November 29, 2005
Fascinating find by astronomers
One note: the headline appears to be misleading. I do not think that this would be the smallest known solar system (at least, the text does not suggest this), but rather the smallest (individual) star at the center of a solar system.
Democrats supporting the war effort?
If only there were more Democrats with the backbone on Senator Lieberman. Unfortunately, politicians live off publicity, and Democratic politicians know the way to get on the news is to trash the war effort. Because it doesn't fit the model of the story the media wants to report, Lieberman's man-bites-dog stance on the war isn't going to get any attention. But some things--like security for our nation and freedom for the 27 million people of Iraq--are a little more important than winning the next election or getting your mug on the nightly news. It might be hard for this nation of cynics to believe, but there was a time when politicians put their own ambitions behind the best interests of the country.I cannot say Lieberman and I see eye-to-eye on everything, but I have always respected Lieberman for taking a strong stance on national defense. Unlike some characters such as John Kerry and John Murtha, Lieberman has been consistent, voicing his concerns solely on principal and not to get a few more votes.
I am disappointed by Democrats who are more focused on how President Bush took America into the war in Iraq almost three years ago, and by Republicans who are more worried about whether the war will bring them down in next November's elections, than they are concerned about how we continue the progress in Iraq in the months and years ahead.As Chad would say, indeed.
Speaking of Chad, he notes another Democrat making similar statements. Believe it or not, it is current Virginia Governor Mark Warner. Being an official elected to a state, not federal, position, Mark Warner has had little reason to infer his opinion concerning the War in Iraq before; his statements might be timed now to conincide with a likely presidential run in 2008. While I cannot judge his sincerity (particularly as I am hardly a fan of Governor Warner and some of his policies), this move provides just as many potential benefits as it does potential risks.
By making these remarks, Warner made his path to the Democratic nomination for President much more difficult, and he needs to be supported for doing so. (To clarify, Warner is doing the smart thing for the Dem nominee -- and he's doing the wrong thing for a Dem primary contender. As a friend said, that particular tier will be overrun with cut-and-run diehards.)Still, it is again good to see a Democrat daring to challenge the rest of the party. The War in Iraq can only be helped by the people of our nation unifying, and Lieberman and Warner are making a valiant effort. With the rest of the Democratic Party shifting further and further to the left, I will give a hint to those Howard Dean enthusiasts; these are some real leaders. Take this as a free hint, because as weak as Republicans may appear right now, Democrats are weaker, and I suspect that that will not change anytime soon.
Yeah, it's a calculated move to set him apart from the rest of the field. Maybe it's based on principle, maybe not.
Hostages in Iraq
Unfortunately, I do not suspect most of the loony left will learn a lesson from this. They have become a liability by putting themselves in danger, but this will not stop it from happening in the future.
Still, as foolish as these four are for getting themselves in this situation, it is sad, because they do not deserve to be in such a situation. Though I disagree with their stand on the war (and their methodology in conveying it), terror must be defeated to ensure that these four and the millions of others are able to speak their minds without the fear of tyranny restricting them.
November 28, 2005
Big changes may be on the way for Canada
November 24, 2005
November 22, 2005
The moderate-conservative Republican debate
I think the more important question is, how important should this be?
"Moderate" means very little, other than dissenting in a few areas with others in the party. "Moderate" Republicans often seem to hold similar viewpoints to libertarians (other than in foreign policy, where it seems that many hold a typical Republican viewpoint). With this in mind, economic issues (and national defense at the federal level) do not hold the problem. The concerns come with issues such as abortion, the death penalty, the legalization of marijuana, and others. What is a Republican to do? Many "moderate" Republicans feel that conservatives running for office need to let go of the hot-button topics.
A candidate should not compromise their values for votes. Abortion is a touchy subject, but they should not let up on that. Marijuana may not be the most dangerous drug in the world, but rationalizing its legalization by noting the dangers other drugs pose does not make sense to conservative Republicans. Civil unions appear to be nothing more than a thinly veiled gay marriage, and this will always be an issue for conservatives.
But one point does make sense; the economy and defense are the reasons most Republicans vote Republican. Focus on those issues in a campaign; Jerry Kilgore (and presumably, many future candidates) was a good candidate on those topics. By not voting for Jerry Kilgore, those Republicans did send a message, but not the one they wanted. Rather than telling Republicans that we need a more conservative candidate, allowing the "lesser of two evils" brought more confidence to the Democrats and will take ALL the issues away from Republicans.
