Saturday, April 30, 2005

Individual Rights Defined

Both Worlds has an excellent post regarding the definition of "rights". He describes how all rights are individual rights and cannot be assigned to any group of people.

An excerpt:

But there is another aspect of rights which is often neglected, especially in our age of manufactured rights. Genuine rights require only the inaction of others, not the action of others. This seems trivial but is actually crucial. Without this aspect, the whole system of rights becomes unworkable.

For example, a right to freedom of speech requires only that others don’t hinder you from speaking, it doesn’t require they give you a forum. Freedom of religion means others shouldn’t hinder you from worshiping the way you like, it doesn’t mean they must build you a church. A right to bears arms means you can own a gun, it doesn’t mean someone is obligated to buy you one.

This is perhaps the best description of the rights, as intended by our founders, as I have ever seen. If you read nothing else today, Read This!

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Friday, April 29, 2005

It's Already Started!

It didn't take long for the liberals to start picking apart President Bush's Social Security indexing proposal. What I never thought I would see, however, is the liberals siding with the RICH. Michelle Malkin covers it brilliantly today.

The problem I have with it is much different. I agree with establishing private accounts that allow us to put a portion of our Social Security contributions into private investments. I don't agree that indexing is a fair approach to the problem because the so-called "rich" are not getting the same return on their contribution. Let me make it clear from the start that I am not included in the rich category, so any comments I get on the subject should take this into consideration.

Suppose two individuals, one in the "rich" category and one in the "poor" category go to an investment advisor with the same dollar amount, make the same exact investments, and say 20 years down the line, cash in their investments at the same time. Would anyone believe it is fair, given the exact same market conditions, that the poor person receive a 20% return, while the rich person receive only 10% based solely on the net worth of each?

Of course, the percentages in the example are hypothetical. I am simply trying to make a point. I don't believe that a person should be penalized for achievement. It shouldn't matter what either person earned, the investment should pay the same return. In fact, in the private sector it does just that. It would be illegal in the private sector to pay either person less. It is based solely on the dollar amount invested. Why should the government be allowed to calculate the return differently than the private sector?

Some people will say the rich don't need the extra money, they are already rich. They may not need the money, but that's not the point. You also get into the whole game of defining what actually constitutes "rich". That's something I don't think the government should be defining. Being rich is a state of mind more than anything: the definition varies from person to person.

Social Security is in desperate need of reform not only for us, but for our children and grandchildren. I am for the President's plan to strengthen Social Security as long as the approach remains fair to all involved. Private accounts are a great idea as long as the return for all Americans is the same in proportion to the investment made.

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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Poll Results Are In

Patrick Ruffini has released the poll results for the fantasy head-to-head GOP primary pitting Rudy Giuliani against either George Allen, John McCain, or Bill Frist. The results are very interesting and the analysis is quite good. Not your run-of-the-mill web poll to be sure!

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Bin Laden Dead?

The Jawa Report says there are rumors floating around that Bin Laden is dead and that the President may have some news related to this during his Press Conference tonight. This is strictly rumor and has notbeen substantiated. Remain very skeptical!

Update: Well the presser is in the Q & A portion now and no mention of Bin Laden, dead or alive. That's pretty much what I expected. Some people may call this rumor mongering, but it was not intended as such. I just wanted my readers (few they may be) to know the rumor was out there.

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Quote of The Day!

If Air America had a normal vetting process, would Al Franken even be there?

-Brian Kilmeade
Fox and Friends
Thursday April 28, 2005

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Laura Ingraham is On The Mend

Laura Ingraham's breast cancer surgery "couldn't have gone better" according to her surgeon Dr. Katherine Alley:

Initial sentinel node testing done during surgery showed no signs of cancer involvement in the lymph nodes, and we all hope that this good news is confirmed by more in-depth tissue testing done over the next 48 hours.
Laura, here's wishing you a speedy recovery and nothing but more positive news in the days to come. You will not only be in mine, but a multitude of others, thoughts and prayers.

Also blogging on Laura's condition: Carolina Christian Conservative

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Air America Skit Crosses the Line

Via (Drudge)

The Secret Service is investigating a skit that ran during the opening minutes of the Randi Rhodes Show on Air America last night:

The red-hot rhetoric over Social Security on liberal talkradio network AIR AMERICA has caught the attention of the Secret Service, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

Government officials are reviewing a skit which aired on the network Monday evening -- a skit featuring an apparent gunshot warning to the president!

