This site is meant to facilitate the upward flow of information to help our elected officials stay in touch with those they represent. Also as a means to help us (the voters) help our leaders lead.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Conservative Duty.

As a Conservative I know it is my duty to protect my Individual Freedoms. By doing that I help protect other peoples Individual Freedoms. From this our Country remains strong. This concept is a true “Bottom Up” concept.

The only key to letting this work in a way that will benefit society at large is the ability of myself to self regulate the use of my Individual Freedom. Hence my belief in Conservative Principles to help guide my use of my Individual Freedoms.
We wrote a Constitution that guarantees my right to do that. We enumerated the limited role government has in that regard. We stated those limited roles specifically to insure that the government didn’t overstep and limit our Individual Freedoms.

In this blog I will show on a practical side things I can do that help protect my Individual Freedom. Those ways are simply based on the idea above that if I use some of my Individual Freedoms so that others can better use theirs, a better society results.

I recently blogged about a person in our party who bought a gleaners truck of 10,000 lbs of food and distributed it for less than $1,000. He did this for his wife who wanted to do it as a nice thing to do. Also as a way to help give a lesson in sharing and helping, to her family.

How is this different from the government giving out food in our name? Seems obvious. The donation for the food was voluntary in every sense. The effort to distribute and set up the whole thing was done by individuals (without pay) out not only out of a desire to help their fellow citizens get a little ahead, but to somehow help themselves. I realize that a bag of groceries in itself will not allow someone to get out of a hole, but maybe the thought will. Maybe those doing the giving will also get more connected to the problem and be able to better decide in the future what can and what shouldn’t be done to help.

I’m not saying to scrap food stamps. What I’m saying is I want to do what I can to make it common knowledge that “Individual” people can and should be “Free” to do what they feel best doing. The best way with what little I have is to do that by example.

I have been talking with Our New County Leadership along those lines. There is real support there. I do not claim to be the instigator of this but I want to help facilitate it to the best of my ability. I would like to take this a step further and instead of just finding individuals with the necessary money. I would like to see a few small active fundraisers with volunteers to help spread the word and create a buzz about the Republican Gleaners Truck load food give away. Either way it will be a good thing.

We need to build our base and this type of activity is a great way to show new Republican what we stand for. Give them AND us a way to show our Party Colors.

This type of thing could become regular. Off that working platform we could do other types of things. Toys for Tots, Blood Drives, a lot of ideas come to mind.

I know about shoveling snow as this last blizzard taught me. It finally broke me. Luckily it all just melted. I do know that I would feel good if I could help some other person who is “Broke”. I would like to get a group of hardy youth to help shovel some sidewalks. Maybe do some leaf raking. I know this is a stretch and not very Republican especially for “old White Men” like myself. But if we find the volunteers it would be up to us to facilitate the project as best we can.

Plenty of things are possible, let your mind at least be “Free”. This is what this blog is all about. At the base of all Freedom is the Freedom of thought. Let us all think Freely for a change, about what we can do, not why we shouldn’t.

As always feel free to contact me about anything along these lines.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Bob Carr

Monday, December 29, 2008

Taxi Anyone ???

Recently I read the article linked below. The Governor of Oregon is getting behind the idea of doing away with the gas tax in favor of a mileage tax.
A plan is in the works to enable gas stations to charge per mile you drive not by how many gallons you put in your tank. The reason for this is that Americans in this current financial crisis are doing what the government has been claiming they need to do. Cut down on gasoline usage. We are buying more fuel efficient cars, and driving less. We are finding ways to not drive as much, and make better use of those miles we do drive. Ie Before we pick up our kids at baseball practice we stop and do our shopping. That kind of thing.

We Americans have heeded the call to lower our environmental footprint by using our own initiative and creativeness. The government in typical fashion seems to think they will not get as much money coming into the state to be able to keep the roads maintained. They are probably right. They also are looking to the future. What if we end up switching to electric cars, or a breakthrough in the current combustion engine allows 100 mpg? The state of Oregon recognizes the reality of the situation. For that I would applaud them.

But I totally disagree with their plan to solve the problem. Instead of charging people who are trying desperately to save money and that are doing everything they are being told to do along environmental lines; why not reward them by finding another method.

