Archive from November, 2009
23 Nov
2009
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Line in the Sand

What road to take?

There is, in political considerations, the tension between principles and vote-getting.  As with any other never-ceasing conflict, there are extremists on both sides: the idealistic, pie-in-the-sky purists who refuse compromise at all costs, leaving their party pigeon-holed and out of power.  And the pragmatists, who sacrifice worthy aims for political expediency, leaving their party either with buyer’s remorse, in the event of winning the election, or completely dispirited, in which case their own base will probably not turn out enough to elect them anyhow.  Most party devotees fall somewhere in between, clinging to their own special idea of what the party should be, yet also recognizing that they are only one person with a commensurate single vote.  The non-inflated ego is able to show deference to the party at large, recognizing the practical demands of representative government as it exists today.  Neither “sell-outs” nor “exclusionists,” these party members, in this author’s opinion, are the enlightened ones.  To what direction they lean may depend on the times and what is at stake, but they never lose sight of the ultimate goal – realization of proper policy through popular election.  The extent to which democracies are tenable for achieving this outcome is historically suspect, to be sure (see Notes On Democracy by H.L. Mencken, if you can stand it), but short of revolution – a course which even few radicals would recommend, much less conservatives – it is the only way to change our laws.

An Aside on “Moderates”

Moderate, being one of the most abused words in political journalism, I must confess means nothing of substance to me.  It is at time used correctly, to label views that closely cling to the status quo – the only practical way of defining a “middle” when other options exist.  (I admit the definition is not perfect, but as a defense, I’d ask the reader to submit a more consistent summary of how the word “moderate” can be used meaningfully in the political sense.)  More often, however, it is used to identify what should be called party dissidents: those who buck their party’s current fashion and side with the opposition.  To the extent that they do this and align to the closely to the status quo, “moderate” is acceptable verbiage.  When, however, the “moderate” is only slightly less radical than the extremist, journalistic dishonestly is manifested through linguistic fraud.

What’s the endgame, anyway?

Any compromise must come in the context of a coherent strategy.  The Republican Party is diverse, consisting of well over 50 million registered voters.  Since Buckley and Reagan took over the party, it has been a coalition of social conservatives, free marketers, and foreign policy hawks (formerly the “Cold Warriors”).  This coalition is not as tight as it once was, and the reasons for this are manifold, complex, and not intended for discussion at the present time.  For the purposes of this section, I will simply assert that Republicans, as a whole, are more likely to favor individual responsibility and freedom than Democrats, who believe that government, i.e. the force of law, should be used to advance their aims of justice.  While Republicans fear increasingly centralized authority, and see more virtue in self-government and the resulting social power, Democrats believe that central control is useful in curbing social ills and therefore virtuous, and hold this view as morally superior to leaving the organic society to its own means.  I will hence define the Republican version of government as more Jeffersonian than Hamiltonian; more classically liberal than their Democratic opponents.

Strategy, and the Purpose of Compromise

I come from a business background.  The business world is characterized by competition, and companies thrive through outwitting each other to better serve their customers.  It may seem surprising, in a world of McKinsey and BCG published journals, Harvard Business Review, and official reports put out by the Federal Reserve, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank that still the most highly revered book on business strategy (at least in my college years) was written over 5,000 years ago.  The Art of War by Sun Tzu is a classic manual on strategy, as it relates to war.  I won’t feign much familiarity with the work – I’ve only read excerpts.  The point in bringing this up is to stress that strategy is a process set forth accomplish certain aims.  No General who sets out to conquer France is satisfied trading Paris for Marseilles and Lyon; the strategy must never compromise the overall objective, even as tactics must be used to angle for proper position for the anticipated final checkmate.  In turn, a successful businessman will never surrender his “core competency” for temporary gain, and likewise a politician should never compromise his core values.  For the reflective reader, I’d encourage thought around what distinguishes business competition from political competition, and what they both have in common with the pure competition that concerned Sun Tzu, warfare.

Blurring the Line

As a frequenter of and occasional commenter on many Republican opinion sites with different perspectives, from the Neo- to the Paleo-cons and everything in between, I feel I should sound an alarm bell.  Our party’s faith in free market capitalism is withering, and quickly.  Confusion exists across the party on monetary policy, fiscal policy, regulations, labor law, and the feasibility of a truly free market in meeting our needs.  Confidence in human liberty, the essence of young America, is shrinking proportionally.  Just 20 years after the spectacular failure of the Soviet Union was exemplified by the collapse of the Berlin Wall, there is a creeping distrust of what people perceive as a decentralized economy.  The small pockets where true understanding exists around the nature human economy and the nature of the existent system are derided as ideologically driven at best, conspiracy theorists at worst, but universally regarded as cranks of one form or another.

