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Friday, September 26, 2008

Florida's New Bureaucratic Palace

As we note here, Governor Charlie Crist recently socialized Florida's property insurance by creating the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. Today, from State Senator Don Gaetz we learn that Citizens Property Insurance is planning to either construct or lease back a new bureaucratic palace:
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation is currently planning to lease or have built-to-suit a new 100,000 square foot office facility in Tallahassee. The sheer size, scope and expense of such an undertaking is extraordinary, particularly given the economic conditions facing those who pay Citizens premiums and directly and indirectly support Citizens through surcharges on other policies.

I am further advised that the amenities under consideration for this vast facility include a fitness center, restaurant and concierge services. While I can understand the comfort and convenience which would be available to Citizens executives and employees, I question the wisdom of spending Floridians’ dollars for what would seem to be non-essential luxuries.
There was a time when Florida had a Governor who knew something about fiscal responsibility and whose goal it was to reduce the power and scope of the government. In his second inaugural address Jeb Bush emphasized his intent saying:
"we can make these buildings around us empty of workers; silent monuments to the time when government played a larger role than it deserved or could adequately fill."
Thanks be to Don Gaetz for continuing in Jeb's foot steps.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Beware: McCain Proposes Regulation for Wall Street

If history is any guide, the nation will rue the day that it allows McCain to get his hands on its financial and securities institutions. Speaking in Jacksonville, Florida recently McCain proposed a new set of regulations to replace "the outdated and ineffective patchwork quilt of regulatory oversight in Washington." McCain's 'regulations' are all too often knee-jerk reactions which, because of his reliance upon an unhealthy mix of liberal and populist ideology, only serve to make matters worse. Here are a few examples:
  1. McCain-Feingold (Evisceration of the First Amendment/Incumbent Protection Act)
  2. Cap and Trade legislation (Government takeover of economy)
  3. Comprehensive Immigration Reform (Amnesty)
  4. Sarbanes-Oxley (Onerous business reporting rules now making London the financial capital of the world and preventing IPOs)
Other aspects of McCain's legacy:
  1. Opposition to Bush's Tax Cuts
  2. Gang of Fourteen
  3. Drilling in ANWR
  4. Crusade against tobacco
  5. National compulsory service
Blindly bumbling from one bad idea to another, McCain has blamed the current financial crisis on his fall back populist rhetoric--"Wall Street greed." Next, McCain proposed a slow moving indecisive "bipartisan commission," and demanded the firing of SEC Chairman and Bush appointee Christopher Cox (reminiscent of McCain's demand for Rumsfeld's head). Unfortunately, the latter remark served only to remind McCain's recently energized base of his penchant for throwing Republicans under the bus (with almost as much skill as Obama).

Mr. McCain--shouldn't the managers of these failing companies (ie. Franklin Raines or Dan Mudd), or those who blocked their reformation (Barney Frank D-Mass.) at least receive some of the blame? For some odd reason I fear that your inconsistent and confused ideology would, at best, give us four years watered down liberal policies.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Thoughts on McCain at ServiceNation

Eventually it hit me. I kept asking myself, "what's with the government centric assumption to service that pervades all of these questions posed by both Stengel and Woodruff?" The answer--these moderators are liberals! Most normal people find higher purpose in religion and perform their acts of service through their churches. To these liberals, government (or environmentalism) has become their religion and their higher purpose. They have never been to church!

It's stunning that the fundamental assumption of ServiceNation is that "volunteerism" has to be lead by the federal government. Incredibly, McCain was asked whether working class people have the necessary means and time off work to volunteer as compared to the wealthy (the assumption being that the government ought to mandate time off or supplement the incomes of those who "serve"). For some reason, McCain agreed to triple the size of Americorps, but the assumption continued when McCain was jokingly asked if he would establish a cabinet level of "Service!?!" If I were answering that question I would have said, h$*@% no, we need to be dissolving at least half of those departments! McCain finally got on track saying that the Cabinet is already too large as it is.

