Tuesday, November 30, 2004

When It's Time to Change

Okay, so I've decided to do something about that "Fat Guy." Although I do have a target weight in my mind, I'm not going to focus on the number. What I'm going to do is measure progress by change in clothing sizes.

Right now, I have to wear XXL t-shirts (I can get an XL on, but it's snug). I have a 44 inch waist and wear 18 to 18 1/2 dress shirts.

The first goals are these:

1) Get to where an XL T-shirt is not snug.

2) Drop to a 42 inch waist

3) Get down to a 17 1/2 inch dress shirt.

I'll keep you posted.

I'm All In

Like many folks out there, I've caught the Poker Bug. Sunday, I played in a free tournament run by the Amateur Poker League. It was a blast.

Fifty-two amateur players sat down to play. I started fairly strong and was in second at the first break. After that, it was all downhill. Middling cards that dwindled my stack were followed by an Ace-Eight of Spades that led me to call another players All In bet when an Ace came up on the Flop. I knew better. He turned over Ace-Nine of Clubs. To add insult to injury, he hit a flush on the River.

Even with that, it was a fun 2+ hours. I wound up finishing somewhere between 25th and 30th.

My one shining moment was on about the 6th hand of the tournament. I was dealt Pocket 9's, and A-A-9 came up on the flop. I had flopped a Full House. It wasn't the Nuts, but I immediately bet All In. One guy called me, and he still had a chance on the River if either an Ace or a King had come up. It was exhilarating!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

I wouldn't have believed it

if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

There are actually nutjobs out there who think that Karl Rove and George W. Bush somehow managed to rig this year's election. Apparently, Diebold is the new Illuminati.

I'll say it again, John Kerry lost because John Kerry was out of touch with the mainstream of America. The Democrats lost this year because they were incapable of coming up with a candidate that average Americans could relate to. We are a Conservative country. Bill Clinton knew that and managed to position himself to the right of George Bush (41) in 1992. Al Gore tried in 2000, but there was no way people were going to believe that Gore was more Conservative than Bush (43). Kerry was doomed from the start.

I don't pretend that we are a Republican nation, but every indication I see tells me we are a Conservative one. The fact that that bodes well for the Republican Party for years to come doesn't bother me in the least.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

I am Thankful

KThis is the time at which we naturally start to think about all for which we have to be thankful. For me, the list is very long.

I am thankful for a wife who loves me no matter how difficult I may be at times.

I am thankful for four beautiful and healthy daughters who love me.

I am thankful for a brother who was a good example to me when I was growing up and who still challenges me to think.

I am thankful for a sister with a loving spirit who can make me laugh when she laughs with abandon.

I am thankful for a father-in-law and mother-in-law who raised a wonderful wife for me.

I am thankful for a job that I enjoy that feels worthwhile.

I am thankful for a part-time second job that I enjoy that helps pay our monthly bills.

I am thankful for living in the United States where I can enjoy the freedom to believe what I want, think what I want, and say what I want.

I am thankful for a home, despite all the chores it requires.

I am thankful for the ability to spend my free time in activities that stimulate me and foster my creativity.

I am thankful for a mother who taught me what it means to be a Godly woman, and who showed me a model for a wife.

I am thankful for a father who taught me how to be not just a father, but a dad; who showed me that what you do is even more important than what you say; who went outside his own comfort zone to pursue a career that provided for our family generously; and who loves his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I am thankful for a Father who has forgiven me, not based on any thing I am or have done, but just because He wanted to.

Friday, November 19, 2004

One Tired Puppy

Sorry I haven't put anything on here in the past couple of days. Between my two jobs and the new baby, I've just been swamped.

COMING SOON: My review of Stephen King's The Dark Tower (Volume VII): The Dark Tower

UPDATE (12-10-06): Sorry that review never materialized.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Sometimes, it's so easy

I was pointed to this article by someone who was actually recommending it.

Ted Rall's Condescending Rant (or should that be Ranting Condescension?)

