Sunday, December 30, 2007

Pakistan Roundup

A lot has happened in Pakistan over the last few days. Mark Steyn (as ever) seems to have the most realistic take on the current and future situations.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Real Thompson

This article goes past the highly selective sound bytes to paint the true picture of the candidate. The current media template is that Fred Thompson is a lazy guy who doesn't really even want to be president. The truth is that he is not personally consumed with seeking the presidency. Rather, he wants to do what's best for his family and the American people. So he's not running for president just to sit in the cool office and ride the big jet; rather, he's running to actually do something good for the country. He's not trying to be a rock star--he's trying to be a genuine man of strength, integrity and decency. Maybe America's through electing people like that, but I'm not.

The List

This obviously pro-Romney site features an EXTENSIVE LIST of all the important figures and groups who have been critical of Huckabee. The list also includes links to the specific comments, some of which are quite crushing. Taken as a whole, this list constitutes a big reason to be skeptical of Huckabee and his Jimmy Carter-like agenda. I can't imagine professing to be smarter than the folks on this list. WAKE UP AMERICA!

Friday, December 28, 2007

More Hot Water for Huckabee

Bolton denies that he is a Huckabee adviser...and other questionable items.

Again: Thompson is the MAN.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Parenting Book by...

Britney's Spears' mother has been put on indefinite hold. Read the story here. No one will say whether this is related to the fact that her daughter Jamie Lynn, 16, just announced her pregnancy.

Yep, this woman's guidance on parenting is just what our country needs. What next, marriage advice from Bill Clinton?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Thompson Video: Hilarious AND Awesome

Some of you may wish to view this video with the sound off. It's awesome either way...

This video came from IMAO, a newly-added link to the Sites We're Into section on the sidebar. They also feature regular fun facts about Thompson, such as:

When Fred Thompson says, "Have a merry Christmas," that's not a meaningless platitude -- it's a command -- so you better have a Christmas so merry blood is shooting out your eyes because Fred Thompson is coming to town.

On Christmas Eve, Fred Thompson leaves milk and cookies out. Santa dares not touch them, because he knows how much Fred Thompson loves his milk and cookies early on Christmas morning.

If you're on the fence about Thompson, you must visit this website!

Issues Debate: Abortion, Part 3

I agree with Stephen until his last paragraph:

I concede that there are many political obstacles, but what better way to undermine these obstacles than by electing a president who has deep pro-life convictions? If we ever hope to see America restored to her former glory, this is the only strategy to pursue.

Certainly, abortion has taken us far away from the American dream of a just and free society. The question is what to do about it. Even if we elect a pro-life president, the only way he can affect abortion policy is to appoint strict-constitutionalist judges (something even a less-than-ideal president could conceivably do). And this only affects abortion policy if the court decides to revisit its previous decision. Assuming that happened, judges appointed by pro-life presidents could wimp out at the last moment (or completely change their minds, etc.). If (the if's are getting bigger at each leap) the court reverses Roe v. Wade, the only thing that would be accomplished would be to allow states the freedom to set their own abortion policy. Admittedly, this would be a huge step in the right direction. But, ultimately, we come back to changing the attitudes of the American people. If that doesn't happen, all this is for nothing. Many states will simply continue the status quo at the state level.

Alternatively, if we do nothing but convince the American people of the wickedness of abortion, we will see immediate and lasting change. Not all abortion will be stopped, but it will stop to the degree that we influence public opinion. Indeed, some of this is already happening in small bits. The improvement of ultrasound technology helps, as women see their baby for what it is. Premature babies are being saved at younger and younger ages. The point is that this is the real front line in the battle.

Electing a pro-life president would probably help some, but it might not help at all. This long-shot of a chance is not worth sacrificing the pressing needs of reform and security (things that will be influenced--no chance involved).

