So check it out, and don't miss the post right below it, either.
Monday, January 31, 2005
That's what Michelle Malkin said, and she's absolutely right.
I told you in my last post that I'm a bit of a sentimental fool about these things, but just try to watch this without getting teary-eyed.
I also read the front page article in the Chicago Tribune today; even jaded reporters couldn't help but note that this election was a huge success; the tone was celebratory, jubilant. I read this quote aloud to the kids at lunchtime:
Scenes from the Kurdish north to the Shiite south left little doubt that Iraqis saw the chance to cast ballots as a distinct rejection of their troubled past, more so than any other event since the fall of Hussein in April 2003.God bless the brave Iraqis, God bless our military for making this election possible with their sacrifice, God bless the families of the fallen for their tears, and God bless George W. Bush.
"I lived freedom today," said Zainab Ali, 36, a poll worker at a Baghdad elementary school where she teaches Islamic studies.
Shiite Muslims surged to the polls, obeying religious leaders who saw the vote as a historic chance to reshape the Islamic face of the nation and claim political power after decades of repression. After a slow start, many Sunni Muslims also defied threats and vows to boycott, and lines of wary voters formed in some Sunni enclaves, but not all.
It finally happened, and without horrific bloodshed or mass murder. Reports I heard on Drudge radio were that turnout was very good. Read this report; the jubilant, hopeful feeling of the day is palpable -- and it's an AP article! Amazing. As in this quote:
Yet the mere fact the vote went off seemed to ricochet instantly around a world hoping for Arab democracy and fearing Islamic extremism.Exactly! That's exactly the attitude I was praying they would have: basically telling the terrorists to go to hell.
"I am doing this because I love my country, and I love the sons of my nation," said Shamal Hekeib, 53, who walked with his wife 20 minutes to a polling station near his Baghdad home.
"We are Arabs, we are not scared and we are not cowards," Hekeib said.
Michelle Malkin has a great post with a roundup of photos (h/t Isn't it Rich).
But best of all, here's Iraq the Model, with an exuberant post:
We had all kinds of feelings in our minds while we were on our way to the ballot box except one feeling that never came to us, that was fear.And I have to agree with this next quote on the bravery of Iraqis:
We could smell pride in the atmosphere this morning; everyone we saw was holding up his blue tipped finger with broad smiles on the faces while walking out of the center.
I couldn't think of a scene more beautiful than that.
From the early hours of the morning, People filled the street to the voting center in my neighborhood; youths, elders, women and men. Women's turn out was higher by the way. And by 11 am the boxes where I live were almost full!
Anyone watching that scene cannot but have tears of happiness, hope, pride and triumph.
I still recall the first group of comments that came to this blog 14 months ago when many of the readers asked "The Model?"… "Model for what?"Finally, I love to see that other people get as emotional and choked up and even just a bit goofy about something as "ordinary" as voting, just like I do, though certainly for Omar and Mohammed, there was nothing ordinary about this election:
Take a look today to meet the model of courage and human desire to achieve freedom; people walking across the fire to cast their votes.
Could any model match this one!? Could any bravery match the Iraqis'!?
Let the remaining tyrants of the world learn the lesson from this day.
The media is reporting only explosions and suicide attacks that killed and injured many Iraqis s far but this hasn't stopped the Iraqis from marching towards their voting stations with more determination. Iraqis have truly raced the sun.
I walked forward to my station, cast my vote and then headed to the box, where I wanted to stand as long as I could, then I moved to mark my finger with ink, I dipped it deep as if I was poking the eyes of all the world's tyrants.I, too, have almost choked up when voting in a particularly important election (like this last one, for example). I've taken my kids along with me and waxed eloquent (well, in my own mind) about the power of democracy, and the thrill of being able to choose our own leaders, and the great responsibility of doing so wisely.
I put the paper in the box and with it, there were tears that I couldn't hold; I was trembling with joy and I felt like I wanted to hug the box but the supervisor smiled at me and said "brother, would you please move ahead, the people are waiting for their turn".
Yes brothers, proceed and fill the box!
These are stories that will be written on the brightest pages of history.
The kids probably think I'm a little wacky, but that's OK. They'll remember the emotion, and I hope that when they are all of voting age, they'll remember to vote.
I hope, too, they'll remember this day. I'll be sure to show them the photos, and read to them from Omar and Mohammed's post. This day is one of the brightest pages of history, indeed.
UPDATE, Monday a.m. Corrected a typo; changed "alone" to "along". I stayed up too late last night posting this.
Sunday, January 30, 2005
This morning on "Meet the Press", John F. Kerry made the assertion that the number of abortions declined during the Clinton years and increased during the Bush years. Here's the quote:
And do you know that in fact abortion has gone up in these last few years with the draconian policies that Republicans have where they talk about it, but they do nothing to find this kind of place of discussion. And under President Clinton, abortion went down because we did have adequate family planning services, because we talked about counseling, adoption and other kinds of things.He's repeating -- and embellishing ("draconian?") -- the claim that Hillary made last week when speaking to a group of pro-abortion advocates (h/t Michelle Malkin).
Oh, yes, and Kerry also made it unintelligible: "but they do nothing to find this kind of place of discussion". Huh?
Anyway, both Kerry and Hillary are getting their talking points straight from an article written by the supposedly "consistently prolife" Glen Harold Stassen, published last fall (conveniently just before the election), which claimed that abortions increased during President Bush's first term. (Unfortunately, the links to Stassen's original article are dead, but I did find a lengthy post from Stassen on this blog.)
Stassen said Clinton's economic policies were better than Bush's, which led to a decrease in abortions, and the worsening Bush economy caused an increase in abortions. Therefore, he argued, pro-lifers ought to consider voting for Kerry, because he, like Clinton, would have better economic policies that would lead to fewer abortions.
