Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Another plug for centrism

centrist.bmpSomething I'm hoping is just a slow startup is the new group site over at Grand Centrist Station. We're averaging a whole 15 hits a day! Pretty sad considering there are five members and most hits are coming from only two of them. So, I'm going to go out on a limb and request that members put up buttons. Until I get into a graphically groovy mood you're going to have to settle for only one.

More stuff will come. More people will come. More traffic will come. It's just a matter of time.

If this is the first time you've heard of it allow me to explain.

Everybody's so hellbent on being on either one side or the other of politics that many are missing the bigger picture. They have stopped being on polar opposite sides of the issues and become on polar opposite sides of each other. Words like terrorist, facist, communist, racist, dentist...er...okay maybe not dentist, but worse words are being used to describe anyone that does not subscribe to the viewpoints of either the extreme right or extreme left.

Personally, I'd like it if we could keep our extremities to ourselves; or at least bring something to the middle of the table. That's why we're starting this whole GCS thing. We believe that the parties as a whole have degraded to such a point as to ignore what is best for this country and fight the other party, instead of fighting for what is right.

So, who can join this "center of the battlefield" group? Anyone that is capable of listening to a rational argument without invoking the name Bushitler or French panzy is invited to be a publishing member. The only thing I'm asking in return is a link button. Eventually we may be putting out an optional blogroll, but with only five members I don't think we need one quite yet.

So, here's how you do it:

1. Slap the above button up on your website with a link here:

To make it super easy, here's the code to cut and paste into your template sidebar or elsewhere:

<a href="http://grandcentrist.blogspot.com" target="_blank"><img alt="centrist.bmp" src="http://warmonger.mu.nu/archives/centrist.bmp" width="88" height="31" border="0" /></a>

2. Email me and/or Jess to request access to the group site.


3. Jess and I beat each other over the head until one of us gets around to responding to the other's email and we both agree to let you in. Then we'll send you an invite to the blogger blog. Remember that you'll need a blogger account. If you have any problems just use one of the above e-mails.

4. Begin writing and/or crossposting stuff from your own blog that relates to the political issues of the day. It doesn't have to be centrist. It just has to be thoughtful and respectful. If you need an example of what is and is not respectfull let us know and we can direct you to some examples of both.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Democrats, Republicans, The Filibuster And The Moderate Compromise.

Left-Right.jpgThis week we witnessed a moment of compromise between our two governmental parties. There had been loggerheads over a rule called the filibuster. Fourteen senators, seven Democrat, seven Republican, brokered a deal of compromise to get the wheels of legislature moving again. Neither of the party leaders, Bill Frist or Harry Reid, were very pleased with the outcome. As with all compromises a party has to lose something in order to forge ahead. Both left that day cursing the “moderates” that had thrust this upon them. Progress had prevailed when both were looking for a showdown.

The first judicial nominee went through without problems then, instead of moving to the next judge in line, they switched direction to the UN nomination, John Bolton. Now the entire deal has proven to be for naught. Again, the Democratic Party threatens to filibuster in previously unheard of arenas. Again, the Republican Party threatens to enact the nuclear option against this sort of filibuster. Again, those that want congress to actually do something for a change shake their head in bewilderment.

Is this two party system so inclined to fight against each other that they will obstruct all progress in order to gain an advantage on the other party? Where does government stop and party begin? Is there any way to quell this tide of party fighting? Should we?

Moderation, or centrism lends itself to the thought that groups of people can work their differences rationally without choosing sides, touting declarations and making much ado about nothing. It uses words like compromise, agreement and sympathy. Centrists are usually the ones to get things moving, to break through, to cede a point in order to gain a point. They’re the small gears of each party that grind together in order to keep the larger gears moving.

To date, we have only had one president not associated with a party, George Washington. Some would arguably call him the greatest president we have ever had. Others would call him mislead by one party or the other and not at all a good president. It was this “spirit of party” that was one of the determining factors in him leaving office. The fighting and bickering was too much for his aging mind and body to take anymore.

So is centrism really the way to go? Should we disband our two party system and work as one unit towards a better democracy? Maybe we should and maybe we shouldn’t. Sure, centrism has been a good and worthy addition to government, but has it been a route that disdains all others? Should we always seek a compromise?

Since our two parties have formed we have grown to be the greatest, most powerful nation on Earth. Our military is second to none and our industry is better than any other country as well. Our nation is the envy of the world. It may sound arrogant, pompous even, but it’s true. No nation in the world is as desired as we are. When a nation needs military help do they call the French, the Chinese or the British? No, they call the Americans. When there is a humanitarian crisis are the Syrians called? No, we get called before anyone else in the U.N. humanitarian council is even considered. We are first in and last out.

