Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Whose side are you on?"

Team Obama has made many ridiculous and infuriating statements of late. So many to choose from to write about.

I could start with President Obama's joke in front of his Jobs and Competitiveness Council regarding his "shovel-ready" Stimulus: "Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected". Ha ha ha. Not funny. Not funny at all. People were depending on that for a recovery, and what they got was a predictable pork-spending boondoggle that only worsened our debt crisis. President Obama thinks that an aw-shucks chuckle will smooth that over.

I could comment on Michelle Obama's response in Africa about how she will handle the pressure of a campaign: "Fortunately, we have help from the media". Gee. No kidding. I could write paragraphs on how the media elite sold their journalistic soul for THE ONE in 2008. Nice to see some admission of that from the First Lady. By the way, who approved her trip to Africa again? Did we elect her to something? Does she not understand that WE ARE PAST THE DEBT CEILING? Someone please take the Queen's credit card away.

No, as infuriating as those stories are. The clear winner in the Clueless Statist verbal absurdities sweepstakes this week goes to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and her question to the U.S. Congress regarding our misadventure in Libya:

She's asking bluntly, "Whose side are you on?"
Well, that answer is easy. Not yours, Madame Secretary. Please resign, instead of asking that arrogant and unsupportable question.

Here are just some of the reasons that Hillary's question is infuriating:

1. Hillary bears substantial blame for the Libya fiasco, having joined with her ideological sisters Samantha Power and Susan Rice in talking President Obama into the Libyan intervention while he was away for Spring Break in Rio.

2. The reasons for intervening to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Benghazi were specious, and do not hold up under examination. The administration claimed that "Gadhafi might have killed nearly 700,000 people" if no one acted, as he repelled a rebellion against his rule.

White House adviser Dennis Ross was only slightly less alarmist when he reportedly cited "the real or imminent possibility that up to a 100,000 people could be massacred."...But these are outlandish scenarios that go beyond any reasonable interpretation of Gadhafi's words.
Read the article for further discussion on that point.

3. The Libyan invasion that Hillary / Team Obama blundered us into has substantially undermined NATO's existence. I remember when NATO was a viable deterrent to the very real threat of the Soviet Union - back in the days of the Cold War when I was in the military. What now, in the era after the collapse of the USSR?

Did I miss something here?

Was there an earthquake that separated Libya from Africa and floated it into the North Atlantic - where the North Atlantic Treaty Organization might have some legal authority?

Was a NATO member country attacked by Libya, triggering the defense pact?

No. Then what the hell are we/NATO doing intervening in Libya on behalf of the suspect intentions of European oil consumers and suspect UN motives?

As we have expanded outside of the stated mission to protect Benghazi and are now in an overt effort to kill a foreign leader, and as we have stalemated and are not clearly able to do that suspect task, you have irrepairably damaged the viability of NATO. For what?

4. Speaking of the UN: How dare the US commander-in-chief commit US military troops to harms way in the service of the United Nations and without getting approval from the U.S. Congress. We are not obligated by the United Nations Responsibility to Protect (R2P) program, as President Obama has cited. What an outrage to have our President seek UN approval for US military actions, only to stiff arm the duly elected representatives of the people in the Congress. Outrageous!

President Obama is now clearly in violation of the War Powers Act - which is the law of the land enacted constitutionally by Congress over a President's veto - by having troops committed to "kinetic military actions" (again, as Team Obama laughably called them) in excess of 90 days without Congressional approval. You might think that President Bush 43 was wrong to go to war in Iraq, but he at least respected the country enough to get a vote of approval from Congress before doing so.

Are you not offended by the absurd argument that Team Obama proffered to Congress as a rationale for violating the law. They are not in violation, they argued, because we are not currently engaged in "hostilities" as defined in the Act. Bullshit. We are firing missiles into a sovereign country in an effort to kill their leader! We have troops in the theater that are collecting "imminent danger pay" in Obama's not-a-war war. Is there more outrageously fallacious argument for our President to disrepect Congress - and us - with?

