Monday, October 25, 2004

End of Days

Via Majikthise:

James Dobson of Focus on the Family is stumping for Republican Senate candidate Tom Coburn. It's nice to see that Dobson putting his own constructive, loving, Christian stamp on the campaign.

Dobson said that Democratic candidate Brad Colson is a liar whose pro-gay agenda would doom humanity. He was careful to note that he was not "attacking the personhood" of the Democratic candidate.

"Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage," Dobson said.

"It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth."
Dobson went on:

"Patrick Leahy is a 'God's people' hater," Dobson said.

"I don't know if he hates God, but he hates God's people."
Coburn said that he respected Dobson and that he was proud to have his endorsement.

Sunday, October 24, 2004


Dalton turns 1 today.... 24th Premier of Ontario, 24th of October, Celebrating his 24 wedding anniversary tomorrow. The Toronto Star's Ian Urquhart tell us how the year went for Mr. Mcgunity.

Happy Birthday

I'd like to send a BIG SHOUT OUT to mother on her birthday today. The woman that gave me life, continues to give me support, and will always give me inspiration is turning one year older. The thing one realizes as they grow up and watch their parents become real people, is that the appreciation for family grows stronger. It was so much easier to take for granted the good, warm comfort of my mom's company when I saw her everyday; It has become harder, now, since I don't get to see her as often as I would like—and I'm sure as often as she would prefer.

But what grows stronger each day, although it's expressed in a subtler way, is the enduring appreciation and love I will always have for her. When my days are dark and my nights are bleak, I think of the strength of will embodied in my mother's spirit, that quiet perseverance that asks of other little, but gives to all much more. That quiet perseverance that struggles tirelessly, and, in the end, is rewarded tremendously. I celebrate my mother’s birthday for it is the day that made my life possible.

Thanks Mom,

Love Ron.


The execution style killing of 50 Iraqi troops is emblematic of the futility of perspective. Am I willing to stomach the daily missives of carnage and bloodshed flowing from Iraq? Or, do I disengage from this absurdity of being an informed citizen of the world. But really, within my area of influence the things upon which I can effect change seems so trifling. In me is this inflated sense of importance, as though what I write or what I do would have any impact on the diplomatic minutiae that dictates the machine of international affairs.

Yet the slow, worn path to change seemingly fools one's efforts, changing perspectives of goodness and justice. Do I unnecessarily demand of human nature what it can't express and embody categorically? Am I too optimistic, rationalizing what of the world should be a paradigm for my doctrinaire wishes? If I cannot convince the other man, persuade the other man, do I compel the other man to do as I desire—or at least what I deem human nature should aspire to? Are these histories of human nature a narrative of the only principle that inheres our ontology: Force?

Sheer physical force and the will to power are intoxicating and eternal. Force is met with force is met with force is met with force. Whether it be proportional, heinous, incredible, it never really is inhuman. To put the point crudely, as bleak as it is, dying and killing for what we believe is human.

Take that, Take that...

P.Diddy on the electoral importance of the swing states:

"If you are going to play the game, you need to play it all the way," Combs said in a telephone interview Saturday. "And if you talking about flexing your power, and you ain't flexing in the swing states, then you ain't flexing your power."

After almost going to prison on gun charges, Sean "P.Diddy" Combs has carefully crafted a new public persona of engaged, civic citizenship; in no small part due to the help from one of New York's finest public relations firms.

The real Che

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the Reviewer do not reflect those of the staff at The Strawman.

Anytime I'm in the mood for a mean-spirited diatribe from a priggish Conservative journal, I puruse the New Criterion. In a light and, at the same time, pointed piece, Anthony Daniels gives us his take on The Motorcycle Dairies, a film by Brazilian Director Walter Salles on social revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara. These are the passages that stuck out as gratuitously harsh.

It [the film] relies for its effect upon the fact that audiences will all know a minimum about Guevara: for example, that he was a social revolutionary who died in the jungles of Bolivia, and never made a penny for himself. But they will otherwise know little of his actual opinions or actions, and will not have read his tedious and inflexibly dogmatic speeches and writings. It is as if someone were to make a film about Adolf Hitler by portraying him as a vegetarian who loved animals and was against unemployment.


The film clearly intends to suggest that Guevara was a youthful idealist, and that his idealism—so generous, so disarming—was the source of his later opinions and activities, such as his liberal and open-handed signing of death sentences after perfunctory trials, his support of regimes that had killed millions and scores of millions, and his wish that much of the population of the world should be immolated in a nuclear war for the sake of an alleged point of principle. The film is thus the cinematic equivalent of the Che Guevara T-shirt; it is morally monstrous and emotionally trivial.


In presenting Guevara as a romantic figure, generous and compassionate rather than ruthlessly priggish and self-centered, and by suggesting that he has anything to teach us other than negatively, the director is guilty of mendacity of a very high order. The film is an exercise in moral frivolity and exhibitionism, self-congratulation, of course, opportunism. It should sell as well as Guevara T-shirts.

Yeats on Current Affairs

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

W.B. Yeats

Good Copps, Mad Copps

Available over at Coyne are some excerpts from Sheila Copps hotly anticipated political memoir, Worth Fighting For. As chance would have it, I've also come across a juicy excerpt from the memoir.


Don Boudria and I had just finished watching Jurassic Park, and weren’t planning on watching the backend of that early evening drive-in feature. It was late summer of 1993, and Don's Ford Taurus made the heat even more unbearable. "Goddammit”, I hissed, as Don quickly rolled down the windows. "For a new car, it wouldn't have been too much to splurge on some AC", I continued. Always meek—a quality I found so endearing in Don—he softly stammered "But honey, the nights' air will cool us".

Don was such a sweet man, with his thinning, chestnut brown hair traversing his delicately shaped round head. That moustache, full and shapely, gave his awkward manner a subtle yet distinguished charm. "Don", I asked, "why is Paul such an unprincipled flip-flop?" Slowly patting the sweat off his brow, and reaching forward for the orange Slurpee ensconced in the cup holder, Don turned to me and said, in a hushed tone, "Shelia.... I love you". That night, I stopped talking about Paul; actually, we didn't really do much talking at all.

This is a rather tellingly romantic excerpt from Copps, to be sure.

Funniest Moment Ever

Just now I witnessed one of those rare moments people don't get the chance to see on live T.V. Jessica Simpson's younger, and I'm now assuming less talented, sister Ashlee was to perform her incessantly over played hit Pieces of Me; although, like the l'affaire O'Conner, something else happened. As soon as Ashlee Simpson opened her mouth to bellow out a note, the recorded vocals lost all volume.

Apparently, Ashlee wasn't planning on actually singing the song. Embarrassed by the utter humiliation of the incident, Ashlee feigned a slight self-deprecating smirk, did a little jig, and promptly bounced off stage as her band continued to play the instrumentals. NBC quickly cut to commercial.

Update: The explanation from Ashlee Simpson, at shows end, was that her band played the wrong song. How likely is that?

Saturday, October 23, 2004


I'm over at Dominion Weblog for how ever long they'll have me, so check out this quick write up on Leadership I authored. I'm pluggin me! Cool!

Reasonable Doubt

I've just finally gotten around to reading the Ron Suskind article in last Sunday's New York Times Magazine and found it trenchant. It's not difficult so see how incredibly important Bush's presidency has been to the Christian evangelical movement in the US. It's also not difficult to see how monumental a second Bush term will be to religiosity in American and the cultural wars in general. What struck me, though, was a rarely unmentioned and vitally crucial fact when contemplating a second Bush term: A stronger tilt to a Conservative Jurisprudence.

This passage best intones my fears:

He said that there will be an opportunity to appoint a Supreme Court justice shortly after his inauguration, and perhaps three more high-court vacancies during his second term.

''Won't that be amazing?'' said Peter Stent, a rancher and conservationist who attended the luncheon. ''Can you imagine? Four appointments!''

Constitutional debates about privacy and the revisiting of Roe v. Wade, as well as the ability of congress to compel more transparency of the executive on issues of national security, especially in these times of tumult, are inevitable.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

God's Word

Early this morning, while I was forcing myself to wake up, an excerpt from a Tuesday night interview with Pat Robertson aired on CNN. What transpired before my dreary eyes was what I thought at first to be a rarity, though-- then realizing that I was still half in slumber-- I concluded it was just about right. Pat Robertson was selling out Bush on Iraq.

Mr. Robertson characterized Bush's sentiments about Operation Iraqi freedom as, "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties", which I find, even for a dolt like Bush, a large stretch.

Either Robertson is trying to cover his holy ass for what seems to be the likely aftermath of a Bush loss--undoubtedly chilling the incredible influence the Christian Right has in the White house-- or Bush actually said those words and Robertson picked far too late a time to go public with this revelation-- these two propositions aren't mutually exclusive.

The White house has, naturally, denied that Bush every made such comments, calling Robertson's remarks a "misunderstanding" of the conversation. Nevertheless, Robertson hasn't been one to shy away from inane commentary:

In January, Robertson told viewers during his "700 Club" television program that God had told him Bush would win re-election in a blowout." In the CNN interview, Robertson said he believes Bush will win by a "razor-thin" margin but a substantial Electoral College (news - web sites) victory

Remember, this is the same guy who implored the Lord, in not so many words, to end the life of a Supreme Court Justice(s) who struck down the sodomy laws in Texas as unconstitutional.

Monday, October 18, 2004


Apparently, the War in Iraq isn't only going swimmingly, but US force levels aren't being compromised. Oh wait, that's not actually true. Via Yglesias.