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November 30, 2004

Potty Training IV « Kidblogging »

I lied. De-link me if you feel you must.

She neglected to tell me that she pooped, and once I started changing her, it became obvious that she had peed beforehand.

Well, I'd been told that potty training for bowel movements is more difficult than urination, and one thing at a time, so I didn't let it bother me, and since she had done so well with peeing throughout the day, I didn't spank her.

In fact, unless she starts showing egregious lack of concern over peeing in her training pants, I don't think I'm going to use the negative again; that was just to get her attention and let her know there can be more serious consequences other than just "not getting a candy", and it seemed to work. She went again right before bed, so I'm hoping she'll wake up dry.

When she wakes up, she's too groggy and grumpy and unhappy to want to sit on her potty chair, although I try each day. So there are some times she has asylum. I'm working on expanding the range of success at this point.

Okay, this should do it for a few days. Hopefully, I'll have nothing to add until I can announce that she's fully off daipers. She has about 20 left, and I'm hoping I won't ever have to buy daipers ever again!

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Posted by Nathan at 08:53 PM | Comments (2)
» Your Daily Prescott links with: Potty Training Blogging
Potty Training III « Kidblogging »

Tonight she said she needed to "go make yellow water", and did so. No soaked clothes followed by a spat first, this time.
With luck, this may be the last time I need to blog about this.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:43 PM | Comments (0)
» Your Daily Prescott links with: Potty Training Blogging
My Kids Will Be Better Musicians Than I Was/Am « Music/Guitar »

At least, this should help.


Scientists have discovered an unusual tip for parents who want their little darlings to grow up to be musical geniuses - teach them Mandarin Chinese.

Psychologists at the University of California in San Diego found that children who learnt Mandarin as babies were far more likely to have perfect pitch - the ability to name or sing a musical note at will - than those raised to speak English.

Perfect pitch, though common among the great composers, is extremely rare in Europe and the US, where just one in 10,000 is thought to have the skill.

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Posted by Nathan at 04:04 PM | Comments (0)
Potty Training II « Kidblogging »

My daughter peed in her training pants again. That got another spat on the bottom, which led to another 20-minute crying jag, which she stopped long enough to tell me she had to go potty. She sat there for about 10 minutes.

I asked her if she had gone potty, she said no...

I asked her if she was done, she said no...

I came back after 3 minutes, and she had a big smile and told me she went potty! I checked, and sure enough!

So more exuberant praise, a big hug, excited cries of "Good Job!", and I got down the candy bowl to let her choose a candy. She seemed to have forgotten the spank, and the joy of having done something right was what she seemed to retain from the deal.

I will probably continue the spat for a few days, until she tells me she has to go potty before getting spanked. Then we'll just go with the reward and big production, and slowly trail that off over the following week.

This is rather difficult, you know? I'd held out hope that her waiting so long to learn might make the process go more quickly once started, but that does not seem to be the case.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:32 AM | Comments (10)
» Your Daily Prescott links with: Potty Training Blogging
When You Don't Have Reality TV to Argue Over... « Link O' Admiration » find other things, I guess.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:23 AM | Comments (0)
Alert « Link O' Admiration »

Lots of good stuff in today's Impromptus by Jay Nordlinger.

No, I don't think I'll give you an excerpt today. There's too much that's good, and I'd ruin some of his set-ups if I excerpted.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:08 AM | Comments (0)
"Racist": the New McCarthyism « Media Distortions »

By David Horowitz.


The charge of racism is a toxic accusation in our culture more damaging than the charge of "Communism" at the height of the McCarthy era. It is the contemporary version of the witch-hunt and the fact that its stigma can be applied so casually by leftists to conservatives in their line of fire reflects how instinctive this enterprise is to people who think of themselves as “liberals.” The witch-hunt may even be said to be instinctive to progressives who regard themselves as the avatars of human decency and reason, the rest us as turn-back-the-clock reactionaries and … well, racists.

Is there a conservative figure in our culture who has not been so tarred? Rep. Charles Rangel has described anyone who supports tax cuts as a closet Kluxer. With even more subtlety, Rep. John Lewis has called supporters of welfare reform “Nazis.” In the 2000 election, Democrats tarred George Bush as a lyncher.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:54 AM | Comments (1)

November 29, 2004

Potty Training « Kidblogging »

My 3 year 2 month-old daughter really doesn't seem to want to potty train. She doesn't seem to mind, or even notice having a wet daiper. Often I tell her

We've tried pull-ups. The ladies at daycare said training pants are so uncomfortable when wet she'd train herself. So we bought some, and I spent all weekend taking her to the potty every 30 minutes, and could never catch her having to pee. We'd sit there for 10 minutes, stand up...and 15 minutes later she'd be soaking.

The worst was when she pooped first, and since training pants don't absorb as much liquid, she made soup. That squirted out*. Yuck.

So Sunday, I bit the bullet and told her that I would spank her if she peed in her panties. She did, and got a swat, just enough to make it sting. She cried for 20 minutes (she's pretty sensitive), then later, either while she took a nap or as she was waking up, she soaked her pants again, so she got another swat. She cried again for 20 minutes. Then while she was sitting with me watching TV, she looked at me and said, "Daddy, I need to go potty."

I sat her on the toilet, and sure enough, she went. So I finally got to praise her excessively, and gave her some candy, and hugged her, and made a big deal out of it.

But she wouldn't sit on the toilet this morning, but then she's pretty grumpy when she's half-awake. I'll find out how she did at daycare when I pick her up. I truly hope we turned a corner on this...

So I've been considering starting a new group blog called Mr. Mom Blog, but I'm too lazy. I also worry because just like a man cannot serve two masters, bloggers can't really maintaint two blogs very easily, for the same reasons. So if someone starts a Mr. Mom Blog, I'll join....

Read More "Potty Training" »

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Posted by Nathan at 02:44 PM | Comments (8)
» Your Daily Prescott links with: Potty Training Blogging
WTF, Over? « Blogging »

I was up to around #500 and solidly a Large Mammal in the Ecosystem. Now I've plunged to Marauding Marsupial and am way above #1000.

Was the Large Mammal ranking erroneous, or the current Marauding Marsupial ranking? I mean, NZ Bear says that he's debugging, but he didn't say which way the problem fell....

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Posted by Nathan at 09:32 AM | Comments (2)
Pursue Happiness--Vote Republican! « Social Issues »

There's a very nice article here on the Opinion Journal.

Some of the quotable coolness:

Liberals see themselves as self appointed Robin Hoods [taking from the rich and giving to the poor], but they are seen by red-county Americans as taking from the productive and giving to the indolent.

I know you know who Robin Hood was, but I like the parallel construction, so I added in the emphasis of "taking from...and giving to..."

[Liberals] were wrong about communism (it was an economic failure), wrong about socialism (it didn't work either), wrong about the welfare state, wrong about high taxes and government regulation of economic matters.
Or in the words of former teachers union president Keith Geiger, why should some children be allowed to "escape" from bad public schools?
Unions. Natch.
"Not happiness stamps; not a department of happiness; not therapy for happiness. Pursuit."

Nice. Read the whole thing to get it all in context.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:48 AM | Comments (0)
The Chiefs Lose Again! « Kansas City Chiefs »

Maybe I should just change the category of these posts to "The Chiefs Lose Again!" [grin]

Okay, here's some thoughts on the loss:

Read More "The Chiefs Lose Again!" »

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November 28, 2004

Breaking News « Stuff Important to Me »

Well, not really...

I just found out that John Ratzenberger, the only man to have a voice part in every Pixar Studios full-length motion picture, who also got to have a minor speaking part in perhaps the greatest movie of all time, The Empire Strikes Back, on top of everything else, also had a minor speaking role in A Bridge Too Far.

I was watching the credits to see if the Captain who nearly dies was the guy from Eddie and the Cruisers, (he wasn't), and there pops up the name John Ratzenberger. Sheesh!

So I went back to the IMDB to see what other cool stuff he's been in... ...and that was about it. He was a "Controller" in both Superman I and II. He was in Outland and Firefox and Gandhi, which are all cool, I guess.

I'm just wondering if maybe we should have done "6 degerees of John Ratzenberger" instead of Kevin Bacon. Which, if you didn't know, there is at least one direct link between you know which movie?

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November 27, 2004

Post of Duality « Link O' Admiration »

There's some good thinking going on over at the Wandering Mind. Alex may end up on my blogroll soon.

In particular, check out this post on the political divide, and this related post from two days earlier. Maybe that's not the best order to read them in, but that's how I read them, so if you want to read them in the order they were written, be my guest. Or, er, Alex's, actually.

I will say that to me, Alex seems to be riding the fence a little too much, being too willing to be even-handed in his treatment of both sides. You can draw your own conclusions about that. In any case, they are well-written pieces with some good thought behind them. Enjoy!

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Posted by Nathan at 10:25 PM | Comments (8)

November 26, 2004

November 25, 2004

Last Post for a Few Days on Religion in Government « Social Issues »

Europe is having problems with this issue, too.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:52 PM | Comments (10)
Time Out « Blogging »

I'm calling a debate time-out so I can cook, watch football, eat, and give thanks to God for all we have, including this blog with which I can smite the Godless Heathens (okay, the last part was a joke).

Happy Thanksgiving, All!

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Posted by Nathan at 11:16 AM | Comments (3)
» The LLama Butchers links with: Happy Thanksgiving from the LLamabutchers!
In A Nutshell « Social Issues »

It bothers me that if the overall thrust of the secularization move gets its way, the Peanuts Christmas and Thanksgiving Specials will have to be banned, censored, or modified.

Thus, it bothers me that Christians are supposed to "turn the channel" if we don't want our children exposed to Janet Jackson's breats or Howard Stern's obscenities, but atheists aren't expected to be able to deal with the horror of seeing a Nativity Scene on City Hall grounds or a cross on the Los Angeles County seal.

"Let's Go Kill Cops" in school is protected speech. "Let's Pray", in school, isn't. Which is absolutely ridiculous.

I am attempting to return some common sense to society.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:19 AM | Comments (15)
Problems Trying to Discuss Weight Issues in Blog Comments « Stuff Important to Me »

I have really appreciated the discussion going on in comments over the secularization of our government.

However, there have been some problems in expressing views from both sides.

Here's the gist of what I just posted in the comments of the previous post:

...same words, different understandings...

Never underestimate the possibility that we are just talking past each other.

That goes for all four of us.

I'm kind of carrying on three slightly different conversations with 3 different people on slightly different aspects of the situation. Forgive me if I get confused. I just got finished typing a long response to you, Suzie, and then realized I was responding to something you didn't say.*
This would be so much easier over beer.

Here's part of my problem: many of the aspects that Suzie has no problem with are exactly what a-[e] objects to. Should I let you two argue amongst yourself first?
Instead, though, for ease of discussion, I tend to lump you all together as part of the problem I face, in that I'm sure Suzie agrees with a-[e] enough that if a-[e] ever manages to make progress on his goals, Suzie would do nothing to stop him from removing "under God" from the pledge and "In God We Trust" from currency. Even if I'm wrong about Suzie, specifically, there are millions who are described by what I'm saying.
In a battle of opinion over symbols, the direction you are facing has as much to do with battle lines as the actual position you adopt.


On the other hand, that doesn't mean I think any of you are automatically and completely wrong. I don't make appeals to authority with the assumption that the authorities I listen to and agree with are the only experts.**
This is a debate. There is quite a bit of gray area.
Simply put, I don't like the direction we are going, and there are enough Constitutional Scholars and intelligent, educated laymen who agree with me that there is no compelling reason for us to concede defeat.***

Read More "Problems Trying to Discuss Weight Issues in Blog Comments" »

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Posted by Nathan at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

November 24, 2004

Freedom of Religion and Separation of Church and State « GWOM »

Obviously, there are lots of people harboring misinformation and misapprehensions about the subject of religion and its relation to the nation.

Start by wrapping your minds around this concept:

In this regard it is often stated that while the US has a separation of Church and State, it is not a separation of government and religion.

Got it? Note the capitalizations implying proper nouns. Once you understand the full implications, you should see that deflates the majority of atheist/secular arguments in one stroke. It also explains why the government pays the salaries of military chaplains, builds chapels on military bases, has "In God We Trust" on currency, has chaplains open and close sessions of Congress with prayer, why the phrase "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegience is Constitutionally sound and appropriate, as is "God Bless America" and tax dollars going to Faith-based charities that are not engaged in proselytizing.

Then you can continue your self-education from the site where I obtained the quote: Wikipedia.

Here's their entry on Separation of Church and State, and one on Freedom of Religion. Wikipedia wisely reminds you several time that those are not the same concepts. The entries are wonderfully factual and cross-linked. The only thing that bothered me is that there did seem to be a very slight negative attitude toward conservative views...but nothing was actually distorted, so I'm cool with that.

Have fun reading, it will make conversations go much smoother.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:28 PM | Comments (10)
Jumping to Conclusions for Socio-Political Gain « GWOM »

Read the whole story. Then explain to me why, exactly, the anti-gay group is suspected.

They may turn out to be the perpetrators, and if so, should be punished. But an equally strong case could be made for the perpatrators being the Rainbow Sash coalition, or a frame-job, or even confused, idiotic vandals.

A whole lot of innuendo seems to be thrown around on no evidence at all except the assumptions of specific interviewees.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:08 PM | Comments (3)
The Eradication of Faith From Public View « GWOM »

Lest anyone think I was exaggerating the case when I said I feared atheists/secularists were trying to sanitize society for their own sensibilities, in violation of the 1st Amendment, check this out.


Williams asserts in the lawsuit that since May he has been required to submit all of his lesson plans and supplemental handouts to Vidmar for approval, and that the principal will not permit him to use any that contain references to God or Christianity.

Among the materials she has rejected, according to Williams, are excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, George Washington's journal, John Adams' diary, Samuel Adams' "The Rights of the Colonists" and William Penn's "The Frame of Government of Pennsylvania."

"He hands out a lot of material and perhaps 5 to 10 percent refers to God and Christianity because that's what the founders wrote," said Thompson, a lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund, which advocates for religious freedom. "The principal seems to be systematically censoring material that refers to Christianity and it is pure discrimination."

Let's just whitewash any part of history we find inconvenient, shall we? The techniques of Orwell, Marx and Lenin are still being used in United States schools.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:02 PM | Comments (6)
One Year Ago Today (Close Enough) « Blogging »

I was one of the first bloggers to post about President Bush's surprise arrival in Iraq. I even beat the Drudge Report.

Oh, yeah: I was deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom at the time.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:13 PM | Comments (1)
The Key to Winning In Iraq « GWOT »

I think I used this title before.

So what? The important thing is that the Iraqis are learning to fight for their country in a positive way.

This is not only important, but vital. The main difference between the success in Afghanistan and the (so far) slow-in-coming success in Iraq is that in Afghanistan, the militias provided an instant, experienced fighting force to fight the Taliban themselves, with the US taking a supportive role.

Iraq needs that, and the Fallujah campaign demonstrated they have the capability. We just need to give them the time. That's why we're there.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:35 AM | Comments (0)
Hitting "The Wall" « Link O' Admiration »

Sharp as a Marble encounters one I've run into before, and commences beating his head against it.

You go, Mr. "Man from La Mancha"!

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Posted by Nathan at 08:42 AM | Comments (2)
Word O' The Day « Humor »

There's a term that I've needed, badly, in daily life. Heck, I can hardly have a conversation without the concept coming up. But I've never had the word. Thank goodness there's Merriam-Webster's Word O' the Day, who this very morning provided the missing word that has been making my life a living hell:

hydromancy \HY-druh-man-see\ noun

: divination by the appearance or motion of liquids (as water)

Use it as much as you can today, I implore you.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:39 AM | Comments (2)
Weird Spam « Stuff Important to Me »

I am "suffering" through a very weird spam campaign that's going on right now. Every day there are two or three spam comments left...the exact same IP address...but no links. The "name" field is always filled with something like "buy contact lenses online", but there's no URL there. I've been automatically deleting it, but recently started paying attention to the body of the comments. Whoever the spammer is, he's including some pretty cool aphorisms, perhaps as a way of attempting to camouflage his spam...?

Here's todays:

There are more fools in the world than there are people. Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856)

I might end up not deleting these...

