Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The most vitriolic campaign in memory
It has been observed that his campaign has been the most negative, spite filled, vitriolic and generally nasty campaign in recent memory. And I think I've finally discovered why. A post entitled 'Vetran's Day' from the Mudville Gazette clearly demonstrates why there is a segment of the body politic that actually hates Senator Kerry. Not disagrees, not finds untenable, not ideological opponents, but visceral, personal animosity. Why has this been the most negative campaign in recent memory? Because Kerry is the most divisive candidate in recent memory for may of thos who served in Vietnam.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Guess the political figure!
There's a new game in the blogosphere! It's guess who said it! Here is the quote of the day:
"We know we can't count on the French. We know we can't count on the Russians, We know that Iraq is a danger to the United States, and we reserve the right to take pre-emptive action whenever we feel it's in our national interest."

So who said this? Senator John Kerry, 1997 on CNN Crossfire. I guess we now know why Candidate Karry isn't running on his Senate Record.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Dear Mr. Annan
I wonder if anyone else has noticed the delicious irony inherent in you lecturing in the United States on what is or is not legal.

Update: another criticism of Mr. Annan by Mr.Joseph Ghougassian, formerly of the CPA in Iraq and ambassador to Qatar.

Monday, September 20, 2004

You couldn't come up with a better farsical comedy if you hired Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis to write the script.
JOHN Kerry's campaign has warned Australians that the Howard Government's support for the US in Iraq has made them a bigger target for international terrorists.

Diana Kerry, younger sister of the Democrat presidential candidate, told The Weekend Australian that the Bali bombing and the recent attack on the Australian embassy in Jakarta clearly showed the danger to Australians had increased.

"Australia has kept faith with the US and we are endangering the Australians now by this wanton disregard for international law and multilateral channels," she said, referring to the invasion of Iraq.

Asked if she believed the terrorist threat to Australians was now greater because of the support for Republican George W. Bush, Ms Kerry said: "The most recent attack was on the Australian embassy in Jakarta -- I would have to say that."

The Loyal Oppostion
WE ARE LOSING THE WAR ON TERROR. In the name of security, we deprive our citizens of their constitutional rights. In the name of democracy, we enforce a hostile occupation. In the name of human rights, we brutalize countless prisoners. And day by day, our soldiers get shot down one by one in the futile hope of winning a war we never should have started
David Adesnik, not commenting on George Bush and The US, but rather Vladimir Putin, and his latest 'security measures' in Russia. It appears that the old KGB arapatchik has returned to his roots, and decided that Authority is the only way to deal with insecurity and violence.

I find it incredible that we have people confabulating an equality of behavior between GW Bush and Hitler. For example, we have former Weapons inspector Scott Ritter comparing Iraq with Poland in 1939. Never mind the implicit insult to the Polish derived by equating then President Moscicki & PM Slawoj-Skladkowski of the Second Polish Republic to the thugocracy of Saddam Hussein in Ritter's assertation.

One fo the recurring themes of this election cycle is that Bush is trying to rule in a 'Climate of Fear', and yet, these very same people prey on Americans fear of the despot in their attempt to unseat the current President by equating him with one of the most vile figures of the 20th century and declaring his supporters 'morons' or 'idiots'. Is this the new norm for rhetorical flourish? Instead of presenting something concrete we simply paint an image that invokes an emotional loathing of the target or opposition?

No wonder this election of so hate-filled, vile and unparalleled in its vitriol. Neither camp is 'talking', rather they are creating self-reinforcing memes of loathing to encapsulate the caricature of the opposition. Flip-Flopper vs. Genocidal maniac. Dithering Patrician Ninny Fussbudget vs. Megalomaniac Overlord of the Universe.

I long for a 'loyal opposition' which will actually challenge the current administration on policy. Federal Marriage Amendment? Bans on certain types of research driving scientific exploration overseas? What the hell sort of nonsense is this?

As Americans we must remain vigilant against anyone who would assume the role of a Putin. But the facts on the ground do not point to Bush being cast from that mold. It would be nice if someone in the opposition would debate reality as opposed to a straw man caricature of a monster.

"Those who would sacrifice their fundamental liberty for security deserve neither" -Benjamin Franklin - whose words are as true today as 200 years ago, but we can't address any concrete issues as long as the two camps are simply screaming at each other in invective.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Lies, damn lies, and lots of hand waiving in the Main Stream Media.
A friend of mine recently asked an interesting and important question:
How can you support Bush/Cheney when they have effectively stated that a vote for Kerry supports further terrorist attacks?
I couldn't. Such a statement would be reprehensible. But then, no one ever said that.

