Bastiat, Beautiful Scenery, and the Big Apple

I recently returned from a work-related trip in the states of New York and New Jersey. Being the sheltered Orange County, CA kid I am, I had never been to New York before and was excited to plan this trip. Lucky for me, my job allowed me to embark on this quest to find and seek out conservative activists at New York  and New Jersey campuses.

Over the course of four days, I saw many things and met many interesting folks.

En route to JFK, I sat next to a Czech man also from Alexandria, VA. He was making a connecting flight at JFK to get to Prague, Czech Republic. The elderly gentleman, Pete, noticed my Bastiat book and then proceeded to talk about how great his work was. Pete said how much he valued his [Bastiat's] contributions to society and also valued those of other notable economists from the Austrian School. Pete recounted how he and his wife (who hails from Germany) came to this country in 1976. Pete quipped, “I born under Hitler and raised under Stalin.” At that moment, I knew then and there that I had an ally in him. He reminded me of my paternal and maternal grandfathers in many ways. Like him, both of my grandfathers – especially my late Grandpa Misha  – wore baseball caps, large vests, and traveled lightly. He also boasted this kind demeanor commonly found in immigrants from the former USSR, particularly the ones who saw what a nightmare Communism was in the Old Country. You know when you meet a stranger for the first time and instantly hit it off with them? This is exactly the feeling I got when I talked with Pete. Like my parents, he understands the dangers of universal healthcare, the failure of forced “equality”, class warfare rhetoric, and other radical positions this sitting president touts on a daily basis. It is always heartwarming to meet people who come from a similar background. Although I was fortunate to be born in the United States, I recognize Pete’s and my parent’s concerns about this administration embracing socialism and Marxism. I befriended Pete and plan to keep in touch with him.

Gabby Conquers NYC? Sort Of…

Once I hitched a cab to my hotel, I laid eyes on the terrible traffic that is commonplace there. What made it worse was the fact that the Messiah himself, President Obama, was in town for yet another fundraiser with his celebrity surrogates. How lovely. Those of us who hail from Southern California are familiar with traffic, and my adopted home – Washington, D.C. – was recently named the city with the worst drivers in America. New York traffic couldn’t be that unbearable, I thought. Alas, I was greatly mistaken.

Aside from the traffic, I enjoyed navigating the subway system. It boasts many similarities to the WMATA, our beloved metro system here in the  D.C. metro area , but had far more stops and is more subterranean than it. I had to get from Queens, NY to Manhattan to meet with students at the King’s College, so the subway helped out.

Kings College is set in the heart of Wall Street and the Financial District in NYC. The skyscrapers surrounding it tower high above the streets, and are worth marveling. (Yes, I did see Occupy activists in and around Wall Street.)

And the New York Stock Exchange:

Of course, no trip to New York City is complete without a stop to Times Square. Despite the rain that night, I enjoyed being immersed in the popular hotspot. Our gracious tour guides – some new friends from King’s College – gave me and Brandon, one of my field reps, a great but quick tour of the area. I was the only one in the group playing tourist, but that wasn’t an issue. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy the greatness that is NYC?

Following my visit to King’s College, I went to NYU and Princeton University.

Here’s a shot of Princeton, a campus I found to be beautiful with its High Victorian Gothic style. (If you were wondering, YES – conservatives exist at Princeton and most Ivy League schools. Sad thing is, many are closeted and afraid to publicly express their views.)

After spending several days in NYC, I went to upstate NY to meet with more students. I came across this thing before leaving the city. Apparently, unions display these rather disgusting, ugly-looking inflatable rats as a form of protest when they don’t get their way…

FACT: Upstate New York is gorgeous.

I’ve lived in suburbia my entire life, whether it be in Laguna Niguel, Coto de Caza, or La Jolla in California but have grown to accept and enjoy living close to a major city. Nevertheless, I’ve always been one for the outdoors since I enjoy fishing, camping, and hiking in my free time. That being said, upstate New York was anything but boring and uninteresting. The foliage, rivers, lush green pastures, and countless farms are great fixtures in the region. It reminded me of Lithuania, my ancestral homeland, with its crisp fresh air and nature. Here is a breathtaking sunset near Ithaca, NY.

