Archive from March, 2011
31 Mar
2011
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NYYRC April Meeting – April 21st

NYYRC April Meeting

Thursday, April 21 · 7:00pm – 8:30pm
WNRC
3 West 51st Street b/w 5th and 6th Avenue
New York, NY
Join us for our April Meeting with 2 Great Speakers!

Guest speakers:

Glenn Hubbard, Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Business and Columbia University Professor of Finance and Economics. He was the Council of Economic Advisors under President George W. Bush and economic advisor to Mitt Romney during his 2008 presidential campaign. He is a visiting scholar at American Enterprise Institute
…*Glenn Hubbard will be starting promptly at 7pm*

Lee Zeldin- NY Senator, 3rd District

Please note: At our April meeting we will be conducting our Executive Board Elections for the 2011-2012 year. If you are a current dues paying member by the commencement of the April 2011 meeting you may vote at the April meeting or contact elections@nyyrc.com for a ballot if you cannot attend the meeting.

Free Event, Members and Non-Members Welcome First event or coming alone? Let us know and we’ll introduce you around! Refreshments served.

Join us in the Pub afterwards for drinks, food, and discussion. Cash only.

Please note: Business attire required. No jeans, sneakers, hats, sweatshirts, etc.

RSVP: rsvp@nyyrc.com

29 Mar
2011
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Dear Joe American

Dear Joe American,

I’m flummoxed by our keen opponents.  They are outflanking me on all issues!  Here I am, Speaker of the House, and I can barely get a word in!  I want your respect, your support, your votes.  What can I and my party do to defeat Obama and the Democrats in 2012?

Sincerely,

John Boehner
Speaker of the House (and sometimes Leader of the Republicans)

Dear Speaker Boehner and other Republican leaders,

I sometimes wonder how the Republican Party establishment thinks.  I assume you want to win elections, yet you are bumbling the easiest challenge to presidency since at least since Jimmy Carter.  You are getting outfoxed by an aloof president, and your clock cleaned by an unscrupulous Democrat party that commits a new scandal every other day.  Yet it seems the Republican leadership is tongue-tied when it comes to fundamental issues that are extremely popular with voters.

Republicans, here is some friendly advice on what to say.  Please pay close attention, less your haplessness deliver us another 4 years of Barack Obama.

1) The Tea Party – This is your interested, focused, deliberate grassroots base.  Do not diss them – defend them.  When Harry Reid smears them, as he is wont to lately, smear Harry Reid back.  A Constitutional movement at its core, they are the heart and soul of your party.  It is among them who you will find candidates who can present an alternative to the dismal and depressing vision of the Left.

2) The Budget Showdown/The Government Shutdown – Did you know that the country is in $14 trillion in debt, Mr. Boehner?  No?  Well, I’m not surprised.  You haven’t mentioned it lately.  Here’s a suggestion to your House Republicans, who control the appropriations process at a time when we’re facing dire economic times: you have the moral obligation to defund unsustainable programs that will bankrupt the country and could ruin the dollar.  You have the moral obligation to your constituents, you fellow Americans, your children and your family.  To not speak out on this issue is extremely cowardly.  You were elected with this charge and so your constituents also finds it infuriating.  But to think, above all this, that you’re losing the messaging war to Obama and the Democrats – to those who dug this deep hole – boggles the mind of the average American.

You need to explain that if the government shuts down, it is because the reckless Democrats are willing to take that step before they pay attention to the truly severe economic situation.  The truth is that the Democrats like the Depression and want to expand the government, because they want more control.  Explain this pattern throughout history, as near back as FDR and LBJ.  Explain what’s happened in Britain since WWII.  Explain why Europe is going bust.  Explain why the Soviet Union collapsed on its own weight, and what those words really mean.

While you’re at it, explain that all essential services of the Federal government including national and border defense and Social Security remain in operation.  The country will not devolve into anarchy, and seniors will still get their checks.

