Monday, November 29, 2004

Here in the real world

From time to time, recently, I've toyed with the idea that this last big spat of political/philosophical blogging represents, not me, but a very different version of me. The problem with that theory is that everyone who knows me at all would just roll their eyes at it. Everyone knows that I am more than willing to talk politics to a receptive audience.

Nevermind though. I'm just posting about life--in whatever form it happens to take.

"Life" here at Western is humming right along. I have but one major hurdle left in each of my classes--it's nice that we are at that point, where the only thing between me and break is finals. That means I have a little less than two weeks to get them behind me--nothing else to worry about... Not here at least.

Next quarter, as I expected, remains somewhat a mystery. Yes, I am registered and I know what classes I will be chewing on. That doesn’t, however, solve the problem of what whether it will work. I'm going to be on the Western Front, writing just as furiously and obnoxiously as I can. On top of that I have another Reporting class which, according to department guidelines, is not allowed to be taken simultaneously with the Front... It's true that those two classes only add up to 7 credits, but that is not the point. The specter of conflicting deadlines has raised its ugly head and looms ominously over my own self-doubt. God knows what's best, though. I consider it pretty amazing that this schedule worked out in the first place and I can only trust that God has a reason for making it work.

The other class I'm taking is...well, it's another political science. Imagine that!

I'm also doing another rather interesting thing this week. We, the Lynden Choral Society will be performing the Christmas portion of Handel's Messiah. Yeah, that's not really the interesting part, considering that I have done this for quite a few years in a row now. The interesting thing is that I'm going to do a solo--owh! My hands just got really sweaty! Seriously...

That will be fine I'm sure. I'm kind of a last resort anyway so I don't see anyone complaining too much if I botch it; be assured I don't plan on doing so. I will still give it my all. Tonight is dress rehearsal and I hope to practice a little before then.

In other news...

No, that can wait till another post.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

And the winner is...

Dino Rossi is officially our governor elect...by 42 votes! This is exciting. It's as exciting as the Democrats are pathetic. They are going to seek ANOTHER recount--a manual recount, of course. We'll know for sure if they are serious about this in the coming month.

It bears noting that each recount or event tends to narrow the race. Some, like me, find that a little suspicious when all the court decisions and ballot weirdities tend to favor the Democrats and bring them that much closer to overtaking Rossi. One can't help but think that calls for another recount are just one final chance to cheat their way back to the governorship. I'm sick of hearing about new uncounted ballots, recounts and such.

Memo to Washington Democrats: time to accept the fact that Rossi won...twice!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Thanksgiving remembered

"We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is 'good,' because it is good, if 'bad' because it works in us patience, humility and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country." -C.S. Lewis


I can recall my Thanksgiving Day experience last year. I can shudder and smile at the thought. I was working at Whatcom (I had already graduated) for the newspaper and writing center at the time. The day before--yes a year ago to the day--I was at the college for a meeting...

Actually, it was a meeting with the Army recruiters. I had decided I'd better hear them out and honestly consider the options they offered. It wasn't any big deal and I made it pretty clear I would most likely decline. This just wasn't something I thought I would do. Granted, my Dad was in the Army and there is nostalgic value to joining. Still, that doesn't even begin to trump the fact that I don't think God has me going in that direction.

So, here I was listening to the two of them. Throwing questions out every once in a while, listening to their responses. I can remember some details...then things started to fade. I can remember getting a uncomfortable--so much so that I couldn't concentrate anymore. You would think the only think that could distract me in a setting like this would be the thought of tomorrows dinner--and I will gladly admit to having some consciousness of this pending delight--but that was not what swept all normal thought process from my mind. It was the chills, the throbbing head, the glazed vision; and it was getting worse by the minute.

No, I thought. This can't happen on the eve of what should be such an enjoyable break. But there was no denying it. I was now doing my best to keep my composure and at the same time direct the meeting to some kind of safe but quick conclusion--not an easy thing when the two of them are looking for encouraging signs from me. I don't remember what I did to get rid of them--I may have admitted to them I was starting to not feel so well. All I know is that it seemed much too long before they were out the door. My ride home was supposed to be the bus. I made a sudden decision: the bus was not an option. I was getting worse by the second and I was already having trouble standing still without wanting to collapse.

I called mom...she left right away to pick me up. In the mean time, I did what I could to keep warm by the fire in the reading room. I'm sure mom got there as soon as she could, but I don't think I ever spent such a torturous 20 minutes. Ah the aching, the dizziness...

