Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

School Choice is Not Just for the Rich

May 4, 2009

In the recently passed Omnibus Spending Bill, there was a lot of spending and little cutting. Not much cutting, but one important cut that affects the poorest families in Washington, DC. Why would liberals, who claim to be the party of the working poor and the party of social justice, be against a program that only helps the poorest kids in the worst schools? That’s a good question. Why Mr. President?

Obama recently stated that he, and Sec. Duncan would not look for “liberal” or “conservative” solutions, but solutions that worked. He said this before the Department of Education report came out saying that the program worked. So now there should be no excuse. Obama is stuck between a rock and a hard place now because he cannot endorse vouchers (even though he was educated via school vouchers and his own children attend private schools) because funds from the National Education Association (NEA) helped him get elected. It’s either that, or Obama doesn’t want the poor kids to touch his kids.

The problem is that it should not be a political battle. The victor should not be who gave the most money to Obama and the other dems. Let’s be clear, the NEA is not about helping kids. It is about keeping people employed. Whether they can do their job or not is irrelevant. They keep people employed so they can collect the dues and they can, in turn, donate those dues to democratic candidates. The viscious cycle continues. They don’t need to answer to me though. I was educated in a private school. I am not affected. I was never taught by a member of the NEA. Parents and children who know about this should tell this story. I am going to let them.

Reason TV put out a GREAT video on School Choice that tells the story much better than I ever could.

Todd Thurman

The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

February 22, 2009

I wrote this back in 2006. Still rings true today

Prop 86 is a terrible proposition for the State of California (much as MOST of them are). I can’t believe that this is on the ballot again!! How much do the smokers of California need to be punished? Why are smokers being singled out again? This is ridiculous. I am not a smoker (never will be) but I fight hard for smoker’s rights. I believe it should be up to the resteraunt owner to decide if they want to let people smoke in their resteraunt. Imagine that, a society where people who own property get to decide how they want to use it. Sounds like America to me, but not California.

Why smokers? Well, the authors of this proposition consider smokers an easy target. They saw that Prop 10, years ago passed, and they wanted to mimmick that success. However, the money in Prop 10 never went to our schools. They went directly into Rob Reiner’s preschool program (because who knows more about raising kids than a single multi-divorced fat slob?). Sounds like an enormous conflict of interest to me, but since when has the left allowed the law to stand in the way of their agenda?

To me, going after smokers is just as ridiculous as going after anyone else in society. It’s like saying: let’s pass a measure to drastically cut teacher’s salaries and fire every teacher in a union. That will put an incredible amount of money back in our schools. Much more than any cigarette tax will.

Todd Thurman

Obama Lies, People Could Die

February 10, 2009

Hidden beneath the dark underbelly of, possibly, the worst piece of legislation Congress has ever had before them lies something that Obama EXPLICITLY said he would not do. Sneaked in to the bill by tax cheat former HHS Nominee Tom Daschle, this provision would allow all medical records to be electronic and would set up a bureaucracy that would tell doctors what to do. This is awfully close to the National Health Board that Daschle has been peddling to anyone who would listen.

Obama said that if we liked our health plan, we could keep it. I like my health plan. Why is it changing? Why would I want the government to have final say over my doctor of what is the best for my health. What does the government know? What I want to know is, how many people are going to die while government bureaucrats argue about which type of medicine from which special interest group they are going to tell a medical doctor what would work best? How many have to die before they realize that this plan is terrible? Why does anyone have to die? Anyone can see that this is a horrible, horrible idea.

Why is it so hard for Obama to keep his campaign promises? I think it is because his promises contradicted one another. You cannot cut taxes for “95%” of people and expect to raise spending. I guess Obama finally realized that the top 5 percent paid 40% of the taxes, and there was only so much water from that well. So he raised cigarette taxes by 156%. Signing that bill also broke his transparency promise. When is the last time Obama told the truth?

Todd Thurman

Is ‘Card Check’ Really Free Choice?

February 4, 2009

Aside from the Stimulus Package, the Liberals in Congress have something else up their sleeve on their agenda. It is known as the “Employee Free Choice Act”, but names can be misleading. The premise of this bill is to “establish stronger penalties for violation of employee rights when workers seek to form a union and during first-contract negotiation.” However, the danger of this bill is laid out in Section 2: [Emphasis mine]

If the Board finds that a majority of the employees in a unit appropriate for bargaining has signed valid authorizations designating the individual or labor organization specified in the petition as their bargaining representative and that no other individual or labor organizations currently certified or recognizing as the exclusive representative of any of the employees in the unit, the Board shall not direct an election but shall certify the individual or labor organization as the representative in the subsection.

