Sunday, June 30, 2013

America Resilient

New Lisbon, WI – “This too shall pass” could be an American motto. When the first settlers arrived they had to fight harsh weather, little food, and their own investors. In the first winter for the Pilgrims, nearly half died. But they did not stop fighting to build a new nation. Then there was a war with the natives, who vastly outnumbered the settlers. With their war whoops and their tomahawks they swept down on the villages won with such difficulty from the forest and killed many, but still those simple little farmers just got up on their feet, dusted themselves off, and kept on going.

Next they had to fight the mighty nation of Great Britain, because, you see, they were not yet their own country. And they had a lot of setbacks, even with George Washington leading them. They would lose almost entire armies at times as they tried to win their freedom, but they kept on fighting. No matter how many times they lost they forged on ahead, through Valley Forge, through Saratoga, through the betrayal of Benedict Arnold. They lost men and supplies, promises were broken, but they won.
 And when they won that war they did not stop there, because they knew that their work had only just begun. They had to draft a new constitution for their country, they had to set up a system of government, and they set up quite a system, unlike anything ever seen before. And after that they had to see to it that this new system was watched over. And they gave their new system to their children, and their children watched over it. And they had problems.
There was another war in 1812, and then a long series of battles on the high seas and argument in congress, while men fought over making their fellow humans free of slavery. But then talk turned to bloodshed. And we had a long and bloody civil war. In that war we came close to losing everything for which we had fought, but we held on, and afterwards we rebuilt. And we were stronger than ever before. Then not fifty years later we had a world war, and then a depression, but nobody talked about quitting, they had come too far to go back now. They just kept working as they had always worked.
And then another world war came, this time a war of terror, as men tried to conquer the world in a quest for global domination. And after it the cold war began, and at that time we could have been incinerated at any moment by nuclear explosions, but we survived our battle with Communism, and the Lenins and the Hitlers rolled over in their graves realizing that they could not keep America down. You would think that with so much evidence of that people would have given up trying, but they did not. Now there are terrorists, thinking that inspiring fear will get them what they want. One of the Boston Bombers recently said he does not understand Americans, and of course not, anyone who understands Americans understands they will never tolerate injustice, they fought a long civil rights campaign over that.
This is the greatest land that has ever been. Even though the government has overstepped its bounds, we can put it back inside them. Abuses of power, once known about, are not left unpunished, if they are, those that allow such things to happen will be punished by losing power. America has had a long and resilient history, it has had many problems and trials, but so has every country that has ever existed. Now is not the time, and ours is not the watch to let it all go to pieces.
America is still the greatest nation that has ever been. Let us not forget that while we repair from simply another attack on freedom. We must remember that attacks do not prove us weak, but our ability to resist them proves us strong.

Through His Strength We Will Conquer,
Andrew C. Abbott

Friday, June 28, 2013

Ronald Reagan: A Voice of Hope

 The following are excerpts from Ronald Reagan’s First Inaugural Address. He taught us much as an imperfect man.

The business of our nation goes forward. These United States are confronted with an economic affliction of great proportions. We suffer from the longest and one of the worst sustained inflations in our national history. It distorts our economic decisions, penalizes thrift, and crushes the struggling young and the fixed-income elderly alike. It threatens to shatter the lives of millions of our people.
  Idle industries have cast workers into unemployment, causing human misery and personal indignity. Those who do work are denied a fair return for their labor by a tax system which penalizes successful achievement and keeps us from maintaining full productivity.
  But great as our tax burden is, it has not kept pace with public spending. For decades, we have piled deficit upon deficit, mortgaging our future and our children's future for the temporary convenience of the present. To continue this long trend is to guarantee tremendous social, cultural, political, and economic upheavals.
  You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we are not bound by that same limitation?
  We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow. And let there be no misunderstanding—we are going to begin to act, beginning today.
  The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we, as Americans, have the capacity now, as we have had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom.
  In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem…

Directly in front of me, the monument to a monumental man: George Washington, Father of our country. A man of humility who came to greatness reluctantly. He led America out of revolutionary victory into infant nationhood. Off to one side, the stately memorial to Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence flames with his eloquence.
  And then beyond the Reflecting Pool the dignified columns of the Lincoln Memorial. Whoever would understand in his heart the meaning of America will find it in the life of Abraham Lincoln.
  Beyond those monuments to heroism is the Potomac River, and on the far shore the sloping hills of Arlington National Cemetery with its row on row of simple white markers bearing crosses or Stars of David. They add up to only a tiny fraction of the price that has been paid for our freedom.
  Each one of those markers is a monument to the kinds of hero I spoke of earlier. Their lives ended in places called Belleau Wood, The Argonne, Omaha Beach, Salerno and halfway around the world on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Pork Chop Hill, the Chosin Reservoir, and in a hundred rice paddies and jungles of a place called Vietnam.
  Under one such marker lies a young man—Martin Treptow—who left his job in a small town barber shop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire.
  We are told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading, "My Pledge," he had written these words: "America must win this war. Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone."
  The crisis we are facing today does not require of us the kind of sacrifice that Martin Treptow and so many thousands of others were called upon to make. It does require, however, our best effort, and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds; to believe that together, with God's help, we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.
  And, after all, why shouldn't we believe that? We are Americans. God bless you, and thank you.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Let's Roll

New Lisbon, WI – "Are you guys ready? Let's roll.” With those words Todd Beamer, a passenger on hijacked United Airlines Flight 93, on September 11th, 2001, “rolled” into fame.