Tortured logic, based on false, or, at best, dubious claims.
It turns out that there wasn't a huge increase in the number of abortions after Bush was elected, Stassen isn't a staunch pro-life advocate, and the decrease in abortions during the '90's most likely was because of pro-life laws enacted in state legislatures, not because of the economy.
And let's not even discuss the claim that Clinton's economic policies were better than Bush's; we'll put that in the "dubious at best" category to save space here.
The National Right to Life Committee has all the factual rebuttal one needs to stop this abortion meme dead in its tracks, here (or here for more links).
The Heritage Foundation has a different study, which comes to the same conclusions, here, and more here from CatholicExchange.com.
As Just one Minute said back in November, "let's see if we can terminate this meme".
We haven't yet, and we need to do something fast to squash it, because it's already grown far too strong.
It's clear now that this meme is being used in a concerted way by liberal Democrats as they try to reposition themselves on the abortion issue.
This must be stopped. Roe v. Wade was based on a lie; we absolutely cannot let another lie shape the course of the discussion over the next four years.
UPDATE, 2/8: Welcome, Just One Minute readers! And no, I'm not dating Philip Michael Thomas (though one of those many first names acually is my husband's first name), and yes, I do have a last hame. I could tell you, but then I'd have to... oh never mind.
Saturday, January 29, 2005
Found this on Pro-Life Blogs today.
Follow the links and read this letter. Terri Schiavo's parents are offering Michael everything: a divorce from Terri, his inheritance from her should she die, freedom from all medical expenses -- but he still won't let them take their daughter home.
Why? Is he afraid that under their loving care, she might actually live? Or even recover a bit?
Perhaps even recover enough that she might be able to say something that he doesn't want anyone to hear?
Why has he been fighting so hard all these years to remove feeding tubes, deny therapy, deny visits with her parents?
Why does he want her dead?
Found this link via Instapundit this morning.
What a fascinating series of photos of a car burning (bombed? shot up?) in Iraq. But more intersting than the photo series is the discussion of why there were so many photographers there (staged photo?) and the way Reuters managed to make it all sound much worse than it probably was.
The original site, The Obsidian Order, has a link to a commenter's site, which gives even more background and shows the photos for what they are: aid and comfort for the enemy via propaganda assistance from MSM.
This reminds me of something I learned back in 1988 when my husband and I traveled to South Korea to visit his sister and her family, who were living there for a couple years due to a job transfer.
[Warning: Long but 100% relevant digression here!]
For a solid week before we left, the news was filled with scenes of rioting and disorder in South Korea. The headlines were frightening. We envisioned the entire country in a state of chaos and danger.
I wasn't even sure if we should go, but we already had our airline tickets and our plans were made. Besides, we really wanted to see my sister-in-law, her husband, and their two adorable little ones. (Who, I might add, are now wonderful college kids, with a terrific younger brother, as well!)
So, we went.
And guess what? The only scenes of rioting and disorder were staged. Every day, at a time pre-planned to coincide with Western media's deadlines, a group of college students would assemble in downtown Seoul, and as soon as the cameras were running, they'd start their protests.
Cameras off, protest over.
And that was it. The rest of the city went on with business as usual (which, at lesat back then, meant "at a frantic pace") and we never had one moment's discomfort or unease.
I'm sure it's that way with Iraq, as well, at least in some cases as shown in the links above. Now, I know that there is real death and real destruction in Iraq, but we have to remember that MSM always wants to show things at their absolute worst.
If it bleeds, it leads. Did you ever see a picture of an oil well not burning when this war began? No, of course not, but the reality was that 99% of them did not burn.
Yes, there are bad things that happen in this world, but thank God, life is never as frightening or horrible as MSM would have us believe.
And thank God for the blogosphere to prove it.
UPDATE: You really don't want to miss the comment posted below by my brother.
Friday, January 28, 2005
In honor of our newly inaugurated President (and to test Bloggerbot and Hello which I finally got to work - I think) here is a photo of the White House taken on our fabulous driving vacation last summer.
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
... as noted on Badgerpundit.
Good Google work, Badger.
And while you're there, don't miss this link in the above post. Another "don't trust the media" moment, and also, "Doesn't that guy have anything better to do?"
Even if you've read all the eulogies about Johnny Carson, you still should read this one, that my husband discovered yesterday.
Not only does it have one of the funniest backstage "Tonight Show" stories you'll ever read, but it also is a tender tribute to a classy man. Here's a bit of it:
Well, I loved the guy, and I mean, first, as a fan. I feel sorry for the younger folks who never saw him, who too often have to absorb their entertainment today in cynical bites, and think humor means anger and audacity and graphic descriptions of this and that. They will never know what it means when you take talent and hard work and mix it with grace, joy, class, respect, and forbearance.Johnny Carson reflected something good about American culture back then. And Larry Miller reflects something good about American culture now.
UPDATE: My husband tells me in the comment below that he didn't really discover the article; our friend J.S. did. So, I not only Stand in the Trenches today, I Stand Corrected. Thanks, J.S.!
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
I'll be here.. and over there as well.
Thanks to Jib for adding me as a posting member of the Badger Blog Alliance. I'm honored to be in this fine alliance of citizen bloggers. Thanks, too, to my fellow Alliance members for welcoming me!
I wrote my first post over at the BBA, today, about Scott Walker running for governor.
A few other things:
1) The other Badger bloggers are doing an outstanding job on the possible voter fraud in Milwaukee, so I'm not going to add anything to that discussion right now. Just be sure to check the BBA (here's a good post on the topic, by Drew of Darn Floor) as well as Charlie Sykes' blog.
