Friday, March 28, 2008

Are conservatives happier than liberals?

Here's a fun little thing to read. I look forward to your comments. Are conservatives really happier than liberals?
After you finish grunting about what a ridiculous proposition this is, go to a blog ( to read what others of the lefty persuasion have suggested as apologist explanations. Goodness knows, it couldn't actually be true, could it?

Cheers (oops, I mean, "sincerely")

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bush's War - Frontline

In case you missed it or just want to view it at your leisure...They should really call it Cheney and Rumsfeld's War:

Monday, March 17, 2008

Political Discourse and Digital Media

I know BGA started a thread a while back regarding the impact of digital media on the Internet (e.g. YouTube) on the current election cycle, the Obama campaign, etc. Here's an interesting NYT article on the YouTube video of an Obama supporter, Derrick Ashong, who is about as well-informed as anyone in the country. Kudos to DNA; this is the kind of story that inspires the patriot in me. God bless America! (Ashong's man-in-the-street response. Well done!) (Ashong's follow-up)

I'm still debating whether to open up our blog to the rest of Google users or the entire Internet. It would be wonderful to get a numerous variety of responses across the political spectrum from people like Ashong, but I'm not interested in quick, one-off, infrahumanizing shots that would inevitably get injected into our conversations. However, I'm not opposed to any of you inviting someone you know well who would take the time to be involved in our discussions. I definitely would like more conservative views represented.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dems and Race

While I'm sure there are plenty of Republicans thrilled to see the intra-party self-destruction happening among the Democrats over race, and while I certainly see all sorts of opportunities for the Republicans to exploit this idiocy for partisan advantage, I'm so upset that it's happening and want to shake both the Clinton and Obama folks for the repulsive spillover this will have in society and our politics overall. What thoughts do you guys have on the factor of RACE in the Democrats' nomination race, and where do you think this will ultimately go?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Young's (Not So) Excellent Adventure in 2000 Election

Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 18:00:13 -0800 (PST)
From: "Young H. Kim"
Subject: RE: Young's (Not So) Excellent Adventure in 2000 Election - Re: Real Intolerance

Right, Mike, I was so naive about the whole thing, knowing that we had offices in Texas; I knew I wouldn't change anyone's mind, but I actually thought I could have an effect on the undecided voters who, as I recall, were plentiful right up to voting day. "Liberals Only"...I know, you can spot liberals just by looking at them. ;-)

--- Michael Busick wrote:
Young, if only you had set that e-mail to send to "Liberals Only", none of that would've happened. :)

From: Brian Menard
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 21:31:10 -0500
Young: Yep, putting aside the corporate policy faux paux, it seems like familiar
territory in the reaction department and subsequent concern about standing in the organization.

----- Original Message -----
From: Young H. Kim
Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2008 6:40 PM

At the risk of revisiting a topic that is beyond stale, I would like to share my experience at work during the 2000 presidential election. Not sure if I shared this with any of you, so pardon me if I'm repeating. I was barely a year into my new job as a Software Test Engineer at a company called Metapath Software International (MSI) in the heart of downtown Bellevue. I happened across an article in the New Yorker about how the Gore/Bush matchup has turned into a mere personality contest ("I can imagine having a beer with Bush, but not Gore."). In my naivete and poor judgment of workplace email policy, I forwarded, no, spammed this article company-wide to the offices in the US. I invite you to imagine the reaction I received. Here's the link to an abstract of the article as The New Yorker does not have the full article online, but you'll get the idea:
They've Got Personality

Pretty harmless, wouldn't you say? ;-) I mean, in hindsight, it's truer now than it was then. Naturally, I received some but few email in favor and in agreement with my political leanings. And there were brutal, personal attacks against me personally and intellectually. So I know, BRM, when you talked about the fear of losing your job for voicing your political opinion, especially when one of the most vocal criticism came from the Senior VP in charge of the engineering division, who is from and works in Richardson, TX, a suburb of Dallas--sort of a "Don't mess with Texas!" attitude. I am still looking for the email and the replies I saved somewhere. Suffice to say, I received negative reaction in the following vein:
1) Don't fill my inbox with your biased political crap.
2) Cease and desist from such abuse of company mail lists.
3) The New Yorker is a rag whose objectivity is more than questionable. (YHK: It was obviously an op-ed piece.)
4) Send your liberal pablum somewhere else. (YHK: Morton Downey, Jr. popularized the word "pablum".)
5) Yet another example of bleeding-heart, knee-jerk, elitist liberal position. Get better informed about the information you're spreading around.

Fortunately, I only got a slap on the wrist from my manager and director afterward, "Young, you know better than that. But I trust that this will never happen again." Needless to say, I learned a big lesson about using intra-company email. In any case, at the time, I just couldn't believe that a man like Dubya actually had a shot against a much more qualified Al Gore. I still believe that Gore would be the Dem nominee this year if he chose to run.

