Wednesday, February 27, 2008

JS Bach's Second Brandenburg Concerto

William F. Buckley Jr. the founder of National Review Magazine and it can be argued the founder of the modern conservative movement passed away today. He was around 83 years of age.

Modern Conservatism owes William F. Buckley Jr. much. It was due to his efforts that conservatism did not wither and die, it was due to his efforts that conservatism took a turn away from the nuttiness of the Cult of Rand (don't read too much into this, Ayn Rand has some good ideas but many who follow her philosophies too closely seem more cult members than anything else) or into the fluoride paranoia of the John Birch Society (neighbors of mine, The Empress and I live perhaps five blocks from their headquarters). William F. Buckley made it acceptable for people to differ on whether it was appropriate to jib or tack, just so long as the overall course of the sailboat was headed in the right direction. William F. Buckley Jr. was conservative before conservative was cool.

My first encounter with William F. Buckley Jr. was on the TV on Chestnut St. in Platteville just as I was coming out of a college trendy leftism spell. I see the commercial and hear him pitch his magazine with the allegro assai movement JS Bach's Second Brandenburg concerto in the background (IIRC). The advertisement also featured Tom Selleck pitching the magazine. I subscribed to the magazine and have pretty much been a steady subscriber since then (though at the moment I just don't have the time for it) and when I do get it and have the time it is read from cover to cover.

A couple of years ago browsing a thrift store I found one of his books in the used section. I purchased it and much to my delight, I found the book had been signed by William F. Buckley Jr. I got home excited and was started to work on a letter asking for a specimen of his signature so I could confirm the signature was his, but alas, that letter is still on my file-system.

In honor of the harpsichordist I present to you the allegro assai from JS Back's Second Brandenburg Concerto:

X-posted at the BBA.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Stuff White People Like

Charlie Sykes gets a hat-tip for finding & noting this blog: Stuff White People Like.

Read it, its hilarious!


Six Pack

  1. McCain Wins Wisconsin GOP Primary

  2. It is what it is, but the only other possibility is repulsive to me.

  3. The JFK Lama Wins the Wisconsin Dem Primary

  4. I can not say I am too surprised, but Jim Geraghty and his Wisconsin Political Guy had me thinking Hillary had a chance at winning. Hey Wisconsin Political Guy, you owe me a beer next time we meet!

  5. USN Shoots Satellite Down

  6. Exciting news. Yeah China and Russia whine about the militarization of space. They must be holding back laughter while they say it. They know a good percentage of our population will agree with them and not remember, know, and/or care they have performed similar exercises.

  7. NYT Slimes John McCain

  8. Yawn, so expected. The story is about a lobbyist telling clients she can get Senator McCain to do her will. Turns out, there are a number of cases where the Senator voted against her client's positions and McCain's staff. Here is one write up by Byron York:
    It is not all that unusual for lobbyists to spread the word that they have good access with lawmakers; it's the currency of the realm in that business. "If a newspaper is going to run stories about lobbyists who claim they have special relationships with members of Congress, it will run out of ink," Weaver said.
    Source: McCain Adviser: Iseman's Claims Were "Alarming" – The Corner (Byron York)
    I wonder if this was the torpedo the NYT was sitting on?

  9. Badga-Badga-Badga-Badga

  10. The Wisconsin Badgers crush the Illinois Fighting Illini. Cool, they share a piece of the Big Ten lead.

  11. Spring Training Begins! Doesn't seem like spring is near but it is!


Friday, February 08, 2008

Happy Birthday John Williams!

Today's birthday composer is still alive and I am guessing you all know a number of his works. Today's birthday composer is John Williams and he has composed the scores to a number of mildly successful films.

The music of John Williams was my first serious introduction to classical music. Back in the mid '70s there was this obscure filme named Star Wars and the theme caught my fancy. So one Christmas a tape of the soundtrack was given to me and my brother received an album of the popularized version of the theme song and others. In addtion, at about the same time I received a tape of the soundtrack to Rocky.

However, pop music quickly overcame the budding interest in classical music and I started getting a hold of Kiss albums.

