Both of these should have Democrats very afraid for November.
For the first time ever, a person who was not first anointed by the powers-that-be in Austin has been nominated to be the Republican candidate for the senate seat in Texas. And he didn't just win - he won by double-digits. This win came despite being massively outspent by his opponent, David Dewhurst. Cruz instead believed that the crowds would carry him, and carry him they did, 56% to 43%.
I happened to be at the Cruz event in Houston where Palin spoke.
I got there early before the place filled up. Saw some interesting signs :)
And of course, I got to see Sarah speak her mind.
(Forgive my poor phone's camera...)
The vibe was strong, and of course it carried into the victory by Cruz the following Tuesday.
Jim DeMint also spoke, and reminded us of the list of politicians who've been booted by the grassroots in the last few years: Bob Bennett in Utah by Mike Lee, Richard Lugar in Indiana by Richard Mourdock, and others. Cruz beating Dewhurst is the latest in a string of activism that is frankly unmatched by anything on the left.
Then of course there's the thing with Chick-Fil-A, where Dan Cathy, its founder, a man who is so Christian that he closes his doors on Sundays, said without surprise to anyone that he supports traditional marriage, not gay marriage.
"Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away," tweeted San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee on July 26, "& I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer."
Really? For a personal opinion?
Anyone who reads this site knows that I wholeheartedly support gay marriage. I agree with Dick Cheney on this: Freedom means freedom for everyone. But I also don't have a problem with people expressing their opinions so long as it doesn't hurt anyone in the process. Everyone has the freedom to choose the direction of their own life so long as they aren't stepping on the liberties of others. Dan Cathy isn't infringing on the liberties of others. But he has a religious opinion. Big deal.
So to support his freedom of speech, I joined with others trucking to Chick-Fil-A today.
Even at 3 PM, I had to wait in line.
The dining room was full, and the staff was friendly, as always.
Hundreds of thousands of people across the US did this very thing today. These people are likely Romney voters, and if they will stand in long lines on a hot summer day to support a local business, what does that say for the election in November?
It says that we might see a solidly Republican government in January. Let's hope so.
The beginning, health, and longevity of all relationships revolve around one simple nugget: expressed belief in the other person.
Think for a moment about what it means to you when someone you know expresses a belief in you, in your capabilities, in your future... you begin to soar. You want to be around that person more.
Many people will tell you that they find "trust" to be the essential element in all successful relationships. But upon what is trust based? The belief that the other person will do what is expected, and if you didn't believe that, you wouldn't trust them. Trust comes after belief.
Belief is never skeptical. It's never pessimistic. Belief is optimistic and positive and hopeful. Belief is therefore attractive. It's belief that "gets" another person. Belief covers the gaps and the flaws of the other person, choosing to overlook those and choosing instead to cheer the person overcoming their flaws.
In a marriage, belief in each other is the essence of the marriage. You can see that by removing belief. Removed belief makes comments like "I can't rely on you," or "What makes you think you can do that," or "What a waste of time." Disbelief treats us and talks to us like children. It issues backhanded compliments like, "For someone supposedly good at abc, you're certainly xyz." Merited or not, removed belief erodes the relationship's underpinnings. People distance themselves from the person expressing removed belief.
Some women find deeply Christian men attractive, perhaps because of shared faith, but I think more because a man capable of showing passionate faith appears more likely to deeply believe in his wife and his family. A person wants to be believed in like that. We look for signs of it in others around us. It doesn't have to be an outward religious faith - a person who deeply believes in a cause is said to be attractive for soulful devotion to the cause.
Love is, in many ways, an expression of faith. It looks with the infamous "rose-colored glasses" upon its object of fascination and sees only good. When we see our spouse look with desire on someone else, it erodes our belief in ourselves.
What does belief look like?
Belief brings out the best in the other person. Belief looks on those strengths possessed and pulls them forward and outward, for the benefit of all around. Belief celebrates demonstrated strength and cheers on more of it.
It's not that one person improves or makes better another person. It's that the person brings out the best in the other so that they feel recognized and rewarded for their strength.
The longest and most successful relationships, whether consciously or unconsciously, bring out the best in the other person, not because that best was spawned by the relationship or the other person, but because that best was already there and was noticed and was cherished.
"I believe in you" - powerful words. Optimistic words. They're capable of helping us rise to our potential, and they can bring out the best in us.
Everyone around us needs the best in us. And if they're not helping to bring out the best in us, perhaps they shouldn't be around us.
ETC: Jonathan said in a previous comment (snipped):
I've usually reduced it down to expressions of respect and sincere appreciation. Interestingly, these things tend to show up higher in the hierarchy of needs for men than women.
That's a curious question... how would women rate belief as an essential element?
I talked to my mom about this, and she's been a therapist for over 30 years. She understands where belief matters... but I haven't asked her to scale it against other things.
