"the dumbest blog i've ever seen."

    "Get out a little more dude."

    "Is it more conservative to write about Red Bull, spelling errors, or whining about liberal teachers?" -Former contributor

    "a well-kept and activist-orientated blog"-Chris Collins, Seattle Times

    It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.

    -Samuel Adams

    Comments are only subject to editing in case of spam or malicious, unrelated content. Dissenting opinion on this blog will never be censored

Monday, November 28, 2005

Reply to comment

NOTE: Since it was several posts back, I hope Mr. Henderson will not take this as grandstanding when I post my reply here instead of on the comment string. Here's the link to his comment...continue the discussion here if you like.

Hey Lance, good to hear from you. That's funny there are so many former Horizon writers floating around this year. Just a few thoughts...

I hope you don't really think this is a byproduct of closed minds and spoon-fed isolationism. To think that would be rather blind indeed. I'm glad you are so willing to refuse documentation for your own assertions while berating fellow students for the same error. You'd better come up with something other than your own and moveon.org's say-so on that Bush AWOL tripe.

It's funny how this tends to go... I guess the only qualification for serving as president is to have been on a boat in the south pacific. Crying "chickenhawk" is a Straw Man that avoids the real issues: we are at war and our leaders have a job to do. If you don't like the decisions being made, say so and vote him out. That's political debate--not character assassination.
Your words:
I bet if you all of a sudden you had to go to Iraq, you might be singing a different tune.
An accusation of cowardice? In another time or place that would be a rather serious challenge. It's not your place to say suggest such a thing--this is one student who has family there right this minute.

One Marine cousin in Iraq, one brother in Germany, one friend who will soon complete marine officer training, two local friends who just came back from Iraq, one after being wounded, one friend of the family who lost a son in Iraq, half a dozen other friends at either West Point, or the AF/Naval Academy.

Yes, that's just me. Are any of those people I mentioned voting against those evil chickenhawks in the White House? Not that I've heard--and I would know. It is extremely presumptive and dangerous to accuse a fellow student of cowardice. That is a personal (and pointless) insult and ought to be retracted.

Remember, the real world lies beyond the university campus. You'd better brace yourself.

Sheehan: over and out?

It's a good question.

I'm sure more than a few "moderates" are thinking Cindy Sheehan's star has gone the way of a black hole. Here's a couple links that indicate a great deal of disenchantment over someone who has turned her "private grief" into a marketable bushbash.

First, there's the pretty AP photos from her Crawford book-signing.



Then, wow...a scathing Salena Zito column, putting Cindy down (to use the lighter term) for the infamous "open letter to Barbara Bush."
Sheehan has become the quintessential freak show, making everyone uncomfortable as we watch the drama -- her drama -- play out. In our heart of hearts, we really do not want to believe this mother has become a handmaiden of the Left.

Few things ever are what they seem to be. Truth often is awkward. And facing the reality that Sheehan's sincerity has ended and absurdity has taken hold is one jagged little pill to swallow.
Indeed, that's just a fraction of the criticism. I recommend reading whole column.

Crossposted at Meneltarma

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

'I'm just dad'

Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana has done more in his five years in congress for the conservative cause than many do in their lifetime.

A super communicator, socially and fiscally conservative, a proven record of true leadership...what more could you want. I'm almost tempted to say to those who want him to run for president to just let him stay in congress so he can keep doing some good there. But then I look at the current field of RINOs and I'm more inclined to agree with the Draft Pence Movement.

That title quote comes from an article in The Indianapolis Star.

Crossposted at Head West, Turn Right

Saturday, November 19, 2005

GSAVE? LOL!

GSAVE? LOL!

If you like acronyms, you might like the proposed name for the so called global so-called War on Terror--not a perfectly accurate name either but it does better than GSAVE (Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism).

It hasn't caught on though. The president himself has avoided it in his recent speeches according to columnist Joel Mowbray. Read Mowbray's entire article here at Townhall.com. It's not about the acronym--it's like me to get a kick out of a little detail.

Crossposted at Meneltarma

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Thus says Cheney!

"The President and I cannot prevent certain politicians from losing their memory, or their backbone – but we’re not going to sit by and let them rewrite history.

