Friday, December 30, 2005

ACL Who?

I don't know how it happened, or who is responsible for putting me on such a politically perverted mailing list, but I have recently received an invitation to join the American Civil Liberties Union. Naturally, I reject such an invitation outright. Far from being the even-handed organization seeking to redress legal greivances that it was originally intended to be, the modern ACLU is little more than a sounding board for the American Left. And the letter that accompanied a request for a donation to join this crew dripped with partisan rhetoric.

A couple of examples: "The Bush administration is claiming a post-election mandate to wage a no-holds-barred campaign to challenge our most fundamental freedoms. In unprecedented ways, they are invading our privacy, undermining our Constitution and squelching dissent."

"The Bush administration and its allies have been quick to challenge the patriotism of anyone who dares to question their unprecedented, unnecessary and unjustified incursions into our freedoms."

"With the election behind them, administration officials also can be expected to push aggressively a social agenda fueled by the President's personal religious beliefs."

This could easily be a campaign letter for any Democrat candidate for public office. And if you read it in full (Don't worry, I won't torture you with the gory details), you'll see that the ACLU pretty much justifies their existence as the antithesis of the Bush administration and everything it is doing to protect the country from radical Islamic fundamentalists.

Why they're poisoning my mailbox, I have no idea.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Why America’s Economy is so Resilient:

When the most recent unemployment data was released earlier in the month, it had shown that the United States unemployment rate was 5%. In an economy as large as ours with a population as big as ours, a 5% unemployment rate is not only amazing (5% is generally considered to be full employment for a country) but is half of most other developed nations like France and Germany.

When the U.S. had fallen into a brief recession after the .com crash U.S businesses from small to large were quick to go into layoff mode. The move caused our unemployment rate to rise but was necessary so companies could make their businesses more efficient during times of difficulty so they can be in a better position to stay in business until good times come again. It’s the old saying; sometimes you need to take one step back so you can take two steps forward. Sure enough over the last three years as the economy has come out of its recession, U.S. companies were quick to start hiring again, reflecting the improvement in their bottom lines. As company profits improved they moved quickly to add to their labor force so they could maximize production and the business opportunities presented.

Like the U.S. other countries like France and Germany have also seen their economies accelerate and decline and most recently accelerate again. However in the case of France and Germany, their unemployment rates have continued to hover at around 10% (9.7% for France and 11.5% for Germany) even when their economies have shown signs of improvement. On the surface it may appear that those European companies don’t have the ability to increase their labor force but in actuality that is not correct. The truth is that companies located in France and Germany do not want to increase their labor force even though doing so would increase production and most likely profits at times when their economies are doing well.

The reason, unlike the U.S., France and Germany don’t increase their labor force when times improve is do to one word, flexibility. Because of our belief in the free market system and very little union exposure companies in the U.S. can hire and fire quickly to take advantage of the current environment. In the case of France and Germany because of unfriendly labor laws and a large union presence companies don’t hire even when the business environment is telling them they should. The reason is companies know that if they are to hire someone, if the environment turns and goes negative they are basically stuck with that person on their payroll so companies would rather forgo profits in the present to save larger losses in the future. It is our labor flexibility that has seen U.S. GDP growth surpass 4% in the latest global expansion that has taken place while France and Germany have only seen roughly 1% GDP growth. It’s not that Germany and France are not capable of better growth it’s just that because of strict labor protection, companies won’t invest the capital necessary to attain it.

I bring this up because of the debate we have been having regarding the benefits of unions. As I mentioned yesterday, if we look at the industries in this country that have had the biggest problems it is the airlines and auto companies, which are burdened with large expensive unions. Interestingly if we look at the one airline that is economically the most solvent, productive and profitable, it is Jet Blue, which coincidently doesn’t allow its employees to unionize.

One-thing unions and strict labor laws don’t do is give companies labor cost-controllability. The only thing that give companies the ability to adapt to the environment is the flexibility of knowing you can change your pay, benefit and size of your labor force at anytime, something contracts don’t do and why our economy accelerates quicker and greater than others. In the end we can look at the issue of having a union legally as our President Dennis did and justify their existence. However if we view the idea of a union economically for the benefit of not only the underlying business but also economy in the form of GDP growth, we see their existence is not justified. Sure layoffs aren’t fair but giving companies the flexibility allows our economy to take those two steps forward and everyone else better off in the end, unlike strafing from left to right like they do in Europe. It’s just a matter of having faith that the “invisible hand” of capitalism makes it all work out in the end.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

O ye of little faith:


My head is still shaking over your comments. In your final three paragraphs I couldn’t help but notice your belief that the workers of America are somehow not being treated fairly or paid sufficiently enough because of the exploitation by their employers. Yes in the early days of the industrial revolution there was obvious signs of exploitation and unions helped bring it to the attention of government but that has all been taken care of thanks to hundreds of labor laws that hang in our break rooms. Unions today with nothing left to solve have been left to become the exploiters of the free market system.

One of the biggest problems that capitalism faces is the non-believer’s who walk the earth. We must understand that the price of goods do not set wages, it is wages that set the price of goods. Companies charge more for goods in New York then they do in Ohio because they can. Companies pay their employees more in New York then they do in Ohio because they have to. Further employees do not need to form a union to “balance the power” of the employer. First the employer should hold most of the power since it is their capital at risk. Secondly the employee has more power than you think through actions that don’t require a contract. Their moral, their willingness to leave and find another job, how they treat the customer, internal theft of company goods, which all effect the profitability of the company. By default it is in the employers best interest to make sure their employees are satisfied, attempting to exploit any worker is bad business and against the employer’s self interest.

This is why the large percentage of jobs even those at the smallest level are paid above the minimum wage. My wife pays no one at minimum wage, even 18 year-old cashiers, because the market won’t allow it. In fact countless economic studies and models have shown that the implementation of minimum wage laws by the government and the existence of unions actually increases unemployment do to the violation of the equilibrium model of the labor market which believes wages adjust to balance labor supply and labor demand invisibly.

When a government or union raises wages above equilibrium wages it reduces the quantity of labor demanded resulting in increased unemployment.

In the end much of this requires a sense of faith that Adam Smiths “invisible hand” that runs throughout our economy works today as much as it did in 1776.

“Every individual is continually exerting himself to find out the most advantageous employment for whatever capital he can command. It is his own advantage, indeed, and not that of society, which he has in view. But the study of his own advantage naturally, or rather necessarily leads him to prefer that employment with is most advantageous to society.”

Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations.

RE: Okay - I will do the Unpopular Thing


Nice points except you fail to realize that every company in this country without a union is able to accomplish the same things. There is nothing you list in your points that the MTA can't get without a contract.

For instance:

1. As someone who manages pensions, I can tell you that companies do not have to give their employees a contract to get vesting periods for their employees on their pensions. I have dozens of clients who have pension plans both defined benefit and defined contribution that don’t give their employees contracts. Federal pension laws have certain vesting schedules in place for all types of plans, which are decided in the original plan document when the plan is set-up. An employee contract is not necessary to set-up a pension or to make it attractive enough to make the employee stay.

