Frank & L Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Executive, comment on yesterday's Detroit city council meeting.
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Frank & L Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Executive, comment on yesterday's Detroit city council meeting.
As you may know, all across the country, people are rallying together in support of the “Chicago Tea Party”. The name is in reference to Rick Santelli’s comments on CNBC’s Squawk Box, from the floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange. If you missed it, here it is:
On February 27th, we had a demonstration on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol, organized by just a few bloggers and concerned citizens, protesting the irresponsible bailouts enacted by our very own US Government.
People are concerned and know these policies will not bolster our economy, but continue to stifle it. Reports have it at 200-300 people huddling in the cold to protest. This is not a movement started by any Party, but by regular citizens getting the word out. We here at MRP only have so much say, but events like this show that YOU CAN get your neighborhoods involved. This also shows that people you wouldn’t normally think would be caught up in certain issues can be motivated to speak up and spread the word. We need them in the fight for better government too.
Congratulations go out to everyone who was there. Together we can make a difference.
Pictures Courtesy of RightMichigan.com
The future of our Party starts now. In the coming months, we will choose the team who will rebuild, recreate and relaunch our Republican Party.
Our challenges are huge. Not since the aftermath of Watergate, have we been represented by so few in Congress, Governor’s offices, state houses and the White House.
Over and over in the last twelve months, we have heard the word “change.” All along we have known that we were in for change in 2009. What we didn’t know is what kind of change. We are just now getting a glimpse.
With Barack Obama preparing to become President and substantial majorities for the Democrats in the House and Senate, we have our work cut out for us as we respond to the agenda that they have in store for America. So as we anticipate this change for our nation, I believe that as Republicans we must carefully craft our plan to once again become the majority party in America.
It is my fervent belief that we are the right party with the right ideas. Unfortunately, America lost faith in us, and in our ability to deliver on those ideas.
§ We were once the party that America trusted on national security. But when intelligence failures and poor planning led to unexpected challenges in Iraq, America lost faith in our party.
§ We were once the party of fiscal responsibility. But when members of our own party led the way in pork barrel spending, which led to the fattest federal budget in history, America lost faith in our party.
§ And we were once the party that had convinced America that we “shared their values”. But when Republican after Republican was exposed as a hypocrite that said one thing on the campaign trail and behaved a different way in their personal life, America lost faith in our party.
Worse yet, the Democrats seized these opportunities to win Americans over on these same issues.
We must learn from this experience and build something greater.
Today I am announcing my candidacy to be Chairman of the Republican National Committee and I would be honored if you would join me in this team effort.
I am asking you to join me in rebuilding our great party. We must do this by getting back to basics and taking our message to America: person by person, county by county, state by state, and issue by issue, as we reintroduce ourselves to the voters of America.
We must be the party that offers hope to all of America. Too many, in our own Party, have lost touch with voters in places like my home state of Michigan, and the Great Lakes states.
For a long time, we have written off entire regions like the northeast and the west coast. And now we are beginning to see our party lose ground in the south and the mountain states. It is time to look at the fundamentals and stop focusing only on the tactics.
When we are true to our ideals, that message resonates in every corner of America.
It’s time that the Republican Party looked at America through a different set of eyes. I’m not part of the Republican establishment. I wasn’t born and raised a Republican. And I’m not a ‘country club’ Republican. I joined the Republican Party in my teens because it was the party that reflected my values, hopes and dreams.
As the son of an immigrant who found the American dream in a car factory in Detroit, I know that the American dream is still alive. It lives in every city and every suburb; and in every coal miner, accountant, school teacher, young professional, and yes, every auto worker – in every corner of this country. And you’ll never convince me that Republican ideas cannot win those Americans hearts and minds.
We must be the party that offers individuals the freedom to create, build and dream. All across America, Republican Governors are succeeding by doing just that, and I will work with them and follow their example, to help rebuild our national party. America's return to heartland values, and the Republicans’ return to majority status, must have as one of its cornerstones the recognition that entrepreneurial opportunity must be promoted. This will make America stronger, more prosperous and more hopeful. And it will ensure our status as a world leader.
We must be the party that believes there is a place for God in our society. That we were founded on Judeo-Christian values that provided us with the foundation for our unique form of government. In fact, we are the only country in the world who’s founding document formally states that we are “endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights,” not bestowed by a King, or the government, the military or any other force, but that “we the people” are empowered by God to lead our country.
And we must be the party that believes in peace through strength. A party that believes that to be an economic superpower, you must also be a military superpower.