Obama's actions in violating the law are those of a dictator and not an elected President of the United States. Thus, I am referring to him in this period of time as "King Obama". Articles of impeachment are clearly in order.

5. The most compelling reason, Madame Secretary, that I am not on your side is:

You blundered us into a war ON THE SIDE OF AL-QAIDA!

You might have wanted to check out the "rebels" that we were assisting with NATO firepower instead of rushing ahead to get some cred on the "Arab Spring" question. It seems to have escaped your notice AS SECRETARY OF STATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA that the "rebels" in Eastern Libya have more in common with the murderous barbarians that we are fighting in hot wars throughout the mideast than with Western democracies. An inconvenient fact that you might want to have considered before you put our military on the line.

Barbarians. We are allied with barbarians. Beheading jihadist barbarians. Watch this appalling video of "rebels" beheading a Libyan soldier, if you have the courage of your convictions:


While I don't know who is behind that video, or their agenda, it tells the tale that we are allied with barbarians in Obama's Libyan war.

Mrs. Clinton, hear me. Regarding your arrogant question to our representatives in Congress "Whose side are you on" - I am not on your side.

Resign now. Take Samantha Power and Susan Rice with you. Apologize in your resignation for your illegal war.

And do it before we proceed with impeaching King Obama for his wanton violation of the law. The House has voted "NO" on Obama's Libya war, and must now proceed to impeachment.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

on Civility vs. Opposition

Question: What is a Jon Huntsman?

You might have seen Jon Huntsman throw his hat into the GOP ring for President this week, with a speech at the Statue of Liberty.

You will have seen Huntsman, if you have seen Huntsman, because the media wants you to see Huntsman. He is a media creation. A propped-up Republican that the left in America wants the GOP to choose as the nominee. They are not going to vote for him in the general election mind you, but they want the GOP to choose him because he is the current psuedo-Republican that liberals can stand.

No one in the GOP is clamoring for Jon Huntsman to run for president. Oh, we'll vote for him over Barack Obama if he is the nominee. But, he is not the GOP base's choice by any means.

Huntsman, as the left's choice for the GOP, is in other words John McCain all over again - as Michelle Malkin ably points out. Please, no.

It's worth remembering how John McCain became the GOP nominee in 2008. Open primaries. McCain was defeated in early primaries when the Democratic race was still in contention and Democrats and independents were choosing between Hillary and Barack as historic choices. But, when it became apparent that Obama had it locked up, those groups started voting in Republican primaries. And they voted for John McCain as the GOP guy that liberals love. So we got a guy that liberals and independents love but were never going to vote for in the general election. We got a loser, in other words. And he lost. The key to not doing that again is to CLOSE THE PRIMARIES to registered Republicans only. Let us alone choose our nominee, and we'll get a strong conservative who can take it to President Obama and win.

Speaking of taking it to President Obama: the reason the left-media loves Jon Huntsman is that he will attack other Republicans for being "uncivil". Just like they do. It's a partnership made in media heaven. Huntsman played this up in the speech delcaring his candidacy:

Huntsman, who only recently stepped down as President Barack Obama’s ambassador to China, decried the “corrosive” nature of 21st-century politics, saying he won’t “run down” his rivals for the GOP nomination _ or the president.

Well, isn't that nice.

Which brings me to my point: Is there a difference between incivility and opposition?


Folks, we are a two party system in America. The two parties have fundamentally different worldviews - as we can see in the current divisions on how to handle the debt ceiling. When one party is in power - as the Democrats are with the control of the Senate and the Presidency - the other party is naturally the opposition party. Their inclination is to oppose the party in power. You can do that in a civil manner.

For example, to say that Team Obama's push for ObamaCare is socialist in nature and will bankrupt the country is OPPOSITION, not incivility. To say that he has blundered us into an illegal war in Libya and is in violation of the War Powers Act is opposition not incivility.

On the other hand, to say repeatedly that Sarah Palin is stupid is incivility, not opposition. Has any politician suffered a political wilding at the hands of the media like Palin has in the last year? It's malicious. It's uncivil. Take a look at today's Huffington Post "comedy" page on Palin if you don't believe me. This is civil?