Instead of spending 20 million on a study, then who knows how much more to set up another bureaucracy to manage and enforce it. We could always just raise the gas tax. The logic escapes me unless it is just another power grab by the government to control how we spend what little money we have.

Politicians have been falling over themselves to force auto makers and consumers to produce and buy greener automobiles. They offer tax incentives to the makers and consumers to build and buy such vehicles. I guess this “mileage tax” is a way for the state to get back the money they gave out in the first place. Kind of like robbing Peter Paul and Mary to keep the money themselves.

I admit I don’t know the exact numbers, but it seems like a lot of double talk to give someone a tax rebate to buy a more fuel efficient car, (let’s say $2,000) and then make us pay it back 1.2 cents for every mile that we drive it. I wonder how long before I start to lose money for buying that fuel efficient car? Don’t forget that there will be extra costs incurred by the manufacturer to install these devices and also extra costs to the gas station owners to install the readers. These costs will be passed along to us also, one way or another.

Getting back to my whole idea that the government should be a helpmate to the citizens that elect it, and not a hindrance; why not just raise the gas tax in the short term. Either way the government will get more money to keep the roads intact. By raising the gas tax it will save the money it takes to set up the infrastructure to do what the Oregon Governor is proposing.

Raising the gas tax would also have another benefit. It would be a more transparent way for the government and the people to see where the money goes. Perhaps that might facilitate our effort to make government more cost effective, and not put up another screen around how the money gets spent.

As we wean ourselves off of the gasoline engine we will have to eventually go to a different model, perhaps a kilowatt tax, but that kind of thing is already in place, it would have to be changed to differentiate between electric transportation and other electric uses. We will know more and be able to see the options later if and when that need arises.

I live in Michigan and I’m just glad that our Governor is busy in Washington trying to lobby herself into a cabinet position, or I’m sure she would be jumping on this bandwagon too.

Well if Hillary can say “It takes a village” and the media goes "ga ga" over it. I guess I can say “It takes a horse and buggy”. Maybe the pooper scooper union will go "ga ga" over that.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Hi Dan, don’t worry about me giving up hope. I hope for a lot of things that I never get. You may be too young to remember Rachael Welch. Lol Anyway Obama showed us that we all like to hope for better things. Just because I don’t get what I want doesn’t stop me from hoping to get it in the future. If, as Norm Shinkle told me, Ron Wiser is as good as Norm thinks, and that Norm will be working and giving input into Ron’s plans, all is not lost. I guess I’m still hoping for a Jack Hoogendyk victory, but I hope for the best in either case and as you’ve reminded me. If we want to get anything different done in this party we are the ones who need to do it. We’ll “make do, make it now, and make it work”.

This whole “Bottom Up” thing that I preach about is a long slow hands on process. A labor intensive process. Meeting new people one by one then trying to get them together, get everyone focused on a specific thing. In my case it is conservative ideas like hard work, responsibility, and family. All the social values that make that happen. Individual freedom is the cornerstone of my belief. Anything that furthers our individual freedom to do the hard work of making a better life for ourselves is good in my book.

It is my job not the government’s to decide what is best for me.

Here is a link about the National race for the Republican Chair.
We have some pretty good talent running. I don’t know who I would like as Chair, but that is not the point. Notice in the article
The candidates seized on Mr. Blackwell's lead-off question about how the party could beat Democrats at the "ground game," often with lengthy answers about reaching into "blue" districts, enlisting millions of online volunteers and engaging in The candidates seized on Mr. Blackwell's lead-off question about how the party could beat Democrats at the "ground game," often with lengthy answers about reaching into "blue" districts, enlisting millions of online volunteers and engaging in old-fashioned, machine-style precinct organizing.
I was happy to see that not just the internet was talked about. The part about “reaching into "blue" districts, enlisting millions of online volunteers and engaging in old-fashioned, machine-style precinct organizing.” I was happy to see.

We must remember that when we reach into “blue” precincts we must have a message and to do that we need old-fashioned, machine-style precinct organizing. One on one.

