June 28, 2006

The Flag Burning Amendment

While it passed in the House, a close miss was the result for the Flag Burning Amendment in the Senate. Some are happy about this vote, but I prefer another opinion:
I just know how some folks - the VFW; the American Legion; WWII vets - cherish the American flag and feel profound sorrow when it gets trashed.

I feel sorry for them today.
When I hear of leftists who hate symbols of our country, it does not surprise me; they mistakenly believe that the flag represents our government and that it is a symbol of oppression. But an increasing number of people appear to believe that actions are included in speech.

That is fine, so let's remember something about the First Amendment. It does have its limits. For example, a threat against the federal government is a felony. If the flag represents the United States government, then it seems to me that burning the flag is an explicit threat against the federal government.

It also seems like a lot of people believe we have a right to not be offended these days. If that is so, then who is here to defend the veterans who fought for that flag and the values it represents?

There may be some more pressing matters that our Senate should have considered, but the vote was there, and we as Americans had the right to vote on the amendement in the upcoming elections. If people are against it, they could have had an opportunity to vote against it (and as Waldo believes, it fail anyway).

And it is rather interesting. Many Democrats claim that this is all a political stunt, and have come very strong against the amendment. With so much noise coming from the left over this vote, it might be interesting to see how this affects the upcoming midterm elections; might people get mad over the disrespect for the flag and take votes away from the Democrats, or will this energize the Democratic base to vote out Republicans? Only time will tell.

June 26, 2006


Social networks have been quite popular in recent years. Everything from MySpace to Facebook to a vast number of sites specifically established for dating. While there has been some controversy surrounding these networks, most of what is posted is not out of the ordinary and would not, for example, hinder someone from receiving a job. What someone posts to their site is public and they should be careful to not incriminate themselves in any way; still, most of what is posted is generally considered appropriate or at least fairly normal. Indeed, I am a member of some social networks, but do not post anything which could place me into a difficult position (though, I do not imagine I would have much I could post that would get me into trouble).

So what do we have? From the same people who complain that the government is spying on them is a post from the DU - Virginia branch themselves, Raising Kaine. Jacqui Newman was elected the new Political Director of the CRFV, and she is chastized for, *gasp*, being a Republican. Imagine that. This in itself is not too abnormal. But Lowell takes it one step further, and posts a link to Jacqui's (what is apparently now defunct) XuQa.com account. It appears that Jacqui took note of the attention and decided that she no longer wanted her information to be public anymore, so she removed it, which is entirely her right. And what does Lowell do? He posts some of her personal information on his site after she made a rather clear move to stay out of the public spotlight. He claims those "Republicans are amazing." Maybe us Republicans should start searching these social networks for somewhat well-known liberals and doing the same sort of thing. Oh wait, then, we would be just like the NSA; but Lowell is just a whistleblower. What was I thinking?

Double standards are normal for liberals like Lowell, but this is pretty low. I just have to hope he does not turn his sights my way; I would not be surprised if he would try to compromise my pseudonymity just to get a few more comments on his blog.

UPDATE 10:15 PM: It appears I am not the only one frustrated with Lowell right now. I'm Not Emeril appears to agree, and TC also notes the derogatory way that Lowell refers to Attorney General Bob McDonnell whose daughter is serving in Iraq (what is it that Democrats say about politicians and their children involving Iraq?).

Kilo has this in addition to say in the comments below.
Lowell posts that with no other intention but to embarrass this young girl. That is very revealing about Lowell.
I mean Lowell was in college in the early 80's so we can guess his age. After all these years he still likes to pick on young girls. Very revealing indeed.
Excellent point Kilo, one I overlooked initially. Bully tactics are bad enough, but imagine if instead of the blogosphere, Lowell was saying this kind of stuff in the middle of a work environment? Sounds like a sexual harrassment situation to me.

And I can only imagine how others feel concerning this situation. Does Jacqui have a boyfriend? If so, I am sure he is hopping mad. Brothers? Potentially, a worse group to anger. And if I were Lowell, I would avoid her father, because I suspect, like most fathers, he would be very protective of his daughter.

June 21, 2006

Will we hear a "we were wrong" now from the left?

My guess is no.

As I suspected, there is a great deal of evidence of WMDs that had existed in Iraq, most of which was classified due to the nature of the information. There appears to be a push for more information to get out.

Remember how, earlier in the week, Shaun Kenney did his Winners and Losers of the Democratic Primary here in Virginia? Well, I would like to follow up with the winners and losers of this recent finding.

Losers: Democrats - For the longest time, anti-war hounds have cried foul over the justification of the War in Iraq over the weapons of mass destruction. It appeared that, recently, these calls may have been starting to gain some ground, and that the House of Representatives (and potentially the Senate as well) could be switching hands. The handling of the war was most often criticized for the apparent lack of WMDs in Iraq, and this was always attributed to President Bush and Republicans. No doubt some (including James Webb) wished to continue using this to their advantage. However, if this story gains more traction (as it well should), these same Democrats will have to quickly backtrack and risk being called flip-floppers, or hold their claim and look like liars. So much for that congressional takeover.