3) The Birthers – How could you not put this to rest, or turn it on Obama?  Consider the situation: a significant percentage of American voters believe that Barack Obama did not fulfill his Constitutional requirement to prove his American birth before getting himself elected president.  He has refused to show his birth certificate.  Recently, fellow Democrat governor of Hawaii, where he claims to have been born, admitted that that he could not find the birth certificate after he went looking.  The Birther claims are legitimate.  As to whether the President could be removed from office if proven to be foreign born, there is no Constitutional reason to think he could.  Therefore, the president’s location of birth is legally irrelevant now that he’s been elected.

Make this point, and don’t forget to mention that the president himself could, if he were so desired, put this to rest tomorrow if he’d just release his documents.  See?  Not so hard.

4) Libya – Ah Libya.  What are we doing there?  I watched the President’s speech, but still have no idea whether we were successful.  What was the point, exactly?  To stop a massacre… I think?  That in and of itself is a good thing, but is this now our national policy?  There is genocide in Africa that have raged for years, and most people aren’t even aware.  Furthermore, there are no guarantees that Libyans are safe now; that Libyan civilians are not under constant threat of genocide, if either side wins.  The policy is unserious, unconsidered, and aimless. The commander-in-chief was nowhere to be found the week bombing began.  It seems the administration was more interested in talking about NATO and U.N. involvement than explaining the mission.  Make all these points, and then re-familiarize your base with this Fred Astaire classic:

watch?v=r55zMPlPWng&feature=related

Another caipirinha?

5) Take off the Kiddy Gloves – Media Matters, described by Mark Levin as a “criminal front group” for maintaining tax free, 501(c)3 charitable status while ferreting money to Democrat political allies, announced today that it will wage “guerilla warfare and sabotage” on Fox News.  Public sector unions have been proven to be a wing of the Democrat party.  The government uses tax dollars to promote its own causes and reward its supporters.  Democrats use the government to feed Democrats; and government uses Democrats to expand government.  Checked by an electorate that had had it with both major parties, the Democrats in power are using the people’s own government against it – judicially, through a sneaky executive, and by playing parliamentary charades.  The opposition party is being stymied by increasingly absurd justifications, like the Wisconsin judge who manufactured a reason to stop Governor Walker from implementing the legitimate demands of its people and legislature.

It’s time you and the rest of the elected Republicans start making the moral case to the people of this nation and thus sidestepping the conventional communication means of political parties.  Ignore the Democrat machine and pundits; ignore the mainstream media; ignore establishment Republicans who only offer concessions, sound gloomy, and can’t articulate why America is worth preserving.  Appeal to common sense, bolster the people who speak out, and give them a voice in our nation’s capital.

Speaker Boehner, those are my suggestions.

Yours truly,

Joe American

P.S. One more thing…
Timing – With so much good to say and do, don’t be overwhelmed.  Get started today, or be replaced.

28 Mar
2011
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When the Second and Fourth Amendments Collide

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution provides:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Interpreting this text, the Supreme Court of the United States held this Amendment provides the individual with the personal and fundamental right to bear arms subject to reasonable restrictions/regulation courtesy of the government (District of Columbia v. Heller (2008)). Thus, while a government may require a person clear a background check, get fingerprints, and register for the gun in question (to laypeople like me, “jumping through all the red tape”), it may not create a blanket prohibition against their purchase altogether.

Following the Tucson shooting, this decision the right it explained came under fire. Since Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was shot straight through the head by a deranged looney-toon, the argument followed, then surely gun laws in this country are too lax. If a 22-year old sociopath could get one, that is, then there’s something eerily wrong going on.

