novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

I have been following all that is said and questions raised about this election and the candidates involved.  Politics is a dirty, messy business and I often wonder why anyone would subject themselve to the abuse and mud slinging that goes hand in hand with campaigning.  We have 3 liberals vying for a single position when along comes a spoiler that says he is a true conservative and an alternate choice.  This brought back elections with Ralph Nadar, Ross Perot and Lyndon LaRouche as well as some others.  It got me to thinking and I would like to present this for all to contemplate.

Competition is what makes business and the world go round.  We get a better product and a better price when companies and people compete.  If nothing else, we get choice in what we would like to have.  This election will be a stinker of great proportions.  Apathy abounds.  There is no one great candidate now or on the horizon.  So that everyone has a chance to feel good about pulling a lever (or whatever means to make vote) I propose that all parties start their signature campaigns to get on ballot for all 50 states.  Let’s have the Independents, Constitutionalists, Nazi, Communist, Queer, Blue Hair, Julio, Bikers-R-Us, Green, Veagan, Whig, Tory and any other party that wants to get involved.  I am dead serious here, folks.  There is absolutely no reason that this counrty needs to be a 2 or 3 party system.  Most other countries aren’t.  And being that the Republican Party is no longer my party of choice since they ate and vomited their values and mission statement, I would like to have other choices.  Why eat chicken every day when you can have beef, pork or fish.  We need the competition and it will help to remove the eletists from the ranks of the “2″ parties.  The main concern is that there are steadfast differences between parties and I mean more than just one issue or belief. 

I want my friends to vote.  I want voting to be fun and soothing.  I want people involved in the political process and understanding their country.  I want us to be “We, the people..” again.   Most of all, I want to be heard.  Give me some choices!

In the parts I & II of this series I laid into John McCain. I also explained why I thought it would be better to treat election day as an Irish Wake. Out could come the pipes, a few pints and the blarney would flow as we we watch the socialists lather up the clueless Republican Johnny ‘Boyo the Maverick’ McCain with their left wing media shillalies. We could then spend the next four years three sheets to the wind as a coping mechanism during the Obama presidency.

I got a lot of grief from some quarters saying that the Republican Party must moderate and not be so extreme. I’d rather see us show a respect for the Constitution I swore to uphold and defend when I joined the Marine Corps in 1983. Having principles is not extreme, it is called sticking to your guns. Upholding the law is not extreme, or is it? Do I need a dose of nuance from the left? Wandering about the internet I have stumbled upon a kindred spirits in the issue of the Republicans ongoing leftward meandering in the name of Wir and Hawkins. Both present interesting views on the matters. From Wir:

Republicans are denied a “meaningful opportunity to participate” in the affairs of their own political party. If you are asked to join something, anything, you expect that joining means involvement and participation. People don’t join civic or political affairs just to receive barked orders.

This is something that rings true, and Wir goes on to write …

Turnover in leadership, changing of the guard from one generation to the next is being delayed because simply turning 65 no longer means one’s getting infirm.

The trouble with this is that as the leadership becomes entrenched it becomes self serving which is why we get bridges to nowhere, and other forms of runaway spending. Wir further notes:

The GOP once the party of reform, became the party of insiders. Access to power replaced the power of ideas.

We started to try to hold on to power by any means necessary, which narrowed the differences between us and the Democrats. This is lethal for Republicans for unlike the Democrats the Republican party does not have the old guard media carrying its water. With the scandals and spending excesses the Republicans may have consigned themselves to the wilderness for a generation.

Then comes part two of this disaster, the non-conservative Republicans. Spector, Graham, Bush et all, and of course … McCain. They have shown contempt for the constituency that propelled this party to power. The Conservatives are the mainstay of the Republican party. The trouble with the economy, Iraq etc all pale in comparison to the disenchantment of conservatives with the GOP. Hawkens states:

there is one overriding problem that dwarfs all the others, a problem that few people in the leadership of the Republican Party seem to have come to grips with. That problem is that conservatives, who are the heart and soul of the Republican Party, no longer believe that the GOP has their best interests at heart.

