Month: July 2010

Talking about Illegal Immigration

My interview with RT about illegal immigration.

Tony Is Talking

I’ve added a new daily segment, called Tony Is Talking.  Not sure if the name will stick, but I’m going with it for now.  Updated every morning, Monday through Friday.  Enjoy, and feel free to share!


Talking about the Black Panthers

My interview with RT about the Black Panthers.

Victory for the Tea Party

“Let me write the ballads of a country, and I care not who writes the laws.”  – Plato

I first heard this quote from Bill Whittle.  If you don’t know Bill, I encourage you to check out his work on PJTV.  Bill is one of the great minds of our generation.  He is with few equals.  He is brilliant.

One of Bill’s most thought-provoking and in-depth commentaries is about the concept of Iconography – the use of visual icons and artistry to convey a message.  He points out that iconography is part of the American culture; about how the sight of Mickey Mouse can evoke far different feelings that that of the Playboy bunny.  Think about the world around you.  You know a McDonald’s is ahead of you when you see the tips of the Golden Arches.  You know an Apple computer by that very simple apple.  The Apple logo is so identified with Apple computers that they do not need to put the name Apple next to it.

Obama has been masterful in his use of iconography.  The “O” as Whittle describes it,  looks like a rising sun on a field of the American flag, denoting a positive future.  There is no doubting that Whittle is right in his assessment – iconography is extremely important.  Images move us, they compel us.  They can evoke emotions of joy, of anger, of love, of hate, of pride, of despair.  We are a visual nation, and, as some other smart people have said, “Image is everything.”

Madison Avenue, where the tv, print and web commercials are conceived and hatched, knows about imagery.  They are astutely aware of the current trends.  They are constantly feeling out society, moving their message  (and the sale of their products) as well as they can.  As a 38 year old, I know when I hear Led Zeppelin in a Cadillac commercial that the commercial is being directed at me.

Madison Avenue’s job is to take Plato’s advice to heart.  They dictate culture by showing us what is within the American psyche.  By showing us what moves us to the moment of purchase.  Their job is to move our hearts and minds.

With that knowledge, the Tea Party can celebrate a victory!  And it is a big one.  We have won a magnificent battle in the culture war.

Recently, three television commercials have been aired on network television….three commercials that are from three iconic brands – Bud Light, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Dodge.  Each of these three commercials highlight the same iconic brand – our Founding Fathers.

They are not in the background, but front and center:  the emotional tug leading us to buy the product in question.  In the Bud Light commercial, the Founders are having a 4th of July party.  In the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese ad, it features President Thomas Jefferson (and author of the Declaration of Independence) detailing how he created the recipe for baked macaroni and cheese.  (NOTE – I was unable to find that ad, though this Jefferson ad for Kraft is online.)  In the Dodge ad, perhaps the most fantastic ad of all, the Red Coats are walking in a field.  They are called by their commander to form a line.  They draw their guns and take aim into the woods.  They wait, there is silence.  Then, the sound of a revving car, and three Dodge Challengers, one with an American Flag on the back, comes racing out of the woods.  The Red Coats become filled with fear, and scatter for their lives.  Behind the wheel of the Challenger – President George Washington.  The tag line is – “There’s a couple of things America got right.  Cars and Freedom.”

Madison Avenue is here to sell.  They have no other agenda.  To sell us, they must understand us.  They must tap into who we are and what we believe.  To do this, they look to the culture.  Their job is to judge the cultural motion (and at times create it.)  Their reading of the culture can not be denied.  The Tea Party is the culture in America.  Freedom, Liberty, Capitalism…those are the selling points!

Nothing the NAACP, MSNBC or add your own multi-lettered-statist-agenda-pushing group here can do or say can change this.  The racist argument has failed!  The radical argument has failed!  (The Dodge ad states that America got things right, something the Statist Left would never admit!)  The Tea Party is now fully entrenched in the psyche of America.  And that image is so fundamentally strong, so encompasses the values of America, so in touch with American ideal of Freedom, Liberty and Capitalism that Madison Avenue has taken it to heart, and to the bank.

We hear about companies who are guarded about their brands.  The wrong association can lead to mass firings.  When clients/celebrities/spokespeople fall from grace, or are involved in activities that companies find damaging to their brand, they run from those people.  (See Tiger WoodsMel Gibson and Helen Thomas.)

In this case, they are running towards the Tea Party.  Madison Avenue, via three iconic American products/brands, have embraced the Tea Party, and the millions who consider themselves a part of it.

