Saturday, November 27, 2004

Color-Coding Ukraine

If you just can't get enough of Election Maps - but are tired of looking at the same tired outline of the continental United States, SCSU Scholars has the map for you (via Instapundit):

The Ukraine Election
See how close it all really was and how support for the "Viktors" was split right down the middle in a disturbingly obvious pattern. No wonder America can't get behind this. We like our colored maps to be one color on the outside and another in the middle, a totally different kind of pattern known as "The Oreo" that manages to be obvious but less disturbing because we understand it.

And SCSU has informative posts about the Ukrainian election as well - if you're interested.

UPDATE: The Adventures of Chester has emails posted from readers currently in Ukraine here and here.

Friday, November 26, 2004

The Spider Hunter

In honor of The Ranger, who is currently in a daily fight for his life against what is undoubtedly the entire arachnid population of the southwest, I quote this post from Patterico:
If you have a backyard and a flashlight, and it's dark, go do this right now.

Hold the flashlight right next to your eyes and shine the beam in front of you as you walk around the yard. If you see a tiny reflecting dot, like a dewdrop, walk towards it with the light shined on it. It is the reflection of a spider's eyes, and you can walk right up to the spider.

You can find spiders from 30 feet away with this technique. I did it tonight and found spiders all over the yard.
But then again, maybe it's better not to know how many spiders are out there...

Iran's Nuclear Hi-Jinks

Sean, at Everything I Know is Wrong, comments on the sudden enlightenment of the IAEA. Apparently their "Confidence in Iran's Nuclear Program has Eroded" according to VOA.

Sean's response:
Eroded? Eroded from where; how can you go down from the bottom?

While I agree that the IAEA should have had zero confidence in Iran, that wasn't the way it was. During the campaign, Senator Kerry tried to make it seem like Iran was a big threat, but he seemed to be proposing a continuance of the same tired policies - but with the additional added plan to offer them nuclear fuel.

So now, as Sean says:
Mohamed Elbaradei, head of the IAEA and author of that fake memo about the ammo dump that caused so much kerfuffle toward the end of the 2004 presidential campaign, is complaining that Iran (shock of shocks) isn't living up to it's promise to freeze uranium its enrichment program.

Apparently ElBaradei thinks "that Iran's confidence deficit needs to be restored through more cooperation and transparency."

Again though, how can there be more transparency when there hasn't really been any? The only thing transparent about Iran is that they have been transparently violating all of their agreements, as seen here in the VOA article:
But [ElBaradei] said Iran has informed the IAEA it wants to continue to use around 20 centrifuge components for research and that this request was under consideration.

The request has annoyed European powers, who recently struck a deal under which Tehran would fully freeze uranium enrichment activities in exchange for nuclear technology.

ElBaradei continues to be useless [and perhaps crazy] for even considering this request. Europe is just as crazy for thinking that Iran would ever fully freeze their own uranium. Moreover, both Kerry and Europe are outrageously ridiculous for thinking it's better to stop Iran's nuclear research by giving them the nuclear fuel and technology, both of which would amount to a multi-year jump forward in the precise research they wished to stop!

The VOA article also said that the US thinks Iran is working on its Nuke program in secret, but Iran denies this.
Sean's dead-on reaction:
And it's a plausible denial, too: "Secret" would hardly be the word I'd choose to describe their nuclear ambitions. When will the UN start acting like it knows that Iran can't be trusted as far as they could throw Tehran?

The UN has to start acting that way, as well as the IAEA and the rest of Europe. I think the US is sort of acting like Iran can't be trusted, but counting on the rest of the world to apply the pressure. Though I must say that I don't think that offers of nuclear technology are doing much to "apply" said "pressure."

Lastly, I called these movements by Iran "Hi-jinks" because it seemed to capture the ridiculous nature of this entire debacle. Iran acts obviously with its nuclear program and the rest of the world acts like Iran isn't being obvious. It's as if their saying "If we pretend that Iran is doing it secretly, we won't have to do anything about it because we can pretend we don't know for sure and thus don't have to take action."

These are Nuclear Weapons we are dealing with people! Wake up and remember the Cold War. Tolerance of other countries' so-called "secrets" has its limits and I'd say nuclear technology is one of them.

Target: The Day After

In honor of the frenzy that is the After-Thanksgiving sale, I figured it was time to talk about Target.

In speaking with my friend Beverly the other day, I realized that those who don't read Boston newspapers or a lot of blogs don't even know that Target kicked the Salvation Army off their doorsteps nationwide. This is especially sad because up to 70% of the Salvation Army's income arrives during this time of year from the kettles outside of stores around the country.

