There I wuz…

Today will be a short post…unless I get on a roll.  I had an appointment this morning that upset my normal schedule.

Today’s post is a continuation of a theme from earlier this week. A variety of groups are attempting to build a coalition to effect change within the Republican party. Some of these groups are frustrated Ron Paul supporters. Others are local Tea Party groups hoping to expand and consolidate into a viable state-wide organization with a consensus on platform and action-plans. They all are having a rough start. The biggest hurdle I’ve seen is their inability to believe that other conservatives may have legitimate opposing viewpoints.

Case in point. A large conservative social group in Missouri almost dissolved just before the primary this year. The group had been incorporated with rules prohibiting favoritism of one candidate over another. Favoritism could cause tax issues with the IRS. However, one candidate’s followers persisted in pushing their candidate in violation of the rules. The group owner dropped all of the membership and reconstituted as a closed group whose members would abide by the rules.

The election is now over. We lost. Some blame, not all, can be levied towards those who refused to vote for ABO…Anyone but Obama. i.e., Romney. He wasn’t the best candidate and some suspected he may not be as strong a conservative as some of the other ‘Pub candidates. In the end, Romney was the selected ‘Pub candidate and truly, had the only real change of defeating Obama and he did come close.

But not close enough.

Now after the election, various groups and individuals are attempting to reconstitute the people and organizations that won so many seats in 2010. 2014 is coming soon and is very important. We must retain our control of the House and expand our members in the Senate. If that is the goal…and for some, I believe it is not, we must have a united platform and a united organization. That cannot be achieved if we do not follow this rule.

You do not achieve your goals by pissing off those you wish to influence.

It’s a difficult lesson to be learned but learn it we must if we are to achieve our goals—first to control Congress and in 2016 to expand that control with winning the White House. Once we have the political power, we can begin to implement our agenda. It’s a long-term plan with short-term mileposts. The long term is limited government, the repeal of Obamacare, Frank-Dodd and other liberal legislation passed over the last seventy years.

The short term goals can only be achieved by unification. Unifying our groups, our people and laying aside those issues where we do not have consensus. When i bring up these points, I’ve been accused of selling out to the democrats, being in favor of Obamacare, being a tool of the establishment and those are just the more polite labels.

Vilifying the opposition is not a winning plan. Let’s start anew and remember Reagan’s and Goldwater’s rule: Never speak ill of a fellow Republican (Tea Partier, Conservative, etc.) Once we achieve this goal, we can begin to work towards some of those longer term goals.

Dinosaur Media, Revisited

I have, from time to time, mentioned the Dinosaur Media. Usually in the context of another newspaper biting the dust—a paper unable or unwilling to enter the 21st Century and to leave their liberal bias behind.

That trend does not apply to the print media alone. It also applies to the broadcast media. They have not made the transition to cable nor the web successfully. I need only to cite MSNBC as an example. It’s interesting that Microsoft has withdrawn from the operation of MSNBC. In coming months Microsoft will slink away from that cesspool completely.

It is not MSNBC that is in the news today. It’s CNN. The Washington Examiner reports on the shrinkage of CNN.

CNN, newspapers hammered as Americans turn to mobile news

September 28, 2012 | 11:10 am

Americans are fast turning to mobile devices to get their news, resulting in stunning viewership declines for CNN and existence-threatening readership drops for newspapers, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. The winners: social network sites, online news and websites like the Drudge Report and Yahoo.

CNN is not the only one hurting: Newspaper readership has dropped in half since 2000, with only 23 percent of those polled saying they read a paper. Magazine readership, meanwhile, has dropped to 18 percent, and those getting their news from TV is down to 55 percent, a troubling trend.

As Americans turn away from traditional news platforms, they are embracing mobile delivery, either through cellular phones, computers or wireless tablets, said Pew. And that has naturally given the advantage to social websites like Facebook, traditional news outlets with established websites or web-only sites like Drudge and Yahoo. Pew, for example, included Drudge in their list of the top 18 news websites, reporting that 2 percent of those surveyed get their news most often, the same percentage as the websites for the Washington Post, USA Today and ESPN.

