Monday, October 27, 2008

To the Land of Blanco

Catch you Saturday....I'm off to Mexico (the land of Blanco) with my bride for some R&R.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Metallica Concert Review

Saturday night I attended the Metallica concert at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. It was a phenomenal show headlining the greatest heavy metal band the world has seen so far.

Now, before I go on, I apologize to those who are disappointed with my appreciation for the music genre known as "heavy metal" (there are many sub genres, Metallica is often referred to as "thrash metal", but this is a sub genre of "heavy metal"). I recognize it is not everyone's cup of tea. Sorry. What can I say? I enjoy headbanging without apology. I think opera is awful and hideously painful to listen to, but I acknowledge the right of people to listen to it, etc.

I have been a heavy metal fan since my early teens, I believe Metallica is the most talented metal band of all time. They recently released a new album which hearkens back to the sound and style of their earlier years. They have sold something like 90 million albums in their career and are teh 7th highest grossing live musical act of all time. These are amazing stats for a metal band, we're not talking Celine Dione here! The concert last night featured something like 15 songs plus an encore, 5 or 6 songs were from their new album.

There is much I could write about why I enjoy heavy metal, but it is simple enough to say I appreciate the tremendous talent it takes to rock well. I took drum lessons for a couple years and even played for a while. Keeping rhythm for a quality metal band takes tremendous talent. Lars Ulrich, Metallica's beat-keeper, is one of the best who has ever lived. He was in rare form Saturday night as his band played for two hours straight. These guys seem ageless even after touring hard for over 25 years (I'm sure their collective decision to stop drinking and partying after shows has helped).

It's not my intention on this particular post to expound the value of considering the musical work of unbelievers like Metallica. I by no means endorse all their work or their underlying worldview. Listening to Metallica is akin to listening to any unbelieving musician. It must be done with discernment and care. Music, art, literature- same thing. Even when the writers of the songs and composers of the music lack godly wisdom, you can catch a glimpse of the talent God grants human beings. It is most glorifying to God when musicians/artists realize the source of their abilities and give Him glory, but even when they don't, there is something praiseworthy about the arrangement of notes and the skill used to play them. They even stumble upon truth in some of their lyrical observations. Obviously it is important to separate the wheat from the chaff and to maintain a discerning ear. Well, I said I wouldn't expound, so I won't further. At any rate, it was a rockin' concert by one of the true pioneers of heavy metal.

Rock on.

2008 Westminster Eagles

Our church has been laboring, by God's grace, to establish a parochial Christian school for over 12 years. God has blessed our efforts in humbling ways. Our vision is to expand Westminster through High School, we have just added ninth grade this year.

I coach our school soccer team, Brian is my esteemed assistant coach. The team is made up of a stellar group of boys who are on their way to becoming men. The ninth graders are already young men and I am excited by how God is maturing them. Our first High School class maybe small in numbers, but not in character. I can't imagine a better group of students to make up Westminster's first graduating class (the Class of 2012), they are true pioneers and fine representatives.

Since our numbers are still relatively small in the upper grades, we have to field a team of 6-9th graders. We play in two leagues, one is a junior high school league (7-8th grade students), the other is a junior varsity league (made up of teams with a wide range of high school aged students). We practice and function as one team, but the 9th graders can only play in the JV games and 6th graders don't play much in the JV games. In either case, our team is usually a bit younger than whoever we're playing. Still, after 13 regular season games, we are 6-5-2. This is a tremendous accomplishment. I am very proud of their hard work and healthy competitiveness. I am more pleased with the way they maintain a Christlike attitude on the field. I am convinced that team sports provide a tremendous laboratory for discipleship, this is why I spend so much time coaching this soccer team.

We still have junior high playoffs and a JV tournament the first week of November, but no matter how we place, this has been a great year for the WCA Eagles.

Friday, October 24, 2008

It's not all gloom and doom

Despite being sick of the oppressive onslaught of political debate and focus, I am looking forward to several key events in the next days and weeks:

1. Metallica concert with my buddy Jon Lindstrom on Saturday night. Very cool.

2. 15th Wedding Anniversary trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with my bride next week.

