Archive for May 24th, 2009

May 24, 2009

Because you’re wrong

Nothing is more important for conservative writers, in its current situation, than to correctly analyze the causes that led the Republican Party from the triumphant heights of 2002-04 to the abysmal defeats of 2006-08.

In a post Saturday evening, I explained that I am currently reading The Thumpin’, Naftali Bendavid’s account of the 2006 mid-term election in which Democrats reclaimed the majority they’d lost in 1994. I’m a fast reader.

The facts of that election are at odds with the explanations offered by those Republicans who say that the fundamental problem currently facing the GOP is that the party is “too far right,” that it is too beholden to the Religious Right, or that the party has suffered for the “mean-spirited” rhetoric of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, etc.

These analyses conflict with the facts of what happened in 2006. The public expression of these mistaken analyses by soi-dissant “conservatives” or self-identified Republicans are therefore not merely useless for the immediate task of the GOP — regaining seats in the 2010 mid-term election — but are in fact harmful to the efforts of those who are laboring toward that task.

Whatever the relevance of intramural ideological disputes (or concern about the tone and content of the GOP “message”) to the current situation, henceforth propagation of false understanding by Republican commentators must be identified and denounced as nothing but what it is: Aid and comfort to the Democrats in the electoral showdown that is now less than 18 months away.

Many of the readers and commenters at The Other McCain are also bloggers, and therefore I ask that they join me in enforcing this policy. The 11th Commandment was never intended to be a shield behind which cowardly fools could hide in safety, merely because they had an “R” beside their names or declare that they are loyal Republicans.

Defeatist rhetoric and mistaken analyses offered by “Republicans,” tending to impugn, demoralize and confuse the conservative grassroots, can only be considered as objectively pro-Democrat. Such incorrect understandings of the political situation cannot be ignored, but must be actively repudiated. Idiots have the right to free speech, and we have the right to call them idiots.

May 24, 2009

Freeberg nails it again

by Smitty

  You’d think that “it” would get tired of being nailed. If you followed the Rule 5 URL yesterday to Freeberg’s Ten Terraces, number 5 in the taxonomy raised hackles for being as enthusiastic about marijuana (and other drug) legalization as Carrie Prejean and this blog are about the destruction of marriage.
  Freeberg doubles down on his point, and draws a comparison with lotteries. The comparison is a high-level one, and the point made is one about sapping the human spirit.
  Back in the day, there was a string of dope comedy flicks by Cheech and Chong. One of them, and it’s really not important enough to research, had a character smoking something which had been urinated upon by an iguana or something. Over the course of the movie, the character transforms into a lizard. Hah, hah, ain’t that a hoot? Even though I was yet a teenager when I saw flick, I recall finding the point profound: you will eventually become that which you smoke.
  Too many relatives in my extended family are basket cases and drains on society as a result of body chemistry experimentation. Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine receive, to varying degrees, a pass. Their effects are not seen in the same debilitating light. Good news, bad news, who can say?
  To have the government consider legalizing any currently banned substances, particularly when ideas of health care legislation are in play, is an entry into paradise engineering, indeed.

May 24, 2009

Rule 5 Sunday

By Smitty
Rule 5 Sunday time again. Irony abounds, in this age where we’ve given a black man the honor of the Presidency, that the name Honor Blackman should come up in the context of his party’s Speaker of the House.

Cruella de Ville might have been more accurate, albeit less flattering depiction of Pelosi. However, the potential inference that the House Democrats are a pack of dalmatians would be an insult to a noble breed of dog.

  • Dustbury featured some Japanese Marriage-Hunting Bra, vaguely disturbing, as so many things Japanese. It may be that technology does not in fact enhance everything.
  • Freeberg, easily among my personal Top 10 blogs, meanders from Dukes of Hazard to Buck Rogers in an entertaining way. He also threw in a Hooters girl and some unidentified cel-phone women in a post entitled: “Ten Terraces of Liberalism“, which, if nothing else, is an interesting taxonomy.
  • Monique Stewart was on some kind of Rule 5 Reign of Terror this week:

    Will the Unidentified Gods of the Blogosphere force Monique to rename her blog “Cheesecake: the Only Foodgroup”? Probably not, but Ms. Stewart does know how to tempt fate.

  • Now, the proprietor of Bob’s Bar and Grill and I have evolved something of a rapport. You can troll his archives for the last couple of weeks for details. Suffice it to say that the therapy seems to have helped, and it is with pleasure I link his Stacey Scowley. That’s Stacey like my sister, not Stacy like the Blogfather.
  • Donald Douglas brings Britney, nautical nymph sporting shades.
  • He doubles down with Marisa Miller linkage. If only the California economy looked so healthy.
  • Jillian at Blueshelled becomes the newest blogger to take the million hit challenge. Her choice of subject is daring, unexcpected, maybe even shocking, and certainly pushes the limits of Rule 5.
  • For those who crave more Carrie Prejean, Thrasymachus has some, along with some “Savage Love” commentary.
  • The Clever S.Logan offers Adriana Lima, which is good, and then frets that her preacher father reads her blog. Don’t worry about it, Suzanna: Billie Holiday, Billy Graham–we’re no’ so picky.
  • Little Miss Attila links a Sport Illustrated clip that features great…landscapes.
  • Paco continues his smashing (and educational) series of silver screen sirens (OK, one in color, but I’ll let the alliteration stand).
  • Elizabeth Mitchell may have been lost, but the diligent Jeffords found her.
  • The Troglopundit appears to be in a duel with Monique for The Rule 5 M(istressaster) Award. He’s given us:
  • Avid sportsmen probably already follow the WyBlog, but for the rest, there is import information about the beach volleyball tournament in Ocean City, MD. Remember, it’s about sports.
  • As it is Memorial Day, The Camp of the Saints provides some Gina Elise goodness. Thank you and thank her, sir.
  • The Classical Liberal finishes us off (for now) with Hayden Panettiere and maybe some follow-on links that escaped my roundup.
  • Politics and Critical Thinking contributes two hot ‘Zonies and a war zone. It’s all alliteratively linked, but I don’t pretend to understand it. Gimme shelter.

