Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Meaning Of Christmas

(Reprint from my Potomac News Column, December 23, 2004)

Critically Thinking
By Charles Reichley

They Can Ban the Symbols, but Not the Substance

I love Christmas lights. Each year my family spends evenings driving around town looking at the lights and decorations of our neighbors and communities. I have my own Christmas light display, which has over 20,000 lights and nine deer. It is part of how I celebrate the season. For me, lights are a symbol of Christmas.

The symbols (and sounds) of Christmas are under assault like never before. Not a day goes by without another report of a school banning Christmas carols, or government banning Christmas trees or mangers or the word “Christmas” itself, often in the name of tolerance. But tolerance means “to put up with”. If we were practicing tolerance, those who didn’t want to see a manger would tolerate it, just as Christians would tolerate symbols of Hanukah or Ramadan or other religions.

It is a shame that government is working so hard to separate Christianity from one of its most important holy days. But it is clear to me that the effort is failing.

For Christians, Christmas is the celebration of God’s sacrifice for us, the gift of his Son. This message is reflected in the practice of gift-giving, a symbol of gifts given for a birthday, and of the gift that was given to us. And while the religious symbols of Christmas are being banned, there is no move to divorce government from the message of giving that is at the heart of the holiday.

In fact, the message could not be clearer. Stores use it to convince us to spend ever-increasing amounts of money. Charities count on the increased good-will toward man to close out the year on-budget. It is no coincidence that the Salvation Army sends out its soldiers to our malls and superstores at Christmas. And people spend days putting up Christmas decorations simply for the enjoyment of passers-by.

Giving at Christmas is a profoundly religious message, more so than Christmas trees, candy canes, or even the manger. These are just symbols which will remind you of your beliefs, or invoke good feelings, or memories, or maybe offend you. But the message of Christmas is that man needs a gift to be saved, and that only God can give it. Many find that message offensive, and yet the message persists.

Of course, a message of gifts given must include gifts received. The Christmas story includes not only the birth of Jesus, but the wise men bringing him gifts. Likewise, we not only give presents, but we receive them. We teach our children to love giving gifts more than receiving gifts. And most important, that they should not expect gifts, but should be grateful for them.

For a gift earned is not really a gift, but a payment. The story of Santa Clause illustrates this idea. Santa is the chief giver, the eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful external force for good. But he keeps a list. Naughty children need not apply. Be good and you get presents, be bad and you get a lump of coal, suitable for a long hot fire, if you get my meaning. Sounds like gifts are earned. But, there is redemption. The evil magician in Frosty the Snowman repents of his sin and receives a gift from Santa that he didn’t earn or deserve.

Most of us don’t use Christmas gifts as a way to reward or punish our children. We give them presents because we love them whether they do good or bad, just as God gave his gift to us without regard to our own actions. Gifts of love are not earned, they are bestowed.

And we try to teach our children to be thankful for whatever gifts they receive. “It’s the thought that counts”. While a gift is not earned, it can be rejected. If you reject a gift it is no longer yours to keep. Stores make rejection easy with gift receipts, but the strategy of “buy something they can return” reduces the spirit of Christmas to a meaningless exchange of goods. The gifts that mean the most are the ones which show thought, which take effort, which speak to the love between friends and family, and to our fellow man. Giving should involve sacrifice to have meaning.

This is the motivation for singing carols at the nursing home, or standing in freezing weather presenting a living nativity scene. It is the spirit that drives people to volunteer at soup kitchens, or donate food, or toys, or money. It is the spirit of giving in a sacrificial way.

Christmas is the symbol of the supreme sacrifice made for us, the reminder of God’s gift of his only Son. That unmistakably religious message, unacceptable for the public square, is ingrained in the very nature of the Christmas celebration, and cannot be silenced. It is proclaimed with each selfless act, each appeal to charity, each card opened and present unwrapped. And for me, in each twinkling Christmas light. They can take away the symbols of Christmas, but not its meaning.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Christmas With The Kranks

OK, its an older movie, but I just watched this on DVD. I love christmas and decorating, so it was interesting to watch a show about NOT decorating for Christmas.

And while there were parts of the movie that were a bit out there, I enjoyed the theme of community and reaching out to help others, even if they don't seem to deserve it.

Sadly, most places where people live today don't have that sense of community. Even in sheltered, association-bound communities there is such a turnover of homeowners, and people's lives are so hectic, that it is rare to have relationships within the community, much less an actual "community".

I remember a movie with Chevy Chase, "Funny Farm", where Chevy and his wife move out to the country. At some point he bribes the town to do an authentic country christmas, like in the Norman Rockwell pictures. They do a great job, and it always saddens me when I see it to realise it's just a fake (I mean, even in the movie, which of course is fake, the christmas itself is faked).

I wish I lived in a neighborhood which had garden competitions, or blocks all decorated for christmas.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Random comments about the War in Iraq

I answered a comment in another blog, and decided my answer was involved enough that I would include it here. The blog/post in question was TooConservative - This Is What Happens

An anonymous poster tried to hijack the thread to spread anti-war lies. So I answered him. Here are my answers in more of a question-answer format. I've edited them as well.

Isn't it true that there were no Al Qaeda in Iraq until we invaded?

There were al Qaeda in Iraq prior to the spring of 2003. Don't believe everything you read either in left-wing blogs, e-mails from democrat elected leaders, or the newspapers who refuse to actually do their jobs anymore. Before the democrats jumped on the "bush lied us into war" excuse, they had another attack -- that Bush had the information necessary to get Al Qaeda leader Zarqawi while he was in Iraq in 2002, but failed to do so. We ALREADY know that, when Afghanistan fell, Al Qaeda fled to several neighboring countries, including Iran, Pakistan, and Iraq.Further, we know that some Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda "affiliate" groups were already in Iraq, mostly in the north, supported by Iran. Probably in the next month or so, information will be made available which will include records from Saddam's government detailing multiple Al Qaeda/Iraq connections, some going back years. The career people in government are dragging their feet freeing up this information for our consumption, and for obvious reasons the democrats are not pushing their civil service friends to expedite the request.

But the administration cherry-picked the intelligence that the congress saw.

You can't make a case, serious or otherwise, that the administration "cherry-picked" intelligence. First, the White House didn't filter the intelligence presented to congress, that was the CIA/DIA and other agencies. I've learned that the CIA employee that briefed Jay Rockefeller about the 2002 NIE report BEFORE his vote is steamed because he KNOWS he verbally presented the facts, including the dissenting intelligence. And in the Senate, the democrats were in charge, and had subpeona power, so they could have gotten any information they wanted. They didn't ask for it, because they already "knew" there were WMD, and that Saddam was trying to build nuclear capability -- President Clinton convinced them of that fact years ago. The reason there is so little pre-war discussion about WMD is because few people expressed ANY doubts on the subject.

