Students For Freedom, Nobel For Rush, Bush Is Right

Three stories caught my attention today, and for this reason: That conservative values of individual responsibility, recognition of absolute truth, and consistency of conviction in the face of repeated attack, always resonate, always work (even if they seem to fail in the short term), and always get their reward.

Reagan repealed what is known as the “Fairness Doctrine”, a policy which required that all publicly broadcasting media channels give “equal time” to all viewpoints on any issue or risk losing their licenses. This allowed the growth of Talk Radio, which has blossomed in a way quite without precedent among the conservative mainstream. There have been attempts by private liberal interest groups to duplicate the successes of conservative talk radio, but they have, without exception, failed miserably. Most recently Air America, a Soros-funded venture filed for bankruptcy protection. Only NPR, the federally-funded broadcasting corporation which would appear to be a thinly veiled arm of the American Communist Party.

Now, Pelosi, et al. wish to resurrect the Fairness Doctrine to force broadcast stations to do allow both sides of an argument regardless of monetary feasibility. The idea behind the success of conservative political talk radio is that people enjoy listening to it, they buy the products advertised on it, they support the stations who broadcast it. This is not a wild guess that people like to listen to conservative political talk, it’s a concrete, incontrovertible fact. If the fairness doctrine were reenacted, there would be backlash and then disinterest, lethargy and apathy would kick in. Stations would close and people would lose their jobs. Pelosi likes this idea, she wants Rush to lose his job so badly she’s willing for hundreds and thousands of small-town DJ’s and radio station personnel to lose theirs as well.

Pelosi’s friend, Mr. Chavez down in Venezuela has been enacting the fairness doctrine recently. The most popular radio station in Venezuela, which was critical of Hugo and his policies, was shut down recently amid massive protests. Students have led the protests claiming an affront to their rights as citizens of Venezuela. Students have led many protests and revolutions in recent times, and not always to their benefit. There were the drugged out protests of the rich, lazy, uncaring youth of the 60’s in America. There were the idealistic but misinformed and ultimately evil revolutions in Russia in the early 20th century which brought in the terrible times of communism, of which Hugo Chavez is either a willfully and evilly ignorant blind follower or an evil, knowing proponent. Sometimes, the proposed change is so much more radical than the actual need that in itself it is evil, such as many of the protested things of the 60s. A whole country is enslaved to communism, a whole generation is nearly wiped out, the American flag cannot fly proudly in a section of the world because of the self-interested pursuits of a privileged and drugged generation here in America.

But sometimes it is the courage and strength, the energy of youth which stands up for the right against the tyrannical likes of Mr. Chavez, the evil. Laying down their own bright futures in hopes of a brighter future, if not for themselves, for those who follow.

John Berlau at HumanEvents.com has written a response to the fawning Mr. Gore is receiving at the hands of the Nobel Peace Prize committee. In his article he submits that Mr. Rush Limbaugh is more deserving of a peace prize as through his works of education and confrontation peoples lives have been saved around the world. Mr. Gore, on the other hand, has only globally broadcasted misinformation, personal ideological greed, and terminal stupidity contained in a corpulent animated corpse to lay to his name. An idol of Mr. Gores’ is the author of Silent Spring, which can be directly blamed for causing the shift in public opinion against DDT which has allowed the resurgence of malaria around the world, and the resulting multitude of deaths, nearly all preventable by use of the tiniest amount of DDT.

Andrew McCarthy at NationalReview.com has written an article detailing the multitude of reasons which Bush has been, is, and continues to be right concerning the war on terror, and how those who disagree with him cannot help but follow him if only for self-preservation. While they wish they could pull out, liberals with any sense know they cannot, and therefore they will do nothing more than push mindless and useless “symbolic” and “non-binding” resolutions recommending pull out by certain arbitrary dates (I really should write about how meaningless words can be). Bush’s problem isn’t that he isn’t right, it’s that he’s not the communicator he should be. Reagan was a great communicator, Kennedy was a great communicator, Roosevelt (Franklin) was a great communicator. They communicated the needs and demands of a higher calling effectively and with words powerful and frequent. Bush has repeatedly failed to capture the ideas of the nation and draw them in the direction of his plans of America’s moral projectionism.

OMG! I Agree With Hillary

I saw an article today in which Hillary Clinton said the following:

“I prefer a ‘we’re all in it together’ society. I believe our government can once again work for all Americans. It can promote the great American tradition of opportunity for all and special privileges for none.”

She was referring specifically to big, bad businesses that get tax breaks, ship jobs overseas and pay their top employees millions of dollars.

I agree with her. Not because I believe in socialism and a nanny state, but because I do not believe politicians should pick the winners and losers in a community, including businesses. Rather, the government should ensure a level playing field on which all can compete.

What are government subsidies?

Government subsidies are carrots officials dangle in front of businesses to get them to locate in a specific place. There are three primary arguments in favor of this approach.

When a business locates in a specific location it 1) creates jobs to build the infrastructure to support the business (buildings, roads, etc.), it 2) creates jobs to run the business, and it 3) creates revenue for the local government by generating taxes.

Often, business incentives come in the form of waiving building fees, which for big businesses, are in the millions of dollars. Other times, such as for professional sports facilities, the government sells bonds.

