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June 12, 2006

Re-Establishing the LRB

After being closed the last several months - more like a year - the Little Red Blog is returning shortly. Older archives will be available in a re-sorted manner. And other features will be added.

All archives listed prior to this entry are from the prior versions of the LRB.

October 26, 2005

Send Bill Roggio to Anbar

Bill Roggio has been invited to report from Iraq, embedded with the Marines he's been covering so well for the last year. He's asking for your help in making the most of this opportunity. While I've come to know Bill over the last few months - since our July efforts on the AQ Attacks presentation, I've learned that he is among the genuine and giving. And he's humble to a fault. His "little" blog will have its millionth visitor today, and he'll make no mention of it. The hours he puts into his coverage approach full time efforts - and he does it freely and with a determination rarely equaled. He does it for his readers, as we've discussed on several occasions - it's worth it if they can see and understand the war. As is going to Iraq - and while I'm not joining Bill for this trip - I'm confident that it'll be well worth the effort.

Visit the Fourth Rail to learn more and to offer your support and encouragement.

July 14, 2005

Council Winners Announced

Last week the Watcher's Council met and once again voted on the best Council and Non-Council blog post from a great set of nominated entries.

The winning Council entry comes from the Education Wonks - Border Freebies: Using the Race Card To Get an Education. The winning Non-Council entry comes from The Makaha Surf Report - Today I Leave for the War. Both were excellent.

You can find them and the full results at the Watcher of Weasels.

Also, for those looking to join the Council, a seat has opened up. Get the details here, and be sure and wish the Smarter Cop well.

July 7, 2005

Council Winners Times Four

Having been absent for a while, I'm behind on recognizing the winners of the weekly Watcher's Council. I've now read them and am sorry I was late to the party.

For the week of June 10th, the full results are available at the Watcher of Weasels.

The council winner and those receiving votes -
Remembering Why I Love History by Right Wing Nut House - Winner with 2 2/3 votes. In a Perfect World, We’d Never Let Her Run by The Sundries Shack scored 1 2/3 votes. Faith, Smugness and Theocracy by Carpe Bonum, Clouding Men's Minds by Gates of Vienna, and Aid and Africa by Little Red Blog each tallied 1 vote. SF Stages Gala Offendapalooza by e-Claire, Political Mass Hysteria and the Marxist Drama by Dr. Sanity, Paris, the $6 Burger, and Things Yet to Come by Wallo World, Who's the Dummy Again? by The SmarterCop all received 2/3 votes. And A Sign of Things to Come by Rhymes With Right received 1/3 vote.

The non-council winner and those receiving votes - THIS is a Gulag by
Winds of Change - the winner with 3 1/3 votes. For Junior by Varifrank received 1 2/3 votes. Memorial Day 2005 by The Adventures of Chester, America Can't Play 'Lawful Stupid' by Cavalier's Guardian WatchBlog both received 1 1/3 votes. The Soros-ization of Ground Zero by Michelle Malkin, Beautiful Atrocities' Root Causes of Terrorism Timeline by Beautiful Atrocities, Leftist Hubris by New Sisyphus and Nightmares After a Close Call by T F Stern's Rantings each received 2/3 votes. Words Can Kill: The Semantics of the Schiavo Tragedy by TMH’s Bacon Bits and The Fallacy of the ABM Mentality by The Redhunter each received 1/3 vote.

For the week of June 17th, the full results are at the Watcher of Weasels.

From the council - What’s the Real Question in America? by The Sundries Shack was the winner with 2 1/3 votes. What the Hell's the Matter With US?!? by e-Claire received 2 votes. The Media and the Rise of International Terrorism by Dr. Sanity received 1 2/3 votes. The Slave Owner's Book Store by Gates of Vienna received 1 1/3 votes.

For the non-council entries - Zimbabwe Changed My Mind: Guns Are a Human Right at Winds of Change received 2 2/3 votes. Anti-Lynching Legislation by La Shawn Barber's Corner received 2 1/3 votes. Base Closure Hurts Thune (At Least We Sure Hope So.) by Kyzylkum received 1 vote.

For the week of June 24th, the full results are available at the Watcher of Weasels.

From the council members - Beautiful Indifference by Dr. Sanity won with 2 1/3 votes. If Only by Gates of Vienna received 2 votes.

The winning non-council entry - Kos Says U.S. Torture 'Equal' To that of Saddam Hussein (A Comparison) by The Jawa Report received 3 1/3 votes.

And for last week, the 1st of July - the full results are available at the Watcher of Weasels.

Last weeks winners were The Left's "Word Deficit" by Right Wing Nut House and from the non-council entries, Ehrlich's Wit and Wisdom by MaxedOutMama.

Congrats to all and now that I'm caught up, I hope that never happens again.

June 7, 2005

Winners Announced by The Watcher's Council

Last week's winners were:

A Killer in the Shadows - by Right Wing Nut House for the best Council entry.

And the winning non-council entry, by a narrow margin, Taking Islam Seriously by Bloggledygook.

There were many other excellent entries, please visit the Watcher of Weasels for the full result of the vote and links to other entries.

June 6, 2005

Bunker

Bunker Mulligan, Mike Reed, passed away on Friday, June 3, 2005. On learning of his passing, I was shocked and saddened to a far greater degree than I would have expected. I never met Bunker. He and I exchanged emails on occasion, commented regularly on each other’s writings, and agreed in principle on nearly all political issues. That doesn’t explain why it would hurt so much to hear of his death.

Bunker was good and kind man. A prince among us. I’m no avid golfer, yet I immensely enjoyed reading his golf updates. When he posted, I felt I knew him. I knew his passion for his family, his love of our nation, and his desire to see the possible rather than the impossible. His comments and emails were always a highlight for me. He offered praise sparingly, not being a flatterer. Instead, his comments told me that I’d hit the mark, written well, or stated the obvious in terms he agreed with. When he took issue with me, he did so directly and asked me to understand. And most often, he offered a helping hand.

Men like Bunker are too few. I’ll miss him greatly, as I already do. I find myself wanting to revisit every email or comment he shared with me, to reread the entries of his blog and more so, to tell him that he was admired, appreciated and that he had an impact. I don’t know his family, his sons in the service of our nation, or his daughter, but I’m certain their loss is greater than mine. A painful realization, and one I wish they’d not experienced.

Rest in peace Bunker. I’ll see you on the shores someday.

May 27, 2005

The Council Has Spoken!

Per the weekly direction of the Watcher of Weasels, the Watcher's Council has once again met and voted on the best blogging of the week.

In a close vote, all the entries were excellent, the winning council entry is MSM - MIA or AWOL? from Gates of Vienna. It's a troubling tale of post 3/11 events in Spain and a must read.

The winning non-council entry, Blood and Justice, from Indepundit is beyond description. Just read it.

And for the full results visit the Watcher of Weasels.

May 25, 2005

Passing the Baton

Paulie passed the baton to me. He responded for Bunker. And Bunker responded for Bogie. As do I. Feel free to completely ignore this post, as I wish I had been able to ignore the request.

Continue reading "Passing the Baton" »

Media Slander

It would have been, to all involved, better if it weren’t necessary. And then along comes Linda Foley advancing yet another series of slanderous accusations against the men and women of our armed forces. In response, a team of bloggers has once again formed an alliance to ensure that the truth is told about those who claim to report truth for a living.

Media Slander, formed by Bill Roggio, Blackfive, Brian Scott, Charles Goggin, Kevin Craver, LaShawn Barber, Mike Krempasky, Roger Morrow, USMC_Vet, Winds of Change.NET, is now up!

Drop by and get the truth behind purposeful acts of slander against those who put their lives in harms way to protect us all.

May 20, 2005

The Council Has Spoken

The Watcher's Council has once again met, voted and with a little help from the Watcher, selected the weekly winners.

The winning council entry - Please Don't Run, Newt - by Right Wing Nut House and the winning non-council entry - I Got Your Desecration Right Here Pal - by Varifrank. You can see the results of the vote at the Watcher of Weasels.

