Thursday, July 29, 2004

Preliminary Assessment

My thoughts?  This was a speech full of cliches and focus-tested phrases.  It was what the Democrats thought people wanted to hear.  My biggest problem with this speech?  Very little coming out of the mouths of "big Democrats" at this  convention matched up with their voting records or their actions in the past. 

It's one thing to promise to devote more time and money to the military than the GOP, but it's quite another when you've been working whole-heartedly to defeat their efforts to fund new bombers, strengthen the CIA, or to increase military funding for years.  It one thing to say that you will never give any nation or organization control over our national interests, but it's quite another to say that when you have advocated doing exactly that for years. 

It was a polished speech, but it was far from an inspiring speech.  The delivery was just not compelling, and I did not feel he was sincere.  There were some things in this speech that I was amazed a nominee would say about a sitting president, basically accusing him of lying to the people.  There were some things that made me angry because Kerry's statements about them were so advertently misleading and biased, such as his WMD allusions.  But what else should I be expecting? 

My overall impression?  It was far from inspiring.  The last few minutes of the speech I found myself writing "Argh, is this over yet?" and musing about whether the sweat was going to run off his chin and hit the microphone.  I would be far more concerned about his bounce if Kerry had given a speech like those of Barack Obama or Bill Clinton.   

I have a written out a minute-by-minute blog entry that I will try to get up tomorrow.  It's going to be a busy weekend in Illiniland.  Cookie-baking, movie night, pre-wedding festivities for a friend.   Tonight I had a farewell outing for a co-worker at work, and now I will owe my friend a case of beer if Hillary Clinton runs for president in 2008 and does not win.  However, I told him that if necessary I would be campaigning for Barack Obama to be the Democratic nominee during primary season to keep that from happening.  Of course, he replied that was good because he thinks Obama is going to be the first black president.  Darn independents.   Should be an interesting bet nonetheless.   

BTW if you want more GOP blogging on the DNC, VodkapunditResplendent Mango and The Corner are the places to be as far as I can tell.   Back as soon as possible.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Tonight's rundown

No full convention play-by-play tonight as real life interferes.  I did watch a few minutes of Barack Obama's convention speech.  He comes off extremely well.   I have no doubt he's sincere, as he seems extremely nice and quite respectful of opposing beliefs (such as those of the president).  He's a very effective speaker, good at making his point and sounding inspirational.  In short, it seems that he and I want a lot of the same things.  People to be happy, have jobs, not go hungry, opportunity for all.  We have significantly different ideas on how these goals should be achieved though, so there's about a snowball's chance in hell that I will vote for this man.  Assuming there's even an alternative on the Illinois ballot that is... 

Speaking of the former alternative on the Illinois ballot, the man that Jack Ryan hired to trail Barack Obama with a videocamera is profiled in the Weekly Standard today.  The whole thing sounds much more benign than I had been led to believe last spring.  Twenty-four year old Justin Warfel tells his side of the story. 

I've found a new blog that I really enjoy.  Resplendent Mango where Katie dishes up all sorts of goodies for the conservative political junkie.  Kerry Bingo cards to use during his speech Thursday.   Some compassion for Ben Affleck but little for the vitriol of Michael Moore and Howard Dean.   Speculation as to why Ivory Tower dwellers lean liberal.  Nice tribute to Mary Jo Kopechne on the evening Ted Kennedy is 'honored'.  Great assessment of the Barack Obama speech --

"Obama (who the heck is that? he's doing well though...) is talking about how we aren't red states and blue states, Republicans and Democrats, etc, we are one United States of America. John Edwards must be backstage, swearing prettily. "

Speaking of good DNC convention blogging, Jay over at Accidental Verbosity is doing an excellent job of hitting the convention highlights.   Check in there if you are interested. 

A new rival strip for Doonesbury?  If you are into political cartoons &/or get frustrated by Garry Trudeau's viewpoints, check out the strip Day by Day by Chris Muir.  

Further details on Michael Moore's Bloomington Pantagraph headline fake are up over at MooreWatch.  Someone actually dug up an image of that date's Editorial page, so you can view the blatant image-twisting for yourself.   

