Thursday, April 5, 2007

For the record: I do not support Romney for President

To be fair, right now I ain't supporting anyone's bid. It's too early. I can say, however, that Romney does not sit at the top of my list. When I pipe up in "Romney" posts over at Hewitt's, it's not to defend the man, but our shared religion. I'd do the same for Harry Reid, if I gave enough of a rat's ass about the guy to read any posts about him, that is. [On second thought, were I in fact to comment about "Mormonism" in a Harry Reid post, it would be for the purposes of excoriating the corrupt s.o.b. on theological grounds.]

Romney as a candidate bugs me, but I can't put a finger on why that is, though I'll try:

Are his missteps because he's still politically naive, or because he's practicing some kind of cynical manuevering and taking the support of his enthuiastic core as a sign that he can take a whole lot more for granted?

Is it just that he reminds me just enough of John Kerry to get my hackles up? There's plenty of time left, so maybe he'll wise up and stop playing this thing like a game. But right now he seems to me to be playing this as a game - and I think that's what annoys me, however sincere he may be in his faith, and however sincere he may be as a conservative.

Maybe it's the Mormon in me that's doing all the reacting here (ironically enough). If there's one thing some Mormons don't like, it's too much polish, and Romney seems to have it to spare.

Look: Have you ever seen one of our General Conferences?

AND stayed awake through the first fifteen minutes?

Exactly.

It's the way he's doing this campaign that reminds me of the kind of missionary (thankfully few and far between) that sometimes pop up in a mission who'll baptise anyone with a pulse, testimony and faith being issues that can be dealth with later. I don't think Romney is like that, I must mention, but the way he's campaigning reminds me of that, and it speaks poorly of him. Would it have killed the man to say, "Well, you know, I'm just not a hunter. But I support your right to hunt" instead of stretching a thin fact to near invisibility in order to whore himself out to the NRA for more money?

Maybe I just have a built-in distrust for Mormons who choose politics as a career. I dunno.

But, like I say, maybe he'll shape up.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Sometimes I worry about my sense of proportion

Like when I write stuff like this (regarding American Idol):
You can have your high drama and heart-warming dreams-made-real. The end product is still the worst, godawful music - horribly sung in that tedious, overly-affected American Idol faux-soul way - that Western culture has so far managed to produce.

It's worse than gangsta rap.

American Idol and the oh so carefully produced noises it gives us is the musical equivalent of art shows that feature nothing but "installation" pieces consisting of crucifixes soaking in jars of urine. Crucifixes soaking in jars of urine is only "art" to a culture that has grown too stupid to know the difference between good art and jars of [piss] with crucifixes in them. (It's too easy to blame pop-art jackasses like Warhol. I blame all of your parents instead for not having the courage, or possibly the brains to begin with to admit that they didn't know Warhol was simply a practical joker of the first order.)

Who cares that the voting is in the hand of the American Public. Isn't it the American Public we need to blame for making Howard Stern and his cavalcade of mental defectives and moral idiots rich and famous? Isn't it the American Public that makes it possible for notorious spit-dribblers like Ann Coulter and Bill Maher to laugh (wetly) all the way to the bank?

Honestly. Pull your ears out of your hinders, people. Go listen to some Beethoven or something. Hell - go listen to a Buzzcocks CD. You'll find more music in 1 minute of Pete Shelley's screechy vocals than in an entire season of American Idol.

No. Don't argue. Just do it.
Over the top? Maybe. I really hate American Idol, but I suppose I shouldn't hate the people that like it. After all, I do listen to the Buzzcocks, so do I really have a leg to stand on here?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Republicans: Our problem is NOT that we are "too nice."

Good Lord, not remotely. From our elected politicians to our media favorites to our bloggers - high, middle, and low - we can be as brainlessly mean and nasty in victory and as childish and wretched in defeat as any non-Reublican was in 2004.

I bring this up after going through a couple of posts at Hot Air. The first, a link to Zell-Miller-Democrat Orson Scott Card's call for Republicans to start encroaching on the Democrat's most valable turf, the Old Media, would carry more weight for me - even after our losing this latest election round - if it weren't for the constant harping by our New Media heroes about the death of that same Old Media (the L.A. Times being just one delicious example). I don't think we lost the election because the MSM had the edge.

