Friday, May 27, 2011

Yahoo! for Mr. Netanyahu

In late December of 1941, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed a somber joint session of the United States Congress.  His words were inspiring and rang true like the bell in a church steeple on an otherwise quiet morning.


He spoke of liberty and democracy and the unique role of the United States of America as a beacon for freedom throughout the world.


Some of you may not have noticed, but last week , Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, delivered a similarly stirring appeal to the American lawmakers in another somber joint session.


If you have access to YouTube, invest 45 minutes  in viewing and listening to Netanyahu's inspiring words. He fully illuminates the role of Israel as the last best hope for the survival of democracy in the Middle East.


He also demonstrates the importance of America fulfilling its destiny as the champion of those who seek to break the shackles of tyranny. If America turns its back on the embattled democratic nation of Israel, dire consequences await.


Netanyahu draws clear parallels between Hitler's march across Europe and militant Islam's expansion throughout the Middle East and Europe.


The rousing words of this courageous Prime Minister contrast sharply with President  Obama's  recently expressed desire that Israel shrink its borders back to where they existed prior to the Six-Day War in which  Israel   drove back three powerful Arab nations that threatened to wipe out this tiny Jewish nation.

President Obama's words feel like appeasement Neville Chamberlain style to me.

             We should never forget that Israel was created by the Allies after World War II in order to ensure that the chosen people of the Old Testament had a safe national land where the threats of another Holocaust could never materialize.


Six million Jews perished at the hands of satanic forces wearing a Swastika.  

The leaders of Iran and Palestine continue to reassert their objective of annihilation of the Jews. They even deny  the existence of the concentration camps that housed unspeakable atrocities.


The miraculous Six-Day War  victory in 1967 provided Israel with new borders that created a secure buffer for the infant country which can not be reduced without inviting further attack by those sworn to destroy the every Jewish citizen.  The speech last week in the Capitol made that much clear.

But this speech did much more. 

It reminded Americans of what it means to be an American.  It means standing up for justice and being counted when liberty is under attack, especially when the attack is against our long term friends and allies.

I hope the President watches that speech as well.

As we celebrate Memorial Day,  Mr. President,  remember our friends who also shed blood for the cause we hold so dear: Liberty. 

The border can not go back and America must stand tall against despots.

Three cheers for Mr. Netanyahu.

David M. Lynch

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Eye of Newt Twitching Uncontrollably

Back in the 60s one of my very favorite sitcoms was an  absurd contrast to the white bread perfect middle-class American  family called the Addams family.


Whenever Morticia was cooking up a magic potion, she always added one very meaningful ingredient called Eye of Newt.


Just recently Eye of Newt has become a very important ingredient in American politics. And in this case the eye of Newt is twitching uncontrollably.


Only a few days after announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination for presiden,t former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich described the spending plan of  Congressman Paul Ryan, Republican wunderkind from Wisconsin, in rather unflattering terms.


Appearing on Meet the Press, Gingrich described the house budget committee chairman's spending program as, and I quote," a radical step toward right wing social engineering."


Of course a firestorm erupted shortly after this in which various conservative luminaries such as Bill Bennett, Rush Limbaugh, and Bill O'Reilly expressed doubts regarding Gingrich's ability to engage his brain before putting his mouth in gear.

In a world in which every gaffe is caught on tape and in which Joe Biden has purchased a lifetime membership in the gaffe of the week club, Republicans could be urged to exercise some restraint in their criticism of the former Georgia congressman's very lonely trip off the reservation of central Republican party philosophy.


What made it so difficult for Gingrich is the fact that Congressman Ryan is considered to be the dynamic young face that much of the Republican Party is pinning its hopes on in years to come. Ryan projects a sense of confident courage and faith in the belief system that tells us government must shrink before it overwhelms all of us in red ink and socialistic management of our lives.


Ronald Reagan used to say that the 11th commandment was" thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican."


One would think that Gingrich would have been able to weather this storm because we are early in a campaign in which the news cycle switches over to the next big story in just a few days.


Unfortunately for Professor Gingrich, he made things worse by following his Meet the Press appearance with a statement on Fox News where he told the world that his criticism of the Ryan plan  is " inaccurate and unfortunate." And then he really stepped in it. He told the Democratic Party that they better not run any ads quoting his Meet the Press statements.


What do you think happened the very next day?


The Democratic National Committee, fast on its feet, ran commercials all over the country replaying the video of Newt's attack of the Ryan program.


The Republicans are, generally speaking, forgiving of those who make mistakes and learn from them.