Rev. Misa, what do you think?

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Posted by Nathan at 07:31 AM | Comments (2)

November 23, 2004

Going to Newcastle for Coal « Link O' Admiration »

So if you want to read about the problems of illegal immigration, you check out Michelle Malkin.

If you want to hear about the perfidy of Planned Parenthood and their "6-and-up" website, Teenwire, you go check out Dawn Eden.

She's right: Planned Parenthood has an agenda, and it doesn't have your child(ren)'s best interest(s) at heart.
It is becoming more and more difficult for me to resist thinking that they want to advance an ideology that makes them feel okay for embracing a lower moral standard. They want to feel okay about cheapening sex in their own lives, so they try to cheapen it in everyone else's. They aren't trying to do good, they are trying for vindication, or maybe even revenge.

And they are doing it on your dime.

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Posted by Nathan at 03:23 PM | Comments (0)
Negotiate? « Quotes You Can Steal »
You can always negotiate, sure...If you have the ability and willingness to wage war.
* Read More "Negotiate?" »

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Posted by Nathan at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)
Another Success in the War on Terror « GWOT »

The U.S. military has captured what officials termed a senior Sunni commander in Iraq, near the Syrian border."

He'll be replaced, sure, but we are winning the war of attrition at least. To truly win, I maintain that the Iraqis will have to learn to stand up for themselves. They took great strides in that direction in the Fallujah campaign.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:02 AM | Comments (0)
...and the Suppression of Religious Expression Continues « Social Issues »

Someone call the ACLU! Oh, yeah, this is the kind of suppression they like.

You almost have to admire the technique. Put a bunch of Christians in a pot of cool water, then slowly turn up the heat, eroding freedom of religious expression by constantly citing "Separation of Church of State" as a Constitutional Principle, rather than something imposed by the courts based on private letters written by Thomas Jefferson but never ratified by any level of legislature.

This distortion is truly diabolical. We have never come close to the imposition of a State religion, and as long as no one is forced to worship, there is no establishment of religion and the US Constitution is not violated. If using tax dollars somehow violates the idea of establishment of religion, then the same principle needs to be applied to all belief systems.

Religious freedom isn't actually in danger yet. Yet. If intelligent, reasonable people don't stand up and resist the atheist extremists soon, however, we may all come to regret it.

Again: why does someone have more right to public nudity than for a nativity scene?
Why can we not censure crudity and obscenity, but we somehow are required to sanitize Faith completely out of public view? Why are people who do not want to see nudity or hear profanity in prime time told they can always "turn off the TV", but adult atheists cannot bear to hear the word "God" without shrieking and recoiling?

The priorities of the so-called "enlightened" are ridiculous.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:28 AM | Comments (8)
Cleaning Up Loose Ends, Pt II « Politics As Usual »

I posted this piece on Control vs Opportunity connotations of Choice just yesterday.

In an interesting bit of unscripted synergy, Jeff G. posted this piece based on Michael Crane's email about the US Economic Freedom Index 2004 yesterday as well. I received the same email and was going to post on it this morning, but Jeff G. says it so well, I have nothing to add.

Humorous excerpt that you have to read the whole linked article to be able to understand in context:

Whereas their post-election message, though similar in sentiment, has taken on an increased rhetorical urgency: “Why didn’t you filthy cornpickers listen? Was it because of Jesus? Christ, what a bunch of simple monkeys you people are.”

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Posted by Nathan at 09:16 AM | Comments (0)
Cleaning Up Loose Ends, Pt I « Militaria »

I really didn't say anything about the cameraman in this orignal post about the shooting controversy in Fallujah. My ire was reserved more for people who were already convicting the Marine on the basis of a video.

And I'm not going to add to that. But I am going to encourage you to read this post by the cameraman, Kevin Sites. The tone seems heartfelt and the feelings/motivations described seem genuine and valid. I admit I was thinking that he might have some anti-US Forces agenda, even if subconscious, but I'm convinced now that there was no such bias. I still think the camera can misrepresent reality even if not intentional, but I'm no longer suspicious of the camerman himself.

Hat tip to Q and O Blog.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:10 AM | Comments (0)
Kansas City Loses Again! « Kansas City Chiefs »

This is getting to be a habit.

I was thinking about writing this review before the game, for humorous and/or tragic effect. I should have done so.

See, Kansas City just isn't getting it done, and it's pretty much always for the same reason:

The offense.


The defense isn't Top-10 (although they were for a while), and no one expected them to be so. However, I still blame the offense because it has the personnel and the ability to score 35 points every game against any defense. It hasn't even come close to that in most of the losses.

This is an offense that dominated three different quality teams three different ways. Ravens: Time of Possession. Atlanta: We ran at will, they couldn't run at all. Indianapolis: We won a shoot-out by being more flexible, dynamic, and explosive.

So how can we score only only 20 points against New Orleans? Only 17 points against Carolina? 21 points against Houston? Only 19 points against New England? How could we not get a first down against Jacksonville?

One of the keys to understanding football is how much the game changes from when you are behind to when you are pretty much tied to when you are behind to when you are behind by a lot. Kansas City won 9 games in a row last year because they jumped to early leads and held them through the middle of the 3rd quarter. When you hold a 2 touchdown lead (or more) halfway through the 3rd quarter, the other team really can't waste time running the ball, making short passes, or dump offs. They have to go down the field, and that increases the opportunity for sacks and interceptions.

Kansas City can't seem to get the big lead they need to force the other team to change strategies. When KC does, the Chiefs win, like against the Colts, the Falcons, and the Ravens. But KC lost the other 7 games because the offense didn't dominate like it should, and so all of our opponents retained their entire gameplan and maintained their balance. And KC's defense wasn't quite good enough to win those games.

How many games has Trent Green thrown an interception in the end zone? I remember three. All losses. All three were momentum-turning, effort-killing picks. It would be much better to be 6-4 than 3-7, yanno?

If an offensive line can beat up the Atlanta Falcons D-line so well, why can't they protect Trent against the Bucs D-line at all? Why can't they open holes in the Red Zone for Blaylock that I could run through?

If Trent Green can get such gaudy yardage, why can't he score TDs like last year?

I started looking forward to next year last week. It looks like I wasn't wrong.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:31 AM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2004

"You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think it Means What You Think It Means." « Politics As Usual »

I was thinking about the word "Choice" this morning.

I was exercising at the gym, and a friend/co-worker was complaining about the Air Force physical fitness test. He said he pretty much liked it, but hated the 'waist measurement' portion, because he was never going to get back down to a 32-inch waist. I murmured something polite and vague to imply agreement, but even though I'll probably never see a 32-inch waist on my body again, either, I recognize that is the result of my choices. From there, I thought of all the arguments I've had about weight. Look, I'm no svelte, sleek athletic type with thin hips and rippling muscles, but at least I recognize that the shape I'm in is the result of choices I've made. Just as everyone is. Sure, there might be a somewhat smaller than 1% portion of the population with actual glandular problems, but the rest of us choose our weight.
We choose it through a complex process of deciding what we put in our mouth, when we eat, what settings we choose in which to eat, what kind of exercise we do, how much physical pain we are willing to endure to lose weight. It may be easier for some, harder for others, but everyone is potentially capable of losing weight.
In the same way, we choose our circumstances. We might not "choose" to be friendless and alone in old age or at a certain crisis point, but we surely chose it by not taking the time to be nice and friendly when needing a friend wasn't so vital, by being impatient with someone who we didn't need, by failing to cultivate bonds of loyalty with people.
I've tried to explain why I am 99% that even sexuality is a choice in most (if not all) of the cases, and I don't really want to get into that again. It has never gone over well, as you may expect.
And I think the problem comes back to the word "choice" again.

I'm now convinced that the word means entirely different things to liberals and conservatives.

Should we blame Abortion Activists who were looking for a nice euphemism so they would have to say "kill babies"?

Because all the arguments I've had on these issues come back to one point: to liberals, "choice" implies control. To them, if you have "a choice", you can control the circumstances. To tell a liberal their circumstance is the result of their "choice", they feel offended, because one can't simply wake up and "choose" to not be gay, or "choose" to not be female, or pregnant, or fat, or rich, and by the process of "choosing" make it happen.

Well, of course not.

To me, "choice" implies opportunity only, not control. You cannot actually control whether or not sexual intercourse results in conception. You can try to limit the chance, but failure is always a possibility. Thus, by having sex, you choose the possible circumstances by allowing an opportunity for you or your partner to get pregnant.

You can't simply "choose" to get rich, no, but you can choose to avoid debt, to save for things that you need, and spend money only on the things you really need, and eliminate wasteful desires like eating out or seeing movies, and investigating to find good careers and inexpensive places to get the education you need and choosing a good partner to help you be successful and applying to the right company and developing your abilities to make yourself an attractive applicant...

See, "choice" implies that you are an active participant in your life, that you are capable of learning from the mistakes and choices of others, and capable of acting to bring about the circumstances you want. That doesn't mean it won't be hard. The one choice that none of us ever have is to make something easy. In fact, the easy way always has lots of competition...if it were truly easy, everyone would be doing it.

And this dichotomy of connotation between the two political ideologies is very revealing, I think.

Liberals do tend to think of everything in terms of "control." They will force people to pay taxes to make the poor have a better life, eliminate racism, enact affirmative action (itself racism) to make up for past inequities, etc, etc, and it will all be imposed from the top down with plenty of safety nets and extra spending and programs to control the whole situation and make sure that no one ever slips through cracks (although they still do).

Conservatives, on the other hand, do tend to think of everything in terms of "opportunity." We will dismantle barriers and limits and let people vote with their feet and dollars whenever possible.

It's an interesting theory, one I will be testing out and probably referring back to often.

One rabbit-hole I'd like to chase down right away, however, is that idea that if each choice we make has consequences (and they do), then there are some that are clearly harmful and others that are clearly helpful. One of the problems with liberal ideology these days in regards to "values" and "morals" leading to losses in the most recent election is that, just like McQ of Q and O blog, I think the majority of Americans are seeing that the choices that liberals encourage tend to be harmful to both the nation and individuals. I don't think we've seen the end of this realization. If I'm correct, even less people will self-identify as or vote Democrat in the 2006 election, and Republicans will win in a landslide in 2008 no matter who the candidates are.

If all this is true, it explains why liberals have stepped up attacks on Christianity over the last few years. Right along with the idea of "choice" meaning "control", liberals want the government to reduce the visibility of Christian faith as a choice to compete with the values of Sexual Freedom (with abortion as a safety net) and Financial Irresponsibility (with welfare as a safety net) they promote.

What I find most inexplicable is the number of Christians that have no problem with it, and often support it.

See, Christianity is not of this world. "Render unto Caeser what is Caesar's, and render unto God what is God's." By quoting this, what I mean is that arguments over whether Jesus would Democrat or Republican or if he'd drive an SUV are ridiculous. "Politics" as a whole are exactly what you turn to when Christianity doesn't apply. Christianity is what I use as my guide for my own actions, "politics" is what I get involved with as a way of promulgating and establishing my views and values as the ground rules for the way people interact on this earth. Get that? If I comport myself within the values of Christianity, it doesn't matter what political system I work under, and the rewards will not be seen in this lifetime. If my values are established in our political system, no one will be forced to be religious or even Christian, because my political opinions are formed, not by my religion, but according to my understanding of human nuture. Which, of course, is influenced by what the Bible and my faith tell me about human nature, but that's already at least one degree removed.

Thus, if we are to maintain a proper separation between Church and State, it is absolutely boneheaded to bring that about by government fiat preventing and imposing rules and guidelines. Government control is about as effective and precise as using a sledgehammer to do brain surgery. Rather, if you are a Christian who believes in separation of Church and State, you should work within your church to make sure that it doesn't get involved in politics. Shame in religious circles is much more likely to bring about the proper detachment than governmental control.

Choices, you know?

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Posted by Nathan at 11:03 AM | Comments (0)
» Accidental Verbosity links with: Today's Top Nine
» Curmudgeonry links with: Choices
» Brain Shavings links with: Meandering thru the Marsupials
Clearing Up Some Confusion « Gun Issues »

Gunman kills 5, wounds 3.

Police said Vang opened fire with an assault rifle.

No. Not if Fox News is correct. It was an SKS communist bloc rifle. This is a Post-WWII-era semi-automatic rifle. It is no more an "assault" rifle than our Garand's from WWII, and a good sight less powerful. It is chambered for the 7.62x39 mm cartridge developed by the Russians in light of their recognition that conscript troops don't need rifles that can fire 6 times as far as their skills will be able to use effectively. Reduced recoil helps make training easier and cheaper, as well.

The round was developed to also be used in a true assault, the AK-47, because the reduced recoil helps with controllability somewhat.

But despite using the same cartridge, the rifles are not the same at all.

The scrollling news text bar on Fox News Channel said it was a "high-powered rifle".
No. The 7.62x39 is an deliberately underpowered round, for the reasons of recoil and range mentioned above. The same scrolling news text bar said that most of the victims were shot from between 50 and 100 yards away. That fits, because the 7.62x39 isn't very accurate, and the limit of its effective range is somewhere around 100 yards.

This will be used as an argument for gun control.

In other news, in the time since the shooting, approximately 125 people died in car accidents. Gun control activists won't even care.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:53 AM | Comments (0)
A Problem With the System « Politics As Usual »

The thing that bothers me most about this underhanded and sneaky attempt to violate reasonable privacy standards is that it will be blamed on Republicans as somehow revealing the 'true nature' of the GOP...despite the fact that it seems as if it was Rebublicans who found it and stopped it, Republicans who are issuing the strongest denouncements, Republicans who are vowing punishment for the people involved, and Republicans who are speaking out about how the system that allowed this sort of crap to happen is broken and needs to be fixed.
Heck, this sort of "The Government has more rights than you do" crap is far more typical of Democrats in the first place. But even The Ace of Spades seems willing to tar all Republicans with the brush of blame.


...the language had actually been drafted by the Internal Revenue Service and that "nobody's privacy was ever jeopardized." [...]

John D. Scofield, the spokesman for the House Appropriations Committee, said that the purpose of the provision was to allow investigators for the top lawmakers responsible for financing the I.R.S. to have access to that agency's offices around the country and tax records so they could examine how the money was being spent. There was never any desire to look at anyone's tax returns, he said.

Mr. Scofield said the only purpose of the provision was to allow investigators to have access to revenue service offices. He said the authority would be similar to that allowed senior members and staff assistants of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee, the panels with primary jurisdiction over the activities of the revenue service.

I'm not sure how plausible that explanation is. We'll see how the investigation sorts out. If they are truthful and accurate in their explanation (a problematic question with politicians, to be sure), then it sounds like they were trying to correct a problem in a clumsy fashion using wording that "allowed" more than it "required". That should be easy to determine.

This makes one interesting point more clear: I guess one of the differences between Democrat and Republican voters is that Democrat voters tend to trust their elected officials without suspicion and assume Republican officials are the spawn of Satan; whereas Republican voters seem to assume that the whole bunch is a pit of vipers that needs to be watched closely, except some of the snakes are trainable enough to be useful at times.

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Posted by Nathan at 05:34 AM | Comments (4)

November 21, 2004

Help!? « Gun Issues »

So I'm moving to the People's Republic of Hawaii in about 4 months, and I'm really not sure what I should do about my guns.

I've just about got a complete arsenal (14 rifles and one pistol), and while I can own weapons in Hawaii, I'm going to have to register each one of them. I don't know where I can go shooting, nor under what circumstances it is permissible to transport them in my car. If I live on base, I might have to leave them at the base armory, and I've heard horror stories about them being surreptitiously used while supposedly under lock and key.

And I have to assume getting ammunition may well be nigh unto impossible.

Suggestions? Ideas? Purchase offers? [grin]

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

Has anyone else taken note that Day By Day returns on 1 December?

I know I could have used some of his light-heartedness during the election season, but it's not like I was paying him to cartoon, so I have no grounds upon which to complain. In any case, welcome back, Chris! We've missed you!

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Posted by Nathan at 08:43 AM | Comments (2)
2004 Weblog Awards « Link O' Admiration »

If you know of a deserving blog, you might want to stop by here and nominate them in the appropriate category/categories.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:57 AM | Comments (0)
» The LLama Butchers links with: The Second Season of the LLamas begins!

