Wednesday is the day. While Georg continues to post here on a near daily (or multi-times a day) basis, I’ve been slacking off.
Tomorrow, after I get a good night’s sleep, I’ll put fingers to keyboard and finish one or two of the posts I’ve been thinking about. Of course I’ve got to grade papers and do some laundry, as well.
Things I’m thinking about lately:
The National Debt and the immorality of what we’re doing to our kids (notice, I’ve added a running debt clock to the top left of our page).
Gun control, and the threats of confiscation
Sequestration (really? We’re supposed to think that having a little bit less of an increase than planned for—still above and beyond last years’ budget—is going to cause something akin to the zombie apocalypse?)
Losing our rights
Oh, and on that note, here’s a video that was brought to my attention today:
I’m not really sure that I’d have the nerve to challenge the authorities that directly—especially not if my kids were in the car. In many instances, it seems like it would be easier to just say, “yes, I’m an American citizen” and show them my driver’s license. But I understand the frustration, and hope that I would stand my ground if justified.
The older I get, the more I cherish the experience of getting closer to the truth by being wrong at a considerable rate.
The amazing thing about this story,
Charles, is that not a jot of it was known even when I was a boy,
let alone you. There is something almost miraculously exciting
about the way we can recover and relive the past adventures of the
planet in glorious detail thanks to modern science.
You once wrote, in a letter to your sister from the Falkland
Islands in 1834, of the pleasure of "finding a fine group of fossil
bones, which tell their story of former times with almost a living
tongue." Today, almost 180 years later, the fossils, isotopes and
spores not only speak softly of slow and gradual changes but cry
out the story of a violent and truly terrible catastrophe that once
transformed life on Earth.
Over cards last night someone mentioned they knew a friend who had hosted a gold party. Having never heard of such a thing I asked for more information.
Turns out this friend ended up making $400 on just hosting fees alone where the host gets a cut of what is generated. There was $4,000 worth of gold that changed hands at the party.
Doing a simple Google search shows there is lots of activity on the Internet for these parties. Reading some of the news sites that talk about gold parties it is mainly a female party similar to the basket, Tupperware, chef, Mary Kay parties of the past. In this case, there is a buyer from a company that brings their checkbook who first tests the gold to find out how pure it is and then makes an offer with a check for the gold.
Here in Nebraska there are a couple of bills in the state legislature (LB 109 and LB 226) that try to put more restrictions on the sale and purchase of gold. These laws would certainly make it harder to conduct a gold party. Scrap metal dealers and pawnbrokers are already restricted on how they must perform a transaction with gold. The new legislation attempts to add anyone else doing the same to these restrictions. You can read more here.
As someone who saw the stock clubs spring up during the .dot com bomb which then lead into friends buying rental or fixer-upper homes before the real estate crash one has to wonder if this gold party is the sign that we've reached the top of the gold bubble?
There's a general rule I use that if it plays in Nebraska you're near the top. It might be time to move on. Reason I say that is that due to our slowness to "get it" and also the lack of population, by the time something popular comes here (a newish restaurant chain, popular musical artist in concert, clothing craze, etc.) that something has hit its peak with no growth left, i.e. no more suckers to find.
Time will tell if this is the peak of the gold bubble (chart). The money printing will never go away, but bubbles do go bust. If gold is in a bubble, then what's next?
(Note: If you get financial recommendations from blogs, please stop now and just give me your money. Also, I happen to like the fact that we don't "get it" as fast as the rest of the country. That's why we're more conservative in this state then in others. And that's fine by me.)
The Repeal of the 17th Amendment, while not likely initially, would begin the process of limiting federal government growth.
The 17th Amendment to the Constitution diminished the rights of the states by allowing for the popular vote for the U. S. Senate, such that the stage became set to have the federal government begin to assume a role for which it was not originally intended. This creates an environment in which states may have their financial solvency threatened by the actions of other states when the federal government becomes the lender of last resort to the insolvent states.
When a nation has such extensive debt, as in the United States, that it restricts its options for creating and fostering economic growth or prosperity for future generations, it is likely that the nation will cease to flourish as it has in our past. Opportunities to escape to other states may be for naught if the problems are national in scope.
A significant, prolonged, and sustained economic malaise will likely occur with our current debt burden and unfunded obligations.
Only disciplined, controlled reduction in out-of-control public-sector spending will reverse this trend...which started in the 1930s. Keynes, you opened a can of worms!
It seems to me that among the people I talk to, they either “get” the problem of our national debt, or they’re blissfully oblivious.
Never underestimate the dynamism of the tradition-bound. After all, there are traditions of critiquing traditions. There are traditions of maintaining traditions, and traditions of getting rid of traditions.
We are all traditionalists. Try to look at things that way, and you will be surprised ...
"The cloudy sky is
more grand than the blue," said Edmund Burke, according to the image source.
Following up on Laura's post Conservatives and Libertarians: Uneasy Cousins, I offer the lucid - and to me highly inspiring - below lecture on the great "conservative-libertarian" thinker and politician Edmund Burke, delivered by Ian Shapiro, Professor of Political Science at Yale University.
I have always neglected "my Burke". Though, I once had a go at Conor Cruise O'Brien's magisterial biography. At the time, however, I was insufficiently prepared to cope with the onslaught of historic ideas and circumstances jumping at me from the tome.
Shapiro's presentation certainly is a paragon of clarity and concentration.
There is a monstrosity of a term in German: Allgemeinbildung - general education or educational background. What turns the German term - for me - into a monstrosity is its historical and institutional background.
For Lincoln's dictum certainly holds true in the case of Germany, where homeschooling is a crime and institutions of private education are strictly content-controlled by the state:
“The philosophy of the classroom will be the philosophy of the government in the next generation.”
Nothing could be more antithetic to the idea of genuine education than a monopoly on asserting what it is.
Education is the ability to acquire, handle and advance human knowledge. For these purposes, freedom and competition are of the essence.
Instead those who ought to be protected against any kind of conscription are being conscripted into a behemoth broadcaster of prejudices - as Arthur Schopenhauer said:
The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively, not by the false
appearance things present and which mislead into error, not directly by
weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by
Robert E. Peterson at The Freeman offers an account of a far better model:
The results of colonial America’s free market system of education were
impressive indeed. Almost no tax money was spent on education, yet
education was available to almost anyone who wanted it, including the
poor. No government subsidies were given, and inefficient institutions
either improved or went out of business. Competition guaranteed that
scarce educational resources would be allocated properly. The
educational institutions that prospered produced a generation of
articulate Americans who could grapple with the complex problems of
self-government. The Federalist Papers, which are seldom read or
understood today, even in our universities, were written for and read by
the common man. Literacy rates were as high or higher than they are
A study conducted in 1800 by DuPont de Nemours revealed that only four
in a thousand Americans were unable to read and write legibly.