Thursday, October 28, 2004
A Little "Family Guy" Humor
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Looks like Florida is working overtime to reclaim the "Doofus state" crown that California tried to steal.
60,000 absentee ballots are missing. So much for hoping we'll get through the election with any kind of sanity. Thanks, Florida.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Faced with Criticism, Kerry Ups the Ante
In the comments to this post, reader LauraW was less than impressed that John Kerry managed to hunt down and kill a ferocious wild goose. Never one to miss an opportunity, the putative Senator quickly flew to his Nantucket beach home to stalk the wild hippo.
Don't let the rifle on his arm fool you, though - he bagged this baby with his bare hands. At least, that's what his press secretary tells us.
He's promised to keep out-macho-ing himself until you're impressed, LauraW. Don't make him start clubbing baby seals.
I Can't Believe the News Today
Hat tip to the Unpopulist, who reminded me of George W. Bush's remix of U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday." Enjoy.
Monday, October 25, 2004
Three good reasons not to vote Kerry.
On a more serious note, get well William Rehnquist.
Kerry likes to start off his day with a prayer to his Almighty...
I hope I'm not offending any Catholics with this one, but I figure any Catholics reading this blog don't think too highly of Kerry's selective Catholicism. I'm not a Catholic myself, but if you believe as part of your deep faith which will have a profound impact on the way you govern that the Pope speaks for God, then it makes no sense to say "the Pope is wrong on this one." Yet that's precisely what he's saying with his approach to abortion.
Kerry's willingness to prostrate himself to his billionaire heiress wife, Terry McAuliffe, Howard Dean, and whatever special interest group crosses his path all demonstrate the true object of his religious devotion.
One More for the "Pandering" File
There are a few things to be said about this revealing photo.
1. Notice how Kerry is holding that RPG. He's holding it like a woman. Specifically, a woman recruited by Hamas to blow up Israelis. What a freakin sissy.
2. I'm sure he voted against using RPG to hunt geese before he voted for it. What a total panderer. Does anyone here really believe that man uses high explosives to kill geese?
3. Related to that last point, some suspicion was raised regarding Kerry's hunting trip when the group managed to bag four geese in a ridiculously short amount of time. Of course, there was no evidence that Kerry actually shot any of the geese involved, and so some conspiracy theorists say they used pre-shot geese for a photo op. Now I don't know that much about munitions, but I do know that if Kerry had really killed his goose with an RPG, there would be substantially less of that goose than we see in the photo.
A Pack of Lies
It's hard to get interested enough in yet another Kerry lie to post a link to it, but when I have two in one day, that's more interesting. Let's just throw these on the teetering stack...
1. Everyone who reads Drudge already knows that Kerry lied when he said he met with the UN Security Council right after 9/11. Ace about sums up my attitude toward this revelation: "If we're less than excited by the story, it's largely just because we've come to expect Kerry to lie about matters big and small, trivial and grave."
Yep. If no one believes a word the man says, it's hard to get all shocked when he proves -once again - just how untrustworthy he is.
2. Boortz has an excerpt from the Weekly Standard. His permalinks don't seem to be working, so my link will be dead after 10/25 (unless he fixes his permalinks and I respond accordingly).
First he quotes Kerry's story from the debates about Charles de Gaulle not inspecting documents about the Cuban missile crisis because he trusted the word of the President. Then he cites the Weekly Standard's report (subscription required, which is why I'm not linking it):
"Sherman Kent was the CIA official who actually carried the photos into de Gaulle's office. De Gaulle did not wave them off. To the contrary, he examined them closely.
"Secondly: The purpose of Acheson's trip was not to 'build support.' It was to inform. De Gaulle's biographer says that the very first thing de Gaulle said to Acheson was 'I understand that you have not come to consult me, but to inform me.' Acheson replied 'that's correct.' So much for Kerry's rendition of the meeting. The meeting simply didn't happen as Kerry said. Hopefully you're not surprised.
"Here's the kicker from the Weekly Standard story. De Gaulle expressed concerns that Kennedy might actually be trying too hard to cultivate European and world support for what he had to do with Fidel and the missiles. Let's see what Kerry would say about that one!"
In other news, John Kerry slammed Bush during a campaign rally yesterday, by telling the story of how Ghenghis Khan got broad multilateral support from the Arab nations he was about to invade and destroy before ever setting foot in them. Also, the Soviet Union never fell, China is not a human rights violator, and before plate tectonics separated the continents, the Earth had one "supercontinent" known as "Scaramouche."
Politics are easy when you can just make crap up. Thanks, Senator Kerry.
Monday Morning Anecdote Round-up
First, the news you won't get anywhere else (unless you are in one of my classes) - there's a girl here with a bright red shirt that says "Democrat" on the front. No problem; everyone has a right to show support for their party. On the back, it says "I hate the electoral college."
Our stupid moron founding fathers screwed everything up by trying to devise a system whereby the chief executive would not be overly partial to his home state. What a bunch of punks. In case you needed any more proof that Democrats hate the Constitution unless they can use it to get their way, there you go.
And the annex to this story is something I've written before, but might as well mention again. At the beginning of this year, I called in to a liberal talk radio show. I don't remember the host's name, but he was certainly amiable, if woefully misguided. Anyhoo, he was talking about universal health care, and I called in and asked where in the Constitution anyone in the federal government was given power to provide health care. [Note: there is an answer to that question]. His response was "I don't want to get all hung up on that stuff."
Pardon me? We're discussing government policy and the actual text of the actual United States Constitution is annoyance that people get hung up on?!? Astounding.
Okay, one more related anecdote. Last semester in my Admiralty class, the professor was going through some Constitutional provisions and came across I.8.11 which says Congress has power to declare war. He paused, smiled and said "oh, Congress has the power to declare war" (snickers from the class) and then moved on. And I thought to myself (but did not say, because it was an Admiralty class, not a foreign policy or constitution class) that yes, Congress has power to declare war. I emphasize that the UN is nowhere given power to declare American wars in our Constitution. Think liberals care?
Friday, October 22, 2004
Cameron Woods, over at Way Off Bass, introduced his latest post by mentioning his "blogger apathy."
I know exactly what he feels. Recently, Democrats were caught selling crack to get fraudulent voter registrations. I linked it with a sentence fragment and a picture of George Clinton. Teresa Heinz-Kerry made a comment which simultaneously insulted mothers, ignored important and easily veribfiable facts, and demonstrated her rank hypocrisy - and I didn't link it at all. Al Gore is lying to Floridians about election 2000. I didn't link it. Black "leaders" like Jesse Jackson are race-baiting in Florida, and also lying about election 2000. I didn't link it. Bill Clinton wants to be UN Secretary General, Iran is considering Europe's offer of nuclear technology in exchange for a promise not to use it, John Kerry dressed up like a hunter to score a few votes from gun enthusiasts, the 9th Circuit thinks animals should have the right to file lawsuits - and I didn't link it.
Cameron and I aren't the only ones. Ace is writing amusing 80s trivia quizzes. Allah has disappeared again (other than his two recent shots at the Yankees). Liberal Larry has been reduced to trying to scare his own grandmother out of voting Bush. The Commissar has been reduced to endless show trials to those who trackback to him (and I can't even milk the traffic, because I don't know how to trackback).
