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Friday, October 29, 2004

Underpants Gnomes for Kerry

This from Exit Zero (formerly what are they saying) has this:
Underpants Gnomes for Kerry

Very funny.

Ever wonder, "Where are they now?"

No, I don't care about your highschool sweetheart, or your chess club buddies. Of course, I'm asking about the "missing explosives."

We don't know. Nobody does. IF they did get into the hands of terrorists, the chances are, the terrorists themselves probably don't even know exactly where the explosives came from. I, personally think that most of the explosives are sitting in a Syrian warehouse with a guard sweating bullets hoping to Allah that none of our Tomahawks have the site's location in its computer.

However, the inquiry is really about, "WHEN did the explosives go missing?" Anybody with a brain (i.e. not a moonbat-liberal) will realize that sneaking with TONNAGE of high-explosives is something much easier said than done, and to accomplish it would, realistically, take heavy machinery. Trucks. Bunches of 'em. Of course, lets assume that the terrorists and Saddam-loyalists DID have a gentleman's agreement with the local Teamsters' (We know that they're nearly all rooting for the Democrats, so I guess that's a reasonable presumption.) If they had tried to move trucks along the roads after the troops had taken over the area, our troops would have noticed. Remember, America's troops control the roads. The fact that a single person can sneak an IED through kinda proves, that the terrorists can't move large quantities of anything. It was even more true early after the invasion.

That means, of course, that, more than likely, most or all of the missing explosives were moved BEFORE the invasion. We wouldn't have been there to stop them at the time... That sounds plausible. However, is there any evidence that supports that idea?

I'm glad you asked! Of Course there is! Check out thisCandid(spy-satellite) camera snap.

Trucks at the site... Before the invasion. If Senator Waffles was really concerned about our troops, why isn't his complaint that we didn't invade SOONER? (And why, exactly, did he vote against the $87 Billion to provide additional support and supplies for our troops?) Yup, he's the same traitorous bastard he was back in the 70's, that's why.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Everything Old Is New Again...

Or, John Kerry: Still The Same Traitorous Bastard He Was Back In The 70s.

Most of you know, the sort of crap that John Kerry said in his testimony in 1971 before the Senate. In short, he accused all American soldiers of being war criminals. For some reason, that didn't make the veterans and POWs happy, although it did tickle the Viet-Cong pink (or, redder).

So, that's what Kerry did THEN. What's he doing now?

We all know (and I agree that it's been played into the ground) the "voted for before I voted against" line as regards the $87 Billion that was largely for additional equipment for our troops on the ground. Kerry's been equivocal about his reasons why he changed his position. The fact that any neutral observer can see is that the vote was purely political. Actually both the original "for" and the later "against" votes were politically. Kerry was willing to needlessly endanger our soldiers by denying them support for political advantage.

That's not the end of it, however, we've got a new example: Senator Waffles is attacking our troops as incompetent. He's trying to attack the president, as if President Bush fell asleep at the post and somebody in a trench-coat snuck in behind him and stuffed 380 TONS of high-explosives into his pants. That's ridiculous. President Bush left the military execution of the war to the military, so any recriminations about particulars about the execution are a direct attack on the President. Additionally, there's no evidence that Sandy Berger has been over there!

The fact the Kerry would stump on this half-issue is telling. It's an old story, and the age isn't being presented. We knew the explosives were missing as soon as we arrived at the site during the war. He knows that there is no evidence that the military dropped the ball, that that won't stop his stumping on the issue. (How could the military have dropped the ball if the explosives were removed prior to the its arrival?) Let's not forget, additional information came out yesterday that the IAEA (an agency of the UN... Kerry's favorite club) had been warned about the explosives with a request that the explosives be destroyed, but the IAEA declined to do that. That happened, of course, back in 1995. If you'll remember, that was when Clinton was President, and Clinton, with the aid of Senator John Kerry were busy "fixing" everything under the Sun!

So, Kerry is being intentionally disingenuous and deceitful with regards to this ancient story. He's calling our soldiers incompetent. Perhaps that's better than calling them "war criminals," but knowing that he would vote against supporting them after he voted to allow the war to happen in the first place with hopes of gaining political advantage, is there any doubt that if he believed he could get an extra point in the polls, he would immediately declare our troops "war criminals"? I didn't think so.

President Bush has said that he would do "Whatever it takes!" to protect America and hunt down our enemies.

Kerry has shown he will do "Whatever it takes!" to try to grasp power.

Of course, that's because, as we know, Bush is a leader, and Kerry is a giggolo who will protitute himself for wealth and power. Yeah, he's a Democrat.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Dashing Daschle's hopes?

Check THIS out!

Look at the Senate race. Daschel, the highest ranking senatorial Democrat, is in the political fight for his life. Right now, according to the latest polls, he's either neck-&-neck or down by 4% to John Thune.


Kerry... Stupid? Dishonest? Both?!

The Drudge Report has thisupdate on the "missing Iraqi explosives" story that the New York Times came out with on Monday.

Kerry promptly added the story to his stump-speech. But... As with nearly everything printed by the New York Times, the story is somewhat "truth-challenged." The story doesn't mention when the explosives went missing. That would be because, ahem, the explosives went missing BEFORE the invasion.

Conceivably, that information would have been available to Senator Waffles, IF he had shown up for the security briefings.

I guess that leads to the question: "What did John Kerry know, and when did he know it?"

Did he know the explosives were missing and lie about it in his speeches?

Was he unaware of the nature of the missing explosives, and depend on all of his foreign intelligence from the New York Times?

If he knew, it shows, once again, that he's a liar. Not a little fibber, but a liar about major war-on-terror intel. It's not the same as President Bush, who was, apparently, wrong in his reliance on intel that was commonly believed by virtually every country in the world regarding WMDs. No, this would appear to be a deliberate attempt to deceive the American public about the War on Terror.

Moreover, and worse for Kerry, this information helps to validate President Bush's belief that Saddam did or was about to possess nuclear weapons. Since the explosives went missing before the US got to the site, if Bush was supposed to "guard" these explosives, then he needed to order the invasion sooner. Is that what Kerry is saying... That Preisdent didn't go to war fast enough? (Can you say "Flip-flop"?) And why is it important? These are the types of explosives used to start a nuclear reaction in a nuclear bomb. Hmmm... Why would Saddam need these types of explosives? I guess for the same reason he was developing banned weapon delivery systems.

