So Palin's daughter is preggers. While this isn't something most people are glad to hear, they way it's being handled by the Palin family seems exactly right.
"Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support," the Palins said.Compare that to Obama's answer to a hypothetically similar situation:
Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old," he said. "I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."Punished." That speaks volumes. He ought to be grateful his own mother didn't feel having him was a punishment.
About this kid who knocked up Palin's daughter, consider: she's the governor's daughter; her dad is as tough as men come. Fooling around with their daughter would have to have been an extreme act either of foolishness or dedication.
Either way, that boy must have brass cojones the size of Joe Biden's head.
And the child of such a union... I'll bet a dollar he ends up being named Kal-El.
Jackie and Dunlap discuss Sarah Palin.
"At the very least he prevented a grateful nation from having to learn anything at all about Tim Pawlenty." That's funny right there. (No offense to Gov. Pawlenty, of course.)
McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate has already had a number of effects on the campaign.
- Mainly, I won't need to be stinking drunk to pull the lever for McCain.
- The base, which has been pretty cheesed off at McCain, is now enthused.
- Donations in the 24 hours after Palin joined the ticket exceeded seven million dollars. In one day. Seven. Million. Dollars. That includes the contribution I made. I never thought I'd give a dime.
- Early results indicate a dampening of Obama's expected post-convention bounce in the polls.
There are losers a-plenty after this.
- Hillary!, who wasn't even vetted by the Obama campaign, and who, if either Obama or McCain win two terms, will be 70 years old come Election Day 2016. She's hard enough to look at now; eight more years won't do her any favors.
- Joe "his mouth runneth over" Biden. He's about to have his ass handed to him by a woman who was in grade school when he first went to the Senate.
- Mitt Romney. I actually feel a bit sorry for the guy, but he still has a future in politics, or in any other endeavor he chooses. He's a remarkable guy; any Republican who can win a race in Massachussetts can probably take care of himself.
However, the biggest loser to come out of the Palin candidacy is none other than our former North Carolina senator, John Edwards.
- He can no longer claim to be the prettiest VP candidate in our history.
- In fact, he was never the prettiest — that honor used to go to Garret Hobart. Just try to tell me I'm wrong.
- He can, however, still claim to have the poofiest hair of any VP candidate.
- That claim, though, would also be inaccurate. The honors go to Richard M. Johnson.
One claim he can make, accurately, would be to having the thinnest resumé of any VP candidate in recent history. Six years as our NC junior senator, with one of the highest absenteeism rates ever recorded, is nothing compared to Palin's record of leadership and accomplishment.
He certainly was of no help to the Kerry '04 campaign, which won neither Edwards' adopted home state of North Carolina, nor his actual home state, South Carolina. Not so much "favorite son" as "favorite SOB."
Plus, of course, had he not been the VP candidate, polling indicated that he would almost certainly have lost a 2004 senatorial reelection bid.
But I don't think he's quite dumb enough to brag about any of that.
Yaaarrrr.... it's the Pirate's Cove linkfest.
Follow me on this. I know, it'll be a shock to you. It certainly was to me.
I don't think anyone's remarked on it, but you know that Sarah Palin? I was watching the news, and I noticed... if you get past the tough reformer, past the leadership and wild approval ratings, past her principles.... Come on — you know who I'm talking about? — Sarah Palin? Governor of Alaska? McCain's VP nominee?
You might want to sit down for this. And send the kids out of the room — this is that shocking.
That Sarah Palin... she's, uh... she's kind of hot, don't you think?
I know it's not obvious.
I don't think anyone's mentioned that so far. Thought I'd point it out.
It only just occured to me: with my two years as a squad leader in the Army, I have more executive experience than Obama does.
Sarah Palin's years as a decisive mayor and governor — and as a reformer — far outweigh Obama's history of "present" votes (or absenteeism) during his career as part of the — undeniably corrupt — Chicago political machine.
It's Palin. Thank you, God.
I've always thought the first women and minorities to be elected to the highest offices would be Republicans. Democrat women and minority politicians tend to be rather too far to the left, too far away from what most Americans, men or women of any color, believe in.
Well, here's our chance to put a woman into the vice presidency. Based on what I know about her, she could be a great President someday.
And, as Bob Owens says,
Unlike Dick Cheney, who shoots small birds with a 28-gauge shotgun, Sarah Palin hunts moose. When she shoots a lawyer, they'll stay down.Update: I just realized... she's younger than I am. This is a first for me.
And it does kind of make my life look like a turd sandwich.
Hence the effort to shout down noted writer Stanley Kurtz, who's been doing some research.
One female caller, when pressed about what precisely she objected to, simply replied, "We just want it to stop!"If that's what passes for political discourse, then we have either very little or a whole lot to worry about.
Of course, the efforts of the Obama camp are not meant to pass for discourse — they're merely pulling every lever they can to silence opposing voices.
They know that the Messiah's ties to unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, if widely publicized, would be a deal-breaker for the majority of the voting public.
And that simply cannot be allowed to happen.
On Hillary Clinton's appearance during the DNC roll call vote to nominate the Obamessiah:
She looks so happy she could s**t a chainsaw.The inimitable Ace.
Jonah Goldberg, on the Senator from Delaware, Joseph Biden:
The man loves his voice so much, you'd expect him to be following it around in a grey Buick, in defiance of restraining order, as it walks home from school.
Mr. Goldberg has additional thoughts on the Senator, in a post entitled "Biden's Brains." Worth reading.
[Originally posted 14Sept05.]
Nothing, absolutely nothing, must be allowed to stand in the way of Hopeiness and Changeitude™.*
Hence the Obama campaign's mob-like efforts to squelch this ad; it's got the potential to be the political kiss of death, and they know it.
If they want this to remain unseen, they'll have to do better than threaten.
Tell your friends.
More, from Mike Hendrix, on why Ayers matters.
* Or is that Changeiness and Hopeitude?
Obama hasn't taken a stand on the Surge; what he's really been doing is called posturing.
Those who were there might have something to say about that.
Via Hot Air.
Today's theme: campaign ads.
More to come.
Enjoy them while I'm shampooing the carpet.
[Bumped and promoted to quote of the month because... well, you'll know soon enough if you don't already.]
Gravitas isn't enough:
Biden is essentially a buffoon. He's quick on his feet. He's slick. He can put on a good dog and pony show. But if the answer to "who you gonna call" is "Joe Biden" you may be asking the wrong question. The truth is that a guy like Sam Nunn has pieces of guys like Joe Biden in his foreign policy stool.Jack M., at Ace of Spades HQ
8/23 addendum: Joe Biden couldn't carry my foreign policy jock.
Maybe it'll give Obama a chance to be competetive in Delaware.
I wonder: how will the PUMAs react?
More: Mickey Kaus: "He doesn't have gravitas. He has seniority."
Blog reactions at Stop the ACLU (STACLU).
Still more: discussing the Hillary! crowd reaction, Allahpundit provides a Quote of the Day:
The only way this could be more awesomely awesome is if it involved robots.
It is being reported that congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-OH, passed away today after suffering an aneurysm. I was no fan of her politics, but I can't think of any scandal associated with her name.
Young or old, rich or poor, famous or anonymous, ready or not: any one can go at any time. Be ready.
Condolences to the congresswoman's family and friends.
Update: doctors now say that she is still on life support, in critical condition.
Update 2: just (7:55pm) heard she's gone. Dunno why the reportorial confusion.
I know, it's late, but I finished work late, just had dinner, and now I've got the itch.
One Nation, Under a New Obama SaluteBecause the Obamessiah veneration wasn't already creepy enough.
George Bush had his three-fingered W salute that supporters flashed when greeting him at presidential campaign events in 2000. And now, if a Los Angeles creative agency gets its way, Sen. Barack Obama will see fans meet him with his own salute like the one above.
"Our goal is to see a crowd of 75,000 people at Obama's nomination speech holding their hands above their heads, fingers laced together in support of a new direction for this country, a renewed hope, and acceptance of responsibility for our future," says Rick Husong, owner of The Loyalty Inc.A new direction? What, in a circle?
I can tell you one thing that goes in a circle, millions of times daily. Accompanied by a flushing sound.
On the plus side, as long as people are making that symbol, you know their fingers aren't in your wallet.
Husong tells me that he got the idea after seeing the famous Obama-Progress poster by artist Shepherd Fairey.Yeah, you know which poster — the one that looks like it came from a socialist agit-prop specialist.
OK, OK, the one that did come from a socialist agit-prop specialist.
I swear, the more I see of Obama the more I think he should have bypassed Berlin, saved a few steps and a lot of time, and given that "citizen of the world" speech at Nuremberg.
Coming soon: natty little armbands with the Obama logo.
Update: Michelle has more ideas for appropriate symbolism. And she beat me to the story, too. Dang.
Sometimes "Never Again" just means "Not Until It's Our Turn."
I've said it before and I'll say it again: every time Nancy Pelosi opens her yap, potential voters have more reason to question the rationale for voting Democrat.
Finally, as Ace points out, the RNC is acting on that puzzlement.
Keep talking, Nancy. Don't bother looking at the polls that show you to be far less popular than President Bush. You know in your heart that you're right, and in tune with Americans — your own staff of fellow San Franciscans tell you so, right?
Keep talking, Nancy. When Jeanne Kirkpatrick coined the phrase "San Francisco Democrats," she was talking about you. Not just representatives from S.F. (though I'm sure that really boosts your image among working class Democrat voters in the heartland) but a party wrapped up in the most loopy left-wing values, blaming America (and, by extension, Americans) first for all the ills of the world.
Keep talking, Nancy.
And while you're at it, can we have a nice photo of you with Obama?
Finally, a Vision for America I can believe in.
I could have sworn that the Left was all about supporting the troops, but not their mission.
I guess that doesn't apply if the war has been over for nigh on 140 years, and if the supporter in question is a potential Vice Presidential candidate:
Barack Obama’s vice presidential vetting team will undoubtedly run across some quirky and potentially troublesome issues as it goes about the business of scouring the backgrounds of possible running mates. But it’s unlikely they’ll find one so curious as Virginia Democratic Sen. Jim Webb’s affinity for the cause of the Confederacy.
Webb is no mere student of the Civil War era. He’s an author, too, and he’s left a trail of writings and statements about one of the rawest and most sensitive topics in American history.
He has suggested many times that while the Confederacy is a symbol to many of the racist legacy of slavery and segregation, for others it simply reflects Southern pride. In a June 1990 speech in front of the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, posted on his personal website, he lauded the rebels' "gallantry," which he said "is still misunderstood by most Americans."
I'd say that pretty much kills Webb's chances for future advancement in the Democrat party, the privileges afforded ex-Klansman Senator Byrd notwithstanding.
The problem, of course, is slavery. While the root cause for which the South fought was indeed states' rights, the fact that the specific right they were defending was the right to own slaves taints the Confederacy beyond the hope of recovery. Had the casus belli been the right of states to set their own tariffs, we'd be having a different discussion. The Civil War would be a much less "raw and sensitive" topic if the South had acted as suggested by Lt. General James Longstreet in the film Gettysburg: "We should have freed the slaves, then fired on Fort Sumter."
For the sake of argument, can we posit that there is no one (apart from some vanishingly small number of nanocephalic cranks) in this country who believes that chattel slavery is a good idea? That no one, not even Senator Webb, would like to see a restoration of the antebellum South?
Might it then be just possible for the millions of Americans whose ancestors fought for the South to take some degree of pride in the undeniable courage and sacrifice of those ancestors — the overwhelming majority of whom never owned a slave?
My own ancestors were Northerners, or still lived in the Netherlands in the 1860s, so I really don't have a dog in this fight, but as a student of history, I can recognize gallantry for what it is, or was; a great deal of it sprang from the South in the period 1861-1865.
As much as I oppose pretty much every thing he stands for, I can't help but wish him and his family well in this time of trouble. This goes way beyond politics.
I know it entirely too well from my own recent experience: brain problems purely suck.
At Hot Air yesterday, Allahpundit noted:
A winning campaign slogan if ever there was one: You're going on a diet.Pitching his message to Oregon's environmentally-conscious voters, Obama called on the United States to "lead by example" on global warming, and develop new technologies at home which could be exported to developing countries.
"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK," Obama said.
"That's not leadership. That's not going to happen," he added.
Obama wants us to tighten our belts, and overlooks the fact that the U.S. already leads by example, already develops new technologies. Only prosperous societies such as ours have the extra energy to spend on worrying about the environment. Subsistence-level farmers in, for instance, sub-Saharan Africa can't be bothered, when their main motivation is simply to avoid starving.
My question, however, is: who cares what other countries say? Since when do they get a veto over our lifestyle?
Obama apparently wishes that our way of life was more like that of other (read: poorer) countries. If he's given the reins of power, I've no doubt we'll get that opportunity.
In the meantime, I think today I'll go for a drive in my big-ass pickup truck, stop at Hardee's — it's only about 10 miles out of my way — for a monster burger, and when I get home I'll turn my thermostat down from 74 to 72, just to irk some other country. It's my patriotic duty.
The best thing about yesterday's NC primary elections?
No more Obamessiah or Hillary! ads.
At least, no more until October, I figure.
Some time early this morning, far earlier than I am accustomed to being awake, I was woken up by the cats yowling. A shudder ran down my spine, and I noted through the window that a dark cloud had settled over this normally placid little town.
The feline complaining eventually ceased, and I went back to sleep puzzled by what had happened. What could have transpired to upset our sleepy little hamlet?
Then this afternoon, I read this.
Former President Bill Clinton courted Wal-Mart Democrats today, telling them his wife was well prepared to lead the country.
"If you vote for her, you'll make her the next president," Clinton told about 400 people at an Apex community center.
Hot Air, Michelle Malkin, and Gateway Pundit (and undoubtedly scores of others) are all over the story of Nancy Pelosi's made-up Bible verses, which she trots out when she's trying to convince us clingy rubes that Earth Day is a biblical imperative. To wit:
The Bible tells us in the Old Testament, ‘To minister to the needs of God’s creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.’
This, from a woman whose main base of support consists of people who are extremely unlikely to read, much less obey, God's word.
Query: what other verses has she made up to support her stands on:
- Tax Increases
- Gun Control
- Tort Reform
"Blessed are those who visualize world peace, for it is better to visualize peace than to actually go and make the peace."
Please make suggestions in the comments.
Update: This story got me thinking; I knew there was an appropriate real passage from the Bible that might address this topic. It took a while, but I found it, in Paul's letter to the Romans, chapter 1, verse 25:
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised. Amen.
That sounds precisely like what Pelosi is doing.
Barack, Barack, Barack... did you think no one would notice?
. . . they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment. . . .
The condescension is breathtaking.
Actually, I suspect that Snobama never gave it a thought at all. That, I suppose, is what comes of being a liberal elitist; it's second nature. It's not as if upper-class leftists could be expected to think any different:
They are things that I think in a liberal world sound totally normal, and outside of that world I don’t know that he appreciates how it sounds.
No kidding? And they think the South is insulated.
The Democrat primary campaigns are coming here to North Carolina. I can't wait to hear what Obama thinks about us.
If he wants to get in touch with the people, maybe after a night working on the backbone of the Internet, I could offer to fry him up a mess o' possum or squirrel, and we could sit around on the porch picking our remaining teeth, playing banjos, whittling and spitting, while making passes at our cousins and firing shotguns at any small animals or foreigners that happen to wander by.
'Cause, y'know, that's just how we roll in the small-town South.
The now-retired general counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary Committee, who supervised Hillary when she worked on the Watergate investigation, says Hillary's history of lies and unethical behavior goes back farther — and goes much deeper — than anyone realizes.
Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat, supervised the work of 27-year-old Hillary Rodham on the committee. Hillary got a job working on the investigation at the behest of her former law professor, Burke Marshall, who was also Sen. Ted Kennedy's chief counsel in the Chappaquiddick affair. When the investigation was over, Zeifman fired Hillary from the committee staff and refused to give her a letter of recommendation — one of only three people who earned that dubious distinction in Zeifman's 17-year career.
Done? Well, no, not really. Were she a Republican she would be finished, and she certainly ought to be through, but the Clintons have the most remarkable ability to brush past scandal, to have their flaws overlooked. I can't think of anyone (with the exception of Ted Kennedy) who has more personal baggage and yet retains political viability.
If the story ever breaks into the mainstream media in a big way (and there's certainly no guarantee of that happening; Google News has five, count them, five listings for "Zeifman Clinton" at this writing — though the
Obama Fan Club mainstream media might break it open, I suppose) some small number of people will be convinced to not support her, and many more will have their notions of her character confirmed... but the Democrat race to the convention will go on. She may be a liar, but she's not a quitter.
It's probable that Hillary!'s defenders will either declare this story to be old news and not relevant, or will call her former boss Zeifman a liar. Both tactics have been successfully employed before, having been swallowed — hook, line and sinker — by the Clinton partisans.
If, by some miracle, she gains the nomination, we can expect the story to be buried, or the Democrats' allies in the media will go on the attack on Clinton's behalf.
But then, I'm not telling anyone anything they don't already know.
I feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible is happening near by.
Yeah, this would explain it.
Michelle Malkin tracks anarchist protest plans for the Democrat and Republican National Conventions coming up this summer.
For a long time I wondered why the GOP had a history of holding its conventions in cities known to be distinctly unfriendly to the party. I mean, wouldn’t you want to have a friendly local government siccing the police on the various protesters?
Then a couple of things occurred to me. One, if there are going to be big disruptive protests and/or riots generated by out-of-towners, wouldn’t it make sense to have them in unfriendly territory?
Two, no matter how things go outside the convention, it only serves to make our side look better. No riots? OK, you have a big crowd of GOPers having a good time and basically showing the denizens of the “unfriendly” town that we’re real people, too.
On the other hand, if there are problems with disturbances, the locals have to clean up the mess, and (should) get the inevitable bad press when the batons start swinging.
Me, I’m in favor of batons (and more) when the anarchists cross the line from peaceful protest to active disruption/destruction... but it never looks good in the papers.
Still… I’m put in mind of the line from Thank You For Smoking:
After watching the footage of the Kent State shootings, Bobby Jay, then seventeen, signed up for the National Guard so that he, too, could shoot college students.
Eliot Spitzer announced his resignation today, his wife by his side. Surprise, surprise.
What is it about politicians' wives that compels them to stand by their men, regardless of their betrayals? We see it over and over. Remember Jim McGreevy (D-NJ), who famously resigned his governorship after a gay affair was discovered? Even his wife stood by his side while he announced that he was a "Gay-American" and had carried on with a male employee. Now, of course, the McGreeveys are separated and on their way to a divorce.
More to my liking is the mental image conjured up by something Dick Armey (R-TX) said during the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal:
If I were in the President's place I would not have gotten a chance to resign. I would be lying in a pool of my own blood, hearing Mrs. Armey standing over me saying, "How do I reload this damn thing?"
If only more politicians' wives were like that — there would undoubtedly be less misbehavior.
Every time I say the words "my cane," it comes out sounding like "McCain."
I have got to stop watching the news.
I saw this headline at Instapundit: "WELL, IT'S PROGRESS: Hillary picks up half a delegate."
My first thought was, "Max Cleland?"
I am a bad bad bad bad man.
Senator Joseph Lieberman (Ind-CT) on the Senate floor, on the passing of Buckley.
The media leftists sure do seem to want to paint their darling Obama as the next JFK, RFK and MLK all rolled up into one... and the fact that all three were assassinated hasn't escaped notice.