The second post, following a related line of thought, points out that Republicans and conservative bloggers are starting to lose the information wars in the New Media arena as well. Our problem there? We're too damn independant and wary of lock-step blogging.

Well, maybe. Many responding to that post seem to think that our presence in the information arenas is the key to turnining things around, fighting fire with fire and etc. As one puts it:

The liberal blogs actually INSTRUCT their readers to Digg EVERYTHING … and they do. Liberals beat us on the internet because they are radical and aggressive in their tactics and they actually work as a group to change things.

We do not. We sit in here and complain about their fanatical actions and lose while we’re patting ourselves on the back for being more civilized.

Same thing with the immigration debate. They are out on the streets marching, protesting, and doing what it takes to impact policy. Meanwhile, we conservatives have a tough time getting 50 people to show up at a Boycott Miller event.

While liberals are pacifists when it comes to real war … they kick our ass when it comes to political activism. We will continue to lose until we find a way to motivate ourselves into taking action in ways other than using a keyboard.
"Concur!" says another. "That is the problem, beautifully stated, of EVERYTHING WRONG WITH CONSERVATIVES. WE ARE TOO DAMNED NICE!!"

Well, once again, maybe. Not about the "too nice" thing, but about our need to increase our presence on the streets as well.

Except that doesn't quite get to the real problem currently facing the Republicans right now. If you want know why we're losing elections now, and why even if by some quirk of chance we win some in 2008 there's still a chance it won't do conservative causes any good, including what apparently only we are capable of perceiving as a War on Terror, I urge you to check out a couple of recent posts by Dean Barnett.

The problem, put simply, is that our elected officials - the ones we've been carrying water for - don't know any more about the world around them than your average reader of the New York Times.

Read.

Read some more.

Too lazy to click and read? Here's the gist:

One thing most every reader of conservative blogs comprehends is the existential stakes of the current war. People who read blogs are high end gatherers of news. They’re outliers, but in a very good way. They’re people like my friend, Dr. (of medicine, i.e. a real doctor) Andy Bostom who reacted to 9/11 by learning everything he could about Islam. The product of his research was the thorough and seminal book, “The Legacy of Jihad.”

I’m always astonished by how well informed the readers of a site like this one are. Since I put out a call for books that might help our congressmen get up to speed, I’ve been deluged by responses. Blog readers are high end news consumers, and by nature intellectually curious.

Now imagine if you didn’t read blogs and didn’t read books. Picture all the things that you know now that you wouldn’t know if you left your news gathering to the tender mercies of the mainstream media’s editorial decisions. You’d probably be unaware of the ghastly fate that awaits 200 French automobiles each evening at the hands of rampaging “youths.” You’d definitely be unaware of the youths’ affiliation with certain religious practices.

If all your news came from newspapers, you wouldn’t understand how numerous, determined and flat-out crazy our enemies are. You wouldn’t know how widespread the phenomenon of Radical Islam is because the New York Times, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal don’t report it. Every now and then you would stumble over an editorial or op-ed piece highlighting a particularly pathological incident, but you would have no concept of how massive the problem is.

AND THIS IS WHERE WE CLOSE THE LOOP. I’ve long wondered how our leaders can be so unserious about the fight we’re in given the existential stakes. Now I get it – they just don’t understand the stakes. The newspapers haven’t told them that we’re in a fight for our lives. Lord knows the intelligence agencies don’t get it. And now we know the congressmen themselves take either no or precious little initiative to educate themselves.

So on the left you get relentless partisanship because they don’t understand that there are larger issues involved. On the right you get mantra-like chanting of “We must win in Iraq” but with little understanding of how the battle in Iraq fits in with the greater war. This explains why we haven’t heard a single one of our leaders offer a vision of how we’re going to not only “win” in Iraq but how we’re also going to “win” in Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, etc. They do not grasp the size of our challenge.
This has been some tough crow to eat. I "became political," for lack of a better phrase, in our post-9/11, pre-War with Iraq phase. We Republicans were riding - well, not high, exactly - but we still had some play. I got interested in the sport just as my team was in its winning streak.

