|One Nation, Under God...||
"The real democratic American ideal is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other man, but |
that every man shall have liberty to be what God made him, without hindrance." --Henry Ward Beecher
Check this cat out:
Friday, April 25, 2003
Posted 11:21 AM by WiN
Lieberman campaign funds back in the pack
Well, contrary to what I wrote a week ago, it looks like former vice-presidential candidate Joe Lieberman is struggling in the early going for the Democratic presidential nomination. If he has a weakness, I think this describes it pretty well:
"He's running far left socially, deserting the socially conservative credentials that defined him in the first place, and getting nothing for it," (an adviser from another candidate's campaign) says. "He's not raising money because many liberal Jewish voters still remember he was once in their minds a social conservative and remains a hawk. He's not getting press from the media elites because the Joe Klein types think he's forgotten who he is. He's not generating political support because in running left he's just seemed like everyone else, just later to get there and phonier because of where he used to be... He has reinvented himself and done it suicidally."To be honest, I was quite pleased when Lieberman was named as "Chameleon" Al's running mate in 2000. I knew it would be a close race and that there was a very real chance the Dems would retain the white house, so I saw it as a good thing to have a guy with Lieberman's socially conservative credentials on the ticket. He was a guy who spoke out against Slick Willy's moral turpitude, who wasn't afraid to talk religious principles in the public arena, and who had in the past supported many common-sense conservative ideas. But apparently, "Chameleon" Al rubbed off on him and he abandoned many of his 'core principles' with alarming speed (think affirmative action).
In the end, I think the 'old' Joe Lieberman would have been a very strong candidate, but he got caught in a Catch-22 situation with the 2000 race. He could have either stuck with his principles, thereby making him ineligible as Gore's running mate, and remained a relatively obscure Senator from a small state with little name recognition or join the ticket, with the requisite kowtowing to the liberal interest groups that dominate the convention, and thereby forfeit his reputation as a principled Democrat in return for great national fanfare as the first Jew on a major party ticket. He chose the latter, and now it looks as if his chances of ever reaching in the oval office are pretty much the same as if he hadn't, only now he doesn't have the option of appearing on the ticket with a more electable candidate in the future. I'm afraid good old Joe's dreams died with Algore's defeat, and sadly, his principles seem to have died with them.
UPDATE: Did you ever get that nagging feeling that Joe looks like someone else? Steve has the answer over at Little Tiny Lies.
Posted 8:13 AM by WiN
Children and gratitude
Mona Charen has a great column today on children and gratitude. As some may know, her family almost suffered a parent's worst nightmare last year - one of her small sons was hit by a car while riding his bike. He was in a coma for three days, but with thousands across the globe praying for him he pulled through. Charen starts out her column talking about her youngest son's sartorial habits:
One morning last year, I tried to interest him in an outfit consisting of pale yellow and blue seersucker shorts with a matching yellow polo shirt. He tucked his chin and gave me the full force of his huge brown eyes under a knitted brow: "Mom, I don't want to look like a golfer."A child after my own heart. She then segues into her middle child's table manners:
Ben is nothing like his older brother David, who at 9, still doesn't see what all the excitement about clean hands and faces is about, far less clothes. He recently decided to tear into a piece of watermelon -- plunging his face right down on the plate. When I asked whether he could remember his manners, he didn't lift his face but did raise a pinky.That sounds a lot like my wife (mainly) and I's running battle with my daughters over proper behavior at the table. We're not quite to the pinky stage - we're still working on fundamentals like napkins in the lap and setting down our knives between bites. But the best part is about David's battle with Type I diabetes. I can't imagine facing that as a parent, but as always gratitude is the most important weapon we have in the face of adversity. To hear her tell it, she has a lot to be grateful for. And despite how we parents sometimes feel, so do we all.
Thursday, April 24, 2003
Posted 3:06 PM by WiN
Baptisms for baths - the truth
Three weeks ago, a Miami Herald reporter wrote a story about an Army chaplain who was ostensibly offering soldiers in his unit the chance to wash off the grime of their days in the field in return for agreeing to be 'baptized' in his large pool of water provided for such purposes. The story implied that this was the only way these soldiers could wash, as there was a severe shortage of water in the camp. But as time goes by, it seems that the true story wasn't anything like what the 'reporter' wrote.
Today, an article in the Houston Chronicle (link via Arguing with signposts) reports that the Chaplain in question, Josh Llano, had been cleared of any question of wrongdoing by the Army Chaplain Corps.
