Sunday, December 13, 2009
Until then, Paul Ehrlich, call your agent. I smell a lucrative lecture circuit in your future. The Stanford University biologist, you see, published his theories that by the end of the 1970's we would all be starving or fighting for food (not oil) or suffering a depletion in the world's supply of....oxygen (not oil). In the Population Bomb, Prof. Ehrlich argued that the world's population of people would outstrip the world's supply of food to eat, places to live, air to breath, etc.
Unfortunately, it turns out that the world's population is suffering from obesity, diabetes and, yes, longevity all resulting from the supply of too much food in those parts of the world where people are generally free to pursue happiness. Well a Canadian paper has picked up the 40-year-old trail, conveniently leaving out the 40-year-old history of over-population predictions and has ginned-up a new theory on which to base the now-dubious "science" of man-made global warming. There are too many people, you see. And do you know what people do? Breath! They breath in oxygen and exhale.....pollution!
But wait, there's more! All is not lost because the Chinese have hit upon a solution. The one-child policy. That's right. Chi-Com families are punished in ways that would make Kim jong-Il blush for being over-reproductive, and our Canadian brethren are just amazed that the civilized world has been slow to adopt this policy. To make matters worse, this issue has "crossed the radar screen" of CNN's Jack Cafferty who brought it to the Situation Room late last week.
Do we look like fools or what? Here we sit with egg-foo-yung on our faces while the Chinese population in 40 years drops by two-thirds! They will voluntarily kill off two-thirds of their population just save the polar bears! Here all this time we thought they were monsters just for running their own people down with tanks and infantry. And all we do is complain that they are not stopping the use of oil and coal and not spending billions to grow ethanol, erect wind-turbines. Oh, wait, only the conservative Republicans are complaining. For the rest of the world, it is enough that the Chi-Coms are conducting forced-sterilization and infanticide to enforce the one-child policy and ...save the polar bears!
But I think the one-child policy will have drastic consequences for the U.S. of A. If the Chinese population drops by two-thirds, who will buy our Treasuries? Where will we get all of our cheap electronics and Happy Meal toys?
Now there is a template being employed here if one listens or reads carefully and it defines why this is a rock-solid reason for her disqualification. Since I have not been convinced by this template I am compelled to debunk it.
1. The reason for her stepping down is "still unexplained." This is the premise that should embarrass anyone employing this template. The only thing "still unexplained" about this issue is who developed the template. Less puzzling though still entertaining is why otherwise intelligent conservatives continue to employ it.
Unless I saw a different press conference where she announced her decision and, get this, explained why she was stepping down, it seems to me that she explained her compelling reasons for her decision:
a) It was costing the taxpayers of Alaska way too much money to answer the endless parade of nuisance queries, requests for information, legal motions, etc., that she as duly elected Governor was required to answer;2. She is a quitter. If the reasons (written in plain English above) make Sarah Palin a "quitter" then I suppose that George Washington was also a quitter for resigning his commission after the Revolution when, at a point in America's infancy, an iconic personality and leader of the only legitimate armed forces, Washington could very well have assumed power and ruled as a dictator. Instead, Washington acted in what he rightly saw as America's best interests, placing the future of the new Republic above that of his own career.
b) These nuisances were distracting her and her administration from performing the job that Alaskans elected her to do and that she was compelled to do under the state's constitution.
c) Finally these distractions were not serving the interests of Alaska or its citizens but were a hold-over from a twisted Republican presidential campaign that continues to define the liberal-conservative animus.
3. She quit just so she could make a gazillion bucks on the lecture circuit. This from "conservatives"! Why any so-called conservative would begrudge someone, even a liberal, the chance to make a better life for themselves and their family, without hurting anyone or breaking any laws, is beyond me. Perhaps one of you "conservatives" out there can 'splain it to me, real slow and using small words.
And this is the template used by the still-hinged, the reasonable thinkers and writers. This week the National Journal published its latest "Insider" polls in which the staff ask a gaggle of supposed insiders of each party a handful of "If-you-could-be-any-animal..." type questions and come up with...something to publish. One of the questions was who in your party would you most like to see muted.
Two of the four top vote-getters were Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh. Others these insiders would mute include Rep. Michelle Bachmann and Glenn Beck! Of the 85 people named as the Republican "political insiders" I have heard of maybe five. By comparison, I have heard of more of the Democratic political insiders. And I think I have found the source of the still-unexplained- reason-for-Sarah-Palin's-resignation-as-Governor talking points.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
The cellphone connection, noise on the MARC train and quite possibly my readiness to believe the worst of the GOP following the NY-23 debacle, led me to the conclusion I posted last weekend.
And while I don't live in either New York's 23rd district nor Maryland's 3b, the activities of the local GOP in both places concern me and should concern all Republicans. Local politics is becoming less and less local anymore as elected officials are considering more legislation that affects an ever broadening constituency.
It is indeed unfortunate that we cannot sit by and let local politics play out. We all have a stake in MD-3b, now, as we do in all state legislative and congressional districts. So I hope that the Frederick County GOP selects the conservative candidate to represent Frederick County and all of Maryland in the General Assembly.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Let's start with MD's state District 3b currently represented by Del. Richard Weldon, who after being abandoned by the GOP (a la Arlen Specter and Olympia Snowe) changed his party affiliation and is now an Independent. Del. Weldon is rumored to be retiring before the end of his term presenting the Frederick County Republican Central Committee with the opportunity to replace him with someone who doesn't feel abandoned by the GOP.
(Why does the GOP get to fill the looming vacancy when the seat was held by an Independent? Perhaps one my MD GOP political savants can comment.)
And who do the Frederick County Republican party pooh-bahs seem to be favoring? The Liberal, of course. Now, liberal and conservative are relative terms. That's what we were told by Dede Scozzafava's Stupid Party supporters this Fall during the campaign in New York's 23rd Congressional District. We shouldn't judge her unfit just because she was less conservative than Barry Goldwater, we were told. When we found out that she was actually less liberal than Maureen Dowd, it was too late.
The "liberal" being favored by the GOP in Frederick County, according to my sources, is Katherine Nash. She has been involved in GOP politics since 2006, as near as as I can tell. There's not much I can find on her that is a matter of recent public record, but she was according, to her posts on theTentacle blog an early critic of Gov. O'Malley and his tax-hiking Democrats. In her blog posts she comes across as more of a political operative than a passionate ideologue. But she is still young ("20-something" according to her theTentacle bio) and may therefore be a member of "the generation that gets it," as Margaret Hoover would describe those young Republicans for whom same-sex marriage is not only inevitable but a natural and inalienable right protected by the Constitution.
The "conservative" candidate, apparently not being considered by the FCRCC is Michael Hough (huff), also a member of the FCRCC and previous candidate for the District 3b seat. Hough, as you can see on his website, has taken clearly conservative positions on a number of issues and has the backing of many conservative Republicans in Maryland.
While I don't want to unfairly associate someone with Margaret Hoover or Mrs. Scozzafava, I do want to implore the Frederick County GOP not to make the same mistake that the NY-23 GOP made. I don't know whether Nash is a liberal. I assume that the FCRCC and local GOP leaders do know, however, and if they, with eyes wide open, pick a liberal over the conservative then that would be a real tragedy.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Of course, the 'Why' part was not crucial to my single-point-of-causation quest, but it was and is something to think about. As I asked last week, who do they think they are fooling? Again these are educated people to whom history is known and knowable, for whom logical progressions should be easy to apply.
And of course the answer is obvious: Lust for wealth and political power. To apply this theory let us turn to one of the most underestimated and most misunderstood of American institutions, the Chamber of Commerce. Local, state and national versions of this institution made up of member businesses together represent the very fabric of life in America. Chamber of Commerce members are our employers, major taxpayers, and a voting bloc. In politics the Chamber is an influential fundraiser and contributor. Its leaders, having attained their positions by dint of knowing more members than their rivals for such positions in most cases (rather like some obsessive-compulsive Twitter or Facebook fiend's pursuit of followers and "friends") are held up as credible sources of wisdom on this matter and that.
However, as capitalists members of "evil profit-driven" corporations, they are also oppressors and exploiters of poor Latin and South American farmers, sweat-shop operators and slumlords the world over. And above all, they are....REPUBLICANS!! This means, of course, that they are racist and bigoted white men, most of the time, when it suits the Liberal Democrats.
In reality the Chambers of Commerce across the land are made up of people who are just one thing, all the time: businessmen and businesswomen. They are business leaders first, American citizens second, and they prove it with every political stand they take.