I expect all of the GOP candidates, including Huntsman, to oppose Obama's record and to do it civilly. For Jon Huntsman to say that he is the "atypical" civil guy is for him to indirectly say that the other GOP candidates are not civil. Which plays right into the media's distorted perception. Which, again, is why they like him.

Game on. It's election season. GOP - oppose the President's faulty record. I expect you to do it civilly and not tout how civil you are so the media will love you. Come November 2012 the media will not love you at all. Governor Perry had that exactly right.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

On Intelligent Design in our Public Schools

So, my friend. How are we - you and I - here together on this particular planet in this particular eon of time in the history of our universe?

Are we the product of the will and purpose of a sentient transcendent being of whatever nature? The product of design? Design being the "purposeful arrangement of parts" as micro-biologist Michael Behe has noted? Are we an outcome of Intelligent Design (ID) by a creator that is necessarily separate from the creation? Was the magical spark of life imparted? Can we detect the existence of design, and from there infer a designer?

Or, are we the product of the unguided processes of nature and nature's laws? Of matter evolving since the earliest moments of the Big Bang in a symphony of chance and necessity. Of chemicals and electricity and mutations and competition and survival and selection - leading upwards and onwards in increasily complex biodiversity? Does Darwin's Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection (TOETNS) have it essentially right?

I read and think about these things, and have for 30-plus years now, since I first walked onto a college campus in the late 70's where the Creation vs. Evolution debate was a hot topic. I think about them as a Christian man. I think about them as an educated man and a lover of science. Both.

Every now and then I will jump into an internet discussion of this, my favorite hobby. Reluctantly, though, because there are few topics that ignite passions and hostilities quicker than an Creation / Evolution debate online. It doesn't take many comments before the insults about ignorance and bias fly, rarely in a civil manner. The exception has been the Darwin threads on the best blog on the internet: Roger Ebert's Journal. I started in with the "Win Ben Stein's Mind" thread, which went on for 9 months and 2600 comments - until we broke the comment entry mechanism! Now that was fun. I enjoyed the conversation with the scientific minded from around the world, and I hung in there as the "stalwart defender of Intelligent Design" as Roger dubbed me. Big fun.

I generally enjoy the discussions with Darwinists, if you indulge me that shorthand name, though they don't seem to return the relish for discussion with ID'ers - resorting quickly as they do to taunts of ignorance and "lack of critical thinking". I find them a stubborn and intractable lot, eager to limit the discussion and parameters. They, the methodological naturalists, have after all succeeded in defining "science" (the study of the natural world) in a manner to exclude any consideration of the transcendent as out-of-bounds. A nice trick, and they've accomplished it. I have a little broader worldview, one that allows for the possibility of the transcendent.

What does it matter what I think about our origins? What does it matter what you think? We - you and I - have gone down different roads to get to our current opinions on the topic. You read Darwin and Dawkins et al and think you have it all figured out. I read those, plus Behe and Dembski and Stephen C. Meyer's excellent "Signature in the Cell" and have a different understanding of the historical sciences like evolution. So what, really?

Well, because all of the arguing comes down to this:

What shall be taught as orthodoxy on our origins in "science class"  to the young skulls full of mush in our Government schools? Secondarily, is this an issue as we choose our governing class? These are the stuff of intellectual war.

I got two bits of news in the last week that impact on that discussion:

1. From Roger Ebert's Facebook postings, a news story about GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's statement that we should teach ID in public schools:

"I support intelligent design," Bachmann told reporters in New Orleans...I would prefer that students have the ability to learn all aspects of an issue," Bachmann said. "And that's why I believe the federal government should not be involved in local education to the most minimal possible process."

My friend Mr. Ebert judged that Bachmann's statement established her "as a person who is ignorant of science."

2. Second, my son's high school counselor called to tell me that his Senior year class in BASIC programming had been cancelled because not enough kids had signed up. Tragic.

You might not understand how the second story relates to ToETNS vs. ID, so let me take that one first.

