Thursday, October 28, 2004


A Compelling Blog

My wife was websurfing and came across this blog, a daily diary by the parents of a baby who was born 15 weeks too soon. He weighed 14 ounces at birth.

It's called the Motoki Log. It’s compelling stuff. Check it out.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


The Folly of Hero Worship

My old literary hero, Kurt Vonnegut, continues to rant and rave and break my heart in the process:

The overwhelming popularity of President Bush, in spite of everything, finally shows us what the American people, whom we have so sentimentalized for so long, a la Norman Rockwell, really are, thanks to TV and purposely lousy public schools: ignorant. Count on it!


The Sage Advice of Michael Moore

Michael Moore wants to keep his fans unproductive and stupid:

Seen as the leader of Bush-haters everywhere, Moore's mantra these days is aptly reflected in his latest slogan "Sleep till noon, drink beer, vote Kerry".

Moore is not running for office, but his taking part in what he has termed as the "Slacker Uprising Tour" to motivate couch potatoes like him, the apolitical apathetic and simply lethargic to rouse themselves and vote for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry early next month.

How can it be that anyone takes this idiot seriously?

Monday, October 25, 2004


News Surfing

Items you may or may not care about:

n Ed Bark at the Dallas Morning News has a list of the ten most important political commentators on TV. Tim Russert is number 2 on the list. Who’s more important, according to Mr. Bark, than Tim? Read the list and see if you agree.

n George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, is just the latest campus to cancel a speaking engagement by filmmaker, deceiver, crybaby, and professional asshole Michael Moore. GMU stated that they didn’t think it would have been appropriate to pay Moore’s $30,000 fee out of public funds. Moore told CNN he’d have spoken at GMU for free… but he never told GMU that.

n Mike Argento at the York Daily Record spotted a Bush campaign sign right beside a Kerry sign in the same yard and couldn’t resist asking the family about their conflicting views.

n I wrote a few days ago about the Roanoke Times editorial endorsing Kerry. I disagreed with it, and so does Virginia Tech professor Chris Hall.

n Last week, the rock band Jimmy Eat World released a staggeringly good new album called Futures. Wendy and I both loved their last album… Wendy bought the new one, and after a couple of listens, we agree that the new album is amazing. Imagine my disappointment when I read that the lyrics are intended as an anti-Bush tirade. Rock stars… what the hell can you do with ‘em?

n Speaking of rock and roll… I’m a diehard Metallica fan, as you may already know. If I weren’t a Christian, my religion would be Metallica Fan. Linda Laben at the Boston Herald reviewed Metallica’s show in Boston last night and managed to read political meaning into the Sergio Leone film clip the band used to open the show. Laben implies that the clip had an anti-war message… but she’s probably seeing what she chooses to see. Metallica may be one of the most conservative/libertarian rock bands out there (check out the lyrics to “Don’t Tread On Me,” “Eye of the Beyolder,” and my choice for the Bush campaign song, “Better Than You.”) Besides, Metallica’s lead singer, James Hetfield, reportedly despises liberals.

n And, briefly, thanks a lot to those of you who posted comments and/or sent e-mails congratulating me on our marriage. It's been nice to hear from well-wishers.

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Saturday, October 23, 2004


An Acceptable Level of Ecstasy

After three years of flagrant, shameless and unlawful cohabitation, Wendy and I made it legal today. We were married in a small, informal ceremony at a local state park. We’d wanted an outdoor autumn wedding for the foliage… and although Mother Nature helped us out with the colors, we also had heavy cloud cover and an off-and-on rain mist… so it wasn’t sunny, but it was still an all-around lovely day.

Our immediate families, parents and siblings and assorted children, plus a couple of good friends were in attendance. The picture above shows both families: us with our kids, our parents, her brother, my sister and her family, and our preacher. After the wedding, we had a small picnic/reception, where the kids got to change into play clothes and run around for a while. We had the usual picnic fair; hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, etc. It was brisk out, but not cold. A perfect autumn day, in spite of the sun’s refusal to shine.

So, no political rants today. I’m too happy. I’ve been blessed in many ways, and I know it, and I’m grateful.

Friday, October 22, 2004


Gay, Gay, and Gay

Gay means two different things in this country.

Well, three things. Webster still offers the antiquated definition of gay as “happy, excited, merry, keenly alive and exuberant.” When’s the last time you heard anyone use the word gay in that context? Just try it, I dare you. Walk up to a couple of Red Sox fans and say “I bet Boston is just FULL of gay people!” Or, not.

Then, there’s the other definition of gay. Webster has that one, too: “Homosexual; of, relating to, or used by homosexuals.” We’re all familiar with that definition of the word gay, and it’s probably the most commonplace context for the word these days.

But then, there’s a third definition of gay While it’s not one I found in Webster’s, it’s probably the definition that media elites, academofascists, and political activists mean when they use the word. For them, gay means “a homosexual who clings to the ascribed liberal doctrine of perpetually perceived victimization and government dependence.”

Yesterday, my local paper and sworn enemy, The Roanoke Times, published a commentary about Mary Cheney by a writer named Dirk Moore. It supports my belief about the changing definition of the word gay.

Point and counterpoint:

(The Cheneys) have some questions to answer. How can they back a president whose policies are a grave assault on their own daughter?

Believing that marriage is, and has always been, a union between a man and a woman for the purpose of starting a family, is, of course, not an assault on gays. Just for the hell of it, I’ll refer to Webster again. According to the dictionary, marriage is “the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.”

Pretty cut and dry, if you ask me.

What gays want (and by “gays,” I mean that third definition, homosexuals who asribe to the liberal doctrine of perpetual oppression) is for reality to change. They want the world to pretend that marriage can possibly become something other than what it is and has always been. By insisting that marriage is exclusively a heterosexual affair, conservatives aren’t trying to make it an exclusive arrangement. They’re simply stating the obvious and asking gays to recognize reality. Marriage is the wedded union of a man and a woman. Don’t want a relationship with someone of the opposite sex? Fine, have it your way. Just accept the fact that you don’t want marriage, either. And don’t expect the rest of the world to pretend that simple truth isn’t simple truth. Nobody is going to force you to live a heterosexual life. Just don’t you try to force the rest of the world to pretend that homosexuality is something that it isn’t.

