Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sports and Elections

My old DC friend Robert George notes that Yankees recent era of dominance started when a Democrat (Bill Clinton) was elected to the White House.

Of course, the two times the Mets won the World Series, a Republican was in the White House.

One other point. The 1970 UK General Election was something of a shock win for the Tories. The preference polls mostly showed it close, but with Labour winning. But polls asking who people THOUGHT would win were heavily Labour winning.

It was a shock but shouldn't have been -- though Labour started with a large lead, the Tories gained steadily through the campaign. In the end, the Tories won by a few percentage points, but comfortably in seats.

The reasons given usually deal with a mistimed late budget released by Labour with a little bit of Shy Tory factor (like Bradley factor, except that people did not want to admit being a Tory because it was uncool). Another factor was that Enoch Powell's anti-immigrant speeches may have thrown some traditional Labour voters to the Conservatives.

So where am I going with all this? There is another theory. Shortly before the 1970 General Election, on top of everything else, the English soccer team (who were defending World Cup champs) were knocked out by West Germany in spectacular fashion days before the election. Some commentators feel that with all the other bad news at the time, that was the final straw that killed Labour's chances.

Let's Go Mets!

The Endless Presidential Campaign

Thankfully, it is almost over. But the last several presidential campaigns, lasting for two years and where little actually gets said, it getting to be too much for me.

I have come to the conclusion that a parliamentary system may be better. The party leaders are chosen outside of the context of the campaign. They face each other across the aisle every debate and ask each other hard questions. While the parliaments have a required ending date, an election is chosen often prior to that time. The election campaign itself lasts a month.

At least it will soon end!

What should I drink Election Night?

So folks, I would like you to suggest what I should drink on Election Night.

Palin Syrah. Everyone's favorite Chilean organic wine. I drank a bottle during the first presidential debate -- it made it debate bearable. Chilean wines are perhaps the best values these days. A very nice wine, with a hint of moose but a little gunpowder residue.

Obama Martinis. Ingredients, Kool-aid and vodka. The only problem is that when you make an Obama martini, the government takes most of it and gives it to others, so you either have to drink it really fast or nip off around the corner where no one can see you.

Tattinger. Churchill supposedly said of champagne “In victory we deserve it, in defeat we need it.” So either in celebration or defeat, it is a proper drink for all occasions.

Belvedere Vodka. An Obama administration with a heavily Democratic Congress promises to be highly protectionist. So it may be the last Belvedere I can get for a long time.

Tequila and grain with a sleeping pill chaser. Put me in a coma for 4-8 years. However, with my luck, I’ll wake up and find I am in the USSA with Rodak as head of the junta (Rodak remember to shoot straight, don't make a bloody mess of it).

As an aside, do you think the Palin Syrah can see the Belvedere Vodka from its house? (And yes, I know Belvedere comes from Poland)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ted Stevens


Earlier this month I said I can be a conservative or I can be a Republican, I cannot be both. This is one of those times. Stevens should have been forced to resign by the GOP months ago, we should have been retired off years ago. What do you expect from a system that views government as the font of all that is good and holy.

I do not care if this is the 60th seat for the Democrats. As long as the GOP protected pork laden corrupt politicians, the GOP deserves to lose.

Someone agrees with me on NATO

This may be a first, someone agrees with me on NATO. The comments I think does a good job explaining the pros and cons of continued US membership in NATO

Please rise

For the singing of our new national anthem!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What will the crisis be?

As I have said before, I really like Senator Biden. Partly it is personal as he is the only major candidate for President or Vice President whom I have ever had a conversation with. Partly it is that he does seem to have a good head on his shoulders. But he does say some very strange things at time.

The blogosphere is ablaze of course with Senator Biden's latest -- a call to Senator Obama's supporters to "gird their loins" for a major crisis that President Obama will quickly need to face. Biden warned that "it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."

Considering Senator Biden's seniority and his importance in the Senator oversight of foreign policy and intelligence, this has lead to concerns that something is currently up from Iran to Russia to Israel. Everyone knows that the president will face crises. That is THE job description and that has been the primary focus of Senator McCain's campaign (and lead Senator Clinton to run those silly 3 A.M. ads). But the tone and the language of the statement was so bizarre that it has seemingly spooked many people.

