Archive for June, 2012
On this day (June 12) in 1987, President Ronald Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate and uttered one of the most memorable phrases of my lifetime.
General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate!
Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate!
Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
As it turns out, the “experts” at the State Department deleted this exhortation from the speech on multiple occasions—they thought it would be too provocative—but President Reagan kept putting it back in. On his way to the Brandenburg Gate, he told an aide, “It’s gonna drive the State Department boys crazy, but I’m gonna leave it in.” The rest, as they say, is history.
Entire text of speech here. Video below:
Anybody remember this song? (video and lyrics below)
I love the guy on the left yelling out something in German at the very beginning of the song. Don’t know what he’s saying, but it sounds cool!
The Royal Guardsmen came from Ocala, Florida. The lead singer on the video is Barry Winslow, who is now a Christian singer (testimony here).
Lyrics: Snoopy vs. the Red Baron
After the turn of the century
In the clear blue skies over Germany
Came a roar and a thunder men had never heard
Like the screamin’ sound of a big war bird
Up in the sky, a man in a plane
Baron von Richthofen was his name
Eighty men tried, and eighty men died
Now they’re buried together on the countryside
Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty or more
The Bloody Red Baron was rollin’ up a score
Eighty men died tryin’ to end that spree
Of the Bloody Red Baron of Germany
In the nick of time, a hero arose
A funny-looking dog with a big black nose
He flew into the sky to seek revenge
But the Baron shot him down–“Curses, foiled again!”
Now, Snoopy had sworn that he’d get that man
So he asked the Great Pumpkin for a new battle plan
He challenged the German to a real dogfight
While the Baron was laughing, he got him in his sights
That Bloody Red Baron was in a fix
He’d tried everything, but he’d run out of tricks
Snoopy fired once, and he fired twice
And that Bloody Red Baron went spinning out of sight
(chorus, to fade)
Maybe the biggest change enacted by Gov. Walker, and now confirmed by the Wisconsin electorate, was ending the practice of deducting money from public employee paychecks and giving it to unions. It seems that the unions are having trouble getting people to pay up. Michael Barone wrote:
Walker’s law … gave public employees the choice of whether to pay union dues. The membership of AFSCME, the big union of state employees, fell from 62,818 to 28,785.
Apparently, half the members didn’t really want to be members, after all.
This will, in turn dramatically decrease the amount of money they are able to take from public sector employees and give to Democrats. Michael Barone wrote:
Public employee unions insist that dues money be deducted from members’ paychecks and sent directly to union treasuries. So in practice, public employee unions are a mechanism for the involuntary transfer of taxpayers’ money to the Democratic Party.
This is a huge blow to socialist fundraising, and it might get even worse. Charles Krauthammer reports that in Indiana, similar reforms have reduced public-sector membership by 91%!
There is perhaps one more victory in Tuesday’s vote that is bigger than every other victory put together, and that is the whole notion of school choice, which is another reform put into place by Gov. Walker. Dick Morris commented on this victory in his “Lunch Alert” yesterday. When schools have to compete for students, you can bet that Planned Parenthood, socialism, and a host of other evils will fall by the wayside.
Fascinating video on the founder of the modern-day entitlement state. It was none other than Otto von Bismarck, who invented social welfare to frustrate the demand for democratic rule.
The people wanted the power of self-determination. Von Bismarck did not want the poeple to have that power, so he bought their compliance with free stuff. Sound familiar?
Here’s the video from DickMorris.com:
In the final hours of the election, theleft-wing media gleefully announced that the exit polling indicated a dead heat, meaning that Mayor Barrett had real shot at winning. The exit polling wasn’t necessarily wrong, it was the reporting. Raw exit poll data should never be reported, because they mean nothing until they are corrected to mitigate the inevitable sources of bias in the sampling.
For example, Jon Cohen wrote yesterday that different types of people vote at different times of day. It’s not hard to imagine that a lot of people who work for a living will vote after they get off work, resulting in a big surge in Republican votes later in the day.
Mr. Cohen identified several sources of bias, but he missed the biggest one. He made several references to “random” sampling. In practice, exit poll sampling is anything but random. I was at the Shannondale Elementary School on Election Day in 2004. Nationally, early exit poll numbers were erroneously being reported to suggest a huge John Kerry win. Democrat operative John Schrum famously asked Sen. Kerry, “Can I be the first to call you Mr. President?”
I heard the reports, but I didn’t believe them because I saw how the exit polling was being done. Process matters. The woman doing the polling, obviously an untrained temporary worker, waited behind a table for people to walk over to her. The people who responded tended to look like her … young, female, and minority. They also appeared to be the people not in a hurry to get back to work. All of these factors would have skewed the exit poll results toward the Democrats on the ballot. There was nothing random about it. I’m sure the scenario I observed was repeated in many other places. Temporary workers would be (I’m guessing) disproportionately young, female, and minority, resulting in more exit-poll respondents from those groups.
Biases in the sample can be corrected, but that process surely takes hours, if not days, to accomplish.
The process for correcting exit poll data was described by Sean Trende:
In other words, the exit pollsters in the field missed a lot of Walker voters. Now, exit pollsters have ways to fix this. For one thing, they weight different regions of the state to the actual vote returns. For example, if northeast Wisconsin exit polls are showing a 50-50 race, and the actual results are 60-40 for Walker, they will simply assign greater weight to a Walker respondent in the region, bringing the reported result in line with the actual result.
… if the non-respondents are disproportionately male, white, and older, the exit pollsters will make sure that the final weights account for those discrepencies.
Going back to Cohen, his bottom line was this: Exit polls tally how different groups voted in an election. They do not predict results.
I wouldn’t get too exited about the suggestion that Tuesday’s exit polling indicates a huge lead for Pres. Obama in the November election. First of all, that election is months away. Further, we never know if they are reporting raw (biased) data or corrected data. Gov. Haley Barbour said Wednesday that the corrected numbers indicate a dead heat. Trende also talked about this in greater detail.
On this day, 68 years ago, thousands of brave heroes invaded France on the Normandy coast. They parachuted in from planes, they landed in gliders, they waded ashore, and they climed the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc.
If anything should inspire us to work tirelessly to preserve the lives of preborn children today, it is the sacrifice that so many of these young men, barely more than children themselves, made on those beaches 68 years ago today.
On the 40th anniversary of this day, President Ronald Reagan visited the site and delivered this address:
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