The article continues at the website.

Instead of being dispassionate observers and reporting the news without bias, the media has, for the most part, become nothing more than the propaganda arm of the democrat party and transnational liberals. The article by DOUGLAS MACKINNON appeared in today’s Investor’s Business Daily.

Mainstream Media: Public Enemy No. 1

By DOUGLAS MACKINNON, Posted 09/27/2012 04:43 PM ET

Mitt Romney can still win this election, but first he has to confront the largest single domestic threat to our liberty, our values, and our national and economic security — the mainstream media.

Most mainstream “journalists” unethically supported then-Sen. Obama in 2008, and most have doubled-down on that bet in 2012. And that biased and corrupt support may be the least of their professional sins.

The nation and world face an epic crisis made more dangerous by the proliferation of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and twisted minds who’d think nothing of using them to advance their cause or “theology.”

Yet, our mainstream media deliberately choose to ignore these exponentially growing threats while working in concert with the Obama campaign to ensure the president’s re-election.

Much worse, some in the media are themselves betraying national security secrets in an effort to make Obama look more “presidential” or harm the conservative narrative.

Beyond their leaking of highly classified information, the media are a real threat to security because they flat-out know:

• Public employee unions have decimated the finances of an expanding number of cities, counties and states.

• Poverty is rising, unemployment is accelerating, median household incomes have fallen and Obama has created a debt poison-pill that will cripple our economic future.

• Teacher unions are destroying the futures of poor and at-risk children, but the media look the other way to protect one of the largest special interests of the Democrat Party.

• Obama has no foreign policy, and his ineptitude, along with that of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was exposed with the planned terrorist killings of U.S. diplomats in Libya — murders the president dismissed as “bumps in the road.”

Yet the media choose to attack Romney for rightfully calling on the president and Clinton to stop their campaign of appeasement and apology.

• “Green” initiatives such as Solyndra are paybacks to major donors, outright frauds or alternative energy “solutions” with one real purpose: to give liberals false talking-points while sucking hundreds of billions more out of taxpayers’ bank accounts.

The list goes on, but suffice it to say a case can be made that the mainstream media represent a clear and present danger to our well-being.

They also represent a clear and present danger to Gov. Romney’s chances for election.

Even in the age of the Internet, blogs, cable shows and alternative news, I maintain that upwards of 80% of Americans still get 80% of their “news” from the left-leaning mainstream media.

The bias isn’t limited to large metro papers. It continues in local and county wide papers as well.  Our local county weekly, the Democrat-Missourian, is owned by The McClatchy Company, the same company that owns the Kansas City Star. In fact if you subscribe to our county paper, you get the Star’s Sunday edition free. If you look at that paper’s website, you’ll see that it is woefully out of date. Under the “News” tab, the most recent article is dated August 24, 2012. I suppose they’re embarrassed to show their bias on the web, leaving that to their print edition.

We, as subscribers, can work against the liberal bias in our local papers. How? By writing Letters-to-the-Editor. Do your homework, check your grammar and spelling, have someone proof-read your draft and get your facts straight. If your local paper won’t provide fair and unbiased reporting of issues, do so yourself. I had a letter published last week and I submitted another this week. If you are unhappy with the presentation of issues in your paper, tell them and provide your view on the subject.

Who knows? Maybe even a dinosaur can learn when it’s faced with survival…or extinction.


By groupies, I mean social network groups like those in Facebook.  Politics and political organizing has moved to Facebook.  That’s a natural evolution in a growing digital world.  This blog is another manifestation of that same evolution.  Prior to Facebook, other social networks and blogs, e-mail and e-mail lists were the mechanisms used by the political savvy.

With e-mails and e-mail lists, we also received SPAM.  It became necessary to scrutinize whether any particular e-mail was from a friend or from some one with an agenda or was a malicious attempt to do you damage. We now have anti-virus, SPAM detectors and malware applications to protect us.