But the congress didn't have the same intelligence as the President.
If you listen to democrats complaining that they didn't have the "same intelligence" that the administration had, you will find out that have two points. First, there is a large amount of intelligence that NOBODY saw outside the agencies. So the congress didn't have it, but neither did the president. The democrats are not "technically" lying because the "administration" includes the intelligence agencies.

The second point is that the president got specific briefings not shared with congress. If you hear them DESCRIBE the briefings though, or read the 9/11 report, you find that these briefings were decidedly MORE alarmist than what they congress got. And because these were the briefings given directly to the president, the more accurate statement would be that the CIA and other agencies "cherry-picked" what they told the President, and that the President, not Congress, was given the more dire and "absolutist" assessments of what was going on.

Remember that while CIA briefers were meeting with congressional committees giving percentages and possibilities, Tenet himself was in the office with Bush telling him the case for WMD was a "slam dunk". Of course, Tenet was a democrat so we don't accuse him of "cherry-picking" or "lying about" the intelligence.

Ambassador Wilson proved the administration was lying, and the went after him and his wife.

Ambassador Joe Wilson lied about his trip in public, lied about his wife's involvement, lied about the VP office sending him, lied about briefing the VP, lied about the conclusions reached based on his trip, and lied about having seen the forged documents. This is all part of the public record, and documented in newspapers and in the intelligence committee reports.

When a person working for the Democrat Presidential candidate tells the world that the Vice President sent him to get information, that he provided it to the VP, and then the VP ignored it -- and when that is completely false -- it is not only expected, but REQUIRED, that the VP correct the record. Explaining who exactly GOT him the job is part of that explanation. If you want to hide a "secret" operative, you take her advice to send her husband on a trip he isn't qualified for -- it raises too many questions.

Wilson came back and verified that Saddam had attempted to by Uranium from Niger in 1999 -- which mirrors the claims Bush made in his State of the Union speech.

Opinion polls show people don't trust the administration.
They also show that a majority of the people still think Saddam was personally involved in 9/11.

The reason the people don't believe Bush now is that the people can't imagine that a political party would deliberately and repeatedly lie to regain power. But the democrats are doing exactly that. Wilson purposely lied to get Kerry elected, but it failed because he was bad at it.

The people also incorrectly assume that, if the democrats were lying, the press would explain it. They don't understand that most of the press reports "quotes" as the news, rather than actually finding the truth. But that is how it works. "Democrats say", "Republicans counter", that's almost all we get any more. When they do try to get more basic, they usually just repeaat mistakes from the past.

Our invasion of Iraq has created a haven for terrorists, and is the source of the terrorist threat.

We didn't create terrorists in 2003. There were plenty around in 2001, although some have forgotten that. There were plenty around in the 70s, in the 80s, and in the 90s as well. What we have created is a place where our military can confront the enemy on the field of battle, so our civilians don't die in horrific attacks.The democrats would rather hide the military away, and let the citizens of our country fend for themselves in the hopes that the terrorists would now "leave us alone".

As I write this, the Senate democrats have proposed and largely voted for an amendment which would impose a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, showing that the goal now is not victory but retreat (fortunately, the senate republicans, with some democrat help, defeated that measure). Not to be outdone, the ranking member of the armed services house committee, Cong. Murtha (D-Pa) delivered a tearful press conference today declaring his surrender to the terrorists, and calling for an immediate removal of our troops from Iraq. When asked why, he said our military simply could NOT defeat the terrorists.

That is the new face of the democrat party. They claim they were tricked into voting for war. They say they didn't have time to read the intelligence presented, didn't understand how intelligence was just probability and not fact. They say they didn't understand what power they were giving the president. They say that if they could do it again, they would not vote the same way. Now they want to pull out and let Iraq fend for itself.

And they believe that, having declared ignorance, ineptitude, and gullibility, they should be rewarded by being given majority status.

The american people have to wake up. The democrats have shown themselves now. Our troops are already writing back about the demoralization they feel from the democrat capitulation in the Senate, and there is no doubt the enemy is encouraged to see half our country's politicians ready to give them the victory if they can only kill a few more marines.

The democrats have to be punished, so they can get out from under the thumb, and get back to the business of participating in the governance of our country.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Funniest claims in the election campaign

In no particular order:
  • Bruce Roemmelt (D), challenger in the 13th district. He has a "plan" to fix transportation. His whole campaign is "if I were your delegate, you'd be home now". I don't think he means he would destroy the economy and get you laid off. Anyway, he has sent me at least 6 different mailers. Each says he has a plan, but it is too big to fit in the flier. So I went ahead and looked up the plan on the web site. It was only 392 words long. That is half a column, and would easily fit on a flier. Guess Roemmelt is an underachiever. If he can't fit 392 words on a flier, how's he going to get thousands more cars moving on the roads? His plan isn't worth 392 words either -- I think that's why he won't actually send it out, he's counting on people to NOT read his plan.
  • Bruce Roemmelt (D). None of his fliers seems to say he is a democrat. However, they are all sponsored by the Democrat Party of Virginia, so I guess we can figure it out.
  • Hilda Barg (D), challenger in the 52nd district: Attacks her opponent for claiming veteran status, because he "only served" for 7 months.
  • HB : Having only debated her opponent one time, her web site referenced two previous "debates" she said she won -- except they were simply events where the two candidates spoke at separate times.
  • HB : Claimed her opponent voted to allow illegal immigrants into colleges, when he in fact voted against them twice.
  • Jeff Frederick (R), Delegate 52nd district: In a flier where he said he was "independent", had a dictionary with the word "independent" circled. Only if you look closely the word circled isn't "independent", it doesn't even start with an "i". Oops.
  • HB: (she's full of them) - At the one debate, we find out why she didn't want to debate, as she seems to say she had no choice but to vote for excessive development because she was told she had to. The reporters feel so bad for her they give her a do-over, where she can explain she meant that the lawyers said they had to honor decades-old zoning.
  • Speaking of do-overs, the reporter still felt bad about HB even with his help, so having published an article about the debate in the Potomac News on page A3, he came back two days later with a front-page article on the same race, with the same issues -- only with answers gleaned from multiple sources, where he could try to make Hilda look like she knew something.
  • Kaine (D), Lt. Governor, candidate for Governor: "I only pretended to break my promise to show how desperate Kilgore is to show that I would break my promise". OK, he didn't quite say that. But that's what it sounded like.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

My Letter to David Frum

David Frum on NRO is hosting a petition to scuttle the Harriet Miers nomination.

