March 26, 2006

...and I feel fine.

It used to be cult members declaring the end of the world to be imminent. Then, schools warned students to get under their desks in case of a nuclear attack. And now, science has proven that we have done ourselves in.

Or has it?

March 23, 2006


While much of the rest of the blogosphere seems to be enjoying the show, I am frustrated by the brewing battle between The Original Too Conservative and Too Conservative. I am all for debate between, even between people who are supposed to share many of the same values; it can keep us aware of what we really believe. But I have witnessed such disagreements before, and all they result in are damaged egos and disunity. I personally hope that this gets expedited quickly and with as little hostility as possible.

Where would they get an idea like that?

Kenton Ngo, over at Raising Kaine, notes that Danny LeBlanc will be in Tim Kaine's cabinet. Kenton appears frustrated by the attempt by Republicans in the General Assembly to block this appointment, and seems to wonder who would try such a tactic. Hmm, I wonder where Virginia Republicans picked up the idea of blocking an executive appointment?

Oh well, must all be part of that vast right-wing conspiracy I keep hearing about.

March 21, 2006

Upcoming Election

For those of you who vote in Charlottesville, there is an election coming up for City Council, and Rob Schilling, the lone Republican on the otherwise narcissistic City Council, is looking to become the first Republican in more than forty years to hold his seat for consecutive terms. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Schilling again recently, and he is optimistic about the upcoming election, but he recognizes that he will need a lot of help with Charlottesville Democrats likely to launch a very negative campaign against him.

Rob Schilling has a lot to be proud of from his first term. He helped to spearhead the elected school board campaign, which was widely supported by Charlottesville Republicans and Democrats alike (well, except for the remaining City Council members). He has also proven himself to care about the voter, as he has gotten to know many people around the city and earned their trust by promising to be a voice for the voter.

But a second term is not guaranteed, so do what you can to help. Go door to door with him, make phone calls, or even just put a bumper sticker on your car or a sign in your yard. I am starting by placing a link to his site on the sidebar.

Rob Schilling worked very hard in his first term; please show him that he deserves a second.

March 20, 2006


Kilo has the latest Virginia Blog Carnival posted this week. Show some love to the Virginia blogosphere and check out a few of the posts. Maybe you will find a new blog that you will want to make a regular.

Iraq in Context

March 19, 2006

NCAA Tournament Weekend One Analysis

Well, I have been watching March Madness for six years now, and I cannot remember a single weekend that has ever been as crazy as this one. A 13 seed (Bradley) and an 11 seed (Virginia's own George Mason) have made the Sweet Sixteen. Only five games have had a 20-point difference (out of 48 played so far). The ACC, considered by many to be down this year, went 4-0 in the first round and lost two in the second round, while everyone's new basketball sweetheart MVC was 2-2 in the first round with both winners progressing to the Sweet Sixteen. The so-called number one conference Big 10 has suffered greatly in the NCAA tournament, and even the Big East can not send more than half of the eight original bids to the Sweet Sixteen. Should Villanova hang on, everyone of the 1 seeds will still be around, but two 2 seeds and two 3 seeds have lost already. What does this all mean? One of the best tournaments ever, at least so far.

While it is expected that the top seeds make it to the second weekend, that can be a little boring. If you have been watching the games, you know the analysts calling the games are excited, and it should come as no surprise. There may be some people frustrated with their brackets (as their normally are), but this is history that we are watching.

Of course, I am among those who have taken some small hits to my brackets. Obviously, I was wrong about Utah State. In fact, I did not pick a single 5-12 matchup correctly, for the very first time; they can be hard to call, as 20 of the past 22 tournaments have had at least one upset. Still, some things are going as I expected. Georgetown has played very well, and are making a good run as I had suggested earlier this week. Also, Texas is still alive and I am hoping on Villanova as I type. Talk about a nail-biter.

(Sigh of relief) Wow, that was close. All 1 Seeds have survived, and my picks of 'Nova over UConn, Texas over Gonzaga, and 'Nova over Texas still holds for the final weekend. 23 of 36 for the first round and 11 of 16 for the second round, with the possibility to still get 7 of the Elite Eight. How is everyone else doing?

