Archive for the ‘BN Channel Politics’ category

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Stasis and Change in Left-Wing Politics and the Environment

Politics Blog Nosh Magazine Originally Published on Dr. J and Mr. K
first appeared on Blog Nosh Magazine on June 30, 2008

The discussion in my last post about how the political left advocates change of every sort yet appears terrified of any change in the environment – or has adopted such a pose, at any rate – left the environmental portion for another day.
The quick and easy hit about refusing to “embrace change” in this one important area struck me as pointing to an important idea. Why do certain people think the environment should remain exactly as it was, when nature continually provides evidence of its (or, as another era would have put it, “her”) ability to produce unpredictable events and inflict cataclysm at every turn?

Some conservatives attempt to explain the fundamental weirdness of so many liberal or progressive policy prescriptions – especially on the environment – as flowing from the increasing disconnect of urban residents from the natural world. That seems to have merit. But this view is undermined by two things: first is the ubiquity of information media that bring nature’s acts – tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes killing tens of thousands – into the home or office, second is the burgeoning popularity of recreation out in the natural world, made possible by the very mass prosperity and personal mobility the left opposes. Nature’s real nature is on display before you, if you’re willing to look. Many appear unwilling.

One example in this vein would be the manic environmental controls imposed on mining or other resource companies when conducting previously innocuous activities such as bridging a stream. Nowadays such supporting projects often impose years of study and regulatory process over fears of erosion and the allegedly ruinous effects on fish and their habitat. Imperial Oil’s Kearl oil sands project was recently thrown off the rails over a water-related issue of this sort. Meanwhile a few days of spring rains send our local rivers to 10 or 20 times their normal flows. Raging above their banks, the waters strip away thousands (perhaps millions) of tons of topsoil and snap stands of trees like so much matchwood. But hey, at least that’s natural.

(As an aside, funnily enough a few years ago I witnessed fish take up residence among the rip-rap boulders literally as they were being placed to line the banks of my favourite southeast B.C. stream, amid much noise and fury as heavy equipment installed bridge piles.)

The climate is another area where the left fears rather than embraces change. In its attempt to portray past climate as essentially stable, the global warming movement even attempted to write the Little Ice Age out of history, and nearly succeeded.

Conceptually, doesn’t it strike you as strange that a system capable of temperature variations of 30 degrees C within a single day, and 70 degrees C over the course of a year, should be regarded as stable from year to year and century to century?

A global warming believer might reply that diurnal behaviour and intense seasonality are merely a function of the Earth’s rotation, the tilt of its axis and the fact of its elliptical orbit. They don’t rule out a stable overall climate.

Great! A discussion based briefly on actual scientific principles.  So then what about the facts that the Earth wobbles on its axis and glides along a slightly uneven orbit? And that the sun, far from being an undifferentiated blob of superhot plasma, itself produces variations in the forms and intensity of its output. Don’t these things suggest a system that not only is forever changing, but that ought to be regarded as being in flux rather than stasis? The evidence of past climates vastly different from our own is profound. Indeed, if there’s a scientific “consensus” about anything, it’s that the Ice Ages actually took place, and that dinosaurs once walked the High Arctic. But no.  Wherever he or she looks, the postmodern progressive or leftist sees evidence of a harmonious natural world that would remain forever pristine in its unchanging perfection, but for the baleful effects of humanity. Still to come: why this is so.

Liz from Three Bright Stars chose this article from George Koch (Mr. K), a freelance writer who has a B.A. in philosophy and history (University of Alberta), and an M.A. in journalism (University of Western Ontario). His main areas of interest are politics, business/economics and alpine skiing. Dr. J and Mr. K is a great political blog to add to your reading list because it features cogent writing on current politics – and other topics. Also, the bloggers are Albertans – an Liz can’t resist a great Albertan!

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DNC Night Three: The Polite Demonstrators Edition

Politics Blog Nosh Magazine{Originally published on Resurrection Song}

Heard in passing on the way to the Pepsi Center: Obama’s presidential campaign is the biggest things since the Cosby Show to happen to black Americans.

To tell the truth, covering events like the convention–especially if you are focused on the speeches–would be easier from home. For interviews, for taking photos, and for true believers, the event is a blessing. For content, assuming you’re a blogger at least, the long walks, the wasted time in line to get through security, the high prices, and the chaotic crowds just get in the way of divining the message.

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The biggest challenge is finding a reasonably quiet place to sit down, organize thoughts, and write something meaningful without being overwhelmed by the echoing voices, pushy reporters, and crowded halls. And don’t get me started on the fact that every bar in the area–and in the Pepsi Center–has been carved up by one of the big media outlets and there are only a handful of places for the second-class citizens (me) to sit and work. It’s left many of us poor bastards precious little room to maneuver.Not that I blame the media outlets. If I had the wherewithal, I would do precisely the same.

