Archive for October, 2004

Sunday, October 31st, 2004

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Regarding Egg on my face

Sunday, October 31st, 2004

As I said in response to Bill Whittle’s post of chagrin although many of us really thought Osama was dead, it is at least encouraging that he was reduced to sending his message via VHS to Al-Jazeera rather than via Boeing 777 to the Sears Tower.

It was pointed out to me by the beautiful chocolate-haired goddess who deigns to share her life with mine (aka, my sainted wife), he could be delaying an attack until Tuesday to disrupt voting in a hotly contested swing state.

My response to her was (even though I couldn’t come up with the word precarious at the time) that that is a tremendously precarious plan since he MUST choose a state in which the vote count is close enough that a few (or even many) ruined polling places or destroyed ballots could swing the whole state AND that state MUST have enough Electoral Votes to push one candidate over the magical 270 mark and therefore the ENTIRE election MUST be close enough that one state (AND that state being the one he chose) can make that difference. According to the LGF story highlighted in the below entry, Osama whines in the hidden 12 minutes of his recent Oscar-contender that Bush has drastically damaged his ability to wage large-scale assaults. It sounds like he doesn’t have the ability to hit more than one state. If he does try to hit more than one state, it only increases the complexity of the problems, not reduces it. Besides, I think that Osama is (sadly) much smarter than that.

In Spain, Al-Qaida-allied terrorists blew up a train station three days before the election. That gave the media enough time to report the story and speculate on the “root causes” and not enough time for the then-current government to rally support and explain to the electorate why resolve is called for and why succumbing to the terrorists is appeasement and will not work. In the US, we get a VHS. That’s it. Thank God. PapaScott, in a fit of Gallows Humor, bemoans the lack of respect Osama shows the American electorate by using the broadcast media to do his dirty work. I agree, but, I’m sure, we’re both happy that Osama misunderestimated the American people again.

Please join me on Tuesday in wishing Osama a merry Fuck You on Tuesday. Vote. Vote for Bush. Send these terrorists a message that we will not, can not be intimidated by some asshole with a Camcorder and too much time on his bloodied hands.

He wasn’t kidding

Sunday, October 31st, 2004

John Kerry wasn’t kidding when he said, “I’ve met foreign leaders who can’t go out and say this publicly, but boy they look at you and say, ‘You’ve got to win this, you’ve got to beat this guy, we need a new policy,’ things like that.”

According to this article on Little Green Footballs, a new, more accurate translation of Bin Laden’s tape by MEMRI TV makes clear that Bin Laden offers a truce to those US States who vote for Kerry on Tuesday, and promises to wage war on those which go for Bush. With Kerry’s recent endorsements from Yasser Arafat, Kim Jong Il, former terrorist friendly Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and France, why should any American vote for him?

The Big Dance (or Invasion of the Sports Metaphor)

Sunday, October 31st, 2004

The anticipation courses through my body like electricity. I get breathless and panicky thinking about the different possible outcomes. As unexpected events surfaced, I thrill or despair depending on the swing of the pendulum toward or away from my favor. There are two things that elicit this effect in me.

The Chicago Bears (Papa Bear, oh why hast thou forsaken us?) and National Politics.

Sports and politics are quite similar, but I will give sports the win for Best-Looking Cheerleaders (Susan Estrich and Bill Kristol? yecch!). Like football (my sports poison of choice), I knew who I was rooting for before the season started. My team’s pre-season wasn’t even worth watching since we all knew who our veteran starters would be. Like (sigh) Brett Favre, they had proven their worth and dedication in past years and earned their starting positions. Our opponents though, they had a riotous pre-season loaded with a Quarterback Controversy that would rival anything the Bears dealt with during the Wannstedt/Jauron eras. Could those New york Dems actually start a pro War on Terror QB – er candidate? Would they throw a veteran behind the center or let the rookie have a shot? It was a wild ride for sure. It almost felt like the playoffs as I rooted for both the arch-rival and the patsy while they determined who would play my team. It felt choosing between the Packers or the Lions to win on my team’s bye week to determine whether we would compete against our more than competent arch-rival or the division easy-win. Do we hope for the Pack to win so we can prove our mettle, or root for the Lions so that victory is ours to lose?