The announcer: "A spoiled child is telling us our Social Security isn't safe anymore, so he is going to fix it for us. Well, here's your answer, you ungrateful whelp: [audio sound of 4 gunshots being fired.] Just try it, you little bastard. [audio of gun being cocked]."

Michelle Malkin notes this rhetoric is nothing new for the Randi Rhodes show.

The government is taking the threat seriously:

"Even joking about shooting the president is a crime, let alone doing it on national radio... we are taking this very seriously," a government source explained.

White House Spokesman Scott McClellan called the clip "very inappropriate and over the line."

Note: Air America’s dismal ratings were released yesterday. Byron York has the scoop. If this was a ratings ploy, it is one of the sickest attempts I’ve ever seen.

Update: Democratic Underground is saying on their discussion board that the "Right Wing is Now Trying to Shut Air America Radio Down". Breaking News DU: It's not us! You are doing it just fine on your own without any help from us. Blame the right wing all you want, but if and when Air America fails, you will have no one to blame but yourselves. But you won't: You will still blame us even when the cruel truth stares back at you in the mirror.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Kennedy Marks Abu Ghraib Anniversary

(Via Little Green Footballs)

Ted Kennedy marked the anniversary of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal by uttering the word "torture" 38 times. Chrenkoff also notes some important anniversaries that Kennedy has missed in the meantime.

For the life of me I can't understand why the people of Massachussetts continue to send this man to the Senate. I use the term "man" very loosely here. A real man would stand up for his country and it's men and women in uniform instead of cutting them off at the knees whenever the opportunity presents itself. Politics used to end at the water's edge, but with Kennedy, there is no edge. He is so consumed with power he will do anything to undercut the current administration and it's policies, even when the end result is good for the country.

The people of Massachussetts must come to the realization that Kennedy is not there to represent them. He is there to represent his own interests and his own twisted idealogy.
He is bad for Massachussetts and he is bad for America.

The statement released by his office can be found here. Prepare to be disgusted!

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GOP Primary Preview?

Patrick Ruffini is conducting a poll on his blog that is worth checking out. It pits Rudy Giuliani against George Allen, Bill Frist, or John McCain in possible two-way races for the GOP nomination in '08. I don't mind telling you this poll left me in quite a quandry.

The choice was easy when it came down to a race between Giuliani and Allen. When it was between Giuliani and Frist or McCain it became more difficult. I like Giuliani in a lot of areas, but disagree with him on numerous social issues including his pro-choice stance. I won't go into any more detail about my responses here because you need to answer the questions for yourself. Needless to say, the poll provides some real problems for a true conservative such as myself, but I think everyone should check it out because it may very well come down to one of these choices when the time comes. The final results of the poll should be very interesting indeed.
(Hat Tip: Instapundit)

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Monday, April 25, 2005

Dean Doing Republicans a Favor

The Washington Post has a story today that reminds me of the old adage: "The Inmates are running the Asylum." Since Howard Dean was elevated(demoted?) to the position of Chairman of the DNC in February 2005, he has displayed a knack for inserting Tab A (his foot) into Slot B (his mouth). In a real sense, he has been helping the Republicans more than he has been helping his own party. Although he has demonstrated these tendencies in the past, they have been on parade as of late:

Since taking over as chairman of the Democratic National Committee earlier this year, the former presidential candidate has been quoted in newspapers making unusually caustic remarks about Republicans.

Dean has suggested that they are "evil." That they are "corrupt." He called them "brain-dead" during a stop in Toronto -- and while the Terri Schiavo case was still in the news. He has tagged Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) as a "liar." Last week, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that he mimicked a "drug-snorting Rush Limbaugh" at an event there.

The Democrats and the mainstream media seem to be more than willing to help Dean in his quest, intended or not, to destroy the party's image:

"You don't want a wallflower for a party chairman," one Senate Democratic aide said. Dean's remarks have not attracted much attention in the national media, in part because he has focused largely on local and regional news outlets since taking the party's helm in February.

While it may be true that "you don't want a wallflower to lead the party", you probably shouldn't have someone on the opposite extreme leading it either. The only people he is appealing to with his over-the-top rhetoric are those who are already on board and those who simply don't know any better. That isn't a very effective way to build the party structure.

