Fundamental Astuteness

The Essence of Astuteness: Non-Partisan Intellectual Honesty

Archive for the ‘People of Note’ Category

Great Quotes: Ludwig Von Mises

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The aforementioned individual was a widely acclaimed economist and political philsopher of his time. Born in 1881 in what is now Liviv, Ukraine, he became a great leader in the classical liberal movement and in advancing the Austrian School of Economic though (libertarianism and extremely laissez faire economics, respectively). Justifying his opinion that government ought not to be in the business of protecting people from their own foolishness, he opined in his great book Human Action, as follows:
Opium and morphine are certainly dangerous and habit forming drugs. But once a principle is admitted that it is the duty of government to protect the individual against his own foolishness, no serious objections can be advanced against further encroachments. A good case could be made out in favor of the prohibition of alcohol and nicotine. And why limit the government’s benevolent providence to the protection of the individual’s body only? Is not the harm a man can inflict on his mind and soul even more disastrous than bodily evils? Why not prevent him from reading bad books and seeing bad plays, from looking at bad paintings and statues and from hearing bad music?

The passage struck a chord with for the same reason it did for the great skeptic and libertarian Michael Shermer, who said of the passage that it  “…resonated with me because his analogue from the physical to the ideological is so effective in conveying the central message of freedom and liberty[.]”

On Obama and Taxes

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My good friend Will Simpson over at Will’s Perspective wrote a fantastic article on Obama’s tax plans (note the plural) this morning. The excerpt below will lead you to his post:

A preface on tax cuts:  Congress writes them, not the president.  Anyone want to take a  wager on how likely Democrats in Congress are to cut taxes for anyone?  Major Garrett of FoxNews is beginning to refer to potential problems for John McCain from an unlikely issue: taxes.  Apparently, the American people are beginning to believe the propoganda from the Obama campaign about taxes, while factcheck.org is criticizing McCain claims and the new, post-partisan, positive Obama campaign perpetually calls McCain the “sleaziest, most dishonest campaign in American history.”  Yes, those are the words repeatedly used.

Here’s the facts:

1) Obama’s on his third tax plan….(continue reading here)

Written by Astuteness

September 17, 2008 at 12:42 pm

BornAliveTruth.org…Check it out today

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Someday I should write an essay on an introduction to pro-life apologetics, or, how to defend the pro-life view using science, logic, and observation.

If I ever get into politics, abortion will become my number one issue. Millions of innocent lives are at stake. My passion against abortion really took off when I saw a lecture by pro-life apologist Scott Klusendorf. In his 2 hour lecture, he outlines several cogent scientific and logical reasons to believe that life begins at conception, and his presentation totally blew his opponents argumennts out of the water.

Then I did some reading on my own, and was stunned to read the story of Gianna Jesson, an abortion survivor who goes around the country now speaking for the pro life cause. Abortion survivor? I didn’t know there was such a thing, but my discovery that there are motivates me all the more, and makes me wonder all the more how politicians can talk about a woman’s “right” to an abortion with a straight face.

I watched some videos of Gianna Jesson on youtube and was moved by what I saw. Hopefully someday someone will make a documentary of her story for the world to see on the screen, but until then, I was really pleased to find this TV ad that will be airing in a few states as the presidential campaigns head for the home stretch.

Be sure to check out the 527 website sponsoring the ad, BornAliveTruth.org

Written by Astuteness

September 16, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Astuteness in Filmaking: John Moore and David Heustis

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Part of astuteness is realizing that media communication is poweful. Americans are spending more and more time plugged into ipods and glued to the tube. Thus, part of any plan to influence the culture in a christian fashion will include using the medium of film to spread the Christian message and present the astute, biblical worldview in a cogent fashion.

With that in mind, I’m pleased to present the latest from John Moore and David Heustis–two young Chrisitian young men who understand the necessity of spreading the Chrisitian worldview through the medium of film and have been a rising item of notice in the Christian Filmakers movement, as begun by Doug Phillips of the Vision Forum.

I first met John Moore at the 2006 San Antonio Independent Christian Filmakers Academy in San Antonio, Texas, and later caught up again with both he and his associated, David Heustis, at a local film showing. Both of them have a passion for glorifying God in all they say and do, as is quite evident by their blog.

