How to research and write the news

Seek the truth and report it.

The internet is full of news. Much of the reporting is good. Some of the reporting is bad. Because it takes work and critical thinking to tell whether reporting is good or bad it is hard for the general reader to tell what is true. That’s the bottom line. We read the news because we want to know what is true. But if some reporting is bad and we cannot tell whether any particular story is true or not, then we don’t know whether to believe the news or not. That is where Unified Patriots comes in with its news analysis and reporting. Continue reading

Of Tea Parties, Tempests, and Teapots

The Tea Party Patriots and the Claremont Institute both scheduled shindigs to welcome the Freshman class of Republicans to Washington DC on the same day, at overlapping times. It’s a classic tempest in a teapot. Leaving aside hurt feelings, territoriality and resentments it’s important to make a few points.

First, after Republicans won a historic victory on November 2, 2010, it’s critical for those Congressmen and women who actually get to vote during the Lame Duck session to come out of the gate strategically smart enough and united enough to defeat the Socialist Democrats and their destructive agenda. Most freshmen are not in the Lame Duck congress, but have a few months to get their feet on the ground.

Second, I’m sure that newly elected Senators and Representatives who owe their victory to Tea Party voters and donors are thankful to the Tea Parties for their assistance. It would only be polite to show up at the Tea Party event and shake some hands.

Third, the Tea Party event is more likely to emphasize the principles and values that unite We the People with our Republican public servants than the Claremont event, which will be full of lobbyists looking for “friends” to help them get favorable tax treatment and earmarks. If our newly elected Representatives and Senators don’t already share our Tea Party principles and values, they aren’t going to learn them at one Tea Party event. So it won’t be the end of the world if they attend Claremont’s event. On the contrary, they may make valuable alliances at either or both events.

Fourth, We the People will respect our public servants according to what they do in Congress, not according to whose shindigs they attend.

Fifth, We the People are watching what the 112th Congress does on the job. If they remember what the phone lines and fax machines were like during the Obamacare cramdown, that’s what it will be like from now on.

I will finish up with a note to the 112th Congress.

We surround you. That isn’t just a slogan, it’s a fact. We the People outnumber you. 

You are not our masters, but our servants. You represent us.

An awake and aware citizenry watching everything you do in Congress is the new normal. Don’t forget why you were sent to Congress, to restore and secure the individual freedoms of We the People. You were not sent to get your fair share of goodies for your district, your friends, your family, yourself, or campaign donors. You were sent to restore freedom to the land, to peel away thousands of pages of harmful regulation and taxation, to de-fund and dissolve departments that don’t work or that work to destroy American business and oppress the American people, and to begin a long lifetime’s worth of work reducing the oppressive, leviathan U.S. Government to its Constitutional limits.

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Those who broke their Oath, and those who kept it

Courtney Cook wrote an infuriating essay for Salon that exposed the contempt she held for her marital oath and her first husband, a soldier deployed in an overseas combat theatre when she left him.

You’d be surprised how easy it is to leave a soldier on deployment. You can do it with a letter. (He can’t argue with you. He doesn’t have a phone.) If you lay the groundwork early, saying to the soldier before he leaves, “This will be the end of us, we might as well admit it,” it’s that much easier. The letter won’t even come as a shock.

And if you have children with that soldier? You can handle all that with a letter, too. He’ll write it — because he cares about the kids, because he wants to work with you to do what’s best for them even though you’re leaving him — and you’ll give it to them. Here again, you will avoid a nasty confrontation. Who will they cry to? You? You’re just the teary-eyed bearer of the letter. Him? The one who’s sweating it out in the desert?

There will be no moving truck, no boxes, no house torn asunder. The soldier is peeing in a bucket as you pack. He doesn’t care who gets the couch.

Now she has married a blue-eyed marxist war protester and had a marxist baby with him, while her ex-husband married again and had a baby with the new wife.

Nessa already wrote a beautiful response to this article. If you click through and read Ms. Cook’s diary you will know the cheater’s story, the spoiled brat’s story, the oath breaker’s story. Nessa tells the story with statistics and history. Cassy Fiano at HotAir explores the process by which this spoiled brat of a woman went astray. This diary isn’t about those things. This essay is about what oath breakers like Courtney Cook do to their husbands, men who are risking their lives to protect their families and country. And this essay is about the alternative.
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Book Notes: Message to Garcia

Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard is not really a book. It is an article from the “Philistine” magazine of March 1899 that became immensely popular and was reprinted as a pamphlet in Russian, German, French, Spanish, Turkish, Hindi, Mandarin and Japanese, perhaps more. It is freely available on the Internet. Briefly, it is about two things:

  1. Excellence;
  2. One person can change the world.

There are those who do things excellently, as opposed to those who only partly do a thing if they bother to do it at all. The excellent can make huge changes. Those who do not seize excellence can barely do their job. The common wage-earning man of 1899 was useless when given any task requiring judgement and initiative.

make this request: “Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Correggio”.