Mr. Moore’s charge that the Bush administration's support of a Federal Marriage amendment is a “grave assault” against homosexuals is indicative of the liberal doctrine of perpetual victimization: “If you disagree with me, you are oppressing me.”

Moore continues:

To most openly gay citizens, Mary Cheney's behavior is an insult and perhaps the real outrage of this debate.

That’s exactly my point. If you want to see real exclusionary elitism in practice, don’t look to the Bush administration. Look to liberal elitists. Because Mary Cheney doesn’t fall in line with people who are gay by that third, political definition, her behavior is an insult and an outrage to them. Remember, if you disagree with us, you are our oppressor.

Unlike millions of homosexuals in this country, she enjoys a life of privilege. And unlike other ordinary gay Americans, she has the opportunity - and the protection - to live openly with her sexuality and to address gay issues.

I don’t need to point out how silly this is... but I will. This is a country with all-gay television networks, hit TV shows like Queer as Folk and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and homosexuality celebrated as a socio-political fashion statement. If you’re gay (by any definition) and you’re American, you’re life is every bit as privileged as Mary Cheney’s.

It may be that Mr. Moore begrudges Mary Cheney’s political and personal success in life, another typical liberal attitude. Liberals hate to see someone succeed on their own terms. It proves that personal accountability trumps government dependence very time. But that’s a topic for another post.

Moore concludes:

Mary Cheney might find it unfortunate that she was singled out by Kerry for this public discussion, but millions of other gay Americans would gladly endure that kind of uncomfortable exposure for the unique opportunity she has neglected: to make a real, positive difference in the lives of their homosexual brothers and sisters.

And with that, Moore makes my point more clearly than I might have myself. Socio-political gays, the ones who see liberalism as a requirement for homosexuality, are outraged by Mary Cheney because she is her own person. She makes her own decisions and has a unique perspective, rather than the cookie-cutter perspective that they share. By succeeding on her own terms, she is, to their way of thinking, failing them. After all, they feel, she owes it to all liberal homosexuals to represent their agenda. Surely they can’t be expected to be accountable for making a positive difference in their own lives!

I don’t know much about Mary Cheney other than that she’s a lesbian, she’s successful, and Kerry/Edwards sees her as a card to be played during this campaign. From what I can tell, she seems to be a person of substance, with more than one facet to her personality. Mary Cheney doesn’t seem to wear her sexuality on her sleeve. Others, like Dirk Moore, have decided to wear it for her. If you ask me, that's really gay.


Help! Communism Has Fallen and it Can't Get Up!

On one hand, my momma didn't raise me to make fun of my elders when age catches up with them.

On the other hand, it's dictator, communist, and mass murder, Fidel Castro. Screw him. I hope he never walks again.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Great Cartoon

I found this among the cartoons at Conservative Punk. I think it's funniest if you really try to imagine Kerry's speaking voice while reading it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


My War with The Roanoke Times Continues

My local paper, the Roanoke Times, finally quit beating around the bush (no pun intended, I swear to God) and endorsed Kerry. I can’t resist a line-item response:

The Times wants it’s readers to vote for Kerry so that we might “…return to a United States that follows its own people's narrative of its history: a country made stronger by steadily expanding individual liberties to the oppressed. A country whose leaders submit to the rule of law and make war as a last resort only, never as a reckless gamble. A country of vast power that other free nations envy, perhaps, but do not fear.”

Alright, one at a time:

n ...return to a United States that follows its own people's narrative of its history: a country made stronger by steadily expanding individual liberties to the oppressed.

Of course, that IS what we’ve done for two nations full of first-time voters in the Middle East.

n A country whose leaders submit to the rule of law and make war as a last resort only, never as a reckless gamble.

By “submit to the rule of law,” the Times clearly means “submit to the UN.” And anyone who paid any attention to the way the world appeased Saddam during the Clinton administration knows that we did resort to war as a last resort. War, by the way, is always a gamble. And recklessness in war is at best a subjective concept with regard to the Roanoke Times.

n A country of vast power that other free nations envy, perhaps, but do not fear.

God, this pisses me off. Look, I WANT rogue nations and terrorist groups to fear us. I’m not interested in the US’s former reputation, if it ever really existed, as the great benevolent rich uncle nation. I want the US to be seen as a powerful military force with a keen eye for threats and no interest in negotiating with madmen.

n The Times continues:

(The US supported Bush) when he rightly ordered the invasion of Afghanistan, refuge of the masterminds of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Then Bush squandered his nation's unity and the world's good will.

If there’s a word I am sick of hearing this year, it’s “squandered.” For the five millionth and final time, genuine good will CAN NOT BE SQUANDERED. Genuine good will is not a quid-pro-quo investment made with the expectation that it buys an approved foreign policy. France, Germany, and Russia DID NOT extend genuine good will to the United States as a result of 9/11. Their concern amounted to nothing more than geo-political rubbernecking. Their sentiment amounted to an appraisal of the US as no more capable or prepared to deal with terrorists and rogue nations than they are. They were wrong, and that has made them angry.

n Soon after 9/11, the president told Americans eager to sacrifice for their country that they should go shopping. And he spent his political capital on the wealthy, for huge tax cuts.

Hey! Wow! Turns out, I’m wealthy! YAY! Thank you, President Bush, for the child credit and tax breaks you gave to wealthy blue-collar laborers like me.

I'd write more about that, but a wealthy dude like me just doesn't have the time. After my eight hour shift at the paper mill tonight, Wendy and I are going to a little get-together at the Gates' where we'll drink latte and practice Kabbalah. Or whatever the hell it is that we rich people do these days. Wheeeeeeeee!

Don’t these academic, elitist, psedudo-populist liberals realize that we here amongst the rabble see through that "tax cuts for the rich" bullsh!#?

n John Kerry, unfortunately, has no more credible solution than Bush to the morass in Iraq.

