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Posts Tagged ‘reagan’

D-Day

Posted by Richard on June 6, 2014

They commemorated the 70th anniversary of D-Day today with an interpretive dance. A better way to remember is to listen to Ronald Reagan’s “Boys of Point-du-Hoc” speech at the 40th anniversary.


[YouTube link]

 

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Remembering what worked: the supply-side revolution

Posted by Richard on March 15, 2014

In a recent Cato Policy Report, Brian Domitrovic contrasted the growth of government in the past 15 years with the comparable period before that, and suggested that what this country needs is another tax revolt:

For about 15 years now, the federal government, in all its myriad activities, has been in major expansion mode. The Federal Reserve, the regulatory apparatus, the tax code, the police and surveillance machinery of the state — all of these extensions of the government have broadened their reach, power, and ambition in significant fashion since the late 1990s.

The basic metric that reflects all this is the level of federal spending. In 2013 the government of the United States spent 55 percent more money — in real, inflation-adjusted terms — than it did in 1999. Economic growth in that 14-year span has been 30 percent. …

The moment is apt, then, to reclaim a tradition of our recent history, a tradition that the big-government 21st century is striving to suppress. This is the great successful effort to slow Leviathan of a generation and a half ago — the effort that gave us the Ronald Reagan revolution of the 1980s.

By all means, read the whole thing. But this graph clearly illustrates one of the key points:

gov. growth vs. econ. growth

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“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” silver anniversary

Posted by Richard on June 12, 2012

Twenty-five years ago today, President Reagan stood at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate and gave one of the most important speeches of the 20th century. If you’re too young to remember the world before the fall of the Soviet Union, know this: for the four decades before Reagan called on Gorbachev to open that gate and tear down that wall, East German border guards had been shooting down men, women, and children trying to escape from the gigantic prison camp known as the Soviet empire. Little more than two years later, the wall came down and what Reagan called the Evil Empire fell.

The speech is a beautiful, stirring thing delivered with strength and conviction. I still get chills listening to it. I urge you youngsters who’ve never heard it and you oldsters who’ve forgotten it to listen to it in its entirety (26 minutes). Here’s the complete video and an excerpt from the transcript (PDF available here).


[YouTube link]

Our gathering today is being broadcast throughout Western Europe and North America. I understand that it is being seen and heard as well in the East. To those listening throughout Eastern Europe, a special word: Although I cannot be with you, I address my remarks to you just as surely as to those standing here before me. For I join you, as I join your fellow countrymen in the West, in this firm, this unalterable belief: Es gibt nur ein Berlin. [There is only one Berlin.]

Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe. From the Baltic, south, those barriers cut across Germany in a gash of barbed wire, concrete, dog runs, and guard towers. Farther south, there may be no visible, no obvious wall. But there remain armed guards and checkpoints all the same–still a restriction on the right to travel, still an instrument to impose upon ordinary men and women the will of a totalitarian state. Yet it is here in Berlin where the wall emerges most clearly; here, cutting across your city, where the news photo and the television screen have imprinted this brutal division of a continent upon the mind of the world. Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men. Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar.

In West Germany and here in Berlin, there took place an economic miracle, the Wirtschaftswunder. Adenauer, Erhard, Reuter, and other leaders understood the practical importance of liberty–that just as truth can flourish only when the journalist is given freedom of speech, so prosperity can come about only when the farmer and businessman enjoy economic freedom. The German leaders reduced tariffs, expanded free trade, lowered taxes. From 1950 to 1960 alone, the standard of living in West Germany and Berlin doubled.

In the 1950s, Khrushchev predicted: “We will bury you.” But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind–too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor.

And now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control.

Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it? We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.

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!

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John “McCain II” Huntsman

Posted by Richard on June 22, 2011

To the delight of the mainstream media, John Huntsman threw his hat into the ring today. They've been promoting his potential candidacy for weeks now. He's the kind of soft-spoken, moderate, reach-across-the-aisle Republican that the Socialist Democrat Party's media shills like. He's the new John McCain.

