September 2004 Archives

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September 30, 2004
Debate Predictions

I predict...

   —   John Kerry will look haughty and French

   —   President Bush will squint and chuckle periodically.

Well, those aren't too hard to guess, really. Here's my way-out prediction:

   —   President Bush will pronounce "nuclear" as "noo-klee-ar" (vice "noo-kyu-ler") for the first time in his life.

That would certainly throw everyone for a loop. I would enjoy the heck out of it, as would most of America, I suspect.

Posted by Russ at 07:45 PM | Comments (1)
Another Forgery?

Using Word for Windows to create a forgery is bad.

Using Photoshop to try to authenticate the forgeries is worse.

I read the professor's "report" (which strikes me as being more like "alternate history" than research). If he were really trying to demonstrate that the forged memos could have been produced by using a typewriter, wouldn't he have been smarter to try the replication using an actual typewriter?

[Unless, of course, the result was predetermined, and the "facts" had to be manufactured to meet that expectation.]

[But a Kerry-donor college professor would never stoop so low, right?]

Update: I include here my comment to Paul's post:

The professor's "report" says at one point

Using the hypothesis established from examining the Bush memos, it becomes possible to create a virtually flawless replica. Please understand, however, the replica is not typed. It is produced by examining and replicating the original font used in the memo. It is not a demonstration that I can type a replica memo, it is a demonstration that the font in the memo is probably Typewriter.

(Emphasis mine.)

What is he trying to prove, that he, too, can create a forgery? And that therefore the CBS documents are authentic?


Update 2: Be sure to read the comments to the post, too. Especially those by the smartest guy I've ever known, John Rylander. Why he's not blogging escapes me completely.

Posted by Russ at 06:13 PM
Reflections on Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Part 8

Note to Angelina: the Hathaway Man look is really only meant for, y'know, men.

Posted by Russ at 02:49 PM
Reflections on Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Part 7

The next time I'm in trouble and need armed and dangerous assistance, I hope it's not Angelina Jolie who comes to help, whether she has an arial armada at her disposal, or not.

Update: Emily Procter, with or without the armada, would be just fine.

Posted by Russ at 06:54 AM
September 29, 2004
Reflections on Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Part 6

The real Sky Captains:

SpaceshipOne Pilots

and the real World of Tomorrow:

SpaceshipOne - captured carry

SpaceshipOne - to the moon!


Posted by Russ at 10:42 AM
Reflections on Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Part 5

I wanted to buy a gallon of sepia at the home improvement center, but they were out. Seems Sky Captain had used it all. Every bit of it.

Posted by Russ at 09:19 AM
September 28, 2004
Reflections on Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Part 4

Gwyneth Paltrow or not, backseat driving is still backseat driving. Even in a P-40 Warhawk.

Especially in a P-40 Warhawk.

Update: I have been chastized for my un-comradeliness for failing to link to this P-40 Warhawk page. I'll expect my axe-wielding assassin in the morning.

Posted by Russ at 05:32 PM
Quote of the Day

Command Sergeant Major Phillip Shriver:

Drop and give me 20.

(as reported by the Army News Service.)

Honorary CSM Shriver is 7 years old.

Link via Blackfive. Read the whole thing, and marvel at the love a kid can have for soldiers — and vice-versa.

Posted by Russ at 03:13 PM | Comments (3)
Reflections on Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Part 3

Is there some new law on the books in Hollywood that says a man may perform high-risk deeds of derring-do only if a woman bails him out at the last minute?

Posted by Russ at 01:21 PM | Comments (2)
Reflections on Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Part 2

Sir Laurence Olivier? OK, I guess... but I could have played that part. For less money, too, I bet.

Posted by Russ at 09:44 AM
September 27, 2004
Reflections on Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

What is it with evil scientists and giant robots, anyway?

Posted by Russ at 10:34 PM | Comments (9)
September 26, 2004
Whisper Campaign

Why hasn't John Kerry signed the Form 180 to have his complete set of military records released? Why no medical records?

It doesn't take much imagination to guess that there's something in his records he doesn't want publicly known, something that would put the lie to the public claims he has made regarding his service in the Navy.

It takes a bit more imagination to guess what, exactly, he wants to keep hidden. Sadly, I'm unimaginitive — my best guess is that there is documentation of his Purple Heart shenanigans in there.

If there is derogatory information in his records, don't we have the right to know?

Posted by Russ at 02:04 PM | Comments (5)
September 23, 2004
Retraction: a How-to Guide

Jim Geraghty, author of the Kerry Spot at National Review Online, shows the right way to do a retraction when an erroneous report is published and disseminated:


Matt Drudge linked to, and Sean Hannity discussed, a posting below. Well, it turns out that the RNC timeline that the posting referred to was wrong, and I dropped the ball for not checking this out. Terry McAuliffe had several press events about President Bush's military record, but he did not - repeat, did NOT - refer to "sugarcoated" the way the memo did.

His first use of the term was in an e-mailed statement that was distributed to reporters as the "60 Minutes II" report was being broadcast. It was based on seeing the memo on CBS News web site.

Again, the fault is entirely mine for not nailing this down. My apologies to all who ran with it.

[Link in the original.]

It has been over two weeks, and CBS and Dan Rather, who have offered mealymouthed weasel-word laden apologies of the "we're sorry we got caught" variety, have yet to offer an actual retraction of their forgery-based Bush/TANG/AWOL hit-piece.