Regarding what can be taught in a public school classroom, the Darwinists are dug in. Only science, as they have defined science. The study of the natural physical world. Any discussion of the transcendent is religious in nature and is prohibited in a public school. (Except that they don't live up to that as they follow esoteric cults of mathmeticians into fantasies about infinite parallel universes that they will never know, see, touch, or measure)

Leaving aside that I see this as an effective argument against public schools, as this prohibition results in the dumbing down to the least common denominator inoffensive to the Darwinists, I think that it misses the point about a broader education.

I get that ToETNS is the current state of the art in the natural sciences. It is the best understanding of modern science as to the explosion of increasingly complex biodiversity on the planet. I have never argued on the blogs that "it is just a theory". I get that this is what they want taught in Biology classes. And Anthropolgy. And Chemistry. Fine.

As I said, Darwinists are a stubborn lot. That typically manifests in a stubborn refusal to lump all teleological arguments as "Creationism". They make no distinction between the Young Earth Creationists that I encountered back in the 70s - that believe in a 10,000 year old earth, Special Creationists who believe man was created essentially as we are now, Old Earth Creationists who make accomodations with evolution over time though guided, and finally ID theorists.

ID is a new approach, still relatively young at less than 30 years. It attempts to strip the discussion of transcendent origins down to the base question of this: if you can detect design, you can infer a designer. If a biological system can't be explained by chance or necessity, then design is an option. That's it. No denominational discussion of who the designer is. No defense of Genesis or any other religious text. Just design. I argued ID on Ebert's thread for 9 months and never quoted a scripture and never invoked Genesis. Just science, in the broader context / worldview that allows for transcendence. ID can be discussed, in my opinion, in public schools without being religious indoctrination.

What Darwinists are missing, in their stubbornness, is that their traditional disciplines of biology / chemistry / physics / anthropology are not the only disciplines that give a perspective on our origins. Really.

Oh, they are essential absolutely. And I have taken all of those courses at the university level as components of an engineering study program. I even took an advanced biology course in "Evolution" with a focus on sociobiology.

But that's not necessarily true the other way around. Have you taken all of the courses that you need to evaluate the Intelligent Design arguments? No, you haven't.

Not just courses to understand a teleological argument. Practical courses in and in informations sytems. Engineering. Computer Programming. Digital electronics. And more.

Which takes me back to my son's programming course being cancelled. I had my first programming course in BASIC at this high school in 1977. Back then we used a PDP 8E mainframe computer which had a staggering 64K of memory! We wrote programs in BASIC that were then printed out on a punched paper tape device. To run them each time we had to feed the punched paper tape back in to the teletype machine to be read and executed. You know what that taught me? When I read about the double-helix of DNA being stripped in half and read by RNA in protein production, it reminded me of that. And when I read that "biology is the study of information" and I see that the coded information in DNA that functions like a computer program and is independent of the chemistry involved - I see design. If you didn't have my experiences in programming in BASIC and Assembly level you would have a different ability to evaluate ID arguments. You'll see the ink and the paper and the glue and the bindings, but you'll never understand the purposeful intent of the words.

Which reminds me of a my favorite tweeted link from Roger Ebert to an article called "Why Johnny Can't Code". And neither will my son if I can't find alternate ways to teach him BASIC programming. And they will be less able to evaluate arguments for Intelligent Design.

Same with studying digital electronics, which I did in college and in two United States Air Force technical schools. When I read about nucleotide codons in threes being decoded and producing any of 20-plus amino acids, I think about the multiplexer circuits that I used in designing flight simulator computers during my stint as an engineering co-op student at McDonnell Douglas during some heady days in the late 70's. Do you see MUX circuits when you read about that, or just chemistry and biology?

Same when I pay attention to the CNC machine tools every day in the factory that I work in and the ladder logic programming that cuts intricate parts from lumps of metal. I see the intricate micro-machines of the human body, well described by an emerging crop of micro-biologists like Behe, and the programming that dictates their work. Do you see that design, or again do you only see undguided chemistry and biology?

