Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Impossible Dream.

The Impossible Dream.

From Carnegie to the spate of current self help people, they all seem to think no idea is impossible once you cut through all the clutter, get to the core and define the dream or goal. Place that defined goal in front of you, then all your decisions will help achieve that goal. Once a goal is stated all else will follow.

I agree with that at least in part. Once I have a goal firmly in mind my brain seems almost subconsciously to sort itself out with that goal in mind. I become focused on the goal. All my action take on a slant in helping me achieve that goal.
I have learned over my life that I can achieve nearly any one goal I set my mind to. It is when I try to accomplish several of these “impossible” goals that I become distracted and unfocused, and I lose my way.

I get the Magazine Newsmax and in the Jan. 08 issue they had a great many articles about the predicament the Republicans are in and different ways we can get out of the problem. They did put together an excellent and long piece titled “Rebuilding the Party of Reagan”. In a boxed page and a half highlight was their breakdown of nine different Conservative Coalitions that at this time are fighting for supremacy within the Republican Party.
-----link to Newsmax Jan 08-----
(ps scroll through the pages for all the will have to give your email to access the magazine)
Some of these coalitions are overlapping and almost any Republican can sympathize with at least one or two of most of the different groups. This re-organization of the party is inevitable after a defeat. The trick will be to re-shape the party along lines that will win. The whole thrust of the article as evidenced by the title was how Reagan re-shaped the Party into a winning coalition.

While this answers the question of how Reagan did it, it does not answer the question of how we can do it without a Reaganesq candidate. Remember the seeds of Reagan were planted through a horrible loss run by Goldwater. Then Reagan lost to Gerald Ford, then finally Reagan had his day.

Those days after the Goldwater loss are often referred to as the days of “Wandering in the Wilderness”. I too am wandering in the Wilderness. I am torn between the different forms or ideas of Conservatism. I find myself shifting between the different coalitions mentioned above in the Newsmax article. Are we with all this separating ourselves into different camps trying to be Democrat Like in our apparent love of diversity? I hope not.

As much as I like to think that I can remake our party, I realize that I don’t even have a clear vision of what I want that party to be like. I think I’ve finally understood the obvious. There is no one segment that equals the whole. We are a coalition of many parts. I can believe in my own brand of Conservatism but will not be effective if I cannot work with other Conservatives and Republicans. Much like Ron Paul believes in his brand of Republicanism, much to his credit he realizes that without the rest of the party he will go nowhere. There is that dreaded word compromise.

So my emphasis will be on Coalition building. Much as I posted in my beginning efforts, I became convinced that my core idea is that we as a Democracy are best served when all have a seat at the table and we accept the decision of the majority. That does not mean that I should stop pointing out the misguided decisions of the majority. Lol. That is the beauty of the system. The more voices, the more arguments the better the compromise will be. As we can never achieve perfection, never fear the need for argument will never end. For that very reason, compromise will also be always needed, short of war.

Now getting to my point. Michael Reagan in a blistering article in the above Newsmax titled “It’s Time to Retire the GOP’s Moderates” makes his own case about how the Reagan Coalition is still out there as evidenced by some social ballots that passed. Notably the California “same sex marriage ban” went down to defeat by 5% while the state voted for Obama by a whopping 24%. I agree with his assessment.

The main point I agree with him on in his article is that he claims all of the meetings we as a Party are having to figure out what went wrong and how to change the party are led by the “coterie that led the party into eight years of ignoring the traditions and principles of the party pursued so avidly by the Reagan administration, with which they have the effrontery to identify themselves.” Michael Reagan claims this same “coterie”… “turned its back on the grass roots.” He blames our loss on those same people espousing moderation. He claims David Brooks is one of the journalistic leaders of this “coterie”.

I have blogged the praises of David Brooks in the past in regards to some of his articles. Was I wrong. Perhaps. I’m human. Is Michael Reagan right? Perhaps not. I guess I have some thinking and soul searching to do.

I hate it when I have to actually think for myself. But without that I will not see the good in the different sides and fail to identify common ground for the common good of the party.