Now, this argument has always gone back and forth: the “guns don’t kill people; people kill people”-crowd measured against the “the only good gun, is a dead gun”-bevy. It’s amazing how these basic thoughts frame the big picture. A conservative with a healthy respect for the Second Amendment views the right to bear arms as a hefty responsibility. A liberal with a cynical view of the Second Amendment – “it was only crafted for use by a militia, and in America we don’t have militias anymore” – believes loose gun access only gives criminals an easier ability to commit their crimes. The former believe criminals will get guns regardless – as time and time again, a criminal typically uses an illegal gun in the commission of their felonies.

I personally think the greatest way to curb crime is to give responsible people easier access to guns. If I’m a criminal, I’m less likely to stick-up a person or break into a house if I have reason to believe the person or owner of that house is just as armed as me and justifiably dangerous. But consider something that generally gets lost in the debate on gun restrictions – the Fourth Amendment. Let’s assume guns are necessary for an orderly world (“walk softly, but carry a big stick”); that criminals will continually have access to these guns by virtue of the black market; and strict gun restrictions will apply to everyone while disproportionately affecting the common citizen. With these assumptions, if one curtailed the individual right to own and bear a firearm across the board, the Fourth Amendment would actually work as a catalyst to heightened criminal behavior.

To wit:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

This Amendment is the cornerstone of security in our homes and persons. It applies to all citizens, but is generally invoked in criminal contexts by defendants; for obvious reasons, of course. A person arrested is literally seized, and any evidence gathered against that person is also searched out and seized for use against them. The policy behind a judicial warrant is to make sure that person is protected against overzealous portions of the government and its propensity for abuse (as is its wont).

So here we are, in a hypothetical world where guns are flatly banned. They would still get manufactured, though; by our country or another. Assuming criminals – as criminals customarily use illegal means to get illegal ends in furtherance of even more illegal ends – still have access to these guns, the eradication of the Second Amendment would also require we curb the protections of the Fourth Amendment in order to be effective. If the only people who have access to guns would be criminals, it would take arbitrary searches to root out their gun possession before said guns were used. What good, after all, is a regulated gun after that gun is used in a robbery, attempt, or murder?

It would obviously take a more in-depth analysis how the Second Amendment and the Fourth Amendment interplay with each other. But it would be foolish to assume they don’t at all – particularly when there are debates occurring on the full use and right created by the former (and whether the use and right is appropriate).

25 Mar
2011
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Obama pulling a John Kerry on Libya

So far the establishment of a No Fly Zone over Libya has been a positive development, beating back wacky Khaddafy and his gang of murderers. This fight was the right thing to do, as the American tradition and creed requires us to stand up against tyranny in any part of the world when we can. This minimal commitment with little risk of American casualties can help to bring about a democratic future in a part of the world that once could only dream of such an occurrence.
Though President Obama is pining to take credit for this turn of events, we must resist the media’s attempt to rewrite history so quickly. It is amazing to see how the White House press office can change its story from one week to the next without any accountability in the press. Only weeks ago Obama’s Defense Secretary was vocally opposing American involvement in Libya. Obama refused to take any leadership role in the UN or NATO on this issue. Only Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and some others vocally supported the idea of assisting the rebels. This led to Obama to knock his Secretary of State down a notch by publicly joking about her zeal to help the Libyan rebels.
The fact is that the French and the British made this No Fly Zone happen, and Obama was forced to take a position – which he resents doing, as we all know. And once the confrontation started and Khaddafy’s air force was quickly beaten back, showing that intervention was the right move, what does Obama do? He takes credit. And what will he do if things start to go wrong? He will blame Hillary.
As we know the American media will never hold him accountable on this. So it is up to all alternative news sources to do so.

24 Mar
2011
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If we are going to defund NPR, why stop there.

So why are we still funding NPR, a public station that should have died with the rise of the internet, a station that rushed fast to fire Juan Williams about being nervous on an airplane with Muslims and were angry he was a Fox News Contributor, a station that is anti-Semetic, makes tea party bashing remarks, had an Executive Director and Chief Fundraiser believed they were meeting with the Muslim Brotherhood, and has only has bad remarks regarding traditional American principals? Well to the Democrats and the left, it is because it’s a far left wing tool for them to spread there propaganda and boost support. Even though the House of Representatives voted to defund NPR it will be a tough fight in the Senate to get it passed.