If Kerry didn't know, it proves one glaringly obvious thing about his record in the Senate: He didn't take his responsibilities seriously in the Senate. Why should we believe that he would treat the job of President any more seriously.

Would a President Kerry, not only cut the intelligence budget, but totally disband our intelligence agencies, and rely totally on the New York Times for his information? For as "smart" as people say Kerry is, anybody who would step out of faith based on a New York Times article demonstrates significant cognitive deficiencies, or other mental problems.

Of course, we all can see that this is, once again, an example of collusion between the Democratic candidate and the major media outlets.

Is Kerry dishonest, or his he stupid, or is he both? I say "both," but does it really matter?

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

What made him think President Bush was really a Democrat?

Senator Biden said Bush was 'brain dead' on the prescription drug bill.

I guess he's not the only Democrat Senator who is apparently confused about the subtle distinction between "supporters" and "opponents." (See here and here).

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Emerging story: Canadians fear basic economics

Here's the article from the Financial Times: Canada deals blow to cheap US drug imports

In spite of what most democratic voters think, Drugs are not magically cheaper simply because they hung out with the Canadians. Simply put, the Canadian drugs are "price-controled."

I don't have the time or interest to investigate the actual nature of the price controls to determine if they are a form of subsidization or a price-cap that forces the manufacturers to force U.S. consumers to eat the entire R&D expense.

In any event, the prices of the drugs are artificially low up there. Artificial price points can only be held at a great expense, but usually those expenses are hidden and dispersed. Unfortunately, as America has learned with the price-caps on immunizations that eliminated the profit margin to develop the vaccines in this country and has led to our current shortage. (Thanks Bill, you just had to give in to her on part of her communist dream, didn't you?!)

Artificially low prices will, if accomplished through subsidization, cause taxes to increase (or need to) if demand for the subsidized item goes up. If accomplished through price-caps, then the supply will dry-up.

It may be that Canada has implemented some of each. In which case, their taxes might go up, AND they might run out of their drugs. The demand, up there, will cause the Canadians who can afford it to head down to visit American pharmacies, just like they do for their medical procedures.

The point, of course, is one that Democrats refuse to acknowledge: There Is No Free Lunch!

It looks like the Canadians might have to come to grips with that reality soon enough. Either that, or they'll legislate that people enjoy their hearty "air-burgers" without complaint.

I hope this gets some real media attention. It won't though.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Bible Belt parents say, "I'm going as 'Cognitive Dissonance' this Halloween."

Sunday Halloween Irks Some in Bible Belt

When I saw this article, I knew I had to say something.

I'll be short (for a change).

This little paragraph seemed to sum-up the sense of upset that some are feeling about Halloween being (celebrated) on a Sunday:
"You just don't do it on Sunday," said Sandra Hulsey of Greenville, Ga. "That's Christ's day. You go to church on Sunday, you don't go out and celebrate the devil. That'll confuse a child."
I can appreciate the desire not to confuse a child about religious things. HOWEVER, if you recognize that Halloween is a celebration of "the Devil" and/or other "dark" spiritual beliefs that are incompatible with Christianity (and I do), then it doesn't make it alright to "celebrate the Devil" on a Wednesday just because it's not a Sunday!

If you think that Halloween is an anti-Christian or at least wholly incompatible with Christianity, then just don't celebrate that stinkin' holiday AT ALL.

I think it makes a worse statement to your children to protest the DAY because it "celebrates the Devil" than to just go ahead and celebrate on a Sunday if you're going to do it all. If you protest the day, then you're telling your child that there is a real significance to what Halloween celebrates and it is incompatible with what you profess to be your faith, but you don't care about your faith enough to let it impact your life on any day but Sunday.

I won't let my kids celebrate Halloween at all. Period. Whatever my faults as a parent, my kids won't get mixed messages about this from me.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Debate #3

Did you watch the debate?

I know you know I did. I was blown away by the President. He wiped the floor with Kerry. Senator Waffles, though still a smooth speaker, was just not impressive. He blamed everything in the world on President Bush. I have no doubt that if a question had been asked about why it's dark at night, Kerry would have blamed the President's "failed" energy policy, and talk about how, during the 90's he "fixed that."

Here's a transcript of the debate. (Yes there are some typos in the transcript, but I'm certain you will be able to see get the full impact, nonetheless.)

I was psyched by the President's performance, and knew that, hands-down he had beaten Kerry. President Bush was funnier, more responsive, and much more realistic than Kerry at every turn.

I was surprised when I got into work and got a chance to speak to a couple of co-workers. They thought that it was a clear Kerry win. I didn't understand that. Well, that's not entirely true. I knew they were both Democrats or at least liberal-leaning folks. When I asked about why they thought Kerry won the response was that, "President Bush avoided answering the questions and kept bringing up the No-Child-Left-Behind Act to questions that weren't about education, like the one about what would you say to the guy who lost his job, or for affirmative action."

That response opened my eyes. It was an anti-analysis reaction (that and it was straight from the Democratic talking-points).

What do you do when someone loses his or her job because the industry he had been employed in can nolonger operate competitively in the nation and has to relocate? You make sure that person is equipped to get into the high-value jobs that can efficiently utilize the resources in the area. THAT is "education." If an industry moves away, it means that the resources to continue it in the original location were not being utilized efficiently. That's the cold economic truth. President Bush has repeatedly, throughout this election cycle, insisted (correctly) that to make sure that there are jobs in America you need to make America the best place in the world to do business. [Note to Kerry: Businesses will NOT flock to America if the government attacks and hinders them!]

I see three potential responses to job losses due to industry migration:
1. Punish the business and erect trade barriers. Of course, that discourages business, injures the economies with which America trades, and artificially keeps resources in inefficient uses. It's an easy sell, politically, but it's economically ignorant.

