Friday, December 10, 2004

Stop steroid use cold, before it becomes the government's business

I agree with George Will, not Andrew Sullivan on this one. Unnatural achievements are not achievements at all, but a devaluing of our most venerated sport. Andrew thinks this is unstoppable. I think if fans vote with their pocketbooks and stay away from the ballparks as a result, it certainly IS stoppable.

Cell phones and the real world

Brian Cooley in ZDNet recounts top ten ways people break cell phones.

Friday, December 3, 2004

Does this worry anyone?

China Launches New Class of Nuclear Sub. Once again our intelligence is "surprised." Thank you John Kerry and Bill Clinton.

Sunday, November 28, 2004


My father and my grandmother, Doll, on her 100th birthday.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Media bias watch....

Drudge reports: CRONKITE: KARL ROVE BEHIND BIN LADEN TAPE?
Former CBSNEWS anchorman Walter Cronkite believes Bush adviser Karl Rove is possibly behind the new Bin Laden tape. Cronkite made the startling comments late Friday during an interview on CNN. Somewhat smiling, Cronkite said he is "inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, he probably set up bin Laden to this thing." Interviewer Larry King did not ask Cronkite to elaborate on the provocative election eve observation.

Say it ain't so, Walter.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

As if there were any doubt about media bias

CBS planned to drop the missing explosives bomb on Sunday, October 31, according to DRUDGE. Now it appears, according to NBC, the explosives were already gone when our troops arrived in April 2003. CBS should have, and could have known this, had they wanted to. After the forged documents scandal (which is sitll being "investigated"), and this, can anyone trust CBS News at ALL?

20-20 Hindsight is a wonderful thing but ...

It doesn't prove John Kerry (or anyone, for that matter) would have handled the war any better. OpinionJournal provides a historical perspective.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Dems strategy to create voter fraud instead of stop it.

This is scary stuff, particularly if it portends a general strategy by the left to move every close election into the courtrooms for lawyers and judges to decide.

After screaming for four years about how GWB was "awarded" the presidency, it appears they're gearing up to run the game the other way.

Kerry's Teresa Problem

An official gaffe list

And in the interest of fairness...

James Bowman writes in OpinionJournal this alternate take on Jon Stewart's recent dustup with Tucker Carlson of CNN. Not sure I agree with all of this, but Bowman's point IS important when he talks about how audiences have changed (not for the better):
The consumers of TV satire 40 years ago were assumed by the satirists to be pretty well-informed people already. Now there are indications that a lot of people, especially young people, are skipping the regular news and going straight to the satire.

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press earlier this year, 21% of people aged 18-29 "regularly" got news about the election campaign from "The Daily Show" or the monologues of late-night comedians--about the same number as watched network news shows or got news from the Internet.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Fake News vs. the Big Boys

Jon Stewart ripped them a new one at Crossfire last night, and deservedly so. Same insights apply to Hannity & Colmes and other shout/debate shows, IMHO. Here's the transcript at CNN.com - Transcripts. Courtesy of Andrew and Wonkette.

Thursday, October 7, 2004

Stewart Smalley for Veep

John Edwards, quoted yesterday: "You can't fix these problems until you recognize there is a problem,'' the Democratic vice presidential candidate told a sign-waving audience in a warehouse at the Palm Beach County convention center. "They're in denial. They're in denial about everything."

I know it's just election demagoguery, but why are we describing the issues surrounding a damn WAR for God's sake -- as though it were simply a new age psychiatric disorder. How kindly you put it, you patronizing jerk: The president is "in denial." He needs help. He's wrong, but it's not his fault, he's just "in denial."

No, the president is arguing his case for the war in Iraq which is integral to the war on terror. He is NOT sick, he's not in denial. He doesn't need a 12-step recovery program. HE DOESN'T AGREE WITH YOU, MR. EDWARDS. Grow the hell up, Slick. This is a war, not another opportunity for you to throw buzzwords and phrases at a handpicked-for-their-ignorance jury. People are fighting and some are dying, and it's NOT because the president is some deluded Captain Queeg. It's because he wants to keep terrorists out of our backyards. How dare you, you damn arrogant ambulance-chaser?

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

CBS Says Probe Results Unlikely Until After Election

How sensitive:
An external review of how CBS News came to use disputed documents in a report on President Bush's military record will probably not be concluded until after the November election so as not to interfere with the presidential race, a top executive said on Tuesday.

Of course, CBS had no qualms about running the original story regardless of its effect on the election. This is covering your ass hypocrisy of the lowest order. CBS News has dropped a long way from the days of Walter, who, at his best, was a hell of a journalist.

Dems should leave drug companies alone

From Berkleysquare, this blogger with disabilities explains why he doesn't want Kerry-Edwards in Get Out The Gimpy Vote:
As a valid holder of a handicapped parking permit, let me chime in. A Kerry administration would demolish the private pharmaceutical industry. He's got Michael J. Fox stumping for him on the Stem-Cell debate but as I have blogged before, his policies will chase capital out of the sector.

The Dems love to rail against 'big drug profits' but the sector trades at a lower multiple than any technology sector. Look at what Vioxx has done to Merck's valuation.

Maybe some of these folks, like me, have decided they don't need a Vice President who'll 'fight the drug companies!' We would be best served by someone who would help them with tort reform -- or at the very least stay the hell out of the way.

Sunday, October 3, 2004

Judge the debates based on substance, not style.

Dick Morris, former Clintonista, on the Bush substance in the debates -- from New York Post Online Edition
PRESIDENT Bush's positions on the issues aired in the debate last night are so sound and John Kerry's so contradictory that the Republican could not help but win the debate. But, despite the contradictions of his positions, Kerry showed Americans that he looks and acts like a commander-in-chief and someone we could trust with power.

Of course the United States needs to have China at the table to pressure Kim Jong Il. How else are we going to get the North Koreans to give away their nuclear weapons and stop building more?

Obviously a president can't ask our troops to suffer and die for a war he calls a mistake and "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Clearly our allies will be roiled by a president who calls them a coalition of the "bribed and the coerced" and belittles their contributions even as their soldiers risk their lives.

Certainly a free Iraq would send a signal to Iran — which is the only way we can get the mullahs to abstain from nuclear-weapon development.

Plainly, we need bunker-busting nuclear weapons. Where do you think the WMDs are — in store windows?

Unquestionably, we need a missile defense. Why do you think North Korea is testing its missiles?


Bush was too detached from debate number one, even though he was correct on all counts, and Kerry was contradictory. He needs to do better in upcoming debates.

Friday, October 1, 2004

More on the debate

Kerry is telling our troops "help is on the way?!" What does that say about his attitude regarding the current troops in Iraq? Oh, and where the heck is he going to GET all these extra divisions he's talking about? Like we just pick them off a tree. Is HE going to reinstate the draft? And how is he going to train the Iraqi forces "faster?" What does that mean?

More scarily, Kerry indicated that we should try to make a "deal" with Iran related to nuclear fuel. This amounts to the same sort of "deal" we made with North Korea (under Clinton), in which we got promises from a lying dictator that he wouldn't make nuclear weapons with the fuel we gave him. Kerry is either too stupid to understand that promises from dictators are worthless, or he doesn't really care. Either way, he's not the guy for the job.

Crib sheet for Kerry's global test

As posted at Instapundit.com.

Global Test for Pre-emptive Military Action by the U.S.
  1. Is the U.S. President a Republican?
  2. Could this action possibly stabilize oil production?
  3. Are France and Germany supplying the intended target with weapons or advice?
  4. Would any small time thugocracy with a seat on the Security Council feel threatened?
  5. Are family members of high ranking U.N. bureaucrats benefiting financially from the status quo?
  6. Is this action likely to enhance America’s power in the world?
  7. Would this action further the goals of free market/free trade advocates?
  8. Would this action make the U.N. look weak and inconsistent?
  9. Would this action divide the countries of the European Union?
  10. Would this action be seen as offensive to a world religion (other than Christianity and Judaism)?
If the answer to any of the above questions is "yes," the only acceptable course for the United States is inaction.

Debate I

Between running to the high school's band practice, listening in the car radio, and watching the replays, I didn't hear the whole debate, but here are my impressions of what I did hear.

First, yes, Bush wasn't slick, Kerry was. Kerry had very ready answers and Bush had to stop and think sometimes. Which is better? Well, I would prefer that my president think about things and not be a slick Mr. Perfect. Of course, Kerry isn't perfect, but he tries to give that impression.

