Browse Month

November 2011

Get Tea Party Calls–For Free!

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I hear about it all the time.  People are frustrated with me. With St. Louis Tea Party.

They’re frustrated because they hear about our events after the events.

That’s no good. We want people at the events. That’s what makes them events.

What you asked for was some way to get a phone call about upcoming events.  

That’s not unreasonable.  The question is, how are we going to pay for it?  Commercial outbound calling systems charge by the number of people to call. Potentially, we could be calling hundreds.  Or more, if we’re lucky.

Plus, I needed people to be able to register for the service themselves.

So I developed an application.  Here’s how it works:

From the phone on which you want to receive calls, call 636-352-1385.  When prompted, hit 2 to register for the phone tree.  When prompted again, hit 7 to confirm your registration.

The next time we have an event, including The After Party, we’ll call you to let you know about it.

This is a great application for people who don’t use the internet.

But it’s also a great reminder system for everyone.  You know how many times I’ve forgotten about events I wanted to attend? As crowded as our lives have become, sometimes a phone call reminder is the most valuable gift we can receive.

I hope a lot of people get value out of the system. I plan to develop it further for other groups, campaigns, and even small businesses and families.

If you’d like to give it a try, just call 636-352-1385.  

If you don’t want to receive calls, just press 1 to hear about the next After Party.

 

 

7 Questions for Candidate Forums

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The quality of the answers you get in life depend on the quality of the questions you ask.

Sometimes, though, when offered the chance to ask important questions, we ask questions about personal gain or immediate problems. That’s natural. Our brains are wired to prompt us with the urgent, immediate things in our lives.

But sometimes that’s not the best strategy.  Sometimes we need answers to the bigger questions–questions that may be crucial later.

When candidates for office stand before us, our questions must rise to the this higher level.  We are conservatives who support candidates for the long term good of the country and of humanity, not for our own immediate gain.

So here are seven questions every candidate should answer. Or try to:

  1. What situation might be so frightening or embarrassing that you would put your own pride or career before the good of your constituents?  (Follow up) Have you have done this in the past?
  2. Do you think you deserve to win this election?
  3. Besides your staff and volunteers, who will you owe–big time–if you win?
  4. When will you know it’s time to give up and come home?
  5. Who asked you not to run and what reason did they give?
  6. By what measure will know you’ve accomplished your mission?
  7. Why do you want this job?
I know these questions are not super specific.  Some of them will get more platitudes than honest, considered answers.  That’s okay.
These questioned, posed to candidates in a public forum, will make people think about some important, transcendent matters.
That’s a big accomplishment for the men and women in a free society.

Bonus Question:  Forty House Republicans agreed to help Democrats raise taxes, Missouri Republicans Billy Long and Jo Ann Emerson included. If you were a member of the 112th Congress, would that number have been forty-one?

 

What Do Post Dispatch Reporters and Penn State Have in Common?

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Like the Penn State athletic department, most St. Louis news media covered up a sex crime in order to protect an organization they love.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch, KTVI 2 and KPLR 11, and KSDK 5 each failed to report a sexual assault that took place at the illegal OccupySTL squatters’ village in Kiener Plaza last week.

The assault came to light only because a citizen-journalist, the POed Patriot, monitors the police crime map.  He blogged it.

Another citizen-journalist, Sharp Elbows, obtained police confirmation of the attack.

I’m trying to figure out why the Post Dispatch and every TV news channel except KMOV channel 4 covered up the attack.

OccupySTL is the local version of the number one news story in the country.  Search for Occupy stories on stltoday.com returns more than 3,000 entries. Yet the only mention of the sexual assault in St. Louis came from a citizen posting on a forum.

I realize that the failing business model of daily papers has resulted in fewer reporters to cover the news.  But this goes beyond  page space and time limits.  A sexual assault at OccupySTL is news–much harder than 90 percent of the stories that have appeared in the Post since the incident occured.

The various Occupy encampments across the country have produced more lice, TB, suicide, STDs, and murder than positive social change. A responsible news agency reports news associated with dangerous activities.

All of this raises another disturbing question: who many other OccupySTL crimes do the reporters know about?