Lt. Col. Eric Wester, spokesman for the Chaplain Corps in Virginia, said the Army also disputes the article's contention that Llano's pool was the only such source of water during a shortage at Camp Bushmaster.The question remains, why were so many quick to believe that this chaplain would coerce his fellow soldiers into 'converting' so that they could use his field baptismal to wash off? As a Christian, I feel that this smacks of anti-Christian bias both on the part of the Herald and its' reporter and also on the part of other media, including blogs, that quickly passed the story along. The reporter knew that a story about some over-zealous Baptist chaplain forcing guys to 'repent' in order to bathe would get a much better reaction from her editor, and much wider play from the media at large, than a report about what was really happening - a quiet spiritual renewal on the part of a few of the young men who may have been far from home for the first time in their lives and contemplating some pretty heavy questions about life.
Here's the last couple of paragraphs of the Chronicle article, which tells the real story:
The Army said Llano has conducted 57 baptisms at Camp Bushmaster, where he is assigned with the support unit, but that only a few converted to the Baptist faith.It's just unfortunate that that will never be reported nearly as widely or loudly as the original slanderous fiction that was published in the Herald. One blogger who has kept on top of the story is Bryan at Arguing with signposts, where the Chronicle link comes from. He has a unique perspective on the topic, as his first post indicates. Here are his posts, they're as good a summary as any I've seen: April 17th - April 22nd - April 24th. Bitweever has a good post on the topic, also.
Posted 1:39 PM by WiN
Hospitalized for an enlarged what?
(An ABC news viewer reported) the closed captions for the 6:30 p.m. Tuesday feed of Peter Jennings's "World News Tonight" informed viewers that Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was "in the hospital for an enlarged prostitute."
Posted 12:57 PM by WiN
Baghdad Bob, call your agent
Ok, it isn't really about Baghdad Bob. It's about an elementary school principal apparently doing a bad Baghdad Bob impersonation (link via James Taranto). But the funniest part was the 'Information Minister's name: Niknak-Padiwak Givudogabon.
If you don't get it, you might be a wee bit damp behind the ears yet. Either that, or you haven't had the joy of being around small children singing nonsense songs.
Posted 12:36 PM by WiN
Quote of the day
Lambrecht also quoted Clinton (on the 'politics of personal destruction') as saying: "The licks I've taken are nothing compared to the licks I've seen." Of course, this was before he met Monica Lewinsky. -- the incomparable James Taranto
Posted 9:38 AM by WiN
I've had a few weeks off from the CotV, but next week's is going to be at one of my favorite blogs, Clubbeaux, so I'm going to try to come up with something really droll, erudite and intellectually stimulating. That, or some fart jokes. Anyway, be sure and check it out.
Posted 9:01 AM by WiN
Infidel Sooner fans
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
Posted 12:17 PM by WiN
Dems defend gay sex, dis polygamy, incest
Well, the wave of lefty indignation is cresting over remarks by Senator Rick Santorum (R, PA) on the homosexual sodomy case currently before the Supreme Court. Yesterday, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee called for Santorum to step down from his role as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference in an obvious attempt to re-create the furor that forced Trent Lott to resign as Majority Leader. Today, Governor Howard Dean of Vermont took up the call in a pathetic attempt to revive his moribund bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Santorum has issued a press release attempting to 'clarify' his remarks, made in an Associated Press interview published Monday. In the interview, referring to the Supreme Court case, he said "If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything," Of course, gay rights groups immediately began their wailing and gnashing of teeth about how 'offensive' the remarks were.
But of course, Andrew Sullivan is all over it. While I don't disagree with what Santorum said, I'm not sure I would agree with his overall solution to the issue of sodomy (or adultery, or bigamy) laws. But, outside of the issue of sex with minors, it's hard to argue that homosexual sex doesn't fall into the same category as the other groups he mentions, all of which could presumably occur between two or more consenting adults. As boy-wonder Ben Shapiro points out in his column today, gays don't have a leg to stand on in protesting being included in Santorum's list of what have traditionally been thought of as immoral (and often illegal) sexual relations. If they want to argue that the government should stay out of the business of how people of majority relate to one another physically in the privacy of their home, then by all means they should say so. But just to be offended by being lumped in with other sexually deviant categories is probably counterproductive. And for Democrats to jump to their defense, as if equating sodomy with bigamy were the same as supporting racial segregation, strikes me as political suicide. As James Taranto points out today:
Constitutional or not, sodomy laws like Texas' do seem awfully anachronistic, and increased tolerance of homosexuality is a good thing. But tolerance is a two-way street. Many Americans have deeply held religious or moral objections to homosexuality, and it would not be unreasonable for them to take the Democrats' attack on Santorum as an attack on their own values.But if they want to write off 'red state' voters and social conservatives for the next election cycle, I say 'go for it'.
