Monthly Archives: April 2012

Hitler’s last few hours before entering hell (never before released photos)

Below are several never released before pictures of Hitler’s bunker. These are the sights that Hitler took in last before entering hell. How do I know he entered hell? Read below and you will see why I can say that with confidence.

LIFE: Hitler’s Bunker

On Monday, April 30, on the anniversary of the day in 1945 when Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide in a bunker beneath Berlin, LIFE.com presents a gallery of photos (many of which were not published in LIFE) from the bunker itself and from the ruined city beyond its walls, taken by LIFE’s William Vandivert — the first Western photographer to descend into the bunker.

Unpublished: Russian soldiers and a civilian struggle to move a large bronze Nazi Party eagle which once loomed over a doorway of the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, 1945. (William Vandivert—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

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This is a new view of a photograph that appeared, heavily cropped, in LIFE, picturing Hitler’s command center in the Berlin bunker, partially burned by retreating German troops and stripped of valuables by invading Russians. (William Vandivert—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

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With only candles to light their way, war correspondents examine a couch stained with blood (see dark patch on the arm of the sofa) located inside Hitler’s bunker, 1945. (William Vandivert—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

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Unpublished: An SS officer’s cap, with the infamous “death’s head” skull emblem barely visible. Of this image, Vandivert’s notes state simply: “moldy SS cap lying in water on floor of sitting room.” (William Vandivert—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

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Unpublished: LIFE correspondent Percy Knauth (left) sifts through debris in the shallow trench in the garden of the Reich Chancellery where, Knauth was told, the bodies of Hitler and Eva Braun were burned after their suicides. (William Vandivert—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)
Hitler
 
Hell is required because evil must be punished. If hell did not exist then Hitler would have got off because he was never punished for his crimes. Many of his followers lived long and fruitful lives after the war too. However, they will face punishment in the afterlife. Read on.

Adrian Rogers – Crossing God’s Deadline Part 2

Huckabee on Bin Laden’s Death: Who Cares How We Did It, This Was a Murderer

John Brummett in his article “Huckabee speaks for bad guy below,” Arkansas News Bureau, May 5, 2011 had to say:

Are we supposed to understand and accept that Mike Huckabee is in hell where he has official duties as a greeter,welcoming Osama bin-Laden?

We all suspect strongly, of course, that bin-Laden will spend eternity in hell, whatever his form and whatever hell’s. But we should not embrace a politician’s seeking electoral gain by dictating and announcing after-life dispositions. Those we should defer to a higher power, whose divine authority no mortal man should dare usurp, even for TV ratings or votes, or both.

I really am uncomfortable with all this kind of lighthearted talk about hell. The traditional Christian view of hell is a very serious doctrine. It is a necessary doctrine and today I want to show why.

Take a look at this portion of the article “Hell:The Horrible Choice,” by Patrick Zukeran of Probe Ministries. Here is the fifth installment:

 Why Hell Is Necessary and Just

Is hell necessary? How is this doctrine consistent with a God of love? These are questions I face when I speak on the fate of unbelievers. The necessity and justice of hell can be recognized when we understand the nature of God and the nature of man.

Hell is necessary because God’s justice requires it. Our culture focuses mostly on God’s nature of love, mercy, and grace. However, God is also just and holy, and this must be kept in balance. Justice demands retribution, the distribution of rewards and punishments in a fair way. God’s holiness demands that He separate himself entirely from sin and evil (Habakkuk 1:13). The author of Psalm 73 struggles with the dilemma of the suffering of the righteous and the prosperity of the wicked. Joseph Stalin was responsible for the death of millions in the Soviet Union, but he died peacefully in his sleep without being punished for his deeds. Since evil often goes unpunished in this lifetime, it must be dealt with at a future time to fulfill God’s justice and holiness.

Notes1. Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, Handbook of Christian Apologetics (Downers Grove, IL.: InterVarsity Press, 1994), 282.
2. Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian (New York: Touchstone Books, 1957), 17 – 18.
3. Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, ed. Nora Darwin Barlow, with original omissions restored (N.Y.: W. W. Norton, 1993), 87.
4. C. S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters (New York: Macmillan), 69.Woody Allen’s movie Crimes and Misdemeanors does a great job of showing that if God does not exist then people like Stalin and Hitler were “home free” in that they were never going to be punished for what they did. “Existential subjects to me are still the only subjects worth dealing with. I don’t think that one can aim more deeply than at the so-called existential themes, the spiritual themes.” WOODY ALLEN

Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS , is an excellent icebreaker concerning the need of God while making decisions in the area of personal morality. In this film, Allen attacks his own atheistic view of morality. Martin Landau plays a Jewish eye doctor named Judah Rosenthal raised by a religious father who always told him, “The eyes of God are always upon you.” However, Judah later concludes that God doesn’t exist. He has his mistress (played in the film by Anjelica Huston) murdered because she continually threatened to blow the whistle on his past questionable, probably illegal, business activities. She also attempted to break up Judah ‘s respectable marriage by going public with their two-year affair. Judah struggles with his conscience throughout the remainder of the movie. He continues to be haunted by his father’s words: “The eyes of God are always upon you.” This is a very scary phrase to a young boy, Judah observes. He often wondered how penetrating God’s eyes are.

