Conservative Coalitions of Yester-Year

They say History repeats itself, and this is best seen through the current events. They saw we were headed towards a great depression, and though this is bad for America, it created one of the best times for conservatives. This may be a very odd statement to say, but those “times that tried men’s souls” created urgency for conservatives to unite and stand against events that were occurring.

After the re-election of Roosevelt in 1936, he not only continued his already established new deal policy’s, btu began to form more. After his attempted court packing, many of his own party became disillusioned. These that strayed from the Fold were mostly Southern Democrats who found themselves without a side in the political battlefield. These were accepted into the Republican Party and created a conservative coalition. Led by a great conservative leader in Robert  A. Taft of Ohio, they stood up to Roosevelt and the new deal. Though outnumbered and beaten many times, the conservative coalition filibustered and fought as long as they could.

There were bad times when many conservatives were voted out, but they kept on the road. They were able to see till the rise of Reagan and the “Republican Revolution of ’94”. And though it may appear that the coalition has collapsed after the victory of Obama, I believe we are in a rebuilding mode. The base is solid as it ever has been, but we must build up support from those who straddle the fence to favor us.

The events that led to a conservative coalition being created are eerily similar to those that we are in: a liberal in president office, economic downturn, and excessive spending. These times of necessity demanded action, and the time has come for action today.

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Where Efficiency Meets Elegance

Competition is beautiful.  With initial thought, you might think differently, but competition is really where efficiency meets elegance.  Picture a soccer game of twelve-year-olds in a regional championship game.  Whoever wins will not receive any media recognition.  They will not move onto a state championship because there is none.  They will not even receive any money.  All they will receive is a measly 5-inch trophy.  Despite the lack of awards, the kids play their hearts out and finally a winner is decided.  Now, backtrack over the previous few months preceding this game.  Each team put in hours on hours of sweat, grass stains, and sprints to get to where they were at the regional championship.  Even though there was only one final winner, both teams benefited.  Both rose to a level of skill that surpassed others, just as the other teams in the league did the same to surpass other teams.  Moreover, the spectators, who have not had to labor like the soccer players have, benefit as well by watching one amazing soccer game.  Now, anyone who does not agree with such a prospect should perhaps consider acquiring some common sense.  Needless to say, many people who would agree with the above text will without hesitation totally disagree with the following.

And that is that competition in the marketplace is also where efficiency meets elegance.  Still agree?  Good.  But consider this.  Because of the very nature of competition, most, if not all, of common and accepted tax and regulation within the United States economy imposed on by the national government should be abolished.  Ah yes, now you disagree.  Let me explain.  Nothing works better for ALL parties in an economy than true free market competition.  Competition allows both the consumer and producer to benefit.  Take televisions, for example.  LCD TV prices have dropped dramatically since their introduction to the marketplace.  In fact, according to WitsView’s 1Q09 LCD TV retail price survey, mainstream LCD TV prices have dropped 7.5% over the last quarter.  The dramatic drop is not due to some government agency imposing a mandate that TV manufacturers reduce their prices or else.  Quite the contrary, competition is all to blame.  There are at least a dozen mainstream TV manufacturers out there all trying to get you, the consumer, to buy their TV.  What do they have to do to convince you?  They improve their picture quality, increase the number of features, increase the size, decrease the size, improve the form factor, and of course, reduce prices.  They all do this because they must.  They simply cannot survive if they don’t, and time and time again, we see companies that don’t compete well against other companies, whether the reasons lay behind inferior products or inferior prices, and with due time, we never see the companies again (Circuit City ring any bells?).  This is the essence and the beauty of competition.  We all benefit.  The company with the best TV will get the most business, and in turn, the most profit, while we will get the best TV with the best price, and as soon as the other companies come out with better TVs, they will also see the benefits.