And that would be fine with me. I know where they stand and it is on whichever side stands to make the most money the soonest. But not everyone has this clear understanding of the Chamber of Commerce, and that suits them just fine. Most people, if you took a poll, would say they trust the COC in matters of finance and fiscal and monetary policy. Some of the biggest corporations in world, now owned by the American taxpayer and controlled by the Obama administration, are major members of state and national chambers of commerce. They used their power and influence on what would make the biggest and fastest buck and didn't give the American way of life a second thought.
So it is up to people like you and me, to make sure that the rest of our community is aware of what the local, state, and national chambers represent. We must demand that our civic leaders reject their counsel and stop holding them up as keepers of financial wisdom. I will stop short of demanding that the chambers of commerce stay out of politics and just do what they do the best, make money. Because they have every right to political free speech as anyone.
Next month they will oppose Cap and Trade legislation in the Senate. Good for us. The month after that they will support legislation granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. Good for them, bad for us.
And it has been exactly one year since the Maryland state Chamber of Commerce promised us that we would all be swimming in money if only we would approve an amendment to the state Constitution allowing casino operators to install 5,000 slot machines in various places.
They have proven that their advice is worse than worthless, it is dangerous. The question is, what will you do about it? Who will you have to blame the next time you buy this or that political plum the chamber of commerce tries to sell you?
Sunday, November 08, 2009
By the way for excellent coverage of the vote and other recent political matters you could do worse than checking with the TCOT Report.
Do they really think their constituents are that stupid? I can't wait to hear how these same liberal Democrats who regularly nod their heads when Michael Moore and Al Gore tell us how good the Cuban people have it healthcare-wise and how badly the United States is polluting the Earth, explain how they suddenly had reservations about all the bad affects on their constituents' this bill, a bill they could never have read, would have.
I can't wait to read how the hard-hitting newshounds at the Annapolis Kapital ask Kratovil to explain why, really, he decided to vote against Pelosi-care. Here's how I think that interview would go:
Kapital News Hound: Congressman, what exactly in the bill led you to vote against it last night when the vast majority of the Democratic caucus voted to approve it?Well, you get the idea. Perhaps one of those enlightened "Rockfish Republicans" out there would care to explain how they feel about their man in Washington's playing them for the saps that they are.
Kratovil: Well, the concept of the federal government micromanaging the health care decisions of the voters in my district just turns my stomach. I believe it was my duty to vote against this bill and protect my constituents from such an expansion of the federal government's intrusion into their lives.
KNH: But Congressman, with all due respect, we never really heard much in the way of your opposition to the bill until just a few days before the vote.
Kratovil: Well maybe that's because you never asked...
KNH: How do you answer your critics who could be forgiven for thinking that you voted against the Bill for purely political reasons?
Kratovil: I would say this, that it was my duty to represent the interests of the voters of my district who have made it clear that they did not favor this bill.
KNH: So we can assume, then Congressman, that District 1 voters did approve of the $800 billion stimulus law and the Cap and Trade legislation, both of which will adversely impact the federal deficit and the economy?
KNH: What did you do, other than cast a vote you knew would not cause the defeat of the bill, to oppose the effort by the rest of the Democrats to expand the scope of government to an unprecendented degree in a free society?
KNH: Did you read the bill?
And we can all thank the District 1 Libertarians who could have sent Andy Harris to Congress last year instead of Kratovil. Harris would have voted NOE for principled reasons in a vote that actually would have made a difference. But no, 8,000 Libertarians thought their candidate had a snowball's chance in Hell, when, time after time, election after election has proven otherwise. Gee, maybe the 2010 election will be different! What is the definition of insanity?
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Senator Snowe,After she voted to allow the Democrats to claim "bipartisan" support for the ObamanationCare bill I submitted the following letter to the editor of the Portland Press-Herald:
I write to you as an American citizen whose future and the future of whose children and grandchildren your eventual vote in the Finance Committee will greatly affect.
I beg you to vote AGAINST the Health Reform bill regardless of the promises now being whispered in your ear by an increasingly desperate majority. I assure you they have no intention of honoring any commitments. They will take your vote and forget everything else.
Now, I have to beg you because I cannot vote against you should you seek yet another term. I am a resident of Maryland and thus have to deal with real Democrats representing me in Congress. I beg you to oppose your colleagues' misguided attempt to control an overwhelmingly complex enterprise; that which Congress and the Executive branch has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is incapable of doing.
I have sat up with you and your colleagues on the Finance Committee an observed how little control you have over the crafting of this massive folly. You are entirely dependent on an army of staffers, personal and committee staff, paperclips and post-it notes and an impressive command of jargon-filled nonsense. I have less than zero confidence in the quality of their work.
Do us all a favor and do yourself a favor. Save your energy and your breath, politely listen to the grinding goofiness of your colleagues, put down your glasses and your pen and your amendments and just vote NO when the time comes. Your questions and attempts to influence the number of inches east or west, north or south this comet will strike the Earth will be of little comfort to us Americans. We'll be just as dead if this thing hits.
We would applaud your efforts if we knew we could count on you to vote NO no matter what, but we fear this is not possible. We fear that it is entirely possible that you could vote yes. And Senator, if you think the GOP has left you as you declared in a recent interview, wait until you vote to approve this bag of garbage.
So I beg you again to use your vote to prevent this toxic sludge from leeching out of Committee and onto the Senate Floor.
Dear citizens of Maine,
Is there anything else we here in Maryland (and the rest of America) can do for you? Now that your Senator has and will no doubt continue to vote to allow my family to subsidize the exorbitant health insurance premiums in your state, I was just wondering what other poor policy decisions made in Maine can we expect to be forced to help support with our federal taxes. You know, so we can begin putting away a little extra money to help you out when your state laws become just too expensive for you.
I know what you are thinking, other states' senators voted for the health reform bill, too. Why single out Maine? Well, call me crazy but since Olympia Snowe is a Republican, I just figured she would vote to not burden the rest of the states with Maine's problems. It's that pesky individual responsibility and small government claptrap the GOP is supposed to be about. I expected the Democrats to sell me and my family for generations to come down the river.
And I take no comfort in knowing that Maryland's Democrats will also vote to take your money, too. But I am voting against them every election. I am doing what I can to help. What are you doing? What are the "Republicans" in Maine doing to help?
Saturday, October 17, 2009
What's even more interesting is that the union has dropped all the pretenses normally used to cloak such moves as "investments in our future." The Kapital paper quotes union boss Patrick Moran as saying that Democrats need "to show that their true priority is to make the tough decisions necessary to keep our state running." Apparently the union bosses don't like the tough decisions pretty much made for them by the state's projected $2 billion FY 2011 budget deficit. A series of rolling furloughs has been keeping the state and county governments from being forced to make the even tougher decisions on the budget.
"We cannot cut our way out of this" budget crisis said Moran. Well, we can't tax our way out of it, either. We've tried that. But that's exactly what the union wants its politicians to do. They came right out and said it, too. Raise fees and taxes on everything, even income taxes (on the rich of course). And create new taxes where none yet exist. Curiously missing is any mention of property taxes. Do you think that's because property taxes are dedicated to local schools, the employees of which are represented by another union? Hmmmm. Yeah, let the teachers unions fight for their own tax increases!
But Kapital ace reporter Liam Farrell is nobody's fool. He hits the unions with the ol quid pro quo questions, too. The governor will keep taking the union's calls despite the easy decisions made to furlough the rank and file. And of course Boss Moran "would not speculate" on how the budget cuts will affect the union's political support during the next election cycle. I guess it could go either way. There may be some Republicans that the unionistas would consider financing...and there may even be Republicans out there who will take blood money, that is unless the money comes from fellow Republicans who put "Hitler" and "Obama" in the same e-mail message. I'm sure it would be OK taking money with long strings attached that Boss Moran can use to jerk you around.
This was just too much for black activists and advocates such as Warren Ballentine who, when confronted with the truth by Williams and Bill O'Reilly Thursday night, questioned Williams' blackness and then told Williams to "...go back to the porch."
For me, this was just another example of an idealistic liberal (Juan Williams) being rudely awaken with a sharp stick in the eye, to the realities of what it means to be a true liberal in American politics today. Neither your professional credentials nor your ethnicity will protect you when you dare to challenge the orthodoxy of the Liberal Agenda. The big question will be how Williams will react. Will he start asking the hard questions of the liberal elite? Judging from his performance last night, I think we can look forward to a time when we hear him say, as did his guest and radio talkshow host Tammy Bruce last night, "When I was on the left... ."