Will the clerk quietly say, “Yes, sir,” and go do the task?

On your life, he will not. He will look at you out of a fishy eye and ask one or more of the following questions:

Who was he?

Which encyclopedia?

Where is the encyclopedia?

Was I hired for that?

Don’t you mean Bismarck?

What’s the matter with Charlie doing it?

Is he dead?

Is there any hurry?

Shan’t I bring you the book and let you look it up yourself?

What do you want to know for?

Such a man is a waste of a position, and might as well be let go. He will never be a great success unless he changes something in himself. Such a man must transform himself to be more like Col. Rowan, who was asked by Pres. McKinley to carry a message to Col. Garcia, the leader of the Cuban rebels against Spain. Rowan had lived in Cuba and written a book about the island. Rowan traveled by himself in small boats to Cuba, then hiked by himself across an island occupied by the hostile Spanish, through jungle and over mountain to Garcia’s jungle encampment, where he made contact, delivered his message, developed a rapport, then left the island and returned with a command of American soldiers to assist Garcia in his successful rebellion.

Cuba was able to throw off the Spanish yoke because Rowan reached Garcia and delivered McKinley’s message. Without Rowan’s excellence in every task he had to complete in order to carry that message it would not have happened.

How relevant is this pamphlet?

Though nobody knows the story of Rowan and Garcia, the problem still exists. The article is more than a simple historical curiosity. There are still plenty of workers like the man who only works when he is being supervised, only does what he is told, fobs off his responsibilities on others, argues against every new assignment, complains, and makes excuses for his failures when he bothers to do his job at all. Unions and HR Departments exist to protect such people and keep them employed.

One man can change the world. He doesn’t have to be extraordinary, but he has to embrace excellence. We need to remember this in these days when the progressive march to eliminate individual freedom in these United States has been advancing, almost without interruption for 110 years.

Take heart, stay optimistic, and think strategically. We have nothing to fear but panic, nothing to lose but mediocrity, and our country’s freedom to win again.

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Central Concepts from David Cameron’s Speech to the Conservative Party

The Guardian recently analyzed David Cameron’s speech to the British Conservative Party Conference for the popularity of his applause lines. I’ve extracted in popularity order all the lines that got more than 15 seconds of applause, while excluding the introduction. The interesting thing to me is that all the most popular lines are based specifically on conservative principles.

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David Cameron’s conference speech, 2009

Speech order
Statement
Applause, seconds

?

48 And when we look back we will say not that the government made it happen… …not that the minister made it happen… …but the businesswoman made it happen… …the police officer made it happen… …the father made it happen… …the teacher made it happen. You made it happen. 166.68
9 Let everyone in this hall show their appreciation to the men and women who fight for us 50.12
23 Thirty years ago this party won an election fighting against 98 per cent tax rates on the richest. Today I want us to show even more anger about 96 per cent tax rates on the poorest. 40.59

Illegal Immigration has Consequences

K. Gonzalez, the student of unknown (by me) gender who worked so hard to get into Berkeley, to pay for one semester, and wrote this about the experience, sounds like a wonderful person, with one exception: The part that breaks immigration law. But the editorial drone who wrote the headline needs to be slapped silly.

A College Dream Ends Too Soon
I worked hard to get into Berkeley and I worked even harder when I got there. But when my funds ran out, I had to leave.

That headline says one thing: This undocumented alien is a victim. But this excerpt from the article says something completely different: This undocumented alien is a very hard worker and is incapable of acting like a victim.

I found a tiny room near the campus, enrolled in classes, and landed a job selling jewelry in a San Francisco mall. From Friday through Monday, I worked full-time, waking up at 6:30 a.m. to get to work by 9. I couldn’t spend the weekends like other students, lazing in the sun or exploring neighborhoods. Still, for two glorious days each week, Tuesday and Thursday, I had classes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and was taught by some amazing professors. Continue reading

Opposing Sotomayor: A Line in the Sand

As Andrew C. McCarthy wrote on Tuesday, “It’s not the rule of law, it’s the rule of lawyers: That’s the central message conveyed by Pres. Barack Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor.” She is, after all, widely admired among the Obamanist left for her empathy, not her temperament or wisdom. That plus her compelling life story and her love of Nancy Drew mysteries.

We also know that she has had many of her decisions reversed on appeal by the Supreme Court, that she is argumentative and unpleasant, that she believes the place of a judge is to create policy, rather than to apply the law impartially, and that she believes her race and gender make her better than whites or men.

Racism does not have a good track record. It’s been tried a long time. And you would think by now that we’d want to put an end to it instead of putting it under new management.

