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Author: Jordan Rickards

AlietaCare: The Obamacare Alternative Conservatives Have Been Waiting For

By Jordan Rickards ConservativeOpinion.com

Alieta Eck

Alieta Eck

You likely have not heard of Dr. Alieta Eck. Don’t feel bad. She’s not the kind to seek the spotlight. Dr. Eck is a gentle soul, soft spoken, humble, and unassuming. She also has a great heart for charity, and this was undoubtedly the impetus behind her choice to study medicine in the first place, and later to found the Zarephath Health Center (ZHC), a free medical clinic which has provided quality healthcare for the poor and uninsured for over a decade. The ZHC operates out of a 5,000 square foot building (an old schoolhouse that was not being used), the inside of which has been converted into five exam rooms and three intake rooms. It is open four days per week, and is staffed entirely by volunteers.

There is a lot wrong with America today. People like Dr. Eck are what is right.

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The Forgotten Flaw in the WalMart Wage Argument

A rebuttal to Slate magazine’s article: “Would Walmart’s Prices Spike If They Paid Their Employees More?”

By Jordan Rickards ConservativeOpinion.com

WalmartWhen I was in high school there was a window that separated the administrative offices from the main hallway on which was typically posted school news and such. One day one of the teachers posted a cartoon on the window. On the left side of the cartoon was a professional athlete living in squalor, and on the right side was a teacher living in a mansion. The caption read “What people would be paid if they were paid what they were worth.” The teachers thought this was especially clever.

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Of Course College Athletes Should Be Paid!

By Jordan Rickards ConservativeOpinion.com

BasketballMarch is, historically, the NCAA’s favorite month, with tournament basketball in full swing and revenues cascading into league coffers.  But this year’s festivities come as the entire collegiate athletic establishment finds itself suddenly faced with two legal challenges to its collusive practice of prohibiting college athletes from earning money: one in which the players seek to unionize, and the other in which they seek the right that every other American enjoys to be paid for their labor.  It’s well past time that they are afforded that most fundamental right.

The NCAA is a case study in hypocrisy and contradictions.  Consider the following:

It’s an organization that supposedly exists to foster competition, but it colludes with its member institutions to prevent free market competition for the services of the players.

It justifies not paying its athletes by extolling the virtues of amateurism, while making millionaires out of its coaches, athletic directors, and officers.

It pretends to emphasize educational excellence, but when it comes to big money sports it turns a blind eye to schools aggressively lowering admissions standards for many woefully underqualified, and often outright illiterate “student-athletes” who are little more than ringers.

It claims to be concerned with its athletes getting an education, but by preventing the athletes from earning money the schools practically force them to turn professional instead of stay in school.

It’s classified as a “non-profit” organization, but has commercialized itself to such an extent that it holds over $600 million in assets and rakes in close to $1 billion per year, while the sixty-five “non-profit” schools that make up the five major “non-profit” power conferences — the ACC, Big Twelve, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC — combined for $5.15 billion in revenue in 2011-12

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Republicans are Wrong on Russia

By Jordan Rickards ConservativeOpinion.com

Russian ChurchOne of the first rules of politics is that one should never waste a good crisis. With that no doubt in mind, and Russia’s planned annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea seemingly all but inevitable, Republicans are pouncing on this latest opportunity to criticize President Obama for his ineffectual leadership, demanding, as they are, results without really proposing any viable solutions.

This, incidentally, has become a Republican trademark.

Forgetting for a minute that it used to be conservatives who would caution against playing global police officer, it is fair, regrettably, to observe that not more than a month ago, in the days leading up to the Sochi Olympics, the Obama Administration seemed much more concerned with Russia’s treatment of gays than in the fomenting civil discord in the Ukraine. Even when the Administration voiced its support for the protesters, it was hard not to see the irony (or double standard) in an administration lauding anti-government protests overseas, when it has so vocally and with great antipathy denounced Americans attending rallies calling for smaller and more responsive government as unpatriotic and un-American.

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Richie Incognito’s Worst Act of Bullying Just Happened Right In Front of Us

By Jordan Rickards ConservativeOpinion.com

Richie Incognito

Richie Incognito

Just when you thought Richie Incognito could not prove to be any more despicable, he this week took to Twitter to show us humanity at its worst.

For those unfamiliar, Incognito is the Miami Dolphins player accused of waging a pervasive campaign of humiliation against teammate Jonathan Martin to the point that Martin left the team in the middle of the 2013 season.  This degradation consisted of, amongst other things, subjecting Martin to such vulgar comments as:

“We are going to run train on your sister.  She loves me.  I’m going to **** her… and *** in her *****.”

“I’m going to **** the **** out of her and spit on her and treat her like ****.”

