Saturday, October 30, 2004

Parody of Kerry on abortion

On a very intriguing blog, Philosophia Perennis, I found the most fantastic parody of John Kerry's abortion logic (which I have previously blogged on here). Given that he considers life to have started at conception, this is the natural extension of his logic to justify abortion:

"I am personally opposed to killing abortionists. However, inasmuch as my personal opposition to this practice is rooted in sectarian (Catholic) religious belief in the sanctity of human life, I am unwilling to impose it on others who may, as a matter of conscience, take a different view. Of course, I am entirely in favor of policies aimed at removing the root causes of violence against abortionists. Indeed, I would go as far as supporting mandatory one-week waiting periods, and even non-judgmental counseling, for people who are contemplating the choice of killing an abortionist. I believe in policies that reduce the urgent need some people feel to kill abortionists while, at the same time, respecting the rights of conscience of my fellow citizens who believe that the killing of abortionists is sometimes a tragic necessity; not a good, but a lesser evil. In short, I am moderately 'pro-choice.'"

Stick 'dat in yo pipe and smoke it, Mr. Kerry!

But seriously, I recommend reading the highly edifying dialogue that ensues. These guys are bright ones (and they even discuss Derrida and deconstruction for you, Karl, although in an unrelated post).

Al Gore has a legacy...

Even though he was never elected President, Al Gore has had a massive impact on election politics. From Joseph Perkins at the San Diego Union Tribune, comes an editorial discussing just how much Gore's legacy of litigation may be harming our democratic process:

Richard Nixon would have captured the 1960 presidential election but for five states he lost by 5,000 votes or fewer – Missouri, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico and Hawaii.

Gerald Ford would have retained the presidency in 1976 but for two states he lost by no more than 5,600 votes – Ohio and Hawaii.

Though the 1960 and 1976 elections were close, though they turned on a few thousand votes in a handful of states, the outcomes were faithfully accepted by the American people, by Republicans and Democrats alike.

That's because neither Nixon or Ford demanded that the votes be recounted in the states in which they lost by narrow margins. And neither Nixon or Ford insisted they were denied election because of voting irregularities in some state or another.

Then there was the 2000 election.

George W. Bush and Al Gore went to bed on election night uncertain whether they had won or lost.

Later, when all of Florida's voting precincts had reported their tallies, Bush had eked out victory in the Sunshine State, pushing him over the top in the Electoral College.

But Gore refused to accept that he lost Florida, that he lost the presidency, by so small a margin. He refused to put the national interest before his own selfish interest.

He dispatched his lawyers to the Sunshine State to contest the election. And his lawyers used every legal maneuver in their arsenal to overturn Gore's defeat – challenging the manner in which Florida conducted its balloting, claiming that certain voter blocs were disenfranchised.

The result is that a portion of the populace refuses to this day to accept the outcome of the 2000 election (despite a post-election ballot review by a consortium of media organizations that concluded, unequivocally, that Bush won Florida no matter how the votes were counted or recounted).

It is because of the Gore precedent, because he tried to win the 2000 election in the courts after losing at the ballot box, that this nation remains so bitterly divided between Republicans and Democrats.

And the nation is likely to remain bitterly divided following this year's presidential election. Because John Kerry is already gearing up to contest the outcome of the election even before voters go to the polls on Election Day.

In fact, lawyers for the Democrats already have filed some 35 lawsuits in some 17 states. And if Kerry goes down to defeat on Election Day, there almost certainly will be an avalanche of lawsuits claiming that the Democrat somehow was cheated out of the presidency.

Of course, Kerry and his fellow Democrats profess that their lawsuits are motivated only by the noble desire to defend every American's constitutional right to vote. They maintain that they simply want to ensure that every vote cast in this year's election is properly counted.
But the reality is that the rash of election-related litigation precipitated by Kerry and the Democrats is doing lasting, perhaps irreparable, damage to the democratic process in this country.


Indeed, Doug Lewis, executive director of the Election Center, a nonprofit organization, told the Associated Press this week that all the legal wrangling is "disastrous for fundamental faith in the system" by which presidents have been elected since this nation's founding.

"Pretty soon," he said, "You get people saying, 'Shoot, then why bother to vote?' There has been such a concerted effort to beat up on the system itself that people need to step back and understand that if you destroy the very process by which your candidate gets elected, then what have you gained?"

I think it is time for a moment of grace in this year's presidential election.

John Kerry and George W. Bush ought to take a few minutes out of their schedule to have a heart to heart chat, much as Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy had six days after the 1960 presidential election.

The Democrat and Republican should agree to accept the outcome of this year's presidential election, no matter how close, no matter which of the two candidates comes out on top. They also should forswear any post-election lawsuits. And they should urge their supporters to do the same.

If Kerry and Bush were to evince such statesmanship, they not only would do much to restore faith in the American electoral system, they also would do much to promote civility between all but the most rabid Democrats and Republicans.

That would be a great service to this country.

UPDATE: Apparently I had misinterpreted this article a bit, so allow me to state my personal position on Gore's legacy. Gore's legacy is one of opening the door for partisan litigation of election results. The way he sued was wrong. He sued only to count a specific type of misvote in only four counties, terms he believed favored him. This deviation from merely trying to ensure all votes are counted has tainted the public's view of what such electoral litigation should be. Further lawsuits could be disastrous for our democratic process, because many will assume that it is going to be a hopelessly biased recount. If Gore had gone about it the right way, there would be no such suspicion now, and representative democracy as we know it would have remained relatively worry free.

Osama rears his ugly head

So… is anyone else as creeped out as I am that Osama’s tape parrots several standard Democratic talking points? (I mention a few, look around the blogosphere for more)

It never occurred to us that the commander in chief of the American forces would leave 50,000 citizens in the two towers to face those horrors alone at a time when they most needed him because he thought listening to a child discussing her goat and its ramming was more important than the planes and their ramming of the skyscrapers. This gave us three times the time needed to carry out the operations, thanks be to God. . . He [Bush] adopted despotism and the crushing of freedoms from Arab rulers and called it the Patriot Act under the guise of combating terrorism.

What was he supposed to do? Flee the room quickly and scare the crap out of the little kids? What would leaving early accomplish? This all sounds so familiar… Farenheit 9/11, perhaps?

Other quotes:

Security is an important foundation of human life, and free people do not squander their security, contrary to Bush's claims that we hate freedom. Let him tell us why we did not attack Sweden, for example.

Um… can you say red herring? The USA is obviously the most powerful symbol of freedom in the world, so this argument is retarded. Attacking America had 100 times the effect on the world attacking Sweden would have.

We fight you because we are free and because we want freedom for our nation.