As we seek to make our comeback, we must renew our commitment to these ideas and be willing to challenge the Democrats on every front:
When Obama and the Democrats try to raise taxes, we’ll mobilize the American people to stop them.
When the Democrats try to open the floodgates to frivolous lawsuits against our most productive and innovative companies, we’ll stand up to them.
When they buckle under pressure from big labor to strip working people of their right to a secret ballot, we’ll put a spotlight on them.
When they try to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq, wreck our military, dismantle our missile defenses and appease dictators, we’ll make it painful for them.
And when President Obama appoints judges who will turn their back on our Constitution and substitute the values of Hollywood for the values of our founding fathers, we’ll say “no way”.
And never again will our party lag behind in using the latest technology to advance our message. We will invest in the tools and the team we need to reach young voters, and reach more voters.
Whether it’s fundraising, promoting our message or mobilizing voters, we must leave no stone unturned in utilizing technology to accomplish our goals. Today it’s text messages and Twitter, but who knows what tomorrow will hold. We must be at the forefront of that next advancement.
And finally, we must demand a fair and honest hearing in the press. The Democrats only win when the media behaves like a division of the DNC. We must insist that they cover the next White House administration as skeptically as they’ve covered this one. And we must be aggressive in telling our side of the story. We will get in their faces. And we will not back down.
I don’t want to dwell on the mistakes or failures of the past, I want to learn from our mistakes and move forward. It is time for us, the people, the grassroots, to take back our party, and by doing so, our country.
In the coming days, I will share with you my ideas for our Republican Comeback. And I am anxious to hear yours. The Republican Party is in a fight for our “heart and soul.” I want to help lead that fight and I’m asking you to join me.
Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to talking with you in the days ahead.
Saul Anuzis, Chairman
Michigan Republican Party
Today, we remember those who have sacrificed and served to preserve all of our freedoms, including our right to vote exercised last Tuesday. The strength of our country has always been found within its people, especially in our men and women who have served and continue to serve our great nation.
Words do not adequately express our gratitude to our brave men and women who have given so much for their country, including the ultimate sacrifice. But what cannot be expressed in words can certainly be shown with our appreciation for their enduring spirits. And while we regretfully cannot do this by giving them back that which they have sacrificed, we can conduct ourselves in a way that honors them.
On this day it is important to remember that our Veterans who have safe-guarded the freedoms that we hold so dear, but it is also important for us to use these freedoms and the lessons they have taught us in order to leave a better America for those that will ultimately follow in our footsteps.
At times like these, we need to remember what our core principles are that make up sound public policy. Larry Reed of the Mackinac Center put them very succinctly.
The seven principles of sound public policy that I want to share with you are pillars of a free economy. We can differ on exactly how any one of them may apply to a given issue, but the principles themselves, I believe, are settled truths.
These principles are not original with me; I’ve simply collected them in one place. They are not the only pillars of a free economy or the only settled truths, but they do provide a solid foundation. In my view, if the cornerstone of every state and federal building were emblazoned with these principles — and more importantly, if every legislator understood and attempted to be faithful to them — we’d be a much stronger, much freer, more prosperous and far better-governed people.
Free people are not equal, and equal people are not free.
First, I should clarify the kind of “equalness” to which I refer in this statement. I am not referring to equality before the law — the notion that you should be judged innocent or guilty of an offense based upon whether or not you did it, with your race, sex, wealth, creed, gender or religion having nothing to do with the outcome. That’s an important foundation of Western civilization, and though we often fall short of it, I doubt that anyone here would quarrel with the concept.
No, the "equalness" to which I refer is all about income and material wealth — what we earn and acquire in the marketplace of commerce, work and exchange. I’m speaking of economic equality. Let’s take this first principle and break it into its two halves.
Free people are not equal. When people are free to be themselves, to be masters of their own destinies, to apply themselves in an effort to improve their well-being and that of their families, the result in the marketplace will not be an equality of outcomes. People will earn vastly different levels of income; they will accumulate vastly different levels of wealth. While some lament that fact and speak dolefully of "the gap between rich and poor," I think people being themselves in a free society is a wonderful thing. Each of us is a unique being, different in endless ways from any other single being living or dead. Why on earth should we expect our interactions in the marketplace to produce identical results?
