MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

This Image says it all

November 8th, 2004 Viewed 1332 times

This image says it all.

Kerry Concedes

November 3rd, 2004 Viewed 1637 times

Wow.  What a night.  I was up to 2:00 am EST waiting for NM or NV to go to Bush, but it didn’t happen last night.  In fact, I almost believed that we were going to go the litigation route with the provisional
ballots– but Kerry is going to act statesmanly and concede at 2:00 pm EST.  How late were you up?

Election Day

November 2nd, 2004 Viewed 1746 times

So, who’s it going to be, Bush or Kerry.  After all of the campaigning, October surprises, debates, and everything it comes down to our votes.  Living in one of the states that appears to be a lock, it would be easy to not vote– and yet it’s our duty to let our voice be heard.  So, get out to the polls and vote!

Reworking the system

October 20th, 2004 Viewed 1933 times

The current voting system is broken.  No longer do we have responsible people voting, but we grab each person, use peer pressure and bandwagons, and pressure them into a given place to check a box for a given man.  This dilutes responsible votes and makes the election into a popularity contest more than a vote on issues.  How can we solve it?  Here are some possible solutions:

  • Get rid of the two party system– or the political parties at all.
  • Make the House/Senate decide the election.
  • Change the electoral vote system so that the popular vote dictates the 2 “senate” votes, and then whoever wins each district gets the vote of that district.
  • Have a test when entering a polling facility that required you to match a candidate’s position to the candidate’s person.  Anyone not scoring over half would be given a class or something before voting– or not allowed to vote.
  • Compile some kind of list of votes from tax returns so that fraud could be minimized.

Anyone else got a suggestion?

Bush vs. Kerry – Round 3

October 14th, 2004 Viewed 1521 times

I had watched every debate, including the VP debate, in totality live up until this one.  Given the momentum in the debates, I figured Bush would consistently do better, and since part of the strategy during the last campaign and this presidency was to co-opt democrat ideas so he could claim he got things done, I thought that the conventional wisdom regarding Kerry’s advantage would be proven wrong.

That all being said, I also figured more people would tune into the ball game!  We’ve been all fighting a cold or something that we’ve been passing around along with little sleep, so I opted to go to bed at 9:00 pm.  However, curiosity and the fact that I had skipped dinner got the best of me, and I caught the last 30 minutes of the debate– so I’ll give my impression of that.

I can’t remember the first question I heard– it might have been the automatic rifles.  My response to that question would be that, although it would be scary to enter a house with someone with an automatic  weapon as a law enforcement officer, the bad guys are always going to have access to these weapons.  Gun control seems to only prohibit those that will follow the rules from getting their hands on tools of defense.  I believe that there’s a European country– Switzerland?– that teaches all homeowners to use semi-automatic weapons and they have a tremendously low crime rate.

On the faith question, I believe Bush did a better job because I believe he actually believes what he says.  It was somewhat of a loaded question– no matter how many of the pundits say this was a softball– because had he answered directly that his faith directs his policies he would have played right into the argument that the democrats want to make about legislating morality and the whole “God told me to go into Iraq.”

My reaction to some of the closing comments by the FOX guys and the ones they interviewed, it’s hard to say my reaction to hearing Kerry mention Mary Cheney.  I don’t think it was as much of a secret as the pundits are making it out to be.  It’s also a common tactic to name a person representative of a group to illustrate your point.  Usually, however, it’s a person that you’ve met on the trail in relative obscurity instead of someone that is semi well known.

I guess my feeling is that it is one thing to be spoke about as someone who needs a solution to a problem or to attack someone in public that has a public voice, but no one outside of the campaign rallies or Mary Cheney’s friends have ever talked to or heard from her.  I agree with Rush Limbaugh that the tactic would have been much better if he had used someone he knew in the public spotlight, like Barney Frank, to make his point– a point which I disagree with, by the way.

I wish Bush would have been clearer than what I heard was his response to whether homosexuality was a choice or born with it.  He didn’t need to alienate people– he could have said something like “Bob, in either
case we are given things in our lives– desires, physical ailments, etc– and we have to make choices about what we will do with these impulses and dilemmas…”  Here he could have even played up Christopher Reeve’s amazing will to survive and honored his memory instead of what Edwards did for another contrast, should he have desired. “… and homosexuals have choices about what to do about their desires and impulses, but should we as a country encourage choices that harm these people and families?”