May 19, 2005

Change

Starting this blog, almost a year ago, my intent was simple. I wanted a space to express my thoughts on various issues, primarily with regard to politics and international affairs. It turned out that I enjoyed it immensely, and so I did it with ever increasing vigor. Additionally, I found that I was learning a great deal by reading other bloggers and being forced to consider the many various takes on the issues. Yet another win, and another cause to continue. Frankly no other reasons would have been necessary but one more became clear: the community of people, concerned and interested in the state of the nation and world, that makes up the blogosphere. At first, a small group of folks taking the time to comment or email, then expanding to discussions of the issues, better means to express opinion and eventually to never met friends and relationships.

From there I found further encouragement and reach for my ideas, and moreover, I was invited to join in on other efforts. Thus far all have been more than expected. As a frequent reader you know, the most challenging, and significantly responsible for my drop in frequency of blogging, has been the efforts to develop Threats Watch. It has also been most rewarding (even if not yet complete). Most gratifying about it has been discussing the issues with Tom, the Redhunter, and Bill Rice, of By Dawn’s Early Light. That alone would have satisfied me for years to come.

Yet it isn’t the end. Today, Bill Roggio, of The Fourth Rail, announced that he has been invited to join Winds of Change, and as such, he’s making some changes at The Fourth Rail. Most notably (for me), he’s invited Bill Rice and myself to join Justin at The Fourth Rail, complemented by his post on Saturday’s when the Winds of Change shifts focus to post exclusively good news. Read Bill's announcements at The Fourth Rail and Winds of Change for more on the changes in store for him. And be sure and congratulate him, Joe and the Winds of Change team as well.

I’m honored and excited by the opportunity, and looking forward to the challenge of writing for Bill’s audience. If you frequent the site, you’ll recognize that the comments and discussion of Bill’s post are top flight, and that too will be an enjoyable aspect of this new adventure. I invite you to join in the discussion there as well.

Given that The Fourth Rail focuses on the Global War on Terror and issues related to achieving victory over our enemies, little change will occur here. If any, it’ll be that I’ll once again write with the frequency of my earlier months of blogging. And as soon as Tom, Bill Rice and I have completed our initial assessments for Threats Watch, we’ll invite The Fourth Rails readers to help us make it a successful effort as well.

In closing, I’d like to again thank Bill Roggio for the opportunity, and to congratulate him, Joe Katzman, Bill Rice, Justin Blackburn and the entire Winds of Change team.

May 16, 2005

Winners for the Week

As they do each week, last Thursday the Watcher's Council gathered and voted on the best and the brightest blog entries for the week. The results have been released and are found at the Watcher of Weasels.

The winning council entry comes from Right Wing Nut House, Bush: A Solitary Voice For Remembrance, while the winning non-council entry comes from the American Thinker, Jihad Begot the Crusades. Both were excellent, as were many other of the entries. Take a few minutes and read them.

May 9, 2005

Winners and More Winners Announced

Being behind on my relaying the winners of the Watchers Council, it's time to do so for last week and the week before. I'll start with the most recent winners.

Last week's winning Council entry was Hostages: Time for America to Act by Carpe Bonum, while the non-Council winner was The Great Islamic Warrior: Stewardresses, Elementary Schoolchildren and Wounded Crash Survivors by New Sisyphus. Both were excellent, as were the others, and given how few blogs I've read lately, it was an enjoyable task to read them all. You can find the results of the vote at the Watcher of Weasels.

The previous week's winning Council entry Silence of the Sheep by Gates of Vienna, followed by China's Time Bomb: The Banking System by the Glittering Eye and Russian Revanchism by Right Wing Nut House. The winning non-Council entry was Los Angeles Marketed as Part of Mexico by LA Hispanic Station from the Blue State Conservatives followed by The EU and Arabs IV: War, Oil, EAD by American Future and then Standing on the Wall: An Interview with a Marine Returned from Iraq by ¡Gringo Unleashed!. All of these and the other entries, which received votes, are available at the Watcher of Weasels.

And while at the Watcher's site, you might notice that as the Watcher does each week, once again an offer of free linkage is availed to those willing to step up to the plate. Consider it, and perhaps this week you'll be the winning non-Council entry.

April 27, 2005

Vacancy

Just another vacant blog.

On first arrival I'm sure that some are thinking just that. After all, the last several weeks have been less than stellar both in quantity and quality of posts. Well good friends, and strangers alike, this too will pass and it will do so shortly.

Being somewhat preoccupied by the other site, I've not posted much here, including failing to post the winners of last weeks Watcher's Council. This is particularly disturbing given that for the second week in a row, the winner of the non-council entry was an entry I nominated.

The winning Council entry, Founding Brother, by Right Wing Nut House is excellent and worth the read if you haven't thus far, as is the winning non-council entry, A Change in Tactics, by Terrorism Unveiled. The full results of the vote are available at the Watcher of Weasels.

The Council also gets a new member this week. Welcome Gates of Vienna.

That's it for now.

April 15, 2005

Morays and Morass

Time flies when you ponder such things. Or at least for me it does. Here it is the hour of necessity, or at least when this would have to be delivered for consideration, and I’m only beginning to put keys to fingers. My first inclination is to harken back to the time when I more frequently commented on the absence of moral thought or awareness in our self-governance. Somehow that doesn’t seem right though, at least not for this occasion. Instead, I’ll offer this.

There is a terrible beauty in simplicity. Beauty in the very way the simple reaffirms the nature of our being and the universe. Terrible in the many ways we are blind to the simple. Whether it is our addiction to nuance, our expansive capacity to create conspiracy, or otherwise carnal yearnings of primacy it is evident that the wisdom of years past is seen as but a folly to today’s foolish. In a time when from afar hatred brews to a boil and scalds our very being in a wave of violence unknown before to us, there are those who find fault not in the foaming hatred of the murderous, rather they cry that the murdered were at fault. Fools will be about their folly and stray not from its grip.

Being a nation born of moral virtue and dependent on those very virtues to stand the test of time, we are today in battle to maintain our heritage while proclaiming it anew for friend and former foe. And here at home we know just as well that there are those in our homes, across the street and about town who would rather not hear tell of our sacred honor or the meaning of God’s providence. It is that they’d rather support peace, in all its nuance and variety, than stand firm for or against any act or indignity. It has not always been so, yet it has always been that far too few stand for the virtuous, the moral and the absolute.

For right or wrong, the ideas and values of our hearts are formed with the faith of our forbearers. A Judeo-Christian nation we were. And like we were we must remain a nation of values and morality. Else we fail.

Our political and cultural foes, whose courses are unknown even unto themselves, speak of fear of imposed faith, moral policing, and the establishment of a religious dominion. This while it is their ethos, their acceptance of all forms of behavior, their tolerance of only those who agree, their ridicule of the simple at heart, simple in words or of simple aspirations that tears at the fabric of our nation.

Morays are the bindings of common faith, understanding and purpose that we share aside from our legal bindings. And unfortunately they are less and less availed to those who seek them. On the other hand, the law reaches deeper into our daily lives. The impact is clear. Our character fails as the state takes the lead, our values are worthless when all values are equal, and sadly… the morass of nuance hides the beauty of simple truth.

[This post was prepared for the 2005 EO Symposium (2nd Quarter). The symposium theme is Judeo-Christian Morality in an Ethically Pluralistic Society. Other entries will be listed here as soon as the complete list is available.]

Council Winners Announced

The Watcher's Council has once again voted and announced the winners from this week's entries.

The winning council entry, China's Time Bombs, from The Glittering Eye, is an excellent look into the one of the many areas of concern regarding China - its environmental record and future.

The winning non-council entry, War with China: 2008-2010?, from the Redhunter, takes a look at some of the many factors that may prevent war with China prior to the Olympics in 2008, and make it more likely shortly thereafter.

Both are excellent, as are the other entries. You can see the full result of the vote at the Watcher of Weasels site, and are encouraged to participate as well.

April 14, 2005

Variety Packed News and Notes

There's been a lot going on of late, and unfortunately for this space, and the few who still return to it, there has been little added. I would ask that you continue your patience and patronage, and know that soon I will return with the same ferocity and delight that I once had for filling the ever wide channels of the blogosphere with the ringing sound of my thoughts. Or is that some sort of tinnitus. Anyway, here's a bit of catching up that's over due.

