Thursday, May 29, 2008

Do You Need Two Incomes?

Karen posted an insightful rant...er, editorial, over at her blog, Candid Diversions. It's a response to the standard two-income trap debate. Food for thought...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Now I Really Want to See It

Russian Communists don't like the new Indiana Jones movie. I've read the spoilers: I understand the weakness of the plot, the unlikelihood that the old magic will be re-captured, the innate silliness of watching an aging Harrison Ford gallivant around the world...

But now I can't wait to see it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Death of Conservatism Is Greatly Exaggerated

So says Fred Thompson in an op-ed piece in today's WSJ.

Nevertheless, I'm still pretty pessimistic.

Sanity Comes to Texas

A Texas state appeals court has thrown out the "case" against the FLDS. Finally, we see a bit of justice in this twisted misuse of state power.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

McCain's VP...Your Thoughts?

According to this story, McCain is rounding them up: Charlie Crist (gov. of FL), Bobby Jindal (gov. of LA), and Mitt Romney. Which do you prefer? My choice is Jindal: he's a conservative (which is why McCain may steer clear of him), he's young, and he's not white (which might matter even though it shouldn't).

Oil Execs On Trial Again



This time, BIG OIL has been summoned before the Judiciary Committee (of all places) to account for the results of government regulation and endless log-jambing from environmentalists. As one of the executives on this video says, the oil companies make about $0.04 per gallon in net profit. Not included on this video were comments from John Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil Co (CNN Money):

"The fundamental laws of supply and demand are at work," said Hofmeister. The market is squeezed by exporting nations managing demand for their own interest and other nations subsidizing prices to encourage economic growth."

In addition, Hofmeister said access to resources in the United States has been limited for the past 30 years. "I agree, it's not a free market," he said.

He made the point that congress could help significantly by rolling back over 40 regulations and limitations to the production of oil and gas in the U.S. High gas prices are not the result of price gouging by "greedy" oil execs but by our own government's unwillingness to uncouple itself from a run-away train wreck of environmental pseudo-science.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Vice President Aspirations

Hmm, guess which of Mr. McCain's former rivals for the GOP nomination has been campaigning for the V-P spot? Hint: not the man I supported.

The one most of you DOR readers supported? Yeah, he loves McCain and would "love to be on a ticket with John McCain."

So Huckabee has a much higher opinion of McCain than many of you. I find that...deliciously ironic interesting.

Friday, May 16, 2008

California Falls a Bit Lower

I'm sure most of you have heard about today's California Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage in California. Here is some insightful commentary from NRO. One can only hope this does not spread too quickly to the other states (or force other states to recognize these "marriages"). Make no mistake, gay "rights" activists do not want the freedom to "marry." They already have the freedom to live together, to adopt children and to share many, if not all, legal benefits enjoyed by traditional married couples. In most cases, they even possess these freedoms without negative social consequences or stigma (many times they win praise and acclaim for their "bravery"). What they truly seek is to destroy the institution of marriage itself.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Yet Another Miracle Baby

This story ought to be on your must read list today. There are some people fighting the good fight in the UK, people we ought to be emulating. Two things really jump out at me in this story:

1. Abortion policy in the UK is actually much more restrictive than here in the US. Here abortion is legal right up until the moment a child is born. There it is illegal after 24 weeks and there is a significant effort to push that back to between 12-22 weeks. Any abortion, at any point in a pregnancy, is still murder and still abhorrent but at least they are moving in the right direction.

2. The "viable" point is being pushed younger and younger as well. Ellie-Suzanne was born at just 23 weeks gestation. A few years ago this would have been unthinkable. It is still miraculous but I think, depending on how God chooses to intervene, we're going to see the point at which a baby can survive outside the womb (with medical help) move earlier and earlier. In each of my pregnancies we had our main ultrasound at 20 weeks. Little Ellie was born just 3 weeks after that. What a miracle!

It should not be ignored that the challenges facing this little girl are far from over. But she is a person. She is a person now that she's going home from the hospital. She was a person when she was born at 23 weeks. She was a person when she was conceived. God bless her parents for understanding that.

