Monday Brief

How About a Bit of Good News for a Change?

Jan. 7, 2013

The Foundation

“[A] good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life. It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous.” –George Washington

Editor’s Note

In 2013, we want to make a concerted effort to bring you at least some good news, which is why we will aim to lead off the Brief with a section called “Inspiration” for that purpose. Enjoy.

Inspiration

“For most parents, when a child leaves the nest it’s usually for good. But at age 51, Tony Tolbert has come home again. … He announced he was moving back home, because he was giving up his own fully furnished L.A. home, rent free, for a full year – to a family he’d never even met. ‘You don’t have to be Bill Gates or Warren Buffet or Oprah,’ Tolbert said. ‘We can do it wherever we are, with whatever we have, and for me, I have a home that I can make available.’ But to whom? Tolbert sought out a shelter for homeless women and children called Alexandria House. It was there he found Felicia Dukes. Needless to say, she couldn’t believe the offer when she heard it. ‘They had a young man that wanted to donate their house to you for a year,’ Dukes recounted. ‘And I’m looking at her, like, what? Like – Are you serious?’ … Tolbert also became emotional when he talked about the life lessons he learned from his father, who is now suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. ‘Kindness creates kindness. Generosity creates generosity. Love creates love,’ he said. ‘And I think if we can share some of that and have more stories about people doing nice things for other people, and fewer stories about people doing horrible things to other people, that’s a better world.’ Not a bad thought to begin the new year.” –CBS News' Lee Cowan

For the Record

“While the December jobs report – 155,000 net new payrolls, 7.8% unemployment rate – was more or less in line with official analyst expectations, plenty of Wall Street economists thought it just might surprise to the upside. Maybe 200,000 jobs or more went the ‘whisper’ estimates. It didn’t happen. Instead it was same old, same old. The increase in total nonfarm payroll employment was only a smidgen better than the average 2012 employment growth of 153,000 jobs per month. And that was exactly the same as the average monthly gain for 2011. And at that pace, the US won’t return to pre-Great Recession employment levels until after 2025, according to the Jobs Gap calculator from the Hamilton Project. Indeed, if the labor force participation rate last month, 63.6%, were the same as in December 2011, 64.0%, the ‘official’ or U-3 unemployment rate today would be 8.4%, only a bit better than the December 2011 rate of 8.5%. In addition, average hourly earnings rose by just 2.1% over 2012, about the same as inflation. That means real wage growth was pretty much flat. Hard to call that progress.” –American Enterprise Institute’s James Pethokoukis

Opinion in Brief

“Back in the middle of the 19th century, things were getting better for the poor for the first time ever, what with the textile revolution and the railway revolution and steamships and all. But suppose you were a political activist, thirsting for power and meaning. … That’s when Karl Marx had his brilliant idea. Why not divide the masters from the workers, and win votes from the workers by demonizing the masters and plundering their wealth? Why not tell the capitalists ‘you didn’t build that’? Divide and conquer. What could go wrong? What could go wrong, Mr. President, is Reynolds’s Law. ‘Things that can’t go on forever, won’t. Debt that can’t be repaid, won’t be. Promises that can’t be kept, won’t be.’ What could go wrong is that the educated ruling class would make a mess of everything it meddled with: health care, pensions, education, housing, green energy, the dollar. For what? Democratic politicians are never going to come up with an entitlement reform plan and warn their senior voters and their moms with disabled kids. When the Democratic voters are reduced to eating the paint off the walls, they will want to be able to say that the Republicans did it.” –columnist Christopher Chantrill

Political Futures

“Have you yet heard House Speaker John Boehner take the time to spell out why Barack Obama’s argument for taxing ‘millionaires and billionaires’ is wrong? It is not a complicated argument. Moreover, it is an argument that has been articulated many times in plain English by conservative talk show hosts and by others in print. It has nothing to do with being worried about the fate of millionaires or billionaires, who can undoubtedly take care of themselves. What we all should be worried about are high tax rates driving American investments overseas, when there are millions of Americans who could use the jobs that those investments would create at home. Yet Obama has been allowed to get away with the emotional argument that the rich can easily afford to pay more, as if that is the issue. But it will be the issue if no one says otherwise.” –economist Thomas Sowell