So what do I think? I believe that Senator Obama, if elected president, will need to look tough immediately. So I wonder if Senator Biden was laying the ground for an attack on Iran. Despite the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate which discounted Iran's nuclear capacities, there have been news reports that Iran could build a bomb by next year. Given that Obama has been seen from the beginning as the peace candidate (wrongly I think, given some of his statements on Afghanistan and Iran).

Last year, he had pledged (sort of) deep defense cuts, including cutting missile defense, yet in the debates, he said he supported missile defense.

So I think Biden is laying the ground for Obama early on taking a hawkish stance, something that will not be very popular with his base. Hence the warning that initially, it will not be certain President Obama is doing the right thing.

I also wonder if the draft will be reinstated. Except it will not be called the "draft" but rather given some PC moniker such as "Volunteers in Service for the World". It will be "voluntary" but in such a way that it will be difficult to get student aid, student loans or other basic benefits without doing the service. And it will not entirely be military, but I could see national service including options to do Peace Corps or Americorps type service.

At this stage it is all speculation of course and I hope I am wrong. Hopefully, President Obama faces no crisis and everything comes out like roses.

Non-Interventionism v. Isolationism

Is non-interventionism the same as isolationism? Kirk Johnson, fellow DC United fan, on his Bosnian blog sort of equates the two. And I can understand why. But I wonder is that is really the case?

I was something of a neo-Wilsonian when I was in college but then I began to drift toward non-interventionism. (9/11 changed stopped my drift for a while, but I have since continued drifting that way). But I do not think non-intervention is the same as isolationism. I do think the US has a role to play internationally. I believe for example that the US should take the lead in fighting piracy.

I do not, however, have much faith in most international institutions. For example, on Darfur, I have not had much hope for the UN, and would have preferred that the US (and West) properly fund an African solution to the problem. But I also believe that if the US and other western nations get too heavily and directly involved, the situation turns from one of humanitarian concerns into issues of power politics between nations. With China feeling her oats and Russia trying to maintain some influence, those two may oppose anything the US and the West suggest.

Yes, I am opposed to Georgia and Ukraine joining NATO. But that is not due to wanting to isolate myself from the troubles of that region. Rather, I believe that Western efforts should be spent on trying to reintegrate Russia back into the West. I think that will do more to protect Georgian and Ukrainian sovereignty than threats of NATO membership at some future time. And that definitely is not isolationism.

Even my feelings about winding up NATO are not driven by isolationism but by a desire to see Europe take more responsibility for its own security. As the Bosnian crisis showed, Europe will not take anything seriously as their leadership knows that they will be able to rely on US security guarantees. In the end, all US intervention in Europe continues to do is subsidize the European welfare state.

But Kirk has a point. At its extreme, non-interventionism does become isolationism. But until that point is reached, I would argue the terms represent two different foreign policies.

Life in the Borough of Churches

Brooklyn is sometimes known as "the borough of churches" for obvious reasons. One nice thing about living in Brooklyn is that there are about 7 churches within easy walking distance from my home. As Alex is not in 1st grade yet, I can move around and go to whatever Mass is convenient. The diocese even has a website that allow you to find Mass times in your neighborhood.

I used the tool this morning (as usual) but unfortunately did not pay as much attention as I should have. And I ended up at a Spanish language Mass.

Luckily, the Missal was bilingual (and of course the order of Mass was the same) so I was able to follow what was going on. It was my first time at a Spanish Mass. Christian really liked the music and danced with every hymn (although I am not a fan of liturgical dance, I figure it is different for a 3 year old).

Nuclear Decline?

Is the Department of Defense worried about our aging nuclear arsenal? This report argues Secretary Gates is.

The nature of the world has changed since the end of the Cold War. For example, there no longer remains a justification for keeping nuclear weapons in Europe. With Iran I am an advocate of the "Godfather" strategy. Think about the "peace conference" scene in the original Godfather. Don Corleone says that he will make peace, but he needs to make arrangements to get his son Michael home from his Sicilian exile. Corleone says that he is a superstitious man, and that if Michael is "hit by a bolt of lightening" he will blame some of the people in the room.

Our policy with Iran should be similar Yes I agree, try to cut off imports of items which can be used for their nuclear program, but otherwise explain the Godfather strategy. Make it clear that if Hamas or some other group gets hold of a nuclear weapon, we may blame Iran. This hopefully will motivate them to make sure no one decides to freelance nuclear strategy.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Isabel Paterson

I have become interested in Isabel Paterson. She was one of the three founders of the modern libertarian movement (along with Ayn Rand and Rose Wilder Lane). Unfortunately, she is somewhat forgotten today.