I could go on, but you get my point. ToETNS vs. ID is a battleground in our public schools and our elections - and really has been since I was a student 30 years ago and before.

Michele Bachmann is right. If Darwinists succeed at controlling the curriculum, and in limiting any discussion on origins to the traditional science disciplines, and to only methodological naturalism definitions and boundaries -  then our children will be ill-served and a public-school education will be a less well-rounded education than it could be.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Biased Headline of the Week #1

I know already. Some of you don't believe in a liberal bias in the media, despite my best effort at times to point it out to you. A stubborn lot you are.

Bias is often seen most prominently in headlines. How many times have you read an article and thought wow, that content did not match the headline that drew me in to the article in the first place? Happens to me a lot. Especially in the left-media.

Let's to to the Huffington Post for an example this week. (Do I even have to make the case that HuffPo has a left-bias? No, I don't.) I clicked on my HuffPo link this week, and in all of the Sarah Palin bashing / email diving I found this headline :

"Sarah Palin emails written at an 8th grade level"

Really? That can't be good. Read: Sarah Palin is stupid.

With trepidation I click on the link and I'm sent to an article on "AOL Weird News". It's weird news that Sarah Palin writes at an 8th grade level? Why? But, there I find an expanded headline:

"Sarah Palin emails written at an 8th grade level - Better than some CEOs".

Okay, that's a different spin. Better than CEOs? What's that about?

It turns out that AOL Weird News sent samples of the Palin emails to analysts for evaluation. Did they have a GOTCHA! agenda for doing so? What would you guess given the frenzy of the Palin email search?

"I'm a centrist Democrat, and would have loved to support my hunch that Ms. Palin is illiterate," said 2tor Chief Executive Officer John Katzman.

First of all, there are no "Centrist Democrats". He' is a run of the mill Democrat, as ill informed as most Dems on the state of Palins literacy. Had he read either of Palin's books he could not hold the opinion that she is illiterate. But, he clearly hasn't read her books. Leaving me to wonder who is the illiterate one. So, did he find what he expected to find and bolster his preconceived notions about Palin?

"However, the emails say something else. Ms. Palin writes emails on her Blackberry at a grade level of 8.5."
Still, it's an 8.5 grade level. Don't we expect high school graduation level of communication? How does she compare to others tested?

Although it's like comparing apples to oranges, Payack said that famous speeches like Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was a 9.1 and Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" oration rated a 8.8 on the scale.
Okay, now we have some measure of comparison. How did the CEO who believed her illiterate score on his own work?

"... admitting that emails he wrote scored lower than Palin's on the widely used Flesch-Kincaid readability test."
Are her emails muddled? Hard to understand? Adequate for a leader? Well, the analysis shows this:

"If she were a student and showing me her work, I'd say 'It's fine, clear writing,'"
and this:

"She came in as a solid communicator," said Paul J.J. Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor."

and this:
She's very concise. She gives clear orders. Her sentences and punctuations are logical," Payack said. "She has much more of a disciplined mind than she's given credit for."
How about the author of the AOL Weird News article. He's a writer. Surely his work would score much much higher on the scale, right?

"Editor's Note: In the interest of fairness, the writer submitted his own work for scrutiny. His recent piece, on a New York man trying to row across the Atlantic Ocean is on the 8.8 grade level, Payack said."

Bottom line: The headline writer on Huffington Post wanted you to think that Sarah Palin is stupid. The CEO of the testing company wanted to confirm that she was illiterate. Neither is true, as the body of the article validates.

Watch for biased headlines this coming week. They are not hard to find.

Oh, and surely we'll be seeing Barack Obama's emails subjected to the same scrutiny by Huffington Post, right? Don't hold your breath.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Are there any veterans in Hollywood?

Pop quiz for those who have seen the Spielberg-homage now playing called "Super 8":

Who is the bad guy in the movie?

Hint: it's not the critter that escaped from the trainwreck. It's the operators of the train.