Mainstream Media - Where is that unbiased, objective reporting now?

Winners: Republicans - Duh.

Charlottesville - Why? The National Ground Intelligence Center released declassified parts of this report, and NGIC is headquartered just north of Charlottesville. So much for the "City of Peace" (hmm, maybe this makes Charlottesville a loser?).

Michelle Malkin continues to update on this story.

Oh yeah, and one more thing.
Fahrenheit This

UPDATE 8:50 AM: Jerry Fuhrman has his take on this news
A Democratic 'strategist" was on TV last night arguing that these WMD weren't the WMD that Bush lied about. Those were different Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Hopeless. They're just hopeless
What Jerry, are you surprised?

Democrats will obviously use this tactic as another flip-flop. They were unhappy with the news that part of the search for WMDs was the search for programs to build such weapons, claiming that we must find WMDs. Now, we found some, and they believe that those weapons should have been built in the time since the Persian Gulf War to justify the War in Iraq. There is could not be further from the truth. Not only did the United Nations Security Council pass the well known Resolution 1441, but in 1991 immediately following the Persian Gulf War, they passed Resolution 687, will explicitly said the following:
...Conscious also of the statements by Iraq threatening to use weapons in violation of its obligations under the Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, signed at Geneva on 17 June 1925, and of its prior use of chemical weapons and affirming that grave consequences would follow any further use by Iraq of such weapons,


Recalling also that Iraq has signed the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction, of 10 April 1972,


Concerned by the reports in the hands of Member States that Iraq has attempted to acquire materials for a nuclear-weapons programme contrary to its obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons of 1 July 1968,
Recalling the objective of the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the region of the Middle East,
Conscious of the threat that all weapons of mass destruction pose to peace and security in the area and of the need to work towards the establishment in the Middle East of a zone free of such weapons,
Conscious also of the objective of achieving balanced and comprehensive control of armaments in the region,...
Needless to say, this is not comprehensive, but it is clear. Iraq was in violation of UN protocol.

I reiterate Jerry's point.
A Democratic 'strategist" was on TV last night arguing that these WMD weren't the WMD that Bush lied about. Those were different Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Seems to me that any WMDs found in Iraq directly followed from the point President Bush was trying to make, but what's the point in trying to convince those against the war? I see no reason to believe that they ever understood the reasons for this war.

June 19, 2006

Around the Horn

For anyone who has only recently started to read The Red Stater, Around the Horn is a favorite show of mine on ESPN. Four sports journalists make up a roundtable debate of the various sports and sports-relates stories of the day; each gives their viewpoint on the topic, which may vary greatly between the four. Alas, The Red Stater still only consists of one contributor, but the idea behind posts titled Around the Horn is still very similar. I will post a number of stories or other blog entries and give my thoughts on them. Individually, each topic is brief, though the sum of the parts generally results in a longer posting, mostly as there will be a number of topics I find interesting, essentially becoming a blog carnival of sorts. Most will focus on political or social topics, though I usually also include one focusing on the University of Virginia or other topics. So, without further ado...

- James Webb has proposed a debate. George Allen declined in the format proposed, and many have picked up on it. Yet, what seems to be misunderstood is that Allen is looking for a debate that is broader in nature, covering both foreign and domestic policies, as noted by Chad. Other Democrats appear to have taken offense to the idea that George Allen would want to the debate done differently, asking "Do voters really care about these issues?" My guess is that, yes, they do indeed. Democrats came out in force (albeit a fairly small force) to support James Webb this past Tuesday, but it was based almost entierly on (1) James Webb's opposition to the War in Iraq and (2) Webb being the guy who isn't George Allen or Harris Miller. This might seem great to those who choose the primary candidate, but will many Democratic voters be one-issue voters? Is the War in Iraq going to do it, or do Democratic voters also want a high-spending, liberal Democrat in office that can excite not only the base but many voters, the way Allen energizes Republican voters? The debate proposed by Allen might be able to provide some answers.

- And speaking of Senate races, Joe Lieberman has a couple of races ahead of him, it appears. The Kos-supported Ned Lamont is challenging Lieberman in a primary, and appears to be making this a real race. Should Lieberman win, he will face what appears to be a relatively weak Republican candidate in Alan Schlesinger, and handidly win the general election most likely. If he loses the primary, what happens? It appears to be much of the same. Lieberman could run as an independant; Lieberman remains one of the most popular Democratic candidates among Republicans, mostly due to his stance on national defense, and could pull a number of Democratic votes from Lamont. Lamont would likely beat Schlesinger as well, so it is a valid question as to wonder if many other Republicans would also vote for Lieberman, recognizing the alternative.

- Staying on the topic of the Senate, but returning home to Virginia, I commented yesterday on Shaun Kenney's view of the primary election. It appears I was not the only one, as Republitarian has done the same, also finding fault with some of Shaun's perspective. I cannot say I agree with everything he has to say, but it is another interesting viewpoint towards the primary.