The Watcher of Weasels has selected two fine additions to join the Watcher's Council. I must admit that both are better bloggers than I am, and like the other members probably only tolerate my presence as an odd means of blogger charity. I'll have to check into the tax law to see if it benefits either of us. So without further delay, more on Tom later, the two newest members are The Glittering Eye and Carpe Bonum. If you aren't familiar with them, please go and get acquainted.

It's April 15th. You know what that means - it means the 2005 EO Symposium (2nd Quarter) - Judeo-Christian Morality in an Ethically Pluralistic Society is due tonight. Thankfully, my entry will be ready with time to spare. If you plan to submit an entry, you've got until 11:59 P.M. CST. Joe runs a great blog and the responses to this symposium, while perhaps not as numerous, will be just as thoughtful and engaging as the first installment this past January.

Another of the side issues that I've been working on was mentioned today. And by a co-conspirator at that. Along with Bill Rice, Dawn's Early Light, and Tom, the Redhunter, I'm working to build a new site to focus on open source assessments of the various threats against the United States and her allies. I'm confident we'll launch shortly and that it'll be a plus for those interested in the topic.

Now to close the evening out with a flourish I’ll offer a couple of quick items of News and Notes for Thursday and early Friday morning.

Senator John McCain signaled his lack of desire to make a serious run for the White House in 2008 today when he announced that he'd side with the Democrats should the Republican leadership decide to lead and break the Democratic filibuster of judicial nominees. Like many of you I'm fed up with GOP Senators dressed like asses, polling for direction and dancing about on every issue. The principled elephant doesn't bray, hem or haw, it stands firm, does not forget and most importantly - never backs down. Senator McCain has long been heralded, and rightly so, for being a hero. And that he was and always will be, but as a Senator, I'd rather see him go.

Thankfully Senate Majority Leader Frist seems prepared to bring the issue to bear. Should enough salamander skinned Senators side with the obstructionist weasels, like Bird, at least we will know who to leave off the list for our support in '06 and '08. And if I could I'd add another animal to keep this up.

Robert Zoellick goes to the Sudan to press for action. Vice chief murdering thug, Ali Uthman Muhammad Taha, repeated his consistent message of denial saying his government was "working diligently to stop the violence" and "get Darfur back to normalcy." We have to watch out, if Kofi leaves the UN - this is just the guy to take over.

In Central Asia, Hamid Karzai wants to keep the Americans around, and so does Kurmanbek Bakiyev, acting prime minister of Kyrgyzstan, so long as we don't bring our AWACS along.

And while China stages protest against Japan, the EU Parliament affirms a measure to support the binding of the Arms Embargo to China's human rights and cross strait relations with Taiwan. The measure means nothing officially, and in China certainly means less. Just think how little it would mean to someone in... say - North Korea.

DPRK leaders have determined that they'll have to increase their nuclear weapons cache, or as Kim Yong Nam would say - "[w]e will continue increasing our self-defensive nuclear deterrent" - and to think, just a few years back the U.S. was building them a light water nuclear reactor. Ah... the good 'ole Clinton years.

Okay, that's it for tonight. Tomorrow we'll have the EO Symposium, the winners of this week's Watcher's Council, and more news, notes, quips, rants, rambles and the like. And thereafter....

April 12, 2005

How Blogging Affects Your Life

Each week, or perhaps most, the Homespun Bloggers host a symposium question for members of the Homespun Bloggers. The questions vary from the significant moral and political issues to the lighthearted, this weeks question may serve both. It comes from Patterico and is as follows:

How has blogging affected your life?

There are several means or avenues of approach that I could use to answer this question. The straightforward means would be to discuss the time I spend blogging or reading blogs, significant, and to discuss the impact of the information, perspective and thought that I’ve come across in blogging, also significant. Another path might be to discuss the progress that blogging has helped me to make in regaining the confidence I once held. Though that is far from relevant to anyone but me, and moreover, the process is far from complete. And that leads to another prospective approach, and the one I’m inclined to utilize.

Blogging is what we, or you the blogger, make of it. When I first timidly began posting, without the aid of a blogging tool or content management system, I immediately felt the relief of having expressed something openly. I found a joy and comfort in being able to once again state that which I believed, and along those lines recognized that I would certainly be affected by that simple act. The process of writing things out, presenting it to others (or none as often was and is the case) and reading the thoughts of many others on similar subject matter would have an impact. It has. My initial pages stated that my reason for blogging were the joy I gained from doing it, the ability to learn from doing it, and the aid it would provide in remembering. All are still valid and all have been realized to a great degree.

Prior to blogging, I had over the four plus years prior fallen far from being connected to anyone but the closest of family and friends, and even there some degree of separation was apparent. No, I will not claim that blogging alone has restored my connection to the world but it is clear in my daily life that it has played a significant role in helping me to reconnect. Men and women I’ve never met, and am not likely to, have contacted me, taken me to task, offered encouragement, and some have become regular correspondents and trusted voices from afar. That alone is a powerful reason for me to continue to blog.

The family and friends I once was unable to connect with now find me more open and at peace with the world than the last four years witnessed. Sure, I’m still concerned, but I’ve found a voice that frees my heart and mind, permitting life (the non-blogging portion at least) to be focused, as it should be – on those I’m with. For that I’m thankful to have the medium, as are those who are perhaps unwittingly benefiting from the release it provides.

Beyond that blogging has helped to restore my confidence in others, and that alone has made it possible for me, even without (perhaps only without) the personal swagger, stature or vanity of my past, to reach out and lend a hand, an ear or a prayer for those near and far. I’ve met bloggers. First it was Karol, who via her blog got me involved in the Senate campaign of Pete Coors, and then more recently I met Hugh Hewitt and several members of the Rocky Mountain Alliance of Bloggers, and most recently several bloggers through the Rocky Mountain Bloggers Bash. Each time I found myself more comfortable, and surprisingly, well received. I'm also blogging at Conserva-Puppies, a member of the Watcher's Council, and as it happens facilitating the weekly Homespun Symposium. I’m not sure if it’ll be next or not, but I’ll soon be at GodBlogCon and I’ve been accepted to lead a session on blogging technology. A bit of a blending of my past and present, and perhaps a chance to give a little back. I truly hope so.

Its funny almost to think of it as giving back, I’ve only blogged for 9 ½ months. Now I write for a couple hours a day, not for the blog, and have hopes that I’ll someday do so for a living, but then don’t we all. And while it remains unlikely, as I’m not much for self-promotion and am unlikely to strike the fancy of society tilting toward paper credentials, cult of personality and exhibitionism, I know that I’m better for the effort.

In the end, blogging has meant much to me, and much of it is beyond what I’m capable of stating in so public a manner. Should we ever meet, and share a few minutes, if you want to know more I’m sure I’ll tell you. And I'll probably ramble just as much as I have here.

Conserva-Puppies

A while back the kind folks at Warm ‘N Fuzzy Conserva-Puppies invited me to join their blog. After my initial "get to know me post" I’ve contributed nothing more than the comments that I was likely to make even without being a contributor to the site. I’ve finally made my first post to the site, and hope that it’ll become a regular event. If you aren’t yet a regular reader of Conserva-Puppies, I highly recommend it to you, and beyond the posts I’d recommend you read and contribute to the dialog in the comments for each post.

April 8, 2005

Watcher's Council Winners Announced

The Watcher’s Council has once again announced their weekly winners. The winners were Right Wing Nuthouse with Taming the Whirlwind of History and Polipundit with W M D – or how "W" Made the Difference. Both are excellent as were several other entries, all of which are available with the full result of the vote at the Watcher of Weasels.

April 6, 2005

EO Symposium

Being somewhat, okay enormously, behind in my reading of other blogs, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I’ve not missed out on the second quarterly symposium at the Evangelical Outpost. The entry deadline isn’t until the 15th, an otherwise dark day, I’m confident that I’ll be able to put something together between now and then, and I’d encourage those of you who write about Judeo-Christian morality to do so as well. Joe describes the theme for this round as "Judeo-Christian morality in an ethically pluralistic society. Entries can explore the history of the concept, the applications toward public policy, the best means of arguing for it in the public square, or anything else that you choose."

