You have probably heard that the greatest church work you wil perform will be within the walls of your own home. It is also true that no nation or church will ever be stronger than it's homes.
-Ezra Taft Benson
A quote from "The Constitution of Liberty" Chapter 17, section 6 (that's in Part III, pg 378 in my copy):
It is sheer illusion to think that when certain needs of the citizen have become the exclusive concern of a single bureaucratic machine, democratic control of that machine can then effectively guard the liberty of the citizen. So far as the preservation of personal liberty is concerned, the division of labor between a legislature which merely says that this or that should be done and an administrative apparatus which is given exclusive power to carry out these instructions is the most dangerous arrangement possible. All experience confirms what is "clear enough from American as well as from English experience, that the zeal of administrative agencies to achieve the immediate end they see before them leads them to see their function out of focus and to assume that constitutional limitations and guarenteed individual rights must give way before their zealous efforts to achieve what they see as a paramount purpose of government." (quoting Roscoe Pound, a guy worth looking up.)
It is inevitable that this sort of adminstration of the welfare of the people should become a self-willed and uncontrollable apparatus before which the individual is helpless, and which becomes increasingly invested with all the mystique of sovereign authority.
And from footnote 20 in the same region:
whatever the theoretical validity of this argument [that democratic control over such a government can be maintained], those of us who are Members of Parliament have no hesistation in saying that it bears little relation to reality. Parliament has neither the time nor the knowledge to supervise the Minister and call him to account for his administrative decisions.
In other words, there comes a point where government becomes so big that there is neither the time, resources, nor the simple knowledge of the various workings, laws, and procedures to allow one branch to oversee the activities of the others. Quite simply, government at that size becomes so complex that it cannot be controlled.
Just food for thought.
There is no justification for the belief that, so long as power is conferred by democratic procedure, it cannot be arbitrary; the contrast suggested by this statement is altogether false: it is not the source but the limitation of power which prevents it from being arbitrary.
-F. A. Hayek
Socialism is fine until you run out of other people's money.
Federal officials, in March of 2010, raided a business to collect back taxes of $0.04 (yes, four cents.)
Show me the man and I will find you the crime
--Lavrentiy Beria, (Chief of the Soviet secret police under Stalin)
(Anyone concerned about the power and authority of Obama's federal government yet?)
From Orwell's Animal Farm
[ Context: Napoleon had just announced an end to the weekly ] [ meetings and a public discussion and vote over matters of ] [ policy and that Napoleon and two other advisors would be ] [ making the decisions for them. ] "Comrades, I trust that every animal here appreciates the sacrifice that Comrade Napoleon has made in taking this extra labor upon himself. Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure! On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes, you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?"
Consider this in relation to the current attitudes in Washington and among progressives.
If a politician tells you everything you want to hear,
believe none of what he says.
On firearms sales... (Feb '09)
Each year, there is usually some highly desirable gift that becomes darned near impossible to find because every child wants one. Wether it was a certain Beanie Baby, a Transformer toy, a "Tickle Me" Elmo doll, or Hannah Montanna merchandise, kids wanted them and parents fought to get them, sometimes quite litterally. Even at this early time of the year, the retailers and distributors are trying to guess what it will be so they can get a leg up and make sure that their shelves are not the first to be emptied.
You as a parent have a different challenge... You have to find someone who has it and get there in time to buy one. But seemingly no matter how many stores you go into, the shelves have already been stripped clean. Not wanting to disappoint your beloved child, you persevere. You drive all over, even to adjoining towns trying to find that special item for your child to make their Christmas as memorable for you as it will be for them. For hours and hours you search over the course of weeks. Finaly, finaly you find it...
So what could the hot item be this year? Always difficult to see but there are a few possibilities. But based on what I've seen recently, I have an idea of what it might be.
Picture, if you will, a child racing down the stairs on Christmas morning with his or her eyes just filled with excitement. The sort of joy that comes with the hope for some truely outstanding gift that makes any parent smile. This child gets down to the tree and begins combing over the pile of packages looking for those with their name on it. Once found, the paper is furiously ripped from the given item and the child's eyes get even brighter. But whats the gift that has this child so excited?
"Oh wow, Daddy! A box of 9mm hollow points! Thank you, Thank you! This is the best Christmas EVER!"
[Editor: "Yeah, yeah, kids and bullets. Get a grip. Its satire. :-)" ]
With Barak Obama's election to the White House, there has been much debate about what will become of his Senate seat but far more important, in my oppinion, is what is to become of Hillary Clinton's Senate seat if the Senate makes the grave mistake of confirming her as Secretary of State.