And Newt Gingrich. What more can I say about our erstwhile defender of the Constitution, liberty and The Bay? Heee's Baaack! That's right the former Speaker of the House is campaigning for "Republican" candidate Dede Scozzafava in a special election this fall to fill New York's 23rd District congressional seat vacated by the "Republican" who accepted an appoint to the Obama administration.
Scozzafava's liberal bonafides make Wayne Gilchrest look like Barry Goldwater. So she is a natural favorite of the former Speaker. Also backing the recent proud recipient of the Margaret Sanger Award by New York's eugenics advocates, Michael Steele and the RNC, the National Republican Campaign Committee, Minority Leader John Boehner, etc. So before you respond to the NRCC's or the RNC's latest attempt to win your money, please read the three or four posts on this travesty of Republican politics at Michelle Malkin's site. Start here.
After you get your fill, please make your way the Doug Hoffman's site and contribute to his Conservative Party campaign. Or use the links on my blog to contribute to The Club for Growth and or the House and Senate Conservatives Funds.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
After witnessing the melee of martyrdom seize the sycophants of politically correct Annapolis following the Zina Pierre affair, I find I am able to express a few thoughts on the matter without becoming violently sick to my stomach.
The irony in this case, (and all cases involving the liberal agenda and its purported champions and constituency) that Annapolis society goes out of its way to avoid confronting, is that Pierre is just like any other political opportunist. What makes her different from other liberal Democratic political opportunists is her race.
Leaving aside, for the moment, the Annapolis Kapital's deviated septum when it comes to asking the hard questions, the paper's editorial news staff are sensory deprived. Unless it comes with a large flag, fireworks, or literally roaring through the newsroom the chances are pretty good that the newshounds at the Kapital will miss the story.
And if Zina Pierre was a white liberal Democrat, the chances are equally good that Greg Stiverson, Republican candidate for Ward 6 Alderman wouldn't have been overcome with the anguished "heartache" he felt compelled to share with Kapital readers following her final withdrawal from the race. If Pierre was a run-of-the-mill white liberal Democrat who does not know for sure where she lives or how much money her campaign collected and disbursed and to whom, I seriously doubt that Stiverson would have been blubbering with grief over the affair.
But Stiverson fought to be the first to drive a nail into the political coffin of Joyce Thomann, a white conservative member of his own Republican party. He made sure liberal bloggers were aware that he had returned Thomann's personal contributions to his campaign, only to be snubbed later in a Kapital editorial rounding up the Thomann affair.
So it's not the first time a Republican throws his own supposed ideology over in favor of the liberal theology of 'victim-ism.' Stiverson joins the long and growing line of Republican politicians who fall all over themselves trying to out 'empathize' his perceived rivals for the title of being the most unRepublican Republican. Even after watching his fellows go down one by one in flaming political death spirals while we conservatives watch with morbid curiosity and wonder why. Why don't they bail out and hit the silk, salvage some scrap of self-respect?
What is it about the liberal agenda that attracts the political suicides in the GOP? Do they see some electoral advantage in being a liberal Republican? Democrats, as a rule, will not vote for a Republican. So who do they think they are attracting? What cause do they think they are supporting when they vote against the conservative agenda and with the Democrats?
One of the eight Republican congressmen who voted for the Cap and Trade bill actually admitted that he voted for it in order to serve the narrow interests of his district. Otherwise he is totally against the concept embodied by the legislation! It's just too bad that the rest of America will have to suffer. He said this with a straight face as though there was no shame in saying he believes one way and voting to support the exact opposite of what he says he believes.
Democrats can do this because, for the most part, they are shameless vote mongers. Their positions are consistent and predictable and so give the appearance of having a principled base. Because they can be counted upon to do and say whatever it takes to get elected, the Democrats have developed over the generations a constituency that presents itself as victimized, deprived and exploited and in desperate need of this favor and that, laws that benefit those whose livelihoods depend on there being more and more victimized, deprived and exploited voters. This is a political ponzi scheme, opportunism if not outright corruption.
Hey, and that's OK by me if there are politicians without a shred of decency willing to propagate this scam. It's just a shame that their constituency is, in the words of ACORN's Bertha Lewis, "too stupid" to see they are being exploited by their own leaders. And it's a shame that the rest of us have to pay for their stupidity. But at least the Democratic politicians and their liberal task masters know full well they are running a scam.
That's more than I can say for Greg Stiverson (and Scott Bowling running in Ward 3, and Wayne Gilchrest, Michael Steele and Newt Gingrich, etc.). At least Arlen Specter knew he was just pandering for votes. What was Lindsay Graham of South Carolina thinking when he voted to confirm the "wise Latina woman," for a seat on the Supreme Court? You see, as a Republican supporting a liberal agenda item you can be regarded in only one of two ways:
1. As a cold and calculating political opportunist, or
2. As a mindless buffoon.
Arlen Specter fits neatly into Category #1. Into Category #2 fall the likes of Stiverson, Sens. Snowe and Collins of Maine, former Sen. Lincoln Chaffee, Soon-to-be-former Senator from Ohio George Voinovich, the "Cap and Trade 8" and, of course, Former Congressman Wayne Gilchrest.
So the next time, you Republicans out there, you get the urge to do or say something favorable to the liberal agenda, ask yourself how you will be regarded by Democrats and Republicans alike: As Number One or as Number Two.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Also in attendance were the President and at least one member of the board of directors of the Republican Women of Anne Arundel County (RWACC). Joyce Thomann is still President of RWACC despite the efforts of others in attendance to throw her under the proverbial bus.
Just as intriguing was the attendance of certain vigorous supporters of E.J. Pipkin and his 2008 primary campaign against Sen. Harris for the District 1 seat. And lurking just beneath the surface were elements of the Citizens for Better Government political action committee. The PAC was the brainchild of Del. James King (co-owner of the Rockfish venue) whose own relatively recent experience in Maryland GOP politics left him with a bad taste in his mouth and revealed to him a need to somehow make things a little easier for Republican hopefuls in this state, within their own party. There was concern in the room that the PAC, the management of which had been criticized for its lack of accountability two years ago (see Annapolis Politics), may seek to benefit from this election cycle's GOP campaigns beginning with Andy Harris.
So the event was typical of GOP politics in Anne Arundel County. Even former MD First Lady Kendel Ehrlich who was on-hand to rally the troops, sensed that the troops were not quite unified in their purpose. "We need to see a greater commitment," in order to win this time around, she said. And, taking a cue from party wags hoping that former Gov. Ehrlich will challenge Martin O'Malley in 2010 she urged Republicans work at the grassroots to get more involved. She said she and her husband would need to see a GOP with broad support before committing the time and resources of their family for another gubernatorial campaign.
She was justifiably skeptical. Ehrlich won the election because not enough Democrats wanted Townsend to occupy the governor's mansion. O'Malley may face these same Democrats and independents next Fall, with or without a grassroots GOP opposition.
So the fundraiser attracted true supporters as well as those who saw other opportunities beyond the defeat of the Democratic incumbent. I think that the new Harris campaign manager should be mindful of this.
Monday, September 07, 2009
How dare they pass laws that require vast sums of tax revenue, then have the gall to raise taxes to keep us from turning into a gigantic Third World economy? Just because we re-elect them and send them back to Washington the fools seem to think they have some sort of mandate to continue operating our government for their own personal gain. And they think just because they throw us a slab of bacon now and then that we would be ever so grateful and gleefully work to get them re-elected once again. Now where could they have gotten such a ridiculous notion?
Don't get me wrong. Nothing cheers my soul more than to see the likes of Arlen Specter being harangued by his constituents, by the thousands. But I can't help thinking when I watch the townhall spectacles whether the protesters and the angry constituents voted for this congressman or that senator and for Obama. Were they among the cheering, drooling, panting, sweating, fans who turned out on the campaign trail for Obama and for him again in the voting booth? I have to say that the chances are better than even that they were.
Let me be clear on this. I do not want Obamacare to pass in ANY way, shape or form. Nor do I want the energy and collective bargaining measures to pass. But I am confident that they will be passed, unfortunately. That outcome is pretty much a done deal. What will be interesting to predict is how many of the congressmen and senators who voted to pass these laws will keep their jobs in 2010.
