A Voice of Reason: Sane Views for a Crazy World

May 4, 2007

Survey USA Poll: Giuliani Beats Opponents in Debate

A poll of 317 viewers watching the debate were asked to rate the performance of the candidates:

Rudy Giuliani 30%
Mitt Romney 12%
John McCain 11%
Jim Gilmore 8%
Duncan Hunter 7%
Sam Brownback 4%
Mike Huckabee 4%
Tom Tancredo 4%
Ron Paul 2%
Tommy Thompson 2%

UPDATE: Drudge report is having an interactive poll, but it does allow for multiple voting, so pretty worthless.


The Debate: Who Won and Why?

You see the title; what is your answer. I will reply after I think.

Updated: Well I thought and I will now take out my teacher’s red pencil and give each a grade in no particular order.

Rep. Tom Tancredo – Looked frustrated at times. I think part of it is that his campaign is struggling for air, and the format hurt him as he tried desparately to get out his views and distinguish himself, particularly on immigration. I also think that people saw that frustration and it didn’t help. Grade D

Rep. Duncan Hunter – Was clear, concise, and strong in many of his answer. One area that may hurt him was he was the most aggressive on Iran, and to a country that is not at all happy with Iraq, showing this posturing towards another nation in the area, one that does make everyone nervous may hurt with many even among Hawks. His trade and pro-worker solutions were noteworthy. Grade B-

Mayor Rudy Giuiliani – He was strong on war on terror and framing himself in his model of Conservativism. The questions on abortion won’t help with the base, and will help him with those who are softer on pro-life/pro-choice. He stumbled on that area, but did make his case with his time as NYC Mayor. I still support him. Grade B-

Sen. John McCain – Anyone who said that he lacked vigor got the reply in spades, he was energetic, perhaps too much so, to the point of aggressiveness in tone and body language. He also really had a problem keeping to the time, and wasn’t held to the time limits strictly. He didn’t hurt himself, but I don’t think he helped himself too much. He came out fairly strongly against President Bush, with saying numerous times, “The war was mismanaged”. He seemed passionate and assertive, but perhaps too agressive. Grade C+

Gov. Mit Romney – Of all the candidates the former Bay State Governor stood out. I am not a big Romney fan, but if I had to declare an overall winner, it would be him. He was able to frame his “flip flop” on abortion, and gave a reason that was credible. He also was well versed on the issues and inviting. Grade A

Gov. Jim Gilmore – Did very well tonight too. He was able to state that he was the “consistent Conservative”. He also did well to elicit his positions. However, there are few moments that make him stand out, and he probably won’t see his coin rise. Grade B-

Gov. Tommy Thompson – Did very well on many areas, but there was one area that may hurt him, and that was the question about firing people due to their sexual practices. I also believe that there was a pause that would have allowed him to nuance his position, and his silence was pregnant. This will be picked up. I don’t know if this is a valid reason to terminate an employee in the private sector, other than religious organizations, such as a parochial school, which are exempt from such restrictions and understandably so. His Iraq solution is interesting and deserves a look. Grade B-

Sen. Sam Brownback – Made some good points tonight, and particularly in his stressing the need for the political process to have a more dominant role in the process. His stands on abortion will help only with those who don’t know him, as they are well known. He also held up his credos to the bases fondness of evangelical base. Overall he may have helped himself, but like so many in the second tier is so far behind. Grade B-

Rep. Ron Paul – Made his stand as the maverick in the field. He also came across as passionate, principled, and had a good wit. However, his views on foreign policy are going to hurt him in the end. As much as America may wish to go back to isolationism, that ship has sailed. He advocated himself well, but his views won’t hold. Hard to grade with this dynamic, but based on his performance, and not his substance B.

Gov. Mike Huckabee – He had some good moments, and probably the biggest yuck of the night with his joke concering “The Governator”. He came across as genuine but may have suffered from the format as his positions are hard to define from some of the others, and nuance of his stands may be lost in the shuffle. Grade B-

Overall big winner has to be Romney. He did very well, and being slotted first, by the draw helped him. I think the big loser was Tom Tancredo, and this is not a slight, but he seemed frustrated and this won’t give him much of a bump.