On 9/11, if the normal people had waited around, in the towers, on the ground, at the airports, on flight 93, for the authorities to tell them what to do, or to save them, many, many more would have died. When the hatchet is in the air it is too late for the Association for Stopping Hatches to get started. The people are the ones who must bear the burden in the end, and who must be prepared to stop the real problems. The government can come later, they can stop the large armies, but they cannot stop the many small catastrophes, the car wrecks, the floods, the purchases and the hiring that make a culture and an economy. That is where the laws that this nation was built on, the Law of God, must decide what the people do, regulations cannot deal with emergencies.
The ingenuity of the people still works. A few years ago twenty-six year old Adam Shepard decided he wanted to find if it was true that the American Dream was dead. With 25 $ in his pocket he was dropped off in Charleston South Carolina-a city he picked out of a hat. He began with menial jobs. At the end of the year he had an apartment, a car, and 5,500 $ in the bank. He did this without hiring programs, without help.
This nation still is a land of vast opportunity, still a land that can be built stronger, yes, we can have another American Century, and although government must help that, it must do it chiefly by staying out of the way, it is the people that must do the actual work. Are you guys ready? Let’s Roll.

Through His Strength We Will Conquer,
Andrew C. Abbott

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Do Not Raise Your Voice

The greatest evil is not done now in those sordid dens of crime that Dickens loved to paint. It is not even done in concentration camps or labor camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and seconded, moved and minuted in well lighted offices by quiet men with white collars and neatly cut finger nails, and with smooth shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice.” – C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
New Lisbon, WI – In 1853 Herman Melville published a new and now almost forgotten story, Bartleby, the Scrivener. Bartleby is a sort of human photocopier, taking dictations of the constant reams of documents coming out of an attorney’s office. However, occasionally Bartleby would occasionally say “I would prefer not to” when asked to do a task. At first they try to reason with him, he would not listen. Saying simply “I would prefer not to.” Then they fired him, he prefers not leave. He is arrested and taken to prison, but he prefers not to eat, and he starves to death. Melville’s message was simply that no one can make anyone do anything.
In the time when slavery was still legal in America, only a few slaves ran away, rather, the most common form of protest to this indignity on human rights was simple, silent protest. Tools were dropped, workers worked slowly, or refused to work at all, the plantation owner could not afford to shoot or sell all of them.
Evil often wins when it shouts, but it wins more often when it whispers. Just because evil makes a demand does not mean we must concede. There is time to shout and hold up banners, but there are also times for the silent protests, the protests that simply refuse to obey tyranny or to bear indignity. The enemy’s only weapon in the end is fear, but if they find a nation that they cannot inspire fear in, they will have to leave it alone, because they will be helpless to subdue it. They can only kill so many thousands, and yes, we may be of those thousands that may have to die, but if we are right then we must not we cannot yield an inch. Liberty and Justice is like a mighty dyke, holding back a torrent of injustice, of cruelty, of war, of suffering. For that dyke to give way an inch to lose all, for dikes cannot move, and if they try they will fall, and with them will fall all that rests behind them. Rather let us stand strong, so that our children can rest on the dry plains of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I close with a quote from Ronald Reagan’s speech “Evil Empire”:
 “At the same time however, they must be made to understand we will never compromise our principles and standards. We will never give away our freedom. We will never abandon our belief in God.”

Andrew C. Abbott

Monday, June 24, 2013

If Only the Tsar Knew

The World’s Great Age begins anew,
The Golden Years return,
The Earth doth like a Snake renew,
Her Winter Skin outworn:
Heaven Smiles, and Faiths and Empires gleam,
Like Wrecks of a Dissolving Dream,
- H. G. Wells, from In the Days of the Comet