How does attacking us help you gain your freedom? Attacking innocent civilians in the most powerful country on the planet may win you friends in Europe and the Middle East, but I doubt that it affects your freedom too much. Which nation is that specifically? If you tell us, then we can come liberate your country for you, since apparently you're too damn cowardly to do it yourself, and believe that dropping two towers on thousands of innocent people is a better use of your time and resources.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Wisconsin voting fraud?

This looks like a recipe for voting fraud if I've ever seen one...

Susan Tully, the Midwest field director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), says she became concerned about possible voter fraud in the Badger State when an admitted illegal alien suddenly was named a deputy registrar of voters in Racine, Wisconsin. Tully says a year earlier, the woman's picture appeared on the front page of a local newspaper showing her protesting and complaining that she had been fired from her job -- and admitting she was an illegal alien. Things apparently changed over the ensuing months.

"In July, here she was on the front page of the same local newspaper, saying she's a deputy registrar of voters. How could an illegal alien go from [that] status...to a deputy registrar of voters in less than a year?" Tully wonders.

"At no time was she asked to show identification; at no time was she asked for her Social Security number; and at no time was she asked if she was a citizen of the United States," she says. "I have a real fear, based on my knowledge now, that this election will be decided by foreign nationals and illegal aliens."

And Tully did not stop there. Suspecting voter fraud, FAIR sent two activists from another state to the office of the former illegal alien who is not only a deputy registrar of voters in Racine but also the leader of a Hispanic organization. Tully gave the activists specific instructions.

"I wanted them to specifically tell this person they were illegal aliens, but that they wanted to register to vote -- and she registered them both," she says. The two activists received a similar response at the Milwaukee office of the Hispanic group. "This time one of the men in the office at least said it's a felony to register someone who's not a citizen to vote -- but the office manager went ahead and registered them."

Media Distortions

In this piece, entitled The Ten Worst Media Distortions of Campaign 2004, you get a good roundup of a lot of the bias that's been happening in the media this election cycle. A couple of these are overblown, but for the most part they're pretty accurate. Can you guess what #1 is, Mr. Rather?

Monday, October 25, 2004

Kerry who? UN security council denies meeting him

On the front page of the Washington Times today ran the following headline:

Security Council members deny meeting Kerry

That's right. The meeting he mentioned in the second debate where he "went to meet with the members of the Security Council in the week before we voted. I went to New York. I talked to all of them, to find out how serious they were about really holding Saddam Hussein accountable," and he met "with the entire Security Council, and we spent a couple of hours talking about what they saw as the path to a united front in order to be able to deal with Saddam Hussein." It never happened.

What really did:
After conversations with ambassadors from five members of the Security Council in 2002 and calls to all the missions of the countries then on the panel, The Times was only able to confirm directly that Mr. Kerry had met with representatives of France, Singapore and Cameroon.

As the Times notes:
The revelation that Mr. Kerry never met with the entire U.N. Security Council could be problematic for the Massachusetts senator, as it clashes with one of his central foreign-policy campaign themes — honesty. Mr. Kerry closed the final debate by recounting what his mother told him from her hospital bed, "Remember: integrity, integrity, integrity." In an interview published in the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Mr. Kerry was asked what he would want people to remember about his presidency. He responded, "That it always told the truth to the American people."

The same truth that you were in Cambodia for Christmas in 1968. The same truth that was "seared - seared" into your memory during Senate testimony. These events prove one very scary thing about Senator Kerry: he apparently has no problem lying, even about things like meeting with UN Security Council members. If he has no problem lying about something this easily disprovable, what's next?

Forked tongue strikes again

Apparently Kerry's come up with the genius position that our "coalition of the bribed" hasn't been bribed enough. Cherenkoff quotes a Polish-American newspaper's interview:

Kerry: "America must give its allies a stake in stabilizing Iraq. The best way to achieve that is through binding their interests with the peaceful future of that country. On the economic front this will mean granting true and tried friends - like Poland - a share in the multi-billion dollar reconstruction contracts, in a share proportional to Poland's contribution to the Coalition. I assure you that just as Poland was treated as an equal with other members of the Coalition, so she will be an equal partner in the task of rebuilding Iraq."

"Poland is playing a significant role in the Coalition and I fully appreciate the contribution of Polish units in Iraq... Poland showed courage when she joined American and allied forces in Iraq. My countrymen are grateful for that and I myself will also never forget that."

So... apparently Kerry thinks we payed off Poland and it's bad: "coalition of the coerced and the bribed." But now we're supposed to pay them off with contracts, and it's good. "Poland is playing a significant role," but wasn't earlier, when they were merely "window dressing" and weren't a "real coalition."

How does this come even close to a coherent set of statements? I think flipper's back up to his old tricks...

Political Poseur

In an interesting article entitled "Political Poseur," Richard Rushfield performs a little experiment. He wandered through hardcore Bush country in Kerry-Edwards 04 gear, and through Kerry country in Bush-Cheney 04 getup. He then proceeded to write about the type of reactions he recieved.

The idea was not to see how people would deal with overt opposition but how the mere existence of a political opponent would be tolerated. And so, campaign logo on my chest, and no small amount of mortal terror in my heart, I sallied forth to see if political freedom would pass the T-shirt test in our two Americas, Red and Blue.

His worst experience as a "Democrat" in Red country was a man who:

fixates on my shirt and begins to follow me, seemingly mesmerized by the power of my Kerry-Edwards logo. I look back and see him trailing behind me, mouth agape, his eyes glued to my back. Whether the shirt identifies me as his leader or whether it is his Manchurian Candidate-like signal to kill, I can't tell. I duck into the mall's Starbucks and the spell seems to break; he turns and wanders away.

What happened to the "Republican" in Blue country? Well, let's just say it's a bit more overt and awkward. Read it to find out.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Anti Bush ballots?

WTF? You thought the florida ballots from 2000 were bad? Look at this! To vote for Kerry, you punch the box next to his arrow, box #6. To vote for Bush, you DO NOT punch the box net to his arrow, box #14, but one way at the top of the ballot, box #4. Now that is a terrible ballot. What makes this so terrible is that Kerry voters have it incredibly easy, while Bush voters have a high likelyhood of being confused. If the ballot's going to be FUBAR, make it screwy for all the candidates, not just the ones you hate!

Do we still need an Electoral College?

After last year's situation where Gore won the popular vote but Bush the Presidency, and with this year looking like it just may happen the other way around (Bush wins popular vote, Kerry President) the question many people are asking is: Do we need the Electoral College?

