Voting: Party or Principle?

The Problem: Fat and Sassy Many of our so-called “political leaders” are concerned about the obesity of individuals out there in the public. They seem intent on saving them from their own “misbehavior”.  Yet, the governments that these folks operate are so morbidly obese in their own right that they are close to death—which for a government would be akin to going bankrupt and disappearing. But the politicians who are so eager to govern people’s personal choices are not taking any action on the size of government. Why? Well, because it doesn’t feel good and the solutions required involve hard, unpopular decisions. Here’s an example: Mayor Bloomberg of NYC decided to restrict sizes of soft drinks sold in the city. He could have spent that time and energy assuring that the city was ready for a natural disaster, not to mention a man-made financial crisis caused by debt and overindulgence created by his honor himself.  It doesn’t take the benefit of post-hurricane hindsight to know which would have been a better use of his time and influence. Who did this? We the People, that’s who. We elected these folks. Plato tried to warn us that, “One of the penalties of not participating in politics is that you will be governed by your inferiors.”  No one can deny that voting without knowledge of the issues or candidates (or for one’s own immediate gain) is the same as not truly participating at all.  And right now, that lack of true participation could signify the end of the American Dream. Who would be accountable, forced to accept the consequences of this abdication...

The End of Bush 2.0

by Jere Krischel Sometimes it’s hard to remember what it felt like four years ago – the stock market in free fall, Obama swept to power by a wave of indistinct “hope and change”, and a palpable sense of uncertainty for the future.  McCain’s defeat was easily anticipated, telegraphed by his “sad grandpa” skit on Saturday Night Live, but nobody really knew what Obama and his Democrats were going to do once in power. As it turns out, in many ways, Obama was simply Bush 2.0 – the realities of the Office of the President led to the continuation of military policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, the maintenance of Gitmo for incarcerating terrorists, and of course the continuation of the “stimulus” program initiated by Bush.  This could be seen as a vindication for Bush and a learning lesson for Obama, but for the most part the mainstream media has buried the lede on this story, letting Obama blame Bush for everything that ever went wrong, and turning previously virulent anti-war protesters into a distant memory. Now, there was one significant break, and one that I’m grateful for – on social issues, not only did Obama end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, but he also finally stood up for marriage equality for monogamous homosexuals.  But for all the joy I could muster about the president’s recognition of the importance of equal treatment regardless of sexual orientation, on balance, Obama 1.0 has been an unmitigated disaster both domestically and internationally. The Keynesian in Obama was probably sincere in believing that additional government borrowing could mitigate the impact of the Great Recession –...

Grassroot Perspective: Opinion Poll Manipulation, Teachers Unions and Can Government Stop A Hurricane? (Hint: No.)

A weekly liberty briefing and news guide to keep you informed and prepared on what’s UP to more freedom or DOWN to bigger, more intrusive government. Quote of the Week: “Let us not despair but act. Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past – let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” – John F. Kennedy Local News Conflicting opinion polls: but just whose report should the people believe? This week you may have noticed that multiple local news outlets released seemingly contradictory tracking polls for several Hawaii candidates running for office, raising sharp suspicions among residents that media bias may be attempting to manipulate voter behavior. But whose numbers should the people trust? ANALYSIS: Famed political scientist and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once said that polls are a snapshot of public opinion but that it is impossible to lead a nation based on what polls say. Reflecting on his time in the Nixon Administration, Kissinger went on to say that leadership required intelligence, an understanding of historical cycles and courage. Here in Hawaii, we would be wise to heed that advice: no matter what you see in the papers, no matter what numbers polls say, you as a citizen must decide for yourself what you will do, independent of what others are doing (or not doing). Humans by nature are conformity creatures – in ambiguous situations we tend to look to what others are doing as a judge for what we should do, think or feel....