August 31, 2005

Addition to the post on the Cavalier Daily concerning Todd Aman's editorial

I recently was questioned on my stance on the racism issue. Mostly, the concern was over free speech; if someone can get arrested for saying something overtly offensive, then where will it stop? Here's how I replied.
My complaint is mostly about threats. The biggest thing that we have heard from this all was a need for "diversity", but that is a politicized response that would not solve anything. Racism might be seen in stereotypes, both negative ("Hispanics are lazy") or positive ("Black people are good basketball players"), true or not. But most of that obviously does not require such a strong response, and I certainly would not intend to imply so. But the message left at the lawn room was a threat, and like saying bomb on an airplane or yelling fire in a crowded movie theater, it may put people at risk. I understand your concerns with the freedom of speech (it is something I certainly have wrestled with), but I do not believe that threats are justified (or Constitutionally protected) except in the case of self-defense (like stopping a would-be mugger by saying you have a gun).
I do, in part, agree with the person who challenged me on that. We would have to police what people say, and it would be far too easy to make a mistake.

Still, an outright threat, like I said, is not protected. My mistake was not being clear there, and I have not blogged on this subject before either. Much like when I say something, the law needs to be bold and straight-forward. If upheld well, the number of incidents should drop.

Virginia Blog Carnival

What is a blog carnival you ask? If you are a Virginia blogger, take a look at CC and John can explain it all so you too can be involved.

The new Atlantis?

The tragedy that was Hurricane Katrina is leaving many options to help out, but Evan Coyne Maloney fears that anything beyond helping the individuals from New Orleans is futile.

August 30, 2005


What has happened in New Orleans is simply heartbreaking. Michelle Malkin has been following it and has posted the latest here.

The Cavalier Daily, just your standard "non-partisan" college media outlet

The Cavalier Daily thinks it can fool University of Virginia students into thinking that there are no biases there. Today gives little reason to believe that.

First, a letter was written to the Cav Daily about the first College Republicans meeting. Sarah Puckett came to this meeting and was shocked, shocked, that the CRs were trying to pump up the students attending. She probably shouldn't be; while all in attendance likely had an interest in politics, what will keep them coming back is seeing that it can be fun. The "prominent Democrat", namely Tim Kaine, is indeed a liberal. If that offends her, then I think she was at the wrong meeting.

She also made a gross misstatement (if not an outright lie).
Proudly holding his blow horn, the speaker bragged of how he came up behind this particular leader and shouted "Liberal!" into his ear.
There certainly was a demonstration last year, but this gentleman certainly wasn't playing a stealth game in sneaking behind Kaine. Rather, those present were waiting for him as he arrived and were in plain view, ready to challenge him. Tim Kaine was most certainly surprised, but he was hardly at risk for permenant hearing damage, as Ms. Puckett might suggest.

Regardless, a response is almost certain by the leadership of the University of Virginia College Republicans. Such accusations are never ignored, and she will be directly challenged. Perhaps, Ms. Puckett would reconsider and come back for one more meeting.

Though, to be honest, I have to wonder if she was a plant. It has happened before, and I see little to suggest from this letter that Ms. Puckett is really a conservative. Just saying.

Second is a guest perspective from Todd Aman, former President of the Asian Student Union, concerning recent racist attacks on grounds. He is correct to challenge them, but rather than attacking the problem (that is, racists), he writes a column about diversity. Um, hello? Might want to stay on topic Mr. Aman. He suggests additional forums and more "imagination" in protests. These are ineffective means of eliminating the problem, particularly if the offender is not a student at the University of Virginia. Forums? Racists won't attend and thus won't be affected, meaning no solution. Protests? They can be effective, sometimes, but most of the time (particularly when using "imagination"), they just tend to piss people off, again meaning no solution has been found. It is more of the same with no additional results. Do not make this about diversity; there are an array of viewpoints there, unlike real racism, which is not greatly disputed.

The only way to get to the racists is to send a clear, unequivocal message to them. Arrest them. Publicize these arrests. When arrested, directly challenge these people will more appropriate viewpoints and reason. There may not be much that can be done about changing their viewpoints, but at the very least, these inappropriate attacks will start to drop.

What remains on the opinion page? A letter stating that evolution and creation do not compete, a view that certainly is not embraced by conservatives in general, and some pieces that may not be fully claimed by either side. Yes, it is only one day, but this is far from strange. Normally, this portion of the Cavalier Daily appears this way. But should we be surprised? They are part of the MSM after all.

