Friday, March 30, 2007

Quiz for a Friday

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Gamer/Computer Nerd

You enjoy the visual stimulants of a video game, chatting on AIM, or reading online comics. Most of these types of nerds are considered dirty who lack hygeine, of course they always end up being the ones who make a crapload of money. And don't worry, that's just a stereotype; I'm not calling you dirty. ^_~

Literature Nerd
Drama Nerd
Science/Math Nerd
Social Nerd
Artistic Nerd
Anime Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace

I consider my high Literature Nerd score to redeem, at least partially, my Gamer/Computer one. :-) And I hope Amy will attest to my cleanliness. ;-)

Hat tip to Tripp.


Friday, March 23, 2007

On the Prospect of Fred Thompson Running for President

The more I hear from and read about Fred Thompson, the more I appreciate him. He's a communicator, which would be a refreshing change from the current White House, and a conservative, which, well, would be another. As the new banner to the right of the page shows, I really, really think he should run.

One of the things I find fascinating about the idea of Thompson running, though, is that he really doesn't need to for personal reasons. In fact, there are several reasons why being elected President could actually be negatives for him: he makes excellent money acting; he's got a recently married wife (2002) and a very young child (three-and-a-half years old); he's already spent some time in public service; finally, he gets to conduct his life at the intensity and pace he chooses, to an extent that few of us ever do. By most measures of success, Fred Thompson should be deep in proverbial "fat & happy" territory.

So if Thompson gets himself elected President next year, he'll be condemning himself and his young daughter to miss between four and eight years of one another's lives. He'll take a heavy pay cut. He'll also be signing up for the most stressful job in the world. Finally, he doesn't have that career-politician air about him, implying that the pursuit of power isn't foremost in his mind. The move would thus be a significant personal sacrifice, in several ways.

For that reason I'm becoming convinced that if Thompson does run, he'll do it for almost purely ideological reasons. He's being coy and playing patty-cake with the decision for now (which is also very intelligent: by the time primary elections begin in February 2008 we're all going to be sick, sick, sick of the current crop of candidates), but most indicators show that the response from all over the Right has been overwhelmingly positive. Thompson even said as much in an interview with Laura Ingraham earlier this week.

Lots and lots of comparisons are beginning to be made between Thompson and another actor-turned-President, and while many of them are a bit breathless and ill-thought-out, the point is that Thompson doesn't have to run, and indeed has several good reasons to avoid running. There's a nobility in that, and an opportunity for a little ideological housecleaning among Republicans (read: butt-kicking of laggards and milquetoasts) that I find promising.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Lorikeet, with Your Humble Blogospondent

Two weekends ago Amy and I had a blast visiting the Birmingham Zoo. I hadn't thought to bring along my better digital camera, but DontPanic managed to serve decently in the other cam's absence. A great time was had by all, and while over 85 pictures resulted from the trip, the seven I uploaded to Flickr were the cream of the crop in terms of subject matter and picture quality.

Click the ruggedly-handsome image above for the mini-gallery.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

On the 2008 Presidential Race

It is certainly passing strange that attention has become focused on the 2008 Presidential campaign so early (20 months early as of this writing, to be exact).

I am, of course, not without opinion on the matter, so I'll spout for a bit. ;-)

Rudy Giuliani
Rudy is America's Mayor, of course. One of the louder voices of reason and clearmindedness in the wake of September 11, he's also got a reputation as a fighter, and a guy who's not cowed by the press and its invidiousness toward all Republicans.

Rudy's willingness to actually combat his critics is a bonus for him, and in my opinion the reason he's enjoying the popularity he currently is: many Republicans are very, very (very) tired of the Bush white house's maddeningly passive attitude toward the hits they take from their "loyal opposition," both in Congress and from the press.

Sadly, as a Republican Rudy's an odd duck, and a caustic choice: pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage, pro-gun-control, two divorces, estranged family members, and that's just the short list. He's attempted to mollify his critics by promising to pursue strict constructionist judicial appointments and to prosecute the Global War on Terror vigorously, and by appealing for privacy in personal matters, but this is a guy I and many GOPers would vote for as a vote against Hillary. Real nose-holding material.

John McCain
"Maverick." The Straight Talk Express. Campaign Finance "Reform." Sops to illegal immigrants in his home state. Gang of 14. "Torture" legislation that governed nothing of the sort and insulted our soldiers.

All the distinguished service, all the years in the Hanoi Hilton, and all the foreign-policy hawkery in the world won't wash the taste of betrayal out of GOPers' mouths that Maverick McCain has left over the years. Still better than Hillary, but he's been talking out of both sides of his mouth for too long. Very unlikely to win the nomination. Nose-holder extraordinaire.