And one more thing for "moderate" Republicans to remember: conservatives make up the base of the party. Expecting them to change for you is expecting a lot. While "moderate" Republicans make up a large portion of the party, they very much need social conservatives in the party.
In conclusion, the Republican party wars are just foolish; now is the time to fix real problems within and outside of the party. These debates can only serve to weaken the party further. With similar (though less heated) debates occurring across the aisle (liberal vs. "moderate" Democrats), Republicans can take advantage instead of getting dragged further behind.
Well, well, well
November 21, 2005
Just how far has the far left pervaded into our culture?
Here and here can we see examples of some of the worst examples of this behavior, where moonbats have vowed that they "can no longer peacefully co-exist with these people," these people referring to conservatives. One even offered this "advice".
In the words of the Late, Great Bill Hicks, about the most conciliatory thing I can say for those people at this point is simply this:Just lovely.
Many of these are the same sorts of people who agree with socialist and communist tenets and leaders, in particular, one Che Guevara. Che Guevara was a communist leader of the worst kind; he led the Cuban Revolution and was merciless in killing anyone who got in the way of his order. Yet, t-shirts featuring his likeness are common on college campuses and at peace protests. Why? The strong feelings against democracy could be one thing; Guevara was killed by the Bolivian government, some believe by the request of current Cuban leader Fidel Castro, but Guevara supporters believe that the CIA was responsible (the CIA had captured him shortly before his death with the intention of interrogation). Another explanation could be in part over the "Diarios de motocicleta" ("Motorcycle Diaries").
I recently watched this film (grudgingly) with a few of my friends. After it was over, they were praising the movie, still ignoring anything I had said about Che beforehand. These were not College Republicans, but they are not socialists either. They tried to say that this movie was about Guevara before he became the leader of atrocities he is now better known for. I think they missed the point I was trying to make, and now have a respect for a man who has greatly restricted the rights of millions of men and women. "Diarios de motocicleta" glorified a true villian (and his less-than-moral, selfish friend), leaving an impression that Ernesto Guevara was a man with a dream, not a power-hungry tyrant. Robert Redford and Sundance were successful at doing what Hollywood has been trying to do for years; my "moderate" friends had been indoctrinated to believe a far-left, anti-Christian viewpoint.
This country is far from going to the moonbats, but they are chipping away all the time. The truth is important; if we do not learn our history, we are doomed to repeat it. We must fight back the far left so they do not put us in a position where we are stuck with another Che.
Of note is an interesting article found from (Gasp! It cannot be!) Slate.com, an unabashedly left-leaning news site. Paul Berman remembers that Che was a totalitarian with no love for those he led. Perhaps there is some hope after all.
Addition to the blogroll
November 19, 2005
UPDATE 11/20 9:30 AM: Awful, just awful. Easily the worst game I have ever seen from UVa (though, to be honest, I have only attended three losses, but such a poor game is rare for a school that has been to bowls the previous three years).
The worst part of it all though is knowing that some VT students will keep reminding us of this loss as often as possible over the next year.
November 16, 2005
It's about time.
The Virginia blogosphere is abuzz
Easily the biggest rivalry in Virginia sports, the University of Virginia (6-3, 3-3) will host the Virginia Tech Hokies (8-1, 5-1) for the Commonwealth Cup (not to be confused with the Commonwealth Challenge, a competition that Virginia Tech has little hope in winning). Already, Addison (whose joke nearly tempted me to come out firing), Old Zach, Steve, and Chad have started posting their thoughts on the upcoming game. As for me, I will note that Virginia is 21-2 in home games since I started attending them. At home, UVa has finished 6-1, 5-1, and 5-1 in the last three seasons, and are currently 5-0. And based on the data from ESPN, UVa and VT hold similar NCAA rankings in most offensive stats, so this game will likely come down to defense. Who does this favor? It is hard to tell, as Virginia, in its last three games, lost the game where it showed the most defense, while Tech was recently spanked by Miami at home. One thing is for sure, this should be a great game. Of course, I will be present, though I will be in the stadium two hours early for the game (unfortunately, being a student means there are no guaranteed seats, and for a big game like this, we have to show up very early).
This weekend also brings the first test for new basketball head coach Dave Leitao in a matchup with the Liberty Flames at home on Friday evening. Again, I intend to attend this game. This season, most feel that things will be rough, as UVa has lost a lot of its inside players and those remaining will take some time to adjust to the new coaching by Leitao. However, I am hopeful for this team. The level of discipline that Leitao will bring will change this team, and an underestimated Wahoo team will sneak up on a few better ones, though UVa will not finish above .500 in the conference.
