German Chancellor Angela Merkel stood in front of the Bundestag , recently, to disparage the freedoms of speech and expression on the grounds of lost dignity and hatred. Merkel attempted to outline an inverse relation between a free society and freedom itself.
Merkel stated, “Expressing an opinion does not come at zero cost. But freedom of expression has its limits. Those limits begin where hatred is spread. They begin where dignity of other people is violated.”
In her misguided passion the Chancellor makes freedom the enemy; however, her objection is not simply with freedom but the consequences that inevitably come with it. One vital mistake of her many is the statement, “Expressing an opinion does not come at zero cost.” This is correct, but it’s not required to. Nothing comes at zero cost. No exercise of liberty is uniformly a cost benefit. Someone will always do or say something that doesn’t align with another’s self-interests.
Another problem with this phrase is that it’s arbitrary. A cost to me isn’t necessarily a cost to someone else, and what I view as a cost isn’t what someone else could view as a cost — collective costs included. Continue reading
Around every bend he confronted bigotry – and he did so with amazing grace, endearing dignity, and old-school wisdom.” – Douglas Brinkley, on “I Had a Hammer”
I’M READING The Hank Aaron story, another of my one dollar purchases from a local library. I could do a book review every week if I had more time for reading. When Hank was a boy in Mobile, kids threw bottle caps for baseballs, and they hit them with broom sticks. No wonder that town produced so many Hall of Famers. So much I didn’t know about one of my boyhood “idols.”
January is the month with two faces, and I’m looking back at the 1950s in Wisconsin. Eau Claire was Hank’s first stop in pro baseball outside of time spent in the Negro league. One of his boyhood pals wrote: “The way I can still see Henry is, we’d be having a game on Saturday and he was late most of the time because his mother would have him doing chores. After a couple of innings, you’d see him running across that corn field. You’d see his head bobbing up and down over that corn, and whoever was batting would just lay that bat down, because Henry was going to pinch hit.” [a word picture right out of “Field of Dreams”]
Wes Covington was a teammate of his in Eau Claire, and got beaned by a pitcher one day (not a rare thing for the Afro-Am players in those days). Wes says: “I was the first black person who ever went into the hospital there. They assigned different nurses to me every day so they could all get the experience of being in Continue reading
Must we put up with yet another eco-cataclysm fabricated and exaggerated by ruling elites?
One day I will write a book: 111,111 ways our saviors have proposed to save the planet from the coming climate-driven catastrophes and extinctions. Meanwhile, here’s one you may not have considered.
At my cat-loving daughter’s house the other day, I ran across one of her books – How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You (by Matthew Inman). A little later, I saw this headline: “Hollywood Celeb Emma Thompson: Eat your pets to survive ‘climate crisis.’” Continue reading
With Time magazine naming 16 year-old Greta Thunberg as their ‘Person of the Year,’ one has to wonder what that means in a world dominated by political correctness and Leftist ideology. Greta is an autistic Swedish child who has been programmed by her parents to promote a children’s crusade against climate change. Never mind that Greta has no knowledge of science and no ability to understand that she is being used as a pawn in the climate battles. She might well be the ‘Abused Child of the Year,’ not a person held up as some sort of hero. Or as Time explains it, “a person, a group, an idea, or an object that for better or for worse… has done the most to influence the events of the year.”
The very first Time magazine ‘Man of the Year’ was Charles Lindbergh in 1927, a choice that was very appropriate. Lindbergh’s solo transatlantic flight was a sensation. Later choices in the 1930s, from Mahatma Gandhi (1930) to Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1932+) to Haile Selassie (1935) to Chiang Kai-Shek (1937) were likewise men of great stature. But then Time faltered, choosing Adolph Hitler in 1938 and Joseph Stalin in 1939 and 1942. They were certainly newsworthy but clearly monsters.
Following the Second World War, Time continued its tradition of recognizing the best of humanity, from just about all United States Presidents to Winston Churchill (1949) and Queen Elizabeth II (1952). But they also faltered with Ayatollah Khomeini (1979) and Yasser Arafat (1993), again monsters. Continue reading
Teddy Roosevelt remarked in 1914: “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.” If that was true then, it is truer today – because of the curse of political correctness.