We do not see our selves being served. So we are staying home. We stayed home in 2006, we have seen nothing to fight for. Simply voting against Obama is not enough. People need something to vote for. Hawkins continues …

does the Republican Party adequately represent conservative interests? No. Do George Bush and John McCain’s values and beliefs match up well with those of the average conservative in the Party? No, they do not. Does the machinery of the Republican Party — the RNC, the NRCC, NSCC — treat conservatives fairly and do a good job of representing conservative interests? Not at all.

This is the heart of it. The McCain-Kennedy Amnesty bill was brought up and the elites tried to stuff it down the countries’ throat, that finally tore it. Sen Graham’s calling us bigots was not helpful either. The money dried up. The approval ratings dropped even more, and the conservatives walked; most have not returned, for nothing has been done to improve matters. Some will provide an anti-Obama vote, but face it, this is small potatoes when compared to the millions of votes that will be home Nov 4. Good luck fellas, you’ll miss us.

For those who insist on not getting it: When a political party has your interests you will forgive mistakes, like those made in the occupation in Iraq. When a political party does NOT have your interests, things like a downturn in the economy, which are technically NOT in your control, will hurt you. When the voter sees no gain for themselves supporting a party, then the party is finished regardless of circumstances.

Dog takes kittens as children

Ok, you softies are going to absolutely love this story.

A female dog takes on a litter of kitties; a cat takes on a deer fawn; a leopard takes a monkey. Mothering instinct at its best.

Happy Mother’s Day, all.

We just finished a nice visit to a somewhat rural area of North Carolina to see relatives. Some reflections:

Item 1 -

Hell Is Forever sign in NC field

Maybe not Digital Camel-level material … but evocative. Click on image to get a better look (it’s a big file but worth getting the full effect).

Item 2 -

I got to operate my brother in law’s riding lawnmower to “help” with the yard work, for which I was unduly adulated … but let me tell you, riding a pretty quick tractor around a multi-acre lot was a sheer brer rabbit/briar patch scenario. It’s practically like running a dirt track race or the Baja 500, in my book. My own private tractor pull. A total blast.

Item 3 -

You will not believe this, but between Fredericksburg, VA and northeastern North Carolina lie huge sections of our nation where our fellow Americans apparently have not gotten the memo about “jobs Americans won’t do.” These misguided folks are roughly 100% of the work force in lots of restaurants, stores and other businesses. Imagine a fast food place where every employee speaks English. Crazy, I know. Apparently the armies of illegal workers have not discovered these areas and employers are paying the price. Someone needs to notify the White House of this travesty.

Item 4 -

Oak Leaf Wine from Wal Mart

Speaking of retail, guess how much this item cost?

“I don’t know, Joe” you are probably saying, “$10.00? $30.00?”

No, my friend, this bottle of Oak Leaf cabernet, purchased at the Goldsboro Wal Mart, was competitively priced at … $2.97! And no, I did not leave any zeros off that figure. So now you are thinking, “that must be one skanky wine.”

But in fact, I hereby pronounce it … DRINKABLE! Oh yes, boy howdy is it drinkable and then some! Anyone who would deem it unacceptable is – well, I’m glad I couldn’t afford to have YOUR palate. It’s a perfectly nice wine, bottled in California, and I sampled a good bit of it. It does not have a pretentious “year” indicated, but for me that simply makes it easier to evaluate: Cabernet; $2.97 – two pieces of information, just enough to make a decision.

That’s the good news, that there is a Wal Mart in North Carolina where you can get a cab that passes the Joe test for less than three bucks. The bad news is I was not thinking clearly enough to buy 50 bottles of it, and I don’t think the Loudoun Wal Mart sells alcohol. (Though I will double check, believe you me).