If you do enter, drop me a note and I’ll be sure to read your entry (although I’m likely to read them all as I did last quarter).

April 5, 2005

Catching Up

After my last post, I was a little reluctant to sit down and write for the Little Red Blog over the weekend. Just feeling as if the passing of the Pope, and other events large and small, would have to wait before I discussed them here. I have managed to do more reading of the blogs on the sidebar and links page than I’d been able to do for a couple of weeks and I must admit, some of you have been very impressive in that time. But then you generally are.

RMBB 4.0

On Saturday, the Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash was held at the Denver Press Club. Unfortunately it coincided with Carolina’s national semi-final game against Michigan State, so I didn’t arrive until late, at 10, and though it was advertised as being from 7 to 11 we weren’t forcibly evicted until after midnight.

While at the RMBB, I met ZombyBoy of ResurrectionSong, Jiggity of avoiding the Tar baby, Nick of Libercontrarian, Ryan of A Bellandean, Bob of Let’s Try Freedom and Blogger News Network, Nathan of Brain Fertilizer, Stephen the Vodka Pundit, Jed of Freedom Site, Darren of Colorado Conservative, Publicola, Wadcutter, and Pueblog. And others who I’ve either forgotten, if so I apologize, or didn’t catch their name in the first place… after a couple of drinks and much lively conversation, either is possible. Also there was Elizabeth (or was it Katherine) the bar tender, and at least a couple non-bloggers. One rather touchy journalist (his choice of titles though he called his writing bull….) in particular, who despite speaking far too loudly, also felt the need to poke, prod, rub, hold, and pat those he was speaking to. Needless to say, I told him several times that he was too touchy. Politically, he’s just wrong but he made for a bit of entertainment at the end of the festivities.

After the closing of the DPC, Jiggity and I went to his favorite watering hole, and stayed until once again, forcibly evicted. By then, I’d had my fair share of drinks, had talked for hours on subjects of a wide range and was certain that those who’d met me were ready to see me go. With that thought and the locked doors behind me, I arranged for Mrs. LRB to drive me home, she’d been working on a Saturday of all things and late at that. And so, my RMBB tale is done.

Carolina Wins the National Championship

As mentioned above, Carolina played Michigan State on Saturday and won. And last night, they faced Illinois. I have to admit, that despite being a die-hard fan, even though I rarely write about them on the LRB, I didn’t think they could pull it off. But they did. Congratulations to the Tar Heels and all their fans. Coach Williams and his staff, the players, everyone who made it happen should be very proud for the turn around from just a few short years ago was outstanding.

Conclusion

When will I blog regularly again. Hopefully very soon, maybe even beginning today. I’ve been writing, just not things that I’ve felt were appropriate for the blog, and frankly I’ve been so far behind on reading your blogs and the news, after moving the LRB, that I’ve felt ill prepared for this. See you soon with more.

March 25, 2005

Council Winners

The Watcher's Council has again selected its winners for the week. This weeks winning council entry is Iraqi Bravery by Alpha Patriot. The winning non-council entry is 2 Years by Democracy in Iraq. The full results are available at the Watcher of Weasels here and as always are well worth reading.

Congratulations to the winners and everyone else who participated.

March 19, 2005

About Last Night

Yesterday was a conflicting day in many ways. The day starts out hopeful, as do all, but with an odd heaviness upon me that I’d not anticipated. Terri Schiavo was on my mind. Throughout the day while I tried to go about writing on this or that topic, reading about the potential for good or bad around the world, and waiting on the gangly near-seven footers to take the floor in Carolina blue, I was unable to express my concern for Terri. And for myself. Or you. Or all of us.

I managed to post a few pieces of little real note, mind and heart still filled with concern. Afterwards, Carolina blue having been victorious, Terri being without her feeding tube, Marvin being concerned, perplexed, tired and yet somehow wanting to believe that hope remained, I headed out to Blogfest with Hugh Hewitt and the Rocky Mountain Alliance of Bloggers.

At 4, when I arrived, Hugh was about to take the air, the crowd was settled into the chairs and, as is the norm, I felt… well, out of place. I had decided that I would stay and hear the show live, speak with the RMA bloggers, and any others I could meet, so I stood between the middle earth master writings of J.R.R. Tolkien and colorful books that couldn’t find a place in my memory. No names, no topics, just small colorful potential additions for those so inclined. I wasn’t.

Hugh’s primary topic for the day, Terri Schiavo. After a little more than a half hour, I was not sure I’d make it. I walked around during breaks hoping that somehow the topic would shift. That my heart would be diverted from this matter to one of more lightness, one where hope seemed appropriate and moreover, one that didn’t hold such damnation for us all. Hugh prevailed. His everyday optimism and energy brought the story to those present and far away and he pressed on and on. And on. His guest by and large were superb, more on them perhaps later. Hugh had won me over again. I’d stay longer and moreover, I got in line to get my book signed.

When I walked up to Hugh, he shook my hand and asked what I did. Blog, I said. Duh. After telling Hugh where I blog, he recognizes the title and has very kind words to say and encourages me to keep going. I tried to express my appreciation. Tried. It didn’t really come out that well. Back to middle earth I head. And with a chocolate milk from the bookstore’s coffee shop.

Later during the show, Hugh mentions the Little Red Blog on the air, and again has nice things to say. He is kind and generous with his praise for others. An honorable trait, unless you are a headmaster. Perhaps he isn’t really cut out for leading CU. I remind myself to email the regents, just as Hugh has reminded us all. Several times. Terri is again the topic as the show closes with a beautiful poem by Tarzana Joe. I have to bite my lip and cover my eyes.

Shows over. Time to mingle. An art I once felt I’d mastered, but after years of inactivity and isolation, I was sorely in need of assistance. Hugh’s mentioning the LRB so kindly would help, even if he did say I looked like ZZ Top. Several folks came by and chatted. That was another big help. After a time, I met with Ben, Jared, Clay, Jim, Bob, Jonathan and Lisa, and many other bloggers and readers. Then off to dinner at Tucano’s. It was excellent, as was the company. And finally, the return home.

While driving home, I couldn’t help but think that Terri is hungry by now. This morning while I type this, having not yet had breakfast. I’m sure Terri is hungry. And thirsty.

Follow the links from family.org and let the Florida legislature know that something must be done. And then pray. Pray for Terri, for her family, for her comfort during her ordeal, and for our leaders who have as of yet not led us to a better place.

March 18, 2005

Weekly Winners

The Watcher's Council has announced its weekly winners. The winning council entry is "Trust Us. We're from the government." And the winning non-council entry is "The New United Nations: American Pressure at Work."

These entries and the others are linked with the full results at the Watcher of Weasels. And as is almost always the case, they are excellent.

March 17, 2005

Open Seat

The Watcher's Council has an open seat. The ever entertaining and provocative Little Miss Attila, has resigned her seat, and well, while it is still warm, you should apply for membership. To do so, read the rules here, and then send the Watcher your request. I've only been on the Watcher's Council for a short time, but it's been a enjoyable, helped to expand the list of blogs I read, and brought at least one additional reader to the Little Red Blog.

March 11, 2005

Winners Announced by The Watcher's Council

This weeks winning entries:

The Moderate Voice wins with Wounded Italian Journalist: Victim of Conspiracy or Polemicist?.

The winning non-council entry is Bill Maher: Over the Edge! from BuzzMachine.

Both are excellent, as were several other entries. Read them all here.

March 4, 2005

Weekly Winners Announced

The Watcher's Council has once again met and voted, well, some portion did.

The winning Council entry Freedom on the March from Alpha Patriot. An excellent piece well worth the reading. As Alpha's post normally are.

The winning non-Council entry from New Sisyphus, The United Kingdom and the United States: Civil Liberties in the Age of Terror, is excellent.

Be sure and read them, and to see the results of the full vote, go to the Watcher of Weasels. Congrats to everyone for the excellent entries.