I'm quite disappointed in Target for this choice. I told Beverly that people were sending emails and she said "Well, has anyone thought of just going to the Managers inside the stores?"
She went on to explain that the manager might get tired of having to explain to would-be customers why there are no bell-ringers outside the door and might speak to someone higher up about it. It's an interesting idea. Another benefit of this plan is that it would make clear how many people come into the store who are not buying anything specifically because of the Salvation Army Shunning.

Want to read more about it?
Well, there are now two websites you can check out:
DontShopTarget - where you can sign a petition or join a discussion and make an online Salvation Army Donation
BoycottTarget - a blog of sorts with news, links and information for making donations

For more familiar commentary, Hugh Hewitt has been all over this story. He's been posting emails that people have been sending to Target which have been very interesting.
He wrote two columns on it:
1. "A Christmas Carol for Target" from
My favorite paragraph from that:
Wal-Mart has no problem maintaining the Salvation Army as an exception to its general rule of non-solicitation, perhaps because the Salvation Army's mission is so closely tied to the root of the celebration about to begin: The offering of kindness by strangers to a family in need. Perhaps as well the tradition of gift giving on which America's retail sector has grown large and prosperous having its origins in the celebration of Christ's birthday may also have something to do with Wal-Mart's decision, and with the angry reaction of former Target shoppers.

2. "Targeting Target for some tough questions" from

This WorldNet column starts with this:
Last week, Target got some press coverage it didn't want – articles in a variety of newspapers and on "Fox News" about the retailer's decision to exile the Salvation Army and its kettles from the front of its more that 1,100 stores nationwide. Target's decision will cost the homeless – the least and the lost – about $9 million this year alone. If Target doesn't reverse its policy, that loss will compound every year into the future.

and continues through a discussion of an interesting theory concerning a newly launched plan for Target to donate to St. Jude's research hospital through the selling of gift cards. I found this paragraph particularly interesting:
Did St. Jude insist on the exiling of Salvation Army as a condition of Target's participation in the big roll out of this glitzy new campaign? Is St. Jude considered a "safe charity," secular with a sectarian name, and fun to be associated with given the glamour of the Hollywood affiliates?

Research into pediatric cancer is indeed a noble cause, but did St. Jude muscle out – intentionally or unintentionally – the dowdy old, very Christian Salvation Army with its unglamorous business of feeding drunks and clothing homeless?

The Salvation Army is indeed Christian, it is also very unglamorous. I know a couple who work for the Salvation Army in New York. It is a pretty demanding job and they earn an incredibly modest salary. In previous times of my unemployment, they expressed to me a need for a Youth Director, but confessed that while it would be an amazing service to the community, they would be unable to pay me for the job.

If there is an outright choice of Target to choose St. Jude's over the Salvation Army, it is odd and unfortunate. This is bad press for Target and I pray that they will change their position on this soon.

If you would still like more information or you want to read more about what Hugh thinks about Target (as well as what almost-ex-customers have emailed) you can read some other posts of his here[thoughts and recent emails], here[the relation of the Target controversy to the roots of Christmas based on this Belmont Club Post] and here[battling Lileks on Target as well as links to other blogs who are discussing the issue].

Finally, Christianity Today even had a small sidebar piece about this in its December issue:
Target Corp. says it will no longer allow Salvation Army volunteers outside its stores during the Christmas season. The chain, with 1,100 stores nationwide, said it chose to enforce its existing nonsolicitation policy because increasing numbers of nonprofits have sought the same access to shoppers.

Is this really the reputation Target wants to have on the day after Thanksgiving? For the entire Christmas season??

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving!

My thankfulness abounds. I think sometimes it's hard to even quantify how much I am indeed thankful for.

I was recently trying to explain to a non-Christian why I was so involved in church and religion, why I would be interested in reading the Bible, etc. I tried to explain the beginning of my involvement by explaining how touched I was to learn of God's love for me and His interest in each day and hour of my life. To know that God would notice me and know my name from among the billions on the earth was completely staggering to me. And now, to know that I can live to serve a God who loved me so much to give His son for me - that is truly amazing and for it I am truly thankful.

I pray that God's love was a blessing to all of you and your families as well :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

A Small Question of Legality

There was a lot of talk on talk radio today about this [non-amnesty] Guest Worker program that has been mentioned by President Bush.

People seem to be against it, and yet - this is happening (as reported by Best of the Web):
"A year-old state law that qualifies illegal immigrants for cheaper in-state tuition rates so they can better afford college also has some unintended beneficiaries: 80 international students on temporary visas, who, this fall, also get to pay the lower costs," reports the Seattle Times.