New Lisbon, WI – On the 27th of May 1896, the celebration of the Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II’s coronation was to be held in the Khodynka Field outside Moscow. 100,000 people were in attendance. Before the food, drink, and souvenir cups were handed out, rumors spread that there wouldn't be enough for everyone. The crowd rushed to get their share and many fell and were trampled, suffocating in the dirt of the field. There were over 2600 casualties. Just four years before, a massive famine had swept the nation, killing upwards of 500,000 Russians.
There were constant revolutions over food shortages and other things, but the people always vindicated the Tsar in their minds, seeing him as above all of the corruption, and thinking that if he only knew, he would change everything.  In revolutions like the one in 1905, when a member of the royal family died and part of the fleet rebelled, the protesters sang “God save the Tsar.” They even carried portraits of him.
However, when the fighting began and the Cossacks moved in, the protesters fled. The Russian Cossacks, known for their ferocity, and infantrymen were used to smash the protest. They poured fire into the rebels, killing in all about 92. The storm of bullets cut through the banners and icons the marchers held aloft, including portraits of the Tsar. The watchword was “If only the Tsar knew.” But it was the Tsar that ruled the government. It was the Tsar who commanded the troops. it was the Tsar who could change the price of grain.
Suddenly, a new chant began. “The Tsar will not help us!” The rebellion was quelled, but the damage remained.
In Russia the Tsar’s mystique slowly faded away, especially with the event of railroad. For the first time people could travel, and find that their troubles were not isolated, and also, they could visit the capital, and see the Tsar himself. A man elevated to the position of a god in the simple peasant mind was suddenly just a man.
In 1914 World War I came. For the first time hundreds of thousands of peasant boys had military style weapons. Eventually the idea occurred to them; use them on the government, not the Germans.
In America, our president’s mystique is fading. Since the beginning of the recent scandals he has dropped significantly in public opinion polls. There was once a sign in the oval office that stated “The Buck Stops Here” now the president is being seen, as the Bill O’Reilly show said, as “The Bystander in Chief.”
People need leaders, someone to set the direction. Throughout the history of the middle ages, the people always tended to see the king as the one who would save them from corrupt officials, hence the final appeals to the king-or Caesar. Baron de Montesquieu, the man whom the founding fathers quoted more often than anyone other than the Scriptures stated that the king’s role should only be to pardon, never condemn, so that when he entered the courtroom the thrill would go through the crowd that justice would now be served.
In America, the people have found that, at the IRS, in the state department, and elsewhere, that justice has not been served. The cry began with “tell the Tsar.” That cry can quickly change to “down with the Tsar” if they think he is doing nothing about it. Those that promise to do something about it will quickly be on the road to the majority.

Andrew C. Abbott

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Price of Success

"Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” – Bill Gates

New Lisbon WI – By the end of the 1920s James Cash Penney owned 1,400 stores and was a part of the real estate and dairy business. In 1929 the stock market crashed. Broke, Penney owed 7,000,000 dollars in debt. With his health shattered, he was put into a sanitarium to die. He did not. Instead he recovered, paid off his debts, and rebuilt his money empire.
J. C. Penney stated: “It is a natural thing to want to succeed, but not all are willing to pay the price of success. Some folks have a wishbone instead of a backbone.”
It is not easy to be the richest man in the world. It is not easy to be the best at anything. If it was then being the best would have no meaning. Those that forge ahead, those that come first, those that take the risks no else wants to are the ones that are remembered, and they are the ones that make a difference.
But the price of success is high. That is why it is success, because you have overcome your obstacles. You must first rip your muscles in order to build them. Henry Ford, when he first began, failed. The Wright brothers tried many times before they were able to create a truly flying machine.
In the 1020s a young man attempted to go into business. He failed. He joined the army, but showed up late for the battle. He invented and patented a device, but could not get it commercialized. He ran for state legislature. He lost. One day however, he ran for president, and that was when he won. What would history have looked like if Abraham Lincoln had succeeded in business or inventing?
The cost of summiting the tallest mountains is very high, as is the failure rate. Many great men and women failed in the beginning, but a just man falls seven times and rises yet again.
Through His Strength We Will Conquer,
Andrew C. Abbott

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Detroit City or the Silicon Valley

La Crosse WI – Just a couple of years ago The Wall Street Journal’s headline banner read “GM Collapses into Government’s Arms.” The motor company, along with others, had gotten itself into too much trouble financially, and needed to be bailed out.
The now infamous “stimulus package” was supposed to save the failing companies, which were “too big to fail” from collapse. The bailout was supposed to save jobs. The General Motor Company once employed about 395,000 blue collar workers. As of 2012, they employ about 40,000.
Detroit just defaulted on a 2.5 billion dollar loan to avoid bankruptcy. The city is no longer the sprawling metropolis with massive factories turning out the new cars every few minutes as the entire world clamored for the new technology. Over 40 percent their revenue this year, according to Fox News, went to paying bond, pension, health care and other payments. If their current system were to continue, by 2017 they would be paying 65 percent of their revenues to creditors.
By July first the city’s deficit in the budget will be about 380 million. Their long term debt could be as much 17 billion dollars.
In the southern region of the San Francisco Bay area in Northern California, is a place called the Silicon Valley. Originally named after the silicon chips, it now has taken on a different meaning; many large technological corporations in the area, most of whom are rich beyond the dreams of avarice.
One of the companies is Apple Inc. In the years between 1986-97, the company began to decline. Instead of getting a stimulus or being bailed out, the company tried new products to keep their heads above water. Some of these were the iproducts.
If Apple had gotten a bailout, they would have had no reason to struggle to survive, and we may never have had the iPhone.
The first company Bill Gates and his friends started failed. But that first company, (Traft-O-Draft) got them into writing software for computers. If the first company had been stopped from failing, it is very likely Microsoft would never have gotten started.
These companies were not started by powerful trusts, they were started by kids. Kids who did not know that bad companies should be saved by the government, kids who forgot to sign up for their benefits. If their failures had been turned into successes, then we would all have lost out. When the government leaves the market alone the bad businesses die and the good ones make themselves better to survive. Who knows what would have happened if Detroit had been left alone? Perhaps we would have flying cars.

