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Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Here’s how it works: I’ve plotted where each candidate falls along a spectrum of positions/abilities for 5 big-picture concepts that are important in this election. The descriptions for each concept basically represent opposite ends of each spectrum, and there is a gradient in between. They’re positioned along each spectrum based on their stated positions, voting records, and my opinion.

For example, at one end of the socio-economic spectrum are people who support socializing services/industries and distributing wealth/opportunity through government; at the other end are those who would leave the provision of these things entirely to the forces of free market capitalism and open competition (so, someone like Karl Marx would be on the very tip of the left end, whereas someone like Milton Friedman would be on the right end).

Or, take foreign policy – On one end you have those whose acumen for foreign policy essentially amounts to having twice breakfasted at the International House of Pancakes (i.e. totally inept); on the other end are those whose acumen merits the moniker of ‘commander in chief’. You get the idea.

I thought this would be a fun and interesting way to visually characterize their general disposition on key issues.

Personally, the right side of each spectrum is vastly preferable to the left side…so although neither candidate is ideal (gee, what a surprise), this does point to McCain as the preferable one by far. Obviously decide for yourself: on which side of each spectrum do you think our next president ought to reside?

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And you could be jailed for reading it…and we’d all be sharing a cell with George Will and the artists who drew these cartoons.

For only the third time in 72 years (Berlin 1936, Moscow 1980), the games are being hosted by a tyrannical regime, the mind of which was displayed in the opening ceremony featuring thousands of drummers, each face contorted with the same grotesquely frozen grin. It was a tableau of the miniaturization of the individual and the subordination of individuality to the collective. Not since the Nazi’s 1934 Nuremberg rally, which Leni Riefenstahl turned into the film “Triumph of the Will,” has tyranny been so brazenly tarted up as art.” George Will, 8/12/08

P.S. Did you hear about the little girl, Lin Miaoke, who won the world’s heart when she sang “Ode to the Motherland” during the opening ceremony? Well, it was a fraud. Lin was lip-syncing the song because China’s elite Politburo decided that the girl who was actually singing lacked sufficient beauty to be on stage. Instead, they hid the real singer backstage and put a “flawless” prop on stage to lip sync. The Politburo said it was done “for the national interest.” Never mind the interest of the poor little girl who sings beautifully but is too ugly in her country’s eyes to be seen in public. Disgraceful. 

Cartoon Source: Townhall

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Analogy – Media:Obama :: Lewinski:Clinton

Explanation: Last week I heard a primetime network news person declare, “Obamania is here to stay!” It’s not the first or last time such absurd media bias will show up on my TV screen. But anyway, what is this Obamania that’s evidently sweeping the nation? Well, let’s see, according to Webster’s:

  • Mania – (1) A form of mental disorder marked by great elation and violent action. (2) An irrational and prolonged desire or enthusiasm.   

Ah! Now I understand why the media thinks Obama is the second coming of Jesus Christ – they’re suffering from mental illness. Have you been afflicted with this horrible new disorder? The media has caught it really, really bad, and the symptoms have been quite embarrassing for them. Just watch:

And the coverage has become a lot more pathetic this week since Obama’s been on his arrogant and presumptuous international coronation tour. But hey, look on the bright side – with all this Obama worship by the establishment media at least one industry is booming during these difficult economic times…I reckon demand for knee pads is skyrocketing!

Addendum: If you’re afraid you too may be suffering from Obamania, be on the look out for other common symptoms, including: a strong sense of entitlement to things you did not earn, and a firm belief that your shit doesn’t stink and you know what is best for everybody. 

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The Great Seal of the United States

The Great Seal of the United States

On July 4, 1776, the same day that independence from Great Britain was declared, the Continental Congress also named the first committee (consisted of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams) to design a Great Seal, or national emblem, for the country. Similar to other nations, The United States of America needed an official symbol of sovereignty to formalize and seal international treaties, transactions, etc. It took six years and three committees in order for the Continental Congress to agree on a design. The final design of the Great Seal includes a shield reminiscent of our national flag, an bald eagle (well-known national symbol of the United States), and arrows along with olive branches to represent the power of war and peace together.

I mention the Great Seal because, against my better judgment, I recently visited Obama’s website to peruse some of his policy statements. But before I could even dip my toe in the rhetorical pool, I noticed that the background image on his website is a perverse distortion of the Great Seal of the United States (see below). The image shows Obama’s “rising sun” (er, implication, “rising son”?) over the U.S. shield and flag. The eagle is dropping the olive branches and the arrows, turning its back and flying away. And, one of the arrows is piercing through the American flag. This modified Great Seal is the background image on every page of Obama’s website.

So, why would Obama want this image to represent him? What is he trying to say/convey? If you were running for President, is this the image you would you want on your website? Honestly, I’m not bringing this up just because it is an opportunity to level criticism against Obama. I genuinely wonder about the mentality behind this image, and it bothers me because it seems to be indicative of a disturbing, growing consensus that we need to “remake” the country and that so many people feel they are just “too good to be American.”