Mitt Romney
Anyone who's had LDS proselytizers knock on their door knows that Mormons can tend toward the "creepy and a little weird" end of the spectrum--especially when someone brings up all that 19th-century polygamy business, and of course the underwear. I've known people from most faiths who spike my creep-o-meter, though, so for me that's a wash, and Mitt himself doesn't register on it anyway. Mormons actually represent some of the best family-values practitioners out there (Mitt's the only candidate so far who's still on his first wife, for example), so the LDS "factor" isn't one for me, though it may very well be for some.

My issue with Mitt is that he's got the potential to be a Republican Kerry--a flip-flopper. I know that he was governor of the People's Republic of Massachusetts, but that doesn't mean he gets a pass on his past abortion support, or other left-of-center positions that have seen a turnaround since he left office and began looking at a Presidential run. I need to know more, but for now he bothers me in that "voted against it before voting against it" way. Another nose-holder. Better Mitt than Hillary.

Newt Gingrich
Is Newt Gingrich Back?
Now we're getting interesting. :-) On the surface Newt has one of Rudy's weaknesses--the three-wives thing--but the times being what they are, finding an unblemished candidate on that front is becoming difficult.

At the very least, though, Newt has an established record of conservative legislation and voting. He's got good conservative ideas and ideals, knows Washington and its ins and outs, and has a rep for going on the attack when it's necessary. See Rudy, above, for our tiredness with passivity in the face of attack at the White House. Newt's the first candidate in this lineup that I'm anything like enthused to vote for, as opposed to simply being a way to keep Hillary out of the Big Chair. Now if only he'd actually run.

Fred Thompson
Lights, Camera ... Candidacy?
Please, Lord, please, may we be so lucky.

Okay, negatives first. One divorce in the 1980s from a wife he married when he was 17. Support for McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform, which he seems to regret, from the article "Lights, Camera ... Candidacy?" linked above:
Conceding that McCain-Feingold hasn't worked as intended, and is being riddled with new loopholes, he throws his hands open in exasperation. "I'm not prepared to go there yet, but I wonder if we shouldn't just take off the limits and have full disclosure with harsh penalties for not reporting everything on the Internet immediately."
Hell yes. On to the positives: Fred's pro-life, pro-second-amendment, pro-muscular-defense, pro-free-market, pro-conservative-in-general, and a strict constructionist. Other than wanting a more thorough repudiation of McCain-Feingold I have no serious policy issues with the man.

As a candidate, he's well-spoken, has a commanding physical and personal presence, is known as a straight shooter, and has a proven conservative track record in government. He's also well-known and well-liked thanks to his long tour on Law and Order, and has the distinction of having uttered the line, "Russians don't take a dump, son, without a plan" in the movie version of Hunt for Red October. Fantastic. Avuncular, even.

In case you can't tell, I really like Fred Thompson. Now if, like Newt, he'd only state for the record that he's running.


PS. Re: the divorce thing, as a divorcé myself, some might argue I have no business bringing the matter up, or thinking it important, but it's become a minor sub-issue around the Republican candidate race, so I figured it made sense to include it here. Shucks, Reagan was our first divorced President, and Clinton is still married to his first wife. Goes to show that it's not that simple a gauge. Newt and Rudy, though, also have well-known and documented affairs on their records, which is IMO a much simpler gauge, and a substantive black mark against both candidates.

Monday, March 05, 2007

A Family-ful Weekend; Bachelorhood on the Wane

Had a great time with family and friends this weekend!

My brother Matt and his wife Amy made the trek to Birmingham this weekend so that Matt's Amy could attend my Amy's "bridal tea" (a wonderfully Southern take on the bridal shower), as thrown by a longtime friend of my soon-to-be-mother-in-law. In the interim, Matt and Amy stayed overnight with Amy's parents, and Matt dropped by my (soon to be our) house and we geeked out with the Xbox 360 and generally had an excellent afternoon.

After the major part of the tea was finished, Matt and I traveled to the tea's Location of Note to load up our cars with the gifts: the cargo areas, both of two smaller cars and of my newly-renosed Altima, were filled nearly to capacity by the beneficence of the tea's attendants!

Much fun was had by all, and my Amy took the opportunity afterward to reconfigure my/our bathroom and bedroom with some of the accoutrements. Shaving and showering were made as new this morning as a result... Negotiations as to the minutiae of bathroom layout will likely ensue, debating the merits of of formal and functional punctilia. ;-)

One of life's few constants is change, and my own life is rife with changes welcome and joyous. I am happy as I've seldom been.