November 20, 2004

NANOWRIMO, Pt III « Writing »

I did another 2,200 words today in one session. Things are going well. I really think I can finish it this time. Not in one month, though. I think perhaps NANOWRIMO may really be for someone who already knows how to write a novel, not someone who is still trying to actually plot and complete his first one.

But it still provides a good spur for trying to complete one. I can tell you, I wouldn't have 4,669 words done right now if it hadn't been for a belated realization that it was, in fact, NaNoWriMo. And perhaps even more importantly, NaNoWriMo provides motivation to just get it done. With the way this one is going so far, I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps I wasn't aiming too high before, and getting bogged down when my novel wasn't turning out to be "the next best-seller" level. NaNoWriMo lets me give permission to myself to not be perfect, as long as I get it done.l

The next most encouraging thing is, I'm starting to pick up speed. The more I write, the more I can write, and that's pretty much the point. There's an outside chance I may still get 50k words done, if I write twice a day like I did today. By the end of December is more do-able, but most likely would be by the end of February, perhaps, with some of the blind alleys and problems I often seem to create for myself. We'll see how it goes.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:40 PM | Comments (0)
Understand This, Understand the World Better « Quotes You Can Steal »

Well, of course Iraq was about oil in the end. Because oil is the most easily accessed and used source of energy, and everything is about energy.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:25 AM | Comments (0)
The Basketball Games Hate the NBA « Social Issues »

Here's yet another reason why.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:19 AM | Comments (1)

November 19, 2004

The Problem With Stone's Alexander « Social Issues »

In my opinion, the problem with Oliver Stone's Alexander is that he justifies highlighting Alexander's homosexuality by saying, ""We go into his bisexuality. It may offend some people, but sexuality in those days was a different thing."

Well, sure. Sort of.

The problem is, based on some of the early reviews that have come out (pun sort of intended) so far, Mr. Stone is not depicting Alexander's sexuality the way it was back then. He's putting a stereotypical modern-day homosexual male in what seems to be a fairly blunt attempt to leave a positive impression of the purity of homosexual love. One reviewer even complained that Alexander was made to look like something out of "Queer Eye for the Macedonian Guy". From the stills I saw, that description was pretty accurate.

From what I understand of history, homosexuality or bisexuality in those days was most like NAMBLA's stated goal (the use of a young boy for a few years for purely sexual gratification) or like the stereotype of prison sex (the strong uses the weak for purely sexual gratification, but it is only the 'receiver' who is considered gay).

I haven't seen the movie, and won't. But in my opinion, Oliver Stone has made an essentially dishonest movie, attempting to misrepresent that nature of historical fact as a pretext to advance an agenda for which he has sympathy.

Which is his right. But don't hold your breath waiting for me to support it.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:02 PM | Comments (4)
» The LLama Butchers links with: Queer Eye for the Macedonian Guy?
Huh. Who Knew? « Rhetorical Questions »

Did you know that Volkswagon used to make pickups?

I didn't.

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Posted by Nathan at 12:24 PM | Comments (1)
Perspective Question « Blogging »

I never hear anyone mention Meryl Yourish any more. I saw a comment she left on a very old thread, and actually wondered, "Is she still blogging?" ...followed the link and, sure enough, there was an entry from yesterday at the top of the page.

Now, I don't do Instapundit, so maybe I'm missing lots of links to her. But other people in my circle of normal blogging rounds who used to link her at least occasionally haven't linked her in ages.*

So what gives? Am I moving in the wrong circles? I, um, moving in the right circles? Enquiring minds want to know.

Read More "Perspective Question" »

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Posted by Nathan at 06:12 AM | Comments (1)

November 18, 2004

Caption Contest Winner « Humor »

I really didn't keep following up on the contest...I was kind of checking out an aspect of human nature as well as the more obvious motive of trying to get you to entertain me.

In any case, Jeremy Spoke In Class Today, and it was dang funny. He did kind of win by default, since no one else even tried...but he did submit four, and all were good enough to get a chuckle out of me, on a topic that I didn't really think anyone could manage to find humor in. So he earned every penny of the $10 gift certificate. ya'll should pay attention, you never know when I might offer another $10. You'd stoop to pick up a quarter on the street, so why not keep a close eye for offers for $10 on the blog? It beats working.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:20 PM | Comments (1)
Trivia Question (Updated) « Stuff Important to Me »

So who is the only person to have a part in all the Pixar Animation Studio full-length feature films and have an on-screen role in one of the original Star Wars trilogy movies?

No prizes, I'm just trying to see if anyone didn't already know this...

Warning: the answer is in the comments. One person was absolutely sure and correct, the other not sure but guessed correctly. So at this point, take a look and tell me if you were correct or not.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:16 PM | Comments (5)
Conceptual Meltdowns « Stuff Important to Me »

Last year I had some freaky melt-down. Those who were reading me at the time (you won't find it in my archives, it was among those lost in the mists of time before I became part of the family) may remember me getting all cryptic and mysterious about some strange denoument.
Basically, it was the realization that despite living in the same world with the same common vocabulary and most of the same end-goals, men and women's mutual understanding of each other's views of something as primal and basic as "sexual intercourse" remain so woefully incomplete as to be near-total incomprehension. And if it were impossible to get any real understanding on something so primal and basic and universal as that, then there was no hope of really understanding complex issues like parenting and life-goals and how to deal with in-laws. And from there I realized that the conceptual differences between even obvious words like "Hello" and "Hi" and "Greetings" are such that every single person on the planet has a slightly different understanding of each of those simple, obvious words, so how can we hope to have any meaningful conversations on complex topics that include discussions of "good" and "progress" and "unfortunate" and "irony", and so forth. Going further, I added to the mix the idea that written communication lacks tone of voice, body language, facial expression, and so forth, so that written communication often is only 40% as effective as a face-to-face conversation, or worse.

So I felt, what's the point of trying to explain anything? What's the point of trying to talk at all?

Well, the feeling faded, enough that I'm still trying to communicate, still trying to explain, still trying to discuss. But the realization stays with me, somewhat. Enough that I don't get as upset by misunderstandings in blog-talks, enough that I keep the inherent ambiguity in mind at all times.

Well, I've had another such denouement today. Of a different sort, not one that will make me go cryptic and stop blogging.

It was just on the idea of love. The shorthand version is that we humans talk about 'love' as if it were an object that can be measured, or a destination that can be reached, or something existing as a separate entity within ourselves. I now think that love is a flavor, and a natural response, and a color, and an impetus for deliberate action, and a mixture of all sorts of elements.

My wife and I are splitting up. We file for divorce tomorrow. It's really complicated, and I don't really wish to explain much. But I was grieving yesterday over the loss of our love due to a certain occurrence 3-4 years ago...a friend pointed out that it probably wasn't that occurrence, necessarily, but that the occurrence merely highlighted the mis-match of hearts. And I realized that I can't say I still love her, but I also can't say I don't love her anymore. The love I felt will always be with me, but the circumstances of our marriage are such that the feeling can no longer be expressed properly and adequately, or relied upon as a source of togtherness, closeness, understanding, and renewal. Shadows of love imply the existence of love, however. If loved isn't acted on, is it still love? What use is feeling without action?

If you love someone and that person dies, do you still love them? What happens to the love? Is what you feel only an echo? Or a slowly-fading after-image? What if the person is still alive but merely departed? What if the person merely grows or changes to the point they are no longer the person you loved? If it is true love, shouldn't it be totally accepting? Can "true" love be so accepting that it accepts a returned contempt or disregard? Should it?

I'm beginning to think that "deciding" to love or marry or leave or stay probably indicate a betrayal of self in some manner, in that if you truly have love with someone, being together will simply be the most natural thing in the world. If there is no "true" love, then separating will simply be the most natural thing in the world. But what if it's somewhere in the middle? You probably can have a "successful", satisfying marriage without actually having what I've just described as a "true" love. In fact, most marriages probably are based on a "less than perfect/true" love. But that makes me think too many people commit to or marry someone we probably shouldn't; it might be better to wait for the right person...even if it might mean never entering a loving relationship for an entire life.
But then, maybe "finding the right person" and experiencing "true" love depends more on your own maturity than on matching with a person. If both of you are sufficiently mature, maybe you can experience that feeling of total peace and security that comes with an idealized love.

If all of this is on anything close to the right track, then this says some very profound things about God and his Love for us. God is Love, remember? And: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

God's Love is far more mature than any human can understand in the span of one lifetime, and on the basis of His love for us, the sacrifice of His life to save us was the most natural thing in the world, a sacrifice perhaps utterly beyond the comprehension of humans as immature and selfish as we are.

...I need to think more on this. Maybe I'm just full of crap.*

Read More "Conceptual Meltdowns" »

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Posted by Nathan at 01:35 PM | Comments (7)
The Best Movie I'd Never Heard of Until a Classmate Convinced Me To See It « Stuff Important to Me »

A move about superheros without a single demonstration of super powers: The Specials.

Incidentally, filmed in just 18 days. Lots of cool quotes.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)
Sherrif Langston Demonstrates a Keen Awareness of the Inherent Instability in the Locus between Geographic and Temporal Positions « Meme Stolen from Jeff G. »
Today, my jurisdiction ends here. Pick up my hat.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)
You Know, I'd Really Like To Post Something Today « Blogging »

...but my brain just isn't playing along.

So you get this lame post instead.

Ummmm, "The United States are neither 'United', nor actually 'States'". Discuss.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:17 AM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2004

The Roe Effect « Stuff Important to Me »

James Taranto of Opinion Journal's Best of the Web has several tongue-in-cheek themes he vamps on often. One that seems sorta-serious, or serious in a facetious way, is his reminders of what he calls the Roe Effect.

In the 17 November edition of Best of the Web, he touches on it again. Let's tune in and see:

It's Catching On

The idea was born in this column in Jan. 2003, though we didn't name it the Roe effect until later. In the wake of President Bush's re-election, it's catching on. Creative Loafing Atlanta, an "alternative" weekly newspaper, features an interview with Ed Larson, a University of Georgia historian, who argues that religious people have an evolutionary advantage:

Who are the people having kids today? Immigrants, yes. That's one group. But among white, middle-class Americans, religious people are having children at a much higher rate. More and more and more children percentage-wise than non-religious people. There's a survival value in religious beliefs. They have a sense of purpose. They feel their mission in life is to multiply and be fruitful. The whole Darwinian concept--evolution--is on the side of evangelical Christians. They're growing by any measure.

National Public Radio's Eric Weiner has a report that makes the same point, relying largely on the work of Phillip Longman, author of "The Empty Cradle." Says Weiner: "Longman offers no specific advice for liberals about how to close the fertility gap, but if they don't know how to go about that, well, their problems probably extend well beyond the world of politics."

While I'm mostly convinced Mr. Taranto on to something, I do think he's putting the cart before the horse, at least with his citing of Mr. Weinar. See, having children has a profound impact on adults. First, you can no longer think of only yourself and your adult needs, you must start looking at the world as it will impact a toddler, a child, a pre-teen, an adolescent, and how you can minimize the negative influences, and how you can counter-act negative peer pressures. Then you start to think about what you want to teach your children about the world and the way it works. It's suddenly not enough that you have moral stances, you have to be able to justify and explain them to a child who really needs to know if they are going to internalize and accept. You begin to realize how powerful leadership-by-example is. The first time you hear your child use a curse word because you haven't been careful is humiliating and vexing.

The result of all this is that many people who went to church only casually when single or even married suddenly find weekly churchgoing a significant priority. I was struggling over how to teach my kids all about Christian concepts until my parents sent me our old family devotion book "More Little Visits With God". You'd be surprised how relevant 40-year-old Bible studies can be. Or maybe you wouldn't.

In any case, I guess what I'm saying is that it may not be that being religious and opposing abortion results in having more children, but rather it is entirely possible that having more children emphasizes to you the miracle of life so that you can no longer support abortion, and having children often leads one to rediscover or at least re-emphasize one's religious faith.

You heard it here first.*

Read More "The Roe Effect" »

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Posted by Nathan at 03:46 PM | Comments (1)

So Sears is merging with K-Mart.

You know what this means, right?

We can now finally have the slogan become reality: "Shop Smart, shop S-Mart!"

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Posted by Nathan at 12:34 PM | Comments (2)
Not Too Far Off « Humor »

The ACLU has filed suit to block the appointment of Miss Rice on the grounds that having an openly-Christian person heading that department would violate the separation of church and state.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:22 AM | Comments (2)
Shooting Controversy in Fallujah « GWOT »

A thoughtful and interesting discussion on the shooting by Dale Franks at Q and O Blog.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:32 AM | Comments (0)
Religion in Other Guises « Social Issues »

One of the biggest problems I have with liberals, atheists, the ACLU and other lefty types is that they get this condescending attitude toward Christian belief systems and values, and ignore that the basis of their own views comes from an equally faith-based belief system and morality. If you promote the idea (as Planned Parenthood implicitly does) that "sex in all its expressions is good and shouldn't be repressed", that is imposing a morality as surely as saying "sex outside of marriage is bad and should be discouraged". Especially because with STDs, pregnancy, AIDS, emotional difficulties, rape, teenage prostitution, etc, there is far MORE evidence that the Christian view is more correct than the humanistic one.
If you believe there is no God and set about ensuring that is the only view that can be officially expressed, it is just as bad as saying that the only religious expression allowed is that Jesus is Lord of All!
But because they refuse to recognize atheism as a belief system, they believe that by denying they have a religion that it leaves them free to impose their belief system on the majority of Americans who believe in God. And the atheistic media helps them.
The part that atheists and secular humanists conveniently ignore is that whatever you put your faith into is your God. For some, it is money. For others, it is science. For still others, it is self, or sexual fulfillment, or education, or rejection of tradition.

Right now, the major God seems to be sexual fulfillment. It’s almost as if liberals want to replace Confirmation/Baptism with Losing Your Virginity, Attending Services with Having Sex, and you receive sanctification, not by Communion, but by having an Abortion.

Unless the pendulum swings back, I fear for my children and my grandchildren. I wonder if parents felt this way as Rome began its decline into debauchery?

Recently in the news was this legal decision, in which the ACLU argued (successfully) that since the Boy Scouts include "belief in 'God'" as one of its core values, meeting on government property violates "Separation of Church and State".
Well, in the Boy Scouts FAQ, the 'God' is most certainly not Christ. (thanks to Captain's Quarters for that link)

In a discussion with a friend who has worked with Boy Scouts quite a bit, the impression was that the Boy Scouts were a Christian group. Having been a Cub Scout, I never got that impression at all. Maybe every group has a different tone? But since many of the kids who went to Sunday School also were Scouts, and since many of the same adults who taught Sunday School were also the type to volunteer to lead a Troop, how possible is it that a prevalence of discussion of Jesus and Christian values was simply due to the majority of the people being Believers?

Yeah, it might not be good for someone in a minority to feel uncomfortable or left out. But compare that situation to this story of another example of belief systems being imposed on impressionable youth.


There were a few scattered murmurs of agreement from the other adults as he spoke about how he just couldn't live in a country that was run by George W. Bush. He expected things would get "worse and worse" in the next few months until he'd be forced to leave. I noticed a few of the children turned around in their seats listening to this guy. They weren't saying anything, just taking it all in. I can only guess what a group of elementary-school kids, many of whom had moved here from other countries for a better life, were thinking when they heard that it might be time to pick up and leave again soon.

I have come to expect political chatter at events like this, and I have also come to expect that I will be the only Republican in the room.

Is there really any difference? If you follow the link and read the whole thing, you'll see an example of an even more forceful attempt to influence moral attitudes.

Liberals and atheists have some sort of paranoia about religion...maybe they too deeply internalized Marx's derisive opinion that it is the "opiate of the masses" or something. I won't deny that some horrible things have been done in the name of religion...but more horrible things have been done in the name of atheism, and politics, and greed. Most religions appeal to the better side of humanity, and don't allow for "conditional morality" as easily as atheism and progressive/liberal ideology does.

And one thing the rabid atheists and progressives forget is that multiple viewpoints and competing opinions tend to smooth things out. If they ever succeed in making Christianity a discredited belief as they seem to want to, the remaining "true believers" are more likely to be quite militant, extreme, and violent in the defense of their religion.