In this case, Newt Gingrich handed the Democratic Party a loaded gun and then with his challenge regarding the ads, practically invited the Democrats to fire that gun point blank, aimed at the centerpiece of the Republican platform.


In more recent television appearances, Newt Gingrich has eyes twitching almost uncontrollably with distress because he  managed to sabotage the lift-off of his own candidacy.


Eye of Newt is an ingredient Republicans are likely to see very little of going forward for the Republican convention.

 This candidacy is over.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Give Cops and Firefighters the Right to Strike


            Policemen and firefighters should have the right to strike.


            Especially now.


            Sound Radical?  It is.


            But in the light of recent changes to public employee law in Ohio, it's only fair.


            As a former municipal official, I've been observing the fracas  over collective bargaining in Columbus.


            Here's the background.


            Years ago, Ohio law was overhauled to create the SERB (State Employee Relations Board) Statute.


            This Ohio Revised Code provision created an independent hearing officer to make a binding determination deciding labor contract questions and pay disputes between cities and safety personnel.


            City governments hate this law because they were stuck with the mandatory binding decision of this hearing officer.  Even if they were ordered to pay raises they couldn't afford.


            Of course, unions were also stuck, forced to accept  what may have been an unfair decision regarding pay scale or employee contribution for health care.


            What no one is talking about is the reason this system was created.


            It was created because safety forces do not have the legal right to strike.


            This leverage of the threat of striking is at the core of labor rights.


            Without the right to strike, the union has no leverage and might as well not exist.


            You can't call it collective bargaining if you strip unions of their only truly meaningful bargaining tool:  The right to strike. 


            Over in Europe, Lech Walesa's Solidarity movement was based on this most basic theory:  you don't have to pay us as we demand, but we also may choose to walk.


            This movement, along with a little help from a Polish Pope now on his way to sainthood, eventually played a major role in the downfall of the Soviet Communist empire.


            Our public officials in Columbus have missed this completely.


            They took away the system designed to balance the scales in light of a public employee's inability to strike.


            So you see, I understand the concerns of cities facing a budget crunch.


            However, if you are going to eliminate laws created because striking is illegal, you must give that tool back to the worker.


            You must let them have the only meaningful ace in the hand dealt them in the poker game of labor negotiations.


            It's not a fair game when the dealer reserves the aces for only one side.


            That's what happened in Columbus.  They tried to fix the SERB Law to protect the public coffers, but forgot about the delicate balance of fairness to workers.


            The right to strike is a human right.  Just ask Lech  Walesa and a bunch of brave Polish workers.


            Give it back Columbus, give it back. 



David M. Lynch

Friday, May 6, 2011

Obama gives haircut to The Hair

          It's one thing to take it on the chin on occasion.


          It's quite another to be the victim of a complete lashing at the hands of your foe.


          For Donald Trump, the final sword  was inserted into his hide Sunday night last week.


          Stick a fork in him.


          The first blow came when Birther  Don was confronted with the President's release of his long form Birth Certificate.


          Unbelievably, someone counseled the President to hold this certificate in reserve ---- until now.


          The man of the unexplainable hair was caught totally off  balance as he press conferenced his way into his see-what-I-did position.


          Trump came off as a lightweight unwilling to admit he'd been bested.


          The second shot hit the mark on New York's biggest ego when the President delivered a hysterical standup at the White House Correspondence dinner.


          The jokes were more than humor at Trump's expense.  They told the country that Trump remains a minor league prospect while Obama is a major league star.


          Trump, present at what suddenly became his own roast, sat quietly and forced a few smiles.


          Man, that was painful to watch.


          The cou-de-grat and the final mortal strike came that next Sunday night.


          Donald's claim to fame, his shockingly trivial Celebrity Apprentice NBC reality show, was winding  down toward another exciting revelation as to who would be fired.


          Instead of joyfully basking in another glow of juiced up Nielsen ratings, Trump saw his own TV show interrupted by guess who?


          You got it right.  The biggest Obama boosting news of the entire Obama Presidency overrode Celebrity Apprentice.


          Millions of Americans saw the President announce Bin Laden's dramatic death instead of the conclusion of Trump's television show.


          Apart from the fact that the news was great for a President who needed some good news, the timing could not have been worse for Trump.


          Game, set, and match.


          Real estate mogul turned television producer gets skewered by skillful politician.


          Look, the Bin Laden story is good for America.  Wasn't it terrific to see young people on Times Square and on Pennsylvania  Avenue waiving the flag and celebrating our national exceptionalism and our militaryt?


          But don't miss the fact that one politician wannabe just got outfoxed by one of the best.


          Republicans, take note.


          When it comes to politics, this is one tough hombre.


  Just ask the hair.



David M. Lynch