The Real Reason Gore Promotes Ethanol

This insightful article from yesterday on NRO's Planet Gore showed just how how much money and interest Al Gore has tied up in Big Ethanol. I'm wondering when these guys will get called up to congress for a verbal thrashing...but I guess that only happens to Big Oil. Ethanol is a disaster in the making. We are starving the the world to produce a fuel no one really needs for a purpose that is grossly misunderstood and false.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Awesome Photo

You definitely need to see this photo of lightning striking during the recent Chilean volcano eruption. It sure does remind me just how insignificant I am in this big world--we could not affect world climate if we wanted to!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008

Rendition: A Movie Review

I just finished watching Rendition starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon, Peter Sarsgaard, Alan Arkin and Meryl Streep. Liberal much? You bet! First off, I have to admit that this movie is very entertaining. It is gripping, realistic, gritty and the little trick at the end is just awesome.

The film begins by juxtaposing a terrorist attack gone bad (aimed at assassinating a government official in “some North African nation” with the abduction of an Arab-looking gentleman by the CIA while he is making a connecting flight. He is coming back home to his loving family in Chicago (from some shady conference in South Africa). Soon we are watching the U.S. government jet the guy off to “some North African nation” for extreme interrogation. Meanwhile, his wife pulls some strings with one of her old friends who works for a senator. There’s also a subplot concerning the daughter of the afore-mentioned North African government official. It’s a wild ride…

The Good: This film got down and dirty with Islamic terrorists, even going so far as to depict (accurately) what goes on at a jihadist preaching service (the Zionists and Crusaders will be destroyed, Allah will ask you what you have done with the one weapon he has given you—your body, you will only get into heaven if you die as a martyr, etc.). Simply amazing. Never seen that in a movie before. The terrorists are bad guys that shoot the suicide bomber if he tries to back out (which he does). This makes him release his bomb trigger. They do all of this even when they could have easily just shot their target.

The Bad: It’s VERY obvious that the point of this film (and why it attracted the most liberal of the liberal actors) is that the U.S. generally pulls this sort of stunt about 50 times a day. They target a nice, respectable Arab-looking American guy, grab him off the street, fly him to "some foreign place" and torture the fool out of him. This part was very graphic and included the now-famous technique of water-boarding (also a film first for me) and electric shock torture. Lots of people in the chain of command don’t really care if he is innocent or not—better to be sure by just endlessly torturing him (cause that's how they roll in the Bush admin).

Here are a few fun facts about the innocent suspect: 1. He is an Egyptian national with no U.S. citizenship. Sure, he’s lived in America for the past 20 years and is married to Reese Witherspoon, but he’s not technically an American. 2. He is a chemical expert with bomb-making experience, albeit most of this experience came as a result of working with the ATF a few years back. 3. He goes to a lot of strange conferences in foreign countries like South Africa. 4. He gets a lot of strange phone calls from folks in Egypt, some with known terrorist links.

Wow, I can’t imagine a more innocent character than that! I’m tempted to call the NSA about the guy just from watching the movie, and I know he’s innocent! So, let me get this straight—we’re supposed to want our government to ignore folks like this? ‘Fraid not. Really, how many of these guys exist in the U.S. population—something like 50,000 or so I bet—how about zero. Well, okay two—I’ve grant you two guys that fit this description. And that’s being generous. By the way, this guy does make it home, so see? No harm done.

I suppose the director might argue that he showed “both sides,” whatever that means. And, as far as it goes, I guess he did. After all, moral ambiguity is cool these days. Maybe no one is right. Do you buy that? Me neither. Here are the real facts: 1. Foreign nationals involved in or connected to terrorism do not have due process rights, nor should they. Forget all that “innocent until proven guilty” business—that’s for real Americans only. 2. These guys play dirty. Islamic terrorists will stop at nothing to bring us down. 3. The only way they can win is if we let them. If we can’t hold on to a belief that our culture is superior, we are doomed. 4. The Patriot Act is a great piece of legislation. The only people losing any rights are terrorists and their supporters. We need to get serious with Islamic terror and stay serious for the long haul. This movie does very little to help.

Ever Wonder Why We Can't End World Hunger?

After all, we are the richest nation in the world. What's the hang-up? Certainly our failure is not from a lack of trying. It usually goes down like in this story about the Myanmar tragedy:

Myanmar's junta seized U.N. aid shipments Friday meant for a multitude of hungry and homeless survivors of last week's devastating cyclone, forcing the world body to suspend further help.

The aid included 38 tons of high-energy biscuits and arrived in Myanmar on Friday on two flights from Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates.

"All of the food aid and equipment that we managed to get in has been confiscated," U.N. World Food Program spokesman Risley said.