I also wish Bush would really learn how to say "nuclear." He has to know he doesn't say it correctly, so it's just a habit, perhaps a product of growing up in Texas, but geez, it's not that hard -- NUKE LEE ER. And, he should have kept his facial expressions in check, but he's like his dad was in that regard. And frankly, I was reacting to Kerry the same way, so I guess I don't blame him.

When Kerry kept talking about building "real coalitions," I wish Bush could have called him on it. What's the difference between the coalition we have and a "real" one? Would a real coalition have Germany and France on board? Good luck, John. They already said it ain't happening, even if you do get elected.

And even if France and Germany hadn't indicated their unwillingness, why would any country want to follow a leader into a war he's already said was a "mistake." How does Kerry expect to sell that idea? "Our last president made a mistake, and well, it's a real mess, which I've been saying all along, a quagmire, ya know, but we really need you help getting out of it." Sign me up, Pierre.

Also, one of the more telling moments was when Kerry veered into talking about spending money on bunker busting nuclear weapons. This is the old Kerry. The nuclear-freeze Kerry. The guy who still doesn't understand that this nation with nukes is different than Kim Jong Il with nukes. Moral equivalence tied to objects, tools, if you will, rather than the morality of a nation or its leaders. A man this confused about who is right and wrong should not be president.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Choices

With regard to Iraq, anyway, our choice of president boils down to this, I think, outlined by Tony Blair yesterday. Quoted also by Andrew Sullivan -- from the Guardian:
Obviously there will be people who have never been convinced about the original decision. But the fundamentals of the situation in Iraq are absolutely clear. You have a government supported by the United Nations. You have got massive reconstruction. You've got an attempt to bring democracy to the country and you've got these people trying to stop it. I can understand why people still have a powerful disagreement about the original decision to go to war, but what ever that disagreement, surely now it is absolutely clear we have to stay and see it through. Because the consequences of not doing so is that global terrorism will get a tremendous boost. By contrast, if we succeed and defeat these people and help the Iraqis to get what the Iraqis want, then global terrorism will suffer a defeat.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Who says we don't need tax reform?

And I'm not talking about class-baiting concepts like taxing (or not taxing) the so-called rich. I'm talking about a system that nails people even when the receive an unexpected gift, as 276 members of Oprah's studio audience did last week. Even if they SELL the car to pay the taxes, they'll still owe taxes related to owning the car in the first place. Our tax system is insidious, pervasive and morally wrong. Read about it in OpinionJournal - That Gift That Never Stops Taking.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

A Blogger's Creed

Andrew Sullivan in TIME Magazine. Long live the pajamahadeen.

A little clarification please...

According to The Washington Times: Nation/Politics:
Officials said recent intelligence assessments of the group, which is blamed for the September 11 attacks, state that an attack is coming and that the danger will remain high until the Nov. 2 elections and last until Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.

Isn't this the same as saying the danger be high until January 20? Why TWO dates? It's information like this coming from the government that makes terror alerts confusing, vague and ultimately, unbelievable. The report continutes:
Thus, details of the possible attack remain murky, but analysts say it is planned to be bigger and deadlier than the September 11 attacks, which killed 3,000 people.
Potential targets include the White House, Pentagon, U.S. Capitol and congressional buildings, as well as landmarks and business centers in New York, the officials said. The officials said that there is no specific information about targets.

Huh? Then how do we know what targets are likely? The naming of targets could just be the the WaTimes speculating, but that's not clear either.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Correction

OK, well, not lower than Joe McCarthy, but one point above. Even with Martha Stewart, though.

Kerry down for the count -- for the moment.

DRUDGE reports Kerry's poll number exceedingly low, but lower than Joe McCarthy? Pretty bad. The comparison is interesting, but Kerry's campaign seriously miscued on using the Vietnam war as the backdrop for his campaign. It always seemed weird that a guy who protested that war so vocally (and inappropriately) would try to use his service as a prime talking point. He's anti-war, but a hawk? He betrays fellow servicemen and then wants to lead them? Whatever you think of Kerry's politics, this just never computed for me. Yes, the war in Iraq is in trouble. Talk about THAT. And don't just tell us you're going to put together a REAL coalition (insults to the Poles, Germans, Spanish et al who helped us), and how GWB is WRONG. This is meaningless drivel, even if your main point is correct.

Kerry COULD get his points back in debates, but I'm not too sure at this point.

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

In Defense of the Electoral College

OpinionJournal has this today, bringing out some salient points against a pure popular election.

Thursday, September 2, 2004

OpinionJournal Today.:
Yes, Mr. Bush underestimated the Iraq insurgency, among other post-invasion mistakes. It's worth recalling, however, that those who opposed the war warned instead of disasters that did not happen--a refugee exodus, uprisings in the Arab street, environmental catastrophe, civil war. While civil war is still possible, the single most important change in Iraq is that all but the bitter-end Baathists now support free elections and representative government. If this nation-building succeeds, the U.S. will have an ally in the heart of the Mideast and the Arab Muslim world.
Surely the easier political choice for Mr. Bush was to stop after toppling the Taliban, delaying any Iraq decision until safely re-elected. But assessing the risks and concluding that they can't wait is what we pay Presidents to do. The far greater temptation--and in a world of WMD, the far greater risk--is to find some excuse never to act. This was the Clinton pattern, and John Kerry's record suggests it would also be his.

It seems to me that the candidate with the better overall batting average in terms of predicting outcomes, and more importantly, with a penchant for actual ACTION in the face of world threats, is the one who deserves our support.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Pyongyang favors Kerry -- my choice just solidified.

IHT%3A With an eye on U.S. vote%2C North Korea rails at Bush: "SEOUL North Korea called President George W. Bush an imbecile and a tyrant who puts Hitler in the shade%2C unleashing a stream of insults Monday that seemed to rule out any serious progress on nuclear disarmament talks before the American elections in November."

Well, that settles it for me. Granted, this is a negotiating tactic typical of North Korea, but it's somehow unsettling that Pyongyang prefers the Democrat.

Monday, August 9, 2004

International team to monitor presidential election

I am disgusted and appalled that this has been allowed. What kind of moralizing, handwringing weenie would you have to be to ask the U-freaking-N headed by Kofi Annan to monitor our elections? OUR elections. This is the country that taught the world what freedom and free elections are. This nonsense about Florida has gone far enough. What I also can't understand is how Colin Powell's State Department went along with this garbage.

The 13 Congresspeople who initiated this should be ashamed of equating this nation to a third-world tinpot dictatorship which really NEEDS this kind of help. And they should be removed from office in this fair and transparent election they seek to have. What an insult.

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Unfit for command?

Drudge is leaking some of the details in the new veterans' book about Kerry. Serious stuff, if:

  • It's true

  • The Kerry-friendly press actually pursues it


My gut wants to believe what's being reported here, mainly because I have always thought Kerry was a huge phony. But I reserve judgement until this plays out. IF it plays out.

Monday, August 2, 2004

End of an era (I hope)

Drudge is reporting that a centerpiece of Republican strategy may be to push for elimination of the IRS in favor of sales taxes, VAT and other forms of simpler taxation.

VAT taxes and sales taxes have drawbacks, but they have one great advantage. They expose consumers to the real costs of taxation that the current system shields them from. Currently, employers are required to be tax collectors through withholding. In addition, there is the little fiction that employers are required to "match" a portion of the employee's taxes and the employee doesn't really pay that part. What really happens is that the "match" is considered when salaries and wages are set and the end result is that people are simply paid less. The reason government likes this is that it fools people about how much they're really paying in taxes.

The same is true of so-called corporate taxation. Corporation supposedly pay taxes that the "public" then doesn't have to pay. But, they DO pay for these taxes, sometimes with their jobs, when taxes become burdensome and companies decide to leave a particular area as a result.

