"Property is the fruit of Labour...
That some should be rich shows that others may become rich
and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise."
Happy Fat Tuesday; as if we all need an excuse to live it up while we still can.
Ringing in an idea with such high flying Christian roots, in celebration of the last hurrah before a time of repentance and of showing great restraint on all levels, it seems rather fitting these days given the economic hole we've put ourselves in.
It would be one thing if we actually followed through with the work that goes along with it; but nowadays, we're just expecting bailouts, or robbing Peter to pay Paul, or spending money to make money, or we just live with some kind of warped sense of entitlement while we party down main street with not a care in the world. Whether we are dippin' into the moonshine or simply living in denial, we are pretty much messed up.
I love how the Obama administration blames Bush for everything going wrong, while they take all the credit when things go right; take the recent pronounced victory of the Obama Administration, from the crazy mouth of Joe Biden -- you know, last week when he was with Larry King...calling it [IRAQ!] "one of our greatest achievements."..
How can you go on like that, Joe, when you know darn well you wanted none of it -- you said no to the surge, wanted none of the work, and made no qualms about letting us all know how you felt -- as only you, Joe, can do -- along with your fellow Commander in Chief. Both of you wanted no piece of that strategy from the start and well past it's finish -- speaking of "the Surge" -- claiming it will never work and ultimately would be our downfall, leaving the region in rubble and our reputation and honor in shreds.
Let's face it, Joe, you didn't want to do the work. You didn't want to make any more of a commitment. You didn't want to see it through and do whatever it was going to take to win.
Ah sure, but now, now Joe -- you want to take this victory home as if it were your very own and party like it's nineteen ninety-nine. Take the victory lap down Bourbon Street if you must, but at least give the credit to where credit is due -- as talk about party-san politics! This was Bush's war and Bush's strategy through and through -- you know it and WE know it.
The Iraq Surge worked -- it was a success -- because BUSH was the determined and committed Commander in Chief who set in motion. He wasn't going to leave Iraq without a Democracy, along with all of the protections and provisions to keep it; even the exit strategy we are using today is the same as the one implemented by Bush...but why am I telling you that when you already know.
So this whole Mardi Gras thing is kind of like a shining example of America -- we party as if we have done the work already; we're letting loose as if we've already tightened our belts; we're taking credit for an accomplishment we haven't even achieved yet; we're putting on our party clothes as if the hamper is full of the sweaty and soiled Levi's after a long days work. We're mouthing off, hooting and hollering, nipping the Jack Daniel's and acting like Joe.
We live very disconnected lives as to what it really takes to make this country work these days.
Success cannot come from nothing, or idleness; while if Joe had it his way, America never would have surged and never would have won, because America would have sat idly by and watched the victory (and Iraq) slip away.
From one of the "have nots" of England, Benjamin Franklin came to America with the sound advice:
"I have long been of your opinion,
that your legal provision for the poor [in England]
is a great evil, operating as it does to the encouragement of idleness.
We have followed your example,
and begin now to see our error, and, I hope, shall reform it."
This quote, found in a treasury of insight, from The 5,000 Year Leap.
The entire premise of the creation of a Federal Government in America was to safeguard the principles of a WORKING, civil, moral, and good society; whether rich or poor, the same would be true for everyone -- and that would be the teachings of personal responsibility to achieve prosperity.
"Compassion which gives a drunk the means to increase his drunkeness is counter-productive."
"Compassion which breeds debilitating dependency and weakness is counter-productive."
"Compassion which blunts the desire or necessity to work for a living is counter-productive."
"Compassion which smothers the instinct to strive and excel is counter-productive."
Again, words of reason from Benjamin Franklin via The 5,000 Year Leap.
The idea was to let the people, even the very poor, learn to do the work themselves; those in power could shape America in such a way to encourage and support people to help themselves -- which was all the federal government was ever supposed to be; that "under no circumstances is the federal government to become involved in public welfare... The Founders felt it would corrupt the government and also the poor." Adding, "no Constitutional authority exists for the federal government to participate in charity or welfare."
And now look at us.
The only reason why Iraqi's can dance if they so choose is because they have done the work; they know that from this day forward it will continue to take work and it will remain their duty to never let down their guard; as it requires the action of real effort day in and day out...lest they will lose it.