Later in the film, Judah reflects on the conversation his religious father had with Judah ‘s unbelieving Aunt May at the dinner table many years ago:

“Come on Sol, open your eyes. Six million Jews burned to death by the Nazis, and they got away with it because might makes right,” says aunt May

Sol replies, “May, how did they get away with it?”

Judah asks, “If a man kills, then what?”

Sol responds to his son, “Then in one way or another he will be punished.”

Aunt May comments, “I say if he can do it and get away with it and he chooses not to be bothered by the ethics, then he is home free.”

Judah ‘s final conclusion was that might did make right. He observed that one day, because of this conclusion, he woke up and the cloud of guilt was gone. He was, as his aunt said, “home free.”

Woody Allen has exposed a weakness in his own humanistic view that God is not necessary as a basis for good ethics. There must be an enforcement factor in order to convince Judah not to resort to murder. Otherwise, it is fully to Judah ‘s advantage to remove this troublesome woman from his life.

The Bible tells us, “{God} has also set eternity in the hearts of men…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV). The secularist calls this an illusion, but the Bible tells us that the idea that we will survive the grave was planted in everyone’s heart by God Himself. Romans 1:19-21 tells us that God has instilled a conscience in everyone that points each of them to Him and tells them what is right and wrong (also Romans 2:14 -15).

It’s no wonder, then, that one of Allen’s fellow humanists would comment, “Certain moral truths — such as do not kill, do not steal, and do not lie — do have a special status of being not just ‘mere opinion’ but bulwarks of humanitarian action. I have no intention of saying, ‘I think Hitler was wrong.’ Hitler WAS wrong.” (Gloria Leitner, “A Perspective on Belief,” THE HUMANIST, May/June 1997, pp. 38-39)

Here Leitner is reasoning from her God-given conscience and not from humanist philosophy. It wasn’t long before she received criticism. Humanist Abigail Ann Martin responded, “Neither am I an advocate of Hitler; however, by whose criteria is he evil?” (THE HUMANIST, September/October 1997, p. 2)

The secularist can only give incomplete answers to these questions: How could you have convinced Judah not to kill? On what basis could you convince Judah it was wrong for him to murder?

As Christians, we would agree with Judah ‘s father that “The eyes of God are always upon us.” Proverbs 5:21 asserts, “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths.” Revelation 20:12 states, “…And the dead were judged (sentenced) by what they had done (their whole way of feeling and acting, their aims and endeavors) in accordance with what was recorded in the books” (Amplified Version). The Bible is revealed truth from God. It is the basis for our morality. Judah inherited the Jewish ethical values of the Ten Commandments from his father, but, through years of life as a skeptic, his standards had been lowered. Finally, we discover that Judah ‘s secular version of morality does not resemble his father’s biblically-based morality.

Woody Allen’s CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS forces unbelievers to grapple with the logical conclusions of a purely secular morality. It opens a door for Christians to find common ground with those whom they attempt to share Christ; we all have to deal with personal morality issues. However, the secularist has no basis for asserting that Judah is wrong.

Larry King actually mentioned on his show, LARRY KING LIVE, that Chuck Colson had discussed the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS with him. Colson asked King if life was just a Darwinian struggle where the ruthless come out on top. Colson continued, “When we do wrong, is that our only choice? Either live tormented by guilt, or else kill our conscience and live like beasts?” (BREAKPOINT COMMENTARY, “Finding Common Ground,” September 14, 1993)

Later, Colson noted that discussing the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS with King presented the perfect opportunity to tell him about Christ’s atoning work on the cross. Colson believes the Lord is working on Larry King.

(Caution: CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS is rated PG-13. It does include some adult themes.)
Related posts:

Is God responsible for evil events like 9/11? (Part 2) jh49

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Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop were prophetic (jh29)

Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop were prophetic (jh29) What Ever Happened to the Human Race? I recently heard this Breakpoint Commentary by Chuck Colson and it just reminded me of how prophetic Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop were in the late 1970′s with their book and film series “Whatever happened to the human […]

“Woody Wednesday” Allen realizes if God doesn’t exist then all is meaningless (jh 15)

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Francis Schaeffer noted “If there are no absolutes by which to judge society, then society is absolute.” (“Schaeffer Sundays” Part 4)

___________________________________________ Francis Schaeffer is a hero of mine and I want to honor him with a series of posts on Sundays called “Schaeffer Sundays” which will include his writings and clips from his film series. I have posted many times in the past using his material. Philosopher and Theologian, Francis A. Schaeffer has argued, “If […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”

E P I S O D E 9 How Should We Then Live 9#1 T h e Age of Personal Peace and Afflunce I. By the Early 1960s People Were Bombarded From Every Side by Modern Man’s Humanistic Thought II. Modern Form of Humanistic Thought Leads to Pessimism Regarding a Meaning for Life and for Fixed […]

Arkansas Times Bloggers: “Are you good without God? Millions are.” (Part 1)

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Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 6 “The Scientific Age” (John Lennox on evolution)

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By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments
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Gun control in Europe

I really like this post by Dan Mitchell:

About a week ago, I wrote that people in western nations need the freedom to own guns just in case there are riots, chaos, and social disarray when welfare states collapse.

