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Casting an Ironclad Legacy

Thankfully, not all college students are clueless PC zombies.

Students at the University of Kent (Canterbury, England) have submitted a proposal to honor the late (and great) Margaret Thatcher with a statue on their campus. If you need a quick refresher, there’s a video for that.

The NBC News article, “Margaret Thatcher Deserves 250-Foot Tall Statue, Backers Say” by Alexander Smith revealed the stunning details.

  • 250-Feet Tall
  • Made of iron (of course)
  • The statue would rest atop a marble pedestal standing 50 feet
  • Cost is ~$425 million

Margaret Thatcher was a bold leader of her generation, inspiring men and women in Europe, as well as her American friends across the pond. One of the reasons people admired her, beyond philosophy, was shown in the clip above. Prime Minister Thatcher could hang with anybody at anytime. Her insight, successes and legacy (for conservatism and for women) warrants a monument for the public to admire.

A statue that stands 250 feet tall? The final height may have to be negotiated. Regardless, the students appear to have a strong, determined resolve.

“This is not us having a joke — it is a serious proposal,” 20-year-old Emilio Kyprianou, chairman of the Conservative association and the project’s driving force, told NBC News on Tuesday. “This challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”

An iron resolve, if you will.

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The Romney Reaction

Mitt Romney will not be the 45th President of the United States of America.

Most of America (including his family) likely approve of this decision. It’s not because he’s not qualified. Rather, he had his chances, most consequentially in 2012, and did not deliver. However, make no mistake about it, Mitt Romney will be a factor come election day 2016.

How?

First, polls have revealed that a majority of Americans wish Romney had defeated President Obama in 2012. There’s a buyers remorse among many voters, specifically after Romney correctly forecast key foreign policy issues, like Russia as just one example. Plus, the economy’s foundation is weak, the tax system is outdated, entitlement programs need structural changes, unemployment is really 10-11% because of stunningly low labor workforce participation, there is a lack of quality jobs being created and debts and deficits are still soaring (wait a couple years for the latter to skyrocket again). Romney’s biggest strengths are as a job creator and a business leader. And despite the fact he isn’t running, people will remember their vote in 2012 and who and what vision they chose instead and the subsequent results both at home and abroad.

Most Americans are increasingly aware of the ineptitude of Obama’s foreign policy decisions and how it’s led to a perception (and reality) that the world continues to burn without a functioning extinguisher in sight. Also, the refusal to acknowledge our enemy by name is a major problem and, quite frankly, an inconceivable embarrassment of common sense.

Second, Romney can make good on his recent priority to help improve those living in poverty during the next two years (and beyond!) with his knowledge of lifting people up with opportunity, resources and, most importantly, time. He has the time to, as NBC says, “make a difference.” As has been mentioned on this blog, the Republican Party needs to prove that their economic philosophy of equal opportunity and belief in the power and ingenuity of the individual is superior to the predictable failings of big government fiscal liberalism. They need to make clear the correlation between the success of a local economy with the educational success of the community and its citizens (public and private schools) and how it creates a sustained environment of achievement and high standards, as well as how it improves the safety of that community. Romney (and other conservative leaders) need to embrace this challenge by bringing their economic philosophy and successful business records into the poorest neighborhoods to show (not tell) how fiscal conservatism works for everybody. The rewards will last generations.

The economic policies of President Obama and liberal mayors and governors have by-and-large not improved the lives or opportunities for the poor. The door is wide open for an innovative new idea to shine the American Dream on those in the forgotten corners of society who live in inescapable poverty. This is especially important for Romney himself after his infamous “47%” remark.

Mitt Romney will not be the 45th President of the United States of America, but he will be the third person people think about when they elect the new leader of the free world. Even if the Republican nominee is more libertarian than Romney on a host of issues, his presence will be influential regardless. There’s the saying that our first impression is everything. Yes. It’s also a fact that people don’t easily forget important people or important events.

Romney now has time to prove the latter true.

My Fellow Americans

The State of the Union is tonight, which will be a constant applause-break speech by President Obama with plenty of partisan soft balls to his political allies and jabs at his political opponents. There will be fact-checking throughout (as well as following the speech, as is protocol) to determine the validity of his many statements about the past, present and future. Serving as just one example, it’s probably a safe bet the near historically low labor force participation rate number will not make its way into the section concerning the “growing economy,” quality jobs being created and the true unemployment rate.