“Hey, wassup, you half-n***** piece of s***. I saw you on Twitter, you been training 10 weeks. I’ll **** in your ****in’ mouth. I’m gonna slap your ****in’ mouth, I’m gonna slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. **** you, you’re still a rookie. I’ll kill you.

He also frequently referred to Martin as his “b****,” “darkness,” and “stinky Pakistani,” leading to other teammates calling him a “f*ggot,” amongst other things.

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It’s Not Wall Street’s Fault That You Wasted Your Time In College

By Jordan Rickards ConservativeOpinion.com

The Rutgers-Camden Campus in Camden, New Jersey.

The Rutgers-Camden Campus in Camden, New Jersey.

I heard someone once observe that a “philosophy major is someone who spends a lot of time thinking, while he waits in line at the unemployment office.” It sounds a bit harsh, but it came to mind when I recently came across a picture that a young adult took of himself holding a sloppily written sign which read:

“I have a Master of Arts degree in women’s studies. However, the only job I can find is as a bartender at a local restaurant. I owe over $60k in student loans. I am forced to rely on food stamps and W.I.C. to support my son. Is this the American Dream I worked so hard for? I am the 99 percent. Occupywallst.org.”

For those unfamiliar, “women’s studies” is basically history and sociology taught through a liberal feminist perspective, the basic thesis of which is that all the problems in the world, past, present, and future, are the fault of men.  One can expect a graduate of women’s studies to be well-versed in such arcane concepts as “standpoint theory, intersectionality, multiculturalism, transnational feminism, autoethnography,” and will have done no shortage of reading “associated with critical theory, post-structuralism, and queer theory. The field researches and critiques societal norms of gender, race, class, sexuality, and other social inequalities.”

And what exactly that qualifies someone to do with his life, I have no idea.  Like many academic pursuits, it is an entirely self-contained discipline with no practical application outside of the reality vacuum known as academia, which means the degree qualifies you to do little else other than write books on the topic, or tend bar.

Continue reading at www.ConservativeOpinion.com

Tough Love for Richard Sherman

By Jordan Rickards The Rickards Review

Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman

Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman is by all accounts a good guy, but he has no right to be angry at the very legitimate criticisms leveled against him for his infantile display of maliciousness after this past week’s NFC Championship game. 

For those unfamiliar, Sherman made arguably the play of the game in the closing minutes when he broke up a pass from San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, intended for wide receiver Michael Crabtree, resulting in an interception which secured the win for the Seahawks. 

That should have been what everyone was talking about Monday morning.

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Instead of Raising the Minimum Wage, Raise People Out of the Minimum Wage

Minimum wage increases will hurt the poor.  The better solution is to create a superior climate for businesses, strengthen the dollar, and emphasize a career-oriented approach to education.    

By Jordan Rickards The Save Jersey Blog

Cross Posted from www.RickardsReview.com

handsNew Jersey’s lowest paid employees received the fruits of a false victory this past Wednesday, as the state raised its minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $8.25 per hour in accordance with a public ballot question that was overwhelmingly approved this past November.  Additionally, the law requires annual increases tied to inflation, so even if the business climate continues to worsen, and profits continue to fall, the cost of labor will continue to rise.

There was never any doubt that the law would pass, and would do so overwhelmingly.  After all, we are a nation of hypocrites.  Very few of us are willing to pay more for a good or service if it will mean the employees of that business will get paid more.  As a general rule, consumers buy the best product for the best price, and more often than not the company with the best price has the lowest expenses.  So when we participate in the market we tell companies to keep expenses low in order to keep prices low, but when we vote we tell politicians to raise them, because, after all, this seems to us to be compassionate, and, in any event, it is paid for by somebody else, so nobody stops to consider the consequences.

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President Strangelove

Or, How Obama Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bombs

By Jordan Rickards The Save Jersey Blog

Dr. StrangeloveHave we not yet learned anything of the limits of American hegemony, Save Jerseyans?

Even a cursory review of our post-Vietnam engagements in the Middle East shows a foreign policy almost entirely rooted in ineffectual militarism. Starting in the 1980s, we armed the Mujahedeen rebels in Afghanistan (and thereby created Al Qaeda), had multiple encounters with Libya, supported Iraq against Iran, then attacked Iraq (Gulf War), involved ourselves in the Somali Civil War for no reason (“Blackhawk Down”), then Iraq II (Desert Fox), Afghanistan and Sudan (Operation “Distract from Lewinsky”), Afghanistan III, Iraq III, then we fumbled Egypt, attacked Yemen, Libya again, and found that the Muslim Brotherhood government we just backed in Egypt has collapsed into sectarian violence.

And now, because apparently we missed one, Syria must be bombed too.

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Syria as a Pretext for Internationalism

By Jordan Rickards The Save Jersey Blog

SyriaObama’s forthcoming attack on Syria has nothing to do with Syria, Save Jerseyans

It is a war in defense of internationalism, and the enemy is not a regime in Syria but rather the very idea that America should consider itself anything other than fully subordinate to international rule.

