Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Down Again

I would be working on my web sites. Unfortunately, my discount web host is down again. Instead of complaining, I should be happy. I've averaged only about 2 serious outages a month at The are up over 90% of the time! Of course, as I write this blog post, blogger goes down. My experience is that Avidhosting is down probably only three times more often than Blogger.

Being down so much of the year is frustrating. Perhaps I should rethink the idea of having all the pages dynamically generated. Now that I have more diskspace available, I could change the design so that it generates static pages. That way the web site wouldn't be down when the database failed. Delivering static pages might be faster. Of course, doing that means that I could not deliver custom pages to users as I currently.

I had pulled out most of the custom page code because I was scared that Googlebot would give me demerits for delivering slightly different pages to their webcrawler than to the end users. I hate having to make compromises for a flippin' robot, but that is the way the web works. Designers have to consider google first and the experience of users at the site second.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Of Popes and Turkeys

Pope Benedict's Apolistic Journey to Turkey is something of note. I have been listening to Anders podcast on Byzantine rulers, I have also been reading works that fill in the gaps on western history including Stark's The Victory of Reason.

In school, I bought into the line that civilization flourished in Rome. Then Christians took over causing the Dark Ages. Reading past modern progressive propaganda, I've realized that history is more complex than the one dimensional view held by Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins.

The first realization was that what we call Ancient Greece was not simply the modern country of Greece. Much of the history of Greece actually happened in Turkey. After the conquest of Alexandria (Aristotle's student), Alexandria Egypt became the intellectual capital of the world.

As Rome deteriorated its imperial corruption, the better part of the Roman Empire moved to Constantanople (modern Istanbul). So, during the Middle Ages, Constantanople was the place to be. What modern scholars call the Byzantine Empire was the remnants of the Roman empire. The people in the empire called themselves Roman, they spoke and learned Greek. The ongoing wars with Persia, the fall of Alexandria and eventual fall of Constantanople made the area disappear from our history books.

From the days of the days of the ancient Greeks to the fall of Constantanople, Turkey was a primary center of world culture.

The modern drama of a secular Turkey joining the European Union is extremely important in world history. Can a country that is 98.9% Islam tolerate the existence of other faiths and join the free world, or will it turn Jihadist and reject the west?

As I understand, one of the primary messages of Pope Benedict is that you cannot separate faith from reason, or reason from faith. I am sympathetic to this argument as I see a great danger in efforts to elevate science to a religion. Conversely, removing reason from faith leads to dictatorial cults like the FLDS. In my opinion, Pope Benedict's visit to Istanbul brings up many of the issues that must be addressed if we are to break from the ongoing religious wars between west and east and develop a world where ideas compete on their merits and not by the sword.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Everything and Nothing to do with Cedar

Cedar Breaks National MonumentI decided to spend the day labeling photos. In the last several days I've labeled pictures from the Canyon Glen Park near . Most of the pictures, however, are from the Cedar City Area. The gallery which I suspect will get the most traffic is the Cedar Breaks gallery which includes images of the awe inspiring Cedar Breaks National Monument.

Downtown Cedar City
Labeling pictures from Cedar City is difficult as there are no cedars near Cedar City. The town and things around the town were named for the Juniper trees that grow in abundance around the town. Most of the stories on the name of Cedar City hold that the early pioneers were too stupid to properly identify plants. Personally, I think the reason for the names is more complex. The Mormon Pioneers were out to build a new Zion and loved naming the features in the area with a biblical motif. Since there has always been a great deal of latitude in common plant names, the pioneers took to calling the local Junipers "cedar" with the hope that the name would stick. The name "cedar" probably would have stuck except the taxonomists developing the scientific classification system chose to distinguish between the Pinaceae (pine) and Cupressaceae (cypress) families. The scientific naming system is having the same crisis with plant classifications with the current push to classify plants with phylogentic system.

