Monthly Archives: January 2011

An Analysis of the 2010 House Elections

I’m a bit late with this post, but it seems appropriate now as a sort of follow-up to my previous post regarding the House of Representatives.  When someone is both a political junkie and a stats nerd like I am, it’s hard to resist the temptation to delve into the numbers of any election.  So I am going to take a closer look at some of the more interesting figures from last November’s election results for the U.S. House of Representatives. Continue reading

Feeling Cranky

I brought back my old blog, at a slightly different address, and addressed the Arizona shooting.  Hopefully this will be the last word I speak on what has been some rank opportunism.

First Amendment? What First Amendment?

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The above video is a stirring rendition of a campaign song for Abraham Lincoln in 1860:  Lincoln and Liberty Too, probably the most effective campaign ditty in American political history.  It was sung everywhere by Republicans in 1860, from huge campaign rallies to small gatherings of Lincoln supporters.  Lincoln Wide Awakes would hold torch light processions throughout the North singing the song at the top of their lungs.  The type of enthusiasm generated by the song helped give Lincoln a popular vote plurality in 1860 and an electoral landslide. 

I think the song would probably be illegal under legislation proposed by Congressman Robert Brady (D.Pa). 

“Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.) reportedly plans to introduce legislation that would make it a federal crime to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a federal official or member of Congress.” 

Critics originally took Palin to task for the apparent use of the crosshairs of guns to identify the districts. The controversy re-ignited Saturday after the shooting, since Giffords’s district was included on the map.  

Brady singled out the map as the type of rhetoric he opposed. 

“You can’t put bull’s-eyes or crosshairs on a United States congressman or a federal official,” he said. 

However, a Palin spokeswoman denied Sunday that the image was intended to depict gun sights. Palin offered condolences to the Giffords family and other victims of the shooting on her Facebook page Saturday. 

 Here is the ad from SarahPac that has Congressman Brady so worked up:  

   

   

   

 

   

The crosshairs on the map indicated members of Congress targeted for defeat by SarahPac.  Such targeting imagery of course is commonplace in political campaigns.  Only a moron, or a partisan hack, would think that violence in any way was implied by the use of this image.  As far as American political speech goes, this was pretty tepid stuff.  Continue reading

I Will Not Be Silenced

I will not tone down my rhetoric.

I will not apologize for my political views.

I will not give up my guns, or my right to purchase more.

I will not give up my right to free speech.

I will not take responsibility for the actions of a dope-smoking, devil-worshiping, Marx and Hitler-loving psychopath.

I will not take seriously anyone who blames an old political ad posted on Facebook for those actions.

I will reject as the contemptible hypocrites and cowards that they are those who refuse to acknowledge the hate and violence in the rhetoric of the left, including the violent phrases and metaphors used repeatedly by Barack Hussien Obama.

I will not listen to lectures on violence by anyone who supports increasing the coercive power of the state over the lives of American citizens, families, and communities.

I will not listen to lectures on violence by anyone who is a sycophantic apologist for the party that escalated the Vietnam War or cheered the bombing of Serbia.

I will not listen to lectures on violence and a “climate of hate” from people who have made the most horrible, violent, and threatening statements imaginable regarding Sarah Palin and her family. There is no hatred more intense in this country than the hate that leftists have for Sarah Palin.

I will not listen to lectures on violence by anyone who supports the “right” to violently dismember innocent unborn children in their mother’s wombs.

I will never again listen to calls not to “rush to judgment” when a Muslim fanatic murders American citizens from anyone on the left.

I will not trade God-given, constitutionally-protected liberties for a false and futile sense of security.

I will not accept the idiotic belief that more laws, more regulations, and more police can solve problems of the human soul.

I will continue to advocate for limited government, state’s rights, popular sovereignty, free markets, individual and family rights, religious liberty, and a Culture of Life.

I will not be silenced.

Who’s with me?

Former Planned Parenthood director tells her story.

