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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    From the Nightmare...to the "Dream"...

    By retvet242, Section News
    Posted on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 11:10:46 AM EST
    Tags: AFP, conservatism (all tags)

    Now that I've laid Jiminy to rest...I can deal with my impressions of the AFP conference itself...

    First, thank you Jason for the invite...

    Other than my stay at the Grand Hotel, I can honestly say that I have not been treated better at any lodging, and the company was great whether it the hotel staff, the hosts/coordinators of the event(s) or the attendees...I marveled at the coordination, attendance, and presumptive costs of such an effort...

    Looking through the event schedules, and meeting a lot of these folks involved gave me the definite impression of an organization that is just a small step away from launching a 3rd political party, or a successful mutiny against the GOP establishment...The only concern I had all weekend (and it was minor) was a certain 'stratification' of the powers behind the weekend...The VIPs were for the most part restricted from mainstream approach, understandable from a security standpoint, but it stuck in my mind..."Elite" is still elite in any organized effort, we have our own version of 'rock stars' in the conservative movement, and will always have...even our 'photo ops' were choreographed to the point of ridiculous...

    That said, my conversations with total strangers over the weekend were intelligent, lively, and informative; from both ends of the conversations...meeting like minded individuals from all over the country (including some locals) tells me the symptoms and effects of bad government are appreciated in a more universal manner than I had previously thought...even the bartenders enlightened me with lessons on immigration and amnesty...one of which was born in Spain, grew up in Cuba, and came here with his parents during the Mariel Boat lift...We are never to old to learn...

    The sessions I attended were of particular interest to me with respect to messaging and social networking...I was particularly interested in the videography/photography session, as I am still hoping to use local assets to due radio, TV and internet advertising during the 2014 cycle to promote the conservative cause and candidates...

    It was good to see and talk with the younger people there and their concern for their own piece of the "American Dream", I assured them that most of the 'Boomers' there were on their side, and doing what we can to restore their American future...It is, in fact, why I do what I do...

    Exchanging ideas with 'radicals' from across the country was both refreshing and enlightening at the same time...I have a new appreciation of Americans for Prosperity, as a tool for conservatism, and look forward to using their reach and expertise in the future...

    < Is Jiminy Cricket a Marxist? | One Last Chance >

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    Americans For Prosperity, Mackinaw Center, etc. (none / 0) (#1)
    by SharedSacrifice on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:08:55 AM EST
    As someone who has participated in both AFP and MCPP events I think it is perhaps (past) time to comment on the obvious limits of both organizations in terms of what I assume most reading this would agree with.
    Simply put...neither gives 'a hoot' about any mere peon conservative activist outside of the rarified elite atmosphere that you so eloquently described. Go to an event. Attempt to approach any of their own (cough) 'rock stars' with the simplest of (short) questions involving current legislation...and do nothing but simply gauge their response or level of interest in what you have to say.
    Two examples:
    In regards to the MCPP, the best example (Tea Party indifference included) would have to be their recent flip-flopping on bankrupt inducing POBs (if they were ever truly against them in the first place). http://www.mackinac.org/12085
    It is awful hard to support an organization so adamantly opposed to future taxation that should be "outlawed"...while at the same time promoting: "if we screw younger workers (close the plan) now charged with fixing their retired coworker's mess and allow these same people to ride off in to the sunset with absolutely no shared sacrifice...we should be OK...".  
    The above is why Tea Folk have a hard time convincing young people that they are genuine. This is why many 'older young people' (I'm 50) refuse to attend TP meetings where even the mere mention of "shared sacrifice" incites a near mob-like riot. POBs were the hot button issue in Michigan last year that not one conservative organization, blog or "tea party lobbyist" (and I'm assuming this readership as well) would touch with a 10 foot pole. We all knew that Detroit was eventually going to file and what the governor would do...yet weren't tea partiers (by their silence) actually seeking a "no vote of the people required" BETTER DEAL for themselves or loved ones out here in rural/suburban Michigan with this legislation? Where has the outrage been on this site or any other conservative site in Michigan over end of career juiced pensions in the public sector? Is "shared sacrifice" a concept merely used to describe our children and grandchildren forever stuck with funding pensions that were not only fraudulently obtained...but neatly covered up by their parents and grandparents through their (now obvious) silence?
    As for AFP...was there a single conservative on the Capital lawn the week of Dec. 11th, 2012? Then why is this account of the events of that day...the only official public record that we have? Is it accurate? http://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,4643,7-123-1586-291257--RSS,00.html
    Was there any pressure brought to bear by AFP on their "lunch buddies" (legislators) to even so much as condemn what happened that day...let alone their colleague's "There Will Be Blood" call to arms that came to be not hours later? Why was an African-American hot dog vendor segregated (by himself) in a huge tent that no 'peons' were allowed to enter the day before...for no reason? What connection does his wife have to the Michigan Republican Party? Why was unacceptable behavior all week in our Capital building and on our grounds not a lobbying 'issue' with AFP...so that freedom of speech may once again be restored to our state capital in a controlled atmosphere...and so that nothing like this ever happens again?  Why has AFP not shed light on the fact that not one legislator has ever publicly condemned what happened that week in public or on even their own websites? (Bolger and Schuitmaker's incredulous appearances on Fox immediately afterwards being prime examples). Is it due to the fact that pressuring legislators for the sake of mere political pawns (what we were that day) will get you nothing but a cancelled dinner date?