Dan at Protein Wisdom points to another example of the media's "Obama's gonna be assassinated" drek, and asks a vital question.
My guess: no one — he'll accidentally overdose while huffing changey hope-itude.
I've had a near lethal dose just from seeing the ongoing media reportage this campaign season.
More from Bluto at the Jawa Report.
I don't like John McCain a whole lot, but an unverified and unsourced NYT smear-job might just get me to support him. If they don't like him, there must be something worthwhile about his candidacy — the enemy of my enemy, etc., etc. I'm only surprised they didn't figure out how to hold the story until the Friday before the general election.
Shorter Ann Coulter: "Why pick the lesser of two evils?"
But this year.... Let me put it this way: if Huckabee wins the nomination, I'm out. I won't vote for any of the Democrats, but there's no chance I'd vote for Huckabee. Zero. I won't lift a finger to help him.
We've already had one Jimmy Carter, and that was one too many.
We've already had one Arkansas governor in the White House, and that was one too many.
(See also: Frank J.)
If anyone else were to talk like this, family members would be shaking their heads and muttering about how maybe it was time to put grand-dad in a home.
But it's just a ranting loon Democrat congressman, so I guess it's par for the course.
On Hillary!'s propensity for gathering campaign funds:
The thing about donations from the Chinese is that no matter how much you get, you'll want more an hour later.The too-clever-for-his-own-good Frank J.
I believe the technical term for this is "making a silk purse out of a sow's ear."
Not, of course, that Limbaugh's comments that started the whole brouhaha could actually be classed as "sow's ear" by anyone who actually heard what he said at the outset.
Harry Reid, though, is just a self-serving opportunistic pig.
What does it say about you if someone "brave, honorable, and true" is a problem for you?
A modicum of sanity in Oregon, where charges of felonious butt-swatting against two 13-year-old boys have been dropped. I don't care who you are, butt-swatting when a 13-year-old should in no way mark you as a sex offender for life. Indeed, I can't think of too many things a 13-year-old can do that ought to label them for life. Are you the same person now that you were when you were 13?
Steve H. prognosticates. He may be on to something there. Me, I think we're looking at a major redefinition of the term "boob-tube."
Garofalo to join cast of "24." Fonzie to jump shark.
Louisiana Democrats attack Bobby Jindal's religion. (Isn't Louisiana a heavily Catholic state?) They once tried a whisper campaign about his ethnicity, so this really comes as no surprise. That they have to take his words out of context is not only unsurprising, it's pretty much the standard modus operandi for Democrats these days.
John Edwards: not so bright. Less bright: the people who ever voted for him for anything.
Breaking and entering? Illegal. Squatting? Not so much.
I've only commented once — and briefly, at that — on the Immigration bill mess.
Now it's dead, and I, along with others, dance on its grave.
What has puzzled me all along, what I can't figure out, is why Bush would have staked so much on such a wildly unpopular piece of legislation, one which has completely separated him from his base. Indeed, though I strongly backed him in 2000 and 2004 (including hundreds of hours of work on the Blogs For Bush website) I now no longer trust him on anything, except perhaps taxes and the war on terrorism.
Similarly, many GOP senators — McCain, Lott, et al. — ignored the voices of their constituents and backed the steaming pile of crap called Comprehensive Immigration Reform to the hilt.
Why would they do so much to anger their base? The only thing I can think is that either they are completely tone-deaf, or that Vincente Fox and Felipe Calderon have pictures of them all with dead Tijuana hookers.
Adm. Painter: What's his plan?
Jack Ryan: His plan?
Adm. Painter: Russians don't take a dump, son, without a plan.
The first time I ever heard of Fred Thompson was when he played Rear Admiral Painter in The Hunt for Red October. I suspect this would be true for a lot of people in my age bracket.
[The only thing that bugs me about Red October is that when Alec Baldwin is on screen I must forcibly restrain myself from throwing small dense objects at the TV... but when RADM Painter utters the line "you might consider cuttin' the kid a little slack," I am compelled to do so, and can watch the remainder of the movie in peace.]
Now that Fred Thompson is considering a presidential run (I could support him) the always insightful Frank J. has published a list to remind us of the sheer awesomeness that is Fred Thompson:
Quite a resumé, I would say.
In a multiply-updated post, Glenn Reynolds talks global warming and the effect thereupon of congressional "private" air travel.
In the course of the post, Reynolds cites this statistic from Tourjet (which, as the name implies, is an aircraft chartering agency catering to celebrities):
The typical American is responsible for 10 tons of CO2 emissions annually through their direct energy use of home, cars and air travel, and about 24 tons of CO2 including their purchases, activities and the other services we all share throughout the economy.
By comparison, a Gulf Stream III business jet (10-12 passenger) from New York to Los Angeles will emit around 31 tons of CO2 during the 6 hour flight.
I'm no airplane expert (merely a well-informed hobbyist, you could say) but it seems to me that if a cross-country fight produces 31 tones of CO2, this means the aircraft would have to carry well over 31 tons of fuel, as not all the consumed fuel would be exhausted as CO2. I have a hard time believing that.
Turning to airliners.net we can see a bit of info on the weight of the Gulfstream III:
Empty 14,515kg (32,000lb), operating empty 17,235kg (38,000lb), max takeoff 31,615kg (69,700lb)
Quick math.... OK, so at the very most, the plane can carry 37,700 pounds (18.85 tons) of non-airplane weight.* That's passengers, luggage, cargo, and fuel. While that is a lot, it's not 31 tons, it's not all fuel weight, and not all of of the fuel would be used on a NY-LA flight, since the aircraft's range is something over 4,000 miles.
Unless, of course, there's more than one airplane called the Gulfstream III....**
It is hypocritical for "jet set" celebrities and politicians to blather about reducing greenhouse gas emissions while burning fuel by the ton, but accuracy counts, too. In this case, it's not quite as bad as it appears at first glance.
(So, I hope I got the numbers right....)
* It's just a guess on my part, but I think the difference between the "empty" weight and the "operating empty" weight might be the airplane plus a full fuel load, which would make the fuel capacity 6,000 pounds.
** Update: Errr... nevermind. I forgot all about the oxygen input into the chemical reaction, which would indeed boost the output CO2 mass to something rather higher than the carbon input into the equation. Good thing I don't make my living as a chemist.
I've been called many things before.
"Stretch," "Tiny" — classics. "Sasquatch," "Lurch" — a bit more creative. "Uncle Russ." My all-time favorite.
I won't get into the various insults.
But I don't think I have ever been called a "fine blogger."
It's not actually true. . . but I'll say thanks anyway to Jay Tea, who is 100% correct in the rest of his post on election dirty tricks. No one, but no one, gets a pass to mess with the integrity of our elections.
Saddam guilty, sentenced to swing. More at Hot Air.
As I predicted. Almost three years ago. Sort of.
Countdown to moonbats questioning the timing — in three... two... one....
The truth can hurt.
Right now my ribs ache, having seen the greatest political advertisement ever.
I needed a laugh. I talked to my niece today; we're all still pretty "down" about Bubba's passing.
[This is a re-post, modified, from 9/11/2004]
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.
Five years later, we count ourselves fortunate that "only" 3,000 died on 9/11.
From that day and in the 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 potentially deadly shoe-bomb 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.
Part 1 of ABC's docudrama The Path to 9/11 airs tonight and, as Tigerhawk points out (h/t: Prof R) due to the Democrats' incessant blathering in every available media outlet about the unfairness of it all, it'll likely have a significantly larger audience than it would have, had the community of Clinton defenders simply pretended the miniseries didn't exist.
No one I know of is claiming that the miniseries is completely accurate, any more than The Longest Day was a 100% completely faithful account of the D-Day landings — but that movie is still a good way to learn about the Normandy invasion.
Perhaps this can be an object lesson for the Left on the difference between "reality" and "reality-based."
The real problem is not that such a film has been made. Jeff Goldstein mentions several other political thrillers which tend to fall into the category of what Jeff refers to as "ideological wish fulfillment."
No, the problem is that in the BDS-charged atmosphere of today's far Left, this new TV-movie is not going to be merely a docudrama.
It'll be a recruiting film.
Following columnist Robert Novak's revelation earlier this week that the source for the "outing" of Valerie Plame was not in fact Vice President Cheney, Karl Rove, or any of the usual people lefties wish to see in handcuffs and shackles, Plame and her husband "Lying Joe" Wilson have filed a civil suit against those same people.
It seems that the very people who are not being prosecuted by the government for leaking are being sued for the damage their not-leaking may have done.
Suing people for damaging your reputation would be a legitimate thing to do, but in Joe Wilson's case, perhaps it might be best to disappear off the radar of publicity. The idea of such a suit is to gain back your reputation, but this case will almost certainly destroy Wilson's. If this suit ever goes to trial, old Joe is going to have his ass handed to him. There will undoubtedly be uncomfortable questions a-plenty.
Personally, I'd rather like to hear his explanation of how he could report one set of Niger facts to congress, and then publicly use a contradictory set of facts (read: "lie") in the NY Times in an attempt to damage the President. Now that is something that ought to be lawsuit-worthy....
Joe Wilson seems determined to go down in history as the man who put the "ass" in "ambassador."
Jeff Goldstein (the thinking man's Argus Hamilton), having had his family threatened, and subsequently having been the target of repeated Denial-of-Service attacks, has now achieved a status that in future will undoubtedly earn him great deference from the Left: he is now a victim.
To members of the political Left, being a victim is like having a Platinum AmEx card and never having to pay it off. It's like Chobham armor. It's as good as having a fusion-powered bullhorn.
It is henceforth forbidden to gainsay Jeff. He is a victim.
His opinions on all matters must be respected. He is a victim.
Those who criticize Jeff for any reason at all may be mere insensitive cretins, but odds are they're card-carrying Nazis. Because, of course, Jeff is a victim: blameless and praiseworthy.
. . . .
What's that you say? He's one of those "neo-cons"?
Almost three years ago, I suggested that the Racketeering, Influence and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statutes be used against the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, who line their pockets at our expense, for very little actual return.
Today at Captain's Quarters, Ed has some related news.
Thanks for coming. We have sampled your various cuisines. Lots of good food there. Thanks.
But now we have your recipes.
Your culinary contributions to America have been noted. Now go home.
Columnist George Will, not usually known for thinking the difficult isn't worth doing, says it would take "200,000 buses in a caravan stretching bumper-to-bumper from San Diego to Alaska" to deport all the illegal aliens currently in the country.
I say we'd better get started, then.
Not a bad speech, all in all. Pretty good, in fact. Maybe very good. I just have one small nit to pick....
Given that illegal immigration and border security is hugely on the minds of Americans, I was hoping there might have been some real red meat on the topic. Instead, we were served a bowl of weak broth and platitudes.
One might be tempted to think that Vincente Fox must have a photo of W with a dead Tijuana hooker.
Update: LaShawn Barber focused on illegal immigration during her liveblogging.
Since I'm off work on Mondays, I can watch the Alito confirmation hearings today.
I won't be live-blogging them (or even live-blogging the live-blogging) — I'll leave all that to:
and to whomever else I might happen to find, if I bother to look for more.
I have two vacancies — will you please be my grandmother?
Congressman John Murtha (D-PA) made rather a big splash this past week by very publicly "changing" his mind about the course of the war in Iraq — changing it to the same position he's held since last year, if not earlier. We already know this, of course, from a number of reports.
Murtha served honorably in the Marines, initially on active duty, and retiring from the Reserves in 1990, and is often described as a hawkish Democrat.
From the congressman's biography, I note that he has been in the House since 1974. Hmmm.
Murtha had a total of 37 years in the Marines, active and reserve. He had some number of years on active duty — his bio doesn't make it clear, but let's call it 12 years. I have no doubt that his years in uniform were spent completely honorably, and we know he was awarded the Bronze Star for valor during his tour in Vietnam. His service to the country cannot and should not be denigrated.
On the other hand, he has been a full-time Democrat congressman for more than 30 years.
Murtha has spent perhaps twice as much time in a suit as in a uniform. Which wardrobe, do you then suppose, has had more influence on his public pronouncements about the war?
Last night while flipping through the on-screen TV guide, I noticed something on a channel I've not watched before: the Discovery Times channel, a cooperative effort of the Discovery Channel and the New York Times.
Showcasing the best in journalism from The New York Times,
This bit of.... No, no, no, it's just too easy. It just wouldn't be sporting of me.
... Discovery Times introduces NEW YORK TIMES REPORTING. Working with the newspaper's award-winning journalists from around the world, NEW YORK TIMES REPORTING will offer insight into some of the most important domestic and international stories in the world today.
Popular science plus shoddy journalism — finally, together in one neat package!
I wonder if Jayson Blair hosts any programs?
Back on topic... the program listing that caught my eye was "Why Intelligence Fails: Intelligence to Please," the description for which was:
Intelligence agencies receive pressure from governments to gather certain information.
Digging into the channel's website leads one to the online description of the program:
The mission of intelligence agencies is to gather information. In the United States, pressure on intelligence agencies to provide evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has become a flashpoint for political criticism.
Except, of course, we know that there was no such pressure. [Don't believe me — believe the Senate Intelligence committee. Go here, scroll down to Conclusion 83... y'know, where it says there was no pressure.] On the face of it, it looks like the Times is attempting to pass off an hour of BDS-laden historical revision as a documentary. And the media wonder why many on the right think they're a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democrat Party.
I recorded the last half of the program, and if I think my stomach can handle a production with which the NY Slimes was involved, I'll watch it later and report back.
Update, 3:15pm: I watched it, and I feel like throwing up. The only good things that can be said of the program are that it wasn't funded by my tax dollars, and that Discovery Times doesn't have many viewers at 2am.
For the first 40 minutes or so, the program documents other countries' intel failures and the disasters that followed therefrom. [Surprisingly, the NYT thinks the 1968 Soviet crushing of Czechoslovakia was a bad idea. Walter Duranty, call your office!] This is known as "the setup." The show then moved on to the Iraq war, attempting to prove that the administration pressured the CIA to arrive at its pre-war WMD conclusions.
I don't know about you, but if I'm pressured to agree with my boss, against my better judgement, I'm not going to be enthusiastic enough about it to use the expression "slam dunk."
Apart from David Kay, ADM Stansfield Turner and Frank Gaffney (the sole Bush/Cheney defender on the program), I didn't recognize any of the people interviewed for the program, but Google can be useful:
Bob Baer: former CIA agent, current CIA gadfly.
Thomas Powers: former CIA guy, author of "The Vanishing Case for War."
Karen Kwiatkowski: former USAF Lt.Colonel, LaRouche supporter, conspiracy theorist.
Ray McGovern: notable, if at all, for his claim that the Bush administration didn't merely misinterpret existing intelligence, but that it manufactured the intelligence.
Greg Thielmann: State Department analyst since the Carter administration. Notable mainly for his disagreements with (now UN Ambassador) John Bolton and for his public disagreement with the current administration.
In short, however, the entire thrust of the documentary (one which Michael Moore would no doubt have been proud to produce) was to assume that the only casus belli was WMD, and then to try to show that the Bush administration pressured the CIA into delivering the results the White House wanted with regard to Iraq's WMDs, with the inevitable conclusion from Thielmann being that the actions of the administration amounted to a "high crime."
Do you suppose those last words were carefully chosen? What do you think the people at the Times are trying to say?
In light of the need for the President to make another Supreme Court pick, I'd like to remind Mr. Bush: there's one more potential nominee who bears consideration.
It is clear now that no one in the White House is going to face up to reality and reconsider the decision to nominate Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. While I heartily disagree with the selection, I cannot fault the President for his loyalty to his associates. And we now know that Miers will not be withdrawing herself from consideration.
On the face of it, there is nothing wrong with her. I'm sure she has a squeaky-clean record, and her known accomplishments are real — though comparatively modest. The problem is that she just is not what those of us who voted for this President either wanted or expected: a Justice in the mold of Scalia or Thomas.
I've been perusing the historical record, looking for past examples of presidents' nominees who have withdrawn themselves from consideration for various positions. It occurs to me: it would be awfully convenient if Miers had in the past used illegal alien domestics — maids, gardeners, drivers, or even nannies (assuming, of course, that Miers actually has children, of course. Hey, I'm spitballing here. I don't have time to do elementary research.)
Faced with evidence that she had used such employees, she would surely have to stand aside.
In order for an illegal alien employee "tarbrushing" to succeed, the story would have to be credible enough to be believed by the Old Media, so that it will receive plenty of airplay, but little or no scrutiny. As luck would have it, I found a historical example of exactly that kind of tarbrushing.
Given a batch of crudely-forged memos with unverifiable provenance, the media will surely take them at face value and race to get them on the air in an attempt to torpedo the nomination.
All that's needed, then, is the aforementioned batch of crudely-forged memos.
The NC State Fair is in town... I think they have a livestock show.
Now... where I can find a Kinko's?
Well, at least it isn't Alberto Gonzales.
Travis County, Texas district attorney Ronnie Earle today managed to get an indictment against Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, as well as against two of his associates.
Ronnie Earle has been after DeLay for quite a while, to no practical effect before today. He seems to be obsessed, perhaps out of sheer partisan hackery, perhaps because he's simply a bad prosecutor, perhaps because he's a complete nut.
This is, after all, a man who indicted himself — thereby proving that if no ham sandwiches are readily available, you can get a grand jury to indict a fruitcake.
I suspect DeLay will weather this storm and come through vindicated.
Update: Captain Ed weighs in.
The newly-initiated PorkBusters blog-campaign to find waste in the federal budget is a good idea, but it won't do a lick of good unless the people who actually appropriate the money can be persuaded or pressured not to do so.
I would therefore propose an appropriations rule (or perhaps even a law) which might have a positive effect for the national budget: prohibit the naming of any federally-funded project after any living person. If that's too extreme, prohibit naming them after any serving legislator. Removing the self-aggrandizement motive for federal spending might rein in some of the more extreme spenders' projects for which we all have to foot the bill.
One could start, for instance, with the projects brought to us by the King of the Swineherds, Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV).
Byrd is so notorious for his ability to bring home the bacon (as well as sausage, tenderloin, pancetta, Boston Butt, chops, baby back ribs, ham, and crispy rinds) for his home state that he has his very own tribute page at the website of Citizens Against Government Waste.
How many of the West Virginia projects below would not have been paid for with federal tax dollars (read, our money) if there was no incentive for a certain Senator to use them as campaign ads?
- Robert C. Byrd National Technology Transfer Center
- Robert C. Byrd Highway
- Robert C. Byrd Federal Correctional Institution
- Robert C. Byrd High School
- Robert C. Byrd Freeway (what, having only a highway wasn't good enough?)
- Robert C. Byrd Center for Hospitality and Tourism
- Robert C. Byrd Science Center
- Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center of West Virginia
- Robert C. Byrd Cancer Research Center
- Robert C. Byrd Technology Center at Alderson-Broaddus College
- Robert C. Byrd Hardwood Technologies Center, near Princeton
- Robert C. Byrd Bridge between Huntington and Chesapeake, Ohio
- Robert C. Byrd addition to the lodge at Oglebay Park, Wheeling
- Robert C. Byrd Community Center, Pine Grove
- Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarships
- Robert C. Byrd Expressway, U.S. 52 near Weirton
- Robert C. Byrd Institute in Charleston
- Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing
- Robert C. Byrd Visitor Center at Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
- Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse
- Robert C. Byrd Academic and Technology Center
- Robert C. Byrd United Technical Center
Really, it could just as easily be any Senator... any one at all... but when a target just walks into the crosshairs, it seems so wrong not to pull the trigger.
