Herman Cain: Things aren’t always as they seem

It’s an old story:  A man and a woman meet at work and they hit it off.  They’re both married, although not to each other.  One lunch turns into two, two into three, and eventually they’ve got a pattern.  For years, they get together two or three times a week as regularly as clockwork, share daily emails, and call each other frequently.  Each makes the other happy because, in many ways, they are kindred spirits.  During their get togethers, they do not worry about their respective spouses.  Pretty sordid, huh?

Except it’s not.  I’ve described my decade-long friendship with my fellow blogger, Don Quixote.  Because we are each deeply committed to our own marriages, our relationship never veers from the enjoyably and respectably platonic.  Indeed, one of my favorite lunch companions is Mrs. Don Quixote, who joins us whenever she’s not at work.  She is a most delightful person, and I’m as pleased to count her among my friends as I am Don Quixote himself.  Don Quixote and I are just best friends, in much the same way two woman or two men share a purely non-sexual friendship.  I know I feel blessed to have this friendship, and I’m pretty sure he does too.

Fortunately, our family and friends know us well, which means that they know our values well, so I don’t believe there’s ever been the breath of suspicion hovering about our friendship.  But were either he or I to enter the public world and face the scrutiny of those who don’t know us, the evidence would be damning:  regular assignations, phone calls, emails.  It’s all there.  Our honest, righteous protestations of innocence would certainly fall on innumerable deaf ears.

As I write these words, I’m aware of very limited solid evidence to support Ginger White’s claim that she had a 13 year long affair with Herman Cain.  She’s pointed to phone calls.  He’s admitted them, but claims that they are innocent.  I also know that Ginger White doesn’t strike me as an exceptionally savory person.  One could take her spotted history to mean that she’d have no compunction about having an affair with a married man, or one could take it to mean that she has a somewhat strained relationship with the truth.  I don’t know.

And that’s the point:  the only two who know based upon the slender evidence available are Ginger White and Herman Cain.  One of them is lying.  I, however, am loath to convict a person based upon what could be, as Cain says, evidence only of friendship.  I happen to know a couple of older men, men in Cain’s age group and socio-economic stratum, who have gone out of their way for younger women, helping them financially or with work.  Both these men adore their wives and there never was evidence (or accusation) of any impropriety.  Both of them, however, clearly enjoyed the role of avuncular helper to an attractive, slightly younger, woman.  It was good for their egos, although it didn’t involve anything sordid.

I haven’t been impressed with the way in which Cain has handled these sexually based allegations — although, if one assumes these attacks are indeed smears (and, absent better evidence, I do), it’s virtually impossible to rebut them in an impressive way.  In the “he said/she said” battle that plays out over the liberal media, the conservative black man is always wrong.

Incidentally, I don’t have a dog in this fight.  Although I briefly considered Cain as a candidate, he simply doesn’t float my boat.  I like some of his ideas, I like his charm, I like his commitment to America, but he’s not the candidate for me.  The one thing I’m not going to do, though, is turn my back on the man because of unsubstantiated allegations that I know, for a fact, can be subject to other, entirely innocent, interpretations.

(Photo of Herman Cain by Gage Skidmore)

Know your priorities and act without hesitation

Suek posted this is an open thread, but I thought it was too good to keep hidden:

Marines are taught:

1) Keep your priorities in order and

2) Know when to act without hesitation.

A MARINE was attending some college courses between assignments. He had completed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

One of the courses had a professor who was an avowed atheist and a member of the ACLU. One day he shocked the class when he came in, looked to the ceiling, and flatly stated, “God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I’ll give you exactly 15 minutes.” The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes
went by and the professor proclaimed, “Here I am God I’m still waiting.”

It got down to the last couple of minutes when the MARINE got out of his chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him; knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold. The MARINE went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked and stunned ! and sat there looking on in silence.

The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the MARINE and asked, “What the hell is the matter with you? Why did you do that?”

The MARINE calmly replied, “God was too busy today taking care of America’s soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid shit and act like an asshole. So, He sent me.”


