Friday, May 20, 2005

Buckeye political mediocrity

A lot of folks chime in about just how Republican Ohio has become over the years, and they are quick to point to our large GOP majorities in the legislature, our successive Republican governors, and our huge numbers in county commissions and Sheriff's offices all over the state.

Unfortunately, many of our so-called "Republican" leaders have been Republican-in-name-only. Our so-called Governor is one of the biggest tax-and-spenders in the nation. He temporarily raised the sales tax, promising that it would only be sure seems permanent to me. Our taxes continue to go up here, and so does state spending. All the while, the taxes have become so high that Ohio loses 250 people every 24 hours, most of them headed to Florida.

Our legislature, which is often more conservative than the Governor (especially the House) simply lets the Governor get by with murder. They have sent him good legislation, much of which he manages to veto, instead presenting legislation to them that sounds more like the Democratic Caucus of the Ohio House of Representatives proposed it instead of a Republican Governor. Most of the time, Bob Taft gets what he wants, all the while tarnishing his family's once-proud name in the eyes of conservatives.

As Peter Bronson points out, there is hope for the Ohio GOP. Known conservative (and black Republican) Secretary of State Ken Blackwell currently leads the back among Republicans in the generic Primary field by about 12 points. Blackwell has bemoaned the bad habits of Taft and certain members of the legislature, and he openly says that our bad reputation for high taxes and spending precedes us. Not only are people leaving Ohio, Blackwell points out, but new people and businesses do not want to come here.

In my lifetime, we have only had one truly great Governor, and I am barely old enough to remember his tenure, and that was the great Jim Rhodes, after whom so many buildings, bridges, roads, and parks in this great state are named. Rhodes exemplified what a Republican Governor should be, he was attentive to the needs of the people, but he kept state spending and tax rates in check. Since Rhodes, we have had a collection of Governors that range from the mediocre to the awful:

Richard "Tricky Dick" Celeste (D)-awful
"King" George Voinovich (R)-mediocre
Robert "Legacy" Taft (R)-awful

It does not say much for our Republican Governors that the best rating I could give a Republican since Rhodes is "mediocre." Of course, the Democrats keep offering up either tired old Cleveland or Toledo-area liberals, or complete unknowns with not a chance in Hell. At last, Blackwell gives Republicans here hope that once again, we may be able to give Ohio a "great" Governor. I may not be here by 2006 to help elect Ken Blackwell, but I wholeheartedly endorse him.

Liberals survive-Canada may not

Well, things in the Canadian House of Commons went down exactly as I predicted, and the Speaker of the House broke the tie. The Liberal Government, which we have referred to here as a dictatorship, managed to survive by bribing now-former members of the Opposition with Cabinet posts and wooing an independent MP with claims that his "no" vote on the budget would hand greater political influence to separatists in Quebec.

Bribery and slick talk is how leftists the world over, in whatever country they are to be found, manage to survive and thrive.

I have another more long term prediction, however: Confederation in Canada is now in grave danger, and Canada as a nation may not survive the present upheaval. The reason is twofold:

First, it is almost inevitable that whenever an election is finally held, the Bloc Quebecois will gain even more seats in Quebec, I predict that in the next Parliament they will have between 62 and 64 seats. I also believe that the Parti Quebecois will win next year's provincial election by an overwhelming margin, and while the political iron remains hot, the new PQ Government there will call a Sovereignty referendum. This time, amid years of Liberal corruption, that referendum will pass with around 54 percent, and Quebec will declare independence from Canada.

After Quebec secedes, Ontario would then dominate the Government even further, because Ontario would then possess a majority of the seats in Parliament. Short of a complete national electoral realignment, this setup will anger Western provinces to such a degree that Alberta will then separate, followed by Saskatchewan, Manitoba may separate, but whether it does or not, both the Maritimes (Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick), and British Columbia would be cut off from Ontario by Quebec and the conceivable new Western political entity. This would force a number of hard political decisions, and Canada as we know it could cease to exist.