My Dicta articles now shift between annoyed screeds about Kerry/Democrat foibles and non-sense attempts at humor. It's just hard to get up anything like indignation these days. Seriously, if Democrats are freaking selling crack cocaine to get votes, what could shock me at this point? They've already announced that they will take this election by lawsuit if necessary, and invent "disenfranchisement" where it doesn't exist. Michael Moore has not been loudly denounced by the party. Democrats think shooting at GOP headquarters is a reasonable thing to do.
Don't get me wrong. I have perfect faith in the ability of the monumentally stupid to take things up even one or two notches higher. I believe that even the DNC selling crack can be outdone by someone sufficiently creative. But that's just the thing - this headlong rush to turn American politics into what it has become leaves me so disgusted, so jaded, so hollow, that when the next level is reached, I just don't think I'll have the energy to blog it. Or offer extensive commentary, anyway.
That said, here are some ideas for Dems who think they can do even better than selling crack for votes.
- Club a bunch of baby seals to death. Put their carcasses on the White House lawn. Yell loudly that Bush likes to club baby seals.
- If you work at a pharmacy, casually find out which old people are voting Bush. Fill their blood pressure medication prescriptions with salt tablets.
- Rape Laura Bush. Go on CBS and claim that Bush's failure to keep her safe means he actively supports rape (Cameron Diaz has already come close on this one, but it's not lurid enough without an actual Bush-hatred-motivated rape).
- Fly an airplane into a skyscraper in a major American metropolis. Blame Bush's lack of cultural sensitivity.
- Kidnap a bunch of orphans, and threaten to cut off one limb for every state that Bush wins.
- Harpoon a bunch of whales and make sure they wash up on the California coastline. Use harpoons that are monogrammed "GWB." Sue the President on behalf of the dead whales.
What, you don't think Dems will stoop to rape and mass murder? I never would have guessed they would stoop to selling crack for votes.
Meh. I'm spent. Back to my apathy.
Parallel Universe Kerrys
[Note: the following is my weekly column for Dicta, the law school newsletter. As always, crocodile fans get the scoop, plus marshmallowy goodness.]
Last week, Sacha Boegem’s foray into an alternate reality where 9/11 never happened (oh, that’s a great way to make policy - close your eyes) gave me a great idea. On one of my recent trips through parallel universes this past week, I was lucky enough to have a tape recorder handy, and I caught up with John Kerry to see what he was up to. Let’s listen in.
Kerry as Surgeon: "Don’t worry, Mrs. Finklestein, your previous physician overestimated the severity of your cancer, but I have a plan. I’ve come up with an extensive list of mistakes that he made, and I plan on griping about them in an insufferable monotone for a few hours while you lie on the operating table. I will consult with a variety of French doctors to see what they think about your previous doctor. I will consult with the UN to get permission to consider laying out a plan for deciding upon scheduling a summit to determine whether we should operate."
"But you will operate eventually, right?"
"Did you know I served in Vietnam?"
Kerry as Cop: "Put down your weapon, release the hostage, and come out with your hands up! Or, in the alternative, keep the weapon, release the hostage, and we’ll negotiate a plan for you to gradually relinquish control over the mini-mart over a period of fourteen years. Okay, fine, then keep the weapon and the hostage, but promise me you won’t take any more hostages. Screw it, I’m gonna go hang out with Vietnamese Communist murderers in a café in Paris."
Kerry as CEO: "I wish those Massachusetts Senators would quit raising taxes!"
Kerry as Fireman: "Well, ma’am, we would try to stop the fire in your living room, but I’m going windsurfing. But here’s Kofi Annan’s phone number. I’m sure he can help you out. Just make sure you offer him a multi-million dollar bribe. Oh, you say there are a bunch of Sudanese in there? Then you’re screwed."
Kerry as Professional Baseball Player: "Coach, I was going to swing, but the ideas of ‘ball’ and ‘strike’ just aren’t nuanced enough. Life is not black and white, okay? You like to say everything is so simple, that you swing when it’s over the plate and you don’t when it’s not ... if you were as intellectual as I am, you’d realize that there’s more to it than that."
Kerry as a Plant: "I sure do like swaying in the breeze..."
Kerry as Geography Teacher: "Poland? Never heard of it. Italy? Where’s that? Australia? You’re just making stuff up, right?"
Kerry as Billionaire: "Marry you? What would be the point?"
Kerry as Kurd: "I sure am glad our dictator murdered my whole family, and cut off both my hands. I hope no one ever invades my perfectly peaceful, tranquil country and destroys our wonderful utopian society. I love the smell of mustard gas! Chemical Ali is my friend!"
Kerry as Socialist Bootlicking Frenchman with no spine, no plan, no accomplishments even after nigh twenty years in the Senate, no desire to show up for work and actually earn his paycheck: Oops, looks like I’m back in the real world.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Funny New Commercial
Via The Man at GOP and the City, go check out this new campaign commercial.
Key quote: "There's nothing wrong with a little indecision as long as your job doesn't involve any responsibility." Check it out.
And on that note, consider for a moment the profound lack of responsibility a U.S. Senator has. In addition to all their other failings, Kerry and Edwards have completely drained me of any trust I had that our duly elected representatives have some kind of obligation to do, well, anything at all.
Oh, you're on a committee and you don't show up even once for an entire calendar year? No big deal! You're paid to write laws to govern our nation, and you've written five in the past nineteen years? No problem! You've missed two-thirds of your votes? Let's give you a promotion!
Sounds pretty sweet. I think I'd like to be a Senator. But only if I could be a liberal Senator, because then I would be immune from criticism for, say, being a former KKK leader.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
We've Suspected All Along
Proof that you have to be on crack to vote for Kerry.
George Clinton supports John Kerry. Marion Barry couldn't be reached for comment.
Monday, October 18, 2004
Other Voices from Dicta
In the same week as my Dicta article about the Presidential "debates," the front page had an article called "9/11, Still Bush's Only Hope" by my classmate Sacha Boegem. NOTE: I've invited Sacha to the forthcoming semi-fisking, so he has fair notice that his work is being critiqued.
Let me first say that before this edition came out, both Sacha and I had published one thing in Dicta previously this year. He wrote a piece basically calling the President a flip-flopper (won't work, bud; the American electorate already knows he sticks to his core values, and that Kerry has no core values to stick to) and I wrote my semi-serious piece about Kerry not really being a flip-flopper a week later. In this week's Dicta, whether intentionally or not, Sacha's tone is markedly more frantic, while mine is about Greek debates, and is decidedly comedy-oriented.
The first sentence of Sacha's column asks, "What would President Bush be campaigning on if 9/11 had never happened?" And the rest of the column doesn't really answer that, but instead recites a litany of claims about why Bush's administration is pure, unadulterated evil. Now is that opening question a serious thing to ask in a serious piece? He may as well have asked, "What would Bush be campaigning on if an earthquake had knocked China into the ocean?" We don't know. It's a completely ridiculous question to ask, because China has not, in fact, fallen into the ocean (to the great relief of the Chinese, no doubt). And 9/11 did happen, so hypothetical questions to the contrary are not the basis of any kind of rational decision-making in this election cycle.