"A people must from time to time,
refresh themselves at the well-spring of their origin,
lest they perish."
don't you just love that Franklin...
But fast track back to today, even if you never liked the guy, Bush was a man of conviction. He didn't quit; he was a leader, a man of honor in a battle he started from a place of reason and compassion and for the betterment of the people in Iraq and our country.
We could question whether it was the best or his only option for decades -- and we will -- but the reality is, only by the actions of a fearless and tireless leader do we ever see the finish line; and bearing in mind the Olympic spirit overflowing in Vancouver today, only by this kind of effort do we ever have a chance to stand tall and wave our flag in the air as we take the victory lap round the ice.
But get a load of Joe these days, fresh off of Larry King we found him taking time off to enjoy a few days at the Olympics, sitting in the stands happy as can be, proud of his accomplishment in Iraq -- "this administration's greatest accomplishment", he said.
Refresh yourself, Joe -- look at the origins of 'your finest hour' and there you will find something which you, along with a parade of other yahoos in Washington -- will never fully understand:
"Though the earth and all inferior creatures be common [as the gift from God] to all men, yet every man has a 'property' in his own 'person.' This, nobody has any right to but himself. The 'labour' of his body and the 'work' of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsover, then, he removes out of the state that Nature hath provided and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with it, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property...He that is nourished by the acorns he picked up under an oak, or the apples he gathered from the trees in the woods, has certainly appropriated them to himself. Nobody can deny but the nourishment is his. I ask then, when did they begin to be his? When he digested? or when he ate? or when he boiled? or when he brought them home? or when he picked them up? And it is plain, if the first gathering made not his, nothing else could." From John Locke, Second Essay Concerning Civil Government, inside The 5,000 Year Leap
At what point, Joe, did it become yours, when you saw that it was done? when the people of Iraq could vote? when you finally felt good about a decision that wasn't yours was ultimately met with success? or did you take something that doesn't actually belong to you?
To be able to stand tall at the podium, Joe -- it can only come with the discerning decision to make the commitment in the first place, to accept whatever laborious extra effort it may take, and follow through all the way to the end. To know the real joy, Joe -- it can only be found back behind such labor, such unwavering spirit to see it through, no matter what, no matter how hard, no matter how long it takes -- only then, from such personal attachment to the goal and the nature of creation itself, can you really feel the win. (Case in point, some of the real life stories from Olympians and what it took to get there).
The accomplishment in Iraq is not one for you to truly own, Joe -- and if I'm not mistaken, given the dynamics of effort and outcome, soil and reward -- you feel that way too.
Tomorrow should be a pretty good day for you, after parading the transgressions claiming an honor fraudulently deemed your own, perhaps a quiet day of reflection will find you on your knees in gratitude to someone else besides the good Lord.
Make it a good Day, G
whether in Iraq or here at home...captured in one of my favorite places, The Patriot Post:
"Government is taking us a long way down the Road to Serfdom. That doesn't just mean that more of us must work for the government. It means that we are changing from independent, self-responsible people into a submissive flock. The welfare state kills the creative spirit. F.A. Hayek, an Austrian economist living in Britain, wrote 'The Road to Serfdom' in 1944 as a warning that central economic planning would extinguish freedom. ... Hayek meant that governments can't plan economies without planning people's lives. After all, an economy is just individuals engaging in exchanges. The scientific-sounding language of President Obama's economic planning hides the fact that people must shelve their own plans in favor of government's single plan. At the beginning of 'The Road to Serfdom,' Hayek acknowledges that mere material wealth is not all that's at stake when the government controls our lives: 'The most important change ... is a psychological change, an alteration in the character of the people.' This shouldn't be controversial. If government relieves us of the responsibility of living by bailing us out, character will atrophy. The welfare state, however good its intentions of creating material equality, can't help but make us dependent. That changes the psychology of society. According to the Tax Foundation, 60 percent of the population now gets more in government benefits than it pays in taxes. What does it say about a society in which more than half the people live at the expense of the rest?" --columnist John Stossel
Thank you "The Patriot Post (www.patriotpost.us/subscribe/ )"