Seems to describe me fairly accurately

As this appears to be spreading across the Virginia blogosphere (here and here), I figured I'd give it a try as well.
You are a

Social Conservative
(36% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(78% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

It seems to be a fairly accurate description of my political views (though I am surprised that I am so close to the capitalist mark, figuring on being centered somewhere in the Republican area). After taking the test, there is an option to add images of politicians and celebrities to compre your results with the approximation of theirs. My mark fell right in between George W. Bush and Ronald W. Reagan, which does not surprise me at all. Perhaps my test will make Dannyboy a little less surprised. I do agree with Virginia Moderate though; some questions required a little thought as the intended meaning was not always clear, but I wonder if the test was meant to be taken without thinking too much on each question. Might there be a bias then either in the testing or one's thoughts on their own political views?

UPDATE 3/20 9 PM: Rick Sincere has his thoughts on the test as well.

March 16, 2006

Around the Horn Part 2

There is a lot of good stuff this week, and I neglected blogs in my prior post earlier this week, so let's get to it.

- Michelle Malkin found the wackiest of the left with some idiots who think it would be a good idea to storm the White House (I suspect that the Secret Service will have something to say about that) and the racist little girl (I'm not sure whether to get frustrated with this little girl or pity her for being used).

- I noted earlier this week the problem of the emasculated male that has become more common, and apparently I am not the only one, as Mike Wallster's Ipso Facto comic noted yesterday.

- John Hawkins keeps it coming; I seriously do not know how he keeps coming up with more stuff to blog about. First, the most liberal minds of our country at DU continue to prove hypocritical concerning their so-called ideals of diversity and tolerance. He also notes the tangled web of lies that made many, including Saddam Hussein himself, believe that there were WMDs and programs in Iraq. And finally, John gives the final word why John McCain will not make it past the primary.

- James Young wonders about the double standard set by "peace activists".

- James Webb and the Senate as a whole has been of great interest to the Virginia blogosphere. First, one of my favorite blogs, Virginia Centrist (geez, sometimes, I feel like a hypocrite saying that), grows frustrated that Democrats offer no alternatives to Republicans running for Congress this year. Chad thinks that the more liberal candidate will challenge George Allen for his Senate seat and his "Not" counterpart Not John Behan thinks that, despite the Virginia Democrat side of the blogosphere going crazy over James Webb, he will be portrayed as the angry candidate.

- March Madness has started. Why are you reading this? You should be watching the games instead. Go away. This will still be here later.

March 14, 2006

Pro Athletes and Political Donations

Via the ACC Basketblog, here is a list of political donations and the athletes who have given them. The donations are listed under Dems, GOP, and special interests, and clicking on the name of each athlete will bring up a detailed account of their donations. The ACC Basketblog, purely sports related, decided not to comment, but here at the Red Stater, I never shy away from politics. Note that all donations are since 1978, so some political affiliations may have changed since then, and no donations of less than $250 (of which there are six) are reported.

- Athletes who gave all their donations only to one group most often gave to the GOP, but those who split appear to do so most often between Dems and special interests.
- Lynn Swann, GOP candidate for governor of Pennsylvania has given 19% of his donations to Democrats, and fellow Pittsburgh Steeler alum Jerome Bettis has donated solely to the GOP.
- It appears people associated with NASCAR and football (at both the college and professional levels) are more likely to give more to the GOP.
- Mark Brunell, Joe Gibbs, and Daniel Snyder have only given to the GOP. I wonder if this will affect Virginia Centrist's loyalties?
- Muhammed Ali has given twice as much to the GOP as he did to the Democrats. Very interesting considering his avoidance of the Vietnam War with the War in Iraq and the GWOT being so recent.
- Biggest Givers - David Stern, Jerry Reinsdorf, Robert Kraft.
- Thanks for the spare change cheapo - Bo Schembechler, Bill Romanowski, Armen Keteyian, Larry Csonka, Bert Blylevin, John Andretti.
- Surprising who gives more to Republicans: the aforementioned Jerome Bettis and Muhammed Ali, Karl Malone, Don King, Rafael Palmeiro.
- Surprising who gives more to Democrats: Jerry Jones, Andre Agassi, Joe Theismann, Dean Smith, John McEnroe, Digger Phelps.
- Feeds Special Interests - Dan Rooney, Dan Marino, Mark Cuban, Pat Riley, Jack Nicklaus.
- And George Steinbrenner of the Evil Empire gives most of his donations to the Democrats. Coincidence? I think not.

