Archive for January, 2004

Combs Cleared

Saturday, January 31st, 2004

F. Michael Combs, a UT music professor, former Faculty Senate President, and former faculty advisor for the UT College Republicans, has been cleared of wrongdoing, the Knoxville New-Sentinel reports. Combs had been accused of raping a young man at his house earlier this month, but it appears that charge was completely unfounded. This is certainly good news for Professor Combs, as well at UT, which can hardly afford another black eye. We’ll see if Comb’s accuser now faces any charges, which he certainly should, in my opinion.

While you’re at the News-Sentinel, be sure to check out this article, which defines blogs, as well as this article about Glen Reynolds, the grandaddy of all bloggers.

A History of the American People

Friday, January 30th, 2004

I finished reading Paul Johnson’s 976 page epic, A History of the American People. Johnson is a prominent British historian who has authored such books as Modern Times, A History of Christianity, A History of the Jews, as well as the recently released Art: A New History, as well as many more.

A History of the American People is the first book I’ve read by Johnson, and I must say I was very impressed. Johnson doesn’t go into boring or meaningless detail, nor does he spend time trying to be Politically Correct. In this book, he explains what Colonial America was all about, as well as shows the Founding Fathers as real people, not “dead white men.” He exposes their faults, but also illustrates the undeniable fact that these men were some of the greatest visionaries in their time, or any other time for that matter. He articulates their ideas of individualism, as well as their views on the proper role of government.

Throughout the 1800s, he takes us on a ride through Jacksonian Democracy, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Wild West. His views of the 20th Century, however, are sure to be the most controversial. He shatters the myth of the New Deal, and is harshly critical of FDR. He takes it even a step further than most of FDR’s critics. While most of them criticize the New Deal, yet praise Roosevelt’s leadership on foreign policy, Johnson goes so far as to compare FDR to hapless British PM Neville Chamberlain, who ironically proclaimed “peace in our time,” following his treaty with Hitler in 1939.

Johnson is also very critical of Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, JFK, LBJ, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton (where his history ends in 1997). Among the presidents he seems to admire: Calvin Coolidge (whom he describes as being highly underrated – which I agree with), Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon (hear that, Dems?), and Ronald Reagan. He isn’t a “raging right-winger” however, as he does denounce Ann Coulter’s hero, Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

Johnson’s insight into American history is particularly amazing considering that he is British, and never learned much about American History as a youth. Johnson has certainly does his homework on this tome.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in history. It may take a while to read, but it is very worth your while.

Kerry Keeps Rolling

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004

John Kerry has won the New Hampshire primary, defeating Howard Dean and everyone else fairly easily. It now appears as though Kerry will be the Democratic nominee. Yeah, yeah, I know… I predicted Kerry would lose both primaries. We can’t be right all the time, though.

John Edwards failed to impress in New Hampshire, but he should be the favorite to win South Carolina. If so, the race will come down to him and Kerry. Dean has no chance in SC, but if he can win some states on Super Tuesday, he would still have an outside shot at winning. General Wesley Clark hasn’t done very well, and his ideal matchup would have been against Dean. Look for Clark to fade out..

Shooting Club off to Great Start

Friday, January 23rd, 2004

The UT Shooting Club, recently started by Nathan Fortner, held its first meeting tonight, and can only be considered an unqualified success. Approximately 40 people attended, surpassing even Nathan’s expectations. All the offices have now been filled, and the club looks for an exciting semester. Long terms goals include getting NRA recognition, field trips, and forming a shooting team to compete on the NCAA level. It’ll be interesting to see how welcoming the UT administration will be of this group.

Second Amendment enthusiasts now have a club all their own at UT. Who knows… maybe I’ll even take up shooting.

Hanson on Iraq

Thursday, January 22nd, 2004

One of my favorite historians, Victor Davis Hanson, has a great column at National Review Online about the situation in Iraq. Hanson answers most of the complaints launched by the President’s critics. It’s a great column, and I recommend reading checking it out.

posted Friday, 23 January 2004

Conservatives Vs President Bush

Thursday, January 22nd, 2004

My column ran today, which is pretty much a continuation of my column from last week. I’ve received mostly positive reaction to it, which I’m always happy to get.

Another column ran today, which caught my attention. That column was written by Le Evans, who’s column also usually runs on Thursdays. I often disagree with Evan’s views, but I respect his opinions, and he is an excellent writer. I normally read his columns.

In any event, his column today was particularly interested, as it dealt with conservatives who are disgruntled with President Bush’s massive expansions of domestic policies. I am one of those conservatives. Evans speculates as to whether conservatives may stay home during the election. He seemed to suggest that, though they may not be thrilled, ultimately they will go to the polls and vote for Bush. I tend to agree with this assessment. Bush is not very conservative on many issues (immigration, Medicare, etc.), but he is certainly more conservative than any of the Democrats running for president. Don’t look for another Ross Perot to emerge this year.

The long terms effects of big government conservative may be more serious, however. If the government continues to expand at it’s current rate with Republicans controlling both houses of Congress and the Presidency, conservatives may slowly bolt. Where will they go? Perhaps to the Libertarian Party, or perhaps to some other party. For the good of the Republican Party (not to mention the country as a whole), Bush and the Congressional Republicans need to return to their principles of limited government.

Combs Resigns from Board of Trustees

Thursday, January 22nd, 2004

F. Michael Combs, citing the need to spend more time with his family, resigned from the UT Board of Trustees Wednesday. The music professor is also facing investigation from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office on rape charges.

I was very surprised to hear this. Dr. Combs had served as faculty advisor for the College Republicans the entire time I’ve been involved in the organization, having only resigned last month. Even so, I only met Combs once, during the now infamous meeting between the CR officers and the Issues Committee officers, with Dean Thompson, so I don’t know Combs personally, but I am shocked by the investigation. We’ll see how this develops.

Sukhmani’s Column

Tuesday, January 20th, 2004

My friend and fellow columnist Sukhmani Singh Khalsa’s column ran today, which included criticism of former UT College Republicans Chairman John McGary, for his handling of the incident with the Issues Committee. As I sit on the CRs Executive Board, I won’t comment on this except to say that I don’t blame Sukhmani at all.

Bush Makes Recess Appointment

Saturday, January 17th, 2004

It’s good to finally see some movement on Bush’s judicial nominees, even if it is only one of them. The Democrats predictably resorted to lying about Pickering, which is nothing new for them. Look for them to continue to throw temper tantrums.

Webmaster John!

Friday, January 16th, 2004

I just gave a major facelift to my website. I think it’s a major improvement. Check it out.

Also, I’m acting as unofficial webmaster for the College Republicans, at least for now. The CRs website has moved back to its original site, as www.utcollegerepublicans.org is no longer affiliated with the organization. Please update bookmarks and links!