September 6, 2010

Two Great Vids on ‘Racism’ and an African-American Awakening

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:25 pm

Good post-holiday overnighters indeed.

The one on the left (HT The Original Musings) is somewhat humorous — until you realize that talking like a perceived enemy of the state, and of statism, gets you into prison just 90 miles from Florida.

The one on the right (HT Connect the Dots) is the trailer for a documentary entitled “Runaway Slave,” a project of former NAACP leader C.L. Bryant aimed at showing African-Americans the importance of escaping the liberal/statist plantation.

The Dispatch Poll’s Good News for Republicans: Don’t Get Cocky, People

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:35 pm

OhioThough certainly not ignoring them completely, yours truly hasn’t been blogging a lot on Ohio’s political races during the past few months. I have four reasons why, two valid, two snarky:

  • Valid 1 — There are only 24 hours in a day, and besides attending to business, writing, and personal matters, commenting on the wholesale destruction being wrought by Washington generally takes precedence.
  • Valid 2 —  Sites like the nicely-redesigned Weapons of Mass Discussion, RightOhio, Taxman, Thurber’s Thoughts, and others in the SOB Alliance are doing a great job keeping up.
  • Snark 1 — ORPINO (The Ohio Republican Party In Name Only) hasn’t been paying attention, so why should I? ORPINO hasn’t even bothered to change its web site’s home page for over four months since its May 4 scorched-earth, scorched-treasury takeout of Tea Party-supported insurgents Seth Morgan and Sandy O’Brien and its pack-of-lies “Tea Party Values” campaign in defense of incumbent Central Committee RINOs.
  • Snark 2 — While I haven’t been posting on Ohio politics as much as I would like, Ted Strickland and Lee Fisher have fallen to double-digit and near-double-digit deficits, respectively, in the polls. According to what is presumably the first installment of the Columbus Dispatch’s statewide poll, every other statewide Democrat on the ticket trails his or her GOP opponent. Maybe if I ignore things for two more months, Kasich’s and Portman’s leads will go to 20 points and take the rest of the ticket to victory. (Memo to ORPINO: You’re not going to get that lucky, on all counts.)

This brings us to a good starting point, which is the aforementioned Dispatch poll.

Those who have followed this blog for a while know that yours truly is not impressed with how the paper’s poll has tracked reality. The worst example was in 2005, the year of the far left-backed Reform Ohio Now initiatives. The Dispatch’s final calls differed from the election’s results on the four issues by a mind-boggling average of 48.5 points (I’m not kidding; at the link, it’s the sum of 56, 76, 24, and 38 divided by 4). It predicted that two of the four issues would pass, one would barely fail, and the fourth would fail by a lot. All four failed miserably, by an average of 35.5%.

The Dispatch also didn’t do very well in statewide contests involving candidates from 2006-2008. This post from just before the November 2008 election has a history of primary and general-election contests comparing the final related Dispatch poll to actual results. It shows that in the six statewide contests in November 2006, the poll overestimated the Democratic candidates’ expected victory margin by an average of over 12% (Governor, 12.5%; U.S. Senate, 12%; Attorney General, 19%; Secretary of State, 7%; Auditor, 12%; Treasurer, 13%). In one blessed instance, the Dispatch predicted the wrong winner, and Mary Taylor was elected Auditor. Even in party primary contests, the Dispatch’s polls have typically under-predicted the results achieved by establishment candidates over their more conservative rivals (or in the Democrats’ case, their less liberal rivals) by double digits, and then some.

The poll has been pretty close in presidential contests, predicting a dead heat in 2004 (George W. Bush won by 2.1%) and a 6-point victory by Barack Obama in 2008 (he won by 4.6%). But note that each small miss was still in the more conservative/less liberal direction.

In both 2006 and 2008, the poll had no errors in the more liberal/less conservative direction.

So with that history in mind, let’s see what the Dispatch poll released yesterday shows:

  • Governor — John Kasich leads Ted Strickland, 49-37 (i.e., +12).
  • U.S. Senate — Rob Portman leads Lee Fisher, 50-37 (+13).
  • Attorney General — Mike DeWine leads Rich Cordray, 44-42 (+2).
  • Secretary of State — Jon Husted leads Maryellen O’Shaughnessy, 42-39 (+3).
  • Auditor — Dave Yost leads David Pepper, 42-33 (+9).
  • Treasurer — Josh Mandel leads Kevin Boyce, 40-36 (+4).