People like Wiser and our leaders at the County level sometimes seem to think that all we need to do is have an internet presence and we will rake in millions. Wiser alluded in amazement how much money Obama raised on line. He just couldn’t get away from the idea of this whole thing being about making money. Somehow the voters (the people) keep getting lost in the shuffle. Sometimes the leaders get lost in their priorities. Sometimes they can’t see the forest for the trees.

I try not to be too na├»ve or stupid. Sometimes I just can’t help it. Our party gets so caught up in the charts and graphs and power point presentations, that sometimes all they need is someone to state the obvious.
Our party is about one thing. Getting Votes come election time.
How do we do that?
1. Listen to people, find out what they want
2. Figure out how to get it to them, by using our Conservative message.
3. Actually do just that.
4. We do that in two ways Money and Deeds. The money is to help do the deeds and to let people know we are doing them and why. (Promotion), The main thing is doing the deeds. Getting personal with real people, in service orientated efforts. Whether it is fighting for a specific township proposal or putting on a blood drive or food drive etc.

Our County Meetings should be filled with recapping what different actions individual Precincts took in that regard the previous month. We should glory in the help we can give to our communities not scoff at or belittle them. The obvious remains.


So back to reality, thanks for the kind words. We should try to figure out a way to get something going. Maybe a political breakfast lunch or dinner for like minded people. How can we get Chris and your Community Service web effort moving? It looks to me like you two may have something good going. What about some type of fundraiser to help raise some of the scholarship money you want to give out? 3 heads are better than one to come up with ideas.

From the National to the Township, It is vital that once we find a volunteer we have something for them to do to keep them interested, something for them to start with so they can find their way in our Party.

Always willing to help if I can. Let me know. It is as you say, we will probably have to change the party on our own. Well now seems like a good time, perhaps the best time.

Regards Bob Carr
aka Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

PS. Say Dan I Think I’m going to put this up as a post on my blog, Bottom up Politics. Hope you don’t mind.

Have a Joyful Christmas and New Year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More Abounding Opportunities

Hope’s Outlets

Awhile back I blogged about Hope’s Outlets as my choice for donating my old paperback books.
Last night I attended our Muskegon County Executive Meeting. Our purpose was to elect a new group of officers and discuss whatever “new direction” we felt the party should go in.

During the second part a fellow I hadn’t met before stood up and said that he and his wife had a food gleaners truck coming and if we knew of anyone who was in need to let them know. I gave him my email and told him to give me the details. He did, below is his reply. Notice Hopes Outlet is mentioned. Small world huh?
We will be having a 10,000 lb. Gleaner Truck on December 27th, 2008 at 1:00 PM, at the SE corner of Airline and Pontaluna in Fruitport, Michigan.  I purchased the food truck through Tim Taber from Hopes Outlet on Glade Street in Muskegon as a birthday present for my wife Wendi.  She wanted our immediate families to have the opportunity to serve others, and possibly give all of us a better appreciation of how blessed we have been.

If you know of anyone who has a need, please let them know that we will be there then.  If you know of a shut-in, or someone or some family without adequate transportation within a reasonable distance, please get us their name and address and we will attempt to deliver a portion of the food to them.

Currently we believe that our immediate families’ have provided us with plenty of volunteers to distribute the food effectively and efficiently.  What we would really like your help with is making sure that families’ with real need are reached.  If you have additional questions I can be reached at my office at 231-799-1230, or at home at 231-865-3992.

Thank you for your consideration,

Bill and Wendi Cooper
What a wonderful thing this couple is doing. This is so pure that I was taken aback. This was not done with political ends in sight. This was already a done deal before our meeting.
I have a friend (Marion) who runs the “other” neighborhood assoc. The Nelson Community Assoc. which I have blogged about before. I just helped him go around and solicit donations to his group from business’ downtown for his “luminaries” on Christmas Eve. You know the candles that are downtown Christmas Eve along the street. The luminaries and a parking lot for The Seaway Festival are the 2 fundraisers he holds to keep the food pantry he runs running. BTW, Carmen’s donated $20. I’ll see if Marion has any needy people he wants to help out. Who would benefit from the Cooper’s kindness.

Opportunities do abound for goodness in this world. One only has to open their eyes as they trip over them.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Small Steps and Christmas

I’m happy to see that Jackie Gingrich Cushman is becoming a regular at

Below is a link to her most recent article.
It is eerily similar to the article I just wrote over on my Live Dangerously Blog the day before.
I think we both used the same source material. Now if I could only write as well I would stand a chance.

