Monday, November 24, 2008

Naomi Wolf on Lew Rockwell's Podcast

I listened to this podcast, and came to respect Naomi Wolf a great deal throughout it. Lew Rockwell asks some of the questions in this interview, but Naomi Wolf asks some questions back, and the interchange is quite educational.

I may have to pick up her new book Give Me Liberty and give it a look.

The most interesting thing about Naomi Wolf, and the reason I am surprised to be suggesting that people listen to her is because she comes from the left side of the political spectrum. There are stances which she takes that I disagree with, but I don't think those stances are part of the substance of this book. What this book, and Naomi Wolf's work in general, symbolizes is a coming together of liberty minded individuals, whether they started on the left, the right, or nowhere, to fight for our freedoms.

If you don't think we need to fight for our freedoms, check out her presentation below:

When people first told me about this video, I was skeptical. I mean Naomi Wolf has written for the Huffington Post, she's known to be a liberal. I thought she was just a Bush basher. This is not a left vs right issue. It's a freedom issue, it's a liberty issue. This is something that every single person in America needs to evaluate and ponder deeply. If you are coming at this post as a person firmly on the right, you voted for McCain, you voted for Bush twice, and you would vote for Bush again, I still think there are things in this video you should look seriously at. Don't look at it as leftist propoganda, because you will miss an opportunity to truly be critical of our way of life and to discover just how many freedoms we've given up, especially since 9/11.

If you can't stomach the message from a liberal, check out Judge Andrew Napolitano, and any of his recent books. The Judge appears on Fox News in his Judicial Review segments, co-hosts a radio program called Brian and the Judge, and generally speaks strongly in support of Liberty.

Wake up. We MUST fight for our freedoms before it is too late. Everyone will lose if we let this nation become a police state.

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Hard Questions about Education

Tammy Drennan of the Education Conversation blog has a new piece out today. It is in reaction to an article in the Wall Street Journal that asks CEOs what they think the way to improve education in America should be.

She reacts strongly to the aims of the highlighted answers and wonders why no one seems to be asking the right questions about education these days.

1. How on earth did the human race manage to slog through thousands upon thousands of years of progress and innovation (think art, architecture, science, inventions, technology, philosophy, literature, music) all the way to the mid-1800s when Horace Mann and his kindred spirits finally got the various states of the USA to institute compulsory state schooling and saved humanity and the future?

I think most Americans are woefully under equipped to understand history. The school where I send my daughters goes through all of history 3 times. Grades 1-4, 5-8, and 9-12. One of the biggest events of the year is History Day, a performance where all students are graded based upon their participation in creative reenactments of the different parts of history. I find myself personally under-equipped for my life in the area of history. History is an underlying fabric that needs to be present to weave all of our knowledge into. We need to know how our current political, educational, and religious institutions developed, and what changes were in reaction to what events.

2. How on earth did America survive for over 200 years – and become the envy of the world – before the mid-1800s when Horace Mann and his kindred spirits – you know the drill… see No. 1.

What are the stated benefits of compulsory education these days? Is it to provide daycare to everyone? Is it to lower crime rates? Is it to improve unemployment? Is it to provide business with training for free? I'm not even sure what they're pushing as the "good reasons" for government schooling these days.

3. What is the purpose of education? Is it to shape all children into beings fit to serve the interests of the state and industry (this is what the early proponents of compulsory state schooling thought)? Is it to create faithful citizens who will defend the state?

Real education is to equip the students with the desire and ability to learn and think on their own. American schools do not accomplish this when left to their own devices. Most American students come out of High School extremely co-dependent and incapable of learning without being spoon fed information.

4. What makes you feel you have the ability or the right to influence or dictate policies that will force children to be instructed to the transcription of government officials and those with the power and the money to shape the thinking of those officials?

Excellent question. They don't. She goes on to state in her article that it all comes down to the parents. My wife and I have stepped up and made many sacrifices to provide our children with an exemplary education. One in which they will be required to think for themselves and work on the many forms of communication to become truly excellent citizens and stewards of God's Universe.

