New Blog: Appeal to Heaven

Appeal to HeavenOver the years and months, What The Crap has gradually become more and more serious. This is perfectly acceptable, as blogs naturally evolve over time. Still – I have been meaning to create a space devoted to respectfully discussing deeper issues at greater length. Thus:

Appeal To Heaven

Appeal to Heaven will also certainly evolve over time. My initial goal is to clearly communicate conservative ideas and discuss the philosophy of liberty.

Please check it out and let me know what you think!!

PS – What The Crap will still be a place for posting random thoughts, videos, and other stuff I come across. Enjoy.

-wtc

America May Never Recover Unless…

“Because each day we wait to begin the work of turning our economy around, more people lose their jobs, their savings and their homes. And if nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.”

-President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama says the latest jobless numbers demand action and it’s “inexcusable and irresponsible” for Congress to delay on his economic recovery package.

-A.P.

Here is a list from the transcript of Glenn Beck’s show on some of the things that America must pass immediately or we may never recover:

  • We’re never going to recover if we don’t get the $50 million for the National Endowment For the Arts
  • We may never recover if we don’t get $380 million in the Senate bill for the Women, Infants and Children’s program
  • We may never recover if we don’t get $300 million for grants to combat violence against women
  • We may never recover if we don’t have $6 billion for university building projects
  • We may never recover if we don’t have $1.2 billion to provide youth summer jobs, and this bill defines “Youth” to people up to the age of 24. You’ll be paying for those.
  • We will never recover if we don’t have $2.4 billion for neighborhood stabilization activities.
  • We may never recover if we don’t have $650 million for digital TV coupons.
  • We may never recover if we don’t get $150 million for the Smithsonian.
  • We may never recover if we don’t have $34 million to renovate the Department of Commerce headquarters.
  • We may never recover if we don’t have $500 million for the improvement projects for the national institute of health facilities.
  • We may never recover if we don’t have $44 million for repairs to the Department of Agriculture headquarters or
  • $350 million for agriculture department computers.
  • We may never recover if we don’t have $88 million to help move the Public Health Service into a new building, not for a new building. To help them move to a new building. We may never survive if we don’t have that $88 million for a moving truck!
  • We may never survive if we don’t have the money to convert federal auto fleets to hybrids.
  • This country may never recover if we don’t have a billion dollars for the census bureau.
  • We may never recover if we don’t have $89 billion for Medicaid
  • $30 billion for COBRA extensions
  • $36 billion for expanded unemployment
  • $20 billion for more food stamps.
  • We may never recover if we don’t have $850 million for Amtrak, a train that hasn’t turned a profit in 50 years.
  • America as we know it may never recover if we don’t have $87 million for a polar ice breaking ship, never recover.
  • We may never recover if we don’t have $1.7 million for the national park system
  • $55 million for the historic preservation fund.
  • We may not survive if we don’t have $7.6 million for the rural advancement program
  • $150 million for the agriculture commodity purposes
  • $150 million for producers of livestock, farm-raised fish and honeybees.
  • We may never recover unless we have $160 million for paid volunteers at the Corporation for National and Community Service
  • If we don’t act now and pass $2 billion for renewable energy research or
  • $2 billion for clean coal power plants in Illinois or
  • $6.2 billion for a weatherization assistance program which basically is weatherstrips for underneath your door! We may never survive
  • If we don’t have $3.5 billion for energy efficiency and conservation block grants or
  • $3.4 billion for the state energy program or
  • $200 million for state and local electric transport projects or
  • $300 million for the energy-efficient appliance rebate program or
  • $400 million for hybrid cars for state and local governments or
  • $1 billion for the manufacturing of advanced batteries or
  • $1.5 billion for green technology, loan guarantees or
  • $8 billion for innovative loan guarantee program or
  • $2.4 billion for carbon capture demonstration projects or
  • $4.5 billion for the electricity grid or
  • $79 billion for the state fiscal stabilization fund.

We may never recover if we don’t do these things right now.

Read the Full Transcript.

Total Stimulus breakdown here.

The Bailout: More than $1 MILLION DOLLARS PER DAY since the birth of Jesus Christ

A Decent Video Overview of American Government

Not perfect, but good. Definitely worth viewing:

Michael Yon’s Afghanistan Coverage Dominates Anything You’ll Find In Ye Olde Media (again)

For those of you actually interested in understanding the mess in the Middle East – consider the outstanding coverage of Michael Yon. He’s a great writer – and an even greater photographer:

Some days ago I visited the bazaar at Jalalabad, and took a bunch of colorful photographs and met many friendly people.  Walking through Jalalabad, one could almost forget there was a war.  But for the most part, this war is today being fought not in the cities, but the villages and small family compounds where most Afghanis live.

Urban counterinsurgency can be incredibly dangerous, yet the population has a common life.  City dwellers are dependent on civil services like water, sewage and electricity; they often have specialized roles in complex economies.  Their feelings and opinions form a political aggregate which both the democrat and terrorist must heed.   These elements of common life give the urban population a center of gravity which can reach a tipping point and shift, either toward the insurgent or the government.  In Iraq, most people live in cities or towns.  When the center of gravity in certain communities began shifting against Al Qaeda and other groups, the shifts had a profound impact on the war.  Also, Iraq, as Afghanistan, has powerful tribes which can behave like “voting blocs.”  Often they vote with bullets.