March 13, 2006

Around the Horn

- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or People Erotically Teasing Apathetics? Seriously, the only time we hear of PETA these days, it sounds like they are trying to pose for Playboy, making them that much harder to take seriously.

- And speaking of having a hard time taking someone seriously, Democrats in Senate have no problem calling for censure, but apparently they cannot walk the walk. Along with a similar vote for immediate troop pullout after John Murtha made a similar call (and that vote was overwhelmingly in opposition to such a pullout) a few months ago, Democrats are making themselves look very weak with many congressional seats up for election later this year.

- Back to local events, it appears that a number of locals are looking to emulate the actions taken in other towns across the country in calling for the impeachment of President Bush. More here. It makes one wonder why these people are not just mounting a large letter writing campaign instead (I suspect it would be more effective and would be easier to organize on a larger scale). Of course, considering how the Democrats in Senate have been voting (or not voting, be it as it may), such calls right now do not seem to make any sense; even with sagging approval ratings for President Bush, this will also make Democrats look worse. And at this point, there may not be a single politician inside the beltway who can survive a large hit to their approval.

- In what can only be described as not news, neither Pat Robertson nor George Clooney know when to shut up.

- Jon Henke is still waiting for an established expert to say, definitively, that Iraq was without WMDs and programs to acquire them.

- On a lighter note, college basketball has hit the postseason. Unfortunately, UVa fell short, but they are in the NIT, far more than was expected at the beginning of the season, when UVa was picked to finish last in an ACC media poll (again, who trusts polls?). Even still, March Madness goes on. Brackets are coming out, and I am getting in the mix once again. What are my picks? In the Final Four, it will be #2 seed Texas, #3 seed Gonzaga, #1 seed Conneticut, and #1 seed Villanova. In the National Championship, Villanova will beat Texas 82-70. Upset Special #1 - #7 seed Georgetown in the Elite Eight. Upset Special #2 - #12 seed Utah State not only continues the trend of 12 seeds beating 5 seeds, but will also take down #4 Illinois in the Round of 32. You heard it here first.

- And finally, a hearty congratulations to my friend who recently got engaged (and no, I am not going to divulge who it is, but I am sure he knows that I am posting this towards him).

Ronald Reagan. George W. Bush. George Allen.

March 12, 2006

A Man's Man

I think I have found a new role model.

And for you Christian men out there, I would suggest this book. I am currently reading through it, and so far I must say that it is a good book.

March 11, 2006

Two Years

I suspect this headline may be a bit cryptic; this saddens me. On March 11th, 2004, Madrid experienced the second of three major terrorist operations in the western world this century. Nearly two hundred died and another fifteen hundred were injured. It was a stark reminder, exactly two and a half years after the World Trade Center/Pentagon attacks, that terror is still a large threat. Today, I often wonder how seriously this threat is being taken. Some isolationists and people on the far left would like to see nothing more than the GWOT end. Others who prefer pacifism would like to see diplomacy used, despite radical Islamists being unwilling to listen. Everyone else? With such a focus on the perceived failings in Iraq and the issues that have arisen domestically, many others in America appear to have all but forgotten about the terror threat. Maybe my concerns are reinforced through my experience dealing with other college students. Someone please tell me I am wrong.

Regardless, this must be a painful day for many in Spain. Remember them; just like the families of 9/11 and 7/7, this will be a day marked on their calendar every year.

Related blog entry: A Sad Anniversary

Washington Times: Washington Post said Iraq was a WMD threat

Interesting stuff here, from January of 2001:
Of all the booby traps left behind by the Clinton administration, none is more dangerous -- or more urgent -- than the situation in Iraq. Over the last year, Mr. Clinton and his team quietly avoided dealing with, or calling attention to, the almost complete unraveling of a decade's efforts to isolate the regime of Saddam Hussein and prevent it from rebuilding its weapons of mass destruction. That leaves President Bush to confront a dismaying panorama in the Persian Gulf: intelligence photos that show the reconstruction of factories long suspected of producing chemical and biological weapons... [T]he option the Bush administration can least afford is Mr. Clinton's inaction.
So Bill Clinton was "inactive", but George W. Bush would later be too active in his actions? Anyone think they can explain this?

March 09, 2006

Who's afraid?