Next Tuesday, January 11th, Ignatius Press will launch a new book by former Planned Parenthood director and 2008 “employee of the year” Abby Johnson.

Unplanned is a behind-closed-doors expose of one of the biggest providers in the abortion industry, and a testimony of how Mrs. Johnson went from directing an abortion facility to working for the prolife cause. (And not just any abortion facility but the place at which the first 40 Days for Life campaign was launched in 2004).

As expected, Planned Parenthood isn’t taking this lightly. They filed a lawsuit to shut her up — but had their case dismissed.

Get all the details here, and purchase Unplanned from Ignatius Press at 35% off. You can also read the first chapter of Abby’s story in its entirety.

Abby also blogs at: http://www.abbyjohnson.org/.

Please join her prayer campaign for the conversion of Dr. LeRoy Carhart, one of the most experienced second & third trimester abortion providers.

Just Thought I Would Share…

Michelle Malkin has done the work I wish I could do more efficiently, and provided a post that highlights dozens of examples of violent hate speech and images put out by the left.

All I will say here is that it is ironic that Sarah Palin is being blamed for a “violent” political mood when few public figures (or their families) have had more hatred, contempt, and violent/sexist insults slung at them.

Increasing the Size of Congress: Would It Work?

One of the main objections that critics of the Constitution had was that the proposed U.S. House of Representatives would be too small.  Article I, Section 2 decreed that the number of representatives should not exceed one for every thirty thousand.  Critics feared that such an enumeration would mean that the districts would be far too large, and the representatives would not be close enough to the people they represent.  State ratifying convention offered up several amendments to this plan, and the first Congress included a revision to this section as one of the twelve original amendments to the Constitution.  In fact, if it had been ratified it would have been the first amendment, and it so read:

Article the first … After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons.

As it turned out, this was only of the original twelve never to be ratified by the states.  Ten were immediately ratified and became known collectively as the Bill of Rights, and an 11th – dealing with Congressional pay raises – was ratified in 1992 and became the 27th Amendment.

If critics were outraged at congressional districts of 30,000, imagine their horror at today’s apportionment.  After the 2000 census the average size of a congressional district jumped to 646,952, a number that has swelled to just over 700,000 in light of the recent census.  In other words, Congressional districts are roughly 23 times larger than originally planned.

So if the states ever got around to ratifying what would have been the first amendment, Congress would increase about fifteen-fold, or to 6,525, as opposed to the current total of 435.   And if we went with the original number prescribed in the Constitution, there would be just over 10,000 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.  Yee-haw!

It’s probably safe to assume that we will not be increasing the number of representatives by that margin anytime soon.  But as something of a fun little thought experiment, what would happen if we “merely” increased the House by triple it current size? Continue reading

The Left and the Political Blood Libel

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As indicated by the video above, many people on the Left have been relentless, since news broke of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims, on trying to blame conservatives somehow for the actions of one crazed lunatic.  There is no evidence that the gunman was motivated by anything other than the severe mental illness that he seems to be afflicted with.  However, those on the Left seeking to demonize those they politically oppose will not let a little thing like the truth stand in their way.  Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, takes a look at all this today in a column in the Wall Street Journal:

Shortly after November’s electoral defeat for the Democrats, pollster Mark Penn appeared on Chris Matthews’s TV show and remarked that what President Obama needed to reconnect with the American people was another Oklahoma City bombing. To judge from the reaction to Saturday’s tragic shootings in Arizona, many on the left (and in the press) agree, and for a while hoped that Jared Lee Loughner’s killing spree might fill the bill.

With only the barest outline of events available, pundits and reporters seemed to agree that the massacre had to be the fault of the tea party movement in general, and of Sarah Palin in particular. Why? Because they had created, in New York Times columnist Paul Krugman’s words, a “climate of hate.”