Now I turn to oil companies.  Those nasty, greedy, selfish oil companies.  When we were constantly hearing about the record taxes they were paying, oh wait, I mean the record profits they were earning, I could have thrown up.  All I heard was how the oil companies needed to be taxed more and needed tougher regulation.  First of all, what is wrong with a business making money?  Oh, right, right, because it’s money we can’t have.  But besides that, and bear with me here, what if we actually reduced the taxes that the oil companies have to pay and reduced the regulations that they must abide to.  And I don’t mean just a little, I mean big time.  Just imagine if the oil companies’ taxes were slashed by 75% and regulations were cut drastically.  Uhh… they’d earn even more profit, and we’d lose even more money….  WRONG!  Oil companies, just with all companies, are looking for business.  Right now, they can only invest so much to improving their product and the efficiency at which they produce their product because they must pay an outrageous corporate tax.  With more money to invest, imagine what, for example, gasoline prices would look like?  Do you really think that the companies would continue to keep their prices high, even though they would have lower tax rates?  Just think if that were the case.  One oil company would realize that more people will buy their gasoline if they simply lowered their prices under the competing companies’ prices.  All of a sudden, the other companies that chose to keep their prices high would realize that they should lower theirs as well if they want people to keep buying their gasoline.  Suddenly, what you would have is a domino effect where all the oil companies would continue to strive to make their prices as low as possible (through increased efficiency in the refining process, shipping, etc.) in order to convince you to buy their gasoline.  Again, every single person involved benefits.

This same concept can be applied to anything and everything that exists in the economy, from pencils to credit cards to health insurance.  As long as there is competition, companies will continue to improve their products or services and make profit while the consumer will continue to sit back and enjoy the benefits.  The problem continues on with a tremendous and ridiculous corporate tax rate that discourages competition, as well as erroneous regulations set by bureaucrats over companies that only want to provide the best product for their consumers.   All you have to do is look at countless examples where competition has benefited everybody, like the computer market, internet market, cosmetic market, food market, retail market, sports merchandise market, automobile market, insurance market, furniture market… I could go on and on.  Every single one of those examples contain the most powerful and self-regulating forcethat powers our economy and benefits everyone involved–competition.

Competitively,
Samuel Congiundi ’12

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Obama-Patient the New Doctor-Patient Relationship?

The most sacred and unique of all human relationships is that between the doctor and the patient. This bond is based on absolute, mutual trust and faith. Key ingredients are honest communication, reciprocal respect, moral principles, and, ultimately, truth. This relationship is the result of choice; one human freely and willingly chooses to seek medical help from another human, who must then agree freely and willingly to provide such service. In no other relationship does an individual so completely submit to another. In no other relationship does an individual so intimately enter into the body and soul of another. Which requires greater faith and courage, the patient that allows the physician to drill into his skull, filet open her flank, or saw open his chest, or the physician that precisely dissects the tumor from the brain, transfers a kidney from one human to another, or holds a heart in her hands to literally mend it?

While anyone can fill the role of patient, a rare few can fill the role of physician. American physicians have recently been demonized and disparaged by our new President and liberal federal government. Truth be known, physicians are among the most intelligent, hardworking, self-sacrificing, conscientious, innovative, compassionate, charitable, trusted, and faithful servants in our country. Physicians are motivated by good to serve others at great cost and sacrifice to themselves and their families. Physicians devote a minimum of twelve years after high school to education and incur almost insurmountable debt to acquire the required skill, knowledge, wisdom, and courage. Precious few possess the intellect, work ethic, value system, and other traits required to become a physician.  One might ask why any rational person would choose this profession; the answer is- it is a calling. Some of the best and the brightest feel called to serve others, and the primary goal is most certainly not financial gain. As with any profession, there are exceptions to the rule, and anecdotal cases exist of individuals who are not good physicians. Bad physicians are sanctioned or removed from the profession, and, most importantly, the patient has the choice to break the relationship and seek another physician at any time, at will. Conversely, the physician cannot freely leave the relationship at will.

