"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." -- JP Curran, 1790

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Geopolitical Implications After India's Terror Attacks

First accounts are still trickling in, and many times first impressions of an event are the least reliable, but we know a few things for certain. India is under a massive terrorist attack, and Muslim fanatics are claiming responsibility. The Global War on Terror is not over, and the enemy is seeing weakness.

The world needs to realize that we, the civilized and free society of planet Earth, are in this struggle together. Other nations cannot pay lip service to fighting terrorism, while letting the United States handle the brunt of the fighting (and the criticism). It is my sincere hope that we stand in solidarity with India, a democratic nation and an ally, with more than just words condemning attacks. It is time to step up and kill the enemy.

On the surface this looks like another pre-coordinated Al-Qaeda-style attack. Multiple symbolic targets were chosen, simultaneous attacks were carried out, and many innocent people were killed. What we have to realize is that India has begun to show its solidarity with the free world and become more aggressive against terrorists. It was the Indian Navy that opened fire on Somali Pirates in Africa, and the rest of the world should follow that example. Pay their ransom, free the hostages, then send the pirates to hell courtesy of a tomahawk cruise missile.

Indian Army officials are now claiming that these terrorists have come from Pakistan.

Bad news.

The long-standing struggle over the Kashmir region, and the discord between Hindus in India and Muslims in Pakistan is clearly demonstrated in history. The minute British forces left the region, all hell broke loose. Pakistan and India have fought in 3 major wars (1947, 1965, and 1971). All three ended with UN mediation, but all three felt strong interference from the Chinese, who saw a power vacuum that they wanted to fill. The United States and Great Britain were able to neutralize Chinese intervention then, but today brings a much different reality.

Since 9/11, the United States has greatly increased its influence over the region, but this is a tricky venture. With almost 300 million Muslims in the area (in both Pakistan and India), a disputed region of Kashmir, and un-governed regions in Waziristan run by warlords, the Indian Ocean is sitting under a powder keg. Here's the other MAJOR problem for the region. In the 1947, 1965, and 1971 wars, neither nation was a nuclear power; today both are.

Now is a "time for choosing," to borrow a quote from Ronald Reagan's great speech. It is time for Americans to choose to surge against the terrorists worldwide, just as we surged successfully in Iraq. It is time for India to choose to be a staunch ally, complete with military forces, of the United States in the Global War on Terror. It is time for Muslims in the region to choose freedom over tyranny, and end the implicit endorsement the extremists among them with their silence. This is not a war between Muslims and Hindus, Christians, or Jews. This is a war between oppressive tyranny and a free society.

It is a time for the rest of the world to choose a side. You can no longer sit idle and netural, declaring yourself beyond the conflict. This not WWI redux, and we have no colonial interests in any of these regions of the world. The United States wants to be free, spread freedom, and be left alone. It seems that the rest of the world suffers from superpower-envy, and fails to do what is necessary for fear that it will put them in line with the United States!

Nap time is over. Wake up and smell the threats before it's too late.

The tendency has been to weigh security v. freedom, as if it's some sort of pendulum, with mutually exclusive principles at work. This is not the case. Free societies do not need to mirror tyranny to remain free during the threat of terrorism. Governments need to relinquish their power over their own people, and focus on the bad guys. You cannot prevent terrorist attacks; you can only mitigate them.

Look at Israel. Their citizens are armed to the teeth, and whenever Palestinian terrorists attempt to carry out mass shootings in markets, they are met with 20 or more armed Israeli civilians and sent to their final destination with expediency. I bet you'd get a similar result in Texas. An armed populace can do more to defend itself from the inevitable than border guards spaced out every 100 miles, and spot checks on cargo ships.

You cannot prevent a terrorist attack, but you can prevent terrorists from breathing. The United States has successfully defended not only itself, but the free world against terrorist threats, but we cannot do it alone. By capturing and killing countless terrorists, the world is better off, but it is never completely safe. London and Madrid are 21st century examples the reach of worldwide terrorists, but the general theme is the same. Muslim extremists killing people of all faiths that do not share their wild views.

Now is a time for choosing, but let us choose wisely. Equivocating for the sake of international diplomacy is a fool's choice. We must stand by our convictions, with courage, and in defense of freedom.

**Update**
2 Americans are hurt in the India Terror attacks. Sphere: Related Content

"A Day of Publick Thanksgiving and Prayer" - George Washington


President Washington made a proclamation on Oct 3, 1789 that Nov. 26 would be set aside "to be observed acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God."

In the 1671, Charlestown recorded a Thanksgiving observance, but it's not clear to what extent Thanksgiving traditions really began. A colonial, during the 1700's, might have multiple days of Thanksgiving, but they were days full of prayer and ... are you ready? ... FASTING. In 1863 President Lincoln made Thanksgiving a National Holiday, on the 4th Thursday in November. In 1939 President FD Roosevelt changed it to the third Thursday to extend Christmas shopping. Two years later he changed it back.

Today we sit in relative comfort, free from threats of invading armies, and reasonably assured that we've got a handle on our national security and our freedoms. Thank God for the United States, thank the Constitution for shouting out our rights as individuals, and thank the United States Military for your relative security.

As you sit and watch the Detroit Lions (watch them probably lose, but this Falcon fan will actually root for them to pull out a victory in the national spotlight...Detroit needs it more than anyone else right now), parades, while you eat your share of Turkey and all of the fixings, please consider how much you have to be thankful for in your own life, and as a member of the greatest nation that has ever blessed this earth.

I'll leave you with an excerpt from George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation from Oct 3, 1789.

"I do recommend and assign Thursday, the Twenty-Sixth Day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.
...
And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; -- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to redner our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect adn guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge adn practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best."


-- President George Washington, October 3, 1789. New York.

Imagine if we had leaders with the courage and conviction to praise God for our good fortune! The condemnation would be swift from the mainstream press, but true leadership rises above that. As we approach the primaries for the mid-term elections, and the primaries for 2012, look to leaders that exude that much confidence. It may be like finding a needle in a haystack, but it will serve us well as a nation. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dream on Professor Panarin


In typical Russian fashion, a leading professor claimed recently that the United States is doomed for failure, and an eventual breakup. Igor Panarin says that the United States will break into 6 parts, the details of which are as unimportant as Panarin's opinion about our nation. Claiming that the dollar is backed by nothing, and that our people are suffering from record unemployment and discontent, the Russians think they smell blood. They believe that China and Russia will be the new regulators of the world.

They just don't get it.

The United States is not about a particular race, the dollar, or territory. We have survived, and thrived, as God's greatest contribution to civilization because of freedom. We have free will to act in our daily lives, and the United States is the epitome of that freedom. We need to get the debt down to $0, which means cutting out all deficit spending, lowering the tax burden on productivity, and spending less. A simple return to our Constitutional mandates would reduce our spending to a fraction of current levels. We will dawdle as a nation and eventually do this, but there's no question that our union is strong. That's not something I expect a Russian professor to understand.

Prof. Panarin, have you studied the Great Depression? Unemployment was 2.5 times what is is now, and we faced much more dire circumstances, but somehow the United States pulled through it, stars glowing and stripes blazing! It is Socialism that has never worked, and only an elitist would think that it hasn't worked because they weren't the ones in charge at the time. Instead of looking to Stalin, you need to look to Gorbachev for good policy direction. Freedom is better than fear.

Perhaps you'll also note that our Civil War, the greatest conflict this nation has ever faced (including the cold war), forged our bonds as a single nation, thanks to the Republican President Abe Lincoln!

Let's look at history:

USA -- a complete and unbreakable union
USSR -- the people rebelled against oppression and are now 15 distinct nations

Perhaps Prof. Panarin can learn more about the United States than he can teach us.

Nice try though. I'm sure your propaganda certificate is in the mail. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Are you a smart citizen?


Boortz had a link to this quiz on his news today, so check it out here:

The American Civics Literacy Quiz!

So, are you a smart citizen? If you're the average American, the answer is "probably not," but Offering "Common" Sense readers are a cut above!

