Thursday, March 26, 2009

Still no interest in blogging or the internet

What I said a few months ago still stands.

I've not missed blogging. And the time I've reclaimed is well spent with a few other guys in the infinitely more pleasant, personable, and practical hobby of homebrewing.

It's actually quite satisfying to drink beer you've brewed while not caring what angry and ill-informed people on the internet think.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy!

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all; plus, a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great, (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country, nor is it the only 'America' in the western hemisphere), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform, or sexual preference/orientation (the use of which terminology is not intended to imply a preference or deference to one theory or another on the physiological nature of sexuality) of the wisher.


Disclaimer: By accepting this greeting, you agree to these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal at any time. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others, is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first. Warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher who assumes no responsibility for any unintended emotional stress these greetings may bring to those not caught up in the holiday spirit. Your rights may vary by state.

Monday, December 08, 2008

There is no justice

Where does it make sense that two top-ranked teams end the season with one loss each, the team ranked #3 having beaten the team ranked #1?

In BCS land, that's where.


PS -- No offense to Mark Daniels, but Ohio State? 10th-ranked, 10-2 Ohio State? Alabama and USC are ranked lower than Texas and have better bowl game opponents. Criminy.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why the GOP is hurting (UPDATE)

Various commentators have offered suggestions for the GOP's sad state.

Was it giving in to social conservatives and turning off more moderate voters, as P.J. O'Rourke suggests? Given that traditional marriage amendments passed in several states, including California, it seems unlikely that the electorate suddenly shifted to the left and rejected conservatism.

Was it fielding a candidate that inspired little excitement and the baggage of an unpopular President? That surely has more to do with it

But why were the President and the predominantly-Republican Congress (1994-2006) held in such low esteem? The GOP was given power in '94 because of frustrations with a Democratic Congress and the GOP's clear and compelling promises to do a better job running the country. But not long after gaining power, the GOP went about proving Lord Acton right again.

I don't think America has rejected conservatism; I think America has rejected the corruption and betrayal of conservative principles over the last 8 years. The GOP under Bush has wandered far from small government, fiscal responsibility, and constitutionally-limited powers.

The GOP doesn't need to look any farther than its own feckless and self-serving performance during the Bush administration. It doesn't matter that the Democrats are just as spendthrift, power-hungry, selfish and irresponsible. If all you can do is tie the opposition, then you're going to get the blame when things go wrong. The GOP has to stand for something more than being "not Democrat."

In 1916, German-born Presbyterian minister William Boetcker gave a summary of conservative principles. This is as good a place to start as any:

  • You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  • You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
  • You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  • You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer.
  • You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
  • You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
  • You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
  • You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
  • You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence.
  • You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
It's a shame that in forgetting these principles, the Republicans have not only earned their political rejection, but have brought such disrepute to conservatism that the country's leadership is now in the hands of people who reject all of these principles.

We may all be in for some painful lessons.


UPDATE: Freeman Hunt links to a Hot Air piece on Mike Huckabee's critique of the GOP. I think Huckabee is as wrong as O'Rourke. He's actually concerned that libertarian tendencies in the GOP leave "little room for government-driven solutions to people’s problems."

I would suggest that if your concern is not having enough government-driven solutions to people's problems, you're in the wrong party to begin with.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Where have all the voters gone?

For all the talk about massive turnout, it didn't happen. It appears there were about the same number of votes cast for President this year as in 2004.

In St. Louis county, there were slightly more ballots cast than in '04, but they represented a lower percentage of registered voters.

In 2000, we had a 77.25% turnout among 644,126 registered voters.
In 2004, 80.31% of 686,272 voted.
And in 2008, turnout was 77.9% of 716,267.

We didn't even have as big an increase in registrations from 2004 to 2008 as we had from 2000 to 2004.

Maybe the media were projecting their excitement about Obama to the rest of the country?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Congratulations to Obama (UPDATED)

I don't like his big-government policies, and I am still fearful that Obama will do exactly what he talked about doing, but at the end of the day it's still a positive thing that we have elected an African-American President.

Congratulations to President-elect Obama.