Issues Debate: Abortion, Part 2

In his last post on the issues debate, Philip concluded:

Limited government ensures that we live in a free society. Even if that society is unsafe, it is preferable to a safe society without freedom. Commitment to the War on Terror helps keep our free society safe. Without a free and safe society, how can we even begin to fight abortion (and all the other issues)? Given the president's limitations on setting abortion policy, we must give the abortion issue a lower (but still high #3) priority.

While I agree that limited government and defeating terrorism are critical to our maintaining a free and safe society, I do not believe the abortion issue is therefore superceded by these concerns.

Does any nation that promotes the slaughter of its own children deserve either freedom or safety? I'm certain that it deserves neither, and I'm confident our founding fathers would agree on this point.

They dreamed of and fought for a society founded upon what they considered to be the most basic principles of human justice. They hung our nation's entire existence on these words:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

There was a time when America was a just society. She's never been perfect, but she long strove to respect the life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of all men.

Yet when our nation relinquished its respect for every human life, it ceased to be the society those great men envisioned and built. When America left this foundational principle, it lost the essential character of justice.

This is why abortion is the most important issue in an election. Reinstating respect for every human life is the only way America can again be a just society. Only then will it be worth fighting for freedom and safety.

I concede that there are many political obstacles, but what better way to undermine these obstacles than by electing a president who has deep pro-life convictions? If we ever hope to see America restored to her former glory, this is the only strategy to pursue.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Fit for a King

Thompson gets the coveted endorsement of the popular Steve King in Iowa. Too little, too late? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

I understand that Huckabee's Christmas ad is warm and cuddly. If only he weren't such a raving big-government, tax-and-spend, foreign-policy lightweight...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Issues Debate Continues

I'm bringing this debate to the top again. I also invite you once more to list your top issues. Stephen has responded to my list with the answer that abortion essentially trumps all other issues. While I respect those who hold this view, I have to disagree. During our last exchange (see comments for this post), I asked the following:

Would you support a candidate who was pro-life but called for the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops on foreign soil?

Or a candidate who was pro-life but promised to raise taxes across the board to finance universal healthcare?

Stephen's response:

My answer to your two questions is "not necessarily". Being pro-life is not an instant qualifier, it's just that being pro-abortion is an instant disqualifier.

However, we are not discussing how best to choose from a variety of candidates, but rather, how best to choose between two, such as in a general election. Perhaps I could have been more specific. This scenario illustrates how one could permissibly vote for a pro-choice candidate, given either two pro-choice candidates or a pro-choice conservative vs. a pro-life liberal (or a pro-life idiot). This is the crux of my two questions above. Assume these pro-life candidates run against a pro-choice candidate with a strong commitment to limited government and a tough stance on fighting terror. Admittedly, these candidates do not exist (nor do they have much chance of existing in the future), but if they did, which would you vote for?

In this situation, Stephen would no doubt choose "none of the above." That is a separate discussion. Leaving that aside, what I really intend to do here is provide a reasonable justification for my list (1. limited government, 2. war on terror, 3. abortion+). While I agree that abortion is an unspeakable evil in our society, that fact has only a limited effect on presidential politics, for the simple reason that the president cannot do all that much to change abortion policy (which Stephen concedes). And yet, while he cannot do all that much, he can do something. Otherwise, abortion would not even make the top ten. Contrast this with what the president can achieve on the issues of limited government (or greatly expanded government, e.g. prescription drug plan, universal healthcare, etc.) and fighting terrorism and rogue nations (or allowing them free reign). In these areas the president has tremendous latitude and can usher in sweeping changes for good or ill.

But Stephen further presses his point:

To debate this issue in anything other than entirely objective terms is to effectively legitimize the practice. Once the discussion is subjective, we have no moral grounds on which to oppose abortion. Similarly, to vote for any candidate who publicly supports abortion is to relinquish any principled opposition to it. At that point, abortion becomes only one more subjective issue.

Is abortion distasteful, or is it unconscionable? Is it a minor problem, or is it our nation's greatest reproach?

