Saturday, October 16, 2004

Silly Season Ads

Not to brag, but I've opened up a 100+ hit lead against my co-bloggers. Take that, boys :P

I was over at my grammy's this evening. The poor woman gets so many recorded phone messages from politicians and interest groups, it's just ridiculous. She also gets tons and tons of mail and had a few winners for me.

One is about outsourcing, put out by Americans Coming Together. The name itself is a total joke, but it says in huge print: "Tell George Bush when we lose our jobs to outsourcing, we lose our healthcare, too." Yeah, I'm going to get right on that. And while I'm at it, why doesn't John Kerry tell that to his wife? Heinz is in the habit of outsourcing, too.

The other is a little booklet from the swiftboat veterans. I haven't had a chance to read the whole thing yet, but the front of it has the picture of Kerry and his fellow swiftboat vets. There's young John right in the middle, surrounded by 19 other troops. Of these 19, two are deceased, two don't have opinions listed, three are identifed as Kerry supporters, and the remaining 12 call Kerry unfit for command.

I totally love these swiftboat guys :) Let me tell you, there are some real cuties in the photo. I've always been a sucker for guys in uniforms.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Help Save Ohio Voters

Yes, I'm alive.

That being said, I got another e-mail suggestion today about how to handle this Guardian fiasco. If you have a few spare minutes, I suggest you do it. It's quick and easy and painless. (My apologies, it came to me in all caps.)








The Guardian, Operation Clark County, and the Declaration of Independence

I should really be getting some sleep, as I fear I may be getting a cold (just what I need), but I just had to comment on the insanity The Guardian, the far-left British newspaper, is unleashing on unsuspecting voters in Ohio. That's right, a British newspaper is trying to influence the American election. The Guardian has initiated Operation Clark County, an idea stolen they "came up with," encouraging British readers of the leftist paper to write to voters in the swingingest county of the swingingest state of the United States: Clark County, Ohio. (Side note: I got to meet Ohio's Governor Taft today. Boy, I would have loved to have asked him about this, but alas I didn't see it until tonight.)

Tim Blair, originator of the idea (as a joke, mind you) has devised Operation Guardian, to tell the editors over there what we all think of this. (Via Instapundit) The Lizardoids at Little Green Footballs weighed in as well.

What I find particularly irritating here (aside from the audacity and invasion of privacy) is the continuation of the idea that the rest of the world should have some say in American elections. I remember when Hans Blix visited Lehigh in March and commented that he wished he could vote in November. I've heard this a lot from non-Americans and the argument is usually that because the US is so powerful and so influential, American policies affect the entire world and therefore it would be right for the world to have a say about American policies. The Guardian used a similar justification in this column discussing their initiative. Well, actually, they didn't really justify it much at all. They simply declared it a crucial election, noted that lives in Britain are influenced by White House policy, and then cited an incredibly misleading quote from the Declaration of Independence in an attempt to show that the US is not living up to it.

I want to address the quote from the Declaration, since it has been taken wildly out of context and amazing interpretations have been projected on it. The paper says to its readers, "And yet, though the US Declaration of Independence speaks of 'a decent respect to the opinions of mankind', you don't, of course, have a vote." They are reading this quote as saying that Americans should seek and respect the opinions of the rest of the world and then carry it even further by implying that this applies to voting in American elections. Of course, it says nothing even remotely close to this.

It is actually a phrase in the very first paragraph:

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
This is really a preabmle to the declaration. The first paragraph is explaining the purpose of the document, a declaration of political separation and establishment of a nation "among the powers of the Earth." Jefferson (well, everyone who collaborated on it, but for simplicity's sake, Jefferson) is saying that when the "course of human events" compels one people to separate politically from another, it is incumbent upon those declaring the separation to state their reasons before the world, so that they may be judged on their merits. The phrase "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind" is not a statement of inclusion and deference to an ideal of global opinion. Rather, it is Jefferson's belief that causes for separation from great Britain should be declared before the world, so that mankind may see the wrongs committed and the righteousness of the decision.

Many people forget that the Declaration of Independence is not just a declaration of the rights of man, it is also a justification for the act of splitting with Britain, as well as a list of the grievances against George III that made such an act necessary. Jefferson actually lays out the whole case for just revolution.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes.... But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government...
He then proceeds to list the abuses of the king, to prove his injustices. Jefferson writes, "let facts be submitted to a candid world." The "respect for the opinions of mankind" is a reference Jefferson's belief that because doing away with an existsing government is such a radical action, the rest of the world must be shown why it is an appropriate and unavoidable action.

