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Monday, June 07, 2004

Ronald Reagan

I was very saddened to hear about Reagan's death. But I suppose much like the death of Winston Churchill in 1965, his death was long expected, so I feel the mourning of an expected loss, rather than the sting of a sudden death.

My parents (though my father recently, sadly passed also) and I are all self-described conservative Republicans. The difference among us is that while I describe myself as a Reagan Republican, I describe them as Nixon Republicans. Some find this somewhat strange, as if anything, they are far more conservative than I am.

The differences are this. Nixon held a somewhat cynical view of the world, Reagan an optimistic view.

To Nixon, the world was going to hell. The best we could do was delay the inevitable. To Reagan, the dehumanizing monstrosity that was bolshevism was in fact the system that was doomed. While the Soviets were too strong (and the threat of nuclear war too great) to use military might, we could give aid and comfort to those behind the Iron Curtain and they could free themselves.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

I am back again

It has been a while since I posted. On March 16, my father passed away and frankly work, politics, everything but my mother, my son and my wife no longer seem important. But life goes on and I will to.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Madrid

This is a defeat of the first magnitude. The loss of life was horrific. And the attack seems to have convinced the Spanish to vote against a party that strongly opposed terror.

I fear this may be the first of many such attacks in Europe, as the terrorists seek to influence elections.
Been Away

I have been away for a while, a new son takes up a lot of time.

But now I am back.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

An idea that will not go way

Gay Marriage. Both parties really wish this issue would go away. Bush and Kerry both are playing a weird game, not really having a coherent answer to the question.

The GOP is basically split between social and fiscal conservatives. There also is a split between federalists and nonfederalists. Many fiscal conservatives really do not care much about these issues, and if they are also federalists, they would leave it to the states to decide.

The social conservatives, who mostly only pay lip services to federalism, want a federal constitutional amendment. An amendment they will not get, but will keep pushing for. All the while, this push diverts attention from other more important issues, and contributes to more bad press among moderate/independent voters.

For the Democrats, the liberal groups will be pushing for it. But you must imagine that the blue-collar base of the democrats will not be too happy. They will wonder why the Democrats are wasting time and effort on an issue that effects only a few.

Frankly, this issue is a loser all around.

The answer of course is my answer. I alone have all the answers. Let each state decide. Throw a bone to the social conservatives by calling it something else.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

A Stale Pop Tart

I hate the Super Bowl half time show. I find them cheesy and silly. I spent it in another room doing some work.

So I missed Janet Jackson's extremely lame attempt at saving her career.

It is like the Anglo-German naval race of 1900-1914. Each participant in the race needs to do something outrageous to out do their rivals. So Madonna does a concert in here underclothes, Christina needs to show up almost naked, Brittany needs to get married. They all French kiss each other.

What is a stale pop tart like Janet to do but have a clothing malfunction?

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Maybe we should have made a deal

My wife's family is from Germany. She knows me as something of a Europhile (especially a Francophile).

I recently shocked her by saying that the biggest mistake the US ever made was not making a deal with Hitler in say 1941 to resettle the Jews somewhere in the French colonial empire and agree to end the war in Europe. I then said our second biggest mistake was not allow the communists to take Germany and France after the War ended.

I was being angry, a momentary lapse, and I know that Germany or the Soviets controlling all of Europe would have been a bigger threat to us than the Soviets controlling half.

But I am sick of it. For 50 years we spend much money defending them. Yes, we were really defending ourselves, but we could have treated Germany like a conquered province and did not. We could have treated liberated France the way the Russians treated "liberated" Poland. We did not.

The Soviets were sitting there with a huge army and an armada of missiles that could have turned Europe into a smoking ruin in 20 minutes. The had enslaved half of Europe and put down viciously every attempt by the peoples of Eastern Europe to free themselves.

And yet, the Cold War was OUR fault.

If the worst case scenario does play out, and Europe is taken over by fundamentalist Moslems (while I doubt it, if they ally with the Euro Left, who knows), I want no refugees here. The Jewish refugees send to Israel. But the rest, send back. I do not want a load of whining, smoking, Euros taking up all the space at Starbucks or McDonalds (well, I will give them Starbucks and McDonalds).

My wife was very shocked at this. And I really do not believe it. But I get pissed off sometimes.
Soccer is not a stand-in for liberal

As soccer playing conservative, I have had it with conservative writers using "soccer" as a stand in for "liberal."

In fact, soccer is a far better example of a conservative game that football. Football in fact is the perfect metaphor for communism. You have the coach (party chairman) in consultation with his staff (politburo) coming up with a play (a "five year plan"). They then send the play to the quarterback (the local party boss) who explains it to the team (the worker's soviet). After talking about the play for a while, they run around for about 20 seconds, then talk about it some more (a perfect metaphor for work in the Soviet Union). The game is highly regulated, highly structured, tightly controlled with a large officiating crew, has a bunch of people standing around doing nothing most of the game, and minimizes individual achievement.

Soccer, on the other hand, has a minimum of rules, mostly to protect safety. The coach designs only a basic structure. It is then up to the player to implement it best they can. A premium is placed on individual creativity and achievement.

So think about this when you watch the Super Bowl on Sunday -- you are supporting totalitarian communism.
Where I've Been

This is a great site where you can map out the states or countries you have visited.

I really need to travel more



create your own visited country map

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Maybe it was all about oil

For over a year, questions have been raised about whether the opposition of some to US action in Iraq was based on principled anti-war beliefs, on the fear of losing business contracts, or on bribes. Rumors had circulated that Iraq had bribed important policymakers in Britain, France and Russia. Soon after the liberation of Baghdad, there were reports that George Galloway had been named in papers as the recipient of oil in return for his support of Hussein.

An Iraqi newspaper has published what it claims to be a list of people who were paid "oil vouchers" by the Iraqi government. Most of the people on the list deny involvement. A French Middle Eastern media source also names names (a poor google translation is here). Here is a poor google translation of a Le Monde article.

Two Americans are on the list. According to the MEMRI report, they are pro-Hussein Iraqi expatriates. George Galloway is on the lost, as is Charles Pasqua, a former interior minister.

The list is heavy on politicians and political parties, especially left-wing parties. Russia received the largest allotment. Journalists also are on the list.

So what does this mean? I reserve judgment on the veracity of the story. The numbers seem high. And it seems that in Iraqi, people would tell Hussein what he wanted to hear. But if there is any truth, there should be a money trial going elsewhere. I say let's look for it.

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