Think of sports teams... the more rabid the fans, the more they push their team to perform. If men are more susceptible to measures of belief, then certainly women should esteem it if only to boost their man to greater heights.
Expressed worry, doubt, fear... those aren't belief. That's not to say that they aren't valid, but there's a way to do it that doesn't subtract and erode.
Thinking through relationships in general, I said that belief is the root of all deep and successful relationships.
Now take it to the level of lovers. The root of that is, of course, desire.
I've known couples who had deep respect for each other in personal and professional ways. Their confidence in the other was stellar. But there wasn't an underlying craving in their relationship. Or worse, there was for one, but not the other.
I've known marriages where they couldn't keep their hands off each other, but by one or the other there was a lack of belief in the other. That glue of desire kept things together. Barely, sometimes, but since that kiss and physical romance were so powerful, it was enough.
Why? I think that passionate desire makes it seem like belief. There's no doubt expressed when you're tearing clothes off each other or in the midst of making love. Both partners walk away from it feeling like the object of all the world's affection, ten feet tall, and ready for anything.
Sex can also steal us away from the world, from the problems and worries and fears that can erode our confidence, and give us respite from removed belief.
Physical attraction and mutual respect - the bedrock of marriage and lifelong commitment. Without expressed belief in each other and without mutual craving, things will fall apart.
The question, I think, is how people communicate belief and, in the case of romance, desire to the other person in a way that is heard and convincing. And that starts by listening...
The three were arrested in March after a guerrilla performance in Moscow's main cathedral calling for the Virgin Mary to protect Russia against Vladimir Putin, who was elected to a new term as Russia's president a few days later.
They face a maximum seven years in prison. The sentence is to be handed down later Friday.
Vladmir's evidently such a wuss that he can't take the smallest of criticism from 20-something women.
But in the meantime, where is the National Organization for Women on this? Women jailed for freedom of speech - shouldn't that be an issue here?
I looked it up on Google. Can't find any mention of it.
Democratic Socialists of America Freedom Socialist Party International Socialist Organization Socialist Action Socialist Workers Party, Los Angeles Socialist Workers Party, San Francisco Young Socialists
And in further searching, they have a long history of supporting socialist and communist organizations and efforts.
Free speech? Women's rights? Only if you speak out against Rush Limbaugh. Against Vlad Putin? Crickets.
I've heard said before that if you want to change society you start by re-engineering its words. Since then, I watch for this.
I'm reminded today how "reproductive rights" is now widely defined as government-subsidized birth control. In reality, the two don't have a thing to do with each other, but I guess some people can't get others to pay for their stuff if it's not connected to a "right."
And more crazy: the people who lay claim to their right to the money that they earn through their labor will be the ones labeled as "greedy." The ones who didn't earn that money but lay claim to it? Why, we need to stop messing with their rights.
Just when things are moving along swimmingly, some putz Republican has to step in it. Todd Akin, Senate candidate from Missouri, was asked this:
KTVI host Charles Jaco: "If abortion could be considered in case of, say, a tubal pregnancy, what about in the case of rape? Should it be legal or not?"
Akin: "It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child."
Good god this is a repugnant statement.
1) Is there such a thing as a "legitimate rape?"
2) Even if you take out the word "legitimate," it's still horribly offensive - because he's saying that if you get pregnant, maybe it wasn't really rape…
What an ignorant assclown. He has until Tuesday to step down and allow himself to be replaced, otherwise it's Claire McCaskill vs. The Assclown, and it's a no-brainer who wins.
Just as Joe Biden had to answer for his stupid "chains" comments and Obama had to say whether he would throw Biden under the bus or not (he didn't), so too Romney and Ryan have had to give their answer to this controversy.
Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin's statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape.
Mr. Akin, if he had any decency, will step down. Why? Because this election needs every senate win the Republicans can muster. He's not more important than the country, so he should be honorable, realize that he's toxic, and step aside for Brunner, the runner-up.
Two days ago, a doofus from Missouri - an engineer by trade - said the stupidest thing. And resoundingly, the Republican party, with the exception of a few other doofi, condemned his remarks and told him to leave his candidacy behind him.
Why? Because the Republicans have standards.
Where Todd Akin said something stupid about rape, here's a man actually accused - by more than one woman - of attempted rape.
Further, he cheated on his wife, and rather publicly.
Condemned by his party? No way. He's a hero. He's the keynote speaker at this year's Democrat convention.
Anthony Weiner. Ted Kennedy. Eliot Spitzer. Al Gore.
Were any of these guys ever told they were not welcome and couldn't run for office? With the exception of John Edwards, no Democrat ever pays a price for being an idiot.
Maxine Waters famously asked the scientists at NASA if the Mars rover could travel over to the flag left by the astronauts. Penalty? No way. Joe Biden's "chains" remarks? What's the problem with that, the White House asks.
No standards. In fact, Anthony Weiner is considering a run for New York mayor now. And he's being taken seriously.