So is it centrism that makes us the most sought after nation in the world? It’s probably not. It’s probably our unwavering desire to do better, our strong belief system and just plain old stubbornness. We go in with the intention of getting the job done and don’t leave until we see it through to the finish. Our greatness comes not from our ability to compromise, but our ability to laugh in the face of adversity. It comes from standing fast on one side of an issue or the other. It comes from our two party system.

We are a strong nation because our two party system makes every issue, every bill, every judicial nominee, absolutely everything to be sent through a trial by fire. We are the best because everything must be put up against the most rigorous approval process for any government the world over. It is our infighting that makes us stronger.

I am not saying that there is no need for a middle party. There is a definite need for some compromise between parties. It is an integral part of our government and without it there are times when all progress would stop. It is the bridge between the two unwavering pillars that occasionally needs to be traversed. Alone, however, I do not believe it could succeed. Just as alone the two opposing parties could not succeed.

Remember this the next time you see someone with the polar opposite to your opinion. There is a purpose for their dissenting opinion.

Remember this when you see two sides fighting over something as simple as blue or black ink. It is through this fighting that the most durable path of freedom is discovered.

Remember this when you see a R.I.N.O. or a D.I.N.O. and remember that there is a need for those in the middle just as there is a need for those on the extremes. A centrist is not a spineless weasel selling out his party. A centrist is someone trying to keep the wheels of legislature turning ever onward.

Friday, May 27, 2005

My mask, Tonto! He wanted my mask!

Apparently in W. Virginia it is illegal to wear masks except for very specific reasons.
Conversation between the Lone Ranger and State Policeman along a dark country road:

SP: Sir, you’ll have to remove your mask.

LR: Oh, no, you need to understand that this protects my identity!

SP: Precisely sir, that’s why you need to *remove* the mask

LR: But I work for the good of humankind! I right wrongs! I rescue the weak!

SP: OK, sir, Now step over to the side of the road and remove the mask!

LR: I wear a white hat! I help catch the bad guys!

SP: That’s my job, sir, you just leave it to me. Now REMOVE the mask!

(scuffling sounds, stage right)

SP: OK, now get this, just take the ma - - ow! That’s it!

(wet hissing sound)

LR: Ow! Stop what is that stuff! Burns my eyes! Silver!

(hoofbeats sliding to a stop)

SP: Hey! That thing bit me! What the heck, hey, get away, OW!

SP: (leaning into car for radio) Yeah, backup and animal control! Yes a horse! Stop laughing! Ow ! Ow! Dang!

SP: Stop! I’m telling you to stop!

LR: OK, Silver, now! Hi Ho Silver! And awaaaayyyyy

(hoofbeats receding into distance, stage left)

Thanks to Jess and Pear for inspiration... ;-)

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Interview with...

Crooks and Liars

Me: So, are there any Repupblicans you like?

Crooks and Liars (CNL): Just the dead ones in Iraq. We should never have been there. Go read this. They're finally admiting defeat.

Me: Right...I guess I'm afraid to ask who you hate in the Republican party.

CNL: Since you asked I...

Me: I didn't.

CNL: Don't inturrupt me, wingnut! I won't be treated like Ted Kennedy getting interviewed by that liar Hannity!

Me: ...

CNL: What's your problem?

Me: Nothing, I didn't say anything.



CNL: Whatever, screw you and your religious right nuts. What was I talking about?

Me: Republicans you hate.

CNL: Don't try to put words in my mouth...I do hate republicans though, just like Howard Dean.

Me: He did say that, didn't he?

CNL: What did I tell you about inturrupting me?

Me: Sorry, go ahead.

CNL: Powerline is my nemisis. He's an idiot.

Me: Why is he your nemisis?

CNL: Well, he's Kos' nemisis so he's my nemisis too.


CNL: Kos is my hero.

Me: Umm...okay. I think that should about wrap things up.

CNL: Good I have a real interview to do on MSNBC.

Me: I wouldn't dream of stopping you.

CNL: Better not even think about it. Just go back to your 101st fighting keyboard brigade and lube your keys or something.

Me: Enjoy your alone time with Kos.

CNL: What the hell is that supposed to mean?

Me: Nothing...bye.