August 29, 2005

More conflicting messages than John Kerry

The Virginia blogosphere has been abuzz with Tim Kaine's most recent comments.
Having a sportsmen's organization is a way of saying, 'Hey look, Kaine is one of us'"
Of course, it doesn't have much impact...until you know that he said this from a resort where the "cheap" room runs at $365 per night. Now, I'm not much of a sportsman, but I somehow doubt that Kaine will be able to connect with them after spending his afternoon in the spa.

Well, who knows, maybe Mr. Kaine's gun sale without a background check will better acquaint him with the Commonwealth's sportsmen...or at least the Commonwealth's felons.

Perhaps Tim Kaine is trying to resolve his lie about support from the NRA.

Who needs a consistent message when going all over the map is so much easier?

Must be looking to reach the NASCAR Dads

August 28, 2005

The Summit on Blogging and Democracy in the Commonwealth

Yesterday was The Summit on Blogging and Democracy in the Commonwealth, and I would say that it turned out to be a success. Though we were unable to come to full conclusions on many topics (we attempted to leave politics aside, but other differences were still readily apparent), the debates were civil and very informative. The common bond of blogging for Virginia allowed us all to unite and bring awareness to both potential threats to blogs and the influence that the blogosphere has in the Commonwealth. Though it is certain that we will never be able to resolve all of our political differences, we found some common ground in our blogging.

Besides that, it was a good time. I had the pleasure of seeing John Behan again; he has been both one of my favoite bloggers and one of my biggest sources of support. I also got to meet Steve Minor and Shaun Kenney, both of whom were very intelligent and friendly. I even enjoyed meeting some of the liberal bloggers. As much as I disagree with him, Waldo Jaquith is a very agreeable guy and an undeniable leader. On a small side note, early (or is it late?) congratulations for your upcoming wedding Waldo; I intended to say so yesterday, but that thought got lost among the other conversations. I also got the opportunity to meet fellow current Wahoo bloggers Mike Slaven, Cari, and Jane, although mutual friendElliot was unable to attend. It was good getting the opportunity to talk to them all. And for anyone who is a little curious, Cari has a humorous take on my anonymity (and I do appreciate that she is maintaining it).

Bloggers commenting on the Summit (as more comment, I will update this post):
Jim Bacon (and again here)
Chad Dotson, formerly of the pseudonym John Behan
Jon Henke
Waldo Jaquith
Norman Leahy
Max Power
Will Vehrs
James Young

UPDATE 8 PM: For whatever reason, I missed that "the artist formerly known as John Behan" decided to go by his real name, Chad Dotson (scratch that; as I read now, I see that the change has happened today, as he notes here). I've known for about four months, but I respected his wishes to remain anonymous, as I am glad that many including Chad have done for me. I'm not sure when he did this, but this post has been changed to Chad's real name. Now, how to avoid slipping back into calling him "John Behan" in future posts? Oh well, I suspect he will not take too much offense to such a mistake.

Also, thanks to Chad (well, I remembered here at least) for the link.

August 27, 2005

Blogging summit today

I just got back from the conference. A few were liveblogging, but I will comment on the summit tomorrow.

August 25, 2005

If you plan on going to Hawaii anytime soon,...

bring some gas, because supplies will doubtlessly drop when wholesale price in other states surpass that of Hawaii.

Fighting City Hall

Well, sort of.

Waldo Jaquith is skeptical of Christian Schoenewald's chances versus incumbent Dennis Rooker, a strong favorite. I don't know much about Schoenewald, but I'll support him (I believe change on the Charlottesville City Council can only be beneficial), even knowing that this will be a tough race.

And I certainly agree with the sentiment on the back of his car (read the final line of this article from The HooK).

UPDATE 11:45 PM: Waldo pointed out that I messed this one up royally. Christian Schoenewald is running for Albemarle Board of Supervisors, not the Charlottesville City Council. I see little reason not to maintain support behind Mr. Schoenewald for the moment, though if Waldo is correct, controversy is doubtful regardless of the winner.

Thinking of others

Common sense does not only need to be present inside the Beltway and Richmond, but everywhere else as well. Mike Straka recognizes this, and, as usual, addresses "oblivions" (a term referring to people who are oblivious of things going on around them) over their selfishness and ignorance.

August 24, 2005

Fifteen Percent or Bust

That is likely the current rallying call for the Russ Potts campaign. This year, only one of the gubernatorial debates is being televised, and based on the rules set by the University of Virginia Center of Politics, Potts is the odd man out. This was thought to be a conspiracy by Jerry Kilgore by many Tim Kaine and Russ Potts supporters, but Larry Sabato cleared up the situation, as noted by Will Vehrs of Bacon's Rebellion. This isn't convincing many people who still think Russ Potts should be allowed to join in. Sure, and last year's Super Bowl should be replayed, allowing the Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons to play as well because they too could win. Until Russ Potts can prove that he could play a bigger role in this election than spoiler, the Center of Politics is correct in not making a change to its debate standards.