The problem is brought to the fore with one of Sacha's first specific charges: "And then there's the USA PATRIOT Act, which erodes fundamental civil liberties and runs contrary to the very constitutional freedoms that define America." This is a wonderful illustration, because had 9/11 never happened, the Patriot Act would also never have happened. Absent 9/11, there was no need for a Patriot Act (that we knew of, at least), and so it would not have passed. If murderous thugs are not actively campaigning to murder as many American citizens as possible, then the Justice Department has no business tapping the phones of suspected Islamic militants.
But that's not reality. It's a fantasy based on a hypothetical dream-world in which Islamic terrorists are not trying to kill us.
I concede that it would be nice if the Patriot Act weren't necessary. I would love to live in a world where all Muslims (rather than just the vast majority) are moderates who don't believe they have a religious duty to kill me and my family. But I don't live in that world.
Neither do the terrorists. They live in a world where they are hunted men. They live in a world where al-Qaeda's infrastructure has been smashed, and two formerly sympathetic governments no longer exist. They live in a world where Afghan citizens just voted for the first time in history, and where Afghan women are getting their first breaths of free air in far too long. They live in a world where Saddam Hussein is no longer murdering Kurds and dissenters, ordering babies shot in the head in front of their mothers before being dumped in mass graves, and funding suicide bombers in Israel.
They live in a world where they successfully swung the election of a major Western nation. They live in a world where they tried, unsuccessfully, to swing Australia's election. They live in a world where a successful attack in America, before November 2, could mean swinging the elections in the world's most powerful nation. They live in a world where they will do everything in their power to do just that.
Sacha seems to live in Michael Moore's world, where peaceful Iraqis flew kites and drank their tea in tranquility. The Michael Moore lense never shows, even for a single moment, the twin towers, or the airplanes that slammed into them. Nastiness doesn't seem to exist in such a world, unless it's coming from George W. Bush. That is a world where Uday and Qusay do not randomly rape and kill whomever they please. It is a world where Afghan women with M.D.s aren't forced to beg in the streets because they aren't allowed to work.
It's a world that doesn't exist anywhere but in the minds of people like Sacha and Michael Moore, and I'm sure it's full of rainbows and fluffy bunnies and President Gore. But it's not the real world.
Update: Here is a link to the text of George W. Bush's speech at the Republican National Convention. Here is a link to Kerry's speech.
I removed from my blogroll a blog that was updated only once every month or so. Let that be a warning to all! When necessary, I am a vicious crocodile. I also added Brian B's Memento Moron blog - and I apologize for not doing so sooner.
But please note that although I recently discovered this blog, devoted exclusively to knitting, it didn't make the blogroll. Please note that she has blogrolled fifteen other blogs devoted to knitting. Cripes, I thought I got boring sometimes. At least they never have to worry about trolls in the comments section.
Also, here's a link to an interesting poem by what looks like an interesting person. According to the "About Me" section, he quit working for two years so he could live on the street and read in the Library of Congress. I like the poem, but I suspect it's better when read aloud. It's relies heavily on rhythm, and you can't quite pick that up from reading alone. And I don't want to read it out loud to myself because the total stranger in the room with me might think I'm some kind of crazy person.
IMO, the best poem to read aloud is Edgar Allan Poe's "The Bells."
A Picture I Haven't Seen Before
The Unpopulist has one of those rare pictures of Terry McAuliffe before the retouching department gets through with it.
I feel your pain, man.
Perhaps that explains this story.
Everything is Done by Machines, These Days
Hat tip to Seebok (no relation) for this link to an educational game about Egyptian mummification. It's pretty good, but considering my extensive experience with embalming, I can say it's not completely accurate. First of all, the whole mummification idea came after a few drunken frat parties got waaaay out of control, and some rapidly sobering Egyptians had to do something with the cadavers while they thought of a way to explain things to the dead kids' parents. Sort of like "Weekend at Bernies," but in Egypt, and the deaths were alcohol-related. In the end, the best idea they could come up with was "we're just trying to preserve him for all eternity or the British Museum (whichever comes first). People generally bought that excuse, so the process of mummification was born.
Also, Hapy doesn't look after the lungs. He just bitches and moans all day about how he wanted the stomach. Gripe, gripe, gripe, dude. You're stuck with the lungs, just watch over the lungs, okay? Sheesh.
Saturday, October 16, 2004
What Cameron wants, Cameron gets.
Follow the links for the story.
More documents come forward in the emerging scandal surrounding conservative columnist James Lileks' shady former life. I should point out a few things.
1. All photos have been rigorously inspected by a crack team of CBS investigators to determine authenticity. I therefore have no doubts at all that these are the real deal.
2. If you go to yahoo.com, click on "pictures" for the search function, and type in "Chippendales," you will see things no straight man should ever see. You've been warned. And Cameron owes me big time.
3. A long overdue hat tip to BigRedHammer who helped me figure out how to post pictures on blogger. Without his help, none of my recent string of creations would have seen the light of day. Go give him some "thank you" traffic.
Friday, October 15, 2004
Senator Phil A. Buster recently remodelled the Congressional offices (they look really snazzy, now), and the link in my sidebar is to the new site. You can find his remake of Cat Stevens' "Moonshadow" here. Here's a taste:
I'm being followed by an Air Marshal
Air Marshal, Air Marshal
Profiled and Screened by an Air Marshal
Air Marshal, Air Marshal
Read the whole thing, as they say. Senator, you are a credit to democracy.
The Kerry Campaign: The Final Weeks
Contrary to popular belief, Sobek is not an omniscient deity. That whole "omniscience" thing is more of a monotheistic idea anyway. For us pagan gods, we get the immortality and the sacrifices and stuff, as well as limited supernatural powers, but we can't tell the future.
(As an aside, some of you might be wondering whether the oracle of Apollo at Delphi is an exception. No, it's just that Apollo learned that as long as his answers are sufficiently vague, he can lord it over everyone when it sorta looks like he got one right. And by the way, Sophocles never wrote any plays about all the stuff Apollo got wrong, just the stuff he got right. You have no idea how smug he was after that whole Oedipus thing).
But I digress. Some of you have asked me to use the aforementioned omniscience, which I do not possess, to predict the outcome of the upcoming election. Well I can't do that, but I can ask favors of some of my friends, and I managed to get some good stuff. Don't ask me which deity provided the following pictures - I don't want him to get in trouble.
Here, then, are some pictures from the future, showing what the Kerry campaign will be up to in the final weeks of the campaign.
For starters, John Edwards will go on a college campus tour to "energize the base." Here he is speaking at the University of Michigan's Young Marxist Club meeting. After a typical funding fiasco, Senator Edwards will not get paid. Several Young Marxists will be shot in reprisal.
John Kerry, on the other hand, will take pandering to special interest groups to a new level.
Of course, the candidates will make sure to "press the flesh," as they say in the business.
We'll see more of the wacky practical jokes that have so far been a hallmark of the Kerry campaign.
And, of course, at the end of the day there's no better way to relax than drinking a beer in a bar and chatting casually with friends.