Walking down to the Pepsi Center tonight after leaving the air conditioned wonder of the Founding Bloggers Secret Lair (check out their site for some great shots of what’s been happening around Denver this week and for exclusive video), I enjoyed the fact that big events bring out two things in modern Americans: their inner capitalist and their willingness to jump in and protest even when the protest has so little to do with the actual event. Like the gentleman protesting the Catholic church and the handling of the pedophile scandals of a few years ago.

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While I admire the work that went into his outfit, I couldn’t tell you what Obama’s coronation event has to do with that particular problem. It was perversely fun to watch him spreading his message contra Catholic Nazi Piggy Back Rides. He stepped carefully through the crowd and spoke to anyone willing to listen while the vendors hawked Obama action-figures, t-shirts, and bottled water. Funny stuff.Not all protesters are made equal, though.

During the lull in the convention action, a walk out to Checkpoint Charlie proved to be providential. Or at least vaguely interesting.

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I caught the tail end of a little protest. Cops in riot gear, the equestrian troops, and a scattering of curious members of the media all converged on one section of the temporary barricades and fences. Led by the red-shirted Vets Against the War, the crowd was changing “Fuck you, we won’t do what you tell us.” Apparently they were still under the spell of Rage Against Decent Music.Amidst the usual anti-war slogans and signs was one that always makes me giggle. “US Off the Planet.”

I wonder how many of them actually mean it? How many of them actually think that the world would be better off without the United States of America? My guess is that quite a few of them spout things like that at parties and protests, but they wouldn’t give up their coddled existence and good life here in the US to go live in, say, any nation in Africa. But what do I know? It seems like Recreate68 was more of a pose than an actual attempt to change our government.

Shawn Macomber says something similar in his piece tonight.

The essence of the infamous 1968 Democratic convention to the Recreate68ers tourists, it seems, was not philosophical, but cultural. The protestors aren’t really here to shake up the system or tear down the edifice of a decaying society. None, not even those designated to speak to the press and police liaisons, exhibit the kind of charisma or ambition necessary for something as grand as all that. The Zapatistas in Chiapas would surely accept their aid if these twentysomethings and younger wanted to trade their hovel in the ‘rents basement and an X-Box for a jungle bunker and war against the man. No, it’s more akin to the conceit of Total Recall: they paid the price to come travel to a city where, for a week, they can live an artificial—but lurid—version of a dangerous—but celebrated—time in history. They came to rub elbows with a story, to gain that “imaginary possession of a past that is unreal”; to be able to say, like the vets of SDS and the Weathermen Underground, “Hey, we were there when the s*** went down.”

Problem is, there are a few misdemeanor arrests, but no s*** going down in Denver.

I met my two favorite protesters (sorry about the poor pic, guys–I should have taken a few more for safety’s sake). Seth and Kiko, University of Michigan students, both trekked out for the demonstrations, but also admitted that they would be voting for Obama. When I asked them whether he thought that demonstrations like those could actually hurt Obama in the election, Seth, who stated that he has worked for Obama for more than a year, was adamant that wasn’t the case. “No, I don’t think so at all. I think it calls attention to what needs to be happening…the problem with politics is that it’s left a lot of people on the sidelines and people feel neglected. And this is a very good way to galvenize the people through civil disobedience.”

And for a moment I felt a little hope for these kids. They drastically overestimate the effect that their demonstrations will have on the political conversation taking place around them, and I would say that they are simply wrong on many issues. I would say that they are misinformed, mislead, and confused about what things truly have value in America, but I would also say that as they grow older they may well grow out of those things and find in themselves a passion for politics that is transformative without being destructive of the things that have made America such a wealthy, powerful, and, yes, good country.

I don’t agree with them, but it was nice to meet a couple of protesters who were polite, happy, and not as confrontational as I might have expected.

In a way, I preferred them to some of the supposed grown-ups making speeches inside the convention. At least a little bit.

Editors pick by MrLady at Whiskey In My Sippy Cup: This was actually the first post I chose to submit to Blog Nosh Magazine, for many reasons, the foremost of which is that ZombyBoy is what can only be summed up as my blogfather.  I’ve been reading his site for longer than I’ve had my own blog, and I am constantly amazed and awed by his humour, his wit, his perception, and mostly, his ability to reach across the table.  He and I share not one single political belief, and still I come back to him for information, for a laugh, and 4 years later I can say proudly, for friendship.  This post is the perfect example of his pure goodness.  Read the original post, check out his site and do yourself a favour; subscribe before he starts live-blogging American Idol.  You really don’t want to miss that.

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Can I Get an Amen? (The Thinkin’ About a Tea Party Edition)

Politics Blog Nosh Magazine{Originally posted at Resurrection Song}

Via Instapundit, I find this site that hits me as saying precisely what I want to say:

Today’s economic crisis impacts all Americans, not just those who are behind on their mortgages.  Everyone shares concerns over health care, job loss, and the decimation of their retirement savings.  All Americans have made sacrifices over the past year.  The American taxpayer is already on the hook for mismanaged banks, incompetently run auto companies and extravagent stimulus packages.  We don’t need the additional burden of paying for our neighbor’s mortgage.  The bottom line – we believe that being current on one’s mortgage should not be grounds for being put at a financial disadvantage.