John Williams also composed scores for Indiana Jones, Jaws, Superman, and other successful movies. Anyway today's presentation is a rendition of the theme from Star Wars. I was looking for a version of John conducting the performance but all such You Tube recordings were shoddy and contained too much crowd noise, instead I select the below version from Japan, just wait for the Japanese announcers to finish up there chit-chat and the performance beings.

The Theme from Star Wars by John Williams:

Happy birthday John Williams you are 76 years old today!

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Conservatism Will Get By!

Getting a lot of google search landings from people searching on the death of conservatism, why is that?

Conservatism's house right now is disturbed at the moment, but isn't that what primary season is for? To have it out, for all to get their input into who we are going to run, and to determine the near to mid-term direction of the organization?

The Democrats are having a real brawl on their hands and it really is not apparent when it is going to end (short of its inevitable conclusion in, IIRC, Denver). Both Hillary and the JFK Lama are splitting votes, states, and delegate nearly equally among each other. They too are having a good discussion.

But that is democracy. If you want unity, go to Cuba where everyone votes and everyone votes for Fidel's slate or else. How is that for unity?

In any event, conservatism is a political framework that transcends party. The GOP may disappear much as the Whigs of old did but some organization will pick up and serve as the new vehicle for conservatism. Conservatism is the driver, the party is the car and just because your old malibu dies does not mean the end of driving for you.

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A Clever Name? Hardly!

Peter at Texas Hold 'Em Blogger doesn't like Mike Huckabee and passes on this little nugget:
The Other McCain — Robert, not John — has a clever name for the simple-minded evangelicals who supported The Huckster even though he was a liberal simply because he was pro-life and loved Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesus:

Source: Texas Hold 'Em Blog – WHAT DO WE CALL THEM?
I don't think "hucktard" is clever it is pretty much a play off of the common leftard or similar. However, I am not after the name so much.

Rush Limbaugh sums up the big tent that is the GOP. My observations of the local GOP membership bears this out. There are three general types of Republicans: The fiscal, the social, and the defense Republicans. Usually, I notice most Republicans fit into at most two groups, sometimes just one, sometimes all three.

Now, Pete's post above is dripping with condescension for the religious supporters (whom I put in the social conservative camp and I would guess many of them are also defense conservatives too) of Mike Huckabee. In fact, I thought he was using the Left's new word Jebus. For pete's sake Pete, why?

The Democrats jump up and down and scream and shout (see HowDea DooDea) about What's Wrong With Kansas?. They wonder, how come these people do not vote Dem when the Dems propose economic policies that would favor them. It comes down to one word: Jesus.

The Evangelical movement attaches itself to GOP for one reason and that is because the Dems kicked religion off of the Democratic bus. The Evangelical voting block is quite often in opposition to the GOP's traditional views on limited government, for better or worse (slavery and abortion are two areas for better, prohibition is one example of for worse). Typically, they are not economic conservatives so they generally support populist economics (the word populist is used for a reason).

Religion and faith used to be a staple of our political culture, both Democrats and Republicans frequently quoted and alluded (accurately and correctly) to passages from the Bible. Now, only the politicians from one party might do that. Those who do are naturally going to appeal to the religious voter.

Don't go Left on us Pete.

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Well, There It Is!

John McCain has succeeded in locking up the GOP nomination to run for the presidency.

This is a small blog not many readers and of course I only count for one vote in a state that tends Democratic and only has 9 10 electoral college votes. However, let it be known if John McCain picks Mike Huckabee or some sort of "unity pick" for VP then I will not vote for the position of presidency.

I also urge all in this debate to temper their language. This is not about "slobs vs. snobs" (neither category is a good one to be in) nor should others allude that anti-McCain conservatives are babies. Senator McCain is the choice of the Republican Party and like it or not, believe it or not, the Republican Party IS the conservative party. Perhaps not as conservative as you like, but it certainly is much more conservative than the Democrats.

Even McCain at his worst is still nearly a factor of 10x better than Hillary or The JFK Lama.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Pop Music

Michelle Malkin posts a piece noting a high percentage of pop music contains references to mind altering substances.