Hayek warned Great Britain long ago that adopting socialist policies will yield the same results anywhere, and now politics in that once great empire have been reduced to quibbling over the technical specs of their National Health Service (a similar political situations exists in Canada, and I say that as a former resident and participant in the Canadian political process).  News emanating daily from the British press reveals to the savvy observer that a creeping totalitarianism is slowly replacing the once vibrant British culture of freedom, from Holocaust denialism in public education to students, to denying life saving treatments to cancer patients, to mandatory inspections for adherence to the new “green” laws.  This is not an accident of history, not a “societal evolution” as the pseudo-liberal/neo-Hegelians suggest, but a direct result of socialist policies.

Although the case of Great Britain is surely depressing, decline is not inevitable.  Americans have not yet lost all confidence; our spirits have not atrophied into wards of an all-encompassing state.  The Tea Party movement shows the resilience of the American character, one marked by natural distrust of big government.  While they were systematically made out to be anything from redneck un-sophisticates, racists Obama haters, or gun toting, volatile loonies, the overriding characteristic present in these vigilant citizens was simply a belief in the power of the individual apart and away from centralized government.

Redraw the Line, and do It Boldly!

Clearly, the Tea Party movement is an asset to the Republican Party, assuming we can nurture its sentiment.  Luckily, conservative Republican candidates have been doing this for over 50 years.  The least fractious, and therefore most effective, way to nurture and retain the enthusiasm of this grassroots movement is to stick to free market principles, while decrying government intervention in as many aspects of life as possible.  It’s an easy task, seeing as how nearly every aspect of commerce, and increasingly alarming aspects of our lifestyle from cigarette smoking to fat consumption, are directly affected by Federal law.

The above would be classified by some cynics as expedience.  To be sure, all populism is expedient, in the sense that it expedites the return to power of the espouser.  But the resentment such speech stirs up is aimed at truly destructive policies.  Economics 101 teaches that mucking with markets will decrease industrial output, decreasing welfare for all of society.  Like Reagan, preach classical economics in through a politically palatable argot!

Roads Merge

Rarely does a party have an opportunity to align principle to hugely popular public opinion.  Republicans need to sound like Adam Smith, to put it succinctly, and stop their oh-so-pathetic apology for the bailout and (and for some, even the stimulus!).  Right now is the time to take up the economic populism of Libertarian right, putting it in the center of all discussions.  Social issues are important as ever, as is foreign policy.  Our views on these issues are in tact, and need no election-oriented “repair.”  Hammer home the idea of a truly FREE American economy, and unite the party in opposition to the Depression-Maker In-Chief!

18 Nov
2009
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Is This Really America? Can Sarah Palin Save It For Us?

Over the past few weeks, I keep asking myself the same question over and over again.  Is this really America?  I ask the question, but end up coming up with mixed answers.  I feel like the America I know and love  still exists, but it is not being represented in Washington D.C.  The White House and Congress are promoting ideas and implementing programs that scare the daylights out of any freedom loving American.

Since being inaugurated in January, President Obama has kept his promise to voters of trying to “remake” America.  Most voters thought it was a cool catchphrase during a presidential campaign, but they were wrong.  Instead, it is Obama’s mission.  He wants to “remake” the greatest country in the world, the United States of America.  When you look at that goal in print, it should send shivers down your spine.  The United States of America was created by the founding fathers whose main goal was to give each individual “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  These principles which Thomas Jefferson wrote in the “Declaration of Independence” are the foundation of this republic, which all other ideas are built upon.  They are the building blocks of America.  These “unalienable rights” are “endowed by our creator” and therefore cannot be infringed upon by any internal or external force.  The founders were stating that this new nation would be governed under rights given to us  by God.  Our creator gave us life so that we could live in liberty and be free to pursue our own happiness.  God desired “liberty” for all men to praise him by using their talents to build a successful society.  Man’s ability to create a livelihood and contribute to his family and society would be bring him happiness.