Andrew C. Abbott

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

America: do not write the obituary

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” – Benjamin Franklin

New Lisbon WI – The NSA leaker, hero or otherwise, from what we know currently, has done nothing worthy of execution. If he is extracted from where he is believed to be in Hong Kong, and tried in the US, he may be sentenced to life imprisonment, but even if he carries out that sentence, it will be in a nice cell, heated in the winter and cooled in the summer, with proper food. He will not be beaten or ordered not to talk; he will not be hung up by his hands for hours to reveal who helped him.
America is an exceptional nation. Throughout a deal of earth history we thought the solar system revolved around the earth. Sanitation was bad, rats lived with children. Famines were constant occurrences, there was almost no such thing as a stable nation. Millions died of unknown causes.
As for government, the cruelest president is kinder than the gentlest monarch. The absolute power they held over the lives of men was used often in cruel ways. To speak against the king was often to die. Freedom of speech was something most had never heard of. Justice was in the hands of those were strongest, if they did not feel like administering it, they did not.
But then came the great change. Suddenly it is not abnormal to live past 70 years of age. Now, health and cleanliness are valued. People can travel all over the world, we can find out instantly what is going on in Turkey.
Here, over 55 percent of those that live below the poverty line own two or more televisions. Over seventy percent of those below the poverty line have air conditioning. Compared to other nations, forty percent of all households in the nation of Sweden would be considered “in poverty” in the US.1
In America the internet began. In America man first flew in an airplane. In America freedom was experimented with for the first time on this level. In America we started building cars. In America a collage dropout like Bill Gates can become the richest man in the world. In America we have no Berlin Walls, in America we have no guillotines, and in America we have no department of propaganda. In America there are no kings. We do not need them, we decide for ourselves what we want.
At the supermarket, we decide what food we want, with our televisions we decide what we want to watch. We decide where to go to school, if we want to go at all, we decide what vocation to have or not have one at all. We can make most of the choices about how our life will turn out.
America, and American liberty, is built on trust:

“Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams

Unjust and dishonest societies must have more rules. That is because the people have made a demand for them by their behavior.
America can decide now if they want to continue the way they are currently going. It is up to them, it is the nation. But if they want government to change, they must change themselves first. America is not dead yet, but the people can kill it if they continue on. Those in government are really a part of the nation. And the nation must decide what it wants; freedom or slavery. They will be slaves if they cannot control themselves, for those who do not make chains for themselves will have chains made for them. Do not write the obituary yet for America, they can still choose freedom.

Andrew C. Abbott

Sunday, June 16, 2013

An American Snapshot

“Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” – George Washington

 Elroy WI – According to CNN News, 90 % of Americans do not trust the United States Congress. According to FOX News, only 23 % of Americans are feeling “Confident and proud” while 71 % are asking “Is this the best we can do?”
We are over 16,000,000,000,000 dollars in debt. On January 1st of the coming year, Obamacare, as the new individual mandate bill the president signed into law during his first term has come to be called, will take effect.
Americans recently learned that the NSA tracks many of their calls, even if it does not listen to them.
The president has assured us “nobody is listening to your phone calls” and has also stated that we cannot have both one hundred percent security and one hundred percent privacy. Benjamin Franklin warned “He that gives up liberty, to attain a little short term security, deserves neither liberty nor security, and will in the end attain neither.”
The IRS, it has been found, is targeting, or was targeting conservative groups. They also, it seems, spent millions of dollars on conferences for their employees.
In the Benghazi hearings we are finding that someone failed to do as they should have, costing us the lives of Americans.
People are losing faith and trust in the government. The government must survive on trust, but when it cannot trust its citizens, and when its citizens cannot trust it, they have to constantly watch each other. Then, we have 1984.
In 1949, four years after World War II ended, George Orwell published a book entitled 1984, a fictional story about a society that is always at war. “Liberty is slavery” “War is peace.” Someone, some great leader, runs it all, as the book coined the phrase “Big brother is watching you.”
The society lives in a state of perpetual war. Total oversight is on all fronts, there is no privacy.
In Orwell’s book, it all ends with the hero, Winston Smith, a onetime dissenter, being re-taught, to think like the opponents, like Big Brother would want him to.
Protests will not last forever; marching in circles with signs will grow tiring. The people, if they are not committed to the long struggle, not of weapons, but of words, if they are not prepared to fight, to struggle for their rights through all channels, in the courtroom, in the press, through leaflets, if they are not willing to stand and shout “I disagree” even when it means jail, then it will not change, because those who have set up the system do not want it to change. It is we who must demand change, and we must demand it now.
Through His Strength We Will Conquer,
Andrew C. Abbott

Friday, June 14, 2013

What the Government is

“Good man or bad, crazy or sane, Edward Snowden may be our best chance to find out something, probably only a little, about what these firms are actually doing in the name of We, the people.” –Richard Reeves, In the matter of Edward Snowden