Mr. Obama’s goal throughout his July 22nd press conference was to garner support for rushing through radical healthcare reform which will drastically increase government participation in healthcare. Mr. Obama stated that currently physicians can and will choose treatment for their patients based on financial reimbursement. He gave the example of the possibility that a physician who needed cash would choose to perform a tonsillectomy on a child rather than prescribe antibiotics for a sore throat. This is an appalling, unfounded accusation. Mr. Obama is not a physician and is not qualified to practice medicine. He is in no uncertain terms implying that his expanded government plan must be passed so that the government can dictate the treatment plan, because the physician might decide on treatment for the patient based predominantly on monetary gain. The government practicing medicine is a frightening and unethical prospect. It would be far better to have no healthcare coverage whatsoever than government controlled coverage, which empowers a group of nonmedical bureaucrats to dictate medical treatment. Mr. Obama might be surprised to discover that the Medicaid reimbursement to the surgeon for the tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy in a child is only $270.00 for a surgical procedure which carries the risk of hemorrhage and death. This absurdly low reimbursement most likely does not even cover the physician’s overhead. In fact, physicians routinely subsidize government insured patients with other income sources. While he is busy villainizing physicians, we are too busy, too overworked, and too perilously trusting to defend ourselves, naively clinging to the shred of faith that justice will prevail and good will conquer evil.  The very physicians he accuses of greed and targets to squeeze even further are routinely providing charity care to countless patients who are illegals or who simply cannot pay. Not only do physicians treat these patients without receiving any pay, in fact, we commonly have to come out of pocket to provide medical supplies such as sterile gloves, instruments, and suture to treat the uninsured. Physicians do this by choice as we seek to help the human in need, often at great personal sacrifice and medicolegal exposure. We do this of our own volition, because we are called to serve others. We are not primarily motivated by financial gain as Mr. Obama contends. Sadly, this is a concept foreign to many politicians.

Dear American citizens, do not believe what he is saying. It is not the truth. Why does he lie? He lies because he is incapable of knowing the truth. He is not a physician. He has never been the doctor part of the doctor patient relationship. The methods by which physicians practice medicine are completely counterintuitive to him, so there is no way he can understand that the physician will actually choose to do the right thing for the patient. The key ingredients for the doctor patient relationship are foreign to him: mutual trust and faith, honest communication, reciprocal respect, moral principles, and truth are as foreign to him as words from a language he has never heard spoken and therefore cannot comprehend.While he preaches hope and change, he is oblivious to truth and trust. The unquestioning faith a patient places in the physician, the bond, is not a bond politicians can relate to.  While a physician will provide medical care to patients for government established fees which do not even cover overhead, the politician or ruthless business person might instead choose to administer the anesthesia, crack the chest open, and then wake the patient up unanesthetized to renegotiate the fees before finishing with the surgery. The government must not be allowed to practice medicine.

The United States has the best healthcare system and the best physicians in the world. Medical miracles are performed and medical advances are occurring at exponential rates. Why are we recklessly changing the best healthcare system in the world and demonizing our doctors? Most Americans have health insurance, and most Americans are happy with it. Of those who do not have it, many choose not to or do not qualify because they are not United States Citizens. We are told there is a crisis: the system is broken and will bankrupt the country. In reality, the government run part is the part that is broken, in debt, and financially unsustainable. The privately run part is working and, in fact, is subsidizing the government run part. Why should we expand the broken part, the government run part? Medicare, Medicaid, Military Hospitals, and the Veterans’ Administration Hospital System are examples of the government run parts. Contrast Medicare, Medicaid, and the V.A. to the private insurance companies and, for example, the Mayo Clinic. It makes more sense to decrease or eliminate the broken, government part and expand the private part- the working part, the part that makes us the best in the world.

