"America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within."
--Joseph Stalin

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rethinking Rick

Will Malven
9/24/2011

When Texas Governor Rick Perry entered the race for the Republican nomination he struck like a bolt of lightning, driving all of his competition off the front pages and seemed likely to drive them out of the race in short order. He sky-rocketed into the lead in every poll of Republican voters that was taken.

His announcement speech resonated with a Republican electorate desperate for a true, small-government, conservative to rescue the party and our nation from the mire of spiraling debt, over-reaching—do-gooder—legislators, and federal programs run by bureaucracies that seemed intent on controlling ever more aspects of citizen's lives.

His straight talk and uncompromising rhetoric, certain to upset establishment Republicans and offend the left and their propaganda organ—the MSM—was a breath of fresh air for conservatives. Amid the morass of mediocre, compromise at any cost, milquetoast solutions being offered by more moderate politicians, his enthusiasm for the 10th Amendment and his promise to "work every day to make sure that Washington DC is as inconsequential to [our] lives as possible." gave hope to many who had become disenchanted by the status quo and his 10-year record of accomplishment gave proof to his rhetoric and over-shadowed the records of his fellow conservative candidates.

Governor Perry seemed a candidate who was tailor-made to seize the reins of the Republican Party and steer it to a landslide victory in November 2012. For a short while, he looked likely to win the nomination by acclamation.

Isn't it interesting how rapidly things can change in politics? After three debates in the space of two short weeks, the bloom may be fading on Perry's rose.

My initial enthusiasm for Governor Perry would have had me jumping on board the "Perry for President" train, but prudence suggested that it was too early to endorse any candidate. That is the reason that, though I have been very supportive of Texas Governor Rick Perry and have defended him against the many scurrilous attacks on his record, I have not come out and endorsed his candidacy in the GOP primary.

With each debate, I (and many other conservatives) have been experiencing a growing discomfort with Governor Perry's performance. Florida's Thursday night debate was his third debate and with each appearance, he has gotten progressively worse as his opponents have improved.

Before the he entered the race, it was rumored that Perry was not a great debater and that he did not like debate preparation. If this is true—and all subsequent evidence points to it being so—then he had better get his act together.

For much of the electorate, the snippets of these debates that are played on nightly news programs will be all they see, their only opportunity to gain insight into the candidates character and ability and every stumble Governor Perry makes will be amplified by a hostile press. He cannot afford to continue trying to gut his way through without thorough preparation.

Governor Perry needs to learn to dance if his candidacy is to survive, but so far he has appeared to be disconcerted, petty, and out of his depths in responding to the tough questions and the attacks of his fellow candidates. He looks more like a student trying desperately to remember the lines he memorized that morning—eyes shifting back and forth, hesitating, and using convoluted grammar that renders his responses difficult to understand—than he does a knowledgeable candidate with a mastery of the issues put before him.

It is true that these debates are just TV shows, more of entertainment value than of value in selecting a candidate, or in demonstrating one's ability to govern and I have long thought that Republicans should never have allowed themselves to be snookered into holding debates. They tend to be nothing more than beauty contests.

Debates do, however provide us with a good indicator of how intellectually agile a candidate is. They are not a measure of a candidate's intelligence, but they are a measure of how well a candidate can put their intellect to use.

The ability to deal with a suddenly changing situation and to respond in a rational and measured way is a very important part of being President and so far all I've seen from Perry are generalized answers (as though his ideas are only half formulated), stumbling, off target, knee-jerk attacks, and semi-intelligible explanations of some of his more controversial stands.

It is that inability to clearly articulate why he believes as he does, and to respond to attacks—especially erroneous attacks like that of Rick Santorum on Texas border security last Thursday—with clear, concise facts that is killing him.

Perry said that he was "a solid 'C' student" at TAMU and his academic records clearly show that. So far, Perry's performance reflects that record. The primary difference between a "C" student and an "A" student isn't as much of a difference in their intelligence as it is a difference in their willingness to do the "grind work;" the boring daily homework assignments and study from which most knowledge is gained. If he is to win the nomination and the election, Governor Perry needs to break out of his "C" student mold and learn to learn.

Perry needs to demonstrate mastery of some of the issues and real facility in discussing all of them. That ability doesn't just manifest itself in people by osmosis, it requires real dedication to study and practice.

