March 29, 2002


says he'll never, ever vote for a Republican in a post today. InstaPundit says that it's a nice post. I say it's a totally asinine post.

The post-er is Dale Amon, who says:

It is not even the abortion issue per-se that angers me. Libertarians are split across the issue. I'm solidly pro-choice: others are not. That's fine so long as we all agree to keep the State out of it. What is key is Mr Bockhorn [Amon is quoting Lee Bockthorn's take on the Condi Rice boomlet] sees Republicans as inherently anti-sexual. I am profoundly pro-sexual freedom and unfettered moral autonomy... within the limits consensual activity and personal responsibility for the results. Some libertarians may prefer a more "traditional" family, but they would never consider ramming it down my throat.

The quote shows how fundamentally flawed it is to ever think we as Libertarians can accomplish anything at all with the Republicans.

We just don't have all that much in common.

What Mr. Bockthorn sees doesn't define reality for all space and time, Dale. I happen to be a rock-ribbed Republican, yet I favor moral autonomy too--because I don't want the increasingly mawkish, lefty-garbage pushing Nanny State telling me what to do, where to worship, where to live or any of that stuff. It's none of the State's business.

Libertarians and Republicans have much more in common than Libertarians and Democrats. Libertarians have proven that they can't produce an effective political party on their own. So which way do you go--with people who more or less sympathize with your small-government ideals, or with statist nannies who'll pay lip service to your "moral autonomy" while they sink their hands ever further into your pockets and into your everyday life, through things like political correctness?
Posted by B. Preston at 05:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


is here, along with an even greater event, Easter. I might post some, I might not. I'm expecting Maryland to take it all, but not without some tough games. Fear the turtle....
Posted by B. Preston at 05:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 28, 2002


may seem a bit excessive. The violence taking place there right now--the physical violence, the lying, the bloodthirsty talk--is escalating so swiftly to the point of madness, and it doesn't need some hack living in comfort adding to it. But I find myself completely incensed by it, out of all patience with it--making nice won't stop it, ignoring it won't stop it, "shuttle diplomacy" won't stop it. Nothing will stop it, it seems. But while I side completely with Israel, I do want to make one thing crystal clear: I don't hate the Palestinians. I actually feel sorry for them, much in the way you feel sorry for someone that you see foolishly destroying themselves.

Many have said in their various blogs and elsewhere that the Palestinians have a grievance--that the Palestinians were screwed out of their land. And it's true, they were, and every day that truth must shame them in ways we can only imagine. Even those of us who are direct descendants of American Indians, or African slaves, or oppressed minorities in other lands, can only imagine what it must be like to be a Palestinian today. It must be soul-crushing. But the Palestinians, in focusing all of their hatred on tiny Israel, are blind to the larger lies being fed to them. And that's why I feel sorry for them. They're pawns, and they can't, or won't, see it.

Let me say it again--the Palestinians are pawns. It's not some Zionist conspiracy that has them in its grip. It's not the Jewish world system or some other myth that oppresses them. The Palestinians are the bastard children in the Arab family, and they are the pawns of the powerful in the region. Any of the Arab nations could lift a finger tomorrow and the Palestinians would have a home. They could move a few miles, over a few hills, and live in Jordan--a nation in which they will be in the ethnic majority. Nearly half a million of them live in Lebanon in refugee camps, and have lived there in those camps for decades. But Lebanon won't allow them to become citizens, or live outside the camps. The same is true of Syria, of Egypt, of Iraq and Saudi Arabia and on and on and on. Any--all--Arab nations have in their hands the power to bring about peace. But they'd rather see another suicide bomber wreak havoc on Jewish civilians, they'd rather apply pressure on us to push ahead in that fiction known as the "peace process." The Arab dictatorships want to erase Israel from the map, and the Palestinians are the destabilizing factor, the pawn, used to weaken Israel's resolve, introduce moral uncertainty in her allies, and tarnish her good name around the world. And the Palestinians, for whatever reason, see none of this, and their blindness may shortly lead to their destruction. That's why I feel sorry for them.