[In a strictly metaphorical sense, of course.]
Beth of Yeah, Right, Whatever took a little road trip Monday...
... to Crawford, TX.
Someone recently asked me why more pro-WoT Gold Star Families don't speak up (against the group at Camp Casey, and against the anti-war protesters in general). I've been thinking about it, and (though R hasn't confirmed it) I think I have an idea. Most Gold Star Families, the ones who believe in what their children/spouses were doing with their lives, just want to be left in peace to mourn. They have faith in our country, and in the mission their family member was on. They don't want to be part of a movement.
Read about her trip here.
Ok, no, I don't have a secret. Not about the Federalist Society, anyway.
Perhaps the mainstream media wouldn't think the FedSoc was so secretive:
- if any members of the press or anyone in their social circles were members of the society
- if the press actually bothered to pay the Federalist Society the same level of respectful attention when there isn't a Supreme Court nomination pending that they pay to the ACLU on an ordinary everyday basis.
It won't be long before we hear complaints from the feministas and the race hustlers that Bush has chosen a white guy for the Supreme Court.
I'm sure I'm not the only person who thinks it is both sexist and racist to assume that only women or minorities are capable of judging issues related to women and minorities.
Bush is announcing his selection of John Roberts of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to replace Sandra Day O'Connor.
Needless to say, I am disappointed. I guess he didn't see that I was willing – and qualified – to take the position.
Update: In an altogether unsurprising development, Senator Schumer has made clear he won't settle for Roberts receiving the same treatment from the Judiciary Committee that nominees like, say, Ginsberg received. It's gonna be ugly.
Update 2: Even if I knew nothing else about the man, based solely on the groups already lining up to oppose him, I'd support his nomination.
Update 3: Best link collection ever at The Truth Laid Bear.
[This post was originally published 21Jun05. Due to the topicality today, I thought I'd bump it up.]
[There are updates - see below.]
Neat-o. An actual lefty koolaid drinker, right here on my very own site.
Now, I wouldn't be surprised if someone from the
anti-American anti-war camp had found this site accidentally — it happens all the time, and some occasionally drop a turd or two in the comments — but this fellow actually came here from my mini-bio page at BlogsForBush. He came here looking for a fight to pick.
As is so often the case with the
anti-American anti-war crowd, he rolled out what he thought would be a rhetorical nuke: the tired and discredited "chickenhawk" argument — questioning my "credentials," my qualification to offer opinions about the war. I guess the obvious military theme here escaped his notice, and I called him on it.
Not content to leave well enough alone, however, he decided to leave another steaming pile in the comments. I figured it deserved an up-front response. I know it will fail utterly to convince him, as he apparently arrived at his current opinions shortly before turning off his brain, but a response is nonetheless warranted.
Read on and, as always, feel free to comment.
My goodness you are defensive.
I can be offensive, if you would prefer. I'm good at it, but I find it distasteful.
Please read the one sentence post again. While it is certainly directed at you personally (no point in not being direct here), it is also "generic"; i.e. please explain to me where the millions of your "fellow right-wing white guy" Bush voters/Iraq war supporters are...now that their country needs them (and needs them precisely because of their political views and voting behavior? (they do not seem to be, unless I am mistaken, "enlisting in droves".
"Droves" are not required. No longer do we deploy tens of thousands of troops lined up shoulder-to-shoulder on the battlefields. Indeed, the military force structure is smaller now than at any time since before WW2.
Have there been recruiting shortfalls? Some, yes. The reserves can't meet their goals if active-duty soldiers are re-upping at rates above the quotas — which they are. The Navy, Marines and Air Force are meeting their goals.
Perhaps, however, if you and your ilk would cease the slanders against our serving troops, young peoples' attitudes towards the Army would be somewhat different. The perpetual shouting of "babykiller" (to take an example from history), despite the transparent falsity of the charge, will eventually make an impression. But I guess that's what the Left wants, isn't it?
As for the "chicken hawk" argument getting "old", it is getting old, again, precisely because you and your fellow right wingers are only too happy to encourage death and destruction, so long as it is someone else who does the dying.
Yes, we encourage death and destruction... specifically, the enemy's death and destruction.
Is there anything so awe inspiring as the "courage of the non-combatant"?
That's mighty brave of you to say from behind that keyboard. When's the last time you took a physical risk for something you believe in? Ever?
I'll bet the answer is "never." Paging John Stuart Mill...
You are a veteran...so what?
I enlisted when the outcome of the Cold War was far from certain. I served in Korea at a time when, had the Norks decided to come south en masse, the result would have been far from predictable, though the results predicted for those of us stationed over there were, euphemistically speaking, not altogether rosy.
I did my time. I took the risks inherent in military service. So now am I qualified to comment on the current war?
Well, guess what? I am no more or less qualified to offer an opinion than you or anyone else. I merely have the advantage of experience, but that's how it works here in America.
Or is it merely that you would rather try to use a discredited rhetorical device to shut up all those who oppose your point of view?
You claim to have a terrible boo-boo that prevents you from serving in the military?
Not just "claim." I assert that I have an injury that keeps me out. If you'd bothered to read a few of the archives here, you'd have known about it.
But I suspect that you'd simply prefer to hurl insults.
I have read recently of American soldiers who, having had limbs blown off, are returning to combat duty with prosthetic limbs. Is your injury worse than this?
No, I wouldn't say so. How can a herniated disk compare to a lost hand or foot? But it was enough to end my career, and is enough to keep me from re-upping, even if I were not already too old.
And even if it is...again I say...what about the "right wing millions"? Where are they? All nursing upper-class tennis elbow?
Thankfully, no. Most are out there making this country run on what is to all intents and purposes a peace-time footing. Austerity? Not hardly. Rationing? Don't need it.
Thankfully, the people who know how to make democratic capitalism work are doing so. I wouldn't be quite so eager to try to run the country's economic engine on patchouli fumes.
As for freedom of speech, your defensive reaction says more than I can. Of course I think you have a right to your "very strange" opinion. And I, in turn, have a right to mine. The difference, of course, is that I don't support "that which I am not willing to do myself". i.e. get my head blown off for...what, exactly?
For what? For what?
How about the end of $25,000 payments to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers? Would that be a good enough start? How about the end of mass executions, the end of the rape rooms, the end of people being fed alive into industrial shredders?
Are you in favor of those things continuing? Or is it just that you are so blinded by your dislike of the Right that you refuse to admit that those things actually happened, are not happening now, and that it is a positive good that they are not?
The real difference, which seems to me to be true of virtually all of your ilk, is that there is nothing whatsoever for which you would risk everything. Look up the word craven sometime.
The war is lost; it was lost before it started.
The millions of ink-stained fingers seen in Iraq this past January thoroughly refute your statement.
It sounds to me not so much that you're against the war — you'd just rather see us lose.
You might want to read, or reread, Halberstam's book about Vietnam. Or Will Durant's observations about "Muslim warriors" (in his "Story of Civilization".)
My reading list is already full. Halberstam? A New York Times reporter who wrote a book on Vietnam — I wouldn't waste my time. I can already predict what he thinks of the whole thing.
I anxiously await your response...so long as it addresses my questions, that is.
My blog, my rules. I address exactly what I choose to. Don't like it? Then leave.
I'd have gone on longer but, as yesterday, my back and shoulder still hurt quite a bit.
And, Bellino: don't let the metaphorical door hit you in the ass on the way out.
Update, 6/22/05: if your tolerance level for a bit of profanity is up to the task, Mad Dog Vinnie has more along the same lines. More accurately, he has more whether you can handle it or not.
Chris Muir gets it, too:
Iowahawk provides his R-rated take on the matter, from a slightly different perspective. Such a potty-mouth, that Zarqawi....
Of all the Kennedy brothers, why did this one have to be the one to live to a ripe old age?
The evidence of alcohol's efficacy as a preservative continues to mount....
Please, God — not another Souter.
Justice O'Connor Retires From Supreme Court
WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justrice Sandra Day O'Connor submitted her retirement notice to President Bush on Friday, setting the stage for a contentious battle over her replacement.
I would once again like to make mention of my availability and suitability for a seat on the Supreme Court.
I haven't received any calls from the White House yet. I'm somewhat disappointed.
With the anticipated retirement of one or two Supreme Court justices, the discussion this week is naturally revolving around who Bush will nominate to fill the expected vacancy or vacancies.
I know the perfect candidate for the bench, one whose name has not come up in any previous discussion, yet one who nevertheless is perfectly qualified to be on the Court.
Yes, me. No, I'm not a lawyer, but... so what? There is no requirement that a Supreme Court justice be a lawyer. Indeed, I think having someone on the bench who is not a lawyer would be a much-needed breath of fresh air.
Which still doesn't answer the question, what makes me think I am qualified to sit on the Supreme Court? Two things, really.
• I have a copy of the Constitution and the Amendments.
• I can read plain English.
The Constitution was written in plain (but obviously literate) English, and was meant to be understood not only by the comparatively small number of people who have been to law school, but by all of "We the people."
"Make no law" and "shall not be infringed" are supposed to mean exactly what they say.
Two supplementary facts might be mentioned as well:
• I have a dictionary to help me with the big words, but
• There are no big words in the Constitution. The biggest words I can find in a quick scan of the Constitution are "representatives," "representation" and "ratification." Maybe there's a bigger word in there, but whatever it is, I'll bet I know its meaning without having to look it up.
My "judicial philosophy" can be summed up as:
• If the Constitution doesn't address it, neither should the Federal courts.
• The actual written words and plain meaning of the Constitution and the law always trump "nuance" and "precedent."
• Scotty couldn't change the laws of physics; judges shouldn't try it, either — pi will never equal 3.
• The Constitution was written by Americans for Americans. Foreign influences have no place in American jurisprudence.
• Opinion polls are no basis for interpreting law.
Obviously, my nomination wouldn't stand a chance.
[Yo, Rusty - I got yer fatwa right here.]
Our rulers in robes, the Supreme Court of the United States, having just effectively destroyed the right to private property, must be overruled.
The President should get out in public — now — and propose legislation to protect property owners from
legalized theft eminent domain seizures designed to benefit private parties. This is a Federal civil rights issue at least as important as the right to free speech.
This assumes, of course, that the Legislative and Executive branches are actually co-equal to the Judicial branch, in practice as well as in theory.
Mighty big assumption, that.
I wonder now how long it will be until the Tree of Liberty gets the watering that it apparently needs? I think that sad day has come more than just a little bit closer.
Update: via a commenter at Wizbang!, a reminder of this quote from the Hildebeast:
"We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
— Hillary Clinton addressing a San Francisco Democratic Fund Raiser on June 28th, 2004.
Doesn't seem so far-fetched now, does it?
Update, 3:42pm: Shep Smith on FoxNews just now, at the end of a story on this abominable ruling, closed the item with the line "Molly Henneburg, reporting live from Havana... I mean, uh, Washington." Make of it what you will.
So John Kerry has released his military records to the Boston Globe. The Globe, being the upstanding paradigm of journalism that it is (see here, for an example of their journalistic credibility), will undoubtedly give the world the straight story on the contents of those records.
Yes. And someday I might don a cape and tights and fly under my own power.*
Globe reporter Michael Kranish tells us there is a "lack of any substantive new material about Kerry's military career" in the files.
I'm wagering that what we have just witnessed is a completely new usage of the word "substantive." Someone should let the folks at Merriam-Webster know about this.
Kranish — who, as Michelle Malkin notes, co-authored the Kerry campaign suck-up book John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography By The Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best (a title as wordy as the former candidate himself) — would appear to be Kerry's "go-to" guy in the print media.
Kerry thus gets the benefit of being able to claim full disclosure, without the slightest potential of a critical word being said by the news staff at his media outlet-of-choice.
As a sop to the critics, however, details of Kerry's academic career were published, including a photo of the undergraduate Kerry.
Guess which one is the young Brahmin:
OK, that was just cruel. Deliciously cruel. But it's no wonder he didn't want those records released. The camera just isn't friendly to him at all.
* I might someday fly under my own power, but I will never wear tights and a cape. Which, all things considered, would be for the best. Trust me on this.
Update 2: Matt scores some commentary from Swift Boat Vet kahuna John O'Neill.
Just in case you were wondering where I might be on the political spectrum....
Your Political Profile
|Overall: 95% Conservative, 5% Liberal|
|Social Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal|
|Personal Responsibility: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal|
|Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal|
|Ethics: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal|
|Defense and Crime: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal|
I must have missed one in there somewhere. I guess I'm just an old softy.
You, too, can take the quiz: How Liberal / Conservative Are You?
To: Senator McCain
From: a GOP voter
I don't care how long you spent shackled in a cell in a Vietnamese prison camp. You have now burned up every bit of goodwill your wartime sacrifices might have engendered, and are now operating on a "GOP-karma" deficit.
If this nation should ever be so unfortunate as to have you on the presidential ticket, I will almost certainly vote against you.
No one who spends as much time aggrandizing himself and preening for the media at the expense of the party and principles which got him into office as you do deserves the support of the party or the people who adhere to those principles. No one who so obviously craves attention and acclaim deserves either.
Do your party and its voters a favor, and retire from public life.
Well, big surprise, eh? And people wonder why the GOP is occasionally referred to as "the stupid party."
For a promise to not filibuster President Bush's judicial nominees except under "extraordinary circumstances," the GOP
cowards moderates have agreed not to pull the trigger on the so-called nuclear option during this session of Congress.
Idiots. Morons. Sellouts.
If there's any possible silver lining to this dark-cloud deal made by that batch of
chickenshit moderate GOP senators, it is that if the Democrats decide to use the "extraordinary circumstances" excuse to filibuster any judicial nominee similar to Owens, Brown and Pryor, the GOP can call the deal off. If Owens, Brown and Pryor are acceptable to the democrats now, they can hardly claim a similar judge is unacceptable in the future.
But I'd bet money that the GOP senators will be too yellow to call it off. Fools.
Update: Charles Austin uses the perfect word to describe the GOP side of Senate: Republican'ts.
The one thing that irritates me most about the judicial filibuster showdown is the blatant dishonesty of the Democrats.
They aren't being honest about why they oppose Bush's nominees to the various courts, and are prevaricating about the supposed history of Republican use of filibusters against Clinton court nominees.
Anyone with the eyes to see can tell why they are dead-set against Bush's court picks. Having lost all elective political power, they will go to any length to preserve their hold on the courts, thus ensuring additional decades of left-wing judicial activism. Since the Left can't win at the ballot box, they must rely on judges who will legislate from the bench. This much is obvious. [And yes, I am the master of the obvious, thankyouverymuch.] They lie about the nominees, and even go so far as to try to apply the label "activist" to judges whose judicial philosophies and records are demonstrably not activist. Leftist protestations notwithstanding, taking the Constitution to mean exactly what it says is not "judicial activism," conservative or otherwise.
The lying — and that's what it is, in no uncertain terms — about GOP blockage of Clinton nominees is a lie of omission. Harry Reid and Teddy Kennedy can blather and drone on all they want, but they will never mention the essential fact that then, as now, Republicans were in the majority in the Senate, and thus legitimately in the position to approve or disapprove Clinton's nominees.
If the Democrats want to exercise the power to deny Bush his picks to the Federal courts, they should begin by taking their case to the voters and winning elections. Until and unless that happens, they should remember the old adage, "to the victor belongs the spoils."
In businesses of all kinds, the expression "cost of doing business" (often abbreviated "CODB") is used to mean the total cost incurred by an organization in the act of providing a good or a service.
If I'm selling widgets at retail, my CODB is more than the wholesale price of the widgets I sell. Warehouse and office spaces, payroll, utility bills and all other operating expenses have to be figured in before I can make a rational attempt at setting my retail price.
[Yes, yes, I'm a computer geek... but for my degree I had to take three semesters of Accounting.]
In the political realm, a $12,000 fine from the FEC seems a trivial addition to the total CODB for an organization that hands out hundreds of thousands of dollars each campaign cycle, particularly if the anticipated "profit" is one or more election victories gained in part by illicit contributions.
If you're in the business of trying to buy elections, it's a very small price to pay, given the stakes involved.
I wonder if they (or any such non-profit outfit) can write off such fines when they file their tax forms?
Study Shows U.S. Election Coverage Harder on Bush
By Claudia Parsons
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. media coverage of last year's election was three times more likely to be negative toward President Bush than Democratic challenger John Kerry, according to a study released Monday.
Well, duh. I mean, really: duh. It oughtn't to have taken a study to figure out the negativity was slanted in favor of Kerry — only to quantify it.
Three quarters of the way through the article, however, we come across this gem:
"It may be that the expectations of the press have sunk enough that they will not sink much further. People are not dismayed by disappointments in the press. They expect them," the authors of the report said. [Emphasis mine.]
A "Quote of the Day" candidate if ever there was one.
Perhaps it's been difficult for Senator Ted Kennedy, living all these years in the shadows of his late brothers. Said the Senator:
We have reached the point that a prolonged American military presence in Iraq is no longer productive for either Iraq or the United States. The US military presence has become part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Lovely, just lovely. Such fine words. Note to the Senator: our troops eliminated the problem. His name is Saddam, and he sits in a jail cell awaiting justice.
At least 12,000 American troops -- probably more -- should leave at once, to send a strong signal about our intentions and to ease the pervasive sense of occupation.
[Quotes via Rush.]
Compare those gems to JFK's words:
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
Living in JFK's and RFK's shadows is no excuse for such cowardice from Ted Kennedy.
Perhaps someone ought to send the Senator a case of scotch, with the proviso that he use it for the sole purpose of drinking himself into a coma.
Having noted this article on Senator John Thune's new office, it occurred to me... I've neither seen nor heard former Senator Tom Daschle (D-Nothing Anymore) being deeply saddened by anything lately.
I really like that "former Senator" appellation.
Others to whom I'd like to see it applied: Leahy, Feinstein, Boxer, Kennedy — not necessarily in that order. Oh, and I mustn't forget the weasel Jeffords.
More evidence (or confirmation, at any rate) that John Kerry and the people around him have no business being in power.
"Abuse" only begins to describe what has happened to a man who stood up to them. Surely, we dodged a bullet.
(Via Ian S.)
Attempting to stanch the flow of blood from the 1,000 cuts received last week, the Democrats apply a tourniquet... to their party's neck.
The lack of oxygen to their collective brain shows more than usual.
[All emphasis in the quoted text is mine.]
From the Washington Post... so you know it has to be good. Well, it's not the NY Times, so at least it's got that going for it.
[Actually, this does indeed look like a straightforward piece of reportage. Now that the election is over, the WaPo can afford to be magnanimous in defeat.]
Congressional Democrats returned to Washington in a defiant mood yesterday, making no apologies for the campaign in which they lost congressional seats and the presidential race and vowing to hold President Bush accountable for his handling of the deficit, the Iraq war and other issues.
We the people already held President Bush accountable once this month. Last week's election must be such a painful memory that it's already been buried in their subconscious.
In years hence, there will undoubtedly be "recovered memory" psychotherapists of dubious reputation holding up little donkey-shaped dolls to traumatized Democrats and asking "where did the nasty Republicans touch you?"
Hint: it wasn't a touch, it was a kick... you know where.
In his first public comments since conceding defeat to Bush, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) did not rule out a bid in 2008 and promised to keep pushing the issues he championed this year.