Creationism: The New Evolution

First, with school starting up again, posting may be a little lighter. I will try to keep up with the daily posts, but there are no guarantees for the time being.

That being said, I'll move on.

Today, Eric Wang of the Cavalier Daily comments on the intelligent design debate.
The notion that intelligent design threatens science is also flat-out wrong. One's belief in evolution has no bearing on one's understanding of the interaction of chemical molecules, the laws of physics or even the functioning of biological organs and processes. The opposition to intelligent design is rooted not in science, but in prejudice and passion.
Only, it is more than this. It is also based on fear and persecution. The idea that science can be challenged seems to scare many evolutionists, so rather than discrediting it, they resort to personal attacks like the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Evolutionists make this out to be some sort of crusade by the "fundamentalist, Christian right", and demonize (or at least chastise) them for it. Any challenges to the scientific evidence for evolution are discredited as holding no basis in science (that is, they must only be found in viewpoints based in faith), or are "corrected" with other evidence.

Though, perhaps they have more to fear.
Just as one cannot understand debates between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists, Republicans and Democrats or capitalists and communists, one cannot understand the debate over evolution if teachers are not allowed to present the debate. And what is so objectionable about debate? After all, the only ones debate has ever harmed are those with bad ideas.
Even as smug as many evolutionists can be, that last statement should be very obvious.

August 22, 2005

Wage Gap

Currently, Michelle Malkin is on vacation, and Betsy Newark of Betsy's Page is among a few bloggers filling in. Today, she questions the wage gap, and her husband, another blogger and economics professor, helps her out. Economics was never my strength, but Craig Newmark presents it in a very straight-forward way that any Joe or Jane can understand.

Embryonic Stem Cells without the Embryos

Via Drudge, a new procedure has been discovered to create embryonic stem cells using skin cells. While I'm still wary of the possibility of cloning, it will be interesting to see how this affects the legislation on human stem cell research.

August 21, 2005

This is news?

The prince of all RINOs (Republicans In Name Only), Chuck Hagel (John McCain is far and away the king), has made the inaccurate comparison of Iraq to Vietnam. Fellow Republican Senator George Allen has come out in opposition to Hagel, stating the following.
The terrorists don't have anything to win the hearts and minds of the people of Iraq. All they care to do is disrupt.
Both have their eyes set on the presidency in 2008; who do you think conservatives will be supporting in the primaries?

August 19, 2005

The 2000 Presidential Election

What better way to kick off the new URL (and the 200th post) than to take note of a bad review on the 2000 Presidential Election. Both Brain-Terminal and Right Wing News have caught this one. Here's what Paul Krugman of the New York Times has to say.
Two different news media consortiums reviewed Florida's ballots (in 2000); both found that a full manual recount would have given the election to Mr. Gore.
Interestingly enough, eight news publications, the New York Times among them, did a study on that election and found that there was no denying that President Bush had taken Florida. They all found that additional recounts would not have helped Al Gore, even as they were cheering him on along the way.

Yet, I'm guessing this is far from the last time we'll be hearing that President Bush "stole" the election and the Supreme Court "cast the deciding vote". So goes life.

Welcome to the new site

Delete the old links for the blog and update. For the forseeable future, The Red Stater shall remain here. Watch for normal updates to return later today.

August 18, 2005

Back in the 'ville

I've gotten mostly unpacked and I am settling back into my place down here.

Just a reminder that the URL for this blog will be changing to tomorrow. For anyone who forgets, the current URL will be maintained for a couple weeks afterwards to link to the new site.

August 17, 2005

Change coming to The Red Stater on August 19th

UPDATE 8/12/05 8:15 PM: For new updates, look below. This post will remain at the top until the change has taken effect.

ORIGINALLY POSTED 8/11/05 8:57 PM: Better update your links. Next Friday (not tomorrow, but a week from tomorrow), I will be changing the URL of The Red Stater to (if you go there now, all that exists is a page to ensure that it will not be taken in the next week). The link to the old URL will remain for a couple weeks after the name change for anyone who misses this change. With any luck, bloggers with reciprocal links will mark this change as well. I cannot guarantee what time this change will take effect on the 19th, so using the old URL will be sufficient. I can guarantee that the change will have taken full effect before the 20th.