To answer that comes a blogger I recently stumbled across, over at Let's Try Freedom. In an ongoing series of posts he argues that yes, we do need it, and here's why:


Reason The First: Because Otherwise We'd Have Another Civil War

If the voting was done on a direct popular basis, the rural areas of the United States would have no effective voice. There would be no political point in them remaining in the Union, and they would secede again (and with considerably more justification this time); the cities wouldn't be able or willing to let them go. To avoid just that kind of sectionalism, secession, and war, the Founders (angel choir) decided to compromise with a system that gives major populaton centers a large voice, but not an overwhelming one.


Reason The Second: It Requires Candidates To Make Their Pitch To Large Parts Of The Country

The EC forces candidates to craft policies that appeal to large sections of the country, not just to one or two cities. It also forces them to visit large sections of the country. If we had a popular vote system, candidates would quite logically spend all of their time in NY, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, LA, and Seattle.

Even if a state doesn't have many electoral votes, the candidate generally tries to hit it at least once, because if his opponent wins, she gets a small but meaningful boost. In a popular contest, no such incentive applies. You don't really care that your opponent got 90,000 votes in Rhode Island and you only got 80,000; you will make that up with one photo op in Greenwich Village. The electoral system makes that 10,000 vote margin worth 3 EC votes, and you can't really afford to just blow off any particular state. It's better to forget about running up the score in NYC and start bolstering your support in other parts of the nation.


Reason The Third: It Reduces The Incentive To Commit Vote Fraud

Many areas of the country are solidly in one political camp or another. Texas is not in play this year. Everyone knows what Massachusetts is going to do.

When a place has one highly dominant party, that party naturally controls all of the voting machinery. All of the voting judges are of that party; all of the ministerial jobs at the state level are held by people who are members of the party. This makes voter fraud a lot easier than in a scenario where there the area is hotly contested, and people of both parties are in positions of authority.


Under a popular vote system, there would be a strong incentive for such one-party areas to run up the vote count through fraudulent means. It's easy to get away with, and there's a return on the "investment" - all those lovely additional votes.

The Electoral College serves to check this tendency. Once a state is in the bag for Candidate X, Candidate X's partisans in the electoral machinery have no incentive to try and run up the count. They can settle for their honest victory and not feel any pressure (from the national parties, for example) to come up with more votes somehow.


Reason The Fourth: It Enhances The Power Of Minorities

The Electoral College enhances the voice of minority interests in the selection of the President. It isn't just racial minorities - currently the main beneficiaries of this effect are Southern blacks, Mormons, and the we-like-whores-and-poker libertarians in Nevada. The geographical nature of this enhancement also means that members of a minority group have to take it pretty seriously in order to get the benefit; if the Mormons decide tomorrow that they don't need to live in a special area and exodus all over the country, poof, there goes their political influence.

It is very easy to formulate a system that protects the influence of minorities, but such systems have the danger of leading to serious factionalism and infighting, as in the proportional-representation nightmares of many European governments. The electoral system provides a voice for these often-disenfranchised groups, while the geographical restriction ensures that the system does not degenerate into a hundred warring factions.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Watch as John O'Neill gets shouted down again!

Honestly! What is it with these people and never letting the Swiftboat vets talk? Watch here as an MSNBC analyst tries to refute charges by screaming down the other guy. Jesus... "Liar Liar" is not a refutation, it just make you look like an idiot.

Real band of brothers

Heh... Here's Kerry's real band of brothers.

Another rash of anti-Republican violence...

In the last few days alone, the party of tolerance and diversity (I don't believe it either) has been doing some thuggery in these places:

1) Portland, Oregon:

Someone smashed the windows of the Multnomah County Republican office in Southeast Portland on Thursday, perhaps the latest sign some Oregonians have tossed out civility in their zeal to put their man in the White House.

Oh, and of course it would be too much for the Democrats to actually condemn it:

"But the fact is that the reason the Republican Party is feigning righteous indignation is because they don't want to talk about the 30,000 jobs lost and the 180,000 Oregonians who have lost health care," said Neel Pender, executive director of the state Democratic Party.

Since when is protesting vandalism "feigning righteous indignation?"

2) Flagstaff, Arizona:

Political motivations turned criminal Thursday night or early Friday when vandals smashed a large glass door with a section of cinder block at the Republican Party headquarters in downtown Flagstaff.

A pile of shattered glass joined egg shells filling the entryway to the GOP offices, located on Humphreys Street across from Wheeler Park. Fliers with information criticizing President Bush were staked up outside the door.

But all of this pales in comparison to the following:

3) Florida:

One woman who voted early in Boca Raton, at the Southwest County Regional Library, complained that as she stood in line, two men behind her were "trashing our president," Fletcher said, declining to identify the woman. She tried to ignore them. Then the man touched her arm and said, "Who are you voting for?"

"I said, `I don't think that's an appropriate question,'" the woman said she responded.

"Uh oh! We have a Bush supporter here," screamed the man behind her.

For the 2 1/2 hours she had to wait in line, she was heckled by the man. As they neared the voting room, someone in the rear of the line yelled, "I sure hope everyone here is voting for Kerry!" she reported.

That's when the man behind her held his hand over her head and screamed, "We have a Republican right here!" There were "boos and jeers" from the crowd.

"I felt intimidated, harassed and threatened!" the woman wrote in her complaint to the Republican Party.

Elaine Fandino complained to the Republican Party that she took her mother to vote on South Military Trail in Palm Beach County and was confronted by 25 people supporting John Kerry for president. The crowd was "very angry and used foul language," she reported. She said the man next to her said, "Where's my shotgun?"

In Broward County, at the regional library in Pembroke Pines, a voter complained that Kerry supporters used abusive language about President Bush and had signs and banners within 50 feet of the entrance.

Kerry supporters were "shoving anti-Bush propaganda at us," complained the voter, who said he shouted back "Vote President Bush!"

A woman who voted in Plantation at the West Regional Courthouse said she was offended to see five or six people with "huge stick on badges" for Kerry/Edwards, standing near the voting machines.

"Never in all the years of voting do we remember being allowed to show a badge or poster or literature while inside the area where the voters are standing ready to cast their vote," she wrote.

Juan D'Arce of Miami complained to the Republicans that he tried early voting in downtown Miami. He was wearing a Bush pin, but he couldn't stand the taunting, so he turned away and did not vote.

Howard Sherman complained about his voting experience at North Shore Branch Library in Miami-Dade County. He found a crowd of Kerry supporters blocking the door.

"They were positioned directly in front of the entrance to the library in such a manner that it would be impossible to avoid them while entering the polling place," he reported.

Sherman said he tried to slip through the thinnest part of the crowd, but a woman in a Kerry T-shirt grabbed his arm and asked if he was voting for Kerry.

"I seem to recall from civics class that this sort of electioneering is illegal," Sherman complained...