2. Increase welfare-type give-aways that pay people to not work. Of course, that's exceptionally expensive, destructive to individual dignity, and subsidizes non-utilization of labor resources. For example, if you can make $20,000/year in cash and benefits by not doing anything, would you bother to get up and work 40 hours per week for only $30,000? Maybe, but you're much more likely to utilize your resources if the difference was greater. If the job pays $30K, and that's all it's worth to the employer, then the $20K government give-away makes it less likely that the employer will be able to fill the position.

3. Recognize economic realities, and encourage and enable people to utilize their labor resources in the more profitable (economically efficient) opportunities that do exist. That option, often, means education. More than that, it grows the economy, and allows our trading partners to grow their economies too by letting them efficiently utilize their resources. It also encourages individual dignity. People appreciate the fruits of their labor far more than what's merely given to them. (Here's an article about a study that says just that.)

The President's answer was correct, substantively, and it's the compassionate response to hardship.

Kerry's response was a boo-hoo session. It was a litany of, mostly, imagined ills, and all of them, of course, he blamed on President Bush. When he did finally get around to "answering" the question, to the extent that he did he lied about Pell Grants (President Bush's policy has expanded the availability of the Pell Grants so that more people can get re-trained to work in our economy), and then he suggested options #1 and #2, and seemed to give a little lip-service to #3. Kerry didn't give a real answer, he gave a stump-speech.

I read through the transcript to make sure that my perception was correct. Yes, the President did mention the No-Child-Left-Behind Act a number of times, but each time it was in the context of fixing "root-cause" problems. If you want to argue that the NCLB Act isn't all that effective at it's stated goal, that's something that can be honestly debated, but the President is correct at looking towards actual education as the primary solution to the true causes to the societal ills that were mentioned.

If you look at the substantive answers from each candidate, time and again, the President focused on solutions, and Kerry spouted nebulous and deceptive talking points.

Continuing to use the unemployed fellow question as an example, Kerry said he would close the "loophole" that "encourages" outsourcing. What loophole? Turns out, there's a tax policy established in the 1990s (back when everything was "fixed") that told US companies that income earned from over-seas operations that was invested overseas was not subject to US taxes. Closing that loophole would require either double-taxation, OR taxation on income that has nothing to do with the US economy. Look at it like this... Lets say you worked for a big international company and EVERY country in which your company had operations decided to do what Kerry wants to do. Operations in each country would have to pay taxes to every country in which the corporation does business. For sure that will discourage outsourcing, but it would also discourage investment and expansion into new markets. It discourages economic activity all over the globe.

This works both ways, of course. Many foreign companies invest in America and "outsource" jobs from their country into the USA (Daimler-Chrysler, Honda, BMW, Nissan, Toyota to name just a few). Profits that stay in the country in which they are earned encourage investment. This is true both in the USA and with our trading partners. More than that, the line-workers are not the only people affected. If it's more profitable to utilize the resources in another location, then investors get a lower rate of return, and customers pay higher prices.

For example, if the USA refused to import fruit, banana's would cost $10.00 per pound or more because there's not much USA that's geography appropriate for growing bananas. As a consumer, I'm sure you can recognize the advantage to not having to dedicate an unnecessary proportion of your income to products that are easier to obtain from elsewhere. Investors have an interest too. Many of America's retired citizens make a significant portion of their income from dividends from stocks and bonds. If you require companies to utilize less efficient means, then the wages for seniors decrease. Workers can retrain and get new, higher-paying jobs, but retired people are stuck.

I guess this shows the difference between Bush and Kerry. President Bush wants to fix problems and grow America. Kerry wants to pander and scare and perpetuate problems so he'll have familiar issues upon which to run. To me, it shows that President Bush is, once again, putting the interests of American citizens first, and Kerry was only interested in buying voting blocks.

In light of that clear difference, I have but one more thing to say, "Thank God George W. Bush is our President!"

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Poisonous Truths

Living in America is a great blessing. Living in any nation where the governed have a say in the governance is a blessing.

No doubt.

Nevertheless, America has an Achilles heel. Some truths cannot be spoken. No matter how true a statement is, if it regards a taboo topic, the speaker will be pilloried and the uncomfortable, unpopular truth will be ignored.

This is the state and condition of America as we head into this election cycle on a number of topics. The electorate has chosen not to care about the underlying issues in a number of areas and therefore is susceptible to sound-bite politics.

Classically, this is the case with Social Security. The retired among us, apparently, have nothing to do with their days but write angry letters and show up to vote. I don't know what happened to the generations who are now retired. Most of those people were very self-reliant as they grew-up, but now demand full support from Social Security... That is, from us. If you want to waste your breath attempting to educate them to the fact that Social Security is poised to break the nation, financially, and that the "premiums" they paid into Social Security for their retirement "insurance," is typically paid back to them with interest within the first three years or so, you can say all of that. It won't accomplish anything.

Many or most retired people, demand, partially on principle, but more on greed, that the government's promise of support throughout their retirement be kept, no-matter how destructive such support is on the current and future working generations. The truth of the matter is that the problem in this area is greed. Many or most of the retired among us did not choose to save sufficiently because they were certain that Social Security would be there for them. How they thought the couple of thousand dollars they socked into Social security would actually cover the cost of their retirement is beyond me, and it's something that they refuse to consider.

For these reasons, any meaningful reform of Social Security has been exceptionally difficult. President Bush has advocated, repeatedly, a plan to privatize part of the Social Security taxes paid by tax-payers below a certain age. The elderly oppose such a plan on the basis that they have allowed themselves to be scared into the belief that such a plan will cut their monthly allotment of loot. It won't, but they refuse to let facts get in the way of their greed.

As sad as the current state of the inability to discuss Social Security is, it pales in comparison to the serious problems we face. (At this point, if I haven't already pissed you off, my fair reader, you will more than likely become livid.) The "War on Terror" is another, and far more vital topic, about which Americans are willfully blind.

To be sure, we've been aided in our ignorance. The major media has no interest in the truth of the nature of the conflict, and it's one of the most uncomfortable truths that our nation has faced in the last century.

The truth is that, although America and our allies are fighting against the terrorists and their supporters, the Islamic world itself sees itself as our enemy. Certainly, we Americans don't intend to engage in some sort of "Crusade" to convert Muslims to Christianity by force, and we're not trying to steel their land or wealth. The fact that we've established representative governments in Afghanistan and Iraq should prove that point. That doesn't make a difference, though.