Couple of quotes that are popular among Dems about the Bush Years:"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plainfolks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." - H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

Intolerance, First Amendment, Military Commissions Act

From: "Brian Menard" <>
Subject: Re: Young's (Not So) Excellent Adventure in 2000 Election - Re: Real Intolerance
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 09:53:42 -0500

Not trying to weasel out of anything. Just looking for consistency in argument instead of allowing for potential myopia. Gotta be fair now. If grounds for criticism is good for one side, they're good for both sides. That's the difference between attempting objective analysis and launching partisan attacks.

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Monday, January 21, 2008 11:53 PM
Subject: Re: Young's (Not So) Excellent Adventure in 2000 Election - Re: Real Intolerance
All in the course of daily party politics, I know, but why is it that the GOP
supporters always like to lay some blame at the preceding Dem administration when
the current Rep administration obviously botched things up? Here's a list for more
1) Dems would charge that Nixon expanded the Vietnam War by bombings in Cambodia and
Laos, but Reps would always comeback to saying that it was the JFK administration
that really escalated the war in the first place (no duh re: LBJ admin, of course).
I don't think any Dem would argue that point really, but somehow that must be said
as if to "balance" out the expansion of the war by Nixon, even after his own
campaign promise to end the war.
2) Reagan ran up a huge deficit to continue the arms race with USSR, but the Reps
would always point out that the Carter admin had carried the debt before Reagan.
3) After 9/11 one would hear a lot about how the Clinton admin had a shot at going
after and taking out Bin Laden but didn't/couldn't do it. Never mind that the Dubya
admin had plenty of warnings before 9/11 about what al-Qaeda was planning to do,
namely a daily intelligence briefing blatantly titled "Bin Laden determined to
attack inside the U.S.", with mention of hijackings contained in it, given to the
prez only a month before 9/11.

The reverse is true, too, if something went right re: economy during a Dem admin,
then Reps love to point out that the course was already laid out by the previous Rep
admin, or that it was the Rep-controlled Congress who should get the credit. Now
this comment about the Clinton admin on Iraq. What is this about, BRM? Both Rummy
and Wolfy, among others, practically pleaded Bubba to take out Saddam, but he wisely
did no such thing, other than bombing runs (according to PBS Frontline). What
actions by the Clinton admin on Iraq are you referring to?

Yes, much better to discuss what to do now, and it certainly is less pressure to
talk about the future, instead of arguing how the whole disaster should not have
happened in the first place. Frustrating, indeed...

--- Brian Menard <> wrote:

Of course, to be consistent, you'd have to include every president from Truman on
as violators of the "declared war" theory before conducting military action. I'm
not disagreeing with its merit, just looking for consistency in the expectation of
its application. And a number of these presidents from both parties have
suspended rights to some degree in the process.

As for Bush and our current war, your comment about fighting people instead of a
country is fundamental to why declaring war simply doesn't fit as a model
applicable to these circumstances. How do you declare war on a group of people,
particularly when they travel between borders and - at a minimum - aren't being
dealt with by the nations in which they are found? (I direct that to Afghanistan.
Iraq is a separate issue with a separate argument dealing with the same flawed
intelligence that directed the actions of the Clinton Administration.)

As for Iraq, I don't think you'll find many - maybe Rummy - who would argue that
mistakes weren't made and the action could have been prosecuted better from the
start and all along. The practical question, though, is: What do we do now?

----- Original Message -----
From: Michael Busick<>
Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2008 9:40 PM
Subject: RE: Young's (Not So) Excellent Adventure in 2000 Election - Re: Real Intolerance

Bush has vacillated between saying we're at war and not saying we're at war.
Personally, I don't believe we're at war until it's been officially declared by
Congress -- and to my knowledge, it hasn't yet been declared. If we're not
declaring war, then Bush doesn't get to suspend any part of the Constitution.
We're not using all of out military might in either Afghanistan or Iraq. We're
only using what we believe is enough to accomplish our goal (which, I believe we
can all agree, has shifted like an Arabian sand dune over the past five years).
We're not even fighting a country (which is probably a fairly common occurrence as
we look back through history), we're fighting a group of people in that country
that don't like us.

This Iraq conflict could've gone a lot better if any number of things had been
done differently -- and it doesn't take a genius to figure out where the mistakes

1) U.S. soldiers guarding the oil fields upon the initial invasion, but leaving
the museums open for looting.

2) The U.S. solider who temporarily draped an American flag over the statue of

3) Not listening to those generals who said either don't invade or if you do
invade, bring more troops. Bush likes to talk about how he doesn't listen to focus
groups, only generals on the ground. Well, it seems he only listens to those
generals who agree with his plan.