Perhaps if I do then I can take the good from both or in our case, them all and come up with my own. If others will do the same maybe we will all earn a place at the table where our futures are decided. Maybe a coalition we can again build.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Republican

Friday, January 2, 2009

Lonely Freeman

Another case against “Trimopolies”

No, a “Trimopoly” is not an ancient country in Greece. The term is one I invented to cover all of “Big Business” generically. The “Big Three” in the auto industry comes to mind. Then I think of Home Depot, Lowes, and Menards. While the prefix Tri is not mandatory, the suffix “mopolie” (a corruption of my own for Monoply) is mandatory.
In Capitalism as in Politics, the crème rises to the top. In the course of human events we come to understand through brutal trial by fire that there must be limits on the power the crème can consolidate. In politics we came to America to fight that consolidation of power and the corruption it brings. We as an example accept that a President shall be limited to only two terms no matter how good a leader he or she or it is. We formed our nation in part to stop the idea of an all powerful king or dictator. In this country we had a chance to get away from the king idea and we violently seized it and have been hanging on to it for a few hundred years.
Capitalism or Free Enterprise was the tool we used as individuals to work towards our dreams in our pursuit for Happiness. Before long we found that unbridled pursuit by the strong left less available for the weak to pursue. Monopolies were formed in business, forcing out the smaller competitors until the entire market (steel for example) were crowded or bought out by one all powerful interest or company. (Conglomerate).

Just as is politics we limited The Presidency to two terms, we found that we needed to pass anti monopoly laws, breaking up those monopolies to stop the corruption of our Free Enterprise system. The idea was to break up the power they had gained over the market they controlled. What I have seen through the years is the skirting of the intent of the law by consolidating that power into three or more hands versus only one. Hence the word “trimopolies”.

The major point I have to make is that as a nation we realize that the consolidation of power leads ultimately to corruption. Out right corruption and also a basic corruption of the process of “Free” Competition. It is my contention that “Big” business and government climbed into bed a long time ago to the detriment of Individual Freedom as well as the Individual’s ability to enter into Free Enterprise. The cost is a loss of what individual efforts bring to the table, namely a wealth of new ideas and the trial and testing of those ideas in a free market place. The cost of failure is not born by others, but by the individual willing to put his idea and product to the test.

Try to build any new idea and produce it and market it. You will find that you will lack the funds needed. You may have the product but to satisfy all the required licenses permits, etc; you wallet will soon be bare.

The anti monopoly laws were made to stop the destruction of untold smaller manufacturers by one large one. It worked and now we have three large ones putting hundreds of others out of business by lobbying Big Government to enact and enforce restrictive regulations and fees.

This begs the question. Why do we like big. What is the universal appeal for unlimited control of what we are do? Efficiency seems the culprit.

We hear it all the time. It is the primary justification used to consolidate anything. The savings in manpower from cutting all the duplication of services in consolidation will be enormous. We will be able to purchase in bulk quantities with consolidation thus saving more money. With consolidated power at the top we will be able to pick the best method and not have a bunch of different approaches which by definition the majority of which will be at least not be as good as the one we pick.
Every head of a bureaucracy knows this to be true. Just as every dictator or tyrant knows. Just ask them if you dare. All bureaucracies leave room for innovation and new ideas. The process is long and arduous because it will mean things will have to change on a massive scale. But why go to all this extra trouble? What do we call this type of person. This must be where the term Troublemaker came from.

Every time I apply for a building permit to do something to my house. I feel as if I am applying for an exemption to do something on my own without the government helping me. I feel that I am putting undo pressure on the bureaucracy I am dealing with to do something so I can fix my house to justify the higher taxes they will charge me to keep them in raises.

Oh Well forget my wanderings. I just read this article in the Jan. Newsmax magazine titled “Remember the lonely Fisherman” by Jane Blakemore. I admit to finding some affinity to the Lonely Fisherman. lol

I found this link but you must give your email to view it. It also took me a while to figure out how to navigate the ezine. But it really is quite elegant.
The article explains an exquisite example of how “BigBusiness” is putting the screws to the little fisherman through the facilitating efforts of “Big Government. A careful read explains how all the Big issues of the day have been used as reasons to put laws and regulations into play that financially cause small fishermen out of the business and make it nearly impossible for new ones to enter the business without a huge out lay of ready cash and the other accouterments necessary to battle the bureaucracy. Basically if I had that much money, I’d buy a house on a lake along with a boat and fish at my leisure. I wouldn’t need to do it for a living. Not liking bureaucrats much I would be at home on the lake in my boat because as the article points out the owners of the boats are nowhere near to the actual work of fishing.

Plus the licenses are much cheaper.

Also the article brings into question the whole idea or reason behind the efficiency of Big, are they really more efficient? Do they really help the industry and the fish population as claimed. As usual the answer is no.

So what’s the answer? A bigger bureaucracy may just be the ticket.

Then again maybe NOT.

Does anyone think it’s time to set up a Freedom Party?

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


The Conservative Responsibility (Duty Mandate)

As Congress reaches the tipping point in favor of the Liberal agenda --- no I won’t bore you with the rhetoric. The people have spoken as loud as they can about the corruption of the democratic process and let us know their faith in the conducting of their business by “elected” representatives has reached an all time low.