Other than that, I thought Bush did so much better with humor and with his answers about the women
in his life.  It makes you connect when someone talks you through the first time he saw his wife.  Bush totally avoided politics in this question, whereas Kerry tried to play up his deceased mother for points.  Time will tell how that worked.

Superman and Stem Cells

October 12th, 2004 Viewed 1590 times

So, I was watching Inside Edition or something close to that name last night with my wife and they were talking about Christopher Reeve and his death yesterday.  Truly the man and his family proved resolve
stronger than anything seen on the screen.  Who we truly are is reflected in what we are like when placed under pressure.

The part that bothered me was the linkage of him and stem cell research.  Yes, he was an advocate of it.  Yes, I believe he supported embryonic stem cell research, which I do not.  The part that bothered me was Inside Edition’s poll question: “Do you support stem cell research?”  The answer to that question, for me, is yes– just not embryonic!  It’s a misleading question.

There have been some good discoveries using adult stem cells, and that research should continue, but destroying human life for research is as wrong as destroying human life to eat– ie. the cannibals that have recently been in the news.  They don’t see anything wrong in killing another human because they like the taste.  I’m sorry for the grossness of this analogy, but we have become so desensitized to what’s going on with the killing of babies in abortion, and we are constantly asked to look at those in pain rather than the one being killed, that we need to be awakened to what’s going on here in the name of science!

Cheney vs. Edwards

October 6th, 2004 Viewed 1667 times

For a debate that not many people were going to watch, many of the people I work with (including those that said they were not going to watch!) did watch.  My reaction:Vice President Cheney: Cheney’s
first problem was that he didn’t really answer the first question about Bremer and Rumsfeld directly.  I came away from his answer thinking he dodged it rather than facing it head on.  Most of the time I could predict what he would say, though sometimes, when I thought he was going to “hit the ball out of the park” he didn’t.  A prime case was with the whole homosexual marriage statement John Edwards made about
the Constitution not making one state honor a marriage in another.  If that’s the case, why did they pass the DOMA anyway?

Cheney’s best moments came in listing John Kerry and John Edward’s records. Also he did well during the times where he came off sounding educated and well aware of what was going on.  His best points centered around how Kerry changed with the current political breeze.

Senator John Edwards Edwards had a few stumbling points.  He wanted us to come away with the idea that all Bush/Cheney does is distort the truth– I think he said that almost as many times as Bush said “hard work”.  He didn’t answer many of the confrontations that Cheney had used against him.  The fact
that they only thing that they’re making hay about is the comment that Cheney said that he hadn’t met Edwards until now, when there were a couple of times they were together says a lot.

Edward’s best moments were domestic.  There was a time where I thought they– I mean he (since all he did was talk John Kerry this, John Kerry that) sounded like Republicans wanting to shrink the size of government.  That was pretty amazing.

Overall, a more “fun” debate than the Presidential one last Thursday, but still missing things.  I don’t know
how a candidate can get information out there in this world, but maybe both of them should be keeping weblogs that everyone could read and comment on– then again, what size server could hold all the comments they would get!

Debates and things

October 5th, 2004 Viewed 1749 times

There are a lot of heartening articles out there.  My favorite is one from Dennis Prager.  Here’s the part I like the best:

Here are direct quotes from John Kerry in the debate.


On staying in Iraq:

“I’m not talking about leaving. I’m talking about winning.”

“Yes, we have to be steadfast and resolved, and I am. And I will succeed for those troops, now that we’re there. We have to succeed. We can’t leave a failed Iraq.”

On leaving Iraq:

“And our goal in my administration would be to get all of the troops out of there …”

“I believe that when you know something’s going wrong, you make it right. That’s what I learned in Vietnam.”

What was it that John Kerry “learned in Vietnam?” To leave a war he regarded as a mistake.


On America acting alone:

“I’ll never give a veto to any country over our security.”

On America acting only with world support or within an alliance:

“But if and when you do it (act alone), Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test …”

And what if acting alone does not pass “the global test”? Then presumably we won’t act alone. Kerry made references to the need to be in Iraq in alliance with other nations eight times.


On the war being a mistake:

“This president has made, I regret to say, a colossal error of judgment.”

“The president made a mistake in invading Iraq.”

“The war is a mistake.”

On the war being important enough to have to win:

“I believe that we have to win this. The president and I have always agreed on that.”

After hearing Kerry call the war a mistake, the moderator Jim Lehrer asked the logical question: “Are Americans now dying in Iraq for a mistake?