That is wildly deserving of an amen.

I find myself wondering how conservatives who bought into the rhetoric of hope and change, who believed that Obama would be governing from a moderate’s position, and who ended up voting Democrat in the elections are feeling about their decision right now? I’m feeling more and more that I voted the right direction: McCain.

Now, the current economic crisis isn’t Obama’s fault. There are a lot of names and administrations that can share the blame for bad regulations, overspending, and refusal to deal with the American economy as something built on money that doesn’t come from the Free Money Fairy. And then there are the people–that is, “we, the people”–who helped by demanding more government services and less fiscal sanity. In fact, we, the people, made it downright difficult for a person to be elected if they threatened our slice of the pie, a fact that has made blue hairs such an important voting block and rational conversation about the future of Social Security such a political hazard.

So, no, it’s not Obama’s fault.

But I remember watching one of the televised debates and hearing McCain promise a spending freeze followed by deep cuts in the budget coupled with a belief that raising taxes on any Americans right now would be foolish and irresponsible. Obama, in contrast, spoke breezily about cutting the budget, but thought that a spending freeze was a bad idea and an increase in taxes on the wealthy (whatever “wealthy” might mean) was a brilliant idea.

I remember thinking that this was one of only two defining issues for me (the other being continued resolution to maintain the most powerful military in the world–surprisingly, continued prosecution of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan was down the list a ways for reasons best discussed in another post on another day). Obama might indeed have intended to govern from the center, but even that night he couldn’t get away from a knee-jerk need by the left to increase taxes (on the right people) and massively increase spending (to the right people).

If the Republicans hadn’t lost the moral high ground on the economy over the last eight years, I imagine that we would be talking about President McCain and his obstructionist tendencies right now.

McCain may have had a hard time leading, given the state of the GOP in both House and Senate, but I think he would have gleefully used his veto pen to kill off this stimulus package and would have forced the Democrats into a fight. Instead, the left pretends at compromise with the complicity of a couple turncoat Republicans and then bulls ahead with whatever the hell it is that they wanted to do in the first place.

Because they won.

I don’t think that trend will last, though, because Americans are already starting to worry about how this latest stimulus package is actually going to help create jobs, foster economic stability, or do much other than run up well over a trillion in new debt. Bush has been criticized, rightly, for the debt that he ran up during his terms in office; a month into Obama’s administration and it’s become apparent that he not only intends to continue down that path, but, indeed, he’ll be upping the ante.

That’s a phrase–”upping the ante”–that I use very specifically. There is an element of the bad gambler to the way our government is handling the crisis, and Obama is cheering on the bad behavior. If you’ve ever seen a guy losing big at the craps tables, you’ll know what I mean.

That guy probably started with relatively conservative bets. He played the come and the pass lines and didn’t place any of the hard ways or other high risk bets. But he was losing–every few rolls of the dice set him back a little bit more until he realized he was down quite a bit. So instead of walking away, he believed the thing that every bad gambler believes: his luck’s going to turn. There were so many bad rolls that a good roll is just bound to be right around the corner.

And when he believes that, the bets get bigger because, when his luck turns, he believes the payout will pull him right out of the hole that he’s dug himself. So he starts betting bigger and he starts betting the high risk/high reward bets. There is luck involved, of course, and he’ll win some rolls. More than that, though, there is simple math: even when he wins a roll or two, he’s dug that hole so deep that he’s still deep down in the dark and he has to keep playing to try to break even.

What he doesn’t realize is that he’s already lost. The money is gone and he needs to be smart enough to step away from the table, go home, and figure out how to rebuild what is already gone.

Our government is that guy: the stimulus plans are getting bigger, the hole is getting deeper, and they believe that one more stimulus bill could hit it big and make those losses go away. Meanwhile, the deficit gets bigger and someone else is going to end up paying the bill because our government has gone way the hell and gone beyond the money that they brought to the table. They’ve borrowed from everyone they know, they’ve maxed the credit cards, they’ve taken out mortgages on our futures–and they’re using it all to place a bad bet that will only take us closer to financial ruin.

And Obama is the one leading us down that path, cheerfully telling us that this is the bet that will make it all better. I don’t believe him.

McCain wasn’t the guy who sent a thrill up my leg.  He wasn’t my perfect candidate and he didn’t mesh with my beliefs on a number of issues. I have a hard time imagining that he would have travelled this particular path, though, and I believe that this path is one that could ruin our nation.

Republicans, libertarians, and all nature of fiscal conservatives will be fighting at a disadvantage for the next few years (at least), but anyone who believes that our salvation is to be found in fiscal responsibility need to start pushing back now. We’re losing the battles right now, but we can’t afford to lose the war.