3. Dr. Calhoun's visit to Redeemer next weekend (he was my Church History prof at Covenant)

4. The ordination and installation of Redeemer's new deacons and elders on November 9.

5. Westminster Eagles soccer playoffs (the team I coach) the first week of November.

6. The Buffalo Bills continuing to win.

7. The Kansas City Wizards playoff run.

8. The Buffalo Sabres continuing to win.

9. Two weeks of hunting vacation in the greatest and best month in the world- November.

10. Advent

What is most important to Americans? We'll see...

Almost two years ago, when many were predicting the Clinton machine triumphing over the upstart Barack Obama to capture the Democratic presidential nomination, I was pretty convinced the rookie senator from Illinois might well pull it off. A year later, before wrapping up his party's nomination, I said it again. These predictions were before the Republican's chose John McCain as their nominee. For a brief while McCain made things interesting, mostly due to the choice of Sarah Palin for Vice President nominee, not because of anything specifically profound about him and his record. For me, John McCain is a better choice than Obama, but that's not saying much. Let's face it, Obama's supporters are far more passionate than McCain's supporters. Many, if not most of Obama's supporters are under the mistaken impression that he will do all sorts of good as president. Many of McCain's supporters see the multiple concerning flaws in Obama, so would much rather McCain be president, it's not that McCain is such a tremendous choice.

Passionate, well-funded, media-promoted, and supremely organized support is hard to beat with a dull, ill-managed, relatively underfunded, and poorly communicated campaign.

If McCain wins, it will be one of the most amazing victories in the post-TV era we have ever seen. There is virtually nothing going for McCain at this moment except some breaches to Obama's experience and character which are not likely to impact any committed Obama voter.

All that analysis aside, the main issue that confronts McCain and bodes well for Obama is the state of the economy, because like I have said, Americans vote based on their wallets. Just a month ago, against the backdrop of gasoline approaching $4 per gallon, the selection of Palin looked like a real asset to McCain's campaign because she has a real connection to a short term energy solution. For all the Al Gore "green" talk and driving of hybrid vehicles, few Americans really believe we are anywhere close to seeing effective alternative energy sources impact their lives. We need more oil and we need it to be American, even the most common folk among us gets this. I really believe McCain would have won this election if the vote was taken 40 days ago. If the recent mass failings of several key financial institutions didn't happen, McCain's fiscal propositions would have appeared more viable, he could have toned down his attacks on Obama's character flaws (though not all together, many of these needed to be exposed), and he might not have appeared so angry. Chances for a McCain victory were high just over a month ago.

Then we had the "collapse". Years of joint financial mismanagement came to roost and the deck of cards came down. It seems clear there are several factors which have contributed to the current financial situation and outlook, both political parties can share blame, but it happened on Bush's watch and McCain has not done a good job separating himself from the policies of the White House, he just hasn't. He only made it worse when he did a most un-maverick-like thing and voted for the ridiculous bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I think McCain's populist decision to use tax-payers money for the bailout made him hard to distinguish from Obama, at least for us common folk. In the end, once again, I think Americans vote based on their wallet and the current crisis is largely seen in connection with George Bush, and so is John McCain. The people cry "change", regardless of reality Obama represents that change, plain and simple.

McCain's chance to clarify his supposed fiscal conservatism went down the toilet when he voted for the bailout.

His chance to become president has probably been flushed as well. Perception is reality as they say, and many Americans are simply fed up with the way they perceive things to be economically. McCain is too closely associated with the way things are economically.

In the end Obama will likely win the presidency due to the perception that he is better for our wallets. What a complete joke this perception is, yet I think that's why he will win. Obama won't win the presidency for his foreign-relations experience, he has none. Obama won't win the presidency because he is the right man to be the "Commander and Chief"- even the members of our military will tell you that. Obama won't win the presidency because of his tax and spend plan no matter how much he hearkens the romantic days of Bill Clinton. Clinton rode the Reagan-Bush I wave which meant no war (no slight meant to the Bosnia occupation), the "Dot Com" phenomenon, while ignoring Enron-like corporate growth and promoting mass lending to people who could not afford mortgages long term. If people think Obama is a return to the supposed economic growth under Bill Clinton,they need to take a remedial course in economics and history. Obama won't have the "Dot Com" tool and the lending sector is in total shambles. His energy-plan is a genuine farce (it really is) and he also has an ongoing military effort to fund. All of this is the back drop for a trillion dollars in new programs he wants to implement. An Obama presidency with a Democratic majority in the House and Senate? Wow. Can you say Jimmy Carter on steroids?

