October 31, 2004

Halloween Hoopla

I don't "celebrate" Halloween. But I still think this is funny. Instead, I just re-post the same thing I wrote last Halloween. Hopefully this explains why I'm not out dressed up like John Kerry.

Halloween Madness

Every year at this time it happens. For whatever reason, I end up disclosing to someone that we don't "celebrate" Halloween at our house. The person to whom I'm disclosing this usually looks at me like I'm guilty of assisting Al-Qaeda or other such Un-American activities. Let me take this opportunity to set the record straight on this whole "Not Celebrating Halloween" thing.

For a start, let me make some assurances. My family and I are not; (a). followers of some extreme fundamentalist cult (eg, snake-handlers), (b). against children getting an opportunity to accelerate the rotting of their teeth with hoards of candy, (c). bad neighbors, or (d). the type of people who see a satan worshipper behind every bush.

Both my wife and I trick or treated as children and, for the most part, we both turned out okay. Neither of us has had any bad experiences with Halloween. We simply don't believe in making a big deal out of a Pagan Holiday. Frankly, we're mystified that so many others do. It isn't so much that we're against Halloween as it is that we don't really see why it is celebrated in the first place.

As Christians, paganism is anathema to our entire belief system. However, we know many well-meaning people who are also Christians and feel free to go through all the usual Halloween celebrations. We don't think any less of them for doing so - unless of course they really go crazy with it. (then we just think they're generally weird anyway.) In fact, we do hand out candy to all the costumed kids in the neighborhood that come to our door. (We would never hand out tracts in lieu of candy!) Our children don't participate in Halloween parties and they don't dress up in costumes but otherwise we don't make any big deal out of it.

Retailers, though, do make a big deal out of it. I'm convinced that the biggest reason most people get into Halloween is due to the fact that it is hyped by retailers. Aside from Christmas, this is a real money making opportunity. The fact that retailers go overboard in selling us on this event is just one more reason why we don't pay much attention to it.

Sometimes it is difficult to find good information about Halloween. There is a wealth of information available on the internet. Unfortunately, it is difficult to distinguish between those who are overly hysterical and those who provide antiseptic but historically accurate information. If you are interested in knowing a little more about Halloween as a pagan holiday, check out this page written by a person I know and trust.

Halloween is just a pagan holiday. "Celebrating" it isn't a big deal, but if your beliefs run counter to those of a typical pagan, you might want to re-consider.

Note: In light of all the evil that seems to be running wild in the world, it would also be good to keep this in mind.

Posted by jdmays at 01:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 30, 2004

100,000?

Sarah, be sure to read the post at this link, Bogus Lancet Study. I doubt it will change your mind but it may plant some tiny little seeds of doubt. That's the best I'm hoping for.

Posted by jdmays at 08:57 PM | TrackBack

The Look

Apparently, women view the candidates differently than the guys. My wife tells me this,

Kerry isn't very attractive to me. I actually think Bill Clinton is much better looking. Bush is better looking than Kerry. When Kerry smiles he looks like Larry the Cucumber.
I admit it. I don't understand women.

It's coming down to the wire. With nothing other than intuition as my guide I predict a Bush win in Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and even Pennsylvania.

Posted by jdmays at 04:09 PM | TrackBack

October 29, 2004

John Kerry and Lee Harvey Oswald

John Kerry isn't likely to mention it on his whirlwind whining tour but he has a connection to John F. Kennedy, of a sort. You see, a cousin of John Kerry's was a close friend of Lee Harvey Oswald. This cousin frequently had Lee Harvey as a houseguest. In fact, the rifle used to kill Kennedy was stored at Kerry's cousin's house. The New York Post describes the whole thing much better,

