Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Mirror Mirror on the Web

The blog world is feeling its oats these days; especially those on the right who see themselves as watchdogs of the media, now known as either the MSM or the "legacy media." They got a terrific boost a couple of months back when, Power Line uncovered CBS's reliance on a forged document to indict the president for failing to perform his required service in the National Guard.
But just because a blogger claims to have debunked something doesn't mean it is debunked. Hugh Hewitt writes at the Weekly Standard website about how low the big media has sunk. "IF OLD MEDIA--the 'legacy media' of the big papers and old networks plus the newsweeklies--was a city and not simply a set of gasping institutions, it would look like Stalingrad circa 1944. Parts of most of the virtual buildings are still standing, but the devastation is pretty complete." I can't help but note that he can't scrounge up a more recent example of an urbarn warfare debacle. Say . . . Fallujah, perhaps? But he also seems to think that just because a blog has attacked a big media source, that the blog must be correct. He say that the Belmont Club "scissor[ed]" the Associated Press's credibility and links to a post that is a confusing mess of accusations based in part on a letter sent by some guy to the aformentioned Power Line. The gist of the argument is that the AP is in cahoots with terrorists in order to be able to get pictures of their murders. If the anonymous blogger who goes by "Wretchard" has any solid evidence for this theory, I am not smart enough to glean it from his post.
I see this sort of thing frequently--a blogger claiming to have slain a giant when his stone actually bounced off Goliath harmlessly. The criticism also flows in only one direction--against stories threatening to the Bush administration and the Republican party. A few months back, before I started a blog, I saw an opportunity to have two rightwing sights correct an error that they had amplified. Back in May, Jonah Goldberg and Glenn Reynolds linked to a Boston Herald editorial critical of Al Gore. The problem was that the Herald took a quote and abriged it to such a degree that it was almost certainly the result of intentional dishonesty or extreme ideological blindness. the Herald said, "How dare Gore say that Americans have an 'innate vulnerability to use power to abuse others.' And that our own 'internal system of checks and balances cannot be relied upon' to curb such abuse. Here is is actual quote:

Our founders were insightful students of human nature.
They feared the abuse of power because they understood
that every human being has not only "better angels" in
his nature, but also an innate vulnerability to
temptation -- especially the temptation to abuse power
over others.Our founders understood full well that a
system of checks and balances is needed in our constitution
because every human being lives with an internal system of
checks and balances that cannot be relied upon to produce
virtue if they are allowed to attain an unhealthy degree of
power over their fellow citizens.

I naively thought it would be a simple matter to get Goldberg and Reynolds to admit that they had errantly publicized such an egregious howler. Alas the did not respond to my emails. Fortunately, I have friends in high places. I sent the links to Jesse Walker, and he put it all up on Reason's Hit & Run. Both bloggers ignored Walker's post and refused to correct their errant links to the Boston Herald editorial, although, I know that Reynolds makes occasional references to Reason's blog and to Walker's contributions to that blog.
I think blogs are swell. Heck, I even started one myself. But a few bloggers have a long way to go before they measure up to their inflated self-images.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Cheerleaders For Fascism?

Some people are so outraged about media bias, they must invent examples of it in order to unleash their fury on it. Roger L. Simon unloads on Reuters for the crime on interviewing Sunni Arabs.
"Almost jumping for joy, here's a piece of propaganda from Reuters quoting only Sunnis who aren't voting. It shows the news agency at its purest, a propaganda outfit that would rather see America fail at any cost than for democracy to succeed in Iraq. Screw the Iraqi people, if it means that the war worked.

Here's an idea--maybe we should rename Reuters. At least the Voice of America calls itself the Voice of America. How about RNA -the Reactionary News Agency?"

But the article he links to doesn't sound anything like the one he rants and raves about. It only displays the skepticism many Sunni Iraqis have towards U.S. efforts to democratize their country as well as towards Osama bin Laden's attempts to thwart them:

"It makes no sense to put your life in danger to vote when the Americans will put whoever they want in power anyway," said Mohammed, a Baghdad resident who refused to give his full name, on Tuesday.

"Whatever Bin Laden says, people had already made up their minds not to vote. I didn't even register."

"I'm not bothered about the election; all I want is to return to Falluja and for violence to stop throughout Iraq,"

"Bin Laden knows nothing about Iraq; he is an extremist who lives in caves. He lost 75 percent of his support in Iraq by making everyone who votes in elections an infidel."

"Anyway, the American presence in the country gives you the impression that the election is false and unfair."

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Blah Blah Blah!

Anthony Gancarski is an ex-paleolibertarian/conservative who at one time contributed to and the American Conservative. At some point he had a change of heart, or decide that the grass is greener on the neo side of the fence. Writing for David Horowitz's Frontpage, he launches a peculiar attack on the American Conservative. He is disturbed that a magazine of ideas actually allows for several points of view. He says that TAC "handled the run-up to the election in a somewhat clumsy manner; their 2004 endorsement was split five ways, with advocacy for Bush, Kerry, a couple of third-party candidates, and for complete abstention from the process itself." But what is so clumsy about that? At least among those who retain the ability to think, everybody doesn't have to agree on everything, all the time.
Since his arguments are so weak, he has to ride the neocon hobby horse of anti-semitism, a term now utterly devoid of meaning. Yet he is utterly inept that he even screws that up. Check out how he mangles this quote from Scott McConnell:
"'As alarming as the neoconservatism of Rumsfeld, Cheney, Perle, Wolfowitz, Feith, Danielle Pletka, and John Bolton is, more alarming is the spirit that has spread in its wake – a kind of neoconservativism without a graduate degree. You see it on certain blogs and hear it in the rants of some of the most widely listened to right-wing talk-radio hosts. If the Arabs don't want to be democratic, we should nuke them. We have no choice but to nuke them for our own safety. It's a vulgarized neoconservatism – no one from the American Enterprise Institute speaks like this (in public). But this talk is around in the heartland and growing, and it is wind in the sails of the new administration.'

Perle, Wolfowitz, Feith, Pletka – these names have been invoked time and again, and usually for no honorable reason. This case presents no exception. It's offensive, though predictable, that McConnell would participate in the time-honored 'neocon Jew rollcall.'"

Did you notice? Gancarski carefully excises the gentile names Cheney, Rumseld and Bolten and repeats repeats the others to act as if McConnell is obsessed with the Jews. But it is obvious who has the unhealthy obsession here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Happy Holiday!

