Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Has Genesis Been Right All Along?
Interesting. First there was this:
"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep." - Genesis 1:2
Now one scientist claims this:
"Washington- According to a new study, space and dark are eternal, they were not created, and the 'Primordial Fireball' as claimed by the Big Bang theory could not produce them. The dark had existed before anything else since it is the occupant of the space, the master of the space. When there was no light before existence of the Universe, there existed dark, only dark, nothing else but dark and no one can challenge it; just think over it.
"These chattels of infinite space and dark are one combination of the two; dark has been the natural occupier of the whole space right before the birth of the Universe. In other words, the space has been serving as the living room of the dark."
I read somewhere that whenever scientists reach a mountaintop, theologians are already there to greet them.
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
The Myth of a Divided America
The premise of the Homespun Bloggers' Symposium this week is:
Is the division in America important to you? What will be necessary to heal it? What part do you see Bloggers playing in that discussion and how will you personally contribute to it?
First it must be said there is no "division" in America . That phrase is the media construct of disgruntled news journalists who discovered the hard way they no longer control the debate on a national scale. Grasping at straws to retain their relevance, they somberly announced we now live in "a America divided" to 1) discredit President Bush's overwhelming reelection, 2) to give themselves something--anything--to talk about other than why their favorite son lost, and 3) to provide a framework for their agenda over the next four years.
Pockets of spoiled brats, clustered in the media centers of LA and NY, have the megaphones to screech their discontent far and wide. Sadly, many average, well-meaning Americans hear only pieces of information delivered by soundbites from the talking heads. "Somewhere in America a child has died from inadequate medical care" resonates in America's compassionate soul, fueling demands for free childhood health care (John Kerry's newest clarion call). Busy working and living their ordinary lives, too many Americans never stop to think who will pay for that health care and how it will burden the economy in general and their own pocketbooks in particular. We don't have to look at the abomination of Canadian health care to see the even-more-tragic results of such policy. We only have to take a long, hard look at the Tenncare program (now in the process of being dismantled) to see the consequences of enacting any emotion-driven legislation.
Average Americans live their lives as libertarian/conservatives. They believe in working for a living. They want to keep the money they earn and donate it wherever they please without coercion. They want their children well educated not indoctrinated. They would never encourage their daughters to use abortion as birth control or have their sons test their virility on every girl in the senior class. They want to go to the doctor for a check-up without having to spend the next month undergoing a battery of tests that serve no purpose except to protect the doctor from a potential lawsuit. They don't want nanny-state regulations from either the FCC or the EPA. If pressed, the majority would admit they really only want two things from society and government--common decency and common sense.
So in terms of being important to me, this mythical "divide" is only valid when viewed as a prism through which news and opinion is delivered to the public.
Bloggers have become the Paul Harveys of the news--the people who find "the rest of the story." When the MSM--or talk radio--attempts to lie by omission (as opposed to just plain lie á la Dan Rather) the blogging community will find the facts and present them in all their raw, frequently unpalatable reality. The sore losers of November 2 blame bloggers for undermining Kerry's credibility and electability, forgetting it was also bloggers who orchestrated Trent Lott's demise.
Principled bloggers can deliver information on a previously unheard of scale. They can debunk the pseudo science used to scare the public into supporting disastrous environmental policies such as Kyoto. They can strip away the façade of holier-than-thou theologians, including major denominational leaders, fundamentalists (of all religions), atheists, agnostics, pagans, and secular humanists. They can expose the greedy, self-serving agenda of minority activists, radical feminists, gay rights organizers, and environmentalists, all of whom need money from suitably alarmed Americans to keep their bank accounts flush.
My own contribution is negligible, but I do know from experience that a single voice can make a difference. It is not necessary to trumpet opinions on a national stage because changing minds and hearts takes place one person at a time. It's a long, slow journey that I began over twenty years ago.
Nice to see the rest of you catching up.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Local Politics and the Electoral College
Homespun Bloggers are discussing the topic of whether the Electoral College is still necessary, should be changed or, perhaps, abolished all together. Enough people seem to think so the Pew Institute is doing a study on the question. (No link available--just information from someone involved.)
Considerettes and Bunker Mulligan deal with various aspects and Redhunter has a detailed explanation.
The Founding Fathers had no interest in rule by the elite, having just experienced that tyranny and fought a war to remove it. They were also classically educated and knew the end result of mob rule--aka pure democracy. The framers of the Constitution had to develop a balancing act between the densely populated northern colonies and the agrarian South--neither of whom completely trusted the other. Some things never change.