Editors note by Mr Lady @ Whiskey In My Sippy Cup: Zombyboy was one of my first blog friends, and I’d dare say my blogging mentor.  He and I disagree on almost everything political, but I always appreciate reading his take on issue and the discussions that ensue.  He’s a gifted writer, a passionate patriot and an insightful person.  Read the original post here.

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I Hate Your Politics

Politics Blog Nosh Magazine{Originally published at Whatever}

I hate your politics.

No, I don’t know what they are. And no, I probably don’t know who you are, either. Really, those two points are immaterial (no offense). As it turns out about, about 46% of you are liberal, 46% of you are conservative, and the rest of you just want your guns, drugs and brothels (here in the US, we call them folks “libertarians”).

Each of you carries baggage from your political affiliation, and all of that baggage has a punky smell to it, like one of your larger species of rodent crawled in and expired in your folded underwear. Listening to any of you yammer on about the geopolitical situation is enough to make one want to melt down one’s dental fillings with a beeswax candle and then jam an ice pick into the freshly-exposed nerve, just to have something else to think about. It’s not so much that politics brings out the worst in people than it is that the worst in people goes looking for something to do, and that usually ends up being politics. It’s either that or setting fires in trashcans.

In the spirit of fairness, and of completeness, let me go down the list and tell you what I hate about each major branch of political thinking.

Liberals: The stupidest and weakest members of the political triumvirate, they allowed conservatives to turn their name into a slur against them, exposing them as the political equivalent of the kid who lets the school bully pummel him with his own fists (Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself). Liberals champion the poor and the weak but do it in such condescendingly bureaucratic ways that the po’ illedumacated Cleti would rather eat their own shotguns than associate with the likes of them. Famously humorless and dour, probably because for a really good liberal, everything is political, and you just can’t joke about things like that.

Defensive and peevish even when they’re right. Under the impression that people in politics should play fair, which is probably why they get screwed as often as they do (nb: 2000 Presidential election). Feel guilty about the freedoms their political positions allow them, which is frankly idiotic. Liberals are politically able to have all sorts of freaky mammal sex but typically don’t; good liberal foreplay is a permission slip and three layers of impermeable barriers. The only vaguely liberal person we know of who seemed to enjoy sex in the last 30 years is Clinton, and look what he got out of it.

Fractious and have no sense of loyalty; will publicly tear out the intestines of those closest to them at the most politically inopportune times. The attention spans of poultry; easily distracted from large, useful goals by pointless minutiae. Not only can’t see the forest for the trees, can’t see the trees for the pine needles. Deserve every bad thing that happens to them because they just can’t get their act together. Too bad those they presume to stand for get royally screwed as well.

Conservatives: Self-hating moral relativists, unless you can convince me that an intellectual class that publicly praises family values but privately engages in sodomy, coke and trophy wives is more aptly described in some other way. Not every conservative is an old wealthy white man on his third wife, but nearly every conservative aspires to be so, which is a real waste of money, youth, race and women. Genuinely fear and hate those who are not “with” them — the sort of people who would rather shit on a freshly-baked cherry pie than share it with someone not of their own tribe.

Conservatives believe in a government by the oligarchy, for the oligarchy, which is why the conservative idea of an excellent leader is Ronald Reagan, i.e., genial, brain-damaged and amenable to manipulation by his more mentally composed underlings. Under the impression they own the copyright on Jesus and get testy when other political factions point out that technically Christ is in the public domain. Conservatives don’t actually bother to spend time with people who are not conservative, and thus become confused and irritable when people disagree with them; fundamentally can’t see how that’s even possible, which shows an almost charming intellectual naiveté. Less interested in explaining their point of view than nuking you and everything you stand for into blackened cinders before your evil worldview catches on like a virus. Conservatives have no volume control on their hate and yet were shocked as Hell when Rush Limbaugh went deaf.

Conservatives clueless enough to think that having Condi Rice and Andrew Sullivan on the team somehow counts as diversity. Pen their “thinkers” like veal in think tanks rather than let them interact with people who might oppose their views. Loathe women who are not willing to have their opinions as safely shellacked as their hair. Let their sons get caught with a dime bag and see how many are really for “zero-tolerance.” Let a swarthy day laborer impregnate their daughters and find out how many of them are really pro-life.

Libertarians: Never got over the fact they weren’t the illegitimate children of Robert Heinlein and Ayn Rand; currently punishing the rest of us for it. Unusually smug for a political philosophy that’s never gotten anyone elected for anything above the local water board. All for legalized drugs and prostitution but probably wouldn’t want their kids blowing strangers for crack; all for slashing taxes for nearly every social service but don’t seem to understand why most people aren’t at all keen to trade in even the minimal safety net the US provides for 55-gallon barrels of beans and rice, a crossbow and a first-aid kit in the basement. Blissfully clueless that Libertarianism is just great as long as it doesn’t actually involve real live humans.

