Sunday, January 11, 2004
Watching Howard Dean on This Week with George Stephanapholous
. Dean seems awfully vague. When asked about his proposal to repeal the Bush tax cuts and replace them with payroll tax cuts, Dean has nothing specific to say. He argues that budget balancing is most important. Fair point, but how hard is it to balance the budget in Vermont?
Dean also seems to think that voters will respond positively to his plan to restore money to the programs Bush revamped. I wouldn't hold your breath, Howie. How many middle class Americans really and truly rely on government programs? It's rather obvious that the average family would rather have the money in their pocket.
Friday, January 09, 2004
stands up for freedom.
Good for him. And here's hoping that Open Range
gets a few Oscar nods.
Despite his awful haircut, this guy
seems to be on to something.
All sorts of controversy in the Birmingham area, as Hoover High School is in a discipline fuss over some wrestlers and their drinking.
Here's the link.
A few things stand out here:
- The article says that the students were stopped by a police officer, who turned them over to a school official. Were the students drunk? If so, why wasn't the driver handed a DUI? If one of the students did have a beer in hand, as a Hoover School System official claims, why wasn't he fined for being a minor in possession?
- If the students weren't in violation of the law, and they were not on school property (as the article implies), then what's the problem?
- Is this a first offense? The article doesn't say, so I'd wager that is the case.
This is just more abstract "we're here to help you" garbage on the part of school administrators. I fully support greater discipline. Birmingham City Schools are a great example of what can go wrong. These seniors can't even walk out with their graduating class. Suspend them if you must, but the idea that students are helped by such an inane measure is terribly off the mark.
Speaking of the Birmingham City School system, this report
might offer an indication as to why Alabama decided to nix the Guv'nah's tax plan back in September.
Thursday, January 08, 2004
I found this report
stating that Iraq's WMD program was not an imminent threat.
That would be well and good if the Bush administration had ever claimed that Iraq was an imminent, "We're going to kill you in two hours" sort of threat. That claim was never made.
The administration was in a difficult spot leading up to the war. It would be difficult for Rumsfeld or Wolfowitz to explain why it was important to establish democracy in the Middle East, and why Iraq was the best starting point. Most people didn't want to hear it, because it was too complicated. Ours is a soundbite world and a lengthy explanation doesn't always work for Joe Schmoe.
Here's the quote that got the whole "imminent threat" business jumping. From the State of the Union address, the President says:
"Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike?"
has the goods on the imminent threat business. Paul Krugman had a coronary trying to nail Bush for making the claim. As you'll read, the claim just didn't happen.
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
Maggie Gallagher, who runs the crucial marriage debate
website, has a fine article detailing a conversation she had with a college student about same-sex marriage.
Here's the link
, via The Corner.
I have a sneaking suspicion that this conversation will be rehashed many times over in the coming months.
likes Jesus, too.
Wesley Clark can't make up his mind if he's a Catholic or a Presbyterian. There's all sorts of differences between the two denominations, and if a guy doesn't make note between them...well, it tends to raise a question, at least in my mind.
is a link to the interview that got me thinking about the whole "Christianity = pacifism" issue. This is in no way an attack on Over the Rhine, a band I've always enjoyed. I just think they're off the mark. It seems to me that a lot of believers who function in the artistic communities, be it literary, musical or whatever, take up this view. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I've yet to see much to the contrary.
Tuesday, January 06, 2004
Back after a long hiatus, though I doubt this was read much anyway.
Lots of reading was done over the Christmas holidays. Christians always speak of "peace of Earth" at Christmastime, and rightfully so. Yet it's a phrase often used in reference to pacifism, as though Christ would have us respond to evil with only a soft tone.
That sort of logic leaves me confounded. Christ did not intend for good people to ignore genocide. Somehow, I doubt that God was saddened by the Allied invasion at Normandy or the liberation of Baghdad. No doubt He was saddened at the loss of human life, but it was understood as part of something greater. There is no triumph without some sort of sacrifice. I've heard fellow Christians remark that war is not the answer, Jesus is peace, turn the other cheek etc. All well and good, but when someone aims a weapon at you -
you must respond.
There is no other choice. Jesus himself used a whip against the money lenders in the temple, because at some point words can become useless, and other action must be taken.