The inherent problem is that the physicians and the Washington bureaucrats cannot communicate. Their basic value systems and languages are different.  Which will it be? Care over cost or cost over care? Doctor-patient relationship or senator-patient relationship? Will the most sacred of all human relationships cease to exist as the U.S. federal government practices medicine? In this crisis driven pursuit of change for the sake of CHANGE, what do we HOPE to get in exchange for freedom of choice, free will, honesty, respect, morals, truth, trust and faith?  In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take away everything you have”. We must not allow the federal government to take over healthcare. If their consideration, understanding, and knowledge of their own bill is any indication of the way they will practice medicine, I shudder to think what will happen. Call and fax your congressmen. Act now.                                                                                                                               Sincerely,                                                                                                                                          Kristin Story Held, M.D.

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Conservative Coalition

The Importance of a conservative coalition is best seen by simply reading a newspaper, listening to the radio, or watching your television. However there is hope, and it’s best expressed in a slogan that is as true in our day as when it was first used by Ben Franklin; “Join, or Die”.

joinordie

Though it may seem like we’re not in immediate threat today, our Freedoms are just as under attack now as they were in 1776. There is a great need for a conservative coalition that is devoted to restoring America to its roots in the Constitution and in freedom. We must unify or face certain darkness of a political kind that has unfortunately engulfed our allies in Europe. This darkness has been and, I’m sure, will always be knocking at America’s door. It may knock, but as long as men and women of America will fight for freedom, it will never come in.

This is simply the introduction to upcoming entries to this blog on the necessity of unity among conservatives and all lovers of freedom.  Whether these are paleo-cons, fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, libertarians, moderates, neo-cons, and even disillusioned liberals who still love America and wish her to prosper and for freedom to endure to another day. I may not know everything about politics and the way things work in the world, but I do have a belief in an ideology, a way of life,  a country founded on unalienable rights, and “that a government of the people, by the people,  for the people, shall not perish from the Earth”.

Pro Libertas, Pro Texana

Lance Goldsmith ‘12

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Upcoming Texas Legislation – Smoking Ban, Transfat Ban, CHL on Campus

I know yall are busy with finals – so at the very least skip to the bottom so you can copy and paste the example letter to Fred Brown and Steven Ogden.

Gotta little story for you Ags – the federal government under Obama is taking away our liberties every chance they get; however, the state isn’t doing so well either.  It is time to stand up Ags and protect our Freedom, Life, and Property!  I know most people don’t follow through with these calls to action, but please take a minute to read through these 3 important issues and the easy steps you can take to promote freedom.

Seliger's Peeps

Seliger's Peeps - highlighting how ridiculous this bill is!

Transfat Ban –  Friday the Texas Senate Passed a bill banning the use of Trans-fats in restaurants (of course excluding several groups from the ban in order to please supporters and get the bill to pass) –SB 204.  This is a clear plunder of our liberties.  Unfortunately, a similar bill in the House – HB 1523 is up for consideration on Monday.  While it is probably too late in the ball game to stop this one, you can still contact your representative urging them to actively not support this bill.  Information on how to do this is further down in this post.

Concealed Carry on Campus – The concealed carry on campus bill – HB 1893 will be heard on Monday.  While this bill is expected to pass, contacting your representatives would still be a wise choice.  Also, the College Station representative, Fred Brown, dropped off as a sponsor of the bill, so it is important to contact him.

Smoking Ban – The House Committee on State Affairs has passed out House Bill 5, the ban on smoking in all workplaces, including restaurants, etc. – just about every place besides a private residence. It is virtually guaranteed to be placed on the House Calendar for a vote this week.  While it is true that the version passed by State Affairs is “watered down,” this means absolutely nothing. HB 5 author Myra Crownover has stated that the changes, which eliminated bars and counties with 115,000 or fewer residents “are not acceptable, but {they’re} a vehicle to get this through. The authors in the house fully intend to place the original language back into the bill, either on the house floor or during the conference committee.  This is why it is important that conservatives and other liberty minded folks contact the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. The Senate version of the bill, SB 544, is currently held-up in that committee. It is important that we contact the Health and Human Services Committee members and urge them not to pass-on the bill to the Senate floor; however, this may be a long shot as all of the committee members voted for the transfat bill.

