Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
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Margaret Thatcher was a powerful voice for free enterprise and liberty
Arthur C. Brooks, AEI Ideas

Mrs. Thatcher was a political pugilist, but she fought for the ideas of freedom and human liberty.

Leadership as Stewardship
Albert Mohler

Christian leaders are called to convictional leadership, and that means leadership that is defined by beliefs that are transformed into corporate action.

What the Left Misunderstands about Poverty and Dependency
David Azerrad, The Foundry

Is the choice really only between government help or callous indifference to the plight of others? Or is there a difference between “government assistance” and “government dependency”?

British Christians fed up with ‘coarse, sneering’ mockery of Christianity
Hillary White, LifeSiteNews

Snn Widdecombe, a former Conservative Party MP and social commentator, has written in the Daily Telegraph that British people are fed up with the increasingly unfunny and hateful barbs against Christianity in comedy programs.

Rooted & GroundedChristian’s Library Press has released Rooted & Grounded by Abraham Kuyper. This short volume includes first-ever translated sermons by Kuyper showing his passion to the church. While he’s well known for his writings on theology and common grace, this book demonstrates Kuyper’s enthusiasm for the church as well. In his seminal sermon, included in this volume, Kuyper outlines the basic distinction and connection between his conception of the church as institution and the church as organism, a view which became formative for neo-Calvinist reflection on the church and society.

In his endorsement for the book, Stephen Grabill, senior research scholar at Acton Institute says:
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The best show on TV over the past five years has, in my not-so-humble-opinion, been AMC’s Breaking Bad. This is one over-hyped show that lives up to all of it (and more). .

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While the on-air sage of Walter White concludes this summer, Breaking Bad‘s pop-culture legacy may take a back-seat to it’s legislative and fiscal ones.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez signed into law Thursday the state’s “Breaking Bad” bill, which will increase subsidies on film and TV productions shot in the state now famous for the AMC drama.

The law increases New Mexico’s rebate for series television production to 30 percent of a producer’s total qualified spend in the state. Feature films will get 30 percent back on resident labor if using a qualified production facility. They will also get 25 percent back on all other expenses. In addition, a roll-over of $10 million in unused credits per fiscal year will be allowed.

The news comes after Martinez, a Republican who previously has tried to rein in production subsidies, vetoed the bill March 15. The state previously offered a 25 percent tax refund on qualifying productions, with a cap of $50 million per year. Martinez put the cap in place in 2011, with members of the film and TV industry blaming it for a drop in New Mexico productions.

As a recent transplant to Los Angeles with many friends currently working at various levels of the entertainment industry, I’ve seen and heard about the effects of studios taking their film and television projects to other states (and countries) first-hand. (more…)

1. “Pennies don’t fall from heaven, they have to be earned here on earth.” (Speech at Lord Mayor’s Banquet, 11/12/79)

2. “If a Tory does not believe that private property is one of the main bulwarks of individual freedom, then he had better become a socialist and have done with it.” (Article for Daily Telegraph, “My Kind of Tory Party,” 01/30/1975)

margaret-thatcher-43. “I came to office with one deliberate intent: to change Britain from a dependent to a self-reliant society – from a give-it-to-me to a do-it-yourself nation. A get-up-and-go, instead of a sit-back-and-wait-for-it Britain.” (Speech, 1984)

4. “My policies are based not on some economics theory, but on things I and millions like me were brought up with: an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay; live within your means; put by a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time; support the police.” (The News of the World, 9/20/81)

5. “The choice facing the nation is between two totally different ways of life. And what a prize we have to fight for: no less than the chance to banish from our land the dark, divisive clouds of Marxist socialism and bring together men and women from all walks of life who share a belief in freedom.” (Speech, 1983)
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photo courtesy of Atlantic Wire

photo courtesy of Atlantic Wire

In 1968, Margaret Thatcher, then a member of the Shadow Cabinet as a junior minister of Great Britain, gave a speech entitled, What’s Wrong With Politics? Despite that fact that the speech is now 45 years old, it is as relevant today as then – in some unfortunate ways. Here are some excerpts.

[T]he extensive and all-pervading development of the welfare state is also comparatively new, not only here but in other countries as well. You will recollect that one of the four great freedoms in President Roosevelt’s wartime declaration was ‘freedom from want.’ Since then in the Western world there has been a series of measures designed to give greater security. I think it would be true to say that there is no longer a struggle to achieve a basic security. Further, we have a complete new generation whose whole life has been lived against the background of the welfare state. These developments must have had a great effect on the outlook and approach of our people even if we cannot yet assess it properly.

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On October 5, 2011, Acton welcomed John Blundell, Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs, to deliver a lecture as part of the 2011 Acton Lecture Series. His address was entitled “Lessons from Margaret Thatcher,” and provided insight into the Iron Lady from a man who had known Thatcher well before she became the Prime Minister of Great Britain. You can watch his lecture below.

Brian Burrough has a mostly enjoyable New York Times review of a book that’s mostly positive about my native state’s mostly small-government formula for economic growth. Some excerpts:

Ms. Grieder, a onetime correspondent for The Economist who now works at Texas Monthly, and a Texan herself, has written a smart little book that … explains why the Texas economy is thriving. It’s called “Big, Hot, Cheap and Right: What America Can Learn from the Strange Genius of Texas”….

What might be copied, Ms. Grieder indicates, is the so-called Texas model — that is, a weak state government with few taxes and fewer regulations and services. It would be far harder to replicate the state’s civic DNA, which features traits that can be traced to its decade, beginning in 1836, as a stand-alone nation (independent, suspicious of Washington), the late-1800s cowboy era (self-reliant, fraternal) and the 20th-century introduction of oil and entrepreneurialism (pro-business, skeptical of government)….

Outside writers have been regularly caricaturing the state since the novelist Edna Ferber introduced America to postwar Texas with “Giant” in 1952. The canon ranges from “The Super-Americans,” by John Bainbridge (1961), to “As Texas Goes … : How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda,” by Gail Collins, a New York Times columnist (2012). Ms. Grieder’s is the rare book that takes stock of the Texas model without ridiculing many of its traditions and politicians.

My one concern is that the book’s author seems enamored of Gov. Rick Perry’s crony capitalist strategy of using subsidies to attract companies to the Lone Star State, a habit that is anything but small government and likely to come back to bite. On the whole, though, the book and the book review appear to give far more props to low taxes and limited government than I thought possible for a work endorsed in the pages of The New York Times. Maybe there’s hope for those city slickers after all.