2) I wanted to write about the ever-scary "Global Warming" after reading this article at lunch time, but didn't have a chance. Just as well, because nothing I could have said would have been as funny as this (h/t National Center Blog).
3) What Kind of Evil, Part II:
SOUTH AFRICA -- Police arrested an elderly couple in rural KwaZulu Natal, in eastern South Africa on Monday, after residents discovered the blister-covered bodies of two 3-year-olds and three 5-year-olds in a junked car on their property.What Kind of Evil, Part I, here. I hope this doesn't become a series. Maybe I should stop at two, as this is just so depressing.
The children had been the object of a search after vanishing from their homes late Saturday. A mob was torching the couple's home as police arrived.
Officials denied that the children were victims of a so-called muti killing, in which children are slain and their body parts removed for use in witchcraft ceremonies. But they were at a loss to explain the blisters.
Just a post to say that I'm having serious Blogger problems lately, so if this blog suddenly goes deathly silent, that's why.
For one thing, it takes about 5 minutes to load the Dashboard. Anyone else noticing the same thing?
Anyway, hope to post occasionally today as time permits. We'll see.
Monday, January 24, 2005
Stephen Hayes, a writer for the Weekly Standard who originally is from Wauwatosa (just a stone’s throw from here) was on NBC's “Meet the Press” on Sunday. I caught most of the discussion, in between serving up breakfast to the kiddos. Fortunately, I found the transcript to fill in the gaps.
Tim Russert was asking Stephen Hayes and Robin Wright (Washington Post) about President Bush’s Inaugural Speech and the upcoming elections in Iraq.
Here's Robin Wright discussing the Iraqi elections:
Well, I suspect you will get over 60 percent turnout, which is about what we got in our presidential contest, and that will allow a lot of players to say, "Well, that's legitimate because you've got the majority of people."What, that's NOT legitimate? What’s she implying there? And which "players" does she mean? The administration? Or ordinary Iraqis? And what if less than half turn out to vote? There are plenty of elections here where that happens. Are they not "legitimate" elections?
I think this election, though, is so complicated for the average Iraqi who's never voted.Isn't that just a wee bit condescending? She goes on:
You're going into a polling booth and you face a ballot that has 111 options on it that you can vote for. And you also have to vote for a regional council, and you have to pick from 75 different parties, nine coalitions and 27 individuals and--most of whom are not campaigning, you're not sure of who their identify is except in the case of the individuals. It's a very--for a first test, I mean, I'm numbed and I'm very--if they don't get a lot of bad ballots, I'd be surprised as well.OK, so they have a lot of choices. I bet they’ll do what I do when I don’t know some of the candidates in a particular race (say, for local judge or county clerk): skip that vote! Or -- just pick one, on the assumption that the freedom to make the choice in itself is worth the vote.
Here’s Stephen Hayes’ response:
I think most Iraqis, however, are going to say, "Give me complicated. I would much rather have 111 choices than one." I mean, Saddam Hussein in the most recent election, when he was in power, won something like 99.6 percent of the vote and there were pictures throughout the Western media of Iraqis voting with blood for Saddam Hussein to show their loyalty.Did you catch that? Hey, Western media, don’t you feel a little sheepish now about willingly showing those propaganda photos from Saddam? Did you really believe that Saddam got an honest 99.6 percent of the vote? He continues:
Now, you have Iraqis who appear to be, in the face of all of these threats, willing to shed blood potentially to go and cast votes. You have Iraqi Americans here in the United States traveling 12 hours to register to vote and then being willing to travel another 12.God bless them.
The phone just rang.
“Hello, how you doin’ today? My name is Jeremy and I’m calling for the New York Times. We’ve added some new routes in your area and you’ll be able to receive the New York Times delivered to your home.”
“No thanks, I’m a blogger and I’d rather read blogs. Besides, we get the Chicago Tribune, and one liberal newspaper is enough for one household.”
(Jeremy, chuckling:) “Oh, really?!? OK, well, thanks then! Have a good day.”
“You, too. Bye.”
... from the National Center Blog. I'm getting a lot of referrals from the site since Amy Ridenour linked to my "Dumb Ironies" post -- and, like every blogger, I truly love those links!
I've added the National Center Blog to my blogroll, and I should probably also add the National Center for Public Policy Research, the conservative D.C. think tank that Amy started in 1982.
Maybe other think tanks, too, like the Heritage Foundation. Any suggestions?
Sunday, January 23, 2005
Ann Althouse wrecked her car today.
She's OK, but the car's not. I'm glad she and her passenger are OK, and sorry that she smashed up her car. And I feel bad for the mess of insurance and car shopping and whatnot she's about to go through.
So just how do I know that Ann Althouse, whom I've never met and who lives 90 miles away from me, wrecked her car? Because she blogged about it, of course.
Here's her post.
And here's the line that jumps out at me:
Does the fact that she would almost immediately think of blogging about her car crash srike you as ridiculous? Odd? Obsessed, even?
You think about how you're going to blog about this very soon.
Well, if it does, you're obviously not a blogger.
Blogging is something less than a sickness but definitely more than just another hobby. It changes the way you look at the world. Now, everything you experience is bent through the prism of blogging.
You read something in the newspaper or a magazine and look for the bloggable bit. You read a lefty article and start mentally fisking it, line by line. You fall in love with a song and wonder if you should post about it, link to the lyrics, find the audio version online. You take a photo and wonder if you should try, once again, to get Hello to work so you can post the pic.
You have Thanksgiving with your whole family and actually attempt to live blog it.