From their Arab brethren, we also now hear unanimous opposition to our aim to topple Saddam and replace him. They recognize that he's a regional menace, but again he's a useful menace. His evil he wears on his sleeve, openly scoffing at us, openly paying off the families of murderers, secretly planning some hellish attack on Israel. He'll do openly what the other Arab states--all of them, I'm convinced--are doing secretly. By playing Saddam off as the black sheep, the other Arab states can make themselves look better, and plan and scheme in secret. They are in reality no better than Saddam, they just put a slightly better face on their monstrosity. They don't support removing Saddam because they are just like Saddam.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


released a statement today saying that the recent Afghanistan earthquake was "God's punishment" for cooperating with the United States.

In a related story, President Bush today issued a statement saying that Daisy Cutters are "God's punishment" for Al Qaeda being run by murderous idiots.
Posted by B. Preston at 05:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


That's the only thing I've heard lately that's equal in absurdity to the notion that Jesse Jackson should be sent to do the same. But the Washington Post's Richard Cohen says that's what the Bush Administration should do. Question--what the HE!! could an out-of-work pol offer that he couldn't when he was PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES? How will Clinton's presence--this, the man who thought legitimizing Arafat with White House Rose Garden ceremonies was a swell idea--how will his presence add one single, solitary helpful thing?

Cohen is delusional. He's desperate to save the "legacy" of the man he fawned over for eight years. How does a man of such obviously limited intelligence keep his post at the Post? How?
Posted by B. Preston at 03:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


: That must come as shocking news. He says he's ready to work toward a cease-fire. After killing 19 during a Passover celebration. We believe you, Mr. Arafat.

"Unfortunately, there are some aggressive preparations by the Israels to do a wide military operation against our civilians, our cities and our refugee camps," Arafat said.

Good. Your Hamas buddies can hide wherever they want, the Israeli army will hunt them down and take them out like the cur dogs they are.

He said Israeli military action would undermine a peace initiative approved Thursday at the Arab summit...

Ya think? And killing civilians doesn't undermine "peace" initiatives? Spare me.
Posted by B. Preston at 03:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


: Passover holiday, currently being not celebrated but mourned in Israel, is to comemmorate the night that the Angel of Death literally "passed over" the houses of the faithful Jews and descended on the families and fortunes of the Eyptians who had enslaved them. This year, the Angel of Death came in the form of another suicide bomber. 16 dead, scores injured, minds and hearts around the world seared forever.

The present conflict, in which even the duplicitous Arabs can't agree among themselves, in which madmen like Gaddafi and Saddam and Assad play statemen by day and plot murder by night, in which the "civilized" nations of the world lend moral equivalence to the murdered as well as their murderers, is beyond the reach of any so-called peace process. It will end, most likely, with one group exterminating--or driving out completely--the other. Total victory for one, total destruction for the other. That's what Arafat has sought all along. Israel must now, relunctantly, meet the challenge. It's either Israel or Palestine--not both.

I hope sometime soon, tonight, tomorrow, but soon, our President places a call to his counterpart in Tel Aviv. I hope that, with anguish in his voice, our President says the words--the only words, it seems--that will bring about an eventual end:

"Just do what you must do."

It won't be an end to the peace process. That was stillborn more than a half century ago. But it will bring about an end, of a kind, to the daily carnage of innocents.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 27, 2002


Jonah Goldberg knocks another one over the fence. NRO's redesign is pretty cool too.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


is encouraging Al Gore to run for President again. His reasons are both mean and funny--essentially, a Gore candidacy will give some other Democrat the chance to beat him in the primaries and become a hero to the party, putting that hero in a stronger position to challenge President Bush in the general election. Gore as the Democrats whipping boy. How the mighty have fallen. Cautionary note: Richard Nixon was once similarly written off, yet managed to come back and win the big prize eventually.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Greg Hlatky asks some thorny questions in the "separation of church and mind" area.
Posted by B. Preston at 03:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


because I was occupied with other things. Started off the day, one of those sunny days in which the sky is nevertheless dominated by storm clouds, chatting online. After rolling out of bed and getting cleaned up, I usually go online for a little while to troll around for things to blog. It's my obsession now, blogging--like crack to an addict, is blogging to a writer (I ripped that line off from Dodgeblog...), and I have to blog night and day. So I log on this morning, couldn't find much to rant about. The daily suicide bombing hadn't happened yet, the Arab Summit hadn't deteriorated into childish tantrums yet. But then I get a little message--Kevin Holtsberry has come online. We start chatting with Microsoft's instant message doohickey. Mostly trading stories about career stuff, since it was our first time to talk. He's every bit as nice as he seems in his posts. After a few minutes, another message pops up--it's Susanna Cornett. I start chatting with her too--our first time, but our NCAA cross-ranting history has already made us friends, so it's like talking to someone I already know. Pretty soon I feel like I should be serving up coffee or orange juice or something--I had two conversations going with two very interesting people that I never would've met without becoming a blog addict. And it's not even 9 am.