And now, the latest from HeuMoore Productions:

Dear Friends,

Our latest project, ‘The Widow’s Might’ is now in preproduction, and very soon we’ll be in full swing with the filming process. Now is the time for you to support this project!

Our last film, ‘Heartstrings’, was a tremendous hit… We marvel at God’s richness in provision for us in that film, and the way it is touching lives. In just a few short months, Heartstrings won the prestigious Audience Choice award at the largest Christian Film Festival in the world, and has become the second highest rated film on all of ChristianBook.com; competing against 6,200 other films.

Now, HeuMoore is gearing up for it’s biggest, most powerful film yet; The Widow’s Might. Another adventure in the lives of the Siblings cast, The Widow’s Might tells an important and touching story about an elderly Widow, and several families defending her most cherished earthly treasure. WidowsMightTheMovie.com has a short promotional teaser with some facts about the film.
The Widow’s Might is too big for us to do alone;

we need your help!

Stay informed!Go to WidowsMightTheMovie.com, and sign up for email updates. We need a solid email base of supporters, and we want you to be a part of the movement!

Recruit!Get 10 of your friends or family to sign up on the email list, and tell them about our success with Heartstrings. Forward this email to everyone in your inbox, and post this information on your blog!

Support!The cost of feature film productions is high, but you can support The Widow’s Might by purchasing the Heartstrings DVD. Father’s Day is coming soon, and Heartstrings is not only a great film for your family, but is the perfect gift choice, with meaning and power. Order it Here. HeartstringsTheMovie.com

Be a Leader,

and help your friends reach their ten; the power of word-of-mouth is astounding, and is the key to reaching the world with messages of hope found in Christian films. It is only a small inconvenience, but does a tremendous service to us as filmmakers.

Be a part of this movement toward God honoring films. The industry can only thrive with your support!

Thank you!

~ In Christ, John.

 

 

 

These two young men have produced three, and soon, four, feature length movies that are of ever increasing quality. I could try to give a biography detailing their journey, but it would be in vain compared to the writing style John Moore untilizes on his blog Life, By John, which I heartily recommend to your reading from start to finish.  

Their features, films, and shorts can be seen here

Written by Astuteness

May 8, 2008 at 8:16 pm

The BlogRoll exchange: Special Thanks Goes To…

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Special thanks to Brian of The BrianFactor for linking me up to his blog. He has commented on this blog before in this post. Brian is an acomplished speaker and debater from the highschool NCFCA speech and debate league. His description is as follows:

I’m a high school student taking classes at my Austin Community College. It was a Texas Government class that got me started. Prior to this class, I have been interested in science, research, apologetics, and government. I was the Texas state champion in Lincoln Douglas Value Debate and my region’s champion in Extemporaneous (current events) speaking for my league, NCFCA. I hope to use the experience this has given me in communication and research to show others what the facts really are in my blog: The Brian FACTor.

I hope you enjoy reading his blog here.

Edit: Special thanks also to the following blogs for linkage:

The Ron Paul Revolution

Wills Perspective

Fear is Tyranny

 

Written by Astuteness

April 27, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Congress’ April fools joke on the Oil Executives

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Yesterday, congress grilled the 5 top oil executives, hoping they would explain why energy prices are so high, and why consumer appreciation is so low.

During the hearings, the usual attitudes were prevalent: Greedy business people exploit the middle class for their own profit, and government needs to do something about it. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver reminded the nation’s top 5 oil executives that “The anger level is rising significantly.” edward-markey.jpgRepresentative Edward Markey of Massachusetts stated that: “On April Fool’s Day, the biggest joke of all is being played on American families by Big Oil,”

Here is the real story behind April Fools that congress doesn’t know: That the government had more to do with creating the energy problem than they do with solving it. Why? Because the government, insisting on protecting the environment based on the flimsy evidence from the global warming movement, taxes gas per gallon. It was $.32 a gallon last time I checked. That raises the cost of gas by so much for all of us. If the government would stop taxing gasoline, gas would be about $2.80 a gallon. That would be a good start.