So understand it clearly: a belief system is a belief system is a belief system. It isn't right to impose yours on society at large, regardless of whether it is religion, politics, sexuality, morality, or even taste. I'm a little sick of religion being considered somehow worse than the others.

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The Bottom of The Barrel Nears « GWOT »

What am I talking about?

It's apparently an Israeli phrase, but you need to read this article to learn what the context is...

This is important:

Yet apart from the military success, the big news of the Fallujah campaign is that most Iraqis quietly supported it. The protests from nationalist politicians was far more muted than in April, perhaps because they have seen from the car bombings and beheadings what the Zarqawis also intend for them.

And this is the key to victory:

We are also encouraged to see that Iraqi forces seem to have performed marginally better in Fallujah than they had in the past. Continued operations should help train, integrate and harden the Iraqis, particularly their officers. Their willingness to fight will increase the more they witness our determination to win.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:35 AM | Comments (0)
An Example of How Government Should Work « Politics As Usual »

I hadn't heard much about the President's New Freedom Initiative. You can bet I'll be doing some research today and reporting back to you on it.

In any case, this is an excellent example of effective compassion.

According to the article, the federal government didn't do anything to bring this about. No contracts were awarded, no money was disbursed from the government...just a person, a few non-profit corporations, and a few businesses contributed their own skills and money and effort and caring in order to improve opportunities for disabled Americans to "fully participate in all aspects of community life, including employment."

I think that's awesome. This is how government can make a huge impact: by providing national recognition to those who help people more effectively and more efficiently than the government can, and without having to tax the crap out of us while doing it.

The federal government tends to use forceful techniques to help. Individuals, non-profits, and businesses can be more flexible, can generate economic activity to support themselves while still helping, waste far less money, and everyone involved is doing so willingly (for the most part).

This is how America should work.

Why is this not below the fold but on the front page of newspapers across the country? Why do I have to hear about this only because of the honorees is a player for the Chiefs? Is "bashing Bush" such an important function that no room can be spared to highlight this?

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Posted by Nathan at 06:09 AM | Comments (0)

November 16, 2004

The Camera Never Lies « Media Distortions »

Okay, I'm late coming to the party on the story of the Marine shooting the terrorist in Fallujah. And from my wording, you can probably guess my opinion.

It's axiomatic that pictures have massive impact, far more than mere descriptions. And a series of pictures tells an even more compelling story. Part of the strength of impact is that, absent any sort of alteration (which is more difficult to discount in this age of digital photography), people assume that the camera cannot lie. Seeing is believing, right?

But the camera lies by omission as much as anything else. Anyone who saw F9/11 saw a very facile motion-picture length falsehood. Slickly produced, context and sequence were manipulated with a artist's touch to present ambiguity in a light that was intended to damn President Bush as much as possible.

People are talking about what was shown on the tape. Some people are pointing out the context was such that the Marine may well have been acting within the Rules of Engagement (in that other terrorists have played dead until they could grab a weapon and resume fighting). I'd like to see more of a discussion about how cameras are the weapons of choice in propaganda wars.

The camera has a field of view much smaller than the human eye. It leaves out far more than it includes. The liberal pundits and talking heads who insist that of course they support the troops are exactly the ones now quick to convict this Marine on the strength of an edited film clip alone. This is wrong, dishonest, hypocritical...and par for the course.

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Posted by Nathan at 03:24 PM | Comments (4)
» Speed of Thought... links with: Oh really
What to Get Me For Christmas « Stuff Important to Me »

But coordinate it first, because I don't want to get 243 of 'em.

Thanks to Craig for letting me know this was out, even if indirectly.

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Posted by Nathan at 02:13 PM | Comments (4)
Our Society is in Trouble « Social Issues »

One of my sources forwarded this story to me.

Real discipline and genuine love (rather than enabling and excuses and selfish coddling) would have gone a long way toward making sure the first entry on that list never happened, much less the rest.

People need to be allowed to take responsibility for the actions. Allowing people to get away with crap just makes them think they can get away with more. I'm a little tired of it.

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Posted by Nathan at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)
Ace Finally Acknowledges My Existence « Link O' Admiration »

I mean, aside from the links he's already given me in the past, I sense he's really reaching out to me in the last line of this conclusionary addendum to a post about "Sir Robin"-ish artistes.

"Truth to Idiots" Update: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Everyone's misinterpreting who the "idiots" are supposed to be in that line. I don't mean you. I mean the idiots who aren't reading this site, i.e., liberals.

Do you really think I'd call you idiots? Come on. I'm far too brave and provocative a blogger to say anything that could possibly alienate a single reader. I spend my time bravely challenging the people who don't read me at all.

Although, let's be honest, you are all retards. But you know that already.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:52 AM | Comments (0)
Iraq, Post-Fallujah: What's Next. (UPDATED) « GWOT »

Mosul, apparently.

A good move. The security in this city has been on an extremely slow but unmistakeable decline since April or so. Since that time, it has been a significant base for Zarqawi's al Qaeda operations as he's attempted to open a new battlefront there.

So the good news is they shouldn't be as dug-in as in Fallujah, but we should be able to engage a fairly significant concentration of fighters. Eliminating another 500-1,000 isn't inconceivable incomprehensible.

UPDATE: More info.
Still more, as more mainstream US media channels pick up the story.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)
A Compliment « Kidblogging »

So while standing in line for an hour, I spent a good amount of time talking with a veteran named Steven. Establishing a friendship, he invited me to sit with his family for dinner.

I really enjoyed talking with them (Steven, his wife, and daughter). They invited me to their church this weekend, and I'm thinking seriously about going.

But his daughter paid me an extremely nice complement at the end of the evening. From some of her other comments, I gathered that she works in child development, and has a great deal of knowledge on this issue. And as I was leaving, she told me that she thought I was extremely good with the children, that she had been trying not to stare at us the whole evening (an interesting way of phrasing it, but I took it to mean she didn't want to make it obvious that she was actively observing the way I treated the kids).

I hadn't noticed her attention, actually, and had not altered my behavior/parenting with the kids at all. It helps that they are good kids who want to do the right thing. It also helps that they love learning, so I can entertain them by explaining how something works, like neon lights or napkin dispensers and stuff. And I've learned that the best way to handle kids is to fully engage them. If you put them off, they just clamor for more attention, so you excuse yourself, give them all your attention, and they are satisfied for 10-15 minutes. I also mediated a few squabbles, patiently explaining again and again to Brady that it isn't good to worry about standing in front, that it is a bad sort of competition, and I guess she was even watching those interactions.

In any case, it was a nice bit of sorely-needed affirmation.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:35 AM | Comments (2)
An Anecdote « Humor »

I took the kids to Golden Corral last night for their military appreciation night (meaning: free meal for me, and daughter is free, so 3 of us ate for the reduced price of $4.99! Woot!). I guess we should have gone either significantly earlier or later, because the line stretched around the block.

As I walked around the line, I got a few laughs when I quipped, "I know this is military appreciation night, but I didn't realize I'd have to do a long-distance road march to get the free meal!"

...yeah, I got nothing worthwhile to post yet.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:46 AM | Comments (3)
What KC Should Do « Kansas City Chiefs »

This season is a wash. They need to start preparing for next season now.

Nah, I'm not saying they should blow games to get a higher draft pick or anything.

But what should the priority be? What would the point be of winning 6 or 7 games this season? There's little to no chance of making the playoffs this year, and even if they did, they wouldn't go very far.

We need to start picking players for next year, I think.

We've got a lot of youth around the team with scads of potential. Let 'em show it.

For instance, how much time have we spent on Julian Battle? He's got the tools, but lacks the experience necessary, and so lacks consistency. Let him start the rest of the season. If he's still playing poorly by the end of the season, we can release him knowing he's not NFL-caliber. But maybe he'll figure it out during that time and the experience will be vital for him being a starter or starter-quality nickel back for next year.

Let Fujita, Biesel and Mitchell play LB for the rest of the year, with Fox coming in as the 4th LB. That may be what happens, anyway. But after 8 games, we'll either see a quality LB unit emerge, or know that this is an area of major concern.

Sims, Siavii, Jared Allen, and Montique Sharpe should get the majority of snaps on the D-Line. Sims should never come out, if possible. We've got too much money in him for him to be merely adequate. We can find "adequate" for bargain-basement prices. We can get 3 "adequate" DTs and still save money over his contract. This is a prime Free Agency position. Better to pick up 10 borderline free agents/potentially-washed up vets and let 'em fight it out. Lionel Dalton was a nice find...if we'd had 3 of him, we might have had a scary D-line.

Kennison is done. He can get open, but he can't protect the ball or get open consistently. #6 WR.
Morton should be a Ricky Proehl-style #5 WR from now on. Rotate Chris Horn, Jeris McIntyre, Samie Parker and Richard Smith until you find your #s 1-2, keeping in mind you have Mark Boerigter coming back with a vengeance next year (since medical advances mean season-ending knee injuries are no longer career-killers these days). If we get the young guys experience, this should be a position of strength next year.

Let's find out if Larry Johnson is a prime-time player. He should play the 2nd half for the rest of the season.

Jordon Black and Brett Williams should be playing tackle in the 4th quarter for the rest of the year. Dump Damon Huard and get Casey Clauson or other developmental QB for #3, and either play Todd Collins or the #3 in the 4th quarter so the 2nd-year tackles don't get Trent Green killed.

Sit Jerome Woods down. He's not getting it done this year, and should be an 'insurance' guy only. We let several good ST players go to make room for youngsters with potential, so let 'em play. Shaunard Harts has looked good at times, let him play the 1st half, and let Willie Pile play the 2nd half from now on. Leave Greg Wesley in, he's playing pro-bowl level with at least 1 significant lapse each game. If he doesn't correct it by the end of the season, Harts and Pile could probably start next year, and Wesley's upside would make him top-notch trade bait.

You stick with the plan no matter how close it is in the 4th quarter (and Green + Holmes/Blaylock might keep it close sometimes) so you can see how the young guys take pressure. Moreover, regardless of performance level, if someone commits too many penalties, they will be gone next year. Penalties have lost more games for KC this year than turnovers or defensive lapses, I think.

We'd probably win only 2 games the rest of the season. The upside would be:
-high draft pick position
-find out which youngsters have the ability/discipline/drive to succeed and excel
-soft schedule next year to help get home-field advantage

Then you bring in boatloads of low-priced veteran and rookie free agents to provide quality depth.

I think we'd have 3 Superbowl appearances and at least 1 SB win over the next 5 years if we'd do this. I doubt it will happen, somehow...

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Posted by Nathan at 08:25 AM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2004

So What's Wrong With The Chiefs? « Kansas City Chiefs »

Like you care. You mock my pain.

...okay, okay. Here's what I think it is:

Shoot, I can't think of any one thing.

I think the coaches are good. I think the players are good. Every single player has played quite well at times. And lousy at other times.

And penalties. We already have pretty much the same as we had all last year, and the season is only half-done. So with the inconsistency problem and the penalty problem, is it just plain the coaches' fault?

Youth? We have alot of youth in our linebacking corps, with Fujita having less than 3 years starting experience, Mitchell less than 2, and Biesel less than 1.

We've been plagued with injuries. But good teams overcome those.

I'm baffled. I think the football gods just hate Kansas City, just like the baseball gods hate the Chicago Cubs and the basketball gods, well, hate the NBA.

Yeah, you can quote that last line.

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Posted by Nathan at 04:29 PM | Comments (2)
Sidebar Pictures (UPDATED) « Blogging »

Wow! It isn't that bad on my home computer. Okay, I'll be changing the format now, sorry for the inconvenience!

UPDATE: That's better. That was an easier fix than I anticipated. Again, I apologize if anyone was materially damaged by my mistake.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:41 AM | Comments (2)
Musings on Scott Peterson's Trial (UPDATED) « Social Issues »

For a few days there, it seemed like we might have a Runaway Jury.* It's a great book (although Hollywood's self-serving and cynical choice to change the anti-smoking message to an anti-gun message is deplorable) and a great read, but it also very nearly constitutes a primer of how to manipulate a jury to get a desired conviction.

Ms. Malkin implores us to not forget that Laci wasn't the only victim. She goes on to mention that Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice groups opposed the Federal Unborn Victims of Violence legislation.

If you put those two ideas together, it begins to seem possible that something sinister was going on.

Let's say the spate of juror dismissals was, in fact, an attempt to alter the constitution of the jury to get an acquittal or guarantee a conviction. When you suspect something like that, you have to consider who would stand to benefit, and who has the means to bring it about.

First, let's dispose of any idea that Laci's family would try to pack a jury to get a conviction. If Laci's family believes Scott did it, I'm sure they believe it is obvious enough to not have to cheat to do it. Even if they wanted to "increase the chance for justice to be served"**, how could they afford to do so, or be willing to risk getting caught and having him set free on a technicality?

Scott Peterson obviously did not want to be convicted of murder, regardless of his actual guilt or innocence, so he would benefit...but he obviously lacked significant resources to pack the jury. It would take several hundred grand, at least, I'd think. His parents appear comfortable, but hardly rich enough to swing that sort of cash without setting off all sorts of alarms. I wouldn't think anyone in Scott's family would have the expertise to pull it off, either.

What about Pro-Life groups? Would they want to get a conviction with Connor being named a victim to score points for the pro-life agenda? I don't think so. Again, the risks of getting caught are fairly large for so small a payoff. The networks aren't really playing up the "baby-victim" part, they are only talking about the murder of Laci. There's no real upside for Pro-Life groups to risk everything to get maybe a 10% greater chance of getting what seemed from the beginning to be a near-slam dunk conviction.

Ah, but the euphemistically-named pro-choice groups, that's a different story! The spokesperson for the California chapter of NARAL famously went on record that trying Scott for the murder of Connor would "set a bad precedent". Liberals everywhere were put in the awkward and obviously hypocritical position of saying that a designated spokesperson for a group wasn't actually speaking for that group. NARAL, NOW, Planned Parenthood, and other directly or indirectly pro-choice groups certainly have a great deal of experience in litigation, and have scads of cash to blow in support of any trial that might affect abortion rights. A high-profile case in which the defendent looked to be heading for a conviction for murdering an unborn child would set a bad legal precedent that does erode abortion rights on some level, to some degree. Although probably an imperceptible difference, this does open the door to other rulings that could alter the fundamental attitudes and rights that are now taken for granted. Things like this do change minds. With all this at stake, it might just be worth the risk to try to ensure an acquittal.

Likely? No. Inconceivable? Not at all. Live by the sword, die by the sword, yanno?***

I don't seriously think the above is the case. I think it may be the burgeoning novelist inside me jumping on an intriguing plotline possibility.

Read More "Musings on Scott Peterson's Trial (UPDATED)" »

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Posted by Nathan at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)
Colin Powell Out « Politics As Usual »

I hate to say it, but good.

I actually hoped he would resign more than Ashcroft, although I think both departures will help avoid some problems this administration encountered in the past due to the Democrat's Politics of Personality.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:22 AM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2004

Chiefs Lose! :( « Kansas City Chiefs »

It could be worse, I guess. I could be a Chiefs' fan...

--no, wait. I am. Okay, I guess life really sucks.

I can't say I anticipated this outcome, but I'm not surprised, either. The Chiefs haven't shown the ability to consistently win games.

The problem is the offense. Period.

The defense isn't the best in the league, no, but they do well enough to win games. Kansas City was up 10-0 at the end of the 1st quarter. Where did the offense go? The Saints defense is not known for its ferocity or tenacity, ranking even lower than KC's defense, I believe. So why couldn't KC's offense match the Saints score-for-score for the rest of the game and win by at least 10?

How can a team with a running back with over 100 yards in one half only have 13 points? How can a team less than 5 yards shy of 500 yards for the game have just 20 points? How can a team with an offense that stayed on the field for 2/3 the game against the Baltimore Ravens' defense not keep the Saints' offense off the field? How can a team that manhandled the Falcons' defensive line not do the same to every opponent?

Where is the offense?

Don't tell me it was cuz Priest Holmes was on the bench, because I didn't notice him having games like this in any wins this year. Blaylock was on fire.

