all want that. But the other part that needs to happen is based upon positive solutions. Conservatives need to embrace ways to change government in a people friendly way, with the first priority being to make the government more enjoyable to work with. Yes enjoyable in the sense that after we wash the car we enjoy the feeling of a job well done. Not just the look of a clean car but the sense that we helped create it. We need to make interaction with government to be on a more personnel level. We need to get back to the neighborhood, Akindele Akinyemi knows what I’m talking about. He talks not about slashing government but about making it actually work. I claim it works best if it is at the level where we the people can work it. For country clubbers that’s an abstraction but if you live where government services interface with people, it matters it can be life and death.
-----My synapses are slowing down. This will not be the last article on this I’m sure. Got to order the book. I’m 3 books behind on my reading list now. Oh well I’m not perfect. And I’m learning to be happier knowing I'm not.
Regards, Live Dangerously

Friday, May 9, 2008


One morning a few years ago during a long winter in which I was barely working and my funds along with my spirit were nearly spent. I decided that I needed a change. Some inspiration. Gas prices then were not a factor and I had a little car. I decided to see the State where Jessie Ventura an independent was Governor. To me he represented Freedom. Maybe I thought the air would smell different there I don’t know, I just knew that I needed some inspiration.
------I jumped into my little car (my old car), took all the money I had and headed out. I only stopped long enough for gas until I got to my destination, It was a little town on the border of Canada. The name escapes me. But as I was later watching the movie Fargo I remember passing through some of the towns in that movie. It took over 24 hours of straight driving to get there. What a beautiful and hard drive thru the UP and thru Duluth. Beautiful of course not counting the blizzard I had to creep thru all night. I stopped at a motel in that little town and paid for a nights lodging. The cheapest place in town. Next day I ate breakfast at the only place in town, the waitress asked if I was in town for the fishing contest. I said no. I walked outside. Funny thing the air smelled the same, but the food tasted better, although that was probably because someone else cooked it whereas to save money I rarely eat out or go to fast foods. It was a treat for me.
------Well if you weren’t born there, (or had a fishing pole) there wasn’t anything to do, so I left. Headed south then east then back to the northern route as I wanted to see the bigger cities. A real Lewis and Clark except without the Clark and regrettably without any form of Sacajawea. By the time I was half way thru the UP I was deep into night and another blizzard. By the time I crossed the bridge we had a foot of snow and it keep on coming. As I crossed the bridge a strange site was before me. The expressway on my side was completely free of cars and there weren’t even any tracks in the snow. A pristine panorama. It was as if I was the only preson left alive. I kept driving. The bottom of my car was brushing the top of the snow. I didn’t dare stop for fear of getting stuck. The only thing I had to guide me were the little poles with the reflectors on them on the sides of the road. I saw signs for exits but couldn’t actually make the actual pathway out, and figured I’d end in a ditch if I tried, so I kept driving. Believe me I didn’t have to worry about falling asleep. Finally the sun started coming up and the storm slowed and as I passed the exits I began to see an occasional snow plow in the little cities starting to did out. With the sun and break in the storm combined with the knowledge that people were around I took a chance and pulled myself thru an exit. I was happy to reach civilization! I stopped and had my second treat another breakfast. I took my time. Even lingered and bought more food, a side of sausage and toast. By the time I left one lane of the Xpress way was cleared and soon enough both lanes. Finally I was home. I took a deep breath. The air smelled different. Gee maybe I brought something back from Minnesota and the redoubtable Jessie. Maybe it was because after being cooped up most of the winter and feeling sorry for myself, I decided to do something about it (anything no matter how strange). Maybe it was because I found myself up against something new and threatening and had only myself to rely on, and I did.
------Maybe it wasn’t the air after all, just that my nose was all plugged up with victim hood. Then again maybe it was just someone else doing the cooking.
Regards, Live Dangerously Be A http://wConservative
For some reason the above link needs to be cut and pasted to work.
hat tip to "Minnesota Democrats Exposed"
ps. As proof of how independent Minnesota is, the Democrats aren't called Democrats, They are DFL (Democratic Farmers and Labor Party) Sounds straight out Old USSR to me.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Throughout my random thoughts, run certain ideas through which I filter, sort and yes judge the news and other inputs I’m exposed to, or expose my self to. A personal type of profiling if you will. For example someone throws a rock at my head, I judge that as a harmful thing. I duck my head without thinking anything else. This may not be correct but it works for me. The person who threw that rock may have had a very good reason to do what he did, maybe he was aiming at something else and his aim was off. Maybe I even deserved the punishment in his or even my eyes. But I don’t have the time to think those things.
------So I duck. The news of my life is continually being sifted through these instinctual filters within the architecture of my brain. It is a hard thing to change those filters, those instincts. Why do it? Why even try? Different examples come to mind. For example how do I learn to throw myself on a grenade so my friends will live, knowing that I will die? Why would I want to do that? If it’s all that necessary, shouldn’t someone else do it? I’m sure I can come up with reasons they would be better suited for the job. Most people already have come up with those reasons. Let’s look at it in another light. What about a mother who dies while pushing her child to safety out of the way of traffic? Now perhaps some obvious reasons relating to survival magically start to come to mind. I think it obvious that to the person doing the dying that the reason is based out of love.
------There are similarities between the two. Neither one is dying for some great and glorious good, they are simply protecting what is theirs and what they hold dear. A mother child love we can more easily understand as it is more universal as we were once all children. The soldier to soldier or buddy to buddy relationship is a bit harder to understand as it is out of the scope of most peoples experience. Most of us however have experienced this buddy to buddy (friend to friend) relationship in smaller ways. Selfless giving of time to help a friend for example is not considered a waste of time.
------I applaud both examples. I look to these ultimate selfless acts as heroic. Would I do the same? I really won’t know until I’m faced with that decision and don’t have time to think about it. Now as I think about it, I hope I would.
------Isn’t this type of behavior against the idea of self preservation. I know the academics will say that it is some sort of evolved social self preservation mechanism that we as a society, to be able to function as a society, have developed. Even my explanation hints at that type of idea. But I think that explanation is a little too grand eloquent, sounds like it is made more for the benefit of the survivors, not the doers. This type of explanation I think is better suited for telling someone else, “hey strap this bomb on and become a suicide bomber for the greater good”, type of mystical explanation. I prefer the definition to be about the individual doing deed. Let the individual define the deed.
------As a conservative I need only define my deeds to myself. The consequences of those deeds as they are felt by others will be defined by others as they see fit. Our government was set up to protect my rights to do just that with a mechanism insuring that others can do the same. The bill of rights is that mechanism. The rights in the bill of rights are not my only rights I have unalienable rights above the Constitution, the only limit on those which are enforceable by the government or any other person, are the ones in the bill of rights.
------In other words I have the right to decide for myself whether I want to strap on that bomb, dive on that grenade or save that child, only the bill of rights can stop me from doing one of the three. There is a moral judgment in that, can you see it?? I hope so.
Regards, Live Dangerously
Just found----Edit----See "Hot Daily News Links"at the upper right of my page and see the latest from Gordom the Muskegon Pundit. Notice what I titled it before you click on it. This also shows how an individual can raise the protective instincts of a group to overcome their fears.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