SUU LibraryI was duly impressed with Southern Utah University. SUU seems to be evolving from a small regional community college into a true world class university. This makes sense as the school is in a good location and a fun town. SUU is the home of the Utah Shakespeare Festival, which has a stellar reputation in theatrical circles.

Jay Dee and Alice Harris CenterOne of the most prominent features of SUU is the Eccles Coliseum and Harris Center. The coliseum and event center were built with a Greek theme. The site has obelisks, columns, etc..

Friday, November 24, 2006

International Justice

This sounds like a bonehead decision. A French Court decided that it wanted to try Rwanda's President Paul Kagame for the 1994 assassination of President Juvenal Habyarimana. This assassination was used by Hutu radicals to spark the genocide which killed 800,000 Rwandans (Yahoo News).

It would have been great a dozen years ago if international forces were willing to try Kagame for the assassination. If the international community, during Clinton's administration, was willing to do more than take bribes for Saddam Hussein, we might have been able to stop both the genocides in Rwanda and the genocides in Iraq.

The assassination of Habyarimana was a horrible thing. However, the world owes Kagame a debt for not reciprocating the Hutu genocide of Tutsis with a Tutsi genocide of Hutu. Rwanda is a country where everyone one (including the international community) has blood on its hands. As much as Kagame's acts demand justice, we really are left in a spot where administering the justice will destabilize the region.

This is the same bad thinking that led Bush to invade Iraq. There were plenty of reasons to invade Iraq in the Clinton administration. Bush's effort to administer justice to Saddam Hussein for the genocide that occurred during Clinton's watch has so far only led to instability.

In international affairs the timing of efforts to enforce justice is far more important than the administration of justice. Had the ICC been place to try Kagame before the genocide, we may have prevented the genocide. The post genocidal world is one where everyone's hands are bloody and courts seeking justice tend to hinder efforts at rebuilding. Kagame did not reciprocate the genocide. Yes, the EU may be embarrassed that they cut and run in Rwanda and hundreds of thousands of people died as a result. The problem is that there is never any clear way for humans to administer justice decades after an event. Efforts to do so generally leads to Balkanization where each faction remembers centuries of wrongs committed against them, but fails to see the atrocities committed on their behalf.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Intentional Insults

I listened to a news clip (FoxNews) by John Kerry about his botched xyz is stupid joke. You remember, this is the guffaw that Kerry made when he was trying to insult George Bush but ended up insulting the US troops.

Mr. Kerry's comment was as follows:

"Let's be honest about this ... The whitehouse knew that I did not set out to or into insult anybody. [...] What those troops heard they heard because the White House attack machine took those comments and turned them into what they want."

Kerry is right about the horrible effects that attack machines can have on discourse. I suspect that never ending onslaught of attacks is a primary reason why Bush fails to engage the public at critical points like the aftermath of Katrina and the build up to the Iraq invasion.

The key to Kerry's comment, though, is that bit I emphasized in bold. The words: "I did not set out to or into insult anybody."

In the speech with the guffaw, Kerry had a long string of insults aimed directly at George Bush. Kerry was trying his hardest to insult someone. For that matter, he was even trying to hurt somebody at a subliminal level by heaving a series of insults directly at George Bush.

Kerry complains about Republican Attack Dogs. However, Kerry was playing the role of an attack dog when he made his Freudian slip. The fact that Kerry was playing the attack dog when he made his freudian slip is the exact reason why he is fair game.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

This is Our War

go to Overstock.comI am at the downtown library again. There was a copy of the work "This Is Our War" by Devin Friedman on the desk. I ended up reading that book rather than working on the project that I had planned. This is a coffee table book with images taken by US soldiers during the first year of the war in Iraq. A large number of soldiers brought digital cameras and this is one of the most photographed and documented wars in history.

The images reminded me of how upset I was during the invasion of 2003. The Shock and Awe campaign that caused so much destruction in the country ripped my heart apart.

It is strange how I tend to be out of sync with the rest of the nation. The Shock and Awe Campaign that shot Bush's approval ratings through the roof, was the low for me. The fact that Bush stayed the course during and after the Iraqi election, and the fact that he is still standing behind the Iraqi government and against the terrorists boosts my approval.