Here's my score: You answered 31 out of 33 correctly — 93.94 %

So, I'm not perfect! Share your scores in the comments! Sphere: Related Content

Dem vs. Dem

I think it is most appropriate to begin the saga of Dem vs. Dem by including the first Spy vs. Spy cartoon. How entertaining is it that the new "unified" Democratic party is poised to implode...?

Like the cartoon, they are happy fellows working in unison. But that fellowship is built on distrust and disjointed agendas. This will be more fun to watch then the Barack feeding frenzy as the Liberal Left turns on him!!

Signing off...JCB Sphere: Related Content

Monday, November 24, 2008

Get to know your DEM Senators

As a follow-up to my previous post; Get to know your GOP Senators, I wanted to provide the same information on the Democratic Senators. So I gathered the data on all 56 known Democratic Senators in 2009, plus the 2 Independents that caucus with the Democrats, minus Obama and Biden, and left the remaining 2 races outstanding.

This first image shows all 58 DEM and Ind. Senators listed alphabetically by state. I've added data on their last election, margin of victory, the winner of that state in the 2008 Presidential election, the Presidential margin of victory in 2008, their next election, the year they were elected/appointed, the number of years in the Senate, and their American Conservative Union (ACU) Rating. http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dgh6x7fv_104fxd8t6qs

Second, I wanted to understand who some of the future leaders are going to be. I applied the same filtering as my GOP analysis; by those who had an ACU rating less than 10%, been in the Senate for 8 years or more. That generated the following 9 names. This is a scientific approach and does not include personality and leadership traits.

Assuming Clinton gets pulled for SECSTATE, there are a couple of others who stick out. The CA twins, Dick Durbin, and Chuck Schumer have all exerted themselves as sponsors of key legislation, leadership on key committees, and leadership roles behind the scenes. All 9 are in heavy Democratic states so they face little threat of running a liberal agenda. Chuck Schumer would be my one-to-watch. He chaired the re-election committee this year and is an assertive voice. He hasn't had a job outside of politics since starting as a NY Assemblyman at the age of 23. He's got a tenacious attitude and represents Democratic positions reasonably well on the TV chat shows. http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dgh6x7fv_106f6brd4gz

Finally look ahead to 2010 for opportunities it appears that Republicans will be on the defensive again. Salazar (CO) had the narrowest margin of victory in his 2004 win over Coors, but CO is becoming a strong Democratic state. Feingold (WI) who won by 11%, but would be a tough win. Lincoln (AR) presents a good opportunity in a state trending GOP, but sadly the Arkansas Republican party failed put up a challenger to Pryor (AR) this year when he seemed like a logical target. Many of the others are stalwarts who've won sizable victories in their past elections. Dodd (CT) has low approval ratings since the financial crisis, but would likely be replaced by a Democrat or would run as an independent like Joe Lieberman. Barack's vacant seat in IL will be up in 2010, but would be a difficult state to find a good GOP candidate. Maybe Dennis Hastert!
http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dgh6x7fv_108g327htgp

Still to come is a comparison of the two party's Senate representatives in which I will highlight:
  • Polarization DEM vs. GOP
  • Senators elected in "enemy" states
  • Which party is really a regional party?

Signing off...JCB

Sphere: Related Content

The Sharks are ready to bite!

It is become clearer that Barack Obama intends to govern more to the center than where he campaigned. Although I'm sure he will through some red meat to the liberal sharks swirling around his campaign, I don't think it will be enough or given fast enough.

As I wrote about earlier, the Sharks are swirling and they have an appetite. It looks like they are ready to bite!

It is quite comical to realize that he is still President-elect and less than a month from electoral victory and they are already showing their impatience with his inability to deliver the world to them, to all of them. He promised too much and will not be able to deliver.

I'll report back at first bite when blood is in the water. Will this be a feeding frenzy??

My bet is still on the unions to be the first to bite. My darkhorse now that he begins to put together his economic plan, the environmentalists who won't accept bad economic excuses.

Signing off...JCB Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Liberty that Was



There was a time in this country that you could plant your stake in the ground, and live in peace and prosperity by the sweat of your brow, or suffer and lose it all if you failed to do what is necessary to survive. Your income used to be yours. Such an abhorrence as an income tax was unheard of, and such a vile curse that pioneers would spit at the mere sound of the words. You could go out and buy a gun, if you had the money, and no one could tell you any differently. Telling a political candidate that he was full of crap was no call to have government agents search through your records, or ridicule you on live television.

That was liberty. This is not.

Today's system is so far removed from the original intent of our founding fathers that it's almost unrecognizable. I don't even know what to call what we have today. Start with freedom, remove accountability, and what do you have but a co-dependent populace, looking to vote for the next American Idol while Congress prints and spends trillions of dollars that we do not have, and we can never hope to repay? We have $10 trillion in debt, and to solve that problem, the federal government wants to put us another trillion or so in the hole? It's obvious that they are more concerned with maintaining control (with increased calls for gov't oversight and regulation) while perpetuating the very problems that got us into this mess...a complete lack of business principles.

What is the message not only to the "Big 3" automakers, but to the rest of the world? Spend what you don't have, go to the verge of bankruptcy, and wait for someone to bail you out? For now, Democrats are telling the population that the Republicans will make you pay for your own healthcare, how long until they start telling you the Conservative boogeyman will make you pay for your own living expenses!?

The law of the harvest is one of the most fundamental truths in God's Universe. You reap what you sow, and there's no getting around that. If you don't plant the corn, it simply won't grow. If you don't tend your crops, or do the extra work to harvest your food, you'll be hungry come winter. Our society has basically taken that single truth, and rather than allow us to be charitable, it has forced a redistribution of wealth, and more seriously, eroded the truth.

Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.

They are teaching the masses to vote, in exchange for fish...no one knows how to fish anymore.

We've already witnessed a serious erosion of our liberties, but now we're seeing some of the most advanced stages of a political paradigm shift. Accountability is long gone, ladies and gentlemen. It's time to worry, then get mad, then VOTE FOR FREEDOM. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, November 21, 2008

A historical guide to the future of Conservatism: Part 4

A continuation of my series; A historical guide to the future of Conservatism.

Previous posts:
Part 1: Popular Voting in Aggregate
Part 2: Gender and Race
Part 3: Age and Religion

Part 4: Regional and Population Size
In this part of the series I'll analyze and present the data by Region and Population size. I've also pulled additional data to add to the exit poll data which will show map-based views of trends for the regions and population sizes.

Population Size:
I'll start with Population size. The data is broken down by the following groupings and their % of the electorate:
There are some interesting shifts in the trending. Although only 11% of the population, the voters in the Greater than 500K are no doubt easily targeted with the media stations and mass gathering opportunities. Its interesting how Bush in 2004 closed the gap by 10%, which was reversed in 2008. Democrats have a clear advantage and history with urban voters. Republicans need to reverse the downward trend among these voters.

Since 1988, Democrats have won the voters in the 50K to 500K range by 10-15%. The one exception again is Bush in 2004 closing the gap to a tie at 49%. Barack reversed that in 2008 and won it by 20%! That is a huge swing. Again, there is another downward trend in this range that needs to be reversed.

Conversely, looking at the voters in the 10K to 50K range, it was Bush who dropped 10% here in 2004 from 2000. McCain was only able to expand the Republicans share from 50% to 53%. Definitely not enough to make up for the drop in the 50-500K range. Republican numbers have actually been climbing in this range but at only 7% it is a diamond in the rough.

The Rural voters have gone Republican in every year since 1988, with the data we have. We edged Clinton in 1992 and 1996 by 1 & 2 percentage points. This likely due to his gains in Appalachia and the Mississippi valley in those years. Bush won this range by 18% and 20%, whereas McCain only won it by 8%. Clearly he was unable to capitalize on the "Bitter so they cling to guns & religion" gaffe by Obama.

With the Suburbs voter totalling 49% in 2008, this is obviously a pivotal group. Looking at the plotlines, ever victor since 1980 has won a larger % of the suburban vote. Suburban migration from the more liberal inner cities can attribute for some of the losses as we've declined from 55% in 1980 to 48%. But look at the swing from 1988 to 1992. Clinton clearly shifted the suburban electorate. His gains, or Bush's losses in 1992, among Independents is an identifiable swing. Bush recovered in 2000 and 2004 with 2% and 5% margins respectively. His gains in key suburbs of Cincinnati, Tampa, and St. Louis were big reasons why he won those toss up states. McCain's drop-off in key suburbs is part of the reason why he lost OH, FL, VA, NC, and IN. Clearly this is a key voting block for Republican success.