Oompa Loompa Loompity Dee -- Steve H makes John Kerry's photo very funny

Over at one of the sites that compelled me to start blogging, Ben Domenech takes a break.   Enjoy it Ben.  You deserve it...especially considering all you are juggling at the ripe old age of 21 or so.   Kudos.

Meredith and Wild Banshee are tackling the bar exam this week.  I wish them luck, although I doubt they need it.  Visit their sites and show them some love, if you so desire.

For the moment, that's all folks.   See you later.

Monday, July 26, 2004

My Night with the Dems

Warning: Snarky partisan long-winded yet good-humored commentary on the Clinton's speeches ahead...

9:05 pm - FoxNews - Al Gore looks like he's aged a decade in the past four years in highlights from earlier.  Blah, blah, blah.  Burning our bridges with our allies -- with some perhaps.  However by ignoring all the nations standing with us in Iraq, Gore does their commitment a disservice here in hopes of making a point.   And as for his comment about having a president who is confusing Iraq with Al Qaeda?   Please provide some support for this statement.  Try Michael Moore (sitting to Jimmy Carter's left, which I found both embarassing for the DNC and yet appropriate).  I hear he likes to fabricate evidence to "prove" points like those.

9:08 - Jimmy Carter says the rest of the world now resents us.  Where has this guy been for the past twenty years?  Anti-Americanism is nothing new.   European countries have resented us for decades, primarily because we overtook them in becoming the world's superpower.  An analogy for the band geeks out's sort of like the kid who loses his first chair position to someone else younger, more talented, and seemingly less refined.  He can't help but be resentful.  It's human nature, get over it. 

9:12 - I can see why Gore and Carter were deemed not fit for primetime.  Being angry and vitriolic yet uninspiring is not going to win over swing voters.  Think the DNC probably made a smart move with this one.   Too bad.

9:13 - Nice tribute to 9/11, although I can't help but wonder if a significant contingent of delegates was seething because of a violation of the separation between church and state when the violinist played a beautiful rendition to Amazing Grace.  We can't have God mentioned in the schools or include Christmas songs in winter pageants, but hymns at the Democratic National Convention are fine?

9:14 - Here begins the Barack Obama lovefest.  At least they are still calling him a candidate for the Senate...although with his lack of opposition they might as well start calling him Senator tonight.  (But can't Illinois GOP voters have someone to vote for whose platform and purpose we can believe in?  Is that really too much to ask?)

I must admit that I find him less irritating than Dick Durbin though.  He said he does not doubt that George W. Bush is sincere in his beliefs that he is doing the right thing for the country.  I almost wonder if he's inflammatory enough to survive in this party.  Then in a parting quip, he said that he looked forward to being a guest on the "Fair & Balanced" news network in the future.  Heh heh.  Big points for that.  Could tee off the DNC leadership as well.  Hey Barack, Fox isn't a real news network.  Haven't you heard?  Hope he's just not trying to win votes, because if I wasn't a die-hard I would be swayed.  Maybe we can keep him and get rid of Durbin in a couple years...anyone have any dirt on the guy?     

9:18 - HGTV - Back to Design on a Dime for a much needed break.  I'm such a junkie.  Redoing a 20ish art student's room does not appeal to me though, so little practical application to my life and home.

9:20 - MSNBC - Over to a liberal news network for a few minutes to keep my balance.  Blah, blah, blah.  Will Kerry campaign with Bill Clinton?  "They may appear together".  Don't hold your breath folks.  Now there's some speculation as to whether Bill Clinton will ever run for public office again.  Heaven help us all.   He's lobbying to become Secretary General of the United Nations someday?  And that's who Kerry wants to turn over all our power to?   Howard Fineman from Newsweek -- "I think he would love to be president of the world."  Thanks Howard, that's my biggest laugh of the night so far.