February 28, 2005

Linkage Offer

In a weekly effort to spread the wealth of links, and to find the best of the blogosphere, the Watcher of Weasels has once again made an offer of link whorage. If you've got a post that needs wider readership, follow the instructions found here, and you'll get a share of the exposure. Perhaps you'll even be the non-council winner in this weeks selection of the finest.

February 25, 2005

Vox Blogoli v2.2

Hugh Hewitt has once again initiated a Vox Blogoli. Those inclined to opine are encouraged to reply. Being one so inclined I offer my take on the question.

McClellan or Grant? Should the GOP leadership in the Senate push to a confrontation with the Democrats over the filibustering of judicial nominees, and if the Dems filibuster even one judicial nominee, should the GOP move to the "nuclear option" of a rule change, even if Harry Reid threatens a Senate shutdown?

Nominees are sent to the Senate for “advice and consent.” After committee approval, the Senate may debate the nominee, and then the all-important vote. It’s the vote that serves to provide the advice, and potentially, the consent to the President. Only after consent does the President appoint the nominee to the court. Senate Democrats are using Senate filibuster rules to prevent the vote. The tactical reasoning is simple, the votes are there to approve the candidates, and may not be there (most likely aren’t) to break the filibuster given its requirement of 60 votes to end it.

Why make such a decision? The Democrats of late, perhaps since FDR or before, are more attached to their ideological view than they are to the Constitution and the constraints that it purposefully placed on the federal government and the Senate. The same reason that Republicans of all varieties (conservative, neo-con, paleo-con, classical liberal, social or religious conservative, libertarian, etc.) have come together to oppose the modern left, as seen in the Democratic Party. The responsibility to nominate, and appoint, judges rest in the hands of the President. To ensure that this authority is not abused, the Senate is given a role. Today’s Democratic Senators aren’t willing to accept that role; instead they chose to prevent a vote. This behavior, or tactic, is obstructionist, or alternatively a direct affront to the Constitution they swore to defend.

The left, now firmly guiding the Democratic Party, and groups such as the People for the American Way are flatly wrong in their assertion that the Senate is co-equal in the appointment of federal judges.

So, Grant or McClellan? Grant. McClellan has been tried before and has failed. It amounts to appeasement. The Republicans and supportive Democrats should stand firm and demand "NOT ANOTHER INCH." We’ve moved too far from the Constitution, every step farther away relates to another generation, at best, before we again see the Constitution upheld in the Courts and understand by the people. Not another inch.

And finally, a bit of advice for the liberal, moderate and conservative supporters of the Democratic Party. Don’t let these Senators obstruct the rule of law in your name. Our nation needs your political party and the upcoming elections in 2006 and 2008 are going to be impacted by the decisions made this year. If you doubt that, just watch Senator Clinton.

Council Winner In Da House

Votes were cast, tallied and then the winners announced.

The winning council entry, none other than my own, a first for me. The entry is a short piece called Waiting, and like many of my better blog entries…. it was written while I was angry, frustrated or generally peeved.

Fortunately, I didn’t expect to win, and therefore did not come with a prepared acceptance speech.

So I’ll have to wing it. My fellow noble and approved good masters… No, that’s been done. They like me they really like me. No, that too has been done, and done again. It has been a long journey to this moment. Damnation that’s been done! Words are so futile, so feeble. That too!!! Okay, no speech, just my thanks.

Read the other entries, and you, like me, will wonder how I won (...just like the Oscar’s - campaigning, cheerleading and bribes).

The winning non-council entry, from Gates of Vienna, is a critical look at jihad, no longer just for jihadist. It’s a must read.

All the entries, council and non-council, were well worth reading so I highly recommend you check them out in the Watchers den.

As for me, I have some post awards ceremony parties to attend.

February 18, 2005

Winners Announced

The Watcher's Council has voted and the winners have been announced.

The winning council entry is an excellent post by the Sundries Shack. It is an excoriating review of Kofi Annan's attempt to give the UN credit for the success of the Iraqi election.

The winning non-council entry comes from American Digest. Here we get an excellent look at the not so Indian professor of hatred, Ward Churchill.

There were, of course, many great entries, all of which may be found at in the Watcher’s den.

February 14, 2005

Watching Bloggers On Kudlow & Company

I decided to watch Kudlow & Company on CNBC, to see Hugh Hewitt, John Hinderaker, and Glenn Reynolds weigh in on Easongate and the MSM’s continued cover-up of the story, i.e. the real story being CNN’s cover-up of Eason Jordan’s remarks back in November and again at Davos, I was pleasantly surprised to find Ralph Peters and Rowan Scarborough on preceding the bloggers. Peters and Scarborough discussed the election results in Iraq and North Korea’s nuclear admission.

Peters, as expected, was right on point and hilariously blunt in his assessments. They noted, as I did in a previous post, that the NYTimes and Washington Post both paint the picture of the election results as a failure, and Peters, Scarborough and host, Larry Kudlow, noted that it was the "best result we could have looked for." Peters on North Korea:

"North Koreans are dumb." And with regard to their announcement, and the resulting international isolation, it was "as dumb as going into a singles bar and announcing you’ve got herpes."
That was well worth a laugh.

Next up, Easongate and the bloggers.

The bloggers made it very clear that the story was that Eason Jordan had done it before, meaning he’d claimed that the military target and tortured journalist, and that CNN had covered up his comments, choosing instead to see him go, rather than see the tapes of his comments made public.

They went on to discuss the left’s response and the future of their blogs. Hugh rightly characterized the left’s criticism of the blogs as jealousy, speaking specifically of Lovelady and this unexplainable WSJ Opinion piece, and John and Glenn stated their future interest as the court appointments, offering redress for those slandered (Hinderaker), and science policy and the war (Reynolds).

Haven’t watched CNBC in a few years, and while I’m certain it isn’t all as conservative, or even balanced, like Kudlow & Company, and it isn’t as visually grabbing as FoxNews, it wasn’t bad at all.

February 11, 2005

The Council Has Spoken!

The votes have been counted, minus a small number of disenfranchised members, and the winners have been announced. The full results are here.

Sundries Shack offers the winning council entry with Bush Jong-Il. It's well worth the read, if you haven't. The winning non-council entry comes from Victory Soap, and as you might guess, Just. Shut. Up. is excellent. There were several other excellent candidates this week, not mine, including the Wallo World and e-Claire entries. And the non-council entries were excellent also, especially you can see them all here.

Congratulations to the winners!

February 4, 2005

Watcher's Council Has Spoken

The votes have been counted.

The winning Council entry comes from Dr. Sanity. Challenger - A Flight Surgeon Remembers. The winning non-Council entry comes from Cold Fury. It's title couldn't be more accurate or concise. Spelling It Out.

There where many excellent entries this week. Visit the Watcher of Weasels to see the complete results and the many other excellent entries.

January 28, 2005

Attention, Your Attention Please

The Watcher's Council has turned in their results...

From the Council entries: Wallo World - A Childlike Fantasy
From non-Council entries: Cavalier's Guardian Watchblog - Zarqawi's War on Democracy

The complete results of the vote are available here.

Congratulations to both winners. I enjoyed reading all the entries, and expect I'll continue to.

January 26, 2005

The Watcher's Council

The Little Red Blog is the newest addition to the Watcher's Council. Thanks to the Watcher for the opportunity. If you haven't been a regular reader of the Watcher of Weasels, shame on you. Katie said, "...so if you want to be cool like us, you should apply!" And still, I have no sudden feeling of coolness, but you never know what the ego can do given time and sufficient coddling.

January 25, 2005

Vox Blogoli v2.1

Hugh has offered yet another opportunity to contribute to the blogosphere’s combined voice through his Vox Blogoli. First, he offers a brief passage from Jonathan Rauch, written for the monthly journal, The Atlantic, and then asks for our commentary, what does it say about the author, The Atlantic, and the left’s understanding of the Christian culture in America. The passage in question follows:

"On balance it is probably healthier if religious conservatives are inside the political system than if they operate as insurgents and provocateurs on the outside. Better they should write anti-abortion planks into the Republican platform than bomb abortion clinics. The same is true of the left. The clashes over civil rights and Vietnam turned into street warfare partly because activists were locked out of their own party establishments and had to fight, literally, to be heard. When Michael Moore receives a hero’s welcome at the Democratic National Convention, we moderates grumble; but if the parties engage fierce activists while marginalizing tame centrists, that is probably better for the social peace than the other way around."
I had to read it twice before beginning. Not because it is difficult to understand or a challenge to gain the perspective of the author, but rather because it is so completely and utterly insulting and off the mark.