Conspiracy theorists are buzzing about John Kerry's connection to Lee Harvey Oswald and the JFK assassination. While no one in the lunatic fringe has gone so far as to suggest Kerry helped kill Kennedy — yet — they make much of the fact that a cousin of Kerry's, Michael Paine, was a close friend of Oswald who frequently had the assassin as a house guest. Paine even stored the rifle Oswald used to shoot Kennedy at his house. Paine's mother, Ruth Forbes, and Kerry's mother, Rosemary Forbes, were cousins. It has never been fully explained how Oswald came to have such socially prominent pals, says A.J. Weberman, author of the JFK assassination book "Coup D'Etat in America," who notes that according to documents released under the JFK Documents Act, Paine's sister-in-law and father-in-law were both closely connected with the CIA. [Source]
Wasn't Lee Harvey rumored to have spent some time in the Soviet Union? Some speculate it was there that he was brainwashed to be an assasin.

John Kerry spent some time in Paris meeting with the communists from North Vietnam. I wonder if they did any brainwashing? Maybe John Kerry is the real manchurian candidate.

Of course, this stuff is way off the deep end, but after months of listening to Kerry and his surrogates, among them Tom Harkin who claims that God wants Kerry to win the presidency, make wild accusations about President Bush, it strikes me as kind of ironic that he would be tied to a JFK conspiracy theory.

Posted by jdmays at 05:58 PM | TrackBack

October 28, 2004

Poll Mania

If you're like me, you're busy looking at various websites to see the latest poll results and analysis. What I'd like to find is something that soothes my nerves a little bit. Something that would tell me John Kerry has no way of winning the election. Unfortunately, such a thing does not exist. John Kerry has a very real chance of being elected.

One thing to keep in mind - the "national" polls like the one shown above this post on my front page are almost meaningless. It's more important to look at the state by state polls since those are better indicators of how the electoral college vote will turn out.

If you want to torture yourself between now and election day, check out some of the sites I check out:
Electoral-vote.com - This site leans left and I suspect it's author cherry picks the polls he likes. It's the easiest site to understand though - just put your mouse pointer over the state and it shows you the projection.
Election Projection - This one isn't updated as often and only gives a summary. It's a good place for a quick snapshot.
Dale's Electoral College Breakdown - Easily the most information rich site of all. It presents a state-by-state breakdown including poll results from several different polls.
Cold Hearted Truth - A nice concise summary.
Real Clear Politics Poll Summary - A lot of information from many different polls.

I hope that whoever wins does so by a wide margin. I'm ready for this thing to be settled.

Posted by jdmays at 06:28 PM | TrackBack

October 27, 2004

President of The Tenth Grade

Weekly Reader, the kids magazine you probably read in grade school, has announced the results of their presidential poll. President Bush won the poll by a wide margin,

President Bush was a strong winner in the student poll; the only state Senator Kerry won was Maryland. Senator Kerry was also in a statistical dead heat with President Bush in New York, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C. and Vermont. President Bush won most grades, although Senator Kerry did win among tenth-graders. [Source]
It's comforting to know that this poll has correctly selected the President every election since 1956. There has been no word on whether there were any accusations of vote fraud among the participants and I doubt Weekly Reader did a last minute expose' of the President using dubious information.

I'm proud to say that one of my daughters actually converted the child of a Democrat into voting for Bush.

Let's hope Weekly Reader accurately predicts the election this year.

Posted by jdmays at 09:12 PM | TrackBack

Page 10

If I were a unscrupulous newspaper I would make all my wild accusations on the front page - in huge bold type. Then when some people figured out there wasn't much substance to the story, I'd dump a correction onto page 10. Sort of like this.

For the full story go here.

Thanks to hh for paying attention to this stuff.

Posted by jdmays at 06:55 AM | TrackBack

October 26, 2004

Conservatives Are Evil

EO reports on the results of a Washington Post Reader's Poll to select the best weblog. The weblog that won was, LGF. Apparently, some people aren't too happy about that choice. This causes my oppositional nature to kick in and means that I'll be adding a link to LGF on my weblog.