At 8:45 I had to beg off and head for work. Not to the office this morning, but to a studio in the heart of Baltimore's blue-collar Hamden section. I had an appointment to direct a voice recording--getting a video I'm producing narrated. I love mornings like this one. I arrive at a swank well-appointed suite of studios, am served free coffee and donuts, get to chat with a pretty receptionist (all production studios worth anything have pretty receptionists), then get down to brass tacks with real pros--a recording engineer that can make anyone sound like James Earl Jones, and a voice actor who can tweak and tune his every pitch to match every nuance of the script--my script, being brought to life. It's usually in the final stages of a project that I have days like this, and they're always good. I can see the end of the project approaching, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. A few more edits, another round of reviews, and it's done.

I'll probably get back to feeding my addiction tonight.
Posted by B. Preston at 02:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 26, 2002


: How did I miss this one? Well, by actually doing my job most of the day, natch. Jay Nordlinger's Impromptus today deflates the whole Ashcroft-is-such-a-prude-he-had-to-clothe-the-Justice-Dept-statues storyline. Of course, Jay's yeoman work will do little to upgrade Ashcroft's image to those who just insist that he's a gargoyle, or a prude, or whatever (yes Andrew, I'm talking to you).

Thanks to Hawkgirl for the heads-up...
Posted by B. Preston at 06:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


: Long overdue, just added Ken Layne. His reporting on the Saddam-PLO connection is just good, dogged journalism. As he asks, why isn't this story getting more play? And add to it the Iran connection--remember, the literal boatload of Iranian weapons intercepted by the Israeli military on their way to the PLO a few months back? You have two of the three charter members of the "Axis of evil" supplying the murderous nutjobs blowing up pizzerias and four-way stops: Iran supplies the weapons and Saddam pays the families of the walking bombs after the fact. All we need now is a North Korean connection, which isn't as far-fetched as it sounds, and GW Bush becomes the smartest, gutsiest man in the whole freakin' world.
Posted by B. Preston at 06:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


: Andrew Ian Dodge's Dodge(y)blog. I ranted, he ranted back, I think he's cool and he gets a link. He's toward the bottom of the list, but that's no reflection of what I think of his blog at all. One of my faves, Susanna Cornett's Cut on the Bias, is also in that general area. I just refuse to organize the dang things.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


: Today's bleat illustrates why. He can turn a trip to Target into rivetting adventure, then turn his rhetorical guns on Arab terror apoligists without missing a beat.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


: The Christian Science Monitor has a fascinating article detailing recent sightings of Al Qaeda's number 1 and number 2 in and around the Khost area in recent days. If confirmed, it means Bin Laden is alive and still in a fighting mood. Looking at the reports though, they're second and third hand--no one who actually claims to have seen bin Laden alive since early February is quoted. Regardless, rumors like this have the effect of galvanizing the remaining Al Qaeda forces as they begin to think of bin Laden as their invincible (and possibly immortal) leader against the infidels. Though we don't want to overly personalize this war, stories like this one indicate to me that it is strategically necessary that we capture or kill him, and if we kill him with a missile strike we need to be able to prove conclusively that we have done so. That's one reason I urged the DoD not to engage in too much of a propaganda effort--we'll need the credibility when it comes to proving things like the death of Usama.

For the record, until proven otherwise I still think Usama bought the virgin farm on February 4. Spreading rumors that he's still alive is one way the remaining Taliban and Al Qaeda leadership can keep their troops from becoming completely demoralized. These guys are fanatics, but they're no dummies. They'll keep the ghost of Usama bin Laden walking the dirt roads of Afghanistan if it means they can keep their bands of fighters together long enough to survive, run away and fight another day.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


: Here's the story.
Posted by B. Preston at 08:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


