Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tuesday's Trivialities

So… I watched Dubya’s final SOTU last night, the Democrat “rebuttal,” and the associated reek that passes for commentary on same. My opinion? A journeyman-like speech… nothing truly impressive, but nothing truly horrible, either. Dubya’s best line of the evening for (heh) my money was his throw-away about the IRS accepting checks and money-orders if you absolutely, positively feel compelled to pay more taxes. (OK, I added the adjectives. He didn’t.)

As for Governor Sebelius, her opening paragraphs gave me hope we would hear something other than the same-ol’, same-ol’ partisan Democrat bromides and general rejection of anything/everything President Bush said. But after promising “an American, rather than a partisan response” she launched into a rather ridiculous “join us, President Bush...” kind of speech that was just what I feared it would be: partisan carping. And a lot of Democrats were less-than-impressed, too.

Ah, well. Plus ça change…


Today’s Quickie…

Saw a billboard that said

'Need help, call Jesus. 1-800-005-3787'

...Out of curiosity I did.

A Mexican showed up with a dump truck.

From a Bud, via e-mail. This reads like Rodney Dangerfield. And it’s just as funny.


I’m not the only one… In “Kamikaze Republicans,” a column published by Townhall.com, Wynton Hall writes:

Some unsatisfied Republican voters, especially conservative ones, have threatened to sit out the Republican primary in protest. Indeed, within GOP circles it is not uncommon that one may hear the refrain, "I'd rather have Hillary or Obama win and start fresh than to vote for a RINO (Republican in Name Only) or some half-committed conservative."

Rants of frustration such as these, while understandable, are baseless. More than that, they belie and betray the Republican and conservative arguments regarding the existential battle of our time-the long term threats posed by radical Islamic terrorism. In a time of war, the temptation toward "Kamikaze Republicanism" is both intellectually and ethically bankrupt. Worse, such sentiments stand to pose grave danger to the 2.4 million soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who stand ready to do violence on the nation's behalf so that Americans might live freely.

To argue that there is not a "dime's worth of difference" between a President Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama vs. a President McCain, Romney, or Giuliani negates the entire range of national security arguments waged since September 11th. In one rhetorical swipe of tongue, Kamikaze Republicanism reduces the singular security threat of our age to rubble, for implicit in the argument is the notion that presidential leadership is impotent in effectuating military and geopolitical change. But as the enormously successful "surge" in Iraq continues to demonstrate, the strategic and tactical decisions leaders make affects the direction that events will take. Indeed, to suggest that General Petraeus's leadership and counsel would have been equally followed by a president beholden to and political dependent upon groups who smear and denigrate such a patriot with cries of "General Betraeus" is intellectual laziness in the extreme.

Even though my excerpt is long, it’s just the beginning of a wise bit of advice from Mr. Hall. His principal point is the wide gulf that separates the Democrat candidates and the Republicans (with the notable exception of that guy from Texas) pretty much begins and ends with national security. There’s obviously more differences than national security…things like the composition of the Supreme Court, taxes, economic freedom, etc. … but the over-riding issue in this campaign IS national security. Unless you think like a Democrat and don’t believe… never believed… we’re at war. A Democrat administration in peace time is one thing; we’ve survived those debacles in the past, and quite well, thank you. But a Democrat administration in these perilous times, given ALL of the Democrat candidates’ position on The Surge and the war in Iraq generally, is like putting Dr. Kervorkian in charge of the patient. I dunno about you, Gentle Reader, but I’d like a fighting chance. We probably don’t get that chance if Republicans/conservatives stay home on Election Day. History is already against the Republicans holding the White House for another four years…we don’t have to increase the odds against us any more than necessary.

Further in the same vein…John Hawkins of Right Wing News, in a column titled “The Ten Most Annoying Things About the Race for the Presidency,” writes:

The Intra-Party Blood Feud on the Republican Side: I'm all in favor of taking a hard look at the candidates and getting all their flaws out in the open during the primaries. Moreover, if a few sharp elbows get thrown in the process, that's all well and good. Heck, I've even thrown more than a few of those elbows myself.

But, the childish pouting, hysterical tantrums, and bitter carping are starting to get out of control. Conservatives would be a lot better off if they stepped back, breathed deeply, and took Reagan's 80% rule to heart -- "My 80 percent friend is not my 20 percent enemy" -- before they help create rifts that may take the GOP years to heal.

Put another way: Grow Up. Reasonable people can disagree, reasonably. And no one agrees with any one person about everything. That’s a life lesson that’s supposed to be learned somewhere between kindergarten and the fifth grade. Some folks appear to have missed a lot of school.


I missed this last Friday, but as it’s said…Better Late Than Never. Fisking is kinda-sorta out of vogue these days. But…if you’re a guy, and if you’re fed up with all the rules, regulations, stipulations, and tribulations the opposite sex…or more appropriately, the media, ostensibly speaking for the opposite sex… seem to lay on us these days, then you should read “Relax, sugar-tits.” By Rachel Lucas. Let me repeat: that’s RACHEL Lucas… not Raoul Lucas or Robert Lucas. Rachel. (Hint: women just might wanna read this, too.) Here’s a taste:

One of these days I will write an epic about one of my biggest pet peeves, which is how in every commercial on TV that features a couple, the guy is retarded and the woman is sassy, clever, and dismayed with the retard. Really? We’re still doing that cliche?