By the time I reached home, I was completely wasted. Every normal faculty was gone. I died to the world in my bedroom, being wakened every half hour by mom to drink more water than a human ought to be able to handle. I finally drifted off for the night...

The next day was less then exciting I must say. My rough evening was past mind you and I was feeling much better. I was still sick though. Everyone was pretty out of sorts I think. Many of the normal cousins and ordinary dinner guest were out of town so we were all a bit listless. I remember Kylee, Ben's daughter, was acting up something fierce and the the table scene as a whole was quite surreal--in a somewhat anticlimactic way. I don't think I ever spent a Thanksgiving Day in quite such a manner--nor can I imagine it happening any time soon again. It was a good test of patience. It was a time for us to examine ourselves to see if we were truly thankful to the Lord for His gifts. It seemed like God had taken away all of the surface joys with which we love to coat the day, and all that was left was small bare group of us--Nathan was away in boot camp--and I was sick on top of that. It was trying. It was convicting.

This Thanksgiving will be different. There will be a big group of us. My uncle David brought a turkey. Others are pitching in. My cousins the Busheys are all moved into their new but unfinished house so they will be over for sure. God willing, it will be as festive as it has in years past. For myself, I will try to remember that even without the good food and company, I still need to be honest in my expression of gratitude. God deserves no less and certainly much more than we ever accomplish. Yet I now know how hard this is for a sinner like me to do. I know, because I felt it last year.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Electoral College: why?

A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine. -Thomas Jefferson


Here I am, not really understanding why I am writing on this of all topics. Is there anything with less application to my daily life as it stands right now than this topic? Maybe, but I certainly can't think of it right now. To make matters worse, I started this draft right as I was working on another paper that was due. I did a complete flip when I happened to see the above quote somewhere on the web--and that was it. I knew I wouldn't remember the quote so I would have to save it, and the best place to save it is in a blog post right? Perhaps—but a blog post for the sake of something that is completely non pertinent? We'll just have to make something more out of it. So here I go again, getting philosophical on you.

Why not let the popular vote be our determinant for who is elected president? I know it seems like I already answered the question with the above quote, but there is more. Granted Jefferson makes a compelling point and we sometimes see this played out when we have high density pinpoints on the map dominating the election process. The Electoral College (EC) tends to take the sting out of those imbalances and provides each state with a certain amount of clout no matter what the population.

Some would argue that it is completely ridiculous to give the states a somewhat inaccurate proportion of votes compared to the actual population. They have a point and no one wants to ignore the fact that there are actual people voting in these places who deserve a voice. The problem with their argument is that there is no way in the EC system to give them a perfectly proportional vote without overwhelming congress with hundreds of representatives per state. The minimum a state can have in congressional representation (and therefore electoral representation) is 3. All have two senators no matter what the size or population. The other person from this hypothetical smallest state is for the House of Representatives. For those that don't know, the electoral votes for each state is based on their total representation in congress, house and senate. Washington has 11 electoral votes with 2 senators and 9 house members.

Going back to that minimum of 3...

The state cannot go below this number, and the large states can only have so many representatives in congress. Just because they have as many people on one city block as in the whole state of Wyoming does not let them overwhelm the house with more members than they efficiently handle.

So if they can't get what they want out of the EC then the EC ought to be done away with anyway--they call it an antiquity, only used because no one knew what elections were supposed to look like. The point that they miss, however, is that the national government is not the only player in the election process. Our government is both "federal" and national in nature. Federal means that the states have equal recognition in the senate and have a certain level of sovereignty in and of themselves. In the split-up of powers, the states are bared from a few powers--among them, the ability to declare war. In most cases, though, the constitution designates the state as the primary player in the lives of citizens.

Over the years this has been watered down. The Civil War did much in this regard. I do not think that it has been an entirely negative process either. However the importance of the privilege provided in statehood is really lost on many people--especially by the detractors of the EC.

I think one of the biggest beefs I have with conservatives around election time is that they love to pull out the old "county by county" map which shows a blanket of of red with a few coastal splotches of blue. This is completely unnecessary and tends to perpetuate the trend away from federalism.

There are so many more aspects to this topic which I must let be for fear of extending what has become an extremely boring read for many. There's other posts to work on...