Now, I'm not in the "support her" camp yet, as I am waiting the outcome of the hearings. I was the same with Roberts.

But the idea of rejecting a president's nominee before a hearing is ludicrous. And moreso when it is your own party's president.

Here is a copy of the e-mail I sent to David Frum:

This petition is a stupid idea.

Just thought I'd let you know, because apparently you were serious about it. You seemed smart enough to know better, too.

In fact, the worst thing for your cause is if your effort succeeds.

You can't have the nominees you want, some already withdrew, and after seeing what you and others have done to trash THIS nominee, the remaining possible picks will see that the conservative side has just given them cover to do the same to conservative nominees. So they will take their names out.

And if they don't, but they are strong and we are "sure" about their views, Specter will reject them in committee, out of "loyalty" to the President, and he will look good doing it. I can hear his speech about how Bush was forced by far-right extremists to withdraw the name of a fine woman, and send up an ideologue, and he is going to reject the ideologues so that Bush can go back to picking GOOD nominees.

I KNOW you are smart enough to see that.

So, your only chance to get a better nominee is if Bush finds a better nominee willing to go through the process, but who has the same stealth qualities as Miers. Of course, you will just have to trust Bush that the next nominee is a good one.

So, you will reject a nominee because you don't trust the president you helped elect, and then you will have to trust him to do better with the next nominee. And he of course will want nothing more than to please you, now that you have called him an idiot and destroyed his legacy and ruined his last three years in office.

The only way this comes out at all for conservatives is if in fact Bush was totally loyal to the conservative cause, and would do NOTHING to harm it, even out of spite or revenge. But if you thought THAT was true, you would trust his nominee.

So, you are pretty much screwed. It's like you are playing high-card poker, and the dealer just told you he gave you an ace. But you can't trust him, even though he's always come through for you. You see two aces sitting on the table, and you want one of those. But if you put a face-up ace on the table, your opponent will not bet against you, so you will lose the pot.

But, instead of trusting the dealer, you tell him to deal you another card, and make this one an ace.

So, you called the dealer untrustworthy, but then expect him to give you an ace. And he only will do that if he really loves you and forgives you for not trusting him.

And you know the worst thing? There are only 4 aces in the pile. 2 of them are on the table facing up, and will never be useful to you. There are only two left. He gave you one, and you rejected it. If he gives you the other, then on the next hand you CAN'T have an ace, because you threw one away.

Bush can only send up stealth nominees. He doesn't have THAT many he's sure of, and you are willing to throw out one he PROMISES is a good one without even waiting for the evidence.

That has to be the stupidest move I have seen. Twenty years of working for the day we can get a nominee we want to replace a less conservative nominee, and the CONSERVATIVES are going to screw it up. It's like we don't WANT to win, we want to keep whining.

Sure, she might be the wrong pick, but we don't know, and there is NO WAY the next pick will be MORE KNOWABLE.

Grow up, use the brains God Gave You, and Pull the Petition.

We need this to work, for the good of the country, and the court. We put Bush in office, we have to go with him. You don't pull the star quarterback in the superbowl because he had a bad quarter.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Too Many Theme Parks

I've been spending a lot of time in theme parks lately. Last year, we got season passes to Busch Gardens, Williamsburg and the co-located Water Country, USA. I loved both those parks. Busch Gardens is the most charming theme park I have seen, and Water Country is well-constructed and maintained, and has a lot of fun rides.

But anyway, this year was the "off" year for theme parks. Other than an annual pilgrimage to Hershey Park, we didn't have any plans for parks.

Well, not to start. But then we got an offer to spend a weekend in Williamsburg, and they gave us the 3-day memorial weekend in a hotel along with two free Busch Garden tickets. So off we went, and I bought two discounted tickets for the family. Turns out though that Memorial Day weekend is a rather crowded weekend for theme parks, so we ended up finding other things to do.

Then came summer, and we made it through most of summer, and went off to Ohio in August. However, we were looking for something to do in Columbus, and there is this small park called "Wyandot Lake", right next door to the zoo. Turns out it was purchased by Six Flags, so now it is in the Six Flags family even though it is little more than some water slides and a pretty cool but small wooden coaster (they have the best bumper cars though, more like inner tubes on wheels).

Anyway, the kids had screamed about the park the previous year, but the tickets were way more than what the park was worth. However, I checked the web site, and found that for not much more, I could buy a Six Flags season pass to Wyandot, and it would work for all Six Flags parks.

When I tried to buy the internet tickets, turned out I lived too far away, but a nice lady at Wyandot told me I could get the same deal from a local grocery store. And so the saga began, in Mid August.

After spending several days at Wyondot, we came home and immediately shlepped over to Six Flags America for the first time. This is a very large but run-down park, with a good water park. They have a large steel coaster (Superman) and a cool coaster where you actually are hung under the cars held up only by the restraints, like you are flying (BatWing). We ended up attending Six Flags several times over the rest of the summer.

Then, at the end of August, we went back down to Williamsburg to use the tickets we had. However, while checking the web, I found a special deal on Kings Dominion 2006 season passes which included free parking, so I bought them. We took in Kings Dominion the Wednesday after Katrina (it wasn't very crowded) and then went to Busch Gardens on Thursday.

While there, I found it was pretty cheap to upgrade to a 2006 season pass there, which also saved us 10% on our food purchases for the day.

This left me with season passes good for 2005 for three major theme park chains.

We took two more trips to Kings Dominion, and one again to Hershey Park. So we have attended 5 different theme parks, and attended about 15 days or so. The last was today.

Today of course we are in the middle of the remnants of a tropical storm. This made things rather wet, but ensured the park would be sparsely attended. So we got on every ride with almost no waiting, and got to do all the Halloween stuff (except one thing was closed because of the rain). They did close the park early because of the bad weather, which was dissappointing.

Anyway, part of me wanted to drive up to New Jersey to hit that Six Flags park, and I researched other Paramount parks. IN fact I would have scheduled a trip for their "christmas" events at one of the southern parks except that they don't honor season passes.

I remember last year going to Busch Gardens for halloween, the night of I think it was the 2nd Presidential debate. After the 1st I couldn't stand to watch a debate anyway; I had worked hard for my candidate and was tired and needed a break. I ended up in a line with a guy with a bush sticker. Turned out he was military, and I had a wonderful conversation which cheered me up.

I think what I like most about theme parks is the chance you get to meet other people, to chat with them, to talk about stuff you wouldn't talk about.

