Sunday, October 31, 2004

Vandals II Updated

I was almost convinced that I'd been a bit too harsh when talking about the increased rate of Bush campaign signs being defaced and destroyed. Right up until this morning when I went out for the paper and saw my sign - the one that's been in my yard now for a few weeks - torn out of the ground and parts of the frame that hold it up missing completely. Random vandalism? So how was it my sign got taken down and all of the Kerry signs in sight (3 in all) are standing untouched?

Hey, you don't know it had anything to do with members of the DNC or the left. You don't know their motivations. It's just vandalism, nothing more.

The motivations of this person or these people could not be more clear. They didn't tear down all the signs in everyone's yards or even just the signs on this side of the street. It was my sign - the only Bush/Cheney sign visible on the street when viewed from the corner - that got the vandal treatment. They aimed right at this one and what separated this sign from the others could not be more clear. The motivation was a political one, and the chance that these people were Republicans or someone from the right-wing side of the political spectrum is vanishingly small.

I'm going out today to get the materials to put it back up again and it will stay up through election day if I have to put it up with 1-inch steel pipes.

Update: It's official, by the way. My neighbor let me know last night that he'd seen the culprits driving up the main road our street is attached to. These folks stopped, backed up, zoomed up to the front of my house and let 1 person out. That person ran up into my yard, ripped my sign out of the yard and rand back to the car. Only this person's incompetence kept him or her from taking the sign completely as they dropped the actual sign itself and took only half of the metal hanging frame. I fashioned a replacement leg for the frame out of a coat hanger and it's back up in the yard as of this morning. We'll see if the Kerry supporters in this county can manage to endure my exercise of 1st Amendment rights for the next 36 hours or so.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Undermining American Democracy

Something I've been thinking about for some time but never managed to get into words appeared in print Friday in the San Diego Union Tribune. Columnist Joseph Perkins talks about the disastrous erosion of confidence in our electoral process that began during the Y2K elections.

::::::::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 eeked 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

Missing from the usual Democratic telling of the tale of the 2000 elections are the facts Mr. Perkins has mentioned. It's absolutely not the first time that elections were this close. They've been every bit that close, but there was something different in those past elections. It wasn't with the lawyers or the courts or the voting public. It was the decision by the candidates and their parties to accept the will of the people and place the interest of the Nation above their own. All that evaporated when Al Gore and the Democratic Party decided they wanted the presidency at all costs. Also missing from the usual Democratic telling is the admission of the fact that the ballot reviews of the counties in question showed that President Bush won the Florida election legally and completely. Gore lost Florida. And with it went the election. Bush was, indeed "elected, not selected."

Fast forward 4 years and here we are again. The concept of filing legal challenges to the elections is now written in the stone manual of the Democratic Party campaign plan. And every time they do it, they damage the credibility of elections of any kind. Their written instructions to their operatives to file false reports of intimidation where none exists simply poisons the well of trust we, as Americans, are supposed to have in our system of democracy. That's not hype, either. Their ambitions to the White House are far more important to them, it appears, than their responsibility to the democracy they claim to love. I sincerely hope that Tuesday shows them that these tactics aren't appreciated and aren't to be condoned.

Hat Tip: Power Line

Friday, October 29, 2004

The Methods Of Vandals

When political signs started popping up for real about 6 weeks ago, I made note of them since they were something new along my morning commute. They dot the median strips of the parkway I ride in toward my rendezvous with the carpool. As I see them every day, their positions have become quite marked in my mind, along with the concentrations of one candidate's signs versus the other. The last 2 weekends have seen the local Republicans and the Bush/Cheney campaign put out the majority of their signs where the Kerry signs have been up for a bit over a month. I drive 12 miles to the rendezvous and not once in all this time and along all that way have I seen Kerry signs either go missing or be defaced and destroyed. Yes, I know there are stories in the papers and on the TV, but I personally haven't seen 1. There are 4 of my neighbors with Kerry signs in their yards and they're all in exactly the same spot they were placed. (As is my Bush sign, I might add. We've got a good neighborhood here.)

On the way to work this morning, I saw none of the Bush/Cheney signs that had been placed along the parkway except in the last 3 miles of the commute. Those 3 miles had the signs, all right, but they'd been torn in half and tossed around on the ground. All of them. When I arrived at my co-worker's house to pick up the car pool, he showed me his new Bush/Cheney sign in his yard. He didn't have a frame to mount it on so he wire-tied it to his fence. (A fence fully on his property and back from the sidewalk about 10 feet, in case you're wondering.) When we got back this afternoon, it was gone. On my way home, I took a different road to see if I could find any that had survived. About half were still there. The remainder were all vandalized with spray paint.

The Left sure doesn't like when other people exercise their freedom of speech. The methods they use to silence dissent of their opinions are those of graffitti "artists" and vandals. When they deal with the spoken word they just shout people down. It's really pathetic and I can't wait for the elections to be done.

Say The Lie Long Enough...

Power Line has a link to a story written by Senator Tom Harkin pushing the claim - yet again - that President Bush will re-instate the draft if he's elected again. Again, in the face of all the facts, he joins in on the lie the DNC is using to spread fear in their attempt to get another confirmed liar elected to the White House. Shall we recap?

  • ALL of the branches of the military have said they categorically do not support a draft. Don't want it and don't need it.

  • Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld doesn't support a draft and says we don't need it.
  • President Bush has said repeatedly he's not bringing back the draft.
  • President Bush can't bring the draft back in any case. It can only be authorized by Congress.
  • The House recently voted down a measure to bring back the draft 402-2. (A measure only in front of them due to the action of a Democrat, besides.)
  • The Senate hasn't even bothered to resurrect their version of it because no one considers it to have been a serious motion to begin with.

Senator Harkin's last big press appearance was hours after CBS tried to push forged documents out to the American public as "proof" in their 5-year hit piece about the alleged AWOL status of the President. Now he's weighing in with Vietnam-era rhetoric on the draft. Funny how he's using examples of Presidents who went back on their word on the draft and they're Democrats, not Republicans. Good job, Tom.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Explosives Were Removed Prior To US Arrival

Precisely the situation I described has been revealed regarding the missing explosives in Iraq. As noted on the Belmont Club, last night's NBC broadcast had this to say:

::::::::NBC News: Miklaszewski: “April 10, 2003, only three weeks into the war, NBC News was embedded with troops from the Army's 101st Airborne as they temporarily take over the Al Qakaa weapons installation south of Baghdad. But these troops never found the nearly 380 tons of some of the most powerful conventional explosives, called HMX and RDX, which is now missing. The U.S. troops did find large stockpiles of more conventional weapons, but no HMX or RDX, so powerful less than a pound brought down Pan Am 103 in 1988, and can be used to trigger a nuclear weapon. In a letter this month, the Iraqi interim government told the International Atomic Energy Agency the high explosives were lost to theft and looting due to lack of security. Critics claim there were simply not enough U.S. troops to guard hundreds of weapons stockpiles, weapons now being used by insurgents and terrorists to wage a guerrilla war in Iraq.” (NBC’s “Nightly News,” 10/25/04)::::::::

I note that the same critics also say there's too many troops over there, too. The bottom line is that the explosives the IAEA said were there weren't there when we arrived. Were they removed before the invasion even began? No one knows. Camp Kerry and his supporters automatically assume it's because President Bush didn't call up some platoon commander over in Iraq, provide the driving directions, instruct those men to ignore the fact that they're part of a war strategy and get over to a location to secure some explosives we're told by the UN are there. Maybe. They think.

The troops got to the site when they could do so as part of the overall war strategy and found no material there that needed securing. They moved on to their other objectives. The aforementioned critics now want to make it sound like the troops could have been designated to just pop into place at all manner of sites around the country with no regard to how they could have moved there as part of a coordinated movement. There's no case of criminal action or general incompetence here. Until someone can show that the explosives the IAEA says were there weren't removed by Saddam's forces before Coalition troops started coming over the border, then calls of "incompetence" are unfounded.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Missing Explosives In Iraq (Updated)

The reports vary between 350 and 400 tons, but either way you slice it that's a helluva lot of explosives to go missing. Make no mistake, it's a serious issue. The 2 items, called HMX and RDX, are components of plastic explosives such as C-4 and Semtex. With the correct skills, they can be formed into shaped charges or all types allowing a more specific targeting than the typical IEDs in use.