I can think of little more dangerous to the future of democracy than the intimidation of voters at the polls, by partisans of any stripe. Let us hope that the Democratic Party has the sense to condemn this before it gets out of hand. Even if they do, though, it probably won't stop...


The Guardian calls for Bush's assasination?!?!?!

As many bloggers know, The Guardian is one of the UK's most liberal newspapers, which frequently trie stupid stunts to affect american politics, the most recent being a letter writing campaign to undeclared voters in Ohio. But here they stoop to a new low, as an editorial by an idiot by the name of Charlie Brooker calls for the assasination of President Bush:

On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?

Is it just me, or is this a little scary? Beyond the offensiveness of the suggestion that I'm not civilized if I hope for a Bush victory, I can't believe that this asshole's suggesting that if the election doesn't turn out the way he wants it to, the legtimate winner should be murdered! What is the world coming to? And the liberals wonder why world opinion isn't high on our priority list...

Friday, October 22, 2004

Never forget the sacrifices

This is a post from SunnyBlog, reproduced in its entirety. I believe it speaks for itself:

With our focus on the election, it is too easy to forget the sacrifice being made every day so that we might have the freedom to engage in open politics. Following from our friends at Marine Corps Moms is a later from a commanding officer to a lost Marine's home base:


It is with the deepest sadness and most profound grief that I must report to you the loss of Daniel Wyatt, LCpl, Fox Co, 2nd Bn, 24th Marines, USMC.


Daniel was killed in the line of duty, while conducting foot patrolling operations in Yusufiyah Iraq. Daniel was killed by a command detonated improvised explosive device. He died instantly, suffered no pain and was immediately recovered by his fellow Marines.

My command security element and myself personally recovered Daniel's body and escorted him back to the forward operating base, and then onto the helicopter for the beginning of his final ride home. I cannot even begin to express to you the soul touching sight of combat hardened Marines, encrusted with weeks of sweat and dust, who have daily been engaged in combat, coming to complete and utter solemnity and respect in the handling of the body of one of their own. It puts on display a level of brotherly love you just cannot see anywhere else.

We conducted a memorial service for Daniel in the battle space owned by his fellow Marines, as well as one the following day at the Bn forward operating base. I have spoken with his fiancee and expressed the sorrow and sympathy of the entire Battalion.

If I might for a moment, I hear and see some of the media coverage. I hear the accusations and charges. I hear what could almost be labelled as hysteria over the situation in Iraq. Let me tell you something from ground level. The town of Yusufiyah that Daniel and his fellow Marines seized, had not seen government structure or security forces for over 8 months. FOREIGN FIGHTERS, TERRORIST AND THUGS have had free reign and have routinely murdered people in the market for no reason other than one day they MIGHT support a democratic process and speak for themselves. For nothing more than they MIGHT choose a version of religion even slightly different than the terrorists and foreign fighters. They live in squalor and fear. The Marines of Daniel's unit have not had a shower since seizing the town. They have eaten MREs day on stay on. They live a Spartan existence that few can imagine. And, on all my trips to their position for planning, coordination and command visits, I ask them if they want to be relieved. To a man, they look me in the eye and tell me NO WAY. Why? Well, I am not going to soften it for anyone, the primary reason why is to kill terrorists. Please remember, that is what they are trained and paid to do. But, they also tell me, they want to help the people of Yusufiyah. They want to show all of Iraq that they can stand on their own feet, push back against extremism, and with our help live the life of freedom that all men yearn for. Yes, from the mouths of these young and hardened warriors, this is what they tell me. And then...and then...they ask me how I am doing! Unfreakingbeliveable! They worry about everyone else but themselves.


So believe what you want. That is your right as Americans. But I am telling you, there are no heroes on any football fields, basketball courts or halls of government. Their are honorable and decent people all over America. However, the heroes are on the battlefields of Iraq. Suffering, killing and DYING that others might live, and live in FREEDOM. Americans free from terror, Iraqis free from opression and tyranny.


I am an under-educated gun toter from Indiana who is just lucky there is an organization like the USMC where a half-wit like myself with some rudimentary combat skills can succeed. But I do know heroes! I am surrounded by over a thousand of them. And I am not the least bit ashamed to tell you I have wept like a baby for Daniel Wyatt. Because when one of these heroes falls, it is if an Angel of God himself has fallen from heaven!


I will not profess glory of battle or any other such hype. I will profess duty and sacrifice. Daniel showed us all true duty and ultimate sacrifice. I have no doubt that the instant he died, he was whisked to heaven on the wings of Angels and placed before the unapproachable light of Jesus, who himself said: "greater love hath no man, than a man lay down his life for his friends."


GOD BLESS AND KEEP DANIEL WYATT, HIS FAMILY AND FIANCEE AND GOD BLESS AND KEEP ALL THE FAMILIES OF 2/24.

Yours in profound sadness

Mark A. Smith, LtColTF 2/24 CmdrMahmudiyah, Iraq


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Islamofascism in action

Wow... This guy is off his rocker. The Secratary General of the Egyptian Labor Party rants and raves on television:

"As for the hostages you spoke of, they are not hostages, sir, but prisoners. According to Islamic law, hostages can be redeemed, set free, or killed. When you are weak - you kill. The prisoners in Iraq, sir – 99% of the cases are proper, according to Islamic law. All those who were killed were agents and partners of the occupation. 75% of the hostages were released in exchange for political gains.

"So how come some voices in the Islamic movement and official clerics tell us that killing prisoners is un-Islamic? No, both the Koran and the Prophet's biography permit the killing of prisoners. This exists in our Islamic law and in the laws of all nations.

“We are the weak ones. They make demands on us that don’t exist in international law. There must be reciprocity. If your city is being bombed... Those who bomb Fallujah cannot prevent me from bombing Los Angeles. Why Fallujah? Why do we always feel inferior to them? What is the meaning of this inferiority complex? If we had missiles we should have bombed Los Angeles or any other city until they stopped bombing Fallujah, Samarra, and Ramadi.

“Sir, why do the government clerics ignore the killing of the prisoners during the time of the Prophet? 600-700 prisoners were killed in the raid on the Qurayza tribe.

“Why do they conceal this? Why do they hide the fact that the Prophet gave the order to assassinate some poets — to assassinate! Not in military operations, but rather by individual assassination.

“Why did he order the assassination of K’ab Ibn Ashraf, the Jew, leader of Khaybar ? And then he ordered the assassination of the leader who successive him. As a result, the Jews became fearful and terrified.”

That's right, this politician is attempting to use Islamic law to justify beheading hostages, making terrorist attacks on LA, and assasination.