Fortunately the idea of the Electoral College doesn't either, although I'm sure there were numerous proponents every time the Presidential "loser" won more votes from the populace.
However, what everyone who debates this topic appears to be forgetting is, the Electoral College--or rather the number of votes apportioned to each state which increases or decreases their importance--can change every ten years. Why ten years? Because the number of representatives from any particular state varies according to the state's population. And each state has two electors (equal to the number of its US senators) plus the number of its US representatives.
That change, along with the ensuing district reapportionment fights, occurs after every census and, hypothetically, a state can control its own importance in the national vote by encouraging (or discouraging) people to relocate--or move out. For instance, from 1981 to 2010, Arizona has gone from 7 electoral votes to 10 and Florida gained six electoral votes. Both are big retirement states and reflect the aging Baby Boomers. In contrast, Illinois lost two, and a whole string of northern and so-called "rust" states lost at least one each. Generally the northern states including NY, PA, and OH lost while the southern states like NC, TX, and VA gained or stayed the same.
Tom at MuD and PhuD plays Devil's Advocate in the discussion.
"My most basic issue with the EC is that it discounts many individual citizen's vote for President."
That will happen every four years, whether or not the Electoral College changes. Just look at the county election map for blue state California. How many individual citizens' votes were "discounted" there? (Fortunately the psychiatric community is ready to help.)
Tom mentions the "district system" of Maine and Nebraska (the other forty-eight states are "winner-take-all" systems) where only two electors' votes go to the winner of the popular vote. The rest are apportioned by congressional districts, awarding the vote to the candidate who received the most votes in each district. This could be a compromise change if the drumbeat for abolishing the Electoral College becomes too loud.
Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams both won the presidency, without the popular vote or the electoral vote, by winning the vote in the House of Representatives (Jefferson after 36 votes, Adams after only one). So if you or your friends think those individual House races every two years are "boring," or if you only vote for the representative who will bring home the bacon--er--pork--rethink your priorities. If neither Bush nor Kerry had reached an electoral majority, the Republican majority in the House would have elected President Bush. Consider the alternative.
Like they say--all politics is local.
Saturday, November 13, 2004
Reach Out To Keep Democrats at Arms Length
It never fails to irritate me how Democrats always expect people to be reaching out to them. They're losers--and becoming bigger losers day by day as every vote is counted, per their own demands--but they think President Bush is somehow obligated to placate them.
In yesterday's Weekly Standard, Peter Berkowitz, teacher at George Mason School of Law and is a fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, magnanimously offers George Bush "A Second Chance to Unite" in which he lists four ways the President could reach out to Democrats.
Considering how poorly the first chance to unite after the 2000 election worked out, giving the Democrats the equal representation on committees (which only ended up making Tom Daschle Senate Majority Leader for two years and Democrats filibustering every judicial nomination put before them) President Bush had better think twice before taking Berkowitz's advice.
Here are Berkowitz's suggestions:
"First, the president could appoint a distinguished Democrat or two to the federal bench."
No thanks. Clinton did that for eight years. As a partial result, we have had to split the Ninth Circuit to dilute their asinine rulings and deal with glory-hound judges looking to legislate (rather than adjudicate) their names into law books for eternity.
"Second, the president could appoint a "liberal hawk"--a Democrat who supported the war in Iraq and who believes that both American interests and ideals are served by promoting democracy abroad--to a high-level position on his national security or foreign policy team."
With the Democrats' penchance for leaking classified information to all and sundry, á la Patrick Leahy, this would not only be wrong but criminally stupid.
"Third, Bush could bring into his administration a prominent Democrat to help craft policy for the improvement of the nation's public schools."
Perhaps Mr. Berkowit'z short term memory has been damaged by the election. Has he forgotten Ted Kennedy crafted the "No Child Left Behind" education policy? That little exercise in "hands-across-the-aisle" certainly did nothing to improve relations. Kennedy remains one of the most virulent opponents to the Bush Administration on every level.
"Fourth, the president could establish a regular process of consultation with the Democratic opposition on Capitol Hill. This could be done through regularly scheduled meetings, casual lunches, and formal and informal solicitation of opinions about possible Supreme Court nominees."
I want some of whatever Berkowitz is drinking. President Bush catered to the Democrats so often during his first term there were serious questions during this election cycle that he had alienated his conservative base. If Democrats want to be included they can come to the President, hat in hand, and beg for a few crumbs. They can stop being obstructionists. They can accept that their forty-year attempt to legislate a social utopia has failed and reach out to the Republicans who are attempting to repair the damage.