I might have another favor or two to call in, if anyone is interested in more photos from the future.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
A Bad Year to Be a Democrat
NOTE: The following is my column for Dicta, the weekly law school newsletter. As always, Crocodile fans get the scoop.
A Bad Year to Be a Democrat
Let’s put policy issues aside for a moment and consider how Democrats have been behaving so far this election cycle:
Oct. 12, Seattle - Smashed car window.
Oct. 11, Spokane - Bush’s campaign office in Spokane burglarized, vandalized.
Oct. 5, West Allis, WI - Democratic demonstrators storm a Republican campaign office.
Oct. 5, Orlando - Mob attacks Bush-Cheney office.
Oct. 4, Knoxville - Gunshots fired into Bush-Cheney headquarters.
Oct. 1, Madison - Swastika burned into Grass on Bush-supporter’s lawn.
Sept. 30, Columbus, OH - Purple Heart Iraqi vet attacked.
Sept. 29, Vail - Vandals chainsaw Bush-Cheney sign on Magnus Lindholm’s yard.
Sept. 18, Gainsville, FL - Democrat slugs area GOP chief.
Sept. 16, in-flight over Canada - Drunken Kerry supporter assaults passenger.
Sept. 9, Dallas - Family of dead soldier harassed at candlelight vigil.
Sept. 4, Bozeman, MT - Bush campaign office vandalized with spray paint and rocks.
Sept. 2, Huntington, WV - Gunshot fired at Republican headquarters.
(Thanks to the Commisar for rounding up these stories).
That covers the violence and all-around piggishness. Let’s see what else we have in our bag of goodies:
- Dan Rather put his reputation on the line to push a crudely forged document about Bush’s National Guard service. He defended his partisan hatchet job by getting a handwriting expert, even though the doubts raised about the memos were about font, kerning and spacing on typewriters, not handwriting.
- Before the furor over Rather’s attempt to swing the election has even died down, CBS runs a story, based on a long-discredited e-mail, that says Republicans are going to re-instate the draft if Bush gets back into office. The proof? At the time of the story, there were two bills in Congress that would do just that. But CBS failed to mention that both bills were drafted by Democrats, and that Republicans overwhelmingly opposed the bills. Wouldn’t want the facts to get in the way of a good story.
- ABC political director Mark Halperin sacrificed any sense of impartiality or self-respect he might have had when he wrote and circulated a memo telling reporters not to hold both sides "equally accountable."
- Colorado news reporters uncovered "record amounts of voter fraud," with one voter laughing that he has registered more than 35 times.
- John Kerry claimed to have received a cell phone call from Christopher Reeves just before the "Superman" actor passed away. The problem with his story is that Reeve was in a coma at the time Kerry claims he got the call. The next day, John Edwards messianicly promised that if elected, John Kerry would cure quadriplegia.
- And in a particularly heart-warming bit of defeatism, it looks like DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe is already planning on his candidate losing in November. The DNC issued a 66-page memo that states: "if no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a ‘pre-emptive strike.’" Like Dan Rather, Terry thinks that when there’s no good dirt on the Republicans, the only responsible thing to do is make crap up.
- In Tennessee, a Democrat campaign poster states, "Voting for Bush is like running in the Special Olympics - Even if you win, you’re still a retard."
- San Francisco resident Steve Schwenk, in response to a New York Times piece that he found too conservative, wrote to the author, "I hope your kid gets his head blown off in a Republican war."
That’s enough to give you a good sampling. Much has already been said about each of these incidents individually, but I’d like to raise a larger question. Clearly, Democrats are so desperate for power that they are willing to lie, cheat, steal, assault people, disrespect our soldiers, fire weapons at GOP targets, and generally undermine faith in the American electoral process. What I’m wondering is, supposing all of these dirty tricks work. Will it really be worth it all? Is it, to paraphrase Milton, better to rule over a shattered America than live in dignity in a strong, vibrant democracy where disagreements are respectful and people trust the media and general elections? I rather doubt that these scorched-earth politics can make any of us better people.
Rare, Obligatory Links
It's been entirely too long since I've linked by buddy Dave, so here's his list of Movie Titles that Sound Like Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
"4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze."
I would add some, but I think I'm already in enough trouble with the wife for linking this in the first place. So for some more wholesome stuff, although by no means less important, try this link to reasons we should fear the ape. Dave makes a good case, but at the end when he promises he won't rest, tire, or falter in his quest to remain vigilant, I'm a little skeptical. I remember not too long ago when he promised to keep a vigilant eye on Denmark, but I haven't heard anything on that front for a little while...
Update: For the love of everything good and holy, do not click this link, from Temple of Jennifer's Demure Thoughts. If you value your sanity, just don't do it.
Update: You can find this story in a lot of places, but The Man does a good job of analysis and link-dumping, so I'll just piggy-back off of his work. Long story short: If you're a Democrat, it's okay to make fun of retarded people.
Did you know they were the original inspiration?
Life is Like a Mop
Sometimes life gets full of dirt and crud and hairballs and things and you gotta clean it out. You gotta stick it in here and rinse it off and start all over again. And sometimes life sticks to the floor so much that a mop, a mop, it’s not good enough. You gotta get down there with like a toothbrush, you know, and you gotta really scrub ‘cause you gotta get it off. But if that doesn’t work, you can’t give up. You gotta stand right up. You gotta run to a window and say, "These floors are dirty as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore!"
Bring on the Hate
Kerry and Edwards both seem intent on scoring cheap political points by dragging Cheney's daughter into the national spotlight.
Lynne Cheney isn't very happy about it. Key quote: "The only thing I can conclude is he is not a good man. I'm speaking as a mom," she said. "What a cheap and tawdry political trick."
Kerry campaign manager MaryBeth Cahill disagrees (via Ace): "Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill said Cheney's daughter was 'fair game.'"
Legally speaking, Cahill is right. The current state of First Amendment law is such that you can say whatever you please about public figures or their families, without any fear of reprisal whatsoever. Ethically speaking, on the other hand, Cheney is right. A low blow, even a legal one, is a low blow, and Kerry and Edwards are homophobia-mongering pieces of human garbage.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
A Little Depressing
So yesterday I went to Sitemeter.com to check how my traffic was doing, and I was stunned to see this big spike at noon, and nothing else. Then I looked at the side of the graph and saw that "big spike" meant more than one hundred hits.
"Thanks" to Ace of Spades HQ
By contrast, you should know that I usually get 20 hits on my very best days.
So when I saw "nothing else," that wasn't quite accurate. Before noon, I had maybe ten hits or so, but they were flattened down because the graph had to stretch to cover 100+ hits. In a single day, Ace of Spades skewed my statistics for the entire time I've been blogging.
This is a little depressing, because here I've been chugging along for a couple of months, now, feeling quite satisfied with my 20 hits per day, with slumps on week-ends. Then I get a link from Ace - and it's not even a prominently featured link. It was a footnote, a minor mention in an update below an actually funny picture. And yet, in his virtually divine wisdom and compassion, Ace's mention shot my stats through the roof.
Will I ever taste that kind of power again? Probably not. It took a long time to make that picture (note to my parents: the picture didn't take very long) and I don't think it was all that funny. Sigh.