Essential Liberty

“[T]he government may not descend to the evil of preventive law. The government cannot treat men as guilty until they have proven themselves to be, for the moment, innocent. No law can require the individual to prove that he won’t violate another’s rights, in the absence of evidence that he is going to. But this is precisely what gun control laws do. Gun control laws use force against the individual in the absence of any specific evidence that he is about to commit a crime. They say to the rational, responsible gun owner: you may not have or carry a gun because others have used them irrationally or irresponsibly. Thus, preventive law sacrifices the rational and responsible to the irrational and irresponsible. This is unjust and intolerable. The government may coercively intervene only when there is an objective threat that someone is going to use force. … Statistics about how often gun-related crimes occur in the population is no evidence against you. That’s collectivist thinking. The choices made by others are irrelevant to the choices that you will make. … The government may respond only to specific threats, objectively evident. It has no right to initiate force against the innocent. And a gun owner is innocent until specific evidence arises that he is threatening to initiate force. Laws prohibiting or regulating guns across the board represent the evil of preventive law and should be abolished.” –columnist Harry Binswanger

Culture

“For countless people, especially on the left, it’s axiomatic that Adam Lanza’s bloodbath was caused by America’s gun culture. Many angrily demonize guns and the advocates of gun rights; they are convinced that only an ignoramus or a moral monster could oppose tighter gun control. … It is fundamental to the Judeo-Christian outlook that human beings are not naturally good. ‘The intention of man’s heart,’ God says in Genesis, ‘is evil from his youth.’ To use the Christian formulation, man is ‘fallen.’ All of us are tugged by conflicting moral impulses, and whether we do the right thing or the wrong thing is up to each of us. Peace, justice, and compassion are not the natural human condition. With rare exceptions, criminal violence can’t be blamed on external culprits. Murder isn’t caused by poverty or gory video games or low self-esteem – or guns. Nor are wars caused by nuclear missiles, or al-Qaeda terrorism by box cutters. We fool ourselves if we imagine that by fixating on missiles and box cutters we can avoid reckoning with the cruel side of human nature. … The desire to believe … that ‘people are truly good at heart’ is powerful. Sadly, history refutes the idea that human nature alone will make a good world. Controlling bad things may sometimes be prudent. But it is above all by controlling ourselves – by fortifying the better angels of our nature – that the struggle against evil progresses.” –columnist Jeff Jacoby

The Gipper

“The gun has been called the great equalizer, meaning that a small person with a gun is equal to a large person, but it is a great equalizer in another way, too. It insures that the people are the equal of their government whenever that government forgets that it is servant and not master of the governed. When the British forgot that they got a revolution. And, as a result, we Americans got a Constitution; a Constitution that, as those who wrote it were determined, would keep men free. If we give up part of that Constitution we give up part of our freedom and increase the chance that we will lose it all.” –Ronald Reagan

Insight

“Wherever the people are true Christians, there are men to be found in large numbers, but everywhere and always, if Christianity wilts, the men wilt. … The world is dwindling away, for lack of men; the nations are perishing for scarcity of men, for the rareness of men. I do believe: there are no men where there is no character; there is no character where there are no principles, doctrines, stands taken; there are no stands taken, no doctrines, no principles, where there is no religious faith and consequently no religion of society. Do what you will: only from God you will get men.” –Louis Cardinal Pie from his 1871 Christmas homily (1815-1880)

Reader Comments

“After reading Mark Alexander’s column, ‘Resolved For 2013,’ I’ll say that when I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, I naively never believed I would live to see a time where I was more concerned about domestic enemies than foreign enemies. If those on the Left want a fight, as far as I am concerned they’ve got one. America is the last bastion of Freedom and Liberty in the world. I will not let it go quietly into the night so help me God.” –Edward in Eaton, Ohio