9:24 - Where's What Not to Wear when you need it Hillary?   It's very business-like and sunshiney, but her suit is not very flattering.  But flattery is on its way as she praises her husband's administration for the Peace, Prosperity, Promise it ruled over.   Nevermind it was all an illusion, ignoring the big problems in the world so Clintonian approval ratings would not suffer and George W. Bush would end up confronting them.

9:27 - Back to FoxNews - John Kerry as the next Commander-in-Chief.  It doesn't sound like Hillary believes it either.  For some reason, this speech is striking me as particularly stiff and formulated.  It seems like the "applause" lines are not generating the response, but other things are at random points.  Then Hillary gets to talking about John Edwards.  Funny, she acts much more excited about Edwards for Veep than Kerry for Prez.  Life insurance agents, be forwarned.  I might think twice before selling Kerry another policy if I were you.

9:29Some Americans would be proud of Kerry Edwards in the White House.  Some wouldn't.   Watch those sweeping generalizations chiquita.

9:30 - I stand by her point about 9/11 in that I hope no Americans ever have to feel that way again.  The sad reality is that we probably will.  Something will happen somewhere.  Not on that scale perhaps, if we do our best to protect ourselves and do not constrain our imaginations anymore.   Anticipate the worst and try to keep it from happening.   Then Hillary blows it all by truning the 9/11 commission political.  As if the events would not have been investigated without the 3-ring circus that was that committee.

9:32 - Can't handle Hillary talking about the Bush administration harming men and women in uniform.  Not after hearing my friends who were in the Army and Navy during the 90s talk about how the Clinton's decimated the military and how they could not bring themselves to re-enlist under such conditions. 

9:34 - Wasn't Hillary's speech supposed to be 5 minutes?  Typical.  Wonder how long this will run.  Okay, I know women are supposed to be as assertive as men these days.  Everytime she starts yelling though, it reminds me of fingernails scraping down a chalkboard.

9:35 -  Hill is introducing Bill.  "I think I know a great leader when I see one"  I hear my husband guffaw at that one, sitting at his desk about 300 feet away in the study.  Can't help but smile.  

9:36 - Argh!  That Fleetwood Mac song will send me running away screaming until the day I die.  Hubby comments that "Money" by Pink Floyd should be the Kerry Edwards campaign song.  I married well.

9:38 - Votes will be "all counted in every state" according to Bill.  Or does he just mean the states and counties that might help his side win the ticket, Billy Boy?  I believe the Supreme Court objected to selective recounts, not votes being counted.  It'd be nice if they objected to 100% plus turnout in Dem-heavy precincts as well.

9:41 - Okay very little that Bill Clinton has said so far is more than "Let's create a great America and lots of opportunities".  There's very little that Republicans would dislike until this point...except he implies that only Democrats can do this.   Very warm fuzzy, touchy-feely otherwise...his specialty.

9:43 - Darnit, we did not act alone in Iraq.  Get it through your thick skulls.  And as for Republicans only wanting power in the hands of their people -- gee I wonder where the Dems want it.  With opposing parties and independents, I am sure.   

9:45 - I am about to write that Bill is a more commanding speaker than Hillary, as he's getting fired up here, when he says that Republicans only divide America and starts slamming Bush after 9/11.  We can have differences of opinion on most things, but I think it's BALONEY that he's not acknowledging that Bush united this country after 9/11.  Even the most liberal local radio hosts were big fans of his.  You can disagree with his other choices on Afghanistan and Iraq but acknowledge that you moron.

9:46 - The Republicans chose to protect your tax cuts instead of using the money to sent kids to college and a million other social programs.  Back to my Ben Affleck principle (7/19): You don't like tax cuts and think they should go to social programs?  Donate the money to worthy social programs then.  They'll be more efficient, and your money will go farther because the charities are NOT the government. 

9:51 - Clinton just finished some example about not funding container searches.  Huh?  This speech is coming off as a list of divergent, nit-picky complaints against the administration.  Sort of the opposite of a State of the Union Address.  Does Clinton still have speecherwriters?  Does he use them?

