Entries Posted in "Politics"

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Emotional Documentation
May 15, 2009

declarationindependence1.jpgI'll admit it, I'm a bit of a sap when it comes to history. I've always been one of those people who has great appreciation for everything old. I love old movies, old music, old Bibles, old sayings, and old books. I even love old people...when they're not driving behind the wheel. And while I'm on the subject, can we please think about re-instituting some sort of driving test once you reach a certain age? I'm just saying. One of my favorite cities in the entire world is Washington D.C.. I get teary-eyed upon decent. I relish in the architecture, the museums, the symbolism and the foundational nature of the place. The fact that I enjoy the liberties I have today because I stand on the backs of others who've passed on is not the least bit lost on me.

So it's no surprise that when reading the Declaration of Independence the other day, I sniffled a bit. Okay fine I was probably a bit hormonal, but something struck me about the language and the definiteness of intent in that beautifully and masterfully written document. And then, as if straight out of the movie, "National Treasure," a poorly and monotonously delivered Nicholas Cage line came to me. I thought to myself, "People don't talk like that anymore....I'm going to steal it. I'm going to steal the Declaration of Independence." Just kidding about the second part. Oh the things people can say in movies. If Nicholas Cage's character had been a black man, that scene would've been so unbelievable (if it wasn't already). I hate to say it, but Nicholas Cage was right about the first part. People don't talk like that anymore. There is an eloquence of speech in that document that has been severely diluted over the years. Nowadays if you throw in an SAT verb or two, people accuse you of using "big words."

When you read a foundational document like The Declaration of Independence, your mind really does have to work hard to comprehend what it is they're saying. And yet, they wrote it in plain English. Woe unto us who have been completely robbed of the beauty and authority of intelligent linguistics.

What's sad to me is that most of us can mouth along the words on "Disco Night" of American Idol but we don't even know the preamble of the Constitution by heart. I'm talking to myself right now. How insanely powerful would it be if kids grew up memorizing the the Declaration of Independence? Maybe then we'd have citizens who actually held the government accountable for doing their job and not overstepping the boundaries of their authority. Did you know the Declaration of Independence says the people have the right to overthrow their government? That's some crazy stuff right there. Maybe my silly dream of pitchforks and torches wasn't quite so far-fetched after all.

My favorite part of the Declaration of Independence is the beginning, which reads like this (emphasis mine):

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands 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.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. 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, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Word. And now I think we all should go out and use "usurpations" in a sentence today.

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Chillingly Precise
May 8, 2009

In an address made last week, President Obama said the following:

"It is the grimmest of ironies that one of the most savage, barbaric acts of evil in history began in one of the most modernized societies of its time, where so many markers of human progress became tools of human depravity: science that can heal, used to kill; education that can enlighten, used to rationalize away basic moral impulses; the bureaucracy that sustains modern life, used as the machinery of mass death, a ruthless, chillingly efficient system where many were responsible for the killing, but few got actual blood on their hands."
President Obama said these words on April 23, 2009, at a Holocaust remembrance ceremony. His words were in reference to the Holocaust. What did you think the quote was about? Eloquence he has. It's the inconsistent application of the profound truth stated above that worries me the most. Amazing how a person can speak truth and yet indict himself at the same time. Again I say, truth always stands up in the midst of confusion.

(hat tip Sean Sperte)

Posted in Abortion, Politics | Permanent Link | Comments { 12 }
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Bikini Baristas & The Miss USA Pageant
April 21, 2009

It seems women in bikinis are causing quite a stir these days. Sometimes folks just can't leave well enough alone. An interesting trend has emerged out in the Pacific Northwest of lingerie and bikini-clad baristas. If this trend hasn't found its way to your neck of the woods yet, I imagine it's just a matter of time. That is, unless you live in the south because Southern folks don't play that mess. Seattle is known for bringing Starbucks to the world, but even Starbucks has competition these days. Instead of Starbucks, many morning commuters have often opted for locally owned, roadside drive through coffee stands. Smaller coffee stands have that hometown feel where you see the same barista every day and they know your ordering habits. What if one day you pulled up and your barista was sporting what I like to call "bedroom attire?"