Looking at a Map of how the counties have changed since 1960 reiterates the data.

Regions:
The Regions were broken down into the following 4 areas with their % of the electorate:

Once the most populous area, the Northeast has been continuing to shrink in population and at the same time become more Democratic. There is a clear drop-off of Republican preference since the Clinton years. The Northeast is a core region for the Democrats. Not only at a Presidential level, but in Congress as well. When Congress resumes in 2009, there will not be a single Republican House member from New England. Neither party can ignore an entire region of the country and be successful. Republican need to invest in favorable parts of the Northeast for House Seats, Governorships, and eventually Electoral Votes. Places like New Hampshire with its strong Libertarian beliefs plays nicely with Conservative economic principles, true principles not the practices of the recent years. Maine has been trending more Republican in past years with a more rural population. Western New York is more conservative as is Western Pennsylvania. A surprise is that New Jersey has also been trending more Republican. The question for Presidential elections is whether that manifests itself into Electoral Votes.

The Midwest is a broad and diverse region and always in contention. With aging Manufacturing in the east, farming plains in the west, and heavy population center in the middle, there are sub-regions within the Midwest that cannot be accounted for in aggregate. The victors in ever election since 1972 has won this region by popular vote. Clinton's Mississippi River and Appalachian strategies in the Midwest were keys to his victories. Obama capitalized on the heavy union voters, collapsing manufacturing, and his home turf in Chicago to turn a 10% margin of victory, the largest since Reagan in 1984. Ohio and Missouri are probably the the 2 most hotly contested states in recent elections. Both are clearly transitioning economies. Republicans need to regain the losses in OH, MO, IN, IA, WI, and MN. They also need to look for House seats in key conservative areas such as the Bible belt in southern IL and IN, central MN, northern MI, and across OH.

Since the FDR years, the South has been turning away from the Democratic party. It wasn't until Nixon, that it was solidified as core Republican country. Other than Carter in '76, Republicans have won a larger percentage of the southern vote in every election. Clinton obviously made a large dent along the Mississippi valley in AR, LA, and TN. Ironically, these same 3 states have trended more Republican in 2008 than any other in the nation. Republicans are losing their grip on the South as a whole as the demographics change in VA, NC, GA, and FL. Florida has long been a wild-card. Dominated at the state level by Republicans, in Federal elections the Democratic Jewish and minority voters come out. Georgia has been trending more Republican until 2008, when Barack reversed this trend with very high Black voter turnout in the Atlanta area. It was shocking to see Virginia and North Carolina go Democrat in 2008, but it shouldn't have been!! The Washington D.C. suburbs, possibly the most liberal per capita, continues to expand into east VA and finally out-numbered the western Appalachian and southern military voters. North Carolina is a matter of immigration also. The boom of the Research Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill) has brought in many more-liberal oriented northerners. Add in the fact that this growth is happening on top of three major universities (UNC, NC State, and Duke) and you have a recipe for disaster for Republicans. Republican obviously need to hold onto core deep south states and reverse the trends towards Democrats GA, VA, and NC.

If the Midwest has been the battleground region of the past, the West is the future. An odd mix of the mountains, the coasts, and the deserts; it is the "new frontier" by Democrats. Bush established a firm hold of the mountain region in 2000 and 2004. However, pockets of Democrats have sprung up that are challenging the norm. We saw Colorado go this year. Did you know that McCain won Montana by only 2.5%? With 2 sitting Senators, Montana may be the next Democrat swing. Its amazing to think that George H.W. Bush won CA, and Reagan swept the PacNW by +10%. The often referred to "Left Coast" is clearly along with New England the base of the Democrat party. The southwest is where we may see big changes. The 3 fastest growing states in the U.S. are NV, AZ, and NM. Don't assume it is all Hispanic voters either. However, there is a heavy concentration of Hispanics in this area and as I discussed in Part 2, they are a make or break demographic for Republicans in the future. Republicans need to focus on changing their game in the desert areas, look for opportunities in the coastal regions, and hold majorities in the mountains. While it would be difficult to turn a state like CA in presidential elections, near-term, there are House and Governorship opportunities. The key is to stop or reverse the trend towards Democrats in the West.

Historical Map Trends:

Here are the trends by state for 2000, 2004, and 2008. Its interesting to see a state like Ohio which went Republican in 2004, has trended more Republican since, but went for Barack because of higher turnout in 2008.

From 1936 to 1956 you can see the Republican party grow from a New England base to a dominant party except in the south.

From 1956 to 1964 you can see the Democratic party grow from a southern party, expand in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, and ultimately reverse map of 1956. Fascinating!

From 1964 to 1972 you can see the southern backlash against Democrats, a Balkanized party holding on to the mid-Atlantic and islands of support, to a Nixon supermajority opposed to attempted move to the left by the Democrats.

From 1972 to 1988 you can see a brief resurgence among Democrats in the south and Appalachia for Carter but otherwise a period of Republican electoral dominance. 1988 concludes with Democrats holding only the seeds of their new base, PacNW, Upper Midwest, and New England.

From 1988 to 1996 you can see the true impact of Clinton finally uniting the Democratic party. Turning the seeds of the West coast, upper Midwest, and New England into corner posts for expansions in Appalachia, the Mississippi River Valley, and signs of the future in the West.

From 1996 to 2004 you can see the Democrats being driven back to their corners. Republicans capturing the West solidly, reclaiming the entire South, Appalachia and eastern Midwest.

The effects and shifts from 2004 to 2008 are unclear. We don't know if Republicans will be a deep south, mountain west, plains of the Midwest party. We don't know if gains in the northern south are permanent shifts. We don't know if Democrats will own the eastern Midwest long term. We don't know if Republicans can reverse the Western loses. What we do know is that our Electoral Strategy is going to have to change to avoid regionalized pigeon-holing brought on by exclusionary approaches to our positions.

Key Takeaways:
  • Reverse the declining numbers in urban areas
  • Avoid heavy swings among population groups
  • Continue to grow in the 10K-50K population range
  • Dominate the Rural vote more heavily
  • Own the Suburban vote, it is key to victory across the board
  • Look for in-roads back in the Northeast, we cannot write-off New England
  • Target key Midwestern states in flux
  • Hold the core south. Reverse trends in VA, NC, FL, and GA.
  • Look West! Recapture the West. 2010 means new Electoral shifts to this area. Its growing in importance in EV numbers.
  • Identify states that we have won recently but are trending Democrat and invest (MT, GA, etc.)
  • Identify states we've lost but are trending Republican (MN, PA, NJ, OH, etc.)
  • Learn from the macro-view of the regional shifts from the past. Don't just rely on strengths in states because that is all you'll be left with.

coming soon... Part 5: Education and Income

Signing off...JCB

Source: http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/results/president/national-exit-polls.html, Dave Leip

Sphere: Related Content

Georgia and Minnesota

Aside from the obvious fact that Georgia and Minnesota are extremely important to our readers, as I am from Georgia, while JCB is from Minnesota, the balance of power of our government may rest with those 2 states. With Ted Stevens losing in Alaska by a close margin, the Democrats will enjoy 58 seats in the Senate before MN and GA decide on their Senators. If the Republicans were to lose both of these seats, the consequences would be even more devastating than we imagined. A filibuster-proof majority in the Senate would basically render any futile attempt at GOP opposition pointless, muting the voice of roughly half of all Americans who think as Conservatives.

JCB, you’ll have to get something going up in Minnesota! The Frankendorks are marching in unison right towards a Senate seat theft, up north! Georgia, now that Obamania is hopefully over, perhaps you’ll do what you should have done in the first place, and re-elect a Conservative in Saxby Chambliss! I believe Chambliss will win with over 60% of the vote, and if so, it will mark the opening shot in the war of ideology by Conservatives. People are getting the idea that $75/hour union labor may not be the best thing for our country, and it is causing our nation a lot of grief. People understand that government intervention, in the name of fairness and the common good, has done nothing more than to cause our credit system to crumble. Higher taxes on productivity send jobs to more business friendly nations (can you believe we are no longer a business friendly nation?), and people are justifiably worried about jobs.

