Friday, September 03, 2004

Good News
It looks like the economy is on the rise, as Unemployment rate drops as job creation rebounds.

Of course, to Democrats this is bad news, because it increases the likelihood of a reelection victory for President Bush. So, they'll most likely enter their favorite stage: denial. Unfortunately, the numbers don't lie.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

The Difference
I'm watching Bush's speech, and I just had to make an observation, prompted by the two protesters who were just thrown out of the arena.
My job at the convention, officially, was helping people with disabilities to their seats. On Tuesday night, however, I spent the majority of the evening checking credentials and comparing people's faces with the pictures shown to me by NYPD and Secret Service guards to make sure only people who were supposed to be there were there. This was caused merely by the fact that so many protesters were trying to disrupt the convention.

Now, let me ask. How many protest arrests occurred during the DNC? 6.
How many THUS FAR during the RNC? Over 1500.
Now, there might be something to the allegations by protesters that the NYPD is over-arresting, and being too strict. But come on, even if that's the case, does that explain 1496 more arrests? Does that explain how there have been 3 times more arrests than the infamous 1968 Dem convention? The simple answer is no, it does not.

The explanation is the difference between the values held by Republicans and those held by Democrats. I am disgusted by the behavior of these people who have snuck into the convention to cause disruption, and proud that Republicans do not behave that way.

The Last word
Jonathan Last writes a great piece about the strength of last night's Convention speeches. So read it!

Then, just for fun, contrast it with what the Democratic strongholds are saying about the same speeches.

I'd pass, if I could - Residential dining goes organic: "Using more sustainable food benefits the local community, Shannon-DiPietro said, by employing people and maintaining farmlands. She cited the example of New Haven-based Palmieri Food Products, which received the contract to provide organic tomato sauce to Yale's kitchens.
'A year ago, [the company] was laying off people,' Shannon-DiPietro said. 'This means [it] won't be doing that this year.'"

Let's be clear from the start: I have no objection to organic food, or to people who choose to eat it over the inorganic (?) variety. My overall objection is to situations like those in sub-saharan Africa, where leaders of poor countries have been scared by environmental groups into refusing genetically modified foods that could save millions of people from death by starvation.

In this particular case, I have two objections which, as a member of the Yale community, I feel obliged to express.
1)I have no option to abstain from organic foods.
2)The idea that we are saving jobs by switching to a local distribution company is absurd.

Let's take them in order. The reasoning behind making Berkeley's dining hall food organic was so that students who, for political, or moral, or health reasons, wanted that alternative. It was about protecting a minority from the majority, and offering choice. I am all for that idea. The problem now is that we switched to enforcing the will of the minority on the majority. I don't necessarily want to eat organic food, and my ability to abstain has now been removed. Why is it that people who've decided organic food is better are suddenly more important than those of us who don't buy into it? And don't fool yourself, that's exactly what this is: a valuing of their opinions over mine.

As far as saving jobs: BS. By switching to a local company that ordinary market forces were pushing out of business due to a lack of demand, we have merely moved our capital from one investment to another. What of the company who used to supply our food? Without our money, what will come of the jobs that were sustained by it? Additionally, now that Yale is spending more on its food, we are taking money from other places as well. Perhaps the development money used this year to fund the organic food investment could have been used for physical plant, or construction projects that also would have created jobs. And when the cost is passed on to students and their families in the years to come (which, believe me, will happen), what of the things they would have spent that money on? What I'm saying is that transfering funds from one location to another does not create jobs.

End rant.

To Those Who Challenge Me
I'll try to post more before the week is out regarding my experiences at and around the Republican National Convention earlier this week. In the meantime, however, I'd encourage anyone who has asked me how I can support the President to read today's OpinionJournal - Featured Article.

It does a great job of describing what flaws he has shown, while justifying the need for a second term by way of explicating the spectacular changes he has begun. Read it, and you'll understand a little better why I support the President, and why I finagled a "Four More Years" poster from the Convention.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

GOP NYC 2004
Well, I've finished my tour of duty as a volunteer at the 2004 Republican National Convention, and I figure I should probably share some of my thoughts and experiences on the matter.

First off, a little name-dropping. Here's a list of all the people whose hands I shook:

  • Former President George H. W. Bush
  • Tim Russert, NBC correspondent
  • Tucker Carlson, CNN pundit, host of Crossfire
  • Charles Rangel, US Congressman, D
  • Joe Pantoliano, Actor
  • Anna Deavere Smitth, former Stanford prof, actress
  • Don King, need I elaborate?
  • Bill Krystal, Weekly Standard columnist
  • Mort Kondracke, Fox News pundit
  • Orin Hatch, US Senator, R
  • Triumph, the comedy insult dog (he made fun of me because my shirt was too big, and Republicans ought to be able to buy clothes that fit)