Will they ever publish a retraction? Probably not, if they can avoid it in any way at all. Of course, their credibility is already shot to hell, so there probably isn't much for them to gain there. But they most certainly owe specific and direct apologies to the parties involved:

  • the Killian family, for tarnishing the reputation of their husband and father
  • Colonel Staudt, for suggesting that he would be irresponsible enough to give any substandard officer a "pass"
  • General Hodges, who was misled into authenticating memos he had never seen
  • the document experts whose opinions were either distorted or ignored
  • all the pajama-clad individuals who searched for the truth, only to be labeled partisan hacks
  • Laura Bush, for suggesting that she needed a reason to disbelieve CBS after the memos were shown to be forgeries
  • President Bush, obviously

    and most importantly:

  • the American electorate, for attempting the most stunning fraud in American political history.

Of course, maybe CBS is withholding a retraction because they found out I have a photoshopped graphic ready and waiting for that moment:

I am so amused with myself.

Posted by Russ at 09:05 PM
Not Leaving Well Enough Alone

As a not-to-be-taken-seriously movie, I've always enjoyed The Last Starfighter. It's a fun little movie, notable mainly for it's breakthrough use of computer generated graphics, as well as being the last film performance of the great Robert Preston.

An eminently middle-of-the-road film... but they couldn't leave well enough alone.

'The Last Starfighter', the Musical, Beams Down Into World Premiere in NYC

OK, I'll fess up: I'd go see it. I am, as friends are inclined to point out, such a geek.

Posted by Russ at 12:03 PM | Comments (1)
Quote of the Day
The only difference between Terry McAuliffe and Michael Moore is about 300 pounds.

Roger Stone, on Fox News Live, discussing the Rathergate scandal and his own complete lack of involvement therein, despite McAuliffe's wild speculations.

Posted by Russ at 11:40 AM

During this election cycle, I've heard and read of peoples' concern about their property being vandalized because of their support for Bush, usually in the context of cars being "keyed" because of a bumper sticker, but also the hacking of websites, and the theft or destruction of yard signs (or even a little girl's sign.)

In this context, talk show host Larry Elder publishes a letter from one of his fans.

Last Thursday I put out one of my Bush/Cheney signs in my front yard. Between midnight and 3:00 a.m. someone stole it. On Friday night I put out sign No. 2. Since I didn't have to get up early, I thought my dog and I would "stake out" our sign. This time I put the sign a little closer to the gate leading to my backyard. With my dog on an extra long leash, I planted myself on a lawn chair and read "Unfit for Command" by flashlight until about 1:00 a.m. Here comes the fun part . . .

Go read the rest of it (scroll to the last half of the article) and have a good laugh.

Posted by Russ at 09:57 AM | Comments (7)
September 22, 2004
And Claymore Whisky, too.

Via one of the mailing lists I'm on, What Next? Uzi Bourbon?

The creator of one of the world's most famous guns, the AK-47 assault rifle, launched another weapon in Britain Monday -- Kalashnikov vodka.

Yep, it's a real booze. Here's their website.

A couple comments from my shooting friends:

I wonder if Feinstein, Schumer and Kennedy will try to ban this too??
I think Kennedy may try to get these bottles off the streets by drinking them all...

And the winners:

You can have it, you just can't buy it in high-capacity containers.
... and you're only allowed one shot at a time...

We're such a fun group of guys.

[And yes, there really is a Claymore Whisky. Blended... ugh.]

Update/addendum: The mailing list to which I belong, in a contextually amusing conflation of guns and booze, is called "shooters." Hard to go wrong with that.

Posted by Russ at 03:14 PM | Comments (2)
"Quote" of the Day

Rather and Kurtz:

“Give it to me straight, flatfoot,” I demanded. “What in the name of Edward R. Murrow is going on here?”

“I’m saying you’ve been played like a pawn shop fiddle, Rather. Set up. Conned. Slipped a mickey.”

“What are you implying Kurtz?”

“Snookered. Bamboozled. Flimflammed. They sold you a first class ticket to the Palookaville snipe hunt on the Gullible Express.”

“And so you’re saying….”

“You’ve been duped, Danny. Fooled. Had. You were wedgied, pantsed, and paraded around town in your skidmarked B.V.D.s. ”

“Stop talking in code, Howie,” I snapped. “I need the truth!”

It could only be Iowahawk. You must, without fail, read the whole thing.

Posted by Russ at 01:54 PM
September 21, 2004
I Got Nuthin'

I spent most of the day helping a relative try to fix a hijacked browser. Gads.

Virus writers, spammers, crackers: hangin's too good for 'em. But it'll have to do.

So I've posted nothing whatsoever until now, and I'm still getting traffic at levels comparable to my busier days (which, compared to the big dogs of the blogosphere, ain't that busy.) (Or even compared to the middle-sized dogs.)

I'm getting traffic today from search engines. Everyone does, but sometimes people search for things that can cause a traffic spike. Here are the last 20 search engine queries that have brought people to this site:

   "jonah's military"
   Eugen Armstrong beheading
   beheading of eugen armstrong
   eugen armstrong beheading in iraq
   eugen armstrong beheading
   eugene armstrong beheading
   watch the beheading of eugen armstrong
   spirit of the bayonet
   saddam trial
   emersons lumber
   Eugen Armstrong beheading
   "miserable failure"
   john kerry sailboarding
   iraqi tv
   rico statutes
   "Katherine J. Lopez"
   eugen armstrong beheading
   beheading of Eugene Armstrong
   california bmg cartridge

See a trend here? (Apart from the fact that a lot of people can't spell "Eugene"?) The odd thing is that I haven't written squat about recent terrorist murders of civilians in Iraq.

So if you're one of the snuff junkies looking for video of a real murder: get bent, you perverts.