I think that the only shift will be Romney moving up, but the question is who will pay for this hike Giuliani – who probably won’t lose support, McCain or maybe the non-announced candidate, who will also miss South Carolina’s debate, Fred Thompson.

If I had to be like a reality show and only promote five I think these five will likely be in SC.

Giuliani, McCain, Romney, Rep. Hunter, and either Sen. Brownback or Gov. Huckabee.

Then again, I could be wrong.

May 3, 2007

Where You Stand Politically

So, you want to  know where you stand and how you can get that cool little icon like I have on my blog?

Well, just go to this site and take the quiz.  I would put no opinion if you are not sure about something.

Please post your results, and you get BIG TIME BONUS POINTS for reasonableness if you score Moderate, Conservative or Liberal!  I “hope” I have constructed a place where divergent views are allowed and where we gain from seeing each other’s perspective.  I also hope that sometimes someone will say, I see your point, or something like that.

So often politics are too personal, so maybe this would at least bring back agreeable discussion and dissent to the forefront.

I’m posting this on all topics to hopefully get maximum participation.

IF you wish to take the quiz it is here.


April 26, 2007

What is a Liberal; What is a Conservative.

This brilliant post came as a result of a discussion on Woman Honor Thyself about gay rights. I love discussions which make me think, and something that had been ticking away just came out. It was one of my replies to many of the comments of “the left says this”.

There are so many mentions of the “left” and the “right” on blogs. Since I think many would consider this a “Conservative” blog, though I’m sure many “Conservatives” would call this place a den of Marxism or radical leftism, I asked think, What exactly is the Right would be a most approproriate question.

Are you of the “right” if you are a traditional conservative in the mold of Barry Goldwater that wanted small government, few intrusions by the Federal into the state and high amounts of libertarianism thrown in?

Are you of the right when you want BIG government with HUGE intrusions of the Federal into daily life with low regard for libertarianism thrown in as shown by NCLB, The Patriot Act and “The War on Drugs”.

Are you of the left when you support such “big government” positions as shown by the three I mentioned and add The New Deal and some of The Great Society programs thrown in.


Are you of the right when you side with those who would say yes to expressions of religion in the public domain such as The Ten Commandments being on public displays, religious markers – including Wiccan due to a recent court ruling – being allowed to be put in government owned cemeteries for veterans at tax payer expenses (38 religions – now 39 are officially allowed)

Are you of the left when you feel that Wicca markers should be paid for by your tax dollars.
Are you of the Left or the Right when you contemplate the full circle that “Conservativism” has undergone when you look at the start of the GOP as a “more conservative” political organization dedicated to stopping the expansion of slavery, but shifted pretty radically left when Emancipation – was imposed on rebellious states, and then the Radical COngress of the 1860’s and 70’s were they left or right?

The terms themself are hard to monitor as being of the left/liberal or being of the right/conservative has little meaning anymore.

When I define myself as a Conservative by saying I like BIG Government with regard to The Patriot Act, NCLB, The “War on Drugs” and even other “liberal??” aspects of it such as The New Deal, Social Security, and The Great Society, I also realize that I am in favor of unions and worry about the ecology of the planet, and kind of like that the Feds stepped in and mandated civil rights in 1964 as well as intergration of public schools in 1952. Time to stop kidding myself, I don’t dislike “Big Government” so maybe I’m a lefty after all.

Maybe, what makes me self defined as a Conservative, is that I’m as HAWKISH as they come, well, except for the loonies who are to the right of me!

Such labels are impossible to uphold anymore in today’s hegemony of political stances. The question is which party puts up with diverging views better. And also, which one lines up with who you are at your core.

April 23, 2007

The Voices of Chinese Victims

I heard this on NPR Morning Drive.

The victims of China’s forced abortion policy spoke out, and I found this audio clip on NPR’s site.

Reports have been stated that China has been stepping a bit away from the 1 live birth plan, but the dirty little secret is that has been reserved for Party faithful and families of their industrialists.  This is nothing more than window dressing to fool the West, which are glad to have markets for products and access to Chinese slave labor products that flood US markets.  It is also a ruse so China can host the Olympics in ’08.  Don’t believe the hype.

