Saturday, May 14, 2011

Escape from New York: Twenty Somethings Plan on Leaving the Empire State

According to a recent Marist College poll, a large percentage of persons under the age of thirty plan on leaving New York state within the next five years.

From the New York Daily News.

Escape from New York is not just a movie - it's also a state of mind.A new Marist College poll shows that 36% of New Yorkers under the age of 30 are planning to leave New York within the next five years - and more than a quarter of all adults are planning to bolt the Empire State.

The New York City suburbs, with their high property values and taxes, are leading the exodus, the poll found.

Of those preparing to leave, 62% cite economic reasons like cost of living, taxes - and a lack of jobs.

"A lot of people are questioning the affordability of the state," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

An additional 38% cite climate, quality of life, overcrowding, a desire to be closer to family, retirement or schools.

The latest census showed New York's overall population actually increased, though parts of upstate shed population and jobs.[...]
It's never good news for a region when young adults are making a mass exodus for greener pastures. This can affect your job market and even your housing market adversely. Obviously New York had better start looking for some solutions and realtively quick. Declines don't take as long as people think. Just ask Detroit.


Obama adminsitration shifts on energy policy.

This is pretty interesting news on the energy front. It seems the Obama administration, presumably under relentless pressure to address rising energy costs, has shifted its view on domestic drilling. Previous plans included an investigation of commodity markets (Which I assume is still going to continue.), removal of subsidies for oil companies to the tune of $21 billion over ten years, and a push for more renewable energy sources. Now they are in favor of more domestic oil drilling.

From the
The White House will take a series of steps — including expediting drilling plans on government lands in Alaska — designed to show that the administration is serious about expanding domestic oil production and lowering gas prices.

President Obama announced Saturday the government would hold annual onshore lease sales in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve; extend the life of leases in the Gulf of Mexico and in some areas off the coast of Alaska for one year; speed up ongoing Interior Department testing in the mid- and south-Atlantic to gauge the level of resources; and establish an interagency task force to coordinate permitting for offshore drilling in Alaska.

The White House is making the policy shifts after taking intense criticism from Republicans in recent weeks over energy policy as gas prices have topped $4 per gallon in some parts of the country. [...]

Obviously more needs to be done. Our country is teeming with natural resources such as natural gas, coal, and shale. All of which can be extracted and refined into fuel, relatively cleanly. Additionally, we can pursue this all while developing a stronger infrastructure for augmentary energy sources such as solar, wind, geo-thermal, bio-fuels, nuclear, etc. Two words which the administration needs to be highlight is "comprehensive" and "domestic."



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'm Baaack.....

I really freaking hate nostalgia, its because I am so susceptible to it. This little hunk of web-space that I call my own is re-open for business. I am not sure where I am going with it, probably just babble about politics and continue to do what I consider my serious work at the Western Experience.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

That's a Wrap! Shutting Down.

It has been a fun run here at PCT, but this is the last post. Due to other commitments, life, and a new bloggin' job I am officially shutting down Politics and Critical Thinking.

Thanks for following for the past year and a half and if one person has gotten anything out of this then what I set out to do is complete. I have learned as much from commenters as they have hopefully learned here. It has been a wonderful exchange of ideas.

I will continue blogging over at the Western Experience with my partner in crime Jason. If you like what you have read here please come and stop by. Our goal at the Western Experience is to bring conservative bloggin' above the fray of populist rhetoric and dig into the thoughts and theories behind modern day government, politics, economics, foreign policy, and society. I promise you won't be disappointed.

I am not going to delete the site since I have reference material that I like to still use. Please feel free to explore and I hope you find something useful.

Thanks for everything and happy hunting!


Friday, July 10, 2009

Amity Shlaes and the Party of Growth

For those not familiar with Amity Shlaes, she is a political commentator for Bloomberg News, senior fellow in economic history at the Council on Foreign Relations, and author of The Forgotten Man. An extremely impressive historical account of the Great Depression.

In her most recent article Shlaes, an admitted classical liberal, brings up the supposition that the Republicans, "instead of blowing up their marriages, Republicans might try blowing up their party platform. Her chosen route is by "junking the social conservatism," and sticking to a more fiscal and economic platform.

While I am not in total disagreement, leaving behind the traditional moral aspects of conservatism leaves us with nothing more than the political jello that is Libertarianism. And, if I wanted to be a full-time Libertine than I would have an (L) on my voter registration card, not an (I) or (R).