A huge number of privately owned (read: mafia-owned) espresso stands centered on this business model have been opening up across the Pacific Northwest. With catchy names like "Bikini Baristas" and "Cowgirls Espresso" these new coffee stands have made it quite clear they aren't selling coffee. They are selling sex. What started out as women in bikinis has now become women in full out lingerie, thongs and all. The reader boards outside these establishments read like the ones outside the strip club or the peep show "Something hot is cooking inside!" or "Meet the new barista, Candy - weekdays, 5pm-close." The clientele these businesses are after is of course, largely male, and in my opinion, largely unethical.

These types of establishments open up a hotbed of issues and the legality is entirely questionable. Selling sexual images under the guise of coffee should require some sort of licensing just as strip clubs and other "adult entertainment" joint must obtain. Seeing these girls strutting around in plain sight of children is indecent exposure. I also worry about the safety of the young women involved. Most often they are under age 20, and while no one forced them into a negligee at gunpoint, these girls are being put at risk by this business model. Flaunting their goods on a daily basis to men, many of whom lack self control opens up a door that is not easily shut. With no security and only one girl working a shift at a time, what happens when someone shows up one winter evening wanting more than just a double tall nonfat latte? It is common knowledge that the sex industry is a magnet for all types of other crime.

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Posted in Current Events, Marriage, Politics, Sex/Purity | Permanent Link | Comments { 12 }
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The Presidential Action Figures
May 18, 2007

Normally I stay far away from the presidential debates. On top of being incredibly boring, the debates on either side of the political spectrum are a bit too reminiscent of a high school homecoming queen competition. They are certainly just as glossy if not even more catty. As I watched the GOP candidates mildly duke it out this past Tuesday evening, I fully expected to see various sets of cheerleaders popping out in between questions. Team Romney's cheerleaders would be wearing "temple ready" uniforms, of course, but they'd be peppy nonetheless.

We certainly are in interesting times. When Woodrow Wilson was elected president in 1913, he didn't have to participate in presidential debates on television nor did he have to worry about his word flubs or neck fat appearing on YouTube the next day. Moreover, many have speculated that if the American public had known Wilson suffered such severely debilitating consequences from his stroke, they may not have elected him at all. I'm no scholar on presidential history so I can't comment on whether or not this was good or bad in the case of Wilson, but I would speculate that such a situation probably wouldn't have been good for someone like say...Bill Clinton. Though the meaning of "good" here is entirely relative; no television persona and platform on which to be "outed" in front of millions of viewers = great for Clinton, however terribly bad for the American people.

With the advent of Web 2.0, every statement, every word, and every misplaced hair is irrevocable. Not only is it irrevocable, if you're a public figure, it's cached, uploaded, downloaded, edited, spliced, and played on repeat from now until all of eternity so you had darn well better get that sentence out correctly the first time. So what do we get when these are the times in which we live? Presidential Action Figures. But not just any action figures. These ones have perfect white teeth, shellacked hair and various strings you can pull to hear a selected catch phrase or opinion on pet "political" issues. In the case of this week's Republican debate, the phrase heard when pulling said string always included the phrase "I am more conservative than you."

I didn't watch the first Democratic debate so I can't make a fair comparison, but given the fact that Hillary Rodham Rodham Rodham Rodham Clinton was present, I suspect the same party-toting banter was carried on - except in Hilary's case, she wasn't an action figure but more like a blow up doll. Or better yet -- a large balloon on a parade float, displayed for all to see and not very useful for much of anything. And while I'm in free-form writing, beginning sentences with conjunctions and whatnot, can I just go on record and say that America as whole (or even a half) is so not going to elect a woman as president? Ain't. Gonna. Happen. So by all means, please give Hillary the nomination so all the other nations can laugh at us.

With the parade float in the mix, as well as Senator Obama (whose racial credibility is going to flip flop almost as much as Hillary's maiden name), this promises to be quite an interesting year. Can't say I'm looking forward to seeing Presidential Myspace pages and all, but I am quite curious to see how this all pans out.

Until then, I'm not holding my breath on any one candidate. There are far more important and interesting things going on in the world and I am certain the formaldehyde will preserve the candidates until we get closer to the election next year.