Typically, this law is enforced, and particularly when it concerns Christians and Buddhists (mostly in Tibet).   I’ve said it before and I will say it again, the Beijing Regime whether under Mao and the Cultural Revolution or today dressed up with some trappings of capitalism is by far the most vicious and pernicious government in the long and often sorry history of mankind.  They make Stalinist Russia and The Third Reich look like rotary clubs by comparison, and our Congress and Executive branch hold out arms open wide to deal with this despotic blight upon humanity.  Shame on the leadership of the US.  Shame on the UN for kowtowing to this group of miscreants.

I understand that China has a right to their own internal policies inside their own borders, so did Stalin and Hitler, South Africa and Rhodesia.  However, “respect” of their “internal policies”  doesn’t mean that the US needs to give most favored trade status with these thugs, and at a disadvantage to our own people.  It doesn’t mean that US companies need to flood our market, which hurt our own industries with the products of their slave labor.  Consider that when you buy “Made in China”.  Yet NONE of the major candidates running for President dare to bring up this issue?  Why?  Is it to pay homage to the Beijing thugs, or is it to pay homage to the greed of corporations that deal and profit from China’s policies of slave labor?  In the  end citizens of a democracy are accountable for the policies of their nation.  So, at least now you can say you were told.  The question is do you really care?

Please listen to the tape.

April 22, 2007

China Forces 61 Christian Women To Abortion

From Chinaview: Commentary will be limited on this. Some things are just too heinous to inject sanity, satire, debate or much else.

61 Christian Women Forced to Have Abortions in China
According to China Aid Association (CAA), a massive forced abortion campaign is ongoing in China’s Guangxi Province targeting Christian pregnant women. It’s reported that 61 Christian women were forced to have abortions in 2 days on April 17 and 18. Here’s China Aid Association’s reports.

41 Forced on April 17

Midland, Texas (April 17, 2007)- CAA has learned that a massive forced abortion campaign is ongoing in China’s Guangxi Province(Autonomous Region).

One Christian lady, Ms. Linrong Wei, 7 months pregnent, was dragged into the hospital from her home on April 17 at 8:45 AM (Beijing time) by 10 officials from the Population and Family Planning Commsssion in Baise City, Guangxi. Her husband Yage “James” Liang was formerly a pastor in the government-sanctioned TSPM church before he became a House church pastor a year ago.

According to eyewitnesses’ reports to CAA, 40 other preganant women was forcefully moved to the Youjiang District People’s Hospital of Baise City on the same day to perform forced abortion.

Eyewitnesses told CAA that pastor Liang’s wife was pregenant accidentally and they wanted to keep this baby because of Christian principles. Ms. Wei was injected with medicine to induce birth at 11 AM on April 17. Ms. Wei’s hospital bed number is No. 39.

Eyewitnesses report that another woman, 9 months preganent, on bed number 38 was also injected at 12 PM.

One Church leader in that area who has visited Ms. Wei told CAA that these so-called ‘illegal pregnant women” were treated so bad that they were just forced to lay down on the very simple beds in the hospital corridor before the injections were done.

The family planning officials told relatives of the women that their babies will be born and most likely die within 24 hours.

2o Christian Women Forced to Have Abortions on April 18

Midland, Texas (April 18, 2007)- The Massive forced abortion campaign continues in Guangxi province. After 41 women were forced to have abortions on April 17, CAA has learned that the Youjiang District People’s Hospital of Baise City performed forced abortions for at least 20 more pregnant women on April 18.

Eyewitnesses report to CAA that at around 5:00pm on April 18, more than 20 more pregnant women were transported into the same hospital by the Family Planning officials. Within 30 minutes, about 10 of them were injected forcefully for an abortion.

This means within last 24 hours, at least 61 babies were killed with forced abortions.

At Bed number 37, Ms. He Caigan was 9 months pregnant. Officials injected her baby’s head and 20 minutes later, her baby stopped moving and died.

About 6am on April 18(BJ time), pastor James Liang’s wife Ms Wei Linrong gave birth to a boy, but he was dead because of the injection. She received three doses of injection-one is to induce the birth and the other two to kill the baby in the womb.