True service consists of simple acts like walking across the street and cutting down a tree limb for a neighbor or helping a widow in need. One of the greatest things about real volunteerism is the fact that there is almost no overhead--100% of the revenues going to those in need. That certainly would never happen with a new layer of bureaucracy. Service does not consist of getting paid to attend a government sponsored left wing training camp and do calisthenics in center city Philadelphia for a year (I've seen it first hand). It makes me wonder why McCain would agree to triple the size of Americorps.


Thoughts on Obama at ServiceNation

Obama wants to train and deploy America's youth as "agricultural specialists" to Afghanistan. Does anyone besides me see a problem here? In my opinion, America's national parks have enough "agricultural specialist" running around. Our native cash crop could be devastated if Obama were to teach poppy cultivation to the unbathed and directionless protester class. On second thought, we would certainly have a huge pool of willing applicants.


Roundup of Biden's VP Gaffes...Stay Tuned

Being a City Councilman Harder than being a Senator

Paying Taxes is Patriotic!

"Barack America!":

"Stand up for Chuck!"

Lt. Governor of Alaska:

Hillary would have been a better choice than Me:

Battalions or Brigades?


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven Years Later, Still little Progress at Ground Zero

Seven years after terrorist destroyed the World Trade Center, construction efforts at Ground Zero still show little evidence of progress. The 26 projects planned for Ground Zero (totaling over $15 billion) are "over budget and behind schedule," said the Port Authority' executive director Christopher Ward. According to Architectural Record:
"Originally scheduled to be to be finished this year, construction of the 1,776-foot-tall (1 World Trade Center) skyscraper has inched along since foundation work began in 2006. Today, steel columns rise a mere 20 feet above street level."
I guess it's not necessarily the triumphant rising of the phoenix that we had hoped for.


The Coming Civil War in America

Phyllis Chesler's points out some stylistic differences between the Republican and Democrat National Conventions which portend and even larger cultural divide to come in America. Can the same thing be said about the "conservative" and "liberal" churches as well? Is it me, or is it strange to walk into a church and see a long-haired reformed hippie jamming on his guitar or banging on a snare drum just prior to taking communion?
The Democratic National Convention had music by the great Stevie Wonder; Jennifer Hudson, like Senator Obama, a sudden and recent star who won an Academy award for her supporting role in Dreamgirls; Melissa Etheridge; Sheryl Crow; the very popular soul singer, John Legend who performed twice, once alone and once with, a member of the funk/hip-hop group, The Black Eyed Peas. Robert Moore, a Rosebud Sioux tribal Council member, sang a traditionally non-traditional version of the national anthem.

The entire convention, especially the last night when Obama spoke, was the equivalent of a rock concert. To many people, especially younger people, this is what moves them, what is real. Only celebrity, “spectacle,” performance, and popular music have authority, are familiar, and command their respect.

The Republican National Convention had very little music. I myself saw and heard only one young Christian rock singer. Maybe there was more music and I missed it. Perhaps the Republicans decided to focus on the speakers and not on the entertainment. The RNC website lists no musical entertainers, probably courtesy of Hurricane Gustav.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Digging for Dirt But Finding Only a Hole

From the moment that Sarah Palin was introduced to America as John McCain's pick to be his Vice Presidential Running mate, Obama dispatched his minions to Alaska to dig up any amount of dirt that could possibly be uncovered about the relatively unknown political newcomer (at least unknown on the national stage). As John Fund from the Wall Street Journal reported just yesterday, the Obama camp has dispatched over 30 lawyers and "opposition researchers" (a euphemism for political hacks or thugs) to try and find something -- ANYTHING -- to knock Sarah Palin off course. They know that she, more than McCain himself, stands as the single biggest barrier to the community organizer's dreams of becoming the most powerful man on earth.

Well, one thing that the radical America-hating hard left (with their help at the National Enquirer) came up with was a phony story about an alleged affair that Palin had with one of her husband's former business partners. The left-wing blogosphere was all in an uproar when an associate of the Palins, Scott Richter, filed a request with an Alaskan court to seal (or treat as confidential) his divorce papers. To the non-thinking, knee-jerk left wingers, that request alone was enough to prove that Sarah Palin must have had an affair and that affair MUST have been with Mr. Richter .... why else would he be trying to hide his divorce papers? A hoped-for home run in the game of gotcha politics. Or so they thought.