Or in other words…
…you lost, we won--get over yourself.
Monday, November 08, 2004
The Democrats Find Religion
…and pray an Act of God (aka assassination) will take out President Bush. [LOGIN: bugsy PW: ysgub]
"A little more than a month before he was assassinated, Abraham Lincoln stood at the east portico of the Capitol and delivered his second inaugural address. It was a brief speech with a distinctly religious message: he twice cited biblical verses, and made a dozen references to God, most strikingly in assessing the opposing sides in the Civil War.
"Now, with George W. Bush's re-election, God and a newly triumphant Republican president are once again in the headlines. And there are signs that the present national divide, between the narrow but solid Republican majority and a Democratic party seemingly trapped in second place, may be hardening into a pattern that will persist for years to come.
"Democrats, especially, are left to wonder: What will it take to break the pattern - an act of God?
"Sean Wilentz, a professor of history at Princeton, saw two instances in history when the American electoral landscape resembled that of today. "They are kind of scary examples," Professor Wilentz said. "One is 1860, and we know what happened after that one, and the other was 1896, the McKinley-Bryan election."
"That contest, which seemed to herald a new era of Republican dominance, also started a chain of events that led to a disastrous schism in the party. William McKinley, a conservative Republican, defeated William Jennings Bryan, a populist Democrat, and won the first clear popular majority in 24 years. He beat Bryan even more soundly in 1900, but less than a year later, he was assassinated.
"Professor Wilentz of Princeton said that even if the 2004 victory was an incremental one, that should not comfort the Democrats. He said Mr. Rove and Mr. Bush now have a chance to do what Hanna and McKinley never did: Lay the foundation for lasting Republican dominance.
"The Republicans are basically unchecked," Professor Wilentz said. "There is no check in the federal government and no check in the world. They have an unfettered playing field."
"Until the next act of God, that is."
Found via Little Red Blog
Friday, November 05, 2004
The Specter Lurking in Republican Shadows
Arlen, that is.
Not much time over the next few days, but I want to get this out to as many people as possible. The power of the blogosphere sank Dan Rather. Now we need to sink Arlen Specter.
I do not understand why President Bush campaigned for this man in the PA primaries, however, what's done is done. Now, in gratitude to that outreach, Specter has been threatening to apply a litmus test to Bush's judiciary nominations and oppose any who might be too conservative vis a vis abortion and other heartland issues.
For the rest of country who might not know how seriously this one "Republican" could upset the President's judicial agenda, all you need to remember is--this is the man for whom they created the term "borking."
(For those too young to remember, it refers to Senator Specter's treatment of Reagan's much-too-conservative-for-Specter's-politics Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork.)
He must be stopped from becoming Chairman of the Judiciary Committee! Patrick Leahy doesn't need any more help.
If your Senator is part of the Judiciary Committee, voice your opposition to the Specter of a turncoat chairman here.
If your Senator isn't a part of the Judiciary Committee, contact him or her here.
If you're stuck with a Democrat, contact Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist at 202-224-3344.
For much more information about this man, visit NotSpecter.com.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
They still don't get it, do they? The Big Losers are attempting to spin the seeming aberration of an overwhelming Republican victory (with heavy conservative overtones) on the opposition to gays and abortion. They have no frame of reference to understand the "sudden" importance of moral values in this election. They mistakenly believe they had successfully driven "morality" from the public arena.
They are wrong. Morality might have dozed for a while during the 90's, but our eyes are wide open now.
For years the majority tolerated Clinton's adultery because it was a "personal responsibility" issue that no one thought would affect his ability to govern. They tsk-tsked at the Monica story for the same reason, until he aggressively lied right to our faces. But the economy was booming and the world seemed to be relatively peaceful. Only now do we understand our beliefs were based on a façade. In reality, the Clinton administration was an old, raddled whore who showed us a painted façade of youth and beauty.
The economy was booming because of the dot-com bubble, prosperity based on businesses with no assets, no tangible product, and no accountability. Big Business was allowed to pay their employees with stock without having to list the value of that stock as debts. In 1993, Hillary Clinton was not-so-subtly forcing the pharmaceutical business to give away vaccines, effectively putting those "evil corporations" out of business. The results were Enron and the flu vaccine shortage this year.
"The panel of doctors and economists issuing a report on vaccines last week identified as a fundamental cause of the problem the fact that the government purchases 55 percent of the childhood vaccine market at forced discount prices. The result has been "declining financial incentives to develop and produce vaccines."