(I have been unable to contact The Salt Lick about this change. If anyone is familiar with his e-mail address or can point him my way, please do so, so he is aware of the change, even if The Salt Lick remains on sabbatical for an extended period of time. I would post a comment to his blog, but I am unsure if he is still checking it, and I feel it would be inappropriate to post a comment about an unrelated subject).

Thank you all for your patience with the change.

Oh good, I really needed a drink...

Turns out that the Milky Way galaxy is not just a spiral galaxy, but it may be a spiral galaxy with a bar. (I know, this might not interest most of you, but this is a pretty big development in astronomical research).

EDIT 8/18/05 7:45 AM: I realized that I made the post name a joke (though the post itself is about a real topic), but didn't follow through at all with the punch line. That has been fixed.

A couple more things...

- Another new link, The Official CRFV Blog. Though I take pride in my membership in the College Republicans, there is no official association between The Red Stater and the College Republican Federation of Virginia. The CRFV blog can claim that. Only one issue, no Wahoo's associated with the blog. If any of them are reading this, can something be done about that (and no, not me, one blog is enough for now)?

- I apologize for the sparse updates recently. I'm preparing to head back to Charlottesville tomorrow, and the blog will be moving to its new site the following day. With some free time this weekend, I will atone for this.

August 16, 2005

Some small additions before the big change

- Finally got a favicon for this blog. I'm not sure how well it will show up elsewhere, so if anyone can confirm if it is working, please do so in the comment section.

- First new link: The University of Illinois College Republicans, an obvious ally. I'm sorry I missed this one before. Unfortunately, this blog appears to only get the rare update, but it does have a lot of good links to other sites; in particular, there is a section for other bloggers who have stated their affiliation with the College Republicans.

- Second new link: What is Efftoo? I'm a little hesitant with this one. Though I enjoy linking to blogs of the opposite political persuasion, for purposes of understanding those whom we debate, neither of the two other opposition blogs that I have linked to have contributers named "Urban Insurgent". I am keeping my word (for now) on this and linking there, but I reserve the right to take down the link at any time (like anyone can complain).

- Final new link: Virginia Blogging Summit. I have noted this before (see third bullet in the aforementioned link), but would like to bring more attention to it as it will take place in a week and a half. I look forward to meeting many of my fellow Commonwealth bloggers (on both the right and the left) and aiding in uniting in our common works (even in our varying views).

August 15, 2005

Cindy Sheehan, political puppet

Michelle Malkin watches as the left pulls the strings of Sheehan. Cox and Forkum have noticed this as well. And the neighbors of President Bush in Crawford, Texas? They are just tired of dealing with all the crap along their small, rural road.

For those of you not afraid to put on a couple pounds...

I tried Five Guys for the first time today. For those of you unfamiliar with the establishment, they sell little more than hamburgers, hot dogs, and french fries (they also serve free peanuts in bulk containers). So what, some might say. Charlottesville already has The White Spot. Well, I'd never put down the fine food there, including the Gus Burger.
Gus Burger
But I have to say, Five Guys easily tops The White Spot. Though a little pricier, you get your full value for a meal there; a regular size french fry put in a standard size styrofoam cup.


Filling about half the paper bag that it comes in with the burger.

I don't often get excited about new restaraunts, but Five Guys is a definite must (for you vegetarians out there, I'll just say that you are missing a lot here). Fortunately, Charlottesville is not lacking in one, so if the upcoming school year is dragging you down, Five Guys will break those end-of-the-summer blues.

UPDATE 8/16/05 5 PM: I just realized that I did not attribute where I got the picture of the Gus Burger from. I wish I could say it was mine, but the picture (and accompanying article) is from here.

Also, welcome to all CC readers. JB is right, it is hard to leave C'ville, and so easy to get excited about going back.

One reason to be glad to be a Wahoo

August 13, 2005

Raising Kaine is a joke

Commonwealth Conservative is starting a series of posts entitled "Raising Kaine is hurting the Kaine campaign". Keep up with this series, Raising Kaine has shown itself to be aggressive, perhaps even treading into outright hostility, which, as John Behan notes, will likely isolate "moderates" and Republicans from voting for him.

Not that I'm complaining.

August 12, 2005

Air America and the MSM

Plenty of liberals argue that the media is unbiased. Michelle Malkin has been keeping up with the scandal for weeks. The New York Times covered it for the very first time this morning. Of course the New York Times wanted to leave the appropriate waiting period to be sure that the information they received was accurate, and Duke is a lock to win the first ACC Championship down in Jacksonville December 3rd (for those of you unfamiliar with college athletics, just take the first part of that sentence as sarcasm.

