I guess I need to post at least once before the month is out...sorry for the long silence.
At the beginning of the month I was sick with a really bad viral infection in my throat. I think I picked it up at the hospital when I went to visit my uncle because he had the same thing, except it affected him much more severely since he was sick to begin with. They let him out on New Year's Eve, but then he went back in (to another hospital) last week. He was supposed to be released yesterday afternoon and as far as I know he was. However, his kidneys still aren't functioning properly and he has to have dialysis regularly. Your continued prayers are most appreciated.
I took a break from this blog and even reading blogs for a week or two earlier this month. I'm still catching up.
What do I think of the new President? Even though I didn't vote for him, I respect the office and I respect that he is the President. While I will criticize his administration when I think it is in the wrong (and it already has been, particularly with national security issues and life issues), I will not succumb to ODS -- Obama Derangement Syndrome. I'm not going to be hateful like the left was during Bush's Presidency.
Finally, I'm trying out this new Twitter thing. My username on Twitter is LilacSusan if you wish to follow me.
I haven't been following the election results very much tonight. However, I thought I'd check on things before baking a cake for a birthday party at work tomorrow. They have already called it for Obama. I hope that later this will turn out to be wrong, but I won't count on it.
America has chosen as its leader an unaccomplished, spoiled, cowardly, shallow narcissist who wouldn't last five minutes under torture, let alone five years, and who associates with radical freaks and weirdos. He supports partial birth abortion, and wants to make you pay for it, too.
But since that's an excellent description of millions of other Americans, too, I suppose we shouldn't be shocked.
America has chosen a false "peace" over principle. Well over half the country is clearly shallow and superficial, too, ready to sell their birthright for "free" "health" "care" and other socialist treats. They want a slick, symbolic President, not a real leader, because a real leader, a real hero, clearly makes them feel inadequate.[...]
The patriots have been defeated by the parasites.
As Mark Steyn just said on Hewitt: America is now a country where Barack Obama live in the same neighborhood as Louis Farakhan and Bill Ayers and be considered perfectly respectable -- but Sarah Palin?! She's that crazy weirdo!!
Like I said before, I feel like I'm now living in the bearded Spock universe. Or in another country. All I can say is I tried to do my part to prevent this. I voted for McCain/Palin today.
I'm sorry for not posting further thoughts on this popular post sooner. It was my first "Instalanche" via Ed Driscoll and, to be honest, all the attention sort of made me withdraw a little bit. Then I got the headache from Hell that lasted several days, then I was really busy. I posted a few comments on other blogs, but haven't felt up to posting here again until now. I think it was good for me to wait this long to post again because several notable things have been happening on the political scene that I would like to work into this post.
I've witnessed more of the absurdity that has been this election. I had a McCain/Palin yard sign in my front yard for about a month. It was not right by the road...it was well on my property, halfway between the road and the house. A couple of weekends ago, on a Sunday, someone had the nerve to trespass on my property and steal my sign. Another house down the street also had their McCain sign stolen. So much for free speech on your own property.
Like I said in the "Cold Civil War" post, the country seems hopelessly divided right now. There was a very good discussion in the comments due to the link from Ed Driscoll. I really hope I'm wrong about the hopelessness of the divisions in this country. Whatever the results of the election, I pray that this country can reunite and find peace. I pray that McCain will win, but if he doesn't, I assure you Obama supporters that your schadenfreude will be wasted if directed at me. I will be disappointed and concerned, but I will not despair. I will be vigilant about his policies, though.
For example, his wanting to bankrupt the coal industry is certainly alarming. It's idiotic and frightening -- half this country's energy comes from coal-run power plants. My electricity comes from such a plant...a clean coal plant. How would something this extreme affect half of this nation? What would this cost us? Obama voters should really pay attention to this.
Then there are life issues and the Supreme Court to consider. I encourage my fellow social conservatives to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. McCain may not be your ideal, but now is not the time to be quixotic. There is just too much at stake...both the life issues and other important issues.
If Obama is elected, I will pray that he will not do the damage that I think he will do. But, as I said, I will be vigilant.
Whatever happens today, I fear that there will be a lot of trouble no matter what the results. I want to be wrong about this and I pray I am. But I fear that this election is a fast-moving crazy train that's about to crash.
Whatever happens, stay safe, and may God be with us.
Update: I just had to link the following considering I have been the victim of sign-stealing: Confessions of a Lawn Sign Stealer - Huffington Post. This asshat is a college professor. He acknowledges that he is silencing free speech (although he seems dismissive of property rights -- no big surprise there), but he just doesn't care. He did it for the lulz. (Via.)
I apologize for not yet posting an update to the "Cold Civil War" post. It's been a combination of ADD, being busy and not feeling well. Every time I get some thoughts together, a new absurdity or outrage emerges as this whole election enters the homestretch. The craziness and WTFness of this election is making me feel like I'm living in the bearded Spock universe.
Anyway, until I get my you-know-what together, how about some humor and then some music.
Even Peggy Noonan -- the Grand Dame of Gipperism -- has succumbed to Obama's undeniable conservative charms. Just last month I listened to her wax poetic about the Adonis of Chicago between chukkers at the Newport Club polo tournament final. "Why Peggy, you old dowager," I quipped, "I believe you just had an orgasm."
Next, a cool song from my childhood. I was really surprised when I watched this video because I always thought a woman sang this song:
The Ozark Mountain Daredevils - "Jackie Blue"
I think this song is just pure fun. I also like that the video makes fun of American Idol:
The Dollyrots - "Because I'm Awesome"
Finally, the fantastic Sugarplastic with an appropriate song for the season:
That phrase came to me a couple of weeks ago when I was thinking about the elections and all the anger going on...the whole blue vs. red thing. The phrase came up again this morning when I was discussing all this with my co-workers. So I Googled it...lots of other pundits and bloggers were writing about this at least a year ago. Maybe I read one of those articles and just didn't remember, but the phrase stuck in my mind. Anyway, I think it's accurate.
As far as I'm concerned, the differences are irreconcilable. One part of the country wants a socialist, European-style country. The other part wants a country based on free-enterprise and the Constitution. One side has disdain for orthodox Judeo-Christian faiths, whereas the other side embraces or at least tolerates those beliefs. One part believes that if we just let down our defenses, everything would be peace and lovebeads. The other part knows we live in a dangerous world and that defense is essential.
However this election turns out, there will be turmoil. If Obama wins, a large part of the country will feel angry and powerless against the will of the left leaning blue states, the news media, Hollywood and academia. (In fact, they already feel that way, I assure you.) They will believe that ACORN created enough false voter registrations to put Obama over the top. If McCain wins, the left will riot and claim, "The Diebold machines were hacked!" The blue states, the news media, Hollywood and academia will resent that the will of the "dumb hicks" in flyover country overruled that of their "betters". And we will hear the cries of, "Racism! Racism!" ad nauseam.
I hate to sound all doom-and-gloom, but I see absolutely no solution to this. Or at least no solution in which America stays in the same form it is now. I hope I'm wrong about that. I guess we'll see.
Well, I'm not the kind to talk of another
But I know a girl as nosey as mother
And all I'll say is, Gladys Kravitz
If she doesn't know, it isn't worth knowing
The waiter just smiles cause she thinks she's ordering in Italian, Gladys Kravitz
Gladys is so special in so many ways
Her mind is set on madness, her mouth tooth decay
With her passport picture she proudly displays and says
"I've been round the world before"
Up in the air the rumors are flying
As high as a kite the fingers are pointing
Around the town, Gladys Kravitz
Narrow the mind, the wider the tongue, it's said
Wished you had done all the things
That she said you did, Gladys Kravitz
Nosey and petty and two-faced and feisty
Completely Miss Informed
Endlessly phoning the venom is flowing
The umbilicle cord
Sowing the seeds that are sure to displease
When they come back to haunt you
Sooner or later
For the first time, I'm feeling excited and hopeful about the McCain ticket. His choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is perfect -- probably the best decision he has made so far. I'm especially encouraged by the bumbling response from the Obama campaign. Obama manages to insult small-town America and do the pot-kettle thing, since he has no foreign policy experience either and yet he wants to be President. (At least Governor Palin has executive experience.) Social conservatives will be happy to know that she is solidly pro-life and walks the walk. She also adds some much needed youth to the McCain ticket.
