Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tag, I'm It!

In accepting Simon's tag, I'll give it a go. I'm in my computer room, so I'll pick the closest book I see on that bookshelf, which is Faulkner's Light in August:

He said, "Have you told her?"

The woman sat on the bed. She seemed to sink slowly back upon it, clutching the garment, watching him, her face blanched.

Faulkner is one of my favorites.

Now, the tagging of five others could be a problem, seeing as I'm not sure they'd even notice, let alone respond (I don't have that many blogger connections). I could of course double-tag my fellow co-bloggers, but I can try and tag the crew at Centerfield (you post over there now, don't you, Max?, Shay over at Booker Rising, Jon Swift, the Walrus, and in the small chance she reads this, Althouse.

OK, then.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Real Reason Not to Vote For Mike Huckabee

As we all know, Mike Huckabee's campaign has managed to reach a point that none of us thought was possible. He was considered a hopeless candidate months ago, and yet has managed to still remain a serious contender for the GOP nomination. I've followed with morbid fascination the media hype factory that has been generated around the former Governor of Arkansas. It seems that the many in the media establishment have warmed up this guy, totally ignoring his wholly problematic policy positions, because he's likeable, and a somewhat laid back guy. I've even caught myself almost falling for it in my weaker moments. I no longer have that problem, for reasons I'll discuss in a second. Many on the Right want the Huckabus stopped, because they feel he's not sufficiently conservative. To the right-wing GOP base, and because of his quasi-populist appeals, Huckabee my appear to be somewhat liberal, but to most of the country he is pretty darn conservative. He is a solid socon, which explains his support among many evangelicals, but many Republicans feel he's soft on immigration, taxes, and foreign policy. Many moderates are turned off my his social conservatism.

One can oppose Huckabee because he's too far to the right. Righties will oppose him because of his slam against Bush, or his raising taxes. One can oppose him for his idiotic FairTax proposal, or his flip-flops on immigration, or his appeals to quasi-theocracy. For my money, his hard-right social policies, and his pretty right policies elsewhere make it impossible for me to vote for him (even if I wasn't a Democrat), even if he is likeable.

If those aren't enough for you, Christopher Hitchens gives us the real reason not to even consider voting for Huckabee, and laments the media's refusal to highlight it.

Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath Ledger Dead At 28

In case you haven't heard, tragic news as actor Heath Ledger has died, at the young age of 28, apparently from a drug overdose. He was one of my favorite actors, and I was looking forward to seeing him in The Dark Knight. More importantly, a young life has been tragically snuffed out all too soon. God rest his soul.

thanks to SF for the link

Friday, January 18, 2008

And Then There's This...

Longtime Clinton foe Christopher Hitchens presents his case against continuing the Clinton dynasty. There's a lot of predictable anti-Clinton hysteria in here, but he's not entirely off base:

During the Senate debate on the intervention in Iraq, Sen. Clinton made considerable use of her background and "experience" to argue that, yes, Saddam Hussein was indeed a threat. She did not argue so much from the position adopted by the Bush administration as she emphasized the stand taken, by both her husband and Al Gore, when they were in office, to the effect that another and final confrontation with the Baathist regime was more or less inevitable. Now, it does not especially matter whether you agree or agreed with her about this (as I, for once, do and did). What does matter is that she has since altered her position and attempted, with her husband's help, to make people forget that she ever held it. And this, on a grave matter of national honor and security, merely to influence her short-term standing in the Iowa caucuses.

Good point. What gives, Mrs. Clinton?

UPDATE: Timothy Noah explains why her claim as the experience candidate is kinda bogus.

Obama and...Ronald Reagan!?

Check this out:


UPDATE: Kranky Kritter over at Centerfield provides some much needed context. At the end of the day, Obama name-dropping Reagan isn't a bad thing per se. Reagan did make fundamental changes (many positive, some not so much), and even the most hardened lefties have to recognize that the Reagan era wasn't that bad, and that Reagan did many good things.

I must say though, that I think he's being somewhat unfair to Clinton.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

"We have a heritage of free speech that we inherited from Great Britain that goes back to the year 1215 and the Magna Carta."

Ezra Levant, on his interrogation before the Canadian government, about his role in publishing those Danish cartoons. You have to read this.

HT: Althouse

The Writer's Strike and Iraq

On Bill Maher's show Friday night (his first show back sans writers), he offered up an interesting thought at the end of the show. He made a brief comment about the strike, talking about how important his writers were, and the importance of unions, but questioning certain aspects of the strike (timing, necessity, etc). He then compared what he saw as the prevailing attitude among many in Hollywood about the strike, and comapred it to the debate over Iraq, in that many had their patriotism questioned for opposing the war, and he saw a witch-hunt atmosphere brewing around the strike.

An interesting discussion to have, regardless of one's view of the war or the writer's strike, and I'm interested in hearing thoughts (particularly yours, Max) on this. I feel the need to point out though, that if any real discussion like this is to happen, particularly among liberals, then I think an issue that needs to be addressed is the way liberals who support the war are treated, by those that don't.

cross-posted from Stubborn Facts.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Professor Althouse!

It was Ann Althouse's birthday yesterday, and as she is one of my favorite bloggers, I'm more than happy to keep this linking ball rolling. So, keeping with tradition, (and you too, Simon), I'll add three of my favorite links here, here, and here. Admittedly, the third one I chose more for the passionate discussion in the comments that it generated.