There are many who want to see Caroline Kennedy appointed with much talk about "for decades, there has been a Kennedy in Washington" and that "this is really a Kennedy seat anyway." Such talk really aggravates me.
The very foundation of democracy is that it does not matter who your parents are. The whole concept of a political dynasty flies in the face of that and should be offensive to every American. There should be those who are opposed to Caroline Kennedy simply because she is a Kennedy. (And frankly, Hillary for the same reason.)
That there is a group of Americans willing to surrender their right to fair representation for the sake of a family name should be alarming and very worrying. There is nothing wrong with a family tradition of policitcal activity but to ignore someone's qualifications (or lack thereof) and give your support for them simply because of their name is a slap in the face of all those who fought and died to grant us the freedom we now enjoy.
There is a great deal of criticism of the oil companies and the profits that they are earning now. I do agree that they seem outlandish but then again, consider the following:
Lets say that I sold $100 billion in oil in 1990. Lets say I earned a net profit of 15% on that. This means that that year I took in $15 billion in profits. Thats a heafty number by any measure. Now lets spring forward to 2007. Lets say that I invested in more ships and so on so I could bring in more product since the demand was going up as fast as I could get new product to market. Not forgetting that the price of a barrel has gone up and I've been forced to raise my prices as well. Lets suppose that this meant that my total sales for 2007 were $275 billion. If my net profit margin is still 15%, that means I NOW earned $41.25 billion. This seems like I'm rolling in dough (and I would be) but note that the profit margin is STILL 15%. The amount I make on a gallon of gas hasn't changed, I'm just selling more of it at a higher price. It still cost me 85 cents on the dollar to produce and distribute that gallon of gas.
In this scenario, the reason for record profits is record demand and record costs of the crude oil. Naturally, this is a hugely over simplistic example but it makes my point. While I agree that the amount of money being raked in by the oil companies is just off the charts, consider that there is a certain portion of that that can be accounted simply to supply and demand and gains in sales volume. Other parts of the profit windfall are attributable to these companies simply running their businesses well. So when you lay blame at the doorsteps of the oil producers and start shouting at them for gouging the consumer, make sure you temper your criticism with some basic economics. (And then yell some for me, while you're there.)
On political campaigning..
So recently, there has been a trend to earlier and earlier campaigning; the often termed "perpetual" campaign. Indeed, even in orientation sessions in the House of Represeantitives, the statement is made that "if you haven't already started fund raising for your re-election, you're behind." With this sort of attitude, when do they actually get work done? The professional politician has got to go.
The current Presidential campaign began formally LITTERALLY the day after the last general election and has been going on for over a year. It is now January, a full 11 months from the general election and we're already having Presidential primary elections with states wanting to move them further and further ahead. Well, I have news for all of you in Iowa and New Hampshire and all the other Eastern states: YOU DON'T SPEAK FOR ME!
I want to put an end to this insanity by proposing the following legislation:
Primary elections for congressional and presidential elections shall be held by all states and territories on the first Tuesday in August. This primary election shall be conducted solely by secret ballot with the outcome determined purely by popular vote.
It shall be prohibited for a candidate to formally declare intent, raise funds, campaign, advertise their compaign by signage, print or broadcast media, or any other form prior to March 15th of that election year. These restrictions shall also apply to all individuals and organizations seeking promote a candidate or act on their behalf.
This allows a 5 month buildup to the primary election. Since campaigns can and do take a while to get off the ground, this allows plenty of time for the candidates to establish an even playing field. For those who survive the primary election, this allows a full 8 months of compainging before the general election. This is plenty of time to get their message across. (And I question wether even this is too long.)
The American people are actually tired of listening to political adds, I know many people who refused to even pay attention during 2007 because it was just TOO MUCH. It's time for this insanity to end. If this is a proposal that you agree with, forward it on to your congressman. Require change, DEMAND it.
During the last presidential election year, I did not even particupate in my state's primary election because by that time, there was no point. Anyone who even attempted to oppose President Bush had dropped out by the time it came around and there simply wasn't anyone left to vote for, despite the fact that I wanted someone -- ANYONE-- to run against him and was most certainly not alone in that sentiment. Such was also the case during the previous election. By the time it got around to my state, the decision had basically already been made and my voice was not heard. THIS IS NOT FAIR! It says that the oppinions of the people in my state in determining who is eligible to run for the highest office in the land DO NOT MATTER! Well, I have news for you all... You may find that those who live in this state know far more about what this state needs and who can best provide that than those who live in the Northeast. Lets put an end to the madness.