Last november after the election we went to Tampa, Fla. and spent a dissappointing day at Busch Gardens-Tampa (I wrote of this trip in my first "humor" column).

Theme parks are a great way to get away from stuff. There's been a lot of stuff to get away from lately.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Racism in New Orleans

Bush suggested last week that poverty in New Orleans was related to racism. He may have been literally correct, although if true it is only tangentially so.

However, Poverty is related to racism. But it isn't the racism of those who hate minorities. No, it is the racism of liberals and the liberal media. This is an extension of the "soft bigotry of low expectations", but in this case it is a hard bigotry of perceived helplessness.

The racism of liberals, who believe that black people are particularly unsuited for handling their own affairs or succeeding with their help. Thus the need for program after program aimed at ensuring their "dignity".

Liberal racism gave us the ultimate failure of war -- the war on poverty. Trillions? of dollars and we are no closer to "winning". It is one of the few wars the liberals support, but they don't want to win it either.

Liberal racism oppresses poor black people in New Orleans, and in cities around the country. It traps them in failing schools (while in some cases paying the highest salaries to the employees responsible). It holds vouchers from them, to keep them out of the schools the liberal elites send THEIR children to.

The liberal media oppresses as well, reminding blacks nightly that they can't make it in this world without help from the government. The schools reinforce the message -- if you are black, you aren't expected to acheive, but rather to survive with government handouts.

In New Orleans, liberal racism was seen in the MSM, quick to believe that black people would rape, beat, and murder each other in the Superdome if there weren't enough (white) police to keep them in line.

Liberal Media racism told us that blacks, after a couple of days without food, would eat corpses floating around. That black looters would shoot down rescue helicopters. That they would not help each other, but would instead prey on each other. The media reported story after story with the same line, about the "jungle" that New Orleans had become. The reference was all too apparent, if not stated.

Liberal racism told us that blacks were too stupid to evacuate, too stupid to save themselves, so there would be tens of thousands of dead black people. The Mayor said that he didn't even try to get buses because he assumed the black bus drivers would refuse to help their fellow citizens. He said early evacuation was useless because the blacks couldn't drive (but notice all the flooded cars in the pictures?)

We need to end liberal racism. It is the only way to make real progress in the war on poverty. But instead, the liberals want to spend billions to get the blacks back into their prison, complete with walls built higher and stronger -- New Orleans. They need the blacks to go back to their helplessness, their dependency. They fear the taste of freedom, of independence, of self-sufficiency that those in New Orleans are experiencing through this terrible ordeal.

If what Bush proposes can move us even one step closer to empowering these people, to allowing them to see their potential, to recognize the liberal oppression, to give them control over their own lives, then there will be some measure of good to come out of this tragic and terrible storm.

People Don't Keep Up Their Blogs

When I started this blog, I wanted to not be like so many others who worked for a week or so and then just stopped.

My first attempt failed, crushed under the end-of-summer rush followed by the start-of-school-year rush.

Plus, I have found it's a lot more fun sometimes to just write comments to other people's blogs than it is to put stuff in your own blog.

Anyway, today someone made a comment to an old post of mine, and it woke me up. So here I am.

Lot's has happened since last I was here. Cindy Sheehan is gone now, back home although she still threatens to strike again. Since we last saw her, she has protested the American occupation of New Orleans, and hooked up with the VFW for some long-term Katrina relief that lasted only a short time before they mysteriously packed up and left the volunteers hanging. There may be an investigation related to that. Cindy also has started accepting money for speaking.

There was a huge anti-war rally in DC (well, not really huge by normal standards, but I'm feeling generous). At the rally the WMD sensors picked up biological agents which turned out to be Rabbit Fever or something like that -- When we talk about the great unwashed masses, we don't mean that literally.

Roberts was confirmed after he turned out to be smarter than the entire democrat side of the judiciary combined. Although regardless of his impeccable credentials, 22 democrats (that is 1/2 if you don't count jumping jim jeffords) voted against the man they said was the best nominee they had EVER seen.

But now we have Harriet Miers. A lot of people say she is stupid, although there is no evidence of that, or at least unqualified, although there is little evidence of that. But what is really scary is that Harry Reid, who voted NO on Robers (I guess thinking him unqualified) not only likes Harriet, but actually recommended her. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at his monday staff meeting -- "OK, who put HER name on the list? I did, but it was just a joke, I didn't know he'd actually PICK her!!!"

Indictments are coming in the Plame investigation. Today lots of lefties were salivating over the possibility that Rove would be one of them, I've heard conflicting information but I don't see the point of trying to predict the future when I have no control over it and it doesn't effect me.

Indictments have already hit Tom DeLay. Last week a grand jury handed down a single count of conspiracy before disbanding. Unfortunately for the prosecutor, it was an indictment for a crime that wasn't actually a CRIME until a year after the activity was alleged to have occured.

Undaunted, Earle ran to another Grand Jury, presented his evidence, and, well, they turned him down. Apparently you can indict a ham sandwich, but sometimes your case is so bad you can't. But wait. Earle, realising that the reason TWO CONSECUTIVE GRAND JURIES had looked at the evidence and failed to indict was that they had LOOKED AT THE EVIDENCE.

Well, he had the cure for that-- on monday he called up another grand jury, and before they had even finished orientation he got THEM to indict DeLay again, this time for something that is actually a crime. Of course, he has no evidence that Tom DeLay actually COMMITTED that crime, which is why two Grand Juries refused to indict, but at least for the democrats it keeps DeLay out of his leadership post for a while longer.

There was Katrina and Rita. And the New Orleans Flood, and the News Media having a meltdown, accusing the poor black people in New Orleans of unspeakable crimes that turned out to be false. To liberals, it is apparently perfectly believable that black people would eat corpses, and can be counted on to kill, rape, and plunder their fellow citizens if there isn't a large enough police presence. The result of Katrina was tragic, but the damage to the image of inner-city blacks painted by the news media will take some time to correct (and much longer if the democrats have their way -- the liberals can't stand the thought that their constituents might figure out they can take care of themselves).

If I ran a hospital that was below sea level and protected by a 3-foot wall, I think I'd put my electric generators above the water level, or build a waterproof room for it.

Trent Lott's house got blown away, but we shouldn't feel sorry for him or say anything kind about him. Lest we be accused of being racists.

I'm sure other important things happened while I was out. For example, there was a terrorist attack at the Oklahoma football game last saturday, although the news media is mostly ignoring it. (Google search on Joel Hinrich to learn the slowly evolving details of his suicide bombing and possible ties to islamic terrorists).