For my loyal fans, a sincere thank you. And I will just learn to be happy with twenty. No shame in that.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
This report from FoxNews has it all: a former Guantanamo Bay detainee was released to Pakistan, and his followers kidnapped some Chinese engineers and demanded to be brought to said detainee.
So many comments, so little time.
First, I hope those engineers make it out alive. As much as I think the Chinese government is basically the spawn of Hell, that feeling does not extend to the citizenry. And the story says Pakistani tribesmen in Waziristan are trying to pressure the kidnappers into giving them up, so it doesn't look like we're in a hopeless situation just yet.
Second, note the comparative reaction by the Pakistanis. I never hear of Iraqis trying to pressure Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi's group into releasing hostages. Is the difference that there is a climate of fear in Iraq that is not present in Pakistan? Are the Pakistanis more afraid of retaliatory efforts? I don't know the answer, but it would be nice to find out.
Third, it's one thing to kidnap a military figure, but these Chinese engineers were in Pakistan to build a dam - thus generating electric power and controlling flooding to preserve Pakistani lives. Kidnapping them is the lowest kind of low.
Fourth, everyone who has griped about the U.S. detaining al-Qaeda figures at Guantanamo Bay ought to think long and hard about this story. By releasing the man, two Chinese and one Pakistani (their bodyguard - apparently not a very good one) may very possibly lose their lives. But hey, the Lefties scored their political points, so who cares, right?
It makes me sick when people make abstract political arguments without considering the probable results. In this case, three innocent lives are on the line because some people oppose President Bush.
Monday, October 11, 2004
Two Essential Links for the Day
Remember at the debates how John Kerry said he didn't like the Patriot Act provision allowing CIA to enter your home, search, and leave without ever telling you they were there?
It turns out that he's only opposed to Republicans doing that. Via Ace.
Short version: when asked to vote on bascially an identical provision, John Kerry said "Aye." 1994, baby. Clinton-era. Old school.
And I found an interesting blog from Kuwait. All kinds of stuff to read there, but this one caught my eye as just too funny. It seems that Kuwaiti radio has been playing Green Day's new song "American Idiot," but editing out the word "American from the chorus.
Friday's Debate: What do You Think?
I just came across this summary:
"I thought Bush punished Kerry and really made Kerry look like a monkey. A tall, lanky, gaunt monkey."
If that sentence isn't worth a link, I don't know what is.
Kerry's Stupid Statement of the Week
Sometimes it's a toss-up, but over the week-end Kerry made it pretty easy to pick one. It's from this article from the New York Times magazine (registration required, but don't bother clicking the link, unless you're bulemic and want some method of inducing vomiting, other than the touch-your-hangy-downy-thing method). Actually, "article" isn't the right word. It's more of a hymn. If I weren't so violently ill, I'd be tempted to start sacrificing small animals to Mr. Kerry, "his long legs carrying him calmly down the steps, his neck craning toward the sky, as if he were watching a gathering rainstorm. His face and demeanor appear unworried." It goes on like that for eleven pages. That's right, eleven pages. You've been warned. Don't click that link.
Let me just pick out some highlights.
First, from the quoted portion above, that's supposed to be a description of Mr. Kerry on 9/11, 2001, afflicted by the tragedy, yet somehow rising above it. The same Mr. Kerry who criticized the President (following Michael Moore's dishonest lead) for hesitating for seven minutes after he heard the news. The same Mr. Kerry who previously admitted he waited a good 45 minutes, himself, totally awestruck and unable to act. Yeah, that guy. Good job of reconstructing history, bud.
Second, in the sidebar of the article are two completely ridiculous pictures. How ridiculous?
Under the pictures we find two captions, quoted here in full:
"Taking Sides: Kerry disagrees with the democracy-at-gunpoint doctrine."
"You can't impose it on people ... You have to invite them to it. You have to nurture the process."
Right. Like we invited Nazi Germany to democracy. Like we invited WWII Japan to democracy. Like we invited Russia. Like we invited freakin' Afghanistan (another hearty congratulations to them, btw).
Mr. Kerry, the problem with "inviting" people to democracy is that the people who want it don't have the power to get it. Under the Taliban, Afghans were not about to get democracy on their own. If you think otherwise, you are a fool. Indeed, "fool" is nowhere near strong enough a word. And if you think that the Iraqis were about to get democracy from their benevolent leader, you are a fool. Again I say, those who want democracy couldn't get it, and those who could give it did not want it. And most importantly, almost 25 million Afghans just proved you wrong. Every single vote that was cast last week-end, Mr. Kerry, is the voice of an Afghan saying "thank you, America, for giving us democracy." Because these are not votes cast in convenience or safety - they are cast with a literal threat of death over their heads. They are not votes cast by people with nothing better to do on election day - they are votes cast with the very real possibility of a grenade attack, car bomb, or IED. And they cast those votes anyway!
But it never would have happened had America not dropped a few Daisy Cutters on some very bad people.
Third, and most importantly, the money quote: ''We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance."
That's right. He wants terrorism to be a nuisance. Want a good reason to vote for George W. Bush in three weeks? There it is, the single best reason you could possibly want, and straight from John Kerry's mouth.
You know what a nuisance is? A flat tire is a nuisance. Litter is a nuisance. Saturday make-up classes because of a hurricane are a nuisance. Long lines in the supermarket are a nuisance.
Terrorism is not a nuisance, Mr. Kerry. Terrorism is a life and death struggle for ideological supremacy. Terrorism is the hope, sir, that you will be blown into a million pieces so that a radical Islamicist can get political points from your steaming corpse. That's terrorism. And it is not in the same ballpark as nuisance. It isn't even in the parking lot outside the parking lot. It isn't even in the same city where the nuisance game is being played. Nuisance, Mr. Kerry, is on Mars, and terrorism is in another freaking galaxy!
Kerry: What's on the schedule for today, Bob?
Bob: We're dedicating a school and pretending to be angry about another terrorist attack.
Kerry: Can we bump that last one? I was hoping to go golfing this afternoon.
Saturday, October 09, 2004
John Howard Brings it Home
That would be the leader of Australia, who not only got re-elected, but also increased his party's majority. Thanks to Ace.
This, in spite of the vigorous campainging in Australia by John Kerry's own sister, who was trying to sway one of America's most important allies. More proof that Kerrys don't think much of actual allies, only of allies who have solemnly promised not to help us under any circumstances. And this in spite of the fact that Australians are apparently more opposed to the War on Terror than Americans. That certainly is good news. It gives me hope for embattled British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who also faces severe opposition for his support of the Bush doctrine.
And for some really, really cool stuff, you have to go check out Allah's surpisingly profanity-free links here and here. They are about today's elections in Afghanistan, the first Afghan elections in the history of the entire world, and it looks like the Afghans are appropriately enthused.
Key quote: "Still, who knows? Maybe it'll all fall apart. Keep those fingers crossed, Kerry voters!"
Congratulations, Afghanistan. And in terms of voter turn-out, congratulations on totally shaming the American electorate.