Friday, November 19, 2004

United Nations: the flat earth society

For all the ranting about democratic processes that I hear from the left, I'm a little baffled by the inconsistent cry for more authority being placed in the hands of the United Nations. This is perhaps the most undemocratic international body history has ever seen.

The newest developments to surface from the UN regarding scandal and rampant corruption is nothing the American right (and yes, even the extreme right) has not already talked about for more than a decade. Funny how some conspiracy "theories," given enough time and space, finally take flight on the wings of fact. The Clinton years (and the Bush Sr. years) were, I think, one long string of efforts to lend credibility to this body as something which has authority over any individual sovereign state. This does, in fact, cause many problems--both practically and philosophically!

Hear my rant:

First, the whole corruption problem is an outgrowth of the practicality issue. As soon as someone like Kofi Annan deems that he has legitimate authority over every country in the planet (just think of that!), he has set himself above all recognizable law (in his eyes). Who can possibly question someone if they recognize this kind of authority? Thankfully it was only in his own eyes he was above law. Before we go totally philosophical just yet, let me just in summary say that this makes for incredible corruption and bureaucratic inefficiency (Iraq), tragic mistakes (Rwanda), and ridiculous policies regarding membership of dictatorial countries (need I provide examples?).

The philosophical (even theological) issues are disconcerting in my humble opinion. The issues of what makes a just war, the sovereignty of nation states and the lessons of history all come to bear when we take but a shallow peak at the UN.

A recognized world government would lead to the demise of freedom as we know it. There is nothing more damaging to independence than the destruction of government restraint. The United States is so free, in part, because our government is severely restricted--unlike most countries of the world. To think that we could maintain this kind of restraint, or even get it, in a world setting is foolish and short-sighted in the extreme!

To meddle with the sovereignty of a nation-state is, in and of itself, a breach of God's Law. Governments have been instituted by Him for the purpose of keeping peace and tranquility and administering justice to the citizenry.

So the question presents itself: if governments and nations are equally sanctioned by God, how than can there be a just war? The answer lies in recognizing that some acts of government are contrary to the reasons government was instituted. Just as a citizen of one society might commit a crime against God and his fellow man, forfeiting his rights as a member of society, so a government may “delegitimize" itself, for example, by committing acts of gratuitous violence among its citizenry. In such cases, the people of that country have a responsibility (love they neighbor) to depose such government from rule. If, as in many cases, this is not possible, then other nations ought to consider their own positions with regard to that government. They have a just right in not recognizing that government; it is only without recognition that there is room for just war. Likewise, it is only another nation with a legitimate governing body that can declare war and justly subdue the rogue government.

Now imagine... If the United Nations is recognized as superior to the nation-state, all ability to even declare war is cut off. The very body which God instituted to carry such responsibility has been negated and shattered. In light of the UN's inglorious history of saving people from genocide or stopping terrorism, it would be a titanic blunder to abandon all consistent, orderly and historical methods of justice and rule and to place our faith in a bureaucracy of unprecedented and incomprehensible potential! To do so is not your simple jump over the cliff. No, my friends, this is more akin to loading all of mankind onto the U.N.S. Enterprise and sailing off the edge of a flattened earth.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

But wait, there's more...

It just keeps on developing. I'm still amazed Rossi is ahead with some momentum--as much as there could be momemtum in this kind of game. Apparently, the RNC has offered legal resources to Rossi in case of any upcoming battles. There are unused reserves from the presidential campaign you see--some lawyers that didn't get to do anything in Ohio will now get more chance for action here in Washington.

There's going to be turmoil no doubt. The Times is covering it pretty thoroughly with this story and this story.

Interesting stuff!

Nail-biter

I've been pretty up-beat in the past about the race for governor here in Washington State. Dino Rossi is sixty-four votes ahead at this point! That's after being nineteen ahead last night. FREAKY!

I don't like what I am hearing, though, for two reasons. 1, this race is not getting much national attention by the conservative media, 2, there are so many decisions being won in court by the Democrats. This combined with the RECORD number of provisional ballots being validated in heavy Democratic counties has me fidgeting.

For that matter, I still can't figure out why Rossi didn't win Whatcom County. There was so much positive response when I helped campaign, I just can't see the county making so much of a switch considering its past record. Weird. I feel like this state (and county) is really mixed up--maybe everyone is drugged up and just casting random votes. Maybe we are looking at corruption at unprecedented levels. Maybe there has been a massive shift in the conservative north county to liberal philosophy. What's going on?!