With Blogs, we also were presented with propaganda, with statements presented as truth but in reality are fantasy. Some of those mis-truths and lies were driven by personal and political agendas. They were attempts to spread misinformation to support an agenda.  There are no apps yet to prevent the spread of propaganda. We must decided whether to accept or reject information as it is presented. We must develop personal propaganda filters.

We have all that with social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.  There are more than these two networks. I’m just using them as examples.  Social networks have all the advantages of e-mail lists and blogs.  And they also have all the failings.

I didn’t use a social network much until this last year and I did so with a large degree of skepticism.  It is easy to create a false persona.  It is easier to present a false agenda to collect “friends” to persuade them to accept you viewpoints.  It’s easier if you do so while keeping your agenda at a low profile.

Hook ’em while you “educate” them.

I have joined three Facebook groups. I dropped two and remain with the third.  The first group I joined was purported to be a local Tea Party group.  Maybe it was…originally.  It didn’t take long to realize it was one person with an agenda who was trying to create a following. When I uncovered the agenda, it was one that I could not subscribe.  The organizer was pushing the so-called Fair Tax.  He had all the usual talking points and refused to acknowledge any alternate views.

I’ve written about the Fair Tax and my opposition to it in previous blogs. Suffice to say I believe the implementation of a national sales tax will evolve into a Value Added Tax as practiced in Europe and we will have a national VAT tax as well as an Income Tax.  The Income Tax is anchored in the 16th Amendment.  If you want to remove the income tax, you must first repeal the 16th Amendment.  That will not happen.

The next group I joined was a state-wide group of conservative activists.  They are a 501(C)3 organization and are prohibited from campaigning for any particular candidate.  I hadn’t known that when I first joined.  My error.  I’m still a member of this group although in light of recent events I have to review how this revelation will affect my activities within the group.

The third group, one I left yesterday, was another with an agenda. An agenda that I disavow.  I was invited to join a week or so ago.  I observed the posts, made a few to get a feel for the group.  

It had been presented as a grass-roots organization to support conservative issues.  Or so I thought.  After observing the posts and reading the comments I discovered two agendas of this group.  

One agenda was the Fair Tax.  There was a so-called expert in the group who repeated the usual talking points. No alternate view tolerated. The second agenda was pushing the candidacy of Ron Paul. Paulbots.

I’ve said in other posts that in my opinion Ron Paul is unfit to hold any elected or appointed public office.  Some of his comments such as supporting Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons make me question his sanity. Once I discovered this group’s agendas, I left.

Social networking groups can be the avenue to link people of like minds, and many are. Others, however, are the modern equivalent of the Snake Oil salesmen of the 19th century.  They sell a worthless, and sometimes dangerous product. Con artists. When you interact with these groups you must also shield yourself with a large amount of skepticism.  When dealing with people whom you have no personal knowledge, Ronald Reagan’s advice is appropriate, “Trust but Verify.”  The degree of trust must be built as you investigate and verify the purported positions of these people and organizations.

If you do not and cannot not subscribe to the agenda(s) of the group, you must leave.

All too many people accept whatever is presented to them on the internet as truth.  I heard an acquaintance recently repeat some information he read on the internet or something that he heard and found some corroboration on the internet. You can find anything on the internet. Just because it’s there doesn’t make it true.  It was an outlandish position. One supposedly engineered by the government. However it was obvious to anyone who had at least a high school level of science education that the supposed acts were beyond and contrary to scientific fact. The position was completely false.

Ignorance prevailed.

Perhaps we should modify Reagan’s advice, “Verify then Trust.”  Verification is not just one instance of corroboration.  It must be a multitude of corroboration. Not a single piece, or even two or three pieces that appear to support a position but hundreds, thousands of articles that supports the issue or position.

Skepticism is a good and necessary attribute to acquire when dealing with the internet. All too many people don’t and they provide food for the predators in social networks and elsewhere.

It’s OK to be a groupie.  But be a smart groupie, understand the agenda of your group and accept their agenda or leave. That’s what liberty is all about. The freedom to leave when you do not or can no longer abide with the agenda of your group.

Be smart. Educate yourself and develop your own positions and political stance. Don’t be a robot following other’s agenda. Be an individual and make your own