Saturday, November 20, 2004

All is right in the sports least for the next few hours

Those who may be viewing my weblog who already know me well know that I will take time out of my weekend schedule to brag about a football result, especially if that result happens to be a positive one from my perspective. So, let us brag, shall we?

Ohio State 37
Michigan 21

I was under the impression that those people were so great, they were going to the Rose Bowl for a second year in a row. They should easily have been able to breeze past the Buckeyes, who this year have had a lowly season compared to the last two years, a National Championship in 2002, and a second straight trip to the Fiesta Bowl last year. This year, they'll just have barely made it to a bowl game, and beating Michigan certainly helped their case. As a recall, though, Ohio State's record this year is 7-4, which, if I am not mistaken is identical to their 2001 record, the year before they won the national title. They beat Michigan that year, also.

The Wolverines are still going to Pasadena, but look out for next year, when the National Championship will be at the Rose Bowl. History may tell us in the future that next year's edition of this grand old rivalry helped decide a National Champion.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Goodbye Sears and Roebuck

I think just about everyone has heard the news by now that K-Mart Holdings Corporation has engineered a merger with the old and venerable Sears, Roebuck, and Company. It is an arrangement likely to benefit both parties in the long run, but it is a blow to tradition. Sears, that paragon of American catalog and department store retail, will now go the way the discount store.

I have long believed that being conservative means, among other things, having a loyalty to tradition and little desire to change old customs. In that vein, I must make the suggestion that the new company should have kept the old Sears name (Sears, Roebuck, and Company), as opposed to the new name, Sears Holdings. Rather than sounding venerable and respectable, the new operation sounds like a bad discount chain, and not much different from Wal-Mart. Then again, it appears Wal-Mart controls everything these days, even whether old Sears and Roebuck will survive.

That's all for this week...My next entry will probably be on Monday.

A quote for today

"Anyone who thinks George Bush is the stupid party ought to visit a mirror."

-CBC Commentator and former Liberal Party Parliamentary aide Rex Murphy on last night's edition of the CBC newscast

Concealed carry confusion goes to court

In Ohio, our new concealed-carry law is a wonderful thing (especially since both the legislature and the public at large have lobbied for it for years, and Governor Taft finally gave in). However, in the opinion of some, including myself, the law is too restrictive. Its requirements for training are often unaffordable and out-of reach for many people, which severely dampens the effects of the new law.

The Ohio Supreme Court finally had a say in the case State ex. rel. Lee v. Karnes. The Court ruled unanimously that the law does not require any detailed proof of need for a sworn statement to be accepted, under threat of perjury, stating that the applicant or their family is under immediate threat or danger, and thus deserve an emergency permit to carry a concealed weapon. The Court ruled that the sworn statement is enough, because the General Assembly did not include any requirement for detail, and so the Court refused to infer one. The Court denied Lee's request for a writ of mandamus however, because Lee had the right to appeal the decision of the Sheriff (Karnes) but failed to do so. In denying the request for relief, though, the Court left an interesting legal hole.

The Constitution of the United States makes no limitations on the right to bear arms, and neither should state law. I tend to agree with those who say that open-carry is a better deal than concealed-carry. To make that workable, however, the General Assembly needs to revisit the state's arcane open-carry rules, which allow me to carry my weapon in a holster for all to see, but does not allow me to carry it loaded. (I must keep the ammo in a different place from the gun, which makes carrying a weapon open carry completely ineffective for self-defense.) Open-carry may be a better option, but it must be modified in order to be an effective one.

States' rights liberals

Yes, I realize the election is already a pretty old topic for those of you moving about the internet. The voting and the end result are completed, and the new cabinet is taking shape. For many of you, and for me, the election is slowly becoming old news, and people are already beginning to talk about 2008.

Consider this, however: Now that conservatives officially run America, many are beginning to abandon traditional principles that conservatives have run on for years, such as limiting the size, scope, and power of the federal government. Initiatives like the No Child Left Behind Act, while great for political propaganda purposes (Bush fulfilled his promise, etc.), do, in fact, expand the size of government. In fact, since Bush took office four years ago, the federal government has expanded at a rate nearly double that of eight years of Bill Clinton.

You hardly hear a whimper about states' rights coming out of Congress anymore, either. Congress is far more interested in using the power of the federal government to advance the conservative agenda as opposed to respecting and expanding state sovereignty. Since I am quite obviously a conservative, I am glad that our agenda, especially our social principles, are being pushed, because I believe the represent a majority view in America at-large. Note to the White House and Congressional leadership: Conservatives spent years promoting the old idea of limited federal power and state sovereignty. We as a movement ran on that principle from 1994 until the present moment. We should not be so quick to abandon it now that we are beginning to taste the fruits of long-term power. States' rights ARE a part of our agenda, we shouldn't abandon them now.