Much to my surprise and pleasure, this resulted in an invitation to appear on the National Rifle Association’s webcast to discuss the issue.

Uploaded by on Dec 1, 2011

Ginny Simone talks to Dan Mitchell from the CATO Institute – NRA News – December 1, 2011

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As I noted in the interview, I’m just a fiscal policy wonk, but the right to keep and bear arms should be a priority for anyone who believes in freedom and responsibility. And even though I only have a couple of guns, you can see that I’m raising my kids to have a proper appreciation for the Second Amendment.

I don’t think we’ll ever get to the point where we suffer societal breakdown, but I won’t be too surprised if it happens in some European countries. We’ve already seen the challenges faced by disarmed Brits during recent riots in the United Kingdom.

In the NRA interview, I pointed out that law enforcement is one of the few legitimate functions of government, so it is utterly despicable when politicians fail to fulfill that responsibility and also deprive households from having the ability to protect themselves.

Last but not least, watch this video if you want to be inspired about protecting the Second Amendment. Pay close attention around the five-minute mark.

The experts on gun control speak out

Great post from Dan Mitchell:

This image really captures the essence of the issue. Share this with your statist friends and maybe they’ll begin to understand.

 

Balancing the budget possible with socialist solutions?

I got this cartoon below from Dan Mitchell’s blog.

Where can our government turn to get out of this socialist mess they have got themselves in? They have to realize what really creates wealth. Over in France they are facing the same problems we are because of the welfare state and they are about to put in a bunch of new leaders who want more of the same. How can you get out of this mess by doing the same thing that got you in the mess to begin with? Bradley Gitz wrote on 4-29-12 in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

Escape from reality

LITTLE ROCK — The “left” is making a comeback in France. Not just Francois Hollande’s Socialists, but the hard left guys, the French Communist Party (PCF).

More than two decades after the dissolution of the Soviet Union supposedly signaled the end of Marxism-Leninism as a viable belief system, the Communists are once again attracting huge crowds waving red flags and their candidate, the “charismatic” Jean-Luc Melenchon, is said to hold the key to the outcome of the May run-off between Hollande and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Just as some Catholics can be more Catholic than the Pope, during the Cold War the PCF was often more Stalinist than Stalin (or at least Leonid Brezhnev and Andrei Gromyko). The crimes against humanity committed by the Soviet regime and other Communist despotisms around the world never seemed to make a dent in their moral obtuseness. The PCF even condemned Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika as a betrayal of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

That such a blight on the human experience, one exceeding even Nazism in its body count, could gain electoral traction in an advanced postindustrial democracy tells us something other than that cheese-eating surrender monkeys have a unique capacity for political idiocy. Indeed, the foundation of the Communist comeback has been resistance to the austerity measures that the French government has been reluctantly forced to embrace due to France’s mounting debt problems. The irony comes when considering that Communism represents the most extreme extrapolation of the welfare state mentality that produced such debt levels in the first place.

The European crisis (and the American crisis, too) is essentially a crisis of the welfare state. More precisely, it represents the presentation of the bill for payment that the welfare state has racked up for decades on both sides of the Atlantic. And in both Europe and America, the left, whether Communist, socialist,or “liberal-progressive,” is counting upon voters refusing to accept reality and the austerity measures that it so obviously dictates. More of what caused the disease is now being recommended as treatment.

Just as Communism in its heyday represented an effort to repeal the laws of human nature and the economic realities that flowed from them, today’s French Communists (and American liberals) seek to deny that budget numbers have any real meaning because money grows on trees.

What Charles Krauthammer calls “free lunch egalitarianism” is now firmly, perhaps irreversibly, entrenched in the politics of democratic states. That you can get something for nothing (or at least something that others can be made through political coercion to pay for) increasingly drives the voting behavior of ever-larger chunks of their dependent, dumbed-down electorates.

Momentum in that direction continues even after the money has run out.

The ability of Communism to survive in the electoral politics of France requires both historical amnesia regarding its crimes as well as an encouragement of the human desire to believe that two plus two really can be made to add up to seven or eight if one wishes it hard enough; that if we just close our eyes, plug up our ears, and stamp our feet in unison those nasty budget deficits will magically disappear, there will be no need for painful austerity programs, and we can go on providing free college tuition, health care, housing, and anything else that the political left designates as a fundamental human right without economic repercussion.

In the end, there is apparently something deeply ingrained in human nature that makes Communism and other forms of political leftism alluring. But just as there will always be credulous people living under the imperfections of capitalism who crave what Communism promises, there will always also be people who seek to escape from the ugly practice of Communism wherever it is established. What history has never produced, and likely never will, are a people who, once having arrived at the Communist paradise, are content to remain there. The guard towers atop the Berlin Wall weren’t, after all, designed to prevent people from entering.

Of course, no one with anything resembling a functioning brain really believes that if the French do what Melenchon and the PCF recommends-to confiscate wealth, nationalize banks and industries, and dramatically increase government benefits and the minimum wage-things will go well for France. Rather,

their supporters appear to only be hoping that it will provide them with the ability to continue to live beyond their means for a bit longer, and thereby push the inevitable crash onto the next generation.