Libertarians blog with a frequency that makes one wonder if they’re actually employed somewhere or if they have loved ones that miss them. Libertarian blogs even more snide than conservative blogs, if that’s possible. Socially slow — will assume other people actually want to talk about legalizing hemp and the benefits of a polyamorous ethos when all these other folks really want is to drink beer and play Grand Theft Auto 3. Libertarianism the official political system of science fiction authors, which explains why science fiction is in such a rut these days. Libertarians often polyamorous (and hope you are too) but also somewhat out of shape, which takes a lot of the fun out of it.

Easily offended; Libertarians most likely to respond to this column. The author will attempt to engage subtle wit but will actually come across as a geeky whiner (Conservatives, more schooled in the art of poisonous replies, may actually achieve wit; liberals will reply that they don’t find any of this humorous at all). Libertarians secretly worried that ultimately someone will figure out the whole of their political philosophy boils down to “Get Off My Property.” News flash: This is not really a big secret to the rest of us.

I’m guessing you thought I was way off on your political philosophy but right on the button about the other two. Just think about that for a while.

Editor’s note by Mr Lady at Whiskey In My Sippy Cup: I found this post, and this author, through my friend Stephen at Vodkapundit one day, and not only did it make me laugh and hard, it made me really think.  John is an accomplished writer and a sharp blogger and I’m thrilled to be able to feature him on Blog Nosh.  Read the original post here, follow John on Twitter here, and oh yes, he’s got his own Wikipedia page.  That’s just awesome.

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Dreams Can Come True; But They Sometimes Need Help

Politics Blog Nosh Magazine{Originally posted on Mid-Century Modern Moms}

Once upon a time, there was a little boy with a dream.

He dreamed of love. A romantic love, in fact. Of love that transcended the ages.

He knew that his dream was not really all that realistic. It was a dream, after all.

But he continued to hope that one day he would meet the one person in the world who was absolutely perfect for him.

The one person who would understand his dark moments.

The one person who would understand his sense of humor.

The one person who would be the yin to his yang.

The one person who would love him back with the same intensity.

The one person who was meant just for him.

There were many dark years as the little boy grew up. Many years when he thought that one person didn’t really exist.

Many false starts. Many times when he thought … maybe? This time? Is this the one?

And many times when his heart was broken. Not just broken, but smashed to little pieces by a person who turned out to be much less than he thought.

Until now.

The little boy is a week from his 25th birthday. Almost a year ago, that elusive “person” he was seeking appeared.

And he knows love.

Romantic love.

Precious love.

Someone who understands his dark moments.

Someone who understands his sense of humor.

Someone who is the yin to his yang.

Someone who loves him back with the same intensity.

Someone who was meant just for him.

Last May, something happened that would open the way for the little boy and his true love to be able to get married.

Tomorrow, California voters will decide if that still can happen when he’s ready.

As the little boy’s mother, I want that for him.

I want for him and his boyfriend to know the joys and sorrows, the ups and downs, of marriage.

I want to dance at my son’s wedding.

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Editors pick by Mr Lady at Whiskey In My Sippy Cup: Janet writes a fantastic personal blog at The Planet Of Janet, where she journals her life as a mother of grown boys and a teen girl.  Her posts rage from outright silly to touchingly sweet to downright heart-wrenching.  She’d lived an amazing life, and her blog is always a favorite read of mine.  She also contributes at Mid Century Modern Moms, which is a refreshing, captivating mom blog written through the eyes of seasons vets.  Read the original post and subscribe to Mid Century Modern Moms and to From the Planet of Jane, and fall in love.

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I Want The United States To Be

Politics Blog Nosh Magazine{Originally posted on Red State Chief}

I want the United States to be a nation where people of all ages are allowed to experience the consequences of their decisions.

I want the United States to be a nation where the consequences of bad decisions are not hidden or swept under the rug for the purpose of Political Correctness.

I want the United States to be a nation of values, and ethics, and integrity.

I want the United States to be a nation where benefits and comfort come from work, not from voting for the political party that promises more.

I want the United States to be a nation where the government does not treat its citizens like children needing protection from themselves.

I want the United States to be a nation where accomplishment is praised more than raising awareness.

I want the United States to be a nation where objective standards of learning are taught and celebrated.

I want the United States to be a nation where people are taught and encouraged to take responsibility for the circumstances they are in.

I want the United States to be a nation where people are taught and encouraged to take intelligent action if they don’t like the circumstances they are in.

I want the United States to be a nation where the successful are looked to for advice on how to be successful.

I want the United States to be a nation where the successful are not vilified and treated as cash cows to be milked to buy votes from those who choose to remain ignorant in a coccoon.

I want the United States to be a nation where people constantly seek to educate themselves.

I want the United States to be a nation where people constantly seek to grow.

I want the United States to be a nation of equal opportunity, not equal outcome.

I want the United States to be a nation where people don’t covet their neighbor’s belongings.

I want the United States to be a nation where wealth earned is linked to value created, not to political connections or the right color skin.

I want the United States to be a colorblind nation.

I want the United States to be a nation where 51% of the population is not classified a “minority” group.