Proof that state sovereignty is on the back-burner for conservatives may be found in the fact that liberals are discussing states' rights and home rule as serious options in the wake of an election that showed clearly that they are a regionalized sub-set of the larger national body politick, and they are clearly the minority. Blogs like The Agitator by libertarian Radley Balko are out there informing the world of liberal interest in the old conservative concept. (Balko also has a Fox News column on this subject.) Many liberals now see sovereignty of states (as opposed to an intrusive federal government) as advantageous for them, because they may live in the way they choose in their parts of the country, without interference, and can leave the rest of us alone. Let me say to those liberals new to this line of thought: Welcome aboard! Many conservatives have been advocating that kind of arrangement for years. Perhaps we can work together to make it happen. The end result is that we are happy because we can have what we want where we live and we do not have to tolerate your nonsense, and you are happy, because you can have your secular socialist society and we don't have to have any part of it. Oh joy!

Conservatives should be keen to remember that it does our side no good to ignore this important principle of federalism and our movement (as Alan Keyes proved in Illinois) it may come back to bite us. We ought to be mindful that we are in a position to set the agenda for America for many years to come, and thus we should not be too keen to forget one of the key principles that brought our movement to power in the first place.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Monday Night Desperate Housewives

In case anyone reading this weblog may be completely void of knowledge about what is happening in the world today, it should be noted that this morning's papers were filled with official reaction, nearly all of it negative, to the opening sketch of this week's Monday Night Football telecast, which involved a locker room incident with a member of the cast of the controversial new show Desperate Housewives. Needless to say, many viewers were not amused, and neither, it appears, was the Federal Communications Commission.

A dear friend, who I normally agree with on most matters, and myself, debated this new issue this morning. He argued that it was after 9:00pm, and most small children should be in bed anyway. Parents, he said, who let their kids stay up that late to begin with are not being very responsible.

Normally, I might agree with that assertion. What was forgotten in the course of the discussion however, was that in over half the country, Monday Night Football, which essentially serves to function as the NFL's version of the old Major League Baseball Game of the Week, begins each week between 6:00 and 8:00pm. It is only after 9:00 for those of us who live in the Eastern time zone. Perhaps most important, however, is that many kids do watch MNF. I know I was allowed to stay up for select Monday Night games, especially on those rare occasions when the Bengals were playing, or when the game was deemed to be an exceptional matchup. The NFL is right to say that broadcasts and telecasts of their games should be family friendly at all hours of the day or night. Sports is an outlet that can be used to teach children the value of competition and fair play. There was a time when all television networks were concerned with family friendliness and the quality of their programming, not just keeping sporting events clean. Has our culture become so beholden to the whims of Hollywood that decency is a secondary thought, reserved only for televised sports?

Ten points for Blue Americans to remember about Middle America

Recently, a lot of people on the coasts and in large Northern cities and environs have complained that they “do not understand” Middle America, or why we would vote to re-elect the President. A few have even lamented that they do not understand our way of life or why we think the way we do in these parts. We are not as “progressive,” they tell us.

Well, in the interest of the “desperate need for unity” that John Kerry spoke of, and in the name of fostering a greater understanding between the Coasts and the Rest of America, I have made a list of ten important points that people from Blue America should remember about people from Red America.

1. Yes, a lot of us really listen to country music. This is because we can understand the words, and the music doesn’t keep our heads pounding. The emotion of that music, a music of ordinary people who work for a living, is something that we tend to identify with.

2. Just because we vote Republican does not make us all wealthy. This is some sort of myth that people in the Northeast and West Coast tend to have, and frankly, we don’t understand it. I’m not rich, and few people I know actually possess great material wealth, but a lot of them voted for George W. Bush. They didn’t do so because they are stupid, they did so because they believed it was in their best interest, and in the larger interest of the country.

3. Material wealth or its accumulation is not evil. We tend to believe in the opportunity of America, and thus, we also tend to believe that we have the right to better ourselves. Many of us may never achieve great wealth, but that is not our goal. We merely want to achieve a decent standard of living without being taxed by the government to pay for everyone else’s standard of living.

4. Most of us believe in God, and a lot of us attend church. This tends to affect how we view the world. True believers are not going to leave their beliefs behind at a schoolhouse door or a voting booth. We don’t like being told we need to compartmentalize our lives or our beliefs, and we refuse, by and large, to do so. This does not make us all fundamentalists. I happen to be a pretty devout Catholic, and am known for a fondness for beer. I don’t leave my beliefs in church, though, I practice them, and so do a lot of the other “values voters” who re-elected the President.

5. Yes, some of us actually believe abortion is wrong. Some of us believe it to be murder. Sue us. Women are not, as one New York leftist rag rightly put it after the election “ovaries with feet.” Just because a candidate thinks abortion is fine and dandy does not mean he or she is good for women.