Keep up the good work, Professor.

UPDATE: And as to the second choice, it seems I'm not the only one.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

From the Sanity File...

Juliette Ochieng, AKA Baldilocks, is no fan of Obama, but she nonetheless feels the need to rebuke her fellow conservatives, regarding their use of the Kenya crisis, to attack Obama:

Had any of you even heard of the Luo before Obama stepped into the picture? Had you heard of the Gikuyu/Kikuyu, the Luhya, the Kalenjin before a few weeks ago? What does GEMA stand for? When did Kenya get its independence? Who were its colonial masters? How many presidents has Kenya had? What are their names? Who were the Mau-Mau? What are the Mungiki? Don't look at Wikipedia. Do you know and of this information and if so, do you know how to interpret it? Do you know how all it fits into the conflict at hand in Kenya? Or have you discarded/disregarded it because it doesn't fit into the Narrative? Would you even give a f**k about hundreds of dead Kenyans if you couldn't find a way to spin it into a war between Islam and Christianity? If not, stop making yourselves and the Right look like ghouls / fools."


HT: Booker Rising

300 Posts!!

It took me a while, but I've finally hit 300 posts, and this post is number 301. I'm trying to maintain consistent blogging, but things come up, you understand.

In the next few days I've finally going to stop being lazy and get a site counter. I've always self-deprecatingly asserted that I wasn't one of those blogs with millions of visitors, but for all I know, I could be getting a million hits a day (although wouldn't Google and Technorati reflect that?). Perhaps millions would come, but they think to themselves, "this guy doesn't even have a site counter!? Three years and no site counter!? Who does he think he is? Does he not care? Is he so humble, that he doesn't care how many people show up, or is he so full of himself, that he assumes that millions must come, drawn by his implicit greatness? Screw that! When he gets a site counter, then I'll stick around."

Or not. Anyway, in the next few days. To the loyal readers who do stick around, thanks again, and have a great year.

The Not-so-Long Story of My Experience with Democratic Underground

Per Pat's suggestion, and recent events, I've finally decided to expound on something I've been thinking about posting on for a while. With the far-left nutroots in a lunatic fever, there have been moments when I've reflected on my time with Democratic Underground. In case you haven't gathered the point yet, let me spell it out: I used to be a member of Democratic Underground.

Now, many will read this and be shocked. Hold on a second. Put down your keyboards, and don't change your blogrolls yet. I can explain:

Actually, the story really isn't that long. The fact is, in 2001, I was looking through liberal websites, and I came across DU. I knew even then that I was more moderate than most members (after all, the board was created out of the fury of Bush v. Gore), but I found that at least in the beginning, that wasn't a big deal. I could have thoughtful discussions with most people, and as long as I stayed away from certain topics, I'd be fine, and for the most part, I was. I comforted myself with the fact that comparable message boards on the right, like Free Republic, for instance, were worse. After all, they didn't even allow liberals into their site.

As I said, all was basically well on the site. I didn't post as frequently as others, but I had a pretty good relationship. Even after 9/11, things were pretty sane. Don't get me wrong, the antiwar and anti-Bush elements were out in force, but it wasn't as if intelligent conversations weren't possible.

Then came the war in Iraq, and everything changed. Now perhaps, I was just naive, and just didn't realize how extreme the site had already been. As I see it, as the war marched on, the anti-war Left began taking control of the whole place. A pro-war liberal like myself was pretty lonely. I even changed my username to reflect my lone wolf status. I must tell you, trying to argue war policy with the Reflexively Anti-War Left is like arguing with a brick wall. Sure the righties were just as bad, but that wasn't the point. It had gotten to the point where even non-foreign policy discussions were turning into discussions about Iraq. Towards the end of my tenure, I totally avoided most poilitical discussions, and stuck to the Lounge (the non-political board), and doing polls.

By late 2004, I had discovered the blogosphere, so I started broadening my options. I was looking for a spot on the web that didn't see American foreign policy as evil and imperialistic, but not done as if produced out of the Bush White House. I created my own blog in Feb. of 2005, and later, I discovered great blogs, center, left, and even right.

Another confession: I donated to DU twice. Keep in mind that for a long time, I felt that DU was one of the few places left-of-center online that I could have discussions. This was before the blogosphere. Heck, I even got an article published. Not my best work, by any stretch, but I'm not ashamed of it.

To make a long story short, it had gotten to the point where I couldn't hang there any longer, and I left. No scathing farewell posts. No hate mail. I just left, and never looked back. As it stands now, DU is leading the moonbat charge.

If I went back, chances are I could have an intelligent discussion, assuming it had nothing to do with Iraq, Bush, Hillary Clinton, Joe Lieberman, the DLC, or General Petraeus, et al. I'd rather not. Like I said, I've moved up, and moved on.

OK, I'm done. Like I said, not that long.

P.S. In the nigh-impposible chance that DU'ers might read this, know this: I don't hate you, but you guys decided a long time ago to turn that message board into a hotbed of moonbat hysteria, and I'm just not into that.

cross posted from Stubborn Facts

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!!

Well, what's left of it. I hope everyone had a great day, and didn't get too drunk.