BUT, in the case of the sales taxes, then everyone sees how much they're really being taxed, and this places a limit on government's ability to raise taxes. Which is exactly why the left will come up with reasons not to do it. Although it would put the left in an interesting position -- defending the existence of the IRS, the one universally hated government bureau. Personally, I'm all for a flat tax. A flat tax on INDIVIDUALS only. No corporate hide-the-real-taxes shell games. Individuals pay taxes anyway, when it comes down to it. And if everybody sees the real bill, the left's "tax cuts for the wealthy" arguments all dissolve into thin air. EVERYONE will like low taxes. AND they'll actually understand the taxes code for a change.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Black Kettle Watch

Yahoo! News - Kerry Vows To Restore 'Truth' to Presidency:
The value of truth is one of the most central values in America, and this administration has violated' it, Kerry said in an interview with The Washington Post aboard the Democrats' campaign plane Friday. 'Their values system is distorted and not based on truth.'
How does any Democrat make this kind of claim following eight years of Bill/Hillary? Incredible.

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

The last Michael Moore Post

Sullivan on Moore:
Actually, I think Moore may be objectively on the side of the Jihadists. But subjectively, he simply loathes American market capitalism more than Islamist fundamentalism. This mindset is structural. It was the same in 'Roger and Me.' And like all ideologies, it is resistant to any new data. So the threat of Jihadist terrorists using weapons of mass destruction is unimportant to Moore compared with outsourcing or the nefarious Bushes or evil corporate America. Those are his priorities. Nothing changed on September 11 for Moore. He has simply used that tragedy to pursue his ancient objectives. And they are a terrible, cynical distraction from the war on terror. In other words, Moore is guilty of the fundamental charge he has leveled against this president.

Tuesday, July 6, 2004

More concern about Edwards

Overlawyered confirms I'm not the only one worried about Edwards' trial lawyer background.

Vice-Ambulance-Chaser

John Edwards is the veep candidate with Kerry. Two very liberal candidates, and already the left is talking about how calling this a liberal ticket is the "same old tired rhetoric -- bla bla bla." If it's tired rhetoric, then so's the class warfare garbage the left keeps trying to sell.

More to the point, we REALLY don't want a trial lawyer this close to the presidency.

Weekend update

Best account of our weekend. Better than I could have written, anyway.

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Someday, somebody ought to be embarrassed.

DoD News: Secretary Rumsfeld Interview with Roger Hedgecock, Newsradio 600 KOGO:
Rumsfeld:"Now what's actually happened? Right now you have the Iraqi Survey Group, which is a multinational group that's out there reviewing documentation and looking at suspect WMD sites. I was with the Polish minister of defense this weekend in Istanbul, Turkey at the NATO Summit. And in the course of that, he pointed out that his troops in Iraq had recently come across -- I've forgotten the number, but something like 16 or 17 -- warheads that contained sarin and mustard gas.
"Now these are weapons that we always knew Saddam Hussein had that he had not declared and they have tested them and I have not seen them and I have not tested them, but they believe that they are correct that these, in fact, were undeclared chemical weapons -- sarin and mustard gas -- quite lethal and that is a discovery that just occurred within the last period of days. If you think about -- most people remember the image of where Saddam Hussein was captured in that hole -- that pit that he was living in. That pit, that hole in the ground was probably big enough to hold chemical and biological weapons sufficient to kill tens of thousands of people. And therefore, it is not hard to hide things in a country the size of California. It's quite easy to hide things. In fact, we finally found a bunch of jet aircraft that they've buried underground."

Chemical weapons, eh? This revelation probably doesn't warrant a monumental I-told-you-so, but why is Drudge the only outlet making this known? Perhaps because it doesn't advance the mainstream media agenda, which is to make Bush look bad. I've always believed that WMDs were going to be a longer term issue. Here's the difference between basic assumptions of the left and right. When we didn't find WMD right away after Iraq fell, the right said, "OK, where did he put them?" The left said "They're not here so that means they were never here and Bush lied."

In case no one's noticed, the left's track record predicting things like the war outcome, the US economy and other issues has been almost 100% incorrect in recent years. The left deconstructed our military in the 90s, assuming that, since the Cold War was over, there were no more threats. Wrong again. Don't believe ANYthing these people predict, is my recommendation.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Hillary Speculation

DRUDGE is reporting that the signs are all pointing to Hillary as Kerry's running mate. An insider says all problems are behind her and Bill now, because they're covered in their respective books. I'm not so sure, but Hillary would strengthen the Democratic base. Only if the base is pretty far left. It is demonstrable that Hillary is an extreme leftist, probably further left than Kerry, and she might actually hurt the ticket. Drudge may have something, he may not, but Hillary is likely to send a lot of people running. Even some Democrats.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Who's your mama?

The Clintons' arrogance shows through again. This time, according to SFGate.com, it's Hillary, in front of a San Francisco audience:
Headlining an appearance with other Democratic women senators on behalf of Sen. Barbara Boxer, who is up for re-election this year, Hillary Clinton told several hundred supporters -- some of whom had ponied up as much as $10,000 to attend -- to expect to lose some of the tax cuts passed by President Bush if Democrats win the White House and control of Congress.

'Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you,' Sen. Clinton said. 'We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.' (Emphasis mine.)

If this is the agenda Hillary will admit to in front of a presumably left-friendly SF group, what is she saying in the strategy room? This woman is extremely bad news. Thanks to Andrew Sullivan.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Feelgood Dept.

Smiling Bush quietly shares Iraq handover glee with Blair

Does this perhaps prove to the left that we really weren't in it for the oil?

More on Moore

Andrew Sullivan saw the film:
I was expecting to be outraged, offended, maddened, etc etc. No one told me I'd be bored. The devices were so tired, the analysis worthy of something by an intern in the Nation online, the sad attempts to blame everything on Bush so strained and over-wrought even the most credulous of conspiracists would have a hard time giving them the time of day. This won the top Cannes prize? Only hatred of America can explain that.

Damned If You Do Dept.

In The Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol takes the New York Times to task over its misleading coverage of the 9/11 Commission report. Kristol poses this important question to those doubting our course of action:
Could the president of the United States have simply left Saddam in power, with sanctions coming off, reconstituting his weapons programs, confident that Saddam and al Qaeda would not work together again in the future? Would this have been a reasonable course of action?

The answer, of course, is no. And had we taken this course, the criticism over the long haul might have been worse than for what we did, which was to free a country and take down a dangerous dictator. Bush was going to be a target of the left whichever action he'd taken.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Yes, the site looks different. The blog is currently hosted by Blogger, not an all-bad situation. You can see some of the stuff in the original site from the links at right.

The level of name-calling is inversely proportional to the level of rational thinking.

Consider Godwin's Law [The Jargon Dictionary] when next you hear a rant form Michael Moore, Sydney Blumenthal or, for that matter, Al Gore:
Godwin's Law prov. [Usenet] 'As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.'

Hitchens on Moore. Hitchens on more.
Me on Moore. Me on more than that.

Christopher Hitchens, one of the smartest guys on the left, skewers Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, as well as Moore himself, in Slate.

Although I hate to support Moore's politics, I'm quite interested in seeing Fahrenheit 9/11 from the standpoint of technique. Leni Reifenstahl was a master filmmaker who, at least artistically, got behind a really bad political point of view, but her films are still valuable as examples of propaganda. (Please -- I'm not comparing anybody to a Nazi, least of all Michael Moore.) Moore's film may be less documentary than political diatribe, but I'm still interested in seeing how he does it. Roger and Me was actually pretty good, although it foreshadowed a pretty strong anti-capitalism/anti-business streak in Moore's psyche. But I liked it.

The Hill, among other sources, is reporting on a move to prevent Moore from advertising his film after July 30, on the grounds that since the GOP convention starts August 30, it essentially counts as a kind of "primary election," and so no ads mentioning the candidates can appear less than 30 days prior. This will be a problem promoting Moore's film as well as other politically-oriented documentaries coming up. One blog indicated political documentaries may constitute a kind of "end-run" around McCain-Feingold.

Well, guess what? McCain-Feingold is a piece of bad -- no STUPID -- legislation that BEGS for end-runs. (Why else would Kerry float the idea of not actually accepting the nomination at his party's convention?) Campaign finance reform has a long tradition of unintended consequences, and this is why it shouldn't have been passed at all. It is a direct attack on free-speech, and when free-speech is challenged, it's going to figure out a way to be heard anyway. (Think of this: McCain Feingold COULD be interpreted to prevent any and all bloggers from mentioning politics in their online publications.)
"But wait a minute, Dave" I hear some of you saying, "But don't you WANT Fahrenheit 9/11 ads off the airwaves, since they'll be critical of Bush?"