“I resolve to never give up my liberty, my freedom and my allegiance to this Republic, till death do us part!” –B.C.M. in Knoxville, Tennessee

Friday’s Digest relayed information about the coming efforts on gun control. To ban firearms is the ultimate form of subjugation. Wherever it’s been done a ruling class was established and the people reduced to slaves. The basic rights of man are gone, and certain groups of people become the enemies of the State. Is this what Feinstein/Obama want?” –MikeEcho in Orting, Washington

“Dear brothers and friends: The Lord has given me a little extra money, so I can make a small donation to your cause. Thank you for your clear and concise reporting and opinions on what’s happening in the Swamp. I was very frustrated when Barack Obama was re-elected, but the next Sunday, my minister reminded me that God is in control! You are the only news source that I can count on for the truth in any issue that is extant today. Keep it up.” –Albuquerque, New Mexico

“I came to this country 45 years ago and have seen a big change. Unfortunately, the change has not been for the better. The Liberals have pretty much advanced their agenda to a point where it is becoming a danger to our Country’s well being and Freedom. There are very few dedicated people and organizations like yourself who are willing to stand up and protect our Liberty and the very basic fundamentals on which this country was founded. I love this country and would do anything necessary to preserve its Liberty. Please keep up the good work and hopefully we will turn around the country some day.” –Pushpavati

The Last Word

“Everybody agrees something is rotten on the Potomac. The ladies of the U.S. Senate think they’ve figured it out. It’s that beastly testosterone that’s making everybody but the ladies sick. ‘We’re less on testosterone,’ says Dianne Feinstein of California. ‘We don’t have that need to be always confrontational. And I think we’re problem-solvers, and I think that’s what the country needs.’ Mrs. Feinstein and the 20 ladies of the Senate, the largest number ever, got together on the eve of the opening of the new Congress to talk about how efficient and gracious they are, and how lucky we are to have them in town. … The senator from California is from San Francisco, where estrogen is regularly added to the drinking water, so she knows its many benefits. She got plenty of seconds for her motion. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska agrees that an excess of testosterone may indeed be what ails the capital, but it might be ‘the ego that is attached there.’ Attached to what, she did not say, but ego – and vanity – has never been rationed in Washington. It’s attached to nearly everything.” –Washington Times editor emeritus Wesley Pruden

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

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135 Comments

wjm in Colorado said:

That means real wage growth was pretty much flat.

Everybody had their Social Security Tax go up, that translates into Everyone got a Pay Cut! Quit LYINIG TO US WASHINGTON DC!!!!! Pelosi now wants to continue with more tax hikes, that retard should be in an asylum instead of being allowed to walk around and continue the insanity of Marxism. Do the idiots who vote with the Communist Party of America even look at their pay stubbs? They probably don't have one to look at, just mooches who vote themselves the produce of others. Maybe we now have too many leaches, that can only lead to collapse, so they now want gun control, so in the collapse they can create tyranny. OStalin is out to rule, and he is a treasonous lying enemy of the state.

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 11:37 AM

wjm in Colorado replied:

That means real wage growth was pretty much flat.

Everybody had their Social Security Tax go up, that translates into Everyone got a Pay Cut! Quit LYINIG TO US WASHINGTON DC!!!!! Pelosi now wants to continue with more tax hikes, that retard should be in an asylum instead of being allowed to walk around and continue the insanity of Marxism. Do the idiots who vote with the Communist Party of America even look at their pay stubbs? They probably don't have one to look at, just mooches who vote themselves the produce of others. Maybe we now have too many leaches, that can only lead to collapse, so they now want gun control, so in the collapse they can create tyranny. OStalin is out to rule, and he is a treasonous lying enemy of the state.

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 3:50 PM

wjm in Colorado replied:

That means real wage growth was pretty much flat.