We can win Minnesota and Georgia, and thus begin the movement towards
Conservative principles. The great purge has begun, and it’s time to move in the right direction.

Minnesota, write your Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and tell him to squash Democratic voter fraud! secretary.state@state.mn.us

Georgia, get out and vote on December 2 while you celebrate my birthday and buy your new Britney Spears CD’s. (I acknowledge that you’re probably not voting and buying Britney CD’s at the same time, but it’s worth a shot). Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Barack more divisive than President Bush?

Jay Cost does it again. This time regarding the polarization of the country this year. Take a look at his article linked below. The data analysis that he conducted concludes that we are more divided than in previous years. So don't think this victory is a sweeping mandate Democrats. You have work to do. Barack has proposed what they Democrats would not allow George W. Bush to do, be a "uniter, not a divider". Well as the election shows, Barack, you are more divisive than George W. Bush!

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/horseraceblog/2008/11/polarization_continues_under_o.html Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Get to know your GOP Sentators

As the final session of 2008 comes to a close and uncertainty remains in the MN and GA races, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the GOP Senators for 2009.

Assuming Coleman and Chambliss return, there will be 42 Republicans, 56 Democrats, and 2 Independents. Remember that the talk of 60 Senators to override filibusters includes these 2 Independents, Bernie Sanders and Joe Leiberman. Both come from Liberal Democratic backgrounds and states. However, Leiberman has been more aligned with Republicans regarding National Security.

This first image shows all 42 GOP Senators listed alphabetically by state. I've added data on their last election, margin of victory, the winner of that state in the 2008 Presidential election, the Presidential margin of victory in 2008, their next election, the year they were elected/appointed, the number of years in the Senate, and their American Conservative Union (ACU) Rating.
http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dgh6x7fv_72ftssw8hj

I wanted to understand who some of the future leaders are going to be. I filtered by those who had an ACU rating greater than 90%, been in the Senate for 8 years or more, and excluded Sen. Brownback who has announced that he will vacate his seat in 2010. That generated the following 8 names. This is a scientific approach and does not include personality and leadership traits.

All 8, with the exception of John Ensign (NV), are from solid Republican states that were won by McCain in 2008. Only 2 face re-election in 2010, which may be another challenging year for Republicans. Jim Bunning (KY) is the only one of the 8 with less than a 10% margin of victory in their last election. So they all have strong support of their constituency for their Conservative politics. Which means they have potential for lasting power and can avoid the threat of not getting re-elected if they choose to remain truly Conservative. Of the 8 I am most familiar with Jon Kyl (AZ) and have been impressed with his recent leadership in the financial crisis and opposition of the bailouts. His is articulate and comes across as an intelligent and persuasive Conservative voice. I'm by no way anointing any of these 8 as "The One" but rather singling them out has players to watch.

For those looking to the most senior members, John McCain (AZ), Richard Shelby (AL), Richard Lugar (IN), Chuck Grassley (IA), Mitch McConnell (KY), Kit Bond (MO), Arlen Specter (PA), and Orrin Hatch (UT). They will obviously play near-term leadership roles as the Republican Committee Chairs and influential Senators. Shelby will be a leading voice on Banking and financial crisis. Lugar on foreign affairs. Specter and Hatch on Judicial appointments. McConnell as the leader of the agenda and so on. But this is a representation of the past. They will be de facto leaders for the next 2-4 years. When I generated the list below, I wanted to see who can lead the resurgence and carry our message for the next decade.

For those who see John McCain as the heir apparent to GOP Senate leadership, he is not. Sure, he has been and will continue to be one of the most influential GOP Senators on policy and agenda. But, he is the quarterback, not the play caller. His strengths are executing the plan and building coalitions to "get things done". Unfortunately in this atmosphere he will have a difficult time quarterbacking the compromises. Democrats have a majority and a perception that the world is theirs. Teaching them otherwise will be decided on the backbone of the GOP. Will they have the mustard to stand up in opposition and filibuster with authority? We will see.
http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dgh6x7fv_74srnggtf2

Finally, looking ahead to 2010, there are 19 GOP and 15 DEM Senate seats up for re-election. Of the 19 GOP Seats, there are obvious early targets for the Democrats.

Sen. Brownback (KS) is vacating his seat in 2010, leaving a potential opening with the right candidate.

Looking at the states that Barack won in 2008 and margins of victory for the Senators in their last election:
They will likely not target Sen. Grassley (IA), Sen. Gregg (NH), and Sen. Voinovich (OH). Rather they will focus on Sen. Martinez (FL) who won by less than 1% in '04, Sen. Burr (NC) who won by 5% in '04 and is a state that Democrats are fighting hard to keep in 2012, and I wouldn't be surprised if they make attempts at Sen. Specter (PA) whose clout may not be enough for him to keep his seat in 2010.

Looking at others with closer margins of victory:
The will definitely target Sen. Thune (SD) who won the seat from their former Leader Tom Daschle. After the experiences in KY against McConnell, they will likely Sen. Bunning (KY) who is an easier, yet less impacting, target then Mitch. With Stevens out, they will take a shot at Sen. Murkowski (AK) or any other female GOP candidates (ahem!). Targeting Sen. DeMint (SC) has longer odds given the states history, but he is a first term Senator and would be a blow to the more Conservative side. They will likely not have a chance with Sen. Coburn (OK), despite him being a first term he is in a safe state for GOP Senators. Sen. Bond (MO) could be the alternative to Specter in their attempts to payback the Daschle targeting in 2004. Sen. Isakson (GA) could be another first term target depending on the outcome of this years runoff with Sen. Chambliss (GA). Finally Sen. Vitter (LA) who is a first term Senator who had a large victory margin, but has been in the news for his corruption and cheating could have a difficult race in 2010.
http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dgh6x7fv_76gmk44nf5

I will return with a follow-up article, Get to know your DEM Senators. In which I will do the same analysis of current/future leadership and 2010 opportunities.

Signing off...JCB

Source: ACURatings.org, Wikipedia.org, Senate.gov, and USElectionAtlas.org Sphere: Related Content

The Onion Gets One Right!


Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are Sphere: Related Content

Mindless and Unwitting Accomplices to the Media's Election

This is why our founders set up a REPUBLIC and not a mob-rule Democracy. Sadly, we're losing our heritage. Just watch the video (special thanks to Boortz for posting this today).

Sphere: Related Content

Alan Keyes filing suit against Obama over birth certificate

The latest: http://offeringcommonsense.blogspot.com/2008/12/obama-citizenship-will-be-considered-by.html

Interesting side show, Alan Keyes is suing in the state of California to withhold the 55 Electoral votes until documentary evidence is presented that proves Obama is a U.S. born citizen.

http://www.nbcaugusta.com/news/elections/presheadlines/34587804.html

Updated:
FactCheck.org begs to differ: http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html
Obama's own Fight the Smears website: http://fightthesmears.com/articles/5/birthcertificate
LameCherry: thinks otherwise regarding the us of "African": http://lamecherry.blogspot.com/2008/08/proof-barack-obama-birth-certificate-is.html

Update:
Thanks for the link Ted: http://politicalpistachio.blogspot.com/2008/11/why-is-obamas-birth-certificate-still.html Sphere: Related Content

A historical guide to the future of Conservatism: Part 3

A continuation of my series; A historical guide to the future of Conservatism.

Previous posts:
Part 1: Popular Voting in Aggregate
Part 2: Gender and Race

Part 3: Age and Religion
In this segment we will analyze the breakdowns by Age, a composite of Whites by Age, and Religion.

Breakdown by Age:
According to the 2008 numbers, the age groups made up the following portions of the electorate:

When we look at the 18 - 29 year olds, there is a declining number of Republican voters in this age group. Reagan captured 59% in his landslide in 1984, but Obama trumped that with 66% this year! Likely many are new voters, there was a staggering 34% gap between Obama and McCain in 2008. Republican grass-roots get out the vote efforts were clearly outgunned this year. We need to re-tool and learn from the creative ways the Obama campaign courted younger voters. Issues that concern this age group include: long-term viability of Social Security, Climate control, access to Higher Education, and Jobs as they enter the workforce and begin careers.

