May not post till late this week or early next week. Setting up a new private practice and finals at the University. Have a great week.
A View from the Left? Or a View from Way Out in Left Field Left?
Harley Sorensen writes a View From The Left in SFGate. I'll let you read it. Needless to say if you are on the right hand side of center, you will laugh at all the cliche's Sorensen notes. If you are on the left side of center, you will think this fellow is wise beyond all reckoning.
Personally, I think he is so far out in Left Field, the majority of lefties will probably agree with him out loud, but in their hearts and in their private thoughts they may wonder if he has a screw loose, or maybe two. Ahhh, the left, they are so much fun these days!
A tip of the Chapeau to Real Clear Politics
A Senseless Death
A 13 year old Palestinian girl killed by Israeli troops. Coverup. Uncovered by troops who reported their Commander for what appears to be outright murder. I say appears, for though he has been charged, he hasn't been convicted - - yet!
This tragedy is being fairly widely reported, as it should be. But, I wonder why isn't the murder of Israeli children equally played up? Is it because Israel is seen as the bogeyman and Hamas, Fatah etc., are not? Or, does it reflect the ideology of the MSM? I don't know, I only know that the killing has to stop if there is to be peace between Israel and her neighbors.
Thanks to Oxblog for the tip.
Sportsman of the Year
Pat Tillman is one of my heros. Not because of sports, I'm not a big follower of football. Not because he was killed in action in Afghanistan, though that, like the death of any American Soldier is a great loss. But because he walked away from a safe life and joined the Army because he was called to serve his country. Pat Tillman marched to the sound of a different drummer than most pro sports players.
He is currently third in the running for Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year. Go to the website here and vote for a real sportsman and a real hero.
And a Tip of the Chapeau to Andrew Sullivan
To Post? Or Not To Post?
I couldn't have said it better myself: Cox and Forkum
Cognitive Dissonance Indeed!
A week ago Brad Radcliff published an article in the DemocraticUnderground website here. The gist of the article is that Bush voters voted the way they did because they are incapable of recognizing that they have been conned by Bush/Rove. This is called "Cognitive Dissonance" and it is an attempt to explain why people who believe in a certain way, are reluctant to change their minds.
Cognitive dissonance was first investigated by Leon Festinger and associates, arising out of a participant observation study of a cult which believed that the earth was going to be destroyed by a flood, and what happened to its members, particularly the really committed ones who had given up their homes and jobs to work for the cult. When the flood did not happen. While fringe members were more inclined to recognize that they had made fools of themselves and to "put it down to experience", committed members were more likely to re-interpret the evidence to show that they were right all along (the earth was not destroyed because of the faithfulness of the cult members).
In other words, the more difficult it is to understand/rationalize one's actions, the higher level of dissonance. But Radcliff really doesn't go far enough. By stating that the Bush voters "had" to vote for Bush because otherwise they have to admit they had been conned means that you have to accept Radcliff's belief that they have been conned in the first place. Radcliff would have you believe that Bush is absolutely the worst president in the history of the United States, that he has deliberately harmed the middle class and poor by giving only the wealthy "huge" tax cuts, that the war in Iraq is a mindless exercise in getting even for daddy, and that the economy is in the pits and headed for the biggest depression ever.
Now, any rational person could agree that there may be "some truth" in Radcliff's postulating that Bush is gosh-awful bad, but you can make the same argument about any other president from G.Washington through W. Clinton. Each has his good points and bad points. What is more amusing/sad to me, is number of psychological reasons the left has come up with to explain why 51% of the voting public - voter breakdown here - including 13% of those describing themselves as "liberals" and 11% of Democrats voted for Bush. To date, there have been "hundreds" of explanations as to why Kerry lost and Bush won. But it may boil down to the voting public didn't have to go through any convoluted "cognitive dissonance" process, they just didn't trust Kerry.
We'll go one step (or maybe two, or perhaps several) further. I'll go out on a limb and state flatly that the Democrats, liberals, leftists, progressives are experiencing their own dissonance. They simply cannot believe that anyone in their right mind would vote for Bush, so they must come up with any number of theories as to why Bush won. Cognitive Dissonance is just one more "reason" to toss on the pile.