It's been two weeks since his first debate. By now he should have ready answers to the immigration issue, the border issue, the Social Security issue, the Gardasil issue, and the AGW issue, because all have been broached repeatedly since the first debate—and were prominently mentioned prior to his entry into the race.

Perry is not running for Governor of Texas now, he is on the national stage and the clever one-line zingers that we get routinely here in Texas don't play as well in other areas of the nation. He has to nationalize his campaign style without compromising his values and stance on the issues.

He may be able to pull it off, but he had better start soon.

There are a lot of us who have been strong supporter that are now having some doubts as to his dedication and ability. It is early yet, but the clock is ticking.

Governor Perry's next opportunity to redeem himself comes on October 11th (7 PM EDT) at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire and he better come out firing on all 8 cylinders, or he could be finished.

Long Live Our American Republic!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Decade Later and All We've Got is a Gaping Hole In The Ground.

Will Malven
9/10/2011

Updated 12:30 P.M.

Alright, what happened on 9/11/2001 was tragic, horrible, nightmarish, unprecedented, disturbing, outrageous, angering, saddening . . . whatever adjective you wish to use . . . it was all of those and more, but America seems to have become so filled with the mentality of victimhood that we have lost sight of ourselves and our greatness.

I know I'm going to make a lot of folks angry with this post, but it is time for America to grow up.

There is nothing wrong with commemorating a tragic event. We still commemorate the attack against Pearl Harbor. We--some of us--still remember D-Day, that day of awful struggle and great victory. We remember Guadalcanal, Bataan, the Philippines, and Okinawa . . . we remember, but we don't wallow in them.

There is nothing wrong with commemorating those days which have directly impacted on our national identity and our national pride, but pride is what is missing in America today.

America, we took a tremendous cheap shot when we weren't looking . . . we stumbled in shock. Perhaps our knees got weak and our eyes momentarily began to glaze over, but then we shook our head, righted ourselves, straightened out spines, looked around to see who the cowards were who blindsided us, and then set about making them pay.

After the initial attack, America came back swinging and started on the path towards recovery. Our economy, which was already languishing in the beginnings of a recession, took a trillion dollar blow with the loss of our financial center, but we shook all of that off, recovered from the economic loss and moved on . . . at least physically.

The problem is that our nation is filled with emotional children--mostly on the left, but not entirely. It seems as though the adults have lost control and only the children remain. We wallow in a morass of maudlin self-pity and "poor me"-ism.

When children suffer a loss, they aren't emotionally mature enough to understand or to cope with it, so they live in that pain for a long time. They continue to suffer until an adult--their parents, their teachers, their relatives--comes along and reassures them everything will be alright and then shows them how to cope and understand their loss.

When adults suffer a loss, they weep, they morn, they may even withdraw for a while, but eventually they come to understand that loss and pain are a part of life and that we must move on with our lives . . . never forgetting the past, but never wallowing in it, never trapped by it. They may be consoled for a short time by their friends of families, but it is up to them to find their own path to recovery.

America has become spoiled and seems to want to wallow in a mire of self-pity and self-absorption. We have been lectured by a media which continually talks down our nation and our greatness, focuses on limitations, and repeatedly tells us that our time of greatness has passed. Our educators teach our children of the evils of success and the nobility of suffering and lack.

They attack institutions which form the core of our greatness, our churches, our businesses, and our self-starters. We are told that we should not expect to be as successful as our parents or their parents--that we have to accept less, to aspire to be less; that, instead of American exceptionalism, America is bad because we have too great of a "carbon footprint."

We are repeatedly instructed that we use too much energy, that we are doomed by a mythical dragon called "man-made global warming," and that we must all learn to live with less--because "it is only fair."

The liberals tell us that we have no right to be the greatest, the wealthiest, the strongest, the most successful, the most free nation on Earth and indeed in history. No, we must hate ourselves because we take more than our "fair share." We must limit ourselves and be more like Europe. We must . . . live lives of "shared sacrifice" rather than individual greatness.

Folks, this is collectivism. This is Marxism at its very worst, its most pernicious, and dishonest. "We can't do it ourselves, we need the government to do it for us" and because no one can excel, "we must let government show us how to do it with less--so that others can have 'more.'"

When we suffer, we are supposed to let daddy and mommy government tell us that everything is going to be okay and to let them deal with everything as they take care of us.