Anyway, I just put this portfolio from the US soldiers on my recommended reading list.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Kolob Canyon

Kolob in FallHere is a set of pictures of Kolob Canyon near Cedar City. The Kolob Canyon region is just off I15 (exit 40). If you are driving across Utah and really only have time for a quick stop, this is the place to do that stop. The canyon features some spectacular views of Navajo Sandstone. I was lucky to visit the canyon at the end of October when the leaves were turning color.

The American Burka

I was taking a walk on an absolutely beautiful Fall day. This was one of those crisp afternoons where the sky was crystal clear, the sun was muted with sufficient high cloud coverage to minimize the glare. The temperature was in the mid sixties.

I passed a group of disaffected youth on the street. They were all bundled up in the fashion statement of the day ... the venerable hoodie. One of the members of the group was clearly male. Two were clearly female. The other shuffled in a nondescript asexual method.

As I approached the group, the hooded figures aimed a feeble shrug in my direction to avert any human to human greetings ... as if I did not already know that people in the United States were not supposed to acknowledge eachothers presence when we passed on the street.

This was not the first time I have seen the hoodie. I have seen a large number of kids sulking around with their identities safely guarded in the tiny haven of a hoodie. I have even seen been the subject of a hollow stare of a meth-infected eyes daring a glance from beneath of a hoodie in my direction.

If it was a beautiful day that was actively driving in my mind the beauty of this planet earth, I would not have noticed the disaffected teens sulking around oblivious to the world around them. It was such a beautiful day that I really began wondering what type of fashion statement would make teens shut off the world to close themselves in the anonymous shadow of a hood.

As I thought of the hoodie, a vision of the oppressed women forced to wear burkas in the mideast shot into my vision.

Yes, it makes sense that, as our nation declares defeat to the forces of radical Islam, American youth would begin cloaking themselves in the American Burka.

David Horowitz
has a few pictures of the two hoodie clad activists who tried to disrupt his speach at Ball State. Yes, as we declare defeat, it makes sense that we both act and dress like the victors.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Milton Friedman ... Passing the Torch?

Milton Friedman passed away. It is sad.

Just the other day, I was trying to think of any current intellectuals who are actively defending the ideals of classical liberalism ... like Mr. Friedman. David Horowitz does a great job showing the extent to which the left wing has infiltrated and effectively controls large portions of the academic world. I like the guy. Horowitz is a former Communist intellectual who realized that the classical liberal tradition was a better path to peace than the modern progressive path. Horowitz does a great job showing the methodologies used by the left to infiltrate and control schools and media. His works, however, does not lay the foundations for returning to the classical liberal ideals.

There's armies of neocons who realize that something is deeply wrong with our modern culture and are marching around as culture warriors. These people are marching around and arguing negative issues like efforts to prevent gays from having "gay marriages." The culture warriors are right on many, many issues, but they are not really laying a good foundation for freedom. The clumbsy messages given by culture warriors can easily be manipulated by the left. A great example is the way the left manipulates efforts to defend the traditional family and marriage as hatred of gays.

I like the Cato Institute. Unfortunately, they've been marginalized from the right because they were opposed to the Gulf War, the invasion of Afghanistan and the Iraq War. They are marginalized from the left because the sheep on the left associate them with George Bush.

Recently, a number of historians have come forth to challenge the one-dimensional histories held by progressives. A great example is The Victory of Reason by Rodney Stark. This work argues that the Dark Ages were quite as intellectually dark as progressives claim. It is in these Dark Ages that we find the roots of capitalism and freedom that made the west a great success. Aristotle's Children by Rubenstein explores the history of reason in Western culture that has been censured from the schools by modern progressive. Other works like "The God that Did Not Fail" and "How the Irish Saved Civilization" take stabs at showing how Christian communities worked to preserve and teach the great works of culture despite constant onslaught by plagues and the various thugs that routinely sacked cultural centers in the Dark Ages.