As the Smoking Gun now proves, the hype (or was it 'hope') by the Obamamaniacs was all for not. As it turns out, Mr. Richter was trying to seal his records only because the 30+ researchers and their allies in the national media were using the court records to obtain his name, address and phone number in order to hound him with questions about the Palins.

In his petition to the court, Mr. Richter plead for assistance because the media and others are using his name, number and address to obtain unwanted daily contact. Plus, he says, "[m]y cabin life and private life is extremely important to me and my young son who find ourselves and our lives disrupted by such contact."

So, the media and the Obama thugs dig up Mr. Richter's name and number, they pepper him with questions, they harass his 11-year old son and when he files a request with the court for some relief, they use that as proof that Mrs. Palin had an affair with Mr. Richter. Amazing. They cause the problem and when an innocent bystander tries to fix it, he (and Mrs. Palin) becomes guilty as charged.

I undertand the media's need to research Sarah Palin. I don't fault them for that. That's their job. And if they find something credible on an issue that matters, by all means bring that to light. But, if they are going to expend that much time, effort and treasure to researching all of Sarah Palin's dirty laundry, out of fairness and journalistic integrity (can I use those two words in a row or is that a ________?), then they need to fly their researchers to Chicago to study Obama's connections with Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko, and William Ayers as well as his involvement in unethical land sale deals and $1 billion in pork earmarks (to name just a few issues that the media has given blind eye to related to Lord Messiah Obama). What's fair is fair. But that concept isn't known to today's media. They carry the water for Obama and the liberal establishment, treat them with kid gloves, all while going after the GOP candidates like sharks.

So my only question is this: if the Democrats in Congress get their way and re-establish the "Fairness Doctrine", will the national media be required to comply or will it only apply to syndicated talk radio shows that have a top 5 nation-wide ranking? Just wondering.


Rice laments lack of black diplomats

When it comes to Iran, North Korea, China, Russia, Venezuela and the rest of the cast of characters, I'm not sure what the color of one's skin has to do with their capabilities to promote your country's interest abroad. On the other hand, with the State Department actively undermining the President's agenda, maybe some new blood isn't such a bad idea after all:
"I want to see a Foreign Service that looks as if black Americans are part of this great country," Rice told a gathering of black colleges and universities in Washington. I have lamented that I can go into a meeting at the Department of State," said Rice, the second black person to become secretary of state after her predecessor Colin Powell. And, as a matter of fact, I can go into a whole day of meetings at the Department of State and actually rarely see somebody who looks like me, and that's just not acceptable," she added.
On the other hand, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas says that the Constitution forbids racial preferences, so I don't know what to think.


BBC Poll: World wants Obama as president

Exactly the reason that the United States should vote for anyone other than Obama:

US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama may be struggling to nudge ahead of his Republican rival in polls at home, but people across the world want him in the White House, a BBC poll said. All 22 countries covered in the poll would prefer to see Senator Obama elected US president ahead of Republican John McCain.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Alabama "Fat Tax"

Although I am hard wired chafe under "Big Brother's" hand, I surprisingly have no problem with this:

Alabama recently ranked as the No. 2 fattest state in a national study looking at obesity. About 30 percent of Alabama residents are considered obese. The Alabama state government has decided it has to do something about that rate. So, in in the way typical of governments everywhere, it came up with an idea to encourage weight loss - and make some dough in the process. A fat tax. If the obese members of the state's 37,527-employee work force don't lighten up in a year, they'll be charged $25 to help pay for their health insurance - unless they get a free health screening. According to Business Week, if the screenings turn up serious problems with blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose or obesity, employees will have a year to see a doctor at no cost, enroll in a wellness program or take steps on their own to improve their health. If they show progress in a follow-up screening, they won't be charged. But if they don't, they must pay starting in January 2011.
First of all, these employees are "at will" and if they don't want to lose weight in order to save their employers from an already crushing health care cost, then they can always work somewhere else. There is no inherent right to a cushy government job where you can (a) send every single one of your calls to voicemail, and (b) produce next to nothing all day. Having worked for several different branches of government during my time in college (both state and federal) I know this goes on from first hand experience.

