Saturday, December 24, 2005

#220 - Resolved

This one slipped quietly by. On December 15, the House of Representatives passed House Resolution 579 as follows:

H. Res. 579

In the House of Representatives, U.S.,

December 15, 2005.

Whereas Christmas is a national holiday celebrated on December 25; and

Whereas the Framers intended that the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States would prohibit the establishment of religion, not prohibit any mention of religion or reference to God in civic dialog: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) recognizes the importance of the symbols and traditions of Christmas;

(2) strongly disapproves of attempts to ban references to Christmas; and

(3) expresses support for the use of these symbols and traditions, for those who celebrate Christmas.

Well said.

And yet... something bothers me about this resolution. It's not the language, certainly. I agree with everything it says. I myself would have voted for it enthusiastically.

It could be the final count. It had what you might call an unprecedented level of bipartisan support. 401 representatives voted in the affirmative. There were only 22 negative votes - all of them Democrats. 5 congresspersons merely answered, "present." 5 more did not vote for whatever reasons. Interestingly, one of our primary California Atheists sorry, Democrats, Jane Harman, was among the "nay" votes. In fact, at least 4 of the 22 nay votes were California Democrats. How inspiring.

Yet as interesting as was the final vote, it pales in comparison to the reason for the resolution.

How on earth have we arrived at a place where the symbols and traditions of Christmas need the support of the House of Representatives? Is it possible that Christmas is in danger of disappearing altogether from the public arena?

Perhaps. Some folks have sure done their level best to make sure that the word "Christmas" is instantly associated with some sort of counter-diversity movement. Stores now fear retribution from atheists and civil libertarians who somehow feel that public recognition of the Savior's birth is anaethema to the nation's well-being. Bell-ringers? Not in front of my store. No, sir. We support diversity!

And so it goes.

Still, one phrase of the resolution is most meaningful: "reference to God in civic dialog." Ah. Civic dialog. The ability to freely express our thoughts, worship as we please, and pay tribute to any and all religious observances. All guaranteed by the First Amendment. We the people have this right, and we need to exercise it.

Let the atheists, ACLU barristers, civil libertarians, and even Jesse Jackson believe (or not) any way that they choose. Those who might take offense need to remember that it cuts both ways. To those who believe that public prayer is somehow offensive, let me remind you that to oppose prayer is equally offensive to me and my family. To hear you belittle and degrade our celebrations is highly offensive. But that same First Amendment even guarantees you that right, and I certainly cannot stop you.

Neither can you stop us.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

#219 - Looking Ahead

The Woundup has been in operation for a whole year and a half now, and in that time we have been referring to ourselves (frequently, if not consistently) in the first person plural. We enjoy doing that on occasion because it sounds so deliciously pompous, and we can also create the illusion that the Woundup is some sort of underground syndicate with a staff full of bitter, street-tough researchers. On the other hand, that would make Woody just another figurehead; a Dan Rather of the blogosphere who stands by the accuracy of every story whether or not they have any actual facts involved. So we're not sure the imperial "we" is the way to go. It may work for Dave Barry (who does have a bitter and street-tough researcher named judi), but we just don't have that kind of budget. In fact, we don't budget well at all, which is why Mrs. Woody is our finance department.

Anyway, back a few weeks ago we approached fellow blogger (and full-time brother) Cameron of "Way Off Bass" notoriety. We had commented on his recent blog-dearth and he happily admitted that his heart just isn't in it anymore. He is a recovering blogoholic, and we respect that. We also don't buy it. Not that he isn't sincere, by any means. I (oops, I mean we) believe his contrition is genuine and worthy of our support. But we also know our brother, perhaps better than he cares to admit. He has a disease for which, frankly, there is no known cure: he has Male Answer Syndrome. MAS means that, one day, Cameron will be driving to or from work and will be listening to talk radio and will hear some outrageous statement by some left-leaning nutcase who will propose - we don't know - perhaps that the answer to global warming would be eliminating all drilling for oil RIGHT NOW and Cameron will find himself driving directly to Kinko's where his connectivity currently resides and he will log on and BLOG HIS EYES RIGHT OUT OF HIS HEAD. He won't be able to help it. Also, mid-term elections are coming up next year and he will find himself in a target-rich environment.