Nope. I don't want ANY ads legislated off the airwaves. I want politicians and whiney crybabies to stop talking pompously about how there's "too much money" in politics. Well, no kidding. Money makes the engine run. Anyone should be allowed to give money, run ads, make speeches in whatever quantity, volume and gross rating point increment they choose. Unencumbered. Without some political-hack second-guessers trying to determine how much is "too much." It's all this silly legal leak-plugging that's wasteful of our time and constricts freedom. Did ANYone really think this version of "reform" would do the job? No matter what, people will find a way around it. And here's the kicker: they SHOULD.

Michael Moore, in my opinion, is a wrong-headed guy. I completely disagree with his politics, opinions and attitude about our country. But dammit, he should have the right to put out his film and try to convince people of his point of view. If we tolerate quashing any expression of Michael Moore's, then when Rush Limbaugh or some other person on the right wants to make a film, we have to expect the same kind of treatment. No intelligent person should support or applaud any ruling against freedom of expression.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Words mean things

Rush has said it for years. I've been saying more or less the same thing for longer than he has. Bret Stephens of the Jerusalem Post, writing in OpinionJournal brings the point up to date.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Saturday in the car with the kids

Paige and Demarée on the joys of being 19 and 21, respectively, and Dylan talking about playing drums.
this is an audio post - click to play

The new drum set. Dylan is in heaven lately.

Randy Zonker, me, Leslie Torok and John Shoup at the Bristol Opera House last night. Posted by Hello

On "forcing" democracy in Iraq

From IRAQ THE MODEL, one of my new favorite blogs.

Monday, June 7, 2004

So Long, Mr. President

I can't say it much better than Peggy Noonan does. She was there.

Saturday, June 5, 2004

Kerry Campaign Tries to Throw Cold Water on Job Recovery Numbers

This dumb lie continues:
"Any step forward in the job market is good news for workers but America is still in the worst job recovery since the Great Depression," said Allison Dobson, spokesperson for Kerry, in a statement issued Friday.
Don't they realize there are people alive today who remember the Great Depression and know better? This is the same goofy story Clinton got away with in 1992 ("Worst economy since Herbert Hoover"). I guess if your education system keeps people in the dark about history, you can count on people swallowing anything you tell them. Especially if you tell them about anything that happened more than, say, five minutes ago.

Bumbum is 21

All grown up, but still my baby. I love you honey.

Friday, June 4, 2004

"Insignificant" news from Iraq

Another indication that maybe we did the right thing:
On the shores of the Tigris River sits 40 acres of prime real estate which recently was home to a compound used by Saddam Hussein's secret police. Now, a retired U.S. Navy commander is leading the charge to turn the remnants of the police camp into a first-class camp and training facility for Boy Scouts in Iraq, and have Scouting flourish once again in the region.

If the Boy Scouts can get a foothold in this country, can things be quite as bad as the left/anti-war crowd keeps trying to convince us?

Omar's blog, Iraq The Model, is one of the better ones coming from Iraq giving us a view from the Iraqi perspective, as opposed to that presented by most media and editorializers in this country.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Newsday.com: Clinton: Bush re-election would mean loss of freedoms

Hillary Clinton in a fund-raising e-mail:

"'If they get their way, you and I will be living in an America governed not by our hopes, but by our fears,' Clinton wrote. 'We'll be living in an America where we see our freedoms diminished when they ought to be embraced, our rights restricted when they ought to be strengthened.'

'We'll be living in an America that shrinks away from the political and economic challenges of the 21st Century,' she added."


What an idiot. What an evil appeal to the non-thinking. This woman should never be allowed near the White House again.

The Real Home Front

OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today - May 25, 2004

American public opinion is now the most important front in the war, and it's high time the president began waging the battle. An American election is approaching, which the Democrats--having lost all three elected branches of government for the first time since before the Baathists seized power in Iraq--are positively desperate to win. With the economy going great guns, disaster in Iraq is the Dems' only hope for defeating President Bush.

The Democratic Party is in a morally hazardous position: Its interests coincide with the interests of America's enemies. We get e-mails from Bush-haters who are positively giddy at every setback in Iraq, which they see as setbacks for President Bush--never mind that they're also, and more importantly, setbacks for America and for the Iraqi people.

The culture of hate that gave us Sept. 11 will not fade away if America withdraws from Iraq. Quite the contrary, if America gives up it will embolden our enemies, just as it did when President Reagan withdrew from Beirut and President Clinton from Somalia. Will it really take another Sept. 11--or more than one--to persuade Americans to stay the course? That is what is at stake as President Bush battles for public opinion.


We cannot afford to lose this war, for political or other reasons. Too many people are viewing the current period as "post-war," when in fact, Saddam's people are fighting on -- and this, as Andrew Sullivan noted a few days ago, is perhaps the war they always planned to fight. A war of attrition, a war in which they simply "wear us out" and most importantly, eventually sway American opinion so much that they affect "regime change" here. This cannot be allowed, or we will be in for more 9/11 type events, more terrorism, and a more dangerous world.

The war on the home front is also between two types of thinking, not just Republican vs. Democrat, Liberal vs. Conservative, etc. It is between the Big Picture vs the Small Picture. The war in Iraq is part of a larger picture, a war on international terrorism, an ideal of strength vs. weakness, freedom vs. slavery. The Big Picture understands the stakes. The Small Picture sees only abuses by some guards and tries to expand the guilt to the entire military. The Big Picture realizes this is STILL a war and that, on balance, it has been wildly successful. The Small Picture sees any setback (in war, no less), as a quagmire and starts harping about "exit strategies." The Small Thinkers were looking for one less than a month after the war started, and were practically praying for quagmire at the first supply-line hiccup (remember?). If Ike were still around he would find the concept of an exit strategy at the start of WWII as laughable. You fight until you win. You stop when the enemy is defeated.

The Big Picture sees the war in context, the Small Picture wants to put lawyers in charge.

The Big Picture sees how terrorism and Iraq are related, and how bringing freedom to a tortured country is part of the solution. The Small Picture NEVER believes America can be right in this situation -- even to the point of ignoring the fact that Al Quaeda is now assisting the insurgency. These are the same folks who wanted us to disarm ourselves when the Cold War ended. As if there were no more threats to freedom in the world.

Small Picture equals small, petty, provincial, self-absorbed, purely political thinking. We can't afford it when lives are at stake. Our lives, our servicemen's lives, and the future of the world require better.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Hi Tech, 1927

Film: How to Use the Dial Phone. Like the challenge of training computer-illiterates today, similar challenges were faced as "newfangled" dial phones came into service. Fascinating little silent film. Need RealPlayer to view.

New York Times Flip-flop?

Today's NYT on the Kerry Delay "Kerry Considers Strategic Delay for Democratic Nomination. . . Such a move could offset what otherwise might be a severe financial disadvantage for Mr. Kerry under the arcane rules for the public financing of campaigns."

Arcane rules? Isn't this the "campaign finance reform" the NYT and other liberal press favored so heavily under McCain-Feingold?

The Kerry Konvention

OpinionJournal - "Kerry's nomination gambit makes a mockery of campaign finance 'reform.'". Maybe now we can see the weasels for what they are. This should backfire. Frankly, I can't see Jennings or Rather having any respect for a nominating convention that doesn't even nominate a candidate. To me, this has Terry McCauliffe's skunky prints all over it.

Key quote:
Of course, the late July date was the Democratic Party's own choice--and it was selected precisely so it would let the nominee accept matching federal campaign funds a month earlier than President Bush, who will be nominated in late August. The assumption had been that the Democratic candidate would have run out of cash by this summer, but Mr. Kerry has been raising more money than he expected. In other words, Mr. Kerry embraced the rules when they helped him but now wants to ignore them when they don't.

Friday, May 14, 2004

More Iraqis Want Democracy

Newsday Reports on a survey done recently in Iraq. More evidence we're doing the right thing and that fundamentalism/dictatorships are not the only thing people in the Middle East understand. Major points:

Richard Burkholder, director of international polling for Gallup, said the type of government Iraqis preferred was a multiparty democracy like those in many Western European countries.

"Very low down the list is an Islamic theocracy, in which mullahs and religious leaders have a lot of influence, such as in Iran," said Burkholder, who polled in Baghdad in August and nationwide in late March and early April for CNN and USA Today.