Posted by jdmays at 05:24 PM | TrackBack

Inquiring Minds

On the very same day the story broke in the NYT about the so-called missing explosives in Iraq, the Kerry campaign had him speechifying on it. Also, Florida voters in the area each received a free copy of the NYT on their doorstep that morning.

I'm guessing that John Kerry didn't adlib his speech - it was written for him beforehand and I'm guessing that his campaign didn't just wake up yesterday morning and say, "Hey I've got a good idea. Let's run down to the 7/11 and buy a bunch of newspapers for folks in the neighborhood." No, this was planned well beforehand. Which leads me to wonder how closely the NYT and the Kerry campaign coordinated this whole thing. Of course, CBS denied it coordinated their Bush National Guard story with the "Fortunate Son" ad campaign run by Kerry. Now, something strangely similar has happened again.

It's probably just a coincidence.

In case you haven't heard. The "Explosives Missing in Iraq" story has been easily discredited from publicly available sources. (Don't the NYT people know about the internet?) At least the NYT scooped CBS.

Read more about it:
October Surprise Collapses
That Missing RDX

Please...don't anyone argue with me about whether there's liberal bias in the media. At least not in person...you might get slugged.


Posted by jdmays at 07:41 AM | TrackBack

October 25, 2004

Exvigilare

Exvigilare has been added to the AOO blogroll. He's blogging from the great state of Colorado so be sure to check him out.

Posted by jdmays at 07:35 AM | TrackBack

October 23, 2004

Sacrificing Israel

Charles Krauthammer writes today in the Washington Post about, Sacrificing Israel.

My hope is that we never get to find out that he was right.

Posted by jdmays at 01:37 PM | TrackBack

Because I Said So

As this election draws to it's conclusion I'm finding it difficult to come up with anything even remotely original to write. I've come to the conclusion that the case has been made for each candidate. Unless you've been exiled to a desert island you've heard more than enough to make up your mind. If you haven't made up your mind yet, check yourself in to the hospital. There must be something wrong with you.

There's only one thing I haven't said yet in support of George W. Bush for President. Vote for him because I said so. That's right. I said so. He's a good guy who will aggressively battle terrorists around the world. Vote for him. Don't vote for Kerry. He's a poser. Did you vote for Dukakis? Well, Kerry has the same political philosphy. How about Jimmy Carter? Did you consider him to be a successful President? Well, Kerry professes a very similar political philosophy.

A Kerry presidency is a train wreck waiting to happen. If you vote for Kerry and he wins, you'll wake up the next morning with a hangover that will last four years.

Remember...vote for Bush because I said so. That's all the reason you need.

Posted by jdmays at 01:16 PM | TrackBack

October 22, 2004

Bet on Iraq?

There's a website called, Bet on Iraq that presents an intriguing concept. Basically, they offer you the opportunity to purchase Iraqi currency at it's current value in the hope that it's value will increase as Iraq moves toward democracy and prosperity. (The current exchange rate is here.)

As a self-professed neocon, I believe that democracy isn't just good for Americans but good for everyone. I'd really like to do this sort of thing since it dovetails perfectly with my ideology. However, I'm not exactly a financial wunderkind.

So I'm asking for advice on this. What do you think? Is it worth a shot?

Posted by jdmays at 08:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 21, 2004

Lessig and P2P

Quite a while ago I read an article written by Lawrence Lessig. Lessig's well-known in geek circles as a champion of the rights of consumers with regard to copyright protection. After reading this particular article, I sent an email to him disagreeing with some points he made. Amazingly enough, he wrote back and his response was very gracious. Ever since then I've been a fan of his.

Lessig leans left but, unlike many involved in political discussion these days, he's pretty rational. His blog is here.

I received an email from Lessig the other day that introduces a fascinating concept. It's called, P2P Politics. This is Lessig's description of it from his email:


So this is some political spam, which you've earned by either (1) being in my address book, or (2) having sent me a question, comment, or criticism in the past. Consider this small request the price of our contact.