Everybody had their Social Security Tax go up, that translates into Everyone got a Pay Cut! Quit LYINIG TO US WASHINGTON DC!!!!! Pelosi now wants to continue with more tax hikes, that retard should be in an asylum instead of being allowed to walk around and continue the insanity of Marxism. Do the idiots who vote with the Communist Party of America even look at their pay stubbs? They probably don't have one to look at, just mooches who vote themselves the produce of others. Maybe we now have too many leaches, that can only lead to collapse, so they now want gun control, so in the collapse they can create tyranny. OStalin is out to rule, and he is a treasonous lying enemy of the state.

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Scott in Camino, CA in Camino, California said:

Harry Binswanger's comments about preventative law in regards to gun ownership reminds me so much of British legal philosophy, and the idea that you're guilty until you're barister (if you can afford one) proves your innocense. Unfortunately, Mr. Binswanger's comments are becoming more and more true as tie goes on regarding firearms ownership.

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Linda in Tampa Bay FL replied:

Scott, well said. Its already here though. The jails are full of people who are basically honest people who got caught up in the net of some overzealous sheriff wanting re-election or the misuse of a law that was never meant for honest citizens but is now used to incarcerate a person who doesn't understand all the new ways that offend the state. They are desperately trying to prove their innocence with unheard cries because they are not rich or powerful.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Roy Smith in Charleston, SC said:

Why are you not in investigating important issues like the fed's planning to confiscate our weapons? Why are you not asking the states what they're doing to shield their citizens from the abuses of the federal government? We're in a critical stage of our nation's history when evil forces are trying to destroy the Constitution and all that it stands for. A few of us are prepared to go to war to preserve our liberties. Where are you?

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 11:41 AM

john in ny replied:

You need to talk to your local Sheriff..

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 6:58 PM

msmag in Franklin, Oh said:

Very true any kindness you show to others you will get back ten fold. That is God's promise to all of us. Let there be peace on earth. And, let it begin with me.

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Pete G. in MS said:

So "the ladies of the U.S. Senate think they've figured it out. It's that beastly testosterone that's making everybody but the ladies sick."

Really ???? Just how much testosterone do these idiots think an eighty year old man is hauling around with him?

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 11:44 AM

India in GA replied:

LOL.... Yeah, "testosterone" is not the word that pops into my head when I think "Harry Reid".

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 9:16 PM

David in Claremont, CA said:

Thanks for doing what the media so often fails to do. In this case, this story did make the news. So often however the media focuses on whatever hyped-up tragedy they can find or manufacture. A bit of good news is a reminder for all of us thank God for the blessing he has given us.

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 11:45 AM

John in Seattle said:

The gesture is nice in the "insperation" section, but like all of these gestures of kindness, I wonder what it will truely accomplish other than making the donator feel good. I've always believed that if I give money (say $1000) to an unemployed person, I may have temporarily helped them but in the end, I am out $1000 and once the person has spent that money, they need additional money - and more importantly - a job. I have held that by investing in a mutual fund or the stock market, that same $1000 will do more long term good then giving it away. At the end of a year, I will have, perhaps $1080 of worth from my investment and the business I have invested in will have used the investment to help hire an individual who will remain employeed for years or possibly a career. In the end, my money grows and helps employ those who are not employeed (or woudn't be employeed). The beauty of capitalism is simply this, even though you might not intend on helping your fellow man, by investing you are doing much more good than you would be by giving away your wealth. It's nice to feel good when you do good, but use reason rather than feelings and you'll find that you are doing much more to benefit your fellow man. Giving money away may seem OK but think twice to see if you are really helping someone by that moment of compassion.

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 11:49 AM

RADDAD in Atlanta replied:

Sometimes, a person just needs help. Not an explanation of how I have helped you by improving my portfolio.
The good samaritan took care of the immedate and expected needs of the injured fellow. We don't know his name, but his actions are recorded for all to know. Some legacy.