As it turns out, those Dems put up a decent competitor. More like the Minnesota Vikings. A team with a lot of potential and with a long history of moderate success. A few stellar moments, but otherwise, a reliable mediocrity. Kerry’s a candidate that can be relied on to put up a good effort and on any given Sunday has just as good a chance of winning as losing.

Like any good football season, there have been plenty of bright spots on either side that allow for some good discussions. Most of the Democratic bright spots were really just Republican low spots, but if you can’t take advantage of an opponent’s failure, you don’t belong on the field. You’ve got to pick up those fumbles in order to win. On the other hand, you also have to score points of your own. You can’t rely on your opponent to lose in order for you to win.

However, now we are really in the playoffs. This is where the big plays that can break the game wide open are made. The Dems Left Coast Offense has sent attack after attack from the air (the CBS News/60 minutes/New York Times convergence on the 380 tons of HMX – or is it 3 tons? – and the forged Bush Memos, the lies of Fahrenheit 9/11 that turn into Democratic talking points and the repeated assaults of MoveOn.org and George Soros’ allies). The Republicans have played smashmouth (i.e., old-school Chicago-style) football. They have stuck with the gameplan and have just rammed the ball up the middle over and over and over. They have broken through the line often for big gains (the RNC Convention for one, the Swift Boat Vets for another), but most gains have been small and even holding the line of scrimmage is a gain when you look at the opposition’s defense. By staying on-message and just relentlessly driving home the point that Bush understands the War on Terror and has the will and desire to take the battle to the enemy until he has no more will or ability to fight. Kerry, meanwhile, seems to completely disbelieve that there is such a thing as a War on Terror, believing instead that it is a law enforcement issue; at any rate, he refuses to accept that Al-Qaida is not the alpha and the omega of the War on Terror. The Bush team’s consistent, constant and cogent arguments have left their opponents breathless and desperately defensive. Through repetitive running of the ball and control of the clock, the Bush team have set the tone and framed the discussion of this campaign. Not only has Kerry been forced to respond to Bush’s message, he has been unable to even form a coherent message of his own to deliver. Even when Bush is on defense, Kerry is scrambling to get any kind of message out, throwing bomb after bomb only to see it swatted down, intercepted or stopped at the point of the catch.

The big game though, is Tuesday. All of the posturing and positioning in these last few days really don’t make much of a difference though. All three undecideds aside, most Americans know who they are going to punch their ballots for on Tuesday, and in fact, have known it since March. Bush fans are not likely to converty Kerry fans, and Kerry fans (you few, you happy few) will certainly not be swaying Bush voters. By the same token, we Bears fans will almost never convince our misguided brethren to the North that the Packers, despite their success, really aren’t worthy of it. Obviously the only REAL football is BEARS Football!

I hope that the final score is determined on Tuesday and that the game doesn’t go into overtime again. No one likes when the SuperBowl goes into overtime. In fact, the winning team’s fans always wants to see a blowout. I want a repeat of Superbowl XX (Bears 46, New England 10). I’ll be rooting for my team, have fun rooting for yours.

Go Bush!!!

Snarky Photo Post – Feeling childish

Thursday, October 28th, 2004

Let’s ask John Edwards about how big he thinks his chances of winning the election are!

He says, “This Big!”

Really John? How much of chance do you REALLY have to win?

He says, “Oooh, about this much.”

Yeah. I think so too.

Bunnies!!!

Thursday, October 28th, 2004

The Daily
Recycler
brings us the joyously funny link above. The film is taken from Satellite Video Feeds. I know Edwards’ feed is part of a Harry Shearer comedy/art piece, but I hadn’t seen the Bush feed until this morning here.