I predict that the same adoring voters who are now foaming-at-the-mouth astro-turf townhall mobsters will blindly vote them all back into office. I pray that I am wrong.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
"On Saturday the Republican Executive Committee passed a resolution of no confidence in Chairman Pelura by a vote of 20-10. However there is not any immediate impact of the resolution. Pelura told the meeting he had no intention in resigning.In addition to Pappas and Cavey, I would add Sens. Nancy Jacobs and Allan Kittleman. How miserable they must be now that they have been turned out by the grown-ups of the MDGOP and sent to their room to cry. I guess we'll need a new candidate for Governor, assuming that Pappas isn't entirely shameless and does the honorable thing.
"Under the by-laws, only a full vote of the entire state Central Committee at a convention can remove the Chairman, and a two-thirds vote is required. Counties representing a potential weighted vote of about 50% at a convention opposed the resolution, including Anne Arundel, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George's, St. Mary's, Wicomico and Worcester. The other counties and all the officers voted except Pelura for the resolution. Pelura did not vote.
"The Committee rebuked candidate for Governor Mike Pappas on several occasions. First Pappas attempted to prevent Pelura from presiding at the meeting as Chairman. This effort was defeated. Later Pappas attempted to close off discussion, although Charles County Chairman Charles Lollar was attempting to be recognized. The Committee voted down the Pappas resolution and Lollar was given a chance to speak.
"Repeated criticism was also directed at First Vice Chairman Chris Cavey for his press comments criticizing Pelura. Some members called on him to resign if Pelura remained as Chairman."
Here's a suggestion: instead of working for another six months on making yourselves look like utter buffoons (not hard work, granted) why don't all you self-promoting, disloyal, counter-productive, self-important panderers to the politically correct, just go away? Hmmm? Take a vacation. You must be exhausted. Climb a mountain. Better yet, move your operations to Chicago. You could learn a few things about how to run a real morally corrupt political show there.
For those who are not as familiar with the big picture, or for those for whom the smell test isn't quite enough, I suggest the following excellent essay on power politics in the MD GOP by Michael Swartz.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Take a look at these two passages from recent posts and you tell me which is from what blog:
Pelura and some Republican elected officials may disagree on the state party’s role in setting policy. But few people would disagree on the central role of any political party apparatus: helping its candidates win elections. That means training activists, registering voters, communicating with the press, criticizing the other party’s candidates, getting out the vote and channeling activity towards critical, and winnable, races. All of the above takes money.
The Maryland Republican Party is in bad shape. ... that means there is no spending on core party functions, like voter registration...., raising money, messaging, and candidate recruitment and training. Given Pelura’s strategy rather than furthering MDGOP’s mission, money raised goes toward debt service.Red Maryland has also jumped on every opportunity to whip the party into a feeding frenzy by publicizing and whooping up every communique from the anti-Pelura mob and refuting those from the Pelura loyalists. On Wednesday, for instance, Red Maryland published a call for Pelura's head from those GOP stalwarts Kittleman and Jacobs. No commentary, just the letter.
The next day, Del. Don Dwyer writes to address in a mature manner the rumors being giddily discussed on RedMD. Dwyer is categorically refuted on every point in a rambling commentary.
You tell me. Are the RedMD bloggers out to save the party, or are they just out for themselves? By the way, below is the letter I recent sent to Sens. Kittleman and Jacobs:
Dear Sens Jacobs and Kittleman,
I am writing in response to a recent letter you signed calling for the resignation of Chairman Pelura. Leaving aside for the moment the personal high regard in which I and many Republicans I know hold Dr. and Mrs. Pelura, your letter, which I believe was posted on the Brian Griffiths-for-MDGOP-Chair website (aka Red Maryland) was disappointing on several fronts.
First, I don't think Ronald Reagan himself could do any more to snap Maryland Republican voters and institutions out of their political comas and infuse them with the fanatic sense of purpose that seems to animate the Democrats (the last MD Republican who showed such spirit and enthusiasm has been publicly shunned and humiliated by fine folks just like you two).
Short of raising the dead, though, I see Jim Pelura as having the personality and temperament, as well as the Right frame of mind, to keep the Party apparatus progressing, albeit slowly, through these hard times.
Second, Jim has a unique quality among party leaders here and across the country: He cannot remove his spine and collapse of his own weight into a quivering mass political correctness. For too many, this is an easy and well-practiced maneuver. You two may consider this a liability or a handicap in modern-day politics.
While it may be asking too much, I think you can redeem yourselves and reclaim a shred of decency and honor by publicly retracting this letter.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Here is what the loon says we need: Money. Wow! If only we had thought about that sooner! What a shrewd political genius. Yep... it's always the simple solutions that elude man. Doesn't this idiot realize that by giving us (for free!) this secret to perpetual political power, that his party, the Loons, will instantly begin losing elections and with it the power and influence they have over nearly every major institution of government in Maryland?
See, the Loon Party has Money. Plenty of it. I wonder where they get it all? It reminds me of the TV evangelists. Where do they get it all? Well, according to the lampooned image of the televangelist made popular by the liberal media, they get their riches from gullible and feeble-minded followers who donate their family fortunes to help the church bring a little hope and change to the suffering. In return they hope for a little redemption and salvation for themselves.
So, Mike, are you insinuating that the Democ...the Loon Party is made up of the gullible and feeble minded? Just because they continue to give time and money to keep the Loons in power generation after generation? Just because that after generations of controlling the levers of power in Maryland, they continue to believe it when the Loon party pooh bahs tell them that it is the Republicans' fault for whatever problems plague us at the moment?
Well, if the Loons are gullible, then certainly the Republicans have their own special disadvantages. Money is the least of these. Republicans are, after all, the rich, the oppressors, the exploiters of the people and the planet. We are the ones who finance social welfare programs and who cave in to union demands. What we need is to realize that there is no union or government institution that will represent us; that we cannot win the advantage from the Loons by making sacrifices to the gods of political correctness; that there is no one to whom we must bring the bacon home.
This is what the Republicans need. To wake up and smell the coffee. When this happens, when we forcefully reject the politically correct in favor of principle, when we reject the politically expedient in favor of good public policy; when we are not afraid of admitting that we are Republicans and damned proud of it and can articulate with excruciating specificity why, then the money will flow like honey.
Jim Pelura is the best Chairman we have had in a long time and are likely to have in the near future. But he is, as will be his successor, merely the caretaker of a political party whose adherents just don't get it, ... yet.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
But nearly everyone I talked to made a point of saying how they supported Joyce Thomann and what a raw deal she was getting from both the liberals and from a few Republicans. We can look forward to seeing more supportive letters in the Kapital. In fact I'll go so far as to say that the only people who don't support Joyce are:
3. Brian Griffiths
4. Greg Kline
5. Scott Bowling
6. Greg Stiverson
Wonderful company, eh gentlemen?
I have it on good authority that the Republican Women of Anne Arundel County (RWAAC) did not pull out of the Annapolis Fourth of July Parade, and are joining Marianne Pelura, RWAAC past president and now, occasional Guest Blogger, in that celebration. And that the RWAAC Board of Directors over-reacted in posting their rebuke on their web site.
No one scolded me for daring to defend Joyce and for trashing those Republicans who caved in and professed their phony outrage. It was quite the opposite!
I don't even know why I was worried. It turns out that I expressed the feelings of a majority of Republicans in Anne Arundel County while a measly handful of pols were found to be outraged and held up by the Kapital as representing the majority of AACo Republicans. I didn't have to take a poll, or read the Liberal slime blogs or watch the news to figure out how to react. I just went with my gut instinct. I suggest you four gentlemen learn to do the same the next time. And there will be a next time.
Until then I am proud to be a Republican in this county and I am sorry I ever doubted you fine folks. Thanks for restoring my faith!
UPDATE: Chuck Thomann marched proudly in uniform in the Annapolis parade alongside the RWACC and had this to say:
I marched, in uniform, in the Annapolis Parade and there were only two adverse comments that I know about. One guy came up to me after the parade was over and said “Nazi”. I told him that it was an American uniform and he disappeared. Someone else said something negative to another member of RWACC, but the overall parade was one of cheering, saluting, smiles and waving of flags.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
In an article for the Eye On Annapolis blog, Fox assured us that we had "valid and respectable" reasons for being Democrats and Republicans. But that our positions regarding taxes and spending, size and role of government and healthcare policies, Fox says, "are state and federal issues and have NO PLACE in our local municipality!"