I came across Wendy McElroy's review of "The Woman and the Dynamo" by Stephen Cox. McElroy notes that Paterson was an important novelist yet unlike the her left wing contemporaries, is little remember today, even in libertarian (and broader conservative) circles.

So, why is Paterson so obscure today? McElroy thinks it is because in libertarian circles at least, novelists have not been as well regarded as professors. While I agree (despite the fact that Rand and Heinlein were both novelists), I think there is another important reason. Ayn Rand had her Objectivist movement. Rose Lane had the Freedom School and she acted as grandmother to the Libertarian Party. Hayek, Mises, and Rothbard had organizations devoted to their ideas. And of course Milton Freedom had the ear of presidents and a network of disciples on economics faculties across the world.

Paterson, on the other hand, was in many ways a lone wolf and most of her work was in a newspaper that ceased publishing 45 years ago. Each time she did try to collaborate, it ended badly. Russel Kirk, William F. Buckley and most famously Ayn Rand all were influenced by her, but she was unable to work with them. They all went onto greater fame, but Paterson remains sadly obscure. Hopefully, that will change (now more than ever).

EDITED Welcome fans of Wendy McElroy. I have learned my lessen and promise not to post typo ridden blog entries in the middle of the night. Look around, and make sure you read more about Isabel Paterson!

No More Kings!

With all the usual pre-election strife, a little pick me up is in order

Fred Thompson on the Choice

Back during the GOP YouTube debate, I noted that Fred Thompson was a better non candidate than a candidate. And as his campaign wound down towards its unsatisfying finish in South Carolina, I noted that his supporters seemed to want it more than he did.

Now non-candidate Fred is releasing an electoral appeal.

(HT - Public Secrets)

I have noticed a bit of commentary in the conservative Blogosphere about this appeal, most from former supporters tinged with some regret that Thompson did not make a bigger splash on the GOP race. Thompson was one candidate who could have gone toe to toe with Obama on rhetorical flourishes. (As an aside, "rhetorical flourishes" is my new favorite phrase).

No matter the outcome next week, I hope we will see more of Thompson's commentary.

So, what if McCain pulls it off?

So, what happens if McCain pulls it off. Will all those always talking about moving to Canada finally do so?

The Canadian government has a program now to help those in need.

So Hugo, how goes the Revolution?

Oil is now below $ 65 a barrel. When oil was at $100 a barrel there were food shortages in Venezuela (that is all you really need to know about socialism).

When oil was riding high, Hugo went on a spending spree. As oil drops, those bill are coming due. I read somewhere that Venezuela needs oil to be something like $95 a barrel to meet their balance of payments.

About those Russians fighter jets you bought Hugo -- I am pretty sure Vladimir does not take Visa.

I really am not that worried about Venezuela these days

Friday, October 24, 2008


Tired of hearing about Joe the Plumber? Well, I AM BILL! (HT: LGF)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Books to Read Before I Die

There are lots of great books out there and so little time. There are so many books and authors I want to read but just never get around to.

I was thinking about this the other day when the Nobel Literature Prize winner was announced. I was looking through the list of previous winners and noticed that there were very few I had read, though to be frank, none of the recent winners are people I want to read. And I was thinking, which of the current writers I read have a chance at a Nobel? Nick Hornby MAYBE in 20 years or so, but I doubt it.

Then there is Mario Vargas Llosa. I doubt he will win as he is (i) a Latin American and the Nobel committee is biased in favor of Europeans and (ii) he is a right of center person and an unapologetic supporter of liberal democracy, the Nobel committee choices there days skew far to the left. In any event, while I have read lots of his essays over the years, I have read only one of his books "The Feast of the Goat." I did buy two of his books however in case he gets chosen over the next few years.

So, leaving aside the question of whether you have library privileges in the afterlife, I decided to make a list of those books I want to read before I die. In no particular order:

1. The Gulag Archipelago. All people with pretensions of being an intellectual need to be cured of the totalitarian temptation that seems to effect that class. (Am I an intellectual? Good question, I have pretensions of being one)

2. The Diary of a Young Girl. This seems to be such an important book for our time.

3. Two more Charles Dickens books. I have read a Tale of Two Cities and played Scrooge in Fifth Grade. I just need to figure out which ones to read.

4. An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent. I believe that all university trained English speaking Catholics can never read too much Newman.