A bunch of us have put together a p2p-politics.org site which I'd be grateful if you could look at, and more importantly, pester the campaigns about.

The idea of the site is to enable people to send clips -- both video and audio -- about the candidate they support to people they know, asking them to listen to or watch the ads sent before they vote. These ads can come from the campaigns, or from anyone who wants to make an ad for a campaign. And as this email does, the site permits people to ad text to the message.

We were very successful in collecting ads supporting Kerry. Moveon.org had a bunch licensed under a Creative Commons license we we could get automatically. And the Kerry campaign then gave us a few more to include.

But despite our repeated requests, through many channels, we've not yet been able to get a reply from the Bush campaign.

So here's the request. If you go to the site (linked below) and think it worthwhile, can you send a brief email to the Bush campaign (there's a link on the site) or the Nader campaign (if that's your persuasion)?

If that's too much, then enjoy (or be frustrated by) the ads I've selected here. They are all tied to a theme I've written about -- the effect of this election on the next generation -- inspired, no doubt, by my confronting my own next generation, now just 13 months old.

Again, I apologize for the intrusion, if this is what this is for you. But if there is ever a time peers need to speak to peers, an election like this is such a time.

I would encourage everyone to check it out. You may not agree with everything you see there, but no campaign should be afraid of political discourse. You might even want to use it to help promote the re-election of the best candidate for President of the US.

Posted by jdmays at 12:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 19, 2004

RTV

We are evangelicals hear us roar.

Posted by jdmays at 05:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Nefarious Hand of George Soros?

Presidential Election Futures Contracts and The Iowa Electronic Markets provide a good way to gauge the progress of the presidential campaigns. But it seems there is a problem.

A single individual executed a massive selloff of futures that caused the probability of Bush winning to drop from a 54 percent probability of winning to a 10 percent probabiity. Fortunately, within about 15 minutes, the market returned back to it's previous level.

According to an article in National Review, the motive for this sell off is purely political:

What could have been the attacker’s motive? Obviously, it couldn’t have been to maximize profits. Even if Bush loses the election and the futures position pays off, those attacked would make more money by being patient and selling at 54 instead of 10. In fact, last Friday when the futures snapped back to 54 once the attacker was done selling, every contract he had sold at 10 showed an immediate 44 point loss. [Source]

Apparently, someone is trying to scare Bush supporters and others into thinking the campaign is in trouble. It doesn't take much imagination to come up with a suspect for this activity.

In 1992, George Soros conducted a similar attack against The Bank of England. Soros has pledged his fortune to defeating Bush so it wouldn't be surprising to see him doing this sort of thing.

Soros reminds me of one of the villains from a James Bond movie. I can picture him sitting around in his lair with some of his minions scheming about nefarious ways to defeat George Bush. Unfortunately, this isn't a movie and Soros is a real life character who should keep his nose out of American politics. I suppose it's better that he waste his time and money trying to manipulate the US Election instead of trying to invent some kind of death ray, but he does get tiresome.

Go read all the details at National Review.

Posted by jdmays at 05:05 PM | TrackBack

Our Right Honourable Friends

I'm watching the British House of Commons on C-Span. They're debating sending The Black Watch into the Sunni Triangle in order to free up US Troops to attack Fallujah. Geoff Hoon, The British Defense Secretary is doing a smashing job of presenting a case for assisting the Americans.

At first blush, the debate sounds high minded and engrossing. It's only the accent that makes it seem that way though. After listening for a while it becomes apparent that the Labour party essentially brings up the same types of issues as liberal democrats and so on throughout the entire political continuum. Ultimately, Mr. Hoon reminds the House of Commons of the intransigent nature of these violent terrorists.