Issues like personal aggrandizement, good hair, lying about his opponents' records, Botox-abuse, cussing at underlings, stabbing our military in the back.... You know — the usual.
"Let me tell you one thing that I want to make clear," Kerry said in a brief meeting with reporters in the Capitol. "Fifty-four-plus-million Americans voted for health care, they voted for energy independence, they voted for unity in America, they voted for stem cell research, they voted for protecting Social Security.
At least he knows they weren't voting for him.
"We need to be unified, and we have a very clear agenda. And I'm going to be fighting for that agenda with all of the energy that I have and all the passion I brought to the campaign."
Mr. Passion. Oh. Yeah. I know everyone was excited by his [**yawn**] passion.
Maybe a guy who's had his prostate, er, "dealt with" ought not to be touting his ability to generate, er, "passion." On the other hand, that might explain Teh-ray-zah's odd behavior of late.
Asked about his brother Cameron's comment, published in yesterday's Boston Globe, that it was "conceivable" Kerry would run for president again, the senator quipped: "I was intrigued by it. I called him up and said, 'Where did you get that?' " He added: "It's inconceivable to me that anybody is even talking about that stuff right now."
Smart Democrats know that running Kerry again would sound the death-knell for their party. For better or for worse, the smart Democrats are outnumbered by about 50 to 1.
Returning to the Capitol, where he will resume serving his fourth Senate term, Kerry met with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), who will succeed Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) as Senate minority leader.
Modern political giants, all. [You have no idea how hard it was to type that and keep a straight face.]
Oh, yes: adios, Tommy boy. I'll bet there's a dog-catcher job open on one of your state's Indian reservations.
Pelosi, addressing reporters after lunching with about 100 House Democrats, said her party will speak out when it believes Bush and the GOP-controlled Congress are mismanaging Iraq, tax policies or the deficit.
They'll also speak out when they believe the Republicans are mismanaging restaurant menus on the Left Bank, the life cycle of the cicada, the weather (in both the northern and southern hemispheres), the orbits of the planets, and the 2005 NFL football schedule.
Keep talking, Nancy. Every time you flap your gums, a coal miner in Pennsylvania asks himself "why is it that I vote for Democrats? Why are her people getting my vote?"
"The president won't be able to blame anyone, because the Republicans have full control," Pelosi said. Although Republicans have controlled the White House, Senate and House for two years, she said, "the American people did not know that. And now they do."
"The American people did not know" the Republicans have been running things? Didn't know? Note to Nancy: calling your potential supporters ignorant is one of the reasons they are only potential supporters instead of actual supporters.
The American people had their chance to blame the Republicans last week. Instead, the Donks had their asses handed to them.
Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) rejected arguments that Republicans care more than Democrats do about traditional values. "We are the party of moral values," he said.
Killing babies = moral. Taking half of a family's assets when the breadwinner dies = moral. Taking half a person's income before they ever see it in their bank account = moral. Keeping felons out of prison = moral. Right.
Cutting taxes "for the very rich" increases the deficit and forces spending cuts in education, health care and housing, he said. "And so throughout the next two years, you're going to hear a lot [from Democrats] about moral values."
The Laffer curve is just abstract geometry to the likes of Charlie Rangel.
Meanwhile, the Democrats' post-election self-examination continued at a forum hosted by the centrist Democratic Leadership Council.
I wonder if they found a lump?
DLC founder Al From said the 2004 election continued a "40-year slide" for the party, interrupted only by the elections of Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.
Democrats must close the security, reform and culture gaps, he said, adding: "You can't have everybody who goes to church voting Republican."
No, you can't... except for the ones who take their religion seriously.
Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), who won reelection, said Democrats must trust voters' instincts and intelligence. "We can only lead people that we trust, and they'll only follow if they trust us," she said.
Then they'll never lead. Elitists do not, cannot, trust the people. It's against their nature. If they did, their entire platform of "we know what's best for you better than you do" would collapse.
Some congressional Democrats also say the party needs to do more soul-searching, but most are lying low. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), the party's second-ranking House leader, did not join Pelosi, Rangel and others who addressed reporters. Hoyer "wants to think things through" but will not challenge Pelosi or surrender his post as party whip, said a source close to him.
I know little or nothing about Hoyer. Maybe he's one of the smart and honest Democrats... which would make his rise to the position of Minority Whip [which, much to my surprise, is a floor wax and a dessert topping! - ed.] a truly miraculous occurrence.
Pelosi must choose a successor to Rep. Robert T. Matsui (Calif.) as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Those interested include Reps. Mike Thompson (Calif.), Janice D. Schakowsy (Ill.) and Joseph Crowley (N.Y.), Capitol insiders said.
There's an old saying, "Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks." In four historic years, America has been given great tasks, and faced them with strength and courage. Our people have restored the vigor of this economy, and shown resolve and patience in a new kind of war. Our military has brought justice to the enemy, and honor to America. Our nation has defended itself, and served the freedom of all mankind. I'm proud to lead such an amazing country, and I'm proud to lead it forward.
My first conversation this morning, with a buddy who goes by "darth" on IM:
darth: Kerry is supposed to give his concession speech after lunch...
Me: so I have read
Me: he can do basic math
darth: yeah...but for some reason, he can't seem to get past the "60s"
That may well sum up the entire campaign.
Voting is done here in the east, so now all I have to do is tend the under-the-covers stuff at Blogs For Bush (where, amazingly enough, I happen to be the webmaster.) (And where, amazingly, the server has not completely melted, despite record traffic volume.)
Whether it's a win, lose, or draw for Bush, I'm going to begin celebrating the freedom we all enjoy to choose our leaders.
If I remember, I'll take another picture of the bottle later — just to see how much I've drained.
Update: I like the way this man thinks.
Update 2: No, I have no idea what time the polls in Scotland closed, nor how they voted.
Exit poll here in North Carolina:
[Number of voters sampled: 1 (one.) No statistical adjustments have been made for race, age (dang!), or gender (whew!) No shifting of these numbers is expected for the remainder of the day.]
A few observations...
I got to my polling place at 11:20 this morning. I had expected it to be a bit busier than usual, but this really surprised me.
[The cars are those of physically disabled voters, who are allowed to vote at the curbside.]
The last time I voted, I had a waiting time of zero minutes. Today, the wait was about 35 minutes. The line was much longer at 11:20 than it was at noon, when I took the picture.
The poll workers — the same batch as always — were their usual polite helpful selves.
Though there were campaigners from both parties present, they strictly observed the 100-foot rule we have here. I observed no misbehavior of any sort at the polling place. As in the past, no ID was required to vote — just state your name and address, sign the form, and take your ballot. We need to change that.
North Carolina is about as safe a state for President Bush as there is, yet the turnout is rather heavy — prompted, no doubt, by the down-ballot races, the US Senate and NC governor races particularly.
It's a great day to be an American.
I perhaps ought to have waited to publish my endorsement for this election. In case you missed it, it's right here.
The best line (in my ever so humble opinion):
Kerry has already told us how he would approach the international community: on bended knee.
I impress myself sometimes.
Now get out there tomorrow and vote Bush!
One might be tempted, in this campaign season, to think that honest Democrats were few and far between*, if they exist at all. The shrillness and vitriol of their talking points are far more extreme than ever before. Their mouthpieces in the press make virtually no pretense of being fair-minded deliverers of news.
You need only to look at any "talking heads" news program to see the spinners of the Left interrupting, shouting down and talking over their political opponents, manners be damned. Lawrence O'Donnell's shameful (and shameless) performance on the air with John O'Neill just a week ago is an extreme and noteworthy example.
It would be one thing if they were using actual truth as the weapon against their opponents, but frankly, the Left would neither know nor care about the truth if it stood in front of them with a flaming sword, threatening cauterization (with the attendant need for such) if they were not to mend their ways.
It is not merely in debate that their extremism is evident. Theft and vandalism have been reported nearly every day for the last month. GOP offices have been burgled, ransacked, and even shot at. If sanity does not pull the extremists' choke-chains, eventually someone is going to get hurt, perhaps even killed. The left-wing extremists had better think twice — or even just once — before they go down that road; it leads through dangers from which they will not emerge victorious... if they emerge at all.
The hard-core Left are losing their minds. I'm already convinced they've lost any love of country they ever had. Scoop Jackson, oh, how we miss you. Zell Miller, where can we get more Democrats like you?
Orson Scott Card, whom I have cited before, is one such honest man. He examines the current state of mind of the Democrat party — the scamming, the lying, the pseudo-intellectualism, the mockery of faith in God, and the unswerving notion that they are entitled to rule — in The Death of Shame. A brief excerpt:
The falsehoods are thick on the ground, and contrary to the impression some might try to give you, they are not conducted equally by both sides.
When they trumpet examples of Republican "lies," they usually turn out to be in the following categories:
1. Statements that turn out to be wrong, though they were believed to be right at the time they were spoken. (In the rational world, we call these "mistakes.")
2. Statements that interpret legitimate data in ways that support the Republican view. (In the rational world, we call these "differences of opinion.")
3. Statements that point out obvious contradictions between what the Democratic candidates say and what they have said and done in the past. These are called "negative campaigning" and "mudslinging" and "distortions" and, of course, "lies," but these countercharges are offered instead of coherent explanations.
[Italics and parenthetical comments in the original.]
I don't need to tell you to read the whole thing, do I?
* I refer, of course, to the leadership and public face of the Democrat party, not to the millions of decent folk who remain members thereof. Those folks should, however, be dismayed that their party has been taken over by the extreme Left. Maybe after a thorough trouncing, they'll do something about it.
"Wake up, America" sounds an awful lot like "What, are you people too stupid to vote for me?"
For those of you who may still be on the fence with regard to your selection of a candidate in this presidential election, I'm going to elucidate a few of the reasons I support the re-election of President George W. Bush. You may disagree, and that's OK. It's still a free country, after all. But I think that if Kerry is elected, we as a nation will have made a mistake that will have repercussions for years to come, for decades to come.
And possibly forever.
First, I support President Bush for his stands on domestic matters. There are places I disagree with him — the budget, and his failure to use his veto power when necessary — but in most areas, I support him unreservedly. I'll cite just one example: Social Security.
The Social Security system — a Ponzi scheme if ever there was one — is broken. It will inevitably fail; the only question is when.
It has been 70 years (or thereabouts) that the system has been in place. In that time, the overall life expectancy of Americans has risen; the number of people living to age 65 and beyond has risen, and they are living farther past age 65. In other words, more people than ever before are receiving Social Security benefits, and are receiving them for more years.
The age at which people can begin collecting benefits has not increased to match these demographic trends. Nor, due to political cowardice on all sides, is it ever likely to do so.
Meanwhile, fewer workers than ever are paying into the system for each recipient. Few people age 40 or below believe that Social Security will be in place for them 25 or more years down the road. I'm 42, and I certainly don't believe Social Security will be there for me, should I happen to defy all expectations and live to a ripe old age.
How then does the problem get fixed? Who has the best ideas?
There's no stopping it — the ship will sink. Kerry would prefer that we form a bucket brigade and bail as fast as we can.
President Bush, on the other hand, would rather let us man the lifeboats and get off the sinking ship. He'd rather make sure there are enough lifeboats for everyone, and if it means pulling planks off the sinking ship's deck to build them, so be it.
Privatization — the term being used to scare senior citizens — is the right thing to do, but it doesn't mean what Kerry says it means. (Of course, anything Kerry says is usually unrelated to the truth, except perhaps by accident.) Allowing people to build their own retirement savings and to have ownership of even a small portion of what they pay into the mandated system is a major improvement over the status quo.
President Bush has a plan for the future, a plan that has a chance of working. Kerry doesn't. It's as simple as that.
While there is a great deal of import in what a president does domestically, his role in foreign affairs is equally, if not more, important.
Kerry has already told us how he would approach the international community: on bended knee.
Kyoto? Back on the table, despite the shoddy pseudo-science upon which it is based, despite the irreparable harm it would do to the American economy and consequently to all Americans. Why? Because it would make the rest of the world respect us? Not hardly. The rest of the world, China in particular, would like nothing more than to see our economic hands tied.
The United Nations? "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy…" except perhaps at the Elysee Palace. The UN has become nothing more than a debating society for tinpot dictators and kleptocrats, but Kerry would have us submit to their judgement of what's best. Should we really care about the opinions of those who stole billions of dollars which should have gone to feed the people of Iraq? No thank you.
The Middle East? The rest of the world would like to try to make the problems of the Middle East go away, and so would Kerry — by throwing an ally to the wolves.
President Bush, on the other hand, knows that a President is supposed to look out for America's interests — first, last and always. He knows that the de facto leader of the free world cannot actually lead if he is busy following others. And if the international community doesn't like it, that's just too bad for them.
And that's good enough for me.
All the above notwithstanding, the single most important duty of a president is to protect the nation. I am utterly unconvinced that John Kerry is ready, either by inclination or experience, to carry out that duty effectively.
I am convinced that President Bush is thus prepared. We have, after all, nearly four years of evidence.
By withdrawing from the Anti-Ballitic Missile treaty — a suicide pact with a defeated enemy — he showed that he is determined to protect America from future foes armed with the deadliest of weapons… weapons for which our adversaries can thank the Clinton administration.
I believe that Kerry would have adhered to the ABM treaty. He would place a higher value on looking statesmanlike to the rest of the world than he would on protecting the American people.
Kerry has said and done nothing whatsoever to convince me that he believes we are at war with something bigger than Al-Qaeda. His "law enforcement" approach to the war against Islamofascism is bereft of any pretense of seriousness about defending America. His "wait to be hit then prosecute the offenders" stance did not work for Clinton after the first attack on the World Trade Center, and it would continue to be a failure in the future. His view of radical Islamic terrorism as something that can be comfortably reduced to a nuisance betrays a complete lack of understanding of the essential nature of this war in which we are now engaged.
Sure, Kerry talks a big game on the campaign trail. Well, you can either believe what he says, or you can look at his record. The simple fact that his words do not match his actions make him less than credible, and unsuitable for the highest office in the land.
And lest it go unsaid, his personal history of self-aggrandizement at the expense of his former comrades-in-arms, while aiding and abetting our enemies, is something I will not forgive. Not now, not ever.
By way of contrast, in little more than three years President Bush has seen our country viciously attacked, and in response set us on a course which has thus far destroyed two enemy regimes and brought freedom from tyranny to 50 million people on the far side of the world, while at the same time doing his best to make us safer here at home.
There will almost certainly be terrorist attacks against us on our own soil again in the future — perhaps even between now and the election a few days hence. I am convinced that President Bush is the better man to handle such crises.
There is one immutable, undeniable truth about the candidates: President Bush is better on national security than Kerry and will do a more effective job of protecting this country (and a few others — call it "collateral improvement") and taking the fight to the enemy.
I take that back. There are people who routinely deny President Bush's superiority, who will say with a straight face that Kerry will be a better leader in the war against Islamofascism.
They are liars.
They are either lying to you, or to themselves, or both. The candidates' records clearly tell the tale.
If Kerry is elected (or steals the election, as his followers and surrogates will attempt to do for him), we as a nation will have made a mistake that will have repercussions for years to come, for decades to come.
And possibly forever.
Yes, forever. To paraphrase Lincoln, America is the last best hope of freedom on the Earth. But if the slide into European-style socialism is not checked, if we surrender to the will of other nations, and if our enemies can strike us at will, then the guarantor of our God-given freedoms, our constitutional republic, will be doomed — and there will be no peaceful way to recover it. John Kerry would not only fail to protect us from these threats, but would actively embrace two of them, and the republic will be that much closer to collapse.
President Bush offers the hope that these all-too-real threats can be staved off. No, he is not the perfect candidate — no one ever has been or ever will be — and I think it's safe to suggest that he'd be the first to say as much. We all know that no one is perfect. But President Bush is unquestionably the best candidate in the race this year, and that's what matters.
And so, on November 2nd, I will cast my vote to re-elect President George W. Bush.
Is it possible that misbehavior by hardcore Democrat voters might lose them support from "softcore" voters?
I read this at Powerline and I have to wonder if any "squishy" Democrat voters — those not of the extreme Left — might be turned off by these sorts of behaviors? Might reports like this from early voting tend to suppress the "rational Democrat" vote, or fire up the Republican vote?
Left or Right, Republican or Democrat.... most people don't like to be associated with a**holes.
Except other a**holes, of course.
I swear, sometimes I think we're not going to get through this election season without seeing trial lawyers hanged from lamp posts and overpasses.
Yeah, you! Shut up and listen up.
You people make me sick. Go on, look at yourselves. You call yourselves Americans? You're a bunch of goof-ups!
I said, listen up!
OK, now look... we have a dangerous mission ahead of us. Yes, us again. I know there are other outfits that might be able to handle this operation, but they wanted the best, and that's us. We've had our share of danger, you bet. But when the hard job has to be done, there's no one better qualified to handle it.
We've lost a lot of good people in this war — a lot of 'em were just minding their own business when the world fell on them — and we'll lose more before this war is over. No one said it would be an easy fight. But it's up to us. Yep, the Brits and Aussies are with us in this fight, and the Poles are on our side, and plenty of others too. Glad to have 'em. They've come to help us, just like we'd go to help them if they needed....
What's that, Caje? The French? They're mostly collaborators. Can't trust 'em in this war. Now shut up until I'm done talking.
So anyway, we have this fight we're hip-deep in, and some people think it's time to trade our commander-in-chief for a new one. I've heard some crazy knuckle-headed ideas before, but that one really takes the cake.
We've got a fine C-in-C now, doing a pretty good job, and it sure isn't General Eisenhower running against him. Nope, it's a swabbie, a Lieutenant of all people. Oh... sorry, Lieutenant Hanley.... As I was about to say, I know some sailors, and I know some Lieutenants — most of 'em are OK by me. But this one abandoned ship as soon as he could. A four-month tour in a combat zone. How long have we been here? Heck, some of us have been in harm's way for over three years now.
That Lieutenant didn't just leave his buddies behind, though. As soon as he got home, he started bad-mouthing them and everything they were doing. He lied about them. That doesn't sit too well with me.
Now he wants the top job, the Oval Office, and so far the one thing we know is he'll say anything to get it. Heck, he'll even make nice with those French collaborators. I don't like the sound of that. I'll bet you don't either.
So now it's time to go vote for our C-in-C for the next four years. You can choose — but there's only one choice if you want us to win this war. When you hit that voting booth, I want you to pull the lever for George W. Bush.
Any questions? OK, we've got a job to do.
[This message brought to you by the Heroes for Bush project.]
[Also see Ambassador Kosh's endorsement.]
[Update: And don't miss the Heroes for Bush roundup.]
[Click image for full size.]
John Kerry claims to have foreign leaders on his side. Ha! Who needs France and the U.N. when you can have a Vorlon?
[This message brought to you by the Heroes for Bush project.]
[Also see Sergeant Saunders' endorsement.]
[Update: And don't miss the Heroes for Bush roundup.]
NZ Bear has a pretty darn good idea.
If this is to be done on Friday, right now would be a good time to get my Photoshop mojo working.
Due to difficulty spending long periods of time staring at [anything] this week, I have decided that I will have to meta-liveblog the liveblogging, rather than liveblog the liveblogging.
Easy: I give you the links; you check them for yourselves.
- Hugh Hewitt
- The Commissar
- The Corner at NRO
- Blogs For Bush
- LaShawn Barber (or her commenters)
- Stephen Green (with a separate post for readers to comment.)