However why should we just stop any more defunding and call it a day. Why not start defunding other groups?

There is the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, better know as the ATF. It really needs to be a convenience store, not a Federal Bureau. The ATF is willing to find any excuse to revoke gun licenses no matter how small, medium, big, or not all. And if your a staunch believer in gun-rights, and you make it know, and own a gun company watch out because the ATF will be coming for you. Let’s not also forget that the ATF is willing to commit perjury and disregard the rules of engagement when it comes to what they believe is suspicious groups. To top that all off, how is it that the ATF loves to go after law-abiding citizens, but has no problem ignoring Mexican Drug dealers buying thousands of Assault weapons in the United States, using them against our border patrol agents, and moving across the border to drug cartels. This is an agency so dysfunctional that why wasn’t it shut down and defunding a long time ago.

Then comes Planned Parenthood, a group that has no trouble lying to the public and taxpayers. Planned Parenthood claims that it does not use taxpayer funds for abortions. But if you look at it’s 2008-2009 Annual report on Combined statement of revenue 33% of it’s funding is Government Grants and Contracts. Let’s not forget that an office manager at a Central New Jersey gave advice to sex traffickers on how and where to get abortions for underage girls.

Planned Parenthood Annual Report 08-09 – “http://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/PPFA/PP_AR_011011_vF.pdf”

There are many other bureau’s, groups, and projects that need to be defunded of money on all levels of government. However it will be a very tough fight to do this, especially with a far left groups, politicians, and the drive-by media going all out and supporting the worst types spending possible.

22 Mar
2011
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Sorry to Interrupt Your Reign

Executing a war in Afghanistan? Check. Initiating air strikes in Libya? Done. Winding up a military presence in Iraq? Got It. Dealing with unemployment, resurgent inflation, a weak housing market and all sorts of other domestic economic woes? Sure, why not! Taking a family trip to Latin America when you have all these pressing issues pending? But of course!
Was I the only American who cringed last Saturday afternoon when President Obama was unavailable to announce and explain to the nation the initiation of air strikes against Libya? Was I the only American who recalled the somber and inspiring words of President Reagan and the two President Bushes when they sat behind their Oval Office desks and announced to the nation each time America took military action in the Middle East during the course of their presidencies?
I particularly recall being so inspired by the first President Bush as he addressed the nation in the run up to the first Gulf War. He showed resolve and strength and, when you listened to his words, you knew that he carried the weight of his decisions very seriously and that he was ordering military action reluctantly, after very careful consideration and only as a last resort. He was not rushing off on vacation and did not feel the need to have his overseas itinerary tied to the school vacations of his family. In fact, if I recall correctly, he and Mrs. Bush celebrated the Thanksgiving before the first Gulf War by making a surprise visit to our troops in Saudi Arabia. I still remember the great photo of President & Mrs. Bush surrounded by our men and woman in uniform. I also recall one Christmas morning when President George W. Bush made a surprise visit to our soldiers in Iraq. What proud moments they were for me as an American.
Those were no doubt grueling trips. No time for fine china and fancy toasts. No opportunity to showcase your two young daughters or to have foreign leaders give you the “royal treatment.” But they were trips that were both necessary and inspiring not only to the troops but also to the nation as a whole.
To the contrary, I find nothing at all inspiring about watching a president introduce his wife and two daughters to world leaders as he travels around the world while our nation’s sons and daughters are ordered into harm’s way. Quite frankly, Mr. Obama should be ashamed of himself! I know I’m ashamed of him.

20 Mar
2011
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A Reagan Reminder

The New Republican Party was the name of an absolutely brilliant political speech by Ronald Reagan, delivered in 1977 to CPAC.

