Archive for October, 2004

Wake Up With the King

Monday, October 18th, 2004

This commercial really creeps me out. If I woke up in the morning and there was a guy in a king costume next to me handing me free food, I’d beat the crap out him. But that’s just me.

UPDATE: Jason Piho offers insight into this commercial.

Wake Up With the King

Monday, October 18th, 2004

This commercial really creeps me out. If I woke up in the morning and there was a guy in a king costume next to me handing me free food, I’d beat the crap out him. But that’s just me.

UPDATE: Jason Piho offers insight into this commercial.

State by State Breakdown, Part Two

Monday, October 18th, 2004

Okay, Bush did really badly in yesterday’s breakdown, as the Electoral College scoreboard stands at Kerry 100, Bush 1. Let’s see how he does in the South!

Maryland: (10) I know, it’s not exactly Southern (though some Marylanders would no doubt disagree), but it is south of the Mason Dixon line. The suburbs of Washington, DC, plus Baltimore have made Spiro Agnew’s home state a solid Democrat state.

My call: Gore won by 17 here. Kerry by double digits.

Delaware: (3) Like Maryland, this state is a solid Blue state.

My call: Gore won here by 13. Two polls show Kerry up by single digits. Since I have no reason to dispute these polls, I’ll say Kerry by single digits.

West Virginia: (5) It was a major upset when Bush defeated Gore in West Virginia in 2000. This mountainous, rural, and culturally conservative state is very Democratic. Why? Because of the coal miner’s unions. 60% of West Virginians are registered Democrats, versus only 29% who are registered Republicans. Democrats control both Senate seats, the governor’s mansion, 2 of the 3 Congressional seats, and both houses of the State Legislature.

My call: In order for Bush to win here, he must get every Republican, all the independents, and at least one-third of Democrats. Sounds like a tall order, doesn’t it? It will happen. Bush in a squeaker.

Virginia: (13) Bush won by 8 here in 2000. Virginia is a Republican state, but the Democrats do appear to be gaining ground. It won’t be enough, though.

My call: Bush by single digits.

North Carolina: (15) One would think that the home state of John Edwards would be in play. When Kerry picked Edwards as his running mate, most thought he would have a decent shot at carrying the state. Unfortunately for him, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Edwards was never particularly popular in NC (his reelection to the Senate would have been very tough), and it shows in recent polls in NC, all of which indicate that Bush is leading.

My call: Bush by single digits.

South Carolina: (8) South Carolina and Massachusetts are, in many ways, foils. One is radically right-wing, the other radically left-wing, though SC has moved towards the center a bit in recent years. “Outsourcing” is an issue that can gain traction here. It’s still a solid Republican state, however.

My call: Easy Bush

Tennessee: (11) Al Gore’s home state (and my own) rejected him in 2000, arguably doing even more damage to his presidential ambitions than Florida. Historically, Tennessee has been a swing state, with Middle and West Tennessee being home to the famous “Yellow Dog” Democrats, and mountainous East TN being a Republican enclave (one of the few in the South prior to the 1960s). The entire state now seems to be moving right, however.

My call: Polls have shown Bush as being up by as many as 19. Only Zogby has ever shown him trailing in TN, and I don’t put much stock in that. The fact that favorite son Al Gore couldn’t win here does not bode well for Kerry. Bush by double digits.

Georgia: (15) Outside of Atlanta, Georgia is as conservative as it gets. The fact that the most popular Democrat in the state, Zell Miller, has endorsed Bush is also a positive sign for Republicans.

My call: Easy Bush

Florida: (27) As was the case in 2000, Florida is a swing state. This state is a must win for President Bush. If he loses here, it might be a long election night for him. Kerry, on the other hand, can afford to lose here, but ONLY if he can win Ohio and Pennsylvania. If Bush loses here, he must automatically win Penn, which is not likely.

It does look good for Bush in FL, though. Brother Jeb Bush is a popular governor. The economy here is good. And, perhaps most encouraging, is Mel Martinez’s Senate run. Martinez is a Cuban American who left the Bush Administration to run for the Senate. He will probably bring many South Florida Cubans to the polls, and they will vote for Bush. Cuban Americans may well be the GOP’s strongest constituency. In 2000, over 80% of them voted for Bush.