How else to explain Obama’s attitude — both resigned and enthusiastic — toward the inevitability of this war, as though violations of “international norms” automatically compel America to act, whether we wish it or not?

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A GOP’ers Argument for Tuition Equality

What follows is a transcript of remarks given by Middlesex County Republican Freeholder candidate Jordan B. Rickards to the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey in support of tuition equality for the children of undocumented immigrants. Rickards’s running mates, Hon. Roger W. Daley, Bob Jones, and Jose Martinez, also joined him in expressing their support.  In so doing, they became the first public Republicans in New Jersey to support the measure. Video of the presentation appears below.

Why I Support Tuition Equality, As Should All Republicans

By Jordan B. Rickards

 

Save Jersey Contributor and Central Jersey Attorney Jordan Rickards

Save Jersey Contributor and Central Jersey Attorney Jordan Rickards

In recent months the issue of tuition equality has come to the forefront of the political debate in New Jersey.  In short, proponents seek to change the laws to allow children of immigrants who have come to this country illegally and reside in this state to attend public universities and colleges at in-state rates.  I have come to the conclusion that such an idea is a mutually beneficial for all concerned, is fully consonant with conservative and Republican principles, and is politically wise.  As such I support it wholeheartedly.

I will be the first to admit that I have not always felt this way, and that reasonable people can certainly disagree on issues such as this.  I also know that my support for this measure will cause something of an uproar with my Republican friends.  That being the case let me be very clear.  I am a conservative, small government, Ronald Reagan Republican, as much today as I have always been.  To favor tuition equality does not represent a moderation of my principles.  Rather, it represents a new understanding of those principles, by which I mean a recognition that the tenets of conservatism and the Republican party demand support for tuition equality.

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Tom Kean in 2014

OPINION: TK2 Gives the NJ GOP Its Best Chance of Beating Booker Next Fall

By Jordan Rickards The Save Jersey Blog

Tom Kean, Jr.A few weeks ago, the Save Jersey blog ran a poll asking the mostly conservative readership to vote on who they would support in the Republican primary for the 2014 United States Senate election.  Readers were given six choices:  Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, Sen. Joe Kyrillos, Asm. Jay Webber, Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, Sen. Mike Doherty, and “other.” As of this writing “other” is winning, and rightly so. 

“Other” should be Tom Kean, Jr.

That is not to imply that there is any deficiency in any of the named candidates.  New Jersey is blessed to have in Lt. Gov. Guadagno a great executive, and a most magnanimous and gracious ambassador of the state and the Republican party.  Sen. Kyrillos is an experienced campaigner and a dedicated public servant.  Asm. Weber has the résumé of a Supreme Court justice.  Asm. Bramnick is brilliant and genial.  And Sen. Doherty combines the rhetoric of Reagan with the leadership qualities, and West Point background, of General Patton.

This is not a criticism of any of them.  It is a blessing to have such a strong roster from which to choose, and I would proudly support without reservation and with all of my might any one of these candidates should he or she eventually become our nominee. But for the last decade, nobody has worked harder and more effectively to advance the Republican cause and rehabilitate the Republican brand in New Jersey than Tom Kean, Jr. 

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The Anti-Small Business Tax

OPINION: the Self-Employment Penalty is a Barrier to Economic Growth

By Jordan Rickards | The Save Jersey Blog

money - liberty coinI don’t suppose any American looks forward to April 15.  This was especially true for me this year, because I knew my tax bill was going to be a bit stiffer than in years past.  I wasn’t complaining though.  I run my own law office, and the fact that I would have to pay more in taxes was a result of having done more business in 2012, and that’s always a cause for celebration.

Because I am self-employed, I am required by law to pay taxes on a quarterly basis in amounts designed to approximate that year’s expected tax liability, using the previous year’s earnings as a guide.  Since I had earned significantly more in 2012 than in 2011, I knew my withholdings would not cover the entirety of my tax liability, such that when my accountant called on the morning April 15th, I was fully prepared for him to tell me that I owed extra money.

But I wasn’t prepared for the amount.

It seems that in my mental calculations I had forgotten to factor in the bane of all small business owners, the dreaded “self-employment penalty,” which more than doubled my tax bill.  It’s actually called the “self-employment tax,” but it’s a penalty.  One of the most basic principles in economics is that you get more of what you subsidize, and less of what you tax.  Ergo, because a tax serves to discourage the activity to which it applied, in plain English that means it’s a penalty.

And the message this penalty sends is clear enough: the government would rather have me looking for a job instead of creating one for myself and others.

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America is to Blame for the Massacre in Connecticut

Cross-Posted at RickardsReview.com

I believe in the right to own a gun.  As a conservative, I believe in a right to be able to defend myself and my home, and I believe that that right is all the more necessary in today’s America. 