Of course, if he were to get the Republican nomination, they'd turn on him in a heartbeat, just like they did McCain. 

Huntsman announced his presidential campaign at Liberty State Park, with the Statue of Liberty behind him, right where Ronald Reagan spoke on Labor Day, 1980. And Huntsman evoked Reagan early and often. Rush Limbaugh had the right response to that: "You have to forgive me here but I'm a little resentful of people who are nothing like Reagan trying to be Reagan."

Huntsman may have evoked Reagan, but he channeled McCain:

Let me say something about civility. For the sake of the younger generation it concerns me that civility, humanity, and respect are sometimes lost in our interactions as Americans. Our political debates today are corrosive and not reflective of the belief that Abe Lincoln espoused. I don't think you need to run down someone's reputation in order to run for the office of president. I respect the President of the United States. He and I have a difference of opinion on how to help a country we both love, but the question each of us wants the voters to answer is "Who will be the better president?" not who's the better American. 

As Limbaugh noted, this is the timid Republicanism that the media elites and the inside-the-beltway, ruling class Republicans want the GOP to embrace, and it's nonsense (emphasis added):

The Republican Party is still convinced that in order to secure the support of independents, that they have to be boring. They have to be serious and Milquetoast and cannot be confrontational, cannot be partisan, cannot go into attack mode. Somehow this is going to cause the independents to get nervous and send them running right back to Obama. Now, of course, that's flat-out BS, it's totally wrong. The elections of last November demonstrate that in a real world, real life example. But then there's also this. We're told — and this is a trap, by the way, the left puts this out. It's designed to get us to be boring. It's designed to get us not to contrast ourselves with the left.

They put out this notion, "These independents, these moderates, they don't mess around. They're cut above! And they start hearing this deep partisanship and they're just gonna run away from you guys. They're gonna run right back to the Democrats." Right. Now, the Democrat Party and anybody in it that you want to name today is the most vicious and mean-spirited and exemplifies the politics of personal destruction unlike I've ever seen it practiced in my lifetime.

So Huntsman stood where Reagan stood, tried to evoke Reagan, and then proceeded to talk about civility and being nice, about not running down his opponent, and about how much he likes and respects his opponent. Is that how Reagan approached his opponent?

Not exactly. At that same spot, Reagan issued a full-throated denunciation of the godawful mess Jimmy Carter's policies had made of things. Reagan called Carter out by name, called him a failure and a disaster, and eviscerated his misbegotten policies (which sound eerily familiar today). Then he spoke with optimism about the better future that lay ahead after Carter was sent packing. Listen for yourself.

Part 1 (8:49):


[YouTube link]

Part 2 (9:55): 


[YouTube link]

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Reagan’s 100th birthday

Posted by Richard on February 6, 2011

Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6, 1911. Almost 70 years later, he became the 40th president of the United States, and by far the best of my lifetime. In remembrance, I watched his 1989 farewell address. Take 20 minutes and watch it, too, whether it's to remember or to see it for the first time.

One of my favorite lines: "I wasn't a great communicator. But I communicated great things." 


[YouTube link]

You might also enjoy some great moments from Reagan speeches.


[YouTube link]


[YouTube link]

Ronald Reagan, R.I.P.

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Celebrating the triumph of liberty

Posted by Richard on November 9, 2009

Twenty years ago today, residents of the slave state known as the Democratic Republic of Germany danced atop the Berlin Wall with their West German brethren and rushed through the suddenly open gates to freedom — a freedom that thousands had been killed for attempting to reach. It was the beginning of the end for the Iron Curtain, the Soviet Empire, and the subjugation of hundreds of millions under brutal collectivist regimes. It was arguably the most momentous event since the end of World War II.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who herself walked from East Germany to freedom that day, is leading the appropriately massive celebrations taking place all day today in Berlin. Joining her are Mikhail Gorbachev, Lech Walesa, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, and the leaders of all 27 European Union countries.