We are different in terms of our talents. Some have more than others, or more valuable talents. Some don’t discover their highest talents until late in life, or not at all. Magic Johnson is a talented basketball player. Should it surprise anyone that he makes infinitely more money at basketball than I ever could? Will Kellogg didn’t discover his incredible entrepreneurial and marketing talent until age 46; before he struck out on his own to start the Kellogg Company, he was making about $25 a week doing menial jobs for his older brother in a Battle Creek sanitarium.
We are different in terms of our industriousness, our willingness to work. Some work harder, longer and smarter than others. That makes for vast differences in how others value what we do and in how much they’re willing to pay for it.
We are different also in terms of our savings. I would argue that if the president could somehow snap his fingers and equalize us all in terms of income and wealth tonight, we would be unequal again by this time tomorrow because some of us would save our money and some of us would spend it. These are three reasons, but by no means the only three reasons, why free people are simply not going to be equal economically.
Equal people are not free, the second half of my first principle, really gets down to brass tacks. Show me a people anywhere on the planet who are indeed equal economically, and I’ll show you a very unfree people. Why?
The only way in which you could have even the remotest chance of equalizing income and wealth across society is to put a gun to everyone’s head. You would literally have to employ force to make people equal. You would have to give orders, backed up by the guillotine, the hangman’s noose, the bullet or the electric chair. Orders that would go like this: Don’t excel. Don’t work harder or smarter than the next guy. Don’t save more wisely than anyone else. Don’t be there first with a new product. Don’t provide a good or service that people might want more than anything your competitor is offering.
Believe me, you wouldn’t want a society where these were the orders. Cambodia under the communist Khmer Rouge in the late 1970s came close to it, and the result was that upwards of 2 million out of 8 million people died in less than four years. Except for the elite at the top who wielded power, the people of that sad land who survived that period lived at something not much above the Stone Age.
What’s the message of this first principle? Don’t get hung up on differences in income when they result from people being themselves. If they result from artificial political barriers, then get rid of those barriers. But don’t try to take unequal people and compress them into some homogenous heap. You’ll never get there, and you’ll wreak a lot of havoc trying.
Confiscatory tax rates, for example, don’t make people any more equal; they just drive the industrious and the entrepreneurial to other places or into other endeavors while impoverishing the many who would otherwise benefit from their resourcefulness. Abraham Lincoln is reputed to have said, "You cannot pull a man up by dragging another man down."
What belongs to you, you tend to take care of;
what belongs to no one or everyone tends to fall into disrepair.
This essentially illuminates the magic of private property. It explains so much about the failure of socialized economies the world over.
In the old Soviet empire, governments proclaimed the superiority of central planning and state ownership. They wanted to abolish or at least minimize private property because they thought that private ownership was selfish and counterproductive. With the government in charge, they argued, resources would be utilized for the benefit of everybody.
What was once the farmer’s food became "the people’s food," and the people went hungry. What was once the entrepreneur’s factory became "the people’s factory," and the people made do with goods so shoddy there was no market for them beyond the borders.
We now know that the old Soviet empire produced one economic basket case after another, and one ecological nightmare after another. That’s the lesson of every experiment with socialism: While socialists are fond of explaining that you have to break some eggs to make an omelette, they never make any omelettes. They only break eggs.
If you think you’re so good at taking care of property, go live in someone else’s house, or drive their car, for a month. I guarantee you neither their house nor their car will look the same as yours after the same period of time.
If you want to take the scarce resources of society and trash them, all you have to do is take them away from the people who created or earned them and hand them over to some central authority to manage. In one fell swoop, you can ruin everything. Sadly, governments at all levels are promulgating laws all the time that have the effect of eroding private property rights and socializing property through "salami" tactics — one slice at a time.
Sound policy requires that we consider long-run effects and all people, not simply short-run effects and a few people.
It may be true, as British economist John Maynard Keynes once declared, that "in the long run, we’re all dead." But that shouldn’t be a license to enact policies that make a few people feel good now at the cost of hurting many people tomorrow.
I can think of many such policies. When Lyndon Johnson cranked up the Great Society in the 1960s, the thought was that some people would benefit from a welfare check. We now know that over the long haul, the federal entitlement to welfare encouraged idleness, broke up families, produced intergenerational dependency and hopelessness, cost taxpayers a fortune and yielded harmful cultural pathologies that may take generations to undo. Likewise, policies of deficit spending and government growth — while enriching a few at the start — have eaten at the vitals of the nation’s economy and moral fiber for decades.