Jackie in her article says. “A reframing of our thoughts away from monetary and economic matters might help remind us as well that there is much good in life and much to be happy about.”

How do we reframe our thoughts? We all don’t have an “Oldbody” willing to fake a suicide to stir us to action. Some of us are too far gone to try to save anyone anyway, we may find ourselves saying something like; “it’s not our job”, let the government to it“. Or “Boy if that guy lives will he ever have a great law suit against the city.”

Well the answer lies in “small steps”. I’ve blogged entirely too much about that already, but it was nice to see someone else with the same thoughts. It’s coincidences like this that rekindle my hope.

The idea I want to explore is how does our party become the party through which we can learn to take those small steps. What can I do today to further that effort. Here at the local level is where it must start. It is in the joy or contentment we receive in giving that will become the agent of change for our party. It will be what will allow us to pass it on.

It is in this simple joy we receive in “getting out of ourselves” and participating in the lives of other that we can “reframe” our thoughts about ourselves. This new perspective will be reflected in our relations to neighbors and our place in society. This can be the nexus of our Party’s rebirth. The bedrock of our efforts.

It should be the reasoning behind our policies going forward.

It should be the Logic behind reforms in education. For example; in education, the children of this country, (our children, our neighbor’s children), need our help. They deserve all the help we can give them, by making sure our schools prepare them for their futures. By making sure our teachers are teaching. We do that the same as everything else. We pay by what they put out. Our graduation rates are a sin against the future of our children. We should learn how to demand change. I am learning.

Back to “What Can I Do Today?” and small steps. This morning I’ve been reading “A School Privatization Primer” which along with “A Michigan School Money Primer” and “A Teacher Quality Primer” make up the literature I’ve received from The Mackinac Center. Below is a link to the part of their site dealing with education. Look through the site and you’ll see a lot of this can be downloaded for free. That is the point of Mackinac Center. To come up with new studies new primary research that they can then get out to those that matter. Parents of children I think qualify as someone who matters.


The reading may be dry and formal but the reasoning behind it and their conclusions are the stuff of revolutions. It is the ammunition needed to storm the bastion of the entrenched MEA and NEA, who have complete control and should bear the complete responsibility for the resulting crimes against our children. The place to do that isn’t in Lansing or Washington, but in our individual backyards. At our School boards when they are negotiating contracts have the legal power to change things. We need to study and start presenting our case. We need to come up with a case for change to help our school boards, to watch the backs of those who favor change.

Remember, it was not the government that made Jimmy Stewart claim “It’s a wonderful life“, but his “common sense” he received from viewing his life and seeing the good through the bad that was in it, along with the help of those of his friends and neighbors he had interacted with through his life.

It is this kind of thing I feel which prompted Jackie Gingrich Cushman to claim “It’s Still a Wonderful Life”. Can You see it?

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Wiser----In Name Only

Oh This is Great a Savior for our state Party.

Well Saul er I mean Devoss, er maybe Libby Dole if she is still around, any way someone has picked a great one to rule in his stead as Saul takes his born again internet show to the National scene.

Read the link below so you can better judge if what I blog about after is realistic or just plain stupid. Here’s a novel thought, you tell me. Read on and get the drift of that idea.
Wiser starts off by saying that our loss has us “unsettled”. Well he is at least capable of understatement. Then he claims that the reasons for our loss are not important. What we did wrong needs not to be pointed out and understood. Learning from our mistakes is not an option. Well it’s not a novel idea the dems have proven it works.

What are we to do then? Simple, he took a page from Obama, by saying the important thing is the change we make for the future. Fair enough except how are we to make meaningful changes if we don’t come to grips with what we did wrong in the last two elections and repeat those mistakes. How do we even know it is change, or the same ole same ole, which is my impression of this candidate.

Next Wiser claims that leadership is the key, (enough with the understatement already) that the leadership should have a unique combination of characteristics. (oh well I give).

As far as explaining what those characteristics are, he seems a little vague especially about effecting “Change”. What I read is about doing what has been done for a long time past.