5. The Summa Theologica. This book is so central to the Catholic faith, it is incredible I have never read more than the snippets required in my college theology classes.

6. More of the classical historians.

7. Something by Voltaire (other than Candide, which I have read). Though I am not sure what the Church's position on that could be.

8. The Discovery of Freedom. An obscure text these days to be sure, but one of the foundation documents of American libertarianism.

9. Tender is the Night. The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite books, so I should read more Fitzgerald.

10. Churchill's histories of World War I and II. I have read quite a few of Churchill's books. Churchill was a great writer -- despite his aristocratic background he was not that wealthy and lived mostly a hand to mouth existence until the 1950s. He survived on his books and lectures, so they had to be good. Granted, some of his books, like "The Malakand Field Force," have no interest to us today except as historical curiosities. But others, such as "My Early Life," should rank as great monuments to historical literature. Given the centrality of the two World Wars both to Western society and to Churchill himself, I think I should read his works on the conflicts.

11. Orwell's pre-WWII works. I have read "Animal Farm" and "1984" of course, along with some of his WWII era essays. Orwell should be considered one of the finest writers in English history. But he has such a wide variety of literature that I think if you read only 1984 you miss out. He is as relevant today as he was when he wrote. His essay, "Notes on Nationalism" could have been written yesterday.

12. Sword of Honor and Brideshead, Revisited. Waugh was very English, very aristocratic and very Catholic. He lamented a world he saw as in decline, the old virtues misplaced in a new world of common culture and industrialized warfare.

13. The Skin of Our Teeth. I read "Our Town" as a I teenager, stuck in the hospital after a hip operation. I still carry its message -- life is really best lived by appreciating the little things. As "The Skin of Our Teeth" is considered Wilder's second best work, that makes my list.

Well, the list does not include the two Vargas novels I bought, so once I finish those, I plan on working on the rest of my list.

How I Expect to Survive an Obama Presidency

A somewhat different take on my earlier plan to survive a Clinton presidency. Unlike that earlier plan, this has only two steps.


Keep repeating for four [eight?] years.

The only problem with the Obama martini is that once you make it, the government takes most of it and gives it to others. So you either have to drink it really fast or nip around the corner and drink it when no one is looking.

WELCOME American Digest readers! Come on in, pour yourself an Obama martini and take a look around.

A little more on Ayers

I am of two minds on Bill Ayers. On the one hand, I think Ayers should be sharing a jail cell with the Unabomber and that Senator Obama's relationship with him needs to be better examined (this whole "he was just a guy in my neighborhood" does not ring true). On the other hand, I really have no interest in refighting the culture wars of the 1960s, especially as I was 1 year old in 1968.

But I have never really believed that Ayers was just opposing the Vietnam War. Ayers went beyond that -- The Weathermen's real goal was a communist revolution in America, a dictatorship of the proletariat with all the horrors that would follow.

Much of the right side of the blogosphere has been linking to Zombie Time, which has found an old copy of "Prairie Fire", the Weather Underground's 1974 manifesto. Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, are listed as two of the four authors. They set forth a program of armed struggle, not just against the Vietnam War (which the US was out of in 1974) but rather the structure of society itself.

One ironic thing. Obama is trying to make simself the heir to the Kennedys and the book is dedicated to, among a long list of others, Sirhan B Sirhan, the assassin of RFK.

So am I overreacting? Was all the talk of "Armed struggle" and "dictatorship of the proletariat" just, as Senator Obama might say, mere "rhetorical flourishes?"

If this person, a former law enforcement mole in the Weather Underground is to be believed, no -- come the Revolution, the leadership of the Weathermen wanted reeducation camps and planned the liquidation of TWENTY FIVE MILLION Americans.

But his words alone are not necessary, Ayers's (and Dohrn's) own words say what their plans were.

Barrack Obama was 13 years old when Prairie Fire came out. But if Obama was connected with the Unabomber or an abortion clinic bomber, wouldn't people be asking more questions?

So, once again, does it all matter? I am not sure.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Why soccer should not be played on Astro-Turf

As a former goal keeper, I am torn between being happy that a keeper scored during play while I also really feel for Columbus's keeper. Of course, the fact that hated Red Bull NY scored, makes it even doubly annoying.

Powell's Endorsement

The blogosphere and the pundits have been ablaze with Colin Powell's endorsement of Senator Obama. It is not really that great a shock. It has been rumored for months (there were even rumors that Powell would speak at the Democratic Convention).