President Obama seems not to believe in allowing Americans enjoy the  right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  Instead, Obama and the Democratic Party believe it is their right to decide “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for all Americans.  The elites in this country, whch include Obama, the media, academia, and Hollywood believe that they are the “best & brightest” and therefore have the right to decide what America should be.  They believe that America should be modeled after Europe, which believes in a strong centralized government that’s main purpose is to provide goods and services for its people.  They believe in a European model that stresses equality over liberty and fairness over free enterprise.  However, the Constitution does not give Obama or any one else the authority to force what the president calls “positive” rights on its people.  American citizens in the Constitution are not granted a right to free health care, a right to affordable housing, or any other particular service.  All Americans are given rights that CAN’T be infringed upon by the government.  So, for Obama and the Far Left, the Constitution is a document that needs to be worked around in order to pass their agenda.  So, this is why Obama consistently apologizes for American when he goes abroad.  He is embarassed that his country, America, doesn’t give him the “freedom” to pass government programs easily.  He also is confused by the idea that the federal government is supposed protect the freedom of all Americans through administering strong national security measures.  Instead he sees these policies not as American strength in pursuit of world peace, but as arrogance.  President Obama’s ideal America would be one in which nationalism and exceptionalism is non-existent and instead it is just one of many nations involved in a consortium that makes decisions regarding the world on the basis of consensus.

This is why President Obama does not have a problem allowing the trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalik Sheik Mohammad take place in a Federal court room in New York City.  He does not understand that only Americans have the “right” to a fair trial.  This “right” is for Americans only, and does not have to be extended to our enemies abroad, especially a terrorist who plotted to kill 2,000 New Yorkers more than eight years ago.  For the entire history of America, enemy combatants have been tried in military tribunals, which are just trials, but don’t extend the same rights to defendants as Americans receive.  And why should they? It is unfathomable that a president of the United States would grant a terrorists a fair trial roughly hundred yards away from where he committed the biggest single day attack in our nation’s history.  Obama must believe that this will win him points with foreign leaders (he bows to) and show them that America is truly a nation they should befriend and help him “remake.”  A nation that he wants to see adopt redistributionist economics, government-run health care, and a cap on carbon emissions.  If his vision comes to fruition, then individuals will be able to keep less of what they earn, be limited in making decisions about their health, and be restricted in their ability to innovate and create.  Simply put, Liberty is being assaulted by the tyranny of government control.

The founders had an opposite vision for America, which favored individual liberty over bureaucracy and the elite.  When King George III wanted to tax the colonialists tea, they told him to stick it.  This is what thousands of Americans have conveyed to Washington this past year through tea parties and town halls.  They have fought back against a massive increase in government and a restriction on their personal liberty to make choices for themselves and their families.  They have cried out again massive government spending leading to increasing debt and inevitably higher taxes for future generations.  They have made their case against a government run health care system that would fine the uninsured unless they participated  and run private insurers out of business through a public option.  Simply put, during Obama’s first year in office, many Americans have been “going rogue.”  They have tuned out the elites in the media, academia, Hollywood, and Washington D.C. and instead have clung on to their Constitution and the American ideals handed down by the founding fathers.  Now former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin looks to lead them in their quest to defeat those who “reshape” America.

This is why Sarah Palin needs to be destroyed by the elites.  She is the antithesis of what they believe and therefore she threatens everything they desire for America.  The elites believe that America is controlled by them and therefore they decide what policies it is governed by and what its makes up its culture.  No document, individual, business, etc. will get in the way of shaping their agenda for America.  The elites believe they are only ones who can shape public opinion through education, the media, and popular culture.  This is why someone like Sarah Palin scares them to death.  She cuts through all the “messaging” coming from the elites and makes a connection with people one-on-one.   Her personal story, charisma, appearance, and political ideas all make her very interesting to an American public who is fascinated with her.  She is the antithesis of Obama, who is revered by his followers for his grace, elegance, intelligence, and perceived wisdom.  He is seen as the “hope” that will bring about “change” in the lives of his followers.  Obama’s control of the government will finally allow his followers to get ahead in America.  Sarah Palin on the other hand is revered by her followers for her optimism in them and what they can create in America.  She believes strongly in American Exceptionalism and that American gets its strength from everyday, hard working people.  They are the foundation of America and if we give Americans the liberty to pursue their goals and work towards their ambition, then their is no nation in the world that can achieve what we can achieve.  By granting citizens the liberty to pursue their own happiness, they are able to use their God-given abilities innovate and create the technologies of the future.  Just like President Ronald Reagan, Sarah Palin believes that America is a “Shining City On A Hill” that is the envy of the world.  With that honor, comes responsibility to confront threats from enemies around the world with a foreign policy built on strength rather than likeability.

In conclusion, I believe the statement made by Sarah Palin to Barbara Walters in her hour-long interview to air this Friday regardin her interview with Katie Couric truly encapsulates her appeal to conservatives, and especially Middle America:

Unfortunately, I was wearing my annoyance on my sleeve. And I shouldn’t have done that. Because, it seemed to me that she was asking “Do you read? How up there in Alaska, in this kind of nomadic, Neanderthal atmosphere that you live in, how are you connected to the world?” When I had just done an op-ed in her hometown newspaper, the New York Times, when I had just been interviewed by all those national media outlets. And that surprised me that she hadn’t done that home work. Very unprofessional of me, though. My fault, my bad, that I answered the way I answered. And that was with that proverbial roll of the eyes. Like, are you kidding me? Are you really asking me that?