Item 5 -

Locals report they have lousy beef in that part of North Carolina. Most steaks are only half edible, and ground beef is chock full of unchewable bits. So my relatives buy beef at Sam’s Club which does have some good product. But on the plus side, they do pork real good down there. I imagine this has religious-demographic implications.

Item 6 -

Very, very troubling development: Local radio station 100.7 “The River” has a “best of the 60s and 70s” format. It was sort of cool, to hear stuff like “Reeling in the Years,” “Band on the Run,” “Gold Dust Woman,” “Down on Main Street” while we were driving around on Friday and Saturday. It was far less cool to hear “Reeling in the Years,” “Band on the Run,” “Gold Dust Woman,” “Down on Main Street” while we were driving out on Sunday.

Because we did not have the radio on for very long, this tells me they must have a play list of about 60 or 80 songs, just like all the other crappy radio stations we have nowadays, and just like it was when those songs first came out and played numerous times throughout the day and made me sick of them. We ran through another “60s and 70s” station through Richmond, and for all I know we have twelve of them here in DC now (I only listen to CSPAN radio, sports talk and WTOP, so I would not know).

Typical corporate radio: Take a good thing and run it into the ground. As my wife noted, at least the “new music” stations have to rotate new music into the 60 or 80 on the list.

Item 7 -

There is a “Travelers… something” truck stop just north of Richmond that has the usual quirky assortment of trucker items available in the store: Fighting knives and throwing stars, DVDs, last minute gifts for the kid or wife. And also “Asian Massage” in an upstairs room. I think that’s nice for the truckers, and probably gives this business the necessary advantage to help differentiate them from the competition. They probably did a SWOT analysis and determined that prostitutes would provide that extra marketing umph. Truck stops are seriously in danger of becoming commoditized.

Imagine this:

Yesterday, this high school kid wins the high jump, places second in the long jump, and third in the discus.

Today, she wins the 200 meters, and places second in the 100.

She, by herself, gets 42 points, which beats the next best high school team, which earned 36 points. The gal wins the state outdoor track championship.

On top of that, Bonnie Richardson was the only kid from Rochelle High School to even qualify for the state meet.

Let’s break this down. Winning the high jump and placing in the long jump is not such a stretch. Both require speed and leg strength. But it almost never happens, because there are so many people with amazing speed that the leg-strength advantage of the high jumpers cannot match the quickness of the sprinters.

In Bonnie Richardson’s case, she not only bested the jumpers, but she also ran toe to toe with the sprinters. Having the sheer muscular heft to win the jumps and then dominate the 200 meters demonstrates leg muscles with both slow and fast twitch superiority … not to mention, being one tough customer, which is where placing in the discus comes in. The discus requires big time upper body and leg power.

Coming out on top in all these contests shows strengths that might adhere to sprinters in the heptathlon, but not typically in championship winners at each individual event.

Now if some kid had won this many points in the track and field contest at some small school in BFE, that would be one thing. But Bonnie Richardson won it in the state of Texas. Not a small state or jurisdiction. This is an amazing accomplishment.

UPDATE: Resident scientist Jack notes in the comments that I am all messed up regarding muscle twitch, and gives a detailed correction. It’s genuinely good information, college guy, thanks for the fact checking.

And what does he think he’s doing challenging Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf for the Virginia 10th District Republican nomination?
Vern McKinley, Nona McKinley and Dick Heller
10th District Republican primary candidate Vern McKinley (center) with Dick Heller, plaintiff in District of Columbia v. Heller, and McKinley’s wife, Nona, at the April, 2008 Nation’s Gun Show in Chantilly.

Folks, I am taking Vern McKinley very seriously because anything can happen in a publicly invisible election as the June 10 GOP primary certainly will be – and Vern has a valid message. If he gets a scintilla of the money he needs to get that message out, Frank Wolf will be toast, and we may get a true citizen-legislator representing us in the House of Representatives.