That would be the United States Air Force, front and center as the bad guy. And they are bad baddies. They don't hesitate to murder a respected scientist in cold blood, to gather people into a concentration camp on an air base, to kidnap and detain a deputy sheriff to thwart his investigation, and to have tortured the 20 foot tall misunderstood terrorist. (Bush's fault!)

Nice. Quite a message for all of the teens filing into this Summer blockbuster, some of whom might be considering military service. The military is the bad guy.

As an Air Force veteran, color me not impressed. Count me as disgusted, actually.

Are there no Air Force veterans in the leadership of Paramount Studios, or in Hollywood generally, who would stop and say that this portrayal was not positive, or a good idea? For that matter, is there anyone in Hollywood who has a positive view of the U.S. military? Apparently not, judging from the fare they typically put out.

How about Spielberg? Is he okay with the U.S. Air Force as a mudering, torturing, bad guy?

Sad. Truly sad. Paramount disgraced the uniform of the US soldier, again. Fictionally, granted. But fiction with an agenda.

Hollywood heads further down the slope of destruction of our country's values.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Political Matrix on a Napkin

Could you give me a solid definition of the words LIBERAL and CONSERVATIVE, if I put you on the spot?

Let's define those political labels here at the outset, shall we. I'll go first with how I see them. Feel free to chime and and agree or disagree.

Today's terms: Liberal, Conservative, and Libertarian.

One caveat: I'm not presenting an academic treatise on these terms today. This is a blog. I'm in my basement multi-tasking and watching "Ice Road Truckers" at midnight. Let's keep it blog simple.

I am a political conservative. I understand and own that label, though people often call me that as an epithet.

I hang out online primarily with people that I see as political liberals, strangely enough. I find that many on that side of the spectrum do not like to be called that, and prefer "moderate" or such. My friend Nell Minnow often chastises me for using "liberal" in a blanket and derogatory sense. Guilty, I'm afraid.

So, let's take a few moments and define those terms.

Better yet, let's do so in a positive sense all around in an effort to add to the civility of political online debate.

Every now and then I ask people during a meal this question: How do you define Liberal and Conservative? What I usually get is some variant of this:

Liberal: Fun-loving, wanting to go forward, wanting to help, etc.

Conservative: Stuffy, stuck in the past, wanting to hang on to traditions

Hmmm. Those are close to dictionary definitions. Let's look at Webster definitions:

Liberal: Marked by generosity. Not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms.

Conservative: Marked by moderation or caution. Tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions

Hmmm again. If you are a young person in high school or college and you were to read those definitions you would likely say sign me up to be a liberal! Who wants to be stuffy and cautious? Well, you might when you're 51 and you're responsible for the security and well being of three other human beings in your family.

I've thought a lot about those definitions over the years. I don't agree with them. Not only because I know conservatives that are very generous, for example, but because I've not found them to be helpful in defining political thought and policy.

Politics is not often a decision between stuffy or fun. Not often a decision between going "forward" - as "progressives" are likely to argue - or backwards. Backwards to where? Forwards to tax rates that we had before Bush?

Politics is about the size and role of government, and has been since our founding. Is the government the best expression of our desire to take care of each other, and should therefore be the largest that it needs to be? Or, is government a necessary evil and it should be a limited "safety net" so that we can best individually pursue life and liberty unhindered? Those are liberal and conservative worldviews, at their core.

Moreover, are all people neatly label-able across the whole spectrum of issues? Not necessarily. There are issues that we broadly group as either "economic" issues (taxes, national debt, spending) or "social" issues (abortion, gay marriage, immigration, etc.). Does everyone break down neatly into two camps across the spectrum of issues?

Are you an economic Liberal? You are if see government as a positive collective vehicle for providing for our basic needs for health and security. Government ensures economic justice.

Are you an economic Conservative? You are if you believe in limited government spending so that you have the resources to provide for each other through family and church and private charity. Government is for infrastructure and a safety net.

Are you a social Liberal? Pro-choice. Favor same-sex marriage. Favor borderless immigration of peoples. etc.

Are you a social Conservative? Pro-Life. Traditional definitions of marriage. Border security. etc.