Boston Globe Farce

The Boston Globe announced today through its ombudsman, that no one will be fired over the hoax photos it published on its pages. blaming "miscommunication among staffers" and "a breakdown of checks and balances", according a story in Editor and Publisher. No kidding. What would have been the reaction if the Globe had gotten hold of fabricated photos FAVORABLE to the Bush administration?

This is just one more indication of the anti-Bush bias and agenda in most of the media -- a bias they continue to deny. The Globe jumped too quickly to run these photos and failed to check them properly, in my opinion because they continue to put fuel on the current prisoner abuse scandal, and away from our larger goals in war on terror.

E & P further states:

The photo, which ran on the second page of the paper's B section Wednesday, accompanied a story about Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner and activist Sadiki Kambon claiming to have pictures of U.S. soldiers raping Iraqi women. While the Globe quickly came under fire from some quarters, including the rival Boston Herald, for lending credibility to these pictures, the paper's original story did indicate that the photos could not be authenticated. Others have revealed that the photos actually came from a pornographic movie.


I've learned that Turner and Kambon are rabid left wing racists, something the Globe must have known. Why didn't this fact send up any red flags about these photos? Again, because the political agenda trumped editorial judgement.

Zell Miller Gets It

Reuters AlertNet - US Sen. Miller decries 'contrition' over inmates

Why is it that there's more indignation over a photo of a prisoner with underwear on his head than over a video of a young American with no head at all?

Why is it that some in this country still don't get that we are at war -- a war against terrorists who are plotting to kill us every day?


Let's get a grip on who the real enemy is.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Black Kettle Watch

Senate minority leader sees 'startling meanness' in politics: "Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle decried Monday what he called the 'startling meanness' of American politics.
The South Dakotan, who has been Senate Democratic leader for nine years and is seeking re-election in November, said campaigns were especially ugly in 2002 and that the ugliness continues.

'Today, enormous new challenges confront each and every one of us,' he said. 'We will not meet those challenges or seize those opportunities if we indulge in the brutal politics of division, if we attempt to silence those who have other ideas.'"

From the Aberdeen News web site, courtesy of Drudge.

Just Curious

How do the atrocities committed in the Abu Ghraib prison compare to those John Kerry admitted to (sort of) in 1971?

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Iraqis living in the US are generally not as "shocked" about the abuses as are our concerned citizens. While the abuses should not have happened and are not to be tolerated, they are generally nothing compared to the kinds of things that were regular occurrences under Saddam. Iraqis here generally feel the more pressing issue is the future of Iraq. Imagine that.

Don't get me wrong, those responsible for violating prisoners' rights in Iraq need to be held responsible and the abuses have to stop. The US military should be, as much as is possible, above reproach on this issue. However, there are a few offsetting considerations:


  • These were bad guys. Not innocents. These are the kind of people that, given the chance, would be out there burning our people to a crisp, hanging them from bridges and playing soccer with their heads. We HUMILIATED them. I don't have much sympathy.
  • There are reports that some of the abuse may have risen to the level of sodomy and in some cases, murder. Well, punish those responsible. They are thugs and cretins and deserve what they get.
  • Too many people are wringing their hands over what "we" are doing in Iraq to poor defenseless prisoners. "We" are not doing this. This was done by a group of out-of-control creeps. The "we" garbage is being trumpeted by those who have no respect for the war or the Bush administration in the first place. It's self-bigotry and anti-American. "We" didn't do this, but "we" ARE doing something about it, which is more than Saddam (and left-wing apologists for dictators everywhere) can say.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004

War benefits

Daniel W. Drezner comments in "North Korea talks to Selig Harrison," and yet another positive byproduct of our involvement in Iraq is revealed. Will the major media pick up on this? I'm betting not.

Sunday, May 2, 2004

Commentary by Peggy Noonan

Noonan's commentary about A Raisin in the Sun's revival on Broadway.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Why the troubles in Iraq aren't nearly as bad as portrayed by yer media.

This letter from Iraq was Andrew Sullivan's e-mail of the day.

It's truly unfortunate that the left/Democrats keep lying about what's happening in Iraq to a) undermine the troops and by extension, Bush; b) get elected; and c) to cynically throw this success away for their own power. I have always been anti-left, but have become increasinly disgusted with the way Democrats and Kerry are unconcerned about how much they actually endanger us with their partisanship in time of war. The left is no more interested in freedom for Iraq or us, for that matter, than Saddam was. Read the letter

Sunday, April 4, 2004

Is this what we're paying for?

My alma mater, and my daughter's presumptive alma mater, Indiana University, has a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Office. I discovered this reading an IDS article dealing with protests/counter-protests surrounding a performance of "The Laramie Project."

"Laramie" is a dramatization of events surrounding the gay-lynching of Matthew Shephard several years ago. I have no problem with this. I've not seen the play, but I've heard good things about it. This is not my issue.

My issue is: why, in the name of everything rational does a university need an office for Gay,Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender, um, people? There's a director, Doug Bauder, who presumably helps such folks deal with discrimination issues, health issues peculiar to this group, etc. I don't know. And, I have nothing against Mr. Bauder or the people he serves. I just think that this is one more example of useless spending in the name of "diversity" and political correctness. And I assume my tuition dollars are paying for it. Don't the people this office serves have other resources such as police, courts, health services, etc?

Friday, April 2, 2004

And now for some comic relief

Kerry is pathetic. Is it believable that he would do a better job in an economy already on the downturn (before Bush took over), then shocked by the worst attack on our soil since Pearl Harbor? In a word -- "Ha ha." Go ahead and read this: Yahoo! News - Despite jobs boost, Kerry still blasts Bush economic record. Then laugh. Then be disgusted over the fact that the only way this guy figures he can win is to pretend he's happy about the economic news then claim he "can do better."

He's a weak sister on defense, and he's going to be trying to run against an economic record that is demonstrably, provably much better than he claims. What the hell has this guy got? Unless it's Hillary, nada. And I don't think Hillary really wants to be this guy's running mate.

308,000 jobs created in March

Tax cuts, trickle down, actually works. Whaddya know about that?

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

He's probably responsible for the weather, too.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to imagine, in any election year, a more vapid, patronizing, intellectually dishonest, geared-to-the-uninformed and silly campaign than John Kerry is running. (My Way News: "Kerry Blames Bush for High Gas Prices" This is only one example, but check Today's WSJ for the real story on oil. Along with Kerry, Chuck Schumer and other masters of schadenfreude are attempting to gin up an issue where there is none, and where, in fact the president can't really make a big difference. Opening the oil reserves to bring down oil prices was Schumer's particular cause celebre the last time we had a spike, and it made less difference than regular market forces finally did. Sure oil prices are high, but blame OPEC, not Bush. Hearing Kerry bellow about how the current prices have something to do with Halliburton Corporation is clear evidence of how full of crap he is, and how little he thinks of his supporters to lie to them this way.


I really wish this country would quit looking to the government to solve every problem that comes along, and stop listening to politicians who continually attribute deity-like power to the president, thereby inferring that bad things happen because the president didn't "do enough to stop it." When it comes to Al Quaeda, maybe we could have been better prepared, had better intelligence, etc., but GAS PRICES? C'mon.


If you really want to know the scoop on why gas prices are so high, here's the short version from the WSJ article:

Most important, demand has skyrocketed. Not only in the U.S., where economic growth has been gangbusters, but also in China, which has leapt ahead of Japan to become the second largest oil market in the world. While there is some debate about whether China is consuming oil or using it to build a strategic stockpile, the result is the same strong demand. China's growth has also sparked an economic recovery and higher oil demand in the rest of Asia. Count India, too, as an increasingly oil-thirsty economy.
This roaring demand has not been met with increasing production. Blame that mostly on OPEC. The oil cartel has been smarting over the fall of the dollar against the euro. That, of course, reduces dollar-denominated oil revenues and increases the incentive to keep supplies tight. With prices at or above $28 per barrel--the upper-bound of OPEC's target range--the Saudis, for example, ran a budget surplus for the first time in decades.
Inventories are also low. The U.S. has not yet recovered from the disruption in crude and refined products from Venezuela last year. And tight inventories exaggerate any changes in supply at the margin.