These are worthy efforts that counter progressive thinking by arguing that there may be portions of Western culture worth preserving. You can gleen from the works a little bit about why the west was successful. However, they aren't really a good systematic treatises on why we should preserve freedom.

A decade ago there was a slurry of books like "Christian Martyrs of the Twentieth Century", "Death by Government" and "The Black Book of Communism" that enumerate the atrocities committed by communists in the last century. Unfortunately, the progressives of the modern century are too stupid and sheepish to realize that the clever little methods they use to attack Bush and rise to power are simply a rehashing of the same tricks that led to the genocides of a century ago and that continue in Sudan.

In recent years, we have seen George Soros turn the efforts of Karl Popper to defend an Open Society into its opposite. George Soros is an interesting character. He was born in Budapest Hungary. He escaped to the west where he perfected a slew of anti-market tricks to manipulate financial exchanges. These tricks made him extremely power. He has learned to manipulate markets against his enemies and all sorts of fun Machiavellian tricks. Under the guise of a 401C called the "Open Society Institute", Soros now use his wealth to support a variety of "progressive" efforts to turn the US and world into the Budapest of his childhood.

In some ways, I fear that all efforts to preserve freedom will be turned into its opposite. I am sure that there are ways to twist the works of Milton Friedman into its opposite. If you have read the works by Karl Marx, you will enjoy the systematic way that he twists the philosophy of Adam Smith into their opposite.

The word "progressive" once referred to efforts to create an even playing field in the market by removing inherent inequities in the market. Today, the word is more often used in efforts to destroy the free market. The word "liberal" once referred to efforts to liberate, and not to enslave people.

I am said for Milton Friedman's passing.

I simply wish that I knew of people successfully carrying on the defense of freedom. I look around me. The few defenders of freedom there were lurking around here and there appear to be in retreat.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Going Wireless

My new computer has a built in Wifi connection. So, I decided to run out and go wireless for the afternoon. I first set out to Liberty Park (which is on the SLC Wireless List. I found out that I could not see the screen ... even under the big shade trees; So, I headed to the Salt Lake Library (Salt Lake Library photos). I went to the top floor, thinking that the electomagnetic waves on the top floor would have more potency than the bottom.

Anyway, I am feeling super cool and jacked in at the moment...despite the fact that I am doing something relatively unproductive ... blogging.

Being perched in a wifi zone like this, you would think that I would do something kewl like writing the first chapter of a book. Hmmmm, maybe that is what I should do next.

Or better yet. Since I am on a fast connection, perhaps I should use this time to delete my way through some of the spam that has accumulated in my filters. The last I looked, there were 30,000 spams since my last spam deletion at the end of October.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Republican Non-partisanship begins (wink, wink)

This is odd. (Yahoo). Apparently Democrats just managed to sideline legislation to help normalize trade relations with Vietnam. Apparently, the point of blocking the legislation was to embarras Bush on his upcoming visit to Hanoi.

The sheep of the progressive blogosphere will be working overtime to find ways to spin their acts Republicans being partisan. That really isn't too hard to do. In progressive speak ... Any act by someone who is not a socialist is partisan. It is called "projection" which is pretty much the mainstay of the Democratic propaganda machine.

Tech Update

I just switched from the traditional blogger to the Blogger Beta; I thought my first post with the new interface should be a technical update.

First off, I got my new Dell Inspiron (Dell). Wow! Things are going a lot faster, I am not battling against bad sectors on the disk. Above all, the monitor resolution is astounding. I am now having to rethink my picture site protophoto. I had edited all of the pictures on the site with a monitor with really lousy resolution. Using a leading edge of 640px filled up the screen; now it is just a little box in the center of the screen.

I ordered 2 gigabytes of memory with the computer as I have been hearing rumors of some software failing with just 1 GB in Vista beta. Of course, I may decide to just stick with XP, and have an overkill on memory. With the diskspace and memory, I will be able to upload some server side software; which I was scared to do on the old computer.