Second, because this is a case of employer/employee, it is different than what we will inevitably experience under a future socialized medicine regime. Neither healthcare nor health insurance is a 'right' in the same sense that you have a right to a trial by jury. Where the employer chooses to offer healthcare to his employees, he does so, not out of charity, but to attract and retain more highly skilled employees. On the other hand, if the government were the sole provider of healthcare, your receipt of medical treatment would be dependent upon first, whether you have lived according to the government health mandates (ie. fat intake, smoking, alcohol consumption), and only then will the government proceed to examine the severity of your illness. Because socialized medicine requires rationing, healthcare will be rationed first to those submit to government prescribed way of life. People who are too fat, too old or too young are the first to be rationed. Incredibly as it may sound, prerequisites for government healthcare demand that you stop smoking, restrict your number of child births , or that all of your health information be available to the government, etc.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Supreme Court Ruling Put Marine JAG in Moral Quandary

From the Florida Bar News: The Supreme Court's grant of civil rights to unlawful enemy combatants has placed the U.S. Military and this Marine JAG in a severe moral quandary. The issue--How can a prosecutor criminally try a defendant (a terrorist) with evidence obtained by duress or coercion (of even the slightest degree)? The "exclusionary rule," a penalty created by our courts, prevents the admission of evidence in a criminal prosecution which was collected in violation of the defendant's constitutional rights. If an unlawful enemy combatant is entitled to certain Constitutional rights (as the Supreme Court says they are), how can a prosecutor both uphold the Constitution on one hand, and attempt to admit battlefield evidence that has been obtained in violation of the Constitution? Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch tells of his experiences at GTMO:
In October 2003, Couch first visited Guantanamo to get the lay of the land, and soon learned business was being conducted in a bizarre way. Waiting to watch an interview with another detainee through a two-way mirror, Couch heard what he called “ear-splitting heavy-metal, razor-blade rock” coming from down the hall. Couch ran toward the music, and found a room lit only by a flashing strobe light. A detainee was shackled to the floor, rocking back and forth and praying.

“These two civilian dudes came out and backed me up and pulled the door behind them. I said, ‘What’s going on here?’ They really wouldn’t answer my questions. To the guy who was escorting me around, an Air Force JAG, I said, ‘What the heck is this about?’ And he goes, ‘That’s approved.’”

While watching the treatment of that detainee, Couch said he had a flashback to his stint in the Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) School, where air crew and special operations people learn how to handle themselves if captured.
He explains that one defendant began "singing like a canary" after interrogators made him believe that his mother was going to be arrested and brought to GTMO as well:
Slahi (the defendant) believe[d] he was going to be taken out and executed and buried at Guantanamo. The detainee Slahi was shown a letter on State Department letterhead that indicated his mother and his brother had been picked up and his mother was going to be brought to Guantanamo. The letter was expressing out loud concerns about what they were going to do, because she was going to be the only female at Guantanamo and they were concerned about her safety. The implication being: ‘Hey, we’re going to bring your mom to Guantanamo, and she’s probably going to get raped,’” he said.

Focused solely on what he saw in government documents about Slahi’s treatment, Couch said, “Enough is enough. Torture of a human being is wrong. It’s a violation of our domestic law.
Whether playing "ear splitting" music or showing a terrorist a piece of paper qualifies as torture is a hard sell for many people, especially when you consider the evil and vindictive means of torture devised over the course of human history, but this is not the purpose of this post. The purpose of this post is to illustrate the moral quandary that the Supreme Court has placed upon our armed forces by attempting to force American rules of criminal procedure on what is, in fact, a legitimate war-time intelligence gathering operation. Criminal procedure and war-time intelligence gathering operations cannot occupy the same space simultaneously. You cannot apprehend someone on a battlefield who knows the enemies' battle plans, interrogate them for military purposes, and, at the same time, attempt to admit the information extracted as evidence in a criminal proceeding (that is if you are forced to use traditional rules of criminal procedure). The military has begun recruiting detectives and police for this purpose, but the whole notion of making a criminal arrest on a battlefield is ridiculous.