Unless something very profound happens in the next 10 days, Barack Hussein Obama will become America's next president. I think such a happening would be profoundly bad for America, but it's not because of my wallet. Even if I thought Obama could help boost the U.S. economy I would not vote for him. Even if I was O.K. with Obama's troubling ties to Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, the Fannie/Freddie debacle architects, and Acorn, I wouldn't vote for him. Even if I thought his Marxist, socialistic leanings weren't more radical than the current form of socialism we have (even in the White House), I wouldn't vote for him. You see, it's true that Americans vote based on their wallets. This is what's so wrong with us. It is God who gives wealth and prosperity.

Cultures which sacrifice moral purity for the chance at more wealth and material comfort eventually implode and are overcome. America is clearly on such a road.

Obama and McCain are not profoundly different on the matter of economics, they really aren't. I happen to think McCain's proposals and potential (due to the real possibility of a workable energy plan and solution) are more sound than Obama's, but not overwhelmingly so.

The fact is Barack Obama thinks it's OK to leave a baby to die if an initial attempt to abort it fails. There are politicians who are hesitatingly pro-abortion, Obama is not one. There are politicians who try to keep the matter of abortion out of sight so it's out of mind, Obama isn't scared to defend the radical practice of "partial birth" abortion. He can look an aborted fetus squarely in it's dismembered face. Obama is radically in favor of abortion, check the facts on his votes. He thinks a baby is punishment for woman having sex out of wedlock. I think God will judge America for it's moral decadency, Barack Obama as president will plunge us further in the downward direction we are heading. Obama as president, among other things, means another generation of Roe and the promotion of abortion in our country. But Tony, "why are you a one issue voter"? to which I reply- I am not a one issue voter, except when the issue is the governmental promotion of murder. Obama's moral bankruptcy on this issue says much about his worldview, and it's not one I share or think is good for the longevity of this country. Voting based on the perception that Obama will be good for our wallet but overlooking his radical promotion of killing unborn babies reveals how far America has fallen.

John McCain is no doctor of righteousness, neither am I. I do think McCain will uphold the sanctity of life in a much better way than Obama, simply compare their records. I honestly am not sure of McCain's spiritual state or doctrinal commitment, however Sarah Palin seems to be committed to Christ. This gives me further hope that a McCain presidency is more likely to make better moral decisions than an Obama administration. I can think no more important baseline question than how a candidate views Christ and subsequently the sanctity of human life. I do think McCain has better overall policy commitments than Obama, but consideration about my wallet is secondary to the fundamental question of respecting human life. God can give our nation prosperity, as he has for the better part of 200 years, but He won't continue to do so if we go on slouching toward Gomorrah.

Knowing Obama's seriously flawed worldview and still voting for him indicates very hard days ahead for America, even if our wallets are stuffed.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I hope Catholics answer the call

Apparently there are 67 million Catholics in the U.S. I don't know how many are of voting age. I sincerely hope and pray the ones who are will get this message and answer the call.

HT: Steve

Friday, October 17, 2008

If the shoe fits...

According to Wikipedia:

Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating social or collective ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and the creation of an egalitarian society.Modern socialism originated in the late nineteenth-century working class political movement. Karl Marx posited that socialism would be achieved via class struggle and a proletarian revolution which represents the transitional stage between capitalism and communism.

Socialists mainly share the belief that capitalism by nature concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital, and creates an unequal society. All socialists advocate the creation of an egalitarian society, in which wealth and power are distributed more evenly, although there is considerable disagreement among socialists over how, and to what extent this could be achieved.