These good and well meaning folk are responding to emotional thinking. They are, indeed, experiencing their own cognitive dissonance between what they "know" to be true (Kerry=Good; Bush=Bad) and what they see as "Red America." Because the majority voted for Bush, the reasons must be one (or more) of the following:
1. Some psychological malady on the part of Red America. 2. Bush cheated via "disenfranchising" Black America, manipulating electronic voting machines, keeping good folk from voting through intimidation, etc. 3. Bush convinced Red America to vote against their best interests. 4. Bush lied. 5. Kerry was ineffective because of the Bush propaganda and he couldn't get his message out, etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum!The reality is much, much simpler. Kerry couldn't convince enough people to see things his way and the majority of voting America believed Bush to be the better man of the two. You don't need any specialized learning or insights to understand this, you just have to recognize reality and, in the words of some wag somewhere, "MoveOn."
And a Tip of the Chapeau to my daughter for the link to the DU post.
Wow, it was great to go to the Ballet again. The choreography was, for the most part great as was the music. The Moscow Ballet performed one or two sets that were performed for this show only as a special for the Aids Council. The first, "She" is described as "A woman's dream of her love relationship" and was set to the guitar. The dancers movement was somewhat jerky as though it had not been rehearsed enough, but it was still quite good and if this was a low point, imagine how the rest was.
This marks the 12th consecutive year that the MB has performed in the USA. The Bride and I had the privilege of catching them in Swan Lake in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1991 while we were on a cruise in the Baltic States. The show in St. Petersburg was much more elaborate in terms of set and scope, but an evening of 12 Russian Classics was nevertheless hard to beat.
The most memorable performance was "The Beginning" with Natalia Kungurtseva as Eve, Anatoli Emelianov as Adam and Alexander Strokin as the Serpent. And the Serpent stole the show. Choreography was by Emelianov and the Music by Beethoven. Strokin was indeed an evil presence on the stage.
If you ever get a chance to see this troupe, please, please don't miss it.
Much To Be Thankful For
A number of years ago, when my father was still alive, I sent him a letter for father's day thanking him for all that he had given me and all that he had taught me. My brother, Bert, read that letter when he did my dad's funeral several years later. Bert called it a letter of Thanksgiving.
As a people, we have much to be thankful for. I am thankful for my first wife of 27 years before she succumbed to asthma. I am thankful for my present wife who loves me, for my daughter who was a delight to raise and is a joy to be with. I am thankful for the brave men and women who volunteer for our armed forces, and for those who give of them selves as volunteers in schools, hospitals, and bell ringers in front of stores. I am thankful for political friends and enemy's; friends because they validate what I know to be true, enemy's because they make me think and reason and not accept something from my side just because it's from my side. I am thankful for Blogspot.com which allows folk like myself to publish thoughts about what ever they want. I am grateful for the 1st Amendment that mandates that the government allow me to say what I want.
I am thankful for friends like Marc Cooper and Michael J. Totten; for friends like Lt. Col. Tad Curtis (USMC-Ret.) and Gus Kennedy from Communities in Schools. I am thankful for people who listen to what I have to say even when they disagree. I am thankful for the opportunity to do what I want for a living in this wonderful country. I am reminded daily of my friends at the University where I teach, especially Dr. Bruce Reed, Dr. Chuck Reid, Dr. Eva Miller and Dr. Irmo Marini. I am eternally grateful for my beloved students who have taught me as much (or more) as I have taught them.
I am grateful for my enemys because they make my friends that much more valuable and appreciated.
I am grateful to Almighty God for the blessings bestowed on this country and on any good person. I am grateful to be an American, through no behavior of my own. I am grateful for all of you who comment on the blog, even if I disagree with your comments. I am also grateful that despite all of our collective and individual problems in this country, we are still the "Shining City on the Hill" beckoning to others, a torch of liberty shining in the night.
The Representatives Ain't Representin'
From Inside the Beltway comes this tidbit of damn fine Democratic Insight:
Ohio Rep. Sherrod Brown is one Democrat who doesn't buy all the "values" rhetoric heard from the opposite side of the aisle. "On the floor of the House of representatives, in the light of day, we hear much talk from our Republican friends about moral values," Mr. Brown says. "But in the committee rooms and in the cloakrooms and in the back of the chamber, choices are so often made and deals are cut that run counter to the teachings of Christ and Muhammad and the Jewish prophets and fly in the face of the values upon which our nation was founded."Congressmen (and women) care more about scratching each others back than about legislating for all of the country. This is a shame, because sometimes, if not most of the time, the country's needs should take precedence over the needs of a particular congressional district.
Then (from the same post) there is this little bit of Republican tom-foolery, at least one presumes it to be authored by a Republican: Someone snuck a single line into a 1600 page appropriation bill authorization to give the chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations Committee and their staff assistants the power to look at anyone's tax return. Shades of Tail Gunner Joe. What the hell was that person thinking?
