Friday, August 15, 2003

The People fire a shot at the robber baron unions.

A century ago the nation was gearing up for the battle to come with the robber baron monopolies. It took twenty some years but when it was over the captains of industry who at dawn of the 20th century had seemed more gods then men watched as their empires were ripped asunder never to be seen again. Never to be seen that is until the elite unions of today.

What was a robber baron? A powerful, rich, monopolistic business owner that cared nothing for the nation, the people of the nation, the economy of the nation, the environment of the nation. With the influence provided them by their great wealth they had elected officials in their pockets and they used that influence to make it even easier to feed their insatiable greed. Change the words "business owner" for "union leadership" and you have an accurate depiction of the state of big unions at the beginning of the 21st century. What I call the robber baron unions.

The recall of Gray Davis in California maybe a political spectacle with a porn star, smut peddler, diminutive has been, fruit smasher, the Terminator, et. al. involved in a condensed 2 month race but there is something much deeper happening. The people of California aren't ready to throw Davis out because they want Gary Coleman as governor. No, they are going to recall him because he has lead them to fiscal ruin. The question is, how and why is Gray Davis at fault for California's budgetary woes?

After a budget that increased 34% in Davis's 4 years in office Rich Lowry points out that:

Essentially a paid agent of the public-sector unions, Davis has increased the numbers of state employees and their wages and benefits. The $78 billion budget is up about $20 billion during the past four years. As indispensable Sacramento Bee columnist Daniel Weintraub has reported, Davis and the legislature approved "after 45 seconds of debate" a pension giveaway to public employees a few years ago that is now costing the state another $500 million a year.

Davis has forced tens of thousands of university employees to pay union dues as part of a push to extend the reach of unionism in all areas. He has done the teachers unions' bidding on nearly everything, working to choke off experimentation with charter schools. He famously asked the union for a $1 million political contribution during a discussion of policy last year.

The unions are in control in California and they are robbing the state of it's economic strength to pad their own pockets. They will happily raid the wealth of the Golden State and leave it a poor broken place if they can ensure that they and theirs walk away with thick wallets. Again, they are robber barons.

One hundred years ago the Progressives (re: Marxists) believed that they needed to get more power into the hands of the people and away from the government officials that did as big business wished. In 1911 California was the first to enact recall provisions and it was meant as a means to break those cozy relationships between the robber baron businessmen and their buddies in the state house. The Progressives believed that laws such as this and the young union movement could help protect the workers from the power of the rich but now the very laws they created to pull down businesses are going to be wielded against their own unions by The People.

Terry Eastland points out the irony of this:

Ironies abound in the recall story. Consider that Democrats are the ideological heirs of the Progressives, and yet the recall targets a Democrat who presides over a government made large over the years by its faithful response to the people's demands. Consider, too, that the Republican party initiated the recall of Davis, and yet its intellectual allies have long warned against the dangers of direct democracy.

Even though the mainstream media is too star struck to see anything beyond Schwarzenegger's biceps this is the first shot being taken at the robber baron unions. The unions are no more concerned with the welfare of the workers they claim to protect than the robber baron businessmen were concerned with the welfare of the shareholders. The unions will gleefully wreck an economy to ensure that their poor defensless workers can earn $200,000 a year pushing a broom. Unions who get their bought politicians to create laws to stop you from outsourcing your broom pushing needs to a foreign nation. Unions that make it against the law to hire a broom pusher that doesn't belong to their union. While the Cadillac driving families of the broom pushers are a hell of a lot better off now than they where under the reign of the previous robber barons you must not let that cloud your vision to where you cannot see the reality of our times. Times where the big monopolistic unions of today represent an equal threat to the health and dynamism of our economy that the robber baron tycoons did a century back.

It is said that so goes California so goes the nation. That was true when they first went after the robber barons of the last century and I pray it is true of the robber barons of this one.

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Just what is Neoconservatism? Is it the sanderous libel that the Left paints it to be? Is it the worst of the Republicans? Are Neoconservatives a bunch of anti tax war mongers? Here is great piece by Irving Kristol about just what Neoconservatism is and isn't.

Neoconservatism is the first variant of American conservatism in the past century that is in the "American grain." It is hopeful, not lugubrious; forward-looking, not nostalgic; and its general tone is cheerful, not grim or dyspeptic. Its 20th-century heroes tend to be TR, FDR, and Ronald Reagan. Such Republican and conservative worthies as Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, and Barry Goldwater are politely overlooked. Of course, those worthies are in no way overlooked by a large, probably the largest, segment of the Republican party, with the result that most Republican politicians know nothing and could not care less about neoconservatism. Nevertheless, they cannot be blind to the fact that neoconservative policies, reaching out beyond the traditional political and financial base, have helped make the very idea of political conservatism more acceptable to a majority of American voters. Nor has it passed official notice that it is the neoconservative public policies, not the traditional Republican ones, that result in popular Republican presidencies.