It is amazing to me that this president, who has a very full plate and carries the stigma of being "the most vilified and hated being in the entire world" - more hated than Mugabe, Chavez, Castro, A-jad, Kaddafi, Jong Il, or the rest - manages to keep his sense of humor and more importantly his humanity.
Obama could take a few lessons from Bush.
It is easy to be loved when you look good, give a great speech and do nothing, and it's easy to be hated once you're actually engaged in making decisions and standing by them. A real leader has to - like a parent - be willing to be hated.
Actually, the most psychotic Bush-haters love them some Chavez and Castro (and even Kaddafi in some cases). In fact, one leftard commenting on a gossip blog a while back (I think the subject was Sean Penn) said that since Hugo Chavez hated Bush, he was alright with her.
For example, in 1991 Cindy McCain was visiting Mother Teresa's orphanage in Bangladesh when a dying infant was thrust into her hands. The orphanage could not provide the medical care needed to save her life, so Mrs. McCain brought the child home to America with her. She was met at the airport by her husband, who asked what all this was about.
Mrs. McCain replied that the child desperately needed surgery and years of rehabilitation. "I hope she can stay with us," she told her husband. Mr. McCain agreed. Today that child is their teenage daughter Bridget.
I was aware of this story. What I did not know, and what I learned from Doris, is that there was a second infant Mrs. McCain brought back. She ended up being adopted by a young McCain aide and his wife.
"We were called at midnight by Cindy," Wes Gullett remembers, and "five days later we met our new daughter Nicki at the L.A. airport wearing the only clothing Cindy could find on the trip back, a 7-Up T-shirt she bought in the Bangkok airport." Today, Nicki is a high school sophomore. Mr. Gullett told me, "I never saw a hospital bill" for her care.
A few, but not many, of the stories told to me by the Days have been written about, such as in Robert Timberg's 1996 book "A Nightingale's Song." But Mr. McCain rarely refers to them on the campaign trail. There is something admirable in his reticence, but he needs to overcome it.
Various quotes from Obama supporters (and from Obama himself) are scattered throughout. Could you imagine the pants fillings and rants about "theocracy" there would be if those things were said about a conservative?
Also don't miss the ending quote. It's a very prophetic one from G.K. Chesterton.
Seriously, I want to know. I thought it was over today, but then I read that Sundays don't count as part of the forty days. It seems that some do count the Sundays, whereas others don't. If I decide to count the Sundays, this means I can't discuss politics for another week. Actually, this is fine with me, although I have to admit that a couple of recent controversies made it hard for me to resist the temptation. But less politics means less stress in my life, which is always a good thing.
For real...I think I'm just going to avoid this subject for the time being, both online and in "real" life. It seems like everyone (or most everyone) has gone nuts. Like I said over at Pauli's, many conservatives are acting like a bratty kid who is sulking because he "only" got a pony when he really wanted a unicorn. Apparently, I've garnered some hostility because of my rather lukewarm support for McCain after Thompson dropped out. Or at least I feel like I have.
So, I think this will be my last political post on this blog -- at least for a while anyway. In fact, here's the deal -- I'm giving up politics for Lent. After today, there will be no more posts, comments or discussions in the "real" world about politics until Lent is over, at least.
I knew Giuliani was too divisive to be electable. Certain social conservatives were getting into hysterics for nothing. It's okay, you can come out now...the Rudy-monster is gone.
I voted for McCain yesterday, BTW.
While on the subject of politics, seeing liberal Democrats rip each other to shreds is fun. I didn't know that wheezy old fart Ted Kennedy's endorsement was that big of a deal:
"Women have just experienced the ultimate betrayal," NOW's New York State chapter said in a scorching rebuke. "Senator Kennedy's endorsement of Hillary Clinton's opponent in the Democratic presidential primary campaign has really hit women hard."
The thing is, if he would have endorsed Hillary, he would have been called a racist by black activists.
Now the question is, who will I vote for in the Florida primary? Thompson will probably still be on the ballot, I could still vote for him and I might yet do so. But this would be a wasted vote. When I consider who else I could vote for, I lean towards McCain. This is because he seems like the candidate who could hold up best to the inevitable attempts from the left to smear and slime him. He was a POW, so nobody could dare call him a "chickenhawk" and get away with it. He isn't a hardcore conservative, so perhaps he could get more of the centrist vote. (This is probably why he's winning the primaries.) He seems kind of mean, but perhaps we need somebody mean and tough. It would be nice to see someone fight back when they are insulted and slandered, rather than turning the other cheek as Bush has.
But then there is McCain-Feingold Act, which is the main thing that has turned so many conservatives against McCain. This act infringes on First Amendment rights and should never have been passed.
So, as you can see, I'm very conflicted. When it comes to politics, the only things I know for sure right now are that I want to keep that viper Hillary or that empty suit Obama out of power and that I loathe the left and the far-right with the heat of a million suns. (By "far-right" I mean whacked-out paleocons and libertarians.)
Last night, I was perusing a gossip blog* where a lot of lefties hang out. Many of them are Rawn Pawl supporters. (They are also overtly pro-abortion and are hostile to Christianity.) Here is the sig on one of the posts from a Pawl supporter:
Fascism will come to America wrapped in an American flag and carrying a cross.
This is hilarious because the biggest theocrats in the blogosphere support Rawn Pawl. In fact, they get downright moony-eyed over him. They think he is the only true Christian and pro-lifer in the running.
The only way I can explain such disparate supporters is the moronic convergence of the very far left and the very far right. Theocrats, potheads and conspiracy freaks...they all come together to support Rawn Pawl.
You can't buy laughs like these...
*I know, I know...I shouldn't be reading gossip blogs. But laughing at dumb celebrities can be pretty entertaining.
I've just been really busy and haven't had a lot to say. Right now, I can't stand politics and I don't see that changing any time soon. I continue to be amused at everyone from theocrats to moderates digging in their heels and saying, "If so-and-so wins the nomination, I will vote for the Democrat/vote third party/sit out the election." Good Lord, politics brings out the stupid in people. And don't get me started on the Rawn Pawl cult. One last political comment -- there's one thing my lefty sister and I agree on: we both loathe Hillary Clinton. Common ground! :-)
On a personal note, I'm now completely off the Paxil. I don't know if this is related, but I've been a walking disaster area lately. In the past two days, I've broken a glass container for a candle, broken a mirror, dropped a plate (which didn't break, miraculously) and put a pretty good scratch on my car. I've just been a bundle of nerves.
My family isn't exchanging gifts this year, but I'm going to make some gifts to give to a few friends. I'm making some soap and other bath things. I just hope I don't drop anything, break anything, mess anything up or burn the kitchen down in the process.
Hopefully, I will finally get my new computer by the end of the week. It's a long story as to why I haven't gotten it yet, which I won't go into. Let's just say that I will be relieved when I finally get it.
Well, I will continue to be busy the rest of the week with work, making gifts and getting things cleaned up and ready for the new PC. I will post again when I have time and when I have something to say.
BTW, thank you for the prayers concerning my aunt and this incident. My aunt is doing fine now, and the other incident seems to not be an issue anymore.
I hate to admit this, but I had to laugh at and agree somewhat with this post at Hog on Ice. I have talked to some co-workers who feel the same way...they like Thompson, but they perceive him as just not having the "fire in the belly".
Come on, Fred! Take some Geritol! Take some Adderall! Drink some Red Bull...something!
Incidentally, Fred Thompson visited my town a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't find out until the day before, so I couldn't plan to take off work. Oh, well.
I ran across this story on LGF just now and had a good laugh, since over the past week I've been arguing with Rawn Pawl supporters in various comment threads who are convinced that he is the most pro-life, pro-morality, socially conservative politician that there has ever been in the history of America.
Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite BunnyRanch near Carson City, says he was so impressed after hearing Paul at a campaign stop in Reno last week that he decided to raise money for him.
I would hate to know what kind of fundraiser this guy would have...
Update: An offended commenter notified me of this Slate article on the story. Nothing in the story is false...Fox just sexed it up a bit (pun intended), which they are known for doing.
However, Slate pointed out two more hilarious details that Fox missed:
One of the best details in the AP story is Hof's plan to put a "collection box" outside the brothel's door for patrons to donate money to Paul. It's not in Fox's story.
No comment necessary. **snicker**
One more detail that Fox inexplicably eliminated: The damning revelation that MSNBC anchor Tucker Carlson emerged from a limousine with prostitutes at a political event. Have Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes gone soft?
Slate also mentioned that apparently, Carlson is buddies with this pimp guy. Ooookay...
I think that there is an organized campaign among [Rawn Pawl] supporters to send me emails slamming me for not supporting him. Why do I think it is organized? Because virtually every one of these emails contains the word "neocon" somewhere. Again ... I have NEVER received an email containing the word "neocon" that was worth reading. It just seems that anyone who uses that word really doesn't have much to say?
"Neocon" is just the new version of "fascist"...whoever uses the word is really just saying, "You're a big dumb doodyhead and I really disagree with you a lot."
Kathy Shaidle has a new, even more provocative blog called Five Feet of Fury. While I don't always agree with Kathy, her blog is a must-read for me and I admire they way she can say so much with few words. For example, yesterday she posted about the demise of a pro-life organization due to the unwillingness of certain Protestants to work with Catholics towards a common goal. Kathy's commentary on this sad situation is this zinger:
Cuz you know what's REALLY important? Defeating that evil Rudy Guilliani!!
She hits the current problem with too many social conservatives on the head. Pauli at Est Quod Est has commented on this problem and so has the Anchoress. Some social conservatives are all ready to go third party or vote for Rawn Pawl (misspelling intentional to keep his fanatical supporters from trolling my blog) because they are not only afraid of the dreaded Rudy-monster, but because the other candidates don't pass the purity test for one reason or another.
For the record, I support Fred Thompson, which is obvious if you look at my sidebar. While I greatly admire Guilliani's courage in the midst of the horrors of 9/11, and while I think he was an excellent Mayor of New York City, I do not support him for President and do not wish to see him get the nomination. However, if he does get the nomination, I will vote for him not because I support him but because I want to keep the Democrats out of power.
I cannot believe we are again in the same situation we were in in 1992, when Perot split the conservative vote and gave us eight years of Clinton. Apparently, a fair number of social conservatives are ready to throw a petulant fit and hand the country over to the Democrat nominee (probably Hillary). And the Democrats are absolutely ecstatic over this possibility.
Yes, the social issues are important. But there are other important issues, too. Being the pragmatist I am, I believe that if an electable candidate isn't right on the social issues, I can still vote for them if they are right on defense and/or economic issues. I won't be happy about it, but part of being realistic and acting like a grown up is realizing that life isn't fair and that you won't always get what you want. You have to make due with what you are given. There are too many important things at stake right now to become one-issue voters.
Even if you believe that someone like Rudy Guilliani would do just as much damage to the socially conservative agenda as Hillary Clinton (which I don't believe, BTW), you have to consider the damage done when it comes to defense and economic issues as well.
In my opinion, some of my fellow social conservatives are being short-sighted and very foolish.
Hopefully, all of this concern about Guilliani will be for nothing and he will not get the nomination. I think he is too much of a divisive figure to get the nomination, anyway. However, mark my words, there are social conservatives who will find some sort of impurity in whoever the nominee is so that they will have an excuse to not vote for him.
Last week, I predicted that the Democrats would win the House but the GOP would keep the Senate. Well, the Dems have taken the House, but it looks like they may take the Senate too. (It's still not clear as of this writing.)
Am I happy about the results? No. Am I surprised? No.
I don't like the message this sends to our troops overseas. I also don't like the message this sends to our country's enemies. The message is one of weakness.
There were quite a few self-righteous conservatives who sat high upon their perches and crowed about how they were going to teach the Republicans a lesson and vote third party or refuse to vote at all. (I'm looking at you Mark Shea and Rod Dreher.) Well, I hope they are happy now. I hope the rest of us don't end up paying for their sanctimony.
The left will of course be gloating. But at least we won't hear any inane "voter fraud" whining or pathetic threats to "take to the streets".
So anyway...hang on to your wallet and stay armed and vigilant...the Democrats are back!
Update: Welcome Mark Shea readers! Let me clarify something. No I do not think Mark Shea or Rod Dreher are powerful enough to do in the GOP. (And besides, they needed no help, being so good at it themselves.) I was merely citing them as examples of the the "let's teach the GOP a lesson" crowd. I don't think wasting your vote because the GOP isn't pure and perfect enough for you is constructive.
Update 2: For those who would paint me as some sort of sellout because I voted GOP while realizing they are less than perfect, my response is simply to link this: Sweetness & Light posts about the Democrat agenda. For pro-lifers, please note that passing the vetoed embryonic stem cell bill is a priority. As S&L says:
It's the same old same old. Stab our soldiers in the back. Neuter our intel agencies. Pump money into "social welfare" and government unions. And of course we must raise taxes.
So, look down your nose at me and think you are better than me if you want. At least I didn't play a part in making the above possible.
Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I've been really busy and really tired. Most of the news has been centered on the elections and politics. I agree with Barb: I hate politics, too. But, as Barb points out, we have to care about what happens because we are affected by it.
I'm very much a pragmatist. I'm not the type to refuse to vote for the Republicans because they are not perfectly pure on every issue. I realize that religious conservatives are supposedly not held with high esteem by people high up in the party. (Although, I will say that David Kuo has his own axe to grind as well, predictably scolding religious conservatives for concerning themselves with "silly" things like abortion and medical ethics while saying that they should be more concerned about the usual "social justice" stuff, which translates to more government.) I realize that the Republicans leave a lot to be desired when it comes to spending and other economic matters. When it comes to the war, I think that the Bush Administration needs to rethink their strategies and perhaps replace Rumsfeld with someone else.
However imperfect the GOP is, I will vote straight Republican, holding my nose in many cases. The alternatives are not acceptable to me. I'm not going to throw my vote away on some third-party nobody or by writing in some nonsense or by sitting at home.
You think the war is a mess now? Wait until the Democrats start running things. I mean, I do not trust the defense of this country or our military in the hands of the Democrats. Kerry's latest gaffe simply let slip exactly what liberal elitists think of our military. Believe me, the military knows what liberal Democrats think of them, the spin notwithstanding. And just reading the reactions of liberals when you try to get them to understand the Islamist threat shows me how deluded and unserious they are. They are happy to keep spouting those politically correct platitudes ("Only a tiny number of Muslims are violent extremists! Anyone who says different is Islamophobic!") and keep their heads buried firmly in their nether regions.
My prediction, for what little it's worth, is that the House will go Democrat and the the GOP will keep the Senate for now. Also, no matter what margin a GOP candidate wins by, expect the kooks to start in with the "fixed election" conspiracies. ("No, it couldn't be that people didn't like the Democrat candidate -- it has to be election fraud!") In fact, I've already started hearing this crap from the usual suspects. Unfortunately, we will never have normal elections again. The kooks will always be with us.
I had a feeling this would happen. Fairly or not, this nomination was hurting the President politically. We know that Miers is very loyal to Bush, so she did the right thing for him politically.
President Bush said he reluctantly accepted Miers' decision to withdraw, after weeks of insisting that he did not want her to step down.
I figured the President was digging in his heels on this. In a way, I don't blame him.
"The radical right wing of the Republican Party killed the Harriet Miers nomination," said Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who had recommended Miers to the president.