So you really want ammunition to bitch about government with. Well Jack Hoogendyk and Mike Cox are trying to keep you well supplied. Lol.
In the above link Mike Cox talked about the “Track Your Taxes Bill” (HB5137) introduced by Jack Hoogendyk 220 days ago which is still stuck in committee. Mike Cox said that the reason it shouldn’t be stuck is that
"This is not a partisan issue; it's a good government issue,"
To lead by example Mike has set up his Attorney General’s office with just such a website for his office. Albeit in outline form.
-----This is what Newt Gingrich talked about after the ’94’ elections, Upon taking over the Speaker of the House Chair. Newt talked about transparency in government and what he wanted to accomplish.
“Our goal is total ‘transparency’ of House operations for the public. They should see everything as close to real time as possible. There should be no secrets from the public.”
-----Some great changes came from that effort but not total transparency. As the above article pointed out several states are thinking about or already doing that. Secretary General Cox mentioned “The Freedom of Information Act” and “The Open Meetings Act”, as precursors to totally open “transparent” government.
-----I wish him and Jack Hoogendyk luck on their efforts. The status quo is hard to change.
-----Below is a link to the Bill itself and the status in the State House.
Like I said the status quo is hard to change. First enough of the people who will benefit (citizens, taxpayers or not) have to get vocal and involved. We need to show how change can happen. The listening stage for us is over. It’s obvious that we the people are fed up with ever increasing government and ever decreasing bang for the buck. The time for action is present. The party that truly steps up to that plate will be rewarded. Newt recently sent out this warning to Republicans.
We can use this to pressure government to become smaller and more efficient.
Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative
This just off of Drudge. Hope some (John McCain) take heed of what Newt is saying.