Watch the video here; you really need to see this.
Hat tip: Little Green Footballs

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Terrorists are NOT freedom fighters

I don’t like to drag my school into a blog based on national politics, but I can’t let this one go. In the last issue of our school’s newspaper, The Torch, there was an editorial by a young man by the name of Jon Kirsch arguing that "the highly charged, pejorative term “terrorist” is one of the most destructive forces in American culture today." He goes on to argue:

Once upon a time, a group of people within a country decided that they wanted to start their own country. They had legitimate grievances for starting their own country, but despite all of that, the country they wanted to leave refused to let them go. A big war ensued. In the year 2004, can you guess what we would call that group of people trying to leave and start their own country for legitimate reasons? We call them terrorists. In the year 1776, do you know what people called them? Freedom fighters and patriots. Americans who fought the British using vicious guerrilla tactics in South Carolina are freedom fighters. Yet the Chechen rebels fighting the Russians are somehow terrorists.

I cannot tell you how insulted I am to have my American history so shamefully compared to current terrorism. Allow me to define terrorism for you: the calculated use of violence (or threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature. And allow me to point out the key word for you: civilians. Why are the Chechen rebels terrorists? Hmmm... maybe because they took an entire school of children hostage in Beslan? And then shot the children in the back when they tried to escape. They shot children. That makes them terrorists.

He goes on to say that since the Soviet Union persecuted them so much (it did) they were justified in the attempt to create their own country (they were). The problem is not that they want their own country. This is merely a red herring thrown out to distract us from what makes terrorism terrorism. Terrorism is related to motives and methods. The insurgents from Chechnya are terrorists because of incidents like the Beslan massacre, not because they have the gall to secede.

The kicker, though, is here:

Even after the terrible hostage situation at the Russian school in Beslan, we would be better human beings by not condemning the Chechens who perpetrated the attack. It was a tragedy that children died. It was a tragedy that, historically, Algerians bombed French cafés and killed women and children. Most Americans would like to lie to themselves and assert that if they were Algerian or Chechen, they would have acted differently... I don’t know which is worse, the misguided person who kills a child to strive to make his own children free, or the ignorant American who condemns those who strive for freedom while ignoring the considerable transgressions of those who have reduced human beings to horrifying exigencies.

I hate to break it to him, but I would have acted differently. The fact that the children died is indeed tragic. But by leaving it there, he is attempting to absolve the terrorists of all responsibility for their actions. No one forced them to kill children and other civilians to voice thei legitimate greivances. Now tell me, which of these is worse:

1) Killing children, however misguided
2) Being an ignorant American

The fact that he is not sure is the worst case of moral bankruptcy I have ever seen. Jon Kirsch, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Lampoon away!

Oh my God... The best lampooning of Michael Moore I've ever seen in my life: Fellowship 9/11 (from iFilm.com). The story of The Lord of the Rings as documented by Michael Moore. The peace loving people of oil rich Mordor is invaded by the men, elves, dwarves, and hobbits, as directed by the elitist "Fellowship of the Ring." I Moore didn't already look like an idiot... (and a bastard)

Thursday, October 14, 2004

What it means to be "against gay marriage"

Ace has an interesting post on what the ramifications of opposing gay marriage are. I'll give you a hint: meaningful oppsition includes supporting a constitutional amendment.

Halliburton: not evil

The facts on Halliburton. Not an evil empire or a government cronie:

It is certainly true that during a two year period Halliburton’s revenue from Defense Department contracts doubled. However, that increase in revenue occurred from 1998 to 2000 - during the Clinton administration.

When Factcheck.org checked the facts about allegations by Democrats that there was a scandal because of the "no-bid" contracts awarded to Halliburton they stated, "It is false to imply that Bush personally awarded a contract to Halliburton. The ‘no-bid contract’ in question is actually an extension of an earlier contract to support U.S. troops overseas that Halliburton won under open bidding. In fact, the notion that Halliburton benefited from any cronyism has been poo-poohed by a Harvard University professor, Steven Kelman, who was administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy in the Clinton administration. ‘One would be hard-pressed to discover anyone with a working knowledge of how federal contracts are awarded...who doesn't regard these allegations as being somewhere between highly improbable and utterly absurd,’ Kelman wrote in the Washington Post last November."

Good News from Iraq

Everything going on in Iraq is NOT all bad. Here is a blog entry (12th in a series) on what good is being done there. A welcome change from media pessimism.

Iwo Jima, as reported today...

Here's an editorial by Zell Miller (my favorite Democratic politician) on what the battle for Iwo Jima might look like if covered by today's media. If covered...

Wow... now this is a rant for the ages.

Some Democrats are nuts...

Wow... I guess some Democrats really are crazy, and not just misguided...

Just odd...

This is just weird...

Terrorism a "nuisance?" Too much nuance for me...

By now you may have heard of the editorial in which Kerry said in a best case scenario, terrorism would be like gambling and prostitution, a mere "nuisance" which cannot be completely eliminated. I don't have the energy to beat him over the head with it, so I'll refer you to others who do:

PowerLine

Volokh Conspiracy

Rudy Guliani

Apparently calling people what they are is now news...

I love this headline:

Bush Camp Trying to Portray Kerry as Liberal

THAT'S WHAT HE IS!!! I don't see you running around taking Kerry to task for calling Bush conservative, or even right wing. He's not even right wing; he spends way too much on domestic programs to be right wing. But he IS conservative, just like John Kerry IS liberal. That's the whole reason they have different ideas on how to do things! If they both fit in the same category, it wouldn't be such a polarized election, would it?

Debate 3

The third debate was a bit of a letdown. I don't believe either candidate brought their A game. I think they both brought the B- "why isn't this over yet" game. They covered a lot of the same ground as the second, and didn't say many new things. Nobody's even sure who won. We have this liberal blogger who thinks Kerry took it to the house, and this conservative one who thinks Bush laid the smackdown. It's a tough call as far as I'm concerned.

The only major hole I saw in either candidate's case (other than ideological ones, which I'll leave out) is that Kerry never answered how he was going to pay for all these programs he keeps promising. He has promised to spend more money on: education, health care, homeland security, and other things. Where does he plan to get the money? By rolling back the Bush tax cuts on those making over 200K a year. Democrats estimate this at 800 billion dollars in revenue. His health care plan is estimated to cost 2.2 trillion. When asked "where are you going to get the money?" by Schieffer in the third debate, he dodged. He talked lots about what Kerry-Care will do for you, and not about who pays for it (transcript here). Bush is right. It will be us, the taxpayers of the middle class. Kerry has promised that he would spend that same 800 billion from new taxes (rolling back the Bush cuts) for homeland security, healthcare, social security, education, and other things. As I've seen this debate summarized:

John Kerry: “Whatever you need, it’s yours. Need a job? You got it. Need a higher living wage? Done. Need cheap, universal healthcare? I’m your man. Need a better education? Have at it, paid in full. Relying on social security for your retirement? I’ll put it in a lock box. Tax relief? I can give you that, too. Want to lose your virginity to a teenage Mexicali hooker and a donkey? I’ll print coupons. And the best part is, every single one of my plans comes with free cole slaw and a plate of homestyle biscuits!”