The big joke, of course, is that Bush is a man’s man and Edwards is a little too Hollywood for the White House, and that’s probably unfair to Edwards. I always wondered how he got his hair so damn perfect though. Apparently, it’s by rolling up his sleeves and getting to work!

And stay to the end for the special approval message by President George Bush!

That’s a Relief!!

Thursday, October 28th, 2004

SelectSmart.com has a quiz that polls your feelings on a range of issues and tries to match you up with your best candidate. If only I could get Mr. Theoretical to run. He sounds like a smart and (obviously) good-looking fellow. My results follow. I took it twice. After seeing a few questions I didn’t remember answering in the review of my results, I felt I should take it again. However, I don’t know that I answered the questions I did respond to exactly the same way since you must weight the importance of your answer as well as responding. Click the link to take it.

[First Results: I think these may be more accurate because the questions I didn't answer are oddly phrased]
1. Your ideal theoretical candidate. (100%)
2. Bush, President George W. – Republican (87%)
3. Kerry, Senator John, MA – Democrat (58%)
4. Lieberman, Senator Joe, CT – Democrat (56%)
5. Edwards, Senator John, NC – Democrat (51%)
6. Badnarik, Michael – Libertarian (47%)
7. Gephardt, Rep. Dick, MO – Democrat (47%)
8. Peroutka, Michael – Constitution Party (40%)
9. Kucinich, Rep. Dennis, OH – Democrat (35%)
10. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT – Democrat (30%)
11. Sharpton, Reverend Al – Democrat (19%)
12. LaRouche, Lyndon H. Jr. – Democrat (18%)
13. Cobb, David – Green Party (14%)
14. Nader, Ralph – Independent (14%)
15. Clark, Retired General Wesley K., AR – Democrat (12%)
16. Brown, Walt – Socialist Party (10%)
17. Hagelin, Dr. John – Natural Law (9%)
18. Moseley-Braun, Former Senator Carol, IL – Democrat (3%)

[Second Result: Less agreement with Bush this time, but a negligible difference. Although Carl Mosely-Braun (odd name syntax aside) is moving up... Kerry moved down and Lieberman moved up. I said during the primaries, if the democrats selected Joe Lieberman, I would have a tough choice this November. As it is, they didn't and I don't. The Democrats can not nominate a centrist when everyone has to run to the left to have any chance of making it through the primaries. More extremists vote in the primaries (of both parties) than centrists. This is why the Democrats have such a hard time reaching Middle America.]
Your ideal theoretical candidate. (100%)
2. Bush, President George W. – Republican (80%)
3. Kerry, Senator John, MA – Democrat (57%)
4. Lieberman, Senator Joe, CT – Democrat (56%)
5. Badnarik, Michael – Libertarian (54%)
6. Edwards, Senator John, NC – Democrat (47%)
7. Gephardt, Rep. Dick, MO – Democrat (45%)
8. Peroutka, Michael – Constitution Party (43%)
9. Kucinich, Rep. Dennis, OH – Democrat (36%)
10. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT – Democrat (33%)
11. Sharpton, Reverend Al – Democrat (24%)
12. Cobb, David – Green Party (17%)
13. Nader, Ralph – Independent (17%)
14. Clark, Retired General Wesley K., AR – Democrat (16%)
15. LaRouche, Lyndon H. Jr. – Democrat (14%)
16. Hagelin, Dr. John – Natural Law (9%)
17. Brown, Walt – Socialist Party (8%)
18. Moseley-Braun, Former Senator Carol, IL – Democrat (7%)

Waaaaaitaminnit!

Thursday, October 28th, 2004

Drudge reports that ABC has passed a tape to the CIA and FBI for verification of authenticity before broadcasting it. The hour-long video they received in Pakistan reportedly shows an American-born man in a face-concealing headdress warning the US of an impending attack that would dwarf the attacks of September 11th. Apparently we brought it on ourselves by … I don’t know … breathing, maybe?