The publishers of The Atlantic, its editors, its advertisers, all must have the utmost confidence in the continued support of their clearly disturbed readers in order to permit this piece to make it into print. Mr. Rauch has stepped in it. He doesn’t understand the Christian or religious center-right supporters of the Republican Party, and moreover he has taken to the most egregious of insults as an example of his ignorance.

It’s one thing to compare fringe elements of the Democratic Party to perhaps single issue voters within the Republican Party, in this case pro-life voters. Rauch wasn’t going to be satisfied with such a comparison. His choice was to imply that the pro-life conservatives are similar to "insurgents." Insurgents. You know the word, the media’s euphemism for the terrorist in Iraq. If Mr. Rauch’s view is correct, it would stand that the insurgents, or terrorist, in Iraq are merely responding to the failure of the political parties to include them in the platform, conventions and political system. Yes, I see it now, that’s why they’re insurgents.

We choose life. And are included in the party platform to keep us from doing what, supporting candidates that support life but are not part of the party. It isn’t that we are likely to take to the streets and its even less likely that we’ll harm anyone, yet it is that picture that Rauch chooses to paint. He ensures that we recognize his agenda, his malice and his complete disregard for the implications, to us, of his words. Rauch has no idea who or what the center-right or conservative American looks like. He doesn’t know what we believe, or how and why Christian culture is so vastly different from the religious extremes of the Islamist. By comparing pro-life conservative to the murderous thugs, if only in the choice of language, Mr. Rauch has shown his true disdain for the Christian, the Conservative (religious or otherwise) and for the civility of Christian culture in America. This perhaps more than anything shows him to be a part of the left rather than a moderate as he describes himself. He has joined the fringe he describes, such as the leftist protesters who clamor about calling the President a fascist or Nazi, and thusly removing themselves from any serious discussion. Rauch is not in the mainstream, and neither is the Atlantic.

It steams me to no end to read the words of someone so blinded by either ignorance or snobbery. Now how am I to get to sleep? Oh yeah, we won in November, and we win again when the elections take place at the end of the month. Too bad for the insurgents terrorists.

UPDATE: Hugh is interviewing the author, Mr. Rauch, right now. Based on his responses to Hugh, I don’t think he is as far off the range as I’d previously seen him. He is simply squishy and unwilling to accept his own leanings to the left, choosing instead to see himself as moderate where he is not.

After mentioning the LRB on the air, a first, Hugh is trying to show Rauch that, at least through this one paragraph, it appears that he is comparing religious conservatives to the terrorist, and further to the most radical left portions of the Democratic Party. It would be great to see the entire article, and if it isn't made available, a trip to the book store may be in order. I don't want to mis-understand Mr. Rauch, yet, I'm not convinced that he hasn't done exactly what he intended in his rather soft use the language.

UPDATE 2: The full story is now available on Hugh's site. I stand by my previous comments.

January 13, 2005

Congratulations to the RMA

Congratulations are in order for the Rocky Mountain Alliance of Bloggers.

The RMA were recognized by David Harsanyi, of the Denver Post, in a column and welcomed as members of the new media. A rare welcome, yet a sign that some, albeit conservative, journalist are welcoming to the fold those who’ll broaden and expand the discussion of ideas.

This was followed by attending the State of the State address, with press credentials, and afterwards a Q and A with the Governor.

Congratulations! Those participating were Clay, Richard, Jim, Joshua, and Michael. Be sure and read their coverage.

January 12, 2005

Homespun Symposium VIII

In this week’s Homespun Symposium, CJ presents the question:

What, in your opinion, are the moral responsibilities of the individual citizen in the United States (or your own country) today and how do you believe people should act upon (or react to) those perceived responsibilities?
An excellent question, and a question that will no doubt find as many differences among the responses, as it will similarities. How many among us will attest to the existence of absolute truths, moral certainties, or even unalienable rights?

Many times before, and certainly more to come, this space has been held by my preoccupation with the moral certainties of our nations founding – “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These simple words, strung together for the first time some 228 years ago, recognize the most basic of truths, and whether we are men of faith, men of reason, or men of reasoned faith, we are not likely to supplant them.

Without the aforementioned standards, we fall prey to the snake oil salesmen of our age offering human rights, civil liberties, compensation without merit, and an assortment of miracle cures, elixirs and programs for ailments that spring not from the frailty of our bodies but from the frailty of our character. And here we are.

The answer, in as much as I’m capable of providing one, is as follows:

We must educate ourselves, as well as our progeny and all those we come into contact with, on both the premise and the promise of our nation. This is particularly challenging given the state of our education system, higher ed in particular, and the substantive attachment our businesses, society and often personal lives place on acquiring what is now more often than not merely a bus ticket to join the rat race.

We must engage our fellow citizens who, out of kindness or mal-intent, advocate the government as the primary resolution to societal woe, inequality of result, or personal misfortune. Again challenging, as we have 60 plus years of ever increasing involvement from the government, and far too few advocates, even among those who are like minded, to state the case. Is it morally acceptable to ignore the immorality of forced taxation, even if the result of the tax is to aid the less fortunate? No, the moral option is to seek to aid the needy through efforts voluntarily contributed to, and to remove the barriers to greater prosperity for those who might contribute freely.

And lastly, whether from a zero defect mentality, an all or nothing view, a single-issue stance, or other causes, including standing on principle, we must end our unwillingness to chose the best among less than perfect options. Far too often we’ve stood on principle and been defeated, rather than moving toward a more principled and just solution through compromise. Think baby steps.

There are many areas that are well worth discussing under the label of our moral responsibilities to our nation, none more important than the defense of the nation when threatened, or the willingness to challenge it when it errs. But without agreement on the basis for our nations existence, its role in our lives, and our responsibilities to it and each other, we are limited in our ability to discuss or amend our path. The great, and clearly flawed, men who founded this nation, framed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, specifically the Bill of Rights, not as a moral or just system for individuals to abide by or a guide for our lives, but rather as a moral and just system by which we could self-govern and limit the tyranny of man over man. It was clear to them that the individual citizen would be required to accept responsibility for his own life, moral or otherwise, in order for this system to work. And for the most part, it has. That being said, no more for now.

Other responses to this weeks question:

Mad Poets Anonymous
Weapons of Mass Distraction
Being Thomas Luongo
The Unmentionables
Ogre's Politics and Views
The Redhunter
Major Dad 1984
Three Men and a Blog
Dagney's Rant
Ruah
The Commons at Paulie World

December 29, 2004

Hewitt's Latest - Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation that is Changing Your World

If it's not on your wish list, you haven't received an early copy, and you aren't hounding your local bookstore for it.... why?

The year is coming to an end and Hugh Hewitt's latest bestseller Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation that is Changing Your World is a necessity for those seeking to participate and understand why blogs, or more aptly the blogosphere, are important as a new median for information decimination. Whether you blog, read them often, or are a first time reader, you'll want to see a glimpse of what's only just begun.

Credibility matters... buy Hugh's book and let me know if I'm right.

And while you are at it, read his latest column for the Weekly Standard.

November 30, 2004

The Threat

Before attempting to respond to this week’s symposium question, one that strikes a particularly strong cord with those on the right apparently more than those on the left, it is incumbent upon us to review what is at stake. The question this week:

What, in your mind, represents the single greatest long-term threat to the United States of America, and what should be done about it?

The author of the question, limits our discussion to the single greatest threat to the United States of America, and challenges us to offer a solution. Threats to the US come in many forms, from within and without, from direct attack, unintended consequences and subversive undermining, and from the governed and the government. When discussing the threats, current or long-term, our view of what is at stake is reflected by our assessment of the threats. Should we look at the threat from the view of ending our nations existence, there are relatively few threats. Should we instead look at the nature and character of our nation, there are many threats and more significantly, these threats weaken our ability and willingness to recognize and defend ourselves against threats to our very existence.

