Archive for January, 2005

The Newest Red State

Sunday, January 30th, 2005

It is a red letter day in Iraq, the Middle East, and in the world. Truly, history is made. The inherent yearnings of men and women to be free and to exercise that freedom have again proven themselves stronger than even the fear of death. The purveyors of terror and the merchants of fear have failed to force the Iraqi people to cower in hopelessness and helplessness. The vision of freedom provides hope and help enough. Free people everywhere can lean more about the value of democracy from the example of the Iraqi people.

Having taken ownership of their own country, the Iraqis will now be seen to confidently face the largely outside force that has afflicted them for nearly two years. Zarqawi is a Jordanian, a foreigner, as are most of his henchmen. The free citizens of Iraq will now be able to say to these people “Stop interfering with the progress of my country!\”

Whether freedom’s opposition emanates from abroad or at home, violence is always part of the birth crisis of democracy. No nation has rested its destiny from the hands of tyrants without conflict and sacrifice.

There will be a new dynamic at play from today forward. Others will add their efforts to thwart the emergence of a thriving, democratic Iraq. The terrorists were unable to derail the process alone. The tyrants in neighboring lands who stand to lose their own power to the crushing swell of democratization will certainly do their part to stem the tide. Socialist sympathizers in other lands along with their organs of propaganda will downplay the positives and magnify the problems associated with the trials of converting slaves into masters of self. We can count on significant problems to come but once a people have tasted freedom they can usually be counted upon to defend it. Iraqis have proven themselves equal to this task by defying the threats of death with their votes. We can fully expect them to point out the terrorists in their midst with their vote-stained fingers.

Congratulations to the brave, the free people of the newest “red\” state!

If you Ain\’t Got that Bling

Sunday, January 9th, 2005

Many people have wondered why so many middle and upper middle class white boys have developed such a fondness for Hip-Hop. I have wondered, as well; have wondered each time I hear the stuff. I know I’m no longer hip and perhaps I never was, but I once had a great fondness for early Bob Dylan, to whom Paul Simon alluded as the epitome of hip, and who could well be described in hindsight (or is that hindsound?) as a rapper. Some will not agree of course, but if you played “Most Likely You Go Your Way and I’ll go Mine� for a modern teenager and asked them to name that genre, the chances are good that they would tell you it’s rap.

White folks’ love of Black music is not new. Gospel and Jazz, Blues, R&B, and Motown have all enjoyed a wide audience among the melanin challenged. Music can transcend racial, national, and even cultural boundaries. Some white artists have crossed the great divide, returning with rhythmic innovations they attempt, with varying degrees of success, to graft into greater pop culture. We have witnessed this in previous generations, most notably in the 50’s when Elvis ruled the world. The issue at hand, however, may have less to do with music and this current stream of Black musical expression, than with the attitude that flows from it.

Hip-hop’s allure for young white males has its genesis in modern media’s conscious decision to portray white men as stupid, bumbling, impotent, losers (when they are not being portrayed as abusive, conniving and corrupt), in stark contrast to the modern female portrayed as being smart, tough and capable. This media induced testosterone reversal is the source of considerable confusion among young males (especially whites). Only the gold chain laden, gun-toting, bling-bling sporting brother is shown to secrete the secret harmonic hormones that young, white, Ritalin-free males inherently know they possess.

In the barely disguised pop cultural crusade against men who would have been universally hailed in an earlier day as heroes; Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the other people who defend our country against the terror, agenda-driven, modern mass media has chosen to revile these real men, holding up instead an anemic line-up of meek and mushy, ultra-sensitive milquetoasts as templates for modern male desirability, aka the “metro-sexual�.

Given that choice, hey, I be down witda Bruthas.

C2 : The New \”Communicator\”

Thursday, January 6th, 2005

Arnold Schwarzenegger is either one of the best politicians of our day or he is not a politician at all. We may be forced to redefine that term altogether if Arnold pulls off the reforms he has called for in today’s State of the State speech.

After introducing and thanking California’s First Lady; arguably the state’s most influential Democrat, he quickly and unambiguously made a tough right turn launching into a very Republican-like call to end wasteful spending, pledging not to raise taxes, demanding budget reform, and proposing that the responsibility for legislative redistricting be taken from the legislature and given to a non-partisan body of former judges. This latter proposal may not have inspired many of the legislators present, Republican or Democrat, but it should suffice to motivate those of us who voted for the Governator in the recent recall election to join him in his efforts to reform California’s unresponsive and counterproductive government and its arcane and archaic processes.

I am not one to invest much hope in the redemptive value of any politician and, of late, I have not made much of an exception for Arnold, but he may have won a new convert. The man we witnessed tonight appears to be the person we hoped we had elected, and he will be if he actually proceeds to do what he says he plans to do.

Taking on the State Employees Union relative to their retirement plan; taking on the Teachers union and school administrators relative to budgets and merit pay, and taking on the Democrat controlled legislature isn’t just touching politics’ third, forth, and fifth rails, it’s like ripping out all three, hot and pulsing, and pumpin’ iron with ‘em. Any ordinary politician who attempted this would surely be condemning himself to an early and untimely return to private life. Arnold, on the other hand, is actually strengthened by the exercise. He, like the Gipper, is capable of bypassing lesser, earthbound pols and taking his message directly to the people. This is the Ace up his significant sleeve, it is his strength and he knows it.