With a new year upon us, and the opportunity to turn over a new leaf, why not resolve to spend more time in the wonderful book God has given us – the Bible?
This is the book that has had unparalleled influence on so many great people in history. Many of our nation’s presidents made it a habit to read the Bible on a regular basis. It is part of what made them who they were.
Consider these sample opinions: Continue reading
Pete Buttegieg has talked more explicitly about his claim to be a Christian than any candidate since Mike Huckabee. That’s a good thing if Buttegieg is actually a Christian, a very bad thing if he is not.
So we need to examine his bona fides, to assess the genuineness of his professed faith in Christ. A Christian, first of all, must by definition believe in Christ. I certainly may have missed it, but I have never heard Buttegieg talk about a personal relationship with Christ or even a passing acquaintance with him.
He certainly quotes Scripture – well, at least one Scripture, one of the few regressives actually know. “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35). Buttegieg said we’d never need to worry about this Scripture being followed if he makes it to the White House. Continue reading
There is a homeless crisis in Portland. According to a recent count by Portland State University, the number of people found living in “unfit” conditions, such as in a tent outdoors, under a bridge or overpass, or in their car, has increased by 20% between 2017 and 2019.
Instead of providing sound and beneficial policies to help get homeless individuals on their feet and off the streets, Portland officials are pushing the issue onto private businesses.
The Portland Planning Commission recently affirmed a proposal submitted by Commissioner Oriana Magnera that would require new private downtown buildings, including stores and apartment complexes, to have a space where Portlanders can “rest,” including pitching tents and sleeping. She stated in a November meeting that current buildings may have “benches but not a lot of place to pitch a tent.”
Magnera blames the current homeless crisis in part on a housing shortage. It would thus make sense to provide shelter to those living on the streets and reduce restrictive city codes and laws that make it difficult to build homes in the Metro region. One such change could include enlarging the current Urban Growth Boundary that limits the amount of land available for new homes and artificially raises prices. Continue reading
Research published by Cascade Policy Institute concludes workers, employers, and unions could benefit from increased competition among labor unions. Competition among unions and workplace freedom would lead to improved choice and representation for workers, reduce costs for employers, and may lead to increased union membership.
Introducing competition among unions can be accomplished in several ways. States, such as Oregon, could pass legislation allowing for competing bargaining units and forbidding “no raiding” pacts among unions. In addition, litigation challenging exclusive representation on First Amendment grounds would present a logical next step after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus decision.
Inter-Union Competition and Workplace Freedom: Ending Exclusive Representation was authored by Eric Fruits, Ph.D., a Portland-based economist. Fruits is president and chief economist at Economics International Corp., a consulting firm specializing in economics, finance, and statistics. He is also Vice President of Research at Cascade Policy Institute and an adjunct professor at Portland State University. Continue reading
His horse went dead and his mule went lame,
And he lost 6 cows in a poker game.
Then a hurricane came on a summer’s day
And blew the house where he lived away.
An earthquake came when that was gone
And swallowed the land the house stood on
And then the tax collector came around
And charged him up for the hole in the ground.
“If men will not be governed by God (that is to be honest, truthful, diligent, fair and just to all) then they must be governed by tyrants.” – William Penn Continue reading
“I have no light to illuminate the pathway of the future save that which falls over my shoulder from the past.” – Patrick Henry
“JUST AN ACTOR.” That’s what they called President Reagan. But he didn’t just collect wisdom; he cultivated it. Not long before his birth’s centennial, the Reagan Library found a box containing his secret notes and they were published in 2011 by Harper in “Ronald Reagan; the Notes” (Douglas Brinkley, editor). He started his collection when he was the spokesman for General Electric from 1954 to 1962. I’ve taken the liberty of choosing some of my favorites for a sort of book review:
“You who mortal cannot change the infallible unwritten laws of heaven. I would not from fear of any human edict, incur the God-inflicted penalty of disobeying divine law.” – Antigone to the Legislature (Sophocles)
“Hold on to the constitution of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster; what has happened once in 6,000 years may never happen again.” – Daniel Webster Continue reading