Read the whole thing and be enlightened.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Politicizing the war on terror

Daniel Henninger in OpinionJournal:

In his firefighters speech (which is at johnkerry.comand deserves to be read in its entirety), Sen. Kerry said: 'This administration has put a tax giveaway for the very wealthiest of our nation over making sure that we do all that we can to win the war on terror here at home. . . . America doesn't need leaders who play politics with 9/11 or see the war on terror as just another campaign issue.'
This is a serious charge. It clearly is accusing George Bush of acting in bad faith every day since the towers fell and an airliner was crashed into the Pentagon. Not everyone needs to love George Bush, but delegitimizing America's 2 1/2-year effort against terrorism is a dangerous game. For my money, the presidential debates can't come fast enough.

Read Henninger's piece in its entirety.

United's New Campaign

I absolutely love the new ad campaign from United Airlines. The sketchy art, coupled with wordless little vignettes are beautiful examples of 30-second storytelling and image-building. Oh, and the Gershwin music and Robert Redford's voice help at the end. I just saw the one about the woman with an idea -- symbolized by a lightbulb that appears over her head. As others are exposed to the idea, they get a lightbulb too. Wonderful, warm story of a person's success. Ad of the year, so far, in my book. Advertising Age has a review of the campaign, where you can also view the series' "Interview" spot.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Making the connection

Andrew Sullivan makes it even clearer:

Now why would al Qaeda want the disintegration of the transition in Iraq? Because they understand how that transition is the most formidable blow to their hopes of transforming the entire Middle East. When clever anti-war types insist there is not and never has been any connection between the fight for democracy in Iraq and the war against terror, they are thinking in terms of legalities and technicalities - not strategy. The only way to meaningfully defang Islamist terror is to transform the region. If we don't, we will simply be putting out small fires for ever, instead of dealing with root causes. The root cause is the lack of democracy in the region, which gives these religious fanatics the oxygen they need. Al Qaeda understand the stakes. So must we. Iraq is the battlefield. We cannot, must not, falter. In fact, we must ramp up the pressure. Alone, if needs be.

Spain's Lesson to the Democrats (if they'll listen)

John Kerry has been making lots of noises about how the war in Iraq was wrong, how Bush did it "the wrong way," etc. He'd better think twice about giving whatever "foreign leaders" he's talking to the impression that he'd reduce US resolve against terror. The fact that Al Qaeda loves the left is fairly evident, especially in light of CNN's report that what happened in Spain was specifically aimed at placing the Socialists in power there.


The more the left in the US berates the President in a time of war, the more it provides aid and comfort to terrorists, and the more it encourages a subsequent attack here. Given the mouthiness of Kerry, Dean et al, this may now be inevitable as terrorists may attempt to affect our elections in November. If so, I only hope America doesn't respond as Spain did by being cowed.


Think about it: if the terrorists prefer the left, what conclusions can we draw from that?

Monday, March 15, 2004

Europe responds to terrorism.

From Andrew Sullivan:

"THE E.U. VOWS SURRENDER: Romano Prodi, the chief of the European Commission, puts it as bluntly as anyone: 'It is clear that using force is not the answer to resolving the conflict with terrorists,' Prodi said. 'Terrorism is infinitely more powerful than a year ago.'
This is classic appeasement. And it's also demonstrably untrue. Al Qaeda has been seriously weakened since 9/11, thanks almost entirely to those countries, especially the U.S., that chose to confront it. But it seems clear to me that the trend in Europe is now either appeasement of terror or active alliance with it. It is hard to view the results in Spain as anything but a choice between Bush and al Qaeda. Al Qaeda won."

This is so sad

MSNBC - Madrid suspect linked to 9/11 figure

MSNBC today. Regarding the tape found near the bomb site:

"You love life and we love death, said the man on the tape, who wore Arab dress and spoke Arabic with a Moroccan accent."
No kidding.

Kerry's Imaginary Friends II

Kerry refused to name the world leaders he presumably spoke with, on a sort of protecting-your-sources reasoning, reports Reuters. At the risk of sounding cliche, give me a break. If these conversations happened, they represent important foreign policy issues, if not problems, and should be reported to the president, if not the press. If they didn't happen, then, it appears, Kerry just has a penchant for making up stuff.


So, in this context, we have to believe that either: a) Kerry would support this kind of "back-door" diplomacy if he were president, b) Hejust lies about stuff like this or c) He has an extremely active fantasy life. Which scenario to pick?

Are we going to let terrorism win? Europe may.

Andrew Sullivan laments the victory in Spain for Islamofascists, and points out the connection between terrorism and Iraq.
if the appeasement brigade really do believe that the war to depose Saddam is and was utterly unconnected with the war against al Qaeda, then why on earth would al Qaeda respond by targeting Spain? If the two issues are completely unrelated, why has al Qaeda made the connection? The answer is obvious: the removal of the Taliban and the Saddam dictatorship were two major blows to the cause of Islamist terror.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Kerry's imaginary friends

From the Washington Times: Kerry fails to back up foreign 'endorsements'. I think this guy is headed for trouble if he can't stop making stuff up. Bonus quote:

"Rather than dealing with President George W. Bush and hawkish officials in his administration, Pyongyang seems to hope victory for the Democratic candidate on November 2 would lead to a softening in U.S. policy towards the country's nuclear-weapons program" according to London's Financial Times, which said that Mr. Kerry's speeches are being broadcast on Radio Pyongyang and reported in "glowing" terms.


"The mullahs in Iran probably don't care to have Bush in there because he won't suffer terrorists or the country's that harbor them," said Mr. Allen. "I want a president who cares about what's right rather than the U.N. protocols."


And a poll taken by Andres McKenna Polling and Research found that Americans overwhelmingly believe "the terrorists would prefer" Mr. Kerry to win the election.


The poll of 800 registered voters, taken in February, showed 60 percent thought terrorists would be happier with Mr. Kerry, while just 25 percent said the terrorists would prefer Mr. Bush.


Monday, March 8, 2004

Secret Admirers?

My Way - News has this today:

"Without naming anybody, Kerry said he had received words of encouragement from leaders abroad who were eager to see him defeat Bush on Nov. 2.

'I've met foreign leaders who can't go out and say this publicly, but boy they look at you and say, 'You've got to win this, you've got to beat this guy, we need a new policy,' things like that,' he said."

Why can't they say this publicly. I'm hoping someone in the press finds out who Kerry's talking about here.

Sunday, March 7, 2004

What am I missing?

In the Dems' weekly radio address (I didn't know they had one), Kerry comments:

"If I am president, I will be prepared to use military force to protect our security, our people and our vital interests,"
"But I will never send our troops into harm's way without enough firepower and support."

Given Kerry's flip-flopping on defense, we have to ask the question: would he REALLY vote to defend our country, and would he REALLY provide enough support?

Thursday, March 4, 2004

Morris on Kerry

Dick Morris nails the Democratic Party. with How Bush can destroy Kerry faster.:

Their party has now moved back to the liberal extremism of Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis that characterized the 1980s ? with the same predictable result.

Sometimes it's really hard to tell the Morris is/was a Democrat. Maybe it's his distaste for the Clintons that makes me feel this way, but in any case, he's one of the best analysts going, and I love hearing and reading what he has to say.


Wednesday, March 3, 2004

The Married State

Christopher Hitchens in today's OpinionJournal (free registration required.) This is so good, so eleoquent, I won't quote it here - you have to read it in full. While I may not agree on all points made, it reflected much of what I've been feeling about the whole issue of gay marriage. Hitchens is an exceptional voice of reason.

Monday, March 1, 2004

Vietnam and Kerry

In today's OpinionJournal, an eloquent statement of why we need better than Kerry at the helm of our country.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Monday, February 23, 2004

Sullivan vs. Hannity

Today's Andrew Sullivan contribution (and I do mean contribution, because Sullivan is consistently one of the best voices of reason on the net), is unfortunately one I must take a little issue with.


And then, along comes Sean Hannity, whose new book has the following obscene title: 'Deliver Us From Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism and Liberalism.' Why obscene? It is obscene for Hannity to purloin a sentence from the Lord's Prayer in order to advance his partisan political views. And yes, it is also obscene to equate terrorism and despotism with liberalism.

As a fairly regular listener to Hannity, I think I understand the guy, and I really don't believe he was equating liberalism with terrorism. Certainly liberalism, i.e., tired, socialist-and-leftward-leaning politics need to be defeated. So does despotism and terrorism. But I don't really get the equivalence from this. However I DO think the far left is wrong, even evil in some cases. Yeah, it may be overstatement but I don't count it as obscene.