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I Can Spell Karl Rove

If I messed up Karl's name once, I messed it up a hundred times. However, I've read his name so many times in the last week that I can't possibly get it wrong again (plus some helpful readers politely corrected me on this and several other points).

I don't have any final comments on Karl and Joe and Valerie (I wonder if I spelled HER name right)? There is an investigation to find out if anybody purposely told anybody Plame (or as Joe Wilson calls her, "Mrs. Joe Wilson") was a covert secret operative with the CIA, except of course for Joe Wilson who confirmed her identity back in 2003. The prosecuter has asked everybody who testified to be quiet, and most have honored the requests. One reporter has what the prosecuter thinks is important information, and she isn't talking.

Joe Wilson, who at one time said he wanted to find out who did this to his wife, supports the reporter who isn't talking, even though she is preventing the prosecuter from finding out who "destroyed her career".

If I ever have my career destroyed, I hope it is in a way that lets me get my picture on the cover of Vanity fair and earns me speaking fees and a big book deal.

The opponents of the administration have given up on finding real excuses to call for people to resign, be fired, or be impeached. So now, even while acknowledging that "so far" nobody has any evidence that anybody did anything wrong, Karl Rove should still be fired. Today Howard Dean said it was because he was from Texas. Howard seems to think that everybody from Texas should be thrown in jail without a trial. (that is a humorous hyperbole, not a serious discussion point, for those who wonder).

Odd thing today on C-Span. No, I'm not talking about Senator Schumer showing up with Joe Wilson. Wilson is back on top, after the disastrous fall last year after the report on pre-war intelligence pretty much show him to be incorrect on almost all factual information regarding his involvement in pre-war intelligence. After that report, Wilson was persona-non-grata, to the point where Presidential Candidate John Kerry, who previously was apparently getting briefings from Wilson, unceremoniously removed the link to Wilson's web site (where at one time Wilson had his wife's information).

No, there were two votes in the Senate on the Homeland Security bill. The first was an amendment from Bill Frist taking away access to secret documents from Senators who reveal information from secret documents on the Senate floor. It lost big, I'm guessing because Senators don't really want to be bothered if they want to out secret information to the public -- and ALL the democrats who are screaming for Rove's head voted against this amendment (I would have voted against it as well).

Then there was an amendment from Harry Reid to make it a crime to "reveal" the name of a covert CIA operative. Since there is already one law for this, I presume this meant to do more. It lost. If it passed, I imagine that if Wilson had been on the phone and said "I'll have to call you back, I've got to drop my Wife off at Langley", he could reasonably be thrown in jail. But I'm still against the measure.

Senator Schumer voted for it (at least so far as I could tell listening to the vote). Anyway, back in 1982, when they were passing the old law against revealing covert operatives, Schumer voted against it. Maybe he is coming around.

Seriously, if Joe Wilson was seriously concerned with people learning about his wife's employment, there are several things he would have done differently. First, he wouldn't have given too much money to Al Gore in 1999, and then made her sign on for half the contribution to fix it, giving her a very public paper trail both to him and to her fake CIA front group (which, since it was known as a front group even before the newspapers put it on page one already kind of revealed she must work for the CIA, and might have reason to hide her identity).

Second, he wouldn't take a public task like going to Niger FOR THE CIA, when the only real reason he would have been asked was if his wife who worked on the issues suggested his name. That's begging for some enterprising journalist to spend 5 minutes digging and find out her CIA employment. Of course, he may have been counting on the press covering up for him -- which may explain why one reporter is in jail instead of talking, and Joe Wilson is backing her silence.

Third, having taken two chances at revealing her, he wouldn't have then publicly lied about what he learned, and how he got involved, simply to smear the administration and weaken our country during a time of war, even if he strongly disagreed with the war. Doing so made his trip extremely public, and brought a lot more attention on himself. Although maybe he figured that since his Wife was a secret operative, nobody could find out her role and question him about it (or maybe he figured someone would certainly find out, and he could scream about it and get a big book deal and hurt the administration).

Fourth, when one reporter used an ambiguous reference to his wife as an "operative", which could mean anything, he shouldn't have publicly announced that she WAS a secret agent for the CIA. The first rule of keeping secrets is that you don't provide proof for them when they leak out, instead you provide plausible deniability ("My wife, and operative? She'll get a kick out of that while watching Survivor with the kids tonight"). If the CIA had any chance of spinning the leak to nullify it, Wilson destroyed that chance with his public revelations.

So frankly I don't buy Wilson's protestations about the harm to his wife. The only thing that harmed the family was when most of what Wilson said was shown to be wrong. Plame didn't lose her job, which didn't require secrecy. He made good money on a book deal, and was almost in line for a high-level position in the Kerry administration.

Plus he gets to tell everybody how his wife is a secret agent, and get his picture on the cover of magazines.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Democrats Whine, Media Dines (Rove Shines)

I wanted to comment on this ridiculous Democrat whining about Carl Rove’s political speech in which he gave an interesting and largely accurate portrayal of the difference between post-9/11 conservatives and liberals.

First, it is clear that he was making a generalization. By lumping all conservatives and all liberals together into groups, he was using a literary device, one that sane people recognize. He didn’t mean ALL conservatives or ALL liberals. So if he were to clarify by saying that it was clear he meant “some liberals”, not “all liberals”, he would only be stating the obvious.

The Democrats are all over the news begging Rove to apologize to them, or for the President to fire him, for stating the obvious.

The only reason the Democrats get away with this at all is that the Media has decided to back one side. Also, they won’t make independent critical comments of hypocrisy, preferring instead to wait for an opponent to react, and then to cover the fistfight.

An unbiased media would be laughing at Senator Reid, who called the president both a loser and a liar, AND said that the Republicans in the Senate wanted to institute one-party rule and a theocracy, now claiming foul. And they wouldn’t report Hillary Clinton complaining about Rove in New York without pointing out her words at the Minnesota fundraiser when she said that for America to survive it was imperative that the republicans be stopped. And we could go on, but the media should be doing this.

Carl Rove, a POLITICAL OPERATIVE (not a white house appointee, or a confirmed member of the staff), goes to a POLITICAL GATHERING, and makes a POLITICAL POINT where he gives HIS opinion of the difference between the conservative and liberal agenda.

And the Elected Democrats, who couldn’t seem to find their voices to raise a peep against comments Senator Durbin made, comments SO BAD that HE HIMSELF eventually apologized, have now found their voice to defend not the country, not the military, but rather themselves.

