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Marco Rubio for Senate September 27, 2010

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There really are special people in this world and I just met one of them today. It’s so cool to meet someone whose unique charisma, charm and inner spirit  undeniably sets them apart from the rest of us.

Marco Rubio is one of those people.

Rubio, running for the US senate, made a town hall stop in my little ‘burg of Boynton Beach to a group of supporters crammed into a Duffy’s Sports bar. His fifteen minute speech was an extemporaneous rally cry for all who can’t wait to make the real ‘change we can believe in’ this Fall. He’s a dynamic speaker whose youthful good looks and killer smile will only add to the future Presidential material chatter that is already floating around out there.  Believe me, when the rest of America sees what I saw today, they’ll be shouting “Rubio para el Presidente!”

Fritz & Marco

Allen West for Congress April 22, 2010

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I attended the April 15th Tea Party rally in West Palm last week. It was my second rally after the inaugural gathering in the rain last year. I made another sign and my lack of creativity or the need to not change the message saw me parading the same signage as last year.

Last years Tea Party protest

This year’s event was a bit smaller than last year. Probably just a hundred or so less but just as energetic and anti-incumbent as ever. The highlight for me was the keynote speech by Allen West. West is running for US Congress, district 22 here in Florida—my district.

I will admit I have never before felt such a connection to any politician (with the exception of Ronald Reagan) before. And it’s not just Lt. Col. West’s message that has me stoked. This guy has a vibe, an aura that is unmistakable.

I was standing just off the stage to the right listening to the long list of speakers that filled the two-hour rally. The event was emceed by Doug Giles, the father of ACORN exposer Hannah Giles. Hannah was the first to speak.

Hannah Giles

Her brief remarks got the crowd wound up and me wanting to get a picture with her. I had agreed to help pass out fliers promoting a no vote on a proposition up for a vote this Fall. That proposition would completely strangle development and is a blatant socialistic attempt by the Left to create more bureaucracy.  Feeling obligated to the cause I spent the time passing out the fliers rather than weaseling my way behind the stage for a photo with Hannah.

With my fliers finally distributed I wandered back to stage right and noticed Allen West had arrived and was greeting folks behind the stage. I’m normally not one to go all ga-ga over any celebrity. Twelve years in TV, I saw my share of big stars up close and worked with many in various promotions; (Tom Selleck, Kevin Costner, Bob Uecker, Lynn Austin, Joe Namath, Catfish Hunter, etc.) But I needed my picture with Col. West!

I scoped out the scene back stage and saw that I could walk practically to where he was standing. He didn’t have an entourage and was shaking hands and giving photo ops to all who asked. I decided there was no time like the present and asked a professional photographer he if would mind snapping a photo of the two of us. The guy took my camera and I then turned to Mr. West and introduced myself, asking for a picture. He couldn’t have been nicer. He lifted the ‘yellow caution tape’ that created a silly little barrier between us and stuck out his hand for a shake. My first impression was how soft his hand was. I don’t know why I was expecting something else but I was. Maybe because he served over 22 years in the Army with three tours in theater. Maybe because he jumped out of airplanes and lead men into battle. Anyway, it was one soft hand.

Allen & me

I babbled something about how excited I was to meet him and I was the first in my neighborhood to put an ‘Allen West for Congress’ bumper sticker on my car. He thanked me and I retrieved my camera from the photog who had snapped what I hope to be a very precious memento one day.

Allen West could very much be the president of the United States one day!

Glenn Beck – Alpha Dog February 23, 2010

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Glenn Beck has been in the news a little more than usual this week. His keynote speech to CPAC on Sunday was 100% Beck—emotional, witty and even included what is becoming his trademark schtick, the chalkboard. It also stirred up the nest.

Glenn Beck

The morning after, I read Bill Bennett’s critique. Bennett is part of the Republican old-guard who see themselves as true conservatives and get mighty ticked off when somebody says they’re not. Beck called them all out in his speech on Sunday.

Now Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin have jumped on the bandwagon. Has Mr. Beck stolen too much of the righteous thunder from the other big guns of the airwaves? To what degree is Beck’s meteoric success having on the old dogs of conservative talk?

I will say I think his huge success across the mediums (print, radio, internet, cable and now live performance) has got all the conservative talker’s attention. Lets face it, Rush’s only media success has been radio and books—he failed on TV.

Beck has been derided by his critics for his style; a sometimes schizophrenic melding of comedic teacher and manic metrosexual, whose passion for what he believes in frequently leaks from his eyes. Theatrics aside, Beck’s message is solid. His attack on Progressivism has taken on the feel of a Crusade. I like that. The same way I liked George Bush’s ‘line in the sand’ comment. Beck’s beef with Conservatives is they aren’t towing the Constitutional line espoused by the Tea Party. The same beef I ultimately had with Bush.

The politics of ‘big politics’ inevitably corrupts and while the Republicans say they’re conservative they stray far too often for Beck. In an earlier post I talked about the chance the Tea Party movement would divide the Republican vote and ensure a Democratic victory in ’10 and ’12. This little secret is not a secret among the RNC or Beck or Rush or Bennett. The issue is, who’s going to blink first. Will Beck tone down his campaign? Will the conservative pundits relax and embrace the core of the Tea Party movement?

The franchise that Beck is building is still in its infancy. But with platforms like the CPAC speech and other big events planned in the future, his political clout is just getting stronger.

There’s a new challenger for the alpha dog in conservative commentary. The fun will be to see whose bite is as bad as their bark.

Tea Party Patriot February 18, 2010

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Tampa Tea Party logo

A great cry has come forth from the people, desperate for leadership who will hear them, heed them and help them. I’m talking about those who call themselves Tea Party Patriots.