Which brings up another point? Are we witnessing the passing of a torch? Blaylock is generally considered by team officials to be the best RB for picking up blitzes and so forth, and now he shows he can run with authority. Do you sit Priest Holmes down? What if Blaylock really does give KC a better chance to win?

...but I'm just messing with you, because Holmes can score inside the 5 when no one else can, and the Saints were like #31 against the rush coming in, I think I heard, so I could probably have broken 100 yards today....although maybe on 50 carries.

But I will close with a reminder that even before this game I was looking forward to next year. That's all we got left at this point. I think we might be lucky to hit 8-8.

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Posted by Nathan at 02:45 PM | Comments (0)
» The LLama Butchers links with: Carville loses it---the morning roudup

November 13, 2004

NaNoWriMo Novel Catch-up Update « Writing »

Well, I didn't write any more on Thursday, and I didn't write at all on Friday...

But then today I sat down and did 1800 words in about 2 hours while I sat at the bookstore with my kids.

I figured out exactly why she felt she couldn't or shouldn't put the gun down. It is, in fact, turning out to be a modern take on Mike Hammer or something. At least it is turning out to be twisty detective novel with a fairly cynical main character. I considered making it a science fiction novel, but rejected that idea.

In any case, it got twisty pretty quick and is going pretty good. When I ended last, I had no idea what was going to happen in the next paragraph. Now I've got it extended out to about the next few pages...but still don't know what's going to happen in the next chapter.

It's kind of interesting to write this way. It's more like some of the best adventures I ran back in my roleplaying days, when the only things I knew were the characters, the setting, and the fact that I wanted the "good guys" to win in the end. What seemed to work in those days was just throwing more and more obstacles in their paths, letting them succeed with one obstacle only to encounter a bigger one next, sometimes arising from the success on the previous one.

I guess what I find most interesting is that this is the way books unfold as you're reading, but I always thought that you were supposed to have a novel pretty much plotted before you start. And yet, one of my favorite authors apparently has a sign over his writing desk that says something like, "I'm going to tell you something cool today," and that's how I seem to developing this novel. I think I can still work in subplots and character development.

And if it doesn't turn out, well, I've abandoned better novels than this from not knowing what to do or where to go. At least with this one I haven't invested months of planning and musing.

Anyway, I'm trying to figure out if I want to share it with you as I write it. I'm thinking I don't want to for two reasons. First, I hope to sell it one day, and while having about 200 people have an advance shot at it wouldn't hurt sales at all, there may be legal problems with having an earlier version of it "published" on my blog. Second, and less selfishly, I've already gone back and added a sentence or two and changed some stuff in the opening paragraphs, and I will probably continue to tweak it over time, so reprinting only what I've most recently written won't include the changes/improvements on earlier parts, or else will quickly become so long as to be unwieldy to keep putting on the blog.

So unless someone comes up with a very compelling argument and a decent plan to make keeping you up to date easy and simple for everyone involved, you'll just have to live with the earlier tidbit until I get the dang thing published.

I do promise that if I end up leaving it for dead, I'll email what I have done to any who requests it...maybe a suggestion or two could help me resurrect it? Or perhaps someone would want to finish it and we could try to publish it as a collaboration? But I'll burn that bridge when I come to it, and with luck it won't even become an issue because I'll finish it and then skip happily off into the beautiful sunset to cash my royalty checks. Heh.

Oh, and while I'm doing this for NaNoWriMo, I'm not expecting to finish it by the end of the month at all. I'm too far behind and just can't put out that kind of volume each day. But if I get momentum going, finishing it before the new year would still make me inordinately pleased.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:52 PM | Comments (0)
» The LLama Butchers links with: Diebold moment--vote early and often!
Expensive, Sure... « Militaria »

...but if they pull it off, it will be worth every penny.

Look, intelligence is the single most important aspect of war. A sewing needle, applied at the proper time in the proper location, is more effective than a 20 Megaton nuclear device in guaranteeing that our nation's best interests are met. How do you know the proper time and proper location? Intelligence.

Intelligence has gotten a bad name at times for various reasons. Sometimes for being wrong, when the errors mean lost lives. They forget or aren't even aware of all the times correct intelligence saved far more lives. Sometimes intelligence gets a bad name because, in trying to protect our sources to ensure we continue to get necessary information, the intelligence organizations hold the information too closely. And sometimes the bad reputation comes because we have the right information and are ready to share it...but it takes too long to disseminate it to the proper people.

This should help solve the second and third problems nicely. If we have a completely secure system that runs totally separate from any other net, we don't have to be quite as cautious about dissemination. And if it is a robust network that allows anyone with the need to know to access the information they need to know, anyplace, any time, and when they need it, then the intelligence itself is far more useful.

This could be a very good thing, indeed. Here's hoping!

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Posted by Nathan at 05:01 PM | Comments (0)
Ungrateful Democrat Voters « Politics As Usual »

Vamping on the theme of the previous post:
You've all heard stories about a person who is dying...maybe he has an obstruction, or maybe she drowned and isn't breathing, or something else. A bystander comes up and starts an inexperienced or partially-understood attempt at CPR. A few mistakes are made, maybe some cracked ribs or other minor damage...but the person is alive to complain about it. So they immediately find a trial lawyer and sue the pants off the person who saved their life. Because, you know, when something bad happens, it must be someone else's fault, and if you can set yourself up for life, why not?

Looking at the Democrat reaction to President Bush being re-elected reminds me of that scenario exactly. Liberals tend to live in cities*, and so it was a liberal enclave that bore the brunt of 9/11. Remember that at that time, no one took the idea of an attack seriously. But while Kerry strongly promised a strong reaction to strongly demonstrate his strength if we were ever attacked, it was President Bush who acknowledged that we have already been attacked, and even though the Islamic Terrorists wanted nothing more than to hit us again, the fact that they haven't been able to is directly attributable to President Bush's decisions and actions. Just like liberals in New York bore the brunt of the 9/11 attacks, liberals in all our major population centers received the disproportionate benefit of President Bush's excellent leadership. Despite their dogged and stubborn refusal to recognize or thank him for it.

Luckily, 60 million people, a majority of the voters, decided not to award the liberal whiners with a windfall for compaining. Thank goodness our future safety was not left in the hands of liberal judges who care more about keeping power in Democrat/liberal hands than in keeping people safe and winning the war on terror. Thank goodness a majority of voters did not elect the man who would outsource or safety to France and the UN.

Read More "Ungrateful Democrat Voters" »

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Posted by Nathan at 08:57 AM | Comments (0)
The Most Surprising Thing About the Election**** « Politics As Usual »

That 56 million people didn't want four more years of tax cuts and dead terrorists.

That 56 million people in this country prefer nice hair, vague references to undescribed plans, and liberal elitism to integrity, straightforward honesty*, and proven determination to keep US civilians safe.**

So if you don't get it, you don't get it. As I said before the election, liberals obviously don't realize just how good they have it under President Bush.*** The entire nation is better off under President Bush than any Democrat politician I can imagine.

New Slogan for President Bush: "He may not be who you want, but he is who we need."

Read More "The Most Surprising Thing About the Election****" »

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Posted by Nathan at 08:41 AM | Comments (0)

November 12, 2004

By The Way... « Blogging »

...I have the day off. I'll try not to gloat too much.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:03 AM | Comments (2)

November 11, 2004

NaNoWriMo « Writing »

No one bothered to remind me that NaNoWriMo was upon us.

I did think about it last week, but have been too busy/stressed to get around to it, and don't really feel up to fixing last year's novel or starting over from scratch with it.

But what the heck, nothing is ever lost from making the effort, so I'm starting off again, but this time with no earthly clue what the heck I'm going to write about. I just started writing and did 700 or so words in about 30 minutes. I figure I need to 2,500 words each day to catch up, so I'm going to shoot for 3k today. Only 2300 more to go! I have no idea what's going to happen, because I'm going to read this as I write it, just to see what crap comes out.

So, anyway, here's the crap so far:

It’s never pleasant waking up to the sensation of cold metal pressed against your skin. It’s even less pleasant when the scent of cordite and lubricant makes you realize a gun is being pressed firmly into your temple. Once I opened my eyes, however, what bothered me most was that from that angle, I couldn’t tell what kind of pistol it was.
I could see him, though. Or rather, her. She seemed a little young to have such a grim look on her face. On the other hand, she was grinding a firearm into my head. In our present anti-gun society, that takes a little bit of personal courage, or experience with firearms.
“You awake?” she asked.
I took my time in answering. She was fairly tall, which meant she’d top me. Blonde hair, but eyebrows dark enough to assume the blonde came out of a bottle. Green eyes, the kind that can change color according to mood, or the weather, or the clothes worn. Slender, probably, but it was hard to tell much, becuase she was wearing a leather biker’s jacket, complete with zippers and chains and studs, all a bright kelly green, which would account for her eyes. Her pants were gray, a soft velvet made tougher by some buckles near the cuff. She was dressed for show, not for business. Could I assume the pistol was part and parcel of the image?
I could not. No matter what else, it only took a few pounds of pressure to cause the hammer to fall, and if it struck a chambered round, all it might do to her is sully the image with some clashing red drops spattering on her green jacket. It would have a much more profound and long-term effect on my state of mind, so to speak.
Now, a knife would have been different. You’ve got to really know how to use a knife to make it effective, and I would have known instantly from the way she was holding it if she was any good...
But it was a pistol, not a knife. I’d have to bluff with the hand I was dealt. Luckily, I was good at bluffing.
“You know it’s unloaded, right?” I said.
“Nice try, Mr. Bond,” she said.
No, my name wasn’t actually Bond, James or otherwise. But I use that name a lot, because I’ve found that little mind games like that can give you an advantage, no matter how slight. You get them thinking about the possibility of your name actually being the same as a famous movie character, and they stop thinking about the story they’re trying to keep straight, or they stop paying attention to something else they might normally notice, like, say, that your left hand was out of sight and readying a weapon. I desperately wished my left hand was doing just that about now.
“Okay, you have me at a disadvantage. What can I do for you?” I said.
“That may take some explaining.”
“Fine. Do you normally start explanations with a gun to the head?” “Not always. Sometimes with a knee to the groin. Would you prefer that?” She enjoyed that, I could tell, by the little pixie grin that flashed across her features. It made me realize she had a fairly cute little pug nose, lightly dusted with freckles. Suddenly, she looked Irish.
“Not really, thanks for offering me the choice. But how about you put the gun down and we talk?”
“I can’t do that, Mr. Bond. May I call you James?”
“As long as you hold the gun, you can call me Bertha and make me write bad checks.” She enjoyed that one, too. If it weren’t for the lethal instrument directed at my head, I’d think I was doing fabulously well with her. I’m sure there’s a lesson about women and romance in there somewhere.

646 words, to be exact. And I have no more idea of why she feels she can't put the gun down than you do.

Isn't writing fun?

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Posted by Nathan at 03:33 PM | Comments (2)
Viewpoint and Argument « Politics As Usual »

Okay, I admit it: I've got stupid titles, usually.

I have a liberal friend named Jo. You've probably seen her comment here. We've tangled on stuff in the past, and even stopped talking to each other twice over politics. The stronger our friendship grows, the shorter and less intense the political battles are...

They way we've battled has evolved, as well. We used to let it all hang out, and that's how we've hurt each others' feelings, and so learned to try to phrase things inoffensively. Well, as she's stopped blogging and I've been blogging more, I've decided I can't do that. I've urged her to let me have it with both barrels, and we'd use off-line emails to soften the blow, but she doesn't want to. Part of that may be that I have lots of conservative readers who might (and have) respond just as forcefully, and in the past I haven't done much to protect her from that. So in the interest of having good debates, I ask all of you to be respectful of any visiting liberals. I usually let the idiot liberals post unaltered, because it just highlights their stupidity, but Jo is not an idiot, and she usually has very good, thoughtful, justifiable reasons for the opinions she holds. Keep that in mind, and expect that blasting her will result in me having to do something. Don't make me angry, you won't like me when I'm angry.

And there are reasons I want to protect any liberals who stop by:
-it takes great courage to post in your opponents' camp.
-debate and challenge almost always refines ideas and solutions

-Most importantly (and the reason for this post), is that through our debates and arguments, I've found that we can get all angry and hurt, and then for the sake of the friendship keep trying to explain and understand...and end up realizing we are saying the exact same thing.

It makes me wonder: is it possible that the Left and the Right don't even understand the basic terminology we use?

Liberals right now are claiming that if the voters had truly understood their position, they would have voted Democrat. At the same time, their explanations of why people did vote Republican reveal that they have no understanding of Republican voters.

Where is the fundamental disconnect?

Is it possible that a liberal explanation and a conservative explanation of nearly identical opinions will invariably result in misunderstandings? Is the angle of viewpoint more important than the actual position held?

If so, that is a very significant factor that needs to be integrated into future political discussions.


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Posted by Nathan at 10:15 AM | Comments (9)
The Football Gods Hate the Chiefs, Continued; Plus Musings « Kansas City Chiefs »

Did you know that two teams have had the longest runs of their entire history in games against Kansas City this year? Sure, the Carolina Panthers haven't been around that long....but Tampa Bay?!?!

The Carolina Panthers also had one moment when Delhomme was being slung around for a sack, and he flung up the ball....and it just happened to land perfectly in some back-up's hands for a touchdown. That should not happen in the NFL.

And even though it is tough to stop a 1-yard line plunge leap over the pile at the goal-line, Kansas City played it perfectly and stopped it. But he landed on his feet and was able to roll forward and score a touchdown.


This year, it seems, every possible break that can go against Kansas City, does.

The defense isn't playing that badly. Excessive injuries to key players has kept them from having a fully-healthy squad on the field, and have forced inexperienced players into the starting lineup and sometimes into new roles (Biesel starting at MLB despite spending the whole preseason preparing for OLB).

...and yet, even though the defense isn't strong, they aren't exactly the problem. They held Edgerrin James to 34 yards on 10 carries and made the Colts abandon the run. They stuffed Jamal Lewis and made him a non-factor. They got critical stops in each of the wins. They've missed the critical stops in the losses, yeah, but the plain fact is: when the offense underperforms expectations, KC loses. When they play up to their level, we win. It's just that simple. The Chiefs' offense has not met expectations in 5 games this season, and that's just wrong.

I'm looking toward next year, now. Yeah, the Chiefs aren't mathematically eliminated from winning the division, but it would take a near-miraculous 2nd half just to make the playoffs at this point.

I'm thinking Dick Vermeil is done. If not, he should be. I'd bet that the nature of disappointment of not even challenging for the playoffs will be a bitter enough pill that he leaves coaching.

If so, who takes over next? I don't know, but whoever it is should be able to build on what Vermeil has built and take us to the next level.

Furthermore, despite complaints about Peterson's drafts and free agency moves, they have produced some impressive successes:
Trent Green, Priest Holmes, Monty Biesel (played to near-pro-bowl levels at times), Jared Allen (slowly building a case for Defensive Rookie of the Year, his stats aren't far off Julius Peppers' pace from a few years ago: on pace for 9 sacks from a 4th-round draft pick not expected to ever be a starter ain't bad), Tony Gonzalez, Willie Roaf, Casey Wiegmann, Jason Dunn, Dante Hall, Brian Waters, Scott Fujita, Derrick Blaylock...all are players any team would love to have as at least a starter-level back-up, all are players that any team could have had, and the only one that cost any significant price at all was Tony Gonzalez. Of all these players, the only ones that might be just about done are Priest Holmes and Willie Roaf, and Priest Holmes has decent replacements. Not sure about Roaf's back-ups, but then, he's good enough to keep almost anyone on the bench, isn't he?

Plus, KC has a good nucleus for the future at several positions for at least the next 3 years. To tell the truth, this year's draft and Rookie FA class may result in several eventual pro-bowlers. I can't wait to see what more experience will do for Keyaron Fox, Kawika Mitchell, Monty Biesel, Jared Allen, Junior Siavii, Benny Sapp, Kris Wilson, William Bartee, Shaunard Harts, Greg Wesley, Kevin Samson, Brett Williams, Derrick Blaylock, Chris Horn (a steal as a diamond in the rough), Willie Pile, Samie Parker, Jordon Black, Scott Fujita, Mark Boerigter, Montique Sharpe, Jeris McIntyre, Richard Smith, Aaron Golliday, and Scott Connot. That's almost a team right there, and even the practice squadders have shown enough flashes of ability to be solid starters, if not stars. Some of the current starters may reach pro-bowl level soon.