: Republican Congressman Bob Erlich, the representative of the very district in which I reside, is running for governor of Maryland. Erlich is a good guy running in liberal Maryland, and he's running against an actual Kennedy, but there is reason for cheer: he's well-known and well-liked around the state, and the Republicans under Ellen Saurbrey did win the governor's race in 1994 (though the Dems managed to steal the actual office from her and hand it to Parris Glendenning, the current gov). But of course, it wouldn't be Maryland politics without a little character assasination, and the liberal fringe groups gathered up their tens of thousands (well, tens of singular people anyway) to protest Erlich's candidacy. Silly, isn't it: it's a Democrat state, but the Dems feel the need to trot out their activists to protest the very idea of a viable opposition candidate:

About 20 protesters gathered outside the fire station, chanting slogans and distributing fliers pointing out that the National Rifle Association has given him an "A" rating and that he voted to repeal a federal ban on semiautomatic weapons.

"We think that people should know where he really stands," said Ginni Wolf, of Marylanders against Handgun Abuse.

Inside the station, Nancy C. Lineman, executive director of the state affiliate of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, said Ehrlich "should not be characterized as a pro- choice candidate."

Now, I'm not pro-choice, but the last bit of that quote is instructive. The guy calls himself pro-choice, but that's not good enough for NARAL. You have to be as pro-choice as they are to get the nod. No, on second thought, you just have to have a (D) attached to your name. Then you can be whatever you want. I like the part about the NRA, though. Maryland is home to quite a few hunters and sportsmen. The Dems' strategy in this area may, ahem, backfire. Also, watch out for slippery use of the man's name. It's Erlich, but the libs will start to call him "Erlichman" to associate him with Nazis and Nixonites. I've actually heard 'em do that myself more than once.

Here's my fantasy: Erlich, a right-leaning moderate (I didn't say he was perfect, just preferrable to lots of others), runs in the GOP primary uncontested or against the usual puny GOP candidates. On the Dem side, ambition gets the better of Baltimore's popular mayor Martin O'Malley, who decides to take on Lite Gov Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. They bloody each other up enough that Erlich gets a weakened KKT (I'd actually like O'Malley to hang around in Baltimore--he's doing a heckuva a job of taking out the criminal element) in the general election. He'd have a good shot at winning. Maryland would never be the same (thank God), and the Dems would lose a lock state for a while. A man can dream....
Posted by B. Preston at 12:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 25, 2002


: Andrew Ian Dodge, of Dodge(y)blog, read through my "Why do they hate us?" rant and offered back, well, a steaming pile. Here's the whole thing, not just the juicy bits:

Bryan over at JunkyardBlog has a nice long, simplistic, and tepid screed against libertarians. In this rant he claims that libertarians hate social conservatives.

First, he makes the mistake of equating that dolt Harry Browne with all libertarians in the US. Browne is being a complete moron and doing his best to make libertarians look like idiots. (I am convinced he is doing this to screw over his old party and drive people to the Republicans. They booted him out of the party after the last election.)

Bryan conveniently forgets that the happy-clappy/social conservatives have been attacking libertarians for years. Labelling us all dope addicts, satanists, (I was accused of this publically.), friends of pedophiles (Despite the fact Christian churches have been covering for these guys for decades.), libertines, heartless bastards, traitors, and anything else they could think up. I remember back in the days when the Christian right in the Republican Party made it their main goal to drive out libertarians.

Of course, if my fellow social conservative were that paranoid prude Ashcroft I would be a bit defensive as well. He claims some libertarians are just venting and not doing anything about the statist left. What he seems to forget is that, to most of us, a statist is a statist, political wing is irrelevant. Maybe instead of launching long rants at libertarians he should be working to rid the Republican Party of R.I.N.O.s.

Truth be told this inane screed is an exception on an otherwise good blog.

Andrew, thanks for the closing complement and right back at ya, but I resent your opening sentence. My screed was neither nice nor tepid. Long and simplistic? Guilty as charged. But Andrew, buddy, you stepped right in it. My main objection to Will's rants is that they're just hateful without really offering much in the way of substance, and you respond with enough name-calling to do Will proud. Honestly, I can see why--folks on my side of the belief aisle have been expert name-callers, but the bit about covering up for pedophiles? C'mon, you don't seriously think all Catholics, let alone all Christians, think that's a good thing do you? If we thought that way, you wouldn't see all the anger and anguish over that issue in the Catholic Church right now (for the record once again, I'm not a Catholic).

