Thursday, December 18, 2008

Chris Kroc & Macon Politics

Well Chris Kroc has certainly caused quite the stir in the last few days. He's been quite clear as to his opinion of Elaine Lucas ever since his trial period at the local talk radio show, and I don't know that too many folks would disagree with his rather quick assesment of her character. She's no Barack Obama, ladies and gentlemen...

I must say I don't particularly go out of my way to listen to his show. It's just not really my style. But I do enjoy the fact that he gets under Big Momma's skin to such a delightful extent. She is the epitome of all that is wrong with Macon politics - thinks she's much more important than she will ever actually be, and tries to bully everyone around her into submission. Kudos to Erick for standing up to her antics. Some of the stories he tells of her behavior in council meetings are just plain hilarious - or they would be if she weren't so pathetic. Let's just say my daughter had more character and a thicker skin at the age of 3 than she does right now as an adult.

I also enjoyed hearing about Chris' protest at the St. Paul AME church, as the Wrong Rev. Wright's Circus of Blasphemy rolled into town. God has a special place for so-called pastors who abuse their pulpit to spread hatred. Something tells me it's not very good place. I find it pretty appalling that our mayor would be in the same room as this man, much less praise his work as "based out of biblical scripture."

I like our mayor. His response to the little email spat between Erick and Elaine was an example of good leadership, and I think he's been great for this city. But I've lost a great deal of respect for him since his endorsement of Barack (he was eeyunspiiiired!), and now this utter nonsense on a man who literally foments hatred and division. From the pulpit. I expect better from him, and I suspect that deep down he knows what a scumbag this guy is.

Ah, the politics of MacTown. Such a magical place. Full of wonder.

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's About Time...

It's been far too long since I've had any time to blog, but I have to make time to say a little something on the auto-bailout. It looks like Republicans in the senate finally grew a set and made a stand against a very bad idea. Good on ya, GOP, for standing up to what would've amounted to a big fat check for the UAW - the very people responsible for putting the Big Three automakers in this mess. I hate the idea that people may loose their jobs, but the union easily could've made concessions to reduce their exorbitant labor costs. Unfortunately, they know that the incoming administration and congress will be more, shall we say "labor friendly", especially considering that Big Labor money helped purchase the White House and many of the gained seats in both houses.


I really have very little pity for any company that pays its workers well beyond what their worth, refuses to even consider reducing those salaries and benefits, while asking - no demanding - that the taxpayers bail them out of their own bad management decisions. It would be a lot easier to accept some sort of intervention if the companies were willing to restructure in such a way that their labor costs are more in line with the rest of America, making it at least more likely that they'll be competitive and have some chance of remaining solvent.


But it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to pour billions into a company that refuses to fix what got them here in the first place. I didn't like the financial bailout plan much either, but we at least knew that their was a chance - and some say even a good chance - that the taxpayers actually get their money back from that. Make no mistake about it: there is NO CHANCE the American people ever see any benefit from this money. It is not an "investment" of taxpayer dollars; it is a gift. And most folks even admit that they'll just be back for more in 12 months.

The US automakers are insolvent in their current organizational structure. They are far too big, pay their workers and retirees far too much money compared to other companies, and they do not deserve this gift. I hope the president decides against using the TARP money to keep these companies in existence. But if he does, he at least needs to force some serious concessions from the UAW. I say let GM go down - Ford or some other company in a better position can acquire many of its facilities and workers, and retool to meet the demands of the existing market.

Just mark this down as yet another reason to abolish labor unions. All of them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving


"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty." -Edward Winslow, Plymouth Plantation-1621

I've always felt that Thanksgiving is too often overshadowed by its proximity to Christmas. We tend to forget that our nation would not exist, at least not in its current form, without the events surrounding that first Thanksgiving day. The Pilgrims who settled Plymouth Plantation had a difficult first year in America, but they perservered through unthinkable hardships in order to establish a new place of religious freedom. We owe much to the men and women who put their trust in God, as well as the people of the Wampanoag tribe, whom God used to preserve our ancestors during this time.

Why celebrate Thanksgiving as a national holiday? I think it's pretty clear that the "First Thanksgiving" was a critical turning point in our nation's birth. Every freedom we now enjoy can be attributed to the families who risked everything to come here, and to the God who sustained them and this nation through that and many subsequent times of trial. As George Washington said in 1789, after another critical time in our nation's history:

"Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789."

Only in America

It seems that with each passing year, we hear more and more outrageous stories about some poor idiot with nothing better to do than try and ruin Thanksgiving or Christmas for everyone else. The first report of such shenanigans for this year's holiday season comes from - surprise, surprise - California. I'm familiar with the typical liberal argument that Thanksgiving is really a celebration of oppression and "genocide." Yes, it's hard to believe, but apparently some people do actually pay attention to what fat, anti-American movie directors have to say about our nation's history. Now we have a school banning the use of pilgrim and indian costumes for their Thanksgiving celebration, all because some hippie has decided she's offended.

Here we see the effects of our pathetically impotent, politically-correct education system in all its grandeur. This woman, who I'm sure was educated in one of our nation's shining beacons of educational underachievement known as public schools, is ruining Thanksgiving for a bunch of kindergarteners. Of course, all of this could have been avoided had she, and the millions of other products of government education, been properly informed as to the actual historical events surrounding Thanksgiving. Instead, school-kids all over the nation are being fed a bunch of nonsense designed to induce the guilt that liberals believe we should all experience as a result of our ancestors' actions.

We're also beginning to see the consequences of liberal hypocrisy in their intolerance of Christianity's celebration of Christmas. We all know that liberals only practice tolerance of beliefs that are in line with their own silly little worldview, it just becomes more obvious this time of year. So, make it a point to say Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to as many people as you can this holiday season. Make sure your Christmas cards say "Merry CHRISTMAS" instead of Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings, and be sure to tell your kids about the true history of Thanksgiving, as described here.

Oh, and - do I really need to say this? - don't let the government educate your kids.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sarah! and Saxby

I had heard from someone on Saxby's staff last week that the campaign was working on getting Governor Sarah Palin down to Georgia to help get voters fired up over the run-off. Well, according to the Telegraph, Sarah! has agreed to come to the rescue. The closest she'll get to Macon is Perry - chosen, I suppose, so that the Ag Center can be used as a venue to host the sizeable crowd she will no doubt draw. She's a popular gal in these parts - and for good reason. She'll also be coming to Augusta, Savannah, and Atlanta.

Governor Palin did what I thought would be impossible during the recent campaign: she got the justifiably suspicious conservative base of the GOP fired up in spite of the squish at the head of the ticket. Her enduring popularity proves the idiocy of those Republican elites who suggest that she is responsible for dragging McCain down, and puts the sword to any argument that the GOP needs to abandon its traditional conservative principles.

Her presence here, along with the likes of Romney, Huckabee, Giuliani, and other Republican big guns who have stopped in to stump for Saxby over the last few weeks, also shows the importance of this run-off election. A 60 seat majority for the Democrats would be catastrophic, not just for the GOP, but for the future of this nation. The Democrat leadership has already made it clear that they intend to take full advantage of the current crisis situation, and the general feeling of panic beginning to spread throughout the population.

As Rahm Emanuel has said, this crisis represents an opportunity for government to take more radical steps than would normally be tolerated by a still center-right electorate. We are already watching our great nation teetering on the brink of socialism, and 60 votes in the Senate all but guarantees that even more drastic and permanent steps will be taken in the wrong direction. If you call yourself a conservative, then you have no excuse for sitting this one out, or for voting against Saxby Chambliss. You may not agree with everything he has done - I don't - but you cannot make a credible argument for doing anything other than voting for the GOP in this case.

This election has been painful. We lost. Big time. And I can understand a certain satisfaction in watching the politicians who have failed to advance conservatism in office crash and burn. It's almost as if we need a little pruning to be stronger in the long run. But too much pruning can be a very bad thing. We need to leave enough branches in place to keep the tree alive. We must leave our party in a position to mount a serious opposition to the people now in charge. We need to get over ourselves and lay the groundwork for a conservative comeback. The first, and most important way to do so is by helping get Saxby Chambliss re-elected.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Macon Construction

The Telegraph reports today on the ground-breaking ceremony for my latest project, Capital City Bank's new downtown branch, to be built on the corner of Fifth Street and MLK, Jr. Blvd. The new building will be a 3-story brick structure, designed specifically for the unique site by Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates of Atlanta. For those of you who have been around Macon for a while, it's going on the site of the former Green Jacket restaurant, adjacent to the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.