Friday, October 08, 2004
Enjoy the Presidential “Debates”
Note: The following is my column for next week's edition of Dicta, the law school's student newspaper. As always, Crocodile fans get the scoop.
By the time you read this, you will already have had the opportunity to watch one vice presidential debate and two presidential debates. That’s assuming, of course, that the crack staff of Dicta can manage to get this back from the printers in a reasonable time. It’s entirely possible that by the time you read this, the sun will have gone cold, and the 2004 debates will be quite irrelevant. But as hope springs eternal, I’ll assume we’ve got three down and one to go.
The reason I put the word "debates" in quotes in the title is because they aren’t really debates. And the reason I don’t put it in quotes everywhere in this column is because I’m lazy. They aren’t debates because that word suggests some kind of progressive and responsive building of a case, point by point. Instead we have a moderator asking all the questions, and the candidates basically spouting talking points in a style as hollow as the Miss America pageant. For example:
Moderator: Mr. President, how do you respond to critics who say you’re worse than Hitler?
President: Ich will ihnen vernichten!
Moderator: I see. Mr. Kerry, you have great hair.
Kerry: Thank you. That reminds me of the time I spent Hannukah in Vietnam...
Or from the veep debates:
Moderator: Mr. Edwards, you say that you have plan to solve the medical care crisis in America, but aren’t you personally responsible for a large portion of that very crisis?
Edwards: [Smiles charmingly].
Moderator: Mr. Cheney, your fans really want to watch you lift Senator Edwards off the ground and snap him in half like a twig. Would you care to oblige?
Cheney: Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve created.
So you see, these aren’t really debates. We’re watching posturing, preening, the occasional death threat, John Kerry turning into some species of pumpkin, and scripted responses to obvious questions. All of that warrants the use of quotes in the title, and if I could be troubled to push a couple of extra keys on the keyboard, within the text of the column, as well.
The Greeks knew how to debate. That’s what I’d like to see: a good old-fashioned Greek-style debate, in the tradition of Socrates, Plato, and, erm, that other guy, Astronaut.
Moderator: Mr. Kerry, your opponent has done an excellent job of portraying you as a flip-flopper. Can you please clarify for us the Aristotelian claim that Tragedy is superior to Epic poetry in all respects?
Kerry: I ... well, you know, back when I was in Vietnam, I once was ordered to take my boat along the watery borders between Vietnam and Cambodia...
Moderator: Thank you, Mr. Kerry, but after consulting a map I’ve determined that your claim is geographically impossible. Mr. President, the next question is for you. Some pundits argue that while many conservatives support your aggressive war policies, you’ve alienated your base through unrestrained spending on non-military projects. Considering that charge, can you describe for us the philosophical implications of the cave described by Plato in the tenth chapter of his "Republic"?
President: Well, you see, the cave is a metaphor for the lack of perception...
Moderator: I’m sorry, that was a trick question. The cave is described in the seventh book. That’s all we have time for. Good night, ladies and gentlemen.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
President de Fromage
Fun with Historical Revision
Via a lot of places, but most recently Way Off Bass, here's a story that reinforces my disgust with public education, although oddly it's the teacher who makes sense in this one.
The summary version is this: a teacher put up a display featuring the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and pictures of all the U.S. Presidents. Naturally, that means PRESIDENT George W. Bush was on the display, considering that he's the PRESIDENT of our country, and has been for almost four years, now. But it turns out some parents were unhappy with that. They wanted the teacher to either take down the picture of PRESIDENT George W. Bush from a display on PRESIDENTS of the United States, or else put up a picture of John Kerry (who is not the President, btw). Last I heard, the teacher walked out/was kicked out (probably depends on who you ask) and I don't know what will happen now.
See, the parents were being reasonable in this case, because they have a right not to have their children subjected to partisan lies about who is the actual president right now, and they made a fuss in a socially responsible and in no sense idiotic fashion.
But as usual, I don't think the shrieking leftists went far enough. After all, even if the teacher had taken down the picture of PRESIDENT George W. Bush, what would that have accomplished? The display still would have featured prominent Hitler-esque monsters from our past, such as Ronald Reagan, George Bush Sr., Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon. Clearly the only way to have a totally non-partisan display is to remove all the Repiblicans completely, and to fill their spots with pictures of contemporary leftists. For example, we could replace Richard Nixon with Chairman Mao. Instead of Ronald Reagan, we could have Mikhail Gorbachev. Bush Sr. would have to make way for Castro (I know, Castro came into power long before Bush Sr. did, but we're running out of communists, here). Instead of the deliberately inflammatory picture of George W. Bush, we could have a picture of Al Gore, another contemporary communist.
Also, I think our flag has too many stars. Seriously, if Texas is going to get a star, then every time I look at a flag I'm going to have inflammatory partisan ideas about Texas' statehood shoved down my throat. Not in my America, bub.
The liberal-friendly "No Texas Flag." Wave it proudly my leftist friends.
Furthermore, bloggers (a.k.a. "digital brownshirts") should not have the right to complain when the L.A. Times suggests that the defeat of a Democrat-sponsored bill is a loss for Republicans. We just don't need that kind of partisanship.
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Update and Correction
Reader Supernatural Rabbit Scribe e-mails to tell me that Mapquest, like the Supreme Court, may be on crack.
I don't know where he got this map, but according to the e-mail, it shows Southern Pines approximately 29 miles south-southeast of Robbins. Looks like they might be two different places, after all.
Other interesting facts:
Robbins has a population of 1,173
Southern Pines has a population of 9,634
According to this site, the Southern Pines Pilot has a circulation of less than 15,000.
I have found no indication that anyone in Robbins, NC publishes a newspaper.
Also interesting, from The Pilot's opinion page, is this tidbit:
"The Pilot hasn’t 'taken to calling him' anything. In fact, the vice president’s obscure reference sent us scrambling to our library. And sure enough, we did publish an editorial 15 months ago, on June 25, 2003, headlined, 'Edwards Should Do His Day Job.' In it, we noted that Sen. Jesse Helms used to be called 'Senator No.' And we added: 'Four and a half years into his first term, John Edwards is becoming known as Senator Gone.' ... But we also wrote: 'Members of the senator’s staff point out that Edwards’ attendance record this year has been better than the three other Democratic senators who are campaigning for president — Joe Lieberman, Richard Gephardt and Bob Graham. And the aides also say none of the votes Edwards missed was close, so his presence on the floor would not have changed the outcome.'"
Interestingly enough, while the paper sounds less criticial of Edwards than Cheney might have led us to believe (to be clear, it was one article on the opinion page, which doesn't necessarily reflect the editors' opinions), they do not dispute that they are John Edwards' hometown paper. The facts I've shown above suggest that there is a good reason for this: Robbins probably considers the Southern Pines Pilot to be its hometown newspaper.
Democrats: The Party of Peace
The Commissar does something I've been thinking about doing for a while, but which I haven't gotten around to because I'm far too lazy. It's good to have comrades who do the work for you.
It's a list of violent or harassing actions against Bush supporters/GOP targets. Way to show how classy you are, guys.
