Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Political is Personal - Andrew Sullivan

I read Andrew Sullivan daily, an admittedly odd habit for a Christian conservative. Back in the day, he was an eloquent supporter of the war on terrorism and the war in Iraq. Now he is one of the most radical and influential denouncers of these wars and the techniques used in their execution.

Something happened to Andrew a few years ago that caused him to turn against George W. Bush. I give no credence to the rumors of "Aids Dementia" or "Testosterone Psychosis" favored by some of the uglier sectors of the blogosphere.

I think the reason for Andrew's change of heart was much simpler - he fell in love. His husband Aaron is at least marginally part of the artistic community - Andrew has posted links indicating that he is an actor. I know very little about Aaron, but I do know that the artistic community is unrepentantly leftist and rabidly anti-war and anti-Bush.

I have personal experience with this kind of transformation. I was a small government pro-life conservative for many years before I met my own husband. He was raised in a politically active, Democratic family. After we got to know each other and began discussing our political philosophies, my then-future husband came to embrace my views even more strongly than I did.

I suspect that something similar happened to Andrew. He has always opposed some aspects of conservative philosophy, such as denial of gay rights. Therefore, some leftist positions were therefore easy for him to adopt. But the exposition of "torture", i.e. Abu Ghraib and the use of waterboarding, seemed to ignite his fury towards Republicans. I personally believe that torture is wrong except in extreme circumstances. Perhaps there were occasions when our military and intelligence personnel went too far and abused prisoners unnecessarily. Since we were and are at war, I am inclined to overlook these instances as anecdotal.

His pursuit of "Trig Trutherism" is very strange. That, and his hatred of Hillary Clinton, makes me wonder if there is something in him that is very anti-woman. I don't really have an opinion of Sarah Palin as a political figure but I think her treatment by the media has been unfair. I also think that Andrew has a big blind spot for Obama's shortcomings, possibly because he finds Obama to be an attractive man. Andrew never seems to find fault with Obama and demonizes his opponents as "nihilists" and "Christianists". I emailed Andrew about his support for health care reform, which I see as a dangerous threat to individal freedoms. He responded in a very pleasant manner but expressed no concern that such reform conflicted with "conservative" principles.

Blah, blah, blah. I could go on but I think my point could best be summarized as, Andrew was converted to leftism by his love for a specific leftist person.

Politics, Religion, Freedom

Since I have been the beneficiary of an Instalanche (thanks, Professor Reynolds) I thought I should try to post something substantive and meaningful. So why not take on the contentious topic of politics and religion.

Some believe that people of faith should not participate in the political sphere, or that those who do should put aside their foundational beliefs when crafting legislation. This is ridiculous, political figures cannot and should not be expected to disregard their basic moral principles upon election.

However, a Mike Huckabee type preference for revising our Constitution to conform it more to Biblical guidelines, is also anathema to our system of constitutional governance. Issues involving ethics and morality, such as the death penalty, same sex marriage, abortion, also exist outside of the framework of religion.

I am wishy-washy on the subject of gay marriage, in that I believe homosexual behavior is a sin as defined by my Christian faith, but it is difficult to argue that same sex couples should be denied the financial and civil benefits of marriage. I also waver on the death penalty, as it has been conclusively demonstrated that our justice system is capable of executing innocent people.

In summary, it is always better for government to have less power, the further it is from the people's direct representation. I believe that cities, counties and states should have the power, through democratically elected representatives, to control those facets of life not directly addressed in the Constitution. I fear the power of a federal Leviathan, whose interest in "health" may eventually claim authority to dictate and interfere with details of our private lives, such as dietary choices, physical fitness, smoking, drinking, BMI, etc. There is a legitimate public interest in controlling sexually transmitted disease, but I don't like public schools describing specific sexual practices. I resent public employees' unions, which seem to exist only to elevate their members above the citizens they supposedly work for. Law, jurisprudence, and governmental authority, whether based on religious or non-religious principles, should always err on the side of increasing, rather than limiting, individual liberties.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Obama vs Karloff Death Stare

Over on Althouse there is a post about Rush Limbaugh comparing Obama at the health care summit to Boris Karloff Is this a fair description of the way Obama looked?.

Chip Ahoy must be busy today since I can't find his response to this challenge in the thread. Well I had to give it a shot myself so here are my results, I don't think Rush was being unfair.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Tilapia Recipe

This morning when I first woke up I thought it was Monday morning! Imagine my happiness when I realized it was actually Sunday. Monday will be a big day at work, I need to bring a cake for an employee's big milestone anniversary. It is ordered and I will pick it up later, but when I woke up I thought I had forgotten to do this.

I am cooking a pork roast although my likely dinner guest would prefer pan fried tilapia fillets. And so I leave you with my recipe for tilapia:

1 lb. tilapia fillets
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup mashed potato flakes
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Italian seasoning
coarse ground pepper
Olive oil for frying

Mix flour, potato flakes, cheese & spices in plastic bag. Beat egg & milk in medium bowl. Dip fillets in egg/milk mixture.

Dredge fillets in flour mix. Fry in hot olive oil until browned & flaky.

Serve with lemon wedges. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Negligent Blogger Syndrome

I have not posted here for over a year. I didn't have many readers anyway so I doubt if anyone noticed. A lot has happened since my last post. We have sold our business and consequently have more free time. 2009 was the first summer in years that I did not work seven days a week.

We miss being around all of the wonderful people we met running a tiny store in the country. Our lake had a devastating fish kill as a result of a powerful storm, and the resulting decline in fishing quality made me quite depressed for a while, as the successful fishing activity used to be one of the highlights of my life. It is difficult to describe what it means to have your "own" lake that you know like the back of your hand, where you can walk a few yards out of your front door any time of the day, and know what you can catch and where, and the right bait to use, and then to lose it all in an instant.

My fishing life has just not been the same since! Anyway, I can't really commit to becoming a regular or consistent blogger, I just don't have the right motivation. Happy Valentine's Day to anyone who happens to read this.