It's nice to have at least a few friends in the world. (No, I don't see the acrimony that this war has caused as being any indicator of the merits of it. )

Posted by jdmays at 04:40 PM | TrackBack

October 18, 2004

One More Time

For those who still need to be reminded of the stakes in this election, the article here is a nice refresher course. ...and if that doesn't do it, go read The Invisible Man.


On a side note, I'll be travelling to a Red State for the remainder of the week and blogging will be highly dependent on time, energy, and boredom level.


Posted by jdmays at 06:28 AM | TrackBack

October 17, 2004

The Politics of Desperation

Expect John Kerry to get wilder with his comments the more the polls go the wrong direction for him. Witness Kerry's newest assertion that Bush will potentially bring back the draft when in fact Bush has flatly stated he will not bring it back.

You can also expect the liberal media elite to get even more biased. MTV's Rock The Vote is still peddling the draft scare and the NYT is using fabricated quotes to scare old people. Check out the details here.

Somehow, I imagine, it's all due to those evil republicans and their vast right wing conspiracy.

Posted by jdmays at 09:29 PM | TrackBack

A Real Army of One

A high school student, Daniel Gelertner, is a real Army of One and he has an article in the weekly standard to prove it. Go read, An Army of One and feel free to check out his blog at Republican Dan.

Posted by jdmays at 09:05 PM | TrackBack

October 14, 2004

Ministry Opportunities

I get tons of spam every day. Like most people, I delete it without bothering to open it. But when I received a piece of spam with the subject line of "Ministry Opportunities", my curiosity got the best of me. Here's what the email said,

You can become a legally ordained minister. As a Reverend, you will be authorized to perform the rites and ceremonies of the church. Perform Weddings, Funerals, Perform Baptisms, Forgiveness of Sins, Visit Correctional Facilities Want to open a church? Check out Ministry in a Box
I'm particularly interested in the "Forgiveness of Sins" thing. Wow! Sign me up now.

Posted by jdmays at 09:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Yet More Debate Fodder

Last night when Kerry was asked about the assault weapons ban he told a story ostensibly told to him by a cop who encountered a criminal with an AK-47. He gave this anecdote to illustrate why Bush should've acted to renew the ban on assault weapons. But he forgot something.

If the assault weapons ban was so great, then why did the criminal have the AK-47 in the first place?

Finally, Joe at EO provides a great analysis of the debate. I couldn't agree with him more - so go read it!


Posted by jdmays at 08:54 PM | TrackBack

October 13, 2004

Debate #3 Verdict

President Bush isn't exactly a great orator. The mangled speech gets a little tiresome. However, as he warmed up he seemed to get more fluent in the english language. A hopeful sign.

John Kerry does well in this environment. If you ignore the content of the crap he's spouting and you can actually convince yourself that he believes what he's saying, he's a good orator. His joke about "marrying up" was genuinely funny. The last question about being surrounded by "strong women" was a little weird but wrapped up the debate on a light note.

There were several softball questions thrown to John Kerry and a few "god-baiting" types of questions meant to paint Bush as some kind of fanatic. He got a few more opportunities for rebuttal. I'm not surprised.

No knockout punches were delivered on either side. Both candidates succeeded in staking out their philosophies. To the extent that they did so, the American citizen wins these debates.

My verdict: A Tie.

Post Debate Note:
So far the pundits on Fox News seem to think that Bush won this one. Go figure. If CBS is saying that this was a tie - I'll believe Bush won. Otherwise, I still think it was a tie.


Posted by jdmays at 09:38 PM | TrackBack

October 12, 2004

A Less Pitiful Death

I was just thinking about how I'd react to being taken hostage in Iraq when I saw this story by Mark Steyn, The Quality of Mersey. The column was spiked by the London Telegraph due to the fact that it deals with the recent beheading of a hostage in Iraq.