One thing IS certain: The Democrats are in a general state of panic. They have so much to lose in this race; they are pulling all stops to win. It's a miracle we don't see different numbers as it is.

Life goes on. And so will the counting and recounting!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Context? What context?

You'll want to clarify this distinction between the different and the unknown different, as it is simultaneously sublime and vague and central to your thesis.


Such is the advice I have just recieved for my paper--which I am about to draft. It's due tomorrow morning. All I can really do is smile and perhaps get a kick out of how funny that sentence sounds all by itself. It reminds me that many people have lives much more complex and difficult than mine. The author of that quote is my English professor; he is working on his doctorate, teaching 4 classes at 2 institutions and his wife's due date is any day now.

Now, what was I complaining about?

Monday, November 15, 2004

Slop - reader discretion advised...I mean, sort of

It's wet. It's rainin’...it's Northwest Washington again and I’m lovin’ it (no, I do not eat at McD’s). It's been coming down all morning after the wind took its turn last night. Should the dress for today be waterproof? No way!

I suppose rain gear is fine for some. But since I, for some unknown reason, seem to lack in this area of my wardrobe, I have to find some good rational for dressing the way I have. Let me describe it to you...

Lightweight green cotton pants. I'm almost finished with them--yeah, I've had them for a while. They do tend to dry better than jeans, though, and it's not that cold out--it's pretty warm in fact (50 degrees).

A mock turtleneck--it's comfortable and warm, has little bulk and will go well under whatever shell I end up using.

My trusty old, top-of-the-line, Carhartt jacket--it's warm, it's breathable, it allows for more mobility than most Carhartts (I have a picture of W Bush wearing one of the same line!), and one more thing which many might over-look in there Gore-Tex craze: the water is semi-absorbed, negating the possibility of run-off onto the lower part of my outfit! This morning I have already heard people complain about this problem--not me!

I have no hat today. If I had the presence of mind to take my oilskin out of the car (WHY DIDN'T YOU MARK!?), I would have very little problems at all. However, there are pluses to my current condition! I have short hair so my head dries quickly; it's not cold (as I mentioned); there's also no wet hat to cart around indoors! And...I'll think of another good side soon.

Tennis shoes--they are more water resistant than any other such pairs I have owned. I discovered this the hard way: 1, they don't breath! 2, a few minutes ago, I got out of political science class and cut across an open space of walkway without looking up ahead... I first knew something was wrong when I noticed no one was around me. Yeah, it was about two inches deep in the shallow parts. However, the only damage was a snicker or two from the people on the edge and some splash damage to my pants. Today, it's all about narrow, winding paths of humanity.

It smells like wet in here... Outside, you can feel it beating down on you, in here, it's just steaming a little. I maybe I'll get tired of it later on, but for now, just bring it on! I can handle a little rain on my minimal pile of hair. And hey, there are puddles to splash through now!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Word shopping

I'm quite fond of the written word. Yeah, I think I've made that clear in the past. Do you then find it odd that I would go into a campus store and drool over paper pads, pens, binders and pencils? I'm hoping you won't find it odd. It's just something I do--my version of window shopping I think. I can sit there and get excite about the way a certain kind of pen feels as it slides gently across the page in my firm grasp. I can get excited about all the potential a certain pad design might hold for certain usages. I can get excited when I look at the array of choices before me and imagine everything at my full command. Efficiency would not then be needed and I could use this or that at any little whim. I might mix and match this stylish folder with that planner; that pencil with this eraser; this weight of printer paper with that handsome set of envelopes. Indeed, the possibilities would never end. I would buy up all the computer hard and software I could possibly want and have it all accompanied by my own personal laptop--naturally, with its own beautiful carrying case for protection and convenient travel.

Would you be surprise if I said I had made far too many unnecessary trips to that store, just to browse and buy an occasional fancy pen? Did someone say I was addicted to coffee?

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Dated links

Read the letter from Iraq posted today (the 10th) here. Quite a read!

I just happened upon this site. I wish I had known about it before the election. It would have brightened my day. I really think I ought to be saving as much Kerry memorabilia as I can before we forget about him like the rest. Reading this site will make you all the more thankful we aren't going to have to worry about Kerry's cast of traitor clowns.

Secular vs.Islamic terrorism: pick your poison

Trouble in Europe. And we thought the fighting was in the Middle East! The back and forth terrorist war between Muslim extremist and equally violent anti-Muslims, has really taken an ugly turn. It's really interesting that secular elites around here are prone to accusing the Christian community of being too intolerant of the Muslim faith and other religions. What a ridiculous thought. I can't help but think that the ones who are prone to thinking this would be the same ones fighting a secular terrorist war against Muslims who don't turn the other cheek.

