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    Jan 2007
    Westchester, New York
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    Default Interview with "Abbey"

    Abbey is another member that I have been fond of for quite some time now. She was a member with us when I owned USMB and ultimately came with us to this site. I didn't know her in the beginning but liked her style of posting. Once I found out she was involved with "Law" I knew I was hooked. She's always been a respectful member, rarely losing her temper, but also speaks how she feels without sugar coating it. Her personality allowed her to not only earn the respect of her fellow members, but also the friendship of many - which is one of the reasons she was asked to become a member of staff. She has earned my respect, and I'm lucky enough to have become her friend.

    Tell us a little more about the Abbey that most members don't know...

    How is it being the sole female moderator on this board? You moderate along with all males, and the board is made up of mostly males. Do you think you're treated differently because of your sex?

    Moderating with all males is actually great for me. I grew up as the baby with two older brothers, so I am used to all the teasing and the testosterone. Hmm, "Teasing and Testosterone" - that might make a title for that book I keep thinking I should write someday. I hope that I bring a different perspective to the moderation with my female sensibilities, whatever those are.

    To be honest, sometimes a board full of males can get a little weird, though. Those are the times I send a PM to Stephanie or Kathianne for some female-ness, for some sense of order in the world. If I am being treated differently or being sheltered in some way, it’s not obvious to me. Oh wait, scratch that. I think I am the only staff member who gets asked for topless pics every month. Or am I?

    Seriously, though, I like to think that the way we behave determines how we are treated, and I try to treat people with respect. Sometimes it takes a few post rewrites to get there, if you know what I mean.

    How do you think you came to be a conservative Republican?

    I grew up in a Democrat family; blue collar, union, Catholic. When I was in college and in law school, I was a strident liberal, feminist, registered Democrat. Then I started to notice people making excuses for poverty and crime that did not make sense to me. We lived in low income housing in the south Bronx, yet I succeeded. It wasn’t an idyllic upbringing. One of my friends was raped on the roof of her building when she was 12. I came to understand that if I can do it, why couldn’t most anyone else? I paid my own way through college and law school, with working and loans. Ate one meal a day for all four years, and bought my clothes in thrift shops. You just do what you have to do to accomplish what you want. Once you start to really examine all the excuses that liberals put out there for people not working, committing crimes, etc., it’s really a short walk to conservatism. I think that it all starts and ends with the parents. Do they stay together? Treat each other with respect? Value education? Have a moral compass? Show respect to authority? None of these things cost money or can come from the gov't. If parents raise children with these values, they can usually avoid pitfalls such as pregnancy and dropping out, and do anything, regardless of their income level. The help and the loans are there.

    Then there were my radically changing views on abortion. I simply could not vote for anyone who is for it. Finally, as I had my own child, became closer to our Lord, and read the Bible, social conservatism made total sense. I believe it is the best way for society to thrive.

    Do you see John McCain as a conservative holding traditional conservative values?

    I guess I do- for the most part. Compared to the Dem candidates he is practically Goldwater. The thing about McCain, though, is that he is not a “party line” kind of guy. He’ll follow his own beliefs, party be damned. Some people find this quirky and refreshing, and it helps him to appeal to the center, while conservatives find it troubling and annoying at best. (Pale, this one’s for you!)

    A lot of women want to see Hillary win the nomination simply because she's a woman, how do you feel about that, and Hillary?

    To borrow from our Yiddish friends, oy vey. My own mil feels this way. It drives me crazy. For blacks and women to turn around and practice the very sort of race and gender politics that they despised in others, is hypocritical and embarrassing to me as a woman. Either you believe the best person should be chosen regardless of race or gender, or you don’t. You can’t have it both ways and have any credibility or integrity. Hmmph. As for Hillary herself, I find her to be as conniving and deceitful a person as I’ve ever seen in American politics. Hillary will always do what is best for Hillary, even as she sits in the Oval Office.

    Do you think Obama has enough experience and leadership to be our next President?

    How could he possibly? Almost all of his short time in Congress, he has spent on the road campaigning.

    Do you think Pastor Wright has hurt his ultimate goal, or do you feel more is being made of it than should be?

    I think Obama’s association with Wright has hurt him tremendously. But I think that Obama’s own words (about rural Pennsylvanians clutching their religion and guns), have hurt him even more. Since the Wright story broke, I have posted several times about how racist and hateful the man sounds. For Obama to sit under his tutelage for 20 years, and call him his mentor, tells me all I really need to know about Obama’s character. And as they say, character counts. Fred Thompson recently mentioned in an interview how a President doesn’t affect hot button issues as much as people think. They do however, nominate Justices and set the tone for the country. Simply put, do we want a man who likes Rev. Wright enough to put him on his campaign staff, have him officiate his wedding, and baptize his children, to be in that office?