9:55 - I get the first inklings of "Send me" as the convention catchphrase for John-John.  As in send me to Vietnam and then send me home as soon as I acquire 3 superficial wounds and the Purple Heart that I will need to enhance my political career down the road.  Can Johnny deliver this "Send me" phrase as emphatically as Billy Boy?  Or will John Kerry just get "sent" back to Massachusetts?  Only time will tell. 

Friday, July 23, 2004

Moore fabrications

Try as I might, I keep finding stories that I feel a burning desire to post...and in doing so I help maintain the hype. 

Over at Bloomington's The Pantagraph, Bill Flick and his readers have unearthed yet another distortion of the truth in F-911.    Apparently in flashes of election-related newspaper headlines early in the film, an image is shown with the headline "LATEST FLORIDA RECOUNT SHOWS GORE WON ELECTION" under a banner indicating it was allegedly from the Dec. 19, 2001 Pantagraph.

So the paper went back through its archives, looking for the headline in the 12/19/01 edition.  Surprise, wasn't there.   Apparently that headline appeared in the December 5, 2001 edition of the paper...but it wasn't a headline.  It was a half-inch header for someone's Letter to the Editor within the Opinion section of the paper.  At the very least, Moore photoshopped the image in and blew up the print to make this look like an actual article with a headline, written by a journalist rather than the average joe's letter to the editor. 

Moral of the story:  Take Moore's insistance that everything in this film has been fact-checked and is absolutely true with a MAJOR grain of salt.  In his world, everything written in a letter to the editor is a entirely factual, legitimate source.  (Yes, perhaps I may be preaching to the choir but calling propagandists out on the truth is what many bloggers are here for.)

p.s.  MooreWatch has this as a feature story today, including the suspect images, and has other posts on the matter from July 21st and  July 16th as well. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Nauseated about this one...
In a story that will creep out all pro-life people and many pro-choice as well, Jason Steffens provides us with basic gist of the Amy Edwards "selective reduction" piece from the New York Times yesterday.   Basically a woman chronicles how she got pregnant with triplets and decided to abort two of them because she didn't want to move to the suburbs and shop at Costco. 
As ridiculous as that one reads, the piece itself is even more disturbing.  Can you imagine trying to explain to the surviving son why he was spared?  As Jason's reader points out, he'll be able to find out from the NY Times someday.   The creepy part is that this is treated as an acceptable choice.  While technically legal, it seems morally questionable in the least...especially when the reasoning is taken into account. 
Moral of the story in my opinion:  If you only want one, consider adopting.  Don't take the risk of creating three lives and then play Russian roulette when deciding which two beating hearts to extinguish. 

Updated 7/20 PM:   In re-reading this again, I wanted to say that it's a big worry of mine that I come off as angry on this blog.  I'm not really an angry person, and I try not to cast judgment on people, as ultimately I will be answering to the Lord the same way as they will.  However, I'd like to make the point that if there's anything to be passionate and mistaken for angry about it's that this woman gave so little thought to snuffing out lives when seemingly good people like this ache for babies.  
Ben, Bobby, and Josh all offered up good analysis.  Dr. Mark Byron points out that this piece reflects our society's tendency to now see children as a consumption good, something they want to pay for, something they can just return if they get too costly a quantity (that last part's mine though).  Pro-choice Michelle Catalano is revolted and offers some thoughtful analysis leading to the same conclusion that I reached... hoping against hope that this selfish woman does not reproduce again.  

