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Daily Blogs for 2/2009

by Christopher Chantrill

Understanding Obama's Budget | 02/27/09
 President Obama’s first budget, now available as a pdf ...

New Budget Charts Up at usgovernmentspending.com | 02/26/09
 Yes. Our crack team has been working like dogs ever since 11:00am EST. And now the ...

Obama Back to the Future | 02/25/09
 We conservatives thought that in 1981 with the election of Ronald Reagan that the ...

Flailing Around in Washington | 02/24/09
 If things weren’t bad enough, Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) isn’t making things ...

Market Shrugs Bank Announcement | 02/23/09
 This is when you start to worry. The Obama administration announces its determination ...

"A Nation of Cowards" | 02/20/09
 This week everyone’s all riled up about Attorney General Eric Holder’s ...

The "Obama Winging It" Meme | 02/19/09
 First we hear that the Obama administration isn’t really ready for prime time. ...

Taking on the Powerful | 02/19/09
 We all know that the Fourth Estate is a keystone of democracy. We need journalists ...

Stimulus: A Clash of Faith | 02/17/09
 These days we live in an age of reason. Everyone claims that their ideas about ...

Learning from the Secret of FDR's Success | 02/16/09
 The conventional line on the New Deal is that FDR captured a generation with his New ...

Recalled to Life | 02/13/09
 Remember “Recalled to Life?” It comes from A Tale of Two Cities, ...

The Stealth Repeal of Welfare Reform(2) | 02/12/09
 It is cruel, Mr. President. It is corrupt. It is wasteful, it is unjust. And it is ...

The SNL Administration | 02/11/09
 I haven’t watched prime-time TV for 15 years. But I know that back in the day ...

Stimulus: Administrative vs. Incentive | 02/10/09
 The good thing about the Obama administration is that it gives the nation a clear ...

Let's Be Serious, Mr. President(1) | 02/09/09
 It’s sometimes hard to remember, but governments are instituted among men for ...

The How and the What | 02/06/09
 In government there are two ways of looking at things: how you do ...

Stimulating Hope and Change | 02/05/09
 How could it happen? How could all the promises about Hope and Change get buried in ...

Welfare Reform, Part 2 | 02/04/09
 Whatever happened to welfare reform? Last we heard, President Clinton had signed ...

It's Not As Bad As That | 02/03/09
 With President Obama safely inaugurated, the experts are looking at GOP prospects and ...

New Deal Put "Great" in Depression | 02/02/09
 You can’t say this often enough. The New Deal prolonged the Great Depression. ...



“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison

Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust

Hugo on Genius

“Tear down theory, poetic systems... No more rules, no more models... Genius conjures up rather than learns... ” —Victor Hugo
César Graña, Bohemian versus Bourgeois


“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State

Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy

Faith and Politics

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable... [1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006

China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing

Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity

US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

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©2007 Christopher Chantrill