Government officials rationalize these handouts in three ways.

    First, they argue that they don’t have the money in their bank accounts right now, so they aren’t actually loosing or giving the business money.

    Second, they argue that primary and secondary taxes (property taxes, sales taxes and income taxes) paid by the new business will generate enough revenue to make up for the loss in income.

    Third, public officials argue that if they don’t offer a good enough incentive, neighboring jurisdictions will and they will not get any new revenue.

These arguments do not stand up to scrutiny and I will explain why tomorrow. Again, public officials should not be in the business of picking the winners and losers in a community.

Einstein On The Mysterious

 

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery — even if mixed with fear — that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man… I am satisfied with the mystery of life’s eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence — as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.”

Einstein, in a brief essay on his philosophy of life, claims the mysterious is the most beautiful thing we finite beings can experience. And there is plenty mysterious around us to observe. It has been said that man fears what he does not understand, but this cannot be completely true. The sense of the mysterious is not a sense of fear but of smallness, of incompletion. It is a longing for that which is larger, fairer, truer.

Many people study to diminish the impact of the mysterious because they do not appreciate the feeling of being small, utterly insignificant. They become scientists and they observe the mysterious until to them it no longer seems mysterious. It is the hopeless dream of those who hate dreams that they can understand the infinite, or even the colossally finite. I believe that many of the crack-pot claims by egotistical scientists setting dates on the doom of the world, whether the destruction is to be by heat or cold, or wind or rain, or shaking, or melting, are based on their dismissal of the mysterious, their idea that by stint of study and expansion of knowledge they can predict the unpredictable.

The largest computer cannot compute even simple predictions of weather over just one local area with any accuracy at any distance of time or space, yet there are those who believe we can predict such monstrous disasters as planet-wide fatal warming trends at the distance of hundreds of years. We cannot observe a single case of documented cross species evolution, but there are those who know that all organic life has come from single-celled bacteria in some ancient primordial soup. We cannot understand the complexities of life at the bottom of the oceans of the planet some say we’ve inhabited for millions and billions of years, but there are those who claim to have grasped the intricacies of the planetary system and the entire universe.

Every scientist must keep rein on his own ego with a healthy dose of the mysterious. There are things we already understand, thanks to the toil and work of our predecessors. There are things we can understand, by the sweat of our own brows. There are things our children will understand, by standing on our shoulders. And there are things that will never be understood, because we are limited finite creatures.

Instead of chafing over our inability to understand the amazing or plumb the depths of the esoteric, let us be grateful to simply bask in the glow of the mysterious. Look up to the stars and think how small you still are and revel in the fact that you will never run out of things to learn.

Federal Government Does Not Follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles

A basic tenet of Generally Accepted Accounting Principle (GAAP – the holy grail of business accounting) is that expenses are recorded when they are incurred, not necessarily when they are paid. This allows an accurate snapshot of the actual value of a business at any given time that is not inflated by deferred expenses. Many businesses keep two sets of books, not to be dishonest, but to record the available resources and the total resources concurrently, but for public disclosure, all reports must be based on the principle that expenses are recorded and considered money out of the bank when they are incurred.

The Federal Government apparently, though it requires businesses to comply with this rule or face scrutiny, litigation, and fines by the SEC, does not itself hold to these standards of accounting, as a USA Today article points out:

Bottom line: Taxpayers are now on the hook for a record $59.1 trillion in liabilities, a 2.3% increase from 2006. That amount is equal to $516,348 for every U.S. household. By comparison, U.S. households owe an average of $112,043 for mortgages, car loans, credit cards and all other debt combined.

Unfunded promises made for Medicare, Social Security and federal retirement programs account for 85% of taxpayer liabilities. State and local government retirement plans account for much of the rest.

You Comment, I Follow

I follow comment and blog links. NoFollow is the equivalent of a high fence around the yard. The power of the blogosphere is in its decentralized and organic form. There is a lot of noise out there: legitimate blogs that have nothing worth saying much less reading, spam blogs which clog servers and no one reads purposely, and spam comments which profit on others hard work. But the good blogs rise to the top usually, the ones with value and appeal and real content (the veracity of the content is entirely secondary).

NoFollow settings in blogs are simple tags that prevent links back to a blog from a comment. These NoFollow tags were a basic from of spam prevention, removing the benefit of the comment spam (links back to the spam blog). However, there are tools out there (such as Akismet, which I run on iPandora.net) which filter based on content without the need to block links.

When I want others to read my blog I must first allow them to find it. Instead of buying advertising and annoying people until some random dupe is duped into reading my blog, I’d rather give to receive. By reading and commenting legitimately on others blogs I do the equivalent of saying “hello” to my neighbor. The neighbor knows I exist and that I at least appear to be humaniform. If my comment is good, other readers will follow the link in the comment back to my site. A NoFollow tag does not allow the links back to the commentors site, isolating the blogs from each other and preventing a follow-through reader finding another (hopefully worthwhile) blog.

Being a bottom-rung blogger (about 50 people per week read iPandora.net) I benefit greatly from each and every person who reads my blog, and even more from those who comment (hint hint). Using a blanket approach to any problem is harmful to people like me more than to the larger, A list, bloggers. They have no moral obligation to allow the links, but it’s nice when they do.