That’s cool with me. I much prefer that ABC vet its story sources before broadcasting them and breathlessly causing a panic, unlike, say, CBS for example. However, what struck me was this:

Sharing information like this with the government carries risks for a news organization, said media analyst Andrew Tyndall.

“If…as a result of sending this tape to the government, the CIA tipped off the Pakistani internal intelligence service, and they rounded this guy up, (ABC’s) news-gathering ability would be compromised because you’d be perceived by the people on the streets of Karachi as being a front organization for the CIA.”

I’m glad there are wiser heads at ABC (certain Political News Director memos notwithstanding).

I guess I can understand where Tyndall is coming from. Journalists’ coin is trust. They need the trust of their sources and the trust of their consumers (viewers, readers, listeners, etc.) in order to do their job. If their sources believe that they are liable to be arrested if they say X to this journalist, they’ll simply stop giving all the juicy data to that journalist. That is a fine and workable model in the world of corporate whistleblowers. It is in the best interest of the whistleblower for the journalist not to reveal him as the source so as to avoid retributory tactics from his employer, and it benefits the journalist because other whistleblowers are more likely to trust that journalist not to betray him.

However, when it comes to people who have sworn to kill me, my family and everything I hold dear, I have a very difficult time accepting that argument as a reason not to report such information to the very people who are trying to prevent that from happening (i.e., our government or the freedom-loving governments of Britain, Australia or anybody else with James Bond-like espionage capabilities). The fact that your face is reporting the 6:00 news is not going to engender love and affection for you in the Hamas splodydope’s heart. You’re gonna blow up too!
There is no benefit to a news agency in NOT providing such a strong indicator of a potential attack to those who are best capable of preventing it from happening. I can’t find any moral relativity to balance journalism ethics with the loss of life in such an attack if by your failure to provide the government information, you actually facilitate it. As far as I’m concerned, and I think many courts would agree, you are guilty of being an Accessory to Murder. No ideal of Objectivity compares to protect your countrymen in a time of war.

I just want to give big credit to ABC for getting this to the authorities in such a timely fashion. As it is being reported, they only received it in New York Monday afternoon and the FBI and CIA had it by yesterday at the latest. I hope their actions save so many thousands of lives. I salute you ABC, and a grateful nation thanks you.

Dear Tony

Wednesday, October 27th, 2004

I saw this cool site in a blog ad. There should be one for Prime Minister Howard of Australia too, but I haven’t found one yet. However, with his recent easy victory, I don’t think he quite needs the show of support that Mr. Blair needs. I decided to go ahead and write him a note, especially after watching Saturday Night Live, which had a sketch of a rather beleagured (and surprisingly subservient) Tony Blair shilling for Dubya. He has publicly stated that he has been feeling a little beaten up by his own citizens due to a bunch of mean-spirited letters. I think no good deed should go unpunished, and so I sent him a letter of my own:

I am proud to be aligned with such a stalwart ally, and I dearly hope that Mr. Blair realizes that quite a large number of Americans do not buy into the “coerced and bribed” baloney. We know that when it was time to take a stand for civilization, at a time when there was no room for equivocation, when the forces that value life must decide to fight for it, Mr. Blair (and Mr. Howard of Australia must be included as well) heeded the call for liberty. Our safety can only be guaranteed when those who would destroy lose their life, their ability to destroy us, their desire to do so, or all three. That will happen when freedom spreads from the borders of our nations to encompass all the world. Thank you Mr. Blair, from a grateful American.

Paul R. Bixby, Jr.
Rolling Meadows, Illinois, USA

OpinionJournal – The Real World

Wednesday, October 20th, 2004

OpinionJournal – The Real World

Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the United Nations, finds it “inconceivable” that Russia, France or China might have been influenced in Security Council debates by Saddam Hussein’s Oil for Food business and bribes. “These are very serious and important governments,” Mr. Annan told Britain’s ITV News Sunday. “You are not dealing with banana republics.”

The only response I have to this is “You keep using that word… I don’t think it means what you think it means.” < /Mandy Patinkin's awesome Spaniard accent>