None of us can know for certain how we would behave in his circumstances, and very few of us will ever face them. But, if I had to choose in advance the very last words I’d utter in this life, “Tony Blair has not done enough for me” would not be high up on the list.
I'd like to think I'd be a difficult hostage, not prone to be compliant with my captors demands, but I'm also hoping I never have the opportunity to find out. If I'm ever in Iraq I plan on taking this little piece of advice,
And, if you don’t want to wind up in that situation, you need to pack heat and be prepared to resist at the point of abduction. I didn’t give much thought to decapitation when I was mooching round the Sunni Triangle last year, but my one rule was that I was determined not to get into a car with any of the locals and I was willing to shoot anyone who tried to force me. If you’re not, you shouldn’t be there.
An alternative to being a difficult, non-compliant hostage can be found in the old testament. When David was attempting to keep King Saul from taking his life he ended up being captured by a foreign king who also happened to be an enemy of Israel. David acted crazy. He drooled all over himself and said crazy stuff. His captors thought he was insane and released him. Would it work? Hopefully I'll never get the opportunity to find out.

Posted by jdmays at 07:12 AM | TrackBack

October 11, 2004

People's Republic of Illinois

One of my favorite objects of derision these days is the Illinois Republican Party. RCP provides an update on their choice for a candidate, "Mr. Radioactive", Alan Keyes,

This is how bad it has become: the other night at a GOP fund raising dinner Keyes caused a stir by showing up unannounced - but more importantly, I was told, uninvited. At the dinner a sitting member Congress, speaking semi-privately to the guests at one of the tables, jokingly referred to Keyes as a "lunatic." Everyone at the table laughed and shook their heads in agreement.
If the GOP feels this way about Keyes, what chance does he have for being elected? Yet, this is the person the Illinois Republican Party leadership wanted to take on Obama. Right now, Keyes is polling at 20% of the vote. Not only will he lose but he could potentially pull down many other Republican candidates in the state.

It won't be a problem for Keyes, though. He'll be winging his way back to Maryland on November 3rd and the people of Illinois will be well on their way to being able to claim that we really live in "The People's Republic of Illinois".

Posted by jdmays at 05:59 PM | TrackBack

Left Behind

There's an interesting article in USN&WR called, When Churches Head Left.

Many denominations continue to lean to the left despite shrinking membership and a decline in giving from members. The Presbyterian Church (USA) recently began divesting from companies whom they believe contribute to the "suffering of the palestinian people" in Israel. The article at US News highlights a study done by the Institute on Religion and Democracy. They found that mainline churches from 2000-2003,

of 197 human-rights criticisms by mainline churches and groups, 37 percent were aimed at Israel and 32 percent at the United States. Only 19 percent of these criticisms were directed at nations listed as "unfree" in Freedom House's respected annual listing of free, partly free, and unfree nations. So Israel was twice as likely to be hammered by the mainliners as all the unfree authoritarian nations put together. The fixation on Israel left little time and inclination for these churches to notice the most dangerous violations of human rights around the world. Not one nation bordering Israel was criticized by a single mainline church or group, the IRD report says. No criticisms at all were leveled at China, Libya, Syria, or North Korea.
The liberal tilt of these denomintions isn't new. During the cold war they were particularly adept at ignoring the repression of the Soviet Union and it's satellites while being critical of US and others' actions to rollback the iron curtain.
Of course, not all members of PC USA or other mainline churches are liberal, but a good many of them resent their money being used for overtly political purposes. Eventually, the bill for all of this political activism will come due and it won't be pretty.

Posted by jdmays at 05:56 PM | TrackBack

October 09, 2004

Who Won?

I didn't watch the debate. Instead, I was watching my team win yet another football game. I did experience a revelation while watching it though,
For a conservative, watching the news on CBS and similar outlets is like being the visiting team at a high school football game and having to listen to the home team announcer.

In case you're still wondering who won the debate, I submit as evidence, the opinion of decidedly liberal Slate magazine who thinks they know who won. I agree with them on this. Go to their article titled, Strikeout and see if you do too.