As a skeptic, I doubt that an outright ban on firearms would accomplish much more than to disarm the law abiding people who we don’t have to worry about in the first place.  And as a freedom loving person, while I certainly don’t believe in armed insurrection, I do confess discomfort with the idea of a world where the government controls all the weapons.

But I can’t avoid how I feel right now in the wake of the slaughter in Connecticut.  I feel angry.  I don’t remember feeling this way after Columbine, or Virginia Tech, or the Aurora Colorado movie theatre shootings.  I remember being sad and dejected, but not angry.

When tragedies happen, it’s natural to look to somebody to blame, and groups like the N.R.A. are always the first and easiest targets.  I’ve defended them in the past.  After all, you don’t see N.R.A. members committing massacres. That’s because, in addition to being obsessed about guns, they’re also obsessed with gun safety and education to ensure that guns are used in a responsible way, so that the right to own them is not compromised.

But in their seemingly reflexive opposition to even the most reasonable and common sense regulations, they fail to consider that maybe America as a whole is simply not capable of responsible gun ownership within the framework of the current regulatory scheme.  Or perhaps I should say, “no longer capable.”

Conservatives receive a lot of criticism for wanting to “take us back to the 1950′s.” That might not be a bad idea.

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Taxpayer Funded Sex Change Operations For Prisoners, and Other Fluke-ing Crazy Ideas

For more from Jordan B. Rickards, visit The Rickards Review

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In another sign that the liberal half of our government has gone completely off the deep end, a federal judge in Massachusetts has ruled that taxpayers must pay for the sex change operation of an incarcerated murderer.

The plaintiff in this action, Robert Kosilek, who was convicted of murdering his wife in 1990, convinced Judge Mark Wolf that for the Department of Corrections not to pay for his procedure would be a violation of the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

Ah yes.  This recalls the famous constitutional conflict between founding fathers James Madison and George Mason, debating the provisions of the proposed Bill of Rights, and ultimately determining that, yes, in fact, they intended their new American Experiment to include a government entitlement to taxpayer funded, elective, sexual mutilations for prisoners.  How could we have missed that all these years?  Life, liberty, and a right to subsidized sexual degeneracy for murderers.

That’s right folks.  You probably thought it was bad enough you have to finance $3,000 annually for contraceptives for women like activist Sandra Fluke (pronounced “fluck”).  Now we have a new constitutional right to $20,000 sex change operations for criminals who can’t deal with the reality of their reproductive organ.

You know, sometimes I think liberals go out of their way to make their arguments as inane as possible, as though to overwhelm their opponents with a tidal wave of ridiculousness that makes it almost impossible for a challenger to know where to begin.

Well, let’s try starting with the mundane.

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Joe Kyrillos: A Moderate Republican for a Moderate New Jersey

It has been forty years since New Jersey elected a Republican to the United States Senate.  No other state has gone nearly as long without electing a member of the opposition party.

Even liberal strongholds such as New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine currently have Republican representation in the Senate.  It’s time for New Jersey to joins their ranks, and the candidacy of State Senator Joe Kyrillos presents the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Joe Kyrillos is a moderate Republican for a moderate New Jersey.

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Actually Mr. President, I DID Build That (From a New Jersey Small Businessman)

If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

President Barack Obama, who has never held a private sector job, much less run a business

 

Save Jersey Contributor and Central Jersey Attorney Jordan Rickards

This past Saturday was the fifth or sixth in a row that I spent at my office, Save Jerseyans, putting in hours on beautiful days when I’d much rather be enjoying the languor of summer, because that’s one of the many sacrifices that I, and countless other small business owners know we must make. I spend these Saturdays alone because, unfortunately, all those “other people” who President Obama thinks built my business for me apparently have better things to do with their time than to actually contribute to my business in any identifiable way.

It’s actually kind of funny.  When conservatives talk about the “invisible hand” of capitalism, we speak of free market forces that automatically coordinate economic activity and prices.  Obama’s idea of an “invisible hand” is when my business is built for me by the hands of people who are literally invisible.

I run a small law practice that I started three years ago.  It generates enough income to provide for myself, the salary of my staff, the fees of about a dozen or so sub-contractors, and various miscellaneous expenses concomitant with such a business.  There are certainly easier ways to make a living, ways that did not require me to invest (i.e., risk) my entire life’s savings, plus four years in college, and three years in law school, five years of low-paid training after that, and incalculable hours and weekends above and beyond the typical workweek.

But starting and running a business is about risk and reward.  You risk a lot and you invest a lot because even though failure stalks you at every corner, the potential return can be great.  You work to make a living.  You invest and risk to get ahead.  And this is the essence of capitalism, the greatest engine of wealth creation the world has ever known, which by far and away has done more to lift up the lot of the common man, and even the poor, than all the central planning in the world has ever achieved.

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