But for now, kinda along the same lines, this morning I saw this article, 10 Things You Should Never Say To A Woman, that is, if you want not to offend the budding-flower tenderness of the ladies. Maybe I’m messed up in the head, maybe my parents just did something right, but I read stuff like this and I am so glad I’m not a man because being a man would mean being forced to put up with this shit without fighting back because that would make you a sexist pig jerk. So as a woman who isn’t inflicted with The Crazy, I’ll fight back for you guys. Because I am helpful like that.

And I’m helpful about providing entertaining and useful links, even if it’s stuff you may have already read. You’re welcome.

(h/t: Conservative Grapevine)


In the “Wish I’d Said That” Dept…here’s K-LO at The Corner:

It goes on. But I can't. Where's room for parody in the world, when you have liberal feminists?

She’s talking about the National Organization of Women’s (NY chapter) denunciation of Teddy Kennedy (D, Chappaquiddick), in the wake of Teddy’s Barack endorsement. There’s a link to the NOW press release at NRO. And K-Lo’s right. The press release reads like Scott Ott wrote it, but he didn’t.


Today’s Pics: A preview of my next scanning project: illustrating my four-part tale (first installment here) about doing business (and a lot of other things) in the Peoples Republic of China in 1991.

Two of these three pics were taken on the segment of the Great Wall that’s been largely restored for the tourist trade…about 40 miles or so outside of Beijing. It was cold that December day, Gentle Reader. Too cold for the way I was dressed, let me tell ya. But… I left my arctic gear at home, unfortunately. Still and even, the place was simply swarming with tourists, even for a cold late December’s day.

And: I’m a man, in Chinese eyes. Our interpreter told us there’s an ancient Chinese saying that says “one isn’t a man until one has walked the Great Wall.” Or something like that.

The third pic is of TSMP and a very young soldier of the Peoples Liberation Army, taken in Tiananmen Square. The boy was not impressed, was he?


  1. The Kansas Governor is not likely to stay around...having worked in SW Kansas(Dodge City) as a News Director/Anchor...she's a tad left wing for those folks...for trivia sake...Her Daddy was our Governor in Ohio back inbetween the Jim Rhodes terms...John Gilligan....he was a moderate Dimocrat as well....

  2. I love love love Rachel Lucas. She is a scream to read - and I never disagree with her. Smart woman!

  3. I find it very interesting all the rules women put on men. 10 things you should never say to a woman. Hopefully most men know what is appropriate to say and when it is appropriate to say it. Some don't. I also do not understand why some women pick losers. Is that the best they think they deserve? Why do they throw themselves at the first guy who winks at them? Sorry i am ranting now.

    I won't go into politics that will be another rant.

    It does look very cold in your Great Wall pics. The guard is funny. I don't know how they keep straight faces.

  4. Now that would be a vacation!

  5. I remember your Great Wall story. The pics are great. You look like a business man who suddenly had a chance to see the Great Wall, and took it.

    It would sure be helpful if the Republicans quit whining and pulled together. Maybe I should say if everyone in Washington would pull together... Unfortunately, there are some big egos involved.

  6. Well, I am very discouraged and down. One Republican is just not the same as another and I will not have John McCain shoved down my throat. I am a conservative(probably pretty far right wing) and also a political junkie, I follow this stuff daily and run a political discussion board. I pay attention to this all the time and I WILL NOT vote for John McCain. Never. People can call me all the names they want and say I am shirking my civic duty... but when it comes to electing one liberal rather than another liberal just because one has an "R" after his name does NOT cut it with me. I will never vote for a liberal.

    Honestly? I would rather see the Dem liberal get in office and mess it up for their side; I just am not willing to see our side embarrass us. Jimmy Carter was pathetic but he led to the election of Ronald Reagan. I am ready to give up four years in the hopes that we can find a REAL conservative in 2008.

    I am well aware that not many people will agree with me. That's okay.

    Thanks for letting me rant on my own personal Black Wednesday.


  7. Pat: I did a little bit of reading on Sebelius before posting yesterday. I think her strongest point is the fact she's a good looking woman, good enough for a spread in Vogue. I certainly don't agree with her politics, though.

    Kris: Rachel IS good, isn't she!!

    Ashley: You've touched on one of the Great Mysteries of the Ages with your women and losers comment. I've always wondered that, myself.

    Mushy: It WAS that... for TSMP, anyway. Less so for me, but still a very enjoyable experience.

    Lou sez: I remember your Great Wall story.

    You might see it again on the front page. I haven't added the photos yet, but I'm thinking I'll do an installment a day after I do. It depends on how it all works out...

    Point taken on the politics.

    Sharon: This looks like a classic "agree to disagree" situation. But... how can you equate McCain, a man with a lifetime ACU rating of 82.3 with Senator Clinton, who has a rating of 9.0? Politics has always been about compromise, until you get into the fringe ideologies, where it becomes "my way or the highway," or worse. I think you know what I mean by "worse."

    I'm curious: would you vote for Reagan today? Given his infamous 1986 "amnesty?" As John Hawkins notes: even Reagan made mistakes.

  8. How bad out of it have I been? Here's how bad: there was a SOTU address Monday? I gotta start reading the paper again! Just hummin' along in my own little world. ;-)

    Nice pics btw.

  9. I detest those rebuttal speeches - they are SO pat and predictable. Boring and insulting.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.