If you follow the blogosphere, you’ll know that bloggers who criticize left-wing activist and convicted bomber Brett Kimberlin have been harassed. While doing some research on Mr. Kimberlin, I discovered he runs a group called Justice Through Music, which has received money from Soros and other rich progressives. Looking on JTMP’s front page, I discovered this interesting little bit of information.
MAY 24, 2012 - JTMP has been a participant in the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Programfor 3 years now, where citizens from around the world involved in the arts get to come to America and visit to learn about the role of arts in the US. This year we had visitors that came from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia to see how Justice Through Music Project uses art to raise awareness on issues, and to bring about social change. This year’s contingent had musicians, playwrights, and people involved in art production. We gave them a presentation and showed them many of our musical art videos that deal with politics and issues, while we spoke about how we operate and produce our art videos. We then showed them how we use this art on our website and YouTube channel to raise awareness on an issue to help bring about positive social change.
What all the GOP candidates are after, are so-called ‘delegates.’Elected officials that will broker the convention of either party this fall. Officials are parcelled by the amount of votes, the candidates receive in the primary.
During Michigan’s primary recently, for instance, there were 30 official delegates, state-wide. Two were ‘at-large’ candidates, which meant they could be assigned individually to any winning candidate. The other 28 were ‘proportional’ ones, alotted through 14 congressional districts. During the push for the nominations in Michigan last night, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum spent millions of dollars to influence the voting population; with TV ads, pamphlets, media, interviews, rallies, stickers, and much more. Michigan’s grand sum of politcal expenditure was near six million bucks.
Delegates are what really counts at the GOP convention. What looks to be happening, is that no clear winner will come out victorious. There’s a righteous number: 1444 delegates will win any nominee the victory-nod of the Republican National Committee. Nationwide, 2169 delegates are extended for contestation, until the RNC celebration in Tampa, Florida. From the RN Committee, an additional 117 delegates are added into the mix, ostensibly to keep debate lively and clear-up dead locks. So what appears, on first looks, to be a rather hot-headed and fast paced Republican rocket-launch to the RNC, is more like a jammed or misfired pistol in a duel.
Momentarily, Mitt Romney is in the lead, with 167 total delegates. Rick Santorum is second with roughly half, at 87. Newt Gingrich won only one state and has 32, while Ron Paul has 19 carefully collected delegations. The count may reshuffle at any moment, since constitutionalism and populism together, ring alarm-bells in states such as Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
With the August 2 deadline fast approaching, many people are getting more than a little anxious for some kind of deal on the debt ceiling. One of those is syndicated columnist Donna Brazile. In her column, she calls on Congress to “drop politics”. Unfortunately, like most any other person who calls for folks to drop politics, her motivations are political.
You see, any time anyone calls on the opposition group to drop politics, it’s really a call for that other side to shut up and do what the person wants. It’s no different than calls for bipartisanship. It doesn’t matter on political affiliation either, because both major parties do it pretty regularly.
However, if Brazile was serious about helping the nation, I would argue, then she would also beg for deep, deep spending cuts that exceed John Bohner and Harry Reid’s plans. She would be calling for a serious rollback on intrusive government and job hampering regulations that would, ultimately, lead to increased revenue for the federal government. She would call for a lot of things, but she isn’t.
Like so many others out there, Brazile is just wanting Republicans to shut up and do what she thinks they should be doing. Is she necessarily wrong? Well, that’s a topic for debate all on its own. I honestly don’t want to get into that one right now. But right or wrong doesn’t really matter, not for the purposes of this post as it applies to the debt ceiling.
No matter how you philosophically interpret it, one thing almost all of us can agree on is that the highest law governing this nation is the Constitution. Then why are Harry Reid and other Democrats pushing for a decision that is as unconstitutional as almost anything the Bush administration had done over the last 8 years? It’s simply politics.
While most wanted Gov. Blagojevich to refrain from making an appointment for US Senate to replace Senator Obama, everyone agreed that he does have the right under the US Constitution and Illionis law to do so, as he has yet to be impeached. And, so he did. His choice? Roland Burris, who will become the only African American in the US Senate. But too bad for Burris — Reid and fellow Democrats do not want him seated.
I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer, just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals… The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom, and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is. -President Ronald Reagan
The past two general election cycles have been bleak for the Republican Party. Looking back on its celebrated rise from near irrelevancy in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, it becomes clear that 1994 was a peak rather than a new beginning. When Newt Gingrich, Jim Babka and PNAC took control of the GOP from what was left of the Goldwater/Reagan conservatives, it marked the beginning of the end.
Libertarians constantly face the preeminent struggle to form and implement strategies to gain political relevance. The party has never achieved a result better than 1% on a Presidential Election. Adding to our frustration is the failure of the Libertarian Party to capitalize on the opportunity Ron Paul’s groundbreaking Republican Primary campaign, which gained new ground for the libertarian philosophy in terms of visibility. Bob Barr’s campaign failed to crack 500,000 votes in an election cycle in which Ron Paul earned more than 1 million votes in Republican primaries and caucuses.