By this statement, Sarah Palin taps into the frustration of conservatives, tea partiers, and town hallers.  She is simply saying are you “listening” to us.  Do you know we even exist?  Do you know what makes us tick?  Do you even care?  This is what ordinary Americans were expressing in outrage this summer.  They feel forgotten, overlooked, and sneered at by the elites who think they are misguided in their views.  The elites think they are so misguided that they wonder if they even “read” or know what is going on.  How could someone who hunts moose, talks with a funny accent, and is from Alaska know how to govern?  This is what runs through the minds of elites.  She scares them because she is so different and rejects what they and Pres. Obama are selling.  If she gets control of the government, then elites will be marginalized in their control of country.  This is what made them so crazed during the Bush presidency.  President Bush didn’t care what they had to say and was going to do what he thought was best for America.  Being shut out of the process drives the elites crazy. With Sarah Palin, they fear more of the same. Let’s hope so.  Its time to for the elites  and their abstract ideas to go away, so Sarah Palin and conservatism can save America for the rest of us.  God, we truly “hope” for that kind of CHANGE. Please answer our prayer.

16 Nov
2009
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The Fed’s Current Priority

Is not stemming what will soon be runaway inflation, but pathetically setting new rules for gift card issuance.  (I’m not kidding.)  Hilariously, this is somehow linked to “bubble” protection:

The proposed rules come after the Fed came under fire for not doing more to protect consumers during the credit bubble.

Forget for a moment that the Federal Reserve System itself exacerbates and protects credit bubble creation.  Think about this: minimizing gift card fees and extending expiration dates is part of  its purported solution.

Surely no society can endure when double-digit IQs are in charge.

15 Nov
2009
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ObamaTransit

The White House is proposing to take over Mass Transit in all major cities. Will this mean there will be no more random searches of backpacks and large containers?

I shall have to let this news sink in before I comment any further…

14 Nov
2009
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This 2012 Apocalypse Hype is Propaganda for Obama!

I’m sure you’ve all heard this 2012 Apocalypse stuff.   They cite Nostradamus and the Mayan calendar, which ends December 21, 2012, whatever that means.  This 2012 hype is all over television and internet, and there’s even a movie called 2012.   Well, here’s my theory:

The 2012 Apocalypse Hype is Propaganda for Obama.  The Left wants to scare people. because when people are scared, they vote for the incumbent, and the incumbent is Barack Obama.  In 2004, people were scared of terrorism and voted for the incumbent, George Bush.  But the date clinches it for me.  December 21, 2012, more than a month after Election Day, so the fear-mongers will frighten the voters, and help reelect Obama.  Then, in December, we will all see that there is no apocalypse, that the 2012 hype was just hype.  If the world was going to end earlier in 2012, it wouldn’t help Obama, so that’s why the Left chose December 21.

So, please ignore this 2012 Apocalypse hype, and help to destroy it, and help to defeat Barack Hussein Obama and save America from the Left.

12 Nov
2009
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“I don’t believe we are discouraging talent…”

According to Obama’s pay Czar, Kenneth Feinberg, that is.  As the story explains, this comes on the heels of [the government agency know as] AIG’s CEO Robert Benmosche considering his resignation.

Being that he is in charge of so many different salaries, and that those who want to escape his diktat practically have to leave the entire industry, he acts like an absolute monarch.  And, as a matter of fact and logic, he was no way of determining whether he is or is not discouraging talent; so the statement, aside from being pompous and assuming, is completely nonsensical.

Funny how propaganda works.  Some know-nothing bureaucrat is put in charge of bankers’ salaries, and then flippantly declares that he doesn’t believe he’s driving away talent.  Incredulously, the news media reports it without comment.  Is this really the goal of “objective” news?  To formalize propaganda?  Or, is the average reader looking at this headline and thinking: gee, it’s working just like Obama said it would!  No more millionaires, and a fairer society!

Of all Obama’s czars, and there are many, Feidberg is certain the most odious.

10 Nov
2009
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NYYRC Is Adopting a Soldier

PLEASE BRING A DONATION TO THE MONTHLY NYYRC MEETING ON THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19th AT THE WOMEN’S NATIONAL REPUBLICAN CLUB (3 West 51st st b/w 5th and 6th avenue, 2nd Floor) FOR THE SOLDIERS’ ANGELS’ FOUNDATION
http://www.soldiersangels.org/

WE ARE ADOPTING A SOLDIER AND NEED YOUR HELP TO MAKE CARE PACKAGES FOR OUR TROOPS.

