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Tuesday, January 31, 2006
SOTU and SCOTUS
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:02 pm

Here come the Justices-including Alito in his first official appearance as a member of the Court.

Filed under: General, US Politics | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Live-blogging the SOTU
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:00 pm

I will be live-blogging the SOTU for as long as I can stand to do so…

Filed under: General, US Politics | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Friday, January 6, 2006
I’m Back
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:57 pm

In fact, I have been back for a while, but have been otherwise occupied.

My thanks to Steven L. for helping out in my absense.

Regular blogging will, no doubt, resume tomorrow.

Filed under: General, Blogging | Comments (6) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Smackdown!
By Steven L. @ 9:29 am

Patternico and his reaction to the LA Times’ columnist revealing him to be a Stalinist for pointing out errors of the paper.

That, my friends, is what we call a good old-fashioned whippin’.

Michael Hiltzik is a columnist for the LA Times. On his blog, sponsored by the paper, he states the following:

Frey has several qualities in common with many other right-wing bloggers who have set themselves up as watchdogs of what they categorize, self-revealingly, as the “mainstream media.” . . . None of these critics appears to be genuinely interested in correcting factual errors or improving this newspaper’s, or any newspaper’s, performance as a journalistic institution, which are certainly legitimate goals. Their main purpose is to hunt down deviations from a political orthodoxy that they themselves define. Their techniques include a promiscuous use of labels as shorthand slurs (”leftist” and “liberal” being, of course, their most popular denigrations). They no doubt find this technique valuable because once they can hang a label on a newspaper or a journalist, they can dispense with anything so fundamental as discussion or argument.

So “right-wing bloggers” use labels so that they can dispense with anything so fundamental as discussion. Because labeling is wrong — unless you are correctly labeling right-wing bloggers, of course. But couldn’t we find a better label that “right-wing blogger”?

(hmmm. Despite what all the other columnists are saying, “right-wing blogger” might not sound ominous enough . . . .wait — I know)

To back up their assertions, they often quote articles selectively, take out of context what they do quote, and ascribe imaginary motivations to reporters and editors, which they then feel free to decry. As any student of history knows, these are tools and techniques that were used to great effect during the Stalinist show trials of the 40s and 50s.

Stalinist. Yes, perfect. Blogging is exactly like Soviet-era show trials.

Filed under: General, Other Blogs, MSM, The Press | Comments (1) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Robertson, Again
By Steven L. @ 8:35 am

Pat Robertson — whom we last saw talking about assassination of Hugo Chavez — is back in the news with a statement indicating that Sharon’s stroke is the wrath of God for Sharon’s decision to make concessions recently — giving in to either the Palestinians or, even worse, the UN (dramatic chord).

Yahoo News

Personally, I thought that the concessions — especially pulling out of Gaza — were part of a shrewd maneuver to insulate Israel from international pressure. The move out of Gaza and show dramatic steps to honor their side of various bargains. Sharon (again, in my opinion) knew that the Palestinian leadership would not be able to control Gaza or the various factions that would continue its campaign against Israel. At that point, as much as the UN loves to jump in and claim equivalence, it would have very little to lecture Usrael about. It was a policy with risk, no doubt, but I think that assuming Sharon was simply folding under pressure — is simplistic. Only Nixon could go to China; Only Sharon could pull out of Gaza.

Of course, I have already spent more time talking about reality than is warranted in the light of Roberton’s quote.

I have not paid too much attention to Robertson, even when he ran for President in the 80’s. From his various pronouncements about 9/11, Chavez, and now Sharon, I think I can safely conclude that he is nuts. I suspected as much after the Chavez announcements, but it is always nice to have such strong confirmation.

Filed under: General, Middle East, Religion | Comments (8) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

The Florida Masochist linked with The Knucklehead of the Day award
A Knight's Blog linked with The Caricature Speaks Again!
PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Pat Robertson: Embarassment linked with [...] mments like this that, no doubt, get international attention. The Permanent Guest Blogger commented on this the other day as well. No surprise that the White House doesn’t want anything to do w [...]
Thursday, January 5, 2006
Acting PM Named for Israel
By Steven L. @ 1:09 pm

The news is not unexpected, but still unwelcome. Sharon, with the recent pullout from Gaza and other moves, appeared to have finally hit upon a formula that would have the Palenstinian leadership seen as responsible for actual progress and results in the unending “peace process.”

Yahoo News

Vice Premier Ehud Olmert was named acting prime minister and convened the Cabinet for a special session, where Sharon’s large chair at the center of the long oval table remained empty.