One odd thing that I noticed was cemeteries located near every land-grant (public) university. Whether Syracuse, Ithaca, Cortland, or Buffalo, cemeteries are a commonplace in upstate New York. Beats me, but here’s more information about them.

One place we stumbled upon was this diner near Geneseo, NY:

It was NASCAR-themed and had a country flair to it. The food was also delicious. Here’s another view from the inside.

My other field rep, Simeon – who also graduated from UCSD this June – and I visited and met with students from Syracuse U, Cornell U, SUNY Geneseo, and SUNY Buffalo. I absolutely loved Cornell’s surroundings with its gorges, forests, wild deer, the Finger Lakes, and old architecture. SUNY Buffalo was our largest meeting with over 30 students in attendance. Each university was unique, and the students were equally passionate and dedicated to the cause. I can say that there is true, genuine hope in New York. Young conservative activists just need to be identified and equipped with the right tools to counter liberal bias on campus.

As I was heading back to D.C., I realized I was riding the same plane with Al Sharpton (think race-baiter, serial hypocrite) and Doug Schoen, Democrat and Fox News contributor. Talk about an interesting experience…

My takeaway from the trip? New York lives up to its reputation as an impressionable and exciting place. Los Angeles and San Diego pale in comparison to NYC with respect to size. Upstate New York reminded me of several places in Southern California, with its small towns, forests, and mountains – minus being a desert. While New York is a blue state, I learned to appreciate it and value the experience by not allowing politics to entirely get in the way of my trip. I’ll be going again in October to help students counter U.N. Day.

Next stop: Boston and Southern New England!

Update: I will resume blogging in the next couple of weeks. I’ve got some wonderful writing opportunities that I will .

Obama’s Beloved SEIU Fuels Violence Leading Up to 2012 Election

Read my latest at TheCollegeConservative

Top Ten comeback videos to “Occupy Wall Street”

Read my latest from Washington Times Communities

NJ Governor Chris Christie Rails President Obama: “What the Hell Are We Paying You For?

English: Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday, Chris Christie commented on the failure of the Super Committee and Obama’s failed, albeit preferred, leadership style of “leading from behind.”

Watch the epic video below:

College Students Launch “TheCollegeConservative” to Combat Political Correctness, Liberal Bias in Media

Cross-posted from TruthAboutBills:

Contrary to popular belief, not all young people are “skulls full of mush.” Although many of our Generation Y peers bow to Obama and have been coerced by the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, there is a silent majority of young conservatives ready to take back this country through media and journalism.

Conservative college students from all across the nation have come together to write for TheCollegeConservative (TCC)–an online journal for conservative college students, by conservative college students. The website states, “TheCollegeConservative was launched in November 2011 with one mission: to give young conservative activists a platform to be heard across the nation.  Our organization is comprised of conservative college writers from across the United States who are tired of being pushed around by “the ninety-nine percent” and the world of academia.””

Founder and Editor-in-Chief Zachary Freeman writes more about the publication’s mission statement:

On this basis, TheCollegeConservative was created:

a.) we believe that young conservatives across the United States have something to say,

b.) young conservatives need a platform to be able to get their message out, and

c.) the faithful conservatives in America need to see that there is a generation of conservative leaders that is preparing to lead our great nation back to prosperity.

Zach (freeman_zachary) is also joined by three assistant editors: Sydney Phillips (@sydphillips), yours truly (@Gabby_Hoffman), and Kevin Reagan (@O_JoseCanYouSee). Nearly 20 student writers have signed on, and that number is expected to grow.

Be sure to like TheCollegeConservative Facebook page and follow it on Twitter @Blog_TCC.

If interested in applying to write for us, inquire here.

When in Doubt About President Obama and His Ilk, Talk to Soviet Immigrants

As the daughter of Lithuanian immigrants, I feel compelled to advance conservatism against all odds. Growing up, I had the opportunity to listen to family stories and anecdotes about the Old County and the harsh conditions it wrought on my parents, grandparents, and others. It is simultaneously intriguing and depressing.  From this, I am grateful to be American and free.

