Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Outright Lies Not Helping Kerry

There is a rule in public relations that when you blow it, admit it an apologize quickly. Failing to respond in a timely manner allows your opposition to frame the issue to your disadvantage. Worse than not responding is justifying. Democrats sometimes get away with justifying. Republicans never do. The very worst is to lie about the issue, digging the hole even deeper. If there is any way to make things even more horrible, have some of your friends support you in the lie.

John Kerry, who may have more negative sound bites in the public domain than any other politician living or dead, has managed to lead all the news today with his horribly offensive comment. For the 3 people in the US who have missed it, Kerry stated in clear and uncertain terms that those who are serving in Iraq or those who have failed to achieve academically. He has been called on to apologize by a host of highly respected leaders, but he refuses.

He has tried to say he didn't say what he said. But the entire comment in on YouTube.com and there is no way to make it something it isn't. Some liberal commentators and party leaders have tried to spin the statement, but go listen for yourself.

Moreover, I feel confident that Kerry really believes what he said. He is such a snob and an elitist that his own military service was basically a prerequisite to his political ambitions, not a way to serve his country. Thus it would make sense that he would stereotype our soldiers as those who aren't motivated enough to go to college. Of course, the facts say otherwise. But Kerry, being a liberal, is never constrained by facts.

There are those who are suggesting this might be the very thing that motivates the Republican base and dispirits the marginal Democrats and left leaning independents. I know it has been the first thing in the entire campaign to motivate me. If I'm the canary in the coal mine, maybe this will be the October surprise that the Democrats spring on themselves.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Hope You Noticed

A writer's/blogger's greatest fear is that if he quits writing, no one will even care. Sure, I've been pretty much missing in action for a couple of weeks. So far, only my Mom said anything. Hmmm

Actually, as other bloggers have noticed, traffic doesn't necessarily decrease during a writing hiatus. Most folks are coming to see prior posts on dark chocolate, global warming, or the reasons why porn is bad for you and all of us. (I suspect some folks who come to about porn are not getting what they thought they were going to get.)

Anyway. I've been busy. Boating at the River. Watching Football (Pro, College, High School, and Flag 10 year-olds). Preparing for Bible Study (Psalms now. Job was very interesting, but its easy to see why people read Psalms more than Job.)

And we are in the political season. Some who know me well might think I'd love to write 1000's of words on the mid-terms. I am still a huge fan of "W", and think history will agree with me. However, I am kind of in a funk with the whole process, especially the biased reporting of the MSM. Did you know that the economy is booming, stock market over 12,000, unemployment at historic lows, oil, gas down? Not if your paper of choice is the LA Times.

Enough about me. How have you been doing?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Finally Getting the Book of Job

Most of the Bible is pretty clear on its face. Romans and Revelation require, at least for me, help from folks who know a lot more than me. Understanding things like end-time theories are also beyond my personal ability to “see” or “get” God’s intentions without smart guys explaining things.

But after 10 readings of Job, countless sermons and teachings by great commentators, I just couldn’t get beyond the obvious main story line. I was confused by the arguments of Job and his four friends. It wasn’t very clear as to what lessons to take away from Job, and when to ignore the advice of the friends.

Every Tuesday night a group of us gather to discuss the Bible. We started at Genesis and 3 years later we are just about to complete Job. We take turns leading the study, and everyone provides their own take on what blesses them or raises new questions in their minds. It is in this setting, and through the insights of the group that I think I might get the really BIG point in Job.

One of the friends argues from the point of view of facts and “science.” He would be a secularist today, I suppose.

Another of the friends argues from his own perception of how things are. He isn’t very interested in facts, as such, but rather in his feelings and observations about truth.

The third friend is interested in history, tradition, and social norms. He is the guy in the room who always wants to do things the way they’ve always been done.

Job is completely confused by his circumstances and the attacks of his friends. He hasn’t given up on God, but he believes life should be fair.

The young man comes in at the end and offers that they are all wrong. The answers to all truth are spiritual. When we seek answers to life's problems, we need to turn to the Creator. And while it is entirely human to question God, become angry over our circumstances, and even to wonder where God is, as Job and David both did, ultimately we are to trust God for the outcome and recognize that rough times are designed to teach us and toughen us for future battles.

I could certainly see myself in this. I am very quick to trust the facts (read other articles in my blog, and you’ll see what I mean.) I certainly often fall back on history, laws, culture, and tradition. And while I’m not too much into trusting feelings, if I’m going to trust any body's feelings, it will be mine.

Tomorrow, applications to real life.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Predicting Elections Through Massive Brain Convergence

This post will be a bit esoteric, be forewarned. However, you might find it very useful, or at least worthy of contemplating the potential effects.

If you needed to make a decision tomorrow, it would be nice to have a trusted expert help you with making that choice. Even better, you might like to have three experts with varying points of view and backgrounds provide you with a bit of debate. Or like the CEO of a major corporation or the president of the United States, you could have a cabinet of top experts backed up by research staffs of other experts all producing white papers to help with the decision.

Some have suggested that the ultimate such set of experts would be all those who are willing to bet their own money on the outcome. In other words, if I had 10 board members who have varying opinions on some subject, why not let them place monetary bets on the outcome. Those who are most convinced would likely bet the most. Those who are blowhards would either walk away or bet just to cover their pride.

Now, we'll make the betting secret. Now only informed self interest is in play. Finally, what if you had 100's or even 1000's of folks who were willing to research the subject, consider likely outcomes, and then bet their own money on the outcome. Don't you suppose that such a system would produce pretty good predictions of the success of your venture?

Well, you may or may not know that such a system exists. People bet on the outcomes of far more than football games and prize fights. And one of the things they bet on is elections. So, would it interest you to know what this group is predicting for the Fall?

As of today, 87% expect Republicans to retain control of the Senate, while only 51% expect that result in the House. The House betting has been moving more to the Republicans over the last few weeks, but took a dip over the weekend. Probably had to do with some Florida congressman who talks nasty to teenage boys in e-mails.

If you'd like to keep track, go here.

Strategy for Foley - Free Advice Department

Representative Foley should immediately change his party affiliation. Then, if Hillary is elected, she can pardon him. Finally, he can now run as a Dem and win his next election in a landslide.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Quote of the Week!

Given human nature, and the history of past wars, is there some reason why their violence would NOT escalate when someone started to push back. Afterall, they aren't Democrats who run when someone says "boo."

See the whole article at Collecting My Thoughts