Here is Cheney's statement according to the Nightly News
Because if we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we'll get hit again, that we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States.
Pretty damning. But there is a small problem. Here is the actual quote by Cheney from the transcript of the speech
Because if we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we'll get hit again, that we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States, and that we'll fall back into the pre-9/11 mind set if you will, that in fact these terrorist attacks are just criminal acts, and that we're not really at war. I think that would be a terrible mistake for us.
Ok. One isolated incident. Not so bad. People make mistakes. Well then what about the latest explosion of the 60 minute story about Bushe's ANG service?

The short take on the subject is that documents were uncovered that demonstrate that Bush was derelict in his Air National Guard duty during Vietnam. Unfortunately for CBS, there is a small problem: There is significant ample evidence that the documents are a forgery, from Donald Sensing pointing out that the documents make no sense from a military perspective, to Charles Johnson pointing out that the documents were written in MS Word, and exhibit characteristics not possible of a typewriter in 1972.

And what about the 'Bush supporters booed Clinton when Heart Bypass was announced' story? This also turned out to be a complete fabrication.

This brings me to my question. When did the Main Stream Media stop fact checking anything? How long have we been accepting outright fabrications from our media simply because they were the gatekeepers of news? Who declared CBS et al the authority on what is 'authentic' news?

At the end of the day, I think the astonishing thing about this story is that Bush is 10 points ahead of Kerry in spite of MSM highlighting every possible damaging story that passes their desk. If anything good comes of this election, it will be the end of the monoculture of the MSM, and a return to openly biased and competing news outlets compiling facts and presenting reasonable analysis - while openly advertising their slant on things. If we are to enjoy the benefits of a Free Press then let it truly be free, not a monocultural voice for a particular ideology. Neither party should lay claim over the MSM. And I look forward to the day when CBS and the rest report on all news, not just the 'news'.

UPDATE: The more things change, the more they stay exactly the same (Bloom County 1984).

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Zell Miller's Speech
It is unfortunate that a Democrat had to travel to New York, instead of Boston to make this speech - and that he had to endorse a different parties candidate at the conclusion of it. Zell Miller strikes me as the best example of the 'Jacksonian Democrat' in politics today. And there is something very, very wrong with the Democratic party if the only way a Jacksonian can be heard is by addressing Republicans.

As usual James Lileks summarizes at this point better than I could possibly do:
Look, over in Roosia y’all got a hunnert Islamic terrorists holdin’ schoolkids hostage with bomb belts, and they’d do it here in a heartbeat, and they might probably will. So can we talk about spendin’ federal money on carvin’ up embryos later?

Anyway, Here is the text of Senator Miller's speech:

Since I last stood in this spot, a whole new generation of the Miller Family has been born: Four great grandchildren.

Along with all the other members of our close-knit family, they are my and Shirley's most precious possessions.

And I know that's how you feel about your family also. Like you, I think of their future, the promises and the perils they will face.

Like you, I believe that the next four years will determine what kind of world they will grow up in.

And like you, I ask which leader is it today that has the vision, the willpower and, yes, the backbone to best protect my family?

The clear answer to that question has placed me in this hall with you tonight. For my family is more important than my party.

There is but one man to whom I am willing to entrust their future and that man's name is George Bush.

In the summer of 1940, I was an 8-year-old boy living in a remote little Appalachian valley. Our country was not yet at war, but even we children knew that there were some crazy men across the ocean who would kill us if they could.

President Roosevelt, in his speech that summer, told America "all private plans, all private lives, have been in a sense repealed by an overriding public danger."

In 1940, Wendell Wilkie was the Republican nominee.

And there is no better example of someone repealing their "private plans" than this good man. He gave Roosevelt the critical support he needed for a peacetime draft, an unpopular idea at the time.

And he made it clear that he would rather lose the election than make national security a partisan campaign issue.

Shortly before Wilkie died, he told a friend, that if he could write his own epitaph and had to choose between "here lies a president" or "here lies one who contributed to saving freedom," he would prefer the latter.

Where are such statesmen today?

Where is the bipartisanship in this country when we need it most?

Now, while young Americans are dying in the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, our nation is being torn apart and made weaker because of the Democrat's manic obsession to bring down our Commander in Chief.

What has happened to the party I've spent my life working in?

I can remember when Democrats believed that it was the duty of America to fight for freedom over tyranny.

It was Democratic President Harry Truman who pushed the Red Army out of Iran, who came to the aid of Greece when Communists threatened to overthrow it, who stared down the Soviet blockade of West Berlin by flying in supplies and saving the city.

Time after time in our history, in the face of great danger, Democrats and Republicans worked together to ensure that freedom would not falter. But not today.

Motivated more by partisan politics than by national security, today's Democratic leaders see America as an occupier, not a liberator.

And nothing makes this Marine madder than someone calling American troops occupiers rather than liberators.