OK, maybe we're a little slow, but why is it a problem if legal aliens have the same benefits as illegal ones?

Yeah...and...WHY in the WORLD are we giving college benefits to illegal immigrants? I mean, I would sort of understand it if we weren't spending so much government funding on a little agency known as the INS that tries to find these illegal immigrants - but we are spending the money. There is such a thing as the INS! To me, this is akin to giving illegal immigrants driver's licenses and then complaining that they hide so well the INS can't find them.


Job Security ...from CNN??

Hilarious post from Instapundit:

THE BLOGGERS' FULL-EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 2004 JUST PASSED: Jonathan "Pajamas" Klein has just been named President of CNN.

New slogan: "CNN -- now with the credibility of Sixty Minutes!"

ha :)

Of course, what is the level of credibility of Sixty Minutes, now that Dan Rather has resigned the anchor desk, but will stay on as a "news" Correspondent? Is it up or down, do you think?
Updates and commentary on this are vast at RatherBiased.

Is there such thing as "The Bottom Ten"?

John Derbyshire at The Corner has the Top Ten things President Bush did right in Election '04 and the Top Ten things that Senator Kerry did wrong. [Is that the same as the bottom ten things that he did right?]

Tragedy in Wisconsin

And it is. The shooting deaths of the Wisconsin Hunters is not an "incident" or a "dispute." It's a tragedy and now 6 people are dead.

The Ranger called me about this over the weekend he asked if it had "made national news." Well, it certainly has.

Drew at DarnFloor, being from the area, is keeping a close watch on how the news is covering the story..

His first post about it on Sunday has updates and a few links to other blogs and news stories.

His second post, later that day goes deeper into a Fox News article and Drew himself provides some good commentary on it, with which I agree:
This is why I don't think "hunting dispute" is an accurate description of what happened. It wasn't an argument that escalated into gunfire. Vang left the tree stand, started walking away, but then just turned around and started shooting. He was still shooting as members of the hunting party tried to get the wounded away from the scene.

He also comments on the so-called "cultural angle"

This third post discusses the SKS assault rifle that Vang used in the shooting.
Given that the shooter is a Hmong immigrant, I'd wondered if there was some sort of communications barrier that resulted in the massacre. But Vang came to the U.S. in 1980--when he was probably 11 or 12. He served in the army, is a naturalized citizen and speaks good English. So language certainly wasn't an issue. And how could he live here for two thirds of his life and not come to understand the concept of private property? I do not condone any racist behavior toward the Hmong, but I don't quite buy the "cultural differences" excuse.

Now Drew posts a link to this story, wherein Chai Vang is claiming:
...[T]he hunters surrounded him, and some started calling him racial slurs. The statement quotes him as saying he started walking away but looked back. Vang said he saw the first hunter point his rifle at him and then fire a shot that hit the ground 30 to 40 feet behind him.

Vang told investigators that's when he started firing at the group.

I don't quite buy this, considering he walked away and 6 people are dead. But I suppose all that is to be done at this point is to pray for the two living wounded, for Vang himself and for the families of the killed.

Monday, November 22, 2004

A Bit of Deconstructing the Democrats in Election '04

Peter Schramm had two informative posts yesterday on No Left Turns.

First, a post that sites both the Wall Street Journal and Patrick Ruffini (a blogger who ran the Bush-Cheney'04 website). There are a lot of numbers and lot of percentages that may create blank stares, but Schramm gives a helpful overview, basically saying that turnout helped the President and there are less hidden Dems then the Dems like to believe ending with this Ruffini quote:
Political scientists are going to have rewrite the book on this one. Broken glass Republicans outnumbered broken glass Democrats - despite everything the media establishment held sacred and holy about this election. There is no hidden, nonvoting Democratic majority. There is no cap on the number of people willing to vote Republican. GOP mobilization efforts work just as well with high turnout. Next time you see a long line at the polls, smile.

Second, Schramm comments on a Washington Post article that proposes to set up Colorado as a model for the whole country as a way to secure a Democratic Victory in '08.
"The notion that moral issues won the 2004 election was disproven in Colorado," [Democratic Chairman Christopher]Gates continued. "We offered solutions, not ideology, and won almost everything." Well, maybe this will work, maybe it won't. But it is worth keeping on eye on because Salazar did (by and large) run as a moderate, and the GOP in Colorado does seem to be in dissaray.