If Peterson keeps hitting good base hits on most of his picks and free agents like the last two years, we'll challenge almost yearly for the next decade. But at this point, I'm just about thinking the problem is coaching. Whatever mix we have isn't getting it done. I don't think the problem is Vermeil, necessarily, or Saunders, or Cunningham, or any of the position coaches. But the totality of their abilities isn't meshing well. What I mean is, without Vermeil's vision and his ability to make a family of his team, we wouldn't have even gotten this far! Evidence: Trent Green, who few believed would play at this level, and Lionel Dalton, who struggled under Shanahan's Mind Games technique, but thrives in Vermeil's Family Style. But Vermeil needs the right assistants to get it done. He is an excellent coach, but he has only one Superbowl win, and even that came when his coordinators had excellent seasons; both are Head Coaches now. Meaning, offense alone doesn't cut it, and Vermeil doesn't seem to realize that. If we are going to challenge for the Superbowl this year, we may have to lay off the offense side of the ball a little and see if we can't stock the defense.

I understand why they took Larry Johnson: no one knew for sure about Priest Holmes, and Derrick Blaylock hadn't emerged yet. And I can't fault them for adding Kris Wilson, because I still think he would have been a monster in our offense, feasting off of TG double-teams until it forced teams to lay off TG more, allowing him some monster games. I think if Wilson hadn't been hurt, we'd be 7-1 right now...
...and yet, we've got a #1 draft pick at third string running back. Imagine what an equivalent pick spent on a defensive player could have gotten us, particularly at linebacker where we could have gotten a strong speed-rusher who can blow up running plays and cover on pass plays....particularly one who wouldn't blow an assignment on a running play that allows a team to have their longest run of their entire history.... That might have won 3 of the games right there. Not to mention that if they were so correct on Jared Allen with the 4th pick, couldn't we have gotten a solid back-up on defense with the pick we spent on Samie Parker (a player who still doesn't have even one catch!)?
And I think you can chalk up the very first loss to the Broncos directly to going into the game with only 4 active WRs. I've thought about it 18 different ways, and there is no reason Chris Horn shouldn't have been on the team and active that night. And that judgment has been borne out by what Horn has done in extremely limited playing time. He never makes the highlight reels because he's such an unheralded unknown, but it seems to me like he's made one highlight-reel-worthy catch in every game he's seen significant action, including each of the last 3 games.

So I'm looking forward to the future. The team isn't good enough this year, but the right coach and a decent offseason of draft- and free-agent- acquisitions should let us contend for the Super Bowl for several of the next handful of years.

As always, we'll see...

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Posted by Nathan at 09:42 AM | Comments (0)
» The LLama Butchers links with: Yeah, and Custer had a plan too

November 10, 2004

FYI « Social Issues »

Just in case you are interested, in perusing the nekkid pictures of Ami, the hot lesbian on Survivor: Vanuatu, (work-safe link) it is quickly apparent that her 'large, heaving mammary glands' are both fake, and not all that well-done.

I hope that doesn't ruin anyone's day.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:42 PM | Comments (1)
» The LLama Butchers links with: Rather disconcerting news
Too Cool to My Narcissistic Disorder « Blogging »

I have no idea how they stumbled across my blog. However, this was in my sitemeter referral log.

Unless it’s changed (and it took me a full minute to figure out where the link was), it should be highlighted in a big box on the left-hand side.

Is that cool, or what?

I know it means nothing. It’s only gotten me one extra hit that I can see. But I gotta say these are the moments that make hours/days/weeks of blogging worthwhile.

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Posted by Nathan at 03:11 PM | Comments (0)
Democrats More Compassionate? « Social Issues »

Not by a longshot.

Picture below the fold:

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Posted by Nathan at 10:34 AM | Comments (3)
» Aaron's Rantblog, aka Aaron the Liberal Slayer links with: Michele Malkin Catches Up
Hand-Wringing and Leftward Shifts (Updated) « Politics As Usual »

The big question before the election from my point of view was: if Bush wins, what happens to the angry left? If the people reject liberal Big Government, what happens? People don't just abandon dearly-held beliefs because they are shown to be a slight minority.

We on the right have gloated. Why not? We have the right, because President George Bush won the election on morals and character despite a deliberately slanted coverage from mainstream media, despite lies and exaggerations about his past and his results, despite the mainstream media believing every negative thing about President Bush, no matter how spurrious; and ignoring every negative item about Senator Kerry, no matter how credible.

But if you take a spin around the blogosphere, you'll see a whole bunch of lefties saying they didn't fight dirty enough, they didn't wage a liberal enough campaign; and you see righties disparaging them for it.

It's part of the gloating, sure. But I don't really feel like joining in.

You see, while I think liberals and Democrats are absolutely wrong when they say this election didn't deliver a mandate to George Bush and Republicans, I also disagree with those saying liberals have any reason to change their tactics or ideology.

Here's my thinking: 48% of the population voted for Kerry. Okay, that is far less strong than the 51% that voted for Bush, not just in raw percentage, but also in that a good percentage of Kerry voters would have voted for a half-eaten pot pie if it they thought it would have a chance to defeat George Bush. This Anybody-But-Bush crowd is probably incapable of recognizing or accepting that Bush did anything good, even if it was identical to their stated goals or if they directly benefited. So those people are fools.

But the rest? Well, here's another article that seems to be chortling at those silly liberals who don't realize America doesn't want a liberal agenda inacted. I guess I can understand the ultimate rationale: most conservatives don't agree with Republicans 100%, so we want a valid, reasonable opposition party with a rational platform that allows debate and choice. The farther left the Democrats go, the more they resort to vicious diatribes and ad hominem attacks vice policy debate, the fewer choices remain to thinking voters. However, while I cannot agree with the overall ideology of Hollywood, I actually find it somewhat admirable that they aren't abandoning their principles just because they lost an election. If they did, it would mean that too many people in the country would be voting for stereotypes of Democrats and Republicans rather than the actual beliefs, platforms, and ideology. I would prefer that liberals don't vote Republican because they don't agree that tax cuts stimulate economic activity and governmental regulations slow the same, rather than not voting for a Republican because they think all Republicans are racist, rich white men who are all involved in a plot to exploit women and minorities.

As long as liberals continue to fight for what they believe in, as long as they are able to marshal arguments and struggle to find acceptance for their goals, we are a stronger nation for it. It shouldn't just be about "winning" and "losing" in elections, it should be about debate and discussion. Conservatives should recognize that liberals have some valid and valuable views, and co-opt the best of them. But we aren't going to have the chance to discuss it if liberals "go to ground" and change their message even more just to get elected.*

If it isn't clear, the point of this post is that I'm a little tired of conservatives taunting liberals, telling them to shut up, implying their agenda has been completely rejected and/or 100% defunct. No.
Then again, my reaction in the comments is because I'm also tired of liberals using their Mainstream Media bully pulpit and celebrity status to try to de-legitimize Bush's clear mandate.
So my point is: Bush won, and he won a mandate. This doesn't mean Democrats should knuckle under and do what Bush says, but it also means Bush should be able to introduce his proposals and his nominations without snide sniping and carping from liberal talking heads. Let the debate happen among the people who face re-election in 2006, because that's how our democracy works. Oppose Bush by writing your representative or writing letters to the editor or blogposts. Support him the same way. But it is absolutely wrong to minimize or exaggerate the impact of the election results: Bush won an outright majority, the GOP expanded their majority in both houses and in governerships, and 11 SSM ban amendments were passed. That does mean something...but on the other hand, it doesn't mean liberals should stop trying to persuade/convince.

And also check out this thinking. I don't agree with his specific views, but I asbolutely agree with his overall point.

Read More "Hand-Wringing and Leftward Shifts (Updated)" »

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Posted by Nathan at 09:54 AM | Comments (2)
A Message From Sally Strothers « Link O' Admiration »

So, please, people, please, please send money to...where-ever money is sent, to help these poor children...

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Posted by Nathan at 09:28 AM | Comments (2)
Left-Wing Domestic Terrorism Imminent « Social Issues »

I don't really want to be alarmist, but this item should be extremely disturbing to Democrats.


Three high school students face charges for using a bat to beat another student who taunted them about being John Kerry supporters days after the contentious election.

The 17-year-old Apple Valley victim was assaulted Thursday in a Minnesota Zoo parking lot near Apple Valley's School of Environmental Studies, better known as the zoo school. Chad McKay, also 17, stood over the victim attempting to protect him.

"It's a good thing to see young people interested and excited about politics," said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom. "It's obviously very disturbing to see this kind of violence over it."

The SAINT PAUL PIONEER PRESS reported in morning editions: The argument began earlier in the day Thursday with a discussion about candidates the minors had supported for president, Backstrom said. The two victims supported President Bush.

"We were sitting in the computer room at school, and there was kind of a political debate," said Chad McKay of Arden Hills. "Some people said only gay people vote for Bush." Chad said the victim said "only gay people would vote for Kerry because he supports gay marriage."

Backstrom said the victims then "called the other guys some names."

Chad said later in the afternoon when he and the victim were walking to their cars they heard their three senior classmates yelling at them, according to the police report.

Chad got to his car, but the three 17-year-olds attacked the victim, he said, hitting him in face, including with a baseball bat and kicking him. One boy had a padlock wrapped around his finger, Chad said.

Democrats are not responsible for it, no. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying this is a reflection of the Democrat Party at all.

However, the rhetoric of many liberal writers, celebrities, and spokespeople is vile and hateful enough to encourage this sort of thing. The Democrat Party constitutes the main outward expression of liberal thought, and represents the main channel of expression for liberals in this country. Even more specifically, Democrats actively sought to reduce the channels for liberal expression by attempting to block the Green Party from getting on the ballot in several states. When people lack avenues for political expression, they often turn to violence.

The Republicans handled the issue horribly in the 90s, and I think that resulted in right-wing violence, particularly Timothy McVeigh. President Clinton was wrong to blame that event directly on Right-Wing Talk Radio, but in a very real sense, there was an indirect responsibility.

Kids like this turn into adults who burn swastikas into lawns and fire bullets through windows and otherwise attempt to intimidate voters to win elections. How the Democrat Party Leadership responds to this will be telling. How the Democrat Party as a whole works to reduce the accumulated resentment and to provide safe channels to express anger and release pressure will make a huge difference in preventing Left-Wing violence and terrorism over the next four years.

If you think I'm being overwrought or over-reacting, just call me Cassandra.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:20 AM | Comments (0)
Why I'm More of a "Conservative" than a "Republican"

I agree with pretty much everything Mr. Goldberg says in his article today.

So, yeah, I'd gladly take Republicans losing the next 20 elections if taxes and spending were both continually reduced, we continued to take military action to depose dictators and defeat terrorism, and the nation adopted a more conservative attitude toward morals and standards.


If the Democrats won more elections by moving to the middle, it would be bad news for the Republican party, to be sure. But it would be good news for America — if you believe, as I do, that America would be better off moving in a more conservative direction. Keep in mind that when the Democrats move to the left, the Republicans move leftward to the middle — that is, to the left. So Republicans who cheer the leftward tilt of the Democrats shouldn't be surprised when the entire political center of gravity moves to the left as well.

Yep, I want what's good for America according to my value system far more than I want what's good for Republicans. Maybe the difference is that Democrats generally assume that what is good for their party is automatically good for the country?'s a thought.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:09 AM | Comments (0)
Irony Alert « Social Issues »

In order to make things "perfect" for an event honoring Bill Clinton, a city betrays basic liberal principles.

It's actually a very interesting article when you start getting into the responses of City Officials and hear the different viewpoints on what is actually going on...

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Posted by Nathan at 09:01 AM | Comments (0)
Quantum Politics « New Thinking »

From a co-worker (who cites Fark, comes the meme:

Schrodinger's Arafat, i.e., continually existing in a uncertain state, neither dead or alive until someone actually checks on him, in which case the actual act of observing him will affect his state of life or death.

Maybe he could win the Nobel Award for Science as well as Peace?

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Posted by Nathan at 07:51 AM | Comments (0)
» The LLama Butchers links with: A new form of quantum mechanics is discovered

November 09, 2004

This Just In « Politics As Usual »

John Ashcroft resigned.

...was I the last to know?

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Posted by Nathan at 04:26 PM | Comments (3)
Hey, I Was Going To Say That « Social Issues »
Love, in fact, is just as silly and superstitious a concept as God (and for those who believe God is Love, this too is a distinction without a difference). Chesterton's observation that the purely rational man will not marry is just as correct today, because science has done far more damage to the ideal of love than it has done to the notion of an awesome God beyond our ken. Genes, hormones, instincts, evolution: These are the cause for the effect of love in the purely rational man's textbook. But Maher would get few applause lines from his audience of sophisticated yokels if he mocked love as a silly superstition. This is, in part, because the crowd he plays to likes the idea of love while it dislikes the idea of God; and in part because these people feel love, so they think it exists. But such is the extent of their solipsism and narcissism that they not only reject the existence of God but go so far as to mock those who do not, simply because they don't feel Him themselves. And, alas, in elite America, feelings are the only recognized foundation of metaphysics.

Yep, you guessed it: Jonah Goldberg. The whole second half of the piece, excluding the last two concluding paragraphs, is a nice philosophical argument against atheism (though not necessarily for God). A good read. Be sure you read all of it.

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Posted by Nathan at 02:07 PM | Comments (0)
Rumors of My Demise Were Widely Exaggerated « Blogging »

Shoot, I'm blogging up a storm and loving it. I can't find enough time to post all the things I want to post.

I'll be around for a while, don't worry.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:50 AM | Comments (0)
» RIGHT ON RED >> links with: Next Please
Cool! « Blogging »

The Billings Gazette has me as a Montana blogger, even though I am only by the most tenuous of connections. I don't live there, I don't blog about issues there...but I became the person I am today due mainly to the influences of growing up there.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:16 AM | Comments (4)
News From the Global War On Morality* « GWOM »

A victory**.

A loss.

A battle joined.

Read More "News From the Global War On Morality*" »

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Posted by Nathan at 08:27 AM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2004

[Wipes Eyes] « Link O' Admiration »

I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard.

If it doesn't qualify as a "liquids alert" for you guys, I apologize. Somethings just hit you right, I guess.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:07 PM | Comments (1)
Light Posting Alert « Blogging »

Bad News. I'm extremely busy today. I may post this evening after you have mostly all gone to bed, but no guarantees. Light to moderate posting tomorrow with a 35% chance of puns. Full normal posting to resume Wednesday.

That is all. Return to your lives, citizens.

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Posted by Nathan at 02:01 PM | Comments (0)

November 07, 2004

The Football Gods... « Kansas City Chiefs »

...really seem to hate the Kansas City Chiefs. That's the best analysis of the Chiefs over the last few decades, and also of their most recent game.

More soon, probably Tuesday or Wednesday.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)
» evolution links with: chiefs report: week 9 (3-5)

November 06, 2004

Okay, Slightly More Than 29 Hours... « GWOT »

Remember my prediction?

Today, at Llama Butchers, Steve says:

Axis Sully of course has his skirts in a bunch, after rediscovering what the war is about. Sorry Sully---too little too late.

Advantage: Brain Fertilizer, the Blogging Machine, natch!

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Posted by Nathan at 10:59 AM | Comments (2)

November 05, 2004

I Know This Won't Be Well-Received, But... « Social Issues »


...going on looks alone*, I wouldn't want either one. Jenna looks like she's getting ready to join the East German Shotput team**, and Barbara looks like the kind of girl who sets fire to your '78 Trans Am because she overheard another girl saying you have cute hair in the dormitory rec room.

I'll pass, thanks.

Read More "I Know This Won't Be Well-Received, But..." »

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Posted by Nathan at 07:54 PM | Comments (8)
» The LLama Butchers links with: Not exactly Alice Roosevelt...
The War President « GWOT »

Courage is composed of sacrifice. He carries each loss with him:


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Posted by Nathan at 10:27 AM | Comments (1)
Question « Blogging »

Has anyone started blogging because of me? Don't I have any blogchildren?*

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Posted by Nathan at 10:22 AM | Comments (2)
Update On Sen. Specter « Politics As Usual »

From the Opinion Journal.

