Saturday, December 18, 2010

Change without Compromise: A Two Pronged Strategy Is Needed

I gave a talk last Monday to the Kingston Rhinebeck Tea Party about the pursuing a two-pronged partisan strategy.  The GOP has not shrunk government in 30 years.  George W. Bush increased it. He also increased tyrannical state power through the Patriot Act, which the Democrats have not repealed.

Early this year I had e-mailed the head of the Kingston Rhinebeck Tea Party, Thomas Santopietro, and suggested to him that the Tea Party would be coopted.  In light of the vote on the corrupt tax bill for which key congressional Tea Party representatives voted yea, Tom asked me to speak to suggest to the group that a Third Party as well as a GOP strategy ought to be kept in the forefront of Tea Partiers minds. I spoke this past Monday night.

A GOP victory with George Bush, George Pataki or Rick Lazio is worse than a Democratic victory.  When free-spending fools like Bush get power the Democrats can claim that he represents freedom.  But tyranny is not freedom and Bush and Lazio do not represent freedom.  If Tea Partiers are loyal to the GOP and support the likes of Lazio, as the GOP establishment did in New York, then the Tea Party will be just another anti-freedom movement.  The only way that the Tea Party can remain a force for freedom is if it keeps an open mind to shelving the two-party system. 

I have been following politics on and off for forty years and I still can't grasp why Americans favor a two-party system.  It has resulted in their being taxed to fifty percent of their incomes to get a garbage government. Garbage at the federal level; garbage at the state level; and garbage at the local level.  Despite the complete failure of the two party system Americans remain much more loyal to it than they do to liberty.

I hold those who favor the two-party system and so support the GOP even when the likes of Bush are elected as more responsible for America's decline than Democrats.  Democrats are ignorant fools. Two-party-system Republicans are sophmoric, i.e., wise fools.  They know enough to support freedom but they support candidates like Bush and Lazio who oppose freedom.

When I gave my talk at the Tea Party several people agreed with me and several people disagreed. One woman claimed that third parties would produce fringe cranks.  She also falsely claimd that the Patriot Act was signed by Bill Clinton.  Doctrinaire Republicans lie and spin just like doctrinaire Democrats.  As well, the woman forgets that the Republican Party started as an alternative party to the Whig Party.

The two-party system has caused America's decline because both parties are responsive to interest groups.  The special interests that are subsidized by the Fed, to include the banking system and Wall Street, the media, government, and much of big business, all contribute heavily to Republicans as well as Democrats.  General Electric (note: I own 200 GE shares) owns NBC and MSNBC, which were among the biggest supporters of Obama.  When Obama was elected the first thing he did was approve the Bush-Paulson bailout. Guess who benefited. GE Capital, of course.

To be committed to a two party system is to favor the status quo. On the other hand, the GOP is the more redeemable of the two parties.  Hence, I am active in the GOP.  The good news is that the omnibus spending bill has been defeated.  The bad news is that the tax deal, supported by many key Tea Party Republican representatives, included a large quantity of corrupt government spending that approached the Democrats' corrupt stimulus bill.

Daily Caller says of the tax bill:

Charles Krauthamer said it was horrible. Mitt Romney opposed it. Fiscal hawk legislators like Rep. Paul Ryan said it was the best deal they could get. And Coburn, who has railed against every unpaid for expenditure over the last year, kept largely quiet on the deal until the day of the vote when he offered an amendment to cut spending by $160 billion that was defeated, and then voted against the bill along with four other Republicans...Most telling, Tea Party groups founded by less experienced political operatives and based outside Washington – such as Tea Party Patriots and Tea Party Nation – opposed the deal vehemently. But hard line conservative groups in D.C., such as FreedomWorks and Americans for Tax Reform, backed it.