The voters know that old saying in their hearts about power corrupting and the more power is concentrated the more it corrupts. Even before the new governing majority can get its feet wet, nay before they are even in office there is an abundance of pessimism about their ability to actually change anything for the better.

The voters are coming more and more to the conclusion that there is little difference between the two parties and an ever increasing divide between the classes. Talk about wedge issues. This class warfare can lead in our ever increasingly insecure society to anarchy.

Without any difference between the major parties in their philosophy of governing, there is little reason for the voters to vote, except for personality traits in individual candidates.

History is ripe with societies that have relied on putting their trust in individuals. Examples from Ghengis Kahn thru Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot come to mind. Few benevolent ones come to mind. These leaders corrupted or totally reinvented their “parties” to fit themselves then their country and eventually tried to remake the world in their image. It should be the other way around.

The responsibility, nay our duty we Conservatives face is to offer a true choice to voters. A real difference in a governing platform. We did that and won with that once but couldn’t keep our philosophy intact. We soon became just another rubber stamp for the bureaucratic behemoth we call government.

Conservatives have the responsibility to offer a way out of this morass. We have to get rid of the deadwood, the ones without any Conservative convictions, the “election time candidates”. Then quit our childish bickering and get to work. We need to continually ask our selves. How can we govern better. We need to define better as to how can we better help our citizens obtain the necessary freedom to choose how they want to live their lives, how can we govern to help them achieve their liberty and how can we govern to help them gain the necessary freedom to pursue their happiness?

Yes this includes getting rid of a lot of unnecessary regulations. Yes this means getting rid of unnecessary programs. But before any of that we need to get true to our convictions. Then we need to start at the bottom and begin instituting local programs and events that proclaim louder than rhetoric our goals and philosophy.

Of course we need to let people know who we are when we are doing this but we need not hit them over the head with it. Just let our actions speak for themselves.

Mainly we should focus on helping people help themselves. I know that sounds almost as old fashioned as love thy neighbor; perhaps this could be the new “retro” thought 2 years from now. Could just be the new saying on a protest sign from a pissed off youth as they see their future has been bankrupted by liberals.

We need an ironclad philosophy to help drive us to power in the upcoming elections. Not more of the wishy washy poll driven garbage of our recent elections. People still love to see an underdog rise up, they just hate to back them until they are on the rise. We need to do the work I’ve talked about above to get on the rise again. We need not find another rock star politician as much as we need proof positive that our common sense ideas are real, that they work, and that we offer a difference.

Our mandate was given to us by the people that didn’t vote this time and the ones who changed their vote to the other side. That mandate is simple. We have the mandate from the people to issue in an age of “Iindividual Freedom”.

Do you not think that if we offered a way to let Individual Freedom Ring people wouldn't follow?

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Ps. To see a more specific plan of action, go to

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Marines Still Have the Best Idea

Thomas Sowell in his article in Townhall, linked below, highlights Malcolm Gladwell’s new book “Outliers”. Sowell states Gladwell makes the case for the importatnt role that "special circumstances" play in creating “Outliers” or special achievers. To the dimmishment of personal merit, or I would say personal achievement. In fact the whole idea seems to diminish the role of personal achievement.
-----quote from article-----
The theme running through this book is that spectacular individual achievements-- outliers-- are not simply a matter of personal merit but come out of a background of special circumstances that enable outstanding individual ability to lead to performances far beyond the norm.
-----link to article-----

As with the case of the Hockey players Mr. Sowell highlighted, the cut off date plays a definite role both in the physical and the mental makeup of the players. This I would counter is just another of the factors that separate the wheat from the chaff. Any time averages are used, by definition, some are more susceptible to success or failure than others. Laws or in this case restrictions in competition based upon age require these types of things shortcomings if you will.

The best defense against the reality of that is to educate yourself to that reality. To accept it and use it as a tool. If you were born in November and find yourself on the short end of the stick, pun intended, you can use that as a tool and not a crutch. I would like for example next to see how some "November Wonder" overcame that shortcoming to rise to the top. I wonder if that hockey player would think it would have been useful to know his shortcoming ahead of time? Perhaps it would of depended upon the how the player personaly viewed that fact. Whether they viewed it as an excuse (shortcoming) or as an edge (oportunity). Talk to any coach with a team that is considered to be an underdog. They will tell you which "vision" is acceptable to them in their players no matter which Month they were born in.

When I stop to think and study why some people are successful, I find myself perhaps trying to find reason why in fact I am not. In other words excuses for myself. For example, if I was a failed Hockey player who was born in November, Gladwell’s book would appeal to me. I wonder why no one writes a book about why all the other Hockey players, that were also born in January didn’t make the all star team. Even those with good genetic make up.

