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.

Monday, May 30, 2011

One Thing Leads to Another

(click on all pics to enlarge)
As I get more and more accustomed to a more rural life style, I find a continuing thread in the purpose behind what I’m doing. When I started blogging and getting into politics I wrote at the time that I was meeting neighbors and finding community activities that until then I didn’t even know existed.

I started to go out every day and prowl my neighborhood (Precinct) and one thing would naturally lead to another. Pretty soon I was interviewing for my blog local start up businesses and stopping to talk with neighbors in my precinct. I was coming out of my, self styled cocoon. What I realize better with hindsight is that I was breaking free of the “reality show mentality”.

Let me explain about that term. I’ve moved out to the country and live in the middle of 20 wooded acres. To this day and especially in the beginning I would be out in the yard and always looking up to see who was passing by or who was watching me. There was no one of course but out of habit I would still look around. As I fix my yard and garden etc someplace in those calculations there is the thought, what the neighbors will think. Just to reiterate, I can’t see my neighbors and they can’t see me. I live at the end of a winding 700 foot driveway.

To the point, I still feel sometimes like I’m in a “Reality Show”. I still spend a lot of time in front of a 60” computer monitor doing my blog and putting out a newsletter and a weekly “Cozy Conservative Corner”. On top of that I’m still a Netflix junkie and record at least one movie a day. I admit it I’m still an alternative reality junkie.

I came across the article below about Nicholas Carr (no relation) about how the internet may be causing a lack of concentration in people.
I not only agree but now better understand that how during the last 6 years of my life; I have been trying to prevent just that. Also in my previous blogs I have said that I believed we were not any smarter today than we were as a people than the ancient Greeks – just more factoid filled. I’ve written about time and the relation to us as a person and a people. Before I get all philosophical let me just suffice it to say that Time is not the enemy any more than the fact that we have to breathe is. It is something that just is – something we live with.

Because time is finite, I found that if I used my time on doing one thing instead of 10, I would actually get things done and get them done better and more efficiently. More to the point if I did that in the real world vs. on the internet, things (real things that mattered) would get done.

I would add to Mr. Carr’s book that along with destroying our concentration, the internet world is taking away our sense of righteousness. The righteousness and contentment we feel when we actually do things and not just think them. I still use and extol the virtues of the internet but I do so because of the fantastic communication and research tool it is. I find that when I combine the internet with a hands on project I get a deeper feeling of accomplishment that if I just used the internet.

The sun is shining and spring has sprung. I roto- tilled my garden yesterday and today I need to buy some string and start planting. While I’m in town buying string, I’ll keep checking out my new neighborhood.

Just a side note. As I was looking around for a possible new place to hold our new Oceana Tea Party meetings I ran across the Hart Historic Preservation Group which is a private group building a Historic District. They have several buildings of a historic nature. Some were there others they moved there such as a period Church and a one room school house (see picture above). The main building below has been turned into the museum. Several displays have been created and are pretty well done and interesting.

In my questioning about the cost and the physical aspects of the place for our meetings, I was told they were having a meeting of their board the next day following a work bee that started at 4pm. I showed up and ended up washing the windows inside and out of the one room school house. We then had a pot luck dinner for free and then I made my pitch and answered questions then left.

As I write this I realize how hard it is to say the feeling of accomplishment that effort gave to me by just doing the windows, much less the sense of thankfulness when the board decided we could hold our meetings there at a reduced rate.

I say all this because it is important for me to see that what I do in the internet world is given meaning only if through that help something gets accomplished in the real world. This I feel is good advice for me not only as an individual (it helps me exercise my individual freedom) but for groups like the Tea Party and political parties, as it gives us a chance to put our money where our mouth is.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

PS. While in Hart getting that string I stopped at La Fiesta for a half order of Nachos with beef and shredded cheese. I was astounded by the size of that half order.
(Click on any picture to enlarge)

Also my timing couldn’t have been better. While sitting there eating this Mt. Everest of Nachos along came the Hart Memorial Day Parade. Below are pics. As I said one thing leads to another and on and on. It all start with the question. What Can I Do Today?

As I went in to finish my Nacho, I took this picture out the window which sums the hour up nicely.

Again, Regards - Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

“The Undefeated” -- Palin ??? “You Betcha”

“The Undefeated” -- Palin ??? “You Betcha”

Real Clear Politics published an article by Scott Conroy reviewing a recent film by film maker Stephen K. Bannon entitled “The Undefeated”. Filmmaker Bannon’s credits include the Ronald Reagan based “In The Face of Evil” and Tea Party bio “Generation Zero”.