Now my team isn't content to merely lose; it seems determined to refuse to change a single thing in its playbook. There will be no new Contract With America from this current loser-remainder of knuckleheads, I'm afraid.

Hang on - I've gotten a little off field, here.

[pause]

Right. My point, then, is that having more control and presence at liberal/Democrat stomping grounds won't help us unless we have something to present that goes beyond a mere checklist of conservative/Republican tropes. We already have that, and our politicians don't look at it anymore.

Solution? Throw the bums out. Theirs and ours.

Or at least let's put some of this fabled conservative-blogswarm prowess in the direction of our currently deaf and blind elected representatives and initiate our own house-cleaning. I suspect a good kick in the pants from the heretofore-taken-for-granted water-carriers would be a very, very good thing, and remind them that the New Media has created a very new kind of voter, one that didn't exist when the GOP's Contract With American was originally made.

Who should honestly be working harder for whom in this ridiculous relationship, after all?
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Greetings, fellow fretboard junkies.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

6 to 8 "Seriously Corrupt" Democratic Senators?

Allahpundit puts it best:
Oh man. This + Murtha as leader = best. majority. ever.
If it's true that Abramoff is going to drag some big guns on the Dem side down with him, I think this couldn't have come at a better time.

I certainly don't believe that this news would have helped Republican chances in the election. The conservative voters who voted Democrat this year weren't voting because they wanted Democrats in; they were voting to remind the RNC that there are consequences to skewing left and taking the base for granted. I believe that for these "punish the RNC" voters, whom I agree with more and more every day as news of how the RNC "old guard" are acting like idiots keeps coming out, this story wouldn't have changed a thing.

And had this story come out before the election, it would have given the Dems time to bury it, or explain it away. "6 corrupt Democratic senators? Hey - at least they aren't getting all gay with the teenage interns! As far as we know!"

I prefer it this way. We're only a week-and-a-half into Pelosi's 100 Days of Holy Miracles, and suddenly the Fresh, New Majority is is going to have to do some serious twisting in the wind.

This and other examples of Democratic fecklessness and heinous mismanagement that are guaranteed to follow won't win us the majority again in 2008 - only a serious shake up of the RNC can do that - but it'll help grease the wheels, if I may use an unfortunate but obvious metaphor.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Woah! Have you read THIS?

I mean, check it out!

(got your six, buddy.)

And here's a Sunday-appropriate post from the same blogger, the excellent See-Dubya of JunkyardBlog:

My point is just that there is a truly sad poverty of good design out there. No, scratch that; there is plenty of good design, there simply isn't the will to insist on it. But whether you're Catholic, Fundamentalist, or Swedenborgian, I hope we can all agree that churches, even those built cheaply or quickly, ought to eschew both banality and repellent ugliness for its own sake. As someone who loves Christianity and wants to see it succeed, please, please, take an interest in the face your church presents to the secular world.
The man's got a point. I've seen some ugly stuff out there. Heck - I've performed in some ugly church buildings over the years.

Mormons approach things from a slightly different viewpoint, separating - in terms of design - our temples from our regular meeting buildings.

Our temples, which are places set apart and considered (by us, at least) to be no less holy as the temples mentioned in the Old Testament and as filling the same general functions, are built to reflect our belief in their purpose and place in the world; hence, the usually beautiful - some could say elaborate (but never, thankfully, religion-channel-style gaudy) - design.

Meetings houses, on the other hand, serve more or less as Mormon community centers, complete with chapels, administrative offices, and all-purpose recreation rooms which by definition include basketball courts and stages on which to perform plays and etc. Their functionality dictates that we still want a clean, traditional design, but when you know that boy scouts are going to be running around like wild animals a couple of times a week all through the building, well, let's just say you don't want to build a Mormon meeting house with the same philosophy in mind as, say, the Glass Cathedral. The Glass Cathedral wouldn't last ten minutes if it were exposed to a typical hunting pack of Webelos.

I'm serious. Maybe nine minutes on the outside.