Saturday, November 08, 2008

"Hey, Mr. President, leave those kids alone! "

Cliff Mason at CNBC:

You can't teach American kids civics by forcing them to do community service work. We're stubborn, in fact, that's our singular national virtue. For a guy who spends so much time decrying cynicism, he sure seems to be pushing a program that will make the next generation even more cynical than me and my millennial buddies, and we're a tough act to follow. Call me a skeptic, but this "Ve haf vays of making you serve" program just doesn't seem like the kind of thing that encourages civic-mindedness. In general, coercion doesn't tend to produce good results.

Here's to hoping that "national service" itself was a cynical ploy on Obama's part and he'll forget all about once he takes office. Hey, Mr. President, leave those kids alone!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Another feel-good program that will backfire

Gateway Pundit has a post on the compulsory community service that Obama is asking of middle, high school and college students. The website states:

Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.

My guess is this crap will work as well as the self-esteem movement did in the 70's and 80's which is to say, it will probably backfire. In fact, according to psychologist Martin Seligman in a book I am currently reading, The Optimistic Child: A Proven Program to Safeguard Children Against Depression and Build Lifelong Resilience, kids are more depressed today than ever due to fake self-esteem programs. One reason, according to Seligman is that our society has changed from an achieving society to a feel-good one. I would say that forcing kids to act like do-gooders will be just as fake as instilling self-esteem and result in resentment and irritation later in life.

And seriously, who wants their help? Bird Dog at Maggie's Farm blog asks a good question, "are people really so helpless in America that they need pimply high-schoolers or condescending do-gooder college kids - who know nothing at all about life - to "help" them?"

Why not teach people how to help themselves and achieve their own goals instead of sending a group of youth forced by government mandate to assist them in feeling like victims? Or why not at least make it voluntary as some have suggested in the comments. If education and helping others to help themselves is done voluntarily, it might be a good thing. But why the government coercion?

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Is the market really better under a Democratic administration?

I was checking the stock market at CNBC a few minutes ago and clicked on an article entitled, "Build an Investment Strategy for an Obama Presidency." Here is what I learned:

To shift your long-term investment strategy so that you take advantage of the next four years - and then some - stay with a diversified portfolio but consider making adjustments in your holdings to capitalize on an Obama presidency. Zachary Karabell, economist and president of River Twice Research, reminded that despite popular belief, the stock market tends to do better under a Democratic administration than a Republican administration.

I remember reading about some study on Democrats being better for the market than Republicans a while back in the blogosphere and decided to find out if this was true. Not according to The Wall Street Journal that says divided government is best for the market:
Then there are the various party mixes between the president and Congress. If John McCain wins and we have a Republican president and a Democratic Congress, history leads us to expect an average 10.3% total return from stocks and 3.3% real GDP growth. If Barack Obama wins, and we have a Democratic Congress too, then according to history stocks will average 13.8%, and real GDP growth 3.3%.

But that's no argument for voting for Mr. Obama. Vote for Mr. McCain -- but vote for Republican senators and representatives too. When Republicans have controlled the whole government, it blows away anything Democrats can do. Stocks have averaged 17.5%and real GDP growth 3.3%.

By the way, as fond as Democrats are of saying how poorly stocks have performed under George W. Bush, here's a sobering fact: Stocks averaged 14.1% return in those Bush years when Republicans controlled Congress -- and when Democrats got in there and mucked things up, the average has been a loss of 8.9%. That's not even including 2008 year-to-date, which doesn't look so pretty.

If the electorate were really smart, it would elect a Democratic president and a Republican Congress. Under that deal, stocks have averaged a 20.2% total return, and real GDP averaged 4%. That tells us that economic and stock market success isn't really about partisan politics at all. Sadly, nobody has a political incentive to conduct a study about that.

No, I guess not.

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Looking ahead to 2010

What are constuctive things that right-leaning folks can do if they don't like the change in guard this time around? How about look ahead to the 2010 Senate election cycle and try to help those Republicans coming up for re-election keep their seats and assist the Democrats in losing theirs? I picked up a copy of Michael Barone's excellent book, The Almanac of American Politics, 2008 to see what senators are up for re-election. Here is what I found:

Democrats up for re-election

Bayh, Evan (D-IN)
Boxer, Barbara (D-CA)
Dodd, Christopher J. (D-CT)
Dorgan, Byron L. (D-ND)
Feingold, Russell D. (D-WI)
Inouye, Daniel K. (D-HI)
Leahy, Patrick J. (D-VT)
Lincoln, Blanche L. (D-AR)
Mikulski, Barbara A. (D-MD)
Murray, Patty (D-WA)
Obama, Barack (D-IL)
Reid, Harry (D-NV)
Salazar, Ken (D-CO)
Schumer, Charles E. (D-NY)
Wyden, Ron (D-OR)