That said, there's some nagging omissions in the story. The story says that the explosives were being watched over by the IAEA, but the IAEA pulled out of Baghdad before the war began in 2003. How long before? Long enough for Saddam's forces to remove it and take it somewhere else? The IAEA themselves say they don't know when the explosives were taken. Why is it a given that it was taken in the post-attack looting that occurred? Recall what happened at the Iraqi National Museum where initial estimates were that 170,000 items were looted. Turned out that wasn't the case. While a great number of things were, in fact, stolen, a hugely larger number of artifacts had simply been moved.

Hey, I'm very concerned that that much explosive is unaccounted for. I need some more details, however, before I go pinning blame for it onto anyone in specific.

Update: It's a bit misleading to include this in a story on the explosives:

::::::::HMX and RDX are key ingredients in plastic explosives such as C-4 (search) and Semtex (search) — substances so powerful that Libyan terrorists needed just 1 pound to blow up Pan Am Flight 103 (search) over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, killing 170 people.::::::::

This give the impression that someone put a pound of Semtex on the plane and turned it into a fireball in the sky. Not so. The explosion compromised the structure of the plane and pressure effects along with the shear forces of a multi-ton aircraft moving through the air at .7 Mach did the rest. Not to mention that sudden stop when it hit the ground. This is not to say these explosives aren't powerful - they most certainly are - it's just not necessary to overstate the issue.

The Once and Present Liar

It is a common mantra of the Left that President Bush has lied about a good many things. Of course, when actually called upon to prove a lie, as the word is actually defined, they can't. That the President has said things that turned out to be untrue or followed the advice of people who were found later to be wrong is not in question. There's a long road between saying something that turns out to be wrong and flat-out lying.

As linked to all over the blogosphere (the right-leaning side of it, anyway), the Washington Times has a story out this morning that directly refutes the claim made repeatedly by John Kerry that he met with UN Security Council to discuss Iraq and Saddam Hussein before voting to authorize military operations there. Security Council members who were asked have said they never met with him. Between 9 October 2002 and 8 October 2004 Kerry has stated, on the record, no less than 7 times that he met with the Security Council to discuss the matter. Not so. Just like his "Christmas-in-Cambodia" claim, this assertion is a textbook-definition lie. has a complete set of the quotes, with links to original material, of the assertions by the Democratic candidate regarding his meetings. These aren't misunderstandings, as much as the Left wants to paint them that way. Kerry's not claiming that someone else had those meetings and that he was just told about them. You can't say he took it on good faith that the meetings happened and he's being undermined by someone else not telling the truth. He said those meetings occured. He supposedly attended them. Just like Cambodia, he claims to have been at a certain place with certain people at a certain time and it's now confirmed that he certainly wasn't. There's no interpretation going on here: the man is lying to us all. This is the guy some people think would make a good President? The Left can justify all they like about how other Presidents have lied but I'd point out to them that they themselves are almost guaranteed to be the crowd howling the loudest for those past President's history of lies to be spread across the country. (Barring Bill Clinton, of course. His lying seems to have been OK.)

Well, it's not OK. It's far from OK. And the Left, who have been merciless in their onslaught of President Bush's alleged "lies" should have the decency to be consistant in their ire. They won't, of course, but they should. I don't expect it from the party who now feels that vandalism, violence, and intimidation are their best cards to play. But when their ploys don't work and the lies fail them, I'm not going to be in any mood to put up with the whining. Dems, your boy's a confirmed liar and by your own standards, that's supposed to be enough to keep him out of the White House.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Democrats' Concern Over Church/State Separation Seems Unsteady

As noted over at Power Line, the Dems seem to only care about separating the activities of Church and State when it's the President suggesting faith-based activities.

You're a Republican???

Damn right. Do I adhere to this man's vision completely? Nope. And that's OK because the other 90% I do. Unlike the Left these days, we can be reasonable in our disagreement and work to a common ground.

via Polipundit.

UK Now Officially Recognizes Satanism

Surely you don't think I'd make that up, do you? As reported on CNN. I certainly hope it's someone's idea of a seasonal prank, but given the other bright ideas coming out of the UK recently, I'm not holding my breath.

Steyn On Target Again

Steyn begins:

::::::::Maybe I'm getting old. I've been covering politics for 53 years, and that's just since John Kerry's convention speech. I'm sick of this election, even before the Democratic Party's chad-diviners have managed to extend it to mid-December. These are serious times and the senator is not a serious man. And so we have a campaign that has a sharper position on Mary Cheney's lesbianism and the deficiencies of Laura Bush's curriculum vitae than on the central question of the age.::::::::

And it just gets better.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Ohio Balloting Rule Reversed

A federal judge has reversed a ruling made earlier this month in Ohio which had said that the State's requirement that voters vote in the precinct they're registered in was too restrictive. The US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the ruling from U.S. District Judge James Carr made 14 October which has had the effect of re-instating the voter election rule set by Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell.

As I mentioned earlier, I don't understand how this is so onerous a requirement. And when did the idea appear that it was acceptable or allowable to just waltz into any voting location and cast your ballot. I've voted in every single election I was eligible for since I turned 18 and not once has the instruction ever been vague that there was a specific location where I was to go vote. Not a suggestion, not a guideline - "your voting location is xyz whatever street", period, end of instruction. Of course, it's the Democratic Party that's upset that they can't just have people pop in anywhere. Their reasoning?

.......he Ohio Democratic Party and a coalition of labor and voter rights groups argue that Blackwell's order discriminated against the poor and minorities, who tend to move more frequently........

Do they? I'd like to see the research on that before we go using it as a premise to revise election laws. And while they're at it, since they're the ones who want to change the rules, how about their suggestion to handle the issue of making sure that each voter casts no more than 1 vote? They don't have one, and I know why. They want people to be able to cast more than 1 vote. They're counting on it. After all, their intimidation tactics will only be marginally effective, especially on election day itself. Between that and the violence campaign they've engaged in coast to coast, they're making damn sure to set this country up for the worst time it's had since the mid-1800's.

Oh, surely they're not excusing this kind of behavior, are they?

Check out the Democratic response in Oregon to the latest destruction operation up there:

.......Oregon Democratic Party officials said they do not condone smashing the windows of Republican offices and discourage such acts.

"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.

Catch that little equivalence maneuver? The DNC's argument is that the attacks on Republican campaign offices are OK because "they don't want to talk about the 30,000 jobs lost and the 180,000 Oregonians who have lost health care." Untrue, of course, the GOP is talking about it quite readily. What they're not doing is agreeing with the Dems on the topic of how to handle that. That's obviously good enough for Mr. Pender so he's OK with the attacks. This is clearly no longer the party of my father, and that's the real shame.

UK's Guardian Wants An Assassination (Update: Guardian pulls story)

No, I'm not kidding. (See original story as posted here.) Guardian columnist Charlie Brooker is praying for President Bush to lose. No surprise there. And while I'm convinced certain members of the DNC are thinking it, none of them have voiced prayers like this:

::::::::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?::::::::

Yes, that's right. A real, live "freedom's light" journalist has just put out a call for a modern day John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, or John Hinckley Jr to come forth and do what those men did or tried to do: assassinate the President of the United States. Nice democracy you have there, England. Sure, we believe in freedom of speech. Advocating the murder of a publicly elected official gets into illegal behavior over here, however, and it's huge breach of morals and ethics besides. Not that you care, I'm sure.

Hat tip: INDC Journal

Update: The Guardian has pulled the story in which Charlie Brooker called for an assassination of President Bush. In its place, they write:

::::::::The final sentence of a column in The Guide on Saturday caused offence to some readers. The Guardian associates itself with the following statement from the writer.

"Charlie Brooker apologises for any offence caused by his comments relating to President Bush in his TV column, Screen Burn. The views expressed in this column are not those of the Guardian. Although flippant and tasteless, his closing comments were intended as an ironic joke, not as a call to action - an intention he believed regular readers of his humorous column would understand. He deplores violence of any kind."

First, I'd argue that the view expressed in the Guardian may not be those of the Guardian, but their publication of those views are most certainly under the Guardian's controls. We know they have editors - who else pulled the story? The fact is that the story itself just sailed into publication because those same editors didn't have an issue with comments.

Second, the advocation of assassination of an allied nation was intended to be an ironic joke? And if someone over here thought the Royal Family and members of both houses of Parliament should be taken out, drawn, and quartered in the public square, they'd consider that a joke, too? No. It would be, to put it mildly, "flippant and tasteless". Personally, I'd use the terms crass and clueless, but why quibble? The Guardian needs to keep its guard up in the future to avoid further flippant and tasteless remarks that aren't clearly, clearly jokes.