The film is a done deal and set for release in June.

The making of this film in my eyes should let everyone know that Sarah Palin will be soon joining the cast of contenders for the GOP Presidential nomination frenzy. Conroy’s article in Real Clear Politics points this out as evidence along with the fact that Sarah and Scott bought a house in Arizona plus the factoid that their daughter Bristol also bought one there.

The timing of the release coupled with the fact of it being premiered in Iowa of course seem to leave little doubt of the purpose of this film.

Also of little doubt is the fact that I have always considered Palin to be my first choice for President. In fact in a poll of our local conservative breakfast group 6 months ago I picked a Palin/Christie ticket as my dream pair to beat Obama/Biden.

I too agree with the making of movies supporting conservative ideas and candidates. I have been a big proponent of those trying to get conservative thought into main stream media through at first with think tanks and talk radio then blogging then facebook, twitter and websites and later the momentum building through PJTV and Andrew Breitbart’s Big Hollywood then into the more mainstream venues such as music, TV and movies. Now with Fox news giving the process a supercharge, we are off and running. We (conservatives) have made it into the main stream public awareness.

For the Palin movie to be a success it needs to be put out as widely as possible, perhaps even cable but for sure on Netflix etc so the Tea Party along with other Conservative groups can take advantage of it.

The role of the Tea Party is mixed in with the cause and effect of all this conservative ascendency. As was the role of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party in the 2010 elections. The Tea Party was a coalition of the old Reagan “three legged stool”.

I must say here that I when I look at the GOP Primary choices I also see a portrait of the GOP in general. There is a fight within the Party. The Elite represented by Romney and now Huntsman and Giuliani which also included Mitch Daniels until he bowed out leaves the rest of the field in most ways sounding like Tea Party supporters in one way or the other. (Palin, Bachman and the born again Reaganesq Pawlenty, plus all the rest.)

As I look at the GOP County parties, I see the majority of them in Michigan where I live as being heavily influenced by the Tea Party “ethic”. That ethic includes for the most part what the Republican Party used to stand for. Things like smaller government, fiscal responsibility, and traditional values.

What this country needs and what I am doing all I can to accomplish in the national 2012 election is to win back the Presidency and the Senate while keeping the House; in short to win a governing majority.

If the elites win then they will have the mechanism of their party to try to win in 2012 but may lose the ground troops that helped them to such a success in 2010 and run a chance of losing the ground gained in 2010 with the Tea Partiers. If the Tea Party side of this battle wins, then they will have the ground troops but still lack the mechanism of a national party. What we need to do is what Reagan did by constructing the three legs of conservative thought into a stable “three legged stool” upon which he stood to win landslide elections. Douglass V. Gibbs in “Political Pistachio” in critiquing this “stool” struck a truth by pointing out the following.
Reagan's policies were built on three ideas; free enterprise, strong defense, and pro-family social policies. He chose these three because they, of course, reflected his own values, but he also realized that each of these ideas have enormous appeal on their own. I was attracted to the conservative philosophy as a young Christian and noticed that Reagan's philosophy was very strong when it came to traditional family values. Over the last few decades, economics have become my passion and expertise, but it started with a concern in culture (and this remains important to me)
Link for the above.

The key in the Pistachio quote to me is that free enterprise and strong defense are based and can only be run successfully on family/social policies. For too long we have as a nation been ignoring the moral beliefs of our heartland as we focused on dollars and very little “common” cents.

Without ethics and morals free enterprise lacks roots. You could say free enterprise’s roots are the morals we use to keep it working. Look at the recent breakdown in the cities in restaurants, and stores. (People being beat up and killed because they couldn’t wait in line. You’ve seen the pictures.)

I just feel that the Tea Party is built by people that see this need in our society to get back to the basic ethics of self reliance and individual freedom this country was founded on, where freedom and respect were earned.

As this primary battle continues, the infighting has a chance to become bloody. The biggest chance for damage is within the “conservative” wing of the party. When we throw Ron Paul and Herman Cain into the mix we may see some fireworks. Indeed there have been casualties so far; Gingrich, Huckabee, Barbour, Daniels and of course “The Donald”. At one point there were 15 possibles. Within the Tea Party alone there are still 4-5.

The liberal wing of the GOP however may also see some bloodletting. Rudi Giuliani seems to be going full throttle for an early NH primary win against Mitt Romney.
Don’t get me wrong. I love primaries even if they are bloody. Primaries are the only chance for new ideas and leaders to come along. The primaries capture the minds and hearts of the bases for the candidates the trick is to keep them fired up and get them united as Reagan did. Whether Sarah Palin or anyone can pull it off is yet to be seen.