As for your "a statist is a statist" comment, I couldn't agree with you more. That's among the reasons I'm no fan of Pat Buchanan--he morphed from a conventional conservative into a rightwing, then maybe even a leftwing, statist almost overnight, leaving reason and his support base behind. But just speaking as a Protestant and a Baptist for a minute, my "people" have rebelled against statism whenever we've had the chance. I'm not saying that we're perfect or "the only true church", but our entire church structure is predicated on the notion that too much power in the hands of a central elite is a bad thing. Each Southern Baptist church operates independently of all others, but with some cooperation in areas of core doctrine, mission work and so forth. It makes our denomination very difficult for infiltrators to hijack, and keeps local congregations in control of who becomes their pastor and local officers. We also teach a doctrine known as the "priesthood of the believer"--all believers are in a one-on-one relationship with God, without any need for intermediaries. How much more libertarian can a Christian faith get? To paint all Christians as statists makes my simplistic rant of a couple days ago look like the complex weavings of a Medival tapestry.

Finally, I'd love to rid the Republican party of RINOs. I'm glad Jim Jeffords bolted, though it's costing us court nominations, and I actually hope John McCain either wises up or bolts too. He's no use to the conservative, anti-statist cause in his present political form. But as long as you libertarians are too cool to see where the real statists are--the Hillary Clintons, the Ted Kennedys, etc--and vote with us to retire them, we're all creeping into statist servitude together. Trust me, I've lived in a Republican-dominated state (Texas), and now a one-party Democrat-run state (Maryland). There's a reason (besides friends and family) that I miss Texas every day while calling my present home "Cuba on the Chesapeake." It's less of an exaggeration than you might think.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


gets ready to take on terrorism. The Maryland Legislature is set to pass an anti-terror law that will expand police wire-tapping and allow other encroachments on civil rights. Want an articulate defense of this bill? Here's an esteemed Maryland Representative:

"I realize that this bill basically says you can tap someone's phone for jaywalking, and normally I would say, 'No way,' " said Del. Dana Lee Dembrow (D-Montgomery). "But after what happened on September 11th, I say screw 'em."

"Screw 'em." Who--Maryland residents? Taxpayers? Civil rights? I'd like a little clarification, please.
Posted by B. Preston at 05:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Rosie O'Donell is positively delusional. She says gays actually make better parents because some kids of heterosexual parents aren't wanted and end up in foster care, and because the gays that are currently seeking to adopt obviously want the kids they're trying to get. Where does one begin in addressing such stupidity? Do you think she realizes that it's physically impossible for gay couples to produce a child naturally on their own, while het sex carries that risk--even if the participants don't particularly want children? Do you think she might come to the realization that most gays actually don't want kids--or at least aren't trying to adopt? Do you think she might connect the dots here, and figure out that what she said is one of the stupidest remarks of the past few months? Don't count on it.
Posted by B. Preston at 05:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Everything--from Hitler, to Stalin to 9-11 to the Catholic sex scandals, it's all my fault. And if you're a man, it's your fault too. That's the view of arch-feminazi Gloria Steinhem anyway. But I have a small, innocent question for Ms. Steinhem. If all that's my fault, and I'm not saying that it is or isn't, but if all that's my fault because all the perps are men, then can we blame you for Andrea Yates? And Susan Smith? And Lizzy Borden? And Bonnie of Bonnie and Clyde fame? And Yoko Ono breaking up the Beatles? Please?
Posted by B. Preston at 05:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


: I remeber reading last fall, shortly after the liberation of Kabul, news reports of materials found in an Al Qaeda safehouse that suggested a connection between Bin Laden's groupies and Tim McVeigh. At the time I dismissed it--it seemed too convenient, to smash up a foreign terror source and find the roots of domestic terror there. It seems now that I shouldn't have dismissed it. Insight Magazine has a fascinating story on Terry Nichols and his travels to the Philippines, where he met with Al Qaeda operatives, who were in turn connected to the Iraqi and Iranian governments. The purpose of the meetings was to teach Nichols, known to the terrorists as "The Farmer," how to build a bomb big enough to take out a large building. If this holds up, it may be the most important story to come out of the war: both of the worst terror acts ever committed on American soil--the WTC and the Oklahoma City bombing (not to mention the first WTC bombing, which also seems to have Iraqi roots)--have the same radical Islamic roots. Add to that the recent NTSB findings that the EgyptAir crash a few years back was the result of pilot suicide, and the worms crawling out from the rocks of terrorism are suddenly more numerous than we've suspected.

