Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
An article by one Bruce Thornton appears in RightNetwork:
To progressives, income disparities and economic winners and losers are intolerable injustices reflecting capitalism’s rigged rules and privileging of profit over people. Use the power of the state to correct those rules and intervene in the market through regulations and tax policy, and you can eliminate those injustices, for, as the President let slip, “When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” Hence the relentless public demonization of “greedy” Wall Street and corporations, and the attempt to use regulatory and taxing power to siphon off their capital and put it to achieving the progressive vision of “social justice.”
Questioning these assumptions is where the political discussion has to start. We need to make not only the practical point that punitive taxation and regulation of the economy retards growth and leads to unemployment, lower tax revenues, and a reduced standard of living. We also need to attack the false belief that something as complex and intricate as a 14-trillion-dollar economic system, one predicated on the trillions of free choices and transactions made by free people, can be understood by “experts” the way we understand an engine, and thus tinkered with in order to achieve an idealized world in which we “spread the wealth around” so everyone has roughly the same standard of living.
This notion, moreover, runs counter to the underlying philosophy of capitalism, and if acted upon will eventually destroy the economy. The point of the free market was not to make everybody rich, but to create and increase wealth over time so that fewer people would suffer the abject poverty typical of the vast majority of our ancestors. Predicated on freedom, capitalism understood that the great variety of talent, virtue, and luck meant that there would still be losers. But there always will be losers in human life. Capitalism created economic mobility, and over time could give those with talent and drive the opportunity to become winners, rather than fixing them and their children in immutable economic and social roles.
There’s only one definition of conservatism that works. It is, after all, not a point or a region on an ideological spectrum, nor is it a prejudice or a fear. It is a willingness.
It is a willingness to renounce things that do not work. After an idea has been given a try a few times, it is a willingness to say “this does not work, let’s stop trying it until someone provides some solid evidence dealing with how it can work.” It is sanity. It is a hopping-off from a merry-go-round, and it requires maturity. A lot of people don’t believe in it, not because they have risen above it, but because they aren’t capable of achieving it.
In their world, the only difference between the current situation and everlasting success is one more lap. But that is the way children think when they wrestle with a problem that is too big for them.
Conservatism is what adults say. Conservatism says wait a minute…results matter. So far your results suck, so take this albatross out of here, back to the drawing board, and bring back some good results from there — until then, we’re done. We’re through. And you get just as mad about that as you want, but you’ve made as many “oopsies” on the production floor as you’re gonna.
Our liberals react to this pretty much every single way they possibly can. They rename themselves to “progressives,” they talk about punishing enemies (hat tip to Gerard), they make a lot of noise about bitter people clinging to Bibles and guns. They tell lies that whoever is opposed to what they’re trying to do, must be opposed to new ideas. That’s not the case at all. The only thing they don’t do, is what mature, responsible, intelligent people with new fancy ideas do: Confine them to a proving ground. No, in liberal-land, the sandbox is not a sandbox at all, it is the universe. It is wherever the results will be felt immediately, irreversibly, by everyone. You can’t put an experimental elixir in a laboratory, to be fed to volunteers; you have to put it in the water supply of the township, the county, the state. Even better to just drop it in the ocean. Nobody can opt in to liberalism, slogans notwithstanding. Opting in might lead to opting out.
This is where Thornton’s point comes in. Liberals do not think government is sacrosanct. They don’t even like government any more than normal people do. They want their experiments to be tried out, for the very first time, all over the place. Step One always seems to be to empower the government, because there isn’t any legal way to get away from it. It is practically universal, and it operates by force rather than by choice. That is why they can’t get enough of it.
Conservatism just says: Don’t. It is a very accommodating and flexible brand of conservatism we have been seeing lately — it waits until the liberal plan does its damage, in production, before it says “that’s enough, stop now.” Real conservatism would insist on the laboratory setting, involving voluntary, opted-in subjects, before the plan was ever tried. Real conservatism would say: If you want to experiment, congressman/senator/President, you have the wrong job. The office you occupy has to do with serving the public, not using that public as a lab rat.
One other point: There is no moderate position between these two things. That is a myth. Once experience has shown an idea to fail much of the time, you either pull it out or you don’t.
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