Politics without morality is dead

It has been announced in the last 24 hours that scientists in South Korea have essentially been able to clone stem cells by forcing a human egg to divide, injecting it with another person's DNA and then forcing it to begin development. This is something straight out of Huxley, and opens up a host of moral and ethical questions. It could lead to a very immoral and elitist society, and has the potential to lead to the creation of an entire race of human clones.

This news is more than just a frightening scientific development, because it also shows that moral and ethical questions cannot be avoided by legislators and people in public life. Because this new scientific procedure makes it possible to clone human beings as well as clone stem cells, Congress and state legislatures will have to revisit the whole issue of human cloning and the moral questions involved in this kind of scientific development. All this proves is that politics must deal with moral and ethical questions. We cannot divorce morality and faith from public policy, as many in the Democratic and a few in the Republican Party would like to do. The two cannot be separated because eventually, as with this issue of stem cell and human cloning, moral and ethical questions will arise that are influenced by faith and belief or a lack thereof. If we divorce faith and morality from public life, we leave no rationale for deciding such complex ethical questions.

May faith and morality rule the day, and may the Democrats finally learn that those things are not to be shunned in the corridors of power.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Judicial politics

The saga of judicial obstructionism continues to develop, as Mike DeWine, my increasingly poor excuse for a Republican U.S. Senator, joins other so-called "moderate" (read: sellout) Republicans in trying to negotiate a deal with Democrats to avoid a showdown in the Senate over judicial filibusters next week.

Even many of the Republicans in the "moderate" group don't seem to be going for this proposal either. The fact is that most Republicans in both houses of Congress know that we have to fight to the death over this issue of judges, because we have to be able push the President's nominees for the Supreme Court through when it is time to appoint them. Failure to do so would likely mean that the base qould stay home in the General Election next year. The Democrats know this, which is why this will turn into an all out "war on the floor".

Control of Congress after 2006 could be at stake.

Canada Liberals bribe their way to survival

Today is the day in Ottawa that the decision will be made as to whether the Liberal Party dictatorship will survive. As much as one hates to see it, it now appears that it will do so thanks to the bribery of Mr. Martin. As described in previous posts, we've discussed how Martin managed, through his intermediaries, to bribe Conservative MP Belinda Stronach with a cabinet post. It didn't take much to bribe Stronach, as she is a spoiled billionaire heiress who is a college dropout. In Stronach's mind, she is entitled to a Leadership post, and when no one would accept her in the Conservative Party, she used the opportunity of an impending budget and confidence vote to bolt the party, and punish it for electing Stephen Harper as Leader instead of her.

Martin has been desperate enough to send his cronies to try and bribe other, more principled Conservatives with cabinet posts in order to shore up votes. As these allegations come out, one has to wonder how they have affected the minds of the two undecided independent MPs. As of yesterday, the Liberals appeared to have bought Chuck Cadman, the one independent they needed, but that was before further allegations of attempts by Martin's Government to bribe Liberals, right down to evidence on tape.

I think Cadman will probably go with the Liberals and their government, unfortunately, will survive.

The vote prediction on the budget amendment:


The Speaker of the House of Commons breaks the tie.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Welcome Major Gregory J. Krappman

Beginning today, we are adding a new contributor to our blogroll here at the World. As most of you know, I like to connect readers to the real newsmakers whenever that can be accomplished. Major Gregory J. Krappman is an Intelligence Officer with the Air Assault Infantry Battalion stationed in Iraq's hot Sunni Triangle. I caught Greg's blog the other day and was deeply impressed by this man's dedication to his country, and the dedication of everyone who serves with him. I am honored that he would allow me to link with his blog and his reports.

Call Major K our Iraq correspondent!

Clarett still may be a liar

Long-time readers of the World know that we've been covering the Maurice Clarett grade padding and booster allegations since Maurice came up with them, and we even took Maurice's side.

Well, the NCAA yesterday said that it found nine NCAA violations against Ohio State, but only one against the football program, and that wasn't a serious one. The NCAA probes allegations against major programs very thoroughly, as I am sure many an Alabama and Auburn fan are aware. If there was anything nasty going on, you had better believe that NCAA investigators would have found it, and Ohio State would no longer have the crystal football from 2002.