On top of that, the government keeps oil companies off limits to the multi-billion barrel oil reserve in Alaska and 85% of our coastal drilling opportunities, again in the name of protecting the environment. So instead we have to buy oil from overseas: mid-east-oil-001.jpgCanada, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, etc, just to name a few. That drives up costs even more, since we have to pay for not just the cost of drilling the oil, but also for the shipping from around the world as it reaches our ports. If the government would allow us to drill our own oil more, that would lower our prices here at the pump. That’s because a basic law of economics states that the more you have of a thing, the less it costs. Take shoes, for example: People in this country used to be hard pressed to afford a good pair of shoes. They were hard to make and very expensive. Yet, as the production of shoes streamlined, they became more plentiful, and thus, cheaper overall.

The idea of production brings me to another aspect of April Fools folly–Refineries. It is reported that since the late 1970’s, the Federal Government has not let a single new refinery be built in the United States. That means that as ours wear out, we must have more and more of our fuel refined elsewhere. In foreign countries (So much for democrats promises to keep jobs in the United States) To cover the costs of shipping to the foreign country and back, prices at the pump must be raised. Surely with all the digital technology, we could find ways to vastly improve our refining process by using updated computers and sensors to make the process more precise and efficient. But the politicians won’t let us do it. So the people scream louder, and the politicians point the finger more at the Executives, reminding everyone of the “record profit” that the oil companies made last year.

Which brings me to one last point: We in America need a new attitude on rich people. The media, along with select classes of politicians, portray the American CEO as a greedy, conniving, impostor who seizes and exploits poor people’s resources for his own benefit. But this characterization is improper for two reasons:

First, businesses depend on us for our voluntary cooperation. They can’t use force. Only government can. For a business to succeed, the people must be willing to buy his products at the price he asks. It is only when the people do this that the CEO can succeed. Thus, any success a business has depends on the consumer. If the consumer caused the company to succeed, and to make evil profits, then what logical role does the federal government play in causing them to “not succeed”?

Secondly, we need rich people. They provide employment for all kinds of folks. Yet that was only possible by letting them make a profit so that they could have money left over to hire us. For providing jobs to untold millions, don’t CEO’s deserve to be highly compensated? Why should companies be investigated and punished if the people voluntarily decide to buy their wares? No one is forcing people to buy gas or oil, so neither should the government use force in return, whether it be in new regulation, taxes, or price ceilings.

CEO pay could be ‘worse’. George Mason University Economist Walter Williams put it well:

“When Jack Welch became General Electric’s CEO in 1981, the company was worth about $14 billion. Through hiring and firing, buying and selling decisions, Welch turned the company around and when he retired 20 years later, GE was worth nearly $500 billion. What’s a CEO worth for such an achievement? If Welch was paid a measly one-half of a percent of GE’s increase in value, his total compensation would have come to nearly $2.5 billion, instead of the few hundred million that he actually received.” 

oil-well-01.jpgIf government would get out of the way, let us drill our own oil, and refine our own fuel, costs could be cut, (since we wouldn’t have to pay for the shipping from foreign countries) and jobs would be created (since we would be doing our own drilling and refining). With the increased supply of fuel in the market, prices could be reduced. But I bet it won’t happen soon.

Why?

Because government bureaucrats know best.

Especially on April Fools Day.

Written by Astuteness

April 3, 2008 at 11:00 am

Voddie Baucham: “Why I choose to believe the Bible”–Fundamental Astuteness on Christian Apologetics, parts 5 & 6

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“Is that your final answer? I hope its not. voddie-baucham.jpgLet me give you an answer to that question that I believe is better than ‘I was raised that way’ or its better than “Well I’m Southern Baptist and that’s the way we believe’ or its better than “I tried it, and it worked for me” Let me tell you why I choose to believe the Bible. I don’t believe the Bible because I was raised that way—because I wasn’t. I don’t choose to believe the Bible because I tried it and it worked for me. My mother’s Buddhism worked for her—that’s why she was a Buddhist! I need something more than just ‘because it works’. Here’s the answer—I’ll give it to you and unpack it for you:

I choose to believe the Bible because it is a reliable collection of historical documents written down by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses. They report [of] supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific prophecies and claimed that their writing are divine rather than human in origin.”

 

 

Part 5:

Part 6:

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March 17, 2008 at 8:32 am