Saturday, September 06, 2008

Time out

I just watched a rebroadcast of the McPalin rally held yesterday in Sterling Heights, Michigan, and a few things disturbed me. More on this later, perhaps, when I've collected my scattered thoughts.

[Pause ...]

OK, here are a few initial thoughts:

1. The jingoism of the chanting crowds gets really old really fast.

2. I don't believe McCain when he says he's going to reduce the size of government.

3. I do believe Sarah Palin is pro-life, much more so than, oh, McCain, who will actually be the President next year if the Republicans win in November.

4. By pro-life I mean anti-abortion. She's giving us the standard victory-at-all-costs line on the Iraq war, and I'm really sick of hearing about 19-year-old kids coming home in coffins.

5. The libertarians have a point. Country first? How about the individual? Life, liberty and the security of person, as John Paul II paraphrased the famous statement of professed American ideals.

6. Don't worry, folks. I'm not voting for the Great Beige Hope under any circumstances.

7. But the Great Beige Hope will win my home state by an avalanche and three-quarters. So my vote won't affect the electoral outcome.

8. Is there a "quixotic third party candidate" I can, in good conscience, support? At the moment, no. And I'd much rather see McPalin win than Obiden. Still, I'm getting serious qualms.

9. George Will once wrote, I forget where, or perhaps he said: If you're ever thinking of not voting Republican, remember the judges. I definitely don't want any more Ruth Bader Ginsburgs on the nation's highest court. But will McCain nominate Thomases or Souters?

10. Well, we know what Obama will nominate.

11. I'll come clean. I voted for Ron Paul in the primaries. But the thing is, I'm not a libertarian ideologue. I'm much more of an anti-Democrat than a libertarian.

12. But I am getting sick of this damned war.

13. The Democrats have declared war on the unborn.

14. There is no #14. I'm done, for now. Your thoughts are welcome in the combox.

Ah, progressivism

Ah, progressivism
the philosophy of tolerance and sensitivity

Absolutely astonishing, this odious, vituperative, vulgar anti-Palin rant.

HT : Catholic and Enjoying It!

A libertarian's take

"hail me, hail me, hail me"

A libertarian's take on the McCain convention speech. Good thing there's none of that l'état, c'est moi stuff coming from the Obama campaign.

Link found here.

Friday, September 05, 2008

A coffee poll

A coffee poll

at Dawn Breaks on Marblehead.



silently if,out of not knowable
night’s utmost nothing,wanders a little guess
(only which is this world)more my life does
not leap than with the mystery of your smile

sings or if(spiralling as luminous
they climb oblivion)voices who are dreams,
less into heaven certainly earth swims
than each my deeper death becomes your kiss

losing through you what seemed myself,i find
selves unimaginably mine;beyond
sorrow’s own joys and hoping’s very fears

yours is the light by which my spirit’s born:
yours is the darkness of my soul’s return
--you are my sun,my moon,and all my stars

The View

It's not a show I watch regularly, but ...

On ABC's The View yesterday, Joy Behar made a crack about "drilling" in Alaska and the father of Bristol Palin's baby.

No one laughed, except Joy, at her own unfunny joke.

Not a giggle from the audience. Cricket city. El bombo.

Bless those folks for not laughing!

Dear Diary

Dear diary

I hate this weather. 87 and humid. I have a rule. No 90s in August, no 80s in September, no 70s in October, no 60s in November. Someone keeps breaking that rule on me.

I miss (let me say) New Hampshire. Morning lows 45-52 when I was there, and already some pockets of red leaves. Huzzah!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

RNC: McCain

RNC: Sen. John McCain

Accepting the nomination. Paying tribute (without naming them) to the candidates who opposed him in the primaries.

What's with the green background?

A nod to President 43 and Mrs. Bush, and to President 41 and Mrs. Bush.

Tributes to Mrs. McCain, his wife, and to Mrs. McCain, his mom -- "96 years young."

Subdued applause when he says of Sen. Obama "you have my respect and admiration."

Applause less restrained when he says "let there be no doubt, we're going to win this election!"

Protesters interrupting. "My friends, please don't be diverted by the ground noise and the static!"

"I've found just the right partner to help me shake up Washington, D.C." -- okay, so far, nothing substantive, but gracious nods all around to those to whom gracious nods are due.

"Change is coming." We'll see.

"I don't work for a party, I don't work for a special interest, I don't work for myself -- I work for you" -- decent-sounding line, not much there.

Pledges to stop pork-barrel spending and to name the names of the biggest offenders. Again, we'll see.

Reminding us of his willingness to buck popular opinion (the surge).

Awkward cadence to the "it matters less that you fight than what you fight for" line.

"We were elected to change Washington and we let Washington change us." True. And well-cadenced. And well-delivered.

"The party of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Reagan is going to get back to basics." We'll see.

"We believe in work, faith, service ... a culture of life ... and judges ... who don't legislate from the bench." Standard GOP stuff.

"A government that doesn't make choices for you but works to make sure that you have more choices to make for yourself."

Now, a brief litany of differences between JSM and BHO. "He will raise taxes ... force families into a government-run health-care system where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor."

Now, the backdrop is sky-blue. Better.

"Education is the civil-rights issue of this century." Really??

"What is the value of access to a failing school?" "Empower parents with choice." "Help bad teachers find another line of work."