Hang on, though. What if you want less government but are pro-choice? What are you then?

At this point in a discussion, I usually break out a napkin and draw political matrix for my discussion partner. I learned it a long time ago from some political book or other, and it goes like this:

1. Let's draw ourself a Political Matrix to start out with. Two by Two square, labeled as such:

2. Let's label the horizontal squares as "Social issues", and the vertical squares as "Economic Issues"

3. On each axis, let's give ourself one square as "Liberal" and one square as "Conservative"

Now we have our matrix. Let's fill it in simply, as follows:

4. If you find yourself to be liberal on social issues AND liberal on economic issues, you are a political LIBERAL. Find that intersection in the matrix and fill it in like this:

5. If you find yourself to be conservative on social issues AND conservative on economic issues, you are a political CONSERVATIVE. Find that intersection in the matrix and fill it in like this:

That was easy. Now it gets tricky.

6. If you find yourself to be liberal on social issues BUT conservative on economic issues, you are a political LIBERTARIAN. Find that intersection in the matrix and fill it in like this.

7 Lastly, if you find yourself to be a conservative on social issues BUT a liberal on economic issues - YOU DON'T EXIST! I've never met one anyway. And since you don't exist and are not reading this blog I'll finish the matrix like this:

It takes a lot of study and reflection to be able to define the terms liberal and conservative usefully in a political context.

It takes even more effort to define your political opposites in a positive context. It takes a lot, for example, for me as a Conservative to be able to write that "Liberals believe that government is the best vehicle and expression of our collective desire to care for each other". But, it's useful and it helps you ratchet back and to keep it civil if you can see their viewpoint in a positive light.

It doesn't mean you have to agree with their viewpoints. It just helps you to keep from seeing each other as evil. And that's a good thing.

Try it. Take a moment and try to describe positively the major worldview of your ideological polar opposites. Let me know how it goes.

Thoughts on these terms? Leave a comment. Let's discuss, civilly.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Media Goes on Search and Destroy Mission

The major media failed to take notice that it was a bad week for them last week.

They were badly wrong on the Sarah Palin / Paul Revere story last week. They rushed into a blood-in-the-water feeding frenzy and pushed the Sarah-is-Stupid meme hard, getting ahead of the facts - which turned out to be that Palin was actually historically accurate. Paul Revere, as it turns out, did warn the British Regulars while he was detained that night that the militia was aroused and waiting. The Regulars did have orders to seize the patriot's weapons. There were shots and bells from those Revere had alarmed. Palin had taken the tour, listened, and got her facts essentially right - if a little inartful.

They were badly wrong on the Breitbart / Weiner story. Again, the left media rushed into a feeding frenzy, quite sure that Andrew Breitbart had faked a story and hacked the Congressman's Twitter feed, and setup one of their heroes. How dare he? What? He didn't. Weiner was lying? Well, Breitbart's still evil.

This would be the natural place for left-media types to step back and gut check their bias. You would think. How did they get the two stories so wrong? Bias is the unadvoidable answer. They had their heroes and villans predetermined and fit their stories to those memes before the facts were out.

Not only was their no gut check, certainly no apologies, but the major media stepped their malfeasance up a considerably despicable notch. They went on a search-and-destroy mission on the 24,000 emails that the State of Alaska released on Friday from Governor Sarah Palin.

The gloves came off. The masks dropped. Partisan game on. How else can you describe both the Washington Post and the New York Times advertising for volunteers to comb through the emails for details of interest? Why don't they just say "help us find dirt" or "do our slander for us"? Surely those volunteers and all of the news organizations that showed up for their copies of the emails will be fair and balanced? Neutral? Ah, I crack myself up just saying that.

It's not like there are important news stories to report on, like say China dumping 97% of their US securities and asserting that the US is "already defaulting" on our debt. That could have important implications, don't you think. But hey, let's get right on those Palin emails.

Yahoo News headline this morning: "So far, no bombshells in Palin emails".

Really? That's a news headlines? You were hoping for bombshells, and are disappointed not to find them?

