Sunday, May 31, 2009

Using Sotomayor Nomination to Test Power of Twitter

As I understand it, Speaker Gingrich sort of set off a conservative response to the nomination of Sotomayor by pointing out the racism in her comments regarding the physiological roots of "wise Latina" superiority. What's interesting to me is that he started this movement with his Twitter account.

In a slightly similar way, the Sotomayor nomination has been an unusual opportunity for me to test the usefulness of both Twitter and various social networks as channels for influencing political events. In my case, I feel a special anger over the Sotomayor nomination since I'm one of the folks who spent 10 years living in poverty preparing for an academic career only to be told at the end of the process…”oops, you’re White.”

So far, I've been using my blog, my Twitter account, and various social networking sites...including tell a story that is sort of worse than even what Frank Ricci experienced with the City of New Haven, CT. In my case, for example, Sotomayor (and both Obamas) were among those who harmed guys like me by providing preferential treatment to minorities in the education field. (As a poor Armenian-American, no one seemed to care that I grew up poor of that I was the first on my mother’s side of the family to even graduate from college. Instead, the wealthy children of other races would be advantaged over me for political reasons.)

Right now, Augustine 25 - my political pseudonym - has about 15,500 followers who are receiving automated messages regarding the Sotomayor nomination, links to one of her outrageous articles, and links to my other blog sites. The questionable article I'm circulating came to me through a connection on Twitter.

Twitter, of course, is a sloppy and imprecise tool right now. Many of these "followers" are folks running porn sites, get-rich-quick scams, and marijuana legalization campaigns. Still, my aim is to develop and test a network of like-minded people.

In the process, my strategy has been to follow as many people as I can and to make my views crystal clear even when I thought I would lose followers. My aim is to have a network of like-minded people who will have access to the best possible information regarding key issues in the conservative movement.

I'm startled to see Augustine 25 is in the top 50 list for Top Conservatives on Twitter. Personally, I feel grateful to have an opportunity to connect with others in a manner free of the interference of the MSM.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Wise Latina: Not So Good With Her Own Money

Apparently, Judge Sotomayor's wisdom does not yet include a basic understanding of the value of compound interest. Sotomayor's recent financial disclosure statement for 2008 tells us she would be one of the least wealthy people on the Supreme Court.

Part of the problem is that she does not seem to be too good at managing her $180,000 per year salary. The disclosure report indicated she only had between $15,000 and as much as $65,000 in her savings and checking account, and - most surprising - that she had no other investments.

Instead of socking away money in intelligent investments, she has got four separate credit cards - each with a balance of less than $15,000. Who knows how much money she owes to the Chinese...

Judge Sotomayor's faith in her superior judgment, however, is not based on any quantitative measurement of her skill as an investor. In my view, her faith in the superiority of a "wise Latina" comes from her investement in the ideology of the Latina "empowerment" movement. This movement teaches that Latinas have special gifts because of their roots in both Native American and traditional Catholic culture. For example, see Ana Nogales' book Latina Power! Using 7 Strengths You Already Have to Create the Success You Deserve.

In this philosophy, Latinas enjoy a special power because of their willingness to combine Native American practices (like herbs, magic and faith healing) with traditional Catholic virtues like loyalty to the priest and the traditional family.

Although this movement was meant to counter negative messages about Latin American culture, it can - at times - border on a promotion of the superiority of Latinas compared to other people. Sotomayor's understanding of the superiority of the "wise Latina" is stated fairly clearly in the words that preceed her now famous and justly distrubing comments:

"Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O'Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O'Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

Frankly, I do not think Sotomayor is joking when she suggests the superiority of the "wise Latina." She means it. Assuming her own Latina superiority, she cannot be criticized for being a bully, or for failing in her marriage, or for not getting the main point of an argument, or for wasting other people's time with trivial details. She cannot even be criticized for being a poor steward of her own financial resources. Whatever she does is perfectly all right - in her own mind - because she is born with the "inherent physiological or cultural differences" that make her superior.

Unfortunately for her, the negative results of her self-righteous philosophy are apparent to the general public in her willingness to make fun of those who think judges should not create policy, in her blindness to the pain and suffering of victims of reverse racism in New Haven, CT, and - predictably enough - in the lack of fruitfulness of her personal finances.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sotomayor Nomination Brings Back Painful Memories for Augustine 25

The nomination of Sotomayor brought up some bad memories. As a victim of affirmative action, I can feel the pain of those White and Hispanic firefighters in New Haven, CT who were treated so cruelly by the decisions of Judge Sotomayor in Ricci v. DeStefano.