    I appreciate this site and the opinions given. I also respect this report from Orlando and the confirmation of what we all already knew concerning "elite" Tea Party so called conservatives and their bubble building handlers.

    What I don't understand is the willingness of so many conservatives to readily believe that conservative non-profits in general are not out for anybody but themselves and/or their so called 'careers' when they bring themselves (down in their eyes) to meet or manipulate the masses. Go to an "it's all about our kids" meeting where either of these group's leaders are present and simply ask a tough question related to any of the above or your own.

    Just be prepared to never have your question answered directly or to be attacked verbally on the way out (YMMV).

    • Well by JGillman, 09/03/2013 08:47:27 AM EST (none / 0)
    "Conspiratorial Pondering" (none / 0) (#3)
    by SharedSacrifice on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 12:03:17 PM EST
    "..I disagree that there is limited interest in legislation or the 'peons' bringing up the subject.  Often I do see management of time being the operational effort, but when a limited number of persons are available, there is a genuine willingness to listen.  Its one of the reasons I try not to interact all the time with the special guests brought in to such affairs.  It gives others a better opportunity to meet and exchange ideas..."

    I brought up the recent unanimous Republican vote on POBs (just before the election in '12) to illustrate Michigan citizen's limited (or more accurately 'zero') interest in legislative affairs involving literally billions in future taxpayer dollars.
    If this legislation (which was widely discussed in Lansing and elsewhere in 'non-peon' circles for literally years beforehand) was brought up before on this site or in any other conservative oriented conversation anywhere in Michigan during that period...I apologize. If not, what younger people here in Michigan are saying is this:
     If a Tea Partier can't even have an honest discussion in regards to legislation that contains the phrase "no vote of the people required" http://michiganvotes.org/2012-SB-1129 ..and said law involves literally billions of dollars of future obligations on THEIR part (not to mention future needed infrastructure projects cancelled due to same)...they view the current conservative movement as being less than honest here in Michigan. They view the "good cop/bad cop" (Schuette/Snyder) benefit charade currently being played out in Detroit as being no different than the (cough) "non-bankrupt" style POBs that are about to be rammed through in every Michigan county 'eligible' to saddle their grandchildren with the same burden.

    "..As for juiced pensions, I have argued consistently for a 100% and complete change over to defined contributions ever since I had the most basic understanding of what that is.  POB (Pension Obligation Bonds) efforts are a potential disaster waiting to happen however.  Government in ANYONE's hands has the ability to view a positive cashflow as a means to expansion of services.  A POB might actually trigger growth in general government operations in small communities.  

    "...Otherwise the way things are, contracts are contracts until a bankruptcy judge says they are not.  We cannot however continue the same bad practices, and some of the younger generations will in fact be paying for the sins of the father (so-to-speak)..."

    The problem that young people have with this analysis is that "contracts" aside...their counties and municipalities are already bankrupt. They also understand that 'closing a pension plan' does absolutely nothing to somebody already retired and making more than they ever did working (to TPers, these people do not exist in the huge numbers that they do in their own neighborhoods). Most TPers with even a rudimentary understanding of math or how expensive the proper management (generation to generation) of basic small government infrastructure indeed is realize that it will take 100's of millions in each county to even now properly fix. Add an unfunded "liability" of often 100s of millions more and yeah...you're bankrupt. As for your insistence that POBs might trigger "growth" in the community as opposed to saddling your kids with insurmountable debt?....I would  advise that you read the following again and tell me why the MCPP changed their mind ('closing a plan' is not akin  to fixing a problem...it's the whole 'closing the door after the horse left the barn' thing) http://www.mackinac.org/12085 POBs

    "...Shared sacrifice?  I understand where you are coming from (I think), but have not seen any suggestions how to resolve, so will wait to see your versions.  I am assuming you have not commented or been vocal or organized in any way up until this commentary.  Correct me if I am wrong...."

