BenTha'er-Horizons

Government

Another Cuba Time

Michael Totten has written another great follow up article to his series about Cuba. I wish our current leaders in Washington, especially on the Democrat side, would take the time to read them. Maybe then some, like Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa (who will retire, Thank Goodness) would not make the idiotic statements praising Cuba as a wonderful example of government working for the people. How the streets are clean....................could it be because they are not allowed to have anything extra as far as food and goods that would even clutter the streets? Maybe they would be jailed if they did or were menaces to society. Too bad Tom Harkin is not jailed for being a pure ignoramus. See here what Cuba is really like and why Michael Totten says he won’t return while the Castro regime is in power.
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The World View from Mead

Walter Russell Mead writes for The American Interest. His columns are very well-written and a thoughtful, balanced look at domestic and foreign policies and affairs. He did recent columns listing first his picks for The World’s Biggest Losers for 2013 and then The 10 Biggest Winners of 2013. This may not match other’s picks yet WR Mead still presents a reasoned look at his. Certainly one can learn a bit about current affairs by reading these articles.
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Londonistan

One of the most interesting books Bob and I have read is Melanie Phillips book, Londonistan. She covers the increasing Islamization of Great Britain where she lives. She has a very interesting blog that I will catch from time to time. This article does not come from her yet covers much of the same topics that she covers. It is disturbing being the Anglophile that I am. I am not surprised though considering the large population of Muslims Bob and I would see in our last visit to London. So many come from the Middle East with money to live part of the year. The heart of London is coated with the hajib. This is a long article yet one worth reading to get a sense of where Great Britain is headed.
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Income Inequality

It is becoming apparent that the mantra for this next year as we go toward the 2014 elections is going to be “income inequality”. I was raised in a family where my family was not rich, nor poor yet comfortable to live and work with what we had. We did not envy or begrudge anyone what they had. I am a big believer that people make choices in this world that help them or hold them back. I cannot expect others to make my choices or compensate me for poor ones. It is my responsibility. I cannot in the long run change the choices others make for themselves. In the long run, we all have to live with the consequences of those choices. Circumstances are unequal. Life would be pretty dull if we all were forced into “sameness”. Many strive for achieving something worthwhile or a greatness beyond. It will be interesting, also frustrating, to watch this message play out over the next few years. It has never been able to sustain itself to create the Utopia such believers wish to accomplish. I have to agree with the following statement of Matthew Continetti of the Washington Free Beacon............

“What the income inequality debate is about is not social justice but social rule. It is about power, about who wields it and to what purposes, and the slogans and statistics that appear in the papers are the weapons by which a caste of liberals organizes its political coalition and vanquishes its opposites.”

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2014, Another Great War?

I have touched on this subject in recent posts, even the one yesterday. What is we were to have a Great War this year, 100 years after the last? Could we? Are the circumstances leaning that way? Here is an article discussing if it could happen and that it would have to entail the United States and China to come close to the impact of the Great War, being they are two super powers who could make the difference. Take a read. See what you think.
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Whittaker Chambers

Over the years, I had heard and read a number of references to the Cold War hearings regarding the Communist infiltration of higher levels, one such person being Alger Hiss. He had been tabbed for his Communist activities during their earlier working and friendly relationship by Whittaker Chambers. Chambers left the Communist Party and was an editor for Time for a decade before all of this settled out. The denouncement has been a hotly contested through decades because Hiss greatly denied the claim. He was proven to be a liar and was convicted of perjury due to lying to a Congressional committee. Time and new information has shown that Chambers was telling the truth and Hiss was lying. Chamber wrote a well-known book called Witness which has been in print since its first publication. I finally decided to read the book and am into a follow up study called Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case by Allen Weinstein. They both are fascinating and Witness is well worth reading. So much of what he saw in the attacks on his honesty and character are what we see today if Democrats or liberals are backed into a corner. He talks about revolution and refers to the New Deal as a revolution in this country. We may be seeing the same now in the transformation of progressivism occurring. This is not something I am in favor of and hope that it will not happen the way it is planned. The blog article that got me looking deeper into what Whittaker Chambers brought to our way of life by being a “Witness” is found here.
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Thomas Paine in 1776

On this day in 1776, Thomas Paine wrote his pamphlet, American Crisis. The words were ordered to be read to the troops by George Washington before they crossed the Delaware River to attack Trenton.