Hat tip: Power Line

Democrats' Tactic: Shout To Obscure The Truth

Democratic operative Lawrence O'Donnell's disgusting performance on MSBNC should, frankly, show anyone with even a semi-open mind everything they need to know about the ethics and character of the modern Democratic party. Appearing across from Swift Boat Vet John O'Neill, he refuses to allow O'Neill to be heard when O'Neill was trying to answer a question. He shouts "Liar! Liar!" over and over so many times it should have been embarassing. Clearly, he's beyond feeling any moral compunction for this incredibly rude and, frankly, un-American behavior. Were it he being shouted down in a public forum he and the rest of the DNC leadership would already be screaming about censorship. This isn't the 1st time this has happened to O'Neill, either.

Is the stance and "truth" of the Democrats' positions so fragile that O'Neill - and by extention, the rest of the Swiftvets - cannot be allowed to speak? Are they so fearful of what those vets will say that they must act, on national television, like 4-year-olds in the middle of a temper tantrum? And is that not reason enough to seek out that information that the Swiftvets have that the DNC is so desperate to conceal? Yes, it is. In fact, it's crucial. You're about to make a decision that will affect the course of your life, the life of your family and friends, for the next 4 years. Those effects will create ripples for much longer than that. You owe it to yourself and to your country to be as informed an elector as possible.

One of the parties is seeking to seal you off from information they feel would be damaging to their cause. You should find out what the fuss is about.

Hat tip: LGF

One More Reason...

You preferred Kerry's statements 11% of the time
You preferred Bush's statements 89% of the time

Voting purely on the issues you should vote Bush

Who would you vote for if you voted on the issues?

Find out now!

Friday, October 22, 2004

Guardian's Election-Influencing Campaign Backfires, Is Cancelled

Those of you unfamiliar with it might be a bit surprised that a British newspaper, the Guardian, was handing out names and addresses for voters in Clark County, Ohio for the purposes of getting their readers to write letters urging Ohioans to vote against George Bush. Well, the program's been cancelled after the scheme backfired horribly. Receiving hundreds of e-mails and letters that were overwhelmingly negative and critical of the Guardian's efforts, they've decided to not hand out any more letters. Good call. Claim it was a success all you like, boys, but the fact is that George Bush got far more help than hurt from your meddling.

They're turning on each other: Soros rips Moore

Hat tip to Right Voices for point out the story about billionaire George Soros waxing less-than-appreciative of propagandist Michael Moore. Seems that Soros, the billionaire who has stated his mission in life these days is the defeat of George Bush in the 2004 elections (and has put up millions of dollars working for that end), isn't happy with Moore's ethics or tactics.

:::::::: In response to a question from Harrisburg Patriot-News reporter Peter DeCoursey about fellow Bush-critic Moore, Soros criticized the filmmaker for resorting to inaccuracies "to mislead the American people." Soros emphatically stated, "I am not a fan of Michael Moore."::::::::

Glad to see you've woken up and smelled the coffee, George. The rest of us who have taken the 5 minutes to educate ourselves on the topics Moore is "mislead[ing]" on already had that figured out. Soros defended a ad called "Quagmire" (one of the Left's favored terms these days) saying it was an accurate representation of the situation in Iraq. I'd be curious to know when Soros was over there having himself a look-see. The people I talk to - including a couple of solidiers home on leave, recently - tell different stories. Is it the suburbs of Pleasantville? Of course not. But it's not Sudan, either, which is what Soros and his ilk want us all to believe.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Excuse me?

The article in the New Yorker deals with the shadow alliance of wealthy folks who have gotten together with the express purpose of using their vast fortunes to engineer the defeat of a sitting President. That's bad enough and certainly deserves some media attention. I think if some of my more left-leaning (dare I say "socialist"?) colleagues were to examine who these people are, they might find they've got some mortal enemies in their ranks. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it much past the 2nd paragraph. Have a look and see what you think.

::::::::“No one was supposed to know about this,” an assistant to one participant told me, declining to be named. “We don’t want people thinking it’s a cabal, or some sort of Masonic plot!”::::::::

Beg pardon? A Masonic plot? I know good men who are Masons and, whatever their reputation, the Masons taken as a whole seem to be a force for good in this world. What does it say that a member of this plutocratic alliance feels free to use the Masons as an example of something to be feared and destroyed?

Go have a look at the article and get to know these people who are tossing around millions to influence your vote.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Tah-REH-za Heinz-Kerry: Librarian/Teacher/Mom Not Real Jobs

This just in:

:::::::WASHINGTON - Teresa Heinz Kerry says she doesn't know if first lady Laura Bush has ever had "a real job" and suggests their different experiences help make them different people.

Laura Bush taught in public schools in Texas from 1968 to 1977, the year she married George W. Bush.

Being a teacher isn't a real job? Laura Bush is also a homemaker and was a librarian. These aren't "real" jobs either? I find it hard to fathom how she'll take education and family issues seriously if she is so uncaring about dismissing these roles so swiftly. Wonder how much of that attitude her hubby shares?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

NYT Krugman Repeats Kerry Draft Scare Script (Updated!)

You'll never go wrong betting that Paul Krugman will support any story that's critical of President Bush. In spite of the well-known statements to the contrary by everyone in a position to make it so, he gets out there and trumpets the latest Kerry talking point that President Bush will re-instate the draft. Let's examine a few facts:

  • ALL of the branches of the military have said they categorically do not support a draft. Don't want it and don't need it.

  • Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld doesn't support a draft and says we don't need it.

  • President Bush has said repeatedly he's not bringing back the draft.

  • President Bush can't bring the draft back in any case. It can only be authorized by Congress.

  • The House recently voted down a measure to bring back the draft 402-2. (A measure only in front of them due to the action of a Democrat, besides.)

  • The Senate hasn't even bothered to resurrect their version of it because no one considers it to have been a serious motion to begin with.

In the face of that, what (aside from a burning hatred of the President) does Krugman hang his absurd assertion on? The fact that then-candidate Bush campaigned on not allowing the deficit to rise and it's done so in the last 4 years. Krugman speaks this inanity as though the deficit rising happened in a vacuum (and on the direct orders of the President: Whaddya think, Karl? Time to run up a whole lotta debt numbers? Whoo-hoo!)

There's been 2 events that the Democrats - and let's be honest with ourselves, at least, and recognize that Krugman is just the Democrat/Kerry field officer stationed at the NYT - consistently fail to account for in their accusations. First, the collapse of the stock market that began months before the President was inaugurated and continued well into the President's first year resulted in huge job loss and an equally huge loss in equity across the board. Fewer jobs and fewer companies = less tax revenue. Less revenue minus the same mandated expenditures = higher deficit. Come on, fellas, it's just not that hard.

Oh, and something else. About nine months after the inauguration, America was brutally attacked by terrorists. The chaos that caused touched every part of our nation, including the financial aspects. During the few days immediately following the attacks there was a whole lot of expenditure on a variety of programs, equipment, and supplies that wouldn't have been made had the attacks not occurred. Debate the reasons for the attack all you like but there's no denying the impact that event had on our government's cash flow. That the President called for that increased spending is not a weakness or a sign of lying. It's the reaction of a good leader and manager changing the mode of operation in response to a catastrophic event. To have not done so would have been the wrong move and a legitimate reason for concern.

What it is not is evidence that the President is saying 1 thing while meaning another. Krugman is simply spreading FUD to attack the President and, by extension, to help his candidate win the election. Not the kind of thing the NYT owns up to in what is supposed to be reporting of the facts, but you can't accuse the Times of engaging in that behavior these days.

Update: I got linked! Welcome to all the readers who got here via Chrenkoff and thanks to that fine blogger for sending you all this way. Feel free to look around and let me know what you think.

Early Voting Issues

The Washington Times (among others) is reporting on the difficulties being encountered in the early voting currently ongoing in a number of States. I seriously don't recall early voting being available in past elections, but I wasn't really paying attention to the topic. It's a certainty that it's being more widely used this time, which is leading to problems.

The WashTimes report deals with some rulings handed down that "restrict" access to polling places. Now, when I read that headline I thought they were barring people from the polling places. Not so. They're saying you have to vote at your precinct and not another one.

:::::::: Under Florida law, if voters show up at a polling place but officials there have no record that they are registered, they are given provisional ballots. Those ballots are then held until officials determine whether the persons were entitled to vote at that precinct and had not already voted.