We’re going to continue throwing their own words back at them..."
Amen and amen! Read the rest of the except on the Drudge Report.

Crossposted at Meneltarma

Thursday, November 10, 2005

War protest a big success?

It fascinates me how obsessed The Western Front has recently become with anti-war crowds on campus. One group, Western Against War, was featured on the front page of the Front twice in the last two weeks. The first article discussed the upcoming gathering in red square to read the names of fallen soldiers in Iraq (as if honoring those who died is somehow anti-war?), which would hopefully drum up some interest for the fledgling club.

Apparently the event was so successful that the Front ran a second front page article on Tuesday praising the gathering for their commitment to fight the inclement weather.
But despite inclement weather Thursday, a group of approximately 20 Western students and faculty in Red Square read the names of more than 400 soldiers who have died in the war in Iraq.
Sounds impressive. I first got the impression that a whole lot of students had jumped on board after hearing about the event and that the club was well on its way. However, later in the article it mentions that "Shirley Osterhaus, a professor at Fairhaven College ... organized the gathering and coordinated it with 14 other faculty members".

I don't know if all the faculty were there, and the picture really makes it hard to tell (I'm pretty sure I can say there are 5 students for sure but I couldn't positively say on any of the others). If it is the case that the entire faculty that organized the event attended, that leaves 5 students or so who attended. In fact, the first article mentions one person planning to attend the event from off campus and the second article quotes a 60-year-old lady who wanted to attend but doesn't actually confirm she did. So some of the non-faculty attendance can be explained by people who aren't students.

Later in the Front, Lance Henderson draws parallels between the Iraq war and the Vietnam war. One of his parallels is the student protests, he cites a high school student walkout that happened earlier this month in Seattle as evidence students are upset with the war. However this point really doesn’t hold. First, the event had far fewer students than expected and second, there were probably a number of students there just to protest (I was personally guilty of wanting to go down to the WTO riots when I was in school, just to say I was there).

Maybe I'm mistaken on this, but I feel like from what I've heard the anti-war sentiments on college campuses during Vietnam are not being replayed out during the Iraq war. In fact it seems to me that the teachers are angrier than the students.

I almost get the feeling the Western Front is trying to reach out to the students and say "come on you guys, wake up, we're anti-war remember, come on and protest or something." The same with the faculty.
At least they could admit that turnout for their event was really poor for students, especially after a front page feature.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Chivalry comes to Western

Walking into the room a little early wasn't enough to grant me a seat. For once we were going to have class in the lab--all 35-or-so many of us, spreading ourselves among the 20 chairs. We had been warned to come extra early if we wanted to secure one of the plush computer chairs.

I wasn't concerned, though. I had already passed on the idea of even trying for one. I made my way to the back wall and sat on the floor, engrossed with a fellow student on a mutual project we had.

The room started to fill up with more floor sitters and suddenly Matt got up with a look of impatience...

"Caleb, get up! You too Chris! Let one of the others sit down," he said referring to the group of females by the door.

Matt is an interesting guy. No student in the journalism program is more respected. I say that with complete conviction because I respect him too (yes, even though he did beat me out for the Tribune internship--that was a no-brainer). He was Editor in Chief for my first quarter on The Western Front, and before then, he set the record for the most writing points accumulated by a reporter on the Front. Despite his high-powered abilities and skills, I sometimes think he's the most easy-going, even-tempered student at Western.

For my part, I do what I can on my own but the thought never crossed my mind to openly tell someone else they should practice it too. I guess if any student is going to be outspoken enough to promote chivalry in his fellow students, it would be Matt.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

GOP: Media's best friend

What is a good indication of political balance in the media? When lawmakers and politicians from both parties support media "shield laws" to protect confidential sources.

In the past, I've tended to consider this a more liberal issue, but not totally. My hesitation stems from being leery of the liberties many journalists take in using anonymous interviews--as I wrote in The Western Front last spring. At the moment, there is no federal shield law to protect journalist from grand jury subpoenas and the like. What conservatives have come out in support of more journalistic protection? The names are surprising.