Perhaps, but there are some who are more moderate who opposed the nomination as well. I thought a lot of the criticisms of Miers were unfair. She wasn't "Ivy League" and people used stupid things like birthday cards she wrote against her. However, I could also understand the accusations of cronyism. Also, the fact that Harry Reid recommended her is another strike against her. I stayed neutral on this, waiting to see how she did in the hearings. But, like I said, I had a feeling the hearings would never come to pass.
Anyway, I'm just glad this little drama is over with because I was sick of all the whining on the conservative blogs.
Update 2: The Anchoress weighs in, like I knew she would. I share her disgust at the way a lot of my fellow conservatives acted over this whole thing. I saw a lot of very unChristian behavior by some people who call themselves Christians. By the way, she mentions that someone (I assume it's a blogger) said the following: ”[President Bush] likes terrorists more than he likes us!” If anyone could let me know who this is, I would appreciate it. (I Googled but came up with nothing.) If I link to them, I would like to delink them. If not, I would like to focus my scorn on them. Thanks in advance.
She may not make it to the Supreme Court. Bush may not even intend for her to get there. She may be, rather than the “misdirection,” many expected, an out-and-out decoy, floated to allow both the liberals and the conservatives to blast her out of the water so that Bush can then put up another candidate that both left and right - after having behaved very badly over Miers - will not dare to behave badly over, again.
That's pretty much how I see it. The left hates her, the right hates her...she will never be confirmed. Bush knows that and Miers knows that too. I also think her nomination (and rejection) will be a distraction that will make it easier for Bush to get the person he really wants confirmed once this brouhaha is over. That's my prediction anyway...
Update: Okay, would someone on the right explain something to me? Why are so many on the right having pants-wetting hissy fits over this woman's nomination? Is it snobbery (because she isn't "Ivy League")? Is it because you are an idiot who thinks that if an older woman isn't married that she must be gay or something? (And to think, it used to be that only unmarried men had the "honor" of being slandered that way. Score another one for feminism!) Really...what is your problem? This is a serious question.
I mean, I don't know much about this woman, so I don't understand the hysteria. She may be a terrible nominee, but I really don't know enough about her to judge that yet. I'm sure her fitness (or unfitness) will come to light during the confirmation hearings. The Anchoress takes the different factions on the right to task for their immaturity and tells them to grow up. She has more patience than I do...every other blog I read the past couple of days makes me want to yell, "Shut up! Shut up! SHUT UP!", and then slap them silly.
**sigh** I'm getting misanthropic again. I almost feel like I need to take another blogging break...
Well, that's all right for you, but I'd rather not do the former, if you don't mind. That's the problem with you pacifists -- you want to drag everyone else down with you and deny them the right to self-defense. And I won't even comment on the laughable and blasphemous "Cindy is better than Jesus" statement.
Also, one more random thought: if Bush is such a dictator, a fascist and a Hitler, like the moonbats say, then why are Cindy Sheehan and her group free to protest near the President's home in Texas? Why aren't they in prison? Why haven't they been executed? Dictators imprison and execute their political opponents. Just because you don't agree with someone doesn't make them a dictator or a fascist or a Hitler.
And while on the Sheehan subject, I recently ran across this blog: Sweetness & Light. It is dedicated to examining the Cindy Sheehan circus and the way the media is hyping it.
Still…I gotta say, one of the reasons I didn’t spend a lot of time writing about this “story” was because I knew - I just knew - that in the end, the thing would blow up in the press’ face. This is what Bush does all the time - plays his hand close to the vest, lets the other side get crazed, waits until they have a big press-gushing moment, when they are sure they have won - (and allowing them to expose their own vindictiveness)…then he lays down his cards.
If he and Rove knew from the start that the baby was Novak - as it appears they did - they had no reason to play things any way but as they did. I must say, it takes a man with a strong stomach and a pair of big brass ones to put up with all the churning whirlwinds, when they know the truth…but I guess you can do it if you know that all the crap will eventually blowback onto those working against you, and will ultimately hurt them.
Have you heard that the CIA is actually the source responsible for exposing Plame's covert status? Not Karl Rove, not Bob Novak, not the sinister administration cabal du jour of Fourth Estate fantasy, but the CIA itself? Had you heard that Plame's cover has actually been blown for a decade — i.e., since about seven years before Novak ever wrote a syllable about her? Had you heard not only that no crime was committed in the communication of information between Bush administration officials and Novak, but that no crime could have been committed because the governing law gives a person a complete defense if an agent's status has already been compromised by the government? [...]
You see, if you really want to know what the media think of the Plame case — if you want to discover what a comparative trifle they actually believe it to be — you need to close the paper and turn off the TV. You need, instead, to have a peek at what they write when they're talking to a court. It's a mind-bendingly different tale.
My sister may find her way to my blog pretty soon. She's really into this Plame story, so this post is for her. I've previously posted on this subject exactly once. I'm just going to link to a few posts on this subject that elucidate why I think this whole issue is a yawner.
Also, I finally found the amusing photo I told my sister about of Plame schmoozing with celebrities. Yes, it was after this whole controversy started, but still, it doesn't look like she's exactly hiding from the limelight.
And this post by Bunnie Diehl shows that not all conservatives are fans of Karl Rove. Personally, all I have to say about him is that he's very good at what he does. You can say the exact same thing about James Carville. They are both political operatives and their job is to help their candidates get votes and push their respective political agendas by any means necessary.
Now, I hope my sister doesn't automatically discount my opinions or the opinions of the above linked bloggers because they are right-leaning. Believe it or not, conservatives are not all a bunch of lying, biased, unthinking rubes. And liberals are not all upright, objective, deep-thinking intellectuals.
I can't help but notice the political divide on this. Most of the conservative Justices opposed this decision, and the conservative and libertarian blogs rightly see this as a serious threat to property rights and the Constitution itself.
Judging from some of the lefty blogs linked on the above roundup, the left seems to support this decision. At first, this doesn't seem to make sense. After all, isn't the left supposed to be against government and big business running over the little guy? But then you have to remember that the far-left opposes property rights and believes the government should have the power to take land from individuals for "the common good". Since the left in this country is getting more and more radicalized, it makes perfect sense that they would support this decision.
Lastly, and I hope this doesn't hurt anyone feelings, because my objective is to make you think, not emote: I don't think you really want my vote. I actively sought out your perspective. I tuned in regularly, for months, to your biggest media project, your serious effort to get your message out: Air America Radio. I listened all day on Good Friday as host after host mocked people like me for believing in Jesus's life, death, and resurrection. I listened as Janeane Garofalo, who was one of my favorite comedians for years, expressed hatred and disgust for Bush voters so vile that I ended my live stream feeling assaulted, as if I'd been vomited on. I listened the night that Mike Malloy told a young Republican to hang up the phone and go open a vein. I listened to pure, unadulterated venom that was so intense I sometimes cut the stream and cried. Tonight, your spokespeople on AAR have been calling people like me "snake-handling evangelicals," and that was about the kindest thing I heard. Um…y'all? I've lived in the South my entire life and have never met a single snake-handler.
Neither have I. So, here is a voter who is perhaps a bit left of center and who describes herself as "not extremely religious". However, the Democrats managed to alienate her so much that she reluctantly voted for Bush. As always, RTWT. (Link via Twisted Spinster.)
Incidentally, the part I've excerpted makes note of the open hostility that many on the left have towards people of faith. Now, I realize that there are orthodox, serious Christians who are not at all politically conservative. I'm curious as to how left-leaning Christians feel about their political allies having such disdain for their deeply held beliefs.
Then, there's the Michael Moore factor. I remember Hugh Hewitt predicting that Moore would be to the Dems this year what Pat Buchanan was to the GOP in 1992. It looks like Jeff Jarvis, who supported Kerry, would agree with that. (Via Joe Gandelman posting at Dean's World.)
I don't have much time right now to post, but I wanted to say a few things about the reelection of President Bush.
When I quickly read some blogs during lunch, I noticed that manyweresayingthat concern about social issues played as big of a role in Bush's win as defense issues. I supported Bush primarily because of both issues. I also wanted to mention that my Mom, who had never voted before, registered this year so that she could vote for Bush (via absentee ballot). Again, the reasons she supported Bush were social and defense issues. I'm very proud of my Mom and I would be proud of her no matter who she voted for.