In other Google-related news, after more than a year at the top, I've dropped to #2 in the search for "Thomas Friedman idiot".

Update, 9/24: Back to #1.

Posted by Russ at 08:55 PM | Comments (3)
September 20, 2004
Carnival of the Cats

Not having a cat of my own, I wouldn't have expected to ever participate in the weekly Carnival of the Cats. Thanks for the link, Gir.

[I have to admit, though: this pic of my sister's kitten (one of a pair of little furballs) is just about the cutest darn thing I've ever seen.]

Posted by Russ at 05:22 PM | Comments (2)

Yay! Blogrolling is working properly again!

At least, it appears to be working again... time will tell.

Posted by Russ at 04:09 PM
About Time?

Finally? Well, no.

Is CBS retracting their fraudulent forgery-based story?

Well, no — no retraction per se — yet. They claim to have been duped, in what I presume is an attempt to relieve themselves of a modicum of responsibility for their slander. But in this case, if CBS was a dupe, it was a willing dupe.

What Dan Rather won't say is what everyone else in the country knows by now, that the documents are forgeries, though he does acknowledge that the provenance of the forgeries is yet an issue:

Now, after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically. I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers. That, combined with some of the questions that have been raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where—if I knew then what I know now—I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question.

[Interesting speculation on the documents' origin from Allah and Jeff Goldstein.]

Though not (yet?) retracting the substance of the story, they now admit to having no evidence to back it up. Perhaps they think if there are no facts, they can't be fact-checked.

When the first evidence of forgery came out, I briefly (10 seconds, max) had in mind the old saying never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity. Certainly CBS was stupid, but deliberately and maliciously so; the phrase "reckless disregard for the truth" was coined precisely for episodes such as this.

Now having been caught in their obstinate malice, they're putting on their dunce caps. But it's far, far too late for that. We're onto them.

Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin.

Of course, not too many years ago, it might have taken weeks or months for a network to make an admission of error, nevermind a full retraction. In an even earlier time, no such admission would ever have come, and the lies would stand as part of the historical record.

That it has taken CBS almost two weeks to even hint that their reporting was flawed says volumes about them and their rooted-in-the-20th-century attitudes towards their audience and its power. The lesson thus far from this entire sordid episode: fraud will not go unchallenged. Reportorial laziness and stupidity will be pounced upon and torn to shreds.

In the future, I expect we'll more frequently hear echoes of a line from Tom Clancy: "Why should I trust you? You're a reporter."

Heads should roll at CBS. I'm not confident that they will — not the right heads, at least. Pity the poor junior staffers.

See also:

Update: Don't miss the commentary at JustOneMinute, either.

Posted by Russ at 03:20 PM

In late 1990 or early 1991, shortly after my return from Korea to stateside duty, and during the windup to Gulf War 1, the call went out in our unit for volunteers to go to the Persian Gulf theater to do classified work in various headquarters elements.

This was unusual in that our division (7th Infantry) was tasked for deployment to Korea in case something happened while the bulk of the Army was otherwise engaged in the sandbox.

The only requirement for the volunteers was the appropriately high security clearance, and due to the nature of our unit (107th MI Battalion) pretty nearly everyone had the necessary clearance.

Our company commander, or maybe it was our first sergeant, made the call for volunteers one morning during first formation.

"Let me see a show of hands... Koreans put your hands down!"

Those of us who were Korean linguists were not allowed to volunteer to go to the war zone. About twenty of us — yes, yours truly included — already had our hands up and had to lower them.

So now, what I get to say about my service is that I am a Gulf War Era veteran.

[Ultimately, only six from our company were sent over, where they acted as classified file clerks in Schwartzkopf's headquarters, I think. Six months later, they came back with a bunch of medals and service ribbons, and a combat patch on their sleeve. <shrug>]

Roll back the calendar to the early 1970s, and consider the "Palace Alert" program.

Col. William Campenni:

The mission of the 147th Fighter Group and its subordinate 111th FIS, Texas ANG, and the airplane it possessed, the F-102, was air defense. It was focused on defending the continental United States from Soviet nuclear bombers. The F-102 could not drop bombs and would have been useless in Vietnam. A pilot program using ANG volunteer pilots in F-102s (called Palace Alert) was scrapped quickly after the airplane proved to be unsuitable to the war effort. Ironically, Lt. Bush did inquire about this program but was advised by an ANG supervisor (Maj. Maurice Udell, retired) that he did not have the desired experience (500 hours) at the time and that the program was winding down and not accepting more volunteers.

This morning on Fox & Friends, E. D. Hill interviewed Colonel Earl Lively, TANG (ret.)

E. D. Hill: We're rejoined by Colonel Earl Lively, and just to set it up, he spoke to the person who was directly above the Colonel who allegedly wrote these memos [COL Killian - ed] regarding George Bush, and he talked to the person directly below him as well. That person is now deceased, so the person above and below would have the most knowledge.

You say that they both told you that President Bush volunteered to go on a tour of rotation in Vietnam, and I haven't heard that before. What did they tell you, exactly?

COL Lively: Well, they had a program called Palace Alert where Air National Guard F-102s were rotated to Vietnam to fly cover for the fighter-bombers. And, well, people talk about the Air National Guard not being in Vietnam. They had a presence there, and the F-102 did actually go. General Hodges himself went on a tour, and they had people volunteer for that, and Lieutenant Bush, [Colonel] Via said LT Bush volunteered and everyone I've talked to said he did, but they were only taking their most experienced pilots, long-time pilots who had experience in air-to-air combat tactics and he was refused. Killian's sons said that his father told him that and Colonel Via told me that again yesterday.