If they should have been allowed to vote at that precinct, the ballots count; if not, they are thrown out.

The court said requiring that provisional voters vote at the correct precinct is no more unreasonable than requiring that everyone else vote at the correct polling place.

Pardon me, but... no duh! When I registered to vote, I was told where my polling place was. At no time was I ever given the impression that I could wander in to any old polling place and expect to cast my vote. I didn't even realize this was something people were thinking they could do, let alone expecting it to the point of filing a lawsuit over it. The ACLU is predictably annoyed.

:::::::: "This is like saying you can only do your banking in this building downtown," said Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Florida, which supported the plaintiffs in the Florida case. "What we're seeing here is the difficulty of trying to drag Florida kicking and screaming out of the horse-and-buggy era." ::::::::

And if I have a bank account at Riggs Banks, why should I expect to be able to do my banking at First National? The polling precincts are set up in such as way that voter rolls are available at each precinct for those voters who are supposed to vote at that precinct. Not every polling place has the entire roll of voters. It's not desirable that they do, either. Unless, of course, the ACLU and others are suggesting that the voter rolls be put into a database that's accessible from all the polling places. Then, when a person comes into polling location A and they update his record that he's cast his vote, every polling location will see that status change. Of course, that means any voter's status can be changed from every polling location. Those implications are something that would need to be dealt with, too.

Monday, October 18, 2004

More Good News from Afghanistan

Chrenkoff continues his reporting of the positive things going on, this time in Afghanistan. His reports are extensive and bring together the reports America's MSM outlets ignore: the reports of real progress and positive advancements with the people of Afghanistan. Well worth the read.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Analysis Of Polling Data Appears To Show Manipulation

The boys over at Powerline have noted the return of Steven den Beste to the USS Clueless. Steven turns a scientific eye toward the polling trendlines and concludes that someone's been monkeying with the data. Very interesting and presented with a very easily understood graphic.

Judges Say No Metal Detectors At Protest

I'm afraid I can't really follow the reasoning of the court on this one. Participants at a rally protesting a training academy for Latin American soliders were to pass through security checkpoints with metal detectors, identical in every respect to the ones you pass through entering an airport departure area or entering into a public building - such as those used at the 11th Circuit courthouse where this decision was made. For some reason, it's OK to scan people at those places, but doing to at a protest rally is unconsitutional. I don't see the distinction. Columbus, GA is deciding whether to appeal. I hope the judges' faith that no one will attempt to smuggle in weapons will turn out to be well-founded.

Canadians Find Afghan Weapons Cache

A Canadian unit in Afghanistan found a huge cache of weapons including nearly every variety of mortar shell and - get this - literally thousands of Soviet-era FROG missiles.

::::::::In the dusty foothills, 10 minutes drive from Camp Julien (population 2,000), 82 buried bunkers, each 20-metres long, housed thousands of Soviet FROG missiles (one step down from Scud missiles), and every variety of rocket and mortar shells.

Some of the FROG missiles were still in their original cases. Some heaped in the open. Some stacked to the roof in the unlocked, open bunkers. Much of the ordnance had warheads removed to collect the explosive for homemade bombs -- or for blasting at a nearby quarry.

"Unbelievable!" was Maj. Brian Hynes' reaction when he saw them. "We (troops of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)) have been here some two years, and no one knew this was at our back door. Unbelievable."

Two years. 82, 20-meter long bunkers. 10 minutes drive from a military base with 2000 people stationed there. And they never knew it was there. There's a lesson here and it's a valuable one. It's sometimes very, very hard to locate hidden troves in areas as big as some of these Mid-East countries. The ISG report in Iraq is as complete as it can be made in the time given and it's quite an indictment of Saddam's intentions and the international communities motives and involvement in his plans. But they didn't take a full 2 years in preparing the report, did they? Wonder what they missed in their haste.

Of course, to say that no one knew about this weapon cache is incorrect.

::::::::In the midst of examining the bunkers and taking photos, a Swedish UN guy, a French major and a German colonel arrived to make a fuss and order the Canadians to leave. The French major insisted his government had a deal with the Afghan government for the area, and ISAF had no business being there.

This cut little ice with Maj. Hynes, who is responsible -- not to the commander of Camp Julien, Col. Jim Ellis -- but to the ANA, which has now moved in to secure the site.

The French major was clearly bluffing, hadn't checked the bunkers and got a classic Canadian roasting from Maj. Hynes -- who was supported by a German general who was also appalled at the laxity.

"Now we've stirred up the hornet's nest," grinned Maj. Hynes. "Good. Now we may get some action."

Now why am I not surprised?

This Is What Debate Really Looks Like.

Too bad George Soros feels he only needs to cite his own book as authority.

Ray D. at Medienkritik noted some flawed thinking on George Soros' site and wrote him an e-mail on it. To his surprise, Soros wrote back. Have a look at Ray's response and note what it means to truly engage in debate.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Updated: Democrat Strategy: Even When It's Proven False, Keep Mentioning It

Seems to be a Democratic Party theme to keep bringing up assertions long after they've been proven unfounded. Take the "voter disenfranchisement" story from the 2000 elections in Florida. The common complaint from the Left is that there were thousands of voters - mostly black voters, they assert - that were not permitted to vote and were intimidated into staying away from the polls. Or that their names were listed on a "felon list" improperly and were declared ineligible to vote. (Again, with an overwhelming trend that black - and presumably Democratic - voters were on the list and whites weren't.) View the video and read the transcript of the interview with Peter Kirsanow of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. After a 6-month investigation by that commission, they found:

  • No evidence of voter intimidation nor of intentional voter disenfranchisement.

  • Extrapolating voter's race from which precinct they cast their ballots in, black voters were 3 times as likely to spoil their own ballots than white. Note: spoilage means the infamous "hanging chad", a voter who voted for both parties' candidates for president, etc. It refers to actions by the voter that invalidated their ballot.

  • An independently-run investigation by the DoJ's Civil Rights Division found 3 violations of the Voting Rights Act where 3 counties failed to provide bi-lingual ballots to Haitian and Hispanic voters. In 1 location there was evidence of poll worker hostility toward Hispanic voters.

  • The "felon-purge list" was completely inaccurate, but not in the way alleged by Democrats. The fact is that whites were twice as likely to be improperly placed on the list as blacks. An investigation by the Miami Herald showed that the principle problem with the list is that it allowed 6500 ineligible felons to vote anyway.

These facts have been known for over 3 years now and yet the accusations of black voter disenfranchisement keep getting tossed around. It's a myth. There wasn't any such thing. Want a more recent example? The Draft. Never mind that none of the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces want a draft. The Secretary of Defense doesn't want a draft. Both the President and Vice-President have said they will absolutely, positively not institute a draft. Never mind that the House of Representatives brought to a vote a bill introduced by a Democrat to re-instate the draft and defeated it 402 to 2. (With the bill's sponsor himself voting down his own bill.) John Kerry's still fear-mongering by bringing it up. In spite of all the evidence to the contrary, Kerry's MSM allies are making quite sure to headline and lead their stories in ways that ensure Kerry's message gets out there.

It's not going to happen. But that clearly doesn't concern the DNC or Team Kerry. They're happy to say anything, true or not, to get President Bush out of the White House. Those aren't the people you want in there.

Update: Fascinating. Seems of the 2 candidates for President, only 1 has suggested mandatory service requirements. That would be Senator John Kerry. His current website shows this proposal.

::::::::John Kerry and John Edwards will offer a simple deal to hundreds of thousands of America's young people: if you will serve for two years in one of America's toughest and most important jobs, we will cover four years of tuition at a typical public university.::::::::

Interesting that he doesn't say what "one of America's toughest and most important jobs" is, though. For his views on that, you need to look at the Senator's previous comments on the subject:

::::::::Part of 100 days Plan to Enlist One Million Americans in National Service A Year

On September 11th, 2001, America experienced the most terrible and deadly attack in its history. John Kerry believes we need to think big and do better and get more young Americans serving the nation.

As part of his 100 day plan to change America, John Kerry will propose a comprehensive service plan that includes requiring mandatory service for high school students and four years of college tuition in exchange for two years of national service.

Mandatory service. Sounds like a draft to me.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Washington Times Reports on DNC-Backed Voter Fraud Investigations

This article in the Times this morning details the investigations ongoing in 14 States regarding voter registration fraud involving the DNC and their allies. It also reports on the "pre-emptive strike" policy first reported on the Drudge Report that the DNC is pushing out to its membership wherein it encourages its operatives to make accusations of voter intimidation even where none exists.