It's great to see some new, private construction going on in Macon, and kudos to Capital City for going ahead with what will be a very nice building in such a difficult financial market. The new branch will house a large conference room on the 3rd floor, which will be available to outside organizations throughout the year, and a large open balcony from which Maconites will be able to watch the annual Cherry Blossom Parade downtown. The design is quite unique, and will blend in well with the surrounding Gateway Plaza, Peyton Anderson, and Sports and Music Halls of Fame structures.

Local contractor Chris R. Sheridan will be handling the nuts and bolts of getting this thing built, and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product. I'd love to post a rendering of the building, but I need to get permission before doing so. I'll try to post photos of the project as it progresses. Check back later for more info!

Hope and Change

I've been a little burned out on politics lately, and after a discouraging election it's been difficult to find the motivation to blog. I'm thinking I'll switch gears a little bit and focus more on theology and maybe some local issues. I'll still be keeping an eye on the political world, as I believe that politics and public policy should be a major focus for Christians to put their faith into practice. As Obama's prospective presidency is shaping up to look more and more like a sick mutation of Clinton and Carter part two, there will no doubt be many opportunities to comment on his performance.

As I've said before, I sincerely hope he proves me wrong and does a good job of leading us through a difficult time. I'll support him when he makes the right decisions, and call him out when he doesn't. In the end, we are called to support and pray for our leaders, following their leadership whenever it does not directly contradict Scripture. Ligon Duncan has some good things to say about our situation on Reformation 21:
We ought to commit ourselves to pray for our new President, for his wife and family, for his administration, and for the nation. We will do this, not only because of the biblical command to pray for our rulers, but because of the second greatest commandment "Love your neighbor" and what better way to love your neighbor, than to pray for his well-being. Those with the greatest moral and political differences with the President-Elect ought to ask God to engender in them, by His Spirit, genuine neighbor-love for Mr. Obama...

We will pray that God would change President-Elect Obama's mind and heart on issues of crucial moral concern. May God change his heart and open his eyes to see abortion as the murder of the innocent unborn, to see marriage as an institution to be defended, and to see a host of issues in a new light. We must pray this from this day until the day he leaves office. God is sovereign, after all.

For those Christians who are more dismayed than overjoyed about the prospects of an Obama presidency, there should be a remembrance that as our President, Barack Obama will have God-given authority to govern us, and that we should view him as a servant of God (Rom. 13:1, 4) to whom we should be subject (Rom. 13:1, 5; 1 Pet. 2:13-14). Thus, again, we are to pray for Barack Obama (1 Tim. 2:1-2). We are to thank God for Barack Obama (1 Tim. 2:1-2). We are to respect Barack Obama (Rom. 13:7). We are to honor Barack Obama (Rom. 13:7; 1 Pet. 2:17)...

Without doubt and whatever our particular views may be, we face hard days ahead. Realistically, we must all expect to be frustrated and disappointed. Some now may feel defeated and discouraged. While others may all-too-soon find their audacious hopes unfounded and unrealized. We must all keep ever in mind that it is God who raises up leaders and nations, and it is God who pulls them down, and who judges both nations and rulers. We must not act or think like unbelievers, or as those who do not trust God.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No Union Bailouts

I don't like this auto bailout one bit. They're basically asking us to pay for the mess made by labor unions. I realize that many people will lose their jobs, pensions, etc. if GM is allowed to go under, but simply giving them a blank check with no conditions would be idiotic. All three of the Detroit automakers need to go through a complete restructuring process, and this should be a condition of any taxpayer money being sent in their direction.

I believe that most of the problems they are facing right now can be traced back to labor unions and our government's self-defeating tax policies. You'd almost have to be an idiot to try and run a large company in this country, especially now that the socialists have taken over. Corporate tax rates are exorbitant in comparison to our main international competitors, and labor unions are costing all of us more than they are worth. These companies are not competitive in their own market because they aren't competing on a level playing field.

I say no bailout unless the UAW is forced to renegotiate their labor contracts, reducing salaries and benefits down to what the market decides is reasonable. We, the taxpayers, are not the ones who should have to tighten our belts, while the people responsible for this whole mess keep on as if nothing is wrong. Congressional conservatives should oppose any legislation that doesn't force a big change in the way these companies do business.

Unfortunately, I don't think we can expect the same from our president in waiting. Big Labor helped purchase his place in the White House, and we all know what that means. Change we can believe in, my arse.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kids Love Their Nanny (State)

Erick has an interesting post up today about a post election study concerning people’s views on the role of government. One of the more interesting results of this study comes from the respondents’ answers to how large and active the government should be in the lives of its citizens. It’s not exactly surprising that a majority of people who label themselves Democrats or liberal are in favor of a larger government with more social programs, but overall, 53% of people are in favor of “smaller government with fewer services”, while 28% are in favor of the opposite.

One interesting result, however, is seen in the fact that a majority of 18 – 25 year olds favor a larger government. I’m not really surprised by this either, as most young folks tend to be more liberal. But why is it that this is the case? Why are so many of those in their early 20’s susceptible to a view of government that is completely at odds with what the founders of this nation envisioned? There are many reasons, the first of which is likely a severe lack of quality in education throughout our nation. Political correctness has taken its toll on the quality and contents of most history textbooks, and teachers unions, like pretty much every union, continue to have an adverse effect on the end product.

And let’s not kid ourselves with respect to higher institutions of learning. Colleges and universities have become havens for liberalism – likely because that’s the only place ideas don’t actually have to be put into practice – and your average professor isn’t exactly a champion of small government conservatism. Anything is possible in the dream-world of academia, and with a captive audience whose real-world experience is even more limited than that of their esteemed professors, brainwashing becomes an incredibly fruitful and rewarding enterprise, I’m sure.

So, between the ages of 18 and 25, most people have been ill informed as to the historical nature and purpose of their government, received at least 4 years of indoctrination from people whose ideas wouldn’t cut it in the real world, haven’t had to pay taxes, and have had very little time to actually watch their government in action. There’s a reason people become more conservative and anti-government later in life. I would challenge anyone to list one single social enterprise our federal government has ever taken on that has resulted in anything even remotely resembling efficiency or success. Social Security? Medicaire?, Public Education?

And now we are about to embark on an experiment in government run healthcare! Because it’s been sooooo successful everywhere else in the world, I suppose. Excellent.

Friday, November 7, 2008

And So It Begins...

I had to wait several days to write about the election results. To say that I'm dissappointed would be an understatement, but I'm not depressed. Most of us saw this one coming, and knew it would be a rough night for the GOP. That being said, I don't believe this to be a repudiation of conservatism for a number of reasons. First and foremost, Obama ran on plenty of conservative ideals. He promised tax cuts, albeit with a populist twist, and even tried to convince people he was "pro-life."

In fact, he succeeded in giving many believers, especially African Americans, an excuse to rationalize their support for him in spite of his horrific record on abortion. Many of them will outright refuse to admit to this day that he supports abortion. I realize that any black American is going to have a difficult time voting against Obama, despite the fact that he is considerably more liberal than most of them.

And while I ultimately think that Obama's presidency is going to be very bad for America from an economical and political standpoint, I also recognize that his election will be good for America. The election of the nation's first black president is historic, and encouraging for many reasons. While I worry about his policy positions and his character, I can still be inspired by how far our nation has come in the last 50 years or so. I can celebrate our nation getting beyond the racial barrier, while at the same time wishing our nation's first black president didn't have to be a socialist liberal.

I hate to admit it, but I did feel the slightest bit of pride, tempered with dread, the morning after the election. I sincerely hope that President-elect Obama will prove me wrong - for the sake of my nation and our children's futures, I really do hope that he will be a successful president. His record does not give me confidence, but I'll support him as president, unlike the idiots on the left have done for the past 8 years, because that's what grown-up Americans do.

My guess is that he'll be too busy handling the wars, economic crises, and potential threats from Russia (all of which will no doubt be blamed on evil republicans and Bush) to actually be able to enact many of his misguided plans - at least for the next few years. The real threat will be coming from congress, as I don't see too much chance of Obama using the veto pen against the idiocy Pelosi and Reid will no doubt be producing.

So, that's my final vent on the presidential election of 2008. We will have a new leader in a few months, and while I don't trust or particularly like him, I recognize that he has been put in this place for a reason. For that reason I will pray for him, and hope that he follows up on his promises for a "new era of change in Washington." If he actually does manage to "change" Washington through real bipartisanship, then I will give him full credit.

However, I will always judge his actions from the standpoint of conservatism, the last best hope for this nation. I'm predicting Jimmy Carter part deux...I hope I'm wrong.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day!!

Wow. I haven't posted anything in a while, but I have to get my election day thoughts out in the open before I go crazy. Work will have to wait.

I have to admit that I've been pretty much resigned to losing this election for the past few weeks. But I also will say that I've always been suspicious of polls. We all know by now that the polls are predicting a close to fairly comfortable win for Obama. We also know that many of these polls are oversampling Democrats because pollsters assume there will be more Democrats voting this year. While it is true that the Democrat Party has registered more new voters than the GOP, that doesn't necessarily translate into votes. We can also look back to the last 2 elections and see where the polls were all very wrong.

I'm not going to get into the theories about pollsters intentionally skewing their data to demoralize conservatives, or to send the message that an Obama win is 'inevitable.' I wouldn't be surprised in the least if this were the case, but no one knows for sure. All we can do is look at the different variables in this election, and see that there are far too many unknowns for any predictions to be accurate.

Early voting will no doubt have some impact, as many people who may not have made time to vote on election day will have had weeks to do so in some states. My gut tells me that this will favor Democrats. We also know that many more black voters will go to the polls this year than in previous years because of Obama's ethnicity. It doesn't matter that he likely has very little in common with most black Americans.

It's sad, but many of them honestly believe that Barack is now going to give them everything they want. Seriously. This is not an isolated issue. Talk to the school teachers and find out what their students are telling them about an Obama presidency. They're going to be very disappointed if he does get into office, but right now they are fired up and going to the polls - at least it seems that way here in Macon.

I got to my polling location this morning just before 8am, and there was a moderate line inside the building. I waited about 30 minutes before voting, but in that time I saw 4 different people being told that their address didn't match or that they were at the wrong precinct. All 4 were allowed to vote. All they had to do was fill out a 'change of address' form. Is it that difficult to follow the rules? How do we know these people didn't go to another polling place and cast another vote? Of course, they can't be turned away, or told to go to the correct polling place, because that would be 'voter intimidation', and the ACLU would be all over it.

We're already hearing about issues all over the country, but especially in battleground states. Pennsylvania looks to be one of the pivotal states in this race. Erick has said that he now thinks that if McCain can carry PA, he'll win the election. North Carolina and Virginia should also be two early indicators of how McCain will do tonight. If it's still 'too close to call' in PA and VA when the polls close, then I'd say we have a shot. I would love nothing more than for the media, all the pollsters, and all of Europe to once again be proved wrong. I think it's going to be close, but I'm praying for a good night.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Marked Contrast

I just couldn't resist pointing somthing out to those who are still wavering as to their allegiance in this election. As millions of college professors and students, hollywood actors, and the undereducated masses dream of the socialist utopia coming from what they see as an inevitable Obama victory, those who actually keep this nation's economy on track - the evil rich business leaders - are running for the hills.

There is no question that Obama's economic policies will take money from those who achieve and give it to those who don't. Even Joe the Plumber can see through the insulting platitudes. What so many don't realize, is that those who achieve are also those who provide jobs. Punish them, and you punish everyone else. Are we really going to welcome Jimmy Carter's policies back to the White House? Because that turned out so well the first time...

So, undecideds: who are you gonna listen to? If you think the people who have made something of themselves deserve to be punished for their success, then I can't help you. But if you've worked hard to achieve something, or plan to any time in the next few years, then I suggest you listen to those of us in the real world. Obama's plans will provide success and power for no one save his own political party, at the expense of everyone - not just the achievers.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Kids Vote Obama...Shocker

What a surprise...Nickelodeon's Kids Pick the President results are in, and Barack Obama is the winner. My daughter will be irate. So, is there anything useful we can learn from this?

Well, for one thing, we now know that if pre-teens were allowed to choose our president, they'd go with Obama. Shocker.

But the margin of Obama's mock victory actually is a bit surprising, especially considering that Barry is supposed to be the "kewl" candidate this election season. Supporting BO is all the rage, don't you know. So you'd think that the hip hero of HopeChangeHope would've won by a landslide...well, not so much. 51%-49% isn't exactly convincing.

Let's all remind ourselves that John Kerry - the antithesis of cool - was the Kid's choice for prez back in 2004, winning 57% of the teeny-bopper vote. That was the first time Nick's mock election failed to accurately predict the winner since its first poll in 1988.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Let's Stop Kidding Ourselves

Over the past few days I've been trying to convince myself that things will be fine if Obama is elected president. I've tried to tell myself that his disasterous policies will awaken the sleeping masses of ordinary Americans, who I believe are still moderately conservative overall, much like the Carter administration helped to sweep Reagan into office. I told myself that the damage Obama, and an overwhelming Democrat majority in congress, will undoubtedly cause can be reversed in the years following his time in office.

Then I read Michael Medved's column in Townhall. Talk about a wake-up call. Those of us who are already trying to rationalize away the potential ramifications of an Obama presidency would do well to listen to these warnings. There is no question that a likely 8 years of this kind of leadership would have dramatic effects on the future of this nation. My daughter will be leaving for college at the end of this hypothetical Obama presidency, and the picture I see for her future is not bright.

Under Obama's promised policies we will no longer live in a nation that rewards hard work with success, but will see those who achieve success duly punished by having to pay for those who don't. We will see even larger groups of people bought and paid for by the Democrat Party - "free" health care, unlimited access to citizenship for illegal immigrants, and an unprecedented expansion of every failed government program in existence, all in exchange for thousands of new welfare addicts - aka, loyal Democrat voters.

I believe this is why it's so difficult for the conservative movement to maintain power for long periods of time. The New Deal laid the ground work for a powerful political strategy: secure power for the Democrat Party by using government to buy people off. Let the government pay for its citizens' healthcare, housing, education, retirement, etc. Give the ignorant, short-sighted, lazy masses what they want, and you have a strong base of loyal voters for life.

The conservative philosophy, however, encourages a strong sense of personal responsibility, hard work, and individual freedom. Get the government out of the way, and the American people will prosper as a result. There is a reason socialism has failed every time it has been tried - it removes any incentive for success. And as Michael points out, once a government entitlement program is created, the likelihood of it ever being dismantled is very small.

I'm just now starting to appreciate the true significance of this election. Barack Obama's policies, easily implemented by a huge Democrat majority in congress, could not only run this country into the ground, but could create millions of new loyal Democrat voters at the expense of our economy. Yes, it may awaken the silent majority of honest, hardworking Americans to usher in the next Ronald Reagan; but at that point it will likely be too late.

I don't honestly believe that the American people, on the whole, want our nation to move more towards socialism. But I also doubt that too many people are thinking about the direction of our nation right now. Most people are more concerned about their own problems, and at this point want someone to "pay" for them. People want change. They want someone else to make their oversized mortgage payments, pay for their healthcare, and provide free daycare in the form of government "preschool" programs. That all sounds great to the cash-strapped masses.

These are frightening times for those who worry about the direction of our nation. We need to remember to trust in God's sovereignty, and in His ability to work out His will, even in the face of leaders who are likely to oppose it. It's time to stop worrying, and start praying.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Jim Marshall, Democrublican

My congressman, Jim Marshall, has always been a pretty bright guy. He realizes that the district he represents is extremely conservative. He managed to get elected to congress due to his popularity in Bibb County and Macon, where he also served as mayor, and has survived the republican ascendancy of the last decade mainly by distancing himself from his own party.

His last win, however, was by a very narrow margin, despite the GOP bloodbath of 2006. As Erick pointed out last week, his district has now been redrawn to pretty much mirror what it looked like when Saxby represented it. I believe Saxby, despite polls that show his current campaign relatively close, is still fairly popular in this district. Whether that will help Marshall's opponent, Rick Goddard, remains to be seen, but as I pointed out several months ago, it wouldn't take much to bring Marshall down.
Even in the 2006 election - a disaster for the GOP nationally- Collins [Marshall's 2006 opponent] only fell short by 1752 votes, or one percentage point, after running a fairly lackluster campaign. The problem is that Goddard, or any candidate for this seat, needs to make significant gains in Bibb county, where Marshall received nearly 60% of the vote, in order to win the seat. So far, Marshall has too much support from voters in this area who otherwise tend to support conservatives. Proof of this can be seen in the results for Governor in this same election. Sonny Perdue won over Democrat Mark Taylor by 1881 votes in Bibb County. Overall, 18,954 Bibb County voters chose Perdue, while only 13,893 voted for Collins.
Jim Marshall has been running ads all over television and radio - something he has not really done in the past. This suggests that he is at least somewhat concerned about his chances this year. His latest ad is, quite frankly, hilarious. It's been airing on the local radio station, which broadcasts conservative talk shows like Boortz, Limbaugh, and Hannity all day long. In the ad, Marshall brags about his endorsement from the NRA (a poor decision by the NRA, despite his support for gun rights), and even claims that "conservatives Gordon Liddy and Rush Limbaugh have praised" his record as a congressman.

The ad is basically claiming that Marshall is just as conservative as Rick Goddard, and is clearly aimed at the conservative talk radio market. The problem is that Jim Marshall is no conservative. His sponsorship of the biggest gift to union thugs in history alone proves that. The bottom line is that he knows he has to pretend to be conservative to keep his job, voting with the GOP on Democrat initiatives that he knows will pass anyway, and hiding behind the liberal leadership that HE helps put in place.

Wake up conservatives! He may vote with the GOP sometimes, but he puts people like Pelosi in charge of the House, and indirectly advances his party's liberal policy agenda no matter how he votes. I feel a letter to the editor coming on...

100

Apparently, this is my 100th post since stepping into the blogging realm. I hate to be so gloomy at such a milestone, but things are not looking good for conservatives. Most of the folks "in the know" within conservative circles are preparing for a very bad day on November 4. John McCain remains the only hope for salvaging something from what looks more and more like an impending electoral slaughter. And even his chances have been severely hindered by the current economic mess.

I was pretty optimistic a month ago, with the race virtually tied in a political climate that should have provided any competent Democrat with an easy victory. The economic crisis has changed all that. Never mind that it was Democrats who got us into this mess in the first place. Americans are too apathetic and ignorant to bother finding out the real causes for this crisis. The GOP was in charge, so it must be their fault. Unfortunately, it looks like this ignorance may help to put those people in place who can do the most harm in such a situation.

Some are now talking about a 60 vote, filibuster-proof majority in the senate. Even Saxby may now be in trouble. If this does occur, we're in deep horse manure - especially with Barry McSocialism in the White House, ready to sign whatever take-from-the-rich-and-give-to-the-poor plan Reid and Pelosi can come up with. It's all very depressing to be honest. Thankfully, we have some assurance that we're not really at the mercy of the ignorant masses:
"Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men, and knowledge to men of understanding." Daniel 2:20,21
Who knows...a lot can happen in 3 weeks time. If John McCain can come out swinging in this last debate, challenging Obama on all of his lies and distortions, he can go a long way towards energizing his base, if nothing else. But if not, we can rest in the fact that God has proven in the past that His will can be accomplished by, or in spite of, even the worst of leaders.

Besides, Rush was at his most entertaining when America had its last bad president. If nothing else, the inevitable resurgence of conservatism after the Carter-like performance we are sure to get from Obama shows, once again, the idiocy of liberalism, will make it all worth while.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bailout Bust

Well, it looks like our good friends in Washington have managed to once again take a bad idea and make it much worse. I admit that the bailout bill was probably necessary, and that after having looked at the actual details of the plan, the charges of socialism are a wee bit exagerated. The populist rhetoric about taking money from the taxpayers and giving it to the Wall Street fat-cats is not exactly true.

The plan was necessary to avoid a total collapse of our financial system, or so we were told, and I was okay with it in the end. I didn't like it, but would rather be able to cash my paycheck next week, even if it meant moving wildly to the brink of socialism. Unfortunately, congress couldn't even get that right. From what a lot of folks are now saying, the bill has been passed too late to have its full effect. If that's true, we've just flushed $700 billion down the toilet, and will suffer anyway.

The biggest issue with all of this, however, is that we need leadership in place which will take us back from the edge of socialist policy once this crisis is over. I believe it was necessary for the government to step in and help avert a disaster, but the government must be made to step back once all of this blows over. Folks are now talking about the Fed nationalizing the major financial institutions in the U.S. If this happens, things are even more critical.

Barack Obama is not a free market kind of guy. His instinct is to use government to solve everyone's problems, and he cannot be trusted to lead our nation back to its proven system of captitalism. Combine that with the fact that he plans to increase government spending in virtually every area (besides defense), and this crisis will look like a tea party after 4 to 8 years of his leadership.

Do we really want to put a glorified political activist, with the arrogance and common sense of a college professor, in charge of all of this? Seriously?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

SNL Gets it Right

This is just brilliant. I also find it astonishing that NBC, basically a mouthpiece for Democrats in this election season, decided to air something so...truthful.

Let's put a socialist in charge!

It's been difficult to find time to blog lately, but I feel the need to vent. I'm starting to believe that this financial crisis could be the end of McCain's chances for the presidency. The problem, of course, is that we're about to put an avowed socialist in charge of our nation. This socialist will have the responsibility of charting a course out of this economic mess, and I have little faith that such a course will lead anywhere but down the path of more government control and less freedom.

Obama's charge that it was a lack of regulation that led to the current crisis is not only silly, it's insulting to those of us who actually bother to educate ourselves concerning such things. Even Saturday Night Live has a better grasp on the cause of this crisis. Obama's buddies over at ACORN and Fannie/Freddie have run our economy into the ground. Sure, we can say that republicans did too little to stop shady lending practices encouraged by the government, but they at least acknowledged the problem years ago, and made an attempt at regulation.

The simple fact is that this crisis can be laid at the feet of liberal democrat policy, pushed by Clinton, Barney Frank (at the behest of his lover at Fannie Mae), Obama, and every other Democrat who wanted to give everyone a home - regardless of their ability to pay for it. Liberal policy and government regulation created this problem - it is not the solution.

Government is never the antedote to anything...other than prosperity.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bailout

According to Blackhedd, the TARP plan being pushed by Secretary Paulson and Chairman Bernanke is, in fact, a bailout. He goes into the details here, but the gist of it, as I understand it, is as follows:

The government will set up a new entity (the First National "Bad Bank") that will purchase all of Wall Street's investments in bad loans. This will allow the banks to get their bad debts off of their balance sheets, and hopefully let them start pumping money back into our economy through making loans, etc. The word is that if this doesn't happen, many banks will fail, and others will stop making loans altogether, shaking the foundations of our economy, leading to deflation, loss of jobs, bad things in general...

The problem, and where this plan becomes either a bailout of Wall Street, or a necessary intervention by the government for stability, is in the actual valuation of the mortgage-based assets being purchased. According to Blackhedd, if the government purchases these assets at too low a price, the banks (at least those who made bad loans) will lose too much money, and collapse anyway. If the valuation is too high, the banks make out like bandits, basically being rewarded for bad behavior, and inflation will occur in the general economy.

From the testimony to congress yesterday, it sounds like the current plan is to err on the side of inflation, and overvalue the assets. This is not sitting well with conservatives (myself included) as it is basically proof that the administration wants to "bail out" the Wall Street executives. I don't think that's their underlying motive - as Blackhedd points out, Bernanke is a student of the Great Depression, and knows all about the dangers of deflation - they are most likely ensuring that the economy stays strong overall. But this looks very bad in the eyes of the general public. The Republicans are helping out their rich, evil CEO buddies on Wall Street, at the expense of us poor folks.

Politically, this is very bad for the GOP. If we oppose the plan on principle, we risk a serious depression in the economy, for which Republicans will take the blame. If we support it, we play in to the left's stereotypes of handouts for the rich. Overall, I think this dangerous step towards socialism is going to be a necessary evil. The capitalist in me wants the government to take a hands-off approach to this - allowing those who take foolish risks to reap their just rewards. But the father/husband/employee in me doesn't want to see the overall economy spiral into a depression, with banks unable to make loans, companies unable to expand and grow, and people losing their jobs left and right.

The scariest part of this is that we are delving into the world of socialism, while teetering dangerously close to electing a socialist in Obama, who will have to deal with this in the immediate future. A government with this much influence in the "free market" needs a leader who will work to get us back to where we started before all this happened, not someone whose instincts are to take us further down the road to socialism.

Pointing the Finger

Well, everyone's doing it these days, so I thought I'd dig into some facts and see who really is to blame for this mess in the financial world. CNN is out with a poll showing that most people (a 2-to-1 margin) are blaming Republicans for the current crisis. That doesn't surprise me in the least, as most people don't bother to look for facts when it comes to this kind of thing. It's much easier to look at who's been in charge over the last few years, and lazily assume it's their fault.

And to a certain degree, a great deal of blame can be laid at the feet of the GOP for not working harder to make changes to a system that was sending out clear signs of warning for quite some time. But what exactly is at the heart of this current crisis? What is the underlying cause for so much bloodshed on Wall Street?

Blackhedd, at Redstate, has been a source of reliable inside information on this issue for the last few weeks, and thanks to him I think I've gotten a pretty good idea of what's happened. I'm no financial wizard by any means, but I do know that most people will agree that mortgage back securities are at the root of the current mess. When lots of people default on their mortgages, the companies who have invested in the associated securities lose their arses. So who's fault is it that these mortgage companies gave loans to people who couldn't afford them?

It was Democrat policy that started pressuring banks into "providing affordable housing" to any and everyone. It was Democrat policy that implemented Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the CRA. It was left-wing special interest groups like ACORN who threatened mortgage companies and banks with shutting down their operations if they refused to give risky loans. And it was Democrats in congress who blocked a bill, sponsored by John McCain, that would have reformed Fannie and Freddie back in 2005.

So, considering that the average person is either too apathetic or dimwitted to understand these facts, and the news media is all too willing to ignore them in pursuit of their own agenda, I suppose it makes perfect sense that the GOP is getting the blame. After all, we are all evil rich white guys who care about nothing but making money at the expense of poor people, right?

Victory on Drilling

It looks like the Democrats may finally be caving in to the pressure from Republicans on offshore drilling. If this is true, and the ban is allowed to expire, then this is yet another victory for the GOP in this congress. It's also what the American people want, so I'm not really that surprised.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pathetic.

That is the only word for Obama's sorry excuse for leadership during this financial crisis. If this is what we can expect from an Obama presidency - waiting for you opponents to come up with a solution, and then criticizing it while offering nothing in the way of a solution yourself - then God help us. Jeff Emanuel gives us the details:
"As always, Barack Obama takes the easiest (and lowest) road. From having his political opponents removed from the ballot so that he could run unopposed (or the next closest thing to it), to repeatedly voting "present" on legislation, to, in this race, waiting for John McCain to take a position on an issue before making up his own mind on it, then coming out firing at McCain (rather than actually talking about his own position on, and proposed solution to, the issues), Obama's career has been marked by cop-outs, relationships of convenience with very disreputable figures, and machine-politics-as-usual attacks.

"This situation is no different. Obama is allowing the President, the rest of the Congress, and his own opponent in the presidential race to take all of the risk and make all of the statements, while he sits up straight on his highest of horses and tells them all that they're going about fixing the problem the wrong way."
This guy is the worst kind of man, let alone politician. He must not be president.

Dirty Campaign Tricks

I learned a new term today - astroturfing - and apparently David Axelrod's name is synonymous with this lame tactic. Here we see yet another attempt by the Obama campaign to manufacture support from evangelical Christians. Conservative blogs across the net are experiencing an upswing in "Concerned Conservative Christians" who are suddenly spouting Obama campaign talking points.

Fortunately, it's easy to spot these morons. They almost always give themselves away by acting out the caricature of conservative Christians they have in their own mind.

And now, a PR firm with connections to the Obama campaign has been posting professionally made videos on YouTube, pretending that they're the result of a new "grassroots movement." They know they've been caught, and are already taking the videos down. Fortunately, the folks on our side made back-ups.

Seriously guys. This is pathetic.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Democrats Want High Gas Prices

The House passed a bill yesterday that is similar to legislation being proposed in the Senate by Saxby and Johnny. In othe words, it does nothing to increase oil exploration in any significant way, but raises taxes on energy companies in order to fund alternative fuel research. In the Post article, Nancy Pelosi admits that the intent of this bill is not to encourage more drilling, but to seek alternative energy sources. Energy technologies in which she and her husband have invested, and which would make them very wealthy should they be implemented. Energy technologies which are not ready for widespread use, and would take years to implement.

So, the Dems are in no way interested in providing immediate relief in the face of high gas prices. They want to tax the oil companies, while pretending to allow drilling in very limited areas. Not only will we not see any decrease in fuel prices as a result of this bill, increased taxes on energy companies will only be passed on to us in the form of increased energy prices, thereby increasing the cost of fuel. Do these people think we're stupid? And 15 Republicans voted for this bill! It's time we sent a message to these disconnected morons. The only acceptable solution is to allow the ban on offshore drilling to expire, thereby opening up ALL of these areas for exploration.

I'm all for alternative fuels, and some day we will have them. But the simple fact is that it won't be any time soon, no matter how much money the government throws in that general direction. We have to exhaust every option available to us, and that means drill. Now. Everywhere.

More Bad News

Well, so much for the Fed drawing a line. We, the taxpayers, are now on the hook for yet another company's poor judgement. And what message does this send to other similar institutions throughout our nation? The message is that, if you're a big enough corporation, the government will bail you out of whatever risks you take. So much for capitalism.

Many will argue that this was yet another necessary step to keep our economy stable, but I disagree. Capitalism is all about taking risks and reaping either the rewards or the consequences - take away one and the other will disappear as well. This is very bad news for our nation. The federal government now owns the largest insurance holding company in the country - that is a frightening reality. The U.S. government is not in the insurance, or any other business. Things are getting out of control, and those in charge have to be very careful, considering that this is completely uncharted territory. Read the link above in full for a very good analysis on what actually occured yesterday. As Blackhedd notes at the end of his post, some crucial decisions will have to be made in the coming months,
"There’s one more key thing I want to say, which reflects the fact that the AIG bailout is one of the most unprecedented things the government has ever done in peacetime.

The United States must not remain in the insurance business.

We’ve embarked, on one day’s notice, on precisely the path that free-market advocates consider a nightmare scenario. The largest insurance company in America is now owned and operated by the government, and has nearly unlimited access to cheap capital by virtue of the credit-quality enhancement provided by the Fed line of credit.

If you were one of AIG’s competitors, wouldn’t you be feeling a little bit like Tokyo when Godzilla is in town?

That’s the great hazard faced by the government now.

The only permissible course of action is for the feds to explicitly and openly put AIG on a path to liquidation."
This situation makes the upcoming election all the more important. What kind of president and congress do we want in Washington while the government is in such a dangerous position? Do we want a president who favors even more government involvement in every aspect of society making decisions like this?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What Were They Thinking?

I hate to say this, but our two senators fully deserve the criticism being thrown at them from conservatives over the Gang of 10 energy "compromise." Erick gives us a nice summary of the legislation over at Peach Pundit, and it's pretty much what you would expect from a compromise between Democrats and the GOP. The spineless Republicans cave in to 90% of everything the Dems want, and get a whole lot of nothing in return.

Every. Stinking. Time.

Here's the deal:
"If Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson have their way, most of the outer continental shelf (”OCS”) would be permanently off the table for expanded energy exploration. Right now, the ban on OCS exploration must be renewed annually.

10 billion barrels of oil and 18 trillion cubic feet of natural gas would be permanently untouchable off the Pacific Coast.

10 billion barrels of oil and 8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas would be permanently untouchable in ANWR.

2 billion barrels of oil and 18 trillion cubic feet of natural gas would be permanently untouchable in the Atlantic."
Oh, and the bill would also raise taxes on energy companies by $30 billion. Let me guess - Saxby and Johnny had to throw that little tidbit in to "sweeten the deal" for the populist Democrats who want to be able to say they stuck it to the big bad oil companies.

And what did they get in exchange?

Access to a small fraction of the resources we have available to us right now, and a PERMANENT ban on the rest. I'm sorry. I really do like Saxby, but this CANNOT happen. I really don't understand his, or any of the other Republicans' reasoning for this nonsense. The public has made it very clear that we want to drill everywhere, now. Just do it, already.

More on the Financial Crisis

I'm glad the Fed finally decided to draw the line yesterday, refusing to bail out another big time financial company. The fact that Lehman Bros. was actually larger than Bear Sterns at the time of its bailout shows me that they're serious about letting the system work itself out of this mess. As a believer in capitalism, I'm fully supportive of allowing companies who take foolish risks to reap their rewards. The government is responsible for keeping this economy afloat, but whenever possible it should take a hands-off approach to the "free" market. It's now looking like AIG and Wachovia are in serious trouble as well. I'm afraid we're in for some difficult times ahead.

That brings me to Obama's latest charge that this crisis is a result of Republican economic policies. Apparently, he is unaware of the fact that it was the Democrat's New Deal creation, Fannie Mae, which began the process of loaning money to people who couldn't afford it. It was Democrat policy that produced a sense of entitlement to home ownership (and everything else) among the American public. I realize that it's fashionable to blame George Bush for everything bad that happens these days, but he didn't force any of these banks into irresponsible lending practices.

I lay full blame at the feet of The New Deal, America's first step towards the kind of pseudo-socialism that is bankrupting not only our financial institutions, but our government. Maybe a real disaster is what is necessary to shake us out of our lazy, entitlement mentality. Either way, more government intervention, the very root of the problems we now face, is not the solution. Obama may find it easy to stand and point fingers, but his only "solution" is more of the problem.

Wishful Thinking

More proof that Obama is the political messiah that his worshippers think him to be:

He is apparently going to demonstrate that he is able to create, from nothing, a brand new species of supporter for his faltering campaign. How will he accomplish this unprecedented feat? Easy. By producing thousands of yard signs, bumper stickers, and buttons, appropriately labelled for said species of supporter. Think of it as a new take on "If you build it, they will come."

Get your "Believers for Barack" campaign paraphernalia, and become a part of Barry's newest experiment in wishful thinking. Check out the link to the campaign email, encouraging "people of all faith backgrounds" to become a Believer for Barack. In other words, it doesn't matter what you are a believer in, just that you believe something....which pretty much includes everyone on this planet. And now you know why he's the messiah.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Financial Woes

I'm admittedly pretty ignorant of the complex mechanisms within the financial system, but even I can see that something bad is happening on Wall Street. One of the front page posters over at Redstate, Blackhedd, has helped me to understand more about this crisis than anyone else over the last several months, and he has some excellent posts up today concerning the latest problems with Lehman Brothers.

You can get caught up on situation here.

Another Celebrity Genius

Lindsay Lohan has become the latest celebrity to help endear Sarah Palin to the general electorate. She put more than a few words together (all by herself, no doubt) on her MySpace page, slamming Palin's lack of experience and support for ideals that are not espoused by the hollywood elite. She also threw her considerable support (thousands of teeny-boppers and other well-informed political savants who will NOT forget about the election 3 days from now) behind the junior senator from Illinois - apparently totally oblivious to the irony of her charges concerning Palin's experience.

We shouldn't be too hard on poor Lindsay. She's just repeating what Matt Damon - who she probably thinks is the, "like, epitome of smartness, and stuff" - said a few days ago, and has now become the official hollywood talking point on the election. These are the kind of people who support Obama, and their disdain for an ordinary American woman (with more experience than their pick for president) is only helping to show the rest of this nation how Sarah Palin is one of us.

It's easy to see why liberals hate Sarah Palin. She is the perfect example of the successful practice of conservative principles, and she represents the majority of Americans. It's hard to see that from within the fantasy land of Hollywood, but it's true none the less.

LFC 2 - 1 Man. Utd.

I just need to take a moment to smile, and maybe gloat a little. The Mighty Reds have finally beaten Manchester United - and without Torres or Gerrard! Could this be the year for a genuine title challenge? This was a big step, but the real litmus test will come against Stoke - just days after an away trip in the Champion's League. On paper, this should be no problem, but past experience has shown this type of situation to be very tricky. If the Reds can take care of business against a limited but scrappy side, after playing in Europe, then I'll really be excited.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11 Anniversary Links

There are plenty of great articles to read on the 7th anniversary of September 11. I thought I'd just post a list of some of the better reads across the web:

First off, there is a wide variety of posts up at Redstate, all of which are excellent, but here's a taste:

Absentee has a great collection of 9/11 photos.

Jeff Emanuel gives us a great overview of the all-too-ironic New York Times article about William Ayers, unrepentant terrorist and Barack Obama booster, which was published on the day of the WTC attacks.

Dan MacLaughlin recounts his first hand experience of the attack on the World Trace Center.

Over at Townhall.com, Ann Coulter reminds us all of the score in Bush 7, Terrorists 0.

At National Review Online, Cliff May talks about the fact that Arab nations are helping to spread the belief abroad that the U.S. government either planned or directly implemented the attacks as an excuse to wage a new crusade. Victor Davis Hanson and James Robbins both discuss the unfortunate but inevitable consequence of our success in preventing further attacks: complacency.

Michelle Malkin has several incredible posts concerning the 9/11 attacks up on her blog - all worth reading.

7 years

We all remember where we were when the news first broke. Today we remember what evil looks like, and thank God for those who refused to back down in fear or sorrow. We are thankful for the 7 years of peace on our own soil since that dark day, and we gather our strength for more years of diligence in our continued fight. We remind our politicians and leaders that this fight is far from over, and we expect our next president to remember that.

We cannot afford to forget this day, or that radical Islam is our enemy. We will NEVER forget.

A Guide to Celebrity Strays

Thank goodness for Matt Damon. If he hadn't had the courage to go on national television and talk about things that he is completely unqualified to discuss, some of us might have made the fatal mistake of actually voting for McCain-Palin. But now, thankfully, he has made it known that he "knows nothing about" Sarah Palin. What would we do without celebrities?

(By now you have probably sensed the sarcasm in my tone. I've often allowed these celebrity forays into politics to get under my skin. Screaming at the television or computer screen, and elevating my blood pressure to dangerous levels was the usual response. Fortunately, I have put my experience in this matter to good use, and will now suggest a method for dealing with the difficult issue of "celebrity strays.")

As consumers, we are responsible for the care and nurturing of our celebrities. Often times, we forget that those who are blessed with true artistic talent are often, shall we say, lacking, in the capacity for rational thought. The typical celebrity lifestyle often compounds the effects of this condition. Very few of them live in anything that remotely resembles what most of us know as the "real world", so our approach to the care and nurture of the celebrity must be carefully considered in light of these factors.

When a celebrity strays into the world of politics, we often simply roll our eyes and go about our day. However, we must realize that it is a serious condition, almost certainly brought about by our own actions. Our elevation of entertainers to the status of demi-gods is the most common cause of celebrity strays. Unfortunately, this trend is unlikely to be reversed in the immediate future, so it's important to know how to deal with this phenomenon whenever it occurs. The first step is to remember that the celebrity exists, first and foremost, for your entertainment.

It's actually quite entertaining to watch celebrities, with such serious looks on their faces, talking about politics and policy like they have the slightest clue about life outside of Hollywood. It really is amusing to realize that they honestly think we would value their opinions on anything other than, well, entertainment. It's OK, though - in most cases one is best served by just letting them go on thinking that we do care, so they keep making entertaining movies and don't go stomping off to Canada once they realize we only pay attention to them when they're saying what the script tells them to say.

In other words, one must recognize that the life experience of the average celebrity has given them the real-world judgement and understanding of a 5-year-old. Nod in approval and say things like, "That's very good, Matthew!", and, "Such big words you're using, and all by yourself!"

Of course, there are times when this approach does nothing but inflate the celebrity's sense of self importance, and such circumstances call for a firm, but loving hand. If the celebrity continues to abuse his position in society, he must lovingly be reminded of his status as mere entertainment. As Leo DiCaprio, as Howard Hughes, says to Cate Blanchet, as Katherine Hepburn, in one of my favorite movies, The Aviator, "You are a movie star - nothing more!" It's important to be forceful, so the celeb knows you mean business, but with compassion and a sincere since of responsibility for having contributed to their condition.

The problem of stray celebrities is more than likely only going to get worse in the coming weeks and months leading up to a very important election. Some, like Susan Sarandon and Oprah, are more irritating than others, but all have the potential to cause indigestion and hypertension in the average individual. Please, remember that you are responsible for your celebrities, and only you have the ability to bring them back home. The power lies with you (use the remote, stupid).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Church & Statism

R.C. Sproul, one of my favorite modern theologians, has an excellent article in his latest version of Tabletalk Magazine about why Christians should be opposed to the ever growing size and supremacy of government. It's long been clear that this nation has moved beyond mere "separation of church and state", into a complete separation of government from God. Most today would probably argue that this is as it should be, but it certainly is not what was intended by the founding fathers.
"...initially both the church and the state were seen as entities ordained by God and subject to His governance. In that sense, the state was considered to be an entity that was “under God.” What has happened in the past few decades is the obfuscation of this original distinction between church and state, so that today the language we hear of separation of church and state, when carefully exegeted, communicates the idea of the separation of the state from God. In this sense, it’s not merely that the state declares independence from the church, it also declares independence from God and presumes itself to rule with autonomy.

The whole idea of a nation under God has been challenged again and again, and we have seen the exponential growth of government in our land, particularly the federal government, so that the government now virtually engulfs all of life...Where we have seen the largest measure of the loss of liberty is with respect to the function of the church. Though the church is still somewhat tolerated in America (in a way it was not tolerated in Mao’s Red China and under Stalin), it is tolerated only when it remains outside of the public square. In other words, the church has been relegated to a status not unlike that given to the native Americans, where the tribes were allowed to continue to exist as long as they functioned safely on a reservation, outside of any significant influence on the government. So although the church has not been banished completely by the statism that has emerged in America, it has been effectively banished from the public square.

Throughout the history of the Christian church, Christianity has always stood over against all forms of statism. Statism is the natural and ultimate enemy to Christianity because it involves a usurpation of the reign of God."
Nanny-Statism has become the norm in America, and liberals would have it become all-encompassing. Let the government take care of your every need. Who needs freedom anyway? It's time we put a stop to this nonsense, and start taking care of ourselves and our neighbors. If Christians will stand up and do a better job of taking care of each other and those in need, we wouldn't have any reason to let the government do it (or try to do it...badly). God is our provider - not government.

They Really Are Pathetic

One more reason why I will not be surprised when Obama supporters begin insisting that their messiah's speeches be printed only in red ink - From Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN):
"I submit to you, Mr. Speaker, um, that the parties have differences, but if you want Change, but if you want change, you want the Democratic party, uh, Barack Obama was a community organizer like Jesus who our, uh, minister prayed about, uh, Pontius Pilate was a governor."
Ohhhhhhhhhh. So, that's what community organizers do...walking on water, turning water into wine, healing sick people, being raised from the dead. I'm so glad congressman Cohen cleared that up for us! Who knew we had a Jewish expert on New Testament theology in the House?

The Highest Form of Flattery

Obama has given more evidence that Sarah Palin's jabs in her incredible convention speech hit a nerve. Apparently, after seeing how successful and popular Palin's clever comments were, Obama thought he'd give it a try.
"You can put lipstick on a pig," he said as the crowd cheered. "It's still a pig."
What a classy guy. Please keep this up, Barry - and let me know how this new strategy of name-calling works out for ya. It's gotta help win over those disaffected Clinton supporters. You are either incredibly stupid (we know you went to Harvard, so probably not the case), or remarkable arrogant. Given your record to date, I'd go with the latter.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Now It's Personal

Barack Obama:
"Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old," he said. "I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."
Such calculation. Note the extremely vague, but obligatory reference to "values and morals", which is supposed to convince us that he is in a terrible, but necessary moral conundrum.

I would, however, like to state that my own particular "punishment" turned 10 years old 2 weeks ago. If Obama understood the sovereignty of God, then he might realize that sometimes what seems like the worst possible circumstance can be turned into the greatest event of your life. ALL THINGS work together for the good of those who love the Lord. If what resulted from our making the difficult choice of life, after a lapse in judgement at the age of 18, was indeed a punishment...well then, "Thank you, sir, may I have another."

I suppose this explains my hostility towards the establishment of abortion on demand, but hindsight is a frightening thing when I realize how easy it would've been to make the wrong choice. The bottom line is that it shouldn't even be a choice. I now have proof that life is too precious to be treated with such disdain.

I hope this doesn't come off the wrong way. I'm not trying to boast about the fact that we were able to make the right choice in a difficult situation, and I would never condemn anyone who has been down the other road. It was only by God's grace that we were able to do what we did. I will, however, condemn those who have worked to make abortion the form of birth control that it has become, creating a so-called easy way out for people in desperate situations.

This also ties in to my previous post concerning evangelicals and the situation with Bristol Palin. My own similar experience with fellow believers gave me confidence that the base would stand by the Palins during this difficult time, despite the naive and ignorant hopes of the liberal media.

Palin and The Media

As issues at the office have kept me away from the blogosphere for the last week or so, I've been literally itching to get back to the keyboard and talk about what's going on in the presidential race. The treatment of Governor Palin by the mainstream press has been nothing short of dispicable, to say nothing of the treatment she's getting from our illustrious opponents on the left side of the web. It really is quite remarkable to see the hypocrisy in action as these luminaries of liberal thought quake in the shadow of a woman who is more man than any of them will ever be.

Liberals, and lefty feminists in particular, are rightly terrified of Sarah Palin and what she represents. A conservative woman who is a natural leader, an excellent speaker, a successful and popular executive in state government, and she's *gasp* attractive! And let's not forget that she has more experience running a government than their pathetic would-be messiah. But the most threatening thing of all for those on the left, who have supposedly been the champions of women's issues for so long, is that she does all of this while successfully raising a large family. She didn't let her career determine how many children she should have, and didn't exercise her "right" to end any of those pregnancies which might have hampered her career. She even chose to give birth to a child she knew would have Down Sydrome - a choice that completely baffles, and no doubt angers those who fight so hard for the ability to murder unborn children.

It really is quite amusing to see the press and everyone else on the left suggesting that Sarah Palin should stay home and tend to her family. After all, we all know that a woman's place is in the kitchen...are we in some kind of political bizzaro world? I really see this backfiring on the media and their client, the Obama campaign. Sarah Palin represents the best side of American politics: ordinary men and women, who have families and struggle with the same problems that every other American faces, going to Washington to represent their peers. This is what our government was supposed to be. Instead, we have a capital full of lawyers and career politicians who don't live in everyday America, and represent only themselves. Barack Obama is a prime example.

This "scandal" concerning Bristol Palin has revealed a good deal about the media, and the left in general. Apart from their obvious bias towards Obama, and any Democrat candidate, it has revealed a lot about how liberals in the media view evangelicals. There is a very good reason that this story has been plastered on every newspaper, magazine, and television screen ever since it was revealed that Bristol was pregnant. You see, liberals tend to see conservative evangelicals as Bible-thumping agents of condemnation and judgement. They reveal their complete lack of knowledge concerning true Christianity when they push this story in the hopes that we prudish, holier-than-thou Jesus freaks will turn on Palin. They honestly believe that we will do just that, simply because Palin has a daughter that hasn't lived up to the standards of the Bible. Don't get me wrong, I realize that there are many so-called Christians who act in this way, but no true believer can do anything but sympathize with the Palins in this situation.

So, here's a little lesson for those in the media and on the left, trying to figure out why this scandal has done nothing but solidify Palin's support among evangelicals. True Christians realize that every man and woman since Adam and Eve, save One, have fallen short of God's standards. The fact that we still try to live up to the law of God is a result of our relationship with Christ, not the means to such a relationship. No true Christian would ever do anything but pray for this family in a very difficult situation, and admire their courage and effectiveness as parents in raising a daughter who made the choice to give life to her child.

But please, by all means, continue spewing this garbage at the Palins. You are doing nothing more than rallying the average American to their cause. If this is what happens when ordinary, outside-the-beltway people try to do what the founding fathers intended, then you do us all a service by awakening the public to the brokenness of our system.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Weekend Round-up

After a nice, quiet Labor Day weekend, I thought I'd take a look at the state of affairs within the political realm:

What a surprise. John McCain's sordid love affair with the mainstream press is on the rocks. We all knew this was coming when he took the nomination. The media, whom McCain once referred to as his 'base', where only enamored with the Arizona Senator as long as he was undermining his own party, or criticising the conservative base. This is what turned so many of the conservative faithful away from McCain's candidacy. What's so surprising is how shocked the McCain camp seems to be at this startlingly predictable turn of events.

Lefty bloggers are having such fun over at the Daily Kos over revelations that Governor Palin's 17-year-old daughter is pregnant. Before Gov. Palin revealed this information about her daughter, however, they stooped about as low as I've ever seen anyone go. Rumors have been flying around the left side of the internet, accusing Gov. Palin of faking her last pregnancy - you know, the one where she baffled the liberal establishment by actually choosing to have her baby with Down Syndrome, rather than euthanize it. These geniuses would have us believe that the baby actually belongs to Palin's daughter. That's right: they're using a baby with Down Syndrome to score political points. The Obama campaign has been quick to disavow such dispicable slime in public, while campaign staffers delightedly forward the story to anyone they can. The biggest crime of all, is that many in the mainstream press are giving this story attention, despite the lack of credible evidence. The McCain camp did well to release the info about Bristol's pregnancy immediately, and as the Politico points out, this may end up helping people identify with Palin as the only one in this race who is in touch with real, everyday Americans and their problems.

While the Kos-Kids continue to prove my theory about the make-up of the American Left, we have more proof that those peace-loving champions of free speech and harmony are nothing more than immature hypocrites. The Connecticut delegation to the Republican National Convention was attacked by a group of liberal protestors while trying to enter the Xcel Center. The delegates were spat upon, and had clorox thrown on them, by these luminaries of the American Left. Funny, I don't remember ever hearing about conservatives doing things like this over a difference of political opinion.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

More on Palin

We're already beginning to see the Democrat response to McCain's running mate. The argument, as everyone anticipated, is that she's too inexperienced. Let me just say that I sincerely hope the Obama team continues down this path. It's difficult to say the word 'inexperience' without Barack Obama's name falling out right behind it. The irony is thick.