As for the media, they want to push the message that "Dean's remarks have not attracted much attention in the national media." The fact is, Dean has attracted a lot of attention with his comments, but the mainstream media chooses to under report or ignore anything that casts the Democratic Party in a bad light. The news is being reported, it just isn't being reported by them.

With the advent of the internet, and more recently the blogosphere, the media does not have the same monopolistic control over information they have enjoyed in the past and as a result, the truth comes out, and it does so at lightning speed. They no longer have the luxury of deciding what they want the American public to know about, nor the ability to shape the news to fit their own agendas.

While the Democratic Party attempts to rally around Dean, the media tries to perform damage control for the party by attempting to keep the ridiculous statements he makes out of their news stories. Neither side will admit it, but it's been in the playbook for years. The difference today is that other news sources, including the internet and bloggers, are now calling their bluff.

Whether Dean realizes it or not, he is taking both the Democratic Party and the mainstream media in directions neither can afford to go, and by doing so, he is helping the Republicans far more than he is helping his own party. Here's hoping they don't figure it out!

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Sunday, April 24, 2005

James Woods Shared Flight with Atta

(Via Michelle Malkin)

You may recall in August 2001, Actor James Woods reported the suspicious behavior of four passengers to the pilot of an American Airlines flight he was on from Boston to LA. He reported to the pilot that four of the passengers were acting very strange and he was afraid they were terrorists with intentions of hijacking the flight. As it turns out, he was right. One of the passengers on his flight was none other than Mohammed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers. They were apparently making a test run and Woods intuition was right on the money. Annie Jacobsen reveals the whole story. This is apparently the first time this information has been made public. Further proof that your gut feeling is, more often than not, right!

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Someone Who Was There

I realize this post comes a few days later than it should have, but I stumbled upon this story last night and thought it was too good and too relevant not to share. Everyone knows how they felt on April 19, 1995 when they heard the news of the explosion in Oklahoma City at the Murrah Federal Building, but this post is from someone who was actually there and felt it when it happened.

Don writes:

Ten years ago today at 9:02 am I was sitting in my office in Oklahoma City when I heard an explosion that literally shook my desk. I was on the twelfth floor of a twelve story building and my first thought was that a boiler had exploded on the roof or possibly a tanker truck had exploded at street level immediately in front of my building. I would have doubted the explosion could have come from a block away and thought it impossible that it had happened four blocks away.
He provides detailed maps and photos showing where he was in relation to the explosion and his thoughts during this horrific day. Do yourself a favor and check it out and let it serve as a reminder that there is evil in the world and it must be defeated.

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Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Constitutional Option

I think I may have ruffled some feathers with my analysis of John McCain last Sunday (see John McCain-(RINO)Arizona) when I suggested that he should side with his own party and quit making decisions on judicial nominations based on what could happen in the future. I have received some feedback stating that I shouldn't want to eliminate the filibuster because I surely wouldn't be happy if the Republicans didn't have the same option, when and if, a Democratic controlled congress tries to one day "shove through" a bunch of liberal justices. This feedback misses my point entirely.

I can't understand why some people don't realize the importance of these nominees getting an up or down vote, whether they be liberal or conservative. Does anyone honestly believe that the Democrats would hesitate for a second to initiate the so-called "nuclear option" if they were in the same position? Of course they would! And they would be right to do it!

Philip Terzian in the April 25th issue of theWeekly Standard:

But let's call this "nuclear option" by its proper name: the fairness option. Senate Democrats are the ones who have, in effect, gone nuclear--requiring a supermajority of 60 senators to approve judges. Listening to Democrats, and reading editorial commentary, Mr. and Mrs. America might have gained the impression that the three-fifths Senate vote required to end debate was dictated by James Madison on his deathbed. Hardly. Cloture is a Senate rule, not a constitutional requirement. It was President Woodrow Wilson, frustrated by the Senate's indulgence of endless talk, who promoted the adoption of Rule XXII, mandating a two-thirds vote for cloture. Sixty years later, Senate Democrats, led by Robert Byrd, reduced the two-thirds requirement to three-fifths. The sacred principle of requiring 60 votes to end a filibuster is neither an ideal of the Founders nor a historic precedent: It is a procedural rule less than 30 years old. And, in the long history of the United States, filibusters have never been used by a minority systematically to block a president's judicial nominees.

I cannot understand the thinking that leads some people to believe that the majority should just sit back and let the minority run the country because they are afraid that one day we will no longer be in the majority. What is the point of winning at the ballot box if you are unwilling to further the agenda that allowed you to win in the first place?