I like to believe that I have an advantage over my peers about what it means to value freedom, given my being first-generation American. As a result, I’m confident my testimony on conservatism and Obama’s reign can help my peers wake up.

Nevertheless, I look to Soviet immigrants like my dad and his fellow outspoken compatriots for the truth behind the mess going on now.

My father has been instrumental in cultivating us (my sister and I) into conservatives. He hated communism and wanted to live in America since childhood. Here are his thoughts about President Obama, the Democratic Party, and Marxist-Leninists:

My father is not the only former Soviet refugee speaking out against Obama and Marxist-Leninism.

Vladimir Jaffe, a member of the NYC Tea Party, confronted the Occupy Wall Street loons and discovered their affinity for communism/socialism:

Most recently, Larry Weinstein of Los Angeles, CA, ventured to “Occupy Los Angeles and discovered the same people with the same disturbing thoughts:

On the 94th anniversary of the Russian Revolution (November 7) an ex-Soviet visits Occupy LA to videotape & report to his Russian friends if Americans started their own Socialist Revolution

When in doubt about Democrats, President Obama, RINOs, and Marxist-Leninists, talk to former residents of the now-defunct USSR. Heck, talk to immigrants from Germany, Czech Republic, Cuba, Vietnam, and other nations previously or currently afflicted by communism.

#OccupyDenver’s Shelby the Border Collie in Her Own Words

My friend Justen Charters of DearCitizenTV made this video about the first official leader of “Occupy Wall Street.”

Shelby had a lot to say and reflect on…as man’s best friend would.

Enjoy!

“Occupy Wall Street” to young people: Shirk hard work and bemoan self-reliance

Read my latest from Washington Times Communities

Conservative talk show host Rick Amato delivers Tea Party message to “Occupy San Diego” (VIDEO)

My latest from Washington Times Communities

My Findings at “Occupy San Diego” — Yes, They Are Misfits, Goons, and Idiots

Today, The Rick Amato Show ventured to “Occupy San Diego”. Rick, our producer Sutton, yours truly (executive assistant) and several of our friends encountered socialists, communists, anti-Semities, and frankly, stinky people.

Rick was asked to speak today after he criticized the “Occupy Wall Street” movement as one that harbors and equally emboldens “misfits, goons, and idiots.” He accepted their invitation to speak and here is what we discovered.

Below is Civic Plaza in downtown San Diego, where the “Occupy San Diego” event took place.

Of course, how could we escape the anti-Semites?

Don’t forget the eco-fanatics either!

In journalistic fashion, I’ve included videos from the event, ranging from Rick Amato’s Tea Party speech to select interviews with event goers.

This video highlights the purpose of “Occupy San Diego”:

Below is Rick Amato’s entire speech:

Additionally, we interviewed several ” Occupy San Diego” attendees.

The first guy does not understand the term “small government.” Instead, he maligns capitalism with fascist African governmental systems:

The second guy admits to being a self-hating capitalist below:

Remember, socialism and communism do make us equal–equal in poverty and misery.

My parents endured communism in the former USSR in the Baltic Republic of Lithuania. Fortunately, they escaped nearly 26 years ago and came here to California. In their former homeland, they had no freedom. Most pointedly, they were subjected to food rationing, religious intolerance (both Mom and Dad), institutionalized anti-Semitism (Dad), poverty, universal healthcare, and exorbitantly high taxes. To set the record straight: Communism reduces people to human debris.

In contrast, the United States is the freest place in the world. You can start a business, live without fear, freely practice religion, go to university, and make money. What other nation ensures this success and happiness?

These people need to stop scapegoating capitalism (and Jews). Instead, they should go after President Obama, Jeff Immelt, George Soros, and the crony capitalists in Wall Street–not capitalism itself. Unfortunately, “Occupy Wall Street” apologists are being exploited by leftists and have become their useful idiots. Time will tell if they will wake up and ingest some common sense.

Stay tuned for updates from San Diego and California.

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