Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sleep Good

Steve Beshear is our man. Primary voters voted on May 22 and gave him a substantial vote for the Democratic nomination considering the size of the field. We actually avoided a runoff. He will face off against current governor, Ernie Fletcher in November. I wish Mr. Beshear the best.

It's been a slow start to the Presidential primary season. The field of Democrats is still pretty much where it was before the first debate. Clinton, Obama, and Edwards are all clustered at the top in national polls. The polls in Iowa show some movement, but it is more or less insignificant. My man Bill looks to be gaining some support in early primary states, so that's interesting. Otherwise, boring.

The next Presidential debate is set for Sunday, June 3rd. Maybe some news will come out of that.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Taken at Liberty

Jerry Falwell is dead at age 73.

Who gives a shit?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Atheist Blogroll

Visit the Atheist Blogroll to see a comprehensive list of blogs written from an atheist, agnostic, or freethinking perspective.

Free there's an idea.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Libertarian Left

I recently took a "political ideology" quiz and was told that I am a "Left Libertarian." Not that I needed to know that, I just like to see how other people label me.

What is a "Left Libertarian?"

A "libertarian" generally believes in limited or no government. Period. A "leftist" believes in government control of corporate interest as it relates to other "rights."

Both ideologies have difficulty inhabiting the same space, but in my case do so on a regular basis. It's a strange feeling being able to listen to Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly (both of whom I despise) and come away with many points of agreement. Most of my disagreements with them have to do with degree.

For example, I believe that self-determination and hard work are far superior to government assistance, but I also believe that the government should help people when they are incapable of helping themselves. It is my sincere belief that America is the greatest nation on Earth, but I am not blind to injustices done in her name. I accept that "people of faith" are well-meaning and charitable, but I also realize that religion divides people more than it brings them together.

Being "liberal" or "progressive" is not the summation of my existence. I imagine that is true for most people who wear those labels with pride. While I believe that I have found the "right" path, many will disagree with me. I have never run from an argument I didn't think I could win. In fact, I often find myself agreeing with arguments I once considered laughable. Try it sometime. It is very liberating.

If you haven't, take this quiz and leave a comment about your results.

"Come, let us reason together"--Isaiah 1:18.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Jonathan Miller Quits,

Well I'll be a monkey's uncle.

This is twice in two consecutive governor's races that my preferred candidate dropped out within weeks of the election. What gives?

I could see dropping out two or three months before the primary, but damn. The election is two weeks away. You hate Steve Henry and Bruce Lunsford so bad that you alienate your supporters? I can't say that I was a fanatic about your candidacy, but you were the only one I could stand to look at and listen to. I hate political calculating.

Ironically, Bruce Lunsford, who has done well in recent polling, was the last candidate to do this to me. Of course, you are supporting Steve Beshear which is a little better than Lunsford's endorsement of Jody Richards, and a hell of alot better than his eventual endorsement of Ernie Fletcher in 2003. I will consider Mr. Beshear, but like many of your supporters, feel unimpressed or disgusted with the rest of the Democratic field.

Again, I am left disillusioned. Don't make me root for Anne Northup!

Friday, May 04, 2007

That's it, I'm endorsing Bill Richardson for President

I've been leaning toward endorsing Bill Richardson for President for a couple of months now, and his latest remarks on immigration just cinched the deal. Here's a transcript of an older immigration speech from his governor's office that reports the same information with a bit more detail: Reform Speech from Bill Richardson

Here are the high points:

1. Secure the Border--Richardson supports doubling the number of border patrol agents, adding high tech security devices, and tearing down fences that don't work and send the wrong message.
2. Penalize Employers--He also supports raising the minimum wage and fining businesses that hire illegals.
3. Amnesty--He doesn't call it that, but admits that the term will be used against him. It's alot more complicated than that.
4. Work with the Mexican Government--Richardson realizes that there will always be a weak link in the chain of immigration reform unless the border is secured from both directions. He's already met with President Calderon as New Mexico governor.
5. Increase the number of Legal Immigrants--Just to accommodate the family members of current illegals who will become permanent legal residents, Richardson supports doubling the number of available family visas.

To me, these ideas are common sense. He lays them out articulately and with the wisdom afforded a public servant with his experience. I had not sought to endorse a candidate this early, but felt that it was necessary before Hillary sucked all of the oxygen out of the room. More on that later.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Promise of Nuclear (or Nukular) Power

If there's one thing that "gets my goat" about environmentalists, it's their aversion to anything that could help the environment. Mention solar power, wind power, or biodiesel and they get all happy. Mention nuclear power or ethanol and they start to have seizures. There is virtually as much power in one pound of enriched uranium as in 3 million pounds of coal. Solar power and wind power are nice supplements, but you would have to build arrays larger than the Mojave Desert to power Las Vegas alone. I have some "solar solutions" as well, but lets stick to the nuke plants.

Europe and Asia use Nuclear power for the bulk of their energy needs. Fission power plants produce less air and water pollution than coal plants. Their greenhouse emissions are on par with natural gas power (primarily from the production of the fuel rods). They are expensive to build, but are less expensive to operate than any other type of power plant. The bulk of cost goes to employment which is good for the economy. Sure sounds horrible.

The one downside (other than up front construction costs) is the idea of waste disposal. Seeing barrels of nuclear waste is enough to make the most conservative environmentalist cringe. But think of the alternative. If coal power waste was treated nearly as carefully as it should be, there would be thousands of barrels of waste for every one barrel of nuclear waste. Nuclear power's political downfall is its most admirable aspect: Containment. The net environmental impact coupled with job creation and more energy independence (most of our uranium ore comes from Canada) makes nuclear power the best alternative for our ever-expanding energy needs.

It's not perfect. No energy source is. But until hydrogen fusion becomes a reality, we will need many more nuclear plants to help the environment and "fuel" economic development. Somebody just needs to grow the cajones to make this point on the national stage.
Republican Candidate Debate (Forum more likely)

Tonight on MSNBC, the ten current Republican candidates for President will have a go with Chris Matthews. I don't expect very much, and since I can't vote in the Republican primary, I will probably have limited comments. It should be interesting to watch though. Keep an eye on Tom Tancredo and Ron Paul. They should keep the debate interesting.

DL out.

PS--Beware of Reagan idolatry.