The same party leadership who claim that the republicans want to kill your children, poison your water, send all your jobs overseas, take all your money and give it to rich people, steal your grandparent’s social security and give it to Ken Lay, and turn our democracy into either a Taliban-like repressive theocratic regime, OR a one-party dictatorship — they are complaining that Rove said that liberals (not ALL liberals, meaning SOME liberals) didn’t like the idea of war, and would rather have fought terrorists like criminals.

Anybody remember any democrats saying that James Carville our Paul Begala should be fired for all the things they said about republicans? Don’t think so.

But it is fair for the Democrats to act this way — Rove is political, and they are political. The MEDIA is supposed to see through this and report the truth to the American people, and it would rather cheer the democrats, because the media want the democrats to win.

Billy Graham's Last Crusade

I was informed by a blog by Old Zach over at Sic Semper Tyrannis that Billy Graham is scheduled to perform his last crusade tonight in New York City. This prompted me to write a response which I repeat and expand upon here.

As you may know, AOL/Discovery Channel has been running a poll for “The Greatest American”. Billy Graham made the top 25 (They have a biography here). I used my votes in the poll for the Reverend, not because I think he was the absolutely greatest American ever, but because I felt he deserved to be considered in the top 5.

I remember going to a crusade as a young child. As you probably know, each crusade includes an “altar call”. I don't remember if I went forward, although I likely did, as did many others of faith in support of this man, his message, and those who were brought to the same faith through his sound preaching and obvious love for others.

My memory fails me, but I believe my family was involved in this crusade. My parents have always been religious, and my father would have likely been involved with a local crusade. I can picture the stage with the performers, and can hear the Reverend’s voice echoing around the stadium. Of course, having watched many other crusades on TV I am probably imposing those on my memory.

In some ways I am glad he served when he did, and not 20 years later. I get chills of dread even contemplating what liberals would make of him and his preaching today.

No doubt left-wing organizations would be fighting to keep him from preaching in stadiums paid for by public funds (as they have in at least on case with a PromiseKeepers rally. (story here, FreeRepublic discussion here.) The ACLU would have a field day.

No doubt that a wide cross-section of the liberal population would call him divisive, would decry his absolutist message of a single way to heaven, would denounce his lack of tolerance toward other faiths and people of no faith (this despite his overwhelming tolerance and love toward all).

I can hear Senate Democrats making speeches complaining of his close ties with a Republican president. I can see and the others trying to dig up sins from his past to flog him with.

It seems he is only spared because he is such an Icon now that those opposed to his message (or simply opposed to any public proselytizing) feel it would be to hard to challenge him. I see the attacks on others as a sign they don’t want to make the same mistake.

I see what those who cannot tolerate religion do to the men of the cloth today. And I am glad that the Reverend Billy Graham was spared much of the evil of our modern times. Although, I am also sad because he will not be heard any longer.

Durbin's "Apology"

After I submitted my Wednesday article, "Durbin Comments Tailor-made for Censure", the news flashed that Durbin had apologized.

I read his apology, and found it lacking. At best, it was the kind of "non-apology" apology, where he blamed those who found his words unacceptable. It is the kind of thing you teach your children. When you apologize, you don't say "I'm sorry IF you were hurt", you say "I'm sorry that I hurt YOU".

Durbin said that he apologized to those who THOUGHT his words went over the line, and he apologized to anybody who was hurt by his comparisons.

But it is true that he did "apologize" in a fashion. And that is probably all we can expect from a member of the Senate. And that fact that he did realize his words merited an apology just makes the silence of the rest of his party that much worse.

After all, last Thursday, after Senator Warner explained to Senator Durbin why his words were wrong (a message which took way too long to get through to the Senator), Senator Reid made a speech in response where he supported Durbin and claimed that the entire flap was simply a campaign from the right wing. Now that Durbin himself acknowledges that his words were wrong, what excuse can Senator Reid offer for why he couldn't see that last Thursday?
And realize that no other democrat in the Senate or the House said a single word opposing Durbin's comments about America treating its prisoners like Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot.

You might think that they have a rule about letting each person stand and answer for their own comments. That would be a stupid rule, but it seemed to be their modus operandi last week.
Well, contrast that with their reaction this week to something Carl Rove said. Now, Carl Rove is not an elected representative. He is not the 2nd-in-command in the Senate. He is a POLITICAL ADVISOR, which means his job is to make political comments, which can from time to time be harsh.

Carl Rove gave a speech where he offered his opinion as to why liberalism was failing and conservatism was winning. In that speech, he contrasted the conservative response to 9/11, which was to forcefully go after the terrorists, with the liberal response, which was to try to understand the terrorists and have dialogs to solve the problems non-violently.

Well, dozens of elected democrats, who had all lost their moral compass last week, along with their voices, suddenly found them again. They called for Rove to apologize and/or resign. Now I note that Senator Durbin still has his leadership position, even though he admits his words were wrong. But in Rove's case, not only was he voicing his opinion as a political operative and citizen, but his opinion was correct. Even NOW, the argument about Guantanamo is that we should treat the detainees NOT like prisoners of a war, but like arrested suspects who deserve a fair trial. That is what Rove was saying.

But, and this is where it gets even more hypocritical, many elected democrats, some of whom defended Durbin, none of whom said anything against him, say that it isn't enough that Rove apologize, but that other people should also repudiate his comments. Senator Clinton asked army generals to take a political position on this, something they quite rightfully would not do (and she should be ashamed for asking non-political military leaders to choose sides against their president). Senator Schumer wants President Bush to apologize for Rove's comments, which were not different from what Bush said in the debates last year. And lest we forget, Senator Kerry not only agreed with that assessment, he argued that the Democrat's position of taking a more reasoned approach was the RIGHT approach.

Two things we can learn from this. First, the democrats KNOW they can't support their position on terror, which is why they hate that Carl Rove explained it so well. BTW, if you think I am wrong about the opinion being correct, the Republican National Committee has on its web site supporting documentation for Rove's claims. For example, a petition MoveOn.Org (certainly a liberal group associated with the Democrat Party) which called, just DAYS AFTER 9/11 and BEFORE THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, for a peaceful, non-violent "resolution" to the problems which had arisen because of the attacks against our country.

And second and more importantly for those rational people trying to decide what happened to the democrats and whether they should still support them, the democrats this week showed what was most important to them. Senator Durbin attacked AMERICA, and not one democrat spoke out. Rove made a true comment which indicted liberals, and the democrat party rose in unison to call for his head. The Democrat party proves it cares more about itself and its own power than it does our military, our civilians supporting the war on terror, and the country itself.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

I have a plan for my blogs.

Here's a post nobody will care about, but i'll try to make it interesting anyway.

