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Thought For The Day

Thought For The Day

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Trust, but verify.

-- Ronald Reagan

Thought For The Day

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. . . before people can mobilize for collective action, they have to develop a proud and angry identity and a set of claims that go with that identity. They have to go from being hurt and ashamed to being angry and indignant. . . . protesters need targets, preferably local and accessible ones capable of making some kind of response to angry demands.

-- Frances Fox Piven, harmless, well-intentioned academic and renowned pacifist

Thought For The Day

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Political tags–such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth–are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.

-- Robert A. Heinlein

Via PJ Tatler

Thought For The Day

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Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties:
1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes.
2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interests.
In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves. Call them, therefore, Liberals and Serviles, Jacobins and Ultras, Whigs and Tories, Republicans and Federalists, Aristocrats and Democrats, or by whatever name you please, they are the same parties still and pursue the same object. The last one of Aristocrats and Democrats is the true one expressing the essence of all.

-- Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Henry Lee, 1824)

Via PJ Tatler

Thought For The Day

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Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

--Robert Heinlein

Thought For The Day

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When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

Thought for the day

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Traveling much, posting little lately . . . but had this thought, meditating on the coming Democrat Congressional Extinction Event known as the 2010 Elections:

The job of the politician elected to Congress is two-fold:
First, to resist those policy proposals that the American public express profound disagreement with, and
Second, to resist those policy proposals that the American public expresses profound agreement with, that the particular politician thinks would be a spectacularly bad idea . . .

If the American electorate lets you get away with the latter, then they get the government that they deserve. And so far, they have.

The reality is that it's not the Republicans that are "The Party of No." It's the Democrats who vehemently insist on telling Americans what they cannot do, in areas of life from what kind of toilet they can put in their house, to what kind of food they eat, to how warm they can keep their houses--it is the Democratic Party that has the explicit policy of telling Americans "No, You Can't Do It The Way You Want To."

Now, go out and vote. Vote wisely.

Memorial Day 2010

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Yesterday, I heard--on a local TV newscast, I think--someone say "Happy Memorial Day."

No. Wrong.

The intent of Memorial Day is to be a day of memory--specifically, remembering those who wear the uniform of the United States, who have fought and died to defend this country.

Now, in certain circles, this is not a politically correct thought. It is uncomfortable to recognize that our liberties require at times an active, violent defense--a defense which often has an extremely high cost. It certainly is inconvenient at least to think of such things, as people rush back and forth between the big 2-Day Sale to the family barbecue at the lake.

It's a specific case of one of the most widespread and corrosive problems our society has today.


So take five minutes, go somewhere quiet, sit down, and think about your freedom to do that very thing, and think about how that freedom came about.

Most people throughout history have not even had that simple freedom to take a few minutes to themselves. Most people have had to get up in the morning, work hard, backbreaking, physical labor from sunrise to sunset, somehow manage to eat and drink enough to keep them alive, and then go to sleep with little more hope than to get through the next day of toil and pain. Sitting and contemplating their freedoms would be an absurd impossibility for much of humanity over most of our history.

And there you sit, well-fed, well-clothed, comfortable and safe, secure in your self-absorption on this "traditional first weekend of summer."

Think long and hard about how you came have the freedom to ignore the real meaning of Memorial Day.

And, if you're one of those who have worn the uniform that secures our freedom and liberty, or if you are the family member or friend of one who has been wounded or has died in the service of this country, you have my solemn sympathy, respect, gratitude, and love. Be well.

UPDATE: Even The Heritage Foundation has succumbed to the corrosive "Happy Memorial Day" saying. I still assert it is properly a day of reflection, a day of gratitude--and for some, a day of deep emotional pain. I think cavalierly chirping "Happy Memorial Day" on this day seriously demeans the sacrifices of those who have given the "last full measure of their devotion." "Happy New Year," yes. "Happy Halloween?" Sure. "Happy Christmas?" Certainly, if you're British or an Anglophile. "Happy Martin Luther King Day?" I can even see that. Even "Happy Veteran's Day" can work--you're honoring veterans who are still alive on that day, after all. But "Happy Memorial Day?" There's some serious emotional/cognitive dissonance going on there, in my opinion.

Yeah, I'm a curmudgeon. Always have been, really.

Thought for the day

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From The Road To Serfdom, by F. A. Hayek, 1944, Fiftieth Anniversary Edition, 1994, The University of Chicago Press.

To act on behalf of a group seems to free people of many of the moral restraints which control their behavior as individuals within the group.

Excerpted under Fair Use for purposes of non-commercial education, discussion and comment. Any transcription or typographical errors are mine.