Posted by jdmays at 06:02 PM | TrackBack

October 08, 2004

Crucial Debate Issues

In tonight's debate you'll likely hear about such issues as Iraq, The War on Terror, the economy and perhaps more about the Global Test. What you won't hear are some other crucial proposals that could use some attention:

  1. Provide free broadband internet access to every man, woman and child in America.
  2. Ban speed limits on interstates.
  3. Allow drivers to fire paintballs at other drivers that annoy them.
  4. Ban all canned laughter from sitcoms
  5. Pass a Constitutional Ammendment against hiphuggers.
  6. Appoint a "speediness czar" to find out why lines don't move faster
  7. Ban the sale of Beagles. (Surely one of the stupidest animals on the face of the planet.)
  8. Force movie theaters to return the price of a movie ticket if the previews and commercials last more than 10 minutes.
  9. Imprison people who have lengthy cell phone conversations in a public place.
  10. Encourage airlines to return to the days when they only hired attractive young women to be stewardesses
  11. Make diet commercials illegal

Feel free to make other proposals. Maybe we can get Ralph Nader to take these up.

Posted by jdmays at 06:44 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 07, 2004

Gmail, Baby

Thanks to True Blue I finally have a gmail account. This is a very fortuitous event since I somehow forgot the password to my Yahoo account. Eat your hearts out wannabe geeks!

Posted by jdmays at 06:54 AM | TrackBack

Contrails

I was driving to work and running a little late. The radio was off as my mind sorted through all I wanted to accomplish that day. The sun was shining and there was a chilly crispness in the air. It was the kind of weather I would like to have all year round. As I glanced at the brilliant blue sky I noticed an airliner flying overhead. It's contrail banked sharply as it turned. That's odd, I thought, they don't usually turn that sharply. I turned on the radio to hear the news that's been recounted a million times since. An airliner had hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center, soon to be followed by another. All air traffic was being re-routed and eventually grounded.

I write this because sometimes on these beautiful fall days I find myself looking up at the sky to see if the contrails are straight.

Posted by jdmays at 01:43 AM | TrackBack

October 06, 2004

Natural Born Leader

Several in the congress and elsewhere have proposed that we eliminate the restriction on letting those born overseas become President. There seems to be quite a bit of support for this on the Republican side of the aisle. No doubt they hope to propel Ahnold to power.

One thing I'd like these Republicans to keep in mind is that expediency isn't worth sacrificing principles. (The leadership of the Illinois Republican Party should take notes here.)

Suppose you have someone who was born in another country, say Iran, and moved to the US at the age of six months. This person was then raised as an American and was elected President. As President, he's confronted with the possibility of a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Iran.

I find it hard to believe that there wouldn't be at least a little hesitation. Like it or not, our country of birth is an integral part of our identity. Let's give the founding fathers some credit for knowing what they were doing when they stipulated that a President needed to be born in the USA.

Ahnold might be a good governor but having him as president isn't worth risking the future of the republic.

Posted by jdmays at 07:45 PM | TrackBack

October 05, 2004

VP Debate Verdict?

Edwards? He looks too much like a lawyer. A little too charming, a little too slick, maybe even a little cocky. He got off to a good start but started to falter when Cheney kept hitting him with various facts and figures. Edwards used a question about Israel to get into some rambling anecdote from his vacation. He was obviously trying to run out the clock on that one. Meanwhile Cheney got some pretty good licks in on Edwards lackluster attendance in the Senate. Cheney has a matter of fact way of speaking that, in most circumstances, makes watching paint dry seem like a roller coaster ride. But in this debate it makes him look straightforward and honest - in other words not like a lawyer. It took Cheney a few minutes to warm-up but once he got going he kicked Edwards butt on many of the questions.

Hugh Hewitt offers a question by question analysis of the debate.

If have to admit, it's nice to listen to two men who actually know how to speak in real sentences as opposed to the fragmented grammar of Bush and Kerry.