Thanks to Rand Simberg and InstaPundit for the link.
Posted by B. Preston at 08:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


, rebounding nicely from the defeat of the Kentucky Wildcats, took my angry "why they hate us" screed and has made something nice out of it. It's long but worth reading.
Posted by B. Preston at 08:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


: Well, for starters he posts several thousand times a day, so there's always fresh content. He's also nicer than most libertarians to righties like me...he even acknowledged the Baptist tradition of intellectual freedom in a post a couple days back, a topic I plan to cover eventually. But it's also posts like this one, in which he details the Democrats paying off a big contributor by appointing him a Regent to the University of California, when the guy never graduated from college. Shameless....and that's why they get away with it. That, and the fact that the media won't treat Dem sin with the same intensity they'll tackle the Republicans.
Posted by B. Preston at 08:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 24, 2002


: Rich Lowry and a spate of other NRO types have lately been trying to read the tea leaves of recent Texas primaries to see which way the Lone Star State will go in coming years. Lowry et al think that the influx of Hispanic voters, their increasing boldness to identify themselves with the Democrats, and a few other factors will turn Texas blue in a year or two. If this is true, it means that the nation's biggest electoral prizes--California, Texas and New York--will all be solid Democrat locks, and Florida is also up for grabs as non-Cuban Hispanics become a larger slice of that state's electorate. Before y'all get too sad about this, I think a few things about Texas should be pointed out. First, until very recently Texas was a Democratic stronghold. Texas didn't elect a single Republican to statewide office from Reconstruction until Senator John Tower in a run-off to replace Lyndon Johnson in 1960, and didn't elect a Republican governor until Bill Clements in 1978. Clements lost re-election in 1982 because Texas just doesn't re-elect governors (until GW Bush), but was re-elected in 1986. Ann Richards only won the governor's race in 1990 because her Republican opponent, Clayton Williams, made an utterly insane remark comparing bad weather to rape within earshot of reporters. They reported his remarks, his lead in the polls tanked, and Ma Richards won. I once had a personal run-in with her when I was an obscure radio reporter. Let's just say she'd had a smashing time at a local fund-raiser... In the next contest, George W. Bush came on the scene and wiped up the political mat with a very popular Ma Richards, then did the same to his next opponent in the next go-round. By that time, most politicos acknowledged that the Dems didn't have a prayer at winning most statewide offices in Texas. By the way, Bill Clinton never carried Texas. Not in 1992, and not in 1996--and naturally, Gore didn't fare any better in 2000.

Texas is today a solid Red state, with most statewide offices, both Senate slots, and the majority of Congressional seats occupied by Republicans. But Texas didn't so much shift to the Republicans as the Republicans began to contest elections there, and began to win them by appealing to the Texan sense of individual liberty. In the mean time, the Democrats shifted, or rather lurched, left, with leaders like George McGovern that just don't appeal to most Texans. Still, the Democrats are competitive in Texas, and that's mostly due to tradition. I know because I have relatives there who vote Democrat "because Daddy did." And Daddy voted Democrat because of FDR, or more often, because his Daddy did.

Here's why I think Texas is trending Republican and will for some time to come: the Democrat-because-of-Daddy wing of the state party is getting old and dying off. They're being replaced by a younger set that grew up under Reagan and Bush 41, and liked what they saw. Republicans are also starting, just now, to contest elections in the rural areas of Texas that have been Donkey strongholds for generations, and when the Republican candidate has a shred of credibility, he or (increasingly) she wins. Again, I know because of family: my father is the first Republican elected to consecutive terms as Justice of the Peace in rural Leon County. His predecessor was also a Republican, though not much of a JP. The county commission is within one election of moving into the (R) column, and many county officials have simply switched to the Republicans as they've become the dominant party in the span of just a few years. When you ask the locals why they're changing, you almost always get some version of the same answer: they like what the Republicans stand for (fighting crime, pro-life, low taxes, gun rights) and don't like what the Democrats stand for (Bill Clinton, lying, sleazy practices, not fighting crime, pro-abortion, high taxes, gun grabbing, and Bill Clinton). These two dynamics--the death of the Daddy wing and the switch of the younger Caucasian voter to identify with the Republicans, makes the Repubs a more solid lock with the state's largest demographic group. Factor in the fact that many Hispanics are also socially conservative, and I think you have a solid Red state for some time to come.