All in all, this should be a great start to Thanksgiving weekend, though I am used to first having turkey on Thursday, not the preceding Saturday.
November 15, 2005
Changes to the sidebar
Also, sadly, Cari has put an end to Drunk on Democracy (in fact, she had a couple weeks ago), so that link is now removed as well. I'm sorry to see Drunk on Democracy gone, but so goes the blogosphere.
And The Abysmal Kingdom of Mike is now Saving Baby Seals & Such. Hmm, interesting switch, but it is the same blog, trust me.
The Champ Is Here
Also, the eleventh Virginia Blog Carnival has been posted at Hampton Roads Bearing Drift. Take a look to see the thoughts of some very bright Commonwealth minds.
Political Correctness brings inaccuracies
Did not see anything odd with that sentence? Re-read it if you did not catch the error the first time.
Unless these Tunisian teens call America home, African-American is completely inaccurate. While this likely was just a slip of the tongue, it shows that these PC terms have only limited us. That statement made the anchor sound unitelligent. Would it not be easier (and more accurate) to just be direct?
Meanwhile, some of the responses to Michelle Malkin's post were quite humorous, in particular the following by Larry G.
I once saw one better than that - a description of the black Vulcan bridge officer on the old "Star Trek Voyager" TV show was once described in a review article as an "African-American Vulcan." That gets funnier the more you think about it.I'm sure Spock would raise an eyebrow at this.
November 11, 2005
Thanking the troops
In particular, this is a big weekend concerning our nation's military. Yesterday was the 230th birthday of the United States Marine Corps, the toughest group of men and women there is. And today is Veterans Day, a day to honor all of the men and women in uniform. Thank you all; in particular, special thanks to Todd Alvarez, my uncle, my grandfather, and my father, all for serving our nation in the past, now, and in the future. Truly, we do not deserve such heroes, and we are blessed to have people willing to give up their very lives just so the rest of us can live ours free of fear. Remember to keep them in your prayers, especially today.
November 09, 2005
Two observations of yesterday's election
2) I am wondering if anyone else noticed this, but take a look at Loudoun County. Famous for its fast growth in recent years, Loudoun has been a red county for many years. Names that have infuriated Democrats such as Richard Black, Robert Marshall, and George Bush all have seen favor in Loudoun. It appears that growth has, ironically, worked in favor of the Democrats. Loudoun became an almost solid blue, with Bob McDonnell and two unopposed Republicans (so counting them only skews this trend) as the only exceptions (Bob Marshall's district extends outside of Loudoun, which is what aided him in maintaining his position). While I have not been a big fan of the fast growth there (though, even if I were to support it, I do not think there is anything that could curb it even if the government stepped in), I suspect that this fact will be missed (or ignored) by state Democrats.
1 - Bill Bolling posted a win over Leslie Byrne, preventing the most liberal and out-of-touch-with-Virginia candidate from going to Richmond.
2 - The Virginia General Assembly is still very much in Republican hands.
3 - Assuming it holds up (the race is close), Bob McDonnell will be our next Attorney General.
Where does this leave Tim Kaine? He will, essentially, be alone in Richmond. So do not call gloom and doom yet.
And for the Democrats claiming progress for national Democrats, do not be so hasty. Virginia still holds both of its Senators and most of its Representatives as Republicans, George Bush won here last year despite high ratings for Mark Warner, and Tim Kaine's win was, at least in part due to Mark Warner's coattails. Until a Virginia Democrat can win a major national election (or the House of Representatives starts to show a leftward shift from Virginia), calling a a national victory is inaccurate.
Later, I will post where I feel the Jerry Kilgore campaign made its mistakes in this race.
UPDATE 10:50 AM: J.R. at Bearing Drift echoes this sentiment, also including an in-depth look at why Tim Kaine won.
EDIT 7:50 PM: I fixed the issue described here.
November 08, 2005
Liveblogging Election Day
9:45 PM: This is quite disappointing. I will comment on what I feel went wrong later.
7 PM: Polls are closed.
6:55 PM: Polls are about to close. It has been interesting, I have talked with a liberal (not a fan of Kilgore, and really hates President Bush, but was generally reasonable) and a swing-voter working for their candidates here (the Democratic ticket and a school board member for Albemarle respectively), and they both gave me some good conversation. It has been quiet for the last two hours, but there are a few last minute votes coming in. Shortly, we will be heading to Wolfie's here in Charlottesville to watch the results with the Albemarle Republicans. I do not suspect I will have internet access there; if there is, I will live blog some of the results as they come in. Otherwise (and either way), I'd suggest looking to Norman, Will, and Chad for results as they come in.
