Right Thinking From The Left Coast
You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life - Albert Camus

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Words of Wisdom
by Lee

Last night I posted a goofy thing going around the blogosphere now called Which Founding Father Are You? Reader DougK left a comment to that post, a section of which I would like to quote below.

Recently I’ve been reading some of the writings of the more obscure FF’s and a great many of them would be top notch bloggers today but not much more. But when one goes back and reads Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, George Washington, and the other major players, THEIR writing shines like a beacon even after 200 plus years. No one writing today, blogger or main stream writer, illuminates and idea the way Jefferson and Company did or when making a point and defending it. It is good for us to go back and read the old dead white guys now and again for a solid reference point. It is also a humbling.

Truer words were never spoken. My girlfriend in Texas has a 12-year-old son named Clayton, and last night he called me for help with his homework. He’s in the 7th grade, and is beginning to learn American history. He had to write a paper on Patrick Henry’s famous “Give me liberty, or give me death!” speech. As you can well imagine I took a great deal of delight in introducing him to something that was so near and dear to my heart. I had to set the stage for him, explaining that the Founding Fathers were making the case to the people to revolt against the mightiest nation the world had ever known. We went through Henry’s speech line by line, and I translated his words into a format that Clayton could understand. He really seemed to start to get it, and it was truly a joyous experience for me to be introducing him to this aspect of American history. When we got to the last paragraph of the speech, I realized just how great a man Patrick Henry was. Read his words, and put them in the context of the war on terrorism.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

The arguments he used for taking immediate action against the British are exactly the same arguments being used today to justify action against Saddam Hussein. DougK was absolutely right. Their writing does indeed shine like a beacon, even after more than two centuries.

Posted by Lee on 11/07/02 at 10:58 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Perfect Storm
by Lee

Blogging has been light tonight because of the storm that is currently tearing the Northwest a new ass.  We’ve got 65 mph winds here in Marin county.  My DSL and phone have been out for the past four hours, and the lights have gone off and on quite a few times.  I don’t know what the status of things is going to be, so if the site is devoid of posts for a while you now know why.

P.S.  Check out my update to the article immediately below this one.

Posted by Lee on 11/07/02 at 10:15 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

This Should Make the Aussies Safer
by Lee

The Australian government has reacted to a recent shooting there by banning 250 types of handguns.

The Australian government is about to considerably tighten the laws on handgun ownership following a deadly shooting last month on a university campus.

Federal and state ministers meeting to discuss the issue have backed a range of new measures, but critics accuse the government of trying to impose “social revenge” on law-abiding gun-owners after the double murder.

Two students at Monash University in Melbourne were shot dead last month by another student, who was a licensed gun owner.

Among the steps under consideration is a federal government proposal to outlaw some 250 types of handguns that are not used in law enforcement or in recognized shooting competitions, coupled to a “buyback” scheme to facilitate recovery of the newly-banned weapons.

When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns.  I know it’s a cliche, but those words have never been more true.  This is similar to the recent shooting at the University of Arizona, in that it took place at a college in which two people were killed.  As Clayton Cramer pointed out the UA campus was a “gun free zone,” which obviously worked wonders in protecting the students and staff there.  Australia seems to think that a “gun free country” will work the same sort of magic.

Update: I have been doing a little more thinking about this issue.  If I remember correctly there were roughly 60 gun deaths in Australia last year.  According to the CIA World Factbook Australia’s population is just under 20 million.  That’s an insignificant amount of deaths by guns.  The Australians should be heralding the success of their gun control policies, that in a country of 20 million people they only have a paltry 60 gun deaths per year.  I have no figures to back this up, but I would be willing to bet money that more than 60 people die there each year from insect and animal bites.  From a strictly numerical standpoint their existing gun control laws are working exceptionally well for them. 

So why the hysteria every time someone gets shot?

Posted by Lee on 11/07/02 at 01:42 PM in 2nd Amendment  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Left Wing, Redux
by Lee

Jonah Goldberg has comments in The Corner today regarding last night’s The West Wing.  They’re very much in line with my comments from last night.

It’s simply a badly written show now. It used to be sort of the entertainment version of the New York Times, infuriating but intelligent. Now, it’s like a DNC newsletter, dull, predictable and trite. Last night’s episode was simply tedious. Aaron Sorkin made the dubious decision to peg this season to the 2000 presidential race. Unfortunately that race is old news and the West Wing’s election has been thoroughly boring and arrogantly tendentious—a terrible combination. It’s also been increasingly unrealistic. The Vice President has been MIA and the electoral college was never mentioned. The idea that the President’s political staff wouldn’t care about such things is beyond implausible. For a while it seemed like West Wing had a chance to influence the political culture in a way favorable to Democrats, increasingly it looks like it will simply confirm the stereotypes about the Democratic Party: outdated, out-of-touch and too clever to be likable.