This principle is actually a call to be thorough in our thinking. It says that we shouldn’t be superficial in our judgments. If a thief goes from bank to bank, stealing all the cash he can get his hands on, and then spends it all at the local shopping mall, you wouldn’t be thorough in your thinking if all you did was survey the store owners to conclude that this guy stimulated the economy.
We should remember that today is the tomorrow that yesterday’s poor policymakers told us we could ignore. If we want to be responsible adults, we can’t behave like infants whose concern is overwhelmingly focused on self and on the here-and-now.
If you encourage something, you get more of it; if you discourage something, you get less of it.
You and I as human beings are creatures of incentives and disincentives. We respond to incentives and disincentives. Our behavior is affected by them, sometimes very powerfully. Policymakers who forget this will do dumb things like jack up taxes on some activity and expect that people will do just as much of it as before, as if taxpayers are sheep lining up to be sheared.
Remember when George Bush (the first one) reneged under pressure on his 1988 "No New Taxes!" pledge? We got big tax hikes in the summer of 1990. Among other things, Congress dramatically boosted taxes on boats, aircraft and jewelry in that package. Lawmakers thought that since rich people buy such things, we should "let ‘em have it" with higher taxes. They expected $31 million in new revenue in the first year from the new taxes on those three things. We now know that the higher levies brought in just $16 million. We shelled out $24 million in additional unemployment benefits because of the people thrown out of work in those industries by the higher taxes. Only in Washington, D.C., where too often lawmakers forget the importance of incentives, can you aim for 31, get only 16, spend 24 to get it and think that somehow you’ve done some good.
Want to break up families? Offer a bigger welfare check if the father splits. Want to reduce savings and investment? Double-tax ‘em, and pile on a nice, high capital gains tax on top of it. Want to get less work? Impose such high tax penalties on it that people decide it’s not worth the effort.
Right now in both state and federal legislatures, much attention is being given to the question of how to deal with deficits due to recession and declining revenues. At the Mackinac Center, we believe that government ought to deal with such circumstances the way you and I and families all across the state deal with similar circumstances: curtail spending. That’s especially true if we want to stimulate a weak economy so it will produce more jobs and more revenue. When the patient is ill, the doctor doesn’t bleed him.
Nobody spends somebody else's money as carefully as he spends his own.
Ever wonder about those stories of $600 hammers and $800 toilet seats that the government sometimes buys? You could walk the length and breadth of this land and not find a soul who would say he’d gladly spend his own money that way. And yet this waste often occurs in government and occasionally in other walks of life, too. Why? Because invariably, the spender is spending somebody else’s money.
Economist Milton Friedman elaborated on this some time ago when he pointed out that there are only four ways to spend money. When you spend your own money on yourself, you make occasional mistakes, but they’re few and far between. The connection between the one who is earning the money, the one who is spending it and the one who is reaping the final benefit is pretty strong, direct and immediate.
When you use your money to buy someone else a gift, you have some incentive to get your money’s worth, but you might not end up getting something the intended recipient really needs or values.
When you use somebody else’s money to buy something for yourself, such as lunch on an expense account, you have some incentive to get the right thing but little reason to economize.
Finally, when you spend other people’s money to buy something for someone else, the connection between the earner, the spender and the recipient is the most remote — and the potential for mischief and waste is the greatest. Think about it — somebody spending somebody else’s money on yet somebody else. That’s what government does all the time.
But this principle is not just a commentary about government. I recall a time, back in the 1990s, when the Mackinac Center took a close look at the Michigan Education Association’s self-serving statement that it would oppose any competitive contracting of any school support service (like busing, food or custodial) by any school district anytime, anywhere. We discovered that at the MEA’s own posh, sprawling East Lansing headquarters, the union did not have its own full-time, unionized workforce of janitors and food service workers. It was contracting out all of its cafeteria, custodial, security and mailing duties to private companies, and three out of four of them were nonunion!
So the MEA — the state’s largest union of cooks, janitors, bus drivers and teachers — was doing one thing with its own money and calling for something very different with regard to the public’s tax money. Nobody — repeat, nobody — spends someone else’s money as carefully as he spends his own.
Government has nothing to give anybody except what it first takes from somebody, and a government that's big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you've got.
This is not some radical, ideological, anti-government statement. It’s simply the way things are. It speaks volumes about the very nature of government. And it’s perfectly in keeping with the philosophy and advice of America’s Founders.