I know it’s just common sense that they were not good enough due to any number of reasons. To know one of the reason we succeed (out date of birth) can be useful if used judicially along with all the other factors. Also when publicized as with Gladwell’s book, the decision makers in this case coaches and anyone picking players will do well to head the message. And the sub message. Go ahead and pick the Jan. players because they are bigger, but inspire the November players with the truth of how they will soon catch up to the Jan. stick handlers. In other words give them the tools to cut down the mental advantage of the older players.

The Coaches in this example need to be the facilitators of the players by being the conduit of all the true information available to help the players to perform to their best. That is how I see the government’s role. Not to bring everyone down to the lowest common denominator but to let everyone have access to the tools they need to be the best they can be.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pass On The Buck, How About A Helping Hand ???

Being a carpenter/builder/handyman by trade or at least previous trade, I felt some empathy for the subject of Jackie Gingrich Cushman’s last article. She talked about one of the lessons she learned from this last year was to have the right tool. She prefaced the idea of having the right tool by saying {"Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out."—Basketball Coach John Wooden }

This being so close to my own idea of “Make Do, Make It Now, Make It Work”, that I was hooked. Below is the link to Jackie’s article in
Everybody who does anything knows this. For various reasons from ignorance to sloth we seldom bother to have the right tool at hand when the need arises. Common sense tells us to think and act ahead, few of us do, None of us do all the time.

With the 2008 election over, I can not claim ignorance of what we lacked: what was needed in that election and we didn‘t have. We lacked the “get out the vote” tool, the “register new voters” tool, the “organize the party” tool, the “let‘s have fun doing something good” tool.

Our party lacked the enthusiasm, the comradely synergistic togetherness of an effort with a common cause behind it.

Those tools we lacked to achieve this were volunteers. The tool needed to get the volunteers and to have them working together is to have a common cause. We need spirited volunteers doing things to inspire others etc. What are the tools we need to get those volunteers? What is that common cause.

We in this Patty of ours are the tools. We need to have that common cause.
This could get real philosophical with lists of Rights and rules etc. but we already have a Constitution so I want to look at the practical. I want to win elections, with energetic people talking real common sense ideas.

We need to change the focus of the party in general away from what we demand from the party level below us, to the idea that the level above us is there to help “facilitate” the level below. We need to make the volunteers, the precinct workers the township candidates a focus of our efforts.

If our meetings were about how to help start local efforts, how to recruit local people as volunteers, how to make our party something people might think worthy to join, to make our party something that helps the community in which we live, perhaps then we would get more volunteers with better, less selfish motives to run for office. From the Township on up through the ranks to National.

Simple concept but an incredibly time and labor intensive effort. We have tried trading money for time and found something lacking; call it the personal touch. Actually meeting a candidate to getting an email or letter.

If at the state level whoever wins the State Chair, their job needs to be split evenly between raising money and raising volunteers. We need a cadre of people well trained in the real ability to help local parties set up local efforts that will attract volunteers. Norm Shinkle is a proven man with that ability, now that he has dropped out of the race for the State Chair, he would make a great person to head up and direct that effort.

That whole effort would have to be redesigned to be a one on one type of effort. The fundraising would be separate and should help this effort not be the focus of it. As I volunteer my time I don’t want to be bombarded as I am by pleas for money. I remember telling my daughter some words of wisdom. Be true to and don’t take advantage of the ones you’re closest too; even though they are the easiest to do that too. Well the same should hold true in politics. Let’s take advantage of the Democrats for a change and not ourselves. We have cannibalized this thing of ours till there is little left.

As an active County Party person, who is trying to organize the township and precinct base, I can use not so much money as a mentor to help me interact better with the people. Someone to show what needs to be set up that will function as a base for my party’s efforts to get people interested in joining. To recruit and build an energetic base. I’m talking a mentor that knows specifics, on what type of fundraisers will work, what type of structure will work, not only for the money but to energize the volunteers. (and those specifics will very with neighborhoods)

Think back to the teacher in school that helped you the most. In my case it was the one that took that little extra time to teach me a specific backed with their enthusiasm for their cause. (education). Those were the ones I remember and the ones that had the biggest effect on me. They are rare, they are the ones we need to recruit.

If I may use myself as an example? I will connect with a certain type of person. Someone else will appeal to another and on and on. If we really are serious about the “Big Tent” idea then we should not worry so much about teaching one way but let the selection from “the Market Place of Ideas” prevail.
Myself and our party will, each and together, then have a chance to grow. What Democracy is all about, that synergy between people having the freedom to interact to create new ideas will be able to flourish.

As a party we need to regulate this freedom least of all.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

PS As our new leadership at the County level evolves, I hope to not just be a whiner about what isn’t, but become a part of what will be. Think how nice it would feel to actually get some help in achieving that.