- Finishing off the Senate races, Kilo has a post similar to that I pointed out earlier from Chad. It appears that the Duck is now shacking it up with James Webb. Any response to this Lowell?

- I recently posted on Net Neutrality, concerned about increased federal regulation. Evan Coyne Maloney has the same concerns. He does take issue with the way some ISPs operate, but it is obvious that, he too, feels that greater regulation will be bad for the internet.

- And speaking of the internet, has anyone seen that a teenager and her mother have decided to sue MySpace? What next, are car makers sued because a kid gets picked up by a stranger in a car? Parents need to watch what their children are doing, because MySpace cannot. MySpace literally has millions of members; it would be impossible to be certain that people are who they say they are (barring background checks, which can take months to finish) and to monitor every conversation. It is quite simple; people over 18 (such as myself) are legally self-responsible, and minors are not, requiring that a parent takes responsibility for the actions of the child. I have a real problem with child predators, but MySpace cannot act as a third (or second, based on the home situation) parent, so the other two (or one) need to get their acts together.

- Michelle Malkin notes how the Dixie Chicks have gone off of the deep end. The Dixie Chicks do not get why they are being criticized? Imagine if Martin Luther King Jr. had pulled a 180 and instead criticized the civil rights movement. Never attack your base, because the backlash will be swift, and there are some things that people never forget.

- And finally, ABC marks the end of the Metrosexual Era with the beginning of the Machosexual epoch. Some might laugh if I claimed to be part of the machosexual group, but it certainly fits better than metrosexual. On that note, read Wild at Heart; it defined the machosexual (i.e., man) well before this cultural shift.

June 18, 2006

Winners and Losers

Shaun Kenney posts his thoughts on the outcome of Tuesday's primary. Notable exerpts:
WINNERS: George Allen: I still contend that we got the weaker candidate on Tuesday, one who will not motivate the African-American base, one who alienated Jewish-Americans, and one who has a terrible campaign staff. Miller would have been much more difficult to beat. A Webb campaign holding hands with Senator John Kerry is gold for Republicans -- especially when you consider that Allen is the most popular Republican in the Commonwealth.
I certainly agree here. Allen can run on a very positive campaign, but if he wants to portray Webb in a negative light, showing images of him with John Kerry should get the job done.
DRAW: Democratic Blogs: Sure you helped Webb win, but at what cost to your own reputations (and do you care)?
I think Shaun is being a bit generous here, but I suspect he felt the same way as he followed up with the following.
LOSERS: Civility and Decorum in the Democratic Party: That entire primary was atrocious, and those who participated in the smear attacks should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. Negative campaigning is one thing, but nasty campaigning has no place in Virginia (or so I thought).
I've noticed this too. Raising Kaine is near unreadable, and Virginia Centrist, usually a favorite read of mine, is heading in the same direction. Still, Shaun has a little more to shell out:
Civility and Decorum in the GOP: Senator George Allen isn't going to let Jim Webb get away with the nonsense his poor campaign staff forced him to accept during the primary. And be forewarned: Republicans are at a tipping point. If you think the Howard Dean style candidacy is bad, angry Republicans on the ground are getting sick and tired of being pushed around -- and I don't like it one bit. Frankly, the behavior of radical Democrats is changing the behavior of conservatives in a big way. The reason why Ann Coulter is popular is because she fights back. How much longer before conservatives (the traditionally calm and reasoned types) decide to react? I worry...
Worry about what? Yes, it is getting rather old to deal with the Howard Dean's, Michael Moore's, and Alec Baldwin's. But that seems to be a larger problem in the Democratic party; in particular, that can characterize James Webb, but not George Allen. I am glad we have Ann Coulter, because she truly is one of a kind; she gives Republicans a bite without the entire party becoming the Coulter party. The same cannot be said about Democrats, who seem to have liberal versions of Ann Coulter at a dime a dozen.

George Allen, regardless of the primary, is the biggest winner right now. He has a far larger level of name recognition, holds the incumbency, has a top-level campaign staff, and can run a postive campaign in what still exists as a red state. Outside of NoVa, Virginia voters were unable to get excited about this primary, and these areas have in the past been very supportive of George Allen. Even Northern Virginia may not be enough to push James Webb over if voters come out strong in the rest of the Commonwealth. I have said it before; this is George Allen's race to win or lose, and only he can beat himself. Let some Republicans get angry; if (or should I say when?) George Allen wins, those feelings will settle down.

June 16, 2006

The One

Just as the bad news concerning the deaths of soldiers has come out, some good news has come out that further shows that these lives were not given in vain.
The U.S. military in recent weeks has seized a "huge treasure" of intelligence materials on al Qaeda in Iraq, including a revealing document in which the terror group acknowledges its own "bleak situation" caused by losses on both the public relations and war fronts.
This brings up some interesting points. Al Qaeda does appear to have a fairly good idea of how motivating certain actions can be, and they are attempting to use this as a way to build support.
The al Qaeda document said if it is to rebound from setbacks it needs to "improve the image of the resistance in society, increase the number of supporters who are refusing occupation and show the class of interest between society and the occupation and its collaborators."
Through all this, I believe, even more now, that liberals have a very good idea of how motivational bad news can be. Like al Qaeda, they use a media assault to make people sympathetic to their cause; it is even easier here in America with a very pessimistic MSM that can easily be persuaded to discuss the problems that arise in the effort but not the merits when due.