It’s been said that government, like fire, is either a dangerous servant or a fearful master. Think about that for a moment. Even if government is no bigger than our Founders wanted it to be, and even if it does its work so well that it indeed is a servant to the people, it’s still a dangerous one! As Groucho Marx once said of his brother Harpo, "He’s honest, but you’ve got to watch him." You’ve got to keep your eye on even the best and smallest of governments because, as Jefferson warned, the natural tendency is for government to grow and liberty to retreat. You can’t wind it up and walk away from it; it takes eternal vigilance to keep it in its place and keep our liberties secure.
The so-called "welfare state" is really not much more than robbing Peter to pay Paul, after laundering and squandering much of Peter’s wealth through an indifferent, costly bureaucracy. The welfare state is like feeding the sparrows through the horses, if you know what I mean. Put yet another way, it’s like all of us standing in a big circle, with each of us having one hand in the next guy’s pocket. Somebody once said that the welfare state is so named because in it, the politicians get well and the rest of us pay the fare.
A free and independent people do not look to government for their sustenance. They see government not as a fountain of "free" goodies, but rather as a protector of their liberties, confined to certain minimal functions that revolve around keeping the peace, maximizing everyone’s opportunities and otherwise leaving us alone. There is a deadly trade-off to reliance upon government, as civilizations at least as far back as ancient Rome have painfully learned.
When your congressman comes home and says, "Look what I brought for you!" you should demand that he tell you who’s paying for it. If he’s honest, he’ll tell you that the only reason he was able to get you something was that he had to vote for the goodies that other congressmen wanted to take home — and you’re paying for all that, too.
Liberty makes all the difference in the world.
Just in case the first six principles didn’t make the point clearly enough, I’ve added this as my seventh and final one.
Liberty isn’t just a luxury or a nice idea. It’s much more than a happy circumstance or a defensible everyday concept. It’s what makes just about everything else happen. Without it, life is a bore at best. At worst, there is no life at all.
Public policy that dismisses liberty or doesn’t preserve or strengthen it should be immediately suspect in the minds of a vigilant people. They should be asking, "What are we getting in return if we’re being asked to give up some of our freedom?" Hopefully, it’s not just some short-term handout or other "mess of pottage." Ben Franklin went so far as to advise us, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
Too often today, policymakers give no thought whatsoever to the general state of liberty when they craft new policies. If it feels good or sounds good or gets them elected, they just do it. Anyone along the way who might raise liberty-based objections is ridiculed or ignored. Today, government at all levels consumes more than 42 percent of all that we produce, compared with perhaps 6 percent or 7 percent in 1900. Yet few people seem interested in asking the advocates of still more government such cogent questions as, "Why isn’t 42 percent enough?"; "How much more do you want?"; or, "To what degree do you think a person is entitled to the fruits of his labor?"
I yearn for the day when all Americans practice these seven principles. I think they are profoundly important. Our past devotion to them, in one form or another, explains how and why we fed, clothed and housed more people at higher levels than any other nation in the history of the planet. And these principles are key to preserving that crucial element of life we call liberty. Thanks for the opportunity to share them with you today and thanks for whatever you may do from this day forward to put these principles into common practice.
Einstein once said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
It is the disadvantaged who habitually elect Democrats --- yet are still disadvantaged.
GLENN BECK...what do the top 10 cities with the highest poverty have in common...Democrat leadership.
Detroit, MI (1st on the poverty rate list) hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1961; (47 years)
Buffalo, NY (2nd) hasn't elected one since 1954; (54 years)
Cincinnati, OH (3rd)... since 1984; (24 years)
Cleveland, OH (4th)... since 1989; (19 years)
Miami, FL (5th) has NEVER had a Republican Mayor;
St. Louis, MO (6th).... since 1949; (59 years)
El Paso, TX (7th) has NEVER had a Republican Mayor;
Milwaukee, WI (8th)... since 1908; (100 years)
Philadelphia, PA (9th)... since 1952; (56 years)
Newark, NJ (10th)... since 1907. (101 years)
Commentary: The poverty of Democrats' ideas for cities
By Glenn Beck
Editor's note: Glenn Beck is on CNN Headline News nightly at 7 and 9 ET and also hosts a conservative national radio talk show.
NEW YORK (CNN) -- "I think the best way of doing good to the poor is not making them easy in poverty but leading them or driving them out of it."
What hate-mongering politician would be so politically incorrect as to suggest that things like higher minimum wages and more government handouts don't actually help the poor? I'll identify the culprit at the end of this column, but for now, I'm more interested in figuring out why that statement sounds so controversial.