As I said a few days ago, I had a blog over on MSN. They don't give you a lot of control over what your blogs look like, and I didn't really like their setup, but on the other hand it is free (at least if you are an MSN subscriber) and I don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Anyway, I also write a column once a week for the Potomac News. I consider it a hobby, although since I get paid it is fun to say that I am now a "professional opinion columnist". Allowing my focus to wander, I remember that my son, having to do a report about what one of his parents does for a living, chose to write about my writing, rather than the career I have worked at for the last 24 years, and which actually pays the bills.

Frankly, I find it easier to describe my life as a writer than explain what my real job is, so this works out great for me. I will be ever greatful to a friend of mine, someone from my church who thought I should try to get the job, and talking me up with the editor.

Writing is a mixed blessing, because having a weekly column means that every week I have to write something. And it can't be just anything, like this blog is, it has to be something that I could reasonable expect that at least a few people who read the paper would find interesting enough to spend their time looking over. Also, being a local paper, I feel beholden to write about local issues at least some of the time, even though my focus has for some time been more on national politics. Then there is the problem of having to have the facts straight.

However, to counter the negatives of being stressed out each week writing factual columns that people will read (and that are under 1000 words long) is the rush you get from being a "published opinion columnist". Even though so far as I can tell my "qualifications" for the job are that I can write in complete sentences, and I live in the area. :->

Bringing this post back on topic, having two blogs seems a waste if they say the same things. And the other blog, on MSN, has been where I've been posting links to my column. So my idea, and I have to clear it with the paper first, is to use THAT blog to actually allow web comments on my columns. So rather than have a link list with my columns, I'd put the links in a short BLOG, allowing readers to put comments on the blog.

I never said this was an original idea, since there are probably hundreds of blogs of this type. But this solves some problems for me. Fore example, it bugs me when people write letters to the editor about my columns, because I can't answer them. With this new blog site, and with the blessing of the editor, I would "anonymously" post letters addressed to my column as COMMENTS, and comment on them.

Now, this sounds like a lot of work, and I might never get past writing this blog to discuss it. Or maybe this is just a bad idea, and the paper will discourage me. Also, I find that the "comments" method of having a back-and-forth on a topic isn't the best way to go.

But the only other ideas I've had so far is to turn the other blog into a poetry site. Which might sound meritorious to those who have not read my poetry.

Where is Natalie Holloway (Why do we care?)

Do we live in a great country, or what? We have over 280 million people, all with their own lives to lead, problems to address, victories and defeats, struggles of adversity, sorrow, and shear madness.

And yet, if one of our beloved citizens goes missing, we still take the time to provide wall-to-wall coverage of the desparate search (at least if it is a good-looking white female).

You would think that everybody in our country is accounted for except Natalie. How else do you explain the obsession with her dissappearance, and the networks tripping over each other trying to report whatever unsubstantiated rumor passes for news.

Fox News has been pitiful in all this. In the course of the last two days, they've gone from "she's missing" to "she's been murdered", to "Suspects to lead us to her body", to "Suspects confess to murder". Then they backed off to "Suspects confess to something BAD". Tonight they are back to "Search for Holloway continues". I guess when you know absolutely nothing, and there is almost nothing NEW to report, the best way to be "fair and BALANCED" is to present all possible outcomes as if they have happened. "We make it up, you decide which one you like the best".

But frankly, getting the story wrong isn't really as big a deal in this case as HAVING THE STORY AT ALL. I relate a sad story from my own county, Prince William, Va., starting from last September.

A woman with some personality disorders walked a mile from her home to a local store. On her way back home, she decided to cut through the woods. This happened last september. But the woods were terribly overgrown, and she got lost. She had a cell phone, and called a relative to say she was lost, and tried to describe where she was.

Now, I don't remember hearing this story last september. I know the place this happened, as I used to live within a mile of the store. And I am pretty good at hacking my way through impassable underbrush. And I like to help people.

Anyway, there was some attempt apparently to find her, but they gave up. I think because of her mental problems, maybe it was assumed she had just wandered off. Anyway, in March the police ran a dog search training exercise, and decided to take a shot at finding her again. They did find her body, about 100 yards from several houses. They needed a bulldozer to clear the brush to get to her body. The closest homeowner said they had never heard of her missing, and would have been glad to search.

I've got to think that stories like this happen all the time, all around the country. I be right now there is someone missing in every county in america. And to the degree that all of us are wasting our time watching the news for the latest on a missing girl in Aruba, we aren't being informed of people who might have gotten lost in our own neighborhoods and communities, even though THESE are the stories for which we might actually be helpful.

I am convinced that if I had known of my fellow citizen last september, I could have found her, or at least tried. And I'm convinved many people would do the same in their own towns, just as I'm pretty sure none of us are going to get on a plane to fly to Aruba to look for Natalie, or were inclined to drive to Georgia to find Jennifer Wilbanks (the runaway bride).

I made a reference to a white woman up above, but that really isn't the point. Bill O'Reilly once pointed out that he had the story of two minority girls who were missing, and frankly having THREE national stories of missing children isn't any better than one.

We are connected, in fact WAY TOO CONNECTED, to the world we live in. We get worked up over events that are happening far away from us. These are not trivial events, and we should get worked up, but since something (many things) are happening every day that are bad, the fact that we are now able to be inundated by news from around the world, and that the news invariably reports all the horror stories from around the world, means that we are confronted like never before with pain and suffering.

And the News Media plays on our natural empathy with those who are suffering, with background interviews and coverage designed to get us emotionally involved in stories, so we will hang on through the commercials.

I think this barrage of bad news takes an emotional toll on us. I think it breeds a sense of hopelessness which is unwarranted. Of course there is nothing any of us can do about the girl in Aruba, or Amy Lynn Bradley (IF you don't know who this is, you unfortunately might know by tomorrow). But we CAN do something about people missing in our own back yards, if we are TOLD about them.

And Pryor Makes Three

With the successful confirmation of William Pryor, along with David McKeague and Richard Griffin, brings to FIVE the number of judges who were previously blocked who have been confirmed since the infamous “Gang of 14” made their blood-pact to avoid the “nuclear option”.

Pryor was the last of three guaranteed votes. McKeague and Griffin were not in the written deal, and are the first judges to be confirmed under the new “spirit of cooperation” which supposedly accompanied the deal.

The democrats, who when the deal was first announced, considered themselves victorious, are now having second thoughts. Three of the judges they labeled as the most extreme of the nominations are now sitting on the bench. They have promised that the feud over judges that started with Bush I and extended through Clinton to Bush II is now over – so they shouldn’t go back and complain any more about how unfair it was for their nominees when the Republicans had a majority and acted like a majority. Of course the democrats ARE still talking about it.