And I want to say that I'm very impressed with the way Senator Kerry has handled this. Unlike Gore, he has accepted his defeat with dignity. I don't think he'll end up embittered and angry like Gore.
I could write a long-winded post about tomorrow's election, but I don't think it's necessary and I don't have the mental energy for it this evening. I don't have any predictions, except that whoever wins, it will be close. And if Bush wins, we will be subjected to four more years of "Bush stole the election" crapola from the moonbat left. I don't know if I'll even watch the returns. After I vote tomorrow, I may just block the whole thing out until Wednesday morning. I hope and pray this won't be like 2000.
Anyway, here's just a few links to give you something to think about:
Mark Byron lists some good reasons not to cast a right-wing protest vote.
As a political and journalistic experiment, I decided to see how people who live in primarily one-party areas would react when faced with a living, breathing member of the opposition. I appointed myself an ambassador to bridge the Red-Blue divide and ventured into each side's territory dressed in the T-shirt, campaign button, and tote bag of the other.
Now, guess who was more open-minded and tolerant of an opposing opinion. Here are a couple of hints:
In my Kerry-Edwards shirt, I enter Red America certain that I am on the verge of inciting to rage a gang of angry yachtsmen who would soon be strapping me and my lefty leisurewear to their mizzenmast. Instead, I encounter only shades of indifference—head shaking, "crazy idiot" expressions from older, very wealthy, very white folks in Newport Beach; terse nods from the middle- to working-class citizens of Bakersfield, which seem to indicate that people here have much bigger things to worry about than whatever is on my stupid T-shirt.
Then this journalist (who is no Bush supporter, BTW) puts on a Bush-Cheney shirt and enters Blue America:
On Vermont Avenue, irony fades into gentrification. A fashionably dressed woman seated at a sidewalk table makes a disgusted face at the sight of me. On line at Psychobabble coffee house, another woman in a blue velour tracksuit rolls her eyes and grimaces at me with undisguised hatred. Realizing there are no seats but the one next to me, she stares intently into her cup, avoiding my polluting glance, until another table opens and she quickly relocates. Out on the avenue once again, I am gifted with my second "Asshole" of the day, this time muttered by a young man with bright dyed raspberry hair. [...]
I enter the faux-rustic Brentwood Country Mart, a collection of shops intended to look like an olde-time barnyard. On the central patio, I pass a woman who looks up from her gaggle of children to see me passing and exclaims, "Ick! God!" A group of teen skater boys waiting on line to buy the Mart's famed "Chicken Basket" discuss whether Bush will be removed from office by the time they turn 18, thus saving them from the draft. I sit down to eat. Dining nearby is a young girl who looks to be about 6 years old; she gazes at my shirt with a look so forlorn, I expect to learn that Dick Cheney just stole her crayons. Her mother arrives and gives her a hug of consolation. The girl starts to talk, but I can only make out "Bush shirt," which she says to her mother as she points my way. The mother turns and glares, shaking her head at me. I start to wonder what sort of person I am to inflict this on a poor child.
There's much more. As they say, read the whole thing.
I've been trying to stay somewhere between being positive for a Bush win and being agnostic about the outcome. My usual strategy is to expect the worst outcome. That way, either I'm not surprised when the worst happens, or I'm pleasantly surprised when the best happens. This commentary by Neal Boortz is bringing my pessimism to the surface (I'll excerpt the whole post, since he doesn't have his permalinks working today):
EIGHT DAYS ...
And the polls are still showing this election as a dead heat. At this point I still think that the race will go to Kerry. Two reasons. First, the intensity of the white-hot hatred for George Bush coming from Kerry supporters and the left is something to behold. Facts mean nothing to them. They believe that Bush stole the election. Don't tell them that every single recount in Florida showed Bush to be the winner. Don't tell them that Bush lost as many as 18,000 votes when people turned around and went home in the Florida panhandle when the networks called the state for Bush an hour before the polls closed there. Never mind that all Gore had to do was to carry his own home state. And whatever you do don't try to convince them that the so-called "popular vote" has no legal meaning whatsoever in a presidential election. They believe that Bush stole the election, and that, by God, is that.
Secondly .. this election is going to hinge on voter turnout, and the left is much better at herding people to the polls than the right. This is due to a basic personality difference between liberals and normal people. The nature of the left is one of collectivism. The dynamics of the left is one of group dynamics. The war on individuality has been waged by the left for well over 100 years, and the success is astounding. Liberals seldom think in terms of individuality. It's "the blacks" and "the children" and "the poor," and so on. They think in terms of majority rule -- the rule of the mob -- rather than individual rights. The common good is always foremost in their minds. People with this sort of "follow the crowd" collectivist mindset are much easier to stir to collective action, such as getting out there on November 2nd to vote, than are people who celebrate their individuality and independence.
On election day you will see unions, the bastions of group mentality, sending vans and busses around to pick up voters and take them to the polls. You won't see that many right-leaning organizations rounding up voters in this manner. When Democrats yell "stampede!" liberals start running mindlessly. Conservatives and (especially) libertarians start looking around trying to figure out where the noise is coming from.
When it comes to getting out the vote ... the left has the edge. If conservatives were as good at spurring their followers to action this election wouldn't even be close.
I can't really argue with anything he says here. Since I live in the Panhandle, I remember very well the results being called for Florida before the polls closed here. A lot of people don't seem to realize this, but the Panhandle west of Tallahassee is on Central Time, not Eastern Time, so we are an hour behind the rest of the state.
Others have said it better than me, but I'll repeat this to try to get through to the ignorant, for all the good it will do: Bush did not steal the election. Florida law (which the Florida Supreme Court itself refused to follow) says that invalid ballots should not be counted and that recounts need to take place within a certain time frame. Gore and his lawyers wanted the invalid ballots counted in an attempt to "divine" what the voter may have intended, which was completely ridiculous. They also wanted the recounts to go on until...well...I guess until Gore scrounged up enough "votes" to win Florida. Again, ridiculous. All the Supreme Court did was say, "Hey, Florida...follow your own laws!"
Gore tried to litigate his way into office and I'm afraid that even if Bush wins by a good margin, Kerry will attempt the same. And he may even succeed. A coup by litigation -- is this really what we want?
Here it is, in a nutshell. If Amendment 3 passes, patients who win malpractice suits are guaranteed 70% of the proceeds, apart from expenses, for verdicts below $250,000. For bigger verdicts, they're guaranteed 90%.
Sounds perfectly reasonable to me, but many trial lawyers are upset about it, which is all the more reason to vote for it.
If you are a Floridian and would like a good summation of the amendments, go to this site. I would especially like to note that Amendment 1 is opposed by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU and Amendment 5 is supported by MoveOn.org. Also, one of the top three contributors to Amendment 5 is the Tides Foundation.
God help me...I'm watching the last Presidential debate. I'll update this post later with my final thoughts. I will make this comment...Did I hear John Kerry invoke Ronald Reagan's name a while ago when talking about how he would defend the country? As Senator, didn't he vote against pretty much everything Reagan did in that regard?
Update: Okay...I admit my attention to this debate sort of waned because I was busy writing the next post. But from what I saw, Bush put in a solid performance.
Once again, I'm reluctantly watching another debate. Kerry makes my head hurt. I think Bush is doing better this time...perhaps it's the format or perhaps he's not as tired. (I think he had been visiting hurricane victims before the previous debate, while Kerry was getting a manicure*.) I do wish he would bring up the UN oil-for-atrocities scandal when Kerry goes on about the U.S. "going it alone".
*Does this mean that if Kerry wins, he will be our first metrosexual President?
Update: I think the President did very well in this debate. I would say he won this one.
I suppose I should say something about the recent Presidential and Vice Presidential debates. Yes, I sort of half-heartedly watched them. I try to avoid politics lately, because I'm just not into it that much right now. I support President Bush, I can't stand Kerry, and that's that.