We on the right need to face facts. This is the last nail in the coffin. I know most conservatives do not like McCain but he was the only Republican who had a shot this year. He was game but the financial crisis (and his answer to it) doomed him.

Obama is the result of Bush. Without Bush., Barrack Obama is probably a Con Law professor, not about to be elected president. When Bush started talking about “compassionate conservatism” we all should have raised alarm bells. His actions after going into Iraq, his tone deafness, his fecklessness and his manifest unseriousness about everything has lead us here. And ow he is doing Obama's job for him by nationalizing the financial sector.

We as conservatives need to rethink a lot. As I noted last week, maybe we are meant for a period in the deep wilderness to remember our principles. I do worry though that collectivism and intervention will now be the norm.

Adam Smith

I spent last week on a business trip in Edinburgh, Scotland. Scotland of course was the home of Adam Smith, the father in many ways of the free market system. I stood before his statute on the Royal Mile and pondered what would he think of the current financial crisis? And then, what would his thoughts matter? The crisis has been caused by something that Smith could have never imagined. I doubt he would have much to say about the mechanics of subprime mortgages.

Or maybe he would. Would he have been worried about government interference in the real estate market? Or maybe he would have been more concerned about monetary policy, or the lack thereof.

This is not the first financial panic in history. They used to happen fairly regularly. Smith was obviously aware of the South Sea and Mississippi Company bubbles earlier in the 18th Century. It was those bubbles that probably kickstarted the Scottish interest in economics that flowered with Smith. And this panic looks a lot like that of 1907, with the bursting of a commodity bubble leading to panic on Wall Street and Main Street.

I do not know what Adam Smith would think. But I do know that we have been through this before, and will get through it again.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Life on Mars

Imagine being a cop today, getting hit by a car, and waking up in 1973. That is the premise of "Life on Mars"

I have watched a few of the British episodes on BBC America and it was brilliant. So I was intrigued when I saw that it was being transferred to the US. Apparently the original pilot, based in LA, was not accepted. The new pilot has a NY detective sent back to 1973. The show particularly uses music from the era well.

I was 6 in 1973. They show New York as a dirtier, grittier, smoggier, or wild place than the city today. And I think they hit that well. Was everything in 1973 in earth tones? Did everyone really have shaggy hair? It seems that way to me looking back to my childhood memories, but when does one really begin to remember? I remember the Mets winning the 1973 pennant (my mom organized the neighborhood kids to have a parade). I remember the Paris Peace Accords. I remember watching T.V. with my parents as air raid sirens went off in Israel.

But do I remember the colors and the hair or do I simply remember T.V. shows I watched later?

When does one begin to remember?

The Death of Conservatism?

In his latest Derb Radio, NRO's John Derbyshire argues, among other things, that conservatism is dead.

I agree with him. In the end, it is the fault of us conservatives ourselves. Why? Because the GOP, which was supposed to be the standard bearer of conservatism, decided the K Street Project was more important than principles.

It is not all George Bush's fault. Yes, he threw money at everything and had a program for every ill. As for Iraq, he went to war without being serious about it. But it comes down really to us ourselves.

I have decided in the end I can be a Republican or a conservative, not both. So I have decided to be a conservative. The role of conservatives for the next 25 years or so will be to stand athwart history shouting stop, instead of trying for actual power itself.

US-Cuba Qualifier Tonight

Cuba is in Washington to play us in a World Cup qualifier tonight. What is the over-under on the number of defections?

Turns out two already have disappeared.

Weather Report

High in the 60s, chance of falling investment bankers.

The credit boom turned into a crunch and now into a free fall. Bailouts, excuse me, "rescue plans" adopted by governments have done nothing to stop the bleeding. People are comparing this to 1929.

Before the founding of the Fed, "banking panics" happened with regulatory, and resulted in stock market crashes. The best analogy in my mind in the Panic of 1907. There was an asset bubble (though in copper, not real estate), the bursting of which lead to a severe credit crunch. As banks began to fail, New York banks suspended specie payments to customers. The Dow lost half of its value.

According to legend, JP Morgan at one point locked the heads of the ten largest banks in his office and told them they had to raise $25 million in half an hour. JD Rockefeller made big deposits in failing banks to help stabilize them.

In the end, the credit crunch eased and within two years the Dow was back at its pre-Panic levels.