There's no cure for this, far as I know, other than the obvious: quit blogging. But that is simply not an option for the most
So, Ann, I wish you all the best. I look forward to your next posts about the crash aftermath.
And I completely understand.
UPDATE: I should also mention that I owe Ann Althouse a debt of gratitude; she was responsible for linking to me from Instapundit when she was a guest blogger for Glenn. I still remember the fun of seeing the Site Meter referrals racking up, page after page, as www.instapundit.com... ah, yes, the Instalanche.
Here's how the blogosphere works: I visited my blog buddy Rich today; clicked on a comments page and found this blog, which linked to Michelle Malkin, who links to this -- which is the one to make your blood boil.
How could anyone dare to say that the United States is not the most generous nation in the world? And can't we please just shut down the U.N.?
Saturday, January 22, 2005
There's a lot I haven't been able to post about lately.
Fortunately, nothing seeped into the newly finished area. (Cosmic question: Why do these things only happen after you lay the carpet?)
Yes, this is my life lately, and thank God, thank God, these are my little complaints.
Received this email today, forwarded through our homeschool group email list. Please, pray.
1/19/2005 3:51:36 PM Eastern Standard Time
SPECIAL REQUEST FROM DBC MEMBER LYLE SHACKELFORD, SERVING AS CHAPLAIN
WITH U. S. ARMY UNIT IN IRAQ.
As a transportation battalion, my unit will be delivering the voting machines and the ballots to villages and cities throughout Iraq during the upcoming elections (Jan 30/31) Our convoys are PRIME targets for the insurgents because they do not want the equipment to arrive at the polling stations, nor do they want the local Iraqi citizens to have the chance to vote. Timely delivery must occur so that elections occur.
Encourage your friends and family members and those within our churches to pray specifically for the electoral process.
Historically, the previous totalitarian regime would not allow individual citizens to vote. Democracy will not be realized in Iraq if intelligent and competent officials are not elected to those strategic leadership positions within the emerging government; freedom will not have an opportunity to ring throughout this country if the voting process fails.
Announce this prayer request to your contacts throughout your churches, neighborhoods and places of business. Those with leadership roles within the local church, post this message in as many newsletters and bulletins as possible.
There is unlimited potential for God's presence in this process but if we do not pray, then our enemy will prevail (See Eph. 6:10-17). A prayer vigil prior to the end of the month may be an innovative opportunity for those within your sphere of influence to pray. This is a political battle that needs spiritual intervention. A powerful story about God's intervention in the lives of David's mighty men is recorded in 2 Samuel 23:8-33. David and his warriors were victorious because of God's intervention. We want to overcome those who would stand in the way of freedom. David's mighty men triumphed over incredible odds and stood their ground and were victorious over the enemies of Israel (Iraqi insurgents' vs God's praying
They don't stand a chance.
I will pray with my soldiers before they leave on their convoys and move outside our installation gates here at Tallil. My soldiers are at the nerve center of the logistic operation to deliver the voting machines and election allots. They will be driving to and entering the arena of the enemy.
This is not a game for them, it is a historical mission that is extremely dangerous. No voting machines or ballots. No elections. Your prayer support and God's intervention are needed to give democracy a chance in this war torn country.
Thank you for reading this e-mail. PLEASE GIVE THIS EMAIL A WIDE DISSEMINATION.
Thank you for your prayer support for me and my family. Stand firm in your battles.
It was on this day in 1973 that
"7 Supreme Court justices, swayed by the misleading arguments and outright lies of Sarah Weddington and others, issued a ruling that opened up the gates of Hell and loosed the worst holocaust the world has ever seen."Jinx McHue has an excellent post, though it's heartbreaking and difficult to read. Read it anyway; it's Truth.
UPDATE: Instapunk has a post on abortion, too. Be forewarned, they have a graphic photo. Look anyway; it's also Truth.
Thursday, January 20, 2005
My aunt is calling this "Happy W Day". I can't tell you how happy I am that George W. Bush is taking the oath of office today. I worked and prayed very hard for this, as did millions of others in this country. Thank God!
Ashley Faulkner is on the Today show right now; she and her family will be attending the Inauguration. She is the girl who lost her mother on 9/11, and when the President happened to meet her and learn her story, he stopped, hugged her, and comforted her. Ashley is saying that the way he held her, she felt that she was "one of his own". She said she was trying not to cry, but she was very overwhelmed. She also said she felt safe for the first time since 9/11.
She said she agreed to allow the famous photo of that hug from the President to be used in a Bush campaign ad, because she felt she wanted to do everything she could to help him win re-election.
I'm very impressed with this young woman; she's so poised and well-spoken (just after typing those words Katie Couric said almost exactly the same thing), and is even able to talk in a composed, intelligent way about the loss of her mother.
One last thing here before I go and get some coffee and start my day; Drudge has this excerpt from the President's Inaugural Speech:
“We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.”Exactly.
“America has need of idealism and courage, because we have essential work at home – the unfinished work of American freedom. In a world moving toward liberty, we are determined to show the meaning and promise of liberty.”
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Charlie Sykes discussed the issue again today on his radio show. Here's his blog post about it, and here's the audio clip on My View of the World. The audio clip is of a caller to his show making the ludicrous claim that anyone who protests fraudulent voting is a racist who doesn't want blacks to vote.
Then he goes on to say that he knows, as a landlord and employer, that people (and it's clear as the conversation progresses that he means "blacks") just don't know how to fill out the voter registration form. He's blaming the educational system.
Charlie is rightly calling this the "soft bigotry of low expectations".
