Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sad day for GI Joe Fans

Not surprisingly, Hollywood is taking the guts out of another American hero story. Great article on who GI Joe really was.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Why I Love (and Hate) NPR

Love - classical and jazz (not the "smooth" kind that makes me ill)
Hate - that I am forced to pay for it with my taxes
Hate even more - that they take twice a year to shill for money (which I wouldn't have a problem with if they didn't plunder me prior to asking).

Love - the occasional insightful (usually international with no discernible link to current US politics) news story
Hate - the often disdainful tone and rhetoric used to report on US political news stories

Love - no commercials (which put me into internal conflict with hating that I am forced to pay for it through taxes).
Hate - the ever-so-unbiased and reasonable newscaster/editorialist espousing foolishness

Which Repub?

Current Impressions of Republican Candidates (in no particular order):

Giuliani -- an effective manager with irreconcilable views of human life (though he has claimed that he would nominate originalist judges).
Huckabee -- a solid evangelical that has some big-government views, a la GWB
Tancredo -- Strong on immigration -- a one-horse show
Romney -- an effective businessman, a good politician (which is not necessarily a compliment).
Thompson -- a solid conservative
Paul -- crazy as a loon, operating on a totally idealistic footing, detached from reality
McCain -- a man that is strong on his convictions with a loose grasp of Constitutionality (this applies to most of the above, except possibly Thompson)
Hunter -- a good, solid conservative. Strong on immigration, a little wobbly on big government

So, who do I vote for in the Primaries...which is my chosen one?

Good question. And I'm not unsure because I don't like any of the's because there are too many good ones.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fundamentalism: Not so fundamental?

A post on my cousin's blog prompted thinking concerning fundamentalism. He reflects, I think, a prevailing attitude that fundamentalism is dangerous...a haven for angry people.

Anthropologist Richard Antoun put forth this idea (quote from Peter Huff's review of his book) that supports this thesis:

According to Antoun, fundamentalists in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, despite their doctrinal and practical differences, are united by a common worldview which anchors all of life in the authority of the sacred and a shared ethos that expresses itself through outrage at the pace and extent of modern secularization (emphasis mine).
Scott Bidstrup says,
In my view, a fundamentalist religion is a religion, any religion, that when confronted with a conflict between love, compassion and caring, and conformity to doctrine, will almost invariably choose the latter regardless of the effect it has on its followers or on the society of which it is a part.
I'm interested in getting some feedback on this question. Leave a comment and let's discuss!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Is there bias in the press?

John Hinderaker at Powerline reports:

Today General Ricardo Sanchez gave a speech to the Military Reporters and Editors' annual conference, in which he criticized just about everyone associated with our effort in Iraq. The Washington Post's headline was typical: "Former Iraq Commander Faults Bush." Actually, I don't believe Sanchez ever mentioned Bush by name, although, as I say, he was critical of just about everybody. But it would be hard to tell from press accounts of Sanchez's speech that he was mostly critical of...the press.
Here is an excerpt from his speech:

The death knell of your ethics has been enabled by your parent organizations who have chosen to align themselves with political agendas. What is clear to me is that you are perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our servicemembers who are at war.

To be fair, he was somewhat critical of the President. Here is Gen. Sanchez' one comment concerning the President:
The president's recent statement to America that he will listen to military commanders is a matter of political expediency.
He also spread the blame:

The administration, congress and the entire interagency, especially the department of state, must shoulder the responsibility for this catastrophic failure and the American people must hold them accountable

Read the whole thing and decide for yourself the the Post was accurate in the headline...the most important part of the story, because it's the only thing most people will read. It's really quite astounding when you see such a blatant example of agenda-driven journalism.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What a sublime world...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

All Good Candidates (Except Paul)

I saw the debate this afternoon. I wasn't terribly impressed by Fred's inaugural debate, but not disappointed either. Above all, though, I believe that Republicans really need to get their heads on straight concerning their candidates.

Most of the men on that stage would serve us well as President of the U.S. For some reason, fellow Republicans are down in the mouth about our prospects. Are you kidding? These guys all have great experience, most are grounded in conservative principles and they are on our side.

It's ok to be picky at this point, but let's not lose sight of the big picture. No matter who is picked as Republican nominee, I will vote for that nominee in good conscience. Why? Let's consider the alternative.

It is very possible that the Dems will pick up seats in both houses. Gaining a filibuster-proof majority is not unthinkable. If this is the case, Hillary, who is the presumptive nominee, will ram through the government-based solutions that so often screw up the economy, victimize the people it claims to help, and enrich the saviors who are victimizing those they claim to be saving.

Let's think about just a couple of issues:

  1. Supreme Court Nominees -- Does anyone think Mrs. Clinton will nominate anyone who takes the Constitution seriously? Even Rudy has said that he would nominate originalist judges, despite his position on abortion.
  2. National Security -- Does anyone truly think that the Dems have a clue about national security? Really? Take, just for one example, the fact that Sandy Berger is back on the Clinton staff despite his stealing classified documents from the National Archives and being stripped of his security clearance. What kind of foolishness would put people like this in a position of protecting national security? Add to this the fact that Berger was Clinton's National Security Advisor while we blindly meandered toward 9/11.
  3. Health Care -- This is her trademark issue. If she served as President and didn't come out the other side with socialized medicine, she would be considered a failure.
So, get all your in-fighting and complaining out now (particularly my fellow evangelicals--the good Dr. Dobson included), because we cannot go wobbly on voting for our man after the Primaries, no matter who he is.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Posterity Investment

Columbus Day 2007 -- I spent the day investing in my posterity...which means that I had no plans other than to spend time with my big event or massive undertaking...just time.