Absent is the leader of the country most responsible for the fall of the Berlin Wall, the country that made possible the survival of West Berlin to see that glorious day. President Obama declined Chancellor Merkel's invitation to attend, saying he was too busy. So let's see what his schedule for today looks like: 

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
_______________________________________________________________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2009

DAILY GUIDANCE AND PRESS SCHEDULE FOR
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2009

In the morning, the President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing, the Economic Daily Briefing, and meet with senior advisors in the Oval Office. These meetings are closed press.

In the evening, the President will sign an Executive Order on the employment of veterans in the federal government in the Oval Office. Through this Executive Order, the President will make the Federal Government the model employer of Veterans. The Executive Order establishes a Council on Veterans Employment and a Veterans Employment Program office within most Federal agencies. The signing is closed press.

The President will then meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.

In-Town Travel Pool
Wires: AP, Reuters, Bloomberg
Wire Photos: AP, Reuters, AFP
TV Corr & Crew: CNN
Print: CQ
Radio: VOA
Travel Photo: TIME

EST

9:00AM Pool Call Time

10:00AM THE PRESIDENT receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Closed Press

10:30AM THE PRESIDENT receives the Economic Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Closed Press

11:00AM THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors
Oval Office
Closed Press

6:45PM THE PRESIDENT signs the Veterans Employment Initiative Executive Order
Oval Office
Closed Press

7:00PM THE PRESIDENT meets with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel
Oval Office
Closed Press

Briefing Schedule

12:30PM Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs

##

The Office of the Press Secretary doesn't disclose with whom the President is playing golf in the afternoon. 

When I learned that Mikhail Gorbachev was attending the ceremonies today in Berlin, I felt a bit of a lump in my throat. The man who should really be there, but who's no longer with us — the man who, more than any other, brought about that day of liberation in 1989 — is the man who issued this challenge to Gorbachev in 1987: 

“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!”

To watch, listen to, or read President Reagan's address at the Brandenburg Gate, go here.  

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A Time for Choosing

Posted by Richard on October 29, 2009

Yesterday was the 45th anniversary of the TV broadcast "Rendezvous with Destiny," a 30-minute campaign commercial for Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, delivered by Ronald Reagan. It was a variation of a speech called "A Time for Choosing," padded with some "vote for Goldwater because…" stuff.

Reagan delivered this speech many times in 1964, including when he nominated Sen. Goldwater at the Republican National Convention. Reagan fans of a sufficient age have always just called it "The Speech." It is as meaningful today as it was in 1964. These excerpts are (despite what the intro at this site says) from his nominating speech at the convention:

It's time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, "We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self government."

This idea — that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power — is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream–the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order — or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, "The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits."

The Founding Fathers knew a government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing.

Public servants say, always with the best of intentions, "What greater service we could render if only we had a little more money and a little more power." But the truth is that outside of its legitimate function, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector.

They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right. …

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.

Hat tip to Rush Limbaugh for reminding me (albeit a day late) and for these quotes

"In holding up Reagan, we're not holding up a man, a cult of personality figure. We're holding up principles. We're reminding people of how the country was founded." — Rush

 "If you think that the era of Reagan is over simply because the external threat of the Soviet Union was beaten down, you have missed the whole point. Reagan was talking about tyranny, liberty, and freedom, and freedom is always threatened, always has to be fought for." — Rush

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Moving toward the center

Posted by Richard on July 12, 2008

Obama is discarding (at least outwardly) a lifetime of far-left, radical beliefs and is moving toward the center at breakneck speed. McCain long ago embraced the center, that vast muddled ground where conventional wisdom says elections are won. 

Mo'thanskin brought up this issue the other day in a comment to my post about revolting Republicans.