2. As far as a “steady stream of trained labor for a unique position”, again you can refer to any job in the country. Is my wife who is a district manager for a major retail company in Manhattan, not a “unique position”? She doesn’t have a contract nor is her company without a steady stream of trained labor since they follow the normal path of development for all employees from top to bottom that every company without a contract for its employees follows. To attempt to say that without a contract the MTA wouldn’t have a steady stream of people looking to become bus drivers is weak.

3. “Labor cost-controllability”. Is the most outrageous comment out of all? If a contract is so important to Labor cost-controllability then why is every major industry with union holdouts is falling by the waste side? Airlines, auto companies, etc. have been falling apart because of their union contracts and its labor cost-uncontrollability. The idea of a labor contract makes the cost uncontrollable not controllable.

4. “Rules for discipline that are agreed on both sides”, again are you kidding me? Dennis, it’s called an employee handbook that every employee signs off on when they take a job that tells them the rules of how they are to act. You don’t need a contract for that and millions of Americans take jobs everyday without one simply signing off on the employee handbook without the need of a contract.

5. “Efficiency of labor relations”? Dennis if the strike has shown anything, its that giving employees that don’t need one a contract is nothing but inefficient.

Dennis, I cannot believe that you truly believe that a bus driver needs a contract. Now I wont argue that under current laws municipal employees are allowed to have one, that doesn’t mean they need one or that the city benefits from giving them one. As I pointed out every point you attempt to make at why it is needed is already done in America in every company without one.

Dennis, Dennis, are you turning Democrat on me?

Now, Why Does the NY Times Exist?

Can you believe that the Times published the photos of undercover officers?
I only wish the Times would act as professionally as I know our police officers would if called to the Times HQ or to Sulzberger's house.

Okay - I will do the Unpopular Thing

and disagree with Nick here about the contracts for public employee unions. The fact is that the MTA gets a number of things in a collective bargaining arrangement:

1. Uniform vesting periods for pensions and other benefits as a necessary precondition to payment of those benefits

Not only does this provide inducement for people to remain on the job, but without meeting the preconditions, the MTA wouldn't have to pay anything (or much less)

2. A steady stream of trained labor for a unique position

One of the reasons Pataki coudln't fire everyone after the strike was that, unlike Reagan, who had military air traffic controllers to replace civilian ones in 1982, to whom would Pataki turn to run the trains?

3. Labor cost-controllability

4. Rules for discipline that are agreed on by both sides

5. Efficiency in labor relations (take advanatge of collective action and reduce free-rider problem)

Now while it could be argued that all of these things could be done on an individual basis (the free-rider issue could be fixed terms set by the MTA), collective bargaining, unlike regular at-will employment, also triggers legal requirements and protections for both sides under the Federal and State labor laws. The MTA is protected from illegal job actions taken by the union and union members, as we saw with the application of the Taylor Law. This is a much-sought after benefit, as most laws protect the employer from union activity.

Also, there is a lot to be said for treating workers fairly in the bargaining process rather then negotiating deals with individuals or, more likely, setting unilateral terms on job-seekers. The body public has an interest in treating its employees fairly and the bargaining process guarantees this to be the case (or at least it is presumed).

Further, the is nothing wrong with unions as an entity to balance power in the employer-employee context. Think of it this way, non-union, non-professional jobs typically pay much lower than their union counterparts. Many times this has to do with education and inability of workers to assess the market. Employers take advantage of such things in negotiations of salary and benefit terms with individual employees.

While you may have had fun at your cleaning lady's expense, my guess is that she is exactly the person unions were designed to protect - ones that could not effectively advocate on her own behalf and equalize power in the employer-employee relationship.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Friday, December 23, 2005

Back to the Bargaining Table:

Even though the strike is over and most of us can go back to getting to work on time, the matter of a contract for the TWU is still not over.

Many people I come in contact with always ask me why is it the MTA, or any city agency for that matter, have a hard time coming to an agreement on a contract with the unions whenever the old one expires. As recent as last night, I was working late in my office when I ended up having a debate with the cleaning lady on the strike situation. Obviously she is a union employee and was pro-union so I was intrigued in getting her opinion and to see if I could sway her by having her look at the issue a different way. Knowing that trying to convince her that the pension the union gets is a good one would be a waste of my time, I thought I would change tact. Instead I took the position of “why does a bus driver need a contract to do his job”?

Her initial response was because the worker needs protection from their employer who is always looking to take advantage of them. I immediately saw this was going to be difficult and that I wasn’t dealing with someone who I could explain Adam Smith and the invisible hand of capitalism too. Nonetheless, never backing down from a challenge, I continued on. My next question to her, was do you know the purpose of a contract? After some silence I explained that the purpose of a contract was to create an “agreement between two or more parties that creates for each party a duty to do something or even not to do something”. The key words in the definition that makes a contract work and why it is so hard to get a contract completed when it comes to city workers is “for each party”.

If we think historically why contracts are used it is because both sides need protection from the other. Meaning if either side backs out of the deal the other side could be left with serious economic harm. For instance when Dell computer signs a contract with Intel for chips it is because Dell needs to be sure that a certain amount of chips will be available so they can build their computers and sell them. For Intel they need to be sure that they don’t spend millions of dollars to make chips for Dell and then have the company say they don’t want them. The contract protects both sides from harm. For athletes a contract is used so the Yankees don’t have to worry about Derek Jeter one day in the middle of the season going to Boston and Derek Jeter doesn’t have to worry about the Yankees cutting his pay if he goes into a slump. One last example is one almost everyone has experienced, which is the use of contract to purchase or rent a home. The lease on your apartment is so the tenet doesn’t have to worry about being thrown out in the street or have their rent raised for a certain period of time and for the landlord not having to worry that the tenet moves out having to go through the painful process of finding a new tenet.

The point is that a contract is used because ‘each party” needs to be protected from the other. This is why getting a contracted signed by the TWU and MTA is so hard. The only side that is getting protection in the contract is the union, while the MTA doesn’t get anything. Nor because of the nature of the job does the MTA need protection from its employees beyond that the law already allows. If the bus driver or conductor wants to leave, the MTA will have no problem replacing that person with somebody else that would like to take that job. If we think of the contract that the TWU wants, every item is about what the union gets and nothing is about what the MTA gets. Now if the TWU were willing to put in the contract that, like Derek Jeter on the Yankees, TWU workers couldn’t quit for another job during the span of the contract without retribution then the MTA would have a benefit that would make a contract easier to sign. However this isn’t the case and TWU workers can leave at anytime.

After this explanation to my union friend, I asked again do you still think a bus driver needs a contract? Though she stalled with her answer it still came out a stubborn yes because the worker needs to be protected. I then said yes that would be one reason for a contract and informed her that since the 1920’s there has been dozens of labor laws placed on the books to solve her concerns, but I asked again what is the MTA being protected against, which they are entitled to under the idea of a contract. Her response this time was silence, as she had no answer. In the end as I left for the day I didn’t know who had the most satisfaction, me knowing I stumped her on the need of a contract for city workers or her on the realization that her and her union brethren were doing a great job sticking it to the man.

Merry Christmas.