For whatever reasons, I do not think liberals appreciate how painful it was for me to study to be a political science professor throughout my 20s, only to be told at the end of the process..."oops you're White." In my case, I spent about two years coming in 2nd for various full-time political science teaching jobs before I figured out that I was wasting my time and that academic elites didn't like me simply because I was the wrong sex and wrong color.

That 10 year investment of time is particularly painful to remember because I grew up poor and lived in poverty most of those years. Despite a lack of resources and family support, my academic work was good enough to win public recognition, citations, and publication. However, I was rejected for various jobs - not all jobs, of course - simply because of my ethnicity.

Accordingly, I feel a special sympathy for Frank Ricci and others who have studied hard and overcome various challenges only to become the victims of reverse discrimination. I know liberals like to pretend that the victims of affirmative action just get over it and go away.

In my experience, however, the pain is just as fresh now as it was then... It was cruel of the liberals to have me prepare for and perform exceptionally well in a series of interviews when - all along - the decision was going to be made by racial/gender and not merit reasons. This is a humiliation I really don't want to see anyone else endure...

Consequently, I think both Sotomayor and Obama underestimate the degree to which her nomination is a big mistake for the Obama administration - close to his hasty and flawed decision to close the Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp without a plan.

Part of the problem is that their liberal "the-ends-justify-the-means" ideology makes all the pain and suffering they cause for other people okay in their own minds.

In a larger sense, however, I think that Obama has made another hasty and unwise decision and that he will be surprised by the outrage and anger caused by his nomination of a prominent promoter of racial injustice. I think Obama’s nomination of Sotomayor may be particularly useful in helping swing voters - particularly Asian-American voters - see that Obama is not the centerist he pretended to be when he ran in the general election.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Experience Rules: Comments on the Obama v. Cheney Debate

I read through the speeches by Obama and Cheney. It was clear to me that Cheney outperformed Obama, in large measure, because Cheney knows what he is doing...

The first thing I would say is that Cheney was perhaps too modest about the results of the tough on terrorist approach of the Bush administration. Under their approach, Libya flipped to being a peaceful influence in the world and Iran dramatically slowed its progress on nukes. Unfortunately, I think it is sometimes difficult to claim credit for these successes, if only because we do not want to embarrass the folks who bent under U.S. pressure. Nevertheless, it seems silly not to call attention to those who reacted positively to U.S. resolve now that Obama is charting a new, more dangerous course. In this vein, I do not think it is wrong to call attention to the two U.S. female journalists currently being held hostage in North Korea as evidence of Obama's weakness.

Next, Cheney was right to call attention to the persistence of terrorists who attacked U.S. interests prior to 9-11. The fact that we have been quite safe since 9-11 is remarkable evidence that the Bush administration did the right thing and that Cheney is right to suggest: "In the fight against terrorism there is no middle ground, and half measures keep you half-exposed."

Third, Obama's speech was timed to minimize the impact of Cheney's words. Cheney had scheduled the speech well in advance and Obama dropped right on top of it - on purpose - with the aim of lessening Cheney's impact. Obama's effort looks all the more weak and defensive because of the role that Senate Democrats played in slowing down his plans to shut down the Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp by cutting off funding for that effort. This was a huge embarrassment to Obama and he and his staff felt they needed to take public action. Historically, this is similar to LBJ scheduling presidential announcements to undercut Sen. Robert Kennedy's charisma, visibility, and campaign efforts.

Finally, I was very pleased that Cheney used this brief moment of national attention to "leak" the truth about Speaker Pelosi.

“On numerous occasions leading members of Congress, including the current Speaker of the House, were briefed on the program and on the methods,” Mr. Cheney said. He also pointed out: “Some members of Congress are notorious for demanding they be briefed into the most sensitive intelligence programs. They support them in private, and then head for the hills at the first sign of controversy.” In my view, these comments show that Cheney is still on the job, protecting the United States.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Note to Steele: Why We Are At A Turning Point

I agree with Chairman Michael Steete that Republicans are at a healthy turning point. Ironically, I trace this favorable development mostly to Obama’s hard work for the creation of the new, international Democrat Socialist party.

Personally, I say he’s a socialist and anti-American because of his track record, his associates, and his Marxist ideology. (I knew him when he was a Marxist socialist sophomore at Occidental College in Los Angeles in the 1980s.)