Poverty is one of the few national issues that, at least on the surface, unites us all. It's not a political condition; it's a human one. After all, when's the last time you've heard a politician campaign on a pro-poverty platform?
But although the problem may unite us, the solutions don't. And perhaps nothing illustrates that better than what's been happening in Detroit, Michigan, and Buffalo, New York.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly a third of the residents in those cities are living beneath the poverty line, the highest rates among large cities in the entire country.
No matter what side of the political aisle you're on, that is nothing short of appalling. Yet if you ask people what we should do about it, you'll probably hear answers that inexplicably break down right along party lines.
Is there a perfect answer? Probably not. But what bothers me is that people stubbornly stick to their solution, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that it's not working.
For example, Detroit, whose mayor has been indicted on felony charges, hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1961. Buffalo has been even more stubborn. It started putting a Democrat in office back in 1954, and it hasn't stopped since.
Unfortunately, those two cities may be alone at the top of the poverty rate list, but they're not alone in their love for Democrats. Cincinnati, Ohio (third on the poverty rate list), hasn't had a Republican mayor since 1984. Cleveland, Ohio (fourth on the list), has been led by a Democrat since 1989. St. Louis, Missouri (sixth), hasn't had a Republican since 1949, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (eighth), since 1908, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (ninth), since 1952 and Newark, New Jersey (10th), since 1907.
The only two cities in the top 10 that I didn't mention (Miami, Florida, and El Paso, Texas) haven't had Republicans in office either -- just Democrats, independents or nonpartisans.
Over the past 50 years, the eight cities listed above have had Republican leadership for a combined 36 years. The rest of the time -- a combined 364 years -- they've been led by Democrats.
Five of the 10 cities with the highest poverty rates (Detroit, Buffalo, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Newark) have had a Democratic stranglehold since at least 1961: more than 45 years. Two of the cities (Milwaukee and Newark) have been electing Democrats since the first Model T rolled off the assembly line in 1908.
Two cities, 100 years, all Democrats.
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, the asylums in those cities must be as full as the soup kitchens.
Not too long ago, I had the great honor of being invited to a charity dinner hosted by Chris Gardner. He's the guy whose rags-to-riches life was portrayed by Will Smith in the movie "Pursuit of Happyness." Chris had been on my show a few times, and I've always admired his story and his message of hope through personal responsibility.
As I prepared for the dinner and looked into Chris' charity, I started to get nervous. The roster was filled with liberals, most of whom would probably hate me. Hillary Clinton, Mario Cuomo, Alan Alda, Kenneth Cole and Charles Grodin were just a few of the people I was worried about running into.
But the question I kept asking myself was, why? Why can't people from wildly different political stripes come together in support of a common cause without feeling alienated? Why is an issue like poverty "owned" by one political party?
I consider myself a conservative, but I consider myself an American and a human being first. When people whom I normally agree with screw things up, I call them on it. Yet the people in these cities apparently don't. Newark keeps drinking the Kool-Aid, electing the same people with the same ideas, slipping down the poverty list (along with the "Places Never to Visit Unless it's the Airport" list) and wondering why.
We've talked a lot about "change" in this country recently, but there's a much more important catchphrase that we've neglected: "All politics is local." Maybe instead of focusing so much on who we put in charge of our country, we should focus more on who we put in charge of our cities.
Oh, and before I forget. The hateful politician who suggested that we should be "driving" or "leading" the poor out of poverty? It was Benjamin Franklin.
Good thing he never tried to run for mayor of Newark.
Yesterday I joined dozens of Michigan grassroots Republicans outside Borders Bookstore in Ann Arbor where Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was holding a book signing. Armed with a megaphone, signs, our voices, and plenty of enthusiasm, we made it clear to Pelosi that we need American Energy Now!
See more photos here: http://tinyurl.com/5sss49
And a video:
Check out this article from the National Journal that highlights Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Jack Hoogendyk in his bid to unseat Carl Levin...
Presque Isle County GOP Chairman Jeff Lamb personifies the enthusiasm and excitement that is shared by Republican grassroots activists all across Michigan. Jeff traveled nearly 300 miles from his home in Rogers City to Farmington Hills in order to join RNC Chairman Mike Duncan and myself to detail our victory efforts for our Republican candidates. There is no doubt that with the devotion and committment of people like Jeff in our corner, we will turn Michigan red in November!