The world, the new marketplace?

It used to be that if Joe’s hardware down the street sold nails for 4 cents a lb, and Bob’s hardware sold them for 5 cents Joe’s would get more and more customers until Bob’s went out of business or lowered his price. All well and good because the public understood that neither one of them could sell for less than what they paid for the nails.
------Next came discount chains like the five + dimes Woolworths comes to mind. Through volume buying and cutting out the middle men (Joe + Bob) they were able to sell those nails for 3 cents. We started to forget about Joe + Bob. They applied for work at Woolworths, or got in the unemployment line.
------Next came what?, the Big Box Home Improvement Stores. Super buying power lowering the price to 2 cents for that lb. of nails. Just talked with Bob who's working in the Home Depot and he explained to me why I had to buy a nice platic wrapped package of 12 nuts and bolts when I only need one and I have enough platic bags at home already. BTW they are going green they have a tree growing on their roof or somesuch.
------Now I think the tide has finished running. The national market has cannibalized itself. The workers through unions have demanded and received higher wages and benefits. The governments all up and down the line have created and or raised the taxes on the companies. All the governmental regulations have added to the cost of doing business.
Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative
Ps. I don’t know about you but I feel better for yelling.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


-----As I look into government more, the less I like it. Lol. A constant thread in my posts refers to the threat posed by special interests. This is not the threat as we commonly think of it. We have always had special interests, in and of themselves they are not bad, even useful. They are a tool and like any tool the use determines the utility of it. The special interests provide needed information to our representatives to help them in the decision making process. All well and good.
-----What I think of when I hear the term “special interest” is what I’ve been conditioned to think. That is big companies paying out bribes for votes. That does happen and is well documented. Makes great fill for the evening news. That is our system at work, we already have a way to ferret out the bad apples. Still all well and good or at least easily fixable.
-----What I’m talking about here is the insidious corruption of the process of legislation by an effort to take the legislative process out of the hands of the elected representative (our only link to power), and putting it in the hands of the special interests.
-----In the constant ebb and flow of politics between the two “Visions” of our government one side then the other takes the lead. It is in this way that “we the people” tend to stay away from the extremes that have ruined other countries. We even seem to like to give the Legislature to one and the Presidency to the other more often than not. We seem to instinctively know that consolidating power is a bad thing. It seems to work. Let’s be honest, compared to a Stalin or a Hitler or a Pol Pot, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton are not in the same league as far as extremists go. The key that allows this is our form of constitutional government. The checks and balances which are there to stop one branch from taking control.
-----The Inmates Running The Asylum. What I tried to show through example in the previous two posts is the creep of bureaucracy (inmates) into the legislative process (asylum). Make no mistake the framers of the Constitution knew full well about big all controlling government. The idea that life long bureaucrats bring to the table is one of condescension and a disdain for the masses and the here today and gone tomorrow politician. They may not say it but it is there. Why shouldn’t they run their department? They have the experience, they have the #s. I get the distinct feeling that they feel they are the actual keepers of the secret flame. A lot of citizens feel that way also. For example why shouldn’t the leaders in education tell us what to do? Well as I tell my liberal friends what about letting the general of the Army tell us what war to fight? “We the People” together have the ability any bureaucracy lacks. The ability to see what is better for the country vs. what is better for the bureaucracy.
-----These bureaucrats are the people who actually run the mechanics of government. While each department is headed by a Cabinet Head, appointed by an elected official, they are transitory and unless given an overwhelming electoral mandate they are not able to change the bureaucracy they head. The government just keeps doing what they do regardless or in spite of who won the election. There are 20 million employees of government at all levels. I wonder how many of them think that smaller government is a good thing? Those individuals by themselves have common sense but their union reps and their reps and the leaders of the bureaucracy progressively lose theirs until what we have are the radical rants of the extremists. On both sides I may add. These leaders of Bureaucracies are the ones writing and putting the majority of the legislation in front of our Elected Legislators to sign. Without the “loud” backing of “We the People” those bills get signed. Without “We the People” picking tough hard common sense Legislators with the good of the Country in mind, those bills get signed.
-----This government has endured and will endure and yes even flourish if and only if the public gets more involved. But what can one person do? Again as before look at Ghandi, and all the other “greats” of history. For more current inspiration, look also at the person responsible for the pictures of children on milk cartons, the guy from the Most Wanted show, the list is long. The first thing I have done is to say to myself that I am an American and that I have rights under the constitution of this country. Unalienable rights that no government can take away unless I let them. As a "freedom person" I can then with all the authority God and the constitution have given me state my beliefs and try to persuade others. That is what I’m doing. Feel free to do the same.
Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Monday, May 5, 2008


