Monthly Archives: November 2008

Change We Can Believe In??

Now that the euphoria of Obama’s victory is beginning to wear off, he and his team are settling down to getting the first iteration of Team Obama squared away. I have been watching with great interest, and not a little bit of trepidation, as names have been bandied about for posts in Obama’s administration.

Being interested in foreign policy first and foremost, I have been unpleasently unsurprised by the names that have been offered up for the Secretary of State job (Hilary being only slightly better than John Kerry). With that position simmering, Obama’s transition team is still hard at work filling positions. Here is an article from National Review on the AG position.

I am not surprised at the AG-designate’s positions on such things as how best to deal with the enemy combatants at Gitmo and other issues. I think the thing that is most notable is how Holden was heavily involved in the Clinton Administration’s Justice Department, especially at the end of the administration and its efforts to pardon a whole slew of nefarious characters. I know that all Presidents tend to use their power of pardon in a political manner, but I think that many observers, on both sides of the aisle, thought Clinton’s use of this executive power especially egregious.

Obama ran largely on a message of change, including changing the way that politics are “done” in Washington. So far, I haven’t heard one name outside of the political insiders circle being considered for any major posts in Obama’s administration. I realize that most Presidential candidates (unless they are the incumbant) run on a platform of change, and that many of the people that are qualified to fill positions within any administration have had previous stints in lower posts with other administrations or have held some other political position. But Obama was able to mobilize thousands with his message. Which leads me to the question of just what kind of “change” did they vote for?

For those of us that were pretty sure we knew what change meant to Obama, I suspect that this is but the first name in a long list of names that will confirm what we suspected.

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Filed under Election, Politics

File Under: Western Civilization is the Root of All Evil

Sorry for not posting the past few days; my real world priorities got in the way of my budding punditry. I have a post I have been working on for a few days, but it isn’t quite ready – in the meantime, this is for all of those people who think that Western Civilization has the market cornered on intolerance.

Yeah, buddy – once the caliphate is in place, we are gonna party like its 1399!

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A Classical Education??

Roman Forum Ruins I know that it is not very much in vogue, especially in the halls of “higher” education these days, but an email that floated around work today made me ponder about what we often term classical education.

Unlike many, I was fortunate to go to a college that still thought it was important to read at least some of the giants of the classical era. Of course, some of that may have been part of the majors that I chose (political science and history, with an almost-minor in philosophy), but I also think that many of my classmates were exposed to at least some of the fundamental works of the classical era.

So my question is, in this age of cultural relativism and multiculturalism, is the classical education dead? Is it even worth pursuing anymore? I think that there is great value in having a classical education, but obviously I seem to be in a minority. I think a larger question is why isn’t a classical education still something to be strived for at our colleges and universities? Of course, that is probably a topic for another post.

One of the things that is painfully obvious to me is that if I desire for my son to have a semblance of a classical education, it is going to depend pretty much on my wife and I. So, here’s your homework assignment. If you had to name the top 100 classical works, what would some of them be? Obviously, this can cover the gamut from philosophy to history to literature to theology. Post a comment back with some of your picks, and if I get enough, I will start a page listing them…in case anyone else is interested.

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Filed under Education, General, Knowledge

The Conundrum of the Conservative Christian

Like many of my fellow conservatives, I have been watching with a mixture of trepidation and pride as our country moves away from Election Day 2008. The pure history of the moment has not been lost on many people, the fact that our nation has elected a leader of color, the first predominantly white country to do so I believe. On the other hand, almost daily news comes from the Obama Transition Team that leads many of us conservatives to fear the worst, politically speaking.

Just so there are no misunderstandings, I do not like Obama’s views on…well, just about everything. From national security to economics to tax policy to immigration to energy policy, I suspect that if he and I sat down for a conversation (were I to have the chance), we would disagree on most areas. It isn’t that we would necessarily disagree on the ends, but the means. And in the political/social/economic realm, means are just as important as ends.

Which brings me back to the conundrum. Because while my views are conservative, I am also a Christian, and because of that I have (or at least should) a higher authority to answer to. Herein lies the conundrum – I am commanded to pray for him, and not only that, the Bible says that all leaders are annointed by God. Ouch! To be perfectly honest, that is a tough pill to swallow.

The worship pastor at my church has an interesting blog post on it here, which has inspired some interesting comments on the subject. He makes the point that if we believe that God is in control all the time, then we have to believe that God allowed Obama to win (note to liberals:before you begin gloating, that also means that he allowed folks such as Truman, Nixon, Reagan, and George W. Bush to be President as well). He asks the question who are we to question God? Double ouch!!!

The conundrum gets worse – while I can agree with praying for the guy while disagreeing with his policies, the Bible also says that rebelling against the government is rebelling against what God has instituted. Wow, that is a tough one. So, was the American Revolution rebelling against God? Our founders certainly didn’t think so – they thought they were taking the necessary steps to secure the rights God had given them. Is it rebelling to vociferously argue against policies that you believe are ineffective and in many cases immoral? Is it possible that the reason Obama is in office is partly to galvanize people to take action against many of the policies that I suspect he and the rest of the government will try to enact?

Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer, at least a definitive one. What’s more important, following the leaders appointed by God over us or securing the rights that he grants each and every person? I know where I come down on the argument, and so did many of the Founders – this quote from Thomas Jefferson says it all:

And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

Obviously, I am not preaching armed rebellion, but TJ knew a thing or two about securing our natural rights and dealing with a government that had become obtrusive and tyrannical in nature.