So the answer was apparent. The threat of single greatest significance must be a threat to the character of the nation and its ideals. If you are so patient, let me add that I’ve included the list of current and possible long-term threats here, should you be interested in it.

Islamo-fascism – the perversion of Islamic thought and doctrine in support of a bigoted, intolerant, arabesque world-view. Primary concerns are the current militant Islamo-fascist of al-Qaeda and associated terrorist organizations, secondary concern is the enormous support of and adherence to the Islamo-fascist view of Islam held throughout the world, and dominant in the Middle East (whether Sunni or Shi’a in inclination). Affiliated issues include the propagation of anti-Semitism or anti-Israeli thought and action, an enormous amount of propaganda and a willingness to accept lies and conspiracies as truth, an inability or unwillingness to permit cultural assimilation, and a birth rate far exceeding European and North American non-Hispanic growth rates.

Nuclear Proliferation and Terrorism – the spread of nuclear weapons and technology to unstable, rogue and hostile nations possibly willing to aid terrorist in acquiring them or incapable of adequately securing them.

China – the increased economic and military reach of China and their attempt to construct a Chinese hegemony in Asia and beyond as a counter-American force in the world.

Indo-Pakistani belligerence – two nuclear capable nations with a breadth of immoral and unjust hatred and bigotry for the other. Socialist/Communist ties and the general inability of each state to extend liberty to their citizens creates the greater incentive for public dissatisfaction and instability.

Iran – essentially a theocratic oligarchy of Shi’a Islamo-fascist. The gravest threat here is the development of nuclear weapons and technology, the support for terrorist outside Iran and the open hostility towards Israel and the US.

Middle Eastern Kings and Emirs – the kingdoms and emirates of the Middle East have used islamo-fascist thought as a means to control their populations and are limited in their ability to reform out of fear of a true islamo-fascist take over as in Iran.

European Socialism – primarily in Western Europe, unlike the firm opposition to Communism, their Socialism has gained support over the years and influences all aspect their lifestyles, thought and culture.

Russia – Vladimir Putin and other remnants of the former Soviet Union continue to show a return to Soviet styled governance rather than encouraging Liberty and fighting the corruption that followed the fall of the USSR through rule of law and vigilant economic and intellectual openness.

Of course, there are other risks and areas of concern.

The single greatest threat to the United States comes from within. Not just within the nation, but within each of its citizens. As noted in a previous post, the course within is the most significant and it is measured by our understanding, acceptance and acting on a moral basis. Some respondents to the question will make the issue a religious issue, a possible cause for the reactionary steps of those attacking the foundation of our nation today; others will find a particular symptom of our weakened moral state and attribute the danger to it. We might instead seek to prevent the disease itself from further spread to future generations and to cure it among the many (millions) currently afflicted.

In a post on the danger of moral ambivalence, and others, we’ve noted that one must recognize that while religion is often a precursor to our understanding of moral or ethical issues, as a nation we must resist the religious argument as a means for establishing rules of governance. We have the moral truths of our unalienable rights, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, and upon these we should be able to debate and determine the proper course of governance for a strong and moral people. The trouble, of course, is when we are no longer a moral people, capable of living up to the responsibilities associated with Liberty. The danger lies therein.

The larger the role our government, the federal government in particular, plays in our lives, the less we as a people are responsible to each other and to our progeny for our decisions and actions. Federal activism in education, health, social character and what should be state or local issues remains not only a symptom of our failing moral compass but a cause for its further decay. The solution is to aim for a return to the federalist approach of our founders and to re-establish the sovereignty of the state, the community and the family. The good news is that while we are falling toward complete moral irrelevance and the loss of the most basic of truths, we have far to fall before hitting ground, and the parachute, our Constitution, remains as a means to recover.

Other Homespun Symposium Responses

A Physicist's Perspective
Bunker Mulligan
Bill's Big Bloviating Blog
Ogre's Politics and Views
Mud and Phud
The Commons at Paulie World
The Terriorists
The Redhunter
Never Sway
Mad Poets Anonymous
Considerettes
In Search of Utopia
Mark Rauterkus & Running Mates

Addendum: We are, whether perilously or not may be debated, divided in our understanding of the nature of being American, of being a free people, and of the nature of our government’s responsibilities to us as citizens. We may, or rather will, debate, on many occasions, the extent and nature of the divide in our nation. Those who see a divide may lament its existence, while others likewise seeing it, will see it as a sign of our health and prosperity. Partisan we are, some by reason and principle, others for reasons neither they nor their counterparts can discern. In the end, the truth of the divide may be seen not by our debate or acknowledgement of its existence, but by our vocal and active support for altering the direction of the nation, whether our party, or the closest in similarity, is in power or not.

November 22, 2004

Homespun Symposium II

The questions posed this week: Is the division in America important to you? What will be necessary to heal it? What part do you see Bloggers playing in that discussion and how will you personally contribute to it?

The assumption being made in responding to this question is that the divide in question is the political divide between the left and right ends of the political spectrum. The danger in this assumption is clear, as the author of the question may at some point clarify, until such time the following response will stand.

On more than one occasion, if not quite often, this space has been used to address, categorize and reflect upon the political, social, moral, ethical, and religious divide in our nation and around the world. The particulars of our interest stem from a desire to see the defense of individual liberty as the primary concern of government within the United States, and the return of individual responsibility and restraint within the society at large. In addressing the division, we will to look to the nature of the divide, its cause, extent and effects on our nation and world. As for curative measures, the prescription has been laid out on more than one occasion and in different forms, we may review them as well.

Many will no doubt note that the divide is not significant given the relative closeness of the recent election, others will not that it isn’t significant given the breadth and depth of the Republican majority in the Federal government, and finally others will offer that it is simply as it has always been. None of these arguments are without merit and the appropriate facts and statistics to back them up. The crux, however, is not the size of the divide in numbers, but rather the enormity of variance in the view of governance, personal responsibility, and moral living. In this regard, the divide is worthy of our attention.

The two most prominent disparities between the left and right, in the U.S., are found in their view of the role of government and their relationship to the individuals who espouse the extremes of either side. In this most recent election, the left not only accepted the fringe elements of the left, they courted them as we witnessed the likes of Ted Kennedy, Al Gore, Howard Dean and others, propagating conspiracy theories and outright lies concerning President Bush, September 11th, and America’s response to Islamo-fascist terror, while continuing to use judicial fiat to create law where none previously existed. This came in stark contrast to the principled words and actions of the right over the last decade which has effectively disassociated its fringe elements espousing isolationism, immediate elimination of various government departments (i.e. the IRS, Education, EPA, etc.), and overturning current law by fiat. For many decades, it was the left that sought through “baby-steps” to achieve their agenda, and the right floundered about by espousing a larger roll back of government programs that could not connect with voters across the board. In the last 10 years, the right has mastered begun to take the baby-steps approach, and the left has, in response and despair, jumped headlong into the extreme social agenda that does not resonate with the majority.

This space will not seek to heal the divide. This isn’t to say that it will not be supportive of reasoned debate and the end of the current vitriol between the two sides. The reality is that the left has made significant errors, and those who’ve supported its slide into moral abyss, support for a socialist agenda and advocacy for the cessation of constitutional norms, are also the parties who’ll have to move toward the center in order to regain both political relevance and establish the credibility required to be taken seriously. This will be necessary both among the political elites, as well as the so-called average man on the street or left leaning blogger. When a blogger associates himself with such off the mark positions, only his future actions will return him to credibility as a proponent of ideas or ideology. It is his actions, which must mark his return to the center, where the vast majority of Americans reside.

It may be of benefit to us all to consider that the divide is not among the people of America, by and large, instead it is rather a divide as to what America is, how we should govern and be governed, and the role of the individual in the recognition of and defense of his liberties, opportunity and personal responsibilities. No liberal, leftist, centrist, conservative or right-winger espouses an ideology or view of governance without also addressing his view of himself and how he wishes to be viewed by others and government in general.

