Friday, January 14, 2005

Great new idea: Hit Cleveland Democrats over the head with a hammer to knock sense into them

By now, a lot of folks are aware that several Democrats from Ohio, nearly all of them from the Cleveland area, attempted to have a federal judge throw out the election results from Ohio and, get this, have John Kerry declared the winner last week. Myself and several other political commentators have surmised that these people were operating on the theory that no Democrat could possibly lose to a Republican in Ohio.

(For more on this, I highly recommend the Politics Insider blog at the Washington Times, which you have to register for, but membership is free. There is a great little diddy on the blog about the Ohio Democrats from political columnist Greg Pierce.)

I don't know what planet those people up there in Cleveland are on, but the rest of Ohio has left them and their hairbrained thinking behind decades ago. A county-by-county 1996 survey of Ohio officeholders indicated that Ohio is the second most Republican state in the Union. The only state with more Republican officeholders than Ohio is-Idaho (pass the potatoes)! A lot of people may argue that while that may be the case, Ohio went for Bill Clinton that same year for the second time. So, I would argue, did Montana, but Montana is hardly a bastion of liberalism, as evidenced by resounding Republican victories there in the last two elections.

The evidence of Ohio's resounding electoral shift to the GOP can be found in the reality that the Republicans control both houses of the General Assembly by large majorities, and control every major state office. That is political dominance of the first order. Yes, Cleveland, Republicans win in Ohio, even though most people in Cleveland don't vote that way.

Many people outside of Northern Ohio have believed that folks in those parts are still feeling the effects of the mass industrial pollution that poisoned the air in Cleveland and Toledo up until the mid 1980's: Apparently, breathing all that smog and Carbon Monoxide has caused permanent damage to North Coast brains.

After all these years, it is still the Mistake-By-the-Lake.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

A DUH moment

I had what might be described as a "duh" moment about an hour ago when I telephoned Father George Kunkel, who is pastor of St. Martin of Tours Church in Cheviot. Twice a year, the Archbishop Purcell Council of the Knights of Columbus, of which I am a member, has their Corporate Communion Mass at St. Martin's. (For those not familiar with the concept of a Corporate Communion, this is where an entire Council of Knights is invited to come together in a given parish for Mass together on a given Sunday. The gathering is then followed by breakfast at the K of C Hall, or if there is no Hall available, usually in the church basement or undercroft.)

Since I am Purcell Council's Church Activities Director, it is incumbent upon me to arrange the scheduling for this event, and work with Father Kunkel to find a time that is convenient for both the parish and the Council to host it. As Father George and I talked, I will say that we couldn't find a good time in the month of March for the Corporate Communion to take place. It didn't help matters that the first words out of my mough regarding the Corparate Communion were "how about the last weekend in March..."

Father Kunkel politely reminded me that this year, the last Sunday in March is Easter Sunday, and of course Easter is never a good time for the parish to host any other special event, since Easter is the most special Sunday of the year.

I hereby apologize for what can only rightly be termed as a brain fart.


Wednesday, January 12, 2005

A prophecy of doom?

Few people alive today who are a part of the workforce would argue that the internet has become a major part of American life. Even if you don't have access at home, the odds are becoming greater now that you probably have access to the internet at work or school. Internet communication is so common that it is no longer the taboo that it once was for people to admit that they met their Significant Other online. There is so much data somehow tied up in the net from government institutions to your local bank that if there were a significant attack on the internet, it would cause a major national disruption, perhaps even a panic.

Some experts from the Pew Research Institute are predicting that such an attack on our nation's internet network infrastructure could happen at some point within the next ten years.

Two out of three experts agreed that such an attack would occur, according to "The Future of the Internet," a report released Monday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which researches the impact of the Internet. The 1,286 respondents were experts chosen by the pollsters and colleagues the experts referred.

Other "experts" seem to think that the use of the word "devastating" is a bit of an overstatement.

Those interviewed said the Internet would recover in hours or days from a software-based attack -- far from devastation. A physical attack on the Internet infrastructure – such as destroying fiber optic cables at hubs in numerous key cities -- would be more harmful and long-lasting but unlikely because it would be so difficult to carry out, the experts said.

Here lies the question: While I agree that an internet virus or "worm" will not cause widespread devastation to America's internet capabilities, no one seems to be taking seriously the possibility of a large-scale physical attack on internet or IP infrastructure, a situation for which North Americans seem woefully unprepared. Because we have taken massive precautions to prevent another 9-11-style terrorist attack, the most vulnerable part of America's infrastructure is now the internet. Is anyone in Washington taking that threat seriously?

The Chicago Tribune contributed part of the news and study information for this post.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The strong right arm of the Church

I think one of the most important things that I am involved in, and the thing that I am most proud of, next to my beautiful and wonderful wife, is being a Knight of Columbus. Each year, the Knights contribute millions of dollars to charities in local communities all over America. Knights sponsor everything from Little League teams to charity bowling tournaments to benefit Jerry's Kids. Two of the Knights' most recognizable programs are the annual MR Drive (Here in Ohio it's called "Measure Up,") to help retarded citizens live fulfilling and active lives, and the annual K of C free throw contest, an incentive for young people to be more involved in athletics. This week, the Supreme Council announced that it is asking Knights of Columbus Councils throughout the United States and Canada to join together and raise one million dollars for relief for victims of the tsunami disaster in South Asia.

Perhaps the most important work that the Knights do, however, is the work the Knights do for the Church. In parishes where the Knights of Columbus are active, many Knights serve funeral masses whn there is no one else to serve them. Knights act as ushers, Eucharistic ministers, parish council members, and many have become priests, deacons, and bishops. Much of the Knights' local charity money goes to support parochial education and church outreaches to the poor, homeless, and others who are less fortunate.

In Ohio, Knights of Columbus will begin their annual charity campaign this week. If a Knight or a family member asks you to buy a ticket, please do so. Your one ticket touches the lives of so many people that you may never meet.

Monday, January 10, 2005

The Iraq question

Many conservatives have become quite gung-ho about the war in Iraq, but there are a few of us who have real concerns about the way things are going. Unlike many of our "peace-at-any-price" liberal friends, we recognize that there are some things worth fighting for.

I think the question in the mind of many paleo-conservatives like myself is this: All wars have a point at which an end can be declared, if it is truly a war that is being fought. When shall this war be deemed to be at an end and our objectives met. When reserve commanders begin calling the Guard and Reserves a "broken force," we have a problem. Men and women like those who serve in the Guard and Reserves are the base and bedrock of the Republican Party. Their support is not something the President should take for granted, nor is it something he can afford to lose. Our fighting men and women have signed on the dotted line, but they should not be stretched past a point that no one should be required to bear.

The great mistake of this administration has been to wage war without sufficient military spending and without a large-scale pre-war military build-up of Cold War proportions. If we are to win the war and suppress the enemy insergency, we must have such a massive military force in place that no one part of our forces will feel as if the weight of the world and the outcome of the conflict rests upon them.

Locations of visitors to this page
Profile Visitor Map - Click to view visits
Create your own visitor map