I am tempted to say that I didn't accomplish anything today because I didn't progress toward my goal to write a curriculum, to run my school well or to make more money than I'm currently making. So, thinking back, what did I accomplish?

  1. I taught Madelyn how to play 20 questions. She did pretty well, though she has not yet learned how to categorize, so she has a long way to go.
  2. While teaching her how to play, we sat outside in the above average temperature weather, I sipped some Earl Gray, and just chatted and enjoyed each other's company.
  3. I pushed Elijah on the swing for about 20 minutes...looking forward to the time when he can swing himself!
  4. I popped some popcorn and M and I watched Prince of Egypt while Elijah took his nap.
So, I guess I didn't accomplish anything earth shattering, but I trust that this investment will pay dividends as the kids grow and know without a doubt that their father loves them, and doesn't just say it when they go to bed at night.

Russ Crosson wrote a great book, A Life Well Spent that alerted me to this concept of posterity investment. Much of his focus is on those with a good deal of money, but much was applicable to me as well. One point he made was particularly pertinent, and that was that one should never change jobs just to make more money. There is more, and I may post more at another time.

Overall, a good, successful day.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Thomas Understands

This video on Clarence Thomas is a surprisingly evenhanded discussion with the always helps when people follow Abraham Lincoln's adage that it's always better to talk to people rather than about people. Perhaps Steve Kroft from CBS found this to be true. See the video here and here. The first video gives background to his life, and the second deals with the Anita Hill accusations and some of his thinking.

I've always greatly admired the Justice for his clear-headed opinions. Watch his reaction to the Senate panel -- "high-tech lynching." Later, notice how he has a clear understanding and concern for the effect on the country..."who won?"

His assertion that "It is always worth it to stand on principle...wrong is wrong, even if it's over a penny." This is one reason why I respect him so much. Read this dissenting opinion of the case that struck down the partial birth abortion ban and see what you think about his clear-headed, straightforward talk.

"The Constitution is what matters, not my personal opinions, whatever they may be..." See my opinion in a previous post:

Scott v. Harris

In a decision handed down on Monday, SCOTUS determined that it is constitutional for a policeman to run a fleeing motorist off the road. That man, who was fleeing at night when there was no innocent pedestrians around to be put at risk, is now a quadripelegic because he crashed his car after he was run off the road. Does that sound right to you?

You need to think about what is being is NOT it is "right" or "prudent" or "nice" or "politically correct" or anything other than "constitutional." This is where most people get caught up when talking about court opinions.

The constitutional issue was whether or not the officers violated the fleeing person's 4th amendment protection against unreasonable seizure, claiming that by running him off the road they were being "unreasonable." The high court decided that what the officers did was not unreasonable at all, therefore, he has no case.

Pretty clear cut when you limit yourself to the law and not engage in the emotions of the case.

Gloria Steinem's Freedom

I had the privilege of watching Ms. Steinem on C-Span last night and watched a rehash of 70's era feminist ideology. Her speech entitle, "The Progression of Feminism: Where Are We Going?" outlined how the feminist movement is in line with all the other great movements in our history: civil rights particularly, the gay/lesbian, and the peace movement.

One thing she said that merits thought was her assertion that we ought to make clear and obvious the benefit of those that work inside the home. We ought to promote a positive view of women who decide for whatever reason to forego career advancement to raise children, care for parents or invalids, and any number of other reasons. She states that we ought to attempt to quantify in monetary terms the value added by these workers inside the home.

As she went through her laundry list of movements that are hand in hand with feminism because of their push for freedom, she came out with some very powerful verbiage that show how effective she has been over the last 40 years or so in changing the dialogue. She talks about the "cult of masculinity" that causes men to sacrifice their lives to defend their ego. She speaks of this as if there is nothing worth sacrifice of this nature. She still, despite all research to the contrary, insists that gender roles are taught. She continues to savage the patriarchal family as a repressive regime set up to "own" children.

This language is shocking if you haven't paid attention to the feminists. What she is propagating is total cultural transformation, upending social norms in the interest of freedom. She sees herself as a sort of patriot to freedom rallying the faithful against those who would continue to enslave blacks, women and gays (it's extremely important to separate sex from procreation, because the adversaries control women by controlling their bodies--it's why they are against contraception). She shares language with others who support cultural upheaval, namely the various communist groups that are so popular at the university and on every protest, the most recent one yesterday in DC.

Read the Communist Manifesto and you'll see the same disdain for the family unit.

Lastly, she mentioned the peace movement, and how prevalent women are. It's because the cult of masculinity prevents men from wanting to get along.

Running down this laundry list of groups that are one with the feminists because of their desire for freedom, the thought struck me that most of the 48 million or so persons that have the most fundamental freedom snatched awayare a direct result of Ms. Steinem's freedom movement.

Hence, a movement that was started to protect the weak has used the weak to increase their freedom. This movement has eschewed universal principles with the idealistic bloodlust of Robespierre, all the while sanguine in the euphemistic pursuit of freedom without responsibility.