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A case for conservative optimism

To some degree, I regret not having blogging during the fiscal cliff negotiations.  They may, to be sure, represent a low point for congressional Republicans, but they may also represent a turning point.  The once-divided House Republicans emerged unified from their Williamsburg retreat.  And Congress has now disposed of one of the few issues Obama emphasized in the campaign — and demagogued after his victory — increasing taxes on the wealthy.

He will not longer be able to use that issue (i.e., “tax the rich) against Republicans as effectively as he did in the campaign.  And he now gives Republicans a chance to remind Americans about the second part of his “balanced approach” to deficit reduction: spending cuts.

Las Friday, we learned that despite his successful reelection campaign, President Obama does not have the power he needs to “fundamentally” transform the nation as he would like.  The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated the incumbent’s attempt at constitutional overreach, striking down his use “the Constitution’s recess appointment power to make appointments despite the absence of a recess” to appoint members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

This ruling will make it relatively easy for employers to challenge all the pro-union rulings the NLRB has made since Obama announced the appointments.  The Democrat cannot willy nilly put policies into place increasing regulation and giving more power to favored special interests.

And despite a largely favorable press, Obama’s current approval rating hovers just below that of George W. Bush at a similar point in his term, indeed, as George Will observed, the Democrat enjoys “the lowest approval rating (according to Gallup, 50 percent, four points lower than that of the National Rifle Association) of any reelected president when inaugurated since World War II”, with the eminent pundit opining that the incumbent’s “contradictory agenda [is] certain to stimulate a conservative revival.” (more…)

Writer’s Quarantine Coming to an End?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:00 pm - January 29, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging,Literature & Ideas,Writing

Now editing the sixth chapter of my fantasy epic, I am beginning to find the flow that should make it easier for me to write on a routine base — and have time for other pursuits.  Just last night instead of sketching out notes for the next chapter, as has been my wont while finishing one chapter up, I found myself mapping out the next four — and finally getting the main characters out of the fortress city of Nah-nathas and onto their adventure.

It has been an interesting process and I’ve been trying to take notes about it.  At first, it was kind of overwhelming to find a story that had been kicking around in my head coming together as a written narrative I can share with others and possibly publish.  And as I realize how much of a commitment I am undertaking as I begin to appreciate how much work is left to be done, even with the six chapters that are now “presentable.”

Unlike the time in the 1990s when I made the choice to write my first novel, this time I know that just following through on the inspiration, writing the story that just comes to you (and even manages to move others), is not enough to sell the book.  This time, I am aware that I could succeed at a writing a novel, but fail at earning a living from it.

Still, the story is there and continues to come to me, like old memories suddenly rediscovered when dipping a pastry into a cup of tea.  I finally understand why the dragon is not doing as the Dark Lord would have her do when he summoned her, why she threatens to frustrate his schemes to extend his domination over this imaginary world that exits within my mind — and now increasingly on my computer (and in the hands of friends).

As the novel emerges, as the characters find names and create relationships, I do find myself thinking again about politics — and expect to start blogging at a more regular pace, though perhaps not the same pace as I had before I started finding a means to share this story.

Dianne Feinstein: Negligent, or ignorant?

HotAir kindly posts this picture of the good Senator:

Feinstein holding a rifle with her finger on the trigger

As Ed Morrissey puts it:

…did no one ever tell Feinstein to keep her finger off the trigger of a firearm unless ready to shoot? Shouldn’t a politician attempting to lecture us on gun safety know something about it herself?

For the record, here are FrontSight’s Four Universal Firearms Safety Rules:

1. Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.
2. Never let the muzzle (the front of the weapon) cover (point at) anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger OFF the trigger and, in fact, outside the trigger guard.
4. Be sure of your target and what’s in line with your target.

Feinstein appears to be violating (possibly) all four rules. She appears to be in a crowded room, on an elevated platform, with people spread out before her (such as the photographer who took the picture from one side), and small awareness of her gun possibly pointing down into some of the people (on the other side). And, her finger on the trigger. None of which is careful handling of the weapon, like it could always be loaded.