Saturday, April 18, 2009

Caught In Mid Thought

Caught in Mid Thought

As I looked through the news looking for some fresh outlook or something not already beaten to death; I saw an article by one of my favorites Thomas Sowell. His book “A Conflict of Visions” made sense out the political world for me. Therefore when I started reading his latest article, "Magic Numbers In Politics” I was content.

In the second paragraph he talks of the cash advance type of business found in my neck of the woods. I have listened to Dave Ramsey on the radio rail against these types of business’ as predators on the poor. I was gleefully getting ready to pile it on them. Then I - No now in mid thought I’ll link to the article so you may see my dilemma.


I had forgotten who I was reading. I had forgotten what he had written before. I had forgotten my core beliefs when I was confronted with familiar and comfortable thoughts.

Sure these business’ are predators in the sense that they give people what they want and make a profit; a huge profit at that, but as Thomas Sowell points out by comparison; when the government jumps in things only gets worse. Things get worse for the business they regulate and worse for the people the government is trying to help with that regulation.

The business fails (hooray I wanted to yell); but then the people are forced to use other means usually illegal and or with higher vig/s and harsher penalties.

Thomas Sowell’s book “A Conflict of Visions” had taught me that the reason regulation fails is that it assumes a perfect solution is possible, based on the logic that people are perfect; both wrong assumptions. As Thomas points out in his book that is not reality.

I knew this and I also knew that Dave Ramsey was not trying to regulate the Cash advance type of business’. Dave’s ministry is to help people learn the tools they need to be able to avoid that choice on their own with their own minds. To allow them to enjoy better the journey. He was trying to show them a way to work around the need being serviced by the Cash advance places. Dave Ramsey rails against credit cards as well but he doesn’t say they should be regulated out of business. Just said no to by an enlightened people.

As a conservative I have to keep in mind that it is not easy to practice what I preach, just more rewarding because of the tryinbg. Much as striving for perfection or pursuing happiness; we are better off by doing it even though the end results are impossible to achieve. EVER.

As a conservative I put the premium on the effort not achieving the end result. When I exercise I dream that I will look like some fantasy movie star; but I don’t fall to pieces or quit exercising because I happen to look in a mirror.

I helped another neighbor start a small garden for other neighbors to operate through a church. This will not cure world hunger, at best it will give some fresh veggies to a few and some nice flowers for all to look at. We were doing ok until the county health dept. stepped in. lol.

The government should not punish people or business for not achieving perfection. They should simply look in the mirror long and hard and realize that they are at their best when they at most try to keep the rules of the game of “striving and pursuing” fair and level. Keep the entry level jobs of life unregulated. Give us a chance to deserve the freedom we seek the old fashioned way, by earning it.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Party

I have a lot of impressions and thoughts about the Tea Party Protests. The people attending were indeed a mixed bag, a good cross section of people. The things I sensed was obviously anger. That was well voiced in shouts and heated debate. The other thing was a belief in America and its traditions. More subtle, and underlying it lay a fear.

Yes FEAR. Perhaps that is too strong a word, but I think in varying degrees fear was the underlying emotion. Not fear of the loss of our freedom; but the loss of our individual freedoms. I don’t want to put into too complete a box what all this fear is; it is too vague and nebulous for that.

click on pics to enlarge.

I talked to a mother with some children who came to the Lansing Tea Party.

She was apprehensive (fearful) for her lovely children. She was worried that the America she knew would not be there for them. As parents we have to plan for the worse, and then hopefully be happy when it doesn’t happen. I think the vague fear underlying the protests had to do with the idea that the worse could be happening now.

BTW 5,000 showed up at the Lansing Tea Party.

I felt people had the vague sense that we have reached the tipping point in government and its control over our lives. I sensed as I haven’t in the past, a sense of urgency about doing something about that; the idea that we have to do something about that and soon; or we may lose the option of peacefull recourse.

We know and the articles are out there in the media and on the net are numerous about all the huge government increases into what used to be the public sector. Most of the articles have to do with business and bailouts and the like. The fear I’m talking about is found after reading the likes of the following article.


I had blogged early on about Obama’s hope for this very thing. He long ago referred to it as a domestic force. Funded as much as the Military. He felt it was a good way to get poor people involved and working for the government. The whole idea is so anti everything I believe in that I found it reassuring there were others who think similar to me.

The whole concept of non-profit organizations has become so corrupted and then to add that type of thing is beyond what I can tolerate. That to me is the tipping point between individual freedom and socialism.

The above was an illustration of an example of the fear people have of not only increased spending but the agenda behind that increase. They don't like the idea of increased taxes but more than that they fear the reason for that increase is increase the government’s control of their lives and the resulting loss of their freedoms.

Mike Rogers (R-MI) when introducing Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) at a non-tea party event in Michigan later that evening alluded to this when he said the following about this power grab by the Obama administration; “we expected to change direction, not the Country”.

The reporting on the Tea Party thing, has been all over the place in the media. The media for the most part has labeled this as a right wing extremist thing. That is far from the mark. I saw parents worried about their children, working folks worried about their jobs and families, young kids wondering what the world will be like in 10 years.

In short I saw people that liked America and what it has stood for and angry at those who constantly put down this country. They too felt frustration in the idea that they have been stopped so many times from trying themselves to fix their corner of the world. All the regulation on home improvement to starting a business has added to this building frustration. The public knows they can do it; they have in the past. We also know the government can’t because they haven’t in the past.