Hopefully Obama and his followers will see it as an excuse not to organize and work as hard as last time. (BUT I Doubt it)

What we need to do is never lose sight of is how bad it is now and why. Whoever wins the GOP nomination we will be far better off than what we have now.

Palin’s quote from Thomas Pain seems apropos here.
“If there be trouble, let it be in my day that my child may have peace,…”We will see if it still resonates.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dump Debbie

Last Thursday 5/5/11 Terri Lynn Land made it public that she is not going to run against Debbie Stabenow in 2012. Her reason was that she felt the GOP from the top down wasn’t energized enough to help her win.
I agree with her on that assumption.

We need to focus on one thing.

In the last presidential election before the advent of the Tea Party, (2008) it was clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that the GOP had become a thoroughly top heavy institution made up of political consultants and graph makers who had no idea what was on the minds of the electorate. I for example volunteered at a Fix Mi. center (40 hours a week) and was inundated with memos that were never followed through on. These memos and the people who wrote them had no idea of how to get people involved beyond the corporate hierarchy. The main goal of these pencil pushers was how to get the most money out of the voters they had left.

The 2006 elections should have been a warning to them; but it wasn’t as they merrily went their way to nearly total self annihilation in the 2008 election.

Previously the Dems realized their mistake in 2004 and before and finally remembered the voters. Their biggest drive became rebuilding their base. I remember in the 2008 election I served as a poll challenger, I lived in Muskegon then. I had virtually no training and definitely no material. In my precinct in Muskegon I sat next to a Dem poll challenger who had a one inch thick manual for what to do in a given situation. She was young and also a lawyer, she was from Grand Rapids. She kept in touch through her cell phone with the Democrat HQ as to what was going on how the totals were going etc.

While I understand that the role of the poll challenger may not be all that important in the individual case, in the big picture it helps illustrates the differing approaches the two parties took towards the election.

With the advent of the Tea Party and a lot of GOPers “defecting” to them; the State GOP Party started making overtures to the Tea Party. By this time however the Tea Party was off and running with or without the GOP. They were willing to vote the candidate not necessarily the party. I remember bringing some new recruits to a County Republican meeting and after they asked me why I brought them. There was minimal effort to welcome them and absolutely no effort to get them involved. The Tea Party was built from those people.

At first the GOP tried to sweet talk then take over the Tea Party, but they failed. The autonomous bottom up nature of the local Tea Parties made sure of that. Luckily for the GOP their stated positions were closer to the Tea Party than the positions of the Dems, so most of the Tea Partiers voted Republican in 2010.
That is the help that Terri Lynn was looking for. She perhaps was looking in the wrong place.

The problem with the GOP was that the chart makers and graphic doodlers took the 2010election to mean that the Tea Party people were theirs. The GOP leadership assumed that since the 2010 election went overwhelmingly Republican, there was no need for reaching out further to, and more importantly changing their positions because of the Tea Party. They in effect took all the credit for the 2010 election. They believed it was because of their use of the same old same old tactics.

Here I have to give credit to some of the new class of legislators who are trying to stand tall on their principles. It seems it is still the GOP Leadership and not the newly elected officials trying to distance themselves from the Tea Party.

This attitude was carried on by the local GOP as well with some exceptions. Very few of the GOP local county parties didn’t have to be dragged to a more bottom up approach to politics. The ones that were the worst ironically were the ones who were closest to the inner cities. They were overwhelmed by the opposition and perhaps out of self defense they had become insulated against popular newer views. What they had forgotten was that the Republican Party was founded on freeing the slaves. They forgot that President Lincoln was the first Republican President. They forgot their party was founded upon new ideas and the conflict that entails. They forgot that real freedom comes from less government. They forgot that to create freedom you have to teach people how to fish – not give them fishes.

Sure the GOPer leadership knew the above clichés, they would spout them out when talking to the masses, but they didn’t mean it, that's not where the money went. To borrow another cliché, they didn’t walk the walk. The masses figured it out and after giving them all the mechanics of government in the nineties, the voters took away the GOP majorities. The Dems took advantage of this by waking up and shifting their emphasis towards their base and the independent voters. They did this by getting them involved. Simply by making sure that if people wanted to get involved they would have something to do.