Thinking of Our Troops

Take a moment over the next few days to send warm holiday wishes to our brave men and women fighting overseas. They're thousands of miles from home, but each thank you note brings them a little bit closer to us.

Best wishes to everyone for safe and happy holidays.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


It’s official; the TWU has voted 36-5 to return to work and is urging all TWU workers to do so.

I would like to congratulate all New Yorkers for sticking it out and showing the TWU that a strike wouldn’t get them what they wanted. The TWU has caved and is going back to work so they can start negotiations again.

Most importantly though I want to give a thumbs up to Governor Pataki for setting the precedent for future labor negotiations that you can’t “walk and talk at the same time”.

Breaking Strike News

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--State mediators have devised a preliminary framework for
a settlement of the New York City transit strike that would allow strikers to
return to work later Thursday, according to four people close to the
negotiations, The New York Times reported on its Web site.
The framework was devised after meeting with both sides through the night, the
report said.
The sources emphasized that the details of a final settlement would take at
least a day or two longer to be finalized, although buses and subways would be
running before that, according to the Times report.
The agreement, the sources said, would give every side some of what it asked
for, the Times reported.
According to the Times, the framework would allow Gov. George E. Pataki to
save face because the final negotiations would not take place until the
strikers return to work, the people said, and it would apparently allow the
union's president, Roger Toussaint, to save face because, they believe, the
authority's pension demands - which are at the crux of the deadlock - have been
significantly scaled back.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires
12-22-05 1102ET
Copyright (c) 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.- - 11 02 AM EST 12-22-05

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I'm With the Press. Can You Tie My Shoe For Me?

The heads of all the local unions, teachers, fire department, construction, shoe and candlestick makers, held a press conference to try and turn the momentum back in the favor of the MTU, by attacking the Taylor Law.

What kills me is the media reporting this press conference is the most incompetent group of individuals I have ever seen.


Somebody, anybody who works for the media that might be reading this, please answer me. Is there a secret rule that you can’t challenge these fools? GOD, I want to rip my TV out of the wall! What gets me even more is that the heads of these unions give the press so many openings to challenge them on the nonsense they spew to the public, yet the questions they ask are sheepish or worse softballs giving them more opportunities to vomit that mess that comes out of their mouth.

To any reporter reading this, I would like to say you are all an embarrassment!!!!!

O Savior, Where Art Thou?

Not Jesus, Eliot Spitzer -- Hallowed New York State Attorney General, Champion of Freedom, Defender of the Little Guy, Protector of...of....of....(help me out here....)

Just a thought.

Ha ha! The Joke's On Us!!

I bet the MTA's really regretting that $1 weekend fare now. So, who wants to start betting on when they start screaming to raise the fares to $20 a ride to recover what they've lost in the past 2 days, plus what they've lost by lowering the fare on the weekends, plus what they'll need to cover their stupid, money-losing pension plans?

It’s the Pension Stupid!

MTU president Roger Toussaint just held a press conference stating that the union would go back to work if the city takes the pension off the table.

Is this guy kidding me! It’s all about the pension. If the city continues to allow MTU workers to retire at age 55 with no contribution the system will go bankrupt. It’s ironic that Toussaint is fighting to protect new workers from having to pay into the pension, when by keeping the pension as is will cause it to go bankrupt leaving those new workers without one.

Has this Croissant, Toussaint or whatever his name is ever taken an economics class?


The Transit Workers Union Local 100 really screwed up on this one, I think.

If you were Roger Toussaint, would you go on strike under the following conditions:

  • It's against the law and you will assuredly face crippling fines of up to $1 million for every day you remain on strike

  • Your union members could each be fined individually and will lose two days pay for every day they remain on the picket line

  • You didn't have the backing of the wider International Transit Workers Union

  • You consequently didn't have the resources that only the International TWU could provide to withstand the economic blow of the fines and firings

  • You've been without a contract for three years, but choose to strike five days before Christmas - thereby causing the NYC economy to take a significant shot to the jaw

  • You risk upsetting and losing the sympathy of your base of support: NYC commuters - arguably the toughest, most volatile, most resilient group of citizens there is

  • You've been given a deal more equitable than anything the MTA had previously offered, and comparably more generous than that offered any transit worker union local in any major city in the U.S.

I don't know how Mr. Toussaint got the job he now has as leader of this ill-fated movement, but I'll bet he doesn't have a copy of Sun-Tzu on his bookshelf.

Pirro Bows Out

It's hard to say what the keyed Jeanine Pirro's decision to drop her challenge to the Junior Dragon Lady from New York in 2006. It could have been Pirro's husband, forthright though he may be, but embarrassingly public about it. It could have been State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, whose desire to maintain Republicans' tenuous control in Albany has forced him to consider supporting Tom Golisano. And it may have been State GOP Chairman Stephen Minarik and the clatch of State GOP county leaders who not so subtly suggested she should run instead for state Attorney General.

In the end it was probably a combination of all of the above and more. But now it is certain that Jeanine Pirro will quit her campaign against Hillary Clinton and instead run for AG, a job she richly deserves and has a resume for that is unlikely to be matched by any Democrat in New York.

This gives Ed Cox the chance he's been looking for - to get back in the Senate race. It gives the State GOP a chance to better channel its energies on 2006. And it gives Republicans two great candidates for two great races. Now we can start 2006 off in the right way - focused and ready to go to work.

Because This Can't Become the Nick Vertucci Blog

The Mayor just gave another press conference and if I hear the term "illegal strike" one more time, I'm going to scream. Yes, it's illegal. Thank you for pointing that out. But getting in front of cameras and saying the same thing over and over is not solving this problem. I just read an interesting article in City Journal by Nicole Gelinas suggesting the Mayor get the buses running. Maybe it's far-fetched and maybe it's sort of the typical knee-jerk reaction we're seeing these days, where every little thing that goes wrong has to be compared to something else more tragic: Iraq to Vietnam, New Orleans to 9/11, and now maybe, this strike to New Orleans. Or maybe it's that annoying, "Why can't they just _____?" rhetoric that's great for a whiny soundbite but offers no real practical solution in the end.

On the other hand, I found it interesting that I was thinking the same thing as Ms. Gelinas on my walk home from work last night (lucky for me, walking to and from work is the norm as I live a few blocks from the office.) I passed by a stop for those double-decker tour buses and thought, "Why not try to use those buses to move people around?" This morning on "Fox & Friends" Alisyn Camerota was on a double decker bus that picked up a load of people and brought them into the city. (sidenote: she ran an informal poll on the top section of the bus asking if people were angry with the city or the union. Seemed like most people were angry with the city. heh.) Okay, so maybe now I'm saying, "Why can't they just hire some buses or drivers from elsewhere?" when in fact, it might be easier said than done, but after 24 hours of this, who isn't thinking of ways to alleviate some of the pain? Who isn't concerned with what this is costing in revenues with 3 days until Christmas?