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered. Yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: ’tis dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods, and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated........
Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it and repulse it.......I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. “Tis the business of little minds to shrink;but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”
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The Bill of Rights

On this day in 1791, the state of Virginia was the last state to ratify The Bill of Rights or 10 Amendments to the Constitution. It is good to remember what they stand for and how they came about. It seems as if a number of politicians in charge have lost the sense of what this all stands for and assumes it means the right for them to grab and maintain power versus preserving the freedom and rights of the people of the Unites States. Long live the Constitution and our Bill of Rights.
Thomas Jefferson once wrote to Madison, “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth........and what no just government should refuse”. Would that our current government not avoid and trample on that concept.
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The Zombie Effect

Every day it seems that the Democrats sink lower in what they do to support or promote their policies and beliefs. One has to credit them with being able to stick together trying to deliver the product or at least keep it from collapsing. Or maybe it isn’t something on the credit side. I read an article today by Mark Baisley where he talks about The Zombie Effect that spreads through the Democratic Party and its loyal supporters. An example follows of what he is talking about and is in a humorous vein incorporating the great Bob Hope.

This Zombie Effect was first documented in the 1940’s film The Ghost Breakers. Richard Carlson’s character describes the undead as, “It’s worse than horrible because a zombie has no will of his own. You see them sometimes walking around blindly with dead eyes, following orders, not knowing what they do, not caring.” In immediate response, Bob Hope quips, “You mean like Democrats?” (See the brief film clip by clicking here).

Enjoy the show!
female Zombie
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A Better Look

Politico has published a couple of articles that give a behind the scenes look at the President’s interactions with his Cabinet and many of the major generals in the armed forces. The articles do not paint a good picture and more a grim one in my estimation. It is disturbing to hear that approximately 200 generals have been released by this administration. They are trying to remake the military in the manner they desire, not as a ready and fighting force I am afraid. Political correctness is taking its role, front and center. I pray we are not attacked because I fear for who will be left to respond.
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States' Names

If you want to know more about where your state’s name comes from (etymologies), you can check here and here.
In the case of Oregon.................

The origin of the state name is uncertain, but "Oregon" might have been derived from a 1715 French map which refers to the Wisconsin River as "Ouaricon-sint."

Another opinion is that the name "Oregon" stems from an English army officer's proposal for a trip in 1765, in which he refers to "the River called by the Indians Ouragon." Oregon was admitted as the 33rd state on February 14, 1859.
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President as Machiavelli?

What is effectual truth and is this what the President uses when he speaks to Americans?

In the essay, Mansfield discusses the Machiavellian discovery of “effectual truth.” What is effectual truth? In his 2007 Jefferson lecture, Mansfield put it this way: For Machiavelli, the effectual truth is the “truth shown in the outcome of his thought. The truth of words is in the result they produce or, more likely, fail to produce.” Consequences matter most. “Deeds are sovereign: When confronted by a necessity, Machiavelli advises, do not worry about justice, but act and the words to justify your action will come to you afterward.”

More about this can be found in this Washington Free Beacon article.
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Government Cronyism

As Obamacare rolls out and looking at the effects on both Bob and i, it is distressing to read articles about all the lobbying, interest groups, and back room deals that went into getting this law passed and forced on us. An article that gives one just a taste of what this entailed is found here.
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How To View Freedom

A great article today by David Horowitz on how the Democrats keep their people and message together and how the Republicans must go to a message that is said over and over again that they support freedom for the individual. We do not want to become lemmings that only do what the Pied Piper says we should do.
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Misplaced Charter

Our country is going through a stressful time right now. As an earlier blog post mentioned, our President and his administration are doing their best to separate the people from the land and National Monuments. We can no longer go where we feel we should be able to access and visit. Mark Steyn touches on this topic a bit and how the President has broken an almost 900 year old portion of English law that an English king gave to his freemen subjects. This law was established two years after the Magna Carta was written, the basis of English law and our law too. He has rolled back the connection a supreme leader has with their people and the land. We are reversing to a despotic concept more in line with “divine right of kings”. The article can be read here. The only argument I have with it is that is says that Henry II gave the Charter of the Forest to English freemen in 1217. It was Henry III, the son of King John the king -who had to accept the basis of the Magna Carta due to his despotic rule over his noble subjects.
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Bring Out the Cones