If Kerry's supporters would be honest about it for 10 seconds, this is exactly the kind of thing they'd be demanding Congressional hearings over (if not public hanging and firing squads) if anyone even remotely associated with the RNC or Bush Campaign even hinted at trying. The DNC isn't hinting, here. They're instructing. And they're doing it quite openly. Personally, I would think that filing a report they know is false (saying there's voter intimidation going on when they haven't seen any evidence of it) would be illegal. If it's not, it should be. But it highlights quite clearly that the Democrats of today are far more interested in their own power than in the integrity of our nation and our democracy. I've resisted saying this up to now because I didn't really believe there was a concerted effort on their part to subvert the elections as a whole. Now that effort is not only documented by their own hand, it's confirmed by their own words.

These people cannot be entrusted to run any part of our government. Until they get over this rabid hatred of our American system of democracy, they should be relegated to the sidelines. I have friends, family members who are Democrats and they're good people. Individually, they're fine citizens and respect their fellow citizens, even the Republican ones. But their Party has become unbalanced in the extreme and their consistent efforts to blame America for the actions of terrorists who want nothing less than our destruction has colored their every view. It is my belief that we, as a nation, cannot afford the risk involved in letting these people run the show. I can only hope that they get handed such a decisive loss across the board that they get shocked into really looking at themselves and make the corrections so sorely needed.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Early Voting In Virginia

After reading about early voting in other States, I called the local elections office in Loudoun County, VA and found that we Virginians are also doing early voting. Here's where/when:

Judy Brown, General Registrar
26-C Fairfax Street, S.E.
Leesburg, VA 20175
Phone: 703-777-0380
Fax: 703-777-0622

The office is open 8:30am - 5:30pm this week. Starting 18 October they're open from 8:30am - 8:00pm. No appointments, just show up and bring your ID! If you work a schedule that might make you miss the voting times on November 2 or you're just ready to vote now, head on over and take care of the business. Don't let a last minute problem make you miss the opportunity to vote. You owe it to yourself.

DNC Plans to Complain About Voter Intimidation Even If None Exists

Drudge Report has a story regarding the DNC's election day manual. Specifically, it instructs their operatives to launch a "pre-emptive strike" if they see that there are no signs of voter intimidation. Lord knows they're already trumpeting loudly the 1 investigation ongoing regarding voter registration fraud involving a company hired by the RNC while completely ignoring the 6-10 investigations involving DNC-allied companies.

DNC's living up to their reputation.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Debate Nonsense

Watching the debates and I'm seeing some real idiocy coming from Senator Kerry.

  • Did he actually cite 2 news organizations as authorities in tax law?

  • The "right to choice" isn't a Constitutional right, as much as I think it should be. This guy's a lawyer?

  • (BTW, Bob Schieffer is tossing softballs to Kerry left and right and is also not granting President Bush his turn at follow-up when he grants it to Kerry. I've counted 3 instances so far.)

  • Why does Kerry toss out the comment that the Administration hasn't provided for the VA when it's a matter of record that he's tripled their budget. Why say things like that when it's so easily shot down?

  • I knew he'd never make it through the night without spitting on our allies in the Coalition by making references to Bush not pursuing a real alliance.

  • Kerry making the "I'll never give anyone a veto over our defense" but clearly saying that we need to be able to prove ourselves before moving in our defense. That's a veto, John

  • Now he's making the ludicrous "AK-47" comment with regard to the assault weapons ban. A full-auto AK-47 has been illegal to own for long before the ban was enacted. Just trying to scare people.

  • So Bob the moderator tosses Kerry the softball on minimum wages. Please, how would you expect him to answer?

  • Ah, now the question on the draft! Bob's using Kerry Campaign talking points. And this guy's supposed to be neutral? CBS scores again.

  • Interesting last question. Not what I was expecting.

This is the Democratic Idea of Good Debate Practices?

Have a good look, folks, and ask yourselves if this the kind of sentiment you'd be proud to put your name on:

Democratic Campaign Flier

Democrat State Representative Craig Fitzhugh of Tennessee feels this is the kind of rhetoric that Americans relate to. Absolutely disgusting and unjustifiable.

Five Minutes vs. Five Years

Dean Esmay has an interview with retired USN Captain George Elliot up on his blog. It's a good read so go have a look. The part I find myself saying "Damn right!" to is this little gem near the end of the interview:

::::::::I have very grave concerns about the American people being able to trust what the mainstream media says unless something changes. Maybe our swift boat guys, maybe this will be a greater legacy, will be what we've exposed about the mainstream media than anything we've said about Senator Kerry. I'll give you an example. The closest example to our cause is the fact that CBS admits that they've been five years chasing down President Bush's national guard records. And they haven't spent five minutes trying to find John Kerry's records!


The press seems to have no interest in this.

Indeed. We know for a fact that the Senator has not signed the release form for his records and that the USN has admitted it's holding about 100 pages of documents pending that form being signed. The press has gone after President Bush's records with every weapon in their arsenal, including the Freedom Of Information Act. So where the FOIA filing for Kerry's records? Seems Captain Elliot is right: they have no interest in this. I guess the real question now is: why?

Lest We Forget... keep our eyes on the ball I direct you to this story about the fabeled peaceful Iraqi life under Saddam Hussein. Perhaps Michael Moore missed this one?

French Study Concludes: French Are Rude

And you thought only the US Government spent money on studies to prove things that are already commonly known. Turns out that a report commissioned by Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin of France shows that the French are "arrogant, rude and surly to foreign visitors." (Who knew?)

Turns out quite a number of us here in the States knew it quite well and that poo-poo'ed "little" boycott of all things French that our media assured us was of no real concern was quite a bit more stinging than we were lead to believe.

:::::::: The report says a more realistic way of judging is by the annual income from tourists, which places France in third place with $36 billion after the United States ($90 billion) and Spain ($40 billion).

It also cites a survey of world travelers by the European polling firm Ipsos, which asked people which countries they would most like to visit. The survey placed France fourth, behind Italy, Spain, Britain and equal to the United States.

The French government particularly was alarmed by the 21 percent, or $6 billion, drop in spending by visitors from the United States.

I guess that switch over to California wines was more widespread than reported. Hey, can anyone really be surprised by this if they were paying attention? Americans aren't stupid, regardless of what Micheal Moore thinks, and we know enough to not spend our money with people who then stab us in the back.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

See the Magical Kerry Campaign Revise History Right Before Your Eyes!

This just in from the you've-got-to-see-this-to-believe-it department, Kerry spokesman Sean Smith has an interesting take on some of his candidate's commentary. Retired General Tommy Franks was making comments today on Kerry's qualifications to be President and spoke to refute some of Mr. Kerry's better-known oratory:

::::::::Franks praised the Democratic challenger's military service during the Vietnam War, but said Kerry's later anti-war activities upset him.

"The men I served with in Vietnam weren't war criminals and I'm proud I served with them," Franks said.

To which, Mr. Smith replied:

::::::::Kerry never branded any U.S. troops in Vietnam as war criminals, Smith added.::::::::

Let's see, now. What did Kerry actually say about the U.S. Troops in Vietnam? Oh, yes. He said that U.S. troops engaged in "war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command." And those crimes? They included instances where "they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war..."

Talk about not playing it straight with the American people. Speaking of speaking lies. This isn't a case where Mr. Smith simply wasn't aware of what his candidate said. You can hardly be aware of Mr. Kerry at all without knowing these phrases and the anger of Vietnam Vets of all stripes at his utterance of them. He most certainly did brand them as war criminals and Sean Smith knows it. By his own standards, Smith can't be trusted to furnish the color of a cloudless sky at noon, so we can pretty much assume that what he has to say isn't worth listening to.

DNC To File Complaint Over Anti-Kerry Movie

In a fine example of the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do mentality that has gripped the DNC and their supporters on the far-Left, the DNC has issued a complaint that the airing of an anti-Kerry movie amounts to "an illegal in-kind contribution to President Bush's campaign". "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal" deals with Kerry's actions upon his return from the Vietnam War, specifically his testimony before the Senate in 1971 and the prolonging effects that testimony had with regard to the War as a whole and the POW's treatment in particular. It is a film put forth by the POW's who felt those effects in the first person and features footage from Col. Bud Day, a man I mentioned recently.