In exchange, they got a postponement of the nuclear option, allowing them to keep the judicial filibuster so long as they don’t use it. At least two Republicans who were part of the deal have explained that, with the filibuster not used on these three judges, it sets the bar for what is “extraordinary”. Since the Democrats called two of these three (Brown and Pryor) the most extreme justices to ever appear before the Senate, it is hard to imagine there will be another justice nominate who would be MORE extreme. Further, since Brown (by the deal) didn’t meet the standard of “extraordinary circumstance”, should Bush later nominate her for the Supreme Court it will be hard for the Democrats to filibuster. The Republicans in the deal have promised that, if THEY don’t think a judge is “extraordinarily bad”, and the democrats filibuster, they will consider the deal broken and vote for the ‘nuclear option’.

So the Democrats are wondering what they got. The conservatives are still peeved, because they see the filibuster as a sword of Damocles hanging over the inevitable conservative Supreme Court nominee, and believe that they won’t get enough Republicans to break a filibuster then, so we needed to break it now. They may be right, although it isn’t clear that the Republicans had enough votes to break it now.

The Minnesota Star-Tribune has adopted a Democrat talking point (no surprise here), announcing Pryor’s appointment thusly:

The Senate voted 53 to 45 to confirm Pryor for a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

The Democrats have taken to reminding people again and again that a judge gets a “lifetime appointment”. I did some study of the turnover rate of judges, compared to Senators, and while the information available to me was too sketchy to be certain, it appears that the percentage of judges that retires each year compares with that of the Senators. In other words, in many states Senators serve longer than judges.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Two Down, Many To Go

It’s been a couple of weeks now since the fateful "Compromise" on Judges. So far, So good.

A month ago the democrats had a solid vote for filibuster on every appeals court nominee they felt like blocking. A month ago Priscilla Owens and Janice Rogers Brown were considered by democrats the most extreme judicial nominees ever to be presented to the Senate for confirmation.

These two judges were part of a triumvirate of evil, a threat to democracy and our very way of life. They were like the Sith to the Democrat judicial "Jedi Knights", wielding the force of the unelected judiciary but for evil rather than good.
What a difference a month makes. A month ago Senator Bill Frist said enough is enough, and threatened to put an end to the filibuster. Since that time some Senate Democrats have had a change of heart.

The filibuster on Owens fell with a MAJORITY of democrats voting to end debate. She is now an Appeals Court Justice, only 4 years too late. The filibuster on Brown fell yesterday, by a smaller margin, but with enough democrats that even without the deal, if the democrat leadership had released the senators to vote their conscience, the filibuster would have been ended. Today she was confirmed, and soon she too will be a sitting Appeals Court Justice.

And the filibuster on Justice William Pryor ended today as well, with 12 democrats joining the republicans to denounce the delaying tactics of the leadership. He was also considered a far-right extremist who would inject his personal opinions into court cases. Justice Pryor has been serving in his nominated position since last year, having been "recess-appointed" by President Bush. Now he is a day away from being confirmed to that position. His outstanding work in the past year on the bench may have had something to do with the Democrat collapse on his nomination. While some argued that he was just biding his time, ruling cautiously to deceive the senate into approving him, most senators must see that calling a sitting judge a liar and deciever, a trickster and a con man, is not good for our government.

Several more justices are also slated to be voted in this week, after long delays and holds for no reason other than the personal revenge of a Senator from Michigan over the rejection of a relative to a seat on the bench. Good to know that when the Democrats decided to act for the good of the country instead of their own party extremists, they also decided that personal grudges should be left behind.
I have no illusion that this is a lasting peace. The owners of the democrat party hold the purse strings, and they are not at all happy with this turn of events. Last month they had a stranglehold on the judiciary, a veto over who could be a judge. Now three of their most hated adversaries have won, the american people have won, and the liberal interest groups don't like it one bit.

Look for a fight over the nomination of Justice Myers. President Bush is not playing politics, he wants good nominees to receive a vote, and he won't easily be convinced to withdraw. And Senator Frist is tired of being the whipping boy for a recalcitrant and petty minority led by a loose cannon, Senator Reid. Myers was not promised a vote in the "deal", but at least two republicans in the deal say that Myers is NOT an "extraordinary case", and filibustering him would break the agreement. Their votes would provide the margin for victory over the filibuster.

That is, assuming no other republicans broke ranks. They have no reason to now. It is clear that the Democrats were not completely in agreement on the filibuster, and some only participated under severe threat. They don't want to lose the filibuster, so they will compromise whenever they see it threatened. The "constitutional option" card should be good for a vote on Myers, and maybe even Saad (who may get voted down if he gets a vote).

Then there is Bolton, not a judicial nominee, but filibustered before the memorial day recess. "King of the Dealmakers" John McCain stepped up to solve the "Bolton Problem", but even his powers of kissing up to the opposition were not enough to obtain assurances of a vote on this nominee. And now the democrats, who SAY they are voting against Bolton simply because they THINK he might not be able to be effective, NOW ARE ARGUING that, because they are going to vote against him, it will weaken him and make him less effective. Talk about your self-fufulling prophesy. I say to them now what I said several weeks ago -- Just Vote For Bolton, and he WILL have the credibility WE NEED for the good of the country.

Not that I expect the Democrats to do what is good for the country. The People of the country, democrats and republicans, mostly want what is best. But the democrats have been hijacked by a far-left cabal, led by the likes of Soros and Howard Dean.
But that is negative thinking. For now, let me just bask in the joy of having a few good nominees sitting where they SHOULD have been sitting for years, on the benches of the court system.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A New Blog Spot!

This is my second blog spot in the wonderful world of the internet. I have been operating a blog under the msn network, at CriticallyThinking.

But I don't really like msn, or their blogs. I notice that a lot of blogs I like are using, so I decided I'd try it out. I don't expect to maintain two blogs, since I don't post enough for one.

However, I probably will maintain two blogs, because not only do I expect the unexpected, I am too lazy to take any actions which would be necessary to consolidate my blogs.

It won't hurt me to move here in any case, since I had hardly built up a following in my previous blog.

Of course, all the comments I have made throughout the web reference that site -- so if anybody ever gets interested in what I am saying that's where they are going.

This has got to be one of the more self-reflective blogs around. I wonder why people think others are interested in what they have to say, and I especially wonder why I think people want to see my own process ramblings.

But maybe someone will find some humor in a blogger who writes a novel about his indecision over which blog site to use.