The GOP Colorado may be in dissaray, I am in not position to know. But the GOP everywhere else seems pretty well organized, especially as it relates to getting out the vote (as evidenced by the other post above). Additionally, I don't know that the Democrats are generally known for offering solutions - or at least, respectable solutions. It is of course well know that Senator Kerry had a lot of plans, but were any of those plans actual solutions?

As to the question of running a moderate - yes, that worked for Salazar in Colorado and it seemed to almost work for Brad Carson in Oklahoma. [And I think it would have worked for Daschle if he were actually a moderate]. But what are the chances of the Democrats selecting a moderate candidate through the Primary process? They're not good. Colorado is an interesting situation, but I'm not yet convinced that the Democrats can use it to create a national model - at least not successfully and not with their current base of liberal voters.

Sustained Christian Involvement

Thanks to Evangelical Outpost for pointing me to this extremely amusing satirical website: The Holy Observer.
I thought this article was particularly appropriate:
Millions of Evangelicals Return to Political Inaction
- "Bush Elected, Work Done," Say Christian Conservatives

DAYTON, OH - With the presidential election decided in favor of George W. Bush, millions of evangelical Christians have returned to a state of political inertia, experts say. Content that their man will be inaugurated for a second term this January, these believers are gladly disengaging from the political process for another four years.

"Well, that should just about do it," said Ryan Alcorn, scraping the W'04 bumper sticker off the rear window of his Dodge Caravan. "All this political activity has really left me exhausted. I'm so glad I don't have to think about it again for a few years." Tossing a hand-painted sign in the back, he continued, "Now I can go back to holding up my 'John 3:16' sign at Buckeyes games instead of the 'Bush-Cheney' one."

The sense of relief was echoed two doors down, where Naomi White was throwing away three dozen unused Christian Coalition Voter's Guides. "I'm glad it's over, yes. Now the family can get back to doing devotions using the Bible, instead of these voter's guides."
Christian Pollster George Gallup speculates that this ebb and flow is consistent with the evangelical way. "Look at revivals, crusades, camp meetings," Gallup noted. "Every couple years evangelicals realize they've been heading down the wrong path, and they find some intense way of correcting it. Then they figure they've done their part, and they fade out for another few years. Hey, so long as they remember to vote in the presidential years, it's fine by me."

Now, there's a reason that satire is funny, but we may be able to learn from it as well. I think there are two points here:

1) The things we do as part of our devotion to Christ should not be put on hold during periods of high-political involvement. That is, we should still be reading the Bible and doing devotions while at the same time keeping up to date on news and such. It's a balance, just like everything else.

2) While it's true that there are not as many opportunities to be involved now that the Presidential Election is over, the President still needs our support. Also, we still need to stay informed because conservative policy initiatives are in the works not just at the White House but in state governments around the country. As Christians, we need to be able to understand which stances have Biblical backing and which do not. Lastly, Republicans are already planning for the Presidential nominees for 2008. Keep an eye out for which names come up. I have already heard some republican names bandied about that I would not support. The part of Primary season that happens before the nominee has been decided, happens quickly. There is not a lot of time to learn about the candidates and decide who is best to support. So, we can start now.

Or next year I suppose :)

Taking the Time

Late last week, Mark at Sidesspot wrote about the busy-ness of our lives and the "importance of hanging out" when he linked to the a recent series at It Takes a Church.

Mark's comment:
We hurry to our deaths in our culture and don't even realize it. Or, we realize it but we feel powerless to do anything about it. We need to learn how to take control over our schedules again. We need to re-commit to our spouse, children, relatives, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to spend real time with them and to thwart the busyness lifestyle that stultifies our relationships.

I agree, but I think there is another point here relating not to the "re" committing to other relationships, but to the actual committing.

Sometimes as Christians, our lives our so scheduled with Christian activities, duties, services, etc - that we forget what it was like before we became a Christian. When your life isn't overscheduled by something, most new relationships are forged by time spent just "hanging-out" - talking and sharing about life. In order to share the love of Christ to those that don't know Him, we need to show that we care. We need to show that we care enough to participate in a non-structured, under-scheduled activity - that we care enough to just hang out and talk, even when there's no meal or coffee (or ice cream :) involved. Being able to give our full attention to people without those people thinking that the only way they can see us is if the meeting happens to fall during a meal - is an important part of the witnessing process.

To be sure, I am not discounting the very real bonding opportunities that meal times offer, nor am I forgetting that we all need to be careful about how we spend our time and with whom we spend it. My point here is related to sharing about Christ and His love with others. There are of course many different ways to do it, but being willing to "hang out," listen and talk is one that seems to be overlooked from time to time.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Misguided French Soldiers

I thought that French soldiers were unavailable. That Jacques Chirac wasn't going to provide any. I thought the French were against fighting in Iraq.