Only a few years ago, I was vaguely anti-Christmas. There are aspects of it that I don't particularly care for. I gag when hearing Christmas Carols massacred by Mannheim Steamroller, or transformed into jingles for Old Navy and the Gap. My stomach turns while watching low-rent hoards pour into Wal-Mart the day after Thanksgiving to purchase poorly made crap at "always low prices." This is possibly due in part to simple snobbery. But it is also to some extent motivated by the disdain, which I share with the Pope, for the excessive commercialization of the holiday.
My attitude began to change a few years ago when I was working at Liberty magazine. I was inspecting the letter we were sending out with our Christmas gift offer. It had an image of a Thomas Nast Santa but no use of the word "Christmas." I unsuccessfully argued that our subscribers, though overwhelmingly secular would be more likely offended by the PC phrase "holiday gift" than by the mention of of Christmas. I began to notice the extent to which some people and organizations go to avoid saying Christmas. Now, I am mildly offended by the banal phrase "happy holidays."
There is currently a rhetorical war raging over Christmas, and how much it is under threat. Vdare is the best source on the right. Salon and the Washington Monthly have weighed in as well. From what I have seen and heard, a lot of people are concerned about offending the tiny minority of people who are perputually nourishing grievances. Big corporations, a reliable source of political correctness, are driving much of this with their "holiday sales," etc. I was pleasantly surprised the other day, while shopping in the Fresh Market, to hear numerous employees wishing customers a merry Christmas. The Fresh Market is a yuppish chain that caters to a proportionally higher number of secularists than does Wal-mart. If they aren't afraid of Christmas, than nobody should be.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Geography Lesson

speaking of immigration policy, George Bush said in his press conference (registration) today, that, "family values do not stop at the Rio Grande river."
Indeed they do not, but as I believe Steve Sailer was the first to point out, the Untited States does.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Rumsfeld's War, Clinton's Fault?

How low will some go in order to defend Don Rumsfeld? Lt. Col. "Buzz" Patterson sinks pretty low in Human Events. He dnounces Army Spc. Thomas Wilson for jumping his chain of command. "where was this guy's commander? You don't jump the chain of command, and in this case, I mean the entire chain. It's military cardinal rule number one. About 15 seconds after that question was asked I would've had the young man standing in front of me while I offered him a quick refresher on this whole military thing. 'Before you make a statement to the big guy, how's about you complain to me first. Having the Secretary of Defense hear about it before I do, or my boss, or his boss, or his boss's boss, is not a happy thing.'"
There are a couple of problems with this rant. First, how does Patterson know that this issue hasn't come up in Wilson's chain of command? He doesn't of course. The second problem is the way that Patterson ignores the nature of the gathering. While Rumsfeld refused to take questions from the press, he threw the floor open for questions from the gathered soldiers. Now, I assume that it was intended to be a sham, with Rumsfeld hoping to answer questions along the lines of: "What is your best quality, your bravery or fortitude?" Wilson and the other soldiers shouldn't be blamed for taking the defense secretary at his word when he opened the floor for questions.
Patterson praised Rumsfeld's response, but composed one of his own that Rummy should have given:
Well, young man, you can thank former President Bill Clinton, who in 8 years in office, never saw the need to evolve the military from a Cold War force to one that would be fighting future wars, one that would emphasize urban fighting and move away from 'the linear battlefield' doctrine. You can thank him for reducing Army Divisions from 18 to 10, otherwise you probably wouldn't even be here. You can thank him and Secretary of Defense William Cohen for failing to program for these weapon systems back in 1997 and 1998, when they were developing and funding the Six-Year Defense Program (SYDP) under the DOD's Planning, Programming and Budgeting System (PPBS).

You see, soldier, we've never gone to war with the army we want. We were grossly undermanned and under-equipped entering World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Thanks to President Bush and a program called "Defense Priorities and Allocations System," we've increased the production of Humvees from 15 to 450 a month. We've spent $1.2 billion since August 2003 on armor and armored Humvees alone. (Numbers courtesy of and Soldier for We are adapting as we always have. You can be sure, soldier, that no Humvee heads north without "Level III" armored protection.

Where would we be without Bill Clinton? It is particularly egregious that he would have Rumsfeld denouncing Slick Willie for shrinking the size of the military. If Don Rumsfeld has a signiture issue, it is his desire to 'transform' the military in part by reducing the size of the military. He has repeatedly denied the need to increase the size of U.S. occupying force, which more honest conservatives have denounced. Patterson ignores the deliberate nature of the build up to the Iraq war, which was run on a schedule set by the Bush administration.
It can scarcely be said too often: the U.S. military is streched to the limit in Iraq with inadequate supplies because Rumsfeld and the Bush administration were unprepared for a long and costly war.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Poor, Stupid Soldiers!

Many on the right are outraged about the question that Specialist Thomas Wilson asked about the lack of adequate armor for vehicles headed to Iraq. Outraged that U.S. troops are being unnecessarily put at risk by poorly equipped vehicles? No, silly. Outraged that one of their heroes has been made to look foolish in public by a hick soldier. Outrage has caused them to embrace some pretty weak arguments in defense of their champion, Rumsfeld. Middle Tennessee blogger, Bill Hobbs complained because the media circus was arranged by an embedded Chattanooga reporter, Edward Lee Pitts, helped engineer the media circus. Hobbs says that Pitts violated a journalist's code of ethics by becoming involve in the story. I don't understand the rules involved well enough to know if he has a point, but it seems that Pitts helped to expose the truth instead of perpetrate fraud.
Rush Limbaugh also denounces the influence of Pitts on the story. It is interesting to note the low opinion that the Doper, er, Doctor of Democracy has for our troops. He talks as if the soldiers who cooperated with Pitts were too stupid to know what they were doing. "The soldier knew that he was prompted to ask these questions. The soldier knew that the sergeant at the microphone was pointed at him or cued to point to him by the reporter. The reporter stayed silent for two days and only admits this in an inter-office memo that somebody has leaked. The soldier takes all the accolades for this courage and bravery and standing up to Rumsfeld, which we know now wasn't the case. What we do know is that Rumsfeld wanted to hear from the soldiers, and he wanted to hear from the soldiers without interference from reporters or anyone else. A reporter facilitated the rules; the reporter created news, was an embed reporter. He created news in order to then cover it. If the soldier had asked the question without prompting, fine. I have no problem with the question. Rummy was willing to take all comers without pre-selection of questions. He wasn't trying to hide or duck, but the reporter's action was cheap theatrics. It wasn't Rumsfeld who chose which soldiers from which to take questions or from whom to take questions; it was the reporter who set this all up. The reporter plants the questions with the soldier, then goes to the sergeant at the microphone, points out the soldier to call on, soldier gets called on, asked the question, big hoots of applause erupt."
Either these soldiers are so dull that a reporter from an obscure newspaper can manipulate dozens of them into cooperating in his evil scheme to embarrass Don Rumsfeld, or the questions that they asked (or cheered upon hearing) resonated with them.
I assume that the latter is the case.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Hillbilly Armor

