Friday, May 01, 2009

Hither and thither 5/1/09 —

It's Friday! So it must be....

But first, a bit of a bookkeeping note: I need to simplify how I handle your tips, for which I thank you all profusely. I will assume that it is OK for me to exercise good manners and thank you in the post, unless you ask me not to each time. HSAT, let's go!
  • Is this a little too-literal way of trying to "do" Ecclesiastes 7:2?
  • Irony alert: "A research vessel for the federal agency charged with protecting the endangered right whale" — wait for it — "hit one of the animals off the Massachusetts coast...."
  • A..."hobbit"?
  • Now here are some beautiful photographs. On the other hand, here is one photograph — but it is a gigapixel photograph. What that means is that you can click repeatedly on any given portion and, depending on the speed of your connection, within a few moments you'll have a closeup of that portion.
  • On (or around) the subject of art, here are some folks who show us how to have fun (?) with swine flu.
  • You all know that Senator Arlen "Benedict Arlen" Specter shocked nobody by coming out of the closet as a Democrat. Again. Politically, it isn't good. But I'm happy to see him go; I would have been happier to see him go in a good, rousing, thumping defeat. I have had no respect for the man since he borked Bork, one of the finest candidates for Supreme Court, ever. If I had had any respect left, it would have been vaporized by his failure (citing Scottish law, the bilious twit!) to vote to remove Bill Clinton from office.
  • Supporters want their money back.
  • The National Review editorial, aptly titled "D., Himself," got it exactly right: "Arlen Specter belongs to a type familiar to Congress: the time-serving hack devoid of any principle save arrogance. He has spent three decades in the Senate but is associated with no great cause, no prescient warning, no landmark legislation. Yet he imagines that the Senate needs his wisdom and judgment for a sixth term. He joined the Republican party out of expediency in the 1960s, and leaves it out of expediency this week." And this leads us to...
  • The Quotation of the Week: "I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate" (Arlen Specter). My dear wife's translation: <> "I can't win!!!" < /sobbing voice > And there you have the real reason he defected, again. Plus, don't miss the arrogance: "I'll be darned if I let the voters of the party that put me in power sit in judgment on my service to them!"
  • BTW, tangentially, one of the most disappointing Supreme Court appointments ever — the eminently estimable David Souter — suddenly is supposedly about to retire. The gift that keeps on giving nausea. Couldn't have done this a couple of years ago, Justice Souter? Grr. At least the appointment of a radical, anti-Constitutional (i.e. Obama-Approved) individual shouldn't shift the balance. Yet.
  • Mark Driscoll will be preaching at the Crystal Cathedral. No, I am not kidding. I will sincerely pray that Mark will preach Jesus in a truthful, passionate, hard-hitting, God-honoring way that that church may never, ever have heard before. In fact, wouldn't it be great if he didn't make any references to himself at all, but simply preached Jesus?
  • President Obama reminds the (democratically-elected) GOP (leaders), "You don't understand: bipartisan means you do it my way, or I ram legislation through." As Dennis Miller noted, the problem never has been the color of Obama's skin, but its thinness.
  • Ah, Obama. 100 days, 100 mistakes.
  • 100 days, and still in love. Who? My DAOD her hubbie? Nah (though that's true). No, I speak of course of The MSM and The One.
  • In another "Gee, who could have seen that coming?", Obama backs off of Bush administration financial disclosure rules that could have made labor union corruption harder. Yet another reversal of a campaign stance.
  • If you feel dizzy and weak, just thinking about how your fate (and your children's) is in such green, wrongheaded, non-serious hands... maybe it's time for a bacone! You can make it yourself... in just 47 simple steps, if you have the right equipment.
  • To add to our growing database of cell phone lore, add this important financial safety tip.
  • There are some terrific Photoshops of the Obama administration's appalling buzzing of NY in this thread. Be warned: I can't vouch for anybody's taste in that thread.
  • Here's a much more profitable use for a smart phone. (When they say "iPod," I'm pretty sure they mean "iPhone.")
  • "Pastor Osteen, good news and bad news: the good news is that you won an award. The bad news is... that it was for the worst Easter sermon."
  • This indeed looks like "A game you only play once." Or, in other words: "Hop-hop-hop, hop, hop, hop-hop-AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
  • Could this displace the pancake-capped bunny? In other words, "I have no idea what you're talking about... so here's an adorable dog with his foot stuck in a TP roll."

