Presidential Portraits: George Washington

Eight years ago, my sister Rachel and I made a cassette tape about George Washington for fun (yes, this is what teenage Read girls did for fun…in the era when I made a portrait of George Washington the desktop background on our computer). We organized a soundtrack for the recording by playing Baroque and Classical pieces on a CD player in our room during production. We thought it would be appropriate to share this presentation in a video in honor of our beloved Washington’s 281st birthday.

Never let a childhood endeavor go to waste!

I think we were influenced by Diana Waring, whose history tapes we would routinely listen to at bedtime. We wanted to tell history in the same entertaining way she did!

Strain Out a Gnat and Swallow a Camel: How Reverse Statism Endangers the Republic

If you want to send a message to Washington, you must speak in its language. Washington only comprehends the electorate’s desires based upon the margin of victory between the winning candidate and the losing candidate from the opposing major party.

If Obama wins, third party votes will go unnoticed and unheeded, and liberals will take the victory to be an electoral mandate to buckle down on the policies we don’t want.

Third party votes do not say, “I don’t like either candidate, so I’m voting for a better choice,” but rather, “I’m comfortable enough with the way things are to spend my vote on a losing cause.”

If Romney wins, the message will be that Americans want Obama out of office NOW, and prefer the general direction that Romney is willing to take. The Romney administration will receive this as an electoral mandate to move as far away from Obama’s worldview as possible.

THE PHARISAICAL PATRIOT: "Ugh, that gnat! I'd rather be dragged through the desert than use that filthy blade." (Click to enlarge)

You might think that your one vote in a liberal district is meaningless anyway – although of course if everyone subscribed to that idea and resulting course of action, it would make a huge impact. Even popular vote-wise, every vote for Romney is a slap in the face of Obama. Every vote for a third party candidate is mere graffiti on the wall.

Many third-party voters are humble and well-meaning, and many are just angry and feeling insubordinate. Either way, I ask you to respectfully reconsider the situation. America made one of the worst decisions in her relatively young life four years ago, and to prolong it would be painful for generations to come.

I now present to you a pamphlet on the 2012 election and Mitt Romney’s candidacy. Hopefully it will answer all of your questions.

Romney praying before making a commencement speech. (Jae C. Hong AP)

But Mitt Romney’s a Mormon! (Fear not)

Our White House has been residence to Unitarians, at least one likely Deist, and multiple Freemasons. Is Romney’s Mormonism really any weirder?

Romney walks down the central staircase inside the Statehouse during a ceremony marking the end of his term as governor on Jan. 3, 2007. (Josh Reynolds/AP)

Romnesia: Misconceptions about Romney’s record

Romney is often mocked for being inconsistent. In reality, he has been consistent in a way that would be difficult for most of us.

THREE-WAY WRECK: George H.W. Bush, Ross Perot, and Bill Clinton at the second presidential debate of the 1992 election season. Due to America's mostly winner-take-all system, third parties virtually never win, but can still influence the outcome of elections. Scholars speculate that Perot's candidacy might have given Clinton victory, since Perot garnered 19% of the vote that most likely would have otherwise gone to Bush. (AP Photo/Marcy Nighswander)

Reverse statism: A reality check for voters considering third party

If you think an election that can’t be won with your ideal candidate is an election not worth winning at all, think again.

Also of interest: My research paper “Odd Ones Out: Why Third Parties Don’t Fit in the American Political System“.

Just remember: The Federal Reserve. The United Nations. Osama Bin Laden on the loose. The 2008 Financial Crisis. Obamacare. What do these things have in common? Third party voters along with conservatives and libertarians who refused to vote were complicit in their existence.

UPDATE (11/06/12): Why The Founder Of Has Already Voted For Mitt Romney; Former Libertarian candidate: Mitt Romney is the only sane choice for libertarians.