What about the media's portrayal of the enemy? Why do these ruthless murderers, kidnappers and thieves get a pass when it comes to their actions? What did the the media show or tell us about Margaret Hassoon, the director of C.A.R.E. in Iraq and an Iraqi citizen, who was kidnapped, brutally tortured and left disemboweled on a street in Fallujah? Did anyone in the press show these images over and over to emphasize the moral failings of the enemy as they did with the soldiers at Abu Ghuraib? ... Are people of the world getting the complete story? The answer again is no! What the world got instead were repeated images of a battle-weary Marine who made a quick decision to use lethal force and who immediately was tried in the world press.... This is how the world views our efforts over here and stories like this without a counter continually serve as propaganda victories for the enemy. Al Jazeera isn't showing the film of the C.A.R.E. worker, but is showing the clip of the Marine.And one more:
While the media was busy bashing the Coalition, Muqtada's boys were kidnapping policemen, city council members and anyone else accused of supporting the Coalition or the new government, trying them in a kangaroo court based on Islamic Shari'a law, then brutally torturing and executing them for their "crimes." What the media didn't show or write about were the two hundred-plus headless bodies found in the main mosque there, or the body that was put into a bread oven and baked. Nor did they show the world the hundreds of thousands of mortar, artillery and small arms rounds found within the "sacred" walls of the mosque. Also missing from the coverage was the huge cache of weapons found in Muqtada's "political" headquarters nearby.
UPDATE: My husband emailed me saying that Rush was talking about this article today. It's getting linked a lot in the blogosphere, too, here and here. Here. Actually, way too many to list. This is good.
Here's the new Jib Jab cartoon, "Second Term". (Hat tip Charlie Sykes.) It's got the obligatory Hillary-slap, and it's not as side-splitting as the first one, but you know what, it makes me smile. There's a little bit of sweetness in every Jib Jab cartoon, which is nice.
And ain't it great: Second Term!
He's on the Today show right now; he's already said quagmire at least once, and called the liberation of Iraq an adventure, or something equally dismissive. He said we're all praying that the elections in Iraq will be successful, but at the same time he's bad-mouthing the Bush administration, saying that no matter what happens, the administration will "try" to paint it as a success. Something like that.
Apparently he's on because he's hawking a Carter center auction. He's showing Matt Lauer his workshop where he makes furniture and paints (badly, I might add), and now he's going on about how he's written 19 books.
Gee, I haven't read a single one. What a shame. I'll have to fix that... if I ever feel a need to punish myself.
Carter also makes wine. We're obviously supposed to think, "Oh my, he's just so accomplished. What a Renaissance man." However, I'm just finding this whole Today segment funny because he just won't stop talking, and you can tell Lauer is trying to regain control of the show.
Gosh, Jimmy, SHUT UP.
I'm sorry, that wasn't very polite.
Well, here's an article that will give you some idea of why I'm a little hostile toward our old peanut-farmer Prez. And just look how many hits you get on this Google search.
I think Wisconsin bloggers are going to have a significant role in bringing about election reform in this state.
Again, thanks to Charlie Sykes for stepping forward and inviting Wisconsin bloggers to his radio show, and linking to them on his blog.
The Badger Blog Alliance continues to grow. Read this post, linked by the BBA, and see if it doesn't make your blood boil. My View of the World stays on top of it, as well.
Seems to me the next step is for each of us, after becoming informed, to contact our State Reps and State Senators to ask their views on Wisconsin election laws and any reforms they might support.
Or, we could just ignore this, forget about it, and then 3-1/2 years from now, be faced with the same horrible potential for voter fraud -- and even more of it. Think how desperate the Democrats will be for a Presidential victory by then. You thought that thuggery and tire slashing was bad? It'll pale in comparison to what we might face in 2008.
Unless we do something about it now.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
My husband and I recently contributed to this organization, Pro-Life Across America, to sponsor a billboard in the Milwaukee area. (Not sure where it is yet; I'm waiting to hear back from the person who coordinated the donations.)
What a great idea this is! The billboards feature an adorable little baby face, and a very positive pro-life message.
I began this post with the firm idea that the positive billboards are a far superior method of changing hearts and minds about abortion than showing graphic, bloody images of aborted fetuses. Now, however, I have to admit that I'm just... well, conflicted about it.
Priests for Life, an organization I respect, has a pretty solid argument for showing the reality of abortion, here. (Note: If you don't want to see the images, don't click the links on that page. Alternatively, if you do want to see them, you'll probably have to turn off your Norton Internet Security Parental Control temporarily; it considers the pages "restricted sites".)
Here's my problem: If I was driving around with my kids, and we came across a one of the semi-trucks with the horrific, bloody images, I would tell them to look the other way or close their eyes, and hope that I did so in time. I actually had to do that once, a few years ago, when we drove by some protestors with signs showing the same kinds of photos. My kids were just too young to have their innocence robbed that way.
On the other hand, I just turned off Norton, looked at some of the photos, and was moved almost to tears. The photos are very disturbing. They're supposed to be. Abortion is horrible, for both the baby and the mother.
How can you not be moved? How can you look at those photos and not say, "We're killing off our children!" Maybe Fr. Pavone is right, that this is the best way to convince people that abortion is wrong.
Still, these happy-baby billboards are something that I would encourage my children to look at and read. No conflict there, I'm glad to say.
Pro-lifers, especially those of you coming here from Pro-Life Blogs, what are your thoughts on this issue?
This cracked me up:
"When he started talking about innate differences in aptitude between men and women, I just couldn't breathe because this kind of bias makes me physically ill," she said Monday.You know, I just can't imagine a man saying that, or reacting that way, can you?
UPDATE (1/24): Welcome, National Center Blog visitors!