It's hard to see where the Church fits into the mix when these kinds of groups start their little catfights. There have been attacks on European Protestants but for some reason, I can't really make out which group is responsible. I get the idea they are not Muslim attacks, considering the Protestants have shown sympathy to the Muslim community. Someone correct me if I'm wrong or point me to some good sources.

As Christians, we may do what we can to win Muslim hearts, but to think we would be as irrational as the secular European masses in our treatment of them is a little over the top. I actually believe America is the safest place for Muslims in this day and age. I can't imagine why not, considering the religious incitement to terror in the Middle and South East, the secular hatred in Europe, and the general lower quality of life in comparison, it's really interesting to imagine a rational Muslim choosing anywhere else to live. For now, at least most of our secular forces are focused on the problem of Christianity and our “moral values.” True, the day may come when the American Muslim community feels the same pressure as in Europe, but until the level of intelligence on all sides has fallen off a little more, I think we are pretty safe.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Hindsight humor

I just had to pass this one on. Read this great pre-election BBC story!

Pictures from hell

DISCLAIMER: I have never written something quite like this. I do not in any way mean to ridicule hell or negate the reality of Satan or the seriousness of these issues. Nor do I endorse the theological implications of the plot. It was not written for any other than satirical purposes.

Suppose for a moment that there is an up-and-coming news photographer who is assigned to go and get some behind-the-scenes shots of life in hell. Maybe he will also get an interview with the devil while he is at it. He's is given the red carpet treatment the whole way through—it is, after all, not such a bad place. The Devil is grinning from horn to horn as he gives you the full premium tour of the premise. While the reporter is there, though, the final battle to vanquish the Devil is begun. In the midst of the battle, the reporter is in a coveted spot—the ultimate behind-enemy-lines story is his! He watches as the fight is waged and how easily the once imposing forces of evil are cut down in hordes. He is at once disappointed. This fight is not going last as long as he had hoped. If he is not careful, it might end up being a very small story indeed and that would never do no matter what the real outcome. This has to be a time in history all will remember—no one must forget the sacrifice he made to get here and capture the moment from the other point of view.

He positions his camera. He begins shooting. The demons are all too willing to do what they can to act vicious and alive. Good, the reporter thinks, or someone might get the idea they were lost from the beginning. His photos are sent back and examined for newsworthiness. His editors are ecstatic. What a great picture of the ultimate force of evil, inflicting damage on the forces of good. True the outcome won't match the story, but what does that matter? The photos are run.

The war continues; the people begin to wonder. They thought this would be a decisive fight? This is not what was supposed to happen. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to take the fight to the Devil in the first place. Who got the idea that the Devil could be defeated anyway? He didn't mean any harm. What did he ever do to hurt anyone that wasn't provoked by the real Ruler of the world? Isn't God sovereign? It must be His fault that the Devil went bad in the first place...

Meanwhile, the fight isn't looking so good for the Devil. It is getting hotter than even he imagined and in a desperate move, he seizes the reporter...

Ah, no one will mess with me now, he thinks. This moron thought I wasn't so bad and now he will pay the price if the fight against me continues. There will be such an outcry for his return that the Powers that be will not even think of ignoring my threat to kill him...

...and so the reporter and his captor meet their timely end—
The End.

*Break*

The inspiration for this story can be found at THIS LINK (pictures have since been replaced) and THIS LINK.

The plodding trap

Maybe you've felt it yourself; you start a school year with every intention, yes, even zeal to just go for it and stay focused. The first week begins and you experience only moderate success... A little shifting in the schedule is the last bit needed to completely distract you from accomplishing your goals. Now you stand wondering what happened and why you can't seem to keep on track with good study habits and such.

Well, I think by now you are under the impression that this has been my experience--after all, it is in the middle of the school day and normal people don't sit around and do self-assessment on a busy day like this. Yes, yes, I admit it. I'm a little concerned about what kind of habits I am developing. I know they have improved over my last couple years...but accepting that level of success is like choosing to drink the lesser of two deadly poisons.