New Lisbon WI – A government without a people is no government, but a people without a government are still a people.
The Scriptures state (Romans 13) that the civil government’s purpose is to reward the good and to punish the evil; to carry the sword as a terror to evil doers. They are to administer justice.
In 1776 our founding father realized that there was no longer any justice in the government of Great Britain over the colonies of America. Rather than sit an things would hope that things would become better, they petitioned, were rejected, then rebelled.
They revolted to “secure the blessing of liberty” for themselves and us. Some of them lost a great deal because of their actions. However, they did not simply bow to the king on the throne because he was the king on the throne. A position is only respected in as much as the one that holds it demands respect.
Just because a man is the president does not exempt him from being a part of We, the people. In fact he is to be the most honorable and upright of all the citizens. The president, not Walter Cronkite, should be the most trusted man in America.
If Edward Snowden was right in what he did, then he should be praised, and all those who lied to the public, and spied on the citizens of this nation, should be removed from office. If the government begins to act unjustly, then they begin to act like Julius Caesar, who set himself as total dictator over his nation. He crossed the Rubicon, the river that you may not cross and go back. A general who passed over that river with his army was at war with his people. Once it was crossed the civil war began.
We know what happened at the end of that civil war. Octavian became a dictator.

Through His Strength We Will Conquer,
Andrew C. Abbott

Thursday, June 13, 2013

“Where were you at that time?”

New Lisbon WI – Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Communist Party, was denouncing Stalin and his ways in a speech. He ranted about the evils of Stalin’s actions, and how the new regime would not be the same. As he spoke a note was handed to him, passed up from one of his listeners.  It asked “Where were you at that time?” Khrushchev looked around and said “Who wrote that? Please stand up.” No one moved. He waited. Then he said, “Very well, I was then where you are now."
Khrushchev, as First Secretary, did make changes to Russia during his time. The blood bath ended, political enemies were imprisoned rather than executed. Hunger strikes began working; openness became something that was not just a distant dream. Protesters were treated with more leniency. One dissenter went so far as to say that if Khrushchev had lived another ten years after being removed from office, he may have even joined the opposition.
But why did Khrushchev do nothing when Stalin was still alive? How many thousands or even millions would have been saved? He was then where we are now.
We are not in fear of our lives. In America, Edward Snowden has told us that we are all being spied on by our government. Snowden embarked, at the risk of his liberty and even possibly his safety to warn us about the governmental snooping that is taking place. He could have waited around, hoping someone else did it, and then in the end nothing would have gotten done. Nothing ever gets done when we all wait around.
Next to me I have a book entitled Secrets, by Daniel Ellsberg, the man who exposed the Pentagon Papers at the time of Vietnam. Ellsberg did not wait; he acted, although he almost ended up with an over 100 year prison sentence.
Well, Snowden has told us what is happening. When we found out that Nixon had spied on one political opponent he was forced out of office. If the nation had waited around then, nothing would have gotten done.
Our constitution, according to the Supreme Court, guarantees us the right to privacy. According to speeches, media broadcasts, and press releases in recent days, Americans have lost that fundamental right in most cases. America has a choice, of course. They can sit around and hope someone else does something about it; that is a sure way to be certain nothing gets done. Or they could do what has gone on all throughout history, protest peacefully. That too is a right guaranteed by the constitution, but if we do not use to protect our other rights, we may lose that one as well.
Americans now know what is going on; Snowden risked his safety to tell us. In fifty years the history books will talk about this. The question that will be asked by our children will be “Where were you at that time?”

Andrew C. Abbott

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How to Rob a Bank

"The best way to rob a bank is to own one.” –Niall Ferguson, The Ascent of Money
New Lisbon WI –  As I recall, Robert Kiyosaki, in his bestselling book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, recounts a story from his childhood. He was told he needed to make money. So he and a friend collected aluminum toothpaste containers to cut nickels out of. An adult had to explain to Kiyosaki that he could not make his own money.
Money implies trust. Trust that the one who issued it will back it; trust that the one whose goods you want will accept the money as currency. That is why we do not all have our own system of money, because nobody trusts us.
When we take our money to the bank, we trust the bank to hold our deposit, and we trust that that deposit will be there when we want it. Many think their money is held in the bank. It is not, it is loaned out, and that is why we make interest on it. However, more money is loaned than exists, this is known as fractional reserve banking, and that is why we have bank runs.
To use a simple Harvard money game:
Suppose you put 100 $ in the bank. To make it easy, we will also suppose that they are required to hold a 10th of your deposit in their vaults. Thus another 90 $ can be loaned out. The person who takes this loan will put it in the bank, or they will spend it and the company will put it in the bank. However, the 90 $ in the bank is loaned out again, this time 81 dollars because they must also hold a 10th of this new deposit. By the time the third bank lends out the money, 271 $ are in circulation, when in reality only 100 $ exists-yours.
Suppose, for some reason, you want to draw out that money. To pay you back, the bank has to call in the 90 $ loan. But since that money was also lent out, the third bank must call in the 81 $ loan, assuming it goes no farther, two banks at least will either have to default or pay out, causing bankruptcy for their clients. That is why bank runs happen, because everybody wants their money before somebody else gets it. The only way to keep it all running is to be sure not everybody wants their money at the same time.
The government, having promised loan security, must pay the depositors whose money never existed, who had deposited pre-lent money. To do this the government must print more money. When there is too much money everybody knows what happens, simply, we lost our trust. Since trust it the only thing it is all built on, the best way to rob a bank is make it lose its trust by over lending. The only way to over lend, is if you own the bank. So the best way to rob a bank is to own one. But you are not just robbing one bank, you are robbing all of them of their trust. That is a recipe for a Great Depression.