Don't try to tell me that LT Bush joined the Texas Air National Guard to avoid going to Vietnam. It looks to me like he raised his hand, only to be told "no."

Update, 9/27/04: Russell Wardlow comments. So does Bill Hobbs.

Posted by Russ at 08:50 AM
September 19, 2004
That, Or Expectoration

Aaarrr, matey.

Posted by Russ at 12:48 PM
September 18, 2004

Well, this was inevitable.

   Macaulay Culkin Drug Bust

I have a suggestion for all those parents pushing their kids into show business: drop dead.

OK, if you won't do that, at least do your kid a favor: ship them off to a good military school between gigs.

Posted by Russ at 02:52 AM | Comments (5)
September 17, 2004
Missing in Action

None of the usual liberal pundits were on in the analysis segment of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume tonight. Typically, either Mara Liasson or Juan Williams of NPR (or both) are on the panel. Tonight, neither — nor was there a "liberal replacement."

I can only presume that they went into convulsions when they heard about this:

"[Bush] didn't use political influence to get into the Air National Guard. I don't know how they would know that, because I was the one who did it and I was the one who was there and I didn't talk to any of them."

"He was highly qualified. He passed all the scrutiny and tests he was given."

"No one called me about taking George Bush into the Air National Guard. It was my decision. I swore him in. I never heard anything from anybody."

Though if Juan's behaviour over the past week is any indication, his head might have exploded.

Posted by Russ at 07:03 PM | Comments (1)
Remember to Remember

Amidst all the highly-charged turmoil of this political season, it's important that we take time out for the truly important things.

Things like Talk Like A Pirate Day on the 19th — this Sunday.


Posted by Russ at 03:53 PM | Comments (1)
Slow Site Loading

As you may have noticed, the blogrolls on this site have a significant load delay... if they load at all.

Looks to me like the server migration didn't go quite as well as planned.

Posted by Russ at 11:46 AM | Comments (2)
September 16, 2004
Rank Abbreviations

Allah discusses the rank abbreviations used in the CBS forgeries.

Back in the late '70s my Army ROTC commander abbreviated his rank "Lt Col," not "LTC." I'm sure if I went through my Mom's attic I could find a document with his signature block on it, but I'm not flying cross-country to do so.

So I googled for Vietnam-era documents to find which abbreviations were commonly used at the time. I looked specifically for Army after-action reports.

It took me only a few minutes to find examples of both types of abbreviation in use in the historical documents. Interestingly (?), most of the signature blocks in the (admittedly few) documents I looked at had the officers' ranks spelled out in full, followed by their branch of service. Example:

John Smith
Colonel, Infantry

I don't think any conclusion of any kind whatsoever can be drawn about the author of the forged documents merely from the use of "Lt Col" or "1st Lt" vice "LTC" or "1LT." Both styles appear to have been in common use 30-40 years ago. I am, however, open to suggestions or counter-arguments.

Posted by Russ at 05:41 AM | Comments (1)
September 15, 2004
Sweet Sweet Serendipity

Hello, Life? Yes, I'd like an order of the Serendipitous Synchronicity, with a side of Schadenfreude.

[Penalty, on the offense. Bad Alliteration. 5 yards and loss of down.]

Having finished with the nightly news, and reading the summaries thereof from the many sites listed on my blogroll, I turned to my Tivo Time Warner Cable Digital Video Recorder to watch the Simpsons (on twice nightly hereabouts.)

Admit it — you do it too. Or you would, if you had a Tivo TWCDVR.

As it started, I thought I'd made a mistake programming the recorder. I was watching the CBS Evening News:

The following tale ... is true. And by true, I mean false. It's all lies, but they're entertaining lies, and in the end isn't that the real truth?

Actually, it was The Simpsons episode "The Springfield Files," introduced by Leonard Nimoy and guest starring Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny.

Hello, I'm Leonard Nimoy.

The following tale of alien encounters is true. And by true, I mean false. It's all lies, but they're entertaining lies, and in the end isn't that the real truth? The answer... is no.

Sometimes the really tasty bits of Life just fall out of the sky and land on your plate, just in time for dinner.

Update: It's nice to get a tasty bit here or there. An Instalanche would have been nice, too.

Posted by Russ at 07:53 PM
Truth Delayed

CBS News President Andrew Heyward, via Allah:

We established to our satisfaction that the memos were accurate or we would not have put them on television. There was a great deal of coroborating [sic] evidence from people in a position to know. Having said that, given all the questions about them, we believe we should redouble our efforts to answer those questions, so that's what we are doing.

I'm going to give Heyward the benefit of the doubt here and presume he means that the questions he wants answered are those about the authenticity of the memos rather than the questions raised by the phony memos.

Not so long ago, it would have taken weeks or months for a retraction. In an even earlier time, no retraction would ever have come, and the lies would stand as part of the historical record.

Looks like the truth on this story will have to wait a while, too.

Questions remaining for CBS and Dan Rather: How long will you continue to support this fraud? Who gave you the forgeries?

We're waiting.

Update: Hey! That does say "accurate," not "authentic." I retract my "benefit of the doubt" statement, based on their weasel-words.

Somehow, I get the impression that CBS is doing its utmost to turn Rather into television news' version of Walter Duranty.

Update 2: That's what I meant to say. Really. I was gonna... but... I ran out of gas. I, I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts. It wasn't my fault!

Posted by Russ at 06:30 PM | Comments (1)

CBS has kept us waiting a while for whatever it is they're supposed to be saying about the forged memo story. First it was noon, then 3:30pm, then 5pm, and still nothing.

