Wednesday, February 27, 2008

RIP Mirthful Leader

Let us not forget that WFB, Jr. was as good-natured and fond of wit and humor as our other great star, President Reagan.

This morning, William F. Buckley, Junior dead at 82. Of course, National Review and conservatism lives on.

I should add a few items, one of which is Jonah Goldberg's column on the occasion of National Review's 50th year (and Buckley's 80th).
Buckley understood that anyone, even barbarians, can be “individualists.” Individualism, properly understood, requires a larger moral and political context to work. The liberalism of the American founders was formed with a moral and metaphysical superstructure, which had been eroded by industrialization, urbanization, and the steady flotsam of various statist ideologies washing up on our shores. Pragmatism, reform Darwinism, progressivism, socialism and countless other isms had belittled and diminished the “old dogmas” of liberty, as the desiccated carapaces shed off by History on the March. The secular collective, not the Christian individual, was the form the God-state chose to manifest itself in this time.

Hence National Review got to work trying to craft a new ideology which stood up to Hegel’s historicist God-state. Indeed, had not Hegel proclaimed that the state was the “march of God on earth”? That is the History National Review was founded to stand athwart and yell “Stop” to.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Again With the Uvula

Two years is too soon for this business with my uvula.

Luckily, I think there's a Minute Clinic open only slightly out of my way (and in a traffic-laden area). My wife and co-workers must be rejoicing in the potentially smaller window of Badda-talking.

Damn! There goes my entertainment for the next 24 to 36 hours.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

BWCA Idiocy and Mayhem: Barney Lakner Update

Thanks to Observer who dropped a comment with a link to an update on Lakner and the Ely Six.
BWCA shooting suspect will contest evidence
Duluth News Tribune

Published Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Barney James Lakner, one of six Ely residents charged with making terroristic threats against campers on Basswood Lake last August, will contest the evidence against him at a pre-trial omnibus hearing in March.

Lakner was scheduled for an omnibus hearing today in State District Court in Lake County but his attorney requested a contested omnibus hearing now set for March 24. Lakner could challenge constitutional issues and other evidence against him. It’s likely law enforcement officers involved in the case could be called to testify at the hearing.

Lakner is charged with several felony crimes for an incident in which several guns and large fireworks were fired near campers on Basswood Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on Aug. 7. One other trial is scheduled in the case and three other suspects have pleaded guilty in the case. A 16-year-old boy also is charged in the case in juvenile court.

Law enforcement officers might very well get called to testify, huh... didn't the guy who initially showed up know Lakner? Read the criminal complaint... it is in there.

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

That's My Girl

Soucheray often comments on living in “a house divided”. Like the concept of The Look, I suspect most folks understand living in a house divided. With that in mind, you won’t be surprised if I say my wife leans to the left. Oh, she’s come a long way in the past fifteen years, but old habits are hard to break. She’s a far cry from the hard core lefty from before.

In any case, she’s come to regard President and Senator Clinton as the bane of politics and a black eye upon our country. She also has a feeling about Senator Obama. Regarding the Republican contenders she doesn’t yet feel much of anything toward any of them, but she has reservations regarding Senator McCain.

As she left for the caucus she told me she sees no reason at this time to vote for anyone in the campaign… so she intended to vote against the candidate who rankles her most. Senator Hillary Rod-ham Clinton.

Although she is my Dutiful and Beautiful Mrs. Badda, she doesn’t really want to blog… however, her caucus experience entertained the Hell out of me and made me proud. She’s writing down the details… but until they come in, I’m going ahead with the story. With that in mind, this post will get updated.

She brought our son to the DFL caucus. Since she arrived a little late she couldn’t immediately find a parking space. Once inside, she waited in line to find her precinct number and in which room that precinct was meeting. Was it up, was it down? Down the left hall or the right hall? She spent about ten minutes trying to find the damn room. Of course, the boy wasn’t really enjoying himself.

Eventually, one of the city council members (possibly Susan Rosenberg) ran into my wife. Perhaps this woman could help my wife find the right room. Well, my wife told her how frustrated she was with the lack of organization and assistance and that she was almost ready to give up. Oh, no… a woman on the city council (and at a DFL political event) wouldn’t let that happen. Local politics to the rescue! Did my wife need to find her precinct? “No! I already know my precinct number. I simply need to find the right room.”

Oh. I can’t help you. With that, the brave, knowledgeable, enabling, and supportive female city council member turned tail and walked off. See you next Thursday!

My wife’s got some German, Irish, and probably something else feisty and stubborn in her… and that damn council member only annoyed her enough to find that effing room. Of course, she did.

She walked up to a short line to sign in. Ahead of her was a DFL mom with a young son ready to take part in his first presidential election. The kid didn’t know exactly what to do and clearly had some reservations. “Just sign this thing here,” said the impatient DFL mother. The kid said he didn’t know if he even wanted to be there. “Just sign here,” said the loyal DFL helper. The kid still didn’t know if this was right for him. “Just hurry up and sign!” said the DFL mom. Isn’t that considered coercion and harassment?