John Kerry’s answer: “No, and they don’t have to, providing we have the leadership that I’m offering.”

Now what does that response, arguably the most important thing the senator said in the debate, mean? Does it mean that American soldiers won’t die for what John Kerry continually labels a mistake because he will prosecute the war more effectively? Or does it mean that Americans won’t die for this mistaken war because he will leave Iraq and then there will be no mistake to die for?

The answer, again, is that it can mean either.


I’m glad someone was actually keeping track of what Kerry said and didn’t say.  I have to say that since I wasn’t “keeping score” I missed all of this.  I think the fact that it was so drawn out lead to that confusion.  I think that I would be upset if I were Bush at the fact that he continually changes position.  Had I been Bush’s prep team, I’d make sure that Bush keeps track of what Kerry’s saying so he can do more “didn’t you just say…” and that would help a lot.  Let Kerry work himself out of his statements.

Bush vs. Kerry

October 1st, 2004 Viewed 1766 times, 1 so far today

Last night’s debate was long!  My wife left about two thirds of the way through for bed.  In my opinion, it was too long on Iraq without saying much!  The other thing that debates miss is fact checking during it.  What I would really like to see is a buzzer sound every time someone gets a fact wrong.  For instance, there were many statements that the President had to correct Kerry on.  A buzzer would have helped there tremendously.

Critique of the President

The President looked/acted like I do when I’m tired (which, with two young children happens often).  He had trouble recalling what he was going to say.  He fumbled with “the day before 9/10” in which he mixed
two different ways of saying acting like 9/11 never happened.  His body language on some of the wide shots made him look agitated, and my wife noticed a smirk.

I thought his best lines were to do with avoiding sending mixed messages and denigrating our allies.  He also made good points regarding actually talking with our allies instead of saying that he will talk with them.  I thought he answered the critiques that he was “doing nothing” well.   I don’t know if the tactic of addressing Kerry’s stump speeches carried that well, since undecideds may not be listening to stump speeches, and some people don’t even know positions!

Critique of the Senator

The Senator had a lot to prove here.  He was impressive in his presence.  I thought he stayed pretty general on things, and used Vietnam much more than I thought he would.  I wish that he would have gotten the “what do you think about the other guy” question too.  Some things just didn’t sound accurate– like when he claimed to never accuse the President of lying.

I thought he was articulate as he could have been.  I thought he appeared knowledgeable, and did a good
job communicating what he previously said in nuanced ways.  If this was the first time you’d heard both of them, you would definitely find Kerry likable.

I think Kerry won this one, not so much because of facts, etc., but because he came across as someone you could trust– had you not been paying attention up to now.  And that’s where the President can improve his game.

Commentary Roundup

September 30th, 2004 Viewed 1312 times, 1 so far today

Security Moms

Jane Chastain details the thoughts of a “security mom” of the 2004 election. These are the women of this election who are more concerned about the safety of themseleves and their families than anything else.  We have a whole new dynamic out there since the Soccer moms from 2000.  Things are not the same since 9/11, and 9/11 is still on people’s minds.

Younger Voters

Ben Shapiro writes about his generation and how they will vote– what’s important to them.  His point is roughly the same as Jane’s from above.  Bush is cleaning Kerry’s clock when it comes to the ability to defend this country.  Though the younger generation are all over the board when it comes to morals, they are more willing to try inventive ideas– such as personal account for social security– than other age groups.

I saw this first hand the other night in a meeting while looking for a new pastor.  The group wondered if we should not provide health insurance for the new pastor, and just rely on the government’s alternative.  When I brought up my objection to relying on the government– the same old argument was trotted out: but they’re giving it for free!  It then went into this whole discussion of stewardship of God’s money.  Like God can’t provide health insurance if needed!  The kicker was when an older guy at the meeting said that he once thought my way, but as you get older, you get more practical.

Mission Accomplished

Michael Regan talks about the President’s fly in to the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln.  The mission of that great ship, and the toppling of Saddam’s regime was accomplished– no matter how many times CBS Radio News says “and 4000 troops have been killed since President Bush flew to the aircraft carrier to announce Mission Accomplished.”  This is– tongue and cheek– not biased, just hard news facts.

Genocide

Nat Hentoff has a piece about genocide is Sudan.  This is some scary and serious stuff.  Why we can let this happen when we have all the questions about why we let the holocaust continue…

Saving Babies

And on a happy note, Matt Abbott shares a couple of stories here about saving babies lives on the streets outside abortion clinics. 

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.