  • So now I knew I have a few Lego fans in addition to my dear son Josiah, here are 15 Wonders of the Lego World. And to broaden my family-appeal, here's one of them that might get a chuckle out of my dear wife, Valerie. [UPDATE: the aforementioned DW reminds me that we saw this, or its cousin, at the Carrier convention in Las Vegas back in 2006.]

  • And now...these.

And finally:


Solameanie said...

Where DO you find these "force lightning" clips? They're hysterical. I remember the one with Hillary, which was the best IMHO.

DJP said...

Oh, yeah! I loved that one!

Well, I could tell you my secrets... but I'd have to kill you.

Aaron said...

That hop scotch picture is funny. But if its real, the owner of the building will get sued when some idiot actually falls off the roof.

Everytime I see MSM and everyone else slobbering over Obama, I think, "This proves that survival of the fittest is just plan false." If it were true, we'd have a lot fewer liberals.

Aaron said...

I find it amusing to see the heathen in a panic over the swine flu. Its partly because they are totally unwilling to do anything realistic about the situation. I told a woman last wont die before God says you are supposed to. That isn't to say we should be reckless, but being in a state of panic is not a characteristic of somebody who puts their trust in the Lord.

Good-bye, Arlen. I'd rather be in a small minority then be associated, in any way, with you.

CR said...

I have mixed feelings over what happened to the Specter. Yes, he was a RHINO and his participation in the Bork Hearings probably resulted in abortion being the law of the land. (Although he was harsh against Anita Hill in the Clarence Thomas Hearings).

But what I don't understand is why Republicans were going to run Pat Toomey against Specter. I guess it was not Republicans per se but Toomey's own decision. Specter is an opportunist so when he saw the polls that he could not beat Toomey he switched. Now there are no restraints to keep Specter from voting for card check.

I forget who it was, maybe Brit Hume, but the Republican party needs to understand that in states like Maine or PA, Republicans need to understand that conservatives can't win in these states. And I was just as ticked off as any other conservative Republican on how Specter voted on the "Stimulus" bill. But what did Pat Toomey accomplish by planning to run against Specter. Unless he knows something I don't - nothing except possibly give democrats a filibuster proof majority.

DJP said...

Although he was harsh against Anita Hill in the Clarence Thomas Hearings.

...and then apologized for it.

NoLongerBlind said...

That video of Bush at the very end is just creepily funny!

Reminds me of one of those B-grade, straight-to-DVD, end-times flicks!

As far as recommending that cone-shaped, cholesterol-elevating, heart-attack promoting, yet very appetizing nutriment, whaddya trying to do, prepare us all for the O's healthcare reforms?

Solameanie said...

I'm not convinced a conservative winning in those states is impossible. No doubt it would be a tough slog, but if the candidate is articulate, sharp, witty, quick on his/her feet, AND can offer genuine alternatives that have been shown to work, the candidate stands a chance. All the more so if there's a real meltdown nationally.

CR said...

Oh, well, I didn't know he apologized for it.

CR said...

Well, I hope you're right Solameanie but I just don't see it happening. I thought Santorum was that guy and he lost handily. He lost by 700K votes to Mr Can't Hold Up a candle to his father.

The makeup of the country is chaning Solameanie. For example, only 53% of Americans believe that capitalism is better than socialism, no thanks to our government re-education camps. Republicans don't have to change their core values but in states like Maine or PA, Republicans should just let things be and let the best candidate run who can actually win that state.

Al said...

I linked this post on the backwater, taking you to task for your lack of attribution - while stealing the Bush GIF for my reader’s amusement. Moral superiority and depravity all in one post… I rock.

al sends

Mike Westfall said...

Wait! You missed one:
Condi Rice Schools a College Punk.

Aaron said...

Right, CR. We should continue to have democrats masquerading as Republicans so that we can claim superiority on paper. That's worked so well for us to so far.

I'd rather run a conservative and lose then compromise my morals and integrity by retreating into mediocrity just to marginally slow the rate of descent. And if that means I have to suffer for it, then bring it on.

CR said...


Do you understand that we must have a majority to run things?

You, personally, are not compromising any of your morals and integrity. You, personally, are also not "suffering" for anything. The only people that will be suffering in the future will be future unborn children because we could not get enough appointees in the federal courts to protect unborn children.