They're not showing up to do their duty. They're AWOL.

Posted by Russ at 05:32 PM
September 14, 2004
Pajama Blogging

I blog in what might be euphemistically referred to as "casual attire." I don't own pajamas, nor have I worn them since I was a kid.

Ith has the right idea. Well, you wouldn't catch me in them, but I'm sure they look fine on the wimmen-folk.

I'll just settle for a new main-page banner.

Update: this is more like the kind of pajamas I'd wear. If I wore pajamas. Which I don't.

Posted by Russ at 03:13 PM | Comments (2)
September 13, 2004
Moment of Unbearable Cuteness

As a break from any pretense of seriousness here, I present a pic my sister sent me of one of her new kittens, "Bubba."

(Yes, "Bubba." Hey, cut her some slack - she's a Tennesseean now.)


That's one dandy little lion.

Posted by Russ at 08:16 PM | Comments (5)
CBS Forgery Roundup

I see I'm getting a lot of traffic from various search engines — folks searching for information on Rathergate. Thanks for dropping by.

There are better sites to go to — people doing a first-class job of info-collecting and reporting. Pretty much everything you want to know can be found at these excellent sites:

Plenty of information and links available at all those sites.

[No pajamas here. Gym shorts, t-shirt, and Acorn slipper socks.]

Posted by Russ at 07:17 PM | Comments (1)

The noted evil Puppy Blender now has a bit of competition.

The difference, though, is that I'm pretty sure Ith doesn't like it one little bit.

Posted by Russ at 02:21 PM | Comments (2)
Spit Back

Barbara Stock at, on Vietnam Veterans:

Satisfaction and hopefully peace will come when Vietnam vets see and hear John F. Kerry give his concession speech the night of November 2, 2004 with the knowledge that it was their votes that helped defeat him. There are approximately 2.5 million Vietnam veterans in America and they have not forgotten.

Kerry denied them their rightful place as heroes and they will deny him his dream of the presidency. Angry Vietnam veterans, silent for so long, will finally have their say. Payment in full will be delivered to John Kerry on November 2, 2004.

On November 2, Vietnam veterans will have their opportunity to dish out some payback to the one man who did the most to defile their honorable service, the one man most responsible for their shoddy treatment at the hands of "peace" protesters upon their return home.

Soon, Kerry will know what it's like to be spat upon.

(link via Florida Cracker)

Posted by Russ at 01:08 PM | Comments (1)
September 12, 2004
Sec. 912

United States Code, Title 18, Section 912:

Whoever falsely assumes or pretends to be an officer or employee acting under the authority of the United States or any department, agency or officer thereof, and acts as such, or in such pretended character demands or obtains any money, paper, document, or thing of value, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both

So... does forging a document in the guise of a Texas Air National Guard officer with the intent of obtaining a thing of value (to wit, the Presidency) count as a violation of this section of the U.S. Code?

Sometimes I wish I knew more about the Law.

Update: does "obtain" mean only for one's self? Can it mean for one's friends, family, or associates? I presume so.

Can it be interpreted to mean to deprive another person of a thing of value? I have no idea.

See? That's why I wish I knew more about the Law right about now.

(Inspired by this followup to this post at JustOneMinute.)

Update, 16Sep04: Bill notes the laws — Federal and Texas — on forgery.

Posted by Russ at 01:36 AM
September 11, 2004
Three Years Gone By

Blogs For Bush is running 9/11 remembrances all through the day today. Go there and keep scrolling down - and be sure to check back frequently during the day as more posts are added.

Here's my contribution.


One morning while working from home I turned on the TV in time to see one of the World Trade Towers burning. As I watched, an airliner slammed into the second tower; in that second, the world changed.

No, that's not right. The world didn't change — we all woke up.

As events unfolded, I could only think of the people trapped by the fire, and I wondered how the authorities would evacuate so many people. Helicopters on the roof, I figured.

Then the towers fell. A plane had crashed into the Pentagon, and everyone expected there would be more attacks.

Our "vacation from history" was over, and we were at war. Against whom didn't quite matter at that moment.

Remember the preliminary casualty estimates? Numbers upwards of 30,000 were cited that morning. The shock I felt could only have been the merest shade of the horror and despair felt by the families of the victims watching on TV, wondering if their loved ones had escaped... or wondering if the body falling from the tower was their family member.

Three years later, we count ourselves fortunate that "only" 3,000 died on 9/11.

From that day and in the three years since, we have learned of acts of incredible courage and steadfastness, starting with Todd Beemer and his fellow passengers on Flight 93, continued by the people who stopped Richard Reid's deadly plot, carried on by men leaping into the darkness over Afghanistan, with leaders like GEN Tommy Franks, and continuing today with all our armed forces.

We are also fortunate that the man in the White House is a man of moral courage and intestinal fortitude, who knows that doing the right thing should not be subject to an opinion poll.

Since 9/11, the war on terrorists and terrorist states has gone very well overall, with few mistakes and a blessedly low casualty rate for our soldiers. We have also been lucky enough — and good enough — not to have suffered another attack approaching the magnitude of 9/11.

The lesson I take from all this is that we can never again allow ourselves to nap through history; it has a way of catching up with us, and when it does, it will take all our skill, intelligence and courage to face it down. The bad guys, present and future, may get lucky again some day, but real Americans are made of stern stuff. No matter the setbacks we may face in the future, we will ultimately win.

