Monday, October 23, 2006

Political Breakfast Burritos

Have you had a Steak, Egg and Cheese Burrito from SONIC Drive-in? They are available for a limited time only. Sonic throws a lot of great ingredients in there: thin sliced steak (and lots of it), peppers, onions, scrambled eggs, tater-tots (I'm not joking), cheese, salsa and even jalapenos if you ask. And here's a real secret, they will also add chili if you ask!!

Today I've got a similar number of ingredients, none quite big enough for a full meal, but I hope they taste great all mixed together.....

Abortions versus Gun Deaths

Two disclaimers: First I know I'm comparing apples and squash. Second I want to emphasize I am pro-choice. But this topic came up in a real life "political discussion" over breakfast this morning.

Both Abortion and Gun Control raise huge passions on both sides of each debate. What's similar about these topics is that compromise is simply not possible today.

One "debater" at this morning's breakfast was decrying the sorry state of the Democrat Party because they will not fight for gun control. Oh, they all talk about it, but the NRA (National Rifle Association) strikes fear into their hearts and no meaningful legislation is ever offered.

Plus, the debater pointed out, in spite of increasingly tragic gun deaths, school shootings and accidents, Republicans simply won't allow even the mildest sort of limitation on firearms.

A second "debater" (or two) pointed out the exact same thing was true of abortion. In spite of massive numbers of abortions, the Democrats fight notification, waiting periods, parental notification, partial birth abortion or any measure that might slow the abortion rate, or murders of babies as this debater called them.

It should be pointed out that I'm down here in Mississippi and 90% of our "debaters" are certainly anti-abortion and pro-gun. None-the-less, a lively discussion ensued.

Here are the statistics. 2003 is the latest year that has either abortion statistics or gun death statistics:

Legal Abortions in 2003: 1,287,000

Gun Deaths (all causes) in 2003: 30,136

You can click on the titles for the links to the statistics. It should be noted that both total abortions and the percentage of abortions have declined for the last eleven years.
I think that we need both intelligent and reasonable gun registration and control. I also believe we need intelligent and reasonable and fair restrictions on abortions. In today's political environment, neither is likely.

Predictions for the 2006 Elections

It is a long tradition for me to predict the outcome of each election two or three weeks before the actual vote. In keeping with that tradition, I am doing it here today.

I must be noted that in each of the last 7 or so elections I have always been WRONG!! A conservative Christian friend who drops by this blog occasionally, John, always contradicts, I mean "corrects," me. And, I will freely admit in each of the past elections he has always been right.

Although John stops by rarely these days I'm hoping he will drop in and take me to task.

Democrats gain 6 Seats
Democrats Control 51 to 49

Democrats gain 27 Seats
Democrats Control 229 to 206

The lone moral victory for the Republicans will be the victory of Democrat Joe Lieberman. And while many Democrats are too foolish to know it, this will be a huge victory for them, too. But I'm still working on a separate, full, essay on that subject.

Battlestar Galactica

To say that Ron Moore's and David Eick's
Battlestar Galactica is the finest drama on television would be a tremendous understatement. This may well be the finest piece of literature in the history of the medium. If there is an appropriate category, this seasons two part opener should be nominated for and receive a Pulitzer Prize.

I'm far from the first to note the political and world event overtones and analogies in the plot lines of this series. Others have covered this ground so well I'll not try to improve on what has been written by more talented writers elsewhere. But for the novice I'll direct you to Phillip's MySpace Blog enrty:
The Politics of Cylons.

If you already watch this series (Friday nights on the SciFi cable network), you no doubt know what I mean. If you don't watch, you need to seek it out (episodes are also available on iTunes).

One small comment. Last Friday's episode culminated in a massive battle. The producers spent a small fortune in special effects to create an epic war worthy of anything George Lucas created for Star Wars. But, unlike Star Wars, there was no grandiose patriotic John Williams music and heroic scenes of valor where the heroes remained unscared.

This war was pure hell. And Richard Gibbs' and Bear McCreary's somber and haunting music made the battle and the horrific loses even more painful.

There was no victory. You were forced instead to measure the degrees of loss. I'm afraid the analogies to the war in Iraq go even deeper than the writers and producers ever intended.





Vigilante said...

Sad to say, little to agree with you here, Wiz. I cannot place abortion on level moral scales with gun deaths.

However, my son (with whom experience has proven, I disagree with him only at my peril) adamantly agrees with you on Battlestar Galactica. We had, in fact, an extended phone conversation last night on this point.

My major point was, when I leave my Internet Arena to share the couch in front of the TV with my wife, it's got to be to escape politics, not to merely have it spun more artistically for my amusement.

Other than the current World Series, I only join her for FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, which is riveting.

October 24, 2006 11:46 AM  
John said...

I am replying to your predictions post Wiz. There didn't seem to be a comment link below that post so I'm using this one instead.

Anyway, you always seem to predict Democrat victories in every election, so due to the fact that politics is cyclical, as long as you stick to your guns you are eventually going to get one right. Whether it be in this upcoming election or in some future election, the Dems will surely eventually win something. So congratulations in advance for your "correct" prediction. LOL.

But seriously, I don't think it really matters much who controls Congress during the upcoming two years because Bush is almost certainly going to be totally preoccupied with foreign affairs such as Iraq, Iran and North Korea and he won't have either the time or the energy to deal with domestic issues anyway. And since Congress doesn't have much to do with foreign affairs I think that they will be sitting on the sidelines.

The real game of course is about 2008, and that should really be fun. IMO it's wide open for both sides, especially with speculation about Obama getting into the mix.

I can hardly wait.

October 24, 2006 12:02 PM  
Vigilante said...

John, the proper, respectful form of the adjective is "Democratic".

"Democrat" is the noun.

(...Just so you will know, should you wish to be respectful or accurate on occasion.)

October 27, 2006 8:52 AM  
Vigilante said...

Wiz, I appreciate your agreement with me on the issue of the true nature of Bush's UULUIUOI and treasure your positive participation in the ongoing discussion in my digs.

In view of my respect for your concern for Darfur, let me alert you to a favorite site of mine, The Sudanese Thinker, just in case you haven't discovered it. Should you visit there and speak to Drima, please convey my highest esteem for him and his service to all of us who share this concern of yours.

October 27, 2006 9:05 AM  
John said...

Did you stop to think that perhaps I didn't want to use the "respectful form of the adjective?"

I said "Democrat" on purpose, not out of ignorance.

October 30, 2006 2:17 PM  

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