Apparently on some level they still are. They don't want to just fight in Iraq, they want to fight for Iraq!!

Captain's Quarters comments on the BBC report about Frenchmen who have died fighting with the insurgents in Iraq. Yes, that's right. Fighting against the Coalition forces.

Unbelievable. And yet...I totally believe it.

UPDATE: DarnFloor has some additional thoughts on this, regarding aid workers and treason -
Although the French military never joined the coalition, are there any French aid workers or other French civilians assisting the coalition in Iraq? Might they be killed by their own countrymen? What laws do the French have about such things, if any?

We can assume that if American citizens were captured in Iraq fighting alongside the terrorists, we would charge them with treason. But what are the laws regarding American citizens joining a foreign war where the US isn't involved?

(I seem to recall that some Americans fought for France or England in WWII (or WWI?) before the US officially became involved. But I haven't time to look that up right now. Anyone?)

That's interesting. I think he's right about the treason, but I don't know what the deal is with American Citizens - pre-US involvement. Hopefully someone informed will comment, but I would guess that there would be some considerations of American Allies, interests, etc.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Letters Home

HunterByrd posted this letter to the editor that was published in a small Kentucky Newspaper:
To the editor:

I would like to thank everyone for your support and mostly for your prayers. The station I'm at is a calm place. I don't really have much to worry about as far as attacks. The living conditions are good here. We have a church to go to and Bible study. Now is the time more than ever for faith. God has been with us to give us strength and courage everyday.

We had a marine from my unit in the rear fall. He left a new wife. I also had a friend from boot-camp fall a week earlier. He left behind a new wife and unborn child. Please pray for them and their families. I also ask you to pray for those who have fallen and those still here. I am proud to serve my country and fight for freedom. I know and understand that these deaths are not in vain.

I look and talk to these people and see the desperation for freedom. They are all not like the stories we hear. They are very friendly, kind people. They always greet you with a smile and laughter. I now know why we are here. Everyone deserves freedom and happiness. To those who fight, I ask for God's mercy for them and their souls. I pray that one day they will understand the error of their ways. I hope they see that instead of murder, there can be peace.

Life is a gift from God that no one should take for granted, though we do it everyday. At home we enjoy our family meals, our favorite shows and our occasional night out. We fight with our spouses over money, the care, the cleanliness of the house and the toilet seat. Out here, none of that matters. Here, Christmas is another day at work with a slight relief that we are still alive. We give thanks to God for being alive and praying for those who have fallen.

Before you go to bed tonight, grant me this favor: pray for the marines, soldiers, sailors, Americans and the people here. The power of prayer is greater when more than one prays for the same cause. I thank you all.

Jason E. F.
Cpl., USMC

You can read HunterByrd's additional comments here.

But Cpl. Jason is exactly right. We need to remember to be praying for our men and women in the military. They serve not only us and our country, but those seeking freedom to gain and preserve all around the world. God Bless them.

Monday, November 15, 2004

A Proposal for Acceptable Disenfranchisement

Christian blogger Steve from Double Toothpicks points out an outrageous comment from NPR's Garrison Keillor:
Keillor said, "I am now the chairman of a national campaign to pass a constitutional amendment to take the right to vote away from born-again Christians. [enthusiastic audience applause] Just a little project of mine. My feeling is that born-again people are citizens of heaven, that is where there citizenship is, [laughter] is in heaven, it's not here among us in America. ..."
According to a report in the University of Chicago's Chicago Maroon, Keillor told the audience: "If born-again Christians are allowed to vote in this country, then why not Canadians?"

I could not believe this when I read it. Keillor is employed by NPR which means he's employed by the government and also by people like us. The fact that he would even joke about stopping a large group of Americans from voting is reprehensible.

And I would like to know who this audience is that's applauding enthusiastically to such ideas. Statements like this are what earn Liberals the Socialist label.

Additionally, I agree with Steve's own reactions:
What if this guy said this about blacks? Hispanics? American Indians? Take any so-called "minority group," and the Left would be calling for Keillor's head. Christians? Why, that's just sport!

Bring it on, you left-wing looney bin. I am a full citizen of both Heaven and The United States of America, and it's going to stay that way. You and your snarky little "Prairie Home Companion" will be long forgotten, and Christians will still be around.

Exactly right. The desire to block Christians from the political sphere is becoming a sort of requirement for holding power in the Democratic Party - but unofficially so. NPR flunkies, spouting the views of Liberal elites, can get away with verbal persecution in a way that those elites can't.