How about introducing fiscal conservatism and equal opportunity into the lowest-income places around the country for the purpose of creating high-quality jobs through entrepreneurship and by luring prosperous businesses into communities that can economically sustain individuals and families, while recognizing the vitally important correlation between the economic success and sustained safety of a community with the academic success of its public and/or private schools, as is clearly evident in great communities nationwide?

Probably not going to happen, as fiscal liberalism has always self-appointed “genius” leaders for that (GruberGruber…). They haven’t fixed the problem so far, but this century will surely see vastly different results with the same ideas and economic philosophy…

With that being said, most Americans are expecting to be lured into a false reality regarding policy truths/results, in some way or another. It will be a political speech from a president who loves reading political digs from his trusty teleprompter and who believes everything he reads from said teleprompter is the truth: period. In other words, President Obama is “the Ron Burgundy” president. If he reads it, it must be true.

“America: I’m a job-creating, debt and deficit-reducing, healthcare fixing, massive freedom of speech moment realizing, foreign policy expert.” 

It will be an interesting speech, partly because it will be in front of the newly Republican-controlled Congress and also partly because his proposals will be heavily unrealistic ideas. President Obama will likely make political points close to his heart, regardless of its plausibility or if it’s all at geared toward the genuine need/benefit of the country as a whole. It’s sad to say, but it’s the truth. On the same note, Republicans need to be cautious and measured in their response(s). Specifically, with substantive rebuttals and positive solutions of their own.

This will be more of a legacy/power-up to liberal politicians considering 2016 than any serious suggestions for fixing the broken economic foundation of the United States (ie -transformational tax reform, entitlement reforms, meaningful and necessary spending cuts).

It’s been six years and the economy still isn’t running with vigor or purposeful direction. Most six-year-olds are racing around with excitement and unbridled creativity, growing with a clearer vision each day.

Unfortunately, far too many Americans feel like we’re still crawling out of The Great Recession six years later…

Is Beeman’s Gum Sold Anywhere These Days?

“I trust you”

These three words carry tremendous weight in a relationship between friends, family, loved ones, colleagues and, most importantly, parents to babysitters. Some may even argue these ‘three words’ are on par with the more popular ‘three words.’ In fact, join these six words with an “and” in the middle and that’s a foundation for a successful marriage: “I love you and I trust you.”

Your team is on their opponent’s 13 yard line and are down by 6 points with :03 left and it’s 4th and doesn’t matter. It’s windy and a frigid 41 degrees. The quarterback’s hands are cold and has already thrown two interceptions to his one touchdown in the defensive struggle. Question: Do you trust him?

Married with three kids, two of which are female teenagers. It was a long week of term papers, clothes denied by Dad but approved by Mom, a science project and a missing dog. Friday used to emulate the start of a relaxing and fun weekend, until these ‘kids’ started showing up. Yearning for a night out, the address book of neighborhood babysitters is scrolled through. Why doesn’t one of the teenage girls watch their younger brother? Because they are teenagers and have already grabbed Mom’s car keys and bolted for the mall/friend’s house/party/anywhere but home before the words ‘babysit’ or ‘watch’ leave their parents’ desperate mouths.

A nice girl from two houses down is called for first time duty and, with a handsome tip from Mom without Dad seeing, is there to help wrangle the superhero-dressed, hopped up on fun-sized Nestle Crunch candy bars 7 year-old. Question: Do you trust her? Some will agree and disagree with Jack Burns of Oyster Bay regarding this matter.

There are dozens of examples in our own lives, and movies, that examine a person’s trust (or distrust) towards someone else. Within the past few years, big (and before reliable) institutions have given way to mass criticisms from the public regarding their trustworthiness:

Major universities have failed its local communities and students with publicized athletic scandals.

Big investment banks (Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers) betrayed its clients with intentionally bad and greedy decisions.

Elected officials in the federal government have failed to solve big issue problems without being pushed to the brink (and even then they’re not resolved).

However, before you deem this piece a depressing encapsulation of our increasing lack of trust in big institutions and people in general, perhaps we need to venture back to a major motion picture that rings true with courage and the guts to do something big and right.