Posted 10:17 AM by WiN
Patriot Petition results
I received an email today from The Federalist, sponsors of the Patriot Petition "In Our Name: A Statement of Justice" that had been linked at the top of this blog for a few weeks. Here is a quote from the letter:
This week, Patriot Petitions completed its national campaign "In Our Name: A Statement of Justice," a petition in support of the national sovereignty and defense of the United States.I want to personally thank anyone who signed the petition, and I hope you took the chance to subscribe to The Federalist newsletter, perhaps the finest free internet newsletter in circulation. If not, go here to read the latest edition and, if you decide it's something you would like to get on a regular basis, go here to sign up.
Posted 8:36 AM by WiN
I couldn't let that Prowler news page (also linked below) go without a comment on the third story down "UnMoored". Here's a taste:
(Regarding Moore's charges that replays of the boos during his Academy Awards speech were doctored) What's good for the visibly overstuffed goose is good for the gander. A number of serious charges have been lodged against Moore with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, among them that Moore's award-winning film should not be considered a documentary because he staged scenes and concocted statistics and information that have proved to be false. Moore, as well, based his anti-gun screed on disgraced historian Michael Bellesiles' book, which has now been shown to be almost wholly fiction. The academy has thus far declined comment, but the fact that it is looking into the complaints would indicate the charges are being taken seriously, at least initially.So, Moore's inane squealing about doctored boos during a diatribe he gave when accepting an award for a category he was competing in fallaciously may actually help draw attention to his own deceptions? What can you say except, "serves him right." Here's hoping he follows his hero Michael Bellesiles into well-deserved public disgrace and irrelevance.
Posted 8:16 AM by WiN
Clark takes hat, goes home
After reading this column on NRO a few days ago, I can't say this surprises me much. I think Clark really, really wanted one of the leading candidates to ask him to share the ticket with them or at least make some noises to that effect. I'm guessing that after he repeatedly went out on the wrong limb on the war, only to see it sawed off, that he is seen as a political leper by Democrats already fearing a 'soft on defense' image. So, rather than being a counterweight to a big-name domestic policy wonk candidate (Lieberman, Edwards, Gephardt), he's now considered just dead weight.
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Posted 2:14 PM by WiN
Three little words
David at Clubbeaux passes along a little tip to frustrate telemarketers.
The three little words are “Hold on, please.” Saying this while putting down your phone and walking off instead of hanging up immediately would make each telemarketing call so time-consuming that boiler rooms would grind to a halt. When you eventually hear the phone company’s beep-beep-beep tone, you know it’s time to go back and hang up your handset, which has efficiently completed its task.There's a bonus suggestion for what to do when you get those calls where seemingly no one is on the other end of the line.
Posted 1:12 PM by WiN
We seek the Holy Grail!
Posted 9:15 AM by WiN
Hooves over horns
In an attempt to bolster sagging attendence figures, Seville bullring owners have been teaching their livestock basic gymnastic routines.
Spanish assistant bullfighter Jose Gonzalo Crespo watches as the bull tumbles during
a bullfight in the Maestranza bullring in Seville April 21, 2003. (Marcelo Del Pozo/Reuters)
Posted 9:08 AM by WiN
High and tight?
And you thought you had a bad day...
The Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa recoils as a fastball shatters his
helmet Sunday April 20, 2003 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Mike Longo)
Posted 7:26 AM by WiN
Iranian blogger arrested
Glenn Frazier has the story along with links to a blog that gives more details and a petition demanding his release.
Posted 7:09 AM by WiN
Religious freedom comes to Iraq
Shiite muslims were able to visit a holy shrine in Karbala this year for the first time since Saddam took power in Iraq, culminating a pilgrimage by hundreds of thousands of Shiite worshippers marking the death of a man they believe was Muhammed's heir. U.S. officials pulled back American forces from the city in an apparent attempt to avoid clashes with the pilgrims, but U.S.-backed Iraqi National Congress forces were seen working a checkpoint on one of the roads into Karbala.
Monday, April 21, 2003
Posted 1:48 PM by WiN
NOW supports Scott Peterson
The National Organization for Women is outraged that Scott Peterson has been charged with murder for the 'death' of an 'inanimate lump of tissue', and is defending his 'right to choose', according to this article from Scott Ott at Scrappleface. The 'money quote'? "Terminating the fetus at that late date was still permissable," according to the (NOW legal dept.) memo, "because there was a clear threat to the life and health of the mother."
Posted 1:31 PM by WiN
A Volokh reader points out the ludicrous bias of poll questions:
Gee, I sure wish the polling companies would ask the same question about other issues:They should let conservatives write some of their questions every once and awhile and see how it skews the results. Don't hold your breath.