The ideological shift has already come in handy in keeping certain troublemaking members in line. Ask Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania moderate known for giving his party migraines. Having won a tough re-election with fuel from the White House, Mr. Specter, who is due by seniority to take over the Judiciary Committee, chose to repay President Bush by warning him Wednesday not to send any controversial appointments.

By yesterday, Mr. Specter had done a 360 and released a contrite communiqué praising Mr. Bush's past nominees and promising any new ones a committee vote in 30 days. It seems his colleagues took him aside to remind him that not only does he need the party to vote him into that job, it can also throw him out. Mr. Specter may also be held in check, as will others, by the fact that 55 seats may give the GOP the right to a two-vote majority on certain committees, isolating party holdouts.

Yeah, baby!

Aside: this is cool, too:

...Mr. Daschle's [political] demise came precisely because his opponent effectively explained to voters that it was Mr. Daschle who stymied the same president's agenda. That's something to chew on if you are the state's junior senator, Tim Johnson, or Max Baucus of Montana (59% for Bush), or Arkansas's Blanche Lincoln (54%).

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Posted by Nathan at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)
Winning the Big Dance « Kansas City Chiefs »

I'm not saying they will. There's too far to go to even hope, at this point. We've got two games against teams with losing records but still possess enough weapons to grab a win if KC has a bad gameday. Then the Patriots. Then 5 games against AFC West opponents, including an important game against the Broncos at Arrowhead and both games against San Diego.

I tell ya, I'm nervous. We're still in the hole. We've shown flashes of true brilliance lately, but there are still too many key players out for me to feel any of the following games are "in the bag".

Then again, that may be the way Chiefs' fans, and, more importantly, the Chiefs themselves, should feel. Last year, we almost had it too easy in the first 9 games. It left us all wondering: did we peak too early? Can we sustain this through the Superbowl? Obviously, the answer to that was "no".

Looking back, there were a few factors that led to the fast start and late-season demise. First, we pumped up our defensive record against inexperienced quarterbacks playing on otherwise good teams. Second, although we got in a good rhythm on offense and defense, we also got into a rut. The offensive production didn't really taper off much (we didn't punt against the Colts, either, remember?), but we did show enough of our hand that we left ourselves open to exploitation.

This year, the defense seems to be peaking with a nice timing. They are getting better every week, the performances are good enough, and the confidence is building that the players actually grasp the system. Gunther's system plays to our defenders' strengths, and it is no surprise that Warfield, Bartee, and Hicks are experiencing resurgent seasons: they are back under the guy that sought them out! They are getting better every week, and with a strong showing the next two weeks, we could actually end the season with a top-10 defense. Amazing.

But what's happened on offense is also significant. Lacking two of the potentially biggest playmakers, as projected from the preseason (Boerigter and Wilson), with defenders obviously having figured out the Green-to-Holmes Swing Pass, and the replacement of Tait with Welbourn, we struggled in the early season. With the offense we had last season, the offense should have had the firepower to protect the defense in the early part of the season, but did not. I still blame the offense for the losses, not the defense. The Jaguars should not have been close enough to pick off the win, yanno? But the good part of it is that it forced Saunders to innovate once more, and he apparently has found the right combination. I can't say for sure, but I'll bet that if other defenses figure out how to stop what we're doing now, it will leave them open for Priest Holmes swing passes and allow Eddie Kennison and Dante Hall to get 50-yard TD catches...

And we are doing all this with largely sub-par Special Teams play. If we get that aspect of the game firing on all cylinders during the playoffs, watch out!

In the end, if we do make it to the Super Bowl and win, it will be far more soul-satisfying to have made it this way than last year's "9-0, then back into the playoffs" method. Heck, with as badly as we started, just making it to the AFC Championships would have to be considered a success.

It will be an interesting 2nd half of the season, to say the least.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:10 AM | Comments (1)

November 04, 2004

Hey, Ya'll « Politics As Usual »

Someone remind me a few days from now to muse outloud on the idea of why: the more dense the population, the more liberal the vote.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:11 PM | Comments (3)
FYI « Blogging »

I am a blogging machine. I'm serious. I'm blogging like a maniac here. Check out the number of posts over the last few days, and I'm not even slacking from post-election let-down. I'm a blogging machine. Me. Brain Fertilizer = blogging machine. You heard it here first, that Nathan has been a blogging machine, is a blogging machine now, and plans on continuing to be a blogging machine. When I do social issues I'm a blogging machine, when I do political issues I'm a blogging machine, and you know dang well when I'm in a punning mood, I'm a blogging machine that few can match.
Yessiree. I'm simply a blogging machine.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:55 PM | Comments (4)
» Accidental Verbosity links with: Go visit Nathan...
» The LLama Butchers links with: It's official!
What Do Democrats Do Now? « Politics As Usual »

I think this is fairly accurate:

All of the biggest guns in the left's arsenal - Hollywood, the trial lawyers, the unions, the New York Times, CBS, newly-minted strident liberal talk radio, bombastic and inaccurate "documentaries," all of the skewed members of the MSM... all of them brought their A-game, threw themselves into this fight... and lost to the blogs, talk radio, alternative media, conservative religious groups, and a well-organized GOP ground game.

It's over. None of the left's old tools works anymore. They have to scrap it and start over, and that's why you see the weeping and the wailing and the hair being pulled out.

So what happens? Republicans/conservatives are fond of telling Democrats what they should do next, or at least musing over where the anger will go now. A plethora of Democrats are sinking into the mire of Cargo Cult politics*, telling anyone who will listen that they need to figure out the magic formula of faking Republican sincerity so they can be in power again.

But I guess I'm one of the conservatives musing over the outlet for liberal anger now.

And I really have no idea. For all that I insist the highest levels of the Democrat Party are more about having power for powers' sake rather than helping people as they purport to, just getting defeated in several elections doesn't make people abandon their convictions. No ideology has been proven wrong, but liberalism has obviously losing support among the common person, partly because President Johnson's Great Society spent money like water and just made things worse, partly because gun control (a major liberal platform) has been strongly demonstrated to increase violent crime, partly because a majority of the population now wants far more strict restrictions on abortion. But the issues themselves haven't been disproven enough to change anyone's mind.

So whether the Democrat party collapses or not, I still believe a good 1/3 of the nation's voters remain committed to a liberal ideology, and is despairing of ever convincing enough people to adopt their view.

What happens?

To tell the truth, I'm a little scared. Democrats are quick to point out the DU inhabitants, the gunshots through GOP HQ windows', the swastikas burned into lawns, the most rabid "Bush lied" crowd, the domestic terrorists like ELF and PETA are all examples of fringe and fringe activities. But there are a staggering number of events, when you add them all up. Look at how much chaos spread in Italy by the Red Brigades, or in Germany by the Bader-Meinhoff Group. Or in the United States by Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

Do we face the possibility of leftist terrorist groups forming?

Read More "What Do Democrats Do Now?" »

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Posted by Nathan at 03:26 PM | Comments (17)
» The LLama Butchers links with: What's next?
» Ambient Irony links with: Yeah, Like That'll Work
» Ambient Irony links with: Yeah, Like That'll Work
Scott and Laci Peterson « Social Issues »

Just heard a comment on Fox News that I thought was intriguing.

"Scott Peterson has to be the most unlikely man in the world to go fishing in the same lake that his murdered wife's body turned up in..."

So, yeah: the jury is facing a choice that either Scott is really stupid or really unlucky. I believe in stupidity more than I believe in luck.

Speaking of luck, though, Mr. Peterson is rather lucky I'm not on the jury.

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Posted by Nathan at 02:37 PM | Comments (0)

Dead Or Alive? I don't know. If he's not dead, he soon will be.

But the important point is that he is no longer the power in Palestine. His power is in the process of being transferred to others. There is no way his power concentration could be transferred to a single individual, and so power in Palestine will be diffused and divided among a number of individuals. This is a very good thing. Having power divided among several people means that one person cannot stop progress or obstruct peace on a whim or plain stubbornness, as I feel Arafat often did. And none of these people will have the name or stature among the Palestinians as Arafat did. That means there are a variety of pressures that can be brought to bear upon whoever the turn out to be that could not have been brought to bear on Arafat.

As I said before off-line, the prospects of peace between Palestine and Israel seem to go up in direct correlation to the decline of Arafat's health.

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Posted by Nathan at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)
Faithless Legislators (UPDATED) « Politics As Usual »

So Specter wins re-election because President Bush demonstrated his typical loyalty in stumping for him rather than the more-ideologically similar Toomey.

How does Sen. Specter repay him?

A knife in the back.

I tell ya, it doesn't seem to pay to be an honorable Pro-Life politician when Abortion Rights are on the line.

UPDATE: Apparently, I over-reacted on the "betrayal" aspect. Okay, I definitely over-reacted. However, it does mean I agree he shouldn't be Senate Judiciary Chairman.

More stuff I agree with.

More stuff on Toomey vs. Specter.

UPDATE: I agree, this statement is better:
Official Statement

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Posted by Nathan at 07:46 AM | Comments (8)
Who Threw The First Punch? « Social Issues »

Over at Q and O, McQ had this to say:

And by that I also mean government that stays out of the bedroom as well as out of the boardroom. So back off the marriage amendment nonsense. That’s something the people should decide at a much lower level. And they are.

Fair enough, and a good request. Except that in several states, the people had decided, and the courts still avoided democracy to impose SSM marriage on a largely unwilling populace. Okay, yeah, 11 states amended their constitution to ban SSM. We'll see if it works. If it does, President Bush will leave the Amendment to the US Constitution on the table. Heck, he'll probably leave it on the table, anyway, since the vote in the 11 states gives it more teeth as a threat to social activists to back off and stop using legal (i.e., non-democratic) means to impose SSM.

Just don't forget, President Bush had stayed out of it until the Massachussetts Supreme Court told the legislature to rewrite the state constitution according to the Mass SC dictates. He brandished the stick, the 11 state constitution amendments added some nails to the stick, and things should quiet down for a while.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:43 AM | Comments (0)
Hillary! In 2008 « Politics As Usual »

I can't remember if I've said it here before or not, but I'm not worried about Hillary Clinton running for President in 2008 or ever.

First, the character of the nation has changed quite a bit. I think it may be possible for a strong candidate to take her seat in the Senate, frankly. But US citizens won't automatically vote her to the Presidency based on the 90s administration anymore.

Second, I think being a Senator has changed her quite a bit. She's done a fairly good job there, to tell the truth, abstaining from many opportunities to try to grab the limelight. Heck, at least she shows up for Senate votes. She's a complete Democrat Partisan, but I have no problem with that, it's her job to be that way.

Third, the only real experience she can point to is her Senate experience, and we've already discussed and seen that the candidate with executive experience is always the stronger candidate.

Fourth, the mainstream media has been damaged from their behavior in this last election, and bloggers (and the internet in general) are becoming an important source of news, commentary, and authentication/verification for people seeking knowledge about the world and events. If the legacy media continues to shill so much for the Democrat candidate, they will lose even more credibility (see above, re: the character of the nation has changed); but if they want to retain and/or improve their credibility, they will have to start being more balanced in their coverage of election campaigns. Either way, the free pass for Democrats is probably over, and without that edge, I don't think she can get elected.

I don't consider her the Anti-Christ. She's just another Democrat Senator now, and I think Condi Rice, Jeb Bush, or Rudy Giuliani would all make stronger candidates who could trounce her easily.

But it does depend on how the next 3-4 years go.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:15 AM | Comments (4)
» The LLama Butchers links with: The last east coast blogger left standing
» The LLama Butchers links with: Tongue-Swallowers Watch

November 03, 2004

Befuddlement « Blogging »

Okay, I admit it: I like some of the new functionality at NZ Bear's latest version of the Ecosystem.

Except that I don't understand the way he does the links anymore. Apparently I've whined my way into enough attention that my actual work is getting attention now. I suddenly jumped up to 169 unique links and a ranking in the low 800s, good enough for Large Mammal.

...but when I look at the links on the bottom of the page, it's all the same people, and there's only 23 of 'em. How do I find the other linkers (looks like about 30 new ones in the last few days...probably due to the generous attention I've been getting from the Llama Butchers)?

I like to link the people who link me, but I can't link you back if I don't know about it. I used to find an occasional new linker from Ecosystem as well as I can't figure out how to do that with the Ecosystem. Any suggestions?

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Posted by Nathan at 07:19 PM | Comments (2)
An Opposite View « GWOT »

Serena Lu Chang has said she can't figure out why I go by her blog. She's obviously liberal, and I'm obviously conservative and/or Republican. Well, simply put, she makes me laugh. Not at her, but with her.

She talks about her distress in this piece. If I hear about anyone giving her crap, I'll ban you from my site. Even if we have opposite political views and have never actually talked together, I like her. So leave her alone.

Here's the thing. I think she doesn't understand President Bush, and has believed too easily that Bush is simplisticly waging a war against evil. I admit his "Axis of Evil" speech makes it easy to assume that. Heck, I hated that terminology myself because it seemed to me to deny the fact that evil tendencies exist in all of us. Yes, even Barbara Streisand.

So here's what she says:

In my opinion, George Bush's worldview is that the world is divided into two absolute categories: good and evil. For him, there is little to nothing in between. This basic belief motivates his behavior. Invading a country is clearly justified if its leader is evil. Taking away certain civil liberties with the Patriot Act is justified if you believe it will help to catch people who are evil. Banning gay marriage is justified if any marriage between anyone besides a man and a woman is evil. Because evil is bad. Absolutely. And therefore, anything you do to eradicate evil is good: the ends justify the means. A thousand dead American soldiers are unfortunate, but they are justified because their deaths contributed to the removal of an evil man from government.

And that's where I disagree. As I said in her comments, the only simplistic aspect to Bush's Global War on Terror is that large numbers of American citizens dying in horrifying and terrifying ways is worth using military force to attempt to stop.

In my opinion, absolute good and evil do not exist. The world is gray. It is scary and uncertain and full of many complicated layers which swirl around in a stew of ambiguity and make you want to pull the covers over your head.

And that's exactly why President Bush authorized the invasion of Iraq. Because the world is gray, and it's hard to separate the evil of Selma, Alabama from the evil of Tian An Men Square from the evil of feeding people into plastic shredders from the evil of govt-funded abortion on demand from the evil of allowing children to starve from the evil of "rape as punishment" from the evil of playing with the lives and futures of colonies in some European "Great Game". It's even more difficult to assign blame in all those cases...from the person who orders it to the people who don't rise up to depose those responsible to the support systems like the UN that make it possible.

So the one thing we can do is make the world a little safer, reduce the number of places that lack Rule of Law or an understanding of basic freedoms and equality. Remove sources of chaos, one by one. Make the world a little less dark. That's what the GWOT is all about.

Serena assumes that President Bush wants to stop Homosexual Marriage because he deems it evil. That's as silly as if I assumed she supports Homosexual Marriage because she deems it a more pure form of love. The thing is, behaviors have consequences. A govt can try and mitigate consequences, and a govt can attempt to encourage or discourage certain behaviors, but at this time, all evidence indicates that it is good for the stability of a society to promote heterosexual families as a source of repopulation, stability of childhood development, and the teaching of the moralities that maintain societal harmony and peaceful co-existence, but that there is no compelling evidence that SSM would promote the same aspects enough to be worth the destabilizing effect. Maybe someday that evidence will become clear, but at this point, it's not there. The lessons of Pandora's Box should not be so easily dismissed, because the troubles never go back into the box. And one unfortunate aspect of human nature is to push the envelope, and to take "legal" as "license" to the point of ignoring common sense limits.

There are ways to argue against the Global War on Terror and for Homosexual Marriage rights without automatically assuming your opponent is a stupid idiot who can't understand the complexity of the complicated world. Especially when your opponent is someone who has successfully overcome a drug and alcohol addiction, raised a family, lived on the planet for nearly 6 decades, held two of the most important executive positions in the most powerful nation on the planet, and outfoxed both Democrat strategists and the UN. Karl Rove wasn't around for all of that, so you can't say Bush is merely a puppet.

I don't know. Serena, your post touched me more than most people on the left. You seem genuinely perplexed, rather than sputteringly angry that President Bush "stole another election" or whatever passes for talking points among the Moonbats right now. I hope that you can accept this post as a reasonable explanation rather than a rebuke or insult.