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 12:01 PM

TheHarp in Oregon said:

Why is it that after a shooting the government always wants to take firearms away from the people who didn't do it? I'll tell you why. The government is hell bent on disarming the law abiding populace because it is very difficult to tyrannize an armed society, and in particular an armed society that has grown up in freedom and liberty.

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 11:49 AM

William Christopherson in Walnut said:

Re: Essential Liberty - Does not the TSA also impact our personal freedom without specific evidence of an impending threat. The Government is heading in this direction full force for the so called "Common Good".

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 11:52 AM

John Q Citizen in Colorado replied:

And that sir is the reason I fly ONLY when absolutely necessary. My ability to travel via air has been taken from us by our government.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Joe P in AZ said:

It will be interesting to see what condition this kind man's house is in at the end of the year. Experience shows that people generally do not take very good care of that which they are "given for free".

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 11:53 AM

Patriot1775 in Leonardtown MD replied:

My first thoughts and I hear you, but wouldn't it be nice to have a positive attitude? I have affluent neighbors whom I wouldn't let live in a trailer park if it was up to me.

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM

India in GA replied:

Joe, I have noticed that things that are "free" from the government are often taken for granted as something to which one is entitled. No thought is given to how the thing is being paid for.

However, when the giver has a name and a face, people tend to see the gift for what it is--a *gift* that *costs the giver*---and it is appreciated much more.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 9:25 PM

RADDAD in Atlanta said:

In top down management, you only have the few for input and analysis - limited perspective.
When management is from the trenches up, the prespective is much more enriching, timely, available and real. Examples in real life of generosity and goodness are abundant - it is all around us. Local governments taking care of local problems without outside interference. raddad

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 11:54 AM

William R in Dallas said:

It is good if somebody wants to give away things to those that have not earned it. But history and human nature suggests that the recipient will typicalyl value the gifted item at the cost to them (in this case zero). Many years ago, Habitat for Humanity built three houses within a row of existing dilapidated properties in my area. Today, it is very difficult to determine which are the Habitat houses and which are the original dilapidated houses. They all look equally unkempt.

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Patriot1775 in Leonardtown MD said:

Truly awesome and unselfish. We should all perform random acts of kindness. Sure would make the world a better place.

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Dave Weaver in Detroit said:

Regarding the home Tony Tolbert has so graciously donated to a homeless family for the upcoming year: $100 says that its a smoking hole in the ground within 6 months. How do I know? I grew up in Detroit, where largess and generosity only begat destruction and entitlement. If we really want to help the poor, we should stop helping them. I mean all of it. Let them starve after a hard cutoff date from benefits. Generosity only benefits those who appreciate through hard work the sacrifice such generosity required.

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Curtis in Peoria, IL replied:

I agree with you 100% Dave. In my experience, altruism is evil and has been used that way for centuries. I am sure the individual that donated his house will feel warm and fuzzy about it and in his mind he is doing a good deed. Will the recipients of his generosity honor his property? Maybe, but from my experience in the real world, maybe not.

People rarely do anything selflessly and any time I see something like this it sends up an immediate red flag. I agree with Ayn Rand that holding a selfish, non-sacrificial way of life is both possible and necessary for man.
We are all 100% responsible for our own direction and each decision we make carves out who we are. If you decide to live in the gutter, then you have to sleep in that bed. If you decide to get up after you have been knocked down and to not give in to bad luck or fate or a divorce, bankruptcy, or any of the other thousands of bad things that befall us as humans, then you will live better because of your decision to be responsible for your own self. And I believe that you should be rewarded for your strength and character instead of being rewarded for being weak or just plain lazy. The former makes you even stronger and the latter makes you weaker and more inclined to feel entitled.

My 2 cents. Your mileage may vary.

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Dale Snyder in Placerville, CA replied:

Amen Dave Weaver.. No good deed ever goes unpunished. I also agree that people must learn to be responsible for themselves.

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 7:55 PM

Carl C. in Gordon, WI said:

The people of America lost our freedom in April, 1865 when Lincoln took complete control. Our current President is only tighting the noose.

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 12:01 PM