Obama quotes:

"My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody ... I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

A oft-used phrase by Obama (including the last debate):

"When you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody"

Looks like we have a Robin Hood on our hands.

Picture HT: Hough

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Review of "The Shack"

I have had many people ask my opinion of Christian best seller "The Shack".

To be honest, I use the Christian best seller list to know what books I don't want to read, so there's no chance I'm going to read this book. Christian fiction hasn't been good since C.S. Lewis died.

Mark Driscoll gives the above review, for those who have read it, you can judge if Driscoll has a good critique.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Soccer-Volleyball with the KC Wizards at Westminster

Our Church's school, Westminster Christian Academy, did a fundraiser for our newly developing sports program with the help of the Kansas City Wizards.

We sold tickets for one of the Wizards games, in return the Wizards gave us some of the proceeds and sent four players to take on representatives from our school in three games of soccer-volleyball. Soccer-volleyball is the same as volleyball for us, but the Wizards could not use their hands. You can't imagine how hard it is to play volleyball without your hands, but these guys can do it well.

The Wizards present to play us were Davy Arnaud, Aaron Holbein, Kevin Souter, and Chance Myers. We had an all-school assembly at the end of the day to witness the event and cheer on our school teams.

Our boys soccer team played the Wizards in the first game and got destroyed.

Our girls volleyball team played the Wizards in the second game and got destroyed.

A team made up of Westminster coaches/staff played the Wizards and destroyed them! Brian even likes to brag that he spiked on Davy Arnaud!

It was great fun for all involved and we are very appreciative of the Kansas City Wizards willingness to show us such a great time. We had over 300 screaming students and parents in attendance-a tremendous event.

Here are some pictures of today's action-

The raucous WCA crowd (where's Pastor Nathan?)

Holbein and Souter getting ready for a vicious serve from Kathy Sievert

Brian Hough warming up in preparation to spike on Davy Arnaud

Yours truly preparing to lob one over at the Wizards

Chance Myers and Kevin Souter signing autographs after

Aaron Holbein and Davy Arnaud also signing pictures and balls. The players stayed signing for a long time. 250 students wanted autographs. Thanks guys!

Chance Myers heading it over

The players hung out with students after the event.

Davy Arnaud, Chance Myers, and Kevin Souter getting ready to be introduced.

Monday, October 13, 2008

This will not inspire confidence about the discernment of voters

You won't see many Howard Stern clips on Reepicheep, but this one is worth listening to. It is incredible.

An interviewer takes to the streets of Harlem where prospective voters are asked who they support for President. All three of the subjects indicate Obama is their choice.

Listen and draw your own conclusions.

Hat Tip: Cowboy

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Why the hate?

Every year our church participates in the "Life Chain". The Life Chain is a peaceful and prayerful public witness of pro-life Americans standing for one hour along major roadways praying for our nations and for an end to abortion. It is a visual statement of solidarity by the Christian community that abortion kills children and that the Church supports the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception.

Today we stood holding signs and praying along 95th street in Overland Park between 1:30 and 2:30 pm. Many who passed by waved and honked in support. Most simply drove by. What amazes me every year are those few who react negatively. Today was no different. Several drivers passed us jeering, some yelling at us, and still others waving their middle finger at us. I made eye contact with a middle-aged woman driving a mini van who forcefully held both middle fingers at me as she read my "Jesus forgives and heals" sign. She was very angry with our being there and what we stood for.

Why the hate?

I stand for such events for one reason- I think human life begins at conception. I think the bible teaches this and biology affirms it. Even if I did not believe the bible and was ignorant of biology, common sense would convince me pregnancy, at any stage, means a new human being exists. By definition, abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by the removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus from the uterus, resulting in or caused by its death. In this light, I believe that abortion for any other reason than to save the life of the mother is murder (see comments for explanation of my position on this) . Why be so mad at me for this conviction? Honestly, can you say I am illogical for opposing abortion as I have described? Why the hatred for me?