How about this: "Search of emails shows Palin to be competent and engaged Govenor"?

I used the term search-and-destroy earlier. If you grew up in the Vietnam era, as I did, you know that term. It's an aggressive brutal warfare tactic. Drop in troops, find the enemy, destroy them, and leave the battlefield. It's not an exact analogy of course to the media's actions this week, but it expresses the change in media tactics regarding Palin and other prominent conservatives. It's moved past negative coverage. It's moved past relentless snark. It's moved to character assassination, as this band of left-partisans scours Palins emails, hoping publicly to find damaging tidbits. It's repulsive.

Let me just recap for the left partisans your bad behavior:

- You pushed too hard in the 2008 election cycle, savaging Sarah Palin as a Vice-Presidential candidate.

- You pushed too hard in the 2010 election cycle, relentlessly slandering the good people showing up for Tea Party rallies - me included - as ignorant racists.

- You pushed too hard in the immediate aftermath of the Tuscon shooting of Congresswoman Giffords, with slanderous accusations that conservatives had responsibility - when the shootings were the work of a deranged individual with no political motive.

- You pushed too hard with the Sarah-is-Stupid meme in the wake of her "blood libel" statement in her video response to the Tuscon shootings. You maliciously accused her of blood-on-her-hands culpability in a heinous mass murder for God's sake. Blood libel was a perfectly reasonable term for that, as verified by prominent rabbis and scholars. But you never apologized and push to this day.

- You pushed too hard with the media wilding on Palin and Breitbart last week, and you weren't even right about it. But you never stop pushing.

And you're way out of bounds with this Palin email search and destroy mission.

It's clear that the 2012 election cycle is going to be a nasty political war. It's clear that the major media sources have already chose sides and methods. Slander of conservatives. Protection and promotion of Democrat liberals.

Well, you're not the only source of information in town anymore. There are conservatives with a voice. And we're going to call you on it every step of the way.


Well, this is a familiar feeling. Starting a new blog, with all of the creative energy that it entails.

Been here for a long time, done that several times before.

I started my first blog on Blogger one energetic night in November of 2003. There was a lot going on back then, and I had a lot to say - which was the problem.

I had this habit, you see, of opining on partisan politics. A habit my wife did not share, or much appreciate for that matter. Lacking her as an outlet, I would get pent up on political expression. Which would lead to a strongly worded Letter to the Editor in our local newspaper every 3 months or so. Which would lead to the following exasperated review from the Mrs. : "Randy, I have to live in this town!"

So, Partisan NewsJunkie was born on blogger on one of those nights. It was anonymous political venting, with me posting as "Partisan". I didn't need any readers. I just needed to vent political thought out of my head so I could go on with my day. It was a useful blog and quite a learning experience. I posted over 300 articles over there, and over all I think it's a pretty good body of work.

I've had several topical anonymous blogs since then. Spreading myself too thin to be focused or effective. Developing my voice.

I've come into my own in the last couple of years in the blogging / social media spheres - and under my real name. The primary impetus for that came from being a frequent contributing commenter on the very excellent Roger Ebert's Journal. I'm a little bit of an outsider there. Although I've been welcomed graciously by Roger, I find myself doing battle with my cultural and political opposites on a daily basis. It's been fun. Great fun, in fact.

But, it's time for me to be more focused on my own sites.

I've decided to focus down on three blogs, and the matching social media outlets.

One Dad blog - mostly private. Investing my guidance and hopes in my sons.

One Photography / Film blog and it's accompanying photo website, Lick Creek Photography - which is my real passion. There are a lot of fine photo galleries for you to peruse there. Spend some time. Enjoy. Leave a comment.

And one political / life blog, this one, which matches my Twitter (@rmasters78) and Facebook (rmasters78) account.

So, welcome to this blog. I'll have a lot to say on civil society and politics. I'll say it with my strong opinion, skewed right / conservative / Tea Party by my life's experiences and education. I have a voice, a persona, and this is the place for it. I look forward to expressing myself in a new focused social media manner, and to interacting with your comments. Don't be shy!

Let's get re-started!