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The Battle Unseen
October 4, 2005

Yesterday, President Bush made a whole plethora of Republicans upset and I must say, I couldn't be more proud of him. I count myself among the too frequently silent remnant that seem to genuinely believe that President Bush is the man for this hour. Not the man for the Republican Party. Not the man for the Conservative movement, but the man for such a time as this. Nevermind our disagreements. For even prior to his election, President Bush and I had our differences. In fact, on almost a monthly basis, our dear leader does or says something that drives me to frustration. The difference however is that I don't believe President Bush's success in office should be determined by what he has and hasn't done to further the "conservative agenda." His success should be determined by his obedience to what he knows to be right because like everyone else, President Bush will also give an account for his life, his decisions, and his stewardship of the responsibility of the presidency. Whereas it seems that some citizens want a presidential puppet, today I am convinced President Bush isn't out for man's approval. I submit to you that this is exactly the type of president we want to have.

Oh how I love it when the foolish things confound the wise.

It seems President Bush has kicked up quite a bit of dust in the conservative camp with his recent nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. The feedback is oh so telling of the shortcomings of left and right thinking. It's usually selfish and wrought with tunnel-vision.

Chanters from the supposed pro-Bush crowd have emerged in all their elephant hat wearing splendor to declare Miers "unqualified" for the job. Apparently these folks aren't familiar with 75% of the Bible--a living testament of unqualified people doing incredible things. Many people have criticized her lack of judicial experience, her relationship to the Bush family, her thin paper trail and her older age (60 years old won't give her a whole lot of time on the court). Nevertheless, the disappointment and feeling of betrayal with this nomination can be chopped up to one big gripe, "How do we even know she is a conservative?" Apparently, Miers doesn't have the appropriate conservative credentials. Perhaps someone can explain to me the substance of the alleged requisite credentials? A subscription to "The National Review" and a gun?

Now I may not be the most profound political theorist, and certainly I didn't graduate from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government but I know one thing: Planned Parenthood is afraid. Take note folks, they do their research. Fear is a good sign. Today on their activist site "saveroe.com," the following was posted:

President Bush has just nominated Harriet Miers to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court. If President Bush puts an extremist judge on the Supreme Court, there will likely be enough votes in place to reverse hard-won gains for women's equality. Some of the rights, liberties and freedoms that we now take for granted may disappear in this new court.
I am certain there is a laundry list of other people that we human beings in our infinite wisdom would deem "more qualified for the job." But I am convinced President Bush is after something bigger here. Years from now, when we look back in the history books, I'm not so sure Iraq or social security or the future of the Republican Party will be lauded as the key focal points of Bush's second term. I believe the major battle in America is the battle for the unborn. It makes perfect sense. The abortion movement isn't just killing babies; it's killing one of the greatest commodities on the earth right now: human potential.

The opportunity of appointing two Supreme Court justices is by my humble analysis, the most important decision of Bush's presidency. If the only reason President Bush is in office is to move this country one step closer to eradicating nationwide infanticide, then so be it. So I'm sorry Cindy Sheehan and all the others who are upset with George W. Bush. I deem this an important enough issue that would cause me to give him a vote of confidence even if it's the only thing he does right (which as far as I can see, won't be the case). Don't be deceived by those who say change is impossible. It is quite possible that Roe v. Wade could be overturned sooner than we think.

The Conservative Voice points out that above all political affiliations (my kind of language), Miers is an "Evangelical Christian" which (not getting into the umpteen improper definitions associated with that word including but not limited to the inaccuracy of the word "evangelical" itself) a little research will show, guarantees that Miers probably knows how to be a better "conservative" than even the most "moral" member of the Andrew Sullivan fan club.

Yeah I'm feeling my independent oats today.

Has it occurred to anyone that just maybe our president is attempting to be strategic? Could it be the very fact that Miers doesn't have a papertrail that may make her a stronger nominee? Time will tell. But the pro-choice (to kill children) camp made it quite clear that they are uneasy. They are uneasy that they can't pin Miers as a staunch Conservative, and they were uneasy with John Roberts' strategic answering of abortion-rights related questions. Answers that without much wisdom, could have surely lost him favor. Thus far, I see one throughline in all of Bush's nominations: calculated ambiguity. Which isn't to say his Supreme Court nominees don't have a clear stance on the hottest of all hot topics. Indeed they do, but they are using wisdom and truth in their reveal.

This is about far more than political gain folks. If we can't begin to see beyond our own man-made political affiliatory hang-ups, we are going play a part in running this country into the ground.

I'm breakin out the pink t-shirt.

President Bush, I trust you on this one.

Update (10/4): Blogger Patrick Ruffini makes it plain:

"At the risk of drawing the undying enmity of The Herd, I'm going to state categorically that conservatism is sitting pretty at this hour. That's because Harry Reid has just been hosed – and he doesn't even know it.