Federal law says that tax returns are private, between the individual/couple/organization and the IRS. If congress wants to look at something, let them look at the way they conduct the business of the people.
I've never been much on bashing congressmen and women collectively, but damn-it, this time they deserve it. I hope a lot of people raise hell with them about the shyster that snuck in this bit of Big Brother, if a congress man or woman, fire them next election. If a staffer, fire them NOW!
UPDATE: A friend suggested that it might have been (oh shudder) a democrat hoping to get the repubs in hot water. Now, wouldn't that be something?
A Different Picture of the Iraq Election
The MSM is doing a "real service" or a "dis-service" (depending which side of the political road you are on) regarding the upcoming elections in Iraq. Most of the news is focusing on the possibility of a Sunni boycott of the elections. But Omar in IRAQTHEMODEL sees it a little differently, as does Chrenkoff. Both views ought to be added to your required reading if you are a regular habitué of the MSM.
Rather Bows Out!
Dan Rather, CBS Anchor for a very long time has decided to retire on the 24th anniversary of taking over for Walter Cronkite. Why wait Dan?
Dan "What's the frequency Kenneth?" Rather has made a hash out of objective news reporting as he has been named in a number of controversies. It's so bad, that even Andy Rooney has made comment that the reason Dan did it was that he wanted to hurt Bush and Rooney recognized early on that the so called "documents" were forgeries. Rooney stated to the effect that he didn't know why CBS didn't own up to the problem. Well Andy, I do, and so do you.
Sullivan's "EMAIL of the Day"
Andrew Sullivan posted his EMAIL of the day and it's a wowser! This guy is right, the Democrats lost because a majority of the voting public didn't trust them.
There are probably a lot of other factors, but this one is a biggie!
Do Geese See God?
Amazon has an amazing web-video by David Slade and starring Blair Underwood. Amazon states what goes around comes around and this is certainly true. What is nifty (can I still use that word?) is that this video has an alternate ending which you can find by following the directions. Underwood gives the perfect performance of a hurried, harried modern, trapped on the merry-go-round of life. But, there is a way out!
And a tip of the chapeau to InstaPundit!
Rough Week and Weekend.
Unusually tough week and weekend for me as I have had to close my group practice. My family has been super supportive, but it still hurts to shut down something you have been closely associated with and love for a decade. Will re-open as a solo practitioner in the near future, but it still comes as a shock that people you have worked closely with for years, bent over backwards for them etc. can drop you like a hot potato. Oh well, I was looking for a job when I set this operation in motion over 10 years ago. I used to practice in a solo practice, I wonder why I quit. More politics later, right now I'm just feeling sorry for myself. Time for a bowl of Ice Cream! Didn't make it to the wedding and that isn't good. On the other hand reliable reports are that the wedding was just wonderful.
Blogging will be slow and intermittent through the weekend while I take care of some family business and go to the wedding of a former student.
Values and Election 2004 - The Faith Factor
Much has been made of the "moral/values" issue in the exit polls on the day of the election and their impact in the presidential election. Pundits of a variety of persuasions here here and here argue both for and against the "values" value. The fact of the matter is that it really didn't matter.
The Redstates voters that voted "values" on issues of faith, abortion, gay marriage (not really an issue, more about that later) etc., are no different from those voters in Bluestates who voted their values, economic justice, etc. Indeed, although trumpeted far and wide as the major issue in the election, in reality it was a fairly minor issue.
Iraq and War on Terror are, for the vast majority of people selecting those topics as major reasons for voting the way they did, almost synonymous. And those voters accounted for a far higher percentage than did the "morals/values" voters.
If you Google the words "Values, Election, 2004" you will get more than 4,820,000 sites. Granted, most of those are not related to the topic at hand, but do have the words in them but by the first 200 items listed it's still "All Values All the Time."
What does this all mean? Why that "values" were pushed by Bush and carried the day, of course! Not! As Charles Krauthammer noted:
"George Bush increased his vote in 2004 over 2000 by an average of 3.1 percent nationwide. In Ohio the increase was 1 percent -- less than a third of the national average. In the 11 states in which the gay marriage referendums were held, Bush increased his vote by less than he did in the 39 states that did not have the referendum."
And this was just the idea that Bush Voters were anti-gay bigots. Having said that, were there anti-gay bigots that voted for Bush? Sure, just as there were some that voted for Kerry. Kerry was anti-gay marriage too remember? Yet, the rumor persists and that is a shame. Because as long as we don't talk about what values are really important to all of us as Americans, we won't solve many problems.