MORE

I’d call it: Reporting, minus the bull-crap. If you still haven’t checked out his stuff – you owe it to yourself. His reporting come straight from the ground – and it will actually elevate your knowledge and understanding of the situation, unlike much of the dumbed down, dope-tastic (not to mention: negative) coverage you’ll get from other sources.

Piece of Garbage Murders Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman

That’s right – the piece of trash who did this – your name won’t be mentioned on this blog, and you will quickly be forgotten.

Arkansas Democratic Party Leader Bill Gwatney has died from the gunshot wounds. He was attacked today at the Democratic Party Headquarters in Little Rock.

Details about this senseless and tragic story are here.

Prayers for the Gwatney family and friends.

The Spoiled Children of Capitalism

Jonah Goldberg wrote a great piece this last week about Capitalism and why people tend to dislike it – though most of their entire livelihood is a direct result of living in a capitalist system. I think it it a very important opinion to add into the ring. Read it here, or below (emphasis mine):

It’s an old story. Loving parents provide a generous environment for their offspring. Kids are given not only ample food, clothing and shelter, but the emotional necessities as well: encouragement, discipline, self-reliance, the ability to work with others and on their own. And yet, in due course, the kids rebel. Some even say their parents never loved them, that they were unfair, indifferent, cruel. Often, such protests are sparked by parents’ refusal to be even more generous. I want a car, demands the child. Work for it, insist the parents. Why do you hate me? asks the ingrate. 

Of course, being an old story doesn’t make it a universal one. But the dynamic is universally understood.

We’ve all witnessed the tendency to take a boon for granted. Being accustomed to a provision naturally leads the human heart to consider that provision an entitlement. Hence the not-infrequent lawsuits from prison inmates cruelly denied their rights to cable TV or apple brown betty for desert. 

And so it goes, I think, with capitalism generally.

Capitalism is the greatest system ever created for alleviating general human misery, and yet it breeds ingratitude.

People ask, “Why is there poverty in the world?” It’s a silly question. Poverty is the default human condition. It is the factory preset of this mortal coil. As individuals and as a species, we are born naked and penniless, bereft of skills or possessions. Likewise, in his civilizational infancy man was poor, in every sense. He lived in ignorance, filth, hunger, and pain, and he died very young, either by violence or disease. 

The interesting question isn’t “Why is there poverty?” It’s “Why is there wealth?” Or: “Why is there prosperity here but not there?”

At the end of the day, the first answer is capitalism, rightly understood. That is to say: free markets, private property, the spirit of entrepreneurialism and the conviction that the fruits of your labors are your own. 

For generations, many thought prosperity was material stuff: factories and forests, gold mines and gross tons of concrete poured. But we now know that these things are merely the fringe benefits of wealth. Stalin built his factories, Mao paved over the peasants. But all that truly prospered was misery and alienation.

A recent World Bank study found that a nation’s wealth resides in its “intangible capital” — its laws, institutions, skills, smarts and cultural assumptions. “Natural capital” (minerals, croplands, etc.) and “produced capital” (factories, roads, and so on) account for less than a quarter of the planet’s wealth. In America, intangible capital — the stuff in our heads, our hearts, and our books — accounts for 82 percent of our wealth. 

Any number of countries in Africa are vastly richer in baubles and soil than Switzerland. But they are poor because they are impoverished in what they value. 

In large measure our wealth isn’t the product of capitalism, it is capitalism. 

And yet we hate it. Leaving religion out of it, no idea has given more to humanity. The average working-class person today is richer, in real terms, than the average prince or potentate of 300 years ago. His food is better, his life longer, his health better, his menu of entertainments vastly more diverse, histoilette infinitely more civilized. And yet we constantly hear how cruel capitalism is while this collectivism or that is more loving because, unlike capitalism, collectivism is about the group, not the individual. 

These complaints grow loudest at times like this: when the loom of capitalism momentarily stutters in spinning its gold. Suddenly, the people ask: What have you done for me lately? Politicians croon about how we need to give in to Causes Larger than Ourselves and peck about like hungry chickens for a New Way to replace dying capitalism. 

This is the patient leaping to embrace the disease and reject the cure. Recessions are fewer and weaker thanks in part to trade, yet whenever recessions appear on the horizon, politicians dive into their protectionist bunkers. Not surprising that this week we saw the demise of the Doha round of trade negotiations, and this campaign season we’ve heard the thunder of anti-trade rhetoric move ever closer.

This is the irony of capitalism. It is not zero-sum, but it feels like it is. Capitalism coordinates humanity toward peaceful, productive cooperation, but it feels alienating. Collectivism does the opposite, at least when dreamed up on paper. The communes and collectives imploded in inefficiency, drowned in blood. The kibbutz lives on only as a tourist attraction, a baseball fantasy camp for nostalgic socialists. Meanwhile, billions have ridden capitalism out of poverty. 

And yet the children of capitalism still whine.

Here are a couple more closing thoughts.

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