Specialist Thomas Wilson, of Tennessee's 278th National Guard unit, now in Kuwait, told the Secretary of Defense that his unit had been reduced to rummaging through landfills in order to get "hillbilly armor" for their vehicles headed to Iraq. According to the New York Times(registration) the Tennessee Volunteer was cheered when he asked, "Why don't we have those resources readily available to us?" The Soldier asks an excellent question.
Unfortunately for Rumsfeld, the truth is that the Bush administration was criminally unprepared for a lengthy occupation. If things had gone to plan, the U.S occupation would have ended, and Chalabi would be Iraq's new kleptocrat.
Rumsfeld's lame response was that they are getting new armor as fast as they can and that, "you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time;" which might have some validity if the Bush administration hadn't been planning to invade Iraq from the day it took office. They had two years to get ready for a lengthy war, instead they prepared for a cakewalk.
The president and the defense secretary rarely miss an opportunity to us the military a prop to demonstrate what tough guys they are. It is good to see a soldier, and a Tennessean at that, force Rumsfeld to squirm uncomfortably over the mess he is sending the National Guard to clean up.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Crying In Your Latte

A whiny blogger from the Evergreen State is upset that senator Kerry is giving $200,000 dollars from his presidential campaign to aid in a state-wide hand recount in Washington's gubnitorial election: "OK, this makes me so *&%%^& angry, I could spit. What is it, Kerry couldn't create a national constitutional crisis so he's having to make do with creating one for the state of Washington? The Dems probably couldn't raise the entry fee for the hand recount request without getting this.

I don't know if it's legal to give funds that were raised for presidential campaign costs for a state recount effort - but I know that it's certainly unethical. It isn't the purpose to which his donors made their contributions. Oh, that's right, he doesn't care: it's nuance you know."
What nonsense. Any ethical duty that Kerry owes is to his donors. I can't imagine that they would be upset at him using his remaining funds to help elect Democrats at other levels. It would be unethical if he bought a new car or took a Las Vegas vacation with it.
This guy is upset that because it might work. He should stop being such a big baby.

The Lament of the Aging Libber

What are fashionable boomer feminists fretting about these days? The rise of AIDS in women, which was the focus of yesterday's "World AIDS Day" commemorations? The mistreated female employees of Wal-Mart? Of course not. If New York Times columnist, Maureen Dowd(registraion) is a guide; the big concern is that Tom Brokow's anchor job at NBC is going to a dreaded "white male." Yecch!
Dowd, a catty columnist who delights in her own cleverness and has risen far above where her talents merits, whines that the networks don't even consider minorities or women and says, "We are in the era of vamping, self-doubting 'Desperate Housewives,' not strong, cutting 'Murphy Brown.' It's the season of prim 'stay in the background' Laura Bush, not assertive 'two for the price of one' Hillary." If I remember correctly, the "two for the price of one" presidency lasted for about ten minutes and the former first lady was able to launch a career in politics because she stopped trying to make policy and became a sympathetic figure due to her husband's cheatin' ways.
Dowd complains that "Feminism lasted for a nanosecond, but the backlash has lasted 30 years." I don't know about that. It lasted long enough to put Jessica Lynch and many other young women and mothers of young children in the Iraq war, along with other dubious achievements.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Blah, Blah, Blah

For about the millionth time, I have seen a commentator complain that the "liberal media" is accentuating the bad news out of Iraq. This Time it's Helle Dale in the Washington Times: "If you trust most media accounts fed to American viewers and readers, Iraq is an unmitigated disaster. There is no security throughout the country, and armed insurgents are springing up, sown like dragon's teeth by the offensive of the U.S. military forces. The scheduled elections are highly uncertain. Indeed, 100,000 Iraqis have been killed by U.S. forces. Iraqis have never had it so bad. It is a drumbeat with echoes of the way the American media reported the Vietnam War."
I watch ABC News, the News Hour on PBS and check the websites of the Times, Post, etc. and I haven't got that impression at all. Most reports I see focus on the Sunni areas of Iraq, with occasional flareups in other regions. I have seen reports about the Lancet story alleging that we have killed 100,000 Iraqis but it has hardly been taken as gospel by the media. She complains that the media isn't saying enough about good news such as debt cancellation and all of the soldiers and police we have trained in Iraq. I have seen stories about the debt cancellation, and while that demonstrates the diplomatic skill of the Bush andministration combined with the generosity/political calculations of Iraq's creditors, it says nothing about the situation in Iraq. She claims that we have trained 45,000 police and 48,000 soldiers and national guardsmen in Iraq. These numbers should be treated with extreme skepticsm. When 93,000 trained Iraqis make it possible to send 93,000 American soldiers and Marines home, that will be news.
Dale makes a telling statement when she says, "Admittedly the security situation is dire, but look at these figures. In October, the number of Iraqis killed was 775 from acts of war and murder; American troops suffered 63 casualties and 691 wounded. These are too high, but at a time of a major military offensive against insurgents, those numbers are not gigantic."
Who in the Bush administration or the punditocracy, when the war was being conjured up with scary stories about "mushroom clouds" and duct tape two years ago, was saying that Iraq would be an endless war? It was supposed to be a cakewalk. And how many times have we won? When a U.S. tank toppled the statue of saddam? When the president had his aircraft carrier photo-op? When Saddam was fished out of his spider hole?
The war keeps going and going with no end in sight. That's the real news from Iraq.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Jeff Davis He Ain't