My call: A strong economy, a motivated base, and a popular governor for a brother. Judging from this, one would think Bush would waltz to victory in Florida. Well, that ain’t happening. Still, given how biased all these factors are in his favor, it’s hard to bet against the President. Bush by single digits.

Alabama: (9) Strongly Republican, Bush won the “Heart of Dixie” in 2000 by 14. Polls vary in how much his lead is now, but none has it in single digits.

My call: Easy Bush

Mississippi: (6) Another Deep South state, another Republican stronghold. Bush’s margin of victory over Gore was 17 in 2000. The only question is if he’ll be able to build on it this year.

My call: Easy Bush

Louisiana: (9) Some pundits thought this would be a swing state, and it might have been if Kerry had picked LA Senator John Breaux as his running mate. Generally, Louisiana goes Republican unless the Democrat happens to be Southern. That’s not the case this year.

My call: Bush by single digits.

Arkansas: (6) Bush won here by 5 points in 2000. This year, it’s a swing state leaning towards Bush. Kerry could win here, but I doubt he’s willing to divert the firepower away from states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida to get the job done.

My call: Bush by single digits.

Conclusion: Bush will do well in Dixie, and the gap between him and Kerry vanishes, as Bush takes a narrow lead. It now stands at Bush 125, Kerry 113.

State by State Breakdown, Part One

Sunday, October 17th, 2004

As we near Election Day, I thought it might be fun to break down the Electoral College and predict how I think it will go. Over the next few days, I will offer analysis and predictions for all 50 states. Today, I’ll start with the area where Bush is the weakest: the North.

Maine: (4 electoral votes) Gore carried Maine in 2000 by only 5 points. This rural, New England state has gone to both parties in recent years, and could be fairly described as a swing state for this election. Maine is also unique in that its electors are divided by congressional district, with the overall winner getting 2 electoral votes (the winners of the two districts then get 1 vote for each district).

Most polls show Kerry leading in Maine, but not by much. It is possible that the loser of this state will get 1 electoral vote.

My call: Kerry by single digits, with Bush carrying one congressional district. Thus Kerry will get 3 electoral votes, and Bush will get 1.

New Hampshire: (4) The only New England state Bush carried in 2000, and he carried it only by 1 point. This time around polls show the race as tight again.

My call: The fact that Kerry hails from a border state and is a fellow New Englander gives him a slight edge. Nader will also be less of a factor this time around. Given New Hampshire’s rural mindset, it would not shock me if Bush won here. Still, I think that this will be one of the few states that switches its vote from four years ago. Kerry in a squeaker.

Vermont: (3) The ultraliberal home state of Howard Dean. Need I say more?

My call: Easy Kerry.

Massachusetts: (12) John Kerry’s home state is another bastion of liberalism. A poll back in April 2003 showed Bush ahead in this state. The trend has not continued.

My call: Easy Kerry.

Connecticut: (7) This state, like most New England states, has a reputation for being liberal. The polls show Kerry leading, but not by as much as one would expect. Quinnipiac has it as a single digit race.

My call: Kerry by single digits. I don’t see Bush winning here, though it will be closer than some think.

Rhode Island: (4) Gore won the Union’s smallest state with over 60% of the vote.

My call: Easy Kerry

New York: (31) Republicans rarely carry New York, which is about as Democratic as it gets. After 9/11, some observers predicted Bush might have a chance at winning here. The fact that Rudy Giuliani and Ed Koch (a well known liberal Democrat) have endorsed Bush bodes well in his favor. Yet these factors have done little to help the President. While a few polls show this race in single digits, others have it at 20 plus points. New York is a Democratic stronghold.

My call: Easy Kerry.

New Jersey: (15) One of the biggest surprises of the 2004 election is that New Jersey has become a swing state. Remember, this is a state that Gore won by a 16 point margin. Yet polls have consistently shown this race in single digits, and a few have even given Bush a slight edge! The President has taken notice, and will stump there on Monday.

Why the change? Two things: 9/11 and the McGreevey incident. 9/11 has made terrorism the number one issue for many in New Jersey. The McGreevey incident (due as much to corruption has his homosexuality) has also turned many against the Democratic party.

My call: It may be a bit optimistic to think Bush can win here. While it is wise for him to divert attention to this state (thus forcing Kerry to defend a blue state), he probably will come up just a little short. Kerry by single digits.

Pennsylvania: (21) Penn was a swing state in 2000, and is again this year. For a long time, polls consistently showed Bush winning here. Following the Democratic Convention, Kerry pulled ahead, but the “bounce” subsided. Now most polls show the race as either a dead heat or a slight advantage for Kerry. Rural Penn is as conservative as Alabama, but metropolitan areas like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh go overwhelmingly Democrat.

My call: This is one of the most crucial races in the nation. If Bush carries Penn and holds Ohio and Florida, we could be looking at a landslide. The Republican side of me wants to call Penn for Bush, but the objective side thinks Kerry will probably win here. Kerry in a squeaker.

Not a good geographic area for the President. Don’t worry, it does get better…

Electoral votes so far: Kerry 100, Bush 1

Flyer Scandal Continues

Saturday, October 16th, 2004

The infamous flyer being distributed in West Tennessee that compares President Bush to disabled children has rightfully resulted in much negative attention for Craig Fitzhugh, whose office it was distributed from. Matthew White, Bill Hobbs, and Michelle Malkin have all been offering extensive coverage.

The story has now taken on some conspiracy angles, as Democrats (including even Gov. Bredesen) now claim the flyer was planted by Republicans. Sort of reminds me of those who said those bogus Bush National Guard documents used by CBS news were a plant by Karl Rove.

There’s really not much I can say about this story. It is obvious that whoever made these flyers is a total jackass. It is also obvious that Fitzhugh’s allowed these flyers to remain in his office longer than he claimed (the local newspaper editor had been receiving complaints for two weeks).

I fail to see what a small town paper editor would have to gain by lying. A Republican wandering in off the street and placing them there sounds very far fetched. It is possible, I suppose, but the odds would appear not to support this theory. Far too many coincidences. Therefore, the most logical conclusion is that Fitzhugh and his staff exhibited poor judgment, and allowed the flyers to remain in his office.

Reader Brandon, a UT Law student from the area, writes:

“I don’t know if you have seen the State Dem. Party response, but they are comparing it to Watergate. They are claiming it to be a vast right wing conspiracy. I hate to disappoint them, but it is just crazy to think we had anything to do with this.”

Indeed. It’s amazing how people can come up with such outrageous theories. Why don’t they just admit they made a mistake, apologize, and move on?

Brown’s Picks

Friday, October 15th, 2004

Yes, it’s time once again for my weekly football prognostications…

Tennessee over Ole Miss by 7
South Carolina over Kentucky by 14
Georgia over Vanderbilt by 27
Auburn over Arkansas by 17
Florida over Middle Tennessee by 24
Oklahoma over Kansas State by 12
Michigan over Illinois by 16
Minnesota over Michigan State by 7
Georgia Tech over Duke by 21
USC over Arizona State by 2
Cal over UCLA by 6
Purdue over Wisconsin by 1
Texas over Missouri by 2
Ohio State over Iowa by 9
Boise State over Tulsa by 14
Florida State over Virginia by 1

UPSETS:

Southern Miss over Alabama by 3
Navy over Notre Dame by 1

Ideology Quiz

Thursday, October 14th, 2004

Here is a great ideology quiz that I was directed to by my friend Lori. I recommend taking it. In case you are interested, here are my results:

“You are a

Social Liberal
(61% permissive)

and an…

Economic Conservative
(78% permissive)

You are best described as a:
Libertarian

You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness.”

Yes, you read that right… I am a social liberal…

Democrats Distribute Disturbing Flyer

Wednesday, October 13th, 2004

Democrats in the Dyersburg, TN area have been distributing the following flyer:

This flyer is being distributed by Democratic State Rep. Craig Fitzhugh reports the Traditional Values Coalition.

Let us not hear a word about Republican insensitivity.

Perverted Professors

Tuesday, October 12th, 2004

I would like to begin this week’s column with a question: Have you ever heard of a group called “Consenting Academics for Sexual Equity?”

Most likely you have not. It’s not a famous organization. I wouldn’t know it existed if I hadn’t read about it in Ben Shapiro’s book “Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth”. It’s a small, obscure group with few members. But it is important that we, especially the young women among us, know about it because it illustrates a larger problem in academia today.

Consenting Academics for Sexual Equity is an organization founded by University of California at Long Beach professor Barry Dank. Its goal is to remove any and all restrictions on sexual relationships between students and faculty. I know it sounds like he’s a dirty old man, but he’s really not. He’s only thinking of women’s rights, as he says that university rules outlawing professor/student sex are “an attack on young women.” What a selfless fellow he is.

I’ll state the obvious here: This group exists to help horny old men and women get laid, nothing more, nothing less. I did a little research on this club, but I was unable to determine if there were any members on the UT faculty. I strongly suspect there are at least one or two, though.

A few professors feel that it is their duty to educate their students about sex, particularly “inexperienced” students. Some of them do it in a very, ahem, “hands on” sort of way. A course taught at Wesleyan University featured a unique final assignment: “Just create your own work of pornography.” One student videotaped a man’s eyes while he masturbated. This work earned her an “A.” I’m sure John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church, would be proud to have his name attached to this school.

Classes that explore pornography are becoming more common across the nation. Kansas University, New York University, and Arizona State University all offer classes on “adult entertainment.” One of my professors claims that porn is an “art form.” Maybe so, but when I think of art, I tend to think of, you know, actual art (not necessarily as defined by the National Endowment for the Arts). Next they will be telling us “hooking up” is also a form of art.

Speaking of “hooking up” (defined as “no strings attached sexual encounters ranging from kissing to sex”), some professors think it is an important virtue for students as well. “That’s what they are supposed to be doing, experimenting and risking and finding out who they are,” says Cal State-Chico professor Lyndall Ellington. I guess Professor Ellington never heard of unwanted consequences, like pregnancies and venereal diseases. He’s not the only one. 10% of respondents to a recent survey reported that they had had sexual relations with a professor. Think it doesn’t happen at UT?

I want to make it clear that I am not a prude. What consenting adults do behind closed doors is their own business. I am a bit offended, however, when university faculty members, who are supposed to be professionals, behave in such ways. Call me old school, but shouldn’t professors be role models? Some of my greatest heroes are college professors; in fact my mother is one. Obviously, most professors are abhorred by actions such as these, but a vocal minority are not. Instead, they defend and even encourage them.

When Kansas University fell under investigation by the state legislature for using tax dollars to fund classes dedicated to porn, 37 associate deans rushed to the defense of the professor in question. One would think that these deans would be interested in upholding the academic integrity of the university, and would want the professor responsible fired more than anyone. Apparently not. Maybe they are just a little kinky. Or maybe they just don’t care that the taxpayers don’t like having their money spent on items they find immoral.

Young women at universities are often out on their own for the first time, and sometimes are naïve. They are often vulnerable to charming and charismatic professors, and easily taken advantage of. Most professors would never dream of taking advantage, but as in all professions, there are a few bad apples that do. It is our responsibility as decent people to weed out these sick and twisted individuals before they do any irreversible damage to unsuspecting victims.

Monday Madness

Monday, October 11th, 2004

I have some midterms this week, what fun!

I suppose I could gloat about being the only person who picked Tennessee to beat Georgia, but I’m way too mature for that..

I am pleased that Australian Prime Minister John Howard was reelected over the weekend. Howard has been a staunch ally of the U.S. in the War on Terror, and is certainly deserving of our praise (though he hasn’t gotten it from Kerry and his allies. John O’Sullivan has a great column about Howard, and the implications of his reelection (via Glenn Reynolds).

John Leo has a great column about leftist churches, and their selective moral outrage (generally directed at the United States and Israel).

Now, back to the midterm grind…