Vote for John Kerry! He has no more credible solution to Iraq than the President!

n But Kerry did not make the mess, and can be expected not to launch easily into another.

Dear God, this is absolutely sublime. For whatever it’s worth, I agree. Kerry didn’t make the mess. Bill Clinton made the mess, through neglect, appeasement, and pussy-footed foreign policy. I also agree that Kerry can be expected not to launch us into much of anything. If at all possible, he’ll do what Clinton did: nothing. Meanwhile, our enemies will capitalize on his indifference and hope for another 9/11-style payoff.

n And his commitment to principles of freedom and justice will draw to his administration a strong corps of advisers schooled in real-world geopolitics.

And we all know that advisers schooled in real-world geopolitics are capable of passing “global tests” with flying colors. I mean, for God’s sake, George W. Bush doesn’t even speak French! Can you imagine?

I’m not a physically violent man. Honestly, I’m not. But reading garbage like this just makes me want to put my hands around the neck of whatever liberal douchebag wrote it and try to shake some sense into him.






Friday, October 15, 2004


Libertarian List

This list may be old news to everyone else, but it’s new to me… It’s a list of celebrities and VIPs who consider themselves libertarian. And it’s not just an unqualified list, either. Almost every name links to a page with quotes wherein each specific person identifies himself or herself as libertarian and/or espouses an opinion that’s clearly libertarian. For the most part I am libertarian, so I enjoyed reading some of this.

Thursday, October 14, 2004


Third and Last Debate

Another narrow Bush win, by my estimation. Looking around the internet for other people’s takes on the debate, it’s obvious that opinions are drawn along partisan lines. Bush-Bashers (I won’t call them pro-Kerry people as I don’t believe anyone is really pro Kerry, just anti-Bush) think that their guy won, and us Bush-Backers think our guy kicked ass. No big revelations out there.

n One area where the Prez really let me down: The question on minimum wage. Kerry jumped right out there, making it clear that he is in favor of jacking the minimum wage up. Dubya didn’t attack that very well, instead going back to the importance of education. Fine, OK, I know that education is important… what I wanted to hear from the President was how raising the minimum wage usually costs jobs, as many companies end up doing away with bottom jobs and just shuffling those responsibilities among their other, already overloaded employees. Besides, raising the minimum wage is putting a band-aid on the real problem. Businesses create more and better jobs when they can afford to, and when the government stays out of their way, they can afford to. Minimum wage jobs, by design, are not for people supporting families. They’re for teens, part-timers looking for some pocket money, bored seniors who don’t want to sit at home, etc. Don’t tell me you’re on my side, Senator Kerry, when your solution to my economic problems is to throw me a-crumb-and-a-half instead of just a single crumb.

n I enjoyed hearing the President talk about his faith. For two minutes there, I forgot I was watching a presidential debate. Then Kerry had a chance to remark about what Dubya had said, and if he’d been smart, he’d have said little more than “I appreciate the President’s eloquent remarks about his faith. I share that faith and this is an area where we are similar, rather than different.” Instead, he went ahead and tried to spin the topic to make himself look better than Bush. That had to play badly in the heartland. It darn sure did in my living room.

n Mickey Kaus sums up my feelings about the Kerry/Edwards exploitation of Dick Cheney’s gay daughter: There must be some Machiavellian strategy behind the Democratic urge to keep bringing this up--most likely it's a poll-tested attempt to cost Bush and Cheney the votes of demographic groups (like Reagan Dems, or fundamentalists) who are hostile to homosexuality or gay culture or who just don't want to have to think about it. Or maybe Kerry was just trying to throw Bush off stride. In either case, the fake embrace was even creepier coming from Kerry than it was coming from Edwards.

By the way, Mrs. Cheney is pretty disgusted with the whole thing: "Now, you know, I did have a chance to assess John Kerry once more and now the only thing I could conclude: This is not a good man," she said.

n Tom Curry at MSNBC asks if Bush’s knock-out punch landed: Perhaps the biggest missed opportunity for Bush was not specifying — and reinforcing through repetition — his statement to Kerry early in the debate that “there's a main stream in American politics and you sit right on the far left bank.”

n The Arizona Republic has some ideas about the tone of the debate: Kerry's vision of America as expressed in the debate is one of oppression and victimization. His assessment that there are public schools for those "who have" and schools for those who "do not have" is a judgment seemingly buried in pre-Brown vs. Board of Education. Is there no room for acknowledgment of any good thing? …. Whether the polls acknowledge it or not, the president emerged from this debate on a positive note. Kerry cannot say the same.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


A Blog Headrush

Whenever I get so busy that I have to take a few days off from blogging, I end up coming back to the ‘sphere and finding a ton of good stuff to read. I always end up with about fifty browser tabs open, trying to read a whole pile of items because I click compulsively. To much info ingested too quickly can lead to a headrush.

Today's headrush was provided, in part, by the following:

n Bad Hair Blog is doing a great job of dismantling the myth of Che Guevara. If you've ever seen trendy kids running around with t-shirts on featuring the guy below, and found yourself wondering "Who the heck is that guy, anyway?" ... then this item is for you.

n Bunker Mulligan nominates Bill Cosby for Secretary of Education.

n At Hey, Relax…I’m Just Sayin’, I found a great new bumper sticker:

n By now you’ve read about John Edwards and his promise that, with John Kerry in the White House, people like Christopher Reeve would rise from their wheelchairs and walk. Well, Chrenkoff has a great take on it:

(What Edwards said wasn’t), as you might expect, prefaced with "In the name of Jesus..." but it certainly gives you a dose of optimism. If the Kerry Administration will be able to heal the sick and make the lame walk, then maybe they will be able to fix up problems like prostitution or gambling. Oh, and terrorism, too.

n Oh, and the guy who put John Edwards on the ticket wasn’t above using Christopher Reeve as a political tool himself. The American Warmonger finds reason to doubt John Kerry’s claims of a last-minute phone call from Reeve.

n I love P.J. O’Rourke. Pink Flamingo Bar And Grill had some fresh PJ for me.

n At MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Beth told me about a school where Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 was required viewing. (You read that right, parents. Take a minute for the steam to stop coming out of your ears and then read the story.)

n Hud’s Blog-O-Rama has an item about technology that’s down-right scary.

n A post at Swimming through the Spin, about a shockingly offensive flyer distributed by Tennessee Democrats, really pissed me off.

n I liked what Peter Pike had to say at Opinion about the Kerry/Edwards promises.

n This news story, about a group of moms standing up to protest Michael Moore, really put a smile on my face. You go, moms!

n God, I love Cox and Forkum:

n As is often the case, reading the Jesse Factor left me with my jaw hung open. As usual, that was due to the mixture of shocking vulgarity and smart ideas that these 14 and 15 year old kids (Jesse and John) come up with. While throwing ideas out there about the VP debate, Jesse made a reference to legalizing marijuana.