As for the web: You may have noticed that I had several posts to Michelle Malkin. I did so, because I've been investigating the different trackback mechanisms on the web. She's a firecracker who seems to realize that there is something wrong with our methods of discourse.

When I first started blabbering on this blog, I went through the brain damage of writing my own comments/trackback program. None of the trackback/comment mechanisms had the same features as my experiment. I turned off the experiment as it was not getting a great deal of use. My web host couldn't handle the traffic if people started using it. Anyway, playing with trackback has me think of reviving the program I started. Of course, Google Beta seems to have a new linkback method. I will play with that thing next.

The problem with trackback is that the technology was built by people who've been hypnotyzed into thinking that XML is something other than a great big hassle. As with most XML projects, by building trackback mechanisms on XML, programmers have created a mechanism that is extremely difficult for humans to use. The trackback link mechanisms seem to be used by computers to generate trackback spam, but are not being used by people to link blogs.

A good linkback mechanism would be intuitive for humans to use. For that matter, a good linkback mechanism would require human interaction to register a linkback. An intuitive human driven mechanism would end up making meaningful links between blogs and web sites while minimizing computer generated spam.

Gender and Party Confusion Combined

This is odd. The SF School Board (Michelle Malkin) wants to toss out the Junior ROTC from the SF School system because the miltary's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy. As I recall, this policy was set up by Bill Clinton as a compromise between conservatives who want a complete ban on gays in the military and liberals who would like the military to become a gay institution.

In the ever repeating history department, it is interesting that San Francisco Liberals are trying to set Nancy Pelosi's rise to power off on the same misstep that tripped up Clinton.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Al Quaida's Victory

al quaida is celebrating its victory in the 2006 US Elections and hopes to have genocides in full swing throughout the world in a few years.

It is interesting how so much of the propaganda generated by radical Islam matches to the propaganda of modern progressives. It is almost as if many of the revolutionary leaders of radical Islam went to school in the west. Oh, wait a second. Many of them did learn their revolutionary thinking in modern leftist schools.

The big similarities that I see in this Yahoo report is that the al qaida propagandists repeat the same attacks on Bush's intelligence that Nancy Pelosi successfully used in her rise to power..

Anyway, while listening to the post 2006 election reports, I am startled by the large number of reporters who accept that a complete withdrawl from Iraq is a done deal.

Changing direction does not necessarily mean surrender. It could mean that we try to find different ways to fight the enemy.

A much smarter idea is to stay in Iraq, but to simply move our troops out of harm's way. Bush's course involved directly engaging terrorists. Chaning course could mean that we leave offensive engaging the enemy to the Iraqis. Our forces would stay in Iraq but would be in well defended places. In other words, we get out of the businesses of trying to protect the Iraqis from themselves. We would only be there to help prevent an invasion from Iran and our forces would really only be in places that we have well defended.

The idea that the 2006 election means we must retreat is very naive.

Lets quickly review the problem: Al quaida and other terrorist groups are willing to kill millions of civilians to take power. This war in Iraq is simply one where terrorists kill civilians by the thousands while we watch in horror and want to get out. If we follow our impulse and set the precedence that we will retreat whenever we encounter a force willing to kill large numbers of people, we will eventually end up surrending the whole world to these forces.

Yes, surrending will stop our newspapers from reporting the killings. It does not stop the actual killings. When we followed John Kerry in a retreat from Vietnam, our press stopped giving us daily reports on the deaths in Vietnam and Cambodia. However, after the retreats, the there was an exponential increase in the killings. Not seeing the killings reported in the paper does not mean they did not happen.

So, lets say we give Iraq to Al Quaida. The terrorists will see that their technique of killing large numbers of innocent civilians is successful. They will then start killing tens of of thousands of people in Afghanistan. Because we can't stand reading about murders, we will follow John Kerry in another retreat and give that country back to the Taliban. Next the terrorists will move on to Saudia Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, etc.. Terrorists will start killing tens of thousands of people in these countries until we retreat. With the Mideast secure, the Arab terrorists will be in the position to practice their mojo in Spain, France and Turkey.