It's not that I want to be skipping through school like it is a cakewalk--it's not and therefore that kind of flippant attitude would not do. Neither do I want to rush blindly ahead as if my destiny (tripping and falling) is only a matter of time. But equally wrong is my tendency to just plod along and not keep up my level of alertness. I can sit through a boring lecture and fall asleep if I'm not careful--it happens. If I'm not especially interested in a particular reading in Literature, the temptation is to just let it slide and tell myself I will just write on another, more interesting piece. I'm plodding.

What’s the ideal? I want to think that I could be determinedly running through the school year with such precision that a high level of alertness and zeal will finally become second nature. Is that too much to expect? You bet! No, the best I can settle for is really my only option; that is, I must find my help and motivation in honoring God in my work. It is only here in this way of thinking that I can find true blessing in not only accomplishing my goals, but also finding joy in my work. I know I have been blessed beyond measure and to not acknowledge it in thanksgiving is what will lead to slothfulness. So the answer to my plodding spirit is to actively praise and give thanks for the good that God has wrought in this seemingly insignificant life of mine.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. -Romans 8:28

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Campus wildlife

Life is strange since the elections took place. I'm not sure life is supposed to hold so much oddity. There seems to be a greater abundance of wildlife running around on campus. I should have seen it coming really when, on Election Day, I was standing in red square and some Green Party supporters/socialists started campaigning for their anti-two party cause. We and the Western Democrats were already handing out stickers of our candidates--the greens stood together and seemed to be finding comfort in each other's presence. It was an animated discussion they were having among themselves. A few of them broke off and proceeded to hand out this flier:



I didn't bother thinking about it since the elections were that night. Then this morning, after the "protest," I heard that 300 had participated--it was big enough to block traffic in downtown Bellingham and get in the news. No matter, it was none of my affair. I don't know how many knew what they were protesting but as you can see it was intended to be a socialist festival of sorts. Although, I think it ended up being a place for disappointed Kerry supporters to cry about the unfairness of the world; I refuse to believe there could be 300 kids all in one place, who detest both major parties with a passion and subscribe to green/socialist policy.

The same day (the 3rd), there was also a flag-burner in the square who haggled it out with someone who didn't want him to burn it. My source told me that the two went back and forth, lighting it, putting it out, lighting it, putting it out, dousing it with gas, lighting it, throwing it in the fountain... I'm not quite sure how it all ended. The Journalism dept. didn't get wind of it and apparently couldn't find anyone who knew enough to write a story for the paper.

Later today, I was at the Underground Coffeehouse contentedly studying by the window when I happened to look out toward the bay to enjoy the evening view. All was wonderful and calm...till I noticed that the flag on the building in the foreground was being flown upsidedown... I'd say wildlife can be temperamental sometimes!

Tonight, I also went to the Bible Study group I've been attending--finally a few humans to commune with. As I took my leave, driving through campus, I saw another interesting sight: a deer walking across the street from the parking lot to the tennis courts. I shouldn't have been surprized; I'm sure the deer felt a strong kinship among the rest of the campus wildlife...

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Elections from here

I attended the Republican countywide Election Day party last night. It was a good time for renewing acquaintances and keeping up to date on the results as they came in throughout the night. As much as I’m into politics, this was still my first Election Night party. When I had older siblings involved on the county level, I stayed home and didn't have much to do with it all. No matter. I knew a lot of the people last night and that made it worthwhile. People from choir, recent friends, old friends…no cousins though.

Earlier in the night, I happened upon one family of friends who are pretty active and one of the younger boys had brought along his set of army men. I'd better make it clear right away that I was always a big fan of army men. I never did have enough when I was that age. I would put them through so many battle scenarios it would make you dizzy... The only shortcoming was the inability to make everything happen at the same time--one man gets his sniper shot and then you pause to decide how many of your own men you think ought to be lost in this particular battle.

Well, Stuart (the boy's name) was sitting there with a much more advanced set than I ever had and it was just too much to leave alone. I sat down and we played out a few scenarios just for the fun of it. We didn't have the same taste for results--my results being much more sensible and realistic than his wacky forecasts. It was fun all the same--after about 20 minutes of that, I decided I'd better act like I was there for more orthodox reasons than playing with army men.

There was another interesting twist to the night, though. A couple of people came in from who-knows-where with note-pads, pens and signs hung around their necks reading "A liberal willing to listen." They stayed the whole night, welcoming anyone who wanted to talk to them to come and basically say what they wanted. I don't think it was a rough night for them... All they were doing was taking notes and such--no one was about to lambaste them for doing nothing and they were friendly enough. I got the opportunity to talk to one of them. I don't remember all that I said. I think I started with my reasons for disrespecting Kerry. I probably moved on to the Bush philosophy and it's goods and bads and roots and where I thought it should go. Nothing much came of it all. I thought they conducted themselves well enough. I just wish I knew where they were from.