That’s the thing about the Jesse Factor… you barely have time to finish laughing at some outlandish obscenity before you find yourself pondering a serious idea.

Considering the libertarian ideas held by many of the bloggers I read regularly, I’m surprised that this is the first time I’ve come across the topic of marijuana legalization. I’m going to come out of the closet on this topic right here and now: I’m not sure it’s a bad idea. In fact, I can see more benefits to it than detriments. Sure, there are a lot of questions to be answered before we plunge headlong into legalization… all I’m saying is that it’s time serious people started asking those questions.

What effect would legalization have on the crowding problems experienced in many prisons?

How much would the economy benefit from a legit marijuana industry?

What are the real, legitimate non-recreational uses of marijuana?

Would legalization be one sure-fire way to sweep the legs out from under some elements of organized crime?

To what extent are we denying ourselves tax revenue by keeping pot illegal?

Is marijuana really any more of a “gate-way” drug than alcohol?

Would the legalization of marijuana really encourage underage use of pot, or might it discourage it? Isn’t it possible that, if pot dealers couldn’t compete with state-run marijuana sales, they would end up out of business? And if they ended up out of business, wouldn’t that result in less underage marijuana use?

I’m not saying I have the answers to all these questions, but I do have my ideas. I think it’s time for a more serious dialogue on the subject.

Saturday, October 09, 2004


The Debate, Kerry Straddles Abortion

n I thought the debate was a Bush victory, but not by a landslide. Kerry is a skilled debater, of course. Maybe my feeling that Bush won was mostly in comparison to his performance last Thursday night. He was definitely ready last night.

I agree with Mike McNamee, writing for BusinessWeek Online:

Scorned for his scowls and irritability in the first debate on Sept. 30, President George W. Bush made the most of a friendly format in the second. He changed his attitude, went on the offensive, and squeezed out a victory over Senator John F. Kerry at Washington University in St. Louis.

n I’m not going to analyze the debate in as much detail as I did the vice presidential debate. I will, however, critique this one item from Kerry...this is why he’s opposed to parental notification if an underage girl wants to have an abortion, as quoted from the MSNBC transcript:

KERRY: ...with respect to parental notification, I'm not going to require a 16-or 17-year-old kid who's been raped by her father and who's pregnant to have to notify her father. So you got to have a judicial intervention. And because they didn't have a judicial intervention where she could go somewhere and get help, I voted against it. It's never quite as simple as the president wants you to believe.

What a dolt this guy is. What an absolute dolt. Of COURSE the father of the girl in this kind of hypothetical situation should be notified... while his ass is being hauled off to jail. A situation like that, rare as it may be, is NOT best responded to by letting the girl quietly get an abortion so that her father never knows she’s pregnant, allowing life to go on as normal in that kind of terrible, abusive environment. Just letting the girl get a hush-hush abortion is NO solution.

This is the kind of hypothetical idea that pro-abortionists throw out there all the time, and it’s just a way of justifying their stance without admitting that they don’t believe that life begins in the womb. Kerry calls himself a Catholic, says he personally is opposed to abortion, and still doesn't stand up against abortion. What a fraud.

Most abortions in this country are simply a matter of birth control. To quote my friend Jamie, it’s not that the people who get them are pro-choice, it’s that they’re pro-second-choice. The first choice they made was to have sex. Now, they’re too selfish and irresponsible to live with the consequences of their first choice.

Not ready for a child yet? Fine. Accept the fact that you’re not ready for sex yet, either. And if you’re having sex, by all means, make every effort to manage conception... but accept conception as the likely biological result of sex, and accept that if you add one and one together, there’s a pretty damn good chance you’ll end up with two. Otherwise, make the right first choice. Don’t want a baby? Don’t have sex.

John Kerry and his ilk aren’t addressing the real issue, and this is the most disgusting of all his fence-straddling fraudulent positions.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004


No Photoshopping, Just An Obvious Comparison

Something tells me that Wendy's five year old son is as qualified to run the country as John Kerry is.

The thing is, based on what we know about the guy, it's entirely possible that Kerry was actually trying to catch the ball in this picture.


"Like a Dog Yapping At A Grownup's Heels"

n Who votes in these polls at MSNBC’s website?

I think that Cheney clearly won the debate. I can’t understand anyone feeling otherwise. Cheney came off like a statesman; like a businessman who’s in the business of managing the country and doing a hell of a competent job of it. Edwards just struck me as a Bill Clinton Wannabe, with his little hand gestures and his sh*t-eating grin and his repetition of Kerry’s lines from last Thursday night. Carville and Begela must be pretty proud of Kerry’s performance last Thursday night, because they seem to have sent Edwards out simply to perform an encore of the same material.

A few key moments that stuck in my memory, quoted from a CBS transcript of the debate (there’s a one-page transcript at MSNBC if you don’t want to befoul your browser with a CBS website), and analyzed by yours truly:

n Cheney on Edwards and Kerry’s vote against funding the war:

I couldn't figure out why that happened initially. And then I looked and figured out that what was happening was Howard Dean was making major progress in the Democratic primaries, running away with the primaries based on an anti-war record. So they, in effect, decided they would cast an anti-war vote and they voted against the troops. Now if they couldn't stand up to the pressures that Howard Dean represented, how can we expect them to stand up to Al Qaida?