(Thomas Sowell, 5/27/09 on the Glenn Beck Show)

Democrats and the partisan Democrat media have started their campaign for Sotomayor by blackmailing Republicans; saying if they oppose her that Republicans will never get another Hispanic vote. And they are also preemptively accusing Republicans of hypocrisy because George H. W. Bush mentioned upon nominating him that Clarence Thomas’s inspirational life story should arouse Americans’ empathy. Continue reading

Calling all Educators: Can the Science of Economic Success be Taught?

This naive* article at WaPo and Megan McArdle’s response have prompted a thought, as to what it would take for even impoverished hard-cases to get themselves out of poverty. For that is the true story of America, the rags to riches story. It’s the story of an orphaned boy who is so poor his shoes have holes in the soles, who starts by selling newspapers and apples on the street corner, becomes a wealthy and successful man, gives generously of time and money to charity when he is among the elite of his city, and opens an orphanage to take care of kids who are just like he was once. America is a place where that has happened and can happen again. It is not a place where people are trapped in poverty by class or legal restrictions; at least not yet.

To those who have taught teens:

Let’s say you were given the opportunity to teach the skills of success to a bunch of teenagers who are mostly aimless without any understanding of how to succeed in life. How would you go about it? Continue reading

The Care and Feeding of Future Ex-Democrats

Today, prompted by an anecdote at the American Thinker, The Other McCain (the conservative Hunter S. Thompson for today) wrote about finding and convincing future ex-Democrats that conservatism is the shiznit. Also, on RedState pilgrim wrote that the Thugocracy Will Yield a Bumper Crop of Ex-Democrats.

I think that I shall never see,
A billboard lovely as a tree Future Ex-Democrat.

(Ogden Nash, mostly)

Like many another unique snowflake, I am going to apply my own unique point of view to the problem. Here goes.

Luckily or not, most Republicans were raised as Republicans. Their parents were Republicans. Their parents’ parents were Republicans. The party is like mother’s milk to them, a comfort and a refuge. The other, rarer kind of Republican is the convert from either political don’t-give-a-dammism or the Democrat side of the aisle. I am going to be writing about Democrats in this article, but everything applies equally to don’t-give-a-dammers. Future ex-Democrats eventually get turned off by something in the Democrat party. It may be the economic or regulatory insanity, the alliances with America’s enemies at war, the vicious abuse of those whose opinions differ from the mob’s consensus, the egalitarian attack on equality, the Orwellian torture of language to mean its opposite, the shameless hero worship and narcissism of the movement, the treatment of women, gays and blacks as pet minorities who vote for Democrats but should really shut up, the morally inverted insistence on killing children in the womb plus saving terrorists and serial killers from the death penalty, or the general acceptance of “the lie” as the way the world is supposed to work; something about Democrats turns Future ex-Democrats off.

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Blackstone on Life, Liberty, and Property

Blackstone on the Absolute Rights of Individuals (All bolding mine.)

The rights themselves thus defined by these several statutes, consist in a number of private immunities; which will appear, from what has been premised, to be indeed no other, than either that residuum of natural liberty, which is not required by the laws of society to be sacrificed to public convenience; or else those civil privileges, which society hath engaged to provide, in lieu of the natural liberties so given up by individuals. These therefore were formerly, either by inheritance or purchase, the rights of all mankind; but, in most other countries of the world being now more or less debased and destroyed, they at present may be said to remain, in a peculiar and emphatical manner, the rights of the people of England. And these may be reduced to three principal or primary articles; the right of personal security, the right of personal liberty; and the right of private property: because as there is no other known method of compulsion, or of abridging man’s natural free will, but by an infringment or diminution of one or other of these important rights, the preservation of these, inviolate, may justly be said to include the preservation of our civil immunities in their largest and most extensive sense.

I. THE right of personal security consists in a person’s legal and uninterrupted enjoyment of his life, his limbs, his body, his health, and his reputation.

1. LIFE is the immediate gift of God, a right inherent by nature in every individual; and it begins in contemplation of law as soon as an infant is able to stir in the mother’s womb. For if a woman is quick with child, and by a potion, or otherwise, killeth it in her womb; or if any one beat her, whereby the child dieth in her body, and she is delivered of a dead child; this, though not murder, was by the antient law homicide or manslaughter. But at present it is not looked upon in quite so atrocious a light, though it remains a very heinous misdemeanor.

AN infant in ventre statute mere, or in the mother’s womb, is supposed in law to be born for many purposes. It is capable of having a legacy, or a surrender of a copyhold estate made to it. It may have a guardian assigned to it; and it is enabled to have an estate limited to its use, and to take afterwards by such limitation, as if it were then actually born. And in this point the civil law agrees with ours. Continue reading