This week I co-authored an article about “net neutrality” or “Open Internet” as others call it, with GOP Internet consultant David All. The op-ed piece was published in POLITICO and you can read it here:
Another Republican activist, Michael Turk, a cable company consultant/employee took issue with some of the assertions and claimed the article attacked cable and telecom companies…which I don’t believe it did nor was it my intent. You can see his response here:
I don’t want to engage in a long debate over this, as I’ve been involved in this issue and telecom competition here in Michigan over the last 20 years.
Professor Gary Wolfram of Hillsdale College (the home of the Von Mises Institute) wrote a series of papers and article during the telecom debate here in Michigan which discussed the role of government when you “privatize” someone with government granted “monopoly” status.
This debate usually comes down to the question of the “last mile.” While we have come a long way toward opening up access is some ways, the overwhelming majority of people still get their access through their local incumbent telco provider or a franchise cable company.
I have attached a number of Professor Wolfram’s articles that go into great detail about some of the market challenges we face over competition and the last mile, which directly relates to “net neutrality.” Professor Wolfram summarizes it well here:
“There is general agreement from all sides of the issue that the telecommunications industry would be best served by a competitive market. The issue of creating a competitive local phone service system is much like the question of how to move Russia from a centrally planned economic system to a competitive one. As with the latter, the debate is in the transition strategy not in the ultimate desired outcome. Some free market proponents argue that immediate deregulation is the best method of getting to the optimal state and that the current system of requiring local telecommunications firms to allow access to their networks is either a violation of property rights or is the equivalent of government setting prices. While this appears to be a strong argument, it is in fact seriously flawed for at least two reasons. First, the four companies that own the bulk of the local network in the United States effectively became monopoly providers through the political process, not by being the most efficient provider in a competitive market. Second, the current process of requiring incumbent local phone companies to allow access to the network is not a form of price-fixing, but rather an attempt to allow use of the network at a price that reflects the cost of providing the network to competitors. It is more likely that the current Michigan Public Service Commission requirements that provide access to the network will result in a competitive market than would elimination of all regulation in a situation of monopoly control of the infrastructure."
“The result of removing government from the process of moving to competition would be to remonopolize the phone industry over the next decade. Using their advantage of control of the infrastructure the incumbents such as SBC would be able to eliminate competition for not just local but also for long distance and Internet. We have already seen the steady consolidation of local phone providers and the financial difficulties of the long distance companies, and Internet providers It will become increasing difficult for competitors to obtain capital to upgrade their systems or to attempt to build a parallel network. “
You can read his complete text in the attached documents.
The idea on phone service was that the phone companies built out the infrastructure under the institution of government granted monopoly. This gave them a "choke point" in getting access to your house. If they did not sell a competing service, that would be OK, that is structural separation, where they only sold access. In this case they would not have an incentive to discriminate against local or long distance or Internet providers.
Because they sold local service, they did have an incentive to not let others who also sell local services access to your house. It is also very clear that there is a big advantage in being able to bundle services. Thus, once local phone companies could sell long distance they began to further consolidate. They then began to take over the wireless and IP markets. The question is how to relate this to cable and Internet access. The argument would have to be that cable companies gained access to your house through a similar process as local phone--government granted monopoly access. Once they are able to sell Internet service, you get the same argument. If cable companies were given monopoly access to your house by government, and they sell Internet services, then they will not have incentive to grant access to competitors. This implies that if a company was granted monopoly access to your house, it should be required to allow competitors this access at the marginal cost of doing so, with perhaps a fee to offset the fixed cost of installing the infrastructure.
So one way to ensure and stregthen competition and open access is to guarantee “net neutrality.”
Another good article worth reading would be The Meaning of Competition by Hayek. This is NOT a simple free market vs government intervention argument. This is not, nor should it be, a partisan issue.
I hope this helps clarify my position, for those who care ☺
JULY 06, 2008
the Republican Party's first-ever state convention
In 1854, the Democrats in control of Congress were moving toward passage of their Kansas-Nebraska Act, allowing slavery to expand into the western territories. The Democratic President at the time, Franklin Pierce, said he would sign the bill into law. The Democratic Party had chosen to promote slavery.
Amid the intense reaction, a grassroots movement sprang up to oppose the extension of slavery. At town meetings and demonstrations, anti-slavery activists voiced their opposition to the "Slave-ocrats" and organized the Republican Party.
On July 6, 1854, the Republican Party held in Jackson, Michigan its first state convention. So many people attended – over 10,000 – that the meeting had to be held outdoors, Under the Oaks.