The entire argument of the DNC is just so strikingly off-base it's ridiculous. They reveled in the extreme lie-fest that is Fahrenheit 9/11 from perennial liar Michael Moore and sat happily by while their own 527 avatars and Americans Coming Together put out their own vignettes. Now that someone's coming out with a documentary - and it's a REAL documentary with supporting evidence, unlike the F9/11 crap - the DNC wants the government to step in a censor the airing of the film. Hardly the acts of true defenders of the 1st Amendment, eh?

This is both more of the same and the shape of the future from the DNC. They have no issue spewing whatever allegations they choose about the current Administration and continually repeat those allegations even when they've been proven bogus. They take a report like that of the ISG and trumpet (with the help of their allies in the MSM) the point that the ISG couldn't find any evidence of WMD as though that's all the report said, skipping completely the parts about how Saddam was prepared to spool up his sleeper programs within months or weeks. But let someone come up with a detailed list of their candidate's history of fabrication (yes, that's called a lie) and betrayal of the interests of the United States, and well! We can't have that, now can we? Officer, supress that film!

Note to DNC: your boy Kerry made his Vietnam history the centerpiece of his campaign and, oh by the way, yours as well. That he can't now defend that history is just tough luck. As you are so quick to point out: America has a right to the whole story.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Col. Bud Day, You're Going to Be Hearing From Him.

INDCJournal has the story of Vietnam War POW and Congressional Medal of Honor winner Col. George "Bud" Day. He has allied himself with the Swift Vets and POW's for Truth and, it seems, will be appearing prominently in the next salvo that group is to fire. Most of interest, however, is the letter Col. Day wrote to Joe Scarborough about Kerry:
::::::::I was a POW of the Vietnamese in Hanoi in 1971, and I am aware that the testimony of John Kerry, the actions of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden, and the radical left; all caused the commies to conclude that if they hung on, they would win. North Vietnamese General Bui Tin commented that every day the Communist leadership listened to world news over the radio to follow the growth of the anti-war movement. Visits to Hanoi by Jane Fonda and Ramsey Clark gave them confidence to hold in the face of battlefield reverses. The guts of it was that propaganda from the anti-war group was part of their combat strategy.::::::::

You should read the rest of it.

Reeves Dead at 52.

I had held out hope that we'd win the race to get Christopher Reeves out of his wheelchair before the Reaper came to call him on. His passing on Saturday is sad on many levels and not a one of them deserves to be blunted by political distraction. Just as sadly, however, that's not to be the case. Seems the blogosphere's herald of the Left can't let his death pass without using it to take a jab at President Bush. LGF has the link to the Daily Kos where Markos “Screw Them” Zuniga makes the claim that President Bush has been as tireless an opponent to stem cell research as Reeves was an advocate. The facts, as usual, escape the Kos (does he really care?) and show that President Bush is most certainly not the zealous opponent Kos paints him to be.

The President's stance on the subject can hardly be called opposition. (Scroll down after following the link.)

::::::::The Facts Are:

* President Bush delivered the first funding ever for embryonic stem cell research. Prior to the President's announcement of new funding, federal funding of embryonic stem cell research was $0.

* The President's announcement did not ban, limit or restrict stem cell research.

* It is inaccurate to say the President "limited federal funding" of stem cell research, as such funding did not exist to limit. This language misleads voters to believe that the President put restrictions on existing federal funding.

* The President did announce the first ever federal funding of stem cell research with ethical requirements on which stem cell lines are funded.

The new federal funding that the President announced did not include funds to research stem cell lines from embryos that had not already been destroyed.

Those are the facts. Not that you'd know about them from the media, of course. The list of "professional journalists" who reported Kerry's party line without so much as researching the issue themselves - and discovering that no ban on stem cell research exists from the US Government - reads like a phone book of the MSM's themselves.

::::::::ABC: "It Was Exactly Three Years Ago Today That President Bush Restricted Research Using Embryonic Cells." VARGAS: "Turning to the campaign trail today. Many believe such research could hold a cure for diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. It was exactly three years ago today that President Bush restricted research using embryonic cells. The Democrats are hitting him hard on that all this week. Here's ABC's John Cochran." (ABC's "World News Tonight," 8/9/04)

NBC: "Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Which The President Opposes." BROKAW: "The White House says there was no discussion of their disagreement over embryonic stem cell research, which the President opposes and Mrs. Reagan very publicly supports. The White House says Mrs. Reagan did express her full support of the President's campaign for reelection as President." (NBC's "Nightly News," 8/12/04)

The Associated Press: "What The President Has Done Is Limit The Research." “With polls showing overwhelming support for stem cell research, Kerry has promised to give scientists more freedom. He has used the word ban to describe Bush's actions when what the president has done is limit the research.” (Ron Fournier, “First Lady Bashes Kerry Stem Cell Stance,” The Associated Press, 8/9/04)

The Washington Post: "President Bush's Decision To Limit Federal Embryonic Stem Cell Research." "Seizing an issue with overwhelming bipartisan support, the Kerry campaign is marking the third anniversary of President Bush's decision to limit federal embryonic stem cell research with a series of high-profile events this week that call into question the administration's commitment to science and breakthrough medicine." (Ceci Connolly, "Kerry Takes On Issue Of Embryo Research," The Washington Post, 8/8/04)

The New York Times: Laura Bush Defends "The Limits Her Husband Had Imposed On Embryonic Stem Cell Research." "Venturing forcefully into one of the more contentious issues of the campaign, Laura Bush on Monday defended the limits her husband had imposed on embryonic stem cell research and criticized those who suggested that the research could lead quickly to cures for Alzheimer's and other diseases. …Mrs. Bush spoke on the third anniversary of President Bush's decision to limit federal financing for embryonic stem cell research to the 78 stem cell lines in existence at the time and as the issue moved to the forefront of the campaign." (Randy Kennedy, "First Lady Defends Limits On Stem Cell Research," The New York Times, 8/10/04)

Los Angeles Times: "President Bush's Ban On Embryonic Stem Cell Research." "Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry vowed Saturday that he would lift President Bush's ban on embryonic stem cell research, declaring that 'here in America, we don't sacrifice science for ideology.'" (Lisa Getter, "Kerry Decries Stem Cell Limits, Promises Funding," Los Angeles Times, 8/8/04)

USA Today: Ron Reagan Will "Make The Case For Embryonic Stem-Cell Research That President Bush Has Limited." "He was the most unlikely speaker of the night at the Democratic National Convention: Ron Reagan. The son of the president who has become a Republican icon was given a prized prime-time speaking slot to make the case for embryonic stem-cell research that President Bush has limited." (Susan Page, "Reagan: 'Cast A Vote' For Stem-Cell Research," USA Today, 7/28/04)

Boston Globe Editorial: "The Ban On Federal Funding Of Stem Cell Research." "On Monday night, Hillary Clinton received one of her loudest cheers at the Democratic National Convention when she called for an end to the ban on federal funding of stem cell research." ("Ron Reagan's Question," Editorial, The Boston Globe, 7/28/04)

CNN: "And Finally, Today Marks The Three-Year Anniversary Of President Bush's Ban On Some Federally-Funded Stem Cell Research." (Carol Costello, CNN's "American Morning," 8/9/04)

BBC Correspondent Labeled Bush Administration Stem Cell Policy A "Ban On Stem Cell Research." KAY: "I think this is much harder for President Bush. And you've had three dozen Republican congressmen, 48 Nobel laureates in science coming out and saying that the ban on stem cell research has to be overturned as well. Ron Reagan is not by himself. There's a broad body..." (NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show," 7/18/04)

CNN: Bush Administration's Policy Is To "Limit Federal Funding Of Stem Cell Research." WALLACE: "A senior Kerry adviser says Ron Reagan's decision to speak at the Democratic Convention will have, quote, 'big appeal to independents.' Reagan has been an outspoken critic of President Bush on many issues including his decision to limit federal funding of stem cell research." (CNNFN's "Market Call," 7/12/04)

Los Angeles Times: "Limited Federal Support For Stem Cell Research." "The president did not mention another major cause for religious conservatives: limiting federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. The issue has proven complicated for Republicans in the wake of the death of former President Reagan, who suffered from Alzheimer's, and his son's appearance at the Democratic convention attacking the limited federal support for stem cell research." (Peter Wallsten, "Bush Touches Base With His Core Supporters," Los Angeles Times, 8/4/04)