Andrew C. Abbott

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Power of the Press

“The London Times is one of the greatest powers in the world. In fact, I don’t know of anything that has more power.”- Abraham Lincoln.1

Elroy WI – The Press has been called, in America, the fourth branch of government. It is they whose goodwill is sought by political candidates, and without whose coverage your loss is almost a foregone conclusion. As reflected is the above quote by Lincoln, for many years the London Times held sway over their nation’s public opinion like no other.
It was Horace Greeley, a Columnist, who gave the great push to the Gold Rush with his famous statement “Go West, young man, Go West.” The press reported the horrors of British hospitals, and Florence Nightingale came to the rescue, the press told us of horrors in Russian prisons, we protested, and then we tore down their wall.
Today the press is the modem that tells us an epidemic has broken out or that Chrysler is recalling cars. And now, it is the paper the Guardian that has suddenly alerted the world that the United States Government is “snooping” in millions of phone calls, and now it is the press that tells us they are also snooping into AOL, Google, Facebook, and others.
It was the media that told us that IRS was wasting millions and targeting right wingers. It was the media that told us that in the Benghazi Scandals the government was not telling us the truth.
It is the media that shapes our opinions. In the book In Search of History, Theodore White, China correspondent for Time magazine, explains that Luce, the founder and president of Time, Life, and Fortune magazines,  nearly singlehandedly turned public opinion in America towards China at the time of World War II, giving support to Chiang Kai-shek.
In nations without freedom, it will be the press who must pay for it. That is why nations like Iran must have official news networks, to tell the people the government’s version of events. Russia had the same thing, North Korea has it now.
Liberty dies behind closed doors. Tyranny dies in front of open ones. Bad guys like to act in secret, it is their way. Men with clear consciences have no problem with everyone knowing what they are doing. It is the tyrants that must hide. They are afraid that if the light falls on them the people will see the truth, and the truth will make the people free of their oppression.
When the press, the media, is shut down by the regimes of communist nations, they lose their certainty in what is going on, the stories, because they are the official version, are unreliable. The people know they are being lied to, they are not ignorant, and so they turn to other news agencies. In To Build a Castle, Vladimir Bukovsky tells us that after hearing the governmental lies, they would then tune into ours and the British newscasts to find out truth. What will we do when we the West no longer have the right of the press?
“All power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Lord Acton taught us that. The power of the press is almost absolute when it comes to shaping ideas. The other ways of changing ideas, writing books, making films, and giving speeches, come from those who have a way with words, the best with words tend to be journalists. If the press can be censored, it will give an almost absolute power to the one who does it.

Andrew C. Abbott

1: Reports from America, pp. 49, 2001.



Monday, June 10, 2013

To Build a Castle

“Why should I do it? Asks each man in the crowd, and they are all lost.
"If I don’t do it, who will?” asks the man with his back to the wall. And everyone is saved.
That is how a man begins building his castle. - Vladimir Bukovsky

New Lisbon WI – Vladimir Bukovsky grew up under the shadow of Stalin. When he was a small boy, his friends beat up a Jew because Jews had tried to assassinate Stalin. At seventeen, a group of his friends started a literary magazine. The regime chose to view it as subversive, and he was suspended from school. Angry, he decided to fight back.
Writing complaints, making speeches, and holding public poetry readings of banned or censored poets; he soon had the KGB on his tail. He was jailed, spending much of his adult life, in prison, work camps, and mental hospitals. He was called insane and a psychopath, diagnosed as such, and locked away for long periods of time.
The KGB were such a part of his life that the agents that were detailed to follow him would hold his spot in line for him at the bakery. If it was late and the tobacco shops were closed, they would bum cigarettes from each other. If he gave them the slip too many times they would be sacked and a new group would follow him and beat him up occasionally.
To keep his sanity, while in long periods of solitary confinement, he would draw castles on the walls of his cell, and imagine he lived there, hence the title of his memoir To Build a Castle.
The government controlled every part of his life in a very real way. There was nothing he could do easily. You want your roof fixed? It might take three years. You want to leave the country? Forget it. They told you where and how to work. What you could buy, where you could live.