5:10 PM: Expecting a big boost from the end of the work day, it has gotten really quiet instead. I suspect that that is what I should expect here. Of note, Will, Norman, and Chad will be liveblogging the results tonight (I'm not sure I can promise the same right now). Also, welcome all readers from Spark It Up and thanks for the link Kilo!
4:45 PM: Wireless access here at UHall has been a bit fuzzy, so I have not been able to post as much as I would like, but it has not been incredibly busy either. This precinct is notorious for low voter turnout. And this has just been confirmed. One of the workers here said that 367 (out of approximately 1500) have voted, and they expect only about 80 more to come in. Alas, I along with slow turnout is slow connection, thus I may have to put pictures in a later post. At this point, the weather has varied a bit, with the rain having ended about a couple hours ago, but I do wonder if this may have affected how many people will come out to vote here and in other areas of Virginia. I've seen a taxi pull in and wait for a little while, and I saw Cari (whose blog Drunk on Democracy has since been discontinued) come through. Christian Schoenewald and his wife came to thank us for our work. This post may not have sounded so garbled were it not for the spotty internet access.
2:30 PM: Well, the weather was good for a while.
Now, not so much.
I arrived at University Hall an hour ago, and it has been raining a little, delaying my post. Hasn't stopped some of the wingbats from coming out though.
9 AM: I voted absentee (as most students do), but Will Vehrs spoke of his voting experience today and in the past. Pretty impressive there; I have only voted once on the day of an election, this summer in the primary. Each of the years prior was done by absentee ballot.
8 AM: The polls have been open for two hours now, though because of a class, I will not be able to start working them until early this afternoon. And after last night's speech by President Bush, it appears that many Republicans are very optimistic, including Whitney, who has posted more than 150 pictures of the event. Let's not let them down, so get out to the polls and vote.
Five Thousand Hits!
To all my regular readers, supporters, and even ocassional drop-ins, I thank you. I did not know what to expect when I first started this blog, and I can say that I have truly enjoyed the experience so far in these last eight months. I may not be Chad Dotson, Norm Leahy, or even Hans Mast, but I am trying, and I appreciate every hit I get.
Keep visiting. I promise that this blog will continue to only get better.
November 07, 2005
I can hear the collective whine of the left now...
This is it. Polls open in T-minus 7 hours, 36 minutes. Get to the polls. Remind your Republican friends to vote for Jerry Kilgore tomorrow. Put out the yard signs and wear the stickers. While I am confident that Jerry Kilgore will lead his ticket to a sweep, it will come down to all of us.
In twenty-four hours we can celebrate our hard work. Right now, much still lies ahead; rest up or continue your efforts, and do not stop until 7 pm when the polls close.
A Democratic GOTV?
November 06, 2005
The Final 72 Hours
Here are the University Democrats campaigning at yesterday's UVa-Temple football game.
Here are the College Republicans.
Again, the University Democrats outnumbered the College Republicans, but that is all they suceeded at. No joke, these two pictures show the central set-up for both groups, right in front of the stadium for all to be aware of. The University Democrats again placed themselves right in front of the College Republicans; however, they were ill-prepared for the very visible set-up placed by the College Republicans. Even the arrival of a few larger Tim Kaine signs were not enough to divert attention from the Jerry Kilgore/Bill Bolling/Bob McDonnell table. People were excited to come up to the Kilgore table and get stickers and cups to display their preferred candidates (though some walked by with some snide comments; doesn't that sound like desperation?). The University Democrats also had Tim Kaine stickers to hand out. That is, after they recognized that we had been handing out Jerry Kilgore stickers for more than half an hour. There were even a few kids who managed to snatch a Tim Kaine sign away from the University Democrats and stick a bunch of Jerry Kilgore stickers on it.
So what does this little set-up mean? It is only one day's work at one place, right?
Not even close.
This was just a taste of what is going on all over the Commonwealth this weekend. The GOP GOTV is in full force, while the Democrats are lacking in this level of organization. Come Tuesday, Republicans all across Virginia will be aware of the election and will be ready to vote for Jerry Kilgore, Bill Bolling, and Bob McDonnell, as well as for their Republican local candidates. Keep up the hard work GOTVers, this year will be ours with continued efforts.