Whoop! There it is!

n Cheney on the Kerry/Edwards position on the government of Iraq:

Our most important ally in the war on terror, in Iraq specifically, is Prime Minister Allawi. He came recently and addressed a joint session of Congress that I presided over with the speaker of the House.

And John Kerry rushed out immediately after his speech was over with, where he came and he thanked America for our contributions and our sacrifice and pledged to hold those elections in January, went out and demeaned him, criticized him, challenged his credibility.

Then, later, this exchange:

CHENEY: He won‘t count the sacrifice and the contribution of Iraqi allies. It‘s their country. They‘re in the fight. They‘re increasingly the ones out there putting their necks on the line to take back their country from the terrorists and the old regime elements that are still left. They‘re doing a superb job. And for you to demean their sacrifices strikes me as...

EDWARDS: Oh, I‘m not...

CHENEY: ... as beyond...

EDWARDS: I‘m not demeaning...

CHENEY: It is indeed. You suggested...

EDWARDS: No, sir, I did not...

CHENEY: ... somehow they shouldn‘t count, because you want to be able to say that the Americans are taking 90 percent of the sacrifice. You cannot succeed in this effort if you‘re not willing to recognize the enormous contribution the Iraqis are increasingly making to their own future.

Is Kerry so desperate to keep the Howard Deanists from voting for Nader that he’s willing to drive a wedge between himself and the new government of Iraq? What good could it possibly do his campaign to slam the first democratic government in that country’s history? I agree with Cheney completely on this issue, and I can’t imagine anyone other than the Michael Moore types supporting Kerry’s remarks about Prime Minister Allawi. That’s an awful base to appeal to… the Michael Moore fans will be too busy trying to score a nickel bag and download System of a Down MP3s to even get to the polls this election day.

n Edwards on Cheney’s daughter:

Now, as to this question, let me say first that I think the vice president and his wife love their daughter. I think they love her very much. And you can't have anything but respect for the fact that they're willing to talk about the fact that they have a gay daughter, the fact that they embrace her. It's a wonderful thing. And there are millions of parents like that who love their children, who want their children to be happy.

Was this a not-so-subtle attempt to cause anti-Cheney feelings among the far-right of the conservative base? Or, maybe an attempt to rattle Cheney? Either way, it made me really dislike Edwards.

n Cheney on the Kerry/Edwards tax plan:

Well, the fact of the matter is a great many of our small businesses pay taxes under the personal income taxes rather than the corporate rate. And about 900,000 small businesses will be hit if you do, in fact, do what they want to do with the top bracket. That's not smart because seven out of 10 new jobs in America are created by small businesses. You do not want to tax them. It's a bad idea to increase the burden on those folks.

Amen, brother. I was laid off three damn times during the high-tax Clinton 90’s. And what was the liberal solution to that? Raise the friggin’ minimum wage. Look, if I can’t support my family on a couple of bucks and a dime, giving me a couple of bucks and a quarter won’t help. Thankfully, now that we have a conservative in the White House, I have a darn good job for a company that is growing in an economy that the Kerry campaign derides. Look, working people aren’t stupid. Most of us understand how things work. The government needs to keep it’s damn hands out of the pockets of my company so that they can afford to keep me working.

n Edwards tries to answer a question without his memorized Kerry-this-Kerry-that script:

John Kerry made clear on Thursday night that—I‘m sorry, I broke the rules. We made clear—we made clear on Thursday night that we will do that, and we will do it aggressively.

We made it clear? We??!? John, were you in Senator Kerry’s pocket, like a little mouse, last Thursday night?

n Morton Kondracke at Fox summed it up to my satisfaction when he said of Edwards: “It was like a dog yapping at a grownup’s heels.”

n By the way, it turns out that Cheney has met Edwards previous to last night’s debate. Big deal.

n Sometimes I wonder why I continue linking to Andrew Sullivan:

If last Thursday night's debate was an assisted suicide for president Bush, this debate - just concluded - was a car wreck. And Cheney was road-kill. There were times when it was so overwhelming a debate victory for Edwards that I had to look away.

I’m glad to see that Andy can get a good connection from his ISP on Pluto. (Rolls eyes, sighs, does the whole Bush-Last-Thursday thing.)

n There is, of course, a ton of debate analysis out there on the net. Don’t miss Jay Nordlinger over at NRO:

It seems that, year after year, election after election, Democrats campaign in such a way as to hide their true beliefs — they're trying to sell themselves as something they're really not. Republicans, by and large, are true to their beliefs, for better or worse. Democrats act like America is a conservative country — one in which they have to fudge, in order to get elected.


UPDATE: What is it about Edwards that makes some people compare him to small, fuzzy animials? First there was Kondracke's line about him being a dog yapping at Cheney's heels... Without thinking about it, I likened him to a mouse myself...and, Wendy reminded me that we'd flipped channels last night in time to hear Chris Matthews say that Cheney was "out on a hunting trip. ... And he found squirrel."

Monday, October 04, 2004


John Kerry's Hometown Blues

Last week, a Crawford, Texas newspaper, the Lone Star Iconoclast, endorsed John Kerry. Crawford is, of course, George W. Bush’s hometown, and there are those who would have us believe that the Lone Star Iconoclast’s endorsement of Kerry translates to a rejection of the president by those in his own stomping ground:

It has to be a kick in the butt for President Bush to have a newspaper in Crawford, Texas endorsing John Kerry. I’m also guessing The Lone Star Iconoclast’s circulation and subscriptions are going to increase dramatically when the Democrats get wind of this news. This issue of The Lone Star Iconoclast announcing their endorsement of John Kerry over George W. Bush is going to quickly become a collector’s item that may be worth thousands of dollars if President Bush loses the election in November.

Hold your horses, there, bucko. The good people of Crawford aren’t necessarily represented by W. Leon Smith, the publisher of the Iconoclast:

In Crawford, also known as the Western White House, the editorial was not welcome.

"My immediate response was to call the paper and cancel our subscription to that paper and tell them to never call us again for another ad," said (local shop owner Larry) Nelson.