Intrigued as I am by novel approaches to politics, I decided to try and draw Mr. Fox out on a few points. Politics is, after all, a base or instinctual trait exhibited by most species of primate in the way they socialize and behave in groups. The human species, overwhelmed as it is by its cavernous cranium, stuffed with grey matter, has turned politics into an art and even a science. How are we to deny our natural instincts in this regard?
"So partisanship has a place in state and national affairs, but when we serve on the City Council or as Mayor, we must shed our party affiliation.... What do we use as a guide? If not ideology, then what? Perhaps an eye for the bottom line? Moral values? Whose morals? Personal interests and patronage are probably the only true bipartisan approaches to governance."Fox demurred when I asked him, for the record, where he stood on state and national issues, you know, where partisanship is allowed. I didn't think much more about it until the Thomann affair caused me to do some research on a few partisans. Well it turns out the Greg Stiverson, Ward 6 candidate for City Council, is squarely in the Fox camp when it comes to partisan politics in Annapolis:
"Fundamentally, I believe Annapolis needs nonpartisan elections. Every other city in Maryland, with the exception of Frederick and Baltimore, has nonpartisan municipal elections. State and national politics have virtually nothing to do with issues of local concern."There is something about being labeled with an 'R' or a 'D' that Stiverson finds objectionable, though he'll tell you he has been a proud Republican for 41 years. But if elected, his number one priority will be to get the Council to approve nonpartisan city elections. I am not sure what that is. Can someone tell me what a nonpartisan city election is?
What is the real goal? I think it is to remove ideology from municipal governance, not party affiliation. But I don't think you can separate humans from their ideology merely by banning the 'R's and the 'D's from election ballots. And I don't think Fox and Stiverson are naive enough to think such a thing is possible. So what would "nonpartisan elections" give us? The next best thing, of course: an excuse for not taking a stand, cover for bending to the prevailing winds of political pressure and influence, without having to answer to this party or that.
So they can have "pride" in their party's ideology, privately, within backslapping range, you know, when raising money and getting key endorsements is important. I guess the only things that count in nonpartisan elections is money and power. At least in regular elections, no one is trying to hide behind some false front of purity in governance, selfless public servitude. In partisan elections, everyone knows what they are getting themselves into when they vote and they have a right to hold elected leaders to account when they buck the party line.
Monday, June 29, 2009
I couldn't help notice that the Kapital's editorial this evening didn't mention the fact that you found Joyce Thomann's opinions so abhorrent that you were compelled to return her generous contribution. It mentioned Messrs Cordle and Bowling, but not a jot about you. Maybe you weren't offended enough? I am sure you called the Kapital "news" room immediately after you were snubbed by the editorial board. How dare they over look the fact that you were offended and outraged!
I'm telling you, if you really want to do something meaningful, hold a press conference and announce you are changing parties! It worked out well for Arlen Specter, didn't it? Don't you worry, though, Mr. Stiverson. I'll make sure Ward 6 voters know just how loyal you are to your own political career. The First Amendment be damned! Annapolis will soon learn that what really matters around here is the amount of attention Greg Stiverson gets from the press!
Hmmmm. I am trying to think of other ways to curry favor with the liberals and the press. Hey, I know! Why don't you get one of those clever "Tecleo para el Web site en espanol" buttons like Scott Bowling has on his website homepage? I'm sure that's why they picked him over you to feature in their editorial.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Joyce Thomann has been able to accomplish in one e-mail what I have trying to accomplish for a decade of letters, e-mail messages and message groups and finally, blogs. That is we now have made the bold distinction between Conservatives and those who registered Republican. We also now have seen what happens to a Republican group, whose disloyalty to its own president will forever be an ugly stain and its only lasting legacy. Perhaps Republicans in this and other counties in Maryland will remember the Thomann affair and decide for themselves whether they have what it takes to remain a Republican.
"Republicans" like Annapolis Ward 6 candidate Greg Stiverson; one of two city council candidates to make a public show of returning the Thomann's generous campaign contribution. I left this comment last night on his blog post where he makes a spectacle out of his outraged tender sensibilities:
"Dear Mr. Stiverson,That, of course, was rejected by site moderators this morning. Click here to leave a nice comment for our whithering Ward 6 friend.
Yes, Bra-vo! How courageous of you to do exactly what the liberal Democrats and their cheerleaders in the Press and in the blogs wanted you to do. I wonder what other tricks they can get you to do. Oh, and you are a Republican? This blog post is the first mention of that fact on your site. You must be so proud to be a Republican to hide it from visitors to your campaign website. Visitors who until Joyce Thomann took to the keyboard, never heard of you, let alone your party affiliation.
Did returning the campaign donation and publicly trashing a loyal member of your beloved Republican Party and patriotic American help you to recover from the bouts of vehemence and abhorrence? It must have been horrible for you.
Hey! I know what will make you feel better: Change your party affiliation! Why not go all the way and show Ward 6 voters how vehemently you really disagreed with Thomann's opinions! It would be a simple change; from R to a D, right? And you won't have to change your website a bit!!"
Also in the Chaff division of the Annapolis City Council race is Scott Bowling of Ward 3. Mr. Bowling's comments in handing back Thomann's check were brimming with glorious outrage:
"I forcefully reject this view enunciated by Ms. Thomann, and find the use of this inflammatory rhetoric unacceptable, useless and destructive."Mr. Bowling is a former Democrat and recent resident of Ward 3 (according to his Website). At least he admits he is a Republican. What kills me about Mr. Bowling's campaign web site is that the home page prominently features a link to a Spanish-language version.
Tecleo para el Web site en espanolNote to Mr. Bowling: To become a naturalized citizen of this county, I believe it is still a requirement that one must learn the English language. Of course, citizenry is not a requirement in order to make a generous campaign contribution (as long as the contribution does not exceed the legal limit and not made on behalf of a foreign government).
Another proud Republican and candidate for Mayor of Annapolis is Dave Cordle; we have to take the Democrats' word for it that he is a Republican because it is nowhere to be found on his campign web site. So far all I have is a Democrat's word that he "expressed his disapproval" to Thomann. So I will give him the benefit of the doubt. But, with this track record, my money is on the Democrat.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
I have known Joyce Thomann for the past ten years. Yes, the Joyce Thomann who recently made careless remarks comparing our President to someone we all truly abhor. I will be the first to admit that I would have never used that analogy. But I have also been the President of the Republican Women of Anne Arundel County (RWAAC) from 1999 to 2001, and understand the reality of wearing many hats and the huge responsibility that comes with each hat. That does not excuse Joyce’s analogy, her using the RWAAC website for its distribution or the RWAAC Board for not addressing it before it became a source of ridicule and scorn for this organization.
The reality is that the Republican Women of Anne Arundel County is a notable, activist organization promoting the ideals we hope will better our family, community, state and country. We volunteer in public schools with large populations of at-risk students. We donate school supplies to students who would otherwise start school without the necessary items they need. We donate to and maintain the house where victims of domestic abuse are cared for with their children and remain safe. We support our troops who serve our country and keep our freedoms secure and who serve in harms’ way. We do all this to make our community stronger and still hear from some who we have helped state, “I didn’t know Republicans would do that.”
Joyce, and now RWAAC, is the target of all the ills that are affecting our Party. We need to blame someone and her statements are giving us an easy bull’s eye.
Under Joyce’s leadership as President of RWAAC, a PAC was implemented to help more Republicans get elected to office. Joyce’s activism led RWAAC to initiate Thursday Action Briefings or TABs. All the Republican Clubs in our county as well as the Republican City and County Central Committees invited legislators to share their insights with community groups on Thursdays during the Legislative Session. Joyce mostly carried the water for TABs, but always gave everyone credit for their support. She is a generous, kind woman who let her emotions and fears carry her away. Are we all so perfect that we cannot forgive this misstep?
I am a proud Republican and an especially proud American and I will be marching in the Annapolis City Fourth of July Parade and I will be representing my club, the Republican Women of Anne Arundel County. If you don’t agree with Joyce’s statement, well I don’t either, but that is no reason to ignore the freedoms we have that allow us when we make a mistake, we can take responsibility for our error, pull ourselves back up and move forward on a better, brighter path.
God Bless America!
Past President of the Republican Women of Anne Arundel County
Friday, June 26, 2009
From the RWAAC web page, I believe the following to be the members of the Board of Directors:
- First Vice President Carolyn Middleton
- Second Vice President Carol Ann Lee
- Third Vice President Jan Holland
- Treasurer Patricia Root
- Assistant Treasurer Mary A. Fink
- Recording Secretary Barbara G. Reynolds
- Asst Rec. Secretary Marti Fridrich
- Corresponding Sec. Sylvia Pailthorp
And for what? I ask again. (Chuck, will you read to the Board the letter I sent to them?) What do you think you have gained other than scorn? You always had the scorn of the liberals and the DWAAC or whatever the Democratic Women are calling themselves. And you always will. But now, you have my scorn, and that of other principled Republicans in the county.