However, al Qaeda and liberals are not the only ones who can use the media. This document shows that America is winning in Iraq. Al Qaeda is demoralized, contrary to the liberal myth that further action in Iraq is mobilizing the opposition. And it is doubtful that al Qaeda will be getting any pushes soon.
The Baghdad command continued to give an optimistic message on Iraq, boosted by President Bush's surprise visit this week, even as the war's death toll for the U.S. military topped 2,500.
"We believe al Qaeda in Iraq was taken by surprise," said Mowaffak Rubaie, Iraq's national security adviser. "They did not anticipate how powerful the Iraqi security forces are and how the government is on the attack now." He referred to the intelligence take as a "huge treasure."
On top of that, al Qaeda was planning on starting a war that would likely engulf the entire Middle East and potentially affect every nation in the world.
The document also said al Qaeda in Iraq needs to build its own arms industry and to "avoid mistakes that will blemish the image of the resistance."
The group's major goal is to get the U.S. involved in a new war, this one against the Shi'ites in Iraq and Iran, and to provoke another war between Iraqi Shi'ites and Sunni countries in the Middle East.
One option, the paper says, is to blow up targets in the West and plant evidence that the bombing was done by Iranians.
This is extremely important knowledge that could potentially stop a future conflict. And yet, Senators Boxer, Byrd, Feingold, Harkin, Kerry and Kennedy all voted to pull American troops. But I am sure some like James Webb and John Kerry will make some excuse like they had not heard of this document so they should not have their words used against them. Or something like that.

Anti-war hounds are using the deaths of 2500 American men and women to push for a cut-and-run strategy. However, it will only take this one document to show that their lives were not lost in vain.

UPDATE 1:35 PM: No sooner do I get all this typed out than do I find that Michelle Malkin has some more to add, concerning a FOXNews.com report.
In this second of a three-part examination of a newly-released document captured in Iraq, Robison offers further evidence that in 1999 the Taliban welcomed "Islamic relations with Iraq" to mediate among the Taliban, the Northern Alliance and Russia, and that the Taliban reciprocated with an invitation to Iraqi officials to visit Afghanistan.
Quite interesting.

And the House of Representatives took a vote on a timetable for Iraq. There will be no timetable, and what's more, 42 Democrats voted with the Republican majority (3 Republicans broke ranks and voted for a timetable, and five congressmen voted present). It's official; we stay the course.

The 2500

The War in Iraq has claimed the life of its 2,500th American Soldier. Certainly, it is sad that this many brave Americans have had to die in this war. However, the only thing worse than someone's death is when someone uses a persons death for their own gain. Of course, I am speaking of the anti-war Democrats.

The ever-pessimistic MSM creates these artificial barriers that we cross, simply because they are nice round numbers, than splash the headlines on the front page as if we did not know that soldiers were dying in Iraq. Tony Snow says it is "just a number", not to diminish the lives of those who served, but to send a message to the press that creating a media hype over such "milestones" is not to anyone's benefit. Yet, the Democrats rather than hanging tough and recognizing the challenges, decide to continue the game of "Blame the GOP". And this brings out many who then want to bring in an artificial timeline, which terrorists will only take advantage of and step up attacks when some American troops find themselves removed from Iraq on a date THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS! It is also very presumptuous as the White House may have a solid plan for the future removal of troops; certainly, they may believe that it is not the business of the general public, for the safety of those serving.

And to add insult to injury, Democrats will use these numbers to try to knock Republicans out of office in November. James "The Quitter" Webb, has been very critical of the War in Iraq, and after implying that the world would be safer with Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi still free men, I would not be at all surprised if he politicized the deaths of these troops. Jack Murtha, another Cindy-Sheehan-type-celebrity, has expressed interest in becoming House Majority Leader (which he may run for should the Democrats take over in November), and would definitely politicize these deaths again. Yet, despite all the noise the Democrats have made concerning these deaths, the Senate voted 93-6 against an immediate pull-out of Iraq, in what can certainly be called an amazing show of bipartisanship.

But of course the Democrats cannot help that the 2500th death occurred shortly after the death of Zarqawi and the subsequent rise in the polls for President Bush. They only take advantage of it.

June 14, 2006

For anyone interested about Leno tonight...

Ann Coulter came out to a fairly warm greeting, and she and George Carlin shared a little friendly small talk before Leno began talking with her.

Is that a trumpet I am hearing?

UPDATE 12:41 AM: Carlin obviously looks a little frustrated, but he is keeping all thoughts to himself.

I am sure some people must be disappointed by this. Rarely do two such outspoken (and occassionally tactless) pundits share a stage together, and less partisan people have certainly been known to take some arguments quite far. Meanwhile, Coulter and Carlin was boring at worst and somewhat humorous at best.