I don't know if you recall the 2006 elections. Prior to the 2006 elections, democrats were doing everything they could to block judicial appointments and they were doing the darndest but Republicans were still in charge and least being in the majority, committees held hearings for judicial appointments. After the 2006 elections, when the democrats took charge, judicial hearings came almost to a complete stop. Democrats threatened President Bush if he wanted anymore of his judicial appointees confirmed he would have to appoint a couple of liberals.

Being in the majority has its priviliges (if I may use the AMEX commercial) and one of those benefits was getting conservative judicial appointments to the federal courts. Having liberals like Specter, Collins and Snowe and former Senator Chafee (who voted against Bush and for Kerry in 2004) had its benefits.

Having these liberals in the Republican party was not something just on paper. It actually accomplished things. Not necessarily in their liberal voting records or with anything they did but in other areas where you need a majority to accomplish things.

I can respect your ideals, Aaron, but there are times when one has to be pragmatic, specifically, when it comes to protecting the unborn. Toomey accomplished absolutely nothing except to give Specter the reason he needed to bolt the Republican party. Now, I don't have any respect for Specter, don't misunderstand me. But depending how things go with Coleman and comedian Al Franken, Toomey's lack of vision probably gave democrats the 60 votes they needed to ram their agenda through the Senate.

Again, if your morals and integrity and your suffering were at stake (as I explained above, I don't they are) that would be one thing. But even if they were, I would say what's at stake is the life of the unborn. We are one vote closer to the Freedom of Choice Act. I think that's a travesty.

trogdor said...

This was by far the most amazing article I read this week. Let's pray for Calvin Woodward in his ensuing job search, as well as for the safety of his family.

Aaron said...


I understand the pragmatic approach. By even voing Republican, I feel like I'm being pragmatic. But the Republican party has muted its core beliefs so much that it is hardly distinguishable from the Democrat party. What did we accomplish by being overly pragmatic? We barely managed to stem the tide much less make any progress. Moreoever, there is a strong case that taking this moderate approach resulted in the situation we have now, i.e. liberals in complete domination of government. So in the end, it was neither pragmatic nor beneficial.

And as for ramming through their agenda, how did they not do that when Specter was a Republican? Did we have any assurance whatsoever that he would stand with the Republican party on any issue? No. He showed us time and time again, that he will do whatever is politically convenient for him.

So instead of running a real conservative with the hope of actually making real change some day in the future, we shouldleave Specter in place on the hope and prayer that he'd stop the passage of FOCA? At some point, you have to stand up and say no more. The results may be tragic, but we cannot be persuaded to give up ground. I consider this somewhat akin to somebody threatening the life of a loved one if only I'd renounce my beliefs. As tragic as the loved one's death would be I simply cannot renounce. So as tragic as abortion is, there is only so far that I'm willing to be pragmatic.

And btw, I do expect to suffer. Do you think the liberals are going to allow us to continue to speak out against abortion and homosexuality? Do you think they'll let us share the gospel? Do you think they'll let us continue to homeschool our children? They plan to take those rights away from you as soon as they can. So maybe I wont be tortured and killed. But I do expect that I could lose my job, my home, and my freedom. And if all this is the price of maintaining my convictions and standing up for what is right instead of losing my identity in the mediocrity of pragmatism, then so be it.

Barbara said...

I followed the Driscoll link and then the link to the Hour of Power from there and was greeted with Joni Eareckson-Tada being introduced by Schuller as someone who "courageously tackled her disability in a positive and creative way".

I hope Christ and Him Crucified comes through to the people there through her talk.

CR said...

Aaron: What did we accomplish by being overly pragmatic?Specifically, a few things. Without Republican control of the Senate during first 6 years President Bush's term, we would not have gotten Alito and Roberts. Without Alito and Roberts we would not have gotten the partial birth abortion ban upheld (also passed by Republican Congress).

If we had said to Snowe, Collins, Chafee, and Specter, "you guys are fake Republicans, we're running true blue conservatives against you in the primary" we probably would have gotten more judges like Kennedy or O'Connor. That's just one example.

Aaron: And as for ramming through their agenda, how did they not do that when Specter was a Republican?Let me restate a different point. I have hope that Republicans will be in the majority someday. It will be harder to do with trying to replace 10 senators rather than 9. Also, Specter will be pressured to vote for things like FOCA, card check, etc. which he may not have been pressured before being a RINO.