The comment discussion set off is interesting and contains a comment about not mentioning country music and its propensity to sing about drunkenness, beer, and bourbon. Country and western music is at most a sub-genre of pop music. I call it "pop music with a twang". Doesn't mean I reject it out of hand but someone who tries to distinguish country and western from top forty music does not convince me.

Same too with many other musics that people often characterize as being in their own genres. Such as heavy metal, acid rock, hip-hop, dance, etc its all pop music to me.

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Well, That Did a lot of Good!

Señator McCain and his supporters have a tin ear. They come off very condescending and end up hurting the cause of conservative unity. Fred Barnes penned an article for The Weekly Standard entitled "Let's Grow Up, Conservatives" (And defeat the Democrats in November.) Even if Fred is quoting Barry Goldwater the following is dumb to say:
If he [Señator McCain] continues to reach out to them [conservatives] while running as a conservative, they need to heed Barry Goldwater's advice in 1960. "Let's grow up, conservatives," he said. "If we want to take this party back, and I think we can, let's get to work."
Source: The Weekly Standard – "Let's Grow Up, Conservatives" (And defeat the Democrats in November.) by Fred Barnes

What else do we have? Early on Fred says:
Bringing conservatives on board won't be easy for McCain. (Nor would uniting Republicans of all stripes be easy for Mitt Romney, should he upset the McCain bandwagon and win the nomination.) Republicans are in a sour mood, especially the talk-radio mafia that regards McCain as anything but a reliable conservative. (They harbor qualms about Romney, too.)
Source: The Weekly Standard – "Let's Grow Up, Conservatives" (And defeat the Democrats in November.) by Fred Barnes
So, twice in the article (at least) Fred essentially condescends to those who do not like Señator McCain. At least he does concede the fact there is legitimate cause for conservative unease with Señator McCain:
McCain's touchiest problem--his scourge--is talk radio. Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, and others raise legitimate complaints about his flirtations with Democrats and his apostasy on campaign finance, guns, immigration, and embryonic stem cell research.
Source: The Weekly Standard – "Let's Grow Up, Conservatives" (And defeat the Democrats in November.) by Fred Barnes
While his supporters compare ACU ratings and say he really is a conservative his biggest marks with the public seem to be in sticking it to Conservatives.

Señator McCain's past actions have conservatives uneasy and then listening to Señator McCain on the campaign trail is doing little to convince conservatives of Señator McCain's conservatism. Then Señator McCain's supporters write columns like Fred's telling his detractors to grow up? That will win over friends, let me tell you!

Senator McCain has not yet locked up the nomination now is not the time to be telling his opponents to be quiet. If Señator McCain gets the nomination and a month afterwards he still has similar problems with conservatives then we can revisit, but if that is the case then is it not too late?

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Is Conservatism About To Enter The Desert?

And roam for 40 years? Well, maybe not 40 but you get the idea.

I think it is very possible. The distaste many conservatives have for John McCain is very strong. Strong conservatives are talking about not voting for McCain. Now, maybe the reality will eventually hit them and they will do the nose pinch. Maybe not. After all, Ann Coulter is on record saying she prefers Hillary Clinton over John McCain.

Yeah, it is true McCain can not win without the "moderate voter" but he certainly can not win if conservatives do not vote for him.

Here is what I can see will happen. Hillary and her mud machine will eek out the nomination over the JFK Lama. She will then ask the JFK Lama to join her ticket as VP. That in my mind guarantees sixteen years of Dems in the Whitehouse.

The JFK Lama (the reincarnation of the mythical JFK as opposed to the real JFK) is very much like our own Russ Feingold. Despite his votes and his positions he has fooled many people into believing he is just another moderate. Oh, he is so nice!.

If one does not pay attention one might think the JFK Lama a moderate, just like our own Russ Feingold. So we will see moderates parading around with material promoting (for instance) John Gard and the Hillary -- JFK Lama ticket. Just like I saw people with gear pushing President Bush and Russ Feingold back in '04.

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