Sullivan goes on to call Hannity a thug. Well, his arguing style is sometimes pretty aggressive, and in some cases, he uses irrelevant facts and overstated opinions to make his point. And I don't agree with HIM all the time either. But "thug?" Nah.

Twenty-four and counting

Today is the dear wife Michele and my 24th wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary babe, I'd never make it without you.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Drezner to ABC: get better promo writers!

Drezner points out an oxymoron related to the two Democratic front-runners.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Jury doody

Common Good announces its "Top 5 Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2003." Thanks to Overlawyered.com.

Democrats need to get serious

In today's OpinionJournal, Daniel Henninger explains why demagoguing the Iraq issue around Bush's supposed "lying" is the wrong thing to do. An excerpt:
In this country's increasingly admit-nothing style of politics, one might conclude from listening to the Democratic presidential candidates that Iraq is on Mars, that its role in any of this obviously real global trade for weaponized nuclear technology was minimal or had become nothing, and so President Bush's reasons for replacing the Saddam Hussein regime were a 'pretense,' 'made up,' a 'distortion,' and a 'lie.' Americans are entitled to believe all of this if they wish, even in good faith. And our political establishment is entitled to spend the next eight months of the election debating how many angels danced on the head of Mr. Bush's intelligence estimates. And the Democrats may sustain a strategy to dismantle and demolish the authority of an American president. But it may not be in the country's interest to do so, and given what we now know about rogue nations seeking rogue weapons, it is dangerous to do so.

For a party that couldn't admit that President Clinton actually DID lie, i.e. commit perjury, they're now quite willing to make the charge almost meaningless by calling any kind of error by the opposition a "lie." They KNOW Bush didn't lie. If mistakes were made, if we acted in Iraq on faulty intelligence, if the policy of pre-emption is wrong, let's debate THESE things. Democrats want to personalize all this and ultimately dumb down any serious discussion to the level of schoolyard taunts. On this score, Kerry doesn't sound much more intelligent than Al Sharpton.
Meanwhile, rogue nations currently developing and/or selling nuclear weapons technology continue their activities, secure in the knowledge that the Democratic party will continue to cloud security issues with their childishness. The real JFK would never have tolerated this and Americans deserve better. Read the article.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Harry left us six years ago

And now, a moment of silence on the north side, please. Remembering Harry Caray.

And for those who like it a little rougher ...

Ann Coulter on Max Cleland, part deux.

Peggy Noonan on Bush

Nice piece in OpinionJournal today. Noonan's writing is so personal. I've liked her since her first book on Reagan -- What I Saw at the Revolution. I don't agree with her always, but very often, and her writing style is superb.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Watizit back online

My Watizit Creative Idea Generation Tool is operational again, after a little bit of round-and-round with the hosting company re: the permissions on the database which runs Watizit. Have fun, create something.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Dean's Done

Results show now that Dean is probably going to have to close up shop, even though he says he won't right away. Edwards has done very well, and now is in a good position to challenge Kerry on substantive issues. Interestingly, as I watch , Tad Devine of the Kerry campaign is dodging any suggestion by Sean Hannity to have a head-to-head debate with Edwards. No wonder why -- Kerry is pretty vulnerable to attack over his flip-flops on NAFTA, the war, and any number of other issues. In short, when you start checking Kerry on credibility and consistency, there's nobody there.

If Kerry is the nominee, and I don't think that's a sure thing yet, the Dems are really going to be trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Kerry's only tactic at this point has been to attack Bush in vague terms -- e.g., that Bush somehow chose the "wrong way" to deal with Iraq when there was a "right way" that only Kerry seems to understand.

"Anybody but Bush" is not a campaign to run on. Eventually, Kerry's going to have to defend his votes and come up with some ideas of his own. If he doesn't, even the mainstream media are going to get sick of covering him and backing him up.

Deconstructing Kerry

Sullivan on Kerry in The New Republic Online. Here's the money-fisking, in my book (Sullivan's words):
I think we have an answer here: no war in Iraq; no war anywhere; just law enforcement measures and cooperation with the French, Russians, and Germans. All the problems of the world stem from U.S. policy. Nowhere does Kerry say anything about the threat of Al Qaeda, or the designs of the Syrians or Iranians, or of Islamist terror-states more broadly. These real threats just don't seem to register on his radar screen. If this is the Democratic candidate's recipe to tackling the nexus of global terror, then he will be creamed in the fall. And he'll deserve to be.

Candidate for the Children

Kerry spent much of yesterday saying "We don't need a president who says 'Gentlemen, start your engines,' we need a president who starts the engine of our economy,"(sic).

Here's my question: Do we really need a president who vacantly makes fun of a fairly usual publicity stop? This sort of poking at the president, making fun of his participation at a sporting event, is completely non-substantive and damn childish. It's like saying 'na-na-na-na-boo-boo' on the playground. It reveals how dumb he thinks his audience is. Dean doesn't insult his constituents' intelligence like this, nor did Lieberman. Nor does Kucinich, for that matter, even though his ideas are loopy. Regardless of their hatred for Bush, Democrats shouldn't vote for a guy who thinks so little of them.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

George Will: A few questions for John Kerry

One of my favorites from his TownHall.com piece: "You say the rich do not pay enough taxes. In 1979 the top 1 percent of earners paid 19.75 percent of income taxes. Today they pay 36.3 percent. How much is enough? "

The left is constantly decrying any sort of tax cut, Newspeaking the concept into "giveaway for the wealthy." When, for crying out loud, will people get wise to this lie?

Friday, February 13, 2004

More on the idiocy of poltical correctness .

Diane Ravitch in today's OpinionJournal.

"So here is how New York made itself an international joke. The state's guidelines to language sensitivity, citing Rosalie Maggio's 'The Bias-Free Wordfinder,' says: 'We may not always understand why a certain word hurts. We don't have to. It is enough that someone says, 'That language doesn't respect me.' ' That is, if any word or phrase is likely to give anyone offense, no matter how far-fetched, it should be deleted."

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

GEORGE BUSH IN UNIFORM

The New York Post reports , here's the important part.
No, Bush's record in the National Guard doesn't compare with Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites)'s service in Vietnam.
But the question of whether and how Bush served really isn't relevant in 2004, after four years as commander in chief - just as Clinton's record was no longer considered relevant by voters as he sought a second term (against WWII hero Bob Dole) eight years ago.
Recall that two of this nation's greatest war presidents - Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt - did not have extensive military service (though Lincoln had militia service in the so-called Black Hawk Indian war and FDR served as assistant secretary of the Navy during World War I).

Oh, yeah, and by the way, Bush has been serving as Commander in Chief of the armed forces for about three years now. Does THAT count as military service, Mr. Kerry?

Thursday, February 5, 2004

Kurt Russell -- Libertarian

I'm watching O'Reilly, which is a little unusual for me, and Kurt Russell is on, declaring himself to be a libertarian and supporting the Patriot Act. Good to know there are some rational people in Hollywood.

Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Who IS that guy?

Some of you may be wondering, so I'll tell you. The guy in the background under the archive links at right is my grandfather, Ernest Dufour, or "Jo" as the grandkids called him (long story), in his role as "the man on the flying trapeze," circa 1933. My grandmother, Doll (also long story) labeled the photo with the remarks "play for charity." Ernie/Jo was always a fun fellow, even before I came along in 1953, it seems.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Whale explodes in Taiwanese city

Ruined someone's day, not to mention the whale's.

{ Digiquaria }

Now, this is relaxing. And cool. And weird.

Site undergoing transformation

You may notice some of the pages herein aren't looking so good, mainly because I've been tweaking the main page with CSS for a whole new look and feel, and the stylesheet affects other pages in adverse ways. I'm working on it, but hey, I got a REAL job, too, you know....

Speaking of the front page, this is done with no tables, all CSS.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

A case for Dean

Sullivan's take on the primary outcome:

"Most of the day, I thought that Edwards was going to be the un-Kerry from now on. Dean was too damaged after losing both Iowa and New Hampshire. But Edwards' disappointing fourth place showing - behind the nutcase Clark - after such a big win in Iowa has to make his candidacy more suspect. Dean did a little worse than the exit polls suggested. But his concession speech was easily the best of the night. It was authentic, uplifting, and red meat to the Democrats. It actually rang true to me as Dean's real view of the world. It isn't one I entirely share, to say the least, but it is genuine, represents a lot of people in this country and deserves a hearing. He seemed more affable than recently as well. He smiled more. He spoke more calmly but not ineffectively. He's real. Kerry is so fake, in contrast, I cannot believe that Democratic primary voters will continue to support him in such numbers. "

I don't like Dean, but as Sullivan indicates, he's real, and he deserved better than the orchestrated ridicule over the "scream" speech that really didn't sound like anything other than big-time motivation to me. Had the mike not been right at his face, he it would have sounded pretty normal in the circumstances. Not that I'll vote for the guy, but for some reason, the media got a little nasty with that one -- even the liberal media at the big three. Gotta wonder why.