UPDATE: NPR makes a beautiful connection -- At 109, the daughter of a slave lives to see Obama elected President. (h/t: Instapundit)

And give full credit to John McCain for a humble, gracious and patriotic concession speech:

I would not be an American worthy of the name should I regret a fate that has allowed me the extraordinary privilege of serving this country for a half a century.

Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much. And tonight, I remain her servant. That is blessing enough for anyone, and I thank the people of Arizona for it.

Tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Senator Obama — whether they supported me or Senator Obama.

I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe, always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.

Americans never quit. We never surrender.We never hide from history. We make history.

Thank you, and God bless you, and God bless America.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The election simplified (UPDATE)




(from the Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation -- pdf here).



Note that the tax analysis above doesn't take into account Obama's stated intentions 1) to make it impossible to open any new coal or nuclear power plants and 2) to raise the cost of energy. It also was based on Obama's original definition of "rich" as those making over $250,000. That was first downgraded to $200K, then $150K. Bill Richardson now says that the "middle class" who will get a tax cut are those making less than $120,000.

It's been well said that people are voting for Obama in hopes that he doesn't mean what he says, and people are voting for McCain in fear that Obama means exactly what he says.

Vote accordingly.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fair warning (UPDATE)

Barney Frank says plainly that the Democratic plan for America is to cut defense spending and raise taxes.

Have the Democrats ever had any other plan?

(NB: cutting defense spending by 25% is part of a "stimulus package." I guess no Americans work in defense jobs).


UPDATE: The Democratic candidate for President talks about how the civil rights movement messed up by focusing on actual, you know, "rights" instead of redistribution of wealth . Can we change that? Yes we can!

Also, don't miss the legal scholar's disappointment that the Warren court didn't find in the Constitution "what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf."

Is there any better example of liberal, big-government thought? Americans are not free people who grant to the government limited powers to protect their rights, they are pitiful weaklings who need the government to do things for them. Government is the solution!

Democracy may be, as Churchill said, the worst form of government except for every other that's been tried, but Obama seems determined to remove the exception.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Apropos of nothing

When we found out we were expecting our fourth child, our older boy (around 6 at the time) announced that he thought a good name would be Molucca Moo.

He was dead serious, too.

The boy still cracks us up.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fail (UPDATE)

Failblog is my new BFF.




I can't tell you how often I see signs, flyers, and posters like that. A few weeks ago I drove past a daycare center van with two grammar errors painted on.

But this earns triple bonus points for illegal use of a licensed character, the name "Sweet Cheeks Day Care," and misspelling your town's name.

Epic fail.


UPDATE: Kaye provides links to more unintentional humor -- Cake Wrecks and Not Always Right (customer service horror stories). Good stuff.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Quick hits

I got in my 12-year-old car this morning and noticed the odometer read 111000. In binary, my car only has 56 miles on it.

Obama wants to classify carbon as a dangerous pollutant. That will help the economy.

What do community organizers do? Engage in wholesale vote fraud! Don't address the question, attack the questioner! And this guy wants us to trust him with Executive branch power.

Obama and his friends want to raise taxes on "rich" people in order to redistribute wealth. The media won't ask what Joe the Plumber dared to, but they will question the questioner.

Don't forget this video. Obama wants to cut Defense spending and surrender our stategic military advantages. Any word on reductions in entitlement spending -- the part which chews up more than half the federal budget and is in danger of bankrupting the country?

Good times ahead.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I need a break

I'm tired.

I'm tired of this election. It's been dragging on for two years already. I'm tired of the candidates, tired of their lies and distortions, tired of them ignoring things that need attention, and deeply concerned that neither of them is up to the significant challenges facing our nation.

Stubborn Facts reports that Medicare went into deficit this year and its unfunded obligations are upwards of $85 trillion. Social Security is on a similar path. Entitlement programs eat up more than half the federal budget. Will any politician even talk about these things, much less propose a serious response?

I'm sickened by the outrageous and predictable vote fraud being perpetrated by ACORN, abetted by Democratic politicians, and largely ignored by the media. I'm angry that we've known for years that this is business as usual for ACORN and done nothing about it.

But Obama likely won't even need those fraudulent votes because people are going to vote for him even though they oppose everything he stands for and think he will be a terrible President. People actually admit that they want government to take over Wall Street, give them 'free' health care, and somehow magically make it all better.