Regardless, once again, no one has bothered to take a page from The Ronald Reagan Handbook on Leadership. Does anyone remember the air-traffic controller strike in 1981? They triple-dog dared President Reagan to give them the pink slip and he called their bluff. He was all ready to go with contingency plans and had amassed enough replacement workers in order to avoid a complete disaster. This transit strike is the same -- this wasn't a surprise. There was plenty of time for a backup plan. Except this time, the union called the bluff and struck, and now we're left out in the cold -- literally. I hate to sound cynical and disappointed, but considering it took our current President almost 5 years to implement a key tactic from The Handbook with his excellent address on Sunday night, I really can't expect anyone in New York to do so anytime soon. (Did anyone else feel the Gipper's presence while watching W's address?? Raise your hand if you too were thinking, "It's about time he did this.")

Personally, I can' t wait for the "I Survived the 2005 Transit Strike" t-shirts to show up on street vendor's carts when this whole thing is over and all transit workers get 6-figure salaries, a 2-hour work day with union-mandated 8-hour lunch break, lifetime healthcare and retirement for them and their great-great-great-great grandchildren, and a $40,000 bonus for enduring the hardship of carrying a picket sign.

Bah humbug.

End to the Strike Nearing?

The Dow Jones Newswire is reporting that the transit union head has agreed to meet a mediator today.

The Newswire is also reporting that a NY judge has stated that jailing transit union heads is a distinct possibility.

It looks like this strike might be coming to a close. The parent union has said they wont help pay the fines and that employees should go back to work and now there’s a risk of jail time. I can’t see the union continuing this fight any further for employees that are not even working for them yet.

This strike could be the “Custard's Last Stand” of New York City union battles.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

New York 1:

I’ve been watching New York 1 the last few days for information on the strike and I have to laugh. First it seems like the station tapes 10 minutes worth of news in the morning and then leaves for the day just letting it replay a 1,000,000 times (That’s a million for you MTA union employees).

Next, when they interview people on the street, are there reporters behind those microphones? Do they know how to ask a question? Why do they continue to allow MTA employees make stupid comments without challenging them?

Some Things Never Change:

As Republicans, biased media coverage has been something we’ve become accustomed too. So much to the extent that the majority of us don’t even get upset anymore when shows like Sixty Minutes try’s to push the President under a bus, while never doing negative stories on Democrats.

The story this morning on on the Presidents approval rating though takes the cake for most despicable. Over the last two days we have read and heard constantly about the major jump in the polls the President has taken. Now he’s not back to his 70% rating but a nine-point jump is a nine-point jump and is something to be looked at positively. Unless your CNN that is.

CNN’s story headlined as followed: Poll: Iraq speeches, election don’t help Bush. What? I mean come on these guys are just trying to hard. They could at least try to pretend that they’re objective.

We Must Stay Strong:

I thought I would never see the day where my opinion of the teachers union would rise. However after the MTA unions selfish move I have to give the teachers union credit. When the teachers contract ran out thought they threatened to strike they never did. They kept working for two years while negotiations went on. Though I didn’t agree with their demands I respect the fact they kept working, like they should of.

The MTA Union could have followed the teacher’s path and kept working while negotiations went on no matter how long it took. Instead they walked off in an attempt extort the city by taking it hostage.

All I can say is we must not give into the MTA union. Thought it will be difficult we must tuff it out for the sake of future New Yorkers. I hope the Governor and Chairman of the MTA follow through with their threats the same way the MTA union followed through with theirs, fining and firing the workers.

Pink Slip the MTA: Part 4

Well it’s official. As of 3:00am the MTA union told all its employees to walk off the job, illegally!

If I was the head of the MTA and the Governor, the first thing I would do is random firings. This would hopefully start to cause some dissention in the ranks making others nervous they may be next.

Next I would inform the rest of the city that applications are now being taken for new MTA employees who would like to take the current offer that is on the table by the MTA chairman. Once thousands of people run to fill them out it should act as a wakeup call to the union that the deal on the table is a good one and get them to cross.

Monday, December 19, 2005


Still steaming over Congressman Ackermans lack of respect for those who celebrate Christmas, I was so happy and comforted when in today’s NY Sun I read a reprint from a letter sent to the Sun in 1897. In September 1897, an eight-year-old New York girl named Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Sun asking, "Is there a Santa Claus?" In reply Francis P. Church wrote an editorial, which pleased so many readers that the Sun printed it every year during the Christmas season, from 1897 to 1949.

As a father of a four-year-old son who for the past month has seen my sons eyes gleam with anticipation asking each morning if today is Christmas and when he can open the last door on the Advent calendar, the letter and response left me touched and sad for people like Congressman Ackerman who want to take it away. The letter and editorial, from Sept. 21, 1897 is as follows:

Dear Editor:

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says: "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth: Is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O'Hanlon, 115 West Ninety-fifth Street.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no child-like faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernatural beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God he lives, and he lives forever! A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Gary - who cares what the people in my district thinks - Ackerman:

Once again the taxpaying citizens of congressional district 5 in New York have unknowingly been victim to the voting habits of Congressman Gary Ackerman. For some reason Congressman Ackerman thinks the thousands of patriots that died for freedom from Britain did it so one man can vote however he pleases. You would think after 22 years in Congress Gary Ackerman would know that his job is to vote the way the people in his district want him to vote and not how his own beliefs thinks he should. Has he never heard of the term “no taxation without representation”?

For people who don’t follow Congressman Ackerman (which is unfortunately the majority of the people in his district) he is the guy who when bills pass in Congress 400-24 with both sides supporting it, votes with the 20.

His latest head-scratching vote came yesterday when Congress passed a resolution 401-22 protecting the symbols and traditions of Christmas while strongly acting against the banning of references to Christmas. The congressman for some crazy reason voted with the 22. He was also the only Democrat in liberal, home of Hillary Clinton, New York to vote against the resolution. Does he think that the predominantly Christian district that he represents would approve of this vote? Votes like this just prove how selfish and out of touch he has become over the last 20 years.

This is the same Congressman back in May who voted against making penalties for gang violence stronger by making it subject to federal law. Again this bill was a no brainer with most Democrats supporting it. Not Congressman Ackerman though who for some reason thinks the people of his district support gang violence and crimes.

This guy is up for re-election in 2006 and I would be willing to bet, knowing the people in his district where I have lived for 30 years, would vote for an alternative if they just knew his record.

PS: I urge anyone who lives in his district to contact his office about his vote on Christmas. 718-423-2154

Pink Slip the MTA: Part 3

Midnight has come and gone with no contract and so far no strike, though the union has said they will start a strike at midnight tonight on the private bus lines. As the event continues to unravel my attention is turning from the union workers and instead to the media reporting it.

We have all seen the journalists covering this story to be soft when interviewing the union employees and its leadership but last night while watching New York 1 I was amazed when the reporter interviewing a number of MTA employees basically rolled over. What is the point of being an interviewer if you’re not going to ask tough questions?

Here were a couple of the responses from the employees when the reporter asked them why they were threatening to strike over a new contract.

Employee: Because it’s about time the MTA starts treating us better and fair.

New York 1 Reporter: Insert cricket sounds here

What a good reporter would have followed up with: “You say you want to be treated better, well currently MTA employees don’t pay any money toward health benefits. Considering the rest of the United States work force contributes to their own health care, why do you think it’s unfair for the MTA to ask new workers to pay a small percentage like the rest of the country?”