I don't hate people who choose to have abortions. Don't get me wrong, it frustrates me on many levels. I grieve for such people. I am certain such a choice will hurt them personally. Very frankly, I think the hatred and anger shown toward those who oppose abortion is a fruit of guilt. In their heart, they know abortion is wrong. For me to hold a sign that in some way declares abortion to be wrong makes some people feel they are being judged thereby provoking them to anger. Guilt and anger go hand in hand.

I judge abortion to be wrong on the basis of Scripture, biology, and common sense, so it's not a personal angst toward those who support or promote abortion. I am a sinner and have no standing to personally judge anyone, but I can make a judgment about what sin is. I am confident on the basis of Scripture, biology, and common sense I can prove my case. Don't hate me for my conviction. Flipping me off when I'm standing there with my family says more about you than me.

I grieve over the state of our culture. How has it come to this? How has abortion become acceptable? I know the answer, and that makes me grieve more. Abortion primarily exists so we can live the way we want to live- as selfish, self-serving, self-centered, self-worshiping people. To some degree abortion allows men to act like untamed animals and treat women as sex objects. Abortion gives women the illusion of control or freedom over "their body" so they also can live and act the way they want. Abortion is the symptom, self-worship is the cause.

Over a year ago my wife and I applied with a local agency to adopt a baby. In part we wanted to promote a culture of adoption that might play a small part in reforming the low view of life in our society (a tell tale sign of a culture in decline, by the way). For a whole year we waited and no babies were available for us to adopt. I began meeting others who were trying to adopt domestically, they also waited for months and years with no babies apparently available. How could this be? I hear the term "unwanted pregnancy" enough, where are all these "unwanted" babies? I know plenty of people who want one, including us. Very simply, there are well over 1,000,000 abortions every year, that's why there are apparently so few babies to adopt in the U.S. I have become convinced there are plenty of adoptive parents waiting for children so that no woman has to have an abortion.

Obviously much more could be said on this volatile subject, but again I ask- why the hate? When I stand on the sidewalk as a reminder of something that goes on in relative secret but is a huge holocaust, why hate me for doing so? Why be so angry with me? I'm not telling any woman she has to deliver and keep the baby she is carrying. Shari and I will take him or her. I know plenty others who would do the same. Don't kill a person when you know it's wrong. Are you not ready to raise a child? Put him or her up for adoption. There is not only nothing wrong with such an action, it's the right and merciful thing to do in many cases. I won't judge you for your actions that brought you to this point- I really won't. But please don't kill the person inside of you.

The blight of abortion stems from all sorts of other root problems summed up in our drive to worship self. I just don't understand why such anger and malice is poured out on people who are genuinely concerned with a culture that is so flippant about human life. Maybe you're not convinced by biology or common sense that conception is the beginning of human life. Why give me the finger because I think it is? We could have a conversation that explains to each other why we hold our particular views, no need to hate me. Instead of jeering those who truly believe they are standing for the sanctity of human life, just drive on past and leave us in our ignorance.

Why the hate? It's because of the primacy of self-love, self-preservation, self-promotion, self-centeredness. If selfishness is the driving force that works in us, anything that threatens must be eliminated. In such a self-serving, self-promoting culture, what chance does a voiceless, seemingly non-existent person really have? Someone has to say and do something. No need to hate them for it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Yankee or Dixie: take the test

Take the test linked below to see if you're Yankee or Dixie. I was disappointed to find out I was barely Yankee.

Record your score in the comments.

Go here to take the test.

John McCain for VP?

I have committed my share of public verbal gaffes, but this is too funny to overlook.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Crazy like a Fox

This is an amazing story, right down to the guy's ironic name and the network giving the report:

Man Wrecks Car After Picking Up 'Dead' Fox

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 / Fox News

A man who decided to take home a fox he hit on the road wrecked his SUV after the animal he thought was dead revived.

Tommy Fox ran over the fox last Wednesday near Dover, Tenn., as he returned home from work, the Leaf Chronicle reports.

Thinking the animal was dead, he decided to take the animal home to cut off its tail as a souvenir, Dale Grandstaff of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency told the paper.
"The tails are real bushy and pretty and thick this time of year," Grandstaff said.
Instead, the driver flipped his GMC Jimmy trying to keep the fox — that had awoken in the backseat — from biting him, Grandstaff told the paper.