Among the 30 - 44 year old, fewer voted Republican than Democrat for the first time since 1996. Seeing a 5% decline from 2004 for Republicans is clearly troubling. This group is typified by young families and middle-aged workers; both core constituencies of Republicans. These voters went for Clinton by a 19% margin in 1996 in the 18-29 year old group. Issues that concern this age group include: Early Education for their kids, costs of Higher Education, Economic stability, Job security, National Security, and Social issues.

Since 1992, 45 - 59 year olds have had the closest margin of error. Some are the tale-end of the "Baby Boomer" generation, they are older workers with adult children and probably concerned about their retirement. These are the same voters who favored Reagan at 59% in the 18-29 year old group in 1984.

Despite a decline of 3% from 2004, it is positive that Republicans held a majority of the +60 year olds. As a voting population they turnout more consistently and sway from pre-election polling less than the other age groups.

Breakdown by Age/Race :
The data for the same for age groups by White voters only shows:

When the graphs are viewed side by side by Age group vs. White only by Age Group, it reiterates the analysis I conducted in Part 2. The trend lines are similar only down more for Republicans when minorities are added and more inclined for Democrats. It is interesting the differential numbers for the age groups. In the +60 year olds, on 4% are non-White whereas 9% of 30-44 year olds are. Obviously our efforts to court more minority voters needs to be focused on the younger age groups. Not only because of their percentages but also for longevity.

Breakdown by Religions:

The proportional representation by Religion:

Republicans have dominated the White Protestant vote having only dropped below 50% once since 1972, that was in 1992. McCain was down only 2% points from the 2004 share so he held this group. Going forward this is obviously a core constituency of the Republican party that has to be held.

The White Catholic votes, while only half that of White Protestants, is a bellwether. Since 1972, and before, as the Catholics have gone so has the election. 2008 was the exception, with McCain getting 52% to Barack's 47%. They have been and will continue to be a difficult population to stereotype. Their predominance in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and Southwest crosses some important recent battleground states. I believe that there is a growing rift in the Catholic church between those who regularly attend masses and accept Papal doctrine and those who attend less frequently and reject Papal authority or influence on their decisions. As the graph of those who Attend Religious Services weekly shows, the former group tends to be more Conservative while the latter is more Liberal. Not to over-emphasize the obvious but the frequent attendees are more Socially Conservative. In the Catholic faith these voters are more likely to vote on the "Life" issues first, taking a cue from Vatican doctrines. Republicans have toed the line on capital punishment but have benefited from their ardent support for Life in regards to abortion and stem cell research.

The Jewish vote, while only 2% of the electorate, has moved strongly to the Left. It is an important group of voters in contested states like Florida, with a high concentration of Jewish voters. Our stance towards the defense of Israel is the most important means in which to influence this group.

The Born-again or Evangelical Christian voter have gone Republican by no less than 16% in every election since 1972. The data is not available for 1996 and 2000, but it can be assumed that these voters also favored Republicans in those years. This is obviously another core constituency of the Republican party and offers another example of the need to focus on principles in the future rather than run away from them. A concerning point is that McCain got 8% less than Bush in 2004.

I mentioned earlier that those who Attend Religious Services weekly make up 40% of the electorate and favor Republicans be +50%. McCain lost about 5% of this vote from 2004, some of that being the cross-section of born-again Evangelicals. The practice of Religion has had its ups and down in the past few decades in the U.S. In the late 90s, regular church attendance and association with a specific religion were at all time lows. There was a resurgence in the past decade. Aided by the focus on social and value issues, Bush dominated these voting blocks in 2000 and 2004. Some attribute his margins of victory to these voters specifically. The challenge going forward will be to hold to our principles while applying ingenuity to new ideas to capture the voters who were absent in 2008.

Key Takeaways:
  • Improve and reverse the trend of 18-29 going Democrat
  • Recapture the 30-44 year old voters
  • Hold a majority among the +60 year olds
  • Build upon core constituencies of White Protestants, Born again Evangelicals, and those who attend service regularly
  • Improve our numbers within the Jewish community
  • Win the battle for White Catholic votes. Carefully watch the changes of the U.S. Catholic Church and highlight "Life" issues to keep the Pro-Life voter.
coming soon... Part 4: Regional and Population Size

Signing off...JCB

Source: http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/results/president/national-exit-polls.html Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Speed is not Velocity


The United Nations, once a beacon of hope to the world, is now nothing more than a farce. Let's put aside complex discussions and philosophical debates over how and when to use force against tyrannical dictators hell-bent on destroying the civilized world for a second. To you, the educated reader, what do you do with $23 million in funds? Do you feed millions of starving people? (You could buy over 1.6 million 15 lb turkeys this Thanksgiving, for example). Do you buy blankets for the homeless? Do you create a terrorism task force, complete with high-tech data gathering technology, combining the best talents from multiple nations to help squash the threat of terrorism?

All of those things would require some sort of "common" sense or a sense of morality. The UN has neither. What was the UN's great idea? "Art" in the form of a sprayed on junk on the ceiling of a building in Geneva was the latest bright idea to come from the international organization. This comes just days after news of G20 representatives dined on $500/bottle wine while discussing the worldwide economic crisis.

The fundamental problem is that people, worldwide (and sadly here in the United States also), have come to rely on the government to solve their problems. $23,000,000 might equal nearly 2 million turkeys or a new job training center to someone with an ounce of brains, but it is an opportunity to spray paint a ceiling to a government or an international agency. Over the course of the last few decades, the world has elected a bunch of elitists. These people think that they deserve fine wine, and opportunities to send earmarks back to lobbyists. They play the people to the tune of the mainstream media, while driving us over a cliff, slowly, but surely.

"Government always finds a need for whatever money it gets." -- Ronald Reagan


A speedometer is pointless without a map or a compass.

One of the very basic concepts taught in Physics, is the difference between speed and velocity. Speed is purely an arbitrary number or the amount of speed you have. It can be 55mph in any direction, and no one cares. It can be completely backwards, for example. Velocity, on the other hand, is speed with direction. You have to know where you're headed.

Lately, we seem to be more concerned with how fast we're moving than in what direction. Our government in the U.S. throws $700 billion (that it doesn't even have to spend) at the "financial crisis" without realizing that it perpetuates these types of disasters by assuming a bigger and bigger role.

"Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem." -- Ronald Reagan

Trying to function as a free market society with watered down policies is like running a car with watered down gasoline. You can fool yourself for a little while, but sooner or later you've got problems. Each and every time government steps in to save us, they ALWAYS do two things: 1) they fail to solve the problem, and 2) they put us further in debt.

Aren't you ready to send a clear message to Washington, D.C. and the world? Are you ready to take charge of your own life and tell government to stick to its Constitutional mandates? What would you do, for example, if ALL of your paycheck were yours?

Here's what we need to do:

1) Write your Senators and your Representative, and tell them you'd like to see a Constitutional Amendment calling for TERM LIMITS for THEM! (It's the first step towards purging ourselves of the elitist mentality and get some common sense in D.C.).

2) Tell them to end taxes on income (period). Whether they use the Fair Tax (consumption style tax) or another system is up to them. I, for one, am not convinced that Congress would be opposed to such a plan.

3) Any new tax increase, must first be applied to elected leaders for 6 months BEFORE applying it to the people. You want a tax increase? Tax yourself.

4) Repeal the 17th Amendment. It will give us a house of Congress that looks for the good of the nation, as opposed to earmarks. (Imagine about 100 McCains in the Senate...we'd solve a lot of our budget crisis right there).

5) Endless government regulations over the mixture of our fuels, the type of mattresses we sleep on, our alarm clock, our television broadcasts, and even our remote controls have to cease.

These are just a few examples of things that we can do, but the larger issue is that we simply have to put most of government out of business. We just don't need them. Stick to the Constitution, and we'll be fine. Our founders had it right. We have been moving pretty fast for the last few decades, but in a direction towards socialism. (Socialism uses 'fairness' as a cover for government control over your life). We're moving fast enough, and we have the horsepower in this great nation, but it's time to take an exit off the highway of dependency, and turn back towards independence and FREEDOM! Sphere: Related Content

Let the Detroit 3 go Chapter 11, ASAP!!