Leave it to a liberal Democrat to recognize what should be obvious to Republicans, but isn't (emphasis added):

It is hardly unusual for a candidate to move toward the middle in a general election; in fact, it is fairly standard operating procedure. That is part of what bothers some on the left.

Ben Austin, a former Clinton White House political deputy and early Obama supporter, called the senator's perceived drift "unnecessary and potentially counterproductive" for a candidate who aspires to be a transformational figure.

"To the extent progressives see him as the Reagan of the left, Reagan didn't tack toward the center," Austin said. "He moved the American electorate to the right."

Reagan didn't pander to the whiners and those with class envy, either. Reagan focused his campaigns on positives and an optimistic vision of the future, but he wasn't afraid to criticize the bad ideas of his opponents. And he didn't campaign in some kind of spineless, timid, unfocused "can't we all just get along?" mode.

Like some people I could name. 

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For some reason, Google likes me

Posted by Richard on May 23, 2008

I don't spend a lot of time looking at my site stats, but I know I get a lot of hits from Google searches. Occasionally, I take a quick look and see if there are any interesting ones, and I've always been pleasantly surprised by my Google rankings. But tonight, I spotted one that really blew me away.

A visitor arrived via a Google search for one of the most memorable quotes of the last several decades: "Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" Out of curiosity, I clicked the referring Google link. I was astonished. My post commemorating the 20th anniversary of Reagan's Brandenburg Gate speech is ranked number 5 — after wikipedia.org, reaganfoundation.org, usgovinfo.about.com, and quotedb.com.

Wow. It's hard to believe I deserve that high a ranking, but thank you, Google!

(BTW, if you're old enough to remember the Soviet bloc, go read the speech excerpt I posted and refresh your memory. See if it doesn't bring tears to your eyes. You youngsters too — if you know even a bit about the geopolitical situation at the time, I think you'll appreciate what a remarkable and significant speech that was. Pay attention especially to the part about "the practical importance of liberty." Damn, I miss Reagan.)

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“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

Posted by Richard on June 12, 2007

Twenty years ago today, the Great Communicator stood at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and delivered one of the most important speeches of the 20th century. Here's a film clip from YouTube and an excerpt from the speech transcript at the Reagan Foundation:

Our gathering today is being broadcast throughout Western Europe and North America. I understand that it is being seen and heard as well in the East. To those listening throughout Eastern Europe, a special word: Although I cannot be with you, I address my remarks to you just as surely as to those standing here before me. For I join you, as I join your fellow countrymen in the West, in this firm, this unalterable belief: Es gibt nur ein Berlin. [There is only one Berlin.]

Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe. From the Baltic, south, those barriers cut across Germany in a gash of barbed wire, concrete, dog runs, and guard towers. Farther south, there may be no visible, no obvious wall. But there remain armed guards and checkpoints all the same–still a restriction on the right to travel, still an instrument to impose upon ordinary men and women the will of a totalitarian state. Yet it is here in Berlin where the wall emerges most clearly; here, cutting across your city, where the news photo and the television screen have imprinted this brutal division of a continent upon the mind of the world. Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men. Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar.

In West Germany and here in Berlin, there took place an economic miracle, the Wirtschaftswunder. Adenauer, Erhard, Reuter, and other leaders understood the practical importance of liberty–that just as truth can flourish only when the journalist is given freedom of speech, so prosperity can come about only when the farmer and businessman enjoy economic freedom. The German leaders reduced tariffs, expanded free trade, lowered taxes. From 1950 to 1960 alone, the standard of living in West Germany and Berlin doubled.

In the 1950s, Khrushchev predicted: "We will bury you." But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind–too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor.

And now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control.

Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it? We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.

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!

PowerLine has speechwriter Peter Robinson's wonderful story of Ingeborg Elz, who gave him the idea for the defining moment of the speech, and of the struggle over the speech. Check it out.

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