Then again, I suspect the two of them knew exactly what they were doing, and neither wanted to be portrayed as the bad guy. And quite frankly, it would be difficult to frame either in such a fashion.

Sniping begins anew tomorrow, I am sure of it.

Happy Flag Day Everyone!

Don't forget to put your flag out (though, it is supposed to rain today in many areas in Virginia, so be sure to bring it in if weather turns for the worse).

June 13, 2006

James Webb wins

Well, the people of Virginia (I guess, that is, really the Democrats mostly) have spoken, and James Webb will be facing off against George Allen in November. With only four precincts remaining, James Webb has a 6.9% lead that should not change by too much. What can be taken away from this primary?

First my prediction was certainly wrong; however, the predictions made by many of the Democratic bloggers (except for Red Bull from Morgan's Rifeleman, who hit the nail on the head for Webb's percentage; very impressive) were just as inaccurate, with the final result falling somewhere in the middle. Webb had a solid win in the primary, but it still only came out to be a little more than an even split. Was Webb on the cusp and eventually won because of unfounded accusations of anti-semitism, or did he have the lead that the bloggers suggested and took a hit because of those charges? And what does such a near-even split mean for the upcoming election? Will Democrats unite in the hope of knocking off George Allen, or will animosity hold out from the primary session, leaving Webb with a very small legion of supporters?

What does the higher than expected turnout (3.5%) mean? Was this a fluke? (doubtful) Was it drawn from the sharp contrasts of Miller and Webb? (seems likely) Or are Democrats very eager to beat George Allen? (possible as well) My gut says it was a little each of the last two questions, but I will not pretend to know the answer here.

Democrats see James Webb as George Allen's "worst nightmare", but many Republican bloggers believe that Webb was the weaker of the two opponents, boasting a very weak campaign strategy. There is no doubt in my mind that George Allen will be the junior Senator of Virginia again in November. However, what might this campaign mean for Allen in '08? A big win come November will help Allen, while a nasty, mud-slinging race between the two that ends with a smaller margin of victory may make infeasible a presidential run.

With five months left, many of these questions should be answered before the election. Congratulations to James Webb on winning today, but if he wishes to pose a credible threat to Senator Allen this fall, he is going to need to step things up a bit, or there may be some new question marks that appear.

UPDATE 10:30 PM: Made some edits included above.

June 12, 2006

A Final Look at Tomorrow's Primary

Within 24 hours, we should know who will lose to Senator Allen in November. Think I sound cocky? Somehow, I do not think that Chad would.

Many Democratic bloggers and Republicans agree that George Allen would have his way in a race against Harris Miller. But what about James "George-Allen's-so-called-Worst-Nightmare" Webb? There is a lot of disagreement there. First, you have the Democratic bloggers, typically Not Larry Sabato (though less so than in the past), Raising Kaine (Relying on a straw poll? Really Lowell, you should know better), and Virginia Centrist (Democrat in an election + Markos Moulitsas = Kiss of Death). They all have noted the strong support from blogs and blog readers and believe that James Webb will have an easy time tomorrow.

I believe they are missing one thing, and many conservative bloggers have picked up on this. Kilo in particular:
I like the idea of last minute radio spots. [sic] To bad they are not the culmination of ads that were airing this whole campaign. Time spent drawing cartoons could have been better spent. Tomorrow night we will find out if Jim Webb and his not ready for prime time players are successful. This battle is in NOVA. The few thousand voters in my part of the state wont carry much weight.
I must say that most of the signs I have seen recently (albeit, I have seen so few of them that I wonder if this primary will even see a 2.5% turnout) have been in favor of Harris Miller. James Webb cannot depend on blogs because they tend to see an audience of younger people; voters, by and large, are older than people familiar with blogging. But we shall see. The polls seem to suggest many different things, so this race could go any way.

As for some predictions, they tend to be wide and varied as well:
Red Bull - Webb 54%, Miller 46%, 3% turnout
Too Conservative - Miller 53%, Webb 47%
Virginia Centrist - Webb 63%, Miller 35% (who is the other 2% going to?)
Howling Latina - In the 1st District, Webb 62%, Miller 38%
Daily Whackjob - Miller 93%, Webb 7% (he pulled it out of thin air, but seeing the range of the other predictions, it might be just as likely as any other predicted value).
My Prediction - While the blogosphere has been overwhelmingly pro-Webb, I cannot ignore Northern Virginia, and my gut tells me this will be a Miller win. Harris Miller 55%, James Webb 45%. I also predict that the Democratic side of the blogosphere will be scrambling for the next few months if Webb does not get at least 55% of the primary vote and/or if turnout is less than 2.5%.

Tomorrow, Democrats will be busy figuring out who George Allen's opponent will be. But us Republicans can sit back and be entertained for once, perhaps vote if the ballot box beckons. Regardless of the result, June 13th should be a very interesting day.

UPDATE 6/13 8:20 AM: Waldo gives perhaps the best analysis of the two Senate candidates I have read yet, either from the MSM or, in particular, the blogs.
U.S. Senate Democratic nominee candidates Jim Webb and Harris Miller are two very different candidates. Each man's greatest strength is the other's greatest weakness: Webb is a strong candidate with a weak campaign, while Miller is a weak candidate with a strong campaign.
He goes on to say:
The question that has to be asked - the question that all informed Democrats voting today are surely asking themselves - is this: Do I want a great candidate or a great campaign?
Personally, I believe a a great campaign is more important than a great candidate, and it does not help Webb and Miller that George Allen is both; he is charismatic and favored by conservatives for his consistent voting, but also knows how to do things right on the campaign trail. Still a strong campaign beats out a strong candidate with a weak campaign; Waldo says he will put his support behind whoever wins today, but I suspect even more so now that the guys at Raising Kaine and Virginia Centrist will be disappointed at the end of the day.

UPDATE 2 6/13 11:10 AM: Shaun gives another good analysis of today's primary, and even notes how one of the biggest criticisms of Miller might actually be beneficial for Democrats.
My concerns if Miller wins? He'll show well (lose, but show well) against Allen and weaken his presidential bid, Miller will self-finance which means the DCCC will push more money into other races nationwide, and based on how well-run the campaign has been Miller will coincide nicely with Mark Warner's bid for president.
What fear of Webb? Miller might make this (and possibly otheres) an interesting race.

FINAL UPDATE 6/13 6:15 PM: Not Larry Sabato is calling the race for James Webb. Forty-five minutes until the polls close. Will NLS maintain his 99.5% accuracy, or is he about to pull a Rather? Unless the race is extremely close, we should know before bed time.

And it appears that Webb's after-election party is taking place at the Crystal City Hilton. Anyone want to let the Webb crazies know that that is where the yearly Conservative Political Action Conference was held many times (most recently, two years ago)?

June 10, 2006

Net Neutrality

Interestingly not noticed much by many bloggers, the net neutrality debate has been strong amongst many other computer users. Many are frustrated, feeling that this is another attempt of facists (normal people just recognize them as Republicans) to again hand this country over to "big business". In the simplest terms, net neutrality would ensure that companies would not charge a premium for faster information transmission. But is this really the case?

Looking at those who are in favor of net neutrality, it appears like any other pro-regulation base of support. The arguments lack a number of important factors.

First, if networks begin charging extra for better bandwidth, what kind of charge would it be? Such concerns might be warranted if there is a high, flat charge. However, a low, flat charge or costs being directly proportional to traffic should not be too hard for a website to shoulder. And is there really any realistic concern over such a proposition? Over the past decade, the internet has grown at leaps and bounds, far faster and far more widely used than any other technology known to man. Competition has been healthy among many network providers, as the loading speed of many websites has increased dramatically. Such costs could have been incurred a long ways back, and instead, all customers have found that "big business" has given everyone more for their money, not bigger bills.

Then, there is the little problem of government regulation. When a government regulates, that means there are LESS choices, not more. First, if networks do choose to add costs for better bandwidth, this opens up an opportunity for competition; people will be more likely to use services which aid them more, and the companies that do choose to add these costs may have to remove them if they lose too much business. If one company provides bad service, you can always switch to another; if a government provides bad service, switching is a bit of a challenge.

What's worse, the government may choose to tax and regulate web content. Certainly there is some objectionable content online, but where is the line drawn? Will political material (such as, oh say, The Red Stater) be subject to regulation as it might be considered "endorsement hate speech" when speaking of terrorism? Would the status of a blogger as press be challenged, taking away our very first amendment rights? Internet regulation is one step away from regulating our spoken conversations. The government is involved enough in my life, I do not need them telling me I cannot give my thoughts on the most recent SCOTUS decision.

Liberals and many computer users will probably say that Republicans and crossover-voting Democrats in the House were pandering to big business; on the contrary, they have served the American people by upholding our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Is this a good way to run?

James Webb has been run as a candidate that would be more likely to beat George Allen.

Last year, I noted that a candidate would be better because he would be more likely to win.

Seems to me that running the candidate with only the sole purpose of beating the incumbant or opponent (rather than running as the candidate hoping to win the seat) is a faulty method. Just ask John Kerry.

More Graduation Stuff

Whitney has more about the University's graduation ceremony (was that really almost three weeks ago?). Get better soon Whitney and good luck at The Weekly Standard!

June 09, 2006

Victory in Iraq

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is no more. Iraqis cheer. Lefties whine. While I would have preferred that Zarqawi would have had to have faced a trial before receiving the death penalty, this may act as a blow to the morale and strategy of al Qaeda and a morale booster for American, allied, and Iraqi troops. The War on Terror is far from over, but one more battle has finished in our favor.

The James Webb Free-fall?

James Webb may have really stepped in it this time. After the concern over whether he filed his FEC report on time (which is being disputed after the anthrax scare), now Webb has to be worried about being labeled as anti-Semitic, and with less than a week left before the primary, leaving him little time to respond. Most harmful to James Webb, this is getting MSM attention. This has greatly frustrated Virginia Centrist, who believes that the Miller campaign is taking advantage of this development:
I will actively work AGAINST Harris Miller if he wins the primary. I will trash him at every juncture, and do EVERYTHING I CAN to ensure that he receives less than 35% of the vote (it won't be hard). Not only that - I will single-mindedly hound him with this blog for the rest of his political career, and I will encourage others to do so.
Funny, I remember VC saying something about political blogs holding no sway.

Lowell is trying to stop the bleeding by stating with conviction that James Webb is not anti-Semitic. And I suspect he is right. But Lowell forgets that, in the election, it does not matter right now whether he is or is not. What matters is how people perceive James Webb, and right now, it seems likely that they may perceive Webb as a racist.

Right now, it would be in James Webb's best interest to organize a public event, and fast. Get the media out, and apologize for the cartoon. Tell people that its release was a lapse in judgment and that he holds no ill will towards Jews. It might not recover all the votes he may lose from this event, but there just might be enough time for Webb to get back into contention. With the Jerry Kilgore death penalty ad that violated Godwin's Law (which, by the way, is nothing more than an escape from an argument which should be easy enough to win if what they say is true) still fairly recent, it is obvious that people in the Commonwealth are fairly sensitive to inappropriate comparisons. The faster he fixes this, the better his chances of winning the primary on Tuesday are.

Meanwhile, George Allen's campaign chugs along with a purely positive ad. If Senator Allen continues using mostly positive advertising, he should have an easy path to re-election.

Still, I cannot help when laugh when I remember how many times Lowell stated that James Webb was George Allen's "worst nightmare". Seems to me that the only man that James Webb is a nightmare to is James Webb.

June 06, 2006


...how did everyone enjoy the end of the world?

Matthew 24:35-36: Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. "But of that day and hour no one knows, neither then angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."

June 6th, 2006, served as a great day for advertising (Ann Coulter's new book came out, as well as a remake of the classic horror film The Omen). It even became an excuse for a party in Hell, Michigan (eh, why not? At least they have made a positive out of what is perceived as a negative). But predicting the end of the world is an exercise in futility. The kids born today will likely turn out just fine and everyone seems to be accounted for.

And yet, I suspect there will be many more "Nostradamuses" trying to predict the end of the world.


Let's just ignore them and keep living. If the world is going to end, then it will. Do what you must always so that, should that day come, you can leave with no regrets.

June 05, 2006

Absolutely Disgusting

In what can only be described as one of the most inhuman practices ever conceived, the Westboro Baptist Church has been running a campaign recently of protesting at the funerals of American soldiers and stating that those deaths are God's payback for a culture that has become increasingly permissive of homosexuality. This is a problem on so many levels.

First, these "Christians" state that God hates homosexuals. It is generally (though not totally) accepted by Christians that homosexuality is a sin, and God hates the sin, not the sinner (and do not argue that this is not possible; it is quite common that people get mad at things that others do, but these actions may not change the feelings they have for each other). God has love for everyone. To suggest that God hates anyone is incredibly irresponsible. It (1) turns people off to Christianity and (2) likely does not affect the choices that homosexuals have made.

This "church" not only states that God hates homosexuals, but will also state that God hates people and organizations that show support for homosexuality. Thus, Westboro will purchase a new URL, usually of the form http://www.godhates______.com, and demonize the group. Criticism is one thing; stating that the Creator will incur damnation onto a group crosses the line.

They believe they have the divine call to treat homosexuals as less than human, rather than showing them their love and God's love. As Christians, we are called to make followers of the world, not enemies. The Westboro Baptist Church, by itself, might be able to reverse weeks, months, and perhaps years of hard and honest work. But what does that matter? They are evil and hated, never mind the fact that even the most liberal interpretations of God's Word would not support such a viewpoint.

Oh yeah, and then there is that little thing of Westboro's protests that take place at the funerals of American soldiers. These men and women make sacrifices we cannot begin to understand to protect us. Their loved ones do as well, and sometimes, that sacrifice proves itself a big one. It is never easy to face the death of a family member or friend, and for it to happen, most often, to someone so young, just makes the pain that much more difficult. These soldiers, and their family members, have given us more than we could ever hope to give back. They deserve our compassion and thanks.

What does Westboro do? Laugh at the death, believing that it is the next step to proving their cause. And to make matters worse, they make a public spectacle of themselves, as close to the funerals or memorials as legally possible. I have heard some liberal friends who think there is nothing wrong with being disruptive and disrespectful in a protest; I wonder if they would still express such a sentiment after hearing of this.

One parent has decided he will not take any more of this crap. And while I generally do not look favorably on lawsuits (as many these days are frivolous and self-serving), I am hopeful that Albert Snyder is successful. Using the deaths of soldiers for personal (or perhaps even political gain, *cough*cough*stopusingthedeathcount*cough*) is irresponsible and reprehensible.

Westboro Baptist Church? Sounds more like a cult to me.

June 02, 2006

New Stuff

The Virginia Blogosphere was certainly busy around my break. SST is no more. Will Vehrs is no longer blogging. Waldo set up another blog aggregator (how much free time does Waldo have? :) ). The Red Stater is no exception, as I have made a few (much smaller) changes here.

Speaking of the Virginia Political Blogs, Waldo was kind enough to invite The Red Stater to the list, not too long after I had to pull from the Charlottesville Blogs list (I still live in Virginia, but I am no longer a resident of Charlottesville, so it would be dishonest to remain on that list). That association is now noted on the sidebar, and I thank Waldo again, who, despite our obvious political differences, has still shown support for my continued blogging.

Secondly, with mutual links always hard to keep up with, I have added Technorati link for blogs that link to The Red Stater. This, I hope, will be of use to both readers and myself.

And of course, I have added the banners that go to the official website for George Allen's reelection campaign. All I am left wondering now is when the Allen campaign will add a "Wahoos for Allen" banner. Are they afraid they will lose the Hokie vote?

Are Webb and Miller relevant?

Here in Virginia, the politically astute are very aware of Senator Allen's potential competition in James Webb and Harris Miller. James Webb seems to be gathering support from bloggers and national figures, while Harris Miller has mostly been grabbing grassroots support. Some Democrats are getting very excited about the upcoming election, but the emphasis appears to be not on "excited", but on "some".

Earlier this week, I noted how both primary canddiates had very low marks in both favoribility and infavoribility, suggesting that most people are either not familiar with them or otherwise know very little about them. And people expect these two to challenge Senator Allen? The primary is just under two weeks away, and yet, if there is a turnout of 5%, it can be called a success. If James Webb and Harris Miller cannot excite anyone outside the base right now, how can they possibly be expected to beat George Allen? It is no secret that seemingly hopeless races tend to turn out that way, with turnout for the general elections even being lower. Senator Allen, while perhaps not the most popular Senator in America, still enjoys some decent approval ratings, and would place at least a formidable challenge in any race he entered.

What good can a race like this do for Virginia Democrats then? Well, even without a popular candidate, some Democrats have gotten very excited, and this excitement may produce some momentum for them. The "big mo" will be very important because Senator Allen very likely has two elections coming up in the next three years. George Allen will likely win in November (barring any catastrophic changes), but damage will be done, and with primaries and potentially a general election for the Presidency to follow, any attacks made on Allen this election cycle could be remembered for '08. If George Allen is the presidential candidate in two years, he will almost certainly need to win Virginia, as it is both a key red state from the last two presidential elections and it is his home state. And unlike this year, even a weak presidential candidate for the Democrats will still produce a stiff challenge, as such a competitor would make for a much stronger candidate than Miller or Webb, and as Allen will be continually linked with President Bush. Attacks on Allen that could become regular for a period of over two years will be hard to overcome, and even relative unknowns like Harris Miller and James Webb can start such a trend.

And I think this is even understood by Democrats at the national level. They believe that James Webb will be able to cut into George Allen, even more so than Harris Miller. As Webb worked in the Reagan administration, is a former Republican, and served with distinction in the Vietnam War, he likely will appear to have some solid ground to challenge George Allen, even as Webb will likely not be able to beat him. To the Democrats holding higher positions though, this may be what they are wishing for. They may be fully cognizant of Allen's likely retention of his seat, but a weakened Allen will be an easier prey by the next presidential election, all the better for Democrats looking at the White House.

Mind you, by no means do I believe that Senator Allen should slack off in this election. On the contrary, he should treat this race like all others; that is, it will be the hardest campaign he will ever have to fight. A decisive victory will be necessary if he wishes to move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Senator Allen is not only fully capable of maintaining his seat, but even a big favorite, and both Harris Miller and James Webb should fade into obscurity once more by December.

UPDATE 11:30 PM: Jim Hoeft at Bearing Drift notes that much of the negativity, rather counterproductively, is directed between Miller and Webb, and how the attacks on Miller, mostly being from bloggers such as Raising Kaine, could actually hurt James Webb's chances.

UPDATE 2 6/3 6:25 PM: Virginia Centrist disagrees. I might note that it seems likely that primary voters may be more likely to read these blogs then people who will note vote on June 13th, and that high levels of negativity by bloggers may prove to be a turn-off to them.

June 01, 2006

Who is it about really?

Allahpundit at Hotair:
Bronze Star, V for Valor. [Casey Sheehan] Killed after volunteering to be part of a Quick Reaction Force sent in to rescue U.S. troops under fire from Muqtada al-Sadr's goon squad. Here's his Wikipedia page. And here's mom's, which is a good three to four times as long.
Hmm, American hero gets a couple pages of coverage, while his mother gets nearly an entire chapter. Early on, Miss Sheehan tried to emphasize that her campaign was for her deceased son, but if that were truly the case, shouldn't resources have a lot more to say about her son who died in an "unjust war". Cindy Sheehan is simply clinging to her fifteen minutes now; this was never about her son but only a way to give Cindy a platform. She could not even be bothered to get a headstone for her son's grave until recently. It is a true shame that she would abuse her son's name like this.