Weinergate, women and a secularized society

DISGRACED: Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY) could no longer dodge questions about congressional internet security when more scurrilous photographs surfaced that clearly identified his Twitter hacker to be Weiner himself. (John Minchillo, AP Photo)

DISGRACED: Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY) could no longer dodge questions about congressional internet security when more scurrilous photographs surfaced that clearly identified his Twitter hacker to be Weiner himself. (John Minchillo, AP Photo)

OHATCHEE, Al. June 15, 2011 — Last week, I happened to be running errands on a military post when the nearest TV displayed Fox News Channel announcing that Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY) was about to make a statement concerning his rumored online affairs at any moment.

The next thing I knew, Andrew Breitbart approached the empty podium. Yes, Andrew “that-fool-lying-punk-fake-journalist” Breitbart, who happened to get all the facts straight in this outrageous scandal while (if I’m not mistaken) recovering from the brink of pneumonia and intending to be on Memorial Day vacation.

He was promptly rewarded by some with the slanderous accusation of being the Twitter “hacker” that Representative Weiner flippantly referred to.

To make a long story short, Weiner – who has been a representative from New York since I lived there as a little girl – could no longer dodge questions about congressional internet security when more scurrilous photographs surfaced that clearly identified the “hacker” to be Weiner himself.

Thus, the 46-year-old congressman who has not yet reached his first wedding anniversary tearfully confessed that his adulterous internet flings (and subsequent deception about it) were “destructive”.

“I don’t know what I was thinking,” said Weiner, as he took responsibility for the crazy photos that were sent to various women across the country, most of whom he had met on Facebook.

While watching coverage of this scandal, it appears to me that old school journalists have made some misconceptions about the use of online social networking. There is nothing inappropriate about a member of Congress or political candidate following a young constituent, supporter or media contributor on Twitter or Facebook. For instance, I am followed unobtrusively by Michele Bachmann, Eric Cantor, Thaddeus McCotter, Joe Miller and Dale Peterson, among others. That is merely using a social network for what it is – a network. Twitter is a great way to observe the public’s reaction to various breaking news stories and policy issues.

The line between inappropriate relationships in a network is as clear on the internet as it is off the internet. Weiner crossed it with no qualms whatsoever, and then unconvincingly lied about it to cover up his indiscretion. He would have done well to consider the divine admonition that his ancestors received through Moses: Be sure your sin will find you out.

Perhaps Weiner was taking cues from Machiavelli instead. To the Renaissance political theorist, it was completely possible and advisable to separate public morality from private morality. Essentially, Machiavelli’s warning was that all subjects are immoral and yet admire morality, so a ruler out of necessity must disregard morality in private while maintaining a public façade of righteousness. (What do you think happens to the messengers who blow his cover?)…

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Angelina Jolie thinks Thanksgiving celebrates a “story of murder”

Thanksgiving painting; Angelina Jolie

In its origins, Thanksgiving is no celebration of human prowess and cultural domination – and certainly not murder.

American actress Angelina Jolie deliberately avoided being in the United States this Thanksgiving. As Rob Shuter of reported,

“‘Angelina Jolie hates this holiday and wants no part in rewriting history like so many other Americans,” a friend of the actress tells me. ‘To celebrate what the white settlers did to the native Indians, the domination of one culture over another, just isn’t her style. She definitely doesn’t want to teach her multi-cultural family how to celebrate a story of murder.’”

I am not certain how commemorating a harvest celebration initiated by Pilgrims and Native Americans can be convincingly dismissed as “rewriting history”. Labeling the relationship between the Pilgrims and Indians as simply “the domination of one culture over another” is not only unconvincing – it’s quite disrespectful to both cultures. Although every century in history has its fair share of corrupt commercialists and unscrupulous jerks, Jolie et al apparently have the Pilgrims of Plymouth confused with a different group of people.

The Separatists who ventured to start a new government in the New World endured an awfully rude voyage across the Atlantic and had managed to survive a year in a strange land. But when a successful harvest took place in 1621, did they praise themselves and their superior culture? Did they thank themselves for all their hard work?

No. They thanked God…

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