Posted by Russ at 12:58 PM | Comments (1)
September 10, 2004

I would like to know:

  • Forgery is a crime, right?
  • Wouldn't forging of military documents be a federal crime?
  • Isn't fraud a crime, even in the context of "political dirty tricks"?
  • What part of "free speech" protects deliberate falsehoods?
  • Where and how does the crime of "conspiracy to commit [xyz]" enter into it?


  • Who is going to end up facing the music for the CBS forgery scandal?

Their protestations notwithstanding, things look bad for the folks at CBS.

Egads... I hate to say it, but I think I would need to ask a lawyer to get the answers to these questions.

Update: I'm not the only one wondering.

Posted by Russ at 01:19 PM
Quote of the Day

On the developing Rather/CBS/forgery scandal:

I haven't mainlined this much schadenfreude since Robert Fisk was beaten by a Pakistani Mob.

John Bono of MOTGS, in a comment thread at Roger L. Simon's place.

Posted by Russ at 10:34 AM
Do a Little Good

Chief Wiggles needs an assist. It's important.

Posted by Russ at 09:12 AM

To: Dan Rather
CC: Chairman, Federal Elections Commission

It's pretty clear that your source (the Kerry campaign?) for the Bush memos has burned you. Badly.

If there's one thing I know journalists don't like, it's being "played" by their sources.

(Played unwillingly or unknowingly, I should note — many in the mainstream media seem to have no problem at all "playing ball" with certain political factions in this country.)

Dan, you went along with the story. We all know why — all protestations to the contrary, you are a partisan, and willingly took the bait, hook, line, sinker, rod and reel. I'll bet you feel like a complete putz (at the very least.) You ignored the old saying, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

You also ignored your primary responsibility: to tell the truth. You have, in fact, been made into a tool of the Democrat Party, in essence giving them free campaign season advertising for their scurrilous lies.

This being the 21st century, it is no longer fashionable for a disgraced man to take a bottle of liquor and a revolver into a room and close the door behind him to "do the honorable thing." In this day and age your only honorable option, Mr. Rather, is to offer an apology and immediately submit your resignation.

But that's not enough. When you have to make your public retraction and apology for the false story based on the forged documents, you should take the opportunity to issue a little payback.

Name your source, Dan. Tell us all where you got the forged documents.

Burn him, Dan — publicly.

Subject him to the opprobrium of the journalistic profession. Let Americans know who has deceived them, so that his word is ever after worthless to anyone with any appreciation whatsoever of Truthfulness.

Sure, some will treat that person as a hero. "Nice try," they'll say, "too bad you got caught." Michael Moore will no doubt be signed to direct the bio-pic.

I want to see who comes to the defense of your source, Mr. Rather. I want to know who it is that will excuse this inexcusable behavior.

Do the right thing, Dan. You have the opportunity. Tell us the truth — the whole truth.

Posted by Russ at 09:00 AM | Comments (2)
Good Questions

The question that has (mostly) gone unasked about the CBS documents: who created the forgeries?

I wouldn't dare narrow it down further than "Democrat operatives." I'm fairly sure no one actually in the employ of CBS created the forgeries (but only fairly sure.)

I have another question that needs an answer: what is the criminal penalty for forging a military document? No less than for burglary, I would imagine. Forget the libel or slander (only for the nonce)... someone needs to go to jail for this.

It's hard to argue with the Commissar's take on the matter.

Posted by Russ at 01:00 AM
September 09, 2004
Finding a DDO

This being the political season, we can expect to see the Suspiciously Timed Release (STR) of Documents of Dubious Origin (DDO) more and more as we proceed towards election day.

The memoranda used by CBS certainly qualify as DDO.

Clearly, "finding" old documents (memoranda, files, photos and so on) is an activity in which we as Americans all have the right — nay, the duty — to participate.

John Hawkins has found another document from CBS.

Here's the one I found stuck to the back of my DD-214:


(Click for full size.)

I encourage you all to go out and find documents of particular interest, post them to the web, and let me know about them.

If you have a request for a particular incriminating document to be found, I'm sure someone can oblige.

Update: Jay has one, too. As does the Commissar.

Update 2: And let's not forget ScrappleFace.

Posted by Russ at 08:52 PM

No typewriter I've ever seen has a superscript "th", as used in such words as "187th."

Nor, might I add, did any typewriter have a superscript "st" (as in "121st"), "nd" ("102nd") or "rd" ("123rd").

Back then, we just rolled the platen half a line up or down for a super- or sub-script.

Just sayin', is all....

Posted by Russ at 06:17 PM | Comments (4)
September 08, 2004
Guilty Until Proven Innocent. And Probably After, Too.

The Left bleats, but for all their raving, it isn't Ashcroft who's conducting "show trials" in this country.

Neither is it Rumsfeld, Cheney, nor a cabal of Halliburton executives.

You'd think it would be this guy, but no.

It certainly isn't Bush. Quite the contrary.

It's the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and 60 Minutes II conducting the kangaroo court. Bush is the one on trial for alleged "crimes" of one sort or another.

I thought we had a rule about double-jeopardy in this country. How many times can the same old discredited lies and smears be re-used?

Update: Do you suppose this article:

   Sharon Bush Denies Kitty Kelley Account

will get as much air time as the smears? Don't count on it.

Update 2: Did CBS use forged documents? Oh, this just keeps getting better and better and better.

Posted by Russ at 11:38 PM
September 07, 2004

Anyone remember Paul Tsongas?

He was the Massachussets Democrat (former) Senator who left the Senate in 1984 to deal with cancer. John Kerry was elected to the open seat.

