Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day

Just a little something to think about for Memorial Day weekend:

They set a marble tomb above my shattered self, seeking to do me honor thus, to recompense the searing days, the crawling nights I died in. "He lies here deep," the graven letters say, "He lies here deep, unknown to all save God."
O, sweet it is, they say. O, sweet it is to die the battle death.
Yes. It is sweet.
As gall is sweet and wormwood, so is death.
I died.
I felt the bitter fire, the cleaving steel, the pain.
I am content.
Yet I am weary in my sentiments.
The sleep of death is not so very deep.
Lately, the spring has come and yesterday a tiny root of some green thing has split the stones apart wherein I lie.
Its tender, questing fingers seek my hand - as mine sought flowers on some yesterday forgot.
Above my head, the hushed clang of arms, the measured tread of sentinels that guard my bed, forbid me sleep.
My face is dim in Eternity now.
But, once, you knew me.
Perhaps you wept to hear that Sergeant Death had spoke my name.
Is it you that I hear through the dust, O, my brother?
Is it your little song that I hear, O, my mother?
I, in my tomb of marble? I, in my tomb of stone?
I am the Chief of them all.
I am the Chief of the Dead.
I died.
And, dying, became a mystery.
To every mother, her son.
To every brother, his brother.
To every soldier, his comrade.
I, the Chief of the Dead.
I was content to lie here, masked in uncertainty, having the homage of all of you here in my marble tomb.
I was content, I say.
Yet now spring comes again as I saw it once before that day I died.
Is it your hand that rests on the stone, O, my sister?
Is it your tear - that falls on the stone, O, my wife?
I hear the trumpets now.
The volleys sound.
The sabers flash against a sun I may not know.
I may not rise.
I have my duty. Here. Alone.
I, in my tomb of marble.
I, in my tomb of stone.
I am the Chief of them all.
I am the Chief of the Dead.

From "In the House Where I Was Born," by Wyllis Cooper.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Christian Democracy Movement Update

It appears that there is a new attempt to organize a Christian Democracy movement in the United States: This site shares many similarities to the old CDU page, the Web Archive of which I posted in an earlier post, which leads me to suspect that many of the same people are giving it another shot under a new name. [Edit - indeed, Chris Erickson, the man behind the CDU meetup and the first CDU website is the driving force behind the new Common Center site. Glad he hasn't given up. Keep up the good work!]

The website is still somewhat skeletal - most of the links just lead to pages with templates on them, but I encourage those (few, if any) who are reading this to support the effort. I will add the new site to my Links section, and occasionally post on their progress.

Story of a Party

Once upon a time, there was an established centre-right political party, which had survived many conflicts and turmoils in its 126+ year history, from lost elections, to leadership "coups," culminating in a couple of impressive victories under a charismatic leader in the 1980's. Later on, following the departure of a highly unpopular incumbent, the party attempted to move toward the "centre," choosing a leader who, while somewhat fiscally conservative, was pro-abortion, and anti-gun. The party insiders thought this leader could take the party to victory, and put the time under the unpopular leader behind them. Then came the election.

Rather than soaring to victory, the "centrist" leader alienated social conservatives in the West, while, in the East, serious campaign gaffes, and the albatros of carrying the previous leader's party label, drove voters to the centre-left party, which, thanks to the new "conservative" leader, was now not all that different policy wise anyway. The party went from holding one of the largest majorities in history, to collapsing to two seats - the largest defeat of an incumbent political party in the history of the democratic world.

That party was the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. Now you know the rest of the story.,_1993

Something for Republicans who think moving to the "centre" is the solution to think about.

1st District Update

It's been an eventful weekend, so I will be making several posts today. The first is an update on the 1st District Congressional Race - apparently, Ron Crane has decided not to run, citing party infighting as his reason.

While I, myself, am supporting Vaughn Ward, and welcome the development of having less in what is likely to be a crowded Primary, if Mr. Crane is not able to handle political conflict, then, perhaps, Congress, especially a Democrat Congress, is not the place for him. He (seems) to be doing a fine job as State Treasurer - better to have a competent incumbent in a Statewide office, than creating yet another open race in a contentious chapter in the history of party politics.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Idaho First District Congressional Race

I heard recently that Idaho State Treasurer Ron Crane has thrown his hat in the ring for the 1st District Congressional race, which promises to be hotly contested in November. While Crane, no doubt, is qualified, Vaughn Ward has been spending quite a bit of time up in North Idaho lately, while Crane has not (I do not even recall seeing him in Moscow during his race for State Treasurer, though I could be mistaken). Even though Crane served for a number of years in the legislature, and has managed to get elected to Statewide office, State Treasurer is a rather obscure position which, absent scandal, does not lend itself to a lot of media attention. I would bet that, if you asked 100 people on the street who the State Treasurer is, maybe 10 would be able to identify Crane.

From meeting Ward this last weekend, my impression is that he is a skilled campaigner - he knows how to "sell" himself, but does not come across as a "used car salesman" either. He doesn't try to play the fun-loving cowboy (Butch Otter), or the "tell-it-like-it-is-regardless-of-what-others-think" conservative (Bill Sali), but strikes the perfect balance, giving the impression of confidence, competence, and sincerity. Don't get me wrong - I think we would be in good hands with Ron Crane in D.C., but Ward has the makings of a leader, and will be a stronger challenger to Minnick.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Jack Kemp passes away.

Just recently heard some sad news:

While I didn't much care for his support for free trade, the GOP should be reaching out to moderates in the mold of Jack Kemp,, rather than Arlen Specter or, as I've heard them called, "The Ladies of Maine" (Snowe and Collins).

While I realize he was not Catholic, Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis ("Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him").

Jack Kemp, requiescat in pace.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Minnick shows his true colours

As many are aware, the homosexual hate crimes bill has passed the U.S. House: As tempting as it is to comment on this development in itself, so many others have done so, thus any further commentary on my part would simply be redundent.

What got my attention most about this news was the vote: If you look closely under the "Ayes," you will see, in the middle column, toward the bottom, "Minnick." While this does not surprise me in the least, Minnick's apparent fiscal conservativism most certainly does not cross over into social conservatism. While this is, probably, not a vote huge enough in itself to cause a sufficient social conservative backlash against Minnick, if he continues this pattern, he will have a diffcult re-election bid ahead of him in this socially conservative district.

Tomorrow evening I, and some other Shoshone Republicans, will be having supper with one of Minnick's potential challengers: Vaughn Ward While I do not know a lot about him, his conservative credentials seems solid enough, and he has been spending quite a bit of time here up North, which is always a plus. Will he be the man to unseat Minnick? Time will tell.