At the time, absolutism and the divine right of kings were the philosophies that dominated the thinking about government, but the idea that governments derive "their just powers from the consent of the governed [and] [t]hat whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it..." was a radical departure. Jefferson truely believed this, though, and he felt compelled to demonstrate that the American separation from Britain was just, in part so that other peoples with oppressive governments might realize this, but also to establish the United States as "free and independent states" and that they should be treated as such. This was Jefferson persuading the world that the dissolution of political ties to Britain was a legitimate and necessary action and that the United States should now be members in equal standing "among the powers of the Earth."

The "decent respect to the opinions of mankind" was Jefferson saying that a respect for the opinion of the world demanded a philosophical explanation for what the Americans were doing. It was not, as The Guardian implies, an invitation for the world to submit their opinions for the consideration of Americans, but instead an American declaration of opinion to the world in the hopes of eliciting agreement. For The Guardian to bend this statement to their purposes as it did shows either a complete ignorance of the Declaration, or a willful disregard of it because it did not fit their agenda. I suspect it is the latter.

Thursday, October 14, 2004


Lileks, now running for the senate from Minnesota without his consent, often makes Thursday his links day (thus Thurlsday) and since there's plenty of good stuff out there today, I thought I'd borrow the term for the title of this post. Having just typed that explanation, it seems like a waste of time now, but whatever... Up with linkage!

Glenn Reynolds notes that the RIAA was disrespected by the Supreme Court today. I can only hope this is the first of many. Reynolds also notes that the Democrats have made the Vodkapundit very angry.

Over at the unrivaled Corner, an emailer to John Derbyshire reminds all the lonely conservatives in Blue States to vote lest Bush win but lose the popular vote again, dooming us to four more years of whining about that.

K-lo points to this column by David Harsanyi in today's Denver Post, exposing the idiocy gripping the great state of Colorado when it comes to voting this year. Happily, the quoted voice of reason and sanity is none other than my county clerk and reporter, Mr. Bob Balink. Thank God I live in El Paso County.

Bill Hobbs is carefully watching the voter fraud story all across the country, thus doing the old media's job for it again. Check with him for the latest.

Back in the Corner, Peter Robinson ridicules human rights zealots for never being satisfied with anything and for their silly phobia of defense contractors.

Derb also links to this excellent blog post about what we've done to marriage in this country. I believe that the destruction of marriage is one of the greatest ills of our society. It has led to the disintegration of the family, the most important societal unit, hurting children and adults, and permeating our culture with the worst kinds of lessons. Convenience over commitment, entitlement over responsibility, and many more. The author is absolutely right that gay marriage is merely a symptom of a much larger illness.

Meanwhile, and unsurprisingly I might add, Drudge is reporting that the Dems are going to distribute an election manual suggesting liberals launch a "pre-emptive strike" by chaging voter intimidation, even if there is no evidence of it.

And continuing the meme of the long, pathetic descent of the Democratic Party into the fevered Moores (it's a pun, folks), Power Line notes the Democrats are using progressively more effective weapons to shoot themselves in the foot, all in the cause of getting rid of Bush.

Michelle Malkin is also paying attention, and nails the media for their typical hypocrisy in her column this week. She's referring to this, in case you've been watching CNN.

Oh, and I apologize for my blogging being mostly on Wednesday and Thursday lately. Those are just the best chances I have. Believe me, I want to change that. I am encouraged, though, that the writing bug is still biting me, even if only for link purposes.

Lileks for Senate!

With an idea this brilliant, who am I to resist? Can you imagine him on the pundit shows or taking questions from the press? The idea is too delicious to contemplate, like a bowl full of steamed lobsters...

Lileks for Senate '06

Instapundit's endorsement.

Hugh Hewitt is obviously on board.

The endorsement list. Count me in.

The reluctant candidate responds! Don't worry, there's a whole year to drag him bodily into this.

An Explanation for Fallujah?

I've long been mystified about the political reasons for leaving cities like Fallujah, Najaf, and, until last week, Samarra to fester under the rule of the terrorists. These hives of evil have been spawning suicide bombers, the infamous IEDs (improvised explosive devices) that are used as roadside bombs, and have likely been assisting the serial kidnappers and murderers. Leaving these cities like this certainly didn't make any sense from a purely military perspective, but since war is all about the satisfaction of political goals, I figured there must be somone in the White House or the Pentagon convinced that leaving these guys alone was a good strategy. The problem was, I just couldn't quite grasp what the strategy was here.