And people wonder why I avoid NPR and balk at the mere mention of its name.

The "It's been 3 years" Debate

I've never known the Democrats to do a lot of intellectual cross-referencing, but I rarely see them present two seemingly contradictory positions side by side.

Until Sunday. During the panel segment on Fox News Sunday, I suddenly realized that two oft-touted liberal positions are actually in conflict.

First, on the question of John Ashcroft's record, Chris Wallace was asking the panel how much credit Ashcroft can take for the lack of terrorist attacks since 9/11. Mara Liasson said that it has only been 3 years and that "no one" expected an attack in this short period, citing the longer time span between the two attacks on the World Trade Center as evidence of this. Charles Krauthammer countered that people did expect an attack. He said they expected it 6 months after 9/11 and that there was much talk that planning would take a year and a half, and still nothing has happened.

Just a few minutes later, on the question of the Patriot Act, Juan Williams was trying to make the case that it infringes on civil liberties as relates to library records...or something. (Bill Kristol stepped up to take him to task on this, so I don't feel I need to here.) However, the point Juan wanted to make was that he understood that some parts of the Patriot Act are necessary in the immediate "aftermath of a terrorist attack" but the question now is should we "sunset" some of these things going forward.

Essentially, what he's asking is: It's been 3 years since 9/11, do we still need such strict monitoring tactics and strong law enforcement abilities?

So I'm left to wonder, was Juan Williams listening to Mara Liasson? If he was, he didn't disagree with her, as it seems he would have to in order to make the above argument.

The liberals can't talk down the success of Homeland Security and the entirety of Bush Administration in preventing terrorist attacks by saying that "it's only been 3 years" and at the same time advocate scaling down the Patriot Act because "it's been 3 years since 9/11 and we don't need to worry so much about terrorists".

It's possible that I could be misunderstanding these two positions. Perhaps they are more nuanced then I can ascertain and if so, I expect to hear back with some explanatory comments.

It's also possible that I'm right. Now, I've learned not to expect a lot of intellectual honesty out of Juan Williams, and so I'm not surprised that he would present the second statement. The same cannot be said of Mara Liasson and maybe she had a little talk with Juan about his views after the show.

But remember, it's the general understanding of the Michael Moore crowd that there "is no terrorist threat." Moreover, during the course of the campaign, we had a lot of discussion about the fact that Liberals didn't seem to understand the existence of the War on Terror. They understood the War in Iraq and stood firmly against it, but the War on Terror is another story. Juan's support of beginning to "sunset" portions of the Patriot Act is right in align with denying the terrorist threat and the War on Terror.

What can we conclude from all of this? I think it means the Democrats are still confused. They still don't have consistent talking points (American University's Jane Hall admitted this on Fox News Watch.) They need to pull it together if they have any chance of making a decent showing in 2006. First point they need to understand: There is a War on Terror and there is a worldwide terrorist threat.

I for one am thankful that both our re-elected President and his administration understand this threat and this war and they conduct business accordingly.

Surprising Clinton Accolades

Dasani Canon gives former President Clinton credit for admitting the sad state of the Democratic Party.

Heavier than the dreaded Top Quark?

Just last week I was talking with an engineer about the annoying properties of the Top Quark and the unbelievable nature particle physics.

Alone these lines, I found this particular Corner Post (Quoted on Manifest Content) to be quite amusing.
NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE [John Derbyshire] This one's doing the rounds: "A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest chemical element yet known to science. The new element has been tentatively named 'Governmentium.' Governmentium has 1 neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 11 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of governmentium causes one reaction to take over 4 days to complete when it would normally take less than a second. "Governmentium has a normal half-life of 3 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause some morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to speculate that governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as 'Critical Morass.' You will know it when you see it."

That might be taking geeky science humor a little too far, but it's funny at the beginning anyway.

(Scientific sidenote: To be fair, Particle Physics would probably say that the Top Quark is a sub-part of "governmentium" and yet would somehow be more massive then the element in its entirety. See why the Top Quark is so annoying? And don't even get me started on the Higgs Boson...)

In bigger government news...Colin Powell is resigning.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Aiding the Mass Exodus

This from The Scrutinator cracked me up:
Distressed about the election? will help you find a destination friendlier to your political preferences. Whether it's European socialism or carribean Marxism, they have a destination for you!