“Currently the MTA employees get to retire at age 55 with full benefits while the rest of the United States retires at age 65 with little or no benefits. Why is it unfair for the city to request MTA workers to catch-up with the times and raise the retirement age with the life expectancy in the country now approaching 90?”

Here’s another one.

Employee: The MTA has a $1 billion surplus and we want our share of it.

New York 1 Reporter: Insert cricket sounds here

What a good reporter would have followed up with: “Ok if the MTA is willing to let the union share in what is most likely a once in a lifetime surplus, would the union be willing to share in any deficits that take place with pay and benefit cuts? Don’t you think its fair to share in the deficit if you’re going to share in the surplus?”

Now that would have been an interview.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Be Like Mitt:

Yesterday Mitt Romney the Republican governor of Massachusetts announced that he would not seek re-election next year. Thought Gov. Romney hasn’t made an official announcement it appears the move is so he can prepare to make a run for the Republican nomination for the 2008 Presidential election.

New York Young Republicans have always known Gov Romney was a standup guy and such actions like yesterday shows it. This is unlike some other elected officials (Hillary Clinton) who also haven’t officially announced their (Hillary Clinton) run for President but plan on running for re-election anyway if they (Hillary Clinton) decide to run for President.

Pink Slip the MTA: Part 2

We are less then 24 hours from seeing if the MTA union is going to hold New York City and its millions of workers, tourists and businesses hostage. As we get closer and closer I get more furious over this group of bandits who are exploiting their service for selfish causes. As I said the other day, if the shoe was on the other foot and oil companies decided to hold New York City hostage threatening to not deliver fuel to run the city, congress would be up in arms calling for hearings. This is no different and I want to know where’s the hearings?

My biggest complaint about this whole thing is that MTA workers compared to most middle class workers in the city have the life when it comes to employment. Besides being paid $45,000 to $68,000 for simply just being able to know your right from you left, the other perks they receive is absurd.

Listening to the MTA itself would have you believe that the matter of a strike is because they need a contract (don’t get me started on that issue) but more importantly because they need better working conditions.

Well let me shed some light on the conditions that is being fought over. One is that the city wants to require new (yes new not current) workers to have to pay 2% of their pretax dollars toward health benefits. Since current employees are not required to pay anything toward their health insurance the cost to the city is high. Is the city wrong with asking just new workers to pay a small fraction simply catching up with the rest us? In 2005 who doesn’t pay part of their health benefits? The best issue though is the city looking to increase the retirement age to 62 from the current 55. Anyone paying attention to the social security debate knows that pensions costs are a big issue thanks to a society who has a life expectancy that is now approaching 90. Allowing people to continue to retire in their 50’s is just suicidal to the system. What’s even funnier is that the union just doesn’t wan the city to keep the retirement age at 55; they want them to actually lower it!

So if you see one of those MTA protesters today take a minute to educate them on the plights of the real workforce.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Free Trade and Bill Clinton

This morning I would like to continue my pledge to prove that Bill Clinton is a DINO (Democrat in name only). So far I have showed how President Clinton signed and supported laws on both Extraordinary Rendition and the Defense of Marriage. Today with the WTO in full swing in Hong Kong and the hard left anti-globalization protesters doing their normal stuff, I thought it would be a good opening to give the next installment.

One of the most hated things in this country by the left when it comes to free trade other than the WTO is NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). Conservatives in the US and Canada led by George Bush Sr. and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney initially designed the agreement with tremendous opposition from the left who feared it would hurt the environment and cost the country jobs.

Fortunately for the United State, Canada and Mexico the bill was finally passed in 1993 by a slim margin in both the House and Senate and signed by President Clinton who could have easily caved to the left and vetoed it. Further credit is also due to President Clinton because besides signing it he lobbied for it heavily which helped get enough votes for it to pass proving he really believed in the idea.

Today as usual time has shown that conservatives were correct, as NAFTA has been a tremendous success for all three signatures. The US has not lost millions of jobs with the United States actually gaining jobs since the bill was signed thanks to increased consumption do to cheaper goods. It also helped slow the tide of immigrants to the United States from Mexico since their economy soared with the introduction of Maquiladoras (the name for export assembly factories in Mexico). These Maquiladoras had an immediate benefit of creating 1.3 million jobs by 2000 in Mexico.

I continue to bring these conservative policies signed by Bill Clinton up because its part of a game that I like to play with Democrats who whenever I have a debate turns to their mighty king Bill as being the greatest President. Instead of fighting them, I agree and tell them it’s because he was a Republican. After a puzzled look they tell me I’m crazy. I then challenge them to have a contest to rattle off major policies signed by Clinton, me conservative ones them liberal. I’m usually up to my fifth or six policy while they’re still speechless unable to think of their first. Try it some time, its so much fun!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

New York is Abortion Capital of the US

A piece in the New Yorker Magazine, and mentioned yesterday on Brit Hume, states that New York is the "Abortion Capital of America":

"In 2000, the last year for which good data are available, 39 out of every 1,000 women in the state ended a pregnancy, for a total of 164,000 abortions that year. In America, one of every ten abortions occurs in New York, and in New York, seven of every ten abortions are performed in New York City. In absolute terms, there are more abortions performed on minors, more repeat abortions, and more late abortions (over 21 weeks) in New York City than anywhere else in the country. In parts of the city, the ratio of abortions to births is one to one.

"Medicaid pays for abortions for low-income women. Teenagers don’t need a parent’s permission to have an abortion. There are no 24-hour waiting periods. Thirty-four major clinics in New York City each perform more than 400 abortions per year."

While I do not wish to bring up a full-blown abortion debate, this news is undeniably horrible. 164,000 in one year in one state. It is amazing. That's almost the equivalent of killing everyone in the Sullivan, Genesee and Allegany Counties.

Maine Signs Trade Deal with Cuba

The BBC reports that Maine Governor John Baldacci, "has signed a multi-million dollar trade deal with Cuba's state-run food agency Alimport."

The article also reports that "In 2001, Maine was the first US state to pass a resolution calling for a complete end to the trade and travel ban against the Caribbean nation."

The lengths people would go for a dollar - even cozying up to a repressive, murderous dictator like Castro - never cease to amaze me.

Next we will see "NYC City Council signs strategic arms treaty with Sudan."

Scientific Advances?

A recent report from San Francisco hails a recent scientific "advance":

"Scientists announced Monday that they had created mice with small amounts of human brain cells in an effort to make realistic models of neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease."

Mice Created with Human Brain Cells

But not to worry say the scientists:

"Those mice were each born with about 0.1 percent of human cells in each of their heads, a trace amount that doesn't remotely come close to "humanizing" the rodents.

" 'The worry is if you humanize them too much you cross certain boundaries,' said David Magnus, director of the Stanford Medical Center for Biomedical Ethics. 'But I don't think this research comes even close to that.'"

Now, far be it for me to disagree with the good Doctor and the minds pushing for this research, but isn't there something horribly wrong with mixing the make up of various species? Why is .1% okay and .2% isn't - or 1% for that matter.