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Posted by Nathan at 03:53 PM | Comments (5)
The New "Manifest Destiny" « Social Issues »

Please Note: This is not my best post. It is full of gaping holes and not organized all that well. Have fun reading it anyway.

In the 1800s, there was a concept called Manifest Destiny.

Simply put:

In the 1840s the phrase was used by politicians and leaders to justify and promote territorial expansion across the North American continent by providing a sense of mission to citizens. It promoted this sense of mission by fomenting a desire to establish a large empire-like nation in which the ideals of democracy, freedom, and progress are ostensibly protected and promoted.

See? Wikipedia is wonderful.

But not so good when it defines the modern "Manifest Destiny", or Progressivism. Its description seems to be somewhat lacking to me.

Because a good third of our population is committed to the idea that freedom and "rights" will be expanded endlessly until we have achieved a standardless society, a in which anyone can do anything they want without fear of anyone expressing disapproval. This is more than a goal, you see. They think they have already won. They think it is destiny. It is more than a belief, it is nearly a delusion.

And you see the ramifications of this played out on the national stage. If they've already won, then all that matters is getting the right numbers to appear that express that victory. So there is no such thing as a "fraudulent" vote, and there is no crime in disallowing a conservative vote. Because any dirty tricks, any intimidation, any dishonest tactic, well, it's all justified as necessary to sidestep the schemes and dirty tactics of the evil conservatives who want to deny the free, standardless society. Any rhetorical device is allowed, any cheating is fine, as long as humanity inches closer toward the nirvana of total freedom.

Okay, none of this is news to most of you. Stick with me a moment.

It's been said (and I agree), that Conservatism took a big blow when the general population of the United States failed to support Republicans in the standoff with Clinton that resulted in the temporary shutdown of the federal government. But then liberalism took a big blow when the general population failed to support Hillary Clinton's plan for Universal Single-Payer (i.e., govt-funded) Healthcare. The conclusion was obvious: Americans didn't really want a bigger government, but they didn't really want a smaller one, either.

And here's the point: how did each side react?

The Progressives went underground. They pushed their agenda through litmus tests for politicians regarding abortion, through public demonization of morals arising from religion, and through activist judges. They are attempting to litigate their vision into existence, and have no problem imposing their will on an unwilling but hapless majority. That's why you see Progressives fight like anything to disqualify conservative judges. That's why you see Progressives attempt to control the reins of govt bureaucratic power, so they can maintain funding and agenda control for Planned Parenthood, PBS, affirmative action programs, etc.

The Conservatives retooled their whole organization. Rather than trying to impose a vision in an underhanded manner, conservatives set out to educate and persuade at the lowest levels, and wait until a later date to try again to reduce government.

That's one of the reasons you see a resurgence of conservatism on college campuses. That's one of the reasons why you don't see current Republican lawmakers making much attempt to reduce spending. That's why you see Republicans more than willing to turn things over to democratic systems, like Constitutional Amendments and Initiatives and Referendums. Because Conservatives are confident that most of the major platforms of the Progessive Movement are in the process of being rejected. Gun Control is nearly completely debunked, as "Shall Issue" concealed carry laws sweep the nation, as Britain's disaster with gun control becomes more evident. A majority of the US population wants abortion outlawed in "most circumstances". 11 states, including liberal Oregon passed Amendments to their state constitutions to ban SSM.

But both sides seem committed to their chosen tactics. Conservatives will continue to try and persuade and convince, but leave it up to the people. Progressives will continue to try to seize and maintain significant power nodes from which they can impose their ideology on the nation until we get used to it.

I think that Americans are growing to understand that individuals must sacrifice some freedom in order to gain security and stability. Americans are starting to realize that it might be nice to pretend for a while that choices don't have consequences, but that they don't like it so much when the consequences they avoid fall like a ton of bricks on their children and grandchildren.

The pendulum might be swinging back toward morality. Let's hope.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:14 PM | Comments (2)
So Can Someone Start a "Departing Idiot Celebrity" Watch? « Politics As Usual »

Good riddance, ya bums. Please keep your promise. Or explain why you are absolutely untrustworthy on something as simple and basic as living under a Republican President but still supposedly trustworthy on items of a socio-politcal nature.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)
Election Day: No Terrorist Attacks. Hmmm. « GWOT »

So. Compare that with Spain on 11 March. Compare that to the attack on an Australian Embassy right before their election.

Maybe the Dept of Homeland Security and the Patriot Act weren't such a bad idea after all.

One thing that cannot be denied: the leadership and decisions of President George W. Bush have kept us safe for more than three years. You can also look to Afghanistan to see a safe haven for terrorists being transformed into a stable nation of freedom, and I think we are making progress toward achieving the same thing in Iraq. At least President Bush has four more years to work on it, but I don't think he'll need more than another 15 months.

Like I said last night: you liberal Democrats don't have any idea how good you actually have it right now.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)
» The LLama Butchers links with: The dogs that didn't bark
Announcement « Humor »

I now wish to proclaim that I will support the introduction of a Constitutional Amendment that will not allow people living in Chicago, New York City, or Los Angeles to vote in Presidential Elections.

Who's with me?

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Posted by Nathan at 10:25 AM | Comments (3)
Some Good Points From Dale Franks « Politics As Usual »

I'm pointing to his thoughts on the Nutty wing of the Democrat Party.

It’s sad, really, to learn how much the Dem partisans hate America. Oh, sure, they say they love it, but they don’t. What they love is some idealized version of it, where there is no poverty, everybody has free medical care, the general public rejects the hateful politics of the Right, and the UN has become our kind and benevolent overlord. Oh, sure, they love that America. They’d be willing to sacrifice practically anything for it. Just the thought of that America can bring a lump to their throats and tears to their eyes. There’s only one problem: that America doesn’t exist. What they have is the real America, where a majority of the people doesn’t agree with them on practically anything, and where they never can quite achieve enough political power to implement their preferred policies. That’s America as she really is, and that’s the America they hate.

Still, there’s a creepy fascination at reading their little screeds decrying their fellow citizens as being either banjo-strumming Deliverance kids, or goose-stepping fascists squareheads, simply because they don’t happen to agree with the "progressive" line. There’s a powerful lot of both hatred and elitism in that formulation, and it’s not just creepy, it’s sad.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:22 AM | Comments (1)
Kerry To Concede? « Politics As Usual »

It's about frikken' time!

I'll admit: I am surprised by how close this election was. I understood enough to know that the press was overestimating the Democrat/liberal/anti-Bush vote, but I overestimated the effect of their overestimation, apparently.

...but did you know that I knew that you knew that I knew?

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Posted by Nathan at 08:10 AM | Comments (2)
The Kerry Campaign Refuses to Concede? « Politics As Usual »

UPDATED: The article in the following link has changed. It formerly described Kerry's determination to fight in Ohio and refuse to concede. Now it describes Kerry's concession. FWIW.

It's official: The National-level Democrats would rather cut the baby in half. They care more for power than for the good of the nation. There is simply no other way to interpret this action on their part.

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Posted by Nathan at 05:46 AM | Comments (5)

November 02, 2004

Throwin' In The Towel « Blogging »

That's it. I'm pooped. I'll catch a few hours of shut-eye and see where things stand in the morning.

But it's looking like a win and a strong mandate for Bush. Not the landslide I expected, but better than a legislated result.

Have a good night, and remember: we are all still Americans. It's just that the Americans who voted Democrat were stupid.*

Read More "Throwin' In The Towel" »

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Posted by Nathan at 11:17 PM | Comments (0)
Dang It! « Politics As Usual »

If Patty "Total Idiot Whack-Job In Tennis Shoes" Murray wins the Washington State Senate race, I'm going move out of the state, maybe to some tropical state.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:26 PM | Comments (1)
The Trifecta « Politics As Usual »

Okay, President Bush has won the Presidential Election.

The voters of several states, at least 10 out of 11, have sent an undeniable message to SSM activists that they ain't buying.

And it looks like they have a truly excellent chance to end up with a filibuster-proof majority of 55 seats in the Senate. That would mean a complete restucturing of higher federal courts toward Strict Constitutionalists. That can only be good for the future of the nation.

It's more than we could have dreamed of before the election.

Oh, yeah: don't forget that this all happened with the mainstream news media doing everything within their power to distort and misrepresent to advance the liberal agenda, including pushing Kerry's candidacy shamelessly. And We Still Won.

The only sad part is that nearly half the nation won't recognize how good they have it now.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:20 PM | Comments (0)
I May Come To Regret The Anti-SSM Groundswell... « Humor »

...cuz Shepherd Smith is an attractive man.

Just sayin', is all. You know, like a Viking.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:06 PM | Comments (0)
Bush Wins! « Politics As Usual »

According to Drudge Report, but no evidence given...

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Posted by Nathan at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)
And In Other News... « Politics As Usual » fact, nearly as important as the Presidential Election, Voters in 10 states approved constitutional amendments Tuesday to ban same-sex marriage, in most cases by overwhelming margins.

When we look back on this election, these votes could end up being more important to the continuation (and health!) of our society. This sends a very strong message to activists, as well, which probably explains the distortions of said activitists who claim a Constitutional Amendment is somehow a betrayal of the Constitution....

...more on this idea tomorrow.

Preview: "A more important divide than GOP vs Dem: The New Manifest Destiny"

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Posted by Nathan at 09:41 PM | Comments (0)
Late-Breaking George W. Bush Campaign Slogan « Politics As Usual »
George W. Bush: Because 300 self-absorbed warbloggers can't be wrong.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:25 PM | Comments (0)
Shepherd Smith Doesn't Seem Inebriated... « Media Distortions »

....just saying, is all.

Susan Estrich is still channeling Carol Channing.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:33 PM | Comments (0)
» The LLama Butchers links with: Llama liveblogging--day two
Yet Another Thought « Rhetorical Questions » it just me, or is Susan Estrich demonstrating a major amount of willpower in successfully resisting the LSD-inspired impulse to brush imaginary cobwebs off her face?*

Read More "Yet Another Thought" »

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Posted by Nathan at 07:59 PM | Comments (0)
Prediction « Politics As Usual »

Andrew Sullivan will mope for about 29 hours before announcing that Bush's victory was what he really, actually wanted, after all.

Cuz Muslim Extremists aren't that nice to gays and stuff.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:52 PM | Comments (1)
Just Popped Open a Guiness « Stuff Important to Me »

'Nuff said.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:48 PM | Comments (0)
You Heard it Here, First « Politics As Usual »

With Bush pulling 53% of the vote, and the GOP currently pulling ahead in the Senate totals, the Representative totals, and the Governor totals, I think Bush won, and we will know tonight.

I've also been drinking.

Make of it what you will.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:56 PM | Comments (1)
Another Thought « Rhetorical Questions » it just me, or does Tom Brokaw Peter Jennings sound relatively inebriated?

..relative to me, that is. Which would be "substantially" under normal circumstances, you see.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:32 PM | Comments (0)
A Thought « Social Issues »

I think casinos should not be allowed to advertise on television.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:27 PM | Comments (0)
Election 2004! (UPDATED) « Politics As Usual »

...looks like I chose a bad time to stop sniffing glue...!

UPDATE: I have just been informed that I inadvertantly stole this point from the Llama Butchers. Now that this has been pointed out, I must say that I thought of this on my own before I didn't think of it on my own. Or something.

I'm so humiliated.

I die. My shame causes my cheeks to turn red, emitting infrared radiation to the point that the average temperature of all the seas raises 4 degrees, killing 90% of the sea life. Their bloated carcasses wash up on the shores, and the poison gas from their decomposing bodies blights crops, and all those who do not die from tainted atmosphere die in turn from starvation. Oh, the embarassment!

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Posted by Nathan at 06:20 PM | Comments (1)
» The LLama Butchers links with: LIVE LLAMA BLOGGING--Election Day 2004!
What To Think? « Politics As Usual »

Bush is getting 55% of the national vote. But Ohio is leaning Kerry? Florida is leaning Bush? New Hampshire is leaning Kerry? (all according to Drudge's map...except that they just switched Ohio to 'leaning Bush' in the last 5 minutes).
I don't know what to think.

How can this be close if Bush is pulling 55% nation-wide????

Then again, Ohio is currently strongly Bush, according to NBC News, with 52%.

I don't know what to think.

I don't know what to think.

Have I said I don't know what to think?

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Posted by Nathan at 06:09 PM | Comments (0)
Democrats Care About Democracy! « Politics As Usual »


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Posted by Nathan at 09:34 AM | Comments (6)
Check This Throughout the Day « Link O' Admiration »

Llama Butchers Live Blog the election.

Funny stuff there. you would expect anything else from the Llama Butchers.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:54 AM | Comments (0)
Vote Bush! « Politics As Usual »

Four More Years of Dead Terrorists and Lower Taxes!*

Read More "Vote Bush!" »

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Posted by Nathan at 07:56 AM | Comments (0)
» The LLama Butchers links with: LIVE LLAMA BLOGGING--Election Day 2004!
Freakin' A! « Politics As Usual »

Anyone know a site with constant real-time election result updates?????

I'm going nuts here.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:42 AM | Comments (0)

November 01, 2004

'Twas the Day Before Voting « Link O' Admiration »

Margi's right. This is freaking brilliant. Not to mention hilarious. And a perfect tribute, even down to the meter and rhythm.

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Posted by Nathan at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)
"No Significant Addition" « Kansas City Chiefs »

Well, whatever wasn't added to the KC Defense, it was worth 4 punts, a fake punt attempt, and an interception. That's 6 more stops than last year, right?

There are some troublesome aspects to the performance, however. Obviously, giving up 5 TDs and 470 yards of passing is never a good thing. If the Chiefs offense hadn't been clicking on all cylinders, this would have been a loss.

On the other hand, there is a great deal of reason for optimism.

Continue reading "No Significant Addition" at my post at Sportsblog.

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Posted by Nathan at 12:38 PM | Comments (0)
I Gotta Try This. Alert the Paramedics. « Link O' Admiration »

Star Wars Drinking Game.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)
Holding Your Nose to Vote for Bush? (UPDATED) « Politics As Usual »

Consider this:

When I hear conservatives — especially young ones — complaining about President Bush, I can't help thinking how they would have hated Reagan. Oh, sure, we all love him now. And I stress "now." He is remembered glowingly, as the Great Conservative who stood against Big Government and won the Cold War. It wasn't like that at the time, I promise you.

They did nothing but grouse about him for eight years, these conservatives (and sometimes they were right). He spent like crazy, running up huge deficits — historic deficits. He made bigger deficits than had "all the previous presidents in American history combined, from George Washington to Jimmy Carter," as Senator Moynihan used to say. This was conservatism?

He dealt with Tip O'Neill, raising taxes. (W. hasn't done that, and wouldn't.) Conservatives moaned and moaned. There used to be a joke: "This wouldn't be happening if Ronald Reagan were alive." And they cried, "Let Reagan be Reagan," expressing their belief that some evil moderates around him had brainwashed him, or steered him from the True Path.

And when he started playing with Gorbachev, our conservatives got serious jitters — wondering whether the old man was outright gaga. Howard Phillips, head of the Conservative Caucus, denounced Reagan as "a useful idiot for Soviet propaganda." Gregory Fossedal, a conservative foreign-policy thinker, went into the Oval Office bearing a Darth Vader doll — as a reminder to the president that he was dealing with an evil empire.

But with Reagan out of office, and dead, everyone's all weepy about him. And they will be this way with George W. Bush too, I predict. (I don't know how I got on this prediction jag.) More loudly than they curse him now, they will regret his departure from office, and hail his term, or terms, as a golden age of conservative principle and resolution.

Just you watch.

In a case of meta-linking, I give you the Llama Butchers account of the Elder Bush's rehabilitation.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:41 AM | Comments (2)
» The LLama Butchers links with: Bizzaro-world
All You Need To Know About The Upcoming Election « Politics As Usual »

President Bush is going to win a second term.

How do I know?

Easy: W = V (victory) + V

He was predestined to win by his nickname.

You heard it here first.*

Read More "All You Need To Know About The Upcoming Election" »

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Posted by Nathan at 05:40 AM | Comments (2)