The final test for this "lame duck" congress comes this week with the push to bailout the Big 3 U.S. auto-makers (GM, Ford, and Chrysler). I urge those in congress to vote NO.

The Democratic leadership is pushing to appropriate $25B of the approved $700B bailout for these auto-makers. It is not a bailout for the auto-makers but rather a Christmas present for the United Auto Workers (UAW) union. $25B will cover roughly 4-5 months of operating expenses and will not change their unprofitable ways. In Spring they will be back with their hands out or worse, fail regardless of the bailout and/or layoff many of its workers.

The GOP congress and President Bush have offered a compromise position, re-purpose the already approved $25B from moneys allocated to re-tool and development of hybrid vehicles into a no strings attached loan. Democrats have turned this down, and I say don't offer that up either. At most offer an extension of unemployment benefits and re-training credits to the workers if they are laid off as part of any Chapter 11 filing or actions.

The U.S. auto-makers have a defunct business model which has been propped up by their lobbying efforts. They are paying almost double in overhead operating cost per worker than the "foreign" owned auto-makers operating in the South. Their concessions to the UAW in the 1950s forward have sealed their fate.

They need to fail and go into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That will allow them to re-negotiate union contracts, restructure, sell off failing brands, and change Management. This is what they need. For some reason people think that this will be the end of U.S. made vehicles. WRONG!

Just as the failing airlines had to go through Chapter 11 restructuring, the auto-makers need to do the same. Cars will still be built and warrantied, just as flights continued to fly. Union contracts need to be re-negotiated or eliminated. Using Northwest as a comparison, it went into Chapter 11 and was able to replace its mechanics union, restructure pilot and flight attendant union contracts, create a new fleet strategy, and revamp its routes for cost efficiency. The Big 3 need this same help.

They have tried to vertically and horizontally integrate to invoke "economies of scale" as a business model. But it is a method not a model. They have become to big to handle and change. They cannot innovate rapidly enough because changes are so grand that the only investments that generate positive ROI are the proven existing technologies. To change to a electric hybrid vehicle, they can't simply retool manufacturing. They have to retool the mfg. lines, develop the product, re-engineer the vehicles, source within their own supplier, develop distribution models for the supply chain, not to mention marketing and sales overhead. Oh, and not just for one brand or style of vehicle, but since manufacturing lines have been so inter-woven, the change will need to happen across multiple brands and or vehicles.

They have over supplied the market with cars and therefore people can't afford the prices they need to be profitable given their operating costs. Their perceptions of the demand curve are not in-line with the reality. Demand is lower than the supply they need to be profitable. Demand will drop in this economy. You can't incentivize your way to profitability. Part of the bailout is a $7,500 incentive for buyers of electric hybrids like the brainchild Chevy Volt. Congress is essentially interpreting that demand will not meet the supply curve. Think of it this way, the taxes you pay will help your neighbor buy a new car! Hope you get a ride!

Demand will not go away! There will be a demand for new cars, domestic and foreign made. Sure the foreign owned auto-makers will probably see a market share bump because of this, but there won't not be a U.S. owned auto-maker. They will breakup the conglomerates and form new partnership and establish new profitable business models.

For the companies who supply the Big 3, they will still need your products. Orders may be down and you will have to look at new companies to supply, but if you have the right product at the right price, you will recover.

Regarding the calls that we bailed out the Financial Institutions and Banks; new automobiles are a luxury, credit is essential to market operations. Like the Steel Industries in the 80s, let them roll and re-emerge as a more efficient and profitable industry.

I wonder if G. Richard Wagoner, Jr., Alan Mulally, William Clay Ford Jr., and Robert L. Nardelli are secretly wishing for Chapter 11 so they can finally loosen the iron grip of the UAW.

Signing off...JCB

Update: Romney echoes the needs for the Big 3 to restructure and how the bailout prevents that: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html?_r=1&hp Sphere: Related Content

Monday, November 17, 2008

Secretary of State Clinton


Apparently Sen. Clinton is poised to accept the offer for SECSTATE.

Let's have a brief reality check here for a minute and admit that Hillary Clinton represents the right-wing of the Obama Administration!

If anything, the next 4 years should be entertaining.

I'll leave you with some classic Hillary quotes:

"I'm a fan of the social policies that you find in Europe."

"We can't just trust the American people to make those types of choices...Government has to make those choices for people."

"We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

"My understanding is that really within the space of 4 or 5 years, he’s had several positions on a number of really challenging issues. You’ll have to ask him why he has so rapidly changed position from year to year." [about Barack Obama]
Sphere: Related Content

Iraq: The Ending in sight and historical interpretations

To be clear; the War in Iraq ended successfully on April 9, 2003 with the successful toppling of Saddam Hussein and his reign of terror. President Bush's was not in error when declaring Mission Accomplished that May. We successfully defeated the enemy of the day. The error was inadequately planning for reconstruction.

It has been stabilizing the peace and rebuilding of the new Iraqi Government that existed since 2003 and continues today. With the elimination of Saddam's control, the vacuum of power was quickly consumed by an Al Qaeda insurgency, Iranian and Syrian financing, and regional warlords. The Coalition Forces were vastly undersized for this mission. Stretched thin, the reconstruction hit a low-point in 2006. This all changed with "The Surge" of 20K addition Soldiers and extensions of 4K Marines.

It appears that the Iraqi government has approved a security pact with the U.S. that would extend a troop presence until 2012. To add historical perspective, the U.S. was involved in the rebuilding of Japan from 1945 to 1952 when the Treaty of San Fransisco was signed (7 years). We were largely involved in the rebuilding of Germany from 1945 to 1955 when Western Germany joined NATO (10 years).

Iraq has not failed. The war was won victoriously in a matter of weeks. The rebuilding has been challenging and costly but appears to be ending successfully. Mistakes were made, but they were corrected. The long-term benefits are yet to be measured, but a stabilized Iraq is a near-term victory for the Global War on Terrorism.

For all of those who voted for a Democrat or Republican because of their pledge to "end the war in Iraq", you've been played. They didn't have the guts to end a war in defeat because they knew that the American people would not accept that (regardless of what MSM polls have said). Ask Cindy Sheehan what she thinks of political promises broken (i.e. Nancy Pelosi). We are on the path toward successful completion of the follow-on mission of rebuilding Iraq. We have President Bush to thank for his determination and honor when tough choices had to be made.

Barack Obama and the Democrats will try to claim victory in ending the War in Iraq. But today's announcement, if approved by the Iraqi government, have set in place the end. They are not the orchestrator of this victory but only the beneficiaries of others' efforts. Like Clinton's claimed responsibility for the economy of the 90s, Presidents inherit the results of the actions of their predecessors (good and bad). It is up to us to ensure that history is recorded accurately.

Signing off...JCB Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, November 16, 2008

$1.70 / Gallon (Tulsa, OK)

If you live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, you're enjoying the lowest gas prices in the nation right now at $1.70/gallon. National averages are diving on lower demand worldwide. Sounds like good news, right? If we were in such dire straits because of Bush's "Failed" policies, as reported in the major news media, wouldn't this signal a bit of hope for American drivers? Apparently not to CBS. Media Research Center gives a good breakdown. This summer, CBS ran a series of negative stories about high gas prices, and the effects on American consumers. More recently, however, they've run stories suggesting that low gas prices are ... BAD NEWS!

Mainstream Programming in a nutshell:

Republican in office: high gas $ = bad news
Republican in office: low gas $ = bad news
Republican in office: liberating Afghanistan = criticize him for failing to do something ahead of time
Republican in office: liberating Iraq = criticize him for jumping the gun


Democrat in office: it's ALL good, blame Bush!

Maybe it's time for Americans to stop watching the mainstream media. Sphere: Related Content

George Washington's Vision


This tidbit was published in the National Tribune in 1880, supposedly written after an interview with a Revolutionary War Veteran. It is written from Gen. Washington's perspective during the battle at Valley Forge.