We are conservatives whose voice is not being heard by anyone in Washington. A year ago the movement was born and an amazingly simple set of ideals formed the base that hundreds of thousands have rallied around.

As with any great idea, there will be those who will jump on the bandwagon seeking to define it for their own good, thus taking claim to the idea through the law of ‘possession is nine-tenths the law.’ That is happening right now.

Atlanta Tea Party logo

A group of Republicans have created ‘The Mount Vernon Statement’. Fashioned to look much like a Founding Father’s document, (complete with a parchment colored background) it stakes out their position via five broadly stated positions.

Old school Republicans have come to the realization that without the support of the Tea Party, they don’t stand a chance at defeating the Left in the elections of ’10 and ’12. That’s also true for the Tea Party.

Polls have consistently shown that a three party race produces a Liberal win every time. So what to do?

I fall squarely in the Tea Party camp and think the Republican Party needs to adopt our positions. I blogged about this a while back and I am more firmly committed than ever before. I would rather fail because I was unable to persuade enough people to join me than compromise my values.

I am seeking out those candidates who take the positions the Tea Party espouses: limited government, maximum freedom and the values of our Founders.

9 Principles, 12 Values

The 9 Principles

1. America Is Good.
2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
God – “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” from George Washington’s first Inaugural address.
3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
Honesty – “I hope that I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider to be the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” George Washington
4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
Marriage/Family – “It is in the love of one’s family only that heartfelt happiness is known. By a law of our nature, we cannot be happy without the endearing connections of a family.” Thomas Jefferson
5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
Justice – “I deem one of the essential principles of our government… equal and exact justice to all men of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political.” Thomas Jefferson
6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
Life, Liberty, & The Pursuit of Happiness – “Everyone has a natural right to choose that vocation in life which he thinks most likely to give him comfortable subsistence.” Thomas Jefferson
7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
Charity “It is not everyone who asketh that deserveth charity; all however, are worth of the inquiry or the deserving may suffer.” George Washington
8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.
On your right to disagree “In a free and republican government, you cannot restrain the voice of the multitude; every man will speak as he thinks, or more properly without thinking.” George Washington

9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them,they answer to me.
Who works for whom? “I consider the people who constitute a society or a nation as the source of all authority in that nation.” Thomas Jefferson

The 12 Values

* Honesty
* Reverence
* Hope
* Thrift
* Humility
* Charity
* Sincerity
* Moderation
* Hard Work
* Courage
* Personal Responsibility
* Gratitude

Humans fall into two fundamental groups—those that have a predilection to lead and those who would rather follow. History proves there are far fewer leaders than followers at any one time in any society. The skill set to be a successful leader is far more complicated than to be a follower. History also provides the benchmark by which all future leaders can be judged. I will look to history to remind me of what I want in a leader.

UPDATE:  Dr. Zero has a, so-much-better-than-mine, post here.

Yay for Conservatism January 19, 2010

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The new Senator from Massachusetts

Great Scott!

The new American revolution has begun. Prepare to die you gravy-sucking Libs!!!!!!!

Protest Sign Design – Think ergonomics! April 17, 2009

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Safe, effective, sign design

My recent experience at the West Palm Beach Tea Party on April 15th exposed me to something I had never pondered before. Ergonomic protest sign design.

I had decided several weeks before to attend the rally. While I envisioned holding a sign, I didn’t put much thought into it until the morning of the event.


(WND photo / Joe Kovacs) used w/out permission but hell, it's me!

Waiting till the last minute to make a protest sign usually means a fairly amateurish product and mine qualified there! I had some large pieces of cardboard in the garage, saved for no express purpose other than I figured I’d need them one day. Sure enough that day arrived and I now had my canvas.

The cardboard was from a shipping box.  It was a fairly heavy corrugated board so I figured it would hold up well. I drew my message on one side with a black Sharpie and was so proud of myself I decided I needed to use the back side for another message. “Yacht Brokers For Capitalism” just popped into my head so I ran with it.

protestsigncroppedThe first thing I noticed when I got to the event was the wind. Just a moderate breeze caught the sign and forced me to pay close attention. As I joined the massing throng, I also had to become aware of the amount of physical space I needed so as not to whack any of the other attendees.

It wasn’t until after about 5 minutes of proudly holding my sign high overhead that I realized the most important consideration when designing a protest sign.

How to deal with gravity.

Even a lightweight cardboard sign gets heavy over time, especially when it’s pumped high overhead in unison with the crowd’s chants du jour.

So here’s my list to consider when designing a protest sign:

  • Don’t wait till the last minute to make your sign. By starting the process sooner rather than later, you’ll give yourself time to make a better looking sign which includes utilizing both sides for maximum effect.
  • Use a suitable medium.  Buy some foamcore or PVC foam sheets. Both are excellent in the strength-to-weight category, easily drawn on and they accept glued items for fancy displays. The more rigid material also works much better when utilizing the next item.
  • Strongly consider using a pole.  I saw several clever ideas at my rally. The best was a retractable, light weight, aluminum boat washing pole. Fully collapsed it was just three feet long.  The protester stood with the butt end in his pants pocket, supporting all the weight. This allowed him to comfortably hold the sign in a natural way freeing his other arm for wild gesticulations and fist pumps! Lots of clear strapping tape kept the sign secure to the pole and didn’t mess with the message.
  • The retractable pole also allows the user to raise or lower the sign height to accommodate the crowd while not losing the luxury of the in-the-pocket anchoring system. It’s also easier to control the sign in windy conditions with the pole securely nestled in your pocket.

So go out and get involved, join the process, exercise your right to free speech.

Just do it ergonomically!