August 11, 2005

Team Mascots

In recent weeks, the NCAA limited use of Indian-based mascot names. Of course, this is PC nonsense. A few years ago, Sports Illustrated ran a poll questioning the use of such mascots in sports. While I am a skeptic of polls, the results of this one seem to be very hard to simply construct. By an overwhelming margin, Native Americans were not offended by the use of those names. This is not a new idea, as this has been a debate running for years (it's not often I agree with someone writing for Sports Illustrated).

Of course, this brings up new questions. How long before other groups start doing similar things. Northerners getting offended by Yankees? American and National in team names being offensive to anti-Americans? Animal mascots being hurtful towards members of PETA and animals?

How would you react if I said no time at all.

Already, PETA is going after South Carolina for the name Gamecocks.

So what are we left with? Color names? No, offensive to the color blind. Numbers or letters? Nope, a low or high number might infer elitism. How about eliminating mascots and just going by the names of the individual schools? I suspect it would only be a matter of time before someone could complain about that.

It may be said best in the aforementioned Sports Illustrated article.
"Simply having the “Seminoles” or the “Braves” is just a reflection of the mixed culture that we enjoy in this country. Whether or not a Native American is the owner of the club. I personally am an Irish-Scottish-English-Italian-Black Creek-American," Christian A. Jordan said. "I COULD be offended by the wind blowing with the mix of culture that I have flowing in my blood. But, nothing offends me. Because I choose to not let it."
In other words, get over yourselves PC Police. There are bigger demons out there than language that could potentially be viewed as offensive by a very small bloc of people.

UPDATE 9/12/05 6:15 AM: Today's news by Right Wing News points out an editorial concerning the use of Native American names in sports teams. In particular, some of these mascots are being used by schools in Native American tribes. The author doesn't show much favor to my favorite team with an Indian mascot, the Washington Redskins, but he does point out something that I have noted; very few Native Americans are offended by the use of Native American names and symbols in sports.

August 09, 2005

CC's Caption Contest

I've been honored with an honorary mention for Caption Contest #13, my second (my first honorary mention came at the very first Caption Contest; a period of more than three months has passed since then). It is much harder than it looks, particularly with The Jaded JD and GovtCheese constantly giving such good replies. Watch for the next Caption Contest this and every Friday. It is always a good time, and even if you don't earn bragging rights, reading the other replies can be a lot of fun.

Possible debate at UVa

Addison at Sic Semper Tyrannis reports on a potential gubernatorial debate that may take place at UVa on October 9th. If it does occur, come out; I can guarantee that you will see me there (even if I am not easily identified).

On a side note, it is good that to see that the Center of Politics are requiring Russ Potts to get 15% in at least two polls. While I am skeptical of polls, I'd prefer to see that the participants can prove to be legitimate candidates, rather than just a spoiler.

First Responses to "rights"

Well, the previous post has generated a little more interest than most usually do, so I've decided that, rather than comments, I would respond with another post (and perhaps further posts in the future). I will post part or the entirety of a response and comment a little about each.

I got a couple of very interesting responses. The first was from Elliot.
I think it's important that we're clear on the terminology here. There seem to be two different types of rights: Legal rights, and moral rights.

Legal rights are quite simply entitlements as defined -- and, importantly, as limited -- by law. Free speech is a good example, because many think of it as the most fundamental right in America. You have the right to free speech because the constitution, federal, state and local laws all affirm that the government will protect and ensure your right to say what you like. At the same time, you can't shout fire in a crowded movie theater, and you can't directly threaten bodily harm to someone. These are legal limitations on a legal right.
This is a very good point. Obviously, you can't do something that would put others at risk like shout bomb on an airplane, but this goes right back to my point about abortion. If we gave an unborn child the status of life, this would again hold; life is a moral right and trumps the legal rights. Also, Elliot makes a good point about some legal rights.
This is where you can debate things like WHETHER abortion should be legal, or WHETHER gay marriage should be allowed. But the law doesn't deal with "should," it deals with "can" and "cannot."
This is very much true. The government can allow these by law. However, I will note that I was mostly aiming this at those who held these views, not necessarily about the legal institution of abortion or gay unions. NARAL and other pro-abortion groups act as though abortion was a moral right, and homosexuals act similarly towards legalizing gay marriage. But these do hold as legal rights, and rely heavily on the viewpoints of the rest of the nation (as well as moral rights). While the level of support in the nation is arguable in either case, it is certain that neither holds overwhelming backing. Still, as usual, Elliot and I can agree on at least one point.
I agree with you, CR, that the word "right" is used far too flippantly these days...