You are the kind of Republicans that make conservatives sick to their stomachs and have led the Republican Party to defeat after defeat, handing over the country to a bunch of socialists. I doubt very seriously that the membership of RWACC would want anything more to do with you.
Now if any of you has the guts to respond (you can use the e-mail thing), I will post your comments as is.
To Joyce I offer to set up a blog for you and help you maintain it. You can write whatever comes to mind. You can even use it to promote the RWAAC-Os who have unceremoniously dumped you. I wouldn't be surprised if she did continue to promote her beloved RWAAC. How rich the reward...
For my readers who may not be familiar with the latest attack, it involves one of the hardest working, most eloquent, knowledgeable, warmest and patriotic couple ever to grace the MD GOP: Joyce and Chuck Thomann. Yes. Joyce Thomann. She is known to most Republicans in MD as the author of the "Dear Friends" calls to political action. Firing off thousands of e-mail messages a year, exhorting the faithful and the patriotic to defeat this or that misguided legislation, support this or that wonderful Republican candidate.
For the past ten years or maybe more, she has lent her passion and influence to the Republican Women of Anne Arundel County (RWAAC), promoting their events and giving that otherwise obscure and apparently illiterate group a voice. Each of her Dear Friends letters was featured in the RWAAC website, until recently. Just before flying to her 96-year-old mother's side in Colorado she fired off what I hope won't be her last message.
On the eve of the take over of yet another American industry by the socialists, she implored her friends to rally against what she saw as a "Blitzkrieg" by the Obama administration by conducting a blitzkrieg of our own of phone calls and letters and e-mail.
Well, this was just too rich for liberal blogger and delegate candidate Judd Legum. How could he pass up an opportunity to grab the spotlight for 15 seconds? Calling on all members of the GOP to denounce Joyce picking up on a posting by Paul Foer, another liberal blogger and recent weekly columnist for the Annapolis Kapital.
I, and a few others, jumped to Joyce's defense on Inside Charm City, which picked up both postings and on Legum's blog. I warned Republicans that I would be HIGHLY disappointed" in those who failed to defend Joyce and I would work to "ruin" the political career's of those who folded.
The next day, the very LAST group I expected to give in to this pressure, were the illiterati of the RWAAC. My letter to them:
Ladies,So far there is no reply from the Board. That evening the letter hit the Political Notes section of the Kapital. No longer confined to the blogoshphere. GOP Women Compare Obama to Hitler! Liberal bloggers up in arms, e-mail campaign underway. If I were you ladies, I would get ready for the Kaptial's story on how the RWAAC suddenly does not agree with the most influential member of the group's "personal thoughts o[r] opinions."
I'd like to ask you a few questions regarding this statement recently published on your web site:"Urgent message from RWAAC Board of Directors: The article put on our web site by Joyce Thomann was done solely by her. Our Board of Directors never saw the article and would never have approved it. We are not in support of Mrs. Thomann's personal thoughts ot opinions."What, aside from earning your organization the contempt and revulsion one reserves for the spineless and disloyal of God's creatures, did you hope to accomplish by publishing such tripe?
Do you know what blogs are? Have you read any of them? This is how one of Md's leading Republican bloggers put it: "The RWAAC Just Threw Joyce Thomann Under the Bus!"
I haven't even looked at the liberal blogs...yet. How wonderful for the RWAAC which will now become the darling of the liberal media. Was this your goal? Seriously. Is there not a single Republican in this county with a spine or principles or common sense?
My advice to you is to pack it up. Today. Don't wait another second. Sell what you can now before word gets out that you threw Joyce Thomann under the bus. And word will get out. I will spend the entire weekend making sure words gets out.
By the way, I will be posting this on my blog and I will post your reply just to be fair. If I were you...I wouldn't reply.
To all Republicans reading this: Grab your spine and stand up in defense of our wonderful friend. Saying nothing or folding like a cheap suit (a la the RWAAC) will get us no where. If you are contacted by a blogger or by the Annapolis Press Release, please have something intelligent to say. Like:
"I happen to agree that the socialists in Washington are employing blitzkrieg-like tactics against the American people and economy. And I happen to agree that we need to fight fire with fire and launch our own blitzkrieg in defense of the American way of life."
Or something like that. Write to the RWAAC at firstname.lastname@example.org and support Joyce while admonishing the gutless wonders on the board of directors.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Wayne Gilchrest. A man whose contempt for the Republican party was legendary. In comments for the press after each vote for the Democrats, Gilchrest insisted that he was not one of the sheep, meaning Republicans, and that he voted his conscience. His conscience was, 90 percent of the time, Nancy Pelosi's conscience.
Newt Gingrich. Mr. Republican. Leader of the 1994 GOP take-over of Congress. Lectures the Republicans on why they should support the conservative initiatives that Gilchrest had (and would have) voted against. Gingrich says he supported Gilchrest over Andy Harris, because Gilchrest was a friend of the environment. Gingrich urges Congress to Drill Here and Drill Now! to secure America's energy supply. But surely he knew his environmental buddy would vote against any such legislation.
I'll never forgive Gingrich (or Boehner or Steele) for making it that much harder to defeat this liberal Republican. And no one has asked the great Newt Gingrich to explain himself. And I doubt seriously that anyone will have the spine to ask him to apologize to Andy Harris and the loyal Republicans who worked hard to secure his victory in the Primary. I doubt he will even acknowledge the presence of Dr. Harris at the dinner.
For me the campaign was over and successful because Harris defeated Gilchrest. Either way the General went, the party affiliation no longer had to be reconciled with the vote. If the Democrat won, then the change would be hardly detectable.
But the convergence of Newt and MD GOP illustrates in sickeningly vivid color and depth that the GOP has not taken any lessons from their drubbings in '04, '06 and '08. And that while I was, for a moment, optimistic for our chances in 2010, I suddenly realized that the party amnesia has run deeper than I hoped.
But forget about Newt for a moment. How does the MD GOP explain itself for inviting the backstabber? Who's next? Arlen Specter? I could think of a thousand different people to address the party faithful and inspire them to win in 2010. A thousand!
Monday, May 11, 2009
I rarely comment on idiotic letters to the editor published by the Annapolis Kapital paper (because I am too busy writing them?), but the one last night by tree-hugger Holly Gorman was bursting with enough eco-green renewable efficiency to make Al Gore blush. But give Miz Gorman credit for not pretending that nuclear power doesn't exist, unlike our cowering politicians and "business leaders."
No, she boldly declares that she's sick of hearing how nuclear energy is soooooo eco-friendly just because it emits zero ounces of noxious carbon dioxide and how widespread use of nuclear power will reduce the demand for dirty carbon energy. Big deal! These are all the wrong reasons for supporting the expansion of nuclear capacity at Calvert Cliffs.
It is precisely because providing the people of Maryland with clean energy for generations to come that we should vigorously oppose all efforts to expand the use of nuclear power in this country! See, if we have cheap, abundant, clean (and recyclable!) nuclear energy, then we won't want to conserve energy by freezing in the winter and boiling in the summer. We won't want to sacrifice safety on the roads in order to save a few bucks (and the planet!).
Finally, one of the eco-freaks went out without her talking points and just told it like it is. It doesn't matter how much energy we have or how cheap and clean it is. It never will matter. Miz "Al" Gorman suddenly saw the handwriting on the wall: The rise of nuclear energy comes at the expense of the power and influence of groups like...hers, and people like her, who produce nothing. Suddenly she faces the very real prospect of having to develop a skill and getting a real job.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
The following was sent to the folks at the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the Methodist church. Am I over-reacting?
I and my family attend the Severna Park United Methodist Church. My wife is quite active and I help out when I can. Over the years I have gradually refrained from attending services because I can't help but detect and write about the political leaning, associations and preaching of our church groups and clergy.
This morning I was introduced to one such organization, UMCOR, and one of its fundraising activities: The 100-ton Challenge. According to it's promotional materials the Challenge is a way to raise funds by selling coffee, tea and chocolate. Supposedly the coffee, tea and chocolate is produced by "small farmers" in Latin and South America and the Challenge would, "help farmers earn fair prices for their crops." Whenever I see "fair" used to describe trade and prices, I think politics. Failed politics.