Just a few excerpts:

"But if militant Christianist Republicans from inland backwaters believe that secular liberal Democrats from the big coastal cities look upon them with disdain, there's a reason. We do, and all the more so after this election."

"Though there is a religious component to the election results, the biggest red-blue divide is intellectual. "How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?" asked the headline of the Daily Mirror in Great Britain, and the underlying assumption is undeniable. By any objective standard, you had to be spectacularly stupid to support Bush." (emphasis added)

"Would Bush's supporters have voted for him even if they had known he was a serial liar? [I couldn't resist an editorial comment here. They just won't give this one up. There is absolutely NO proof that Bush lied about anything. One can be wrong without having lied. Either the lunatic left can't get that or doesn't want to.] Perhaps their hatred of homosexuals and slutty abortion vixens would have prompted them to make the same choice--an idiotic perversion of priorities. As things stand, they cast their ballots relying on assumptions that were demonstrably false."

"Inland Americans face a bigger challenge than coastal "cultural elitists" when it comes to finding high-quality news coverage. The best newspapers, which routinely win prizes for their in-depth local and national reporting and staffers overseas, line the coasts. So do the cable TV networks with the broadest offerings and most independent radio stations. Bush Country makes do with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity syndicated on one cookie-cutter AM outlet after another. Citizens of the blue [sic] states read lackluster dailies stuffed with generic stories cut and pasted from wire services. Given their dismal access to high-quality media, it's a minor miracle that 40 percent of Mississippians turned out for Kerry."

For the record, the last time I checked, CNN was located in Atlanta, a decidedly Red State. This last argument is, by far, the most specious one he makes.

I have three words for these cultural elitist Liberals who look down their collective noses and me and you:


I don't normally sign my entries, but just this once, I thought I should.

B.A., M.A., J.D.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Selective Indignation

So, it seems that many on the Left have picked up on the new "talking point" of calling Strict Constructionist judges "Right Wing Activists."

First, it is not activism to undo the activism of the past.

Second, where was all the wailing and gnashing of teeth about the lack of respect for stare decisis when the Supreme Court recently struck down State sodomy laws? In case you weren't aware, that opinion cut directly against decades of consistent rulings.

You see, stare decisis is only a sacred cow when it can be used to prop up a prior Liberal "victory." When there are Liberal causes to be advanced, even in the face of overwhelming jurisprudence and public opinion, stare decisis must be jettisoned in order to move toward a "perfect society."

Friday, November 12, 2004

Things that make you go Awwwwwww

A couple of weeks before Lindsey was born, I was sitting at our home computer (not an uncommon event), and my wife was sitting on the couch, watching television. Our two year old, Sarah, went up to my wife and crawled up in her lap. Jody turned off the TV and held Sarah.

That alone makes a beautiful scene, but what happened next almost made me cry. Sarah hugged her mommy's belly. Jody asked her if she wanted to sing to Baby Lindsey. Sarah answered, "Yeah." (we're working on breaking her of the "yeah" habit). Jody helped her get started, but then dropped out as Sarah sang "You Are My Sunshine" to her pre-born baby sister.

My attention had been captured already, but when that happened, I completely ignored the computer and just sat there watching and listening.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

About that "Rapture" thing

I think I should point out in light of my reference to Maureen Dowd's comment about the coming Rapture that I do not believe in the concept of the Rapture as it is depicted in such popular media as the "Left Behind" books, Hal Lindsey's books and TV shows, and television programs by the likes of Jack van Impe, Pat Robertson, and John Hagee.

Leftist Condescension

It just gets better and better.

Take a look at this article by Jane Smiley on Slate subtitled The unteachable ignorance of the red states.

Then, take a gander at this very good response by Bruce Thornton titled
Jane Smiley, Republican Party Recruiter.

Of course, we can't leave out Maureen Dowd, who told Chris Matthews on Sunday that she and he would "go up" in the coming Rapture, but all of us hypocritical Christian voters who supported Bush would be going the other direction. Her vitriol can be found HERE (NYTimes registration required).