It captures the essence of conservatism and explodes the myth of it being an rigid code.

Conservatism is the antithesis of the kind of ideological fanaticism that has brought so much horror and destruction to the world. The common sense and common decency of ordinary men and women, working out their own lives in their own way — this is the heart of American conservatism today. Conservative wisdom and principles are derived from willingness to learn, not just from what is going on now, but from what has happened before.

Reagan goes on, imploring the party to find attractive and articulate conservatives to run for office, while calling out the left with stark languge.

We have to find tough, bright young men and women who are sick and tired of cliches and the pomposity and the mind-numbing economic idiocy of the liberals in Washington.

Read the entire thing.  It’s pure genius.

17 Mar
2011
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Where in the world is President Barack Obama?

Libya rebels are at war with Gaddafi, the Middle East is going through major changes, Japan has had a disaster that doesn’t seem to end, and President Barack Obama can make an easy decision about making his NCAA picks and going on vacation. For Obama sports and luxury are easy, but a major problem in the US or the world, it is wait and see and then maybe make a decision later.

What President Obama does not understand is the Presidency is not some form of fun and celebrity, it’s being a leader of the free world, it’s being able to handle the pressure, it’s being able to make decisions in a short amount of time when problems need to be solved as soon as possible.

Or maybe as Rush Limbaugh said it best on his March 17th show – “He doesn’t look at America as the solution. We’re the problem. He doesn’t think the United States has any moral authority in places like Libya. In fact, I would venture to say that if you get Obama to be honest, he’d tell you that there have been times in our history when we have been Libya. We’re no different. He probably thinks, who are we telling Khadafy what to do? Who are we to stand up for people around the world who want freedom?”. Maybe President Obama does believe were all the same, and we should not care about what happens in the world regardless of the consequences.

When the United Nations, Britain, France, and Arab countries take action and make decisions faster on Libya, people wonder how much the United States is declining as a world power? And will President Obama actually realize that sooner or later that there is responsibility for not making actions?

16 Mar
2011
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Conservative News Sites

For anybody looking to explore news outlets outside the mainstream, here is a brief list of conservative news sites that provide information you won’t hear on ABC, CBS, or NBC.

National Review
drudgereport.com
CNSnews.com

American Spectator
American Thinker
Media Research Center
Pajamas Media
Weekly Standard

11 Mar
2011
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The Public Responsibilities American Poets

Editors note: This article, written by guest contributor Eugene Schlanger, was originally published at The University Bookman.

Recently, Forbes magazine attempted to measure the effect of Ruth Lilly’s $185 million bequest to the Poetry Foundation. That foundation, which publishes Poetry magazine, claims that it reached 19 million new poetry readers last year. John Barr, its president, a poet and a former investment banker, suggested this was positive evidence of the growth of the public’s awareness and reception of this art form. Quantitatively, the market for poetry may have increased. Qualitatively, the results are far less clear.

In 1943 T. S. Eliot addressed the British-Norwegian Institute and attempted to measure the social function of poetry. He asked whether a poem could serve a public purpose. In addition to the pleasure of reading, can a poem expand the public’s awareness of non-literary issues, such as those in the social, political, economic, or religious arenas? Noting his inability to read Norwegian, Eliot said that if hypothetically no new Norwegian poetry were ever to be written again, he still understood that was a global loss because it would affect the ability of all people to express themselves. In other words, although civilizations and nations differ, poetic language has a universal purpose.

Against these differing backgrounds—monetized and anthropological—one may inquire about the current state and purpose of contemporary American poetry, not from the point of view of the poetry establishment but from the perspective of the general public. This question may be even more relevant in our age of constant communications when an astute observation or an expression of heightened awareness can circumvent all boundaries and be republished instantly. One might expect well-crafted words to have more of an effect and function in these circumstances. One might also expect American poetry to have more of a general audience.