As if this did not arouse images of Dr. Moreau, the article notes that researchers have not stopped there:

"Three top cloning researchers, for instance, have applied for a patent that contemplates fusing a complete set of human DNA into animal eggs in order to manufacturer human embryonic stem cells."

Why is this progress? I understand that by imbuing animals with human traits that we can better test medicines that cure diseases in humans, but I have two objections:

1. It seems to be horribly wrong and violates about a million laws of nature to create these part human-part rodent beasts
2. Even if I could get past problem one, if these "humdants" (human + rodant) are part human, and it's wrong to test on humans, why is it not wrong to test on the humdants?

This also does not even get into the other moral questions - do humdants have a soul? Will they go to heaven? Are they entitled to prescription health benefits when they turn 65 - or whatever 65 is in humdant years.

It all seems very narcissistic to me. We're pissed that God gave us disease, and we're not happy that God didn't make a species close enough to us that we can test chemicals and medicines on so we're making one of our own. The lack of humility if astounding. It's like these "scientists" finished reading Frankenstein and thought, "you fool, if only you had tightened the left bolt a little more."

Pink Slip the MTA

We’re only two days away from finding out if the MTA is going to decide to illegally strike and attempt to cripple the city. When situations like this arise it makes me appreciate our former President, God rest his soul, Ronald Regan. If we recall when President Regan faced a similar crisis with the air traffic controllers in 1981, our great President didn’t cave but instead told them they were all fired. He wasn’t going to allow the union who held a monopoly on thousands of business that relied on their services to blackmail the country for more money.

The MTA is no different from those air controllers. The MTA with its control of the only major form of transportation for the labor force is attempting to use its monopoly to blackmail the city and its taxpayers. If any other business attempted to use their monopoly to take advantage of the citizens of this country heads would roll. Only recently we’ve had to see congress hold hearings on the oil industry for its perceived exploitation of its customers. The situation today with the MTA union’s monopoly is no different and congress should be holding hearings with its leaders.

I hope comes Thursday if the MTA strikes Mayor Bloomberg puts on his CEO hat and pink slips the whole lot allowing the MTA to start anew, letting those who want to come back to do so. If the mayor’s employees at Bloomberg LP attempted to walkout he would have those pink slips ready telling them not to let the door hit them on the way out.

If the union thinks by striking they’re going to get me mad and tell the city to give into their demands they’re mistaken. My call to the mayor will be to hand out the pink slips. If the MTA union wants sympathy they should have thought of that before they decided to not stop at bus stops, be nasty in the token booths and pull away from curbs as they see you running for the bus.

Mr. Mayor, fire them all!!

Should She Stay or Should She Go?

At yesterday's GOP pow-wow in Albany Jeanine Pirro was asked to quit her race against Hillary Clinton and instead run for State Attorney General, a position that has her name written all over it. Frankly, many believed that was what she was going to do in the first place, and pundits and skeptics have continuously sounded off that running for U.S. Senate was just simply above Pirro's pay grade.

It's a shame, really, that there appears to be this confusion as to what we should do about a candidate for that all-important race against Clinton next year. Who will be our dragonslayer? When heavy hitters backed Pirro, Ed Cox, the other likeliest choice, withdrew. John Spencer needs a lot more money and a much higher profile to be considered a threat to Clinton, if there really can be a threat to her reelection. And Pirro herself, who seemingly had a fair amount of support from around the state, now finds that support dwindling because many believe her campaign is just not gaining traction.

It's all so confusing. Right now, I can only be perfectly confident in the fact that I support the Republican candidate.

Monday, December 12, 2005

A Week for Strong Executives

The quality of this week will be judged by the successful executions of an election in Iraq, of the Taylor Law in NYC (Happiness is NOT reading about impending ILLEGAL transit strike while on a delayed Uptown 6), and of a convicted capital criminal in California.

Save Tookie

Unless Gov. Schwarzenegger caves in at the last minute, in less then 24 hours Tookie Williams will be executed. For the last several weeks, even years for that matter, we’ve been bombarded with how we need to save Tookie because he’s innocent but even more because he’s now become a voice against gang violence. Personally for those that say he’s innocent, I find it a little hard to believe that the founder of the most violent gang in the country never committed murder but that’s just me.

Though I appreciate Tookie’s work over the past few years against gang violence it doesn’t make up for the crime(s) he committed including at a minimum the four lives he took. After the fact actions though nice don’t change the crime that was committed or even more important bring back those murdered. I love how his supporters say he’s turned his life around and “redeemed” himself. The only way Tookie could “redeem” himself is if he could find a way to resurrect his victims from the dead. Saying sorry, that you were wrong and preaching to kids that gang violence is wrong is not redeeming enough.

Lets also not forget that Tookie Williams was also the founder of the notorious Crips street gang that has been responsible for thousands of murders and crimes. His crimes are not just the murders he committed but for the constant insurgency of crime that has plagued California and now other cities for decades. Unless Tookie and his supporters can pull a time machine out of their pocket I’m not feeling sorry for him. I think if Tookie really wants to be a role model and symbol for his cause and the children of the future, he should stop his pleas and ask for his execution to move forward using it as a symbol for what murder gets you, making his execution a more powerful message. Murder is so common in this country because the punishment is a joke. The idea that you can commit first-degree murder and be out of jail in 5, 10 or 20 years when that victim is never going to see sunlight again is a backward justice system.

One can’t help wonder if Tookie wasn’t ever caught if he would be as remorseful for his crimes and the anti-gang violence champion he is today. I think Tookie should have followed the path of good citizen from the beginning like the majority of us. Tookie could have started a youth athletic league just as easy as he started the Crips. Hopefully the Gov. will recognize that and decide not to reward him for it.

Friday, December 09, 2005


A great thanks to all who attended the social at Dewey's Flatiron on Wednesday night in support of the men and women who have stood in harm's way to protect our great nation.

We had a successful fundraiser for the Helping Our Heroes Foundation as many members and guests of the Club donated over and above the suggested minimum donation. In fact, we had one guest who went out of his way to stop by just so he could make a donation before heading out to a meeting. Makes me proud to be an American and a Republican, I tell ya!

Also a special thank you to The Federalist Patriot for donating the "Support Our Troops" notepads and bumper stickers we gave away.

Defense of Marriage Act

As I mentioned yesterday I wanted to continue to bring up conservative or Republican policies that President Clinton had signed during his term in office. Conveniently today I have the chance to mention another while tying in some current news.

Yesterday a New York state appeals court reversed a ruling that would have permitted same-sex couples to get a marriage license in New York City by a previous court that had ruled it was unconstitutional not to give them one.

Once again ironically one of the reasons fighting off such same-sex marriage rulings have been so successful has been thanks to legislation passed and signed in 1996 by Democrat favorite Bill Clinton, which was called the Defense of Marriage Act. The act allows each state to deny any marriage like relationship between same-sex couples recognized in another state. It also specifically states that marriage be defined as a “legal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife”. It further defines a spouse as “a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife”.

Could you imagine if President Bush were to sign such legislation?