(By the way, a handy reference on all things Texan can be found here if you're interested.)
Posted by B. Preston at 11:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


and the President says he'll sign. What are stratospheric poll numbers for if you can't use them to bludgeon bad legislation that most voters don't care about like campaign finance "reform"--incumbent protection--to death? GWB should veto this bag of trash and hand Johhny Mac a stinging defeat on his signature issue issue. But he won't. Too bad.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


: Maryland advanced by beating UConn, 90-82, in a nail-biter that was much closer than the final score indicates. Heckuva game by all, with MD's Jeff Blake hitting a three in the final half-minute to seal it. The next match-up for Maryland is top-ranked Kansas. That should be a good old-fashioned barn-burner.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Not-so-new evidence that the 9-11 hijackers had something to do with last fall's anthrax attacks. What's new is that the gubment is no longer denying it. Hijacker involvement is actually the best explanation for the lack of an evidence trail leading to arrests or suspects--the perps are already dead.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


, but I'm glad to see that Shrek won for best animated feature. First, Shrek's animation, from the hair to the grass to the skies, skin and sunlight, is spectacular. It's also a hilarious film with a libertarian bent. Consider--Shrek, the hero, goes on his quest to rescue the Princess, not for fortune or glory, but to get the overweening governmental policies of Lord Farquod off his back. He just wants his swamp back. The villian, Lord Farquod, is your typical leftweenie, wanting to control life in Duloc to the nth degree. He also wants the veneer of legitimacy as king, gained by marrying Princess Fiona, but doesn't care about the Princess at all--she's a means to an end, much like all that noise about doing things "for the children" really masked liberal policies aimed at giving them more and more power, regardless whether it actually helped a single kid. Shrek is good stuff--see it if you haven't.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


: That's why, when we come up against something that's proving more taxing than it should be, we say "C'mon, this isn't rocket science." Why am I blathering on about this? NASA's having trouble with its new TDRS satelllite. TDRS, short for Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, is a network of orbiting communications boxes that let us control Hubble, Chandra, and several other observatories. The potential loss of this one won't substantially hurt the observatories, but won't help either.
Posted by B. Preston at 05:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


: Schoolchildren strip-searched to find missing $5. Sheesh, and we though the new federalized airport security system was asinine.
Posted by B. Preston at 04:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


, and less messy too. We have the first human cyborg among us. This technology, like all technology, has a serious potential for abuse, but promises an awful lot for those with spinal cord and other immobilizing injuries.
Posted by B. Preston at 04:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


According to the Washington TImes, various web sites attached to Federal agencies have been told to delete published data that could assist terrorists in planning their next move. It's mostly data like old classified reports on nuke power plant vulnerabilities that have been declassified, or old reports on how to build a biotoxin factory, etc. OMB Watch, a fairly predictable liberal advocacy group that opposes last year's tax cuts, thinks this amounts to censorship. I think that's silly. We're not talking about the government telling news agencies, book publishers or anyone else to delete or restrict infmation. The government is telling itself not to publish material that could be used to harm public safety, and in many cases you have to wonder why the government published such material in the first place.

As for OMB Watch, they're not in any position to claim objectivity in this or any other issue. They are, as I said above, a liberal advocacy group. Here's their take on President Bush's first year in office:

Since his first day in office, President Bush has been waging war on health, safety, consumer, and environmental protections. From ergonomics standards and safe drinking water to global warming and contractor responsibility to mining on public lands, this president has made clear that he stands with corporate interests, no matter the price.

They're still hanging on to the arsenic hoax after it's been pretty thoroughly debunked everywhere else. Gimme a break.
Posted by B. Preston at 04:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


: Newsweek has a story today (scroll down past the Rusty Yates stuff--looks like he's still in legal jeaopardy, btw) about an electronica band named, before 9-11, "I Am the World Trade Center." On their first cd, they had a song named "September," which was track 11 on the disc--both the song's title and position were chosen at random. But of course conspiracy types will look for evidence anywhere they can find it, and some have seized on the unfortunate band as co-perps in the terror attacks. Sad. Weird, but sad.
Posted by B. Preston at 03:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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