“And so there you have a symbolic picture of our glorious motherland! An enormous madhouse, where everything is looted down to the last rotten spud; where the whole shebang is run by a handful of the “sane;”

Bukovsky explains to us that when the children are young they are taken off to the schools, which teach them to worship at the feet of men like Stalin. They are told of the glories of Communism, of the wealth that shared farming brings, of the wisdom of the central planners. But eventually, in time, some begin to question, to wonder if it is all really as they it is. Those that speak out are given a talking to, if they keep quiet, then good. Only one in ten thousand need be knocked off to make others shut up. Even then, Bukovsky estimates that, in his time, a third of Russian citizens would in some way or other do time in camps, prisons, or mental hospitals.
A society built on silence, fear, and secrecy. Everybody has secret doubts, but the machine crushes you if you voice them. Russia is not a special nation on the face of the earth, what happened there can happen elsewhere. Ronald Reagan taught us that liberty “is always only one generation away from extinction.”
In Russia, only some phones were bugged, we find out from our president that the majority of our calls are being monitored. We do not have KGB officials following us around, but our Facebook pages are being accessed.
Bukovsky won, in the end, his war with the system; they had to kick him out because they could not tame him. They are afraid of the ones they cannot tame. The ones who look at the “authority” and say, without raising their voice, “no.” They do not shout, they do not need to, they just say no. Every time someone says no it makes the enemy weaker by one person. If they have three hundred million they lose on three hundred millions of their power. Every time someone refuses to be frightened by a bully with a night stick they lose power. Every time someone protests peacefully they lose power. Power is all they have, and fear their only mechanism for holding it.
The Berlin wall did come down, Bukovsky in the end did leave his country. Even if by protesting you are unable to change them, you will at least keep them from changing you.

Andrew C. Abbott

Friday, June 7, 2013

The God Complex: Belief

New Lisbon, Wisconsin– My article yesterday was, for the most part, the atheistic, or at least agnostic, (someone who is not sure if a God exists) idea, that God, since he allows evil, cannot be good.
However, the problem that is presented is somewhat like one presented by a theologian a number of years ago. While on a train, he saw a small child who was sitting on his father’s lap reach up and slap his father across the face. The theologian said “That is what the atheist is, a child who must sit in the lap of God, so that he may reach up and slap Him in the face.”
In other words, what right does the atheist have to say that God allows evil, if he does not believe God when he states what evil is? He must sit on the lap of God, accepting His definition of evil, to be able to say that God is evil, in other words, to slap Him across the face.
The atheist or agnostic may respond that he has instituted his own definition of evil. He has not, if it is his definition of evil, in other words a personal definition, then it must remain that: a personal definition. A personal definition cannot be enforced upon others; the atheist thus has no right to say that anyone else is committing evil; according to his definition he is the only one in the world that can be evil.
It is God that defines good and evil. God is goodness personified, thus everything He does must be by definition good because He decides what good is. The fact that mankind has stepped on to the tracks, if you will, does not change the goodness of God. To define good we must be upheld by God, in His lap, as it were. His system must be accepted, the only way to argue against Christianity is to first assume Christianity. “The proof for God is that without God you cannot prove anything,”1
The final response would be that nothing has meaning, that there is no need to prove anything, that we do not need to believe in anything, that we do not need logic. The very words that must be used only have meaning if something has given them meaning. If nothing has meaning, you cannot argue that nothing has meaning. To say that you can is to reject logic.
If a man rejects logic, then he does not reject logic. Because if he is being illogical, then we can say anything we want because nothing has any meaning. To say that we can reject logic is to assume that there is a logical difference between rejecting and accepting logic. Thus again we have first assumed logic, on which Christianity is built, to argue against logic. Yes indeed, we can only slap the father if we are first sitting in his lap.

Andrew C. Abbott
1: Dr. Gregory Bahnsen

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The God Complex: Atheism

Galesville Wisconsin – One of the truths that used to be, for the wide majority of Westerners at least, self-evident, was the fact that a God existed. However, that seems to be changing, as according to GlobalPost, only 51 percent of those that live in the 27 countries in the European Union believe in God, when asked in a survey conducted in 2010.
The state of the church in the West, once the great and powerful bastion of faith, has been weakened severely over recent decades.
However, although atheism or agnosticism may be more wide spread today, there have always been those who did not believe a God existed. Even the famous philosopher Socrates, although he came to final belief in the gods of the Greek pantheon before he died, struggled with the existence of a higher being.
A common argument of the Atheist is that because they cannot see God, they do not believe in Him. However, that is not the question for which men such as Charles Templeton, a pastor and friend of Billy Graham, abandoned God. It is often easy for the Christian to give answers to the non-believer; it is difficult for the Christian to give answers to the believer.
If the truth of the Scriptures is accepted, then the question that is raised, that must be raised-is why?
If, in the beginning God created the earth, then why did He let it go the way it did?
The response is that God let man fall because if He had forced Adam to obey Him, if he had not given the human the power to sin, then it would have been forced love, and so thus not true love. As God is good, he must give man a choice.
The questioner replies: “I do not want my children’s love for me to be forced, and so I do not manhandle them when I tell them to do something, I want them to obey because they love me. However, if my child is going to step in front of a freight train, do I let him do so because I do not want his love to be forced? Am I a good parent if I do so? Who would say that I am if I allow such a thing? Certainly not those who say that God was good in letting Adam sin.
If the child steps on to the tracks, his body will be mangled, destroyed, and bloodied. We could look at the bloody corpse, and see the wounds that the “good” parent allowed to be inflicted. Man has, if the Scriptures are true, the questioner will state, stepped onto the tracks, and he has been mangled. War, death destruction. Thousands of men die every day. Every second a human being dies.
We see the child dying of starvation, the man dying from his beatings, and the senseless killings in places like Syria. Evil institutions such as slavery. The murder, the rapes, the shooting of innocent children by mentally deranged, all is a statement of the pain of mankind. Even the book of Ecclesiastes states that it is better to never have been born than to live at all.
Even among God’s own people, the ones who are to be blessed for their obedience, suffer. The greatest of them, St. Paul, was beheaded. Peter was crucified, Stephen was stoned. They have suffered all throughout history. And even the perfect one, Jesus Christ, was still hated, despised, and crucified."
Sorrow and pain and weakness and hunger are the life that man lives. Sickness and illness and suffering, all are the human experience. Why, the questioner, the hurting human, asks, did our “good” God allow such things? Why did he let us step onto the tracks? In this man’s mind, the only words God deserves to hear are not those of praise but rather the groaning of mankind.
It is neither a crime nor a sin to ask why. Even our Savior did it while on the cross. “My God, my God, why...?” The question is an easy and logical one for the poor child who lays struck down on the tracks. He is not stating that he was perfect; he is questioning the perfection of the one who let him step onto the tracks. If God is imperfect, He does not exist. I do not agree with the questioner.
The question is an easy one to ask, yet so much harder to answer. It will merit another article.