Good job Bill, you’re looking more like a Republican everyday.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Extraordinary Rendition

I find it ironic that President Bush and more recently Secretary of State Rice, has been having to defend the policy of extraordinary rendition (the practice of sending terrorist suspects to other countries for interrogation) from leftists all over the world when it was their beloved President Clinton who was the one who started the policy in the United States and the first to use it. I for one agree with the policy and pat President Clinton on the back for starting it and the current administration for defending it.

Speaking of President Clinton, has anyone ever noticed that he has signed more Republican type legislation then we could have ever hoped from a Republican President? I think I’ll start listing those policies, with extraordinary Rendition being the first.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Virginia AG Race Heads to Recount

Let's get prepaed now for the Dems to steal another election (ala Washington State last year). With the election certified yesterday, Virginia AG race looks like this

Precincts Reporting: 2426 of 2426 (100.00%)
Registered Voters: 4,449,025
Total Voting: 1,942,653
Voter Turnout: 43.66 %
Candidates Party Vote Totals Percentage
R F McDonnell Republican 970,635 49.96%
R C Deeds Democratic 970,225 49.94%
Write Ins 1,793 0.09%

McDonnell’s lead on election day was 2,023 votes. now, I understand about absentee ballots, but they shoudl normally swing Republican, particularly in light of the military population in Virginia.

The Washington Post reports that the recount will occur on December 20, 2005 and that the State of Virginia will have to pay for it.

The Virginian-Post reports that "The recount is expected to last until mid- to late-December. The three-judge panel will set up one or more recount teams to supervise the recounts in each locality. Each team will have electoral board members, election officers and observers representing the two parties."

I am just leery of this process whenever we are involved in recounts we tend to get things stolen from us. If the Dems had their way, we'd still be recounting Florida '00.


Come to our social tonight and help support the brave men and women injured in the line of duty.

Dewey's Flatiron
5th Ave (b/w 25th & 26th Sts)
7-10 pm
No cover, however suggested minimum donation of $5 is requested. 100% will go to Helping Our Heroes Foundation.

re: Tehran Plane Crash Kills 115 - It's George Bush's Fault

you know, that could be a song. "It's George Bush's Fault" And you can list all the bad, nasty things that happen in the world, and the chorus would be "It's George Bush's Fault". Kinda like that Dada song that parodied the "I'm going to Disneyland" phrase.

We Deliver For You - So Pay Up!

As I was scanning headlines in today's Wall Street Journal, I caught a tiny little article hidden away at the bottom of the last page of the Marketplace section, titled "Postal Service Pays Off Remainder of Its Debt". Naturally, I got excited. What's this? A gov't agency, long in the red, is finally in the black -- with a surplus? Okay, okay, quasi-governmental. Semantics aside, I knew this news was just too good to be true, so I read on and naturally, here's where the "government" in quasi-governmental comes into play. The USPS basically finished its fiscal year with a $1.4bn surplus. The plan for 2006 is for a $1.3bn surplus. So far, so good -- we're still ahead here -- but then comes the kicker: "a requirement that it place $3bn in escrow is forcing it to raise postal rates on Jan. 8 to cover the added expense." But it gets better: the Jan. 8 increase will only cover the escrow account, so in order to pay for rising costs, another increase will take place in 2007. HA! I knew it! Only government can have rules so that even if it makes a profit, it would still have to raise prices in order to pay for those profits.

And they wonder why people are using the internet in place of snail mail from communications to paying bills. Could you imagine if a company, take an evil oil or energy corporation for example, announced significant profits; that the bottom line on its balance sheet had finally gone from red to black and in recognition of this, they were raising prices or rates 8 -10%. Oh the cries for Congress to intervene, for mothers to hide their children in safe places! Those nasty corporations have EXTRA money, why are the charging us more? Why, they're ripping us off! Gouging! Evil greedy corporations with gazillion dollar-per-year salaried CEOs and they're making the little guy pay more!!

Yet the post office gets away with it time and time and time again.

Tehran Plane Crash Kills 115 - It's George Bush's Fault

Tuesday's tragic plane crash in Tehran, which killed a number of journalists being transported to view naval exercises, is being blamed on the United States by Iranian officials.

This military plane, which was a U.S.-made Lockheed C-130, crashed into a building after experienceing trouble on takeoff, killing all 94 aboard and 21 in the building and on the ground.

But this is all our fault for two reasons: 1. everything is our fault. 2. U.S.-led sanctions against Iran have deprived them of the spare parts needed to update and repair their C-130 airplanes.

President Ahmadinejad will have to forgive us for passing up the opportunity to sell military spare parts to his country, particularly after comments by himself and his senior military personnel have essentially called for the outright destruction of the United States.

Never Forget

Among the most annoyingly abused phrases in our lexicon, perhaps topped only by "for the children", but it's nice that for a couple of days a year, we fat, dumb, happy Americans can fake it.
I bet they're asleep in New York. I bet they're asleep all over America. And while knowing December 7, 1941 as the Day that will live in infamy, the Day the Sleeping Giant awoke IS important (despite the assertion of Floridian Brinsley Elliot, who better be hot), it is most vital that an essential lesson, aptly summarized by Prez Reagan, of course, is learned: History teaches that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.

English as a second, third, fourth, fifth…. language

Our lovely city council is at it again. This time they want to spend $20 million in taxpayer dollars to have translation and interpretation services in 8 different languages for immigrant parents.

I would like to know why the city council feels the need to aid New York City immigrants in not becoming Americanized, who already do whatever they can to not learn English or even care if their children do. The hundreds of store signs down Flushing in various Asian writing shows these immigrants do not care to become American or even want to have Americans patronize their neighborhoods.

Since the founding of this country we have had a tradition of immigrants coming over and making sure that if not them but their children learned English and progressed in society. My America family started with Italian immigrants on my dad’s side and Hungarian immigrants on my mom’s side. There was no translation for them and even more they didn’t want it. They valued and respected the idea of coming to America and its attached dreams. They demanded their children learned English going as far as not allowing them to speak anything other than English in the home.

This latest bill will only add to the current problem of new immigrants coming to America looking to not become American but instead looking defiantly to shun America, keeping their loyalties to their country of origin.

Proud Past Patriotic Prognostications

The idea that we're going to win Independence from Mother England is an idea which is just plain wrong- Loyalist Jedediah Dean, June 1781, a few months before the British surrender at Yorktown.

The idea that we're going to win this war and preserve the Union is an idea which is just plain wrong - Democrat Alexander Dean Howard, August 1864, a few weeks before the fall of Atlanta.

The idea that we're going to win the war in Europe while simultaneously emerging victorious over Imperial Japan is an idea which is just plain wrong- Professor Andree Dean Brush, September 1944.

Yes, there will be some recrimination, but far, far less than the 200,000 a year who are murdered by the United States of America- Doctor Brush Dean, April 1971, prior to American withdrawal from Southeast Asia and subsequent Communist massacres of millions. ********

******** I kid, I kid-the last quotation is actually from the April 1971 Senate testimony of your favorite treasonous former presidential candidate and mine, Massachussetts Senator John Kerry.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Bloomberg's campaign bill

The tab has now become public.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg officially spent $77,894,878 on his reelection campaign. That averages out to $103 per voter according to folks who have a lot more patience to do the math than I do.