***This has been a completely fake interview.***
***The purpose of this interview has been to show an extremist at his or her most extreme.***
***No spite, malice or personal vendetta is involved.***

A GCS / LOSLI interview with Captain Ed

Captain Ed of Captain's Quarters agreed to sit down and be grilled by Jess.... The transcript follows.
An interview with Captain Ed

LOSLI / GCS: "Welcome Ed. "

Ed: "Thanks Jess it is good to be here. You are awfully pale are you sure you are not a Canadian? They scare me almost as bad as a corrupt Tennessee political circle jerk."

LOSLI / GCS: "Not unless Canada annexed the four corners while I have been out. Oh and please call me Admiral Jess. "

Ed: "Ahhhh nooooo... You said Oat. It is pronounced out. You said OAT. You freaking lying Canuck. I know a Canuck when I see one. "

LOSLI / GCS: "I did no so such thing... I am not a Canuck. I am an American." (Stands and salutes the flag.)

Ed: "The Canadian government captured me and put a tracking device in my scrotum. "

LOSLI / GCS: "Really?"

Ed: "Yes, they captured me on my way home from the seven-eleven. I had been down there getting a slushie.... when out of the blue here came these little pale men. They subdued me into a Volkswagen Bus, laid me out in the back, probed me, then inserted the chip into my scrotum, they then proceeded to leave me at a bus station in Sandy Point Utah."

LOSLI / GCS: "How do you know they were Canadians?"

Ed: "Well, as they were probing me they were quite polite. I was amazed at how cordial they were. Then as they were leaving they were talking about going to the government clinic to get free shots. Freaking socialists, god damn freaking socialists man."

LOSLI / GCS: "Do you seriously have a chip in your scrotum?"

Ed: "Do you want to feel?" (Starts unzipping his pants.)

LOSLI /GCS: "Whoa there Captain. Your sailor needs to stay in his cabin. Has any one ever called you Edwierdo?"

Ed: "Well, no... Are you calling me that?"

LOSLI/GCS: "No.... Well OK, maybe. Anything you would like to add?"

Ed: "Well this one time at summer camp. I put vaseline in a maple tree and pulled down my pants and well uh... you get the picture. That was when I promoted myself to Captain. Any man that can put the screws to a maple tree in the July heat at Camp Wannalaya is a Captain, indeed a captain in my book."

LOSLI /GCS: "Thanks Ed. "

Ed: "Thank you Jess. Watch out for pale men in VW Busses. I been there. Glenn Reynolds is still my hero."

*Legal Note*
This is satire. I did not interview Captain Ed, I do not really believe that he put the screws to a maple tree. Ed is a fine blogger, that indeed is worthy of his captain title.

***No spite, malice or personal vendetta is involved. It is merely a joke***

Crossposted @ LOSLI

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Neo-Civics: Let someone else do it

Not long ago, Chicago Tribute staff writer Jodi Cohen reported that many parents are now telling military recruiters they may not contact their children about opportunities available through various enlistment programs. According to Cohen, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) enables military recruiters to obtain home address and telephone numbers from school officials so that they may contact prospective recruits. But since the United States’ involvement in Iraq, school officials have been aggressive in warning parents not to permit the release of this information.

Cohen reported that in the Oak Park district alone, the number of high school juniors who’ve opted out of releasing their information to recruiters jumped from 102 in 2003 to more than 776 in 2004, and in Evanston Township, only 17 students permitted the release of information to recruiters, down from 491 in 2003.


It is a human tendency to want to protect one’s children from harm, of course. No one can fault parents for wanting their children to have a long, happy, prosperous life. On the other hand, what does this suggest about America’s ability to protect and preserve our hard won freedom? Perhaps parents would agree to release this information if there was some other engagement going on in the world; one that they happened to approve of. Personally, I see a serious problem with parents who are teaching their children to let someone else stand up for America. It is hardly an honorable lesson in civics. “Give it to Mikey, he’ll eat it.”

If attacks on 9-11 had targeted the Sears Tower, would that have made a difference to Chicago parents? What if someone released saran gas in a major American city, like that released in the Tokyo subway system — would American parents be willing to let their children stand up to be counted then? To be honest, I seriously doubt it.

Every generation has its own set of challenges. No war should ever be “popular” because combat is indeed among the worst of all human experiences, but we don’t get to choose the tragedies that befall us; we only get to respond to them. The question is, then, how should young Americans — and parents respond to the challenges of the 21st Century? Putting one’s head in the sand is not one of the options, folks. If Americans are not willing to volunteer for military service, and if the Armed Forces continue to experience serious manpower shortfalls, you can bet that at some point the Congress will reinstate the draft. And by the way, draftees always take the point.

What I really think is that while beauty may only be skin deep, cowardice goes clear to the bone.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Is Our Country Adrift?