I couldn’t agree more.  I’ve been a big fan of the show ever since its debut, but this season has really sucked.  I hear that Sorkin fired Peggy Noonan as one of the show’s advisors (and I believe she was the only conservative) and he’s spend much of last season and all of this one treating the show as his own personal anti-conservative vendetta hour.  Like I said, the Richie character was using likes cribbed directly from George W. Bush during the debates.  The show has just generally gone totally downhill this season, and not just in the political sense.  It’s getring boring, and that’s a shame because it’s a show I have really enjoyed watching. 

Aaron Sorkin is so blinded by his own left-wing ideology he would apparently rather be Terry McAuliffe’s bitch than have a hit TV show.

Posted by Lee on 11/07/02 at 09:35 AM in Life & Culture  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Who Are You?
by Lee

Just got this link from Ryne McClaren.  Click on the link below and answer a short quiz to see which founding father you most closely resemble.

Posted by Lee on 11/07/02 at 12:02 AM in Fun and Humor  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

The Left Wing
by Lee

So it’s Wednesday, and as I usually do I’m tuned in to NBC’s 60-minute commercial for the DNC, The West Wing.  Tonight is their big election episode, where incumbent Democrat Bartlett (Martin Sheen) is battling it out with Florida’s Republican Governor Richie (James Brolin).  Last week was the show’s big debate episode, and überleftie writer/producer Aaron Sorkin had the Richie character actually saying lines President Bush used in his debates with Al Gore.  So tonight we’ll see the citizens of this country vote to keep the Democrat, and ward off the attack from the slack-jawed bumbling far-right redneck from Florida.

If only life immitated art this time, huh Aaron?

Update: After each commercial break you get a vote tally for the Bartlett and Richie characters.  As expected Bartlett is creaming Richie.  The interesting thing, however, is the vote totals.  During a regular presidential election the media, as we all know, declares states for a particular candidate, and then tallies up the electoral votes.  On this show, however, the vote totals are given in terms of the popular vote.  It seems that überleftie Sorkin is making a subtle point about the fact that Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election.  As any high school civics student knows, presidents are not elected by the popular vote but by the electoral.  If only Sorkin and his left-wing ilk could own up to that simple fact.

Posted by Lee on 11/06/02 at 10:18 PM in Life & Culture  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Michael Mooron
by Lee

A number of other blogs have been quoting this all day, and given my penchant to comment on all things relating to Michael Moore, I’ll do the same.  Here’s the Mike’s Message from Sunday, Nov. 3rd.

Years from Now, They’ll Call It “Payback Tuesday”

You bet your ass we call it that, Mike.  It’s payback for Jim Jeffords, and the way the Democrats have conducted their business since 9/11.

Dear Friends,

Well, folks, Tuesday is the day! The day that George W. gets taught a long overdue lesson. The day that we, the MAJORITY—the 52% who never elected him—get our chance to reclaim a bit of our former democracy (back when ALL the votes used to be counted).

Well, it looks like all the votes were counted this time, Mike, and you and your left-wing counterparts got your fat asses handed to you.

What if, on Tuesday, all of us, regardless of our political stripe, and just for the fun of it, decided to serve one big-ass eviction notice that said, you have two years to remove yourself from the premises-and you had better not damage anything on your way out?

An ironic choice of phrase, considering the vandalism that the departing Democrats from the Clinton administration did to the White House.  But it looks like the electorate did indeed send this message, Mike, they just sent it to the Democrats in the House and Senate.

I think we can give Bush the Mother of all Shellackings on Tuesday.

It looks like you and your ilk got the “Mother of All Forcible Enemas” on Tuesday, didn’t you Mike?

Moore then goes on with populist get-out-the-vote crap, which isn’t worth a comment.  He then makes this brilliantly prescient statement:

We will deny Bush control of the Congress next week, and then we all work to get him out of the White House in 2004. 2004 will NOT and MUST NOT be a repeat of 2000.

God, I would give anything to have been there with this schmuck last night watching the election returns.  It would have been poetic.

Posted by Lee on 11/06/02 at 07:08 PM in Michael Mooron  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Nancy Pelosi
by Lee

A development in the House has forced me out of my schadenfreude, and it requires a blogging. It appears that Minority Leader Dick Gephardt has decided that he will not seek the Democrat leadership position in the House next term. Immediately the punditry has deemed House Minority Whip Nancy Pelosi as a possible successor. Pelosi is from right here in the People’s Socialist Republic of San Francisco, and I would like to go on record stating that I think she would be an excellent choice to replace Gephardt.