What this means is that as long as a simple majority (50%+1) of authorized signatures, they will forgo elections by a secret ballot. Much has been said on other blogs about the Employee Free Choice Act. But today, the Center for Union Facts released a poll that stated that 82% of non-unionized workers do not want to be unionized.

The fact remains that the current system is not broken, it is just that people don’t want to be in unions. Only 12% of salaried workers were unionized in 2008. What does this mean? Well, Big Labor would like you to believe that it is because of unfair labor practices. If that is the case, why then, would they still want to get rid of the secret ballot. If a worker has the right to vote in a secret ballot on who they want to be the next American Idol, should not they also have the right to vote in a secret ballot whether or not they are unionized?

George McGovern has been an outspoken critic of The “Employee Free Choice Act” specifically because of the provision I highlighted. The simple formula is that Big Labor wants more members to get more people to pay union dues. Liberals want more union dues because Unions often contribute to liberal politicians. So is getting n employee to join a union, without an election, and forcing said employee to pay dues to a cause they may, or may not, agree with really free choice?

Old Ideas in a Web 2.0 World

December 3, 2008

Many may ask, why cling to old ideas in a world that is rapidly changing at the drop of a hat? I graduated from college four years ago, and when I graduated we all still took notes on paper. There was no WiFi and one Ethernet port per classroom on the off-chance that someone brought in a laptop. Now, four short (and might I add quick) years later, all freshman get a laptop, the school is completely networked for WiFi and no one takes notes on paper. So in a world where everything changes quickly, why cling to old ideas? Why, because they work. They worked in 1776, 1876, 1976, and will continue to work. Even though everythging around us is changing freedom, liberty, and prosperity remain constant. The government was the problem then and remains to be the problem. The more we can weaken it, the better. Poeple have always been the best advocates for themselves.

A lot has been said, since the election, that the conservative movement is dead (especially by sites like The Daily Kos and Talking Points Memo). The conservative movement is not dead, nor do we need to press the “reset button” as some have stated. All we need to is realize how valuable things like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social networking sites really are. The message does not need to be changed, just the way we deliver it. The days of postcards, and robocallers are dead. That is how we came to power in the 80s and mid-90s. That was 15 years ago. A lot has changed since then.

We also need to promote the right message. We cannot get tied down in the petty games of unimportant problems (the Obama birth certificate is the most recent and most ridiculous). We need to focus on the real issues, not issues that are irrelevant to the average person (McCain learned this the hard way with William Ayers). We also need to have plans for our policies (as Eric Cantor pointed out). I think most of the conservative blogosphere is doing a relatively good job of that, but we need to be doing a lot better.

A week, or so, ago I was in the headquarters of Americans for Tax Reform attending a social media roundtable with a who’s who of young conservatives. The main speakers were the people behind The Next Right and RebuildtheParty (the same people).  The purpose of these gatherings is to share best practices and tips with other conservatives. Since this was the first meeting, they just gave an overview of why the Web is important to the future of conservatism. That also happened to be the day the Washington Post article about Obama’s success on the Web came out so that was the main subject. I believe the mark was missed. All they talked about was incredible it was that he got 13 million names to sign up for his e-mail list. How much of a genius he was and how techy he was.

As my colleague so astutely pointed out, Obama is not some Internet guru. He was a social sensation. Had Reagan been running in 2008, he would have had 13 million e-mail addresses too. Obama captivated people and made himself available on the Internet. It was very smart strategy for Obama to invest so much time and money in the Internet from the very start of his campaign, but he just tapped into an already existing market that was waiting for him. No one on McCain’s side was waiting for him, so he started from scratch. He did all the same things Obama did with YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and the like. He just didn’t captivate people. How did Obama get this ready-made network to tap into? The left blogosphere made it for him.

The left blogosphere rose to prominence by pointing out missteps of Republicans. When what was said didn’t match with what was done, they were on the Web informing people. the right rarely does anything like that. Instead, the Web is treating like talk radio. Instead of going after policiy issues, they go after misstatements that are, most of the time, taken out of context. That will only succeed in driving people away. Matt Sheffield should be a model to us all. His site, Ratherbiased.com exposed Dan Rather’s misrepresentation of facts on Bush and helped to get him off TV. That is real activism that people can get behind. My Colleague, Conn Carroll, has been doing his best to keep up with the trials of the left.

If we are to succeed in the 21st century we need to adapt to new technology as it changes, not after we lose elections because we were scared to adapt. We can be the trendsetters. We have to be.

Todd