Saturday, May 12, 2007

Interesting Observations by NLS

Not Larry Sabato talks about how the GOP hold on the senate is looking stronger and stronger.

You know, Ben over at NLS and I do not agree on a lot of things politically, but at least he is able to make observations from a more objective point-of-view, and that is something I appreciate from him.

Good example of this is the Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis/Chap Petersen race, which more than a few Democratic bloggers believe will be a runaway victory for Chap Petersen, despite Davis' obvious ties and well-organized campaign machine. I agree with Ben that this race is a total toss-up and may be one of the most interesting ones in

Although, win-or-lose, Chap's Ox Road South blog is a great read and I do recommend it.

If Davis does win, I hope her PR advisor tells her and her husband, Tom Davis, NOT to ever take pictures in matching clothes again.

Just Because I'm Fair...

An anonymous comment was left on my abortion post from Friday. I accidentally deleted it, but I felt it wouldn't be fair to just say "oh well" and let it be, even though the person did not agree with me. Unfortunately, I'm unable to retrieve the text.

They made a pretty good argument about the medical benefits of a partial-birth abortion. There were a few "you're ignorant to the subject" and "you're just spewing rhetoric" comments sprinkled in there, but about 60-70% of the comment was informative to varying degrees.

I do want to say to this anonymous poster that the procedure does not make me squeamish, it makes me sick, and I have a strong stomach for watching these things. I simply believe in a certain level of humanity when it comes to these types of procedures. I need not speak to a doctor about the procedure when I'm simply talking how the procedure is performed, and whether or not it is a humane act.

I particularly don't care if this act of partial-birth abortion were to cure cancer, AIDS, altzheimer's, Parkinson's, and contribute to world peace...there has to be a better and more humane way, and I believe better ways can be found through research.

Simply put, that's my moral belief. You're free to disagree, "anonymous", but I'm pretty well set on this one.

Friday, May 11, 2007

What Goes Around...

I hope that many of the Democratic bloggers and pundits realize that their tone comes across a bit arrogant when they believe that liberals will control 2/3rds of the Government come January of 2009, and that somehow this reign of power will last 10-20 years at the bare minimum.

It was the same arrogance that helped to bring down the Republican party as they strove for a "permanent majority" in Congress, and later The White House. That ended last November...and a large part of the reason was a certain arrogance that came with the power that the Republicans gained between 1994 and 2000.

It was also that same arrogance from the Democrats that helped bring about the 1994 Republican Revolution in the first place.

Considering approval ratings of the Democratic-controlled Congress are only a few percentage points away from Bush's ratings right now, Democrats really have little to be joyous about. Listening to the bloggers and pundits from the left, who are ever the optimists about their own'd think their approval ratings were easily in the 60's.

The Democrats must be careful. It was this same attitude that carried Bill Clinton to a win in 1992, and then cost them Congress in 1994. The party is coming across as fake, malevolent, single-minded, ineffective, and indifferent to many voters, who feel the party is not holding to their 2006 campaign promises as well as only focusing on bringing down the Bush administration instead of "reaching across the aisle"...and their hopes for gains in 2008 are only buoyed by Republican missteps.

There is a reason that, for the past 39 years, 27 of those years have seen a Republican as President...and out of the 12 years with a Democrat as President, 6 of those had a Republican majority in Congress.

And the 4 most miserable years for our country (Jimmy Carter's term) just happened to coincide with the last large Democratic majority in Congress...mere coincidence? I think not...

Democrats beware...your overconfidence may be part of your eventual pitfall.

A Thought on Partial-Birth Abortion

Many libs and feminists are mad that the ban on partial-birth abortions has been upheld as constitutional. Some subscribe to the theory that upholding this ban injects "rigid Catholicism" into the Constitution. Of course, that's pretty typical...if you take a moral stand against something, liberals turn it into a religious stand. There is a difference between having a moral base and a religious base.

This atrocious procedure is supported by people who believe that torturing terrorists for interrogation purposes is inhumane, but killing a partially-born infant is not. Even Democratic politicians have considered the procedure to be "close to infanticide"...but still support it as a political position.

Abortion is really not a "hot button" issue for me, although it is an issue for other conservatives. However, I believe that there is a place where a line has to be drawn, a place where the practices of abortion go to far. Partial-birth abortion is part of that line.

