Tea Party Patriots Ordinary citizens reclaiming America's founding principles.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Giving thanks for abundance is giving thanks for free enterprise

Image credit: en.wikipedia.org

Re-posted from earlier Cleveland Tea Party blogs:

What Thanksgiving really means To Americans

A couple of years ago, Jerry Bowyer, writing in Forbes Magazine, recounted the real significance of Thanksgiving, a significance that is too often lost among the turkey dinners, football games, and stories about Indians who befriended the early settlers. 

In 1620, the Plymouth pilgrims based their original community on Plato’s Republic, a collective model that appealed to their religious convictions and morality. But the communal model didn’t work for them. After over two years of failing harvests and resulting malnutrition, disease, starvation, and deaths, the pilgrims replaced the communal model with a model based on private property. The ensuing harvest was abundant, with surpluses available for trade.

Their Thanksgiving celebrated the triumph of the individual, private property, and incentive, over collectivism. At first, the pilgrims felt guilty because they were putting self-interest over the seeming altruism of socialism. Yet the devout survivors had learned two lessons: 1) that a theoretical and Utopian collective society fails, and (2) in real life, private property and capitalism produce prosperity. For them, God, not Plato, knew best. Accepting the principles of private property and self-interest was God’s way of harnessing self-interest to the greater good. We know all of this because an elder of the Plymouth plantation, William Bradford, kept a journal and it survives today. Mr. Bowyer’s earlier article, with additional historical background, is here.) 

It’s wrong to say that American was founded by capitalists. In fact, America was founded by socialists who had the humility to learn from their initial mistakes and embrace freedom. One of the earliest and arguably most historically significant North American colonies was Plymouth Colony, founded in 1620 in what is now known as Plymouth, Massachusetts. As I’ve outlined in greater detail here before (Lessons From a Capitalist Thanksgiving), the original colony had written into its charter a system of communal property and labor. 

As William Bradford recorded in his Of Plymouth Plantation, a people who had formerly been known for their virtue and hard work became lazy and unproductive. Resources were squandered, vegetables were allowed to rot on the ground and mass starvation was the result. And where there is starvation, there is plague. 

After 2 1/2 years, the leaders of the colony decided to abandon their socialist mandate and create a system which honored private property. The colony survived and thrived and the abundance which resulted was what was celebrated at that iconic Thanksgiving feast.

As my friend Reuven Brenner has taught me, history is a series of experiments: The Human Gamble. Some gambles work and are adopted by history and some do not and should be abandoned by it. The problem is that the human gamble only works if there is a record of experimental outcomes and if decision makers consult that record. For many years, the story of the first failed commune of Plymouth Bay was part of the collective memory of American students. But Progressive Education found that story unhelpful and it has fallen into obscurity, which explains why (as I alluded to before) a well-educated establishment figure like Jared Bernstein would be unaware of it.

I’m often asked why our current leadership class forgets the lessons of the past so often. They are, after all, very smart men and women. Don’t they know that collectivism will fail?

No, they don’t. Not anymore. For much of our history, our leaders were educated in the principles which were to help them avoid errors once they have joined the ruling class. They studied to learn how to not misuse power. Now our leaders learn nothing of the dangers of abusing power: their education is entirely geared to its acquisition.  All of their neurons are trained on that one objective – to get to the top. What they do when they get there is a matter for later. And what happens to the country when they’re done with their experiments is beside the point: after all, their experiments will not really affect them personally. History is the story of the limitations of human power. But the limits of power is a topic for people who doubt themselves and their right to rule, not the self-anointed.

That’s how it is now, and that’s how it was in 1620. The charter of the Plymouth Colony reflected the most up-to-date economic, philosophical and religious thinking of the early 17th century. Plato was in vogue then, and Plato believed in central planning by intellectuals in the context of communal property, centralized state education, state centralized cultural offerings and communal family structure. For Plato, it literally did take a village to raise a child. This collectivist impulse reflected itself in various heretical offshoots of Protestant Christianity with names like The True Levelers, and the Diggers, mass movements of people who believed that property and income distinctions should be eliminated, that the wealthy should have their property expropriated and given to what we now call the 99%. This kind of thinking was rife in the 1600s and is perhaps why the Pilgrim settlers settled for a charter which did not create a private property system.