The truly sad thing about all of this is that the formula for economic growth in the post-industrial age isn’t all that complicated, consisting as it does of secure property rights, low tax rates, and reasonable constraints upon governmental regulation, spending, and welfare state entitlements.

The left, whether in its French Communist or American liberal permutations, cannot construct sustainable societies because it has never figured out where wealth comes from. There are, in the end, no “shortcuts” to prosperity, and reality can only be temporarily ignored.

———◊-

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Freelance columnist Bradley R. Gitz, who lives and teaches in Batesville, received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Illinois.

Editorial, Pages 75 on 04/29/2012

Print Headline: Escape from reality

<!–Editorial 75

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An open letter to President Obama (Part 66)

Sen. Toomey responds to State of the Union address 2012

Leader Cantor On CNN Responding To President Obama’s State of the Union Address

President Obama c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here.

Here is an excellent piece from the Heritage Foundation with a reaction to the president’s proposed budget:

Obama’s Energy Budget: The Antithesis of a Market-Driven Energy Economy – Nicolas Loris

If only entrepreneurs had President Obama’s vision of what technologies are going to be successful and profitable in the future. Sadly, the President’s vision seems to suggest that America’s innovators lack the ingenuity and expertise to meet our country’s needs, leaving the taxpayer to pick up the dropped ball. In a nutshell, that’s President Obama’s fiscal year 2013 Department of Energy (DOE) budget. It completely rejects the notion of a market-based energy industry and wastes taxpayer dollars at a time when we desperately need to curtail out-of-control spending. Whether it’s renewable energy, energy efficiency, nuclear, or fossil fuels, the President’s blueprint is all wrong. Not the Government’s Role to Make Energy Technologies Cost Competitive Each year, the President’s budget has moved further away from basic research and more into commercializing politically preferred technologies.

For instance, the 2013 budget proposes to spend $310 million on the SunShot Initiative, a program to make solar energy cost-competitive without subsidies by 2020. The oxymoronic part of this proposal is that the program itself is a $310 million subsidy. And it’s a perfect example of the President’s attempt to hand over America’s energy economy to the DOE. This is an attempt that’s been tried and failed. And it’s not just solar getting a handout—there’s money for wind, geothermal, biofuels, advanced vehicles, energy efficiency, nuclear energy, and even natural gas. Government has no business trying to make private-sector projects cost-competitive. It’s neither appropriate nor necessary. There’s a robust demand for energy domestically and globally that is met with a wide variety of energy sources. According to analysis by HSBC Holdings PLC, the global market for low-carbon energy and energy efficiency will reach $2.2 trillion in the next decade. That’s all the incentive solar needs. If a technology or a company cannot capture part of that market, it doesn’t deserve to be in business, and it certainly needs no help from the taxpayer. Consumers and Businesses Know How to Save Money Energy efficiency spending programs and legislation have largely enjoyed bipartisan support because the practices of being resourceful and saving money are inherently desired. But it’s because they’re inherently good things that we don’t need government mandates, rebate programs, or spending initiatives to make businesses and homeowners more energy efficient. The President’s overview highlights that “the Budget provides DOE with $290 million to expand R&D on innovative manufacturing processes and advanced industrial materials that will enable U.S. companies to cut the costs of manufacturing by using less energy, while improving product quality and accelerating product development.”

Businesses do not need taxpayer dollars to improve efficiency and cut costs; they make those investments all the time with their own money. Nestle’s newest water bottle uses 60 percent less plastic than the one they first introduced in mid-1990s. Businesses make these investments every day to be more competitive and pass the savings onto consumers to capture a larger market share. Energy efficiency programs take an overly simplistic view of how our economy works and fail to take into account the tradeoffs energy consumers and businesses consider when making decisions. Subsidize One Fossil Fuel, Punish Another? In his State of Union speech, President Obama claimed that our country’s natural gas boom came largely as a result of public funding. While nothing could be further from the truth, the President wants to unnecessarily dump money into an already-booming industry. The budget proposal includes $421 million in fossil energy research and development, including $12 million “aimed at advancing technology and methods to safely and responsibly develop America’s natural gas resources.” Much of the $421 million is subsidies for the fossil fuel industry for research and spending that can be done by the private sector. Most of this funding focuses on technologies that will reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The program includes a clean coal power initiative, research on fuels and power systems to reduce fossil power plant emissions, innovations for existing plants, integrated gasification combined cycle, advanced turbines, carbon sequestration, and natural gas technologies. All of these programs need to go. The Administration proposed a phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies, significantly cutting funding for the Office of Fossil Energy. But the Administration is doing so less because it is good economic policy (which it is) and more to promote an environmental policy of Administration-preferred clean energy sources. When the Administration does talk about eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, they’re not actually removing subsidies but imposing targeted tax hikes on the oil industry by removing broadly available tax deductions. The President’s anti-subsidy rhetoric is on track, but actually defining what’s a subsidy is a different story.

Unsurprisingly, President Obama’s budget proposal for energy is largely a carbon copy of last year’s, with an even stronger government push for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. It hands DOE unprecedented control over America’s energy economy, which has successfully been driven by the private sector. The DOE budget proposal doesn’t need a scalpel taken to it; it needs a hatchet.

 __________________

I believe in the free market and basically if an industry is successful then it will grow and if it is not then it will disappear. It is no place for the federal government to try and re-arrange everything.

