Sunday, September 28, 2008


Here's a couple of photos of the Japanese garden at the McNeely Conservatory, just because. Politics just kind of sucks as a topic, anyway.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I was surfing about looking for reactions to Sen. McCain's acceptance speech tonight and came across Megan McArdle's reaction. No offense intended, but what is it about John McCain that is so distasteful to her? She can't seem to comment on the guy of late without mentioning how awful she thinks he is. Generally I find her blog thoughtful and worth reading, but she just really seems to hate McCain. Her post seems rather snarky and cynical, with no indication why:

The words "I fought corruption" should never pass the lips of a charter member of the Keating Five.

Someone should inform Ms. McArdle McCain (along with John Glenn) was cleared of any misconduct. Moreover, Bob Bennett (one of the fellows investigating the Keating 5 at the time) has pointed out that the reason McCain was included in the Keating 5 is that Democrats did not the Keating investigation to be an all-Democrat affair.

"I fight for you" is a clever tag line, and I presume the image that the McCain campaign has settled upon. This will allow them--just barely--to keep making the ridiculous claim that John McCain doesn't like to bring up the fact that he was a POW. If John McCain didn't want to bring it up, he would have instructed his staff not to mention it to every single person they talk to, including the barista at Caribou Coffee.
Yes McCain mentions his POW experience more than he did in 2000. How Ms. McArdle connects the "I fight for you" line to the POW escapes me. I suspect he mentions the POW experience fairly often because of the traumatic and transformative effect those 5 1/2 years had on the direction of his life. Imagine that. Sort of like Obama mentions his upbringing helping to make him the One who will heal the planet.

Ack! The dreaded "Free America from Dependence on Foreign Oil" meme rears its ugly head. This is high definition hogwash. Drilling isn't going to save us from Demon Oil any more than windmills will. It might make us some money. But we'll still be part of a world economy that will be pigheaded about buying their oil from funny people who don't even speak English.

How is this different from Obama's hogwash, except McCain is willing to allow more drilling while we work on alternatives? For all of Obama's talk, we'll still be dependent on petroleum when he leaves office (if he wins).

John McCain does not seem particularly comfortable talking about God. The lines are there, but they're mechanical, clearly recited by rote.
A lot of people are not comfortable talking about their belief in God in public, not even politicians. Just because he finds it awkward to talk about doesn't mean he's being phony. McCain is not the Huck, after all.

McCain claims he'll cut government spending. I'll believe it when I see it.

At least McCain will try, unlike Obama.

Boy, the folks at the RNC really hate national health care.
Don't libertarians hate national (aka government-run) health care too? McCain is for letting people choose their health insurance options from the private market, and provides subsidies for those who need help to buy insurance. What's sooo awful about that?

The other major change isn't really a change--it's a relative shift to emphasizing the martial virtues. This, I think, is why Kerry seemed so ridiculous "reporting for duty"--his political persona was about as far as you could get from the warrior ethos. McCain is the real thing. Too much of the real thing, for my taste--he seems to think that the values that guide a brigade should also guide the nation at large. This is a bad idea for the same reason that we should not be run by the codes of the Bar Association or the Hippocratic Oath.

Where in his speech did Sen. McCain propose to re-organize the country as a military brigade? I must have missed it. What values did he mention that are 'brigade values'? The speech I heard emphasized things like:

Service to/love of his country.

Reforming the Republican Party by moving it closer towards its core ideals.

Working with the opposition to solve our problems, where possible.

What is so awful about that?