What you can do – Contact your senator/representative and urge them to vote against the Smoking & transfat bills and for the concealed carry bill.  If you are unsure who your representatives are, you can type in your address to find their contact information here.  It is important to either call or e-mail your representative (e-mail forms found on their webpages;  for Senate and for the House).  Example messages can be found below.  At the very least, send the message by e-mail to your senator and house representative.  Calling their offices is also effective and would not take long.  Also, pass this along to family and friends and have them do the same.

For A&M students, you should also contact our Senator, Steve Ogden and our Representative, Fred Brown.

Fred Brown – (link to email)

Dear Representative Brown,

With many important bills will be considered this week, I urge you to remember that freedom must be protected and fought for at all costs.  Many laws have been made in the current session that restrict the freedom of Texans.  One such bill, SB 204 – banning the use of transfats in many instances, was passed Friday in the senate.  I hope you will vote against HB 1523 or any other legislation outlawing transfat use in restaurants.

I am disappointed that you have sponsored the smoking ban bill, HB 5.  I urge you to drop off of this bill immediately.  If the smoking ban bill, HB 5, makes it to the floor this week, I hope that you will vote nay in order to protect the freedom of the citizen’s of Texas.  At the very least, I hope that you can see this as an issue for the municipal governments to decide.  This bill would further eliminate the distinction between private and public property.  To allow or not allow smoking is a decision of the property owner or tenant, not the state.

On a different note, I thank you for at one point sponsoring the Concealed Carry on Campus bill, HB 1893; however, I am not pleased that you decided to drop the bill a few weeks ago.  I urge you to vote for this bill.  Allowing CHL holders to carry on campus would create safer conditions for students and faculty.  Besides the ability to prevent a devastating shooting, allowing CHL on campus would reduce all crime – rape, assault, theft, etc.  Not supporting this bill shows disregard for the well being and lives of college students.

I would also like to remind you that you rank quite low on the legislative rankings of the Young Conservatives of Texas – a fact that deeply concerns me.  As you close out this legislative session, I hope you will fight for liberty, life, and property.

Sincerely,

*Your Name*

Senator Ogden – (link to email)

Dear Senator Ogden,

With many important bills will be considered this week, I urge you to remember that freedom must be protected and fought for at all costs.  Many laws have been made in the current session that restrict the freedom of Texans.  One such bill was one that you voted in favor of – SB 204, the bill banning the use of transfats in many instances.  This is very disappointing as I believe that the citizens and business owners of Texas are capable of making their own informed decisions and do not need the government (be it federal, state, or local) dictating every aspect of their lives.  I urge you to consider the freedom of your constituents more thoroughly in the future.

On a different note, I urge you to vote for the Concealed Carry on Campus bill, SB 1164, if it is to make it out of committee.  Allowing CHL holders to carry on campus would create safer conditions for students and faculty.  Besides the ability to prevent a devastating shooting, allowing CHL on campus would reduce all crime – rape, assault, theft, etc.

It concerns me that you have such a low ranking by the Young Conservatives of Texas legislative rankings – tying for last place among the Republicans.  As you close out this legislative session, please fight for liberty, life, and property.

Sincerely,

*Your Name*

Thanks Ags! Good luck on your finals!

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Language of "Investment" in Politics

I’m tired of hearing politicians say they want to “invest” more of the taxpayer’s money in this or that, as if they could spend our own money more wisely than us.

Here is a sampling of President Obama’s “investment”-talk in his address to a joint session of Congress:

“A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future.”

“Now is the time to jumpstart job creation, re-start lending, and invest in areas like energy, health care, and education that will grow our economy, even as we make hard choices to bring our deficit down.”

“But the only way to fully restore America’s economic strength is to make the long-term investments that will lead to new jobs, new industries, and a renewed ability to compete with the rest of the world.”

