Sunday, October 29, 2006

Not Ending All Wars, but Still Interesting

The Oracle is in Kansas City along with The Perfect One, who is here in order to attend a conference on issues of professional interest to her which I hope will never be of personal interest to me. Nonetheless, yesterday, we visited The Liberty Memorial Museum, which is devoted to American involvement in World War I. The museum is undergoing a major renovation and will briefly close next month and reopen in December. As we found the current, much more limited offering to be very interesting and informative, the updated museum will undoubtedly be worth a visit.

Taxing One's Principles

The first time I saw Tennessee state senate candidate Bob Rochelle's commercial in which he confesses that he had been wrong when he advocated a state income tax, I wondered if Billy Graham would make a 30 second ad to say that he had been wrong about God. Or, would Al Gore create a spot to say he was wrong on global warming?

Of course, politicians do change sides for political convenience, and Gore provides a good example. The former vice-president proclaimed himself solidly pro-life when seeking votes in Tennessee, but eventually came out for the pro-choice side when running for national office, all the while claiming that his position had never changed. However, the abortion issue was never a matter of central importance for Gore. A cynical politician can get away with such political expediency on issues on which they never majored. Henry Hyde could have never seamlessly changed course on abortion, and Gore could not easily switch sides on global warming, even if they were so inclined. Bob Rochelle, one would think, can not simply advertise himself away from his history of strongarming leadership in favor of a state income tax.

Would any reporter bother asking Rochelle to explain the changes in his fiscal and economic principles that resulted in his change of mind on the tax? Such a dramatic change of position, if real, does not occur in a vacuum.

In addition, it should be said that the type of politics being practiced by Rochelle only succeeds in making him appear desperate and small. Rochelle was once one of the most powerful politicians in the state, as was shown by his ability, in concert with House speaker Jimmy Naifeh and Governor Don Sundquist, to essentially play a game of chicken with the state budget in order to try to force an income tax through the legislature. Now, he is reduced to having the appearance of an unprincipled and desperate beggar who will promise to perform any sort of work in exchange for a few votes.

I don't much care for Rochelle's politics, but it is for greater concerns that I hope his tactics will not work.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Having Uniforms

Whenever the subject of school uniforms or a school dress code comes up, some teenager who imagines that he is saying something profound, or some parent who's thought never progressed beyond that of a teenager, explains that such a restriction will inhibit the student's self-expression.

It should be the role of schools and teachers, as well as other adults, to explain to students that one should express themselves literately -- that is, by the way that they speak and write. While non-verbal cues can accompany words, they don't really mean all that much unless a person has something coherent to say.

Schools educate with the goal of teaching students how to think. Eliminating distractions related to how one dresses the body can serve the goal of giving greater focus to the development of the mind.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Tell the Truth; Don't Change the Subject

While I am capable of emphasizing or de-emphasizing a particular set of facts in the interest of promoting a personal political priority or candidate, there are lengths to which I would never go, and I suppose for that reason I could never be a partisan political hack. Thus, those who would attempt to bail Republicans out of the impact of this dreadful Foley episode by claiming that this is merely an attempt of liberals and a cooperative media to take down more Republicans are disgusting to me.

Even if the charge is true, it is less important than the matter at hand. If Republicans don't want to be ripped in the press for failing to confront a repugnant situation, then they should have confronted it. If you are guilty of the crime, don't blame the media for reporting it at an inconvenient time.

I have little patience for PR that devolves into propoganda when it comes from Democrats. I have even less patience for those who are supposed to be on my side.

Must Be a Chevy Man: No Ford's Here

Regarding Tennessee's U.S. Senate race, The Oracle knew early on that he would vote for Bob Corker. One may complain that Corker is too moderate of a Republican, but no one of conservative principles could vote for Harold Ford, Jr., given a reasonably qualified alternative: Ford's voting record is just too liberal.

Of course, if I were an uninformed voter relying on political ads, I might decide that Ford were just too conservative. Given that I am a pro-life, pro-free enterprise, pro-second amendment Reagan Republican, it is no small accomplishment that Ford has managed to possibly elbow his way to my right -- at least in terms of slick advertising. I am expecting that any moment Ford will come out with a promise to vote to confirm Robert Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court. No person of liberal principles could possibly support Ford with any degree of enthusiasm if they believed half of the content of his political ads. Of course, there is enthusiasm by those who see the ads and wink and nod because they know that the ads don't reflect reality. Nonetheless, based on the ads, I guess I'd end up voting for Corker.

And, given the integrity gap between the Ford record and the Ford campaign, I suppose that my vote would have to go for Corker.

That's three strikes: Ford is out.

Friday, October 06, 2006

To All My Loyal Readers (Both of You)

Blogging has been a bit light here the last week -- actually it has been non-existent. The Oracle is not going anywhere. Life has merely been a bit hectic, and I have been mentally drained -- that is a rather shallow pool to have emptied. Regardless, I will be back at it soon.