Update: The Commissar again beats me to the punch with this fisking (which apparently is not a fisking because Commissar does not fisk). Here's the, ah, "ruble quote" from the non-fisking fisking:
"The Dems introduced the measure 'as a way to protest the war.' But of course, to bring a piece of legislation to the floor of the House for such purpose must not be confused with a 'cynical political ploy.' Nyet. That is what you call it if someone actually tries to bring your fear-mongering bill to a vote ... and even Charlie Rangel the author of the bill, votes against it. Got it? Rangel introduces a bill that is so bad that even he votes against it. He undeniably introduced it to make a political point, but should the House leadership force the thing to a vote, well ... that is a 'cheap political ploy.'"
Excellent work, comrade.
Update within an update: According to Rusty Shackleford (who has a link round-up on this), the L.A. Times headline on the story is "Republicans Glad to Lose on Bill to Start New Draft." I didn't double-check that because it requires registration.
Wow. Just wow. How, exactly, is this a Republican loss? The bill was sponsored by a Democrat. It was sponsored to add fuel to anti-Republican rumors. It was vigorously opposed by Republicans. It was brought to a vote by Republicans for the express purpose of defeating the crap out of it. The only two people who voted for it were Democrats.
And this is a Republican loss?
According to another LATimes article, hot snow falls upwards.
That Didn't Last Long
Story here. Barely three weeks old, and the Louisiana Gay Marriage Amendment has been ruled unconsitutional. Of course, we've still got state appeals, state Supreme Court appeals, and then whatever is simmering in the federal courts - so everyone recognizes that this thing is far from over.
Somewhat surprising, however, is the reason for the ruling, which has nothing to do with equal protection or gay rights (at least, not obstensibly). It seems that the state Constitution doesn't allow an amendment to have more than one "object," and this one has two: defining the boundaries of legal marriage, and forbidding recognition of marriage-like status (i.e. banning civil unions). The constitutional provision can be found here, and in relevant part it says: "A proposed amendment ... shall be confined to one object..."
Keeping in mind that I support a constitutional ban on gay marriage (mostly for judicial activism reasons, as discussed below), I also support doing things by the book, and so I don't mind seeing this amendment go down in flames if it violates the proper procedure. Call me wacky, but I believe we have rules for a reason.
That said, the real question is what the constitution means by "one object." That is, to what extent can a judge split hairs. Because the amendment can easily be described in one of two ways:
1. It limits judicial expansion of the traditional notion of legal relationships by defining those relationships.
2. It bans gay marriage, and it bans civil unions.
Both statements are true and in no sense a misrepresentation of what is actually in the amendment. One is constitutionally valid. The other is not. So how should the judge have ruled? I honestly don't know, and that's because I can't find a searchable version of the state constitution that shows past amendments. That's what it boils down to, in my opinion. If past amendments have stood up to scrutiny even though the covered two split-hair objects, then this amendment should have stood up, too. But if the courts have consistently held the legislature to a very strict reading of the "one object" rule, then this amendment, too should be held invalid.
I'm Kicking Myself (sorta)
For missing the VP debates last night. I really didn't have time to watch, but afterwards the wife gave me the rundown, and then listening to talk radio this morning it sounds like Edwards got his butt handed to him on a platter, as the old saying goes. It's a shame I missed that. I was busy reading First Amendment law and remembering my friend Ryan's theory about how the Supreme Court operates: "Scalia brought the crack. Brennan brought the pipe. They put the crack in the pipe, smoked up for a while, and then wrote this opinion." Mr. Justice Brennan has since passed on, of course, but the theory still seems to hold.
Anyhoo, a couple of observations:
Neal Boortz has a poll up about who won the debate. 98% of his listeners say Cheney won. Of course, that's not a scientific poll, and it might say more about his audience than it does about the debate itself. Just keep that in mind. Boortz' page also has information about the Halliburton myth.
Conservative Blogger Round-up
Ace has a great picture of the Edwards, a la another whiny young apprentice not yet schooled in the ways of the Force. "
Allah has links to basically every political blogger in the whole universe, with their synopses of the debate. I'll simply thank him for his roundup so I don't have to do it myself. Who am I kidding - I didn't really have to do it in the first place.
Liberal Blogger Round-up
(Note: by clicking the links below, you are giving traffic to liberals. You have been warned).
Interesting stuff over at "Screw Them" Kos's place. The man seems to relish in Cheney's "lie" about never meeting Edwards, and he's got the video clips to prove it. I'm sorry, is that the best you can do? In case you missed it, Cheney absolutley humiliated Edwards by claiming they had never even met, even though Cheney is the president of the Senate. The point of Cheney's remark was to highlight Edwards' - to put it diplomatically - absenteeism. So lacking in any substantive attacks, he calls Cheney's statement a lie. But which is worse, Cheney never meeting the man because he never shows up for work, or Cheney meeting the man and forgetting because Edwards is such an unremarkable person?
Incidentally, neither of the video clips used by Kos as "proof" that the two met is proof at all. In both cases, Edwards is standing behind Cheney.
The best part about Kos' site, though, is how much he focuses on directing readers to on-line polls. That's good times. Substance doesn't matter, only on-line polls. Sweet.
Josh "nouseforamiddlename" Marshall (see how clever I am?) claims to have the goods, but he has the same picture Kos used (showing Edwards behind the Vice President), and then a video clip of Cheney speaking that doesn't show Edwards at all. I'm sorry, this is proof of what, now? And lower, Marshall makes the statement "I think the debate spin -- if the Dems are even remotely sensible -- will turn heavily on the great number of straight-up falsehoods Cheney told during the debate."
Problem is, of course, that Dems are not even remotely sensible. Look who they nominated, for crying out loud. And if the best they can do is harp on Cheney having met Edwards, they are in a sad state indeed.
And Atrios has another juicy tidbit. Cheney stated (again, this is in connection with his criticism of Edwards not showing up for work) that "Your hometown newspaper has taken to calling you Senator Gone." Atrios did an archive search of The News and Observer and found no such statement. It seems the quote is from here, a weekly paper that isn't even in Edwards' hometown.
(Pause while my reading audience gasps).
I'm sorry, but are you the same Atrios who thinks "fake but accurate" is a reasonable thing to say? Follow me, for a second. According to liberals, writing about Dan Rather's memogate, it doesn't matter that the specific documents involved were forgeries because the information contained in the forgeries was true.
Now the Vice President is making a substantive attack on Edwards because Edwards doesn't like to show up for work (although he does draw a paycheck). Libs think they have proven conclusively that the details of Cheney's attack are wrong, and therefore Cheney is a liar. But for the sake of consistency, they argue that Cheney's criticisms are fake but accurate - that is, he got some of the details wrong on the sources, but the substance of the charge is still there.
No, I'm just messing with you. Liberals aren't concerned with consistency. "Fake but accurate" only applies to their people.
And incidentally, a quick search of Google for the phrase "Senator gone" brings up this article, highlighting Edwards' failure to show up for work. Key quote: "There’s a reason why North Carolina newspapers have started calling John Edwards 'Senator Gone.'"