Faith no doubt played a part in this election. Peoples of faith voted for both candidates to be sure. But Bush seemed to more people to be sincere about his faith, and those same people seemed to think that faith was a talking point for Kerry, nothing more. Kerry talked (past tense) about being an alter-boy. Bush talked about his current faith and how it affects his center of being. That is a big difference folks and accounted for a goodly portion of his vote.
UPDATE 8:50 AM, CST 11/14/04: Cox and Forkum have something to say in a graphic format
A number of you have asked me how you "register" for making comments without signing up for a blog on your own. It's easy. When you click on the Post a Comment a "sign in" page will come up. at the very top of the page, put in your name, pseudonym or screen name and put any password next. When you click on the "sign in" button the name you chose will appear above your comment. Just remember your password and don't worry, none of that gets sent to me but your name will appear by your post.
A New Psychosis - UPDATE
The other day I posted "A New Psychosis." This from Ted Rall probably doesn't prove my point, but it does say something about Rall in particular and the rabid left in general.
Arafat is Dead! Arafat ist Tot! Arafat es muerto! Arafat est mort!
Yasser Arafat, acknowledged terrorist and author of Black September and other tragedies has succumbed. Hallelujah! While I don't generally cheer the death of anyone, I'm glad he is gone. Perhaps now the Palestinian People will find a real leader, someone not dedicated to the total destruction of Israel, not dedicated to robbing the Palestinians, not more concerned with maintaining his own fiefdom rather than the real needs of Palestine.
Some may argue that there is no such thing as Palestine, but this flies in the face of reality. The Palestinian peoples are there and we must figure out a way for them to have their "State" and to bring peace to the ME.
Perhaps, now is the time. Scott Johnson of Powerline has an amendment to Arafat's obit here, and Roger L. Simon adds this. The Washington Post has a lengthy article on Arafat here. The Post doesn't, in my opinion, stress enough the crimes of this man, and tends to skirt the edges of how decidedly brutal he was. But, that's another story. For the nonce, let us quaff a bit of champagne in celebration and then get to work on helping the Palestinians move towards democracy, freedom and a place of their own. Ding Dong the Witch is Dead!
UPDATE (November 11, 2oo4 - 9:06 AM-CST)Cox and Forkum have an interesting take on Arafat with a number of links to additional insights. Read them all.
Alberto Gonzalez: A.G. for the AG?
Well now, a Texas Hispanic for AG. Will he be judged for the content of his character in the advise and consent hearings of the Senate or will he be tossed aside as insufficiently Hispanic?
Let's see now, Miguel Estrada, Judge Brown, Dr. Rice, General Powell, Elaine Chao, Rod Page, Norman Mineta, Alfonso Jackson... others. Demonstrably, Bush has nominated more minorities for cabinet positions and Federal Judge positions than any other president in history. Yet, it is the Democrats that keep getting called the party of inclusion.
I'm wondering when the disproportionate vote of Black America for the Democrats is going to sink in with Black America. I'm wondering when we will Honor Martin Luther King's Dream "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
I was there that day in late August, 1963 and I heard what was perhaps the greatest speech by any leader in modern times. And still I wonder. Why is it that people of color who are conservative are so easily dismissed by main-stream liberals? Why is political orientation more important than character? Why does it take a Texas Republican to put so many minorities in posts of leadership? I don't know. I wish I did.
How did the Republicans let themselves get saddled with the mantle of Racist with out really fighting a real fight back? How could leaders in the Republican Party make such asinine statements like Trent Lot did? How did the "Southern Strategy" get identified with exclusion of Blacks, when it was all about the inclusion of disaffected Democrats? How can the Democrats not rebel against Robert C. Byrds use of "White Nigger" and still look at themselves in the mirror, especially knowing about his history in the Klan?
I don't know the answer to any of these questions, I do know that if we don't learn to get past race, playing the race card, using race to keep people out of something or using race to insure their inclusion in something else, plain ole being nasty to human beings and fellow citizens because they don't look like we do we are doomed as a culture.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." We need to tattoo that across the insides of our eyelids, all of us, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, so that we see it every day, and we hold it dear.
Democrats Need To Stop Whining And Get On Rebuilding Their Party
Marc Coopers latest ( here ) takes a really tough love approach to the Democrats that continue to whine about the election.