---------------

This afternoon, as I was sitting at this table engaged in preparing a dispatch, something seemed to disturb me. Looking up, I beheld standing opposite me a singularly beautiful female. So astonished was I, for I had given strict orders not to be disturbed, that it was some moments before I found language to inquire the cause of her presence. A second, a third and even a fourth time did I repeat my question, but received no answer from my mysterious visitor except a slight raising of her eyes.

By this time I felt strange sensations spreading through me. I would have risen but the riveted gaze of the being before me rendered volition impossible. I assayed once more to address her, but my tongue had become useless, as though it had become paralyzed.

A new influence, mysterious, potent, irresistible, took possession of me. All I could do was to gaze steadily, vacantly at my unknown visitor. Gradually the surrounding atmosphere seemed as if it had become filled with sensations, and luminous. Everything about me seemed to rarefy, the mysterious visitor herself becoming more airy and yet more distinct to my sight than before. I now began to feel as one dying, or rather to experience the sensations which I have sometimes imagined accompany dissolution. I did not think, I did not reason, I did not move; all were alike impossible. I was only conscious of gazing fixedly, vacantly at my companion.

Presently I heard a voice saying, `Son of the Republic, look and learn,' while at the same time my visitor extended her arm eastwardly, I now beheld a heavy white vapor at some distance rising fold upon fold. This gradually dissipated, and I looked upon a stranger scene. Before me lay spread out in one vast plain all the countries of the world — Europe, Asia, Africa and America. I saw rolling and tossing between Europe and America the billows of the Atlantic, and between Asia and America lay the Pacific.

"Son of the Republic," said the same mysterious voice as before, "look and learn." At that moment I beheld a dark, shadowy being, like an angel, standing or rather floating in mid-air, between Europe and America. Dipping water out of the ocean in the hollow of each hand, he sprinkled some upon America with his right hand, while with his left hand he cast some on Europe. Immediately a cloud raised from these countries, and joined in mid-ocean. For a while it remained stationary, and then moved slowly westward, until it enveloped America in its murky folds. Sharp flashes of lightning gleamed through it at intervals, and I heard the smothered groans and cries of the American people.

A second time the angel dipped water from the ocean, and sprinkled it out as before. The dark cloud was then drawn back to the ocean, in whose heaving billows in sank from view. A third time I heard the mysterious voice saying, "Son of the Republic, look and learn," I cast my eyes upon America and beheld villages and towns and cities springing up one after another until the whole land from the Atlantic to the Pacific was dotted with them.

Again, I heard the mysterious voice say, "Son of the Republic, the end of the century cometh, look and learn." At this the dark shadowy angel turned his face southward, and from Africa I saw an ill omened specter approach our land. It flitted slowly over every town and city of the latter. The inhabitants presently set themselves in battle array against each other. As I continued looking I saw a bright angel, on whose brow rested a crown of light, on which was traced the word "Union," bearing the American flag which he placed between the divided nation, and said, "Remember ye are brethren." Instantly, the inhabitants, casting from them their weapons became friends once more, and united around the National Standard.

"And again I heard the mysterious voice saying "Son of the Republic, look and learn." At this the dark, shadowy angel placed a trumpet to his mouth, and blew three distinct blasts; and taking water from the ocean, he sprinkled it upon Europe, Asia and Africa. Then my eyes beheld a fearful scene: From each of these countries arose thick, black clouds that were soon joined into one. Throughout this mass there gleamed a dark red light by which I saw hordes of armed men, who, moving with the cloud, marched by land and sailed by sea to America. Our country was enveloped in this volume of cloud, and I saw these vast armies devastate the whole county and burn the villages, towns and cities that I beheld springing up. As my ears listened to the thundering of the cannon, clashing of sword, and the shouts and cries of millions in mortal combat, I heard again the mysterious voice saying, "Son of the Republic, look and learn" When the voice had ceased, the dark shadowy angel placed his trumpet once more to his mouth, and blew a long and fearful blast. "Instantly a light as of a thousand suns shone down from above me, and pierced and broke into fragments the dark cloud which enveloped America. At the same moment the angel upon whose head still shone the word Union, and who bore our national flag in one hand and a sword in the other, descended from the heavens attended by legions of white spirits. These immediately joined the inhabitants of America, who I perceived were will nigh overcome, but who immediately taking courage again, closed up their broken ranks and renewed the battle.

Again, amid the fearful noise of the conflict, I heard the mysterious voice saying, "Son of the Republic, look and learn." As the voice ceased, the shadowy angel for the last time dipped water from the ocean and sprinkled it upon America. Instantly the dark cloud rolled back, together with the armies it had brought, leaving the inhabitants of the land victorious!

Then once more I beheld the villages, towns and cities springing up where I had seen them before, while the bright angel, planting the azure standard he had brought in the midst of them, cried with a loud voice: "While the stars remain, and the heavens send down dew upon the earth, so long shall the Union last." And taking from his brow the crown on which blazoned the word "Union," he placed it upon the Standard while the people, kneeling down, said, "Amen."

The scene instantly began to fade and dissolve, and I at last saw nothing but the rising, curling vapor I at first beheld. This also disappearing, I found myself once more gazing upon the mysterious visitor, who, in the same voice I had heard before, said, "Son of the Republic, what you have seen is thus interpreted: Three great perils will come upon the Republic. The most fearful is the third, but in this greatest conflict the whole world united shall not prevail against her. Let every child of the Republic learn to live for his God, his land and the Union." With these words the vision vanished, and I started from my seat and felt that I had seen a vision wherein had been shown to me the birth, progress, and destiny of the United States.


-------------- Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A historical guide to the future of Conservatism: Part 2

A continuation of my series; A historical guide to the future of Conservatism. See Part 1: Popular Voting in Aggregate for the framework of the series.

Part 2: Gender and Race
As the analysis of the popular vote trends in aggregate showed, Democrats have been building a majority since 1984. Republicans and Conservatives need to increase market share by building a bigger constituency base. Part 2 starts the analysis of the different demographic segments to see where we are strong/weak and where are the opportunities.

Starting with Gender:
According to the 2008 numbers, Women make up 53% of the electorate and Men 47%. On Average (since 1972) Men have been more Republican and Women slightly more Democrat. Men also tended to vote more Independent over the years than Women.

As the graph for Men shows, the years that Democrats have successfully won the White House they got a larger percentage of the male vote, or close to it in 1996.

As the graph for Women shows, the percentage of Women who vote Democrat has steadily been increasing.

So Republicans need to hold the majority of men and work to reverse the trend of women voting Democrat. Having a stronger presence of women in the Republican party is a start. But winning on the domestic social issues is the key to changing female voting patterns. This is still too much of a macro-view of the data to define a prescription.

Next up is Race
In 2008, Whites comprised 74% of electorate, Blacks 13%, Hispanics 9%, and Asians 2%.

As the graphs show, Republicans have won a larger percentage of White votes in every election since 1972. While Democrats have won a larger percentage of Blacks since '72, Hispanics since '80, and Asians since 2000. The Hispanic and Asian datapoints don't go back to '72 but it is clear that Democrats are not only winning the minorities but building upon them.

With 74% of the voting population being White, it's difficult to dissect. One interesting note is the very similar trend lines between the White and Men populations and their voting patterns.

Blacks have shown a solidarity to the Democratic party since before 1972, largely due to the Civil Rights movement and Lyndon Johnson. Its amazing to think that Eisenhower got 39% and Nixon 32% of the Black vote in 1956 and 1960 respectively. Nixon got 18% in 1972, and its been downhill since. With the election of Barack Obama as the first partially-Black President, this will be a difficult demographic to change in the short-term. The potential exists within the Southern Black populations which tend to be more religious and socially conservative then their Northern neighbors.