Thoughts on the first Presidential debate...I thought they both held their own and there was neither a big loss nor a big win by either one of them. Yes, President Bush isn't as slick of a speaker as Senator Kerry, but so what? I'm not that great of a speaker either, so I sympathize with him. Just because you are not the greatest orator in the world doesn't mean you don't know what you're talking about. And there are an awful lot of eloquent speakers who are completely full of crap.
Thoughts on the Vice Presidential debate...Cheney came across as wiser and more dignified. Edwards trotted out the usual trial lawyer emotional demagoguery. While it may work in a courtroom, it doesn't work as well in debates.
It is interesting that Edwards, who made tons of money putting OB/GYNS out of business, seems to be able to channel the thoughts of the unborn (Best of the Web, third item)(NYTimes) while not even considering them to be deserving of legal recognition when their life is ended by an act of murder.
Of course, in the description of the "Retro" America, you can practically hear the ominous, minor chords:
The Republicans who represent them in Congress vote for constitutional amendments to ban flag burning, declare the U.S. a Christian nation, allow tax-exempt religious organizations (but not other nonprofits) to engage in partisan politics, and favor limitations on the First Amendment to combat speech and symbols they perceive as pornographic or unpatriotic. [As opposed to combating speech and symbols deemed "politically incorrect". -Ed.] Retro Representatives support subsidies to oil, mining and agriculture, but they are opposed to women’s rights, gay and lesbian rights, affirmative action, welfare, organized labor, and taxes of any kind.
These are “God, Family, and Flag” folks politically dominated by rural, conservative, white, Fundamentalist Christian ["Fundamentalist" meaning any serious, orthodox Christian. -Ed.] populations. Retro America is not the land of co-habiting, unmarried, hetero, or same-sex couples, [Nobody shacks up in the Red States? Man, are they ever wrong! -Ed.] or of the young seeking cultural excitement in the large Metro cities.
But then, there's "Metro" America. Cue the happy music, rainbows and chirping birds:
Metro American states are loosely held together by common interests in promoting economic modernity and by shared cultural values marked by religious moderation; vibrant popular cultures; a tolerance of differences of class, ethnicity, tastes, and sexual orientation; and a tendency to vote Democratic. [...]
Metro America values inclusion, respects science and social discourse, and promotes policies designed to provide physical, economic and social security for all families, both the 20 percent of the “old traditional families” and the 80 percent of the “new traditional families.” If America is ever to be a true United States, it must embrace these Metro values of inclusion and respect.
Somehow, I don't think this "inclusion" will have room for those icky conservatives or those dumb people who take all that God stuff seriously.
And check out the headers -- an eee-vil military guy and what looks like a blurred American flag on the "Retro" side and a brighter American flag with a group of people working together on the "Metro" side.
Now, who is it that lacks nuance, again?
Update: **chortle** It looks like those sophisticated Metro folks cannot even correctly identify Tennessee on a map. (Thanks Jared!)
Update 2: They have finally fixed their map.
Update 3: I made screenshots of the map mistake, but kept forgetting to link them up. I know it's old news, but I'm linking them anyway: here and here.
Many conservatives are enamored of Alan Keyes. It's understandable why -- he's an articulate, passionate black conservative. I used to be very impressed with him myself, since I voted for him in the 1996 Presidential primary.
Since then, I've gradually become less impressed with Keyes. He seems to be more a "talker" than a "doer". More and more, he reminds me of his counterparts on the left.
I used to listen to his radio show. I liked him, at first. He was a strong voice for social conservatism. Then it got to where I found him too strident and censorious. My views didn't change, and I still agreed with him. But his tone changed, and not for the better.
Then there's the whole "carpetbagging" thing, with his running against Barack Obama in the Illinois Senate race. I didn't like it when Hillary Clinton did it in New York, so why should I approve of it when Keyes does the same thing in Illinois?
The final straw: he has come out for reparations. He used to be opposed to them. This tells me that he's just pandering. I used to think Keyes was above that sort of thing.
I know this is heresy for a social conservative like me, and I know I'll probably get some flack for saying this, but Alan Keyes is very, very overrated.
More and more, I find myself wanting to avoid reading or watching anything about politics or the election. Well, I'm not the only one, and there's a name for the malaise I've been suffering from lately. It's SBHFS: Sudden Bush Hatred Fatigue Syndrome. I'm tired of the hate, I'm tired of the anger and I'm tired of the lies.
While I support President Bush's reelection, I don't agree with everything he says or does. For example, I don't agree with letting international observers monitor our election. I understand why the administration is allowing this -- to stave off the typical "Bush cheated" crap that will inevitably be flung if he wins. But it's still a terrible idea.
But overall, I support Bush and I think he understands the most important issue of this campaign. Kerry doesn't.
Incidentally, President Bush is coming to town tomorrow. I had a chance to get a ticket to see him, but I turned it down. My life is too hectic right now, and I don't want to take more leave from work -- I need to try and save some up.
I listen to Hugh Hewitt on the Internet sometimes from work. (You can listen to the previous day's show or the current day's show live at this site.) Yesterday, he played and dissected a speech Michael Moore was giving in Boston this week. Hewitt has noted that this convention has become very identified with Moore. He also noted that this may backfire on the Dems like the so-called "Pat Buchanan convention" in 1992 backfired on the GOP.
Anyway, as I was listening to Moore, his manner of speaking reminded me of a fire and brimstone preacher. I mean, if I didn't know what words he was saying, and didn't know who it was, I would have thought he was preaching at a revival in a tent somewhere. He is certainly good at what he does; I'll give him that. He has the emotional manipulation down pat...he held his audience in the palm of his hand. I didn't get to hear the whole thing because I had to go home, but I can listen to yesterday's show today.
In other Michael Moore news, remember this post, with the photo of the Marine holding a DVD of F911 in one hand and a letter to Moore in the other? Well, I'm convinced it's the real deal because apparently Moore has been targeting our troops with his propaganda. Unfortunately, it is having a horrible impact on the morale of our troops. I think Dean Esmay's comparison of Moore to Lord Haw Haw and Axis Sally is very appropriate.
And, of course, in our eee-vil "neocon-run corporate dictatorship", Moore is being severely punished for his actions. He makes millions of dollars. He makes speeches, writes books and makes movies. He is invited to conventions and is able to bend the ears of the some of the most powerful politicians in the nation. He has many celebrity admirers. He has millions of fans who hang on his every word.
Yep, those "neocon fascists" are really keeping him down and silencing him.
"Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you. We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." -- Senator Hillary Clinton at a Democratic fundraiser in San Francisco.
Many have been complaining, and rightfully so, about Bush's spending increases. However, Dean Esmay makes a good point when he says:
In 2000, political conservatives backed George W. Bush, knowing perfectly well--if they were paying attention at all--that he was a moderate centrist, with a few positions to the right, a few to the left, and most of them right down the middle.
Now they're mad at him for governing exactly like that. [...]
Bush is a moderate centrist who is actually to the left of his own party on several major issues, guys. He ran his entire 2000 campaign that way, and now you're baffled and angered by it? Did you, you know, even bother to listen to what the man said when he was running for President, or look at any of his campaign literature?
BUT I'M MORE AFRAID OF THE ISLAMIC GOONS THAN I AM OF BUSH'S SPENDING
After all, it is conceivable that some future congress can actually do something to turn back the obscene spending increases we've seen out of George Bush. Not likely, but conceivable. It is far more likely, however, that if we see an appeasement-oriented Democrat take the reigns next year we'll see not only the same level of spending (if not worse) but a weakened posture against Islamic terrorism that will end up costing us lives .... thousands of lives, perhaps tens of thousands.
