This sounds about right: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates, as conducted by ABC

After seeing part of the democratic debates on TV a couple of nights ago, I think that this is an entirely accurate portrayal of how ABC would handle the Lincoln-Douglas debates:

LINCOLN: In my opinion, slavery will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Excuse me, did an Elijah H. Johnson attend your church?

LINCOLN: When I was a boy in Illinois forty years ago, yes. I think he was a deacon.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you aware that he regularly called Kentucky “a land of swine and whores”?

LINCOLN: Sounds right — his ex-wife was from Kentucky.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Why did you remain in the church after hearing those statements?

LINCOLN: I was eight.

DOUGLAS: This is an important question George — it’s an issue that certainly will be raised in the fall.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you denounce him?

LINCOLN: I’d like to get back to the divided house if I may.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you denounce and reject him?

LINCOLN: If it will make you shut up, yes, I denounce and reject him.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you denounce and reject him with sugar on top?

LINCOLN: Yes.

There’s more. Frankly, no matter who wins, I’ll be glad when the election season is over.

Required Reading for Republicans

Steve Olson has a good post on why the Republican party is losing the support of libertarians. An excerpt:

The Republican Party is crumbling. They lost congress in 2006 and will lose more ground in 2008 because they offer nothing new, nothing original, and nothing positive. We have seen the party of entrepreneurship, small government, and personal freedom become the party of fear, war, and police power. After the party leaders mocked, sneered, and cackled at those of us who believe in a limited constitutional republic, they now ask us to hold our nose and support John McCain.

It’s worth reading the whole post, especially for the list of reasons he opposes McCain, chief among them his plans to stay in Iraq for 100 years and his plans for new wars.

Canadian Health Care

There’s a great article about the Canadian healthcare system over at Campaign for America’s Future debunking a lot of the myths that we here all the time here in the United States.

Honestly, the more I hear about it, the more attractive the Canadian system sounds. According to the article, it isn’t nationalized health care, but rather more like nationalized health insurance. Basically, everyone is covered by the government health insurance.

As you might imagine, this greatly reduces overhead and waste for the doctors, who no longer have to deal with dozens of different insurance companies and who no longer have to argue with an insurance company to convince them to pay for their patients’ care.

And the article deals with the tax issue too; although Canadian taxes are higher, they also don’t have to pay ridiculous heath insurance premiums like we (or our employers) do here in the States. I’ll bet it evens out pretty well.

I’ve spent the last year trying to get health insurance, which has been difficult since I’m self-employed and since I have a preexisting condition. Blue Cross/Blue Shield has explicitly refused to cover me. The more frustrated I get with the state of health insurance in this country, the more I think that Canada has the most sane health care system out there.

I wonder how hard it would be to emigrate.

“If you build world class facilities, you will get world class students. If you build prisons, you’ll get prisoners.”

This is an amazing video from about six years ago. Bill Strickland built a world-class school in the middle of one of Detroit’s toughest neighborhoods. Now neglected kids and welfare moms are learning skills from reading to analytical chemistry to art.

All that it took to change these people’s lives was a little respect.

Obama on Religion and Politics

I’m watching a video of a speech Barack Obama gave about religion and politics. It’s really good; I don’t necessarily agree with all of it, but in general it’s commendable stuff.

Among the topics discussed are Obama’s religious experience (he is not a Muslim, despite the emails you may be getting), the need for separation of church and state to preserve religion, and the way to mesh religious faith with a pluralistic society.

It’s about forty minutes in total, but it’s worth the time if you’re interested in where Obama stands on religious issues.

Why I Like Obama: Yes We Can

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics who will only grow louder and more dissonant in the weeks to come. We’ve been asked to pause for a reality check. We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope. For when we have faced down impossible odds; when we’ve been told that we’re not ready, or that we shouldn’t try, or that we can’t, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people.

Yes we can.

I really hope this guy wins the election. He seems like the only candidate who isn’t running on fear and anger.

I’m on the edge of my seat, waiting for next Tuesday, because that day more or less decides the election. If Obama can beat Hillary, I think that he’s almost certainly going to take the White House.

I would love for the U.S. to have an inspirational leader again. I’m tired of the divisiveness and the petty bickering that’s characterized the Bush presidency. I’m tired of the scare tactics and the warmongering and the bitterness.

I think that Obama can change that. I think that he could be a salve on a wounded nation. I think he could lead the country to do great things.

And so I really, really hope he wins on Tuesday.

DIY Dentistry in England

This is exactly why I’m against nationalized health care (My Emphasis).

Six percent of those questioned in a survey of 5,000 patients admitted they had resorted to self-treatment using pliers and glue, the UK’s Press Association reported.

"I took most of my teeth out in the shed with pliers. I have one to go," another respondent wrote.

Others said they had fixed broken crowns using glue to avoid costly dental work.

Valerie Halsworth, 64, told British television’s GMTV she had removed seven of her own teeth using her husband’s pliers when her toothache became unbearable and she was unable to find an NHS dentist willing to treat her.

My mom just had some dental work done, and we were talking about, unpleasant as it is, we appreciated living in a country where we had access to dental care. The nationalized healthcare system in England has reduced the quality of its dental care to third-world levels, at least for the poor who can’t afford the more expensive private dentists.

It’s a terrible idea that doesn’t work, and it’s insane that some people think we should imitate that system. The current health-insurance system is broken, but a nationalized health care system would only be worse.

(Via Boing Boing)

Presidential Candidates on Flickr

I was on Flickr today, looking at the map of photos around my home town, and discovered that Mitt Romney and Barack Obama both visited recently. They both have regularly updated Flickr accounts and geotagged their photos from their recent visits.

This lead me to searching around for other candidates with Flickr accounts, such as Ron Paul and Sam Brownback.

I discovered some interesting stuff, which I’ve summarized into this table. (It won’t fit in this blog’s template, so I’ve given it its own page).

Let me know what you think!