I’ve seen several posts lately displaying things that seemingly took Herculean amounts of patience to accomplish. This one takes the cake – a paper castle complete with electric lights, monorail system and Ferris wheel (more pictures at the link).
Ahhhhh. That soothes the crotchety old man that rages inside of me.
If you need examples of how America is moving in the direction of our neighbors to the North and across the Pond regarding curtailing free speech and religious expression, look no further than the three below:
Obama’s administration is moving to “restrict criticism of stimulus projects” because, you know, the stimulus is so important and critical that it trumps your 1st amendment right to free speech.
And then there’s the hopsital worker in Mansfield, Texas. She has a daughter in Iraq and decided to display an American flag in her office on Memorial Day. But the flag “offended” one of her co-workers and the hospital made her take the flag down. It looks like the hospital has now apologized and let her put it back up, but the fact that they would have made her take it down in the first place is just ludicrous.
And finally, there’s this couple in San Diego who are being threatened with fines if they don’t shut down the weekly Bible study that they hold at their home every week for about 15 people.
I think this quote from Reagan sum up my thoughts best –
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.
The AP has come out with a story that provides details showing that Treasury Secretary Paulson “forced” at least nine banks to accept TARP funds. The most damning pieces of evidence are meeting documents “obtained and released by Judicial Watch, a nonpartisan educational foundation, the documents revealed “talking points” used by former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson during the October 13 meeting between federal officials and the executives that stressed the investments would be required ‘in any circumstance,’ whether the banks found them appealing or not.”
Two thoughts immediately spring to mind after reading the article.
First, this kind of strong-arm power grab should make people think twice when they start talking about wanting more regulation in the private sector. I’ve been accused by a friend of acting as if we can have a world where the free market works perfectly and unfettered without consequences. I don’t believe that, but I do believe that the free market is the best system we have and that although some regulation is necessary, in general, the less regulation the better. If the TARP and housing bust situations have nothing else to teach us, they at least show us that government is just as corrupt and greedy, if not more so, than private actors in the free market.
My second thought could best be described as disappointment. It it no secret that I have admired George W Bush. I have always thought that history would be kind to him for exactly the reason the present hasn’t been. He dealt with a situation that was entirely new and foreign to our nation. He had to decide how to prosecute a unconventional war against not another nation, but rather, several groups that arguably don’t even believe that nation-states should exist and are bent on nothing less than the destruction of the Western way of life. But now, even if history does vindicate his positions on the war on terror, I don’t see how it can vindicate the fact that it appears that GWB, a Republican, began the largest expansion of the Federal Government into the private sector that our country has ever seen. I remember at the time of the Auto Bailouts and when TARP was being debated, GWB came out and said something like, I had to set aside my free market principles for the good of the country because we couldn’t let these businesses fail. Well first off I call BS on that. There are no businesses too important to fail. And really if we had just refused to help these companies and let them hash things out in bankruptcy court their road to recovery would be all the more speedy. Secondly, principles aren’t very principled if you can set them aside. And if you have to set them aside for the “good of the country” maybe they aren’t the principles you should be subscribing to in the first place. I don’t know to what extent Bush knew what Paulson was doing. But it seems he allowed himself to be flim-flammed by Paulson and Bernanke into agreeing to all this. For me that will forever taint my otherwise high opinion of him.
At the time of the “Tea Parties” (which I was not for) I wrote my original Myth of Impartiality post that commented on the deplorable behavior of Susan Roesgen of CNN.
Well here’s a more subtle example (written about the Catholic response to Obama’s invitation to Notre Dame) of the media bias that Conservatives have to deal with on a daily basis.