I predicted privately to several friends and acquaintances within the sports spectrum that Ohio State would come out of this clean and would not be touched...everyone I talked to at the time thought that I was crazy.

Bring on the choirs of cherubim to proclaim "David Was Right, Right, Right...!"

I'll be the first to admit that as big of a college football fan as I am, and as seriously as I take the sport, there are a lot of people out there who actually know a lot more than I do. As huge of an Ohio State fan as I am, and as closely as I follow the program, there are those who have greater knowledge than I have. However, I know enough about the Ohio State program to smell a rat when I see one. Maurice Clarett was, and is, a very diseased rat.

Nuclear war

We are but hours away from a spectacle that I never believed it would be necessary to witness in my lifetime. Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist will attempt, whether today or later in the week, to vote judicial filibusters out of existence. He has between 50 and 53 votes, which means that even in the worst-case scenario, the Vice President can break the tie.

In return for the proposed change in Senate rules, the Democrats have promised that they'll shut the Senate down by filibustering everything else the GOP wants that may come to the Senate floor. This effectively means that the Dems will shut the Senate down. Believe it or not, I don't begrudge the Democrats the right to do so. However, if the Democrats want to play hardball over judges, (we all know that the reason they don't want these judges on the bench is because they are pro-life Christians), they had better be prepared for an all-out political war. I have to give props to Bill Frist because he isn't backing down on this, despite a personal political history of wishy-washiness. The conservative members of the Senate seem united behind the notion that they aren't giving in to the Democrats, and if they don't, that means that we are in for a long, protracted fight. I would be more than willing to let the Democrats try and shut the Senate down so long as our side does not give in, because eventually this strategy will have a reciprocal effect. If the Democrats in the Senate keep this going long enough, there will come a point in the game where they will lose by default, since people have short memories politically. The public will forget just why the Dems chose to shut the Senate down, and remember only that for some strange reason, the Democrats are behaving like spoiled rotten whiney four-year-olds. In the end, Democrat's continually prove their long-term political stupidity, and all it will do is benefit the GOP.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Political whore award

Today's political whore award goes to former Canadian Conservative (now Liberal) MP Belinda Stronach, who defected to the Liberal Party in return for a cabinet position, and if the Liberal record is any indication, probably a little cash on the side.

Stronach's defection does not seem to come as a surprise to Canadian Tory bloggers I have seen on the net. To many of them, Stronach has long been characterized as a power-hungry opportunist who was out for the leadership of the Conservative Party, and nothing short of leadership would please her. She had, according to multiple Tory sources, no internal priciples whatsoever, and was waiting for the fall of Conservative Leader Stephen Harper with baited breath. What's more, Stronach seems to have little concept of the fact that Western Canada feels alienated by people from Ontario, of which she happens to be one. Kate McMillian said in her entry today that Stronach is just that stupid.

The only reason that this is a newsworthy item is because of the budget vote in the House of Commons that has the potential to topple the Liberal Government. Paul Martin bought Stronach out because he needs her vote to stay alive, and he is that desperate. At this point, the fate of the Liberal Government hinges on one or two votes. If Martin the Dictator survives, he will do so by bribery yet again.

Correction (Del is in the Opry now) and the tale of a great Bluegrass music man

Aaron Harris pointed out a gross error of fact on my part:

Del already is an Opry member as of October 2003.

I did some checking of the facts and lo and behold, Aaron is correct. Del McCoury was indeed inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in October of 2003.

What got me to writing about Del and the need for him to become a member of the Opry was actually a discussion Aaron and I had several years ago (before 2003) about the injustice of the fact that the greatest Bluegrass musician of our time (and perhaps of all time) was not a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Not being informed otherwise, I wanted to use this blogging outlet as a way to correct that injustice.

Leave it to Aaron to inform me that the Opry saw the light two years ago.