The other response I got was a challenge to my view on abortion from Paul.
Hey - first of all, I enjoy your blog.

I wanted to respond to your post on "rights" with a question - it's a hypothetical and not something I agree with. But I want to hear your reaction.

You claim that fetuses should be given the rights of an american citizen. Ok. Let's take that as a given and move on from there:

If they have individual rights, then they must also be held responsible for their actions. And what are their actions? They're attacking the mother, feeding from her, stealing her nutrients, endangering her health and perhaps her life, and they're doing it without her consent (although she is free to consent and continue the pregnancy).

In a Liberal (big L) Democracy, the Government has a responsibility to protect it's citizens from bodily harm. In fact, that's probably the most important thing that a government can do (this is why even the most radical libertarians agree that we need a military)

Therefore, it follows that the government should not only allow abortion - they should provide funding for it! After all, a citizen of the US is under attack, and the only way to stop that attack from incurring bodily harm is to put an end to it.

Again, I don't really agree with this point of view - but I read it somewhere and always try to get conservatives' reactions to it. There are some subtle flaws to the logic, but I'll leave them for you to discover on your own. Don't fall into the trap of making the following argument:

"She chose to have a baby. Therefore, she already consented and the government shouldn't protect her." This argument is flawed. That's like saying that the government can pass a law that says that if I make some sort of mistake (let's say, jaywalking) then they can beat me with a baseball bat for 9 months straight.
First off, let me thank you Paul. I am always honored to find that someone enjoys my writings.

Now, let's get to it. You use the arguement that the mother didn't make a choice. Let's assume that in many cases, the mother has made that choice and was willing to live with the consequences; in that case, she would find no need for protection and this would be a moot point. So, that leaves those mothers who conceive against their wishes. Let's again throw those mothers who choose to carry the child to term with those who chose to have children (in both cases, let's assume that the mother chose to keep the child or give it up for adoption; either way, it is safe to assume that the mother felt either obligated or full will to keep the child alive).

So, that bascially leaves two groups of mothers: rape victims and "accidents". I'm sorry Paul, but there is certainly no such thing as an accident in children, as a potential result of sex is pregnancy. People are fully aware of this, and must take responsibility for their actions. Think of it like someone who gets into an automobile accident because they were speeding. By doing so, the driver put themselves at risk and is, at least in part, responsibile for the "bodily harm" inflicted. It may seem unfair to have nine months of a "baseball bat" beating, but if a woman wants to avoid such "pain", perhaps she should avoid troublemakers.

Rape victims are left. This does leave a large moral dilemma. In this case, the child is, undenaibly, not a choice. While I am strongly against abortion in all cases, this may be one of the hardest issues to deal with. On the one hand, the child holds a right to life. On the other hand, the child may remain a constant reminder of the rape for the mother, possibly hurting the mother and potentially isolating the child. The moral rights of two may both be wronged, so only one question can really remain; because the mother was harmed, is she allowed to harm another to relieve her own pain? I'd say no, but this question, more than any other, will always be classified as a legal right because of the heavy implications on both sides.

Then again, we could always go to the simple fact that children are not intentionally harming their mothers (and even that is a stretch as very few mothers die in childbirth anymore and the most ill mothers generally get is the regular morning sickness), but using your argument Paul, we should then jail the children at birth for assault and battery. Sounds a bit unreasonable, right? So does an essential war on fetuses. Going back to the automobile accident example, a speeder never gets the death penalty because the accidents and the harm inflicted from them are not intentional. The child is not trying to hurt the mother, just serve it's own "selfish" needs to survive.

Whew, my fingers have gotten quite a workout these last couple days (or I've sped up the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome). If I get anymore good responses, I'll try to respond, but for the next couple days, I'll move on to other subjects.

August 08, 2005

What is a right?

I got to thinking about the ideas of "rights" earlier today. At first, it seems like a very simple idea. As Americans, the Constitution defines many of the things that we are allowed to do. Thomas Jefferson named the three basic human rights "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" in the Declaration of Independance, stating that these were "inherant" (these were based on views held by Thomas Paine and other philosophers). Rights appear to be anything that are allowed by law, right? So, abortion is a right, correct?

Voting is a right, correct?

If instated, gay "marriage" would be a right, correct?

Wrong, wrong, and wrong.

