BY THE NUMBERS BLOG My nerdy friend David who is degreed in economics as well as a small business owner writes a very cool blog where he pulls together figures to demonstrate the folly of today's current economic policies. Read it by clicking here.
THE MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR This book should be required reading for all high school seniors. It blows apart the media myth of how millionaires really live. Buy it on Amazon here.
THE CREATURE FROM JEKYLL ISLAND Want to know why we have the Federal Reserve? If you don't, you should and everyone should read this book. Buy it here.
More stuff to read as I think of it...
IT'S NOT OFTEN I BEGIN MY BLOG BY REFERENCING A COLUMN But this Thomas Friedman article has me kind of fired up. Read it here, but let me give you the Cliff Notes version. Friedman says we MUST intervene in Syria, because people were gassed and there is no other nation in the world that can do this effectively. Fair enough. But when he goes into depth about what HE would do in Syria, good grief. He is advocating that we selectively arm CERTAIN rebels that we would like to see win, and then we deal with Assad with...wait for it...shame. Yep, you read it right, shame. Read this passage:
"We need to use every diplomatic tool we have to shame Assad, his wife, Asma, his murderous brother Maher and every member of his cabinet or military whom we can identify as being involved in this gas attack. We need to bring their names before the United Nations Security Council for condemnation. We need to haul them before the International Criminal Court. We need to make them famous. We need to metaphorically put their pictures up in every post office in the world as people wanted for crimes against humanity."
If Thomas had used the google, he could have seen for himself a quick description of shame from Dictionary.com:
the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another.
In order for this cockamamie shaming scheme to work, Bashar al-Assad must have the ability to recognize that what he has done is dishonorable. Chemical weapons are not a new thing. The entire world community has condemned the use of such weapons. It's fairly obvious HE DIDN'T GIVE A CRAP. This is not a man who operates on the same moral compass as we do. To project the Judeo-Christian ability to feel shame onto Assad is overly simplistic and presumptive. And what if it doesn't work? Should we have someone sew a scarlet letter on all of his suits?
And the last thing I want to say about this flight of folly from the same man who thought the Iraq War was about waving a big stick in the Middle East is that arming rebels really hasn't gone well for us in the past. Especially when we would likely be providing weapons to rebels who ultimately wish the Great Satan dead. Like it or not, the Syrian rebels fighting for a secular government have more in common with the rebels fighting for an Islamic government than with us. That's why the Afghani government has a growing relationship with Iran. Just as we armed the mujahadeen, we can arm the rebels to defeat the Syrian government. And then if the Islamists take power in Syria *coughEgyptcough* then what do we do? Don't expect an Islamic government to thank us. Don't expect them to remember this. Their gratitude will be a belly laugh in our faces because like Charlie Brown and Lucy's football, we fell for it again. The fantasy-like promise of peace in the Middle East is a whisper, a shadow, a bit of nothingness that will never happen, but will be pursued like the blissful socialist society that has never existed and won't exist as long as man has an ego.
This is not our fight. One thing I learned from Iraq and Afghanistan is that you can't grant freedom to people who don't really yearn for it. And I don't believe the people of the Middle East yearn for it enough. Sure, some most certainly do, but not enough, or they wouldn't try to install a form of government that dictates every aspect of their lives. I'm sure you've seen this quote around the interwebs:
The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
(For the record, no is quite sure who actually said this, but it wasn't Tytler, or Tocqueville. Just an anal retentive FYI)
Arab nations are stuck somewhere between bondage and courage. They aren't ready for liberty yet. And everytime we interject ourselves into the region (Afghan-Soviet War, Gulf War 1, Iraq) we help enough people get out from under the thumb of tyranny on a temporary basis and they never move from courage to liberty. Freedom is hard. It requires a commitment to life, hard work and determination. We can't gift those requirements or bomb those requirements into being. They must come from within. And frankly, I don't see it happening. So let them work it out.
I am truly sorry people are stuck in a violent civil war in Syria, and I'm sorry they are dying. I simply don't see how this time will be any different, and rather than land flat on my back, I'll pass on trying the kick this time.
THE BILLION DOLLAR BALLOT QUESTION WILL BE WELL FUNDED The folks supporting the Billion Dollar Boondoggle, as I will refer to the tax hike as, have raised a lot of money...from unions and one other person, liberal check writer Pat Stryker. They've spent it paying people to get this tax hike on the ballot and consultants to help run the campaign for more of our money. Still, no one can EXACTLY explain where this new money will go (to shore up pensions?) and what EXACTLY those things will do for student achievement. Answer those questions first and maybe we can talk about it reasonably before I vote no. And why is Kaiser Permanente Financial Services, a health insurance company primarily, giving $100,000 to this effort? What is their dog in this fight?
THEY HATE IT WHEN YOU MAKE FUN OF THEM The new voter laws in Colorado are ridiculous. Anyone with half a brain can look at what Democrats did last year and recognize the possibility of fraud is off the charts. And in trying to educate voters about this new system that does nothing to protect the sanctity of the vote and everything to encourage the kind of fraud that sees dead people voting in Chicago, the Independence Institute has created a kerfuffle by putting up the handy dandy Bring in the Vote website. And now lefties are mad and stuff. Because you're never supposed to point out the idiocy of their policies. When someone says voter id laws are a solution to a non existent problem, I have to ask, what problem was addressed by these changes to existing laws in Colorado? None? Then it IS Democrats simply trying to set things up so they can cheat and win.
REP. CORY GARDNER GETS IT RIGHT When it comes to the DOJ deciding to simply not enforce pot laws in Colorado and Washington, he's completely right in pointing out that the same logic could be used for a state to simply pass a law not complying with Obamacare. I'm telling you, potheads could save the Republic if it means more states begin asserting the 10th Amendment with the Feds. If we ALL did it, it would simply overwhelm the system and they could NOT enforce this stupidity. Of course, we'd have to have a governor who thought it worthy to stand up to the temptation of more federal dollars for Medicaid. Which we don't have.
THE MARCH TO WAR CONTINUES And Colorado Senator Mike Bennett thinks military action is a good idea. But even he admits there is no good outcome for the US even with military action. How does this make logical sense? Thomas Friedman aside, why do we think we MUST do something, even if the outcome of such action could make things WORSE than they are now? And why is it that libs can invoke Nazi Germany without someone screaming about Godwin's law? Oh, that's because libs are the ones who only use history when it supports their choices.
"F" IS FOR "FAT" School districts across the country are weighing kids. Not their options, the kids themselves. And if the kids BMIs are not JUST right, a letter gets sent home to parents telling them little Suzy is a little porker. Not quite just like that, but parents are beginning to worry that such an intrusive measure by schools may encourage eating disorders in young kids. We are turning out children into neurotic little messes. This is a grown up thing, not a kid thing. Once again.
THEY CAN PAY FOR IT ON LAYAWAY Pardon me for doubting Secretary of State John Kerry, but with the kind of nonsense and stupidity coming out of this administration right now, I'm calling BS on this. Kerry says Arabs will finance the US action in Syria. Sure they will. I want the money up front. Like now.
THE SECESSION BUG IS SPREADING It's not just for North Colorado anymore! A county in northern California voted to leave California and is looking for other northern counties and southern Oregon to join them to form a new state called the State of Jefferson. If this keeps up, maybe, just maybe, these liberal cabals running these various states will pay attention to the people who live outside big cities. But probably not.