A few years ago John Ashcroft gave an interview to Southern Partisan, posing as some sort of pro-states rights, Southern conservative. I guess it depends on which states are involved and what rights are at issue. His Justice Department is challenging the right of California and several other states to allow people with cancer, AIDS and other diseases, to use pot for medical purposes. On this issue, the Bush administration is in agreement with the Clinton administration. A few years back, the late Peter McWilliams wrote about having federal agents invade his home and business after he spoke out in favor of medical marijuana: "Most disturbing to the DEA, I would guess, was my strong criticism of it in a two-page ad I placed in the December 1, 1997, Daily Variety . I denounced Administrator Constantine's threat to criminally investigate the creators of Murphy Brown for Murphy's fictional use of medical marijuana. Having made comments such as, "The DEA gives the phrase 'ambulance chasing' a whole new meaning," I'm surprised it took the DEA 17 days to find my house -- but, then, they are part of the government."
McWilliams lost his battle with the feds and subsequently lost his life.
William Watkins looks at some of the constitutional issues, along with the suffering that the plaintiffs in the case now before the Supreme Court, have alleviated with pot: "Angel Raich suffers from paralysis, an inoperable brain tumor, seizures, chronic pain, life-threatening weight loss, and many other ailments. Diane Monson is afflicted with chronic back pain and muscle spasms caused by a degenerative disease of the spine."
If they lose the case, perhaps they will lose their lives as well. At least that will solve their problem, but I don't see how having the feds interfere in a state's decision to allow the sick and dying relieve their suffering qualifies as either compassionate or conservative.

What became of conservatives?

Paul Craig Roberts asks a good question.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Duck & Cover!

With 138,000 U.S. troops occupying Iraq, is now a good time to start saber-rattling and blustering at Iran? Apparently. Gen. Abizaid, head of the U.S. Central Command told interviewers via the USA Today, "Why the Iranians would want to move against us in an overt manner that would cause us to use our air or naval power against them would be beyond me." Don't forget all of those nukes and nifty missiles General! "We can generate more military power per square inch than anybody else on Earth, and everybody knows it . . . If you ever even contemplate our nuclear capability, it should give everybody the clear understanding that there is no power that can match the United States militarily."
Should we be concerned about stirring up the Shiite population (a mere 15 million or so) in Iraq after we have unloaded all those missiles on Shiite Iran? Apparently not.
Should we worry about the military being overstretched in the coming years? Posh! Fiddlesticks! According to the USA Today, Abizaid pointed to the U.S. victory in Fallujah with 10,000 troops. And Iran can't have more than three, four cities at the most. Right?
With the President safely reelected and that pansy, Colin Powell on his way out; It is time to get ready for a second Bush term. I'm building a fallout shelter.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Federal Breast Inspector

How does the U.S. protect its homeland security? By controlling immigration at home and minding our own business abroad? Don't be a fool!
We do it by feeling women up (registration required) at the airport as the New York Times reports: "Lu Chekowsky, an advertising executive from Portland, Ore., said her cosmetics case set off the alarm at the airport there a couple of months ago. Since then, she says, she has been patted down so many times that she has taken to wearing baggy trousers, flip-flops and a big sweatshirt to make the procedure less onerous.
'Routinely, my breasts are being cupped, my behind is being felt,' Ms. Chekowsky said. 'And I feel I can't fight it. If I were to say anything, I picture myself being shipped off to Guantánamo.'"

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Imagine That

Is it possible that Rolling Stone still exists? This self-important publication, just announced their choices for the top 500 Rock-and-Roll songs of all time. Don't they know that the only reason to look at their rag is when the cover resembles that of Maxim?
The top of the list shows how silly the whole enterprise is. "Like a Rolling Stone," at no. 1 is a great song, but I wouldn't even make it Bob Dylan's best; which I would probably give to "Tangled Up In Blue." At no. 3 is John Lennon's execrable, "Imagine." The list is obviously tilted towards the tastes of 60's generation types.
One also notes how often they seem to have picked songs that readers will recognize even if they don't have the album that they came on. That helps explain no. 1, as well as the appearance of the Rolling Stone's "Wild Horses," a Classic-Rock cliche from Sticky Fingers, but not "Dead Flowers, from the same album."
There are numerous other problems with the list. Glen Campbell makes the list twice, the infinitely superior Merle Haggard, not at all. Ac/DC, but not Little Feat.
No such list can satisfy every taste, but this one was obviously drawn up to cover all the bases. Most songs on the list are standard issue Rock. But the list includes a smattering Blues, Punk, Country, Rap, etc. It's kind of like one of those WWII films that includes a hillbilly from Tennessee, a Jewish kid, an Italian from Brooklyn and a fair-haired midwesterner.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Our Second Black President

After praising President Bush for having a "post-racial management style" in his relationship with Condi Rice, Andrew Sullivan makes a bizarre statement. "You know, Bill Clinton was celebrated for his progressiveness, and ease with African-Americans. But it's inconceivable that he would have given so much power and authority to a black female peer."
Clinton, in fact, never appointed a woman to run the State Department, and will never have the chance; but how does Sullivan know such a thing is "inconveivable?"

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Uncle Sam Wants You, forever .

I keep hearing that recruiting and retenion in the military is just fine, but the pentagon keeps calling up people who have been out for years. The New York Times (registration required) reports on several such cases, including that of Rick Howell: "'I consider myself a civilian,' said Rick Howell, a major from Tuscaloosa, Ala., who said he thought he had left the Army behind in 1997 after more than a decade flying helicopters. 'I've done my time. I've got a brand new baby and a wife, and I haven't touched the controls of an aircraft in seven years. I'm 47 years old. How could they be calling me? How could they even want me?'"
That's a good question Rick. He doesn't sound like somebody you would want to be flying missions in a combat zone, unless you were desparate.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Powell Resigns

With Colin Powell out of the way, the nuts are in complete charge of the asylum. The good news is the Powell is able to speak freely. The bad news will forthcoming invasions of Syria, Iran, France, etc.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Saving Private Oprah

Because of a stray boob at the Superbowl halftime program Americans are now assumed to be children. ABC is showing "Saving Private Ryan" tonight as a Veteran's Day tribute. Several affiliates, including Knoxville's WATE are not showing it because it might bring the FCC down upon them. Young Broadcasting, which owns the Knoxville station released a statement which I quote in part. "This has been a difficult and agonizing decision for us. However, we have a responsibility to operate in accord with the law, and until the FCC or the courts clarify what the broadcast legal standards are for programs of this type, we will continue to be confronted with these difficult choices." WATE is showing Oprah instead.
A few years ago, NBC showed "Schindler's List." Former House member, and now Senator-elect from Oklahoma, Tom Coburnsaid that the network sank "to an all-time low, with full frontal nudity, violence and profanity being shown in our homes;" and said that the tv ratings system "only encourages more sex and violence." Apparently this half-wit can't tell "Schindler's List" from Commando.
Advice: build your video libary, while you can.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Marine Father, Marine Son