It is not insignificant that Dick Heller, plaintiff in DC v Heller – the case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court which may have an immense impact on 2nd Amendment policies throughout the nation – spent most of a weekend last month visiting with attendees at the Nation’s Gun Show event in Chantilly … in the general vicinity of Vern McKinley’s booth. Heller was not campaigning, but there was a clear common interest between McKinley’s supporters and Heller, who might understandably have taken offense at Frank Wolf’s refusal to support the effort by Virgil Goode to overturn DC’s gun ban.

Prior to meeting him at the gun show, my only familiarity with Vern McKinley was based on a local Republican event where he addressed the local committee, and my impression was that Vern speaks like a regular guy – not a “political orator.” For me, this is not a negative, because I am more and more interested in the notion that our government is supposed to be one where regular citizens make the decisions. Furthermore, our current political leadership in America is a minefield of “orators” whose heads are firmly implanted where the sun don’t shine.

Vern carries a well-worn copy of the U.S. Constitution in his jacket pocket, and in our conversation he noted first of all that “home rule doesn’t override the Second Amendment.”

But his disagreements with Frank Wolf extend far beyond the issue of gun rights.
continue reading…

Our friend LI at Too Conservative has a great discussion going about George W. Bush’s legacy. Here is my take:

Toppling Saddam was the right thing to do, in my view, but handling the occupation with military-lite was a really bad idea. We started “rebuilding” before our soldiers had put the hammer down on all the bad guys. “Rules of engagement” … whatever happened to WINNING. The war should have been fought less like Vietnam and more like “Devil’s Guard” by Elford. Don’t get me started …

On the other hand, we have not been attacked on American soil in roughly 6.5 years. Our men and women are fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here. Bush has delivered on homeland security.

On the OTHER hand, as a relative who is pretty non-political but leans conservative said to me, “I don’t know why we have our young men and women over there dying for those people.”

There is a strong sense among many Americans the money and blood America has contributed to securing Iraq is looking like a questionable investment considering what the Iraqis themselves are contributing. Let’s be blunt: They don’t seem worth it. This may be unfair, but the perception is they don’t care enough to fix their own country so how can we fix it for them.

The resolution of this whole war with the religious fanatics we no longer are supposed to identify by name will be years in the future, and I agree Bush’s legacy on this issue will be determined by how it ends.

But right here and now, why the hell are we spending billions of dollars a month to rebuild and secure Iraq when they are sitting on an ocean of oil? If the Democrats had managed to nominate someone without the crushing negatives of Barack Obama, I would say they win in November in a walk just by repeating the above sentence over and over.

On the OTHER hand, Bush did well with his Supreme Court appointments. In fact, he did phenomenally well. He did much better than his dad. The only way W could have done better would have been if he’d been able to make another appointment. Platinum legacy on this issue.

But on the ultimate, final, this-is-it-and-no-tag-backs hand, Bush was a disaster on illegal immigration. Previous recent presidents were no great shakes on immigration enforcement, but the Bush administration turned a blind eye, opened the floodgates, and cut our enforcement agencies off at the knees for years.

As an example, the illegal invasion of Herndon began under Clinton, but hastened greatly under Bush. The invasion of Sterling, as with so many American communities, was 100% on George W. Bush’s watch, after word got around in the business community that Title 8 of the U.S. code was now officially classified under: fuhgetaboudit.

People say, well GW Bush has ALWAYS said he’s in favor of free flow of people and goods across our border with Mexico, so anyone who is disappointed with how his executive branch managed immigration enforcement simply was not listening when Bush was working his way up the ranks. Fair enough. So we can’t nail him for being duplicitous, and shame on us for not calling him out on it before he became, er, president of the United States. But his policy of allowing a massive increase of illegal immigration was a bad one and the results have been bad, and his legacy will reflect this terrible public policy mistake.