The President of the United States is entitled to get an up or down vote on all of these judicial nominees and this process of obstruction needs to end now. A simple majority is all that is required by our constitution, so Bill Frist and the Republicans in the Senate need to do whatever it takes to get these judges up or down votes. If the Democrats get offended, so be it! There comes a time when it becomes necessary to do the right thing for the country, regardless of politics. This is one of those times.

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Arthur Chrenkoff Provides The Full Story

I am either out of energy or ideas today, but Arthur Chrenkoff is, as usual, right on the money. In his post titled "The American people need to know the full story", he breaks down the comments of Air Force General Richard B. Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, to the American Society of Newpaper Editors.

He sums up my sentiments so well on the mainstream media, as it relates to the War on Terror, that anything I could add would probably be redundant. Be sure to check out his Good news from Iraq, part 25 for information you won't find in the mainstream media.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Jeffords Out in '06

Senator Jim Jeffords will not seek re-election in 2006. An April 7 article by Valley News provides insight as to why this is not a bad thing.

Sen. Jeffords on the War in Iraq:

“I think it was all done to get oil,” Jeffords said of invading Iraq. “And the loss of life that we had, and the cost of it, was to me just a re-election move, and they're going to try to live off it. Probably start another war, wouldn't be surprised, next year. Probably in Iran.”

“Do you think that's likely?” VPR host Bob Kinzel asked.

“I probably shouldn't even talk on it, I just feel so bitter about the thinking that's gone on behind them, and the reasons they go to war and went to war,” Jeffords replied. “But I feel very strongly that they are looking ahead, and that there will be an opportunity to go into Iran and try to get their son elected president. I don't know, but you do it each time they (are) going to have a new president. I’m very, very (Jeffords chuckles). Oh, well, I better be quiet.”

Jefford's spokesman Eric Smulson's defense of Jefford's comments:

“Certainly, this is a theory that has been pretty well discussed in numerous circles, that Iran potentially will be the next battleground, and that Jeb Bush is certainly considered a possibility in '08,” Smulson said.

Iran may well end up being another front in the War on Terror and yes, Jeb Bush may consider a run for the White House in '08, but neither have been proven to be anything more than speculation, nor have they been proven to be linked to each other in any way. Only time will tell whether either will come to pass.

It is especially appalling that Sen. Jeffords and his spokesman chose to link two unrelated pieces of speculation together into a Bush War for Oil/Election scenario. Our representatives in Congress are elected to deal with real world issues not half-baked conspiracy theories. If that's all Jeffords has left in the tank, it is better for everyone if he stays home. Here's hoping the people of Vermont take this into consideration at the polls in '06 and make a change for the better.

That's My View... What's Yours?

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According to Sam Donaldson, Network News is Dead:

"God forbid, if someone shot the President, which network would you turn to? It will be cable, the Internet--something other than General Hospital being interrupted."

Increasingly, viewers will continue turning to alternative sources for everyday news as well, he said.

Tasteless example notwithstanding, I believe Donaldson is right on the money!

Also on the panel at the National Broadcasters Convention in Las Vegas were CNN political analyst Jeff Greenfield and CBS Sunday Morning's Charles Osgood. Although they weren't quite as pessimistic as Donaldson, they both left the impression that change would be required for the mainstream media to remain competitive. All were in agreement that internet bloggers have had a positive impact by causing the mainstream media to do more source and fact checking.

My personal feeling is that the network news isn't dead yet, but it is hanging on by a thread, and bloggers deserve at least some of the credit for that.

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Michael Novak paints a different picture of newly elected Pope Benedict XVI than does most of the Mainstream media:

He says in brief that the newly elected pope will be faithful to the word of Jesus Christ, opposes authoritarian forms of government, and thinks democracy is exceedingly vulnerable to the tyranny of the majority.

He also said that he will not be a clone of the old pope and that his ideas of change are more radical than those of John Paul II. He will be open to the media, but will oppose "modernizing the church to appeal to modern men and women at the expense of fidelity to the word of Jesus Christ, even if it means losing numbers."

Radical? I think not! Sounds like the Papal job description to me.

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The Governator wants to close the borders:

He said this:
"Close the borders in California and all across Mexico and in the United States," Schwarzenegger said Tuesday at the annual meeting of the Newspaper Association of America. "Because I think it is just unfair to have all those people coming across, have the borders open the way it is, and have this kind of lax situation."
And this:

"This is a very important debate. I think it's necessary that we solve the problems rather than try to run the other way. It's a hot issue," Schwarzenegger said.

