We Win, They LoseThe Wit and Wisdom of Three Guys Named Brent, Mark and Mike
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Two Blogs Worth A Look
I came across two blogs which may be worth keeping an eye on -- Veritas and The Stem Cell Extremist. Check 'em out.
Fidel Blagojevich's heated driveway
It's a great pleasure to watch Illinois Gov. Fidel Blagojevich wiggle and squirm when news last week broke of his desire to install a heated driveway at the governor's mansion in Springfield. The cost to Illinois taxpayers: $720,000.
This, by the way, is the same mansion where Blagovernor doesn't even live. I think I remember reading he doesn't spend any more than one-fourth of his nights there; the rest are in Chicago.
By comparison, the state last May estimated is would cost about $13 million to add additional lanes to U.S. 20 in Freeport -- for 6.1 miles. Six-point-one MILES, he said.
The ADF Alliance Alert
has noticed my post at SA called "The Ever Expanding Right to Privacy." That's nice!
Bush and Katrina
A friend emailed me last Friday morning to ask what I thought of Bush's speech Thursday night. I replied:
I only saw the end of his speech. I kinda got the feeling this was setting up a possible realignment of African American voters – if Bush can convince even another 5% of African-Americans that the GOP doesn’t want to kill them, the Democrat party is dead, finished, over. In doing this, he “only” has to reconstruct New Orleans and give these people a leg up. Perhaps it will work. At least the three states getting help are solidly republican (a fact not lost, I’m sure, on W), and the area getting the most help is 75% black. Convert even a portion of New Orleans and Louisiana will never go Democrat again… As for Mississippi and Alabama, they could use some help, and also have large portions of black citizens affected by Katrina. Don’t think for a moment all of this hasn’t been thought out – Bush is going for a realignment of politics. The South is already solidly GOP, you win over ANY black support and the Dems will never win here again. That means no Dem presidents, as far as the eye can see. Take a look at the electoral map, and the box in which the Dems are placed by not being competitive in the South.
For my own part, I’d like to see a little less reliance on government of any kind. And the government is awfully generous with my money, considering I gave money out of my pocket already.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Good Questions to Ask
A New York Time opinion writer suggests a few questions that the Senators can ask Judge Roberts during his nomination hearings. Nice to have some levity in light of how seriously ridiculous the Democrats are being about judicial nominations.
Monday, September 12, 2005
VU to debate Constitution Day legality
Click here for an article which begins:
Vanderbilt University has found an interesting way to celebrate Constitution and Citizenship Day under a new requirement adopted by Congress.
The university is questioning whether the requirement itself is constitutional.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Jonah Goldberg wrote an article yesterday discussing in part the left's response to Hurricane Katrina. I am not going to bother to quote any of it, nor analyze it in any detail. There have been, and undoubtedly will be, a number of articles about Katrina and its aftermath. I mention Goldberg's article because he makes some great points about the left's mindset generally.
I don't know about you, but I have been saddened and frustrated about what I have heard, seen and read about Hurricane Katrina. That we live in a day when someone can claim with a straight face, and by all accounts actually believe, that President Bush caused the storm is shocking. Where have logic and reason gone? What of decency and respect? The knee-jerk reaction by liberals that the President is to blame for everything about Katrina really bothers me. (As a side note, I am sure Mark's wife is glad they didn't name the storm "Hurricane Karina".)
In any event, I don't really know what we can do anymore. I believe most of the country holds conservative views right now, but there are enough uneducated people who do not really seem to care that this could change any time.
From all of this, though, it is wonderful again to see the generosity of Americans. By the way if anyone is thinking of contributing to relief efforts, choose the destination of your contributions wisely. Research the organization(s) you are giving to and consider carefully what you are doing.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
New job, on hiatus
Not that I've done a great deal of blogging over the summer, nevertheless I should make a formal announcement that I'm going to take something of a break -- unpaid, of course -- from WWTL.
I've changed jobs -- and newspapers -- joining the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa, as assistant sports editor.
Once I've learned the ups and downs at my new place, I'll try to pick up the postings here, especially as it relates to sports.
Mitt Romney's Evangelical Problem
is the title of this piece in the Washington Monthly. Some highlights:
But moderate Republicans aren't the ones who could derail a Romney candidacy. His obstacle is the evangelical base—a voting bloc that now makes up 30 percent of the Republican electorate and that wields particular influence in primary states like South Carolina and Virginia. Just as it is hard to overestimate the importance of evangelicalism in the modern Republican Party, it is nearly impossible to overemphasize the problem evangelicals have with Mormonism. Evangelicals don't have the same vague anti-LDS prejudice that some Americans do. For them it's a doctrinal thing, based on very specific theological disputes that can't be overcome by personality or charm or even shared positions on social issues. Romney's journalistic boosters either don't understand these doctrinal issues or try to sidestep them. But ignoring them won't make them go away. To evangelicals, Mormonism isn't just another religion. It's a cult.
The first time I ever heard about Mormons was in fifth grade, sitting in a basement classroom of my Baptist church, watching a filmstrip about cults. Our Sunday school class was covering a special month-long unit on false religions; in the mail-order curriculum, Mormonism came somewhere between devil worshippers and Jim Jones. Although most of the particulars are lost to me now, one of the images remains in my mind: a cartoon of human figures floating in outer space (an apparent reference to the Mormon doctrine of “eternal progression”) that appeared on the screen next to our pull-down map of Israel. Even at age 10, the take-away message was clear. Mormons were not like us, they were not Christian.