Charlie Sykes is a local radio talk show host who has been covering the possible vote fraud in Milwaukee. He's also been great about giving air time, and links on his blog (or "Weblog" as WTMJ insists on calling it), to Wisconsin bloggers (here and here).
Thanks to my husband and our friend J.S. for letting me know that Captain's Quarters has picked up on the Wisconsin Voter Fraud issue, and he even got an Instalanche out of it.
So now it's in the major blogosphere. Michelle Malkin, the Corner, LGF, and others are in on it, too. We'll see what happens to the story from here on out.
In a way it doesn't matter, though, because as I said in my last post, the main thing is getting some election reform passed in Wisconsin this session. Otherwise, we'll soon forget about it, until 2008 is upon us and we'll go through the same problems all over again.
The American Mind has this useful post, about Wisconsin voter registration laws.
They are so lax it's a joke. You can't rent a video without legitimate I.D., but here you can vote with just about nothing.
Which is exactly what seems to be happening with the voter fraud story. Nothing. At least in the major media, and even in the blogosphere.
However, I don't think WI Rep. Jeff Stone is going to let it drop in the legislature. Here's a bit of an interview he did with a local radio show, as transcribed by the blogger from My View of the World and posted at the Badger Blog Alliance:
Stone: Well, that's something that Scott Walker originally, uh, carried that mantle years ago. I've picked it up the last two sessions. Last session we put that on the Governor's desk and he vetoed it. Um, I have that bill now circulating, and I have a tremendous amount of co-sponsors in the Assembly, and my intent is to put that back on the Governor's desk, and I believe with all the other reforms that are being required under the Congressional guidance of the Help America Vote Act, I think now is the time for the Governor to step up and say we're going to fix elections in this state so they operate properly.This is what we need to do: Contact our representatives and tell them we want vote reform now. Call the Governor's office and give him the same message. More on this later.
Monday, January 17, 2005
Michelle Witmer had the sad distinction of being the first woman National Guard member killed in combat, when her convoy was ambushed in Iraq last April. Michelle was a New Berlin resident, so the New Berlin Common Council has decided to honor her memory. They are about to approve the naming of a brand-new street for her: Michelle Witmer Memorial Drive.
The street will run past the new library, which is scheduled to open next month. According to Michelle's family, she loved to read, so this is a fitting tribute.
Thanks to a tip from a Minnesota blogger via her comment here, I've discovered a motherlode of Badger State Bloggers.
So, I was running around the blogosphere tonight (and I mean late tonight, when I should really have been asleep), leaving comments on their blogs to say hello, and then blogrolling them.
We all seem to be concerned about the voter fraud issue I posted about here.
Sean at The American Mind has some good stuff on it. Here's the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article about it.
UPDATE: Here's another great post from Jiblog.
UPDATE, Monday morning: Brainpost is busy; he's got a good post on the history of vote fraud in Wisconsin ("history" meaning the last two elections). The sad thing is that Wisconsin used to be known as a clean state, politically. Not so sure that's true anymore.
Also, thanks again to T, for commenting here and for posting on this topic herself.
Sunday, January 16, 2005
Friday, January 14, 2005
Listening to Mark Belling right now; he's saying that 10,000 people who were given ballots in Milwaukee this past election had voter registration cards that nobody can read - to the point that they're suspected of being phony. Another several thousand voter-verification cards may turn out to be "non-deliverable", meaning they probably are non-existent addresses.
Belling is saying that there were possibly 25,000 fraudulent votes in total in Milwaukee.
Kerry won the state of Wisconsin by about 11,000 votes.
Isn't that interesting?
We in Wisconsin have long suspected that Milwaukee is a hotbed of fraudulent voting. Here's an article from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that says in some wards, turnout was 110% of the estimated voting age population. In one ward, Kerry received 99% of the vote.
UPDATE: Should mention here that we have registration at the polls in Wisconsin. No I.D. is required to vote, if you're already registered. It's just ripe for fraud.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
Evolutionary psychology is bunk.
It can be used to explain completely contradictory findings, which means that the explanation is custom-made to fit the results of a given study.
Which means, it's no explanation at all.
There's no way it can be tested or disproved. Any contradictory findings are simply given additional evolutionary explanations.
Which means, it's really not a theory; it's a belief system.
Here's an article about a study recently published in the journal "Evolution and Human Behavior" that's getting some attention this week.
Maureen Dowd, who is every conservative's favorite columnist (to pick on, that is), used the study as a hook for her petulant, sniping column about "why men don't want to marry me". Rush Limbaugh, who is every liberal's favorite talk show host (to make rude jokes about), used Dowd's column as a hook for his radio talk show yesterday.
The study is being accepted far too uncritically by both sides as evidence that men want to marry women who are subservient to them. The study's authors claim that this is due to evolutionary forces, because... well, because that's how they could get it published in "Evolution and Human Behavior", most likely.
Anyway, here's a little fisking of just one sentence from the article about the study.
"A new study One study? Doesn't mean a thing. Remember that "one study" that found cold fusion in the laboratory? Exactly.
by psychology researchersHey, this is my field, so I can tell you that until you see exactly how the questions were framed, you just don't know if the study is unbiased enough to be useful. Psychologists are, in general, a pretty liberal bunch, who lean leftwards on marriage, feminism, evolution, etc.
at the University of Michigan, using college undergraduates,By college undergrads, I'm sure they meant "freshman in the Psych 101 class", just like probably 90% of the rest of such studies. This makes the findings of all such studies of limited value, but they're especially dubious when the topic is "long term relationships" or marriage. I mean, 18- and 19-year-old guys? Gentlemen, please correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't "long-term" mean "more than a week" at that age?
suggests that men going for long-term relationships would rather marry women in subordinate jobs than women who are supervisors.There you go! The smoking gun! Men don't want to marry smart, accomplished women!