The fundamentalist Ismalists (not just those who have officially taken up arms against the US) intend to, sooner or later, take over the entire world by force. The "moderate" Muslims, are content to let that happen, generally, and don't feel all that motivated to destroy the "free" nations of the world (like the US), but are not really opposed to the work of the fundamentalist Islamists.

Don't believe me? Ask yourself this, "Where was the mass outcry against and denunciation of terrorism by the Muslim population in America after 9-11?"

The truth of this matter is disturbing, even for those of us who comprehend the nature of the struggle. It's a global battle. It started with Mohammed way back in the 6th Century. I don't know what, realistically, can be done, but, for sure, the best weapon against the ultimate goal is to implement representative governments that are required and do actually respect the differences of all citizens. Freedom of religion, and speech will, I think, cripple the advancement of the Fundamentalist Islamists.

A very good friend of mine had been undecided, until very recently, about who he would vote for in this coming presidential election. To be honest, in spite of my best efforts, he seemed to be leaning towards Senator Waffles. Because he was upset with a number of things that President Bush had done or hadn't done, and because he has close ties with Europe, the European discontent with America had really impacted him.

He was undecided. He's not undecided anymore.

He works in the intelligence/law enforcement community. As part of his continuing training for his current position, he had to undergo training and tactics for dealing with Fundamentalist Islamist terrorists. Part of that training was a fairly detailed lesson of the history and culture of Islam. His eyes were opened to the nature of the threat. He made a point of telling me that the instructor (a man who grew up in a Fundamentalist Islamist household in Saudi Arabia, but who's mother was a secret Christian who taught him to actually value others) never advocated a candidate, or party, and stayed totally away from political questions. Nevertheless, at the end of the training, he said that nobody in the room had any question about who they had to vote for... President Bush.

President Bush, and not John Kerry is actually dedicated to confronting the fundamental problem, and has set about the only course of action that appears to have any hope of stopping the Fundamentalist Islamists. Our policy of attacking terrorism wherever it festers and of leaving in our wake representative governments that respect individual liberties is the only plan that has a hope of stopping those who would destroy us.

My friend angrily asked me why President Bush didn't just make the case that he had heard for our policy and actions. He's right, of course, that if all of America were forced to sit down and be informed about the nature of the struggle, no other argument would be necessary. The problem is that what my friend learned was another poisonous truth. For a politician to speak it is political death. Americans don't want to believe that there's any real difference between how peace-loving we are, and how peace-loving they are. Americans would like to believe that everybody is just like us, and so once we get rid of the hand-full of bad-guys freedom, as fully as we enjoy it, will break-forth.

The best answer I could give him is that Americans, generally, are not sufficiently educated about the threat for the education to which he had been exposed to make a difference, and that there is no way to get America to sit down and digest the information he had been presented, and because of this, there is no way any politician can start to discuss this truth in sound-bites without sounding like a raving religious zealot himself and/or a racist.

There's a good chance you, fair reader, think that I'm some religious zealot and/or a racist, even now. It's not true. But it illustrates my point. Yes, I do have firm religious beliefs. And yes, I do not believe that any and all religions are "equal." This is not to say that I think that all those who don't believe similarly to me are evil, or less worthy of life or the right to their beliefs. To the contrary, I fully accept that all humans have an equal right to life, and that all humans must be free to come to their own conclusions about their religious beliefs, and that choosing to believe what I see as "true religion" is meaningless if there is no choice to believe otherwise.

That being said, a relatively objective analysis of religion is possible by looking at its results. Christianity, though its course in history has not always been pretty, has had the biggest impact for freedom and advancement of any major family of world-views. Islam, despite what you may think of the "benevolent" Sultans of a thousand years ago, has never really stood for true freedom or advancement for society. Likewise, the stark humanism of communism fits the description of a religion, and, unless you're trying hard to ignore the tens of millions of people murdered because of it, it's hard to say anything other than that the humanism that spawned communism is antithetical to peaceful human society.

To discuss this matter immediately produces a defensive response against the assault on our presumptions. To state that America, in order to defeat terrorism, needs to stop the advancement of Fundamentalist Islam sounds too much like religious intolerance. However, it's not racism or religious intolerance. It's a fact. Fundamentalist Islam does not allow for the possibility that anything but itself has any legitimate right to exist. It's a cancerous ideology. If you know anything about cancer, you understand that you cannot come to "detente" with it. If you don't kill it, it will, eventually, kill you (if something else doesn't do you in first).

Although we, in America, want to let everyone believe whatever they like, failure to act to stop Fundamentalist Islam will result in a loss of the ability to hold that value.

This is a poisonous truth. The President won't ever state it clearly, because to do so would be the end of his career. Fortunately, however, he's wise enough to recognize it. More than recognize it, though, he was able to see that there was an option other than a direct attack on the entire Islamic world. He saw that an expansion of liberty would work against Fundamentalist Islam. The sad truth is that Senator Kerry has been exposed to all of this information too. He could (and should have) come to the same conclusion, but he hasn't. Whether strictly for political gain or out of true naivete, Kerry wants to treat the War on Terror as a law enforcement matter. That tactic, if adhered to for a significant amount of time, will guarantee the destruction of America, and every vestage of Western Culture.

The war is on. The war is global. The war is between two mutually exclusive concepts and one will need to actually stop the other to survive. But for a politician to name the war, honestly, is to marginalize himself because the electorate is not prepared for the truth.

In other news... A name for DC's new MLB team?

Those of you who know me know that I really don't care about sports all that much. I think it's a mildly amusing tool for vicarious competition around the water-cooler, but other than that, I think that most professional sports are mind-numbingly boring to watch.

That said, as a resident in the Baltimore-Washington area, I couldn't help but take note of the fact that the Montreal Expos will be moving to Washington DC and will be playing in the area starting next season. Now that DC has a team, the really tough work going forward is, of course, picking a name.

Certainly, they won't go with the "Washington Senators" again, and I seriously doubt that something as innocuous as the Washington Bi-Partisans will work.