Bloomberg's hapless opponent Freddy Ferrer spent $9 million and got trounced by 20 points.

Did Bloomberg need to spend that much money to beat a thoroughly flummoxed candidate who probably needed a crib sheet to find his way out of the voting booth? Probably not.

Did money alone decide this race? Heck no. Refer to my descriptions of Ferrer above. These are widely held sentiments.

Why did Bloomberg spend so much money on his campaign? Because he earned it with his talent. He can do with his cash as he likes.

Is there too much money in politics? There's been too much money in politics since the ancient Greeks were haggling over figs.

I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke

Thanks to our “if it bleeds it leads” media, all we ever hear is the negative stories about Iraq and Afghanistan. Well here is a more positive story being reported by the Financial Times, which I would like to say, is the only paper worth reading.

After a more than 15-year absence Coca-Cola is returning to Afghanistan with the opening of a $25 million plant. The plant will be located on the outskirts of Kabul and will directly employ 600 full-time workers and a total of 8,000 workers in related industries like card board, bottle crowns and other materials that will need to support it.

Give Coca-Cola credit for being a true entrepreneur and taking a risk, which if successful will give them a head start in the country over other soft drink rivals. However the most important benefit if successful will be the flow of other companies and industries into the country that will want a piece of the action.

Somebody always has to take the initial plunge and that gold star goes to Coca-Cola.

Monday, December 05, 2005


Nov.30th-Former Governor of Massachusetts Bill Weld had his first official fundraising event at the St. Regis Hotel as he begins his run for governor of New York in 2006.
With over 300 supporters of Weld in the audience, Weld was able to engage an audience with playful humor and wit about his prior experience in office. Also, he discussed his plans of what he wanted to achieve if elected governor of New York.
Young Republicans (YRs) enjoyed the evening, and even stayed after the general reception ended to discuss Weld and boast about his chances of winning mass support from Republicans in the state of New York.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

This For One's You

Nick, as you requested. Hope this provides you and anyone else who reads this with hours of entertainment. You know, it's like one of those MasterCard commercials that has been so over-parodied....."Spending a gazillion dollars on an Ivy League education only to have your kids graduate ignorant with no command of the English language: Priceless."

A Note on Moral Eqivalency

Last night at the Ashcroft event, there were a number of folks protesting against the death penalty in the United States, and lately the topic has risen to the top of the public debate. Before 2005 ends, this country will have reached the media-imposed benchmark of 1,000 executions since the Supreme Court allowed the resumption of the death penalty with the death by firing squad of murderer Gary Gilmore in 1977.

Amnesty International, the United Nations, our fair weather friends across the Atlantic, and our wannabe expats here at home lament that the U.S. practices the death penalty. How barbaric, how byzantine, how backwards and violent we are for doing this. Yet, how much condemnation has been spread on other nations that still impose the death penalty? Take Iran for just one example. 100 people have been executed in Iran since Mahmoud Admadinejad became president on June 24th of this year.

So let's do some math here real briefly. In the U.S., 1,000 executions in 28 years averages out to about 35 executions per year. In Iran, criminals (as defined by the Islamic regime, mind you) have been dispatched at the rate of about 16 a month from Summer to Christmas. At the current rate of executions in Iran, they will surpass our record in 5 years. Now there's a country on the move for ya. Too bad the international left is spending all its time focusing on the supposed shortcomings of the United States. They're missing where the real action is.

John Ashcroft's Appearance at Columbia

To second Nick's comments, I have to say that it was certainly a treat to hear John Ashcroft speak last night in that bastion of liberal nonthink a.k.a. Columbia University. The atmosphere of Roone Arledge Hall was charged by the group of protestors in the peanut gallery whose contributions were meant to disrupt the proceedings, but really only served to embarrass them as a whole.

They were there to rail against everything they could - from pleading to save Tookie Williams (they can't) to demanding that we pull our troops out of Iraq by the time you finish reading this post (we won't). And their lack of manners, good taste, and general common sense gave us YRs a good deal to chuckle about during the evening. But enough about the kooks.

John Ashcroft demonstrated with his own words last night that we were blessed to have a measured mind like his when it came time to reevaluate our law enforcement tactics in a post September 11th world. His respect for the law and jurisprudence is over and above what even some of his casual supporters give him credit for, and the depth of experience he brought to bear in the creation of the USA PATRIOT Act deserves recognition.

Ashcroft's keen intellect and folky humor were on display as he took on some of the more colorful comments and questions directed at him. His response to an inquiry about due process in the handling of terror suspects was far clearer than the question that was actually posed. When questioned (or maybe 'attacked' is a better word) about the prominent role that faith plays in his life, Ashcroft's response drove home the realization that those who seem to fear religion the most are the ones who have no faith in anything in this world or beyond it.

If there could be one item from the night that I could take home and call my own, it would be a comment that Ashcroft made in regards to individual vs. group rights. When he was challenged about his stance on homosexuality, Ashcroft put the forth the concept that it's not that gays, or any other group for that matter, deserve fewer rights than anyone else. We are all equal under the eyes of the law. It's just that they do not deserve more rights than anyone else, and that is what is at issue. The most challenged minority in this country, Ashcroft went on, is the minority of the individual.

And that's a sentiment I've held for some time now. Individuality, and the accompanying exercise of choice coupled with responsibility, are pretty fundamental to the way things work around here. If the kids in the peanut gallery at Columbia and their "grown-up" counterparts had their way, that would all come to an end.

Which is why we need more people like John Ashcroft.

You Stay Classy Young Republicans

Last night a large number of Young Republicans had a chance to hear former Attorney General John Ashcroft speak in New York. Many of you will be shocked to know that the former Attorney General didn’t speak in the friendly confines of say the Union League but instead at the hostile liberal stronghold of Columbia University.

For me the experience was very enjoyable. To start it’s always fun to see a bunch of spoiled young kids protesting making complete fools of themselves, asking for their civil rights back as they’re parading around the streets screaming. Looked like civil rights to me.

Obviously the speech given by the Attorney General was crisp reminding me why I’m a conservative. What was most impressive though was the fact that Columbia (I don’t know if it was done by the Columbia Republicans or forced by the faculty) allowed all those green protesters into the rafters. What followed were disrespectful acts that again reminded me why I was a Republican. The little children of the Columbia leftwing constantly attempted to shout and disrupt the General during his speech. Fortunately the General, obviously being used to it, handled it well getting in some of his own shots that brought the conservatives in the audience to laud applauses. I’ll point out the conservatives in the crowd acted as classy as always, not letting the yelling from the left get the best of them.

Playing to the crowd the wise Columbia Republicans even allowed those silly-I wouldn’t know repression if it hit me in the face-leftists to ask questions they thought would corner the General. Questions you know those kids were dreaming about all week to ask. Unfortunately for them the General being the veteran of politics he is answered every question perfectly deflecting every grenade thrown his way. It was truly great stuff!

The best highlight of the night though came at the expense of those funny protesters who had one sign hung up for all to see to direct other protesters to their den.

The sign read:

Free This
Speech Way

If one of you has the picture please put it up on the blog, so I can get another laugh. Columbia English teachers must be proud.