That said, it’s worth pointing out that I’m not basing my decision to support McCain exclusively on things like this. My mind was made up long, long ago (before lapel pins, reverend Wright, Bill Ayers, etc.) based on the simple notion that I’d prefer to elect someone who is experienced and similar to me and the majority of Americans in terms of the political spectrum: basically in the middle, but slightly to the right with respect to the military and taxes. Obama is woefully inexperienced and has a voting record on the far-left-wing, even by his own party’s metrics. No, thank you.

Look, America has a history of setting uniquely high standards for itself, and by those standards, sometimes we fall short and need change and a chance to refresh. Bush is a dope, and overall, has performed well below-average as President. One could even make a pretty strong case that some of his actions constitute impeachable offenses under the Constitution. All of that – granted. I agree that we need change. But Obama and his “Great Seal” does not reflect the kind of change we need and is certainly not change I can believe in!

America is not a mean, evil country. We do not need to “remake” America. I’m bothered by the fact that optimism and pride towards our country, and simply being American, seems to get scarcer with each passing day. America is, both in action and principle, a fundamentally good country and a force of good in the world, despite what so many self-righteous liberals would have you believe. The beauty of this country is that it is what we make it. And this election season, we should make it a country that respects the heritage and values represented by important symbols like the Great Seal, and reject those who would desecrate these symbols.

I apologize for the histrionics – didn’t mean to get so caught up in the symbolism of this Obama seal thing. Maybe I just need some time away from Newton and Cambridge…people’s distain for “Brand America” is palpable around here. Anyway, today is Independence Day so I’m going to shake it off, go out, and celebrate my independence from pessimism and my optimism for American now and in the long-run!

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I don’t regularly listen to NPR, but I’ll tune into almost anything when someone as brilliant as George Will (one of the most widely recognized writers in America) is on. George was a guest on Tom Ashbrook’s show, OnPoint, for about 40 minutes on Monday, during which time, he discussed a whole bunch of topics, including conservatism, cycles in American society, Madison’s framing of the Constitution, the upcoming election, past elections, the war, foreign policy, and climate change economics.

To be sure, I don’t agree with George Will on every issue, but the man’s commentary is always punishingly reasoned and incisive – I love it! I mean, it is so easy to appreciate his writing and commentary whether or not you agree with his point of view. To paraphrase a caller from the radio show, he writes about issues without rancor and vitriol towards dissenting opinions, and because of that, it allows you to understand and think about things without all the rhetorical filler that normally permeates political journalism.

Anyway, I guess the point of this post is just to say I really enjoy reading his columns, and to point you to the Audio File of his OnPoint appearance if you want to listen. Also, he has a new book, One Man’s America: The Pleasures and Provocations of Our Singular Nation, which I’ve moved to the top of my ‘to read’ list 🙂

Addendum: George Will gave the commencement speech at Boston University when I graduated in 2003. The subject was baseball so, as commencement speeches go, it was surprisingly tolerable.

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Jihadists read history and politics through the prism of their distinctive theological convictions, not through the lens of western assumptions about the progressive dynamic of history.” George Weigel – Faith, Reason, and the War against Jihadism

I have plenty of political opinions just like everybody else but I really do not want to delve into issues like this on a regular basis on this blog. But this issue, understanding the threat posed by Iran, is so important – please bear with me.

Here is what Iranian President Ahmadinejad (hereinafter, A-hole) said on Monday at a United Nations food summit, of all places:

I must announce that the Zionist regime (Israel)…is about to die and will soon be erased from the geographical scene. Today, the time for the fall of the satanic power of the United States has come and the countdown to the annihilation of the emperor of power and wealth has started. I tell you that with the unity and awareness of all the Islamic countries all the satanic powers will soon be destroyed.”

Gees, point taken, douche bag. Iran, with leaders like A-hole, is already a very serious threat and has the potential to be a threat unlike any western civilization has faced previously: apocalyptics with nuclear weapons. The last time we faced a serious nuclear threat was during the Cold War. But this situation is SO very different and deterrence strategies, in this case, will not work. Allow me to quote an example from George Weigel’s excellent book that highlights the key reason why:

In Iran, eleventh-grade textbooks teach that ‘in the coming era-ending war against the infidels, Muslims cannot lose: Either we all become free, or we will go to the greater freedom of martyrdom. Either we shall shake one another’s hand at the victory of Islam in the world, or all of us will turn to eternal life and martyrdom. In both cases, success and victory are ours’.”

You see, during the Cold War, fear of our mutually-assured destruction was a primary deterrent that held both countries at bay (i.e., the Soviet Union and the United States both knew that if one country bombed the other, both countries would be wiped off the map). The key point here is that A-hole and other jihadists are apocalyptics for whom “mutually-assured destruction is an inducement rather than a deterrent.” The jihadists prize martyrdom – they want the battle we never engaged in during the Cold War. And A-hole is doing everything he can to hasten the achievement of that goal.

The consensus opinion (more often proven to be incorrect than correct) is that Obama will be the next President of the United States. I don’t presume so. But, if he is elected, then before he makes arrangements for tea and crumpets with this psychotic despot from Iran, Obama ought to stop and seriously consider the nature of this complex problem and what it would mean if Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons. Thomas Sowell does a great job of summarizing Obama’s flawed position on Iran:

Senator Obama’s foreign policy seems to be somewhere between Rodney King’s ‘Can’t we just get along?’ and Alfred E. Neuman’s ‘What, me worry?'”

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