Todd Akin, on the other hand, won't be able to run for garbage collector. Why? Standards. When a Republican acts like an idiot, he's generally not welcome back in.
Trent Lott. Mark Sanford. Mark Foley.
Politicians, on both sides of the aisle, are human - full of bias and misinformation. Why in the world would anyone trust their lives and the decisions that affect their future to those in government? They're not smarter. They're not better. They're just elected in what is usually a race of two.
Nobody should trust that politicians will do the right thing. Therefore, their power should be limited. Severely. Which is why the country started out with that concept - limited government.
Wanting bigger government is just a recipe for stupidity writ large across the lives of Americans subjected to the dumb actions of politicians who aren't smarter than you.
Who would want that? And why would anyone vote for that?
Sometimes I wonder if the whole abortion debate leads fervent Christians away from their true calling: the Great Commission.
Jesus didn't focus on sin; he focused on redemption. You can push for politicians to write laws that would effectively prevent everyone from sinning, but I think that actually keeps them away from salvation - because the broken are the ones who seek Him, not the pure.
A guy named Bob Vander Plaats runs for governor in Iowa in 2010, making opposition to gay marriage his central issue. He loses the Republican primary. Get that? His strong social conservatism can't win in Iowa in a Republican primary.
Todd Akin's strong social conservatism likewise is a loser in Iowa's neighboring state, Missouri. He's now down against McCaskill, 39% to her 48%. He was ahead prior to being all idiot on TV.
This election is about one thing, and it ain't rape and it ain't abortion and it ain't birth control.
It's about the economy, stupid.
Nonetheless, as Allahpundit on HotAir has coined it, the Democrat convention is becoming Abortion-palooza.
Democrats said that they will feature Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parent Action Fund, Nancy Keenan, president of the NARAL Pro-Choice America and Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University student whose plea for federal birth control funding drew the ire - and a subsequent apology - from Rush Limbaugh.
What's more, the Democrats are expanding their list of women ready to assail the GOP on women's issue, adding Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski and actress Eva Longoria to the list that already includes Sen. John Kerry and Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren.
It didn't work for Vander Plaats in a Republican primary. It hasn't worked for Akin in general election.
The reason it didn't work for those candidates is that social conservatism wasn't the burning issue in the election. The economy was. Ignoring the Big Issue to focus on something else only serves to make you look out of touch and distracted.
What won't be front and center at the Democrat convention: the economy. Putting strident anti-social conservatism forward is a loser for the same reason that it lost for Vander Plaats and loses for Akin: it's not the central issue on the mind of everyone, not matter how fierce your marketing is.
I ask you - what's more imperative in your mind: abortion stemming from rape, or $4 gas at the pump?
Social conservatism, whatever you think of it, is a sideshow to the main event: the economy. I'm okay if the Democrats want to make that the central theme of their convention and election - because it's a loser.
What's more, social conservatives would be well-served to understand how Akin has hurt their cause more than any event I can think of in this short century.
Meanwhile, the rest of us will focus on how to best provide for our families. That's what matters most.
I'm driving my van last night to the grocery store, and I see a man walking his bicycle. It's laden with plastic bags, hung from every extending aspect of the bike. I noticed that his tire was flat, so I pull over and walk toward him. He's maybe in his mid 20's, tall and lanky, baseball cap barely sitting still on his fro, and a strong smell permeates the air around him.
"You need a ride somewhere?" "Yes. I would like that." "Where am I taking you?" "Wal-mart, please. I need a new inner tube."
So I load the bike onto the rack on the back of the van, and we both get into the vehicle.
He asks me, "What do you do for a living?" "I'm a programmer." "You work for Microsoft?" "No. If I did, I'd have a lot more money." "You know, if I had money, I would invest in gold and silver. The dollar is collapsing." "A lot of people agree with you." "I like silver better." "Why's that?" "You can eat silver. It's healthy for you." "Okay..." "I'm a nutrition consultant. I want to go to California to be a homeopath. Or Canada." "I've been to Canada. I like it there." "Is it cold?" "It's not much different than Minnesota." "I think I'll go to California. I don't like wearing a lot of clothes."
Who You Are is Defined by What You Do When No One is Watching
I got behind Mitt in 2008. I then actively worked against him in the 2012 primary. He wasn't my first choice... but the primary's over, and he's the nominee.
The video above is the story told by the parents of a teenager who died. Mitt, a father of five and very busy, befriended the boy and helped him finish his life well.
Few men would do that. Some wouldn't even do that for their own family. But Mitt did it, and he didn't do it for show. He did it because he could and because it's woven into his character.
Sometimes, the only resource of our life that we have to give is time. I've said before that love is spelled "T-I-M-E." Our days are precious. When a man chooses to give of his time in assistance to a stranger, not looking to reap anything from it, it says much about him, and those moments define him far louder than the lies told about him.