I am interested in comments, both for and against. This is a subject I am almost certain will be covered in the future. But for now, I will pray for Obama and his family – that they remain safe and that God’s wisdom and discernment would permeate not just them, but the people he appoints. And I will keep the proverbial powder dry.

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Filed under Christianity, Election, Freedom

Veterans Day 2008

Today is Veterans Day, the one day of the year that we, as a country, are supposed to take time out to thank all of those amongst us that served our great nation in the military.

Marine Corps logoFor those of you who may not know, yesterday was the 233rd birthday of the United States Marine Corps. The Marines were founded at Tun Tavern (appropriately enough) in Philadelphia, PA on November 10, 1775 in the opening months of the American Revolution.

One of the benefits of living where we live is that I am reminded almost daily of the sacrifice the Marines, as well as her sister services, make on our behalf. Whether it is hearing a tactical jet head out on a late night training mission or seeing on the local news the report of yet another unit either coming from or heading out on deployment, each is a reminder that there is always a sacrifice for freedom. It may be as small as missing tucking the kids in at bedtime, or as large as heading off to war, these sacrifices occur daily, with most of us blissfully unaware.

We are also fortunate to call several current or former Marines friends. Some of them are here, and some are away on deployment. I count it an honor to be able to assist, in some small way, on the home front with wives and kids who are left behind. Hopefully, in some small way, it gives them some peace of mind that their loved ones are being cared for while they are away.

Living where we do also provides me with endless examples to use to teach my son about the sacrifices that our military makes on our behalf, and why they deserve our utmost respect and admiration. To that end, one my favorite quotes of all time, attributed to George Orwell, is, “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” We are fortunate that we continue to produce men and women that are willing to face down the barbarians at the gates, to put country over self, to put honor and duty over self-centeredness and irresponsibility.

It is fitting, I think, that the birthday of the Marines is one day removed from Veteran’s Day. Many of the battles that have made the Marines famous bring into sharp contrast why all those who have worn the uniform of this nation deserve our gratitude and thanks. Names like Belleau Wood, Okinawa, Iwo Jima, Chosin Resevoir, Hue, Beirut, and Fallujah are famous both for the ferocity of the battle, but more importantly, for the strength and resolve that was displayed in order to produce victory. It is true that there is “no better friend, no worse enemy” than the United States Marines.

So, on this Veteran’s Day, I hope that you get a chance to thank a veteran or two and wish a Marine Happy Birthday and Semper Fi. It is these folks that understand, better than many of us in this country I am afraid, the truth displayed on the Korean War Memorial:

Inscription on the wall at the National Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Inscription on the wall at the National Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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Our Needed “Patton” Moment

Many conservatives, like myself, have spent the past few days trying to console ourselves (and each other) over the results of the election. Here in the Tarheel State, not only did we not re-elect Elizabeth Dole (yes, that campaign was nasty, but not as bad as the national media made it out to be), we also elected another democrat for Governor.

Just a side note on that particular race…Kay Hagan complained that Elizabeth Dole’s campaign accused her of being “godless” during the last few days of the campaign. This, of course, after Kay went to a fundraiser put on by the Godless Americans. Hello??? Did no one in her camp not think…”hmm, North Carolina is a pretty religious state, it’s practically the buckle of the bible belt…maybe we shouldn’t attend this fundraiser…” The great thing about it is that, after that ad came out, Kay Hagan put her poor pastor up to doing ads defending her faith. Of course, she attends a Presbyterian Church (PCUSA, I am sure); this is the same wonderful denomination that just a few years ago at their General Assembly actually considered some new names for the Holy Trinity. Maybe not godless, but not exactly preaching the inerrant word of God either. Anyway, back to our originally scheduled post.

Here is a little piece of motivation by Bill Whittle over at National Review. My only question is couldn’t he have found a Confederate victory that made the same point??

Of course, no one can motivate like George C. Scott (playing Patton) can….

and who could forget this one from Braveheart??

or this one from Braveheart??….

So take heart, my fellow countrymen (and women). And in the immortal words of our Vice-President elect, “gird your loins”.

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Welcome!

Welcome to my new blog. I have been toying with beginning a blog for quite a while now, and given recent events in my country, I felt it more necessary than ever to join my voice to the discussion over the path that this great nation will take over the next several years. This is more important to me than ever as I watch and wonder what kind of America will my son grow up in.

So this blog is going to focus mostly on political and social issues, but don’t be surprised if we delve into topics on history, faith, science, family, and anything else that catches my attention. So, in the immortal words of kindergarten teachers everywhere, “put your thinking caps on…”

If you want to know a little more about me, and where I come from (both literally and figuratively), click here.

Now, a few ground rules:

  1. I welcome your comments. However, if you feel it necessary to call me (or others) names or just hurl insults, I reserve the right to delete your comment. Let’s try and keep it reasonably civil. This goes for everyone on both sides of the issues.
  2. The goal here is to discuss and debate ideas. While this can get heated, let’s try to not resort to using conspiracy theories or other unsubstantiated junk to shut other people down. This means no “vast right-wing conspiracy” nonsense, as well as “Obama is the Anti-Christ” nonsense. Unless, of course, he proves to be…then we can rightfully call him as such (liberals – that was a joke).
  3. Let’s all follow the general “rules of the road” for the web – no spamming, hacking, cracking, etc, etc, etc.

Now, on with the show….

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