These “shell games” are just politics. These games are played by all. Just business as usual, nothing wrong you say? You're welcome to your opinion. I've posted some links below for your perusal. Well tomorrow I'll say what I think is wrong about the process. The part of the game that I’m blogging about today is the first part. Step one of the process to get the agenda started. The introduction if you will, which only glimpses the end result of the agenda being pushed. This part just sets up the framework of and players who will be pushing the agenda. It will state in flowery terms the wonderful goal for which it claims t6o have found a pathway, usually at a reasonable expense, if expense is even mentioned at all. Below are links to “Comparative Worth” or “Fair Pay” legislation in the Mi. and US legislature respectively.
Comparable Worth enabling Mi. legislation
the “Ledbetter Fair Pay Act,” enabling on the National level.
The agenda behind Michigan HB4627 is pretty transparent as Rightmichigan points out by who is to be on this deciding board. Below is a snippet I found from the NOW website, which I will link after the snippet.
“The Michigan House Democrats decided to celebrate
Equal Pay Day on April 24 with press conferences in 5 cities
to announce the introduction of 3 pay equity bills, HB 4625-
4627. Michigan NOW leadership were speakers at several
of the events. Representative Joan Bauer (D-Lansing) is the
sponsor of the lead bill that amends the Elliott-Larsen Civil
Rights Act to prohibit an employer from failing or refusing to
provide compensation equally for work of comparable value
in terms of the composite skill, responsibility, effort, education
or training, and working conditions because of religion,
race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight or marital
status. HB 4627 sets up a Pay Equity Commission - Michigan
NOW would be a statutory member! These bills have been
introduced for the last 22 years and gotten through the House
just once. The bills passed the House Labor Committee and
await floor action. “
-----link for above-----
Notice all the similarities in the wording ect between the Michigan and the National legislation.
-----Found this yesterday.
Link to May 4, 2008 article about forming a group to set "Reasonable Profits Board".
Asks the simple question of what is unreasonable about the oil profits and shows some facts.
The Oil companies are already being taxed The amount may surprise. The link below is an excellent source as to those profits.
Hillary uses the justification that the extra tax money would be used for alternative energy research or some such noble cause. Not mentioned was the amount of money Oil is putting into alternative energy already. Maybe to pay the taxes on their profits they will have to stop their efforts into alternative energies. Below is 1.5 Billion being invested by one Oil company.
Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative
PS. Always check right hand side of blog under "Daily Stuff..." for additional links about current posts.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


The "news flash" I posted previously for May 3, described the “Senate Shell Game”. Simply stated the bill is the first piece of enabling legislation that states the problem then puts money enough forward to “study” the plan in this case a million or so. And on my part why would Senator Biden say “less than $1 million per year”? Why a year? How long does it take to do a study? Snippet below
Advocates of the Global Poverty Act are claiming that it does not really commit the United States to anything... that it won't really cost anything... that it simply requires the President -- in conjunction with the Secretary of State -- to "develop" strategies to alleviate world poverty.
In fact, Biden's report incredulously states, "implementing S. 2433 would cost less than $1 million per year..."
Technically he's correct... after all, it doesn't really cost that much to develop and formulate strategies...
Then the article goes on to ask: “Why formulate or develop a strategy if there is no intention to follow through on that strategy?” A fair enough question. It then brings to light the connection to the UN's agenda.-----snippet-----”"The bill defines the term 'Millennium Development Goals' as the goals set out in the United Nations Millennium Declaration.”
The rest of the article extrapolates what could happen if we “follow through on that strategy”. I agree with the article that our Freedom will not be protected by following through with this.
-----Let me be upfront here. This Alert is an attempt to get money for CFIF so they can continue their work. Is there work worth it? You are the sole judge of that in this country that is still free. I plan on donating $20 to the cause. Will it succeed? Probably not but I figure I have to start somewhere. Like my blog, maybe this alert will help to start planting the seeds again of individual freedom and the idea that it takes effort and vigilence to keep and nurture that freedom.
Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative
ps. My next article will deal with other enabling legislation. I feel that this is where action has to be taken in the legislative process in order to nip bad legislation in the bud. Hopefully then I will be able to formulate a positive course of action, an alternative if you will to "bad" Check out the current daily links at the right of my blog (newest on top) to see where I'm headed next. Thanks