On a side note, I am considering live-blogging on Tuesday. I will be working a poll on Tuesday afternoon and will be with other University of Virginia College Republicans, Charlottesville Republicans, and Albemarle GOP that evening watching the good news roll in. If I do, I will have images of the events around me and a number of posts (or one, very large and continuously growing post).
Keep up the good work Virginia GOP. There is no rest until 7 p.m. Tuesday.
November 04, 2005
Tim Kaine goes to Charlottesville
The University of Virginia College Republicans were ready with Jerry Kilgore, Bill Bolling, and Bob McDonnell signs, ready to show Tim Kaine that taking Virginia will not be a walk in the park for him. The UDems easily outnumbered the CRs, but this was expected. What is unexpected is that this happened, as stated by the CR Chairman, for the first time at any event where members of both groups appeared this year. While the GOTV (Get Out The Vote) is very important, it shows either cockiness or apathy by the UDems, either of which is very dangerous for the Tim Kaine campaign.
Whitney Blake was also present, and was not too pleased with the way the UDems acted.
They literally stood in front of us with their signs and when we tried to move, they would just follow. One Kaine supporter told me our actions were "tacky" and a "low blow." Ever hear of free speech?So much for "dissent is patriotic", eh? Don't believe us? Take a look at the following picture.
(Clicking on the image goes to a larger image)
Here is Whitney herself, holding up a Jerry Kilgore sign, and two Tim Kaine signs have been strategically placed in front of her.
Waldo tries to point back to an old post of mine, but he fails to note one obvious difference in the use of signs. The CRs on this past Saturday were trying to prevent a Tim Kaine spy from acquiring footage to use in a negative ad; the UDems tried to act as though Jerry Kilgore did not exist (can anyone say desperation?).
As for Russ Potts, it appears that he is not even a factor anymore. Potts hatred of Kilgore apparently is not enough to become a spoiler, let alone a legitimate contender.
Almost all of the recent polls place the difference within the margin of error, making this a dead heat. With just four days left, the Kilgore GOTV will be starting up, though there are questions about whether Tim Kaine has one, and with no cushion in this race, the GOTV will ultimately decide who wins (how many of the unlikely voters get to the poll that is). Was Tim Kaine's visit to to Charlottesville a last ditch attempt to scrounge together an improvised GOTV (rather than the organized one set up by the Republicans), or was it the beginning of the end of the Tim Kaine campaign?
Help ensure the second option. Get involved in the GOTV, and help make Tim Kaine's visit to Charlottesville moot.
November 01, 2005
When the PC Police just lose all rationalality
Around the Horn
- The ninth Commonwealth Carnival has been posted at RiverCity Rapids. I have not submitted since Week One, but I have not forgotten about the carnival. I will submit again soon.
- Chad has some very professionally-made advertisements from his 2003 campaign online. While these ads are great, Chad is displaying the professional work by Tom McCrystal, who is running for state delegate here in the challenging 57th district. Give Chad's ads a look (Governor Chad Dotson in 2010 anyone?) and support Tom McCrystal in the 57th.
- Old Zach notes that 50 Cent is defending the president from Kanye West. I would guess that 50 Cent is not a conservative, but this is a very classy gesture. One has to wonder why Kanye did not figure that he could isolate many people by those comments.
- I am sure most people here are familiar with the political cartoons released online last year concerning the presidential election. For anyone more famiiar with flash cartoons (the movie format that these cartoons came out as), Homestar Runner has been very popular in recent years. The most anticipated release each year is the Halloween special; unfortunately, they came one hour late (at least in Eastern Standard Time) this year, but the wait was worth it. This year's Halloween special runs off of the Choose-Your-Own Adventure style that has been popular with many children for the last quarter century. As always, this cartoon is hilarious (I'd suggest a PG rating for most, considering allusions of excrement and alcohol), and even Homestar Runner's impression of Ronald Reagan can draw a few chuckles.
- And of course, who can forget the new selection for the Supreme Court by President Bush, Sam Alito? While I was waiting to reserve judgment on Harriet Miers, I cannot find any reason to criticize Alito. He is a strict enforcer of the Constitution and Democrats hate him. What more could we want?
here are a few of my fellow University of Virginia College Republicans blocking a Kaine spy from videotaping the Countdown to Victory rally this past weekend. While he, no doubt, caught a lot of audio from the rally (they were very audible with a decent speaker system set up), he probably did not have as much video as he would have liked for another negative ad from the Tim Kaine campaign.
Do what you can, because the campaigns have only just begun, and this last week is crucial to the election. This race is Jerry Kilgore's, and our, race to lose.