Ronald Kessler for Newsmax interviewed Grover Norquist (a true conservative btw) a day before the Tea Parties and Grover claimed there were going to be 2,000 parties across the country. Most of the media claim 300. In Michigan they say anywhere from 10-20. I’ve researched and found over 40 in Michigan. I keep finding ones in little towns I never heard of and that weren’t on any of the national lists I’ve seen. It would be impossible to get an accurate count nationwide, but Norquist is closer to the mark.


I went to one in Jackson at 6pm after the noon one in Lansing, and I found out that Jackson had another one at Rives Junction at noon also. At least 50 showed up there.

Rives Junction wasn’t on any list. These people weren’t radicals either, bent on destruction. They were an older couple who decided to have one in front of their house. They simply wanted a voice – a voice that would be heard above all the special interest groups, and I might add National Parties.

I might add also they were for the most part the silent majority that is normally subdued and not into politics. This Tea Party thing gave them a chance to voice their opinions and frustrations.

In the days to come, all the parties and special interest groups will try to capitalize on this. That’s life, but if the people can remember their voice, perhaps they too will remember that they have the freedom and new found strength to pick who they want to listen too.

Monday, April 13, 2009

If the Truth Be Told

Bill Wilson in Daily Grind had an article called, “To Slay a Hydra in Bridgeport”


This is an article about the case for the civil rights of children in the public school system. We have watched for years as Big Government has merged with Big Unions to form the most of imperfect unions for the education of our children.

Many have been trying with varying degrees of success to change that union; but as the article alludes to the combination of Big Unions their money and by endearing themselves to the pocketbooks of local politicians, the headway gained has been small and slow.

Progress has been made on a state by state level. Competition in the educational field has slowly been making headway. That competition comes in the form of vouchers, home schooling or academies according to what state one lives.

In Education the lack of individual freedom sticks out like a sore thumb. The difficulty parents have in asserting their rights as parents over what their children are taught are legendary.

Another great article linked below is about how the conservative message without the label is respected in the Black experience.


The authors Lee H. Walker and Joseph Bast show that Blacks have used “the three rungs of education, self-reliance, and entrepreneurship to climb the ladder of success and are now solidly middle-class contributors to society."

Self-reliance and entrepreneurship are the outcome of learning individual freedom. For someone to be self-reliant and succeed in business it helps immensely if they are taught those things in school. The article points out how that has become the exception and not the rule. As the article shows, the case for individual freedom is the case against the liberal agenda. A black middle class that has become self-reliant does not need what the liberals offer. In fact what they offer is damaging to that same middle class. It is becoming apparent to anyone who moves out of the hood, what it takes to stay out. All colors.

It means being reliant upon your own abilities and not what the government gives you.
I have said in the past that I have seen the gleam of the American Dream in the eye of minorities more often than in the eye of those who espouse it. What we need to do is get our rhetoric down to the grass roots, at the same time living our lives like we believe what we say. That is a major correction. It takes time to do that.

The key however is simple. Do what you say. In education for example it is easy to talk of making schools accountable for their level of competence in teaching. As the above article points out “Yet conservative thinkers and think tanks practically overflow with ideas to improve education, reward self-reliance, and boost entrepreneurship, while the liberal cupboards are bare.”

Conservatives do have the solutions; we just have trouble relating them to those who would benefit from them. In my state of Michigan we have an excellent resource or think tank. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is its name. The link below will show you studies they have made at great expense and with full scholarship upon a myriad of subjects. They publish their work as well as give lectures and seminars across the state to groups involved in what the subject is.


I am a blogger and not an educator but I went to a forum they had in Lansing about education, and found it quite good. The power point was easy to follow and understand. The results seemed inescapable. The discussion was about basing a teachers’ pay upon the direct results that teacher had on an individual student, then following that student through their various teachers and the method to grade the teachers. The researchers who wrote the book with those findings did a credible job of showing not only how that could be accomplished but the obvious benefits to the students and the teachers for that matter.

That was a think tank connecting to teachers. The trick is to express that same thing to the parent(S) of the children. Express the idea that for their children to get this superior education it is their civil right, as much as voting or where you ride on the bus. It will be obvious, once perceived, how very important this is for their children’s future. Also what becomes readily obvious upon any reflection is which theory provides it better; Liberal or Conservative?

Thomas Sowell of whom I’m a fan talked of a "sober presentation of the facts" as being enough to gain some headway. I would add we need to strip away the bs of the conservative rhetoric and strip it down to its bones and start preaching Individual Freedom and how everyone has a right to it, as a prerequisite to helping themselves in their pursuit of happiness. With education it means telling people they have the right to have their children taught what, when, where and by whom. They and their children have that right. It also means we have to start doing the work of creating those positive solutions to offer those so inclined.

That work is easy enough; it’s just a lot of repetition. Practice, just talking about our ideas with others. Refine the way we present things. The fewer and shorter the words the better. I know that is an anathema to a blogger; but what I'm talking about is talking not writing.

If I was talking I would need to crystallize this into a couple or three sentences. Sentences that would connect with the person I’m talking to. That is a skill, a learned skill. If the truth be told; it is a skill we must learn if we are to actually hope we can get our solutions accepted and in place to help stop this downward slide we are in.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative