Thursday, July 31, 2008


Well, I finally joined up with Facebook, and I have to say it's pretty cool. I was able to link up to quite a few of my friends almost instantly - some that I hadn't seen in a long time. I'm really going to have to watch it, though. I spend way too much time on the internet already...and it looks like Facebook could open up a whole new world of web addiction.

Between this blog, the Wii, and now Facebook, I can see my productivity going the way of Mayor Reichert's attention span in the presence of The Obama.

Rob-uht Reich-uht

I love the guy's accent - a typical southern Democrat - and I have no doubt Mayor Reichert is going to be very good for our city. But I have to address the Obama endorsement. I listened to an interview our mayor gave this morning on the local radio show, with Erick and Ron - Mr. Kroc has not been back, and couldn't help but notice that Mr. Reichert has a serious case of 'Chris Matthews Syndrome.' When asked, at the prompting of a listener, why the mayor has so enthusiastically endorsed Barack Obama, his answer was pretty typical of most Obama supporters.

He was eeyuhn-spiiiiired!

No mention of what The Chosen One plans to do once elected, and not one thing about the specific policy positions he thinks Obama will support. But then that stuff's so boring, isn't it? Why would anyone want to know anything specific about Barack's plans for our nation? His following has become cult-like in every way. We are called to put our faith and trust in the Obamessiah's will for our lives...

I especially like the mayor's reference to JFK. He claimed that he hasn't been this inspired by a politician since Kennedy's "Ask not what you country can do for you..." speech. Ever since he heard that speech, he's been a loyal Democrat. It's more than a little ironic that the Democrat Party and it's nominee have adopted a philosophy that is completely at odds with such a statement. The vast majority of Democrats would love nothing more than to have us all completely dependent on government for our every need. Don't like paying for healthcare? Let the government provide it, and everything else while we're at it. That sounds a lot like "asking what your country can do for you."

Of course, someone has to pay for it all, and that's where the 'evil' rich folks come in. They're the ones who aren't supposed to "ask." It's no wonder none of his supporters will talk about his policies. They either don't have a clue as to what they are, or realize that they're the same policies that have failed time and again. Socialism doesn't work, and those of us who care enough to vote know it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Chris Kroc'll Make You Jump!

So all of Macon is in an uproar over that young fella that filled in for two days on our local morning talk radio program. I listen pretty regularly, at least for the 10 to 15 minutes it takes for me to get to the office every morning, so I caught a few excerpts of Chris Krok's now infamous tenure at the AM 940 microphone. His style was certainly a little abrasive and "in-your-face", although I must admit that I quite enjoyed his little run-in with Macon's very own Big Momma, Elaine Lucas.

One other councilman even called in to chastise Krok for showing such little respect for an elected official. Others have pointed out that it's only us young 'uns, with our lack of respect for our elders, that enjoyed the show. I would have to argue that a certain amount of deference should be shown toward people who 'serve' their community; but respect is something that must be earned over time, and Mrs. Lucas has had plenty of time to earn that respect during her tenure on the council...we'll just leave it at that. I will note, however, that as soon as Mrs. Lucas ran out of argument, she resorted to implications about the host's age.

In other news, the past two days have featured Ron and his guest-host du jour answering non-stop phone calls from people either complaining or rejoicing in the glory of Krok's performance. If nothing else, I've never heard the phone lines to the station this busy, so he's certainly stirred up interest in the show. As for this young 'un, I thought he was decent, though I prefer the inestimable Mr. Erickson.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Robbie Keane a Red (Updated)

Liverpool have made their first major signing of the summer with the capture of lifelong LFC fan Robbie Keane from Tottenham Hotspur! I've been reading about the possibility of this move for several weeks, and I must say I'm very excited about the prospect of a Keane and Torres strike partnership. The diminutive Irish international has been a goalscoring machine throughout his career, and I can't wait to see him in the famous Red jersey.

Tottenham's chairman Daniel Levy is not *happy* with the way the transfer reportedly went down.
'I have already made my opinion clear on the nature of this transaction. I don't regard it as a transfer deal - that is something which happens between two clubs when they both agree to trade - this is very much an enforced sale, for which we have agreed a sum of £19million as compensation plus a potential further £1.3million in additional compensation.'
Apparently, once Robbie heard Liverpool were interested, he turned in his transfer request straight away. It's a pretty high fee, but he's also a proven goalscorer with a great deal of experience in the Premier League, and he's obviously passionate about playing for the Reds. He finished last season with 19 goals in all competitions for Tottenham, and became the first Spurs player to achieve double digits in the league for 6 consecutive seasons.

He's also captain of the Ireland national team, and Ireland's all-time leading scorer with 33 international goals in 81 games. Good on ya Rafa!

The Rush Effect

Like him or not, it would be very difficult to deny that Rush Limbaugh has transformed the world of politics in America over the last two decades. I am one of the first generation of Rush Babies to enter the real world, and I am extremely grateful for the influence he had, and continues to have, on my understanding of conservative thought and practice. As I came of age in the era of Bill Clinton, Rush Limbaugh provided commentary on the events surrounding my life that was both entertaining and informative.

Much of the criticism he receives centers around his blend of entertainment and information. Most of us Rush Babies had at least one liberal college professor tell us that the Rush Limbaugh Show is nothing more than entertainment, and should never be taken seriously. Of course, to most liberals, no point of view that conflicts with their own should ever be taken seriously anyway. Condescension is often employed as a preemptive strike for those whose policy defence strategy is based less on common sense than on emotional or populist rhetoric.

But Rush has defied every detractor. His show has grown beyond anything else in the industry, (if only among us "bitter gun-toting religious fanatics") and he continues to redefine talk radio and inspire others to at least try to emulate his success. His influence on conservative thought and practice in America cannot be overstated, and his influence on young people continues to guard against the liberal indoctrination that occurs daily in our "screwls" and universities.

It's no wonder Democrats and the left are desparately trying to reintroduce the Fairness Doctrine. If nothing else, Rush - and his proud ideological offspring - can see this outrageous attempt at regulation of speech as the remarkable compliment that it is. Congratulations Rush...and thanks.

Also, head on over to Human Events where they're celebrating 20 years of the show with some great articles about "The Great One."

Sunday, July 27, 2008


A certain British newspaper, which I will not link to, and do not read because of my support for a certain British football club, caught up with one of Barack's little brothers (well, technically half brother). Bernard Obama lives in Kenya where he runs a car parts store, but visits his mother, who lives in the UK, quite often. Bernard and Barack were born of the same Kenyan father, but by different mothers, and didn't actually meet until Bernard was around 17.

It would therefore be difficult to argue that Bernard reflects in any way on his older half-brother - besides, we all know that the Obama is the incarnation of Hope and Change, and cannot therefore be considered anything other than divine.

Bernard is a proud muslim, but we're not supposed to mention that word in the same sentence as His HopeChangefulness, so we'll leave that topic well enough alone. The Brobama is also a devoted Manchester United fan, and avid reader of The Sun*. Now, I could care less about his religion - that's between him and his Maker - but his exceptionally poor choice of football club, and alleged daily reading of such a sorry excuse for journalism is so egregious that it cannot do less than reflect poorly on his illustrious big least in my book. But then I was already pretty biased against the Obamessiah before I learned his brother was a dirty manc.

*The Sun, which is never to be named in the presence of a Liverpool fan, much less ever purchased or read, is still the subject of a boycott among any well-informed Red. This is due to the inexcusable coverage of the Hillsborough disaster, which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool FC supporters in 1989. The newspaper's editor ran a completely false and unsubstantiated article on the front page of the rag, claiming that the LFC fans involved in the tragedy participated in horrible acts which will not be given the dignity of having been named on this site. The editor refuses to apologize for this remarkable smear to this day.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Must Read of the Day

From the Times:
And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.

The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.


And so it was, in the fullness of time, before the harvest month of the appointed year, the Child ventured forth - for the first time - to bring the light unto all the world.

He travelled fleet of foot and light of camel, with a small retinue that consisted only of his loyal disciples from the tribe of the Media. He ventured first to the land of the Hindu Kush, where the Taleban had harboured the viper of al-Qaeda in their bosom, raining terror on all the world.

And the Child spake and the tribes of Nato immediately loosed the Caveats that had previously bound them. And in the great battle that ensued the forces of the light were triumphant. For as long as the Child stood with his arms raised aloft, the enemy suffered great blows and the threat of terror was no more.
Read the whole thing. It really is a clever little piece from our friends across the pond, and it lets us know that there are some in the media who have managed to maintain their composure, even in the very presence of His Highness, the Obamessiah.


For anyone who somehow continues to doubt the liberal bias in the news media, well, just follow the money.
An analysis of federal records shows that the amount of money journalists contributed so far this election cycle favors Democrats by a 15:1 ratio over Republicans, with $225,563 going to Democrats, only $16,298 to Republicans .

Two-hundred thirty-five journalists donated to Democrats, just 20 gave to Republicans — a margin greater than 10-to-1. An even greater disparity, 20-to-1, exists between the number of journalists who donated to Barack Obama and John McCain.

Searches for other newsroom categories (reporters, correspondents, news editors, anchors, newspaper editors and publishers) produces 311 donors to Democrats to 30 donors to Republicans, a ratio of just over 10-to-1. In terms of money, $279,266 went to Dems, $20,709 to Republicans, a 14-to-1 ratio.
The author also provides a handy chart containing the contributions made by "those who reported being employed by major media organizations."
The contributions add up to $315,533 to Democrats and $22,656 to Republicans — most of that to Ron Paul, who was supported by many liberals as a stalking horse to John McCain, a la Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos with Hillary and Obama.

What is truly remarkable about the list is that, discounting contributions to Paul and Rudy Giuliani, who was a favorite son for many folks in the media, the totals look like this: $315,533 to Democrats, $3,150 to Republicans (four individuals who donated to McCain).

Let me repeat: $315,533 to Democrats, $3,150 to Republicans — a ratio of 100-to-1. No bias there.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Pickens Plan

I’ve been hearing an awful lot about the Pickens Plan lately, and although I’m a little bit skeptical of its viability, I thought I’d attempt an objective look at what this former oil man is proposing. I’ve been to the site, and read through the proposal. I’m a little uncertain about his assertion that “oil production has peaked.” Suffice it to say that estimates of global oil reserves have never been all that accurate, and no one really knows how much oil is in the ground right now. In fact, just look at this headline from earlier today.

Mr. Pickens, however, is right about a lot of things. The current high gas prices are the result of high demand and low supply, so the best solution to drive prices down is to either increase supply or decrease demand. Give him credit for at least getting the economics right – which is more than we can say for any Democrat in congress. He’s also correct in his assertion that we are far too dependant on foreign sources for oil - having the lifeblood of our economy in the hands of people who at best dislike us, and at worst want nothing more than to see us destroyed, is not at all ideal. So, what exactly does T. Boone propose?

Contrary to some assertions, the Pickens Plan never purports to be a permanent replacement for our current energy supply structure. This plan seeks to “buy us some time” in order to allow development of new, long-term alternatives for the future. According to the Pickens Plan website, studies have shown that “wind facilities in the corridor that stretches from the Texas panhandle to North Dakota could produce 20% of the electricity for the United States at a cost of $1 trillion.” Another $200 billion would be required to build facilities for transmission of this power to cities and towns.

My first response to those who want to see this type of power generation replace our current scheme is that wind, like solar power, cannot be relied on for continuous power generation. The wind doesn’t always blow…the sun doesn’t always shine, but I assume these kinds of contingencies have been included in the aforementioned studies. 20% at lease sounds more reasonable. The site also states that our nation currently relies on natural gas for 22% of our electrical production. The Pickens Plan proposes that we invest in wind power technologies in order to effectively replace natural gas in production of electricity. This would then free up the natural gas resources for use as vehicle fuel. This is where the plan looses me.

I don’t know a lot about Compressed Natural Gas vehicles, but one argument of proponents is that the technology is “already in place.” That is true. In fact, Canada tried, and failed, to get these vehicles to catch on in the 1980’s. A conversion can be done to standard Otto and diesel cycle engines, at a cost of several thousand dollars, depending on the vehicle, and new vehicles can and are being produced that run on natural gas instead of gasoline. Only one, however, the Honda Civic GX, is currently on offer in the U.S.

So let’s look at some of the drawbacks to CNG-powered vehicles. I’m not all that concerned about the whole emissions thing - I don’t necessarily buy into man-made climate change – so the bottom line is whether this is a viable alternative that can be cost effective.

First of all, it takes a lot more volume to store CNG than it does an equivalent amount of liquid gasoline. In other words, you have to have larger storage tanks in order to accomplish a range of travel between refueling that would be comparable to gasoline. The lack of infrastructure is also a serious problem. I don’t know about you, but I have never seen a natural gas refueling station. They do exist, but are not common in most parts of the country. Combine this with the reduction in range, and you have a big problem. This plan would require serious investment by the government, or private industry, in order to build up the necessary infrastructure to make conversion to CNG viable.

But what about natural gas supply in this country? Right now, 98% of the natural gas used in this country is from domestic supplies, according to Pickens. Almost all of that is used to generate electricity, and it’s generally done using combined cycle gas turbines, which have an efficiency of up to 60%. For the scientifically challenged, the efficiency of a cycle is the ratio of what you get out vs. what you put in (or net power output vs. required fuel input). CNG engines are internal combustion engines, and won’t see an efficiency of more than 20%. In other words, we’ll have to use even more natural gas to produce the same amount of power in vehicles. The Pickens site also claims that “domestic natural gas reserves are twice that of oil.” That may be, but how do we know that we have enough to replace the current demand for petroleum-based fuels, accounting for the loss in efficiency?

And what happens when natural gas reserves run out? I realize that this has been proposed as a temporary solution, and that at least makes it worth debating. But the cost would be astronomical, and I don’t see any private companies being willing to take the risk of investing in CNG as a replacement for gasoline…which means government – talk about inefficiency – which means higher taxes. I’m willing to make some changes if it means getting us off foreign oil, but the thing that makes the most sense right now is to drill. We have oil available in Alaska, off the coast, and elsewhere that we need to access and refine. We need to make a move towards implementing nuclear power as well. Solar and wind power should be pursued and implemented to the fullest extent possible, but they are not long-term replacements for our current energy structure. Neither is drilling for more oil. However, an approach that makes use of every available option can give us time to develop more realistic alternatives.

I appreciate Mr. Pickens’ efforts, and I honestly believe he means well. If nothing else, he has helped to instigate a necessary debate about this issue. I can’t wait to see what American ingenuity produces as a solution to this problem.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dubya in Georgia

The president stopped by yesterday afternoon to throw his weight behind the GOP's effort to unseat Congressman Jim Marshall in the 8th Congressional District. At this point, I'm not so sure how much Bush's presence helps any Republican candidate, but as the Telegraph points out, it's pretty much become a tradition for the president to visit the 8th District every two years.

I really like Rick Goddard, and will of course support his candidacy. If anyone can unseat the popular Jim Marshall, he can do it. I just don't think the timing is right for this challenge, though. The last two races against Marshall were incredibly close, and had Goddard been running instead of Mac Collins last time, we may have seen a different result. But we have to remember that Congressman Marshall has been holding onto this seat, albeit by the skin of his teeth and only because he generally votes as a conservative, throughout a period of overall Republican dominance. If we weren't able to unseat Marshall while the GOP brand was hot, I don't see it happening now that the Republican name is not well liked.

The only ray of hope lies in the fact that Georgia has been bucking the national trend away from Republicans. Even in the 2006 election - a disaster for the GOP nationally- Collins 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.

The task for Rick Goddard's campaign is to convince more of those Bibb County voters that they are best represented by a true conservative. There is no question that the district is conservative - Marshall has, on the bigger issues, voted as a conservative throughout his tenure - but Goddard needs to highlight where he has strayed. His support for liberal party leadership, and his votes on other issues that didn't get as much publicity (he was a co-sponsor of the ironically named "Employee Free Choice Act") need to receive attention. Goddard also needs to remind voters in this area that Marshall constantly has to go against his own personal liberal views in order to accurately represent his district, whereas a true conservative can be trusted to fall back on his core beliefs for difficult decisions.

This will be a difficult race - Marshall already has a big lead in fundraising - but we need to get behind Rick Goddard. Go to his site and contribute, or better yet, contribute through Slatecard today.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Taking Out the Garbage

I'd like to applaud my friend, blogger-phenom, and councilman-extraordinaire Erick Erickson for taking on the task of ridding our city of this plague. I'm usually pretty wary of inviting government regulation of private enterprises, but one has to draw the line somewhere. I don't buy the libertarian charge that we should simply allow prostitution to thrive within our city limits. If the citizens of this community band together and decide that we don't want these businesses around, then we have the right to ban them. Let the courts decide if it's an afront to the Constitution. Prostitution is illegal, as is human-trafficking, and I'd love nothing more than to see the folks behind these companies taken down.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Breaking News

Barack Obama today announced the addition of 3 new appointees to the staff postion of Press Secretary for the Obama Campaign. NBC, ABC, and CBS will join MSNBC, already a member of the Obama Team, during his much anticipated European Tour/Very Serious Visit of That Place Where We're Fighting a War.

When asked why Obama, a candidate for Commander-in-Chief of America's armed forces, had taken so long to visit the actual site of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, his new handlers responded by feinting at the mention of his name. It was unclear from the former journalists' garbled responses (which included vague but passionate references to Hope and Change) whether the network news agencies would ever return to coverage of "other news."

Presidential Politics & The Church

Rick Warren, author of the hugely popular "The Purpose Driven Life" and pastor of the influential Saddleback Church in California, has been stepping into the world of politics more and more lately. In an effort to encourage both his church, and the church as a whole, to be more involved in surrounding culture and society, he has established the P.E.A.C.E Plan. This plan is described as a "50 year strategy to mobilize millions of local churches around the world to address five global problems: spiritual emptiness, corrupt leadership, poverty, disease and illiteracy." Last November, the church hosted a Global Summit on AIDS and The Church at which Hillary Clinton gave an address, and the church is involved in numerous programs which encourage churches and members to address the problems they see throughout our society.

In another attempt to engage his flock, and other believers around the world, in this very important election, Saddleback will be the host of a Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion on August 16. Both John McCain and Barack Obama have accepted the invitation to speak at the event, and I will be extremely interested to see how this plays out. I certainly agree that the church needs to be more involved in helping to solve the problems that plague our society, and I realize that the church, as a whole, has not done enough to address these problems up to now. I also wish that our churches would become more involved in the political process. The more liberal mainstream denominations have been politically active for years, and I think it's high time the more orthodox believers stopped withdrawing from society and started changing it for The Kingdom.

I want to believe that Pastor Warren has the right intentions, I know that he wants to see the Gospel advanced, but he seems to be edging ever closer toward programs for social change, and developing the marketing scheme for his ministries, at the expense of preaching truth from Scripture. My concern is that this particular foray into presidential politics will end up like the AIDS forum back in November, at which Hillary Clinton received a standing ovation, and lavish praise from Rick Warren himself after presenting a speech that was at best an endorsement of the Social Gospel - which is no Gospel at all. This is the danger when a church begins to focus too much on social change, and not enough on the Gospel. We need to find a happy medium, but recognize that social change should come as a result of a saving knowledge of Christ, through a church that is focused on the Great Commission. I sincerely hope that Mr. Warren will engage Barack Obama and John McCain on the issues that concern Christian voters, including abortion, but I'm not optimistic. Pastor Warren has done a great deal in raising awareness about AIDS and poverty around the globe, but lately says very little about this particular plague, which claims the lives of over a million children every year IN THIS COUNTRY.

Back in 2004 Rick Warren openly encouraged other pastors and Christians to vote for George W. Bush, citing a number of issues that he deemed to be of extreme importance to believers, and claiming that "those of us who accept the Bible as God's Word" should get out the vote for Bush. This election, he seems to be trying to chart a more moderate course, and I can't understand his reasoning for this. Those issues haven't changed - they are still crucial to the direction of this nation - and the Biblical position on those issues remains the same as well. On August 17, the day after this Civil Forum, Pastor Warren will give a sermon entitled "Making Up Your Mind: Questions to Consider Before the Election." It will be very interesting to see what advice he gives to his flock after hearing what the candidates have to say.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fat South

Apparently, the South is full of fatties. According to a CDC report, Mississippi is the state with the highest prevalence of adult obesity, followed by a top ten of exclusively southern states - Georgia is number 8, with 28.2% of adults in the "obese" category. I guess it's all that good eatin' we do down here, although I'm sure someone will find a way to blame this on either George Bush, global warming, or some fattening combination of the two...

Macon's Hidden Monastery

As a child, I used to play in some of the most beautiful woods in North Macon behind a good friend's house. We spent many a day in the hardwood forest bordered by Forest Hill Road and The Prado. On one such day, my friend's father led us down a trail to an old abandoned monastery. I remember being fascinated by the whole thing - a trail which had stone platforms where, according to legend, statues of saints once stood, each pointing in the direction of the monastery in the woods. At that time, the only remaining statue was of St. Peter, standing on Satan's head. I've always wondered about the history of that place, and a few weeks ago I decided it was time to see if any of it was still there.

A few days ago I ventured into the woods near the more well-known entrance to the trail, and followed it to the old structure. The forest was just as beautiful as I remembered it, and the structure was still easily accessible, though marked by vandals. I wasn't able to find the statue I remembered, but it brought back quite a few childhood memories just being in those woods. I took a few snapshots from the trail, which can be viewed in my Flickr gallery by clicking on the photo to the right.

As to the history of this place - there is very little documentation of its existence. Apparently, the land was once owned by the LaSociete Catholique Religious order during the late 1800's. Some say it was part of the Pio Nono College, established in 1874 and named after Pope Pius the Ninth, which became Saint Stanislaus College of the Jesuit Fathers in 1889 and burned down in 1921. It's been said that the jesuit monks would walk from the college, now Stanislaus Plaza neighborhood at the start of Pio Nono Avenue, to this grotto/shrine/monestary? to pray. I haven't really been able to confirm any of this, but I'll keep digging.

The land was acquired by Mr. Winship, who built a large estate which burned in the 1970's. An apartment complex now stands where the home was built, but parts of the old monastery still remain further into the woods. This is all I've been able to find out about this place, but it's really pretty fascinating, and definitely worth a visit (with permission of the property owners, obviously).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Conservatism Wins

Paul Broun's huge win over Barry Fleming is a very good sign for conservatives in the GOP. Broun was elected to fill Rep. Charlie Norwood's seat after his untimely death last year, and has represented the 10th congressional district as a true conservative. He has stood firm on a number of key fiscal and social issues, and won the support of most of the conservative base. This turned into an ugly race, however, after the Republican Party establishment backed Broun's opponent. I suppose Broun's tendency to put conservative ideals before the party line was a rubbing a few folks the wrong way.

Thankfully, Broun won comfortably, by a 71 - 29% margin, sending a strong message to the GOP establishment. The base, especially in Georgia, is as conservative as it gets - and a politician who actually lives up to his promises to limit government and fight for conservatism will always get our support. The GOP needs to wake up and see what's going on here. It's time to take our party back.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Redstate!

The official launch of Redstate 3.0 is today, as they celebrate their 4th birthday! It's difficult to imagine a website that has had more influence on conservative policy in the last few years. Congratulations to Erick and all the folks doing the Lord's work over at Redstate!

Monday, July 14, 2008

November to Remember?

Leon has an excellent post over at Redstate concerning what most of us have come to terms with at this point. November will likely be a month to forget for the GOP and it's loyal supporters. The debacle of 2006, an unpopular (although improving) war, an economy that at least appears to be in serious trouble, and the fact that there seems to be a new virus going around that causes registered voters to break out in hives when the word Republican comes up - all these factors will likely make this a November to remember for very few Republicans. But does disaster for the GOP necessarily mean disaster for conservatives?

Those of us who are conservative first, and Republicans only as long as they are the party that best represents our values, can take heart if this election does go the wrong way. I'm not advocating that anyone sit this one out. There is far too much at stake, and far too many important issues that we cannot afford to surrender to liberalism at this point. I for one will fight for and support every conservative candidate I can in this election because I believe that conservatism is what's best for this country and its future. But if we do suffer heavy losses - if we end up with large majorities in both houses and Barack Obama - it certainly won't be the end of the world.

For one thing, this is evidently the only way the GOP leadership will wake up and realize that they've lost the plot. A long stay in the majority gave too many Republicans too much power, and it went straight to some of their heads. They veered remarkably off course, engineering some of the largest spending increases in history and completely failed, with a GOP president in office, to advance any meaningful conservative policy. As Leon points out, we had a chance to show the majority center-right public that the GOP was serious about cleaning up its act after the 2006 elections. Instead of electing party leaders who were serious about reform, we continued down the same path. And although the current leadership has fought some battles well against an inept Democratic majority, they have failed to lead on the big issues - especially earmarks.

Perhaps, if nothing else, a bloodbath in November will finally pave the way for true reform within the party. We must support McCain this fall - we may not like him, but Barack Obama is not an option if we care anything about this nation. And more importantly, we need to support true conservatives in our primaries. It's time to clean house, and if it takes a drubbing at the poles, and 4 years of Jimmy-Carter-like-policy to make the public see once again that liberalism fails - every time - then so be it.

Daily Dose of Spurgeon

I've been going through Spurgeon's Morning and Evening devotion for the last several months, and thought today's entry was pretty timely for those of us concerned about the current state of affairs in the church. The subject text is Exodus 20:25, which is a command from God concerning the building of an altar. In it, God commands that any altar be made of undressed stone. Spurgeon's analysis shows the unity of Scripture, and the fact that even the Old Testament regulations point toward the Gospel:
God's altar was to be built of unhewn stones, that no trace of human skill or labour might be seen upon it. Human wisdom delights to trim and arrange the doctrines of the cross into a system more artificial and more congenial with the depraved tastes of fallen nature; instead, however, of improving the gospel carnal wisdom pollutes it, until it becomes another gospel, and not the truth of God at all. All alterations and amendments of the Lord's own Word are defilements and pollutions. The proud heart of man is very anxious to have a hand in the justification of the soul before God; preparations for Christ are dreamed of, humblings and repentings are trusted in, good works are cried up, natural ability is much vaunted, and by all means the attempt is made to lift up human tools upon the divine altar. It were well if sinners would remember that so far from perfecting the Saviour's work, their carnal confidences only pollute and dishonour it. The Lord alone must be exalted in the work of atonement, and not a single mark of man's chisel or hammer will be endured. There is an inherent blasphemy in seeking to add to what Christ Jesus in His dying moments declared to be finished, or to improve that in which the Lord Jehovah finds perfect satisfaction. Trembling sinner, away with thy tools, and fall upon thy knees in humble supplication; and accept the Lord Jesus to be the altar of thine atonement, and rest in Him alone.
Our attempts to alter scripture based on our own limited understanding will always produce something short of what God intended. This problem has revealed itself in many ways, most importantly in our understanding of salvation. As humans we want to believe that we have some role in our justification before God. Our limited understanding of time and space prevents us from fully grasping our relationship to God, but one thing is perfectly clear throughout the New Testament: Christ's death accomplished everything necessary for our salvation. It did not merely make our justification possible. It did not give us the opportunity to "make that decision" and save ourselves. In fact, though we are saved 'by grace through faith', even the very faith through which we are saved is a 'free gift from God.' This problem is more pervasive than most recognize. Even the most conservative of churches in America teach a means of salvation that is not entirely biblical - one in which we are the initiator in our saving relationship with Christ. If we are, as Scripture asserts, dead in sin, how are we able to 'choose' Christ?

And yet this problem is not limited to the area of soteriology. There are numerous issues in Scripture that have been diluted or even eliminated from the teachings of the church over the past decades, based on the ever evolving human mindset and culture. One such issue is that of the ordination of women as pastors. I don't particularly believe that women are any less effective than men at teaching or leading a body of believers. However, I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to directly contradicting Scripture. Paul's clear command in I Timothy 2 is not a popular one in some circles. But what is the reason for its unpopularity? The fact that it offends our sense of equality and justice - or that our culture rejects such a sexist idea - is usually the answer given. Is this a good enough reason to reject a clear biblical teaching?

I would have to say that any argument based on human understanding or reason is a pretty weak one. And yet the most common argument in defense of women's ordination is that Paul was simply trying to blend in with the surrounding culture. Now that our culture accepts equality between men and women, we can simply ignore that little phrase. Well, what if we apply that rationale to every teaching in the Bible? At this point in time our society pretty well accepts homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle. Does this mean that we should ignore the numerous teachings in both the Old and New Testaments regarding its prohibition? And what if one day adultery is deemed acceptable by our culture? Where do we draw the line?

This is yet another result of a failure to teach sound doctrine in our churches. If we continually underestimate our basic condition before God (ie., total depravity), then we will always overestimate our own understanding of Scripture and it's teachings.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

R.I.P. Tony Snow

The contrast between President Bush's previous 2 press secretaries (before Dana Perino) couldn't be more marked. When Tony Snow stepped in to clean up the mess left by the incompetent Scott McClellan, it was like a breath of fresh air. Finally, someone who could actually communicate the positions of the Bush administration with intelligence and flair. He was articulate, witty, and extremely good at defending policy.

He earned the respect of the press corps when the vast majority of his audience were biased against the administration he was representing. Compare that to the idiot that was his predecessor, and well, there is no comparison. The reason Tony Snow was such a success in his postion is the same reason McClellan was such a failure. Tony Snow actually believed in the policies he defended. He was passionate in his belief in conservatism as the best hope for this nation, and that drove his desire to persuade others who didn't believe.

Unlike McClellan, he wasn't simply spouting the talking points handed down from the higher-ups. He had a genuine desire to defend the administration because he honestly believed in the job it was trying to do. Tony Snow will be missed by those of us who long for articulate defenses of conservative principles in the public arena.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Slow 'Persons' At Work

This has to be one of the silliest things I've ever seen.
"Across Atlanta they stood, orange signs with black letters that read 'Men At Work' or 'Men Working Ahead.' Sometimes, the signs stood next to women working alongside the men. [Cynthia] Good demanded Atlanta officials remove the signs and last week, Atlanta Public Works Commissioner Joe Basista agreed."
Somebody has way too much time on their hands. Political correctness has become more than a nuisance when someone can be offended by a generic "men at work" sign. I realize that many women aspire to reach that pinnacle of employment: a job with a roadside work crew, and those who are fortunate enough to have done so should be given the respect they so richly deserve, but are feminists so devoid of purpose these days that this is all they can find to fill their time?

So now the taxpayers get to purchase new signs that read "Workers Ahead", replacing the existing monuments to mysogyny that currently dot the landscape of Georgia highways - well thank God someone has corrected this horrible afront to womanhood. And who was it that complained to the powers that be? A female member of a roadside crew? Nope. A magazine editor who has to look at those reminders of her oppression every day on her way to her cushy office in downtown Atlanta - that's who. And get this - she was previously confronted by police after a complaint that she had spray painted "wo" in front of the "men" on a sign. What is she, 14? You gotta love feminists.

But seriously, can we just go back to the whole burning bras thing. I liked that much better.

Wii Now Have a Wii

After the serious Wii shortage that has been ongoing since before Christmas, we'd pretty much given up hope of being able to find one at a retail store. I was resigned to purchasing one through ebay for our daughter's birthday in August. Two weeks ago, we were at Walmart getting groceries when we happened to cruise through the electronics section. As we walked past the video game consoles, I spotted a single white box on the bottome shelf. I asked the sales lady if that was, in fact, a Wii console - not one of those $500+ bundles you have to buy on - and she said yes, they had just received a shipment of 12, and this was the last one.

Well, of course I grabbed it, thinking there wouldn't be another chance like it any time soon. As we were checking out, a guy walked up asking if they had any more in stock...One hour later, we were in Blockbuster renting a movie, when I spotted another console for sale. This past weekend, we were back in the same Blockbuster and they had 4 units on the shelf - all for $249. Have they finally produced enough to satisfy demand? I quick search online suggests that it's still difficult to find anything other than a high-priced bundle, but obviously not impossible.

As for the game system itself, so far I've been very impressed. I had played the Wii Sports games before, and knew what to expect, but was a little wary of how the standard Super mario type adventure games would work with the unusual Wii configuration. I was pleasantly surprised, and have really enjoyed every game i've played so far. It was well worth the purchase price!

He's Big, He's Red, His Feet Stick Out the Bed!

The latest news from across the pond is that Liverpool's towering striker is leaving the north of England for Pompey's sunny south coast. The 6'-7" tall Crouch was a player I always admired. He had a knack for scoring some spectacular goals (as in the photo), and a pretty decent strike rate for England as well. He could be frustrating to watch at times - I never understood how such a tall player could be so lacking in ability to head the ball - and he certainly wasn't the speediest fella on the pitch. But he had very good ball skills for such a gangly frame, and could hold the ball up as well as anyone on the team at the time.

It sounds like Rafa offered to extend his contract, but Crouchie is understandably not thrilled at the prospect of another season playing second fiddle to the boy wonder Fernando Torres. The system Rafa now seems to favor would again limit his playing time, and you can't fault him for seeking out a regular place in a starting eleven. Good luck, Crouchinho!

Warning to "Obamacons"

For all those "conservatives" out there who are supposedly warming up to Obama since his recent shift to the right, let's remember one little thing. He's changed his positions before - what's to stop him from changing again?

And we're not talking about little issues here - or little changes for that matter. He's turned 180 degrees on a host of serious issues within the last few months. Let's take a look at the flip-flop count thus far (H/T to the folks at Redstate):
  1. Gun Control - pandering to the left during the primaries led him to state his unequivocal support for both the D.C. and Chicago gun bans. Now that he's trying to appeal to the general public, he's suddenly pro-second amendment.
  2. FISA - this one has the lefties in an uproar! First he shouted down the prospect of immunity for telecom companies that helped the government (when it helped him politically), then he voted for it - and now claims to support it.
  3. Public Financing - After going on the record in support for public financing of presidential campaigns, and stating that he would use the public financing system for his own, he changed his mind.
  4. Death Penalty - First he was adamantly against it in all cases (even Osama bin Laden), now he supports it for both homocide and child rape.
  5. Iraq - For months he promises the nutroots that he'll bring troops home beginning day one; now he's going to "refine" his position after talking to commanders on the ground (what a novel idea...)
  6. Abortion - Obama has always supported abortion on demand - he even voted against the legislation that protects infants born alive! Now he's suddenly "personally against it" - I get so sick of this spineless answer from Democrats who are trying to appeal to evangelicals - and would support a state's right to limit/prohibit all late-term abortions.

The bottom line is that this guy has changed his mind on multiple important issues, and any so-called conservative who trusts this latest "moderate" version of Obama, well, you'll get exactly what your naivete' deserves. He was one person to the lefties in his own primary, when it helped him win the nomination; now he's a completely different person when it will help him win the general election. What's to stop him from morphing back into ultra-lib once elected? How can anyone trust someone who has such an obvious lack of personal standards and values? His decisions are based only on what his audience wants to hear.

Sounds like a pretty run-of-the-mill politician to me. Whatever happened to Hope and Change - a new kind of politician? Nothing. They never existed.


This has to be one of the funniest things I've seen in a while...and according to Bill O'Reilly there was MUCH more (and much worse) that we didn't get to hear!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Help Dr. Dobson

Dr. Dobson ticked me off many months ago when he stated that he wouldn't support John McCain in the general election. It was a childish reaction to the reality that we as Christians live in a democracy with many who don't think as we do, but I still have tremendous respect for what he has done to expand God's Kingdom. He has deservedly been nominated for inclusion in the Radio Hall of Fame, and needs our help. Few have had as much of an impact on radio as he has, and he continues to draw millions of listeners every day.

A group called Truth Wins Out is trying prevent him from being included based on the fact that they disagree with his ideology. That's right - a liberal group is trying to ban someone from inclusion in the hall of fame because he doesn't believe what they do. That champion of tolerance and diversity, the American Left, is discriminating against someone based on their religious beliefs. This only confirms what we all know to be true - tolerance and diversity of thought is only okay when it doesn't involve conservative Christians and their beliefs.

Go vote for Dr. Dobson today, and help defeat this hypocritical nonsense.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Obama the Moderate

While Obama makes his abrupt ideological U-turn, a move that pretty much any serious presidential candidate knows he has to make in the general election, those in the left hemisphere of cyberspace are not happy.

Anyone who follows presidential politics closely is aware of the post-nomination shuffle. It's a little ditty that any serious presidential candidate has to learn if he/she is going to win a national election. During the primary, you court the party base - those who are faithful supporters of your particular party - these people want the red meat. In Obama's case, he had no problem with this part of the process. What little record he has is extremely liberal, so he had no problem convincing the very liberal base of the Democratic Party that he was one of them.

The tricky part comes after you've secured the base. Neither candidate can win nationally as a hardcore liberal or conservative. There are just too many squishy apathetic types who don't pay any attention to politics, and want a candidate who at least appears to be moderate. The trick is to appeal to these moderate voters without angering the base. Obama seems to be having a bit of trouble with this, as he's clearly been moving to the center over the last few weeks...

During the primary, Mr. Obama was a fire-breathing critic of free-trade deals, condemning the North American Free Trade Agreement as a job-killer that he vowed to renegotiate or scrap. He opposed renewal of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which would give telephone companies immunity from lawsuits when they help the government tap phone lines.

He was a leading gun-control advocate as an Illinois state senator and backed the District's gun ban. He was a sharp critic of President Bush's faith-based services program to help the poor that was blocked by Democrats. He told Planned Parenthood he "would not yield" on abortion and denounced a Supreme Court decision upholding a ban on partial-birth abortion.

But in the past few weeks, Mr. Obama has, at a minimum, nuanced if not outright flip-flopped on all of those positions in a race to the political center to reposition himself for the general election. He told Fortune magazine he believes in free trade and does not want to overturn or pull out of NAFTA. He endorsed the pending FISA bill, saying "the issue of the phone companies per se is not one that overrides the security interests of the American people."

He's also come out in support of the Supreme Court's decision striking down the D.C. gun ban, despite his previous positions. It'll be very interesting to see how the fruit-loops react as he continues his rightward turn. They're already beginning to see that their "messiah" is just another politician. It just goes to show how naive liberals tend to be - not just about the viability of their socialist policies, but about the way most people in this country think.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

King of Spain

It's a little late - I havn't had much time to post lately - but I have to give props to the Spanish national team for their victory in Euro 2008. Ever since Rafa Benitez began the Spanish revolution at Liverpool FC, I've supported Spain in international competition. Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty patriotic, but soccer in America is pathetic. I usually support England as well, but they spectacularly failed to qualify for this last tournament.

It's too bad. This has largely been recognized as the best tournament in many years, and I would've been very interested to see how Engurland's finest stack up against the best in Europe. Fernando Torres, who has haunted the nightmares of English Premier League defenders since his debut season, had an average tournament...until the final. A tally of only 2 goals is not all that impressive for a striker of Torres' stature, but the last goal he scored in Euro 2008 was a typical El Nino strike:

Torres' best asset is his speed and ability to make something happen out of nothing, and this is a prime example. I can wait to see how he performs for the Reds next season!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Election Consequences

The last few decisions from the seemingly all-powerful panel of Supreme Court justices have given conservatives all the reason they need to get over their distain for John McCain this November. We can see, from the contrast in two of the more recent decisions, the delicate balance on which the nature of this court now rests. First, we have the irresponsible, dangerous, and downright illogical decision to allow terrorist prisoners access to the American court system. More recently, the decision to uphold the Constitution's 2nd Amendment provides some encouragement that they all haven't completely wandered off the reservation.

At least 4 of the men and women on the panel have evidently managed to throw off the shackles of common sense, permanently overcoming its influence over their reasoning. Justice Souter continues to defame the reputation of the president who appointed him, while the other 3 produce exactly the type of decisions expected of liberals with an agenda. Justice Kennedy remains the only wild card at this point, sometimes allowing common sense and respect for the Constitution to prevail, while other times, well not so much...

What does this have to do with McCain? Well, I don't even want to think about the kind of judges a president Obama would nominate for this delicately balanced court. We need judges who will rule on the constitutionality of laws based on the Constitution itself. Despite what many of these judges believe, the Constitution does not change unless amended, and public opinion and the practices of foreign nations should have no influence in their decisions whatsoever. McCain has promised to produce judicial nominees who recognize that. Of course, there's always the risk of another Souter, but I'll take that risk any day over the certainty of what Obama would produce.