I would like, with only a little tongue stashed in my cheek, to suggest the following name... Remember, a professional sports team name ought to have something to do with the area. Also, the modern trend has been to find some "politically correct" name that won't offend anybody. The Washington Wizards used to be the Washington Bullets, and, although some traditional Christians might be offended to the reference to the occult in the new name, it's plain to see that the Wizards have not been tapping into any supernatural source for success, so complaining about the name would merely be piling-on.

So... My suggestion for a name...

The Washington Scandals.
NOTE: Instead of "Washington," the team could use "DC," or "Beltway."

It's certainly not a name that necessarily favors one political party or another, or gender, or race. Also, "Scandal" is something that has a great deal of connection to the area. It's fun, too. Of course, the down-side will be picking a graphic for the logo. I suppose, if all else fails, they could use a stylized image of a blue dress, or even some tapes. Nevertheless, picking an image is secondary to picking the name.

What I think is even more fun is that the wives and/or girlfriends of the players will, no doubt, become known as "The Scandalous Women" (NOTE: Not a work-safe link!!!), and I'm sure that will increase interest in the team.

Monday, October 11, 2004

From the "Sucks to be Kerry" file...

I saw this article and found it somewhat interesting... TV Group to Show Anti- Kerry Film on 62 Stations

Of course, since it was published by the New York Times, I don't know that we can trust anything it says. Nevertheless, it's interesting.

I almost laughed out loud when I read this line:
"It's hard to take an offer seriously from a group that is hellbent on doing anything to help elect President Bush even if that means violating basic journalism standards," said Chad Clanton, a Kerry spokesman.

Do the words "CBS," "60 Minutes II," "Dan Rather," "unimpeachable source," and "Joe Lockhart" mean anything to you? I dare say, the fact that the Swift Boat Vets are still around proves that their claims are much better founded than the crap that "See, BS!" has been airing.

I suppose that Kerry and his campaign ought to suggest to the "un-biased" producers and reporters at "See, BS!" that they should worry about "basic journalistic standards" before the complaints of Kerry's campaign will sound like anything other than the whining of a spoiled brat.

On the other hand, I did think that any applicable "equal time" laws would probably require the stations to air some President Bush material too. I'm glad to see that my observations weren't necessarily incorrect, or even unreasonable... Check out this paragraph:
Andrew Jay Schwartzman, president of the Media Access Project, an advocacy group promoting greater media regulation, said he did not think the film would qualify for a news exemption. And, he said, even if it did fall under equal time provisions, those are based on candidate appearances and in this case, since it is Mr. Kerry who appears, "albeit disparagingly," stations would be required to show Mr. Bush or possibly the independent candidate Ralph Nader, if they requested it.

Perhaps, CBS should make up for the time it spent airing the bogus stories about President Bush by airing "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal." It seems like a very reasonable suggestion to me. Don't you think?

Friday, October 08, 2004

Duelfer Report - Did Bush "Lie"?

The anti-war / Pro-communist / Pro-murderous-tyrant crowd has been making noise for months that President Bush LIED. Their "proof" has traditionally been that President Bush hasn't been proven totally correct. Facts that tend to vindicate his choice of actions, and historical data that indicates his actions were widely seen as the rational and appropriate course of action at the time are overlooked.

I've beaten the particular dead horse about the subtle difference (that happens to be as clear as day to all people from about 1 to 120 years of age) between being proved "wrong" and "lying" previously, so I'll try to be relatively brief. As my friend, Trevor, has pointed out in conversation, it's a direct result of a post-modernistic world view which uses an ends-means value system and assigns moral blame to any opposition.

As you might guess, a discussion with someone who proclaims that "Bush LIED!" is substantially limited. As a matter of fact, one of my best friends has fallen for that line. His reasoning is somewhat more convoluted. He recognizes that Bush's intel was told him a single compelling story, that no nation with an intel organization made the argument that Iraq was not developing and or did not already possess weapons of mass destruction. Nevertheless, my friend insists that "Bush LIED" on the basis that the intel culture was so inept that no confidence should have been put in what they say. Of course, the problem with his assertion is that my friend now chooses to believe pieces (mostly out of context) of what the CIA says after that information has been filtered through the partisan anti-Bush editorial pages of major newspapers and press sources from Europe.

If you can't believe ANYTHING that our intel services say then what my friend is saying is that since our national "vision" isn't 20/20 we should close our eyes altogether. He refuses to address the question of, "What if the assessments were correct?" Obviously, if the assessments were correct, then Saddam could have either directly or indirectly gotten chemical or biological agents delivered over a US city by now (maybe worse). What would the response be to President Bush if he had said, "I can't trust anything you say, CIA, so I will not act against Iraq!" and then 30,000 unsuspecting civilians are killed? Of course, my friend, and every leftist, would be calling for President Bush's impeachment, and perhaps criminal prosecution (though I don't think that could possibly stick) for failure to listen to our magnificent intel services when they told him that Iraq was a threat to us.

Logically, you can't have it both ways, but, when you're motivated by a quasi-religious philosophy, such as post-modernism, logic and facts will never deter you.

This, I think, brings us the the much-vaunted "Duelfer Report" I'm not going to go through the entire document because neither I nor you have time for that. I will discuss, however, the CIA's"Key Findings" (PDF format) from the report. The looney-left's belief-disbelief dichotomy regarding what the CIA says notwithstanding, we'll assume the "truth" of what the document says in so much as that the document is based on "true" observations, and reasonable conclusions based on them. Absolute truth, of course, may never be known fully. The reason I think it's safe to assume the "truth" of the report is that the leftists have already proclaimed it to be the gospel. They are saying, "It proves there were never any WMDs so Bush LIED!" For those of you who do have time to spare, here's a link to the report's homepage so you can read the whole thing for yourself.

The FIRST paragraph of the key findings vindicates President Bush:
Saddam Husayn [sic.] so dominated the Iraqi Regime that its strategic intent was his alone. He wanted to end sanctions while preserving the capability to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) when sanctions were lifted.
The subsequent findings show that Saddam was dedicated to the development of, intimidation by, and systematic use of WMDs. Not only that, it says that his current vehicle for moving towards his goal was by corrupting the Oil-For-Food (OFF) program. Through that program, Saddam had effectively mitigated most of the effects of the sanctions, was rapidly working actively enhancing his "dual use" capabilities so that he would have the means of reconstituting his WMD development as soon as the sanctions were lifted, and that he "was within striking distance of a de facto end to the sanctions regime, both in terms of oil exports and trade embargo, by the end of 1999."