P.S.  Kudos to KMOV News 4, the only newsroom in St. Louis with the guts to report bad stuff about the illegal occupation of Kiener Plaza.

How Weather in Thailand Could Change American Politics

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Just over a decade ago, a little lightning in New Mexico upended the cell phone business. Nature, not government, picked winners and losers.  That storm determined the cell phone device race until another dynamo, the iPhone, came along and changed everything again.

Now, weather in Thailand–and the tsunami in Japan–threaten to upend American politics in the 2012.  Your economic future could hang in the balance.

Nokia vs. Ericsson, 2001

The Wall Street Journal story spellbound me.

Caused by a lightning bolt, the blaze in an Albuquerque, N.M., semiconductor plant burned for just 10 minutes last March. But far away in Scandinavia, the fire touched off a corporate crisis that shifted the balance of power between two of Europe’s biggest electronics companies, both major players in the global electronics industry.

How could that happen? In 2001, how could a tiny fire have such an amazing impact on the fastest-growing industry in the world?  And how could Asian weather this year change American politics in 2012 and beyond?

In March, 2001, Ericsson of Sweden and Nokia of Finland were locked in a battle. Each wanted to dominate the cell phone market just as cell phone sales skyrocketed around the world.

Both manufacturers bought a key radio frequency chip from the same chip supplier in New Mexico.  The difference:  Ericsson relied solely on the New Mexico plant, while Nokia worked with multiple suppliers.

Thailand Floods Dry Up Hard Drives

Central planners consider efficiency the supreme objective.  Hitler’s Final Solution was, in his mind, an efficiency project, as wereStalin’s collectivization atrocities.  Efficiency pays no regard to right or wrong–only to minimum cost in time and material to accomplish some objective.

Efficiency is often the enemy of safety and common sense. The drive to reduce “waste” often increases risk by putting lots of eggs in one basket.

Ericsson’s one-source solution was efficient.  So efficient that by the end of 2001, Ericsson abandoned the cell phone market it nearly dominated in March of the same year.

Likewise, the United States has shipped hard drive manufacturing to Thailand.  More efficient.  Thailand has the plants and the labor force to produce more drives faster and cheaper than American manufacturers.

Until it rains. A lot.

This year’s monsoon season ravaged Thailand.  Flood waters fill over 1,000 factories in the central part of the country (source NYT).

Best Buy customers already feel the impact.

St. Louisan Lee Presser tried to buy a new hard drive for his wifes computer this week. The price was double what he’d expected.

Lee went home to shop around on the internet. There he found prices even higher than those at Best Buy.  So he returned to buy the last hard drive in stock.

“The Geek Squad guy told me it was because of flooding in Thailand,” Lee told me.

Prices for the most popular specifications have nearly doubled since November 1.

Jack Welch and Automation

Lee continued, “Which reminded me of that thing Jack Welch said.”  Lee referred to the former CEO of General Electric.

Mr. Presser had seen Welch in an interview talking about the problem automation has presented to the job market. “We just don’t need that many people to make products anymore.”

Which brought Lee to his epiphany.

“So why can’t make hard drives here in the United States?  Why should we be dependent on a country in Asia when we can manufacture them right here with machines?”

Great questions.

The Answer

There are many obvious answers to Lee’s questions.  To me, the most obvious is the long-term plan by the kingmakers to grow economies in underdeveloped countries.  But that expensive policy of dubious return is fodder for another blog.

The answer that concerns us here is political, and comes as another question:  How many candidates for any office care a lick about flooding in Thailand or lightning in New Mexico?

How many politicians really get how all this stuff works?  How many really care?

To be honest, I’m afraid even some of our favorite Congressmen and candidates probably fell asleep before they got to this sentence.  That’s because many (if not most) politicians have thought little about purpose of American life. They think, instead, about getting elected.

Not life.  Not biological or spiritual existence. But American life.  About why and how what American life is.

Instead, the modern politician focuses on one thing: getting elected.  They can’t be distracted with Lee Presser’s search for a hard drive unless thirty-one percent of registered voters of a particular party also want cheaper hard drives.

How many politicians ever ask the simple and profound question Lee asked rhetorically today: why can’t we make hard drives in America?