But the Pilgrims learned and prospered. And what they learned, we have forgotten and we fade.  Now, new waves of ignorant masses flood into parks and public squares. New Platonists demand control of other people’s property. New True Levelers legally occupy the prestige pulpits of our nation, secular and sacred. And now, as then, the productive class of our now gigantic, colony-turned-superpower, learn and teach again, the painful lessons of history. Collectivism violates the iron laws of human nature. It has always failed. It is always failing, and it will always fail. I thank God that it is failing now. Providence is teaching us once again.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Starting the Christmas season with a smile

YouTube: The First Lady Receives the 2017 White House Christmas Tree

A short video clip (4 minutes) to put a smile on your face as we head into the holiday Christmas season (h/t Sundance)
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Monday, November 20, 2017

Department of Homeland Security nominee Kirstjen Nielsen

From Steve Salvi’s website Ohio Jobs &Justice Pac [posted yesterday]:


Warning: Pres. Trump's new nominee for DHS Secretary is an Obama holdover and open border/pro-amnesty sellout!
Help Stop Kirstjen Nielsen's confirmation and appointment!

What you can do:
1.    Call the White House--say you oppose Kirstjen Nielsen's nomination as DHS Secretary (see background articles below)

The White House Phone Numbers
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414

2.    Spread the word on social media.

For background, below are articles about Kirstjen Nielsen and immigration:

·         Trump’s DHS Nominee: ‘Ready to Work with Congress’ on DACA Amnesty

·         Cheap Labor, Open Borders Swamp Embraces Trump’s DHS Pick: ‘Experience Being Valued over Outsiders’

And here’s Market Watch’s Nielson’s Commitment to the Trump Immigration Agenda Remains Questionable, cautions FAIR  
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Good news, bad news

image credit: wgme.com

Good news for our friends in coal country (via Selena Zito at New York Post):

Last weekend in Beijing, as part of his 12-day trip to Asia, President Trump announced that the US and China had signed an $83.7 billion memorandum of understanding to create a number of petrochemical projects in West Virginia over the next 20 years.
If the agreement holds tight, it is an economic game changer for the state.
Bad news for our friends in coal country (via Thomas Lifson at American Thinker):

the mainstream media are able to suppress life-changing news that could rescue the beleaguered economy of an entire state so thoroughly that ordinary folks in street are unaware of it.
. . .
So, this is a deal that would transform economic life for some of the most economically depressed people in the country, and they have no idea at all that it is in process, needs their support, and could be derailed. 

If you have family or friends in West Virginia, downstate Ohio, or western Pennsylvania, forward the news along!

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Update on Richard Cordray and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Dilbert (Scott Adams) cartoon via powerlineblog.com

Clarice Feldman closes her Sunday column at American Thinker with this summary:

Probably the most important development this week is the effective end of the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), a power grab by Democrats led by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, which gives a single director who can only be fired for cause by the president (a structure designed to operate outside Congressional or executive control) power to regulate mortgages, credit cards, and retirement and pension investments -- in sum, all consumer financial transactions. Warren originally wanted to run this outfit, but when it was clear she’d never get Congressional approval, Richard Cordray became the one-man credit czar. Last October the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that placing so much power in a single commissioner not answerable to the president was unconstitutional.

The Obama Administration sought en banc review by the entire Circuit Court Panel.  In March, the new administration reversed the government’s position. The entire panel heard the case in May. While the decision in that case is still pending, Cordray this week resigned, and the president appointed in his place OMB chief Mike Mulvaney as interim head. Mulvaney strongly opposed the creation of this bureau. The President thus has now put in place someone who can be counted on to undo the Democrats’ machinations to control all our financial transactions by the fiat of a single man. By their own hands, they created a situation they are powerless to undo -- just as by tarring Judge Moore with suspect accusations they open themselves to the same treatment. 

Richard Cordray has not yet confirmed his candidacy for Governor of Ohio, but the Cincinnati, Dayton, and Cleveland media expect him to announce soon.
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