Friday, November 12, 2004

The T-Word: Terrorist

That's what Arafat was and that's what people are hesitant to call him. Don't ask me why. Really, there's a reason we as a nation stopped dealing with him and it was because he was a terrorist. Whatever else he may have been in life - father, husband, giver to charity or symbol of hope (for other terrorists) he was still a terrorist.

Ranger has a good round up of reactions to Arafat's death.
I would also note Dasani Canon's recent post and a link by OneBigSwede in this category.
Fraters Libertas has the right idea as well (and as usual :)

The Wall Street Journal has also collected some reactions from World media to Arafat's death and because they are having an open house this week to their online site, you should be able to check it out.

The general consensus of those international media outlets seems to be that now that Arafat is gone, the "peace process" has new hope. That may be the case, but it seems to me that Arafat was the leader of the Palestinians for a reason - he represented their interests, not just his own. Does anyone doubt that if an organization like Hamas or the PLO felt that Arafat was taking the wrong position they wouldn't just overthrow him? I just pray that the world does not get duped into doing business and purusing elusive peace with a new leader who is just another terrorist.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Fun with US Maps

The other day I posted about Rick Brady's concern over the USA Today Map.

He has quite a discussion going on in his comments for his post about the map. Last I checked the number was 31 :)

Now Drew at Darn Floor has linked to something that will add to the mix. University of Michigan has created all sorts of election results maps, with different colors and different size skews to represent the population density of the country.

The one relevent to the previous discussion though is the one that shades the counties based on result. You'll have to scroll down towards the bottom of the page until you see some purple.
Here was Drew's take on it:
Depending on which maps are your favorites, we're either a chaotic mess of red and blue, or one big purple blob.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Motivated Inspiration

We talked about it earlier today, but after our short discussion about Mr. Moore, Dasani Canon has started her own blog!!!

Way to go Dasani.

She has a great post up there now on the Michael Moore subject. It's more than a post, it's an opus really. Go check out her site.

Handing out the prizes

Thanks to Drew at Darn Floor for pointing out NE Republican's List of Winners and Losers. It was quite timely because I had just gotten through skimming a similar feature in Time Magazine.

I certainly agree with Drew that this is a highlight:
Bloggers - Bloggers played a role in this election by policing the mainstream media. Without bloggers, the fake documents broadcast by CBS would never had been discredited. Bloggers also shot down the bogus explosives story at the end of the campaign.

And I understand Drew's point Michael Moore may not be a "loser" in the sense that he has gained the opportunity to continue to make money off of Bush-hatred. But he is a loser in the sense that he is on the losing team. I don't think people will care as much about what he is saying now that the election is over, and I certainly hope I don't have to hear from him as much. Money doesn't always make a winner a winner.
Meanwhile, Dasani Canon thinks that Michael Moore is a sophisticated terrorist because of his ability inspire hate and then capitalize on it. But she also warns that Moore's next film is going to be about the media. I wonder if he will get as much coverage with that one.

On the flip side, Time Magazine lists Ann Coulter in the winner column. They call her "The Mouth that Roared" and she said:
A [John]Kerry presidency would have been better for business [but Bush is going to] increase the number of books I can write by reducing my chances of being killed by Islamic terrorists.

Exactly right. If John Kerry had won, Coulter would have been able to ride a wave of Kerry hate, but her chances of being a loser wouldn't be as good as Moore's chances of loser-ness in our current situation.

Finally here are two more good items from NE Republican's list.

Hugh Hewitt - I list him for two reasons. First he warned us not to panic over the exit polls that showed Kerry winning in a landslide. Second, the title of his book, "If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat", was a perfect description of why Kerry was forced to give up in Ohio.

Way to go Hugh!

MA Supreme Court - 11 more states have banned gay marriage to protect against out of control courts like the one in MA. Thanks for playing a role in sinking the candidate from your own home state!

I'm also hoping these 11 states' results will send a message to activists judges all around the country.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Around the Corner

John J. Miller has two good posts on the Corner this morning.

First, this one linking to this Kate O'Beirne article in the Washington Post on why Republicans were so successful this year. After Wednesday, when I heard Nancy Pelosi whining about how Republicans used "wedge issues" to win the election instead of talking about jobs, the economy and national security, and then implying that the Democrats will win the next time around after "educating" the American people, I find this O'Beirne sentence to be highly appropriate:
Republicans find themselves on the majority's side of the cultural divide because they don't display the Democrats' condescension and hostility to the moral sentiments and concerns of most Americans.

And really...does anyone really believe that the Republicans didn't talk about national security??? Come on, Nancy!