I will not shy away from taking the credit for Aaron's evolution as one of the most respected Bluegrass DJs (and music reporters) in the business, even though he is no longer on the radio air regularly. It all started one evening when Aaron came for one of his regular calls to my former apartment across from the Wright State University campus in Fairborn, Ohio. In those days, we had dinner together 1-2 times a week, and that evening, we were scheduled for one of our famous trips to the nearby Longhorn Steak House. When Aaron knocked on my door that night and let himself in, as was his usual practice, I was listening one of the many "best of" compilations of Bluegrass Gospel music to be found in generic stores, I think I popped it in the CD player earlier just to have some good music playing. Aaron asked me "what is that, who is it," and it happened to be a song by the Del McCoury Band. We got to talking, and Aaron told me I was the first person he knew of to have a decent collection of Bluegrass. I lent Aaron a few CDs after we talked for over an hour about Bluegrass. Later that week, Aaron saw Del and the Boys on the Grand Ole Opry, and he was hooked.

He would very shortly thereafter get a regular gig hosting the "Bluegrass Breakdown" radio show on WYSO in nearby Yellow Springs, one he would hold until he left for Chicago to get his masters' degree. He became one of the most recognized voices on the radio for the local Appalachian community, and some people even claimed that Aaron's show was more popular than Moon Mullins' program on WBZI in Xenia (Moon himself may not have disputed that, but in fairness, while Aaron was popular, Moon was and is a Bluegrass icon). You always knew that someone at a concert would know Aaron by his voice and come up and say howdy. If you went to a concert with Aaron during the radio years, you were going to have company.

The big names in Bluegrass flocked to Aaron. Dan Tyminski, who lent his voice to George Clooney in O Brother, Where Art Thou, was not ashamed to declare on Aaron's show that Jesus Christ was the Lord of his life. Ronnie McCoury was happy to grant an interview to Aaron in order to plug some of his work with his brother Rob. Musicians wanted Aaron at their shows, and wanted him to listen to their CDs because Aaron wrote reviews, and if the music was good, they knew that the review would be, too. Aaron got to sing along with The Lonesome River Band and company at a now infamous rendition of Will the Circle Be Unbroken at Dayton's Mountain Days festival, and jammed with Del at a post-awards gathering at the IBMA's.

After all that, it is fair to say that Aaron is an insider, as well as a fan. Today, he writes reviews for multiple genres, including Bluegrass, at National Review Online, and it is now he who regularly recommends recent CD releases to me.

And to think it all started on an ordinary night in my messy old apartment.

Who and what is reliable?

By now, virtually everyone who is "in-the-know" is aware of the Newsweek report that alleged that prison officers at Guantanimo Bay, Cuba flushed copies of the Quran down the toilet. That story, of course, caused an upheaval all over the Islamic world. The usual screams of "Death to America" and "down with the Great Satan" were far louder than normal. Terrorist actions against U.S. soldiers and civilians in Afghanistan were seen to be a direct result of the Newsweek story. People died as a result of the backlash.

Now, Newsweek has admitted that the story is false, and has issued a retraction. In the mean time, their story was an outright lie, and all they can do is take it back. Newsweek should formally apologize to the families of every person who died as a result of their negligence.

The reason I chose to write about this issue today, after everyone else is writing about it across the blogging world, was not to bring the issue to light. I make the assumption that my informed readers are already aware of the situation at Newsweek. Rather, I wanted to use the issue of this blatantly false news report to point out that many of the so-called "journalists" at the big Washington and New York news operations have biases of their own, the red-leftist tint of many of their stories is so evident that the informed reader or viewer often has to dig for themselves to find the real facts. At the same time as these self-righteous reporters trumpet their own journalistic objectivity, they tell us that bloggers and blogs are unreliable sources of news, information, and opinion.

I'll be the first to admit that my blog has a bias. It is conservative, traditionalist, and Catholic. However, if I publish an error of fact, and that error is discovered, I immediately retract it. I rely on my readers to let me know when I am wrong, and if I am, I'll be the first to admit it.

There are many blogs out there that are unreliable and, frankly, not very well done. There are blogs, though, that are very fine quality sources of information and opinion, even with their evident biases. In the wake of what has happened at Newsweek, I can say with some confidence that no blogger I know of was capable of any worse, and probably could have done a much better job of reporting.