4) With still no infrastructure in Iraq outside the Green Zone, many Iraqi men
have nothing to do but stand around unemployed, or have their lives threatened
if/when they join the Iraqi police force or help the U.S. military, or ponder the
possibility of joining the insurgency.
As for Bush's policies saving lives and preventing attacks, I am reminded of a
quote from comedian George Gobel on the Tonight Show in 1969. He told Johnny that
when he was serving in WWII, he was stationed in the Oklahoma National Guard. He
figured that the military must have wanted him there or they wouldn't have put him
there and he figures he must've been useful because, as we can all recall, not a
single Japanese fighter plane ever made it past Tulsa.

It's my belief that we're no safer with Bush in the White House than we would've
been with Gore in the White House. I believe a Gore administration would not have
been populated with as many (any?) people who were left over from the Nixon
administration (Cheney and Rumsfeld) who believe there's unfinished business in
the Middle East and would look for any excuse to send our brave soldiers into Iraq
even though there were quite a few other countries that were ahead of them on that
"get what's comin' to em" list. :)

I'm actually surprised we haven't been hit again and I don't think the Bush
administration has had anything to do with that because our ports are still open,
our water supply is still unguarded and our borders are still unsecured. However,
U.S. citizens who bring atlases onto commercial airlines are being detained
(happened here at SeaTac a few years ago) and our emails and international phone
calls are being recorded, so hey, I guess we know where to find the next bunch of
bad guys.

Doesn't anyone else find it interesting that our emails are being saved
recorded, but the White House can somehow lose millions of emails that might make
them look bad (fired U.S. attorney scandal or the Plame leak scandal or just pick
one of many).

Not only does this administration have no credibility left when it comes to
anything (economy, security, etc.), this country has no credibility left when it
comes to anything involving the Middle East. Going back just 50 years, it's
obvious the only side we've stayed on is the side that benefits our economy. So
when Bush asks OPEC (like he did last week) to increase oil production because the
high prices are hurting our economy (which they are, but whose fault is that,
really?), I can almost hear the Saudi oil barons laughing from here.

If there are tax breaks or rebates coming, I hope they come from the extra money
the U.S. oil companies have been raking in since the invasion started.


Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 01:52:47 +0000
Wow, I did not know, or remember any of that-Very tough situation, working for
intolerant people, or an intolerant company. I think, in the case of your example,
the word 'intolerant' may not be adequate enough to describe how difficult and
unfortunate that situation must have been-I am sorry. It is interesting how
radical we might appear to one-another until we know where the other is coming

As far as sending an email in reply to Intolerance and the First Amendment, I
have a lot to say about this-but, I don't know where to begin? It's a hard thing
to talk about, kind of like our Seattle diatribe, or my lame defense of American
Imperialism. It was meant, in a spirit of dialog and I must confess, I was pulling
chains or pushing buttons a little bit...But, it's hard to have a discussion about
things that are not morally sound but may be wise in a prudent, or 'real Politik
way. For example, I wanted to point out that, some of our best presidents have
advanced agendas of imperialism and even dictatorship. I did not, however, want to
be known as the "imperialist pig" (sorry, Young, no offense-I know you were just
kidding) who was defending and probably deep down agreed with some elements of
American hegemony or imperialistic policy. So, it's hard to talk about these
things without offending people. And it's hard to talk about some things without
appearing to be an advocate of those things. In other words, is it possible to defend war,
imperialism, or in this case the sacrifice of our freedoms for security and
safety, without appearing to be a proponent of these difficult and unpopular

Thus, I believe that you might have been trying to ignite a discussion about
the military commissions act. I think that you wanted to begin a discussion on our
loss of personal freedoms and make connections between certain political
philosophies and the loss of those freedoms?

Certainly, the first amendment protects our freedoms, the very freedoms in
fact that, the military commission act suspends or revokes "during a time of
national emergency or war."

So, what freedoms have we lost and why have we lost them? I believe that we
could identify many of these points rather quickly. Also, however, I think that
you (Young) would like to examine why we have sacrificed those freedoms in an
attempt to allow our government to keep us more safe and secure?

Of course, we all know the 'Catch-22'- As Olbermann more aptly summarized it,
"The Military Commissions Act has sacrificed our freedoms to a government more
dangerous to our own liberty than the enemy, it claims to protect us from."

My question is two-fold. Do we all agree with the above preceding statement?
And are there any circumstances that we could imagine, that would require a
suspension of individual freedom and liberties? Bush argues, that the time is now.
Is now the time? Has there ever been a time when the military commission act was
necessary? Further, Bush has argued that the military commission act has saved
lives and prevented terrorist attacks-If this is correct, is Bush, right?