But we were feeling so good about ourselves. We were having it all without really working for it. The terrorists attacks we suffered were, with the exception of the first WTC bombing, half a world away and waged against our military. They deserved it anyway, so why worry. It was Alfred E. Newman meets Madam de Pompadour*.
Then George W. Bush beat Al Gore in 2000. At the same time, all the wrong decisions of the Clinton Administration were coming apart, conveniently in time to blame Bush for the failures. Leftist outrage at their loss morphed into hatred. The pimple of liberal hate on the chin of America was beginning to fester and come to a head.
On September 11, 2001 we were united as a nation--briefly. Within 24 hours the "we-deserved-it-crowd" was back in force. But they never quite understood a profound change--a paradigm shift, if you will--had occurred in the United States. We saw a President who openly stated his plans and followed his words with actions !
The pimple popped.
The voters of America now had a physical comparison to Bill Clinton. No more pandering to feel-good emotions while philandering with feel-good interns. The passage of the Patriot Act launched the politically correct crowd into their assault on ordinary people, attempting to marginalize everyone and everything that was perceived as "moral" or "religious," however remote. The mere hint of a cross, the mention of the Ten Commandments, or the word "God," drove them into a frenzy. Disagree with the practice of partial-birth abortion or legalized gay marriage and liberals became rabid pit-bulls.
This attack was nothing new to many conservatives, but it was an unsettling surprise to many "right-leaning" moderates. Then the acidic pus began seeping into the mainstream media. Day after day reports of lawsuits and judicial fiats that crushed Judeo-Christian beliefs were gleefully reported at length--and ultimately culminated with the Rathergate attempt to bring down the President. Judges usurped and defied legislators and thumbed their noses at the will of the people. Public schools and university administrations openly flaunted their attempts to intimidate and brainwash students. The radical left had became embolden, blatant, feeling themselves intellectually superior to the majority of American. Authorities seeking out militant Islamists within our borders became "fascists." Conservative free speech became "intimidation." Tax cuts became "immoral."
The moral values many claimed influenced their decision this election cycle did have much to do with the gay agenda and abortion. But if the Democrat Party attempts to frame their agenda for the coming years on those issues alone, they will continue to fail miserably. They will have missed the growing awareness and distaste for hypocrites, liars, cheats and those who lust after power for power's sake. And they will never understand that the deeper issue of personal responsibility, doing the right thing, and holding people accountable for their actions has trumped political--national and international--expediency.
*Madame de Pompadour is credited/blamed for starting the Seven Years War by her manipulation of the French King Louis XV. "[The] French alliance [with the Habsburgs] eventually brought on the Seven Years War with all its disasters, the battle of Rosbach and the loss of Canada…Mme de Pompadour persisted in her support of these policies…brought Choiseul into office and supported hini in all his great plans, the Pacte de Famille, the suppression of the Jesuits, and the peace of Versailles that lost Canada."
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
The World Turned Upside Down
France hailed the U.S. election as an important moment in world diplomacy on Wednesday, calling it an opportunity to revive the transatlantic relationship no matter who wins.
"The apparent re-election of President George W Bush is the news most of Europe never wanted to hear. But with four more years in the White House seemingly assured for Mr Bush, many leaders will now have to rebuild bridges with Washington."
To paraphrase another famous blogger--"Indeed."
All links from The Command Post.
John Kerry Will Concede at 1:00 p.m.
Dan Rather under a suicide watch…
Monday, November 01, 2004
As For Me…
Many people have written if John Kerry is elected (in spite of their personal opposition), they will accept "the will of the people" and support him as President of the United States in much the same way they would support President Bush. That is their right.
As for me, my flag will once again fly upside down as it did through the Clinton years. As for me, the day a dishonorably discharged sailor who turned his coat takes the Oath of Office will be one more in a long line of disasters the United States will have to suffer through and survive, hopefully intact.
As for me, it will be
Intolerance Toward English-Speakers
Well, so much for Suggestion No. 5.
"The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections fired a poll worker Tuesday after he was accused of making an inappropriate statement regarding non-English speaking voters.
"At least two people who attended an election training class said Martin Drabek made a comment opposing voting assistance for Hispanics who do not understand English. The two who made the allegations against Drabek are Hispanic and said in a statement that he mentioned his parents had emigrated from Poland and had to learn English.
"We can't tolerate that," said Jane Platten, an elections board administrator…"