Monday, May 16, 2005

The health care question

As most of my regular readers know, I enjoy using readers' comments as fodder for new posts here at the World. In today's reader comment, Renee Daley replies further to my assertion that the national Democratic Party has become the political engine of socialism/Marxism in this country:

As a former liberal and Democrat, I absolutely agree with you, David. Socialism is exactly where the left wants us to be. They will not be happy until we have universal health care and redistribution of wealth. If history taught us anything it was that this idea did not fair so well in the former Soviet Union. Just remember if Cuba is so great, why do we have mass exodus of refugees to the United States?

I believe the basic premise of what Renee says here, of course. The political left does have as its ultimate goal the propitiation of socialism in the U.S. and around the world. I trust my non-Catholic readers will give me a bit of leeway while I treat a couple of points that Renee made in her reply from a Catholic perspective.

The problem with universal health care as socialists see it is not the idea that everyone, regardless of economic situation or pre-existing condition, ought to have access to good health care. That idea is not radical, nor does it necessarily indicate socialist sympathies, and in fact it is well within the purview of proper Catholic thought. The problem with the socialist version of universal health care is twofold:

1.) The government would determine what is and is not covered. Assuming everything would be covered, does that also mean that taxpayers who are pro-life must be forced to pay for someone's murder of their unborn child? Would taxpayers be forced to pay for artificial contraceptives as well? What if euthanasia were legal (God forbid), would taxpayers be forced to pay for the killing of the aged, the infirm, the disabled? No health care system is morally acceptable where public monies are made to go toward paying for aborticide, birth control, or euthanasia.

2.) If the health care system is managed by the government, that means that the state can determine what it will pay drug companies, medical supply companies, doctors, and nurses. On the surface, this sounds like a great system until the doctors and nurses go other places where they can get better pay and benefits. If you don't think it can happen in a socialized system, know that it is happening in Canada right now. Many a Canadian doctor and nurse are practicing in the States because they do not feel they are paid well or treated fairly in Canada.

It may surprise many of my readers to learn that I have actually come to believe that access to decent health care is a right. Like other rights, however, the right to health care comes with responsibilities for all parties concerned. The recipient of health care cannot live a knowingly risque lifestyle, and then say to the public when that lifestyle results in inevitable health problems that the taxpayer must foot the bill. Doctors, medical personnel, and drug companies should not inflate prices for the sake of merely maintaining a profit margin. While I wouldn't dare insinuate that these parties should not make a profit or even live well, few would argue that the cost of health care has been inflated far above other social costs. The state, on the other hand, should not attempt to control costs, because the controls will be strictly artificial. Such controls do nothing to decrease the actual cost of health care.

There is no easy solution to the health care problem in America. A purely government system is one solution that is an unhealthy one.

Good whippin or abuse?

Cincinnati City Councilman Sam Malone spent the night in jail last night. The reason is because he stands accused of beating his teenage son, leaving marks on him. According to the Enquirer, the young man passed the evening in the hospital after the alleged beating, which is said to have taken place on Friday evening. For Councilman Malone's part, he claims that he was disciplining his son with a belt strap.

While I admit to being more than a little suspicious about the fact that Mr. Malone's son was in need of a hospital stay, I can't help but wonder how much of the attention this case is getting has been contrived by a combination of angry Democrats (Malone is a black Republican), their allies in the press, and a young man who is trying to get back at his father for giving him a much needed whip to the rear. As we all know, corporal punishment is not considered politically correct anymore, as children are now seen to have more rights than their parents despite lacking majority status. Give your child a spanking, and you do not love your child. In fact, you are seen as a danger to society for daring to discipline your child.

Because of this reality, I am willing to give Councilman Malone the benefit of the doubt here. As facts in the case become more clear, I will post them here.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


Today is Pentecost Sunday, known in some circles as the birthday of the Church. It is the day when the Church commemorates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, and the revelation of that same Spirit to the whole world. When Christ endowed the Church with power from on high, it became an unstoppable force for the conversion of humanity.

For me, Pentecost holds a much more personal meaning. Seven years ago on Pentecost I was baptized, confirmed, and received my first Holy Communion. Thus, when the Church universal speaks today about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, I can identify, because I have experienced that flow of grace firsthand in my life on the very day in which the first such flow occurred.

As for the Church, 2000 years later, the Church is still going.

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