Also responding:
Mud and Phud
Ogre's Politics and Views
A Physicist's Perspective
The Commons (Paulie)
Mad Poets Anonymous
Bunker Mulligan
Mark A. Kilmer's Political Annotation
Considerettes
In Search of Utopia
The Hopeful Cynic
The Unmentionables

Strengthen the Good

The latest from Strengthen the Good.

As STG show often shows, there are many who are doing good works for others, our opportunity to help this time is by sending books, not money, to the C.S. Lewis Bilingual Gymnazium in Bratislava, Slovakia. It's an excellent chance to help young people gain an understanding of English, a respect for literature and to be exposed to the great gifts of knowledge found in many of the works on their list of desired books.

If you have an extra copy of one of the books on their list, take the time to send it to them. More details available at Strengthen the Good.

November 3, 2004

Norwegian visitors?

Anyone out there read Norwegian? The following link to the Little Red Blog has produced lots of hits this morning, almost all from Norway.

"Bush vant først på nettet

Allerede klokken 02.45 i natt gratulerte Little Red Blog-forfatteren Marvin Hutchens George Bush med seieren. Da snakket fortsatt de store TV-stasjonene om at Ohio kunne vippe begge veier.

De kjente kringkastingsstasjonene ønsket å unngå de raske konklusjonene som slo tilbake på dem selv i 2000, og avstod i år fra å spekulere i de ferske meningsmålingene gjort utenfor valglokalene. "


UPDATE: Thanks to Chris for the translation in the comments. Much appreciated.

October 4, 2004

Strengthen the Good: Garden of Angels

For the cynics who believe that bloggers are driven by their need to feed their ego, and not out of a principled desire to make this a better land, I ask only that you take a look at Strengthen the Good and the collection of charities that it has championed.

The latest is Garden of Angels. No words from my pen or keyboard will adequately describe the nobility of this thankless charity.

Please see for yourself and give as you may.

Thank you.

Updated to remain on top for the day.

September 29, 2004

Dean's Advice

Dean Esmay has posted an excellent piece on the way bloggers view Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds. Using data compiled by Dave Schuler at the Glittering Eye, as evidence, Dean notes that Instapundit isn't the center of the blogosphere. His advice to the aspiring blogger:

"do good work, and network with others."
As he notes, good advice in any endeavor.

Those who blog for themselves, and not for fame, recognition or approval are more likely to blog when they want to, to write more effectively as an expression of their beliefs and to find happiness in having done so. Having a reader comment or trackback to a particular post offers fleeting pleasure if what you seek is not to express yourself, yet if you seek the expression, receiving a comment augments your happiness with an additional joy, not nearly as destructive or addictive. Just as envy may lead to our downfall in daily life, it can in the blogosphere.

Just write what you think and leave it be.

TCS This Morning

Read Tech Central Station this morning. Not because of Glenn Reynolds, but because of Tim Worstall and Stephen Green, and a guest piece by Nelson Hernandez, Sr.

Green, also well known as Vodkapundit, asks what we've all wanted to ask - Who are these people? Well they are the undecided voters of course.

Worstall, who blogs at an appropriately named blog, describes how the President hid from dangerous duty during the Vietnam war by becoming a fighter pilot. Did you know John Kerry served in Vietnam?

Hernandez wrote the game President Elect 1988. If you weren't enough of a geek to have heard of it, read his piece anyway. It offers his insight into how the game was built and a prediction on this years election.

I'm not saying that Lord Reynolds piece is to be ignored. But we know he'll be read via his Instalaunch.

September 27, 2004

Catching up with the blogosphere.

Coming back to the blog after a weekend off is somewhat difficult. After all so much has happened, so many outstanding pieces have been written and more significantly, I’d just begun to believe that the important issues in life, those at home, are safe from the intrusion of others.

Reality is that when we rest, the terrorist does not. Thankfully, there are those in the blogosphere who didn’t rest either. Here is a sampling of what I’m catching up on.

From The Command Post: all the news on the war on terror including the good news that Farooqi is dead, and that an Iraqi National Guard General has been arrested.

Pejmanesque has this great catch by David Kaspar, the German's withdrawal from the U.S. Army’s annual Land Combat Expo due to Ralph Peters comments.

Wizbang echoes the sentiment of many, as we wish we could write with the clarity of Mark Steyn.

Redhunter reports back from last weeks GOPUSA Issues and Actions conference.

Evangelical Outpost shares a view of why we wouldn't want to be associated with the NYTimes trashing of bloggers.

And leftist Juan Cole shares this picture with his readers. Commenting on how the Dems are using it to show the two faces of President Bush.


The list could be so much longer. Maybe I'll add more, or if you like, you may via comments or links of your own.

September 22, 2004

Blogs and Bloggers for Truth

Blogs are all the rage in the mainstream media. Columns are popping up that discuss the impact of blogs on the election, and of course the impact of blogs on the mainstream media. In creating this blog, I sought neither and have found neither. What I have found however is that this blog enables the development of my thoughts and ideals and on rare occasions, read my subtitle, reaches others. In developing a consistent worldview, or guiding set of principles, the ability or attempt to communicate it often serves as a significant step in the right direction, thus a blog serves as a means to achieve a much more significant end.

I have made it a point to not make this blog a site where my past is discussed. Primarily in order to protect the innocent, and to allow me to express who I am today, a very different man than I was some years ago. Almost every person who knew me just over five years ago, no longer has any relationship with me whatsoever. And I’ve readily admitted that the reason for this is entirely my mistakes. Of course, it serves no purpose to admit it, as those who once sought my friendship are no longer listening. Time has passed and I am no longer of concern to them. I’ve also stated I’d prefer it be different, not wanting to have lost their friendship nor their trust.

Why do I say this, and how does it relate to my opening paragraph? We all write our blogs for different reasons. Yet I’ve noticed that whether as a confessional, a rant board, a political statement, a moral sounding board, or a combination, we all tend to seek and occasionally find that which eludes us in so much of today’s America – Truth.

This blog is not my confessional. I comment on political and social issues that strike my interest. Yet I respect, if not admire, those who choose to make their blog so personal. One such example is Alex of Wandering Mind.

Alex’s recent post on principles and abortion opens a door into who he is that struck a chord so deeply within me that I honestly had to leave the room. The discussion is pertinent because the evil that courses through our enemies veins, is found to such a high degree in our nation as well, and only by our admission of it, and forthright attempts to defeat it, personally, in boardrooms, in politics and on battlefields will we achieve the kind of peace that so many discuss but so few can understand. What?

A complete lack of moral clarity is the heart of the disease that is Islamo Fascism. The same lack of moral clarity is found here, in this country, in each of us, and only in the pursuit of it, will we find a path of understanding sufficient to defeat evil, and avoid being the next great evil. The Islamist have given up the pursuit of truth and moral clarity, we can not ever do so.

One final note, and I believe Alex knows this, but I state it explicitly to ensure that I am not misunderstood, Alex is not evil nor is he, or any one else seeking to understand the absolutes of moral clarity, in any way associated with evil in my commentary here. He is an example of the restorative and fulfilling capability of the blogosphere as he opens a door into himself, not just for self-exploration, but also for those of us who read him to also explore and learn. So I thank him for that.

Blogs of War

The Blogs of War has new links to two outstanding sites regarding the War.

First, the Timeline of Terror from the U.S. Army. The site offers many links to government organizations conducting or involved in the war, and a timeline of terror acts from 1961 to present.

Second, the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), an organization of unparalleled expertise, insight and focus on the threats to the U.S. and indeed the entire free world.

In a previous post, I stated that the "wars of the last century, like the current war, were against an enemy not of the United States, but of mankind’s inalienable rights." The comments of the members of the CPD reflect that they truly understand that fact, and my hope is that their influence is quite significant in the making of our policy and in standing firm in the course of action we have been drawn into.

September 17, 2004

Bloggers Respond

How's this for an ad. And I know, I'm not much of graphic artist.

Ad insprired by Robert Stevens' request. And all of the bloggers who seek and defend truth, those who broke the story, those who pressed for action, and those who spread the word.

If you've slept through the last month, try Powerline for the latest on Rathergate.

And Barcepundit for the story on the El Pais ad.

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