I come away from his website feeling that his idea of “grassroots activists” are the same group of state, district and county leaders that have done the work to help get us where we are. I would look at the reasons that is bad but I might be accused of getting in the way of important “changes”.
The emphasis should be on finding ways to connect to the people we are losing in droves. Backing Weiser for me would be like backing Thomas Jefferson’s son as he worked his way up the moneyed British/American colonists to a governorship while his father fought for freedom from those his son thought were better. If you really are after change, yet willing to study the past for mistakes, you will know what I’m talking about.

I get the feeling of someone whose is playing at this new “Grassroots” thing. Here is a quote from the site.
I am a conservative who believes in being a team player and involving all of our grassroots activists.
As a campaign worker, Precinct Delegate, County HQ manager, and not a leader; I didn’t feel any sense of Wiser as McCain Co-Chair getting me involved. In fact all I got was a bunch of emails from corporate types about all the great plans they had for the election until they finally pulled out of Michigan.

That even misses the point. The State Chair should be getting involved WITH the activists at the Township Precinct then County level. Actually helping and listening to those on the ground. Not the other way around. The Surge ring a bell? What is wrong with actually helping those “grassroots activists” Oops there I go again looking at what we did wrong and blocking “Change”.

Another mistake I’m making is what my political betters keep telling me by their actions, is that I forget which side my bread is buttered on. I went to our County Convention and listened to someone who has worked tirelessly at the precinct level recruiting delegates and changing minds. This person made the trip to talk with us. His name is Norm Shinkle and he too is running for State Chair. The king maker Chuck Yob sent his gorgeous relative in his oops I mean in Wiser’s place to talk. One of our member who is the only one interested in running for a state office brought her. Both were well dressed and both were I admit pretty impressive. They too talked of those mind numbing cliques’ like a “Big Tent”, Change etc.

Before that County Convention my Chairman, (my mentor) and I were talking about Shinkle and he said that the only help he got from the higher ups (State Party) during the election was from Norm Shinkle. He received help in his search for Precinct Delegates, and later Norm was the one who set up the cheap buy of McCain/Palin signs when we had run out of them. An aside here is that the reason we ran out of signs was a jurisdictions fight over turf between the McCain Campaign person Greenely at the state level and Saul for the state party. While the county parties ran out of signs they bickered over who had the rights to the signs just sitting there. If I am wrong please correct me. Remember, Wiser was National Co-Chair for McCain. Wonder if Greenly and he talked about it. Remember Wiser claims we need good communication. Wonder what Saul twittered about it? No one else offered any assistance, just emails and platitudes. Needless to say I was disappointed when I saw both our Chairman and our aspiring state office seeker on the list of endorsements for Wiser.

Like I said the leadership didn’t want to get involved with us. But the other way around is just fine.

Like I also said, I keep forgetting which side my bread is margarined on.
The bottom of the Iceberg became clear to me when Wiser said.
We as Republicans must work together to ensure that the right people are in place to lead…
Call me paranoid but it sounds like the one thing that isn’t going to change with Wiser at the head is that subtle condescension that permeates all the efforts that have gotten us to being the Party that we are. Devoid of actual people in our grassy townships and rooty Precincts that will tolerate listening to such clap trap. Those people are going to listen to the clap trap of the Dems which is much more entertaining.

I’m getting to the point that I find it hard to blame them.
So to continue the Ice berg analogy, we have Wiser (which looks like a done bought and paid for deal) as State Chair, and Saul as National Chair. Then at the tip of the ice-berg (if only Obama in his reincarnation of Change would appoint her) We could have Granholm as his top financial advisor then we could all merrily continue our journey into financial, moral and buttered bliss. The Dems don’t let anything get in the way of change and increasing numbers of Republicans don’t either.
I’m just sorry to see this new/old “grassroots” spouting leadership so easily throw Hoodendyk and Shinkle under the bus. They will talk of change until all the real blood of change has been bled from the party.

Don’t they understand that CEOs lead people who they pay to work for them. This team leadership talk is about the people getting paid to be team members. Like those old fashioned ideas of “public Servant” and ”volunteerism” which have morphed into Team Members and Activists. Both now mainly paid by the way. Even as I rang a bell for the Salvation Army, I had to compete with paid volunteers. Kind of like entrepreneurs who are forced to compete with the government funded non-profits.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'll Take It. "You Betcha"

Chambliss Wins. Great News for Republicans and Conservatives

The link below from Politico by John Krau Shaar sums up our hopes and belays some of our fears as Conservatives and Republicans.