    A problem to keep in mind for the future is Iran. There are claims that they are involved with the Iraqi militants, and are being accused of creating nuclear plants for making bombs. How do you think our next President should approach this issue?

    I saw a documentary about Iran several years ago, and I was struck by how intelligent and friendly the people on the streets of Tehran were. And they liked us. That left me with the hope that we could find a way to reach them directly. Unfortunately, the clerics seem to hate us and want just the opposite. I am not expert enough to propose a solution for such an enormous problem as Iranian nuclear capabilities, but I suppose we could just let Israel do what they do best, and stay out of their way, wink wink. Whatever happens, we should keep in mind that the average Iranian is probably fairly reasonable, and we should strive to keep from turning them into enemies with aggressive policies.

    How would you grade George Bush's handling of the Iraq war to date?

    I think GWB had the best of intentions when we invaded Iraq, but I’m not sure his advisors thought it through as fully they should. His lack of personal military experience perhaps made him completely reliant on them. The success of the surge indicates that we should have been more forceful from the start, and it would seem that Rumsfeld was wrong. Our military has done an amazing job nonetheless.

    My first choice for President (and still remains) was Fred Thompson. Your thoughts?

    My first choice was, and remains, Duncan Hunter, but Thompson was always one of my happy alternatives. I have posted that I saw him being interviewed recently, and was so impressed that I felt a sense of loss that he will never be in the White House. You were smart to see that in him from the start. We never do get the best, do we?

    What are your thoughts on Cindy Sheehan trying to take away Nancy Pelosi's seat, and what are her chances?

    I think Cindy is like Nancy’s wacko sister; the one you roll your eyes about at Thanksgiving dinner. Her chances are probably not good, since the Dem machine has disowned her, and is fully supportive of Pelosi (as far as I know). But what fun it would be for us and Jay Leno if she did win!

    Another huge thing on the minds of voters is illegal immigration. What is your stance on this hot topic, and if you were President, how would you handle it going forward?

    Like Duncan Hunter, I’d do my best to get that fence built. Good fences make good neighbors, no? And despite the enormity of the problem, I’d try to start fining employers who hire illegals, and start seriously deporting illegals. A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. I just don’t buy the argument that it’s too large a task so why bother. The act of enforcement will at the very least deter some new people from coming in. And it will show the world that we have the will to enforce our laws and protect ourselves. What a concept!

    I've spent a few years on 2 boards trying to create an environment inviting to all political views, regardless of the members views. It's a difficult task when I'm a conservative myself, but I do try my best to "run" the board impartially. I might be biased when it comes to being a poster, but not when I moderate. Why do you think we ended up with more conservative members thus far? What do you think we can do to increase the membership and even out the affiliations?

    I actually think we attract more liberals than conservatives to the board. The conservative members tend to stick it out, though, so in the end, it may be there are more conservatives. This is my non-moderator opinion, but I think liberals as a group, tend to get more emotional and angry in political discussions. Perhaps that is not conducive to long term debate. Whatever reason liberals leave, it is certainly not based on any bias by you. I can attest to the fact that you ban at least as many conservatives as liberals!

    I sometimes get the urge to hit OCA over the head with a Louisville Slugger. Do you ever get similar urges?

    Hit a Greek? Never! I came to see him as one of the most interesting and intelligent guys on the board, when he isn’t on the hunt, lol.

    Now as for the guy who keeps saying we engineered 9-11, that’s another story.

    Funny you should mention this, though. I was just looking at Carrie Underwood’s video, where she takes a Louisville Slugger to her cheating guy’s car. I must say, it looked like great fun, and I wish I had thought of it when I was in that situation.

    What are your thoughts on the board blog thus far, and what do you think I could do to improve it for everyone?

    Honestly- I keep forgetting it’s there. Sorry! Perhaps an occasional pop-up to remind everyone that it’s there? I don’t feel I can comment until I read it more.

    If there was any one thing you could change about the board, what would it be?

    Can I list two? A few more women to balance out the board would be nice. And less of the personal vendettas ruining perfectly good threads.

    Oh- and I miss Darin and Don (GotZoom)
    Last edited by Abbey; 05-01-2008 at 10:15 AM.
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