Monday, October 16, 2006

Elections: 2006

I have been paying close attention to our national elections since 1988 when I naturalized.

Like many other idiots I voted for Ross Perot in 1992 and thereby elected Bill Clinton, to my everlasting shame.

I watched, horrified, as we nominated Mr. Viagra, Bob Dole, as our candidate in 1996 and voted for him anyway. I was re-horrified when Mr. Viagra graduated to doing Pepsi commercials drooling over Brittany Spears. I guess some people will do anything for money.

In 2000 I happily cast my vote for W and was thrilled when the election was rightly decided in his favor. About the only thing more distasteful than having AlGore in the White House would be having to watch another Bob Dole commercial.

In the aftermath of the 2000 election it was instructive to listen to the libs whining about not winning and ascribing their loss to all manner of right-wing conspiracies; butterfly ballots (approved by a dem election commission in Palm Beach); voter suppression in black areas of Florida; SCOTUS rigging and on and on and on. Coincidently I recently heard that lib genius, Barbara Boxer, state in relation to Roe v Wade that "when the Supreme Court speaks it is as if God has spoken". I wonder why she was so critical of Bush v Gore?

In the run-up to the 2002 mid-term election the conventional wisdom was that dems would win everything up for grabs. Finally the right wing nutjobs hold on national power would be ended and the world would be a better place for it.

I went jogging on election night and listened with glee as the results poured in through my Walkman. All was right with the world. That big dummy W had done it again and Republicans had managed an historically unprecedented win.

In the run-up to the 2004 election the pundits were at it again. W would lose big to John Kerry and the dems would take back the House and Senate and the world would once again love America.

I wasn't able to go jogging that night but was able to listen to the radio and later, watch televised coverage. For the first time in living memory I watched CBS. I wanted to see Rather forced to call another W win. I hope you all saw his face as he realized that the inevitable was about to happen again. Of course, the official call wasn't made until the next day but he looked as though someone was giving him a rectal exam as I signed off about midnight knowing, as everyone else did, what the outcome would be.

Now its 2006. All the same pundits are saying all the same things. The jig is up for Republicans. I am saying that they are wrong, again.

We will win in 2006 the same way we won in 2004 and 2002; Republicans will turn out to vote in huge numbers and dems won't. The party of whiners and self-loathing will do what they always do; fill themselves with conspiracy theories, read the NYTimes for their self-justification and figure they don't have to go to the polls, everyone else will and everything will turn out just dandy for them.

There will come a time when the dems will be right and they will win. After all, even a broken watch is right twice a day, just not this day.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


One of my favorite writers, Mark Steyn, had occasion to use the following phrase in an online debate with a correspondent who equated Mark's description of Gitmo after a US government sponsored trip there to the disgraced 1930's NYTimes foreign correspondent Walter Duranty's description of Stalinist Russia:

"That is a corruption of language and meaning that makes communication impossible".

I have long been looking for a phrase to describe my feeling of frustration when engaging dems in debate on a number of subjects, notable among them, that we are "torturing" prisoners at Gitmo and elsewhere. We seem to be speaking different languages. They seem to change the definition of any word they choose to as it becomes convenient to do so; it makes communication impossible.

Immediately below are the Merriam-Webster definitions of "Torture":

Main Entry: 1torĂ‚·ture Pronunciation: 'tor-ch&rFunction: nounEtymology: Middle French, from Old French, from Late Latin tortura, from Latin tortus, past participle of torquEre to twist; probably akin to Old High German drAhsil turner, Greek atraktos spindle1
a : anguish of body or mind : AGONY
b : something that causes agony or pain
2 : the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure
3 : distortion or overrefinement of a meaning or an argument :

It is apparent that none of our described treatment of the bad guys conforms to (a),(b1) or (b2) unless you wish to describe the infliction on them of loud and cacophonous music as causing "agony". If that is your preference I refer you again to the Steyn quote above. Pain? Hardly.

For me, and I think for most honest people "the infliction of intense pain" is what we think of as torture in the context we are discussing. We are obviously not doing that to the prisoners we hold. If we were the IRC, the detainees' lawyers and their handlers, being Americans, would not tolerate it.

I do find it very amusing that the dems arguments on the torture issue in particular and many issues in general actually fit the description of (b3). Remember "it depends on what the meaning of is is"?. What a wonderful irony. Its them doing the torturing!

You're either with us or against us...

These famous words were uttered by President Bush in a speech delivered shortly after 9/11. His obvious intention was to inform the rest of the world of our position with respect to what would become the war on terror.

The well known liberal intellectual, Ted Turner, (formerly known as the Mouth of the South), shined a bright light on the thinking of the anti-American left in a speech earlier this week. He mentioned that he was troubled by the words, saying that "he still hadn't made up his mind" when W spoke them.

What Turner and the thousands of other anti-American leftists didn't understand, it is now clear, is that W wasn't speaking to Americans. He was speaking to the rest of the world, assuming, as would not be unreasonable for a real American, that Americans understood that we are the "us" referred to in the phrase.

This is an outstanding example of the penchant among libs and dems for a kind of world citizenship in a post-nationalist era. All countries are equal, all cultures are equal, all religions are equal and we are all citizens of the world.

Even a cursory examination of such a position reveals it to be, like most other lib and dem positions, entirely self-defeating.

If all countries are equal why are visas to emigrate to Somalia so easy to come by? Brazil? Mexico? Cuba? Russia? Libya? Egypt? China? Yep, waves of immigrants on the way to these shining examples of countries in all ways equal to that dismal failure, the USA.

If all cultures are equal why are all advances in arts and science produced by the Anglo-American culture. You can substitute Judeo - Christian if you prefer. Anyone care to point me to the accomplishments of any non Judeo-Christian culture? Any notable Buddhist accomplishments? Hindu? Muslim? Taoist? Communist? Socialist? No, none. Not one. Oh, wait, the ancient Egyptians gave us mathematics (oops, that pre-dates islam), the Communists gave us mass murder and slavery on a previously unimagined scale and the Socialists gave us socialized medicine. Wow.

Arizona anti-Smoking Ballot Propositions

Here in Arizona, Ballot Propositions are very popular. The most popular from the 2004 election was Prop. 200 which required reasonable ID for would- be voters. It passed with a 56% vote. It has just been put on hold by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Heaven forbid that someone should have to identify himself in order to vote. (UPDATE: SCOTUS reinstated the law so ID will be required in the 2006 election)

This year's bevy of Props includes two that address Smoking Bans. One would ban smoking in all public places. The other would allow bars to permit smoking as long as they had air evacuation systems to ensure that the atmosphere in the place doesn't get too smoky.

It is astonishing to me that otherwise normal Americans could possibly conceive any advantage in essentially appropriating the property of others so as to have it used in a manner they consider correct. Of all the "slippery slopes" long warned of this is, in my view, the most dangerous.

The market place should take care of issues like this, not the legislature and not the smoking police. If you don't want to come to my bar or restaurant because I allow smoking in it then go somewhere else. This is so uncomplicated and efficient that it causes me to wonder what the real agenda of the smoke banners is. But I don't wonder for long. No point in it.