In fact, we're counting on just this sort of reaction. It means that our conversation with The Bass a few weeks back, which ended with our inviting Way Off Bass to make appearances on the Woundup, did not go to waste. So, you may see an occasional post here from my brother. This means that now, whenever I use the term "we," I won't be referring to any schizoid personalities that I (we?) may possess.

So we roll out the Welcome mat for Way Off Bass, and hope he'll find fresh meat with which to satiate his blogging appetite. He has been sorely missed.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

#218 - Ann Coulter Demands Equal Rights!

Conservative gun moll Ann Coulter complains that, for all the damage she inflicts on poor downtrodden liberals, she can't seem to get indicted.

Money quote:
Can't we rustle up a right-wing prosecutor to indict Teddy Kennedy for Mary Jo Kopechne's drowning? Unlike the cases against Limbaugh and DeLay, Mary Jo's death was arguably a crime, and we could probably prove it in court.

I'm afraid, Ann, that you can't be indicted until Pat Oliphant and Ted Rall have completed their initial investigations and handed their findings over to the syndicateGrand Jury. They do speak for the "people," after all.

Specifically, they speak for the Pod People.

Monday, December 12, 2005

#217 - Out on a Limb Prediction

Should M'sieur Schwarzenegger grant clemency to that apparent paragon of virtue, Tookie Williams, I predict this will be the governor's last term in office. As a Republican, anyway.

Let's review the facts:

• Major loss of support base during the Special Election.

• Appointment of Democratic hired gun as Chief of Staff.

• Seemingly increased influence from traditionally hardcore Democratic wife.

Woody's prediction: Arnie will either jump ship before the next election, or will run as the Republican equivalent of a Howard Dean, trying to galvanize the moderates (read: left-leaners) in the party.

It won't work. He can no longer even sell himself as a fiscal conservative, and any signs of social conversatism disappeared when he appointed Ms. Kennedy to such an important staff position.

Fare thee well, Ahnold.

UPDATE: Well, I'll be... he still has a backbone after all. Still not sure it's enough to get him a second term, but at least this won't be one of the reasons conservatives abandon him.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Thursday, December 01, 2005

#215 - Oh, Arnold...

Question:

What do Tookie Williams, Susan Kennedy, and Joan Borucki all have in common?

Answer:

A Republican governor who can't seem to remember he's a Republican.

Without debating the death penalty on its merits (I support it. End of discussion.), it seems that Schwarzenegger's recent special election debaucle has not only rattled his political agenda, it has also completely unleashed his Inner Kennedy.

Signs of his incipient demhood surfaced last year when he attempted (and, fortunately, failed) to install a tax-and-spend Democrat as head of California's Department of Motor Vehicles. Joan Borucki was widely panned by conservatives a year ago when she first floated her plan to tax California drivers by the mile. This was supposed to alleviate tax shortfalls created by more and more people switching to environmentally-friendly hybrid vehicles and spending less on our already over-taxed gas. That her appointment was not confirmed by a Democrat-controlled legislature only confirms that even liberal California pols can get it right on occasion, if only by accident.

The decision to hold a special election in the first place was nothing short of desperation on Arnie's part. That he not only lost, but lost every single initiative did two things: It made his "special election" basically a very expensive non-event, and it ruined his credibility among the right-leaning elements (myself included) of the party. So what is our surprise to find, weeks later, that he has appointed another Democrat to an important staff position? Not only that, but this particular Democrat was one of Gray Davis's (remember Gray? The guy Arnie wanted so badly to replace? The one he basically accused of being incompetent?) chief architects of some of his more spectacular political failures. Can you say, "Oracle?" Susan Kennedy (please, let her not be any relation!) was absolutely clueless about the ramifications of that Oracle contract, and I can't imagine her acumen having improved since then.

Finally, now that poor ol' Tookie has lost his battle in court, it's up to Ahnold to yea or nay his execution this month. The fact that he's already "agonizing" over this decision does not bode well for those of us who prefer justice over entitlement. Williams helped found one of the most dangerous, deadly gangs in Los Angeles. Whether or not he pulled the trigger that killed the four people he's been convicted of murdering, he has at the very least been indirectly responsible for the deaths of dozens more in the three decades since the gang was founded. This man has been found guilty, has refused to accept responsibility, and needs to die. But now it's in Schwarzenegger's hands. Hands that no longer seem to know what to do. Hands that shake with indecision now.

I've seen that shake before. Where have I seen it...? Oh. Of course.

Another Kennedy.