Posted 9:48 AM by WiN
Black churches going "neo-Pentecostal"
Stumbled across this article today which discusses the ongoing trend of mainline black denominational churches towards 'Pentecostalism', which they describe as "embracing such charismatic gifts as speaking in tongues, healing, miracles and being slain in the Spirit." (since this is from Charisma magazine, insert your own requisite level of skepticism)
An interesting quote from the pastor of the 15,000-member Bethel AME Church in Baltimore:
"Pentecost does not belong to any one denomination," says Frank M. Reid, who has been pastor at Bethel ... since 1988. "It is part of every Christian's journey. ... Every Christian must have a Pentecostal experience -- there's no way around it."The article also states "Perhaps most striking is that of the nation's black megachurches, a majority are believed to be neo-Pentecostal -- a fact that gives these leaders unprecedented influence in the African American community." I personally think this is great news, assuming these leaders use their influence to wrest control of the 'black agenda' from race-baiters like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Kweisi Mfume.
To be blunt, fighting 'racial profiling', suing gun manufacturers rather than prosecuting gun-toting criminals, and opposing attempts to improve schools through public vouchers is as counterproductive to black interests as Jim Crow. I believe it is critical for respected black church leaders to speak up for improved educational opportunities, improved law enforcement efforts in inner-city neighborhoods, and, most importantly, the crucial role fatherhood plays in a child's chances for success or failure in life.
If they can use their substantial influence to turn these areas around in the black community, they will have done more for blacks and society in general than all the Rainbow Coalitions and National Action Networks ever have in all their history - and I think they'd draw enormous support from society at large including a crucial role in the President's faith based initiatives. Not to mention bringing new power and life to the traditional black church. I wish them nothing but God's greatest blessings in their efforts.
Posted 7:00 AM by WiN
Happy birthday, Rachel!
Hope you have a great day, Rachel! (oh, and my favorite Richie song is 'Truly' - I sang it for my brother's wedding.)
My Bloginality is INFP
AN OPEN LETTER IN SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE OF IRAN FROM THE WEBLOGGING COMMUNITY
We are not politicians, nor are we generals. We hold no power to dispatch diplomats to negotiate; we can send no troops to defend those who choose to risk their lives in the cause of freedom.
What power we have is in our words, and in our thoughts. And it is that strength which we offer to the people of Iran on this day.
Across the diverse and often contentious world of weblogs, each of us has chosen to put aside our differences and come together today to declare our unanimity on the following simple principles:
- That the people of Iran are allies of free men and women everywhere in the world, and deserve to live under a government of their own choosing, which respects their own personal liberties
- That the current Iranian regime has failed to create a free and prosperous society, and attempts to mask its own failures by repression and tyranny
We do not presume to know what is best for the people of Iran; but we are firm in our conviction that the policies of the current government stand in the way of the Iranians ability to make those choices for themselves.
And so we urge our own governments to turn their attention to Iran. The leaders and diplomats of the world's democracies must be clear in their opposition to the repressive actions of the current Iranian regime, but even more importantly, must be clear in their support for the aspirations of the Iranian people.
And to the people of Iran, we say: You are not alone. We see your demonstrations in the streets; we hear of your newspapers falling to censorship; and we watch with anticipation as you join the community of the Internet in greater and greater numbers. Our hopes are with you in your struggle for freedom. We cannot and will not presume to tell you the correct path to freedom; that is for you to choose. But we look forward to the day when we can welcome your nation into the community of free societies of the world, for we know with deepest certainty that such a day will come
A personal note: I have only had one Iranian acquaintance in my life, but I definitely considered him a friend. While I was in college (second time round) I had a part-time job as a self-serve gas station attendant. The senior employee was an engineering student named Rahim. The school I attended had (and probably still has) a significant middle-eastern student population, a lot of them in engineering. This was also during a period (mid-eighties) when Iran was not a popular place to be from (Iatolla Khomeini era). Since he was obviously middle-eastern, people would sometimes ask him, "Where are you from?" to which he would reply, with a sly grin "Persia".
He was not very political, so the topic of Iranian politics rarely came up. Occasionally he would show me some propaganda sheet he had picked up on campus, written in Farsi, and translate some of it for me. He also delighted in the ridiculous political cartoons showing Uncle Sam in various uncomplimentary poses. He seemed to regard the whole thing as humorous, but he got very serious when he spoke on rare occasion about the danger his relations back home faced from the oppressive regime. He had married an American and intended to stay here, at least until things got better back home.
I can't count the number of times he helped me out with work-related situations like swapping shifts and taking over for me in emergency situations. I gladly did the same for him. He was especially enamored with a nice "fuzzbuster" I had that I used for my many trips to Dallas. He borrowed it for a couple of trips he had to make to El Paso, where a former professor was holding a term paper of his "hostage" and he was negotiating to have the paper approved in order to get credit for the course, which was holding up his degree. He returned from his trips singing the praises of the magical device.
I lost track of him, of course, after I quit the job but to this day he is the face of Iran to me - friendly, helpful and a little mischievous, with a heart of gold. I wish him and all the people of Iran good will and the blessings of freedom.