Had this Marine been in Berlin in 1925, he might have kept my Dad from becoming a lifelong atheist.  My Dad’s mother always told him that, if he ate leavened bread during Passover, God would strike him dead with a lightening bolt.  When my Dad was six, he decided to put this theory to the test.  He stood on the curb with a piece of leavened bread in his hand.  His plan:  Take a bite of the bread and simultaneously jump off the curb into the street, so that the lightening bolt would miss.  He put the plan into effect, but to no purpose — the lightening bolt never appeared.  With six-year-old logic, rather than concluding that his mother was misinformed, my  Dad gave up on God.

Focusing on Newt’s virtues

The alternative title for this post is “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”  Scott Galupo is no Newt Gingrich fan, but he genuinely hates Mitt Romney, whom he describes in the same terms once used to describe Tom Cruise:  “I don’t sense a man there. I sense a bristling mass of ambition.”  He sees Newt as flawed, but with one genuine conservative accomplishment under his belt, while Mitt has done nothing to earn the conservative description but for the fact that he’s placed the “R” after his name:

Still, there’s a way Newt can effectively undermine Romney and get himself back in the good graces of the conservative base. He needs to stay out of the briar patch of Romney’s position on this or that issue, and focus on one thing: his accomplishments as speaker.

If I were Newt Gingrich, I’d dial down the “vision thing” and draw these contrasts:

What has Mitt Romney ever done, while in office, to advance the conservative cause? He got himself elected in a bedrock liberal state and served four unspectacular years. Whoop-de-do. Name one instance where Mitt Romney fought for conservative principles when it didn’t suit his electoral needs.

Newt was the architect of the most significant rightward shift in the politics of the whole nation, not just one state. Domestically, he did more to slow the growth of government than Ronald Reagan did. After he departed, the party beat a retreat from the Contract with America legacy, and, under Rep. Tom DeLay, emitted an ethical stench far more fetid than the overblown controversy over Gingrich’s book deal.

I’ve said before and I’ll say again that I will vote for anything or anybody that opposes Obama. I’ve also conceded that all of the conservative candidates are flawed.  Indeed, the problem with our primary system, not to mention conservatives’ own obsessive quest for candidate perfection, is that we tend to use the primary process to highlight the candidates’ flaws rather than their virtues.  Ultimately, I’m sure it’s a good thing, because the eventual Republican nominee is thoroughly vetted by the time the media savages him (or her) for having the temerity to challenge a member of the Democratic Party.  Nevertheless, it’s a painful and somewhat damaging process, not just for the candidates, but for the voters too.

I will therefore vote for either Mitt or Newt.  I’m not sure which of them will make me most or least happy, but I know that each will be better than Barack.

Hat tip:  Earl Aagaard

Watcher’s Council Thanksgiving edition

Amongst other ways I celebrated Thanksgiving, I confirmed my bridesmaid status at the Watcher’s Council.  By the way, to any who thought last week that I was complaining, I wasn’t.  I tend to be a natural and comfortable second placer.  I’m not a general, but I’m a fairly good junior officer.  In any event, given the consistently high writing and analytical skills every single council member shows week in and week out, I’m incredibly honored that I periodically earn that second spot.

And now . . . the Winners!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

An article for those of us who are not physically perfect

In my younger days, if buxom wasn’t your thing, I had a figure to die for.  Two children and a few years later and . . . well, I’m trim, but it takes a lot of work.  Given the realities of child bearing, age and gravity, there’s nothing more irksome to me than a picture of some Hollywood woman, slim and smooth in a bikini, boasting about how she went back to her original figure within just three months of having a baby because she did intense workouts and ate a bizarre diet.

The good news is that those ladies can’t lie with impunity anymore.  Two scientists have created a computer program that measures the amount of photoshopping involved in any given image.  I think every single woman and teenager in the land should read this article.  It wouldn’t hurt to have the guys read it either, just so that they too can know how the media manipulates them.

Milton Friedman, wise and witty

John Hawkins has pulled together some excellent Milton Friedman quotations.  I’m embarrassed to admit that, growing up in my Left wing, liberal arts enclave, I’d never heard of Friedman.  I wonder if early exposure to his ideas (and his charm) would have lifted me out of the darkness sooner.

My favorite quotation from the Hawkins column is this one, which is the pithiest summary I can imagine for the beauty of a healthy marketplace:

“The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.”