Before I headed out, Justin, the county co-chair of the Rossi campaign, gave me the last of the Rossi shirts he had. He thanked me for helping out and such and I think I told him it was a good to work with him. Yeah, it was a good night--a lot more exciting perhaps than the dull colors I am using to paint it for you. Everyone was in high spirits for obvious reasons. As the night wrapped up, my old friend Josh Perry was good enough to remind me that we just watched history play out in front of us. He has a better perspective I think having worked more on the failed 96 campaigns—it was that much more exciting for him to see a victory like last night’s.

I think the best part of the whole night was getting to talk to Josh again. We decided we needed to get together more often--something we say just about every time we meet. Seriously though, I think this time we will make something happen--even if it only means going paintballing with him and the others like he mentioned. So yeah, I figured that this was going to be a political post considering it was about Election Night. Go figure!

Journalistic insanity

If you get a warm fuzzy feeling out of reading an article that is a total failure on the part of its writer, you might enjoy reading this one.

What a horrible example of Journalistic insanity. It ignores the fact that there are statistically more Democrats voting for Rossi than Republicans for Gregoire and implies the polar opposite. Then there is the mix of opinion and stylistic inconsistencies--using the labels "ultra-conservative" and "ultraconservative" alternately in describing past Republican candidates. There's also a mysterious "Jones" person who is not introduced until the second attribution... This is JUNK!

Who's got the power?

For all the fancy rhetoric about the world backing a Kerry/Edwards presidency, you'd never know it with the response to Bush's pending re-election. There seems to be a whole-sale stampede of diplomatic gibberish headed in the general direction of our nation's capital. Why is all the conciliatory twaddle in the wind?

Folks, if you expected this kind of a response only to a Kerry victory, I hope you won't be too disappointed to discover that the true reason for this gushing to Bush is really out of fear of you and me! They think they can beat an unpopular president they disagree with, but not a popular one. It's the people behind the leader that the corrupt rulers of the world fear! You and I didn't do what they needed (send Bush home to Texas) to keep a steady opposition to the Bush doctrine.

Out of this whirlwind of flowery rubbish, one can almost see the image of King David after Absalom's final defeat. All the bravado is gone and there is now a crowd of blathering slaves begging for forgiveness at the feet of the king.

I don't know people; maybe I'm taking this too far! Even so, I just can't help but flip-flop between a benevolent smile and a good long eye-rolling.

And in Jackie’s words: “Congratulations America.” You are a world power, now that you finally admitted it.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Stickers in the wind

Just the sight of the wind blowing the rain across campus isn't all that is impressive at this very moment. The sound mixed into the fury is also enough to make anyone stop and pause--or run if they don't have a hat and want to avoid hypothermia. It wasn't quite so windy a little bit ago when I stood on the outskirts of Red Square and handed out campaign stickers to anyone who would give me a second glance. It was cold though...

I think the most entertaining part of campaigning is making very good eye contact and trying to make someone smile even though you know they don't agree with you. A few friendly words to go with it are a big help as well. Today, the biggest challenge to a smile was the horrid weather. You have to wonder if the smile is taken as sincere when the person smiling is clumsily tearing off sticker after sticker, trying to keep his knees from quivering and repeating the same lines over and over, often times to people who wouldn't give him the time of day.

"Would you like a Nethercutt sticker? Want a sticker? George Nethercutt for Senate. Ok, have a good one... Would you like a Bush sticker? Thank you, have a good day...."

Never mind the fact that half of that diologue is without any response at all. And just think: two more days and all those stickers will be obsolete anyway...

When will it end...?!

The endorsments just keep piling up. Bin Laden himself has now specifically threatened any state in the Union that votes for Bush. Please stop and read about it here I can just imagine the panic on Kerry's face! He said he would get the world behind us...I doubt he ever thought it would extend this far. Now we can only assume that when he said "the world" he meant the world of "jihadistan."

Sorry if you are tired of coming here and finding political posts and links. If I was to be truly honest about what I am feeling, you'd probably find about 15 more political posts per week.

Consider yourself foretunate! There's only a couple more days...HOPEFULLY...