Tyranny the real threat

Claudia Rosette in OpinionJournal today. Here's one of the key sections:

"We seem to be heading for the surreal conclusion that it is all right to be a murderous tyrant who only thinks he is pursuing weapons of mass destruction--even if he apparently believes it himself strongly enough to take the risk of kicking out U.N. arms inspectors for four years. Somehow, I am not comforted by the vision of a Saddam presiding over a country where he is allocating resources for WMD, terrorists are traipsing through, and whatever is really going on is anyone's guess, including Saddam's."

"What needs to start sinking in, somehow, is that while arsenals matter, what matters even more is the set of rules and values that a regime defends and its leaders live by. This, more than anything signed on paper or offered as totalitarian propaganda, tells us where the worst dangers lie. We have heard by now too many discussions in which mass graves, mass starvation, conventional mass murder and terrorist trafficking are all somehow hived off from the high and nuanced talk of geostrategy, of bomb estimates and inspections, so scientific but imprecise."

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Watizit is down again

Once again, following some changes at my hosting service, WATIZIT, my creative idea generation tool, is not working properly. I apologize for any creative inconvenience. WATIZIT had been experiencing a lot of interest and use up to the point it crashed. I'll get it fixed as soon as possible and let you know here.

NH Primary

I don't think Dean will win, but that's all I feel safe predicting. Dean would be relatively easy to beat in November, but I think that might be true of Kerry as well.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Regarding Iraq, WMD and whether or not we shoulda done it:

As is often the case, Sullivan sez it best:
"It was never incumbent on the world community to prove that Iraq had dismantled its WMD program before the war. It was incumbent on Saddam to show otherwise. He refused - either because he was being lied to and wanted to conceal weapons that did not exist, or because such an admission of impotence would have been terribly damaging to the dictator's reputation, both internally and with regard to Iran, or because he was slowly going nuts and his regime was collapsing from within. But what matters is that he refused.

The responsibility for the war therefore lies squarely with the dictator. Moreover, we know that if Saddam had been left in power and sanctions lifted, he would have attempted to restart such programs - and indeed Kay has found a vast apparatus of components, scientists and plans to achieve exactly such a result. Kay has now told us that Saddam was working on a ricin-based biological weapon right up to the eve of the invasion.

We know now something else: his tyranny was worse, more depraved and more brutal than we believed to be the case before. The moral and strategic case for his removal appears stronger now than ever. We also have a chance to move one part of the Arab world toward some kind of open, pluralist society. Since the appeal of Islamo-fascism is deeply connected to the backwardness and tyranny of so much of the Arab world, this is a fundamental and critical part of the response to 9/11. Iraq was and is a critical component of the war on terror. It's an attempt to deal with the issue at its very roots. I believe the victims of 9/11 deserve nothing less. "

Also in Frontpage.com

Ann Coulter had an interview with the online mag a couple weeks ago. While a lot of her responses seem to be begging for a rimshot, I loved the following, in response to a question about why she dislikes trial lawyers:

"Everything you do -- from driving to earning a living to making a cup of coffee to owning a home to getting medical care -- is more expensive and difficult simply because of trial lawyers, who, at the same time, contribute absolutely nothing of any value to society. You can't buy as simple a device as a telephone without having to wade through a 50-page manual to locate information you actually need, like what your new security code is. (How about adding a one-page short list of instructions for consumers who already know not to place their phones in a microwave oven?) But other than the fact that trial lawyers have made every single facet of life worse, I can't think of a single good reason to dislike them."

FrontPage Interview of Andrew Sullivan

Andrew Sullivan is a political writer I've discovered relatively recently, but for whom I have a great deal of respect. Here is his interview in Frontpage.com. His blog is here.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Good Read

Just started reading Zeldman: Designing With Web Standards. So far, so good. Well-written, not absolutist in its approach, useful.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

From the Beeb and Andrew Sullivan yesterday

More indication that, even if the intelligence turns out to be incorrect, the best experts in the business believed there were (and still may be) WMD in Iraq. The "Bush lied" crowd is getting on my nerves because they refuse to make a distinction between errors in knowledge and outright deception (something they are pathologically good at.) Even the BBC, which has had a distinctly anti-Bush/anti-Blair stance over Iraq, is admitting they've misreported -- dare I say it, "sexed up?" -- their point of view at the expense of truth.

Dean as a healer -- WWHD?

I can walk again!.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Another Opening, Another Show

Over the River and Through the Woods, in which I play an elderly Italian immigrant, opens tonight at The Bristol Opera House. Wish me a broken leg. Tickets are selling out fast, so hurry and get some if you want to come.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Paige is now a sorority girl

Paige, my "baby" daughter, is now a sorority girl. I know this doesn't seem like much, but to her dad it's a milestone, and Paige wanted it very much. Her personal blog post from last night follows.
sorority girl:

Today I pledged a sorority, more specifically, the Beta Delta chapter of the Alpha Gamma Delta women's fraternity. And it's their centennial year! I am so tired I think I might pass out. Have a lovely day tomorrow, everyone, because I plan to go and spend more time with my fellow baby squirrels and sisters. See the squirrel, be the squirrel. -Paige

Cake all around!

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Where does this idea come from?

In the NYT magazine, Questions for Wallace Shawn: Stage Leftish, the interview ends with Shawn saying, "We're in an emergency situation. The United States has become an absolutely terrifying country, and I would hope that I could participate in some way in stopping the horror and the brutality. "

How is it possible that a guy like Shawn, whose work I've admired in the past, can be so shallow when it comes to politics? Earlier in the interview he says, "To be honest, I see myself as a citizen of the planet. Even as a child, I always found it mindless to root for your own team. I was puzzled by the fact that people said their own team was better than other teams simply because it was theirs. "

Patriotism isn't always mindless. The "My Country Right or Wrong" attitude is mindless, possibly, especially in service to dictators, but to believe America (our team) is better, is much more than just putting on the right sweatshirt. America is based on an ideal of freedom, not simply a property line. Can't Shawn see that America IS better because of the idea on which it's based?

Thursday, January 8, 2004

Peggy Noonan on Howard Dean

Here is what I see as the nut of Peggy Noonan's OpinionJournal piece of today:
"Howard Dean is as much like George McGovern as 2004 is like 1972, which is to say not much. But Mr. Dean is not Mr. McGovern in a more important way. Mr. McGovern was guided and inspired by his own sense of a particular ideology. He reflected it, and his young supporters, who that year took over the party, shared it. They stood for something. Mr. Dean's people--and Mr. Dean--don't seem to have anything as coherent as an ideology. Instead they have attitude. "

Attitude, posture, image, presence, not ideas, ideology or even policy. Is this what we want in a president?

Friday, January 2, 2004

Sir Howard the Egregious

Dean's tax policy is worse than I realized. Today's
OpinionJournal Editorial by Stephen Moore makes it clearer. Dean actually PROMISES tax increases -- shades of Walter Mondale. Except unlike Mondale, Dean appears poised to nail everyone, even working poor.

Here's a distillation quote:
When it comes to taxes, Mr. Dean thinks really big. In raw numbers, the Dean tax proposal would raise taxes on 109 million Americans by roughly $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. This comes out to a Dean tax of about $15,440 for every family of four in the U.S. over the next decade. The Dean tax rule of thumb is that if you are in the middle class, he would roughly double your federal income tax payments.

And --
If the Democrats do indeed nominate Mr. Dean and make the Dean tax the underlying economic message of their party, that would be good news for Republicans, but awful news for sound economic policy making in Washington. It will signal once and for all that the Democrats have gone off the deep end on economics and no longer believe a word of John F. Kennedy's message of 40 years ago that higher tax rates "will never produce enough revenues to balance the budget, nor enough jobs" to put Americans back to work.

Read the article.