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your committment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.com

Senator Pryor asks for Spending Cut Suggestions! Here are a few!(Part 145)

Senator Mark Pryor wants our ideas on how to cut federal spending. Take a look at this video clip below:

Senator Pryor has asked us to send our ideas to him at cutspending@pryor.senate.gov and I have done so in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

On May 11, 2011,  I emailed to this above address and I got this email back from Senator Pryor’s office:

Please note, this is not a monitored email account. Due to the sheer volume of correspondence I receive, I ask that constituents please contact me via my website with any responses or additional concerns. If you would like a specific reply to your message, please visit http://pryor.senate.gov/contact. This system ensures that I will continue to keep Arkansas First by allowing me to better organize the thousands of emails I get from Arkansans each week and ensuring that I have all the information I need to respond to your particular communication in timely manner.  I appreciate you writing. I always welcome your input and suggestions. Please do not hesitate to contact me on any issue of concern to you in the future.

Here are a few more I just emailed to him myself:

The President should try to eliminate wasteful programs in his budget. Legislators should also examine every line item in the President’s budget appendix and terminate programs that lack sufficient explanations or justifications.
Conclusion
Difficult times present opportunities for leaders to chart a new course. During World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt reduced non-defense spending by 36 percent to save resources. Policymakers funded the Korean War by immediately reducing non-defense spending by 25 percent. Those spending cuts required difficult choices, and lawmakers rose to the challenge.
In 2004, bold steps are again needed to rein in spending. The choices will be as difficult as those of the past, but that is what budgets are about–setting priorities. Congress and the President should seize this opportunity to refocus the federal government on the programs that matter most. Otherwise, the American people will face higher taxes, fewer jobs, less economic growth, and less effective government.

Here are some more places to cut:

  • Washington spends $92 billionon corporate welfare (excluding TARP) versus $71 billion on homeland security.
  • Washington spends $25 billionannually maintaining unused or vacant federal properties.

__________________

Margaret Thatcher (Part 5)

Margaret Thatcher is one of my heroes and I have a three part series on her I am posting. “What We Can Learn from Margaret Thatcher,”By Sir Rhodes Boyson and Antonio Martino, Heritage Foundation, November 24, 1999, is an excellent article and here is a portion of it below:

What Can We Learn from Thatcher?

The lesson to be drawn is quite simple and not particularly encouraging: Mrs. Thatcher’s success owes much to the intellectual revolution in economic theory. She did not invent anything new; there was nothing novel or original in her economic policies. However, while those ideas had been available for a long time, they had not been translated into policy changes until she came about. It was her leadership, courage, determination, and intellectual integrity that allowed those intellectual insights to inspire actual economic policies and change Britain.

Which brings me to my unpleasant conclusion: The limiting factor in politics today is not the comprehension of the nature of social problems and of their desirable solution — even though we still have a long way to go to make the case for economic freedom fully grasped by the majority of public opinion and of politicians. The really scarce resource is leadership. A principled and uncompromising leader capable of building a coalition, a majority consensus around his platform is essential if we want to move toward a freer world.

Unfortunately, however, the likes of Thatcher and Reagan are not in large supply, and we can’t wait for another one to come about. “So long as the people of any country place their hopes of political salvation in leadership of any description, so long will disappointment attend them.”37 We must continue polishing our case, making it more convincing, exploring new ways to enlarge our freedoms, and above all converting politicians to our cause. This is what Heritage is all about.

Antonio Martino is Professor of Economics at LUISS “G. Carli” University in Rome. He is currently on leave as a Member of Parliament. He delivered these remarks at a meeting of The Heritage Foundation’s Windsor Society in Sea Island, Georgia, on October 3-6, 1999.

“Music Monday” The Beverly Hillbillies episode with Scruggs and Flatt: Jed Throws A Wingding

The Beverly Hillbillies: Jed Throws A Wingding

Uploaded by on Feb 23, 2012

The Beverly Hillbillies is one of the funniest and most inspired TV comedies of all time! The show was ranked #1 and attracted as many as 60 million viewers per week! The Clampett Clan includes Buddy Ebsen (Jed), Irene Ryan (“Granny”), Max Baer Jr. (Jethro), Donna Douglas (Elly May). Also stars Raymond Bailey (Milburn Drysdale), and Nancy Kulp (Jane Hathaway).

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The theme song “The Ballad of Jed Clampett” was written by producer and writer Paul Henning and originally performed by bluegrass artists Flatt and Scruggs. The song was sung by Jerry Scoggins (backed by Flatt and Scruggs) over the opening and end credits of each episode. It was #44 on the music charts in 1962 and a #1 country hit. Flatt and Scruggs also had another Billboard country top ten hit with the comic “Pearl, Pearl, Pearl,” an ode to the feminine charms of Miss Pearl Bodine who was featured in the episode “Jed Throws a Wingding,” the first of several Flatt and Scruggs appearances on the show.

The six main cast members participated on a 1963 Columbia Records soundtrack album which featured original song numbers in character. Additionally, Ebsen, Ryan and Douglas each made a few solo recordings following the show’s success, including Ryan’s 1966 novelty single, “Granny’s Miniskirt”.