"Profit-driven corporations have created a food system that threatens our health, the planet's health and the livelihoods of small farming families around the world," goes the introduction of one Equal Exchange brochures available next to the UMCOR Challenge poster Such sloganeering is directed at the those lack the knowledge of recent history or the will to challenge them when promoted by church officials.
But of course it's the evil, profit-driven corporations that have made it possible for Equal Exchange (or anyone for that matter) to travel to Latin and South American farms, purchase produce (at whatever price is agreed to as a "fair price"), arrange for shipping, Customs clearance and direct marketing.
Profit-driven corporations (Microsoft, Google, etc.) make it possible for anyone to produce slick marketing materials such as the websites and brochures that I am using to discourage this fundraising activity.
Why am I trying to discourage a church fundraising activity that is "obviously" going to help the poor, small family farmers? Because there is only one way to "Pay producers a guaranteed minimum price... ," and that is at the point of a gun, literally. There are only a few places on earth where prices can be guaranteed at any level. The former Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, North Korea, Cuba leap to mind. These places are full of happy farmers, yes?
What is a fair price? All the marketing material says the farmers earn a fair price for their products. They don't say how. The truth is the only fair price is one arrived at when a buyer and a seller get together and negotiate a price. Whether the buyers go to individual sellers (you know, the small family farms) and negotiate a potentially different prices for the same produce (unless Farmer A calls Farmer B and tells him what he got for his coffee). Or the buyer goes to a Cooperative, a single point of sale where the farmers collude on a single price. Either way, a price is set. This is what is known as a free market.
Unfortunately, it appears that Equal Exchange wants to be the ONLY buyer from these cooperatives. Where's the economic justice in that? According to their brochure diagram purporting to show the difference between evil profit-driven corporations and the "Equal Exchange" system, the farmer sells to the cooperative (or consigns to the cooperative) and Equal Exchange buys, because they are guaranteed a minimum price.
EE then sells to cafes and stores (note: profit-driven corporations). Now let's visit the other end of the equation. EE comes to the market with prices that are higher than the profit-driven coffee companies. I assume they are higher because they are fair and therefore better. Better prices are higher prices if you are a seller. The profit driven cafe\store will buy from the seller that offers the best combination of price and quality.
OOps. Too bad EE can't be the only seller, too, eh? But wait...unless EE can bring a little pressure on the local supermarket. Maybe with a big enough "save the planet, save the poor family farmer," guilt trip, the cafe\store will buy enough to stock a small section of the "natural foods" aisle only to throw it all away because no one knows what it is or what the quality is and no one will buy it. The cafe\market owners know this in advance.
They willingly take a loss on the stuff just to keep the goodwill of the locals. There is a photo-op for the local church press and funds are raised. Everyone is happy. UMCOR keeps this fair price, evil big food company road show going town to town, like the old snake-oil salesmen, counting on plain old ignorance.
I've got a better idea. Instead of pushing the political fair trade, poisonous profits, exploited farmer malarkey why don't you raise money for church missions by counting on good old-fashioned Christian charity? I think you'll find that it goes down easier than implying that the hardworking, Christians among your congregations are somehow cheating the dirt poor farmers of Latin and South America by negotiating dishonest and unfair deals.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
"Here is the list of Senate seats that are up this election cycle. Please email us at email@example.com and let us know which incumbents or potential challengers you believe are true conservatives and deserve our support"I am asking you to endorse Pat Toomey in his bid to unseat the incumbent senior senator from Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter. We conservative Republicans came so close in 2004 to having a solid conservative senator in Mr. Toomey. With your help and with the help of others in the conservative movement, we can finally be rid of the two-faced, backstabbing, ear-marking political opportunist who shamelessly clings to power.
And, in case Mr. Specter should prevail in the primary, I am asking you to endorse the Democrat who has won the chance to challenge him in the general election. I certainly will. I don't care if it is Michael Moore.
Finally, I am asking those few but faithful readers of my blog to visit your site and make a small donation. I also invite them to visit the Club For Growth and donate to their PAC which will be supporting Pat Toomey's campaign. Links to these websites are found on my blog http://mikenetherland.blogspot.com/.Thanks.
Severna Park, MD
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Honorable School Board members,
I write in response to Superintendent Maxwell's novel approach to funding the ever increasing demands of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County (TAAAC). In his letter to you, according to the "local press," Mr. Maxwell begins by insulting the good people of this county as greedy misers who insist on electing leaders who will resist the expansion of government. Then he calls on the County Council to raise
income and property taxes.
If he believes that raising taxes would actually raise revenue while all other variables (shrinking economy, falling real estate market, etc) remained the same (shrinking and falling), then he is not qualified to lead anything.
"Clearly the county [taxpayers] has the ability to do [pay] more [money], but has chosen [elected leaders who share their belief] not to provide the effort [pay more taxes] to fund education [pay off the TAAAC] at the level of many of our sister jurisdictions," Mr. Maxwell is quoted, with my translation, as writing to you.
Now the county is facing $153 million deficit or a potential deficit. The way I see it the Superintendent wants to spend $977 million (which is probably an increase over last year's budget) next year out of a total County budget of $1.2 billion. That leaves, what, $230 million for the rest of the county? And the Teachers Union wants an even bigger share? If the County can run the police, fire, water, sanitation, library and other services on $230 million, I am sure Mr. Maxwell can come up with a measly $153 million in things to put off til next year.
Raise taxes? No. The O'Malley administration and the Democratic Party just increased taxes last fall, and foisted a ridiculous slots amendment on a gullible electorate. When the economy recovers the state and county will have more money to waste than ever before. They don't need any more.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
"If concerned citizens don’t speak up, Anne Arundel County is about to change for the worse. At 7 PM on Thursday evening, the Anne Arundel County Council is holding a hearing to determine whether to change zoning laws to allow for the construction of a 200,000 square foot Casino at Arundel Mills."He went on at length about how county residents do not approve of the casino, that the newly amended state constitution, which county voters did approve of, allows local jurisdictions to deny zoning for casinos, etc. This was my reply:
Ordinarily, I would be a part of any and every protest against the establishment of slots. I opposed it during Ehrlich's campaign and administration and I opposed the recent amendment to the state constitution.
My arguments, as you will note, are devoid of any moralizing about the frailties of the human spirit when it comes to gambling away paychecks, welfare checks, food stamps, etc. Instead I focused on the plain fact that gambling as it was promoted as a state and local revenue stream, as a way to forestall confiscatory taxation, as a means towards a better education for the kids, was disingenuous and flawed public policy. Bad governance. Lazy governance. Sheer stupidity.
Why? Because it was based on flawed assumptions of the revenue stream and ignored very real expenses associated with a government-run enterprise.
But the people of Maryland have spoken. They have overwhelmingly approved, endorsed and I assume welcome the return of gambling to the state. Now they should get what they asked for. They should be held accountable to themselves for whatever crime and traffic they were willing to foist upon the poor venues of the floundering thoroughbred racing industry in Baltimore and Laurel and upon the peaceful denizens of Cumberland and Garrett Counties.
The people of Maryland includes the people of Anne Arundel County, who also approved of the slots amendment. Why should we be insulated from the garish, neon-light-bathed casino fates to which we have consigned the rest of the state?
No. If we expect our elected leaders to suffer or benefit politically for the policies they make, we should expect no less for ourselves when we make policy through ballot questions.
He replied that county residents voted for the amendment that specified slots parlours at the race track, in Ocean City, and at Rocky Gap. Why should they expect to have them in Arundel Mills?
I knew this was the argument you'd make. The folks willingly bought the over-hyped snake-oil that the slots amendment was shown to be over and over again. If 3/4 of county voters voted against slots, I would have more sympathy. But that is not the case. I don't know what the margin was in Anne Arundel but I do believe it was a majority.
The folks were told that the slots amendment was only the camel's nose under the tent, that the zoning issue will be brought up again and again until Cordish or some other casino operator can buy a sufficient number of Council votes.
But I would be just as happy to see the casino go up and county residents who voted for slots suffer. Maybe the next time they won't be as easily persuaded.
And maybe, John, they will turn their regret into action against those who sold them this bill of goods, starting with the MD Chamber of Commerce.
They should name it the Kathleen T. Snyder Education Pot O' Gold after the President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce who came to the county and warned voters of the dire consequences they faced if they failed to approve the slots amendment.