Will that happen here? I do not know. The Great Depression was caused by a number of factors. The Fed has engaged in a mildly inflationary policy in the 1920s, but when the recession began (and the stock market crashed), the Fed for some reason decided to TIGHTEN credit. This caused a credit crunch that brought business to a halt. All that was needed was a few bank failures and a return to protectionism and the Great Depression was born.

It seems that the Fed has learned from the lessons of 1929-1933. They are not tightening credit. Unlike the Depression, the FDIC is protecting most persons deposits and so far at least, the failing banks seem to be taken over by other banks. But the fall in asset values is not being stemmed, and the credit crunch still seems in place.

Of course the call will go up for more regulation. But every time there is a banking or securities scandal, ore regulation is proposed -- the Enron scandal lead to SOX and changes to accounting rules, the S&L crisis lead to more regulation and yet we still have the Panic of 2008. More regulation inevitably leads to more lobbying and then a relaxation of that regulation (Representative Waters in 2003 telling a regulator that there were no problems at Fannie and Freddie).

In short, I believe the government should do as little as possible here. The Fed should keep credit available but allow the toxicity to bleed itself out of the system. The banks do not want to foreclose on 10 million houses (or however many it is). The banks can foreclose on the bad ones, renegotiate with the rest, and the bond holders will take their hit. That is capitalism.

Why Ayers Does Not Matter

Despite my protestation in the previous post, Ayers also does not matter. It WAS a long time ago. Barack Obama was a kid when Bill Ayers was off on his bomb throwing. The median age in the United States is about 36 so most Americans were not even born during the events of 1968 while others (such as myself) have no memory of those events (I was 1). And it was such a horrible time in America, I would imagine that most of those around at the time have suppressed much of the memory.

But for those not on a college campus or on a battlefield in Vietnam, was it such a horrible time? My parents always looked back wistfully at their childhood, even though they were born during the Depression. I used to jokingly ask my parents how they survived the 60s, and you get the feeling that they were too busy dealing with their own issues, jobs, saving for a house, going through the difficulties of trying to have a baby (my Mom had problems on that front) and finally raising me -- they did not have time to worry about bomb throwing radicals and the campus ideological battles between the SDS and YAF.

Given the challenges faced by the next president regarding the subprime meltdown and the continuing war in the Middle East, refighting 1968 is probably low on everyone's list of things to do.

Why Ayers Matters

Q. How is Obama like Osama?

A. They both know someone who bombed the Pentagon.

That joke has been circulating the Internet and it is unfair, but there is some truth to it. Ayers matters. If John McCain was palling around with someone who bombed abortion clinics 30 years ago and never felt any repentance, it would be front page news.

What annoys me most about Ayers is that he was a child of privilege who attacked the very system that gave him everything. One he faced jail for life, fell back on that privilege and the fact that the FBI made errors in building a case against him. Ayers should be sharing a cell with the Unabomber, not teaching (what exactly radicalism?) at a university.

I can understand the anger of the black militants of the 1960s. Blacks were treated as second class citizens and subject to harsh disabilities under the power of the Jim Crow laws. So I can understand why they viewed the “system” as corrupt. But Ayers and his ilk were simply spoiled children trying to get back at daddy for leaving them with the nanny while boinking the babysitter.

My parents grew up in poverty that I could never imagine. As Catholics, they were treated as second class citizens until after WWII, when the threat of communism became a bigger threat than the Pope. The country of their parents (Italy) has declared war on the United States. Yet they never threw bombs but worked damn hard to better themselves, their family and in that way, their country.

Ayers matters because he never regretted his life and it really raises the issue of Obama’s judgment. Obama has surrounded himself with some questionable people over the years. Where they people he used to further his activities and career or did Obama truly believe as his friends believe? Back in college I had am acquaintance who started associating with Operation Rescue types. I tried talking him out of it -- to me, Operation Rescue tended to shade off to a radical fringe that were terrorists. After he told me that he had lunch with Randall Terry, I broke off our friendship. And as far as I know, this person never threw a bomb or directly associated with anyone who threw a bomb.

Ayers matters because it sheds some light perhaps on what Obama truly believes. Despite his voting record, he is trying now (successfully) to publicly recast himself as a moderate. If elected, and with large Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, would Obama govern from the center or the left? And if from the left, how far left?

Ayers matters as it opens a window on Obama.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Crash Bam Boom!!!!!

My computer crashed. It is OK now though.