Other store owners along Main street in Crawford agreed with Nelson's response. Everyone we spoke with believed that the President has done more for the city than anyone in recent memory, basically reviving their once dried up economy. In the process, the President has also created a community where he knows he is welcome.

Now, contrast all of that to today’s endorsement of the president by the Lowell Sun, a local newspaper in John Kerry’s Massachusetts hometown. The editorial reads, in part:

We in Massachusetts know John Kerry. He got his first taste of politics 32 years ago in the cities and towns of Greater Lowell.

Kerry's solution to stop terrorism? He'd go to the U.N. and build a consensus. How naive. France's Jacques Chirac, Germany's Gerhard Schroeder, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and other Iraq oil-for-food scam artists don't want America to succeed. They want us brought down to their level. And more and more, Kerry sounds just like them. In a recent campaign speech, Kerry said America was in the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

No doubt John Kerry sincerely wants to serve his country, but we believe he's the wrong man, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Unlike the situation in Crawford, Texas, it seems that the low opinion of Senator Kerry is shared by the people in his hometown. Gary Younge writes the following for the Guardian:

"People here saw him as a carpetbagger and an opportunist back then (while campaigning in the ‘70’s)," says Kendall Wallace, who covered the campaign for the Lowell Sun at the time. And in troubling echoes of the current race Lowell adds: "And when he was attacked he didn't fight back." Mr Kerry went from a 54% to 21% lead in the polls to defeat. It was the last election he would ever lose.

Maybe the Kerrys have just rubbed the locals the wrong way:

Outside the (Kerry) house is a space where a fire hydrant used to be. In 1997, after his wife, Teresa, racked up huge parking fines for blocking the hydrant, they had it moved, prompting citywide fury.

"You're talking about two of the most sensitive issues in the city," says Susan Orlean, a New Yorker writer who lives in Boston. "Parking and anything to do with the fire department, which is revered only second to the church. It could only have been worse if she'd asked a priest to bless it."

"The whole incident resonated as a sense of their entitlement and arrogance," says Jon Keller, political analyst for the local television station, WB56. "He's the least liked political figure in the state. Nobody around here has ever warmed up to him."

Although this passage comes midway through the piece, it’s as good a summary as any:

Go to Hope, Arkansas (ancestral home of Bill Clinton) in 1992, or Russell, Kansas, in 1996 where the huge grain silo announced "Home of Bob Dole" (the Republican candidate of that year), and you could witness the civic pride borne from a native son who had become a presidential contender.

Come to Boston now, however, and you are struck by the blend of ennui and indifference that the local boy is up for the big prize.


Those $#&%!! Polls

I suppose you could find a poll to support whichever candidate you endorse in this presidential election, short of Ralph Nader. We may end up having to actually vote, if you can imagine such a thing, to determine the next president.

Reuters gave me the following information as of 9:11 AM this morning:

President Bush is now in a statistical dead heat with Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry for the Nov. 2 election, in a tightening of the race after the first debate last week, a poll on Monday showed.

Then, by 11:49 AM, Reuters had this information:

President Bush's lead over Democratic nominee John Kerry narrowed to one point in a Zogby poll of likely voters released on Monday, compared with a three-point lead in the poll conducted two weeks ago.

Oh, and that crucial “Security Mom” vote? It ain’t so crucial, according to Richard Louv:

Conducted last week, a Washington Post/ABC News poll found that mothers are "no more likely than other voters to name the war on terrorism or Iraq as their top voting issue." According to the poll, "only about one in four married women with children – 24 percent – rated the war on terrorism as their major concern." This polling organization, it should be noted, was one of the same groups that originally promoted the security mom stereotype.

The Washington Dispatch examines the sample groups in two Newsweek polls, and finds reason for doubt:

In the earlier poll, Newsweek surveyed 391 Republicans, 270 Independents and only 300 Democrats.

This poll balanced it with a better sample, using 345 Republicans, 278 Independents, and 364 Democrats.

Put away your calculators, that’s nearly a 12% overall shift towards the Democrats and John Kerry. While that is reason enough for that much of a dramatic shift towards John Kerry, the real fun part of this poll is the fact that John Kerry (with an assist from Newsweek) has completely erased the “gender gap.”

And that brings us to the most important internal number in the newly released poll. According to this poll, John Kerry leads among women by a slim 4 points. That’s really not very good news for the challenger as he’ll need a double-digit lead among women voters if he expects to win on November 2nd.

But to build this 3-point lead John Kerry has picked up support among men and now leads President Bush among male voters. That’s right, the gender gap has been completely erased by Newsweek, and John Kerry is now leading among male registered voters by a 47%-45% margin. These numbers are difficult to believe, and this makes this entire poll highly suspect.

And the Boston Globe considers the enthusiasm of Bush backers, as opposed to the relative indifference of Kerry supporters:

Bush's conservative base is broadly enthusiastic about the president, while political liberals are noticeably cooler to Kerry. Among registered voters, nearly seven in 10 self-described conservative supporters of Bush said they're enthusiastic about the president. But four in 10 liberals, 43 percent, expressed similar levels of excitement about Kerry.

Saturday, October 02, 2004


Underdogs, Fat Boys, and the Roanoke Times

n I liked what Debra Saunders had to say about the debate:

During the debate, Kerry observed that the first President Bush did not push U.S. troops beyond Basra. Said Kerry, as Bush pere "wrote in his book, because there was no viable exit strategy. And he said our troops would become occupiers in a bitterly hostile land. That's exactly where we find ourselves today."

So why did the world-savvy Kerry vote for the war resolution?

Thursday night, Kerry also likened going into Iraq in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with "Franklin Roosevelt invading Mexico in response to Pearl Harbor. That's what we have here."

Then why did Kerry vote for the war resolution?

n News Max offers this:

Staffers at the Kerry campaign may want to put the cork back in their champagne bottles after they examine the internal numbers in the latest Gallup poll.

Sure, most felt that the Massachusetts Democrat was the better debater by a whopping margin of 53 to 37 percent.

