Archive from November, 2006
17 Nov
2006
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Senate Confirms FCC Chairman Martin for Another Term

The Senate voted late last night to confirm Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin for another five-year term at the agency.
Martin, a Republican, joined the commission in July 2001 and became chairman in March 2005, after Michael K. Powell resigned as chairman and left the FCC.
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee unanimously approved Martin’s nomination in September.
The FCC, which regulates the telecommunications industry, is expected to address a number of contentious issues under Martin’s leadership, including new media ownership rules and a potential overhaul of the fund that subsidizes rural telephone service.
The five-member commission currently has three Republicans and two Democrats.

Who needs Congress when we have the FCC!

17 Nov
2006
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If only we could all hold down multiple 6-figure jobs…

The New York Times has details today on some of the second jobs city council members hold and the salaries they earn at them – some of them are earning six-figure salaries at their other jobs.

If the City Council wants to vote themselves a 25% raise, they need to at least show their dedication to the city by dropping the moonlighting exemption.

17 Nov
2006
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Where’s the press release from the City Council?

The City Council has gotten into a nice little habit of putting out press releases and updates on their website whenever a bill is passed. The Council has used the site to toot their own horn and even take shots at Governor Pataki.

One press release that seems to be missing for all the taxpayers to see is the one where they announce that they gave themselves a fat double-digit pay raise. I’m sure it was just an oversight and they really are getting around to it.

17 Nov
2006
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Save yourself and go on without us!

We have all seen the war movies where under enemy fire a soldier gets wounded, falls to the floor and tells his comrades to go on without him. That is the best way I can describe the Doha trade round after Democrats have gained power in Washington.

Before the November elections the Doha round, which focuses on trade in agriculture and services, was already having its problems. Having over 100 countries trying to agree on a trade status is no easy feat when everyone is trying to maximize their comparative advantages. These disagreements are par for the course and after continuous meetings are usually worked out. However with Washington falling into Democrat’s hands and the anti-trade rhetoric already jumping out of their mouths, America has become the wounded soldier on the ground looking up at its trading comrades.

Though America has been an intricate part in trade negations in the WTO the world can’t, at least for now, count on America to be the free market proponents that the late Milton Friedman showed we could be. If the Chinas, Vietnams and Europe want to surpass America economically they should move on with the Doha round without us leaving us to die at our own hands. Maybe then will the next round of politicians be ready to go back to believing that only free markets create prosperity.

16 Nov
2006
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Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman, one of the most brilliant economic minds of the 20th century, has died.

As we face at least another two years of Democrats voting down free trade bills, trying to put price controls on the drug industry and attacking WalMart, we should all revisit Friedman’s work and be prepared to fight for capitalism in 2008.

16 Nov
2006
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Are videogame programmers the only ones teaching our kids the truth about free trade and foreign policy?

One of my favorite things to do is to sit down and dive into a good strategy game. Games like Civilization, Age of Empires and others have sucked millions of dollars and hours of time from adults and kids in this country.

For someone that has never played any of these games, it’s easy to think these games and the people that play them are brainless. The truth is the complete opposite. These games not only test your wits but also put you into a virtual world where you get to sit in your seat and relive any world leader and period in history. If you ever thought you could do a better job taking a nation from nothing to a respected world power then a game like Sid Meier’s Civilization is a great thing to fire up on the computer.

Games like Civilization will quickly squash any dream you may have of surviving in the world by being always nice and hoping other leaders will do the same. As much as people scream Iraq is all about the oil, try being the nation in the game that enters the age of combustion and not have any oil in your territory to fill your needs. At that point you have to hope someone will trade it to you and when they don’t, you either have to go take it or be happy with watching your civilization be taken advantage of by the ones that do or worse be taken over.

What always amazes me about these games is the care that its developers take to create the most historical and realistic situation for the player. These games not only entertain but also educate the player on what works and doesn’t.