Finally, John J. Miller's other post this morning:
The Boston Globe has asked five Democrats to explain what's next for the party. As with so many of these symposia, my favorite entry is the one that gives the worst advice. In this case, it's from Rick Perlstein, a Village Voice writer. He believes Democrats should declare war on Wal-Mart: "When heartland Americans are asked what they think is going wrong with America, 'Wal-Mart' is one of the first words out of their mouths." Why? Because there aren't enough of them? Because they wish the aisles were cleaned up a little better? No, because Wal-Mart is a corporate predator that breaks anti-discrimination laws and destroy jobs. Hillary Clinton, Perlstein reminds us, "is a former member of the board of directors of Wal-Mart. She should not be able to get within spitting distance of a Democratic presidential nomination until she explains, if not apologizes for, her service on it."

Yes, I definately think that a store that sold me a gallon of milk yesterday for $1.88 is going to bring down the free world.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Color Schemes

My friend Dasani Canon, really loves the USA Today County Map with red and blue election day results. I like the map too. And I liked it in 2000. This time around, I feel that it gets at the heart of why President Bush's grassroots support is to vital. He doesn't hold the majority of support in the big cities where it would be cake to gather the troops to come to a phone bank or go door-knocking. Instead we must work in less populated areas and involve more people who will do just one or two shifts over the entire weekend.

All that being said, Rick Brady at Stones Cry Out has rounded up some interesting analysis of why we should be careful of the bold red and blue map. It's an important perspective to consider and we do need to be careful how much stock with put in such a map.

Rick also mentions that a map with red and blue precincts would get the message across more fully. I've thought about that too, but I thought it would be too logistically difficult to product. But I don't have a GIS background like Rick does, so I could easily be wrong :)

So, while I agree we have to be careful how much we depend on such a map, I think that it is helpful in showing the Republicans the general areas in which they have a majority of the support and the general areas in which they don't.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Still Enjoying the Victory

Are you all still celebrating?

I hope so!!

The Ranger asked me today if I planned on posting anymore on my blog.

The answer...of COURSE!!!

But right now, I'm tired. I think last night was the first night in weeks that I slept more than 4 hours. I heard Ken Mehlman on Special Report tonight talking about the effectiveness of the Grass Roots effort. He was right. Many people in this area were surprised at the number of volunteers that turned out to turn out the vote for the President. In fact, on Friday, when a reporter showed up at the Victory Center he told me he expected to see two people on the phones. He was quite surprised to see over 20 local volunteers making phone calls. And it was like that through the 72 hour campaign.

It may be that we didn't break 40% in Mahoning County, but we broke through the union stronghold that paid people to try and bribe voters with free meals on election day.

I could spend hours and hours writing about my experiences over the last week, starting with the President's Rally last Wednesday, followed by the successful execution of the 72-hour effort, through a phone bank visit by Rudy Giuliani on Sunday and ending with a full day of poll watching on Election Day. I've learned so much and for that I am so thankful. But it will all have to wait. I'm off to Arizona tomorrow morning for a little rest and a lot of sun shine.

Congratulations President Bush!

God Bless America!!!!!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Looking for some encouragement on Election Eve?

Then check out this morning's post by Hugh Hewitt.

He links to a few good articles and quotes a message from Matthew Dowd that shows good polling and reflects the results of the massive GOTV effort in swing states around the country. Here in Ohio, voters are being reached in droves and I'm confident that the 72 Hour Task force will prove to be highly effective.

This all reminded me of a piece by the Blogging Caesar a few months back.
Do you know how to spell victory? For President Bush, victory is spelled G-O-P-G-O-T-V. In the days that follow November 2, political analysts will be evaluating the presidential elections of 2004. They will spout their punditry on morning shows and front pages. I'll give you a preview of the theme that will dominate the discussion. The story of the day will be a devastating get-out-the-vote effort by the GOP.

We caught a glimpse of the soon-to-be-legendary 72-hour task force in action in 2002. Even though polls leading up to voting day showed a tight race overall, the GOP dominated that election. Close races, by and large, went to the Republican candidate. The GOP even took some contests in which the Democrat was several points ahead in the polls.
And this time, the President is several points ahead in many polls. According to RealClearPolitics, President Bush is ahead of every poll but CNN's, giving him an average of 1.6. If I am remembering the recent numbers correct, this is a steady increase for Bush over the last few days, and Kerry has been traveling around the state. So it seems that for Senator Kerry, visits to Ohio are hurting him in the polls. This is the only reason I don't mind that he will be here tonight. :)

Remember to get out and vote. The President needs your support. The leader of the free world for the next four years is about to be decided. Be sure to take part and support the man who is the right man in the right place at the right time - President George W. Bush.