A tabbed browser works best for this exercise, and has the added benefit of not being as huge a security risk for your system as Micro$oft's Internet Exploder is.
NOTE: this post is for debate #2. My debate #3 post is here.
"Liveblogging the liveblogging"
I took a different approach to liveblogging the debate.
9:00pm EDT - loaded the following sites in my browser:
I then proceeded with the main event.
9:05 - reloaded & read Instapundit
9:06 - reloaded & read The Corner
9:07 - reloaded & read Powerline
9:08 - reloaded & read Spoons
9:09 - reloaded & read NZ Bear
9:10 - reloaded & read the Commisar
9:11 - reloaded & read Instapundit
9:12 - loaded Hugh Hewitt
9:13 - reloaded & read The Corner
9:14 - reloaded & read Powerline
9:15 - reloaded & read Spoons
9:16 - reloaded & read NZ Bear
9:17 - reloaded & read the Commisar
9:18-9:27 - bathroom. Cracked open the latest issue of the Cabela's catalog. I need more fiber.
9:28-9:41 - strolled downstairs to refill my beer stein with ice and grab a fresh bottle of Diet Coke. You didn't think I'd actually drink beer? Halfway up the stairs, realized I forgot to move this evening's load of laundry into the dryer. Schlepped back down, loaded the dryer, schlepped up the stairs.
9:42 - reloaded & read Instapundit
9:43 - reloaded & read Hugh Hewitt
9:44 - reloaded & read The Corner
9:45 - reloaded & read Powerline
9:46 - reloaded & read Spoons
9:47 - reloaded & read NZ Bear
9:48 - reloaded & read the Commisar
9:49-9:55 - checked e-mail. I regularly use three separate accounts, so this can sometimes take a while.
9:56-10:17 - typing this post. I'm a crappy typist.
10:18 - reloaded & read Instapundit
10:19 - reloaded & read Hugh Hewitt
10:20 - reloaded & read The Corner
10:21 - reloaded & read Powerline
10:22 - reloaded & read Spoons
10:23 - reloaded & read NZ Bear
10:24 - reloaded & read the Commisar
10:25 - reloaded & read Instapundit
10:26 - reloaded & read Hugh Hewitt
10:27 - reloaded & read The Corner
10:28 - reloaded & read Powerline
10:29 - reloaded & read Spoons
10:30 - reloaded & read NZ Bear
10:31 - reloaded & read the Commisar
10:32 - reloaded & read Instapundit
10:33 - reloaded & read Hugh Hewitt
10:34 - reloaded & read The Corner
10:35 - reloaded & read Powerline
10:36 - reloaded & read Spoons
10:37 - reloaded & read NZ Bear
10:38 - reloaded & read the Commisar
[End of debate]
Conclusions & Observations:
- Thanks goodness for Mozilla's tabbed browsing.
- I need more fiber in my diet
- All the sites linked above are much better at commentary than I would be, particularly given my pathetic typing skills.
Disclaimer: The "live" in "liveblogging" refers to the fact that I had a pulse while I mentally composed this post. I cannot type fast enough to do this stuff in realtime. And, c'mon — copy/paste would be cheating.
Update: is "liveblogging" hyphenated or not? I suspect it ought to be, despite my mixed usage.
Doc Russia describes the path to chaos. He's not leading or directing, but warning.
It's not a long trip, and it's definitely a road best left untravelled.
Having watched the debate last night, and having had time to soak up as much punditry as I can tolerate, I have come to one firm conclusion:
I, your humble host, am more qualified to be Vice President than Señor Lightweight John Edwards is.
But I don't want it, thanks very much.
Separated at birth?
(Apologies for the crappy photoshop job.)
Update: Welcome, Instapundit visitors. My very first 'lanche, and it had to be on a cheesy photoshop job.
Late update, 1/30/2007: At Hot Air, suggestions that Kerry's photo op was a violation of campaign law. It was a great picture, though.
And the winner is.... Kerry on style, Bush on substance.
But the real winner will be determined by who makes best use of all the soundbites from the debate. In that regard Bush will win, and win big.
Kerry provided such a huge and seemingly never-ending stream of fodder for pro-Bush advertisements that the hard part for the Bush campaign will be figuring out which specific Kerry utterances will be best to use.
I'd go with the "global test" business.
And now I'm off to bed.
— 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.
Using Word for Windows to create a forgery is bad.
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.
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.
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?
NOTE OUR CORRECTION BELOW [09/23 05:45 PM]
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.
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.
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.
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.
Update: Don't miss the commentary at JustOneMinute, either.
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.
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."
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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?
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!
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.
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:
- Little Green Footballs (as opposed, I guess, to freakishly huge yellow freshly-cooked Krispy Kreme donuts.)
(And be sure to see Charles' own summary.)
- Allah (who is, apparently, not outdoors.)
- PowerLine (completely charged up.)
- Wizbang (Ka-Pow!)
- INDC Journal (no snide comments spring to mind.)
- Captain's Quarters (ahoy!)
- JustOneMinute (spend at least ten minutes there.)
- And of course, Instapundit (when he's not murdering hoboes or blending puppies.)
Plenty of information and links available at all those sites.
[No pajamas here. Gym shorts, t-shirt, and Acorn slipper socks.]
Barbara Stock at FrontPageMag.com, 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)
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.
Update, 16Sep04: Bill notes the laws — Federal and Texas — on forgery.
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.
To: Dan Rather
CC: Chairman, Federal Elections Commission
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.
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.
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 2: And let's not forget ScrappleFace.
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....
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.
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."
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.]
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.
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.]
Ya. Oh, ya.
Update: Butt ointment? Well, yes... someone definitely got reamed.
And let's not forget Michael Steele, Lt. Gov. of Maryland.
What truly defines the civil rights challenge today isn't whether you can get a seat at the lunch counter, it's whether you can own that lunch counter to create legacy wealth for your children.
Take that, inheritance tax!
Now, at the Democratic convention, we heard one word over and over again: hope.
But there's a problem my friends.
Hope is not a strategy.
Hope doesn't protect your kids from terrorism.
Hope doesn't lower your taxes; hope doesn't help you buy a home.
And hope doesn't assure a quality education for your children.
As the Book of James reminds us, it's not enough to just have faith. Faith that does not show itself by good deeds is no faith at all.
One term as governor under his belt, and Mr. Steele could be a national candidate.
[Again very grateful for the DVR. I'd have missed the speeches tonight otherwise.]
Who knew Rod Paige was such a good speaker?
[I am so glad I have a digital video recorder....]
This can't be good for a certain candidate: Flyer from Kerry.
As a veteran, I'd like to take this opportunity to give the finger, retroactively, to the entire VVAW — John Kerry most particularly included.
(Link via Blackfive)
Who at Fox News thought Susan Estrich would be a commentator people would want to see or hear?
Lord, the woman is abrasive. "Harpy" would be a step up for her. What a hack.
The conspiracy-minded might be tempted to think that Fox wanted to put the worst possible face on the Left. Intent or not, that's what they got.
Another indication of Purple Heart problems for Kerry.
When I was a JROTC cadet 1977-1980, our chief advisor was Lieutenant Colonel Whitham; when I was in college, our ROTC commander was Lieutenant Colonel Shine. [I didn't stay with the college ROTC. Big mistake.]
LTC Whitham was a veteran of Korea, where he led a tank platoon, and where he earned two Silver Stars for gallantry in action. Being an Armor officer, he didn't see action in Vietnam. Rather, he faced down the Soviets across the German frontier during the darkest years of the Cold War. After he retired from active duty, he went into the school system to teach JROTC cadets, and later continued to serve his country in ROTC programs at the college level. He died in 2002.
LTC Shine (who later retired as a full Colonel), his two brothers, and his sister all served in Vietnam. One brother was killed, the other was MIA, and he was himself severely wounded. As I recall, he couldn't completely straighten his arm - the scars looked pretty rough. He was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action. After retiring from active duty, he headed an academy for ten years, and now (if my sources are right) leads "history tours" of Europe.
I have met very few men as fine as these two. They are two of my personal heroes, and even as a snotty teenager, I was awed by their presence, and humbled by the fact that they would take the time to try to teach me. Neither spoke much at all about their combat experiences, and neither ever talked about their courage. Their character wasn't something they put on like a suit; it was the essence of their being.
By contrast, we now see John Kerry. He did earn some medals in Vietnam, as he is fond of reminding us all. But as is becoming clearer, he didn't quite earn them all. It looks very much like he manipulated the system to get himself an early out from service in Vietnam. From what I've seen, heard and read, I'm sure that if the first Purple Heart had been denied (the second time he put himself in for it) he'd have found another way to leave early.
He himself looks more and more like an empty suit — the character he wears, and the lack of any character underneath.
(Via Michelle Malkin)
How smart is John Kerry, really?
Not very, if the last month has been any indication. Of course, it might be that his handlers are the dumb ones.
As evidence, one need only cite the way Kerry's been completely played, completely abused and used, by both the Swift Boat Veterans and Karl Rove in the month of August.
Almost everyday since the Democratic convention ended Kerry's been roughed up, shoved into a locker, and had his lunch money taken away. And it only seems to be getting worse.
[Italics mine; link in the original.]
Well said, Mr. Miller. It's a pity I already picked my Quote of the Day.
Cleland served honorably and courageously in Vietnam, winning a Silver Star at Khe Sanh, and was later horribly injured in an accident (which could have happened anywhere in the Army — that it happened in Vietnam was a coincidence.) I remember many years ago seeing a news-magazine item about him during one of his campaigns for Georgia Secretary of State and thinking "there's a guy I could vote for, just on his war record."
Well, no more.
In the time since his Senate re-election loss in 2002, he seems to have come unhinged. He claims to have been called unpatriotic during that campaign; in fact, all that was questioned was his Senate record, which is what is suppposed to happen in a Senate election. He was then one of those who led the charge on the proven-false claims that President Bush was AWOL from his National Guard service.
And now he is used as a prop by the Kerry camp. Today it was the letter to be given to the President:
Mr. President, as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, we believe you owe a special duty to America's combat veterans when they are under false and scurrilous attacks. We hope you will recognize this duty, and speak out against this group and their efforts to smear the reputation of a man who has served this country nobly.
Tomorrow it'll undoubtedly be something else.
If Kerry wants the activities of SBVT to stop, perhaps he ought to release all his military records. Or he could attempt to rein in the foul trolls at MoveOn(dot)org. Until then, Bush has given him the correct answer: go pound sand.
Kerry seems to have taken a lesson or two from his Vietnam experience — he accuses others of doing the things he does himself. I think it's called "projection."
Update: a reminder of who really has connections to 527s.
It's always nice to know that some of the big-dog pundits agree with me.
...[R]eal heroes don't call themselves heroes. Honorable soldiers or sailors don't brag. They let their deeds speak for themselves. Some of the most off-putting words any veteran can utter are "I'm a war hero."
I wonder if Mr. Peters read what I wrote here?
While on the way to the store today I did not get hit by a bus.
I did not win the lottery of any state today.
I was not mugged at an ATM today.
No one burgled my house today.
I did not go to see Alien vs. Predator today.
The Olympic boxing quarterfinals were not held in my living room today.
No one shot at me today.
Because, y'know, if I don't write down that it didn't happen, it must have happened. Especially if someone else falsely reports that it did.
Oh, but you can take John Kerry's word for anything.
He also points out that the DNC is boasting about their ties to those shadowy organizations.
The only question that remains is whether the DNC owns the 527s, or vice-versa.
If there's one military tradition that has endured throughout the ages, it is the telling and retelling of "war stories." In the civilian world, we'd call them "tall tales." There's a saying: the true stories are never exciting, and the exciting stories are never true. Well, almost never, but near enough that it makes for a good rule of thumb.
Regular readers (both of you!) may have noticed that from time to time I'll recount some incident from my time in the service. Those episodes that I choose to tell about (like this one) will only be about the tangential things, never about my core function.
I say again: what you'll never see me do is tell about any of the real-world intelligence missions in which I participated. Apart from the whole issue of classification (I have no idea if anything has ever been or will ever be declassified) those stories are — without fail — exceedingly dull.
One of the essential truths of the matter is that in the military, exciting incidents tend to be deadly. Those who survive are not often likely to retell those stories over and over, except to recount the bravery of one or more of their brothers-in-arms.
The most heroic virtually never tell their own stories; heroes don't claim to be heroic. Sure, on vanishingly rare occasions they do, but generally, no. If I hear someone claiming to be a hero, I make sure my valuables are secure. (Why? See the book Stolen Valor.)
And maybe that's what bugs me most about John Kerry and his campaign. I have no doubt that on occasion he acted nobly, perhaps bravely. He did go into combat, after all. What really irritates me, though, is the unabashed way in which he continually blows his own horn. Even if his reported deeds are all true (about which there is now considerable doubt) it strikes me as thoroughly unbecoming for him to tout them as a qualification for the highest office in the land.
The list of decorated combat veterans who have run for the Presidency is long and distinguished. The list of those who have bragged about their combat decorations is a very short one, indeed.
Of course, given Kerry's Senate record (or lack thereof), I can't say that I really blame him.
I did not see Michelle Malkin's appearance on Hardball last night, mainly because I can't abide Kerry's shrill shill Chris Matthews.
However, I've heard excerpts of the "interview" touching on the Swift Vets book.
I have not heard that anyone was accusing Kerry of deliberately inflicting a wound on himself in order to gain a Purple Heart and/or avoid combat duty. See the problem in that? The accusation I've heard is that he deliberately did something that resulted in an unintentional wound. In short, Kerry was reckless.
But in an astonishing display of the Straw Man logical fallacy, Matthews kept pounding Malkin to get her to say, yes or no, whether Kerry deliberately wounded himself to avoid combat.
If my understanding of the event in question is accurate, the technically correct answer is "no" — but that is the problem. Kerry did wound himself, albeit inadvertently. He then did claim a Purple Heart for the incident.
However, by denying the exact claim Matthews was making, without expanding on it, Malkin would have given him exactly what he wanted: a noted conservative denying a key Swift Vet claim.
The correct answer, what Malkin ought to have said, was "no, but...." Sadly, that's too much nuance for partisan hack Matthews. Spoons has it right: Matthews is a horse's ass.
The word is out that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have another ad coming out today.
I've never actually been eager to see an ad before.
I figure the new one will be aimed at debunking Kerry's claims of having witnessed war crimes. I'll bet a dollar on it.
Update: I am so behind the curve on this. The moment I clicked the "Post & Publish" button (I use w.bloggar; it's an excellent tool for composing posts) a confirming item came up on FoxNews. But someone still owes me a dollar.
Wait... I thought it was illegal for for-profit corporations to make campaign contributions. No?
I guess at the rate the Times has gone the last few years, they'll be non-profit soon enough.
I need to update my DD-214. In Senator Tom Harkin's world, I'm a Gulf War veteran.
For the record: I am a Gulf War era veteran. I spent 1991 at Fort Ord in California.
Maybe I'm obtuse, but I only now have noticed something. John Kerry seems to have almost entirely shed his Boston accent.
Having been a linguist, perhaps I have an ear for these things. Nonetheless, I never consciously noticed Kerry's near-accentlessness until today. Maybe it's because his other speaking habits are so ponderously annoying, or because what he says makes me want to tune him out completely. If you can bear to do so, listen to his voice recorded during his 1971 Senate testimony, and compare it to one of his speeches today. The difference is astonishing.
OK, granted, he's lived in Washington DC for nigh unto 20 years. But I can think of a whole roster of politicians (past and present) who spent decades in Washington yet never lost their regional accents. Jesse Helms, Robert Byrd, Ted Kennedy, Phil Graham... the list goes on and on.
One is tempted to think that maybe Kerry has actively cultivated a neutral accent. Perhaps it's because he knows that "Boston liberal" is not an image of himself that he wants portrayed during his campaign.
Update, 8/19/04: Greyhawk noticed the same thing, and now has a link to a video of Kerry on the Dick Cavett show. Go. See.
Note to Al: expressing an opinion online does not make one a "digital brownshirt." Using online tools to shut down other peoples' freedom of speech does.
(Link via Bill Hobbs writing at Blogs for Bush.)
Talk about a headline chock full of innuendo....
NJ governor McGreevey a) announces he's gay, and b) simultaneously announces his impending resignation under a cloud of scandal.
McGreevey, apparently, is going to be slammed for sexually harrassing a male state employee.
Of course, he won't actually resign until a date that ensures that his Democrat successor will hold the seat until the term is finished, rather than immediately, which would force a special election. God forbid the Republicans might have a shot at winning the office.
The funny thing about all this is that resigning [rather than using the power of his office to defend himself and/or destroy his enemies] actually makes him one of the more honorable of recent scandal-ridden Democrat politicians.
Jeff Jarvis has a collection of links.
On the subject of John Kerry's military records and the incomplete release thereof, I was going to speculate on the possibility that his Officer Evaluation Reports (OERs) might be less than stellar — hence the reluctance to release the full record.
The OER, known during the Vietnam era as the Fitness Report (FITREP), is the report card given to officers. (NCOs, naturally, receive NCOERs.) A good report isn't necessarily good enough, but a bad OER is a career killer... and the badness doesn't have to be obvious to civilian eyes. There is a culture of understatement, and language that might at first glance appear to be glowing approval may actually be a slap in the face.
For example, this may sound great to a civilian:
This officer is a fine example to his subordinates and can perform their duties as well as or better than they can.
But to other officers, what it really says is:
This chump is supposed to be better than his subordinates. Obviously, he does not compare well to his peers, and should not be promoted.
OK, I made that example up myself, but it illustrates the point.
Now, I expected that Kerry's FITREPs might have been in the material withheld from public release. So I Googled it, and... I was wrong.
I didn't actually see/hear Alexandra Kerry telling the hamster CPR story, but it strikes me as one of those things politicians do (or that they have done on their behalf) in an attempt to humanize themselves.
Here's a hint for Kerry: don't act human; don't send the kid out to tell us you're human; just be human.
George W. Bush doesn't need that sort of story told about him — we know he's genuine.
As the Democrat convention begins, I think the thing we can most expect to hear is a litany of the eeeeeeeeeevils the Republicans (themselves eeeeeeeevil) are allegedly responsible for.
We know some of the bad things the Democrats and leftists in general have inflicted on us all, some big (political correctness), some really big (multi-generational families dependent on Welfare), and some too humungous to believe (Michael Moore's ass).
I've decided to collect a list of some of the minor evils — the little everyday things that we could all do without — perpetrated on us by leftists and Democrats.
Your help in collecting these (in the comment, of course) will be much appreciated. I'll start:
- Crabgrass - pure evil, but minor. I'm pretty sure it was brought into the country by John Kerry on his return from Vietnam, as a way to irritate all those rich Republicans who can afford to own houses with lawns. (And I'll bet you never even knew Kerry served in Vietnam....)
- Andy Rooney - He used to be funny and clever, now he's just a bitter old has-been who has managed to retain his five minutes on TV every week because he hates conservatives.
- The United Nations - brought to us by the FDR and Truman administrations, as well as assorted one-worlders. Whose idea was it to give Liechtenstein a vote equal to ours? (No offense to Liechtenstein, I'm sure it's a pleasant place and all, but really....) If the UN had their own armed forces, maybe they'd be dangerous. As it is, it's merely a Kaffeeklatsch for tyrants and their diplomats, who complain about Israel and annoy New Yorkers by parking illegally.
- Spam - pure evil, but minor. Not the tasty pork product, which was developed by Good Capitalists, but the unsolicited e-mail variety. A California law firm started the whole thing to drum up business, and we all know whose side those nasty trial lawyers are on.