In the November 22 issue of the American Conservative(not on line), former Marine Leon Knauer laments the disservice that the Bush administration is doing to his son, serving in Iraq. He is especially disturbed that the President has refused to seriously address the troop shortage in that country. "During the campaign, President Bush discounted our troop shortage and asserted that the Iraqi militia would soon replace our military . . . Neither candidate had the political courage to suggest reinstating the draft because that would run the risk of losing votes . . .few in our society are feeling any pain. Few are really participating in this war. If the draft is not a viable option, we are clearly not committed and should prepare for an orderly withdrawal."
I don't favor a draft, but Knauer has a point. The president, knowing all along that he was going to invade Iraq, didn't even call on patriotic volunteers to join up when his moral authority was so high in the aftermath of 9/11. So today; our military is stretching the reserves to the limit, calling up members of the Inactive Reserve, holding people in the service after their contract has expired and sending the mothers of young children into harms way in order to maintain troop levels in Iraq.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Limited Terms, Unlimited Offices

I was just looking at Robert Novak's introduction to former class of 94 Repubican Representative Tom Coburn's book, Breach of Trust. In it, Novak praises Coburn as a real "citizen legislator" who abided by his self-imposed three term limit and went back home. Coburn, of course, was just elected as a senator from Oklahoma last week. I guess he got tired of being just a citizen.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Reading Is Fundamental

Is basic literacy a requirement to publish a weblog, or be a fancy-pants law professor? Maybe not. Glenn Reynolds interperets the quote below from Daily Kos as "hoping for our "defeat in Iraq." But if you read the part emphasized, you see that Kos is assuming that defeat is a likely outcome of our policy, as opposed to a wish for such result.
For the last two years, people who have resorted to history instead of wishful thinking, have worried about the outcome of war in Iraq.
Of Course, it is possible that Reynolds didn't bother to read the original post at all, since he links to a post from Belgravia Dispatch which characterizes those who don't trust the Pollyannaish war talk from the Bush administration as "noxious, irresponsible, morally defunct, defeatist, lazy and indulgent."

"The big silver lining, and it's significant, is that Kerry won't be tarred for cleaning up Bush's mess. Had Kerry gotten us out of Iraq, he would've been blamed for "losing the war". Now Bush will ineptly lose it for himself. Kerry would've been forced to make sense of a mess of a budget. Now Bush will be responsible for his own half-trillion dollar deficits."--Daily Kos

Wilson & Bush

Jonah Goldberg is correct, Woodrow Wilson was a "terrible man," or at least a terrible president. Of course, what Goldberg fails to mention is that his political heir is George W. Bush.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Is It Safe?

The election is over, I think. It looks like Bush one this time, although when I checked National Review's "The Corner" early this morning, you would have never guessed, judging from the bitter and nasty comments coming from the likes of Mark Steyn:
"Edwards, who was a disastrous pick as V-P, was mega-lame in Copley Square. How can you trot out that "make every vote count" line - which is Democratic code for "lawsuits" - when Bush is ahead by four million votes and heading to break President Reagan's 1984 record as the most votes ever stacked up by any President? Didn't their man Michael Moore demand that both Kerry and Bush agree that whoever wins the "most votes" should become President? These guys have no class, and, while Andrew Sullivan was certainly gracious, his candidates are graceless to the end."

Geez, give the guys a chance to think things through. It was better for Kerry to wait a few hours, and make sure, before conceding, which is what he did, than to retract it a few hours later, like Al Gore in 2000. It gave them time to assess the situation, where Bush still had not gone over 270 votes, and it also gave his crazier supporters some time for the inevitable to sink in. But I wouldn't try to tell that to Hugh Hewitt, who went schoolmarm on Kerry. "Contrast that with Tom Daschle, Tony Knowles and Betty Castor, and of course John Kerry. No reasonable interpretation of the data in any of these races can give any of these candidates a win, but they are hanging on.
This is not the conduct of a great party, but it is also not surprising for the party of Michael Moore. What an example for the new democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq. . ." What was Kerry doing, passing notes in study hall?
Some Kerry supporters, who at least had the excuse of having backed the loser, were worse; as a couple of intemperate posts by South Knox Bubba shows. SKB espies a military draft and an epidemic of incest related pregnancies resulting from Bush's victory. I'll take a wait-and-see attitude on both concerns.
Bush is a disaster as president, but I see the bright side of his reelection. From here on out, Republicans and their media camp followers have no one to blame for anything. Need more troops in Iraq? Seniors revolt over the new drug benefit? Iran pointing nukes at us? What to do now Mr. President?

Monday, November 01, 2004

The Talking Heads

Something Bugs me about this quote from Jonah Goldberg: "That is how Europe will read it. That's how the United Nations will read it. That is how the New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and the entire chattering class will read it."
Can you guess what it is? Yes, that's right -- Jonah is himself a member of the Chattering Class. One might assume from his derision aimed at the haughty editors of The New York Review of Books that Mr. Goldberg spends his days rebuilding carburetors or plowing the south forty out in the Real America, instead of composing his syndicated columns before dashing off to appear on CNN. But one would be wrong.

Update: Paul Krugman(registration required), on the other hand, owns up to membership in said class: "Far from being discouraged by what happened in 2000, they seem to realize more than ever - and better than those of us in the chattering classes - what a precious thing the right to vote really is. And they are determined to exercise that right."

Subvert, Undermine, Destroy!

Last week, William Tucker called for Republicans to behave themselves should John Kerry win the election. The initial response from Spectator readers is not encouraging(scroll down).
My favorite quote: "If Kerry wins, I will do all that is humanly possible to subvert, undermine, malign and destroy his presidency. . ."

Sunday, October 31, 2004

The Final Outrage!

Apparanently the CBS News program, Sixty Minutes, was planning to run the missing explosives story during Sixty Minutes!

Friday, October 29, 2004

Blast From the Past

My article on how the Republican/Democrat divide in this country resembles team sports, from the July Liberty, is now available on the web. As fresh as ever.

