Politics


Oh wait, back that up, it was repealed 80 years ago.
 
Today being the anniversary of the beginning of Prohibition in the United States, I decided to read up a little bit on this knee-jerk reaction.  Here are some facts which I, your editor, find interesting.
 
  • The Tolerance Movement, which had it’s roots 100 years before Prohibition, was finally enacted as federal law in 1920
  • Although overall alcohol consumption did go down – organized crime went up
  • It was never illegal to drink, only to sell, manufacture and transport alcohol
  • Hard liquor consumption was higher per person in 1830 than in 2010 (1.7 bottles/week)
  • The Temperance Movement was spearheaded by women during the same time they were gaining more political influence
  • The repeal of prohibition was started by a wealthy Republican woman, Pauline Sabin, who said that prohibition should be repealed because it made the US a nation of hypocrites and undermined its respect for the rule of law
 
Prescription for whiskey – dated 1924
Prescription for Whiskey1924.jpg (112.0KB; 750x501 pixels)
 
 
…and for your viewing pleasure I have also included an early prescription for medical marijuana – times don’t change a whole lot.
 
Prescription for cannabis – dated 1936Prescription for Canibis1936.jpg (36.5KB; 599x422 pixels)
 
To be clear, I AM NOT advocating current trends toward legalizing more intoxicating substances.
 
However, some things such as morality and that which entices us toward that downward spiral (such as substance abuse) in life are slippery slopes when it comes toward legislating them.
 
In my opinion true change needs to come from the inside – that should be the focal point.  Sure, we need to place boundaries, but at some point ever-tightening of boundaries does nothing more than force “external” compliance – at least when others are watching.  A tightrope for sure.
 
But then again isn’t the balanced, middle-road always harder than one extreme or the other?
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I read an excellent blog article on The Gospel Coalition which discusses how our societies trend toward ever-increasing sexual freedom is actually restricting our freedom as individuals.
 
I excerpted a sample of the rationale presented:
“As society has rushed to embrace homosexual behavior, the normal bonds of friendship between men have been curtailed. When Hollywood produced Brokeback Mountain, a movie that celebrated the relationship of gay cowboys, people began joking about men who go camping together and sleep in pup tents.  Men are no longer free to express friendship in ways they did a generation ago.”
 
Also see this article on The Art of Manliness for an excellent analysis of photos of men that would make most men VERY uncomfortable today.
 
This all makes me wonder about the unintended consequences in so many areas of society in which we push for freedom.  Are we actually losing that which we are grasping so hard to obtain?
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It seems that on this date in 1921 it was discovered that adding lead to gasoline would eliminate engine knock.
 
As it turns out added lead cannot truly celebrate 9 decades of accolades.  By 1965 is was discovered that the “safe” levels of lead added to gasoline had caused an accumulation of unsafe levels in rocks and ocean sediment.  This accumulation was so alarmingly high that between 1976 and 1986 use lead as an additive was phased out.  As a result by 1991 the concentration of lead in the bloodstream’s of Americans had fallen by 78%.
 
So what’s wrong with a little lead between friends? Consider that researchers have tied even small amounts of lead exposure to low IQ, aggression, attention disorders and delinquency. A University of Pittsburgh study found that between 18 and 38 percent of crime could be tied to lead exposure. Remember the New York crime wave of the 1970s and ’80s? Some researchers say it was all due to lead poisoning. Source:wired.com
 
Today ethanol (aka ethyl alcohol) has largely taken the place of lead.  So I have to ask.  Since the dangers of lead were known in 1921 might the harmful effects of lead been avoided were it not for prohibition?
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Here’s a quiz… can you guess who?
 
“Socialism only works in two places: Heaven where they don’t need it and hell where they already have it.”
 
“Here’s my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.”
 
“The most terrifying words In the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”
 
“The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”
 
“Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.”
 
“”I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the  U.S.  Congress.”
 
“The taxpayer: That’s someone who works For the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.”
 
“Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”
 
“The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program.”
 
“It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession.  I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.”
 
“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it”
 
“Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book.”
 
“No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is as formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.”
 
“If we ever forget that we’re one nation under GOD, then we will be a nation gone under.”
 
-Ronald Reagan
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According to the latest daily statement from the U.S. Treasury, the government had an operating cash balance of $73.8 billion at the end of the day July 27, 2011.
 
Apple’s last earnings report showed that the company had $76.2 billion in cash and marketable securities at the end of June.
 
In other words, the world’s largest tech company has more cash than the world’s largest sovereign government.
 
That’s because Apple collects more money than it spends, while the U.S. government does not.
 
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With all the efforts to engineer a worldwide panic you’d think the climate would assist those jumping up and down.

USA Today today reports:

July’s climate: Chilly USA
Mother Nature has thrown [global warming proponets] yet another curve: July 2009 was officially the coldest July on record in six U.S. states, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Specifically, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Not one of the coldest, mind you, but the absolute, rock-bottom, chilliest on record. Records go back to 1895.

Meanwhile, four others – Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri and Kentucky — had their 2nd-coldest July ever recorded.

Now I could stop there but to be fair the article does state that other areas of the globe recorded record highs. I hate when partial data is used to promote a point so I had to put that in.

Now that I’ve stirred the pot, I’ll ask the question I always ask with this global warming data. Are we in a natural climate cycle or is mankind really creating long term impact?

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What follows is a piece that I am plagiarizing in it’s entirety. It says more, much more succinctly than I can. So here goes…. and thank you to PageTutor.com for your brilliant work.


What does one TRILLION dollars look like?

All this talk about “stimulus packages” and “bailouts”…
A billion dollars…
A hundred billion dollars…
Eight hundred billion dollars…
One TRILLION dollars…

What does that look like? I mean, these various numbers are tossed around like so many doggie treats, so I thought I’d take Google Sketchup out for a test drive and try to get a sense of what exactly a trillion dollars looks like.

We’ll start with a $100 dollar bill. Currently the largest U.S. denomination in general circulation. Most everyone has seen them, slightly fewer have owned them. Guaranteed to make friends wherever they go.

One hundred dollars

A packet of one hundred $100 bills is less than 1/2″ thick and contains $10,000. Fits in your pocket easily and is more than enough for week or two of shamefully decadent fun.

Ten thousand dollars

Believe it or not, this next little pile is $1 million dollars (100 packets of $10,000). You could stuff that into a grocery bag and walk around with it.

One million dollars

While a measly $1 million looked a little unimpressive, $100 million is a little more respectable. It fits neatly on a standard pallet…

One hundred million dollars

And $1 BILLION dollars… now we’re really getting somewhere…

One billion dollars

Next we’ll look at ONE TRILLION dollars. This is that number we’ve been hearing so much about. What is a trillion dollars? Well, it’s a million million. It’s a thousand billion. It’s a one followed by 12 zeros.

You ready for this?
It’s pretty surprising.

Ladies and gentlemen… I give you $1 trillion dollars…

One trillion dollars

(Oh, did you notice those pallets are double stacked!)

So the next time you hear someone toss around the phrase “trillion dollars”… that’s what they’re talking about.

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So, if I stop making my house payment – I can get help to keep my house, but if I continue to make my payments on time I get to help YOU keep your house.

I wonder if this promotes responsibility? I wonder if this will teach the lesson not to take on more debt than you can handle? I wonder what good can come out of allowing someone who can’t afford their house to stay in their house?

Oh yeah, I get it! Those that couldn’t afford their houses get a loan modification so when the house prices begin to go back up they can get even more from their homes while I am still upside down.

Capitalism or socialism?

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