Items to bring:

Food:

Powdered Drink Mixes (individual packets are best), Cookies, crackers, pretzels (in snack sizes), Tuna in a pouch, Beef, chicken or turkey jerky, Cheese spread (no aerosol cans!) Ramen noodles, Snack cakes, Gum, Nuts, Granola bars, Pop Tarts, Dried fruit, Trail mix, Pistachios, Raisins, Red licorice twists, Tootsie Rolls (both candy and lollipops), Peanut butter, Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Canned meats (no pork products), Hard candy (individually-wrapped)

Sports Equipment:

Baseballs, Baseball gloves, Soccer balls, Basketballs, Volleyballs, Squirt guns, Frisbees

Entertainment:

AA & AAA batteries, Craft kits, Scrapbooking materials, Books (mysteries, action, drama, science fiction), Magazines – new or nearly new (sports, news, entertainment, travel, nature), Playing cards, Small hand-held games, Crossword puzzles, CD’sDVD’s

Hygiene Supplies:

Facial cleansing pads, Moisturizing lotion, Wet Wipes, Eye drops, Lip balm, Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, Soap, Body wash, Shampoo and conditioner, Deodorant, Sunblock, Foot powder

Miscellaneous : Blank cards, Stationary, paper, Pens, Letters, Ziploc bags (sandwich, qt., gal. sizes)

Please keep in mind that all food items must be in the manufacturer’s original packaging. 

NO chocolate – 110 degree heat and chocolate do not mix well, though M&M’s are fine.

For Ziploc bags, make sure that potentially leaky items don’t make a mess during shipping, and service members use them to keep sand out of their things while in the desert.

8 Nov
2009
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NYYRC Annual Fall Celebration

Please join the NYYRC for our Annual Fall Celebration!

Tuesday, November 24th
7pm-10pm
Domenicos, 120 East 49th Street b/w Park and Lexington Avenues
There’s always reason to celebrate – It’s time for the NYYRC’s Annual Fall Celebration!

After a long and exhausting campaign season, it’s time to take a deep breath and let off a little steam!  Join fellow members of the NYYRC as we toast to everyone’s hard work and support and look forward to a new year.

Open Bar and plenty of delicious heavy hors d’oeuvres.

PLEASE RSVP: rsvp@nyyrc.com and PREPAY

CURRENT MEMBER RATE – $45:


EVENT + Discounted Membership – $65


EVENT + Discounted Associate (Over 40 years of age) Membership – $85


6 Nov
2009
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Unemployment Hits 10.2%

From MarketWatch:

The U.S. unemployment rate climbed to 10.2% in October, topping the 10% mark for the first time in 26 years, the Labor Department reported Friday. Nonfarm payrolls dropped by a seasonally adjusted 190,000 in October, bringing to total number of jobs lost in the recession to 7.3 million. It was the 22nd straight decline in payrolls….The report was worse than expected. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch were forecasting a rise in the unemployment rate to 10%, with 150,000 lost payroll jobs.

That’s the highest since 1983.
I have been posting these numbers for the last 3 or 4 months here on our blog, and they are always “worse than expected.”  When you have an economically illiterate president, Treasury Secretary, and Fed Chairman, the public is left consoling itself with an alleged “number of jobs saved” from a huge spending stimulus bill.  And what of those jobs?  As Nobel Laureate and liberal luminary Paul Krugman points out, many of them are public sector union jobs (i.e., teachers): “If you want to see the recovery act in action, visit a classroom: your local school probably would have had to fire a lot of teachers if the stimulus hadn’t been enacted.”

Ladies and gentlemen, the Obama/Biden recovery!

5 Nov
2009
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“predominantly, white, and many self-identified as Christians”

It bothers me a tad to knock the Yankees tribute down on the site, but the NYT never fails to incense me.  All these people against socialist healthcare, they’re all just White Christians, don’t you know?

It’s almost like the Times doesn’t want to know that recent polls show an almost 15% advantage for those opposed to a “public option.”

This is a completely bizarre statement to put in the lead of a news article in a country that overwhelming “self-identifies” as Christian.  As for the “white,” well, we know why that’s there: to insinuate the crowd’s racism, which as we know motivates all Obama dissenters (just ask the Times).  Moreover, I wonder how many of the Times writers are white, and would “self-identify” as Christians?

We can only hope that this lousy excuse for a NEWSpaper dies quickly, and that I write in vain.