Friday, March 27, 2009
An estimated 800 teachers crowded inside and outside of county school HQ on Riva Road last week to protest this or that revision to the local union contract. First, the teachers better make up their minds. That is, do they want respect? Or do they want a union contract? After all, when you wield a union contract, you don't need the kind of respect the teachers want.
If teachers wanted to be "respected" and "valued" they would stop trying to make us believe that their working conditions are similar to those of steel workers and coal miners. No one does. Unlike sweatshops and factories of yore, teachers are not exploited by their employers who take advantage of employee dependence and force them to work for peanuts under dangerous conditions.
Instead the teachers should abandon the union and treat themselves like true professionals.
The other thing I find interesting when I hear teachers or union bosses complaining that they are not valued and respected (loved, applauded, revered, worshipped) is that they are talking about you and me! They are talking about their friends and neighbors! Who do they think they are actually affecting when they negotiate with the school board? Martians? So I find it insulting that my neighbors want more money out of me and assumes that I don't respect them.
This week I read a story about how it's only a few days before the deadline and no one has applied to run for the at-large school board seat. I wonder why?
Friday, March 20, 2009
Let's start with the Chesapeake Landfill. Democrats and their supporters in the press will trot out a canard that the Republican candidate does not "love the bay." This Bay hatred invariably turns on a single vote on a bill that probably had little to do with the Bay.
But the spectacle of Democrats, in Maryland, blaming Republicans, in Maryland, for the supposed ill-health of the Bay is just too much. But Mike, you can't deny that Republicans support business and industry and unchecked development that pollute the Bay.
Yes, most Republicans support public policy that encourages people, that's right PEOPLE, to start and keep a business or a business investment, whether it's a business like the Kapital-Gazette newspapers or the restaurateurs who buy much of the "iconic" Eastern Shore watermen's catch, in Maryland. How do Republicans do this? Good question. Since Republicans in the General Assembly have been a minority party for at least a generation, they mainly do this by OPPOSING legislation that would increase taxes on the evil business and industry (not people, mind you) proposed by the ...Democrats!
And as a minority party for as long as I can remember, how can the Republicans be blamed for perennial ill-health of the Bay? If the health of the Bay were so important, why haven't successive Democratic General Assemblies and governors done something about it? They could easily pass legislation over minuscule Republican opposition, if they really thought it was all that important.
Do the chicken farmers and kraut packers have undue influence over Democratic legislators? Are Democratic legislators misleading their constituents about their efforts to Save the Bay or their GOP opponents' efforts to destroy the Bay?
Or are Eastern Shore voters just too gullible for their own good?
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I sent the letter below after watching yet another member of the Lost Generation stumble her way essentially to the same conclusions that proudly distinguishes the new Republican that "get's it" a la Margaret Hoover and Robbie Cohen.
Dear Miss McCain,
Please don't take this the wrong way: Leave the Party. I beg you to leave not because I think you'll damage the GOP beyond that already done to itself. Rather, I hate to see a nice girl like you get hurt. I have just read your latest Beast article and I can see bad things coming your way.
For example, it is patently obvious that you have never read any of Ann Coulter's books or articles. Most of her critics are similarly ignorant and delight in displaying their ignorance on national television. So you are hardly unique in the crowd that bemoans her "demeanor" which they characterize as hateful, extreme or "negative." This is how Bill Mahr has and will continue to characterize her. I have yet to read or hear someone actually successfully refute any of the "extreme" things that she has written. And you won't hear Bill Mahr refute them either. He doesn't have the time, patience and intelligence to do so.
If you one day hope to be taken seriously as a commentator or, God forbid, a politician, you need to stop watching MTV and The View and start reading. Until then Uncle Charlie (Gibson) and the rest of the mainstream media and just going to use you to further their own agenda of destroying the Republican Party you claim to love so much. And It doesn't much matter to them who you or I think is a "party icon," whether it's Ann Coulter or your father.
You have also displayed in your writings and "doing the media" an ignorance of the difference between conservatives and the Republican party. The Party is merely a vehicle, a political vehicle for turning conservative ideals into public policy. The "GOP ideals" to which you say you "find yourself drawn" are, in fact, conservative ideals. If all the conservatives left the party, the only GOP ideal would be "whatever it takes to get elected." This is what you saw on display over the past eight years, not conservatism. This is what you need to understand and this is what you need to explain to the "people like you" of the younger generation.
If you intend to stay with us then you need to learn what it means to be a conservative, especially the history of what conservatives have endured at the hands of liberals like Uncle Charlie, here and abroad. This will mean making a break with your father, with all you've learned at Columbia and most of what you've learned in grade school.
This will also mean taking a break from the YouTube University, picking up one of Ann Coulter's books (I highly recommend Treason) and reading.
I mentioned the letter on the train to an acquaintance (only slightly older than Miss McCain, if at all) who I had considered to be intelligent. His response was that he, too, doesn't like Ann Coulter. He finds her "rude and crude." He also admitted that he had not read any of her books and that his impression of her is based soley on her television appearances.
So were are doomed, as a culture, a civilization, by those future leaders of our nation for whom superficiality runs deep and for whom the third dimension is superfluous.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
It's amusing to watch the liberal end-zone dance whenever they are able to find a Republican party operative who just can't help himself and makes a remark that repudiates or even appears to repudiate the hated conservative base of their own party. I am not shocked or even mildly surprised. I have seen this happen and have warned about it for over a decade.
But Republicans everywhere, local and national, are apparently too concerned with "re-branding" and not offending anyone and winning ink and air-time in the liberal media to hear me shout, "Look out! You are about to be hit by bus!".
So Michael Steele, our new RNC Chairman, wandered into traffic and made the following mistake: Agreed to appear on the liberal CNN.
How many times do I have to say it? Liberal Media = Bad. Republicans continue to fly into the bug-zapper, even after watching and reading over and over and over how they will be burned. They mindlessly push their way to the edge of the cliff and scream all the way down. This is how Republicans earned the Stupid Party moniker.
'But Mike, we have to write the WashPo and NYT op-ed pages. We are trying to reach out to the liberal. We have to appear on Larry King, The View, CNN and NBC. We are trying to build the party up.' Look out. Stop. Turn back. Splat.
No, you don't have to subject yourself and the party to the liberal media. The people you are trying to reach are already looking in the non-liberal media for some evidence of leadership. They will hungrily seek you out. They hunger for someone they can respect. They are looking for a reason to come out and vote for a Republican again. You cannot give them that reason through the liberal media. The libs won't allow it.
But if you must, then Don't Whine About It And Don't Apologize. The second mistake Steele made was saying that he didn't mean what he said and that he doesn't want to offend anyone.
Neither does a corn flake that has been sitting in the milk too long.
Sunday, March 01, 2009
We conservatives in Anne Arundel county see in Andy Harris some one who makes us proud to be Republicans again. And we thank Mrs. Harris for allowing us to take him away from her again on the long campaign. How proud, though, she must be of her husband who has the ability to inspire total strangers, incorrigible cynics and party faithful alike to see in him a faint glow, a flicker of light in the miserable fog that has been our political existence for the past twenty years.
OK. So I know you are all on board. There are a few things to remember as we take the next steps:
2. No Libertarians - You guys, quite frankly, are not Libertarians, you are communists and we'll thank you to stay home this time, ok? Either that or just register as Democrats and vote for the Democrat.
3. No Rockfish Republicans - Just the join the Libertarians and stop stinking up our party.
4. No Eastern Shore Philosophy - Socialism, children, doesn't make a distinction between one shore or the other. Mr. Kratovil is discovering this right now. If you want to display how special you are and how much you think we need your chickens and corn then why don't you just blow the Bay Bridge or wall it off. Then we'll see how far your Eastern Shore Philosophy gets you.
Come to think of it, you would be better off if you start downsizing now, because if you send Kratovil back to Congress then there won't be too many people interested in your corn and chickens. Get a good price for your farms and stock now while you can.
5. All comers - at the same time! No half-way through, half-hearted, vote-sucking also-rans! Let's get everyone on the table from the get go. Right, Pipkin? Banks? You wanna play, you take the same risks as everyone from the jump. Otherwise you just cement your reputations earned in the last election as tools of the opposition and ballot buzzards. Thanks to people like you Andy now must face another liberal incumbent!
And a word of advice for Andy: Don't get sucked in by those jellyfish in the NRCC. You are meant for a higher mission. The NRCC does not represent conservatism. It is strictly an incumbent-protection racket. Take their money if you have to, but dump them as soon as get elected.