Let's start with the first of these "rights", abortion. People who call themselves "pro-choice" assume that only one member is allowed a choice, that of the mother. While a number will claim that they would prefer the alternative, Democrats in power do little, if anything, to discourage abortion. Still, while some might argue that there is no scientific basis to claim that conception is the beginning of life, there appears to be plenty to at least suggest that a person is alive well before birth (for example, the heart starts to beat twenty-two days after conception, and brain waves are present at six weeks). Going back to Mr. Jefferson's first inherant right, "life", the unborn child is alive, and has equal rights to anyone else. Thus, the mother does not have the moral highground to end the life of this child. It is no wonder that liberals argue intensely that life does not start until birth.

So, voting must still be a right, correct? Not quite. Everyone remembers from their middle school civics course that voting is a duty. So shouldn't felons be responsible for their duties? Well, a duty implies that the person responsible can be trusted to uphold morality. In committing a felony, that person has proven that they would serve their own selfishness and utter lack of respect for others before aiding the general welfare. By allowing them to vote, we would send a message to felons that their crimes will be punished with a slap to the hand, followed by no further action. Voting is not a right.

Well, certainly, marriage must be a right and, by default, this should hold for both heterosexual and homosexual relationships, right? Of course not. Now, rights can be broken down into two groups: individual rights and collective rights. But do collective rights even exist? By definition, collective rights protect the integrity of groups of people. What this boils down to is that people cannot be judged by a stereotype or an example posed by a member of that group; that is, each individual is protected. So, collective rights are little more than a subgroup of individual rights.

So, this still leaves the question, why do traditional marriages hold as a right while homosexual unions are not? Well, to start with, marriage is not a right. Much like many of the benefits that follow marriage (such as tax benefits, adoption, and others), it is conditional. It is a privelege; by definition, it is allowed to certain people or groups of people. Is this discriminatory? Perhaps, but as a society, we have to set standards and live by them. I challenge anyone to find a right that is held by a couple if they wish to challenge this idea, but there is no doubt that rights go to individuals, not couples or groups.

The definition of a right needs to be reinforced; these days, anything that is allowed or demanded of the law is a "right". Thankfully, my hope will not be as dangerous for me as it was for Thomas Paine, but the philosophy of Paine, Jefferson, and many others must be reinstated for the preservation of our society, just as it was in their day.

UPDATE 8/9/05 5 PM: Welcome to all Commonwealth Conservative readers (and thanks for the link John).

"Moderate" Politicians?

Right Wing News quotes Alan Aker concerning great moments in political history that happened due to moderate beliefs. Oh wait, are there any?

Peter Jennings Dead at 67

My condolences go out to his family and friends.

Later on, I shall look at the blogosphere's (both the left and right) feelings about Peter Jenning's influence on the MSM.

August 07, 2005

I'm back

My short break is over, and the wedding was a good time. However, due to a busy weekend for myself (not to mention a seemingly quiet weekend in the world), I will not be posting tonight. I will post tomorrow, I promise.

And if you just so happen to not be a red stater, check my earlier post concerning last year's election and bumper stickers. And to be a little more clear on it (as Cari did note that not everyone voting Democrat last year was a diehard John Kerry fan), I would like responses from anyone who voted for (or would have if eligible to vote for) Kerry last year.

August 04, 2005

No posts tomorrow or Saturday

A close friend of mine is getting married this weekend, so I will be taking the weekend break from The Red Stater a day early this week. I'll return on Sunday; have a good weekend everybody!

A question for John Kerry supporters

It has been seven months since President Bush has taken office, and nine since he won the election. Yet, I see many cars that still have Kerry/Edwards bumper stickers. Now, I'll be honest; I do still have my Bush/Cheney bumper sticker on my car, but it accompanies a Jerry Kilgore sticker, in the hopes that (perhaps naively) the coattail effect will take place. This leaves me with a single question. Why do they still have their stickers on their cars? I welcome all responses (particularly people who have them on their car, or still wear their buttons, or whatever), and I apologize if you have seen me ask this before (I know I have in comments in other blogs, but I am not certain about whether I have here).


Terrible decision, but should I expect less from Peter Angelos? While the O's have been slumping (having lost 16 of the last 18), cutting a manager in the middle of the season is rarely beneficial. My prediction: Sam Perlozzo, former third base coach and now interim manager, will be released from his new position and a new coach will be hired for next season, further delaying a return to the playoffs for the Baltimore Orioles.

August 03, 2005

Kim Jong-il can do it all!