However, from a strategically political point of view, Shlaes does have a point. Social cons have been one of the greatest assets as well as greatest scourges to the Republicans. From Nixon's Southern strategy to George Bush's back-to-back victories, the GOP reaped major spoils from the Religious Right's involvement, activism, and most of all, money. Now though, the moral edifying is catching up with the Grand Old Party and not just in ones or twos, but maybe threes.

This leaves conservatives and Republicans with one of two choices; take the more fiscal and Federalist road as Shales suggests or start producing a crop of candidates whom can talk the talk as well as walk the walk of social conservatism.

Hypocrisy can be one of the greatest undoings of a person or a movement, especially when the bar is set way too high for leaders to deliver on. Likewise, most liberals and progressives have already factored in the component of human hypocirsy and ineptitude into their political equation, as a matter of face they relish in it.

Now it is up to conservatives to decide if they have have the fortitude necessary to get off of the high road and back to the narrow or find some new message packaging that is more effective for obtaining votes.

(h/t to Little Miss Attila)


Barack "Seymour Butts" Obama

Like him or hate him, the President, as most guys do, just enjoys getting to the bottom of things. If you know what I mean?

Of course, most of us don't have her waiting for us when we get done gallivanting around Italy with notorious womanizer and French President, Nicolas Sarkozy.

I wouldn't want to be Barry when he gets back to D.C. I almost feel sorry for him. :)

Obama rear-ending things at the G-8, courtesy of The Drudge Report.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Moscow Summit: Obama's Charm Offensive and More.

Well, the Moscow summit is over and the judgments from the experts are in.

From the beginning, Obama was seen by many as to be mounting a "charm offensive" against Medvedev and Putin. However as F. Stephen Larrabee, the Corporate Chair in European Security at the RAND Corporation, reminds us, to the Rus, it's all about "national interests," not personal friendships.

Strafor has a nice but lengthy breakdown on the fundamental issues of the summit (i.e Nuclear Arms Reduction, Poland, Iran, Eastern Europe, and US usage of Russo airspace for operations within Afghanistan), what was accomplished, and potential leveraging items each country might be able to use in the future.

George Friedman, Stratfor's CEO and author, seems to summarize Obama's accomplishments in Russia quite well, "Ultimately, little progress was made in finding ways to bridge the two countries’ divergent interests."

However, in defense of the President and with the exception of Reagan, this was pretty much the diplomatic norm in dealings with the former Soviets.

Related Articles:

Heritage Foundation
-Arms Control with Russia: Senators Should Provide Their Advice to the Obama Administration


Hitler finds out Palin resigned. I didn't know he cared?

Holy $h1t!!

I don't care whether you are a Palin supporter or hater, this video is like a train wreck, you can't help but watch. Just between you and I, it's freakin' hilarious.


Monday, July 6, 2009

The Foreign Policy Initiative's Open Letter to President Obama

While my prime penchant is politics, my first and foremost love of its sub-categories is anything economic. This is because it is what truly greases the tracks of government and is the fuel for its engine. Nevertheless, my second love, under the vast umbrella of anything politic, is foreign policy. With that being said, here is an interesting letter written to the President from The Foreign Policy Initiative.

This is brought to you by way of an old bloggin' buddy to whom I have not linked in a VERY long time. The jingoistic, colorful, sexily written, and un-apologetically hawkish GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD

July 1, 2009

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President:

You have stated your intention to forge a positive relationship between the United States and Russia. We write on the eve of your summit meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev to express our belief that such a relationship requires a commitment by both countries to democracy and human rights and to urge you to reiterate that these values, which you have called universal, are inextricably linked to humane behavior at home and responsible behavior abroad. Furthermore, we ask you to meet with human rights, civil society, labor and opposition political party leaders while you are in Moscow.

Since Vladimir Putin became President in 2000, Russia has been on a downward spiral away from the democratic and economic reforms made in the 1990’s after the collapse of communism. Human rights activists, opposition political party leaders, lawyers and journalists are targets of brutal, even deadly attacks. Freedoms of speech and the media are increasingly limited by the state and the Kremlin has asserted growing authority over the economy, especially the energy sector.