    Shared Sacrifice has the same definition that it had in WWII. Nobody escapes the cuts...nobody is immune from the discussion. The conversation starts (since no tea partier will admit that we are flat out broke) with publicly naming those who for any given reason are (somehow) immune from personally sacrificing anything. The math gets much easier from there. If social security recipients who evidently picked the wrong society to vote and live in equate themselves with handicapped kids or injured veterans...so be it..so long as they are forced to publicly make that declaration. We simply add up everybody's government check who doesn't feel the need to sacrifice...and see if that number is any different than the number we cannot pay now. The reality is this: If you do not force somebody receiving government help of any kind (deserved or not) to receive only a portion of what is actually available...you will never force them to pressure their legislators to eliminate those effectively preventing them from receiving a larger share of the pie. Your comment on being vocal or organized in any way is interesting as it speaks again as to my observation of gray haired tea partiers being so out of touch with the younger generation taxed (literally) with fixing their generational mess for the balance of their oh-so-different upcoming lives (no offense implied). Younger conservatives (including myself) have spoken out. We see shared sacrifice as not only our only salvation but the only manner in which we can be assured that no future generation attempts the same folly. Kids don't change government because they witness grandpa and grandma living the high life off of a government long ago unable to pay its (cough) "obligations" to them. They demand change when grandma and grandpa are forcibly driven to share in their sacrifice giving them a first hand view of a life that they themselves would never choose to emulate through the same management techniques (poor voting choices) or (with shared sacrifice) exact opposite now in-their-face disastrous results.

    "..And Clint's hot dog stand is a business, and he was  licensed to operate there. Conspiratorial pondering is likely misplaced.  The organizations like AFP are funded heavily by Americans who see government being corrupted by power and money, and logically must fight such corruption with same.  Consider that at least two break out sessions in the Orlando events addressed 'cronyism', and the Mackinac center does the same regularly, it seems the operational motives are clearer than you posit...."

    I was there for 3 solid days with AFP and frankly resent being accused of "conspiratorial pondering" when relating but a small part of what I experienced there. I find this an interesting description of the facts presented (which no one seemingly disputes) given the fact that this site has been accused very publicly of the same in the past...and didn't like it much either. If you desire a commentary section that actually seeks to glean first hand information from those 'outside' the glitzy world of the above article's focus... then I suggest that you refrain from shooting the messenger simply because your hosts that weekend would obviously 'expect' you to do so afterwards. The Right To Work protests were a sham on both sides of the aisle. They were particularly disturbing on 'our' side due to the fact that not one conservative voice in this state expressed outrage that AFP actually do something about it given their close relationship with legislators not to mention their first hand knowledge of the week's events.The citizens of Michigan were forever told that day to stay out of our state Capital lest one end up under a collapsed tent with knives slashing above your head...within spitting distance of the largest Capital security force ever assembled in Michigan history. If that fact is "conspiratorial" so be it. If the fact that AFP never lobbied our legislators to even so much as publicly comment on or institute changes which could assure the general public that none of what happened that week would indeed ever happen again is "OK" with you...then please don't comment on the freedom to assemble or speak with any authority ever again.
    And if you think Michigan Republicans aren't as happy as their "There Will Be Blood" (unchallenged) colleagues that concerned conservatives such as myself will never (obviously) visit 'their' place of business ever again?
    You've been kidding yourself for about 9 months now.

    "I made sure of it..." (none / 0) (#11)
    by SharedSacrifice on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:44:41 PM EST
    "...Uhh.. I was in the tent as it was going down. It got vacated - I made sure of that. No one was under it as it was getting knifed up..."

    ...so these are obviously 'ghosts' in the last few seconds of this clip and how many others on the web?
    Would you like me to quote AFP themselves as to exactly who was under there as well...or would you simply like to shoot up the messenger some more and pull the tired ol' typical crap of attempting to discredit those who simply attempt to speak the truth?

    Who were you on that day...AFP so-called "security"? Perhaps the same guy who came running over to the 2nd tent well after the first one was torn down (as planned with the soon to be $30,000 richer vendor-that-nobody-knew-about inside)...claiming to have just ripped off everything identifying you as such...so that nobody knew who you were?

    I crawled out right next to a reporter...quickly gave him a piece of my mind...turned around to see Hagestrom on a table...and then was immediately 'crowd surfed' by the MSP on horseback OVER the tent remains without a single concern for anybody who might've been laying in there.

    I find it utterly amazing as to the lengths that people will go to help cover up what actually happened that day....even WITH more video evidence than what has probably ever been filmed for a historic event of this magnitude.

    We lost our freedom to assemble and speak that week here in Michigan folks. At least quit lying to your kids about it...or better yet, quit telling them that "you're doing it all for them..." when they can't even 'hope' to do a damn thing that you ever did...and you know it.

    ...or would you approach it the "AFP way"...and sim
    ply do nothing...

    Don't rock the boat, kids... (none / 0) (#12)
    by SharedSacrifice on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:59:30 PM EST
    "...You do realize we were outnumbered right? By a significant amount.."

    Is that what you're going to tell your kids the next time they have to stand up for something such as freedom to assemble and speak? (although we couldn't even encourage AFP to do the latter the last two days that I was there...which was frankly disgusting and cemented the nothing-but-political-pawns feeling).

    Outnumbered indeed...both on the lawn that day and back at home among 'fellow conservatives' who didn't have the nuts to defend those who were not only where they should've been in force...but LOUDLY calling for sweeping changes afterwards so that freedoms lost that day were never allowed to again (for their children's sake).

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