I think that's it, and I have to run out, so my description of the speeches, etc. will have to wait until later this afternoon.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Welcome back
Andrew Sullivan surges back into blogging with some great posts. He starts off with a great series of questions, the answers to which I look forward to this coming week: "[C]an [Bush] offer a truly conservative domestic agenda? I mean: reform of entitlements, a U-turn on public spending, staying the course on education reform, reforming the military, simplifying the tax code. He deserves a chance to repudiate the big-government, nanny-state, sectarian legacy of his first few years and show us where his second term would leave us (and no, I don't mean Mars). Will he expand freedom at home or continue to curtail it? Will he reveal a strategy in the war that shows he has learned the dangers of waging war unprepared and on the fly? Can he show an ability to grow into more than a deeply polarizing president, more than a man who has clearly failed to win over fully half the country at a time when unity against Jihadist terror is essential? The party of McCain and Giuliani and Schwarzenegger could do that. The party of Santorum and Dobson and DeLay obviously cannot. I fear the battle is already lost, since Bush has caved to the Santorum wing on almost every single domestic issue. But I can still hope, can't I?"

As Professor Reynolds always says, just keep on scrolling.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Another voice joins the chorus of stupidity
Ok, so maybe that's a little bit harsh, but it seems that The New York Times wants to Abolish the Electoral College.

I don't have the time to elaborate now, but, as I've said before, abolishing the EC would result in nationwide recounts and law suits like those seen 3.5 years ago in Florida. Every district in the country will be besieged by lawyers and talking heads, and we'll never elect another President without the involvement of the courts again.

Read, he commands you
So, obviously I've been a bit busy the past couple of days, moving back on campus. Now I'm settled, and I might have a little more time, but tomorrow and the next day are the days I'm working at the Convention, and classes start on Wednesday, plus I'm still unpacking. My point is, I'll be pretty busy over the next few days, but will blog as possible. In the meantime:

Here's a post I was pointed to by diet coke for breakfast, regarding anger towards John Kerry's behavior. It's mostly invective, but he makes some good points as well: Varifrank: Farewell John Kerry!

I haven't commented much on the Swift Boat Veterans kerfluffle, because I never thought they'd be very persuasive to the electorate at large. My thinking is, here's a bunch of guys who put out a book to attack a Presidential candidate, and publish a few TV ads on the subject. On the book side, the only people who will really pick it up are intellectuals and people who already support W. On the TV side, one more drop in the battleground-state bucket won't make much of a difference.

But last week, I started paying attention. Why? John Kerry challenged the President to condemn this group. Suddenly, SBV became important, because Kerry effectively hinged his entire campaign on Vietnam, yet again. He could have come out and said "These men are wrong, dead wrong, and they have no bearing on my campaign. I am not running merely because I served in Vietnam, or based one where and when I served there. I am running because I want to lead this country to a better tomorrow, through an honorable presidency. I want to return to our old allegiances, and guarantee cheaper, better healthcare for all Americans." and so on. Of course, he didn't do this, and instead challenged W to condemn the group.

This causes a serious problems for Kerry. For example, the open letter written to the Kerry campaign by the Bush campaign's Letter to John Kerry: "You can't have it both ways. You can't build your convention and much of your campaign around your service in Vietnam, and then try to say that only those veterans who agree with you have a right to speak up. There is no double standard for our right to free speech. We all earned it."

There is simply too much clear hypocrisy in this position from Kerry. Have you walked into a bookstore recently? For the past three months, one out of every five books on the "newly published" display at my local Borders has been anti-Bush. In that same amount of time, I've seen two pro-Bush, and the SBV book is the first anti-Kerry I've seen. Why hasn't Kerry condemned the authors of these books? I'll bet they're active in the Democratic Party (one of his claims against the SBV is that their leader has long been a "Republican operative," whatever that means). Better yet, has people on its executive board who got those jobs immediately upon leaving their previous jobs at the DNC, the Dean campaign, or any other number of Democratic organizations. After accusing the Bush campaign of coordinating with SBV, based on a web of tenuous connections (i.e. SBV Joe Schmo is cousins with a janitor in the White House), why hasn't Kerry demanded that MoveOn disband in a similar fashion, or at the least condemning MoveOn?

A few liberals have said to me "Well, he did condemn the comparison of Bush to Hitler." Good for him, but I don't award points for taking action that should seem obvious to anyone with a brain. He's not asking Bush to condemn one ad, he's asking Bush to condemn the organization. As I've said before, I'd like to see a little equality on this. The problem is, Kerry can't provide me with that, and he's backed himself into a corner.

I hate to say it, but when Varifrank says: "There is no President in modern memory who is so universally hated than George W. Bush, and yet, you've never polled outside of the margin of error. Now, the polls are going against you, and by my measurement, its going to get worse, not better from here. Bush is a marathon runner and you are a country club golf cart riding, two caddy golfer. As long as you continue to bring your B game to an A game park, you and your party are going to look fools. At some point, you will begin to see your allies in your party and the press begin to make you the pinata at this party. They will not take the heat for your loss, they will tie a can around your neck and toss you out into the exercise yard for the guards to shoot at. Everyone loves a winner, but no one can stand a loser.
You sir, are a loser. You will go down in history as the man who made Dukakis look good."
he might have a point.