Without any time for reflection, or time for listening to the various talking heads weigh in, my verdict is: Both performed respectably but Cheney wins over Edwards.

One other thing. Who's the genius that put the candidates microphones on their ties instead of their lapels?

Posted by jdmays at 09:37 PM | TrackBack

October 04, 2004

In A Perfect World

In a perfect world... I won't have to battle the multitude of pop-ups that fling themselves at my computer every time I visit Drudge. I'm almost tempted to write a perl script that sucks the headlines off his page sans pop-ups.

I realize the guy wants to make money off his site but this is ridiculous. Especially since the "University of Phoenix" ad tries to take over my computer.

Posted by jdmays at 08:57 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 03, 2004

Unalienable Rights

They could've ignored it all and lived their lives as prosperous gentleman, but instead they decided to sign. The chances of being executed as a traitor were pretty good. But they had this belief that there was something that transcended their individual lives. Not that they were in any big hurry to die, but they recognized that there are some things worth fighting for...

I'm referring to the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Without the sense that there was something larger than themselves, there never would've been a Declaration of Independence.

They came from varied backgrounds and their religious beliefs were far from homogenous. However, they all believed that there was a God and that He was somehow connected to the idea that liberty was something all people deserved,

"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." [Source]
They all believed that something greater awaited them after their mortal lives were finished. They believed that the struggle for liberty was worth the sacrifice, if necessary, of this current life. The moment they signed that sheet of paper they were rolling the dice with their lives on the line.

Without the belief in the transitory nature of this physical life, the belief that there is something worth the sacrifice, there is no sense in going to war. It is this lack of eternal perspective that causes the left to shrink from war. If you believe that current existence is all there is, then there is little reason to risk it all for liberty. Whether it's the liberty of your countrymen or liberty for those living thousands of miles away. Nothing is worth sacrificing this life.

It's no accident that the left is composed, to a large degree, of hedonists, atheists, agnostics and those who see heaven and hell as simply metaphors and not literal locations. They fight, sometimes violently, for women's rights, for "reproductive rights", and for the right to live their lives in any way they choose, but don't seem to believe in fighting for those same rights for people living in another country. By the twisted logic of the left, Saddam Hussein is somehow noble and George Bush is Hitler. (Except they wouldn't have opposed Hitler either. ) Their bottom line is that nothing is worth the sacrifice of one's life and that is why they oppose the war in Iraq.

A moral relativist might say that the Taliban and other fanatic Islamists have the same belief in a paradise after this life and it is that belief that motivates them to action. The moral relativist views all such beliefs as being hopelessly illogical, even dangerous. The moral relativist is correct, except for a certain belief system.

Islam is a religion that stresses ritual and rigid obedience as the path to heaven. Therefore, cruelty is acceptable in the pursuit of heaven. By contrast, the Judeo-Christian system is based on the idea that we must respect, even love, others. You don't have to go to the New Testament to find this sense that there is an obligation to treat others well. The 10 Commandments contain an implied sense that you should respect and even love your neighbor. As a result, you don't steal from him, covet his belongings, etc. It's one thing to pursue heaven but from a Judeo-Christian worldview it isn't okay to pursue it on the backs of others. Not even if they are unbelievers.

In the face of an increasingly post-modern age, we have large numbers of people who see no absolute sense of right and wrong, no transcendant values, and no God, just life created by accident over billions of years. Therefore, there is no reason to risk life and limb to bring liberty to another land. There is no reason to conquer evil. Evil exists only as an abstract concept determined by cultural values and by expediency.

Fortunately, there are still those who believe, as the signers of the Declaration did, that there are things more important than any single individual. When those who believe there are things worth fighting (and dying) for cease to exist then our great country will shortly thereafter cease to exist. I believe this is the issue at the heart of the presidential campaign and that the choice we make on Novemeber 2nd will, in large part, determine our future as a country.

Posted by jdmays at 09:11 PM | TrackBack
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