The media still seems shocked that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who was elected last year with substantial Tea Party and grassroots support, is taking on the political establishment, even if it includes members of his own party.
Back in February, Cruz defended his style after many Senate Democrats criticized him. “I have to admit I find it amusing that those in Washington are puzzled when someone actually does what they said they would do,” Cruz told Reuters during a visit to a Texas-based gun manufacturer. He also gained some coverage over his questioning of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who was pushing the Assault Weapons Ban. And though he did cross a line during the confirmation hearing of then-Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, Cruz has been generally spot thus far.
But Cruz has raised eyebrows once again. During a surprise talk last week at the FreedomWorks summit in Texas, the freshman Senator explained that the grassroots activists are winning and criticzed “squishes” inside the Republican Party, pointing to the gun control issue as an example.
“I’m not sure how active I can be in the liberty movement while I’m building my business.”
That is pretty close to what I recall from a conversation over dinner last week, where I was having my brain picked by someone who is “dipping their toe” in the world of politics after previously being fairly apathetic.
The response to my guest was probably not what he expected, but it led us into a great conversation. I told him, “Lead by example, not with a label.”
While that may sound simplistic, I know many in the liberty movement who may as well wear a sign around their neck that says “I’M A LIBERTARIAN. HOW CAN I PISS YOU OFF TODAY?” Typically, these are the same people who cannot stop talking about the evils they perceive in government, pausing only to breathe and possibly to find their original point after they take the conversation off course. Unfortunately, these are the first and only conversations some hold with a libertarian.
Often, these libertarians are so consumed with “spreading the message” that they forgot conversations involve both talking AND, the more important aspect, listening. They have an agenda to push that will not be deterred by their conversation partner’s interests (or lack thereof), concerns, or beliefs. In my experience, this results in a very few follow-up conversations and even fewer converts.
I am guilty of doing this myself, but I sought a better way to build my own team for liberty. What I found was an easier path that is also a better way. By “walking the walk” conveyed in the talking points prepared for conversations, I found by being a positive example of libertarianism, people sought out to talk to me, instead of my constant searching for the next potential target/victim.
It’s that time of year when I take a stab at guessing what will happen in the new year. Just like always, I will take a stab at national politics, international politics, the economy, and sports.
*There will be a debt ceiling fight. America’s credit worthiness will be downgraded. Ultimately, the debt ceiling will be raised with no real spending cuts or entitlement reforms.
*No gun control legislation will pass this year on the Federal level. However, the left will embark on a cultural campaign against gun ownership in general.
*Minor filibuster reform will be enacted in the Senate and will be largely limited to Presidential appointments and budgetary issues.
*Chris Cristie is reelected governor of New Jersey and Terry McCauliffe is elected governor of Virginia.
*There will be a significant terrorist attack on US soil.
*Gay marriage becomes legal in Illinois.
*Proposition 8 in California is struck down by the Supreme Court on very narrow grounds that would apply on to that particular case.
*At least one state abolishes the death penalty.
*John Kerry will be confirmed as Secretary of State, but Chuck Hagel will be denied Secretary of Defense.
*Japan begins to rearm and becomes more aggressive with China.
*North Korea will create an incident with South Korea that will raise tensions but will ultimately die back down after a month or two.
*NATO forces strike Syria and force Bashir Assad from power.
*Hugo Chavez finally dies and makes his voyage to Hell.
*The European Union continues on the path towards centralizing into a superstate, while anti-EU parties do well in various national elections.
*Netanyahu reelected as Israeli Prime Minister
“Vote: The instrument and symbol of a free man’s power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.” - Ambrose Bierce, American Author
Nearly two weeks have passed since the 2012 elections, and we can begin to prepare a postmortem of this latest cycle in American politics. Despite the fact that, for all intents and purposes, the make-up of government has remained almost exactly the same, Obama and the Democrats are declaring a mandate for their agenda of growing government, higher taxes, more regulations, etc. Obama now repeats his demand that Republicans begin any budget talks by agreeing to increase taxes (“enhance revenues”, in euphemistic Washingtonian parlance). The left, gleeful at the re-election of Obama, tell the rest of us to “get over it” and stop fighting Obama’s agenda. I guess that makes sense. After all, almost immediately after the election of George W. Bush in 2000, the left was insisting that the country line up behind Bush because he’d won, saying we all need to support the president. Oh wait, that never happened…
After much contemplation, I’ve concluded that Obama voters fall generally into one of three categories; those that voted based on race, those that voted because they are hard-core leftists who agree with his policies, and the ignorant (this includes those who voted for him because he promised to be Santa Claus).Conservatives could do little to win over those who voted based on race or alignment with his Marxist ideology. However, where we failed was in showing the ignorant how voting for Obama was a losing proposition for them. Since ignorant (unlearned) is not the same as stupid (enable to learn), we retain the possibility of changing minds here, if we can effectively make the argument against Obama’s policies.