Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Assorted Thoughts on the Youtube Debate

Joe Biden Thinks I Need Mental Help

Apparently Senator Biden questions the sanity of many gun owners:

QUESTION: Good evening, America. My name is Jered Townsend from Clio, Michigan. To all the candidates, tell me your position on gun control, as myself and other Americans really want to know if our babies are safe. This is my baby, purchased under the 1994 gun ban. Please tell me your views.

A valid question, given the anti-gun bent of several debate participants and various members of the Democratic legislature. When asked for a response, Biden replied:

COOPER: Senator Biden, are you going to be able to keep his baby safe?

BIDEN: I'll tell you what, if that is his baby, he needs help.


I think he just made an admission against self-interest. I don't know that he is mentally qualified to own that gun. I'm being serious. Look, just like me, we go around talking about people who own guns. I am the guy who originally wrote the assault weapons ban, that became law, and then we got defeated and then Dianne Feinstein went to town on it and did a great job.

I was unaware that treating an object with care and receiving satisfaction from it's use were grounds for declaring someone mentally impaired. I'd hate to see what Joe would say about people who name their cars.

Nuclear power is still a bogeyman in the Democratic Party

While the world searches for energy sources that don't use fossil fuels, it appears that several of the Democratic candidates will continue to abstain from supporting the expansion of nuclear power:

EDWARDS: Wind, solar, cellulose-based biofuels are the way we need to go. I do not favor nuclear power. We haven't built a nuclear power plant in decades in this country. There is a reason for that. The reason is it is extremely costly. It takes an enormous amount of time to get one planned, developed and built. And we still don't have a safe way to dispose of the nuclear waste. It is a huge problem for America over the long term.

CLINTON: I'm agnostic about nuclear power. John is right, that until we figure out what we're going to do with the waste and the cost, it's very hard to see nuclear as a part of our future. But that's where American technology comes in. Let's figure out what we're going to do about the waste and the cost if we think nuclear should be a part of the solution.

To his credit, Senator Obama stated his support for "exploring" future uses of nuclear power. Still, the stated aversion to a ready source of reliable and non-polluting energy from Clinton and Edwards doesn't make me feel optimistic about our future energy policy.

For Senator Clinton, the truth hurts

When asked if she would use the word "liberal" to describe herself, Clinton replied:

CLINTON: You know, it is a word that originally meant that you were for freedom, that you were for the freedom to achieve, that you were willing to stand against big power and on behalf of the individual.

Unfortunately, in the last 30, 40 years, it has been turned up on its head and it's been made to seem as though it is a word that describes big government, totally contrary to what its meaning was in the 19th and early 20th century.

I prefer the word "progressive," which has a real American meaning, going back to the progressive era at the beginning of the 20th century.

I consider myself a modern progressive, someone who believes strongly in individual rights and freedoms, who believes that we are better as a society when we're working together and when we find ways to help those who may not have all the advantages in life get the tools they need to lead a more productive life for themselves and their family.

So I consider myself a proud modern American progressive, and I think that's the kind of philosophy and practice that we need to bring back to American politics.

Hillary obviously understands that the Democratic Party has sullied the term "liberal," but she is unwilling to change policy to reflect that. And yet, she still claims to be for "individual rights and freedoms," even though her past history would show more than a handful of attempts to usurp said rights and freedoms.

Edit: All quotes taken from the CNN transcript found here.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Great Views, Awful Photography

For my friends, I'll just post a few pictures from my recent hikes.

Boulder Field at Hickory Run State Park.

A lone tree among the rocks and boulders. Still alive, somehow.

A view of the Lehigh Gap from the eastern side of the Lehigh River.

A view of the Lehigh Gap from the top of the eastern mountain.

Another view from the rocky mountaintop. And, for the curious, the trail goes right over the rocks in the foreground.

The western mountaintop, which I'll soon be scaling.