Archive from December, 2008
7 Dec
2008
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Pearl Harbor Day

We should all take a moment today to remember the lives lost 67 years ago today.

In rereading President Franklin Roosevelt’s speech about the attack, I was struck by how certain words he spoke ring so true in the world we now live in:

“Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory… I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again. Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.
With confidence in our armed forces – with the unbounding determination of our people – we will gain the inevitable triumph – so help us God.”

That’s the FDR that I like to remember.

6 Dec
2008
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Juice in the Can

The law has finally caught up with O.J. Simpson, sentencing him to 9 to 33 years for kidnapping, robbery, and assault during his Las Vegas misadventures. There’s only one word that I can muster up for the fallen star at this point:

Bye.

6 Dec
2008
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Missile Defense: Told Ya It’d Work

The Pentagon announced Friday a successful test of the missile defense system after an interceptor launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California knocked down a missile fired from Alaska. The Alaska dummy warhead simulated the speed and trajectory of a North Korean attack.

The Missile Defense Agency, the organization charged with developing America’s missile shield, has been quietly moving forward with the system ever since Ronald Reagan’s monumental 1983 speech calling for national ballistic missile defense.

Over the years the plan has received a lot of ridicule, first from Soviet apologists, then from post-Soviet peaceniks. There are still those who think it can’t work, and they call each successful test a fluke. Granted, what we have now is far from the perfect system that Reagan envisioned, but Friday’s test, like several successful tests before it, proves that missile defense is possible. Why on Earth would we ever pass up an opportunity to protect our country when we possess the technology to make it happen?

5 Dec
2008
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The Road to Serfdom?

These are some of my thoughts on the economy and the government at this juncture in history:

The disastrous economic stimulus is a euphemism for a full out socialist economy, and I believe it could lead to the Republican party’s destruction. (In a sense, we’d be lucky; it would be reformed on sound principles as opposed to what it’s become.) Washington has, in essence, nationalized banking and insurance, and under Obama, healthcare will likely be next. Talking to people I know, even those in the financial and insurance sectors, it is clear many, if not most, believe that deregulation is the primary cause of this crisis. They’ve bought the official state/intelligentsia explanation hook, line, and sinker.

We are not financing this “stimulus” – stupid as that would be in regardless – with tax dollars in some reserve, but by printing money. Thus far, we’ve “spent” 60% of GDP on this so-called rescue. (When will it reach 100%? At that point, will people scratch their heads and wonder how you can save an economy by spending its entirety on itself? Or perhaps they’ll finally stop equating money with wealth?) This freshly created money is currently on banks’ balance sheets because, at the present time, nobody is borrowing. A short term “recovery” will occur in the future because of inflationary effects, but will only lead to an even greater downturn. There is reason to think that once banks resume their uneconomical lending with this cheap money we may experience hyperinflation, an unprecedented happening in this country and the start of severe misery. Since government rarely admits error, it will be blamed on private greed of a sector or unfair wages, and so the next logical step will be price controls, coupled with more regulation.

If this sounds apocalyptic, then consider my sources of inspiration: Thomas Jefferson, Adam Smith, Frederic Bastiat, and F.A. Hayek, to name a few. In the opposing corner are Marx, Keynes, the Federal Reserve, and the government. Matter of fact, looking back through American history, we can discern that this is not the first time we’ve had this debate, albeit never on this scale and with such immediate consequences. Jefferson held cheap money as a chief enemy to a free society and Andrew Jackson ran a campaign based on it. In modern times, the impotence of government intervention has been demonstrated by the failures of the New Deal and the Great Society. Reagan was correct in doing little after Black Thursday in the 80s (and he was, incidentally, a student of Hayek). We don’t have anything like that political will in office now. All that is reported each day are more government bailouts: for mortgages, for banks (even healthy banks), for a sick auto industry, for bankrupt state governments. There is apparently no end in sight, and no talk of restraint. Will credit card holders be next?

Government intervention of this scope is unprecedented: according to the Wall St. Journal, we have spent, since March, twice as much as was spent on WW2, taking into account inflation, and still they talk of spending more. As a population, we seem incapable of taking the necessary steps back and examining the situation objectively. Panic has set in, and we have put ourselves at the will of political masters who we ostensibly believe are capable of economic magic. They are not.

This power grab by the government has occurred under a Republican president. I’ve spent the last 8 years defending Bush for a variety of things he’s done right and trying to criticize him for what I’ve disagreed with in a civil and measured manner. But after this scandal I believe he may blamed for creating terrible, indeed, unspeakable, misery. These economic distortions can only be put off so long; someone has to pay the piper and it won’t be Senators, Congressmen, or the President.

There is an alternative. It is one which requires people to believe that they are no more competent at life than their neighbor; it demands trust of one another; it is respectful of reality and not based on fantasy; it is thus humbling. It is the free market.

5 Dec
2008
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Richardson Out of His Depth in Commerce Role

Bill Richardson has been nominated for Commerce Secretary, and so many folks like the good-natured guy that nobody seems to want to question if he is really right for the post. Personally, I think not.