Is the U.S. military so mighty that we have no need to know of the enemy's plans? Are our tanks and airplanes so overwhelming that interrogation is now obsolete to our armed forces? By granting unlawful enemy combatants access to our criminal courts, the Supreme Court has implied precisely that. As a result, the military and Lt. Couch have been placed in an completely untenable position. Either the military must choose to interrogate detainees through some form of coercion and release them (for all evidence gained by coercion would be excluded in court), or they must begin building a criminal case against the detainee, thereby forgoing all intelligence that might contribute to the most important objective--VICTORY.

To fight and win wars, detainees must be interrogated. As battles rage back and forth and men spill their blood on one side or the other, intelligence on the enemy's location and strength has-more than once-meant the difference between victory and defeat.


Friday, September 5, 2008

The Bag Tax--a Long Train of Abuses

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels wants to force all shoppers to pay a twenty cent tax whenever they receive disposable bags — paper and plastic — at a grocery store. This is not all. Mayor Nickels has also proposed banning foam food containers and cups at food-service businesses starting Jan. 1, and Non-recyclable plastic food containers and utensils by 2010. Here's how the money would be spent:
"Seattle Public Utilities would collect the bag fee from stores. The utility estimates it would bring in $10 million per year. About $2 million would be used to provide and promote reusable bags. The rest would be spent on waste prevention, recycling and environmental education programs."
What is it with these guys? It's not enough just to tax us coming and going. Now the residents of Seattle (but most likely their grade schoolers) will have to be "re-educated" with the very money that was extracted from them at the grocery store. As with all taxes of this nature, the true purpose is to give the mayor a massive slush fund to promote his radical big government ideology. Is it possible that pulling $10 million out of family's already tight budgets is not a good idea? Is it possible that most of this money will end up being squandered at city hall? If the "tobacco settlement" is any indicator, this money will slowly get lost in the city budget--some of it going to golf courses and pot holes--but most of it being awarded to the mayor's friends (in exchange for campaign contributions, of course).

Furthermore, Nickels reveals the single goal of the environmental movement--the growth of government. For the enviro-Marxist, "global warming" is just the latest reason for the government to control more and more of your money and your life. Sometimes it's "for the children," sometimes it's "for the planet," but the solution is always the same--greater taxes and more government regulation.

Now, instead of endless supplies of free trash can liners, the government will force us to drag around some filthy canvas bags in our trunk for the rest of our lives. Is this a huge inconvenience? For those of you living in Europe or in an American 'blue state,' probably not, but a long train of abuses and usurpations such as these can, and will, eventually reduce Americans under a state of absolute despotism. Man cannot remain free so long as the government may, by a million little cuts, arbitrarily rob him of the value of his labor.

Every time the government introduces another program or regulation, its effect is always to increase our costs of living. If you think that regulations like the bag tax are isolated incidents and that they will only increase your budget by a minuscule amount, then think again. If you ever plan on purchasing a home in Seattle you might want to take a stand right now. An intriguing new analysis by a University of Washington economics professor argues that home prices, also, have been driven up $200,000 by such good environmental intentions:
"Between 1989 and 2006, the median inflation-adjusted price of a Seattle house rose from $221,000 to $447,800. Fully $200,000 of that increase was the result of land-use regulations, says Theo Eicher — twice the financial impact that regulation has had on other major U.S. cities. In a nationwide study, it can be shown that Seattle is one of the most regulated cities and a city whose housing prices are profoundly influenced by regulations."
Do you want to buy an affordable house? Don't count on it. Do you want do buy affordable gasoline? Don't count on it. Do you want affordable medical care? Don't count on it. The long train of abuses (costs imposed by the government) slowly add up until you neither have money nor manumission.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Biden and the Advent of Communist Show Trials

Elaborate Soviet-style show trials may soon be coming to a capital near you--that is if Joe Biden and his fellow leftists have their way. It's no coincidence that Democrats have been slowly honing their stagecraft in recent decades--they're simply trying to catch up with their ideological cousins from Kiev to Cambodia, who for decades have been utilizing show trials to eliminate their opponents. At a campaign event in Deerfield Beach, Florida, Biden made the following comment:
"If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued...[N]ot out of vengeance, not out of retribution, out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no attorney general, no president -- no one is above the law."
If the Soviet experience is any indicator, the introduction of this practice does not bode well for the future of our Republic. Imagine an America as described by S. P. Kolosov a brigade commander in the Red Army: "I am afraid to open my mouth. Whatever you say, if you say the wrong thing, you're an enemy of the people. Cowardice has become the norm." Imagine the 'home of the brave' turned turned into a quivering mass of cowards--fearing a political witch hunt from the least respected and least accomplished body in our country. Imagine a statesman stifled by indecision--having more fear of the future Democrat inquisition than executing his Constitutional duties against a foreign enemy. Imagine being charged and convicted for acts, which when committed, were not contrary to the law of the nation, but were declared so after they were committed (a violation of the ex post facto clause, by the way). Imagine--after leaving office--being charged criminally for purely political decisions made while in office.