If tonight’s speech was not just bluster, 2005 will be very interesting; nearly as interesting as the recall process that brought him to Sacramento.

Politics Aside

Tuesday, January 4th, 2005

Two rather significant topics have reasserted themselves in the midst of the pretentiousness that passes for Senate confirmation hearings (in which the bilious bitterness and the nebulous nature of leftist rationale has once again been fully confirmed), and the pomp of a Presidential Inauguration. Life and death re-emerge to claim preeminence in the human drama.

We last confronted these issues upon the horrific occasion of the tsunami; a natural catastrophe unparalleled in modern times. Though the loss of life was relatively insignificant compared with nearly every war ever fought (more men, women, and children died in the Allied firebombing of a single German city, Dresden, on Valentine’s Day, 1945), the differences between our reactions to the flood as opposed to the bloodshed are due to the facts that no one has battled the sea since Caligula and, in this instance, we have no enemies upon whose graves to dance. Everyone was innocent that Christmas morning on the Bay of Bengal.

We view life and death today through the windows of the execution chamber at San Quentin Prison, through Norma McCorvey’s plea to the Supreme Court to reverse the decision they made in her favor when she was better known as Roe, and at the barricades manned by Chuck Schumer and his pro-abortion compatriots. The only innocents today may well be the unborn.

Donald Beardslee’s execution was carried out in the very early hours of Wednesday morning. The forfeiture of his life was his penalty for the cruel murders of Stacey Benjamin, 19, and Patty Geddling, 23; two young women who certainly did not deserve to die. They probably would not have died at his hands had he remained incarcerated or had been executed for the murder of another woman in Missouri. Beardslee’s conscious choice to cold-bloodedly kill these three women led directly to the consequence chosen by the people of the State of California; death by lethal injection. People will disagree about the issues surrounding the death penalty. The subject summons forth our core beliefs. It also dramatically sets us apart, one from another.

Norma McCorvey petitioned the US Supreme Court to allow her to have unfettered access to an abortion. She was granted this right (though I am not certain she ever exercized that right) in the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision. Not only was her “right\” to an abortion set in law (without the participation of the Legislative branch of government), but the right was granted to every women in the nation. Norma McCorvey has now returned to the Supreme Court, older and arguably wiser, to ask that body to reverse its decision. Norma has concluded that terminating an innocent life for reasons other than rape, incest and preventing a health crisis for the mother is wrong. Meanwhile, Senator Chuck Schumer has clearly stated his intent to “stand at the barricades in defense of a woman’s right to “choose. We can disagree about the issues surrounding abortion but again, our positions on this issue speak volumes about our values and thought processes. Life and death, innocence and guilt; these are not insignificant issues. Our views on these subjects also frame the perspectives others have of us.

By and large, the same people who choose to stand at the barricades defending the arbitrary termination of the lives of the innocent and unborn have likewise chosen to stand outside the barricades at San Quentin, protesting the execution of the guilty. (These are, not coincidentally, the same people who would deny others the choice to exercise their rights under Second Amendment; the right to defend oneself and one’s family against the Beardslee’s of the world.) There is an unsettling consistency in their positions. At the same time we observe an equally unsettling inconsitency in their judgement and their values.

It is to be hoped that those who subscribe to these beliefs came by them innocently, in other words were duped by those whom they should have been able to trust; parents, peers, professors or confessors. It is also to be hoped that they will, as did Norma, gain some wisdom and understanding in the course of their lives that will lead them to ask “what is right? as opposed to “who is right?

Who should live and who should die is ultimately a decision best left up to God but if we are obligated in the course of events to choose, let us choose to defend the innocent.

Rehnquist\’s Request

Saturday, January 1st, 2005

In what is likely to be Chief Justice Rehnquist’s final annual report on the state of the Judiciary, he makes a plea for the continued independence of Federal Judges, intimating that threats of impeachment leveled at “activist judges� threatens the Judicial Branch. Maybe it is time for him to step aside. This is “judicial temperament�?! If it isn’t unabashed arrogance it has to be addle headedness.

The notion that judges should be free to thwart the democratic will of the people by legislating from the bench is a clear violation of the Separation of Powers laid unambiguously forth by the Founding Fathers. With all the neo-secular piety they can muster, activists have bludgeoned us with the unfounded and ungrounded idea of Separation of Church and State; a relatively recent judicial construct appearing nowhere in the Constitution. Where are these oh so sophisticated sophists when it comes to the true “separation� issue our time? Making law in our Republic is the sole prerogative of the Legislative Branch, except where legislation is permitted by the Initiative Process.

The problem, Your Honor, is not those who complain of judicial abuse. This is very much like blaming the woman for rape, the child for a beating, or the victim of a mugging for having money in his wallet. The truth is this; the Judiciary has been stepping all over the Constitution for years. Is it not bad enough that members of the Judicial Branch of government, Officers of the Court, have fully infiltrated the other two Branches of government? If judges would simply and appropriately do their jobs as set forth in the Founding Documents, no one would be calling for their impeachment.