The series generally featured no country music beyond the bluegrass banjo theme song, although country star Roy Clark and the team of Flatt and Scruggs occasionally played on the program. Pop singer Pat Boone appeared on one episode as himself, with the premise that he hailed from the same area of the country as the Clampetts (Boone is, in fact, a native of Jacksonville, Florida although he spent most of his childhood in Tennessee).

The 1989 film UHF featured a “Weird Al” Yankovic parody music video, “Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies*”, combining “The Ballad of Jed Clampett” and Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing”.

Because of the show’s high ratings, CBS asked creator Paul Henning to pen two more folksy comedies, spawning a mini-genre of rural sitcoms during the 1960s. Petticoat Junction featured an extended family, including three pretty young women of marrying age, running a small hotel in the isolated rural town of Hooterville. Green Acres flipped the Clampetts’ fish-out-of-water concept by depicting two city sophisticates moving to Hooterville, which was populated by oddball country bumpkins.

Certain actors appeared on more than one of these series: * Bea Benaderet, who had played Jethro’s mother during the first season of The Beverly Hillbillies, was the mother of the family on Petticoat Junction. * Linda Kaye Henning, who provided the voiceover for the Beverly Hillbillies character Jethrine, portrayed Benaderet’s daughter Betty Jo Bradley on Petticoat Junction (the only female who remained all seven seasons). * Edgar Buchanan, who starred in all 222 episodes of Petticoat Junction and guest-starred in 17 episodes of Green Acres, also guested in three episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies, always as the character Uncle Joe Carson. * Charles Lane played Homer Bedloe, vice president of the C. & F. W. Railroad, on both shows. He also played an apartment landlord to Jane Hathaway (“Foster Phinney”) during the 1970–71 season. * Sam Drucker, played by Frank Cady, of both Petticoat Junction and Green Acres, also appeared in several episodes of the Beverly Hillbillies. * Several animal actors trained by Frank Inn, including Higgins the dog, also moved between series as needed.

Despite the actor cross-overs and the character Uncle Joe Carson’s multiple appearances (which made it clear that the three shows were set in the same fictional universe), the two Hooterville series retained identities that were distinct from The Beverly Hillbillies.

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Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs on Beverly Hillbillies

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Earl Scruggs rest in peace

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The Beverly Hillbillies episode with Scruggs and Flatt: Jed Throws A Wingding

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(Sittin On) The Dock Of The Bay Uploaded by taylorgdaniel on Jun 9, 2010 Downtown Memphis, July 9, 2010, solo by Taylor G. Daniel of Germantown. This song was actually sung just a few miles away from where Redding originally recorded it in downtown Memphis at Stax Records. ______________________ Over the years Otis Redding’s influence […]

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Milton Friedman on the issues of poverty and equality

Milton Friedman – Poverty and Equality

Uploaded by on Feb 18, 2011

In response to questions, Professor Friedman explains how capitalism is a more effective approach to the alleviation of poverty than is socialism.

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Milton Friedman had to put up with someone yelling during his speech in the clip above but he handles it great.

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So many times the “do-gooders” tell us that the government should take from the rich and give to the poor in order to make every equal at the finish line. However, it is the government’s job to do such thing. Look at the final conclusion of the article below:

“Free markets may yield odd results and certainly unequal outcomes, but the greater opportunities and prosperity have made the tradeoff worthwhile for American society.”

Our Economic Past | Burton W. Folsom Jr.

Equality, Markets, and Morality

September 2008 • Volume: 58 • Issue: 7

Burton Folsom, Jr. is a professor of history at Hillsdale College and author of New Deal or Raw Deal?, to be published by Simon & Schuster this year.

The subject of “equality” is the source of much political debate. Ever since the founding era, free-market thinkers have argued for equality of opportunity in the economic order. Equality, in other words, is a framework, not a result. In modern terms the goal is a level playing field. Government is a referee that enforces property rights, laws, and contracts equally for all individuals.

What the free-market view means in policy terms is no (or few) tariffs for business, no subsidies for farmers, and no racism written into law. Also, successful businessmen will not be subject to special taxes or the seizure of property.

In America this view of equality is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence (“all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights”) and the Constitution (“imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States” and “equal protection of the laws”). Much of America’s first century as a nation was devoted to ending slavery, extending voting rights, and securing property and inheritance rights for women—fulfilling the Founders’ goal of equal opportunity for all citizens.

Progressives and modern critics of equality of opportunity have launched two significant criticisms against the Founders’ view. First, that equality of opportunity is impossible to achieve. Second, to the extent that equality of opportunity has been tried, it has resulted in a gigantic inequality of outcomes. Equality of outcome, in the Progressive view, is desirable and can only be achieved by massive government intervention. Let’s study both of these objections.

To some extent, of course, the Progressives have a valid point—equality of opportunity is, at an individual level (as opposed to an institutional level) hard to achieve. We are all born with different family advantages (or disadvantages), with different abilities, and in different neighborhoods with varying levels of opportunity. As socialist playwright George Bernard Shaw said on the subject, “Give your son a fountain pen and a ream of paper and tell him that he now has an equal opportunity with me of writing plays and see what he says to you.”