And in case you care, Atrios has his facts wrong. Check out my sleuthing efforts. You may be impressed. The Pilot, which is the paper in which the "Senator Gone" quote first appeared, is published in Southern Pines, NC. Go to Mapquest, type that in, and then come back here. According to his homepage, Edwards was born in Robbins, NC. Open a new window, go to Mapquest, and type that in. Compare and contrast. I'm not familiar with the area, having never been to North Carolina, but Mapquest thinks Southern Pines and Robbins are the exact same place.
In conclusion, Atrios is a LIIIIAAAAAAAARRRRR! (the same word he used for Cheney, when he thought Cheney had his facts wrong).
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
The Global Test, and Beyond!
Hat tip to Frank J, who points out this delightful quote:
"But I can do a better job of protecting America's security because the test that I was talking about was a test of legitimacy, not just in the globe, but elsewhere."
Of course the first question is, to whom, beyond residents of this Earth, is John Kerry going to look for legitimacy? But that was the essence of Frank J's comment, so I'll move on and try to ask a somewhat more original question.
Why is this guy considered the more intelligent of the candidates? People make fun of Bushisms all the time, but John Kerry, who was apparently proud that he invented the term "misleadisments," goes on to say something as fantastically stupid as the above quote - and yet he's somehow the better speaker? There's something seriously wrong, here.
Kids and Nukes: Where do You Stand?
Frank J. at IMAO has a provocative column on why he thinks North Korea, Iran and children shouldn't have nuclear weapons.
I posted my critique in his comments, which I reproduce in full below:
Just like a heartless neocon, telling us what children can and can't do.
Look, the fact of the matter is that children will get nuclear weapons. You're just being naive if you think otherwise. They will get the nukes, and the only thing responsible adults can do is teach them how to use the nukes responsibly (i.e. by lobbing them at France).
Your puritan ideas about kids and nukes died in the Victorian age, my friend, and you're not going to brainwash my children with your stuffed-shirt ideas about what children should or should not be doing. Ever since Roe v. Wade conclusively and scientifically proved that our Constitutional right to privacy is more important than human life, I've seen through your kind of narrow-minded dogma.
So fie on you and your rules. My kids get nukes and the proper training to use them effectively and responsibly. Your kids will get nukes, too, behind your back, and they won't know the first thing about proper storage, maintenance, ballistics, firing sequences, or the effective blast radius of a 30 kiloton warhead. And you will have no one to blame but yourself.
Monday, October 04, 2004
Kronos Crunches the Numbers
Nick Kronos touches on something that bothered me about the debates. Basically he looks at an assertion by Kerry about the percentage of deaths allocated to Americans. Go read Nick for the data, and then come back here so I can explain why this bugs me.
1. When we speak of UN forces, as a practical matter we're basically referring to Americans. France technically has an army, I guess, in the same way that Canada technically has health care and North Korea technically has leadership - in every case, it's not something that you choose to rely on, given the choice. And this isn't just France-bashing. The fact is that most UN troops are Americans. So if we send UN forces into, I don't know, Blogistan, and lots of fighting breaks out, we can reasonably expect that most of the casualties, if distributed equally among the represented nations, will be Americans. And that's assuming that the casualties are distributed equally. If we put (for example) Poles in a less dangerous spot that we put Czechs, then we can expect more casualties among the Czechs.
Basically all I'm saying is that America is the de facto world police, and the de facto bulk of what we term "UN forces." When the UN went into Somalia, it was basically American forces with non-American generals. Remember all that Blackhawk Down stuff? Think it was a coincidence that those were Americans? Think again. So my question for Kerry would be, if we had recruited France and Germany to go into Iraq (contrary to their corrupt pecuniary interests), how would the numbers be any different?
2. Perhaps more importantly, there is a fundamentally horrible assumption underlying Kerry's conclusion. Consider the following scenarios. In the first, America invades Blogistan alone and loses one hundred troops. America has taken one hundred percent of the casualties. In John Kerry's world, this is a bad thing. In the second scenario, America and France team up and invade Blogistan. Sixty Americans are killed, and forty Frenchmen are killed. The same number of human beings are dead. In John Kerry's world, this is somehow better.
This is only better is American lives have more intrinsic value than French lives. I think that's a horrible assumption. As much as I like to make fun of the French (and let's be honesty - I really like to make fun of the French), I don't think their lives are any less precious than American lives. We are all human beings, regardless of nationality. Kerry's notion of sharing the burden in terms of casualites really ought to get the ABBers howling about jingoistic imperialism, "No French blood for American interests!" that sort of thing. But of course, that would require some kind of consistency, and consistency is not exactly a leftist mantra.
This same point is part of the reason I support the war in Iraq. The fact is that Iraqis are people, too, and I want them to be free. I think it is tragic when Iraqis die. And a cold, hard fact of war is that when we invade Iraq, some Iraqis will die (note, of course, that Iraqis were dying before we invaded, at the hands of Saddam Hussein). I hope and pray for the hearts of the Iraqis to be softened, that they will strive for peace and freedom rather than terror and violence. And with all of this in mind, I think vigorously oppose the suggestion that American lives are worth so much more than Iraqi lives that we should stay at home in peace and comfort while they are dying or living under one of the most brutal regimes since Nazi Germany. How is that not jingoistic? Since when are liberals (the bulk of those who oppose the war in Iraq) so concerned about saving American lives when others are being tortured and killed, and denied basic human freedoms? Can anyone explain this to me?
Are the Mormons Going PC?
One of the two new Mormon apostles is Elder Dieter Uchtdorf, who was raised in East Germany. Which leads me of course to my newest conspiracy theory: the Mormons are secretly rooting for John Kerry by picking a German. Looks a little too coincidental, no? Of course, my theory would be a lead-pipe cinch if the other new guy were Frenchman Charles Didier.
Good News about Florida Ballots
It looks like someone has come up with a good idea to make sure Floridians don't screw up again. Check it out. Remember, vote early and vote often.
Friday, October 01, 2004
Changing the Rules, or Ignoring Them?
In today's Times-Picayune, Jarvis DeBerry has a column entitled "The House Tries to Change the Rules." It will probably be available on-line later today or tomorrow, but for now let me just summarize his argument. It seems the House of Representatives is trying to pass a bill that would forbid the Supreme Court from ruling on the constitutionality of the issue of the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance. To quote from Mr. DeBerry:
"A majority of the members of the House decided last week that our country's system of checks and balances - which we all learned about in civics class - can be set aside at Congress' discretion.
Lawmakers are declaring their superiority over the judicial branch, and that should frighten all Americans, no matter their allegiance to the Pledge. ...Still, we as citizens would be foolish to quietly acquiesce to this legislative grab for power. For if Congress gets away with this one, who knows what other issue it will try to move out of the range of the judiciary?"
Mr. DeBerry fails to impress me when he relies on what he learned in "civics class" rather than what the Constitution actually says. For if he had bothered to dust off his copy, he might have found Article III, section 2, clause 2, which states that in those cases where the Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction, Congress is entitled to make whatever exceptions and regulations it wants. In other words, far changing the rules in midgame, it seems that someone in the House of Representatives actually read the Constitution and discovered a rule that is as old as the system of checks and balances itself.
Query: is DeBerry's utter failure to note this important tidbit the result of deliberate misrepresentation, or just a demonstration of his ignorance on the matter?