This seems to cast the abortion issue in an all-or-nothing mold. Either we end abortion or fail. I concede that abortion is indeed our nation's greatest sin. This does not eliminate the fact that abortion politics are notoriously complex. Roe vs. Wade is perhaps the most misunderstood Supreme Court case in our nation's history. Some would argue that only a constitutional amendment will turn back the tide (similar to those who argue for a marriage amendment). Certainly, these would be welcomed by Christian conservatives, but they are misguided. If we actually had enough public support for such an amendment, we would no longer need the amendment. Perhaps Roe vs. Wade could be overturned, and it certainly should be. However, this would do nothing more than allow states to consider the question for themselves. Short of these two sweeping reforms, what do we have? Our only other course of action is incremental change--doing what we can when we can. We can push for parental notification laws, oppose partial-birth abortion, and support crisis pregnancy centers. Most of these items can be pursued without the help of the president.

My conclusion: Limited government ensues that we live in a free society. Even if that society is unsafe, it is preferable to a safe society without freedom. Commitment to the War on Terror helps keep our free society safe. Without a free and safe society, how can we even begin to fight abortion (and all the other issues)? Given the president's limitations on setting abortion policy, we must give the abortion issue a lower (but still high #3) priority.

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

Have you heard about Ben Stein's forthcoming documentary on discrimination against scientists who question Darwinism?

Check out the "Super Trailer" here.

Looks like it could be pretty interesting ...

Good Analysis on Thompson

I know this post title shocks (repeat, shocks) you, but this article (yes, from NRO) does a fair job of summing up where Fred stands and considers that maybe he did wait just too long... Also, PLEASE comment on the post below this one... Let's talk about ISSUES!

What Are Your Issues?

A few posts down I've given my top voting issues:

1.Limited Government (taxes, spending, etc.)
2. War on Terror and National Security
3. Abortion & Immigration (and everything else)

I'd like to know where you stand. What is your list of top issues? This question seems fair enough as we consider how best to spend our primary vote. Forget about candidates for a moment, and let's talk about issues. This is a discussion we ought to be having, so join in!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thompson: Not Showing Hands

This was a nice moment for Fred in yesterday's debate...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Huckabee's Foreign Policy

Huckabee's foreign policy leaves much to be desired.

I will add that I just read through this article from 1998 (no doubt dug up to scare people about Huckabee's "extreme fundamentalist views"), and I have to say that I agree with him here. He speaks against the evils of big government several times and points out that the gospel helps people more than government. Unfortunately, I haven't heard anything but support of big government from him recently.

Just to recap (in case you didn't read the comments a few posts down), here are my top issues:

1. Conservative philosophy of limited government. This would solve so many of our problems.

2. The War on Terror and national security.

3. Abortion, immigration and everything else.

I will vote for the candidate who can best deliver on these issues in this order.

Huckabee second to Giuliani in RCP national poll average

It appears Mike Huckabee has done what critics just two months ago thought impossible--he's now second only to Rudy Giuliani in the national contest for the Republican presidential nomination.

Mr. Huckabee also leads in Iowa and South Carolina.

With the primaries looming, Republicans must decide which they value more highly--the credentials of a fiscal/philosophical conservative or the credentials of a social conservative. As Mr. Huckabee continues to gain momentum, it appears more and more primary voters favor the latter.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Golden Compass Article

For those of you trying to follow The Golden Compass controversy, this article from NRO is an excellent summary and commentary. As it happens, there may not be too much controversy left due to the poor quality of the film itself (although the visuals are said to be stunning). As a bonus, the article also makes the point that Islamo-fascist republics really do fit the mold of the forces of evil portrayed in the movie!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Divorce Hurts the Environment

I've never really thought about it, but Mark Steyn has! A pretty humorous post on NRO...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Yet Another List

Want to see a list of all the taxes Huckabee has supported as governor? I though so! It's EXTREMELY long...

Democrats Really Are Crazy!

According to a new Gallup poll, Republicans report having better mental health than Democrats. Independents fair better than Democrats but not so well as Republicans. So I guess the more conservative you are, the better off you are!