United Press International: "President Bush's Partial Ban On Embryonic-Stem-Cell Research." "The hot-button political issue of life and its origins came to the fore Monday as the Kerry-Edwards campaign commemorated the 'sad anniversary' of President Bush's partial ban on embryonic-stem-cell research, a decision Democrats charge was inappropriately based on the president's personal moral imperatives." (Marie Horrigan, "GOP: Dems 'Dishonest' On Stem-Cell Issue," United Press International, 8/9/04)

St. Petersburg Times: "President Bush's Ban On Stem Cell Research." "The three Democrats delivered their standard stump speeches about education, the economy and health care. And for the most part, they agreed. They oppose a constitutional ban on gay marriages. They oppose President Bush's ban on stem cell research. They oppose tax breaks for the rich." (Anita Kumar, "Unified Front Belies Rancor," St. Petersburg Times, 8/4/04)

San Antonio Express Editorial: "The Misguided Ban On Federal Funding Of Stem Cell Research." "Reagan's moving appeal to the nation may help put an end to the misguided ban on federal funding of stem cell research, which Reagan correctly said may be 'the greatest medical breakthrough in our or in any lifetime.'" (Editorial, "Regan Makes His Point," San Antonio Express-News, 7/29/04)

The Plain Dealer (Cleveland): "The Bush Ban On Embryonic Stem Cell Research." "Ron Reagan, the outspoken son of the late Republican President Ronald Reagan, made a case for ending the Bush ban on embryonic stem cell research that might cure Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and other illnesses." (Stephen Koff, "For Party Faithful, Visions Of Hope," The [Cleveland] Plain Dealer, 7/28/04)

Orlando Sentinel: "President Bush's Ban On New Embryonic Stem-Cell Research." "He also called for increasing research into cures for debilitating diseases and for overturning President Bush's ban on new embryonic stem-cell research." (Robyn Shelton, "Kerry Vows To Overhaul Health Care," Orlando Sentinel, 7/27/04)

Kansas City Star: "Third Anniversary Of President Bush's Decision To Limit Federal Embryonic Stem Cell Research." "The Kerry campaign is marking the third anniversary of President Bush's decision to limit federal embryonic stem cell research by questioning the administration's commitment to science." ("Democrats Criticize Stem Cell Restrictions," The Kansas City Star, 8/8/04)

This is as simple as investigative reporting gets, so there's no excuse. To depict the current Administration as banning the research, or standing in opposition to it isn't a matter of opinion or even sloppy reporting. It's advancing a political view. I expect that when it's the DNC or MoveOn doing it, but when supposedly unbiased news outfits do so that's a different ballgame. As for Kos, well... he'd swear the sky was purple and mauve at noon on a cloudless day if George Bush said it was blue.

Kerry Seen As Distracted, Flailing

As I read the news this morning, my wife & I were a bit shocked at the tone of an article on John Kerry, most especially when you considered its source. Titled John Kerry, Stumping As Fast As He Can, the picture it paints of Mr. Kerry isn't the fawning PR you've come to expect from the Washington Post.

::::::::But Kerry himself is conveying distraction. He keeps fidgeting while he is being announced by local congressman Sherrod Brown. He removes his brown canvas coat and then starts stalking around the lip of the stage, summoning an aide -- press steward Jim Loftus -- and telling him to summon another, trip director Setti Warren. Kerry whispers something briefly to Warren and hands him his coat.

This fuss has transpired during much of Brown's introduction and in view of many people in the crowd -- and could have probably been avoided had Kerry simply thrown his jacket over a bale of hay. The candidate walks up to the microphone and gives a few perfunctory waves and thank-yous.

He begins his stump speech with a few references to the Boston Red Sox and Friday's debate. He then recites a laundry list of laments about the lost jobs and the decline in international stature that President Bush has overseen. Kerry keeps saying how focused he is and how he's "fighting" for every vote, not wasting "a single minute."

But this doesn't preclude sprinting through a lot of those minutes. Kerry has a knack for being at once long-winded and also eager to be done. If it's possible to meander in a hurry, that's what he did Saturday. He is man between debates -- passing though on his way to somewhere else, a much bigger spotlight.

The rest of the article isn't much better, especially when it revists the issue of Kerry's long-winded, say nothing answers. If the cracks are starting to show in the nearly-incessant cheerleading for Kerry provided by much of the MSM these past several months, then the next 24 days aren't going to be a smooth ride for the presidential challenger.

Afghan Elections Seen As Legitimate

WaPo is reporting that the concerns over the Afghan elections are subsiding. Good to hear. The reports coming in are showing that the voter turnout was massive and that the overwhelming feeling on the part of the Afghanis is excitement over their 1st election. Life in Kabul is improving dramatically in the environment of democracy. This is what Iraq can be, so long as we all continue to push for it. And I do mean all - Coalition and Iraqis together.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

ASU Professor Putting Words Into The Mouths Of The Dead

Blackfive has a story up about a professor at Arizona State University who has created and distributed a poster using the picture of Pat Tillman, the Army Ranger killed in action in Afghanistan, and including a message written as though from Tillman critical of the war and of the "flawed perceptions" that lead to his own demise. Utter drivel. Tillman was quite eloquent about his beliefs and convictions while he was alive and to write as though in his voice suggesting that the war is only waged due to "flawed perceptions of myself my country and the war on terror" is a fraud, plain and simple. Assistant Professor John Leanos in Chicano Studies at ASU alleges that he created the poster to be "thought-provoking about the tragic decisions made in Afghanistan." (Brief aside: then why hide your identity as the creator of the poster, Prof?)

Unless he's referring to the tragic decision made by members of his own unit to fire at the specific moment and along the specific vector that resulted in Tillman's death, then the Professor's comment is supposing facts not proven. The message taken as a whole, and taken in that specific comment, shows a bias in automatically assigning the decisions made in Afghanistan to the "tragic" column. Putting those words into the mouth of a man now dead and unable to refute them when his words while alive spoke exactly the opposite message is disingenious, at best, and that should be considered beneath the behavior for a college professor. Considering the huge leftist bias in academia in America, however, it's just par for the course. Fine. Following Blackfive's suggestion, I went to register a complaint on the matter with ASU's president. Imagine my surprise to see this message:

::::::::The server is currently experiencing technical issues. Please revisit at a later time to check the system's status.

So, you're telling me that the entire ASU campus computer system is hanging on 1 server? With no backup? For all of ASU's sites? And that this 1 server just so happens to be experiencing "technical difficulties" at the moment they're being called to public task for the fraudulent behavior of one of its professors? Sure. I buy that. At least when "Professor" De Genova at Columbia University launched his infamous screed wishing for a "million Mogadishu's" to be visited upon the members of this nation's military, Columbia didn't hide behind some hastily thrown up "Technical difficulties. Please stand by..." placard. Shame, ASU. Shame indeed.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Australia and Afghanistan Elections complete

Pardon the late posts. I've got family in town so I'm not on-line as much as I would be.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard won re-election convincingly and even increased his Coalition's majority in the Australian government. There's talk at this point that his party might actually win control of the Senate which would represent a significant shift in power Down Under.

::::::::Apart from increasing the Coalition's lower house majority by between two and nine seats, the Coalition was poised late last night to either control the senate outright or do so with the assistance of a Victorian Family First senator.

That would allow the Government, for the first time since the 1980s, to pass its controversial legislation without bartering with the left-wing parties.

"This swing to the Government is almost unprecedented," exuberant Liberal Party strategist Nick Minchin said, putting the emphatic result down to the unity of the front bench team and Mr Howard's intense focus.

Voters didn't just ignore Labor's $40 billion restructure of health, education and other social policies, they spurned the party's entire thrust.

The elections had been predicted to be close and was being held up as a referendum of sorts on the Coalition in the GWOT. Well, referendum or no, is turned out not to be close at all. I applaud John Howard's win and look forward to the Aussie support in the war on terror in the years to come.

Afghanistan's politicians have, unfortunately, picked up on the worst of American politics all too quickly. With an error in the UN-devised method of inking peoples' hands to keep them from voting twice, Hamid Karzai's opponents have called for boycotting the election entirely. Even though the mistake was caught quickly, the 15 candidates - who are all expected to lose the election - are refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the election.

::::::::Election officials acknowledged that workers at some voting stations mistakenly swapped the permanent ink meant to mark thumbs with normal ink meant for ballots but insisted the problem was caught quickly.