"Sen. Obama wants our schools to answer to unions and entrenched bureaucrats; I want our schools to answer to parents and students."

"Produce more energy at home." "Drill new wells offshore." "Build more nuclear power plants." Wind, solar, hybrid, etc.

"Rescue our economy from the damage caused by rising oil prices." Okay.

"We must see the threats to peace and liberty clearly -- face them with confidence, wisdom, and resolve."

Now he's turning to (turning on?) Russia. "International lawlessness that threatens the peace and stability of the world." Tough words.

About the "dangers" the world faces. "I'm not afraid of them, I'm prepared for them." "I know how the world works." "I know how to secure the peace."

His experience in Vietnam is mentioned -- "I hate war. I know how horrible it is" -- as he pledges to prevent unnecessary war.

Deplores "constant partisan rancor." Mentions how he reaches across the aisle.

Pledges his administration will set "a new standard for transparency and accountability."

"An imperfect servant of my country -- but a servant first, last, and always."

"I was blessed by misfortune, because I served in the company of heroes ... witnessed countless acts of courage."

"I was dumped in a dark cell and left to die."

Tells of having to be fed by two cellmates because his arms wouldn't work. Very moving and powerful.

Then, solitary confinement. Turned down the offer of early release. Crowd stands and applauds. I'm getting a chill.

"I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else's." That is the genuine article of patriotism. Modest compared to some of the other displays we've seen, and with the ring of truth.

"I'm not running because I believe ... that history has anointed me to save my country in its hour of need." A shot at the Obama, no doubt, but I think the current occupant of 1600 sees himself in these terms.

"Nothing brings greater happiness in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself."

"Stand up! Stand up and fight for what's right," etc. He's being drowned out by the crowd!

Not a bad speech. Some characteristic awkwardness at times in the delivery, and of course the interruptions. Mostly generalities and goals rather than specifics. The personal narrative was the most powerful part, and I guess it ended well. (Will have to get transcript from somewhere -- my typing got lazy.) It's pretty much what you'd expect to hear from a Republican nominee for President.

Balloons, confetti, televised fireworks.


RNC, cont'd

Lindsey Graham. Three cheers for the war. Sigh.

Nice film about Sarah Palin. Cute pictures. Didn't really tell us anything new.

Tom Ridge is putting me to sleep. This speech is at least nine fifteen minutes too long. Please let us get to the next speaker, whoever that may be.

More stupid chanting.

Forty minutes till McCain.

9.29 pm: Wow. Thank God that's over. Good riddance, Ridge. Now a film about Cindy.

Narrator: "Cindy's dad was a True. American. Patriot." There's only so much of this flag-waving rah-rah I can take. Don't get me wrong. I love America, and am "really proud" of America, and would rather live here than Canada, or Cuba, or Russia, or China, or the Netherlands, or Zimbabwe, etc. But is the implication that one is a commie subversive unless one goes around pumping one's fist and shouting "U-S-A! U-S-A!" every ten seconds?

"She [Cindy] shares a passion for fast cars with her son." Good to know. No, seriously, I couldn't have slept peacefully tonight without that vital piece of information.

Cindy and the seven kids are on stage now! (Thank Heaven. That film was getting on my nerves.)

Cindy is now commiserating with the displaced persons from the most recent hurricane. Sounding First-Lady-like.

Mrs. McCain (as I should be calling her) is now deploring "unsafe and underperforming schools." I'm not confident that the next Administration, whichever party it represents, will be able to do anything about that.

A kind word for Abraham Lincoln. Some students of history might demur.

Now Mrs. McCain is speaking about her husband, in the warm and glowing terms one might expect almost any spouse to use on such an occasion.

"You can trust him at the wheel -- but you know what I always thought? It's a good idea to have a woman's hand on the wheel as well." A nod to Governor Palin. "A reform-minded hockey-mom moose-hunting salmon-fishing pistol-packing ..." Damn! I typed too slow to get the exact quote. Nice touch, though.

Mrs. McC. makes "Vietnam" rhyme with "lamb."

"Preparing a better world for all of our children" -- ???

About fifteen minutes until the Senator. I think I'll be back in a while.

RNC impressions

RNC, scattered impressions

I missed the first two nights of this convention, so what follows are indeed meager cogitations.

Sarah! Great night for her and for the party last night. Loved how she tweaked Obama on everything from the Greek columns to the pseudo-presidential seal. A genuine human being, with a sense of humor. And Piper Palin, who is evidently camera-friendly, cracked me up.

Pawlenty's speech, or chant, was as subtle as a sledgehammer. Punctuating every sentence with "put our country first." After the 14th or 15th sentence, the rhetorical tactic began to pall.

During Bill Frist's sober reflection on AIDS in Africa and the Rwandan genocide, some idiotic woman was mugging for the cameras with a goofy grin.

Sam Brownback just finished speaking. Taking nothing away from the tremendous governor of Alaska, I always thought that Brownback would make a good VP or President. He mentioned the unborn, and in his case, I don't think it's a cosmetic commitment. Same with Palin, obviously.

An Olympic athlete is speaking now. Don't know if I can keep liveblogging until the McCain speech, or even if I'll be awake to watch it. I'll be back sometime soon.

Bishop Sheen

the Mere Comments blog

Bishop Sheen on "What's My Line" :