To which I can say nothing but this: AMEN!

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Leave Me Alone, I'm Trying to Eat!

As if one pyramid wasn't confusing enough, the USDA now wants us to follow new nutrition guidelines containing twelve new ones!

This begs the question: If the American people won't follow guidelines listed on one single pyramid, what makes them think we would be willing to keep up with twelve?

According to The Swift Report, the USDA actually paid the public relations firm Porter Novelli $2.5 million to overhaul the old food pyramid. That's a lot of taxpayer dollars to spend to overhaul a program that never worked in the first place, not to mention the millions that will be spent each year to keep the program afloat.

Would someone please pass the individual responsibility?

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Sunday, April 17, 2005

John McCain-(RINO)Arizona

It has been well known in most circles for quite a while now, but John McCain is looking to be a Republican in Name Only, more and more everyday. McCain delivered some bad news to Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist last night according to Greg Pierce of The Washington Times, when he announced on MSNBC's Hardball that he would vote against the "nuclear option" when it comes to President Bush's appointments of judicial nominees.

McCain said:

"Look, we won't always be in the majority," Mr. McCain told host Chris Matthews. "I say to my conservative friends, some day there will be a liberal Democrat president and a liberal Democrat Congress. Why? Because history shows it goes back and forth. I don't know if it's a hundred years from now, but it will happen. And do we want a bunch of liberal judges approved by the Senate of the United States with 51 votes if the Democrats are in the majority?"
I suppose what John McCain is trying to tell us is that no party that is in power should ever act as if they are actually in power for fear of what will happen at some point in the future. The good folks in Arizona should really consider who it is they are choosing to represent their state. What McCain proposes is the perfect recipe for stagnation: Do nothing so that nothing ever gets done. This is completely absurd to me!

The "nuclear option" is, in reality, the constitutional option, which simply means that a simple majority is all that is required for the appointment of judicial nominees. As to whether we should worry about what will happen down the road as far as judicial appointments are concerned, my belief is we can't predict what the future will hold, but we can take care of the present. The Republicans are in power now and they should act like it. We can deal with a Democratic majority when, and if it occurs.

As for Senator McCain, he needs to decide exactly what it is he stands for. If he wants to stand with the party in power, then he should do so. If he wants to continue his obstructionist behavior, he should change his party affiliation and become a Democrat. If his votes in the Senate don't consistenly reflect that of his own party, does it really matter whether he calls himself a Republican or Democrat? I think not.

That's My View... What's Your's?

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

What Were They Thinking?

According to the Drudge Report earlier this afternoon, the website CafePress was selling T-shirts with the slogan "Kill Bush" along with what appeared to be a bleeding knife wound on it's front. It was so disgusting I decided I had to investigate, so I clicked on the link. At this point, the shenanigans started.

When I clicked on the link I got the message "Product Not Found". Thinking maybe the link was posted incorrectly, I decided to try again later. Ten minutes later I clicked on the very same link and it took me to a page titled "Pro Bush Gear". The classic liberal backtrack was now in full swing. Thinking I was on to something, I checked back 30 minutes later. The same link had now gone full circle: Kill Bush to Pro Bush to lame excuse/apology. That's right, the company was now issuing an apology saying the item should never have been offered in the first place. All of this within the span of one hour.

The question I have is this: Why would any retailer think that a T-shirt soliciting the murder of the President of the United States would be an appropriate item to sell on their website, whether it was seriously suggested or not? No matter what apology the folks at CafePress offer, this was inexcusable. They can't hide behind a policy statement forbidding the sale of hate material on their website, and then blame the problem on a lack of oversight. They have the responsibility of knowing the products that are being offered to their customers.

I wonder if CafePress honestly thought there would be enough customers interested in purchasing this tasteless garment to compensate them for the potential loss of business that could result from offering it in the first place. Most people regardless of political affiliation know there is a line that should never be crossed. CafePress not only crossed the line, they leaped over it! For that, they should be ashamed.

That's My View... What's Your's?

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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Too Close To Home-Revisited

You may recall back on March 19th, I published a post concerning the arrest of John Couey in Augusta, Ga for the murder of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford. It was especially distressing to me because this child murderer was caught within 15 miles of where my two young children, their mother, and I, do all of our working, playing, living, and breathing. This is our home, the place where we feel the most secure, the place where we know most everyone on a first name basis.
That said, I guess it should come as no surprise that the deja-vu that occured this afternoon was, to say the least, quite unsettling.