The critics were a bit short on particulars as to what that meant. Mrs. Palin has used some martial metaphors—”lock and load”—and talked about “targeting” opponents. But as media writer Howard Kurtz noted in The Daily Beast, such metaphors are common in politics. Palin critic Markos Moulitsas, on his Daily Kos blog, had even included Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’s district on a list of congressional districts “bullseyed” for primary challenges. When Democrats use language like this—or even harsher language like Mr. Obama’s famous remark, in Philadelphia during the 2008 campaign, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun”—it’s just evidence of high spirits, apparently. But if Republicans do it, it somehow creates a climate of hate.

There’s a climate of hate out there, all right, but it doesn’t derive from the innocuous use of political clichés. And former Gov. Palin and the tea party movement are more the targets than the source. Continue reading

Time to Drive Planned Parenthood From the Federal Trough

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Congressman Mike Pence (R.Ind), has been a tireless advocate of driving Worse Than Murder, Inc, a\k\a Planned Parenthood away from the Federal trough.  Last week on January 7, he reintroduced his bill to defund Planned Parenthood.  Here is his statement:

“It is morally wrong to end an unborn human life by abortion.  It is also morally wrong to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use them to promote abortion at home or abroad.

Continue reading

Fighting the Good Fight: The Father Peter Whelan Story

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“Fr. Whelan, a Catholic priest from Savannah came in and spoke words of cheer to the condemned and prayed for the forgiveness of their crimes. This lone priest was the only minister of the Gospel that ever came into the prison to speak a kind word or set aright our misguided souls. He made regular visits to the prison, consoled the dying and anointed the dead of his faith. Too much praise cannot be accorded this reverend gentleman for trying to turn sinners to Christ; but in the Last Day, Heaven will cry out for vengeance on ministers of other denominations for their indifference toward their kindred confined in prison.”

Charles Fosdick, Company K, 5th Iowa Volunteers

Hattip to commenter Jim Schmidt.  Faithful readers of this blog will recall my post Priest of Andersonville in which I related the story of Father Peter Whelan, a Roman Catholic priest and Confederate Army chaplain who, on his own initiative, ministered to the tens of thousands of Union prisoners of war at the infamous Andersonville prison in 1864. Continue reading

Will The Left Answer For Any Of This?

One More Thing: It is hard to imagine a website more overflowing with savage hatred of political enemies than the Daily Kos. Just a few days ago, an enraged blogger at that site posted a vitriolic rant aimed at Rep. Giffords that has since been taken down but can be viewed here. Even if the idiotic theory that this gunman was “influenced” by a “violent” statement or image from the media were true, it would make more sense to blame this much more recent outburst of left-wing rhetorical violence against a conservative-leaning Democrat than it would a nearly year-old ad posted by Sarah Palin on Facebook.

Even though it has been established that Jared Lee Loughner, the man who shot Congresswoman Giffords and murdered/wounded several others on Saturday, has no easily discernible political affiliations, left-wing commentators are still using the incident to blame Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and others for creating a climate of political hate.

In their warped little universe, only the right-wing is motivated to political violence. Well, I want to remind everyone of a few examples of left-wing related or inspired political terrorism, violence and insanity that have taken place within recent memory.

Remember Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech killer? 32 killed, 25 wounded, April 16, 2007. Violent hatred of the rich and wealthy, could have easily been inspired by far-left class warfare rhetoric. Violent hatred of God and religion, could have easily been inspired by left-wing hatred of religion.

Remember Harlan Drake? He murdered pro-life activist Jim Pouillon on September 11, 2009, while he was protesting. Violence against pro-life political activists is routine, and violence against women by the disgraced butchers we call abortionists is also a common occurrence.

Remember Amy Bishop? Three killed, three wounded, February 12, 2010. An obsessed devotee of President Barack Hussein Obama.

Who can forget the SEIU thugs who beat up a black conservative named Kenneth Gladney at a Townhall meeting in St. Louis back in August of 2009?

Or how about the Black Panther thugs who intimidated voters on election day and ranted in the streets about “killing crackers” and their babies?