Fox suffered minor injuries and bruises, the Leaf Chronicle reports. The fox died, though it was unclear if it was from initial injuries or the subsequent wreck of the vehicle.

Monday, October 6, 2008

What did I tell you?

Even I didn't think the T.O. show would get started so forcefully so soon.

What's going on with this guy?

Friday, October 3, 2008

The One Who does not change

It's funny how certain political seasons are epitomized by the constant promise of change. We are witnessing this phenomenon ad nauseoum during the current presidential race. The promise of change is welcomed by most as there is a dissatisfaction with the status quo. Still, ironically, change is the chief contributor to the stress and anxiety people feel. Certainly we live in changing times laced with uncertainty.

The truth is change is an ever present part of our earthly existence.

- People change as does our relationships with them. Relationships with our spouse, children, friends, and co-workers all change.

- Temporal "securities" change with great regularity, just look at the current financial crisis. Jobs change. Stock portfolios change. Various extraordinary events litter our experience and bring change- legal issues, unforeseen bills, and material loss.

- There are changes that occur in our physical well being that are life altering. In addition to all that comes with normal aging (non stop change), there can be sizable health trials that confront us which alter our perspective on life. Accidents, sickness, and violence can bring unsettling fluctuation.

Temporal security is an illusion when we consider the rapidly fluctuating nature of human relationships, the many financial variables that can affect us, and the uncertainty of our physical well-being. Fluctuation, variable, change, uncertainty, shifting, temperamental, transitional, variational, alterable are all words that describe human experience.

So what's the answer? What comfort can we have? In the context of God's gracious keeping of covenant with His people, the Prophet Malachi wrote:

"For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed." Malachi 3:6

The particular reference here is to the logical action of God to destroy Israel for their disobedience but instead, due to God's gracious covenant promises, He will keep His word and restore them. In other words, Malachi is saying "I should destroy you, but due to my promise to redeem, I will not". In the face of all the aforementioned change and uncertainty, the redemptive plan and action of God continues. We may be anxious about temporal change, however we should also gain real security from knowing God does not change.

The unchanging nature of God is captured in the doctrine of God’s Immutability. Immutability is not some esoteric study that has no practical value- it is the essence of our security. It breaks down to a simple statement made by Spurgeon-

There is one place where change cannot put his finger; there is one name on which mutability can never be written; there is one heart which never can alter; that heart is God’s, that name is Love.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism captures the Bible's teaching on God's attributes, particularly His immutability

What is God?

God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.

God's essence doesn’t change, His attributes never fluctuate, His personality doesn’t vary, and His plans are never altered. God is never on Plan B, His plan of redemption is never thwarted, and ultimately there are no mistakes in time/space history. His promises don’t change, His love doesn’t change.

Practically speaking, why is the immutability of God so important?

When you experience a change in someone’s love for you- a spouse, a child, or a friend- you are loved by the One who does not change. When you experience a loss of material or temporal security- you lose your job, home, car, the value of your stock portfolio, or your worldly status or whatever- you haven’t lost the promise of God, that does not change, to supply for all your needs. When your health begins to fail...when those you love experience the failure of their health, when tragedy strikes, violence affronts, or you get that call telling you that someone near to you has been injured or killed in an accident, or some other variable that will happen in life, we are drawn to the reality that the One Who does not change will provide grace sufficient today and a future grace that will include none of these earthly toils. We can count on this future grace because of the immutable character of the one who provides it!

Everything changes…except our God.

Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

Debate review

Debates are hard to score objectively. Last night's debate between Palin and Biden is no exception. Whoever you supported before the debate you probably think did very well. Flipping between Fox news (Palin) and CNN (Biden) was stark evidence of how little debates do to change already forged opinions. Pundits from both networks proclaimed decisive victories for their candidates.