After China Aid reported the forced abortion, many PSB were seen surrounding the section of the hospital where these women are held.

What can be said to such barbarous acts. Remember what you support when you save a couple of bucks to buy Chinese goods. Please pass this post around, while I have no doubt that the commercial interests our nation has with China will preclude Congress from any action, even a whisper of this on the House or Senate floor, perhaps awareness could be raised. I am posting this on all political tags, and who knows, maybe a candidate will have the guts to mention this horrific practice and make this an issue.

April 18, 2007

Iran Vows to Boost Nuclear Capability

Well it looks like everyone’s favorite bad boy of the Middle East, Iran, is giving the ole’ Middle Finger to the UN and sanctions with regard to developing nuclear capability.

Iran vowed on Tuesday to press ahead with plans to sharply increase its capacity to enrich uranium, defying international pressure to halt activities the West fears are aimed at making nuclear bombs.
Eight days after Iran announced it was capable of industrial-scale enrichment, its top nuclear official said United Nations sanctions would not stop work to install more centrifuges in the main Natanz uranium enrichment plant.

You mean the “threat” of UN sanctions didn’t work? I’m shocked.

Gholamreza Aghazadeh, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, suggested it could take between two and four years to reach the goal of 50,000 centrifuges there, depending on the situation at home and abroad.

Iran has previously said it aims to build 54,000 centrifuges, which spin at high speeds to produce fuel for power plants or, if uranium is enriched further, bombs.

So, a two to four year window of opportunity. Hey, at least they’re giving us a timetable!

Aghazadeh called for “serious negotiations” on the nuclear issue and warned that Security Council members would also pay a price if they introduced any further sanctions against Iran, without elaborating.

“Therefore from now on both sides will pay,” he said.

Now, this is interesting. Is it bluster or is it a real threat that Iran will start being actively involved in plots against UN nations, or will they just not sell their oil anymore. Maybe I’m blind, but I just love it when these heads of agencies threaten the rest of the world. Maybe the West should take the bait, and move a bit more forcefully than sanctions with more sanctions to come. In any case, the window that Iran is stating is two to four years. Something tells me that there may be something off with that number.

April 17, 2007

Your Ideal Candidate

Found this site which allows you to measure your candidates positions by some positions which are important to you.  No surprise here, although I did not like all the options which were either or options, so on a few questions I clicked neither, as I would be “in between” polar positions on some issues.

A big shocker, Rudy wins, followed by McCain and then Hunter, who still has “no chance” to win.  Interestingly Fred Thompson and of all people John Edwards come in fairly close to each other, which helps me understand why I can tolerate Edwards more than most of the Dem field.  Pretty much this is a fairly accurate reflection of me, and Lord I hope most Americans.

Hope you guys see this and POST your results here!!!!!

1.  Theoretical Ideal Candidate   (100%)
2.  Rudolph Giuliani   (65%)  Click here for info
3.  John McCain   (64%)  Click here for info
4.  Duncan Hunter   (62%)  Click here for info
5.  Fred Thompson   (56%)  Click here for info
6.  John Edwards   (55%)  Click here for info
7.  Sam Brownback   (54%)  Click here for info
8.  Joseph Biden   (51%)  Click here for info
9.  Al Gore   (50%)  Click here for info
10.  Hillary Clinton   (49%)  Click here for info
11.  Newt Gingrich   (48%)  Click here for info
12.  Chuck Hagel   (46%)  Click here for info
13.  Tom Tancredo   (45%)  Click here for info
14.  Mitt Romney   (43%)  Click here for info
15.  Jim Gilmore   (40%)  Click here for info
16.  Wesley Clark   (39%)  Click here for info
17.  Barack Obama   (38%)  Click here for info
18.  Mike Huckabee   (35%)  Click here for info
19.  Christopher Dodd   (35%)  Click here for info
20.  Dennis Kucinich   (29%)  Click here for info
21.  Bill Richardson   (23%)  Click here for info
22.  Ron Paul   (22%)  Click here for info
23.  Tommy Thompson   (21%)  Click here for info
24.  Elaine Brown   (20%)  Click here for info
25.  Mike Gravel   (8%)  Click here for info
26.  Kent McManigal

April 12, 2007

Bush Disapproval over 50% for Two Years; Trumanlike?