As I said a few days ago, I hope this garbage keeps up. While the leftists keep patting themselves on their collective back about how smart and clever they are, Conservatives will continue to win national elections.

Can any explain to me how Dowd ever won a Pulitzer? Oh never mind, it shouldn't surprise me in the least.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

I've been disabused

Apaprently, I'm the only one out there who thinks that Ashcroft might get consideration as Chief Justice. I admit that it was just a gut feeling, but it seems my instinct was wrong. Indications are that Bush will pick someone acceptable to his Conservative base but maybe won't rile up all the Leftist obstructionists.

It has been suggested that Bush will elevate Scalia (or Thomas) to Chief Justice, but I just don't see that unless he wants to appoint Al Gonzales right away as an Associate Justice. I also don't see him appointing Gonzales as Chief Justice.

Either way, it does look as if Bush will get a chance to appoint as many as three Supreme Court Justices during his second term. I know it would create a firestorm, but I think Senate Republicans should amend Senate Rules at the start of the new Congress in January to limit the Filibuster on Judicial appointments.

Friday, November 05, 2004

The briar patch

I think Republicans should start saying how much they hope John Edwards is not the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2008.

The more I listened to Edwards during this campaign, particularly in the VP Debate and in the NightLine episode following him on the campaign trail, I came to realize that he's nothing but an empty suit with a nice smile and good hair.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Chief Justice Ashcroft?

Drudge is reporting that John Ashcroft is planning to step aside as Attorney General.


I won't say you heard it here first because I don't know if anyone else has already said something about it, but I predict that Ashcroft will get serious consideration as the new Chief Justice of the United States when William Rehnquist retires (which will likely be sooner rather than later).

I have no inside sources, just a gut feeling.

Whither Bipartisanship?

As I posted earlier, I liked Kerry's concession speech. One of his themes was that we need to come together and work on the issues facing us as a country. I don't recall if he used the term, but if not, I think it would be fair to say that he was promoting Bipartisanship.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines "bipartisan" as "Of, consisting of, or supported by members of two parties, especially two major political parties." So, simply put, bipartisan programs are those supported by both Republicans and Democrats. Well, maybe not quite so simply. Before 1994, Congress approached bipartisanship in a manner that would be considered traditional. Something changed in 1994, though.

In 1994, led by Newt Gingrich and the Contract With America, the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives. Overnight, the definition of bipartisanship changed in Washington D.C. I remember the change in the rhetoric. When Democrats found themselves out of power for the first time in decades, they decided to try a rhetorical end run. All of a sudden, bipartisanship was defined by the Democrats and the Media as "Republicans doing things the way Democrats want them to." Anytime Republicans pursued the policies they had campaigned on, if the Democrats didn't like it, the Democrats sent up the cry that Republicans were abandoning bipartisanship. In reality, the Democrats were trying to make the Republicans govern as if they were Democrats.

The burden of bipartisanship should fall on the Minority Party, not the Majority Party. The Majority Party in our system has all the power. If the Minority Party doesn't want to get steamrolled by that power, it is their responsibility to work toward agreement and compromise. That's what the Republicans did when they were in the Minority. The Democrats just didn't want to do it. I think part of the refusal to meet that challenge stems from the denial that Democrats seems to suffer from. In my experience, Democrats and Liberals simply refuse to believe that they are, in fact, the Minority. So, when they became the Minority Party, they tried to operate the same way they had as the Majority.

What does all this mean in 2004 and beyond? If the Democrats want bipartisanship, the burden is on them. Not Dennis Hastert. Not Bill Frist. Not President Bush.

Our system is based on the premise of Majority Rule. If bipartisanship is desirable, then the Democrats need to make the first move, and they need to realize that they probably will have to come more than halfway to "meet in the middle."

The morning after

Okay, so it's actually the middle of the afternoon. I'm working on 3 hours sleep and a morning in Court, so bear with me.