Kerry did even better when Gallup asked which candidate expressed himself clearly, beating Bush 60 to 32 percent.
But when asked which of the two was more believable, it was Bush over Kerry - 50 to 45 percent.

On which candidate did better on the issues, again it was Bush over Kerry, 49 to 46 percent.

Those surveyed by Gallup also apparently didn't buy the media's line that the president came off as irritated and petulant. Asked who was more likable, it was Bush over Kerry again, 48 to 41 percent.

Bush seemed like the underdog in the debate. People tend to root for the underdog. Imagine that, a sitting war-time president as the underdog in a debate. His opponent would really have to be one seriously smarmy lawyer to give up the underdog banner in that situation.

n That’s really a big part of it with me. I just don’t like Kerry. Personally. As a man. You know, as much as I was disgusted by Clinton’s public policies and failures, I kinda liked the guy. I couldn’t help it. I just saw him as a big ol’ fat southern boy who liked chicks and cheeseburgers and thought he knew it all. Sounds like my friends and much of my family. I always kinda had the idea that sitting around with ol’ Slick, knocking back a few Bass Ales, fishin’ and tellin’ lies, would be a lot of fun.

Now, with Kerry, I’m both disgusted and repelled by his political record AND I dislike him on a personal level, as well. Maybe it’s just a culture thing, I don’t know. All I know is that there’s something about his bottle-tanned, windsurfing, well-manicured, smirking presence that makes me feel certain that I’d not let him in my house. He seems like a cross between an insurance salesman and a mortician.

n Speaking of big ol’ fat southern boys that I like, one of my all time favorite performers and song writers is Steve Earle. His albums Copperhead Road, Guitar Town, and I Feel Alright have dominated my stereo for years. Now, I’ve always known that Steve was liberal, but I didn’t let it effect my enjoyment of his music. I’ll even admit that some of his anti-death penalty lyrics played some role in my personal conversion on that issue a few years ago (although my opposition to the death penalty has more to do with Christianity than politics). Nonetheless, Steve’s liberal leanings seem to have finally started having an adverse effect on his work. He’s thrown together a quickie album in time to cash in on the whole anti-Bush fad:

(Earle) says, "I'm an unapologetic lefty. There is no excuse for anyone to go hungry in the richest country in the world or without health care. I wanted the record to be about a lot of issues around the election. But I wrote it in a hurry, and what's most p***ed about right now is the war."

Some of Steve’s liberal lyrics have moved me emotionally in the past. His John Walker’s Blues struck me as an eloquent theoretical examination of what may have gone wrong in the life of John Walker Lindh, the infamous American Taliban fighter. I’m willing to give the kid the benefit of the doubt and believe that he might have been a normal, healthy American kid if something somewhere along the line hadn’t gone terribly wrong in his life. As I hear Earle’s song, it takes that point of view and examines the case with some sympathy. Another of Earle’s songs, Billy Austin, is as powerful an artistic expression in opposition to the death penalty as I’ve ever heard. So, when Steve takes his time and writes music from his heart, he pleads his case very well. It’s a bummer, both politically and artistically, that he’s throwing together a quick album in order to jump on the anti-Bush bandwagon before election day. I’d come to expect better of him.

n In what’s becoming a regular feature here, I can’t let a blog post go by without criticizing another horrible editorial by my local paper, the Roanoke Times. I can’t resist taking the closing paragraph apart piece by piece:

Imagine if the world still stood solidly beside America. Imagine if Iraq had not been invaded, or had been occupied under the U.N. banner. Imagine if friends had not been spurned. Osama bin-Laden might be in U.S. hands instead of protected by allies. Al-Qaida and its offshoots might be destroyed instead of expanding with angry new members. Afghanistan might not be reverting to warlordism. Muslims might not be united in distrust and even hatred of America. Old allies might not be sitting on the sidelines while the United States carries 90 percent of the burden in a seething Iraq.

Let’s look at that one line at a time…

Imagine if the world still stood solidly beside America.

Oh, we’re gonna do the John Lennon thing. Good. That’s what I want from my local newspaper. Beatlesque posturing.

Imagine if Iraq had not been invaded, or had been occupied under the U.N. banner.

Alright, they’d still be under the thumb of a butcher and madman who killed his own people by the thousands, tortured his political opponents, and defied the world. Sounds like Eden to me.

Imagine if friends had not been spurned. Osama bin-Laden might be in U.S. hands instead of protected by allies.

Am I reading that right? Is the editorial writer implying that some of our allies are protecting Osama because we spurned them? Spurned them? WTF?

Would you even take a blogger seriously if he/she wrote this kind of thing?

Al-Qaida and its offshoots might be destroyed instead of expanding with angry new members.

Oh, and it’s the angry new members you gotta watch out for. They’re so much more dangerous than the passive old ones who destroyed the World Trade Center.

Afghanistan might not be reverting to warlordism.

Or, they might be developing a rocketship to use to colonize Mars! Boy, this hypothetical thing is FUN!

Muslims might not be united in distrust and even hatred of America.

Oh, it’s ALL the Muslims who hate us now? Great! No sense trying to tell them apart anymore! Let the bullets fly!

Old allies might not be sitting on the sidelines while the United States carries 90 percent of the burden in a seething Iraq.

Let me guess… you took careful notes during the debate the other night, didn’t you?

God, I love liberals. How wonderfully pliable their academic world is.

Friday, October 01, 2004


SouthCon's Greatest Hits

This is the standard Best Of collection. To qualify for inclusion here, an entry has to meet one of the following four sandards:

Like Hell It's A Western
Category = Humor
Easily my best received blog entry. I'd read a news story that refered to Brokeback Mountain as a "western." It ain't no damn western. Period.

Reality On Television
Category = Commentary
It's amazing to me that the 1974 on-air suicide of newscaster Christine Chubbuck has been forgotten. This post actually caught the attention of E! Entertainment TV.

The Who's Who Debacle
Part 1 -- Part 2
Category = Humor, Personal
This mess proved to be the funniest, freakiest, most surprising thing that's happened since I started blogging ... and it all happened because of the blog.