I want the United States to stop seeking out new categories of disadvantegedness.

I want the United States to be a nation where politicians don’t foment envy between groups for political purposes.

I want the United States to be a nation that values substance over style.

I want the United States to be a nation with a small government.

Editor’s note by Mr Lady at Whiskey In My Sippy Cup: I never imagined I’d feature a post from Red State Chief on Blog Nosh.  Though Nathan and I are close blogging friends, there are times when we simply cannot read each other’s sites because we live on two completely different political hemispheres.  To be frank; his blog pisses me off.  A lot.  But I respect the man he his, his service to this great nation and his dedication to his family and friends.  To me, that is the definition of a person, how they treat those they love.  I am thrilled beyond all words to feature my friend, a man who will be shipping off to Iraq in the near future to help rebuild their country and defend ours.  Thank you, Nathan.  Read his original post on Red State Chief.

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The Leaning Tower of Politics

Politics Blog Nosh Magazine
{Originally posted at Attack of the Redneck Mommy}

Growing up, my parents stressed the importance of voting and exercising your civic duty upon my impressionable mind. They made a big deal of elections and when I finally turned 18 and could cast my first ballot, they drove me to the voting station and proudly watched as I marked my very first X.

I don’t remember who I voted for but I remember thinking that it was my very first adult responsibility and I was proud of myself for participating in our democratic elections.

My party lost. But that didn’t matter to me; all that mattered was the fact I voted. My voice was heard. It may have helped if I hadn’t voted for the Marijuana party, but hey, I was 18.

After my parents had voted I remember asking them whom they had voted for. They refused to tell me because they didn’t want to influence my ideologies and they wanted me to make my own informed decision without any influence from them.

It didn’t matter how much I wheedled and needled them, they weren’t going to spill the beans. To this day, I still have no idea who they support but I’m fairly confident it isn’t the dope smokers. Just a hunch.

I’m now a bit of an election hound. I love politics. Not enough to consider tossing my hat into the ring, but enough to soak up every bit of election trivia I can get my mitts on and suck it up like a sponge. I only wish Canadian politics was half as feisty as those Yankee elections.

But we Canucks are a quieter breed. We’re still a dirty people; we just tend to keep it in the bedroom and out of the elections. Sooo boring. Mind you, after taking a look at our past and current leaders, I can only offer a prayer of thanks. I really don’t want to be imagining any of them getting busy on a blue dress. Ew.

Unlike my parents, there is much screaming and yelling civil debate about politics in our home. Boo has a wildly different political ideology than I do. If it were up to him, the world would all be doing a stiff legged march with a pert salute, as all bowed to his iron will. If it were left to me, well, let’s just say we’d all be seeing rainbows and unicorns and having a good time. Wink, wink.

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Boo likes to say it’s animal control. I like to say he has no soul.

Because Boo and I have such vast political leanings, it has never troubled me to talk politics in front of our children. As we shout at each other politely discuss one party’s platform versus another, our children get to hear both sides of the spectrum and form their own opinions.

I can’t help it if they grow up and choose my ideology because they love me more I am more articulate with my thoughts and better prepared to debate. Heh heh.

Recently, the beautiful and bountiful province of Alberta underwent the electoral process to elect the government. I kept waiting for things to heat up like the American primaries that I avidly follow and drool over, but it was nothing but a snooze fest. Yawn.

Still, it goes against every fiber of my being to be apathetic and I mustered up the bare minimum of interest. Come election day, I picked my kids up at lunchtime and hauled them off to the polling station with me. I think it is important that they see the democratic process in action.

I mean, all those middle-aged women volunteering to man the polls is truly exciting. Are they going to knit or will they be reading a book? Will it be a romance smut novel or a bloodthirsty mystery? Talk about the height of excitement.

After staring at a row of rural maps and trying to figure out just where the fack I live and what polling station to vote at, I gathered the troops up and marched over to cast my ballot. Fric and Frac were excited to be included in the process. Read: I promised to buy them an icecream if they didn’t act like Satan’s Spawn for fifteen minutes and didn’t induce any heart palpitations in the elderly.

As I went to mark my X in the candidate of choice, I briefly explained to the kids who each person was and what their party stood for. Of course, I remained neutral and diplomatic. I would never try and shove my own personal leftist spin down their throats. Heh, heh. They were about as interested in my highly educational speech as they are in putting their laundry away. Still, they kept their mouths shut and pretended like I wasn’t sucking their brain matter out their noses with a straw.

The lure of icecream at lunch hour on a school day is a powerful incentive.

I had to threaten them to be quiet about my left leanings inside the polling station as I was surrounded by a pack of gun-toting Conservatives who would think nothing of tarring and feathering me before burning me on the altar of their Ann Coulter loving ways.

I’m blonde. I’m not stupid.

As I drove them back to school, they happily licked and slurped their cones as I droned on and on about why it is so important to vote in an election. Even if the election is as terminally boring as this one was.