George Bush: “Anybody who believes this guy can deliver on even one percent of his promises deserves four years of John F’n Kerry. God bless, and good night.”

That won't effect the core Democrats and liberals, but it may swing a few voters to the right (pun intended) side.

Hilarious!

The best John Kerry Ad EVER! All I can say is: Rolling on the floor laughing!

Potential Voter Fraud

If you're worried about voter fraud, here's the site for you. Bill Hobbs keeps a running archive of potential fraud across the nation. Also, see this article at the Kerry Spot for a story on possible fraud in Milwaukee. Apparently the city is requesting 938,000 ballots for this election. Just a small problem:

The total population in Milwaukee: 596,974 in 2000 and 593,920 in 2004 The total number of people who are of legal voting age in Milwaukee in 2004: 423,811
Total votes cast in 2000 fall election: 245,670 Total votes cast in 2002 fall election: 141,351 (pre-registration of 335,889)


If this is as bad as it looks, it may be someone stuffing the ballot box.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Football Fans for Truth

If you're a sports fan and question John Kerry's ability to connect with the everyman, this site's for you. Welcome to the world of Football Fans for Truth. From Packer fans to Red Sox fans, this has something Kerry's said or claimed sure to make him look like an idiot. It's Lambeau Field, not Lambert Field, Senator. I know that, and I'm a Vikings fan! And who hunts deer by crawling around on their belly with a 12 guage?

Jeff Danziger: Racist

Wow. I have not seen a political cartoon this racist since... well, never. Now don't get me wrong, I hate political correctness and enjoy a few lighthearted jabs at race occaisionally. But this cartoon is downright offensive. I just hope he gets a few thousand disgruntled emails about it.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Media Bias Strikes Again!

With the media (ABC here) sending internal memos like this one, (on the day of the debate, no less) it makes me wonder why the media even bother to dispute their indelible liberal identity:

Halperin Memo Dated Friday October 8, 2004

It goes without saying that the stakes are getting very high for the country and the campaigns - and our responsibilities become quite grave.

I do not want to set off (sp?) and endless colloquy that none of us have time for today - nor do I want to stifle one. Please respond if you feel you can advance the discussion.

The New York Times (Nagourney/Stevenson) and Howard Fineman on the web both make the same point today: the current Bush attacks on Kerry involve distortions and taking things out of context in a way that goes beyond what Kerry has done.

Kerry distorts, takes out of context, and mistakes all the time, but these are not central to his efforts to win.

We have a responsibility to hold both sides accountable to the public interest, but that doesn't mean we reflexively and artificially hold both sides "equally" accountable when the facts don't warrant that.

I'm sure many of you have this week felt the stepped up Bush efforts to complain about our coverage. This is all part of their efforts to get away with as much as possible with the stepped up, renewed efforts to win the election by destroying Senator Kerry at least partly through distortions.

It's up to Kerry to defend himself, of course. But as one of the few news organizations with the skill and strength to help voters evaluate what the candidates are saying to serve the public interest. Now is the time for all of us to step up and do that right.

Yes, they must artificially enforce what they percieve to be the "public interest." Now, this is no knock on Charles Gibson, who I thought did an admirable job moderating the debate (except for allowing Kerry to pontificate on W's mistakes instead of his own on the last question). But maybe sometime soon the media as a whole will just admit that they and their news coverage are hopelessly liberally skewed.

Not going it alone

Tell me, who is the only American ally to fight alongside us in every war in the 20th and 21st century? Not France, not Germany, not even Britain. Only Australia has been with us for so long so consistently. And their policy of helping the USA when we ask for it has won a resounding victory in the reelection yesterday of Prime Minister John Howard. Remember, we are not doing this alone. We do have allies. Just because Kerry calls them "window dressing" and the coalition of the "coerced and bribed" does not make it so.

BTW, here's a good Australian blog if you're interested.

Small businesses

Here's a personal testimony about the type of unincorporated businesses that Kerry's tax increase on people making over 200K:

President Bush pointed out that raising taxes on those who earn more than $200K would necessarily raise taxes on people like my parents; people who certainly do not have $200K to toss around on windsurfing trips, vacations on Nantucket, and elite schools for their kids (believe me), but who are required to pay taxes as though they do. Senator Kerry insisted that his plan would not affect Crowe's Cabinets & Carpentry. Prior to the incorporation, that is simply not true.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Abortion "Rights"

Senator Kerry whipped out again last night the standard, and indeed effective, liberal defense of abortion "rights." The defense:

KERRY: I would say to that person exactly what I will say to you right now.
First of all, I cannot tell you how deeply I respect the belief about life and when it begins. I'm a Catholic, raised a Catholic. I was an altar boy. Religion has been a huge part of my life. It helped lead me through a war, leads me today.
But I can't take what is an article of faith for me and legislate it for someone who doesn't share that article of faith, whether they be agnostic, atheist, Jew, Protestant, whatever. I can't do that.


Now, do you believe that murder is wrong? I certainly do. Does that mean that we cannot legislate this for fear of abrogating someone else's sense of morality or cannibalistic religion? Most certainly not. That is because the United States of America is founded on the principle of individual rights. I have the right to do basically whatever I want, as long as by doing so I do not interfere with others' rights. As I have heard it put before, "My right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins." (If you can find out who said that I'd appreciate it.)

So, what does this have to do with abortion?

John F. Kerry is a Catholic. He has stated he believes that life begins at conception. If this is indeed the case, then the position that abortion should be legal is indefensible for him. If life begins at conception, abortion is the murder of an unborn child. By aborting a baby, one deprives it of it's fundamental right to life. This is not a case of "nuance." It is simply a case of denying the implications of one's own beliefs. To allow what you believe to be a form of murder (or at the least, manslaughter) to remain legal and unpunishable is morally reprehensible. I believe Senator Kerry needs to think long and hard about the logical (in)consistency of his position, and the moral consequences thereof.

This popular defense is merely a misdirection, turning a question about the death of unborn babies into one about religious beliefs. The root question is when life begins. Until Kerry flipflops on that one, his position is untenable.