In recent weeks, the guys at Raising Kaine and Virginia Centrist have been calling James Webb a "nightmare" for George Allen and Republicans, in particular, this blurb today. First, I'll state that I am not going to count my chickens before they hatch; though I think that George Allen can and will win this election, I'm not going to call him anyone's nightmare or claim to know for certain that Allen will be Virginia's junior senator come 2007. That being said, I do not think that Republicans have any fear over whether Democrats choose James Webb instead of Harris Miller to contest George Allen for his seat as senator. Either way, a race will have to be run and won. It is no secret that Republicans prefer Harris Miller to James Webb, but Republicans will not go running or go into a panic if James Webb gets the nod.

I suspect that Lowell and VC are mostly looking to energize the base. Maybe it will be effective, but from this side of the aisle, I must say that they sound rather foolish calling Webb a "nightmare" to Allen. Want to Raise Webb? All I can say is bring it on. This race will not be won on abortion, on the War in Iraq, or even President Bush. It will come down to the two candidates, just as every race ultimately does, and George Allen has proven that he can campaign with the best of them.

March 08, 2006

Found in today's Washington Times

"They're going to regret it," Mr. Kaine told reporters."
I do not care how you feel about the General Assembly's rejection of Tim Kaine's nominee for secretary of the commonwealth, what Tim Kaine said was nothing short of a threat. So much for his campaign promise of being bipartisan.
"Because feminist academics and journalists are now so heavily influenced by left ways of thinking, many now believe that speaking out against head scarves, face veils, the chador, arranged marriages, polygamy, forced pregnancies or female genital mutilation is either 'imperialist' or 'crusade-ist.'"
It still floors me that so many on the left defend Islamic culture; many of those same "academics" or activists will wail against Christianity for lesser offenses to their cause. Perhaps we should drop many of those who defend that culture right into the middle of it, and see if they are still defending radical Islam after a couple weeks.
ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas and political commentator George Stephanopoulos also ignored Bush's approval level of 41 percent, 7 points higher than the 'all-time low' for Bush last week in a CBS News poll which was much-touted by the networks. That 41 percent number, however, is just 1 point lower than the 42 percent level in the last ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted in January -- well within the 3-point margin of error.
This is exactly why I distrust polls. I find it highly unlikely that the president dropped by 8 points, then came back up by 7. Thirty-four percent was either a fluke or a biased poll. It is also interesting to notice that ABC made no mention of President Bush's current approval rating; either they were embarrassed that they could be so off, or they felt that the 34% should linger in the voter's mind, correct or otherwise.

March 07, 2006

Having solved all other problems in Newfane, VT...

A town in Vermont has called for the impeachment of President Bush. Brings about memories of the City of Peace movement in Charlottesville (I was present at that meeting, for a meaningless and pathetic proclamation).

March 06, 2006

This week's Virginia Blog Carnival

Today's VBC is up at ImNotEmeril. Some of you may remember the concern that came about last week concerning the political nature of a carnival that was intended to be apolitical. It appears that many people have taken notice and, not only tried to move away from politics, but also submitted in record numbers (thanks guys, way to make me feel guilty for not submitting). And I'm Not Emeril made the carnival, in itself, an interesting read, while avoiding editorializing, by relating personal experience to many of the posts. I sure hope that this is a sign of things to come, because I imagine blog readers across Virginia will anticipate the VBC every week if this holds up.

March 04, 2006

Last Ball at UHall

Just a little over forty years ago, University Hall opened its doors for the first time; sadly, it opened with a loss to the Kentucky Wildcats. Tomorrow, the Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball team could make sure that it does not finish the same way with the final game at UHall being played against the Maryland Terrapins. Many of the Wahoos' best will return for the final scheduled game at the stadium (with a likely NIT bid, UVa likely has at least another game to play there, but that was not a given at the beginning of the season), including Ralph Sampson and coach Jeff Jones (sorry, but I suspect that Pete Gillen probably will not make an appearance, which probably will not bug most in attendance). While this may not be the Duke-UNC game (which is currently playing on every ESPN channel, including ESPN 8: The Ocho), the crowd should be loud and ready for a good game.

It will also be Senior Night, but the only senior player lost will be Billy Campbell. This fact, tomorrow's game, and the season as a whole will set up next season starting at the new John Paul Jones Arena. In a season with a first-year coach and prediction to finish last in the ACC in basketball, a win tomorrow would give Virginia an 8-8 record in conference and guarantee a finish no lower than 7th. Losing no scholarship players, expectations will be high for next season, and an impatient Virginia fanbase will start to look at Coach Dave Leitao with a far more critical eye.

Tomorrow will be the end of an era for Virginia basketball, but part of the beginning of another, not just at a new stadium, but hopefully for a team that will continue to amaze and astound Wahoos everywhere. I'll be at the stadium nice and early tomorrow, and I hope everyone else attending the game will be loud and excited as well.

March 02, 2006

One Year Blogiversary!

Hard to believe it, but The Red Stater today celebrates its first anniversary. In one year, The Red Stater has 377 posts (not including this one) and received 7,413 hits; a humble amount to be sure, but everyone of them has meant a lot to me. To everyone who has come here to find a viewpoint they agree with, who has come here to argue a viewpoint, or to simply find a new viewpoint, I thank you.

This blog has changed a lot over the past year. I originally intended to keep any non-political topics out, but quickly recognized that could only serve to make this blog extremely dry. And while I hoped to use this as an outlet for breaking news, it very quickly became apparent that this blog would run more as editorials and commentary than journalism of any sort.

I have also learned how difficult it is to maintain a high quality blog that receives a lot of readers. I am no Chad or Waldo, to be sure, but even still, I owe a lot to those two, and many others. Chad first got me connected in the Virginia blogosphere; without him, I might not even have 1,000 hits today, and this blog would have almost certainly gone the way of so many others. Waldo included The Red Stater as one of the initial blogs among the Charlottesville Blogs, an honor to be sure. Lighthorse Harry and Old Zach, two good friends, have been great encouragement as well, with Old Zach even being the catalyst to my joining the Old Dominion Blog Alliance. Cari gave me a peer in the blogosphere, and Kilo stood behind many of the posts I felt that were amongst my best. There are many more in the Commonwealth that have supported me, and I apologize to any that I missed.

To everyone, my work is far from done. I will continue to post my thoughts, and look forward to conversing with you all concerning my thoughts. Thank you all for your support, whether it is the highest of praise or simply one more hit for my blog.

March 01, 2006

Finger-point first, ask questions later

This seems to be the way the media and the government has worked since Hurricane Katrina. And with the recent news that President Bush was aware that the levees in New Orleans had the potential of breaking during the hurricane will not put an end to this.

Too Conservative and cbeer of the Mason Conservative are both embarassed. I am too, but not for the same reason that they are.

First, I am still wondering where New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco were throughout this disaster. Obviously, they play a huge part in the activity of New Orleans, and they hold direct power there. Emergency plans and preparation primarily fall on their shoulders. But fingers continue to be pointed, and ultimately, any event can make its way back to the president. So while Galveston, Texas residents were ready to get away from Rita, and had such a plan ready for years, somehow it is the federal government, not those at the local and state levels, that gets responsibility.

Secondly, what would one expect the President to do with the hurricane so close? One can continue to debate whether or not the buses in New Orleans could have been used, but what would the federal government use to evacuate the city? (Interestingly enough, many residents from Galveston were bused inland). What safe places in New Orleans could the federal government put displaced people that New Orleans officials could not have thought of? Additional support for the levees may not have been possible in that period of time (I am no engineer, so I will not pretend to know that, but it seems pretty doubtful that it would have been feasible).

And let's not forget the media, who have only taken notice when Mayor Nagin made his little comment concerning a "chocolate city", unless there was some more blame to heap on the president.

Throughout this whole debate, President Bush has been nothing more than a scapegoat. Is this to say that FEMA and the executive branch could not have done more? Of course not. The federal government did make some mistakes concerning this disaster, but the local and state governments are not innocent either. And rather than take responsibility, they've placed a bullseye squarely on the White House. Blanco and Nagin were fully capable of handling the situation, but President Bush, who is also responsible for the troops abroad, the economy, the environment, and everything else apparently, is expected to turn all his attention towards a single event that can be covered by many others.

Which brings me to my next question: why would anyone ever want to be President of the United States, where you cannot even sneeze without 100 million Americans and a billion people world-wide knowing? Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

As a side-note, do not take this is anything towards the people of New Orleans. I am entirely sympathetic towards their troubles, but their local leaders neglected local problems and the media just cannot ignore the possibility of selling a few more newspapers.