Sign of Bush incompetence # 999,436

If this Washington Times report is true, the Bush administration is even more incompetent than I thought previously. According to the Times, satellite photos show trucks leading away from Iraq weapons sites in the days shortly before we invaded last year.
So, as the Bush administration was getting ready to invade Iraq to control its "weapons of mass destruction," it may have sat by and watched the Iraqis empty out their weapons sites by the truckload. If Saddam actually possessed the fabled "WMD," they would probably be in Osama bin Laden's hands right now.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Placing Blame

According to Hugh Hewitt, John Kerry is committing a vile smear against our boys in uniform by denouncing the President for losing the 380 tons of explosives: "JOHN KERRY now closes his presidential campaign exactly as he opened his political life: Attacking the United States military.
. . . This week he embraced an already discredited account of missing munitions to attack the reputation of the 3rd Infantry Division and the 101st Airborne. Make no mistake, that is exactly what Kerry is doing when he asserts that deadly weapons went unsecured and unreported as these two divisions rushed to liberate Baghdad."
Strangely, Hewitt failed to point out that Rudy Guiliani explicity blamed the troops on the Today show:"No matter how you try to blame it on the president, the actual responsibility for it really would be for the troops that were there. Did they search carefully enough - didn't they search carefully enough?"
Fortunately, Joshua Micah Marshall correctly places responsibility:"The president and his advisors insisted on a warplan that had far too few troops to secure even the key facilities in Iraq that were the reason for the invasion in the first place. Remember, many of the nuclear facilities were stripped bare too. This wasn't the fault of troops streaming through on their way to Baghdad, doing a quick check for chemical and biological weapons. The error was in the planning of the war itself -- planning that came from Rumsfeld's civilians and the White House over and against the advice of the generals."

One Death is a Tragedy, a Million Deaths Are a Statistic

Dick McDonald, who is apparantly new to the English language, sets out to debunk some anti-Bush arguments; and I must admit I find it difficult to argue with his logic.
One passage stands out: "Deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. Wow, we have conducted and won two wars and lost less than 300 soldiers in the hot portion of those wars. Apparently the hand-wringers are in a catatonic fit about it. Forget that we lost 58,000 in Vietnam, 50,000 in Korea and 300,000 in WWII. It goes to show that if the NYT has the immaterial and insignificant to blow into a worldwide controversy, they will lie, deceive and omit the issue to their anti-American end."
So these lives are nothing more than a statistic; a set of numbers on a page. The problem isn't just that U.S. troops are still dying (along with many more Iraqis and others), but that they are dying well over a year since we "won" a war to end a non-existent threat; a war in which wishful thinking substituted for serious planning.

Be Nice

William Tucker asks Republicans to be nice should George W. Bush lose next week. I won't be holding my breath.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Food For Thought

The Wander, a Catholic newspaper, gives pro-life voters something to chew on before casting their ballots--the effect of our use of depleted uranium on unborn Iraqi children: "They are newborn Iraqi babies, born without heads and limbs, sometimes they are blood red, sometimes black, sometimes covered in an unknown white film, sometimes with gaping holes in their torsos that expose their internal organs."

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

That's The Whole Point!

Matt Drudge notes an NBC News story that the 380 tons of explosives (registration) reported missing from Al Qaqaa ammo dump in Iraq was missing when U.S. troops arrived on April, 10 2003. Isn't that the whole point of the New York Times story from Monday?
The Bush administration had all sorts of intelligence about so-called "weapons of mass destruction." Colin Powell went to the UN to put on an elaborate display of grainy photographs of weapons facilities and artists' renderings of mobile biological-weapons labs; none of which was found.
In their zeal to find "WMD," couldn't the Bush administration paid a bit more attention to the whereabouts of these convential explosives; which UN inspectors inventoried in January, 2003 and may be reponsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans and thousands of Iraqis? Or am I missing something?

Monday, October 25, 2004

Voter Intimidation

Conservatives have done a lot of complaining about voter intimidation and the ugly tone of the presidential campaign. But they pretend that it all comes from the left's over-the-top hate for George Bush. Powerline blog has a post about vandalism directed against Bush signs and bumperstickers: "The most starkly sinister anti-Bush messages are the large 4-by-8 foot torched and blackened Bush/Cheney sign that still stands near Wolcott, and the two back-to-back signs with their centers sawed out, located in Avon off the I-70 exit overlooking Wal-Mart."
You would never get the impression from them that it works both ways. A Knoxville couple had it several Kerry signs piled up and blowtorched in their front yard.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Thoughts while standing around in Walgreens

The ongoing collapse of civilization manifests itself in a thousand small ways. I saw an example of it while trying to buy sinus medicine in Walgreens. Pseudoephedrine is an ingredient in the white trash drug, Crystal Meth; so stores find them selves under pressure to limit and control purchases of the drug. The Walgreens I was in had the drug visable on the shelf; in a locked, lucite container.
So cold and allergy sufferers are inconvenienced in order to protect rural dope-heads. Not the end of the world, just a tiny step in that direction.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Bush Deserves it!

Jack Neely explains why Bush "deserves" another four years:

"[I]s it fair, really, to leave this mess with another president? George W. Bush would go traipsing off to a comfortable retirement of golf and smirky lectures to adoring crowds. He can always insist things woulda turned out great.

Meanwhile, whoever's elected Nov. 2 stands a strong chance of being, by 2008, the most hated man in America.

He'll likely have to raise taxes to counter a nearly unmanageable deficit. He'll have to at least consider reviving the draft. He'll have to deal with the most dangerous foreign-policy mess since the days of Khrushchev.

When people think of Vietnam, they most often blame the guy who recognized it as a mistake. They blame Nixon, the guy who got us out of Vietnam, more than they blame Johnson, the guy who got us in. You almost want Bush to be stuck with this one.

If home-style justice were how we picked presidents, our motto would be,President Bush has made his bed, now he has to lie in it. Four more years!

Bush may well deserve four more years. But maybe punishing one man with four more years in an office for which he's so poorly suited should not be our main priority."