Kind of a stretch at best, but if you read a little further in the article, you find out that there's absolutely no reason to draw that conclusion. It turns out that the subjects weren't asked to romantically consider a woman who is "a" supervisor; they were asked to consider a woman who is "their" supervisor. According to the article:
The men, for example, were shown pictures and asked, "Imagine that you have just taken a job and that Jennifer is your (emphasis added) immediate supervisor," or peer, or assistant. The participants were then asked to rate, on one-to-nine scale, how much they would like to go to a party, date or marry the person."Why would young men who've grown up in a culture that constantly screams "sexual harassment" want to consider a long term relationship with their own bosses? It's even possible that the subjects, who I assume were not told the real purpose of the study, might have thought the researchers were actually studying sexual harassment. This certainly could have influenced their responses.
Here's another pointed criticism, from Dr. Ellen Berscheid, a distinguished professor at the University of Minnesota (my own grad school alma mater, I might add):
Relational dominance, she said, could mean different things in a different study - like one that created hypothetical mates who were richer or poorer than the research subjects. With a money comparison, she said, "the results may well have been quite different."In fact, Dr. Berscheid goes further in criticizing evolutionary psychology in general. Now, she's politer than I am about it, and doesn't call it "bunk", but you get the idea:
In an e-mail interview, Dr. Ellen Berscheid, a professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota, took a slight jab at "these florid psychoevolutionary interpretations of human behavior that wholly ignore the influence of contemporary, mundane social institutional forces."Exactly.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
My dear husband sent me this link, thanks to a good friend of his (hey J.F.!).
Read. The. Whole. Thing.
It will crack you up if you
a) are a blogger, orA little appeteaser:
b) read blogs, or
c) think Dan Rather is a doofus (or, alternatively, the Queen of the Space Unicorns)
d) read detective fiction, or,
e) have a pulse.
“Give it to me straight, flatfoot,” I demanded. “What in the name of Edward R. Murrow is going on here?”
“I’m saying you’ve been played like a pawn shop fiddle, Rather. Set up. Conned. Slipped a mickey.”
“What are you implying Kurtz?”
“Snookered. Bamboozled. Flimflammed. They sold you a first class ticket to the Palookaville snipe hunt on the Gullible Express.”
“And so you’re saying….”
“You’ve been duped, Danny. Fooled. Had. You were wedgied, pantsed, and paraded around town in your skidmarked B.V.D.s. ”
“Stop talking in code, Howie,” I snapped. “I need the truth!”
“Oh for crissakes, read the freaking blogs, Rather!” he snapped.
Yes, it seems like this has become a dormant blog, but not really. Blogging will be light until I catch up on the rest of my life. Now, when Glenn Reynolds says that, he means something less than 25 posts a day. When I say it, it means something less than one post every five days. Sigh. (Update: When I say less than one post every five days, I mean, that's what it was this past week. However, I plan to post every day from now on! So many good books to post about, and so many good links sent by friends. So, stay tuned...!)
But a couple quick things for today:
1) I heard Brian Williams at the beginning of the NBC Nightly News yesterday; he asked, in reference to the tsunami, the west coast rains and mudslides, the volcanic eruptions: "Is our planet trying to tell us something?"
Oh yeah, Brian. It's saying, "Oh no, don't hurt me anymore! Don't drive your SUV's! They're KILLING me!" You know, I think if every human on the planet drove 100 miles a day in the biggest SUVs ever made, it couldn't cause anything other than maybe a little more smog in LA. It certainly couldn't cause an earthquake, not even a teeny tiny one, much less a 9-point-something, under-the-ocean killer quake.
Now for the kicker: Turns out the conclusion of the story was "No", the planet isn't trying to tell us anything. So, the question that Williams asked at the beginning of the broadcast was a classic teaser. And just as meaningless.
2) This morning, on the NBC Today show, a news items was that the government announced new diet guidelines. They're shocking, and might just change your life. Are you ready? You're sure?
It's this: Watch your caloric intake and exercise daily.
No, really. That's it. Hope it didn't shock you too much. Thank God we have NBC to bring us this important news.
Thursday, January 06, 2005
Found this blogger yesterday; his blog isn't even a week old yet. But he's been busy, and has quite a few excellent posts already. He's a high school student in the Chicago area. Worth a visit.
I found his blog via This is Rich, who linked to Cheese and Crackers, who linked to Disorderly Fashion because the new blogger is his "blog baby" and he is the "blogfather".
You know, I was a "blogmother" once; someone posted a comment saying that I inspired him to start a blog. That lasted for all of two posts, and the blog has been dormant ever since. Ah well. Hey, this blogging stuff isn't as easy as it looks, you know! (Ed: Oh yes it is.)
Cheese and Crackers is also a new blog, as it turns out, less than a month old -- but it already has been linked by DRUDGE! He had tsunami videos. Now, can you imagine what a Drudge link does to your stats? You don't have to imagine: Just take a look at this and if you're a blogger, be jealous. Be very jealous.
UPDATE: Monday, January 10 -- The Cheese and Crackers blog is apparently sucking up all the bandwidth in the blogosphere, judging from some of the comments he's got on his blog, because everyone and his brother still wants to see the tsunami videos. Here's the link if you want. I don't ever have the time to wait for them to load, but I'm sure it's incredible video.
There's cat-blogging, photo-blogging, live-blogging, Thanksgiving- and Christmas-blogging, so why not poem blogging?
You would not believe how many people come here via Google searches for poems. Poems on the tsunami, poems on euthanasia (no, I'm not kidding), and more. Of course, I have none of those kinds of poems on my site, but I do have part of a poem, and a link to a poem.