I encourage anyone out there that is a Christian and a parent to strongly consider taking your children out of the Government Schools, or better yet, never enrolling them in the first place. I even encourage any other parents that don't hold strongly to Christian beliefs to find an educational option where the school and the educators will come along side you and your family's beliefs and re-enforce the things you want to teach your children instead of undermining your fundamental belief system. There is no education without an underlying foundation of assumptions, and I think it is every parent's right to have teachers that lay the foundation along side you instead of counter to you.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Automotive Bailout?! Hell No!

I have responded to this issue on other blogs (Larry's and Fat Jack's), but I figured I had enough to say that it could fit on my very own blog post.

Yes, the auto industry has been bailed out before. No we should not bail them out again.

They are big boys and girls. They can figure out on their own that the UAW is destroying the company.

If the companies are not efficient enough to be competitive in the American Automotive Marketplace, then they don't deserve to continue to make cars and trucks. Why would you want the Government to steal 25 billion dollars of our money and give it to the companies who can't make superior automobiles, nor at cheaper prices, and stay afloat? Those factories will be bought out by someone else wanting to make cars, whether it be new startup companies, or the existing successful companies, and people will get re-hired to work in them. Unless Michigan or the Federal Government step in and protect the Unions and say that noone can hire auto workers unless they are UAW and then the auto industry will simply leave Michigan altogether.

The laws in Michigan are already extremely burdensome for business. Manufacturing has been fleeing that state for many years, and the only way to encourage it to come back is to repeal laws and make it competitive again. This is the problem with Marxism, admitted by their own people. Marxism (control of all industry by the state) cannot work unless it comes into power globally and basically simultaneously. Any place that tries to control its people too heavilly will squish out all the entrepreneurs and make them flee to lands of greater freedom.

To Dr. Cline about the price floor on gasoline. What will a gas station sell their gas for if it cannot be less that 3.50? Why voluntarily give taxes to the government if I can sell the gas for 3.50 and keep all the profit? Oh, then we will need the federal government to come in and determine what the REAL price of gas is, so that it can collect its taxes. So we'll have a federal agency able to turn a spigot up or down to destroy any company that it desires. How is that a good thing? And please don't claim that there are people that can handle that power without corruption. Someone will appoint an Exxon* loyalist to that position and the other companies will somehow buckle and go bankrupt. (* insert any energy company's name)

So, no. Don't give a dime to the people that can't run a car company. If they don't have handouts, they'll figure out how to renegotiate contracts or sell off parts of the company. No government involvement!

It is the collusion between government and corporations which is the greatest danger to a free people.

Update: I figured it would be worthwhile to answer Larry's questions directly:

1) Will this bailout fix the Big Three or will they just continue to use to the money to keep the status quo? I believe they need to bring in people with innovating ideas on how to make better cars and alternative fuel sources. If they continue to do business as usual, I think they will go out of business within 10 years even with the bailout.

No, the core issues will not be addressed by propping up their current failures. The way to bring in fresh ideas is to allow them to struggle and get to the brink of failure. Executives will be fired, the companies might be split up and sold off, etc.

2) Will the Big Three pay back this money? If the taxpayers are expected to save them, then they should pay back every cent with interest.

No, a failing company cannot take an investment and generate a return on it.

3) Why are companies like Nissan, Toyota, and Honda successful in making automobiles in the U.S. while the Big Three need a bailout? What should the Big Three learn from these companies?

The other Automakers don't have the UAW dictating wages. The UAW pushed too hard and milked this cow to death. If the UAW releases its grip on wages and allows retired people (who retired at only 50) to have to come back and work for their benefits, and allows new hires to be brought in at competitive wages, then the company may survive. It's all about cutting costs.

Update 2:

Moreover I'm not pro-executive here either. Many costs can be cut at the higher levels of the company I'm sure. The company as a whole must be cost effective and efficient. If it is not it will wither and die. It will be defeated by a company that is willing to be more efficient.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Brilliance on the Economy

Lew Rockwell interviewed Peter Schiff.

More predictions from Peter Schiff... Are we listening?

Watch for Bernanke and Paulson to claim that "We're not doing enough".

Watch for someone to claim "The Rich are taking our money and running".

Just listen to it.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Evidence of Predictions

Scary and Amazing at the same time:

Every single person other than Peter Schiff in these clips was SO SO wrong, that's what is scary. Peter is amazing. He stands firm in his principles and predicts the reality that we now are comparing to the Great Depression. Why didn't people listen?


Even more Peter Schiff goodness:

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