A very good post, although I don’t agree with the premise from “A Big Fat Slob”.

According to the latest USA Today/Gallup survey, 62% of Americans disapprove of the job that the Bush regime is doing. The poll was taken March 23 through 25; when the same survey was taken March 21-23, 2005, the disapproval rating was “only” 49%. Since then, over half of Americans have pretty consistently said that “Bush sucks”.

Yet, this regime continues to operate like it had a mandate (which it NEVER had). It is the arrogance of power; nearly everyone in the country opposes nearly everything that Bush and Cheney and Gonzales and Rice and the rest of the cabal does. Yet, they smirk and say, “Just try and stop us”.

The Bush regime likes to compare themselves to Harry Truman, who also had below 50% approval ratings in his last two years in office. Truman, they remind us, is now a highly regarded President. The implication that the Bush toadies would like us to draw is that history vindicated Truman in the same way that history will vindicate this gang of criminals and incompetents.

What the Bush apologists ignore — and depend on everyone else ignoring — is that history did not vindicate Truman. At least not in the manner that Bush would like us to assume.

Truman’s low marks at the end of his term, and subsequent withdrawal from his reelection campaign, resulted from the morass of the Korean War and his sacking of MacArthur. Ike was elected on the promise that HE’D go to Korea and clean up the mess left by Truman. Scandal and corruption at high levels in his administration, and his failure to deal with Congress to get his legislation passed, also contributed to his low scores on the national approval polls.

Today, Truman’s standing is not based on Korea, his domestic agenda, nor on any revisionist vindication of the corrupt elements of his administration. Truman is today honored (and we’ll leave it to the reader to decide if justly) for the successful conclusion of the wars against Germany and Japan, for the Marshall Plan, for the United Nations, the Truman Doctrine, Israel, and NATO. It is the perceived good done by Truman before those horrid last two years and apart from his outrageously incompetent and wrong-headed domestic policies (such as loyalty oaths), which serve as the base for his honored status today.

Truman’s handling of Korea is still viewed as pretty much the disaster that it was seen as back in the day. But Truman’s presidency had other successes, which history has judged outweighed the failures.

What are the successes on which Bush expects history to weigh him more successful than 6362% of his fellow citizens view him today? That’s not rhetorical — there are none. Not one. Much less any that would overcome the rank incompetence, the heavy hands, the corruption and criminality, the complete, miserable failure which is, and has been from first to last, the hallmark of this presidency.

My Comments:
A very good post, but, I disagree strongly with your assessment of the Truman “legacy”. Truman is given credit mostly for his “containment” policy and for not giving in to going nuclear in Korea, which many, especially MacArthur wished to do. The same could be said of the Iraq War.

I’m not saying that history will vindicate the current administration, but there are many simliar parallells to the causes of their administration. Right now the fear that I have, is that this will become similar to the Johnson (Andrew) Presidency, where you have a stubborn President, who will be wielding a veto pen frequently, and a Congress that will not let the President have any wiggle room. The real problem will be that legislation with regard to immigration, where there is enough consensus to sign a meaningful bill, budget items, review of Title I, and a score of other initiatives, including Coleman’s stem cell compromise may go down the drain, as the statements from DNC insiders are saying, they are not going to give this guy anything to hang his hat on.

In the end history will judge Iraq, not the present day, and we’re talking 30 to 50 years minimum before the fruits of this action are seen. Candidly, there are also major social differences in the mindframe of the American public regarding casualties and activity in a war. In the 1950’s the burden of the military was shared more equally by society at large, conscription was a fact of life, and though there were deferrments, the reasons and allowance of them were not easily given. The country also had a mindframe, and I think it was formed by the toughness of their life, that this country could stoicly take casualties. This was a nation that endured 100,000 KIA, Wounded and POW in one battle, The Ardennes, only five to ten years before. Also, the Great Depression, which had an equallizing effect on society, in that all classes were hit hard, although as always those with the least means were hit hardest, and society was better able to endure setbacks. I think that the American psychology of the Baby Boomers and subsequent generations, is just not able to endure the television and access to information about daily losses.