The Washington ComPost makes note that generally the secretary of commerce is someone from the private sector. After all, whoever serves in that role, particularly in this economy, should be someone with a background in…what’s the word?…oh, yeah, commerce. Richardson is a professional public servant.

The Obama camp says this job offer is not a “consolation” prize for Richardson because he really wanted the Secretary of State post. I believe them. It’s not. It is a recognition of the Richardson’s loyalty to Obama after his own moribund presidential candidate failed to catch fire.

Perhaps I am alone in criticizing the abilities of the likable lug from New Mexico, but I stand by my belief that he is not the man for this job. It’s nothing personal. It’s strictly (about) business.

5 Dec
2008
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Say No to a New Fairness Doctrine

New York’s fearless senior Senator, Charles Schumer, has expressed interest in raising the so-called Fairness Doctrine back from the grave. Apparently liberals are not content with their present level of influence in American media. They want more, more, more.

Here is one more well-reasoned article about why the doctrine is completely unnecessary in a world of hundreds of televisions channels and millions of Web sites.

After you read this, be sure to send Senator Schumer a note letting him know that the Fairness Doctrine will only stifle free speech, not encourage it. He has not formerly announced new legislation, but why even give him a chance. The Fairness Doctrine is dead. Let it remain that way.

4 Dec
2008
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Axl Rose in a Legal Fight? No Way!

Axl Rose’s new Guns N’ Roses album Chinese Democracy has been out barely 10 ten days and he is already engaged in legal wrangling.

Turns out that Dr. Pepper promised a free can of soda to everyone in America if Rose completed his magnum opus by 12/31/08. He’s been in the studio with this thing for 17 years. In the meantime, Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum moved on with Velvet Revolver, a band that produces better music than what I have heard from the new Axl Rose album.

Well, Rose finally delivered, but Dr. Pepper apparently only promised a 24-hour window to obtain a coupon for the free drink and their Web site crashed before G N’R fans could cash in. Oops.

Now Rose’s attorneys, who I assume rarely have down time, have called on Dr. Pepper to make good on its original offer. I do admire Rose sticking up for his fans, but what is it with this guy?

Oh well, the music may not be as good, but at least some things will never change.

4 Dec
2008
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How Obama Got Elected

I know, I know…he won, let’s move on. But you have to visit this Web site. I laughed so hard that I couldn’t tell if my tears were from mirth or sadness. Be sure to scroll down their page to check the poll results and links to stories about how John Zogby has been attacked for conducting it. That’s where the real horror begins.

Obviously we get a majority of our political information from the media. But when a large part of that media is agenda-driven by one ideological flavor over another, that’s when things start to get really messy.

Here’s a sample of the Zogby poll results:

512 Obama Voters 11/13/08-11/15/08 MOE +/- 4.4 points

97.1% High School Graduate or higher, 55% College Graduates

Results to 12 simple Multiple Choice Questions

57.4% could NOT correctly say which party controls congress (50/50 shot just by guessing)

71.8% could NOT correctly say Joe Biden quit a previous campaign because of plagiarism (25% chance by guessing)

82.6% could NOT correctly say that Barack Obama won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot (25% chance by guessing)

88.4% could NOT correctly say that Obama said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket (25% chance by guessing)

56.1% could NOT correctly say Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground (25% chance by guessing).

And yet…..

Only 13.7% failed to identify Sarah Palin as the person on which their party spent $150,000 in clothes

Only 6.2% failed to identify Palin as the one with a pregnant teenage daughter

And 86.9 % thought that Palin said that she could see Russia from her “house,” even though that was Tina Fey who said that!!

Only 2.4% got at least 11 correct.

4 Dec
2008
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Charlie, Go Home

Here’s hoping that Rep. Charles Rangel’s days as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee may be numbered. In recent days, editorials in the New York Times and the Washington Post have called on Rangel to step down because of the growing list of scandals being associated with the longtime Harlem congressman.

The latest allegation is that Rangel opposed closing a tax loophole for an oil and gas drilling company whose CEO pledged $1 million to the Charles B. Rangel School of Public Service, a pet pork project. Rangel said the timing of the donation was coincidental, but frankly there is no reason anyone should believe him when you consider all the other ethical and legal lapses that have surfaced. In the past few months, Rangel has been accused of paying below-market rents on four apartments, using one of those apartments illegally as a campaign office, ducking tens of thousands of dollars on vacation property, and using congressional resources to solicit donations to his beloved policy school.

This is a sneak peek from the December 5, 2008 edition of the Patriot Post Friday Digest, the Conservative Journal of Record

3 Dec
2008
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Word on the Street — New Youth Outreach Coordinator?

Fellow YRs… Word on the street is Chairman Mondello is making former Councilman Andrew Eristoff (and former McCain Manhattan coordinator) the new Youth Outreach Coordinator for the NYGOP…

Any thoughts?

*Clarification-After speaking with Andrew directly, I’m happy to report that he has been asked to Chair a Committee to take a look at the entire State of the State GOP. From a personal point of view, I’m happy to hear it. Andrew has been a large supporter of the YRs and will undoubtedly continue to do so. Stay tuned folks!!!