Archive for December, 2005

Silence of the Bloggers

Friday, December 30th, 2005

Michael Silence has some year end thoughts on blogging.

Senate Speculation

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

Frank Cagle examines the race to replace Sen. Bill Frist. Although he is unsure who will be the GOP nominee, he doesn’t think much of Harold Ford, Jr.’s chances:

I know all the candidates in this race. I worked in Hilleary’s gubernatorial campaign. I supported Corker in 1994. I supported Bryant in his race in 2002. They are all good men. Any one of the three will beat Congressman Harold Ford Jr. like a rented mule. In the current political climate, anyone who thinks a Ford from Memphis can win a statewide race in Tennessee is living in a dream world.

I grant you that Junior is a nice guy. I like him too, personally. I also think he’s charismatic. The political reality is that he has too much baggage to win. His uncle is under indictment. His aunt’s election to the state Senate is under investigation. It doesn’t matter how many national media organizations come down here and salivate over the next Barack Obama, it ain’t gonna happen.

I hope Cagle is right, but I wouldn’t get overconfidentidant.

UPDATE: Not so fast, says James Carville.

America’s Bottom Ten

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

Captain Ed has listed his top ten worst Americans. I can’t say I agree with a number of his choices, particularly his choices of Richard Nixon (#6), Nathan Bedford Forrest (#4), and J. Edgar Hoover (#1).

In the case of Nixon, it is true that he was a not-so-nice fellow who suffered from extreme paranoia and presided over a corrupt administration. Yet I simply don’t see how he can rank ahead of Bill Clinton (not that I think Clinton deserves to be on this list). Clinton was probably more corrupt than Nixon – and he did not have the great accomplishments in office that Nixon did.

As for Nathan Bedford Forrest… Again, we are looking at a flawed man. It is true that Forrest founded the Ku Klux Klan, a notoriously racist organization. But the Klan he founded was not the terrorist group of today. Although certainly racist, it was primarily a resistance organization to Northern occupation after the war. As Dean Esmay points out in the comments, the modern KKK was founded in 1918 by William J. Simmons, decades after Forrest’s group dissolved. It was a notoriously vile terrorist group responsible for countless murders and other atrocities over the years. While Forrest deserves condemnation for his role in the Klan, Simmons was the man most responsible for the hate group of today – and he should be listed here instead of Forrest.

Hoover at number one really surprised me. Clearly, Hoover was not what I’d call a hero, but was he really worse than Aaron Burr? Or Benedict Arnold? Or the aforementioned Simmons? I just don’t see how. He was corrupt and he abused power. But the worst American in history? No way.

Christmas Break Movie Report

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

So I’ve seen two movies over Christmas break: King Kong and The Chronicles of Narnia. Both were quite good. I’ve never been a big fan of reviewing movies (I’ve never cared for critic’s reviews – I am perfectly capable to judging for myself), but I’d recommend both of these films. If you haven’t seen them yet… you should!

Private Property Solves Problems

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

Dr. Walter E. Williams explains how private property can solve the “problems” of school prayer and smoking.

Truth No More

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

Nashville-area blogger Glen Dean has closed down shop at Nashville Truth. He hasn’t left the blogosphere though, as he now resides at Christian libertarian.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24th, 2005

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night…

Academic Insanity

Friday, December 23rd, 2005

The Young Americas Foundation has released its annual “Dirty Dozen” report, a listing of the top 12 examples of “bizarre and troubling instances of leftist activism supplanting traditional scholarship” on American campuses. Among them is a class entitled “The Unbearable Whiteness of Barbie: Race and Popular Culture in the United States,” a course in “Stupidity” which compares the American presidency to Beavis and Butthead, and several “gay studies” classes.

While on the topic of academia, Monique Stuart examines how Sex and the City is influencing college journalists (expect a class on this soon).

Yes, it seems modern academia is open to everything. Well, not quite.

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

Friday, December 23rd, 2005

If you aren’t in the Christmas spirit yet, this might help:

EDITOR’S NOTE: Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church, according to the Web site for the Newseum, located in Washington, D.C., has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.

Dear Editor:

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.

Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.’

Please tell me the truth – Is there a Santa Claus?

Viriginia O’Hanlon

115 West Ninety-Fifth Street

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age.

They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measure by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.

Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest man that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Fish

Wednesday, December 21st, 2005

Okay, I don’t know about the teenage or ninja parts, but this made me nostalgic for my childhood days spent fishing at the Kingston Steam Plant, home of three-eyed trout and four-gilled catfish. Fishing was particularly easy near the valve, where water was dumped from the plant back into the lake (the water was warm and filled with dead minnows, thus attracting fish). Good times, good times.

Disclaimer: I would in no way advocate fishing at the Kingston Steam Plant. Or going near it for that matter.