Sharon may have been indispensible in moving his ideas forward. I have not seen anyone named as capable of taking the reigns and holding enough of the right and left together in Israel to continue. If the process goes back to business as usual, this death — already celebrated by one Palestinian organization publically — may be a costly set back. But we are used to those in the middle east peace process, right?

A short bio of the acting Prime Minister from AP: AP Profile

Further (i.e., actual) analysis here:

Haaretz.com

Filed under: General, Middle East | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Wednesday, January 4, 2006
Status
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 2:29 pm

I am off to the Southern Political Science Association meeting. Expect little or nothing out of me for the couple of days.

Steven L. may (or may not) fill in some for me (Steven: check your yahoo account).

Filed under: General, Blogging | Comments (3) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

A Knight’s Blog » USC v. UT linked with [...] at the Sultan of Brunei is my immediate neighbor, and he is a huge UT fan. I’m glad he’s in Atlanta, because were he home I’d hear his yelling from my living room. I’m rooti [...]
Tuesday, January 3, 2006
Long Day, Little Blogging
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 9:12 pm

Take a pile of work, the need for an out-of-town errand and computer woes and you get very little blogging.

Filed under: General, Blogging | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Sunday, December 25, 2005
PoliColumn: Christmas Wars
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 1:22 pm

From today’s Mobile Register:

What day is it? It’s Christmas Day
Sunday, December 25, 2005
By STEVEN L. TAYLOR
Special to the Register

Merry Christmas. I hope that you and yours are having a blessed day.

Today, those of us who are Christians celebrate the miraculous mystery of the Incarnation, a central tenet of our faith.

Do note that the world around us has largely stopped to commemorate the day. If you have been out of your home today, or will be out later, the only traffic you are likely to see will be people going to the homes of family members and folks going to church. Indeed, traffic (so to speak) will be heavier today than most Christmases, since this year it falls on Sunday.

Dec. 25 is really only one of two days (Thanksgiving being the other) wherein the hyper-kinetic United States comes as close to stopping as it ever does. Think about that the next time you think that there is a war on Christmas.

Is there politically correct nonsense that pops up this time of year? Yes, there is. But really, when it boils right down to it, does anybody really doubt that today is Christmas Day, and has anyone been stopped from celebrating the day as they see fit?

Much has been made of the idea that there is a “war” on Christmas. Some people make it sound as if there is truly a concerted effort to remove the word from the national lexicon.

More accurately, I would argue that there is a concerted effort to sell books and raise the ratings of cable news channels and radio talk shows.

The main problem, it seems, is that some commercial outlets are opting for the more generic “Happy Holidays” slogan over the more specific “Merry Christmas.” There are also the normal examples of political correctness that can be marshaled, such as “holiday trees” (yes, Auburn SGA, I’m looking at you) and other nonsense.

Not only does the change create an awkward locution, but really, how many people are truly offended by the phrase “Christmas tree”? Very, very few, I would wager.

Still, the main concern this year seems to be whether or not “Merry Christmas” is being deployed.

First off, I have a confession to make. I have been known to say “Happy Holidays” — not all the time, but often. It has always struck me as a nice contraction of “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” as well as an acknowledgment that not everyone celebrates the same holidays.

This has always struck me as wholly harmless. However, I have recently been informed that the phrase is part of a secret war to purge Christmas from the national memory banks, or something like that.

In truth, it’s more a fight to see who can be the most offended. The irony is that the alleged reason that some people say “Happy Holidays” is to avoid offending people — and now some Christians have decided that they are in fact the more offended parties and have begun to protest in kind.

Such an argument doesn’t exactly reinforce the idea of “peace on Earth and good will toward men,” does it?

Also, as we decide whether it is worthwhile to get upset about the formulation “Happy Holidays” because we think it might be dismissing Christ, I think we Christians also have to admit to ourselves that not everything we do at this time of the year, or on the 25th specifically, is truly focused on contemplating and celebrating the Incarnation.

Trees, lights, holly, stacks of gifts, big meals, reindeer, family gatherings, jolly old elves, Jimmy Stewart, chestnuts roasting on an open fire and the like really have precious little to do with the Gospel of Luke, Chapter Two.

And as we all know, it isn’t even the right time of year to have the celebration if we want to be historically accurate.

Much of Christmas, as we commemorate it in the United States, has acquired meanings and practices that really are far from Christ-centric.

Whether this fact is a good, bad or neutral thing is a debate for another time, but it is, nevertheless, a fact.

Of course, such issues get to what I think is the real issue, and the one that people of faith overlook, and that is: Where should we be looking for spiritual reinforcement and religious guidance?