Aaron: So instead of running a real conservative with the hope of actually making real change some day in the future, we shouldleave Specter in place on the hope and prayer that he'd stop the passage of FOCA?I'm all for running real conservatives. But in a state where a real conservative in 2006 (Rick Santorum) lost by 700K votes there is virtually no chance Toomey can win that state. And since you need a majority to control the agenda, it will be all the more harder to win back that majority. Look, what's bygone is bygone. What I'm saying, is we better not make this same mistake with Collins and Snowe. We don't need their votes per se but we need to have a majority. Liberal Republican Chafee understood this when liberals in RI were asking him why didn't he jump ship and become a democrat. His answer was simple: he said, because there are benefits to being in the majority. He was right. He ended up losing his seat in 2006. Even though he got a very high approval rating in his state, Bush Derangement Syndrome had set in with Rhode Island voters and a poll was taken and they said they voted him out because they wanted to give democrats control.

Aaron: And if all this is the price of maintaining my convictions and standing up for what is right instead of losing my identity in the mediocrity of pragmatism, then so be it.I don't understand what you're saying. Our conviction when it comes to this political arena is this: the chief purpose of government is to defend life. And when it fails to defend life it really ceases to be the government. In the political arena, in our system of government, you need a majority to drive the agenda. I agree that in terms of the gospel and biblical convictions, pragmatism is a very dangerous thing. But we're not talking about that. You can have your convictions that you want to drive out RINOs in blue states and put them against conservative Republicans and then lose those elections and put us further away from making abortion illegal.

Aaron said...

Look, CR, we don't disagree that there are advantages and sensibilities in maintaining certain political alliances. But at some point, after you've been treading water for years, you have to make some effort to reassert yourself. Specter has not been reliable at all and hasn't been all that helpful in controlling the legislative agenda. He'll have more pressure to cave in for card check, etc. but how bad would it be if he gave into it as a Republican? At some point you have to take a risk to move forward. PA is a ripe state for us. They have a majority of Republicans in the state Senate and a healthy number in the state house.

And isn't it the case that pretty much the whole country is moving leftward? At what point are we going to admit that we don't control the political agenda? Alito and Roberts were great picks, but in all liklihood that will be undone in Obama's first term and most certainly undone in his second term. And btw, I work in the legal system and we lost more than we gained. We gained a couple Supreme Court Justices, which are monumentally important, but we lost everything below that. And those judges have a greater effect on our daily lives.

Let's face it. Political maneuvering is nearly over for us and so I think its better if we make sure we stand clearly for what is right.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Once again, the boys thank you for the Lego entertainment.

Mark Driscoll at the Crystal Cathedral? Wow. That's really "mixing dynasties"!

For some disturbing reason that picture of a "hobbit" looks familiar.

Happy weekend,


Aaron said...


I want to say that I was where you were. I guess I'm tired of semi-supporting these guys only to stabbed in the back. I know the Republicans need every Senate seat and that each and every vote is crucial. I know some would like to tread water and hope we win back some seats in 2010 and 2012. I just think that based on past performance that situation will actually be worse for us in the long term. It's certainly worthwhile to make certain concessions to prevent FOCA. But are we really preventing it or simply delaying it? Are our sacrifices worth it? I'm just at the point where I no longer think so. And so, I'd rather take the risk now.

Aaron said...

Frank has a ban at his blog on all discussion of Driscoll's appearance at the CC until its over. There must be a lot of chatter going on about it.

Aaron said...

Speaking of free choice...LOL.

CR said...

Aaron: Specter has not been reliable at all and hasn't been all that helpful in controlling the legislative agenda.I agree and maybe I'm not making myself clear. I agree he hasn't been reliable nor has he controlled the agenda. What I'm saying is this: you need a majority to control the agenda. Where Specter was useful was that he had an R by his name and when it mattered like close majorities, it mattered. Other Republicans controlled the agenda but you need a majority to do that.

There is one consolation in all this. Republicans need to replace Specter. And current judiciary rules require one Republican to end debate on the committee to move a vote to the Senate floor. (democrats can just change the rules, though).

Aaron: At some point you have to take a risk to move forward. PA is a ripe state for us. They have a majority of Republicans in the state Senate and a healthy number in the state house. I hope you're right and I'm wrong. I'll gladly eat crow in this instance.