What are your liberal-generated peeves?
Today was the North Carolina primary election, delayed for two months due to a nasty redistricting battle.
In the time between completing my previous post and beginning this, I was able to complete the voting process: verify the polling location on the Wake County website, find my keys, drive to the polling place, check in, vote, drive to the quicki-mart for
my vice a pack of smokes, drive home, and explain the whole thing to the Parental Unit.
As I strolled into the polling place — the local elementary school — I noticed the rather low turnout, but all the people ahead of me were in the line for surnames beginning with letters M thru Z, so I was able to walk to the head of the line.
The nice little old lady behind the table asked my name and address, looked me up, asked my party affiliation (this was a primary election; here in NC, one apparently doesn't get to vote in other party's primaries — that's the way things should be), had me sign a paper (apparently to verify that I was indeed present) and proceed to the next table to pick up my ballot.
The fellow at the next table took and examined my signed form, handed me a ballot, and directed me to a booth, where I made the appropriate marks on the ballot.
From there, I took my ballot to the reader machine and inserted it. It made a series of self-satisfied whirring and clicking noises, followed by a smug sigh, which I took to mean that my votes had been tabulated, since upon hearing that noise yet another nice lady fairly leapt to my side and handed me the traditional "Be nice to me, I voted" sticker, which I obligingly fixed to my shirt before making my way out of the building and back to my truck.
As during elections in the past, not once was I ever asked to prove that I was who I claimed to be in order to vote. No request to see a voter registration card, no demand for a driver license or ID of any kind.
That's just wrong.
The Sandy Berger thing seemed ripe for comment, especially since I know a thing or two about handling highly classified documents, but I remain rather busy with the Parental Unit in town.
I figure the parallels to Watergate are obvious enough. I bet Berger's parents would be so proud that he has chosen a career as a "plumber."
George W. Bush, in various speeches (this one from March 2002):
And this enemy of ours hates what we stand for. They can't stand us. They're ruthless murderers. And they must not have understood America when they attacked us. They thought we were weak. They thought we were so self-absorbed in our materialism that all we would probably do is just sue them. [emphasis mine - Russ]July 2004: Kerry selects John Edwards (D - Trial Lawyers), alleged to be the Senator from North Carolina, to be his veep candidate.
Today being President Bush's 58th birthday, a $58 donation to the reelection campaign would be a nice gift.
(Idea from Blogs for Bush)
Quick thoughts... I'm sure I'll have more later, if I can stomach it.
So John Kerry has picked John Edwards to be his veep nominee. What a team. In this ticket, we see two of the worst attendance records in the Senate. The most liberal senator and a done-nothing lightweight; one a tool of the NEA, the other a tool of the Trial Lawyers. [Tools... heheh.] What a mix. I'm glad I'll be voting against them.
No, I'll cheerfully vote against them. And as a two-fer, I get to vote for Bush/Cheney. Win/win.
Kerry trotted out the "Let America be America Again" line. What exactly is that supposed to mean?*
Ah, yes... the obligatory call for national healthcare.
Reliance on foreign oil... check. Say, Senator Kerry - you voted for ANWR, didn't you? No?
I never knew this, but apparently Kerry served in Vietnam.
Can't forget to mention the "Bush Lied!!!!" complaint. From Kerry, it sounds like he's complaining about hemorrhoids.
"Horseface and Prettyboy." Sounds like the name of a bad movie. Sounds like a worse ticket... for the Donks.
gently corrects boots AlGore upside the head.
Politically, I count myself a strong conservative, with some libertarian tendencies. Getting government's hand out of my wallet would be an exceptionally good thing. Consistent with protecting the country against danger to our existence and protecting citizens from the depredations of homegrown miscreants, I am generally a government minimalist.
There's a reason, though, that I am not now nor will in the foreseeable future be a "big-L" Libertarian. Actually, there are quite a few reasons. The Libertarian Party has taken some stands that I find to be less than responsible, particularly with regard to the war on Islamofascism. Apparently, they'd rather we take a punch in the face before reacting, rather than preemptively shooting the terrorists while they wind up to deliver the punch. The Libertarians are not serious about ensuring our national survival.
They are ambiguous on the issue of abortion. While they (rightly) decry government funding of abortions, they seem to have no particular problem with abortion itself. How this squares with the rights of an unborn child is beyond my comprehension.
Then there's the Libertarian Party position on drugs.
Well, it's not so much a position as a sword upon which they repeatedly fall. They then get up, brush themselves off, and repeat. They wonder why no one takes them seriously.
Here's a hint, guys: when the issue you are consistently loudest about is the one that tells people you are a pack of raving stoners, you are not going to win many hearts and minds, nor do well at the polls. You can beat that drum all the live-long day, but people aren't going to dance to it.
(Well, they may try, but if they do they will be jerky and uncoordinated, will have fits of giggling for no readily identifiable reason and will occasionally wander off, muttering to themselves, to get some Twinkies™.)
Hence, I can sympathize with Neal Boortz when he notes:
I believe to this day that if individualism, freedom, economic liberty and constitutional government are to be restored and preserved in the United States it will be the libertarianism, if not the Libertarian Party, that gets the save. The way the party is playing right now, that save looks in doubt.I think that's just about right.
Michelle Malkin takes the Wall Street Journal to task over their editorial stance (and today's editorial column) in favor of
illegal open immigration.
The WSJ is so strongly opposed to immigration reform (specifically, anything that would restrict the number of illegals flowing across our borders), you could be forgiven for thinking the editorial offices at the WSJ were staffed by day-laborers picked up from a street corner in New Jersey every morning.
It seems the Dems want to move their convention... though not without a bit of arguement from Law Enforcement:
Update: Woo-hoo! I got it into today's Best of the Web!
It has been suggested to me that I, presumably in my role as a native Californian, comment on that irredeemable treacherous harpy, Nancy Pelosi, and her partisan shrieking against the President.
I wouldn't dignify her ravings that way. Nancy Pelosi is beneath both contempt and comment.
If I heard it right, Senator Lieberman (D, Conn.) sounded like a completely rational patriot in the Senate hearing today.
No wonder he got creamed in the Democrat presidential primaries.
[I'm still trying to find the quote....]
UPDATE: Hillary!, however, was a complete b****. I don't know what she said, but the fact that she's a total b**** remains a constant.
UPDATE 2: I did hear him correctly. Click "more" for the transcript of Senator Lieberman's remarks, courtesy of the WaPo.
LIEBERMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, the behavior by Americans at the prison in Iraq is, as we all acknowledge, immoral, intolerable and un-American. It deserves the apology that you have given today and that have been given by others in high positions in our government and our military.
I cannot help but say, however, that those who were responsible for killing 3,000 Americans on September 11th, 2001, never apologized. Those who have killed hundreds of Americans in uniform in Iraq working to liberate Iraq and protect our security have never apologized.
And those who murdered and burned and humiliated four Americans in Fallujah a while ago never received an apology from anybody. [It's clear he meant to say "never apologized to anybody." -- Russ]
So it's part of -- wrongs occurred here, by the people in those pictures and perhaps by people up the chain of command.
But Americans are different. That's why we're outraged by this. That's why the apologies were due.
And that's why I hope as we go about this investigation, we do it in a way that does not dishonor the hundreds of thousands of Americans in uniform who are a lot more like Pat Tillman and Americans that are not know, like Army National Guard Sergeant Felix Del Greco of Simsbury, Connecticut, who was killed in action a few weeks ago; that we not dishonor their service or discredit the cause that brought us to send them to Iraq, because it remains one that is just and necessary.
We've got to get to the whole truth here, and nothing but the truth. We can't be defensive. We've got to be aggressive about it. And as Senator McCain said, we've got to do it quickly so that we and you and most of all our soldiers can get back to fighting and winning the war on terrorism with determination.
As far as I'm concerned, we do have to know how this happened. And we have to know it so we can stop it from happening ever again.
You've said that the behavior of those soldiers was fundamentally un-American. I agree with you. And this goes way back to the first American declaration, the Declaration of Independence, where we said that every human being has those rights as an endowment of our creator.
That even goes to human beings who have been apprehended by our military as they have been in Iraq because they are suspected of being part of the terrorists, of the jihadists, of the foreign fighters, of the Saddam loyalists who are killing Americans and Iraqis every day.
We know that people are flawed. And that's why we believe in the rule of law, to try to make this better and punish those who fall below appropriate humane standards.
According to the Senator's military doctor, the wound for which John Kerry received his first Purple Heart was minor, and close to having been self-inflicted:
Some of his crew confided that they did not receive any fire from shore, but that Kerry had fired a mortar round at close range to some rocks on shore. The crewman thought that the injury was caused by a fragment ricocheting from that mortar round when it struck the rocks.Well, heck.
That seemed to fit the injury which I treated.
What I saw was a small piece of metal sticking very superficially in the skin of Kerry's arm. The metal fragment measured about 1 cm. in length and was about 2 or 3 mm in diameter. It certainly did not look like a round from a rifle.
I simply removed the piece of metal by lifting it out of the skin with forceps. I doubt that it penetrated more than 3 or 4 mm. It did not require probing to find it, did not require any anesthesia to remove it, and did not require any sutures to close the wound.
The wound was covered with a bandaid.
The wound I described here was inflicted by a piece of metal about 1.5cm wide by .3cm thick (by 15cm long), and penetrated 3 or 4 millimeters. I pulled the metal out myself, and didn't bother with a bandaid.
Where's my Purpleheart?
In my previous post on this topic, I had a few choice words for Senator Kerry. I suggested that he is a hypocrite. I'll stand by that.
What I could/should have done, however, was shine a brighter light on the alleged "keepers" of the faith: those who are charged with maintaining the concrete fundamentals of their faith.
All too often, we hear of bishops, et al., who act contrary to the tenets of their faith, and worse, who fail to stand up for what are supposed to be core principles. The recent example of the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) -- the consecration -- making a bishop -- of a man who openly flouts the teachings of his church regarding homosexuality was just the most recent instance of this sad trend towards spinelessness.
[For ongoing bloggish examination of the state of the ECUSA, as well as a whole variety of other topics, I highly recommend Christopher S. Johnson's blog, Midwest Conservative Journal.]
Imagine, then, my surprise at reading of a church leader who actually acts on the tenets of his church: N.J. Governor Denied Communion:
CAMDEN, N.J. – The incoming leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden has decided that Gov. James E. McGreevey cannot receive communion.Note to John Kerry: not every bishop or other church leader is going to roll over or give you a big thumbs-up just because you're running for President.
The Most Rev. Joseph Galante said Thursday that he was taking the stance primarily because the divorced governor, who is Catholic, remarried without receiving a church annulment. He also cited McGreevey's support of abortion rights, stem-cell research and other positions that contradict church views.
"Go along to get along" may play well in Senate offices, but when confronted by men of conscience like soon-to-be-Bishop Joseph Galante, it won't work.
John over at Balloon Juice remonstrates with Democrats: "stop whining and to start engaging in honest debate...."
Just have your candidate stop lying and have him actually defend his record. Every time Kerry is asked a question about his record, he avoids any response and immediately launches into a salvo about how bad Bush is."Salvo"...? Considering all the frothing at the mouth that occurs in the "hate Bush" camp, I think a better way to describe it would be "salivo."
["Salvo" + "saliva." Do the math.]
Big kerfuffle today over John Kerry's medal-tossing. Did he toss medals? Ribbons? His own? Someone else's? Listening to Mr. Waffle, one might be forgiven for thinking it was simultaneously all, or maybe none, of those.
It seems to me that if he had been so willing to return his medals, he'd have requested to have them stricken from his Navy personnel records.
Unless, of course, he then was and now remains nothing more than a posturing hack who wants to have his cake and eat it, too.
John Kerry seems to forget that one of the jobs of the President is to conduct foreign policy.
Spotted at Best of the Web:
John Kerry "quickly seized on [Bob] Woodward's assertion on Sunday that the Saudi ambassador to the United States had agreed that his country would make sure that oil prices did not get too out of hand and would lower them to boost the American economy prior to the election--a decision that would presumably help Mr. Bush politically," reports the New York Times:Of course, Woodward's assertions are just that: assertions. But as David Frum notes on NRO:
"That is outrageous and unacceptable to the American people," Mr. Kerry, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, declared during a campaign stop in Florida.
But is it true?But Kerry doesn't care what's actually true. He merely cares about scoring political points.
Ask yourself this: Who could have been Woodward’s source for this claim? Only one person: the canny Prince Bandar, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States and a frequent purveyor of titillating items to selected journalists.
Next question: If such a deal existed, what motive could Prince Bandar have for revealing it? The revelation could only hurt Bush, the candidate Bandar was allegedly trying to help.
Logical next thought: If, however, Bandar wanted to hurt Bush, then the revelation makes a great deal of sense.
But why would Bandar want to hurt Bush? Don’t a hundred conspiracy books tell us that the Bush family are thralls of Saudi oil money? Perhaps the Saudis don’t think so. Perhaps they see President Bush’s Middle East policy as a threat to their dominance and even survival. What could after all be a worse nightmare for Saudi Arabia than a Western-oriented, pluralistic Iraq pumping all the oil it can sell?
In other words, if what Bob Woodward reports is true, then the Saudis are meddling to defeat Bush, not elect him.
The real point, though, is that he seems to think lower oil prices are bad based on who does the legwork to assure the free flow of oil. Perhaps he'd rather we had a repeat of the oil embargo of the '70s.
Actually, if he could blame President Bush, I think that's exactly what he'd rather have.
The schedule for the 2004 DNC convention has been announced.
If a Republican organization had run an advertisement recommending that Vietnam veterans correct a lapse on their part by "fragging" John Kerry this year, the outrage and uproar in the press and elsewhere would be justifiably intense.
But when a Democrat organization runs an ad suggesting that Donald Rumsfeld be put up against a wall and shot....
Huh? What liberal media?
[Update: 20 minutes after I posted this, Brit Hume covered it on Fox News. Well, Mr. Hume is no Democrat apologist. Let's see if CNNABCMSNBCCBS cover it.]
On Foxnews.com, Analysts: Faith Less of a Factor for Kerry
John Kerry is only the third Catholic candidate this close to getting all the way to the White House, but whether he can win over the Catholic vote in November could depend on his skill in separating his religious and political beliefs.In other words, how well he can pay lip service to his alleged faith while telling the lies he thinks will win him the White House.
"He's in opposition to the Catholic Church on essential church teaching. He has the most radical stand one could have on the subject [of abortion]," said William Donahue, president of the Catholic League. "There's a serious question here that he's so out of sync with the church's teachings on the life issues that it's going to be a problem."Indeed... But if he's so out of sync, why does anyone bother calling him a Catholic? Doesn't the Catholic church have rules about who can be a member?
"To ask each communicant if they are pro-choice or pro-life is impractical," said former California gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon, who argued that Kerry should not be judged by his faith any more than any other individual.Agreed. At the same time, however, it is perfectly legitimate for him to be judged by how well he holds to the principles to which he, as a Catholic, is supposed to hold.
Kerry's Web site touts the presumptive Democratic candidate as a committed adherent to the Catholic faith, similar to earlier Democratic nominees John F. Kennedy in 1960 and Alfred E. Smith in 1928.Active... how? Does he show up for every Bingo night? Or is he just one of those people who thinks he can throw his wife's money into the poor box and consider his obligation fulfilled?
"John Kerry was raised in the Catholic faith and continues to be an active member of the Catholic church," it reads.
The Massachusetts senator agrees with the church on social justice issues, including immigration, poverty, health care and the death penalty, and he did seek an annulment from the church after his first marriage. But Kerry holds different opinions from church doctrine on such issues as abortion and same-sex unions, both of which he supports.The Catholic church is not a Chinese restaurant, and the catechism is not a menu. You're not allowed to choose three items from column A and two from column B. It's supposed to be an all-or-nothing proposition.
Kerry has argued that he is a politician and not a cleric, and should be judged not on his adherence to his faith, but on his commitment to the U.S. Constitution (search).John, John, John... if you aren't willing to adhere to the tenets of your faith, how can anyone believe that you would adhere to the U.S. Constitution?
But whether or not his faith matters remains to be seen.It may matter to him, but less than the White House does.
Catholics, who are 65-million strong in the United States, make up one-fourth of the electorate and traditionally lean Democratic. Republicans have chipped away at that advantage over the years. No presidential candidate since 1980, save Al Gore in the 2000 race, has won the Catholic vote and lost the White House.Small poll sample size... big margin of error... I'd call that poll statistically worthless.
But Catholic Democrats disproportionately backed Kerry over his opponents during primary season, and a Fox News-Opinion Dynamics poll taken earlier this week shows that of 269 registered Catholic voters polled, 47 percent supported Kerry while 41 percent preferred President Bush. Catholics also have a favorability rating of Kerry of 48 percent, while the general public has a rate of 43 percent. The margin of error was 6 percent.
The numbers have led some analysts to question whether Kerry's departures from Catholic doctrine will have any impact at all.Well, if the bishops took things seriously, they'd take Kerry to task for his lapses. They, after all, have the authority to say who is and is not Catholic.
"The church can make its own rules, but it is also between the person and God," said radio talk show host and Fox News contributor Ellen Ratner.Indeed. But if you stray from Catholic doctrine as far as Kerry does, you really don't have the right to call yourself Catholic. Hence we have Lutherans, Baptists, Quakers, Presbyterians....
"I'd like to think that religion is not a big factor these days. I think people will say whatever religion he has, that’s his," said Rev. Robert F. Drinan, a Catholic priest and former Democratic congressman from Massachusetts.Priest... former Donk congressman... from Massachussets... you think he's not going to back Kerry to the hilt?
Drinan, now a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, said Kerry's faith may even help pick up Catholic Republicans, adding that a GOP attack on Kerry's observance "could boomerang badly."
Kerry could sacrifice a virgin to Satan on the pitcher's mound at Fenway, in front of 50,000 witnesses and on national TV, and the Massachussets Democrat machine would continue to push his candidacy. No doubt accompanied by claims of a GOP smear campaign....
While Kerry does not adhere to all the strictures of the faith, Bush may not be any better a choice for Catholics, added Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (search).If I were Catholic, I'd rather have an honest Methodist in the White House than a hypocritical alleged-Catholic.
"There is no candidate that is in agreement with the church on all issues," she said.
Still, church decisions could play a central role in swaying Catholic voters. In January 2003, prompted by international debate on stem cell research and human cloning, the Vatican released a "doctrinal note." Among other things, it said that "a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals."Indeed, anyone who votes against or campaigns on a platform that contradicts the fundamental contents of their faith and morals is nothing more or less than a whore.
In February, Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis advised Kerry not to "present himself for communion" at any church in the city. Earlier in the year, Burke had cited support for abortion and euthanasia as issues he could not reconcile with political candidates.Brave man. Expect a Thomas á Becket moment in his future.
In Kerry's Boston diocese, Archbishop Sean O'Malley has instructed Catholic politicians who back abortion rights to abstain from communion. But, unlike Burke, O'Malley has not suggested that priests refuse communion if politicians like Kerry present themselves. Kerry is expected to receive the sacrament on Easter Sunday at his church in Boston.Kerry, in a not unexpected move, ignored the archbishop. How, exactly, is is this consistent with Catholicism?