Do we really need to acquire it from a cashier at Target? Is Christmas meaningless if the banner at Wal-Mart doesn’t say “Merry Christmas”?

Do we really look to retail outlets for our religious messages?

Also, if Christ is the king of universe, is he really going to be daunted by the fact that the local department store is plastered with “Happy Holidays”? I think not.

In this country, where religious liberty allows Christianity to flourish, it seems petty and unnecessary to get worked up about such issues.

Don’t worry about the retailers. They exist to sell us stuff, not to bolster our faith.

So again: A blessed Christmas to you all. Try not to get upset over the trivial, and focus instead on what is really important.

Filed under: General | Comments (5) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Thursday, December 1, 2005
Gas-o-nomics
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 3:17 pm

I have seen gas as low as $1.94/9 in the Montgomery area (as of today). Oddly, gas in Troy (about 38 miles south of Montgomery) is almost .16 more than in Montgomery (when comparing lowest price to lowest price). That is odd because in the seven and half years I have lived in the area, I have almost always been able to get the lowest price in Troy by a few cents.

On Wednesday the lowest price in Troy was $2.12 (and most stations were at $2.14 +). Half-way between Troy and Montgomery in Pine Level, AL the lowest price was $2.02, while in Montgomery one could have gotten it for $1.96 (at least based on what I saw yesterday).

And Riddle Me This, Batman: if Station A has gas at $1.96/9 a gallon and right across the street Station B has gas at $2.02/9 a gallon, who in their right mind gets gas at station B? Yes, station A is a regional chain and Station B is a national chain, but still: I don’t get it.

Filed under: General, US Politics, The Economy | Comments (10) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Happy Thanksgiving
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 9:09 am

A very Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Filed under: General | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Wednesday, November 9, 2005
And the Cheerleader Saga Continues…
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 2:23 pm

Ya know, I was going to predict this yesterday (not that it takes the Great Carnac to figure it out) but I never got around to it, and reality has gone off and set in before I could prognosticate: Adult magazine making offer to cheerleaders involved in brawl:

Now the women are out of jail and being courted by Penthouse magazine.

The magazine’s rep said Penthouse plans to have an offer in writing Tuesday.

What? Was Larry Flynt caught snoozing on this one?

(BTW, you have to love the title of one of the side-stories: “Panther QB Jake Delhomme at a loss for words”-it’s a link to a video clip, so I shan’t link to it here).

Meanwhile, the identity of one of the *cough* ladies involved is in question:

Kristen Owen said she was in a wedding in Columbia Saturday night and no where near Tampa.

She won’t comment on who the other woman is, but the woman had Owen’s North Carolina Driver’s license and Owen’s mother told 6NEWS it is another TopCat cheerleader.

Owen’s dad said the woman in the mugshot photo is not the woman who grew up in his home and he wants everyone to know that.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department Police said they also arrested TopCat Angela Keathley for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

“My daughter is innocent of these charges, and I want it made right,” he said.

The identity of the other cheerleader, Angela Keathley, is not in doubt, but her friends said it doesn’t sound like the woman they know.

Oddly enough.

h/t: YAYFootball!

Filed under: General | Comments (1) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Thursday, November 3, 2005
Fun with Quizzes
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 6:53 pm
You scored as President Laura Roslin. You may be ill but you have a job to do. Fate has put you in a powerful position by accident, but it turns out you are damn good at it. You are no warrior, but in the political arena you are without peer.

President Laura Roslin

81%

CPO Galen Tyrol

63%

Number 6

63%

Capt. Lee Adama (Apollo)

63%

Tom Zarek

50%

Commander William Adama

38%

Dr Gaius Baltar

25%

Col. Saul Tigh

25%

Lt. Kara Thrace (Starbuck)

19%

Lt. Sharon Valerii (Boomer)

0%

What New Battlestar Galactica character are you?
created with QuizFarm.com
Filed under: General | Comments (3) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Appliance Blogging
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 2:12 pm

Yes, a first at PoliBlog:


The old, evil, dead fridge.


The new, virtuous, functioning (and expensive) fridge.

Filed under: General, photoblogging | Comments (6) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Busy Day LinkFest
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 12:31 pm

Seeing as how I am out of pocket, leave me a link to your most important post of the day, and send a trackback.

That way I can catch up on the Blogospheric goings-on this evening.

Filed under: General, Blogging | Comments (4) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

Fruits and Votes linked with Roof will be open in Houston: Home-field DIS-advantage
The Kudzu Files linked with Dumping the 8-track
Truth. Quante-fied. linked with Dousing the Flames
A Stitch in Haste linked with http://kipesquire.powerblogs.com/posts/1130264232.
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