Feel free to a) hit the tip jar, and b) hit my inbox with further Rule 5 submissions. The guidelines are notional, but the taste is simple.

May 24, 2009

Home-Schooling Works:Fencing Champion Dakota Root, 17

One of the questions every home-schooling parent hears is, “What about extra-curricular activities?” OK, even with six kids, I’m still five kids short of a varsity football squad, but my 16-year-old twins sons, for example, are excellent swimmers who just completed YMCA lifeguard certification.

Lots of home-schooled kids not only compete in sports, they excel. The Las Vegas Review-Journal just featured one such athlete, 17-year-old Dakota Root:

“Every time you fence, you have to keep changing your game,” Dakota said. “You can’t just rely on your skills. You have to rely on growing within the bout. You don’t do that in most other sports.”
Dakota has been in the sport only four years, but she is considering attending college at Ivy League fencing powerhouses such as Harvard and Columbia as well as Duke, Northwestern and Notre Dame. There appears to be reciprocal interest. . . .
She has achieved scores of 2,240 on the Scholastic Achievement Test (Dakota still hopes to break 2,300) and 31 on the American College Test. . . .
Last November she traveled to Germany and Austria for 16-and-under World Cup tournaments. Dakota fenced especially well in Germany, making the fourth round of pool play.
Showing that performance was no fluke, Dakota in April won under-19 epee at the Pacific Coast Championships in Long Beach, Calif. She was second in the senior epee, which was open to all ages.
That’s a head-turning rise through the ranks for a relative newcomer. It’s also a rise that could continue, perhaps even to the Olympic Games, with 2016 as the likely target. . . .

You can read the whole thing. Dakota is also a refutation of the stupid claim that home-schooled kids aren’t “socialized” adequately. You want to see poise? Watch this C-SPAN video as Dakota Root (then just 16) nominated her father, Wayne Allyn Root, for president at the 2008 Libertarian Party convention:

I covered the 2008 LP convention, where Wayne made it to the fifth ballot of the six-round “Dogfight in Denver” nomination battle, and then was chosen as Bob Barr’s vice-presidential running mate.

When I saw Wayne at the Georgia LP state convention last month, he spent most of his time bragging on his daughter who — and I hope I’m not spoiling any scholarship negotiations here — is leaning heavily toward Columbia. (She likes the big city.) Wayne also brags on Dakota in his new book, The Conscience of a Libertarian:

To illustrate the remarkable talent, creativity and intelligence of home-schooled children, I offer Exhibit A: My 17-year-old daughter Dakota Root. She is beautiful; well mannered; disciplined; articulate; poised beyond her years; treats adults with respect; maintains a straight A+ average in her studies; scores in the 99th percentile of every national test she takes; devours as man as a dozen books a month (because she wants to, not because she has to); has achieved a black belt in martial arts; and is a world class fencer who has participated in Junior Olympics, Fencing Nationals and World Cup events internationally. . . .
Many adults that have had the pleasure of meeting Dakota have made the comment, “Is your daughter home-schooled?” I always answer, “Yes, but how did you know?” The reply is always the same, “In my experience, only home-schooled kids are this focused, disciplined, well-mannered and respectful of adults.”

It’s true. Hearing one’s children praised for being poised, well-mannered and respectful is one of the joys of being a home-schooling parent. Wayne writes:

Dakota has had the advantage of being taught one on one literally since birth, by people that love her . . . praise her . . . motivate her . . . and expect the very best of her.

The official publication date for Wayne’s book The Conscience of a Libertarian is the Fourth of July (when else?) but you can order it now at Amazon.com.

UPDATE: Hey, Wayne’s not the only home-schooling dad who can brag on his kids. And remember, I’m an expert.

May 24, 2009

Oh, this won’t trigger a storm of protest

by Smitty (h/t Jillosophy)

According to WorldNetDaily,

A San Diego pastor and his wife claim they were interrogated by a county official and warned they will face escalating fines if they continue to hold Bible studies in their home.
The couple, whose names are being withheld until a demand letter can be filed on their behalf, told their attorney a county government employee knocked on their door on Good Friday, asking a litany of questions about their Tuesday night Bible studies, which are attended by approximately 15 people.
“Do you have a regular weekly meeting in your home? Do you sing? Do you say ‘amen’?” the official reportedly asked. “Do you say, ‘Praise the Lord’?”
The pastor’s wife answered yes.
She says she was then told, however, that she must stop holding “religious assemblies” until she and her husband obtain a Major Use Permit from the county, a permit that often involves traffic and environmental studies, compliance with parking and sidewalk regulations and costs that top tens of thousands of dollars.

I would be tempted to sarcasm: “Pardon me, I thought that The Sopranos had finished its run.” Even for California, you don’t see this nonsense carrying on much longer.