Wouldn’t it be refreshing to meet a candidate who knows what he’s going to do the day after his swearing-in.

Challenge a Candidate

As Tony Soprano would say, “Wadda ya gonna do?”

Here’s what I say:  let’s put candidates on the spot.

Not just candidates we’re not sure about.  Not just candidates we’re uncomfortable with.  And not just candidates from the dreaded other party.

Challenge our candidates.  Our favorites.

At some point, we need to restore American pride.  Becoming CEO of Conglomerated Widgets, Inc., does not end one’s Americanism.  Leading a company is no excuse for shirking duties to the nation that made one’s career, built his company, and gave its customers the wealth with which to buy its widgets.

And today our candidates for office, from City Hall to Pennsylvania Avenue, owe us their attention to restoring American manufacturing.

Politicians owe us a clear message to multinational corporations that we are out of the business of subsidizing your operations.  As states, we’re done bribing you to stay here.  As a people, we’re done apologizing to the world for coming up with the best ideas again and again.

It’s time to elevate the practice of politics beyond getting elected, just as it’s time to elevate the practice of business above maximizing profits in the current fiscal quarter.

We built America for long-term success, sustainability, and prosperity.  Arbitrary three-month spurts of greatness are not enough for us. They should satisfy no one.

Let’s harness our grassroots energy. Let’s use the tragic floods of Thailand, not to damage the Thai economy, but to rebuild our own.

We begin by making politicians talk about big ideas for which they may not have complete answers. It’s okay if they don’t. These are difficult questions, as most important questions are.

But we must be sure we’re voting for people who know why, how, and what America was, is, and could be.

That’s why men and women run for office.  And that’s an awesome responsibility.

Tonight is The After Party

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Just a reminder.

The Missouri Precinct Project (MOPP) will make a presentation about its mission and goals at the next

I want to encourage you to attend and listen to what we have to say about getting ready for the next election in 2012.

Sky Music Lounge.

Ballwin.

930 Kehrs Mill at Clayton Rd.

7:00 pm

Please help Joplin

Bring needed items for Joplin:

  • Space heaters
  • Blankets
  • Canned goods
  • Cleaning supplies

 

See you all there.
Thank you

Want to Know What Real Change Looks Like?

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Have you known anyone who turned his life around?

I was in New York last week. Every day I was there, I passed hundreds of people. Each day, I met a dozen new friends.  Everyone in New York, it seems, is ready to smile and have a conversation.

I thought about some of these people– the young couple holding hands, the young man with a hoodie a dozen tattoos, the two models (I was in that part of town) sitting in the hotel lobby talking on their cell phones. I thought about their lives, their secrets, the stuff they wish the whole world knew about them, and the stuff they’d just as soon forget.

I thought about redemption.  About how many people we meet have overcome their own weaknesses.  We’re lucky to have them among us.

I also though about the people who life has kicked in the gut, but they get up and move on.  From them, we learn a lot.

The redeemed.  The survivors.  They make our society stronger. That WWII generation was great because it was full of people who overcame a lot and kept on growing.

Imagine if we could somehow help a whole community to overcome the nasty hand its been dealt, or its self-inflicted wounds. Wouldn’t it be great to see a desolate neighborhood, a broken city, a dangerous street turned around?

Imagine how powerful, how much hope and strength and joy, would come from a whole community surging toward relative peace and prosperity after decades of decline.

What if we could unleash an upward spiral of positivity for thousands of people at once?

We Can

In 2012, one man has the chance to begin that change.  Martin D. Baker, candidate for U.S. House of Representatives from Missouri’s 1st District knows his district, its people, and its problems.

He also knows that doing more of what’s been done for the past 60 years won’t make the 1st District any better.  Martin has the courage to make a change.

I believe that Martin’s district needs a new direction. I know that Martin Baker combines rare strength, courage, and commitment to begin that change.

I urge you to visit this website today.  Visit every day and pray.  Ask for discernment.  Ask for help. Don’t be afraid.

If you can, invest in our future.  Help Martin Baker overcome the decades of damage wrought by Lacy and Bill Clay. Help restore our community.

 

If not us, who?

If not now, when?

Note: These views do not necessarily reflect the views of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition. But they should. ;-)

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