I suspect some of my more stridently anti-Bush readers will cause me to regret this, but I'm going to leave some of the connections for the reader to make, and I'll get to my conclusions:

1. Saddam's activity reasonably looked like attempts to actively operate a WMD program. Instead of feeding the civilians with the OFF funds, he was developing "dual" use programs. We also knew that he was in the process of developing (banned) delivery systems (both missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles). We also know that several tons of banned WMDs had never been accounted-for, so it was unreasonable to assume that the WMDs had simply disappeared, especially with Saddam's track-record. Based on this, Bush's decision to move towards military action was entirely appropriate. Failure to do so would have been gross neglect of his duty to protect America. President's don't get to govern by hindsight.

2. The information about the OFF program demonstrates that key players in the UN were corrupted and could not and should not be trusted with regards to Iraq policy. Since France was the biggest recipient of Saddam's bribes (see this article), the fact that they recognized that Saddam was a threat but didn't want to do anything about it starts to make sense. Knowing what we know about France's corruption and complicity with our enemy, the fact that they opposed the war should be entirely discounted. The Taliban didn't want us to attack them... Hitler didn't want the Allies to resist... When friends of your enemies oppose you, that shouldn't give you a moment's hesitation in doing what you know to be in your interest.

3. A "global test" would have left us open to any terrorist state's systematic plan to attack us. A "global test" for American action prior to proof "beyond a reasonable doubt" (see Kerry's comment that terrorism is or should be primarily a matter of "law enforcement") of an enemy's involvement in actions of violent hostility towards us gives our enemies every reason to try to bribe our "allies" and then plan to and actually attack us first.

Saddam learned that, under Clinton, he could bribe our allies (at least the French, Germans, and Russians), and would be able to subvert the effect of the sanctions. In so doing, he was able to begin laying the ground-work to become absolutely dangerous to America. Under Clinton, and if Gore or Kerry were President, bribing our "allies" would have worked to keep America from acting in our own interest.

Literally, THANK GOD that President Bush is a man of conviction and resolve who puts his duty to protect America foremost, and whether the French will mutter insults at us at diplomatic dinner parties over their caviar and Champaign relatively low on his list of priorities.

Finally, I want to say something about the new meme being pushed by the liberal Kool-Aid drinkers... The liberals are saying that because we are learning facts that support the decision to go to Iraq, but that are different than what we thought we would find, that the President is "changing his justification."

To illustrate what's wrong with this line of thinking, I'll use an analogy that most of us understand; a traffic stop. Lets say the a police officer gets a call over the radio to look out for a particular type and color of a car, with a general description of the driver, a direction last seen traveling, and two characters from the license plate. The reason to keep an eye out for that car was that it was identified as the vehicle used by an armed bank-robber leaving the scene of the crime moments ago. Moments later the officer sees a car matching the description, with a driver matching the description, and traveling in the direction indicated, with two letters on the plate as indicated.

Should the police officer stop the person? HELL YES!

He has probable cause, but not PROOF that the driver was the wanted suspect. Lets go forward and say that when the officer stops the car, he searches it for weapons (which is allowed), and in so doing he finds, instead of evidence that the driver had anything to do with an armed robber, bloody knives stuffed under the driver's seat, and hears some muffled sounds from the trunk. The Officer then opens the trunk to find a critically wounded child tied up who dies moments later.

Should we proclaim, when the officer puts down on his report that he originally pulled the suspect over as a suspect for the armed robbery that he LIED because the driver turns out not to have been the armed robber? Should we neglect the other evidence that he found as irrelevant since it's unrelated to an armed robbery charge? Should we fire the officer for popping open the trunk without a search warrant? The child's dead now, so why couldn't he wait for the warrant, right? Since the driver, we now know, wasn't the armed robbery suspect, should we proclaim that the officer is wrong for charging the driver with the murder because it wasn't the original reason given for pulling him over?

The analogy isn't perfect, but it gets the point across: People with executive authority can ONLY act based on their present knowledge at any given point, and subsequently learning you're right for reasons other than what you originally thought does not make you any less right in your course of actions.

President Bush did the right thing based on what he knew when the decision had to be made. The lefties try to say that the decision didn't have to be made when he made it. Of course, that's (a) false, and (b) Monday-morning-quarterbacking. The longer we waited, the more effective Saddam was at getting banned materials to support his plans to reconstitute his WMD programs, and the more likely that tens of thousands of Americans would have had to die to deal with the problem after it did NEED to be dealt with. (According to the standard of necessity that the looney-left uses, but won't describe.) Since we had no way of knowing how close to imminent Saddam's threat was, but we did know, for sure, that he intended to be a threat, then, in our post-9-11 world, early action must be preferred over later action.

Therefore, the Duelfer Report must be seen as a major vindication of President Bush. He was right to act on the data he had, and we are lucky he acted when he did.

[UPDATE: Yes, I did fix some spelling errors.]

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

RIP - Kerry/Edwards?

Did you watch the VP debate last evening? (Transcript Pt. 1, Pt. 2)

I'll save you the suspense, I did. (I may have missed a total of 15 seconds, but I'll say that I watched the whole thing.)

Asking a similar question to what I asked after the last debate, "Who won?"

I would have to say, this time, in both style and substance, the Republican, Richard Cheney took this one.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Edwards was bad on style. He wasn't... at all. I think that Cheney was just better, even in style, by a little. I would give the style contest to Cheney by, say, 52% to 48%.

The style contest was between an orator (Edwards) and a clear-spoken deliberator (Cheney). In the legislature, the qualities of an orator might be prized, but in an executive role, Americans (as far as I can tell) want a leader who is a clear thinker of sound judgment and resolve with much less emphasis on rhetorical skill. Cheney showed that he had those qualities and pointed towards the President as a prototype of leadership.

As for substance... I would give that one to Cheney by a ratio of 60% to 40%. Cheney pounded Edwards with facts. Edwards looked like he was twisting numbers to bad-mouth America. Stylistically, that's dangerous, but when Cheney was able to fire back with both barrels with substance that showed Edwards' vacuousness. both in his position and in his capacity, personally, Edwards took it in the shorts.