6. We do not hate black people, Hispanics, or any other ethnic group. We believe that everyone ought to be afforded equality under the law…nothing different or special, just equality and respect, regardless of who you might be or where you came from.

7. We believe, as evidenced by several referenda in mostly “red states,” in the sanctity of the matrimonial bond. This does not mean we have hatred for gay people. Frankly, we don’t care what you do in the privacy of your own home, behind your own closed doors. The lifestyle you choose to lead is your business. However, if it is a lifestyle we believe to be morally wrong, do not expect us to accept it as normal. (And, by the way, just because we don’t agree with how you live doesn’t mean we’ll mistreat you, or refuse to have you as a friend or a neighbor.) Calling two men living together or two women living together “marriage” is an insult to us. We aren’t out to insult anyone, so in return, we’d prefer not to be insulted by having the new order of liberalism shoved down our throats.

8. Some of us drive pickup trucks, own guns, and chew tobacco, while some engage in one or two of those practices but not all three. Still others do not do any of those things, but would not disparage others the privilege. Whether we do or do not doesn’t give people like Joan Baez the right to mock us as if we were mere idiots, the way she is reported to have done after the election at a concert in a mock Southern accent. If liberals, and particularly people on the coasts, dislike Middle America so much, why do they insist on sharing the continent with us?

9. In the South, they may talk slow, but they aren’t stupid. Southern women are not all barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. Many are educated, well-informed, voting American citizens. They just happen to be more conservative than people in New York City, largely because they have a high sense of tradition. It is commonly accepted by people of both genders in the South that often, the old way of doing things still works, so if it isn’t broken, they don’t attempt to fix it.

10. New York City is not the center of the universe. It is not the “capital of the world.” It is a nice place to visit. Frankly, Chicago or Atlanta are just as lovely as New York, and a bit nicer on occasion.

Brief notes on the late election

Just a few brief notes on the now-late election of two and a half weeks ago:

PBS Correspondent and Now host Bill Moyers was certain on election night that if Kerry won a close election, those of us on the right might mount a coup d'etat. He actally insinuated that we on the right would attempt to overthrow the government. Memo to Moyers: We respect the law. As evidenced by Democratic attempts to pad votes in Ohio using so-called "provisional ballots" to promote their fraud, the other side often does not.

Fritz Hollings left the Senate today. The longest-serving Junior Senator in history ceded the desk he uses, also once used by that paragon of States' Rights, John C. Calhoun, to the man who serves as his Junior since the retirement of the late Strom Thurmond, Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Here are the final election numbers per CNN:

President (Popular and electoral vote):

Bush(Incumbent) [Re-Elected]
286 Electoral votes



Finally, in the liberal blogging world, this suggestion for a national realignment is being sent around. To be completely honest, I have long thought that some sort of amicable separation may be in the best interest of both Coasts and Middle America. After all, it is clear that our dreams for America are not going to converge. Perhaps we can build a better America if we each build our own.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Welcome To My World

This is the first post in what I hope will be a long line of chronicles of the world. Some of the people viewing this will be old friends, some will just arrive upon the scene of my life through the wonderful world of the internet. Some of you will have to give me time to get used to the concept.

Weblogging, Blogging for short, is a relatively new way to expand on an old idea. Throughout the late 18th and much of the 19th Century, many people, especially those who tended to be college educated, or what in those days they called "booklearned," kept journals which chronicled more than their lives, but also their thoughts, feelings, and emotions about the issues of their day. One of the most famous of these journals is that of Mary Boykin Chesnut, a Southern Lady whose husband and family moved within the highest circles of the Confederate government. The details of her life and her thoughts on the issues and people that surrounded her in a time of war and sacrifice were so thorough that her journal has set the standard for what historians look for in journals from the antebellum and post bellum periods in America.

I won't even begin to claim that this Blog, or its subject matter (which will cover the gambit), will do justice to 21st Century Cincinnati the way Mary Chesnut did in her descriptions of 19th Century Charleston. Sometimes, I'll talk about the weekend's sports happenings, and I doubt Mary Chesnut would have cared much for that. I'll certainly have plenty to say about the social and political situation in the city, the state, the nation, and the world at large, and in this regard, Mary Chesnut and I have much in common. I'll likely muse on a variety of topics, but do so in such a way that those of you who view this Blog will want to make it as much a part of your internet news and information day as you would any of the sites for the world's major newspapers or news networks.

Finally, let me say that if you find in the days ahead that you like what is here, you can find much more coherent writing from my cyber pen. My columns are regularly syndicated at American Daily, and I hope you enjoy reading those columns as much as I enjoy writing them.

In the days ahead, I hope to use this Blog to invite the rest of the world into my world. I hope you'll come on in, sit right down, and make yourself at home.

This is quite a dated picture of me, and I am uploading it until I can upload a more recent photo.

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