It appears to me that I came pretty darn close in my election prediction. I am assuming that Iowa and New Mexico will ultimately be marked down in the Bush column. If that holds true, I will have been right on all but one state, Wisconsin. I know it's hard to prove this after the fact, but I very nearly went the other way on the State of the Cheeseheads. I confess that it was the one state I chose with my heart instead of my head. As I looked at the polls, Bush was leading in the Poll Average, but the last 2 polls before the election showed a fairly solid Kerry lead.

I wanted my Electoral College numbers to be at the point where if any one state (excluding Texas) went the "wrong" way, Bush would still win the White House (even if Florida was the wrong state).

Kerry's Concession Speech

I promise you I am not being snide when I say this, but John Kerry's Concession Speech was the finest speech I have ever heard him deliver. If he had been talking like that throughout the campaign, he might have won this thing. But then again, when your Party is being "advanced" by the likes of Michael Moore, moveon.org, and ACT, you're in trouble from the word Go.

I've still seen some far left-wingers who don't get the point of yesterday's election. People really do like President Bush. Despite all the criticism that he isn't as "Presidential" as some would like, the President appeals to voters as being a real guy. Maybe that's just a put-on. I really don't know for sure, but I do know people who are close to him who tell me that what you see is what you get with Bush. Folks who have been involved in high-level politics for years or even decades have told me that Bush is the most genuine politician they have ever met. That's what I believe resonated with the American people.

The straightforwardness and resolve of the President was contrasted by what appeared to be condescension coming from the Left in general and Kerry in particular. When John Edwards says you'd have to be out of your mind to vote Republican, it might amuse his base, but it's not going to draw in those elusive undecided voters. I hope the Left keeps on thinking of me and those like me as close-minded, bigoted, ignorant, foolish, or just plain stupid. As long as they have that attitude, I can rest assured that the Republican Party will retain control in Washington for years to come.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Other tie scenarios

Looking at the Electoral numbers, I see two other plausible tie scenarios:

Bush wins Florida, but loses Ohio & Iowa.

Bush wins Florida & Ohio, but loses Iowa, New Mexico, Wisconsin, & West Virginia.

The second one is less likely because if Bush wins Ohio, I'd say it's not very likely he'll lose Iowa & Wisconsin.

Eve of Destruction?

I've been hearing some Doom & Gloom from a few people about how they think Kerry is going to win tomorrow (or whenever the lawyers get through with this election). Well, that's entirely possible, and if it happens, I won't be happy, but I also know it won't be the end of the world.

For the record, I still think Bush is going to win. However, it's not going to be by a wide enough margin for people to breathe easily until even the shouting is over. By my estimation, Bush is going to win 32 states. Kerry will win 18 states plus the District of Columbia. Because of the wonders of our Electoral College system, though, the margin will be about as wide as the state of Florida. Not Geographically, but Electorally.

You see, Florida holds 27 Electoral votes, and if my predictions are correct, Bush will garner 296 votes, exactly 27 more than the total that would result in a tie. So, if everything else goes as projected, but Florida goes to Kerry, we would have a tie in the Electoral College, and barring "Faithless Electors," the Presidency would be decided by the U.S. House of Representatives. That's not ideal, but it might be preferable to weeks or months of legal battles.

Here are the states (along with their Electoral Votes) that I predict Bush will win:

Alabama (9)
Alaska (3)
Arizona (10)
Arkansas (6)
Colorado (9)
Florida (27)
Georgia (15)
Idaho (4)
Indiana (11)
Iowa (7)
Kansas (6)
Kentucky (8)
Louisiana (9)
Mississippi (6)
Missouri (11)
Montana (3)
Nebraska (5)
Nevada (5)
New Mexico (5)
North Carolina (15)
North Dakota (3)
Ohio (20)
Oklahoma (7)
South Carolina (8)
South Dakota (3)
Tennessee (11)
Texas (34)
Utah (5)
Virginia (13)
West Virginia (5)
Wisconsin (10)
Wyoming (3)

I reserve the right to amend this list until the polls close.