The obvious potential good news for Republicans (note: but not necessarily sensible conservatives) is that if the Dispatch poll continues to err as it has in the past, the GOP ticket is going to see an across-the-board double-digit November sweep.

Not. So. Fast.

What if the Dispatch has actually figured out how to find conservative and/or Republican mail-in respondents in the intervening two years? This would mean that reported results are pretty accurate “if the election were held today” numbers.

If that’s the case, I see problems:

  • I have reason to believe that Team Kasich is underestimating the damage done in the minds of many relatively disengaged voters by his two unforced errors, both of which he should have disclosed ahead of time before someone else found out and did it for him (which of course leads to the question, “What else is out there?”). The InvaCare attack by Team Strickland, though it may be having an effect, is especially risible, given that a) Turnaround Ted has loved on the company in the past (HT WoMD); b) the company didn’t move to outsource until its competitors started beating the company on cost and in penetrating foreign markets; c) the company has added employees in Ohio since 2007, while hundreds of thousands of other Ohio jobs have disappeared. Kasich’s decision to be a paid occasional lecturer at OSU is more problematic, but would have been less so if he had told everyone about it at his web site when he chose to enter the race.
  • Team Portman would seem to have less to worry about, but there’s nothing saying that lots of the Tea Party-sympathetic voters he is counting on — even though he has stayed virtually aloof from them — might decide not to vote for anyone in the U.S. Senate race.
  • To me, DeWine’s two-point lead over Cordray shows how dunderheaded ORPINO was when it chose to clear the field for DeWine. If Dave Yost were the GOP’s AG nominee and was still acting as he did while he was challenging DeWine (instead of going robotic, as I hear has happened), I believe he’d be up on Cordray by about the same percentage by which he currently leads David Pepper.
  • ORPINO and Jon Husted have apparently figured out that Golden Boy’s best hope for victory is hiding inside the basement of the Kettering home he doesn’t live in and relying on voter ignorance to sweep anyone who isn’t a Democrat into office. What else explains why ORPINO and Team Husted are risking giving the otherwise unknown O’Shaughnessy dangerous visibility by ripping on her at that really lame TAMEPAC site while Husted maintains a lower-than-low profile? (For those who don’t belong, the link is to Husted’s Facebook profile, where there are “no upcoming events,” nor could I find any at the Husted web site. To be fair, he does mention certain events on an ongoing basis at his Twitter account.) For the record, Husted will not get my vote in November. Regardless of how the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled, his residency games fit the definition of a BizzyBlog Dealbreaker.
  • Back to Yost again, I believe Seth Morgan would have been doing just as well if not better in the Auditor’s race, and would possibly be making greater inroads in Pepper’s native Southwestern Ohio.
  • At first, I saw the closeness of the Mandel-Boyce race as a surprise, but it really shouldn’t be. After all, unless the situation has changed recently, many if not most Ohioans write a check payable to Kevin Boyce once a year, so he’s got a huge head start on visibility — visibility ORPINO has never given Josh Mandel on its own web site’s home page. Luckily for sensible conservatives in Ohio, Mandel should be able to outwork his way to victory over Boyce and his collection of cronies — or, as I like to call them, the FOKkers (Friends of Kevin).

Other reasons to avoid overconfidence:

  • The percentage of Ohioans dependent on the federal handouts has certainly increased in the past two years.
  • Secretary of State Jenny Brunner has demonstrated her unwillingness to fairly enforce election laws.
  • Eric Holder’s Justice Department has virtually abdicated its role in monitoring vote-rigging efforts in the states.
  • ACORN may be gone, but any still-active locally-based successors are certainly not sitting idly by.
  • Ohio’s leftist media will seize any opportunity it can to take down a Republican, especially one of the conservatives on the ticket.

Let the increased Ohio blogging begin.

Positivity: Labor Day, Its History, and Its Meaning

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:37 am

This post is a BizzyBlog Labor Day tradition.

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From the May 3, 2008 version of a web page as it originally appeared at the US Department of Labor’s web site (obtained from archive.org):

The History of Labor Day
Labor Day: How it Came About; What it Means

“Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays of the year in any country,” said Samuel Gompers, founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor. “All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man’s prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day…is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation.”

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Founder of Labor Day

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Labor Day Legislation

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

A Nationwide Holiday

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.