Donahue said that not only will many Catholics reject Kerry's commitment to his religion, but he may also expect a backlash among non-Catholics.Preach it,
"One more time, is he speaking out of both sides of his mouth? It's adding to the profile that he seems to be everything to everybody. That is something he is going to have to answer when it comes to the subject of religion," he said.
"It's not going to be whether there's an animus against Catholics, but is he a Catholic in good standing," Donahue said.
Exactly. I'm not Catholic myself, though could I be if it weren't for a couple of doctrinal issues on which I am at variance with Rome. But I still respect the church. Kerry, on the other hand, wants to have his cake and eat it too by claiming to be one thing and acting like another.
Added American Enterprise Institute Research Associate John Fortier, questions of Kerry's faith demonstrate just how much the country has changed since 1960, when anti-Catholic bias arose in questions about whether Kennedy would be more committed to his church than his state.Again we come to the idea that it is not the specific religion that is so important in American politics, but rather whether or not a candidate can actually keep the promises, vows, or commitments he has made.
"The fact that really very few people have even noticed [Kerry's religion] shows that we're largely beyond it. I don’t think were going to face much talk about whether his loyalty is to the U.S. or the pope as we did with Kennedy," Fortier said.
On this score, Kerry fails the test.
The 9/11 commission hearings today, and the treatment of Dr. Rice by one commissioner in particular, brought to mind a question I've wanted to ask that one particular commissioner for a very long time:
Mr. Ben-Veniste, is your name really "Richard," or do you just use that because so many people call you Dick?
If it's Friday, you know there'll be a new article by Victor Davis Hanson. Lovin’ Europe by Leavin’:
Oh, we recognize our common intellectual and cultural heritage. We appreciate the need for joint action in the so-called war against terrorism. And we like visiting European capitals, and enjoy many aspects of present-day European culture. But it is for those very reasons of wishing to preserve some sort of relationship that we must abandon the status quo and think of radically new ways to relate to our friends and stewards of our common cultural ancestry.
The rest of the world doesn't "get" us -- they do not and cannot understand America, and they likely never will.
Why do the EUnuchs (in particular) have such a hard time understanding us? Stephen Den Beste explains:
It's because too many of Europe's opinion makers are living in a delusional world anyway. They believe that raising taxes and increasing social spending doesn't stifle economic growth, and that labor laws which prevent layoffs increase employment. They think they can catch up to the US economically by 2010. They think all disagreements can be settled through negotiations and that no one needs or should have a military any longer. They think all citizens should rely on the state to protect them from criminals, and any who try to protect themselves should be punished.That sums it up nicely. But go read the whole thing.
They think they're still important, and they think that the world views them that way. Amidst that great sea of delusion, it's hardly surprising that they also think America is becoming more and more European as it finally grows up, and that deep down we admire them and want to be more like them.
So it won't be any surprise when they continue to find our behavior bewildering and infuriating as they continue to botch their dealings with us.
My buddy Matt, the founder of Blogs for Bush (for which I provide technical service) and who (of course) runs his own blog, is a frequent counter-protestor when the moonbats come out to
play rant, rave and froth at the mouth.
Yesterday in Boston he carried on his fine work, supporting the President and countering the idiots protesting outside the President's fundraiser venue. This time, though, he had a bit of a run-in with a gang of leftist union thugs.
Naturally, there were no arrests. There never are when leftists commit these sorts of assaults.
OK, OK, it's Drudge... but he's been right so many times before.
Don't like Drudge? Well, Scott Ott is all over the story, too: Alleged Kerry Intern Scandal Sparks Clinton Endorsement
Personally, I don't buy it. This is John "Cash And" Kerry we're talking about here... and after all, how rich is a mere intern likely to be?
Like a vampire of legend, the "Bush was AWOL" lie seems to live on and on.
Bill Hobbs, however, finds the wooden stake, and drives it through the heart of the "Bush was AWOL" lie.
The difference between a vampire and the the "Bush was AWOL" lie is that the vampire never received first aid and life support from the Democrat party and the media.
delinquent North Carolina Senator local presidential candidate has run into a wee bit of a campaign financial ethics problem.
Timbo calls him on it.
Edwards has missed some significanly large proportion of Senate votes since he took office. He seems to have mostly avoided taking any particular stand that would simultaneously a) irritate us in NC and b) irritate Democrat primary voters.
You'd almost think that he was treating his tenure in the Senate as merely a stepping-stone to higher office.
Naaaah... couldn't be....
(BTW, check out the rest of Timbo's site, too.)
Not a bad speech from the President, overall. I'd have ended stonger, but still, not bad.
I heard two of the things I wanted to hear. War on Terrorism. Tax cuts.
I wish he'd finished with inspiring words on the future of the space program. Oh, well, can't have everything.
The best part of the speech:
Some critics have said our duties in Iraq must be internationalized. This particular criticism is hard to explain to our partners in Britain, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Italy, Spain, Poland, Denmark, Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, the Netherlands, Norway, El Salvador...[Long standing ovation.]
... and the 17 other countries that have committed troops to Iraq. As we debate at home, we must never ignore the vital contributions of our international partners, or dismiss their sacrifices. From the beginning, America has sought international support for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and we have gained much support. There is a difference, however, between leading a coalition of many nations, and submitting to the objections of a few. America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people.Hoo rah! If I could have stood, I would have. I had to settle for cheering and near-giddy laughter. And a big s***-eating grin.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Chirac.
Frank Gaffney, on Gen. Wesley Clark:
Anyone who pledges that, if elected, he will ensure the American people are never exposed to future terrorist incidents — including ones vastly more destructive than those that befell us 27 months ago — is sufficiently delusional or dishonest, or both, to be disqualified for the Oval Office.in "General Disqualification" at National Review Online
Citizen Smash's open thread today asks the question:
If you could add one amendment to the US Constitution, what would it be?Well, I couldn't limit myself to one... and I'll bet I could come up with more:
"The sixteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed."No income tax. Congress would have to come up with some other scheme to raise the money they use to
"No person who receives a paycheck or largess from the federal government, or the same from a non-governmental entity funded 50% or more by the federal government, shall be entitled to vote in elections for federal offices."Ya, that'll make a lot of people unhappy... people from all over the political spectrum.
[Update: yes, the second was meant to be tongue in cheek, but I suffer from the handicap of already knowing what I mean to say and how I mean to say it. Thanks, Charles, for pointing this out.]
There has to be a way the Donks can blame this on Bush:
Woman Knocked Unconscious By Wal-Mart ShoppersWell, obviously this never would have happened if the President hadn't cut taxes. If people would just let the government have more of their paychecks, they wouldn't have as much to spend for the holidays, and we'd never have to see this sort of tragedy again.
Witnesses: Shoppers Stepped Over Woman Having Seizure
ORANGE CITY, Fla. -- A 41-year-old woman was knocked unconscious and then trampled by a mob of shoppers who continued to step over her as she suffered a seizure during a Friday sale at Wal-Mart in Orange City, Fla., according to Local 6 News.
Now that the Bush tax cuts are setting the economy back on track after the recent slump (which I might remind you, gentle reader, began before he took office), and now that the general public recognizes that things are getting better, and now that people are actually going out to spend their own money, we can undoubtedly see more such frenzied shopping-induded tramplings, right? Right?
The part of my brain responsible for rhyming can't come up with any catchy slogan for the moonbats to shriek about this....
"Bush cut tax rates -- people in dire straits!"
Wow, that's incredibly -- even amazingly -- weak.
I'm open to suggestions. In the meantime, I'm going to go have more coffee.
(link via James at VRWC)
This business about Howard Dean's late brother has me wondering.
Active duty soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are upset over being forced take part in a military repatriation ceremony today for remains believed to be those of the non-military brother of presidential candidate Howard Dean, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.OK, I can understand the troops being unhappy about this. I'm none too thrilled by it myself. Military honors should be reserved for military personnel (or high-ranking government officials). But I have a question:
"His brother will receive full military honors...flag over the coffin and all!" fumes one soldier, who asked not to be named.
Governor Dean is set to visit to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and the repatriation of his brother to Hickam AFB, Hawaii.
The brother's remains were recovered in Laos by a JPAC recovery team this past month. JPAC's mission is to search, recover, and identify remains of US service members who were killed in previous wars.
During the Vietnam War, Dean's brother and an Australian friend treked into Laos as civilians -- and were captured by the Vietcong and killed.
JPAC was pressured to not only recover his brother's remains, but to bump Dean's recovery over numerous other MIA's who actually died fighting for their country, a well-placed military source tells the DRUDGE REPORT.
(Via the Drudge archives)
What were those two guys doing over there?
I can think of only three types of civilians (other than the press) who might have gone to Laos in 1974:
- aid workers, akin to the Red Cross or CARE,
- sympathizers/supporters of the North Vietnam (read: communist) regime, akin to "Hanoi Jane" Fonda
- drug traffickers.
UPDATE, 3Dec03: I have since been clued in. Apparently, he was there as a "adventure tourist." Which leads to the question, why would anyone think tourism in what was (for all intents and purposes) a war zone would be a good idea?
I bring a message on behalf of America: We thank you for your service, we're proud of you, and America stands solidly behind you. Together, you and I have taken an oath to defend our country.
You're honoring that oath. The United States military is doing a fantastic job. You are defeating the terrorists here in Iraq, so that we don't have to face them in our own country. You're defeating Saddam's henchmen, so that the people of Iraq can live in peace and freedom.
Each one of you has answered a great call, participating in an historic moment in world history. You live by a code of honor, of service to your nation, with the safety and the security of your fellow citizens. Our military is full of the finest people on the face of the earth. I'm proud to be your commander in chief. I bring greetings from America. May God bless you all.I daily thank God that we have a President who is an honorable man, who genuinely cares for our troops (one of which, I might remind you, I used to be) and who has devoted himself to the protection and preservation of our nation, the "last best hope of Earth."
This is a President of whom we can and ought to be proud.
The anti-American peace creeps are at it again.
They call themselves "anti-war." Nothing could be further from the truth.
It cannot be said loudly enough or often enough:
they are not against the war - they are on the other side.
Go see the commentary from:
I am so glad we in North Carolina have a principled voice-of-the-people senator in our own John Edwards. I'm glad to see him taking a stand on pay raises for the Senate.
Oh, wait. He didn't.
Would someone be so good as to tell me how, exactly, taxation with representation is any better than the same without?
There's much afoot in blogdom (from much bigger dogs than Yours Truly) about the Democrat-led Senate plan to extract repayment from Iraqis for the help we are giving them.
The Senate -- courtesy of most of the Democrats and a handful of defecting Republicans -- insists on repayment.
The President does not.
Excuse me, but I thought the President was the one who wanted to invade Iraq to seize the output from the oil fields? That's all we seemed to hear from the Left - "no blood for oil," et cetera, ad nauseum.
It seems to me that the Democrats are throwing away a talking point - a false one, but a rhetorically useful one.
Update: A Tony Snow interview of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on Fox News (sorry, no linkage at this time) leads me to conclude that this provision will die in the House/Senate conference committee. Lefties, you may resume your chanting.
Babylon 5... ah, B5.... Do you remember it?
What do you mean, no? It's only the Greatest Television Series Ever Made. That's my opinion, and I'm sticking with it.
In October 1997, the 86th Babylon 5 Episode aired, titled "Endgame."
What do you mean, you haven't seen it? Are you a barbarian? Well, this post contains spoilers, so before reading further, go and watch the first 86 episodes, up to and through "Endgame," then come back and finish reading below....
In Endgame, the forces of Goodness defeat the forces of Badness, putting an end to the reign of the evil President Clark (no relation to the guy mentioned here.) At the very end, the soon-to-be-deposed ruler turns a gun on himself, but not before turning all Earth's weapons on Earth itself. His suicide note: a cryptic message spelling out the words "scorched earth."
That's fiction. (And damned good fiction it is, too.)
In October 2003, the evil (or merely grossly incompetent) Governor Davis, about to be turned out of office, has apparently decided to follow much the same course of action - to do as much harm to the once-great state of California as he can on his way out the door.
He's already signed a number of bills into law that the majority of Californians don't want - fodder for fringe special interest groups. Giving drivers licenses to illegal aliens is the most notorious example of the damage he can do on his way out.
Now come the shredders. At least CA isn't Iraq, where shredders have an entirely different use.
I am so glad I left.
Matt Margolis thinks not, and proceeds to dissect Dean.
Did I say "dissect"? Sorry - he vivisects Dean.
With a chainsaw.
I'm a bit late to this party.... but as everyone seems to have noticed today, General Hugh Shelton, US Army (retired), former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (the highest-ranked uniformed member of the armed forces) seems to have a less-than-stellar opinion of the newest Democrat candidate for the presidency, General Wesley Clark (retired):
"What do you think of General Wesley Clark and would you support him as a presidential candidate," was the question put to him by moderator Dick Henning, assuming that all military men stood in support of each other. General Shelton took a drink of water and Henning said, "I noticed you took a drink on that one!"As everyone from Donald Sensing to Matt Kennicott to SGT Hook has opined, this sort of muted criticism from a fellow member of the 4-star club is the rhetorical equivalent of a Daisy-Cutter. Generals just do not criticize each other in public.
"That question makes me wish it were vodka," said Shelton. "I've known Wes for a long time. I will tell you the reason he came out of Europe early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that are very near and dear to my heart. I'm not going to say whether I'm a Republican or a Democrat. I'll just say Wes won't get my vote."
Personal anecdote time: once, long ago, I attended a Sergent Major's retirement ceremony, and everyone - enlisted, NCOs and officers, including the 2-star Division commander - showed up. But as has been rumored around the 'sphere [anyone with more info, please comment], no one of note even bothered to attend Clark's retirement ceremony. This is absolutely stunning.
A question that arises from all this is, what exactly could Clark have done that earned such a level of disrespect from his fellow officers - not to mention what appears to have been an involuntary early retirement?
"integrity and character issues"I mean, come on, people - what could it have taken for the Clinton administration to fire someone for "integrity and character issues"?
If Clark were running under a GOP banner, the press would be on him like, well, like ugly on me. Four words for the news media: Freedom of Information Act.
James Taranto in today's Best of the Web makes a valid criticism of Juan Williams' verbal assault on Howard Dean. Said Williams:
Gov. Dean has suggested that states like Vermont, Montana and Wyoming, with overwhelmingly white populations, really don't need gun control, in part because of their rural character, but urban areas, such as Baltimore, Md., with large minority populations, do need gun control.This is an unwarranted interpretation of Dean's actual position. No one believes Dean is racist.
On the other hand, Dean's actual position on gun laws - and on the Constitution, generally - is far, far worse. If summarized accurately by Taranto, it is Constitutionally insupportable. Taranto writes [emphasis mine]:
Howard Dean deviates from liberal orthodoxy on one issue: gun rights. Coming from Vermont, the state with the nation's least restrictive gun laws, Dean holds a genuinely moderate position. He opposes new federal gun-control laws, but he also believes the 10th Amendment trumps the Second and that states have the authority to pass whatever gun laws they see fit.Surely, Dean cannot seriously believe this?
On this basis, would it then be a reasonable position to believe that the 10th Amendment trumps the First, that states should be able to pass laws restricting speech, the press, religion, and the right to assemble?
How about the Fifth - shall states be able to seize private property without compensation, if they see fit to do so? Or put a person on trial twice for the same crime?
Carried to the extreme, maybe the 13th Amendment? Should Vermont be able to reinstitute slavery?
This sort of "reasoning" betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The amendments are there to guarantee and protect the basic rights of the people. Anything not specifically addressed is left to the states, under the Tenth Amendment.
Such basic errors should be considered an absolute disqualification from holding an office under the federal Constitution.
Gray "Red" Davis is going to sign a law allowing illegal aliens to receive drivers licenses.
Whether the sponsors say it or not, the law is designed expressly to allow illegals to vote -- and yes, they'll vote Democrat -- and Davis will sign it this time. He knows his goose is cooked, recall-wise, and he seems determined to go down in flames, doing as much damage as he can on the way out, in a Gotterdammerung-esque act of scorched-earth spite.
Now, if I were a Californian, I would immediately talk to a lawyer and go to Federal Court to block this law.
The grounds for a Federal claim? OK, I'm not a lawyer, but consider:
- in California it is either de facto or de jure against the law to ask for proof of elegibility to vote
- "Motor voter" gives any driver license applicant the opportunity to register to vote
- Illegals with drivers licenses will certainly be voting, though they have no right to do so.
I'd rather they get around to doing something about the actual problem: illegal immigration. But don't hold your breath - I won't.
Devin is a good friend of mine from the tech business and, like me, a former military linguist. He's a prolific writer of letters to editors, and has a good track record of being published - usually as the sole voice of the political Right.
Stuck as he is in California, he has a right to be a little upset with the state of the State. I can't blame him. Here's his latest.
Californians have wrung their hands raw discussing the State's financial and political situation that caused the recall revolution but there has been little analysis identifying what has caused this catastrophe. The key facts are that the California State budget has ballooned by 263% in 15 years, from $38 Billion in 1987-88 to $100 Billion this year. The credit markets have expressed their lack of confidence in California's ability to pay its debts by dropping the state's credit rating from AAA to today's BBB, just 2 steps above junk bond status.Like I said - he's a bit miffed. He has a right to be.
In 1999 California's budget had a surplus of $12 billion and 5 years later, our legislature and Governor not only squandered that massive surplus but is spending $38 billion a year more than we have. To salt the wound further, the state instituted a hiring freeze in the year 2000 to combat the state's financial woes but ignored their own rule by hiring 14,000 more state employees.
California's state finances are a shambles but the people and businesses that pay the lion's share of taxes are fleeing as fast as they can. It has been reported recently that 2.2 million people have left the state in the last 4 years and only 1.6 million have legally moved in. Most of the recent immigrants are largely unskilled laborers, who require expensive state services, rather than those who will fill the state coffers with cash. Businesses are leaving the state in droves. Over 100,000 jobs have left the state since the recent turn of the century.
The financial pundits have reported that California's workers compensation laws and high taxation rates, both personal and corporate, are eliminating most profits and are driving both companies and skilled workers to more business friendly regions such as Nevada and Texas.
One may ask, "Who is responsible for such fiduciary disaster?" Well, the California State Senate membership is composed of 62.5% Democrat and the Assembly membership is 60% Democrat. Democrats hold every single statewide office in this State's government so their political death grip on the state is complete.
Sure, Democrats will tell you that there have been Republican Governors, but the legislature writes the budgets and Democrats have largely been the majority party in both houses of the legislature for generations. Despite the overwhelming historical facts, Democrats will still insipidly cry that Republicans are to blame for the crisis that they created. Unless Californians look beyond the deceitful rhetoric the future looks bleak for the state.
Democrats have maintained control over California's political system by terrifying the voters. They have shrilly cried that grandma and grandpa will be forced to live in dire poverty and that little Johnny and Jane will never learn to read if the Democrat Party is not maintained as sentinel of our future. Unfortunately, the Democrat Machine's policies have driven California into financial collapse and we won't have any money to ensure grandma's and grandpa's safety or little Johnny's and Jane's education.
California is a perfect example of what kind of "utopia" Democrats can create when they are given total control. The latest Democrat fad to solve California's financial insolvency is to tax the "wealthy". Unfortunately, data shows that the ranks of the "wealthy" have been thinning as fast as California's golden dream wanes. In the year 2000 there were 44,000 people in California making $1 million dollars or more and today there are only 29,000. Fortunately, Democrats' define "wealthy" as having an income in excess of $38,000 a year so the 34% decrease in the number of millionaires shouldn't inhibit the politician's ability to continue their work building a "worker's paradise". Too bad for those California workers who earn near poverty wages, they endure the highest cost of living in the country and are taxed as if they are "wealthy". No wonder they're leaving.