Tell that to the one-half of Europe that was freed because Franklin Roosevelt led an army of liberators, not occupiers.

Tell that to the lower half of the Korean Peninsula that is free because Dwight Eisenhower commanded an army of liberators, not occupiers.

Tell that to the half a billion men, women and children who are free today from the Baltics to the Crimea, from Poland to Siberia, because Ronald Reagan rebuilt a military of liberators, not occupiers.

Never in the history of the world has any soldier sacrificed more for the freedom and liberty of total strangers than the American soldier. And, our soldiers don't just give freedom abroad, they preserve it for us here at home.

For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest.

It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.

No one should dare to even think about being the Commander in Chief of this country if he doesn't believe with all his heart that our soldiers are liberators abroad and defenders of freedom at home.

But don't waste your breath telling that to the leaders of my party today. In their warped way of thinking America is the problem, not the solution.

They don't believe there is any real danger in the world except that which America brings upon itself through our clumsy and misguided foreign policy.

It is not their patriotism -- it is their judgment that has been so sorely lacking. They claimed Carter's pacifism would lead to peace.

They were wrong.

They claimed Reagan's defense buildup would lead to war.

They were wrong.

And, no pair has been more wrong, more loudly, more often than the two Senators from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry.

Together, Kennedy/Kerry have opposed the very weapons system that won the Cold War and that is now winning the War on Terror.

Listing all the weapon systems that Senator Kerry tried his best to shut down sounds like an auctioneer selling off our national security but Americans need to know the facts.

The B-1 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, dropped 40 percent of the bombs in the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The B-2 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered air strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hussein's command post in Iraq.

The F-14A Tomcats, that Senator Kerry opposed, shot down Khadifi's Libyan MIGs over the Gulf of Sidra. The modernized F-14D, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered missile strikes against Tora Bora.

The Apache helicopter, that Senator Kerry opposed, took out those Republican Guard tanks in Kuwait in the Gulf War. The F-15 Eagles, that Senator Kerry opposed, flew cover over our Nation's Capital and this very city after 9/11.

I could go on and on and on: against the Patriot Missile that shot down Saddam Hussein's scud missiles over Israel; against the Aegis air-defense cruiser; against the Strategic Defense Initiative; against the Trident missile; against, against, against.

This is the man who wants to be the Commander in Chief of our U.S. Armed Forces?

U.S. forces armed with what? Spitballs?

Twenty years of votes can tell you much more about a man than twenty weeks of campaign rhetoric.

Campaign talk tells people who you want them to think you are. How you vote tells people who you really are deep inside.

Senator Kerry has made it clear that he would use military force only if approved by the United Nations.

Kerry would let Paris decide when America needs defending.

I want Bush to decide.

John Kerry, who says he doesn't like outsourcing, wants to outsource our national security.

That's the most dangerous outsourcing of all. This politician wants to be leader of the free world.

Free for how long?

For more than 20 years, on every one of the great issues of freedom and security, John Kerry has been more wrong, more weak and more wobbly than any other national figure.

As a war protester, Kerry blamed our military.

As a Senator, he voted to weaken our military. And nothing shows that more sadly and more clearly than his vote this year to deny protective armor for our troops in harms way, far away.

George Bush understands that we need new strategies to meet new threats.

John Kerry wants to re-fight yesterday's war. George Bush believes we have to fight today's war and be ready for tomorrow's challenges. George Bush is committed to providing the kind of forces it takes to root out terrorists.

No matter what spider hole they may hide in or what rock they crawl under.

George Bush wants to grab terrorists by the throat and not let them go to get a better grip.

From John Kerry, they get a "yes-no-maybe" bowl of mush that can only encourage our enemies and confuse our friends.

I first got to know George Bush when we served as governors together. I admire this man. I am moved by the respect he shows the first lady, his unabashed love for his parents and his daughters, and the fact that he is unashamed of his belief that God is not indifferent to America.

I can identify with someone who has lived that line in "Amazing Grace," "Was blind, but now I see," and I like the fact that he's the same man on Saturday night that he is on Sunday morning.

He is not a slick talker but he is a straight shooter and, where I come from, deeds mean a lot more than words.

I have knocked on the door of this man's soul and found someone home, a God-fearing man with a good heart and a spine of tempered steel.

The man I trust to protect my most precious possession: my family.

This election will change forever the course of history, and that's not any history. It's our family's history.

The only question is how. The answer lies with each of us. And, like many generations before us, we've got some hard choosing to do.

Right now the world just cannot afford an indecisive America. Fainthearted self-indulgence will put at risk all we care about in this world.

In this hour of danger our President has had the courage to stand up. And this Democrat is proud to stand up with him.

Thank you.

God Bless this great country and God Bless George W. Bush.