The navel gazers are nabobing about another Souter. That's silly. The Court will almost certainly move to the right as a result of the nomination and confirmation of Harriet Miers. And here's why.

It's true. Little is known about the views of Harriet Miers. But what is known, through official and unofficial channels, paints a picture of a conservative Texas lawyer with rock-solid beliefs on life, strong religious convictions, and a modesty that should allay fears of a renegade Justice determined to remake society through the courts. John Roberts was the silver-tongued, inside-the-Beltway pick for the Court; Miers is the plain spoken red stater."

Read the whole thing.

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Perhaps the most important decision President Bush will ever make
September 3, 2005

Justice William Rehnquist's time on earth is up. God give strength to his family and friends in their time of grief and loss.

As far as I am concerned, the best way to honor the Rehnquist legacy is to ensure that a person who will stand for truth is seated in Rehnquist's place. And now two positions are open. Trust, these appointments will be fought with the sincerest vigilance because of what they represent. Certain parties are already in fear of what it might mean if favored appointee as the new Chief Justice, Antonin Scalia is indeed given the honor. What a seriously large burden of leadership our president must bear amidst a national disaster. Pray for this country and its citizens. There is much shifting going on with lots of people looking for someone to blame. This window of opportunity will make President Bush hated all the more.

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An Interesting Question Posed
August 23, 2005

Reader "Terence" asks the following in the comments section of this post:

I have been reading some of the comments on this Blog and I would like to ask a question to the Black conservatives out there. I don't consider myself a liberal or a conservative. Depending on the issue, my opinion could fall into both camps. Just like you get offended when "liberals" talk to black folk like they are dumb or dont know what is best for themselves. I get offended when "conservatives" talk to black folk like they some how are being tricked into liberalism but they are too dumb or self-hating to know what is best for themselves. Also, since you use the word so much, what is a liberal? If I am Pro-life and believe in affirmative action am I mixed? Suppose I am Pro-war and anti-gun? Please help me understand.
Any answers?

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Setting the Record Straight (Again)
August 22, 2005

Believe it or not, the list of things that truly bother me is incredibly short. It's fun to fake agitated and poke fun at trifling public figures and grown men with neck tattoos who call themselves "Diddy," but in the long run, those people do not pose a major threat, nor do their efforts have any sort of eternal value. Ranting and raving has its place, but when it comes to the realities that keep me up at night, I try if at all possible to keep the list to a minimum. Enter the great right-wing/left-wing debate. Partisan politics is a topic that bothers me to no end.

I've consistently discussed here, my refusal to attach myself to a political party, period. It's not a back-up plan or based on any dissatisfaction with the current political offerings. I am not waiting for something better to come along. I've simply sought fit to diminish the number of worldly labels attached to my name. Especially those God didn't give me. Moreover, I find the nature of political parties inherently twisted. I need to restate this for the sake of new readers who read two posts and think they have me figured out (again, do you see what a mess political parties have made of our ability to think independently, even about each other?).

A very familiar sentiment re-emerged for me today when I read the first sentence of prominent blogger Professor Bainbridge's gripe about the Bush administration:

It's time for us conservatives to face facts. George W. Bush has pissed away the conservative moment by pursuing a war of choice via policies that border on the criminally incompetent. We control the White House, the Senate, the House of Representatives, and (more-or-less) the judiciary for one of the few times in my nearly 5 decades, but what have we really accomplished? Is government smaller? Have we hacked away at the nanny state? Are the unborn any more protected? Have we really set the stage for a durable conservative majority?
Within Stephen Bainbridge's thesis is the inherent problem I find with the politics of "sides" based on unclear philosophies: the ubiquitous presence of personal agendas.

My question to Mr. Bainbridge is, "Who is 'us?'" Tossing around the phrase "Conservative" carries with it nearly as much confusion craziness as calling oneself a "Christian" because human beings are prone to define things based on experience instead of truth.

I don't excuse President Bush, and I don't agree with everything in his administration, but never, not once, did I make the mistake of thinking he represented my agenda. Yeah I voted for him, but not because he was going to do everything I wanted. If that were the case, sales tax on shoes would have been eradicated by now. The fact that the president is expected to further the entire "conservative movement" is simply a set-up for failure. That isn't to say that President Bush doesn't hold a great deal of responsibility in the direction of this country. I'm a firm believer in the power of principled leadership and the reality that everything flows from the head down to the people. What's interesting to me however, is how shocked and disappointed people become when their idol-like president hasn't lived up to their standards. He is a man, and he can lie.