So much for the multicultural drivel that "all cultures are equally good." It turns out that representative democracy based on a strong Judeo-Christian base is really the best way to go. The sooner we admit this, the better off the world will be. Remember when Great Britain owned half the world? For all its faults and abuses of power, the British ran a tight ship--firmly rooted in traditional Western culture. Since the end of colonialism, many former colonies in the third world have been ravaged by despot after despot, war after war, starvation, misery and chaos.

The U.S. model for intervention (on display in Afghanistan and Iraq) is to clear the way for democratic elections and then get out of the way, letting the magic of democracy do its thing. Sounds good, right? For a long time I thought so, too. However, democracy by itself might not be enough. What stops the countries from electing scoundrels or radical Islamic terrorists or cruel military dictators? Not much. It may be that democracy (or representative republican) government might not work well without all the politically incorrect Judeo-Christian underpinnings. In our haste to validate foreign culture as "just as good as ours--or better" we enable culturally deficient populations to continue down the path of pain and suffering.

Our system works the best because it sees humans for what they are: created by God, but fallen and desperately wicked. All humans have worth and inalienable rights from God which cannot be lawfully abridged. Traditional Western culture realizes that this world will never be perfect; rather, free citizens must be permitted to carry out their lives as they see fit, within the smallest number of laws possible. Any system or culture that believes in the possibility of perfection always leads to the conclusion that one supreme leader or group of elites, if smart enough, will be able to create heaven on earth (assuming the culture doesn't simply support such dictators by fiat). This is the arch-enemy of freedom, and it will ever seek to place "lesser" men in shackles.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

After Changing Lightbulbs and Burning Corn...

We sure have done a lot to stop all those pesky carbon emissions--and then the earth double-crosses us with this! Not even Al Gore flying around in his private jet has that kind of carbon footprint...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Monday, May 5, 2008

I Blame Huckabee

I officially kicked off a new campaign today called I Blame Huckabee. If you have a Facebook account (if you don't, you should), you can get my new piece of Flair dedicated to this cause. Also, I need more friends, so... Anyway, I feel it is important to express my disappointment with the whole 2008 primaries now, before the conventions and before the general election. I will definitely still support McCain, and I genuinely hope he wins.

However, this does not mean that I am not still incredibly bitter about how quickly that all played out. More and more, I find myself becoming jealous of the drawn-out Democratic primary. Why couldn't it be our party still teetering between two candidates, one of which is not McCain? And then I remember Iowa and the Huckabee miracle. Man, did he suck...the air right out of the race. He transformed everyone in the race into a has-been and then proceeded to tank. Then McCain "surprises" everyone with a win in liberal New Hampshire. Like we didn't already know he was going to win in that little half-state of a state! Gggrrr!!!

So anyway, if you like the Huckster (I know many of you still do), just try to ignore my rant as best you can. To all the rest, consider adding my Flair to your Flair board or blog or desktop. I'm thinking about selling bumper stickers! Get on board now, because the day is coming when we'll all be wondering just exactly who to blame, and when that day comes, you'll already be wearing the T-shirt!

Democrats Want Expensive Gas

NRO's David Freddoso has a great piece out today about the Democrats' inability to reconcile their desire to pander to voters by decrying high gas prices and their obsession with global warming and reducing carbon emissions. It's a great point--here's a nice section:

"If 'greedy oil companies' are indeed to blame for the current high prices, Democrats should thank them for saving the planet instead of cynically (and absurdly) scolding them for 'price-gouging' in an attempt to deceive voters. It makes little difference to your bottom line, to the economy, or to the environment whether you are shaken down by carbon taxes and regulations or by an oil producer. The end result is the same — less atmospheric carbon dioxide."

By the way, he argues this without granting that reduced emissions will accomplish anything--which they certainly won't...

Friday, May 2, 2008

Gas Fix

The editors of NRO point out that recent proposals from both parties will do little or nothing to affect gas prices or the economy at large (for the record, I would prefer less monkeying with the economy). The real solution to gas prices is to drill in Alaska, off-shore and anywhere else we can.

Part two of the solution is to quit funding all this ethanol production. If it's really such a great idea, "greedy" corporations will figure out a way to make money doing it. The government has driven food prices and gas prices up with this foolish scheme (all because of "man-made" global warming). AND congress is all set to end the Bush tax cuts (otherwise called "raising taxes")--great, just in the nick of time... Where is the conservative leader on this issue?