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine from Houston. Norm is an entrepreneur in the information technology field and works closely with his wife, who is the president of her own medical services company. Both work hard to provide for their two children, whose future may be in jeopardy. Like many people, Norm is concerned that our Country is adrift and has a keen insight about what needs to happen in order to effect a necessary change of course. Norm cites three areas where changes are vital to any meaningful progress: government, production, and education.


In education . . .

Unlike most countries in Europe, Asia, and South America, we have embarked on a course designed to educate the masses. We have decided that the only worthwhile education that our students can receive is that which prepares them for college or university studies. It is a system in which everyone is treated the same, regardless of their interest or ability, and the effect has been at best mediocre. This observation is supported by high failure rates, drop out statistics, and low-test scores. For those few students who are legitimate targets for post-secondary colleges and universities, our standards in education are low — just ask any college or university professor. Social promotion is but one example of many educational ills. Sending unprepared students on to the next grade provides nothing more than assured failure. It may even be cruel to send a child through twelve years of school without once meeting their needs or helping them to achieve their goals.

Additionally, by our decision to educate the masses (ala The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit), an unfortunate precedent has been established respecting the worthiness of the tradecrafts. The message here is that vocational interests are somehow undignified, or that they are not an honorable pursuit. It is a message that discredits our parents, and theirs, who more than likely made a good and honorable living from vocational skills.

In production . . .

It is not an accident that this country’s inability to produce quality, affordable goods relates to our poor performance in education. As my friend recently pointed out, students trained to be non-workers cannot contribute to the nation’s productivity. Our country’s success in a global economy demands a quality working class, and until we achieve this, American productivity will continue to lag behind that of other (more competitive) countries.

Far from being an isolationist, Norm argues that Americans need to make what we sell, and buy what we make. Our goods should be of high quality, and produced in measured inventory to create a global demand for our goods. We have forgotten the basics of foreign trade: it is the sale of surplus goods and services to other nations. When we do sell our goods to other nations, we should demand the highest possible price. When we buy goods from other countries, we should demand the lowest price. Americans should not have to pay premium prices just because we happen to be Americans. Our government has an important role to pay in matters of global trade, so one wonders why our government allows foreign interests to supplant our own.

In government . . .

Wealth is not what you make; it is what you keep of what you make. Government spending in this country is out of control. Rather than spending tax dollars on those things that are vital to the nation’s infrastructure, government spending has taken on the appearance of a quasi-welfare system. We have too many politicians who will vote for any spending bill if it benefits them personally, and to hell with what is good for America.

The truth is that we cannot buy everything, and we cannot help everyone. But if we are determined to help someone, why isn’t our government helping Americans? If we empathize with the poor, the sick, and the needy, can’t they be the millions of Americans who fit into those categories? Every dollar spent on foreign aid is one dollar less to spend on needy Americans. Where is the justice in this? Why aren’t more Americans screaming bloody murder about these kinds of outrages?

Norm argues, and I agree — it isn’t as if we are unable to change the way we do our business, we aren’t even trying. Over regulation at the federal level is hurting American schools, American businesses, and America’s ability to compete globally. Unhappily, American parents and the government seem to be emulating the attitudes among adolescent children. If something is available, they should be able to get it, no matter what the cost. They deserve it, even if debt is the only way to obtain it — and by the way, they want it right now.

Our Nation seems to be adrift. We lack steerage, and we seem to lack a true compass heading. If these attitudes do not change, and soon, a growing European Union will ascend to the stage of the world’s super economy. Our massed education program, having produced morons with a poor work ethic, will be one of the leading causes; but so will our government’s decisions, or lack of them, that emphasized the importance of other people in the world over the importance of its own citizens

Mustang Copyright, 2005

Sunday, May 22, 2005

A Central Awakening

This is the first post for Grand Centrist Station. Things will change and get prettier. Rules will be made and we might even end up with a Yahoo group or something.

For now here's the idea. Searching through the blogosphere the only people getting their voice heard are either the extreme right or extreme left. I, along with many other people, do not fit that bill. This blog is designed to be the group blog for the people in the middle.

Been called a sell-out? Been called a wuss for not standing up for the same things your more extreme freinds are fighting for? That's why we're making this blog. Currently, the only two people involved are me, Jeremy H. Bol from American Warmonger and Jesse Williams from LOSLI. If you believe in something besides black and white. If you would like a little color with your politics. If you want your thoughts to be listened to instead of called stupid and disregarded send me an e-mail for membership.

Jeremy H. Bol