That illustrates why we need a third party.  Compromise between two big government parties is not "moderate." The people in Washington and the state capitals are socialists, fascists and totalitarians. They are not moderates.  The only way that change can occur is through a rethinking of the smug, insipid policies of the past 50 years.  That will require change without compromise.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Universities Teach Cheating

Recently there was a minor cheating scandal in one of my courses.  I base part of the students' grades on a test. Rather than create my own questions, I use a test bank that the textbook publisher provides.  This facilitates giving of multiple exams, which has become the norm in some colleges (some students are permitted extra time because they have learning disabilities; as well, make-up exams are often required).

One or more of the students obtained the publisher's test bank, possibly by pretending to be a professor, having the publisher send the textbook to the college under a false name, and then figuring out how to pick up the textbook from the locked storage room where packages of this kind are stored. It is likely easy to do since all the student would have to do is ask an unsuspecting professor entering the room to help him or her find a book or to use the copy machine, which is in the same room.

In any case, I noticed that the grades on the exam this semester were unusually high; about one fourth of the class got grades that were normally above the highest grade any student would get. At first I thought the class was exceptionally good, that is, until a student met with me in person and proved that the test bank had been obtained under fraud or stolen and that some students studied by memorizing it.  The proof was that he e-mailed me a copy of the test bank which another student had sold him for $10. I asked him to identify the student, but he would not.  I forgave him that distaste for "ratting".

I spoke about the situation with two colleagues. One said that the situation is unequivocally cheating and that I should tell the administration that this has gone on. Since I have no evidence concerning any specific student it would not be possible to uncover who was at fault without pursuing investigations that I have no power to pursue and that I doubt very much the college administration would be willing to pursue.  Another colleague said that in his view students who review the test bank are doing nothing wrong since SAT questions and New York State regents questions are often available for practice purposes.  But those questions are not stolen or obtained under fraudulent pretense.  Also, those questions are made available to all students whereas in this circumstance some students refused to use the stolen test bank because they viewed doing so as unethical. 

College seems to be contributing to the more general moral decline in American society. The chief impact is on me as I now have to make up by hand something that was once computerized, turning a one hour project into a one day project.  With 15 exams over the next year that translates into a two day project versus a 15 or 20 day project. So much for my research output.

I failed to pursue any sort of redress to the cheaters, and in this I participate in the tendency of universities to increasingly condone cheating.

Monday, December 13, 2010

GOP Torch Song: It's Over

Thomas Santopietro of the Kingston-Rhinebeck Tea Party asked me to give a brief talk at the meeting this evening. My friend Glenda McGee happened to be in my office when he called and she pulled a few articles (here and here) about the GOP's and the Democrats' corrupt tax deal of this past week.  Tom asked me to speak because I had predicted a major let-down for the Tea Party a year ago (Tom had looked at an old e-mail I had sent) and although I did not know any of the details until Glenda pulled the information, the utter mockery with which the GOP is treating the Tea Party comes as no surprise.

My message to the Hudson Valley Tea Partiers is that they need to view a third party as a realistic strategy and to view the GOP as the real threat that the Tea Party faces.  Tea Partiers who advocate for the GOP over the public interest do not belong in the Tea Party.  I say this as a member of my Town's Republican Committee, which has been  decimated by public revulsion at the corrupt Bush administration as well as the transformation of the Catskills into a New York City suburb for super-rich New Yorkers.

Please allow Roy Orbison to convey the message the Tea Party needs to hear. With respect to the big government, special interest driven morons who dominate the GOP, the Tea Party's honeymoon is, or ought to be, over. 

The Time for Compromise Is Past

I have come to the conclusion that participation in the American political process is a waste of time.  Not that it is not important, but that the current system of government has failed and that further participation in it distracts from more important life goals and political ends.  By political ends I mean radical action and potentially the formation of a new political party.  I am reformulating my ends as a political blogger since I no longer believe that participation in the American political system is productive.  Not that I am anti-American, but rather, the American state has failed and needs to be replaced.  The Anti-Federalists must rise again. Getting involved with political debates about Democrats, Republicans and the like is a waste of time. God Bless America, but the federal government needs to be kicked into hell.