Though it didn’t take place here in the U.S., I have to give special mention once again to the eco-fascist snuff film “No Pressure”, which was released and quickly canned in the UK. This is one of the most horrific and violent propaganda films I have ever seen, and far surpasses most American television shows and movies in terms of gore. Of course there is a long history of environmental and animal-rights terrorism from the left.

I refuse to engage in dialogue with anyone who thinks political speech on either side should be silenced because of any of these incidents or any that have occurred on our side of the spectrum. Your position is unacceptable, hypocritical, and morally contemptible.

The Shooting of Congresswoman Giffords

Update: What will the shameless Democratic and left-wing hacks blaming Palin, Beck, and Limbaugh for today’s shooting say about images such as those covered here? One more thing: the shooter evidently had a problem with God, so I blame Christopher Hitchens. How’s that?

For those who haven’t heard yet, Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 11 other people, including a judge, were shot at public event in Tuscon, AZ. As far as I know, Giffords is alive and in critical condition. The judge, John Roll, did not survive.

Since this was apparently a politically motivated shooting – though details are still coming in on the shooter and his possible motivations – it has necessarily generated a great deal of political anger. Before I get to that, I think it is important to say first of all that each of us should say a prayer for Giffords, Roll, and the others who were gunned down today. Do it now, if you like.

Now to the business at hand.

All of us on the political right, and particularly those of us in the Tea Party, are going to have to bear the political consequences of this shooting, regardless of whether or not the shooter had anything to do with our movement. The left-wing mediasphere has wasted no time blaming the Tea Party and particularly Sarah Palin for Gifford’s shooting.

Yes, Sarah Palin is being singled out for blame because of the political ads she ran during the 2010 election season with the faces of various Democratic congressmen and women in crosshairs. But if she is to blame, so is the radical leftist and unbelievable hypocrite who runs the Daily Kos, Markos Moulitsas, who urged his readers to “target” and put a “bulls-eye” on Gifford’s district (she is, after all, a blue-dog Democrat). The truth of course is that neither of them are to blame.

It should be obvious to anyone who isn’t trying to use this tragedy to justify a wave of political repression that these images almost certainly had nothing to do with this shooting. No one who is mentally balanced would be driven to such a desperate act by merely seeing it, and someone who is already unbalanced could find a thousand different things to justify it.

We will also hear renewed calls for gun control, and undoubtedly AZ’s gun laws will be blamed for the shooting. Defenders of the 2nd amendment must stand firm in their resolve and not be intimidated. Our right to bear arms is constitutionally protected, and our right to self-defense is a natural right that does not come from governments but from God. Nothing can change that fact, though unfortunately there are many who will give into fear and panic and believe that restricting these rights will bring them all of the security they think they need.

Above all we cannot let this derail the movement for limited government and fiscal responsibility. We should consider moreover that as a blue-dog Democrat, Giffords is more and not less likely to cooperate with the Tea Party. She faced a very intense challenge from a Tea Party candidate in November, and I don’t think she would have been able to win the seat or keep it if she did not work with her opponents on key issues. That’s why she was on the Daily Kos’ “target” and “bulls-eye” list.

I have a feeling, though, that voices calling for political repression and censorship of “dangerous” political ideas will gain a great deal from this. I wonder, though, how many leftists blaming Sarah Palin for this have a problem with eco-fascist snuff films such as this, in which children are blown to bloody bits for failing to take simple measures to reduce their carbon footprints. I wonder if they would link such vile films to tragedies such as this one. Yes, we should “look into” the connection between global warming snuff films and global warming murder-suicides.

Congresswoman Shot, At Least Six Dead in Arizona

U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was one of over a dozen people shot today at an event in Arizona, and  federal judge John Roll was one of those killed in the shooting.  Early reports indicated that Rep. Giffords had died, but now it appears that she pulled through surgery, and her prognosis is positive.

The alleged shooter was Jared Lee Loughner, and Daniel Foster has some screenshots from the shooter’s YouTube page.  Unsurprisingly a disturbed individual.