"Halting the vote at this stage is unjustified and would deny these people their right to vote," said Ray Kennedy, vice chairman of the joint U.N.-Afghan electoral panel. "There have been some technical problems but overall it has been safe and orderly."

Kennedy said it could take time for the electoral body to reach a decision on the vote's legitimacy. Initial results were not expected until late Sunday or early Monday, and anything approaching a full count could take two weeks.

10.5 million people were lined up for their 1st elections ever. The chance that the inking problem at the 1 location where the problem occurred will have significantly affected the outcome is so vanishingly small as to be practically zero. Even if the vote were held over tomorrow, it won't get any of them elected. For the good of their people, they should accept the results and do their best to work with the new government. There's always next elections.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Scams on scams

Chrenkoff has a wonderful post on what has become, unfortunately, all too common an occurence here in cyberspace: the "Nigerian Scam" e-mail. You know the type? The one where you get an e-mail from a family member/business associate/lawyer of a Nigerian businessman who died while having millions in a US bank account. They need your help to get it, and in exchange for your handing over the account information to your personal bank account, they'll let you keep a huge chunk o' change. Only when you do that, they clean out the account and you never hear from them again. I get about 1 or 2 of those a week these days.

Chrenkoff's got the latest incarnation of this scam letter, this time hailing from Iraq (supposedly).

::::::::I've seen it all, yet there's always something new out there to amuse me, like the latest one "FROM THE DESK OF BARRISTER, WILLIAM SMITH", associated, of course, with "the NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLUM COPORATION":

"I am BARRISTER WILLIAM SMITH, a personal Attorney to Mr. Hasan Farouk, and a National of your Country. He was also a Contractor with one of the Government Prostates."

I understand that in some countries you need to do a lot of ass-kissing to get a good job, but this strikes me as a bit too much.

Well put! And to lay in the knockdown blow, he notes that the letter mentions that the money they need your help in moving came to them via the UN Oil-for-Food program. A scam based on a scam! Such efficiency! But the best line of the post goes to Chrenkoff, hands down:

::::::::It was a scam, alright, but the proposal was real. You could even say that the email reproduced above is fake but accurate.

Damn, Dan, that's gotta hurt!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Accentuating the Negative

As noted over on every MSM outlet available, there's a report out from US Iraq Survey Group (ISG) saying, among other things, that Saddam's Iraq had no stockpiles of WMD when the US-led coalition invaded. The aforementioned MSM's make damn sure you know about that point and they make equally sure you don't find out about the rest of the report until much later in the story, if at all. Bryon over at Slings & Arrows has actually read the whole report and highlights parts the Old Media Guard would prefer you didn't see. Quoting from the report, links to which are provided here at Fox News, shows that the ISG concluded that Saddam was doing his best to cheat on the UN sanctions and was pouring money into his military to get banned weapons programs in position to spool up swiftly once sanctions were lifted:

::::::::In his report, Duelfer concluded that Saddam's Iraq had no stockpiles of the banned weapons, but he said he found signs of idle programs that Saddam could have revived once international attention waned.

Saddam was importing banned materials, working on unmanned aerial vehicles in violation of U.N. agreements and maintaining industrial capability that could be converted to produce weapons, officials have said. Duelfer also describes Saddam's Iraq as having had limited research efforts into chemical and biological weapons.


The report by CIA consultant and weapons inspector Charles Duelfer (search) is expected to reveal how Saddam turned the humanitarian program into a cash cow for himself and his cronies. U.S. officials said that in the report, Duelfer asserts that Iraq readily accepted the 1996 program because he knew it would give his government a steady flow of cash, much of which he could toss into his military-industrial complex.

The Duelfer report estimates that Saddam's military-industrial budget was $8 million per year in 1996. By 2001, prior to the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the figure had ballooned to $350 million per year. The report credits the Oil-for-Food program for the jump, said the U.S. officials.

From $8 mill to $350 mill. Now where do you think that money was coming from? I'll tell you where: the UN Oil-for-Food scam that was lining the pockets of France, Russia, Germany and others. And that includes the UN officer, Benon Sevan, who is implicated by name as having received millions in kickbacks. Saddam was buying them all off so he could get those sanctions lifted and quick-start those weapons programs in a hurry. Of course, the headlines in the papers and the talking heads on TV won't go into that much, if at all. It doesn't fit the story they want to tell, so they'll bury it. It's already happening.

Well, that was fast

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

I suppose I should have actually checked Haloscan first, since they've not only addressed the new template issue, they've developed an automated install tool. So, not only am I back on Haloscan for comments, I got TrackBack, too!

General Blogkeeping

As you may have noticed (if you've been here recently), I changed over to a new template this week and that necessitated some basic changes. Specifically, I'm talking about the comments on each post. Previously, I was using Haloscan to handle the comments. It's a fine addition to the blog and I liked it. Unfortunately, the new templates at blogger make that more difficult than before. Besides, Blogger now supports their own comments engine, so I'm giving it a shot.

The one thing I don't like about it is that you either have to log in to your Blogger account to leave comments, or you post as "Anonymous." There doesn't appear to be a way to allow someone who's not a Blogger user to put in a name and e-mail like Haloscan allowed. In any case, I'm working on the issue and ask that you be sure to sign your name to your comments manually until I do.


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Must've Been Memorable

Dick Cheney made a stinging remark during the debate last night that he'd not met Edwards before, implying that the Senator was absent from the Senate often enough that he, as the presiding officer of the Senate, hadn't run into him during the course of business. Turns out he was mistaken and had, in fact, met Senator Edwards before. Senator Edwards says his wife, Elizabeth, reminded the Vice President of the meeting while on stage immediately after the debate, to which Cheney replied, "Oh, yeah."

Must've been a real memorable experience. In any case, in the interests of disclosure, there it is. Sorry if I can't bring myself to see this as a real "gotcha" moment, though. The good Senator's attendance record isn't a matter of perception, it's a matter of recorded fact. And the fact is he's been one of (if not the) most absent members of the Senate. He missed dozens of important votes and meetings. Meeting the Vice President or not is immaterial to that fact.

In Case You Were Wondering What Responsible Journalism Looks Like... (UPDATED!)

RatherGate has a story of what it looks like to see responsible journalism in action. The Duluth, MN News Tribune ran a letter to the editor that was based upon (and made considerable use of) the bogus e-mail circulating among college campuses that the Bush Administration was going to re-instate the draft after their re-election. This story was run by the perpetually truth-challenged CBS News crew recently. When RatherGate saw the story in the News Tribune, they let the editor there know about the mistake. What happened next was amazing, given CBS' responses to the same notification.

The editor, Robin Washington, apologized. In writing. As the lead editorial of the edition. And note that the apology wasn't a "we're sorry, but here's why we ran the story" piece. It was directed to their readers and to the Bush Administration and it was succinct.

::::::::Portions of that letter were lifted without attribution in the letter by Roger Parsons of Duluth that appeared in the News Tribune. Though prior to publication Parsons assured the newspaper's letters verifier that he indeed had written the letter, and that it had been submitted only to the News Tribune, that was not true and we regret our part in disseminating false information. An apology is due to the Bush administration and to our readers -- including several who alerted us of the fraud -- and we hereby humbly extend one.

Reached by the newspaper Tuesday, Parsons also apologized and immediately sent the letter that appears on this page. While we accept his apology, it is the last writing of his that will be published by the paper for the foreseeable future.

Wow. Not only did the editor do the right thing in apologizing for an accusation that turned out to be unfounded, but they called the original author on it, too. They're also quite specific as to the remedy they're using to avoid such an issue with this particular author. And his apology?

::::::::I should have checked the information I wrote first.

The Bush Administration is NOT pushing the bills I cited. In fact, Democrats introduced the legislation in January of 2003 in an effort to discourage people from supporting the pending war with Iraq. Their actions were politically motivated, but the Bush administration had no direct involvement in the legislation.

Furthermore, what I wrote and what the News Tribune published was mostly information that is available elsewhere on the Internet. I borrowed quite liberally from this (though it was my belief that I was paraphrasing the words of a political science professor at my daughter's college). So the words were not really my own and I should have quoted what I had read rather than misrepresenting it.

For both of these actions I am truly sorry and sincerely apologize, and I apologize as well to the newspaper for any embarrassment I may have caused them.

Seems the author is doing the right thing, too. Salutes to them both. I think very highly of that kind of honorable action. I can only hope that CBS is paying attention, somehow.

Update: Missing links to Rathergate now provided. Sorry about that!