“That is why, even as it cuts back on the programs we don’t need, the budget I submit will invest in the three areas that are absolutely critical to our economic future:  energy, health care, and education.”

“We have also made the largest investment in basic research funding in American history – an investment that will spur not only new discoveries in energy, but breakthroughs in medicine, science, and technology.”

“And to support that innovation, we will invest fifteen billion dollars a year to develop technologies like wind power and solar power; advanced biofuels, clean coal, and more fuel-efficient cars and trucks built right here in America.”

“Our recovery plan will invest in electronic health records and new technology that will reduce errors, bring down costs, ensure privacy, and save lives.  It will launch a new effort to conquer a disease that has touched the life of nearly every American by seeking a cure for cancer in our time.  And it makes the largest investment ever in preventive care, because that is one of the best ways to keep our people healthy and our costs under control.”

“Already, we have made an historic investment in education through the economic recovery plan.”

“We’ll invest in innovative programs that are already helping schools meet high standards and close achievement gaps. “

Government spending sounds so good when it is couched in terms of “investment,” doesn’t it?

Now you tell me: when was the last time government EVER gave the American people a return on an “investment” of taxpayer dollars in energy, health care, or education? Last time I checked, the federal government wasted billions of money subsidizing ethanol and other unproductive sources of energy. It created the sleeping giants of Medicare and Medicaid whose unsustainability and fraud are eating up larger and larger portions of the federal budget each year. And we spend more and more money on government-run school systems that seem to get worse over time.

An investment is when people freely use their own money to their own risk and reward.

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Capitalism: A Victim of Its Own Success

You know, maybe Marxists are right about one thing: capitalism is self-destructive, though not in the way they conceive of it.

Capitalism is so good at solving (or mitigating perhaps) so many problems that later generations of people come to feel entitled to easy and infinite abundance of everything without a full recognition of what it really takes to have prosperity. Moreover, a people cut off from their own history and heritage cannot possibly have a sense of perspective and gratitude for what the market system has accomplished in the West.

Capitalism is so effective sometimes that in virtually eradicating some problems it creates or brings to light lesser problems that were not there before or were not taken as seriously. And then the political left uses these lesser problems to indict capitalism and expand the power of government, all the while failing to mention the great scourges that capitalism has eliminated or mitigated. These lesser problems must be transformed into “crises” through political smoke and mirrors to make the people forget about the benefits of the market.

For example, capitalism has largely solved the problem of hunger and starvation in the Western world. Food is relatively cheap and abundant and hardly anyone starves to death (unless you’re on a feeding tube and your husband wants to be rid of you). Of course, the negative side-effect is that of obesity and other health concerns. So now we have government at all levels clamoring to tell us what we can and cannot eat (e.g. trans fats).

Health care provides another example. People today complain about the high cost of health care, but that is because the market given us more ways to spend more money on our own health. Would you rather have miraculous drugs and procedures at a high cost or none of them at all? Medicine is a time, energy, and capital intensive industry. If medical professionals are not allowed their just monetary rewards for the sacrifice of their time and energy to gain and apply their expertise, we will soon cease to have any such professionals. Moreover, as the market is allowed to work, prices almost always tend to come down because of competition and innovation. Many health conveniences that we take for granted today were once too expensive for anyone (e.g. heart transplant). We must allow innovation its expensive reward at first if we are ever to see it come down in price.

Again, many people complain about how many manufacturing jobs are being shipped overseas, but with this trend has also come the expansion of the service economy. More and more Americans are moving into service sector jobs that are more pleasant, safer, and less physically laborious. Yes, we need an education system to meet our service/information economy, but the loss of lesser skilled job opportunities does not reflect badly on the U.S. economy.

The examples are endless…. Behind every pseudo-crisis of the left, there is a market success story that is being ignored, denied, or distorted. Let’s have some farsighted and thorough historical perspective and sense of proportion before passing moral judgment on capitalism.

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