The technique is simple. If you are willing to kill large numbers of people, the west will run, just as the West ran from Rwanda, Sudan, Cambodia, Vietnam and Somalia. Any fool who stands up to the tides of history, as Bush tried, will simply be labeled by the left as an incompetent.

Now, most of the Democrats who won in 2006 are moderates. They are not seeking a Kerry style retreat. The fact that our left leaning press is treating the election as a victory for the left leaning al quaida is really absurd.

The 2006 Democratic victory should be reconized as an opportunity to create a bipartisan policy to support the struggling young democracy in Iraq. The yammering of talking heads who've concluded that we have no option except retreat might create a self fulfilling prophesy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Is Bolton Next?

I think that Axing Rumsfeld was a good idea.

I think the new Democratic majority would do very well at this point to approve the nomination of John Bolton as the Ambassador to the United Nation.

The UN is in dire need of reform. Having a gruff UN critic as our UN ambassador could help the United States achieve that goal. The majority of Bolton's complaints are dead on. The standard dried in the wool internationalist who usually serves as UN ambassador would be less effective in inducing positive change.

Remeber, the UN stood by to watch genocides in Sudan, Rwanda and even in Iraq. IMHO, the corruption of the UN by the oil for food program was one of the contributing factors to the current mess.

There is value to having a harsh critic or two. Bolton is one of those harsh critics who can induce change. Rumsfeld, on the other hand, is the typical insider technocrat who has the magic ability to turn victories into defeat.

Rumsfelds Gone. Hurray!

Rumsfeld's Out!

This is the best news I've heard for several months.

Michelle Malkin is correct that the Rumsfeld served honorable! The problem is that the guy has that neocon/Machiavellian approach to issues that tends to accomplish the opposite of what our nation needs.

Rumsfeld kept coming out and doing stupid things like appearing to favor the use of torture, and the use of landmines. Neither the use of torture nor the use of landmines is in the United State's interest.

There are reasons why bans on torture and landmines fall short.

Instead of pointing out these reasons, Rumsfeld would blunder into prattle that made the Bush Administration look like it supported the use of torture and landmines.

(The reason that bans on torture don't work is that different countries have different definitions of what is and what is not torture. Members of the international community wanting to embarrass the US could define any interrogation techique as torture. Conversely, when our intelligence community is working abroad, say in Saudi Arabia, we have the problem that they do commit torture. A total ban on torture prevent us from working with an ally.

The Landmine Ban has an overly aggressive schedule for removing the landmines between North and South Korea. The international community should not be destabilizing that area, even for the worthy cause of a landmine ban.

The Bush Administration would have done well to rid itself of Rumsfeld a long time ago.

So far, the change in leadership of the House is serving our nation well.

Nancy Pelosi has come out and said that the Democratic leadership will change its tact from an unending attack on the adminstration to one of cooperation. If this is true, there is hope for a peaceful resolution to the problems in Iraq.

Conversely, if the next two years degenerated into a two year Democratic campaign for the presidency, then the world would become a more divided and hateful place.

I belittled Howard Dean for a backhanded call for civility. If the Democratic controlled Congress does behave in a civil manner, then things can get better.

The US is Very Lucky

I voted with the new Deibold machines. The vote was extremely clean. I voted the usual mix of Democratic, Republican mixed candidates.

In this regard, I am happy that the Democrats won. The left wing has thrown millions of dollars and millions of man hours into a disinformation campaign to convince the world that the elections are rigged.

The truth of the matter is that the Bush administration has done a horrible job convincing the public that there is value to the traditional values that had made the United States such a wealthy nation. Bush earned this kick in the rear.

During the Bush administration, the Republicans had abandonned too much of their ideology and tried to buy continued power through expensive idiocies like the presciption drug gimmick, and tax cuts without corresponding cuts in spending. The Republicans have a difficult, but not impossible task, in the next two years to convince the American people that freedom is a good thing.