Andrew C. Abbott

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


"The proof that God exists is that without Him you cannot prove anything." - Dr. Gregory Bahnsen

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Galesville Wisconsin – Everyone has a lot to say about government, modern America, and how we will, in the near future, face some sort of cataclysm. Reading the news one would think that the whole nation believes that the other half is corrupt.
Next to me I have two books, Worse than Watergate, by John Dean on the Bush Administration, a book likening Bush to some sort of despot who was attempting create his own empire and another called Surrender, by Bruce Bawar, a book that states that the News Media constantly lies to us, and then he tells us when they lied and what happened to them for it.
As I write the FoxNews Website headline states that the DOJ is covering up something, then states what that something is that they were ‘covering up,’ while a sidebar ad sports a picture of the president, encouraging us to vote on whether we think he had something to hide.
Salem Kirban in the 1970s wrote books about America and the rest of the world, claiming that it was all going to fall apart any day, and that the system was no good, so we had all better run for our lives before the stones fell on our heads. Interestingly enough about Kirban, he did not run, he continued to live in society, so far as I know he took payment for his books in Federal Reserve Notes. Kirban would have been shocked had he been told that people were taking up arms to march on Washington in response to his writings; he would have defamed them as too ignorant to understand what he was saying.
Often “progressives” and radicals have their rallies and their marches, and in so doing they join the system’s unsuitable appetite for celebrities. They soon join what they fight, simply through the act of fighting it.
Mankind wants to believe in the system, like an indisputable law of nature. It is comforting to know we are a part of something larger, something grander. If we do not care for which way the system is going or if it is not meeting all of our needs respectively, then we bawl, and complain that the system is not working.
However, belief is the natural state of mankind. For the common man, unbelief is an incidental accident. He does not long remain there. He may write an article about our monetary system, and even say that it not only does not work but that it cannot work, but then he will be paid for that article with Federal Reserve Notes.
I have read books criticizing government agencies for making it difficult to criticize them. This is of course interesting, since the book just did. Many times A will tell B to stop talking and taking away A’s write to free speech. There are genuine problems with the system. However, the system that Americans often complain about is the system that is not working for them. Not objectively, but subjectively.

Andrew C. Abbott

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Power of Planning

“If you do the things you ought to do when you ought to do them, you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them.” – Zig Ziglar, author of Top Performance.

In the Harvard graduating class of 1950 the students were asked how many of them had written out their goals for life. Two percent had done so, ninety-eight percent had not. Thirty years later the students were followed up on. The two percent were doing better in the only way the testers could measure, with money, than the other ninety-eight percent combined. It was found that this two percent had not had more advantages than their colleagues, ( i.e. inheritance, high IQ, etc.) Rather, the test found that the reason for their success was because they had planned to be successful, and had written out their goals.
It will be found by a student of history that the mot successful movements for cultural change or advancement in any field have from highly planed movements and organizations. When the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Bradford warned that if they did not plan out their system of how their laws would govern them they would fail, and fail miserably. Hence the Mayflower Compact.
Movements that accomplished anything, from the Protestant Reformation with its many documents to the American Revolution with it Declaration or even the Occupy Wall Street crowd all laid out their goals.

 The late Howard Phillips, founder of the Conservative Caucus, would often state "If you don't know where you are going, any train will get you there." Leaders are those who can plan out courses of action for the future while those ho do not must choose someone else plan to follow.
Men such as Carl Marx and his associate and author of the Communist Manifesto, Fredrich Engles were men who wanted to get somewhere, and so they wrote out their plans and then they acted.
Goals, destinations on a road map, are something not just America but the world need more of. We can have millions of people ready to help with progress, but unless they know what to progress towards they will not get very much done.
When you get into a car the GPS begins by saying "Calculating Route." Only a broken one would say that forever. It is the same with a leader.

Andrew C. Abbott