Republicans have never received more that 50% of the Hispanics vote. Progress was being made from 1996 to 2004 but drastically changed in 2008 with Republicans getting just over 30%. Hispanics are the fastest growing population in the country. There are various projections that they will be the largest minority in the next 5-15 years. This is clearly an opportunity for Republicans and one that we can't afford not to address. We will look more in depth at the Regional data but, it was clear that the Democratic strategy this year was focused on turning the West their way. See Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. All four had booming Hispanic populations that they were able to capitalize on to win those closely contested states. But there is hope (see CA Prop 8). Hispanics are predominantly Catholic, and traditional Catholics at that. We may align with these voters on social issues but in the Western states the main issue is immigration. With Western Hispanics being primarily of Mexican decent, our positions on immigration are sensitive. The key is finding the right balance between security and amnesty. We want to secure the border, those voting Hispanics probably want some due course as well for future immigrants. However, they don't want us to raid and ship away any and all who didn't follow the process. We need to be able to sell the idea that we want to secure the border, make entry and immigration to this country available to those who want to legally cross, and systematically integrate those who are here illegally now in a just and reasonable way. The other key Hispanic group are the Cuban-Americans in Florida. It appears that Russia is restoring Western Hemispheric influence in Venezuela and Cuba. I think that immigration reform along these lines, along with social and foreign relations issues, could change the perception of Republicans among Hispanics and help build a strong future with this growing population.

While only 2% of the voting population were Asians in 2008, there is a clear trend towards the Democrats. President Bush's strong Asian focus and relationships with Japan, Korea, and China helped plateau the decline. But, this year it slipped into the 30% range for the first time for Republicans. The largest concentrations of Asians are in the Pacific coastal states, which have been Democrat strongholds in recent years. There are also growing Asian populations in Minneapolis (largely Hmong and South Asian) and the NC Research Triangle. Both states and regions are growing and will be more and more important to future victories for both parties. Republicans will need to promote free trade and greater involvement in ASEAN.

Composite of Gender and Race
The data sets have been broken into the following 4 composites: Black Men, Black Women, White Men, and White Women.

As discussed earlier, Blacks have an association with Democrats that is stronger than any other demographic group. No other demographic group has consistently supported one party or the other at such overwhelming percentages. I reviewed above some of the ways to reverse this trend. They will be difficult but necessary. By comparison, Black Men tended to be more open to voting Republican or Independent that Black Women. Republicans cannot write-off the Black voters of this country and expect to be successful.

In aggregate, examining the White voting population (74%) is futile. Breaking it down be gender gives a better indication of what's happening.

When comparing the graph of Women and White Women voters, the lines follow similar patterns. However, Republicans have done much better with White Women as a subset than with Women in total. The trend of White Women has been going up for Republicans and is more flat with Democrats compared to Women in aggregate. The graph clearly shows a stumble in 2008 on the growing support from White Women for Republicans. I would attribute this to the lack of focus in the 2008 campaign on domestic issues and McCain allowing Obama to blur the lines on "values" and not forcing him to take a stance on the issues. Until we can rebuild our credibility with minorities, we need to stop the hemorrhaging we saw this year among White Women.

Similar to the comparison above, the trend lines among Men and White Men are almost identical with a larger separation among White Men. One difference from Women is that Democrats have made recent gains among White Men whereas they are more flat with White Women. White Men is obviously a core constituency of the Republican party. Since 1972 we haven't won an election with less that 58%. The lower numbers in 2008 can be attributed to the same reasons provided above for White Women. Both were also affected by the Economic crisis and McCain's unfocused response.

Key takeaways:
  • Hold the majority of Men
  • Reverse the trend toward Democrats among women
  • Republicans cannot be a majority party with +90% of blacks voting Democrat, look for sub-segment of socially conservative Blacks to target
  • Hispanics are the best opportunity to improve among minorities, they are growing and don't have a historical bias toward either party. Immigration is a key issue.
  • Asians are a small percentage but swing voters in key states.
  • Restore the trend of growth among White Men and Women that was interrupted in 2008.

coming sooon... Part 3: Age and Religion

Signing off...JCB

Source: http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/results/president/national-exit-polls.html Sphere: Related Content

The Fog Sets In



This world existed in a fog before the United States arose to clear it. Masked under the lie of Divine Rights of Kings, fairness, or common good, people had no real choice in their daily lives. People were lead to believe that they were somehow removed from God's grace in a way that tyrants weren't. They were subjects, not citizens. They were blind followers, not participants in the world in which they lived.


Ancient civilizations attempted "democracy," and while Greece may have felt that a jury of 500 was democratic and fair, they murdered Socrates for having a different viewpoint. A society that was supposedly the epitome of the concept of fairness, proved just as tyrannical as any dictator. Democracy is not liberty.

King George III, relic of the old style of complete control of an entire people by the subjective opinion of one, attempted to squash dissenting viewpoints in the American colonies. Royal governors were given supreme authority, and the Stamp Act required all official documents to have the crown's official seal. This was considered, after all, 'fair' by the royals. Fairness is not liberty.

Enter the founders.


Our founding fathers removed the foggy lens, with which the world had used for so long to see itself. Some philosophers question whether one can be truly aware of his own universe. It's like a fish jumping out of the water to see that the ocean is only one part of the world, not the world. Jefferson, Washington, Adams, Hamilton, and a cast of others did just that. They questioned, they challenged, and they stood their ground. Still, this world existed under the dense fog that had plagued us since the dawn of civilization. Most people were oppressed, and it wasn't until the final shots of the Revolutionary War that victory was not only apparent for the small group of colonies against an empire but also for a new idea of liberty versus oppression.

The fog began to lift.

This great nation plugged along and grew. We had our own knock down and drag out fight, with the brave men and women from the North and the South doing more to forge our nation as a union of states, than any act of congress ever could. Slaves were free, and we asserted that this nation was, indeed, a federalist system. Local and national control are shared, and the states are not subjects to Washington.

Some of our great civil rights leaders, like Dr. King, helped to end the bigotry that existed across the nation. Because of this, we now see with more clarity.

We fought to end tyranny, and many nations are free in special thanks to the American will to fight for it. We faced down a giant that had us outgunned and outpaced in technological advancement in the Nazi regime, but liberty again reigned over tyranny.

The fog began to lift from the world.

Today we live in a world where oppression is still more common than liberty, but we have never been closer to a truly free world. This has been our national call to arms for our entire history: liberty, freedom. It's imperative that we remember this as the soul of our nation. We have rights and freedoms because we exist, not because government granted them to us. As we move closer to a socialist form of government, we move dangerously away from the intent of this nation, as our founders saw it. What's more, we risk swinging the pendulum of freedom back towards tyranny for the rest of the world.

Don't be fooled by the name "liberal" because it sounds so close to liberty. The two have nothing in common. Having the government rob from someone else to buy your vote is not liberty. This is the first step towards subjugation.

Democracy is not liberty; it is mob rule. Our founders set up a Republican form of government to guarantee our God given rights, even while in the minority.

Fairness is not liberty; it is the foggy lens that tyrants use to control the masses, for the common good.

We use the word Conservative to describe our ideology only because we want to conserve the principles of freedom and liberty that this nation was founded upon! If we had not seen such a dramatic shift away from those principles, and towards New Deals of government dependency, our ideology would be described as radical in a world where most people still do not live free.

Give me liberty or give me death.

This nation fully supports taking your private property for the "common good," while limiting your freedom of speech in the "interest of the many," and placing "reasonable restrictions" on gun ownership.

"Never trust a government that doesn't trust its own citizens with guns." -- Thomas Jefferson

We are now faced with the possibility of a "fairness doctrine" that will ensure that you have the "correct" thoughts and opinions. We have "hate crimes" legislation that seeks to punish you for thoughts that are not in accordance with the wishes of the masses.

It's getting foggy.

Would it be so bad if government did not have it hands in every aspect of our daily lives? Can you imagine a world where our government sets up a military, handles disputes between the states, and runs a court system without telling us which type of gasoline we can use, without controlling the alarm clock we wake up to, or the mattresses we sleep on? What if your money earned was yours to spend? What if true charity returned, and we could afford to give more to those in need, and make sure that it was money well spent? What if you could say what you wanted to say, and not go to jail for offending someone? What if you could question your leaders, and not be ridiculed and investigated by those leaders and their comrades?

Just imagine true freedom.

"I will not forget the wound to our country and those who inflicted it. I will not yield, I will not rest, I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people." -- George W. Bush, President of the US


Let's be wary of restrictions to liberty.

"Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear." -- Harry Truman, President of the US

Conserve our traditions, and re-ignite the flame of liberty. That is the only way forward.

Freedom! Sphere: Related Content

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