Since the left has a winning strategy of claiming all electoral losses as fraud, the Republicans have to have a strategy that goes beyond their last minute get out the vote campaign.

The 2006 election really goes down as one of the most pathetic things in history. The primary campaign for the Democrats was simply hatred for Bush, and the primary campaign of the Republicans was the fact that the Democrats are worse.

On the plus side, we only have to deal with Nancy Pelosi for two years. Unlike Nicaraguan vote for Ortega that effectively ends democracy in that country, this vote didn't end US democracy. It was a pathetic, idea free stage in a series of elections. We can only hope that the Republican leadership realizes that their abandonning the ideals of limited government and freedom for the people led to their losing the election.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Democratic leader Howard Dean just said this on TV:

"We are going to be civil ... Unlike the Republicans."

The fact that this claiming of civility is immediately followed by a jab at his enemies makes me interpret both the statement and the smirk on Dean's face as an instance of a politician projecting his methods onto his opponents.

We are not going to be able to return to civil discourse until we get people who realize that the incivility is coming from the foundations of the modern system of reasoning. It is not just a matter of those Republicans lacking civility.

In my modern liberal schooling, I had learned to attack my enemies by creating an undercurrent of subtle barbs in their direction. The constant assault of subtle jabs, however, eventually closes off discourse.

Everything I have seen of Bush 1 and Bush 2 is that the Bushes are primarily civil. The main fault I see in George Bush is that he instinctively deflects the constant bombardment of subtle jabs with Bushisms. That is not incivility. It might be insecurity. More likely, it is a studied method that the Bush's have developed to thrive in an era when the foundations of discourse have been eroded. Unfortunately, the method shuts off one's ability to engage in discourse.

The years of Bush rule has been so frustrating for most of the Conservatives and Classical Liberals that I know because Bush has failed to engage the world in the good ideas that the Conservatives and Classical Liberals have.

I doubt we will see a new age of civility in Washington. I think it will be a question of whether the Democrats decide to continue the barrage of subtle barbs, or if they blossom into two years of loud criticism in the style of Keith Olbermann.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Activists Watching Polls

Conservatives have made a big mistake by not taking more time in the last several elections to assure the integrity of the voting apparatus. Meanwhile the left has made big strides in a relentless misinformation campaign to imply that anyone against socialism cheats on elections.

The truth of the matter is that dirty politicians on both sides of the great partisan divide cheat.

Michelle Malkin just pointed out that we now have a new problem with the 2006 elections: An ongoing campaign to associate the Republican Party with voter fraud has created a new brand of activist set to prove (at all costs) that Republicans cheat.

I do worry about voter fraud. To have honest elections, you need a group who's focus is on the accuracy of the vote count. By definition, activists are looking out for the partisan concerns. An activist is not interested in the accuracy of the vote, but on the success of their party.

The other thing one must fear when one digs through accusations of cheating is that people inclined to cheating themselves often have a tendency of projecting their methods onto others.

I do believe that there are members in both party willing to commit fraud. In a previous post, I noted that Republican controlled districts often have the newest voting machines because the people who control the district are sticklers about the accuracy of the vote. Democratic districts often have older voting machines as the leaders see themselves as the proper representative of the people and counting the vote is just a formality.

I think the Republican voters feel that they are assuring a more accurate vote by investing heaving in voting machines. Oddly, this massive investment in trying to assure voter accuracy opens Republicans to even more accusations that they are cheats.

I think Michelle Malkin is correct to bring up the fact that we need to watch activists who are claiming to be watching the polls. With activists who have a strong political motivation to accuse their opponents of fraud, we are left with a very volatile political situation with the counting of the vote.

I am an independent. I always vote a mix of parties. When approached by exit pollers, I've always lied about my vote.