One movie that triggers a nostalgic reaction of pride and an ultimate force for good is, “The Rocketeer.” This Disney masterpiece instantaneously brings back memories of transforming an old garage door opener into the clicker that sparked my jet pack when imagining I was ‘the rocketeer’ at the adventurous age of six. Those were the days…

This is a story of Cliff Secord, a stunt pilot, and his older mechanic friend Peevy whose lives are drastically changed when Cliff sits down in the cockpit of an old plane, “The Fearless Freep” and immediately feels pain from something inside Peevy’s duffel bag. What was inside?

The setting is 1938 California on the outskirts of Los Angeles during the era that would eventually define a group of Americans forever known as, “The Greatest Generation.” This major motion picture follows Cliff/”The Rocketeer” as he flies around with his new personal jet pack, modified in ways unique to Peevy (Beeman’s Gum anyone?). The backdrop being that the rocket was a secret experimental invention of Howard Hughes, which was discovered and pursued by a small group of Nazi’s who had infiltrated the United States.

The end of the film showed the incredible bravery of “The Rocketeer” to risk his own life to attempt to save his girlfriend Jenny from a zeppelin and the hands of the iconic Hollywood actor and traitor Neville Sinclair. Sinclair wanted to steal and sell the rocket that would be used to equip the Hitler run army with personal jet packs to assist in global domination.

After prevailing in a death defying battle on top of a flying zeppelin and using quick thinking to peel off a gas covered piece of gum, Cliff/”The Rocketeer” sent Neville Sinclair to his fiery demise that simultaneously explained the origins of the famous “Hollywood” sign. Saved in just the nick of time by Mr. Hughes and Peevy, Cliff and Jenny escape while hanging over the plummeting and ablaze zeppelin.

A great movie with a great story and great characters.

Whether in popular culture or our everyday lives, people continue to surprise us in difficult situations. No matter if the fate of the free world is at stake with a life altering invention or if a couple is trying to determine whether or not the babysitter is reliable and safe, most people are good and are deserving of being given the benefit of the doubt.

In today’s economy, employers are faced with a barrage of resumes and applications for a single job opening. It’s overwhelming on both ends. A conversation with my childhood doctor at a grocery store recently delved into the economic struggles of so many by explaining that her waiter at a restaurant a short while back was a young man who had successfully passed the bar, but had to wait tables because no legal position was available. His law degree earned him a pad and pen, but not for cross examining the witness. Sadly, this is not uncommon today. This is the era we live in, which has unfortunately redefined a portion of the Millenial Generation/Generation Y as the ‘Lost Generation.’

While businesses slowly recover, young men and women who graduated at the worst time(s) in nearly eight decades have been forced to accept lower expectations and smaller dreams while the economy recovers and brightens for future graduates. Being stuck between a rock and hard place is putting it kindly.

While Cliff Secord is a fictional character from a popular 1991 Disney live action movie, his character’s story just may provide the answer for those in the newly defined ‘Lost Generation’: personal belief. Cover letters and resumes are a dime a dozen these days and therefore a new approach must be established. Or in other words, a new trust must be sought.

In most all cases, a job is given when the boss determines he or she can trust you. With such limited openings, this qualification has reached a very difficult level for applicants despite having an impressive educational background and/or degree. The bottle neck for interviews is the narrowest its been in decades. Today, the three words we should be striving for, sans romance, are not, “I trust you,” but instead have to be, “I trust myself.”

Cliff had to trust himself to defy Howard Hughes, the police forces and life threatening danger to do what was right. Seeing Cliff bravely rocket off towards the Nazi zeppelin beside an American flag to save Jenny caused turned-good gang leader Eddie Valentine to say ambitiously, “Go get ’em, kid.”

Imagine if you will that for those in Generation Y: you’re Cliff, the imperfect rocket is your uncertain career path, Jenny is your livelihood and everybody else represents those who will one day watch in amazement at an entire generation’s rediscovered American dreams.

The ‘Lost Generation’ firmly has its back against the wall. Although the call is substantially less than another group of Americans that faced a dark world with depleted opportunity and a grim future, it still demands an equally grand rebuttal.

Drawing inspiration from “The Rocketeer” may seem foolish and childish, but there is a reason why this movie is still popular today with Gen Y kids: people want to believe…they believed then and want to continue to believe today.

For most in the ‘Lost Generation,’ believing better days are ahead is not optional, but necessary. Perhaps one day we’ll get that shiny new plane of our own from somebody who came to trust us because we first trusted ourselves.

The stakes for a sequel have never been higher.