Debate II

Time for Republicans to breathe a cosmic sigh of relief. Bush, at worst, earned a draw out of this. He started off fairly lame, but warmed up quickly. He took some hits from Kerry over Clear Skies, No Child Left Behind, and fumbled early on Iraq and Terror. But he gave as good as he got, hammering Kerry with his 20 year senate record, apparently voting to raise taxes 98 times! He also got Kerry THE CATHOLIC to say in public that he supports public funds for abortion. [Sound of Kerry's chances with the Catholic demographic flushing down drain]

Bush also had a great line. Kerry accused Bush of being a "small business" according to the rules used for a study Bush cited saying 900,000 small businesses would be taxed by Kerry. And he was a "small business" because he recieved an 80 some dollar check from a lumber company.

Bush: "I own a lumber company? That's news to me - need some wood?"

And I must say the last question pissed me off: "Mr. President, tell us three mistakes you have made and what you have done to correct them." Who picked these questions? How is it far to let Kerry finish the debate by giving him an open invitation to say "These are all the places my opponent screwed up."?

My take on the debate: I believe, after some careful reflection, that Bush won this debate. Not by much, but he did. I believe they tie on content, but Bush was the clear winner in the charisma category. In the first debate he looked unprepared and defensive. In this one, he came out swinging, and seemed to have an emotional connection with listeners. By the end, Kerry clearly appeared to be the one out of place. The format favored Bush with his personal appeal, and even though he had me worried in the beginning, he managed to edge a victory out of this one... barely.

MORE: I forgot to mention Kerry's dodge on the Iran question, turning it into a tirade against nuclear proliferation in general. And he complained about our nuclear bunker buster research at the same time, again showing the worst in leftist moral equivalence. That won't hurt him with the base, but to imply that we can't develop our weapons because some tyrannical yahoo might use it as an excuse to build his own... Grrr...

"Anything you can do I can do better"

"Anything you can do I can do better." This is the essence of the Kerry campaign. He is running as the NotBush. During the first presidential debate, Kerry He used variations on the phrase "I can do better/We can do better" fifteen times over the course of the debate. Here's one of the more laughable instances (transcript here):

KERRY: Thirty-five to forty countries in the world had a greater capability of making weapons at the moment the president invaded than Saddam Hussein. And while he's been diverted, with 9 out of 10 active duty divisions of our Army, either going to Iraq, coming back from Iraq, or getting ready to go, North Korea's gotten nuclear weapons and the world is more dangerous. Iran is moving toward nuclear weapons and the world is more dangerous. Darfur has a genocide.
KERRY: The world is more dangerous. I'd have made a better choice.

Now, disregarding the fact that the overwhelming majority of these countries in question at the beginning are probably US allies, or at least not actively hostile to the US, Kerry presents no actual position. His position is "I can do better." So, Senator Kerry, I have a question for you:

Since you see North Korea, Iran, and Sudan as better uses for our troops, which of these countries specifically would have been the "better choice" to intervene in? If none of them, how is you allowing the world to become more dangerous a better choice? If you had chosen North Korea, and President Bush had cited Iraq, Iran and Sudan as proof that you were making the world more dangerous, would that criticism be fair?

The police cannot stop every crime. Does this mean that if they arrest one criminal and the crime rate goes up, they were wrong to try? No. In the same manner, just because President Bush chose to remove one threat to our safety does not mean that the other threats that continue to exist are somehow his fault.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Climate of Fear II?

UPDATE TO "CLIMATE OF FEAR?": Professor Bainbridge has a more complete list than I of the current wave of violence against Republicans.

And apparently a whole string of protests turned violent were organized by the AFL-CIO, prompting congressmen to write to the Attorney General, requesting that this intimidation and thug tactics be investigated.

Penn State

The Penn State College Republicans and others are up in arms about $23000 being used by the College Democrats to bring Michael Moore to campus. This is Taxpayer money being used to fund Democratic campaign speech, and the UPAC even broke their own funding rules to do it. Disgusting...

The ISG report: on WMDs

The Iraq Survey Group report has just been released, and it's spreading like wildfire. Powerline has an excellent post on it. Please read it. Among the interesting tidbits from the report:

Senior military officers and former Regime officials were uncertain about the existence of WMD during the sanctions period and the lead up to Operation Iraqi Freedom because Saddam sent mixed messages. Early on, Saddam sought to foster the impression with his generals that Iraq could resist a Coalition ground attack using WMD. Then, in a series of meetings in late 2002, Saddam appears to have reversed course and advised various groups of senior officers and officials that Iraq in fact did not have WMD. His admissions persuaded top commanders that they really would have to fight the United States without recourse to WMD. In March 2003, Saddam created further confusion when he implied to his ministers and senior officers that he had some kind of secret weapon.

Saddam asked in 1999 how long it would take to build a production line for CW [chemical weapons] agents, accordingto the former Minister of Military Industrialization. Huwaysh investigated and responded that experts could readily prepare a production line for mustard, which could be produced within six months. VX and Sarin production was more complicated and would take longer. Huwaysh relayed this answer to Saddam, who never requested follow-up information. An Iraqi CW expert separately estimated Iraq would require only a few days to start producing mustard—if it was prepared to sacrifice the production equipment.
Imad Husayn ‘Ali Al ‘Ani, closely tied to Iraq’s VX program, alleged that Saddam had been looking for chemical weapons scientists in 2000 to begin production in a second location, according to reporting.


Watch Kerry's foreign policy go flushing down the drain...

From Glenn Reynolds:

The weapons of mass destruction case is a bit more, um, nuanced than a lot of the press treatment makes it sound, of course. No weapons have been found, but the Iraq Survey Group's report makes clear that Saddam wanted to outwait sanctions and then start making the weapons again:
The ISG, who confirmed last autumn that they had found no WMD, last night presented detailed findings from interviews with Iraqi officials and documents laying out his plans to bribe foreign businessmen and politicians.
Although they found no evidence that Saddam had made any WMD since 1992, they found documents which showed the "guiding theme" of his regime was to be able to start making them again with as short a lead time as possible."
But hey, Kerry voted for the war, so his arguments on that topic boil down to either (1) Bush lied, and I'm gullible: or (2) Bush and I both got fooled, but I'll do better next time. Neither is very compelling.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The issue: Deterrence

This is one of the best pieces of political writing I've seen in a while. Bill Whittle dissects the candidates on what he says is THE issue for this election: deterrence of terrorism. Here's a teaser, then go read it:

Senator Kerry says that Iraq is "a long, long way from the fight on terror."
Senator, you might chose to read some history: it might broaden your perspective. The last time this country was attacked, it was by the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy, whose capitol city was Tokyo.
The first land battle the US Army fought was at Kasserine Pass. Kasserine Pass, Senator, is in Tunisia. Tunisia is in Africa. Africa is a long, long way from Japan.
Tunisia did not attack the United States, Senator Kerry. Tunisia, in fact, was a far, far more innocent battlefield than Iraq, which had spent the preceding decade, and then some, committing overt acts of war against British and American aircraft flying missions to enforce UN mandates.
US troops fought in Tunisia – and they fought badly; infinitely worse than they do in Iraq – because people of vision and courage and great intelligence perceived that this was the first, best front against an enemy that straddled the entire globe. We did not begin our war by launching an armada of landing craft filled with Marines on a suicide mission from Midway to Tokyo. We did not send fleets of transports to get shot down over Berlin carrying fifty divisions of paratroopers.
We attacked in Tunisia because it was the soft underbelly of a powerful enemy. There is a word for this type of action, Senator Kerry, and that word is “foothold.” It is a place where the enemy is weak. It is a place we can capture, fortify, defend and launch further attacks from. As Tunisia, so Africa. As Africa, so Italy. As Italy, so Germany.