This year, I hope people are honest with their votes. Regardless of whether or not there is fraud, any disparity between exit polls and counted votes will be reported in the media as fraud.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Cruelty to Puppies

Puppy v. Snow PlowReaders of this blog have probably guessed that I am a mean and cruel person at heart. Readers wanting proof of my innate cruelty will probably want to file this photo in the "Mr. Delaney is Sadistic" folder. Coco was such a nice dog. We will all miss her ... but, hey, I got the shot I was looking for. That is all that matters to me.

I will probably get death threats from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), and recipe requests from PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals).

Yes, it is a cruel, cruel, cruel world.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Yes, I did know it was a bad joke

Discourse in the US really has deteriorated to new lows. This is my prediction about the 2006 election (It was pretty much the same for the 2004 election). If voters are thinking about Bush at the time they vote, they will vote Democrat. If they are thinking about what will happen if the Democrats gained the House and Senate, they will vote Republican.

Think about this for a moment. The primary complaint in this election is that the Republican party has been taken over by a think called a Neo-Conservative. Neocons include groups like the Dixiecrats and Mormons that are essentially Democrats who became Republican because they were either kicked out of the Democratic Party or they saw the Republican party as an easier host to dominate.

We are upset that the Republicans have become Democrats. But how are we to fix this problem by electing Democrats? Of course, the Democrats have taken a leap to the left, I don't see that as much of an improvement.

Election 2006 is a game of the Democrats trying to keep the Bush-hatred they've cultivated for the last several years in full force, while Republicans have to get America thinking about the horrible thing that the Democratic party has become under the leadership of Kerry, Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi.

Kerry's anti-troop gafaw got this ugly side of the Democrats on the front page.

The counter response by the media (the majority of whom are Democrats) is to repeat the mantra that Kerry's anti-troop Freudian slip was really a missed time Bush bashing joke.


The majority of Conservatives know that Kerry's Freudian slip was a bad joke gone wrong?

The modern progressive method of argumentation is to sling ridicule at their opponents. Look at the blogosphere, each day progressive pundits pop forth with several hundred mean little insults or anti-Bush jokes. The ones that get people stirred up go viral and increase the hatred and division in the world.

I dislike this method of argumentation. Yes, Kerry was trying out ways of insulting Bush when he made a Freudian slip and insulted the military instead. I find the fact that his ugly method of gaining power by ridicule backfired and Kerry is in retreat is wonderful.

The neocons (Democrats who became Republicans) and the Progressives are both destroying our ability to engage in discourse.

Because the methods of both parties are undermining discourse, my hope is that the Republicans retain the Congress. If this happens, the Republicans will spend the next two years challenging Bush ... and the Democrats might reconsider their leap to the left. While if the Democrats gain control of Congress, we will have two more years where this ugly method of rhetoric continues to escalate.

An Impassioned Plea

Thankfully, there is a little bit of free press left in the world. Michelle Malkin is running an image that was smuggled out of Iraq showing US Troops pushing their limited intellects to the max in a desperate plea for John Kerry to come and save them. While I prefer to invest my time reading great thinkers like Noam Chomsky (praise to the Chomsky), I admit I am often inspired when I see the lower uneducated classes (like the US Army) trying to formulate complete sentences. A whole US army troop was able to put together almost one complete sentence.

(Link to Photo)

As for the mayhem in Iraq. The reality in Iraq (the large number of civilian casualties and sectarian violence) is a lot less than I thought it would be when we invaded in 2003.

Saddam Hussein had suppressed his people by infesting the country with a very violent nihilistic philosophy (an Islamic version of Stalinism). The people in Iraq have to make their choice of following this nihilistic way of life or of trying to establish a classical democracy. What is going on right now is that Iraq and the world are seeing on the big screen the inevitable results of this left leaning version of politics.

I was against invading Iraq in 2003 because the violence we are seeing at the moment really was inevitable. Quite frankly, I am amazed that that American troops have actually been able to keep the violence contained to the extent that they have. I am proud of the fact that American soldiers are standing up against nihilism of the Jihadist philosophy ... even if it takes a whole troop of soldiers to write one sentence.