We urge you to challenge Russian leaders about the lack of political and economic freedom in Russia. In your Cairo speech you stated that the freedom of speech, the ability to choose one's own government and way of life, the rule of law and transparency “are not just American ideas; they are human rights. And that is why we will support them everywhere.” Moreover you noted the connection between democracy and security, asserting that “governments that protect these rights are ultimately more stable, successful and secure." This principle gained even more salience as Russia's invasion of Georgia last year revealed the lengths to which it will go to assert a sphere of influence in the region.

For decades, the United States was a beacon of hope to those behind the Iron Curtain who longed for their freedom. As you stated in Prague, after the Iron Curtain was lifted “freedom spread like flowing water. Just as we stood for freedom in the 20th century, we must stand together for the right of people everywhere to live free from fear in the 21st.”

As you go forward, we hope that you will maintain a clear-eyed assessment of Russia’s intentions and keep the above principles in mind in order to ensure that the effort to “reset” U.S.-Russian relations does not come at the expense of the Russian people or Russia's neighbors.

What I find absolutely astounding in this intriguing letter is the list of people who have signed it. I have long talked about the lack of differences that modern day progressives and neo-conservatives share on matters of foreign policy. I coincidentally found a smattering of evidence to back this up.

This is nothing conspiratorial, just an observation that it is difficult sometimes to tell these two supposedly different political philosophies apart. A few of the signatories of this letter illustrate my point.

Larry Cox-Executive Director of Amnesty International USA

Morton H. Halperin-Senior Vice President and Director of Fellows at the Center for American Progress

Gare A. Smith-Presently employed at Foley-Hoag LLP (Foley Hoag is one of many large law firms providing counsel to the detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.)and deals with Human Rights Impact Assessments and country-specific due diligence regarding the risks associated with social and environmental issues.

Leon Wieseltier-Literary editor for the highly progressive magazine The New Republic

R. James Woolsey, Jr.-Evidently a neo-conservative Democrat, whatever that is.

Stephen Rickard-Executive director of the Open Society Policy Center (OSPC) and a member of the Board of Directors. (Assumption being made on this gentleman due to the mission statement of the OSPC and his involvement with Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.)

As I stated above, this is nothing conspiratorial, just a point of interest that some of the people whom they have co-signed this with are unabashedly hawkish neoconservatives with strong ties to the Bush Administration. Just strange company for these "progressives" and "liberals" to be keeping considering their political stripes.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

My Faith Be Renewed: Talk Left on the Sarah Palin "investigation."

I couldn't believe it this when I found this article on Talk Left and read the commentary. This is a group of Liberals I understand and actually wouldn't mind having over for a shot or two of some Irish whiskey. Not sure if they would invite me over though.

Here is an excerpt from the beginning of their post.

Let's put the rumors to bed. The F.B.I. said today that soon to be former Governor Sarah Palin is not under investigation. No way. No how.
Now the post didn't impress me as much as the commentary by the readers did. I was, let's say, pleasantly surprised.

Her is a cherry picking of a few that I liked.

Inspector Gadget-You obviously don't have children, or don't give a darn what kind of emotional scars are created with the kind of abuse leveled on them. Sarah and Todd are able to handle what is delivered to them, but they have not obligation to AK or you to allow their children to be emotionally beaten up by an ill-mannered media.
Fabian-to find a single website that didn't have a picture of a politician's wholesome, all American family.

It would be almost as difficult to find a politician's wife who didn't play the expected role.

It's appalling that the public thinks that having a photogenic spouse and children is just as important as sound policies and solid ethics. I find it hard to blame the politicians, except when they use their family as a shield when they get caught. There's a reason that leaving politics to "spend more time with my family" is now a joke.

What kinds of "vile crap" did she say? What "politics of personal destruction"?

People went ballistic when she sneered at community organizing and even moreso when she greeted an enthusiastic, flag-waving crowd somewhere as "real Americans," but that's pretty mainstream for ordinary Republicans.

I do not want this woman ever to hold a position that has any power over any aspect of my life whatsoever, but she is not the grotesque caricature she's been made out to be.

There are more, and even some ignorant ones, but that is to be expected. The trolls find their way into every aspect of reasonable discourse so they can disrupt debate. I am sure their type even existed in the caveman days when the debate raged about whether the wheel should be round or square, the trolls probably wanted it square. But at least there are people out there who can still see past politics and rely more on human decency.

A little of my faith in humanity has been restored and strangely enough by people on the Left. Aaah, the irony.



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