California's voter revolution during the recall must not stop at the steps of the Governor's mansion if the state is to have any hope for the future. The voters must look beyond a single man because the source of our economic woes is the systemic control that the Democrat Machine has held over the entire State's political structures for decades. If Californians don't retake their state from this "political elite" many of us won't be able to afford to be Californians much longer.
As promised, here's my brother's tale. Take it away, Brad....
So my buddy Mike and I were on the town one evening in the fall of 1996. After a couple of beers at a local hangout in Santa Monica, we decided to upscale the night a bit and go down to Schatzi On Main in Santa Monica.
Schatzi's is Schwarzenegger's restaurant, so Mike and I figured we could at least get a decent Austrian/German beer. When we arrived, it turned out that it was Oktoberfest-time and Arnold was setting things up with special live music and special Oktoberfest kegs flown in from the Old Country just for the occasion.
As we bellied up to the bar for a couple of $9 beers (Arnold might be a Conservative, but he's definitely a Capitalist), Mike asked the bartender "Where's Arnold?" The sudsman said, "Oh, he's in back." and nonchalantly pointed his thumb over his shoulder toward the back of the dining area.
I decided right then and there that we needed to say hello, so we headed toward the back. We got about halfway there, when a couple of security dudes let us know that the back area was off limits "for a while."
We weren't going anywhere, and decided to wait. Half an hour and half a Macanudo later, Mike and I were positioned perfectly to say hello if Arnold decided to call it a night before we did, and our patience was rewarded -- Arnold was working the room and headed in our direction. He shook a few hands but mostly waved that well-practiced celebrity wave. I was a bit surprised by one thing - he's only about 5'11" or 6'0" - not as big as he's made out to be on the bigscreen. At 6'5" I towered over him.
As Arnold got to where we were, I popped up and walked over to him and stuck out my hand. "Arnold, I'm a big fan" with that half stogie clenched in my teeth. He shook my hand and replied, "Ja, thank you." and before he could move off I added "..and a Republican." The double-take was the best - he smiled and said in his best Austro-English:
Coming next week: a visit by guest blogger (and brother) Brad, who's had a close encounter with California gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger.
I'll probably not be able to spell "Schwarzenegger" the same way twice without cut-and-paste. I keep trying to insert a "t" before the "z". Maybe I need to define a keyboard macro.
Well, well, well. Al Gore shoots off his mouth.
In front of a cheering crowd of sycophantic moonbats -- the MoveOn.org crowd -- the man voted "most likely to be mistaken for a petrified tree" delivered up a number of steaming piles of excrement.
"... most of the benefits of the tax cuts actually are going to the highest-income Americans, who, unfortunately, are the least likely group to spend money in ways that create jobs during times when the economy is weak and unemployment is rising."Yes, Al. The "poor" are going to go out this minute and start businesses, hire employees, and make capital investments. They'll then give up over half their incomes in taxes. Sure.
No, Al, that's not how it works, but it would be pointless to try to educate you and your frothing-at-the-mouth fan club.
" In truth, the current executive branch of the U.S. government is radically different from any since the McKinley administration 100 years ago."I suppose Al never heard of Teddy Roosevelt.
"... we still have the same bad economic policies and the problems have, if anything, gotten worse."Al hasn't been reading the newspapers, apparently. Unemployment is going back down, the recession is over, companies are turning profits... there's good news breaking out all over. Except for Democrats who want to be president -- it's all bad news for them.
But then Al goes off into LoonyLand with his frenetic gibbering about the Iraq war. He tells his trollish followers about all the "false impressions" the Bush administration had given while making the case for war with Iraq:
"Saddam Hussein was partly responsible for the attack against us on September 11th, 2001...."Gore lies. The Bush administration actively disclaimed this notion, even discounting a fairly credible Czech report that Iraqi agents met with the 9/11 hijackers in Prague.
"Saddam was working closely with Osama bin Laden and was actively supporting members of the Al Qaida terrorist group...."Whether that impression was made or not, documents captured since the fall of the Baathist regime have confirmed the cooperation between Al Qaeda and Hussein.
"Saddam was about to give the terrorists poison gas and deadly germs that he had made into weapons which they could use to kill lots of Americans. "Again, the Bush administration never made such a claim. What they did say was that such a scenario was possible. Is Gore denying the possibility? Has his hatred of George W. Bush completely blinded him? Yes. Yes, it has. Gore, and by extension the Democrat party, care less about national security than they care about scoring political points. That alone should disqualify them from ever holding power.
"Saddam was on the verge of building nuclear bombs and giving them to the terrorists...."Uh... who said that? It wasn't Dubya. He did make a true statement on the general subject (remember those 16 words? They were true.)
"our GIs would be welcomed with open arms by cheering Iraqis...."This is the closest Gore gets to the truth anywhere in the speech. Yes, there was a lot of speculation from all quarters on how the Iraqis would react, much of it overly optimistic. The Iraqi peoples' uncertainty about the outcome of the war -- understandable, given the propagandizing by the Husseins (and Al-Jazeera, and the BBC, and CNN, and, and, and...) -- muted many of their reactions at the beginning.
Not all, though. Remember these three words from a free Iraqi: "Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy!"
Ask the average Iraqi how they feel now about being freed from the Baathists. They're pretty darned pleased.
"...the rest of the world was mostly opposed to the war, [but] they would quickly fall in line after we won, and then contribute lots of money and soldiers to help out...."A couple points here. First, why should we care what the rest of the world thinks? If France jumped off a bridge, I'm sure Al would be right there with them. Second, there are other countries helping out - just not the "old Europe" axis of weasels.
You know, I followed the run-up to war pretty closely. The "false impressions" Gore cited didn't come from President Bush -- they mostly came by way of extrapolations and exaggerations by the media, setting up strawmen for the Donks to try to knock down. Even then, the strawmen are hardly falling -- Gore can't land a punch, flail though he might. The Donks have no credibility whatsoever on the security of this nation.
Consider: on 9/11, did you say to yourself "Thank God Bush is president," or did you say "too bad Gore isn't president"?
Ya, that's what I thought.
UPDATE: Aw, nuts. I got beaten to it. Beaten like a rented mule.
One aspect of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations ("RICO") statutes that is not widely known is that private citizens, not just government prosecutors, may bring charges under the statutes.
This legal ability was recently misused by the National Organization of (Leftist) Women in an attempt to stifle the speech of a group called the Pro-Life Action Network and to monetarily penalize the group for their protests. (In an 8 to 1 decision, the Supreme Court took a rather dim view of NOW's attempt at suppressing speech.)
On the other hand, if the statute is designed to prevent corrupt organizations from threatening damage to another party with the express goal of extracting cash from the threatened party (which to me seems a reasonable definition of "extortion") there is one particular organization that must be reined in -- the sooner the better. They enrich themselves at the expense of businesses, inflict economic damage that we all end up paying for, and they buy politicians to protect their nefarious schemes.
Never in the history of this country (or, indeed, the world) has a non-governmental organization profited so much by use of the bludgeon. The Mafia must be wishing they'd thought this one up; these vermin make the bull-necked men of la Cosa Nostra look like a bunch of 90-year-old blue-haired ladies by comparison.
I refer, of course, to the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.
The ATLA (or more specifically, its minions) wreak havoc on our nation - frivolous and nuisance lawsuits, skyrocketing malpractice insurance rates, stupid disclaimers and warning labels on products... they line their own pockets at the expense of all of the rest of us.
- $65 million Texas verdict: driver at twice the legal blood limit
- Warning on fireplace log: 'risk of fire'
- Suicide- Attempt Survivor Sues
- Pitcher hit by line drive sues maker of baseball bat
(Links found at overlawyered.com)
Buying politicians... can anyone reasonably deny that the Democrat party is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the ATLA? They routinely kill tort-reform legislation, and this time around one of their own - Edwards, who made his money suing doctors - is running for President. G-d help us all if someone like him is ever President.
Because of what these litigious brigands do and how they do it, I can read stories like this and feel little pity.
I say it's time to shut down the ATLA under the provisions of RICO. While lining their pockets, they make the goods and services I buy more expensive, they restrict my freedom to choose what to eat or drink, smoke, wear, shoot, or even how to entertain myself. They must be stopped, and the irony of doing so in a court of law makes the potential for justice so much sweeter.
There's just one problem...
Where am I going to find a lawyer?
Update, 19May2006: Almost three years later, Captain Ed has some good news.
Daniel Henninger, in "A Failure To Communicate":
The Democratic Party now resembles a vast hospital nursery, with each colicky baby lying in a separate crib screaming for attention--right now, for me. And if a Joe Lieberman or Dick Gephardt doesn't run right over and pour political formula down their throats, they'll keep right on screaming.
An indispensable educational resource: A User's Guide to the Declaration of Independence.
It is a shame that the average American doesn't read the Declaration even once a year, much less take the trouble to understand it. I know an immigrant or two who treasure it more dearly than do many or most of my fellow native-born citizens. Sometimes it's enough to make me wonder if a mere accident of geography is an adequate standard for conferring citizenship.
Of course, the average American, even ignorant of the specifics, still knows in his heart that he has rights that cannot be trampled on. Though he may not understand why -- on what basis he enjoys his rights -- he still knows in his gut that they are his.
There are those who, having been born & brought up here in the same great nation as you and I, the only nation specifically created on the basis that The People are the masters of government and not its servants, are intent on turning that equation on its head. These people -- we could call them elitists, I suppose -- believe that average people don't know what's best for them, and seek to impose a de facto system that ensures that government is indeed the master of us all, controlling our lives from afar in innumerable ways.
These "elitists" can often be found in adademia, in the media, in various lobbying groups. Lots of places. People who would not only say that they know how you ought to live your life, but are also willing to force you to do it their way. Naturally, these elitists propose to be the masters, based on their self-defined superiority. They do not, in other words, trust people to take care of themselves.
In many ways, they have succeeded. Don't believe me? Try buying a gun in Washington, DC. Try smoking in a bar in New York. Try not having a Social Security Number.
That bunch of "dead white guys," the Founding Fathers, understood these dangers. Not merely understood -- they lived through them, ruled without representation by an unaccountable government. They, to our good fortune, decided to do something about it.
But they did not act unthinkingly, without principle. In most countries most of the time, revolutions serve only to replace one set of masters with another -- but there are always masters.
We got lucky; the Founders didn't seek to put a local King on an American throne. They had a guiding set of principles, clearly expressed, on which they built a nation.
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness - That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.As they say, read the whole thing.
The poor are their pawns - useful tools to whom them throw gristle and moldy bones in return for votes. Though the Democrat ruse is to convince low wage earners and the voluntarily unemployed that refuse from their tables is but a sample of the gourmet meal to come, such is a bald-faced lie. They have no intention of ever providing anything but the most meager of rations.
The reason? The vision of the left is to foster false hope and create inescapable dependency. They wish to make the poor reliant, to position themselves as heroes of the common man. Their theology has far more in common with a noble/serf relationship than it does with helping one free themselves from the chains of poverty.
I'd sum up the Robin Hood issue thus:
Robin Hood did not steal from the rich to give to the poor.
Robin Hood stole from the taxman to give back to the taxpayer.
Don't let the Left tell you otherwise.
Geology - specifically, soil subsidence - can be a bad thing.
Due to this bad thing, my driveway settled and broke across the middle and had to be replaced. Fortunately, it was under warranty. So yesterday, the contractor ripped out the existing concrete, dug a big hole, and filled it with gravel.
Today, the new concrete is going in.
Well, geology can be a good thing, too.
"Now what," you might ask, "does this have to do with the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy?" Well... just think of the opportunities geology can provide.
Next time you wonder "whatever happened to [insert name of Idiotarian here]", consider:
- a big ol' hole in the ground;
- a ton of gravel;
- a fresh concrete slab.
The rest I leave as an exercise for the reader.
Kim du Toit writes something I've been thinking for a while, but does so in a way I was unable to express adequately without significant amounts of foul language (something any reader here knows I try to do without, despite my soldierly past.)
The anti-American Left has gone so far off the deep end that they've essentially departed the arena of ideas, where logic and discourse could once be counted on to persuade, or at least to reasonably exhort. Civil discourse, of course, is essential to the conduct of civil society.
No longer. The extreme Left is no longer capable of persuading or being persuaded. Rancor is their stock in trade, and hate is their motivating emotion. Thought, logic and reason rarely enter into the Left's conduct.
So like I said, Kim says it better than me: There is no "we" anymore.
I'm no expert on feminism - mainly because the shrieking harpies usually identified with the modern American feminist movement are so philosophically unpalatable that I cannot stand to listen to them. I'd rather puncture my own eardrums than listen to Gloria Steinem, Eleanor Smeal or Kate Michelman.
Wendy McElroy, on the other hand, sounds to me like a reasoned and reasonable voice. Today she writes Iraq War May Kill Feminism as We Know It.
No wonder the Left hates her.
Republican - You believe that the free market will
take care of most things, but that the
government should be there with moderate
taxation to provide for national defense and
enforcing morality. Your historical role model
is Ronald Reagan.
Which political sterotype are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
My hero! I got to shake his hand once....
But "enforcing morality"? Oh, puh-leeze. I prefer to think of it as "deterring behavior harmful to society," if anything.
Like all "Poll-bots", the results should be taken with a significantly huge grain of salt. I'd have thought it would take more than 6 questions to figure out who my historical role model is.....
[Author's Note: this was originally posted on 2/13/2003 at Halcyon Media. I've made minor formatting, grammatical and vocabulary changes, but the gist remains the same - Russ]
History really does repeat itself. No matter how evil or twisted America's enemies are, they'll have their supporters right here in our own metaphorical backyard. I refer, of course, to the virulently anti-American, peace-at-any-price-even-our-own-destruction idiots from Hollywood and organizations such as ANSWER and NION.
- The Bund before WW2
During the years preceding the Second World War, an organization with thousands of members was formed which dedicated itself to the Nazification of America. The German-American Bund supported - and pledged allegiance to - Germany and its Fuehrer, with whom we would be at war a few short years later. These people, many of them German immigrants spreading the gospel of National Socialism, were truly the "enemy within".
Plagued by financial irregularities, however, the Bund had effectively disbanded by the time Germany declared war on the US in 1941.
- ANSWER in 2003
Fast forward to 2003.
Now, for "Bund" substitute "ANSWER" ("Act Now to Stop War and End Racism") and their support of America's enemy Saddam Hussein. Whether by design or by thoughtlessness, the members and supporters of this group (and other anti-Americans of their ilk, such as "Not In Our Name" (NION), the volunteer "human shields", Susan Sarandon and Ed Asner, and so on) are playing a role we've seen acted before. The difference is that these 21st-century Bundists ought to know better. The ones who do know better and persist in their perfidy should be held to account for it.
I am sure that, in their own minds, many of these sheep in people-clothes who show up at demonstrations are acting out of the purest of motives. Who can be against peace, right? What right-thinking person could be for racism? (But would someone please explain to me the connection between war and racism?) These people fall very neatly into the category widely known as "useful idiots".
I do concede that many of these hangers-on may be opposing American action against Iraq out of genuine pacifist beliefs. They're entitled to do so, just so long as they are prepared to be responsible for the consequences - though I earnestly hope that the determined defenders of our nation will not allow those horrible consequences to happen..
At the core of the present antiwar movement, though, is an assembly of people with far more sinister (and well-documented) motives. ANSWER (et al.), like the Bund before them, oppose America taking steps to defend itself and its allies from their mortal enemies, and actively support those who would destroy all that we value - life, liberty, the pursuit of a new SUV.
- The Bundists, by 1945
By 1945 the Allied armies in Europe had crushed the armed might of the "Thousand-Year" Reich, and liberated thousands of Jews, Gypsies, Christians and others from the camps in which their extermination had been routinely carried out for half a dozen years.
While there had been for several years rumors of the atrocities being carried out in camps, it was not until these places fell into Allied hands that the full extent of the horror was really known. Indeed, many people of that era could not comprehend the enormity of the crimes carried out in these places with names - Auschwitz, Treblinka, Dachau and others - now synonymous with "Hell."
At the conclusion of the war, the immensity of the evil of that enemy was made known to all. Hitler's supporters here in America, had they not already left the country (unlike ANSWER, they had the courage of their convictions) or been discredited by scandal, would have been utterly disgraced.
- ANSWER in 2004
Fast forward again, to 2004.
We already know - have known for years - the fate that befalls those in Iraq who oppose Saddam Hussein. He has used chemical weapons on his own people and on his neighbors. He has launched a war of aggression on a comparatively defenseless neighbor. He has created environmental disasters. He has brutally suppressed all dissent within Iraq, not hesitating to use the most cruel methods of torture on his own subjects.
"The dictator who is assembling the world's most dangerous weapons has already used them on whole villages - leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind, or disfigured. Iraqi refugees tell us how forced confessions are obtained - by torturing children while their parents are made to watch. International human rights groups have catalogued other methods used in the torture chambers of Iraq: electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting out tongues, and rape." - President George W. Bush, State of the Union, January 28, 2003
So where will ANSWER be a year hence, after the liberation of Iraq? What will they do and how will they react when confronted with the evidence of the barbarity of the present regime?
Will the surgical precision of our attacks cause them to recant their accusations that we are making war on the people of Iraq?
Will Saddam's collection of homemade "snuff" movies finally show them the true nature of the maniac they support?
Will the capture of a nuclear/biological/chemical weapons production facility suggest to them that maybe they were wrong about Saddam's intentions?
Not. Bloody. Likely.
Behind ANSWER (et al.) is a collection of unrepentant communists, which should give us a hint of what their response will be to being shown - again - to be on the wrong side of history.
Most of the hangers-on, I hope and believe, will have their eyes opened and be repelled by what they learn. They will be truly ashamed of their having supported Saddam's fellow-travelers, and many (possibly even some of the weaker members of the Streisand-Sarandon-Clooney-Baldwin axis) will denounce ANSWER and their cronies.
But there will remain a core of True Believers who will continue their anti-American rhetoric and activities. These people see America as the enemy of all they wish to accomplish, of which Trotskyite Socialism is just a piece. We would be foolish not to recognize them for what they are - the enemy within, a 21st Century Bund.
[Note 1] Yes, you read that correctly. We declared war on Japan on 8Dec1941 following the attack on Pearl Harbor, but not on Germany or Italy. One wonders what might have transpired had Germany not declared war on the US on 11Dec1941. http://www.law.ou.edu/hist/germwar.html
[Note 2] Treason is what comes to mind as a criminal charge. First time one of these loons sets off a pipe bomb or shoots a cop, I'm all for the Charlie Daniels solution - "take a big tall tree and a short piece of rope".
[Note 3] I'm not implying here, of course, that these people are actually thinking.
[Note 4] Amazing, isn't it, how infrequently those who espouse pacifism have to actually live with the results thereof?
[Note 5] If buying a new SUV isn't your idea of happiness, insert whatever you like - it's still a free country.
[Note 6] See http://www.newsday.com/extras/lihistory/7/hs729a.htm for a very brief history of the Bund. Fascinating stuff.
[Note 7] Since when is it wrong to call a spade a spade? Since when is it "McCarthyism" to call a commie a commie?
[Note 8] I twice took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic. I do not recall anyone releasing me from my vow when I left the Service. Got a problem with that? Too bad.