And I'm disgusted by the strong-arm tactics of Obama's campaign and outraged by the repeated assertion that opposition to Obama is racist -- from people who don't know me, my friends, my life, my ministry, or anything about me. I am already sick at the thought of having to hear that kind of ugly, destructive political slander for the next 4-8 years.

Rome wasn't built in a day, and it wasn't destroyed in a day. Rome had been in a long, gradual decline for years before the Goths showed up. They simply realized what the Romans had already decided -- that Rome wasn't worth saving. The Romans didn't make a conscious choice to destroy their Empire, they just made a series of small decisions over a period of time which gradually undermined the moral, economic, and social foundations. Each of those decisions in themselves were not disastrous, and were perhaps even justifiable in isolation. But the whole created a culture of apathy, dissolution, cynicism, and selfishness. Read Dr. Bob's piece. At least for me, it's not hard to see the parallels.

I don't think Obama will destroy America. But I am convinced that he will head us in the direction of greater government involvement in and control of our lives, of less freedom, more dependence, and uglier and more destructive politics -- done with a smile and government handout, of course. Obama says he believes America needs "fundamental" change. Given his background, voting record, and political bent, that scares the hell out of me. And I feel like there's nothing I can do about it, and I hate it.

I need to take some time off. I guess I need to stop caring so much about politics and what happens to our country. I wish my grandfather were still alive so he could tell me how me made it through four Roosevelt administrations.

I started this blog to share some of my thoughts and reflections on religion, politics, and culture. Writing about this stuff just seems more and more pointless, irrelevant, and bothersome. It takes up too much of my precious time which could be better spent closer to home.

I may write if something grabs my attention. I may stop by other blogs to make a few comments -- but there doesn't seem to be much point when you can't have a conversation even at moderate sites without ugly, hateful, and stupid invective being thrown around.

Thanks to everyone for your comments, encouragement, and support.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Never too young (UPDATED AGAIN)

As we've already seen, it's never too early to get young people started appreciating Barack Obama.

Of course, as kids grow up, they need more substantive study of Obama to fully appreciate his many contributions to America.

8th-graders in Racine, WI, for example, get 15 pages of Obama in their McDougal-Littell Literature textbooks. Of course, a 15-page section in an English literature textbook can't begin to address all that Obama is and means to us.

Hopefully, a liberal arts college will soon develop an Obama Studies class, and eventually a major.

Until then, kids will have to be content with wearing Obama t-shirts to school and hosting Obama sleep-overs.

Don't forget: 3-year-olds can learn to spell OBAMA, and as 8-year-old Ava reminds us, "We do not need a third term."

They're so cute when they're exploited for their parents' amusement and self-validation!



UPDATE: For the record, Ava Grace is a nice name for a baby girl -- Sarah McCain Palin, not so much.

UPDATE THE SECOND: A seventh-grade girl in Florida is called a racist by her classmates for wearing a McCain/Palin shirt to school. Gee, I wonder where the kids picked up that idea? Ah, I can hear the old liberal sing, "Teach you children well..."


(h/t: Gateway Pundit, Classical Values)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Enough already (UPDATE)

Amba at Ambivablog shares notes from a recent conversation with a friend who is very concerned about the global economic situation:

Schwarzenegger just asked for 7 billion; basically, CA is broke. Seven more states are insolvent, will go broke by the end of the year, have completely overspent, and can't print money like the feds can.

L.A. seeks 400 million dollar bailout separate from CA as a state. Cannot meet its obligations on its bonds, or anything. Expect other municipal bonds to tank. The city of Detroit is gone. Bonds worthless [...]

Iceland just went broke . . . other European countries will follow.

Auto companies are about to ask for 75 billion. They can no longer extend auto loans.

In 2012 the boomers start to retire; they can't afford to.

The DJIA opened under 9300 today, and is down 30% year-to-date.

So what solutions do our Presidential candidates offer? More government entitlement programs, higher taxes, and using federal (i.e., our) money to buy out "bad" mortgages. I don't think either of them have any idea what they're doing or any thing driving their proposals except political pandering.


UPDATE: The Dow closed under 8600 today. It's down almost 40% over the last year.


Read more!