It is disgraceful that our President and his administration are taking on goonish thug tactics to the American people during this current government shutdown. His hit squad of goons, the National Park Service, have gone around the country placing traffic cones in places to block tourists from visiting or viewing national sites. I have a photo from a prior trip to Wales of a statue of a Welsh statesman that someone put a traffic cone on his head. I think Barack Obama deserves to be stuck wearing a traffic cone as a dunce cap. I wish he would demonstrate some of that brilliance that he supposedly has and do something smart and good, not mean spirited. A further look at what the traffic cone is coming to symbolize.
Wales Cardiff humor2
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Banbury Tale

In starting a book last night, I saw the name Bambury in it. My mind switched to the thought of Banbury Tales or “feeding us baloney” or “outright lying”. I believe there is an increasing frustration and dissatisfaction with our government. Much of it centers on the fact that our elected leaders, especially the President, do not speak the truth often. Most of what we hear is misdirection or lies spoken as “the truth”. Sometimes the lies are blatant and the person speaking such Tales does not even care if it is called a lie. There appear to be no consequences for telling lies so it just escalates. It is like a little kid who did something wrong and stands there going “NaNaNa, you can’t touch me!” Because few care to do anything about it. The media won’t and that is so disturbing. We are losing our sense of right and wrong and ability to follow the rule of law. A post I came across this morning after I decided to write about this topic seems to touch a bit on this and point out how utterly worthless the media is in this day and age.
Postscript: Another article about truth and how lies creep into creating an ideological “truth” is also written about here.
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Creeping Bureaucracy

Or is the term better used as “creepy”. It is becoming more and more disturbing to see where our government is headed. There is much more of an appearance of autocratic, authoritarianism, statism, or dictatorial aspects to our relationship as U.S. citizens. I don’t know if there is a good sense or definition for people for the term statism which is used often. I think bureaucracy or “creeping bureaucracy” is better understood by me. It appears more and more that the political elite or focused in this country wants to determine how we live our lives and it must be in the manner they determine it should be done. Some appear to want to promote one party government and who are elected leaders should be versus letting the people make the choices. The choices will be made for us. It has been difficult to articulate though I think it was well done in this article by Kevin Williamson. The elite and the media are determining who our next President should be and setting it up so it is a given, or at least a given by those willing to turn over their beliefs and thought processes to “those who know best”. I refuse to be a celebrity-chaser and a low information voter who gives up my freedom without a care. I do care where we are going and that we have choice. Unfortunately, there are many others who will go willingly down the path of least resistance and will let their emotions rule versus evaluating information.
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Pinocchio Redux

We seem to be dealing with Sequestration politics lately and the worst of it is the exaggerations and Obamageddon “facts” out there.
This recent article by Dan Heninger of the Wall Street Journal covers how simple things are often made more complex by our current President.
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What Does It Matter Anyway?

Mark Steyn is one of my favorite people to read. He has a way of skewering people with a mix of subtle sarcasm contrasted with the truth. This article is a classic demonstrating how people’s lips are moving, yet what they seem to say is not back up by the reality of what they really do. It is all normal in our national seat of government. Sigh!
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Us Versus Them

There have been a number of articles about how the administration wants to push more for a state of collectivism. We ALL work together to achieve our goals and do great things. I disagree that there is a collectivism theme. I think there is more an “us versus them” theme. Splitting into different interest groups and pitting those who count against the stupid, little people who don’t. It is sad and it is discouraging. We lose our liberty and freedom, our sense of who were are. One discussion of a similar vein is found here.
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Stuck on Stupid

Today is the inauguration ceremony day. This is the day of parades and parties in Washington DC, speeches and public involvement. I will not be viewing, celebrating, or participating in any manner. This is a day to me that demonstrates we really are “stuck on stupid” and picked a man who will reap on the American people what he sows in policies. I see a drift in totalitarian type government and a makers versus takers entitlement culture. Our constitutional freedoms are up for grabs as we go along. If we don’t know what the rules are, we will be adrift as a country in time and will only know the rules put down by the Leader-In-Charge. Scary thing. A number of articles came out today on how our economy and politics are being driven to look more European in nature. One such article is here, another here. Will many of the people living in the United States come to look like this.
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