Pelosi is a typical dyed-in-the-wool leftist. She exemplifies the positions rejected yesterday by the American electorate. The Democrats should learn from their ass-whipping and try to find a leader whose values more closely match those of the people who voted yesterday. Unfortunately, it’s not in their interest to do so. Swing voters don’t write checks to either party, and the only people who write them to the Democrats are billionaire liberals and hard-core left-wingers. The Green Party is making inroads into that kernel of left-wingers, so the Democrats can’t afford to alienate them any more than they have thus far. So, appointing a leftie like Pelosi would be just the type of thing I would expect them to do. And as a Republican, I sure hope they do. After Bush as taken care of Iraq, repaired the economy with more tax cuts and other incentives, and implemented much of the rest of his stated agenda, having a typical idea-less liberal dunce like Nancy Pelosi running things in the House would be just the ticket to ensure Republican control of that house for years to come.

Posted by Lee on 11/06/02 at 06:34 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

How Soon They Forget
by Lee

If I hear one more television reporter say this I’m going to SCREAM: “President Bush will now have both a Republican House and a Republican Senate, the first time that has happened since the Eisenhower administration.”

How stupid are these people? I seem to remember two years ago George W. Bush starting out his administration with a Republican House and Senate, but a gutless RINO coward named Jim Jeffords decided that he was going to subvert the will of the people of this nation and resign from the Republican party, thus throwing the balance of power to the Democrats. Now that the voters have rectified this situation the entire news media seems to have forgotten the small fact of the pre-Jeffords Senate, and are acting like having a Republican government is virtually unprecedented. Admittedly it isn’t a common occurrence, but come on guys! It was May of last year, for God’s sake! Are you so blinded by your liberal bias that you can’t remember the makeup of the Senate less than two years ago?

Posted by Lee on 11/06/02 at 04:17 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

No Socialist Health Care
by Lee

Oregon has rejected a proposal to socialize their health care system.

Oregon voters took the advice of the health insurance industry on Tuesday to overwhelmingly defeat an initiative to make Oregon the first state in the nation to offer free tax-financed medical care for everyone.

With 43 percent of precincts counted, Measure 23 was being defeated with 488,234 “no” votes, or 79 percent, to 126,267 “yes” votes, or 21 percent.

Mark Nelson, who managed the $1.2 million campaign against Measure 23 that was financed largely by health insurance providers, said voters were not ready to take a chance on sweeping change.

“I think people are concerned about access to health care and the cost of health care, but they don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater,” said Nelson. “They see a system they believe needs to be constantly reformed and modified, but not by throwing it entirely out the window.”

“It took decades to free slaves and give women the right to vote,” said Lindgren.

This is good news.  It shows that voters, even in a state like Oregon, know a good thing when they have it. 

Note, too, the way that the article focuses on the fact that the health care industry was behind the movement to defeat the initiative, thus implying that (a) voters were swayed by a corporate behemoth into voting against a measure they probably would have voted for otherwise, rather than as people who simply didn’t want to destroy their health care system, and (b) of all the quotes from Lindgren that they could have chosen they used one where he compares his agenda to that of the abolition of slavery and women’s suffrage, thus painting him as a crusader for a higher cause, rather than a socialist who wants to make US health care as dangerous as it is in Europe and Australia.

Nothing like a little media bias, is there?

Posted by Lee on 11/06/02 at 09:29 AM in Health Care  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Everyone Has Their Hand Out
by Lee

Check this out.  Even the venerable National Review Online has a tip jar.  Now I don’t feel like such a pathetic leech for having one myself.

Posted by Lee on 11/06/02 at 09:19 AM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Final Totals
by Lee

For the California gubernatorial race

Gray Davis: 47.4% (3,141,470)
Bil Simon: 42.4% (2,812,874)

If I had to pick a race I wouldn’t mind losing it would be this one.  It’ll be wonderful spending the next four years watching the California Democrats implode due to their own incompetence.  Taxes will go up, businesses will continue to leave the state, the economy will continue to go into the shitter, the state bureaucracy will grow and grow, entitlement programs will be expanded to cover every lazy degenerate bum and illegal immigrant.  In four years Governor-elect Schwarzenegger will ride into office on a wave of resurgence of the California GOP.

Posted by Lee on 11/06/02 at 09:01 AM in Cullyforneah  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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