Since the opposition has gone off the deep-end, it is easier now to rally a broad range of folks - conservative, independent, and libertarian - who are terrified that Obama and his friends are willing to lie to turn our country into a pale imitation of the old USSR. It all started when Obama insisted to Joe the Plumber that he wanted to "spread the wealth around."

Monday, May 18, 2009

Let's Help Swing Voters Save Face As They Recognize Obama Fail

I think pundits are starting to catch on that President Obama is crashing and burning. This predictable "Obama Fail" can be traced to his limited experience as a chief executive, his non-experience in the business world, and his utter cluelessness on military matters. How else can we explain his inability to push through his political agenda regarding credit card and home mortgage reforms despite his big Democrat majority in Congress?

Given these circumstances, I think Republicans would be wise to think through how they can help swing voters who voted for Obama in 2008 feel comfortable voting against Obama in 2012.

The problem, in my view, is some voters will be afraid to vote against Obama because they feel it sends a negative message that an African-American cannot be a successful President. In addition, they may be embarrassed to admit that they were wrong about Obama's character, ideology, and inexperience. Here are my initial ideas for helping them feel okay with a one-term Obama administration.

First, I think the most gentle approach would be to erase the stigma of being a one-term President. For example, we can suggest there is no shame in being a one-term President, or any obvious honor in being a two-term President.

Second, we can help swing voters save face by suggesting - truthfully - that they did not have full knowledge of Obama’s ties to folks like Gov. Blagojevich or Sen. Burris or Rev. Wright when they made their initial choice. After all, Obama's campaign team and the liberal media did a great job of covering up his flaws. For example, they covered up his difficulty in speaking without the help of a teleprompter. They pretended that Obama's links to Bill Ayers, Rev. Wright, and members of the U.S. Communist party would not impact his policy leadership.

Third, we can also suggest that Obama deserves to be replaced because he did not live up to his own campaign promises regarding setting high standards. Who knew that he would fight so hard to have a tax cheat like Sen. Tom Daschle on is staff, or that he would prove to be so spinless in hiring lobbyists?

Finally, the best argument - in my view - is to say that we have a new anti-socialist Republican party which has arisen in reaction to his extreme and dangerous policy preferences. These preferences have been revealed to the public now that he has been forced to finally start making decisions. Ultimately, swing voters need to make a decision that Obama's not-so-secret-any-more Marxist socialist ideology isn't working and that they strongly reject the leadership of the new, international, Democrat Socialist party.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Augustine 25 Now Blogging on Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

You can now follow Augustine 25 as a blogger on

Please don't be shy about providing your feedback - positive or negative. I want these posts to be as useful as possible to you.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ideas for a Republican Resurgence: Understanding the True Roots of Poverty

The wealthy, of course, have a lot of financial cushions to protect themselves from irresponsible decisions. The rest of us, however, need to be careful and cautious if we are going to thrive and leave some wealth behind for our children and grandchildren. In my view, neither "redistribution" or "trickle down" is going to reduce poverty caused by bad decisions among poor and middle class individuals.

If Republicans are going to regain power, they are going to need to do it by pursuing ideas that are realistic, will pay-off, and which Democrats cannot afford to endorse because it harms their political base. Accordingly, the issue of school choice is ideal for Republicans because the public schools are a disaster and Democrats cannot embrace real reform because of their ties to the teacher unions. Just because McCain lost doesn't mean that he was wrong to suggest school choice was the Civil Rights issue of our century.

Another hot idea is to fight any attempts to rollback welfare reform and efforts to encourage single motherhood. Ann Coulter has some great stuff in her new book, Guilty, that documents the damage done by single mothers. Attacking single motherhood makes the case that our economic prosperity will advance through changes in behavior at the personal level. Our heros ought to be married couples that adopt, couples that stay together for the sake of the children, and folks that repair their marriages as they become clean and sober. Whenever, Obama tries to lean on the single motherhood issue...he gets blow-back from Rev. Jackson...who fathered an out-of-wedlock child with his mistress.

Finally, I'm 100% against any effort to blame the U.S. for poverty in developing nations. These countries tolerate child labor and don't enforce compulsory schoolng. We can dump all the money we want on them, but we won't see any change in prosperity until they clean up their own behavior. Stopping child labor is one of the keys to becoming a civilized society...we should insist on this now as a precondition for any aid we provide overseas.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Obama's Teleprompter Says Good-Bye

Here's a sample of my first experiment at creating a video regarding Obama's overuse/dependence on the teleprompter.

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