Tea Party – 1  Statists/Race Hustlers – 0

(NOTE – This is a huge victory, but – to think of it in military terms – we have only won a battle, not the war.  The next victory is November, 2010.  However, the Generals must be planning now for the real victory – November 2012….2014….2016….2018….2020 and beyond.)

It’s called Capitalism

The President recently made remarks on the concept of “immigration reform.”  He stood regally, read from his tele-prompt-ers (peppered with awkward pauses due, most likely, to a poor Tele-promp-ter Management Administrator) and spoke about things that almost made sense.  However, he would quickly correct himself by speaking in his more familiar tongue of nonsense.  Simply, it was a speech that was meant to say, “I gave a speech.”  It was, once again, quasi-action designed to give the appearance of action from an administration that is deeply and gravely opposed to the concept of action – on a subject (illegal immigration) that requires definitive action.

I have grown accustomed to the nonsense from this administration.  I have watched them with their deft skills maneuver around big issues, skirt major decision and purposefully fail to achieve solutions. This is the mark of the Statist.  Problems offer opportunities for expanding power (government control) whereas solutions remove the opportunity to expand power (government control).  Many people quote Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel when he said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” What they fail to mention, however, is the second part, which is the most telling, and most damning. Emanuel continues, “…and what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

This is why the Administration won’t seal the border, and is virulently opposed to Arizona enforcing the existing Federal law. They call the Arizona law “ill conceived.” Solutions, for this administration, put an end to the opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.  Solving problems stands in bold juxtaposition to the desires of the Obama administration.

In his speech, the President made overtures to the power of immigrants, and to the impact they have had on our country.  However, he failed to understand why immigrants come to the country in the first place. If we are going to discuss the historical context of why immigrants traditionally came to the United States, then we must accept that it is for Freedom and Liberty.  If we are going to then follow up, and understand what allowed these immigrants to grow, thrive and prosper, then we must accept that it is Capitalism.

The growth and success of immigrants is not by accident, nor is the growth and success of people born in the United States.  Growth and success (and numerous other wonderful effects) are born out of opportunity.  Opportunity exists when Natural Laws are understood and adhered to.  Opportunity exists when government gets out of the way…..when people taste the fruits of their labors, when they are enabled to try, fail, learn and the try again.

We are not a prosperous, vibrant nation because we allow immigrants into the country, and I say this as a second generation American.  My grandparents came to America in the 1930’s – on different boats – from Poland.  They met in night school in Brooklyn where they were learning English.  They were promised nothing tangible. They were not promised food, nor housing, nor clothing nor healthcare. They were not promised money, nor government hand-outs.  What they were promised was the promise of America – opportunity.  That they would not be attacked in the streets for being Jewish, (as opposed to the land they recently departed) and that they would not have their property taken from them without due process.  That the concepts of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” derive from Natural Laws, and that no man has the right to take them away from another man.  What allowed my grandparents to prosper was Capitalism.  If they worked hard, if they had good ideas, if they were willing to try, they could achieve their American dream.

President Obama singled out Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google, as if his success existed because we allow immigrants into the country.  This is simply word play from the President – We allow immigrants, immigrants create search engines. Ta-Da!

The United States trusts, believes in, employs and relies on Capitalism to be the basis of a free people. When this system is allowed to work, with minimal government involvement, anyone who participates within it has the opportunity to grow and thrive.  It is a testament to the system that those who are not born in the US can gain great financial and personal success if they work within it.  The success of the United States is based solely and firmly in the concept of equal opportunity, and in enjoying the benefits of one’s hard work (as opposed to those benefits being the property of the state.)

It is dishonest for President Obama to simply say that our nation’s success is based on our allowing immigrants into the United States.  This would lead one to believe that those who are opposed to illegal immigration are opposed to the success of the United States, and that any nation that allows immigrants will have instant success.

To be opposed to illegal immigration is an affirmation that the United States is a nation of laws.  We do not allow ruthless thugs to intimidate us, nor do we allow those who do not follow the rules to gain credibility (and certainly not citizenship!) If any nation that allowed immigrants achieved instant success, then the United Kingdom and France (flush with Muslim immigrants) would be the most successful nations in the history of the world. Yet, as we know, they are not.  The UK is, day by day, falling apart under the weight of its socialist government, and the undermining of its Western values.  France is doing no better.

The President, once again, does not understand the issue in front of him. Capitalism is the foundation of our greatness.  It comes from Natural Laws.  The acceptance of  “…huddled masses, yearning to breathe free…” makes us a caring nation, but it is not our laws.  It is not the basis of our way of life, and it alone does not, can not and will not make any nation great.  It is Capitalism that provides the framework, the opportunity for greatness and lets all of our lawful citizens prosper – regardless of their place of birth.