“Back off,” said my most Dutiful and Beautiful wife. “He said he hasn’t made up his mind.” She then turned to the yout’ (as Joe Pesci would say). “Look, this vote is yours and yours alone and you don’t need to do anything that anyone tells you if you don’t agree.” The kid looked relieved at someone backed him up. The others looked shocked and stunned that anyone, much less a woman and a lone mother, would possibly obstruct the process.

Who wouldn’t be proud? That’s not all.

After the sign-in, she got into the room and took a seat. Now, I suspect it isn’t for nothing that they held this caucus in a junior high school. According to my wife the room was chaotic, unorganized, and full of idiots who wanted to be heard. (Herd?)

Out of such chaos must come order, though… but when? Eventually, they get to the straw poll with proposals to alter the DFL platform by adding, changing, or removing items. Oh, did they have suggestions. Not only that, they want to get “their money’s worth” so they quickly propose them, vote on them, and move on to the next one. Predictable as ever, some hand-wringing socialist demanded Universal Health Care. (What? It isn’t already in the platform??? The devil must be in brand new details.) Very well. All in favor…

Whoa, Trigger. Any chance someone might have a question? (Yeah, that was my wife stopping the show.) “Who is going to pay for all of this?” Stunned silence. Hostile expressions. Daggers from eyes. Looks that kill. She continued by telling the whole room that she works hard for her son and family. For that pleasure, she sees 40-percent of her income goes away to only God know? She tells the room that in spite of what they may think of her, she isn’t rich by any sane standard in this country and that they all should know because they should all come from the same precinct. She says she comes from a family that strongly supports the Democrat party (under varying successes and failures) and married a man with strong conservative principals and questions both sides constantly. Someone will be forced to pay for this… and for every other proposal and goal that you folks desire. There are side-effects and unintended consequences. Think about them.



All in favor? All but two hands were raised.

All opposed? My son raised his hand. (God, thank you for my son.) That allowed for a slight pause, letting my wife raise her arm a little bit for just a –


Regardless of the amount of buffoonery, my wife made her voice heard and my son made his first stand against socialism… all within hours of my wedding anniversary.

I am a rich man, indeed.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Nine Years Married

What a heavy week. (Actually, more than a week, but that's just nit-picking.)

  • Lost an uncle... and quite a good uncle, too. (Probably going to blog about that soon, mostly because the material is too damn good.)

  • My uncle's funeral... saw a lot of family including some folks I don't often see. The eulogies were great, including the speech given by my old man. My boy sat through a complete Catholic funeral mass... a little figity, but aside from needing a trip to the bathroom he made it.

  • President Reagan's birthday today.

  • Last night's caucus... further evidence that I live in "a house divided". Her caucus story is more interesting than mine... and, in spite of the fact that she went to the DFL caucus, I am extremely proud. Also, the boy made his first steps into conservative beliefs.

  • My ninth wedding anniversary, with the day off from work.

  • Ash Wednesday... so the wife and I can't really have a great anniversary meal,

  • My wife leaves town for a few days on Friday... so we can't really have a great anniversary meal this weekend.

  • On the other hand, my boy and I have the weekend to screw around like a couple of kids.

  • However, I just learned that my dad's uncle (the last one) died yesterday and the funeral will probably be Saturday... so a little less goofing off, but a little more time with our family.

I started writing something and mulling over ideas for something else, then I was hit with one of these events. Then another. Then another.

I'll get to something soon. ;)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Strib Letter: All-Day Caucus

Not a fan

Is caucusing fair? People who work second shift cannot attend. It is difficult for older people to get out on a winter evening or even get a volunteer to give them a ride. Parents of small children cannot take turns babysitting while the other goes to caucus.

The small window of time for people to attend a caucus vs. voting at a polling place that is open all day does not seem to be what a free society proclaims when it says it wants all voters to participate.

Let us have a real primary where people really have an opportunity to vote.


Byron, in some way or another voting isn't fair. Life isn't fair, either.

Perhaps a second-shift worker getting the day off or taking a sick day or taking a day of vacation to attend a caucus is difficult... but hardly impossible.

Perhaps the old or infirm may not easily get around on their own or get a ride and an escort to the caucus... but hardly impossible.

Perhaps parents cannot caucus together without a babysitter... but hardly impossible.

Perhaps folks in general cannot easily run out to an evening caucus because of the two hours or more window... but hardly impossible.

You might need to pay someone for a lift, to babysit, or miss some work and therefore have a smaller paycheck because of one day.

We as citizens get a vote, but it isn't free of inconvienence. Nor should the government make a trouble-free caucus. The inconviences do not mean we do not live in a free society. Freedom isn't diminished because you don't want to get a taxi or because some guy doesn't want to lose four hours on his timecard.

You are free to go, and you are free to stay home. You are free to hitchhike to the caucus. You are free to talk to your neighbors and organize a cheaper mode of transportation and help find someone to watch your neighbors' kids and lend or give a couple of bucks to the guy who works second-shift.

That's freedom.