Another game that just came out last week, called 1701AD, places the game in the era of colonization. You start off by being dispatched by your queen with gold and resources to land on a far off island so it can be colonized. The goal is to not only grow your colony into a thriving city but also colonize other surrounding Islands while fighting off other nations and pirates and if you have guts attempt to claim independence. What amazed me about the game is the detail the developers put into its diplomacy and trading system. It’s obvious the developers know everything there is to know about free trade and do a great job incorporating it into the game. The theory of “comparative advantage” rings loud as your island might only be suitable to grow hops and tobacco but lack the ability to mine iron. Free trade is imperative to growing your nation, as been the case since the 1700’s, hence the title.

As I watch Democrats like Schumer attack free trade and say they’re sorry things like NAFTA ever happened, it becomes obvious video game programmers know more about history and foreign policy then our representatives. They would do our country a service by firing one up every now and then.

16 Nov
2006
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How come the media never brings this up?

While reading an article in the FT about Democrat’s intentions in Iraq, I came across a comment that stated:

“They (Democrats) would vote for an extra $75bn for the military, which they described as broken, citing the fact that there were no combat-ready spare army units”.

Now though I agree completely that our military is running on fumes when it comes to troops, I would like to know why the media and the like never bring up Bill Clinton when it comes to the subject?

Remember it was Bill Clinton who felt America no longer needed a large military and cut our battle ready battalions from 19 to 10. How nice it would be to have those troops now

16 Nov
2006
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Even our City Council doesn’t know English

In response to someone claiming that the new City Council pay raise was unethical Speaker Christine Quinn said “The pay raise is not unethical! This was a very open vote!”—-

No Christine, the accusation was not “This vote is not transparent!”. Many times throughout history things happen right in front of the people but they have no real power to do anything about it. That is called a dictatorship. Is our city council acting this way because their reelections are almost guarenteed? Naturally that ferocious NYC media didn’t pick this up.

16 Nov
2006
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Come to the November monthly meeting

We have a great meeting lined up for this Thursday, November 16, at the Union League, 38 Eas 37th Street, New York, NY.

Ryan Sager, author of The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians, and the Battle to Control the Republican Party, will be our featured speaker. Mr. Sager’s book has been cited in a number of media outlets, including The Economist, The Weekly Standard, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post. Sager’s incite into the current state of affairs in the Republican Party has become required reading in many circles, so we are fortunate to have him with us.

We will also be having an open discussion about last Tuesday’s election and what it means for the GOP in New York State and across the country. I am very interested in your thoughts. Come to the meeting and let us know what you think!

You can also sign up for next week’s Fall Celebration before the discount expires. This is sure to be a great party. Three hours of open bar, hot delicious hors d’oeuvres, and a chance to mix and mingle with great people.

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow night.

Best,

Rick Brownell

P.S. Business attire is required for entry to the Union League. Please respect our gracious host by turning off your cell phone upon entry.
President

15 Nov
2006
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If you’re so smart, then you do it:

Today two big name Democrats, Barack Obama and John Edwards, are teaming up with the union funded Wake Up Wal-Mart to protest the retailer this season.

We all know the complaints about Wal-Mart and how the unions hate them. What I would like to do is propose if all these Wake Up Wal-Mart people know how to run a big box retailer then they should go do it. After all, their claim is that American’s hate Wal-Mart and want to see it fold, so if they started their own to compete with Wal-Mart they would be sure to put them out of business.

Instead of spending millions of dollars funding Democrat candidates and union front groups, they can open a chain of stores and do all the things they think Wal-Mart should.

They can make everyone a union employee.

They can give healthcare to everyone.

Pay the highest wages.

They can buy all the items for their stores from U.S. manufacturers.

I don’t know why they don’t just do it. Maybe it’s because they know they would fall flat on their face! The truth is they just want Wal-Mart to become another company strangled by a union like the auto and airline is so they too have to go and beg the government for help.