If you can imagine this, you can see the consequences of a future Obama administration.

Watch the Video Here:


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How Sarah Palin Handled Corruption

This post brought to us from Cynical Alaskan at The American Thinker:

From an Alaskan who is a very serious cynic about all things political, here is my take on Sarah.

I met and spoke with Sarah Palin about two years ago at our downtown park strip. It is a place for walking, carnivals, political outdoor things and such. She was cooking hotdogs at a fund raiser and introducing herself to the public as a Governor hopeful.

She came by and said the usual "Hi, I'm Sarah Palin and I am running for Governor"...and I expected her to keep on to the next person but she asked me who I was and what I did in Alaska and we ended up talking for 15 minutes about me, Air America (she was all agog!) and my career in the Army and AAM. She is a pilot (Super Cub) I'm told, although all she told me about that was that she loved flying.As I watched her successful run for governor over the next six months, I was really impressed. In fact I already was impressed greatly even before that, after she resigned a good position (Alaska Gas and Oil Regulatory Commission) because a fellow Commission member (Chair of the Alaska Republican Party) misused his office and position. He was using the fax, computers, printing room and all to promote the Republican endeavors while in a state job. That is a huge no-no in any government employment position.

She resigned and made her point, and within weeks Randy Ruderich (the above bad guy) found his butt out on the street and a subsequent investigation found him guilty and he was fined $12,000. Small change actually but a giant point was made.

Next she went after our most horrible Governor ever, Governor Murkowski, and damned if she didn't beat him! All of us here in Alaska, except the Democrats, are sick of our state's corruption. That fact was shouted to the heavens after she was elected with an overwhelming point spread.

After she got into office she started going after corrupt legislators, and with the FBI's help we've put four of them in prison, indicted six more and the "Corrupt Bastard's Club" as they arrogantly called themselves (even had hats made with CBC on the front!) suddenly found it no fun anymore.

The current flap which has cost her a ten point loss of popularity (she's still 82%!) was over firing a popular Commissioner of Public Safety who is responsible for our Alaska State Troopers. She fired him for no stated reason, which was her prerogative as the guv. He served entirely at her option. She and her whole family had a bad, bad experience with a rogue Trooper who was married to Sarah's sister. His name is Trooper Wooten. This dimwit Trooper had threatened Sarah's father (death threat!), threatened Sarah ("I'll get you too"), Tasered his 12 year old stepson, drove drunk in his AST cruiser, got a pass by a fellow Trooper who stopped him for erratic driving a second time while in civvies, and just a host of other things not yet released to the public. He got away with it and got another pass by the Commissioner's appointed AST Trooper Internal Affairs investigator with a tiny slap on the wrist. Five days off without pay to be exact.

This maverick Trooper is still on the payroll but only just. The union's intervention saved his malcontent butt. He'll yet get his, I'm sure. Incredible heat is being heaped on the Troopers. Public heat, not the Governors office.

The Democrats had the audacity to appoint an obviously biased investigator, Rep. "Gunny" French (so called because he lied about being in the USMC while running for the legislature) is a staunch liberal and probably under the orders of Senate President Lyda Green who hates Sarah. She hates Sarah because after being elected Governor Sarah told the whole Legislature in one of her first meetings with them that, quote; "All of you here need some Adult Supervision!"

Sarah was seriously angry and not afraid of anyone there. That played wonderfully well with Alaskans. We are sick of all of our corruption watched her successful battles against a seriously entrenched corrupt government before she took on the legislature. The whole legislature was angry back at her and still are, but also afraid of her because of her popularity.