Conservatives, Liberals and Libertarians: A Primer
Category = Politics and Culture, Humor
A lot of irresponsible ranting on my part. A few people found it funny.

The SouthCon True Hollywood Story
Part 1 -- Part 2 -- Part 3 -- Part 4
Category = Humor
Throw together a few South Park type cartoons and a few smartass remarks about celebrities and people seem to eat it up.

Getting Up With The Dogs
Category = Humor, Personal
A late night, insomnia, and hanging out with the dogs.

Michael Moore Links
Category = Politics and Culture
A set of links to items I've written about that turd Michael Moore. Also includes links to useful and informative articles at other sites.

Grammys Schmammys
Category = Humor
I made fun of the 2005 Grammy Awards Show and a number of people thought my post was kinda funny.

Coffee 101
Category = Commentary
You don't know nothin' 'bout no coffee. I know all about coffee.

Don't Feed The Bears
Category = Commentary
This one is mostly here because Rhodester told me two or three times that he'd enjoyed it.

Lost In Translation
Category = Humor
I ran a few of my favorite bloggers through Babelfish and got funny results.

Ooops, I Did It Again
Category = Humor
The whole tattooed idiot debacle. I still think this whole mess was funny.

A Story About My Sister
Category = Humor
The opening lines made Alan Thornberg, one of my favorite former bloggers, laugh out loud. That alone warrants inclusion here.

The Ego Has Landed
Category = Politics and Culture
My very first post at this blog. I intended to keep this blog serious and political, but it turns out that I'm more full of crap than smart ideas.

Being A Conservative Means…
Category = Politics and Culture
When I refer to myself as a conservative, this is what I am saying about myself.

The Pictures Prove It
Category = Humor
How evil is Dubya? I've got a number of pictures that prove that he's veeeery evil.

Why I Believe In Ghosts
Category = Story Telling
I've seen ghosts. Really.

Big Insight
Category = Personal
Written about the imminent death of my grandfather. One of the few times I've posted something deeply personal.

Muslim Fun day Canceled
Category = Humor
It made Pastor Scott laugh. That made me happy.

Mama's Day
Category = Personal
I love my mama. Another rare example of a personal post.

Metal Up Your Blog
Category = Commentary
My list of the ten greatest singers in the history of Heavy Metal. Rock On.

Unmasking MCF
Category = Humor
My attempt at humor resulted in a hillarious graphic made by MCF himself. That alone made it all worth it.

Secular Liberals: The Useful Idiots For Radical Islam
Category = Politics and Culture
When we appease those who hate us we're just asking for trouble.

$50,000 Cash Or The Bunny Dies
Category = Humor
This one is listed here mostly because Otis laughed at it.

My Five Favorite Places
Category = Humor
This McFAT entry was my most popular entry in any of MCF's tests.

What Happened At The Hospital
Category = Story Telling
This one is mostly here because my wife loves it.

For Some, Labor Day Is No Celebration
Category = Politics and Culture
Oh, how labor unions disgust me.

On Distances And Divisions
Category = Personal
A trip to visit Wendy's family on Long Island really resonated with me.

Leave The $#&%# Cell Phone In The Car!
Category = Commentary
Nothing distracts me during church more than a ringing cell phone.

More Worser
Category = Humor
This one is really just included because Lorna liked it, and that made me happy.

The Lizard President
Category = Commentary
Lest we forget.

Homegirl Does Good
Category = Personal
A landmark along the way for Wendy and for our family.

God Gave Rock And Roll To You
Category = Commentary
I'm a Christian (Catholic) and a conservative…but I love my rock music.

Raising The Bar
Category = Commentary
Wendy and I reviewed candy bars … and boy did we ever get some feedback.

Category = Humor
I learned … and revealed … a little more about three of my favorite bloggers.



Obligatory Debate Analysis

Just a few thoughts about last night’s debate, tossed out in random order:

n The president underperformed. There were a few times when I felt that even I might have handled some questions and responses better than he did. He looked tired, too… a reminder that his main job is running the country and that it is a lot more exhausting than simply campaigning 24 / 7. Had he spent the day getting a manicure, as Kerry did, instead of visiting hurricane ravaged spots in Florida, he might have looked fresher. I thought he looked tired and saw that as something in his favor, from my point of view. This is the guy with the hardest job in the world, and doing it well must be exhausting.

n It bugged me that the president repeated himself quite a bit. If I heard the phrases “good people,” “working hard,” and “not what the troops need to hear” once, I heard them each a thousand times.

n The president impressed me when he fired back aggressively. When Kerry was absurd, the president told him so directly. When Kerry dropped his guard and revealed his real priorities about America and the EU, the president stated flatly that he’d never wait for another country’s permission to defend the US. I’m sure that played well in the heartland.

n How could the president allow Kerry to talk about soldier’s families who’d had to spend their own money on armor and supplies without making him justify his vote against funding the troops? That would have been a great chance to trip Kerry over his own tongue, and I hated to watch it slip away.

n Kerry performed very well, and I’m sure he energized his base, as the pundits like to say. He had a few well rehearsed lines that he used to optimal effect, which I suppose is to the credit of his handlers. Paul Begela and James Carville managed, somehow, to weave a thread of continuity through Kerry’s various public statements on Iraq and pull them together in a way that almost makes them look balanced. It must have been the spin equivalent of trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube in a dark closet.

n As slick as he was, really Kerry had nothing new to say. Arguing that bilateral talks with North Korea will work shows how little attention he paid during the 90’s. Arguing that the president should have tried more diplomacy before invading Iraq shows the same thing. I suppose, however, that he’s stuck with that line about Iraq if he’s going to find a way to stay on that fence.

n Overall, Bush seemed tired and a bit distracted last night, and I’d hoped for a more substantial assessment of Kerry’s haphazard Senate record than he provided us. Kerry was smug and slick and smooth and totally transparent.

Like most partisans, I went into the debate knowing who I was voting for, and nothing has changed. Of course, I’ll be reading as much as I can to see how it all shakes out...

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