The BIG MESSAGE:" So my message to those still whining about last week's vote is: knock it off already and grow up, wouldya? Bush won a decisive victory with nearly a 4 million vote margin. He won 28 states. The GOP also fattened its majority in both houses of congress. These are facts that must be assimilated and understood and in no way underestimated.
There will be no short-cuts to the arduous, uncertain work of building a political majority as an alternative to Bush. It's time to get started -- by facing difficult realities instead of… excuse me… jerking off."
They need to stop now and start to think policy and presentation. If they don't, we will see this behavior repeated again and again and again.
Although I voted split ticket, I usually consider myself to be more Republican than Independent and more Independent than Democrat. None-The-Less, I have voted for an awful lot of Democrats over the years. But, regardless of where I'm pegged on the political spectrum, I absolutely know that a one party state of affairs would be absolutely disastrous for this country.
So, fellow Americans, fall back, re-group, re-think, quit playing mental masturbation games and taking so much joy in feeling sorry for yourselves and get back to work.
Update 6:43 AM 11/10/04: Dean Esmay has a lengthy reply to those who don't understand why the majority of voting American's voted for Bush here. In particular, his "letter" was in response to John Perry Barlow's lengthy piece here Magnanimous Defeat. Both are well worth reading and I encourage you to read Barlow's piece first then Esmay's piece. Maybe some on the left will get it.
Should the Republicans Hector Spector or Tolerate Darlin' Arlen?
Johnathan V. Last has an interesting post in Galley Slaves The comments are interesting too. Read them all. Personally, I think Hugh Hewitt is correct. The Republicans do not need to start cannabilizing themselves just because one Republican is more liberal than the majority. Republicans state that they are bigger than the Democrats, that Republicans too have a Big Tent. Time to prove it.
A New Psychosis
Dear friends (or perhaps future friends of both the left and the right), An internet acquaintance recently sent me an e-mail with a question on it. Here is his question, and my response. Don't get bent out of shape now if you are a) Liberal, b) Progressive or c) A Democrat. This is in fun!
I don't understand: why are Democrats so crazy this year - first the vandalism and shrill, somewhat paranoid charges against Bush, and now the depression, talk of moving out of the country.
Leftism psychosis? The psychosis of the true believer? Actually, I think they really bought that Kerry was brilliant and nuanced and that Bush was a chimp. When the rest of the country didn't agree (even the state of California had far more RED AREAS than blue, it's just that the population in two or three centers/cites are so damn huge and like other metroplexes are reliably liberal.) they went bonkers. Hmmm, as a mental health professional I'll coin a new disorder perhaps.... Post Election Psychosis. Clinical symptoms include:
1. Dysphoria about the election loss of your leader
2. Total disbelief that everyone didn't see it your way and vote for your guy
3. Sleepless nights focused on how the evil wingnuts will now rule your destiny and force you to keep your brilliant ideas to yourself
4. A rabid fear that someone somewhere will infect you and cause you to vote for a republican at some future election
5. An inability to understand the motivations of very real, honest, believing, patriotic people who DO NOT see things your way. (If you are very real, honest, believing, patriotic AND are a democrat, than that is ok) <P> If you want to come up with your own clinical symptoms of a lefty or a righty, please post and enjoy. Ground Rules: This is strictly an exercise in fun, no vulgarity please!
Future History is NOW Writ Large
Dave Koppel has written a hillarious column about Hillary Clintons two future terms as POTUS! In a future FRENCH text book no less. Read it all!
Nothing Stays The Same Like Change
John Ashcroft won't be in a 2nd Bush Administration. I'm not Sorry to see him go, as I think he was more divisive than he needed to be. On the other hand, he is not the evil troll that many on the left made him out to be. Perhaps the left can keep from crowing, but I doubt it.
Kinda makes you wonder what the next AG nominee will have to go through to get confirmed.
Whither the Courts?
Does Bush have a mandate to nominate judges? The Democrats ran on the idea that if elected he could and would nominate conservative judges. Now that he has won, they object that he will do so. The Wall Street Journal has an interesting Op-Ed. Read it all and ponder where our courts should go. I doubt the scare tactics that the Left pushes will come to pass; ending abortion, gay marriages forced down the throats of middle America, a Patriot Act that will take away all of our freedoms. But there could be changes, and that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Update: A reader let me know that the WSJ item was an op-ed and not an "article." In the interest of clarity the American Heritage Dictionary defines article as "An individual thing or element of a class; a particular object or item: "An individual thing or element of a class; a particular object or item." On the other hand, I don't feel like being hardnosed so I changed it. Tsk! Tsk!