Republicans up for re-election

Bond, Christopher S. (R-MO)
Brownback, Sam (R-KS)
Bunning, Jim (R-KY)
Burr, Richard (R-NC)
Coburn, Tom (R-OK)
Crapo, Mike (R-ID)
DeMint, Jim (R-SC)
Grassley, Chuck (R-IA)
Gregg, Judd (R-NH)
Isakson, Johnny (R-GA)
Martinez, Mel (R-FL)
McCain, John (R-AZ)
Murkowski, Lisa (R-AK)
Shelby, Richard C. (R-AL)
Specter, Arlen (R-PA)
Thune, John (R-SD)
Vitter, David (R-LA)
Voinovich, George V. (R-OH)

I wonder if Arnold Schwarzenegger might run against Barbara Boxer for her Senate seat or if Chris Dodd will survive his ties to the housing crisis? Perhaps if conservatives and libertarians work together to defeat a few Democrats and keep Republicans in place, 2010 will be a more welcoming place for us. Anyone out there with any concrete ideas on how to go about doing this--other than the obvious such as putting up and running websites like etc?

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"It's the economy, stupid."

I was just watching numerous young Obama fans celebrating on the Fox News channel and read the stats scrolling across the bottom of the page. They stated that over 60% of voters who were worried about the economy voted for Obama. That, for me, summed it up in a nutshell. So many right-leaning types are trying hard to figure out what they did, what the Republicans did, and why they lost. Each election cycle, there's always a theme. For the last two elections, it was Iraq and national security.

Now those issues are in the background and this time around, it's the economic crisis, with a little (or a lot) of help from the media in pushing it to the forefront in people's minds. Why is this important? Because rather than think the country is going through some incredible demographic shift of Republican-hating left-wing ideology, it is rather comforting to know that the major reason people voted for Obama in this election was the economy. McCain was actually polling pretty well right before the economic crisis. Next election cycle, it will be something else. It might favor the Republicans or it might not. But to think that the entire philosophy of individual rights, small government, national security and gun rights is lost on a new generation of voters based on this one election is not only foolish, it shows a degree of cynicism that may not be accurate. The next two or three election cycles will need to be evaluated before we can can say that America has rejected the ideas of free markets and free minds.


"Stay positive and focused"

So, how is everyone dealing with the aftermath this morning? I like what Michelle Malkin had to say:

There is no time to lick wounds, point fingers, and wallow in post-election mud.

I’m getting a lot of moan-y, sad-face “What do we do now, Michelle?” e-mails.

What do we do now? We do what we’ve always done.

We stand up for our principles, as we always have — through Democrat administrations and Republican administrations, in bear markets or bull markets, in peacetime and wartime.

We stay positive and focused.

We keep the faith.

We do not apologize for our beliefs.

Good advice.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Feeling Meter

Professor Stephen Bainbridge's response if Obama wins: "I plan on throwing a major hissy fit, followed by a bender of historic proportions" (via Instapundit).

I am hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. No matter what happens, get out and vote!

How are you feeling about today's election?
Fine, just another election
Just get it over with already.
What election?
Who cares, I'm going John Galt.
I'm with Bainbridge, throw a hissy fit if Obama wins.
Other free polls


Monday, November 03, 2008

Jerusalem Post: "For Americans who have chosen to live in Israel, the candidates' Israel positions are not matters of party loyalty or cheap rhetoric. They are matters of life and death. That may explain why, in spite of the onslaught of Editorials From Famous Jewish Obama Apologists, exit polls (themselves the subject of some controversy) showed that Americans in Israel (less than a quarter of whom were registered Republicans) voted for McCain over Obama by an overwhelming 76% to 24% margin."
Roger Kimball at PJM (via Instapundit): "I understand that larger and larger swaths of America are turning purple if not blue as affluence coupled with tertiary education and cultural relativism transform more and more people into latte-drinking, NPR-listening, global-warming hysterics who regard Karl Rove as an evil genius and Sarah Palin as an anencephaltic breeding machine on skis."


Wrap rage?

First there was road rage, then air rage, now wrap rage. How much frustration can a person take? Seriously, I do remember when my daughter was young how upsetting it was to try and open some of the ridiculous packaging that items came in, but we just got this little tool and I have never had much of a problem since.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Neo-Neocon hates the time change. I feel the same. What do you say?
"Going John Galt" in Japan (via Instapundit)?