Further Insight

Iowahawk (recently added to the blogroll along with a few others I’d been shamefully neglecting) has a brilliant piece summarizing what significance this election has in addressing accusations of racism, and other perhaps even less pleasant accusations entitled – and if the title alone doesn’t get your mouth watering, I don’t know what will – America Can Take Pride In This Historic, Inspirational Disaster:

Although I have not always been the most outspoken advocate of President-Elect Barack Obama, today I would like to congratulate him and add my voice to the millions of fellow citizens who are celebrating his historic and frightening election victory. I don’t care whether you are a conservative or a liberal — when you saw this inspiring young African-American rise to our nation’s highest office I hope you felt the same sense of patriotic pride that I experienced, no matter how hard you were hyperventilating with deep existential dread.

Go. Read. Now.

See you in 2010

So, McCain managed to maintain his deathgrip on an honorable defeat after all. The fact that the election turned out rather close overall was actually a pleasant surprise – it proves that we’re not as bad off as I thought. Per Bill Quick:

Think about it this way: if aging hack John McCain, unable to enthuse his own base, running after a disastrous eight years of a George W. Bush administration, in the face of an utterly hostile mainstream media, a collapsing economy, and the as-yet undetermined aftermath of an unpopular foreign war, can still be near or within the polling margin of error, this is not a liberal nation, or one panting for an Obama administration.

I’ll be drinking tonight in anticipation of a rough four years. It will not be pretty, and it certainly won’t be the salvation of the human race by a chosen savior, as this has been painted to be. Bear in mind we have just given yet more power to the political party that was almost single-handedly responsible for the financial crisis we currently face. We have given a group of fanatics who embrace ideals of wealth redistribution and “social equality” above basic human rights, and disregard entirely the Constitution on which the country was founded. We’ve almost certainly doomed the Supreme Court to a generation of activist liberal judiciating, which will cause untold problems for the future of our country. And at the helm of all this we’ve put down a man whose personal history lies somewhere between “shady” and “outright scandalous.”

Yes, I anticipate a lot of problems coming our way in the next four years, and future of conservatism in America will hinge on how we handle it. Hint: addressing it with soft-spoken “centrist” policy a la McCain will not get us anywhere. Gingrich’s failed Contract with America will not get us anywhere. This will require a true return to roots in the Republican party. And we will have the advantage of the Democrats showing their true colors in the next couple of years to give us a big boost in the 2010 congressional elections. So in the meantime, take heart, batten down the hatches and weather out the storm. We’re still free, mostly. See you at the polls in 2010.

As a side note… many of my friends are talking about how far we’ve come, electing a black man as president. And that’s indeed a great thing, and evidence that we’ve conquered a lot of the shadows of the past that haunt our nation. However, we elected a black man who is also an extreme leftist and fanatic. Regardless of his race, this is a tragedy, and leaves a nasty stain on what could have been a truly positive achievement.

To be clear: I don’t care one way or another what color a man’s skin is, and I feel that if you vote for or against anyone even partially because of their skin color that you are a despicable person and have lost all your credibility as a voter. Like Dr. King said, people are to be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. That judgment goes both ways, and as a nation, for the most part we already do that. The ghosts of racism have been tragically exploited this election, and if I never hear another person mention the subject again, I will be all the better for it.

Sex, Violence, and Politics

So Obama got endorsed by the Kennedys, I see. Pretty much puts the kiss of death on any conservative appeal he had because of his charisma, but the guy’s really just another new-school socialist anyway. Having him in the White House would be a nightmare, but I suppose it’d be less bad than Hillary…

Via Kim comes the reminder that Mardis Gras is child’s play:

Five days of frenzied festivities kick off on Friday, with the biggest parties in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Recife.

Latin America’s largest country stops work and indulges in a riot of drinking, dancing and parades accompanied by often licentious behavior.

The Health Ministry launched its annual safe sex campaign on Sunday under the slogan “Good in bed means wearing a condom.”

I find it just bizarre in general that these festivals exist, but never underestimate the stupidity of large groups of people. And there are people genuinely confused about the wildfire spread of STDs? I know I’m not anything remotely close to normal, and maybe my logic is just too abstract for most people, but if anonymous sex has all these negative consequences why not just… not do it?

Also from Kim is this heartwarming tragic tale of neighborly love senseless violence:

A father of three was murdered after going to a neighbour’s house to retrieve his son’s football. David Martin was allegedly stabbed with a samurai sword and a knife then bludgeoned round the head with a golf club. His wife and two youngest children watched in horror as an argument broke out and Mr Martin collapsed in agony.

Emphasis mine. “Hey guys, I was just wondering if I could get my son’s football back…” gets you beaten to death? What kind of insane world are we living in? What makes it even worse is that Mr. Martin’s father died in the exact same way – beaten to death trying to save his son from a group of misunderstood youth gang that should have been hung on the spot all those years ago. But they can’t do that, and with no death penalty to worry about, it’s pretty obvious that people aren’t worried too much about the repercussions – especially when the repercussions for said crimes are 6 years in juvenile for one offender while the others walk away.

This where I have to refer to LawDog’s excellent post on self defense. It’s becoming increasingly the case that criminals don’t fear the repercussions of what happens AFTER the crime, which I can easily attribute to our sluggish and ultimately ineffective justice system. This leaves you to provide him with fear on the spot. As LawDog points out,

Joe Critter does his first mugging. He is probably almost as scared as his victim, he’s not sure he wants to do this — but … hey! He got ten dollars (or sex, or a feeling of power, or whatever) but more importantly: he didn’t get hurt.

The next time, he’s a little less scared. He’s a little more sure. He gets five dollars (or sex, power, whatever) — and he’s not hurt. He feels his activities present less risk to him each time he has a successful (he didn’t get hurt) attack.

Twenty or a hundred victims later, Joe Critter not only doesn’t think mugging is risky, but the lack of risk has caused him to consider other, more violent actions. Because these actions don’t get him hurt.

On the other paw, suppose Joe Critter is in a place where self-defence is expected and encouraged. He figures the reward of wallet money is worth the risk of Rehabilitation Through Reincarnation, or Bodily Injury and attempts a mugging. The victim defends him or her self, and let us postulate that Joe scrambles away with powder burns and a bloody furrow along the ribs.

In contrast to the above example, for mugging number 2, the Risk part of Joe’s Risk/Reward assessment climbs, rather than lowers. Death — instead of being a philosophical possibility of his actions, is now a very real, concrete fact.

Go read the rest.

In happier news, new episode of House tonight. Holy crap, I’m actually excited about a TV show.