I believe we are in deep trouble either way, which is why I have decided that I marginally prefer to see Bush reelected--preferably in another controversy-laden squeeker that leaves a cloud hanging over his head.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Iran Supports Bush

Sure Kerry has the French and Germans, but Bush has the Iranians. From the Associated Press:
TEHRAN, Iran - "The head of Iran's security council said Tuesday that the re-election of President Bush was in Tehran's best interests, despite the administration's axis of evil label, accusations that Iran harbors al-Qaida terrorists and threats of sanctions over the country's nuclear ambitions. . ."
It should come as no surprise since the last time the Iranians had a chance to influence an American election, the helped to defeat Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Just Flip a Coin

The American Conservative has a special feature with endorsements of every presidential possibility, including not voting. The weakest is the endorsement of President Bush from Pat Buchanan. It is weak primarily because one must ignore the fact that Buchanan ran against Bush in the last election, and has strongly criticized the build up to the Iraq war for more than two years. I will ignore most of his positive statements about the president; except to note that a vote for Bush is a vote for higher taxes--implemented at some future date by a less dishonest politician.
However, Buchanan makes one very compelling argument:

"If Kerry wins, leading a party that detests this war, he will be forced to execute an early withdrawal. Should that bring about a debacle, neocons will indict Democrats for losing Iraq. The cakewalk crowd cannot be permitted to get out from under this disaster that easily. They steered Bush into this war and should be made to see it through to the end and to preside over the withdrawal or retreat. Only thus can they be held accountable. Only thus can this neo-Jacobin ideology be discredited in America's eyes. It is essential for the country and our cause that it be repudiated by the Republican Party formally and finally. The neocons must clean up the mess they have made, themselves, in full public view."

Buchanan is right about this. If Bush loses, the crowd that brought us the war is off the hook. It is for the best that they be forced to clean up the mess they made. They should have to decide how to maintain 130,000 troops in Iraq for the next four years; or how to increase troop strength if military commanders say it must be increased. They should have to suffer the conseqences if mutiny becomes a common occurrence.
This is intended as an endorsement of Bush--I early voted for one of the nut candidates--just my belief of what is best for the country

Sacre Bleu!

Is the typical American as witless as radio gasbag Hugh Hewitt thinks they are?:

"Kerry spoke French during a stump speech yesterday? KerrySpot has the audio. How clueless can Kerry be? Expect this clip to be played about a thousand times across America today."

Let's hope that it is only his readers and listeners who think that multilingualism is a bad thing.

Monday, October 18, 2004

K-LO Explains It All

National Review Online's editor, Kathryn Jean Lopez explains why the Cheneys are in a snit over John Kerry's reference to their daughter Mary, in the third presidential debate, but not concerned about Alan Keyes' statement that she is a "selfish hedonist" in a radio interview: "Are you serious? The Illinois Senate race is official GOP AWOL territory.
"Why would they give Keyes more publicity by responding? And even if everyone weren't just ignoring that race, you don't need a chart to explain the huge difference between a Senate candidate who has not chance of winning and the Democratic candidate for the presidency of the United States, currently in a tie-like race."
In other words, the Cheney's primary concern is for the Republican party. Hey, it wasn't me who said it.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

What Went Wrong?

Something occurred to me while reading Rich Lowry's lengthy article about problems in Iraq in the Oct. 25 National Review. Lowry notes an intelligence report suggesting a possible insurgency in a liberated Iraq, but notes that it "was not one of the report's key findings," and quotes an anonymous official stating that; "I don't recall anyone at State or the CIA talking about this kind of insurgency."
Did anyone actually need high level intelligence to know that the US would face a guerilla insurgency in a post-war Iraq? If I were to do the tedious research required, I could probably find dozens of articles on the web making just such a prediction. I will settle on the one that stuck in my mind. In the first issue of The American Conservative Pat Buchanan wrote:
"[T]errorist attacks in liberated Iraq seem as certain as in liberated Afghanistan. For a militant Islam that holds in thrall scores of millions of true believers will never accept George Bush dictating the destiny of the Islamic world.

With our MacArthur Regency in Baghdad, Pax Americana will reach apogee. But then the tide recedes, for the one endeavor at which Islamic peoples excel is expelling imperial powers by terror and guerrilla war. They drove the Brits out of Palestine and Aden, the French out of Algeria, the Russians out of Afghanistan, the Americans out of Somalia and Beirut, the Israelis out of Lebanon."
Buchanan was drawing upon his knowledge of recent history. An intelligence briefing wasn't necessary.

Baloney Mandate

Glenn Reynolds has been saying for a while that a Kerry victory based solely on Bush hatred would lead to a failed presidency "subject to Washington crosswinds and slave to his party's interest groups." Now he has linked to an article from The Economist that buttresses his point. But what Reynolds and The Economist aren't getting is that the Republicans have been bending over backwards to make this a Referendum on John Kerry. The president doesn't stand up in rallies and promise to invade Syria in his second term. He denounces his opponent.
The only mandates that the president will carry into his second term, should he get one, are negative. He will have a mandate to not "flip-flop," (though he certainly will) to not be a "Massachusetts Liberal"; and to not use the words "nuance" and "nuisance."
The quality of the president's second term accomplishments will have more to do with how the Republicans fare in the senate races.

Saturday, October 16, 2004


The Bill Hobbs post of a cartoon assuming that Senator Kerry thinks of the attack on the World Trade Center as a nuisance shows to me that Bush supporters are desparate. They need to twist every thing that Kerry says beyond recognition to spread the assumption that Kerry is a sniveling, UN and French subsurvient, weakling.
I have assumed in recent weeks that Bush is going to win a narrow victory. I still believe that, but his supporters are running scared.

My Kerry Presidency fantasy . . .