What the Progressives miss is that their cure is worse than the illness. Any attempt to correct imbalances in family, ability, and neighborhood will produce other inequalities that may be worse than the original ones. Thomas Sowell writes, “[A]ttempts to equalize economic results lead to greater—and more dangerous—inequality in political power.” Or, as Milton Friedman concluded, “A society that puts equality—in the sense of equality of outcome—ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests.”

Failure During the New Deal

Sowell’s and Friedman’s point is illuminated by the failed efforts of the federal government to reduce inequalities during the New Deal. In the early 1930s the United States had massive unemployment (sometimes over 20 percent). In 1932 President Herbert Hoover supported the nation’s first relief program: $300 million was distributed to states. This was not a transfer from richer states to poorer states but a political grab by most state governors to secure all they could. Illinois played this game well and secured over $55 million, more than New York, California, and Texas combined.

Massachusetts, with almost as many people as Illinois, received zero federal money. Massachusetts had much poverty and distress, but Governor Joseph Ely believed states should try to supply their own needs and not rush to Washington to gain funds at someone else’s expense. Ely therefore promoted a variety of fundraising events throughout his state to help those in need. “Whatever the justification for [federal] relief,” Ely noted, “the fact remains that the way in which it has been used makes it the greatest political asset on the practical side of party politics ever held by any administration.”

In 1935 President Franklin Roosevelt confirmed Ely’s beliefs by turning the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which he had established, into a gigantic political machine to transfer money to key states and congressional districts to secure votes. Roosevelt and his cohorts used the rhetoric of removing inequalities as a political cover to gain power. Reporter Thomas Stokes won a Pulitzer Prize for his investigative research that exposed the WPA for using federal funds to buy votes.

The use of tax dollars, then, to mitigate inequality failed because—whatever the good intentions—the funds quickly became politicized.

Presidential (and congressional) authority to tax and to transfer funds from one group to another also proved to be a dangerous centralization of power. Taxation increased both in size and complexity. The IRS thus became a weapon a president could use against those who resisted him. “My father,” Elliott Roosevelt observed of his famous parent, “may have been the originator of the concept of employing the IRS as a weapon of political retribution.”

Sowell and Friedman indeed recognized that efforts to remove inequalities would create new inequalities, perhaps just as severe, and would also dangerously concentrate power in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats. But Sowell and Friedman have readily conceded that when markets are left free, the inequality of outcomes is not necessarily morally justified. In other words, some people—through luck or inheritance—become incredibly rich and others, who may have worked harder and more diligently, end up barely earning a living. Rewards, as F. A. Hayek, among others, has noted, are “based only partly on achievements and partly on mere chance.” Societies are more prosperous under free markets, but individual success and failure can occur independently of ability and hard work.

Progressive Claims in Light of History

What the historical record does seem to demonstrate is that the richest men in American history have been creative entrepreneurs who have improved the lives of millions of Americans and have achieved remarkable upward mobility doing so. For example, the first American to be worth $10 million was John Jacob Astor, a German immigrant and a son of a butcher. Astor founded the largest fur company in the United States, transforming tastes and lowering costs in clothing for people all over the world.

John D. Rockefeller, the first American to be worth $1 billion, was the son of an itinerant peddler. Yet Rockefeller, with little education or training, went into the business of refining oil and did it better than anyone in the world. As a result, he sold the affordable kerosene that lit up most homes in the world. (He had a 60 percent world market share in the late 1800s.)

Henry Ford, the son of a struggling farmer, was the second American billionaire. He used the cheap oil sold by Rockefeller and cheap steel that was introduced by immigrant Andrew Carnegie to make cars affordable for most American families. The most recent wealthiest men in the United States—Sam Walton and Bill Gates—both came from middle-class households and both added much value for most American consumers.

Free markets may yield odd results and certainly unequal outcomes, but the greater opportunities and prosperity have made the tradeoff worthwhile for American society.

Christian view versus Ayn Rand on altruism (Part 4)

Ayn Rand on the Purpose of Life

Uploaded by on Apr 27, 2010

Ayn Rand on the Purpose of Life

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I ran across a fine article that takes a look at Ayn Rand’s view of capitalism and selfishness and compares it to the Christian view found in the Bible. I have decided to start a series on this subject. The Christian comes from the article “Was Ayn Rand Right?” by Jay Richards.

Was Ayn Rand Right?

Capitalism and Greed
JAF1324
Jay W. Richards

Synopsis

In response to the critics of capitalism, many conservative Christians turn to philosopher Ayn Rand for ammunition. Rand was a staunch defender of capitalism, but also an anti-Christian atheist who argued that capitalism was based on greed. Greed, for Rand, is good. But if Rand is right, then Christians can’t be capitalists, because greed is a sin. Fortunately, Rand was wrong. She missed the subtleties of capitalism. First, we should distinguish self-interest from selfishness. Adam Smith, the father of capitalism, famously wrote, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” True enough; but that alone isn’t a problem. Every time you wash your hands or look both ways before you cross the street, you’re pursuing your self-interest—but neither activity is selfish. Second, Smith never argued that the more selfish we are, the better a market works. His point, rather, is that in a free market, each of us can pursue ends within our narrow sphere of competence and concern—our “self-interest”—and yet an order will emerge that vastly exceeds anyone’s deliberations. Finally, Smith argued that capitalism channels greed, which is a good thing. The point is that even if the butcher is selfish, he can’t make you buy his meat. He has to offer you meat at a price you’ll willingly buy. So capitalism doesn’t need greed. What it does need is rule of law, freedom, and human creativity and initiative. And we can point that out without any help from Ayn Rand.