“People died defending our freedom and right to choose our leaders,” I said.

Slurp, slurp.

“You can’t complain if you don’t vote,” I continued.

Lick, lick.

“The world will come to a screeching halt if I ever discover either of you were too damned lazy to get off your skinny little arses and cast a ballot. Hot pokers in the belly button will be nothing next to the wrath of your politically crazy mother if she ever finds out you morphed into an apathetic, mindless twit who doesn’t have the sense God gave a gopher. Got that?” I promised.

They momentarily looked up from their cones and gave me the “Holy Shit! Our mother is Bat Shat crazy!” look and then promised to always vote as they resumed their ministrations at hand.

As I was shoving them out of my car to send them back to the land of teeny boppers and mean girls, Frac turned around and asked me whom I voted for.

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“It doesn’t matter who I voted for Frac. It just matters that I voted,” I emphasized. “Now get to class.”

“Come on Frac, let’s go.” Fric tugged at her brother. I felt a moment of parental pride as I watched the two of them trudge off together. They’re growing up so fast.

Then I heard Fric turn to her brother and tell him, “She voted for the same party she always does. The losers. Just check to see who came in last place and you’ll know who Mom voted for.”

Damn. She’s smart, I thought as started rolling up the window.

“When I grow up, I’m voting like Dad. He only votes for the winners,” Fric told her brother. My jaw dropped as I watched them high five one another and giggle as they walked through the school doors.

Apparently, my work is NOT done here. I must get better at either selling my ideology to them or resign myself to the fact I am raising not one, but two Alex P. Keatons.

Heaven help me.

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I must work harder to avoid this. The unicorns need me.

Editors note by Mr Lady at Whiskey in my Sippy Cup: If you’ve ever read Redneck Mommy’s blog, you’ll know that politics isn’t exactly her blogging MO. However, the beauty of Tanis’ blog is the rollercoaster it takes you on. It’s light-hearted and silly and shocking and naughty and heartbreaking and uplifting and occasionally, it’s quite pointedly political. She and I are both closet politics junkies, and I’m happy to have outed her today. You can subscribe to her blog here, and read her original post here.

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A Vision Of Hope

Politics Blog Nosh Magazine {Originally posted on Life and Thoughts of a Midwest Geek}
Today, we celebrate a tradition in our nation unlike any other in the world. Today, we transition from one president to the next.

The 12th Amendment to the United States Constitution has set January 20th as the date on which one president ends their administration and next begins.

The President-elect is sworn in at noon by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court using the Oath of Office from Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution and reads,

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States

Every president since George Washington has had to state these words to the public with these words as their bond.

I like to point out these words to everyone for it demonstrates one of our Founding Father’s most important ideals. This nation is bound together by one thing, the rule of law, as stated by the Constitution. No where does it say the president shall consider the Constitution or make sure to do their darnedest to circumvent the Constitution. There job is is preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. Period. The Constitution.

“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.” This is a quote spoken by the fictional character Spock in the movie, “Star Trek II: the Wrath of Kahn.” Yeah, I know, this is all serious and there I go quoting a sci-fi movie, but this quote has resonated with me since I first saw the movie. People believe we live in a democracy and in some ways we do. The majority opinion is used to determine many aspects of our society, but technically, we live in Constitutional Republic. This means our elected officials must represent the wishes of the people under the rules of law as defined by the Constitution.

President Obama is inheriting a nation in trouble. Our economy is struggling. Our stature throughout the world has never been worse. Let’s face it, George W. Bush is leaving the nation far worse then when he got it. Many things about this departing administration has left me wondering how the nation could have ever chosen this man to lead us, but today, we must move forward.

President Obama campaigned as the candidate of hope. As a father, I hope for a world for my children that is better then the world I grew up in. Barrack Obama is our newest president. He deserves our respect; he’s got a big job ahead of him.

The picture I chose at the top of the page is one of the few photographs I have ever taken that I would consider a concept photo. I staged this. I liked the symbolism of my daughter standing at the spot where Martin Luther King, Jr, gave his famous speech. It’s at the top of the stairs at the Lincoln Memorial. My daughter stood their reading the words of a man with a vision of a nation united. I share that vision.

I didn’t vote for President Obama but that doesn’t mean I don’t want him to succeed. In fact, I believe the opposite. I so much want him to succeed.

The magic of this nation is that every 4 years, we get a chance for a fresh start and a new beginning.

Welcome to Washington Mr. Obama. We have a lot of hard work to do. Today, it’s your party, tomorrow we start fresh.

Editor’s note from Mr Lady at Whiskey In My Sippy Cup: OhCaptain (or Tim Walsh, depending on which blog of his your read first) offered to share this post on his thoughts surrounding the inauguration, and I just couldn’t resist.  There are few things I love more than someone who is able to look at things from the opposing point of view.  OhCaptain writes a personal/dad blog at The Life and Thoughts of a Midwest Geek, keeps a poker blog, and still finds time to update his stunning photo blog regularly.  Subscribe to his blog and read his original post right here.