She reminds me personally of our Alaska wolverine which will fight anything in its path if it sees fit to do so. No respect at all for size or position.

In closing I must tell you that she is the best, most moral and most focused leader I've seen since President Reagan. I feel, really strongly that like Alaska, the rest of our country will love her within a few weeks. Put simply, she represents Middle America like no leader we've ever had.

I think McCain made a totally brilliant move in choosing her. She's a maverick who is probably tougher and more focused than McCain himself... and she won't be a total yes man, or more appropriately, yes woman.

McCain will love her.

In 2012 she will be President.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Alinsky's Hand at Democrat Convention

Hillary wasn't the only Alinsky convert to come out of Chicago. Barack Obama mastered his tactics as well. According to Alinsky's own son, Alinsky's tactics could be seen all over last week's DNC:
ALL THE elements were present: the individual stories told by real people of their situations and hardships, the packed-to-the rafters crowd, the crowd's chanting of key phrases and names, the action on the spot of texting and phoning to show instant support and commitment to jump into the political battle, the rallying selections of music, the setting of the agenda by the power people. The Democratic National Convention had all the elements of the perfectly organized event, Saul Alinsky style.

Barack Obama's training in Chicago by the great community organizers is showing its effectiveness. It is an amazingly powerful format, and the method of my late father always works to get the message out and get the supporters on board. When executed meticulously and thoughtfully, it is a powerful strategy for initiating change and making it really happen. Obama learned his lesson well.
Scary stuff.


Obama off the teleprompter...Again

Barack Obama, fearing that he would be viewed for what he is--the least qualified person on either party's ticket--was quick to make the following ridiculous statement:
“My understanding is that Gov. Palin’s town, Wassilla, has I think 50 employees. We've got 2500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe 12 million dollars a year – we have a budget of about three times that just for the month,” Obama responded.
So RUNNING for president qualifies you to BE President. I see the logic. I wonder why Microsoft, Boeing or General Motors don't select CEO's by the same criteria. I can envision the Ford family sitting around the director's table right now:
Director #1: "Harry Hardluck has wanted to run the company since first grade when he visited the factory on his summer trip."
Director #2: "Has he ever run another car company?"
Director #1: "No, but he has lots of people campaigning on his behalf."
Director #2: "Sounds like the obvious choice to me!"
This notion is plainly ridiculous. It's interesting to note that like many "hip" celebrities, Obama seems to take great pride in his entourage. With 2,500 paid staff, it sounds like even Obama's entourage has an entourage. Did it ever occur to Obama that employing hoards of sycophants to faint at his rallies or make tie dyed "Che Obama" T-shirts his hardly the same thing as running a city where potholes have to be filled, streets cleaned and a constituency to be appeased? Does it bode well for our country's future finances when a man with absolutely no economic bona fides brags about how much money he blows every month? Obama continues to stuff his empty suit with hollow managerial experience such as this gem:
"Our ability to manage large systems and to execute I think has been made clear over the past couple of years and certainly in terms of the legislation I’ve passed in the past couple of years, post-Katrina.”
So PASSING LAWS qualifies you to be President. I see that logic as well. (If anyone can identify Obama's legislative achievements, you may want inform his supporters)

Update: This from Byron York: “Just for the record, Alaska’s FY2008 operating budget is $11.2 billion, and the state employs approximately 15,000 people. Those certainly aren’t huge numbers in federal terms, but they’re a good bit bigger than the Obama campaign.”


Monday, September 1, 2008

Obama's Daughters vs. Palin's Daughters

By now we've all heard the news that Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin's daughter (who is 17 and unmarried) is pregnant. The Left is in a tizzy hoping and praying (well, maybe not praying, because that would be an implicit admission of the existence of deity) that the bigoted holier-than-thou religious right will dump their support for Palin like a bag of rocks. You see, the Left believes that when conservatives attempt to live by a moral code of conduct (and persuade others to do the same) they are being inherently judgmental of all those who do not. Being judgmental and bigoted by nature, Christian conservatives' first reaction upon learning that Palin's minor daughter is pregnant will be to reject both Palin and her daughter, a sort of Scarlet Letter, if you will.