Well, Instapundit has a very interesting post with an excerpt from StrategyPage discussing the possible benefits of leaving the terrorists alone in these cities. An update at the bottom of the post explains the thinking very well, in my opinion. When the terrorists take over these towns, the people wind up suffering from the oppression, from the threats and extortion, and from the coalition forces who then go after the militants in these towns. The ordinary Iraqis get a taste of what things would be like if the terrorists took over, and though they may dislike the Americans, they realize how much worse it could be (though one would think that decades of Saddam would have provided stark enough contrast). Then, all of a sudden, they want the terrorists out, which explains this story from a couple days ago.

Glenn Reynolds thinks this is a deliberate strategy on the part of the Pentagon, and if so, I think it's the first really logical explanation for what has been going on in Fallujah. And you know, it sounds pretty intelligent to me. I think we'll see some major developments in the next couple of months.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

my vrwc article on moore

Michael Moore to Visit “Hopelessly Conservative” Lehigh Campus
Squirrels leave en masse for fear of being eaten…

By Kevin Frost
Contributing Editor

On October 29th, Michael Moore’s “Slacker Uprising Tour” will be swinging through the Lehigh Valley for a stop at Stabler Arena, where the filmmaker will be collecting roughly $25,000 of your tuition dollars for a night of one way dialogue, slanderous portrayals of your elected officials, and a slyly concealed effort to get the audience to vote four days later – for John Kerry. This event is being conducted jointly by University Productions and the Visiting Lecturer’s Committee, a partnership that the two parties tried to form last spring. As a former member of the VLC I was involved in the discussions with Nick Lynch, president of UP, when he came before the committee with a suggestion to have the two groups work together to bring a speaker to campus who fit both the mold of “lecturer” and “entertainer.” Among the suggested names were Mike Reiss of The Simpsons, Mo Rocca of The Daily Show, and the creators of The Onion. Any of these three events would have produced a great turnout at a greatly reduced cost compared to Moore’s visit. Just remember on your way up to Goodman, if you choose to go, you may have been able to ask Mike Reiss your most pressing Simpsons question, for free, instead of spending five dollars to listen to Michael Moore and be denied any opportunity to stand up and ask him a question.

At other schools so far during his tour, Moore has not been taking questions from the audience. At Lehigh, we hear that he may be taking questions, but they will have to be written in advance and passed forward and read by one of Moore’s lackeys before Moore himself gets a shot at them. You see, it would inconvenience Michael to have to defend his positions in front of thousands of people, on the spot, just as it apparently inconveniences him to debate someone with an opposing viewpoint during this tour. Radio talk show host Sean Hannity offered to come to Lehigh at no charge to debate Moore. Hannity’s normal speaking fee is $100,000, but he feels so strongly that Moore needs to be challenged on the contents of his movie and books that he told his listeners on the air that he would come to Lehigh, just as he said to many other students who called in with similar concerns from around the country. Moore has agreed to none of these debates. Moore has one interest: a large public forum where he can count on a perfectly choreographed show to get “slackers” (that’s all the credit he is giving Lehigh students) out to vote for John Kerry, where he won’t have to worry about fielding a tough question or put any thought into his otherwise scripted evening. What Lehigh is getting for “entertainment” four days before the general election is a very expensive cookie cutter.

This event has serious implications for the rest of the school year as well. Both UP and VLC will be suffering financially after Moore’s show. How will this affect Sundaze? How will this affect comedians and musical guests for the spring semester? How will this affect the VLC’s ability to bring in lecturers for the spring? Now, I know not everyone goes to the comedians or to lectures, and we have certainly heard about the confusing lack of attendance at the bands that come to campus, but to those of you who do enjoy these activities, is one night of Michael Moore really worth hurting the quality and quantity of activities for the rest of the year? My freshman year I used to go to the comedians every weekend, and now I’ve come to enjoy attending the lectures that the school hosts. For those of you who are also worried about this, please express your concern to the groups involved. Write to the Brown and White. It is too late to stop Michael Moore from coming, but we can try to ensure that money is not wasted so irresponsibly in the future.

Finally, Professor Pinaire submitted an article to this publication at the beginning of the year in response to an article that I wrote last year. He pressed upon us at the Conspiracy and the rest of the politically involved students on campus the importance of smart, intelligent, and responsible political discourse. He said we owe this to the campus, and we have been working towards that goal ever since. What does an extremist of any political persuasion add to the responsible political discourse on campus? Absolutely nothing. Why should the whole university be degraded because UP was sick of putting on failed events like Rock the Vote? If you agree with this, please, write in, talk about it with your friends, do whatever you can. Michael Moore is coming, but hopefully we can make UP and VLC second guess themselves.

I Saw the President Today!