Monday, July 19, 2004

There's Something About Cheney
In the last couple weeks, we have seen almost a full-court press by the media to portray Cheney as a gruff old man, a drag on the Bush ticket, someone to be dumped.  While his Senate floor and journalist-directed outbursts lead me to believe that he has a temper, how many of us have been under the intense scrutiny that he has or had our affairs publicly examined by the Senate?  I can't say that I wouldn't react in the same way.  So while I wish he'd handled it better, none of us are perfect.  I think there's a lot more good to the man that what is regularly conveyed by the media. 
I met Dick Cheney once -- in the fall of 2000 at a rally on the Peoria riverfront.  (Toby Keith opened for him at that rally actually, about a year before he became "TOBY KEITH!!!" of boot-in-'er-*** fame.  My roommate at the time was so jealous when I asked her if she'd ever heard of the guy and told her that my country-music-ignorant self had shaken his hand.  But I digress.)   
As certain polls had indicated the race was tight at that point, he was in Illinois hoping to drum up support for Bush.  I remember that he seemed very calm and composed, spoke fondly of Wyoming and his upbringing there.  Point being -- he didn't strike me as a grumpy old man.  He struck me as an intelligent, principled, strong-willed yet kind person and as someone that I would be proud to have representing my country.   Liberal or conservative or in-between, I like to think that I have a pretty good radar for detecting overall sincerity and decency in people...and Dick Cheney has all those things. 
Today I was happy to see a piece on the Newsweek site that portrays him (and his family) a bit more positively, a bit more like the man I suspect he is.   Make sure to check it out if you are curious what really lies behind the grumpy old man image.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Weeks just fly by
Can anyone believe that it's the middle of July already?  This summer's just flying by for the Illinigirl household.  Long weeks at work, weddings, home improvements, family obligations, and job searches seem to have consumed most of our days.  Couple this with the fact that we are a 1.25 computer family (my Win98 machine is the 1/4) , and I haven't been online much lately.  It's both a good and a bad thing.  It's left me with time to try to step up my cardio routine, as I have fallen off the 4x week wagon this spring, and to pick up reading for fun again.  Granted my tastes are trending towards chick lit as The Dim Sum of All Things and The Dive from Clausen's Pier have been recent picks, but if that's what my tired brain wants at the end of the day...then that's what I will read gosh darnit!
Yes this is a stream-of-consciousness variation on my "here's why I'm not posting" post.  I just have this general sense of ennui that has been getting me a bit down lately.  I think it's because the future holds a lot of uncertainty for our family at the moment...a job search, a potential move of 30-40 miles or so, no real direction with what I'm doing at work.  I'm trying to keep it all in perspective.  The Lord has provided us with food and shelter and freedom, and that's more than a lot of people get.  I'm spoiled, and I need to learn to be more grateful and have trust in His ways and purpose for my life.  I am a Type A personality, giving up control has always been a bit of a challenge for me.   I imagine it will continue to do so. 
When it comes to the blog, what's interesting to me right now are the cultural issues.  Living in Illinois this year, it has been really hard for me to get excited about the upcoming political season.  For about 48 hours when I thought Ditka was going to run, I saw my enthusiasm picking up again.  I saw a chance to actually have some interesting, honest (perhaps brutally so) debate on the issues.  I saw a close, real race that would be worth some grass-roots campaigning and getting invested.  Then Ditka ripped this dream away as he chickened out and went back to his Levitra ads. 
Alas, now I am just candidateless and disillusioned.   I tried to formulate posts in my head this evening, but alas I could not tear myself away from I Love the 90s.  Seriously, these VH1 decade miniseries are addicting.  Humorous if nothing else, and tonight I actually learned something.  Alanis Morisette's "You Oughta Know" was written about Dave Coulier.  Yes, that's right folks...Uncle Joey with the rodent puppets from Full House.  I wish I had known that growing up.  I have a feeling it would have ruined the allure of that naughty, depressing grown-up song for my teenage self.
So I'm just rambling at this point.  I have a good post floating around in my head about the Federal Marriage Amendment and the idea of gay marriage in general.  It may take a while to knock it out on paper but hopefully soon.  Thanks for stopping by here.

Sunday, July 11, 2004


Another short weekend but seemingly a productive one. Bought shoes, played darts/pool with friends on Friday, worked on a local Habitat for Humanity house for a few hours, went to lunch/shopping with a college chum Saturday, church / VBS preparation, final post-painting pick up, and dinner with my husband's high-school friends tonight. It was one of those weekends that wasn't terribly eventful but still felt productive and positive. The kind of weekend that makes me happy just to be alive, I guess. Alas, it's back to work soon -- just a few quick notes.