This maudlin, liberal-driven, juvenile, self-loathing mentality has left us with a gaping hole where the World Trade Center used to be.

Think of the typically American, arrogant--brashness of that name, "The World Trade Center." Not "The American Trade Center," not the "New York Trade Center," but the "World Trade Center." The very name brings to mind the image of the greatness, the arrogance, the can-do attitude that has exemplified our national spirit for over two centuries.

But . . . what do we have today? We have so much bureaucratic red tape and have become so preoccupied with political correctness and acceptance that we have been unable to do in 10 years what should have been done in three. Think of that, the Empire State Building was completed in just 18 months. The first tower of the WTC was ready for occupation just 2 years after construction began and the second tower was ready in 3. Six of the seven buildings that comprised the entire center were completed in just about a decade.

Today, a decade later, we have a park and a giant gaping hole in New York City and in Pennsylvania where the heroes of Flight 93 rebelled against the hijackers and forced the plane to crash into the ground at the expense of their lives, we still have . . . an empty field.

Snap out of it America! This is pathetic.

Tomorrow in New York City, instead of a building opening, instead of a glorious pair of towers gleaming in the sunlight standing taller, prouder, more brazen and arrogant than ever, we will witness a ceremony in which those who lost their loved ones will not be accompanied by those who sacrificed to save lives. No firemen or policemen--the heroes who braved the nightmare in their efforts to save thousands of people, who strove to rescue and save lives--and no clergymen to eulogize and pray for our loss (political correctness is the disease that rots our culture more than any other) none of those who work to make a difference in our lives standing beside those who lost their loved ones in the attacks.

No, no room for any of them, no room for the heroes. No room for God. Just room for the families of the victims--as it should be--and for the politicians, poets, and a symphony orchestra just enough room for those who seek to glorify themselves in the aftermath of what others paid for with their lives.

Really??? No room for firemen? No room for policemen? No room for God? But room for an orchestra?

Hey, Mayor Bloomberg, maybe if you had not spent so much time wrapped up in your little political correctness obsession and your kowtowing to Muslim Clerics, maybe if you didn't spend so much time advocating for a mosque to be built at "ground zero," maybe if you had gotten up off your ass and built the damn buildings instead of holding endless competitions to see who could come up with the most artistic--self-indulgent--design, you would have room for those who sacrificed so much for their fellow citizens.

Time to throw off the sack cloth and ashes folks, time to remove the death shrouds and the liberal handcuffs and get back to doing what made America great.

Time to get rid of the posers and the pretenders.

Time to wash our hands of the self-doubt and self-pity.

Time to throw out those who place political correctness over greatness and responsibility and replace them with people who still believe in American exceptionalism.

Time to elect people who see America as the great nation it is rather than the source of evil around the world.

It is time to return to Ronald Reagan's "Shining City on the Hill."

Capitalism isn't evil, it is the most empowering force for good in the world. It allows every man and woman to achieve exactly as much as he or she is willing to work for and aspire towards. The only limits it places on a person are those he sets on himself.

Exceptionalism isn't bad, it is the direct result of hard work and industry. It is born from faith in God, in oneself, and in the opportunity to achieve.

Strength isn't bad, it is born of success and the noble desire to defend oneself, one's neighbor and to protect those who are unable to protect themselves.

America isn't evil, it has been the greatest force for good in the world. We have expended more capital, sacrificed more blood, and spent more time in the uplifting and defense of others than any other nation in history. When disaster strikes anywhere in the world, it is America that always rises to the occasion. It is the American people who spend the time, send the treasure and their sons and daughters to assist those in need.

It is not "folklore" that America is "God's Country," it is the truth. America is a beacon of freedom and opportunity towards which the world has looked for over two centuries. We are that Shining City on the Hill."

It is time for us to remember our greatness.

Memorialize our losses, give praise to our heroes, give thanks to God for this great nation, then BUILD THE DAMN BUILDINGS and stop wallowing in self-pity.

Time to grow up, America.

Long Live Our American Republic!!!

Update:

Some have protested my use of poetic license. The "Gaping Hole" (holes really) are the two "pools" intended to memorialize the towers. They remind me of the "Black Gash" the scar that is the Vietnam Memorial in the National Mall. It speaks of defeatism rather than "can-do"ism ).