Congressman Mike Pence, a conservative superstar in the Midwest, and increasingly more recognizable as one of the most effective conservative leaders in the House, has become one of the primary sponsors of a federal shield law. I hate to say it, but The New York Times reporter, Judith Miller's fight to protect a Republican source may have had something to do with the surge in GOP attention. That source, Cheney aid, “Scooter” Libby, has since, of course, been indicted in the leak you all know so much (or so little perhaps) about by now.

Note: I added a new link on my blog for my good friend Aaron Hankin, who heads up the "Draft Pence Movement" dedicated to promoting a Pence a presidential bid in 2008. There's a lot of material on his blog.

On the Washington state level, conservative Attorney General Rob McKenna has garnered the respect of journalists everywhere by first getting his hands dirty cleaning up the access laws (freedom of information laws) in Washington, and now, by publicly endorsing a state shield law. While Washington doesn't have a shield law per se, some Washington courts have ruled favorably to journalists in the past, setting minor precedent for partial protection. As stated in The Seattle Times, many would like the protection to be more water tight.

"Someone might say we don't need it; we've only had a few cases," (McKenna said.) "But not having it can chill the speech of a confidential source. You don't have to have a case where someone is being put in stocks in the public square for this to be a good idea. It will encourage confidential sources to reveal important information to the media."

It bears noting that Stefan Sharkanski of Sound Politics.com doesn’t really care about it, just as long as bloggers are included, and I would agree that there can’t be special privileges granted to some citizens just because they are gathering the information for a certain kind of publication. If the first amendment is going to be construed to protect one person, there had better not be a double standard.

Crossposted at Meneltarma

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I-901: The great conservative sellout

I hate to use such a vitriolic headline, but I can't find better words for it. I'm seeing just how uneducated conservatives can be in their own professed philosophy. I'm seeing Washington republicans throw away their principles just because they happen to not like smoking.

The source of my problem is Initiative 901, which is intended to effectively ban smoking anywhere but reservations and your own house (you might get away with it if you stand in the middle of an intersection too). Of course, you'll also probably have to be careful that you shut all your doors and close all your windows and light up in the basement...just in case your neighbor smells it inside his equally sealed house, get's a headache and lung cancer, files a complaint, or worse, sues you to pay for his lung transplant. If you happen to own a bar that smokers like to frequent, you'd better get a whole new set of customers because catering to smokers will be against the law.

Property rights? What are those?

Susan Rosenberry of The Western Front did a good job of covering it in last Friday's issue. One quote that struck me:

If it passes, the initiative would ban smoking inside Washington public spaces, including restaurants, bars, bowling alleys and public transportation vehicles such as taxis, said Dr. Chris Covert-Bowlds, a Bellingham physician and sponsor of the initiative. The smoking restriction would also extend to 25 feet away from the entrance of the public establishment, he said.

“It’s not that we are trying to force people to stop smoking,” Covert-Bowlds said. “We are just trying to protect employees’ rights to breathe smoke-free air.”


WHAT RIGHT WAS THAT? Where do we keep coming up with all these new-and-improved, extraconstitutional rights? What right can an employee claim if they knew they were applying to work in a smoke-filled environment?

A friend of mine who is a leader in the Whatcom County Republican Party (he helped write our county platform last year) had this to say about his support for the initiative when I asked him (email excerpt):

Never ask an ex-smoker (like me) how they feel about smoking! We converts/previous smokers all hate it and can't stand the smell of it!...Bottom line, your ability to smoke ends at the end of my nose and if I can smell it, you can't do it. Majority always rules sooner or later.


I have never heard anything quite so abhorrent to the basic principles of our constitution or the free market. He complained he can never bowl because they all are smoking establishments. So? Start your own bowling alley...don't sit there and force them, through trumped-up laws, to cater to you just because you have a medical aversion to something they do.

Is there a better way of saying this that I'm missing? Is something unclear? Does anyone know what private property means?

Smoking is still legal. Until it is outlawed, I will not support anything that restricts a business owner's right to cater to smokers. I'm sorry if your nose starts running and you get a headache...I sometimes do too. You've survived up to this point.

The government isn't here to make laws for my convenience!