What the Left does not get about Elections

Yesterday was the highly publicized special election in Ohio, and the left is left scratching their collective heads. Pundits were calling this race very early for the Democratic candidate, Paul Hackett, including a number of liberal bloggers. Paul Hackett, like most Democrats, stood strongly against the War in Iraq, but this election had a few more twists than that. Running in a heavily Republican region, Hackett used his experiences in that very war (he is the first soldier from the War in Iraq to campaign for an elected position) to appeal to the voters, and it worked fairly well. The same area that gave President Bush 64% of their votes gave Hackett 48%. However, with the total at 52% for his opponent, Jean Schmidt, it wasn't enough. Polls had been favorable, and press coverage was incredibly wide-spread, but many liberals have left an image that may be very hard to ignore.

But this is far from a new development. Democratic supporters have long had a lot of confidence that their candidates would win, but the trend does not seem to suggest that it is well placed. A Republican has held the White House for 16 of 24 years and 24 of 36 years; the Democrats during those periods have been perceived by the left and "moderates" as "moderate" Democrat. Congress, which used to be a Democratic stronghold, has been trending towards Republicans for the last decade, when the House of Representatives became Republican dominated. In particular, this last election cycle saw a president gain votes (popular, percentage, and electoral) as well as Senate seats (giving the Republicans a solid 55-45 lead). In particular, many states have become more polarized, and other than the west coast and New England states, most run more conservative than liberal.

Even still, Democrats are quick to wonder if many elections are rigged. The Democratic Underground had at least eleven threads about this election early this morning (and no doubt many more have come up). Of course, one could bring up the past two presidential elections and the close votes in Florida and Ohio (close in 2004 was relative; none of the states were even close to where they had been four years prior). But what about the gubernatorial election in Washington? The Republican party challenged the election there after it fell closer than any of the three preceding elections I mentioned. However, that is not the only reason for the challenge. Many ineligable voters cast votes. So, four elections, only one that could be considered rigged, and that one favoring the Democrat. Yet, they still don't get it.

And it may be happening again. The initial Mason-Dixon poll has put Tim Kaine in the lead by one point. Now, I'm not going to do what many bloggers and pundits are doing and claim victory so early, mostly since I'll only be setting myself and others up for disappointment. But that is exactly the thing that liberals lead themselves to. They ignore what the people have to say, and then they follow bad advice and endorsements.

What do liberals and Democrats miss when they go into an election? They get their hopes too high. They don't follow what the people want, but hold to elite liberal viewpoints. And most of all, when the election is over and decided, too many of them don't accept the defeat and prepare for the next election, preferring to drone on about how the election was "stolen".

Of course, I hope they keep doing this. I'm not a big fan of negative politics, and, as I suspect many people agree with that sentiment, such campaigns seem to be more beneficial for the opponent.

August 02, 2005

Miracle #2

Seems to be a good day for life. First, 300 people survive a deadly plane crash in Toronto. Then, a brain-dead woman is able to give birth to a baby girl, Susan Anne Catherine Torres. She's a premature baby, born at only 26 weeks, but doctors may have been forced into the situation, as Susan's mother, also named Susan, had been suffering from cancer and there was a fear that it might spread to the child. Sadly, there may be less chance to save the elder Susan than there may have been for Terry Schiavo, but one life was saved.

I'd say this should be proof of God's existence.

Quite a miracle. A jet is completely destroyed at landing, yet none of the 309 are dead, or even have serious injuries. Talk about a case of "Any landing you can walk away from..."

August 01, 2005


Raphael Palmeiro has been suspended for ten games for steroid use. This is very sad, as Raffy has always struck me as honest, and certainly one of the most classy athletes in Major League Baseball. I just hope that he is telling the truth now about his knowledge of the steroids. Many people are quick skeptics, though Palmeiro has always struck me as a very trusting (perhaps too trusting) person. For now, the jury will continue deliberating until more of this story is revealed (though, I think my O's will have an harder time breaking out of their current slump).

Interesting opinion pieces of the day

- Joe Mariani writes about the "love" liberals show for our country (posted at Right Wing News with the permission of Guardian WatchBlog).

- Patrick Michaels writes a great commentary on the perceptions of global warming and the realities of terrorism (Patrick Michaels also happens to be a environmental sciences professor at the University of Virginia).

-Waldo Jaquith opines on the John Bolton recess appointment (Don't bet on it Waldo, I suspect that, as usual, most of the voters will have forgotten about this by Labor Day, let alone Election Day next year).

- Norman at One Man's Trash comments on the Mason-Dixon poll that Virginia Democrats are so excited about. Most important line that many on the left don't seem to understand:
...[T]he only people paying attention now are political junkies.
To quote John Behan, indeed.

- Neil "Common Sense before Dollars and Cents" Cavuto comments on profiling in security. Interestingly enough, some people are taking this idea very seriously, including some New England Democrats.