Josh has an interesting post up about this week's Newsweek cover story, "The Secret Lives of Wives", on spousal infidelity. I must say that I read this story early last week, and it bothered me a little. Yes, I was bothered by the societal change that it was depicting. However, I think I was more troubled by the fact that the Newsweek piece seemed to read like a "how-to" article in several spots. Particularly when discussing financial security, overprogramming to fit trysts into the day, and how to tell the kids. I just found this worrisome somehow.

Let me preface this by saying that I don't buy into the metro-sexual, touchy-feely man thing at all. That said, this is one of the funniest photo montages that I have seen in a long time. Credit to Aaron over at Free Will Blog for "The Greatest Love Story Ever Told".

I can't believe it took The Corner until 3:11 today to note the Draft Ditka movement. It's been all you can find on the Illinois/Chicago airwaves since about 8 am Friday. Do I think it's a good idea? Who knows...but with Rauschenberger out of the running to replace Ryan, there are no solid candidates who could really give Barak Obama a run for his money. While Ditka might just be a patsy, he might also be a darn good shot at keeping that seat GOP. Illinois takes the Bears seriously, and Ditka is still a popular personality despite his terrible, tone-deaf 7th inning stretch renditions of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" at Wrigley. I'd probably vote for him...his views couldn't be any further from my own than Obama's.
Benny-boy on taxes

"BECAUSE of Bush's tax cuts, I saved a million and a half in taxes last year. Does anyone think that's fair?" Ben Affleck at Kerry fund-raiser, via NYP's Page Six and Wonkette.

So give it back! Or pay it forward...however you want to look at it. Donate that $1.5 million dollars to the charity of your choice -- say a soup kitchen or Habitat for Humanity or or Toys for Tots. Pick a cause that you think is worthwhile instead or relying on a huge government bureaucracy to distribute it for you. Or if you are deadset on the government having this money, send a nice fat check back to them and ask that it be put towards fighting the national debt.

No Ben, it's not fair that you "saved" a million and a half last year...because I would spend that kind of money much more wisely.  :)

(On a slightly less snarky note, don't you love the use of the word saved in this quotation? As if the government just decided to give him a pile of money back on a whim, 1.5 mil that was the government's and he shouldn't have had, totally ignoring the fact that it was his moolah first).

Thursday, July 08, 2004

He Who Shall Not Be Named

No more posts about a certain someone as I refuse to give him any more press. But I must point out that today's Lileks Bleat is brilliant, as it dissects a certain column from the LA Times on the Fourth of July. Lileks should be a comedian, as I couldn't help but chuckle at this fitting allusion at the end of his piece:

"There you have it. He wants the flag to stand for clean water. This from a man who waddles up to the deep well of American freedom, fumbles with his zipper, and pisses in it."

As for me, when I read that passage above only one man comes to mind. Wonder why that is? (Hat tip to Bobby A-G for the link).

PS: Ben Domenech has Mark Kennedy's explanation of the irony of his own censorship/misquoting up on his site.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Happy Independence Day

I rarely hear the last few verses to this song, and after singing them at church this morning I thought that posting these lyrics would be an appropriate reflection for today.

My Country Tis of Thee
by Samuel F. Smith

My Country, 'Tis Of Thee,
Sweet Land Of Liberty,
Of Thee I Sing;
Land Where My Fathers Died,
Land Of The Pilgrim's Pride,
From Ev'ry Mountain Side
Let Freedom Ring.

My Native Country Thee,
Land Of The Noble Free,
Thy Name I Love;
I Love Thy Rocks And Rills,
Thy Woods And Templed Hills;
My Heart With Rapture Thrills
Like That Above.

Let Music Swell The Breeze,
And Ring From All The Trees,
Sweet Freedom's Song.
Let Mortal Tongues Awake;
Let All That Breathe Partake;
Let Rocks Their Silence Break,
The Sound Prolong.

Our Father's God! To Thee,
Author Of Liberty,
To Thee We Sing;
Long May Our Land Be Bright
With Freedom's Holy Light;
Protect Us By Thy Might,
Great God, Our King!