The bottom line here is that no matter how disgusting Bush's spending might be, no matter how offensive it might be to his core conservative base, there is no Democrat running in this race who would spend any less. Every single Democrat running for congress has a new-spending agenda that ranges from a low of $169 billion a year for Joseph Lieberman, to a high of $1.3 trillion a year for Al "The Liar" Sharpton. Now it's true that every single one of these candidates promises to raise taxes on the evil, ugly, nasty, putrid rich by overturning Bush's tax cuts, but that would only put about $135 billion back in the budget (and that's not counting any reduction in tax revenue caused by the resulting economic slowdown). So each and every Democratic candidate would increase the budget deficit. The frontrunner, John Kerry, would increase the deficit by about $130 billion a year.
So ... a classic damned if you do, damned if you don't situation here. Vote for Bush and you get runaway government spending, but you also get a strong defense and an aggressive war against the Islamic terrorists who want to kill as many Americans as they can, on our own soil if possible, and to destroy the American way of life. Vote for a Democrat and you get the same runaway government spending, but as an added bonus you get the appeasement of our enemy, instead of its destruction. Vote for Bush and you get some appeals court judges who actually have an appreciation of our Constitution .. plus runaway spending. Vote for a Democrat and you get activists judges who will use judicial fiat to enact the leftist agenda ... plus runaway spending.
I understand the strong impulse to punish Bush for his free spending ways by withholding your support in November. The price for sitting on hands could be huge. It could be another terrorist attack on American soil, this time with tens of thousands dead. It could be higher spending, a bigger deficit, and a slowed economy brought on by higher taxes. It could be the end of a dream of Social Security reform ... and the list goes on.
And then ... there's always the hope that in a second Bush term he could actually start dancing with who brung him.
1. Your ideal theoretical candidate. (100%)
2. Bush, President George W. - Republican (77%)
3. Libertarian Candidate (52%)
4. Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (44%)
5. Lieberman, Senator Joe, CT - Democrat (42%)
6. Edwards, Senator John, NC - Democrat (38%)
7. Kucinich, Rep. Dennis, OH - Democrat (38%)
8. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT - Democrat (28%)
9. Phillips, Howard - Constitution (28%)
10. Sharpton, Reverend Al - Democrat (26%)
11. Clark, Retired General Wesley K., AR - Democrat (10%)
I'm kind of embarrassed that Kookcinich registered as high as he did. Where did I go wrong?
Obviously, I support President Bush. Yes, I could chest-thump and say that I refuse to support anyone who isn't 100% in line with my beliefs, who isn't purer than Ivory soap when it comes to conservatism. But I don't think that's very productive...or smart.
Wesley Clark has finally answered a question that many have pondered and argued over: When does life begin? According to Clark, "life begins with the mother's decision". Well, that settles it then. A baby is only alive if his mother decides that he's alive. I'm glad we have people like Clark to answer these age-old questions. [/sarcasm] (Via Boortz, who no doubt would call me a "zealot".)
And speaking of Clark, that towering intellect Madonna has weighed in with her Very Important Endorsement™ of Clark. According to McDonna, terrorism isn't a threat, but Dubya is:
“I am writing to you because the future I wish for my children is at risk,” notes Madonna. “Our greatest risk is not terrorism and it’s not Iraq or the ‘Axis of Evil.’ Our greatest risk is a lack of leadership, a lack of honesty and a complete lack of consciousness.”
Madonna then goes on to slam the Bush administration. “Unfortunately our current government cannot see the big picture,” she writes. “They think too small. They suffer from the ‘what's in it for me?’ syndrome.”
Boortz is attempting to bring libertarianism and the Libertarian Party into the mainstream. I have always hoped he would be successful in doing this because, while I'm not a libertarian*, I would like to see libertarian beliefs on certain issues get more attention.
However, the Libertarian Party has had a reputation for being the domain of kooks and cranks. I mean, most libertarians I run across quickly emphasize that they are "small-l" libertarians. They do not want to be associated with the party. This is very telling.
And now, the kooks and cranks are upset with Boortz because he believes this country should actually defend itself. So, what will the Libertarian Party do? Will they continue to embrace kookdom and "Boot Boortz" (an act that will marginalize them even further)? Or will they embrace the more accessible, mainstream brand of libertarianism that Boortz espouses?
*I'm far too much of a social conservative to ever be a libertarian. Also, while I believe in capitalism, I think it should be tempered by morality. Libertarians are a little too laissez-faire for me.
I know that Hillary Clinton has also visited our troops, and if I weren't so darned cynical about everything involving the Clintons, I'd praise her too. However, there was no love lost between the Clinton administration and the military. Also, Hillary is rather infamous for having disdain for the military. So, I'm really not surprised that she got a cool reception from our troops. I think they know when they are truly respected and when they are simply being used.
Via Susanna comes this story about how Harlem residents wonder why their neighbor, one who promised so much, is never around.
Some expected quite a lot of Clinton:
Rebecca Pacheco, 23, says that if Mr. Clinton were around more often, he might be able to help her find a job: "Maybe you could have your people's people's people help me out."
Good grief! However, many of Clinton's neighbors remain true believers:
Even so, the dozen or so people interviewed outside Mr. Clinton's office last week said their appetite for the man remained unslaked. No one on 125th Street seemed to begrudge the former president for spreading his largesse around the globe. Still, nearly all of them suggested that charity begins at home.
"Our president now doesn't think about people less fortunate than himself," said Jovanna Ford, 24, who was taking a high school equivalency class inside Mr. Clinton's building. "Clinton's mind is in the right place. He just needs to get back on the job."
My prediction: Californians, get used to having Arnold Schwarzenegger as your governor. If I were a Californian, I'd be voting for McClintock, since he's the true conservative in this race and since he actually may know something about running a state. I understand why a lot of conservatives support Schwarzenegger -- they see him as being electable and they believe a liberal Republican is better than a liberal Democrat. But McClintock would have had a decent chance had Schwarzenegger not "muscled" his way into the race. I also understand the arguments of those who say that conservatives are selling out their principles in supporting Schwarzenegger. I guess it all depends on how you look at it. Are your goals better realized by supporting the guy who agrees with only part of your agenda, but who can win? Or is it better to support the guy who probably won't win, but who is much more in line with your beliefs? And is it productive to split the vote between the two so that the guy who totally opposes your beliefs wins?
I have to admit that it's kind of amusing to see the same people who told us Clinton's behavior didn't matter turn around and make a big deal out of Arnold's alleged groping. On the other hand, some of those who rightfully condemned Clinton's behavior are now saying that it doesn't matter if Arnold is a groper. I'm not saying that the situations are the same. It's just that they are similar enough to make me think there's quite a bit of hypocrisy on both sides.
Joyful Christian asks, "Are bloggers required to blog about everything?" His answer is "No" and mine is, "of course not"! Apparently, some think there is some requirement for conservative (particularly Christian conservative) bloggers to say something about this whole Plame thing.
My incisive commentary is...**yawn**
More seriously, I don't understand all the ins and outs of this whole brouhaha yet. I haven't even had time to read much about it. I'm waiting for all the facts to come out. So far, it looks like much ado about nothing, but I could be wrong. If I am, and if somebody broke the law, punish them.
''According to our Christian ethics, we're supposed to love God, love each other and help take care of the poor,'' he said. ''It is immoral to charge somebody making $5,000 an income tax.''
Two of the governor's Cabinet members resigned after Riley made the proposal. One of them, Labor Commissioner Charles Bishop, now leads opposition to the tax plan, saying Alabama voters thought they were getting a tax-cutting conservative who would eliminate waste, but instead got the opposite.
Bishop said supporters of Riley's plan also have been deceptive in saying it would help working-class Alabamians, when it actually includes a range of smaller tax increases, on such things as cigarettes and services, that would hit the poor harder than the wealthy.
''Working people, once they catch you lying, are never going to support you again,'' he said.
I think people are failing to see that there is a difference between governments and individual people.
Governments represent people. All the people, not just Christians. And not just Christians who follow your particular interpretation of Christianity.
Saying that you believe gov't handout programs have gotten out of hand is not the same as saying you are against helping the poor. All you are saying is that it's the calling of each individual (whether they be Christians or not) to help the poor...that it's not the government's job. If a person doesn't want to help, well, they may be a jerk, but that's their right.