The reason the conservative movement can't be furthered on the backs of sole individuals or leaders is because much like the liberal converse, the "conservative movement" as it were, doesn't even know what the "conservative movement" is. Show me the day when conservatives can agree on some core beliefs and I will sell you my first-born child. In other words, it ain't gonna happen.

You see, political parties are inherently selfish. The "greater good of the community" gets buried under agendas, pet issues, money, and me me me. Part of what supposedly makes America great is that everyone, and I mean everyone can have their own cause. This is why PETA members are allowed to mingle with normal people.

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London
July 7, 2005

Right. So I received a few emails asking me to weigh in on the events that took place today in London, and for now, I've decided I have little to say save a few observations. If you've managed to pull yourself out from under the sensationalist media madness and snapped to consciousness, congratulations, because I haven't. It's during times like these that I remember why I hate my blessed television. One can only see the same images so many times. The Internet isn't much better. So sorry, no photos of people with blood streaming down their foreheads here. Life should be more precious than that.

I find most of what's being reported on blogs terribly opportunistic. As if everyone woke up and said, "gee, how can I take this tragic event and use it as further proof that my political opinion is supreme?" I'm not of the opinion that we (and I use the pronoun loosely) have an enemy who is simply waging war against political ideology. There is a bigger adversary who is waging war against all life on the earth. And to some extent, we've subconsciously given him permission to do so. Whether it be in the name of Islam or any other false idols, I believe the end goal is to steal, kill, and destroy. We live in an unredeemed world in which events similar to those which transpired today will continue to occur. Yes there are causes and effects, and there are fingers to point, and suspects about whom to theorize. But above all, it's important to remember that the only true enemy is death and for those who choose to accept it, that battle has already been won.

Blogger Tim Worstall's words resonate with me:

"...save the anger until we really know who did it, keep the political posturing until we've buried the bodies and if it's one of the things you do, pray..."
As the events played out today, a few things occurred to me and in no particular order:
  1. The terrorism in London came on the coat tails of the announcement of their win of the 2012 Olympic bid. There is a connection there, not just with the G8 Summit. Not sure yet what it is, but it's there.
  2. Americans are too reactionary.
That's all for now. Updates on Friday.

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Insanity in the GOP Church
May 7, 2005

Have you heard about the Waynesville, North Carolina Baptist Pastor who led efforts to kick out congregants that didn't support Bush? Maddening. The AP reports:

Some in Pastor Chan Chandler's flock wish he had a little less zeal for the GOP.

Members of the small East Waynesville Baptist Church say Chandler led an effort to kick out congregants who didn't support President Bush. Nine members were voted out at a Monday church meeting in this mountain town, about 120 miles west of Charlotte.

"He's the kind of pastor who says do it my way or get out," said Selma Morris, the former church treasurer. "He's real negative all the time."

Chandler didn't return a message left by The Associated Press at his home Friday, and several calls to the church went unanswered. He told WLOS-TV in Asheville that the actions were not politically motivated.

The station also reported that 40 others in the 400-member congregation resigned in protest after Monday's vote.

There is a proper way to dismiss members from a local church--voting and partisan politics isn't the answer. This proves to me yet again that there is huge deception going on that the GOP is synonymous with righteousness or morality. If this were truly the case (which it most definitely isn't), the people of God would be in a big heap of trouble (don't make me name Republican names).

It seems political controversy is familiar territory with this Baptist pastor. The AP continues:

During the presidential election last year, Chandler told the congregation that anyone who planned to vote for Democratic Sen. John Kerry should either leave the church or repent, said former member Lorene Sutton.

Some church members left after Chandler made his ultimatum in October, Morris said.

I'll tell you who needs to repent. Pastor Chan Hussein that's who.

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Why I'm Not a Republican Parts I, II, III, IV
Reflections on the Ill-Read Society
The ROI of a Kid
The Double-Minded Haters
Hindsight
Hip-Hop in Education: Do You Wanna Revolution?
Oh parent Where Art Thou?
Requisite Monthly Rant: the State of the Nation
College Curriculum Gone Wild
Walmart Chronicles
An Open Letter to American Idol
Gonorrhea and the City

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