How can one judge who won or lost? Both candidates accomplished their objectives quite effectively. Biden didn't make any major gaffes and Palin prepared well and overcame perceptions about her lack of knowledge and experience. Biden beat the drum of McCain being synonymous with Bush. Palin beat the drum of Obama/Biden being typical tax and spend liberals weak on national defense. Biden was polite, yet forceful in his pointed attack on McCain/Bush/Cheney (all the same to him, which is an effective strategy). Palin was charming, pleasantly plain-spoken, yet bold in her recalling Biden's quotes against Obama and Obama's alleged lack of support for the troops. Biden and his 35 years of debate experience was better on his feet. Palin was impressive, but did have to go to her written talking points on a few occasions looking a bit artificial. Biden, however, made several factual errors while Palin made just a few. I'm guessing the various fact checking media outlets will be busily at work today. (update: Fact Check)

Clearly Palin had a more difficult task due chiefly to the plentiful fodder George Bush has provided the Obama/Biden ticket and McCain's seeming connection with the same. Considering this handicap, she did very well.

Unfortunately for the McCain/Palin ticket, there is a unified perception that we are plunging headlong in to a economic recession. Such financial doldrums are never good for the incumbent party and regardless of McCain/Palin's constant self-identification as "mavericks", most people who are still swing voters see McCain as basically aligned with Bush. Keeping McCain linked with Bush was Biden's mission last night, he did it quite well.

In an earlier post I argued that Americans tend to vote based on their wallets. Before the recent financial institution failings and proposed bailout plan it seemed McCain/Palin had the edge due to their clearer plan for a short term energy solution. Now, despite the lack of a clear plan from Obama/Biden, George Bush looks culpable for the alleged recession making it is impossible for McCain/Palin to completely distance themselves from him. Americans do tend to vote based on their wallets, and right now, that's not good for McCain/Palin no matter how charming Sarah was in the debate.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Smart advertising

McCain is getting absolutely spanked by Obama when it comes to Internet advertising, which may well be the deciding factor in this election.

Obama has raised more money than McCain so he can spend more on such advertising, still, it's hard to understand why McCain hasn't countered more demonstratively. Most effective are the non stop "Register to Vote" advertisements with Obama's face attached (like the image above). It doesn't matter what News website you look at, you'll find the advertisement for Obama-even Fox news has these advertisements. Heck, my Facebook page constantly has a picture of Obama in the corner telling residents of Missouri to register to vote for Obama.

The 2004 election saw an unrpecedented amount of 18-25 year-old voters, much of this was drummed up by internet advertising. This election will crush the 2004 numbers and Obama is doing a masterful job capitalizing. In my opinion most people over 30 have their mind made up. I think most of the "undecided" voters are among younger adults who spend allot of time on the internet and could care less about Rush Limbaugh. With the Hollywood elite pushing Obama at every opportunity (for free), the media propping him up as Messiah, the various "gotcha" interviews with Palin, the current financial crisis (where Republicans look as fiscally liberal as Democrats) and the current, massive Internet campaign by Obama, I'm starting to have my doubts about McCain's ability to stay in the thick of this race. Maybe he doesn't know how to use a computer?

Newt Gingrich recently acknowledged McCain is lagging in the polls, however he was careful to point out how quickly elections can swing in this age of TV and Internet. I agree, however, McCain simply isn't using the Internet as well as Obama. If he's counting on like-minded Christians sending each other creepy Youtube videos of Obama supposedly promoting the socialistic brainwashing of children, he's way in trouble.

I wonder what the McCain camp is thinking? They seem a step behind, or two.

One NFL Certainty...

I have been practicing restraint in gloating about my Buffalo Bills 4-0 start to this year's NFL season. I am not nearly as emotionally involved with NFL football as I once was, but I do enjoy watching the Bills do well. They have a very good team assembled this year, we'll see what happens.

Another plot I enjoy is watching certain teams and players blow up during the course of a season. I often take ridicule from jealous friends about the way my Yankees spend money to acquire players in MLB. They have nothing on the Dallas Cowboys. Still, despite all the money being spent to buy another Superbowl, next to death and taxes the only thing more certain is Terrell Owens blowing up before the season is over. Watching Dallas is like a Soap Opera for men. I can't wait to see how T.O. screws things up in the Big D.
It will happen, just watch.