The Quote below is the first tangible proof that the massive turnout by the Dems cannot be maintained by them without some outward galvanizing force. Their Policies alone will not do it. The historic nature of the Presidential Election was the key. Another was the lack of a galvanizing anything from our side and that lack produced low Republican turnouts, and historic Democrat ones.

Scores of Barack Obama’s leading field organizers had been dispatched to Georgia for the runoff, but without Obama’s name on the ballot they were unable to rally enough voters to the polls – particularly for a little-known Democratic politician.

The fact that Chambliss is a Conservative was icing on the cake. The fact that Georgia is a Conservative state; tells me three things. One our base can still come out to the polls and vote if they feel there is an important reason. Two we need to have something to get our base fired up to turn them out. Three, after turning out the base we have a huge job ahead of us; which is to enlarge that base.

How do we do that lacking a National Leader of great galvanizing capabilities? As Mary Matalin’s husband would say. “It’s the economy Stupid”.

We all realize that the Dems will say for the next four years that their difficulties in fixing the economy is all Bush’s fault. Also because Chambliss foiled their attempt at a fillibuster proof 60 vote majority they will say it is the Republican's fault too. To one degree or another depending on your party affiliation that does have a ring of truth. How do we fight that?

1. We present simple common sense fixes to the problem founded upon Conservative principles.
2. We present those policies with a united voice.
3. To do that we look for candidates from the heartland that know how to present those policies in a way the heartland understands. (Palin, Jindal, Ryan and a lot of other new bright eager faces come to mind.
4. We turn the liberal arguments around and knock the Dems over the head with them. For example with education. We tell them that children are being hurt and ruined for the rest of their lives by our educational system especially in the cities. How dare they perpetuate such a sin against our children. In this case especially we have common sense solutions at hand. Not to mention tons of evidence of the failure of their policies. See the link below.
5. Instead of arguing and squabbling now over who will give the message, let’s use a little political free enterprise. If we can work out our message, then the messenger who can deliver it best will soon enough rise to the top, we only have to allow (facilitate) that process.
6. We cannot fall back to circling the wagons, we must open up let the new voices be heard. As Paul Ryan said, we must take risks.
The Wackos will weed themselves out once they are in a place where they have to come up with solutions instead of just hurling insults.

How do we come up with the specific message backed up with facts and studies? Here I’ll stay with the example of education. We need to do the work, to dig up the facts. We need to know where to look for the facts. One such place I’ve found is The Mackinac Center. Be warned this is place that makes and publishes publications for the intake of the educational elite. The info. Is dry and not necessarily written to grab your attention in short sound bite sizes. That is up to us to ferret out the best way to popularize their facts.

The Mackinac Center is an information gold mine. Just remember like a gold mine it is a lot harder to dig for gold than to walk into a jewelry store. But without gold mines jewelry stores wouldn’t exist. I’m constantly amazed by the real Primary information they come up with. They generate their own studies based upon conservative ideas. The link below is one such study.
Check out the rest of the sight there are copious amounts of stuff. The site is hard to get around in but well worth the effort.

Not only do they do the primary research and publish the study they then give it away free to all on the internet. On top of that they set up a tour with speakers etc. to promote it in this case to the people that matter, the people who are in the educational system. That is pretty bold, giving a presentation favoring “Merit Pay” for teachers, to MEA types. I and a fellow blogger, The Muskegon Pundit attended that presentation in Lansing last summer. I found it refreshing.

One lesson I came away with from that engagement was that if the facts are presented in a straightforward manner and in that format, most people are not equipped to argue about it. In this case there were only a few who even remotely tried to question the conclusions.

So from Chambliss to Merit Pay I hope I made the connection. If not then I too must do some more work on the one thing this party lacks and that is their communication skills.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

PS. The next connection is how to bring that to the local Township races. If we find a way we might have something. Who represents most directly the Parents of the children that are being so abused than our Township officials? The School Board Perhaps.