In 1992, he was deemed healthy enough to re-enter politics, and ran in the presidential primary campaign. Not being economically liberal enough for the majority of Democrats, he lost to Bill Clinton. He was, from all the accounts I've heard, a decent fellow.

During the '92 campaign, his earlier battle against cancer was — rightly, to my way of thinking — an issue. Americans prefer that their candidates be in good health.

In 2003, Tsongas' successor in the Senate, John Kerry, underwent surgery to remove his cancerous prostate gland. We have yet to get any glimpse whatsoever of Kerry's medical records.

Meanwhile, like the previous JFK, Kerry spends a great deal of time being photographed while engaged in vigorous pursuits — in Kerry's case: skiing (and cussing at Secret Service Agents), bicycling, sailboarding, shooting.

Robert Musil notes:

So why does Senator Kerry bring the media along on his sporting jaunts so often, even with a potential downside so obvious and potentially serious and sometimes clearly experienced? Certainly some physical activity helps present the image of a vigorous leader. But the current and most past presidents have not felt the need to go beyond taking the media along on presidential jogs or periodic wood chopping on the ranch. Why does John Kerry go so much further?

Well, one thing an over-documented sporting life has been used for in the past is to conceal serious health problems - with the most notorious example being John F. Kerry's idol, John F. Kennedy. John Kennedy is now known to have been a very sick man, with a seriously injured back and Addison disease, among other problems. At critical points in his term he was impaired by powerful painkilling and anti-inflammatory drugs. It is now also known that John Kennedy and his organization used an ultra-active media campaign depicting Mr. Kennedy in sporting and physical activities to distract attention and counter adverse consequences arising from his precarious health.

(Emphasis in the original; link via JustOneMinute.)

After the 1992 primary campaign, Paul Tsongas lived just five years. The cancer that everyone thought he had beaten finally killed him. He was only 55 years old.

It's time for Kerry to release his medical records.

Posted by Russ at 11:13 PM | Comments (5)
Well, That Didn't Take Long

No sooner do I point out that mud is certain to be flung at Bush, than we see this tripe:

Author Kitty Kelley says in her biography The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty, that the US President first used coke at university in the mid-1960s.

She quotes his former sister-in-law Sharon Bush who claims: "Bush did coke at Camp David when his father was President, and not just once either."

Kelley, who alongside Oliver Stone and Michael Moore can be counted on to lend whole new nuances of meaning to the words "truthful" and "accurate," had to go to a former sister-in-law to find someone to make the allegation. A disgruntled former sister-in-law, no less.

Perhaps Kelley's business card should include a motto along the lines of "If you have an axe to grind, I have the whetstone."

Posted by Russ at 11:30 AM
September 06, 2004
Don't Get Cocky

Folks, there's been a lot of good news in the few days since the convention, and a lot of news that may turn out to favor the President's campaign.

  • The President appears to have received a decent bounce in the polls.
  • The electoral vote count has shifted towards Bush.
  • The Kerry campaign is melting down so hard and so fast that it makes Chernobyl look like a candle dripping wax.

And that's just the news we know about already... but....


We have yet to see the full venom, wrath, bile [Harsh language alert! - Ed.] and dirty tricks of the Kerry camp unleashed. They will try their usual smears, and they will repeat old and new canards with, we can expect, the help of their allies in the mainstream media. We have to remain on the lookout for those attacks, and vigorously defend against them.

At the same time, the best defense is a good offense. No, I am not suggesting that we make things up about Kerry. Indeed, nothing could hurt our credibility more.

The difference between their candidate and ours, though, is that we don't have to make things up. All we have to do is point out the truth.

Folks, it's still a long way until Election Day. A surge like we've seen is no reason to call it a win, no reason to declare victory. As they say, the only poll that matters is going to be on the 2nd of November.

As the great Yogi Berra said, "it ain't over 'til it's over." Optimism is a great thing, but don't get cocky.

So until Election Day: keep charging, keep speaking up, keep moving forward, keep fighting. Make a contribution, start your own blog, or volunteer to work for the campaign.

Then, on the 3rd of November, we can all take a deep breath and relax, secure in the knowledge of a job well done.

[Cross-posted at Blogs For Bush.]

Posted by Russ at 02:21 PM | Comments (1)
September 05, 2004
The Friend of My Enemy...

... is my enemy.

[Italian diplomats] say that France's intelligence services used an Italian-born middle-man to circulate a mixture of genuine and bogus documents to "trap" the two leading proponents of war with Saddam into making unsupportable claims.

Golly... I wonder why?

According to an account given to The Sunday Telegraph, France was driven by "a cold desire to protect their privileged, dominant trading relationship with Saddam, which in the case of war would have been at risk".

I'll bet the folks in the prosecutor's office of the International Criminal Court would like to have a chat with Jacques Chirac and Dominique DeVillepan (who is a man).

Oh. No, I guess they wouldn't.

Via Mr. Minority.

Posted by Russ at 01:03 PM
Quote(s) of the Day

Doug Giles is on fire in his Saturday column at

On John Flipper Kerry:

If he didn't have his wife's late husband's money to prop up his feckless political career or Doug Brinkley's plastic surgical biographical skills to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, he would be working at a Border's bookstore, hosting their "Americans for Socialism" poetry read during Tuesday's Open Mike Night.

On Rudy Giuliani:

What kind of sweat is entailed in getting the liberals' teetering moderate constituency to look away from Giuliani who might differ from President Bush on social issues but properly gives them a backseat to the main cause at hand: the war on terror?

On Laura Bush:

Laura Bush could have read beef jerky recipes, yodeled, gargled with Listerine and played the spoons and still come off better than Teresa Heinz Janis Joplin Kerry did at the Democrats' convention.