Just four months later, one of the founders of the Michigan Republican Party, anti-slavery activist Kinsley Bingham, was elected our nation’s first Republican governor. And, another of the original Michigan Republicans, Zachariah Chandler, became one of the first Republicans in the U.S. Senate. Senator Chandler, a former mayor of Detroit and a leader of the Underground Railroad, went on to serve as Chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Michael Zak is a popular speaker to Republican organizations around the country, showing office-holders, candidates and activists how they would benefit tremendously from appreciating our Party's heritage of civil rights achievement. Back to Basics for the Republican Party is his acclaimed history of the GOP from the Republican point of view. Each day, his Grand Old Partisan blog -- http://grandoldpartisan.typepad.com -- celebrates 154 years of Republican heroes and heroics. See www.republicanbasics.com for more information.
Independence Day Every Day
by Ted Nugent (more by this author)
Posted 07/04/2008 ET
The Nugent family celebrates Independence Day every day of the year. If you spend as much time as we do sharing campfires, both literally and figuratively, with the hero warriors of the United States Military, you can’t help but deeply appreciate and absolutely cherish the freedoms and liberties so unique here in America that is guaranteed us by the sacrifices made by these amazing, courageous men and women.
Working for years now with various charities dedicated to wounded military heroes, we get to see first hand their battle scarred bodies, mutilated and missing limbs, burned flesh and horrible injuries of every description. And we get to see their phenomenal spirit and willingness to serve our nation. To salute a flag draped coffin brings it all into perspective in an indelible, inescapable way. But for the blood of warriors, the American Dream goes to the ash heap of history.
We take our American Independence to heart and will never take it for granted. I declare my Independence in humble respect and thanks to them all.
With a firebreathing rock-n-roll band beyond my wildest dreams, I will strut onto a huge stage tonight just north of my birthplace and hometown of Detroit, Michigan, 50 years to the summer of 1958 where I performed that great American classic rock song, Honky Tonk. Punching out those sexy guitar licks on a cheap second hand guitar at the young age of nine, I did my very best to call on the American innovators Chuck Berry, Bo Diddly and others, unleashing an attitude of defiance and love of life that came from my parents and entire extended family around me. That guitar came from hard work and a few small sacrifices of my own way back then, and it taught me to be the best that I can be, put my heart and soul into everything I do, and discipline myself to be an asset to my family and bandmates. I delivered two paper routes, sold night crawlers to the local fishermen, shoveled snow, mowed lawns, cleaned gas station bathrooms and raked leaves to get that first guitar and amplifier. That work ethic imprinted deeply on me, and took me to the mountain top of my rock-n-roll dreams that I will celebrate with fiery passion again tonight.
Tonight, on July 4, 2008, on stage at Pine Knob, the DTE Energy Music Theater, I am celebrating my world record 6000th high energy concert, 50 years later, with the greatest band in the world, virtuosos Mick Brown on thunder drums and Greg Smith on the bass guitar. I will be surrounded by my saintly wife Shemane and all my children and grandchildren, a killer crew of gung-ho dedicated technicians and management, and about 20,000 of my closest friends and hunting buddies.
Most importantly, about 500 heroes of the US Air Force from Selfridge Air Force Base here in Michigan will attend as my guests. They will witness the nearly 60 year old MotorCity Madman once again defy gravity and pull off an athletic dance orgy of over the top throttling R&B inspired rock like some kid possessed, passionately paying tribute, respect and reverence to the mighty Motown Funkbrothers, James Brown, Wilson Picket, the Temptations and all those great American genius inventors who showed us how.
Fortified by an incredible week of fishing in the Manistee National Forest on sacred wild grounds owned by “we the people”, canoeing, swimming, shooting our bows and arrows and various firearms, laughing and cooking delicious venison kielbasa and marshmallows around a roaring campfire, and surely cleansing our souls like free men were created by God to do, I cannot imagine living in some other country where many of these soul-cleansing activities are not even allowed.
I taught my grandson how to load and shoot his .22, start a campfire, hook a worm and clean a fish. I am driven to pass it all on to the next generation so that freedom always has a face. To ultimately show appreciation for the sacrifices of the US Military is surely to live the America Dream to the best of our ability every day. 60 years, 50 years of touring, 6000 ultra rockouts, I am doing my best to do my part.
I am an American. I cannot be stopped. I declare my Independence louder and prouder today than ever. God Bless America, one Nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
Rock legend Ted Nugent is noted for his conservative political views and his vocal pro-hunting and Second Amendment activism. He also maintains the Official Ted Nugent Fan Site at www.TedNugent.com.