Just as on March 19th, I was following my usual routine, driving home from work while listening to Austin Rhodes on WGAC AM Augusta. Just as on March 19th, he interrupted a segment with breaking news that yet another murder suspect was nabbed in Augusta. This time it wasn't a child murderer, but that did little to raise my comfort level. He was still a murderer on the run, and he had made a pit stop in my own backyard.

In case you haven't been following the story, the suspect's name is Steven Stanko. He was wanted for the murder of two people, and the rape of a teenage girl near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He has stated that was in town to attend the Masters Tournament.

He was apparently turned in by a woman who had met him here and at some point realized who he was. It was reported that he had been staying with her after meeting her in a restaurant over the weekend, and had set up a later meeting with her that proved to be his undoing. The woman agreed to meet him and then contacted the Richland County Sheriff's Department, who then contacted the Horry County officials who had been searching for him. They, along with the U.S. Marshal Service were then able to close in on him.

He was nabbed coming out of the Atlanta Bread Company after eating and had previously been in the Hallmark store buying a card for his new love interest. Although these events have hit very close to home (my family and I have shopped and eaten in these very establishments), it does give me comfort to know that we have in our midst quick thinking citizens such as the woman who turned him in, and law enforcement officials who in less than a month have nabbed two dangerous individuals with no additional loss of life. They are to be commended.

I can't say that I know what has been drawing these criminals here, but through these events I have realized that the neighbors I wave to each morning, go to church with on Sunday, and do business with during the week, are the same people who are watching my back 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and keeping me safe at home. It's a good feeling to know they are here, and I hope some day to have the opportunity to return the favor.

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Monday, April 11, 2005

The Truth About Why John Kerry Lost

Once again, John Kerry is on the record citing problems with Election 2004. While speaking to the League of Women Voters crowd in Boston on Sunday, Kerry had this to say:

"Last year too many people were denied their right to vote, too many who tried to vote were intimidated."

And also this:

"Leaflets are handed out saying Democrats vote on Wednesday, Republicans vote on Tuesday. People are told in telephone calls that if you've ever had a parking ticket, you're not allowed to vote," he said.

I have a question, Just how stupid are the voters that would vote for you if they would be fooled by tactics such as this? Also, for once in your political life, would you like to offer one shred of proof that any of this actually occurred? You won't because you can't and you know it.

At this point, I feel compelled to offer you, Mr. Kerry, the real reason you lost in '04. I don't know if it comes from a sense of civic duty or from utter frustration at all of the unfounded allegations you make, but I will offer it nonetheless if you care to pay heed. The real reason you lost has everything to do with you and nothing whatsoever to do with an intimidated or tricked electorate.

Here it is Mr. Kerry, My Top Ten Reasons you lost:

  1. You ran as a pro-war, anti-war candidate (depending on the day, hour, etc. ) with a "better plan" for the War on Terror. The problem is, you never shared this magic plan with anyone.
  2. You would not release your military records (and still haven't) and therefore allowed the Swift Boat Veterens campaign to become wildly successful. Could it be that your release of these records would have proven them right?
  3. You took multiple positions on every issue. People will not stand for you if you don't stand for something.
  4. You are a liberal! Just admit it! You can't pretend you are something that you are not. Whether you want to believe it or not, a liberal agenda is not mainstream and you can't bring people around to your way of thinking by pretending to be conservative. We all know you are not.
  5. Better hair does not win elections. (Feel free to share this with your running mate, John Edwards)
  6. You threw your Vietnam medals, ribbons, someone else's medals, pocket lint, or whatever it is you choose to call it today, over the White House fence. Not very patriotic for a war hero/presidential candidate.
  7. You painted yourself as a common man when everyone knows you are an elitist. "Can I get me a huntin' license here?", didn't do it for anyone I know.
  8. Your party has been overtaken by the far left "hate" wing of the party and you went right along for the ride. Hate doesn't win elections, ideas do.
  9. You failed to unite even your own party around your candidacy. They didn't actually want you. They wanted the Dean before the screaming, but settled for a candidate called "Anybody but Bush".
  10. Teresa! Teresa! Teresa!
Mr. Kerry, you can scream "voter intimidation" all you want, but it is starting to ring very hollow. The fact of the matter is that all of the people that want to vote and are smart enough to vote, find a way to vote. You just have to find a way to deal with the fact that the only intimidation that occured in the last election was an electorate terrified to vote for you.