For the sake of accuracy, according to Wikipedia, the park is near completion. Ground breaking for Freedom Tower was in April of 2006 (over 5 years ago) and it is up to 80 floors with glass up to the 54th floor. Tower 4 is up to 38 floors with glass up to the 15th floor. The Port Authority Transportation Hub is nearing completion and towers 3&4 have apparently had their foundations laid.

The fact remains that it has taken more than twice as long since ground breaking just to get a partially completed tower 1 and with over a decade passing, no building is completed.

Again, the Empire State building was built in 18 months, and Tower 1 of the old WTC completed in just 2 years. The original tower 1 was begun in 68 and tower two in 1969 and both were occupied by 1972. Apparently we cannot do what we were capable of doing just forty years ago.

Also note that the site of Flight 93's impact now has a memorial of 40 slabs of marble--one for each passenger on a pad of concrete. Today is the official opening ceremony of that memorial.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Where are the 2.5 Million Jobs, Mr. President?

Will Malven
9/08/2011

Okay, we already know that almost everything that the Obama Administration says is either a flat out fabrication, or at least a very carefully parsed half-truth. American Thinker exposes one of those "truths."

How many times over the past few months have you heard Obama or his surrogates in the MSM say "Obama has created 2.5 million jobs?" I know I heard DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz say it within the past couple of days. In your heart you know it isn't true, but you don't have the information to challenge it. Well, I stumbled across this terrific article at American Thinker today.

Nothing like exposing liberal lies for what they are. Be sure to read the whole thing, I'm just posting the heart of it--follow the link:
Where are the 2.5 Million Jobs, Mr. President?

By Karin McQuillan

. . ."Obama tells us his stimulus plan was a brilliant success. Yes, it plunged us into economy-destroying debt and deficit. The alternative would have been worse, we are told. All three of my friends and family in financial straits are loyal Democrats, and they believe him. "Obama created 2.5 million jobs," my underemployed friend tells me. "Without his policies, it would have been much worse."

"What are the jobs?" I asked him. Neither one of us had a clue.

We sat down together at the internet and did a Google search, 'stimulus job creation.'

We found out where the number 2.5 million jobs' created or saved' comes from. It comes from a formula. The formula comes from a theory. The formula says that for every dollar the government spends, 1.5 dollars' worth of economic activity is generated, and presto, jobs come out. The economic geniuses working for Obama want us to believe that by definition, since they spent almost a trillion dollars in 'stimulus', they automatically created 2.4 million jobs. This is called the multiplier effect . . ."
There's not much I can add to this article. As usual, Obama and the left give us academic theory rather than real world fact--they still haven't learned to discern the difference between the two, which is why they have academics in charge of trying to create jobs rather than businessmen and women who have actually accomplished it.

If you are as tired of the lies and statistics liberals always cite--most of which are like this, created out of thin air, it is helpful to have articles such as this one available to debunk them.

The Reagan Library Debate: Newt Sparkles, Romney Shines, Perry Survives

Will Malven
9/08/2011

Well, I watched the debate last night. It was less than inspiring, but part of that was in the questions that were being asked by the Democrat/SEIU proxy questioners (what else would you expect from the most distorted leftist network on cable?).

First let me say, that I don't think debates are any indicator of the quality of the candidates. It's like watching a game show to decide who is most qualified to run the country.

I'm not certain, but I don't believe that "being good in a debate" is one of the responsibilities of the President. How about focusing on each candidates qualifications, experience, knowledge, you know old fashioned things that might actually indicate who would be a good President?

I curse the day we fell into this trap of putting on a beauty contest to decide who is most qualified to lead this nation. I suspect George Washington would have been eliminated in the first round or two.

Now to the debate. I wish that the candidates would all take a page from Newt Gingrich's playbook and STOP THE INFIGHTING. Stop taking the bait and instead of leaping to the attack against their fellow Republicans, stay focused on the real target, President Barack Obama. I suppose it goes against human nature to expect adults to behave like adults, but one can always hope--after all, Newt managed to do so throughout the entire debate.

So, here's my take away. First, anyone on the dais would be far better, more capable, more competent, and better for America than the narcissistic, sociopathic, man-child currently in the Oval Office. I'm talking light years here, not even a close thing.