THE GIFT GIVERS

                Think of a stereotypical miser like Ebenezer Scrooge (as opposed to the ordinary greedy person). Misers hoard their wealth. They hole up in their bedrooms, counting their gold bullion and hiding it in their mattresses. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal,” Jesus commanded His disciples, “but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven….For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Jesus is talking about the person who hoards, who trusts his possessions rather than God. “You cannot  serve both God and money” (Matt. 6:19–21, 24 NIV). The Apostle Paul said that greed is idolatry (Eph. 5:5). If religion involves our “ultimate concern,” as Paul Tillich said, then the miser is an idolater. He worships his money. That’s because you can only have one ultimate concern.

                Many of the biblical warnings seem to apply to misers, but how many misers have you met? Do you know anyone who keeps a bag of money in his mattress, where he can count it? Probably not. We see misers on TV, read about them in children’s books and in Dickens. In capitalist societies, however, misers are in very short supply. That’s because capitalism discourages miserliness, and encourages its near-opposite: enterprise.

                “The grasping or hoarding rich man is the antithesis of capitalism, not its epitome,” writes George Gilder, “more a feudal figure than a bourgeois one.”20 The miser prefers the certainty and security of his booty. Entrepreneurs, in contrast, assume risk. They cast their bread on the waters of uncertainty, hoping that the bread will return with fish. They delay whatever gratification their wealth might provide now for the hope of future gain. The miser treats his bullion as an end in itself. The entrepreneur, whatever his motives—including the desire for more money—uses money as a tool. The carpenter uses hammer and saw; the doctor, scalpel and stethoscope; the entrepreneur, cash and credit. 

                Only by the constant din of stereotype could we come to mistake the entrepreneur for the miser. In his modern classic, Wealth and Poverty, George Gilder explores a surprising feature of enterprise: supply precedes demand. After all, before you can exchange, you must first have something to exchange. I must have a good or service, a coconut or a potholder or an iPod that someone wants in order for trade to ever get started. Right off the bat, if I’m an entrepreneur, I have to think about the wants and needs of others. In a free economy, great entrepreneurs, including greedy ones, succeed by anticipating and meeting the desires of others. In that sense, Gilder argues, they are altruistic—alter in Latin means “other.” Entrepreneurial investments, he argues, are like gifts, since they are made without a predetermined return.21 Competition between entrepreneurs in a free economy thus becomes an altruistic competition, not because the entrepreneurs have warm fuzzies in their hearts, or are unconcerned with personal wealth, but because they seek to meet the desires of others better than their competitors do.22

                Not for nothing did Ayn Rand dedicate her final lecture to a tirade against Gilder. But her view of the capitalist, in the end, was skewed by the Marxist stereotype she had officially rejected. Gilder’s view captures much better the nature and subtlety of entrepreneurial capitalism.

                Far from requiring vice, entrepreneurial capitalism requires a whole host of virtues. Before entrepreneurs can invest capital, for instance, they must first accumulate it. So unlike gluttons and hedonists, entrepreneurs set aside rather than consume much of their wealth. Unlike misers and cowards, they risk rather than hoard what they have saved, providing stability for those employed by their endeavors. Unlike skeptics, they have faith in their neighbors, their partners, their society, their employees, “in the compensatory logic of the cosmos.”23 Unlike the self-absorbed, they anticipate the needs of others, even needs that no one else may have imagined. Unlike the impetuous, they make disciplined choices. Unlike the automaton, they freely discover new ways of creating and combining resources to meet the needs of others. This cluster of virtues, not the vice of greed, is the essence of what Rev. Robert Sirico calls the “entrepreneurial vocation.”24

                I’m convinced that Ayn Rand continues to be popular, in part, because she dared to make entrepreneurs the heroes of her novels. Whatever her other failings, this was a keen insight. Without entrepreneurs, very little of what we take for granted in our economy and our everyday lives would exist. Here in my office, the concrete forms of entrepreneurial imagination are everywhere: paper, scissors, pens, highlighters, ink, CDs, an empty Tupperware container that held the pork loin I ate for lunch, a flat-screen monitor, fonts, lamps, light bulbs, Post-it notes, windows, sheet rock, speakers, a laptop computer, and an optical mouse. Behind all these visible objects lay real but less visible innovations in finance, manufacturing, and transport that I scarcely comprehend. All of these things are gifts of entrepreneurs. Only the most miserly moralizer could look at this mysterious efflorescence of cooperation, competition, and creativity—of entrepreneurial capitalism—and see only the dead hand of greed.

                Does this mean that if you’re a Christian, you must embrace capitalism? No. But it does mean that Christians don’t need to adopt Ayn Rand’s anti-Christian philosophy to defend the morality of capitalism. Once we comprehend the nature of entrepreneurial capitalism, we see that it has fit within the Christian worldview all along.

Jay W. Richards is the author of Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem (HarperOne, 2009). He has held leadership positions at Discovery Institute and the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty, and is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute.