Now that America is guaranteed another three-and-a-half years of liberal leadership in the White House, individuals and businesses are eager to reduce the burden of government any way they can.
Big Government isn’t confined to that federal district on the East Coast we hear so much about. It also lurks in the extra taxes you pay for a gallon of gas, the paperwork you have to file to start a business, and the restrictions you face when you want a Big Gulp.
With so many rules and regulations flooding out of Washington, D.C., wise Americans are avoiding the additional red tape pouring out of our state capitals, county offices and city halls.
Just imagine it: Sleek bullet trains zipping up one coast and down the other at dizzying speeds, filled with lounging hipsters sipping macchiatos and listening to understated Scandinavian techno in pollution-free comfort. The way it’s been sold, high-speed rail sounds far superior to fighting traffic in a Kia or being sardined into an overbooked airplane.
Using Europe and Asia as examples, President Obama has repeatedly promised high-speed rail to travel-weary Americans. “Imagine boarding a train in the center of a city,” he said. “No racing to an airport and across a terminal, no delays, no sitting on the tarmac, no lost luggage, no taking off your shoes. Imagine whisking through towns at speeds over 100 miles an hour, walking only a few steps to public transportation, and ending up just blocks from your destination.”
These weren’t idle words. The Obama Administration has spent four years and $12 billion to bring these super choo-choos to the U. S. of A. At last, we’re seeing the fruits of this pricy but essential leap into the New Golden Age of Transportation.
Kids are weird — especially mine. Sure, I can identify personality traits as coming from me and my wife, but they’re jumbled up in odd ways. If we’re the original track, our kids are the dance remixes.
My eldest daughter is analytical and conscientious when work needs to be done, but fearless and funny in her off time. Her younger sister will procrastinate and goof off, but will create elaborate, amazing projects just for fun. Definitely related, but wildly different.
Seeing first-hand how different kids can be is what finally made school choice personal. If my own daughters’ learning styles are this divergent, just imagine kids from different parents, regions and backgrounds. Since a parent knows their children’s quirks better than any government can, moms and dads should be able to choose how and where the kids are educated.
Universities have long been considered hotbeds of liberalism. Radical protests, dreary PC speech codes, far-left professors and outright attacks on conservatism are not just common but expected. Academia has become so stridently left-wing, faculty views even a single ember of center-right thought as a dangerous wildfire.
For the past three years, Stanford University had allowed one tiny exception to their monolithically liberal course catalog. In 2009, Professor John McCaskey began teaching “Moral Foundations of Capitalism” at the Palo Alto, Calif. institution. The seminar explored and evaluated historical arguments for the free-market model, presenting the views of economists such as Milton Friedman, of Protestant and Catholic defenders, and of Ayn Rand-influenced Objectivists.
The course proved more popular than Stanford expected, drawing double the planned number of students with even more sitting on the floor outside, trying to get in. So what does a university do with a runaway academic hit? Cancel it, of course.
Saturday night, millions of people around the globe will turn off their lights from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. to honor Earth Hour. Since 2007, environmental activists have promoted this Gaia-appeasing sacrifice to conserve energy and raise awareness about apocalyptic climate change.
But like many gimmicks, Earth Hour is designed to make people feel like they’re accomplishing something instead of actually accomplishing something.
The whole “awareness-raising” trend is annoying on general principle. Why raise awareness about fatal diseases when you can work to cure them? But what is hazy messaging for a public health campaign is decidedly counterproductive for the professed goals of this envirostunt. Earth Hour actually increases CO2 emissions.
It has been four months since the election and Republicans are still in a funk. Whether hanging out at CPAC, in the local GOP office or on social media, wherever two or more are gathered in the Elephant’s name, the mood is downright dark. If Dr. Roget released his thesaurus today, under “conservative” you’d find blue, bummed, crestfallen, dejected, despondent, disconsolate, glum, lugubrious, morose, pessimistic and woebegone.
Yes, November sucked, but there are several signs of life if you know where to look. While the press and pundits train their eyes on D.C., conservatism is booming outside of the Beltway. And even Democrats are getting nervous.
CNN’s Roland Martin set down his embroidered Obama throw pillow to warn liberals of the barbarians at the gate.
Finally, I cleaned out my Gmail inbox, one of the several email accounts I own. Since I rarely login to this particular service, there was a digital pile of 782 unread messages waiting for the delete button.
Skimming through one neglected missive after another, I noticed the ever-present Google ad affixed to each. One email commented on a music video I uploaded to YouTube years ago. The attached ad offered “Free Cha Cha Lessons” at the link. Another email was from an old friend mentioning his tax refund. What do you know, Google hit me with an ad for $20 off tax preparation from my neighborhood accountant. An email from a former co-worker mentioning caffeine? “Want Fresh Roasted Coffee?” was the ad headline.
On one hand, it’s pretty amazing how Google and other ad-based Web services can marry my daily conversations with a (sometimes) appropriate sales pitch. But it’s also pretty creepy. Even if it’s only robots trolling my account, I don’t want anyone seeing details about my ill relatives, my kids’ schedules or my award-winning collection of My Little Pony fanfic. (Keep the last one on the down-low, capiche?)
As Republicans were starting the 113th Congress, I offered them some unsolicited advice from my years in marketing. Noting the overwhelmingly pro-Obama bias of the mainstream media, I recommended they use a little messaging jujitsu. They could use the president’s rhetoric against him and win over a frustrated electorate at the same time.
As a first step, I told the House leadership to redefine Obama’s “balanced approach” catchphrase to mean “balanced budget” in the public’s mind:
Keep your word. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Don’t spend more than you have. This is common sense for most people. But in Washington, D.C., these grade-school lessons are considered downright radical.
For decades, those of us in the real world have wondered why our political leaders won’t follow these simple rules. As our national debt rocketed past $5 trillion, $10 trillion, $15 trillion and beyond, we asked how the federal government got so out of control and what we can do to fix it before the U.S. economy goes Greek?
Whether the president had a “D” or an “R” after their name, the wave of red ink just continued to rise. But there was a brief moment in the ’90s when Congress actually forced a liberal president to sign the first balanced budget in a generation. One of the congressmen behind that effort is back to return common sense to the Beltway.
Detroit serves as a cautionary tale warning of long-term liberal leadership. As Michigan’s governor prepares a state takeover of the terminally troubled city, many blame the short-sighted policies of the local Democratic machine. To be sure, runaway pensions, red ink and union obstinance have helped hollow out the once-mighty Motor City. But liberal antagonism to the city’s economic engine has worsened the decline not only for Detroit, but the entire state.
As long as we’ve spoken of the American Dream, the automobile has served a primary role in its mythos. Zora Arkus-Duntov, the designer of the Chevy Corvette, said, “in our age where the average person is a cog wheel who gets pushed in the subways, elevators, department stores, cafeterias . . . the ownership of a different car provides the means to ascertain his individuality to himself and everybody around.”
Since Henry Ford’s first Model T rolled off the Detroit assembly line, the car has represented the individual and freedom. Finally, the city dweller could chart his own direction outside of a subway or trolley car and the farmer could explore beyond the reach of his horse and buggy.