Please, Mr. Axelrod, keep talking about Sarah Palin's experience. Even your average ignorant voter will realize that, though she's been in politics for a relatively short time, the fact that she's been the governor of the largest state in the union for even 2 years gives her more executive experience than Obama and Biden combined. There's a reason very few senators make it to the White House - most of them have never had to run anything, much less the largest economy, military, and government bureacracy on the face of the planet.

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain-Palin

Fox News is now confirming, via "sources within the McCain camp", that Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, has been chosen as John McCain's running mate. If this is indeed the case, then I have to hand it to McCain. This came out of nowhere...very few were giving Palin any chance as late as yesterday evening, and the blogosphere has been literally buzzing all morning. The cable news networks have been totally distracted from Obama's speech last night, and every one of them is talking about this incredible move by McCain.

I love this pick! Palin ticks all the boxes - the timing and out-of-left-field nature of this choice seriously upstages Obama when he was getting very good coverage after the speech, she helps McCain appeal to many of Hillary's discouraged supporters by simply being female, she will help to reassure the conservative base that they will be represented on this ticket, she's young, has (limited, but still more than Obama and Biden combined) executive experience as governor, and she's pretty much got to be the hottest VP ever!

This pick will energize the base, myself included, as no other choice could have done. She's relatively unknown, but the more conservatives get to know her, the more they will love her. Here's a little bit from her Wikipedia bio:
  1. She's married to Todd, a native Yup'ik Eskimo, and one of her sons is about to be deployed to Iraq. She also has 3 daughters, and recently gave birth to another son who has Downs Syndrome.

  2. She loves to hunt, ice-fish, snomobile, and is a lifetime member of the NRA.

  3. She helped expose and rid Alaska's government of corrupt, pork-fat politicians within her own party.

  4. She is a stong supporter of drilling in ANWR, and is staunchly pro-life.

This is very good news for conservatives and John McCain. I can't wait to see what happens to Obama's little "bump" in the polls.

The Obama Speech

What an inspiring, well-delivered articulation of Jimmy Carter's policies. Obama continues to impress with his ability to make college kids and celebrities weep with eloquent references to socialist and populist policies that they think the rest of America will embrace now that they have a handsome, charismatic "framer" for their ideas.

And let's not forget the media - they were cheering just as loudly as the teenie-boppers. Oh, I'm sure we'll see them shouting and clapping during John McCain's acceptance speech as well. They are, after all, professional journalists. (Wait...no, I wouldn't start holding your breath just yet). For those who couldn't bear to listen to his drivel, continuously interupted by his adoring worshippers, the gist of his speech was as follows:

"Tired of paying a lot for gas? Don't want to continue paying your mortgage? Sick of having to pay for the best healthcare system in the world? Angry about corporations making a profit? Sick of people trying to limit your right to use abortion as birth-control? Don't have the stomach to finish a war against evil?

Well, just elect me and it'll all go away! I am, after all, the messiah. See how inspiring my voice sounds when I say everything really loud? It doesn't matter how I plan to accomplish any of this. We all know the government can solve all of these problems for us. It won't even really affect most of you out there tonight. Most of you either don't pay any taxes at all, or are rich enough that the highest tax increase in history wouldn't even make a dent. The only people we'll stick it to are small business owners and people who work for a living - and they're all Republicans anyway!

So, vote for me and we'll all return to the days of Jimmy Carter! Oh, and McCain sucks and is really just George Bush in a whiter, cancer-ridden costume...seriously.

YESWECAAAAN!"

Thursday, August 28, 2008

This Week in Politics

Well, blogging time took a hit over the last couple of weeks as I struggled to meet a deadline at the day job. Of course, as is usually the case, all that work and stress came to a rather anti-climactic end as the deadline was pushed back anyway. So I thought I'd take a look at what I wasn't able to comment on over the last few days:

First of all, The One's pick of Joe Biden as his running mate was excellent news for John McCain and the GOP. Biden has been on the record saying what a poor president Obama would make - although "clean and articulate, for a black guy" - and the guy is a walking gaffe machine. This also opens the door for McCain to really help himself with his VP pick. The Democratic ticket has absolutely no executive experience whatsoever - two senators who have never run a local or state government, or even a business for pete's sake! Obama's only experience in anything outside of politics was as a "community organizer" - I think we all know what that really means.

The Democratic Convention has also provided plenty of entertainment for those of us on the other side of things. His Supreme Obamaness has apparently built a temple to himself at Invesco Field, where adoring worshippers will bow before his mighty...er, basketball skills?, fitness? cleanliness? Rumor has it that his ascension to the presidency will finally occur. He certainly seems to think that he is owed the job. We're now getting word that a full scale replica of Air Force One will also be part of the show tonight. Oh, please let this be true! This man's arrogance truly is a sight to behold.

Apparently, Nancy Pelosi had no idea that the church she claims to be a member of was so serious about their opposition to abortion. She received a pretty harsh, but appropriate lesson in Catholic theology earlier this week. You know, there's a reason the Dems have stayed away from talking about faith in recent years...it hasn't worked out real well for any of them lately either.

And finally, it looks like we'll find out who McCain's VP will be either later this evening or tomorrow. I can't decide who I'd like to see as VP. Redstate has endorsed Eric Cantor, and I'd certainly be pleased with him as a true conservative and excellent attack dog against Obama/Biden, but he doesn't really take advantage of the experience issue. I think Pawlenty and Romney would also be good choices as both have executive experience, but both also come with their own problems. Kay Bailey Hutchison is a name that has popped up around the blogosphere today, but she's not pro-life, and that is a deal-breaker for a lot of folks.

I would love to see the name "leaked" on the same night as Obama's sermon/ascension. This could be very entertaining. Unfortunately, college football starts tonight with South Carolina v. N.C. State, so I'll have read about this stuff tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

WTC 7

As a structural engineer, I've received a lot of questions from friends and relatives about the collapse of the World Trade Center towers back on 9/11. I never was convinced by any of the arguments put forth by conspiracy theorists concerning the collapse of the buildings. The report released by the NIST provided a perfectly legitimate explanation for the collapse of the towers.

The attack occured while I was still in engineering school, so I could hardly have called myself an expert at the time. However, disregarding any of the expertise I have gained in the years that followed as a practicing engineer, I have yet to read from any legitimate expert on structural engineering, construction, demolition, or any other related field who agreed with any of the claims of the "truthers." That, in itself, made me automatically suspicious of any claims for conspiracy. Oh sure, there have been plenty of folks with Ph.D.'s behind their names claiming to have "proven" that the collapse of the towers had to have been caused by controlled demolition explosives, but dig a little deeper and you'll find that these "experts" are college professors with knowledge about many valuable things...cold fusion, economics...but certainly not structural engineering or construction.

We now have an official report from NIST on the collapse of WTC 7, the smaller building adjacent to the two towers. This building sustained damage from the collapse of the twin towers, and eventually experienced a catastrophic failure itself. Many of those behind the "President Bush Authorized and Planned 9/11" movement pointed to the collapse of this building, which was not directly damaged by either plane, as an indication that foul play was involved. After reading through a synopsis of the report and looking at the engineers' methods of analysis and creation of the original structure's model, I see nothing to cause suspicion.

In a nutshell, falling debris from the collapse of the adjacent towers ignited fires on at least 10 floors within the WTC 7 structure. Because of the fact that the original collapse disabled the water main, the sprinkler systems in WTC 7 did not function, causing some of these fires to burn uncontrolled for up to 7 hours. Despite what many of our esteemed "experts" would have you think, uncontrolled office fires can produce enough heat to cause significant thermal expansion within long-span floor framing systems. (These fires burned between 570 and 1100 F, temperatures which would have certainly caused significant thermal expansion, and even a reduction in strength and stiffness at the upper range). Most beam-to-column connections are not designed to resist the lateral loads induced by thermal expansion, so a failure occured at one of the critical columns, causing a progressive collapse. This link answers many of the questions raised by some of our previously mentioned conspiracy theorists.

That's not to say that there aren't some issues I'd like to investigate further. As mentioned in the report, this is the first known case of fire causing the total collapse of a tall building. That's a pretty big development for structural engineers, as we're generally more concerned with wind, earthquakes, and typical service loads. It'll be interesting to see what changes are made in the building codes over the next few years to address this issue.