Archive for November, 2006

Magic Realism Visits the Middle East with Four Jills in a Jeep

Monday, November 27th, 2006

The Adventures of Chester’s Magical Realism Visits the Middle East
should be read along side Mark Steyn’s “Four Jills in a Jeep” for the diagnosis of the spell gripping the West.

Wretchard’s “To be scorned and shunned” then summarizes, with links, the effects of our elites’ (dis)enchantment.

While at Belmont Club, read these two pieces on the return of SMERSH and the dying of the light in Russia (Secretary Rice, Mr. Baker, how’s the engagement policy working out?).

Will the current President Bush be remembered as an Aragorn staying on offense against all odds or a Denethor trapped in the counsel of dispair and detente?

Google versus Ask: the pictures say it all

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

Once again, Google USA shoves our military down the memory hole, while Ask honors our veterans and Google Canada celebrates Remembrance Day. With such gross ideological bias by the senior leadership of Google USA, how could you possibly trust the integrity of their search results?

AZ propositions

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

The propositions tell a story of a law-and-order state with a bit of our founding Progressive impulse to make people be better (punishing nasty habits like smoking). So don’t smoking in public, pay a tobacco tax for the further institutionalization of preschool age children, and give food animals bigger pens to live in before we eat them. But don’t mess with the voting system by mailing out ballots to every registered voter and don’t turn ballots into lottery tickets.

Don’t lock up the public lands and don’t begger Grandma with ever-increasing property taxes. As to illegal aliens, don’t give them bail, don’t let them sue Americans, don’t give them any more access to the public schools than you must, and remind everyone that English is the language of Arizona. But we’re not mean spirited; we’re kind to the disadvantaged: the poor deserve a raise, and the elderly should be able to make whatever arrangements they want to take care of each other, so back off the extreme pursuit of any arrangement that might give legitimacy to gays. That last bit is complicated but it sold. And at the end of all the propositions and all the business the legislature failed to take care of itself, the people weren’t feeling generous about raises.

Here are the numbers as of Wednesday morning, from the spreadsheet at the official website

Voting rate
overall 45.30%
Maracopa 42.1%
Pima 52.8%
So the traditional R stronghold was weak and the D stronghold came out. That may explain the Hayworth and AZ8 (Kolbe retiring) seats.

Props: y/n
Prop. 100 No bail for illegal immigrants: 77.8/22.2
Prop. 101 Local property tax levies (limit to inflation):50.4/49.6
Prop. 102 Limits on lawsuit damages for illegal immigrants:74.4 /25.6
Prop. 103 - English as state’s official language: 74.5/25.8
Prop. 104 - Municipal debt to include emergency services: 58.6/41.4
Prop. 105 - Preserve 43,000 acres of state trust lands: 28.8/71.2
(stalking horse to draw off 106)
Prop. 106 - Preserve 694,000 acres of state trust lands: 48.4/51.6
Prop. 107 - Ban same-sex marriage: 48.6/51.4
Prop. 200 - $1 million lottery for voters 33.6/66.4
Prop. 201 - Ban smoking in restaurants, bars 54.2/45.8
Prop. 202 - Raise minimum wage 65.8/34.2
Prop. 203 - Cigarette tax to fund pre-school programs 52.6/47.4
Prop. 204 - Ban small cages for pigs, calves 61.5/38.5
Prop. 205 - Require mail-in ballots 28.8/71.2
Prop. 206 - Ban smoking in restaurants, not bars: 42.7/57.3
Prop. 207 - Limit government’s ability to take land: 65.1/34.9
Prop. 300 - Limit education services for illegal immigrants: 71.6 /28.4
Prop. 301 - Ban probation for methamphetamine offenses: 58.1/41.9
(recall we support medical marijuana, so are more treatment oriented than punitive, hence the closer vote here)
Prop. 302 - Pay raise for state legislators 46.9/53.1

When is a report of police brutality good news?

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

From MSNBC online:

BAGHDAD - In an unprecedented move, Iraqi authorities charged 57 members of the Shiite-dominated Iraqi police force, including a general, in the alleged torture of hundreds of detainees at a prison in east Baghdad, the Interior Ministry announced Tuesday.

When it is Iraq and the Iraqi government is charging rather than rewarding police officers for brutalizing people. The deposed dictator is on death row and thugs from a formerly oppressed group are facing prosecution for doing to Sunnis what Sunnis used to do to their group.

Election Day

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

Got up, brewed coffee and walked down the block to my polling place. Maybe 15 people in line. The ballot was long: four pages with all the propositions and judges. Allegedly the longest in the nation this year. But we get sample ballots and voter guides from various official and unofficial groups so there was no reason not to come in with all the “answers.” My snapshot observation was that a number of the people at my polling place had their preferences marked on a sample ballot or jotted down.

On the one hand, long ballots would seem to overwhelm and present a demand for judgment on matters which most of us know nothing about, and about which there is very little information to be found. How, exactly, am I supposed to judge which judge to retain and which not? On the other hand, if someone was to call themselves to the voters’ attention with especially politically offensive conduct/ decisions, then citizens have the opportunity to correct the perceived offense. So long as people feel indifferent or satisfied, the lists of obscure officials can be approved prefunctorilly or passed over entirely, the name on the list serving just as a safety valve for severe displeasure with a supposedly non-political official who calls themselves to the public’s attention.

Regarding officials and displeasure, I just do not understand how the head of the GOTV effort for the Republican Party helps his boss avoid impeachment by going on the air the day before an election, where he needs every R and a lot of I’s to come out for his slate, to call the base “restrictionists.” He did so on Hugh Hewitt’s program and Hugh did not challenge him. Laura Ingraham did pick up on it and was hot on the topic of operatives who had failed to produce results and even insulted the base for the past two years now trying so say it is the base’s fault in advance of the election results. Here is the quote in context:

HH: Now Karl Rove, you’ve got the Hispanic vote out there. The President’s done very well with it. It’s been absolutely essential to keep reminding the Hispanic voting community that it’s a great program that the President’s put forward in terms of legalization and a border security. Has that affected, though…the debate that’s been going on has often been not civil, despite the President’s attempt to keep it so. Has that affected Hispanic turnout, or Hispanic voting?

KR: I don’t know about a Hispanic turnout. I do think that individual Republican candidates are going to look back after this election and find that the rhetoric that they adopted hurt them in the Hispanic community. And we’re going to find other candidates who are going to look back and find that the rhetoric that they adopted by emphasizing a comprehensive solution to our border problems won them support in the Hispanic community. So I think there’s going to be…again, this race is going to be largely dominated by choices between two individual candidates running for the same office, and less by national issues. Now national issues will intrude, but they will intrude in the frame of a choice between the two individual candidates. And in that instance, I think immigration will be seen as…a comprehensive approach will be seen as a winner, and a narrow restrictionist approach will be seen as a loser.

Clumsy to adopt a negative label and even clumsier to do so the day before an election where you want the base to overlook the snubs and offenses of the past.