After a very close and controversial victory, the new president stands and begins giving his State of the Union speech in French; leaving hugh Hewitt, Stephen Green, the Cornerites and a mulititude of others to be committed to an insane bloggers asylum.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Sinking Conservative Flagship

National Review continues to show that it is no longer a serious publication. In the past several years it has taken to publishing fawning articles about the he-men in the Bush administration. A low point occurred in the December 31, 2001 issue which featured a cover caricture of Don Rumsfeld in a Betty Grable, come-hither pose, had an article in the inside by Jay Nordlinger that gushed about what a sexy hunk Rumsfeld is.
The October 25 issue of the magazine has an article by British historian Paul Johnson that rehearses the usual points about thee President's heroism. Johnson lauds Bush's "stoicism" and compares his plight to "the dark winter Washington jaced in 1777-78." Yeah. It's exactly like that.
The Bush-gushing is just an appetizer. The meat and potatoes consist of a series of peculiar attacks on John Kerry. One denounces the senator for falsely portraying himself of Irish origin. Minimal research casts doubt on this factoid, however. A quick Google search reveals that Kerry's grandfather changed his name to Kerry in 1902, and that the Senator told this to a reporter years ago.
From there on out, Johnson is like a drunk shooting arrows at hummingbirds while riding a merry-go-round: Kerry has married rich women. . . They Kerrys have many homes. . . Kerry is supported by George Soros. . . He is supported by "intellectuals--many of them with . . . records of supporting lost left-wing causes, from the Soviet empire . . . Mengistu in Ethiopia, Qaddafi in Lybia, Pol Pot in Cambodia . . ." No need, of course, to name anyone who replaced his Pol Pot button with a Kerry-Edwards. Johnson refers to "one left-wing columnist in Britain [who] . . . offered a large sum of money to anyone who would assasinate the president." Again, no need to name the columnist or the publication.
He closed by suggesting that radical Muslim extremists are "clamoring and praying for a Kerry victory." As I pointed out in a previous post there is evidence to the contrary. I think many terrorists and insurgents would cheer Bush's defeat in the same sense that the Iranian hostage takers enjoyed helping to defeat and humiliate Carter. There interests lie with the candidate most likely to continue to pour fuel on the fire in the Islamic world.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

One Year Later

It is not fair to record the thoughts of neoconservatives and see how they hold up over time. Fortunately the October 25 issue of the American Conservative does so any way:

Site Preparation Begins?
"A year from now, I'll be very surprised if there is not some grand square in Baghdad that is named after President Bush."--Richard Perle, AEI keynote speech Sept. 22, 2003

"At least six people were killed and 54 wounded Wednesday in a suicide car bomb attack which ripped through a busy shopping area in Baghdad."--Agence France Press Sept. 22, 2004

Exposing these people for the dangerous fools that they are would be a pure joy if so many innocent people didn't have to die in the process.

Gomer Pyle v. Sgt. Schultz

Blogger and radio windbag, Hugh Hewitt invited his fellow Bush worshippers to come up with metaphoric examples of what the 04 election is about. The examples range along the lines of bulldog v. poodle, John Wayne v. Jane Fonda, etc. However, his loyal listeners missed the more obvious choices such as frying pan v. fire, rock v. hardplace, devil v. deep blue sea.
I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Rock-Ribbed Republicans

James Bovard publishes some intelligent reponses to The Bush Betrayal.
The idiots who believe that Bovard is some sort of Clinton lover should read Feeling Your Pain.

Monday, October 11, 2004

The Real Superman

All due respect to the late Christopher Reeve, George Reeves is the real Superman.

Playing Army

The Leftcoaster mocks the Defense Secretary for wearing a suit and combat boots during his visit to Iraq. Rummy doesn't want anybody to forget that he is a tough guy, and wearing combat boots is cheap way to show it.
Paul Fussell refers to it as an "easy claim to courage" and mocks the late Gen. Patton for wearing a six-gun and shiny metal helmet during WWII, in Uniforms. We should be thankful, I suppose, that Rummy doesn't dress like that.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Promises, promises

National Review editor, Rich Lowry, praises President Bush for pointing out (probably accurately) that Senator Kerry can't keep his promises without raising taxes on the middle class. Of course, the president's policy is to run up a huge debt and leave it for less dishonest politicians to fix at some date in the future.

Terrorists for Kerry?

Charles Krauthammerwrites that the terrorists are eager to see President Bush defeated at the polls this November. "Of course the terrorists want Bush defeated. How can anyone pretend otherwise? Why are we collectively nervous about terrorism as the election approaches? Because, as everyone knows, there are terrorists out there who would dearly love to hit us before the election. Why? To affect it. What does that mean? Do they want to affect it randomly? Of course not. . . Their obvious objective is to drive from power those governments most deeply involved in the war against them. . . The point is not only to radically alter an enemy nation's foreign policy -- as in Spain -- but to deter any other government contemplating similar support for the American-led war on terror. . . An electoral repudiation of President Bush would be seen by the world as a repudiation of Bush's foreign policy, specifically his aggressive, pre-emptive and often unilateral prosecution of the war on terror, most especially Iraq. It would be a correct interpretation because John Kerry has made clear that he is fighting this election on precisely those grounds. . .It is perfectly true, as Bush critics constantly point out, that many millions around the world -- from Jacques Chirac to the Arab street -- dislike Bush and want to see him defeated. It is ridiculous to pretend that Osama, Zarqawi and the other barbarians are not among them."
It sounds plausible, but is it true? There is a contrary argument made by terrorists themselves. In the August 2, New Yorker, Lawrence Wright(not on the web) reported that Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades sent a message to a London Arabic newspaper claiming responsility for the terror attack in Spain and implied that they would disrupt future elections, except for one. "'We are very keen that Bush does not lose the upcoming elections,' the authors write. Bush's 'idiocy and religious fanaticism' are useful, the authors contend, for they stir the Islamic world to to action."
Recent American history gives an example of how terrorists might approach one of our elections. In 1980 Jimmy Carter was seen as a weakling, particularly against the terrorists holding Americans as hostages in Iran. His opponent, Ronald Reagan, was the very soul of resolute toughness (little did anyone know at the time just how irresoluteReagan would be in the face of the Iranians). If the hostage takers wanted to tilt the election to the weaker candidate, they could have given Carter a tremendous boost by releasing their captives sometime in Ocotober of that year. Instead they contiued to hold the hostages, until moments after the new president had taken the oath of office; heaping further humiliation on Carter.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

You Call That A Major Policy Address?

" Bush sold, and continues to sell, the war in Iraq as a major campaign in the global war on terrorism, yet he repeatedly passed up the chance to neutralize or kill one of the most dangerous terrorists (Zarqawi has spent much of his time lately chopping off the heads of foreign contractors) for fear of weakening the case for war."--Fred Kaplan

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Srdja Trifkovic on Afghan "democracy"

"In some provinces more people are registered to vote than are known to live there. In a country that issues neither birth certificates nor identity cards there will be a bare handful of international poll observers. Most of the poll monitoring will be entrusted to local police--many of whom are either former Taliban, or members of the militias fielded by warlords, or both."
Stop trying to pronounce his name and read the article.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Drive-by Dems?

Pro-gun Democrats shoot up Knoxville's Bush-Cheney headquarters.