So, in honor of all those people seeking poems, and in honor of our first major snowfall here in southeastern Wisconsin, and, finally, in honor to my Aunt who taught me this poem and many others,here is a poem:
And busily all the night
Had been heaping field and highway
With a silence deep and white.
Every pine and fir and hemlock
Wore ermine too dear for an earl,
And the poorest twig on the elm-tree
Was ridged inch deep with pearl.
From sheds new-roofed with Carrara
Came Chanticleer’s muffled crow,
The stiff rails softened to swan’s-down,
And still fluttered down the snow.
... and try to beat my scores. That shouldn't be too hard, as my highest was only 83% on the government econ quiz, and then a couple of failing grades in the '60's on the other two.
The quizzes are fascinating. Seriously! Also, I'd like to know what the average scores are, because I thought I was fairly well informed and didn't do very well.
If you take the quizzes, and are brave enough, post your scores in a comment below!
UPDATE: I should have said, if you're brave enough, or if you want to brag!
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Granted, our immigration policies are something I haven't studied up on. Yet. But this doesn't make sense:
MILWAUKEE - In a pilot program escribed as the first of its kind, an agency created by the state government is making it easier for illegal immigrants in Wisconsin to obtain mortgage loans.Now, does that make sense? How is it that on the one hand employers can get into huge trouble for hiring illegals (paying as much as $10,000 per person in fines), but on the other hand the government is providing mortgages for the very same people? Am I missing something here?
Hat tip to my brother for sending me the link above.
Here's a story on "Operation Rollback", which was a 1983 bust of Walmart, whose cleaning contractors had hired illegals:
"We are always looking at companies that are knowingly exploiting people for the purpose of making money," Courtney said. He said businesses that employ undocumented workers often pay low wages and offer few or no benefits.Really? They're always looking at companies who knowingly exploit people? But wouldn't making money off a mortgage also be exploitative? I'm not getting this.
My opinion: I'm in favor of liberal immigration laws. Practically speaking, we've got an incredibly low unemployment rate, which means that we need immigrants to fill jobs that otherwise wouldn't be done. Historically, we've always welcomed immigrants; it's one of the best things about this country. My great-grandparents were immigrants, and I'm very thankful that this country let them in. Morally, we've saved countless lives and changed millions more for the better by allowing people in.
I just would like our laws to make sense. Someone help me out here, if I'm really missing a big part of the story.
Drudge links to this head-shaker of a story:
An Indian helicopter dropping food and water over the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands has been attacked by tribesmen using bows and arrows.Well, that was nice of the them, because they could have taken it as a sign that the tribes wanted to destroy the helicopter, or thought the helicopter was a giant demon in the sky, or were re-enacting some old Western they'd rented through Netflix. Uh, wait, it couldn't have been that last one...
There were fears that the endangered tribal groups had been wiped out when massive waves struck their islands.
But the authorities say the attack is a sign that they have survived.
Now, please don't tell me I'm being insensitve to the tribal people. I'm truly glad they're alive. But I think there's some sort of huge cultural gap here; I just don't get the part about shooting a helicopter with bows and arrows.
At the same time, I also think it's odd to refer to the tribes as "endangered". What, are they hunted, like the endangered animals in Africa? Is their homeland about to be steamrolled for a giant amusement park or shopping mall? Or are they being targeted by evil American imperialists eager to start selling them Coca Cola and iPods?
Oh, I suppose it must be that last one. Who else would be to blame but Americans?
Monday, January 03, 2005
The young man I mentioned here is alive! His parents heard from him; turns out he hadn't landed in Thailand yet when the tsunami struck. When he did arrive, he stayed in the central part of the country.
So there is some good news amid all the sadness.
Another bit of good news was in this Chicago Tribune story today; imagine the joy of the parents upon finding the little daughter they were sure was lost to the sea. Read the whole story; it's a gripping first-hand account of what it was like.
Saturday, January 01, 2005
The misery is unimaginable. The official death toll is over 124,000, and it's sure to rise even higher. Read this article (via Drudge). Read this account, too. It breaks your heart.
But just think of how disasters like this must have been a hundred times worse centuries ago, with no internet to spread the news and raise funds, no planes to deliver supplies, no cell phones or even just regular phones for communication.
Think, too, of how the power of this earthquake dwarfs all of mankind's efforts, either for good or for bad. Here's a list of nuclear power "disasters"; the worst was Chernobyl in 1986, with a possible 31 killed.
Still, we should celebrate the New Year; it's a sign of hope. Just, pray a little more today for all the victims of the disaster.
It's almost 3:00 a.m. here. Yes, I'm still awake. We got together with two other families to celebrate tonight, as we have been doing for years and years now, and didn't get home until about 1:15. Even the little kids stayed up the whole time; they toasted the New Year with "kiddo wine" (sparkling grape juice) in plastic cups, as we grownups had a very good Mumm's from Napa Valley.
Don't know why I'm still awake now, except I just don't feel tired yet. New Year's Eve, and the promise of a brand new year, unsullied with sorrows or disappointments, is invigorating. Or maybe I'm running on adrenalin from a great evening of dancing (DDR on PlayStation 2; ohmigosh that is fun -- and addictive!) and playing ping pong and foosball.
In any event, here's to the New Year. May God bless us all, in all corners of the world, especially those who are suffering tonight. Please, Lord, no more disasters like the one that closed out 2004.
And on that topic, 133,525 people have donated over $10,000,000 to the Red Cross through Amazon.com. Even in the middle of the night in most of this country, people are still donating; I hit refresh and watched 9 more people added to the total in the past 5 minutes. Amazin'.com, indeed.