Archive for July, 2006

On Mel Gibson

Monday, July 31st, 2006

You’ve probably heard about Mel Gibson’s arrest on DUI charges, and his reportedly anti-Semitic rant that followed in which he claimed Jews were responsible for all the wars in the world. Those of us who have admired Gibson can at best feel disappointment and at worse feel betrayal by Gibson’s actions.

I have been a Mel Gibson fan. I thought The Passion of the Christ was incredibly moving. In the past, Gibson has been accused of anti-Semitism. I largely dismissed these charges because I saw little (if any) evidence to support them, or because they often depended on visiting the sins of Mel Gibson’s nutcase father upon him. The fact that Mel wouldn’t denounce his father’s views provided fuel for some, but I gave him a pass because it involved his father, and it is unfair to expect someone to publicly denounce a close family member.

But if these charges are true (and I have no reason to doubt them), then Mel Gibson is a very bad person. I understand that we was plastered. Okay, but no drunk person I’ve been in contact with has ever launched into anti-Semitic rants. Usually, inebriated individuals say exactly what is on their mind. And for Gibson to say this out of the blue suggests to me that such thoughts are on his mind, and on his mind often.

I want to be 100% sure that Gibson made these remarks before he is blackballed. Racism is perhaps the one unforgivable sin in America today, and one should be completely sure that a person is a racist before charging them as such. But if Gibson said what he is reported to have said (and, again, I have seen no evidence that he didn’t), then he is a despicable person.

Rice, Rice, Baby

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

Condoleeza Rice might be a lot of things, but ignorant isn’t one of them. Gingrich is probably just trying to get his name in the media in preparation for his 2008 presidential run. Not sure about Perle and the courageous anonymous aides, but they should stop their temper tantrums now.

Republicans and libertarians

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

James Joyner has some thoughts on what libertarian-leaning Republicans, like myself, can do about the GOP’s drift away from limited government. His answer: not much, really.

I suppose the way to go is to continue to vote Republican. Voting Libertarian amounts to a wasted vote; besides, the Libertarian Party is mostly filled with utopians who have incredibly unrealistic expectations and who seem to live in an alternative universe. Anyone who disagrees with them – even on a single issue – must be purged from their ranks for the crime of “impurity of philosophy.” Although I agree with libertarian philosophy most of the time, issues like abortion and foreign policy would get me kicked out of the party pronto.

Voting Democrat is no better. Even on the few social issues where I’m inclined to support them, Democrats are basically just Republican-lites.

So I suppose I should just hold my nose and vote for the GOP. Sure, they spend way too much time generating outrage over illegal immigrants and gays, but this is just a symptom of populism. Boring speeches about fiscal policy just don’t rile the masses as much as fiery rhetoric about gays destroying marriage or millions of brown people (8-30 million, depending on who you ask) taking America away from us. They know neither of these charges is true, but what’s the truth when votes are at stake?

The solution, obviously, is to convince the Republican base, and Americans in general, that liberty is completely linked to limited government, and that liberty is far more important than any of the other issues politicians think they can exploit.

So Sayeth the Proletariat

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

If Bob Corker does win the Republican nomination (and it increasingly looks like he will), it will be interesting to see if TeamGOP falls in line behind him, considering all the posts like this they have run. Geez, there’s enough class warfare rhetoric here to make Ted Kennedy blush.

Idiotic

Sunday, July 23rd, 2006

Okay, this is pretty stupid.

Bryant Supporters Are Idiots

Friday, July 21st, 2006

So says Badger. You would think the Hilleary people would be reaching out to Bryant supporters just in case pigs fly and Hilleary wins the nomination. But I suppose they realize that won’t be necessary.

Kookery in Congress

Wednesday, July 19th, 2006

Okay, I’m officially embarrassed by Lincoln Davis, my congressman. On the floor of the House of Representatives during debate on the gay marriage amendment, he spoke in favor of a constitutional amendment outlawing divorce. He also said he supported making adultery a felony, and barring those who are divorced or have committed adultery from ever running for public office.

My initial reaction was that maybe Davis was being outlandish to demonstrate the absurdity of the gay marriage amendment. Yet as I watched the clip, he seemed serious. So much for getting the government out of our lives. Give Davis points for being consistent – he does recognize that there are greater threats to the institution of marriage than homosexual marriage. But being consistent isn’t a good think if you’re consistently wrong.

Via KnoxViews

UPDATE: I guess I should have read the comments before posting this. It seems maybe Davis was being sarcastic. Sean Braisted notes:

I called Lincoln’s washington office as spoke with a gentlemen named Tom. He said that Davis was simply trying to make a point that if we wanted to protect marriage, it didn’t go far enough. However, when I asked him whether or not Davis would’ve voted for the amendment had it banned Divorce, he couldn’t say.

Hmm.. sounds to me like Davis might be trying to play both sides of the issue. This would make more sense if he had voted against the marriage amendment.

Stem Cells

Wednesday, July 19th, 2006

You’ve probably heard that the Senate voted to allow an expansion of stem cell research, and that President Bush has promised to veto it. The vote was 63-37, four votes short of the number needed to override a veto.

I have mixed feelings about this. As someone who is pro-life, I obviously am opposed to the destruction of embryos. But the simple reality is that abortions happen everyday. It’s also true that there are many frozen embryos that will otherwise be destroyed. I wish this was not the case, but it is. So it would seem to me that allowing these to be used for research would allow at least some good to come from tragedy. Creating fetuses only to be destroyed obviously is wrong, and only a fanatic could support this.

I’ll admit that I’m not an expert in this field by any stretch of the imagination. I have no idea if stem cell research will be of medical value. But neither does anyone else; that is why research is done. Feel free to post comments, I’d love to hear about everyone else’s thoughts on the subject.

Images From Struthof, Dachau, and Nuremburg

Wednesday, July 19th, 2006

My trip to Europe wasn’t all about fun. We made stops at two former Nazi concentration camps – Natzweiler-Struthof and Dachau. Natzweiler-Struthof was the only Nazi concentration camp established in France (then under Nazi occupation). It is estimated that 40,000 prisoners were held here, of which an estimated 25,000 perished. Some of those who died were Jews and Roma-Sinti (Gypsies) who were murdered in the gas chamber to be used as “anatomical specimens” at Strasbourg University. The camp was liberated by American forces on November 23, 1944 (source: Wikipedia).

Below are images from Natzweiler-Struthof. I will provide no commentary; I think they speak for themselves.


A tragic irony: this is the view from Natzweiler-Struthof

Dachau Concentration camp is located about 20 kilometers from Munich, and was considered the “model” concentration camp. The camp functioned from 1933 until 1945, and housed over 200,000 prisoners. Camp records listed 30,000 persons were killed in the camp, with thousands of others dying due to camp conditions. Dachau also served as the central camp for Christian religious prisoners. The camp was liberated by American and British forces on April 29, 1945 (source: Wikipedia).

The memorial reads: “May the example of those were exterminated here between 1933 – 1945 because they resisted Nazism help to unite the living for the defence of peace and freedom and in respect for their fellow men.”

Some of those responsible for the crimes committed at these camps were eventually tried in the courthouse, in Nuremburg:

Stop the Presses! Dean is Wrong!

Sunday, July 16th, 2006

Howard Dean finds a way to blame the Israel/Lebanon situation on President Bush. So says Dean:

“If you think what’s going on in the Middle East today would be going on if the Democrats were in control, it wouldn’t, because we would have worked day after day after day to make sure we didn’t get where we are today. We would have had the moral authority that Bill Clinton had when he brought together the Northern Irish and the IRA, when he brought together the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

Yes, Bill Clinton brought together the Israelis and the Palestinians… and obviously, that was a rousing success, judging by the current situation. Dean knows good and well (or at least he should) that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict has been raging for decades. Every president since Truman has tried, without success, to work out a solution. Yet if Gore or Kerry currently resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the problem would be fixed? Just how stupid does Dean think we are?