The honor of a man is increased or diminished only by his own actions.
Honor can never be affected by the deeds of another.
During the Napoleonic Wars, it is thought that upwards of 6 million
soldiers died. (Just soldiers)
Based on the ledgers retained by England, it is estimated that the cost to her alone for each soldier who died in the field was at least 50 pounds sterling.
This does not account for the expenditures by the other nations involved in this series of conflicts.
In tribute to two of the heroes of that era, Pitt and Wellington, England spent a sizeable sum to erect statues of these two men.
To all this, Victor Hugo replies,
It is a fine thing to have heroes, but it is an expensive luxury.
Poets cost less.
Words to consider in this age of conflict and despotism.
It is not a crime to be in this country illegally!
-- Clueless protester outside the Arizona State Capital after the 2006 state of the state address which emphasized combatting illegal immigration.
In honor of Rosa Parks who died this past week, let us not forget that one person CAN make a difference. This noble woman by being in the right place at the right time and willing to stand up for what she thought was right effectively became the catalyst for the entire civil rights movement.
Do not ever think that what you do will not matter.
(referencing moral and social issues)
You cannot expect your children to be better than you are unless you are trying to be better than you've been.
-- Wayne E. Bouchard
The world is heavy with suffering, but on Saturday mornings there are cartoons.
-- Jay Scott, The Daily Whale for July 27, 2005
There is no situation in the human condition that cannot be solved though a properly sized, shaped, packed, placed, timed, and detonated charge of high explosive!
-- The U. S. Army
If there's one thing in this life that everyone can use, it's another friend.
-- Wayne E. Bouchard
In this time of war, we wish to acknowledge all the soldiers who are currently engaged in activities in Iraq. I think perhaps nothing brings to the forefront the contemplation of one's own mortality more readily than combat. No one can tell when their time will come, when they may be struck down. There are those that fear this more than the enemy. Yet death is the one certainty to war. Who will be lost? We cannot tell. Is the cause just? Myself, I do not know. Yet this I do know; the men and women who are fighting in this campaign are soldiers and that means something.
They should represent the best of us, the very flower of American youth. So long as they comport themselves propperly as soldiers, we, the citizens of this country, have a solemn obligation to support them fully, in eve ry thought, in every action, in every deed. Whatever the oppinion of the decisions of the politicians, the soldiers deserve our highest respect and honor as they are asked to put their lives in danger.
And to them, as they come face to face with their own mortality, I leave this me ssage from David O. McKay:
Leave unto the Lord the rest.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Wayne E Bouchard
-- Gordon B. Hinkley
If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure.
-- J. Danforth Quayle
Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the universe, or we aren't. Both possibilities are equally frightening.
-- Aruthur C. Clark
I have bandwidth, therefore I am.
I've learned that wherever I go, the world's worst drivers have followed me there.
-- Lanae Smith
I think this quote from Bill Bryson's "Notes from a Big Country" pretty much sums up computer technology at the end of the 20th century. I believe that Bill would allow us this "fair use" of his words.
"For a long time it puzzled me how something so expensive, so leading edge, could be so useless, and then it occurred to me that a computer is a stupid machine with the ability to do incredibly smart things, while computer programmers are smart people with the ability to do incredibly stupid things. They are, in short, a perfect match."
- Matt Groening
All software sucks. Period. Everybody is considered a jerk by somebody.
The sun rises, the sun sets, the Sun crashes, lusers are larted,
BOFHs get drunk.
It is the way of things.
-- Steve Conley (alt.sysadmin.recovery)
Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere
in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.
- Calvin and Hobbes
You know you're in trouble when, in the middle of signing the contract for your new car, you read in the fine print: ``Some assembly required; battery not included.''
If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.
When uncertain, when in doubt
Run in circles, scream and shout.
Success sometimes has to be measured by the teaspoon..
Trouteman's Second Programming Postulate: "Profanity is the one language all programmers know best."
Any part, bolt, nut, or screw, when dropped, will roll under the exact
geographic center of the automobile....
...unless there is a drain.
A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you really don't need it.
-- Bob Hope
The world is full of idiots and they all seem to work for the telephone company.
Take what little pain you get gratefully.. because theres always more where that came from.
Programming today is a race between software engineers trying to write bigger and better idiot proof programs and the universe to create bigger and better idiots. So far the universe is winning.
The enemy of my enemy is US West.
The customer is always right, until he tries to say something.
The problems are the same, the words just have more syllables.
Sean Donelan on telecommunications carriers.