Let's not forget that Edwards demonstrated that Democrats can't tell the difference between "one" and "more than one." Edwards attempted to mock Cheney on Halliburton's dealings with Iran and Cheney's opposition to unilateral sanctions against Iran during Cheney's tenure as Haliburton's CEO. First, the implication of wrong doing is nowhere near proven. Second the central difference between then and now is the word "unilateral." A unilateral sanction means that only one potential trading partner (us) of HUNDREDS of potential trading partners (all the other countries in the world) will be prohibited from the trade opportunities. What that means is that the unilateral sanction will be a statement but entirely without effectiveness. The only people who will lose out, then are the individual businesses that could have traded with the particular country. That's unilateral. The current support is because of much broader support for sanctions. This means that American companies won't be penalized (at least very much) since other countries' companies will also not be trading with the sanctioned country. In the broadly supported sanctions circumstance, the offending country (Iran) is much more likely to be influenced.

Is this just me, or does this show a continuation of the pattern of a surprising inability, on the part of the Democrats to distinguish between one and more than one. Our coalition that invaded Iraq had more countries (at the start) than the original Gulf War (39, I think versus 34), and now still has nearly as many (30), and the Democrats call that "unilateral." Then again, the Democrats can't tell the difference between unilateral sanctions and broadly supported international sanctions.

The problem might be a more generalized inability to comprehend numbers... Edwards tried hard to exclude the casualties suffered by Iraq by defining the new Iraqi government outside of the "coalition." I think the better definition must include every sovereign that is aiding us, and that must include Iraq. FactCheck.org even got this one wrong. If you scroll down to the discussion of the "90% of the Casualties" section, FactCheck attempts to characterize VP Cheney's comment that our allies have taken "almost 50%" of the casualties as only refering to the Iraqis. Here's what Cheney said:
Cheney: The 90 percent figure is just dead wrong. When you include the Iraqi security forces that have suffered casualties, as well as the allies, they've taken almost 50 percent of the casualties in operations in Iraq , which leaves the U.S. with 50 percent, not 90 percent.

The key word, is "include." Cheney is being inclusive. FactCheck notes that in reality, the Iraqis have suffered about 38% of the casualties, but the non-US total including the losses by the Iraqis is over 45%. That's almost 50%.

But, there's MORE!

The reason I titled this post "RIP - Kerry/Edwards" was that Edwards made what I think will become a fatal mistake for the Democrats. In framing the discussion the way that he and Kerry have done, they have painted a picture of a weak and morally bankrupt nation. They try to point at President Bush, but they have to harp on negative themes and body-count. They attempt to capitalize on American fear, but, in doing so, they have abandoned the most powerful motivating factor in American politics: Hope for a better future.

Reagan epitomized it. Clinton didn't capitalize on it well, but the way he framed the debate, he looked like he wanted to move towards a better future. It's the future that's the key, not how bad things are at this moment. Americans may feel skittish, but we can look around and see that the nation hasn't fallen appart. There is no "stag-flation," and although we may not feel as giddily rich as we did during the tech-bubble of the 90's we don't, generally feel like we're in a depression, and some of us even realize that the growth has been impressive.

The phrase that's going to haunt John Edwards more than any other, I predict, was his closing comments when he spoke of the light of opportunity "flickering." WHAT?! Say you want to protect the future, but don't describe America as being near the edge of extinction!

I predict that Edwards has given the GOP a shinny new bullet. I suspect that it will find it's mark and take down the Kerry/Edwards campaign. Before, we all had learned that Kerry is a "flip-flopper," but now we know that Edwards is also special, he's a "Flicker-Flopper."

Perhaps we'll see the Democratic performance in the polls described as the "Flip-Flopper Flicker." In any event, Edwards has given a great and true way to ridicule the Democrats, and ridicule is probably the most effective form of opposition, especially if it's seen as fundamentally true.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Should there be a political test for Gun Control?

This article, Shots fired into Knox Bush/Cheney headquarters struck me as funny.

We all know that the looney-left is forever bitching about the "need" for more gun control. Of course, it seems counter intuitive to a lot of people to try to limit or eliminate private gun ownership because the law abiding citizens will comply and disarm, but the criminals, of course, will not. The net result will be that the bad guys will have the guns and no innocent person will have an effective means to potentially ward-off an attack.

(I know, I know, the dope-smoking lefties, after taking a deep drag, will proclaim that if there weren't any guns then nobody would have guns and then we would all be happy, nice, and peaceful people with no inclination to commit violent crime, of any sort, anymore. Nevertheless...)

Then this story comes along and I realized what the problem is... The Democrats know they have no self control! They know they have no intention of controlling any impulse, be it towards sexual promiscuity and/or perversion, or towards laziness, or towards criminal behavior. They know that if they had a gun in their hands, the just can't keep from committing a crime, and therefore, the only way to stay out of jail, personally, is to get big-brother to take all those evil guns away!

In the interest of public safety, then I propose a psychological evaluation as part of any licensing procedure to acquire a gun. If, to a reasonable psychiatrist you appear to be a liberal, you should not be allowed to possess a gun. If you're a conservative, however, you can get whatever you want, because, as a conservative, you believe in personal responsibility, and know that you shouldn't go shooting at people just because you don't like them, even if you want to do so.

See, it all makes sense now!

Smoking gun?

Folks, check out this CNSNews.com article:
Exclusive: Saddam Possessed WMD, Had Extensive Terror Ties

Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh mentioned this article on his show, and so I suppose it's gotten a fair amount of discussion in the Blogsphere by now. I'm not sure what the general consensus is at this point, because I was exceptionally busy yesterday and unable to do my normal reading.

I'm not ready to jump onto this with both feet. To be honest, it seems almost too good to be true. Aside from the obvious that, if these documents are authentic, there can no longer be a question that Saddam was just as dangerous and a gathering threat that the President said he was. That the much maligned "bad" intelligence wasn't all that far off.

The thing I would like to point out, however, is how CNSNews is treating its source material. It's not cloaking the documents it has as the gospel and unassailable truth. It's indicating why it has great confidence in the authenticity of the documents, but stating up-front that there are some questions and isn't marrying itself to these documents.