In fact, reality for Christians is much different. While we all sin and fall short of the glory of God, a moral standard helps to guide society toward an ideal. One reason for Christ's perfect life was to show us how to live. He instructed: "be ye, therefore perfect. " (Matt 5:24) However, when an individual falls short of that ideal, it is not time for judgment, but gentle persuasion, repentance and reformation of ones life back to the ideal.

Liberals, on the other hand, believe that they cannot be held to any standards of ethics since they deny the existence of universal truth. Take Barack Obama for instance. According to USA Today, when asked to define sin, Barack Obama replied:
"sin is "being out of alignment with my values." Statements such as this have caused many people to wonder whether Obama has a God complex or is hopelessly arrogant. For the record, sin isn't being out of alignment with your own values (if it were, Hannibal Lecter wouldn't be a sinner because his values hold that it's OK to eat people) nor is it being out of alignment with Obama's — unless he really is our Savior.
The Left loves to point out the character flaws in conservatives who fail to meet a religious or moral standard, but isn't it better to at least attempt to live a moral and ethical life than to go around preaching that right or wrong is whatever you can conceive of within your head?

The Left would have their daughters compound an initial mistake (pregnancy), that was likely made in the heat of passion, with an infinitely more grievous evil (abortion). While the Christian conservative sees the pregnancy as an opportunity for deep personal reflection and change, the Liberal sees it as punishment which consequences, typical of liberal philosophy, must be avoided at all costs. Thus, we have Obama's statement from a discussion about sex education:
"if [my daughters] make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."
While I may be accused of taking Barry out of context, the underlying assumption is unavoidable. Barry sees a child (who, by the way, is his own flesh and blood--a grandson or granddaughter) and thinks of termination. The Palins see their children and think of life.

Update: Sarah Palin has issued the following statement regarding her daughter's pregnancy. It reinforces the value they place on children:
"We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us. Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support.

"Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media to respect our daughter and Levi's privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates."


McCain, Romney and the Politics of Wealth

When I read this story this weekend, I thought I was having economic deja vous. It leads you to wonder if Cindy McCain was paying attention during the Republican primary debates earlier this year.

"Cindy McCain told an interviewer that she was "offended by Barack Obama" and other Democrats who have been hammering her husband John McCain for being unable to immediately answer a question about how many homes he owns. "I'm offended by Barack Obama saying that about my husband...My father had nothing. He and my mother sold everything they had to raise $10,000. I'm proud of what my dad and my mother did and what they built and left me. And I intend to carry their legacy as long as I can."
It wasn't so long ago when John McCain's economic credentials were called into question by Gov. Mitt Romney that he too responded to Romney's assaults by leaning heavily on a bizarre form of economic populism:
"I know how to lead," McCain said at one point, sharpening a distinction between himself and Romney, a longtime businessman who never served in the military. "I led the largest squadron in the United States Navy, and I did it out of patriotism, not for profit."
We can hardly criticize the Democrat party from exploiting McCain's wealth for political advantage. After all, class warfare has been their bread and butter since at least Woodrow Wilson. It's a bitter pill to swallow; however, when the Republican nominee is so poorly schooled in the fundamentals of economic liberty that he spouts the anti-growth, anti-capitalist talking points. Usually, in the primaries nominees run hard to the extremes and then move to the center during the general election. McCain (the Maverick) has done the exact opposite. In fact, for the past six weeks of the general election McCain has been running as a Rush Limbaugh conservative and has actually been receiving praise from his conservative base. Recently, at the Saddleback Church when McCain was asked by Pastor Rick Warren to define rich, McCain was heard to say:
“I don’t want to take any money from the rich. I want everybody to get rich. I don’t believe in class warfare or redistribution of wealth. But I can tell you for example there are small businessmen and women who are working sixteen hours a day, seven days a week that some people would classify as, quote, rich, my friends, who want to raise their taxes and raise their payroll taxes. Let’s have—keep taxes low…So—so I think if you’re just talking about income, how about five million. So—but seriously, I don’t think you can…The point is that we want to keep people’s taxes low…It was not taxes that mattered in America in the last several years. It was spending.”
Maybe somebody on McCain's staff finally shook him by the collar and knocked some sense into him. (Thanks!!)