On Zell Miller:

To have a Democrat systematically pull their wet noodle candidate apart like an eagle on a rabbit carcass, probably leaves a stubborn Democrat no other recourse or relief than sucking on a brew or ten.

In summary:

Bush's double-digit lead in the polls boils down to the fact that in the midst of our social and fiscal differences, we understand something that the left doesn't seem to get: we are at war....

Not a bad column, not bad at all.

Posted by Russ at 12:29 PM
September 04, 2004

At Command Post, a timeline of the terrorist atrocity in Russia.

They killed over a hundred kids. Blew them up. Shot them in the back as they fled.

As for the terrorists and their supporters... I'm not in the "kill them all — let God sort them out" camp, but I'm more inclined than ever to keep directions to the campground handy.

Posted by Russ at 10:21 PM | Comments (1)
Understanding Freedom Fighters

I've already thown up enough in the last 24 hours. If I hadn't, I'd be likely to take David Kaspar's advice.

(Via Glenn, who has a roundup on the Russian situation.)

Posted by Russ at 02:00 AM | Comments (1)

The last 24 hours have sucked. Side effects from the gout medication were awful. I think I spent 16 of the last 24 hours in the bathroom. (But it's still better than the gout.)

Then, I ran a fever all afternoon and evening; I finally broke it about half an hour ago with the assistance of sweatshirt, sweatpants, slipper-socks, and four heavy blankets. I'm still drenched with sweat.

I think I might just survive.

I'm pretty sure I haven't slept more than 6 of the last 48 hours. I did drift off this evening, though, and had the weirdest dream.

It was the last night of the GOP Convention, and as all the delegates were preparing to return to their hometowns, a bio-weapon with a long incubation time was released by terrorists.

How my dream-self knew this was the case is beyond me; dreams are weird.

I don't remember the middle of the dream, except that it involved force fields subdividing the continent to contain the plague; dreams are weird.

My fever broke, and the dream ended with the cities of Teheran and Damascus incinerated; dreams are weird.

And scary.

Posted by Russ at 01:51 AM | Comments (3)
September 03, 2004

I dislike Bill Clinton. Intensely dislike Bill Clinton and virtually everything he stands for. But I don't hate the guy.

I was a few years younger than Chelsea is now when my own father had his first heart attack. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

So, best wishes for a speedy recovery, Mr. Clinton.

Posted by Russ at 01:14 PM | Comments (3)

Some of the side effects of the gout remedy colchicine:

Vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea may occur with colchicine therapy, especially when maximal doses are necessary for a therapeutic effect.

Or, in other words:

Everybody out! Two exits! No waiting!

I feel like I've been through a wringer. But it's still better than the gout pain.

Posted by Russ at 06:09 AM | Comments (4)
September 02, 2004
Quote of the Day (but not year)

Ralph Peters:

Kerry's so shameless that he once again tried to associate himself with John McCain.... But Kerry's brother-in-arms isn't Sen. McCain. It's the naval hero of Chappaquiddick.

Excuse me while I guffaw.

Posted by Russ at 08:22 PM
Stunning Medical Breakthrough!

From l'Agence France-Presse, via Yahoo:

Cup of urine a day keeps ailments at bay

Thanks anyway — I'll take my chances without it.

Posted by Russ at 04:27 PM | Comments (2)
Quote of the Year Candidate

Southern gentleman and Senator from Georgia Zell Miller:

I wish we lived in the days where you could challenge a person to a duel.

to Democrat shill Chris Matthews.

[More feistiness and a video available at The Washington Dispatch.]

Posted by Russ at 09:04 AM | Comments (1)
Less Estrich, Please

Have I mentioned Fox News commentator Susan Estrich recently? I have? Indeed I have.

Each night during the Republican Convention, Greta van Sussussterusterenenenen... whatever... asks Estrich what she thought of the major speeches, and — predictable as Old Faithful — Estrich gives each speaker low marks, as if wishing could make it so.

Zell Miller came in for harsh criticism tonight, of course — because, as I noted before, Estrich is a complete left-wing hack. Rather than merely disagreeing with the speeches or offering meaningful criticism, she engages in character assassination; she is useless for substantive commentary.

This coming from a woman so politically astute she actually managed a presidential campaign.

Michael Dukakis' 1984 (oops!) 1988 campaign, in fact. You might remember that one: one of the biggest losses ever in presidential election history.

Did I say astute? I meant obtuse.

Her sheer abrasiveness and (not to put too fine a point on it) unattractiveness is the best possible evidence of Fox News Channel's alleged conservative bias, short of Brit Hume doing a broadcast wearing a W'04 button on his lapel and matching face paint, waving a "W" poster and interrupting his guests with occasional interjections of "Four More Years!"

Susan, your day in the sun ended in 1988. Leave political commentary to the serious adults.

[Instapundit likes her, though. There's no accounting for taste.]

Posted by Russ at 01:06 AM | Comments (1)
September 01, 2004
Zell! Zell! Zell!

Ya. Oh, ya.

Update: Butt ointment? Well, yes... someone definitely got reamed.

Posted by Russ at 11:06 PM | Comments (1)
It figures

I'm not quite ready to remove my foot...

... yet.

I knew it would happen again. Naturally, I have no medication. Good thing my doc can see me on short notice.

Update: Yes, I'm talking about gout. No, I'm not 80 years old... it just feels that way some days.

Posted by Russ at 12:40 PM | Comments (2)

What I said last night — doubled, and in spades.

Posted by Russ at 12:25 AM