Again, the causes can fairly be disputed towards their differences, but that card is casually and incorrectly played.
America had a more America is right attitude, and today’s attitudes are more complex. This is not to classify “The Greatest Generation” as simplistic, but there was a simpler day to day attitude, and a world view that was certainly America first. This was greatly caused by Pearl Harbor, as America had been fiercely isolationist prior to WWI and between the wars. So, taken that value of isolationism, and add the other factors, plus the seeing the war on television everyday, it is understandable why this generation reacts differently. Candidly, the 40’s and 50’s would look at the 3,000 KIA and think it was a battle, not a four year war.

April 4, 2007

Speaker Pelosi’s Syrian Tour

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, met with Syrian President Assad and Syrian Public Relations Muhsan Balal today.
After giving Syria a message of Israel’s assurance for peace, the Syrians let out a few statements:

“If Israel is really interested in renewing negotiations for peace, it must declare this in a clear manner,” Bilal said.

Well, isn’t that just special, I wonder if Syria would be interested in also declaring in a clear manner a willingness to have peace by confronting Hamas openly about their positions concerning Israel’s right to exist, and maybe do a bit better at guarding their borders – yes the irony of guarding borders doesn’t escape me – and not allowing terrorist to saunter into Israel with a bit more difficulty than most teens have at getting beer for a Friday night kegger. It would also be meaningful if Syria would drop their demand for the return of the Golan Heights – as that will not happen. Nothing personal, but if someone historically has used an area as a easily for a route of invasion like it is familiar as Little Red Riding Hood’s route to Grandma’s house, I have a feeling there will be a no standing or parking sign put up in that area.

While it would not be reasonable to have a dialogue with nations, it would be important for that dialogue to be genuine. Other Representatives present at the fact finding mission, had some worthwhile additions to the conversation.

The U.S. House members, who included Virginia Republican Frank Wolf, Pennsylvania Republican Joe Pitts and Alabama Republican Robert Aderholt, also said they had raised with Syrian officials the issue of stopping the alleged flow of foreign fighters from Syria to Iraq. In a statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, the congressmen said they had talked about “ending support for Hezbollah and Hamas, recognizing Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, and ceasing interference in Lebanon.”

This is altogether proper. That is part of the process of negotiations, that they are done in good faith. Hopefully, this will be more than a photo opportunity for Speaker Pelosi, who is well within her pervue to undertake such a mission and conference. Like it or not, she is the third senior politician in succession.

And then came Iraq – what you didn’t think that would be mentioned.

Syrian officials said Damascus wants to help Washington achieve an “honorable withdrawal” from Iraq but in return the United States must press Israel to return the Golan Heights, which Israel captured in the 1967 Six Day War.

Ahh, you knew it was coming, a win-win for Syria. If you pull out of Iraq and make Israel give back our staging area for invasion, we’ll try to enter a dialogue. What a bunch of guys. Although it is GOOD to see that the Congress’ plan of withdrawl has the official sponsorship of Syria. Of course this drew a comment from Madam Speaker:

Pelosi said she and other members of her congressional delegation raised with Assad their concern about militants crossing from Syria into Iraq, as well the Israel Defense Forces soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah and Palestinian militants.

Now, I don’t dislike Speaker Pelosi, I really don’t. I like to hope she will be an effective leader as her party won, that’s how democracy works gang, in case we forgot, but this “raising of concern” seems to be a bit timid. And for those that think for a moment Syria will be the guardian against terrorists crossing into Iraq (cough) and Israel (pardon me while I choke), I would like to have you go over some waterfront property in Death Valley that I want to unload.

I’m all for talking; I was for it when President Reagan tried to positively engage Syria, and would be for it now, but until these other nations are willing to be honest bargainers, and realize that a mere promise – that hasn’t been backed up by any change of behavior – is not the basis for constructive negotiations. Perhaps President Bush summed this one up the best by calling these talks, “counterproductive and encouragement for a “state sponsor of terror.”

I’m not from Missouri, but Syria, Iran, and all the other nations of this region are going to have to “Show Me” something before I’d be willing to have my dialogue be, have a nice day and try not to kill a few hundred Jews or US Servicemen.

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