Obama can't win big states?

It seems to me that Obama still has trouble winning the big-delegate states. This presents a serious problem for him later on, should he win the nomination. This article on the Pennsylvania poll results is interesting. Obama certainly is not getting the older white women vote.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bill Moyers Journal: Mickey Edwards - Reclaiming Conservatism

Totally forgot to mention that I watched Mickey Edwards on Bill Moyers Journal last Friday, 3/7. Very interesting and educational. If only more conservatives actually thought this way...Here's a link to the show's transcript. Look for Edwards' name in the latter half.

--- Brian Menard wrote:

Subject: Fw: Mickey Edwards - Reclaiming Conservatism: How a Great American
Political Movement Got Lost - and How It Can Find Its Way Back
Date: Fri, 29 Feb 2008 15:54:55 -0500

Mom (an alumna of Rutgers' MA program in political science and an Eagleton Institute fellow while there) just sent this to me. Thought it might be interesting to you, given our recent topic of conversation. Mickey Edwards was still on the Hill when I worked there. It should be an interesting book.

2008 Albert W. Lewitt Lecture
Mickey Edwards
Reclaiming Conservatism: How a Great American Political Movement Got Lost - and How It Can Find Its Way Back
Thursday, March 6
5:30 pm - Reception
6:00 pm - Program
Eagleton Institute of Politics
Directions available here
Served eight terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives(R-OK) between 1977-1993
Chaired the American Conservative Union and was one of three foundingtrustees of the Heritage Foundation
Faculty member at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Contributed as a regular columnist for the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times and a weekly commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered

In his latest book, Edwards argues that conservatives today have abandoned their principles and now champion that which they once most feared. The American conservative movement drew its inspiration from the United States Constitution - in particular, an overriding belief in individual liberty and limited government. But today, so-called "conservative" beliefs and policies threaten the entire constitutional system of government. By abetting an imperial presidency, "conservatives" have gutted the system of checks and balances, abandoned due process, and trampled upon cherished civil liberties. Once they fought to protect citizens from government intrusion; today, they seem to recognize few limits on what government can do. Touching upon many current issues, Edwards offers a blueprint for reclaiming the essence of conservatism in America.
RSVP to or 732-932-9384, ext. 331.
Books will be available for purchase.
The Albert W. Lewitt lecture was established by Mrs. Benjamin Leon in memory of her brother, who worked on Capitol Hill in the 1940's.

Eliot Spitzer

I'm not at all interested in the actual scandal or its details, but here's how I see this story. It says a lot about politics and power in this country:

1) Don't piss off and send to jail a bunch of Wall Street bankers and investors. They will come after you. It seems he made too many enemies in high places.
2) When do we start separating the public life from the private life of powerful and influential politicians? Will there be anyone left to lead or to govern? Seriously, who's gonna tell me that those with power and influence don't screw around? Should someone like FDR have resigned as well for infidelity? Did that make him unfit to be president?
3) Resign over violations or corruption that directly relate to the job, not over some sordid, salacious and very expensive trysts, unless the person somehow embezzled public funds to satisfy his urges, granted technically he did break some federal laws. See:
4) Don't know all the details but seems like even Democrats hated Spitzer and probably triggered his downfall. All the more evidence that most, if not all, politicians have something to hide, instead of supporting a self-proclaimed crusader like Spitzer, and that has nothing to do with partisanship.
5) Such petty politics and powerplay in NY? What was Spitzer even thinking? Probably nothing since he certainly is not the only one paying for escorts.
6) Spitzer was foolishly hypocritical. Apparently, he took down the Wall Street bankers for practices that most in Wall Street knew well and generally accepted. See Slate article:

Surely, Spitzer sealed his own fate over lustful temptations, but I don't believe that automatically disqualifies him to be governor. It's just a given in the American psyche that any sex that is not with your own wife should disqualify you for public office. Much harder to impeach a president for it, though, we've discovered...O that Slick Willie...

Monday, March 10, 2008

One More Voter for Democrats

Just wanted to mention that after being in the U.S. for 20 years, Michelle is now a naturalized U.S. citizen as of March 10, 2008. I am also happy to say that she will most likely vote for a Democrat in November, although she is not a fan of Obama. I believe the gender factor is probably at play here. :-)

Friday, March 7, 2008


Interesting op-ed from an assoc. editor of Newsweek. "Infrahumanization"...I'll have to remember that...Bashing on Hillary or the Clintons or their supporters is certainly not new.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Happy Blogging

Hey, guys, it's great to have this up and running. Thanks again, Young, for making it operational. Just look at how much we can accomplish when we work together instead of against each other!

I look forward to blogging with you guys.