How did they do that? They came up with seemingly inconsequential things that got people involved such as the poll challenger programs, neighborhood BBQs, block parties. As their new President would later say, People need some skin in the game. They actually funded these things. They did and funded petition drives and actually paid people by how many signatures they got. They had registration drives again paying per sign up. Sure they paid consultants and the majority of the money came from big donors; but still the emphasis was always towards the little guy, the voter.

Sure the GOP leadership went after the big donors too, they just forgot to get us "We the People" involved.

Think about it. What is all the money for? --- Buying ways to get votes.

The voters are people.

Think about it.

What will sway your vote? A 30 second radio add county wide or 4or5 BBQs the same money will buy? I realize that both are needed; but we need to shift the focus back to the people and just use the pencil pushers to facilitate our efforts not to direct them. The leadership has to do it.

Now about Debbie and doing something about her. In the middle of November shortly after the election, I realized what needed doing next. Dump Debbie! I knew the GOP wouldn’t be so bold so I took it upon myself and had some Dump Debbie buttons made up locally.

A friend and local Tea Partier and GOPer came up with this pic. Hat tip To Susie

This was done by two people without funding. I’m not asking for anything either I’m just asking why isn’t the Party having more local generic local stuff. Give all the possible candidates a chance and a forum to interact with the voters. What about a Dump Debbie picnic. Or a Dump Debbie forum/dinner. With funding we could entice people other than the same old base and candidate workers that usually show up.

I remember the Precicnt Delegate meeting the GOP had that was also promoted through the Tea Party and an overflow of people showed up. Normally we never fill the slots, we still didn’t but we did need to have a ballot for the slots we did fill. That was the first time in memory. That is what I’m talking about. People wanted to do something, here it was and they flocked to it. This was something the State and local Party put on. It worked. The funding was small and the results were huge. The same thing happened at the state convention. This time however the State Party was not prepared. Now they seem again to have forgotten how that last election was won.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Let Us Keep a Difference between Them and Us

Yesterday A piece of Evil was removed from the world.

We all know what that was, everyone and his brother is commenting on it, I won’t add to that cacophony of noise.

I will only echo Mayor Guillianie’s sentiment when confronted by Sean Hannity’s criticism of how we buried Osama Bin Laden at sea in a manner reflecting his religion. I agree with the Mayor that there is a difference between us and them. We stood tall in full view and will be judged by the mentally coherent by our deeds not our rhetoric.

I will also not take heed of those who are mentally incoherent in my decision making process.

So it goes with politics, the Conservatives have always tried to win the arguments and for the most part have; therefore the Liberals have usually tried to co/opt our slogans and manipulated them for their own purposes. Those purposes are usually diametrically opposed to what they are actually attempting to do.

The Conservatives have changed the dialogue of the upcoming political struggle about individual freedom. The Left has tried to co/opt the freedom issue. Their idea of freedom however has to do with the freedom of groups (such as unions) and their members instead of the freedom of the individual irrespective of what group he or she is in.

For those of you in Rio Linda, I want the freedom to live my life whatever race, color or creed I belong to. I want that individual freedom whether I belong to a union or not, whether I live in a rural area or the city, whether I make $5,000 a year or $500,000.

In a shameful display of Liberal rhetoric, Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson tried to frame the killing of Osama Bin Laden as an example of somehow dovetailing into his opposition to voter ID in Florida.

David Catanese writing for Politico wrote about it.

The shameless use of Bin Laden’s death by this Liberal makes me wonder to what extremes they would have gone if for example Pres. Bush had sent an assassination team into Pakistan to do what Pres. Obama just did.

Well I’ll leave that to your imagination. I’m surprised the Left hasn’t been up in arms about this yet. After the many things Pres. Obama has done contrary to what he said he’d do and contrary to what his extreme Left thought he’d do, I’m surprised they aren’t burning him in effigy as they so happily did to then Pres. Bush.

Here is my point. I think the Right is different than the Left. I refuse to hang anyone if effigy, if it needs doing then it will get done, and let people judge by my actions. I will refuse to use such a brutally necessary thing for such shallow political ends.

That end such as the “Right to Vote” argument Sen. Nelson is using is a pretty big reach even on the face of it without the whole Bin Laden tie in.

In Mi. for example the Sec. of State, Ruth Johnson has reported Mi voters registered in record numbers. In fact 102% of the eligible voters registered.

This is where the real “Right to Vote” battle is being fought. That is where Ruth Johnson is trying to close the loopholes that keep out multiple votes being cast by the same person, denying my right to vote.

This is where Conservatives like Ruth Johnson are different from Ben Nelson.

I’m happy with that difference.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative