Archive for October, 2006

Sad Story

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Michael Silence has a roundup on Claudia Nunez, who is facing deportation to El Salvador for overstaying her visa. Ms. Nunez is a mother of two (both U.S. citizens). Most seem to favor allowing her to stay, although there are those who favor enforcing the law at all costs. My opinion? The right of her children, both Americans, to their mother overrides the comparatively minor infraction of overstaying a visa. If you agree, there is a petition you should sign.

Ford to Australia: You’re Next

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

Harold Ford, Jr. is a very intelligent man. Which is why this is so hard to believe:

His skilled oration on domestic politics may be flawless, but his grip on foreign policy is error-prone. Yesterday he stumbled into gaffes on the North Korean nuclear tests and then mentioned Australia in the same breath as rogue nations wanting to go nuclear.

“Here we are in a world today where more countries have access to nuclear weapons than ever before,” Mr Ford said, adding that when he left college in 1992 he thought the nuclear age had come to an end “and America would find ways to eliminate the number of chances that a rogue group or a rogue nation would get their hands on nuclear material”.

“Today nine countries have it – more than ever before – and 40 are seeking it, including Argentina, Australia and South Africa,” he said.

Ford was humble and apologized when informed of his mistake. Or not:

The gaffes were lost on the audience and he was given a rousing standing ovation from Democrats and Republicans alike. Any chance of clarifying Mr Ford’s remarks with the man himself was impossible as minders shielded any international media from asking questions, ushering Mr Ford away.“You don’t win us any votes,” said his spokeswoman. And she might have added that it also means he is insulated from pesky questions probing his limitations on enunciating a foreign policy involving a trusted ally.

This is getting very little (if any) coverage in the American media, which is unfortunate, as it calls into question Ford’s ability to govern. Having said that, a political ad exposing this lack of foreign policy knowledge probably wouldn’t be nearly as effective as the “call me” ad. This is unfortunate.

Via Glenn Reynolds.

Yes, Virginia, Your Senate Race is Plagued by Idiocy

Friday, October 27th, 2006

Well the race for the U.S. Senate in Virginia can’t get much worse. It all started when George Allen, the California native turned Old South aficionado, used the term “macaca” to describe a volunteer for his opponent who happened to be of Indian descent. Allen claimed he did not know what the term meant, which is fair; I didn’t know what it meant either. But I would never have used it, because I had never heard it. Allen had heard it, but didn’t know what it meant. Hmmm…

After this, it got really ugly. Supposedly, Allen used the N-word some 30 years ago. Unlike the macaca controversy, there is little to nothing legitimate here. Basically, it boils down to a he said/she said situation. There’s no way to know if Allen used racial slurs three decades ago. And even if he did, that was years ago. Now, clearly anyone who uses the N-word in this day and age is either an idiot or an ignoramus, there is no indication that Allen has done so (unlike, say, Robert Byrd). This was nothing more than a baseless political attack.

Unfortunately, Allen has decided to respond in kind. In his latest attack on opponent James Webb, he has dragged up some books written by Webb that apparently are rated R. This may shock some people, but literature sometimes does include questionable content. Ever read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? How about The Catcher in the Rye? Edgar Allen Poe can be pretty disturbing. Heck, even some of Shakespeare’s writings can be seen as objectionable. But they’re all fiction (except for some Shakespeare)!

I think what we’re seeing here is two very desperate candidates locked in a dead heat, each sinking as low as possible. I personally hope George Allen is reelected, and I suspect he will be. But I think it’s safe to say his presidential ambitions have been derailed.

Elsewhere, Michelle Malkin is right.

Football Picks

Friday, October 27th, 2006

Last week I was 16-2, bringing my overall record to 103-27. This week I hope to do even better.

Missouri over Oklahoma
NC State over Virginia
Penn State over Purdue
Auburn over Mississippi
Vanderbilt over Duke
Kentucky over Mississippi State
USC over Oregon State
Florida over Georgia
Nebraska over Oklahoma State
Georgia Tech over Miami (FL)
Wake Forest over North Carolina
Texas over Texas Tech
Florida State over Maryland
Tennessee over South Carolina

Holding My Nose and Voting Republican

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

Linda Chavez has a new column that I am almost in total agreement with.

Snow!

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

So I was walking home from class tonight, and it was snowing here in Boone. Today was an incredibly cold and windy day. The long mountain winter is setting in…

Pihocasting

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

My pal Jason Piho has started his own podcast. Check it out.

Who’s Lacking Diversity?

Friday, October 20th, 2006

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on a recent study:

Among other findings, the report, “A Profile of American College Faculty: Volume 1: Political Beliefs & Behavior,” says that:

* Professors are three times as likely to call themselves “liberal” as “conservative.” In the 2004 presidential election, 72 percent of those surveyed voted for John Kerry.

* Almost one-third of professors cite the United States as among the top two greatest threats to international stability — more than cited Iran, China, or Iraq.

* Fifty-four percent of professors say U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East is partially responsible for the growth of Islamic militancy.

* Sixty-four percent say the government’s powers under the USA Patriot Act should be weakened.

Professors, says the report, are at the “forefront of the political divide” over U.S. foreign policy that has developed since the 2001 terrorist attacks. Faculty members have “aligned themselves in direct opposition to the political philosophy of the conservative base voting for the prevailing political power” in America, it says. Unlike most Americans, it adds, faculty members “blame America for world problems” and regard U.S. policies as “suspect.”

The report labels the faculty’s overall stance as liberal “groupthink,” and says it is dangerous because faculty members “are supposed to provide a broad range of … approaches to addressing problems in American society and around the world.” Professors are role models for students and frequently are called upon to act as “pundits” by the media and as experts on foreign policy, it adds.

Via Instapundit

Economic Hypochondria

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

George Will had a great column yesterday on how perception differs from reality. Read it all, but the highlight is definitely this:

Economic hypochondria, a derangement associated with affluence, is a byproduct of the welfare state: An entitlement mentality gives Americans a low pain threshold — witness their recurring hysterias about nominal rather than real gasoline prices — and a sense of being entitled to economic dynamism without the frictions and “creative destruction” that must accompany dynamism. Economic hypochondria is also bred by news media that consider the phrase “good news” an oxymoron, even as the U.S. economy, which has performed better than any other major industrial economy since 2001, drives the Dow to record highs.

The Race for the State Legislature

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

Adam Groves has a good roundup of the hotly contested races for the Tennessee House and Senate.