The down side of working alone

I have a home office and have worked alone for a long, long time.  Mostly, I like it.  Despite being a very social person (party! party! party! — only I won’t drink or do drugs, if you don’t mind), I really need my solitude, and a home office definitely provides that.

There are a few things one misses, though, when working alone, one of which is other people’s bon mots.  Thankfully, some bloggers share well with others.

The dangers of rock and roll music — or why we at the Bookworm Room like Madison Rising

A couple of weeks ago, I brought to your attention a rock group called Madison Rising.  It has the distinction of playing classic guitar rock, with conservative, pro-American lyrics.  (Sadly, my 14 year old daughter still prefers LMFAO, but there’s only so much one can do as a mother.)

A conservative cartoonist caught one of Madison Rising’s concerts, and came out with this great cartoon, which manages to capture, in very few words, the generational divide between old hipsters and (thank God) some of the new ones:

That’s right.  Kid’s today:

P.S.  Did I mention that Dave Bray, the lead singer looks a lot like Keanu Reeves?  That may not mean anything to you, but it certainly does to me.

A story that needs to make the rounds: City of Richmond auditing the Tea Party *UPDATED*

Fact:  The Tea Party, when it held three protests in the City of Richmond, applied for permits, and paid $10,000 for permits, potties, police, etc.

Fact:  The OWS protesters in Richmond simply plunked themselves down, paying nothing (and, I’m guessing, incurring significantly greater police and janitorial charges than did the Tea Party crowd).

Fact:  When the Tea Party learned that it had been damaged by disparate treatment from a civic government, it applied to the City of Richmond for a full refund.

Fact:  The City of Richmond has now sent an audit letter to the Tea Party.  I’ll add here a bonus fact:  the city’s mayor is a Democrat.

Fact:  You need to send this story around to as many people as you can.  The City of Richmond needs to be exposed for this abuse of power and, I hope, horribly embarrassed.

And here’s something that’s not a fact, but that is just my opinion:  The City of Richmond’s behavior perfectly illustrates one of the reasons I’ve embraced conservativism.  I am deeply suspicious of consolidating too much power in any one entity.  The City of Richmond is just one city, yet even that modicum of power has corrupted it.  Imagine this kind of thing playing out on a grand, national scale.  No human is sea-green incorruptible, and most humans, when given power, can get dangerously giddy, with a further subset getting malevolently destructive.

UPDATE: Here’s a more detailed story — which includes a great link to VA Right, a member of the Watcher’s Council.

Ken Russell dead at 84

I’m not the artsy type who appreciates movies at a level above and beyond mere entertainment.  Given that fact, you’d think that news of director Ken Russell’s death would pass me by, unnoticed.  His films, after all, are bizarre, twisted, dark and perverse — none of which I find particularly interesting.  And yet….  I have a silly story about a Ken Russell movie and me.

Back in 1988, my friend said to me, “Let’s go see a movie.”  I thought that was a good idea.  She expanded on it.  “There’s a new Kurt [sic] Russell movie called Lair of the White Worm, based on a Bram Stoker book.  Kurt Russell is the guy who was in all those Disney movies, so this should be nice.”

We went, and I think our brains exploded.  Lair of the White Worm was not a Disney-style family friendly Victorian adventure movie.  Instead, it was a hallucinogenic, blood-saturated, really disgusting horror movie.  We should have walked out, but my friend and I were each too polite, as we thought the other might be entertained.  It was only the next day at work that someone enlightened us, explaining the difference between Ken and Kurt Russell.

That movie also marked the first time I’d ever seen Hugh Grant.  He’d already perfected his slightly bumbling, stuttering, upper-class role then, and was, I thought, charming.

In case you were wondering, it can always get worse

Some of us thought, “Yay, Barney Fwank is leaving.”  Sure, we know that his constituents will elect someone equally liberal to fill his old seat, but that person will lack Barney Fwank’s seniority.

Sadly, others with Fwank’s seniority remain behind in the House of Representatives.  So it very much looks as if, to fill the Fwankian vacuum on the House Financial Services Committee, the next senior-most member is already in line:  Maxine Waters.  Oh, yeah.  It can always get worse.

If this doesn’t scare the living daylights out of voters, and lead them to turn both Congress and the White House over to the Republicans by very large margins, voters are either dumber or more addicted to risky behavior than I ever expected them to be.