I was never really sure but now it's safe to say I am closer to Neoconservatism than any other political movement in the world today. I believe in reason, intellectual honesty, learning from the lessons of history, the environmental conservation and robber baron busting of TR, the vision, principles and moral clarity of FDR, the strength and activism of JFK and finally the optimism and economic dynamism of Reagan. If that makes me a "neocon"... then so be it.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Victor warns of the rot that weakens great civilizations

VDH’s newest piece in NOR he talks of the dangers of moral equivalency and the evils of the religion of multiculturalism.

I am not suggesting that we ignore the real dangers involved in ethnic profiling, or discount the moral issues that arise from killing our enemy leaders and disseminating gross pictures of their corpses. And, of course, we should seek to distinguish Baathist culprits from ordinary Iraqis.

My point is rather that, because we are products of an affluent and leisured West, we have a special burden to remember how tenuous and fragile civilization remains outside our suburbs.

Victor has this one locked up. There is nothing the Islamists can do to defeat us. They simply lack the power. Yet we may still lose if we heed the advice of those ready to place the blame of the murderous actions of others at our own feet or listening to those who would be walked on rather than risk offense to those who wish us dead. Was 9/11 enough to pull America out of the warmth of lazy insular thought? It’s wasn’t for Europe. Europe forgot the gory deaths of 3,000 only weeks after when they began to question our motives for going into Afghanistan. Now it’s the Democratic party that has forgotten. But there are those like me who have not and will not forget. I just pray we, as America, can get the job done before the Islamists give us another 9/11.

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Friday, August 08, 2003

Dear Clarett, shape up or leave.

Ohio State's star tailback has been more trouble than he's worth. Did he have an impact in the Buckeye's Championship season last year? Yes, but he only played in 9 of the 14 games Ohio State played and the Buckeye went 5-0 without him. I am a big time Buckeye fan and I'd personally buy a one way ticket for him. It's just a simple cost/benefit analysis.

First the good.

- Had several electrifying performances in an otherwise injury plagued Freshman year.
- Potential Heisman candidate that could bring a lot of good publicity to the program.

That's really it. He had some great stuff last year but was injury prone and as he was injury prone in High School you can't assume he's going to be invincible this year.

Now the bad.

- SI cover photo of him tossing an Ohio State jersey into the trash in an article talking about leaving for the Pros after his Freshman year.
- Arguing with a coach on the sidelines during a game
- Castigating the University for not letting him go to a friends funeral while he was in Arizona for the Fiesta Bowl. Latter it turned out he never contacted the right people and didn't return messages to get it taken care of in a manner the NCAA would allow but he still blames the University for not, "taking care of him".
- Lied on a police report about items stolen from a car. Insurance fraud? Currently under NCAA investigation.
- Possible academic irregularities. Currently under NCAA investigation.
- Again threatening to leave early for the NFL. This time through his lawyer and not SI.
- Snubbing NFL hall of famer Marcus Allen buy no showing to a meeting arranged by his High School coach.
- Currently bringing loads of bad publicity to the program.

The reality is we don't know if Maurice will ever play another collegiate game again, the important thing is that we really shouldn't care. This is a kid blessed by the hand of God to have the potential to do mind blowing things on the gridiron yet he continually disappoints with his off the field attitude. He is a prima donna. His off the field antics bespeak of one that thinks they are above reproach. He acts as if his skills should give him a pass on life even though he has yet to accomplished anything.

Shape up and act right or leave us alone to enjoy the Buckeyes that don't cause problems.

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Friday, August 01, 2003

The Israeli security wall is a Good Thing®

If you think Palestinians are all murdering troglodytes or that Jews are monkeys then you can stop reading right here. However if you like to think you are a reasoned person not prone to inflammatory noise then please read on.

The Wall is good. The wall will help bring about peace more than anything else since the 1967 war. Why? Because it's will separate the players. Israel won't have to send tanks into the West Bank to hunt down terrorists if there is a wall stopping terrorists from entering Israel and blowing up buses/cafes/etc. in the first place. Then in turn terrorists will find it harder to talk Palestinians into martyring themselves in Israel as a means of fighting the "occupation" if there is no occupation, i.e. tanks hunting terrorists, in the first place. The wall, and only the wall, can achieve this. No accords. No road maps. No summits. None of them can change the hearts and passions of the zealots willing to die to keep the fighting going forever. A wall can't change them either but, unlike paper and ink, concrete and razor wire will make them stop.

Here we see the terrorist defending ISM vandalizing the wall. Anything the ISM is against I'm am almost certainly for.

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A quick explanation why Iraq isn't Vietnam

VDH this time provides us with well reasoned thoughts on how this is not Vietnam and is not going to become a Vietnam. No matter who much the doomsayer wish it.

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Good-bye and good riddance.

The Beetle might be the #1 seller of all time on the planet but it should have been laid to rest years ago. But VW kept on making those little under powered unsafe dirty machine that now clog the streets of Mexico City. Good-bye little Bug... I won't miss you.

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