Dubya rocked Colorado Springs along with Pete Coors, Wayne Allard, Bill Owens, Joel Hefley, and Jenna Bush. It was definitely worth standing from 6 to 11 AM and getting up at 4:30. The goal is to have a recap of this experience and a brief review of Fahrenhype 9/11 tomorrow since a good friend of mine was nice enough to show it to me over the weekend. I'd also like to finish the long post I'm working on about Colorado's proposed Amendment 36, but we'll see how things go.

Mid-Week Links

I thought I'd make an update pointing out some of the good things I've been reading... and also to assure everyone that I haven't disappeared. Of course, these don't come from anywhere near all the sites I should be reading on a daily basis. Nevertheless, I've been enjoying what I have read and I usually feel the urge/obligation to point it out to others.

First, you have to read Jonah Goldberg's fantastic column where he just lets loose on Kerry and Edwards and all their apologists/Bush haters. It's a good thing (to steal a phrase...).

Power Line reminds us all why Zell Miller is perhaps the the most entertaining man with the title "United States Senator" and close to the only sane person with a "D" after his name by linking to his op-ed describing how the media would report the Battle of Iwo Jima today. Priceless.

While you're at Power Line, don't forget to read about the PLO's latest accidental revelation of their true aspirations.

Meanwhile, Hugh Hewitt spent some of his radio program coming up with clever analogies for the race of Bush v. Kerry. Read 'em for some fun. A few of my faves: Lincoln v. McClellan, White House v. waffle house, September 12 v. September 10, D-Day v. Dunkirk, Red Dawn v. Reds, steak v. pate (Lileks), hard sharp cheddar v. runny brie (Lileks), and Laura v. Theresa. Much more where those came from.

And finally, James Lileks, in his inimitable form, sums up Edwards' demagougery regarding stem cells: "I could talk about John Edwards’ comments on stem-cell research, but really it’s very simple. Stem cells will be injected into the bloodstream, where they will act like Star Wars Midichloridans, and help the quadrapalegic to use the Force and stand erect."

Dear Mr. Lileks,

Please teach me to be as clever as you.

Sincerely, David.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Balanced Budget Amendment

Balanced Budget Amendment

Recently in a Federal Tax Policy class the professor talked about what a horrible idea a balanced budget amendment to the constitution would be. I strongly disagree with this position and although I am in the minority from a business and economic perspective I am increasingly worried about our level of foreign debt. A balanced budget amendment to the constitution has been tried in the past and while it has not passed I still think the idea has significant merit and is worth pursuing.
For those who aren’t familiar with the idea this would put a constitutional amendment that would force the congress to have a balanced budget. There are provisions that allow deficits in times of war and for emergency disasters if 2/3 of the congress feels that this is a disaster. It does not completely limit spending but would force these pork barrel projects to be exposed when trying to decide what is worth funding. During the founding days of our nation fiscal responsibly largely through Alexander Hamilton and his funding at part strategies made it very easy to have a balanced budget. As government expenditures grew there was less and less accountability. Now it is out of control and sadly the only way I can see it coming back under control is forcing the congress to spend less. Even in Sunday’s PA Senate debates Arlen Specter talked about the entire “special project” he would bring to PA. I do not want any senator sitting there bringing pork barrel spending to their states. These people cannot control themselves and sadly need to be controlled. Many people fear that we will not be able to respond without violating the constitution but forcing people to come to a solution will help to find this countries true challenges and allow for what we really need to get done. For my fellow bloggers I would love to hear your thoughts on this idea.

Michael Moore UGH!!!!

With Michael Moore’s odious presence coming to Lehigh I have decided it is time to read “Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man” by David Hardy and Jason Clarke. I will be dividing this up into several posts about Moore so that those who read the blog can be even more informed of what a lying scumbag this man truly is. The book has four aims which I will list below (for reference these come from page 11).

Four major recurring themes of Moore’s Career

How you lash out at critics, regardless of the veracity of their criticism, and how you often spin outlandish conspiracy theories around those who don’t buy your act hook, line and sinker.
How you preach to a congregation of blind followers, teaching them by you example that facts and knowledge aren’t necessary components of rabble-rousing rhetoric, and that it’s more important to speak passionately than it is to speak intelligently.
How you bend the truth to fit your predetermined thesis, creating a false impression for a wide audience that takes in your message.
How your career and public persona fit the textbook definition of a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, pervading your works with a truly pathological combination of overwhelming egotism and self loathing.

I will try to keep this from simple name calling however since Michael Moore knows nothing else it will be hard not go degenerate to his disgusting level of non intellectual debate. In this case I had considered a response based on intellectual modes however given Michael Moore’s track record I think shouting and making up lies is a far better way to go. I cannot go that far however and along with shouting I will shout the truth about this man and work to stop his disinformation against our president.