Aaron: We gained a couple Supreme Court Justices, which are monumentally important, but we lost everything below that. And those judges have a greater effect on our daily lives.I don't believe that is correct. President Bush made some key appointments in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals (3 of them, 4 if you include Roberts who was elevated to CJ) including Janice Brown. I also believe he solidified solid majorities on some other appeals courts like the 5th Circuit. So, I don't think I agree with your statement.

Also, in terms of your statement of semi-supporting these guys. I don't support them at all. I just don't think individual Republicans should seek them out and challenge them in primaries where they can't win right now. Like I said, I hope I'm wrong and I hope Toomey crushes Specter next year in the election.

I'll give you you the last word and agree to disagree, brother.

Mike Westfall said...

For a minute there I thought there was a scandal in the EFCA!

Different EFCA....

Aaron said...

Being that I'm presently in the 5th Circuit, I don't think he solidified a majority here at all. (why wont the 5 stay with the th?). I don't know how anybody expects us to enforce the law anymore...but thankfully, law enforcement works hard anyways...

As you said before, what's done is done. We completely agree going forward and that's all that is important now. I appreciate the grace you extended in the last post. I would enjoy having a lively discussion with you over a beer (or a diet coke) sometime.

Stefan Ewing said...

Hey, that gigapixel photo is of my home town!

That's False Creek in the foreground; the 1986 World's Fair site (and before that, railway yards) is where all those highrises are; they're in a chi-chi neighbourhood called Yaletown.

The foot of Davie Street is in the centre of the picture—which, if you followed it all the way to its other end, would take you to Stanley Park.

The Downtown business district is in the background, on the right side of the photo; and if you look just to the left of the tallest building in the photo, you can see one of the ski mountains.

And on the far left of the photo are Granville Bridge, Granville Island (with a public market), and UBC far off in the distance.

My wife and I sometimes go for a walk along a seawall that is out of sight, in the foreground of the picture, on the nearside of False Creek.

And the taxi company office I worked at for many years is in the picture's field of vision, but invisible, as it is hidden behind a bunch of highrises.

Solameanie said...

The problem with pragmatism is that nothing really gets accomplished. Like I said at my own place the other day, you can count on the fact that you can't count on RINOs. Whenever a vote comes to a crucial juncture when some genuine progress might get made, the RINO votes with the left and brings the whole thing to a screeching halt.

The GOP also needs to learn how to street fight. They also need to learn what it means to fight for the long haul. By their very nature, conservatives want to be left alone to live their lives. They're good for a short skirmish, but then they roll over and go back to sleep. The left doesn't operate that way. They tirelessly pursue their goals with missionary zeal and never quit. They keep drumming and drumming and drumming. Take a good look at a Marxist activist. They're white hot all the time.

I really think that's one reason why conservatives have lost so much ground. We've lost education, the media, arts and entertainment, and now our churches. Why? Because we don't seem to have the stomach for a protracted fight.

CR said...

How about a beer or coffee, Aaron, instead of diet coke? :=)

CR said...


What I am saying about pragmatism which is not what you want to use with spiritual things, but in the political arena, what I mean with being pragmatic, is that you need a majority to accomplish things.

I realize that you can't count on RINOs for much. But let me give my one example, again. When we had a Republican President like Bush and we wanted to get his judges through, we needed Republicans in the majority to get them through. Remember after the 2006 elections, many of Bush's nominees were blocked in committee.

The RINOs were good for one thing - they gave us the majority in the Senate so Republicans could have control of the judiciary committee so we could push Bush nominees to the Senate floor.

The less RINOs we have in the Senate in states were it is hard to elect a conservative Republican the more difficult it will be to regain the majority and fight abortion.

Aaron said...

Beer was my original suggestion, but coffee works too. One day, brother, one day.

Susan said...

Prior to reading the comment, I had no idea what a RINO was. So I did a search and am no longer ignorant. Thanks for the fine education, guys!

(My word verification: powess.

It's time for fake definitions!

powess, n, 1. the feminine form of power. 2. a lesser degree of ability, skill, or strength.

[Thanks to Random House Webster's College Dictionary's for the phrase "ability, skill, or strength".])

Susan said...

(Oops--there shouldn't be an 's after "dictionary"!)