This is how CBS should have handled its memo-gate scandal. If it had indicated why it thought the documents were true but also acknowledged that questions had been or could be raised that were not trivial, then they could have reserved their place, at least to some extent, as a news source rather than just a loony-left propaganda outlet.

In the final analysis, we don't have certainty in this information as the truth, but it looks like there might be some evidence that can be investigated. Perhaps we will have some conclusive evidence soon.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Who won the debate?

I don't have much time to write today, so I'll just be giving some brief first-impressions, and they may surprise you.

Who won the first debate?

Senator Waffles.

Obviously, it doesn't change my mind, and I don't think he was right about much or anything. Nevertheless, Senator Kerry did win the debate for two reasons, IMHO.

1. Bush was the victim of his own success.

What I mean by that is that the Bush campaign, and those who are opposed to Kerry that are not part of the Bush campaign have been VERY effective at painting John Kerry as a bloviating flip-flopper. The truth is, he IS a bloviating flip-flopper, BUT he's not an unpolished bloviating flip-flopper. Prior to the debates, especially the first debate, each side races to be the underdog. Why? Because the simple truth is that rarely is a debate all that important, and rarely does one side totally crush the other, and so if you can convince people that you're the underdog, and you don't come out at a big loser, then you can tell people that you, by definition won. It's the same thing as winning a bet on a football game, even though your team lost by betting on the underdog and "beating the margin."

2. Kerry plays the part well
Again, I'm certainly not recommending Senator Kerry, but, let's be honest, Kerry has been winning elections for a long time for a reason. He speaks smoothly and forcefully. He trained as a litigator, ferpetesake. This is related to the first reason, but a bit more stand-alone. Yes, Kerry won the race to under-dog status, but even if he hadn't, he speaks well. He doesn't say much, but he says it clearly. People who come across as "mean" simply cannot survive at the top levels in a world of televised politics, and so most politicians who attain national status can play the part well. President Bush has a strong public image of a resolute leader who is not afraid to defend America, no matter what the French say. Kerry has cultivated the image of a "statesman" who can talk about the topics at length, and with pristine enunciation. Leadership, not so much. Kerry was able to masquerade his indecisiveness as a "plan," and in this debate, I think it played well. I don't think that it will stand up to scrutiny over the next few weeks, but we shall see.

However, lest the looney left get too excited about this, I don't think that winning the debate will really help, much. True, it might siphon a few undecideds towards him, but it wasn't a strong win.

What I wish President Bush had said more forcefully was:
1. The war in Iraq is a central part of the global war against terrorists and those who support them. Kerry hopes to conflate the issue and make it seem like President Bush is erroneously blaming Iraq for the 9-11 attacks. That's not what we've done. Saddam was a major supporter of international terrorism and the threat he posed was too grave to allow to fester.

2. We no longer live in a September 10, 2001, world. This has two parts, (a) When a threat is grave, and there is no hope that a non-violent method can resolve it before it we need to act, and (b) We cannot treat terrorism as a crime problem, it's a war problem, and wars are pursued differently than crimes.

3. Kerry speaks of credibility, but the credibility that counts is less whether your intelligence agencies have given you the right data, because that can be fixed, but far more about whether others can be certain you mean what you say when you say you will do something. In the 1990's the leader of France (Sorry, I forget his name at this moment) called President Clinton and asked him if he really meant what he said about Bosnia. President Bush will never have that sort of credibility problem. Libya knows that President Bush means business when he says that we're going after terrorists and every state that harbors or aids them.

4. There was no rush to war, and the war in Iraq WAS the last resort. Kerry said repeatedly that President Bush should have reserved war as the last resort and should have exhausted the potential remedies through the UN. Anybody who can read history knows, and President Bush hinted at the proper response... Seventeen resolutions didn't work, there is no reason whatsoever to believe that an 18th would have magically changed Saddam into a lamb. Therefore, once you know that diplomacy has no real chance of working, then sticking with diplomacy is a sign of cowardice. The war was a dozen years in the making and the debate in this country about whether to actually do the deed took over a year, and Senator Kerry was a staunch supporter of war at that time.

5. John Kerry's "plan" was a plan for more of the same feckless whining from the UN. John Kerry's "right way" to go to war is a blueprint to putting off the tough decision until it is absolutely too late to win a war we know needs to be fought until our enemies have have had plenty of time to prepare. In reality, John Kerry's plan is a way to procrastinate on the decision until a Republican takes office again, and it pretends that 9-11 never happened.

All in all, both sides have a great deal to be happy about...

For the Democrats and the "Anybody But Bush" crowd, they've got a fellow who can smoothly pronounce a position (regardless of the fact that the position has no substance) and look like a leader. What that crowd probably likes best of all is that they can know for sure that while looking and sounding like a "real" leader, he will never be a leader, since they hate America's position of power in the world.

For the Republicans we've got clearer target now. Kerry clearly stated that he believed Saddam to be a threat, but that he didn't really want to do anything about it. He believes that the war was a colossal mistake and he's the one to win it. That could be an argument to make if you agree with the idea of going to war, but have a difference of opinion about a particular tactic or strategy. You can't reasonably say that it was wrong to go to war and you know how to win. If he really thinks the war was wrong, he should vow to undo the wrong... not win. You vow to win, if you believe that the conflict should be won.

Also, Republicans have been reminded that this won't be a cake-walk. I never thought it was. Having painted Kerry as an unpatriotic flip-flopper so soon, the public may be inoculated to him at this point. The good news, I think, for Republicans, is that with that realization with a month to go, this should strengthen the resolve of the grass-roots. We know we don't elect the president to debate in the Senate, we elect the President to LEAD, and I am certain that President Bush still has a significant edge there.

Finally, if you watched the debate, perhaps you were as amused as I was that Kerry kept running back to his 4 months on a boat in Vietnam. I suppose he would have a hard time pointing to his record in the Senate as giving him the leadership perspective necessary to lead the country, but commanding a boat in a river is not a good proxy for leading a nation, and the world's only superpower at that.

Go ahead, feel free to tell me how wrong you think I am, but, please be so kind as to be specific.

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