Much has been said about the incestuousness of the poetry business: colleagues honoring colleagues so each in turn can garner the accolades that precede additional awards and positions. One honored poetry editor at a national magazine only solicits poems for publication from his friends. Perhaps success in all professions is as much a factor of contacts as skill and intelligence. But if poetry has a greater purpose because ostensibly it is capable of directly advancing a collective social good, one must commiserate with those sincere poets who are excluded from these inner circles. Under these conditions one hopes that their love of their art will sufficiently inspire them despite their long treks towards probable nothingness.

If poetry has a national purpose, and if it is capable of bridging different languages and cultures, the few successful modern practitioners (and their supporters) may be failing the general American public in addition to neglecting their lesser-known colleagues. The word “few” to describe this successful group is purposeful, based not upon its quantity but upon its social quality. One constantly reads and hears the same handful of important names, as if the current generation of critics and commentators must say something meaningful about their own American poets in order to have something to say about themselves. But for the poet and critic William Logan, I have often wondered whether anyone else writing about poetry these days has the courage to suggest that not much that is memorable, meaningful or musical has been written by an American poet in decades.

How odd it must seem to write about the potential good of poetry in an age when the known poets cannot attract an audience or attention. Is contemporary poetry so contemptible, so unmusical, so poorly written, or so obscure that no one now associates poetry with current events? Alice Quinn’s valiant efforts as poetry editor of The New Yorker to publish poems in response to the September 11 attacks and the prominent placement of her efforts near the back cover of that literate magazine had a negligible effect on the public’s attention to this central event of recent history. Todd Beamer’s famous two words, “Let’s roll,” may be more meaningful and real. Viciously, some have suggested that America’s poets laureate create nothing new after their appointments and instead only wallow in their own past successful formulas. Regrettably, that success excludes the future common reader. Did the polite praise of Elizabeth Alexander’s inauguration poem have more to do with the hope associated with President Obama’s election than her artistry or the need to hear a compelling poem?

Do American poets deserve their little recognition?

Despite the current economic malaise Americans still consider themselves fortunate. Why then are our known poets so unreliant? So incapable of an important performance in our vibrant language? Do American poets deserve their little recognition? Worse, are they literally failing the diverse citizens of this nation in every occupation and at every level of success and education? Any measure of American cultural achievement for the last few decades could easily award the highest honors to Hollywood: the film industry has consistently, decade after decade, delivered creative and entertaining movies. I challenge anyone to name a poem of similar consequence or to recite a phrase from a recent American poem that has entered the national consciousness. Worse, for poets and their promoters, journalists now appear the most capable of clever writing and of the pursuit of social truths, despite their demanding deadlines.

I fault the detached university and academy writing programs, their self-absorbed professors and instructors, the reviewers and promoters of the insular magazines, and most of all the small number of known public poets for the suspicious absence of poetry from this live culture in these exciting states. Lyrics and tweets permeate the air, but the poets seem incapable of composing poems about issues of social consequence or, worse, they appear to be unaware of what most concerns the American public. This is a terrible pity. Even those who do not read or write still respond to adept artistic expressions of a communal feeling or thought. Communication is the base of all things American. Historically, words define us culturally and politically. “We, the People. . . .”

In light of the stultifying narcissism of the poetry establishment, will some young poet in Clinton, Iowa or Columbus, Georgia come to purposely write not about themselves or personal desires, but about this Congress, abortion, immigration, God or godlessness, our soldiers, or any of the other political and moral issues that permeate this nation’s consciousness at this vivid time and place? And remember, young poet, to read more history than you write poetry. You may also effectively ignore mostly all of the poetry published and praised in the last few decades. Ultimately, responsible new American poets will emerge whose poems (whether good or great) should reunite our language and purpose.

Eugene Schlanger, the Wall Street Poet, is the author of September 11 Wall Street Sonnets (Paris: Éditions Underbahn, 2006). He also practices law on Wall Street.