Allahpundit gets mad

Allahpundit blasts the liberal media for calling extremist Muslims "moderate."

Read the whole thing.

Amusing

H.D. Miller has an amusing post ridiculing Kerry's interview with Field and Stream recently. Apparently he thinks that Kerry is exaggerating a bit. Kerry said he once bagged an "8-pointer, something like that. Nothing terribly big..." Well, my entire maternal side of the family has hunted deer for their entire lives, and I believe the largest any of them have gotten is a 10 point. This kind of makes me doubt he's a real hunter...

Would Kerry keep nukes out of Iranian hands?

John Kerry's proposal for preventing Iran from getting Nukes:

Prevent Iran From Developing Nuclear Weapons. A nuclear armed Iran is an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States and our allies in the region. While we have been preoccupied in Iraq, Iran has reportedly been moving ahead with its nuclear program. We can no longer sit on the sidelines and leave the negotiations to the Europeans. It is critical that we work with our allies to resolve these issues and lead a global effort to prevent Iran from obtaining the technology necessary to build nuclear weapons. Iran claims that its nuclear program is only to meet its domestic energy needs. John Kerry's proposal would call their bluff by organizing a group of states to offer Iran the nuclear fuel they need for peaceful purposes and take back the spent fuel so they cannot divert it to build a weapon. If Iran does not accept this offer, their true motivations will be clear.

Senator Kerry, there is a slight problem in this plan. If you are seriously worried about keeping weapons grade nuclear material away from Iran, this won't do it. What happens when they accept your proposal, start up the reactor, and then refuse to give us back the spent fuel? This is a surefire proposal to provide nuclear capabilities to the mullahs on a platter. God help us...

Climate of Fear?

Things seem to be getting a bit dangerous for people courageous enough to publicly support or work for the Republican Party:

Shots fired into the Knoxville Bush/Cheney headquarters

Bush Supporters in Madison get their lawn vandalized with a swastika

Protestors Ransack Bush/Cheney Headquarters In Orlando

Bush's Washington state headquarters for re-election burglarized

UPDATE: Professor Bainbridge has a more complete list than I of the current wave of violence against Republicans.

And apparently a whole string of protests turned violent were organized by the AFL-CIO, prompting congressmen to write to the Attorney General, requesting that this intimidation and thug tactics be investigated.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Debates

I know I have been delinquent in not posting on the Presidential debate as soon as I should have. Allow me to make but a brief note of it here, since others have covered it far better than I can. John Kerry won, there is no disputing that. It was a decent debate, but there were no knockdowns. But I believe that the "Global Test" will be biting Kerry in the butt until election day.

In the meantime, tonight was the Vice-Presidential Debate. In this one, there was a knockdown. When Edwards complained that the US was paying 90% of the cost and 90% of the casualties in the Iraq war, Cheney nailed him on it. Those figures are only right if you ignore all Iraqis fighting on our side. Cheney, quite rightly, accused Edwards of dismissing out of hand our most important allies in this war. Also, it was quite a zinger when Cheney attacked Edwards' attendance record, noting that even though he presides over the Senate, he had never met Edwards until tonight. Also, Edwards' hometown paper apparently nicknamed him "Senator Gone"... Ouch.

Cheney may have won big, but remember to keep some perspective: the real debates still feature Bush and Kerry. Don't look for this to affect the polls or the election.

UPDATE: This liberal blogger agrees. And he should know, since he posts almost exclusively on debating and law.

UPDATE 2: Apparently Cheney has met Edwards!! He'll probably claim to have forgotten, but the damage is done. He did so well, and then shot himself in the foot. (Thanks to commenter for pointing this out, see comment for link to picture)

Monday, October 04, 2004

Kerry on Iraq and Afghanistan

On Afghanistan:
KERRY: Unfortunately, [Bin Laden] escaped in the mountains of Tora Bora. We had him surrounded. But we didn't use American forces, the best trained in the world, to go kill him. The President relied on Afghan warlords and he outsourced that job too. That's wrong.

So... :
Afghanistan was wrong because we outsourced to Afghani soldiers, not US ones, but Iraq was wrong because we didn't outsource to France. And not only that, but there is no way we could have outsourced to France or Russia with these possible illegal oil deals from Iraq, and there is no chance for getting French or German help now, as Kerry suggests. Please just pick a position so we can get some serious debating done instead of merely pointing out flipflops.

Kerry's beef with Iraq/Afghanistan battle plans

Citizen Smash has a brilliant piece discussing why exactly Kerry's arguments about specific instances of battle plans in the War on Terror don't hold water:

This is not a military dictatorship. The President makes the decision to go to war, after consulting with Congress. He may even approve or veto specific military strategies. But he does not write the war plan – the Pentagon does that. Our war planners are some of the most brilliant, thoughtful, and well-educated warriors on the planet. They’ve studied Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, and Mahan. They’ve dissected and analyzed all the major battles in history, from Thermopylae to Desert Storm. They know about logistics, intelligence, artillery, air support, guerilla tactics, and psychological warfare. They are professionals – the best of the best.

George W. Bush may have presided over a poorly run war, but we must keep some perspective on the fact that a President will defer to his generals when making military decisions. Some of the blame may well fall to the President, but by no means can all, or even most, be assigned to him.

Not just a "Global Test"

Well, John Kerry has just said something so unbelievably laughable I can hardly control myself. As many of you know, Kerry said in the debate last week that when the United States goes to war, we need to be able to pass a "global test" (for a fun lampooning of it, go here). But in all seriousness, while trying to defend his statement, he said this:

"But I can do a better job of protecting America's security because the test that I was talking about was a test of legitimacy, not just in the globe, but elsewhere." (emphasis mine)

Um... where exactly would this elsewhere be? The moon? Other planets? Are we now clearing our foreign policy decisions with France, but with aliens from four galaxies over? I just can't believe he actually said anything this ridiculous...