Addendum: Via Michelle Malkin, another great piece to ruminate on this Fourth of July:
Independence: The Forgotten Meaning of America

Friday, July 02, 2004

Random thoughts

Taking a nice long weekend to get some long-delayed home improvements completed at the Illinigirl hosuehold, so I thought I'd throw in a few thoughts before cracking open the paint cans this morning.

On a certain ex-dictator/president's trial yesterday, I can't help but agree with a blog I read last's a shame they didn't just toss a grenade down that spiderhole. Just knowing of the atrocities of his regime, his arrogance in the courtroom really rubbed me the wrong way. His victims never had the luxury of such fair trials.

The Notebook is the best movie I have seen in quite a while. Sure, it's a tearjerker, and it's somewhat formulaic. It's also moving, funny, terrifically-acted, and has beautiful cinematography. For anyone who has ever seen a loved one slip away due to Alzheimers or dementia, it strikes a particularly poignant chord as James Garner retells a love story in an attempt to help a woman remember her past. Guys if you want to impress your girlfriends/wives, take them to this movie. Girls if you want a good cathartic cry, grab a few friends and go. Sure you will be able to predict what's going to happen from the beginning, but you will enjoy it nonetheless. I must agree with Roger Ebert on the Notebook -- 3 1/2 stars is about right.

Now some local film critic dismissed the Notebook as cliched with 2 stars, but that same man gave 4 stars to a certain Moore movie that will not be named on Illinigirl, because I feel the press hoopla has legitimized the fact-twisting, correlation-implies-causation piece of garbage. Not that I'm bitter or anything. :) However as I explained to a perfectly nice liberal stranger at my husband's high school reunion recently, it is a certain filmmaker's bitter accusations, failure to acknowledge contradictory facts, and refusal to actually thoughtfully discuss the issues that really makes me angry. Basically this film is propaganda and attempts to reduce the level of legitimate discourse in this country by making incendiary accusations that makes the other side utilize fire-fighting counterarguments in return. (For interested parties, is a great example of such techniques). However, the left-leaning media have generally been ignoring this aspect of the film and celebrating it as a ground-breaking legitimate "documentary". Kudos to Christopher Hitchens and Jack Schafer at Slate for offering fair reviews and calling this "documentary" what it really is.

Perhaps it's not the most tactful approach, but Bill Cosby is speaking his mind about African-American youth again. In my day to day life now, I have little experience with this. From my experiences about 10 years ago in a somewhat-urban public high school here in Central Illinois though, I must acknowledge that there's some truth in what he's saying but for all races, particularly for the language misuse issues. It's just more widespread and therefore obvious in the African-American community. Somewhat courageous to voice such opinions at the Rainbow/PUSH coalition with "Dr" Jackson though.

Ben Domenech has penned a very well-written post reflecting on new pre-natal imaging techniques and the pro-life movement. Why write it up myself when he does it so well?

That's it for now...more to follow later this weekend.
Ballot hijinks in Illinois

Jeff Trigg has up a rather interesting piece on the effort by state Democrats to get Ralph Nader thrown off the Illinois ballot in November. Kind of an interesting as he postulates that the big parties in Illinois hold the little parties to much higher standards when it comes to getting on the ballot. I will buy that one. An llinois State Senate candidate in Normal recently collected 2500 signatures (versus the 1400 required) to ensure that his bid for the ballot would survive the GOP incumbent's challenge.

Although I must disagree with Jeff on the issue of having Bush on the ballot. An incumbent president who is running for re-election not be on the ballot because the convention was a couple days too late...these types of situations are the ones that the legislature should pass laws to correct. (Apparently that's about the only thing the Illinois legislature can agree on these days. Maybe if Blago had spent more time in Springfield this year he wouldn't presently be hanging himself out to dry with this budget stalemate, but I digress).

If Bush were to have been omitted from the state ballot, I sort of wondered if the voters would be angry enough that turnout/write-ins would cause the state to be close for Bush. Alas, we have been given the choice to vote for our sitting President (as I think we should be), so we will never know.