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Letter To Code Name Alice Re: Mumbai

Politics Blog Nosh Magazine

{Originally published on Sleep Deprivation Ninja}

Life is hard. I’m not going to lie to you, baby girl. Someday things are going to be really difficult. I can’t stop that. All I can do is give you the ninja skills necessary to take on some of the challenges you will face. But you will face challenges that even the greatest ninja skills cannot overcome.

I think about these things when you reach up and wrap your little arms around my neck, squeezing me out the biggest baby-bear hug you can muster. I know you are really trying to eat my neck but I like to think of it as a big hug. I could hug you all day. And I think of this also when I hear of bad things happening–things that someday soon, you will have to face.

Bad things are happening as I write this. People are dying. People are killing other people. It’s crazy. It’s just madness. I can’t explain it to you; All I can say is that it is. These things happen.

Photo from AP Photo by Rajanish Kakade: 8 hours ago: Pigeons fly near a flame from the Taj Hotel hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen have stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India’s financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 82 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said.

Even a ninja has to choke back some tears at the intense madness of these events. But good things happen too. There is still so much beauty and wonder in the universe. I don’t regret bringing you into this world. It’s awful at times but it’s also fantastic and fun and enlightening.

You have this power. You can change the world. It’s in your laugh. That’s the most powerful ninja tool you have. Whatever happens, as long as I live, I’ll be here to work out these things with you. Even though laughter won’t save you through times like this one, I’ll be here to give you that bear hug and we can cry a bit together and we will make it through.

These things too shall come to pass.

Photo from Reuters Pictures 3 hours ago: Firemen try to douse a fire at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai November 27, 2008. At least 101 people have been killed in attacks by gunmen in Mumbai, police said on Thursday.

Editor’s pick by Mr Lady at Whiskey in My Sippy Cup: I just love this post, for so many reasons. Sleep Deprivation Ninja writes a blog that blurs the line of fiction and daddy blogging, and he’s always got an unorthodox angle to his posts with his style of writing and unique take on life. This was the first truly, deeply serious post I’d ever read of his, and it shook me. I recall the day of the Mumbai attacks, how I felt much like I had on 9-11. I cried, I wondered why, I worried, and then I realized I was going to have to explain this to my adolescent sons. I could not find the words, no matter how hard I searched for them. When SDN published this, it was the first ray of hope I could find in the whole debacle, and I just knew I could explain it to my own kids. This post is the perfect example of why I love political blogging; anyone can do it, and everyone has a different take on world events. Sometimes, if we’re really lucky, we find someone who can get right down to the heart of the matter, and I think SDN did just that with this post. You can read the original post here, and subscribe to his blog here. He just might be the best kept secret on the internet.

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Real Men: George W Bush

Politics Blog Nosh Magazine {Originally posted on In Jennifer’s Head}

I’ve been planning this post for some time, but decided to put it off until after the election.  I wanted it to be a genuine tribute and not viewed as an attempt to convince anyone to agree with me.

Remember the young man we elected eight years ago?

He doesn’t look like that anymore.  All his hair is gray, and his face is heavily lined.

He has traveled a hard road these last eight years.  Never once did he lash out at those who bashed him.  He didn’t even denounce the film about the assassination of a president that used his face.  He has just taken the criticism and continued to do the job we hired him to do.

He has kept us safe from harm.  Ann Coulter wrote a great column months ago about him.  Not only has he kept us safe, but he has brought freedom to those under the oppressive thumb of Saddam Hussein.  The man has weathered a smear campaign like none I’ve ever seen.  And he has done it all with grace.  He never threw yellowcake in the faces of those screaming “Bush Lied!”

He is a man of integrity, a trait sorely missing in Washington.  I may not have agreed with every decision that he made, but I believe that he was honestly trying to do what was best for the country.  There was a sign in my kindergarten classroom that said, “What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right.”  George W Bush consistently ignored what was popular and instead chose what he believed to be right.

He didn’t run from his past failings, but met them head on.  He always either had time or made time to comfort people.  The tears he has shed for our fallen soldiers are real.

I hope retirement is peaceful and that history remembers him as the great man that he is.  I will miss having him in the big chair, and I am not alone.

He welcomed the president-elect this week with grace.  I can only hope Obama understands the shoes he is called to fill.  We all know he understands ‘popular’, what we don’t know is whether or not he understands ‘right’.

Editors pick by Mr Lady at Whiskey In My Sippy Cup: Jennifer has been writing ‘In Jennifer’s Head’ for a little over a year now, and what I love so much about her political posts is that even though she and I exist on total opposite ends of the political spectrum, I read her and find myself nodding in agreement, or at least understanding.  Her ability to share her views unconfrontationally and with conviction is what keeps me reading her.  I am thrilled to add that Jennifer has agreed to allow me to feature her site regularly on Blog Nosh, so expect lots more to come from her!  Meanwhile, check out her original post here.

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