The tragedy—or, depending on your point of view, the irony—is that Mitt Romney may just be the most appealing candidate Republicans can field in 2008, the one most likely to win the White House by shoring up social conservatives and rallying business interests without frightening swing voters. Yet the modern GOP's reliance on evangelical voters and its elevation of personal religiosity—strategies which have served the party so well in recent years—may doom the chances of this most promising candidate. Or, to put it in evangelical terms, it might be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for Mitt Romney to win the Republican nomination.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Speaking of Rehnquist
the carping is already beginning:
"If I were the president," said Rosa Brooks, of the University of Virginia Law School, "I would put off the Roberts hearings a little bit. There's already some pressure to do that because of the hurricane. People want to focus on that. I think Rehnquist's death is going to quadruple the pressure.
"I'm trying to imagine what Karl Rove is thinking right now," said Brooks. "There are two different temptations. They could wait and see which way the wind is blowing and if the White House is in trouble politically, use the second nomination as an opportunity to regain political capital by doing something statesmanlike, such as appointing someone who will appeal to both sides.
"But sometimes, in the past, when I'd have thought that any other politician would have thought it was time to make a conciliatory gesture, they've charged forth on the theory that . . . whatever they do is going to make the Democrats mad, so why try."
Note the two points -- we have to put off the Roberts hearings, not for a day, or two days, but for "a little bit." And the second quote establishes who is really in charge in the Bush Whitehouse -- Karl Rove. He (and not the President) will pick Rehnquist's replacement.
When will they learn? Bush actually makes his own decisions.
The New York Times has this:
In the end, Mr. Bush chose Judge John G. Roberts Jr. of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and whose confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee were scheduled to begin Tuesday. The selection of Mr. Roberts, who is white, increases the pressure and incentive for the president to choose a minority candidate or woman, the former White House officials said, as did Democratic and Republican congressional officials.
As if it would matter to the liberals -- any minority nominated by Buish will be vilified as not true to their race, etc., etc. Either way, Bush will get attacked -- if he nominates a minority, they won't be a "real" or genuine minority, they'll be a sell-out. And if he nominates a white, he'll get vilified for not nominating a minority. Heads we win, tails you lose.
This will be lessened only if he nominates a female. Also, because Sandra Day was replaced by a lame white guy, Bush is likely (in my opinion) to nominate a woman. Probably one of the Edith's, Priscilla Owen, or Janice Rogers Brown.
Chief Justice Rehnquist
has died. By all accounts, he was a good man and a good justice. He will be missed.
I guess now is as good a time as any to let you in on a secret theory I've had for some time. I think Justice Scalia will step down next summer. Or the one after. In any event, I think he will make sure to let Bush pick his successor. I think he is a little tired of being surrounded by (liberal) idiots, and will let Bush put in place another justice to ensure the hope-for restoration of the supreme court. Do you doubt me? Even after I called the Sandra Day resignation? Ha!
Is this statute constitutional? Apparently, the government has established the Institute of American Indian Arts. The statute allows the Institute:
to develop a policy or policies for the Institute to extend preference to Indians in—
(1) admissions to, and enrollment in, programs conducted by the Institute,
(2) employment by the Institute, and
(3) contracts, fellowships, and grants awarded by the Institute.
Can the government constitutionally extend preferences to Indians in admissions, employment and contracts? What's up with that?
The Institute's website states:
The Institute of American Indian Arts seeks to attract and enroll highly motivated and talented students from a diversity of tribal backgrounds and cultural experiences. Admission is granted without regard to age, gender, race, sexual orientation, marital status, handicap, or religion. The Institute believes in quality of educational opportunity and welcomes all applications for admission. Non-Indian applicants are evaluated by the same criteria as American Indian, Alaska Native and Canadian Indian applicants.
So which is it -- do Indians get a preference or not?
Thursday, September 01, 2005
This Hurricane Katrina story is crazy. A taste:
HER STORY WAS AMAZING. The family had been upstairs at the neighbors, listening to all the horrible noises outside, seeing the water rise outside their window. They did not realize that the entire first floor was full of water. Then, suddenly, the floor beneath their feet, grown sodden and brittle, gave way and they were all swimming in water. Then the pressure grew too strong for the walls and the water from the inside burst outward through a wide breach. They were being washed away.
The last words her husband said to her were, "Honey, this was my fault." He died a giant of the spirit, standing up and taking responsibility. Her mother-in-law, John's mother, a lifetime as a nurse, said to her, "I love you," and drifted off into the great beyond, unselfish and loving to the last. Then it was her turn. She was borne away on a sea of water, clinging somehow to her eight-year-old son.
Case Decided by Applying Common Sense
Click here for a funny little case, in which a college professor lost his employment suit against his college, and ended up owing the school $36,000. The Eighth Circuit ruled:
Applying Iowa law and common sense,n3 we conclude Dr. Altimore resigned his position with Mount Mercy by refusing to return to teach as required under his 2001 employment contract.
The footnote following common sense was the funniest part. It read:
Common sense is like seawater-easy to swim in, but difficult to swallow.
Gosh, I hope this use of common sense in judicial opinions catches on...