A woman has a right to choose...but I personally believe that there are so many options out there, abortion should be the exception and not the rule. There are other options, like giving the baby up for adoption, morning-after pills, giving the baby up for adoption, early-term abortions, giving the baby up for see what I'm getting at?

Did I mention that they could give the baby up for adoption?

Of course, that would mean a complete overhaul of social services, but that's a subject all it's own...

Click here to see a video about celebrating a life that a partial-birth abortion would've taken away. This clip hits close-to-home with me, especially because I have a toddler at home, and he is the greatest thing I've ever done with my life.

h/t to Mason Conservative for the clip.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Thoughts on Barack Obama

You know, I used to drink the Barack Obama kool-aid. When he gave that magnificent speech at the 2004 DNC, I was among the millions who swooned at the idea of someone who wanted to focus on reunited our sharply-divided nation. His speech became the point of no return for Obama himself, as he had not solidified himself as the "future" of the Democratic Party.

At first, this gave me hope for the party of John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, and Harry Reid. I thought that maybe he would usher in an era of younger, more centrist Democrats who would break away from the party lockstep and force the stalwart Dems to change their tune.

Almost 3 years since that magnificent, rallying speech...and nothing. Obama has become part of the party machine instead of changing the machine. He pretty much votes liberal-down-the-line. He's an eloquent speaker, and seems cool under pressure...but he speaks in broad tones and loves to talk about "hope" and "promise", without defining what he will do to deliver "hope" and "promise". In fact, he's barely defined his idea of "hope" and "promise".

He and Deval Patrick (Democratic governor of Massachusetts) have used the same playbook, so far. It worked for Patrick in the 2006 campaign, but his lack of political experience has come through, and Patrick's once soaring approval ratings are now tanking. Patrick has seen his approval ratings slump to well below 50% in one of the most Democratic states in the nation. His job approval rating in an April showed that 45% polled thought he was doing a Below-Average/Poor job as Governor, compared to only 31% saying he was doing an "Above-Average/Excellent" job. This is mainly because Patrick, who had lots of Obama's style and eloquence, lacked political experience and substance beyond the style.

Obama, whose political experience equals 3 terms in the Illinois State Senate and 4 years in the U.S. Senate (he hasn't finished his first term), needs to show people that he has solid political stances on individual issues, and deliver that in his speeches and statements. His relative lack of experience at the federal level is his achilles heel right now, and he needs to overcome that with policy initiatives that are sensible and appealing to both sides of the aisle.

Now, as a person, I have no problem with Obama. In fact, I would love to sit down at a poker table with him, Fred Thompson, and Glenn Beck, and just talk politics and society while playing cards, smoking cigars and drinking a good brand of scotch or gin. Obama is a likeable guy, from what I've gathered from listening to him and watching his demeanors. He seems like someone who you could talk to and debate with, and not have to deal with agitation of feelings or opinions.

I'm not going to be like some of my fellow conservatives and use Obama's full name (Barack Hussein Obama) as some sort of subliminal or satirical ploy to denigrate Obama, as I feel that he really hasn't done anything to deserve denigration...except for that "10,000 died" comment last night...that was outright ludicrious. Other than that, I really can't complain about outrageous or ignorant comments coming from the man's mouth.

However, given what I've read through his voting record, and his relative lack of political experience, and the needs of our country right now...I just don't think Obama (or any of the Democratic candidates, for that matter) is the right choice. However, I do think that in comparison to Hillary Clinton and John Edwards (the other two front-runners), I prefer Obama.

Power From Offshore - Either Way, It's A Good Thing

A recent WaPo article spoke of "Windmill Farms" being built offshore in Delaware, and possibly Maryland and Virginia. The ideas that have been proposed are fairly interesting. Large groups of wind-powered turbines built anywhere between 6 and 11 miles off the Atlantic coast. If this kind of power source can create a sufficient amount of power, I can see the sense in this option to provide power to Americans.

However, I would like to know what kind of damage these turbines can sustain during a hurricane, as they would be in a good place for those hurricanes that tend to hang along the coast and wreak all kinds of havoc. If these turbines can be built to withstand at least a category 4 hurricane, then I can see this as a very feasible option.

However, I do believe that since we are an oil/petroleum-based society energy-wise, until we can find a sufficient, cost-effective, reasonable way to ween ourselves off of oil drilling is a viable option. Simply put, we have to reduce our dependence on foreign oil first, then we can reduce our dependence on oil in general.

However, these offshore "Windmill Farms" are an interesting idea.

When Democrats Stretch The Truth...

...they stretch it BIG TIME!

As Barack Obama said in Richmond yesterday...

"In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died - an entire town destroyed."

Now, first of all, 12 people died...and the town's entire population was 1,600. So nothing in the statistical analysis of this town could approach the number "10,000". So, it's not like he meant to say "10,000 homes destroyed", or "10,000 people injured", or even "10,000 civilians displaced from their homes".

He simply came up with that number. Wonder what the liberal spin will be on this quote.

I did notice that Vivian J. Paige didn't bother to mention this tidbit of information, either, in her report on the event. Whether or not she noticed his gaffe and chose to ignore it, or was simply caught up in "Obama Fever" and didn't catch that he said this, I don't know...but I did notice it's lack of mention.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Blogosphere Battle Royal

Man-oh-man, has it been a whirlwind week in the Virginia blogosphere.

---> Nate de la Piedra and Greg at Daily Whackjob got into it over Nate's view of apparent racist comments (Greg jokingly calls me a beaner, Nate didn't like that, even though I have no problem with it because I know Greg's intentions when he says it). This, in return, ended up with Greg questioning the validity of de la Piedra's "New Generation Democrats" PAC. Then, NLS got into the fray, reporting Greg's findings. Things eventually settled down when Greg allowed Nate to clear things up on Daily Whackjob. However, I still wish Nate

---> Raising Kaine and NLS have taken issue with BlogNetNews's ranking system, stating that it is completely unfair. Ben over at NLS also didn't like BNN's using the first paragraph or so of his blog's articles in the BNN feed...even though Dave Mastio (who runs BNN Virginia) states that this is well within copyright laws to quote something that is public.

This, as well as some other issues NLS has with Dave Mastio, has caused NLS to remove his RSS feed completely in protest. Even though in the latest rankings, Raising Kaine was number 1, and NLS was number 4. This has led to a few other Liberal blogs to leave BNN (VBDems, GOTV, others). While I respect their decision, a lot of the cries of "unfair" have come because of the rise of the CASTLE bloggers...many of which happen to be part of the much larger (and and much more influential) ODBA...this is a fact that many have failed to notice. However, it should be noted that the CASTLE blogs do tend to link to each other and contribute to each other's "influence index" on BNN.

Now that NLS and RK have decided to pick up their ball and go home because the right-wing blogs are growing in popularity, now the lefties and the CASTLE blogs are going at each other a bit. Personally, I agree with the anonymous post at NLS that stated that NLS is "cutting off the nose to spite the face".

---> A smaller subsection of the CASTLE blogs, "Bloggers4Sayre", now have a bit of a problem with The New Dominion, an online publication with some facets of a blog, but more of a news/op-ed site. Now, I get to be privy to this little back-and-forth, as this whole "Now At The Podium" blog formed out of my weekly "Now At The Podium" columns over at The New Dominion, so I have some interest in this little spat.

Bloggers4Sayre have been pro-active in attempting to get Scott Sayre nominated for the 24th Senate District over incumbent Emmett Hanger. They've raised some excellent points about Hanger getting a lot of outside-the-district contributions, and that Hanger has made some questionable statements about the grassroots and the Sayre supports. Chris Graham at The New Dominion has brought up that half of the Bloggers4Sayre do not live within the district either. Chris Green (Spank That Donkey) went on The New Dominion's podcast, and from that podcast grew an article where Graham questioned the "non-nastiness" of some of the photoshopped images that have become popular amongst the Bloggers4Sayre.

So now, it seems that there will be a few interesting commentaries on both sides that should follow. Probably nothing of a vicious nature, but some entertainment and hopefully some informative blogging should be in the well as a few little verbal jabs, just for some spice.

Nonetheless, it seems like the cauldron that is the Virginia Blogosphere has begun to really bubble and froth with these types of incidents. While this is typical "Nature of the Blog", it's interesting, and slightly amusing, that all of this came about within the same 5-day timeframe.

Muslims Making Demands at GMU

I read this story first at Little Green Footballs.

Apparently, the Muslim Student Association at George Mason University demand certain accomodations. They caused a near-riot during a speech by John Lewis, and now they're demanding that the school create an an individual prayer room on campus for Muslims to pray. Basically, they want place for religious purposes on the campus of a public university, at the cost of taxpayer dollars.

They're already using the school's "Quiet Meditation Room", and have taken to kicking out non-Muslims who wish to use the room with their shoes on, and they separate males and females, even if they are non-Muslims.

Where are the left's cries for separation of church and state on this issue? Why do Muslim students believe their needs trump those of the rest of the university? I would think that the university would immediately state that they can't honor these demands due to the fact that if they accomodate one religion, they would have to provide similar accomodations to all religions...something I know the school, the alumni, and the taxpayers are not going to be willing to do.

There are many mosques in Northern Virginia, it's not like they don't have places off-campus to worship. If the problem is a lack of places to worship, why not go to one of their local mosques? That's what many Christian and Jewish students do.

Hopefully, the school will do the fair thing...and tell them that it is not the school's place to provide accomodations of this nature for religious reasons.

Jumping To The Right A Bit

I have officially joined the Fred Thompson movement.

Watch this interview, and tell me this guy isn't an inspiration to conservative voters who may have been disillusioned or disenchanted with the party.

I've been inching closer and closer to switching my support from Rudy Guiliani to Fred Thompson for weeks now, as I've said before. However, it's time to throw my support behind Fred Thompson. I'm convinced that this man, more than any other candidate, has America's best interests in mind.

Call it "conservative fever", call it "wishing for Reagan", call it whatever you want. I want this man to be my President. So, until either Thompson decides not to run, or he is not nominated...the Podium endorses Fred Thompson for U.S. President.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Weekly Podium: "Guiltmongering"

Republicans (and to a larger extent, conservatives in general) are called many names by supporters of the opposite front (Democrats/liberals). Whether you surf the web for blogs, listen to Air America, or read certain authors...there are certain words that have become part of the cultural lexicon when referring to those of the right-wing.

Racists. Hatemongers. Warmongers. Fearmongers. Elitists. Gun-Nuts. Homophobics. Religious Zealots.

These are all names that I have seen used to describe conservatives, and that’s just within the past week. Not to say that the conservatives aren't guilty of throwing out their own epithets towards liberals at times, but this type of terminology is very popular and very commonplace, especially the use of "insert-epithet-here"-monger. If one wants to bash conservatives, one of the most common ways they do so is to pick a word and end it with the suffix "monger". Lately, I've found myself feeling under attack as an American citizen with conservative views. I feel like I am being "guilt-tripped" for not buying into the hype about the supposed “climate crisis”, for not being outraged at what Don Imus said, or for supporting the troop surge until we can at least see if the situation does indeed improve.

This tactic is known as "guiltmongering."

It's true, it seems like Democrats and leftists everywhere are attempting to make you feel guilty, especially conservatives. Democrats in general want you to feel guilty for voting for George W. Bush twice. Al Gore wants you to feel guilty for the size of your "carbon footprint", even if his personal “footprint” is 20 times the size of yours. Sheryl Crow wants you to feel guilty for using more than one square of toilet paper.

If you support any of the Republican candidates for President (sans Mitt Romney), you get a guilt trip laid upon you for supporting a jowly, old white man instead of the more "progressive" choice. Now, to those who lay this guilt trip on you, progression simply means "Democrats who aren't middle-aged white men". Whether it's race (Barack Obama), gender (Hillary Clinton), or high-maintenence grooming (John Edwards)...they want you to feel guilty for your apparent lack of "progression".

You are made to feel guilty because you aren't on the same side of the fence as they are. If you support more responsible welfare, you don't care about the poor. If you don't believe in a socialized, heavily bureaucratic health care system...then you are against providing medical care to the uninsured. If you're against abortion, then you're against women's rights. If you're against tax increases, then you're against "progress".

Also, why is it that the term "progressive" has been made synonymous with the word "liberal"? I guess that's also another way of guilt-tripping conservatives...guilt-trip them for their apparent lack of "forward movement". Tradition and simplicity have no place in a "progressive" society.

According to at least one blogger I've seen, if you prefer to have a white male as a roommate, you're also a racist.

So why the guilt? Why is it that, instead of selling me on your viewpoints, you attempt to guilt-trip me on my own. This is the tactical mistake of the Democrats, in my own opinion. You can't make people feel bad for beliefs they have most likely formed through their own life experiences. It works for short-term gains, but can be harmful to your cause over the course of time.

A less-explicit example of guiltmongering occurred recently in the state of Virginia. We all agree that slavery is a horrible scar that was left on our nation‘s history and heritage. However, I find it amazing that both the state of Virginia, and the University of Virginia, took it upon themselves to apologize for their individual contributions to slavery. Well, while these apologies are all good and nice, it's odd that we are humbling ourselves to the point of apologizing for actions that took place over 140 years ago.

Let me somewhat retract that's odd that the state is humbling itself for actions that took place over 140 years ago. I'm not apologizing for anything. My mother's side of the family was not even in this country during the time of slavery, and the only members of my father's side of the family fought for the Union in the Civil War.

You don't need to apologize for me, Virginia, for my ancestors did not own slaves. In fact, even if I had ancestors who did own slaves, it's neither my place or yours to apologize for the decisions they made in a world that barely resembles the one we live in today.

Some have said that these "apologies" will "open up discussion about the ills of slavery". What discussion is there left to be had? It was wrong, it was abolished, it had long-lasting repercussions that lasted until late in the 20th century, and we teach children about the horrors of slavery in every history/social studies class from elementary school to high school. These are things that most people can agree upon. Let's be "progressive", and move on to the future of both our commonwealth and our country.

I single out environmentalists for using "guiltmongering" tactics because it's one of their main weapons of choice. Among their "fearmongering" tactics of using scary words and depictions of the future ("climate crisis", Erik Curren's "doomsday scenario"), and their complete dismissal of dissenting opinions (despite the fact that I have literally read over 100 different reports that state that Global Warming is not the catastrophic event we are told it is), environmentalists like to use guilt as a way of pushing their agenda.

They make you feel guilty about the car you drive, your participation (or lack thereof) in recycling programs, and how much toilet paper you use. They want you to feel guilty because your like your home to be 2 degrees warmer than "environmentally acceptable" in the winter, and 2 degrees cooler than "environmentally acceptable" in the summer. It is through guilt (and a bit of fear), that these people want to control what you do, when you do it, and how you do it.

There are those who attempt to invoke feelings of guilt amongst conservative Christians, and force concepts of “acceptance” and “flexibility” when it comes to religions such as Islam. Let it be known, I have no problem with people practicing their religion. It is a wonderful right that is part of the principles that our country was founded upon. However, when someone like Virginia Attorney General Bob McConnell gets attacked for studying law at Regents University, and gets lampooned for first finding out about it on the 700 Club…it becomes an attack on the religious sensibilities of many people. It creates an atmosphere where people are reluctant to express their Christian faith, for fear of ridicule and guilt. That, my friends, is a shame.

Are all Democrats, socialists, and liberals guilty of this? Of course not, there are plenty of people on the “other side of the fence” that can make their points in a clear, concise, non-inflammatory manner. However, it’s the ones that use guilt and fear in place of fact and reason that bother me. Whether you’re right-wing, left-wing, or third-wing…it should bother you, too.

Nobody should be made to feel guilty when they haven’t done anything wrong.

WaPo Critical of Dems

The Democrats refuse to support pro-Bush allies.

You know the situation has gotten pretty ridiculous when the Washington Post is the one telling these Democrats "you're alienating our allies".

It has not been a good time for Democratic agendas...Sarkozy is elected in France and an Islamist withdrew from the election in Turkey. Oddly enough, as the Democrats rose into power with cries of Bush's alienation of our allies in leaders have started popping up in Europe. Markel in Germany, Sarkozy in France, and it appears that Italy may be having a shift in leadership to a more pro-American government.

By the way, how can Raising Kaine and Richmond Democrat both claim Sarkozy is a "progressive democrat" when he is generally a right-winger who wants to cut taxes and deport illegal immigrants...not to mention takes a hard-line stance against crime and terrorism. He also likes America. I don't see Sarkozy being the type of ally to the Democratic cause that Jacques Chirac was.