This is why we have a non-establishment clause in our Constitution. It is not up to the government to fulfill someone's idea of Christian charity. The Christian religion is not the state-approved religion. No religion is. And I'm grateful for that.
If someone wants to give to the poor, let them do it of their own volition, and not because they've pawned the job off on the gov't.
And I would like to add: I'm not totally against welfare programs. I do believe there should be a safety net to help those who have fallen upon hard times to get on their feet again. However, if you think that our welfare system is not being milked for all it's worth by those who don't want to work, if you think there aren't people who scheme to stay on the system as long as they can, if you think the system hasn't become a way of life for some, then I have some oceanfront property in Nebraska to sell you.
That being said, I think that it's a shame that so many Christians have decided to abdicate the responsibility of taking care of the poor to the government.
Joshua Claybourn discusses the balancing act between political compromise and not offending the base voters. He links to this article about how many on the Christian Right are upset with the GOP and may bolt from the party. I commented on Josh's post -- here are the comments I made:
If the "Christian Right" bolts, it will be one of the dumbest moves they could make. All it would do is make social conservatism even more marginalized and alienated from mainstream American than it already is.
Let's face it; the Republicans have to straddle the fence a little when it comes to social conservatives (and let me just say that I'm very much a social conservative). There are a lot of GOP voters who are not social conservatives. While they want lower taxes and a strong defense, they are pro-choice on abortion and have liberal views on other social issues. If the Republican's are too vocal about social issues (like they were in 1992), they will turn off those voters -- and lose.
It seems some of the Christian Right are being unreasonable and short-sighted. There are many things that can be done to push the agenda without spouting fire and brimstone and scaring off the fiscal and defense conservatives who are social liberals. There are the very important judicial nominations. Also, a ban on PBAs is just around the corner -- this is something Bush's predecessor consistently refused to do.
So, to my fellow social conservatives I say, be patient and don't petulantly run off just because the changes you want are not happening as fast as you want them to.
Another thought occurred to me after posting the above comments. In a post-9/11 America, are social conservatives still the base of the GOP, or have pro-defense voters become the new base? Any thoughts?
Overall, it was a good speech. But there's still the tendency to want to throw money at every problem. I thought conservatives were supposed to reduce spending. Neal Boortz comments more on all the spending proposed. (He's very critical, but remember that he's a libertarian.)
Here's some things I liked:
Tax cuts - letting people keep more of their own money.
Stopping out-of-control litigation.
Banning PBAs and human cloning.
Making a case for removing Saddam Hussein
What I didn't like:
Pouring more money into Medicare to "reform" it.
Spending $1.2 billion to develop hydrogen-powered cars. Isn't this better left to private industry?
Spending $15 billion on AIDS funding for Africa and the Caribbean. Geez! I'm with Old Oligarch on this one.
Finally, here's a good quote from the speech (the text can be found here):
We seek peace. We strive for peace. And sometimes peace must be defended. A future lived at the mercy of terrible threats is no peace at all. If war is forced upon us, we will fight in a just cause and by just means – sparing, in every way we can, the innocent. And if war is forced upon us, we will fight with the full force and might of the United States military – and we will prevail. And as we and our coalition partners are doing in Afghanistan, we will bring to the Iraqi people food, and medicines, and supplies ... and freedom.
Okay, it seems like just about everyone has commented on this, so here’s what I think. Lott’s a bonehead. I doubt that he’s actually a racist who thinks segregation is a great idea. He was just being a bonehead yet again. He’s been a very ineffectual Senate Majority Leader and should be replaced with someone more competent.
The only other comment on Lott I can make is that I think his rug hair looks like plastic Devo hair.
If that doesn’t motivate you to oppose socialism, nothing will. Andrea Harris has a brilliant takedown of this model for a socialist society. One of the points of the article is that a good socialist workplace would have weekly meetings with “endless debates.” **shudder** Andrea responds:
Well, that sounds like paradise right there -- endless meetings, endless hours in an underheated concrete-walled cavern feeling your ass grow numb in your seat while some ratchet-jaw with iron lungs blathers on and on about some nitpicky detail of office politics. I call this the "Nightmare of the Folding Chairs," the interminable lifetime of meetings to which these people want to reduce our lives. Outside the grass may be growing and the sun might be shining, but we won't know it because it's Meeting Day.
Other plans for a socialist paradise include everyone earning the same pay and job sharing. That is, if you have more valuable skills, you would still earn the same pay as an unskilled worker, because, darn it, that’s nicer. As for job sharing, never mind that people are individuals who have different interests and different skills. In the workers’ paradise, you’re just another warm body to fill a billet.
The article asserts that this proposed utopia would not be a dictatorship. However, it would take the police power of the government to get people to accept such a sorry arrangement.
I understand Amy Welborn's frustration. I would love to see Roe v. Wade thrown out tomorrow. I would love for society to respect unborn life. But that isn't reality. Let's face facts here...people support the Republicans because of defense and economic reasons. The American people, for the most part, get very squeamish when it comes to social conservatism, especially on the subject of abortion. Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land for nearly thirty years. People may not necessary approve of abortion, but they don't want to see it become illegal. What I'm trying to say here is that most voters are simply not supportive of the pro-life cause. That is the sad reality. And that's why the GOP has been backing away from abortion as an issue the last few years. If it's emphasized too much, it's a loser of an issue because it turns most voters off. Any progress on overturning Roe v. Wade must be done incrementally. If you push too hard, you will never get rid of legalized abortion.
I know I probably come off sounding like a cold pragmatist. I used to strongly disagree with people who said what I just said above. But that was before I started seeing the world as it is, rather than how I wish it would be.
Needless to say, I'm very happy with the results of yesterday's elections. I'm no pundit, but I believe that the American people are saying to those elected: "Defend this country from our enemies. Do not take away our right to self-defense. Respect the Constitution. Let us keep more of our own money." Let's hope that the Republicans do not squander this opportunity given them.
I’ve heard that some areas are using touch-screen technology for voting this year. I don't think this a good thing. For one thing, technology like that scares and confuses some people. For example, the other day my sister had to help an elderly couple figure out how to use an ATM that had just been switched to a touch-screen system. They kept trying and trying, with the line behind them growing longer and longer, but they just didn't get it.
Another reason I don’t think purely electronic ballots are a good idea is that there should be some tangible record of the votes. Yes, the old-fashioned punch machines used in some areas of South Florida helped contribute to the fiasco of two years ago. But I don’t think going to the other extreme is the answer either.
I think my county here in Northwest Florida has a very good system that combines technology with paper ballots. The ballot consists of incomplete arrows next to each selection. You use a marker pen to complete the arrows next to the candidates or other items you wish to vote for (or against). When you’re finished, you tear off the top of the ballot at the perforation, hand it to the poll worker, and then feed the main part of the ballot into a scanner as the poll worker watches. The number on the scanner increments and you hear a beep. You’re then finished. My description of this method is probably not very good, so here’s an example using a sample ballot I have:
Here is the section of the ballot where you can vote for the Governor of Florida:
Here is what a properly filled in selection looks like (and you can see my own biases here):
The turnout seemed to be pretty good (at least judging from my precinct) despite the nasty weather. Another thing about voting in my county -- you must produce a picture ID and your voter registration card before receiving a ballot. From what I understand, some areas don’t require that much identification. No wonder there’s so much voter fraud.
I remember reading about the "Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act" several months ago, although it was known as the "Security Systems Standards and Certification Act" back then. This post on Happy Fun Pundit has reminded me that this odious bill still needs to be defeated. This bill would make a criminal out of anyone who wants to copy digital media for their own use. All digital media would require encryption. Any currently existing hardware or software would be unable to access this encrypted digital media. New hardware and software would be needed to access the encrypted data. Read Happy Fun Pundit's post and then visit Help Stop the CBDTPA and Stop Policeware for more information on this bill. Then sign this petition (as I did a few months ago). Contacting your Senators and Representative isn't a bad idea either. Who knows...they may actually listen.