Pray for the victims and their families.

Marines’ Hymn

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Some people work an entire lifetime and wonder if they ever made a difference to the world.? But the Marines don’t have that problem.

Ronald Reagan

Something for the weekend.  The oldest of the official songs of a branch of the US military, the composer of the Marines’ Hymn is unknown, but is thought to have been a Marine serving in Mexico during the Mexican War, hence the “Halls of Montezuma”.  The music is taken from the Gendarmes Duet from the Opera Genevieve de Brabant, written by Jacques Offenback in 1859.

Prior to 1929 the first verse used to end:

” Admiration of the nation,
we’re the finest ever seen;
And we glory in the title
Of United States Marines”

which the then Commandant of the Marine Corps changed to the current lines.  On November 21, 1942,  Commandant Thomas Holcomb approved a change in the words of the first verse’s fourth line from “On the land as on the sea” to “In the air, on land, and sea”.

My favorite rendition of the hymn is in the movie The Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)  This film earned John Wayne his first Oscar nomination as best actor.  (Broderick Crawford would win for his stunning performance in All The King’s Men.)   Wayne was initially reluctant to take the role, partly because he had not fought in World War II, and partly because he saw script problems and didn’t like the character of Sergeant Styker as initially written in the screen play.  (There is evidence that Wayne, 34 at the time of Pearl Harbor, and with 3 kids, did attempt to volunteer in 1943 for the Marine Corps with assignment to John Ford’s OSS Field Photographic Unit, but was turned down.) 

Wayne was convinced to take the role because the film had the enthusiastic backing of the Marine Corps, which viewed it as a fitting tribute to the Marines who fought in the Pacific, and to help combat a move in Congress to abolish the Corps.  Marine Commandant Clifton B. Cates went to see Wayne to request that he take the role and Wayne immediately agreed.  (Thus began a long association of John Wayne with the Marine Corps, including Wayne narrating a tribute to Marine Lieutenant General Chesty Puller.)  

 Appearing in the film were several Marine veterans of the Pacific, including Colonel David Shoup, who earned a Medal of Honor for his heroism at Tarawa, and who would later serve as a Commandant of the Corps, and Lieutenant Colonel Henry Crow who led a Marine battalion at Tarawa.  The Marine Corp hymn is sung in the film after the death of Wayne’s character, one of ten films in which a Wayne character died, and as the raising of the flag is recreated. 

 Taking part in the flag raising were Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes and John Bradley, the three survivors of the six flag raisers who survived the battle.  (The three men who raised the flag and subsequently died in the battle were Franklin Sousely, Harlon Block and Michael Strank.)  (First Lieutenant Harold Schrier, who led the flag raising party that raised the first, smaller, flag on Mount Suribachi, and who was awarded a Navy Cross and a Silver Star for his heroism on Iwo Jima, also appeared in the film.)  The flag on top of Mount Suribachi could be seen across the island, and was greeted with cheers by the Marines and blaring horns by the ships of the Navy.  A mass was said on Mount Suribachi at the time of the flag raising and I have written about that here.  Go here to see the ending of the Sands of Iwo Jima and listen to the Marines’ Hymn. Continue reading

Dating Advice From Uncle Joe Biden

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Joe Biden gives dating advice to the daughters of new members of the Senate.  This video is a prime example of why Biden has always been a figure of fun to me rather than a figure that gets me angry.  Joe Biden is none too bright, as he has demonstrated by his endless gaffes, and a few instances of plagiarism, and I regard his policy positions, notably his pro-abortion position, as appalling.  However, the man does have a certain daffy charm, rather like a sweet old uncle who, at every family reunion, confuses the names of most of his nieces and nephews, specializes in non-sequiturs, and invariably will end up passed out on the pile of coats in the spare bedroom.  Of course, the dazed and confused sweet old Uncle isn’t a heartbeat away from the presidency, Heaven help us all, as Joe is.

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