Second, too bad Newt is "damaged goods." He really did , once more, demonstrate that he is the smartest man in the room. His answers are concise, intelligent, and just plain good. I liked him for the 2008 election, but didn't really believe he would get in and he had the same problems back then that he has today--poor choices. For a brilliant man, sometimes he can make the dumbest mistakes--like backing Dede Scozzafava over conservative Doug Hoffman or his comment that he didn't realize that Obama would be as liberal as he turned out to be--I mean really Newt all you had to do is look at his record of voting.

Third, Rick Perry, though he was rough around the edges and needs a good deal more preparation, managed to survive. He made some good points and though he sometimes looked as though he was struggling to remember his lines, he acquitted himself reasonably well--especially considering it was his first debate and it is a format with which he is not as comfortable--but he did not look as relaxed as the others. To his credit, he was the target of most of the attacks by other candidates and from the moderators. He was strong on principle and refused to back away on the Texas record on the death penalty--for which he received strong applause, or his factually correct statement that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and that today's youths who are paying into is will not have it if something isn't done to correct it's fundamentally flawed system.

Lastly, Mitt Romney really did give the best performance. He was at ease, humorous, quick with the comeback when attacked, in full possession of the facts--in short, he looked and acted "Presidential." I fear we may, once again, be forced to settle for "the most electable conservative in the field" (not that Mitt is very conservative). I'm not a big fan of Mitt, but I could live with him as President.

The fact is, that--in spite of the good qualities of the rest of the field--this really is a two man race, Perry vs. Romney. Everyone else in the race can now be categorized as "also rans." That being said:

Herman Cain really is an outstanding man. He shines in those areas in which his expertise lies--economics and jobs. He has polished himself and his performance skills are greatly improved from his first couple of debates. He would be an excellent candidate, but for some reason he just hasn't been able to gain traction with the voters. Too bad, I'm a big fan.

Michele Bachmann acquitted herself reasonably well, but her appeal is limited by her shrillness and she, quite simply, is not a very appealing person. She also lacks any real management experience so her bona fides are lacking. She will continue to fade over the next few months.

Rick Santorum is a nice guy, a strong moral conservative, smart, articulate, and unelectable. He, like Bachmann, comes across as a member of Congress, not a leader. He has reasonably good ideas, but lacks the experience to take the reins of a monstrous bureaucracy like our federal government. Sorry Rick, time to head for the old hacienda.

Jon Huntsman is probably the most qualified non-starter I've seen. Let's begin with his sad attachment to the myth of man-made global warming. Contrary to the claims of adherents to that tired old dying theory, the science (as Rick Perry pointed out) is less settled now than it was ten years ago. Huntsman's attachment to AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) disqualifies him from consideration.

Outside of the AGW business, Huntsman is just another career "inside the Beltway" politician. He's a moderate's moderate. I am absolutely certain that establishment politicians from both parties would be more comfortable with Huntsman than with any other candidate in the debate.

Ron Paul just simply is nuts! He's wacko, gone around the bend, extreme looney tunes crazy and he never looked more like it than last night. I'm certain he will remain in the race to the bitter end, because his followers are just as out of touch with reality as Paul is, but he isn't a serious contender and he needs to be excluded from any further debates as he simply detracts from the Republican message and consumes time that would be better allocated to the serious contenders (that would be any of them but Paul).

If I had my "druthers," I would have Newt be our nominee. His knowledge is comprehensive, his experience as Speaker of the House and his agile intellect all make him the best choice, but he has so damaged himself with his poor choices and some questionable decisions that he cannot be elected. He would make an outstanding Secretary of State under a Romney or Perry Presidency.

I still have high hopes for Perry. After all, being President is not about how well you debate, it is about how you perform and Perry's record here in Texas is superb. He has a proven record of building the economy by removing barriers to industry. He has made some questionable decisions, "Gardasil" and in state tuition for the children of illegals, but the record of job building and prosperity in Texas has been superb. Our education system, after languishing at the bottom of the heap, has made great strides in improving, he has championed "loser pays" on law suit reform and pushed for tort reform to lessen the legal burden on those who seek to do business in Texas.

It will be interesting to see how this debate, as well as later debates play out as candidates jockey for position and voters continue to increasingly focus on the upcoming election. Remember we are still over a year away from November 2012 and most folks don't really focus on the race until a couple of months before.

Lots of time for gaffs and greatness.

Above all, remember ABO. ANYBODY BUT OBAMA 2012.

Long Live Our American Republic!!!!