That's My View... What's Your's?

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Sunday, April 10, 2005

Media Bias at The Masters

I should start by saying that this blog was not initially created to be a commentary on sports related issues, but The Masters Tournament has always been, and will always be, near and dear to my heart. This is probably why the commentary on the CBS telecast of the final round, especially that of Lanny Wadkins, got under my skin.

If you don't remember, Lanny is famous in Masters lore for a backhanded stab at a bogey putt on the 9th green after missing a 4 foot par put in 1991. He missed! He had been tied for the lead after Thursday's first round. He dropped two shots when a little concentration would have probably limited the damage to one. Lanny did things his own way when he was a touring professional, and believe me, I have no problem with that, but I think you need to consider the mistakes you have made before criticizing others.

What I did have a problem with was his constant criticism of Chris DiMarco during his brilliant final round today. On the 8th hole, he and other announcers, went on and on about what DiMarco was talking to a rules official about in the fairway, suggesting that maybe he was complaining about Tiger Woods knocking his tee into the ground with his driver on the tee or about mud on the ball. Would it not have been prudent to have found out what was going on before going on a 15-20 minute speculation session? In fairness to the others, it seemed to me that Lanny was the one that kept the speculation going with others mostly responding. It turns out that DiMarco's driver head had come loose and he needed a replacement. One was delivered to him in time to tee off on the 9th hole. What a waste of airtime!

It also seems to me that the announcers, Lanny included, were practically annointing Tiger Woods as the champion after he sunk a birdie putt on No. 1. I give Tiger Woods all the credit in the world for being arguably the best golfer in modern times, but Chris DiMarco is no slouch in his own right. He has played Augusta National consistently better than most in his time there, and with a few breaks here and there, could have been playing for his second consecutive green jacket today. The constant talk about Tiger and speculation, spoken and implied, that DiMarco may not have been up for the challenge were, quite frankly, nauseating to me.

On the 15th hole, DiMarco laid up his second shot to a spot to play his third into the green. Wadkins immediately began to imply that this was a stupid move. Only Chris DiMarco knew why he chose to do this, but as it turned out he flushed his third shot to within 5 feet of the pin and sunk the putt for birdie. That certainly worked better than a backhanded stab!

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. The sports media, Lanny Wadkins included, tend to slant towards Tiger when he is in or near the lead and while it is not exactly the same as the liberal bias evidenced in the mainstream media, it is still bias, and it is wrong. In the end, Tiger Woods did win his forth Masters, but he had to do it in a one hole playoff with a talented Chris DiMarco, who stared down the world's best until the bitter end. If not for Tiger's miracle chip-in on the 16th hole, we might be calling DiMarco the champion instead.

I conclude with a quote from Bobby Jones, President in Perpetuity of the Augusta National Golf Club, as printed in the Masters Spectator Guide. After all, what are announcers but paid spectators? It is as follows:

" In golf, customs of etiquette and decorum are just as important as rules governing play. It is appropriate for spectators to applaud successful strokes in proportion to difficulty but excessive demonstrations by a player or his partisans are not proper because of the possible effect on other competitors."- Bobby Jones April 1967

I, for one, believe this should also apply equally to the broadcast booth.

That's My View... What's Yours?

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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

There's No Place Like Augusta in the Spring!

Sorry, no punditry or political meanderings today. Some days are just meant to be lived and enjoyed, and this was one of them! Enjoy my pictures taken at Augusta National today. Comments are welcome. Although we may not agree politically, I think we can all appreciate beauty when we see it. No picture can actually do Augusta National justice, it is truly breathtaking. It has to be experienced to be believed. Here's hoping the opportunity will come your way if it hasn't already.

I'm on vacation this week, but I should be back to normal by this weekend!

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Looking Toward #18 Green

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# 17 Green

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Augusta National #10

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Augusta National

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Sunday, April 03, 2005

Pope John Paul II


You leave behind a legacy that will not soon be matched. You were a shining example of what is good in the world, and what type of person we should all strive to be. You don't have to be a Catholic to appreciate the impact you have had on millions of lives during your time here on earth. You were a real force for good in a world of evil. You will be sorely missed and fondly remembered. May God Bless You as You have blessed us.

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